Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Palestinians winning propaganda war?

Speaking at a meeting recently Einat Wilf, a former left wing member of Knesset, said that what she really wanted to get across was the inherent danger in the current nonviolent conflict being waged by the Palestinians against Israel. Her message should send warning signals to all who support the existence of the State of Israel. There is a strong need to counter the verbal attacks which are based on emotive use of language with facts that are readily availalble.

When the Palestinians saw that armed conflict and terrorism didn’t work, she said, they resorted to the war of words – a battle that, so far, Israel is not winning.

“This is all part of the Palestinian strategy of planting words, images, ideas and arguments into people’s minds,” she said. “The world’s greatest atrocities were preceded by preparing people’s minds that what they were about to commit was not an atrocity but something they were doing for a noble cause,” she added, noting that most people don’t think of themselves as evil.

But what is happening with the use of specific words, she said, is “a strategic threat. It’s a real danger.”

The more Wilf travels abroad on speaking engagements in different countries, the more she realizes how successful the Palestinians have been in their campaign, she said.

Wilf cited an example of a debate with a Palestinian spokesman in London who had come up with the expression that Israel was committing cultural genocide. There is no such thing and it doesn’t mean anything, said Wilf, but it was a way of linking Israel with genocide and putting that concept into people’s minds. The same thing happens when Palestinians and their supporters talk about settlements, occupation, colonialism and apartheid, she said.

Outlining the methodology, Wilf said it starts with placard strategy equating Zionism and Israel with racism, imperialism, apartheid and ethnic cleansing.

“You know what it says even though you don’t believe it,” she said.

Eventually, she continued, many people, even Israel’s best friends, start to think that where there’s smoke there’s fire.

In her travels, she has found that people who are genuinely interested in peace in the Middle East, including Jews who are not anti-Israel but are against the country’s policies, fall victim to this strategy and utilize it. But the Palestinians and other Arabs who are utilizing it have a different purpose.

They want to get rid of the State of Israel and they don’t want any Jews living in the land, which is currently Israeli territory, “but no-one believes it,” she said, underscoring the misconception in the popular belief that if Israel would only get rid of the settlements and allow Palestinian refugees to return, there would be peace.

“It’s not what we do but who we are,” she said. “They hate us.”

Nonetheless, there are large numbers of Israelis who are willing to make peace and share the land, but every time the Palestinians have had an opportunity to create their own state, they have found a reason not to, she added.

Moving on to unilateral recognition of Palestinian statehood, Wilf pointed out that there are omissions in resolutions to this effect. If she was writing the resolution, she would add the codicil that once a Palestinian state is recognized it means the end of the Palestinian refugee situation, because people who have a state are not refugees.

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Analysis of Palestinian Draft UNSC Resolution submitted by Jordan

(A Great Analysis of Jordanian Hypocrisy - Haifadiarist)

CHARLES ABELSOHN December 24, 2014,

Jordan has submitted a text to the Security Council for a resolution on Palestine. Jordan? The pre-1967 illegal occupier? Let`s have a look.

Mr Maurice Ostroff, in his “The draft Palestine State Resolution and SC242” shows how mainstream media provide only flimsy journalistic interpretations of the content and intent with little or no analysis of the substance. No journalist has yet pointed out that the draft Palestinian/Jordanian resolution is intended to cancel and bury UNSC 242 and replace with United Nation`s General Assembly (UNGA) non-binding resolutions 181 and 194, originally rejected by the Arab/Moslem bloc. On behalf of mainstream media, I accept this important challenge.

Jordan’s Preamble: “Reaffirming the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination”

My comment: Jordan, are you suffering from amnesia? You illegally occupied Judea and Samaria (the names of the area illegally occupied before history was subsequently changed by Jordan) in 1948. Why did you not then grant the Palestinians self-determination? Oh, they did not exist in 1948? Minor detail.

Jordan`s Preamble: “Recalling General Assembly resolution 181 (II) of 29 November1947”.

My comment: Jordan, more amnesia. You only became a member of the UN in 1955 so what are you recalling? Behind your back, Egypt, Syria, Lebanon, Yemen, Lebanon and Saudi Arabia rejected resolution 181 and declared war on Israel. You joined in, massacred 127 Jews of Gush Etziyon after they surrendered, ethnically cleansed Jerusalem of its 3,000 year old plus Jewish community and annexed Judea and Samaria renaming it the West Bank? So 181 is dead and buried. This is your doing and your major legacy. Sorry but resurrection is not permitted.

Resolution 181 would have created, and I quote, an “Arab State (not Palestinian, not yet invented) and a Jewish State”. Woops, you left out the words “Jewish State” in your draft resolution. Minor oversight, I assume. But by your actions and your friends vote, in 1947/8 you guys said “no” to territory granted to an Arab State under resolution 181 so “no” under 181 it will have to remain.

Resolution 181 also called for “a Special International Regime for the City of Jerusalem.” But, Jordan, you annexed Jerusalem, finally killing off UNGA 181. Jordan, you are clearly a serial UN resolution murderer and have no right to submit anything relating to Palestine on whose territory you were established in 1922. By the way, what about returning Jordan to the Palestinians?

Jordan`s Preamble: “Reaffirming the principle of the inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by force”.

My comment: Jordan, YOU? You grabbed Judea and Samaria in 1948, renamed it the West Bank, annexed your land grab to Jordan and now, as an expert on the subject,  you tell us all about the inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by force? On second thoughts, in the current hypocritical atmosphere and egged on by EU countries recognition of “the Palestinian State”, perhaps you really are the right country for the job. You sure have the expertise and know-how on illegally taking territory by force.

