Period: January 2014


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Saturday, January 11, 2014 PM - Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu expresses deep sorrow on the passing of former Prime Minister Ariel Sharon
"The State of Israel bows its head on the passing of former Prime Minister Ariel Sharon. Ariel Sharon played a central role in the struggle for the security of the State of Israel over all its years. He was, first and foremost, a courageous fighter and an outstanding general, and was among the IDF's greatest commanders.
From his youth, he served the people of Israel on the battlefield. Continued:

"Sharon was among the greatest constructors of the Land of Israel, and its greatest destroyer" - Member of the Knesset Orit Strook
Shin Beth: Sharon was about to give the West Bank; Strook: "Sharon Destroyer of Israel"
Lucky Sharon. He didn't live to see his own funeral. Following yesterday's studied insults,& the funeral took place today. It was plagued with oddities and smartly disguised attacks on the former prime minister.
British Tony Blair declared love to Sharon. He had a black kippah skullcap on his head, in the style favored by Ultra-Orthodox Jews. He was shown speaking with Gilad and Omri, Sharon's surviving sons. They used no skullcaps; thus creating the odd image of non-practicing Jews talking with a kippah-wearing Gentile.
Ultra-Orthodox Jews do not consider Sharon a Jew. Sharon and his family were fanatic humanists; he used skullcaps only when forced during official events. His sons were unlikely to appreciate Blair's gesture.
Completing this odd scene, Blair ended his speech with three Hebrew words meaning "Be his remembrance blessed."
Strook Strikes
Member of the Knesset Orit Strook robbed the show, despite not being significant enough to be allowed a speech during the funeral. She is part of the most extremist settlers.
Before the peace agreement with Egypt, she lived in Yamit; after the Sinai was returned, she moved to Hebron, in the West Bank. On Christmas eve, she was featured in Knesset: Netanyahu Responsible for Temple Mount Destruction. Her extremism is tangible. She referred to the Dome of the Rock, al-Aqsa, and the other Muslim sites still active on the Temple Mount as "archeological sites." This is an eerie reminder that Israel plans a Third Temple.
While Sharon's body was still warm, she said "Sharon was among the greatest constructors of the Land of Israel, and its greatest destroyer. He, who knew how to defeat terror, transformed the land's south into a terror-stricken zone. His immense decisiveness and his capability to decide and act allowed great achievements but also calamities.
"Next to the recognition and thank you for his contribution to the State of Israel, it is impossible not to thank also God, blessed be his name, for having taken Sharon out of our public life before he managed to strike the West Bank settlers with the same calamity he imposed to those who lived in Gaza."

Sharon is a Goy - Much of this article would make no sense unless understanding how Ultra-Orthodox Jews define Judaism. None of them recognizes former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon as a Jew. This explains a lot the controversy he still causes in Israel in what probably are the last days of his life. "Grave Doubts Regarding the Jewishness of the Prime Minister Sharon" Passover 2005 Headline of Ultra-Orthodox News' Good Hour
Paul and the Jewish Law: Halakha in the Letters of the Apostle to the Gentiles (Compendia Rerum Iudaicarum Ad Novum Testamentum)
The State of Israel uses the Law of Return in order to define Jews. It adopted a unsatisfactory definition* compared to the one used by Ultra-Orthodox Jews. The latter recognize as Jew only someone born to a Jewish mother or that converted according to the Halakha, the Jewish religious law.+
Ariel Sharon's parents were Shmuel Scheinerman (1896–1956) of Brest-Litovsk and Vera Scheinerman (1900–1988) from Mogilev, both locations are nowadays in Belarus; yet, they met in Georgia after they fled WWI.
His father was Jewish. One of the reasons for the maiden surname of his mother not being in the public domain is that she was not Jewish, she was a Subbotnik. Most followers of this Russian Christian sect practice circumcision, do not recognize the New Testament, and observe Sabbath on Saturday. Their name is derived from the Russian name for Saturday. Continued:

