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Serious domestic and foreign policy issues pose significant challenges

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From a Canadian perspective, the Israeli Supreme Court has politicised itself, progressively becoming a state within a state, and requires reforms. (Photo: versa.cardozo.yu.edu)

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Normalisation

The UAE

The UAE started importing Israeli wine and cooking oil from Judea Samaria. Further, barely one hour before the swearing-in of President Joe Biden, the government inked an agreement for the sale of 50 F-35 stealth combat jets expected to be delivered starting in 2027.

Since the Democratic-majority House has consistently opposed the sale and the Senate Republicans have been lukewarm about it, President Biden is likely to review the contract. I very much hope he cancels the deal which carries the serious risk of getting into the wrong hands. 

Morocco

A government-backed Moroccan NGO, The Association Mimouna of Morocco and the U.S. State Department’s Office to Monitor and Combat Antisemitism signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to cooperate in targeting “all forms of anti-Semitism, including anti-Zionism and the de-legitimisation of the State of Israel” 

Morocco also signed an MOU with the U.S to protect against the importation by the U.S of Moroccan cultural property i.e. “specified archaeological and ethnological materials.

The restrictions exclude Jewish cultural property i.e. Jewish ceremonial or ritual objects in/or Morocco. 

Mauritania and Indonesia

According to Jacob Maggid prior to the investiture of President Biden, the U.S. was closing in on agreements with these two countries but ran out of time. Mauritania established full diplomatic relations with Israel in1999 but severed ties in 2009.

Egypt and Jordan

Despite the existence of an Israel-Egypt peace treaty, based on widespread hostility against the treaty, both Egyptians and the Government of Egypt are staunchly against the normalisation of the treaty relationship.

Mohamed Abdelaziz and David Pollock report that an Egyptian public opinion poll commissioned by the Washington Institute for Near East Policy conducted in November 2020 shows that only 25% of the respondents support the recent agreements with Israel by the UAE and Bahrain while 2/3 reject the agreements. The respondents also attached slightly greater importance to Egypt having good ties with China (55%) than with the U.S. (52%)

There are also encouraging news: 96% voiced a negative opinion of both Iran-backed Hezbollah and the Houthis while 73% expressed the same opinion about Hamas, and only 23% viewed the Muslim Brotherhood positively.

The King of Jordan and the Jordanians, a large segment of which are “Palestinians” are also staunchly against normalisation save in matters of national security. 

Saudi Arabia

In a paper published on October 19, 2020 by the Begin-Sadat Centre, Dr. Raphael BenLevi posited that “It is [President Trump’s] Washington’s strong support for Saudi Arabia’s security needs, clear stance against Iran’s pursuit of regional hegemony, support for Saudi actions in Yemen, and willingness to set aside criticism of Riyadh’s domestic policies that have allowed for even the possibility of a formal shift in the Kingdom’s stance on Israel. But Joe Biden has made clear that if elected, he intends to reverse all those policies. Such changes, along with his preemptive rejection of Israel’s extension of sovereignty to any new territory, would undermine any prospect that exists for normalisation between Israel and Saudi Arabia.”

Hence, Saudi Arabia’s decision to beat the President to the punch, by cutting all direct and third party contacts with Israel and reconciling with Qatar.

A: Domestic challenges

 1. Domestic Terrorism. In 2020, Palestinians in Judea and Samaria, Palestinians committed 7078 acts of terrorism against civilians and the IDF injuring 154 people (71 civilians) and 668 vehicles; and an increase of terrorism by settlers against Palestinians to seek revenge and the IDF. 

In the rest of the country, there was a marked decrease in Palestinian terrorist attacks and a downturn in casualties (3 deaths and some injuries and 430 thwarted attacks). The problems with the Bedouins in the Negev continued. 

2. The Haredi. Animated by their extremist, religious ideology and disrespect for the government,  they  kept challenging  the government’s fight against Covid-19 by breaching  their religious, human, civic, and national duties to respect and protect their fellow citizens’ safety and right to life. They caused and contributed to the sickness or death of their fellow citizens.  

Further, their riotous behaviour to prevent being drafted into the IDF, and their willingness to shift their support to whichever party promises to protect their state benefits, to my mind makes them internal enemies of the Israeli society.

Having regard to their high birth rate (in 2020, two times higher than the rest of the population financed in good measure by the Israeli taxpayer), they are liable to constitute the majority of the Israeli society within  the next 5 decades.

3. The Supreme Court of Israel. As I see it, from a Canadian perspective, the Court has politicised itself, progressively becoming a state within a state, breaching the well-established constitutional principle governing the relations of the Judicial Branch with the Legislative and the Executive branches of the State by a) usurping the authorities and powers of the two branches and b) formulating or applying legal propositions and interpretations that lead to the decisions which the Court wishes to reach.

The rather bizarre process of selecting and appointing the judges of the Court requires urgent review and reform.

4. Israel’s electoral system based on proportional representation

Having four elections within two years, illustrates the highly dysfunctional nature of the current electoral  system and the  bizarre party games, the electoral system reflects and compounds the divisiveness of the Israeli society and urgently needs to be reformed.

