The American Kafir

2012/04/12

Clinton Overrules Republican Lawmaker’s Hold on Palestinian Aid

Much like her boss Barack Hussein Obama, Hillary Clinton has no respect for the Constitutional Laws and the peoples elected officials. Why do we elect representation? Has congress no spine and tell Obama and his Administrative minions they are out of line? W

Source National Journal

Clinton Overrules Republican Lawmaker’s Hold on Palestinian Aid

Ros-Lehtinen: “Where is the accountability for U.S. taxpayer dollars?”

By Sara Sorcher

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton addresses the G8 foreign ministers at the start of a working session at Blair House in Washington on Wednesday.

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton is allowing U.S. funds to flow to the West Bank and Gaza despite a hold by House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairwoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, R-Fla., a rare display of executive-branch authority that angered the key lawmaker concerned about protecting her congressional oversight role.

A State Department official said that a letter was delivered on Tuesday to key members of Congress informing them of Clinton’s decision to move forward with the $147 million package of the fiscal year 2011 economic support funds for the Palestinian people, despite Ros-Lehtinen’s hold. Administrations generally do not disburse funding over the objections of lawmakers on relevant committees.

The funds deliver “critical support to the Palestinian people and those leaders seeking to combat extremism within their society and build a more stable future. Without funding, our programs risk cancellation,” the official, who was not authorized to speak about the issue, said in an e-mail. “Such an occurrence would undermine the progress that has been made in recent years in building Palestinian institutions and improving stability, security, and economic prospects, which benefits Israelis and Palestinians alike.”

Late last month, Ros-Lehtinen sent a letter to Clinton and U.S. Agency for International Development Administrator Rajiv Shah, informing them she will lift her hold on some $88.6 million of the Palestinian aid package — out of the full $147 million — under special conditions. Appropriations State and Foreign Operations Subcommittee Chairwoman Kay Granger, R-Texas, agreed to release her hold on the full assistance package on humanitarian grounds.

“The U.S. has given $3 billion in aid to the Palestinians in the last five years alone, and what do we have to show for it?” Ros-Lehtinen said on Wednesday in a statement to National Journal. “Now the administration is sending even more. Where is the accountability for U.S. taxpayer dollars?”

Ros-Lehtinen earlier said she was disappointed that the administration “would employ hardball tactics against Congress and threaten to send, over congressional objection, U.S. taxpayer dollars to the Palestinian Authority.” She does not want the funds used for assistance and recovery programs in Hamas-run Gaza; road construction projects in the West Bank, unless vital for security; or trade facilitation, tourist promotion, or scholarships for Palestinian students.

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2012/03/28

European-government funded NGOs lobby for latest UNHRC investigation

Source NGO Monitor

European-government funded NGOs lobby for latest UNHRC investigation

Summary

On March 22, 2012, the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) adopted a resolution calling for “an independent international fact-finding mission, appointed by the President of the Council, to investigate the implications of the Israeli settlements on the civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights of the Palestinian people throughout the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem.” This was one of five resolutions at the 19th UNHRC Session focused on allegations of Israeli violations (more than any other country); Israel is also the only country targeted by a permanent agenda item at the UNHRC. In response to this consistent violation of the universal human rights framework, the Israeli government announced an end to all contacts with the UNHRC.

As with the 2009 UN Fact-Finding Mission on the Gaza Conflict (led by Judge Richard Goldstone), the 2002 pseudo-investigation on the basis of the “Jenin massacre” myth, and many other examples, this resolution reflects the role of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) working with the powerful Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC). This alliance was also responsible for the infamous UN Durban Conference, in which the NGO Forum adopted a strategy for the “complete isolation of Israel” using false allegations of “war crimes” and pseudo-investigations, and the one-sided 2004 International Court of Justice advisory opinion on Israel’s security barrier.

Before the latest UNHRC session, the Ramallah-based Al Haq, funded by Norway, Ireland, and the NDC mechanism (joint funding from Sweden, Denmark, Switzerland, and the Netherlands) submitted a written statement on behalf of 11 Palestinian NGOs, lobbying for “a UN Fact-Finding Mission to investigate the widespread and systematic nature of Israel’s policies and practices that lead to the forcible transfer of the protected Palestinian population.” These NGOs include European-funded Palestinian activist groups, Al-Dameer, Al-Mezan , BADIL, and Defence for Children International-Palestine Section.

Additionally, during the session, NGOs – Al-Haq, BADIL, Commission of the Churches on International Affairs of the World Council of Churches, International Federation for Human Rights Leagues (also on behalf of Palestinian Centre for Human Rights), and Nord-Sud XXI (North-South XXI) – made oral statements in support of the anti-Israel resolutions, using demonizing rhetoric and advancing a one-sided and biased agenda.  These NGO statements ignore or contradict the Oslo framework, jointly negotiated between Israel and the Palestinians, which regulates the administration of the West Bank. European governments and the EU played a significant role in establishing and preserving the Oslo framework.

Reflecting the lobbying and language in NGO statements, the UNHRC resolution condemned Israel for: “the wall”; “expansion of settlements, the expropriation of land, the demolition of houses, the confiscation and destruction of property, the expulsion of Palestinians and the construction of bypass roads”; “Israel’s announcement that it will retain the major settlement blocks in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including the settlements located in the Jordan Valley”; and “The Israeli decision to establish and operate a tramway between West Jerusalem and the Israeli settlement of Pisgat Zeev.”

As a result of this and similar campaigns, these NGOs and their European government sponsors share in the responsibility for the exploitation of the UNHRC as a framework for political warfare and discrimination against Israel.

Excerpts from NGO oral and written statements:

Al-Haq, Al Mezan, BADIL, DCI-PS, Women’s Centre for Legal Aid and Counselling, and others, joint written statement, February 23, 2012:

  • “We urge (s) this Council to form a UN Fact-Finding Mission to investigate the widespread and systematic nature of Israel’s policies and practices that lead to the forcible transfer of the protected Palestinian population.”
  •  “[We] urge the Special Rapporteur on the Human Rights of Internally Displaced Persons to conduct a visit to the OPT without delay and to report on his findings to the Council.”

Al Haq representing 11 Palestinian NGOs, oral statement, March 19, 2002:

  • “The international community cannot continue to ignore Israel’s practices of apartheid, as they are part and parcel of the denial of the right to self-determination of the Palestinian people. We call upon this council to recognize that Palestinians in the OPT are subject to practices of apartheid and to establish a fact finding mission to examine Israel’s violations and to indicate how best to ensure respect for international law.”
  • “These abuses are part of a systematic practice of apartheid, which has seen the noose grow tighter and tighter around the neck of the Palestinian people.”

BADIL, written statement, February 27-March 23, 2012:

  • “Israel’s discriminatory land laws constitute a pillar of its colonial apartheid system.”
  • “In order to achieve this aim, Israel has implemented various land and planning laws. These laws were formulated with two general policies in mind: (a) the ‘confiscation and colonization’ of the vast majority of Palestinian owned land; and (b) the ‘concentration and containment’ of the Palestinian population within small pockets of land, which are dispersed and fragmented across the OPT and within Israel.”
  • Quoting a B’Tselem publication: “Israeli space has been highly dynamic, but the changes have been mainly in one direction: Jews expand their territorial control by a variety of means including on-going settlement, while Arabs have been contained within an unchanged geography.”

BADIL, oral statement, February 27- March 23, 2012:

  • “This [the killing of 28 Palestinians and 75 injured during recent fighting in Gaza] confirms that Israel fails to take sufficient precautions to avoid the loss of civilian life…they represent Israel’s ongoing strategy to debilitate and devastate the Palestinian population in Gaza. These frequent attacks are an intensified effort to intimidate and traumatize the Palestinians living there.”
  • We therefore urge the Human Rights Council to draw urgent attention to Israel’s continued impunity and its ongoing aggression against Gaza.”

Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) and International Association of Democratic Lawyers (IADL), oral statement, March 22, 2012:

  • “PCHR AND IADL note that the collective punishment of the prisoners, and the imprisoned population of the Gaza strip, graphically illustrates the consequences of the impunity extended to Israel and responsible Israeli officials.”

EAFORD (International Organization for the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination), written statement, February 16, 2012:

  • “The international community wants both sides to have a better future, but could the Israeli leadership ever respect the resolutions of the United Nations and Security Council as long as it can rely on United States veto power which so far has encouraged Israel to ignore its responsibility and trample on international law? How many more Palestinians need to be made homeless before the wolf is no longer entrusted with the hen house? [sic]”
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2012/03/19

Islamic Jihad seeks ‘balance of terror’ with Israel

Article Link YNet News

Islamic Jihad seeks ‘balance of terror’ with Israel

Group’s military wing leader Abu Ibrahim says ‘our rockets are not meant to kill Israelis, but to make them suffer as we do’; claims group in possession of weapons that could hit beyond Ashdod

Gaza militant group Islamic Jihad seeks to create a “balance of terror” with Israel, a senior member of its military wing has told AFP in an exclusive interview.

Speaking shortly after a truce ended a four-day flare-up in violence between Gaza terror groups and Israel, a senior leader of Islamic Jihad’s Al-Quds Brigade hailed the fact that it forced “a million Israelis to hide in shelters.”

The leader, who goes by the nom-de-guerre of Abu Ibrahim, also warned that the Brigades possesses long-range weapons that could hit Tel Aviv and could be used in its next conflict with the Jewish state.

“What we seek with our rockets is not to kill Israelis, but to maintain a balance of terror,” he told AFP during the interview, conducted at a secret location, flanked by armed bodyguards.

“The fact that a million Israelis were stuck inside shelters and suffered as our people do is more important for us than deaths.”

‘PRC operates with full freedom’

The latest violence between Israel and Gaza militants began on March 9, when the Israeli Air Force assassinated the commander of the Popular Resistance Committees (PRC) group.

In response, militants led by the Al-Quds Brigades fired a barrage of rockets into southern Israel over the course of four days, bringing life in much of the region to a standstill.

Around 250 rockets were fired from Gaza, according to Israel, with around 60 of them intercepted by the Iron Dome missile defense system.

The rockets hit throughout southern Israel, with some reaching around 40 kilometers (24 miles) inside the country. One struck just north of Gedera, which is only about 25 kilometers from the center of Tel Aviv, whose metropolitan area is home to nearly half the Jewish state’s population of 7.84 million.

Abu Ibrahim warned that the Brigades had weapons that could hit beyond the town of Ashdod, which lies some 35 kilometers (20 miles) north of Gaza.

“If the occupation targets any leader of any Palestinian group whatsoever or any citizen, the Brigades will respond with force and expand the reach of the response beyond Ashdod,” he said.

The group possessed “thousands” of rockets and had expanded its arsenal by exploiting “the opportunities offered by the (Arab) revolutions, particularly the fall of the Egyptian regime,” he added.

Still, he said, “it is not easy to transport sophisticated weapons into Gaza,” adding that 70% of its rockets “are made locally by a specialized section.”

“We now have guided missiles similar to Grads and we used them during the last conflict.”

