Wednesday, January 17, 2018

  • Wednesday, January 17, 2018
  • Elder of Ziyon


I have not yet seen a transcript of what Mahmoud Abbas said at Al Azhar in Cairo on Wednesday, but the small pieces published in Arabic media are enough proof of his extremism.

Egypt's Masrawy reports that Abbas said, "There is no respectable Jew in the world who accepts the Zionist entity....There are Jews who say that Jerusalem is for Muslims and Christians and for the Arabs."

So respectable Jews say that Jerusalem has nothing to do with Judaism. And any Jew who accepts Israel's right to exist is not respectable.

This is interesting for many reasons, but it also shows that even though Abbas still insists that he only wants a state of Palestine in the West Bank and Gaza - a position he repeated in Cairo - he does not accept the state of Israel. Which means he never did. "Palestine" isn't an end, but a means to an end - the end of Israel.

By the way, in order to make the Al Azhar conference appear ecumenical, Abbas flew in "rabbi" Dovid Weiss from Neturei Karta to address the Arab audience and tell them that a couple dozen of his sect are the "original Jews" and the millions of others are all fake.

I wonder what Weiss would answer if an Arab asked him if the Temple was built in Jerusalem.





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From Ian:

Col. Richard Kemp: The Arab-Israeli Conflict: Why No Peace?
The jihadist aim is to isolate Israel politically; to influence political leaders, public opinion, international institutions and international organizations so that on the day their planned offensive begins, no one will be there to support Israel and the Jews. The Palestinian Authority, the PLO and the Arab/Muslim states will be unhampered to do what Hitler was unable to do in historic Palestine -- make it Judenrein (free of Jews).

Terror is "to achieve Palestinian political goals, to influence Israeli politics, to favor a given Israeli candidate for the post of Prime Minister, to compel the Israeli government to conceal more land, to prevent a final peace settlement by maintaining a state of conflict that could eventually lead to total war, to erode Israeli and American resolve and to demonstrate to Arab population that peace is not an option and that the existence of the Jews on their land cannot be recognized". Some of the attacks occurred just when foreign representatives landed in Israel, "to prevent the revival of the peace talks." Mr. Jason Greenblatt should take that into consideration.

The same jihadist war is also underway against the Americans and all "infidels": Christians, Jews, Yazidis, Hindus, Buddhists, and in a general manner all those who do not believe in the "religion of truth", namely Islam; and against those Muslims who compromise with such so-called infidels.
Eugene Kontorovich: Unsettled: A Global Study of Settlements in Occupied Territories
This Article provides the first comprehensive, global examination of state and international practice bearing on Article 49(6) of the Fourth Geneva Convention, which provides that an “Occupying Power shall not deport or transfer parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies.” This provision is a staple of legal and diplomatic international discussions of the Arab-Israeli conflict, and serves as the basis for criticism of Israeli settlement policy.

Despite its frequent invocation in the Israeli context, scholars have never examined – or even considered – how the norm has been interpreted and applied in any other occupation context in the post-WWII era. For example, the International Committee of the Red Cross’s (ICRC) influential Study on Customary International Humanitarian Law lists 107 instances of national practice and UN practice applying or interpreting the prohibition, and all but two relate to Israel. Many questions exist about the scope and application of Art. 49(6)’s prohibition on “transfer,” but they have generally been answered on purely theoretically.

To better understand what Art. 49(6) does in fact demand, this Article closely examines its application in all other cases in which it could apply. Many of the settlement enterprises studied in this Article have never been discussed or documented. All of these situations involved the movement of settlers into the occupied territory, in numbers ranging from thousands to hundreds of thousands. Indeed, perhaps every prolonged occupation of contiguous habitable territory has resulted in significant settlement activity.
Melanie Phillips: Trump derangement, UK culture wars


  • Wednesday, January 17, 2018
  • Elder of Ziyon


Let's look at the reasons being given to continue funding UNRWA:

“Given the long, trusted, and historic relationship between the United States and UNRWA, this reduced contribution threatens one of the most successful and innovative human development endeavors in the Middle-East,” UNRWA chief Pierre Krähenbühl said in a statement.
“The reduced contribution also impacts regional security at a time when the Middle East faces multiple risks and threats, notably that of further radicalization.” he said.
 UNRWA schools use the same curriculum as their host countries. So how, exactly, does UNRWA reduce radicalization if it is teaching the same thing as everyone else?

