Monday, March 03, 2014
Police arrested a Palestinian Arab male from Nablus on suspicion that he stabbed an Israel man - a 31-year-old resident of Bnei Brak, in the Tel Aviv area, under the busy Geha Highway bridge - in a terror attack yesterday (Sunday). Times of Israel reports that the victim suffered moderate injuries to his upper body as a result of being knife-slashed by the assailant who promptly fled the scene. The victim, a Haredi man who received aid from passing motorists [says Ynet], was taken to the emergency room at Beilinson Hospital in Petah Tikva.
Thursday, February 27, 2014
A major report, "Trigger-Happy: Israel's Use of Excessive Force in the West Bank", is being released by Amnesty International today.
Britain's Jewish Chronicle, has a brief editorial under the heading "Amnesty report: tawdry and biased" that says in a single paragraph what rational onlookers ought to know before diving into AI's litany of innuendo, accusations and distortions:
Amnesty International was once widely respected for its work campaigning for prisoners of conscience. Its transformation into a caricature of an agenda-driven Israel-obsessed NGO is thus something of a tragedy. Across the globe, prisoners of conscience remain locked away for no reason other than the threat their thoughts pose to despotic regimes. There is still a vital need for the kind of work undertaken by the old Amnesty. The real tragedy, of course, is not Amnesty’s descent into hard core anti-Israel campaigning; it is the fact that life is so cheap in the Middle East. In regimes across the region, human beings are tortured, imprisoned and killed at the whim of governments and religious extremists. Genuine democracy and the rule of law is almost non-existent in the Middle East. Almost — because there is one state in which it is the very basis of existence. And yet it is that state, Israel, which is the focus of Amnesty’s tawdry report. Cobbled together from unverified and contradictory sources, Trigger Happy — even the name gives away Amnesty’s true agenda — discredits only the organisation which has published it. [Jewish Chronicle editorial, February 26, 2014]
We have only managed a quick read-through this morning, but can't help noticing it includes 32 mentions of the Tamimi tribe which proudly claims as its own a hugely-celebrated convicted mass-murderer. And it refers to Nabi Saleh no fewer than 25 times. That's the name of a dusty, undistinguished place north of Jerusalem about which we wrote last year: see "17-Mar-13: A little village in the hills, and the monsters it spawns". Nabi Saleh has brazenly re-invented itself as a symbol of the human rights movement, providing a platform for individuals like Bassem Tamimi, photographed in the report over a caption that honours him with the title "a human rights defender", who are thoroughly and successfully exploiting it. A year ago, a New York Times Magazine cover story said Nabi Saleh has "achieved a measure of cachet among young European activists, the way a stint with the Zapatistas did in Mexico in the 1990s”.
But thinking of Nabi Saleh and the Tamimis as being part of the human rights industry involves taking an extremely selective view of the evidence, and ignoring large parts of it.
|Nabi Saleh in the NYT: "Great" setting for|
Amnesty's defence of human rights. For a more factual
background, see what we wrote
But there's an entirely different emphasis when you go to the Arabic-language version of Wikipedia which is not a direct translation of the English version. It's created by different people for a different audience and different sensibilities.
The Arabic Wikipedia entry depicts Nabi Saleh as a place of “popular resistance” that boasts of having taken a prominent role in two Intifadas, providing “hundreds of prisoners” and 17 so-called “martyrs on the altar of freedom”. The most prominent of the prisoners (that's Wikipedia's description) is a woman called Ahlam. Her surname is shared with almost every other inhabitant of the village: Tamimi.
|One of the Tamimis ignored in Amnesty's paean. This Tamimi|
is now a free citizen of Jordan from where she can afford
the luxury of being 'modest' about 'her' massacre
Tamimi and her weapon, the bomber, both dressed in Western garb and chatting in English to appear as tourists, strolled through the city center. At the entrance to Sbarro, she briefed him on where and when to detonate, instructing that he wait 15 minutes to allow her a safe getaway. Fifteen men, women and children were murdered that afternoon - our teenage daughter Malki among them. Filmed in an Israeli prison, this Tamimi smiled broadly when an interviewer informed her that 8 children were murdered, and not merely the 3 she had known about. Since her release in the 2011 Gilad Shalit deal, Tamimi has repeatedly and publicly boasted of her deed, adding: "I have no regrets. I would do it again." (We fought a campaign to have her name removed from the go-free list. But we failed.)
