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December 23, 2014 / 1 Tevet, 5775
 
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Posts Tagged ‘Khaled Abu Toameh’

Huge Increase Reported in Anti-Israel Activity on US Campuses

Tuesday, October 28th, 2014

The Anti-Defamation League issued an important report on Monday, Oct. 27, finding a dramatic increase in anti-Israel activity, compared to last year. The ADL attributes the increase to the aftermath of the 50-day Gaza war this past summer.

According to the ADL, this fall semester there have already been 75 anti-Israel events reported on U.S. college campuses. In the same period last year, there were only 35 such events.

The problem is even more alarming than the ADL’s report suggests.

It is certain there are more incidents that are either never reported or at least not reported to whatever source the ADL used for its calculations. The “full report” on the ADL website does not explain how the information was gathered or what definitions were used to determine whether certain activity would be included.

When contacted for her reaction to the ADL report, Susan Tuchman, the head of the Zionist Organization of America’s Center for Law and Justice explained that while the numbers mentioned in the ADL press release may not sound enormous, just yesterday she received “phone calls from three different students on three different campuses” with problems serious enough for them to raise with a lawyer.

Tuchman made an even more important point, as well.

 Most Jewish college students are fortunately having a positive experience on their campuses. But the ZOA is contacted so frequently by students feeling threatened and harassed on their campuses, that it’s a mistake for any of us to minimize the problem of campus anti-Semitism. What’s particularly troubling is that Jewish students are facing problems on campuses with large Jewish populations, where one would think these problems wouldn’t exist.

And the real takeaway from the ADL report, and from the ever-growing cache of reported incidents is that the wider Jewish community needs to pay attention to the problem.

Tuchman puts her finger on the problem:

If there’s a single Jewish student on any college campus in this country who feels afraid to be openly Jewish and to say that he or she loves and supports Israel, then that’s something all of us need to speak out against and demand that college administrators address. Some administrators are responding appropriately, but many aren’t.

And while this past summer’s conflict undoubtedly provided new content for the anti-Israel activities, it is not as if the anti-Israel organizations and individuals needed an excuse.

William Jacobson, clinical professor of law at Cornell Law School and founder and publisher of the excellent blog covering legal matters, especially anti-Israel activity on campuses, Legal Insurrection, made the point:

“It is no real surprise that anti-Israel groups are trying to leverage the summer’s fighting in Gaza to their advantage on campus.

“But that is just the latest excuse for what has been a long-running campus propaganda war against Israel. If it was not Gaza it would have been something else. There are groups always looking for an excuse to attack Israel on campus,” Jacobson explained.

The ADL report catalogues the myriad forms of anti-Israel activities on campuses, and those are alarming.

No longer content to simply protest or leaflet pro-Israel events, there is now a panoply of methods used to intimidate pro-Israel students on campuses.

METHODS OF CAMPUS ANTI-ISRAEL ACTIVITIES

Those campus anti-Israel activities include mock “Apartheid Walls” intended to represent Israel’s passive security barrier as a weapon of racism; mock checkpoints in which anti-Israel thugs act out the role of Israeli security forces intimidating, harassing and aggressively demanding identification from hapless and often helpless students who are forced into playing the role of meek and innocent Palestinian Arabs, and fake “die-ins.”

Leading Middle East Journalist: New PA PM Has Resigned

Thursday, June 20th, 2013

Khaled abu Toameh, who for years has been the leading journalist reporting accurately on the Palestinian Authority, its many divisions and opponents, as well as the situation in general in Israel and the wider Middle East posted on his Facebook page the bombshell that the brand new Prime Minister of the Palestinian Authority, Rami Hamdallah, has resigned.

According to abu Toameh, Hamdallah was unhappy with efforts by Palestian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas to curtail Hamdallah’s powers.

The 55 year old Hamdallah was named PA Prime Minister by Abbas earlier this month, following the resignation of the west’s favorite Arab Palestinian politician, Salam Fayyad, earlier this spring. It is not yet clear whether Hamdallah’s resignation was accepted by Abbas.

How much this news – either that Hamdallah has resigned or that he is attempting to -  will affect the relentless efforts of the U.S. to force forward the “peace talks” remains to be seen.

US Efforts to Retain PA’s Fayyad May Have Finally Torpedoed Him

Thursday, April 11th, 2013

There have been rumors for years that Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Salam Fayyad, the Western-trained and most Western-oriented member of the PA leadership, was miserable in his position and that he was going to resign.

He finally did.