Continue Reading The Entire Article at YNet News

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2011/12/13

Gingrich Gets It Right

Source Article Link: FrontPageMag

Gingrich Gets It Right

by David Horowitz

In an interview on Saturday, Newt Gingrich put some reality into the surreal discussion of the Middle East conflict and (as he put it) the delusional nature of the current “peace process.” The Palestinians are indeed an “invented people” — invented by the Nasser dictatorship and KGB by the way — and the Hitlerian lie that Israel occupies one square inch of “Arab” let alone “Palestinian” land needs to be buried for any clarity on what the conflict is about, let alone progress towards peace.

Of course there is no peace in the Middle East and there can be no peace so long as the Muslim Arabs want to kill the Jews and destroy the Jewish state. That is the explicit goal of the enemies of Israel in the terrorist entities of Gaza and the West Bank, and also of Israel’s principal enemy the Islamic Republic of Iran.

Newt Gingrich’s gutsy statements — if he will hold to them — could change the nature of the debate not only about how to deal with the Islamic terrorists of the Middle East but with the Islamic jihad itself. For the campaign to destroy Israel is at bottom a campaign to restore the Muslim (not Arab) ummah — as it was under the Turkish empire and the caliphate.

According to CNN, a Palestinian spokesman called Gingrich’s observation that the Palestinians are “an invented people” quote “the most racist I’ve ever seen.” This just shows what brazen liars Palestinian spokesmen are. Everything that Gingrich said was obvious fact. For nearly 2,000 years “Palestine” referred to region not a people — just as “New England” refers to a region not a people. In 1948 the Arabs of the Palestine region were not talking about a Palestinian state and were not referring to themselves as Palestinians. That came in 1964 with the creation of the PLO, engineered by the KGB and the Jew-hating dictator of Egypt, Gamel Abdel Nasser​. Even then the PLO charter (which is still available on the web) (A copy is provided below also a copy of the Palestinian The PLO’s “Phased Plan”) did not call for the liberation of the West Bank or Gaza (annexed by Jordan and Egypt respectively) but for the destruction of the Jewish state. Jew hatred is what has driven the conflict in the Middle East which is more precisely described as a genocidal war against the Jews.



David Horowitz was one of the founders of the New Left in the 1960s and an editor of its largest magazine,Ramparts. He is the author, with Peter Collier, of three best selling dynastic biographies: The Rockefellers: An American Dynasty (1976); The Kennedys: An American Dream (1984); and The Fords: An American Epic (1987). Looking back in anger at their days in the New Left, he and Collier wrote Destructive Generation (1989), a chronicle of their second thoughts about the 60s that has been compared to Whittaker Chambers’ Witness and other classic works documenting a break from totalitarianism. Horowitz examined this subject more closely in Radical Son (1996), a memoir tracing his odyssey from “red-diaper baby” to conservative activist that George Gilder described as “the first great autobiography of his generation.”



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What is Palestine and Palestinians?

2011/12/08

Arabs scared of the truth

Filed under: Arab Nations, Gaza, Israel, Palestine — - @ 7:21 pm

Source Article Link: YNet

Arabs scared of the truth

Op-ed: Time has come for Arabs to stop viewing conflict via distortions, blind hatred

By Nizar Amer

During the many years of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Arab public opinion has adopted a single, focused and uncompromising point of view. In very few cases we hear a different opinion or unusual criticism of the common perception. If the impossible happens and one person or another dares challenge the dominant view, the Arab soil starts to shake and quickly we see charges against the “sinner” In various ways and forms, in a bid to smear him and repress his thoughts.

Many Arab leaders utilize the Palestinian issue as a means to sowing fear among their own peoples. The greater the oppression and deprivation of human rights, the greater the scaremongering dosages and the injection of Israel-hate into the Arab nation’s veins. This is done while the media under these dark regimes strictly refers to the Jewish State as the “Zionist enemy,” lest the simple folk get confused and perceive Israel as a friendly, peace-seeking state.

Naturally, over the years we have seen non-Arabs joining the cycle of manipulation of Arab public opinion: Out of nowhere comes the voice of one Iranian official or another, who slams Israel and expresses his genuine love and concern for the Palestinian people, even though in reality he views the Palestinians as a cheap means for serving his own means.

The years go by yet the conflict persists. At times there are periods of terror and war, and other times we see optimistic winds of reconciliation and understanding. At other junctions, it appears that everyone is simply fed up. Yet recently, something happened in the Arab world: The Tunisian Spring was the first to arrive, while changing many of the old perceptions. The Egyptians waited for the heat of summer to rise up, and now we are witnessing the beginning of the Syrian winter, with growing calls to topple the Alawite regime.

Some Syrian citizens may have realized that the demonic Israeli monster is the product of the government press’ and outlandish TV stations’ imagination. The historical truth shows that Israel fought wars that were forced upon it by those who convinced themselves that Israel is simply fiction, a fleeting phenomenon that shall quickly disappear from the Middle East’s map. In practice, this tiny state scored one victory after another, proving that that it is a living and breathing fact, entrenched deep in this soil.

Gaza versus Ramallah

Israel is being accused of drawing out the negotiations and lacking a genuine, honest will to secure peace among its leaders and citizens. I shall not attempt to discount these claims or lament the hesitation and difficulties produced by the Palestinians. Instead, I shall make do with reviewing two points: The first is historical and pertains to Israel’s peace treaties with Egypt and Jordan. Don’t these agreements attest to Israel’s serious intentions?

Notably, Israel gave up, for peace, the Sinai Peninsula (an area three times Israel’s size and rich with natural resources.) On the northern front, Israel showed on several occasions genuine willingness to secure a fair agreement with the Syrians, yet every time encountered a peace obstacle in the form of the Syrian president (both father and son,) who may have been preoccupied with utilizing his secret police at every corner.

The second point pertains to the Shalit swap. In an Egyptian TV interview, after five and a half years in captivity and in his first encounter with the sun, Shalit chose to express his hope that the conflict shall end and all prisoners shall return to their families. On the other hand, released Palestinian prisoners chose to commit to continuing terrorism and bloodshed. I hoped that these detainees, who tried the path of terror and failed, would choose this time to embark on a new path that does not rely on killing and violence. I had hoped hopes, yet was disappointed.

Gaza residents are suffering, yet the question remains: Who’s responsible for this suffering? Israel can be blamed, as usual, yet if we compare the situation in the Gaza Strip to the situation in the West Bank, and compare Gaza City to Ramallah, it won’t be difficult to spot the huge difference. The reason for this is rather clear and stems from the difference between the Fatah government and Hamas government, which espouses a policy of terror, carnage and violence, also implemented against its own citizens.

This terror policy constitutes the main obstacle to Palestinian reconciliation efforts and the achievement of peace. It’s also important to pay attention to the following point: At this time we are talking about two states for two peoples, yet it seems that three states for two people shall be required. One for Israel, one for Fatah, and a third one for Hamas. We may need more mini-states in case of further splits down the road. Is this reasonable? How can one make peace given such reality? And who should we make peace with? I’m afraid that ultimately we shall have to secure peace with every Palestinian individual separately.

In love with zeal

Many in the Arab street examine the Israeli-Palestinian conflict via the logic of fatalities and quickly produce virtual scales. On one hand they look at the Palestinian fatalities, and usually forget Israel’s fatalities.

The death of innocents is regrettable, regardless of the way and reason it happened. Yet the difference between Hamas and Israel has to do with intention: Hamas activists fire missiles and rockets into the heart of civilian population centers, hoping to kill innocent civilians. On the other hand, Israel attempts to hit Hamas men, and if civilians are hurt as result the reason is usually Hamas’ cynical use of mosques, schools and hospitals as missile-launching platforms, as well as the utilization of their own countrymen as human shields. Of course, at times we see operational mishaps on the Israeli side.

A person of conscience cannot ignore the Palestinian pain, but also should not ignore the killing of Israeli children and civilians with inhumane brutality. The solution to the Palestinian pain will not be achieved via the killing of Israeli innocents or the adoption of terrorism as a policy, but rather, by abandoning the path of violence and returning to negotiations. Let’s hope they understand this soon.

Israel is a democratic state, a world-leader in science, medicine and culture, and boasts free media and a flourishing economy. It is a state that grants its minorities the possibility of self-fulfillment and the ability to play an active role in the life of the nation. However, just like any other state, Israel is facing many challenges, and quite a few problems persist in the process of integrating Arabs into the life of the country as citizens equal to the Jewish majority.

The Arab world is still in love with zealous words and mindless attacks: Impassioned calls, baseless threats, and the flexing of muscles. Needless to say, this way of thinking is useless. Hasn’t the time come for an Arab process of self-reflection? For understanding reality as it is and changing the Arab perception of the conflict? Hasn’t the time come to rely on historical fact and objective arguments, instead of relying on blind hatred and the distortion of the truth?

The time has come to abandon the path of hatred and exploit the opportunities for peace via negotiations, because there is no other way.

Nizer Amer is a member of Israel’s Foreign Service and is stationed in Ankara, Turkey

2011/11/30

Mufti Husseini and Hitler

H/T Internet Haganah

Mufti Husseini and Hitler

2011/11/25

‘They Stole Our Land’ vs. The Grand Mufti of Jerusalem

Source Link: FrontPageMag

‘They Stole Our Land’ vs. The Grand Mufti of Jerusalem

Posted By David Meir-Levi

The cornerstone argument in the Arab narrative against Israel is that the Zionists in the 19th and early 20th centuries came to the Land of Israel and stole Arab land.  This is a very simple assertion, easy to visualize, seemingly logical and amenable to a brief presentation: after all, Zionists did come from Europe to what was then Palestine, and the Arabs were already living there.  So obviously when the Jews came they took Arab land.

Although there exists voluminous evidence to the contrary in Arab and Turkish and British sources indicating the exact opposite, it is difficult to present this contrary evidence and explain its importance in as brief and simple a manner as is done with the Arab assertion.  There are too many variables: Arab demographics, Jewish demographics, Zionist agrarian reclamation technology, land purchases, crown land vs. privately owned land, absentee landlords, etc.  This imbalance puts the advocate on behalf of Zionism and Israel at a disadvantage, even though the evidence supporting the Israeli narrative and contradicting the Arab narrative is vast and thoroughly vetted.  For an excellent compilation and analysis of this evidence, see Kenneth Stein, The Land Question in Palestine, 1917-1939 (University of North Carolina Press, 1984, reviewed here and here).

However, there is one testimony from an unimpeachable source stating that the Jews stole no land, but rather bought land in vast quantities from willing sellers who were the legal owners of the land that was sold.  This unimpeachable source is so unarguably innocent of any pro-Israel or pro-Jewish or pro-Zionist sentiment that there can be no rational question regarding the veracity of his testimony.  That source is the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, the Hajj Mohammed Effendi Amin el-Husseini (1895 to 1974).

El-Husseini was a key figure in the creation of the concept of Palestinian nationalism and the most high-profile leader of violent and incendiary opposition to Zionism from the 1920’s onward, until the creation of the State of Israel rendered his leadership irrelevant.  He used his powerful political and religious position as the Grand Mufti (supreme religious leader) of Jerusalem to promote Arab nationalism, incite violence against the British, and preach Jew-hatred and the annihilation of the Jews of British Mandatory Palestine.  He was an ally of Hitler before and during World War II, recruited Muslim legions in Bosnia to serve on the eastern front in Hitler’s Weirmacht, and developed full-blown plans for concentration camps in Palestine in imitation of the German “final solution.”   During the 1948 Israel-Arab war, he represented the Arab Higher Committee and rejected the UN partition plan of November 29, 1947 (for a brief biography of el-Husseini and a list of book-length biographies see here).

