Billboards with a series of maps that purport to show Israel’s continued and systematic expropriation of ‘Palestinian land’ have gone up at suburban New York train stations, including heavily Jewish populated Westchester County, the JTA reported.
The ads depict a succession of shrinking Palestinian territories in four maps and are accompanied by a statement that reads: “4.7 million Palestinians are classified as refugees by the United Nations.” The ad claims to cover “Palestinian loss of land” from 1946 to 2010.
The billboards were posted under the aegis of The Committee for Peace in Israel and Palestine and funded by Henry Clifford, its chairman. The group describes itself on its website as “a diverse, community-based group dedicated to organizing activities and educational events that advance the cause of peace and justice for both Palestinians and Israelis.” The group was also an endorser of the “Occupy AIPAC” weekend long ”policy summit.” Among its other initiatives is the “Be on Our Side: End U.S. military aid to Israel” campaign.
Clifford told FoxNews.com that he paid $25,000 to display the billboards at 50 Metro-North stations for 30 days. The billboards have reportedly been spotted in Scarsdale, White Plains, Mount Kisco, Tarrytown, and Chappaqua.
The Anti-Defamation League called the ads “deliberately misleading and biased.”
“The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is extremely complex and cannot be summarized in a series of four maps,” Ron Meier, ADL New York’s regional director, said in a statement. “This ad campaign completely ignores the facts, including the history of land ownership prior to 1948, Israel’s repeated efforts to exchange land for peace, and the commitment of successive Israeli governments to achieving a two-state solution with the Palestinians.”
“There’s always room for discussion of different sides of every story, but there’s no room for discussion on fact,” Clifford told FoxNews.com. “Anyone who challenges these maps and the content of these ads, it’s they’re obligation to show that they’re historically wrong. The ball is in their court.”
Last month, the Coalition to Stop 30 Billion to Israel erected over 20 billboards across Los Angeles in a campaign to halt US military aid to Israel. But the billboards were removed shortly after due to pressure from the pro-Israel organization StandWithUs and U.S. Rep. Howard Berman (D-Calif.).
“Gaza is the largest Palestinian city, roughly 500,000 in the metro area, out of 850.000 altogether in the province of Gaza. In 2009 the total population of the Gaza Strip was estimated in 2009 at 1,600,000.”
We Google-translated the above from رحلة سياحية لغزة (Tourist Trip to Gaza), which is part of the Tourism section of a website belonging to a radio station named “Sun.” The section on Gaza encourages tourism to the city which has been associated in popular public opinion with images of starving refugees huddled in shacks under daily Zionist air raids.
Sun is a regular radio broadcast of the Arab minority in Israel since 2003. Its slogan is: “Free Radio, modern Radio.” It says it represents the generation that no longer accepts being second class citizens in Israel. It is open to liberals who dare to break all political or social taboos. It also works to challenge the institution of the state and at the same time to build bridges of understanding and co-existence between Jews and Arabs.
The “Visit Gaza” section is current, and offers stunning images of Gaza City, a beautiful and vivacious place that could easily compete with many Israeli beach towns, including my own gorgeous city of Netanya.
So, all we have left to do is to take you on a tour of Gaza, and for the fun of it, we’ll add to these fabulous images quotes from two sources about conditions in this lovely city by the sea, UNRWA and the PA. In the end there’s a video you don’t want to miss. Enjoy!
