Wednesday, November 26, 2014

From Ian:

Why UNRWA Perpetuates the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict
Part of the coverage of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is pretending to hold actors and institutions involved to a higher set of expectations than experience would dictate. Over the course of last summer’s war between Hamas in Gaza and the Israel Defense Forces, this meant propagating the idea that it was in any way shocking when the terrorist organization’s weapons–stockpiled for the express purpose of killing Jews in a maniacal, genocidal campaign–turned up, repeatedly, at schools run by UNRWA: the UN agency dedicated to keeping Palestinians living like refugees in perpetuity.
So now it’s unclear precisely how to react to a raft of stories demonstrating the reason it wasn’t surprising to find Hamas weapons in UNRWA schools: because UNRWA teachers and principles share Hamas’s violently anti-Semitic ideology. Yet in fact this is newsworthy, for an important reason beyond the obvious. First, though, it’s instructive to see just what American taxpayers are getting for their UNRWA money.
On November 20, after the Har Nof massacre in which Palestinian terrorists murdered four rabbis in a Jerusalem synagogue, the Algemeiner reported:
Popular Jewish blogger Elder of Ziyon has amassed evidence of UNRWA employees lauding the Jerusalem attack, among them Maha al Mosa, an UNRWA teacher in Syria who prayed for the two terrorists to be accepted in “paradise” as “martyrs,” Ibrahim Hajjar, another teacher based in Hebron, who published a poem praising the terrorists, and another Syrian-based teacher who, using a pseudonym, posted a celebratory picture of Adolf Hitler on his Facebook page.
Bernard-Henri Lévy: Israel, Palestine, and the French Legislature: ‘He Who Would Act the Angel, Acts the Brute’
For nearly half a century I have favored the two-state solution. But I believe that the “unilateral recognition” of Palestine under consideration in the French parliament is a bad idea for three reasons.
1. Hamas.
Its charter and its agenda.
The fact that, for the time being at least, Hamas administers one of the two territories that make up the state that supposedly must be recognized immediately and with great fanfare. The fact that Hamas’s doctrine is that Israel must be destroyed.
One does not recognize, even symbolically, a state in which half of the government denies another state’s right to exist.
One does not recognize, especially not symbolically, a government in which half of the ministers dream of annihilating that state.
Amb. Prosor addresses UNGA debate on the Question of Palestine (h/t Irene)




Abbas' book reveals: The 'Nazi-Zionist plot' of the Holocaust
The Palestinian Authority's new media division is putting considerable effort it seems into the construction and maintenance of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas' official website. The site is user-friendly and includes information on the familiar parts of Abbas' resume - from his childhood in Safed to the president's office in Ramallah. The site details Abbas' political journey as a Palestinian leader, without forgetting to include all of the awards and citations he has received along the way.
The site is updated often and includes, for example, recent video clips such as Abbas' speech to the UN General Assembly in September, in which he accused the State of Israel of war crimes and - effectively - of genocide, thus severely damaging, many believe, the chances of reviving the peace talks between Israel and the PA in the foreseeable future.
As one would expect from such a site, it glorifies Abbas' work, aiming to describe him as a combination of a charismatic leader, a popular and well-liked international figure, a refugee who personally experienced the tragedy of the Palestinian people, and a man of vision. But just as importantly - he is presented as a philosopher with a unique perspective on history, and an important intellectual.
To bolster that last component, the third menu item on the left of the homepage for Abbas' official website highlights his "Books and Publications." That link leads to a page with no less than 18 books written by the very prolific Abbas - most dealing with the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The books were published by several publishers over the years, but all of them were reprinted in a similar format (size, font, cover) by a Ramallah publisher with funding from the Palestinian Authority in 2011.
One of them, with dark blue cover, is called "The Other Side: The Secret Relationship Between Nazism and Zionism." Those who don't want to search for the book in Ramallah book stores can read it, page-by-page in a sophisticated interface on the presidential website - but only in Arabic. (h/t Elder of Lobby)
Slaughter in a Synagogue: The Murders of Har Nof Have Changed Jerusalem
The great tragedy of the Jerusalem synagogue terrorist attack will not soon be forgotten. It was felt by Jewish people well beyond the municipal borders of Jerusalem. It was an attack on the ability of Jews to access their holy places and to pray freely in their holy city. The murders at Har Nof have transformed Jerusalem. The intrusive apparatus of security will once again constrict the city as new measures are introduced to protect the lives of civilians.