As the highest official representative of the Arabs of British Mandatory Palestine, el-Husseini was interviewed by the Palestine Royal Commission led by Earl William Robert Wellesley Peel, hence known as the Peel Commission.

The Peel Commission was a Royal Commission of inquiry sent to British Mandatory Palestine in November of 1936 for the purpose of examining and reporting on the causes of the Arab-Jewish violence in Palestine and suggesting possible resolutions.  After months of research and interviews of major Zionist and Arab leaders, the Commission published its report in July of 1937.  The report recommended a partition plan for separate Arab and Jewish states; but this plan was never implemented, although the Zionists accepted it, due to vociferous Arab opposition.

The Peel Commission report had some very salutary things to say about the Zionists and their impact on the land and on Arab society and economy. One of the most important for debunking Arab anti-Israel accusations is:

“The Arab population shows a remarkable increase since 1920, and it has had some share in the increased prosperity of Palestine. Many Arab landowners have benefited from the sale of land and the profitable investment of the purchase money. The fellaheen (Arab peasants) are better off on the whole than they were in 1920. This Arab progress has been partly due to the import of Jewish capital into Palestine and other factors associated with the growth of the (Jewish) National Home. In particular, the Arabs have benefited from social services which could not have been provided on the existing scale without the revenue obtained from the Jews…Much of the land (being farmed by the Jews) now carrying orange groves was sand dunes or swamp and uncultivated when it was purchased…There was at the time of the earlier sales little evidence that the owners possessed either the resources or training needed to develop the land.” The land shortage decried by the Arabs “…was due less to the amount of land acquired by Jews than to the increase in the Arab population.” (Chapter V in the report).

El-Husseini’s interview on January 12, 1937 was preserved in the Commission’s notes and referenced, although not published, in the full report.  It has been summarized by a number of scholars, including Kenneth Stein, The Land Question in Palestine 1917-1939 (Univ. of North Carolina Press, 2009) and Howard M. Sachar, A History of Israel from the Rise of Zionism to our Time (Alfred A. Knopf, 1976); and a detailed analysis with quotations from the interview can be found in Aaron Kleiman’s The Palestine  Royal Commission, 1937 (Garland Publications, 1987, pp. 298ff.).

The selections from the interview presented below can be found on line here and here.  Sir Laurie Hammond, a member of the Peel Commission, interviewed the Mufti about his insistence to the Commission that Zionists were stealing Arab land and driving peasants into homelessness.  He spoke through an interpreter.

SIR L. HAMMOND: Would you give me the figures again for the land. I want to know how much land was held by the Jews before the Occupation.

MUFTI: At the time of the Occupation the Jews held about 100,000 dunams.

SIR L. HAMMOND: What year?

MUFTI: At the date of the British Occupation.

SIR L. HAMMOND: And now they hold how much?

MUFTI: About 1,500,000 dunams: 1,200,000 dunams already registered in the name of the Jewish holders, but there are 300,000 dunams which are the subject of written agreements, and which have not yet been registered in the Land Registry. That does not, of course, include the land which was assigned, about 100,000 dunams.

SIR L. HAMMOND: What 100,000 dunams was assigned?  Is that not included in, the 1,200,000 dunams? The point is this. He says that in 1920 at the time of the Occupation, the Jews only held 100,000 dunams, is that so? I asked the figures from the Land Registry, how much land the Jews owned at the time of the Occupation. Would he be surprised to hear that the figure is not 100,000 but 650,000 dunams?

MUFTI: It may be that the difference was due to the fact that many lands were bought by contract which were not registered.

SIR L. HAMMOND: There is a lot of difference between 100,000 and 650,000.

MUFTI: In one case they sold about 400,000 dunams in one lot.

SIR L. HAMMOND: Who? An Arab?

MUFTI: Sarsuk. An Arab of Beyrouth.

SIR L. HAMMOND: His Eminence gave us a picture of the Arabs being evicted from their land and villages being wiped out. What I want to know is, did the Government of Palestine, the Administration, acquire the land and then hand it over to the Jews?

MUFTI: In most cases the lands were acquired.

SIR L. HAMMOND: I mean forcibly acquired-compulsory acquisition as land would be acquired for public purposes?

MUFTI: No, it wasn’t.

SIR L. HAMMOND: Not taken by compulsory acquisition?

MUFTI: No.

SIR L. HAMMOND: But these lands amounting to some 700,000 dunams were actually sold?

MUFTI: Yes, they were sold, but the country was placed in such conditions as would facilitate such purchases.

SIR I HAMMOND: I don’t quite understand what you mean by that. They were sold. Who sold them?

MUFTI: Land owners.

SIR I HAMMOND: Arabs?

MUFTI: In most cases they were Arabs.

SIR L. HAMMOND: Was any compulsion put on them to sell? If so, by whom?

MUFTI: As in other countries, there are people who by force of circumstances, economic forces, sell their land.

SIR L. HAMMOND: Is that all he said?

MUFTI: A large part of these lands belong to absentee landlords who sold the land over the heads of their tenants, who were forcibly evicted. The majority of these landlords were absentees who sold their land over the heads of their tenants. Not Palestinians but Lebanese.

SIR L. HAMMOND: Is His Eminence in a position to give the Commission a list of the people, the Arabs who have sold lands, apart from those absentee landlords?

MUFTI: It is possible for me to supply such a list.

SIR L. HAMMOND: I ask him now this: does he think that as compared with the standard of life under the Turkish rule the position of the fellahin in the villages has improved or deteriorated?

MUFTI: Generally speaking I think their situation has got worse.

SIR L. HAMMOND: Is taxation heavier or lighter?

MUFTI: Taxation was much heavier then, but now there are additional burdens.

SIR L. HAMMOND: I am asking him if it is now, the present day, as we are sitting together here, is it a fact that the fellahin has a much lighter tax than he had under the Turkish rule? Or is he taxed more heavily?

MUFTI: The present taxation is lighter, but the Arabs nevertheless have now other taxation, for instance, customs.

LORD PEEL: And the condition of the fellahin as regards, for example, education. Are there more schools or fewer schools now?

MUFTI: They may have more schools, comparatively, but at the same time there has been an increase in their numbers.

The Hajj Amin el-Husseini, the intractable opponent of Zionism, a Jew-hater on par with Hitler, admitted under questioning that no Arab land was stolen; no Arabs were wiped out, no villages destroyed.  Rather, the Jews bought hundreds of thousands of dunam (about ¼ of an acre) of land from willing sellers, often from absentee Arab landowners.  Moreover, thanks in part to the Zionists and the British, the quality of life for Palestine’s Arab peasantry was vastly improved, with less taxation, more schools, and an increase in Arab population.

The next time someone spouts the Arab line about how Zionists came and stole Arab land and drove Arabs out, just quote the Mufti.

 

2011/11/10

Media Attempt to Cover Up Obama Comments on Israel

Source Link: Family Security Matters

Media Attempt to Cover Up Obama Comments on Israel

Written By Roger Aronoff

The incident involving a live microphone that took place last week at the G20 summit in Cannes, France involving President Barack Obama, President Nicolas Sarkozy of France, and the prime minister of Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu, was an important revelation on several levels.

First, it revealed the true feelings that Obama and Sarkozy have toward Netanyahu, which is quite different from their public pronouncements and actions. No big surprise in either case. But the bigger story is how corrupt the media are to go along with the attempted deception.

What occurred is that the two presidents were speaking in what they thought was a private conversation. But what they overlooked was that the mics they were wearing were live, and a simultaneous translation of their conversation was being broadcast to the journalists outside the room. Those journalists were not to be given headphones until the session resumed, but a number of them had their own and were listening as a translator repeated the comments of the two men.

Initially, in the conversation, Obama was critical of Sarkozy for not letting him know in advance that France would be voting to allow the Palestinians membership in the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). After they were voted in to the organization, the U.S. Congress voted to cut off its portion of the funding for UNESCO, as it is required by law to do if Palestine is admitted as a member of any international organization before it reaches a peace agreement with Israel. Obama, whose spokesmen have made clear that he once again will ignore Congress and do what he can to help UNESCO, was also reported to have asked Sarkozy to try to help persuade the Palestinians to stop their bid to gain full UN recognition as a state.

Sarkozy then said of Netanyahu, “I cannot bear him, he’s a liar.” To which President Obama reportedly said, “You may be sick of him, but me, I have to deal with him every day.”

A number of journalists heard this, but did not report on it after staffers from Sarkozy’s office went to the journalists and told them the comments were meant to be private. According to reports, French media tradition requires journalists to honor that privacy, and in keeping with that tradition, they were asked to sign agreements to that effect. Apparently many of them complied, “due to the sensitivity of the issue.” But it was a French website, Arret sur images, that first reported the conversation. Reporters from Reuters and the Associated Press confirmed the account of the conversation. Sarkozy’s and Obama’s offices have refused to comment.

There are a couple of excellent articles about this, though not much in the mainstream media. One is by Arnold Ahlert in Jewish World Review, in which he writes that “it is hard to decide which part of this story is more revealing: the incident itself, or the subsequent reaction by the Fourth Estaters whose commitment to the standards of journalistic integrity—or perhaps more accurately JournO-listic integrity—seemingly never reach the bottom of an apparently bottomless barrel.” And to the issue of reporters agreeing, after the fact, to keep this quiet, Ahlert writes, “What reporter in his right mind would sign anything that prevents him from reporting on a story made available, not by subterfuge or anything else resembling illegality, but by the carelessness of two world leaders? Since when did a legitimate ‘gotcha’ moment become off limits to the press?”

In a piece on FrontPageMag.com, Joseph Klein discusses some of the history between Obama and Israel that makes Obama’s comments unsurprising: “…we all know what Obama really thinks. This is a president who has gone out of his way to visit Muslim countries in the same region as Israel, but has yet to visit Israel itself since taking office. Obama had no trouble bowing to the Saudi king, while insulting the Israeli prime minister at every turn.”

Added Klein, “Obama’s latest blast at Netanyahu recalls his snub of Netanyahu during the prime minister’s first visit to the Obama White House in March 2010. Obama presented Netanyahu with a list of demands, including a halt to all settlement construction in East Jerusalem. When Netanyahu resisted Obama’s charms, Obama picked up his marbles. He stormed out of the meeting and declared, ‘I’m going to the residential wing to have dinner with Michelle and the girls.’ Obama also refused the normal protocol of a joint photograph with the Israeli leader.”

As I detailed in a recent AIM Report, Obama has made the situation much worse through his heavy-handed demands, and an agreement between Israel and the Palestinians is more distant as a result. Obama raised the stakes enormously when he came to office in 2009 by demanding that Israel freeze all building of settlements, something they had never done before, and which had not been a pre-condition of the Palestinians. Then Obama pushed the 1967 borders issue, to make that a starting point for negotiations rather than one of many issues to be resolved through direct negotiations. And add to Obama’s missteps the so-called Arab Spring; Iran’s continuing efforts to possess nuclear weapons and to threaten Israel, both directly and through surrogates including both Hamas and Hezbollah; and the participation in the Palestinian government of Hamas, which controls Gaza. It is clear that Israel is less secure than at any time in recent years.