Tamimi has always lived in Amman, other than two years in Nabi Saleh while attending university and her prison years. Since her release, she has married another Tamimi, also a convicted murderer freed in the Shalit deal. He too is a home-town hero in Nabi Saleh. The host of her own weekly show on Hamas TV, the female Tamimi travels freely throughout the Arab world to address her many fans, accepting accolades and trophies while urging others to follow in her footsteps.
None of this is mentioned in today's Amnesty International report. Being as fair as we can, it's possible that this is because, being fully aware of the background and having decided it was of no relevance to Nabi Saleh's newly-crafted status as a Mecca of protest, Amnesty's editors decided not to trouble their readers. Or it may be that they don't know. Or care.
NGO Monitor, based here in Jerusalem, exists to rigorously review the actions, research and funding of groups like - and including - Amnesty International. (Their tag line: Making NGOs Accountable.) Via a press release yesterday, they offer up some insights that may help a person decide how much goodwill to ascribe to today's Amnesty report:
- Its publication coincides with the anti-semitic BDS movement’s annual week of anti-Israel activities, promoting boycotts and sanctions via systematic demonization of Israel.
- "Trigger Happy" repeats Amnesty’s previous calls for political warfare against Israel and in particular, an arms embargo.
- Its accusations are "reckless, blatantly biased, and reflect the lack of a credible research fact-finding methodology”. They also demonstrate once again Amnesty's disproportionate and ideological obsession with Israel”.
- “Amnesty lacks the expertise and credibility to analyze or assign blame for deaths in the context of violent confrontations in the West Bank. As in the past, the allegations in this report repeat unverifiable Palestinian ‘testimony’”.
- Amnesty International’s Secretary General Salil Shetty admitted as much just two weeks ago. In a February 10, 2014 interview with Al Jazeera, Shetty acknowledged that “we are not an expert (sic) on military matters. So we don’t want to, kind of, pontificate on issues we don’t really understand.”
- There's some history to this, too. In 2009, Amnesty played a central role in the discredited Goldstone report on the Gaza conflict, as well as in a number of other allegations targeting Israel.
- No definitions or comparative data are provided to support Amnesty’s politicized allegations that Israeli forces are “trigger happy” and “reckless.” In fact, a review of police conduct around the world reveals that Israeli police and military conduct is far more restrained, considering the constant state of armed conflict and the sheer number of lethal situations that justify the use of deadly force, including violent riots and terror attacks.
- As NGO Monitor has previously shown, Amnesty’s so-called research team on Israel comprises two individuals with backgrounds in anti-Israel political activism, not military and legal expertise.
Prof. Gerald Steinberg, who heads NGO Monitor, concludes on a note that we sincerely endorse:
Amnesty International should be ashamed of its role in exploiting the moral foundations of universal human rights to wage political warfare against Israel.
Monday, February 24, 2014
24-Feb-14: Revealed this afternoon: Terrorism charges brought against rock-hurling, firebomb-throwing gang on Jerusalem's northern fringe
|Route 442 scene [Image Source: Kobi Gideon/Flash 90]|
For 25 years, Route 443 has been the road we traveled more than any other leaving from and returning to home, but not entirely without incident. About ten years ago, our car was hit by a well-aimed rock hurled by a Palestinian Arab man perched on one of the hills near one of the two Bet Ur villages (Bet Ur El Fuqa, Bet Ur El Tahta), with minimal damage to the body thanks to some last-second evasive action. Mostly, thank Heavens, it's been clear sailing.
Lately though, the state of safety on this important artery has noticeably deteriorated. A report less than a week ago ["The road to Jerusalem that’s off limits to Israel’s leaders", Times of Israel, February 19, 2014] included some candid comments from an IDF officer charged with securing the area, and pointing out how easily lives can be endangered:
Stones and firebombs, while potentially lethal, are easy to hide and require no planning or accomplices. Pointing across the four-lane highway at the village of Bayt Ur a-Tahta, home to 3,000 people and stretching across nearly four kilometers of road, the intelligence officer said that from that village, a central point of friction, all someone has to do is walk down to the edge of the road with a bottle of fuel in one coat pocket and a lighter in the other. “He can keep them in the pockets of his coat and light it up one second before he reaches the road, then throw it, and escape,” he said. [Times of Israel]This afternoon, about an hour ago, the authorities disclosed that some 15 residents of Beit Ur El Tahta have been arrested and charged with carrying out a program of attacks via Molotov cocktail and rocks at vehicles traveling on Route 443. Personal injury and property damage to drivers and passengers are referred to in the charge-sheet. The announcement says several of those arrested have already served prison terms for similar offences in the past. It adds that three other men from the same village were convicted earlier this month of attacks on the same road that included the use of improvised guns as well as rocks. The Shin Bet, the IDF and the Israel Police were all involved in the arrests.