Jordan`s Preamble: “Affirming the imperative of resolving the problem of the Palestine refugees on the basis of international law and relevant resolutions, including resolution 194 (III)…”

My comment: Jordan, wakey, wakey. Double amnesia: You guys rejected 194(iii): Egypt, Syria, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Lebanon, Pakistan, Afganistan all voted no. You would have, too, if you could have. So no it remains.

Also, let`s improve your memory and wording of UNGA 194: Actual wording of 194: “Resolves that the refugees wishing to return to their homes and live at peace with their neighbours should be permitted to do so at the earliest practicable date, and that compensation should be paid for the property of those choosing not to return…”

My comment: You see, Jordan, the word Palestinian does not appear in the quote above since the intent was for 194(iii) to apply to the 850,000 Jewish refugees ethnically cleansed from Arab countries as well. So your resolution fails again in its misquote of history. By the way, all Arab contributions to payment of compensation to Jewish refugees are long overdue but will still be welcomed. In any event, what`s dead is dead. Refugees are now covered by paragraph 2 of UNSC resolution 242 (the resolution you are trying to kill) with all refugees, including the Jewish refugees, being covered.

Jordan, since you unnecessarily mention 194(iii) let`s have a look at another provision of 194(iii) that in your amnesia you somehow forgot to mention.

My comment: It is sub-paragraph 7: “Resolves that the Holy Places – including Nazareth – religious buildings and sites in Palestine should be protected and free access to them assured, in accordance with existing rights and historical practice;”. Jordan, you refused Jews access to their Holy Places and you destroyed 58 synagogues in Jerusalem. You gave no protection to religious buildings and denied access to Holy Places yet you have the temerity to even mention UNGA 194? Clearly shame is not required in order to unashamedly ignore your own part in ignoring UNGA resolutions and pretending you are the good guy on the block.

The shame is more on those, such as the EU, who are working with you to subvert and invent history and who demand Israel  retreat to “1967 borders” (which never existed) so that Jews can again be denied access to Jewish Holy Places in Jerusalem, Hebron and Rachel`s Tomb (amongst others) and, based on the Gazan precedent, will result in the further destruction of religious buildings.

Jordan`s Preamble: “Underlining that the Gaza Strip constitutes an integral part of the Palestinian territory occupied in 1967, and calling for a sustainable solution to the situation in the Gaza Strip, including the sustained and regular opening of its border crossings for normal flow of persons and goods.”

My comment: Jordan, how much can you get wrong in one sentence? Between 1948 and 1967, Gaza was occupied by Egypt and was never part of “Palestinian territory” in 1967. There was no border crossing with Israel but persons and goods entered Gaza from Egypt through the Rafah crossing. Jordan, since you so much want 1967 to be revived, it is assumed that your draft about entry to Gaza actually refers to Rafah only. Israel does not object.

By the way, since there are so many references to 1967 in your draft, what do the Palestinians think of your draft?  Well, the Palestinians as a people were only invented in 1964 when they held the first Palestinian Conference and adopted the Palestine National Charter. Let`s have a look at paragraph 24: “This Organization does not exercise any territorial sovereignty over the West Bank in the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, on the Gaza Strip or in the Himmah Area.”

To Jordan and the rest of the international community, most of whom appear to be suffering from collective amnesia: In 1964, the Palestinians themselves stated, loud and clear, that they had no claim to the West Bank, which included Jerusalem, or Gaza. So on what basis do the Palestinians now claim a state based on the 1967 lines? On what basis does the EU, the UN and others refer to the West Bank (the Jordanian name) as “occupied Palestinian territory” when in 1967 the Palestinians themselves had no such claim?

Oh, the irony of it all. If Israel had not reclaimed the West Bank in 1967, there would have been no basis for the newly minted Palestinians to claim the West Bank as their state. If my logic is correct, by Jordan reviving 1967 conditions in its draft, the Palestinian claim to the West Bank, Jerusalem and Gaza disappears. Isn`t history delicious?

My comment: Jordan, having referred to UNSC 242 in the preamble to its draft, then resolves: “Decides that the negotiated solution will be based on the following parameters:” and proceeds to set out requirements which are no more than a list of Palestinian demands, which ditch all the UNSC 242 parameters, which ignore the Oslo Accords of September 1995, which Accords are themselves based on UNSC 242 and slyly slips in a contiguous State of Palestine.

Excuse me, but since when in 1967 was there any physical connection between Jordan`s West Bank and Egypt`s Gaza? Of course, parameters set out in UNSC 242 which are inconvenient are simply made the subject of glaucoma. Thus there is no mention in Jordan`s draft UNSC 242`s requirement for Palestinian demilitarization in Jordan`s draft or, for that matter, any assertion that the Guardians of Gaza will join in the fun.

