Canadian Institute for Jewish Research
L'institut Canadien de Recherches sur le Judaisme
Strength of Israel will not lie

Tag: Israeli-Palestinian Conflict

UN, OBAMA, KERRY & OTHER “PEACE PROCESSORS” VILIFY ISRAEL BUT IGNORE ARAB COLONIALISM

 

 

NB: PLEASE WATCH THE EXCELLENT VIDEO BY RABBI ASHER JACOBSON, CONGREGATION CHEVRA KADISHA, MONTREAL—Ed: Stab In The Heart (Video): Rabbi Asher Jacobson, Youtube, Jan. 11, 2017

 

Dear French Foreign Minister Ayrault: David Harris, Huffington Post, Jan. 9, 2017— I take the liberty of writing this open letter in the wake of the latest Palestinian terror attack…

Real Liberals Must Shun Palestinian Colonialism: Melanie Phillips, Jerusalem Post, Jan. 5, 2017— With Israel still looking down the barrel of a diplomatic gun as the Obama presidency approaches its final days, it’s high time to change the narrative.

Defund the United Nations: Rich Lowry, National Review, Dec. 30, 2016— We’ve come a long way from Daniel Patrick Moynihan excoriating the U.N.’s 1975 “Zionism is racism” resolution in one of the finer exhibits of righteous indignation in the history of American speechifying.

So Now All of a Sudden I’m a Jewish ‘Settler’ According to Obama?: Oren Safdie, National Post, Jan. 9, 2017— I never considered myself a Jewish Settler.

 

On Topic Links

 

Stab In The Heart (Video): Rabbi Asher Jacobson, Youtube, Jan. 11, 2017

Netanyahu Dismisses 'Rigged' Paris Peace Conference: Mike Smith, AFP, Jan. 12, 2017

Debunking 11 More False Assumptions Regarding Israel: Amb. Alan Baker, JCPA, Jan. 10, 2017

              

 

 

DEAR FRENCH FOREIGN MINISTER AYRAULT

David Harris

Huffington Post, Jan. 9, 2017

 

I take the liberty of writing this open letter in the wake of the latest Palestinian terror attack, which killed four young Israelis and wounded many others in an assault eerily similar to the one in Nice in July, and days ahead of the “Middle East peace conference” in Paris you will be hosting. I do so with respect, coming from a Francophone home and with deep roots in France and French culture.

 

I do so representing an organization, AJC, that has engaged with France at the highest levels for decades, and that, even when we have disagreed vigorously, has rejected those in the Jewish community who have called for boycotts and spread “fake news” about the situation in your country. And I do so, if I may say, no less eager than you to find a lasting solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, ideally based on a two-state agreement. For me, the issue is not another geopolitical quagmire in need of resolution. As a Jew, there is also a metaphysical link to an ancestral land in an age-old search for peace, not to mention the contemporary home of many of my closest relatives and friends.

 

Mr. Minister, please understand the reasons why we have voiced the hope that the Paris gathering would be canceled. As the one-and-only La Rochefoucauld said, “It is easier to be wise for others than for ourselves.” With everything happening in Europe today, is this the one issue that deserves such an investment of effort and energy?

 

The European Union, soon to mark 60 years since the ground-breaking Treaty of Rome, is at risk, especially after the Brexit vote in June. Terrorists are exposing the weakness of the Schengen agreement. Disaffected parallel societies have emerged in the cities and suburbs of France, Belgium, and elsewhere. Populist parties opposed to the EU and the Eurozone, and promoting xenophobia and anti-Semitism, are threatening the established order. Ukraine, on the EU’s eastern border, remains a partially occupied land, as does Cyprus, an EU member state. Turkey, so key to the European migration challenge, is hurtling towards authoritarianism. Greece and Spain, among other EU countries, have alarmingly high youth unemployment rates.

 

But instead of focusing on any or all of these issues, the Quai d’Orsay is organizing yet another international effort to address a conflict that everyone knows, a priori, can only be resolved by the parties themselves, no matter how many nations travel to Paris for the conference you are hosting. I’d add that, if France nonetheless has decided on the need for an international conference of some sort at this time, how about one on Syria, the greatest human tragedy of this century and a country that France has claimed, since the 1916 Sykes-Picot agreement carved up the Middle East, to know better than others?

 

Or how about on Libya, where a French decision in 2011 to help topple Muammar Gaddafi achieved its immediate goal, but left the country in tatters, a breeding ground for jihadism, and a grave danger to European interests? Or how about on the Kurds, a people in the Middle East with all the elements of nationhood – and among our most reliable allies – but denied any chance for sovereignty because of superseding geopolitical interests among the great powers? Or how about a summit on Russian meddling in the European Union, including financial support for extremist, anti-EU political parties, creation of faux environmental groups to oppose any energy projects without Russian involvement, and malicious manipulation of the media?

 

No, the conference to begin on January 15th in Paris is about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, even though one of the two main parties, Israel, has opposed the idea; even though the United States, key to any progress on this front, will have a change of administrations (and policies) exactly five days later; and even though France, it must be said, cannot be viewed as an honest broker.

 

Why? Well, despite strong bilateral ties between Paris and Jerusalem in some spheres, when it comes to the international arena, France is too often on the other side. This occurred in the recent vote at the UN Security Council on Resolution 2334, just as it did at the World Health Organization General Assembly in May, when France voted in favor of a measure that bizarrely singled out Israel by name as the only country in the world accused of undermining “mental, physical and environmental health,” and when France could do no more than abstain at UNESCO in April on a resolution that denied any Jewish (and Christian) link to the holy sites in Jerusalem. If the aim is to advance a two-state accord, then it’s high time to face facts.

 

Fact #1: From the Peel Commission report of 1937 until today, the Palestinians and their supporters have, in the end, rejected every compromise put on the table to find a viable solution. Fact #2: Every effort that circumvents the face-to-face negotiating table only emboldens the Palestinians to believe they can get all they want without the need for direct talks with Israel, and the inevitable compromises that would result from any agreement.

 

Fact #3: Palestinian incitement is not just a minor issue, to be thrown into UN resolutions and diplomatic speeches as an afterthought or footnote, but the heart of the problem. As long as Palestinians glorify suicide bombings and “martyrdom,” and deny the Jewish people’s legitimacy in Israel, there will be no solution. Fact #4: The role of nations of good will should be to send a clear message to the Palestinians that their every whim, no matter how counter-productive to the cause of peace, will no longer be indulged. Israel has certainly gotten its share of clear messages from the international community, but, alas, not the other side.

 

Talleyrand, the legendary French foreign minister who once occupied your post, said: “The art of statesmanship is to foresee the inevitable and to expedite its occurrence.” The inevitable should not be more dead-end international gatherings, but rather face-to-face Israeli-Palestinian talks. When everyone wakes up to that stark reality, perhaps a two-state accord can be expedited.

 

Contents

 

REAL LIBERALS MUST SHUN PALESTINIAN COLONIALISM

Melanie Phillips

Jerusalem Post, Jan. 5, 2017

 

With Israel still looking down the barrel of a diplomatic gun as the Obama presidency approaches its final days, it’s high time to change the narrative. Western progressives define themselves through various fixed positions. They are against racism. They are against colonialism. They are against ethnic cleansing. They are against police states. And they are against antisemitism. So there is a political agenda that is surely tailor-made for Western liberals and left-wingers to shun and condemn as an utter negation of all they hold dear.

 

The goal of the Palestinians is the colonial conquest of another people’s country. That country is the State of Israel, the homeland of the Jewish people whose unique connection goes back to antiquity. In the 7th century the Arab world conquered Judea, as the ancient kingdom of the Jewish people had been known. The Jews had previously been driven out of this land by the Romans, who renamed it Palestine in order to conceal its Jewish antecedents.

 

The Jews are the only people for whom this was ever their national kingdom. Now the Arabs want again to conquer and colonize the same land, which since 1948 has been restored to the Jewish people. They make this abundantly clear. Mahmoud Abbas has explicitly rejected Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state. The Palestinian Authority indoctrinates its children to conquer Israeli cities.

 

You’ve only got to look at the insignia and maps, not just of Hamas but also Abbas’s “moderate” Fatah, to see that the land they demand for a state of Palestine includes the whole of Israel. Palestinian identity was invented purely to negate the Jews’ unique rights to the Land of Israel. The very idea of a Palestine state was adopted solely as a strategic platform to bring about Israel’s destruction. Leading Palestinians have said so, in so many words. All progressives should therefore condemn this colonialist, exterminatory Palestinian agenda.

 

The Palestine Mandate of 1922 prescribed the “close settlement” by Jews throughout the whole of Palestine, which then consisted of what is now Israel, the territories known as the West Bank, and Gaza. That Jewish right to settle all the land has never been abrogated. That means it remains unaltered in international law.

 

The term “occupied territories” is legally illiterate, since the “West Bank” never belonged to any sovereign state and only sovereign land can be occupied as defined by international law.

 

The Palestinian Arabs have no collective rights in Judea and Samaria. Only the Jews were given the legal right to settle there. This has never been taken away from them. The Jews are therefore not only entitled to live in these disputed territories, but they are the only people who have any legal, moral or historical right to be there. Yet the Palestinians want to rip up this unique Jewish right to the land. All progressives should therefore condemn this denial of international law.

 

The Palestinians claim there can’t be a state of Palestine while Israelis are living in the disputed territories. Well, why not? Arabs make up some 20% of Israel’s population. Why couldn’t there be a Jewish minority in a future state of Palestine? No reason apart from sheer racism and antisemitism. In other words, the cause of a state of Palestine and “settlers out” inescapably involves racist ethnic cleansing.

 

The Palestinian Authority pumps out deranged, Nazistyle antisemitism. It locks up journalists and other dissidents who dare oppose its policies. Obviously, all progressives should condemn such an agenda. Yet for liberals and left-wingers in the West, Palestine is the cause of causes – while they falsely and outrageously ascribe the offenses of colonialist conquest, ethnic cleansing and racism to the Jews of Israel instead. This is because Western progressives inhabit a grotesque universe of mirrors, created by viewing the world through an ideological prism which casts the West as inescapably oppressive and the developing world as its blameless victims.

 

Crucially, they also see themselves as innately virtuous while everyone who does not view the world through this distorting prism is damned as irredeemably hateful, bigoted and evil. This, however, is the progressives’ Achilles’ heel. For if they themselves are shown to be supporting actual racism and colonialism, their supposed place on the moral high ground crumbles into dust and they are left with nowhere else to go. Publicly calling them out in this way for betraying their supposed ideals would bring further benefits. For others would be listening whose minds are not hermetically sealed through ideology or malice.

 

Those people have no knowledge of the Middle East or Jewish history. They have no idea that the Jews are the only indigenous people of the Land of Israel who are still around; no idea that the Arabs are the historic occupiers; no idea that Israel’s “occupation” is nothing of the kind and that the “settlements” are lawful. They have no idea because no one has ever told them. The delegitimization of Israel rests on the hijacking of the language so that victims are turned into oppressors and vice versa. We must now reclaim the language for truth and justice. Palestinian colonialism means the Palestine cause is one that liberals must condemn and shun. Conversely, “progressives” who support Palestinian colonial conquest and the ethnic cleansing of the Jews from their historic homeland are nothing of the kind. It’s time to start letting them know.

                                                           

Contents                                                                                                                                                                          

DEFUND THE UNITED NATIONS                                                                                                        

Rich Lowry                                                                                                            

National Review, Dec. 30, 2016

                       

We’ve come a long way from Daniel Patrick Moynihan excoriating the U.N.’s 1975 “Zionism is racism” resolution in one of the finer exhibits of righteous indignation in the history of American speechifying. The Obama administration acceded to — and, reportedly, assisted behind the scenes — a less notorious but still noxious Security Council resolution condemning Israeli settlements. By the administration’s lights, the action is clever — it will be extremely difficult to reverse and will increase Israel’s international isolation.

 

But the bipartisan outrage over a resolution that, once again, demonstrates the U.N.’s hostility to our closest ally in the Middle East affords an opportunity to force an overdue crisis in the U.S.–U.N. relationship. We are the chief funder of a swollen, unaccountable U.N. apparatus that has been a gross disappointment for more than 70 years now. Proving that no country is perfect, we came up with the idea for the United Nations in the first place. Franklin Roosevelt thought that the Four Policemen of Britain, the United States, the Soviet Union, and China (with France eventually added as well) would keep the peace in the post–World War II world. Spot the flaw in this plan.

 

This vision immediately foundered on the reality of power politics. The first major event in the U.N.’s life after the Security Council began meeting in New York City was a threatened Soviet walkout. The Soviets used their Security Council veto about 50 times in the U.N.’s first years of existence. It turned out that states with different interests and values weren’t going to act as a band of righteous international enforcers. In fact, as demonstrated in Rwanda and the Balkans, when confronted by hideously predatory forces bent on mayhem and murder, U.N. peacekeepers would simply stand aside.

 

In the decades after the U.N.’s founding, the influence of Third World dictatorships grew, and so did the institution’s anti-Western and anti-Israel orientation, culminating in the Zionism resolution that U.S. ambassador to the U.N. Moynihan so memorably inveighed against. That vote was finally reversed in 1991, but prejudice against Israel has become one of the U.N.’s core competencies — as well as impenetrable bureaucracy. As early as 1947, a U.S. Senate committee flagged “serious problems of overlap, duplication of effort, weak coordination, proliferating mandates and programs, and overly generous compensation of staff within the infant, but rapidly growing, UN system.” And those were the early, lean years. We pay more than anyone else to keep the U.N. in business, about 22 percent of the U.N.’s regular budget. As Brett Schaefer of the Heritage Foundation notes, “the U.S. is assessed more than 176 other U.N. member states combined.”

 

Because nothing involving the U.N. is clean or straightforward, it’s hard to even know how much the U.S. pays in total into the U.N. system. But it’s probably around $8 billion a year. We should withhold some significant portion of it, and demand an end to the U.N.’s institutional hostility to Israel and the implementation of reforms to increase the organization’s accountability. There are individual U.N. agencies that do good work, and we can continue to support those.

 

Realistically, though, the U.N. will always be a disappointment. The fact is that the closest thing to what FDR envisioned in the U.N. is NATO, a like-minded group of nations that has been a force for peace, order, and freedom. This is why President-elect Donald Trump should embrace NATO and turn his critical eye to the U.N., where there is the genuine opportunity to, if nothing else, save the U.S. some money and rattle the cages of people taking advantage of our beneficence. Charles de Gaulle dismissively called the U.N. “the thing.” The thing will always stumble on, but maybe Donald Trump can teach it a lesson or two about how we truly value our ally and its nemesis, Israel.

                                                                       

Contents

 

 

SO NOW ALL OF A SUDDEN I’M A JEWISH ‘SETTLER’

ACCORDING TO OBAMA?

Oren Safdie

National Post, Jan. 9, 2017

 

I never considered myself a Jewish Settler. Growing up, spending my summers in our family home in the Jewish Quarter of the Old City in Jerusalem, it was always considered different than living in the settlements of the West Bank or Gaza. Perhaps this had to do with the name — Jewish Quarter — or that it was understood by everyone that the Western Wall and surrounding neighbourhood would always remain part of Israel in any final peace settlement. Then again, this is the same argument many of the Jewish settlements along the Green Line have made when building within their given city limits. But to the eyes of the Palestinians —  and since the passing of UN Resolution 2334, also to Barack Obama and his UN ambassador, Samantha Power — there’s absolutely no difference.

 

From the time we moved into the house, many Israeli, Jewish and non-Jewish artists, journalists, politicians and other dignitaries have passed through the doors. I remember poet Yehuda Amichai coming over for lunch and giving me advice about becoming a writer. I once ran into Peter Jennings in the street and showed him to our rooftop where he filmed a final scene of his ABC special on the Middle East, showing just how close the Western Wall was to the Dome of the Rock and the Church of the Holy Sepulchre.

 

One thing almost every visitor shared in common was their staunch opposition to the “settler” movement, as did my parents. West Bank and Gaza “settlers” were seen as radical messianic religious zealots, responsible for wrecking the peace process, much in the way John Kerry recently characterized present Israeli government policy.

 

And yet with the passing of Resolution 2334, it now stands that anyone who stepped foot in the Jewish Quarter or had gone to pray at the Wailing Wall were playing an equal part in condoning the occupation. Even the many Israeli performing artists who recently signed a petition refusing to perform in Ariel in the West Bank will now have to contend with the prospect of adding the Old City to the list. Of course, what makes this so complicated is that the American players who are rumoured to have played an active role bringing the resolution forth, exhibited inconsistent behaviour themselves in the lead-up to the resolution vote.

 

Nobody thought twice when President Barack Obama visited Israel, and to the delight of Israelis and Jews, deposited a note in the cracks of the “occupied” Wailing Wall. And Ambassador Samantha Power must not have thought of the Jewish Quarter as too occupied since she was known to stay in the Jewish Quarter when she came to Jerusalem prior to becoming an ambassador. In reality, this convenient double standard has not only served Obama and Power, but almost all Israelis, as well as many visiting Jews and non-Jews with strong feelings against the settler movement.

 

The question is, now what? Will Israelis who supported Obama refuse to attend their sons’ and daughters’ army graduation ceremonies at the Kotel? Will the progressive Jewish movement “Women of the Wall” cease their campaign to find a spot along the last remnants of Herod’s Second Temple — which, incidentally, UNESCO recently rejected any historical connection to Jewish history? Where will presidents and foreign ministers like John Kerry go to pay their respects to Israeli and Jewish people when they come to visit Israel? Will they now feel obliged to go to Tel Aviv and slip a note into the cracks of the cement wall off Dizengoff Square? Or will everyone simply reject the United Nations resolution and go about their business, even as new International legal sanctions are bound to grow?

 

Resolution 2334 may have blurred the line on one double standard, but it also has highlighted a triple standard. Even though there are over two dozen countries that have border disputes with neighbouring countries, Israel is the one that the Security Council and Barack Obama have chosen to single out for condemnation. I say triple standard because if Israel is to be singled out for anything, it should be for its repeated efforts to return land for peace, even taking the unprecedented step of abandoning land without getting anything in return … except Hamas rockets.

 

Perhaps President Obama and Ambassador Power should sponsor a new UN resolution before they leave office. Not one that imposes a basic outline to a final peace agreement, but one that celebrates Israel’s herculean efforts in striving for peace. It might help enforce their own double standards on the Jewish Quarter and Wailing Wall before they abstained on Resolution 2334.

 

CIJR Wishes All Our Friends & Supporters: Shabbat Shalom!

 

Contents           

 

On Topic Links

 

Stab In The Heart (Video): Rabbi Asher Jacobson, Youtube, Jan. 11, 2017—“Is it possible that Israel is right and the whole world is wrong?”

Netanyahu Dismisses 'Rigged' Paris Peace Conference: Mike Smith, AFP, Jan. 12, 2017—Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Thursday dismissed as "rigged" this weekend's Middle East peace conference in Paris, with his government refusing to play any role in the meeting.

Debunking 11 More False Assumptions Regarding Israel: Amb. Alan Baker, JCPA, Jan. 10, 2017—Further to the recent publication of “Ten False Assumptions Regarding Israel,” which addressed many of the widely-held and universally-disseminated false and mistaken assumptions regarding Israel, a number of additional false assumptions – some even more willful and malicious – are addressed.

 

 

 

 

 

CURRENT WAVE OF ANTISEMITIC TERROR IS A PRODUCT OF SADISTIC PALESTINIAN CULTURE, INFLUENCED BY I.S.

 

NB: EXCITING UPDATE TO OUR CONFERENCE: KEYNOTE ADDRESS WILL BE FROM RABBI IRVING GREENBERG, & A SPECIAL VIDEO PRESENTATION FROM ELIE WIESEL!

 

Beth Tikvah Synagogue & CIJR Present: The Annual Sabina Citron International Conference: THE JEWISH THOUGHT OF EMIL L. FACKENHEIM: JUDAISM, ZIONISM, HOLOCAUST, ISRAEL — Toronto, Sunday, October 25, 2015, 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. The day-long Beth Tikvah Conference, co-chaired by Prof. Frederick Krantz (CIJR) and Rabbi Jarrod R. Grover (Beth Tikvah), open to the public and especially to students, features original papers by outstanding Canadian and international scholars, some his former students, on the many dimensions of Emil L. Fackenheim's exceptionally powerful, and prophetic thought, and on his rich life and experience. Tickets: Regular – $36; Seniors – $18; students free. For registration, information, conference program, and other queries call 1-855-303-5544 or email yunna@isranet.org. Visit our site: www.isranet.org/events.

 

“This is a liberation organization? Its goal is to destroy a state; to kill men, women and children – this is its method and this is a national movement?  There was a Spring of Nations – that was a national movement; there was an American Revolution – that was a national movement; there was a war for Israel’s independence – that was a national movement. This, however, is a movement of murderers of the most base kind ever since the Gestapo…and they will not succeed. We will strike them, we will pursue them ‘til the bitter end. We will not allow them any respite.

 

This is the difference between the Galut and a homeland. Our fellow Jews could not defend themselves. They had not the withal. What could they employ? No one would protect them. Here, thank God, we are living in the Land of Israel. Here we will defend every child, every woman, every man and the murderers will not go unpunished.”

