Tag: abuse of minorities

WHILE ISLAMISTS PERSECUTE M.E. CHRISTIANS, UNESCO CONDEMNS ISRAEL FOR JERUSALEM “AGGRESSIONS”

 

UNESCO Has Cast Out Christianity: Paul Merkley, Bayview Review, Oct. 31, 2016 — The official website of UNESCO…

Hungary Opens Office for Persecuted Christians: Raymond Ibrahim, Frontpage, Oct. 14, 2016 — The nation of Hungary recently did something that is as unprecedented as it is commonsensical and humanitarian: it “has become the first government to open an office specifically to address the persecution of Christians in the Middle East and Europe.” 

Securing a Future for Religious Minorities in the Middle East: Ben Cohen, JNS, Oct. 7, 2016 — You have to wonder if the barbarians fighting under the flag of the Islamic State still believe that 72 virgins will be waiting for them in paradise once they become "martyrs."

The Palestinians’ War on the Balfour Declaration: Ruthie Blum, Jerusalem Post, Oct. 30, 2016 — Encouraged and empowered by the recent UNESCO resolution that rejects Jewish ties to the Temple Mount and the Western Wall…

 

On Topic Links

 

Why was Pope Francis AWOL at UNESCO vote?: Abraham Cooper and Yitzchok Adlerstein, Jewish Journal, Nov. 1, 2016

Embattled Christians Push for Homeland in Middle East: Perry Chiaramonte, Fox News, Sept. 13, 2016

US Must Support Safe Haven for Persecuted Christians in the Middle East: Mario Bramnick, JNS, Oct. 17, 2016

A Rabbi's Warning to U.S. Christians: Rabbi Daniel Lapin, CERC, 2007

 

UNESCO HAS CAST OUT CHRISTIANITY

Paul Merkley

                                      Bayview Review, Oct. 31, 2016

 

The official website of UNESCO (the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) explains that the body “was created in order to respond to the firm belief of nations, forged by two world wars in less than a generation that political and economic agreements are not enough to build a lasting peace. Peace must be established on the basis of humanity’s moral and intellectual solidarity.”

 

Over the last few days, serving in the cause of humanity’s moral and intellectual solidarity, UNESCO has ground out several resolutions condemning Israel for “aggressions” throughout Jerusalem and for “illegal measures” against the freedom of worship of Muslims. In the latest of these declarations, the sites upon and around the  Temple mount are referred only by their Muslim names – which has the intended effect of erasing memory of the Temple and of any belonging of Israel and the Jews.

 

While the attention of most of the world was on the mindless subversion of the right of Jews to belong in Jerusalem, few have noticed that these declarations – not incidentally, but frontally — eradicate the grounds for acceptance of the Gospel.

The hope of the gang of dictators and Muslim absolutist that run UNESCO is that they have damaged Israel by damaging Judaism.  However that may be, there can be no doubt that their greater mandate is to cast Christianity out into utter darkness – by decree of the Parliament of Nations.

 

As expected, the historic churches of the Western world … have so far ignored these resolutions altogether – on the assumption that they are intended to weaken the Jews, who, after all, have this coming. The only writers I have discovered who have noticed the larger threat that it presents to Christian are Jews. These are Shimon Koffler Fogel (National Post, October 19, 2016,) and Jonathan S. Tobin (Commentary, Oct. 2016.) What does this tell us about the theological alertness of Christian theologians?

 

Fogel notes: “The Christian Gospels explicitly record how Jesus, a practising Jew, preached in synagogues and visited the Temple in Jerusalem. To deny the presence of a Jewish Temple, a matter confirmed by independent scholarship, is to tell Christians that their Bible — and their understanding of the life of Jesus — is based on false history…From the heart of one brother to another, I urge my Christian friends: don’t be silent when those motivated by the politics of hate attempt to erase your Bible and our shared heritage.”…

 

In the immediate wake of World War, there went up a great sigh of surge of relief. Civilization had been rescued from barbarism, all the deep-thinkers said; democracy had passed its ultimate test. A spasm of idealism took hold among the intellectuals. Most of the world was still well outside the sphere of democracy and liberalism, but all would soon be inducted into a global fraternity of democracies. Champions of imperialism fell silent. Within two years, the British colonies of India and Pakistan were released to form independent nations –to be followed before long by all the other peoples that had made up the British, the French, the Italian and the Dutch empires.  The universal hope was that our civilization would set the example for the great community of self-governing community of free nations — ribs out of the side of European civilization…

 

The founding of the United Nations in 1945 was the earliest fruit of the new age of universal cooperation. But in fact over the next several years, every major issue that came before the UN Security Council and the UN General Assembly immediately occasioned bitter confrontation between the two Super Powers — the U.S. and the U.S.S.R. The only exception was the decision to Partition the Palestine Mandate. A vote of two-thirds was required:  33 voted in favor 13 against. All 11 of the Muslim states were among those who voted against. Britain abstained – not her finest hour.

 

This action could not have happened except at this moment when the level of idealism was high in Western politics, following the overthrow of the Axis powers. This would not happen again until the Soviet Union itself collapsed in 1990. But there was a large and ugly worm in this apple: all Arab nations and all Muslim nations opposed the Partition decision on theological grounds. Any lands once ruled by Muslims, they screamed, can never be yielded to non-Muslims.  In the case of Palestine, this general dictum was fortified by the circumstance that the world was asking Muslims to yield to Jews!

 

The Jewish people accepted and supported the Partition – which called for the creation of an Arab (not “a Palestinian” state.) The entire Arab world, abetted by the entire Muslim world, refused—and resorted to the God of War. The decision of the Jewish people in 1947 to comply with the UN decision with regard to Partition of Palestine and the refusal of the Muslim world to do the same has brought us today to Israel’s condemnation and the triumph of the non-compliant states. Because of the total solidarity in action of all Muslim nations within the UN and the consistent collaboration with them of that minority of the others who see advantage in trading favours with the UN’s largest bloc, UNESCO has become a patient partisan of Islam.

 

A similar sad history belongs to UNESCO, founded in 1945.  A shiny product of this mood of liberal optimism, it was intended as a device for accomplishing civilization, as understood by Western people, of putting scientific discovery at service of mankind to achieve global peace and good will among men. Muslim contempt for historical fact has become absolute during the last half-century or so. Back when the British ruled over Muslims and Jews within the Mandate that it held from the League of Nations, the Supreme Moslem Council published “A Brief Guide to al-Haram al-Sharif, wherein we read: “The site is one of the oldest in the world. Its sanctity dates from the earliest times. Its identity with the site of Solomon’s Temple is beyond dispute. This, too, is the spot, according to universal belief, on which David built there an altar unto the Lord, and offered burnt offerings and peace offerings.”

 

But somewhere along the way Muslims everywhere have lost the little interest that they ever had in historical fact. The current head of the Supreme Moslem Council, Sheikh Ekrima Sabri, now proclaims:  “The Al-Buraq Wall [Western Wall] and its plaza are a Muslim religious property, and the Israeli government’s decisions do not affect it…The Al-Buraq Wall is part of the Al Aqsa Mosque. The Jews have no relation to it. (Al Ayam, Nov. 22, 1997) In the same spirit this imam calls for erasure of the myth of the Holocaust: “Six million Jews dead? No way, they were much fewer. Let’s stop with this fairytale exploited by Israel to capture international solidarity…” (Interview in La Republica, March 24, 2000, translated by MEMRI)…                        

 

[To Read the Full Article Click the Following Link—Ed.]                                                                                                                                                                     

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HUNGARY OPENS OFFICE FOR PERSECUTED CHRISTIANS                                                     

Raymond Ibrahim                                                                                                          

Frontpage, Oct. 14, 2016

 

The nation of Hungary recently did something that is as unprecedented as it is commonsensical and humanitarian: it “has become the first government to open an office specifically to address the persecution of Christians in the Middle East and Europe.” Zoltan Balog, Hungary’s Minister for Human Resources, explained: “Today, Christianity has become the most persecuted religion, where out of five people killed [for] religious reasons, four of them are Christians.  In 81 countries around the world, Christians are persecuted, and 200 million Christians live in areas where they are discriminated against. Millions of Christian lives are threatened by followers of radical religious ideologies.” “Followers of radical religious ideologies” is of course code for Muslims—they who are responsible for the overwhelming majority of Christian persecution in the world.

 

This move comes “after Hungary’s right-wing prime minister, Victor Orban, drew criticism in the EU by saying Europe should focus on helping Christians before helping millions of Muslims coming into Europe.” 

Orban explained: “If we really want to help, we should help where the real problem is.… We should first help the Christian people before Islamic people.” But do Western governments “really want to help” those suffering true persecution?  For if they did, not only would taking in “Christian people before Islamic people” be the most humane thing to do; it would also benefit Western nations as well.

