Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Arab Human Development Report (AHDR) 2016

The report Arab Human Development Report (AHDR) 2016: Youth and the Prospects for Human Development in a Changing Reality was recently issued by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP)
Never before has the region had such a large share of youth; youth of ages 15–29 make up around 30 percent of the popu­lation, or some 105 million people. In a region in which 60 percent of the population has not yet reached the age of 30, the report predicts that such youthful demographic momentum will be of critical importance for at least the two coming decades.
Unfavourable development backdrop ,
The report also indicates that the global financial and economic crisis in 2008–2009, coupled with political insta­bility since 2011, have had a negative impact on human development in the region. Average annual growth in the HDI dropped by more than half between 2010 and 2014 relative to the growth between 2000 and 2010.
Growing inequality: Further analysis of HDI data shows also that inequality is rising in Arab countries.
Increasing conflict: 
Home to only 5 percent of the world’s population, the Arab region has witnessed 17 percent of the world’s conflicts between 1948 and 2014, and 45 percent of the world’s terrorist attacks in 2014. In that same year, the region was home to 47 percent of the world’s internally displaced people and 57.5 percent of all world refugees including Palestinian refugees displaced by one of the longest lasting territorial occupations in modern his­tory.
Exclusion and inequality continue to frustrate youth.
Against this backdrop, the Report documents tremendous obstacles young peo­ple across the Arab world are facing in their personal development across the broadest range of institutions, resulting in multiple forms of cultural, social, economic and political exclusion.
High unemployment: Failure to translate gains in education into decent jobs for youth in pace with population growth, not only curtails benefits of a demographic dividend but may fuel greater social and economic tensions in the region as well. In 2014, unemployment among youth in the Arab region (29.73 percent) exceeded twice the global average (13.99 percent), and according to estimates, the situation is expected to worsen in the near future. The report warns that Arab economies may not be able to generate the 60 million new jobs required, by 2020 to absorb the number of workforce entrants in order to stabilize youth unemployment.
Pervasive discrimination against women: Echoing previous AHDRs, the report underlines how deep-seated discrimination, embedded in cul­tural beliefs and traditions in childrearing, educa­tion, religious structures, the media, and family re­lations, along with  many legal obstacles, continues to prevent women from acquiring and using their capabilities to the fullest.
Pathways from frustration to radicalization.
The factors above combine to create an overall sense of exclusion and lack of opportunity that pervades much of the region. The lives of many young people across the region are marked by frustration, marginalization and alienation from institutions and the transitions that are necessary to begin adult life in a fulfilling manner.
Citing recent opinion research, the report asserts that the overwhelming majority of young people in the Arab region have no desire to engage in violent extremist groups or activ­ities. They reject violence and regard extremist groups as terrorists.

However, it notes that the minority that is open to participating in violent groups that claim to struggle for change continue to be active, thus become radicalized and the radical­ized can become violent, violent radicalization and violent extremism grow and are accelerating the tremendous damage they wreak in Arab countries.

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

The Dangers of UN Security Council Resolution 2334 (2016)

by Amb. Alan Baker    
•            The Palestinian leadership, having initiated the UN Security Council resolution regarding Israel's settlement policy, is celebrating its adoption on Dec. 23, 2016, as an affirmation of its claims against Israel.

•            Israel sees this resolution as a major impediment to continued peace negotiations in light of the fact that it bypasses the negotiation process in an attempt to prejudge central issues that are on the negotiating table.

•            The resolution (as all previous resolutions regarding Israel) was adopted under the sixth chapter of the UN Charter (Pacific Settlement of Disputes) and as such is not mandatory. Its determinations as to the lack of legal validity of Israel's settlements are no more than declaratory.

•            Expressions not previously included in major Security Council resolutions regarding the peace process, such as "two-state solution based on the 1967 lines," as well as references to the "Arab Peace Initiative" and the "principle of land for peace" as additional bases for peace, clearly are intended to instill concepts that have never been agreed-upon elements in the negotiating process.

