Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Abbas files official complaint to the UN - about a car accident

From Times of Israel:
The Palestinians are accusing an Israeli settler of running over two schoolgirls, killing one of them, and speeding away.

Palestinian UN Ambassador Riyad Mansour said in a letter Monday to the UN Security Council that the two girls got off a school bus in the West Bank town of Sinjil on Sunday and were hit while walking to their mothers across the street. He said Inas Khalil, 5, died several hours later and Nilin Asfour, 8, is in critical condition.

Residents of the Palestinian town accused the driver, 29, of the Yitzhar settlement, of deliberately hitting the girls.

The driver told police he did not stop after striking the girls because he feared for his life due to the crowd that had gathered around the injured girls, according to Ynet. He stopped in the nearest Jewish community, Ofra, where he reported the accident and turned himself in.

Israel Police said a preliminary investigation showed that the incident was an accident, according to Ynet.
This story, saying that the young girl was "martyred," was all over Palestinian media yesterday.

There is no doubt that her death is a tragedy. But here's some context that the media is of course too lazy to research.

In 2013, there were 7827 traffic accidents in the West Bank, resulting in 136 deaths (a sharp increase from the 114 Arab deaths in 2012 and 104 in 2011.)

Jews take up less than 20% of the population over the Green Line in Judea and Samaria. Even given the relative separation between the two populations, we can assume that most fatalities occur at high speeds, meaning on highways which Jews and Arabs share, so one would expect that certainly over 10% of those deaths would be from Jews. If Jews were delibrately targeting Arabs, the number would be much higher. Yet we do not hear about nearly that many deaths.

On the other hand, here is footage from the summer of an Arab driver deliberately aiming his car at a group of Jewish women and girls hitchhiking in Gush Etzion:

A little more context: Here's what happens to Jewish drivers if they happen to enter the wrong Arab neighborhood:

Once again, Arabs are projecting on Jews what they do - joyfully - themselves.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Sovereign states do hasbara all the time (J. E. Dyer)

Last week, Mida magazine published a provocative essay by Noga Arbell called "Sovereign States Don't Do Hasbara."


When the Israeli Prime Minister got up in the United Nations and asked "In what moral universe does genocide include warning the enemy's civilian population to get out of harm's way?", he made a number of embarrassing rhetorical mistakes, especially when one recalls that Binyamin Netanyahu is considered a virtuoso in the field. He repeated the absurd accusation of genocide to an audience which included those who may not have heard it, and by even referring to it, gave it validity.

...Worst of all, he is effectively asking permission. He places himself at the judgment of his audience. Even if the crowd itself were on his side, this is nevertheless a fundamentally flawed approach. It grants the crowd power no self-respecting state would grant it. Whether Netanyahu appeals to his citizens or judges, he should be placing before them a fait accompli and not a murky vote. The right of Israel to defend itself should not even be up for debate. To take it off the agenda, Israel needs to do a very simple rhetorical move: take it off the agenda. The idea is so absurd it's not even worth addressing.

...Sovereign states don't ask permission. They don't spend all their time justifying themselves or asking for sympathy. They know they're right. Their right to exist, the right of their citizens to life, freedom and happiness are so obvious to them that they do not feel the need to have these confirmed by their neighbors and allies. Sometimes, when they really cross the line in defending those rights, they ask forgiveness. But even then, usually they don't.

...Netanyahu's speech is a shining example of a fundamental flaw in Israeli hasbara: it doesn't stop apologizing and ask for support. It doesn't stop asking permission. Other heads of state used the UN platform to tell other countries what to do. If we were a normal country, our Prime Minister would point to his audience with an accusatory finger and say "you did this!" He would accuse the "moderate" Palestinian leadership of giving its children over to Hamas with their never-ending recalcitrance.

...Our real problem is not anti-Semitism, the Muslim or even the settlements. Our real problem is our desire to be loved. By arguing that Israel is a small country surrounded by enemies and in need of allies we neglect the fact they need us no less than we need them. Just to show how desperate we are to be liked, as opposed to any other country on earth, we see the virulent criticism against our country as something positive to be listened to and absorbed. As though there is truly "constructive criticism" in the messy and Machiavellian world of international politics.

