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April 21, 2017

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PAGE 2A HERITAGE FLORIDA JEWISH NEWS, APRIL 21, 2017 ,O By Ariel Ben Solomon While the international community hangs on to visions of a two-state solu- tion, Israeli public opinion is unified in asserting that the establishment of a Palestin- ian state is unrealistic and undesirable. Only 12 percent of Jew- ish Israelis believe a West Bank withdrawal would end the Israeli-Palestinian con- flict, according to a survey published by the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairsat the end of March. Jewish support for with- drawal from the West Bank has decreased from 60 percent in 2005 to 36 percent in 2017. The survey also found that 79 percent of Jewish Israelis be- lieve it is important to retain a unified Jerusalem under Israeli sovereignty. Such a stance is at odds with the international community's oft-mentioned two-state plan of dividing Jerusalem and making it the capital of both Israel and a proposed Palestin- ian state. An ongoing wave of Pal- UN Lm ( The Palestinian Authority announced Thurs- day that it will suspend ties with the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Pales- tine Refugees in the Near East over changes that make the agency's school curriculum more sympathetic to Israel. The PA's Education Min- istry called the changes an "affront to the Palestin- Jan people, its history and struggles," and vowed the suspension will not change until UNRWA reverses the changes. UNRWA schools serve more than 312,000 Pales- tinian refugee children, including 262,000 students in Gaza as well as 50,000 in the West Bank and eastern Jerusalem. NATHALIE TOLEDANO REALTOR Owned And Operated By NRT LLC (407) 488-2763 CELL (407) 647-1211 EXT 3685 BUSINESS (407) 628-1210 FAX nathalie.toledano@ @ RESIDENTIAL REAL ESTATE 400 Park Avenue South, Suite 210 Winter Park, FL 32789 While UNRWA has not listed any changes to its curriculum, the Times of Israel--citing Arab media-- reported that the changes include "revisions to maps of Palestine to exclude refer- ences to cities inside Israel as Palestinian cities, a practice that numerous studies of Palestinian textbooks have labeled as 'incitement.' Oth- er changes were reportedly planned to tone down praise for Palestinian prisoners and improve Israel's image." UNRWA spokesman Chris Gunness said in a statement that the agency's policy is "to review, and where ap- propriate enrich the official PA textbooks, curricula and other learning materials used in UNRWA schools to ensure compliance with U.N. values and principles." FUNERAL HOME & C_~E~-I~ Jewish Graveside Package: $200.00 to Chevra h donation for washing . - _- -- - Call us to Organizer! 407-695-CARE (2273) www. Maitland 9001 N. Orlando Avenue Maitland, FL 32751 Sanford 905 Laurel Avenue Sanford, FL 32771 West Orange 1400 Matthew Paris BIvd Ocoee, FL 34761 estinian terrorism since the fall of 2015--most recently the killing of Israeli soldier Sgt. Elhai Teharlev in a car-ramming attack--has apparently cooled the Is- raeli public's appetite for a deal involving a Palestinian state. "The Palestinian insistence on having their capital in Jerusalem is the true obstacle to peace," Prof. Efraim Inbar of Bar-Ilan University's Begin- Sadat Center for Strategic Studies told Inbar also emphasized the significance of Jewish Israe- lis' "steady large support for Israeli control of the Temple Mount," the eastern Jerusa- lem holy site where Jewish prayer is currently banned, but where the Israeli govern- ment maintains security control. "Jews in the Diaspora, as well as many Christians, also sympathize with Israel's positions on Jerusalem," In- bar said. "Therefore, Israel's insistence on Jerusalem will put the onus of failure on the Palestinians." Inbar wrote in an April 5 article that for Israel, a quick and decisive "1967-style vic- tory "--referencing the war in which the Jewish state unified Jerusalem and took control of Judea and Samaria as well as the Golan Heights--is unlikely, given the multifac- eted threats Israel faces from Hamas, Hezbollah and the Palestinians. "The only approach that can succeed in Israel's cur- rent conflicts is a patient, attritional, repetitive use of force," he wrote. "Israelis should take comfort that time is on Israel's side." America's role Inbar said the