Herein lies yet another tragedy. The murders are a blow to the very possibility of any kind of negotiated peace. Israel has on three separate occasions made offers to the Palestinians which would have included Israel and a Palestinian State sharing sovereignty over Jerusalem without physically redividing the city. The predominantly Arab neighbourhoods of the city and the surface of the Temple Mount were proposed as a part of the Palestinian State. It is unlikely that Israel will ever renew that proposal. Such an arrangement presupposes that both Jews and Palestinians in the city could be safe and secure without being physically separated. That prospect now seems more distant than ever.
Thousands at Memorial for Jerusalem’s Har Nof Massacre Victims
Thousands attended a memorial service held Tuesday night to mark the end of the “Shiva,” the initial seven-day mourning period for five men slain by terrorists in the Jerusalem Har Nof Massacre.
Community rabbis and families of the fallen participated in the service attended by people from all over the country.
In Judaism, the immediate family continues mourning for a 30-day period and children of the fallen are bound to observe certain ritual restrictions for an entire year.
Four of the victims were rabbis; three were dual American-Israeli citizens and one was a British-Israeli national.
The fifth was a Druze Israeli police officer who gave his life for fellow citizens by deliberately drawing the attention of the terrorists to prevent them from continuing their slaughter. His partner shot and killed the terrorists.
US envoy to Israel prays at terrorized Jerusalem synagogue
A week after a terrorist attack in Jerusalem's Har Nof neighborhood, which left four worshippers and one policeman dead, U.S. Ambassador to Israel Daniel Shapiro attended prayer services at Kehilat Bnei Torah synagogue on Tuesday.
Shapiro was accompanied by Eli Beer, the founder of United Hatzalah of Israel and President of U.S. based organization Friends of United Hatzalah -- a non-profit, volunteer emergency medical services organization -- and several first-aid volunteers who were among the first responders to arrived at the scene of the attack.
"I saw a great need to come here on the last day of the shiva [the week-long mourning period] for those who were murdered. I wanted to be here today with the worshippers and with the members of United Hatzalah, who acted with immense dedication to save lives," Shapiro said.
On Tuesday evening the synagogue hosted a large rally to mark the end of the shiva period.
IDF Blog: 8 Terror Attacks You Should Know About
The threat of terror attacks in Israel is substantial; in 20 years, there have been more than 150 suicide-bombing attacks, an average of one attack every two months, and this is without taking into account rocket attacks, stabbings and car rammings. Several terrorist organizations have led these attacks, and the IDF and Israel Security Services have spent much time and effort in preventing them. Though there has been an improvement in the last years, recent events have proved that the will to perpetrate such attacks still exists.
Below is a summary of 8 suicide bombings that show why the IDF must continue to work tirelessly to prevent such attacks.
Law to Ban Islamist Gangs from Temple Mount
Internal Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovich (Yisrael Beytenu) is advancing a new bill to declare the groups of Muslim extremists coordinating unrest on the Temple Mount in order to block Jewish visits as illegal gatherings.
The new bill was revealed on Wednesday by Haaretz, and targets the organized gatherings of Muslim men and women in recent years on the Mount, the holiest site in Judaism, who curse and shout at Jewish visitors and assault police with rocks and fireworks. The activities of such groups are conducted with the objective of preventing Jews from visiting the Mount and removing what is left of Israeli sovereignty there.
Those activities have been shown to be funded by the radical Muslim Brotherhood-linked Islamic Movement in Israel, which is led by extremist Sheikh Raed Salah and has actively supported Arab rioting. There are currently moves in the Knesset to ban the extremist group.
Interior Ministry to deport Jerusalem synagogue terrorist's wife
The Interior Ministry revoked Wednesday the Israeli residency of Nadia Abu Jamal, the wife of one of the terrorists in the November 18 synagogue attack in the Har Nof neighborhood of Jerusalem that killed five people. She will be forced to leave the country and forfeit any future monetary and social allowances from the state.