Published: 01/29/14 by: Bryon Turcotte - Official reports from Israeli security experts at Seculert stated that hackers have successfully compromised a defense ministry computer, according to an article published on the Jewish Voice website. The article indicates that attackers “broke into an via an email attachment tainted with malicious software.” The article indicates that “Securlet had not determined what the hackers did after the initial infection.”
According to the article, “hackers earlier this month temporarily took over 15 computers, one of them belonging to the Civil Administration for Judea and Samaria” as confirmed by Aviv Raff, the Chief Technology Officer at Seculert. Raff was reported in the article to have told Reuters that “Palestinian Arabs were suspected to be behind the cyber attack, citing similarities to a cyber assault on Israeli computers waged more than a year ago from a server in Hamas-ruled Gaza.”
In the article, Raff was quoted to say, “All we know is at least one computer at the Civil Administration was in control of the attackers; what they did we don’t know.” The report indicates that this attack originated from “a server in the United States” but that officials questioned declined comments on the event by saying “We are not commenting on it, we don’t respond to such reports.” The article continued to confirm that “several hacking attacks targeting Israelis” have occurred over “the past year or so.”
Read more about this attack and how the Israeli government is dealing with the aftermath in the full article at the Jewish Voice website. Continued:

July 2013 — In a remarkable but under-reported address, Vice President Joe Biden recently acknowledged that the "immense" and "outsized" Jewish role in the US mass media and cultural life has been the single most important factor in shaping American attitudes over the past century, and in driving major cultural-political changes.
"Jewish heritage has shaped who we are—all of us—as much or more than any other factor in the last 223 years. And that's a fact" . . . it's fair to say that Jewish heritage is American heritage," he added. . . I bet you 85 percent of those [social-political] changes, whether it's in Hollywood or social media are a consequence of Jewish leaders in the industry. The influence is immense, the influence is immense. . ."
"America's pluralistic society is at the heart of Jewish security," says Abraham Foxman, national director of the Anti-Defamation League . . . "which has enabled us to be such important allies for the State of Israel . . ."
American motion pictures and television, in collaboration with influential Jewish-Zionist organizations, have for many years sought to persuade Americans—especially younger Americans—to welcome and embrace ever more social, cultural and racial "diversity," and to regard themselves simply as individuals. While striving to belittle and break down racial, religious, ethnic and cultural identity and cohesion among non-Jewish Americans, the US media promotes a tribalistic nationalism (Zionism) for Jews, and defends Israel as a proudly Jewish ethnic-religious state.
Without an understanding of the Jewish role in the American mass media and US cultural life, major social-political trends over the past century are all but incomprehensible. Vice President Biden's frank acknowledgement of this "immense" clout is a welcome contribution to a greater awareness of this important reality of American life. Full story:

PA reportedly allowing only for limited land swaps and insisting that all refugees be given leave to settle in Israel if they wish
By Ilan Ben Zion October 27, 2013, 9:57 pm - Prresident Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden, along with Palestinian Chief Negotiator Saeb Erekat and Mohammed Shtayyeh (right) and Israeli Justice Minister Tzipi Livni and Yitzhak Molho (left) at the formal resumption of direct Israeli-Palestinian negotiations, in the Oval Office, July 30, 2013. (photo credit: Official White House Photo, Chuck Kennedy)Writers Ilan Ben Zion
Ilan Ben Zion is a news editor at The Times of Israel. He holds a Masters degree in Diplomacy from … [More] Tel Aviv University and an Honors Bachelors degree from the University of Toronto in Near and Middle Eastern Civilizations, Jewish Studies, and English. [Less] Follow or contact:TwitterRSS NewsroomEmail the Newsroom Facebook Twitter Related TopicsIsraeli-Palestinian peace talksPalestinian AuthorityPalestinian right of return More on this storyBereaved families gather to protest prisoner release Netanyahu: Prisoner release one of ‘toughest’ decisions as PM A prisoner release beset by extremists on both sides Israel names 26 Palestinian prisoners to be freed in 48 hours Abbas said to soften stance on interim peace agreement Israel OKs release of 26 Palestinian prisoners Ministers reject bid to block Palestinian prisoner releases Politicians jostle as prisoner release pends The Palestinian Authority demands that any land swap with Israel as part of a peace deal not exceed 1.9 percent of the West Bank, less than half of the land necessary to incorporate the lion’s share of settlers, according to details leaked to Channel 2 by a disgruntled Palestinian official on Sunday.
According to the report, the Palestinians are also insisting that they gain control over water, and control at their sides of the Dead Sea and border crossings; that a Palestinian state be able to sign agreements with other states without Israeli intervention; that Israel release all Palestinian prisoners it holds; and that all Palestinian refugees and their descendants be granted the right to choose to live in Israel or the Palestinian territories as part of a final agreement.
The report made no mention of Israel’s position on these issues, but the government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has been wary of a Palestinian state exercising full sovereign powers that might threaten Israeli security, and all Israeli governments have rejected the possibility of anything other than a token influx of Palestinian refugees, for fear of remaking the demographic balance of the Jewish state. Continued:

Report: JERUSALEM Thu Jan 16, 2014 9:46am EST Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (L) delivers a speech during a session marking the 65th anniversary of the Knesset, the Israeli parliament, in Jerusalem January 14, 2014, at the beginning of the second winter session of the Knesset.
Reuters) - Israel's prime minister has increased the amount of occupied territory he wants to keep after any peace deal with the Palestinians, Israeli radio reported on Thursday, a move that could complicate U.S.-backed efforts to reach an accord.
Benjamin Netanyahu's spokesman declined to comment on the report that he had added a bloc of Israeli-settled land near the Palestinian governmental seat in the occupied West Bank to a list of enclaves Israel intends to retain.
That would leave 13 percent of the West Bank in Israeli hands, Israel's Army Radio said, a prospect likely to dismay Palestinians who want the area for a future state.
There was no immediate comment from Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. But a Palestinian official, who asked not to be identified, rejected the notion of Israel keeping large clusters of settlements.
"We are saying that once we agree on the withdrawal to 1967 borders, we can accept minor exchanges of land on a case-by-case basis," the official said, referring to lines - described by Israel as indefensible - predating the war in which it captured the West Bank, East Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip.

Archaeologists claim a building unearthed at Khirbet Qeiyafa was King David's 'Suburban Palace.'
By Gil Ronen - First Publish: 1/30/2014, 4:06 PM
An aerial view of the Khirbet Qeiyafa dig
Skyview/Archaeological Authority
A national park will be declared at Khirbet Qeiyafa and the Ela Valley, southwest of Jerusalem, and a residential neighborhood that had been planned next to the location will not be built. The area is believed to be the spot where the young David fought Goliath, according to the Bible.
The decision was made by the Jerusalem District Committee for Planning and Construction. The national park will stretch from Beit Natif in the east to Khirbet Qeiyafa in the west, and the construction of the southern neighborhood of Ramat Beit Shemesh will be scrapped.
The decision is being hailed as a major accomplishment for the preservation of nature in Israel, and as the product of successful cooperation between the Israel Antiquities Authority and the Nature and Parks Authority.
Khirbet Qeiyafa, an ancient ruin atop a hill that borders the Ela Valley from the north, is thought to be the Biblical city of Sha'arayim. The city is heavily fortified, and is typical of other Judean cities that were established during the period of the Kings, before the destruction of the First Temple. It has been excavated since 2007 by archeologists Prof. Yosef Garfinkel from Hebrew University, and Saar Ganor of the Antiquities Authority.
The site features three unique public buildings, the first of their kind ever found in the Judean area. The buildings date to the tenth century before the Common Era – the period in which King David reigned in Jerusalem.
Garfinkel and Ganor have claimed that one of the buildings is indeed a palace used by King David himself.
The Head of the Preservation Administration within the Antiquities Authority, Raanan Kislev, issued a statement hailing what he called a “dramatic” and “unprecedented” decision, that establishes “a policy of planning that sees preservation of heritage a value equal in importance to the urgent need for housing units and development.”
Yuval Peled, who heads the Development Section in the Nature and Parks Authority, also congratulated the District Committee for its decision, which “will enable future generations to feel the past in the scenery of the present, and to understand the setting of the historical story of the battle of David and Goliath, a battle that has historical significance for the nation in Zion and the entire world.” Continued:

He adds another Settlement Bloc to 'Must Have' Territory
by Jason Ditz, January 16, 2014 - The West Bank as the Palestinians see it keeps getting smaller and smaller.
The latest out of the peace talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority is that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has added an entire new bloc of settlements to the list of territories he intends to keep in any peace deal.
The newest bloc is on the outskirts of Ramallah, the major Palestinian city that is the de facto capital of the Palestinian Authority. Netanyahu reportedly also told the Palestinians that he will not be offering 1:1 land swaps for the settlement and the surrounding area.
Netanyahu reportedly insists that the biblical book of Genesis is his justification for keeping the settlement bloc around Beit El, which makes it even less clear why he is all of a sudden issuing new demands.
With the new settlement blocs added, Israel now intends to annex a minimum of 13% of the West Bank, and is only considering giving the Palestinians a fraction of that amount in Israeli territory in exchange. The Palestinians have reportedly rejected the demand, but that doesn’t seem to have changed the Israeli perspective that Beit El is now “part of the deal.” Continued:

PM suggests buying some of the land from Palestinians.
By Barak Ravid - Jan. 16, 2014 - Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has demanded that Israel retain a fourth settlement bloc in addition to three it has already demanded in negotiations with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, who has been working to hammer out a framework peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians.
The settlement bloc in question is in the vicinity of Beit El, adjacent to Ramallah in the central West Bank. Israel has already laid claim to three other settlement blocs – Ariel, Gush Etzion and Ma'aleh Adumim. Settlement blocs refer to areas in the West Bank where the majority of Jewish communities are located. Palestinians fiercely oppose the latest Israeli request, according to an Israeli source who has been briefed by the Americans.
Netanyahu wants to annex the four blocs but, according to the Israeli source, at this stage opposes compensating the Palestinians with a land swap of equal size and quality. The prime minister did, however, raise the possibility of buying some of the land on which the settlement blocs rest from the Palestinians and compensating them for other parts with land that is in Israel proper. Continued:

INSS Insight No. 504, January 1, 2014 - Zaki Shalom, Yoel Guzansky
SUMMARY: On December 17, 2013, Mohammed bin Nawaf, the Saudi ambassador to Great Britain, published an exceptionally harsh op-ed in the New York Times about the policy of the Obama administration toward Iran and Syria. Until recently, signs of Saudi dissatisfaction with the administration’s Middle East policy came primarily from reports and news analyses. Of late, however, the Saudi government has become much less cautious about its public criticism of the United States. And while Riyadh has no good options as to a substitute ally in place of the United States, it is possible that in the wake of the erosion of Saudi confidence in the US, the kingdom will seek to diffuse risks and form a parallel web of relations with various countries to improve its security situation.
On December 17, 2013, Mohammed bin Nawaf, the Saudi ambassador to Great Britain, published an exceptionally harsh op-ed in the New York Times about the policy of the Obama administration toward Iran and Syria. Until recently, signs of Saudi dissatisfaction with the administration’s Middle East policy came primarily from reports and news analyses. Of late, however, the Saudi government has become much less cautious about its public criticism of the United States. Continued:

SAUDI GAZETTE 1 Jan.’14: Agence France Presse -
MOSCOW — Russian President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday 31 Dec.2013 threatened “terrorists” with total destruction after twin suicide strikes claimed 34 lives and raised alarm over security at the Sochi Winter Olympic Games. A bombing at the main railway station of the southern city of Volgograd killed 18 people on Sunday while a second strike that hit a trolleybus on Monday[30 Dec.] claimed 16 lives.
The latest violence has laid bare the unchecked threat posed by insurgents, who have vowed to target civilians in a bid to undermine Putin’s preparations ahead of the Games’ opening ceremony on February 7. 2014.
“Dear friends, we bow our heads in front of the victims of the terrible acts of terror. I am sure we will toughly and consistently continue to fight against terrorists until their total destruction,” Putin said in his first public comments on the attacks. Putin made the statement in a traditional midnight New Year’s address he recorded during an unannounced visit to Russia’s Far Eastern city of Khabarovsk that is seven hours ahead of Moscow. Continued:

RAMALLAH, January 1, 2014 (WAFA) – Marking the 49th anniversary of the Palestinian Revolution, President Mahmoud Abbas stressed his commitment towards restoring the Palestinian rights and the termination of settlement building by diplomatic means.
In his speech, which was broadcasted on the state TV, Abbas asserted that the negotiations with Israel are part of our people’s struggle aimed at reaching a final peace agreement. He also confirmed his objection to an interim or transitional state solution that could prolong the Israeli occupation.
“We negotiate with Israel to reach a solution that leads to a Palestinian state within the 1967 occupied territory, with Jerusalem as a capital. We negotiate to reach a fair solution to the refugees’ issue based on the UN Resolution 194 as stated in the Arab Peace Initiative”, said Abbas.
Abbas greeted the ‘steadfastness’ of the Palestinian refugees in Syria, Lebanon and the Diaspora.
He also highlighted the need to deploy international forces in the Palestinian Territory after signing a peace pact in order to reinforce security and to protect Palestinians from any Israeli assaults. Continued:

Dr. Aaron Lerner Date: 2 January 2014 - Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu assured us once again that in the event that an agreement is reached with the Palestinians that it would be subject to approval in a national referendum.
Take note: there are no plans to condition Israel's acceptance of a declaration of principles, roadmap or other outline of the contours of an agreement on approval in a national referendum.
Some in the national camp have expressed concern that Prime Minister Netanyahu may yield to pressure to make concessions in the course of the negotiations in the expectation that ultimately the Israeli voters will reject the deal because of those concession with the idea that he enjoys a win-win situation: he gets credit for caving into the demands of the White House while the Israeli street saves the day. A more cynical narrative would have it that PM Netanyahu ultimately blames the Israeli voters for accepting the deal. Continued:

Remarks With Lead Negotiator for the Palestinian Authority Saeb Erekat After Meeting With Palestinian Authority President Abbas - January 4, 2014
Mr. EREKAT: I think this is the 21st meeting between President Abbas and Secretary Kerry. It was a sleepless night last night and today also. Secretary Kerry has exerted every possible effort in order to achieve a two-state solution, a state of Palestine to live side by side with the state of Israel in peace and security in the 1967 lines.
What Secretary Kerry is doing – and let me repeat it in front of him – is not an interim agreement. It’s not a transitional period that’s beyond us. We’re working hard to achieve an agreement on all core issues. No one benefits more from the success of Secretary Kerry’s efforts than Palestinians, and no one stands to lose more of failure than Palestinians. Failure to us is not an option. We really are doing everything humanly possible to ensure the success of Secretary Kerry. We really hope that the Israeli side would refrain from any acts that may prejudice or preempt the outcome of permanent status negotiations, i.e., settlement activity and home demolitions.

Egypt: Religious endowments ministry takes control of Brotherhood mosques Waleed Abdul Rahman, Asharq Al-Awsat Saturday, 4 Jan, 2014
Cairo, Asharq Al-Awsat - As the Egyptian government continues to crack down on the ousted Muslim Brotherhood, the Ministry of Awqaf (religious endowments) took control of several mosques controlled by the Islamist group on Friday. The takeover comes three days after the government ordered the seizure of the assets of hundreds of Brotherhood members on suspicion of “funding terrorism.” Continued:

Hamas renews rejection to any concessions during negotiations 08-01-2014,10:35
Al Qassam website- Gaza- Hamas Movement has warned the Israeli occupation authority (IOA) of continuing its violations and crimes against Palestinian people, lands, and holy sites under the cover of the ongoing absurd negotiations, US bias, and international complicity.
Commenting on the re-arrest of 7 liberated prisoners and Israel's endorsement of 272 new housing units in West Bank and Jerusalem, a responsible source in Hamas warned in a statement on Tuesday of the serious implications of the continuing negotiations, considering it a cover to the Israeli Judaization and settlement schemes.
The IOA works for liquidating the Palestinian cause through imposing fait accompli under the umbrella of negotiations, he said, renewing his movement's rejection to any agreement at the expense of Palestinian rights and constants. Continued:

Domestic tourism - 16.7 million nights (all types of accommodation); 3% =increase.
Leading source countries for incoming tourism: USA, Russia, France, Germany, UK
Most visited city by incoming tourists Jerusalem ( 75%) and Western Wall most visited site (68%). 9 January 2014

Al Qassam website- Gaza- Islamic Jihad Movement in Palestine denounced U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry's plan submitted during the current round of Israeli-Palestinian negotiations, saying that it aims to liquidate Palestinian rights particularly Jerusalem and Palestinian refugees' right of return.
In a rally organized in protest against Kerry's plan, Mohammed al-Hindi, a member of Jihad Movement's political bureau, confirmed that Kerry's plan "came to liquidate the Palestinian rights and constants."
He stressed that there are many available alternatives to negotiations which need a real political will, calling on the Palestinian people to stand firmly against Kerry's plan. Continued:

Allegations of corruption, praise for terrorists not obstacles
Steve Peacosk - Published: 08/18/2013 at 8:04 PM The U.S. government recently awarded a batch of contracts worth up to $300 million to Palestinian construction companies, including a firm targeted in a Palestinian Authority corruption probe. PA Prosecutor-General Ahmed al-Mughni, likewise, survived the investigation, having escaped a car-bomb assassination attempt related to his probe of Tarifi Contracting & Reconstruction Co., other companies and PA officials, the Jerusalem Post reported at the time. The chairman of Tarifi Contracting is H. E. Jamil Al Tarifi, the former PA civil affairs minister. At the time of the investigation, he reportedly co-owned the firm with his brother, Jamal, who currently is not listed on the company roster. Neither man was implicated in the assassination attempt.
The Tarifi organization had come under fire for indirectly selling tens of thousands of tons of cement that the Israelis ultimately used in building the West Bank separation wall and settlements there and in Gaza. PA officials also were investigated for failing to collect taxes on the sale and import of the cement, which came from Egypt.
Now the Obama administration, through the U.S. Agency for International Development, has awarded indefinite quantity contracts, or IQCs, to the Tarifi Company and five other Palestinian firms, according to procurement documents WND located via routine database research.
Noticeably absent, however, from the contract award, No. AID-294-I-13-00004, is a company name.
Filling the space adjacent to “Contractor Awarded Name” – a line item contained in all awards listed in the FedBizOpps database – was a duplicated award number. Despite the omission, the document included a contractor-registration “DUNS number,” which WND tracked to the Tarifi Company. Continued:

RAMALLAH, January 11, 2014 (WAFA - PLO news agency) – President Mahmoud Abbas stressed Saturday that there will be no peace agreement with Israel without an agreement over Jerusalem. “Without Jerusalem there will be no peace between us,” Abbas told crowds from Jerusalem at his headquarters. “Without Jerusalem written clearly and in bold, there will not be peace with them,” he added. Abbas said he heard Israelis say that Jerusalem will not be on the agenda of a final peace agreement. Continued:

Abu Rudeineh: No Agreement without Jerusalem
RAMALLAH, January 11, 2014 (WAFA - PLO news agency) – Presidential spokesman Nabil Abu Rudeineh said Saturday that there will be no agreement with Israel without East Jerusalem as the eternal capital of the State of Palestine. Abu Rudeineh was responding to statements by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in which he said that he will not negotiate over Jerusalem. Continued:

01/13/2014 06:20 US secretary of state updates Arab leaders in region on latest developments in talks. US Secretary of State John Kerry told Arab League foreign ministers late Sunday that Washington was determined to bring Israel and the Palestinians together in an effort to end the decades-long conflict. "As I made clear in my discussions with the Arab foreign ministers today, we really are at a critical point, as Palestinians and Israeli leaders grapple with difficult and challenging decisions that lie ahead," Kerry said.
"Through the course of the last five months, President Abbas and Prime Minister Netanyahu have both demonstrated courageous and determined leadership," the secretary said. "They’ve made tough choices, and they are contemplating even tougher choices in the weeks ahead."
"The Arab foreign ministers made clear to me that they support Israeli and Palestinian leaders’ efforts to take the next bold, courageous steps of agreeing to a framework for permanent status negotiations."

By HERB KEINON - 11/03/2013 13:30 PA says Balfour Declaration "a crime against humanity"; calls on Britain to apologize for it. A day after the Palestinian Authority called the Balfour Declaration "a crime against humanity" and called upon Britain to apologize for it, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said the Palestinian
refusal to recognize the Jewish people's right to a homeland is the root of the ongoing conflict.
The Balfour declaration, a letter written 96 years ago on November 2 by British Foreign Secretary Arthur James Balfour to Baron Rothschild, called for the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people.
"That declaration recognized the right of the Jewish people to its own homeland in Israel," Netanyahu said Sunday at the start of the weekly cabinet meeting. "There is no doubt that international recognition of the Jewish people's right to its own state in its historic homeland is important; the refusal to recognize us is the root of the conflict."

Discussion Coming Down to 'Percentage Points'
By Jason Ditz, February 06, 2014 - Details of the closed-door negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority suggest the two sides are much closer together than previously indicated, with the two sides just “percentage points” away on land swaps.
Israel is looking to annex 10 percent of the West Bank in the deal, while the PA is said to be favoring a deal that caps the annexations at 3 percent, with land exchanges.
3 percent or 10 percent isn’t as big a difference as it sounds, as either would encompass the vast majority of Israel’s settlements. Some of the settlement blocs south of Jerusalem are apparently agreed to by both sides, while some others are still in dispute.
The suggestion of an independent Palestine including 90 percent of the West Bank is hugely promising, with discussion of them also getting some land in the Negev, bordering the Gaza Strip, as part of the settlement of the refugee issue.
On the other hand, Israel has coalition partners threatening to withdraw and collapse the coalition if they get close to such a deal. The discussion of percentages in the West Bank also didn’t include the question of East Jerusalem, which Palestinians envision as their future capital and which Israel has already annexed outright. Continued: