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April 20, 2014 / 20 Nisan, 5774
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘B’tselem’

US Immigrant to Israel Quits as B’Tselem Director

Tuesday, November 12th, 2013

American-born Jessica Montell said she is stepping down as Executive Director of the leftwing B’Tselem organization with satisfaction that the 25-year-old group has grown into a ”large, strong organization.”

She emphasized B’Tselem’s campaign against what she called  “severe violations of human rights in” in Judea and Samaria, referred to by her as “ the Occupied Territories.”

Financing Mideast Flames on a Burned-Out Budget

Thursday, November 7th, 2013

At a time of ceaseless budget crises, it may astound many that American taxpayers are deploying precious dollars not to pay for peace between Israel and the Palestinians but to achieve the exact opposite: confrontation and even terrorism.

Americans are fungibly funding terrorist salaries in Israel. These transactions frontally violate American laws that prohibit any funding from benefiting terrorists. Here’s how the system works.

When a Palestinian is convicted of an act of terrorism, that convicted terrorist automatically receives a generous salary from the Palestinian Authority. The salary is specified by the Palestinian Law of the Prisoner and facilitated by the PA’s Ministry of Prisoner Affairs.

The Law of the Prisoner narrows the definition of a salaried prisoner. In a recent interview, Ministry of Prisoners spokesman Amr Nasser read aloud the definition: “A detainee is each and every person who is in an occupation prison based on his or her participation in the resistance to occupation.” This means crimes against Israel or Israelis. Nasser added, “It does not include common-law thieves and burglars. They are not included and are not part of the mandate of the Ministry.”

Under a sliding scale, carefully articulated in the Law of the Prisoner, the more heinous the act of terrorism, the longer the prison sentence, the higher the salary. Detention for up to three years fetches a salary of almost $400 per month. Even greater acts of terrorism, with sentences up to twenty years, earn almost $2,000 per month. These are the best salaries in the Palestinian territories. The Arabic word ratib, meaning “salary,” is the official term for this compensation.

About six percent of the Palestinian budget is diverted to terrorist salaries. All this money comes from the United States and other donor countries.

In addition, American aid, taxpayer subsidies of 501(c)(3) organizations, and other financial programs richly support political confrontation between Palestinians and Israelis. Tax experts estimate that for every one million dollars in donations received by a 501(c)(3), US taxpayers must subsidize approximately $440,000.

Tax-exempt charitable organizations are supposed to be just that: charitable. But some prominent Israeli critics claim that highly politicized American charitable organizations, including several operated by some of America’s most prominent Jewish personalities, are actually working hard to destabilize the Israel Defense Forces and erase Israel’s identity as a Jewish state.

Rather than engaging in charitable programs, these critics say, these charitable groups are focused on massive political lobbying and fomenting internal political upheaval that roil peace between Arab and Jew.

Not a few of these critics point to the prestigious New Israel Fund (NIF) as the chief culprit.

NIF grants steer millions of US dollars to scores of controversial Israeli NGOs. One is B’Tselem, which circulates video cameras to Arab villages that are hotbeds for confrontation. Israeli military officials have said they rely on B’Tselem’s help to document IDF infractions. But many critics in the ranks charge the cameras are calculated to capture the scene after soldiers are taunted into reacting. One such critic is Col. Benny Yanay, who represents Consensus, an organization of several hundred IDF officers.

“The New Israel Fund,” insists Yanay, “acts against Israel – against the soldiers of our country. It is important to me that people recognize the New Israel Fund for what it is. It is supported…so that Israeli soldiers will be weakened.”

Yanay adds: “Their budget is more than anything we have, so it is not a fair fight. We are not a political organization. They are political.”

Are the allegations true? Deputy Speaker of the Knesset Yoni Chetboun says “yes” and flatly asserts, “The main goal of the NIF is to undermine the Israeli army, by knowingly financing left-wing Israeli groups that try to get young Israeli soldiers prosecuted for war crimes.

Knesset member Yariv Levin agrees. “The NIF’s lobbying and its funding activities are all part of a campaign to destabilize the IDF. They want to ruin the good name of the IDF, making it more possible to take soldiers to international courts.”

MK Faina Kershenbaum also agreed, stating, “Yes, the NIF is trying to destabilize and delegitimize the army.”

The New Israel Fund has heard these allegations many times before and forcefully rejects them. NIF vice president Naomi Paiss concedes, “We are not about soup kitchens. We are about social change.” But Paiss claims the critics are just right-wing political opponents. Chetboun, Levin, and Kershenbaum are indeed considered to be on the political right. But they and others say this rebuttal only proves their point – the NIF is not a charitable entity but actually a wealthy political organization, empowered by huge American tax subsidies bestowed on its American donors, many of whom may not understand the true impact of their contributions.