"Everyone who is involved in terror needs to take into account the effects it could have on family members as well," Interior Minister Gilad Erdan said of the decision.
Under the Family Unification Law, Abu Jamal, a Palestinian, was allowed to live in Israel because her husband was a permanent resident of Israel.
Abed Abu Jamal and Ghassan Muhammad Abu Jamal were killed as they attacked a synagogue in Jerusalem's Har Nof neighborhood, killing four worshipers, one police officer and injuring several others.
Israel's shooting of 5 terrorists is an "attack against our people"
To the Palestinian public, Abbas' official Palestinian Authority TV has presented five Palestinian murderers as "Martyrs." Israel's shooting of these terrorists - either during their attacks on Israeli civilians or while trying to apprehend them later - was described by PA TV as "Israel's attacks against our people." PA TV avoided mentioning the terror attacks altogether, and referred to recent attacks in which terrorists deliberately ran people over as "accidents" and "incidents."
Completely ignoring the fact that two terrorists armed with guns, knives and axes murdered five people in an attack against worshippers in a Jerusalem synagogue, PA TV included their deaths in the list of "Israeli attacks." The fact that the terrorists were killed in an exchange of fire with Israeli Security Forces that arrived at the synagogue was not mentioned. PA TV described them as victims:
PA TV: Israel's shooting of 4 terrorists is an "attack against our people"

Jewish Construction Worker Was Killed by Arabs in Terror Attack
In a dramatic turn of events Petah Tikva's Magistrates Court on Wednesday morning lifted a gag order over the murder of Jewish construction worker Netanel Arami - revealing that his murder was indeed an Arab terrorist attack.
Arami's family have long insisted that his death was an act of murder by one or more of his Arab colleagues after he fell from a Petah Tikva construction site - apparently after his ropes were cut as he rappelled from the eleventh floor. The Arami family have led a hard-fought campaign for police to make public details of their investigation, and just yesterday petitioned the court to lift the gag order.
Initial reports claimed that when police arrived on the roof of the Petah Tikva building Arami fell from they found his ropes cut and Arab workers laughing, but police and other officials have remained tight-lipped on details of their investigation ever since. Police inaction and repeated allegations of a cover-up have sparked public outcry and protests.
Judge Merav Greenberg released for publication the fact that following Arami's murder police arrested and interrogated three Arab suspects "under suspicion that they were involved with causing his death for nationalistic motives."
Yeshiva students recount Jerusalem knife attack
The two yeshiva students stabbed in a confrontation with Arab youths near Jaffa Gate in Jerusalem’s Old City on Monday night described the attack Tuesday, recalling that one assailant shouted anti-Semitic slurs during the clash.
The students, men aged 45 and 32, were hospitalized with moderate-to-serious and light wounds, respectively, following what they described as an unprovoked assault at the heavily traveled Jerusalem location.
According to police, the three assailants, aged 14-17, attempted to flee the scene after stabbing and beating their victims, but were arrested by border policemen stationed in the area.
Police Confirm: Old City Attack was Planned Ambush
Police have confirmed that the attack on the two Yeshiva students on Monday in the Old City of Jerusalem was a planned ambush, according to a Haaretz report.
As they far too often do, the police originally and incorrectly claimed it was a fight between Arabs and Jews, and not the terror attack that it was.
The four Arabs that ambushed and attacked the students from the Breslov Chassidic “Shuvu Banim” yeshiva have been arrested.
The 45-year-old yeshiva student managed to drag himself to the Kishleh police station with stab wounds in the abdomen, and said he’d been stabbed by Arabs.
The second man, age 32, was also hurt. He suffered wounds to the neck, and had a broken hand. Police determined he had been hit with a blunt instrument.
The attackers were between the ages of 15 and 17.
After Jerusalem Terrorism: Israeli Bus Guards Are Back; Drivers Leaning Krav Maga
In recent weeks, the Prime Minister’s Office approved the 80 million shekel ($20.74 million) plan, which placed armed guards alongside the driver to inspect passengers as they boarded the vehicle during the so-called second intifada.
According to the plan, 300 security guards will be stationed at key points along the capital’s bus routes, according to ministry guidelines mapping out the most likely routes for mayhem.
