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Wednesday, February 21, 2018



On Monday, Israel's Delek Drilling company announced that Egyptian private company Dolphinus is set to import gas from Israel worth $15 billion, pending regulatory approval from both countries.

As was the case with the similar deal with Jordan, this is causing some Egyptians to be upset.

From Al Ahram:
Egyptian leftist MP Abdel-Hamid Kamal, who represents the governorate of Suez, has submitted an urgent information request on Tuesday asking that Petroleum Minister Tarek El-Molla be summoned to parliament as soon as possible to explain to MPs reports that Israel has signed two agreements to sell gas to Egypt.

Kamal's request, submitted to parliament speaker Ali Abdel-Aal, said, "Importing natural gas from Israel would be in violation of Article 139 of the constitution, which states that the main job of the president of the republic is to preserve the people's interests and maintain the independence of the state and the integrity and safety of its land."

"Any gas deal with Israel goes against this article, as Israel is still an enemy of Egypt in practical and de facto terms," argued Kamal, who is affiliated with the leftist Tagammu Party.

Kamal told Ahram Online that "gas deals with Israel pose a big threat to Egypt's internal security and national economy… It gives Israel, an enemy to Egypt, a hand to manipulate Egypt's economy, as dependence on gas imports from the Jewish state for a long period of time will surely be very risky," said Kamal.

“The deal also raises questions about the private Egyptian company Dolphinus: who are [the company’s] owners? Does it have foreign partners, and how were they able to sign a 10-year deal that will do a lot of harm to the Egyptian economy and delay the liquification of Egyptian gas?”

The deal triggered wide-scale reactions in Egypt's economic and political circles yesterday, and was a hot issue on most private TV talk shows on Monday night.
In response, the Petroleum Ministry tried to downplay the news:
 Egypt’s petroleum ministry responded on Monday to news of a massive gas deal between Egyptian private company Dolphinus and Israeli gas firms, saying it makes "no comment on negotiations or deals involving private sector companies over importing or selling natural gas."
In press statements on Monday evening, Egypt’s petroleum ministry spokesman Hamdy Abdel Aziz said the ministry would deal with any permit or license requests by the private sector in accordance with applicable regulations, in light of Egypt’s strategy of becoming a regional hub for energy.
He added that the government has been taking measures to liberalize the natural gas market, putting in place a regulatory framework that allows private companies to use the national gas grid to trade within approvals and requirements laid down by the Gas Market Regulatory Authority.
In an Arabic interview, the minister struck a slightly different tone:
The minister stressed that in the case of implementation of this order, Egypt has three conditions before it is accepted, the first is the approval of the government, the second to achieve value added to the Egyptian economy, and the last to find solutions to international arbitration issues outstanding with the other party.
Interestingly, Egypt has recently announced that it will start pumping a large gas field itself:
 In December, petroleum minister Tarek El Molla said that Egypt will achieve self-sufficiency in natural gas before the end of 2018.
Mammoth gas gield Zohr and the North Alexandria and Nooros fields are expected to increase Egypt's natural gas output by 50 percent in 2018 and 100 percent in 2020, the Ministry of Petroleum said in October.
One must wonder why the Egyptian firm struck a ten year deal when Egypt claims it will be self-sufficient in natural gas in only two years.

Perhaps the Zohr field isn't quite as ready as they claimed.




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Tuesday, February 20, 2018

From Ian:

Phyllis Chesler: When Anti-Zionism Reigned at the IRS
Now we have further documentation of Obama's official anti-Semitism/anti-Zionism and its reign at the IRS between 2010 and 2017.

The mainstream or leftstream and liberal media barely covered this lawsuit. The Wall Street Journal and FOX did.

One 2010 article in Politico found the right kind of Jew, former IRS Commissioner, Sheldon Cohen who said, "he was skeptical of Z Street's motives in its high-profile lawsuit, rather than pursuing its concerns in tax court. 'They were hardly into the process when they screamed rape – nobody lifted the dress yet," he said, noting that 501(c)3 groups can't advocate for political positions.

Seven years is a long time to be unable to raise funding for educational purposes; it is also a long time in which to launch and maintain a self-defensive lawsuit, one which was immediately punished by the IRS which then froze the Z STREET application. Seven years is a long time to experience the absence of Jewish-American organizational support; the turned backs of Jewish philanthropists is another kind of sorrow and challenge.
Britain and Zionism: Did Margaret Thatcher betray Balfour?
British policy toward Zionism and Israel has been a 100-year roller-coaster, from the triumphant Balfour Declaration to the depths of the 1939 White Paper, and back again to Margaret Thatcher — the first British prime minister to visit the Jewish state, and famously pro-Israel.

Or was she?

Tel Aviv University lecturer Azriel Bermant’s new book “Margaret Thatcher and the Middle East” (Cambridge) draws on recently released British and Israeli government papers to reveal the truth about Margaret Thatcher’s Middle East policy and reassess her famous battles with the Arabists of Britain’s Foreign Office.

Author Elliot Jager’s book “The Balfour Declaration: Sixty-Seven Words – 100 Years of Conflict” (Gefen), explores the myriad of influences and personalities who came together at a pivotal point in history to issue the famous founding charter of the Jewish national home.