At least most media outlets are reporting that Fayyad has resigned.  There are some still reporting that the resignation has not gone through, or that it was not yet tendered or some other speculation, but no one doubts that if it has not yet happened, it will happen soon.

What was the final straw?  Fayyad and acting PA leader Mahmoud Abbas often disagree about finance.  Fayyad is considerd, and for good reason, the financial brains in the PA.  He has a PhD in economics from the University of Texas, taught the subject in Jordan, and worked at the International Monetary Fund for almost a decade.  Since becoming PA prime minister in 2007, Fayyad also held the post of finance minister.

But that changed when Abbas pressured Fayyad into appointing Nabil Qassis as PA’s finance minister last year.

And then, last month, after Qassis and Fayyad disagreed over a draft budget, Fayyad accepted the resignation of Qassis. According to many reports, Abbas was furious that Fayyad accepted the resignation, and tried to rescind it.

Although a darling of the West, Fayyad has never gained traction as a favorite of the Arab Palestinians.  He ran for public office in 2006, having created a new political party called the “Third Way,” but his party came in last, winning only 2 seats.  Hamas came in first, winning 74 seats, and the party of Abbas, Fatah, came in second with 45.

And even as Prime Minister, Fayyad has had problems with his constituents.  In September a huge banner of him was pelted with shoes (a huge insult in the Arab world) during a protest of big increases in the prices of consumer goods.

But there are few with whom Fayyad’s popularity is lower than Abbas and other Fatah leaders who yearn to have their hands in the international aid piggy bank, just like their old boss Yassir Arafat did.

But for the West, Fayyad is their “Great Arab Palestinian Hope.”

So now the West, especially the U. S., is leaning on Abbas to entice Fayyad to stay just a little bit longer.  Why?  So that the U.S. has the opportunity to try out its latest peace initiative efforts.  Two months is what they are asking.  Sure, it’s reasonable to think that Secretary of State John Kerry will be able to clinch the deal that more experienced foreign policy experts and snake charmers were unable to accomplish over the course of decades.

Please.

But once again the U.S. and EU leaders have been pressuring Abbas and other Arab leaders to retain Fayyad, who is the only fig leaf of sophistication and corruption-free leadership in the PA.  Those qualities are essentials that foreign aid donors require – or should – before agreeing to send still more cash to a never-filled bank account.

But this time the efforts of the U.S. may have done more harm than good. Arab Israeli journalist Khaled abu Toameh explained that western efforts to pressure Abbas to retain Fayyad have instead worked to further discredit the prime minister in the eyes of many Arab Palestinians.

“Fayyad’s enemies have cited these efforts as ‘proof’ that he is a ‘foreign agent’ who has been imposed on the Palestinian Authority by Americans and Europeans.”

So, whether Fayyad is gone today or next week or next month, it will happen and it appears there is little the west can do to keep him in place.

Given that is the case, perhaps it will give the new U.S. peace professionals pause before they attempt to impose any major changes in an already dangerously unstable region.

Facebook Apologizes for Closing Anti PA Page

Monday, January 21st, 2013

As The Jewish Press’ Lori Lowenthal Marcus reported last week, Facebook has restored an Israeli –Arab journalist Khaled Abu Toameh for closing his Facebook account and removing posts. Now Facebook has also apologized to Abu Toameh.

Facebook last week closed for 24 hours Khaled Abu Toameh’s account for what it said was “security reasons.” The account was opened one day later with two posts critical of corruption in the Palestinian Authority and in Jordan removed. Abu Toameh had received hate mail and death threats due to the posts.

Abu Toameh wrote in a column published Friday in The Jewish Press that “Facebook’s move came at a time when Arab dictatorships in general, and the Palestinian Authority in particular, have been cracking down on Facebook users.”

Abu Toameh pointed out that some Arab countries, including the PA, have set up teams to monitor Facebook and other social media for critics.

“But the problem becomes worse when Facebook itself starts removing material that bothers dictatorships and tyrants,” he wrote. “One can only hope that the same Facebook employee who ‘accidentally’ removed the article will make the same mistake and close down accounts belonging to terrorist organizations and their leaders.”

Facebook allows Hamas leaders and other known terrorists to maintain pages.

JTA content was used in this report.

Indicators of the Road Ahead for Israel

Thursday, December 6th, 2012

With so much turbulence about (especially now but also in the past several years), it’s easy to overlook the fact that Israel has fought no wars against any Arab state since the Yom Kippur War of 1973.

