Thursday, November 26, 2015
By Evelyn Gordon 2015-11-24
For the full article go to: http://tinyurl.com/o8ujkb9
In confronting the current onslaught of lone-wolf attacks, the tactics Israel has used successfully against terrorist organizations have so far proven ineffective. That begs the question of what it should be doing instead. I have no solutions for the short run, but there’s one obvious step Israel must take if it wishes to prevent attacks like these over the long run. That step emerges from two of the most salient features of the current violence: Permanent residents of Israel have committed a huge proportion of the attacks, but citizens of Israel have committed very few.
The permanent residents in question are mainly east Jerusalem Arabs, and they have committed more than eight times as many attacks as Arab citizens have, even though Arab citizens outnumber permanent residents by more than 4:1. This enormous gap certainly can’t be explained by the popular fallacy that terror is motivated mainly by economic concerns; as permanent residents, east Jerusalem Arabs enjoy the same access to jobs, the same freedom of movement throughout Israel and the same health and welfare benefits that citizens do. Granted, Arab citizens are generally better off, but the difference isn’t dramatic enough to explain the dramatic gap in terrorist activity.
There is, however, one difference quite dramatic enough to explain this gap: Whereas Arab citizens study the Israeli curriculum in school, most of East Jerusalem’s permanent residents study the Palestinian Authority curriculum. And that curriculum, as sweeping reports by both Palestinian Media Watch and IMPACT-SE have detailed, is filled with vile anti-Israel and anti-Semitic incitement.
Inter alia, as PMW’s report notes, this curriculum rejects the legitimacy of Israel’s existence (textbooks refer to “the so-called State of Israel”), justifies violence against it, defines such violence as a religious obligation and informs students that Jews and Zionists are irredeemably evil (one book, for instance, refers to “the robbing Jews”; another tells students that Israel “killed your children, split open your women’s bellies, held your revered elderly men by the beard, and led them to the death pits”). These messages are then reinforced by the “educational” programs broadcast on the PA’s official media, where Jews are described as “monkeys and pigs,” “enemies of Allah” and the “most evil of creations,” among other charming epithets.
East Jerusalem schools have been using the PA curriculum, with Israel’s consent, ever since the PA’s establishment in 1994. In other words, Israel decided two decades ago to let the PA indoctrinate a generation of East Jerusalem schoolchildren to abominate Israel – and now it’s shocked that the graduates of this indoctrination are going out and trying to murder Israelis.
The PA curriculum obviously isn’t the only problem; the PA also contributes to the climate of incitement that drives these attacks in many other ways, including statements by its senior officials, broadcasts by its official media organs and Facebook posts by its political parties. Nor can this incitement be excused as a response to despair over the frozen peace process: This is how the PA chose to “educate” its people even in the heyday of the Oslo process when most of the world believed peace was at hand.
But completely ending the PA’s massive incitement campaign would essentially require turning the clock back to the days before Oslo – eliminating the PA, deporting its officials, shutting down its media organs, banning its political parties and removing its curriculum from the schools. And though Israel may be driven to such drastic measures someday, it’s hard to see that happening right now.
Video of the week: PRIME MINISTER OF FRANCE DENOUNCING ANTI-SEMITISM. http://tinyurl.com/pyp7g96
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Thursday, November 19, 2015
By Bassam Tawil, 17-11-2015
For the full article go to: http://tinyurl.com/og3y8kh
For the full article go to: http://tinyurl.com/og3y8kh
Only a few hours before the terrorist attacks in Paris last week, Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas appeared at a joint press conference in Ramallah together with the president of Cyprus, Nicos Anastasiades.
The press conference was held shortly after a Palestinian terrorist murdered two Israelis near the West Bank city of Hebron: Rabbi Yaakov Litman, 40, and his son, Netanel, 18. Five other family members -- Litman's wife, three daughters aged 5, 9, 11, and a 16-year-old son -- suffered minor wounds. The Jewish family was driving to a pre-celebration of a fourth daughter's wedding when the Palestinian terrorist opened fire at their vehicle.
At the press conference in Ramallah, however, President Abbas again chose to ignore the terrorist attack that was carried out by a Palestinian. Although Abbas knew that a Jewish man and his son had just been murdered, he refused to condemn the attack.
