In 2012, the acting-President of the Palestinian Authority, Mahmoud Abbas, stood at the United Nations and claimed that Israel was engaged in “ethnic cleansing” of Palestinian Arabs. At first, he spoke about “ethnic cleansing” when Israel declared independence:
“The Palestinian people, who miraculously recovered from the ashes of Al-Nakba of 1948, which was intended to extinguish their being and to expel them in order to uproot and erase their presence, which was rooted in the depths of their land and depths of history. In those dark days, when hundreds of thousands of Palestinians were torn from their homes and displaced within and outside of their homeland, thrown from their beautiful, embracing, prosperous country to refugee camps in one of the most dreadful campaigns of ethnic cleansing and dispossession in modern history.”
Abbas neglected to say that the Palestinian Arabs left their homes while their fellow Arabs launched an attack on the nascent Jewish State to destroy it completely. The Arabs failed in their genocidal quest. Yet for its part, Israel granted all of the Arabs living in its territory full citizenship. A complete inversion of his claim that Israel “intended to extinguish their [Arab] being and to expel them in order to uproot and erase their presence.”
Abbas continued to claim that Israel was engaged in “ethnic cleansing” to this day:
“We have not heard one word from any Israeli official expressing any sincere concern to save the peace process. On the contrary, our people have witnessed, and continue to witness, an unprecedented intensification of military assaults, the blockade, settlement activities and ethnic cleansing, particularly in Occupied East Jerusalem, and mass arrests, attacks by settlers and other practices by which this Israeli occupation is becoming synonymous with an apartheid system of colonial occupation, which institutionalizes the plague of racism and entrenches hatred and incitement.”
Abbas conveniently neglected to mention the hundreds of rockets fired from Gaza into Israel throughout 2012. He also neglected to mention that Israel left Gaza in 2005, allowing the Palestinian Arabs to rule themselves for the first time in hundreds of years.
United Nations Claim of Israeli “Ethnic Cleansing”
In 2014, the “Special Rapporteur on the occupied Palestinian territories” (yes, that’s an actual title) whose job it is to report on Israelis, declared that Israel was committing “ethnic cleansing” in East Jerusalem.
“The continued pattern of settlement expansion in East Jerusalem combined with forcible eviction of long residing Palestinians are creating an intolerable situation that can only be described, in its cumulative impact, as a form of ethnic cleansing.”
The facts are the exact opposite: the Arabs in Jerusalem are growing faster than the non-Arab population.
As detailed in “Arabs in Jerusalem,” the Arab population in Jerusalem now stands at 36% of the city, up from 26% when the city was reunited in 1967. From 1967 to 2011, the Arab population in the city grew by 5.7 times, while the Jewish population in the Israeli capital only grew by 3.4 times over the same period.
No matter the facts. “The Special Rappoteur “called on the Council to undertake efforts to have the UN’s top court, the International Court of Justice (ICJ), assess allegations that the prolonged occupation of the West Bank and East Jerusalem possess elements of “colonialism,” “apartheid” and ‘ethnic cleansing.’”
No comments from United States or anyone else about the absurd and caustic statements, nor on the lunatic who made them (who incidentally, is a big 9/11 conspiracy theorist).
Israeli Prime Minister Claims of Palestinian “Ethnic Cleansing”
In September 2016, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu accused the Palestinians of “ethnically cleansing” Jews from their historic homeland of Judea and Samaria / the West Bank. Netanyahu made his statement because Abbas has stated he cannot accept a single Israeli living in a new state of Palestine.
Netanyahu did not even bring up a variety of other Palestinian Authority laws, as detailed in “Abbas Knows Racism,” such as:
Palestinian Authority law that condemns any Arab that sells land to a Jew to death.
The origins of Arab ethnic cleansing of Jews dates back decades, to when the Jordanians illegally annexed eastern Jerusalem and the West Bank in 1950 and expelled all of the Jews from the area. Jordan then passed a citizenship law in 1954 that specifically EXCLUDED Jews from being granted citizenship in their own homeland.
“Any person who, not being Jewish, possessed Palestinian nationality before 15 May 1948 and was a regular resident in the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan between 20 December 1949 and 16 February 1954″ (Article 3)
So what was the world reaction when Netanyahu finally stated some clear and obvious facts? Condemnation.
The spokesperson for the US State Department responded to the Netanyahu video: “We believe that using that type of terminology is inappropriate and unhelpful.”
When Abbas heard that Netanyahu used the “ethnic cleansing” charge, Abbas doubled-down by saying again that Israel uses “ethnic cleansing” against the Palestinians.
No comment from the State Department about Abbas’s use of the term.
The current United States administration and United Nations have no time or interest for Israelis stating simple truths. It would appear, that if you want the world to agree and applaud, you would best be served by denying facts like the Palestinian Arabs.
In 2014, artist Shimon Attie inserted approximately thirty custom light boxes of illuminated text into the contested landscapes in Israel’s Judea and Samaria, to produce site-specific installations staged specifically to be photographed. The glowing words both comment on the surrounding region and literally illuminate it, while additionally suggesting the inability of text and image to fully convey meaning.
Now Jack Shainman Gallery in New York is showing a solo exhibition by Attie titled “Facts on the Ground,” featuring the artist’s poetic interventions at meaningful public spaces across Israel.
Los Angeles native Shimon Attie, 59, was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship in 2008, The Rome Prize in 2001 and a Visual Artist Fellowship from Harvard University’s Radcliffe Institute for Advance Study in 2007. His work spans a variety of media, including photography, site-specific installation, multiple channel immersive video installation, performance, and new media. Much of Attie’s practice explores how a wide range of contemporary media may be used to re-imagine new relationships between space, time, place, and identity. Attie’s work in the 90s dealt with the Holocaust, where he slide-projected images of past Jewish life onto contemporary locations in Berlin. More recent projects have involved using a range of media to engage local communities to find new ways of representing their history, memory and potential futures.
Rich with ambiguity, the phrases offered by “Facts on the Ground”—some culled from the history of Zionism, others artistic distillations—resist interpretation, while pointing to some of the psychological, cultural, and political anxieties at stake in present day Israel. These immersive images offer opportunities for reflection, while raising as many questions as they answer.
Public collections holding Attie’s work include the Museum of Modern Art, New York; Centre George Pompidou, Paris; International Center for Photography, New York; Los Angeles County Museum of Art; The Jewish Museum, New York; Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; and the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C. Attie is currently working on The Leave-Taking, a film made in collaboration with Syrian refugees who have recently arrived in Europe.
The show will run through June 4, 2016, at Jack Shainman Gallery, 513 West 20th Street, New York.
On Tuesday, May 10th at 5:30 PM, Attie will be in conversation at the New York Public Library with Maya Benton, Curator at the International Center of Photography, and Norman Kleeblatt, Chief Curator, The Jewish Museum. The program will be held at the Stephen A. Schwarzman Building, Celeste Auditorium, and is free and open to the public.
On the eve of New York’s annual Israel Day Parade, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu says he hopes to broaden cooperation between Israel and her Arab neighbors in the region.
Although he was forced into a razor-thin margin when he created his coalition government this time around, the four-term prime minister is clearly working towards a broader vision: region-wide cooperation between Israel and as many of its moderate Arab neighbors as possible.
Speaking in a conversation with political correspondents Thursday at his office, Netanyahu said, “Both from the standpoint of regional security and also to try to resolve the conflict with the Palestinians… this idea of drawing from the Arab states following the changes in the Middle East is a positive concept, one I contemplate constantly.”
Although the “Arab Peace Initiative” of 2002 as presented without any changes was unrealistic – “for example, demanding that Israel return the Golan Heights… the [peace] plan was advanced 13 years ago and since then much has changed in the Middle East'”– the general idea of trying to achieve an understanding with the leading nations of the Arab world is “still a good idea.”
Netanyahu made it clear that both Israel and the Arab countries in the region are feeling threatened by Iran’s nuclear development activities, as well as its support for terror. But he said that he knew Israel’s Arab neighbors also have an interest in the Palestinian issue.
“It is in our interest to resolve this problem and there are certain barriers whose removal we are taking under consideration,” he said.
The prime minister added that he has “no interest in a bi-national state.” He reiterated, however, “The main problem is not the settlements. People have tried to make that the root of the problem, but when Israel pulled out of Gaza, we proved this is wrong. After all was said and done, and the incredibly painful things that took place in the Disengagement from Gaza, did anything stop?”
As far as Netanyahu is concerned, he said, any future agreement on statehood with the Palestinians must be a “long-term agreement that leaves full and practical control over security in the hands of Israel. I really mean it. It’s no whim or trick.”
The main problem for the citizens of Israel, the prime minister said, is the question of “what” will be the authority, “who will be the source for security in the territories that Israel is asked to evacuate…
“This was the ultimate test in Gaza. And today in Gaza, although there is no significant weapons smuggling anymore, how do you prevent domestic weapons manufacturing? What do you do in order to prevent this from happening in Judea and Samaria? I will continue to raise this issue again and again. I believe this is much more significant that people realize.”
The Arab Peace Initiative of 2002 as proposed by Saudi Arabia calls for the return to their homes of origin within the State of Israel for all Palestinian Arab refugees from 1948 and all of their subsequent generations and millions of descendants. It also calls for the establishment of a sovereign state of Palestine – after which all Arab states would establish full normal diplomatic relations with Israel.
It is important to note, however, that in the wake of Israel’s peace treaties with Jordan and Egypt – both of which have already established “full normal diplomatic ties” – it is still extremely dangerous for the average Israeli citizen and certainly for any visibly religious Jewish Israeli tourist to visit either country. In Egypt, the Israeli Embassy in Cairo was utterly destroyed and its employees nearly murdered just two years ago; the embassy has yet to be re-established as anything other than the highly secured private home of the Israeli Ambassador to Egypt.
Settlers in Judea, Samaria and the Binyamin region are getting ready for government forces intent on more demolitions. This time a synagogue and mikvah are among the targets.
Leaders of the Residents’ Council of Judea and Samaria (Yesha Council) have been negotiating for six months with Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon and other officials over the looming destruction. The problem stems from a High Court of Justice order forcing the state to demolish 28 buildings said not to be constructed according to code or built “on private Palestinian land.”
Similar orders are rarely issued, let alone carried out against the thousands of illegally-constructed Bedouin and Arab structures dotting the Israeli landscape within the 1949 Armstice lines (known as the “pre-1967 lines,) let alone the hundreds of thousands carpeting the hillsides in those in the disputed territory of Area C.
All but three of the targeted Jewish structures have since been rebuilt to meet the demands of the state.
But authorities have been ordered to demolish those last three that have yet to meet the regulations. They include a synagogue and a mikvah and are to be destroyed by May 18, this Friday, Ynet reported Wednesday. Since the IDF allegedly does not carry out expulsions on Shabbat, it is expected the evictions will begin on Thursday.
It is expected that orders declaring the surrounding area a “closed military zone” will be issued within the next 24-48 hours in order to prevent interference from protesters.
Hundreds of IDF soldiers, Border Guard personnel and police officers are preparing for the operation along with the Coordinator for Government Activities in the Territories (CoGAT). Generally roadblocks leading into the affected areas are placed to prevent others from coming to the aid of those being evicted.
It’s time to unmask the Palestinian Authority’s pretense to peace, Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman said Tuesday while meeting with diplomatic staff at the Presidential Residence in Jerusalem.
“[PA Chairman] Mahmoud Abbas’s actions brought Hamas to power in Gaza and now they will be brought to power in Judea and Samaria,” Mr. Liberman said.
He added that it does not really matter when elections in the Palestinian Authority are held. “Hamas is going to win and take over the Palestinian Authority,” he stated.
“There are those, particularly in Europe, who do not wish to acknowledge that the Palestinians are not interested in peace,” Mr. Liberman said bluntly.
“It’s time to take the mask off Chairman Abbas’s face and say loud and clear that he is a peace refusenik.”
The last democratic elections in the Palestinian Authority were held in January 2006 in response to pressure from the United States, and resulted in a landslide victory by the Hamas terrorist organization. Fatah and Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) leader Abbas retained his title as PA chairman at the time through swift political maneuvering; however, Hamas representatives swallowed the vast majority of the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC).
A massive power struggle began within weeks, and a full-scale militia war between Fatah and Hamas was in progress by February in the streets of Gaza. By June 2006, Hamas seized full control of Gaza and expelled Fatah officials from the region altogether. The terror group severed Gaza from the rest of the Palestinian Authority and effectively created its own nation-state. That same month Hamas joined the Lebanon-based Hezbollah terror organization in launching a two-front war against Israel (the “Second Lebanon War”) and kidnapped IDF soldier Gilad Shalit in a cross-border raid near the Kerem Shalom crossing in southern Israel.
It took five years and the release of more than 1,000 PA Arab terrorist prisoners from Israeli jails to return Shalit to his family, miraculously alive.
Although numerous attempts by international Arab leaders since that time to create “unity governments” between Fatah and Hamas have failed, last month the two factions signed another agreement. In the intervening years, Hamas has managed to infiltrate the Ramallah-based PA. Operatives have planted numerous Hamas and the affiliated Islamic Jihad terror cells in villages throughout PA-controlled areas in Judea and Samaria. Both groups are backed by Iran.
Analysts believe that Mr. Liberman is indeed correct; with or without a unity government, eventually Hamas will take over the PA-controlled areas of Judea and Samaria if Israel does not take action to intervene.
And then Israel will not only have Iran in its front yard on the northern border and in its backyard to the south, but also finally in the side yard as well, if not actually within the walls of the house.