In addition, the ministry also presented a plan, first announced in August, to train 10,000 drivers nationally in relevant aspects of an Israeli-developed hand-to-hand combat technique known as “Krav Maga” (Contact Combat), and in spotting suspected terrorists.
The drivers will also be deputized to stop, search and inspect the bags of suspicious riders, and detain them until police arrive, according to the report.
Divided EU Parliament postpones vote on Palestine recognition
A vote by the European Parliament in Strasbourg over whether to recognize a Palestinian state was postponed Tuesday from later this week to mid-December.
Israeli diplomatic officials said the move was pushed off from Thursday for three reasons: Emerging difficulties between the various parties regarding the language of the resolution; opposition by some members of the parties – especially from Germany – to the resolution; and intensive work by Israeli diplomats in Brussels to postpone the vote, hoping to gain more time to change minds.
The vote in the European Parliament will follow the Swedish government’s recent recognition of “Palestine,” as well as nonbinding resolutions on the matter that have passed in the British, Irish and Spanish parliaments.
A similar vote is scheduled to come before the French parliament on Tuesday, but unlike in the other parliaments, Israeli officials said that there the resolution is likely to come up against a substantial minority voting against. Israel’s representatives in Paris have been working with both the government and opposition parties to mobilize opposition to the resolution.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Sunday the French parliament would be making a “grave mistake” with recognition.
Palestinian statehood: Perils of unilateral European recognition
What message does unilateral recognition send? To the Palestinians it says: if we stick to our positions, if we do not compromise or negotiate, if we continue to use violence and terrorism, we will be handed what we want on a silver plate. In reality of course, it will not change anything on the ground, only direct, bona fide negotiations with Israel will.
It will only embolden Palestinian extremists, perpetuate the conflict and encourage further attacks against Israel by Palestinians as a means to reach their political goals.
Furthermore, such premature recognition of a Palestinian state rooted in violence, terrorism and radical Islamist ideology only sets an example for other terror groups, such as Islamic State and Boko Haram. Now they may ask: “Well, if the Palestinians can get statehood like this, then why not us?” Unwise and dangerous decisions like this only risk perpetually inflating Palestinian hopes and exacerbating an already tense situation in the Middle East, pushing the region even closer to war when nothing eventually comes of these motions, votes and resolutions.
If the EU wants to be respected in the region and considered an honest broker, it must cease singling out Israel for incessant opprobrium, and especially its pathological obsession over settlements, and must stop rewarding Palestinians for intransigence and terrorism.
Europe must instead pressure Abbas to end this unremitting incitement and violence against Israel, to recognize its right to exist as the nation-state of the Jewish people and to enter into real, sincere and bona fide negotiations with Israel. Only such negotiations can bring about Palestinian dreams of statehood, not empty votes in Europe.
Sarkozy comes out against Palestine recognition
Sarkozy condemned the unilateral measure, which is set to be presented for a parliamentary vote on December 2, in the wake of the “heinous and bloody” Har Nof terror attack last week in which five Israelis were killed.
“I will fight for the Palestinians to have their state. But unilateral recognition a few days after a deadly attack and when there is no peace process? No!” he said at a political rally.
Sarkozy said he would never accept a resolution that would “call into question the security of Israel.”
“This is the fight of my life,” he said.
The lady says ‘no’
In Europe, unilateral recognition of a Palestinian state has become the latest in political fashion. Fortunately, it’s just run head-on into a roadblock in the person of German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
Even as the European Parliament was debating a non-binding resolution calling on all member states to formally recognize “the state of Palestine” (a scheduled vote Thursday was postponed), the German leader made clear she won’t go along.
“Unilateral recognition of the Palestinian state won’t move us forward,” said Chancellor Merkel. The complex issues, she added, “can only be resolved by direct negotiations between the sides.”
Merkel was joined in that sentiment by Dutch Foreign Minister Bert Koenders, who declared that recognizing a Palestinian state “must be a part of negotiations.”
They’re both correct, of course. But it hasn’t stopped the British and Irish parliaments from passing similar resolutions after Sweden last month became the first West European nation to recognize a state of Palestine.