Israeli Skunk Spray Effectively Dispersing Violent Arabs (2 Videos)

Thursday, April 18th, 2013

Back in March, Israel unveiled a new kind of crowd control, affectionately known as Skunk Spray.

The “aromatic” spray is shot from a water cannon, soaking the target in gut wrenching, putrid smell. But, believe it or not, as smelly as it is, the Skunk is environmentally friendly, non-toxic, and so harmless you can drink it without fear of harm. Except, according to reporters who caught a whiff of it, it kind of immediately makes you wretch.

There’s been a worldwide interest in the new weapon. Freedom through chemistry!

The opposition is fuming: B’Tselem put out its own video showing Israel’s armored tanker trucks fitted with water cannons which spray the foul fluid at Palestinian protesters.

You can’t please some folks: the IDF units switched from live to rubber bullets – and they complained. Now that there are no bullets at all being used – they’re still complaining.



‘Palestinian Only’ Buses in Israel: The Big Lies are Back

Tuesday, March 5th, 2013

The headlines roll out, the journalistic warfare continues, and the Jewish State once more is cast in the starring role of “evil, Apartheid empire.”  This time the story is that Israel is forcing the Arab Palestinians to ride separate buses from the ones Jewish Israelis ride.

The reality is exactly the opposite – there are no “Palestinian only” buses. Instead, with its new bus routes, Israel is reducing crowded buses, attempting to relieve ethnic tensions and security concerns, and is assisting Arab Palestinians enter Green Line Israel to work. But we’ll get to the facts – which exonerate Israel from “Apartheid” charges – in a minute. For right now you can rest assured that despite efforts to cast the Arab Palestinians in the role of Rosa Parks, a closer fit would be to cast the purveyors of this latest attack as peddlers of the Big Lie.

First, the hysteria:

One headline, from the magazine formerly known as Newsweek, and now known as – more accurately – the Daily Beast, “West Bank Buses Only the Latest in Israel’s Segregated Public Transport,” and one from the uber-leftist +972, “Israel’ new ‘Palestinian only’ segregated bus line,” and even the Israeli news media outlet YNet fans the flames: “Ministry launches ‘Palestinians only’ buses.”

The claims are exactly as you would expect them, and made by those whom you would suspect.  For example, Jessica Montell is the director of the anti-Israel, pro-Arab B’tselem Rights group. “Creating separate bus lines for Israeli Jews and Palestinians is a revolting plan,” Montell told Army Radio. “This is simply racism.”

And the far-leftist political Meretz party chairwoman Zahava Gal-On reamed Transportation Minister Israel Katz, demanding that he “immediately cancel the segregated lines in the West Bank. Separate bus lines for Palestinians prove that occupation and democracy cannot coexist,” she said.

What are the facts?

HISTORICAL FACTS

First of all, all Israeli citizens are permitted to ride all Israeli transportation vehicles, whether they are Arab, Finnish or Lithuanian, Jewish, Muslim, Christian or Buddhist.

Second, any non-citizen of Israel, just as is the case with every other country in the world, has to show identification when entering Israel’s official borders – it is true for American citizens entering Canada and Mexico, just as it is the case for citizens of the Palestinian Authority who wish to enter Israel.

Third, Israeli citizens who live in Judea and Samaria pay taxes, a portion of which subsidize the transportation infrastructure and vehicles, whereas Arabs who live in the PA towns do not.  In fact, taxes paid by Arabs in Israel are turned over to the PA to support their infrastructure, which includes – or should – transportation services for their residents.

One consequence of the preceding points is that the Israeli bus lines travel from and to all areas in which tax-paying Israeli citizens live – from Jerusalem to Shilo, from Tel Aviv to Efrat, and so forth.  The Israeli bus companies do not stop at, for example, the Arab town of Ramallah, just as they do not stop at non-authorized Jewish towns such as Givat Har-el.

WHAT IS NEW?

The bare fact: the Israeli government added two bus lines (so far, there was overcrowding on Monday, March 4, the first day the service was instituted, and the Transportation Ministry said more buses will likely be added) that will serve Arab Palestinian towns with transportation into central Israel.  The Israeli bus lines previously did not stop in towns controlled by the Palestinian Authority. Despite the efforts of BDS advocates, there are tens of thousands of Arab Palestinians who work in different parts of Israel.  Arab Palestinians with work permits would previously have to travel first to a place where the Israeli buses stop, or would be dependent on the much higher-priced Arab buses to get into central Israel.

So why the hysteria?  Because some see this as an evil plot to segregate Jews and Arabs.  But non-citizens are not entitled to use Israeli public transportation into central Israel without showing border identification, and prior to the provision of these new bus lines, Arab Palestinians were dependent on transportation services by “pirate” (Arab, by the way) companies which charged the Arabs far more than the Israeli lines do.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/palestinian-only-buses-in-israel-goebbels-big-lies-are-back/2013/03/05/

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