•            The reference to the "4 June 1967 lines" as a basis for negotiations would appear to be a new element, running counter to the 1967 Security Council resolution 242, which is the basis for all of the Arab-Israeli peace process, which calls for negotiation of "secure and recognized boundaries." The Israeli-Palestinian Oslo Accords make no specific reference to the 1967 lines. As such this reference would appear to be an attempt to prejudge or unduly influence the negotiating issue of borders.

•            The outrage voiced by Israel stems from five basic components:

1.           The text of the resolution, which is unprecedented in the extent of the      condemnatory language used.

2.           Israel's frustration at the irresponsible behavior by the Obama   administration.

3.           The evident irreversibility of the resolution and the potential for future       damage.

4.           The imbalance between accusations of Israeli violations of the Oslo Accords and the  Palestinians' blatant violations of international law in their incitement and payment to  terrorists.

5.           The issue of settlements is not the core of the conflict. It remains the Palestinians' refusal to recognize the Jewish State and its right to any part of the land west of the Jordan River.

Sunday, December 25, 2016

I Am Glad The US Abstained And Here Is Why

UNSC Resolution 2334: 

Sunday, December 18, 2016

What is the Population of Judea and Samaria?

Is the Arab population of Judea and Samaria 2.9 million according to Abbas or 1.8 mill according to Israeli demographers?
Media reports about the Arab struggle to retrieve the lands of Amona has been presented by politicians and the media as part of an Arab tradition of loyalty to their land.
Indeed, one of the Arab claimants against the Amona community has been quoted as saying, “If your child dies, you can make another one in his place, but land that you sold cannot be replaced.”
And yet, a report in the weekends Makor Rishon suggests reality on the ground in Judea and Samaria reflects a somewhat different set of values. Local Arabs may not be willing to sell their land, but many of them don’t live on said land either, preferring instead to emigrate to the US.
According to the papers reporter, Route 60, which runs from Afula, on Israel’s side of the “green line” through Jenin, near Shechem, through Ofra and outside Ramallah to Jerusalem and then through Gush Etzion, past Hebron all the way to Be’er Sheva, features ghost villages on either side of the highway. The Jewish settlers of Ofra and Amona have been wondering what has happened to neighboring Arab villages such as Silwad, three miles from the main road and about 8 miles north-east of Ramallah. A visitor to the village can see numerous, luxurious villas, that are deserted.
The reporter describes those empty homes as “white elephants.” He met in Silwad a man in his 79s named Salah, who sat with him over a cup of coffee and revealed that he’s been living in Puerto Rico for 52 years. Having left in 1964, before the Israeli liberation of 1967, Salah got his BA in Puerto Rico and MA in Tennessee, and now he is retired and living off his rental property on the island. His children were born in the US, one is a lawyer, the other a pharmacist, both Harvard graduates. Sadly, they’ve only visited the old country once – but both speak Arabic.
Hamza Awada, 21, who lives with his parents in Arizona, met the reporter in Dir Dibwan, not far from Silwad. He is visiting to conclude a two-year wife search. It’s an arranged marriage, and after the wedding the happy couple will move to America. Hamza has lived in New York City and in Arizona, as well as in Jordan. “Life here in the village is quaint, but it’s not for me.”
Hamza describes himself as a Palestinian, not as an American, and he likes the sense of community in the village his parents had left in their youth. He’d even like to come back some day, maybe. But “life here is difficult,” he says. “It’s hard to find work, make a living and earn enough to support the lifestyle I’m used to abroad.” He plans to maintain the same ties to the old place his parents have kept: visit every few years. He speaks Arabic with his parents at home, but at school and elsewhere outside the home it’s all English.
According to the report, between 80 and 90 percent of Dir Dibwan’s residents have an American citizenship. One local resident, Muhammad Manasra, who splits his life between the village and California, estimates the population in the two neighboring villages at 16,000, most of them living abroad.
One of the most common methods used to obtain a US Visa is marrying an American citizen. In many cases, Arab wives who discover the US lifestyle after having grown up in poverty in Judea and Samaria, refuse to go back.
Arab immigration from Judea and Samaria has been going on for decades. Official Palestinian Authority figures suggest there are three million Arabs living there. In reality, the figures are much less by at least one million, according to many experts. Since 1997, Israel is no longer operating the census there, and the PA count does not abide by international norms, whereby a person who has been absent for a year or more from his country is no longer counted. Israeli demographers suggest the figure of 1.8 million Arabs in Judea and Samaria, as opposed to the PA claim of 2.9 million.