“At stake is the access of 525,000 boys and girls in 700 UNRWA schools, and their future,” he said. “At stake is the dignity and human security of millions of Palestine refugees, in need of emergency food assistance and other support in Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, and the West Bank and Gaza Strip. At stake is the access of refugees to primary health care, including pre-natal care and other life-saving services. At stake are the rights and dignity of an entire community.”

Emergency food assistance and pre natal care is a small part of UNRWA's budget. The bulk is education. As far as I can tell, the only education system in the world run by the UN is that of UNRWA.

And no one is explaining why that needs to be the case.

As far as dignity is concerned - since when is raising three generations of stateless people dependent on aid "dignified"?

“The US Administration seems to be following Netanyahu’s instructions to gradually dismantle the one agency that was established by the international community to protect the rights of the Palestinian refugees and provide them with essential services,” said Hanan Ashrawi on behalf of the PLO Executive Committee.
“This administration is thereby targeting the most vulnerable segment of the Palestinian people and depriving the refugees of the right to education, health, shelter and a dignified life,” she said.
The PLO official too said that shaving $65 million off the US donation would destabilize the region.
“It is also creating conditions that will generate further instability throughout the region and will demonstrate that it has no compunction in targeting the innocent,” she said, adding that, “Once again the US Administration proves its complicity with the Israeli occupation.”
Ashrawi is falling back on the always popular Arab trope that any change will bring "instability," a code word for terrorism.

As if the region has been the model of stability in the 69 years since UNRWA was established!

No one is saying that people who would starve without UNRWA rations should be cut off. But the idea that the UN should be responsible for the education of hundreds of thousands of Palestinian children (about 1/3 of all school kids in the territories) is obviously wrong: UNESCO estimates that 69 million teachers need to be hired worldwide to achieve educational goals by 2030, does anyone say they must be UN employees?

UNRWA services in the territories should be eliminated. Those "refugees" live in their own land, and should be taken care of the PA. And everyone knows it.

UNRWA services in Jordan to Jordanian citizens who are of Palestinian descent must be eliminated as well. Jordan is their country, why create two classes of Jordanian citizens? Why does no one care about this discrimination?

Once those two things are done, then UNRWA can make a case about how it is needed in Syria and Lebanon, where Palestinians are discriminated against. But don't whine about how the UN must provide free schools to Palestinians but no one else in the world.



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Our weekly column from the humor site PreOccupied Territory


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Heliocentrism Is Wrong: The World Revolves Around Palestinians

By Mahmoud Abbas, President, Palestinian Authority; President, State of Palestine; Chairman, Fatah; Chairman, Palestine Liberation Organization
AbbasAs a devout Muslim I have always maintained that any model of the universe with the sun at the center of our planetary system must be flawed; our scholars and spiritual leaders have always placed Earth in the center, and a flat Earth at that. But what most of them have neglected to note is the specific center of gravity, as it were, upon that Earth is the Palestinian people.

All conflicts, all injustices, indeed all world events, have their root in our struggle; no campaign may exist unless it acknowledges its links to ours, and its secondary status in relation to ours, for the Palestinian struggle must always remain first in attention, first in sympathy, first in allegiance, but most important of all, first in funding.

Nefarious actors will attempt to sway the public and the decision-makers into believing Palestine has fallen out of favor, that other conflicts demand more urgent focus at the moment, but we must pay them no heed. All the crises in Yemen, Iran, Iraq, Syria, Ukraine, Libya, France, Myanmar, Sudan, Qatar, Niger, Venezuela, Nigeria, China, Turkey, Egypt, Somalia, Pakistan, Mali, Afghanistan, Lebanon, the United States, Russia, Jordan, Spain, Zimbabwe, South Africa, Honduras, North Korea, Mexico, Greece, and elsewhere represent either offshoots of our struggle or attempts by our enemies to distract from it. Do not be diverted! Palestine is the central human rights, justice, liberation, geopolitical, and astrophysical issue of all time.

Every movement of every body in the vicinity of Earth, let alone on or near its surface; every wobble of every distant star or exoplanet as it floats about the heavens, owes its path to us, to Palestine. The media, academics, and other sources of "information" who prate on about galactic phenomena as if they bear no connection to Palestine are in the pay of Zionists. Do them violence until they acknowledge the truth, and if they refuse, do them violence until death.

