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August 1, 2015 / 16 Av, 5775
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Posts Tagged ‘refugees’

The United Nations, United Against Israel

Wednesday, August 7th, 2013

Israelis like to celebrate November 29 as a pre-Independence Day holiday, because that was the day when the newly established United Nations voted to approve a Jewish State.  I don’t consider that act to be all that worthy of our celebration for a couple of reasons.

  • One is that even though a majority of the members of the time did vote to approve a Jewish State, none of them was willing to do anything at all to ensure that the Jewish State would actually exist or survive the onslaught of Arab armies and terrorists which tried to destroy it.
  • The second reason is that we did and do not need the approval of international bodies for our legitimacy, our existence. We owe our survival and existence to G-d and only G-d.  Our victories go against all logic and rules of warfare.

These two points must be remembered.

Very soon after the establishment of the State of Israel, the United Nations quickly established an organization to fully support those Arabs who claimed to be refugees, displaced by the State of Israel, UNRWA.  Unlike all other refugee support groups, this one has made it its aim to perpetuate the refugee status and privileges of the people housed in their camps.  All other refugee support groups aim to get the refugees settled in new productive lives in new homes and locations.  So it’s very, very, very clear that the United Nations, contrary to that November 29th vote is really out to sabotage the State of Israel.

There’s an interesting article in the Jerusalem Post (hat tip: David Bedein’s Israel Behind the News) that tells us which countries have been supporting UNRWA recently.

The United Nations Relief and Work Agency is the only UN refugee agency dedicated to a single group of people. It is the only agency that designates individuals as original refugees if they lived in the area for a minimum of two years, that acknowledges the descendants of original refugees as refugees as well, and the only one that actively encourages its clients to act on their “right of return.”

Since WWII, 50 million people have been displaced by armed conflict.

The Palestinian people are the only ones in history to receive this special treatment.

No doubt this is based on an obvious anti-Israel bias. They are counting on Israel to be destroyed, G-d forbid.  I honestly don’t understand why Israel continues membership in the United Nations, an international organization that is doing all it can to undermine and destroy the State of Israel.

Visit Shiloh Musings.

Video: Camp Jihad

Monday, August 5th, 2013

This film was shot on location in the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) facilities in Judea, Samaria and Gaza, by a TV crew hired by the Nahum Bedein Center for Near East Policy Research.


Human Rights Watch: Turkey Pushing Back Thousands of Refugees

Monday, July 1st, 2013

Iraqi, Jordanian, and Turkish border guards are pushing back tens of thousands of people trying to flee Syria, Human Rights Watch charged on Monday.

“Iraq, Jordan, and Turkey have either closed numerous border crossings entirely or allowed only limited numbers of Syrians to cross, leaving tens of thousands stranded in dangerous conditions in Syria’s conflict-ridden border regions. Only Lebanon has an open border policy for Syrians fleeing the conflict,” the statement from the human rights body said.

Turkey denied the allegations, which if true, are a violation of the 1951 Refugee Convention, which prohibits sending anyone back to – or pushing back anyone trying to leave – a country where their life or freedom would be threatened or where they would face a serious risk of torture or other cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment.

Family Seeks Memorial for Portuguese Diplomat who Saved Thousands

Monday, July 1st, 2013

Aristides Sousa Mendes was the Portuguese consul in Bordeaux in 1940, when the German army invaded France. Despite orders to the contrary from his government in Lisbon, Mendes issued 30,000 visas to refugees who then escaped into neutral Portugal.

When the Salazar government stopped recognizing his visas, Mendes issued refugees Portuguese passports. He used to drive to the Spanish border to persuade guards to let people across. A third of those he saved were Jews.

Historian Yehuda Bauer says his was “the largest rescue action by a single individual during the Holocaust.”

When Sousa Mendes insubordination was discovered, Portuguese dictator Antonio de Oliveira Salazar threw him out of the diplomatic service, canceled his pension and disbarred him from practicing law.

Mendez was unable to support his wife and 14 children, his family home in the village of Cabanas de Viriato was repossessed after the war, and he was forced to live on handouts from a local Jewish association. He died in poverty and disgrace in 1954.

His children were blacklisted, forced to seek education and work abroad. Two of his sons enlisted with the Allied forces.

Now the Sousa Mendes Foundation is cooperating with groups in Portugal and France to preserve Sousa Mendes’ memory, identify those he saved and collect artifacts that they hope one day will fill the museum, Paul Ames reports in the GlobalPost.

