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July 23, 2016 / 17 Tammuz, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘report’

A Glimpse of Things to Come: Arab Press Protesting Hamas Repression

Friday, August 2nd, 2013

The biggest victims of the peace talks, it turns out, are not the Israelis, not even those hardier, more spirited Israelis living east of the green line. Without a doubt, the ones who stand to lose the most from the creation of a Palestinian state are the Arabs who live there.

I wrote in the past about the sharp decline in the quality of life in the Arab parts of Judea, Samaria and Gaza, after the signing of the Oslo accords, back in 1993.

The Oslo Accords were a terrible idea. They were not at all an honest attempt to establish long-lasting peace between Arabs and Jews. Instead, they schemed to keep the Arabs under the control of a team of outside gangsters, paid by Israel.

In Oslo, Israel inflicted on the Arabs a permanent policy of Divide and Conquer, sentencing them to a slow and debilitating decline. So far, unfortunately, the Israeli plan has been working. One half of the Palestinians have been reduced to poverty. All of them are living in constant fear of violence, without the most elementary rights which you and I take for granted.

On Thursday, a group of Arab journalists joined a sit-in strike near Ramallah protesting a decision by the Hamas government in Gaza to close media offices of Ma’an Network, Al Arabiya and others.

Earlier this year and last year, those same journalists protested the heavy handed manner in which the Palestinian Authority was dealing with unflattering reports on Facebook – interrogating and throwing the authors to jail. A Human Rights Watch report issued in 2011 said Palestinian journalists are being subjected to detention and abuse at the hands of Palestinian security agencies, “a pattern that has led many to self-censor and produced a chilling effect on the free exchange of information and ideas.”

In the seven “West Bank” cases examined in some depth in the report, HRW said the “harassment and abuse of journalists reflected attempts to prevent free speech and inquiry into matters of public importance, and to punish writers solely because of their statements critical of the Palestinian Authority or their perceived support of its political rivals.”

But this time around it was all about Hamas, and the protesters included Palestinian politicians and dignitaries–who, no doubt will some day intimidate and brutalize those very protesters. For now, though, they urged the Hamas government to reopen all the media offices it closed, and to end a ban on the entry of three major Palestinian newspapers into Gaza.

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The protest was organized and called by the Palestinian Journalists Syndicate, the main press union in Palestine.

Back in 2004, the Palestine Journalists Syndicate (PJS) announced a ban on journalists who dared to report on disputes between Palestinians. On July 20, 2004, the PJS threatened that journalists would face “penalties” if they “dealt with or carried statements or publications dealing with internal events and inclined to slander, libel or harm others.”

Not in Gaza, mind you, in Ramallah, and not Hamas – back then the PLO still ruled in Gaza.

Obviously, there’s only one place where those frisky reporters are permitted to roam around freely and report whatever they wish, with cordial and professional assistance from the authorities. You guessed it – in Israel, that apartheid state they so love to revile.

Head of the journalists syndicate Abdul-Nasser Najjar addressed the protesters and expressed astonishment over the ongoing assaults against journalists in Gaza.

“We were surprised as Hamas continued with assaults against Palestinian media organizations, shutting down offices of Ma’an News Network and some other media offices. This is part of an ongoing practice,” Najjar said. He highlighted that “since Hamas staged its coup in Gaza, the main three Palestinian daily newspapers were banned in the Gaza Strip.”

But, you know, only a year ago, in July 2012, Abdel Nasser Najjar called for boycotting a meeting between Israeli President Shimon Peres and Arab journalists. Najjar, an old PLO hand, warned that punitive measures would be taken against journalists who attended the meeting in Jerusalem.

It must be embarrassing, if not outright infuriating, for a journalist who spends half his day working like a serious professional in a Western democracy, vilifying Jews and whatnot, and then, at night, crossing over to the Heart of Darkness that is the Palestinian-run areas.

Yori Yanover

UNICEF: Israel Treatment of Arab Minors in Custody Cruel and Inhuman

Wednesday, March 6th, 2013

A United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF) report released on Wednesday alleges that Palestinian children detained by the IDF are subject to widespread, systematic ill-treatment that violates international law, Reuters reports.

The report estimated that 700 children aged 12-17, most of them boys, are arrested and interrogated by the IDF, police and security forces every year in Judea and Samaria.

According to UNICEF, it has documented “examples of practices that amount to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment according to the Convention on the Rights of the Child and the Convention against Torture.”

Israeli sources have declined to comment on the findings at the moment. The UNICEF report states that it is based on more than 400 cases since 2009, legal papers, reports by governmental and non-governmental groups, and interviews with Palestinian minors, and Israeli and Palestinian officials and attorneys.

Is not clear at this point how much of the information in the damning report was presented to Israeli authorities for a response prior to publication. This will be clarified by Israel when it offers its official comments on the UNICEF accusations.

According to the report, the ill-treatment of Palestinian minors often begins with an arrest in the middle of the night, and continues through prosecution and sentencing.

“The pattern of ill-treatment includes … the practice of blindfolding children and tying their hands with plastic ties, physical and verbal abuse during transfer to an interrogation site, including the use of painful restraints,” the report says.

During their interrogation, the minors, who are arrested for throwing stones, suffer physical violence and threats, are coerced into confessions and do not have immediate access to a lawyer or family during questioning, the report alleges, adding that this practice “appears to be widespread, systematic and institutionalized.”

“Treatment inconsistent with child rights continues during court appearances, including shackling of children, denial of bail and imposition of custodial sentences and transfer of children outside occupied Palestinian territory to serve their sentences inside Israel,” the report said.

On the positive side, the UNICEF report cites “positive changes” in Israel’s treatment of Palestinian minors, including new hand-tying procedures that prevent pain and injury.

Also, a military order issued in 2010 requires Israeli police to notify parents about the arrest of their children and to inform children that they have the right to an attorney.

Yori Yanover

Former Senior US Official: ‘Killing Palestinians Popular in Israel around Elections Time’ (Video)

Monday, December 10th, 2012

Chas Freeman, former US ambassador to Saudi Arabia under President George H. W. Bush, former assistant to former Secretary of Defense William Perry, a member of the State Department for the last thirty years and a renowned critic of Israel, told Russia Today TV in an interview that Israel’s recent Operation Pillar of Defense was a preemptive attack against civilians, which was baseless and uncalled for.

“The fact that one side commits occasional acts of terrorism does not justify state terrorism,” Freeman said about Israel’s strikes against Hamas in Gaza.

“In this case, there was not rocket fire of any consequence from the Gaza Strip prior to Israel’s inauguration of the military raid that killed the military leader of Hamas… You can’t bomb people into peaceful coexistence.”

Freeman suggested the timing of the operation was not a coincidence: “It’s popular in Israel to kill many Palestinians in Gaza…a war against Hamas wins votes.”

According to Freeman, the rabbis and settlers are to blame for Israel’s belligerent military actions. Explaining the significance of the name Pillar of Cloud by its biblical meaning, Freeman expounded: “The religious element in the Israeli armed forces, largely settler driven … religion is very much bounded up with its operations. The language of some of the rabbis during [operation] Cast Lead was simply hair-raising in terms of evoking Old Testament images of genocide against non-Jews…evoking memories of Old Testament violence raises questions… This is a typical example of what the Israelis call Hasbara, which is the control of the narrative and propaganda (it actually means simply PR – JP), and they do it very well.”

It should be noted that the names of IDF operations are generated by computer, chosen from a bank of random words, and not picked by rabbis for their religious implications. Freeman would have to explain the biblical significance of Operation Summer Rains (28 June – 26 November 2006), Operation Autumn Clouds (31 October–7 November 2006), Operation Orchard (6 September 2007), and Operation Sea Breeze (31 May 2010).

Freeman had much to say about the pro-Israel lobby in the U.S. He claimed that Israel can influence staffing in the American security establishment, as a means of extending its own defense. He denied there was a similar Arab lobby, suggesting it’s a fiction of the Israel lobby’s imagination.

“The Arabs have plenty of money, but they also have no understanding of importance of institutions,” Freeman said, adding: “They don’t have a habit of sustained effort on anything…probably many of them consider it improper to buy votes, and I happen to agree with them. They are behind the times, unfortunately, every one else is doing it.”

We consulted Wikipedia on Freeman’s previous remarks regarding the Jewish state:

In a 2005 speech to a conference of the The National Council on U.S.-Arab Relations Freeman stated, “As long as the United States continues unconditionally to provide the subsidies and political protection that make the Israeli occupation and the high-handed and self-defeating policies it engenders possible, there is little, if any, reason to hope that anything resembling the former peace process can be resurrected. Israeli occupation and settlement of Arab lands is inherently violent.”

In a 2006 speech to the annual U.S.-Arab Policymakers Conference, Freeman said that Americans allowing Israel to “call the shots in the Middle East” had “revealed how frightened Israelis now are of their Arab neighbors” and that the results of the “experiment” were that “left to its own devices, the Israeli establishment will make decisions that harm Israelis, threaten all associated with them, and enrage those who are not.”

In a 2007 speech to the Pacific Council on International Policy Freeman said that “Al Qaeda has played us with the finesse of a matador exhausting a great bull by guiding it into unproductive lunges.” He cited the 2003 invasion of Iraq which “transformed an intervention in Afghanistan most Muslims had supported into what looks to them like a wider war against Islam.” He held that the U.S. had “embraced Israel’s enemies as our own” and that Arabs had “responded by equating Americans with Israelis as their enemies.” He chared that the U.S. now backed Israel’s “efforts to pacify its captive and increasingly ghettoized Arab populations” and to “seize ever more Arab land for its colonists.”

Aryeh Savir, Tazpit News Agency

Italy Foiled Weapons Smuggling to Egypt Based on Israeli Information

Sunday, December 9th, 2012

The smuggling of weapons through Italy, intended probably to Egypt and from there to Gaza, was thwarted in the southern city of Naples, based on information provided by Israeli authorities, the Italian news agency ANSA reported on Saturday. According to the report, Naples police arrested an Egyptian citizen on suspicion of attempting to smuggle five containers, one of which contained a rocket launcher.

“The operation that thwarted the smuggling attempt was done based on information received from Israel, and at this time the containers are being checked by police which were called to the scene,” said a police report.

The containers were seized in Naples at 5 in the morning, Saturday, by undercover police agents.

Jewish Press News Briefs

Average Israeli Salary Rises in September

Thursday, December 6th, 2012

The average Israeli salary rose by 2.2% in September to NIS 8,935, according to a report by the Central Bureau of Statistics on Thursday.

The Israel Electric Corporation continues to pay the highest salaries in Israel, with an average gross monthly salary of NIS 24,348 (approximately $6,391).  Those rates are followed by those given to employees of the R&D sector, followed by computer workers.

The number of employed Israelis grew by 1% in September.

Malkah Fleisher

Large Swastikas Spray-Painted on Kosher Pizzeria in Paris

Tuesday, December 4th, 2012

The Jewish owner of the B’Paradise pizzeria in Sarcelles discovered the swastikas on his establishment’s walls on Monday, according to the French daily Metro. The newspaper reported that the swastikas were spray-painted Saturday on the shop display of the pizzeria, which overlooks the main synagogue of Sarcelles, a northern suburb of Paris, home to approximately 60,000 Jews.

In September, members of what French authorities described as “a dangerous Jihadist network” detonated a grenade inside a kosher supermarket in Sarcelles, lightly wounding one person.

Also Saturday, in Orgeval, an eastern suburb of Paris, unknown individuals spray-painted slogans praising Mohammed Merah, the killer of four Jews in Toulouse. L’Union reported that one graffiti called for the release of Youssouf Fofana, the leader of a gang who in 2006 tortured and killed Ilan Halimi, a young Jewish man from the Paris region, because they wanted to kill a Jew.

Meanwhile on Monday, a headmaster of a school in Meilla, a Spanish city on the Moroccan coastline, denied reports that the recent assault of a Jewish high school student by Muslim classmates was motivated by anti-Semitism or related to the Israeli-Arab conflict.

The boy was assaulted on Nov. 23 at the Enrique Nieto school, according to a report in Melilla Hoy, a local newspaper. The report did not say whether the boy sustained any injuries.

JTA

French Jewish Leader: Banning Circumcision Will end Jewish Life in Europe

Sunday, December 2nd, 2012

French Jewish leader Richard Prasquier said that banning circumcision in Europe “would inevitably mean the end of Judaism” there.

“You can seek a ban but you need to understand the consequences: The inevitable disappearance of Jewish life from Europe,” Prasquier on Thursday told a European Parliament conference on religious freedoms.

Pasquier has been president of the CRIF since 2007.

CRIF (Conseil représentatif des institutions juives de France) is an umbrella body comprising all French Jewish groups, that was originally created in 1944 under the Vichy Regime. Nowadays, this national federation, made up of 62 Jewish organizations, is the voice of the organized French Jewish community.

France has Europe’s largest Jewish community, numbering between 500 and 800 thousand.

The conference, titled “Freedom of Religion and/or Mutual Respect in Europe,” was jointly organized by the European Parliament and the European Jewish Association.

Prasquier said attacking circumcision “is telling Europe’s Jews to pack their suitcases and leave” and that includes “Orthodox, traditional, or non-observant such as myself.”

He was replying to a question by Diane Luquiser, one of the conference’s 50 participants, who asked why Judaism could not “adapt to modern times” and abandon the practice “which hurts children.”

Prasquier revealed he was circumcised 11 years after his birth in Poland in 1945.

“Circumcising me was a difficult decision for my father, a Pole who had to drop his pants when the Nazis caught him,” he said. “That kind of difficulty is a reality which we would not like to see repeating itself.”

Rabbi Menachem Margolin, director of the European Jewish Association – the Brussels-based organization behind the conference – said that allowing Jewish and Muslim rites is “necessary for mutual respect.”

Over the past year, ritual circumcision of underage boys has been briefly banned in a Swiss hospital and in some Austrian hospitals after a court in Cologne ruled in June that such circumcision amounted to a criminal offense.

Last month, the German cabinet passed a draft law to permit ritual circumcision and clarify the legal situation.

JTA content was used in this report.

Jewish Press Staff

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/french-jewish-leader-banning-circumcision-will-end-jewish-life-in-europe/2012/12/02/

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