The timing of this incident has been bad for Obama. After barely a year in office, in April of 2009, the Republican polling firm McLaughlin & Associates released a survey that showed that only 42 percent of American Jews would vote to re-elect President Obama, after having won 78 percent of the Jewish vote in 2008. He has slowly won some of that support back by trying to convince Jewish voters that he really does support Israel. A key test in that process came in September when he reluctantly made it clear that the U.S. would veto the Palestinians’ bid for statehood.

But this recent “live mic” revelation will clearly set back the Obama PR campaign to win over more Jewish voters.

FamilySecurityMatters.org Contributing Editor Roger Aronoff is a media analyst with Accuracy in Media, and is the writer/director of the award-winning documentary “Confronting Iraq: Conflict and Hope.” He can be contacted at roger.aronoff@aim.org.

2011/11/04

Islamist Jihad ready for all-out war with Israel

Source Article Link: Reuters

Islamist Jihad ready for all-out war with Israel

By Crispian Balmer and Nidal al-Mughrabi

The Palestinian militant group Islamic Jihad, which traded deadly fire with Israel at the weekend in Gaza, does not expect a subsequent truce to last long and has at least 8,000 fighters ready for war, a spokesman said.

Islamic Jihad is the second largest armed group in Gaza, after Hamas, which rules the tiny Mediterranean enclave. The two share a commitment to the destruction of Israel and both are classified as terrorist groups by most Western governments.

However, while Hamas has recently spent much of its energy on the business of government, Islamic Jihad has kept its focus firmly on the conflict, gaining in prominence and enjoying significant backing from Muslim supporters, including Iran.

“We are proud and honored to say that the Islamic Republic of Iran gives us support and help,” Abu Ahmed, the spokesman for Islamic Jihad’s armed wing, the Jerusalem Brigades, told Reuters in a rare, long interview.

He denied widespread reports that Iran had provided his group with arms and smiled at suggestions it now receives more sophisticated weaponry from Tehran than Hamas. He also declined to comment on rumors that the Jihadists were trained by Iran.

“What I will say is that we have every right to turn to every source of power for help,” said the burly, bearded Abu Ahmed, occasionally flicking a string of yellow prayer beads.

Islamic Jihad’s latest confrontation with Israel left 12 Palestinian gunmen and one Israeli civilian dead. The fighting ended only after neighboring Egypt brokered a ceasefire with both parties, but Abu Ahmed did not see it lasting long.

“Theoretically the calm has been restored, but in practice it hasn’t really,” he said. Israel, he said, is itching for a fight in Gaza following last month’s prisoner-swap accord, in which Israel released 477 Palestinian prisoners in exchange for Gilad Shalit, an Israeli soldier held by Hamas since 2006.

Israel says it attacks only in self-defense.

TRADING BLOWS

It killed five senior Islamic Jihad militants on Saturday in retaliation for a rocket attack two days earlier that it blamed on the group. That rocket caused no casualties, but landed deep enough into Israel to set off sirens on Tel Aviv’s outskirts.

Abu Ahmed denied responsibility for the missile, saying this was how Israel had managed to find five top fighters together in the open — because they had not expected to be targeted.

But the Jerusalem Brigades soon hit back, firing numerous rockets into southern Israel, piercing the country’s defensive missile shield. One Israeli man died, at least four others were injured, while cars and a building were also set ablaze.

The group posted a video online showing a missile-launcher on the back of a truck firing a salvo of rockets. It was the first time the group has claimed to have such firepower, although there was no independent confirmation of its use.

“The Jerusalem Brigades really surprised Israel, forcing them to rethink their assessment of us … I don’t think they realized we had that weaponry,” said Abu Ahmed, indicating the vehicle was immediately hidden underground after the attack.

Jerusalem Brigades cells are dotted around Gaza and Abu Ahmed said there was huge demand from youngsters to join.

“We take some, but can’t accept everyone … It is a question of quality, not quantity,” he said, giving for the first time an estimate of the strength of the force. “We have at least 8,000 fighters, who are fully equipped.”

The group got a boost to its standing in August when the new rulers in Egypt started dealing with it directly over truces, rather than through Hamas. Abu Ahmed said Hamas was not involved in the latest fighting and that all the talking was with Egypt.

He played down reports of tensions with Hamas, which since Israel’s military offensive in Gaza in late 2008 has appeared reluctant to go head-to-head with its sworn enemy.

“Certainly in terms of ideology, there is no difference between Hamas and the Islamic Jihad. The difference is in the methodology,” Abu Ahmed said, adding that Hamas’s governmental role meant that it was “more vulnerable to outside pressure.”

He said Islamic Jihad’s biggest problem was the Israeli armed drones that regularly buzz over Gaza seeking out militants. “Warfare has changed. You can’t just hide a gun in your jacket like you could in the 1980s,” he said, adding that the Jihadist fighters were not afraid of sudden death.

“It is a good feeling to be under drone attack. When we chose the path of resistance, we opted either for martyrdom or victory. Martyrdom is the more desirable.”

All Emphasis added by me

Lies told about Israel are beyond belief

Source Article Link: Times Live

Lies told about Israel are beyond belief

By Benjamin Pogrund

FULL OF JOY: Young Israelis celebrate after the arrival home this week or captive soldier Gilad Shalit Picture: GALLO / Getty

There is much passion among South Africans about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. It’s Understandable. The struggle against white domination and apartheid against ethnicity and tribalism. The aim was a united, nonracial South Africa.

Israel, to many South Africans, seems to run counter to this. They view it as an apartheid and racist state, some even say it’s worse than apartheid. Its founding ideology, Zionism is racism as REJECTED. It is pilloried as a colonialist oppressor of Palestinians.

But merely to believe, or even say, These things does not mean They are true. Repeating them over and over does not make them true.

Yelling slogans to the effect that “Israel is apartheid” and “Zionism is racism” does not make any of it true.

The accusations are not true. This year I Spent three-and-a-half months in South Africa, mostly as a Visiting Fellow at the Kaplan Centre at the University of Cape Town, day after day and read condemnations of Israel. Some were Justified: Israel is a society as imperfect as anywhere else, more over, its occupation of the West Bank and siege of the Gaza Strip lay it wide open to criticism.

Yet the attacks go beyond reality. They depict a racist monster Which does not exist. I was astonished by the lack of knowledge Which leads as well-meaning people into unjustified attitudes and cockeyed. The widespread ignorance also opens the way to manipulation: there are people who, for reasons best known to them, are malevolent and hate-filled towards Israel, it’s depressing to read Their Lies and Distortions, and even more to find that They are believed.

A few examples: it is not true, as some claim, that the United Nations did not consult Arabs before voting for partition of Palestine in November 1947. A UN committee of inquiry was followed by full debate in the General Assembly – and led to voting, with a two-Thirds Majority, to create an Arab state and a “Jewish state”. Both the U.S. and the Soviet Union backed it. Jews accepted partition, Arabs did not, went to war, and lost. Israel is the UN-Sanctioned “Jewish state”.

No one objects to having Saudi Arabia only Muslims as citizens. No one objects to Pakistan and Iran and others declaring themselves an “Islamic state”. They are ethnic states. Israel is also essentially an ethnic state. Is it any less valid? Yet why is the “Jewish state” singled out for condemnation?

Equally the attacks on Zionism. Grew Zionism at the end of the 19th century as the national liberation movement of the Jewish people and within half a century achieved success with Israel’s creation. It has been as successful as valid and the liberation movements in Europe during the 19th century and Those in Africa and Asia during the 20th century.

Much misunderstood is that Arabs are 20% of Israel’s population. If a minority They suffer discrimination, that’s wrong, but is hardly unique in the world. Crucially, However, They have the vote and all citizenship rights. On the other hand, Palestinians on the West Bank and Gaza are not Israeli citizens and Israelis have no rights, the current international controversy about them is Establishing an independent Palestinian state.

Another accusation is that Marriages across the lines are barred, like apartheid’s Mixed Marriages Act. The truth is a long way from that and has to do with religious rules – Jewish, Muslim and Christian – going back to the Ottoman Empire 100 years ago. Several thousand couples Defy the restrictions every year and go abroad to marry; Their Marriages are legally Recognised about their return to Israel.

This sort of distortion is repeated regarding land, education, health and every aspect of society. The bottom line is that there is nothing like Remotely South African apartheid.

I am writing this now Because a flood of anti-Israel propaganda is about to pour over South Africa. It is coming next month through the Russell Tribunal on Palestine.

The tribunal describes itself “as an International People’s Tribunal created by a large group of citizens involved in the promotion of peace and justice in the Middle East.” It meets in Cape Town on December 5, 6 and 7.

It’s theater: the actors know hun parts and the result is known before They Start. Israel is to be dragged into the mud.

If anyone is in any doubt, look at the players: almost without exception, everyone has a publicly known – and Hostile – stance towards Israel. Their Motivations might vary, but the message pump They are the same.

Words like “tribunal”, “jury” and “findings” mislead. There will not be any calm and dispassionate Consideration of facts and a desire to understand the complexities resulting from history and wars: a quick Google check tells the story, from the naked prejudices or Such as Ronnie Kasrils and John Dugard, to Cynthia McKinley, the former U.S. Congress member whose loss of her seat was Attributed to her loopy ideas of a Washington role in the 9 / 11 terrorism.

Money is part of the game: it’s expensive to fly lots of people around the world, to sessions already held in Barcelona and London, now in Cape Town, and the U.S. still to come. The players surely do not stay in youth hostels or live on hamburgers. According to the Organizers, the Cape Town event alone is budgeted at R2-million. A French publisher has given à100000. Who is paying the bulk of the huge costs? And why?

And is anyone conscious of the irony of this bit of play-acting while in Israel’s northern neighbor, Syria, 3000 pro-democracy Protestors have died and the killing continues?

Pogrund was deputy editor of the Rand Daily Mail and then founder / director of Yakar’s Center for Social Concern in Jerusalem. He has written books about Robert Sobukwe, Nelson Mandela and the press under apartheid and is co-editor of a book on Palestinian-Israeli dialogue. He is writing a book about Israel and apartheid

2011/11/03

PM Netanyahu’s Speech at Opening of the Knesset’s Winter Session

Source Article Link: Israel Prime Minister Office

PM Netanyahu’s Speech at Opening of the Knesset’s Winter Session

October 31, 2011

Photo By GPO

The Knesset is returning to its winter session at a time when the most dramatic events of our time are taking place in our region.

The Arab street has awoken; old regimes have toppled, others are swaying and new ones are rising.

No-one can guarantee how good or how stable these new regimes will be, nor their attitude towards Israel. Unfortunately, this attitude, which left much to be desired to begin with, is not expected to get any better in some, or most, of the new regimes, not in the foreseeable future.

These new regimes depend on the masses, the raging masses, of which many of the people have been systematically poisoned with anti-Semitic and anti-Zionist propaganda. This incitement began even before the State of Israel was established, and continues at full steam today.

If the results of the elections in Tunisia a few days ago are anything to go by, we will probably see the rise of other governments with a dominant Islamist component.

In most countries in the region, the Islamist movements are the strongest, most organized power, while the liberal forces, striving for freedom and progress, as we define the terms, are divided and weak.