As the Gaza blockade moves into its fifth year, a new report by the UN’s agency for Palestine refugees, UNRWA, says broad unemployment in the second half of 2010 reached 45.2 per cent, one of the highest in the world. The report released today, finds that real wages continued to decline under the weight of persistently high unemployment, falling 34.5 per cent since the first half of 2006. (UNRWA: Gaza blockade anniversary report)
The report concludes that 90% of Gaza water is unfit to drink. The reasons behind this deteriorating situation, the writer of the report believes, are the racist policies of occupation, the latest war on Gaza , the siege, and the division and its impact on society and education, which resulted in 45% of unemployed graduates. (Gaza Under Attack, Refugees Deteriorating Conditions)
The Refugees’ Affairs Department of the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) published a report detailing the conditions of Palestinian refugees, living in the Gaza Strip. The report compares the conditions of refugees in 2012 and 2006. The report writer, Ala’a Abu-Diaa, states that refugees’ conditions are deteriorating, in relation to housing and lands’ price, which doubled in the last five years. The rate of exports decreased 80% compared to the pre-siege period. Gazans found refuge, the report continues, in tunnels linking Gaza with Egypt. (Gaza Under Attack, Refugees Deteriorating Conditions)
The UNRWA report finds that the private sector was particularly badly hit compared to the government sector. In the second half of 2010 businesses shed over 8,000 jobs, a decline in employment of nearly 8 per cent relative to the first half of the year. By contrast, the Hamas-dominated public sector grew by nearly 3 per cent during the same period. (UNRWA: Gaza blockade anniversary report)
Human rights activists have criticized the international community for its silence on the flagging Gaza economy that has been shattered by the siege and the 22-day Israeli assault on the Gazans at the turn of 2009. (UNRWA: Gaza blockade anniversary report)
“These are disturbing trends,” said UNRWA spokesman Chris Gunness, “and the refugees, which make up two-thirds of Gaza’s 1.5 million population were the worst hit in the period covered in this report. (UNRWA: Gaza blockade anniversary report)
“Over a million refugees in Gaza live in hard conditions in several camps across the strip and are dependent on assistance provided by the UNRWA,” the report said. (UNRWA: Gaza blockade anniversary report)
The UN agency needs to build 100 schools and 10,000 housing units in addition to a number of health centers but these have been severely hampered by Israeli siege of the strip. (UNRWA: Gaza blockade anniversary report)
Successive UN human rights chiefs have slammed Israel’s illegal settlement plans, its Gaza blockade and the building of an apartheid wall across Palestinian territories in the occupied West Bank among other things. (UNRWA)
Refugees are still going through endless crisis, beginning with electricity and including fuel, which affect all walks of life in the besieged coastal enclave. The newly published report states that over 70% of refugees depend mainly on aid delivered by UNRWA.
Ivory Coast President Alassane Ouattara said he intends to bring home Ivorian citizens who are living illegally in Israel, EJP reports.
Ouattara, who is on a state visit to Israel this week, met with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and with Knesset speaker Reuven Rivlin, and discussed on both occasions illegal immigration from Africa.
Netanyahu’s office released a statement saying, “Ivory Coast President Ouattara expressed agreement that Israel should repatriate Ivory Coast nationals who arrived here without permits.”
But following talks with Rivlin, Ouattara was unsure about Israel’s estimate of the number of his brethren (2,000) living illegally within its borders.
“We are not sure that this number is accurate,” Ouattara reportedly said, as it was becoming clear that he had not expected the number to be this high.
“We shall examine the list and return our citizens to their country and to their homeland in full cooperation with Israel,” he said.
“We know very well about the migration problem as a state which both absorbs refugees and from which 250,000 refugees fled during the grave political crisis,” Ouattara told Rivlin.
A civil war swept Ivory Coast after the presidential election in 2010.
“So far we have managed to reduce the number of (our) refugees around the world to around 60,000 and we hope that they will return to Ivory Coast in the coming months,” he said.
“To me, it’s quite humiliating to see African citizens trying to reach another country at almost any price. It’s terrible to see African youth trying to cross the sea and drowning on the way to Europe.”
While on a state visit, Ouattara is also a guest at the Presidential Conference Facing Tomorrow, which opened in Jerusalem on Tuesday. He was the keynote speaker at Wednesday’s plenary session on the world economy.
Israel has been under attack by the onslaught of illegal immigrants from Africa and over the past few months there has been an unbearable rise of crime — brutal rapes and assaults of teenagers and women in Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, Netivot, Lod, Netanya, Eilat, Or Akiva, Bnei Brak, Kiryat Sefer, and more. These illegal job-seeking immigrants are being deemed as “refugees” by all sorts of “aid groups” in Israel, who vocally protest all government actions to evict these illegals — estimates ranging from 90,000 to 700,000. Many of the same “social justice” advocates who demand a better quality of life for Israel’s lower and middle class, are also demanding equal rights for these thousands of illegals as well.