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Fake News Reportiing

With thanks to Honest Reporting

A question was asked by an anti-Israel activist at an event organized by Israel’s Foreign Press Association. The activist was also the holder of an official press card issued to him by Israel’s Government Press Office. The questioner was Antony Loewenstein, a self-described freelance journalist for publications including The Guardian. Yet when Honest Reporting asked The Guardian directly about him, incredibly Peter Beaumont, the newspaper’s Israel correspondent replied in an email: “I don’t anything [sic] about Antony Loewenstein.
Either way, Loewenstein was at the press conference. The Jerusalem Post described the exchange as follows:
“You talked before about the idea that since Oslo, Israel has done little or nothing wrong, but the truth is that 2017 is the 50th anniversary of the occupation.

There are now 600,000- 800,000 settlers, all of whom are regarded by international law as illegal, including your good friends in Amona apparently.”

“Is there not a deluded idea here that many Israeli politicians, including yourself, continue to believe that one can talk to the world about democracy, freedom and human rights while denying that to millions of Palestinians, and will there not come a time soon, in a year, five years, 10 years, where you and other politicians will be treated like South African politicians during Apartheid?” he asked.
Lapid pushed back stating: “The problem is that the Palestinians are encouraged by The Guardian and others saying we don’t need to do anything in order to work for our future because the international community will call Israel an apartheid country.”
[See the video below for Lapid’s complete response.]

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

The Palestinian Jihads against Israel

The summary of the article below stresses the constant incitement going on in Palestinian society in spite of Abbas's statements of "no violence". His words do not reflect what is going on in the Palestinian street. Are the statements referred top below ever reported in the international media - - not likely!!

by Khaled Abu Toameh  December 13, 2016

  • "We will not recognize Israel because it will inevitably go away. And we will not backtrack on the option of armed struggle until the liberation of all Palestine." — Khalil Al-Haya, Hamas senior official.
  • The abandonment of Gaza by Israel in 2005 drove the Palestinian vote for Hamas the next year. It also explains why many Palestinians continue to support Hamas -- because they still believe that violence is the way to defeat Israel.
  • Hamas believes that Israel does not have the right to defend itself against rockets and terror attacks. It even considers Israel's self-defense as an "act of terror."
  • In yet another sign that exposes Hamas's ongoing preparations to attack Israel, the movement last week held a drill with live ammunition in the northern Gaza Strip.
  • "What has been achieved so far is a small jihad, and the big jihad is still awaiting us." — Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas. Abbas is convinced that his "diplomatic jihad" against Israel is no less effective than Hamas's jihad of terrorism.
  • Yet even if Abbas manages to achieve reconciliation with Hamas, this move should not be seen as sign of pragmatism on the part of the Islamist movement. Under no circumstances will Hamas relinquish its policy of the destruction of Israel and its replacement with an Islamist state.
  • From Abbas's point of view, Hamas's terrorism will only increase the pressure on Israel to capitulate. Here Abbas has an ally in Hamas: to multiply jihads to force Israel to its knees.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Fatah: "Slice open the enemy's chest - slice it!"

 Palestinian Media Watch (PMW) closely monitors the programs shown on Palestinian TV. The incessant incitement continues without a break in spite of all agreements  between Israel and the Palestinians calling for a cessation of incitement.

Yet the brainwashing continues. For the full report with videos see here.

PA TV chose to honor Fatah during the Seventh Fatah Conference, held from Nov. 29 - Dec. 4, by broadcasting 11 times in six days a song celebrating Fatah's terror and murder of Israelis. The Fatah movement is headed by Mahmoud Abbas, who is also chairman of the Palestinian Authority.

The Fatah song emphasizes that Fatah's "oath" is to destroy Israel, saying "free the state from the hands of the Zionists," and that this will be done through violence, terror and killing:

 "Slice open the enemy's chest, slice it"
"Shoot the Dashka (machine gun) and the cannon"
"The Fatah man... fires the mortar and the machine gun"
"Strike, mortar, strike!"