Since the current wave of Palestinian terrorism against Israelis began in early October, Abbas and the PA leadership have refused to condemn the murder of Israeli civilians and soldiers. Instead, President Abbas has repeatedly condemned Israel for killing the terrorists who carried out the attacks.
As President Abbas was speaking at the press conference in Ramallah, hundreds of Palestinians attended a rally in the city to commemorate Muhannad Halabi, the Palestinian terrorist who murdered two Jews in the Old City of Jerusalem on October 3: Aharon Banita, 21, and Nehemia Lavi, 41.
The rally in Ramallah could not have been held without permission from President Abbas's security forces, who are armed and funded by the U.S., Europe and other Western countries. At the rally, Palestinians praised the terrorist as a "hero" and "martyr" and promised to follow in his path.
In yet another gesture to honor the terrorist, the Palestinian Authority decided to name a street after him in his village of Surda-Abu Kash, near Ramallah. By authorizing the move to name a street after the terrorist, President Abbas and the PA leadership are sending a message to other Palestinians that those who murder Jews will be honored and glorified by their people. The Palestinian Authority has also set up a monument for the "martyr" Halabi on the main road between Ramallah and the town of Bir Zeit.
Less than three hours after Abbas appeared at the press conference in Ramallah with his Cypriot guest, he and his spokesmen issued statements condemning the terrorist attacks in Paris.
Abbas's condemnation of the Paris attacks shows that the Palestinian Authority believes that there are good and bad terrorists. In the eyes of Abbas and the PA, the terrorists are "heroes" and "martyrs" when they murder Jews. But the terrorists who murder French nationals are bad and deserve to be strongly condemned.
This is the same Palestinian Authority that has refused over the past five weeks to denounce the terrorist attacks against Israeli civilians, including an 80-year-old woman, a father and his son, and a couple who were murdered in front of their four children.
This position again exposes the hypocrisy and double talk of President Abbas and his Western-funded Palestinian Authority. By refusing to condemn the anti-Israeli terrorist attacks, President Abbas is giving his tacit approval for the murder of Jews. In fact, he is doing his utmost to support the terrorists and their families.
Earlier this week, the Palestinian Authority announced that it would rebuild the homes of Hamas terrorists who murdered Eitam Henkin and his wife, Naama, in front of their children last month. The Israel Defense Forces demolished the homes as part of a policy to deter potential terrorists. The decision to rebuild the destroyed houses will only encourage terrorists to carry out more attacks against Jews because they know that President Abbas will take care of their families and even build them new homes.
Abbas's Fatah faction, which has been praising and endorsing as heroes the Palestinian terrorists involved in attacks on Jews during the past weeks, is now trying to tell the French people that it is opposed to the terrorist attacks in Paris. Once again, Abbas's Western-funded loyalists are hoping to convince the world that there are good and bad terrorists. The good terrorists are those who murder Jews, while the bad terrorists are those who target French citizens.
The funniest episode in this show of Palestinian hypocrisy, however, can be found in the responses of Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad. The two Islamist groups, whose ideology and aspirations are not particularly different from those of the Islamic State, were quick to publish statements "condemning" the terrorist attacks in Paris, claiming they are opposed to the killing of "innocent civilians."
Both Hamas and Islamic Jihad have long been involved in the business of targeting Israeli civilians. The two groups are responsible for the murders of hundreds of civilians during the past three decades. They have used all forms of terrorism against civilians, including the launching of rockets, shooting attacks and suicide bombings. Still, the two Palestinian groups have had the cheek to "condemn" the brutal killings of civilians in Paris.
Less than 24 hours before condemning the Paris attacks, Hamas and Islamic Jihad issued separate statements applauding the "heroic" shooting attacks that killed the Jewish father and his son near Hebron. Like President Abbas, the two terror groups draw a distinction between "good" terrorists who murder Jews and "bad" ones who target French civilians.
The story of Palestinian hypocrisy and double standards is not new. In fact, it is as old as the 67-year-old Israeli-Arab conflict. Unfortunately, countries such as France avoid confronting Palestinian leaders about their lies and hypocritical policies.
The French and other Westerners need to wake up to the reality that the Palestinians who are condemning the terror attacks in Paris are the same ones who are praising terrorists who murder Jews and naming streets and squares after them.