 

—Prime Minister Menachem Begin, Knesset Speech, May 9, 1979 (Menachem Begin Heritage Center, 13 Oct., 2015)

 

Third Intifada Or Third Reich?: Dr. Phyllis Chesler, Jewish Press, Oct. 15, 2015 — Polish journalist Anna Bikont has written a masterwork (The Crime and the Silence) about the infamous 1941 massacre of Jews in wartime Jedwabne – not by Nazi soldiers by their Polish Catholic neighbors.

Sadism and Masochism in International Culture: Alex Joffe, Times of Israel, Oct. 14, 2015— To cultures have personalities, meaningful collections of attitudes and behaviors?

ISIS Fires Up Palestinians: Bassam Tawil, National Post, Aug. 20, 2015 — By now, it has become clear that our young Palestinian men and women have learned a lot from the Islamic State (ISIS) terror group.

An Open Letter to the World: Paula Stern, Jewish Press,  Aug. 15, 2015 — In the last few days, as Israel has been hit with a wave of terror, I’ve started to write many times and each time, was only able to capture a fraction of what is on my mind and in my heart.

 

On Topic Links

 

Arabs Set Fire to Joseph’s Tomb in Shechem, Pushed Back by PA Police: Jewish Press, Oct. 16, 2015

Fatah’s ‘Symphony of Love’ for Jerusalem on Twitter: Hana Levi Julian, Jewish Press, Oct. 15, 2015

Only Four NGOs Condemn Anti-Israeli Violence, Others Focus on Israeli ‘Unlawful Killing’: Jewish Press, Oct. 15, 2015

Israel Must Deport the PLO: Daniel Greenfield, Sultan Knish, Oct. 17, 2015

                                      

                                      

THIRD INTIFADA OR THIRD REICH?        

Dr. Phyllis Chesler                                                                                                                                  

Jewish Press, Oct. 15, 2015

 

Polish journalist Anna Bikont has written a masterwork (The Crime and the Silence) about the infamous 1941 massacre of Jews in wartime Jedwabne – not by Nazi soldiers by their Polish Catholic neighbors. At least forty residents of Jedwabne beat, herded, and drove between 200 and 340 of their Jewish neighbors into a barn, locked the doors, and set the barn on fire.

 

The killers took over all the Jewish homes and shops, moving right in – and without shame helped themselves to furniture, clothing, jewelry, china, market wares, and rich farming acreage. And they tried to keep what they had done secret; when challenged, they denied it. Every eyewitness was made to understand that anyone who “talked” would be killed.

 

In order to explain such a heinous massacre, Bikont begins by describing what the situation like was for Jews in rural, agricultural Poland in the 1920s and 1930s. Catholic priests routinely preached and propagandized against Jews; a climate was created in which, according to Professor Jerzy Jedlicki, “hatred towards Jews, contempt and mockery of Jews, [became] part of twentieth-century European culture…”

 

In painstaking and painful detail, Bikont recounts what a relative, Oleg Wolynski, told her, an account confirmed by Zygmunt Klukowski’s Diary of the Occupation. The Poles eagerly took part in liquidation raids, “hunted down Jews, drove them to the magistrate or police station, beat them, kicked them. Boys chased little Jewish kids who were killed by policemen right in front of everyone.” Before the Holocaust, Poles laughed and joked as they harassed, beat, hacked at, tortured, and burned alive Jewish men, women, and children.

 

Why do I refer to these events? Most Arab and Muslim countries, before the advent of ISIS, significantly “cleansed” their countries of Jews by torturing and murdering them or by exiling them with a few dollars in their pockets. Like the Poles of Jedwabne, Arab Muslims also took over all the Jewish homes, shops, factories, furniture, and land. Jews from Egypt, Iraq, Syria, and other Muslim countries never received the slightest compensation or sympathy.

 

Like the Polish Catholic priests in pre-World War II rural Poland, mullahs and imams in Palestine and all across the Muslim world have been whipping Muslims into a Jew-hating frenzy for a long, long time. With the advent of the Internet, their message of hate reaches significantly more people.  Arab terrorists have spent decades hijacking planes, blowing up synagogues, and sending human bombs into crowded shopping malls, cafes, pizza parlors, nightclubs, and hotels. In recent years they’ve also been launching rockets at Israeli civilian centers.

 

Now individual Arab Muslims are stabbing Jews of all ages. Lynch mobs are stoning Israeli Jews at prayer as well as Israeli cars on the road. They wield cinder blocks and deadly rocks. Individual Arab Muslims are shooting and stabbing “religious” and “settler” Jews, or trying to run them over with cars. They have been empowered to do so by President Obama’s dangerously misguided foreign policy and by Palestinian religious and political leaders who have lied to their people about Jews endangering mosques and have imbued them with dangerous religious hatred. Just like the Catholic priests did in rural Poland.

 

Earlier this month, Mrs. Odel Bennett, a wife and young mother of two, was returning with her family from praying at the Kotel. She was stabbed in the back and neck by a terrorist who had killed both her 22-year-old rabbi husband, Aharon, and 41-year-old Rabbi Nehemia Lavi. He had also shot her two-year-old son Natan in the leg. The terrorist was a Palestinian law student. He was not illiterate. He was not educationally deprived, reduced to humiliating manual labor. He was not starving. (Many of the 9/11 terrorists were educated and came from solidly middle class families. Bin Laden himself was a multi-millionaire. This is different from rural, Catholic, pre-Holocaust Poland.)

 

As Mrs. Bennett staggered down an alley in the Old City, the terrorist’s knife still lodged in her neck, she begged the Arabs nearby to help her. Instead they “stood chatting and laughing – they spat at me.” One man continued to drink a soda; others shook her off when she tried to hold onto them to lift herself off the ground. “I was looking for a glimmer of mercy in their eyes,” she said. She was rescued by Israeli police officers.

 

In 2010 at Yale, I chaired and spoke at a panel on anti-Semitism organized by Dr. Charles Small. One of the panelists, my friend and ally Dr. Richard Landes, ended his speech rather abruptly. He said: “Folks, they are coming to shecht [butcher] us. The least we can do is, like Balaam’s donkey, open a mouth.” Five years later, I share his words with everyone reading this. More than ever, we need to open our mouths.                   

 

                                                                       

Contents                                                                                      

   

SADISM AND MASOCHISM IN INTERNATIONAL CULTURE                                                                            

Alex Joffe                                                                                                   

Times of Israel, Oct. 14, 2015

 

To cultures have personalities, meaningful collections of attitudes and behaviors? If so, what does the ongoing wave of stabbings of Israelis –elderly passersby, strangers on buses, boys on bikes, infants in carriages- say about Palestinian culture? Who are they, really? One suggestion is that Palestinian culture has been overtaken by psychosis. But what is the underlying cause for this flight to unreality? Part of the answer is sadomasochism.

 

All cultures have a touch of sadism. Political success requires defeating and humiliating enemies in battle, if only occasionally. Individuals capable or prone to committing terrible pain upon others are found everywhere. And all societies endorse a degree of institutional sadism – police, prisons, military – as part of their monopoly on violence. But for most, pain is only a means to an end, political success and cultural survival, which are the true pleasures.

 

But inflicting pain and rejoicing in suffering is so visible within Palestinian culture that it could be construed as a defining trait. Israelis being murdered, kidnapped or even just rocketed are causes to hand out sweets to strangers in the street, to publicly affirm – and to invite others to affirm – pleasure in the suffering of others. This is a cultural psychology of objectification and dehumanization. But to characterize it merely as the result of pervasive incitement is inadequate.

 

Sadism of course is hardly restricted to Palestinian culture. Native American tribes routinely tortured and killed their captives for sport. Torture is rife in Afghan and Pakistani society, as well as in Mexico and Central America. ISIS broadcasts its beheadings, crucifixions and mass killings as messages to their enemies and to display religious devotion and resolve. European and North American cultures are hardly virtuous – recall Abu Ghraib, not to mention Auschwitz – but today sadism is the individual exception rather than the societal rule. Systematizing it in culture is anathema. With the exception of warfare, elites that set trends and values, religious authorities, educators, media and politicians, never endorse sadism.

 

The leaders of Palestinian culture do. As Gaza’s Sheikh Muhammad Sallah put it, “My brother in the West Bank: Stab! My brother is the West Bank: Stab the myths of the Talmud in their minds! My brother in the West Bank: Stab the myths about the temple in their hearts!” This merely operationalized Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas’ dehumanizing call to arms: “Al-Aksa is ours and so is the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. They have no right to desecrate them with their filthy feet. We won’t allow them to do so and we will do whatever we can to defend Jerusalem.” To these we may add generations of Fatah newspapers, Hamas summer camps, Friday sermons, children’s TV characters like Nahoul the bee, and much more.

 

Individual Palestinians of course are disgusted by kidnapping and murder, by rocket attacks and inevitable retaliation. But few speak out for fear of ostracism and violence. Palestinian culture as a whole rejects empathy with Israelis as deviance. Why the inability to feel a human connection with Jews and Israelis? One explanation is that their experience at the hands of Israelis is so uniquely terrible that however Palestinians respond is logical and virtuous. In this narrative dispossession and ‘occupation’ legitimize Palestinian violence, which is not really violence at all but ‘ legitimate resistance’ by victims par excellence.

 

But the fetish of ‘resistance’ and victimhood leads to another notable Palestinian cultural trait, masochism. The ideology of steadfastness and resistance has long celebrated Palestinian ability to endure pain, much of which it creates itself. Decades of theatrical – and individual – violence necessarily and by design provoked Israeli responses. At every step potential gains were secondary to inflicting real and psychological pain on Israeli civilians and the political-cultural goal of ‘publicizing the Palestinian cause.’ Israeli counterattacks were used to rally support, quash peaceful voices, and cement the reign of the PLO and then Hamas. Retaliation was demanded and then reveled in, amidst blood and ashes, reinforcing the self-perception of Palestinian victimhood.

 

The goal of Hamas’s rocket campaign of 2014 was sadistic, random destruction, but the construction of an entire battlespace within and below Gaza’s civilian population was deeply masochistic. Tunnels connected homes, clinics and schools in order to be tactically useful for fighting and strategically useful when destroyed. The population was not merely a human shield for Hamas, but a line of defense that Hamas knew would be destroyed. When tunnel entrances are behind someone’s kitchen sink, to what extent were Gaza’s civilians were also aware of Hamas’s strategy? They became, willingly and not, human sandbags.

 

Conventional terrorism has a group context that rationalizes violence and states ‘we are the resistance.’ Today’s interpersonal violence manifests culture at the individual level, where sadism and masochism are no longer political but supremely personal. They appear unmoored from notions of cause and effect that motivate political violence like hostage taking or even bombings, designed to provoke fear and specific actions like freeing prisoners.

 

Masochism has effects beyond dead civilians and the desired international condemnation. It demands that Palestinian society be dragged by the violence of the street, by factions and ‘rogue cells,’ whose unauthorized and untimely violence must be endorsed lest resistance be ‘betrayed.’ The deepest ‘cycle of violence’ is the individual who invites punishment for the whole, which must then be endorsed and endured.

 

The masochism of the current stabbing campaign is apparent, since any rational analysis based on experience would conclude that Israelis will suffer but Palestinians will ultimately suffer more. But against this is something else, captured neatly in Hamas’ preaching “Killing Jews is worship that draws us close to Allah.” Here is a religious appeal to a higher reality that cannot be refuted by logic or experience. Masochism is an avenue to salvation, transforming murderers into heavenly beings…

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

                                                           

                                                                       

Contents                                                                                      

   

ISIS FIRES UP PALESTINIANS                                                                                          

Bassam Tawil

Gatestone Institute, Oct. 19, 2015

 

By now, it has become clear that our young Palestinian men and women have learned a lot from the Islamic State (ISIS) terror group. This new "intifada" that some Palestinians are now waging against Israel should be seen in the context of the wider jihad that is being waged by the Islamic State, Hamas, Islamic Jihad, Boko Haram and Al-Qaeda against the "infidels, Zionists, apostates, Crusaders" and against non-extremist Muslims. The tactics employed by Palestinian youths over the past two weeks show that they are doing their utmost to copy the crimes and atrocities committed by the Islamic State in Syria, Iraq, Libya and other Arab countries.

 

Although the Islamic State is not physically present in the West Bank or Jerusalem (largely thanks to the efforts of the Israel Defense Forces and other Israeli security agencies), there is no denying that its spirit and ideology are hovering over the heads of many of our young men and women.  The current wave of stabbings of Jews in Israel and the West Bank is an attempt to imitate Islamic State terrorists who have been using knives to behead many Muslims and non-Muslims during the past two years.

 

Like the Islamic State, many of the Palestinian terrorists who recently stabbed Jews saw themselves as jihadis acting in the name of Allah, the Quran and the Prophet Mohammed. This was evident by the Palestinian terrorists' cries of "Allahu Akbar!" ["Allah is Greater!"] as they pounced on their victims. Our young men and women must have been watching too many videos of Islamic State jihadis shouting "Allahu Akbar!" as they beheaded or burned their victims.

 

The stabbing attacks that were carried out in the past two weeks were actually attempts to slit the throats of Jews, regardless of their age and gender. In most instances, the terrorists were aiming for the upper part of the body, focusing on the victims' throats and necks. The Palestinian terrorists are now trying to replace Islamic State jihadis as the chief "butchers" of human beings in the Middle East. For now, they seem to be partially successful in their mission.

 

Our young men and women have learned from the Islamic State not only the practice of stabbing the "infidels," but also how to destroy religious sites. On Thursday night, scores of Palestinians attacked and torched Joseph's Tomb in the West Bank city of Nablus, in scenes reminiscent of the Islamic State's destruction of ancient and holy sites in Syria and Iraq. The shrine was set on fire for no reason other than that it is revered as the tomb of a Jewish biblical figure. This is a site frequented by Jewish worshippers, although it is under the control of the Palestinian Authority (PA) and its security forces in Nablus. It is worth noting that agreements signed between Israel and the Palestinians guarantee access for Jewish worshippers to Joseph's Tomb, and there were assurances to the Israelis that the PA could be trusted to safeguard the site.

 

What the Palestinians did to Joseph's Tomb is no different from what the Islamic State and other terrorist groups have been doing to holy sites and archaeological sites in Syria and Iraq. The Palestinians who attacked Joseph's Tomb were obviously influenced by the crimes of the Islamic State against religious and ancient sites. What is still not clear is why the Palestinian Authority security forces, which maintain a tight grip on Nablus, did nothing to prevent the arson attack. How can our leaders in Ramallah accuse Jews of "contaminating" the Aqsa Mosque with their "filthy feet" at a time when our youths burn a religious site such as Joseph's Tomb?

 

This is not the only Jewish holy site that has been targeted by Palestinians in recent years. While our leaders are screaming day and night about Jews "invading" and "desecrating" the Aqsa Mosque, Palestinians from Bethlehem have been throwing stones, petrol bombs and explosive devices at Rachel's Tomb near the city. This has been going on for several years now, in an attempt to kill Jewish worshippers and the Israeli soldiers guarding Rachel's Tomb.The attacks on Joseph's and Rachel's Tombs in Nablus and Bethlehem are part of a Palestinian-Islamic campaign to destroy Jewish holy sites and deny any Jewish link to the land. The attacks are an attempt to rewrite history so that Jews will not be able to claim any religious ties to the land. This is exactly what the Islamic State is doing these days in Syria and Iraq: "erasing history that lets us to learn from the past."…

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

                                                                       

Contents                                                                                      

   

AN OPEN LETTER TO THE WORLD                                                                                         

Paula Stern

Jewish Press, Oct. 15, 2015

 

In the last few days, as Israel has been hit with a wave of terror, I’ve started to write many times and each time, was only able to capture a fraction of what is on my mind and in my heart. To some extent, feelings are so fleeting, despair so deep, that you realize you can’t capture it and you give up. In each half-finished post (or less or more), there is an element I want to share…and then, I get to a point and realize I can’t. I can’t really explain. I have another thought and so am starting that post but rather than let all these go…I’m going to publish them as they are…unfinished, unedited…unsure. Here’s one:

 

Dear World, This morning, a Palestinian woman blew herself up on the road that goes past my city and into Jerusalem. Her goal was to get herself to downtown Jerusalem (where I work daily) where tens of thousands of people shop and work and kill as many Israelis/Jews as possible. She was stopped with the help of God and an alert policeman from my city.

 

For many days now, you have ignored the ongoing wave of terror directed at Israelis. You have ignored the murder of parents, the orphaning of children. You do not see the violence, the stabbings, the terror, the stoning attacks and the fireworks used as weapons to attack innocent people who are just trying to live their lives and hold on to some level of normalcy. The anger we have here boils inside – partly for what is being done here; partly for the Palestinians attempt to twist the facts to claim WE are guilty. A 19-year old stabs a 15 year old…an innocent, unarmed 15 year old waiting for a train…quick acting security manage to shoot and kill the 19 year old before he can kill the 15 year old or anyone else…and Abu Mazen mourns for the 19 year old terrorist/murderer.

 

A 13 year old Palestinian critically stabbed a 13 year old Jewish boy – and the Palestinians run to the world and complain about the Palestinian 13 year old murderer who was neutralized. And the other part is that you, the world, are stupid enough and deaf enough to accept the Palestinians at their word and speak of Jews and Arabs at war and Israel and the Palestinians needing to calm down. Would you calm down if your child was stabbed simply for being in the street waiting for a bus or a train?

 

Wake up…I would say before it is too late, but I’ve been on the streets of London and Amsterdam – it’s already too late. Europe is dying. As amazing as that sounds, it is the truth. You are about to lose your identity, your enlightenment. Wait, this wave of terror we are experiencing…it’s coming your way.

 

Contents                                                                                                                                               

On Topic

 

Arabs Set Fire to Joseph’s Tomb in Shechem, Pushed Back by PA Police: Jewish Press, Oct. 16, 2015—Several hundred Palestinian Authority Arabs Thursday night set fire to parts of the Joseph’s Tomb compound in the site of biblical Shechem, using firebombs. Palestinian police removed the rioters and put out the fire.

Fatah’s ‘Symphony of Love’ for Jerusalem on Twitter: Hana Levi Julian, Jewish Press, Oct. 15, 2015 —As Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas proclaims the wish of his people for “peace,” the PA’s leading Fatah faction sings a very different song.

Only Four NGOs Condemn Anti-Israeli Violence, Others Focus on Israeli ‘Unlawful Killing’: Jewish Press, Oct. 15, 2015—Only B’Tselem, Rabbis for Human Rights, New Israel Fund (NIF), and Human Rights Watch (HRW) were quick to condemn the attack against Israeli civilians, according to an NGO Monitor report this week.

Israel Must Deport the PLO: Daniel Greenfield, Sultan Knish, Oct. 17, 2015 —The only reason the 80-year-old dictator of the PLO has a new $13 million palace, even while claiming to be short of funds, a $100 million bank account and a 1,000 member presidential guard is because of the same agreement with Israel that he just disavowed.

 

 

Manfred Gerstenfeld & Jamie Berk: DEMONIZING ISRAEL WITH FALSE MORAL EQUIVALENCE

 

 

 

Rhetoric plays a major role in the demonization process of Israel. Besides the use of lies, the dissemination of false arguments is prevalent among the major demonization techniques.[1] It is thus important that those who publicly defend Israel are trained to see through such tactics. One prominent technique used against Israel is false moral equivalence. It is based on the deceitful claim that there is no difference between two greatly dissimilar actions.

 

Comparisons by nature easily lend themselves to abuse. Examples abound and only some of the most frequent ones can be mentioned here. Several go beyond the realm of common sense. A prominent one is the perverse claim that Israel’s behavior is equivalent to that of Nazi Germany or the Nazis. This example of false moral equivalence is widespread throughout Europe. Five studies covering nine European countries show that about 40% of Europeans think that Israel is a Nazi state.[2] [3] [4] Another version of this falsehood is that Israel is exterminating the Palestinians. This is also widespread as found in European polls.[5] [6]

 

Yet another variant of this false comparison is that “Zionism is fascism.” When speaking at the Fifth Alliance of Civilizations Forum in Vienna in February 2013, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayipp Erdogan stated, “Just like Zionism, anti-Semitism and fascism, it becomes unavoidable that Islamophobia must be regarded as a crime against humanity.”[7] This statement was immediately criticized by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon, and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

 

Since false comparisons are so easily made, a great variety of them are used against Israel. The false moral equivalence of Zionism and racism was a tactic created by the Soviet Union to justify its refusal to condemn anti-Semitism. This political strategy was initially used in an attempt to expel Israel from the United Nations in the 1960s. Although it failed, the Soviet Union, its satellite states and its Arab allies eventually succeeded in 1975 in passing UN resolution 3379. It determined that “Zionism is a form of racism and racial discrimination.”[8]

 

Yet another example of false moral equivalence frequently used to demonize Israel is labelling Israel an apartheid state. Former U.S president Jimmy Carter is among those who made this false comparison in the title of his 2006 book, Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid.

