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November 23, 2014 / 1 Kislev, 5775
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘UNRWA’

The Dangers of Rebuilding Gaza‏

Sunday, September 7th, 2014

Reuters has an article up claiming that to rebuild Gaza it will cost $7.8 billion.

(Reuters) – Rebuilding Gaza will cost $7.8 billion, the Palestinian Authority said on Thursday, in the most comprehensive assessment yet of damage from a seven-week war with Israel during which whole neighborhoods and vital infrastructure were flattened.

I just think of the tons and tons and tons of cement Israel had so blithely allowed into Gaza these past few years, which the Gazan had used to construct advanced, sophisticated tunnels from all the way into Jewish communities. These tunnels have been used for kidnapping and terror attacks. This has been going on for years. Gilad Schalit was taken away by tunnel, which is why he couldn’t be found. During the “war,” loony Leftists on Israeli TV fantasized about a “Marshall Plan” for Gaza that we would offer, so the Gazans would be as grateful to Israel as the West Germans were to the USA after World War Two.

Of course, nobody bothered to remind them what happened to the potentially money-making “Gush Katif” style hot-houses that had been bought for them after Disengagement to enable them to establish a high-tech agriculture industry. The Gazans, even those who for years had worked for Jewish farmers and knew perfectly well how to farm in the same advanced, money-making way couldn’t be bothered to establish businesses. The main Gazan business is terrorism.

Accuracy and truth aren’t high in the aims of the press and NGO’s that report about Gaza. Due to the photography techniques I’ve been learning as part of 52Frames, I have no doubt that the Reuters picture in this post was doctored, just like the changes I made to the following photo: After: jugs1

Before: jugs before

The descriptions of the damage are also highly exaggerated:

“The attack on Gaza this time had no precedent, Gaza has been hit with a catastrophe and it needs immediate help because many things can’t wait long,” Mohammed Shtayyeh, a Palestinian economist and a senior member of the West Bank’s dominant Fatah* party, told reporters in Ramallah.

Besides the American atomic bombs on Japan, the Germans damaged London more seriously and the allies certainly destroyed a lot more of Nazi Europe during WWII than Israel did to Gaza.

But facts aren’t necessary for those reporting on Israel and her enemies.

In all honesty, and what I’m going to say is definitely not “pc,” politically correct, as far as I’m concerned, Gaza should remain as unlivable as possible. UNRWA should be closed down. Let people escape to any country other than Israel. The United Nations, Europe, the NGOs etc. must stop supporting them. There never was a country called Gaza. Their “independence” and self-governing is a new modern and terribly dangerous phenomenon.

Without the massive foreign funding Gaza will lose its punch. That must be the aim. Rebuilding Gaza will just increase terrorism and be the wrong lesson to ISIS.

*Please note that the spokesperson is from the so-called moderate Fatah and not from Hamas.

 

Abbas Refused Offer to Resettle Refugees in Sinai

Thursday, September 4th, 2014

PA President Mahmoud Abbas has refused an offer by a senior Egyptian official to resettle “Palestinian refugees” in the Sinai, according to a report in the Middle East Monitor on Monday.

According to Abbas, the plan was first proposed in 1956 by Egypt, and was just put back on the the table again, in an attempt to help resolve the Arab-Israel conflict.

The idea was that the PA would receive a 618 square mile area adjacent to Gaza (the Gaza strip is 139 square miles) to resettle Arabs who claim refugee status. This would finally resolve the entire Palestinian refugee issue.

Abbas made it clear that he only wants to resettle refugees into Israel.

According to the report, Abbas proudly told the Fatah committee on Sunday that he refused the generous Egyptian offer to end the refugee problem.

Abbas said he refused the offer to settle them in the almost empty Sinai, as the plan “is absolutely unacceptable and the Palestinians will not accept it”.

Abbas clearly prefers to instead take money from the EU and the US to perpetuate the conflict.

Part of the PLO plan to eradicate Israel has always been founded on flooding Israel with “refugees”.

The refugees being referred to are primarily the 2nd and 3rd generation descendants of Arabs who were displaced from their homes when the Arab states attacked Israel in 1948.

At the time, the invading Arabs states told the Arabs in Israel to flee, so the invading armies could then wipe out the Jews unhindered. Others Arabs fled, thinking Israel would take revenge on them for what they did to the Jews over the years.

Most of these current “refugees”, and their parents, were born in Syria, Jordan, Lebanon and other Arab countries.

UNRWA (remember them?) has perpetuated these people as refugees instead of rehabilitating them in their birth countries, where in fact many of their grandparents and great grandparents also originated from before migrating into Israel looking for work, once the Jews began to rebuild the country’s economy.

No other UN agency passes on refugee status to descendants like UNRWA does.

During the post 1948 period, an equivalent number of Jews were also forced to flee the Arab countries they had called home for thousands of years, long before Islam came on the scene.

Many of those Jews moved to Israel, where they were fully integrated as Israeli citizens. These Jewish refugees and their descendants have not yet received financial compensation from the Arab countries they were forced to flee from.

In the early 1970s, Israel attempted to build modern housing projects to improve the living conditions of Arab refugee through resettlement and economic development. This plan was rejected by the Arab as they claimed that socio-economic solutions cannot solve the Palestinian problem.

For the Palestinian Authority, the refugee issue is a timebomb to be used to extend the conflict until they win.

 

Summer anti-Semitic Demonstrations

Wednesday, September 3rd, 2014

During the summer of 2014, more than 100  synchronized  anti-Semitic demos occurred across the face of the earth.  As an MSW practitioner of community organizing for 40 years, I sensed professional facilitation  of  these massive protests. The question, however was:  Where did the money come from to fund these efforts?

The finger points in one direction: Unchecked cash to UNRWA in Gaza.

And how does that cash get there? Each month, the Israel Civil Administration dispatches a Brinks truck to UNRWA camps in Gaza, to deliver $13 million in cash dollars from donor nations who send their donations through the Bank of Israel, to pay UNRWA teachers and workers. However, the UNRWA teachers union and the UNRWA workers union in Gaza were taken over by Hamas eleven years ago-  which means that all funds wind up in the coffers of terrorists. The Israel Civil Administration spokespeople admit that there are no controls over the cash flow to UNRWA in Gaza. So, this summer, at the direction of Hamas, cash for UNRWA humanitarian efforts wound up in the hands of demonstration organizers, who bankrolled events the world over that mobilized the “Palestinian diaspora”, in conjunction with the “Right of Return” center in London, which tabulates Palestinian refugees who live outside of the Middle East.  Indeed, Michael Kingsley-Nyinah, director of the executive office of  UNRWA, made a speech in Jerusalem in February  2009 in which he confirmed that UNRWA is  also responsible for three million Palestinian refugees who are registered with UNRWA as Palestinian refugees, even though they live outside of the middle east – in addition to the five million who are registered with UNRWA as Palestinian refugees in the middle east.

The violent simultaneous demos of summer 2014, which often turned violent, coincided with the 4,500 aerial attacks fired from Gaza,  where UNRWA hosts 1.2 million  Arab refugees – two thirds of the Arabs in Gazaa – who live in “temporary” Gaza refugee camps since 1948, imbued with the mantra that they have a “right of return” to “their” villages – by force of arms and missiles.

And when these Gazans fire their missiles from their crowded refugee camps on Ashkelon, Beer Sheva, and Ashdod,  their clearly stated purpose is to scare Jews out of “their” villages from 1948, which UNRWA teaches them to believe belongs to them… and eight million people registered around the world as “refugees”  with UNRWA.

In that context, the theme of UNRWA education, which has adopted the curriculum of  the Palestinian Authority is to fight to the death for the ‘right of return’ , a notion nurtured by UNRWA and financed by western nations who blindly fund UNRWA, while spokespeople of the Israel Civil Administration mistakenly refer to UNRWA schools as the “alternative to Hamas”….  It would seem that the UNRWA cash cow  may soon be challenged

Israel will bear some of that  responsibility .

Save the Children

Sunday, August 31st, 2014

Reprinted from FirstOne Through
I first came upon the “Save the Children” organization when I saw that they sponsored an appeal to raise money for Gaza in a poster in the London Underground. The name of the group sounds so innocent and well-meaning. Who is more innocent than a child? Who could possibly be against helping children? Can helping children ever be considered a biased agenda?

Some days later, I came across a retail thrift store bearing the STC name in Bath, England. Posters in the store window contained two new appeals to help rebuild Gaza and to stop the “Israeli” War in Gaza. There was no appeal or comment to stop the Palestinian war against Israel. I decided to look into the group on their own website.

The President & CEO of STC, Carolyn Miles, posted a blog called “Gaza’s Miracle Tomatoes” on July 8, a day after Israel launched Operation Protective Edge to stop the bombardment of Palestinian missiles into Israel. It was her first ever (and currently only) post about Israel or Gaza.

In the column she describes the “bleak landscape” and “dusty barren patches” of Gaza. The scene contained “donkeys pulling carts filled with rubble and surrounded by men and boys along harsh, rocky earth”.

The blog continued that 20 minutes away from the bleak picture along the border with Israel, a “miracle” appeared from nowhere: “a lush green field …a simple greenhouse …row after row of beautiful tomatoes … the result of a recently-concluded project by Save the Children and other partners and funded by USAID.” This oasis painted by Miles intentionally gave a reader the specific impression that STC helped create a miracle from nothing in the terrible Gaza landscape. It contained three significant lies of omission:

Gaza had a flourishing greenhouse business built by the Israelis for years. The Israelis cultivated 1,125 acres and built hundreds of greenhouses in Gaza while there in the 1990s up until they left in 2005. The business generated roughly $75 million of revenue. Jewish donors bought and donated the greenhouses to the Palestinians. World Bank president James Wolfensohn, Mort Zuckerman and several others paid the Israelis $14 million for two-thirds of the greenhouse equipment to donate them to the Palestinians (some Israelis opted to not take the payment and take their equipment with them to re-start businesses back in Israel). The Palestinians looted and destroyed the greenhouses. Soon after the expulsion of Jews from Gaza, Palestinian looters stripped the greenhouses of the irrigation pumps, computer monitors and greenhouse sheeting, leaving over one-fourth of the greenhouses bare. The businesses withered.

The STC piece continued: “we drove through the streets of Gaza and heard from residents about the impact of border crossing restrictions on children there—the rising rates of malnutrition and resulting stunting, the lack of basic medicines and care when children became sick, and the severe circumstances disabled children were in.” The article had now moved past being the miracle machine and placed blame for the situation on Israel (for border crossing restrictions), and continued with outright lies:

The children of Gaza have better health statistics than almost all Arabs in the Middle East. According to the United Nations, UNICEF and UNRWA, Palestinians in Gaza have the highest immunization rates and longest life expectancy of surrounding Arab and Muslim countries (including: Turkey; Jordan; Egypt and Iran). They have the highest literacy rate.

However, the facts don’t add to the Save the Children’s non-miracle.

Save The Children claims it does not choose sides, it just chooses children, but is that factual? Is the characterization that the children of Gaza suffer because of the actions of Israel – as opposed to the actions of their parents – really not taking sides? Is a minute and one-half video featured on the STC site that only shows bombings in Gaza (and nothing in Israel), not choosing sides? Has STC helped fund a single bomb shelter just a few miles away, in the targeted playgrounds of Israel?

A bigger question for Save the Children – and the world – is how do you protect children from their own parents?

Is UNRWA Aiding Terrorism?

Thursday, August 28th, 2014

The United Nations Relief Works Agency (UNRWA) has come under increasing fire in recent weeks for aiding Hamas in the terror group’s war against Israel, with one advocacy group lodging a formal complaint against the organization. As evidence seems to continue to emerge of the use of the agency’s schools and clinics as Hamas storehouses, rocket launching sites and tunnel entrances, protest has grown in Israel and abroad that the organization, established to aid the Palestinian Arab refugee population, has far exceeded its mandate by aiding and sustaining the psychological and physical assault on Israeli civilians and infrastructure.

At the same time that evidence was mounting that the UN agency was allowing Hamas to use its facilities to launch attacks on Israel, a number of statements were issued by UN Secretary-General Ban-Ki Moon criticizing Israel for use of disproportionate force. In response, the Legal Forum for Israel drafted a letter to Moon decrying his accusations and denouncing the lack of accountability by the international body for its role in the violence.

Several thousand attorneys from around the world signed the August 15 letter, which called Moon’s statements “shocking, deceitful and totally inaccurate” in light of the extraordinary efforts made by the IDF to minimize civilian casualties at the cost of its own soldiers’ lives, especially when compared to the continued appropriation of UN facilities by Hamas in its war on Israel.

“We are shocked at your utter disregard of the fact that the very UN premises of which you accuse Israel of attacking, have been cynically abused by Hamas and used as store-houses for ammunition, and launching pads for rockets,” read the statement.

“Rather than falsely accusing Israel,” the letter continued, “one might have expected that as the executive head of the UN, you would have admitted responsibility of the UN for such abuse of its facilities, and instituted a thorough inquiry as to how and why UNRWA facilities were placed at the disposal of the Hamas terror organization, how and why the UN officials responsible for such facilities permitted this situation to occur, and why those rockets and other weapons that were discovered in such facilities were transferred to Hamas, for their continued use against Israel’s citizens.

“In permitting the storage of weapons, and in transferring such weapons into the hands of Hamas,” the letter asserted, “the UN has in fact permitted itself to become accessory to the commission of war crimes.”

The statement concluded by calling on Moon to conduct a “high-level inquiry” of these infractions and to bring its perpetrators within the organization to justice, and charged that the Secretary-General’s “exaggerated, selective, biased and often false accusations against Israel and [his] total disregard of the truth have irreparably discredited [him] and the UN.”

Last Friday’s death of four-year-old Daniel Tragerman, killed in his home by mortar fire originating near a UNRWA school close to the Gaza-Israel border, capped a string of incidents involving UN facilities in Gaza. On July 30, IDF troops operating in Khan Yunis discovered a terror tunnel that had been dug inside a UNRWA medical clinic. Three soldiers were killed in the subsequent inspection when Hamas detonated 12 explosive devices they had embedded in the clinic’s walls as a booby trap.

The previous day, a stockpile of rockets was found in an UNRWA school in Gaza. The agency acknowledged the find but did not disclose the number of rockets found, the location of the school or which terror group the arms belonged to. Days earlier, an IDF investigation had found that Hamas terrorists fired anti-tank missiles at the army from within a different UNRWA school complex.

Is UNRWA Aiding Terrorism?

Thursday, August 28th, 2014

The United Nations Relief Works Agency (UNRWA) has come under increasing fire in recent weeks for aiding Hamas in the terror group’s war against Israel, with one advocacy group lodging a formal complaint against the organization. As evidence seems to continue to emerge of the use of the agency’s schools and clinics as Hamas storehouses, rocket launching sites and tunnel entrances, protest has grown in Israel and abroad that the organization, established to aid the Palestinian Arab refugee population, has far exceeded its mandate by aiding and sustaining the psychological and physical assault on Israeli civilians and infrastructure.

At the same time that evidence was mounting that the UN agency was allowing Hamas to use its facilities to launch attacks on Israel, a number of statements were issued by UN Secretary-General Ban-Ki Moon criticizing Israel for use of disproportionate force. In response, the Legal Forum for Israel drafted a letter to Moon decrying his accusations and denouncing the lack of accountability by the international body for its role in the violence.

Several thousand attorneys from around the world signed the August 15 letter, which called Moon’s statements “shocking, deceitful and totally inaccurate” in light of the extraordinary efforts made by the IDF to minimize civilian casualties at the cost of its own soldiers’ lives, especially when compared to the continued appropriation of UN facilities by Hamas in its war on Israel.

“We are shocked at your utter disregard of the fact that the very UN premises of which you accuse Israel of attacking, have been cynically abused by Hamas and used as store-houses for ammunition, and launching pads for rockets,” read the statement.

“Rather than falsely accusing Israel,” the letter continued, “one might have expected that as the executive head of the UN, you would have admitted responsibility of the UN for such abuse of its facilities, and instituted a thorough inquiry as to how and why UNRWA facilities were placed at the disposal of the Hamas terror organization, how and why the UN officials responsible for such facilities permitted this situation to occur, and why those rockets and other weapons that were discovered in such facilities were transferred to Hamas, for their continued use against Israel’s citizens.

“In permitting the storage of weapons, and in transferring such weapons into the hands of Hamas,” the letter asserted, “the UN has in fact permitted itself to become accessory to the commission of war crimes.”

The statement concluded by calling on Moon to conduct a “high-level inquiry” of these infractions and to bring its perpetrators within the organization to justice, and charged that the Secretary-General’s “exaggerated, selective, biased and often false accusations against Israel and [his] total disregard of the truth have irreparably discredited [him] and the UN.”

Last Friday’s death of four-year-old Daniel Tragerman, killed in his home by mortar fire originating near a UNRWA school close to the Gaza-Israel border, capped a string of incidents involving UN facilities in Gaza. On July 30, IDF troops operating in Khan Yunis discovered a terror tunnel that had been dug inside a UNRWA medical clinic. Three soldiers were killed in the subsequent inspection when Hamas detonated 12 explosive devices they had embedded in the clinic’s walls as a booby trap.

The previous day, a stockpile of rockets was found in an UNRWA school in Gaza. The agency acknowledged the find but did not disclose the number of rockets found, the location of the school or which terror group the arms belonged to. Days earlier, an IDF investigation had found that Hamas terrorists fired anti-tank missiles at the army from within a different UNRWA school complex.

In addition, the IDF says at least 30 rockets have been fired at Israeli civilians from UNRWA compounds or places adjacent to them throughout the war.
On July 22, the UN agency found yet another cache of rockets stockpiled in one of its schools, which it said was “situated between two other UNRWA schools that currently each accommodate 1,500 internally displaced persons.”

This came just a week after some 20 Hamas rockets were discovered hidden in a different UNRWA school. Although the organization condemned the incident as a “flagrant violation” of international law, pledged an investigation, and later declared that the rockets had been removed, senior Israeli officials maintained that the rockets were simply returned to Hamas.

In another incident, while inspecting a terror tunnel in a private house in Gaza, IDF forces found UNRWA equipment that has been used to dig the tunnel, along with flour sacks bearing the UNRWA logo that were used for concealment purposes.

Admissions of malfeasance by at least one senior official of UNRWA bolstered the indictments leveled at the UN’s role in Gaza and its official conduct in the conflict. Speaking on condition of anonymity, the official told Times of Israel that his agency has been suffering from “battered-wife syndrome” for years and continues to “ingratiate itself with Hamas.”

Another UNRWA official said that the organization gave rockets that it found to “local authorities,” which answer to Hamas.

There is also evidence that the terror group has infiltrated the agency’s labor unions and school system.

According to David Bedein, head of the Center for Near East Policy Research, Hamas has been in control of UNRWA’s workers’ union for many years. In the last union elections on September 2012, the “Professional List,” led by Hamas operative Suhail al-Hindi, won all 11 of the seats that had been allocated to the teachers’ sector, six out of seven of the seats in the workers’ sector and eight of the nine seats in the service sector.

A report issued by the Center also named a number of terrorist operatives holding high-level teaching positions in UNRWA schools, resulting in Hamas having a “tremendous impact on the UNRWA education system and the contents taught in it.”

The radicalization of UNRWA school curricula by Hamas, and its use of the schools as a platform for inculcating children with hatred towards Jews and a desire for martyrdom, has long been documented. Phrases like “the road to Palestine passes through the blood of martyrs” and similar imagery are part of the regular syllabus, says the report. Posters in UNRWA classrooms glorify suicide bombers, and Gazan television stations regularly broadcast shows in which children are prompted to boast of their devotion to killing Jews.

The results, according to the report, speak for themselves. “An examination of the resumes of the Al-Qassam Brigades activists who were killed reveals a pattern,” notes the paper, coauthored by Lt. Col. (res.) Jonathan D. Halevi. “Dozens of activists in the Al-Qassam Brigades started out as activists in the Islamic Bloc in UNRWA schools in the Gaza Strip, joined Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood and later the military wing of Hamas, the Izzedine al-Qassam Brigades. All of them were involved in terrorist activities against Israel or in fighting against the IDF,” Halevi added.

“By definition, UNRWA schools function as a supportive element of the Palestinian propaganda,” says Alan Baker, Director of the International Action Division of the Legal Forum for Israel and former Israeli Ambassador to Canada. Speaking about UNRWA workers, he noted that “it’s very clear what their orientation is—by day they may work in schools and clinics, by night go out and throw stones and commit other acts of terror.”

Baker went on to say that the situation vis-à-vis Hamas and UNRWA was “unbelievably inane” and perpetuated by deceit on all levels of the United Nations body. “Drastic change needs to take place in the way the international community funds UNRWA and the way it is run by its bosses and the United Nations,” he concluded.

Both UN and Hamas Need Better Ceasefire Commitments

Thursday, August 28th, 2014

The current agreement is not an unmitigated disaster, but it is a busha (embarrassment), that only serves to encourage Hamas, Islamism in general, and will no doubt be pointed to during the next war with Hamas as a failure in diplomacy. I’m specifically disappointed by the fact that Hamas got tangible if retractable gains (double the fishing zone, 200 out of 300 meters of the inner-border security strip, and more open borders), while Israel got absolutely nothing in return.

The halting of rockets doesn’t count, because we also have to hold our fire, and anyway, at issue is what is gained from a ceasefire agreement. What Israel should have demanded in exchange is a tandem of commitments from Hamas and the UN, as follows: Hamas: In lieu of disarming (which is probably futile anyway at this point), Hamas should have had to sign a declaration that it will never again fire rockets towards civilian areas (with a hard list of Israeli cities and communities), that it will neither store nor use rockets in civilian areas (also based on a predefined list), and that it will cease to dig tunnels that invade Israeli territory. UN: The UN should have to issue a declaration (or agreed to pass a resolution) that it will provide a team of inspectors (agreed upon number like 500) to make sure that Hamas is keeping its word, and that if the inspectors discover violations at UN sites, those sites will be closed down to the detriment of the Gazan population.

Violations in general would lead to UN condemnations and withdrawing of financial support from the US and the EU members, as well as funding of UNRWA. A separate team of UN inspectors would have the job of monitoring Palestinian media and school books for gross incitement (i.e. not maps of Greater Palestine and the like, but overt calls for genocide and terrorism), with similar repercussions as listed above for serious violations.

Israeli Right to Self Defense: Moreover, the UN declaration/resolution should specify that Israel has the right to fire at all active missile launchers (using up to a pre-specified weight and type of munitions) regardless of the location, and that if there is civilian collateral damage within a pre-specified distance to the launcher, those casualties will be deemed acceptable and no reason for any accusation of war crimes in the Hague.

Remuneration for Israel: Finally, the UN should declare that any funding given to Gaza for rebuilding will be matched by funding for Israel to remunerate merchants who depend on tourism for their livelihood, and of course for rebuilding damage caused by Gazan rockets. That would send an important message to Gaza’s terrorists that they cannot cause permanent economic damage to Israel with their rockets, and conversely, the Gazan population will understand that supporting rocket launchings and tunneling may jeopardize the amount of funding that they will receive to rebuild their homes.

I think all of the above suggestions are realistic and would enjoy broad support from most countries, no?

Less realistic, but crucial in my opinion, would be Hamas having to issue a new charter that removes the openly antisemitic sections of the current charter, and even better, replaces them with the Zionist quotes from the Quran and Hadith. This would then have to be taught in Gazan schools and published in the media. OK, with this I’m dreaming, but it’s a worthy dream.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/opinions/both-un-and-hamas-need-better-ceasefire-commitments/2014/08/28/

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