The threat posed by determined, ideologically committed hurlers of rocks and shooters of bullets against ordinary folk traveling the roads in their cars and buses is consistently diminished - to their great shame - by Israel's enemies in the media and in political life. We can't think of a better or more disgraceful example than Jody Rudoren's article in the New York Times last August: "Rocks in Hand, a Boy Fights for His West Bank Village". We posted our thoughts about that here: "5-Aug-13: Boys and their hobbies: the New York Times uncovers another little village".
There's no reason to treat the perpetrators as having intentions any less than premeditated homicide. Michael Palmer, a quietly-determined, high principled man whose son and grandchild were murdered by just that kind of terrorist act, pursued the men who did it and ensured a court verdict of murder was the outcome. Let's hope the inspiration of the Palmer proceedings continues to guide the prosecutors and the courts.
Sunday, February 23, 2014
23-Feb-14: Two more "fell short" Gazan rockets appear to have crashed onto the heads of Gazans tonight
Walla! News reports in Hebrew that two more Gazan rockets, seeking out Israeli victims, triggered the Tzeva Adom (Color Red) incoming missile warning system around 10:20 tonight (Sunday). It appears they failed to make it across the Gaza/Israel border and fell short, exploding somewhere on the Gazan side. No word yet on any Arab casualties, but these are rarely reported anyway.
Updated at 11:01 PM
Saturday, February 22, 2014
22-Feb-14: On Israel's Gaza border, tensions are rising, rockets are crashing, terrorists are plotting
|Rock throwers on the Gazan side of the border are dispersed, Friday February 21|
[Image Source: AFP]
At least 13 men were wounded in fighting not far from Jabaliya northeast of Gaza City... Ashraf al-Qudra, a spokesman for the Hamas-run health ministry, told AFP at least one man was in serious condition after being shot in the head, near the border fence in the central Gaza Strip. Qudra said the shooting came after the Palestinians threw stones at Israeli soldiers... Clashes are common on Fridays, with regular protests near the border in support of Gaza farmers who say troops uprooted their trees to create a buffer zone. Tensions have risen in and around Hamas-ruled Gaza after a year of relative calm, with Palestinian fighters firing projectiles at Israel and the Jewish state targeting Hamas facilities and fighters. [Aljazeera, February 21, 2014]The "independent", European-funded Maan News Agency based in Bethlehem expands on this, saying
Dozens of others suffered from excessive tear gas inhalation as Israeli forces violently dispersed the group, which was protesting against the confiscation of lands near the border by Israeli authorities. [Maan]AFP's account quotes an officer from the IDF Spokespersons Unit who points out that "hundreds of Palestinians" had been engaged in hurling rocks across the fence at the Israelis who were there to protect the border fence and prevent further acts of sabotage from the Gazan side.
The soldiers opened live fire at "the lower extremities of the main instigators" after attempts to disperse them with riot dispersal means failed, she said. [AFP]Yaakov Lappin, writing in the Jerusalem Post tonight, says
hundreds of Palestinians approached the border fence that separates northern Gaza from Israel, entering a closed security zone, where they began damaging the fence. IDF soldiers dispatched to the area called on the suspects to leave, fired warning shots, and when that failed, fired at their legs, striking and injuring several Palestinians. "We believe these guys are being sent to the fence by a party that has an interest in letting off some domestic pressure. We are not prepared to let threats reach the fence. Live fire is a tool to stop this," the source said. [Jerusalem Post]Quoting an unnamed IDF source, the JPost article refers to gradually rising levels of violence by Gaza terror groups:
The source said he believed Hamas is not interested in an escalation with Israel at this time because of its internal Gazan interests, and that it was still restraining smaller terror groups from heating things up. At the same time, "we understand that Hamas is not doing all that it can to stop attacks," the source said. Less established Gazan terror factions are trying to launch terror attacks against Israel continuously, he added. "The situation is stable, but we are seeing a creeping escalation. A few months ago, there were not many rockets. Now we're seeing more of them. We're seeing more friction along the fence then in the past..." [Jerusalem Post]According to IDF figures, since the start of 2014, 37 Gazan rockets (so far) have been fired into southern Israel.
The GANSO website reports from Gaza that the terrorists who control that area fired yet another rocket in the general direction of the Israeli side of the border on Wednesday (see below).
|From the GANSO Incidents Alert site. "Pal. ops" is the term they use for Gaza-based terrorist forces.|
"Green Line" is their euphemism for the State of Israel.