In conclusion, in this mad world where Kafka and Orwell would have a lifetime of material even if they lived to 120, it is only right and fitting  that Jordan, who illegally occupied the West Bank, who destroyed religious buildings and prevented access to Holy Places, who failed to establish an Arab State in the renamed West Bank, who refused to submit Jerusalem to an International Regime, who refused to allow “Eastern Jerusalem” be named as capital of the Arab State contemplated by UNGA 181 and who continued to claim the West Bank as part of Jordan until 1988, despite Jordan`s many references to 1967 in its draft, submit the text that it has, a list of unacceptable Palestinian demands, to avoid the tedious business of negotiating an agreement.
In this context, it is fitting, too, that the Jerusalem Post on 18 December 2014 writes that “the submitted Palestinian draft does appear, however, to reflect some European ideas.” Overthrowing and replacing UNSC 242 is clearly one of them.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

BDS Is About Israel, Not Settlements

Tom Wilson (a British born writer and political analyst)

The campaign to boycott Israel–the BDS (boycott, divestment, sanctions) movement–is undoubtedly a fringe campaign. But where this small band of anti-Israel extremists have experienced some traction is among those whom they have been able to convince that BDS is only against settlements. The argument goes that a boycott of Israeli settler produce will somehow persuade the Israelis to abandon their security concerns and bring an end to their so-called occupation of the West Bank. Yet one only has to look to how BDS conducts its campaigns in practice to see that this alleged concern with the “occupation” is just one of many disingenuous claims from what is, at its heart, an entirely disingenuous movement.

Listening to the words of BDS leaders such as Omar Barghouti you soon realize that the end goal of BDS is nothing less than the total elimination of the Jewish state.

But unlike Barghouti, most of the BDS movement has the common sense not to state this so publicly. As such, BDS efforts have been ostensibly focused around boycotting settlements; although in practice this still allows campaigners to attack most Israeli companies by making flimsy arguments about guilt by association. So for instance the Israeli national theater company Habima was targeted on the grounds that it had previously performed in settlements. In Europe this argument is beginning to take hold. Supermarket chains, churches, city councils, and now EU diplomats are all coming round to the idea that boycotting the Jewish state outright may be going too far, but boycotting Jews who dare to live on the “wrong side” of a defunct armistice line is perfectly acceptable.

For BDS, SodaStream was the ideal target. This high-profile company, with its popular products and Super Bowl commercials featuring Scarlett Johansson, had one of its factories just to the east of Jerusalem in the West Bank. The fact that SodaStream boasted of being the largest commercial employer of Palestinians in the world did nothing to dissuade BDS from its efforts. Indeed, just a few months back when it was announced that SodaStream would relocate its factory from the West Bank to the Israeli Negev, BDS expressed no remorse for the Palestinian workers losing their jobs, but only exuberance at their own apparent victory.

Still, now that SodaStream is relocating from the West Bank BDS will be dropping the boycott, right? Wrong! As if proof was needed that fleeing the settlements will do nothing to appease those who simply hate the Jewish state in its entirety, BDSniks have said that they will continue to boycott SodaStream. Now the pretext for boycotting is the allegation that the new factory will be based “close to” a town being built to provide local Bedouin with housing. And supposedly this renders SodaStream “implicated in the displacement of Palestinians.” One can scarcely believe that the movement’s leaders believe such claims, but then these are the feeble excuses of bigots trying to hide and justify their unacceptable agenda.

The true character of BDS is becoming increasingly apparent as the boycotters shift their attention toward targets that even they can’t bracket in with settlements and “stolen land,” except of course for the fact that BDS clearly considers all of Israel stolen land and any Jewish enterprise on that land to be a pollution. Israeli-Arabs are of course exempt from boycotts. Because at its core BDS is a movement that makes ethnicity the dividing line that determines who is to be boycotted and who isn’t. As such, it comes as no surprise that BDS activists in the UK have launched action against Sabon, an Israeli cosmetics company that has always been based within Israel’s pre-1967 borders.

Sabon opened its first luxury cosmetics store in London at the beginning of November and BDSers were demonstrating outside within just four days of its arrival. Over the weekend activists staged a particularly aggressive gathering, in which one of the ringleaders was heard employing the most shameless blood libel language, barking coldly down the megaphone: “you don’t want to be going into this shop, buying beautiful smelling lotions to smear over your body, because if you do you will be smearing yourself in the blood of Palestinians.” And yet this particular Saturday morning protest appears to have been spearheaded by the International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network, the extremist fringe of an already extremist sect.

As can be seen in the video, the activists are few in number and their efforts have consistently failed to persuade consumers to reject Israeli products. Yet by standing in front of the entrance of Israeli owned stores, intimidating shoppers from stepping inside, it only takes a handful dedicated fanatics to get a stranglehold on a small store. Just a few streets over from the new Sabon outlet is the storefront that was once home to London’s Ahava Dead Sea spa. But in 2011 BDS activists succeeded in hounding Ahava out, not by persuading customers with their arguments, but rather by creating so much noise and disturbance on the salubrious Covent Garden street that–under pressure from surrounding businesses–the building owner eventually discontinued Ahava’s lease. The protesters now seek to do the same to Sabon simply because it, like Ahava and SodaStream, is owned by Israeli Jews.

A few years ago the fierce critic of Israel, Norman Finkelstein, attacked some on his own side, calling BDS “a cult.” It is a cult, but more than that, it’s also a fundamentally racist movement, and that is what the world needs to be hearing about BDS.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

To SJP*, a Letter From an Angry Black Woman

‘You do not have the right to invoke my people’s struggle for your shoddy purposes’

(*SJP – Students for Justice in Palestine)

By Chloe Valdary| July 28, 2014

The student organization Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) is prominent on many college campuses, preaching a mantra of “Freeing Palestine.” It masquerades as though it were a civil rights group when it is not. Indeed, as an African-American, I am highly insulted that my people’s legacy is being pilfered for such a repugnant agenda. It is thus high time to expose its agenda and lay bare some of the fallacies they peddle.