Ignorant or malicious challengers will make every effort to sway you from the axiom that is Palestiniocentricity. Fight them as one fights all evil, with every means at your disposal, so that we may maintain Palestine at the top of the world's set of prior- hey! I'm talking to you! HEY! YOU CAN'T JUST WALK AWAY FROM ME! I REPRESENT THE MOST IMPORTANT CAUSE IN THE HISTORY OF MANKIND! INFIDEL! TRAITOR! CRIMINAL! WON'T ANYONE LISTEN?



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From Ian:

Eli Lake: Palestinian President Shows the World Who He Really Is
There are two ways to understand the two-and-a-half hour rant Sunday from the Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas, in which he called for discarding past agreements with Israel.

The first way is straightforward: He means it. As Maya Angelou famously said, "when someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time." In the case of Abbas, he has been showing us who he is for a while now.

He defends Palestinian Authority payments for terrorists. He called murderers "heroic brothers" when they were released by Israel in 2013 as a condition for restarting peace talks. In December he urged the Organization of the Islamic Conference to reconsider its recognition of Israel.

So when Abbas gives a Castro-esque speech laced with fake history about Israel being a colonial project of Europeans, it fits a pattern.

The second way of understanding his rant requires some creative accounting. Abbas doesn't really mean it. Abbas has been a patient peace partner now for 15 years, but along comes President Donald Trump, who recognizes Jerusalem as Israel's capital and asks Saudi Arabia to pressure Abbas to take a deal. What do you expect?

This is the interpretation of J-Street, the Soros-family-funded advocacy group that touts itself as pro-peace and pro-Israel. A J-Street statement on the Abbas speech began with this throat clearing: "Sunday’s speech by President Abbas no doubt reflected his own and the Palestinian people’s deep despair at the ever-deepening occupation and the lack of diplomatic progress toward resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict."

J-Street was careful to stipulate that this despair was "no excuse for calling into question either the Jewish connection to, or Palestinian recognition of, the state of Israel." But let's not lose the plot. This group asserts that Abbas would not have delivered his rant "if it were not for President Trump’s inept and disastrous missteps regarding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict."


PodCast: Did Abbas kill the Israeli left?
Gil Hoffman speaks to Zionist Union Knesset member Nachman Shai on the impact of Palestinian Authority chairman Mahmoud Abbas’s anti-Semitic speech and rejection of peace talks on the Israeli Left.

Shai, like Naftali Bennett Monday says the Abbas era is over, but unlike Bennett, Shai says the 2-state-solution is still alive. He also laments Israel’s inability to get out its message when its Foreign Ministry’s funding has been cut again. (h/t Elder Of Lobby)


Israeli official: UNRWA is one of the greatest frauds in history
Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu on Wednesday morning said he expects the US Embassy to move to Jerusalem within the coming year.

"Three things are happening in the US which have never happened before," Netanyahu explained. "My estimation is that the US Embassy move will happen faster than we think. Within the span of a year - that's my educated guess."

"There is a dramatic change regarding Iran, and the President has a time limit, at the end of which the Iran deal will either be fixed or canceled."

Regarding UNRWA, the UN organization created for the purpose of helping "Palestinian refugees," Netanyahu said, "This is the first time they are being challenged. This organization perpetuates the Palestinians' refugee status. This is the first time someone is standing up and challenging that."

A Netanyahu official said he "believes that the the Americans are discussing Israel's proposal to transfer care of the refugees in Judea and Samaria from UNRWA to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR)." The many millions of refugees who are not Palestinian Arabs are represented by one organization UNHCR. Only the Palestinian Arabs have an organization of their own.

The US on Wednesday morning cut UNRWA funding from $125 million to $60 million.

Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister's Office Michael Oren (Kulanu) said, "I congratulate US President Donald Trump on his decision to drastically cut funding to UNRWA. This is a false and corrupt organization, which fabricates millions of refugees in order to receive world funding. UNRWA perpetuates the Israeli-Palestinian conflict by teaching Palestinian youth to hate the State of Israel and to work to erase it. The President's decision is a crucial and vital step to putting an end to one of the greatest frauds in history. UNRWA's fraud has caused great damage to Israel and to the entire Middle East."

