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July 31, 2015 / 15 Av, 5775
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘West Bank’

IDF to Question Soldiers Caught on Film Hitting Arab Provocateur [video]

Saturday, June 13th, 2015

The Palestinian Authority is gloating over footage of soldiers apparently beating an innocent man, but soldiers said that the video does not show a prior scene of the man trying to snatch on their rifles.

The IDF said it the apparent behavior of the soldiers, seen kicking him while he was pinned to the ground, does not “match expectations” of the military.

The incident took place neat Beit El and Ramallah, as it does every Friday. Dozens of people, including children, hurl rocks at soldiers and often cause injuries. Soldiers said that the man shown in the film is a constant thorn in their side and always incites others.

It is not easy being an Israeli soldier in Judea and Samaria. Troops are forbidden to shoot bullets at rock thrower. They are constantly filmed by Arab media who are waiting for a chance to show the soldiers as thugs.

This time they succeeded. Even if the video left out the attempted rifle-snatching and assault of a soldier, the “disproportionate” response darkens Israel’s image that is never going to be positive in the eyes of the media and political leaders.

Below is the video as filmed and edited by Arab media.

Boycotters Call Trips to Israel ‘Apartheid-Day Propaganda Tricks’

Friday, June 12th, 2015

South African anti-Israel groups have proven their agenda that freedom belongs to anyone who agrees with them but is a sin if anyone thinks differently.

Several groups , including the Young Communist League of South Africa and the youth wing of South Africa’s ruling African National Congress party complained on Friday that the pro-Israel lobby is sponsoring trips to Israel. An e-mail from the groups stated Friday:

The Israeli lobby in South Africa is increasingly turning to old Apartheid-Day tricks to entice young South Africans and distract us from our solidarity with the Palestinian people and their progressive Israeli comrades.

The Israeli lobby is throwing free holiday propaganda trips and other gifts at young South Africans trying to undermine solidarity with the Palestinian people. One such holiday propaganda trip is planned for July 2015.

We view these holiday propaganda trips to Israel…as nothing more than ‘sanctions-busting propaganda trips.’

The statement singled out the South Africa Israel Forum, one of the organizers of trips to Israel, which it said were barred in 2012 from taking local mayors and officials to Israel.

“They now seem to be targeting students after having failed at a government level,” the groups said, obviously upset that private citizens are exposed to anyone having a different opinion.

Instead of countering with an argument, the Israeli boycotters are resorting to thought control.

A senior body of the ANC decided last December to “join the call for a cultural, academic and education boycott of Israel including travel bans for members and leaders of the ANC.”

The South African groups on Friday maintained that even a private citizen flying to Israel on a “holiday propaganda trip” is in “violation of the policies and positions of Palestinian civil society [who] call for boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) against Israel.”

It sounded like the old Soviet Bolsheviks or the Gestapo with a stern warning:

Participation in these holiday propaganda trips to Israel, like participation in holiday propaganda trips to Apartheid South Africa, will be viewed as the crossing of a picket line, and will be met with disciplinary action….

As students and young people we should take it upon ourselves to look for un-biased opinions in order to avoid being misled by organizations geared towards spreading Israeli propaganda.

The funniest, if not saddest, line is:

The organizers of the holiday propaganda trips to Israel try to suggest, like Apartheid South Africa apologists used to claim in the 1980s, that the issue of Palestine-Israel is complicated. We maintain that the issue is simple: Israel must end its violations of international law and oppression of the Palestinian people.

The issue is so simple because it has nothing to do with reality.

It brings to mind a story of a widely-known South African woman, now deceased, who received the Nobel Prize for Literature and was part of the anti-Israel movement.

When she wanted to visit Israel for an arts festival, her colleagues berated her and rejected her argument that “she wanted to see things for herself.” Gordimer stood her ground, visited Israel and told Israeli author and leftist Amos Oz that she wanted to meet a “real-life settler.”

Oz called on me because I live near his home in Arad.

After hearing the “settler” telling her about Jewish-owned land in Judea, Gaza and Samaria, and after hearing about the largely false claims of “Palestinian ownership,” she concluded the conversation by stating:

I must say I am confused.

The South African boycotters are cordially invited to our house in the southern Hebron Hills, but I doubt if they are brave enough to hear a different opinion.

Orange Apology Tour Arrives in Wrong ‘Occupying’ Country

Friday, June 12th, 2015

Orange telecom CEO Stephane Richard arrived in Israel Thursday night for a two-day exercise of climbing down from a tall tree where he ate rotten fruit by saying that he would like to get rid of the company’s link with Israel’ Partner Communications because of the “occupation.”

He is scheduled to meet with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and former President Shimon Peres today as part of a show “to clarify Orange group commitments to Israel,” according to the French-based company.

It all was a “misunderstanding,” Richard said after winning praise from BDS but ferocious anger from even liberal political in Israel and elsewhere.

“Hypocritical” would be a better description than “misunderstanding.”

Richard lit the match in Cairo, where he referred to Partner as operating in “occupied territory,” and France’s ambassador to the United States, Gerard Araud, tweeted:

Contributing to settlements in an occupied territory is illegal.

Despite his “anti-occupation” remarks in Cairo, Richard later explained that he wanted to pull out of Israel because it is the only country where Orange does not run a subsidiary but instead allows an independent operation to market its trademark.

It is not clear why that should bother Orange since Partner pays approximately $4 million a year for the right to market Orange.”

Richard reassured Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely last week, “Orange does not support any form of boycott, in Israel or anywhere else in the world.”

In a way, it is too bad that Orange is retreating. If it had stood its ground, Israel would have had the opportunity to expose to the entire world the clear hypocrisy of BDS and of companies like Orange that actually operate in “occupied territory” elsewhere and, under the boycotters’ definition, are guilty of being involved in a “war crime.”

Prof. Eugene Kontorovich, affiliated with the Kohelet Policy Forum think tank wrote in The Washington Post this week:

Orange itself directly and openly operates in occupied territory. Orange provides cell phone service in Nagorno-Karabakh, an area of Azerbaijan that has been occupied by Armenia since seizing it in a bloody 1992-94 war. The U.N., along with the E.U. and U.S., considers the area occupied territory. Nonetheless, Armenian settlers have moved into the occupied territory in significant numbers, amid constant complaints from Baku and others.

He added that fighting broke out this year in the area, “killing dozens, and a full- scale war over the occupied territory is looming.”

The Orange website touts its Karabakh service as being in “NKR,” or the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic, an unrecognized state that is controlled by Armenia, according to Kontorovich, who also wrote:

U.N. Resolutions have specifically called for the “non-recognition” of the NKR. Orange’s Armenian website also calls the area ‘Artsakh,’ the ancient name for the region favored by Armenia nationalists. It would be as if Orange, instead of complaining about, boasted of its ‘service in Judea and Samaria.’…. Orange calls NKR a ‘country,’ despite the clear admonition of its own government and UN against recognition of what is universally regarded as Azerbaijani territory. It would be as if Orange boasted of its service in the ‘Golan Heights of Israel.’

That’s not a bad idea. Perhaps Prime Minister Netanyahu should tell Richard, “You know what? Yerright. Boycott us.

“And while you are at it, boycott Azerbaijan, Morocco, Turkey and Armenia. Then, after realizing how ignorant you are, don’t apologize. Just bury BDS and get back to work.”

PA Terrorist Explodes While Attacking IDF in Jenin

Wednesday, June 10th, 2015

A terrorist from the Palestinian Authority was killed by his own bomb while attacking Israeli soldiers in Samaria (Shomron) on Tuesday night.

The attacker was holding an IED (improvised explosive device) and preparing to hurl it at the IDF soldiers as they patrolled near Jenin.

Spotting the attacker, the special operations unit shot and lightly wounded him, causing him to drop the bomb, which fell nearby.

IDF officials confirmed to the Hebrew-language newspaper Yediot Acharonot that the terrorist was killed when his own bomb exploded.

Arab media reported the incident quite differently, claiming that clashes broke out in Jenin and that the terrorist, Izz a-Din Bin Aza, was shot dead by a bullet to the chest.

10 Things Wrong with the RAND Report

Tuesday, June 9th, 2015

The RAND report on the costs of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict and the end-goal of a Palestinian state is rife with errors and false assumptions.

The report is very specifically only talking about hypothetical economic benefits (primarily to the Palestinians) if a utopian two-state solution, with a Palestinian state at peace with Israel were achieved. But the assumptions and facts the report is built on are flawed.

Here are ten things wrong with the RAND report:

10) RAND endorses a Palestinian Apartheid State.

9) US financial aid to Israel is given out of largesse.

8) There exist 600,000 Palestinian Refugees who will “return from abroad” to Palestine.

7) 600,000 Palestinian Refugees will “return from abroad” to Palestine.

6) The Palestinians will develop and maintain the infrastructure needed for a Palestinian state.

5) The IDF can pull out of the West Bank and the Palestinian Authority will survive.

4) RAND’s view on Palestinian prisoners (terrorists) is immoral and financially incorrect.

3) Israel is restricting and limiting water access to the Palestinians.

2) Expelling Jews is critical for a Palestinian state and the only credible solution.

1) RAND assumes a Palestinian state would not want to destroy Israel.

10 – RAND endorses a Palestinian Apartheid State. The report shows concern for Israel’s democracy and Palestinian rights within the Israeli state, but not only is RAND unperturbed by the lack of Jews in the Palestinian state, its recommended solution is expelling all the Jews from Palestinian controlled areas, implicitly endorsing a Palestinian Apartheid state.

 

9 – US financial aid to Israel is given out of largesse. US financial assistance to Israel has been undeniably important to Israel’s development.

The report seems to imply that the US provides financial and military aid to Israel out of largesse and that all the money has been in the form of grants.

In reality, much of the historical US financial assistance to Israel has actually been in the form of loans that Israel repaid in full.

Furthermore, since 1979, much of the US military funding and aid to Israel was part and parcel with the Camp David Israel-Egypt Peace Accords.

In exchange for Israel ceding the invaluable Sinai Peninsula, with its oil reserves, tourism capabilities, land resources and strategic depth, to Egypt, the US placed financial obligations on itself vis-à-vis Israel.

While this information doesn’t change the report, it implies a certain mindset by the authors.

For more information on US aid to Israel: https://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/US-Israel/foreign_aid.html

 

8 – There exist 600,000 Palestinian Refugees who will “return from abroad” to Palestine. The Palestinians are the only refugee group in the world that transfer their first-generation refugee status to their descendants (even to great-great-grandchildren), based on a unique definition established only for them by UNRWA. Refugee status is even awarded to those residing within the Palestinian Authority and Gaza (requiring a very flexible reading of “internally displaced persons”) as the Palestinian Authority keeps them in refugee camps.

Using the original UNHCR’s definition, as it applies to refugees in the rest of the world, at best there are only 50,000 Palestinian refugees still alive today from 1948.

And we haven’t even touched the issue of Jewish refugees from Arab countries, as well as “internally displaced” Jews from pre-1948 Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria.

 

7 – 600,000 Palestinian Refugees will “return from abroad” to Palestine. The RAND report arbitrarily decided 600,000 Palestinians will decide to immigrate to a Palestinian state. But that number could just as easily be 6 million, especially if the international community is giving money away to the refugees along with the instability of the Middle East driving Arab refugees elsewhere. The consequences for the Palestinian State are predictable.

Whatever the final number, the Palestinians can not and will not develop the infrastructure to support any such mass immigration.

 

6 – The Palestinians will develop and maintain the infrastructure needed for a Palestinian state. Despite foreign investments and among the highest international donations per capita in the world, the Palestinians have refused or been unable to develop the eastern aquifers, sewage treatment facilities, and even advanced hospitals, much less good government.

The money was given to them, the opportunity was given to them, no one was obstructing them. They just did not want to do it.

 

5 – The IDF can pull out of the West Bank and the Palestinian Authority will survive. Only the IDF is preventing a Hamas, and perhaps an ISIS, military takeover of the West Bank. The Palestinian Authority hasn’t run elections in a decade due to the realistic prediction that Hamas will win due to popular support.

An IDF pullout will guarantee the worst terrorists take over the West Bank, just as they did in Gaza and Southern Lebanon. An IDF pullout is a guaranteed recipe for war, not peace.

 

4 – RAND’s view on Palestinian prisoners (terrorists) is immoral and financially incorrect. RAND believes the release of Palestinian prisoners from Israeli jails would free up money that is instead going to support the families of those jailed.

The Palestinian Authority finances the prisoner’s families based on a sliding scale of how gruesome and successful the attacks on Israel were. With the worst terrorists receiving the most money.

RAND’s call for releasing these terrorists is immoral, and would also result in a significant increase in Israeli expenditure on security due to the historically high rate of recidivism among freed terrorists.

A moral position would have RAND calling for the Palestinian Authority to stop funding the jailed terrorists, potentially saving them over $200 million a year, or 6% of their annual budget.

 

3 – Israel is restricting and limiting water access to the Palestinians.

The Palestinian Authority has purposely refused to develop the eastern aquifers that could provide them with tremendous water stock.

The Palestinian Authority barely maintains the water system that Israel developed that currently supplies them with water, resulting in tremendous losses as high as 33% from negligence and Palestinian theft.

Israel supplies the Palestinians more water than is required by the Oslo Accords.

The Palestinians purposely do not treat most of their sewage which risks everyone’s water supply, denying themselves additional water for agriculture.

This is an internal Palestinian problem they refuse to deal with.

For more information on water: report: http://mfa.gov.il/MFA_Graphics/MFA%20Gallery/Documents/IsraelPalestiniansWaterIssues.pdf

 

2 – Expelling Jews is critical for a Palestinian state and the only credible solution. RAND wants to expel (“relocate”) as many as 100,000 Jews (if not 600,000) to establish a Palestinian state. The economic benefits to Israel are actually negative for any relocation.

The RAND report doesn’t consider the far cheaper, more effective and equally fair alternative–relocating Palestinians for peace.

The cost per person would be markedly less, proving to be a better investment of international funding and aid.

If RAND believes importing 600,000 Palestinians into the West Bank would be amazing for Palestine’s economy, imagine what relocating 2 million Palestinians into Jordan would do for Jordan’s economy – and for peace in the region.

 

1 – RAND must assume a Palestinian state would not want to destroy Israel. This is probably the reports most egregious error.

Nothing in Palestinian history or actions indicates that the Palestinians want peace with Israel.

To point out a few examples:

The PLO was formed before 1967, before settlements, in order to destroy Israel.

In Gaza, the Palestinians had the opportunity to build a Gazan Riviera and instead chose to build terror tunnels and rockets.

Israeli prime ministers have repeatedly offered the Palestinians the maximalist positions the RAND report requires for a 2-state solution and Palestinian state, in exchange for an “end to the conflict” — only to be rebuffed.

All indications are that a Palestinian state will continue to be at war with Israel as that is its raison d’être.

In reality, there would be no financial benefits resulting from the creation of a Palestinian state.

Bennett Looks for Attention with Appeal to World to Recognize Golan

Monday, June 8th, 2015

Bayit Yehudi (Jewish Home) chairman Naftali Bennett called on the world to recognize Israel’s sovereignty over the Golan Heights in speech to the annual Herzliya Conference on Sunday.

Israel annexed the strategic and water-rich Golan in 1981, but many foreign media articles are preceded with the dateline “Golan Heights, Occupied Territories.”

Bennett’s initiative might be the first small step towards what is going to be an eventual reality. As Syria falls apart, the idea of handing over the Golan to Bashar Al-Assad doesn’t even enter the imagination of Secretary of State John Kerry.

However, Bennett’s call for recognition was welcomed with a resounding thud by foreign media, such as AFP, whose first words in its report were “Far-right Israeli minister.” The description is outlandish, if not libelous, unless the same news agency were to call Labor party chairman Yitzchak Herzog “far-left.”

Bennett said yesterday:

I call on the international community… to recognize Israel’s sovereignty over the Golan…. I understand that there is a disagreement on Judaea and Samaria, what the world calls the West Bank. I understand that on this we shall agree to disagree.

But the Golan, to ban agricultural exports from the Golan? Where is the logic, where is your morality? Who would you like us to give the Golan Heights to? To Assad? To Al-Nusra Front? To the Islamic State group? To Hezbollah?

There is a consensus among Israelis that the Golan Heights should remain in Israel. The 20,000 Jews in the Golan Heights make up 50 percent of the population, the other half being Druze, approximately half of whom live in the city of Majdal Shams.

Prime Minister Netanyahu took the air out of Bennett’s Bayit Yehudi party, which in the early stages of the election was polled to win 16 seats in the Knesset. By Election Day, the number was down to 12, the same it had in the previous government.

The day after the election, Netanyahu’s frantic call for Jews to vote had reduced the party’s strength to eight.

Bennett is not making the mistake of previous nationals religious parties to become a party of “Yesha,” the acronym for the Council of Jewish Communities in Judea and Samaria.

He is trying to shed the party of the stigma that nationalists must be religious. Secular Knesset Member Ayelet Shaked was at the top of the heap in the elections and won the prize of Justice Minister.

Now Bennett needs even broader support in Israel to strengthen his position in the government, and his call on the world to recognize the Golan was more for local consumption than any expectation that the United Nations or even the Obama administration will admit to the truth.

French NGOs and Palestinian Authority behind BDS Pressure on Orange

Sunday, June 7th, 2015

A coalition of French NGOs, some of them partly funded by the government, last month published a 51-page document named “Orange’s Dangerous Liaisons in the Occupied Palestinian Territory” to spearhead the campaign to pressure Orange to boycott Israel’s Partner Communications, which markets the Orange mobile phone service brand.

The Palestinian Authority joined the French NGOS to lobby the government and Orange to boycott Israel, the Israel-based NGO Monitor reported.

The NGOs reportedly met with Orphanage officials on May 26 and told them that its business link with Partner endangered its reputation. Orange told the BDS promoters that the agreement for Partner’s marketing the Orange brand expires in 10 years.

NGO Monitor reported:

The authors of the report asked Orange to publicly and explicitly state its decision to disengage and to denounce the human rights violations that Partner is involved in  Israeli settlements in the OPT [occupied Palestinian territories-sic]. In other words, the statements made by the France-based company are a wholesale adoption of the NGOs’ BDS agenda (which is illegal in France).

Following the publication of the report, Saeb Erekat, lead negotiator of the Palestinian Authority (PA), wrote to France’s foreign minister, Laurent Fabius, to denounce the link between Orange and Partner.

Organizations participating in the move to pressure Orange to boycott Israel include the European-based Who Profits, Al Haq, Catholic Committee Against Hunger and for Development-Terre Solidaire (CCFD), FIDH, and Association France Palestine Solidarité (AFPS).

Who Profits, which now is a separate organization, began to campaign against all of Israel’s cell phone companies in 2009 for allegedly being “commercially involved in the Israeli occupation of the West Bank and the Golan Heights” and “exploit[ing] the Palestinian frequencies and to impose their services on the Palestinian captive market.”

The Who Profits webpage also attacks Partner for sponsoring IDF units in the Golan, Judea and Samaria in the “Adopt a Soldier” project.

The 51-page document stated:

During the attack on Gaza in the summer of 2014, Partner was on the front lines providing material support, cellular services and entertainment to the Israeli soldiers. The company also waived service fees for soldiers carrying [sic] the assault during July-August 2014.

The French government, which owns 25 percent of Orange, granted the Catholic Committee Against Hunger and for Development-Terre Solidaire received nearly $400,000 from France in 2012. The same organization is a member of the Platform of French NGOs for Palestine,

FIDH last year libeled Israel with allegations that it deliberately targeted civilians in the war against Hamas rockets and missiles on Israeli civilians. The NGO is funded in part by the European Union and the governments of Finland, France, Ireland, Netherlands, Norway and Sweden.

NGO Monitor added, “Al Haq is funded directly by the governments of Belgium, Spain, Switzerland, Netherlands, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, and Ireland, and indirectly by UK, Sweden, Germany, and the UN.”

Its report continued:

Al Haq is a leader of lawfare and BDS against Israel. A main actor in the NGO campaign to file war crimes charges against Israeli officials at the International Criminal Court (ICC)….

Al Haq proposed sabotaging the Israeli court system by ‘flooding the [Israeli Supreme] Court with petitions in the hope of obstructing its functioning and resources.’

The Israeli Supreme Court has identified Al Haq’s general director Shawan Jabarin as ‘among the senior activists of the Popular Front terrorist organization.’

The Association France Palestine Solidarité (AFPS) was funded by the French government in 2012, refers to the “Gaza extermination camp” and states, “It is inconceivable and unacceptable that the ‘Jewish-executioner’ would hide behind the ‘Jewish victim!’” Other AFPS rhetoric includes ethnic cleansing, apartheid state, and “Stop hunting Palestinian children!”

A French court in 2014 ruled in favor of the French distributor of Israel-based SodaStream in a lawsuit charging the pro-BDS group with stating that SodaStream products were being illegally sold in France.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/report-french-ngos-and-palestinian-authority-behind-bds-pressure-on-orange/2015/06/07/

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