As Robert Satloff notes in the first of the articles we extract below, Israel’s experiences over these last four decades include “successful diplomacy with intermittent bouts of terrorism and asymmetric war against non-state actors.” Looking ahead, there’s more than a little reason to take a sober view of the future.

The End of the Forty-Year Peace between Israel and Arab States Robert Satloff  in the New Republic: With Hamas’ strong political backing from regional states, future historians might very well view the recent Gaza conflict as the first episode of a new era of renewed inter-state competition and, potentially, inter-state conflict in the Arab-Israeli arena… The “old new Middle East” was a region of peace, trade, and regional cooperation. It reached its heyday in the mid-’90s, when Israelis were welcome everywhere from Rabat to Muscat… The “new new Middle East” is the region defined by the twin threats of Iranian hegemonic ambitions and the spread of radical Sunni extremism, where Israelis are not only unwelcome but where they are building fences along their borders to separate themselves from the fight around them… There is much the U.S. can do to postpone the return to inter-state Arab-Israeli conflict. Such a strategy begins with strengthening American-Israeli cooperation and includes such initiatives as preventing Hamas from winning a political victory over the moribund Palestinian Authority, incentivizing moderate behavior from the calculating Islamist leaders of Egypt, speeding the demise of Bashar al-Assad’s regime in Syria, and preventing the collapse of a wobbly Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan.

Hamas Tells Fatah: Let’s Fight Israel Together Khaled Abu Toameh in the Jerusalem PostHamas leader Mahmoud Zahar on Monday called on Fatah to join his movement in the fight against Israel and to stop wasting time and effort with the peace process. “Our hands are extended to Fatah to join the program of [armed] resistance and the liberation of Palestine… Let’s join hands and carry the rifle together.”

Hizbullah TV Claims Its Rockets Can Reach Eilat  Zach Pontz in the Algemeiner: Israel’s Channel 2 television broadcast a video from Hizbullah’s Al-Manar TV claiming that the terror group’s rockets could reach as far as Eilat. The segment, accompanied by many graphic descriptions, claimed: “Hizbullah has the following capabilities: the destruction of buildings in Tel Aviv; damage to ports and ships in the Mediterranean and the Red Sea and capability to hit specific targets with missiles on the residents and resources of Israel.” Last week Hizbullah terror chief Hassan Nasrallah told a crowd: “Israel, which was jolted by Fajr-5 missiles [from Gaza] – how will it be able to endure thousands of missiles falling on Tel Aviv and other cities if it attacks Lebanon? Our campaign against Israel is from Kiryat Shmona to Eilat.”

Visit This Ongoing War.

Khaled Abu Toameh: Palestinians’ Islamist Spring?

Monday, July 9th, 2012

Originally published by Gatestone Institute http://www.gatestoneinstitute.org

After the recent wave of protests and clashes with Palestinian Authority policemen in the West Bank, the Palestinians are asking if the “Arab Spring” might be finally knocking on their door.

The protests, organized by young Palestinians through Facebook and Twitter, are a reflection of increased discontent with the Palestinian Authority leadership.

Recent public opinion polls have shown that the popularity of Abbas’s ruling Fatah faction has declined and that Palestinians are eager for change.

Most Palestinians would like to see new faces among the top brass of their leadership. They are fed up with the fact that the same leaders have been in office for decades.

Many Palestinians feel that under Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian Authority has joined the club of corrupt Arab dictatorships that suppress the opposition and crack down on freedom of speech.

Hundreds of angry men and women continued to demonstrate in the city against police brutality. The protesters accused the Palestinian Authority of ordering the police to use excessive force to stop the demonstrations.

At least five Palestinian journalists were injured when Palestinian security officers and Fatah activists beat them in the center of Ramallah. Many protesters, including women, were also beaten during the demonstrations.

The clashes erupted last weekend in protest against a planned visit to Ramallah by Israeli Deputy Prime Minister and former IDF Chief of General Staff, Shaul Mofaz. Mofaz’s planned visit to Ramallah was used an excuse to vent out frustration and anger with the Palestinian Authority leadership.

The protests forced Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas to call off the visit, but the cancellation did not calm things down, especially in Ramallah, the de facto capital of the Palestinians.

In March last year, thousands of Palestinians, inspired by the “Arab Spring,” launched their own protests in the West Bank to demand reforms, democracy, and regime change. But the Palestinian revolt was short-lived.