The past few Fridays, down south on the Gaza border, have seen essentially the same fence-rushing scenarios play themselves out, suggesting someone has an interest in whipping up the Palestinian Arab crowds during or after their Friday morning mosque services.
A week ago, on Friday February 14, another crowd of Palestinian Arabs converged on the border fence with rocks, and began pelting the Israelis on the far side. 17 of the Gazan rock-throwers were injured when, again, they failed to stop when called on to do so from the Israeli side, leading to the IDF's soldiers opening fire. And a week before that, on Friday February 7, the same sequence of events produced five injured Arabs.
Past experience suggests the current level of terrorist violence is not likely to remain constant.
Monday, February 17, 2014
17-Feb-14: Were three more rockets fired at Israel today, fell short, and went unreported? Evidently yes
|Islamic Jihad terrorists prepare rocket attack|
on Israel [Image Source]
Here below is a screenshot we captured in the last few minutes (it's now 10 at night on Monday) from the website of GANSO, the Gaza NGO Safety Office. It calls itself
a project of CARE International, funded by the European Commission’s Directorate General for Humanitarian Aid (ECHO) with the aim of providing the information and analysis the NGO community needs in order to implement humanitarian projects safely.As you might be able to see from the image below
"Pal. ops. fired 3 rockets from E. of KY toward the Green Line. Updates to follow as received."Or in plain English:
Palestinian Arab jihadists ("Pal. ops.") fired three more rockets from east of the southern Gaza town of Khan Yunis into the air at 10 this morning, aiming more or less in the general direction of anything Israeli on the far side of the border - where "anything" includes children, adults, school buses, classrooms, bus stop shelters, speeding ambulances... basically any animate or inanimate object the jihadists can add to their list of outrages such that praise and salutation will be brought down on their heads by the psychopathic leadership that rules Gaza's Palestinian Arabs with an iron Islamist fist." More or less...As far as we can tell, there are no published reports today of rockets either crashing into southern Israel this morning or being launched. This makes us think there are now three more "fell shorts" to add to the huge and growing tally to date. "Fell shorts", as we have noted here several times, are never news, not even when - as certainly happens - Gazan children or jihadist rocket men end up being injured or killed by them. And if these events are not reported, then in the realpolitik of international relations they simply never happened.
|Photo illustrating a Telegraph UK article |
about how the terrorists control and subdue Gaza's population
via the handing out of cash [Image Source].
It's clear that money plays a grossly undervalued role
in international terror.
From experience, most people, seeing the word "terror" or "terrorism" or "jihad" in an article, will skip it and go on to something more relevant. It's hard to argue with them. Almost every aspect of their culture tells them that jihadism and terrorists belong to far-off regions beset with age-old blood feuds. Nothing relevant here. Nothing to do with me. And it's unpleasant to know about.
But the reality is that most people in most countries of Europe, North America, Australasia, South-east Asia are actually contributors to the unchecked scourge of terror without even knowing it. We think they ought to know it since the information is out there for anyone to see. But that's not how things work. If you don't want to see what's there, the politics and the news media and the general set of things that "everyone knows" will ensure you don't have to know it or see it or face up to it.
Today, the excellent Palestinian Media Watch organization went public with the case of a Palestinian Arab of no particular significance, Husni Najjar. He is an already convicted terrorist who was frank enough to tell his interrogators from the Israel Police that he got involved in the planning of a second terrorist attack for the money.
|The 2012 Doha emergency conference of donors for the Palestinians|
[Image Source: Reuters]
the money he received from the PA as salary during his first prison term amounted to only 45,000 shekels. However, the salary he would receive following his second prison term and subsequent release would leave him with "135,000 shekels." "And thus I would cover my debts," the terrorist explained his motive for planning the attack.
He wanted, in other words, to be captured by the Israelis for a second time. He was short of cash and needed to be paid some of what the Palestinian Authority routinely, as a matter of its own laws, pays to terrorists while in jail and following their release.
|The 2009 Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt, emergency conference of |
donors for the Palestinians [Image Source]
The facts are all set out today, with corroborating documents, in "Terrorist planned attack in order to be imprisoned and receive PA salary" on the Palestinian Media Watch website. The conclusion an open-minded reader will reach is, as PMW puts it,
the PA's policy of paying high salaries to terrorists during their imprisonment in Israel and after their release not only rewards terror, but also constitutes a motivation for terror.Husni Najjar is now in an Israeli prison awaiting trial. As an imprisoned alleged terrorist, he is already today being paid a PA salary. A PA law enacted nearly three years ago specifies that this "will be paid to the prisoner from the date of his arrest".