 

Consider some facts: Unlike Muslims, Christian minorities are being singled out and persecuted simply because of their despised religious identity.  From a humanitarian point of view, then—and humanitarianism is the reason being cited for accepting millions of refugees—Christian refugees should receive greater priority over Muslim migrants.  Even before the Islamic State was formed, Christians were and continue to be targeted by Muslims—Muslim individuals, Muslim mobs, Muslim regimes, and Muslim terrorists, from Muslim countries of all races (Arab, African, Asian)—and for the same reason: they are infidel number one.  (See Crucified Again: Exposing Islam’s New War on Christians for hundreds of anecdotes before the rise of ISIS as well as the Muslim doctrines that create such hate and contempt for Christians.)

 

Conversely, Muslim refugees—as opposed to the many ISIS and other jihadi sympathizers posing as “refugees”—are not fleeing religious persecution (most Muslim migrants are, like ISIS, Sunnis), but chaos created by the violent and supremacist teachings of their own religion.  Hence why when large numbers of Muslims enter Western nations—in Germany, Sweden, France, the UK—tension, crimes, rapes, and terrorism soar.    And hence why Hungarian minister Balog also said: “Our interest not only lies in the Middle East but in forms of discrimination and persecution of Christians all over the world.  It is therefore to be expected that we will keep a vigilant eye on the more subtle forms of persecutions within European borders.”

 

Indeed, what more is needed than the fact that so-called Muslim “refugees” are throwing Christians overboard during their boat voyages across the Mediterranean to Europe?  Or that Muslim majority refugee centers in Europe are essentially microcosms of Muslim majority nations: there, Christian minorities continue to be persecuted.

 

Most recently a report found that 88% of the 231 Christian refugees interviewed in Germany have suffered religiously motivated persecution in the form of insults, death threats, and sexual assaults. Some were pressured to convert to Islam.  “I really didn’t know that after coming to Germany I would be harassed because of my faith in the very same way as back in Iran,” one Christian refugee said.  “These are not isolated cases. I don’t know of any refugee shelter from Garmisch to Hamburg where we have not found such cases,” said a German authority. Is persecuting religious minorities the behavior of people who are in need of a sympathetic welcome by Europeans and Americans? Or is this behavior yet another reminder that it is non-Muslims from the Middle East who are truly in need of sanctuary?

 

Western nations should further accept Christian refugees because Western foreign policies are directly responsible for exacerbating their persecution.  Christians did not flee from Bashar Assad’s Syria, or Saddam Hussein’s Iraq, or Muamar Gaddafi’s Libya.  Their systematic persecution—to the point of genocide—began only after the U.S. and other European nations interfered in those nations under the pretext of “democracy.”  All they did is unleash the jihadi forces that the dictators had long kept suppressed. Now the Islamic State is deeply embedded in all three nations, enslaving, raping, and slaughtering countless Christian “infidels” and other minorities.

 

Surely if the West is responsible for unleashing the full-blown jihad on Christians, the least it can do is put Christians on the top of its refugee list—that is, if it “really cares” about helping?  In fact, it’s the opposite: report after report has shown that in Western nations persecuted Christians are “at the bottom of the heap” of refugees to be granted asylum.  Despite the U.S. government’s acknowledgement that ISIS is committing genocide against Christians in Syria, the Obama administration has taken in 5,435 Muslims, but only 28 Christians—even though Christians are approximately 10 percent of Syria’s population; in other words, to be on the same ratio with Muslims, at least 500 Christians should’ve been granted asylum, not 28.

 

There are even some benefits in taking in Mideast Christians instead of Muslims.  Christians are easily assimilated in Western countries, due to the shared Christian heritage.  Muslims follow a completely different blueprint, Islamic law, or Sharia—which condemns and calls for constant war (jihad) against all non-Muslims, and advocates any number of distinctly anti-Western practices (female subjugation and sex slavery, death for blasphemers and apostates, etc.).   Hence it’s no surprise that many Muslim asylum seekers are anti-Western at heart—or, as the German police union chief recently said, Muslim migrants “despise our country and laugh at our justice.”…

[To Read the Full Article Click the Following Link—Ed.]                            

                                                                       

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SECURING A FUTURE FOR RELIGIOUS MINORITIES

IN THE MIDDLE EAST                                                                 

Ben Cohen                                                          

JNS, Oct. 7, 2016

 

You have to wonder if the barbarians fighting under the flag of the Islamic State still believe that 72 virgins will be waiting for them in paradise once they become "martyrs." I say this not because the leaders and foot soldiers of ISIS have suddenly woken up to the possibility that this belief is based, according to several scholars, on a mistranslation of the relevant verse of the Qu'ran; that would be expecting too much of them. I say this because they have already had a taste of that paradise here on earth, as a result of their campaign of genocide against the Yazidi religious minority in Iraq and Syria. One aspect of this horrific slaughter has been the kidnapping of thousands of Yazidi women and girls to serve as sexual slaves to these savages.

 

A recent report from the U.N. Human Rights Council – a body that spends most of its time condemning Israel for alleged human rights violations – sheds some light on both the scale and the nature of the genocide, which was ignored by the international community for far too long. The campaign against the Yazidis was launched by ISIS over two years ago, in Aug. 2014, when its forces began an assault upon the Yazidi villages in Sinjar, a district in the northern Iraqi province of Nineveh. At least 5,000 Yazidis have been killed during the genocide, while 3,200 women and children remain in ISIS captivity. About 70,000, estimated to make up 15 percent of the overall Yazidi population, are reported to have fled Iraq.

 

The stories related by the U.N. report will be depressingly familiar to anyone who has studied genocide over the last century. Men and boys are either executed or forcibly converted, while women and girls exist solely for the use and pleasure of ISIS terrorists. The manner of the persecution is gruesome. "After we were captured, ISIS forced us to watch them beheading some of our Yazidi men," said one 16-year-old girl. "They made the men kneel in a line in the street, with their hands tied behind their backs. The ISIS fighters took knives and cut their throats."

 

Despite this reign of terror, the Yazidis have not been destroyed as a distinctive group. Before the ISIS attacks began, around 700,000 Yazidis are said to have lived in Iraq, the largest single concentration of the religion's followers. Kurdish in terms of their ethnicity, the Yazidi faith is described by scholars as syncretic, which means it combines elements of other religions, including Judaism, Zoroastrianism, Christianity and Islam. Based on that, it's worth noting that ISIS isn't the only Islamist group that regards the Yazidis as infidels. The theology of more mainstream Islamist groups, like the Muslim Brotherhood, assigns them a similar status.

 

Presently, the main focus for the Yazidis is the rescue of their women and girls from the clutches of ISIS. Often this is done through ransom payments, involving middlemen who collect huge sums from their families – one recently reunited family paid a total of $34,000 for their two daughters – which are then paid to ISIS. After their release, both girls said they didn't expect that they would see each other again, describing their captors as "dirty and abusive," who subjected them to regular beatings. What this illustrates is the need for greater physical security for the Yazidis, as well as for other religious minorities in the region, if and when ISIS is defeated. Without that concrete measure, continued religious and ethnic conflict in the Middle East will target vulnerable minorities first and foremost…

[To Read the Full Article Click the Following Link—Ed.]                

 

Contents           

             

THE PALESTINIANS’ WAR ON THE BALFOUR DECLARATION                                                

Ruthie Blum                                                                                             

Jerusalem Post, Oct. 30, 2016

 

Encouraged and empowered by the recent UNESCO resolution that rejects Jewish ties to the Temple Mount and the Western Wall, the Palestinian Authority is boasting about plans to hold a series of global events throughout the coming year to decry the establishment of the State of Israel. The purpose of the campaign, described by the Qudsnet News Agency as “massive,” is to “make the international community, and especially Britain, confront their historical responsibilities and call on them to atone for this major crime committed, and raise the issue of the historical injustice inflicted on the Palestinian people.”

 

The “major crime” in question is the November 2, 1917 Balfour Declaration, sent by the UK foreign secretary to Jewish community leader Walter Rothschild, to be delivered to the Zionist Federation of Great Britain and Ireland. “His Majesty’s government view with favor the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, and will use their best endeavors to facilitate the achievement of this object, it being clearly understood that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine, or the rights and political status enjoyed by Jews in any other country,” it stated.

 

Though this was well before the term “Palestinians” – or people calling themselves “Palestinians” – even existed – distorting history is part and parcel of their effort to delegitimize Israel in any and every way possible. The UNESCO vote is but one tiny example of this practice, which is gaining momentum with the help of Western leftists. Another is the incessant cacophony about Israeli settlements constituting an “obstacle to peace.” Ironically, the very fact that all PA factions make no bones about considering the Jewish state a catastrophe worthy of annual mourning – and deserving of the slaughter of innocent Jews – does not serve to dissuade proponents of a two-state solution from their claim that new apartments in the West Bank are unnecessarily provocative.