5. Israeli leftist academics, politicians and organisations that militate against the rights, interests and security of the State of Israel, and in the process libel and defame the State, the government and the IDF under the guise of freedom of speech. 

Hence, it comes as no surprise that Israel’s Institute for National Security Studies in its latest yearly analysis ranks Israel’s “internal and multi-system dysfunctions” as the third (in descending order) of  the Institute’s list of the security challenges facing the country.

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B: Foreign policy challenges

Israel’s plate of foreign challenges is over-crowded. Unfortunately, Israel contributed to this overcrowding through her own mistakes over the years. These are: the abandonment of the allied South Lebanon Army (Ehud Barak); turning Gaza over to the P.A. (Ariel Sharon) and the Oslo Accords (Yitzhak Rabin).The cost of each continues to be exorbitantly costly.

1.1 P.A.’s forthcoming general elections in the West Bank and in Gaza 

In response to President Biden’s refusal to re-establish the former U.S financial assistance program to the P.A. before it holds general elections, Mohammed Abas, the President of the P.A. announced that the elections of the members of the Palestinian Legislative Council and those of the Palestinian Council will be held in May and August respectively, while the President of P.A. will be elected in July, this year.

Although the requirement for the P.A. to hold long overdue elections is a worthy one, the outcomes of these elections are likely to be highly problematic for Israel.

According to a survey published by the Palestinian Centre for Policy and Survey Research (PCPSR) and conducted in cooperation with the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung in Ramallah (sample of 1270 interviewed face to face; +/- 3% margin of error) published on December 27, 2020,

a) 66% demands the resignation of Mahmoud Abbas of Fatah; 

b) 38% would vote for Abbas’ Fatah (the main party of the PLO) and 34% would vote for Hamas;

c) In the event Marwan Barghouti, currently serving five life sentences for orchestrating numerous terrorist attacks including suicide bombings against civilian and military targets formed an independent list, he would receive 25% of the vote while Fatah’s share of the vote would be reduced to 19%;

d) Abbas would lose the presidential election against Hamas Leader Haniyeh with only 43 to 50%;

e) In a presidential election pitting the two terrorists – Barghouti v. Haniyeh – the former would win with 61% to 37%;

f)  A competition of the current Prime Minister of the P.A. against Haniyeh would result in a tie with 47% each.

Finally, 40% support the two state solution while 62% think this is no longer possible. In addition, 38% support reaching a peace agreement compared to 48% who prefer an armed struggle, while 29% support the adoption of the one-state solution.

If allowed to run, the Jewish blood on the hands of murderous terror mastermind Marwan Barghouti helps make him the top choice for up to 61% of Palestinian voters. (Photo: Arabian Post)

The way things stand at present, Israel will be a) expected to deal with one of the two terrorists as President elect of the P.A; b) pressured to let the first out of jail, or c) watch the second whose election will confer him an aura of democratic legitimacy, proceed to expand Hamas terrorist infrastructure and activities to lands under the control of Ramallah. 

Clearly, that cannot and will not happen.

In another public opinion poll conducted by a leading polling organisation, the Palestinian Centre of Public Opinion (PCPO) among a much smaller sample of respondents with an average age of 32.4, (Margin of error +/ 4.38%), in the wake of the P.A.’s decision to both resume relations with Israel and reinstate security co-ordination under the Oslo Agreement, these decisions were opposed by 59% and 55%, respectively, while 52% opposed peace negotiations. 

In the meantime, the E.U. is back on its hobby horse, demanding that Israel facilitate the voting throughout the “Palestinian Territory” which according to E.U. includes the former East Jerusalem. 

I propose to devote the next parts to the Israel-U.S relations under President Biden and then proceed with the rest of Israel’s large number of foreign challenges.

Doğan D. Akman is an independent researcher and commentator. He holds a B.Sc. in sociology, an M.A. in sociology/criminology and an LL.B in law. He held academic appointments in sociology, criminology and social policy; served as a Judge of the Provincial Court of Newfoundland and Labrador, and occupied the positions of Crown Counsel in criminal prosecutions and in civil litigation at the Federal Department of Justice. His academic work is published in peer-reviewed professional journals, while his opinion pieces and other writings are to be found in various publications and in blogs.  

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Thank you for choosing TheJ.Ca as your source for Canadian Jewish News.

We do news differently!

Our positioning as a Zionist News Media platform sets us apart from the rest. While other Canadian Jewish media are advocating increasingly biased progressive political and social agendas, TheJ.Ca is providing more and more readers with a welcome alternative and an ideological home.

We revealed the incursion of anti-Israel progressive elements such as IfNotNow into our communities. We have exposed the distorted hateful agenda of the “progressive” left political radicals who brought Linda Sarsour to our cities, and we were first to report on many disturbing incidents of Nazi-based hate towards Jews across Canada.

But we can’t do it alone. We need your HELP!

Our ability to thrive and grow in 2020 and beyond depends on the generosity of committed readers and supporters like you.

Monthly support is a great way to help us sustain our operations. We greatly appreciate any contributions you can make to support Jewish Journalism.

We thank you for your ongoing support.

Happy reading!

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