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August 30, 2016 / 26 Av, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘palestinian’

For First Time, State Department Accuses Palestinian Authority Of Promoting Anti-Semitism

Wednesday, August 17th, 2016

For the first time, the State Department has explicitly accused the Palestinian Authority (PA) of promoting anti-Semitism, a signal Jewish groups are hoping will lead to a change in U.S. policy.

According to a newly released State Department annual report on international religious freedom, official PA media “carried religiously intolerant material.” The report cited Palestinian television programs that called Jews “evil” or “denied a historical Jewish presence in Jerusalem.”

Previously, U.S. officials had labeled the PA denial of Jewish ties to Jerusalem as “material criticizing the Israeli occupation,” but stopped short of calling it anti-Semitism. Arab media channels that carried the anti-Semitic content were “nonofficial PA and nonmainstream,” according to last year’s report.

The Obama administration no longer says the PA is working “to control and eliminate” expressions of anti-Semitism in its media outlets. Officials dropped an assertion made in previous years that the PA acted to “prevent preaching” of “sermons with intolerant or anti-Semitic messages.”

For years, Israeli leaders have accused the PA and its leader, Mahmoud Abbas, of inciting violence and anti-Semitism. Last year amid increasing terror attacks on Israelis, Abbas called for Jerusalem’s holy sites to be cleansed of Jews.

“Every drop of blood spilled in Jerusalem is pure, every shahid [martyr] will reach paradise, and every injured person will be rewarded by God…. The Al-Aqsa mosque is ours. The Church of the Holy Sepulchre is ours as well. They [Jews] have no right to desecrate the mosque with their dirty feet, we won’t allow them to do that,” Abbas said in a Sept. 2015 address on Palestinian TV.

With the U.S. on the record calling the PA activity anti-Semitism, it could be a step closer to a change in U.S. policy toward the PA, which is overdue, Nathan Diament, executive director of the Orthodox Union’s Advocacy Center in Washington, D.C., told JNS.

In 2015, the House of Representatives unanimously adopted a resolution condemning the Palestinian Authority for “promoting anti-Semitic and anti-Israel rhetoric in its official statements, media, and textbooks.” The measure was authored by U.S. Reps. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.) and Ted Deutch (D-Fla.).

Deutch told JNS he believes that many of the Palestinian terrorist attacks against Israelis during the past year “stemmed directly” from the kinds of anti-Semitic statements cited in the State Department report.

Several Jewish organizations are hoping the report will spur action on Capitol Hill.

“The question is whether Congress will finally move beyond condemnations and seek to make U.S. aid to the PA conditional on ending anti-Semitism in the PA media,” said Sarah Stern, president of the Endowment for Middle East Truth (EMET), a pro-Israel group based in Washington.

“It will be harder for the Obama administration to oppose such a step now that the State Department is on record acknowledging the PA’s anti-Semitism.”

Some Jewish groups, however, argue that Israel’s policies are to blame for Palestinian anti-Semitism. Paul Scham, co-president of Partners for Progressive Israel, told JNS that “while there have certainly been expressions of anti-Semitism on the part of Palestinians, and perhaps on the part of PA officials…such anti-Semitism is overwhelmingly based on the daily experiences of Palestinians with Israeli Jews in conditions of occupation by Israel and powerlessness for Palestinians.”

Though Scham said “we neither excuse nor justify any expressions of anti-Semitism and condemn them,” he believes Palestinian anti-Semitism “will die down” only with a two-state solution.

Meanwhile, others would like to see the U.S. hold the Palestinian Authority accountable, not reward it. Future U.S. and international aid to the PA “should be linked to zero tolerance for anti-Semitism,” said Rabbi Abraham Cooper, associate dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center. “If not, the PA will continue [its anti-Semitism] with impunity. If there are no consequences for such actions, they will only continue and mushroom.”

Dr. Rafael Medoff

Could the Dispute in the South China Sea Affect Debate Over Palestinian Statehood?

Sunday, August 14th, 2016

{Originally posted to the JNS website}

The photos, released earlier this week by the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), show that China is building military aircraft hangars on the disputed Spratly Islands. That violates a promise China’s president, Xi Jinping, made to President Barack Obama less than a year ago, that “China does not intend to pursue militarization” of the islands.