  • Wednesday, January 17, 2018
  • Elder of Ziyon
The ruined Tiferet Yisrael synagogue, 1949


From the United Nations Conciliation Commission for Palestine.report from April, 1949:

15. Since the presentation to the General Assembly of the Commission's first report to the Secretary-General, the Special Committee on Jerusalem has continued to work actively. In particular, it has held interviews with representatives of Arab and Jewish central and local authorities. On the basis of new instructions given to it by the Commission, the Committee is endeavouring to formulate, in conformity with the terms of paragraph 8 of the resolution of 11 December 1948, proposals which will at the same time be acceptable to both parties. The Commission is aware that acceptance by the two parties is not mentioned in the terms of reference which it received from the General Assembly on the subject of the international regime for Jerusalem. Nevertheless, the Commission feels that such acceptance would facilitate considerably the establishment and functioning of such a regime. In this connexion, the Commission is happy to report that, during its conversations in Beirut with the Arab delegations, the latter showed themselves, in general, prepared to accept the principle of an international regime for the Jerusalem area, on condition that the United Nations should be in a position to offer the necessary guarantees regarding the stability and permanence of such a regime. On the other hand, the Governments of the Arab States have reserved their right to give their final opinion after they have been acquainted with the text of the proposals which the Commission is to submit to the General Assembly.
16. The religious representatives mentioned above also emphasized to the Commission, during the Beirut meetings, the importance which they attach to the application of those paragraphs of the resolution which concern Jerusalem and the Holy Places. Some of them expressed a further desire to see the international regime extended to cover Nazareth.
Today's Arabs say insist that Jerusalem is wholly Arab, and it is inconceivable that any non-Arab control the city. But in 1949, when Transjordan did control half of Jerusalem and Israel the other half, the other Arab countries liked the idea of an international regime controlling Jerusalem.

And they even wanted to extend that regime to Nazareth, inside Israel.

What has changed between then and now? It is obvious: Nothing. Both then and now,  Arabs didn't care about who would administer Jerusalem as long as the people who controlled it weren't Jews. They wanted to reduce, however they could, the amount of land that Jews controlled - hence the absurd idea of not only including Nazareth in the corpus separatum, but also the corridor that would need to be created to travel there from Jerusalem - cutting Israel nearly in half.

There is no rich Arab history in Jerusalem. It was never an Arab capital. The city was a terrible place to live when under Muslim rule.

The only time Muslims showed interest was when either Christians, during the Crusades, or Jews nowadays, controlled the city. Otherwise, the city was all but ignored, with only occasional pilgrims passing through.

The Palestinian Arab obsession with Jerusalem, plastering photos of the Dome of the Rock on every surface, is a new phenomenon. Jerusalem is not even mentioned in the original PLO charter written in 1964!

Trump's speech did not affect the Palestinian claim to Jerusalem one iota. What it did was strengthen Israel's claim to part of Jerusalem. That idea, that Jews have any rights to any part of Jerusalem, is what is behind Mahmoud Abbas' temper tantrum today - and it can be traced back to how the Arab nations looked at Israeli control of the "New City" of Jerusalem in 1949.

The Palestinian Arabs'' true interest is in taking Jerusalem away from the Jews, just as the Arabs wanted to in 1949.

And both times by cynically using international instruments to accomplish that goal.




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  • Wednesday, January 17, 2018
  • Elder of Ziyon

YNet reports:
Transportation Minister Yisrael Katz's ambitious plan to connect extend the railroad tracks from Beit She'an East to the Sheikh Hussein crossing at the Jordanian border was allocated NIS 15 million in the 2019 budget.

The funds will be invested in planning the extension of the tracks to the border crossing.

Trains are set to carry passengers and cargo between the Israeli Mediterranean coast and Jordan, or more optimistically—if there is a peace agreement between the countries—all the way to Iraq and Saudi Arabia as well.
The main purpose is for freight, not people. The trains should reduce truck traffic that is going today from the port at Haifa to Jordan.

And beyond.