The song applauds that it was Fatah who committed what it considers to be the first Palestinian terror attack against Israel - the attempted bombing of Israel's main water carrier in 1965. 
"Eilabun [in 1965] was the first shot [at Israel] and Fatah was responsible"

Love of violence is likewise celebrated by Fatah:

"I have no love other than the love of the rifle."
"The sound of the rifles gives us joy"
"Bullets! Sing for us"

For teaching these values of violence, the song expresses appreciation to Fatah:

"Fatah taught me, thank you, Fatah."

The following is an excerpt from the lyrics of the song celebrating Fatah violence that was broadcast 11 times in 6 days on official PA TV, during the Seventh Fatah Conference:

"Shoot the Dashka (machine gun) and the cannon
Let the whole world hear:

The Palestinian will never bow other than to the Lord of the universe...

The oath is to free the state from the hands of the Zionists
Long live all the Fatah men
No one prevailed over us
We burst over the borders...
The Fatah man does not take things lightly...
He fires the mortar and the machine gun...
Strike, mortar, strike!
Slice open the enemy's chest, slice it
I'm a Palestinian and I want my right
My full right...
The difficult way is our way
Bullets! Sing for us!
Bullets! Sing for us
The sound of the rifles gives us joy
Fatah taught me, thank you, Fatah
I have no love other than the love of the rifle."
[Official PA TV, 11 times from Nov. 29 -Dec. 4 2016, 

also broadcast Dec. 31, 2012, daily Jan. 1-5, 2013]

Monday, December 5, 2016

Arab Responses On Social Media To Fires In Israel,

 with thanks to MEMRI:

Following the wave of forest fires in Israel in the last few days, many Palestinians, Israeli Arabs and Arabs in other countries responded to the events on social media. Many responses expressed glee over the fires, and described them as a punishment from Allah for Israel's treatment of the Palestinians, especially for its "muezzin bill" aiming to prevent mosques from using loudspeakers to broadcast the call for prayer. At the same time, there were also many Israeli Arabs who condemned these expressions of joy and even called them "ignorant," and some Israeli Arab officials and individuals offered to assist and to host Israelis, both Jews and Arabs, whose homes have been damaged by the fires.

The following is a sampling of the responses on social media.

Expressions Of Glee Over The Fires, Claims That They Are "A Punishment From Allah"

A post in the Palestinian Facebook page "This is Nablus" stated: "Rejoice, oh Inshirah,[1]  Israel is burning, hahaha," eliciting expressions of joy and amusement from readers.

Another post on the same page said: "The winds did what the Islamic ummah failed to do in order to defend its religion. The winds are Allah's soldiers..." A reader wrote in response: "Allah curse the Jews, our God can [defeat] them."[2]

A Palestinian calling himself "Sham'at Tafaul" ("Candle of Optimism") wrote: "May Allah burn the Jews and protect the Arab Muslims and Christians in Israel."[3]

A user from Haifa responded on the same page: "Of course I am not glad of the fires, because I live in Haifa, but this is Allah's punishment for banning the call for prayer... I hope no Arab gets hurt... Fire does not distinguish between Jews and Arabs, [but] Allah distinguishes between the oppressors and the oppressed..."[8]

A response on another Facebook page stated that the fires were an Israeli attempt to incite against Israeli Arabs. It said: "I am almost convinced that all these fires were deliberately set [by Israel]. In my opinion – and I hope I'm wrong – this is one of the steps in the plan to incite against Israeli Arabs. They have already begun calling it an intifada. I don't believe in coincidences, there is a trick here."[12]

Expressions of  joy over the fires in Israel were also voiced around the
Arab world. In a post on his Facebook page, Saudi cleric Dr. Salman Al-'Odeh wished "the terrible torments of hell" on Israel.[13]

Egyptian poet Amir Teima tweeted under the hashtag "Israel is burning": "It is your right to feel that rejoicing over the fires in Israel is inhuman, and it is my right to hope the fire destroys everything in its path."[14]

Israeli Arabs Condemn The Expressions Of Glee Over The Fires, Call To Help Israelis Evacuated From Their Homes