Survivors who escaped with Sousa Mendes’ help, accompanied by relatives and members of the Sousa Mendes family, last month retraced their steps from Paris to Portugal via Bordeaux, honoring the man who is one of Yad vashem’s “Righteous among the Nations.”

“I thought it would be an amazing opportunity to reunite these families who last saw each other in 1940 and re-enact the journey,” Olivia Mattis, president of the Seattle-based Sousa Mendes Foundation, told Ames. “It was very intense, a fantastic opportunity to shine a spotlight on the Sousa Mendes cause.”

Mattis’ father was seven when he fled from Belgium with his parents.

The group’s visit to Cabanas de Viriato attracted media attention, and Portugal’s culture minister announced that funds will be made available to repair the Sousa Mendes home’s roof as a first step to restoring the 19th-century mansion.

MK to Arab League: Don’t Forget Jews on World Refugee Day

Thursday, June 20th, 2013

Yisrael Beitenu  Knesset Member Shimon Ohayon, on United Nations World Refugee Day, called on the Arab League to accept responsibility for the exodus of Jews from the group’s countries before and after the re-establishment of the State of Israel .

“The Jews of Arab countries, starting in 1947, were used as weapons by the Arab League against the establishment of the Jewish State,” MK Ohayon said. “The Arab League drafted laws for its member states to withdraw civil and human rights from its Jewish inhabitants, and it is time for it to own up to its role in the ethnic cleansing of the Jewish population from most of the Middle East and North Africa.”

The Political Committee of the Arab League drafted a law in 1947 to govern the legal status of Jewish residents in all Arab League countries.

The “Text of Law Drafted by the Political Committee of the Arab League” called for the freezing of bank accounts of Jews and confiscating their assets. Subsequent meetings reportedly called for the expulsion of Jews from Arab League countries.

MK Ohayon, who along with his family fled Morocco in 1956, is the chairman of the Knesset Caucus for the Rights of Jewish Refugees from Arab Lands and has drafted a law to hold an annual day to commemorate the Jewish refugees in the Israeli calendar.

The ‘Refugee’ Slated to Win ‘Arab Idol’

Monday, May 27th, 2013

The number of Palestinian Arabs whose residence was within the boundaries of historic Palestine between June 1946 and May 1948, and lost their homes as a result of  Israel’s War of Independence, was, in 1949, estimated at 711,000.

The number of Palestinian Arabs still alive today who were personally displaced by the war is now as low as 30,000. 

However, UNRWA, an agency with an annual budget exceeding $650 million, tasked with caring for Palestinian “refugees”and only Palestinian “refugees,” counts descendants of those original 711,000 as “refugees”, and so puts the figure at over 5 million – a number which includes millions of Palestinian Arabs who are citizens of other Arab countries.

UNRWA’s strange logic is what inspired a component of the following headline, and accompanying text, in a Guardian story by Harriet Sherwood about a Palestinian who is poised to win Arab Idol.

Sherwood explains:

The golden voice of a young man from a Gaza refugee camp [Khan Younis] has enchanted viewers of Arab Idol, broadcast weekly to huge audiences across the Middle East, making him a favourite to win the final of the television singing contest.

Mohammed Assaf, 22, has won massive support from viewers enthralled by his rendition of traditional love songs and laments for the Palestinian cause. He has also succeeded in uniting Palestinians in Gaza, the West Bank and the diaspora behind his efforts to win.

Assaf, who often performs wearing a traditional black-and-white chequered keffiyeh, is one of 12 finalists in the competition, broadcast by the Saudi-owned MBC1. Last year’s winner secured a lucrative recording contract and was presented with a car.

The Palestinian “refugee” swindle is but one of the many political derivatives from the ideologically inspired uncritical embrace of the Palestinian narrative which so often passes for serious journalism at the Guardian.

Mohammed Assaf – a Palestinian (born 42 years after the 1949 war) who lives in the Palestinian run territory of Gaza, in Khan Younis – is not, by any reasonable definition of the word, a refugee. And, the fact that Palestinians continue to hold the key to this immutable victim status illustrates a greater truth about the egregious abuse of ordinary language within the cognitive battlefields of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict.