• If you seek to promulgate the legacy of early Islamic colonialists who raped and pillaged the Middle East, subjugated the indigenous peoples living in the region, and foisted upon them a life of persecution and degradation—you do not get to claim the title of “Freedom Fighter.”

• If you support a racist doctrine of Arab supremacism and wish (as a corollary of that doctrine) to destroy the Jewish state, you do not get to claim that the prejudices you peddle are forms of legitimate “resistance.”

• If your heroes are clerics who sit in Gaza plotting the genocide of a people; who place their children on rooftops in the hopes they will get blown to bits; who heap praises upon their fellow gang members when they succeed in murdering Jewish school boys and bombing places of activity where Jews congregate—you do not get to claim that you are some Apollonian advocate of human virtue. You are not.

• If your activities include grieving over the woefully incompetent performance by Hamas rocketeers and the subsequent millions of Jewish souls who are still alive—whose children were not murdered by their rockets; whose limbs were not torn from them; and whose disembowelment did not come into fruition—you do not get to claim that you stand for justice. You profess to be irreproachable. You are categorically not.

• If your idea of a righteous cause entails targeting and intimidating Jewish students on campus, arrogating their history of exile-and-return and fashioning it in your own likeness you do not get to claim that you do so in the name of civil liberty and freedom of expression.

• You do not get to champion regimes that murder, torture, and persecute their own people, deliberately keep them impoverished, and embezzle billions of dollar from them—and claim you are “pro-Arab.” You are not.

• You do not get to champion a system wherein Jews are barred from purchasing land, traveling in certain areas, and living out such an existence merely because they are Jews—and claim that you are promoting equality for all. You do not get to enable that system by pushing a boycott of Jewish owned businesses, shops, and entities—and then claim that you are “against apartheid.” That is evil.

• You do not get to justify the calculated and deliberate bombings, beatings, and lynchings of Jewish men, women, and children by referring to such heinous occurrences as part of a noble “uprising” of the oppressed—that is racism. It is evil.

Coretta Scott King, A. Phillip Randolph, Bayard Rustin, Count Basie and Dr. Martin Luther King Sr. were all Zionists.

Indeed, they and many more men and women signed a letter in 1975 that stated: “We condemn the anti-Jewish blacklist. We have fought too long and too hard to root out discrimination from our land to sit idly while foreign interests import bigotry to America. Having suffered so greatly from such prejudice, we consider most repugnant the efforts by Arab states to use the economic power of their newly-acquired oil wealth to boycott business firms that deal with Israel or that have Jewish owners, directors, or executives, and to impose anti-Jewish preconditions for investments in this country.”

You see, my people have always been Zionists because my people have always stood for the freedom of the oppressed. So, you most certainly do not get to culturally appropriate mypeople’s history for your own. You do not have the right to invoke my people’s struggle for your shoddy purposes and you do not get to feign victimhood in our name. You do not have the right to slander my people’s good name and link your cause to that of Dr. King’s. Our two causes are diametrically opposed to each other.

Your cause is the antithesis of freedom. It has cost hundreds of thousands of lives of both Arabs and Jews. It has separated these peoples, and has fomented animosity between them. It has led to heartache, torment, death and destruction.

It is of course your prerogative to continue to utilize platitudes for your cause. You are entirely within your rights to chant words like “equality” “justice” and “freedom fighter.”

You can keep using those words for as long as you like. But I do not think you know what they mean.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

39 Reasons Why There is no Apartheid in Israel

The following is reprinted from research by Tom Carew

The 39 key Constituent Elements which defined Historic Apartheid in South Africa over the 22 years from 1949 to 1970 inclusive, during which it was gradually developed and extended by the minority, whites-only regime of the Afrikaner *National Party*, which first came to power in 1948.
1. 1949. Legal ban on mixed [ inter-racial ] Marriage.
2. 1950. Legal ban on inter-racial sexual intercourse or sexual acts.
3. 1950. Racial Group Classification based on skin-color, with everybody assigned by state bureaucracy [ not personal choice ] to either [a] White, [b] Colored, [c] Indian or Black Groups, and with the Black population further sub-divided into distinct 10 *tribal* divisions, again based only on state decision, and not on personal self-identification.
4. Compulsory Passbook IDs with the state color classification of the person, and with criminalization and jailing of anybody found not carrying their passbook.
5. 1950. Compulsory Segregation of all residential areas, according to the State racial categories.
6. 1950. Power of State [ and not Courts ] to ban any organization if deemed *communist* by the State, with that loose term encompassing any deemed to *disrupt racial harmony*, and thus in effect completely outlawing any peaceful protest against the racist system and regime.
7. Power of the State [ and again not the Courts ] to ban any gatherings.
8. 1953. Bantu Education Act in effect consigned the black majority to being educated as laborers.
9. 1953. Hospitals racially segregated by law.
10. 1953. Ambulances racially segregated by law.
11. 1953. Swimming Pools " " "
12. 1953. Schools " " "
13. 1953. Graveyards " " "
14. 1953. Beaches " " "
15. 1953. Public Toilets " " "
16. 1953. Buses " " "
17. 1953. Bus-stops " " "
18. 1953. Parks & Benches " " "
19. 1953. Cinemas " " "
20. 1953. Theaters " " "
21. 1953 Hotels " " "
22. 1953. Restaurants " " "
23.          TV Channels ( added later) 
24. 1955. Feb 22, 50,000 deported into black SOWETO Township SW of J'burg, with overall another 3.5 M deported between 1960 and 1983 to segregated Townships or Bantustans.
25. 1956. Colored voters separated from the common Electoral Roll, and in 1969 completely deprived of the right to vote.
26. 1956. Trade Unions racially segregated by law, with 54 white unions, 38 colored and 19 black.
27. 1959. Candidates designated by the State as white, barred from representing areas designated by the State as black.
28. 1959. Separate Universities.
29. Only 13% of land reserved for blacks, which was also the worst quality land, and this for those who were 68% of the total population.
30. Blacks may not employ whites.
31. Blacks treated in law, as temporary, foreign migrant workers.
32. Spouses and children of black workers excluded from their work areas
33. White taxpayers paid tax from a Threshold of 750 Rand but black taxpayers paid from a threshold of only 360 Rand.
33. Blacks may not buy any land in a white area.
34. Blacks may not be candidates.
35. Blacks denied a vote.
36. Blacks may not work without a Work Permit which also confined them to a named town
37. In 1970s, the State spent 10 times as much on the Education of a white child as on a black child.
38. Blacks excluded from the Judiciary.
39. 1970. All Blacks deprived of citizenship and re-classified as *citizens* of the 10 tiny tribal Bantustan territories.
No 40 - no African language was Official, only Afrikaans and English
Any impartial, objective, evidence-based comparison of the State of Israel since its foundation in May, 1948, can only conclude not only that it does not, and never has, incorporated all 39 key features of Historic Apartheid, but that in fact, it does not now, and never has embodied even ONE of those 39 defining features of the racist white South African Apartheid system.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Haifa's 21st Festival of Festivals