If the positions of the religious extreme do not become more moderate, I doubt that any of the high hopes that blossomed in the Arab spring, will be realized.

It is possible that these hopes will only be fulfilled a generation from now, after this wave subsides, when progress will be given a chance to lead the Arab world along a new path.

If I had to summarize what will happen in our region, I would use two terms: instability and uncertainty.

The collapse of Gaddafi’s regime in Libya, the bloody incidents in Syria, the American forces leaving Iraq, the new government in Tunisia, the upcoming elections in Egypt and many other events – these are all expressions of the immense changes occurring around us. These changes can increase the instability within these countries, and the instability between countries.

Regional powers who have control in the Middle East will try to ensure they have greater influence on the new regimes – influence that will not always support us or be of benefit to us, to say the least. One of these regional forces is Iran, which continues its efforts to obtain nuclear weapons. A nuclear Iran would pose a dire threat on the Middle East and on the entire world. And of course, it poses a grave, direct threat on us too.

To cope with the instability and the uncertainty we are faced with, we need two things: strength and responsibility. Strength in all areas: security, economy, society, everywhere; and responsibility in navigating the stormy sea in which we are sailing. We must continue to strengthen Israel in all areas of security so that we can respond to the new challenges and threats we are facing.

Only a few days ago we were reminded that one of the challenges we face is dealing with the tens of thousands of rockets and missiles in the hands of our enemies, and aimed at our cities.

The Iron Dome batteries and other defense systems provide only a partial solution. They boost the protection of the citizens of the South, and I intend to deploy these systems in other places in the country. But a security philosophy cannot rely on defense alone. It must also include offensive capabilities, which is the very foundation of deterrence.

We operate and will continue to operate intensely and determinately against those who threaten the security of the State of Israel and its citizens.

Our policy is guided by two main principles: the first is “if someone comes to kill you, rise up and kill him first,” and the second is “if anyone harms us, his blood is on his own hands.”

For two thousand years our people could not realize these two basic principles of self defense. The Jewish people paid the ultimate price in the history of the world due to this inability.

This changed when the State of Israel was established, and the Israel Defense Forces was founded. The governments of Israel acted on these principles: they fought those who threatened us and attacked those who harmed us.

Since assuming the office of Prime Minister, I have instructed the IDF and security forces to act systematically and decisively against the terrorist leaders and those who carry out the attacks.

That is what we did with the terrorist group from the Sinai a couple of months ago. The person who initiated and organized the attack was eliminated several hours later. That is also how we acted this weekend. And I would express my appreciation once more to the IDF soldiers, to the armed forces and the intelligence units who work tirelessly, around the clock, morning-evening-night, to protect our country and all of us.

We will continue to act strongly to defend ourselves, and we will continue to conduct ourselves responsibly in the complex reality of our region. Some of the Members of Knesset may not have noticed that we live in a complex reality.

We witnessed this complexity two months ago, when an enraged mob attacked the Israeli embassy in Cairo. The mob didn’t care whether we have a treaty or not. Its intentions were clear and its message was obvious. Those were intense and complex moments. I thank Defense Minister, Barak and Foreign Minister, Lieberman. We worked together with the US Administration and the Egyptian Government and we brought the incident to its conclusion, bringing those who were trapped in the embassy, ​​and their families, home.

Reality, which is changing before our very eyes, presents many obstacles that we are faced with from time to time. It also provides us with opportunities that we do not necessarily see. In this changing world, Israel is rapidly becoming a leading force in the cyber field, known as the war of computers.

Thanks to our special abilities in this area, large, important countries want to cooperate with us. This opens up opportunities for establishing new partnerships that were not available to us in the past and I anticipate that it will become a major factor on the international level. In order to strengthen our standing in the cyber arena, I recently established the National Cyber ​​Directorate. That is the future, and we are already there.

Fostering the strength and responsibility required to fortify Israel’s security is also paramount in our quest for peace. In the Middle East, peace is made with the strong, not with the weak. The stronger Israel is, the closer peace will be.

The people in Israel are united in their desire for peace. Yet we seek real peace; peace that is anchored in the right of the Jewish people to a nation-state in its homeland; peace that is based on security.

We are willing to compromise, but not to discard our security. Even before the earthquake shook our region, I stood firm on Israel’s security interests, and today more than ever.

I assure you that in the negotiations for peace, we will continue to insist on our national interests, first and foremost, security.

Last weekend it was said that I am a tough bargainer. I know that was said as criticism, but I take it as a compliment.

Well, Chairman of the Palestinian Authority, President Abbas, I am not tough when it comes to peace. I am tough about the security of the State of Israel and its citizens, and I will continue to be so – that is my utmost duty, my very basic responsibility as the Prime Minister of the State of Israel.

I am willing to make real peace with our neighbors, but I am not willing to risk our security and future. Any peace deal must be accompanied by firm security agreements on the ground; otherwise it just will not last.

For the negotiations to end, they first need to be started. I have called upon the Palestinian leadership time and time again to enter direct negotiations without delay. I appealed to them to do so in my Bar Ilan Speech, I asked them to do it in my speech at the Knesset, I urged them to do it in my speech at the American Congress and I recently proposed it to them at the United Nations , and dozens of other times in between.

I also accepted the Quartet’s proposal for direct negotiations with the Palestinians with no preconditions. Regrettably, the Palestinians continue to refuse to engage in direct negotiations with us. Instead of sitting at the negotiation table, they decided to join the Hamas and take unilateral steps at the United Nations.

We will not idly sit by while these steps harm Israel and severely violate the most basic obligation that the two parties took upon themselves in the peace process – to resolve the conflict between us only through direct negotiations.

Unfortunately, while we support the foundation of a Palestinian state as part of a peace agreement, the Palestinians are trying to reach a Palestinian state without a peace agreement. That is the essence of our reality and anyone with eyes to see and a sense of decency knows it.

And I will not agree to that.

No responsible leader would.

Our friend, the United States, stands firmly at our side and opposes the Palestinian unilateral steps at the United Nations, and we are very grateful for that.

I know that there are those who have doubted the Israeli-American relations. But the alliance between us is deeply rooted and solid. The cooperation between the United States and Israel encompasses many important areas.

The alliance is based on the strong support of the American people for Israel, on shared values ​​and common goals. This support has become even stronger in the last few years.

Like us, the United States attaches great importance to the peace treaties between Israel and Egypt and the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan.

These treaties are an anchor of stability in the region and are clearly an Israeli interest.

Over the last year we also enhanced our ties with other countries in the region from Greece to Cyprus, Romania and Bulgaria.

And regarding Turkey, we see that even when we disagree, we help each other out in times of need due to natural disasters.

That is what Turkey did during the Carmel forest fire and it is what we did after the earthquake in Turkey last week.

I hope that we find the way to improve the relations between the two countries in the future.

Strength and responsibility, they are the driving force behind our actions in the political and security arena, and they are our compass.

The same means are needed for successfully dealing with the great challenges in the economic and social area.

Over the last few years, the world economy has been in a crisis which is not over yet. The sea is stormy there too.

Major Western countries that did not act responsibly, that did not heed the danger, were occupied with chatter and did not do what was required of them – those countries now find themselves on the verge of bankruptcy. Not only have their credit ratings gone down, but many, many people are unemployed.

So far this economic storm has skipped over Israel. There is no doubt that the responsible way in which Israel has conducted itself over the last decade contributed to that fact.

There is one golden rule that every citizen knows from his own home economy: over time, if you spend more money than you make, you will eventually go bankrupt. The overdraft grows and you collapse. This is true for a family and it is true for a country. There are countries around the world that forgot the rule, and are now paying dearly. Israel acted differently, responsibly.

Israel acted differently, responsibly. That is how I acted as Finance Minister, it is how the finance ministers after me acted, and it is how we act today. But you cannot generate the growth that is vital for creating jobs, growth that is vital for resources, for education, health, you cannot generate growth only by responsibly sticking to the budget. In order to make the market grow one must encourage competition. Not cartels, not monopolies, but fair, supervised competition that benefits the consumer. Competition is not the enemy of the consumer. On the contrary – it is the consumer’s greatest friend. It reduces prices, improves service, reduces gaps, and raises the standard of living. Lack of competition in Israel is one of the most severe causes for the increase in the cost of living, and that is why a year ago, Mr. Speaker, not now, not two or three months ago, I established the Committee on Increasing Competitiveness in the Economy. That is why we are advancing the section of the Trajtenberg Committee’s recommendations on increasing competition in the market, and for good reason.

Yesterday, at the Cabinet Meeting held in Tzfat, we approved the recommendations of the committee dealing with taxation; we cancelled the planned increase on excise tax, a step that benefits every Israeli citizen; we reduced the purchase tax and duty on commodities; we gave extra tax credit points to fathers of children up to the age of three, which will be very helpful for young couples. But these are only the first steps.

I am pleased that all the Members of Knesset want to help, and you will all have the opportunity to do so, as I plan to introduce several bills to the Knesset during this session that will help the citizens – guaranteed. Education for preschoolers will cost less, the burden of taxes will not be so heavy and housing will be more available. I am aware of the real difficulties which you speak about, Mr. Speaker, and I am committed to solving them, including resolutions that we will pass during this session, and I hope the opposition will help too.

Members of Knesset, I promised that I would give you an answer. We are committed to acting with the utmost social sensitivity to change priorities, but I do not accept the claim that the free-market system has collapsed, that we must return to a centralized economy run by clerks, an economy in which the government must be involved in everything and control everything, an economy in which the citizens will have to run around government buildings and beg before the bureaucratic powers. We have been there and we are not going back. That is how to kill an economy, how to destroy it.

MK Gilon is concerned about social needs. But you cannot take care of these things if you do not create the resources, and the resources are not generated by the government, but by the free, open economy. So we must balance the needs of economic growth with social needs, and that is precisely what we are doing and are going to do. […] And invest in the periphery of Israel.

Yesterday, we inaugurated, with you, Mr. President, a new medical school in Tzfat. This is great news for the Galilee. After a decade of promises, we will soon start moving military bases to the south, which is great tidings for the south. We are a government that not only promises but does, a government that not only talks about things but realizes them. We are building highways, interchanges, overpasses, trains, and we are finally easing Israel out of the Hadera-Gedera traffic jam.

Yesterday, at Tzfat, I gave an account of my grandfather and father going there 91 years ago. They went from Yaffo or Neve Tzedek, that what Tel Aviv was at the time. They took the Emek (Valley) railroad. They arrived in Tzemach and sailed in a stormy sea to Tiberius. And from there they continued up. Before leaving for Tzfat I asked my father, and he said “a hard, harsh journey.” That is how he described it. Through Rosh Pina, having to change the horses with carriage. This trip, this journey took three days, 91 years ago. A few years ago it would take three hours. I asked the Mayor of Hatzor HaGlilit, Swissa, how long it takes him now. He said one hour and 40 minutes. I told him it’s going to be faster. Not only because of the interchange at HaMovil Junction which has opened up the Galilee, but soon there will be interchanges at Golani Junction and Amiad Junction, and in our vision, among others, there will be one multilane highway, with no traffic lights, all the way from Metula to Eilat. It is not impossible, but it hasn’t been done. We are doing it. We are bringing the periphery of Israel closer.