This is truly sickening stuff. And many of the most admirable states on earth share a large part of the blame. In September 2012, we asked:
Who makes available the funding that allows the PA to conduct its unconscionable, terror-encouraging financial policies? Well, quite a number of people, if you're asking. And some that may be quite close to where you live.
These are things people ought to know when the role of money as a driver of terrorism is understood. The fact is that Palestinians charged with terrorism have long received absurdly generous stipends from the PA. Quoting ourselves again: It's part of the general, systematic government-level support for terrorism by both Palestinian regimes that is methodically ignored or hidden by complicit Western governments abetted by many parts of the news media.
|The 2007 Paris conference of donors for the Palestinians|
Can we offer these three sources of information (from our blog) that we wish people took more seriously? Please help us get them out and into public discussion:
- 20-May-11: Rewarding the Palestinian Arab terrorists: is this being done in your name?
- 28-Jul-11: Taxpayer-funded salaries to convicted Palestinian Arab terrorists. What a good idea.
- 4-Sep-12: Where's the shame? How much of your tax dollars went to fund the pension of our child's murderer? More than you probably thought
Sunday, February 16, 2014
|The Taba Hilton Hotel [Image Source: Wikipedia]|
A tour bus carrying some 32 Korean Christian pilgrims, having started its journey in Cairo, passed through the ancient Greek Orthodox monastery of St. Catherine in central Sinai (we know it better in Israel as Santa Katarina) and then the coastal town of Nuweiba and was on its way to Eilat when an on-board bomb exploded just before the travelers reached Taba and the border crossover point to Israel. (Reuters has video footage.)
According to Times of Israel -
Initial investigation indicated that the bomb was planted under the driver’s seat of the tourist bus... The bomb was detonated by remote control, as the bus waited near the Taba Hilton hotel to obtain permission to cross into Israel. Security arrangements at the crossing are such that the terrorists would not have been able to carry out the attack at the Israeli side of the border or inside Israel, security sources said Sunday night without elaboration.
|The destroyed tour bus [Image Source]|
Egypt refused Israeli offers of medical assistance for the tourists... Three Korean tourists and the Egyptian bus driver were killed in the bombing, and at least eight passengers were seriously injured. The bomb was placed under the driver’s seat and detonated by remote control as the vehicle neared the crossing into Israel.Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis, a terrorist organization said to be an al-Qaeda affiliate, took credit right away. These are the same Salafi jihadists who have already "conducted dozens of attacks in North Sinai, as well as a handful in the Egyptian mainland" ["The Strategy of Egypt's Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis", David Barnet, February 10, 2014] and claimed to be behind the rocket attacks on the Israeli resort city of Eilat two weeks ago. There's little reason to expect the mayhem they are causing to come to an end soon, even as the Egyptian military's counter-terrorism measures remain in full force.
|Israeli emergency vehicles and crews lined up at border, but|
Egyptian authoritiss refused to allow them in [Image Source]
At The Guardian, they're considerably less coy. An analytic piece there, "Egypt faces new threat in al-Qaida-linked group Ansar Beyt al-Maqdis" two weeks ago says the Sinai jihadist group
displays an affinity for al-Qaida, and the proficiency of its attacks suggest some level of external training. But until Ayman Zawahiri, al-Qaida's leader, mentioned "our people in the Sinai" in an audio message on 24 January, there had been no confirmation that al-Qaida recognised Sinai jihadists. "It really caught my attention," said Barnett. "It supports the view that there are foreign fighters in the Sinai, and it's a message from al-Qaida that your cause is being recognised by us and foreigners are likely coming to aid you."We wonder how South Korea's public opinion is dealing with the way its victims could have been treated by some of the most experienced and effective first responders anywhere... but weren't because of the decision by the Egyptian authorities to prevent Israeli ambulances and crews, ready at the border within minutes of the terror attack, from crossing into Egypt. No doubt there will be some lofty political explanations, but the families of seriously injured loved ones now being transported to who-knows-which desert town clinics might not find them terribly persuasive.
Saturday, February 15, 2014
During this past Friday evening, at about 7:00 pm when many Israelis are gathered at or close to their Sabbath table, the Hof Ashkelon region was once again the victim of lethal rockets fired by terrorists, as yet unidentified, flinging whatever they have (and they possess many thousands of rockets) into whatever they can reach (Israeli communities and thousands of Israeli homes are located mere seconds away as the missile flies).