Haifa is inviting visitors to enjoy theatrical and musical performances, part of a festival promoting coexistence and multiculturalism.

THE WRITING’S on the wall: Israel’s Broken Fingaz Crew will use its signature bold graffiti to liven up the ‘Wisdom of Crowds’ exhibit in Haifa.. (photo credit:Courtesy)
For the past 21 years, thousands of visitors have been attending the annual December weekend Holiday of Holidays Festival in Haifa.
This festival, which falls on the crossroads of Hanukka, Id al-Adha and Christmas, has come to stand for coexistence and multiculturalism. The festival runs until December 27, when the city invites visitors to enjoy theatrical and musical performances, vendors and art exhibits.

The exclusive national antique fair is produced by the Haifa municipality together with Ethos (Haifa Culture, Arts and Sports Organization) and Beit Hagefen (Arab Jewish Center). The assorted art exhibitions and cultural events are situated in Wadi Nisnas, an Arab neighbourhood in the heart of the city, the German Colony and the Beit Hagefen Gallery and Theater.

This year’s main exhibition, “Wisdom of Crowds,” involves an outdoor art route whereby the public can interact with works ranging from photographs and installations to video and sound.

Classical concerts of Christian liturgical music will be played at Saint John’s Church by the Haifa Chamber Music Society. On December 13 at 3 p.m., the Arab-Jewish Orchestra is scheduled to give a free concert on the main stage of the festival. Under the direction of conductor Taiseer Elias, the orchestra mixes both Eastern and Western instruments. Alongside music from the classical Western canon, the orchestra is set to perform new music by Israeli Arab and Jewish conductors.

Also on offer are area tours and walks, free film screenings, Christmas tree decorations as well as the Santa Claus parade.

Festival hours are 11 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.; admission is free.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Working Together Achieves a Dream

The Emek Medical Center in Afula, Israel is one of many successful stories showing how the many ethnic groups in Israel can successfully work side by side if given the opportunity. Below is the story how everyone, and I mean EVERYONE, pulled together to ensure the dream of building a cancer center became a reality. With thanks to Larry Rich from the Emek center

Exactly when all of us over here need some good news, a shot of positive adrenalin and something to focus upon besides pathetic politicians, war mongering idiots and a warped international media – Emek goes and makes history.  We decided to build a Cancer Center.  And the modest, underprivileged regional population that we serve came together in a grand day of giving and donated from their shallow pockets 2,680,363 NIS = $682,026.  Unprecedented! 

Clalit Health Services Group (to which Emek is a member hospital) matched the local donations and suddenly Emek had over 5 million shekels or $1.3M to get this project moving.  From the states, Galit & Barry Dunietz and the Marwil family joined in this public campaign and inspired everyone by joining hands with us.

We accomplished this on December 9th through a highly publicized local radio campaign that saw Mayors, heads of municipalities (Jew and Arab), Israeli personalities, Emek surgeons – physicians and staffers all crowded into a modest radio studio.  Volunteers manned a bank of telephones, recording the myriad of donations that began pouring in while people spoke loud and clearly live on-the-air.  Watching over all this (from morning until night), like a proud mother lioness protecting her cubs, was Prof. Orna Blondheim, Emek CEO. 

Throughout the day, I occasionally turned on a radio and listened to the broadcasts … realizing that once again, I was witnessing history in the making.  Besides the children, modest families, businessmen and women from across the population spectrum speaking and giving, there were others.  Many others.  Arabs – Muslims, Christians and Druse, spoke loudly-publically and proudly about the brotherhood that exists here in our Israeli region between Jews and Arabs, with Emek as the focal point.  Yes, they said these things live on-the-air for all to hear … that coexistence is alive and well and that the world should focus on what’s happening here on a daily basis between Arabs and Jews, instead of being obsessed with marginal theocrats, murderers and demented power-hungry phonies whose only interests are their own personal counterfeit agendas.        