Our goal is to strengthen the periphery and bring it closer to the center, but ultimately, when the drive to most areas in the country will be so short, we will be able to cancel the term ‘periphery.’ There is no reason in our country … I want to tell you, our country is huge, in spirit, in actions, our nation is skillful, but our country is tiny, and there is no reason why there are places that are cut off, disconnected, distant in such a small country. Therefore, in addition to the roads and the trains and the interchanges and the overpasses – and the entire country can see the great things we are doing at huge investment, whether they want to admit it or not – we are diligently developing the two largest areas of the country, the Galilee and the Negev. That way we will get people out of Gush Dan, we will better their lives and improve the lifestyle of the residents of the Galilee and the Negev, Jews and non-Jews alike. That is a very important social step.

But the biggest social revolution we are creating is in education. After many years of decline – and it was measured; it has been tested in IDF reading tests, standardized tests, international tests – for the first time since the reforms were implemented, and new changes are being introduced now, we can already see a change in direction, we can see an improvement in the test results of Israeli children.

And after a decade we began salvaging higher education. Two years ago, Nobel Prize laureate Ada Yonath, said that she was afraid that without investing in education and in higher education, we would not have any more Nobel Prize winners. And I took what she said seriously, and Professor Trajtenberg who we all now know, is committed to helping create a revolution in higher education.

We have invested, we have started to invest over NIS 7 billion in a multi-year plan, and I was so happy to hear from our new Nobel Prize laureate Professor Dan Shechtman, that he can see the changes that our government is leading. And he is right, because we launched the program to save higher education. I want to promise you, we will continue to invest and we will see many more Israeli Nobel Prize laureates.

Members of Knesset, I have spoken, and I must admit not always successfully, about strength and responsibility.

I also want to talk about something that links the two: unity. Two weeks ago we brought our soldier Gilad Shalit home after being held captive by Hamas for over five years. Like everybody else, I was extremely moved when I saw Gilad step off the helicopter. For a few days the entire country was united, unified, excited about one soldier whom we had brought home. Last week, in coordination with Egypt and with the help of the American government, we released Ilan Grapel, who made aliya alone, volunteered to serve in the paratrooper unit and was injured during the Second Lebanon War. We will continue to work for the release of Uda Tarabin who has been imprisoned in Egypt for 11 years. And I want to tell you and the entire people of Israel, I never, not for a moment, forget Jonathan Pollard, who has been in jail in the United States for 26 years. We will continue to do everything we can to bring him to Israel and we will not cease to try to obtain information about the fate of our missing soldiers.

The unity that brings us to work together for one soldier is a testament to the ability of our people to come together in times of trouble. It is an expression of our strength, our responsibility, our mutual accountability. I believe in the power of this unity in times of trouble in the Knesset too. I believe that in spite of all the disagreements, at the moment of truth we will rise above them and work together for the important and common goals. These are the things that guide us: strength, responsibility and unity. We have one country, together we can protect it.

Thank you.

Another flotilla heads to Gaza

Source Article Link: YNet

Another flotilla heads to Gaza

Two ships carrying 27 activists from around world depart from Turkey en route to Gaza; slated to reach Strip on Friday

By Yitzhak Benhori

'Tahrir' ship before setting sail

New flotilla: Activists in New York announced Wednesday that two ships carrying 27 activists from five states, including the US, are currently sailing through international waters in the Mediterranean Sea en route to Gaza. The vessels departed from Turkey.

“The Canadian ship Tahrir and Irish ship Saoirse have successfully reached international waters, initiating ‘Freedom Wave to Gaza’. The boats have embarked from Turkey and are on the Mediterranean Sea,” the organisers from Ustogaza group said in an e-mailed statement.

The activists said they did not announce the step in advance in order to prevent US and Israeli pressure on countries where their ships docked. The Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) called for an end to the blockade on Gaza and said it supported flotilla efforts to end the isolation of Palestinians in the Strip.

The organization, which provides legal aid to terror suspects held in Guantanamo, criticized US Congress for supporting the blockade.

One of the organizers, Jane Hirschmann, pledged to send more ships to show solidarity with Gaza’s population which she said was being imprisoned. “We shall not keep silent,” she said.

Ben, a left-wing activist in the West Bank told Ynet that on board the ships are citizens from the US, Canada, Ireland, Austria, Denmark and the Palestinian Authority. He noted that the ships originally departed from Ireland and Canada.

“The reason we didn’t publically announce the flotilla before reaching international waters was to prevent delays or sabotage which plagued past flotillas,” he said.

Ben added that the ships are slated to reach Gaza shores on Friday and that the activists do not intend to confront IDF soldiers. “There are no weapons on board and we pledged not to use any form of violence but passive resistance,” he noted. According to Ben, the ships carry humanitarian aid worth $30,000.

IDF to stop flotilla

The government has instructed the IDF to stop any vessel trying to break the siege. The IDF’s Spokesperson’s Unit said that Israel intends to offer the activists to transfer the humanitarian aid to Gaza via the Ashdod Port or Egypt. The Navy will not allow the ships to reach Gaza and is preparing to stop it.

The army’s information suggests that among the activists on board the vessels are journalists and an Arab-Israeli citizen. The flotilla was organized by Irish and Canadian pro-Palestinian groups and not the IHH, the army estimates.

IDF officials also believe that the ships carry little medical equipment as the flotilla’s purpose is to create provocation and not necessarily help the Palestinians.

Flooding web with updates

Meanwhile, the activists on board the ships are flooding the web with updates on their mission. Various websites have started following the vessels and are reporting on their whereabouts in the Mediterranean. They were last spotted east of Rhodes.

On activist wrote on his Twitter page that authorities have reduced the number of passengers on board each ship to 12. A journalist participating in the flotilla reported that the Turkish coast guard did not approach the ships.

Prior to setting sail the activists were documented in a video uploaded to the internet. Michael Coleman said he was “the Australian representative on the freedom flotilla. And yeah, there is a sense that this could possibly be déjà vu. I went home from the last flotilla feeling quite frustrated.”

The Alarab website posted a message from Majed Kiyal, a Haifa resident who is also participating in the flotilla.

MK Hanin Zoabi, who participated in 2010’s Gaza flotilla said: “This flotilla is proof that even the Palmer Report could not render an inhumane siege legal.” Zoabi expressed support of the activists and warned against a violent reaction by the IDF.

Elior Levy, Reuters, Hassan Shaalan, Roi Kais and Moran Azulay contributed to this report

NGO: PA doesn’t meet UNESCO statehood guidelines

NGO: PA doesn’t meet UNESCO statehood guidelines

IMPACT-SE report uncovers continued demonization of Israel and Jews in Palestinian textbooks.

By KHALED ABU TOAMEH

The Palestinian Authority does not meet the UNESCO recommendations for becoming a full member in the international organization, according to a study published on Monday by IMPACT-SE – the Institute for Monitoring Peace and Cultural Tolerance in School Education.

IMPACT-SE is a research organization that monitors and analyzes schoolbooks and curricula across the Middle East with an eye toward determining their compliance with international standards on peace and tolerance, a goal derived directly from UNESCO declarations and resolutions.

“The monitoring of the Palestinian schoolbooks in use for the school year 2011 shows that the fundamentals against Israel and the Jews are upheld,” the study concluded.

It said that the fundamentals included negating both Israel and the Jews.

Israel, for example, is not mentioned among the states of the Levant (which presently consists of the states of Israel, Jordan, Lebanon and Syria as well as the Palestinian territories) and Jewish holy places are never mentioned as such. For instance, Rachel’s Tomb in Bethlehem is presented as the Bilal bin Rabah Mosque.

According to the study, the Jewish and Hebrew identity of Palestine under the British Mandate is stricken out. One illustration twists a stamp of Palestine under the British Mandate by erasing the Hebrew term ERETZ ISRAEL PALESTINA.

The study also found that there was continued demonization of both Israel and the Jews in the books. Jews are described, among others, as violating treaties, getting rich unduly, deceitful, murdering children, disemboweling women and invading snakes. They are never presented in neutral or positive terms.

The study quotes the following examples from the Palestinian schoolbooks: “The Messenger of God [Muhammad] ordered Zayd Ibn Thabit to learn the language of the Jews in order to be safe from their cheating,” History of the Arabs and Muslims, Grade 6, (2009), page 133; “Your enemies killed your children, split open your women’s bellies, held your revered elderly men by the beard, and led them to the death pits,” Reading and Texts, Grade 8, Part 2, [2003] (reprinted 2007), page 16; and “By your life! How come snakes invade us and we [still] observe a protection covenant [dhimma] which respects commitments?” Arabic Language– Linguistic Sciences, Grade 12, (2010), page 61.

“The Oslo accords and the Declaration of Principles are mentioned and even quoted, but they are not praised and a peacefully negotiated settlement is not advocated or supported,” said the authors of the study.

“In contrast, there is a lot of praise for jihad and martyrdom to free Palestine without defining clearly the territory to be liberated, hence implying that Israel’s territory is also to be liberated.”

The study quotes the following paragraph from a Grade 8 book: “Today the Muslim countries need urgently jihad and jihad fighters in order to liberate the robbed lands and to get rid of the robbing Jews from the robbed lands in Palestine and in the Levant.”

The Shoah is not mentioned at all, though one ambiguous passage reads as follows: “The Jewish question is first and foremost a European problem.”

2011/11/01

Rockets Still Flying From the Real Palestinian State

Source Article Link:Commentary Magazine

Rockets Still Flying From the Real Palestinian State

By Jonathan S. Tobin

The Palestinian Authority scored a major victory today in its campaign to secure international recognition as the government of an independent “Palestine” when UNESCO voted to admit it as a member state. But the actual Palestinian state — the one in Gaza where the Hamas terrorist group exercises virtually untrammeled sovereignty — gave the world another reminder of what such statehood actually means this weekend when it showered southern Israel with a barrage of missiles. One Israeli, 56-year-old Moshe Ami of Ashkelon was murdered in one of the attacks.

Ami’s death and the ongoing missile fire from Hamas and allied Islamist groups such as Islamic Jihad is being treated as just another one of those boring “cycle of violence” stories in most of the mainstream media in which the lead is as often as not about Israeli retaliation strikes aimed at silencing the missile fire. The focus of international diplomacy is, as always, the restoration of a meaningless cease-fire between Hamas and Israel that will last until the next time the rulers of Gaza feel like sending a message to Jerusalem. But the real message here is one that few are heeding. Palestinian independence in Gaza has only meant one thing: the right of terrorists to shoot at Jews with impunity.

The rocket attacks continued Monday night with more rockets landing in southern Israel though one was intercepted by the Iron Dome missile defense system. As was the case when fire from Gaza was at its height before Israel’s counter-offensive in December 2008, casualty figures caused by these rockets have been small but incessant. Though Israel still retains the ability to hit back hard against those firing the rockets, there is no escaping the fact that so long as Hamas governs Gaza there is no real hope of ending these attacks once and for all.

Israel has no desire to resume the governance of Gaza from which it withdrew completely in August of 2005 only to see the area become a secure missile-firing platform. Nor do the majority of Israelis have any wish to go on controlling areas of the West Bank where most Palestinians live. But those who harp on the evils of the “occupation” or speak of forcing more Israeli territorial withdrawals to save the country from itself rarely consider the consequences of what de facto (if not de jure) Palestinian independence in Gaza has meant to Israel.