 

On the contrary, though PA President Mahmoud Abbas said clearly that no Jews would be welcome in PA-controlled territory under any circumstances, when Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called attention to this blatant antisemitism, it was he who was mercilessly berated far and wide, especially by the White House and State Department. Saeb Erekat, the Palestinians’ chief “peace” negotiator, took the opportunity, as he always does, to use US criticism of Israel as a way to prove that the Jewish state was born and lives in sin. In a Washington Post op-ed last Tuesday, Erekat did this in the context of the Balfour Declaration, which he called the “symbolic beginning of the denial of our rights.” Chastising the world for not taking significant steps to end the travesty of Israel’s existence, he spewed customary lies about how the Jewish state came into being.

“The Palestinian people were violently dispossessed from their homes and exiled from their homeland in 1948, endured the occupation in 1967, only to be forced into the historic compromise recognizing the 1967 border as the borders of the state of Palestine,” he wrote, conveniently omitting the true story of Israel’s War of Independence and the Six Day War 19 years later – the assault of surrounding Arab armies on a tiny fledgling country that spent much of its time trying to come to an arrangement with those bent on its annihilation.

 

Erekat’s piece was in keeping with Abbas’ announcement in July that the PA was going to file a lawsuit against Britain for the Balfour Declaration. This was conveyed in July by PA Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki to the Arab League Summit in Mauritania, which Abbas was unable to attend due to the death of his brother. In spite of the fact that Omar Abbas had been treated for cancer at a Tel Aviv hospital – along with the family members of many top figures in Fatah and Hamas – the PA leader was going ahead with his litigation against the UK over the 100-year-old document, “after which hundreds of thousands of Jews arrived from Europe and other places in Palestine at the expense of our people.” With such a blatant admission of its actual position on Jewish statehood – going so far as to wage war on the Balfour Declaration – the PA should be treated with the disdain and derision it deserves.

 

CIJR Wishes All Our Friends & Supporters: Shabbat Shalom!

 

On Topic Links

 

Why was Pope Francis AWOL at UNESCO vote?: Abraham Cooper and Yitzchok Adlerstein, Jewish Journal, Nov. 1, 2016—The actions of the Arab-led coalition that pushed through the UNESCO resolution on the Temple Mount were despicable but expected. The silence of the Catholic Church was cowardly, unpredictable, and disappointing.

Embattled Christians Push for Homeland in Middle East: Perry Chiaramonte, Fox News, Sept. 13, 2016—Christians driven from their ancestral homelands and persecuted by Islamist terrorists are pressing for an autonomous region of their own if the dust of Middle East violence ever settles.

US Must Support Safe Haven for Persecuted Christians in the Middle East: Mario Bramnick, JNS, Oct. 17, 2016 —Great suffering is occurring in Iraq and Syria. The region is ravaged by terror. Millions have been forced from their homes. Christians and other ethno-religious minorities have suffered genocide at the hands of the Islamic State (ISIS). The shutting down of U.S. military operations in Iraq created political instability that left a power vacuum filled by terror groups bent on destroying Western civilization. ISIS has forced millions of Iraqis and Syrians from their homes destabilizing the surrounding nations and exporting the problems of the Middle East to Europe.

A Rabbi's Warning to U.S. Christians: Rabbi Daniel Lapin, CERC, 2007—During the 1930s, Winston Churchill desperately tried to persuade the English people and their government to see that Hitler meant to end their way of life. The British ignored Churchill, which gave Hitler nearly 10 years to build up his military forces. It wasn't until Hitler actually drew blood that the British realized they had a war on their hands. It turned out to be a far longer and more destructive war than it needed to be had Churchill's early warning been heeded.

 

 

 

 

Doris Strub Epstein: GROUP FORMING TO RAISE PUBLIC AWARENESS OF YEZIDI GENOCIDE; “THE WORLD IS SILENT” SAYS YAZIDI SPOKESMAN

 

 

 

 

 

The genocidal atrocities being perpetrated daily on the Yazidi people by the Islamic State  have vanished from media radar.   They have been targeted by the IS  for death, forced conversion and sexual slavery. The killing, the torture of thousands; the abduction of girls as young as eight, raped, sold, used as sex slaves by IS fighters, continues unabated. 

Last Friday morning a group met with Yazidis at the Zionist Centre on Marlee, to hear their story and to help raise public awareness of their plight. Participating was Dr. Mordechai Kedar, renowned Arab and Middle East expert, whose cutting edge ideas and leadership abilities have led many to call him the Winston Churchill of our day.  A professor at Bar Ilan University, he also served for many years in the  IDF's Intelligence, specializing on all facets of Islam.  He was in town for a series of lectures.

Hearing Mirza Ismail talk about his people, was eerily reminiscent of the history of the  Jewish people.  He is Chairman of the  Yezidi Human Rights Organization International.  Like the Jews, the Yezidis are an ancient  people, dating back 6,000 years.  Their origin is in the heart of Mesopotamia, the birth place of civilization. They have been attacked again and again over the centuries by Islamic forces, "just because we have a different culture and religion".  Today they are on the verge of annihilation.  "And the world is silent", he told the group in despair.  The Yazidis have an ancient monotheistic religion that is neither Christian nor Muslim.

The present plight of the Yazidis is disturbingly similar to what happened to the Jewish people during the Holocaust. They were persecuted and targeted for  genocide simply because they were Jews and were abandoned by the world.  This time the enemy is wearing black hoods instead of brown shirts.

There are 500,000 -700,000 Yazidis, largely based in Northern Iraq in the province of Nineveh and Mt. Sinjar. But they are also in Syria , Turkey, Iran, Russia, Georgia and Armenia, forced to flee their ancient homelands.  Some are also in the US and about 85 families live in Canada.

In August, 2014, ISIS attacked and took over the Kurdish controlled town of Sinjhar, driving more than 50,00 Yazidis out of their homes and fleeing for their lives to Sinjar Mountain.  An estimated 10,000 men have been executed and as many as 7,000 women and girls have been made sex slaves and sold.  Four hundred escaped and told horrific tales of brutality; multiple rape – 20 to 30 times daily – beatings, being forced to give blood to wounded ISIS fighters. 

Eyewitnesses report stories of beheadings, rape and children dying of starvation and dehydration. William Devlin, a New York pastor who visited in January, called the present situation of more than 300,000 refugees "genocidal and insane" in dire need of humanitarian aid. In the camp "hospitals" there are no doctors.  "For the Yazidis there is no doctors without borders", Merza told the group.  Why in the 21st Century, everybody knows, but nobody cares about our lives?" Furthermore, they are treated "with no respect" by the Muslim UN workers in the camps, he said.

Twelve thousand are still on Mt. Sinjar, totally isolated, lacking food, water and "most important," said Mirza, "arms.  "The US and Europe are giving arms to the Kurds to give to the Yazidis, but they don't.  The world thinks the Kurds are protecting them, but they don't give them any support." Mirza connected Dr. Kedar by telephone to a Yazidi on Mt. Sinjar. They spoke in Arabic.  I could hear the desperation in his voice over the speaker phone. "The world is not taking them seriously.  They have no power because they are not sufficiently organized," said Dr. Kedar.  He proceeded to tell them how to "package" themselves to get the attention of the media and the world.  "If you are not on the media, you don't exist," he said.  Later he arranged a meeting for them with the Indian Consul General.

"Our voices must be their voices," said JIMENA's (Jews Indigenous to the Middle East and North Africa) president, Gina Waldman.  "Their plight must be our plight."

DEALING WITH “IAW”: IN FACE OF ARAB AGGRESSION, DENIAL OF HUMAN RIGHTS, EVEN SLAVERY, ISRAEL ONLY FREE M.E. SOCIETY

Download an abbreviated version of today's Isranet Daily Briefing.pdf 

 

Contents:                          

 

 

The Middle East's Real Apartheid: Efraim Karsh, The Jerusalem Post, Mar. 5, 2012It is time to denounce these discriminatory practices and force Arab/Muslim regimes to abide by universally accepted principles of decency and accountability. This will not only expose the hollowness of the Israel delegitimization campaign but will also help promote regional peace and stability.

 

The Dark World of the Arab Child Slave Trade: Stephen Brown, Front Page Magazine, June 10, 2011But it is not only non-Arab children who are Arab child slave trade victims. An Egyptian newspaper, referring to a 2008 UNICEF report, stated Egyptian children are being bought and sold for about $3,000 for “domestic work and farming, among other things.” This trade in children is so extensive in Egypt, organizations are “employing brokers, and even operating their own web sites.