Buried in this Al-Monitor story about the proposed railway as a possible competitor to the Suez Canal we learn:
In the interview [with Arabic newspaper Elaph], Katz explained that the railway will cut freight expenses from Europe to the Gulf countries and indicated that 25% of Turkey’s exports to the Gulf travel through Haifa’s port and pass through Jordan.
That's probably a fair amount of goods that already go to Gulf states through Haifa. I imagine that many products from Europe also reach the Gulf through Haifa.

Part of the honor/shame dynamic is that one is shamed only if what he did is known. Arabs don't mind benefiting from Israel - as long as no one knows.






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Is there any more proof needed that J-Street cannot be taken seriously?

Israel's "peace partner" Mahmoud Abbas gives an hour-long rant that denies any connection between Israel and Judaism, that says that Jews chose to stay in Europe during the Holocaust rather than emigrate to Israel, that Ben Gurion was a bigot who hated Jews from Arab lands but ended up making secret agreements to have them persecuted in Arab countries so they would flee to Israel, hints that TWA chose to fly Jews from Yemen to Israel against their will because it is owned by Jews, and other hateful and antisemitic garbage.

J-Street briefly says that Abbas said some unacceptable things without elaborating - and then tells us why he was driven to such despair:

Sunday’s speech by President Abbas no doubt reflected his own and the Palestinian people’s deep despair at the ever-deepening occupation and the lack of diplomatic progress toward resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. That frustration, however, is no excuse for calling into question either the Jewish connection to, or Palestinian recognition of, the state of Israel – or for language and proposals that are justifiably earning widespread condemnation.

This speech – and the undercutting of America’s role as a mediator in this conflict – would not have come about if it were not for President Trump’s inept and disastrous missteps regarding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. By appointing a settlement movement ally as Ambassador to Israel, refusing to endorse the two-state solution and upending longstanding US policy on Jerusalem, the president and his team have taken one step after another to destroy the chances of peaceful resolution of the conflict.
Abbas revealed himself as a blatant antisemite. And not for the first time. His PhD thesis denied the Holocaust, saying that not so many Jews died and that Zionists colluded with Hitler to persecute them. He told the EU Parliament that rabbis encourage Israel to poison Palestinian wells. He said that Jews raise wild boars and dogs just to attack Palestinian farmers.

But to J-Street, Abbas is a moderate peace partner. To them, Abbas' long history of hate and bigotry doesn't exist, and when it is undeniable, they blame...Trump, The Source Of All That Is Evil In This World.

Because they know their audience. And to the J-Street crowd, Trump saying that Jerusalem is Jewish is the ultimate evil, and Abbas saying that Jews preferred to die in gas chambers rather than move to their ancestral homeland is a minor annoyance....that must be blamed on Trump.






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Tuesday, January 16, 2018

  • Tuesday, January 16, 2018
  • Elder of Ziyon


Abdullah Al Hadlaq was in the news a couple of months ago when MEMRI translated an interview of him saying Israel was legitimate, that he wants peaceful coexistence between Arab states and Israel, and that there was no Palestine before 1948.

Now he has a column in Kuwait's Al Watan saying that UNRWA should be defunded:
Everyone agrees completely with the sharp and logical criticism of the UNRWA by President Donald Trump. It is a biased and racist organization that perpetuates the refugee issue (Palestinians!), as well as the so-called right of return. The role of the Organization seems to be aimed at the destruction of the State of Israel, and the United Nations must therefore stop funding that racist organization until it vanishes.

On January 5, 2018, Washington froze $ 125 million in funding for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA), days after US President Donald Trump threatened to halt aid to the Palestinians in the future.

The United States announced that it would take a decision to suspend the funding of UNRWA programs unless the Palestinians ended their intransigence and returned to negotiations with Israel...

The pro-Iranian Islamic Hamas movement has opposed human rights approaches. As a result, the Hamas government has stopped UNRWA from teaching the human rights curriculum in its schools in Gaza. After arguing with the Hamas government, which accused UNRWA of adopting a human rights-sensitive platform for all, including the Jewish and Israeli people... the Agency temporarily stopped teaching human rights in its schools. The curriculum books were withdrawn from all UNRWA schools by the Ministry of Education of the Hamas government.

This is the case in which all forms of financial support and international funding of UNRWA must be stopped as long as their decisions are subject to the methods of terrorism, exclusion, racism and non-observance of the rights of other peoples. This approach is followed by the terrorist Hamas movement that governs the Gaza Strip and imposes it on UNRWA curricula and schools.
He may be an anomaly, but this stuff would not have been published anywhere in the Arab world a year ago.