 

Israeli left-wing journalist Benjamin Pogrund’s book, Drawing Fire has as its subtitle Investigating the Accusations of Apartheid in Israel. The author says in a personal note in the book:

 

I was treated for stomach cancer at one of Israel’s leading hospitals, Hadassah Mt Scopus in Jerusalem. The surgeon (he was the head surgeon) was Jewish, the anesthetist was Arab. The doctors and nurses who cared for me were Jews and Arabs. During four and a half weeks as a patient, I watched Arab and Jewish patients get the same devoted treatment. A year or so later, the head surgeon retired; he was replaced by a doctor who is an Arab. Since then, I’ve been in hospital clinics and emergency rooms. Everything is the same for everyone. Israel is like apartheid South Africa? Ridiculous.[9]

 

Another popular false moral equivalence used is the idea that Israel represents a colonial power in the Middle East. Historian Richard Landes exposed the hypocrisy of this moral equivalence. He wrote about the benign nature of Zionist settlements in Ottoman and British Palestine, sharply contrasting from the imperial aspirations of European powers at the time. “Rather than arrive as zero-sum military victors, the Zionists arrived as positive-sum neighbors.”[10]

 

Yet another use of false moral equivalence is comparing the Holocaust to the Naqba. Many have adopted this false moral equivalence. The Holocaust and Naqba are far from similar, however. The Holocaust was a planned genocide of industrial extermination. The Palestinian Naqba was a direct result of the refusal of Palestinians to accept the existence of Israel, which led to their major military defeat.

 

Another category of moral equivalence implies that the intended murder of innocent civilians is equivalent to the accidental deaths of civilians in military actions. In March 2012, European Union Foreign Policy Chief Catherine Ashton compared the deaths of innocent people like the Jewish children killed in Toulouse, France by serial killers and brutal dictators, like Syria’s Bashar al-Assad, to the accidental deaths of civilians due to Israeli retaliatory actions in Gaza. Justice Minister Tzipi Livni reacted by saying, “There is no similarity between an act of hatred or a leader killing members of his nation and a country fighting terror, even if civilians are harmed."[11]

 

Many so-called humanitarian NGOs are frequent abusers of false moral equivalence. Even when writing brief statements about the human rights violations imposed upon Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit when he was kidnapped and imprisoned by Hamas terrorists for over five years, the reports by Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch chose to bring attention to the false moral equivalence of a kidnapped Shalit and the convicted Palestinian terrorists sentenced by the courts to Israeli jails.[12] These false moral equivalencies between the Israeli imprisonment of terrorists and Palestinian kidnappings are far from the truth. Says American lawyer Alan Dershowitz,

 

“Every single prisoner held by Israel has judicial review available to him or her and some have won release. Every one of them has access to Red Cross visitation, can communicate with family, and has a known whereabout. Kidnapped Israeli soldiers on the other hand are kept incommunicado by criminal elements, are routinely tortured, often murdered, (as occurred recently) and have no access to the Red Cross or judicial review. Moreover, the prisoners being held by Israel are terrorists—that is, unlawful combatants. Many are murderers who have been convicted and sentenced in accordance with due process. The “women” and “children” are guilty of having murdered or attempted to murder innocent babies and other non-combatants. The soldiers who were kidnapped are lawful combatants subject to prisoner of war status.”

 

Dershowitz mentioned that Hamas or Hezbollah would not treat the Israeli soldiers in the same manner that Israel treats its prisoners, because “they are terrorist organizations who do not operation within the rule of the law.”[13]

 

Many more false moral equivalences can be mentioned. Israel’s public defenders and diplomats have, for the most part, not been trained to recognize and systematically fight against abusive moral equivalence. The damage caused by these demonization tactics should be addressed and dealt with by those who are in the public eye. The same is true for other false arguments that are frequently used, such as sentimental appeals, double standards and scapegoating. Failing to combat false moral equivalence is one of the many Israeli shortcomings in the war of words to which its government authorities should give far more serious attention.[14]



[1] “Some Informal Argument Fallacies,” University of North Carolina. http://www.unc.edu/~tparent/fallacies.htm

[2] Wilhelm Heitmeyer (red),  Deutsche Zustände. Folge 3, (Frankfurt am Main: Suhrkamp, 2005.) 151. [German]

[3] “In Norway, 38% believe Israel treats Palestinians like how Nazis treated Jews, survey shows,” Haaretz, 14 June 2012.

[4] “Zusammenfassung zentraler Ergebnisse,” Frederich Ebert Stiftung and Bielefeld University, November 20, 2014, 5. (German)

 

[5] “Kritik an Israel nicht deckungsgleich mit antisemitischen Haltungen,” GFS Bern, March 2007. [German]

[6] “Intolerance, Prejudice, and Discrimination: A European Report,” FES Projekt Gegen Rechts and Frederich Ebert Stiftung Forum Berlin, 2011. 

[7] “Erdogan: Zionism is a crime against humanity,”YNet, 28 February 2013.

[8] 3379 (XXX). World conference to combat racism and racial discrimination,” United Nations, 10 November 1975.

[9] Benjamin Pogrund, Drawing Fire (London: Rowman & Littlefield, 2014), 152.

 

[10] Richard Landes, “1948-2008 Part I: The Sad Story of the Nakba,” The Augean Stables, 8 May 2008.

[11] JPost.com Staff, “Israel to Ashton: Retract Toulouse-Gaza comparison,” The Jerusalem Post, 20 March 2013.

[12] "Israel-Hamas prisoner swap casts harsh light on detention practices of all sides," Amnesty International, 18 October 2011. See also: "Gaza: Allow Access to Gilad Shalit," Human Rights Watch, 25 June 2010.

[13] Alan Dershowitz, “The Anti-Israel Double Standard Watch,” The Huffington Post, 14 July 2006.

[14] Manfred Gerstenfeld, “How to efficiently fight anti-Israel propaganda?,” The Jerusalem Post, 25 November 2014.

 

Asaf Romirowsky: The Real Palestinian Refugee Crisis

Perhaps the most insurmountable and explosive issue in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is the so-called “right of return”—the demand that millions of Palestinians must be allowed to “return” to the State of Israel under any peace agreement. While Israel has made clear that it cannot agree to this, since it would effectively destroy Israel as a Jewish state, the Palestinians have steadfastly refused to compromise on the issue. This has made the “right of return” the primary obstacle to any peace agreement.

 

Despite the latest round of peace talks, there is little sign that the Palestinians are willing to change their stance. Indeed, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has unequivocally stated, “Let me put it simply: the right of return is a personal decision. What does this mean? That neither the PA, nor the state, nor the PLO, nor Abu Mazen [Abbas’ nom de guerre], nor any Palestinian or Arab leader has the right to deprive someone from his right to return.” Abbas is by no means alone in this. In fact, whenever it appears that Abbas might waver, the reaction tends to be swift and ferocious.

 

At one point, for example, Ali Huwaidi, director of the Palestinian Organization for the Right of Return (“Thabit”) in Beirut, lashed out at Abbas, saying, Regardless of Abbas’ statements, the right of return is guaranteed, individually and collectively, through UN resolutions. The refugees will not give up their right no matter where they are living today. Abbas is worried about flooding Israel with five million refugees while Israel has brought one million people from the former Soviet Union and no one complained about this. Our refugees will not accept any alternative to their right to return to their homeland and we do not care what Abbas’ position is.

But how many actual refugees are there? Surely over the years, many of those displaced have passed away, and such status does not normally transfer from generation to generation.

The issue is so emotive because, in many ways, Palestinian identity itself is embodied in the collective belief in a “right of return” to “Palestine.” Along with the belief that resistance to Israel is permanent and holy, Palestinian identity is largely based on the idea that the Palestinians are, individually and communally, refugees; that they have been made so by Israel; and that the United Nations should support these refugees until they can return to what is now Israel.

 

This belief is passionately safeguarded by the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA). The organization was established in 1949 following the failure of the Arab war against Israel’s independence, and its original mandate was to provide services to the approximately 650,000 Arabs displaced by the conflict. Today, it is essentially a massive social welfare system serving millions of Palestinians, primarily in the West Bank, Lebanon, Syria, and Jordan. At the same time, its activities go well beyond simple humanitarianism. It plays a distinctly political role in Palestinian society, working to further the cause of Palestinian nationalism through politicized education, activism, anti-Israel propaganda, and other activities.

 

In effect, UNRWA has come to depend on the refugee problem itself. While the refugees benefit from its services, the organization benefits even more from the refugees. They are, of course, the organization’s raison d’être. UNRWA has no incentive whatsoever to resolve the Palestinian refugee problem, since doing so would render it obsolete. As a result, the agency not only perpetuates the refugee problem, but has, in many ways, exacerbated it. In doing so, it has made Israeli-Palestinian peace all but impossible.

UNRWA’s role in perpetuating and even expanding the refugee problem is a complex one; but, more than anything else, it is the result of the agency’s own definition of a Palestinian refugee—which is unique in world history. The standard definition of a refugee, which applies in every case except that of the Palestinians, includes only those actually displaced in any given conflict. UNRWA has defined a Palestinian refugee as anyone whose “normal place of residence was Palestine during the period 1 June 1946 to 15 May 1948 and who lost both home and means of livelihood as a result of the 1948 conflict.” But it has also continually expanded this definition, now stating “the children or grandchildren of such refugees are eligible for agency assistance if they are (a) registered with UNRWA, (b) living in the area of UNRWA’s operations, and (c) in need.”

 

As a result, the number of official Palestinian refugees—according to UNRWA— has expanded almost to the point of absurdity. The best estimates are that perhaps 650,000 Palestinians became refugees in 1948-1949; but UNRWA now defines virtually every Palestinian born since that time as a refugee. That number now reaches well into the millions. This is quite simply unprecedented. In no other case has refugee status been expanded to include subsequent generations over a period of decades.

 

UNRWA’s involvement in Palestinian society is equally unique. Its role there has expanded from simple refugee relief to one of the most important and influential Palestinian institutions. In particular, the agency now employs nearly 30,000 people, most of whom are Palestinian. This makes UNRWA the single largest employer in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, and indispensable to the Palestinian economy. As such, there is a strong economic incentive to keep the prosperous organization afloat.

 

It cannot be said that the agency is ungenerous to its subjects. When the world hears words like “refugees” and “refugee camps,” it instinctively pictures desperate people living in tents or shantytowns. This generates automatic sympathy and financial support for organizations like UNRWA, which regularly receives monetary contributions amounting to millions of dollars. All this is due to the belief that these funds provide humanitarian aid and help with the assimilation of Palestinian refugees. In many cases, the reality is entirely different. UNRWA-administered refugee camps are often fully-functioning suburbs of Palestinian cities, with water, electricity, and even satellite television.

 

UNRWA’s role as a jobs machine and a pillar of the Palestinian economy has led to institutional bloat on a huge scale. Its 30,000 employees, for example, dwarf the approximately 5,000 who work for the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), whose remit is the rest of the entire world. The UNHCR mandate, moreover, is clearly focused on the resettlement and rehabilitation of refugees, not on providing services that maintain the status quo. The role played by economic incentives in these organizations is very telling. While UNHCR—forbidden by its mandate to work with Palestinians—has worked to decrease the number of refugees in the world, UNRWA has worked to increase the number of Palestinian refugees, prolonging and exacerbating the problem rather than solving it.

 

The result of this over-60-year-long process is that incentives for the refugees to resettle in Arab countries or elsewhere are minimal, and practically none exist for UNRWA to end its operations. UNRWA states that the Palestinians are an occupied people, and will remain so until the General Assembly declares an end to the conflict; so as long as the Palestinians are refugees, UNRWA is in business. The minute they are not, it disappears.

UNRWA’s flaws have not gone unnoticed, even by members of the organization itself. Indeed, the most important critique to appear in recent years was that of James Lindsay, a former legal advisor and general counsel to the organization. Lindsay worked for UNRWA from 2000-2007 and, after leaving, produced a 2009 monograph for the Washington Institute for Near East Policy that caused a firestorm.

 

Lindsay concluded to much controversy that “the vast majority of UNRWA’s registered refugees have already been ‘resettled’ (or, to use the UN euphemism, ‘reintegrated’),” and that the “only thing preventing citizens from ceasing to be ‘refugees’ is UNRWA’s singular definition of what constitutes a refugee.” Accordingly, Lindsay recommended that UNRWA responsibilities be handed over to Jordan. He acknowledged that legal restrictions on Palestinians being resettled in Syria and Lebanon were difficult, but not impossible to overcome given time and effort.

 

He also recommended that UNRWA move to a need-based model:
Some might question whether scarce international aid should be used to fund relatively sophisticated programs for Palestinians—not just education and health care, but also microfinance, urban planning, and so forth—rather than, say, food for starving Africans in places like Darfur. Even putting that question aside, why should such services be provided for free to those who can afford to contribute at least a portion of the cost?

Finally, Lindsay suggested that the United States “urge UNRWA to limit its public pronouncements to humanitarian issues and leave political speeches to the political echelons of the United Nations.”

 

Lindsay’s fairly modest suggestions for reform were not well-received by the organization and its supporters. A press release issued by Andrew Whitley, director of the UNRWA representative office at United Nations headquarters in New York, said, “The agency is disappointed by the findings of the study, found it to be tendentious and partial, and regrets in particular the narrow range of sources used.” It added, “The study ignores the context in which UNRWA operates and the tight line the agency walks due to various pressures…. Someone reading this paper with no background would assume that the Israeli government was a benign actor. No mention is made of the occupation of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.”

 

Responses from other UNRWA officials were equally harsh. Chris Gunness, UNRWA’s spokesman in Jerusalem, said that Lindsay “makes selective use of source material and fails to paint a truthful portrait of UNRWA and its operations today.” John Ging, head of UNRWA operations in Gaza, attempted to deflect Lindsay’s criticism of negative depictions of Israel and Jews in UNRWA textbooks. In effect, he blamed the Palestinian Authority for the problem, saying Lindsay had “no basis to say that it is UNRWA’s decision because our mandate is given to us. I agree that it is a political failure, but we don’t set up the mandate, we are only the implementers.” This echoed previous UNRWA responses to similar evidence as far back as the late 1960s.

 

Critiques like Lindsay’s have had some political effect, but attempts at forcing institutional reform have tended to be undertaken piecemeal, rather than tackling the overall problem. Since the 1960s, for example, American lawmakers have tended to focus specifically on one of UNRWA’s darkest legacies: Its relationship with terrorism. As far back as Section 301(c) of the 1961 Foreign Assistance Act (P.L. 87-195), as amended, Congress decreed,
No contributions by the United States shall be made to [UNRWA] except on the condition that [UNRWA] take[s] all possible measures to assure that no part of the United States contribution shall be used to furnish assistance to any refugee who is receiving military training as a member of the so-called Palestine Liberation Army or any other guerrilla type organization or who has engaged in any act of terrorism.

 

This was certainly an important issue. Unfortunately, UNRWA’s relationship with Palestinian terrorism has been a long one, particularly after the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) achieved both international political status and practical authority over the UNRWA refugee camps. Through agreements with the government of Lebanon in 1969 and its eventual UN status as a formal observer, the PLO gained a quasi-governmental role in local and international Palestinian affairs. In his article, “UNRWA and the Palestinian Nation-Building Process,” Jalal al-Husseini wrote that the PLO soon began using UNRWA facilities as terrorist bases.

This continues to be a problem today. Lindsay himself noted, UNRWA has taken very few steps to detect and eliminate terrorists from the ranks of its staff or its beneficiaries, and no steps at all to prevent members of terrorist organizations, such as Hamas, from joining its staff. These failings have occurred not because UNRWA consciously supports terrorism, but rather because it is not particularly concerned about the issue, its main focus being the provision of services and protection of Palestinian refugees.

 

The American government has not ignored this issue. Since the 1970s, a number of Congressional resolutions have sought to limit or cut off funding to UNRWA; and Congress regularly introduces language into appropriations bills requiring UNRWA to promote transparency, self-policing, and accountability with regard to vetting employees for terrorist connections, as well as eliminating the promotion of terrorism in educational materials. Similar provisions are regularly written into United States Agency for International Development budgets—administered by the State Department—in regard to the Palestinian Authority.

High-ranking members of Congress have also taken the problem up directly with the UN. In 2002, for example, a letter from U.S. Representative Tom Lantos—then the ranking Democrat on the House International Relations Committee—to then-UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan, complained, “UNRWA officials have not only failed to prevent their camps from becoming centers of terrorist activity, but have also failed to report these developments to you.” Annan simply replied, “The United Nations has no responsibility for security matters in refugee camps, or indeed anywhere else in the occupied territory.”

 

Perversely, UNRWA now claims to have solved the problem by checking its employees against watch lists of al-Qaeda and Taliban suspects; yet it remains unwilling to use lists of Hamas, Hezbollah, or other Palestinian terrorist groups provided by Israel. There seems to be a good reason for this. Rashid Khalidi, the Edward Said Professor of Arab Studies at Columbia University—and a ferocious advocate of the Palestinian cause—has written,
Humanitarian and charitable institutions throughout Palestine employ personnel regardless of sectarian or political affiliation and offer services on a similar basis. Thus, UNRWA, NGO-run and public hospitals and clinics, for example, employ members of different political groups such as Fatah, the PFLP [Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine], Hamas, and Islamic Jihad, without reference to their belonging to a specific group.

 

A serious obstacle to effective action on the issue is that Congressional stipulations are regularly circumvented by presidential waiver, in which the president decrees that continuing aid to UNRWA and other Palestinian entities is in the national security interest of the United States, regardless of terrorist connections or structural concerns.

 

But this may no longer be enough. As pointed out in Congressional Research Service Report RS40101, concerns about UNRWA-connected terrorism have increased dramatically since the Hamas takeover of the Gaza Strip in 2007. It seems likely that, with the recent unity agreement between Hamas and Fatah, these concerns will only increase. Indeed, as U.S. funding of Palestinian institutions has escalated in recent decades, American lawmakers have repeatedly questioned members of the executive branch about possible diversion of U.S. funds to terrorism and the presence of terrorists in U.S.-funded entities.

 

As a result, Congress has taken several initiatives to hold UNRWA accountable. In 2009, Congressmen Mark Kirk and Steve Rothman introduced provisions for UNRWA accountability into relevant appropriations bills. They called for transparency and responsibility, and sought to ensure that the monies UNRWA receives do not fund terrorism in any way. This would finally have brought UNRWA funding into compliance with the 1961 Foreign Assistance Act. The bill also underscored the need to evaluate textbooks used in UNRWA schools in order to ascertain that they do not contain “inflammatory and inaccurate information about the United States and the State of Israel, anti-Semitic teaching, as well as the glorification of terrorists.” The amendment died in committee. In the five years since, direct U.S. funding of UNRWA has only increased.

 

A new proposal from now-Senator Kirk, however, might go a long way toward bringing about real reform; in particular, because it goes well beyond the specific issue of terrorism. It proposes a more precise definition of refugee status, to be specified in a Memorandum of Understanding with UNRWA. Under the proposal, if UNRWA wishes to continue receiving American aid, it would have to agree that “a Palestinian refugee is defined as a person whose place of residence was Palestine between June 1946 and May 1948, who was personally displaced as a result of the 1948 or 1967 Arab-Israeli conflicts, who currently does not reside in the West Bank or Gaza, and who is not a citizen of any other state.”

 

This would mean that only those displaced by war could be considered refugees, and the status would no longer be heritable, bringing UNRWA into compliance with the international definition of refugee status. The amendment would also require the Secretary of State to report to Congress about the notoriously slippery number of refugees and the measures being taken to enforce the new definition (this wouldn’t necessarily mean that those accurately classified as refugees would be the only ones eligible for UNRWA services). There is no doubt that, while it would not solve all of UNRWA’s problems, it would be an excellent start.

For over six decades, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East has been a unique and uniquely troubled institution. It has unilaterally redefined the international definition of a refugee, expanded its mandate to include the construction of a massive social welfare and employment system, made itself the basis of at least one economy and an essential part of another, and allowed itself to become part of several terrorist movements, some dedicated to the destruction of a UN member state. Rather than being part of any conceivable solution, in other words, UNRWA sustains the problem it was supposed to help solve.

 

But more than anything else, UNRWA is the institutional foundation of one of the most persistent obstacles to peace in the Middle East. In its relentless defense of its own unique definition of a Palestinian refugee and its complete refusal to reconsider its demand for the “right of return,” it buttresses and perpetuates the Palestinians’ eternal sense of victimhood and the refugees’ narrative. This narrative accepts no responsibility whatsoever for the refugee problem, blaming it entirely on Israel, regardless of the decisions and actions of Palestinians and their leaders. Due to its economic and institutional interests in doing so, UNRWA must continue to maintain and even expand the refugee problem until the refugees’ complete and total repatriation and compensation. This demand for the “right of return” is clear and absolute and has not changed to this day. Over and over again, it has torpedoed any possibility of an agreement between Israel and the Palestinians.

 

It seems clear that the UN erred when it created a UN institution devoted exclusively to one population, with a policy and structure in contradiction to those of all similar institutions. This mistake, however, can be rectified.

 

The simplest solution would be to eliminate UNRWA and immediately subordinate all its agencies to the UN High Council on Refugees. This would be equitable and efficient–but since the prospects of such a decision being effected by the UN are slim to none, it is probably more sensible to look for solutions that can be implemented directly by the United States.

Enacting Congressional demands for greater accountability and, especially, bringing UNRWA’s refugee policies into line with those of the rest of the world, would be essential steps toward meaningful reform. At the same time, we must strive to decrease UNRWA’s hold on Palestinian society. The services UNRWA currently provides should be slowly handed over to parallel agencies within the UN, which already provide these services to others, but which have no financial or political interests in perpetuating the problem. In particular, the ultimate goal should be to wean the Palestinians off UNRWA’s largesse completely, and shift the responsibility for providing services and employment to the Palestinian Authority. Doing so would not only be good for the Palestinians, but also for the peace process. It appears that peace cannot be achieved without compromise on the “right of return,” and there can be no such compromise until UNRWA is either substantially reformed or entirely dismantled.

