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June 27, 2016 / 21 Sivan, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘Arab’

Wall-to-Wall Agreement at Last: The Pal Arab Kleptocrats and the Devastation they Wreak

Sunday, May 29th, 2016

{Originally posted to the authors’ website, This Ongoing War}

One of the open-secrets about the seemingly-never-ending nature of violent Palestinian Arab hatred of Israel, Israelis and Jews is the sustaining role played by money and power.

That’s one of the reasons we mention often how the Palestinian Arabs live in a society ruled by kleptocrats – those aggressive and powerful Abbas/Arafat regime insiders whose well-being and wealth depend on keeping the flames of hatred going and their fellow-citizens under their heels.

Yesterday (Tuesday), Associated Press syndicated a somewhat rare look at what the ordinary folk think of their Palestinian Authority overlords, and how that translates into action.

The original AP version of the article (under the headline “In tough times, most Palestinians view government as corrupt“, Karin Laub and Mohammed Daraghmeh, May 24, 2016) is archived here.

But about the headline: is it fair and accurate to say “most” when the proportion of Palestinian Arabs convinced of their governing regime’s corruption is almost 96% according to the data quoted by AP. Given a 3% margin of error, that’s about as close to unanimous as public opinion ever gets. What other issues do we hear about where 4% of the total population disagree? Never happens.

Let’s also note that massive Palestinian Arab corruption is neither new nor a secret. As the AP piece notes:

[T]he government hasn’t submitted annual budget reports for mandatory audits for four years, effectively preventing scrutiny of how millions of dollars are spent, said corruption monitor Aman, the Palestinian branch of Transparency International.

How those millions are spent is precisely at the heart of the ongoing scandal via which willfully-gullible European governments, along with the co-operative United States, continue to fund the Arafat/Abbas Rewards for Terror scheme while pretending not to notice the array of fig leaves and overt lies. Those serve as cover for the jihadist murders – mainly of Israelis – that everyone involved knows is the actual purpose of the cash flowing into Ramallah.

If we have to choose one particular shortcoming in yesterday’s news report, it’s that AP could have depicted, but did not, Palestinian Arab corruption in ways that might have significantly changed people’s perceptions. How? By photographs of those concrete expressions of corruption that we know about but that are rarely seen.

Pictures of villas for the powerful and well-tended, paved and – of course – guarded streets do that well. A shame that AP offered only one such image in its syndicated story (the photo at the top of this post), and that one shows no human beings. The text describing the exclusive neighborhood (“built for senior Palestinian Authority officials on subsidized land“) helps, but it’s almost always true that pictures trump words for impact.

There are probably many other concrete expressions of PA corruption that could easily have been caught on camera but were not, and perhaps never will. AP along with every other news company is subject to the reality that the production of photographic images from the areas under PA control has for years been subtly (and almost silently) controlled by the Abbas circle. By far the majority of photographers working in that field are themselves Arabs, who are the source of the photos syndicated out by Reuters, Xinhua, AFP and Associated Press.

What kind of images almost never emerge? How about photos or clips of PA insiders – the fat-cat ministers, the fancily-dressed bureaucrats, their privileged children – getting in or out of their fancy SUVs and limousines. We’re thinking of that in particular because it’s a reality we encounter when we make a weekly trip to the community south of Jerusalem to visit grandchildren. This involves our driving past Bethlehem, and sharing the road with drivers leaving or entering Bethlehem or Hebron or the surrounding villages.

If you have not made that journey recently, or visited other parts of the PA’s domain, you might be surprised by the reality. This video clip, made last year by a creative (and justifiably angry) Israeli individual with an activist bent, Ezri Tubi, delivers in simple in-your-face form an illustration of how badly people’s ignorance and/or misconceptions serve them about non-trivial aspects of the lives lived by our Pal Arab neighbors.