Abbas’s security forces, backed by Fatah thugs, attacked the young men and women who were protesting in the center of Ramallah, torching their tents and beating them with clubs and rifle butts. But now the Palestinian youth groups appear to have reorganized themselves and are preparing for another wave of protests in the West Bank. In recent days, the protesters have even begun chanting the same slogans that Egyptians used against Hosni Mubarak and the Supreme Council of the Egyptian Armed Forces.

The Facebook and Twitter protesters say they have no political affiliations and that their only goal is to replace the old-guard leaders in Ramallah with young and charismatic faces.

The Palestinian Authority, however, says that the protests are part of a foreign conspiracy designed to undermine the leadership of Abbas and harm the interests of the Palestinians. Some Palestinian officials in Ramallah have gone as far as claiming that the US, Israel and even Hamas are behind the unrest.

These accusations are similar to those that were made by Arab dictators in the past year, including Mubarak, Muammar Ghaddafi and Yemen’s Ali Abdullah Saleh. Arab dictatorships often try to discredit their opponents by accusing them of being Israeli and American spies and agents.

Yet in the absence of a credible and organized Palestinian opposition in the West Bank, it is most likely that Hamas will hijack any “Palestinian Spring.” Unfortunately, the young men and women who are leading the anti-Palestinian Authority campaign in the West Bank do not represent the majority. That is why a Palestinian Spring could quickly turn into an Islamist Spring, paving the way for Hamas to seize control over the West Bank.

The only way this outcome might possibly be avoided is if the international community immediately demands reforms from Abbas: the end to corruption, and the end to repression of free speech.

Khaled Abu Toameh: Arab Apartheid Against Palestinians

Wednesday, June 27th, 2012

The Palestinian refugee camps in Lebanon are considered the worst in the region in terms of poverty, health, education and living conditions, according to a report published this week by the American Near East Refugee Aid [ANERA], one of the largest American not-for-profit organizations working in the Middle East. This does not mean, of course, that Palestinians living in refugee camps in Jordan and Syria or other Arab countries are happy. But when it comes to Lebanon, the living conditions of the Palestinians are appalling.

The ANERA report coincided with news about mounting tensions between Palestinian residents of refugee camps in Lebanon and the Lebanese army.

The tensions reached their peak last week when Lebanese soldiers shot and killed a young Palestinian man in Nahr El Bared refugee camp. Later Lebanese soldiers prevented residents from going to the cemetery to attend the funeral.

In 2007, the Lebanese army destroyed most of the camp’s houses during fighting with militiamen belonging to Palestinian armed groups and radical Islamic groups.

Two-thirds of the camp’s 36,000 residents fled the fighting and found shelter in surrounding fields and valleys. Many set up new homes in the nearby Baddawi refugee camp.

Since 2007, the Lebanese army has imposed a strict siege on the camp: residents are allowed to enter and leave only after obtaining permission from Lebanese security authorities. According to the Palestinian residents, they have since been living in a ghetto.

The Lebanese authorities have also banned the residents from rebuilding the houses that were destroyed or damaged in 2007.

Palestinians are convinced that Lebanon has been trying to get rid of them for many years. Lebanon’s apartheid laws deny Palestinians access to the majority of white collar positions in areas such as banking, medicine, management, law and education.

Like many Arab countries, Lebanon has always been treating Palestinians as third-class citizens. Nearly half a million Palestinians live in Lebanon’s 12 camps. Though born and raised in the country, they are denied political, economic and social rights.

Palestinians cannot attend Lebanese public schools or own property. They do not have access to national health services or the social security system. Checkpoints restricting access to most of the camps, according to the ANERA report, thwart trade and commerce with neighboring counties.

“The refugees live in overcrowded camps and have to deal with discrimination, isolation and social exclusion,” the report states. “The refugees often refer to themselves as ‘forgotten people’ and feel they are living in a hostile environment where their basic human rights are not represented or protected.”

The plight of Palestinian refugees in Lebanon and other Arab countries has received little attention in the mainstream media in the West. Although many international aid organizations have been working to assist the Palestinians in the Arab world, Western journalists often turn a blind eye to the misery of these refugees.

The unconscionable condition of the Palestinians in the Arab world will end the day the Arab governments and Palestinian leaders stop lying to them and confront them with reality, namely that they need to get along with their lives and secure a better future for their children. Arab and Palestinian leaders, meanwhile, continue to deceive these people by promising them that if they wait a little longer they will one day “return to the homeland.”

Originally published by Gatestone Institute http://www.gatestoneinstitute.org

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/analysis/khaled-abu-toameh-arab-apartheid-against-palestinians/2012/06/27/

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