 

Israeli Arabs Launch ‘Israeli Apartheid Week’: Yori Yanover, Jewish Press, Mar. 13th, 2013“This is yet another play of the Theater of the Absurd, which continues to break new records. Arab citizens of Israel—Israelis such as Dr. Yousef Jabareen, who lectures in Israeli academic institutions and even heads an academic institute in Israel, taking part in a conference accusing the state of Israel of apartheid,” said Im Tirtzu Chairman, Ronen Shoval

 

On Topic Links

 

 

Close The Peace Gap: David M. Weinberg, Israel Hayom, Mar. 14, 2013
The Apartheid Libel: Editorial, Jerusalem Post, Mar. 12, 2013
Human Rights in Arab Countries – Myths & Facts: Mitchell G. Bard, Jewish Virtual Library
The Promotion of Human Sacrifice and Cannibalism in Egypt: Walid and Theodore Shoebat, Front Page Magazine, Mar. 11, 2013

 

 

THE MIDDLE EAST'S REAL APARTHEID
Efraim Karsh

The Jerusalem Post, Mar. 5, 2012
 

In light of Israel Apartheid Week, which hit cities and campuses throughout the world recently, supporters of the Jewish state find it difficult to agree on the best response to this hate fest. Some suggest emphasizing Israel's peacemaking efforts, others propose rebranding the country by highlighting its numerous achievements and success stories. Still others advocate reminding the world of "what Zionism is – a movement of Jewish national liberation – and what it isn't – racist." Each of these approaches has its merits yet none will do the trick.

Peace seeking and/or prosperity are no proof of domestic benevolence and equality. The most brutal regimes have peacefully coexisted with their neighbors while repressing their own populations; the most prosperous societies have discriminated against vulnerable minorities. South Africa was hardly impoverished and technologically backward; the United States, probably the most successful and affluent nation in recent times was largely segregated not that long ago.

Nor for that matter is the apartheid libel driven by forgetfulness of Zionism's true nature. It is driven by rejection of Israel's very existence. No sooner had the dust settled on the Nazi extermination camps than the Arabs and their western champions equated the Jewish victims with their tormentors.

"To the Arabs, indeed Zionism seems as hideous as anything the Nazis conceived in the way of racial expansion at the expense of others," read a 1945 pamphlet by the Arab League, the representative body of all Arab states. A pamphlet published by the PLO shortly after its creation in 1964 stated: "The Zionist concept of the 'final solution' to the 'Arab problem' in Palestine, and the Nazi concept of the 'final solution' to the 'Jewish problem' in Germany, consisted essentially of the same basic ingredient: the elimination of the unwanted human element in question."

Indeed, it was the Palestinian terror organization that invented the apartheid canard in the mid-1960s, years before Israel's occupation of the West Bank and Gaza. This charge, of course, is not only completely false but the inverse of the truth. If apartheid is indeed a crime against humanity, Israel actually is the only apartheid-free state in the Middle East – a state whose Arab population enjoys full equality before the law and more prerogatives than most ethnic minorities in the free world, from the designation of Arabic as an official language to the recognition of non-Jewish religious holidays as legal days of rest.

By contrast, apartheid has been an integral part of the Middle East for over a millennium, and its Arab and Muslim nations continue to legally, politically and socially enforce this discriminatory practice against their hapless minorities. Why then should an innocent party be under constant pressure to "come clean" while the real culprits are not only left unscathed but also given a worldwide platform to blame others for their own crimes? Rather than engage in incessant apologetics and protestations of innocence, something Jews have been doing for far too long, Israel should adopt a proactive strategy, call a spade a spade and target the real perpetrators of Middle East apartheid: the region's Arab and Muslim nations.

 

Arab/Muslim apartheid comes in many forms, and some victims have been subjected to more than one.

Religious intolerance: Muslims historically viewed themselves as distinct from, and superior to, all others living under Muslim rule, known as "dhimmis." They have been loath to give up this privileged status in modern times. Christians, Jews and Baha'is remain second-class citizens throughout the Arab/Muslim world, and even non-ruling Muslim factions have been oppressed by their dominant co-religionists (e.g. Shi'ites in Saudi Arabia, Sunnis in Syria).

Ethnic inequality: This historic legacy of intolerance extends well beyond the religious sphere. As longtime imperial masters, Arabs, Turks and Iranians continue to treat long-converted populations, notably Kurds and Berbers, that retained their language, culture and social customs, as inferior.

Racism: The Middle East has become the foremost purveyor of anti-Semitic incitement in the world with the medieval blood libel widely circulated alongside a string of modern canards (notably The Protocols of the Elders of Zion) depicting Jews as the source of all evil. Likewise, Africans of sub-Saharan descent are held in deep contempt, a vestige of the region's historic role as epicenter of the international slave trade.

Gender discrimination: Legal and social discrimination against women is pervasive throughout the Arab-Islamic world, accounting for rampant violence (for example domestic violence or spousal rape are not criminalized) and scores of executions every year, both legal and extra-judicial (i.e. honor killings). Discrimination against homosexuals is even worse.

Denial of citizenship: The withholding of citizenship and attendant rights from a large segment of the native-born population is common. Palestinian communities in the Arab states offer the starkest example of this discrimination (in Lebanon, for example, they cannot own property, be employed in many professions, move freely, etc.). The Beduin (stateless peoples) in the Gulf states, and hundreds of thousands of Kurds in Syria have been subjected to similar discrimination.

Labor inequality: Mistreatment of foreign workers (especially household servants), ranging from sexual abuse to virtual imprisonment and outright murder, is widely tolerated throughout the Middle East, especially in oil-exporting countries that host large expatriate labor forces.

 

Slavery: The Arabic-speaking countries remain the world's foremost refuge of slavery, from child and sex trafficking in Saudi Arabia and the Gulf states to actual chattel slavery in Sudan and Mauritania. Indeed, Islamists throughout the Middle East have had no qualms advocating the legalization of slavery.

Political Oppression: Many Middle Eastern regimes are little more than elaborate repressive systems aimed at perpetuating apartheid-style domination by a small minority: Alawites in Syria; Tikritis in Saddam's Iraq; the Saudi royal family; the Hashemite dynasty in Jordan.
 

Possibly the world's most arresting anachronism, these endemic abuses have until now escaped scrutiny and condemnation. Western governments have been loath to antagonize their local authoritarian allies, while the educated classes have absolved Middle Easterners of responsibility for their actions in the patronizing tradition of the "white man's burden," dismissing regional players as half-witted creatures, too dim to be accountable for their own fate.

It is time to denounce these discriminatory practices and force Arab/Muslim regimes to abide by universally accepted principles of decency and accountability. This will not only expose the hollowness of the Israel delegitimization campaign but will also help promote regional peace and stability.

History has shown that gross and systemic discrimination is a threat not just to the oppressed minorities, but also to the political health of the societies that oppress them. Only when Arab and Muslim societies treat the "other" as equal will the Middle East, and the rest of the Islamic world, be able to transcend its malaise and look forward to a real political and social spring.

 

The writer is research professor of Middle East and Mediterranean Studies at King's College London, director of the Middle East Forum (Philadelphia).

 

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THE DARK WORLD OF THE ARAB CHILD SLAVE TRADE

Stephen Brown

Front Page Magazine, June 10, 2011

 

In a story last week in the British newspaper The Sun, a private investigator stated that Madeleine McCann, the subject of probably the world’s most famous unsolved kidnapping case, is in the United States. The British girl was three years old when she went missing five years ago from a seaside resort in Portugal, where her parents were vacationing….Since her disappearance, numerous alleged sightings have been made of the little girl across Europe, Africa, in North America and in Australia. The investigator making the latest claim concerning McCann’s whereabouts….told The Sun that a Portuguese pedophile ring took the McCann girl…. The claim that a pedophile ring is responsible for McCann’s disappearance has been made before…And while Madeleine McCann girl may have very well been snatched by such evil hands, it is surprising that an equally depraved institution — one of gigantic size — has never even been considered by investigators or the media as McCann’s possible kidnapper: namely, the Arab child slave trade.

 

While tens of thousands of adults are also victims of Arab slavers, many people only first took notice of the Arab slave trade in children when reports of enslaved child camel jockeys emerged from Persian Gulf countries. A 2004 HBO documentary on the subject was especially responsible for making Americans aware of this modern-day barbarism. These boys, who were sold by poor parents hoping their offspring would some day experience a better life, were primarily from South Asia. But instead of a life of dignity and meaningful work, they wound up in the Middle East where they were made to race camels for their Arab masters. Beaten and often sexually abused, they were all kept undernourished, so that the camels would have less weight to carry. “As many as 6,000 child camel jockeys…languished in hidden slavery on ozbah farms, where their masters beat them and starved them to keep their weight down,” wrote E. Benjamin Skinner in his book, A Crime So Monstrous.

 

When investigating in the 1990s the enslavement of hundreds of thousands of black Africans in Mauritania by Arab-Berber masters, African-American author Samuel Cotton was stunned to discover that African children were still being kidnapped by Arabs traveling with camels carrying big baskets. The child, usually playing alone, would suddenly be snatched from its play and placed in one such basket, after which its new owners hurried away. The children, he was told, are sometimes found later “hundreds of miles away as slaves.” Also during his investigation, which was summarized in his highly informative book “Silent Terror: A Journey Into Contemporary African Slavery”, Cotton was told there was “still a huge trafficking in slaves going on between Mauritania and the United Arab Emirates.”