A post on the Israeli Arab @we7di.48 Facebook page pointed out that the fires were also threatening Arab towns and villages: "The fire has reached Baqa Al-Gharbiyya,  Jabel Al-Qafza in Nazareth, the Iksal [area] and the Arab village of Nahaf. It is destroying everything and people are being evacuated from their homes. What are you so happy about? Oh fire, turn into hail; [I hope] our people [come out of this] safe and sound."[18]

The Israeli Arab Facebook page posted a banner captioned "Our Homes Are Open to All," which called on Arabs in the Galilee and the "Triangle" area: "Let us open our homes to all residents of Haifa, Jews and Arabs, whose homes have been damaged by the fires or who have left their homes fearing that the flames may reach them." [21]

The Baqa Al-Gharbiya municipality also offered to assist Haifa residents and to host them in the town.[23]

Many Israeli Arabs likewise offered to host families forced to leave their
homes because of the fires.[26]


[1]  A woman's name meaning "joy," from a well-known Egyptian song.
[2] 414842175305404, November 24, 2016.
[3], November 25, 2016.
[8], November 24, 2016.
[12] , November 24, 2016.
[13], November 24, 2016.
[14], November 23, 2016.
[18], November 25, 2016.
[21], November 24, 2016.
[23], November 25, 2016.

[26], November 24, 2016.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Aftermath of Fire in Haifa

The disaster around us in Haifa with the multitude of fires that swept through the city resulted in a very heavy price being paid. Over 1800 homes were damaged by the fire and of those 527 are uninhabitable.

Travelling around the city at the beginning of the week we were able to see the severity of the fire in a number of neighborhoods. Thankfully personal injuries were minimal, the majority of people requiring treatment, suffered from smoke inhalation.

At the end of our street, the fire swept up a wadi exiting on to the street between a Golden Age Home and a private home. The first was saved with no damage whilst the private home was devastated.

The building next to this private home was also affected but with minimal damage. Here lives friends of ours, a 93 year old Professor of the Technion with his wife. He told me the story how he was having a massage when he was concerned about what was going on. As he completed getting dressed there was a knock on the door and was told to evacuate immediately. He didn’t even have time to get his wheel chair (he has great difficulty walking) before he was helped out of his home and dumped on a bench on the other side of the road.

With the kindness of motorists they were able to get to a point where they could contact their daughter to come and pick them up. Thankfully they have returned home already and all their prized family possession were intact.

This cannot be said for other friends who lost all their possessions. They are now looking around to rent accommodation in order to bring a bit of stability to their lives. Our community is looking to help in whatever way they can. In this case treasured possession have been lost. Can they ever be recreated – unlikely.

So were we being responsible in staying in our home when we were advised to leave? Certainly those families with children took a wise decision and left. We eventually did have cases packed in the event we had to leave. We did not realise just how close the fire was burning to our home.

      The fire in the Haifa area has been designated aa a terrorist act. What started           in one area quickly spread to other areas as the wind carried the sparks from           one area to another.
     Other fires around the country have also been designated as terror acts and so        far 13 suspects have been arrested, some from Palestinian territory and a                number of Israeli Arabs. Two of the arrested were caught by being seen with an      infra-red camera trying to light a fire near the city of Ariel.
     If some are found guilty, with a somewhat sick thought I suggested that Israel        should negotiate with the USA for rental of places in Alcatraz to get the                    perpetrators as far away as possible. Or is that an abuse of “human rights?” 

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Israeli Firefighter Recounts Battling Fierce Flames in Haifa

by Barney Breen-Portnoy  Algemeiner November 26th
  “It was like a movie,” an Israeli firefighter who battled the blazes that swept through the northern cityof Haifa on Thursday told The Algemeiner as he recounted his experiences a day later during a rare moment of rest.

“Every moment we were called to help in another place,” Yair Cohen — of the Carmiel fire station in the Galilee region — said. “There were so many apartments on fire and crazy traffic as people were escaping with their kids and whatever else they could take.”
Cohen is one of the hundreds of firefighters who have worked day and night over the past week in an effort to contain the dozens of wildfires that havepopped up across northern and central Israel.