Very rarely, images do emerge of the armed security men – many thousands of them, in at least eight different official organizations [source] – who keep the PA elite safe from their disenfranchised citizens. Sure, AP reporters can and do write (mildly) about this sort of thing, as we have just seen. And from time to time they can also remind the world that the Palestinian Arabs are not only exploited but their own power circles, but can do next to nothing about it since those same power circles have no interest in allowing them to exercise their democratic right to vote in elections. It’s good to see those things written and said occasionally because they are true and meaningful.

But there’s no substitute for producing images and the honest contexts that need to accompany them. (And yes, we know life and freedom are about many issues, not just villas and Volvos.) Photos really get into people’s heads in ways that words rarely do. However that threatens those PA insiders and so their appearance is much rarer.

(In case it’s not obvious, corruption in Gaza and among its Hamas ruling clique is as bad, if not worse.)

Frimet and Arnold Roth

What Do Jews in Judea and Samaria Think About Their Arab Neighbors?

Thursday, May 19th, 2016

What do people in the Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria (a.k.a. “settlers”) think about their Arab neighbors? I often see allegations – almost always false – about racism, hatred towards Arabs, and the resultant damage done to Arab limb and property. Being a Jew in Samaria, being an educator and a rabbi, I think I can testify and clarify.

Let me answer by first saying: everyone should have a hobby. My hobby is to guide in the Western Wall Tunnels, tunnels inadvertently created when support arches were built in the 13th century, adjacent to the Western Wall of the Temple Mount built by the king of Judea – Herod – over two thousand years ago. Sometimes I’ll guide a group of thirty five collected assorted individuals from different countries, cultures, and religions. Opposite a two thousand year old gateway to the Temple Mount, I squeeze the entire group together, in order to illustrate what I consider to be the most important point I wish to make in the ninety minute tour:

“See how crowded we all are here? Just imagine how crowded it was during the holidays, when Jews from all over the world gathered here in Jerusalem, as per the religious obligation in Judaism to go to the Temple three times every year. There could be hundreds of thousands of people in Jerusalem, so that any time you went up to the Temple – there could be thousands and thousands of people up on the Temple Mount. It could be so crowded that you’d probably be jostled around by the crowd. Now, isn’t that aggravating? How do you keep your peace of mind, staying tuned to the awesome holiness of the Temple, while being pushed about because of the crowd? The key is: you have to really, really love people – and if do you love people, then you don’t mind being in a big crowd of people. If you don’t love people, then I’d suspect you don’t love God who created all these people, and you think they’re superfluous. And if you think that – then sadly you probably don’t love yourself either, and maybe you’re thinking that you’re superfluous too, and you won’t try to realize all that potential that you have in you to make the world a better place! But if you truly love God – then you have to love all people, intrinsically. You don’t have to agree with all they do and say (and sometimes you must oppose them) – but you have to love them essentially. If you do love God and people, then happily you probably do love yourself, and you are going to try to realize all the potential that you have in you to make the world a better place!”

Where did I learn this message of love? From the source that serves as the spiritual inspiration for the movement of Jews to return to the heart of their ancestral land: the teachings of a particular rabbi and his son: Rabbi Abraham Isaac Kook, the founding spirit of the modern chief rabbinate in Israel and one of the first chiefs rabbis in modern time, and his son, Rabbi Tzvi Yehuda Kook, who was considered the spiritual father of the modern day movement to resettle Jews in Judea and Samaria. They cast a unique spiritual and moral light on modern Zionism, the movement of Jewish national liberation. One of the pillars of this outlook was love: love of God, love of Judaism, love of the nation of Israel and ultimately love of all humanity, too. They taught that the particularism of Jewish identity isn’t for selfish reasons, but rather seeks to bring a blessing and an uplifting influence to all humanity, through the existence of a unique nation dedicated to living a moral and holy life. Therefore this nationalism – though fiercely patriotic and full of courage – is also full of aspirations for universal progress and betterment for every other nation.

Racism in thought, hatred in feeling or damage to life and property in practice, are all the opposite of the basic spiritual and moral fundamentals of the “settler” movement’s world and national outlook. Love towards one’s neighbor – including our Arab cousins – is one of the basic tenets of the Jews living in Judea and Samaria.

