Sunday, August 02, 2015

UNICEF is selective in its condemnation of murders

UNICEF issued a press release:
NEW YORK, 31 July 2015 - “The death of an 18-month old Palestinian baby in an arson attack on his home in the West Bank is a tragedy -- and an outrage. UNICEF condemns this and all violence against the innocent. Who could be more innocent than an 18-month old baby? This demands that the guilty be brought to justice. And it demands that everyone refrain from such senseless, horrific violence.”
UNICEF is one of the better UN agencies. it is not obsessed with Israel and it genuinely tried to help children worldwide.

And there is nothing wrong with condemning this incident. Israel's government and entire political spectrum condemned the horrific act.

But there is still a problem.

UNICEF never condemned the murder of Yehuda Shoham, a five month old American-Israeli murdered by a Palestinian Arab throwing a stone through that smashed through a car windshield and crushed his skull.

UNICEF never condemned the murder of Shalhevet Pass, a ten-month old girl who was murdered by a sniper who aimed at her as she was sitting in her stroller.

UNICEF never condemned the murder of Hadas Fogel, a three month old who was decapitated by depraved Palestinian Arabs who also murdered her 11-year old and 4-year old brothers and their parents.

As horrific as the incident last week was, there is no evidence that the arsonist intended to kill. But in these cases, and countless others, Israeli infants were murdered in cold blood.

I can only find one time that UNICEF condemned the murder of specific Israeli children, and that was only to provide balance for their condemnation of the murder of a Palestinian child:

The justified outrage at the killing of a Palestinian teenager in Jerusalem today, and that seen at the funerals yesterday of three young Israelis murdered in the West Bank, are a reminder that we must never become accustomed to such attacks against children, anywhere, in any way, and at any time.
If the Arab teen hadn't been murdered, UNICEF would not have mentioned the three Israeli teens at all.

UNICEF's double standards, showing how their condemnations of Palestinian Arab terror are only made in context of wha they consider far worse Israeli crimes,  could also be seen in this press release from 2002:

Suicide bombings targeting Israeli civilians are morally repugnant and we condemn them. However, self-defense against such acts does not free Israel of its obligations under international humanitarian law or justify derogation from internationally recognised human rights. We strongly condemn the disproportionate use of force against civilian populations.
The Israeli response to suicide bombings is worse than suicide bombings themselves, according to UNICEF.

You can see that UNICEF crafts their statements to avoid any charges of bias, but as we have seen many times before, bias can be proven not only by what people and organizations say but by what they don't say. In no moral universe is the death of Ali Saad Dawabsheh - as contemptible as it is - more heinous that the deliberate, depraved murders of Shalhevet Pass or the Fogel family.

The pattern here cannot be ignored. UNICEF, and organization dedicated to protecting children, considers Jewish children's lives cheaper than those of Arab children.

This shows that anti-Israel bias is pervasive even among groups that truly do important work. Being humanitarian does not inoculate you against bias.

08/02 Links: 16-year-old girl stabbed at Pride Parade dies of wounds; Dear President Abbas

From Ian:

16-year-old girl stabbed at Pride Parade dies of wounds
A 16-year-old girl who was stabbed during Jerusalem’s Gay Pride Parade on Thursday died Sunday after succumbing to her wounds, hospital officials said.
Shira Banki had been hospitalized at Ein Karem in the capital in serious condition following the attack, in which five other people were stabbed as well.
One other person, Yarden Noy, was injured critically in the stabbing but has since recovered and is set to be released from the hospital in the coming days.
The other four people stabbed by Yishai Schlissel were lightly to moderately injured.
Banki’s family said they would donate her organs.
Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat expressed deep sorrow over Banki’s murder, and vowed to protect the rights and security of all the capital’s residents.
Dear President Abbas
I’m writing to express my horror at the vicious terror attack that occurred yesterday in Duma, and my hopes that the survivors will have a full and speedy recovery. I’m sure that virtually all Israelis join me in this.
You see, we know how you feel.
I can only imagine how the surviving members of the Dawabsha family feel, but there are countless remnants of Jewish families ripped apart by terrorism who don’t need to imagine.
For at least a hundred years, Palestinian Arabs have been murdering our children, our athletes (you personally know something about that one), our bus passengers, pizza eaters, disco-goers and random Jews in the wrong place at the wrong time. They’ve been shot, stabbed, blown up, beaten or burned to death, or had their throats slit. Whole families, like the Dawabshas, have been destroyed.
You have sent your bestial terrorist filth out to kill us and then welcomed them back, dripping blood, as heroes.
And it turns out, not so surprisingly, that we have bestial terrorist filth amongst us as well. What did you expect? After a hundred years of terrorism directed at us, some members of our nation have learned to imitate yours.
We’re human too. We have our criminals, our assassins, and even our terrorists. Of course we don’t treat them as heroes. We don’t broadcast incitement on our radio and television stations. Rabbis don’t exhort their congregations every Shabbat to go out and kill Arabs. We don’t hand out sweets when a murder is committed.
Edin Black: Why Jonathan Pollard spent 30 years in prison
What follows is an article written and first published by Edwin Black 13 years ago. For this piece, author and journalist Black visited Jonathan Pollard in prison. He extensively interviewed Pollard’s attorneys and reviewed their evidence, and also interviewed then ex-prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu, former US secretary of defense Casper Weinberger, and many other key figures.
Now that Pollard is being released under statutory conditions — he will be paroled on November 20 — “the nagging questions linger,” says Black today. “Jonathan Pollard has spent thirty years in prison – 3 times longer than more egregious offenders.”
This article — unedited from the 2002 original — explains why.
On January 7, 2002, former Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stepped through the two-doored entry chamber of a prison sally port. After the first fudge-brown steel and armored glass door slowly closed right-to-left behind him, Netanyahu passed his hand beneath a black light reader along the left wall. It illuminated a small security stamp on his hand, not unlike the type disco clubs use. Behind opaque, silver-tinted windows, watchful security officers in the control room completed their checklist, approving Netanyahu’s access. Then in a low mechanized rumble, the entry chamber’s long second door opened left-to-right, admitting Netanyahu to an inner corridor of the prison. He was ushered just down the hall and then into a large room on the right, filled with vending machines and tables. There, waiting for him was the man Netanyahu wanted to see.
The prison was not in Israel, it was in North Carolina. Netanyahu had flown to Raleigh Durham and then driven the forest-lined 20 minutes to the Federal Correctional Institution at Butner. It was all to talk to America’s most controversial Jewish prisoner, now serving his 17th year of incarceration. The prisoner, 09185-016, was Jonathan Jay Pollard, the American Jew who pleaded guilty in 1986 to spying for Israel, and was abruptly sentenced to life imprisonment despite a binding plea bargain that restricted any request for so harsh a term.