“We’re doing our best to save forests, homes, property and pets,” he said. “It’s really sad to think about all the people who’ve lost all their possessions. Yesterday, we saw one woman who was too scared to go see what had happened to her house. It’s heart-wrenching.”
On Thursday, Cohen was dispatched to Haifa’s Romema neighborhood, the scene of some of the worst fires that broke out in Israel’s third-largest city.
“We were at one home where the roof began to collapse and we were trying to put the fire out from both the outside and the inside,” he said. “It’s been a tough and tiring week. It’s nuts, I can’t comprehend it.”
An estimated 700 homes in Haifa suffered damage in Thursday’s fires.
“During my almost 4 years as a firefighter, I hadn’t seen something like this,” Cohen said. “And I heard from more veteran firefighters that there hasn’t been anything like this, in terms of the amount of homes that were burned.”
While the fires in Haifa have been extinguished, blazes in other locations in Israel continue to burn.
“I think this will only end once the rain finally comes, or the eastern winds stop and instead come from the west and bring moisture,” Cohen said. “The situation is problematic right now, because everything is very dry. It’s the end of November and there has been almost no rain.”
As reported by The Algemeiner, the Israeli cabinet will hold its weekly meeting in Haifa on Sunday. On Friday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu visited the moshav of Beit Meir in central Israel, where ten homes were burned down by a fire on Thursday night.
“The most important thing is to evacuate people, and also yourselves,” Netanyahu told firefighters there. “Nobody needs to die here, nobody. This is before anything else.”
As of Friday, no deaths or serious injuries have occurred as a result of the fires.
Speaking with reporters in Haifa on Thursday, Netanyahu referred to suspicions that some of the fires were sparked by deliberate acts of arson, saying, “Every fire that was caused by arson, or incitement to arson, is terrorism by all accounts. And we will treat it as such. Whoever tries to burn parts of Israel will be punished for it severely.”

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Thousands Flee as Massive Fires Rage in Haifa

What a day!! Driving downtown for the weekly shopping, we noticed one road sealed by the police and indications of a fire. Little did we know that this was to be the start of a day of fires in so many neighbourhoods.

Homes and other buildings were damaged by blazes as 11 neighborhoods were told to evacuate; 36 were treated for injuries as other fires pop up across country and West Bank for 3rd day.

The University of Haifa was also evacuated on as a precautionary move as fires raged in the northern city.

In addition, trains between the northern towns of Binyamina and Hadera were halted at the request of fire and rescue services as fires neared the railway tracks in the Caesarea region. 

On Thursday morning, Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan told Army Radio that 50% of these fires were caused by repeated arson, 

“The fire is not under control; residents should quickly evacuate,” the Haifa fire chief said, according to Walla News, as eyewitnesses described firefighters having little success in checking the onslaught of the flames.

Firefighting planes from Cyrus, Greece, Turkey, Russia, Croatia were being brought in and the army’s Home Front Command called in soldiers and rescuers to aid with the effort. Four planes — two Bombadiers and a Hercules from Greece and an air tractor from Cyprus — and 49 crew members arrived Thursday morning. The planes are able to carry larger amounts of fire retardant than local aircraft.
In the city’s Romema neighborhood, a large apartment tower was seen going up in flames.
Israeli TV broadcast pictures of paramedics frantically moving elderly people out of a nursing home in the Romema neighborhood of Haifa as black smoke billowed overhead.
Firefighters also worked to try and keep flames from nearing a gas station close to the city’s Paz bridge, next to the main fire station and a main artery going north was closed.
“We’re in a state of war,” Haifa fire service spokesman Uri Chibutro told Channel 2 news.
Major traffic jams were reported as residents in affected neighborhoods attempted to move to safer ground.
An Israel fire service spokesman told The Times of Israel arson was suspected in Haifa based on circumstantial evidence, but nothing had been confirmed.
A fire was also reported close to the Israel Electric Corporation’s huge coal-fired power station in coastal Hadera. Firefighters said the outbreak was under control.
Along with the international aid, the IDF Home Front Command’s Kedem Battalion was been called in to help with the evacuations in the Mount Carmel area, an IDF spokesperson said.
In addition, firefighter reservists in the Home Front Command have also been called up to assist in battling the blazes around the country.
Are we leaving our home? Probably yes as a precaution, So let's start packing!!