The Hamas state in Gaza is a heavily armed terrorist regime that has never hesitated to project force against Israeli targets in order to score political points with a Palestinian political culture that still equates violence with credibility. Further empowering the PA and its Fatah leadership does nothing to quell that violence or to silence the rockets or attempts to duplicate Hamas’s successful kidnapping of Gilad Shalit. Israel’s critics must stop ignoring Gaza and its rockets when they speak of the need for Palestinian self-determination. So long as Palestinian independence is solely expressed via terrorism, the notion of an end to the conflict is purely theoretical. That’s the clear lesson that the actual Palestinian state — as opposed to the pretend one that Fatah pretends to lead — has been teaching us again this week.

Israel and the Apartheid Slander

Source Article Link: NY Times

Israel and the Apartheid Slander

Daniel Hertzberg

By RICHARD J. GOLDSTONE

THE Palestinian Authority’s request for full United Nations membership has put hope for any two-state solution under increasing pressure. The need for reconciliation between Israelis and Palestinians has never been greater. So it is important to separate legitimate criticism of Israel from assaults that aim to isolate, demonize and delegitimize it.

One particularly pernicious and enduring canard that is surfacing again is that Israel pursues “apartheid” policies. In Cape Town starting on Saturday, a London-based nongovernmental organization called the Russell Tribunal on Palestine will hold a “hearing” on whether Israel is guilty of the crime of apartheid. It is not a “tribunal.” The “evidence” is going to be one-sided and the members of the “jury” are critics whose harsh views of Israel are well known.

While “apartheid” can have broader meaning, its use is meant to evoke the situation in pre-1994 South Africa. It is an unfair and inaccurate slander against Israel, calculated to retard rather than advance peace negotiations.

I know all too well the cruelty of South Africa’s abhorrent apartheid system, under which human beings characterized as black had no rights to vote, hold political office, use “white” toilets or beaches, marry whites, live in whites-only areas or even be there without a “pass.” Blacks critically injured in car accidents were left to bleed to death if there was no “black” ambulance to rush them to a “black” hospital. “White” hospitals were prohibited from saving their lives.

In assessing the accusation that Israel pursues apartheid policies, which are by definition primarily about race or ethnicity, it is important first to distinguish between the situations in Israel, where Arabs are citizens, and in West Bank areas that remain under Israeli control in the absence of a peace agreement.

In Israel, there is no apartheid. Nothing there comes close to the definition of apartheid under the 1998 Rome Statute: “Inhumane acts … committed in the context of an institutionalized regime of systematic oppression and domination by one racial group over any other racial group or groups and committed with the intention of maintaining that regime.” Israeli Arabs — 20 percent of Israel’s population — vote, have political parties and representatives in the Knesset and occupy positions of acclaim, including on its Supreme Court. Arab patients lie alongside Jewish patients in Israeli hospitals, receiving identical treatment.

To be sure, there is more de facto separation between Jewish and Arab populations than Israelis should accept. Much of it is chosen by the communities themselves. Some results from discrimination. But it is not apartheid, which consciously enshrines separation as an ideal. In Israel, equal rights are the law, the aspiration and the ideal; inequities are often successfully challenged in court.

The situation in the West Bank is more complex. But here too there is no intent to maintain “an institutionalized regime of systematic oppression and domination by one racial group.” This is a critical distinction, even if Israel acts oppressively toward Palestinians there. South Africa’s enforced racial separation was intended to permanently benefit the white minority, to the detriment of other races. By contrast, Israel has agreed in concept to the existence of a Palestinian state in Gaza and almost all of the West Bank, and is calling for the Palestinians to negotiate the parameters.

But until there is a two-state peace, or at least as long as Israel’s citizens remain under threat of attacks from the West Bank and Gaza, Israel will see roadblocks and similar measures as necessary for self-defense, even as Palestinians feel oppressed. As things stand, attacks from one side are met by counterattacks from the other. And the deep disputes, claims and counterclaims are only hardened when the offensive analogy of “apartheid” is invoked.

Those seeking to promote the myth of Israeli apartheid often point to clashes between heavily armed Israeli soldiers and stone-throwing Palestinians in the West Bank, or the building of what they call an “apartheid wall” and disparate treatment on West Bank roads. While such images may appear to invite a superficial comparison, it is disingenuous to use them to distort the reality. The security barrier was built to stop unrelenting terrorist attacks; while it has inflicted great hardship in places, the Israeli Supreme Court has ordered the state in many cases to reroute it to minimize unreasonable hardship. Road restrictions get more intrusive after violent attacks and are ameliorated when the threat is reduced.

Of course, the Palestinian people have national aspirations and human rights that all must respect. But those who conflate the situations in Israel and the West Bank and liken both to the old South Africa do a disservice to all who hope for justice and peace.

Jewish-Arab relations in Israel and the West Bank cannot be simplified to a narrative of Jewish discrimination. There is hostility and suspicion on both sides. Israel, unique among democracies, has been in a state of war with many of its neighbors who refuse to accept its existence. Even some Israeli Arabs, because they are citizens of Israel, have at times come under suspicion from other Arabs as a result of that longstanding enmity.

The mutual recognition and protection of the human dignity of all people is indispensable to bringing an end to hatred and anger. The charge that Israel is an apartheid state is a false and malicious one that precludes, rather than promotes, peace and harmony.

Richard J. Goldstone, a former justice of the South African Constitutional Court, led the United Nations fact-finding mission on the Gaza conflict of 2008-9.

2011/10/28

US denies sale of F-16 jet to Egypt in Grapel deal

Source Link: JPost
F-16 fighter jet in flight
Photo by: REUTERS

US denies sale of F-16 jet to Egypt in Grapel deal

Ma’an news agency report: US participated in negotiations, worked to sweeten deal over dual US-Israeli citizen Grapel, held on spying charges.

By JPOST.COM STAFF

The US on Thursday denied reportsthat they agreed to sell an F-16 fighter plane to Egypt in connection with the release of Ilan Grapel.“There is no truth to [these] press reports,” a US statement read. “Since 1982, the US government has sold over 220 F16s to Egypt as part of our long standing bilateral defense relationship,” the statement continued.

Palestinian Ma’an news agency on Thursday quoted Egyptian military expert General Sameh Sayf al-Yazal as saying that the United States was called into the negotiations to help Egypt exact the best possible deal for Grapel’s release.

According to the report, Israel refused to release all 81 Egyptian prisoners in Israel for a deal that included both Grapel and Ouda Tarabin, an Israeli Beduin who, like Grapel, is being held in Egypt on spying charges.

Grapel is expected to be released on Thursday after five months in prison in exchange for 25 Egyptian prisoners. He is expected to fly from Cairo to Ben Gurion airport at 5 p.m., and meet with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem before setting on his way.

Salah loses deportation case

Filed under: anti-Semitism, Palestine, UK — Tags: , , — - @ 6:21 pm

Source Article Link: The Jewish Chronicle

Salah loses deportation case

Written By Marcus Dysch
Raed Salah
Palestinian activist Raed Salah has lost his deportation case and could now be forcibly removed from Britain.

An Immigration Tribunal found in favour of Home Secretary Theresa May’s order that Sheikh Salah should be banned from Britain as his presence “would not be conducive to the public good”.

The judgment found she had acted correctly on grounds of his alleged “unacceptable behaviour”.

Sheikh Salah is expected to appeal against the decision.

A Home Office spokesman said: “We are pleased the court agrees Sheikh Salah’s removal would be conducive to the public good and that he has engaged in unacceptable behaviour. We will seek to deport him at the earliest opportunity.”

Sheikh Salah, the leader of the northern branch of the Islamic Movement in Israel, was detained in London in June after entering despite Mrs May imposing the banning order.

The tribunal ruled that a poem, said to be antisemitic and written by Sheikh Salah, was not racist and was not “directed at the Jewish people as a whole”.

In its judgment the tribunal acknowledged that Sheikh Salah had “behaved lawfully throughout this matter, and that he has been the victim of unfairness and procedural irregularity…and was detained unlawfully for a period of time”.

A Community Security Trust spokesman said: “CST welcomed the government’s tightening of anti-extremist legislation, and we are glad to see it being supported by this important test case.”

The 52-year-old father-of-eight won the right to seek damages earlier this month after a High Court judge ruled his detention had been partially unlawful.

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2011/10/23

Marketing Gilad Schalit

Filed under: Gaza, Gilad Shalit, Hamas, Israel, Muslim Brotherhood, Palestine, Terrorism — - @ 6:11 pm

Marketing Gilad Schalit

Source Article Link: Caroline Glick.com

hamas celebrations.jpgGilad Schalit is home. And that is wonderful. The terrorists Israel released in exchange for the IDF soldier held hostage by Hamas for more than five years are running around Judea, Samaria and Gaza promising to return to terror. And that is a nightmare.

But so far, the Israeli public is happy with the outcome. Indeed, the polling data on the government’s decision to swap 1,027 terrorists for Schalit are stunning.

According to the New Wave poll carried out for Makor Rishon, for instance, 75.7 percent of the public supported the deal and only 15.5 percent opposed it. In a society as rife with internal divisions as Israel, it is hard to think of any issue that enjoys the support of three quarters of the population. But even more amazing than the level of support is that the poll also shows the vast majority of Israelis believe that the deal harms Israel’s national security.

Sixty-one-and-a-half percent of respondents believe the deal increases the Palestinians’ motivation to commit acts of terror. Only 23.4 percent disagree.

The New Wave poll’s results are in line with the polling data reported by other firms. Down the line, the numbers are consistent:

Three quarters of the public supported the deal and two-thirds of the public said it endangers the country. What this means is that two-thirds of the public listened to their hearts instead of their heads in supporting the Schalit-for-murderers swap.

How can this triumph of emotion over reason be explained? Israelis are not a society of overgrown adolescents, enslaved by their urges. So what brought a large majority of Israelis to favor a deal they know endangers them?

Part of the answer was provided in an article in the Globes newspaper on Monday. Titled “Lucky the kidnapping happened in the technological era” and written by Anat Bein-Leibovitz, it analyzed the five-year advertising campaign that shaped public perceptions about Schalit and built public support for a deal that obviously harms the country.

The Shalmor Avnon Amichai firm ran the campaign to free Schalit. Shlomi Avnon, a partner in the agency, described the goals of the campaign as follows: “The first goal was to generate empathy for Gilad and his family. We did not know when the government needed to make a decision, but we wanted the Schalit family to enjoy wide public support when a decision came. It was clear that Gilad’s return would be at a high price to Israel, and in order to make sure that Gilad would be returned, it was critical that there should be public support to put pressure on the government.

“The second goal was to keep Gilad in the public consciousness so that he would not be forgotten…. We attacked on all fronts: emotionally, by comparing Gilad with Ron Arad, and on a security level, by bringing in security personalities who supported his release.

“We made a decision that our target audience was the public and not decision makers, because we knew that with decision makers all could be lost….”

Avnon and his colleagues marketed Schalit like a commercial product. As advertising executive Sefi Shaked explained, “This was a battle between two brands. One was ‘Bring Gilad back,’ and the other ‘Woe if we free murderers.’ The challenge for the Gilad brand was to maintain awareness of it, to keep going forward….They did much better work than the rival brand, which is a strong brand, but it didn’t do much. They gave it the knockout.”