Moreover, a United Nations tribunal ruled last month that China’s claim to the Spratly Islands and other nearby territories is “unlawful.” Yet the international community has taken no action against either the illegal Chinese occupation or China’s militarization steps.

Israeli policymakers might want to keep an eye on these developments. Israel’s leaders have said any future Palestinian state would have to be completely demilitarized. But can Israel rely on the international community to enforce the demilitarization rules if the Palestinians violate them?

Perhaps the most infamous experiment in demilitarization involved the Rhineland, an area of western Germany along the border with France, Belgium and Holland. The 1925 Locarno Pact, signed in the aftermath of World War I, required that the Rhineland be permanently demilitarized. But when Hitler sent his troops to occupy the Rhineland in March 1936, the Locarno signatories–Britain, France and Italy–stood idly by.

Pacifist sentiment was strong in England; treaty or no treaty, the Brits were in no mood to confront the Nazis. Lord Lothian, the veteran British diplomat, rationalized the militarization of the Rhineland as “no more than the Germans walking into their own backyard.” The French, who now found themselves within shooting distance of the Wehrmacht, were not quite so sanguine about the latest developments. But with France mired in economic troubles and national elections just months away, French Prime Minister Albert Sarraut was unwilling to risk a costly conflict with Hitler.

The United States was not a party to the Locarno agreement, but what President Franklin Roosevelt said mattered in the world arena. In this case, he didn’t say much. Determined to maintain friendly relations with Germany, FDR refrained from explicitly condemning Hitler’s Rhineland action. He would not even send U.S. observers to a League of Nations discussion of German aggression. Shortly after the Rhineland crisis erupted, Roosevelt headed off for a two-week fishing trip in the Bahamas, which coincidentally helped him evade questions about the controversy.

Israelis don’t need to go back to the 1930s for examples of how the world might respond if a Palestinian state began importing tanks or missiles. They have had some bitter experience in this area in recent decades.

The late Israeli diplomat and politician Abba Eban describes in his autobiography how the Nixon administration pressured Israel to accept a ceasefire in the 1970 War of Attrition, promising that Egypt would not be allowed to move its missiles close to the Suez Canal. “Within a few days of the conclusion of the cease-fire agreement,” Eban writes, “our head of military intelligence…was reporting…the Egyptians had begun to move their missiles forward as soon as the ink was dry on the agreement.” Nixon’s response “was evasive,” Eban charitably recalled. The U.S. administration “professed not to know that the violations were taking place.” No action was taken against the Egyptians.

An even more current example presents itself. The United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL), which consists of 10,506 soldiers (and 848 civilian advisers) is pledged to ensure that southern Lebanon is kept “free of any armed personnel, assets and weapons other than those of the Government of Lebanon and of UNIFIL deployed in this area.” That commitment from the international community is supposed to protect Israel’s northern border. Yet Hezbollah has stationed more than 100,000 missiles in that area, according to Israeli military estimates. The missiles are aimed at Israel. And UNIFIL refrains from intervening.

All of which leaves some Israelis wondering how international promises would fare if a demilitarized Palestinian state decided to re-militarize. When push comes to shove, would world leaders decide, as FDR did, to go fishing?

 

Dr. Rafael Medoff

Israel Demolishes Five Illegal Palestinian Authority Arab Structures in Mount Hebron Region

Tuesday, August 9th, 2016

By Jonathan Benedek/TPS

Israel’s Civil Administration in Judea and Samaria demolished five illegal Palestinian Authority Arab structures in Umm al-Khair, which is located in the Mount Hebron region next to the Jewish community of Carmel. Several of the structures bore the European Union flag,

“Law enforcement authorities took action this morning against illegal construction and enforced the law quickly,” said Mount Hebron Regional Council Chairman Yochai Damri.

“I hope this will be the beginning of a trend since there has been a sense that Israel has been turning a blind eye and authorizing illegal construction, which has led to an increase in the amount of illegal building by the Arabs,” continued Damri.