These “activists” live in fiscal fantasyland.
Israel’s conservative fiscal policy is the last barrier preventing Israel from plunging into a recession that has befell most of the developed nations around the world since 2008. As the Eurozone stronger countries struggle to keep Greece, Spain, Portugal and Italy afloat with hundreds of billions of Euro in bailout loans, Israel has no such financial sugar daddy. No one will bail out Israel’s fledgling economy if we over-spend. No one will come to our fiscal rescue if we go bankrupt providing services and social benefits to the tens of thousands of migrant workers who have illegally infiltrated Israel. We’re on our own, and our first responsibility is to ourselves.
Despite the ongoing rabble from the “refugee aid groups” who routinely pine on the Israeli guilty conscience that “we too were refugees, and its our responsibility to accept these illegal Africans,” MK Ophir Okunis correctly stated this morning on IDF Radio that 99% of these refugees are NOT legally considered refugees. Less than a few dozen have actually fled their countries due to political or military persecution and have directly entered Israel. They have all entered Israel via Egypt, via Libya, and via other countries. Once the refugee left their country where they were persecuted and entered another country where the threat of persecution ended, they are no longer refugees from their country of origin. As they continue their trek to Israel via other countries, they are no longer in search of protection, rather in search of opportunity and jobs. Entering Israel via Egypt they are here in the quest of economic opportunity and the benefits which Israel’s left are more than happy to offer.
Unfortunately, Israel as a Jewish Democracy cannot tolerate this situation; not economically, not demographically, and certainly — not the awful crime wave which has descended upon us.
Left leaning Israeli Journalist Guy Maroz slammed right-wing MKs in March 2010 for wanting to create “labor camps” for these illegal workers. He was among the most vocal activists demanding that Israel not deport the children of these illegal immigrants with their families.
Till it hit home for him.
Till he woke up and realized that the problem isn’t only in South Tel-Aviv or Eilat (which obviously aren’t his problem because he doesn’t live there)…and the illegals started flooding all of Israel, his hometown as well.
In a heartfelt letter to Israel’s Prime Minister via an opinion piece in NRG/Maariv, Maroz begs PM Netanyahu to take action against the surge of illegals:
“The writer of these lines, and his wife were among the most strident activists against the expulsion of the the children of [illegal African] foreign workers. That is why I permit myself to scream today, “No More. No more flooding of the streets and lives of Israel’s poorest citizens [South Tel Aviv].
This week a friend hesitantly told me, and she is one of the most enlightened and liberal people I know, ‘they have also come to us, to Hod Hasharon.”
And they have arrived here as well.”
Israel needs to quickly take decisive action to quash the illegal immigration from Africa.
This isn’t racism. This isn’t intolerance. This isn’t immoral.
This is self-preservation. This is the responsibility of survival of the Jewish State, for us, our children, and generations to come.
To get an update on the current situation in the Israeli Knesset, Yishaiis joined by MK Dr. Aryeh Eldad, chairman of the Hatikva Party. Yishai and Eldad begin by Eldad talking about the core values of Hatikva and how they fit into the overall view of the party. The discussion moves on to talk about Jordan’s role in a solution between Israel and the Arabs and also the fate of Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria. The segment ends with a discussion about African refugees flowing into Israel and potential solutions for the issue.
To download, right-click, and “Save Target As” HERE.
For too long, Palestinian claims concerning the number of Arabs displaced from their homes in the course of Israel’s 1948 War of Independence have been accepted with little or no attempt at verification.
Today there are nearly five million official refugees served by the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees in the Near East, known as UNRWA, though according to Daniel Pipes, only about one percent fit the definition of “people whose normal place of residence was Palestine between June 1946 and May 1948, who lost both their homes and means of livelihood as a result of the 1948 Arab-Israeli conflict.”
The other 99 percent, says Dr. Pipes, are descendants of those refugees, or what he calls “fake” refugees. Yet the so-called right of return is widely portrayed in terms of the five million figure and provides the Palestinians with great leverage in any negotiations. Language proposed by Sen. Mark Kirk (R-IL) for insertion in the 2013 foreign appropriations bill would bring a breath of fresh air on the issue by requiring the U.S. government to confirm just how many Palestinians currently served by UNRWA are actually refugees.