Times of Israel reports that, prior to crashing into open fields, the incoming rockets triggered the Red Alert siren system, causing warnings to be heard through the region, and giving Israeli families in their homes mere seconds to find shelter. (Wikipedia terms this "an early warning radar system", but the expression "early warning" fits better to a bygone age and a different place. When the rockets are fired from a handful of kilometers away, you have mere seconds. Early it is not.)
Later Friday evening, around 9, a separate rocket was fired into southern Israel, this time striking the Eshkol region and also exploding in open fields.
In both cases, there are neither human losses nor significant property damage. This, it goes without saying, is never the intention of the jihadists. They place themselves, and the people around them, at risk because in their value system the potential pay-off (dead or injured or terrified Israelis) makes it worthwhile.
From a distance, observers aware of the cynical brutality of these entirely random, non-discriminatory attacks whose intent is to kill, maim and destroy can decide for themselves whether (a) to ignore them entirely; (b) become outraged and focus some attention on how the compact, thoroughly-controlled (by the terrorist organization Hamas) enclave can continue to get away with this, day after day, month after month, with virtually zero international attention; (c) cheer.
By far the majority of news channels outside Israel - in fact, almost without exception - adopted their customary stance, falling again into category (a).
When Israeli forces respond to the two attacks by taking out the perpetrators or their infrastructure, their viewers/readers will easily buy the claim that, yet again, the 'brutal' Israelis have launched an 'unprovoked' attack on the residents of the Gaza Strip, once again testing their "resilience and fortitude" and "crushing their spirit". So it goes.
Friday, February 14, 2014
14-Feb-14: As its children face major new threat, Hamas leadership in Gaza gears up for another crisis
|Click for the AP/NP article|
Gaza’s Hamas authorities have blocked a UN refugee agency from introducing textbooks promoting human rights into local schools, saying it ignores Palestinian cultural mores and focuses too heavily on “peaceful” means of conflict resolution. Motesem al-Minawi, spokesman for the Hamas-run Education Ministry, said Thursday that the government believes the curriculum does not match the “ideology and philosophy” of the local population. He said the textbooks, used in grades 7 through 9, did not sufficiently address Palestinian suffering and did not acknowledge the right to battle Israel. “There is a tremendous focus on the peaceful resistance as the only tool to achieve freedom and independence,” he said. [Ibrahim Barzak, Associated Press, February 13, 2014 3:55 PM ET]Al-Minawi, who fronts for the educational actions of the Islamist terrorists, clarifies the Hamas objections by pointing to the unacceptable (to them) mention in their school textbooks of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
Adopted by the UN General Assembly in 1948, the milestone UDHR recognizes "the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family." You can immediately see their problem with that. AP says Hamas views the declaration as violating Islamic law by advocating for "the right of people of different faiths to marry and the right to change one's religion".
So the UN agency, ever ready to accommodate Hamas, met with people from Al-Minawi's office and
"offered to form a joint committee to revise the book. Adnan Abu Hassna, a local UNRWA spokesman, confirmed that the curriculum had been suspended while the sides work out their differences." [AP]Incidentally, who makes this pusillanimous mode of conduct possible? You, and the people living around you - assuming you pay taxes to the governments of Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Finland, the UK, the Netherlands, the United States, the European Union, Australia, Japan, Switzerland, Germany, Belgium, France, Italy or Spain. It's your money that makes this kind of thing possible. Nearly everyone else can relax. Oh, and if you happen to live in an Arab country, the good news is you are completely off the hook since Arab governments have historically contributed close to nothing to the education and welfare work of UNRWA, that extremely odd special-purpose body that is supposed to benefit the Palestinian Arabs. You can see the list of payers at "20-Nov-13: It's Wednesday. Time for yet another UNRWA funding crisis".
(As an aside, if you read our blog, we assume you're not that happy about your hard-earned income tax money being used in this hideous way. So listen up: it's happening anyway and it will keep happening. Only your political leaders and you and your neighbours can change that.)