To be continued…

Dovid Ben-Meir

Gazan Arab Tries to Enter Be’er Sheva Central Bus Station

Sunday, May 15th, 2016

An Arab resident of Gaza was arrested midday Sunday at the central bus station in Be’er Sheva after arriving at the entrance to the transit hub.

Security personnel who were guarding the bus station – the largest in the southern region – became suspicious of the Arab man and asked to see his identification.

He reluctantly pulled out a worn red-colored ID card that was not readable; the security personnel held him at the gate until Be’er Sheva police arrived.

“The suspect’s activities in Be’er Sheva and his reasons for coming to the central bus station are being investigated,” a police source told the Hebrew-language 0404 website.

Hana Levi Julian

Israeli Arab Educator Teaches ‘Halas-Enough Theory’ to New Generation

Wednesday, May 11th, 2016

Dr. Delia Padilla, Head of the Al-Qasemi College of Engineering and Science in Baka Al-grbiih, who also founded and runs the Tira-based Q Schools, an institution for teaching and learning English, told The Marker she wants to raise a post-Nakba generation of Arab children in Israel. Nakba, Catastrophe in Arabic, is the Arabs’ inverse term for Israel’s War of Independence, for obvious reasons—one day they were the majority in British-ruled Palestine, and one badly conceived UN vote on partition later, followed by civil war, and they became a minority in someone else’s country, and have been trapped ever since in a narrative that blames all their losses on the Jews. Well, Dr. Padilla wants it to stop.

“It’s important to me that we develop in the younger generation a sense of vision,” she told The Marker. “Let our children grow up with the sense that they are capable of dreaming, because if they were able to dream, they could also make dreams come true. I want to raise a generation of leaders that doesn’t want to go backwards. I call them ‘the new Arabs.'”

According to their website, Q Schools is “constituted on the values of empowerment, acquiring and producing knowledge, and the rights of development for all people.” Q Schools’ unique approach utilizes language learning as an integral component of the process of human resource development. Having educated more than 2000 students, Q Schools aims to fulfill students’ potential for being leaders and life-long learners.

Padilla says her own generation was raised with the notion that “there’s no point in dreaming, what’s the best you’ll become? At most you’ll be a school teacher.” The Nakba narrative, rather than be a liberating sentiment, repressed Israeli Arabs, including the later generations who hadn’t experienced the cataclysmic change personally. They grew up defeated, Padilla says, which is why she believes a post-Nakba dialogue is critical for the future of Israeli Arabs. She also teaches that Arabs must accept responsibility for their own lives.

“I call it the Halas Theory,” she says. Halas means, literally, Enough in Arabic. “Halas, maspik (same word in Hebrew), grow up and start investing. Budgetary shortages, structural discrimination — fine, it’s all there, but it does not absolve us from investing in our own society.”

Dr. Padilla says Israeli Arabs will do well to learn from American Jews, whose major success was in establishing a competent and strong leadership which manages to accomplish a great deal in the political arena, despite the relatively small size of their constituency.

“It’s a simple formula,” she says. “The Jews said to themselves, We are Jewish, but American, and it’s not a contradiction in terms, but a common interest, and to get a strong community we must do very strong internal work and neutralize the pitfalls.’ Here, because of all the tension and the tough speech by government officials, we don’t manage to achieve this kind of dialogue in the Israeli Arab society. But someone among us should have the courage to say, ‘It makes no difference what Bibi is saying — we owe this to ourselves.'”

Back in 2011, Dr. Padilla described the plight of the Israeli Arab woman in an eloquent essay in an Israeli-Arab Journal. She described how “on the one hand, she wants to belong to her own society, her own tradition, to be the mother, the daughter and the partner. She is also aware, however, that this indigenous culture, with its heavily suffocating tradition, places variable rings around her neck, her mind, her body and her future. She is ambivalent. On the other hand, we look to the other side, to Israeli society and admire its liberal lifestyle. We envy our Jewish sisters who are in an advanced position toward liberalism and self-fulfillment. Yet we are aware that this society is the same one that hinders our integration into the liberal community; it visibly and invisibly places obstacles in the way of our acceptance.