 

Black African children are also not always stolen so surreptitiously. Until recently in the southern Sudan, the old-fashioned slave raid witnessed villages being burned down, the men killed and the women and children captured. This was the Arab slavers’ main harvesting tool of humans. Thousands of children were captured by this murderous method and forcibly taken as agricultural, domestic and sex slaves to Arab northern Sudan — where many still languish today. Darfur has also seen many children disappear  from both refugee camps and towns subjected to central government attack. They are suspected victims of Arab slave hunters.

 

But it is not only non-Arab children who are Arab child slave trade victims. An Egyptian newspaper, referring to a 2008 UNICEF report, stated Egyptian children are being bought and sold for about $3,000 for “domestic work and farming, among other things.” This trade in children is so extensive in Egypt, organizations are “employing brokers, and even operating their own web sites. “Many are also sent to the Gulf States, with orphanages being a major supplier,” the story further reports.

 

Even from a country as far way as the Philippines children are trafficked to the Middle East. In 2008, for example, 34 minors between the ages of 14 and 16 were rescued at Manila airport by social workers as they were about to depart on fake passports for unnamed Middle Eastern countries. Again, war and poverty played a role in these young people’s desperation. They were from refugees camps in the war-torn southern island of Mindanao where an insurgency is raging between government forces and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front.

 

While most civilized people nowadays recoil in horror from the idea of slavery, especially when it involves children, many fundamentalist Middle Eastern Muslims do not. In fact, they view the psychological death and destruction of innocent lives as their legal right. Under sharia law, which rules the Sudan and the Gulf States, Muslims are legally allowed to own slaves. Bernard Lewis, the eminent scholar of Islam, writes “…the institution of slavery is not only recognized but is elaborately regulated by Sharia law.” Another reason for this inhuman sense of entitlement is the prophet Muhammad was also a slave owner, setting the example for the fundamentalists.

 

Besides a codified religious supremacy, there is also the element of racial superiority behind the hideous practice of Arab slavery, especially when it concerns black Africans. Arab racism is at the roots of Islamic slavery that has seen 14 million black Africans enslaved and sold around the Islamic world from the seventh to the twentieth century.

 

Unfortunately for its victims, the abolition of Arab slavery will be difficult to even initiate — especially when the international community remains deafeningly silent about it. The case of Dr. Abu Zayd, a Cairo University professor and Islamic theologian, amply illustrates the problem.  When Zayd contended that “keeping slave girls and taxing non-Muslims” was contrary to Islam, an Egyptian sharia court forcibly divorced him from his wife and declared him an apostate. He later had to flee to Europe to escape Islamic extremists who wanted to kill him because of his apostate status.

 

Slavery was only abolished in Saudi Arabia and other states of the Arabian Peninsula in the early 1960s, so one cannot expect an institution that has existed for centuries to being done away with any time soon. For example, the widow of the emir of Abu Dhabi and her four daughters were caught living in Brussels in 2008 with 20 slaves who they were mistreating. And Dubai is the center for the region’s sex industry that Skinner calls “a place of slavery for women.” Promised jobs, thousands of women full of hope arrive there from Eastern Europe, sub-Saharan Africa and Asia annually only to have their passports taken away immediately upon arrival and to be forced into prostitution.

One Gulf State Arab woman, a former candidate for Kuwait’s parliament, does not even hide the fact there should be sex slaves for Arab men and claims sheikhs and muftis she spoke with in Mecca sanctioned this. As a result, Salwa al-Mutairi wants non-Muslim women captured in war made available to Muslim men, so that the men can be “protected from adultery.” She affirmed: “For example, in the Chechnya war, surely there are female Russian captives. So go and buy those and sell them here in Kuwait…I don’t see any problem in this.” Al-Mutairi’s despicable utterances came only a week after a Muslim preacher announced that, since Islam allows Muslims to buy and sell conquered infidel women, “When I want a sex-slave, I go to the market and pick whichever female I desire and buy her.” 

 

It is not the purpose or intent of this article to engage in sensationalist or unfounded finger-pointing. But what a crime it would be to neglect finding and freeing a child slave because the hunt for his or her captors would be deemed politically incorrect. Indeed, in light of the widespread phenomenon discussed above, why is the possibility of Madeleine McCann being a child slave somewhere in the Middle East not even remotely considered in the investigation of her disappearance? Yes, it is only conjecture, but so is looking into all the other possibilities. Why, for instance, is publicly hypothesizing that she is probably somewhere in the U.S. considered legitimate, but even breathing a word about the possibility of her being somewhere in the Middle East considered illegitimate — when it is a fact that an international Arab human-slave trafficking business is in full effect?

 

The fact that the McCanns were at a Portuguese seaside resort when Madeleine was taken made the kidnappers’ task easier. Since the child-snatchers may have very well made their escape by sea, there would be no borders to cross until they reached their destination — potentially a Middle Eastern one. The Islamic world, after all, is very close to Portugal.

 

The British government has recently assigned 30 detectives in a major effort to locate the missing girl. Of course, myriad evils could be behind this tragic crime. And they must all be looked into. But in light of what is known about the Arab child slave trade, will investigators spend even at least a modicum of time considering the distinct possibility of Middle Eastern sex-slave traffickers’ involvement? The empirical reality would justify it — as it would justify the international community starting to be even slightly interested in, and outraged about, this dark and evil phenomenon in general.

 

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ISRAELI ARABS LAUNCH ‘ISRAELI APARTHEID WEEK’
Yori Yanover

Jewish Press, Mar. 13th, 2013
 

What began as an anti-Israel campaign throughout the world, is coming to Israel, with a conference on “Israeli Apartheid” to be held Wednesday in the Israeli Arab city of Nazareth, Maariv reports. The conference, held as part of the “Apartheid Week,” will feature Dr. Yousef Jabareen, senior lecturer at Haifa University, who will speak about “racism within the Green Line,” and Dr. Haidar Eid, a professor from a Gazan university, who will speak over Skype about “the similarity between Palestine and South Africa before the removal of Apartheid laws.”

Event organizers are young Arab activists who are members of the local branch of the BDS movement, which leads the international boycott campaign against Israel. Raja Zaatara, one of the organizers and a member of Hadash party politburo, said: “The green line has a policy of apartheid and the territories have a regime of apartheid. In Israel there are dozens of laws explicitly speak about rights that are exclusive to the Jews, for example, the Law of Return, and various real estate laws.

“If anyone in the U.S. or in Europe chooses to boycott Haifa University because it discriminates against Arabs, or Tel Aviv University because it runs more than 50 projects for the Army, I can quite understand them,” said Za’atra. “If I was a Belgian or French citizen, I would be boycotting Israel in order to influence the situation. The boycott is a legitimate tool of civilian struggle.”

Abir Cobti, a female political activist and one of the organizers of the conference, says that the purpose of the event is to help isolate Israel in the international arena. “We will continue to engage in promoting economic boycott against Israel as a legitimate struggle of the Palestinian people.”

The “Im Tirtzu” movement, dedicated to reviving Zionist values in Israel, criticized the participation of Dr. Jabareen in the Nazareth event. “This is yet another play of the Theater of the Absurd, which continues to break new records. Arab citizens of Israel—Israelis such as Dr. Yousef Jabareen, who lectures in Israeli academic institutions and even heads an academic institute in Israel, taking part in a conference accusing the state of Israel of apartheid,” said Im Tirtzu Chairman, Ronen Shoval. “This conference is part of hallucinatory Antisemitic propaganda campaign against Israel and against Israeli democracy. “

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Close The Peace Gap: David M. Weinberg, Israel Hayom, Mar. 14, 2013The single best thing that U.S. President Barack Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry can do to advance Middle East peace is to press the Palestinians to close the "peace gap." By this I mean helping Palestinian leaders bring their own constituency towards the levels of compromise and moderation that Israeli leaders have successfully achieved in Israel.

The Apartheid Libel: Editorial, Jerusalem Post, Mar. 12, 2013Israel Apartheid Week kicked off this year in Europe on February 25 and runs through March 17 in South Africa. Events include mock checkpoints, replicas of the security barrier, the screening of documentary films critical of Israel and meetings with the “victims” of the “occupation.”

 

Human Rights in Arab Countries – Myths & Facts: Mitchell G. Bard, Jewish Virtual LibraryWhile much attention has been focused on alleged Israeli human rights violations in the volatile West Bank and Gaza, the popular press has chosen to virtually ignore violations of fundamental human rights that take place daily in almost every Arab country.

 

The Promotion of Human Sacrifice and Cannibalism in Egypt: Walid and Theodore Shoebat, Front Page Magazine, Mar. 11, 2013Prominent [Egyptian] Sheikh Muhammad Hussein Yaqub recently made a speech encouraging the cannibalization of Jewish flesh: “Our hatred, animosity, and rage toward the Jews grow. Our hatred of the Jews grows when we see them destroying our brothers. Rage boils within us. If only we could strangle the criminal Jews… If only we could strangle the Jews with our bare hands, and bite their heads off with our teeth, not with weapons.”