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From Ian:

US withholds $65 million from UN agency for Palestinians
The United States sent $60 million to keep the UN relief agency for Palestinians (UNRWA) in operation but withheld a further $65 million while it urged others to pay more, a State Department official said Tuesday.

“There is a need to undertake a fundamental re-examination of UNRWA, both in the way it operates and the way it is funded,” the official said.

The official told AFP the decision to withhold some funds was meant to encourage more “burden-sharing” by other members.

“The United States has been UNRWA’s single largest donor for decades. In years past, we contributed some 30 percent of UNRWA’s total income,” he said.
US President Donald Trump, left, and Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas pose for a photograph during a joint press conference at the presidential palace in the West Bank city of Bethlehem on May 23, 2017. (AFP/Mandel Ngan)

“Without the funds we are providing today, UNRWA operations were at risk of running out of funds and closing down.

“The funds provided by the United States will prevent that from happening for the immediate future.” (h/t Elder of Lobby)

MEMRI: Kuwaiti Columnist: Stop Funding For Racist UNRWA Until It Dwindles And Dies
In his January 10, 2018 column in the Kuwaiti daily Al-Watan, 'Abdallah Al-Hadlaq supported the criticism voiced by U.S. President Donald Trump about the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian refugees (UNRWA) and Trump's decision to cut its funding. Calling UNRWA a "biased and racist organization" that "perpetuates the problem of the 'Palestinian' refugees," that succumbs to Hamas's dictates, and that strives to destroy Israel, Al-Hadlaq called to stop all funding and aid to this organization until it crumbles and disappears.

Al-Hadlaq is known for his uncommon positions on Israel and the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, which are reflected in many of his articles. For example, in past articles he wrote that Iran, rather than Israel, is the Gulf countries' real enemy;[1] that Hamas is a terrorist organization whose "reckless" rocket attacks on Israel kill innocent people, [2] and that Israel has the right to defend itself from Palestinian knife terrorism.[3] In a 2017 interview on the Kuwaiti TV channel Al-Rai, he even stated that Israelis are not occupiers but rather "a people that has returned to its homeland."[4]

The following are excerpts from his column:

"Everybody agrees with the harsh [but] reasonable criticism leveled by U.S. President Donald Trump at UNRWA, for it is a biased and racist organization that perpetuates the problem of the 'Palestinian'[5] refugees and the narrative of the so-called right of return, an organization whose role is apparently to work towards the destruction of the state of Israel. Hence, the U.N. should stop funding this organization until it crumbles and disappears.

"On January 5, 2018, a few days after President Trump threatened to stop future aid to the 'Palestinians', the U.S. froze $125 million in funding for UNRWA... and announced that the funding would not be renewed until the Palestinians stopped being stubborn and resumed negotiations with Israel... [It should be noted that] the U.S. grants $300 million annually to the U.N. Refugee Agency.

"The terrorist Hamas movement, which supports the Persian Iranian regime, rejected [UNRWA's] curricula on human rights.[6] This caused a grave crisis between the Hamas government and UNRWA, following which the latter suspended these curricula in its Gaza schools... Hamas's complaint was that these curricula address everyone's human rights, including those of the Jewish and Israeli people, and contravene the culture and rights of the 'Palestinian' people. There are no signs on the horizon of any solution for this broad crisis that developed between the terrorist Hamas government... and UNRWA...
UN defends Palestinian refugee agency as US aid cuts loom
United Nations spokesman Stephane Dujarric said Monday that the work of the U.N. Relief and Works Agency, which helps Palestinian refugees, "is critical" and that if the United States or any other donor cuts its contributions "we will have to find other sources."

Last week, U.S. President Donald Trump said the United States may withhold future aid payments to UNRWA over what he called the Palestinians' unwillingness to talk peace with Israel. The U.S. is the largest donor to the agency, with a pledge of nearly $370 million in 2016, according to UNRWA's website.

Dujarric said UNRWA has a mandate from the U.N. General Assembly to foster the "human development" of Palestinian refugees and serves "some of the most marginalized population in the Middle East."

He said the agency's health, education and humanitarian help "is a force for stabilization in a very volatile area."