WHITHER THE “WEST BANK”/GAZA: TWO STATE, THREE STATE, EIGHT STATE (EMIRATE) SOLUTIONS?

Download Today's Isranet Daily Briefing.pdf 

 

Contents:                          

 

 

(Please Note: articles may have been shortened in the interest of space. Please click link for the complete article – Ed.)

 

Thoughts on Israeli-Palestinian conflict: Part II: Barry Shaw, Jerusalem Post, Dec. 13, 2012

Palestine was a desolate, barely inhabited, backwater of the Ottoman Empire until the Mandate, the British and the Zionist movement that led to the creation of the State of Israel, brought it back to life.

 

What’s Really Going on in Gaza?: Dr. Mordechai Kedar, Jewish Press, March 16th, 2012—A week of missiles was supposed to change the focus of interest in the Middle East from Homs to Gaza, from Syria to Israel, from Assad to Netanyahu. This was the plan of Iran and its few followers in Gaza. But it didn’t succeed, and for the usual reason – the sociological factors of the Middle East.

 

Who Wants a Palestinian State?: Moshe Dann, Jerusalem Post, Nov. 26, 2012—The Palestinian Authority’s moves at the United Nations for recognition of a Palestinian state have raised objections. Since many support the idea, however, including some Israeli politicians, and with little hope for successful negotiations, the PA’s move seems logical.

 

On Topic Links

 

 

Original Thinking: Palestinian Emirates (Part 1): Barry Shaw, Jerusalem Post, Dec. 6, 2012

Moderate Proposals To Stop A Palestinian State: Daniel Tauber, Jerusalem Post, Dec. 11, 2012

The Eight State Solution: Mordechai Kedar, Canadian Institute for Jewish Research, Aug. 2, 2012

Corridor Of Controversy: Nadav Shragai, Jerusalem Post  Dec. 13, 2012

The New Palestinians: Angry Youth Are Proposing A Radical New Paradigm: Prof Menachem Klein, Jerusalem Report, Nov. 19, 2012

Israel Should Let the PA Collapse: Elad Benari, Israel National News, Dec. 2, 2012

 

 

 

 

 

THOUGHTS ON ISRAELI-PALESTINIAN CONFLICT: PART II

Barry Shaw

Jerusalem Post,  Dec. 13, 2012

 

Palestine was a desolate, barely inhabited, backwater of the Ottoman Empire until the Mandate, the British and the Zionist movement that led to the creation of the State of Israel, brought it back to life.

The anthropology of the Arab inhabitants in the disputed territories consisted of pastoral and static tribes or roaming Bedouin tribesmen. They were joined by a flow of Arab immigration from places such as Syria, Egypt, Iraq and Lebanon, attracted by the employment opportunities created by the Zionist enterprise….This is today’s mix in what is called the Palestinian Arab population in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, but the basic original ingredient was the various tribes that still exist today.

 

Those who migrated to this region left behind artificial states that are, today, in conflict and disarray. We see the disintegration of states such as Iraq, Libya and Syria because they have been artificially concocted from rival tribes and ethnicities that are forced to live together, but with a generations-old hatred of one another, in one state under a rulership they do not accept. The Palestinians haven’t even got to that unhappy state yet. Would it, therefore, be wise to create such a mess now?

 

This short series of articles presents the concept and the architecture of the idea of a Palestinian Emirates. The concept leaves the engineering and maintenance to others, such as diplomats, leaders and think tanks, to construct the project. According to Dr. Mordechai Kedar of Bar-Ilan University, and formerly of IDF Military Intelligence, the creation of a series of city states based on traditional and legitimate tribal leadership, rather than an artificial, weak and dysfunctional nation state, is the only solution to the Israeli-Palestinian problem. The basis of successful local leaderships is inherent in its own population.

 

These states can decide their own form of government, make their own laws, educate their own people, and print their own currency if they wish, have their own media, develop their own industry and commerce, or have their people find employment within Israel. The structure gives control and responsibility to the local residents to decide their own future. In time, when a number of independent city states emerge, they can unite in a Palestinian Emirates body, similar in form to the Persian Gulf states. They can work together for their mutual benefit, including in commerce, tourism, security, regulations and other interconnecting interests.

 

Kedar visualizes eight such city states that will contain the majority of the Palestinian Arab population, with freedom of movement between them. They will be interconnected into a federation of Palestinian Emirates, if they wish. It’s in Israel’s interest to foster close cooperation with such city states. The leaders will be dependent on a cooperative neighbor for trade, employment, influence, contact with the outside world and security.

 

For Israel, these city states can be a source of local industry, trade and commerce, as well as be security buffer zones. Instead of the existing West Bank and Gaza blocs of enmity, it will be possible to develop mutually positive relations with these smaller independent entities. Once both sides feel confident and comfortable with the success of the working model, the city states can have their own security and police forces which could be trained and equipped by Israel. Until then they should be guaranteed the protection of Israel to keep them safe from external forces wishing to destroy their quest for independence.

 

Dr. Kedar walked me through the list of local tribes. Tulkarm residents belong to the Karmi tribe. Al-Masri is the leading family in Shechem (Nablus). Barghouti is the Ramallah tribe. Erekat is the ruling family in Jericho. The Jabaris are the prominent tribe in Hebron, although Hebron also has the Abusnena, Qawasme and Natche tribes.

 

Kadar points to Hebron as the perfect place to create the pilot model of a future Palestinian Emirates. Although there are several tribes there, they have coexisted due to the traditional tribal court in which they settle all their differences without the need for a police or security force. The fiercely independent Sheikh Farid al-Jabari has been critical of the Palestinian Authority. He has spoken and written strongly to Mahmoud Abbas, whom he refers to as “the foreigner” due to the fact that Abbas is not from the territories, but from Safed, and has no tribal roots in the area. This traditional environment gives Kedar the key to opening the box to a different future for Arabs living in the territories, and hope for Israel and the world for a better, peaceful world….

 

Each of the emirates could apply to the Israeli government for permits to expand its territory for industrial, commercial, residential or recreational development, just as the Israeli towns and villages apply for building extensions in their areas. Israel would supervise the development of the road and rail systems, water and electricity supplies, to supply the emirates just as they would to the nearby Israeli communities. A patchwork quilt of Palestinian city states and Israeli towns and villages would emerge in the territories, each giving allegiance to their own governing body. There would be coordination and cooperation between the federation of emirates and the Israeli government in a stronger form than the existing coordination between the PA and Israel.

 

Israel would use its influence within the European Union and America to bring foreign aid, development and commerce to each of the cooperating emirates. There would be less waste of funds and easier accountability in the city states than has been the case with the PA. Israel would approve the flow of emirate goods and products to Israeli ports for shipment abroad. Israeli entrepreneurs would be encouraged to partner with Palestinian Emirates businessman in joint ventures. The Israeli government would allow residents from each of the city states to find employment in Israel in preference to the many thousands of foreign laborers who work in our agriculture and on our building sites today.

 

The plan is fraught with dangers. Any chieftain or tribe willing to become an independent entity will be accused of treason by peace killers stubbornly determined to use the Palestinians as cannon fodder in their attempts to eradicate the Jewish State of Israel. It will take courage to declare an intention to attempt a brave new experiment in statehood. That is why the support of the United Arab Emirates may be an essential ingredient in implementing the project.

 

Surely it is to the benefit and credit of the UAE to promote and assist in the replication of their political system for the sake of their Palestinian Arab brethren? It would certainly strengthen their political model in the eyes of the world at a time of turmoil throughout the Middle East.  One thing the Palestinian Emirates concept has going for it is time. Maybe the time isn’t yet ripe, but Middle East conflicts aren’t going away any time soon. More time will be wasted before a death certificate is issued for the body of a dead two-state project, and other ideas will be considered.

 

During that time the seed of the Palestinian Emirates idea can be planted, cultivated and allowed to flower into a sensible solution that has a successful model elsewhere in the region. Just imagine the UAE duplicating its example by adopting the city states project. Just as Western countries adopt twin city projects, perhaps Dubai will twin with the Emirate of Hebron, or Abu Dhabi will adopt Tulkarm, and guide them into a confederation of Palestinian Emirates? Israel need have no fear of such a commitment. On the contrary, this could act to Israel’s benefit.

 

The idea of a Palestinian Emirates must be allowed out into the open to give it breathing space, thinking space, talking space, to allow it to germinate and spread, to be adopted by think tanks and policy-makers so they can assemble the nuts and bolts that will go into the construction of this project….The idea must be advanced cautiously, with discretion, and with courage. It can only succeed when men of influence and vision put their reputation on the line for its success.

 

None is better placed to do so than the rulers of the emirates of the Persian Gulf. They should step forward to raise their unfortunate Palestinian Arab brethren to a brighter future modeled on the framework of their own existence. By offering their best efforts in solving this seemingly impenetrable problem, crafted in their own image, they would elevate their prestige on the world stage. This may sound like wishful thinking, but so is a two-state solution that is going nowhere.

 

The notion of a Palestinian Emirates in no way negates the affirmation of a Palestine as a non-member of the United Nations. This resolution did not refer to a governmental construct of a future Palestine. Neither did it recognize any authority to govern over such an entity, neither for the PA nor for Hamas. The mention of a Palestinian entity within the pre-1967 borders does not negate the concept of a Palestinian Emirates within such boundaries.

 

Respect and honor are part of the Arab DNA. The Palestinian Emirates project should appeal to the local inhabitants because it goes to the heart of who they are, and not to some false narrative concocted by politicians and outsiders they do not respect. It honors their ancient tribal traditions. It gives respect and dignity to the head of each tribe. It respects the political and social system they have known for generations. Once proven, it will give them a better life, a better future for them, for Israel, for the region, and a peaceful resolution to the conflict bringing with it respect and cooperation with its neighbors, including Israel….

 

Barry Shaw is the author of Israel Reclaiming the Narrative. He is also the special consultant on delegitimization issues to The Strategic Dialogue Center at the Netanya Academic College. 

 

Top of Page

 

 

 

 

 

WHAT’S REALLY GOING ON IN GAZA?

Dr. Mordechai Kedar

Jewish Press, March 16, 2012

 

A week of missiles was supposed to change the focus of interest in the Middle East from Homs to Gaza, from Syria to Israel, from Assad to Netanyahu. This was the plan of Iran and its few followers in Gaza. But it didn’t succeed, and for the usual reason – the sociological factors of the Middle East.

 

I have emphasized again and again the dominance of tribalism within Middle Eastern culture, and the important role played by traditional frameworks of relationship – such as ethnic, tribal, religious, sectarian – in private as well as in communal life. I downplay the influence of foreign ideologies that have been imported from Europe, from communism to democracy, and from nationalism to liberalism, which have all failed in the effort to formulate a culture of public domain in the Middle East. Dictatorship is the practical expression of the failure of these ideologies.

 

What remains is only the person, together with his family, extended family, clan, and tribe. This is the only thing which is real, alive and kicking, that functions as it always has, and the only framework that is capable of bestowing on an individual identity, a sense of belonging, a livelihood, and physical defense and security.

 

One of the foundation stones of tribal culture is the antagonism between the tribe and the modern state, a state which was imposed upon the tribe by foreign colonialism and its local derivatives. States have always tried to impose themselves upon the individual and upon the tribe; including their symbols, values, laws and leaders, and have tried to substitute these in the hearts of the people instead of those of the tribe, and its symbols, values, leaders, and laws. In Arab societies that have undergone dissolution and turned into more individualistic societies – Egypt and Tunisia for example – the state has succeeded in settling in the hearts of the people, and uprooting the loyalty to the tribe. In the tribal societies of most of the other Arab states, the state is forced to yield part of its sovereignty and to accept the existence and limited authority of the tribe. In order not to confront the tribe, the state compromises and comes to an understanding with the tribe, in an effort to placate its members.

 

The Gaza Strip is no different from the rest of the Arab world, so tribal culture is alive and kicking in the Gaza Strip too. Ever since the Hamas movement took control of Gaza trip in 2007, it has transformed itself from a gang of jihadists into a ruling organization which has a state, government, advisory council, legal system, police, military and economic bodies. Thus, Hamas has turned into a standard Arab state, which is attempting to impose its agenda upon the tribes and the clans that live in the Strip. The State of Hamas serves the interests of the group that leads it, and therefore it is in constant conflict with the tribes and the clans and must reach agreements with them.

 

The minor movements – Islamic Jihad, the PRC (Popular Resistance Committees), the Salah-a-Din Division, the Army of the Nation, the Army of Islam and others – function like tribes, challenging the authority of the state, which is in the hands of Hamas. Today, these groups are doing to Hamas what Hamas did to the PLO twenty years ago when the PLO was in power. The widespread corruption among the top echelons of Hamas strengthens the influence of the small organizations that oppose Hamas. What encourages these organizations is the fact that Hamas has “hung up the gloves” and is trying to reach a calm with Israel. Hamas has not become a Zionist organization, and has not changed its covenant or its sole goal: to eliminate Israel and bring an end to the “occupation” of Jaffa and Acre, not only Hebron and Nablus. However, in the present historic phase it is suspending its battle against Israel in order to establish a state which, when the time comes, will be the basis from which the war of the destruction of Israel will be waged. The small organizations do not accept this suspension of jihad and call Hamas derogatory names such as “The Israeli Border Guard” and the “South Lebanese Army”.

 

From a practical point of view, Hamas is capable of eliminating the organizations, just as it dealt with the Army of Islam, of the Dughmush clan in August of 2008, and as it eliminated Sheikh Abd Al-Latif Moussa’s Islamic Emirate of Jerusalem in cold blood in August of 2009 in a mosque in Rafah, murdering him, his wives and children and 24 followers. As of today, in the year 2012, Hamas refrains from imposing itself on the small organizations by force of arms so that it will not become the “Israeli Border Guard”in the eyes of Gazans, and prefers to come to an agreement with them; to compromise with them and to calm them down….

 

Iran, which would like Gaza to be a constant battlefront, no longer supports Hamas, and has transferred its support to organizations that undermine the hegemony of Hamas in Gaza. Right now, when the world is focused on the slaughter of citizens in Homs, Syria…Iran is encouraging its underling organizations to stoke the fire in Gaza….

 

Israel need not tamper with the Gazan social structure or try to re-engineer the tribal map and its interests. The State of Hamas – with all its problems of terrorism and jihadism – serves the interests of Israel, because it breaks the Palestinian dream into pieces, and also proves to Israelis who are captivated by the dream of peace, that what’s happening now in Gaza may happen again, but in a larger, more dangerous version, in Judea and Samaria, if Israel transfers control of that area to Middle Eastern culture. Many of the Israeli cities of the center are within range of the mortars, the kassams and the missiles that might be launched from the hills of Judea and Samaria. Therefore, Israel must find a solution that will free us from the majority of the Arab population in Judea and Samaria but allow us to remain in the rural areas. The eight-state solution, which is based on the tribes living in the Arab cities in Judea and Samaria is the only solution that is based on the extant social framework of the Middle East, and will provide Israel with security. Not absolute peace, because there is no such thing in the Middle East, but relative peace, that will need some maintenance from time to time. In the Middle East, only the invincible can have peace because only if a group is strong, will the other groups leave it be.

 

Dr. Mordechai Kedar (Ph.D. Bar-Ilan U.) Served for 25 years in IDF Military Intelligence specializing in Arab political discourse, Arab mass media, Islamic groups and the Syrian domestic arena. A lecturer in Arabic at Bar-Ilan U., he is also an expert on Israeli Arabs.

 

Top of Page

 

 

 

 

 

WHO WANTS A PALESTINIAN STATE?

Moshe Dann

Jerusalem Post, Nov. 26, 2012

 

The Palestinian Authority’s moves at the United Nations for recognition of a Palestinian state have raised objections. Since many support the idea, however, including some Israeli politicians, and with little hope for successful negotiations, the PA’s move seems logical. They can continue to attack Israel diplomatically and legally, continue incitement, raise their stature, and avoid recognizing Israel.

 

However, Egypt and Jordan signed peace treaties with Israel, why can’t the Palestinians? Simply put, because Israel’s existence contradicts theirs. Pushing a “peace process” that requires Palestinian Arabs to give up their opposition to a Jewish state, the international community can’t figure out why it doesn’t work. The answer is that the dispute is not over territory; it’s about ideology.

 

Palestinianism, the basis of the Arab/Muslim war against Zionism, the State of Israel as the national historic homeland of the Jewish People, is part of a broad Islamist revolution throughout the world against non-Muslim infidels. Understanding the mission of Islamism explains why efforts to impose a Palestinian state, the “two-state” proposal and the “peace process” are doomed to fail. Palestinians don’t want a state alongside Israel, but one that replaces Israel. The primary goal of Palestinian nationalism is to wipe out the State of Israel, not to permit its existence.

 

Any form of Palestinian statehood, therefore, that accepts Israeli sovereignty in what Muslims believe is their land stolen by Jews, is, by their definition, heretical. That is clear in both the PLO and Hamas Charters and the position of Arab leaders (in Arabic). Palestinianism is not a national identity, but a political construct developed as part of a terrorist agenda when the PLO was formed in 1964. Palestinian identity means the struggle to “liberate Palestine from the Zionists,” not to accept them. An international cause, it bound Arabs and Muslims together, as part of jihad throughout the world.

 

“Two-state” proposals, therefore, with Palestinian statehood alongside Israel as a territorial goal, means the end of Palestinianism and an end to the struggle to eradicate Israel. This explains why no Palestinian leader will agree to surrender to Western and Israeli interests, and why making compromises is anathema. Statehood in only part of Palestine means a denial of the “Nakba” (catastrophe), the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948. It means admitting that everything for which they fought and sacrificed was in vain.

 

Statehood means abandoning millions of Arabs who live in 58 UNRWA-sponsored “refugee camps” in Judea, Samaria, Gaza, Lebanon, Syria and Jordan, and those living throughout the world; they will no longer be considered “refugees.” UNRWA will be out of business. Statehood means “the armed struggle,” the crux of Palestinian identity, is over. It means that the concept of Palestinianism created by the PLO, accepted by much of the international community and the media, the struggle to “liberate Palestine,” is finished, and that their suffering was for naught.

 

Statehood involves taking responsibility – ending incitement and violence, corruption and lawlessness, and building just and transparent institutions, the establishment of a truly democratic government. Accepting Israel means ending the Palestinian revolution, a national betrayal and an Islamic heresy. In this context, for Palestinians and their supporters, the “peace process” is a metaphor for defeat.

 

The PA’s move at the UN is a way to achieve recognition and legitimacy without compromising their opposition to Israel.

 

The author is a PhD historian, writer and journalist living in Jerusalem.

 

Top of Page

 

 

 

Original Thinking: Palestinian Emirates (Part 1): Barry Shaw, Jerusalem Post, Dec. 6, 2012 —Mahmoud Abbas may have had the support of a mass of UN members to ram through a “non-member” status for “Palestine,” whatever “non-member status” means. Surely you’re either a member, or not? Non-member status is like being almost pregnant.

 

Moderate Proposals To Stop A Palestinian State: Daniel Tauber, Jerusalem Post, Dec. 11, 2012—The UN recognition of a Palestinian state is a wake-up call to those who think we can continue to pass the buck down the years. At some point, Israel must put the brakes on the train to Palestinian statehood, and the sooner the better, as the more time passes the greater the sense of inevitability and the weaker our negotiating position.

 

'Incitement against Israel in PA is getting worse': Herb Keinon, Jerusalem Post, Dec. 2, 2012—Incitement and inflammatory language against Israel in the Palestinian Authority is at the worst level since Jerusalem began systematically measuring it in 2009, Strategic Affairs Ministry director-general Yossi Kuperwasser told the cabinet Sunday.

 

Israel Should Let the PA Collapse: Elad Benari, Israel National News, Dec. 2, 2012—Israel should let the Palestinian Authority collapse, particularly in the wake of its unilateral statehood bid at the United Nations, says Professor Efraim Inbar. Inbar, director of the Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies (BESA) at Bar-Ilan University.

 

The New Palestinians: Angry Youth Are Proposing A Radical New Paradigm: Prof Menachem Klein, Jerusalem Report, Nov. 19, 2012—It’s not the economy, stupid, that’s shaking the foundations of the Palestinian Authority. On the contrary: For the new, angry, disillusioned young generation of Palestinians, the economy is a tool Israel uses to perpetuate PA President Mahmoud Abbas’s tottering regime.

 

The Liberman Proposal: Dan Gordon, Jerusalem Post Dec 17, 2012—Israel’s diplomatic standing opposite the international community is at the lowest it has been in recent memory. At best, Israel is viewed as a neo-colonialist occupying power of a downtrodden and homeless people. At worst, it is seen as a racist apartheid state oppressing the Palestinian ethnic minority and guilty of numerous war crimes against them.

 

Corridor Of Controversy: Nadav Shragai, Jerusalem Post  Dec. 13, 2012—The site called E1 (East 1) is an area immediately adjacent to Jerusalem to the east, which covers an area of 1,200 hectares of largely uninhabited and mostly state-owned land. It is within the municipal boundary of Ma’aleh Adumim.

 

The Eight State Solution: Mordechai Kedar, Canadian Institute for Jewish Research, Aug. 2, 2012—Palestinian territorial contiguity is dangerous for Israeli national security. For security and demographic reason, Israel must retain as much land as possible in the West Bank. Evacuation of these areas will create a dangerous situation for Israeli security and eventually will necessitate reconquering extensive parts of the West Bank. 