The EU, which frequently sponsors illegal Palestinian Authority Arab construction throughout Judea and Samaria, often attaches the EU logo or flag to the illegal structures so as to provide them with diplomatic protection. At the same time, Israel has implemented building freezes against any Jewish construction in Judea and Samaria in response to massive international pressure from entities such as the European Union.

“We have been dealing with a building freeze in Mount Hebron for over a year,” added Damri. “Each pipe and every caravan is inspected in accordance with the strictest legal tools available while there are those who illegally build and disregard the law just next door.”

Israeli NGO B’Tselem, an organization that has received financial support from the European Union and which claims to “document and educate the Israeli public and policymakers about human rights violations” in Judea and Samaria, condemned the demolition of the illegal structures.

“The latest actions show that the Israeli government is continuing its policy of destroying Palestinian communities in order to expand settlements, which is the same policy that was recently condemned internationally in the Quartet’s report,” said B’Tselem spokeswoman Sarit Michaeli.

Michaeli added that 27 people were living in the structures, including 16 minors, who all lost their homes in previous demolitions.

Meanwhile, Israeli NGO Regavim (The National Land Protection Trust), which claims to “ensure responsible, legal and accountable use of Israel’s national lands,” praised the Civil Administration’s demolition of the illegal Palestinian structures this morning.

“Regavim commends the Israeli authorities for the swift demolition of five illegally built European Union funded buildings in Umm al-Khair, just days after Regavim filed a lawsuit against them,” said Regavim International Director Josh Hasten to Tazpit Press Service (TPS).

Hasten said that Regavim was determined to succeed in completely stopping illegal EU construction in Judea and Samaria.

“After years of lobbying against the EU’s rampant illegal building across Area C in total disregard of international law, Regavim’s work is beginning to bear fruit with a large increase in demolitions of European structures,” Hasted added. “We will not stop until there is a total European exit from Israeli territory.”

“Area C” refers to all areas in Judea and Samaria that are under full jurisdictional control by Israeli authorities.

Damri made sure to thank Regavim for its partnership in fighting against illegal construction in Judea and Samaria and for its “tremendous help and cooperation in this matter,” he said.

Michael Bachner and Tzvi Lev contributed to this report.

TPS / Tazpit News Agency

Palestinian Information Center Uses Ha’aretz Anti-Haredi Cartoon

Tuesday, August 2nd, 2016

The News website Palestinian Information Center, which covers, among its regular beats, “Zionist Terrorism,” recently uploaded a cartoon it borrowed from fellow traveler Ha’aretz showing traditionally anti-Semitic depictions of Haredi politicians celebrating their control of budgets squeezed from secular Israelis.

The Hamas-oriented PIC added its own judgmental note, but didn’t need to alter the original visual message. It fit its world view perfectly.

H/T Ishay Friedman.

David Israel

Palestinian Authority Tries to Eject Israel From FIFA

Sunday, July 31st, 2016

The Palestinian Authority is using its membership in the international arena to attack Israel, this time in the world of soccer.

A petition is being circulation around the internet, demanding that FIFA suspend the membership of the Israeli Football Association (IFA) “until Israel respects the human rights of Palestinians and observes international law, thus enabling Palestinian footballers to play and compete nationally and internationally.”

The petition goes on to whine about the “brutal military occupation of ‘Palestine,’ building illegal settlements and a separation wall on stolen land.”

The dispute now spans half a century and to a large extent can be considered irrelevant, given that Israel has repeatedly sought to reach final status agreements with Palestinian Authority leaders, only to be spurned regardless of the terms it offers.

The petition — posted by Eleanor Kilroy of Winchester, United Kingdom, under the “Change.org” organization — complains that Israel restricts the movement of players within Judea, Samaria and Gaza, preventing them from participating in international competitions.

The problem here is a simple one: all of the terrorist organizations, including the Hamas rulers of Gaza, maintain headquarters in Judea and Samaria, and vow ceaseless efforts to annihilate the Jewish State, including attacks on Jews and Israelis abroad.

This prompts the Israeli government to watch Palestinian Authority athletes closely and examine exactly who is traveling and what their track record is like; they are scrutinized to see whether they have any links to terrorism, and whether they might pose a risk to anyone if they travel abroad.

For Israel, this is an existential issue, not a public relations exercise.