The French government should have the courage to dismiss the Palestinian "condemnations" publicly, and send a warning to President Abbas, Hamas and Islamic Jihad to stop supporting and glorifying Muslim terrorists not only in Paris, but also those who live amongst them in Ramallah and the Gaza Strip.
For the war on terrorism to succeed, France and the rest of the Western countries also need to fight those who are harboring terrorists, glorifying murderers, and to stop financing the practitioners of terrorism who now regard it as a big, cherished business.
Video of the week: Bereaved Soon to Be Bride: http://tinyurl.com/q8yzqy9
Thursday, November 12, 2015
Officials need to step back and ask why such a double standard is once again being tolerated in the European Union.
Nov. 11, 2015
For the full article go to: http://tinyurl.com/pz6nsab
It’s long been said that one of the cornerstones of Europe is fairness. Many politicians here often talk about giving people “a fair chance” in life. But now it seems we’ve reached the limits of that fairness, and it ends at Israel.
On Wednesday the European Union began implementing a labeling regime that requires the clear identification of certain products made in the West Bank. It’s now no longer enough to say where these products came from, as with products from anywhere else in the world. The labels must now also show whether the goods came from an “Israeli settlement.” Officials claim that this is meant to target what they view as Israel’s “occupation,” but what this really does is differentiate and discriminate between goods produced by two peoples living and working in the same territory.
There are strong factual and legal arguments to be made against this designation. For one, these measures restrict Israel’s trade, in violation of numerous multilateral treaties, including the World Trade Organization Agreement on Technical Barriers to Trade, and the General Agreement on Trade and Tariffs.
But there is also an inconsistency in the application of this designation. Not only does the EU not penalize any other nation for what may be deemed to be an occupation, but it actually profits from some of them.
Last year, for instance, the EU signed an agreement with Morocco extending their fisheries treaties into Western Sahara. The Moroccans have been accused of occupying that region and conducting a campaign of ethnic cleansing against the indigenous people there. Yet the agreement allows the EU and Morocco to profit from this occupation.
In northern Cyprus, the EU provides direct grants and funds to the self-declared Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus. It even offers an aid program to Turkish Cypriots, even though the Turkish invasion and transfer of its population has been condemned by the United Nations.
If there were substantial or legal differences between these cases and Israel’s, the EU surely would have been forthcoming with them. But no explanation has ever been or could be given.
There is, however, one crucial difference that the EU appears to ignore.
The EU, being a signatory and witness to the agreements in the Israel-Palestinian peace process, has made a commitment that no steps should be taken to change the status of the territory or predetermine the outcome of negotiations. The EU has made no such legal commitment to any other conflict in the world. One would therefore have expected the EU to take a more balanced, equitable and fair approach to its relationship with Israel.
This is a sad indictment of a union that was created in part to free itself from the conflicts and prejudices of the past. Seventy years ago, another double standard existed, when Jewish businesses in Europe were deliberately singled out and labeled, giving rise to a certain sensitivity among the Jewish people toward such actions. Those in the EU who are now pressing for labels on products made by Jews should step back and ask why such a double standard is once again being tolerated.
The EU needs to see sense and return to playing a constructive role in the much sought-after peace between Israelis and Palestinians. It must not take unilateral and possibly illegal measures against one side of the conflict and single out one people in the world. That’s not only unfair, it’s clearly discriminatory.
Video of the week: http://tinyurl.com/nrgwa49
Thursday, November 5, 2015
Why is the Palestinian Authority (PA) opposed to Jordan's proposal to install surveillance cameras at Jerusalem's Haram al-Sharif (Temple Mount), sacred to Christians, Muslims and Jews?
This is the question that many in Jordan have been asking in light of the recent agreement between Israel and Jordan that was reached under the auspices of US Secretary of State John Kerry. The idea was first raised by Jordan's King Abdullah in a bid to ease tensions at the holy site in the Old City of Jerusalem.
Shortly after Israel accepted the idea, the Palestinian Authority rushed to denounce it as a "new trap." PA Foreign Minister Riad al-Malki and other officials in Ramallah expressed concern that Israel would use the cameras to "arrest Palestinians under the pretext of incitement."