...After the Six Day War (in other words, right after the infamous "occupation"), we were admired the world over. Now we're just repeatedly used. We sullied the victory – not the Arab states, not anti-Semitism and not even "Peace Now". Israel. The Israeli leadership which keeps begging for the world to "recognize Israel's right to exist" are helping to cause horrific damage to Israel throughout the world.

Sovereign states don't ask permission, and Israel – as opposed to many other countries – has nothing to apologize for.
I received a very interesting response to this by J.E. Dyer, of The Optimistic Conservative blog and  Liberty Unyielding:

Actually, sovereign states do hasbara all the time.

When Netanyahu speaks to the UN, I don’t hear him asking anyone for permission. I hear him stating Israel’s interests, intentions, and policies. He most definitely should NOT switch to accusing and haranguing the UNGA as his mode of communication. That’s what the irresponsible and non-statesmanlike do (cf. Mahmoud Abbas, Hugo Chavez, pick your Iranian president from the last 35 years).

Netanyahu is behaving like a statesman, on what students of international relations are pleased to call the “Westphalian” model. That adjective is serviceable enough, even if it has its problems on the margins. Part of being a modern nation-state – an integral, inherent part – is exhorting your fellow nation-states on the matter of your interests and policies. The whole discipline of diplomacy is as much about representing your own interests and positive attributes as it is about persuading others to do things.

Tolerance and peace among the nations isn’t about everyone angling to appear blameless (a terribly sophomoric perspective, on life as well as international relations), it’s about everyone recognizing that all nations have their own interests and will be advancing them. We can stew in resentments and make them the centerpiece of our relations – or not. Not is the better course. I admire and commend Netanyahu and his government for being very consistent in that regard.

In fact, Netanyahu has been a standout as a statesman over the last five years, in a dithering and confused world. One of the first things he did was send Lieberman out to knock on doors and bring gifts to Asia and Latin America. He’s been leveraging technology and energy for all they’re worth to build up relations with other nations – beyond the U.S., beyond Europe and the Middle East – as a way of broadening Israel’s base of global connections. I believe the outreach he inaugurated in 2009 made a real difference when the Arab Spring hit. His government had cultivated the connections and was a known quantity in Russia, Central Asia, and Eastern Europe, the nearby regions that had to absorb big shocks from the Arab Spring. The outreach also provides a general and broadly-motivated context for developing more specialized geographic links, which facilitate intelligence, and military and special operations, where Israel needs them.

In my judgment, it has been Bibi’s record as a predictably responsible, disciplined Westphalian statesman that has given Israel the freedom to do what she had to in November 2012 and June-July 2014 in Gaza. He articulates Israel’s interests and purposes, he does what he says he will, and he doesn’t exceed the expectations he knows he has created in regional stakeholders, like Egypt and Jordan.

The Pax Americana has made us all sloppy in our thinking about these things. America, as a hyperpower (France’s term for it), was at liberty for nearly a quarter century to act carefully, or not, depending on who was in the Oval Office. Even then, America actually did hasbara 365 days a year, and so did the other nations – but people’s eyes missed that because there was little effective pushback from the lesser powers. Hasbara wasn’t a difference-maker during those years. We are reentering a time when it will be, and I for one think Israel is blessed to have Netanyahu doing hasbara. In fact, with Obama in the White House, America’s hasbara today is in bad shape, while Israel’s is much better.

One final thought. The U.S. doesn’t call it hasbara, but people in our foreign service and our senior military ranks get regular training in the concept. It’s conceptualized systematically as pertaining to one or more of the “elements of national power”: diplomatic, informational, military, and economic. And here’s the final thought: American trainees are told that one principle supersedes all others in our “hasbara,” and that is that it must be based on truth.

Often, priorities make it unimportant to catalogue ALL truths, in every situation. There is not always a point in complaining, regardless of how factual the complaints may be. But after identifying our interests and policies, we have to represent them on the basis of truth, and not on untruths or anti-factual fancies. It’s a moral obligation to the American people to do this. I submit that Israel holds herself to the same obligation. And surveying the nations, I see very few others of which that can be said.