The two authors will reflect on the past century of Anglo-Zionist relations at a public discussion, in English, produced with the Sir Naim Dangoor Center for UK/Israel Relations at Mishkenot Sha’ananim on Tuesday, February 27. Tickets are available HERE.

Although Thatcher’s personal sympathies were pro-Israel, when it came to concrete policy “there was very little difference between the way she saw things and the way the Foreign Office saw things,” says Bermant.

Even as UK policy seemed to diverge from Israel’s – opposing Israel’s invasion of Lebanon in 1982, denouncing settlements, supporting arms and AWACs deals with Saudi Arabia, softening the UK’s rejection of the PLO – Thatcher was still lauded as a great friend.
MEMRI: Lebanese Journalist: 100 Years After Balfour Declaration, The Arabs Have Failed Where Israel Has Excelled
In a November 25, 2017 article marking the 100th anniversary of the Balfour Declaration, published in the London-based daily Al-Hayat, Lebanese journalist Karam Al-Hilu compared the meager accomplishments of the Arab world in the past century with those of the rest of the countries of the world, particularly Israel. He noted that Israel's supremacy in the areas of science, economy, society, and politics is the source of its strength as well as the source of the Arabs' failure in confronting it.

The following are excerpts from his article:
"A century after the Balfour Declaration... the Arabs have not managed to build a [a single] state that possesses knowledge, justice, and the economic, social, and human capability for confronting Zionism. One hundred years have been squandered, in all aspects; during them, the Arabs have been confronting Israel while their cultural infrastructure was in crisis – in the areas of knowledge, politics, economy, society, and thought. According to the 2014 [UN] report on knowledge in the Arab world [the Arab Knowledge Report], despite the 500 Arab universities, with an enrollment of nine million students and faculties of 220,000 lecturers, higher education in the Arab world is very meager in scientific research, in its failure to adapt to digital culture, and in its incompatibility with [universal] scientific and human culture. Outlay on scientific research is extremely negligible. Even in Egypt, the Arab country where the [cultural] awakening is the most deeply rooted, [only] 0.43% of the [gross] national product [is allocated to scientific research], versus 4.04% in South Korea and 3.39% in Japan. Therefore, scientists and research output are a rarity in the Arab world, and the research that is published [there] constitutes only 0.8% of the global average. The number of patents registered to the Arabs in the past 50 years does not exceed [the number of those] registered by Malaysia alone.

"Not a single Arab university ranks among the 500 best in the world, while Israel supersedes the Arabs at an astronomical rate, in inventions and in hi-tech export. Israel has completely wiped out illiteracy [among its citizens], while among the Arabs, 23% remain illiterate.



HALEY'S FIERY UN SPEECH: 'I Will Not 'Shut Up.' Rather, I Will Speak Some Hard Truths'
On Tuesday, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley gave a fiery speech in which she blistered the U.N. for its gross bias against Israel, ripped Hamas for subjugating the Palestinians in Gaza, and slammed Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas for leaving the U.N. chamber before she made her remarks.

Haley began her remarks by noting, “We are meeting today in a forum that is very familiar to all of us. This session on the Middle East has been taking place each month for many, many years. It’s focus has been almost entirely on issues facing Israelis and Palestinians, and we have heard many of the same arguments and ideas over and over again; we have already heard them this morning. It’s as if saying the same things repeatedly, without doing the actual hard work and making the necessary compromises will achieve anything.”

After thanking people who have worked with the Trump Administration to work for peace, noting that they had tried to broaden the discussion about the Middle East, Haley continued:

One reason we did that is our well-founded belief that the United Nations spends an altogether disproportionate amount of time on Israeli-Palestinian issues. It’s not that those issues are unimportant; they are certainly very important. The problem is that the U.N. has proven itself, time and again, to be a grossly biased organization when it comes to Israel. As such, the U.N.’s disproportionate focus has actually made the problem more difficult to solve by elevating the tensions and the grievances between the two parties. Another reason we have attempted to shift the discussion is that the vast scope of the challenges facing the region dwarf the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
At UN, Abbas urges multilateral peace effort, lays out plan for talks
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas called for a “multilateral international mechanism” to pave the way for Palestinian statehood while addressing the United Nations Security Council on Tuesday.

In the rare address to the world body, Abbas also accused Israel and the United States of obstructing peace efforts.

“To solve the Palestine question, it is essential to establish a multilateral international mechanism emanating from an international conference,” the PA president said, adding that he anticipated a summit by mid-2018.

The plan is designed to replace the central role that the United States has played as mediator in the peace process and has been pushed by Abbas since US President Donald Trump’s December 6 decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

“The administration has taken Jerusalem off the table,” Abbas said, quoting the words used by Trump last month to describe the declaration.
Israel to Abbas: 'You're not part of the solution - you're the problem'
Israel’s ambassador to the United Nations slammed Palestinian Authority chairman Mahmoud Abbas Tuesday, following the PA leader’s address at the UN Security Council.

Abbas had accused Israel of ‘closing the door’ on the two-state solution, and refusing peace talks with the PA – despite Israel’s support for a return to direct negotiations brokered by the United States.