As Pipes notes in an article in National Review, the Kirk amendment requires the State Department to inform Congress about the use of the annual $240 million U.S. donation to UNRWA for servicing Palestinian “refugees.” Sen. Kirk has said that Congress has to be told how many Palestinians qualify as “refugees” and how many are merely descendants of those refugees.
It should be noted that by UNRWA’s own count, the number of Palestinians who describe themselves as refugees has climbed from 750,000 in 1950 to five million today. And as one commentator has observed, “the refugee issue has been an immovable obstacle in round after round of negotiations between the Israelis and Palestinians.”
Predictably, the State Department has been less than supportive of the Kirk initiative, with a spokesman confirming that “the U.S. government supports” the principle of recognition of “descendants of refugees as refugees.”
Anyone who can count recognizes the implications of the refugee issue. Even Palestinian Authority president Mahmoud Abbas had admitted that asking the Jewish state to repatriate five million Palestinians “would mean the end of Israel.”
The Kirk amendment will not solve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. But by addressing a significant shibboleth it will diminish important ill-gotten Palestinian leverage, and in that sense represents an important step in the right direction.
Each century brings forth its own patriots. Once upon a time we had Patrick Henry, today we have Senator Patrick Leahy, who declared in the Senate that his opposition to an amendment that would distinguish how much of the UNRWA’s funding goes to actual refugees versus fake refugees was a patriotic act.
“I always look at what is in the United States’ interest first and foremost, and this would hurt the United States’ interests,” Senator Leahy stated firmly. It is of course difficult to find as compelling a national interest as the UNRWA, a refugee agency created exclusively for the benefit of five million Arabs, approximately 30,000 of whom are actual refugees, but all of whom hate the United States.
Senator Leahy, who could not discover a national interest in the Balanced Budget Amendment, drilling for oil in ANWR or detaining Muslim terrorists, all of which he voted against; finally discovered a binding national interest 5,500 miles away in Jordan, where “refugee camps” like Baqa’a (pop. 80,000), which are virtually indistinguishable from local towns and cities, complete with block after block of residential homes, stores and markets, multi-story office buildings, schools, hospitals and assorted infrastructure, must not be looked at too closely.
As a city which will soon celebrate its 50 year anniversary, Baqa’a is older than many modern Israeli cities and is as much a refugee camp as any of them. The only difference between Baqa’a and Ariel, is that no one in Baqa’a does anything for themselves because they are all eternal refugees with an entire UN agency dedicated to wiping their bottoms for them. A unique and singular honor in a world full of authentic refugees who have been driven out by rape squads and genocide, without getting their own minders in blue.
Senator Mark Kirk’s heretical proposal to begin reforming the UNRWA by distinguishing between people who could have some claim on being refugees from the vast majority who cannot, met with Leahy’s declaration that; “Frankly, Mr. Chairman, as a member of this committee, I always look at what is in the United States’ interest first and foremost, and this would hurt the United States’ interests.”
Samuel Johnson said that, “Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel”, but even Johnson would have had trouble understanding how a refusal to count who American aid money is going to, is in the nation’s best interests. It is no doubt in the best interests of the denizens of Baqa’a and their Jordanian rulers, who need to spend that much less money taking care of their people, but ignorance certainly doesn’t do the United States and its interests any good. A refusal to seriously examine the books does, however, benefit the UNRWA and politicians like Leahy who continue to support this boondoggle.
Jordan, the location of Baqa’a and many other aid sinkholes like it, has a population notoriously hostile to the United States. After September 11, Al-Qaeda enjoyed some of its highest approval ratings there, and most Jordanians still do not believe that Muslims carried out the attacks. Despite half a century of aid, 67 percent of Jordanians blame the West for their lack of prosperity, and majorities there support suicide bombings against civilians and American soldiers. Clearly, if there’s one place that there is a compelling national interest to plow aid money into, without doing the math, it’s Jordan and its refugee camps.
Where exactly is the compelling national interest in standing behind the UNRWA’s $1.23 billion biennial budget, and not just the budget, but a refusal to reform the methodology for accounting where all that money is going to? Before Washington D.C. cuts another quarter-of-a-billion dollar check to one of the biggest wastes of money in an organization that excels at wasting money, even more than D.C., it’s entirely sensible to ask whom the money is going to and how long we will be making out these checks?
There are currently five million people living off the UNRWA dole. Sooner or later there will be fifty million. Jordan’s government has done everything possible to inflate the UNRWA welfare rolls and keep cities like Baqa’a and their people on the Western dole. One day the Jordanian government, the British-appointed monarchy ruling over the original Palestinian state, may decide to give up the farce and put all their people on the UNRWA rolls as refugees. And we’ll have to keep on paying without asking any questions– after all, it is in our “national interest”.
Senator Mark Kirk (R., Ill.) has offered an amendment to the FY 2013 funding bill for the State Department that would require the Department to provide two numbers to Congress: 1) the number of Palestinians physically displaced from their homes in what became Israel in 1948, and 2) the number of their descendants administered by the United Nations Relief Works Agency (UNRWA). 
Palestinians are the only people for whom refugee status passes along through the generations (a condition adopted by the UN in 1965 over the objection of the United States), so they are also the only refugee population that grows exponentially over generations rather than declining as the original refugees pass away and their descendants become citizens of other places. Sen. Kirk seems to think the numbers would provide insight into whether the billions of U.S. tax dollars that have been provided to UNRWA over the years are making the problem better – or worse.
The State Department, naturally, is appalled, believing getting a handle on the numbers is prelude to cutting off the dollars. And further, it appears to believe that how our money is spent is not our business. Deputy Secretary Thomas Nides wrote to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, “This proposed amendment would be viewed around the world as the United States acting to prejudge and determine the outcome of this sensitive issue.” As if the world’s view of the problem is more important than transparency with the American people.
In any event, the U.S. would not be prejudging anything, but only be determining how many people live off our dole.
The possible outcomes of the Palestinian refugee issue are three: to allow them to go to Israel (the so-called “right of return”); to formulate their resettlement (and compensation) in the new State of Palestine; or formulate their resettlement (and compensation) somewhere else. The first means the dissolution of the State of Israel – which cannot possibly be among the State Department’s acceptable outcomes (Can it?). In either of the other two scenarios, counting would be a prerequisite to resettlement.
The problem for the State Department is that the Palestinians have rejected the second and third outcomes.
In a little noticed interview in the Lebanese newspaper, The Daily Star, the Palestinian Ambassador to Lebanon, Abdullah Abdullah, said even if the UN established a Palestinian State, the refugees would not become citizens of it. “They are Palestinians, that’s their identity. But … they are not automatically citizens. Even Palestinian refugees who are living in [refugee camps] inside the [then-Palestinian] state, they are still refugees. They will not be considered citizens.”
Why? Because to become a citizen of “Palestine” if Palestine is less than the entire territory west of the Jordan River would obviate the so-called “right of return,” which postulates that Palestinians who left the territory that became Israel – and their descendants – are entitled to go to where they claim to have come from, namely pre-1967 Israel. That is to say, Abdullah Abdullah is choosing the first option – the dissolution of Israel and explicitly rejecting the others.
Abdullah told the paper that U.N. statehood would not affect the planned return of refugees to “Palestine.” “How the issue of the right of return will be solved I don’t know, it’s too early [to say], but it is a sacred right that has to be dealt with and solved [with] the acceptance of all.” Statehood “will never affect the right of return for Palestinian refugees… The refugees are from all over Palestine. When we have a state accepted as a member of the United Nations, this is not the end of the conflict. This is not a solution to the conflict. This is only a new framework that will change the rules of the game.”
The creation of a Palestinian state in territories bordering Israel then would only be a way-station to the establishment of “Palestine” in place of Israel. Abdullah said the new Palestinian state would “absolutely not” issue Palestinian passports to refugees, lest they be understood to be citizens of Palestine.
UNRWA, he said, would continue to be responsible for the “refugees” after the creation of the Palestinian state, at least until the “right of return” is enacted.