Panicked PLO Warns 'Jewish State Law' Ends 'Two State Solution'
The Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) Executive Committee, headed by Palestinian Authority (PA) Chairman Mahmoud Abbas, on Tuesday criticized the "Jewish State Law" which would enshrine Israel's status as the nation-state of the Jewish people in state law.
An announcement released by the Executive Committee read "this law will put an end to the two state solution in that it imposes the plan of greater Israel and the Jewish nature of the state on the historical land of Palestine, and it serves as a unilateral Israeli cancellation of the mutual recognition document from 1993."
Aside from the well-documented historical absence of any Arab state of "Palestine," the statement also raises eyebrows in that the PLO has taken numerous unilateral moves breaching the 1993 Oslo Accords, and most recently is threatening a UN statehood bid in breach of the Accords.
The PLO statement continued "the Jewish State Law is a racist political decision that is built to negate the Palestinian rights and to control the land, and it contradicts international law...and the law institutionalizes racism and discrimination in all fields of life, by implementing (Prime Minister Binyamin) Netanyahu's plan to turn Israel into a country based on racism by law."
Abbas says he is ready to set up Palestinian State on '22 percent of land'
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas said he would be ready to set up a Palestinian State on what he says is 22 percent of the size he says it should be, Turkey's Anadolu Agency news reported on Tuesday.
Riyad Mansour, the UN's permanent observer of the "State of Palestine," made in the statements in Abbas's name and said that "the time has come to find the political will in order to work seriously for achieving the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people, including the independence of the Palestinian state on the bases of 1967."
"The State of Palestine continued to act with utmost responsibility to serve its people and uphold its legal obligations and international commitments," Mansour said.
"It had stood ready for decades to reach a solution to the conflict, and despite diminishing hopes and a dangerous situation on the ground; it remained committed to the two-state solution."
Disgruntled Jewish Home Forum Demands Action on Building Freeze
The Jewish Home members forum in Judea and Samaria met Monday, where frustrated members of the key coalition member called on the party to follow through on its stated pledges to Jewish construction in the region and stop the ongoing building freeze.
Jewish Home has proven itself unable to stop the covert freeze bringing Jewish building to a halt amid a severe housing crisis, despite the fact that Housing Minister Uri Ariel is of the Jewish Home party. Ariel has made numerous repeated condemnations of the freeze, but despite his position, he and Jewish Home Chairman Naftali Bennett have apparently been unable to do anything about it.
In the forum meeting, disgruntled members of the party and branch heads in the region decided to press the party's representatives in the Knesset to stop just talking about the freeze and to start demanding answers on the de facto freeze that has been in place for many long months.
JPost Editorial: The Hagel lesson
The turnaround was remarkable, and somewhat embarrassing. At the end of 2012, mainstream pro-Israel groups severely criticized US President Barack Obama’s decision to nominate Chuck Hagel as defense secretary. Hagel, a Republican, was accused of being antagonistic towards Israel and overly sympathetic to Palestinian demands.
Twenty-two months later, after tendering his resignation – reportedly under pressure from the Obama administration – Hagel is being widely praised among pro-Israel groups as a true friend of Israel.
Indeed, some of the same mainstream Jewish organizations that expressed reservations – on occasion quite hysterically – about Hagel’s controversial political views on the Jewish lobby, Yasser Arafat, the root causes of instability in the Middle East, and other issues, are now quiet.
Netanyahu lends support to ‘Hanin Zoabi bill’
The bill, an amendment to the constitutional Basic Law: The Knesset, is seen as a response to Balad MK Hanin Zoabi, who expressed support for Hamas during the summer’s Gaza war and insisted that the Hamas-affiliated killers of three Israeli teenagers in June were not terrorists. Zoabi later appeared to retract the latter comments, saying that while the kidnapping of the teens did not constitute terrorism, their killing did.
According to Haaretz, the bill, proposed by MK David Rotem (Yisrael Beytenu), has the support of 27 additional lawmakers, including MKs David Tzur from Hatnua and Rina Frenkel from Yesh Atid, as well as ultra-Orthodox, Likud and Jewish Home MKs.
The bill allows the expulsion of a Knesset member if they express support for a terror group or state in its war against Israel. In order to expel an MK, an absolute majority of the Knesset, or 61 members, would have to vote in favor.