10/20 Links Pt2: Non-Islamic anti-Semitism in Europe; European Left turns back peace process

From Ian:

Non-Islamic anti-Semitism in Europe
The wave of modern anti-Semitism across Europe in July and August revealed a dangerous amalgamation of left-wing, Islamic-animated, and right-wing extremist Jew-hatred.
Mainstream Europeans remained largely indifferent to contemporary anti-Semitism, namely, the hatred of the Jewish State surrounding Israel's Operation Protective Edge. The firebombing of a synagogue in Wuppertal, Germany, along with protestors at mass rallies calling to "Gas the Jews" prompted scant outrage in German society.
"There is a startling indifference in the German public to the current display of anti-Semitism," said Samuel Salzborn, a leading expert on anti-Semitism at the University of Göttingen in Lower Saxony, in early August. The pressing question is, how can one explain Europe's robust tolerance of Jew-hatred?
This essay will begin by describing the social-psychological mechanism, in response to the Holocaust, driving non-Islamic anti-Semitism among Europeans. (h/t MtTB)
Myth of How the West Was “Saving Jews” and the European Reconquista
This seems absurd and illogical: Europe faces the threat of a total Islamization, the French will become an ethnic minority in their own country by the year 2049 and Germans around the same time. Muslim immigrants planning terrorist attacks are caught practically on a daily basis in all countries of Europe – and in spite of all this, Europeans support Arabs against Israel and are more worried over Israel building ten houses in its capital of Jerusalem then over Muslims building thousands of mosques in all European capitals, from Berlin to Lisbon.
However, quoting Zvi Mazel again: “An Italian politician recently told me, ‘Europe has resigned to its fate. It does not want to fight terrorism and is not even trying to stem the tide of Islamism, which is about to flood it. You are left alone, my friend.’”
Europe moves by inertia, and nobody wants to think about what will happen tomorrow. It is easier and more comfortable for aging Europe to go on thinking along the traditional lines: all evil comes from Jews, they crucified Jesus, they control all media and finances, they… they… they… And fighting against this “Jewish evil” becomes a main task for globalists and anti-globalists, for democrats and conservatives, for donkeys and elephants, for the defenders of the rights of gays, lesbians, rare species of birds, butterflies, roaches, bed bugs… My apologies if I forgot someone.
History is already dragging Europe to the slaughterhouse. Their entire civilization is under attack, and the attackers do not even hide their plan to destroy it all and place the “Banner of the Prophet” over the ruins– yet Europeans go on fighting “the Jews”.
European Left turns back Israel-Palestine peace process
All well-meaning people hope that the conflict between Israel and its Arab neighbors can be settled peacefully, if not ending in a paradise of inner tranquility. Regrettably, leftist political groups in European countries are damaging that hope in two ways. They ignore the belligerent statements as well as the actions of Palestinians.
In addition, by supporting unilateral actions by Palestinians, they repudiate formal international agreements made over the years, calling for an end to the Israeli-Arab conflict by negotiations. The peace process is not helped by breakage of international understandings.
The British House of Commons – which this week approved a non-binding resolution, moved by left-wing members of the Labour Party in Parliament, calling for the recognition of a state of Palestine by a vote of 274 to 12, though most of the Conservative party abstained – did not appear to understand this.
They perceived themselves as making a small but symbolic step and a gesture for common humanity, but in effect, they ignored the fact that significant parts of the Palestinian population and leadership do not recognize the State of Israel and would not allow that state to exist if they had the power.

It finally happened: Arabs blaming Jews for the weather

We Zionists often sarcastically say that the Arabs blame the Jews for the most absurd events, like natural disasters and the weather. Yet no matter how hard we try to come up with satirical examples, real life always seems to catch up.

Palestinian "experts" are saying that the amount of Israeli air raids and the resulting tiny particles that went into the air will affect the weather in much of the region, including Gaza, the West Bank, the "occupied territories" (meaning Israel,) West and South Jordan and parts of the Sinai.

Palestine Today interviewed Professor Mohammed Abu Safed, professor of physical geography at Al-Najah University, who predicted that the amount of fumes and gunpowder over the atmosphere of the Gaza Strip "resulting from the use of internationally prohibited weapons" suspended in the atmosphere over the areas of the Gaza Strip, and will result in an increase in rainfall over the region.