As of Sunday, July 31, there were 21,369 supporters it still had 3,631 left to go till it reached its goal of 25,000, but for some reason the petition was “closed.”

French Prime Minister Manuel Valls, meanwhile wrote in a lengthy article in the Journal du Dimanche (the Sunday Journal), that France has throughout its history and geography maintained “very strong” ties with Islam, the “second-largest” religion in the country.

“Millions of French Muslims live here without necessarily identifying themselves as an Arab-Muslim culture,” he noted, adding that because of this specific French connection, plus the country’s centuries-old connection to Christianity and its long Jewish presence that it has been targed by Da’esh (ISIS) terrorists.

A terrible poison is spreading,” he warned. “Many Muslims in France are taken hostage by the fundamentalism Salafism, the Muslim Brotherhood who use their worship as a banner, a weapon against others.”

Hana Levi Julian

Palestinian Authority Activists Campaign at the DNC

Wednesday, July 27th, 2016

Pro-Palestinian Authority activists are out in full regalia at the Democratic National Convention, led — of course — by liberal American Jews sporting bold bright black and yellow logos on white tee shirts that proclaim “I support PALESTINIAN Human Rights” as if to assert that no other human rights exist.

Florida delegate Ahmed Bedier responded on Twitter to the activists with equal pride that his delegation had “just raised [the] Flag of Palestine at #DNCinPHL during platform vote #ProgressiveforPalestine” .

Remember, readers, it’s not really about America, or the Democratic Party, after all, or even about the United States Democratic presidential nominee.

It’s all about the “nth” generation millenials who still dream about their fantasy status as “refugees” or that of their friends — or who have romanticized “the Cause” on their behalf.

But these armchair liberals have yet to spend a gap year with their grandparents or those of their friends in the homes they say they miss so much. The ones that once were administered by the Jordanian authorities or the Egyptians, that is.

They’re in better condition today, but those villages were so badly maintained that in many of them there was sewage running in the streets. More than 90 percent of the homes were forced to provide their own electricity via personal diesel-run generators and their own water from village cisterns and tanks on their roofs.

So many of the village had basic infrastructure that was so badly maintained, in fact — the numbers are so overwhelming — and the population has remained so hostile, that it has taken this long for Israel to be able to do anything about it.

But many of the residents, particularly in the Palestinian Authority where four generations have been fed a steady diet of government-sponsored incitement via the media, the mosques and the school curriculum, that they prefer their misery and their PA citizenship to any improvements from Israel.

But hey, why should anyone complain about their nostalgia for the “good old days” if that’s what they prefer? After all, Jordan is right next door and just a hop over the Allenby Bridge, and Egypt is just south of the border — assuming that either of their loving Arab brethren will open their doors to let them in.

Hana Levi Julian

Palestinian Demographic Manipulation

Tuesday, July 26th, 2016

The July 11, 2016 statistics, published by the Palestinian Authority – claiming that Jews are a minority west of the Jordan River – is a classic case of “lies, damn lies and statistics.” This practice – which manipulates statistics in order to misrepresent reality and mislead observers – has been employed, deliberately and systematically, by the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics (PCBS), despite a powerful Jewish demographic tailwind and a rapid Westernization of Muslim demography west of the Jordan River, and throughout the Muslim World other than the Sub-Sahara region

The misuse of statistics, by the Palestinian Authority, has afflicted Israel and its supporters with unwarranted demographic pessimism/fatalism. The aim has been to cajole Israeli policy-makers into a false assumption that conceding the Jewish geography of the over-towering mountain ridges of Judea and Samaria, is a prerequisite to securing Jewish demography.

In spite of Palestinian statistics, and the display of gross negligence by the international establishment – which accepts the PCBS and all other central bureaus of statistics at face-value without proper auditing – in July, 2016, there is a solid, long-term, 66% Jewish majority in the combined area of Judea, Samaria and pre-1967 Israel, benefitting from an unprecedented robust tailwind of Jewish fertility and migration. Moreover, in July, 2016, there is a gap of 1.15 million people between the PCBS contended number of Arabs in Judea and Samaria (2.9 million) and the well-documented number (1.75 million).