JNi.Media

Ben-Gurion U Arab Students Protest ‘Occupation’ on Memorial Day Eve

Wednesday, May 11th, 2016

On Tuesday, the eve of Yom Hazikaron (Memorial Day), Arab students at Ben-Gurion University protested against the “occupation,” Walla reported. The group, which belongs to the student faction of the Balad political party organized a protest against the “occupation,” where they held PLO flags, as well as signs protesting Israel’s security policies.

In response, Zionist students organized a counter protest where they waved Israeli flags and held a moment of silence in memory of the fallen Israeli soldiers.

Main Memorial Day service at BGU

Main Memorial Day service at BGU

Im Tirtzu CEO Matan Peleg, who was visiting the movement’s BGU branch at the time, said “the timing of this protest was intended to hurt the bereaved families and the citizens of Israel who are mourning for their loved ones. This shameful event is hypocrisy of the highest degree.”

Peleg added: “It is a shame and a disgrace that Arab and radical Left students at Ben-Gurion University chose ‘by chance’ to protest on the eve of Yom Hazikaron. It is only thanks to the self-sacrifice of IDF soldiers that these protesters are free to demonstrate. Such actions are highly detrimental to the majority of the Arab sector that strive to integrate into Israeli society and want to be a part of it.”

BGU has a special department dedicated to the support and promotion of Arab students, who mostly come from the Bedouin communities around Be’er Sheva. The department offers courses to help Arab students comply with academic requirements, as well as financial assistance programs targeting Arab students.

David Israel

Pro-IDF Arab Priest Gabriel Naddaf Denies Accusations of Sexual Harassment

Monday, May 9th, 2016

A Channel 2 News report Sunday night presented serious evidence of sexual abuse against Gabriel Naddaf, an Israeli priest of the Greek Orthodox Church, a judge in the community’s religious courts, and a spokesman for the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Jerusalem. Naddaf, who has been selected to light a torch at the Independence Day ceremony this year for his role in encouraging Christian Arabs to enlist in the IDF, has allegedly conducted conversations rife with sexual innuendo with soldiers who sought his help. He is also accused of soliciting benefits from PA Arabs in return for helping them obtain entry permits into Israel.

Naddaf has been embraced by the Israeli establishment for his pro-Zionist activism, as part of a growing group of Israeli Arab activists of the Christian faith who declare their loyalty to the Jewish State and insist on being viewed and treated in a different manner than Muslim Arabs.

Naddaf issued a statement Sunday saying the source for the complaints against him are criminal elements in the Arab community who are determined to deny him the success he has enjoyed in promoting Christian youths’ enlistment in the IDF. He noted that he had passed two separate polygraph tests regarding the allegations against him and that he had filed a complaint with police over them.

MK Tamar Zandberg (Meretz) approached Culture and Sport Minister Miri Regev demanding that she prevent Naddaf from lighting the torch in light of the allegations against him. Regev issued a statement Sunday night saying she supports the decision of the public committee which had chosen Naddaf unanimously for his good works in the service of the state, and as long as law enforcement official have not stated that they suspect otherwise, Naddaf is considered fit to be honored.

David Israel

Visiting Biblical Tombs in an Arab Village

Friday, May 6th, 2016

(((CLICK BELOW TO HEAR AUDIO)))

First, Spiritual Cafe is back!! Yishai is reunited with Rabbi Mike Feuer to talk about the most central of all the Bible’s commandments: “Love thy fellow person as you would yourself.” Then, the Tombs of the Biblical hereos Joshua and Caleb (and Joshua’s father Nun) are found in the middle of an Arab village. Join Yishai and thousands of Jews as the Israeli army provides security under cover of darkness for pilgrims to visit the graves of their fathers.

Yishai Fleisher on Twitter: @YishaiFleisher
Yishai on Facebook

Moshe Herman

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/multimedia/radio/visiting-biblical-tombs-in-an-arab-village/2016/05/06/

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