Monday, November 21, 2016

Dear Anti-Israel Activist

As more and more people seem to realise that anti Israel activism is nothing more that anti Social behaviour, there seems to be a trend to challenge their outrageous bullying. Lies and deceptions are no match for the truth. Even Arab countries are losing patience with the Palestinians as they begin to see what Israel can offer them in so many ways - water, health, food security, military security, to name just a few.


By Nevet Basker  September  2016,

Dear Anti-Israel Activist,

I don’t know you personally, but I know what you do. You demonstrate on college campuses, in front of stores that sell Israeli products, at co-op grocery outlets, and in the town squares of liberal places like my community of Seattle. You wear a keffiyeh and carry signs that say “From the River to the Sea, Palestine Shall Be Free” and other slogans that deny Israel’s right to exist. I see your swastikas and other classic antisemitic images.

I see your placards with names of villages lost when Israel’s neighbors invaded in 1948. I see your props: child-size coffins, for a dramatic effect. Mock “eviction notices” and “apartheid walls.” Posters commemorating the “Nakba”—catastrophe—your term for the Arab failure to destroy Israel.

I hear your chants of “Intifada, Intifada” and “We are Hamas”—glorifying violence against Jews and celebrating their murder. I see you disrupt talks by Israeli scholars and experts—and even by Palestinians who support peace. I hear you call for boycotting hummus (made in Virginia!), and petition artists not to perform in Israel, and demand that pension funds divest from one of the world’s most vibrant economies. I hear you misappropriate terms like “justice” and “apartheid” and “genocide,” divorcing words so far from their true meaning that the language is no longer recognizable.

And I can’t help but wonder: How is all this vitriol, this hateful rhetoric, remotely helpful to the cause of the Palestinian people you claim to support?

If you truly cared about Palestinians, you would fight the rampant corruption of the Palestinian Authority. You would challenge Palestinian leaders who rob their people to line their own pockets, who pay bounties to terrorists and their families. You would oppose Hamas in Gaza for stealing humanitarian aid, international donations, and construction materials to build rocket launchers and assault tunnels.

If you cared about the Palestinian people, you would protest the thousands killed and imprisoned, the hundreds of thousands of Palestinians gassed, bombed, and displaced in Syria. But you don’t, because you haven’t (yet?) figure out how to blame Israel and the Jews for this wholesale death and destruction.

If you really cared about the Palestinians, you would fight to improve their education, public health, and economic opportunities. You would advocate for dismantling the UN agency that prevents resettlement of descendants of Palestinian refugees, instead nurturing statelessness and victimhood for generations. You would object to the brainwashing of children in schools and summer camps, of youth on social media and adults in mosques and the media, indoctrination to hate and incitement to violence.
If you were a true progressive, you would fight for the rights of women, of LGBTQ, and of religious minorities, all of whom suffer enormously in Arab (including Palestinian) societies. If you cared about freedom of expression and a free press, you would oppose the arrest and abuse of journalists by both Palestinian governments.

And if you really cared about Palestinian statehood, you would invest in building institutions and infrastructure, and in fostering a social climate conducive to eventual Palestinian self-rule and self-sufficiency. You would educate for peace and coexistence, not violence and war.

The reason you don’t do any of these things is because, in fact, you don’t care at all about the Palestinians. You represent a campaign of hate and bigotry, disguised as a national-liberation movement. You then add to it a phony veneer of social-justice and—the irony!—a sprinkle of political correctness, in order to attract well-intentioned progressives to support your cause. In reality, you don’t even want a Palestinian state, only to eradicate the Jewish one. (That’s what “From the River to the Sea” actually means, of course.) You don’t support dialog, or peace, or coexistence. You reject overtures at “normalization,” as though being “normal” is somehow objectionable rather than a laudable goal.

You are a fraud. You are, of course, proudly anti-Israel and profoundly anti-Jewish. But you are also, in fact, anti-Palestinian and anti-peace. Thoughtful progressives are waking up to your true nature and looking for ways to truly support the causes of justice, of coexistence, of peace, and ultimately of the Palestinian people themselves.