Stupidity, Inanity Vying To Become Cause Of Early Elections (satire)
Stupidity in the form of shortsightedness and willful ignorance has been vying with a misguided devotion to superficial and substantially meaningless pursuits for the dubious honor of serving as the proximate cause of early elections. The stupidity and inanity have come to the fore mostly in the statements of senior officials and coalition leaders, and analysts disagree over which of the two factors will provide the final push for announcing the dissolution of the government.
Inanity has featured prominently in the recent discussions of the proposed Nationality Law. The heads of the various parties in the coalition have devoted significant time and energy to either supporting or denouncing the measure to declare the Jewish State a Jewish state. The inanity has not spared even the country’s president, who declared yesterday (Tuesday) that in its current form the Nationality Law poses a threat to Zionism itself, an assertion that attributes weight and significance to legislative language that is hardly remarkable in many constitutions around the world, let alone in the Middle East.
On the other hand, stupidity has manifested in multiple forms. The most glaring instance of it occurred this week when numerous politicians and activists urged the coalition factions opposed to the Nationality Law to bring down the government over the issue, either ignoring or not assimilating the fact that under the current political circumstances any coalition emerging following early elections will likely be functionally identical to the composition of the present one, rendering the exercise equivalent to a suspension of meaningful government activity in order to spend vast sums on the logistics and financing of elections.
Jordan Angry with Israeli Ambassador
Jordan’s government reacted angrily on Tuesday to comments made by Israel’s ambassador to Jordan, Daniel Nevo, during an interview this week on Army Radio.
During the interview, Nevo was asked to comment on the Jordanian parliament holding a special prayer in honor of the two terrorists who carried out the massacre at a synagogue in Jerusalem last week, who MPs hailed as "heroes".
Nevo responded by saying that Jordanian MPs are seen among locals as taking care only of themselves, and that they tend to sometimes engage in minor issues.
In response, a spokesman for Jordan’s Foreign Ministry said on Tuesday that “the ambassador’s words are unacceptable and are not true.”
Israeli Police Seize Second Major Haul of ‘FireWeapons’ in Toy Store Raid (VIDEO)
Against a background of rioting in the Arab sector and Jerusalem, the Israel Police are continuing to tighten control over access to dangerous and banned devices, including a second haul of contraband fireworks and roman candles, Israel’s Ch. 2 News said Tuesday.
A raid on a toy shop in the West Bank town of Taybeh on Tuesday netted tens of thousands of prohibited fireworks, after police seized two shipping containers full of similar devices and other weapons last week.
Going on an intelligence tip, police forces, detectives and SWAT teams descended on the backroom of the shop, and uncovered large quantities of illegal detonators, commonly used by rioters. The two owners, in their 50s, were taken in for questioning about their involvement in the procurement of the items.
Increasing Signs of ISIS Activity In Gaza Strip
Hamas, the terrorist organization that runs Gaza, has denied any ISIS presence in the Gaza Strip itself, and rejects that it has any possible connection to the other organization. But Arab media articles and officials interviewed recently have said that ISIS is acting in the strip covertly, and has even fired some rockets at Israel.
Protests by ISIS supporters in Gaza have occurred throughout the past year, and reports and discussions on Hamas-linked social media indicate that ISIS has gained support among some members of Hamas itself.
According to testimonies of various figures in Gaza, ISIS works with people affiliated with Salafi jihadi groups, some of whom have returned to Gaza after fighting in Syria. A source inside the Islamic Jihad movement in Gaza admitted that most of the jihadi movements in Gaza are backing ISIS.
Egypt reopens Gaza crossing for first time in a month
Egypt reopened the Rafah border crossing with Gaza on Wednesday for the first time since its closure in late October after a bombing in the Sinai Peninsula, officials said.
The crossing, which is the only access point to the Palestinian territory not controlled by Israel, will open for four hours on Wednesday and Thursday, a government official said.
“The crossing is being opened for two days to help traffic mainly from Egypt to Gaza,” the official said, suggesting that for now, the reopening was only temporary.
An AFP correspondent on the Palestinian side confirmed the terminal had been opened but said he saw nobody crossing into southern Gaza during the first hour it was operating.
TV Debate on Fatah-Hamas Relations Turns into a Clash on the Legacy of Resistance


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