In response, Ambassador Danny Danon said Abbas was “longer part of the solution” to the Middle East conflict – but instead was part of the problem.

“You have made it clear, with your words and with your actions, that you are no longer part of the solution. You are the problem.”

The PA leader had used his address at the Security Council to call for a Mideast peace conference later this year as an alternative to the traditional direct, bilateral talks which had served as the basis for establishment of the PA under the 1993 Oslo Accords.

"To solve the Palestine question, it is essential to establish a multilateral international mechanism emanating from an international conference," Abbas said at the UN Security Council.

In response, Danon called Abbas’ plan a figleaf for the PA’s support for jailed terrorists and its promotion of anti-Israel incitement.
Jewish Groups: Democrats Should Oust Keith Ellison For His Meetings With Anti-Semite Farrakhan
Unsurprisingly, the Jewish Democrats are targeting Ellison for his action but stop short of calling for his resignation as Deputy Chair of the Democratic National Committee, which other well-known Jewish groups have done.

The Jewish Democratic Council of America (JDCA) accepted Ellison’s explanation that he did not know in advance that Farrakhan would join him at the dinner hosted by Rouhani, but added, “when he realized Farrakhan was there, Ellison should not have tolerated Farrakhan’s presence.” JDCA’s chair, Ron Klein, who was once a Democratic member of Congress from Florida, told Jewish New Syndicate, “Even though Ellison was there to discuss the release of a former U.S. marine held captive in Iran, personally, if I were invited, I would not have attended. … Louis Farrakhan has a long history of anti-Semitism, racism and anti-LGBT rhetoric and should not be at all welcome in mainstream political or policy conversations.”

Anti-Defamation League CEO Jonathan Greenblatt, who consistently leans toward the Democratic Party, allowed that Farrakhan’s presence at the Rouhani dinner was “extremely disturbing” and that “the presence of Louis Farrakhan should have been a red flag” for Ellison. David Bernstein, president of the Jewish Council for Public Affairs, tweeted that Ellison’s actions were “very disturbing… Dining with hatemongers is not ok.”

But other Jewish groups not as beholden to the Democratic Party are calling for Ellison to resign; Ron Halber, executive director of the Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Washington, said Ellison “demonstrated exceedingly poor judgment by participating in a meeting with one of America’s most notorious anti-Semites and the leader of a regime that has called for Israel’s annihilation,” and therefore “should resign as deputy chairman of the Democratic Party.” Halber was adamant about his position even before The Daily Caller report, telling JNS, “If evidence of more meetings with Farrakhan should surface, there will be a tremendous groundswell of people in the Jewish community and in the Democratic Party, telling Ellison to step down—and it would be irresponsible of the party’s leaders not to demand his resignation.”

Rabbi Abraham Cooper, associate dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, said Halber’s position is “commendable.” Cooper said the Democratic Party leadership should “take a long, hard look at Ron Halber’s appeal, which comes from an important organization and reflects the anger of many American Jews.” He added, “Ellison was not properly vetted before being appointed deputy chairman of the party.”
Dem congresswoman attended Farrakhan's pro-terror convention
Democratic Congresswoman Maxine Waters came under fire over the weekend, after it was revealed that she had attended a Nation of Islam event headlined by Louis Farrakhan.

Waters, the 79-year-old 13-term representative for California’s 43rd Congressional District, took part in a 2002 Nation of Islam event in Southern California which included a keynote address by the movement’s leader, Farrakhan.

First publicized over the weekend, Waters’ participation in the event was confirmed after archived C-SPAN footage of the event was uncovered.

Farrakhan has long been a controversial figure within the Black Muslim community in Chicago, praising Adolf Hitler as a “very great man”, and slamming Judaism as a “gutter religion” during a 1984 speech, leading the US Senate to condemn him in a unanimous 95-0 vote.

The Nation of Islam leader has continued to use explicitly anti-Semitic rhetoric, calling American Jews “satanic” in a 2013 sermon in Detroit.

During the 2002 Nation of Islam convention which Congresswoman Waters attended, Farrakhan noted Waters’ appearance at the event and praised her during his address.

“We have Maxine Waters here,” said Farrakhan as he pointed to her, “our great congresswoman from this area,” Farrakhan said at the Nation of Islam’s 2002 “World Saviour’s Day” convention in Inglewood, California

“A lot has been going on in our government - good people like Maxine Waters,” Farrakhan later added.
Director: Entebbe film highlights Israeli-Palestinian conflict
Director Jose Padilha said it was difficult for Israeli or Palestinian politicians to negotiate because those who do so lose political clout among their compatriots – something he wanted to demonstrate in his movie.

"In this recurrent conflict, it's very easy for politicians to present themselves as: 'I'm going to defend you against the enemy,' and, once you frame the relationship as a relationship like that – two enemies – it becomes hard to negotiate," he said at a post-screening news conference.

"That's still true today," he added.

Rosamund Pike, who plays one of the West German terrorists, said all the characters had a cause and the film presents the beliefs of the hijackers and the Israeli government alike but leaves it up to viewers to make a judgment.

"I think we all agree that any act of extremism is deplorable. But it is interesting to not make them one-dimensional villains but be able to recognize that emotion, human emotion, plays a part, whether you're the hero or villain, right?" she told Reuters.

Her co-star Daniel Bruehl, who plays the other West German hijacker, said the film tried to show there were multiple versions of history rather than just one.

"[It's] a film that is not easy, a film in which you know all these different voices and mindsets are heard and seen in order to understand also where we are coming from and what the situation is right now," he said.

Jacques Lemoine, an engineer who survived the hijacking, said he liked the film and found it was an accurate depiction.

"7 Days in Entebbe" is one of around 400 films being screened at this year's Berlinale but is not competing for the Golden and Silver Bears, which will be awarded on Saturday. The festival in the German capital runs until Feb. 25.
IsraellyCool: Some Worrying Signs Regarding the New Entebbe Movie
A few days ago, I remarked how great the upcoming movie 7 Days in Entebbe looks, stating at the time “nothing in the trailer suggested it will paint the terrorists sympathetically.”

I may have spoken too soon, judging by what director José Padilha said at the Berlin Film Festival.
  • He seems to have gone out of his way to portray the terrorists somewhat sympathetically
  • He draws parallels between Israeli and palestinian leaders, suggesting the reason for the difficulty in negotiating peace is they lose political standing in their countries.
  • He even claims Arafat rejected Ehud Barak’s Camp David proposal because “it would hurt him politically”, rather than the actual reason – that he actually did not truly want peace but rather a Palestinian state in all of Palestine (as even Ehud Barak – who was consulted by the film’s director – has admitted).
  • He clearly has an agenda against leaders more on the right, who are (legitimately) concerned about our safety
I have distilled the comments here so you can hear for yourselves:


JPost Editorial: Holocaust diplomacy
Yet, there are statements and acts made by Poland’s prime minister that the prime minister of the world’s only Jewish state simply cannot ignore. Morawiecki’s outrageous and very public rebuttal during the Munich Security Conference of the impassioned and emotional questioning by journalist Ronen Bergman, the offspring of Polish Jewish Holocaust survivors who were betrayed by their Polish gentile neighbors, cannot be left unaddressed by Israel on the diplomatic level.

And just hours after Morawiecki drew a parallel between Polish perpetrators of the Holocaust and “Jewish perpetrators,” as though Poles were no more likely than their Jewish fellow citizens to identify and collaborate with the Nazis’ ideology and activity toward the Jews, he had the audacity to pay his respects at the grave site of fighters from the Holy Cross Mountains Brigade, a Polish underground military unit that worked with the Nazis and murdered Jews during the final stages of World War II.

While Netanyahu has an obligation to look out for the State of Israel’s interests, as head of the Jewish state he has other obligations as well. One of them is using Israel’s diplomatic voice and clout to battle all forms of Holocaust denial. In Poland and in countries like Ukraine or Lithuania, there is an ongoing attempt not to deny outright that there was a Holocaust, but to minimize the role of Eastern Europeans who lived under Nazi occupation and aided the Nazis, sometimes with zeal.

Israel, as the world’s only Jewish state, also has an obligation to Holocaust survivors who suffered at the hands of Poles. These survivors cannot speak up for themselves in the same way that the State of Israel can by taking decisive diplomatic action against Poland, including calling back our ambassador and disinviting Polish government officials slated to attend state events in Israel.

And while Poland’s Jewish population is minuscule – at around 10,000 people – Israel has an obligation to defend them as well.

If Netanyahu fails to make it clear to Morawiecki that his comments and actions and the legislation his country has passed have diplomatic consequences, Israel’s image in the world will be tarnished. It is a matter of national pride that Israel defend the value of free and open Holocaust scholarship and call out those who attempt to distort the truth.
Israel nixes Poland trip following 'Jewish perpetrators' claim
Israel has nixed plans to send National Service volunteers to visit Poland, following recent claims by the Polish Prime Minister that there were “Jewish perpetrators” in the Holocaust.

On Saturday, Poland’s Prime Minister, Mateusz Morawiecki, told journalists at the Munich Security Conference that a recently-passed law banning the phrase” Polish death camp” or reference to Polish complicity in the Holocaust would not impact the condemnation of individual “perpetrators” of the Holocaust who happened to be Polish.

During his comments, Morawiecki added that while there were some “Polish perpetrators”, there were also “Jewish perpetrators” responsible for the Holocaust.

“[T]here were Polish perpetrators, as there were Jewish perpetrators, as there were Russian perpetrators, as there were Ukraine and German perpetrators."

Israeli leaders slammed the Polish premier’s comments, with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu calling them “outrageous”.

"The Polish Prime Minister's words here in Munich are outrageous. There's a huge problem of a lack of understanding of history, and a lack of sensitivity to our nation's tragedy. I intend to speak to him as soon as possible."

ABC’s Sophie McNeill Selectively Cuts Ahed Tamimi Video
There certainly are people who want to read into the video what they want and Sophie McNeill is one of them.

Prior to the interview with Lasky, the footage of Tamimi plays including subtitles:
Trump has declared the decision and they have to take responsibility for whatever their reaction is whether it’s stabbing attacks, or suicide attacks, or stone throwing.

This would seem to add credence to Lasky’s statement.

Except McNeill has deliberately stopped the footage mid-sentence, editing out the rest of Tamimi’s words (in full below) thus altering the meaning and interpretation of what Tamimi says. The actual monologue with the missing words:
Trump has declared the decision and they have to take responsibility for whatever their reaction is whether it’s stabbing attacks, or suicide attacks, or stone throwing, everyone must do things so we can unite this way so we can get our message across in the required way, and get this result, that is the liberation of Palestine, Allah willing.

It will be up to an Israeli military trial to judge whether or not Tamimi’s statements can be deemed to be a call to violence. That call isn’t for McNeill to make by selectively editing the Tamimi footage to suit her own biases.
IsraellyCool: Bassem Tamimi Flat-Out Lies To Western Media About Rejecting Violence
From an ABC News report about the trial of Ahed “Shirley Temper” Tamimi:

Israeli activists have long accused the Tamimi’s of condoning violence, pointing to a cousin of Ms Tamimi’s father, who was jailed 17 years ago for aiding a suicide bomber who killed 15 Israeli civilians in 2001 — including a 15-year-old who held Australian citizenship.

Two years ago, Ms Tamimi’s mother shared a post on Facebook defending the cousin.

Today, Mr Tamimi said his family rejects violence.

"For me, I was believing in the armed resistance and I was arrested for that,” he said.

“But I changed because I believe that the suitable and more effective issue is the non-violent resistance.”


Either Bassem Tamimi changed his mind very recently or he is lying – because he posted a tribute to terrorist Ahmed Jarrar, murderer of Rabbi Raziel Shevach, a 35-year-old father of six, just 2 weeks ago.
Petra Marquardt-Bigman: Dear Sarah Silverman: Amnesty Is Lying About the Tamimis
Dear Sarah Silverman — it seems that you have been taken in by Amnesty International’s cynical campaign for Ahed Tamimi. A few days ago, you linked to Amnesty’s “urgent” demand to “release Palestinian teen activist Ahed Tamimi,” and told your more than 12 million followers on Twitter: “Jews have to stand up EVEN when — especially when — the wrongdoing is BY Jews/the Israeli government.”

To make matters worse, you then re-tweeted a reply that invoked the Holocaust: “Amen! My grandparents did not survive the atrocities of the holocaust for me to be silent about injustice.”

Perhaps you don’t know much about the Tamimis, and believe Amnesty’s mendacious claim that Ahed Tamimi is just a “17-year-old Palestinian activist” who deserves to be called the “Rosa Parks of Palestine” — because “she and her family have bravely stood up against the Israeli occupation” for years.

Well, Amnesty is lying about the Tamimis. As Amnesty knows full well, Ahed’s family has emphasized in media interviews for years, that they hope to instigate a “third intifada” that would end Israel’s existence as a Jewish state. And for years, Ahed’s family has demonstrated their support for terrorism, and their ardent Jew-hatred.

While I have documented all this in great detail, it’s worthwhile adding a few updates that illustrate just how brazen the Tamimis are in their open support for terrorism — even when they know full well that the media spotlight is on them.

On February 6, Ahed’s father Bassem Tamimi responded to the news that Israeli security forces had killed the Hamas terrorist responsible for the murder of Rabbi Raziel Shevach four weeks earlier, by posting a tribute to the terrorist on Facebook: “Glory, mercy, and peace on your soul in Heaven.”
NGO Monitor: Protecting Reputation and Abusers, Not Victims: Analysis of Oxfam’s “Investigation Report” on Sexual Misconduct in Haiti
On February 9, 2018, The Times of London revealed that employees of global NGO giant, Oxfam International, had procured prostitutes while doing relief work in Haiti after the 2010 earthquake. Roland Van Hauwemeiren, who was then the Haiti Country Director for Oxfam, was chiefly implicated in the scandal. Unconfirmed allegations of sex parties on Oxfam premises and underage sex workers also emerged.

Since then, other news reports have detailed how Oxfam knew about the events for years, but did not warn other aid agencies about why certain staff left the organization (Van Hauwemeiren went on to work for another NGO in Bangladesh). Oxfam even rehired one of the dismissed employees.

News articles have also expose that the Swedish government was aware of allegations of Van Hauwemeiren’s involvement in sexual exploitation as far back as 2004 (while working in Liberia for an NGO named “Merlin”), but did not report him and continued to fund projects that he was managing. His behavior was so systematic, egregious, and normalized, that a female colleague expressed surprise upon discovering that not all NGO workers frequented prostitutes.

In the aftermath of the revelations, Oxfam released an internal memo from 2011 on the investigation into the allegations. Although most of the names have been redacted, the Oxfam investigation report describes a concerted effort at the highest levels to deal quietly with the abuse, as well as incompetence and mismanagement in human resource policies.
Aid group allegedly discriminated against woman with Jewish ties
A job seeker said she was advised to hide her ties to the Jewish community during an interview with a Dutch state-funded group trying to help Syrian immigrants integrate.

Laura Vrijsen, who is not Jewish, wrote earlier this month in the Nieuw Israelietisch Weekblad weekly about her 2017 interview for “Association Again at Home Rotterdam,” prompting an outpouring of condemnations by politicians who accused that organization of discrimination. The Association denies these allegations.

According to Vrijsen, the two women who interviewed her for a social worker’s position asked indirectly whether she was Jewish upon noticing that she had studied in Jerusalem and had worked for the JMW social services organization of the Dutch Jewish community.

Vrijsen, who was not hired due to what the association said was her relative lack of experience, called the interview an “awkward conversation.” In a column about her experience, Vrijsen said one interviewer asked: “I see that you worked for JMW and that you’ve studied in Jerusalem, what is your personal connection here?”

The interviewee asked about the relevance of these facts to her suitability. The interviewer reportedly replied: “Well, we have Palestinian refugees and if you go over to their house you better not mention this. Their families first had to flee Palestine and now they had to leave everything behind again, this time in Syria. This grief is deep and will never go away.”
HRW suspends employee over Auschwitz joke on dating app
Human Rights Watch has suspended its associate director of finance over a joke he made in his Tinder profile about the Holocaust.

StandWithUs, the US-based Israeli advocacy organization, posted a screenshot on Monday of the dating profile Matthew Myers created on the Tinder app. Myers listed his workplace, his interests, and that "if you can't laugh about the hair room at Auschwitz, get out." Myers did not elaborate on what was so amusing about the piles of hair cut from the dead bodies of those murdered in the concentration camp's gas chambers.

Andrew Stroehlein, HRW's European media director, told The Jerusalem Post Tuesday that Myers was instructed to delete the offensive comment and has been suspended.

"These comments are antithetical to the values of Human Rights Watch," Stroehlein said. "We have instructed Mr Myers to delete them, and have suspended him from his duties pending further deliberation." He added that "as soon as we were informed about this, we took immediate action."

In its initial post, StandWithUs encouraged people to write to HRW, "because antisemitism from their employees is anything but funny."
No, Zionists Didn’t Scuttle a Proposed Chair at a California State University
Last year, California State University at Fresno halted a search to fill a newly created professorship in Middle East Studies, named after the late professor and pro-Palestinian apologist Edward Said. In response, an emerita faculty member, Vida Samiian, abruptly resigned the committee in protest, citing a “documented campaign of harassment and intimidation of search-committee members [conducted] by Israel-advocacy groups to influence and derail the outcome of the search.” The anti-Israel organization Jewish Voice for Peace quickly produced a petition with 500 signatures condemning the university’s action, and the Middle East Studies Association, a group called the Islamic Human Rights Commission, and a few others joined in. But the decision to suspend the search, which, contrary to allegations was not canceled, and in fact will soon be resumed, had nothing to do with Israel or politics, and everything to do with a struggle over departmental turf, as Steven Lubet explains:

The whole affair was nothing more than a rather mundane episode of internecine faculty politics, which would have been readily discoverable under California’s Open Records Act if anyone had wanted to seek it out. In reality, Zionists had absolutely nothing to do with the suspension of the search, and no lobbying groups seem even to have been aware of it. As is clearly shown in Fresno State’s 407-page file on the search controversy, which I recently obtained through an Open Records Act request, the main procedural problems had been identified over two months prior to the suspension, and they involved nothing more than inter-departmental turf disputes.

When funds had first been solicited for the Edward Said chair, it was expected that the position would be housed in the Philosophy and Religious Studies department. . . . The four finalists, however, were all social scientists. . . . It was this distinction, and not the ethnicity or specific scholarly interests of the finalists, [as Samiian alleged], that ultimately frustrated the search. . . . The details surrounding the search suspension were fully known to Samiian, who was copied on most of the internal correspondence. . . . As we now know, however, Samiian’s conjectures were repeated and amplified uncritically, even though they were baseless.
IsraellyCool: How NOT To Argue You Aren’t An Antisemite by Tony Greenstein
Following his expulsion from the British Labour party, Israel hater Tony Greenstein wants everyone to know he is no antisemite.


After all, it is not like he hates all Jewish Israelis – just a select group of them.

Yeah, not helping your cause, Tony.
CAA contacts university Jewish Societies to offer assistance during ‘Israeli Apartheid Week’
Every year at universities across the country, ‘Israeli Apartheid Week’ sees a flurry of antisemitic speakers and demonstrations on British campuses. Each year, we are contacted by Jewish students who are unsure of their rights, what they can do, and how we can help them.

Following a great deal of work by Campaign Against Antisemitism, Sir Eric Pickles and others, the British government became the first in the world to formally adopt the International Definition of Antisemitism in 2016, following which the then Minister of State for Universities reminded all universities of the definition and their obligation to protect their Jewish students. Although it offered no new measures, his call was backed by the Prime Minister.

Some universities such as the University of Exeter and the University of Central Lancashire showed principled leadership and banned ‘Israeli Apartheid Week’ events, whereas others, like the University of Sussex, rolled out the red carpet.

Last year, by the end of ‘Israeli Apartheid Week’, which often runs for more than one week, students were making videos complaining about problematic events being cancelled. We hope that there might be similar successes in stopping extremist, antisemitic or abusive events this year, despite unhelpful comments by the former Minister of State for Universities in December 2017.

Universities and students’ unions are governed by complex rules and laws, including the government’s Prevent counter-extremism strategy, the public sector equality duty, charity law and numerous other requirements. It can be complicated to enforce the law, but we are here to help. Today we have sent a simple guide to students explaining how we can help them to enforce their rights. The guide has been sent to Jewish Societies directly but it can also be downloaded by anybody from our website.
Globe Columnist Doug Saunders Erroneously Claims Israeli PM Refuses to Negotiate Peace with Palestinians
Doug Saunders is entitled to his own opinions, but not his own facts. It’s one thing for Saunders to write a column on the Globe and Mail website on February 16 lumping Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu with former South African President Jacob Zuma, claiming that both leaders “hurt their countries” and that they “put power above country.” It’s quite another thing for Saunders, in exclusively blaming Netanyahu for being the stumbling block to peace between Israel and the Palestinians, to get his facts egregiously wrong.

Netanyahu cannot be fingered for the rise of the terrorist group Hamas – that honourable mention goes to the Muslim Brotherhood, to local Palestinians and to Iran, its chief patron. Netanyahu was not in power when Hamas was formed in 1987, nor was he Israel’s Prime Minister in 2006/7 when Hamas won the legislative elections and assumed control of Gaza in a coup d’état.

In addition, far from refusing to engage in peace talks with the Palestinians, Netanyahu has repeatedly and publicly invited Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas to sit down with him to negotiate peace. It’s the Palestinians who have been the rejectionists by refusing to enter into bilateral negotiations to procure the long lasting peace we all yearn for.
Huffington Post Arabic Removes Hamas Propaganda
In response to communication from CAMERA and its new Arabic department, Huffington Post editors have commendably removed Hamas propaganda from its Arabic web site. As reported last week on CAMERA's Snapshots blog, the Feb. 10 Huffington Post Arabic item ("Video and first pictures. . . see the site of the Israeli F-16 plane's crash and its debris after it was shot down by fire from inside Syria") included a number of videos taken from the Facebook page of Hamas' Shehab News Agency, along with Shehab's caption on one video which referred to Israel as "the enemy" and "the occupation," and its territory (within the Green Line) as "occupied Palestine." The caption had stated (CAMERA Arabic's translation):

The occupation's media publishes scenes which it said are of the moment of shooting down the Iranian drone (according to the announcement of the enemy) that entered the skies of occupied Palestine early in the morning.

While such terminology is common within Hamas, designated as a terror group by the United States, European Union, and Israel, it is completely at odds with professional journalistic language. CAMERA is glad that Huffington Post editors agree, and commendably removed all the Hamas clips, including the aforementioned caption, from its story.
Chabad footage shows Florida shooter ‘casually walking’ after attack
A Chabad center in Coral Springs, Florida, may have evidence that can help police bring the Parkland high school shooter to justice.

When Rabbi Hershy Bronstein of the Chai Center Chabad saw in a report from the local sheriff’s office that a suspect had been arrested at a McDonald’s across the street from his building, he checked security camera footage to see if it contained any evidence that could help police, Chabad.org reported.

The camera footage showed suspect Nikolas Cruz, 19, walking down the street and into McDonald’s, after the February 14 shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.

Cruz reportedly had purchased a drink at a Subway located in a Walmart along the route before going entering the McDonalds.

“My heart skipped a beat when I saw it,” Bronstein told the Jewish news website Vos Iz Neias of reviewing the security camera footage. “You see him in our parking lot, casually walking by, looking over his shoulder.”
Portugal’s tourism chief seeks to inspire more Jews to move to the country
Portugal’s Secretary of State for Tourism Ana Mendes Godinho reached out to Jewish communities via a tour of the US this month, during which she called for “a Jewish presence in Portugal.”

“We want a Jewish presence in Portugal and we look to Jewish investment,” said Mendes Godinho, who returned to Portugal at the end of last week after a two-week visit.

Citing low unemployment and calling Portugal the “third most peaceful country in the world,” she stressed the importance of bringing Jews to visit and live in Portugal.

Mendes Godinho met with a variety of Jewish leaders and communities in New York, San Francisco and Los Angeles.

These included representatives of the American Jewish Committee, the Jewish Council for Public Affairs, the American Sephardi Federation and Anti-Defamation League.

During the events, Mendes Godinho talked about the long history and connection between Portugal and the Jewish people.

“As we have a vast Jewish heritage and a very ancient and profound connection to Jewish communities - we have evidence of Jewish presence in Portugal since 390 AD – we identified as a priority the promoting of the Jewish Legacy and of the Jewish routes in Portugal,” she said. “It is quite interesting to remember that in the 15th century, circa 20% of the Portuguese population was Jewish, so we always say that every Portuguese may have a Jewish origin.”
Azealia Banks slays BDS: Canceling Israel shows is 'totally antisemitic'
American rap star Azealia Banks struck back with a vengeance against anti-Israel naysayers who protested her upcoming show in Tel Aviv in a searing Instagram post this week.