 

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ISRAEL APARTHEID WEEK? THE REAL STORY IS ARAB OPPRESSION AND APARTHEID, ARAB DENIAL OF DIVERSITY AND BASIC HUMAN RIGHTS

Download an abbreviated version of today's Isranet Daily Briefing.pdf 

 

Contents:                          

 

The Story of Arab Apartheid: Ben-Dror Yemini, Front Page Magazine, June 3, 2011The real “nakba,” the Palestinian-termed great “catastrophe” of the creation of Israel, is the story of Arab apartheid. Tens of millions, among them Jews, suffered from the “nakba,” which included dispossession, expulsion and displacement. Yet only the Palestinians remained refugees because they were treated to abuse and oppression by Arab countries. Below is the story of the real “nakba.”

 

On Topic Links

 

In the Apartheid Oscars, Arab States Win Hands Down: Lyn Julius, Times of Israel, February 26, 2013
The False Apartheid Narrative: Robert Cherry, The Daily Beast, Feb 28, 2013

More Proof of Israel’s Restraint: Editorial, National Post, Mar. 12, 2013

 

 

THE STORY OF ARAB APARTHEID
Ben-Dror Yemini

Front Page Magazine, June 3, 2011
(Originally published in Ma’ariv, May 14, 2011)

 

The real “nakba,” the Palestinian-termed great “catastrophe” of the creation of Israel, is the story of Arab apartheid. Tens of millions, among them Jews, suffered from the “nakba,” which included dispossession, expulsion and displacement. Yet only the Palestinians remained refugees because they were treated to abuse and oppression by Arab countries. Below is the story of the real “nakba.”

In 1959, the Arab League passed Resolution 1457, which states as follows: “The Arab countries will not grant citizenship to applicants of Palestinian origin in order to prevent their assimilation into the host countries.” (emphasis ours – Ed.) That is a stunning resolution, which was diametrically opposed to international norms in everything pertaining to refugees in those years, particularly in that decade. The story began, of course, in 1948, when the Palestinian “nakba” occurred. It was also the beginning of the controversy of the Arab-Israeli conflict, with the blame heaped on Israel, because it allegedly expelled Palestinian refugees, turning them into miserable wretches. This lie went public through academe and the media dealing with the issue.
 
In previous articles on the issue of the Palestinians, I explained that there is nothing special about the Israeli-Arab conflict. Here’s why:
 
First, Arab countries refused to accept the proposal of Israel-Palestine partition, and they launched a war of annihilation against the State of Israel, which had barely been established. All precedents on this matter show that the party that starts the war — and with a declaration of annihilation — pays a price for it.
 
Second, this entails a population exchange: indeed, between 550,000 and 710,000 Arabs fled the area (the most precise calculation is that of Prof. Ephraim Karash, who calculated and found that their number ranges between 583,000 and 609,000).  A minority were expelled because of the war, and a larger number of about 850,000 Jews were expelled or fled from Arab countries (the “Jewish nakba”).
 
Third, the Palestinians are not unique in this story. Population exchanges and expulsions were the norm at that time. They occurred in dozens of other conflict points, and about 52 million people experienced dispossession, expulsion and uprooting (see: ”And the World Is Lying”).
 
And fourth, in all the population exchange precedents that occurred during or at the end of an armed conflict, or against the backdrop of either the establishment of a national entity or the disintegration of a multinational state and the establishment of a national entity, there was no return of refugees to the previous region, which had turned into a new national state. The displaced persons and the refugees, with almost no exceptions, found sanctuary in the place in which they joined a population with a similar background. For example, the ethnic Germans who were expelled from Central and Eastern Europe assimilated in Germany, the Hungarian refugees from Czechoslovakia and other places found sanctuary in Hungary, the Ukrainians who were expelled from Poland found sanctuary in Ukraine, and so forth. The affinity between the Arabs who originated in mandatory Palestine and their neighbors in Jordan, Syria and Lebanon, was, in fact, similar or even greater than the affinity between many ethnic Germans and Germany, sometimes after a disconnect of many generations.
 
Only the Arab states acted completely differently from the rest of the world. They crushed the refugees, despite the fact that they were their coreligionists and members of the Arab nation. In the words of Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian leader: “The Arab armies entered Palestine to protect the Palestinians from the Zionist tyranny, but instead they abandoned them, forced them to emigrate and to leave their homeland, imposed upon them a political and ideological blockade and threw them into prisons similar to the ghettos in which the Jews used to live in Eastern Europe” (from the official journal of the PLO, Falastin el-Thawra, “What We Have  Learned and What We Should Do,” Beirut, March 1976).
 
The Arab states, not Israel, instituted a régime of apartheid. So, we must remember that the “nakba” was not caused by actual dispossession, which had also been experienced by tens of millions of others. The “nakba” is the story of the apartheid and abuse suffered by the Arab refugees (it was only later that they became “Palestinians”) in Arab countries.
 
Apartheid in Egypt
 
Throughout many eras, there was no real distinction between the inhabitants of Egypt and the inhabitants of the coastal plain. Both were Muslim Arabs, who lived under Ottoman rule. According to the researcher Oroub El-Abed, commercial ties, mutual migration, and intermarriage between the two groups were commonplace. Many of the residents of Jaffa (now in Israel) were defined as Egyptians because they arrived in many waves, like the wave of immigration to Jaffa during the rule of Muhammad Ali and his son over many parts of the coastal plain. Inhabitants of the Ottoman Empire, which became mandatory Palestine, did not have an ethnic or religious identity that differed from that of the Egyptian Arabs.
 
Various records from the end of 1949 show that 202,000 refugees went to the Gaza Strip, primarily from Jaffa, Beer Sheva and Majdal (Ashkelon). That number may be exaggerated because the local poor also joined the list of aid recipients. The refugees went to the place where they were part of the majority group from all standpoints: ethnic, national and religious. Egypt, however, did not think so. At first, back in September 1948, a “government of all Palestine” was established, headed by Ahmad al-Baki. However, it was an organization under Egyptian auspices due to the rivalry with Jordan. The nascent Palestinian government gave up the venture after a decade.
 
What happened to the people in the Gaza Strip? How did the Egyptians treat them? Strangely, there is almost no research dealing with those days. But it is a bit difficult to hide that not so distant past. The Gaza Strip became a closed camp. It became almost impossible to leave Gaza. Severe restrictions were imposed on the Gazans (the originals and the refugees) in everything connected with employment, education and other matters. Every night, there was a curfew until dawn the next day. There was only one matter in which the Egyptians assisted to the best of their ability: the school books contained serious incitement against Jews. Already in 1950, Egypt notified the UN that “due to the population crowding,” it would not be possible to assist the Palestinians by resettling them. That was a dubious excuse. Egypt thwarted the UN proposal to resettle 150,000 refugees in Libya. Many of the refugees who had fled in the earlier stages and were within Egypt were also forced to move to the giant concentration camp that was forming in the Gaza Strip. In effect, all the settlement arrangements proposed for resettling the refugees were blocked by the Arab countries.
 
Despite the absolute isolation, there is testimony about what happened in the Gaza Strip during those years. The important American journalist Martha Gellhorn paid a visit to the refugee camps in 1961. She also went to the Gaza Strip. It wasn’t simple. Gellhorn described the bureaucratic ordeal involved in obtaining an entry permit to the Gaza Strip and the days of waiting in Cairo. She also described the “sharp contrast between the amiability of the clerks, and the anti-Semitic propaganda that blossomed in Cairo.” “The Gaza Strip is not a hole,” Gellhorn stated, “but rather one big prison. The Egyptian government and is the warden.” She described a harsh military régime with all the elite of the Gaza Strip expressing enthusiastically pro-Nasser positions. Thus, for example, “For 13 years (1948-1961) only 300 refugees managed to obtain temporary exit visas.” The only thing that the Egyptians gave the Palestinians was hate propaganda.
 
That is not the only testimony. In 1966, a Saudi newspaper published a letter by one of the inhabitants of the Gaza Strip:
 

I would be happy if the Gaza Strip would be conquered by Israel. At least that way we would know that the one violating our honor, hurting us and tormenting us – would be the Zionist oppressor, Ben Gurion, and not an Arab brother whose name is Abdel Nasser. The Jews under Hitler did not suffer the way we are suffering under Nasser. In order to go to Cairo or Alexandria or other cities, we have to go through an ordeal.
 
Radio Jedda in Saudi Arabia broadcast the following:
 
We are aware of the laws that prohibit Palestinians from working in Egypt. We have to ask Cairo, what is the Iron Curtain that Abdel Nasser and his gang have raised around the Gaza Strip and the refugees? The military governor in Gaza has prohibited every Arab from traveling to Cairo without a military permit, which is valid for only 24 hours. Imagine, Arabs, how Nasser, who claims to be the pioneer of Arab nationalism, treats the wretched Arabs of Gaza, who are starving to death while the military governor and his officers enjoy the riches in the Gaza Strip.
 