A Jew Builds a Second Bathroom in East Jerusalem (Satire - Mike Lumish)

This is the bit of satire, dated 3/10/10, that got me booted off of the left-liberal political blog Daily Kos at a time when I was writing under the nom de blog, Karmafish.

I like this bit because I think that it is funny, as did some others, as you can plainly see if you are crazy enough to slog through all 423 comments.

Of course, many others considered this piece to be the very height of insensitivity.

At the time, by the way, I still believed in a little something that people call "East Jerusalem."  Today I would just say the eastern section of town or the "Old City" depending upon the specific story.

But, without further ado:

toilet1Sheikh Jarrah, East Jerusalem --- The entire world was shocked yesterday when this reporter revealed that retired electrician, Ehud David Netanyolmert, shook the peace process to its roots by building an illegal second bathroom in his East Jerusalem home.

“This is yet another example of Israeli intransigence,” said Palestinian Authority PM, Mahmoud Abbas. “We cannot negotiate with the Israelis if they insist upon violating international law with the continued building on Palestinian lands. Israel must pressure Mr. Netanyolmert to dismantle the illegal mini-settlement that he has constructed.”

Only slightly taken aback by the world community’s rejection of the second bathroom, Benjamin Netanyahu told the Jerusalem Post, “Israel wants peace and two states for two peoples. The Palestinians need to sit down at the negotiating table and I honestly do not see what some guy's second bathroom has to do with anything.”

In Washington, US President Barack Obama convened an emergency meeting with his cabinet in order to evaluate the situation and to determine the best response to this most recent Israeli aggression. In response to the crisis US diplomat George Mitchell claimed, “Israelis have rights, but so do the Palestinian people. While the United States remains deeply committed to Israeli security, it is entirely unclear how the second bathroom promotes that security or in any way advances the cause of peace.”

When queried about this blatant Zionist violation of international law Mr. Netanyolmert objected to the entire line of inquiry. “You people are meshuganah,” Netanyolmert said while standing in his doorway, wearing his jammies and blinking into the morning sun. “Are you honestly telling me that Vladimir Putin objects to my second bathroom on the grounds that it is an impediment to peace? Vladimir Putin? Really?”

It should be obvious to any reasonable observer that Mr. Netanyolmert’s myopia regarding Zionist aggression, and his willingness to derail the peace process, cannot be allowed to go unchallenged. The Palestinian peace organization, Hamas, therefore responded today with a flurry of Qassam and Katyusha rocket attacks on S’derot and Ashkelon. The typical Israeli myopia extended to former S’derot mayor, Eli Moyal, who, while quivering under his desk, is alleged to have told his secretary, “Second bathroom? What second bathroom? What the hell are these people talking about?”

Meanwhile, a variety of Israeli left-of-center organizations are planning a mass rally in opposition to The Second Bathroom. Naomi Chazan, of the New Israel Fund, said that dozens of people will gather outside Mr. Netanyolmert’s home in solidarity with Palestinian activists in a No Second Bathroom rally. The protestors will carry signs reading, “Get the Hell out of the Bathroom, Already!” and “Netanyolmert, Zionist Criminal Baby Killer!” and “Who Do These Jews Think They Are, Anyways?!”

Some fear that just as Ariel Sharon's stroll on the Temple Mount inevitably caused the Al-Aqsa Intifada, so Mr. Netanyolmert's violation of Palestinian sovereignty might spark a third... The First Second Bathroom Intifada.

One hopes that if the Israeli government makes the necessary concessions by evacuating the bathroom then the Palestinian Authority might be persuaded to sit down for peace talks.

But who would blame the PA if they refuse?

From the comments at the time:
In poor taste just 2 weeks before the anniversary (21+ / 1-) of Rachel Corrie's death on March 25, 2003, by an Israeli bulldozer while trying to protect a Palestinian home from being demolished.

I have only one suggestion for this diary: flush it.


by heiderose1 on Wed Mar 10, 2010 at 03:01:31 PM PST

Rachel Corrie?  So I published this thing two weeks before the seventh anniversary of the accidental death of American anti-Israel activist Rachel Corrie and that represents poor taste?
If it was ONLY the building of a second bathroom (14+ / 0-)that was going on in E. Jerusalem, but it is not.  There is much more going on in terms of expanding settlements and building activity than this snarky diary lets on.

by True Independent on Wed Mar 10, 2010 at 01:56:25 PM PST
Who the hell are these people to complain about Jews building housing for themselves in the ancient Jewish capital of Jerusalem, east, west, or otherwise?  That was the whole point of the piece!
That's right Karma.. (26+ / 0-)..the Neyanyahu government smacking the Obama admin in the face by announcing the day Biden arrives in Israel to advance "peace talks" that they're going ahead with building 1600 housing units in northeastern Jerusalem is a joke.

You should be banned.

by sofia on Wed Mar 10, 2010 at 02:09:27 PM PST 
Well, sofia got her wish.

For daring to mock western-left anti-Jewish racism I was, in fact, banned from Daily Kos.

I know it must seem silly to remark upon five year old comments in an old Daily Kos "diary," but I remain amazed at the ease with which so many on the western-left condemn Jews for building housing for themselves in Israel.

These are people who think of themselves as anti-racists concerned with social justice.

The hypocrisy is just staggering.

Michael Lumish is a blogger at the Israel Thrives blog as well as a regular contributor/blogger at Times of Israel and Jews Down Under.

Vile antisemitic cartoon causes anger in Arab world - but not because of antisemitism

This cartoon, showing a Jew raping a Palestinian Arab woman while murdering her two infants, is making some Arabs very angry:

No, the vile and naked Jew-hatred isn't the problem. That's actually taken for granted.

The reason this cartoon is making so many angry is because a Hamas-affiliated news outlet published it, and it is charging the Palestinian Authority with not caring as Jews rape and massacre woman and children in the West Bank.

The masked man behind the fence represents Gaza, and he says to the woman representing the West Bank, "Rise, oh (West) Bank, defend your honor and your children." She answers ""By Allah, I would do it, but I [need] a permit [to work inside Israel.]"

The man on the left is a PA security officer ignoring the crime.

The representation of West Bank Arabs as being willing to be humiliated by Jews is the controversy, not the theme that Jews routinely rape and murder Arabs.

This cartoon came on the heels of another one where a man representing the PA in the West Bank is smoking a hookah, pays lip service to defending the Dome of the Rock but is expecting only Hamas to do something about it by shooting rockets.

This complete lack of criticism over the antisemitism of the cartoon at the top of this post again shows the basic fact that pundits, reporters and human rights NGOs refuse to speak out about: the Palestinian Arabs are not just against Israel but they hate Jews.

(h/t Ibn Boutros)

Palestinians try to hijack refugee conference for their own purposes

From Ammon News:

The World Food Program announced new cuts Friday in food aid for Syrian refugees in Jordan, highlighting a growing funding crisis of international agencies helping millions displaced by Syria’s conflict.

A last-minute U.S. donation of $65 million kept food aid in Jordan going for August, though at reduced levels, the WFP said. If no additional contributions come in, half the current food aid recipients would lose all benefits by September.

In August, food aid for the most vulnerable among the voucher recipients, or about 200,000 people, will drop from $28 to $14 per person per month and for the rest from $14 to $7, the WPF said.

Food aid for the most vulnerable is secured through November at current funding levels, the agency said. For the rest, it would stop in September.
This is just one of the refugee crises worldwide, There was a major conference at the UN about the issue:
Senior diplomats and UN officials during a highly appreciated Pakistan-sponsored panel discussion on the plight of refugees and migrants called for addressing the root causes of the massive human movements – conflicts, persecution and poverty – in a bid to end this grave humanitarian crisis.

“Pakistan took the initiative to convene this panel because the world is confronted with a humanitarian crisis of historic proportions a global wave of displacement and forced migrations in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, in East Asia and elsewhere,” Ambassador Maleeha Lodhi told the delegates in a full-to-the-capacity conference room at the United Nations.

They evinced keen interest in the debate and called for cooperation among governments in devising a comprehensive plan to end the extraordinary human suffering in several parts of the world. Pakistan also came in for praise from all the speakers for hosting millions of Afghans refugees, after Dr Maleeha told the gathering that her country remains the world's second largest refugee-hosting country.

An overview of the critical situation resulting from flows of refugees and migrants was given by Anne Christine Eriksson, acting director of UNHCR, New York, and by Ashraf El-Nour, permanent observer of the International Migration Organisation (IMO) to the UN, with both emphasising that the resources available to them were limited while the challenges were unprecedented.
Millions of real refugees in danger of starvation, urgently asking the world for money to help feed them, while the UNHCR tries to feed and resettle them.

And then came the Palestinian Arabs asking for handouts for their fake refugees:
Palestine's permanent observer to UN Riad Mansour thanked Ambassador Maleeha for organising the event at which he focused on the plight of five million Palestinian refugees spread around the world. He especially called on donors to contribute to UNRWA, the UN agency taking care of Palestinian refugees, as it was facing a funding shortfall.

“If contributions did not come on time, tens of thousands of Palestinian students would not be able to go to their schools,” he said.
The world cannot pay the $14 per person per month for food for real refugees in Jordan, and the Palestinian Arabs come in and demand money for schools for Jordanian kids, with Jordanian citizenship, that are utterly unnecessary because the children can and should attend Jordanian schools - but UNRWA insists on keeping its "refugee camps" and schools in Jordan for people who are not refugees by any sane definition.

UNRWA's Chris Gunness did the same thing with a tweet, trying to conflate refugees who have serious needs with the UNRWA joke refugees who just want to keep their gravy train running:

UNRWA is trying to divert money for a real crisis to perpetuate a fake one. This is exactly what UNRWA has been doing for decades.

Palestinian Arab "refugees" who live as full citizens in Europe or America are still considered refugees by the bizarre UNRWA definitions that make it impossible for someone to lose their refugee status unless they die or are found to have lied about their ancestors living in Britush Mandate Palestine for a couple of years.

They can move back to villas in Ramallah and claim UNRWA benefits, and UNRWA cannot turn them away.

You know that deep down, UNHCR leaders who are trying to actually keep real refugees alive are upset that UNRWA takes such a disproportionate amount of world aid compared to the need of most Palestinian "refugees:" who aren't real refugees.

Saturday, August 01, 2015

08/01 Links: Thousands attend anti-violence protests across Israel; Don’t parole Pollard

From Ian:

PodCast: Focusing on Israel, the U.S.-Iranian detente, and the conflicted Middle East: with Caroline Glick and Richard Baehr
We make no secret of our respect, admiration and, yes, love of Israel. And though turmoil in the region is nothing new, we thought that we should continue to examine the percolating situation in the Middle East after we’ve been able to analyze the Iranian nuclear deal.
Two of our favorite people with whom to discuss the topic are Richard Baehr, the Chief Political Correspondent for American Thinker (simply one of the best), and Caroline Glick, Deputy Managing Editor for the Jerusalem Post, and former assistant Foreign Policy Advisor to Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu.
A distorted evening with Max Blumenthal
And it was at this point I realised that shock is a major part of Blumenthal’s selling process. He deliberately seems to go out of his way to anger the part of the audience he knows is both present and critical of him. The BDS boys are already sold; they don’t need feed such as this, Blumenthal desires to be disliked. He wants to agitate because it gets him noticed. Once the Q&A highlighted the presence of pro-Israelis, Blumenthal visibly became more outrageous; it was as if the two sides feed off each other. His message of hate towards Israel sells his books and the more we shout his name in anger from the rooftops, the more books he will sell. So he turns the level of venom up another notch.
Israelis don’t shoot Hebrew speakers. It’s a fantasy world created by a conspiracy nut who suggested that ‘my government’ ‘his government’ and ‘Israel’ are all engaged in some deep dark scheme that keeps the innocent Palestinians locked away in their refugee camps because it pleases some cabal of capitalists. All we need is for all those capitalists to be Jewish and we have a new edition of Protocols.
Blumenthal works on the premise that you cannot attack his position without appearing to attack victims, cynically using dead Gazan children as human shields. As Blumenthal mentions the amount of explosives the Israelis used as being more than ‘Hiroshima’, describes military strategies where Hebrew speakers are targeted for killing and uses comparisons with Darfur to infer genocide, the clear message is one of total force by a brutal army against an innocent population. Massive force being used without care against one of the highest populated areas on earth. And yet more innocent people died in Syria last week than in Gaza in a 50 day conflict ( Didn’t you see the massive protests in London?) Given Israel’s supremacy, the numbers simply do not tell the same tale. Israel clearly is not behaving the way that is being attributed to it.
And it was over. Having seen a slight altercation outside the building caused by two seemingly harmless women, I approached them at the station on the way home. They did not know who I was, and my possession of a bag with Blumenthal’s book suggested I was ‘a friend’. I am not going to recount the exchange here, but as usual a simple conversation about the conflict highlights a thorough lack of knowledge or information and a deep hostility to ‘Zionists’. They have formed solid opinions without even a grasp of the basics. When eventually they realised I was a Jew who wouldn’t spit on the Israeli flag, they walked away.
I haven’t read the whole book yet, but having seen Blumenthal talk, the over-riding sensation I am left with is one of sadness. The only challenging questions that came out in the Q&A were from pro-Israelis, the remainder of the audience had nothing to say and gushed over every word. It was an empty room with a few empty people looking for their bias to be fed. And fed they were.
Sarah Honig: The humanistic ardor of interwar Poland
Poland made history on Monday morning, April 19, 1937. It taught the world how to implement a boycott without actually admitting that it’s doing anything of the sort.
Headliners of today’s European Union have learned the lesson well, even if few of the EU’s sanctimonious sermonizers can likely cite the source and inspiration for their very unoriginal charade.
The Polish non-boycott was no mean feat on the eve of WWII, when dark clouds of impending doom already gathered over the heads of European Jewry.
Given the bestial goings-on and the brutish anti-Jewish boycotts next-door in the Third Reich, Poland appeared positively refined by comparison – the soul of sophistication.
The Poles never sank as low as the crude and vulgar Germans. They didn’t adopt the practice of daubing storefronts with giant Jude inscriptions, smashing windows or sending out storm troopers to form scary picket lines, carry offensive signs in the formidable Teutonic tradition and warn off the super-race away from subhuman Jewish shopkeepers.
Instead, Poland’s Minister of Industry and Commence Antoni Roman issued an edict that looked impeccably non-discriminatory.
It ordered that all business signs boldly display the proprietor’s name, directly above any other incidental scrap information such as what was sold at the premises. Precise rules were stipulated regarding the size of the letters required.
What could possibly be wrong with that? The measure applied to everyone throughout the republic. Surely nothing could be more equitable. No single community or grouping was targeted.
JPost Editorial: Don’t parole Pollard
Last week, screaming headlines were generated worldwide by breaking news in The Wall Street Journal that the US was preparing to release Israeli spy Jonathan Pollard after 30 years in prison. This announcement, predictably, unleashed a tidal wave of media coverage.
A subsequent announcement a few days later officially confirming imminent parole for Pollard added to the deluge of reports, which continue unabated.
There is something suspect in the timing of these news stories.
Jerusalem’s rejection of Pollard’s release as intended to mitigate Israel’s displeasure with the disastrous Iranian nuclear pact was predictable.
However, denials by US officials, claiming that Pollard’s release is unrelated to the Iranian deal were less predictable.
There were simply too many denials, at too high a level and employing too strident a tone to be credible.
Clearly, the media frenzy about Pollard occurs precisely when the Obama administration needs headlines diverted away from the Iranian deal. The public’s attention instead has become focused on a subject that many love to hate: Israel.

Friday, July 31, 2015

07/31 Links Pt2: The Ayatollah's Plan for Israel; Toameh: Hamas's Child Abuse Camps

From Ian:

The Ayatollah's Plan for Israel and Palestine
"The flagbearer of Jihad to liberate Jerusalem."
This is how the blurb of "Palestine," a new book, published by Islamic Revolution Editions last week in Tehran, identifies the author.
The author is "Grand Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Husseini Khamenei," the "Supreme Guide" of the Islamic Republic in Iran, a man whose fatwa has been recognized by U.S. President Barack Obama as having the force of law.
Edited by Saeed Solh-Mirzai, the 416-page book has received approval from Khamenei's office and is thus the most authoritative document regarding his position on the issue.
Khamenei makes his position clear from the start: Israel has no right to exist as a state.
He uses three words. One is "nabudi" which means "annihilation". The other is "imha" which means "fading out," and, finally, there is "zaval" meaning "effacement."
Khamenei claims that his strategy for the destruction of Israel is not based on anti-Semitism, which he describes as a European phenomenon.
His position is based on "well-established Islamic principles", he claims.
One such is that a land that falls under Muslim rule, even briefly, can never again be ceded to non-Muslims. What matters in Islam is control of a land's government, even if the majority of inhabitants are non-Muslims. Khomeinists are not alone in this belief.
Caroline Glick: Obama strikes again
Obama’s first hope was to reach a deal with his Iranian friends that would leave the Assad regime in place. But the Iranians blew him off.
They know they don’t need a deal with Obama to secure their interests. Obama will continue to help them to maintain their power base in Syria though Hezbollah and the remains of the Assad regime without a deal.
Iran’s cold shoulder didn’t stop Obama. He moved on to his Sunni friend Turkish President Recep Erdogan.
Like the Iranians, since the war broke out, Erdogan has played a central role in transforming what started out as a local uprising into a regional conflict between Sunni and Shiite jihadists.
With Obama’s full support, by late 2012 Erdogan had built an opposition dominated by his totalitarian allies in the Muslim Brotherhood.
By mid-2013, Erdogan’s Muslim Brotherhood- led coalition was eclipsed by al-Qaida spinoffs. They also enjoyed Turkish support.
And when last summer ISIS supplanted al-Qaida as the dominant Sunni jihadist force in Syria, it did so with Erdogan’s full backing. For the past 18 months, Turkey has been ISIS’s logistical, political and economic base.
Khaled Abu Toameh: Hamas's Child Abuse Camps
For the third running year, thousands of Palestinian children from the Gaza Strip are receiving military training as part of Hamas's summer camps.
The camps, which are being held under the banner "Vanguards of Liberation," are aimed at preparing children as young as 15 for fighting against Israel. More than 25,000 children have joined this year's Hamas camps, according to Hamas officials in the Gaza Strip.
What is most disturbing about this practice is that the families are not hesitant to send their children to be trained as future jihadis in the war against Israel. On the contrary, many of the families interviewed in the Palestinian media in the past few days said they were proud to see their children being taught how to use various types of weapons.
Only a few Palestinians have dared to speak out against Hamas's exploitation of children. Palestinian activist Eyad al-Atal criticized Hamas for "depriving an entire generation of Palestinians of their childhood." He said that apart from creating new supporters of the Islamic State, the military training of the children was in violation of human rights principles.
Addressing the Hamas leaders, the al-Atal said: "Teach your children how to play, how to smile, how to rejoice. Build for them an institution for education and entertainment that would raise them on the love of Palestine and not how to get themselves killed."
Dozens of West Bank settlers treated for smoke inhalation after suspected arson by Palestinians
Israeli settlers in Judea and Samaria are reporting a number of cases of violent disturbances and suspected arson on Friday as the region endures the tense aftermath of what authorities are calling a terrorist attack against a Palestinian family that left a toddler dead.
Dozens of settlers in the southern Hebron Hills community of Beit Hagai were evacuated from their homes after suffering from smoke inhalation sustained as a result of a brush fire that is believed to have been set by local Palestinians.
In total, 30 people were given treatment. Fire crews worked to bring the blaze, which crept up dangerously close to the settlers' homes, under control.
Three people were evacuated by an ambulance, while the other victims, including a Palestinian passerby who sought to help douse the blaze, suffered light injuries. (h/t NormanF)

Obama evokes Jewish lobby/neocon canards to defend Iran deal

From The Forward:
Hoping to energize activists on the left to take on the battle for approval of the diplomatic deal with Iran, President Obama is invoking the memory of the Iraq war and reminding his allies of who led the nation into it.

But what many liberals hear as a powerful rallying call to avoid entering another military quagmire in the Middle East could seem tone deaf to some in the organized Jewish community.

Obama, in a conference call he convened Thursday with activists from progressive organizations, sounded alarm bells and warned against the growing power of opponents of the Iran deal who are pressuring members of Congress to vote to disapprove the agreements.

In his 20 minute appeal, Obama repeatedly weaved two themes known to strike a chord among progressives: the Iraq war, and the role of big money in Washington’s decision making process.

When put together it sounded something like this: Criticism of the deal, he said, comes “partly from the $20 million that’s being spent lobbying against the bill,” and “partly from the same columnists and former administration officials that were responsible for us getting into the Iraq war.“

The wording, though chosen carefully as not to conflate the two groups, treaded into a highly sensitive area for some in the Jewish community.

The mention of $20 million is a clear reference to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, which is leading the lobbying efforts against the Iran deal and has raised, through a sister organization, this sum in order to fight for disapproving the agreement.

Tying AIPAC and those who pushed for military intervention in Iraq in the same argument, could be read as accepting the notion that the American Jewish community was behind the Iraq war. It is a notion the organized pro-Israel community has been trying to fight off for over a decade.

The idea that Jews laid the groundwork for the Iraq war stems, in part, from the fact that several national security and defense advisers in the Bush administration were Jewish neo-conservatives who supported the war. The organized Jewish community, however, did not call on the Bush administration to launch a military offensive against Iraq.

The reference was not lost on Jewish officials who are attuned to this sensitivity.

“Canard,” tweeted William Daroff of the Jewish Federations of North America as Obama spoke on the conference call.

And while Obama may have had no intention of giving credence to it, the pronounced equation he made between those supporting the Iraq war and those opposing the Iran deal, is likely to make many in the community feel uneasy.
As is the reference to “billionaires” bankrolling the political effort to defeat the agreement in Congress.

“You’ve got a whole bunch of folks who are big check writers to political campaigns, running TV ads, and billionaires who happily finance SuperPACs and they are putting the squeeze on members of Congress,” Obama said.

Again, Obama made no direct reference to any individual involved in funding the drive against the Iran deal, but it is clear that most of the money raised by pro-Israel groups for this campaign has come from Jewish donors.

And the Republican Jewish Coalition was quick to issue a statement condemning Obama for “demonizing” opponents of the deal and reminding Jewish leaders that when George H. W. Bush in 1991 about the power of lobbyists, he was criticized by Jewish groups for what was seen as a negative reference to the political power of Jewish Americans.
This is really contemptible. Instead of focusing on actual arguments, Obama is demonizing his opponents to his "progressive" base. And he is using the same types of lazy stereotyping evoking the Jewish lobby that one would normally see in the writings of Walt/Mearsheimer.

Characterizing those opposed to the deal as being supportive of war is slanderous as well, and many card-carrying liberals oppose the deal.

Finally, there is something both disgusting and pathetic about the supposed leader of the free world implying that his influence on Congress cannot approach that of a $20 million campaign. Obama has enormous influence and controls many levers of power, all of which he is using to push through this deal that gets worse the more you look at it. This presidential conference call is an example - no one opposing the deal can put together an initiative as effective as this, no matter how much money they have. Yet even with this incredible power, he is having problems convincing many legislators. So now he is whining that AIPAC is putting money into opposing the deal The alternative is to roll over and meekly trust that a single man knows what is best for the world. .

Is this Obama's idea of how democracy works?

The good news:
Obama’s call to arms directed at progressives could indicate that push back against the deal is greater than the White House had initially expected. The president told listeners he had spoken to members of Congress who are “getting squishy” in face of the pressure from opponents of the deal.

This conference call shows Obama's utter contempt for any other points of view, and it reveals far more about the pettiness and insecurities of Obama than about the power of the Jewish lobby that he is crying over.

(h/t EBoZ)

07/31 Links Pt1: Don’t let the dark side win; Alleged Jewish terrorists help the Islamists succeed

From Ian:

Don’t let the dark side win
Can it be that this is taking place in the same country?
On a balmy Thursday, a small group of Jerusalem-area Palestinians and Israelis sat around a large table at a café near the Almog Junction on the way to the Dead Sea. The topic of this installment in their congenial monthly interfaith encounter between Muslims and Jews was the concept of heaven and hell in each religion.
A couple hours later, around 1,000 mostly Anglo music lovers of all ages gathered at Jerusalem’s Kraft Stadium for the annual Jerusalem Woodstock Revival featuring the good vibes and sounds of the 1960s. Both events symbolized the country aiming for its ideals – tolerance, understanding and freedom.
However at the same time as kippa-clad, tie-dye t-shirt wearers were grooving to the music of Cream and The Grateful Dead, three kilometers away a crazed Jewish extremist was stabbing six people who had gathered to support or participate in the Jerusalem Pride parade.
A few hours after that, two masked men – believed to be Jewish settlers, reached the Dawabsha home in the Palestinian village of Duma, broke windows, and hurled Molotov cocktails inside. The fire that resulted killed the family’s toddler, Ali Saad Dawabsha and seriously injured three members of his family.
Those incidents capped a week of unrest that can only be considered insurgence against the state of Israel – from within. Settlers hurled rocks at security forces in Beit El, after the troops began demolishing two illegal buildings. Bayit Yehudi MK Moti Yogev called to “bulldoze the Supreme Court” in response to an earlier High Court of Justice rejection of an appeal seeking to prevent their demolition.
Thursday night’s anti-gay stabbing, the Duma terror atrocity, the attacks by right-wing extremists on security forces and threats made by legislators against Israeli institutions all point to the fact that there are Jews in Israel who aren’t prepared to accept its democratic nature.
Alleged Jewish terrorists help the Islamists achieve their goals
Earlier this week, Hamas called for a “Day of Rage” on Friday to protest against what it claimed were efforts “to harm al-Aqsa Mosque” in Jerusalem. It is unlikely anybody in Israel’s security establishment was unduly bothered. Hamas has been trying for some time to heat up the West Bank, without much success. But what happened overnight in Duma, south of Nablus, entirely changes the picture.
The despicable murder of 18-month-old Ali Saad Dawabsha, in an attack that also leaves his mother, father and brother fighting for their lives, is likely to shatter the Palestinians’ indifference. The Day of Rage that seemed unlikely to bring thousands into the streets may now become a day of violent confrontation and the start of the escalation Hamas has long been seeking.
Sickeningly, the Jewish terrorists allegedly responsible for the Duma attack are helping an Islamist terror group achieve its goals.
There is, it should be stressed, no guarantee that a widespread Palestinian protest will erupt and be sustained. For years, the Palestinian masses have refrained from joining the Islamists’ efforts at escalation against Israel, for several reasons: a lack of motivation given the scars of the Second Intifada; the desire to find employment and a better quality of life; and deep disappointment in both the Palestinian Authority and Hamas.
Israelly Cool: Thou Shall Not Murder
Less than 24 hours. 2 shocking acts of murder and attempted murder.
Seemingly perpetrated by fellow Jews.
The first: Stabbing of participants at yesterday’s Jerusalem gay pride parade, by a so-called “Orthodox” Jew.
The second: The murder of a toddler in an arson attack perpetrated against a palestinian family, in an apparent “price tag attack.”
I cannot not address these acts.
Both attacks had a religious element. As a religiously observant Jew, I feel compelled to speak out loudly and clearly against this desecration of G-d’s name and corruption of the ideals of the Torah from where we are taught “Thou shall not murder.”
There is no way it is G-d’s will to have His name desecrated in commission of crimes going against one of His Ten Commandments.
There are no ifs and buts about it. These are deplorable, evil acts and we need to speak out promptly and clearly against them, just like we do against palestinian terrorism.
And yes, I do consider them also to be terrorism, rather than simply “hate crimes.” True, these are not the acts of terror organizations, but rather individuals. However, this is not a prerequisite for terrorism, which can be defined as “the unlawful use of force and violence against persons or property to intimidate or coerce a government, the civilian population, or any segment thereof, in furtherance of political or social objectives.”

No, Sussiya is not owned by Arabs

Earlier this week Haaretz reported that an Ottoman-era land deed shows that the illegal Arab village of Sussiya was really on private land owned by Arabs (although it admitted that they had no permission to build on land slated for agriculture.)

Is the land privately owned by the Arab Jabor family?

If you are relying on an Ottoman land deed, then you must also rely on Ottoman law to determine the owner of the land. And, as an op-ed in the JPost shows, the Ottoman land law proves that the land has not been privately owned for well over a century.

According to the Ottoman Land Code (OLC) 1858 (Article 68), if a person to whom the land was given (tassaruf – the right to usufruct of land) was absent (mahlul) for three years and did not use or cultivate the land, or pay fees and taxes, the land reverts to the governing authority. Under the OLC, the land could be passed to legal heirs within five years after the grantee’s death, however only with the approval of the governing authority and only as long as taxes were paid. If not claimed or taxes not paid, the property reverts to the authority.

As such, according to the Ottoman Land Code, for the grantee to continue to hold some sort of property rights, the governing authority had to be paid taxes and tithes. In other words, a kushan (Ottoman land deed) is not enough; the land had to be used and taxes and fees had to be paid.

And there are many other restrictions that applied, depending on the type of land and its various categories, which are delineated in the Land Code (Article 3).

If a person cultivated an area for 10 consecutive years, he could apply for a title deed (OLC Article 78). But, if the land were abandoned (mahlul), at any time, even though he had cultivated it for a few years, he would lose his claim to ownership and the grant.

Again, even if he could apply and didn’t, or didn’t pay the taxes or the tithes, the land would revert to the governing authority.

It is clear from documents, historical and more recent observations, maps (1890-1945) and aerial photographs that the land claimed by these Arab squatters at Sussiya has not been continuously cultivated, taxes have not been paid and inheritance has not been applied for. Therefore their claims of ownership based on an Ottoman Empire land grant from 1881 are baseless.
According to this, even at the end of the Ottoman Empire the land was no longer owned by the Jobar family, but it had reverted to being state land - a status that remained under British, Jordanian and now Israeli rule.

Amnesty ignores Amnesty's own research in anti-Israel tweets

This morning, Amnesty tweeted:

Looking at the episode in Amnesty's Gaza Platform, we see that Amnesty researched the incident itself, and while it reached a biased conclusion, the most relevant facts were purposely excluded from the tweet:

Alaa al-Assar told Amnesty International’s fieldworker that there was no fighting in the area on the day of the attack and that no one living in the al-Bayoumi building was involved in any military activities, nor affiliated politically with any faction.

However, two neighbours maintained that, following the attack, they found out that at least four members of the al-Qassam Brigades, the armed wing of Hamas, including a battalion commander and a communications officer, were apparently using the empty apartment in the building for some time prior to the attack. One of them was said to have been killed in the attack on the al-Bayoumi home, but his name is not known to Amnesty International and does not appear in the list of named individuals killed below. It was said that another was injured in the attack, while two others escaped and were killed in an attack on a nearby mosque. Amnesty International has been unable to verify this information.

However, even if the empty flat in the al-Bayoumi building was used by the al-Qassam Brigades, the loss of civilian life in this attack was clearly disproportionate. The survivors of the attack said that they received no warning and the Israeli army has made no statement concerning either the intended target or any warning given. The Israeli forces were under an obligation to take all feasible precautions, including – given the large number of civilians present – calling off the attack or issuing a warning to the building’s residents and those of neighbouring buildings to evacuate, before carrying out the attack.
This terrorist, Shadi Muhammad Jumaa Abu Zaher, seems to be one of the Hamas members killed in the attack. His name was not released in any list of fatalities, making him one of many Hamas militants whom Hamas hid from researchers like Amnesty to make attacks like this one appear to be purely against civilians. 100 such Hamas members have been identified so far by the Meir Amit ITIC. This research is available to everyone, including Amnesty International.

Notice how Amnesty puts in caveats around two independent testimonies saying that this was a Hamas command and control center, while most of its reporting in the same document quotes Gazans who accuse Israel of crimes without any questioning of their facts.

Amnesty here is knowingly lying about the laws of armed conflict. By saying that  "the loss of civilian life in this attack was clearly disproportionate" in relation to the military value of the building, without knowing what the military value was, is simply libel.

As we have shown, under international law, an attack on a communications hub in Serbia that was only knocked out for a single day was not considered a violation of the laws of armed conflict even though the number of fatalities were higher than this instance. Amnesty's claim of "clearly disproportionate" is flatly wrong. The entire reason Israel did not give warning in this case - as opposed to hundreds of other cases - was obviously because this was a high-value military target.

There was a violation of international law here, though.

Hamas was using the Bayoumi family and others as human shields. Amnesty gathered the evidence proving that Hamas chose a residential building to build a command center and station at least four militants there. Yet instead of blaming Hamas for putting the families at risk- precisely because international law does not tie the hands of an army when the value of a valid military  target is high - Amnesty makes up its own international law and accuses Israel of violating it.

Amnesty could have at least mentioned that two witnesses said that this was a Hamas military center. Instead, its tweet was designed to castigate Israel even though Amnesty knows the facts are being badly misrepresented by this tweet. And they assume, correctly, that few will research the actual incident.

Which proves, yet again, how little Amnesty shows regard for the truth when it comes to Israel.

Bad news and good news in Arabic media

El Bashayer Online says that Hassan Nasrallah, head of Hezbollah, claimed in a speech that "Jewish rabbis" declared Netanyahu to be the Messiah. Nasrallah notes that the Jewish Messiah will not come from heavens but be born as a normal human being! Therefore, he says that the Messiah's first job is to destroy the Al Aqsa Mosque and Netanyahu is the man who is most likely to do that according to these rabbis.

Meanwhile, a Tunisian newspaper has an article about Muslims visiting a Jewish cemetery and being upset at how it is not being taken care of. The piece is written poetically, sad at the decay in the cemetery and wistful about the people whose lives are described ion the headstones in French and Hebrew, along with symbols and pictures.

Articles that are so sympathetic to Jews are rare in Arab media.