Across the Middle East, millions of people who depend on UNRWA are bracing for the worst of the cuts go through, as they could also add instability to struggling host countries already coping with spillover from other regional crises.

UNRWA was established in 1949 and covers registered Palestinian refugees in the Gaza Strip, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria and the West Bank.

The U.N. General Assembly has repeatedly renewed UNRWA's mandate, as more than 5 million people now rely on it for services including education, health care and food.

Seen by the Palestinians and most of the international community as providing a valuable safety net, UNRWA is viewed far differently by Israel.
Should the U.S. Continue to Fund the Palestinians Regardless of Their Intransigence?
Leaving aside the Palestinian-Israeli peace process, the United States should withhold contributions to UNRWA until it implements critical reforms. In the medium term, Washington should seek to eliminate UNRWA, shifting responsibility for recent Palestinian refugees resulting from the war in Syria to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. We should also demand that the Palestinians assume responsibility for the services provided by UNRWA. That’s what sovereign governments are expected to do, and the Palestinians aspire to become a sovereign state.

Are there risks to this policy? Of course, but risks are also inherent in adhering to the same policies that have led to the deeply unsatisfactory, insecure status quo. Presidents Clinton, Bush, and Obama all failed in their ambition to negotiate a peace between the Palestinians and Israelis. Success hinges on the Palestinians understanding that there is a cost to their intransigence.

When Ambassador Haley announced that the United States was taking names, she implied that there would be consequences for voting against the United States and rewards for supporting America. President Trump followed up and made clear that voting for the condemnation would affect U.S. decisions to provide foreign assistance:

Let them vote against us; we'll save a lot. We don't care. But this isn't like it used to be where they could vote against you and then you pay them hundreds of millions of dollars and nobody knows what they're doing.

America’s influence is due in no small part to the belief of other governments that the Trump administration will follow through on its promises. Failing to follow through will undermine U.S. credibility in Turtle Bay and around the world. Not every UN vote is important, but if the United States wants to influence important votes in the future, it needs to do more than take names.

  • Tuesday, January 16, 2018
  • Elder of Ziyon
In the preface to the book, Enemies and Neighbors: Arabs and Jews in Palestine and Israel, 1917-2017, Guardian writer Ian Black notes:


Language Matters
A Note on Terminology and Transliteration 
The terminology used in this book generally reflects contemporary usage. In Ottoman times it was common to refer in Arabic, Hebrew and English to Muslims, Christians and Jews, reflecting the primary identity of the communities living under the imperial millet system of religious autonomy. The term ‘Arab’ became more widely used in Palestine and beyond in the first years of the twentieth century. ...Before 1948 the term ‘Palestinian’ was far less widely employed than it is today and it made no distinction between Arabs and Jews. ‘In those days people didn’t use the word “Palestinian” so much’, as the economist Yusif Sayigh explained. ‘There were many things that were called Palestinian, but official names usually had the word “Arab” - for instance al-Hay’a al-Arabiya al-‘Ulya, the Arab Higher Committee, not the Palestinian Higher Committee. Because the Jews were Palestinian too."
The country’s leading English-language newspaper was the (Zionist) Palestine Post, founded in 1932. (It was renamed the Jerusalem Post when Palestine ceased to exist.) Its leading Zionist institution was named The Jewish Agency for Palestine but in Hebrew the country was always referred to as Eretz-Yisrael. The use of the words ‘Israel’ and ‘Israelis’ followed the creation of the state in 1948, but the word ‘Jews’ (Yahud) continued to be commonly used, especially in colloquial Arabic. The refugees who were driven out, fled and dispersed in the Nakba (catastrophe) were widely referred to as ‘Arabs’ in the 1950s and 1960s. In English the term ‘Palestine Arabs’ was common. Usage changed gradually after the creation of the Palestine Liberation Organization in 1964, while Arab recognition of the PLO as the ‘sole legitimate representative’ of the Palestinian people in 1974 reinforced that trend. ...

Arabic-language Palestinian media in the West Bank and Gaza Strip nowadays often describe Israel simply as al-ihtilal - the occupation.
 Black is quite sympathetic to Palestinian Arabs, but even he makes clear that they did not have that identity until relatively recently.

It makes the occasional article or tweet about "Palestine Airlines" or Palestine currency and stamps seem even more stupid than they already were.