Even assuming that those were exaggerated descriptions in the struggle between Saudi Arabia and Nasser, we are still left with an oppressive régime of two decades. And it is worth noting another fact: when Israel arrived in the Gaza Strip, the life expectancy there was 48 years of age. After a little over two decades, the life expectancy has jumped to 72 years of age, past that of Egypt. More than the fact that this awards points to Israel, it also shows the abyss in which the Gaza Strip found itself during the days of the Egyptian régime.
 
Refugees from mandatory Palestine also lived in Egypt itself. Many of them did not even feel that they were Palestinians and preferred to assimilate. The Egyptians prevented them from doing so. Except for a short period of time that was considered the “golden age,” during some of the years of Nasser’s rule, which did not include the Gaza refugees. Even those who were in Egypt suffered from restrictions on purchasing land, engaging in certain professions and education (for example, there was a prohibition on the establishment of a Palestinian school). The Egyptian citizenship law allowed citizenship for someone whose father was Egyptian, and later, the law was expanded to anyone whose mother was Egyptian. In actuality, however, restrictions were imposed on anyone considered a Palestinian. Even the decision of an Egyptian court canceling the restrictions did not help.
 
The new régime in Egypt has recently promised change. The change, even if it happens, cannot erase many years of discrimination, which was tantamount to collective punishment. Thus, for example, in 1978, Egyptian Minister of Culture Yusouf al-Shib’ai was murdered in Cyprus by a member of Abu Nidal’s group. In reprisal, the Palestinians suffered a new wave of attacks, and the Egyptian parliament renewed legislation restricting the Palestinians in education and employment services.
 
Apartheid in Jordan
 
Precisely like the identification and unity between the Arabs of Jaffa and southern Israel and the Arabs of Egypt, similar identification exists between the Arabs of the West Bank and the Arabs of Jordan. Thus, for example, the Bedouin of the Majalis (or Majilis) tribe from the al-Karak region are originally from Hebron. During the days of the Ottoman Empire, Eastern Jordan was part of the Damascus district, like other parts of what later came under the auspices of the British Palestinian Mandate. According to the Balfour declaration, the area now called Jordan was supposed to be part of the Jewish national homeland.
 
The initial distress of the refugees on both sides of the Jordan River was enormous. For example, Iraqi soldiers controlled the area of Nablus, and there is testimony about “the Iraqi soldiers taking the children of the rich for acts of debauchery and returning the children to their families the next day, the inhabitants are frequently arrested.” Indeed, Arab solidarity.
 
It seemed that Jordan treated the refugees differently. Under a 1954 Jordanian law, any refugee who lived in the area of Jordan between 1948 and 1954 was given the right to citizenship. However, that was only the outward façade. Below is a description of the reality under the Jordanian régime in the West Bank:
 
We have never forgotten and we will never forget the nature of the régime that degraded our honor and trampled our human feelings. A régime that was built on an inquisition and the boots of the desert people. We lived for a long time under the humiliation of the Arab nationalism and it hurts to say that we had to wait for the Israeli conquest in order to become aware of humane relations with civilians.
 
It should be noted that these statements were published in the name of critics of the Israeli occupation of the West Bank in an interview with the Lebanese newspaper Al Hawadith on April 23, 1971.
 
As in all other Arab countries, Jordan did not do a thing to dismantle the refugee camps. While Israel was absorbing hundreds of thousands of refugees from Europe and the Arab countries in similar camps (transit camps), and undergoing a punishing process of rehabilitation, building new settlements and dismantling the camps, Jordan did exactly the opposite and prevented any process of rehabilitation. During those same two decades, not one institution of higher learning was established in the West Bank. The flowering of higher education began in the 1970s, after the Israelis took control.
 
Even the citizenship that was given to the refugees was mainly for the sake of appearances. Despite the fact that the Palestinians number over 50% of the inhabitants of Jordan, they hold only 18 seats – out of 110 – in the Jordanian parliament, and only 9 senators out of 55, who are appointed by the king. It should also be recalled that during just one month, September 1970, in one confrontation, Jordan killed many more Palestinians than all the Palestinians who have been hurt in the 43 years of Israeli rule over the West Bank and Gaza Strip.
 
Apartheid in Syria
 
The first Congress of Muslim-Christian Associations, the first Palestinian Arab conference, was held in Jerusalem in 1919. At the conference, it was decided that Palestine, which had just been conquered by the British, was southern Syria — an integral part of greater Syria. Over the years of the mandate, the immigration from Syria into the British mandate territory increased, for example, the Al-Hourani family, which arrived from the Houran in Syria. The idea of “greater Syria,” which included mandatory Palestine, was also reflected in the growing involvement of Syrians in the great Arab rebellion and in the gangs that arrived from Syria during the War of Independence. The refugees, therefore, were not strangers politically, religiously or ethnically. To the contrary, their fate should not have been different from the fate of other ethnic groups who were expelled to a place in which they constituted the national and cultural majority.
 
Between 70,000 and 90,000 refugees arrived in Syria, the decisive majority of them from Safed, Haifa, Tiberias and Acre. Thus, in 1954, they were granted partial rights, which did not include political rights. Until 1968, they were prohibited from holding property. Syrian law enables any Arab citizens to obtain Syrian citizenship, provided that his permanent residence is in Syria and he has a proven capacity for economic subsistence. However, the Palestinians are the only ones outside the applicability of the law. Even if they are permanent residents and possess means, the law prevents them from obtaining citizenship.
 
Only 30% of those who, for some reason, are still considered “Palestinian refugees in Syria” still live in refugee camps. Actually, they should long ago have been considered Syrians for all intents and purposes. They were part of the national Arab identity, they are connected by family ties, they should have been assimilated into the economic life of the country. But despite that, as a result of political brainwashing, they remain in Syria as a foreign element. They daydream about the “right of return,” and are kept perpetually in their inferior status. Most of them are at the bottom of the employment ladder, in the service (41%) and construction (27%) professions. Twenty-three percent do not even go to elementary school and only 3% reach academic education.
 
Apartheid in Lebanon

In the Gaza Strip, the Palestinians suffered for only two decades because of the Egyptian régime. In Lebanon, the apartheid continues to this day. The result is poverty, neglect, and enormous unemployment. Up to 1969, the refugee camps were under the stringent military control of Lebanon. According to the descriptions of Martha Gellhorn, most of the refugees were in a reasonable situation. Many even improved their standard of living compared with the days before the “nakba.” But in 1969, the Cairo Agreement was signed, which transferred control of the camps to the refugees themselves. The situation only grew worse. Terrorist organizations took control of the camps, which turned them into arenas of conflict — mostly violent — among the various groups.
 
A new study that was published in December 2010 presents data that makes the Gaza Strip look like paradise compared with Lebanon. Indeed, there was some scant publicity about it here and there, but as far as we know, there was no worldwide protest, not even a Turkish or international flotilla.
 
In contrast to Syria and Jordan, in which most of those defined as refugees are no longer in refugee camps, two thirds of the Palestinians in Lebanon live in camps, which are “enclaves outside the control of the state.” The most stunning data is that, despite the fact that about 425,000 refugees are registered with UNRWA, the study found that only between 260,000 and 280,000 Palestinians live in Lebanon. The paradox is that UNRWA is receiving financing for more than 150,000 people who are not even in Lebanon. This figure alone should have led to a serious inquest by the financing countries (primarily the US and Europe), but there is no chance that that will happen. The issue of the refugees is fraught with so many errors and lies that one more lie doesn’t really change anything. And so UNRWA can demand a budget for 425,000 people from the international community, while its website has a link to the study that shows that it’s all a fiction.
 
According to the study, the refugees are suffering from 56% unemployment. That seems to be the highest figure, not just among the Palestinians, but in the entire Arab world. Even those who are working are at the bottom of the employment ladder. Only 6% of those in the workforce have some kind of academic degree (compared with 20% of the workforce in Lebanon). The result is that 66% of the Palestinians in Lebanon live below the poverty line, which was set at six dollars per day per person. That is double the number of the Lebanese.
 
This dismal state of affairs is a result of apartheid for all intents and purposes. A series of Lebanese laws restrict the right to citizenship, to property, and to employment in the fields of law, medicine, pharmaceutics, journalism, etc. In August 2010, there was a limited amendment to the labor law, but the amendment did not actually lead to any real change. Another directive prohibits the entry of building materials into refugee camps, and there are reports of arrests and the demolition of houses resulting from construction in the refugee camps. The partial and limited prohibition of some building materials imposed by Israel on the Gaza Strip stemmed from the firing of rockets at population centers. As far as we know, no prohibition was imposed in Lebanon due to a similar firing of rockets at population centers. And despite that, again, beyond the dry reports of human rights organizations, as part of the outlook that “they are permitted to do as they please,” no serious protest was recorded and no “apartheid week” was held against Lebanon.
 
Apartheid in Kuwait
 
In 1991, the Palestinians constituted 30% of the country of Kuwait’s population. Relative to other Arab countries, their situation there was reasonable. Then Saddam Hussein invaded from Iraq. As part of the attempts at compromise that proceeded to first Gulf War, Saddam made a “proposal” to retreat from Kuwait in exchange for Israel’s retreat from the Gaza Strip and the West Bank. The PLO, headed by Yasir Arafat, supported Saddam’s proposal. That support was the opening salvo in one of the worst events in Palestinian history. After Kuwait was liberated from the Iraqi conquest, an anti-Palestinian campaign commenced, which included persecution, arrests and show trials. The terrible saga ended in the expulsion of 450,000 Palestinians. Incidentally, some of them had settled there back in the 1930s, and most of them had no connection to Arafat’s support for Saddam. Nevertheless, they were subject to collective punishment, a transfer of proportions similar to the original nakba in 1948, which barely earned any mention in the world media. There are endless academic publications on the expulsion and flight in 1948. There are close to zero studies on the “nakba” of 1991.
 
* * *
These are the main countries in which the refugees are located. Apartheid is also rampant in other countries. In Saudi Arabia, the refugees from mandatory Palestine have not received citizenship. In 2004, Saudi Arabia announced some changes, but clarified that the changes do not include the Palestinians. Jordan also prevents 150,000 refugees, most of them originally from the Gaza Strip, from receiving citizenship now. In Iraq, the refugees were actually given preference under the leadership of Saddam Hussein, but since he fell from power, they have become one of the most persecuted groups. Twice, both on the Libyan-Egyptian border and on the Syria-Iraqi border, thousands of expelled Palestinians lived in temporary camps and not a single Arab state agreed to take them. That was a formidable show of “Arab solidarity,” in making the “Arab nation.” And it continues. Palestinians from Libya, refugees from the civil war, are now arriving at the border of Egypt, which refuses to grant them entry.
 
Time after time, the Arab countries have rejected proposals to resettle the refugees, despite the fact that there was room and there was a need. The march continues. In 1995, the ruler of Libya, Muammar Gaddafi, decided to expel 30,000 Palestinians, just because he was angry about the Oslo accords, about the PLO, and about the establishment of the Palestinian Authority. A Palestinian doctor, Dr. Ashraf al-Hazouz, spent 8 years in a Libyan prison (together with Bulgarian nurses) on false charges of spreading AIDS. In August 2010, before the present uprising, Libya passed laws that made the lives of the Palestinians impossible. It was at precisely the same time that Libya dispatched a “humanitarian aid ship” to the Gaza Strip. There is no limit to hypocrisy.
 
The following is a summary of the apartheid against minorities in the Arab world in general, and against the Palestinians in particular. But there is a difference. While the Copts in Egypt or the Kurds in Syria are, indeed, minorities, the Arabs from mandatory Palestine were supposed to be an integral part of the Arab nation. Two of the symbols of the Palestinian struggle were born in Egypt – Edward Said and Yasir Arafat. Both of them tried to fabricate their birthplace as Palestine. Two other prominent symbols of the struggle by the Arabs of mandatory Palestine are Fawzi al-Qawuqji (who competed with the mufti to lead the Arab struggle against the British) and Izz al-Din al-Qassam – the former Lebanese and the latter Syrian. There is nothing strange about this, because the struggle was Arab, not Palestinian. And despite that, the Arabs of mandatory Palestine became the most downtrodden and spurned group of all, following the Arab defeat in 1948. The vast majority of the descriptions from those years talks about Arabs, not about Palestinians. Later, only later, did they become Palestinians.
 
The Arab countries are well aware that their treatment of the refugees from mandatory Palestine was no less than scandalous. To that end, they signed the “Casablanca Protocol” in 1965, which was supposed to grant the Palestinians the right of employment and movement, but not citizenship. Some relief was almost within their grasp. But like other documents of that type, this one did not change a thing. The abuse continued.
 
Comparatively, it seems that the Palestinian group that underwent the most significant growth is the one that is under Israeli sovereignty — both the Israeli Arabs who received Israeli citizenship, whose situation is far better, and the Arabs of the territories. Despite the harsh living conditions in Lebanon and Syria, and before that also in Egypt and the Gaza Strip, the Palestinians under Israeli rule, beginning in 1967, have enjoyed a steady rise in their standard of living, in employment, in health services, in life expectancy, in the dramatic drop in infant mortality, and in the enormous growth of higher education.
 
For example, in all the territories captured by Israel in 1967, there was not one institution of higher education. In the 1970s, academic institutions began to sprout one after the other, and today there are at least 16 institutions of higher education. The growth in the number of students has continued for three decades, including during the years of the Intifada in the last decade. Within six decades, the Palestinians — only those under Israeli rule — have become the most educated group in the Arab world.
 
The same is true in the political arena. After decades of political oppression, it was only under Israeli rule that the Palestinian national consciousness sprang up. For two decades after the War of Independence, the Arabs could have established a Palestinian state in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank. They did not do so — until Israel arrived and released them from the oppression of two decades. That didn’t make the occupation desirable. It doesn’t mean that there weren’t injustices and dispossessions. There were. But it seems that after the first two decades following the “nakba,” it was actually the era of Israeli rule that caused the enormous flourishing growth in every field. We should, and we must, criticize the negative aspects of the occupation. But we should, and we must, also remember the aspect that is ignored.
 
In the past decades, the lie has arisen again and again about Israel’s responsibility for the distress of the Palestinians, so it is advisable to set matters straight. The Palestinians went through a terrible experience of uprooting and expulsion. Most of them fled. Some of them were expelled. But, again, that type of occurrence was experienced by tens of millions of others. The difference lies in the fact that all the other tens of millions were absorbed by the countries to which they went. That has not been the case with the Palestinians. They have gone through ordeals of oppression, abuse, and denial of rights. That was the work of the Arab countries, which decided to perpetuate the situation. Many proposals to resolve the problem of the Palestinians and resettle them have been rejected again and again. The open wound has festered. Yet, time after time, the Arabs themselves have claimed that the Arabs are one nation.
 
The borders between the countries, and of this there is no dispute, are a fiction of the colonial government. After all, there is no difference, either ethnic, or religious, or cultural, or national, between the Arabs of Jaffa and Gaza and the Arabs of El Arish and Port Said, or between the Arabs of Safed and Tiberias and the Arabs of Syria and Lebanon. Despite that, the Arab refugees have become the forced victims of the Arab world. The “right of return,” which is primarily a propaganda invention, has become the ultimate demand. Behind this demand was hidden, and still hides, one single intention: the annihilation of the State of Israel. The Egyptian Foreign Minister, Muhammad Salah al-Din, said back in 1949 that the “demand for the right of return was actually intended to achieve the purpose of annihilating Israel.”
 
That was also the case at a conference of refugees that was held in 1957 in Homs in Syria, where it was declared that “any discussion of the refugee issue that does not promise the right to the annihilation of Israel will be deemed a desecration of the Arab nation and treason.” There is no confusion here between the “right of return” and the “right of annihilation.” It is the same “right.” Identical words about return, whose purpose is the annihilation of Israel, were stated in 1988 by Sacher Habash, Yasir Arafat’s adviser. So, too, in our day, is the BDS campaign, whose platform supports the “right of return,” and whose leaders, such as Omar Barghouti, explained that the real objective is the annihilation of Israel.
 
Already back in 1952, Alexander Galloway, a senior official in UNRWA, stated that “the Arab countries do not want to resolve the problem of the refugees. They want to leave them like an open wound, as a weapon against Israel. The Arab rulers don’t care at all if the refugees live or die.” The Palestinian historiography has erased all expressions of this type, just as it has erased the absorption of tens of millions of refugees in other places, and as it has erased the “Jewish nakba,” the story of the dispossession and expulsion of Jews from Arab countries, and as it has erased the story of the Arab apartheid. But the truth must be told. Indeed, there was a nakba, but it is a nakba that is recorded primarily in the name of the Arab apartheid.

 
Ben-Dror Yemini is a researcher, a lecturer and a journalist. 

 

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In the Apartheid Oscars, Arab States Win Hands Down: Lyn Julius, Times of Israel, February 26, 2013Roll up, roll up for Israel Apartheid Week – a global, multimedia extravaganza devoted to cementing the comparison between the new international pariah, Israel, and the old racist regime in South Africa. And it’s coming to a campus near you.

 

The False Apartheid Narrative: Robert Cherry, The Daily Beast, Feb 28, 2013Apartheid represents a pervasive system of state policies that institutionalize separate and unequal treatment. In March, there will be anti-apartheid activities at many colleges. Most participants judge Israel to be an apartheid society based solely on its actions in the West Bank. However, some like Omar Barghouti and Ben White use the term “apartheid state” to also characterize Israeli policies towards it 1.5 million Arab citizens.

 

More proof of Israel’s restraint: Editorial, National Post, Mar. 12, 2013On Nov. 14, 2012, the Israeli Defense Forces began Operation Pillar of Defense, aimed at Hamas’ Gaza-based network of rocket batteries and terrorist hideouts. Soon after the conflict began, tragedy befell one Palestinian family. Their home was destroyed by a powerful explosion. Three civilians, including an 11-month-old boy, were killed.

 

 

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