Yes, this is history.  Eye-level, down on the street reality of life among Jews and Arabs with a powerful inspiring message emanating from villages, cities, towns, schools, kibbutzim and moshavim – all because of a mutual and shared love for a medical center.  All this with dignified basic respect for one another.      

I will never capitulate to the perverted and distorted image of Israel that the international media is forcing upon you.  We are the reality.  We are the hope.

To read more about the Emek Medical Center, read 

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

The Next Pallywood Production?

No doubt the next Pallywood production is on its way. The public relations blitz which will surely follow the death today of Zuiad Abu Ein following a heart attack during a demonstration. It is important to know the background of this PA official who is a convicted murderer who was handed a life sentence in Israel in 1982 after being extradited from the US in 1981 over the murder of two Israelis in Tiberias in 1979. Abu Ein planted the explosives which killed the two - Boaz Lahav and David Lankri. This PA minister had a darker history than some might imagine.

Further, an Israeli channel 10 film shows Abu Ein collapsed some 5 minutes after the incident and after an hour, the hospital announced his death.  He wasn't choked but was pushed and it was over in a few seconds. No rifle butts or such were employed.  No rocks were thrown. There was a confrontation line, shouting, a few tear gas grenades tossed at the beginning but the incident happened afterwards. It was reported as a very low-key demonstration.

Note that no other demonstrato complained about the gas.

Ziad Abu Ein (55), a senior Palestinian Authority (PA) official, died in Ramallah on Wednesday after suffering a heart attack during a 300-strong "protest march" in Samaria according to IDF appraisals; reportedly he had high blood-pressure and diabetes.

PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas lost no time, already calling for three days of general mourning and condemning "the brutal assault that led to (his) martyrdom," vowing "we will take the necessary measures after the results of the investigation into the incident." Likewise, the PA has reportedly cut security cooperation with Israel as a result of Abu Ein's death.

But just who was Ziad Abu Ein?

According to the Palestinian Arab Ma'an News Agency and AFP, Abu Ein served as the head of the PA Committee against the Separation Wall and Settlements.

Significantly, both sources added that Abu Ein was a member of Abbas's Fatah movement's Revolutionary Council, which is also known as the Abu Nidal Organization - a recognized terrorist organization in the US for over 20 years.

After a string of bloody terror attacks conducted worldwide in the mid 1980s, the Revolutionary Council was labeled as the world's most dangerous terrorist organization according to the Council on Foreign Relations website. It remains on the US State Department's official list of foreign terrorist organizations, although it is thought to be largely inactive at present.

And Abu Ein's terrorist past is not just a matter of guilt by association.

Abu Ein himself was handed a life sentence in Israel in 1982 after being extradited from the US in 1981 over the murder of two Israelis in Tiberias in 1979. Abu Ein planted the explosives which killed the two - Boaz Lahavand David Lankri.

But he never served his life sentence over the callous murders - he was released in the Ahmed Jibril prisoner swap deal in 1985, just three years later.

Even in the decades after his release, Abu Ein continued to advocate for Palestinian violence. In a 2006 interview with Al Alam TV, he said he supported the Oslo Accords - because they enabled Palestinian freer access to weapons to use in terrorist attacks.

"The Oslo Accords are not the dream of the Palestinian people. However, there would never have been [violent] resistance in Palestine without Oslo," he said.

"Oslo is the effective and potent greenhouse which embraced the Palestinian resistance. Without Oslo, there would never have been [violent] resistance."

"In all the occupied territories, we could not move a single pistol from place to place. Without Oslo, and being armed through Oslo, and without the Palestinian Authority's "A" areas, without the training, the camps, the protection afforded by Oslo, and without the freeing of thousands of Palestinian prisoners through Oslo - we and this Palestinian resistance would not have been able to create this great Palestinian Intifada."

He murdered two youths in Tiberias and fled to the United States, was extradited to Israel...and released. Since then he's been busy with activities against Israel and was advanced to deputy minister of prisoners, and from there to an additional post as minister of the struggle against settlements. His death leaves Israel with one less enemy.

Before switching to his post on the PA Committee against "settlements," Abu Ein previously held the post of PA Deputy Minister of Prisoners' Affairs, leading a ministry tasked with providing funds to Arab terrorists jailed in Israel to reward them for their crimes.

Back in June he announced that the ministry was being transferred to Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) control, hinting it was being done to dupe foreign donors and avoid attention over the fact that the PA was bankrolling jailed terrorists in comments translated by Palestinian Media Watch (PMW).

"We eliminate the international pressure and the attempts to tamper with this issue," Abu Ein declared. "The (PA) leadership wants to keep this holy issue away from the influence of the donor countries, the interference of the donor countries, and the occasional negative influence of the donor countries."

In another statement by Abu Ein back in 2011, also translated by PMW, he claimed conditions in Israeli prisons were "worse than the Auschwitzes of the Nazis." That statement stands in stark contrast to televised comments by released Arab terrorists who spoke of a life of ease in Israeli jails.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Just Another Day in the Life of.......