He said that the gases will contribute to the formation of a "condensation nucleus to form clouds," and that those fumes stored in the atmosphere will increase the chances of forming raindrops, thereby increasing the level of rainfall in the region.

It just so happens that there were major thunderstorms Sunday in Israel and Gaza. Thanks, IDF!

UNRWA site, quoting hadith, says Jews are dirty (UPDATE)

UNRWA has now removed practically all of its websites associated with Gaza schools, after I exposed their extremism, Jew-hatred and lies.

They removed the sites stealthily, without any public statement. There has been no apology for their lies and propaganda, no explanation on how they were discovered to be teaching lessons that are entirely opposing the UN's and UNRWA's own published ideals and standards. They even removed their website dedicated to teaching human rights to Gaza children rather than fix the problem.

There is only one site left in the UNRWA Gaza schools Internet domain sch.unrwa.ps - this one. It is dedicated to providing materials for teaching children "initiative, respect and discipline."

And it also includes Jew-hatred!

On two separate occasions, in 2013 and 2014, UNRWA schools in Gaza held initiatives to clean up the schools, with kids volunteering with the cleanup. Nothing wrong with that, right?

However, in both those cases, UNRWA backed up the desire to clean up the schools by quoting a Hadith that says "You must clean your courtyards and do not follow in the footsteps of the Jews" - who keep themselves unclean.

Yes, UNRWA school sites are saying that Jews are dirty.

There are quite a few hadiths that extol the virtues of cleanliness. UNRWA employees choose the one that is antisemitic.

This is besides the fact that UNRWA is not supposed to be teaching or promoting Islam in its schools. Remember, there are some remaining Christians in Gaza. UNRWA's educational vision includes "upholding human values and religious tolerance." Yet UNRWA hires Quran teachers. UNRWA schools have Quran memorization competitions. Many Arabic UNRWA school documents include the Islamic introduction "In the name of Allah the merciful.."

Within a week, expect these links to be gone as well, and for UNRWA's leaders to pretend that it never happened. Just like they did this past week.

UPDATE: The site was also silently taken down, again without UNRWA admitting that it has a problem.

10/20 Links Pt1: Hamas Chief's Daughter Treated in Israeli Hospital; Gaza aid conference was a charade

From Ian:

Khaled Abu Toameh: What The "Two State Solution" Has to Do with the Rise of Islamic Extremism: Zero
The "Arab Spring" did not erupt as a result of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Rather, it was the outcome of decades of tyranny and corruption in the Arab world. The Tunisians, Egyptians, Libyans and Yemenis who removed their dictators from power did not do so because of the lack of a "two-state solution." This is the last thing they had in mind.
The thousands of Muslims who are volunteering to join the Islamic State [IS] are not doing so because they are frustrated with the lack of progress in the Israeli-Palestinian peace talks.
The only solution the Islamic State believes in is a Sunni Islamic Caliphate where the surviving non-Muslims who are not massacred would be subject to sharia law.
What Kerry perhaps does not know is that the Islamic State is not interested in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict at all. Unlike Kerry, Sunni scholars fully understand that the Islamic State has more to do with Islam and terrorism than with any other conflict.
Will Mahmoud Abbas Reject Israeli Protection?
Palestinian officials have generally been silent about security cooperation with Israel. They are loath to acknowledge how important it is for the survival of the Palestinian Authority [PA], and fear that critics, especially Hamas, will consider it "collaboration with the enemy."
"You smuggle weapons, explosives and cash to the West Bank, not for the fight with Israel, but for a coup against the Palestinian Authority. The Israeli intelligence chief visited me two weeks ago and told me about the [Hamas] group they arrested that was planning for a coup... We have a national unity government and you are thinking about a coup against me." — Mahmoud Abbas, PA President, to Khaled Mashaal, Hamas leader.
According to Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon, if the IDF leaves the West Bank, Hamas will take over, and other terrorists groups such as the Islamic Jihad, Al-Qaeda and Islamic State would operate there.
In recent months, Abbas has been making a series of threats against Israel. If Abbas becomes another Arafat, it could be the Israeli side that loses interest in security cooperation.
Israeli Hospital Confirms: We Treated Hamas Chief Haniyeh’s Daughter
In one of several such known cases, an Israeli hospital on Sunday acknowledged that it had recently provided medical treatment to a family member of Hamas, which is sworn to Israel’s destruction, Israel’s NRG News reported.
The daughter of Gaza Hamas leader, Ismail Haniyeh, was transferred to Israel for several days of medical treatment in Tel Aviv’s Ichilov Hospital, after suffering complications from routine treatment in a Gaza hospital, Israeli officials confirmed.
Haniyeh’s daughter is one of 13 children. Hospital officials declined to offer details of her status or medical condition, saying only that “She is only one of more than a thousand patients from the Gaza Strip and the Palestinian territories, hospitalized each year for treatment here.” (h/t Bob Knot)
The Gaza aid conference was kind of a charade. Here’s why
The Palestinian government had asked for $4 billion (despite having earlier estimated the total cost of reconstruction to be over $8 billion), so it was with great fanfare that the higher figure was announced. Foreign cabinet secretaries wrung one another’s hands — and of course, that of the host of the event, President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi — and profusely thanked each other for their generosity.
But headline figures are deceiving. This conference, like others of its kind, was largely a charade. Take a closer look at the numbers and it’s clear that some creative accounting is giving the impression of a job well done.
For starters, much of the $5.4 billion was not actually earmarked for Gaza reconstruction. Many countries included in their contributions money they had already allotted to Palestine, including the West Bank, since the beginning of the year under normal aid programming.
In other words, a good amount of the aid is not new money intended for Gaza. Much of Sunday’s conference represented a re-announcement of money that’s already been given. Of the $5.4 billion announced by Brende, only $2.4 billion-$2.7 billion is going to Gaza reconstruction. It remains unclear how much of that is new and how much is money already spent.

Aw, I didn't know Iran cared so much about Israel!

I had missed this story from last week:
Iran’s deputy foreign minister reportedly said on Saturday that his country has exchanged messages with the US about the fight against Islamic State (Isis) militants in Syria and Iraq.

Hossein Amir Abdollahian was quoted by Iranian media, in what would be a rare confirmation of Iran-US discussions over Isis, as saying Iran had warned Washington that Israel would be at risk should the US and its allies seek to topple the Syrian president, Bashar al-Assad, while fighting the extremist group.
How hilarious is that? The regime that dedicates a huge amount of media bandwidth to calling for Israel's destruction - and that arms terror groups in Lebanon and Gaza with rockets aimed at Israeli civilians - is suddenly concerned about Israel's security!

If Assad falls, no matter who takes over, Iran's influence in the region plummets. Hezbollah's grip on Lebanon would be also loosen. No matter how bad ISIS is, Iran is a much more dangerous long term threat (and its de facto takeover of Yemen through the Shiite Houthis in recent weeks shows its expansionist desires.)

This little episode also reveals that Iran believes its own propaganda, that Israel drives US policy.

COVERUP: UNRWA removes "human rights" webpage after hate and lies exposed

It's happened again.

For the second time, after I exposed that UNRWA's Gaza school curricula include many examples of promoting hateful ideas that directly contradict those of the UN and UNRWA themselves, the organization has stealthily removed the evidence without any acknowledgment or apology.

 My 2012 exposé of how UNRWA schools were teaching hate, martyrdom and jihad to students, with many examples of essays and poems, resulted in UNRWA removing many individual school sites and specific pages and domains from the Internet without any public notice.

Now, my latest exposés showing explicit antisemitism and hateful historical lies in the UNRWA site dedicated to its "human rights" curriculum has resulted in UNRWA pulling that entire site down as well. (The Google cached version of the site is here, for now. The document that included the explicit antisemitism is cached here. I uploaded it here.)

We have once again proven not only that UNRWA teaches hate and lies, but that this UN organization has no transparency whatsoever in its teaching methods. It teaches hundreds of thousands of students the worst kinds of hate. Instead of admitting it when these examples are exposed, it engages in cover-ups.

UNRWA spokespeople did not respond to my request for comment.

This is how you would expect a criminal organization to act.This is not how an NGO that gets its funds from the world's nations is supposed to do its business.