How has the PCBS manipulated its population statistics?

The initial Palestinian smoke and mirror performance occurred during the June, 1997 (first) Palestinian census in Judea, Samaria and Gaza, with the artificial addition of 648,000 people. The census was conducted by the Palestinian Authority, which was concerned that the arrival in Israel of one million Soviet Jews, could dispel the myth of “the Arab demographic time bomb,” thus ending the Jewish nightmare of becoming a minority west of the Jordan River.

The 1997 Palestinian population census in Judea, Samaria (West Bank) and Gaza was puffed by the inclusion of 325,000 overseas residents, as documented by the PCBS’ website; the double-count of 210,000 Jerusalem Arabs, who were also included in the Israeli census; and the documented inconsistencies (of 113,000 people) between the PCBS, on the one hand, and the Palestinian departments of health, education and the Central Election Commission, on the other hand.

Moreover, in 1996, the population data of the Palestinian Central Election Commission (2.146 million) and Departments of Health and Education (2.270 million) were dramatically lower than the 1997 census (2.783 million), but almost identical to those of Israel’s Central Bureau of Statistics (2.111 million), which validated its numbers against the number of newly-issued ID cards and the immunization of all ages.

Demonstrating the creativity of Palestinian statistics, the Head of the PCBS, Hassan Abu Libdeh, admitted at a February 26, 1998 press conference in El-Bireh that – in violation of international standards – “we counted 325,000 people (13% of the total population!) living outside the Palestinian lands for more than one year.”

Furthermore, the inclusion of overseas residents in official counts has been also practiced by other Palestinian agencies. For instance, according to an October 14, 2004 press release by the Central Election Commission, 200,000 overseas residents were included in the (last) Palestinian election in 2005. 350,000 overseas residents were included in the Palestinian statistics, according to a 1993 study by the World Bank.
Explaining the inconsistencies between the PCBS and other Palestinian departments, Louie Shabanah, a former Head of the PCBS stated during a June 8, 2005 debate at Haifa’s Technion: “The Palestinian Health Department accounts for less births because – unlike the PCBS – it excludes overseas births….”

The aforementioned statistical bloats expand annually due to births, hence the widening 1.15 million gap in Judea and Samaria in 2016, which consists of:
*400,000 overseas residents, as reaffirmed by Hassan Ilwi, the Palestinian Undersecretary of the Interior: “Since 1995, we have registered about 100,000 children born abroad.”

*300,000 Jerusalem Arabs, who bear Israeli ID cards are doubly-counted as Israelis and as West Bankers.

*240,000 net-emigration of Judea and Samaria Arabs has been documented by Israel’s Border Police since the 1997 Palestinian census.

*Over 100,000 (mostly Judea and Samaria) Arabs have married Israeli Arabs since 1997, receiving Israeli ID cards, but are still (doubly) counted as West Bankers. In November, 2003, the Knesset passed a statue, terminating the automatic receipt of Israeli ID cards upon marrying an Israeli citizen.

*110,000 result from an inherent under-documentation of deaths (represented by the inclusion of Arabs born in 1847 in the June 2007 census…) and over-documentation of births (represented by a World Bank study, documenting a 32% gap between its own births documentation and the PCBS’ births statistics).

In 2016, Israel’s Jewish fertility rate (3.15 births per woman) is higher than all Arab countries, other than Sudan, Yemen and Iraq, reflected in a unique 75% increase in the number of births from 1995 (80,400) to 2015 (139,000), irrespective of the moderate decline in the fertility of the ultra-orthodox women, but due to the unprecedentedly robust secular (Yuppie) fertility. The norm of 1-2 births per woman among secular folks, twenty years ago, has now shifted into a norm of 3-4 births!

Recent demographic trends expose the unreliability of Palestinian statistics.  They bode-well for Israel’s posture in the negotiation process with the Palestinian Authority, but mostly for Israel’s economy and national security, which will benefit from an exceptionally high natural growth (quantitatively and qualitatively), compared to all other advanced economies, which may have to rely on foreign workers in order to sustain their economic growth.

Yoram Ettinger

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/analysis/the-ettinger-report/palestinian-demgographic-manipulation/2016/07/26/

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