This letter, written by someone present in a shopping mall during a terror attack, is published in its entirety with permission of the writer

Wednesday is my Rami Levy day.  Wednesday afternoon to be precise.  I try to make it around 1.30 when things are a little quieter but didn't make it there till just before 2.00 today.  Had a big shop to do because last week it was raining so hard I didn't fancy getting drenched.  Met a good friend on the way round and stopped for a chat. Waited in a long line at the check-out but didn't ask for help to take the stuff to the car because recently I've become a bit paranoid about trusting the friendly and helpful workers there.  I sort of had the feeling that once out in the car park the smile might fall of the Arab face and a knife might come out instead.  So I kept my 5 shekels in my purse and unloaded the shopping trolley by myself.   

I looked at my watch.  It was 3.50.  At 4.00 the dressmaker would open and I could pick up some skirts I'd had altered.  So there was enough time to go to the main shopping mall to buy a pretty Shabbat dress for my 10month old grand-daughter who is coming over for Shabbat, with the rest of her family of course.  

The shopping mall is noisy which is why I suppose I didn't hear the screech of the sirens.  I was too busy trying to decide between the pink dress and the cream one with the pink trimmings.  I looked at my watch again and realised that I'd been in the mall for nearly half an hour and my shopping was still in the car and I hadn't been to the dressmaker yet.  I rushed out and got to the dressmaker by 4.20. Half an hour, long enough for me to feel pretty good with my afternoon's achievements.  That same half an hour was long enough for a sixteen year old terrorist to walk into Rami Levy, to the busy checkout and to stab two people waiting in line.  

I've 'whasapped' the family to say I'm home safely.  I've made myself a strong coffee.  I'll get round to putting the shopping away when my blood pressure gets back to normal.  Then I'll carry on .  What else is there to do?  What else have we been doing since this summer?  

And since nearly all the 32 years that we have been here since we made Aliyah in the middle of the first Lebanon War in 1982 ?  You wake up each day and count your blessings. We made it through the various wars, through the first and second intifadas, and through the constant 'little' attacks.  The odd stabbing here.  The odd shooting spree that felled families in one quick spurt of fire. The odd stone, cinder block or rock that shattered car windows and killed the drivers and their buckled-up children.  

Two of our boys have already been released from reserve Army duty because now they are too old to serve.  But our oldest grandson will be barmitzvah this summer, so in another 5 years we'll start that round again.

So what should we do?  Breathe deeply, check we've got all our fingers and toes, and carry on building up this still wonderful and miraculous country.

Maale Adumim, Israel.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Internal Hamas Debate about Rethinking Its Policies

Yoni Ben Menachem – Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs

The results of the Gaza war have caused Hamas serious distress, something its leadership did not foresee before launching the war with Israel. The movement now appears to be in a process of stocktaking and reassessment in light of its situation, including the difficulties in rehabilitating the Gaza Strip, the bitter rift with the Palestinian Authority, and the deterioration in relations with Egypt. Among other things, Egypt has been constraining Hamas’s ability to arm itself.

To this must be added the effects of the weakening of the Muslim Brotherhood, the parent-movement of Hamas, and of the strengthening of the Islamic State as an organization that, in the name of Islam, has been challenging Arab regimes and Western states as it acts to establish the Islamic Caliphate-the goal to which Hamas also aspires.

A recent conference at Bir Zeit University near Ramallah addressed the issue of “The Political and Strategic Status of the Gaza Strip.” Among the topics discussed were the difficulties Hamas is encountering in the domestic, national, and regional spheres and the need for a thorough rethinking of its tactics and strategy.

Dr. Khaled al-Hroub, a conference participant and researcher at Cambridge University, published in the newspaper Al-Ayam several ideas of Sheikh Ahmed Yusuf of Gaza, a prominent Hamas leader. In the framework of the conference, Sheikh Yusuf presented a study focusing on the outcomes of Operation Protective Edge and on the need for a new ideology and political strategy for Hamas.

Al-Hroub provides quotations from Yusuf’s article that harshly criticize the Hamas government in Gaza, claiming that it “was not on the level required of the movement and lacks vitality and innovation.”

Hamas Leader: Time to Rethink Policies

Yusuf asserts that “there is a need to rethink how it behaves in light of the local, Arab, and international changes.”

Yusuf’s words indicate that Hamas leadership in the West Bank and Gaza did not take part in the decision to go to war with Israel and that the movement’s decisions sometimes were not brought to the Hamas Shura Council for deliberation.

Yusuf emphasizes the need for a major revision of the movement’s aims, which, he says, were written down in December 1987 and are outmoded.

Al-Hroub presented several main points from Yusuf’s recommendations to the Hamas leadership:

- Military activity must be discussed, and a plan must be formulated to halt it for a limited period of up to five years and thereby enable the recovery and rehabilitation of Gaza and the attainment of a national consensus.

- Discussion of direct negotiations with Israel must be continued, in line with previous statements on this issue by Dr. Mousa A
bu Marzouk, deputy chief of the movement’s Political Bureau.

- Assessing relations with Egypt, Iran, and the Gulf states, and especially with Saudi Arabia and the UAE, and bolstering ties 
with Qatar and Turkey.

- Give the highest priority to the achievement of stability and security in the Sinai Peninsula so that relations with Egypt can be 

- Hamas and Fatah will run in the coming elections on a single agreed list.

- In the next presidential elections, if Mahmoud Abbas decides not to run for the post, Hamas must support Dr. Salam Fayaed.

- Consideration must be given to changing the Hamas Charter of 1987, which is exploited by Israel, especially the articles that 
are viewed as “anti-Semitic” and are exploited by Israel to attack the valid Palestinian problem.