This is scandalous. Every nation that funds UNRWA, no matter their feelings towards Israel, should be outraged that their money - nearly $1 billion annually -  is being used in secret and illicit ways. Without UNRWA publicly admitting that it has taught hate for generations and without an explicit apology and concrete, published plans on how they plan to ensure that their curricula will be transparent and public, we must assume that UNRWA is continuing its practices of teaching a new generation of children antisemitic lies.

It is way past time that UNRWA's funders and the mainstream media take notice of how UNRWA is misusing its resources towards goals that are contrary to its own stated principles.

U of Jordan students chant "Khaybar, Khaybar O Jews"

Students at the University of Jordan held a rally Sunday afternoon to protest "the storming of Al-Aqsa Mosque by herds of settlers." The message was that "the Haram is the responsibility of every Muslim and every Arab and every person of conscience and not exclusive to any specific political faction."

The protesters demand that Jordan take a greater role in "defending" the Temple Mount from being "desecrated" by Jews.

The protests included a flash mob event, an explanation of how Muslims try to stop Jews from ascending to the Mount, and a chant of "Khaybar, Khaybar O Jews, The Army of Mohammed Will Return."

This Hebrew sign is difficult to decipher but I think it means to say "We are here and you will be overturned, the Temple Mount is ours and our right."

Who wants to start a religious war again?

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Haaretz more biased against Jews than Arab media

Al Bawaba:


While Arab media at least put scare quotes around "attacks" or changes the word to the less inflammatory "provocations," Haaretz not only kept that phrase but also the absurd accusation that the only Jews who ascend to the Temple Mount are "settlers." The third outrage, of course, is that Haaretz calls it "Al Aqsa" instead of "Har HaBayit" or "Temple Mount."

The article itself is just as biased:

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas said his administration would take legal action "at the international level" to stop Jewish settlers from attacking the Al-Aqsa mosque compound, which Jews refer to as the Temple Mount.
Al Aqsa is the real name, the Temple Mount (which predates Islam by quite a few centuries) is only what the Jews call it.

The area -- the third-holiest site to Muslims and the holiest site in Judaism – routinely sees fighting between the two sides, with the Israel Police in the middle.
An absolute lie. The Jews who visit never fight anyone, the only aggression - literally 100% of the aggression - comes from the Muslims.

Ha'aretz is thoroughly biased - against Jews.

(h/t EBoZ)

A handful of Moroccans protest "normalization" with Israel

Palestine Today reports that some Moroccans stood in front of their parliament on Friday to demand that the country criminalize any contact with Israelis.

As far as I can tell, here are all the protesters:

The protesters also condemned Israel's "attacks on Al Aqsa"

The leader said that normalization with Israel is a threat to Moroccan national security, apparently referring to a video of a prominent Moroccan Amazigh poet who praised Israel and slammed Arab nations recently. 

Agreement to sell Israeli natural gas to Egypt

From Globes:
The partners in the Israeli Tamar gas field report this morning that they have signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Egyptian company Dolphinus Holdings for the export of up to 2.5 BCM of surplus natural gas from Israel to private Egyptian industrial customers, over a period of seven years. The supply of gas will be on an interruptible basis, and will be of gas that the Tamar partners have available after meeting the needs of Israeli customers, but the partners undertake to supply a minimum of five BCM over three years. The gas will be transported via the Israel Natural Gas Lines system to Ashkelon, and from there to Egypt via the EMG (East Mediterranean Gas) pipeline.

... The current agreement is for the export of a fairly small quantity of gas, but it follows on the contract with the Palestinian Authority and MOUs for the sale of Israeli gas to the liquefaction plants of Union Fenosa and British Gas in Egypt, and an MOU with the Jordanian National Electric Power Company.

Delek Driling chairman and Avner CEO Gideon Tadmor said, "The Tamar and Leviathan partnerships have so far signed a series of agreements designed to enable the supply of natural gas to the Palestinian Authority, to Jordan, and for export as liquid natural gas via the existing installations in Egypt. The MOU with Dolphinus is a further, important link in the series of agreements, allowing the supply of gas to the Egyptian domestic market as well. I have no doubt that these agreements will lead to a strengthening of Israel's relations with its neighbors."
Well, it depends on what you mean by "strengthening." But it certainly reduces the risk of being attacked from those who depend on Israel for basic energy needs.