AP's article fails, oddly, to make any mention of the Cairo Declaration on Human Rights in Islam. It's highly relevant in this context. The CDHRI is
a declaration of the member states of the Organisation of the Islamic Conference adopted in Cairo, Egypt, in 1990 which provides an overview on the Islamic perspective on human rights, and affirms Islamic Shari'ah as its sole source. CDHRI declares its purpose to be "general guidance for Member States [of the OIC] in the field of human rights". [Wikipedia]Article 24 of the Cairo Declaration says "All the rights and freedoms stipulated in this Declaration are subject to the Islamic Sharia." Article 19 says "There shall be no crime or punishment except as provided for in the Sharia." This not-so-universal approach has attracted a certain degree of criticism from serious multilateral bodies, but that's not our focus here. CDHRI a major document reflecting a major political/legal push that gets major respect in major parts of the world. It's their response to the UDHR, and their idea of what has to replace it.
Its author and inspiration for the Cairo Declaration is the OIC. Now renamed the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (in 2011), it is far from being some minor marginal body, speaking in the name of 57 member states as "the collective voice of the Muslim world". Its mission is to "safeguard and protect the interests of the Muslim world in the spirit of promoting international peace and harmony". The OIC has Permanent Observer Mission status at the UN and is often described as the largest international organisation outside the United Nations. Iran's representative to the UN explained his side's view of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1981, explaining that it was
a secular understanding of the Judeo-Christian tradition", which could not be implemented by Muslims without trespassing Islamic law.It's not just Hamas, in other words.
Down there in darkest Gaza, Hamas is expressing in its typically ham-fisted and savagely violent - but heart-felt - way a view that has support throughout the world. Our children don't need to know about the global struggle for human rights, they are saying. Our children's cultural mores, ideology and philosophy are best respected by focusing on their victimhood and on the need for them to wage war against a hated "other", the Israelis. Pizza shops, school buses, hospitals - these and skillful practice of the tools of death are the correct and proper targets for the energies of our children.
So while we and other large part of the world's communities focus on educating our children about the need to prevent incitement to religious and race-based hatred and the other values embedded in the UDHR, proponents of the Cairo Declaration, including but by no means limited to Hamas are driving in the opposite direction.
And in Gaza they don't just say it. They clearly mean it, as frequent reports about Hamas regime programs for instilling the values of jihad in their school-age children make clear to all but the most ideologically colour-blind observers. We have offered background to this in our blog posts here - for instance "15-Jan-14: When a society praises itself for turning its children into human bombs, whose problem is that?"
As with that post, we end this one with the question that everyone ought to be asking.
The real story is not the military-style training and the pledges by children to die for the values of those hideous, terror-addicted Hamas insiders. It's this: where in Heaven's name is the outrage of the civilized world? Where are the voices of the people whose tax money pays for this? Where are the politicians who speak up for human rights at cocktail gatherings but lose their courage when human rights are actually being trampled - and by means of their funding?And another question. Are UNICEF, Defence for Children International, UNESCO, Child Rights International Network, the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child, the Washington-based Jerusalem Fund, the Al Mezan Centre for Human Rights, Save the Children Sweden, Arab Council for Childhood Development and so many other child-focused NGOs silent about the disaster in Gaza for a reason? If there is a reason, let them say it. It's inconceivable that they are unaware of the horrors perpetrated every day on innocent children by the vile "educators" of Gaza and their willing co-conspirators.
Thursday, February 13, 2014
13-Feb-14: What does US fury at Afghan militants walking free say about US role in freeing convicted Palestinian Arab terrorists?
|Kerry, Karzai, talking peace [Image Source]|
The Afghanistan government this morning freed some 65 prisoners [according to Associated Press], many or all of them "linked to attacks that have killed American troops... American officials have questioned why President Hamid Karzai's government is turning them loose". They "have ties to the most violent terror groups in Afghanistan and were caught with weapons and materials for making improvised explosive devices... "These are bad men," said Army Col. Steve Warren, a Pentagon spokesman. "They've got a lot of blood on their hands. A lot of blood." ...All 65 were freed Thursday morning, prison spokesman Maj. Nimatullah Khaki told the Associated Press. They were laughing and smiling as they boarded a bus to leave the prison, Khaki said."
The New York Times, anticipating the release, said yesterday that the US military feels
exasperation at the Afghan side’s apparent determination to release the remaining prisoners and growing concern over the consequences. ["U.S. Military Denounces Afghanistan’s Planned Release of More Prisoners", February 11, 2014]And it's not only America's military which is angry and shouting, justifiably so. The State Department is too.
Jen Psaki, the spokeswoman for the State Department, criticized the release, saying that it undermined justice under Afghan law and that the detainees being freed were “dangerous criminals against whom there is strong evidence linking them to terror-related crimes, including the use of improvised explosive devices, the largest killer of Afghan civilians.” ["With Release of Prisoners, Afghan Leader Again Defies U.S. Wishes", NY Times, January 9, 2014]Now here in Israel, our government - under intense pressure from the US - has freed three out of four groups of murdering terrorists in the past half year. The fourth and final bunch of them is due to walk out in the next two weeks. Their reception in Palestinian Arab society has been a sickening, well-publicized orgy of public celebration of barbarism and savagery. The prime minister of the PA has led the parade, waving the freed killers' arms, declaring them heroes, honoring them with high ranks in his military apparatus (they don't call it an army but that's what it is) and granting them phenomenally large cash prizes plus ongoing salaries from his regime's bankrupt coffers.
There's one big difference between the Afghani jihadists and the Palestinians that we should mention before we get to our question. Those prisoners in the Israeli system were all, every last one of them, put on trial with the assistance of legal counsel, and were convicted and lawfully sentenced. In Israel, the rule of law, the systemic administration of justice and the checks and balances which come with that, are all real. Not make-believe like the propped-up Afghan regime of Karzai, but real.
So now how are we to understand the justifiable American fury and the State Department's gnashing of teeth over the release of alleged perpetrators when those same American voices are right behind the same kind of process that has delivered up unwarranted freedom for unrepentant Palestinian Arabs? (And do you have answers yet for some related questions we have been asking your staff for some months.)
|Malki, of blessed memory|
Mr Kerry, as parents of a US citizen, aged 15 at the time she was murdered in a jihadist outrage, we have tried to have you hear our protests about the US spearheading the freeing of convicted Palestinian Arab terrorists - and have been comprehensively ignored.
We wonder whether you see what we are getting at. If yes, a reply would be much appreciated.
The main organizer of our daughter's murder, just to complete the background, is walking free today despite the 16 life terms to which she was sentenced. She's vociferously unrepentant, widely honored, and fully engaged in inciting globally for more murders of more people like our daughter. This may help you understand the passion and deep pain we bring to this issue and our questions. Hoping to hear.
Wednesday, February 12, 2014
|Image Source: BBC this morning|
We live in a country with a strongly multi-ethnic mix. The same for the city in which we make our home. Tragically, a significant number of certain parts of that mix have murder - literal, life-ending homicide - on their minds a great deal of the time.
Our political leadership along with the security establishment know that. So protective measures, calibrated as much as possible to minimize inconveniencing the innocent, are in place to keep the intending killers from their targets.
This tends to be reported in a very unfriendly way by parts of the reporting industry. They use words like apartheid, racism, land-theft and illegal.
As a family whose tranquility was permanently ended by an act of murder some years ago, we stay focused on the good that protective measures can bring. We try not to let the hypocritical reporting, often done by people who would never dream of allowing their own loved ones to be exposed to the evil plottings of human savages without aggressively pre-empting, upset us too much.
Occasionally, that hypocrisy becomes so plain that almost anyone can see it. Whether this causes laughter, a sense of wry cynicism or straight-out anger probably depends on how it fits into your own personal context.
At the BBC, there's a report today about checkpoints. They have been put up by the military. The British military. Their intention is to check people. Some will be kept out. And most will be allowed to pass through. Which is alright because this is in order to save lives, right?
Our correspondent said that, with so many homes in the village evacuated, there was a real fear some of the empty properties might be looted so the Army had set up checkpoints on some roads to monitor overnight who comes and who goes. [BBC]If you go to the source, you see it's about keeping property safe.
Chief Supt Matt Twist, of Surrey Police, said the flooding in the county was "unprecedented" and warned that a further 2,500 homes were at risk. [BBC]
Read the details here: "UK floods: More flooding fears as storms forecast". It went up in the past hour. Naturally, there's no reason to hold your breath waiting for a UN Security Council resolution.
That sounds silly, right? A UNSC resolution about a checkpoint that was only put up so to make it less likely that things would get purloined by opportunistic malevolents?
Now call to mind how many Israeli lives have been stolen in the most violent way by people whose evil is, to a great extent, frustrated these days by a carefully designed and exquisitely implemented protective system, including check-points and the fences that connect them.
How many lives do you guess have been saved by our check-points? None? Some? A lot? We will never really know for certain. But we do know about the lives that were not saved. You can see one of the faces connected to those lives below. That's our daughter.
Malki was 15 when her life was stolen from her and from us. She was talented musically and in so many other ways too. We remember her with unbearable longing.
We often think, too, about the hypocrisy that lets people feel perfectly comfortable with self-defense measures that protect their microwave oven and golf clubs, but cannot comprehend how or why people like us want to keep our children's lives safe.