- Support for Mahmoud Abbas’s plan to join international conventions, while enhancing his legitimacy as leader of the entire 
Palestinian people and allowing him freedom of movement.

- Recalibration of the Hamas movement’s relationship with the West while distancing it from everything connected to Al-Qaeda 
and Islamic State.

Sheikh Ahmed Yusuf’s positions are seen as courageous among Palestinians, especially their presentation in a document published in a Palestinian news outlet. They reveal the true condition of the movement and prescribe for Hamas leadership a real change and a way out of its current malaise.

It is doubtful whether Hamas leadership will adopt most of Yusuf’s proposals. Palestinian commentators, however, believe that the adoption of some of these 
  recommendations would probably improve the movement’s status both in the Palestinian street and from a regional standpoint.

See more at:

Why a Palestinian State Will Become a Source of Instability

 Khaled Abu Toameh

December 1, 2014 at 5:00 am
This is precisely what Egypt and the Arab counties want: to turn the Gaza Strip into an Israeli, and not an Arab, problem.

There is good reason to believe that the Arabs are not going to change their attitudes toward the Palestinians once a Palestinian state is established. The future Palestinian state will have to continue relying on Israeli and Western aid in order to survive.

And if Israel and the West do not come to their assistance, the Palestinians will find themselves begging at the doorsteps of Iran, the Muslim Brotherhood and the Islamic State. Then, the Palestinian state will be anything but a source of stability in the Middle East.

The Palestinians know very well that if and when they have a state of their own, they will never be able to rely on their Arab brethren.

The Arab countries have a long record of turning their backs on the Palestinians, not only with regard to financial aid promises, but even when it comes to basic needs such as medical treatment.

But what will happen after the creation of a Palestinian state? Palestinians say they do not have high expectations that the Arab countries will help them build their state.

Today, it is much easier for Palestinians to receive medical treatment in Israel, Turkey and Germany than in most of the Arab countries.
The tragic case of Razan al-Halkawi, an 11-year-old girl from the Gaza Strip, serves as another reminder of the Arab "betrayal" of the Palestinians.

Al-Halkawi, who has been ill for the past few months, died this week after Egyptian authorities refused to allow her to enter their country for medical treatment.

She and hundreds of Palestinian patients have been unable to leave the Gaza Strip due to the continued closure of the Rafah border crossing. The Egyptian authorities closed the terminal about a month ago after a terror attack in Sinai that claimed the lives of 30 soldiers.

One day after the girl from the Gaza Strip passed away, the Egyptians finally reopened the border crossing for only two days to allow stranded Palestinians on the Egyptian side to return home. Thousands of Palestinians have been waiting for the past four months for the Egyptians to reopen the terminal so that they could enter the Gaza Strip.

Speaking to reporters upon their return to the Gaza Strip, some of the Palestinians voiced outrage over their mistreatment at the hands of the Egyptians.

"The rockets that were falling on us were easier for us than the treatment of the Egyptians," one woman said.

Another woman, Hind Shaheen, said she left the Gaza Strip several months ago to receive medical treatment for cancer. She had been forced to wait for the past 40 days at the Egyptians side of the border before returning home. During this time, she was deprived of the medical treatment she needs for her cancer.

Shaheen said that the stranded Palestinians were left by the Egyptians without food, money or water.

"The situation there is very serious," she added, referring to the Egyptian aide of the border. "People were more afraid there than they were during the last war in the Gaza Strip. The Egyptians want the Palestinians to die."
Others said they were subjected to strict restrictions, including night curfews. "The Egyptians treated each one of us as if we were terrorists," said an elderly man who was among the lucky ones allowed to cross the border back into the Gaza Strip.

But for the little girl from the Gaza Strip who passed way this week, the partial reopening of the Rafah border crossing came too late.
Her relatives say that tensions between Hamas and Fatah also denied her the chance to receive medical treatment in an Israeli hospital. They claim that the Palestinian Authority in Ramallah turned down a request from Hamas to intervene with Israeli authorities to issue a permit for al-Halkawi to be admitted to an Israeli hospital.

Many other cancer patients from the Gaza Strip are likely to meet the same fate as the little girl due to Egypt's continued closure of the Rafah border crossing and ongoing tensions between Mahmoud Abbas's Fatah faction and Hamas. They are also victims of long-term emotional detachment and apathy of the Arabs toward their Palestinian brethren.
While the Egyptians continue to seal off their border with the Gaza Strip, Israel has become the only hope for the 1.7 million Palestinians living there.

In the period between November 18 and 23, some 2,966 crossed the Erez border crossing with Israel in both directions, according to the Israeli Ministry of Defense's Coordination of Government Activities in the Territories.

In addition, some 1,490 trucks carrying thousands of tons of goods entered the Gaza Strip through the Kerem Shalom terminal along the border with Israel during the same period. The goods consisted of food, construction materials, input for agriculture and medicine products.
How many Arab trucks loaded with goods entered the Gaza Strip over the past month? None.

This is precisely what Egypt and the rest of the Arab countries want: to turn the Gaza Strip into an Israeli, and not Arab, problem.

There is good reason to believe that the Arabs are not going to change their attitude toward the Palestinians once a Palestinian state is established. The future Palestinian state will have to continue relying on Israeli and Western aid in order to survive.

And if Israel and the West do not come to their assistance, the Palestinians will find themselves begging at the doorsteps of Iran, the Muslim Brotherhood and Islamic State. Then, the future Palestinian state will be anything but a source of stability in the Middle East.