And notice that even today, Arabs refer to Israel -not the territories, but Israel altogether - as "the occupation."




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Every now and then, it’s nice to pull back from the combat zone to take a look at some of the tools and weapons used in our battles with Israel’s enemies.  And, given that we’re primarily fighting against a propaganda war, Martin Luther King Day gives us the chance to learn about an important verbal jousting technique known as the “Halo Effect.”

Like many persuasive tools, the Halo Effect takes advantage of the fact that the human mind is extremely gifted at making associations, but that many of those associations are formed in the absence of full knowledge.  Some uninformed associations (like associating a rustle in the bushes with danger, even if it’s just the wind) have obvious evolutionary benefit.  But uninformed associations can have a dark side (prejudice, for example, falls into this category), and the mind’s tendency to associate first and ask questions later (if ever) leaves us vulnerable to manipulation.

It is the propagandist’s job to create uniformed associations to the benefit of their cause.  For example, the BDSers’ incessant incantation of “Israel=Apartheid” is meant to cement an association in the mind of an audience that Israel represents the kind of racist society associated with the “Apartheid” term.  The boycotters must pitch this message to those who have no idea what Israel is like, since such factual knowledge would instantly expose the Apartheid accusation as a lie.  But they also prefer their audience to know nothing (or next to nothing) about South Africa’s actual experience with the Apartheid system, which leaves the term serving simply as a marker for a bigoted society worthy of dismantlement.

In general, the Halo Effect is used to associate your own cause with a person, image or movement with positive connotations.  Invocation of Gandhi, for example, gives your cause a halo of spirit-driven, non-violent resistance to power, just as invoking Reagan or Kennedy associates you with the perception of uncompromised conservative or liberal principles (regardless of the complex lives and political beliefs of all three icons).

In the Arab-Israeli propaganda, no icon is the subject of more dispute than Martin Luther King, which is why quotes of his support of Zionism show up on so many pro-Israel web sites every Martin Luther King Day.  Anti-Israel propagandists, desperate to claim the mantle of the Civil Rights movement for themselves, ignore, deny or dispute King’s support for the Jewish state, and thus the ongoing war over King’s legacy.

Keep in mind that the Halo Effect does not require in-depth education of the public on the facts of the matter.  In fact, diving deeply into the complex real lives and beliefs of any icon (the ones already mentioned, or additional ones like Nelson Mandela or Albert Einstein) are as likely to lead to confusion over where they ultimately stood.  And for purposes of generating a halo to stand inside, a simple story will always trump a complex one.

So how to best use this technique, both to cement our own causes to worthy individuals and messages and prevent our enemies from doing the same?

I’ve already mentioned the importance of keeping your story simple.  But while simplification of complex stories is acceptable in political argumentation, such simplicity should never stray into inaccuracy.  For example, it’s fair to highlight that Nelson Mandela never advocated for BDS or point out his positive experiences with the Jewish state.  But using that to claim Mandela as an ardent Zionist would be a stretch into self-delusion or deception that could damage the credibility of anyone making such statements.

Identifying the line between telling an easily digestible tale and telling fibs is the key to using the Halo Effect to maximum advantage, as well as limiting its effectiveness for opponents.  For example, years ago a memo in which Nelson Mandela condemned Israel as an Apartheid state was exposed as a fraud, a hoax that has limited the BDSers ability to invoke his name ever since.  And while similarly inaccurate quotes from Martin Luther King condemning anti-Zionism were also exposed as incorrect, our side benefited from exposing this inaccuracy ourselves, rather than waiting for our opponents to do so.

So what’s the bottom line for activists whose main weapon is language?  First off, understand human psychology and the tools of persuasive communication (like the Halo Effect) well enough to put them to use for a worthy cause, and (2) always hitch these techniques to the truth (which is not that hard, given that the truth is on our side).






We have lots of ideas, but we need more resources to be even more effective. Please donate today to help get the message out and to help defend Israel.

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Elder of Ziyon - حـكـيـم صـهـيـون

This blog may be a labor of love for me, but it takes a lot of effort, time and money. For over 12 years and over 25,000 articles I have been providing accurate, original news that would have remained unnoticed. I've written hundreds of scoops and sometimes my reporting ends up making a real difference. I appreciate any donations you can give to keep this blog going.

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