While the PR executives interviewed for the article are correct in their assessment that the Shalmor Avnon Amichai agency’s campaign was well conceived and professionally executed, the fact is that over the past 20 years, hiring PR firms to conceive and implement public campaigns has become standard operating procedure in Israel. And yet, it is hard to think of any such campaign that succeeded as overwhelmingly as the terrorists-for-Gilad campaign did.

For instance, the Council of Jewish Communities in Judea, Samaria and Gaza paid a king’s ransom for its public relations campaign against the withdrawal from Gaza and northern Samaria. The council’s leaders mobilized more than a million Israelis to take part in the campaign that lasted for more than a year. And yet, they failed to accomplish their mission.

Other campaigns were successful in forcing the government’s hand. But they still didn’t enjoy anywhere near the support levels that the Gilad-for-murderers deal did. The campaigns for the Oslo accords with the PLO, for the withdrawal from southern Lebanon, for the release of hostages or bodies in return for terrorists, and for the withdrawal from Gaza and northern Samaria were all successful. But they were carried out in the face of a divided public.

As the polls show, the consensus formed around the cause of Schalit’s release at all costs does not owe to public approval of terrorist-forhostage swaps. So what formed this consensus?

In Schalit’s case, the reason that the PR campaign worked so well is because the media and the national security community – the two national institutions that are supposed to be the watchdogs of Israel’s national interests against the advertising executives – opted to behave like lapdogs.

Speaking to Globes, the PR executives were unanimous in their judgment that the success of the campaign was due to the media’s total mobilization on behalf of the cause.

As Gil Samsonov put it, “The first target audience was the media, which were mobilized, and everyone did their jobs while minimizing the opposition.”

Yair Geller added that Schalit is “lucky that the abduction happened at a time when the media are the strongest power…. The media left the government no option not to act.”

The executives are correct that the media are the strongest force in Israeli society. Their power owes to the fact that the major media organs are ideologically uniform and therefore act consistently as a pack.

It was the media’s overwhelming support for the Oslo process, for the withdrawals from Lebanon and Gaza, and for previous hostages-for- terrorist swaps that forced the hand of the government time after time. It was similarly the media’s opposition to the PR campaign against the withdrawal from Gaza that doomed it to failure.

By choosing sides, the media ensure there is no substantive public debate about the controversial campaigns they support. Rather than debate the substance of an issue, the media, together with PR firms, personalize disputes.

In the case of the Lebanon withdrawal, the media cast the debate as one between indifferent IDF commanders and concerned mothers of soldiers. The Gaza withdrawal was cast as a dispute between Ariel Sharon, a wise grandfather who loved the country and was democratically elected, and settler zealots who wanted IDF soldiers to die so they could keep their profitable farms and fancy villas. Hostages-for-murderers swaps are cast as battles between innocent soldiers and evil politicians who would let them die.

In all cases, the threat posed by surrendering to Israel’s enemies is ignored or glossed over.

By barring a real debate on the most contentious issues of the day, for the past two decades the media have been able to dictate policy on the most contentious issues facing the country. Still, none of these media victories were won with the consensus support enjoyed by the Schalit campaign.

What distinguished the Schalit campaign from those that preceded it was not the media mobilization but the complicity of the IDF, Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) and Mossad. In all the other campaigns, the security services either opposed the campaigns or stood on the sidelines.

In an interview with Haaretz this past Sunday, Col. Ronen Cohen, who recently retired from IDF Military Intelligence, said the IDF never tried to put together an operation to rescue Schalit. In his words, Schalit’s prolonged captivity “was a resounding failure of the IDF…. The IDF never took responsibility for the soldier and did not even set up a team to deal with bringing him back.”

As a consequence, the IDF gave the government no choice other than to pay a ransom for Schalit.

According to PR executive Geller, the IDF’s abdication of its responsibility to rescue Schalit was influenced by the media’s full mobilization on behalf of the PR campaign. “That [Schalit] was not hurt in a rescue operation is due, among other things, to the high value that the media placed on him.” The IDF was too afraid of media criticism to risk a rescue raid.

Even in the face of the IDF’s abdication of responsibility to save Schalit, the previous heads of the IDF, Shin Bet and Mossad all opposed the swap as dangerous, and so Israel rejected it.

But, in the end, the media won out. Defense Minister Ehud Barak replaced the security bosses with successors who agreed to subordinate their professional judgment to the media’s demands. They all adopted the demonstrably false position that releasing 1,027 terrorists would not endanger Israel. This is what enabled the public consensus to form.

It is possible that now that Schalit and the terrorists are free the media will permit a debate on the wisdom of future deals. For instance, a debate has already begun on mandatory capital punishment for terrorist killers.

But there are more pressing issues that need to be resolved today if we want to prevent the public from being manipulated again into adopting positions wholly at odds with reason and the national interest. The first issue is that of the media.

Given the media’s unchecked power to repeatedly manipulate public opinion to adhere to its radical ideological agenda, it is essential that the government and Knesset step in and reform the media market. Broadcast licensing procedures for television and radio must be deregulated. Television and radio must be open to competition. Broadcasters should be allowed to broadcast whatever they want whenever they want, and the market should dictate who rises and who falls. This is the only way to protect the public against manipulation, and the government from blackmail.

Then there is the IDF. To fix what has clearly become broken in the IDF we must have a serious public discussion about its irresponsible, unprofessional behavior throughout Schalit’s period of captivity. The public must be made aware of the apparent leadership crisis at the top ranks of the IDF in order to force the government to enact necessary changes in personnel and compel serving commanders to change their behavior.

The internal contradiction at the heart of the consensus for ransoming Schalit for terrorists renders it likely that the unanimity now surrounding the deal will evaporate soon. But to prevent PR firms and the media from successfully manipulating the public and blackmailing politicians in the future, we must check the power of the media and hold the IDF accountable for its failures today. Otherwise, it is only a matter of time before the public again is convinced to support policies that it knows endanger the country.

Tamimi: I have never regretted what I have done

Source Article Link: AmmonNews

Tamimi: I have never regretted what I have done

Tamimi: I have never regretted what I have done
By Shaherah Katatbeh & Anas Damra

AMMONNEWS – The former released Jordanian prisoner, Ahlam Tamimi called on the Arab youth to continue pressuring their governments for keeping their efforts in using the Palestinian prisoners file as an important pressure element in any negotiations policy with Israel.

The most horrible part of being in jail is to be locked alone in a cell and not being able to do anything while you see your enemy moving freely, she expressed.

‘I have never regretted what I have done, and if given another chance I’ll do it again’ she added.

Tamimi expressed her believes in the rightness of what she has done.

Tamimi said in an interview with Ammon News Tuesday that the hostility and aggression is the basic character of the Israeli officials, unless the are forced to negotiate.

Ahlam Tamimi, 31, was serving 16 life sentences for her role in a suicide bombing, including taking the assailant to the Sbarro franchise in Jerusalem where he killed 16 people in 2001. deported to Jordan last Wednesday early morning.

She thanked Jordan and stated that Jordan people are the heart beat of the Palestinians.

Hundreds of Jordanians flocked to Diwan Tamimi in Dahiyat Al Rashid neighbourhood on Wednesday to celebrate the release of Ahlam Tamimi the only Jordanian prisoner among the first group of 477 prisoners released in exchange for the Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit.

About the prisoner swap between Hamas and Israel, she commented that the deal allowed the release of many prisoners who were sentenced a long life terms in jails, and that was a victory to hamas.

It’s a brilliant move of the ‘Izz al Dein Al Qassam’ the military branch of Hamas negotiators to include my name in the swap deal although the Israeli military Courts recommended not to include my name in any prisoners swap in the future, she added.

Ahlam Father, Arif Tamimi expressed happiness to see her freed and looking forward for her marriage to a released prisoner in the same swap.

Related Video:

Ahlam Tamimi Chose Sbarro’s ‘Religious Jews’ as Murder Target

2011/10/18

Will the World Ask Why Palestinians Celebrate Murder?

Source Article Link: Commentary Magazine

Will the World Ask Why Palestinians Celebrate Murder?

Jonathan S. Tobin

The painful debate about Israel’s decision to trade 1,000 imprisoned Palestinian terrorists for kidnapped soldier Gilad Shalit​ continues this week with the families of terror victims attempting to sue the government to prevent the swap. Though the vast majority of Israelis support the trade and Prime Minister Netanyahu’s willingness to pay the ransom for Shalit, the impending release of so many murderers is nothing to celebrate. That is, unless you are a Palestinian.

Mass rallies and celebrations are being planned in Ramallah to celebrate the freedom of those who were convicted of mass murders. Who will they be cheering? As the New York Times reports:

Those being freed include the founders of Hamas’s armed wing and militants who kidnapped and killed Israeli soldiers and civilians. A mastermind of the 2001 bombing of a Jerusalem pizzeria who killed 15 will walk out of prison, as will a woman who used the Internet to lure a lovesick Israeli teenager to a Palestinian city and had him murdered.

Most of the prisoners were serving life sentences, some for being involved in attacks like the 2001 bombing of a Tel Aviv nightclub that killed 21 people and a suicide bombing a year later of a Netanya hotel in which 29 died.

Apologists for the Palestinians will argue those in Israeli jails were resisting the “occupation” of the country, though few will own up to the fact that as far as the prisoners are concerned, the territory of pre-June 1967 Israel is just as “occupied” as the West Bank. But even if you think the Palestinian cause is just, how can anyone justify the slaughter of innocents such as at the Sbarro bombing in Jerusalem? Even if you think Israel should withdraw back to the 1967 lines, how can any civilized person condone the Palestinian decision to treat those who committed such atrocities as heroes?

What is on trial this week is not the moral calculus by which Netanyahu decided that saving the life of one Jewish soldier was worth the subversion of justice–freeing murderers as ransom. What ought to be discussed is the upside-down ethos of Palestinian political culture in which the spilling of Jewish blood grants the killer not only absolution but also heroic status.

The world turned away in horror a decade ago when a photograph captured the moment when one of the ringleaders of a Palestinian lynch mob showed his bloodstained hands to a cheering crowd after he had helped murder an Israeli. Yet today, the Palestinian political elite, including many whom our government deems “moderates,” will not only facilitate the release of this miscreant but treat him like a conquering hero.

The prisoner swap has unfortunately reminded us of the depths of degradation to which the Palestinian political culture sank during the second intifada, as mass slaughter became not merely a tool of war but the touchstone of a people’s identity. We would have hoped the passage of years and the realization of the cost in Palestinian suffering that this terror war incurred would have sobered them up. It would be one thing if these murderers were taken back in an atmosphere that showed some recognition their crimes were nothing to emulate. But instead, the release is proving to be yet another indication nothing has changed.

Those, like the Obama administration, who repeat tired clichés about the need for Israel to take risks for peace, never seem to own up to the costs of those risks. The second intifada and the 1,000 Jewish lives lost to terrorists were the price of earlier risks previous Israeli governments took in the hope of securing peace. The celebration that will convulse Palestinian society tomorrow is sad proof that similar risks taken today will also be paid for in blood.

Rather than ask why Israel is willing to trade so many terrorists for one soldier, the world should be asking why the Palestinians are cheering the release of sociopaths.

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