 

 

Visit CIJR’s Bi-Weekly Webzine: Israzine.

CIJR’s ISRANET Daily Briefing is available by e-mail.
Please urge colleagues, friends, and family to visit our website for more information on our ISRANET series.
To join our distribution list, or to unsubscribe, visit us at http://www.isranet.org/.

The ISRANET Daily Briefing is a service of CIJR. We hope that you find it useful and that you will support it and our pro-Israel educational work by forwarding a minimum $90.00 tax-deductible contribution [please send a cheque or VISA/MasterCard information to CIJR (see cover page for address)]. All donations include a membership-subscription to our respected quarterly ISRAFAX print magazine, which will be mailed to your home.

CIJR’s ISRANET Daily Briefing attempts to convey a wide variety of opinions on Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish world for its readers’ educational and research purposes. Reprinted articles and documents express the opinions of their authors, and do not necessarily reflect the viewpoint of the Canadian Institute for Jewish Research.

 

 

Ber Lazarus, Publications Editor, Canadian Institute for Jewish ResearchL'institut Canadien de recherches sur le Judaïsme, www.isranet.org

Tel: (514) 486-5544 – Fax:(514) 486-8284 ; ber@isranet.org

Israel’ Levy Report – Clarifying the Misconceptions

Contents: Editorial Introduction l Articles l Perspectives l Links

 

Editorial Introduction

The West Bank is not “occupied territory” and outposts considered illegal should be immediately legitimized.  These were two of the findings of the Levy Commission headed by former Israeli Supreme Court Justice Edmund Levy. English   As expected, the Levy Report came under immediate fire – not only from US Ambassador Susan Rice and various EU government spokespeople who declared that its conclusions violated international law, but also from within certain American Jewish quarters. The very next day, the Israel Policy Forum, consisting of leading US rabbis and community leaders, penned a pointed response to Prime Minister Netanyahu Israel Policy Forum asserting that the report imperils Israel’s international standing.  Instead of “political maneuvering”, the letter stated, what was needed was “diplomatic and political leadership” to assure the international community of Israel’s stalwart commitment to a two-state solution.  By affirming Israel’s legal and historic rights and claims to the West Bank, they wrote, the Levy Report undermines that commitment. Prime Minister Netanyahu, therefore, must prevent its adoption.

 

Taking umbrage with the tone and content of the letter, Ambassador Alan Baker, former Israel Ambassador to Canada, former legal advisor to Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and a member of the three-person Levy Commission, accused the Forum of not reading the report and, instead, basing its conclusions on “selective media reports”. Alan Baker Response The report, he claimed, does not imperil the two-state solution.  On the contrary – despite Israel’s legal right to retain and settle all public lands in the West Bank (as long as it’s done in conformance with the governing rules and regulations),   the land’s final status,  clearly acknowledged in the report, will be negotiated within the context of a peace agreement.  The bulk of the report, he pointed out, comprises of administrative recommendations concerning settlement issues that have plagued the courts for years.  The report, in fact, stresses the need to respect the genuine land-ownership rights of the Palestinians “in accordance with all accepted humanitarian norms and principles of justice and due process,” Baker writes.

 

In asserting Israel’s legitimate claims and rights to land the international community, for the most part, avers to be “occupied” how far afield did the Levy Report go from previously held Israeli positions?  According to BESA’s Prof. Avi Bell, it has remained within the ballpark.  In his article “Levy Report:  Reinvigorating Debate on Israel’s Rights” he notes that the Levy Report, whose prime purpose was to examine the status of building in the West Bank and Samaria and nothing more, merely endorses the “traditional Israeli position that the Fourth Geneva Convention [that addresses the responsibilities of an occupying state towards its conquered populace] does not apply de jure to the "West Bank", and, in any event, does not bar Israeli settlements.”

 

Equally inapplicable, for a variety of reasons, are the rules of “belligerent occupation” generally attributed to Israel’s status within the West Bank.  A recent International Committee of the Red Cross Conference affirmed that belligerent occupation only applies to territory that was sovereign upon capture – clearly not the case here.  As well, the 1994 peace treaty between Jordan and Israel and agreements between Israel and the Palestinians has done away with a state of belligerency between them – namely war.  As such, Bell concludes, settlement-building is not in violation of international law.

 

David Kretzmer, in his article “Bombshell for the settlement enterprise in Levy Report” disagrees.  He writes, “In reaching this conclusion the report totally ignores both the position that the governments of Israel have taken before the Supreme Court for 45 years and the hundreds of judgments of the Court on this very question.” He cites a 2005 ruling wherein 10 judges, upon affirming the legality of the Gaza disengagement, state, “According to the legal outlook of all Israel’s governments as presented to this court – an outlook that has always been accepted by the Supreme Court – these areas are held by Israel by way of belligerent occupation….The legal regime that applies there is determined by the rules of public international law and especially the rules relating to belligerent occupation.”

 

According to Kretzmer, the judges, that included Chief Justice Aharon Barak, went even further asserting that the territories are not a part of Israel. Israel can’t have it both ways, Kretzmer argues.  If the territories are not part of Israel, they can only be settled by right of belligerent occupation.  If they are part of Israel, Israel breaches international law by not conferring upon the Palestinians social equality and citizenship.

 

Ambassador Baker vigorously disputes Kretzmer’s assertions by raising subtle, yet significant distinctions regarding the legalities associated with belligerent occupation. Alan Baker Letter  He writes,   “The legal situation has been summarized by the international lawyer Prof. Nathan Lerner in an article on “Human Rights, Humanitarian Law and the Occupied Territories” published in the Palestine-Israel Journal of Politics, Economics and Culture in 2003 as follows:

 

“The official Israeli position in this regard was first stated in 1971 by the then Attorney General Meir Shamgar, who took the view that the Fourth Geneva Convention does not apply to what was then called the “administered territories” because of the character of those territories.  Still, the attorney-general announced that the Israeli government would act, de facto, in accordance with the humanitarian rules of the Hague Regulations and the conventions.  The IDF forces were required to act accordingly. “In other words, although the courts never acknowledged Israel’s status within the territories as that of belligerent occupation, it treated the territories, under its own volition, as if it did in accordance with “the accepted humanitarian norms of international law.”

 

Furthermore, he continues, because Israel never annexed the territories it never conferred Israeli citizenship upon the Palestinians.  Until the territory’s future is definitively settled (within the context of a negotiated peace agreement) “Israel’s Supreme Court … (will continue to monitor) the conduct of Israel's security authorities in the territories in light of the humanitarian provisions of the convention – but, the court has not determined that Israel's status is that of a belligerent occupant pursuant to that convention,” he writes.

 

Israel’s legal and historical rights to the West Bank stand on “firmer ground” than its dependence upon the Fourth Geneva Convention that outlaws the forced transfer of populations into occupied territory Kenneth Levin writes in “The Levy Report:  A Vital Beginning.”  Of greater significant was the Arabs’ rejection of the original League of Nations Mandate for Palestine and article 80 of the United Nations charter that called for “close settlement of the Jews on the land, including State land” which left “the land devoid of any successor government.”  Jordan’s subsequent annexation of the territory was not internationally recognized.  As well, its 1994 peace treaty with Israel established an international boundary between the two countries relinquishing any claims to the territory.

Furthermore, Levin points out, UN Security Council Resolution 242 rejected the pre-’67 armistice lines as untenable.  He writes, “Although Resolution 242 does not in itself strengthen the already strong legitimacy in international law of Israeli settlements,” its underlying contention that Israel must procure defendable borders reinforces Israel’s “claims to key strategic areas in Judea and Samaria, those most germane to providing Israel with defensible borders in the context of a peace agreement. In addition, Resolution 242 does underscore the status of Judea and Samaria as disputed territory, whose ultimate disposition is to be decided by negotiations between Israel and its neighbors.”

 

Levin goes further.  Not all of the West Bank is, in fact, disputed territory. The Oslo Accords divides the land into three territories:  Areas A, B, and C – the latter falling exclusively under Israel’s jurisdiction and control.  The disputed settlements all lie within Area C.

 

Despite the West Bank’s unique status – not having been under the recognized ownership of a sovereign country upon capture and further complicated following the Oslo Accords that assigned shared governance to the territories – Dore Gold notes in “The Levy Report and the ‘Occupation’ Narrative,” the international community continues to refer to Israel’s presence there as “occupation”.

 

It doesn’t do so, he points out, in other, more clear-cut cases. Turkey’s annexation of Northern Cyprus, as an example, has not been internationally recognized; still, the international community has never referred to this territory as “occupied”. The same applies to Western Sudan as well as numerous other contentious territories. Gold writes, “The decision to use the term “occupation” appears to emanate as much from political considerations as it does from any legal analysis …“occupation” is a term of opprobrium.”

 

Although Gold acknowledges Israel will not succeed in convincing the international community, or even some Israelis, that it is not “occupying” Palestinian land in a legal sense, the Levy commission’s conclusions can go a long way towards strengthening Israel’s bargaining position when it comes to a future peace settlement.  He writes,  “there is a huge difference in how a compromise will look if Israel’s negotiating team comes to the peace table as “foreign occupiers,” who took someone else’s land, or if they come as a party that also has just territorial claims. The Levy Report is first of all for Israelis who need to understand their rights which unfortunately have been forgotten since the days of Abba Eban and Chaim Herzog.”

 

Machla Abramovitz

 

Articles

 

  1. Bell, Avi.  “Levy Report:  Reinvigorating Debate on Israel’s Rights.”    BESA Center Perspectives Paper No. 176, July 31, 2012

The Levy Report has reinvigorated the issue after years of Israel's silence about its legal rights in Judea and Samaria: The rules of belligerent occupation do not apply to an agreed-upon peacetime presence. Prof. Avi Bell …

  1. Kretzmer, David.  “Bombshell for the settlement enterprise in Levy Report.”  Haaretz.  July 10, 2012.

The far-reaching consequences of the Levy report mean Israeli must either recognize that the legal system in the West Bank resembles apartheid – or extend political rights for all …

  1. Levin, Kenneth.  “The Levy Report:  A Vital Beginning.”  Jerusalem Post.  October 5, 2012.

Some have argued that Israel is not obliged to maintain its giving up of these areas as the Palestinian Authority has never fulfilled its obligations under the relevant Oslo Accords…

  1. Gold, Dore.  “The Levy Report and the “Occupation” Narrative”.  The Algeimeiner.  July 20, 2012.

Looking back over the last two weeks, what appeared to hit a raw nerve with critics of the report of Justice Edmond Levy’s committee was not what it had to say about the specific issues for which it was appointed, like zoning and planning in the West Bank, but rather with how it dealt with the broader narrative for describing the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. This became evident in how the reaction focused on the report’s conclusion that “the classical laws of …

 

Perspectives:

  1.  
  2. “English translation of the legal arguments in the Levy Report (updated)”.  The Elders of Zion.  July 12, 2012.
  3. “Israel Policy Forum Letter to Netanyahu Concerning the Levy Report.“ Canadian Institute for Jewish Research.  July 13, 2012.
  4.  
  5.  Baker, Alan.  “Alan Baker Letter in Response to the Israel Policy Forum.”  Canadian Institute for Jewish Research.  July 18, 2012.
  1. Baker, Alan.  “Response to David Kretzner’s article; “Bombshell for the settlement enterprise in Levy Report.”  September 2, 2012.
  2.  
  3. “Levy Report Debate Continues.”  Conservative News and Views.  July 12, 2012.

Links:

 

  1. “Radio Excerpt:  Breaking Down the Levy Report.”  YishaiFleisher.com. July 15, 2012.
  1. Lazaroff, Tovah.  “PM asks AG to finalize opinion on Levy Report.” Jerusalem Post.  October 21, 2002.

      Ronen, Gil.  “Government Showdown on Levy Report Next Month.”  Arutz Sheva.  Aug.   24, 2012.

  1.  
  2. Levinson, Chaim.  “Netanyahu set to bury Levy Report on Legalizing Illegal West Bank Outposts.”  Haaretz.  Aug. 15, 2012.
  3.  
  4. Jones, Ryan.  “No Jews in Judea and Samaria.”  Israel Today Magazine.  October 16, 2012.
  5.  
  6. Orfi, Orit.  “American Jewish Leaders Urge Netanyahu to sign Levy Report.”  JewishJournal.com.  Aug. 20, 2012.
  7.  
  8. Tobin, Jonathan S.  “Does the Levy Report Doom Israel?”  Commentary Magazine.  July 17, 2012.
  9.  
  10. Greenberg, Joel.  “Migron:  The Storm that Wasn’t.”  Haaretz.  September 3, 2012.
  11.  
  12. Gordis, Daniel.  “Sinning Against Each Other.”  Israel Policy Forum.  July 26, 2012.

 

 

QUAND LE MYTHE DEVIENT RÉALITÉ : NAQBA, L’IRAN NUCLÉAIRE ET LA DÉLÉGITIMATION D’ISRAËL

NAQBA : LA CATASTROPHE « PALESTINIENNE »

Guy Millière

dreuz.info, 24 mai 2012

Le 15 mai dernier, les « Palestiniens » célébraient le jour de la naqba, la catastrophe qu’est censée avoir été la création de l’État d’Israël. Nombre d’Arabes israéliens l’ont eux-mêmes célébré, montrant ainsi qu’ils sont infectés par le même venin que les Arabes de Judée-Samarie et de Gaza. Des Juifs israéliens, ce qui est beaucoup plus grave, et montre que le venin peut susciter dans certains esprits dérangés une haine de soi, ont eux aussi participé aux célébrations. Bien sûr, des journalistes européens ont parlé de la naqba, en reprenant à leur compte la narration « palestinienne ».

Ce qui doit être dit à tous ces gens est qu’ils contribuent à une imposture. Le mot naqba a été utilisé au Proche-Orient pendant une longue période pour désigner le redécoupage régional effectué lors du démantèlement de l’empire ottoman, et qui a séparé la Syrie, placée sous Mandat français, de la Syrie du Sud placée sous Mandat britannique sous le nom de Mandat palestinien.

Ce fait a été rappelé récemment par Steven Plaut dans un article appelé Happy Nakba Day, et Steven Plaut cite le livre qui décrit la naqba : c’est le livre fondateur du nationalisme arabe, The Arab Awakening de George Antonius. Cette conception de la naqba est spécieuse, mais à l’époque, Israël n’existait pas, et le « peuple palestinien » n’avait pas encore été inventé.

Ce qui doit être dit à tous ces gens qui parlent de naqba aujourd’hui est qu’ils sont, de surcroît les acteurs et les participants d’une falsification de l’histoire. Non seulement il n’y a jamais eu d’État palestinien dans la région, aussi loin qu’on remonte dans le temps, tout comme il n’y a jamais eu de « peuple palestinien » avant que ce « peuple » ne soit inventé au milieu des années 1960, mais les choses ne se sont pas passés comme elles sont décrites par les adeptes de la « cause palestinienne ».

En 1920, quand le Mandat palestinien a été institué pour (re)créer un foyer national juif au Proche-Orient, les terres du Mandat palestinien étaient peu peuplées. Un État arabe a été très vite créé (dès 1921), sur plus des trois quarts des terres du Mandat, État confié à l’un des héritiers de la dynastie chérifienne chassée de La Mecque, mais peuplé de la plus grand part des Arabes de la Syrie du Sud. Cet État est l’État arabe palestinien : qu’il soit gouverné par une dynastie monarchique venue de la péninsule arabique, bien que sa population ne soit pas venue de la péninsule arabique en même temps que lui est un problème qui ne concerne pas Israël.

Sur le territoire restant, les Britanniques ont favorisé l’immigration arabe, freiné l’immigration juive, y compris pendant la période où le Troisième Reich exterminait les Juifs en Europe, et confié le pouvoir spirituel à un fanatique antisémite qui travaillera ensuite pour Hitler, Amin Al Husseini. Cela a fait des Britanniques des complices de la Shoah et du nazisme, même s’ils l’ont combattu par ailleurs, et cela a fait d’eux les créateurs d’une situation perverse.

En 1948, quand le plan de partition du territoire restant a été voté, puis quand, les dirigeants juifs acceptant le plan de partition, Israël a vu le jour, nul dirigeant juif n’a chassé le moindre habitant arabe. Il y a eu une guerre d’extermination menée par les pays arabes de la région contre les Juifs et contre Israël. Cette guerre a échoué, comme les guerres ultérieures lancées contre Israël. On doit le souligner : Israël n’est pour rien dans ces guerres et en a été la victime.

Quand la guerre d’extermination a été enclenchée lors de la (re)naissance d’Israël, ce sont les dirigeants arabes (dont Amin Al Husseini, revenu dans la région) qui ont demandé aux Arabes vivant en Israël de partir, le temps que les Juifs soient tous tués. Les juifs n’ont pas été tous tués. Les Arabes qui sont partis l’ont fait parce que les dirigeants arabes le leur ont demandé, ou à cause de la guerre. Leur situation est de la responsabilité des dirigeants arabes et pas de celle d’Israël, qui considère, à juste titre, que partir pour ne pas être éclaboussé par le sang juif que des armées doivent venir verser, est se faire complice des armées concernées.

On doit le dire : Israël n’étant pour rien dans les guerres dont Israël a été la victime, Israël n’est pour rien dans les conséquences de la guerre déclenchée contre Israël, et donc dans le départ de milliers d’Arabes vivant sur le sol israélien en 1948-49. Le problème des « réfugiés » est un problème arabe que le monde arabe aurait dû résoudre depuis longtemps comme d’autres problèmes du même genre ont été résolus ailleurs sur terre.

C’est aussi un problème entretenu par les instances internationales : sans l’existence de l’UNWRA, il n’y aurait pas des « réfugiés » depuis plus de trois générations, il n’y aurait pas de « réfugiés » dont le nombre s’est multiplié par dix en soixante ans, et il n’y aurait pas de « réfugiés » n’ayant eu à prouver que deux années de résidence en Israël pour devenir « réfugiés ».

Le problème des « réfugiés » n’est pas une seule seconde de la responsabilité d’Israël. On peut rappeler qu’Israël a dû gérer un problème de réfugiés qui n’intéresse personne hors d’Israël : celui des réfugiés juifs chassés du monde arabe. L’invention du « peuple palestinien » et celle de la « cause palestinienne », plutôt que de contribuer à la paix et à la prospérité, a transformé les « réfugiés » arabes et les Arabes de Judée-Samarie et de Gaza en otages de la volonté du monde arabe de détruire Israël et d’exterminer les Juifs. Les otages sont devenus instruments : on leur lave le cerveau et on en fait des auteurs d’attentats et d’autres formes d’assassinat.

On doit le préciser : la prise d’otage et la transformation des otages en instruments ne sont pas la faute d’Israël, mais celle du monde arabe, celle des instances internationales qui ont créé l’UNWRA, celle des pays occidentaux qui financent le tout. Si on voulait parler en termes de catastrophes, on pourrait dire qu’il y a eu une succession de catastrophes dans la région : les décisions britanniques, l’imprégnation du monde arabe par des idées haineuses qui l’ont conduit vers l’impasse, la volonté répétée de détruire Israël et d’exterminer les Juifs, la création des « réfugiés » arabes et la perpétuation de ce statut de « réfugié », l’accroissement du nombre des « réfugiés » en question de génération en génération, l’invention du « peuple palestinien » et de la « cause palestinienne ».

Le seul fait historique qui n’ait pas été une catastrophe dans la région, strictement le seul, a été la (re)naissance d’Israël. Que les « Palestiniens » protestent contre le seul fait historique qui n’ait pas été une catastrophe dans la région et continuent à être utilisés comme des instruments de haine génocidaire est répugnant et consternant. Que nombre d’Arabes israéliens protestent eux aussi montre que l’abcès de fixation créé par l’invention du « peuple palestinien » et de la « cause palestinienne » devra se trouver vidé de sa substance.

Qui dira que la « cause palestinienne » est une imposture, et qui rappellera haut et fort comment et pourquoi le peuple palestinien a été inventé ? Que des Juifs israéliens protestent contre l’existence de leur propre pays donne la nausée. Que des journalistes européens reprennent à leur compte la narration « palestinienne » montre que nous vivons dans une époque sordide où les leçons de l’histoire ne sont plus enseignées, et où le pire peut aisément recommencer.

AVEC L’IRAN, GARDONS UN ŒIL SUR LA BOMBE

Laura Kam

fr.ejpress.org, 24 mai 2012

Le temps et l’ampleur accordés au sujet d’une éventuelle attaque militaire israélienne contre l’Iran par les médias, les équipes d’analystes, la blogosphère et les gouvernements du monde entier (sans oublier les analyses aussi abstraites que dépourvues d’intérêt sur qui parmi les ministres israéliens ou les anciens hommes politiques est pour ou contre une frappe militaire) ont détourné l’attention de la seule question vraiment importante que la communauté internationale et le public en général devraient se poser au sujet de l’Iran : que deviendrait le monde si l’Iran réussi son pari de fabriquer une arme nucléaire ?

Au vu des six résolutions du Conseil de sécurité des Nations unies exhortant l’Iran à mettre fin à son programme d’enrichissement nucléaire, il est clair que les puissances du monde partagent une vision unanime : la quête iranienne de l’arme nucléaire ne contribue point à la paix et à la sécurité mondiale, et ferait du monde un endroit considérablement moins sûr. Pour eux, il est évident que pendant des années, l’Iran a menti de façon délibérée à leur agence de surveillance nucléaire, l’AIEA, et que leur prétendu programme nucléaire civil est tout sauf « pacifique ».

La nature théologique de l’État islamiste, son soutien au terrorisme, sa violation des droits de l’homme, et son refus depuis une décennie de négocier une solution à la question nucléaire ne font qu’aggraver l’immense malaise mondial que nous ressentons tous au moment où les sanctions internationales contre l’Iran se durcissent. Quelles seraient les conséquences d’un Iran nucléaire au niveau international ?

L’existence d’une arme nucléaire en Iran aurait très certainement des effets immédiats sur des pays tels que l’Egypte, la Turquie et l’Arabie saoudite, car elle les inciterait à développer leur propre arme nucléaire, et déclencherait une course à l’armement nucléaire dans une région du monde qui deviendrait de plus en plus instable et qui revêt une importance capitale pour les intérêts des puissances économiques de la planète. 

Les efforts régionaux et internationaux constants de l’Iran pour élargir son influence (notamment ses incursions diplomatiques et économiques en Amérique latine et en Afrique) continuent d’être un facteur de déstabilisation. Partout dans la région, de l’Afghanistan à Gaza, les Iraniens sont en train d’armer et de former des groupes radicaux et fondamentalistes dont l’objectif est d’établir des régimes forts qui imposeraient l’Islam comme impératif national, sans laisser place au libre choix. Gaza et le sud du Liban sont des exemples “réussis” du développement de ce genre de régimes. 

Dans d’autres pays du monde, l’Iran soutient des organisations terroristes telles que les cellules du Hezbollah (de l’Amérique latine au Moyen-Orient en passant par l’Asie de l’Est), le Djihad islamiste palestinien (au moins jusqu’à récemment), le Hamas, ainsi que des groupes militants en Irak, tels que le Kata'ib Hzezbollah, la Brigade du jour promis et Asa'ib Ahl al-Haq. L'anée dernière en Afghanistan, le Pentagone a remonté la piste d’un achat de rockets par les Talibans jusqu’à l’Iran. Ces roquettes augmentent la force de frappe de ces combattants contre des cibles de l’OTAN et des États-Unis. L’année dernière également, les États-Unis ont confirmé l’existence d’un lien entre l'Iran et Al-Qaida, et ont accusé Téhéran de faciliter les opérations d’Al-Qaida visant à faire passer clandestinement de l’argent et des personnes depuis son territoire jusqu’aux sièges des leaders de ce groupe terroriste en Afghanistan et au Pakistan.

Ces groupes ont fait des victimes américaines, britanniques, australiennes appartenant aux forces multinationales. Parallèlement au programme nucléaire, le programme, divers et ambitieux, de développement de missiles balistiques de l’Iran continue d’avancer, selon des experts internationaux et des représentants des gouvernements d’Occident. En effet, on s’accorde à dire que l’Iran possède maintenant des missiles capables d’atteindre certaines parties de l’Europe et de la Russie. 

Selon les experts, ce n’est qu’une question de temps avant que toute l’Europe soit à la portée des missiles iraniens. Déjà en 2010, le secrétaire de la défense de l’époque, M. Robert Gates, affirmait que l'Iran est capable de lancer une attaque contre l'Europe, au moyen de "dizaines ou même de centaines" de missiles en une seule frappe. Un programme de missiles dont la portée est constamment augmentée, associé à l’existence d’une arme nucléaire, représente un scénario stratégique cauchemardesque pour l’Occident. Et, comme si ce n’était pas déjà assez, à maintes reprises et de façon ferme, le régime iranien a menacé de détruire Israël en le qualifiant de “cancer” qui doit être “extirpé”.

Téhéran a souvent utilisé les dialogues du P5 +1 (les Etats-Unis, la Chine, la Russie, la France, le Royaume-Uni et l’Allemagne) pour gagner du temps et réussir à développer son programme nucléaire. De nombreux experts et hommes politiques craignent que l’Iran, une fois de plus, ne fasse la même chose cette fois-ci. Les leaders du P5+1 et leurs négociateurs ne devraient pas oublier cette inquiétante habitude iranienne lorsqu’ils entament les négociations tant attendues avec les Iraniens à Bagdad, et lorsqu’ils en évalueront les résultats. Ils ne devront accepter aucune tactique iranienne visant à gagner du temps.

Nous espérons et prions tous pour l’adoption d’une solution négociée qui satisfera toutes les parties concernées. Mais compte tenu des expériences du passé avec l’Iran, le monde ne peut pas se permettre d’être naïf. La pression diplomatique et économique forte et toujours croissante sur le régime islamique est tout à fait justifiée, et c’est sur cette justification que le monde devrait rester concentrer.

DÉLÉGITIMATION ET BOYCOTT D’ISRAËL

Victor Perez

juif.org, 21 mai 2012

« L’Afrique du Sud envisage d’imposer la mention «Palestine» ou «Territoires occupés» sur les produits provenant des colonies israéliennes ». Telle est la décision (1) du Ministre du Commerce Rob Davies de « permettre aux Sud-Africains qui ne soutiennent pas Israël, mais soutiennent les Palestiniens, d’identifier ces produits». En fait, complète Macdonald Netshitenzhe, directeur pour la politique et la législation commerciale au ministère sud-africain du Commerce, « la loi sur la protection du consommateur impose de ne pas induire en erreur sur la provenance exacte du produit. Si par exemple c’est un vin de Bordeaux, il ne peut pas venir de Bretagne ».

Si nul ne contestera ici les droits du consommateur, cependant il est étonnant de voir que le seul pays à subir cette discrimination est encore une fois l’état juif. Nul ne réclamera par exemple la suppression Made in China sur les produits fabriqués au Tibet. Ni sur ceux manufacturés au Kurdistan turc et définis comme produits par la Turquie. Deux exemples parmi tant d’autres qui ne préoccupent point l’Afrique du Sud, pays ayant vécu dans sa chaire la ségrégation ethnique, ni sa défense des droits des consommateurs si chère à son ministère.

 Une préoccupation exclusive donc en faveur des « Palestiniens, occupés, violentés, pillés ». Tout le mantra nécessaire à une condamnation systématique et automatique du peuple israélien. Une propagande assurant que la « Palestine » est un très vieux pays, Jérusalem une ville sainte musulmane, et les autochtones de la Judée, de la Samarie et de la bande de Gaza les « Palestiniens » d’origine.  Un ‘’peuple’’ et un ‘’pays’’ qui n’ont pourtant comme passé que l’histoire construite par la propagande depuis 1967. Une intoxication intellectuelle reprise en chœur par les pays occidentaux pour de basses raisons mercantiles et qui se rachètent en réclamant, au nom des droits de l’homme, la sécurité pour Israël.

Quant à reconnaître que ce pays est celui du peuple juif, cela est une toute autre affaire ! Affaire qui arrange bien les affaires du Hamas. Mahmoud Zahar, l’un des dirigeants de ce groupe de criminels, a donné une interview (2) à Euronews. Dans celle-ci il pose une série de questions au bloc occidental.« La première est la suivante : notre terre, avant 1948, était-elle un territoire juif ? S’agissait-il de la terre d’Israël ? Ou était-elle plutôt la terre des musulmans arabes palestiniens ? ». « Deuxième question : un retour des Juifs, trois mille ans plus tard, pour établir un état sous prétexte que leurs ancêtres vivaient ici, est-ce que c’est cela que l’Occident appelle le droit au retour ? Acceptez-vous le droit de la politique au retour ? Dans ce cas, retournons donc en Espagne puisque nous l’avons quittée en 1492 ».

Le Fatah de Mahmoud Abbas se contente pour une paix juste et durable, en version anglaise uniquement, des « frontières de 1967, d’Al-Qods comme capitale et d’une solution juste pour les réfugiés » au sein de « l’entité sioniste » évidemment. Le Hamas, lui, n’a pas ces pudeurs. Que fera alors l’Occident si ce groupe prend les commandes de l’Autorité palestinienne et diffuse, matraque SA propagande en l’accompagnant de menaces implicites mais suffisamment précises à son égard ? A savoir, celle de Juifs « colonisateurs de terre arabes » y compris celles attribuées par l’ONU en 1947.

Après combien d’années, pour le bien de l’humanité, sera-t-il alors conseillé puis exigé de l’Etat d’Israël de se transformer en un état binational et, en conséquence, au peuple juif de retrouver sa condition d’apatride ? Après combien d’années, suite à son refus de cette ‘’solution peine de bon sens’’ agrée par la communauté internationale, seront prises des mesures de rétorsions à l’encontre de cet état évidemment « colonisateur, génocidaire et pilleur » ?

Si l’on en juge par les gains ‘’palestiniens’’ obtenus par la propagande actuelle depuis une quarantaine d’années auprès du bloc occidental et au vu de la lâcheté de celui-ci, guère plus longtemps qu’il n’a fallu pour reconnaître internationalement la « Palestine » et les « Palestiniens ». La ‘’justice’’ n’est pas un vain mot en cette contrée !

INFORMATION, DÉSINFORMATION, MÉSINFORMATION: GARE AUX FANTASMES ET AUX CANULARS

RADIO-CANADA ET LE CONFLIT ISRAÉLO-PALESTINIEN
Elias Levy

cjnews.com, 24 février 2012

Au cours de l’année 2011, les critiques à l’endroit de Radio-Canada sur sa couverture du conflit israélo-palestinien n’ont cessé de croître. Le Centre Consultatif des Relations Juives et Israéliennes (C.I.J.A.), instance représentative officielle des Juifs du Canada pour toutes les questions concernant Israël, a déposé à ce sujet plusieurs plaintes officielles auprès de l’Ombudsman de Radio-Canada.

 

Canadian Jewish News: Les griefs émis par le C.I.J.A. à l’encontre de Radio-Canada sont-ils fondés?

 

David Ouellette: Que les choses soient claires: le C.I.J.A. n’est pas en guerre contre Radio-Canada. Mais cette institution publique se fixe des normes journalistiques qu’elle bafoue systématiquement dès qu’il s’agit d’Israël. En ce qui concerne la couverture du conflit israélo-palestinien, Radio-Canada fait un travail absolument incompétent. Si ce n’est pas un biais anti-israélien, grief que Radio-Canada rejette catégoriquement, alors c’est de l’incompétence journalistique. À notre avis, dès qu’il s’agit d’Israël, à Radio-Canada, il y a un biais anti-israélien et de l’incompétence. Le C.I.J.A. s’emploie à analyser avec rigueur et objectivité les reportages consacrés à Israël et au conflit israélo-palestinien diffusés à la télévision et à la radio de Radio-Canada. Nous vérifions si les informations rapportées dans ces reportages respectent les normes journalistiques en vigueur à Radio-Canada. C’est-à-dire: si ces informations sont exactes et équilibrées. Nous avons constaté que ces informations sont rarement exactes et parfois même carrément contraires aux informations diffusées par d’autres grands médias. Le C.I.J.A. n’a pas l’intention de faire taire les critiques formulées contre Israël. Ce que nous relevons tout simplement dans la couverture du conflit israélo-palestinien de Radio-Canada, c’est une inexactitude dans les informations rapportées et un manque flagrant d’équilibre et d’impartialité.

 

C.J.N.: Quels types de plaintes avez-vous soumises à l’Ombudsman de Radio-Canada?

 

David Ouellette: Depuis 2008, nous avons soumis une dizaine de plaintes à l’Ombudsman de Radio-Canada. Dans la majorité de ces plaintes, ce dernier a conclu que des journalistes avaient enfreint dans leurs reportages les normes et pratiques journalistiques en vigueur à Radio-Canada. Par exemple, en réponse à notre plainte sur deux reportages de la correspondante de Radio-Canada au Moyen-Orient, Ginette Lamarche, sur des manifestations palestiniennes et une tentative d’infiltration d’Israël par des Palestiniens de Syrie, diffusés le 5 juin 2011, l’Ombudsman de Radio-Canada, Pierre Tourangeau, a établi que ces deux reportages contrevenaient aux principes d’exactitude et d’impartialité stipulés dans les normes journalistiques de Radio-Canada. Le 7 juillet 2011, Radio-Canada a reconnu que la journaliste Ginette Lamarche avait admis que la paraphrase d’un colon Israélien du Golan qu’elle a interviewé dans le cadre d’un reportage n’était pas fidèle aux propos tenus par celui-ci et qu’il existait une «différence significative» entre les propos imputés et les propos cités. En dépit du fait que l’Ombudsman de Radio-Canada a conclu dans sa révision que «la paraphrase des propos d’une personne interviewée ne respectait pas la valeur d’exactitude, telle que définie dans les normes et pratiques journalistiques de Radio-Canada», aucune correction ou mise au point ne fut apportée. Il aura fallu une nouvelle intervention du C.I.J.A. pour que Radio-Canada accepte de faire une mise au point. Cette dernière révision de l’Ombudsman de Radio-Canada démontre qu’entre les 5 et 7 juin 2011 la correspondante de Radio-Canada au Moyen-Orient n’a pas respecté le principe d’exactitude à trois reprises et a enfreint le principe d’impartialité, deux valeurs cardinales inscrites dans les normes journalistiques de Radio-Canada. Un autre exemple: dans une décision rendue le 21 novembre 2011, l’Ombudsman de Radio-Canada a conclu que «l’utilisation à l’émission 24 heures en 60 minutes d’une carte géographique erronée, confuse et incomplète présentant l’évolution des Territoires israélien et palestinien de 1945 à 2000, dont la source n’était pas identifiée, n’a pas respecté le principe d’exactitude, une des cinq valeurs à la base des Normes et Pratiques journalistiques de Radio-Canada»…

 

C.J.N.: On a l’impression que le C.I.J.A. focalise ses critiques uniquement sur Radio-Canada alors qu’on sait pertinemment que d’autres médias francophones québécois n’excellent pas non plus dans leur couverture journalistique du conflit israélo-palestinien.

 

David Ouellette: Le C.I.J.A. prête une attention particulière à Radio-Canada parce que cette Institution est un grand Réseau d’Information national et une Société d’État financée avec les taxes payées par les contribuables Québécois et Canadiens. Dans l’univers des médias québécois, il n’y a que Radio-Canada qui a un Ombudsman dans ses bureaux, des normes et des pratiques journalistiques qui lui sont propres et un correspondant permanent au Moyen-Orient. Nous avons donc le droit de demander que Radio-Canada soit un média d’excellence, qui devrait pratiquer un journalisme exemplaire en ce qui concerne Israël, le conflit israélo-palestinien et le Proche-Orient. Malheureusement, c’est loin d’être le cas. Nous sommes conscients que l’objectivité ça ­n’existe pas. Mais en ce qui a trait au conflit israélo-palestinien, Radio-Canada devrait être capable de faire un travail équilibré, impartial et fouillé. Par ailleurs, Radio-Canada est une source de référence incontournable pour les autres journalistes Québécois. Si Radio-Canada travaille mal, ça se reflète dans le travail effectué par les journalistes des autres médias québécois, qui sont très influencés par ce qu’ils voient et entendent à Radio-Canada.

 

C.J.N.: Mais après avoir reconnu qu’une ou des erreurs ont été commises dans un reportage, Radio-Canada ne prend-elle pas les dispositions nécessaires pour apporter des correctifs?

 

David Ouellette: Quand l’Ombudsman de Radio-Canada reconnaît qu’il y a eu une ou des erreurs dans un reportage, un rectificatif, écrit en caractère gris sur fond blanc, est apporté en bas d’une page du site web de Radio-Canada. Il faut vraiment faire un effort pour repérer la correction en question.

 

C.J.N.: Donc, d’après le C.I.J.A., Radio-Canada ne prend pas les mesures requises pour corriger ces erreurs?

 

David Ouellette: La Direction de l’Information de Radio-Canada peine à solutionner ce problème. L’Ombudsman de Radio-Canada, Pierre Tourangeau, qui fait un travail fort sérieux, a une latitude d’action assez restreinte. Son mandat se limite à analyser les plaintes et à faire des recommandations. Ensuite, c’est à la Direction de l’Information de Radio-Canada de décider comment elle compte rectifier les erreurs soulignées par l’Ombudsman. Nous n’avons pas encore vu des grandes corrections ni des changements majeurs dans la manière dont les journalistes de Radio-Canada couvrent le conflit israélo-palestinien et l’actualité du Proche-Orient. Au contraire, les choses n’ont fait que s’empirer. C’est ça qui est très frustrant. On pourrait soumettre une plainte presque pour chaque reportage que Radio-Canada fait sur Israël. L’Ombudsman de Radio-Canada ne cesse de nous donner raison en reconnaissant que des journalistes de cette Institution ont erré ici ou là. Mais, concrètement, on ne constate aucune amélioration. […]

CHRONOLOGIE DES VIOLENCES DANS LE SUD
Laly Derai

hamodia.fr, 14 mars 2012

Tout a commencé vendredi avec l'élimination ciblée par Tsahal d'un chef terroriste palestinien, près de Gaza. Cette opération «chirurgicale» a été immédiatement suivie par des tirs massifs de roquettes et de Grad palestiniens qui paralysèrent le Grand Sud d'Israël, et permit aux Israéliens de découvrir les bienfaits du «Dôme d'acier». Hamodia revient sur les quatre journées marquantes de ce nouveau round de confrontation entre Israël et les terroristes palestiniens de Gaza.

Vendredi 9 mars, dans l'après-midi: Un appareil de l'armée de l'air de Tsahal élimine dans un quartier situé à l'ouest de Gaza le secrétaire général des Comités de résistance populaire, Musa Ahmed Zuhair El Kaisi et son bras droit Mahmoud Hanani qui circulaient à bord d'un véhicule. Selon l'armée, El Kaisi qui est considéré comme le «cerveau» de l'attentat perpétré en août dernier à la frontière israélo-égyptienne, projetait une autre attaque du même type.

Vendredi soir: À 22 h, trois missiles Grad sont tirés sur Ashdod et Gan Yavné. Le système de protection anti missile «Dôme d'acier» neutralise le plus dangereux. Les deux autres tombent dans des terrains vagues. Peu après, les terroristes du Djihad islamique et leurs alliés des comités de résistance palestinienne tirent plusieurs salves de roquettes Kassam sur les localités du pourtour de la bande de Gaza. Quatre personnes sont blessées, dont une sérieusement. C'est ensuite à Béer-Chéva que la sirène d'alerte se fait entendre. Des roquettes sont tirées sur la capitale du Néguev ainsi que sur la ville de Nétivot. Elles sont interceptées par «Dôme d'acier». La Défense passive interdit les rassemblements de plus de 500 personnes dans un périmètre de 40 km autour de la bande de Gaza. Les habitants des villes du sud, jusqu'à Ashdod dorment ce Chabbat-là dans les chambres blindées ou les abris. Pendant la nuit, Tsahal détruit quatre rampes de lancement et deux usines de production d'armes. Douze terroristes palestiniens sont tués.

Chabbat 10 mars: Deux salves de roquettes réveillent vers 6 h les habitants du sud du pays et les sirènes retentissent dans toute la région. Deux roquettes sont tirées sur Ashdod et Gan Yavné. Au total 80 roquettes et missiles ont été tirés depuis la veille.

L'état-major de Tsahal se réunit d'urgence. Le chef d'état-major, Benny Gantz, affirme: «Nous réagirons avec fermeté à tout tir». La Défense passive annonce que tous les établissements scolaires resteront fermés le lendemain dans un rayon de 40 km autour de la bande de Gaza.

Dimanche 11 mars: Une roquette tombe dans un quartier résidentiel de Béer-Chéva. Des dommages importants sont constatés. Quelques minutes plus tard, une école est touchée de plein fouet par un Grad. Des roquettes sont tirées sur Ofakim, Gan Yavné et Ashdod.
 

Parmi les douze roquettes tirées sur Ashdod, Ashkélon et Béer-Chéva, dix sont neutralisées par le Dôme d'acier. À Gaza, Tsahal élimine un terroriste qui s'apprêtait à tirer un missile. Le chef d'état-major, Benny Gantz, explique que sur les 120 roquettes tirées sur Israël, 40 ont été stoppées en plein vol par les missiles du Dôme d'acier et il s'agit des 40 qui menaçaient de s'abattre sur des zones habitées. Selon la télévision palestinienne, les dirigeants du Hamas à Gaza tentent d'obtenir un cessez-le-feu. Mahmoud A Zahar se rend au Caire pour en débattre. Le Djihad islamique qui orchestre les tirs affirme «ne pas être concerné» par ces discussions. Mais Israël, encouragé par les performances du «Dôme d'acier» repousse la proposition de cessez-le-feu essentiellement parce que les terroristes la conditionnent à l'arrêt des éliminations ciblées. Des sources palestiniennes affirment que Tsahal a attaqué un bâtiment à Djébalia, blessant une vingtaine de personnes.

Lundi 12 mars: Le porte-parole de Tsahal Yoav Mordé’haï annonce que l'armée a détruit depuis vendredi 23 rampes de lancement, des usines de production d'armes et des hangars de munitions dans la bande de Gaza. L'armée souligne que des dizaines de roquettes tirées par les terroristes n'ont pas atteint Israël et sont tombées dans la bande de Gaza.

Durant la nuit de dimanche à lundi, la sirène retentit à deux reprises à Béer-Chéva et dans ses alentours. Deux missiles Grad sont tirés sur la ville, l'une d'entre elles est neutralisée par le «Dôme d'acier», la seconde tombe dans un pré. Neuf roquettes Kassam prennent pour cibles les localités du Sud. L'une d'entre elles tombe très tôt le matin tout près d'un jardin d'enfants, causant de graves dégâts matériels. Dans une volonté de faire fléchir Israël, le Djihad accentue le rythme de ses tirs: trois missiles Grad sont tirés sur Béer-Chéva, dont deux neutralisés par Dôme d'acier. Même réussite quelques minutes plus tard au dessus d'Ashdod. Un missile frappe la région d'Echkol et deux autres explosent près de Sdérot. Deux roquettes atteignent le poste de passage de Kerem Chalom endommageant deux camions.

Dans l'après-midi, les terroristes augmentent la portée de leurs missiles: deux Grad touchent Guédéra, l'un d'eux détruit des véhicules. Quelques personnes sont choquées.
Une autre roquette tombe sur Ashdod, causant de sérieux dommages à plusieurs magasins et à des voitures. Une dame âgée est touchée par des débris. Trois missiles atteignent Béer-Chéva et Ofakim. Deux d'entre eux sont interceptés par le Dôme d'acier.
 

Quatre missiles visant Ashdod sont neutralisés en plein vol. Après quelques heures d'accalmie tendue, trois Grad sont tirés vers Ashkélon, deux sont interceptés. Pas de dégâts. En fin de soirée, un responsable égyptien annonce qu'un cessez-le-feu entre Israël et les terroristes de Gaza prendra effet à 1 h. Tsahal dément dans un premier temps et déclare seulement: «Nous répondrons au calme par le calme.»

 

Mardi 13 mars, à 4 heures, le cessez-le-feu est violé: deux obus de mortier tombent près d'Ashkélon.

Bilan de ce round de confrontation: en trois jours et demi de combats, 222 roquettes et missiles se sont abattus sur Israël. 56 d'entre eux ont été neutralisés par le Dôme d'acier. Tsahal a attaqué 37 objectifs terroristes dans la bande de Gaza, une vingtaine de Palestiniens tués pour la plupart des terroristes, et plusieurs Israéliens blessés, dont un sérieusement.

LA MACHINE DE PROPAGANDE PALESTINIENNE EN MARCHE
Shraga Blum

Upjf.org, 14 mars 2012

 La machine bien huilée de la propagande arabe palestinienne s’est une nouvelle fois mise en marche depuis samedi. Les terroristes et leurs alliés se sont empressés de diffuser sur le Net des images fabriquées pour montrer «la cruauté» israélienne. Le site «New-Media» du porte-parole de Tsahal a repéré au moins deux cas d’images empruntées à des archives et qui ont été présentées comme étant des photos d’actualité. Sous le titre «La Palestine saigne, encore une enfant tuée» les terroristes diffusent leur propagande mensongère destinée à délégitimer Israël. Or, l’une des photos, prises par l’agence «Reuters» date de 2006…et montre une fillette qui avait été blessée en tombant de bicyclette, mais présentée par son père comme «victime des bombardement israéliens».
 

C’est une tactique extrêmement courante chez cette population pétrie d’une mentalité religieuse qui pousse au mensonge, comme cela été magistralement prouvé lors de la victoire judiciaire du Dr. David Yehouda sur Jamal Al-Dura. L’agence «Reuters» s’était ensuite excusée et avait tenté de diffuser un rectificatif sur Twitter et Facebook concernant cette photographie. Mais pour les terroristes, cette photo continue de servir d’outil grossier de propagande.

Dans le deuxième cas, une photo montre un bâtiment détruit, cliché qui a été pris lors de l’Opération «Plomb Durci» et qui montrait un bâtiment qui contenait un entrepôt d’armement. L’état-major de Tsahal a demandé aux habitants du sud du pays de prendre des photos des habitants dans les abris ainsi que des dégâts faits par les roquettes et missiles, afin des les diffuser sur le Net et le présenter à la presse étrangère toujours encline à ne croire que la version palestinienne des faits.

LA DÉSINFORMATION BAT SON PLEIN
SUR TWITTER ET FACEBOOK

Ray Achled

guysen.com, 12 mars 2012

 Une photo mise en ligne au cours des 24 dernières heures sur Twitter, la photo d’une fillette palestinienne de Gaza fait le tour de la planète et sa légende accuse à tort Tsahal d’être responsable de sa mort.

 

La photo, publiée par Khulood Badawi (@KhuloodBadawi) et plus tard par Diana Alzeer (@ManaraRam), présentait une fillette palestinienne tuée dans un raid israélien du 11 mars. Après vérification, il s’est avéré qu’il s’agissait d’une photo prise en 2006 et que Tsahal n’était en rien responsable de sa mort. Cette photo est aujourd’hui le post qui apparaît en tête de liste sur Twitter par la recherche du mot clé #Gaza sur Twitter et a été reprise plus de 300 fois, en dépit l’évidence. Badawi a été le premier à «tweeter» la photo le 10 mars à midi, assurant que cette dernière avait été prise lors d’une des «frappes survenues dans la nuit contre la bande de Gaza.» Alzeer l’a à son tour publiée le lendemain en reprenant les mêmes accusations.

 

Le caractère infondé de ces allégations a d’abord été démontré par l’internaute Avi Mayer (@avimayer) qui a rappelé que la photo avait déjà été publiée une première fois en 2009. Des recherches plus approfondies ont montré que le cliché datait en réalité de 2006 et avait été diffusé par Reuters et que la fillette palestinienne était simplement tombée d’une balançoire. Alzeer a réagi en affirmant que la photo avait été transmise par la presse durant la journée.

 

En fait, la photo a été prise par Reuters le 9 août 2006 et envoyée à la presse avec une légende incorrecte. L’information n’a été rectifiée que le lendemain:

 

Un Palestinien porte le corps de Raja Abu Shaban, âgée de trois ans, à Gaza, le 9 août 2006. La fillette présentée initialement comme victime d’un raid israélien sur Gaza mercredi est en réalité décédée dans un accident, ont indiqué jeudi les secours palestiniens. Des employés de l’hôpital Shifa, à Gaza, ont précisé que l’erreur avait été faite en raison d’une surcharge des services au moment de l’arrivée de la jeune fille et du rapatriement simultané de corps d’hommes armées par les ambulanciers. REUTERS, Mohammed Salem (Territoires palestiniens).

 

Contraint d’admettre l’évidence, Alzeer a plus tard posté des excuses en retirant ses accusations. Badaw n’a pas encore répondu. Pendant ce temps, les premiers «tweets», qui ont déjà été repris des centaines de fois par des internautes du monde entier, continuent de circuler sur le web en dépit de leur caractère fallacieux. Ce n’est pas la première fois que des internautes diffusent de fausses informations au sujet de Tsahal. Les mensonges sont encore repris sur les réseaux sociaux et diffusés en masse sur internet. […]

GAZA: L'ENFANT PALESTINIEN MORT D'UNE BALLE
TIRÉE PAR UN PARTICIPANT AUX FUNÉRAILLES
ET NON PAS PAR UN RAID DE TSAHAL

Dépêche

guysen.com, 14 mars 2012

 L'enfant palestinien de 7 ans qui a succombé à ses blessures causées, selon les médias palestiniens, par un raid de Tsahal sur Gaza, a été tué, en fait, par une balle perdue provenant d'un tir de mitraillettes d'un participant à des funérailles d'un terroriste éliminé, selon la famille et des témoins oculaires, rapporte le Huffington Post.

AS HAMAS RAINS ROCKETS ON ISRAEL, HERE ORDINARY CITIZENS OPPOSE PRO-PALESTINIAN BULLIES

The current round of fighting between the IDF and Gaza terrorists is unprecedented in terms of the number of rockets and mortar bombs being directed at Israel. Since last Friday, the IDF has registered some 200 launches from Gaza and is characterizing the ongoing barrage as a “dramatic development in terms of the quantity and rate of the fire.”

 

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu on Monday said that the IDF will continue to retaliate against terrorists in the Gaza Strip with great power, while blaming Iran for the crisis. “If it were not for Iran, these [Palestinian] extremists would not have their weapons, training or logistical support,” Netanyahu affirmed. Defense Minister Ehud Barak likewise warned that “The IDF would continue to protect Israeli citizens and will strike all those who rise to attack us.”

 

Schools were closed for a second consecutive day on Monday in all Israeli cities and towns located up to 25 miles from the Gaza border. According to Deputy Mayor of Beersheba, Heftsi Zohar, “Most of the schools in Beersheba don’t have enough shelters or safe areas, so we have decided to cancel classes.” Zohar described as unbearable conditions in the city and said that “life does not go on as normal…[when] citizens, especially children, are living under terror.” Beersheba Mayor Ruvik Danilovich compared the city to a “jungle,” and warned that “Today it’s the south dealing with the situation, but we know that there are missiles that could reach Rishon Lezion [Israel’s fourth largest city, located 12km south of Tel Aviv].”

 

FACING HAMAS
Editorial

Jerusalem Post, March 11, 2012

The latest round of rocket and mortar attacks from Gaza is part of a pattern. Every few months, Islamist terror organizations loosely linked or opposed to Hamas launch attacks against Israel in an attempt to undermine Israeli military deterrence. Hamas plays the game of claiming that it is not directly connected to the attacks while doing little to prevent them. In this way, Hamas hopes not to provoke Israel while at the same time avoiding a direct confrontation with…Islamist terrorists attempting to continue their armed struggle against Israel.

The trigger for the latest conflagration was the targeted killing of Zuhair Qaisi, the leader of the Popular Resistance Committees in the Gaza Strip. The IDF says Qaisi was behind the August 2011 gun and bomb attacks near Eilat that left eight Israelis dead. He was apparently planning a repeat performance, also to be launched from Sinai, a lawless no-man’s land nominally under Egyptian rule and home to Islamist terrorists and Beduin drugs and arms smugglers. But the IDF took the initiative, bombing a car carrying Qaisi and another top terrorist in the organization released in the Gilad Schalit prisoner exchange.

In October 2011, there was another flare-up after Islamic Jihad fired a Grad rocket at Rehovot to mark the October 1995 assassination in Malta of Islamic Jihad leader Fathi Shkaki. Israel retaliated, killing five terrorists, including Ahmed Sheikh Khalil, the head of the Islamic Jihad’s rocket production facilities.

But even when there is no official “escalation,” the various terrorist organizations operating in the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip and the anarchic Sinai have kept up a steady stream of fire directed at about a million civilians—men, women and children—living within range of Kassam rockets, mortar shells and Grad missiles.

Over the course of 2011, Hamas, Islamic Jihad, the PRC and other terrorist organizations fired 680 deadly projectiles of various types from the Gaza Strip at surrounding towns, kibbutzim and moshavim, a significant rise from the 365 fired during 2010. Sixteen-year-old Daniel Viflic was killed by Hamas terrorists who fired a Kornet anti-tank missile at the school bus he was riding in on April 7, 2011.

Israel significantly restored its deterrence after launching Operation Cast Lead—the 22-day military incursion in the Gaza Strip that began in December 2008 and ended in January 2009. But in the months since, there has been a steady deterioration of the security situation. Thousands of families now live under the constant threat of mortar, rocket and missile fire. Many lack proper bomb shelters.

True, the Iron Dome system has been a game-changer. Its three rocket-defense batteries—in Beersheba, Ashdod and Ashkelon—have significantly improved Israel’s defense capabilities. Dozens of rockets and missiles that might have hurt or injured Israelis were shot from the air. This has given our leaders the breathing room to plan for the future. Israel would have no choice but to react on a much wider scale if one of the more-than-[200] recent mortar shells, rockets and missiles caused serious injuries or deaths.…

However, as Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Benny Gantz noted in November and reiterated in December on the third anniversary of Operation Cast Lead, a military offensive in Gaza will be launched “sooner or later.” Hamas cannot be allowed to continue to play the game of claiming it is not directly connected to the attacks while doing little to prevent them.…

IT’S TIME FOR A GAZA OFFENSIVE
Michael Freund

Jerusalem Post, February 22, 2012

Three years may have passed since the end of Operation Cast Lead, when Israeli forces entered Gaza to conduct a limited counter-terror campaign, but that hasn’t stopped Palestinian terrorists from transforming southern Israel into a shooting gallery.

Though you would never know it from much of the mainstream press, the thugs of Hamas and Islamic Jihad have been turning up the heat, firing an increasing number of rockets and projectiles at Israeli cities, towns and villages. This mounting threat can no longer be ignored, and it is time for Israel to launch a wide-scale military offensive in Gaza to remove the danger once and for all.

Consider the following: In December 2011, Gaza-based Palestinian terrorists unleashed more than 40 rockets and shells into southern Israel, hitting Netivot and areas around Ashkelon and Beersheba. That averages out to more than one explosive projectile fired every day. And since the start of the year, dozens more have been launched against the Jewish state.…

This is simply intolerable and cannot be allowed to continue.… Instead of waiting for tragedy to strike, Israel should take the initiative and forestall such an eventuality by taking the battle to the enemy. After all, as various senior IDF officers have been warning, it is not a question of if, but when Israel will have to go back in to Gaza, where Hamas has been arming itself to the teeth.

Speaking at the Herzliya Conference earlier last month, IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Benny Gantz labeled Gaza one of “the largest ammunition and weapon ‘storage facilities’ I know of.” Various reports have indicated that the terror group now has well over 5,000 rockets in its arsenal, including some with a potential range of 75 kilometers that are based on technology supplied by Iran. This means that Hamas could potentially hit Tel Aviv.

The Hamas arsenal is not merely a tactical nuisance. It poses a strategic threat which must be eliminated. A December 2011 study by Uzi Rubin of Bar-Ilan University’s Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies [see ‘On Topics’ below for the full report—Ed.] concluded that the rocket threat from Gaza has become “a significant threat to Israeli population centers, national infrastructure and central military installations.”

“The threat,” it noted, “initially affecting about 50,000 Israeli citizens in the Gaza envelope communities, has increased more than 20-fold and now threatens more than one million civilians in southern and central Israel. It is no longer mere harassment, but a strategic threat capable of inflicting severe civilian casualties and paralyzing Israel’s economy.”

Clearly, Hamas is not an organization one can reason with. Its avowed ideological aim is the destruction of Israel, and no amount of pressure, diplomacy or negotiation will persuade it to begin acting in a civilized manner. Whether we like it or not, military force is the only way to disarm and deter them. But unlike previous attempts, this time Israel must ensure that it gets the job done by toppling the Hamas regime, destroying the terrorist infrastructure and reasserting complete military control over the area.…

Will there be an international outcry if Israel enters Gaza? Of course. Whenever Israel takes action to defend itself, no matter how justified it might be, the halls of the United Nations resound with condemnation and criticism. But it is better to be accused unfairly than fired upon indiscriminately. So let’s put a permanent end to Hamas’ reign of terror, and restore to southern Israel the basic security it deserves.

ST. DENIS MERCHANTS HURT BY ANTI-ISRAEL PICKETING
Janice Arnold

Canadian Jewish News, March 12, 2012

After almost 18 months of regular anti-Israeli demonstrations on their block, some shopkeepers on Montreal’s St. Denis Street say their business is suffering and they are weary, even unnerved, by a situation that has no end in sight.

The picketing, which now takes place every Saturday afternoon, was launched by the group Palestinian and Jewish Unity (PAJU) in October 2010 to make St. Denis an “Israeli apartheid-free zone.” For a year now, the focus of the demonstrators has been Chaussures Naot, 3941 St. Denis St., across the street from another shoe store, Boutique le Marcheur, which was the initial target. Its owner, Yves Archambault, refused to yield to PAJU’s demand to stop selling Israeli footwear, a miniscule part of his stock.

“People are afraid to come in when they are standing there…,” said Naot’s manager, Ina.… “I suffer enough already. Nobody is going to protect my human rights.”

The tiny Naot store, which sells almost exclusively a line of shoes made in Israel, is owned by the Lissoos family of Toronto-based Solemates Inc. It has been on St. Denis for two years and employs five people, but Ina wonders how much longer that will be. “Of course, it’s affecting our business—big time,” she said. Saturday used to be the busiest day of the week.

The weekly barrage and the ill feeling it is creating among other business owners and residents are stressful for the staff. Last month, the company brought in a psychologist to counsel them. “We are the victim, but the neighbours are blaming us,” Ina said.

Usually about a half-dozen PAJU demonstrators stand on the sidewalk outside Naot for two hours holding a banner about five feet high dominated by a Palestinian flag. Sometimes, they shout or blow horns. “It’s scary,” she said. “The police come, but they say there is nothing they can do.”

Le Marcheur was helped by the Jewish community and other sympathizers who purposefully bought at the store, said pro-Israel activist Jack Kincler, but Naot and the neighbouring businesses have not had that support.

Kincler, who has joined the counter-boycott demonstrations from the beginning, is trying to organize a buying campaign benefiting these small businesses. He calls what PAJU is doing “economic terrorism” and believes Canada and Quebec must enact laws similar to those in United States that limit boycotts or France where they are illegal. “Week after week these small businesses are being harassed,” he said. “Why is there no protection of their right to do business in peace.”

Monic Dahan, owner of the Boutique Oz jewelry store next to Naot for 25 years, is visibly depressed by the situation. She wonders how much longer she can keep her five employees and provide work for eight outside artisans.… Jean-Philippe Plante, owner of the clothing store Boutique Panache, has only been there six months but is already discouraged.… The nearby Galerie du Plateau doesn’t open on Saturdays anymore.

The shopkeepers do receive unflagging moral support from Les Amis Québécois d’Israel, started by area resident Daniel Laprès as a Facebook group. It now has 187 “friends,” the majority francophone Quebecers like Laprès, a former adviser to federal Liberal cabinet ministers, and now a blogger and publisher who is critical of the political left.…

The Amis, on St. Denis every Saturday, usually far outnumber the PAJU picketers. They try to explain to passersby why Israel is not an apartheid state without adding to the commotion. Laprès believes the boycotters are disseminating “lies and slander” and fears the broader consequences of a PAJU “victory.” “Can we, in a civilized society, allow that sort of hate against a nation? Or the intimidation of hardworking people? We can’t afford such a campaign to succeed if we care about democracy and human dignity.…”

Kincler, an Israeli-born businessman, is collecting signatures on petitions to the federal and Quebec governments. The one addressed to the House of Commons calls for a legislated ban against boycotts that harass or threaten any store or business selling products legally in Canada, as well as those that hinder any business activity involving goods from a country with which Canada or Quebec has a bilateral trade agreement. The other asks the National Assembly to condemn boycott campaigns against products coming from countries with which a bilateral agreement exists, which includes Israel.…

PUSHING BACK AGAINST THE BDS BULLIES
Mark Tapson

FrontPage, March 9, 2012

Too often the media focus on—or even actively promote—the pro-Palestinian narrative that demonizes Israel. They report on the highly mobilized, relentless efforts to isolate and economically weaken the state of Israel. Much less often, if ever, do the media highlight stories of successful Israeli resistance to that onslaught.

Shanie Bar-Oz is the dynamic owner of a Vancouver bath-and-body boutique called Lavan Canada that sells unique Dead Sea-based products with natural scents. Prominently displayed both outside and inside the store are signs reading “Products Made in Israel.” Very enthusiastic about those Israeli-made products, Shanie, 33, unexpectedly came under fire from aggressive protesters from the anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions bullies.…

But when word got out about her being targeted, the supportive response was more overwhelming than the protests. Pro-Israel customers flocked to the store. Lavan Canada’s online orders increased as well. A Cambridge University student named Gili Brenner established a Facebook group called “We Are All Shani Bar Oz,” in support of the store owner.…

Indeed, Israel’s supporters everywhere need to wake up and actively support businesses like Shanie’s. Her story is an instructive and inspirational one of ongoing, street-level resistance to the Israel-hating bullies—resistance from her, her customers and her supporters. They refused to be bullied and they banded together to help the store prosper, to stand in defense of Israelis and Israel, and to outnumber her enemies.

I talked to Shanie Bar-Oz about the empowering experience.

Mark Tapson: How exactly did this controversy begin? What happened outside your store, Lavan Canada?

Shanie Bar-Oz: About three or four days prior to the first picket, I received an email from The Jewish Federation warning me of an impending demonstration against my store. The first picket was quite small, totaling about ten or twelve protesters carrying white signs, Palestinian flags and inciting chants. Thankfully, due to the prior warning, many local Jews and Israelis came out to support me and my store. This was not the case for the next two protests, which were intentionally kept secret.

MT: Who was behind the protests and why did they target your store?

SB: A local group that calls themselves the “Boycott Israeli Apartheid Campaign.” They have targeted Lavan as an Israeli brand (all of my products are manufactured in Israel). They claim in their brochure that by manufacturing Dead Sea Mineral products, we support the alleged “mistreatment and oppression” of the Palestinian people in the area.

MT: What were the protests like? Were you concerned about your safety and your shop?

SB: As each protest comes and goes, they get larger in size and more organized. The number of protesters, signs, and props increase. They have a ten-foot-tall effigy of [Israeli Foreign Minister] Avigdor Lieberman, and images of Israelis as “apartheid vultures.” These vulture images, to me personally, are no different from the Nazis drawing Jews as pigs in the 1930’s.

They also brought a six-foot-tall wall that they use to block my display and divert pedestrians on the sidewalk away from my store. They also distribute vicious and slanderous pamphlets to the pedestrians and Lavan’s customers containing false claims about Lavan, as well as an edited version of our logo from “Body, Mind, and Soap” to “Bomb, Mine and Sell.”

Safety is always a concern during any protest. My employees are upset and scared, which is understandable considering there are people outside protesting our homeland’s existence. One protester said “Heil Hitler!” to one of Lavan’s supporters during the first protest.…

MT: How did the word start to get out that you were under assault? What was the response, when people learned you were being harassed?

SB: I wrote letters to the Jewish community and local Rabbis to let them know of my situation. They called for the counter-measure of a buycott. But the protesters would come unannounced. Unable to mobilize the Jewish and Israeli communities with so little warning, support on the day of the protests was small. They tried but they can only do so much.

I then went to the Israeli paper Ynet, which thankfully got Lavan’s story global recognition. The support I then received was incredibly empowering.…

MT: Was there any kind of official response from the Canadian or Israeli governments or local Jewish organizations?

SB: Yes. The Canadian Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism, Mr. Jason Kenney, visited the store to support Israel and my business, and the staff and myself personally [Minister Kenney made several purchases at the store to show his support—Ed.] I got the blessings of the Israeli Minister of Foreign Affairs, Yuli Edelstein…and I spoke at great length with his VP to try to find some creative ideas to improve Israel’s image in the world. Also, the local Jewish centers motivated their people to come and support me and Lavan. The leading local Rabbis even replaced my mezuza, and came personally to the store to show their support.

MT: During Israeli Apartheid Week, are the protests outside your store getting worse?

SB: I have to be honest with you: I refuse to use Israel and apartheid in the same sentence. This is simply ridiculous and spreads ignorance. There is absolutely nothing Israel shares with apartheid. Israel is a very proud democracy that can be an inspiration to many other countries in the world.…

MT: What can your supporters do to help?

SB: I am extremely grateful and thankful for any form of support. Whether it be sharing my story, a Facebook page, coming into the store to make a purchase, or visiting our online store. Support in any form is what I was praying for. I think that any product made in Israel is a strong and proud ambassador of Israel. It just feels wrong that Israel is the only country in the world to have an “Anti-Week” against it. And now I hope that instead of being a target for hate we will be a symbol of success.

“NAKBA WEEKEND”—O, WOE IS ME!— PALESTINIAN “HOSTAGES” VS. JEWISH REFUGEES

 

 

 

ENDLESS CATASTROPHE
Editorial
Jerusalem Post, May 15, 2011

 

‘Nakba Day” has expanded into “Nakba weekend,” and judging from the potential diplomatic and military fallout in the wake of the turmoil in the north, now threatens to occupy our attention for days to come.

But while the developments in Majdal Shams and Maroun a-Ras set this year’s “Nakba” apart from previous years, the preferred way to commemorate the supposed “catastrophe” visited on the Palestinian people from the creation of the State of Israel has remained the same: violence, incitement and provocation.

Early Sunday, a 22-year-old man from Kafr Kasim chose to commemorate the failed attempt 63 years ago to violently snuff out the emerging Jewish state at birth with more death and destruction.… He climbed into the cabin of his semi-trailer and embarked on a collision spree along a two-kilometer strip of highway in Tel Aviv, using his huge vehicle as a deadly weapon. When his truck was finally forced to a stop when it collided with a bus, the driver nevertheless continued his rampage, clubbing a young woman.

By the time he had been subdued, the truck driver, who was only moderately wounded by an incensed crowd, had left behind him one dead and at least 17 injured, one of them critically.

In the north, meanwhile, Bashar Assad, in a cynical attempt to distract the Arab world’s attention from the atrocities and human rights abuses he is perpetrating against his citizens—including hundreds shot down in the streets during demonstrations, and thousands who have disappeared—orchestrated an intentional provocation in the most unlikely of places.

Hundreds of Syrians, many of them living in refugee camps as Palestinians (because Assad refuses to integrate them into Syrian society), were bused in coordination with Syria’s military forces to the border with Israel on the Golan Heights. From there, they descended en masse on the quiet town of Majdal Shams, a Druse village whose citizens are generally loyal to Israel and who reject commemoration of Israel’s establishment as a “Nakba.”

In the ensuing anarchy that included rock-throwing and violent confrontations, IDF soldiers opened fire in an attempt to prevent the Syrians from overrunning the border. Unfortunately, at least one Syrian was killed and more were wounded.

IDF soldiers seemed to have reacted reasonably judging from the circumstances. The border in the north stretches well over 200 kilometers. The army could never hope to position the requisite amount of soldiers needed to confront hundreds of infiltrators. The 30 to 40 soldiers who were in Majdal Shams reacted as appropriately as they could. And they were responding to a new phenomenon apparently inspired by the sorts of “Arab Spring” demonstrations that have taken place in Egypt and Tunisia.

On the Lebanese border in the town of Maroun a-Ras, as hundreds of additional Palestinians moved toward the border, three to five Palestinians were shot dead. In the south, on the border with Hamas-ruled Gaza, similar attempts were made to infiltrate Israel. Inside Israel, riots broke out around Jerusalem from Kalandiya to Silwan, A-Tur and Isawiyia, though these disturbances were “usual” for annual “Nakba” demonstrations.

This year’s “Nakba” provides additional bitter evidence that, far from preparing its people for peace with Israel, the Palestinian leadership continues to encourage the most extremist, intransigent positions. Palestinians have been encouraged to focus solely on their own suffering and victimization rather than coming to grips with their own tragic historical mistakes. These include rejecting the 1947 UN partition plan and launching an unsuccessful war against the nascent Jewish state, continuing to reject peace proposals including those put forward in 2000 by prime minister Ehud Barak and in 2008 by prime minister Ehud Olmert, and voting a Hamas majority into their parliament in 2006.

Just this weekend [Palestinian Authority president Mahmoud] Abbas, supposedly representing the more moderate Palestinian leadership, vowed that the PA would never neglect the “right of return.”

Since Abbas knows that full implementation of this “right” would put an end to the Jewish majority in Israel, he was implicitly calling for an end to Israel as a Jewish state. In parallel, a high-ranking official in Fatah declared this weekend that his organization’s political program is identical with Hamas’s. As for Hamas’s program, its Gaza Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh marked “Nakba Day” by predicting “the collapse of the Zionist project in Palestine.”

How much longer will Palestinians allow themselves to be captives to extremism and intransigence, and pawns to rogue states such as Syria? The only path to their independence lies through reconciliation with the State of Israel. That was the message of the international community in 1947. For how many more years are they going to reject it?

 

FIVE LETTERS THAT SPELL MIDDLE EASTERN MISERY
Michael S. Bernstam
National Post, Janusary 7, 2011

 

…The narrow confines of the 139 square miles of the Gaza district feature eight separate Palestinian refugee camps.… These refugee camps were established in 1949 and have been financed ever since by the United Nations Relief and Work Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA). Far from seeking to help residents build a new and better life either in Gaza or elsewhere, UNRWA is paying millions of refugees to perpetuate their refugee status, generation after generation, as they await their forcible return to the land inside the State of Israel.

Though pundits and foreign-policy experts focus on the question of settlements or the current temperature of negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians, UNRWA’s institutionalization of refugee-cum-military camps is…the principal obstacle to peace in the Middle East. The chances of achieving peace and security in the Middle East will continue to be remote as long as UNRWA is, in effect, underwriting a self-destructive Palestinian cycle of violence, internecine bloodshed and a perpetual war against Israel.

For 60 years, UNRWA has been paying four generations of Palestinians to remain refugees, reproduce refugees and live in refugee camps. It is UNRWA that put them in refugee cages and watched the number of inhabitants grow. The Palestinian refugee population in Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, the West Bank and Gaza has exploded from 726,000 in 1950 to 4.8 million in 2010. About 95% receive some form of UNRWA care. The unprecedented nature of this guardianship is rooted in the unusual nature of this institution. UNRWA is a supranational welfare state that pays its residents not to build their own nation-state; for, were they to do so, they would forfeit their refugee status and its entitlements of cash, housing, health care, education, credit and other largesse.…

All refugees except the Palestinians fall under the jurisdiction and care of the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). Only actual refugees qualify for aid under the UNHCR and only on a short-term basis.… The UNHCR’s mandate is to resettle and integrate all refugees in their historical homelands, or in new host countries. But Palestinians were provided with a different sort of relief.

The UNRWA charter specified that the Palestinians who lived in British Mandate Palestine during the years 1946-48 and who subsequently fled in 1948-49 qualified for refugee status—together with all their descendants. This open-ended definition of refugees applies for generations to come. It bestows housing, utilities, health care, education, cash allowances, public works and social services for multiple generations from cradle to grave. In practice, this means multigenerational refugee camps and ghettoes in Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, the West Bank and Gaza. Close to one-third of today’s refugees, about 1.4 million, live in 59 refugee camps. There is no longer any room in UNRWA’s mandate and agenda for resettlement and integration.

UNRWA’s mandate created, in effect, a multigenerational dependency of an entire people.… Only the triumphant return of the grandchildren and the great-grandchildren to the ancestral land will mark the final deliverance in this ideology. Until then, the permanent refugee welfare state means permanent war, as it is fueled by a particular “right of return” claim—the argument that Palestinians should be given title to the land they occupied before Israel’s independence.

To see its pernicious demographic and physical meaning, consider what this claim is not, and then what it is.

First, it is not the right of return of actual refugees (as opposed to descendants) that was created by international conventions since 1948 to prevent deportations and to mitigate the conditions of concurrent refugees who fled the ravages of war. Nor is it the right of return of historical ethnic diasporas to their own nation-states. Nor is it the establishment of new nation-states where there were none. Rather, the claim of the Palestinian right of return is intended for one historical ethnic diaspora of the descendants of perennial refugees to repopulate another people’s existing nation-state, Israel.… This is…a reconquest after a lost war, a claim of the right of retake.…

A change in the Palestinian incentive structure is necessary for both peace and statehood. Palestinian sovereignty will only be achieved by liberation from UNRWA and, like peace, cannot be truly achieved without this liberation.… One possible first step is to merge [the UNRWA] with the UNHCR. Such a measure could allow UNRWA to be abolished immediately. If the new, merged agency adopted UNHCR’s program of short-term emergency relief, it would signal the beginning of the end of the world body’s support for continuance of the Palestinians’ agony. Alternatively, UNRWA could be held in place and phased out gradually.

The process is not important. What is important is the change in mission. The new mandate should be resettlement, integration and naturalization. The task is, in short, to transform 4.8 million people from dependent refugees into productive citizens.…

In Jordan, more than 1.8 million of the nearly two million registered refugees are already naturalized citizens of that country. Another 170,000 have permanent residency rights. Both citizens and permanent residents are integrated into the labour market and are isolated from other Jordanians primarily by the stigma of refugeeism. These Jordanian-Palestinians prefer to send their children to Jordanian schools that teach English and computer science rather than to UNRWA schools that teach historical mythology and use maps without Israel.

In Syria, since 1957, Palestinian residents have had the same rights as citizens in employment, commerce and social services. They lack formal citizenship and full property rights because the Syrian government, in a concordat with UNRWA, committed itself to “preserve their original nationality,” that is, to keep them trapped in their permanent refugee status and the ensuing claim on retaking Israel. Without UNRWA, this obstacle to integration would weaken even if the Syrian hostility toward Israel remains intact.

Lebanon is the most difficult case. Of 414,000 registered refugees, only 70,000 are citizens. Others do not enjoy employment rights, cannot own land and do not qualify for public education, health care and welfare. However, the transfer of the array of social and financial services and facilities from UNRWA to the Lebanese authorities would contribute to integration and help create jobs.…

The end of UNRWA would automatically nullify the pernicious issue of the right of return-cum-retake. It is unsolvable in the presence of UNRWA, because it implies the repopulation of Israel with millions of perennial paramilitary refugees. But once UNRWA is discarded, the refugee status expires instantaneously or after a transition period, and the right of return becomes a non-issue due to immediate and actually pressing needs.…

Instead of perpetuating the dead end that the international welfare state for the Palestinians represents, ending UNRWA’s horrific six-decade reign would instantly create the conditions for an honest, meaningful and viable peace process to begin in the Middle East.

(Michael S. Bernstam is a research fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University.)

 

JEWISH REFUGEES FROM ARAB COUNTRIES
Jacqueline Shields
Jewish Virtual Library, May 16, 2011

 

Although much is heard about the plight of the Palestinian refugees, little is said about the Jews who fled from Arab states. In 1945, there were more than 870,000 Jews living in the various Arab states. Many of their communities dated back 2,500 years. Throughout 1947 and 1948 these Jews were persecuted. Their property and belongings were confiscated. There were anti-Jewish riots in Egypt, Libya, Syria, and Iraq.… Approximately 600,000 Jews sought refuge in the State of Israel. They arrived destitute, but they were absorbed into the society and became an integral part of the state.…

Little is heard about the Jewish refugees because they did not remain refugees for long. Of the 820,000 Jewish refugees, 586,000 were resettled in Israel at great expense, and without any offer of compensation from the Arab governments who confiscated their possessions. During the 1947 UN debates, Arab leaders threatened the Jews living in their countries with expulsion and violence if partition were to occur. Egypt’s delegate told the General Assembly: “The lives of one million Jews in Muslim countries would be jeopardized by partition.” Following the 1947 United Nations vote to partition Palestine, Arab violence against Jews erupted throughout the Middle East and North Africa.

On January 18, 1948, the president of the World Jewish Congress, Dr. Stephen Wise, appealed to U.S. Secretary of State George Marshall: “Between 800,000 and a million Jews in the Middle East and North Africa, exclusive of Palestine, are in ‘the greatest danger of destruction’ at the hands of Muslims being incited to holy war over the Partition of Palestine.… Acts of violence already perpetrated, together with those contemplated, being clearly aimed at the total destruction of the Jews, constitute genocide, which under the resolutions of the General Assembly is a crime against humanity.”

The United States, however, did not take action to investigate these pleadings.

On May 16, 1948, a New York Times headline read “Jews in Grave Danger in all Muslim Lands: Nine Hundred Thousand in Africa and Asia face wrath of their foes.” The story reported of a law drafted by the Arab League Political Committee “which was intended to govern the legal status of Jewish residents of Arab League countries. Their bank accounts would be frozen and used to finance resistance to ‘Zionist ambitions in Palestine.’ Jews believed to be active Zionists would be interned and their assets confiscated.…”

Roughly half of Israel’s [current] Jew[ish population compromises descendants of] Jewish refugees from Arab countries.… Israel has consequently maintained that any agreement to compensate the Palestinian refugees must also include Arab compensation for Jewish refugees.

The Treatment of Jews in Arab Countries Prior to Expulsion

SYRIA

Jews had lived in Syria since biblical times.… In 1943, the Jewish community of Syria had 30,000 members. In 1945, in an attempt to thwart efforts to establish a Jewish homeland, the government restricted immigration to Israel, and Jewish property was burned and looted. The government then froze Jewish bank accounts and confiscated their property.…

Following Syrian independence from France in 1946…attacks against Jews and their property increased, culminating in the pogroms of 1947, which left all shops and synagogues in Aleppo in ruins. Thousands of Jews fled the country, approximately 10,000 to the United States, and another 5,000 to Israel, and their homes and property were taken over by the local Muslims.

For the next decades, those Syrian Jews that remained were, in effect, hostages of a hostile regime.… Jews were stripped of their citizenship, and experienced employment discrimination.… The community lived under siege, constantly under surveillance of the secret police.

The last Jews to leave Syria departed with the chief rabbi in October 1994. Prior to 1947, there were…three distinct communities: the Kurdish-speaking Jews of Kamishli, the Jews of Aleppo with roots in Spain, and the original eastern Jews of Damascus, called Must’arab. Today, only a tiny remnant of these communities remains.

EGYPT

…In 1945, with the rise of Egyptian nationalism and the cultivation of anti-Western and anti-Jewish sentiment, riots erupted; 10 Jews were killed, 350 injured, and a synagogue, a Jewish hospital, and an old-age home were burned down. On July 29, 1947, an amendment was introduced to the Egyptian Companies Law which made it mandatory for at least 75% of the administrative employees of a company to be Egyptian nationals and 90% of employees in general. This decree resulted in the loss of livelihood for many Jews.

The establishment of the State of Israel led to further anti-Jewish sentiments. Between June and November 1948, bombs set off in the Jewish Quarter killed more than 70 Jews and wounded nearly 200. 2,000 Jews were arrested and many had their property confiscated. Rioting over the next few months resulted in many more Jewish deaths.

In 1956, the Egyptian government used the Sinai Campaign as a pretext for expelling almost 25,000 Egyptian Jews and confiscating their property. Approximately 1,000 more Jews were sent to prisons and detention camps. On November 23, 1956, a proclamation signed by the Minister of Religious Affairs, and read aloud in mosques throughout Egypt, declared that “all Jews are Zionists and enemies of the state,” and promised that they would be soon expelled.

Thousands of Jews were ordered to leave the country. They were allowed to take only one suitcase and a small sum of cash, and forced to sign declarations “donating” their property to the Egyptian government. Foreign observers reported that members of Jewish families were taken hostage, apparently to insure that those forced to leave did not speak out against the Egyptian government.

By 1957 the Jewish population had fallen to 15,000 [from a high of 63,500 in 1937]. In 1967, after the Six-Day War, there was a renewed wave of persecution, and the community dropped to 2,500. By the 1970s, after the remaining Jews were given permission to leave the country, the community dwindled to a few families. Today, nearly all the Jews in Egypt are elderly, and the community is on the verge of extinction.

IRAQ

…After the establishment of Israel in 1948, Zionism became a capital crime. In 1950, the Iraqi parliament finally legalized emigration to Israel, provided Iraqi Jews forfeited their citizenship. Between May 1950 and August 1951, the Jewish Agency and the Israeli government succeeded in airlifting approximately 110,000 Jews to Israel in Operations Ezra and Nehemiah. At the same time, 20,000 Jews were smuggled out of Iraq through Iran. A year later the property of Jews who emigrated from Iraq was frozen, and economic restrictions were placed on Jews who remained in the country. In 1952, Iraq’s government barred Jews from emigrating, and publicly hanged two Jews after falsely charging them with hurling a bomb at the Baghdad office of the U.S. Information Agency. A community that had reached a peak of 150,000 in 1947, dwindled to a mere 6,000 after 1951.

Persecutions continued, especially after the Six Day War in 1967, when the remaining 3,000 Jews were arrested and dismissed from their jobs. Those who were arrested, some were hanged in the public square of Baghdad, others died of torture.

MOROCCO

…In June 1948, bloody riots in Oujda and Djerada killed 44 Jews and wounded scores more. That same year, an unofficial economic boycott was instigated against Moroccan Jews. In 1956, Morocco declared its independence, and by 1959 Zionist activities became illegal. In 1963, more than 100,000 Moroccan Jews were forced out from their homes and moved to Israel. During this year, more than 30,000 Jews [also] left for France and the Americas.… [Before the founding of Israel in 1948, there were about 250,000 Jews living in Morocco; today, fewer than 7,000 remain].

YEMEN

The first historical existence of Jews in Yemen is from the third century CE. In 1922, the government of Yemen reintroduced an ancient Islamic law that decreed that Jewish orphans under age 12 were to be converted to Islam. In 1947, after the partition vote, Muslim rioters, joined by the local police force, engaged in a bloody pogrom in Aden that killed 82 Jews and destroyed hundreds of Jewish homes.… Early in 1948, looting occurred after six Jews were falsely accused of murdering two Arab girls. 50,000 Jews were forced out of Yemen in 1948. By 1959 over 3,000 Jews from Aden arrived in Israel, many more fled to the US and England. Today, there are no Jews in Aden. There are an estimated 350 Jews in Yemen today.…

TUNISIA

The first documented evidence of Jews living in what is Tunisia dates back to 200 CE.… In 1948, the Tunisian Jewish community had numbered 105,000, with 65,000 living in Tunis alone. Jews suffered greatly in 1956, when the country achieved independence. The rabbinical tribunal was abolished in 1957, and a year later, Jewish community councils were dissolved. In addition, the Jewish quarter of Tunis was destroyed by the government. Anti-Jewish rioting followed the outbreak of the Six-Day War, and Muslims burned down the Great Synagogue of Tunis. These events increased the steady stream of emigration to Israel. Today, an estimated 2,000 Jews remain in Tunisia.

LIBYA

The Jewish community of Libya traces its origin back some 2,500 years to around the third century BCE. At the time of the Italian occupation in 1911, there were approximately 21,000 Jews in the country, the majority in Tripoli.… During the British occupation [following WWII], there were a series of pogroms. A savage pogrom occurred in Tripoli on November 5, 1945, where more than 140 Jews were massacred and almost every synagogue in the city was looted. In June 1948, rioters murdered another 12 Jews and destroyed 280 Jewish homes. When the British legalized emigration in 1949, more than 30,000 Jews fled Libya.

Thousands of Jews fled the country to Israel after Libya was granted independence and membership in the Arab League in 1951.… After the Six-Day War, the Jewish population, only 7,000, was again subjected to pogroms in which 18 people were killed, and many more injured, sparking a near-total exodus that left fewer than 100 Jews in Libya.… By 1974, there were no more than 20 Jews, and it is believed that the Jewish presence has passed out of existence.

ALGERIA

…On the eve of the civil war that gripped the country in the late 1950s, there were some 130,000 Jews in Algeria, approximately 30,000 of whom lived in the capital. Nearly all Algerian Jews fled the country shortly after it gained independence from France in 1962. After being granted independence in 1962, the Algerian government harassed the Jewish community and deprived Jews of their principle economic rights.…