Turkey and Israel Should Launch Non-Violent Intervention in Syria

Sunday, May 26th, 2013

More than 1.5 million have fled Syria, 4 million more are displaced within other nations, meaning 30% of the Syrian people have left their homes. Just to give an example, Reyhanli, one of the Turkish border towns in the southern province of Hatay, where 51 people were killed by twin car bombs on May 11, has a population of 90,000—50,000 of which are Syrian refugees. Some 400,000 Syrians are now living in Turkey, nearly half of them sheltered in camps with poor conditions.

Of course they are more than welcome to Turkey; our doors are wide open to anyone seeking shelter in our land, but this is obviously not a solution to the suffering of 8.3 million people who are in need – not to mention the rest of the Syrians who are also living in fear – nor does it stop the ongoing bloodbath of the Assad regime.

Since March, 2011, the death toll has risen to nearly 100,000, and the real figure is, most probably, far higher.

Most of the victims are civilians.

UN top Middle East envoy Robert Serry is saying there are mounting reports of chemical weapons being used in Syria, and Israel has taken a few solitary, bold actions to eliminate these weapons while the world was still pondering what to do. Provided that there is zero human loss, I advocate that the production and storage facilities of chemical weapons and artillery ammunition be eliminated. As long as it spares human lives meticulously and guarantees that no living beings are affected, Israel’s action to stop lethal weapons from being used is a reasonable move.

On the other side, fighters from Hezbollah—which has been a staunch ally of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad—have joined the battle on Qusayr, a settlement near the border with Lebanon. Because of the town’s strategic importance – since this residential area connects the capital Damascus to the coast – the Hezbollah-backed Assad regime does not want to give up this rebel stronghold in the central province of Homs and continue to kill more people to recapture the city.

While the spirit of protecting human lives is pressuring the conscience of every human being to interfere with the intention of stopping the bloodshed, some writers overseas either secretly support this situation in one sense, or embrace indifference, as long as they are not personally affected. I find this very unbecoming.

One of the Middle East experts that has disappointed me was Daniel Pipes, who has suggested overlooking the bloodbath in Syria and allowing both sides to destroy each other. In a TV interview, he restated his policy, suggesting that the West should back Assad, and keep Syrians killing each other. While he admits that his is not a humanitarian perspective, and offers this as a strategic view, we should remember that these are human beings we are discussing. I am against militant fundamentalism just like Daniel Pipes, and I am also against the communist Ba’ath regime; however, while innocent people are being killed on a daily basis, saying “Let us leave them to fight one another” is wholly unacceptable, standing in violation of both conscience and common sense.

Considering this bloodshed, it is obvious that there needs to be an intervention in Syria. However, what matters is to ensure that there will be no loss of life. Syria has a very complex and intricate structure; thus, any intervention needs to be well planned. First of all, an embargo—starting with air and trade sanctions—can be imposed. Second, world public opinion needs to be stirred up. They will be unable to withstand the pressure if the entire international public is fixed on them. We therefore need to establish a major shift in public opinion.

In addition, since the most dangerous aspect of Syria is its airforce, runways must be made unserviceable. Once it has been guaranteed there will be no loss of life, air bases should be bombarded, so that the air force is immobilized. But I would like to reemphasize: it is essential that nobody be caught up in these interventions; it must be established that the area under attack is empty.

Additionally, a game-changing force would develop from an alliance between Turkey and Israel, and that alliance will make the current Syrian regime tremble in their boots.

However, Assad must not be made to panic. It might prove dangerous if he is under the false impression that he is about to be killed. He must be treated kindly and made to feel that the aim is to save his life and his family. Since Assad is, in a way, seeking shelter behind Russia, Putin thinks he needs to protect him at any cost. An agreement can be reached between Russia, the USA, Turkey and the opposition parties: they can promise that Assad’s safety will be guaranteed, and that nothing will befall his wife and children. Since the opposition forces killed Qaddafi in a horribly humiliating way, guarantees need to be given that his honor will not be compromised, no matter what.

And as soon as we stop the shedding of blood in Syria, there must be peaceful elections accompanied by international observers. Bashar Assad should be a candidate if he wishes, and if he wins the elections, he can stay on. If the opposition is elected to govern, then they should be the ones ruling, or there can be some kind of coalition between Assad and the opposition parties. But the Syrian regime as it now stands is a dictatorship, and there must be legitimate and certified elections that will reflect the will of the Syrian people. Only in that way can a lasting and just peace come to Syria.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/opinions/turkey-and-israel-should-intervene-in-syria/2013/05/26/

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