nascent Trump administration shows a greater understanding than the preceding Obama admin- istration of Israel's desire to build freely in the capital of Jerusalem. President Donald Trump in February broke with the longstanding U.S. stance of wholeheartedly supporting the establishment of a Pales- tinian state, saying during a press conference with Prime Minister Benjamin Netan- yahu, "I'm looking at two states and one state, and I like the one both parties like," demonstrating openness to alternatives to Palestinian statehood. Ido Zelkovitz, an expert on Palestinian society and a research fellow at the Ezri Center for Iran and Persian Gulf Studies at the University of Haifa, told that although the U.S. wants to see progress in the peace process, there is a lack of trust between the Israelis and Palestinians. "The first thing a leader needs for a deal is public support and without this, I don't see Netanyahu moving towards a deal," he said, refer- ring to Israeli public opinion against Palestinian statehood. "The classic Israeli ma- neuver is to go along with American-sponsored talks, but expecting the Palestinians to say no again," added Zelkov- itz, who also heads the Middle East studies department at Israel's Yezreel Valley College. At the same time, Palestin- ian Authority President Mah- moud Abbas could be open to a deal if he receives most of what he demands from the Israeli side, Zelkovitz argued, explaining that the 82-year- old Abbas is likely nearing the end of his political career and would want to leave the legacy of creating a Palestinian state. Yet there are other obstacles to an agreement, such as Ab- bas's lack of control over Gaza, which is ruled by the Hamas terrorist group. Further, Israel is unlikely to grant all of the Palestinians' demands. "Therefore, I am pessimis- tic of any agreement in the short term," Zelkovitz said. Israel's position Yuval Arnon-Ohana--an Israeli expert on Palestin- ian affairs and the author of books on that subject in- cluding "Line of Furrow and Fire--150 Years of Conflict Over Eretz Israel" as well as the Hebrew-language "The Internal Struggle within the Palestinian Movement"--said that while Israeli-Palestinian negotiations have failed up to this point, he does not rule out the possibility of Trump creat- ing a breakthrough resulting in an agreement. Regarding the Palestinian statehood possibility, he said the circumstances and limits of that state would need to be clearly defined. Even if no peace agreement is reached, Arnon-Ohana is optimistic about Israel's standing. "One-hundred years ago, there were only around 60,000 Jews in Israel; now there are over 6 million," he said. "We will continue to have babies and build the country." Abbas plans 'unprecedented steps' to end Bank-Gaza plit Issam Rimawi/Flash90 P alestinian Authority President MahmoudAbbas waves during the swearing-in ceremony for the new Palestinian unity government in the West Bank city of Ramallah, June 2, 2014. The unity pact between Hamas and Abbas's Fatah political party would eventually collapse. ( Palestinian Au- thority President Mahmoud Abbas said he will take "un- precedented steps" to end the split between the PA-run territories in the West Bank and the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip. In a speech to Arab ambas- sadors in Bahrain, Abbas said he was shocked at Hamas's decision in March to form an administrative committee to run affairs in Gaza. "After 10 years in which we sent financial support to our people in Gaza, we were sur- prised by this unprecedented step," Abbas said. "Thus, we will take unprecedented steps regarding the split." While Abbas did not offer additional details, Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum dismissed the PA leader's comments, saying the ter- ror group would not accept "the language of threats and dictating orders." Hamas seized control of Gaza from the PA in 2007. Numerous failed attempts have been made over the years to unify the Palestinian movement and end the split between Hamas and Abbas's Fatah political party, which dominates the PA. Despite Hamas's control over the territory, Gaza in many ways remains eco- nomically dependent on the PA. Some 60,000 former PA employees in Gaza still receive salaries as away to affirm their loyalty to Abbas. Earlier this week, the PA said it has spent $17 billion in Gaza since 2007. ~L