During the past two years, the Palestinian Authority and other parties, including Hamas and the Islamic Movement (Northern Branch) in Israel, have been waging a campaign of incitement against Jewish visits to the Haram al-Sharif. The campaign claimed that Jews were planning to destroy Al-Aqsa Mosque.
In an attempt to prevent Jews from entering the approximately 37-acre (150,000 m2) site, the Palestinian Authority and the Islamic Movement in Israel hired scores of Muslim men and women to harass the Jewish visitors and the police officers escorting them. The men are referred to as Murabitoun, while the women are called Murabitat (defenders or guardians of the faith).
These men and women have since been filmed shouting and trying to assault Jews and policemen at the Haram al-Sharif. This type of video evidence is something that the Palestinian Authority is trying to avoid. The PA, together with the Islamic Movement, wants the men and women to continue harassing the Jews under the pretext of "defending" the Al-Aqsa Mosque from "destruction" and "contamination."
The installation of surveillance cameras at the site will expose the aggressive behavior of the Murabitoun and Murabitat, and show the world who is really "desecrating" the Islamic holy sites and turning them into a base for assaulting and abusing Jewish visitors and policemen.
The cameras are also likely to refute the claim that Jews are "violently invading" Al-Aqsa Mosque and holding prayers at the Temple Mount. The Palestinian Authority, Hamas and the Islamic Movement have long been describing the Jewish visits as a "provocative and violent incursion" into Al-Aqsa Mosque. But now the cameras will show that Jews do not enter Al-Aqsa Mosque, as the Palestinians have been claiming.
Another reason the Palestinians are opposed to King Abdullah's idea is their fear that the cameras would expose that Palestinians have been smuggling stones, firebombs and pipe bombs into Al-Aqsa Mosque for the past two years. These are scenes at the PA, Hamas and the Islamic Movement do not want the world to see: they show who is really "contaminating" the Haram al-Sharif. Needless to say, no Jewish visitors have thus far been caught trying to smuggle such weapons into the holy site.
Palestinian Arab young men with masks, inside Al-Aqsa Mosque (some wearing shoes), stockpile rocks to use for throwing at Jews who visit the Temple Mount, September 27, 2015.
By rejecting the idea of setting up 24-hour surveillance cameras at the Haram al-Sharif, the Palestinian Authority has found itself on a course of collision with Jordan. Jordanian politicians and columnists have voiced outrage over the stance of the PA, and have dubbed it harmful to Palestinian and Islamic interests.
The Jordanian newspaper Al-Ghad, which is close to the government, quoted Jordanian politicians as denouncing the opposition of the Palestinian Authority to the cameras as "inappropriate, clumsy, tasteless and unfair."
Sources in Ramallah explained this week that the PA's opposition to cameras should also be seen in the context of the power struggle between the Palestinians and Jordan over control of the Islamic holy sites in Jerusalem. The Jordanians have long been seeking to preserve their status as "custodians" of Al-Aqsa Mosque and other Islamic holy sites in Jerusalem. This is a status that some Palestinians and the Islamic Movement in Israel have been trying to change during the past two decades, especially after the signing of the Oslo Accords between the PLO and Israel in 1993.
The Palestinian Authority's opposition to the installation of cameras is seen as an attempt to undermine Jordan's status at the Islamic holy sites. Many Palestinians argue that they, and not the Jordanians, should be in charge of the Haram al-Sharif. Members of the PA are opposed to the cameras because it is a Jordanian proposal and reinforces Jordan's role at the holy site.
As such, the Palestinian Authority's position could be seen as an attempt to change the status quo at the holy site by driving the Jordanians out of the area. King Abdullah is obviously aware of the Palestinian attempt to prevent him from playing any role at the holy site; that is why he was quick to reach a deal with Israel about the installation of cameras.
The PA, meanwhile, will continue to work against having cameras in the hope of preventing the world from seeing what is really happening at the site and undermining Jordan's "custodianship" over Islamic holy sites in Jerusalem.
It now remains to be seen how Secretary Kerry, who brokered the camera deal between Israel and Jordan, will react, if at all, to the latest Palestinian Authority attempt to continue escalating tensions at the holy site. If Kerry fails to pressure the PA to stop its incitement and repeated attempts to exclude the Jordanians from playing any positive role at the Haram al-Sharif, the current wave of knife attacks against Jews will continue.