"My fans in Israel have been waiting years for me to come," she said in a comment on her own post. "I too live in a country which has its issues but I cannot hold my fans in America responsible for Our country's problems and deny them the right to a good time. The Kuntbrigade is GLOBAL honey. The KUNTS connection rises far above any political influence. We connect through music and love," Banks continued, commenting on the double standard BDS supporters have when it comes to holding Israelis disproportionately responsible for political events compared with the citizens of other nations.

Banks went on to say in unequivocal terms that giving in to BDS demands would be singling out Jews for boycott: "Me cancelling my concert would be totally anti-Semitic and I'm not going to EVER make any of my fans feel like they don't have a place in my heart. I'm going to Tel-Aviv to rock out with my kunts and that is THE END OF THE DISCUSSION."

JETHRO TULL HEADING TO ISRAEL
British rock legend Jethro Tull is heading to Israel this fall. Well, at least one member of the band is: Ian Anderson, the group's vocalist, flutist and guitarist, and the only remaining member who is continuing to tour.

Anderson will be bringing his Jethro Tull 50th anniversary tour to three different cities in Israel in October - Haifa, Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. The band saw its greatest commercial success in the 70s, with singles Living in the Past, The Witch's Promise and Bungle in the Jungle. The group has long cemented its status as a classic rock touchstone with a considerable legacy in the music world.

Anderson recently announced the upcoming 50th anniversary tour, which will start next month in Europe and later head to the US, Canada and Russia.
Israeli start-up now worth over $1 billion
The founders of the Mobileye car safety device have topped the $1 billion mark once again - this time with OrCam, an Israeli start-up founded in 2010 by Ziv Aviram and Amnon Shashua

OrCam raised another $30 million after selling a 3% stake in the company Monday, reports Yediot Aharonot. Even before the latest fund-raising operation, the company had already topped $1 billion in total value. Only in April of last year, in the previous financing round, the company was worth $600 million - meaning that the company's value has soared a whopping 67% in less than one year. OrCam's value upsurge puts the company in the "Unicorn" club, start-ups with a value of over $1 billion.

Since its inception, the company has raised more than $100 million in lisquid assets, and is expected to embark on another fundraising round later this year and then prepare to be taken public, not before 2020, and apparently on Nasdaq, where Mobileye was floated before it. OrCam's latest fundraising provided a second wind thanks to Mobileye's sale to Intel last March for $15.3 billion. The current fundraising was led by Clal Insurance and the Meitav Dash investment house.
Israelis build first dairy farm in Papua New Guinea
Call him the milkman of the world. Since 1990, civil engineer Ronen Feigenbaum has used Israeli technology and knowhow to set up dairy farms in China, England, India, Mexico, Namibia, Nigeria, Philippines, Romania, South Africa, Vietnam and now Papua New Guinea.

“Israeli dairy farms are the best in the world. Our cows are the champions in production,” says Feigenbaum, explaining why all these countries seek Israeli expertise.

He immigrated to Israel in 1973 from Argentina – where he’d never seen a cow except on a dinner plate — and ended up managing a kibbutz dairy before earning a civil engineering degree at the prestigious Technion-Israel Institute of Technology in 1978.

Feigenbaum became a dairy farm designer, first for the Kibbutz Movement and now at Tel Aviv-based Alefbet Planners, where he is in charge of planning livestock and farm buildings.

From 1980 to 1990 he worked across Israel, while today he travels widely to share Israeli advances in every aspect of dairy farming, from herd management to milking to silage.
Pee-wee Herman's dad was one of Israel's top guns
Milton Rubenfeld was a top-gun pilot for the United States Army Air Force in World War II. But when the war ended after the surrender of Germany, Japan and the Axis powers in 1945, his peace was short-lived. Raised as an Orthodox Jew, he watched with great interest as Jewish people, many of them survivors of the Holocaust, emigrated to Palestine and established the State of Israel in 1948—an historic development that did not sit well with its new Arab neighbors. War broke out immediately after Israel declared its independence.

Rubenfeld was one of five Jewish pilots who secretly answered the call and took to the skies in smuggled fighter planes to give Israel a fighting chance against superior Arab forces. Their story is the subject of the documentary Above and Beyond, which debuts on iTunes and On-Demand today. The film was directed by Roberta Grossman and produced by Nancy Spielberg.

Rubenfeld was a war hero, but few of the people who knew him in his later years really understood what his contributions were to Israel’s birth, not even his son, Paul Reubens. Yes, that Paul Reubens: Pee-wee Herman. In this extended sequence, Reubens and his mother, Judy, describe the proud man whose “[war stories] seemed like fish stories” to Reubens, at least initially. It wasn’t until later, when Rubenfeld’s heroics were documented in a book that Reubens realized the magnitude of his father’s achievements. He was a larger-than-life figure who inevitably drew a crowd—even on the red carpet of his son’s movie premiere.



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Here's the text  of Danny Danon's response to Mahmoud Abbas' speech in the UNSC today. I thought it was a strong speech and it made all the major points that get ignored in the media and by diplomats.

I expected Mr. Abbas to stay for a dialogue, but once again he has run away instead of listening to what we have to say.

Look what just happened. Mr. Abbas came here put his demands on the table.

Now he expects you to deliver.

This is not the way to achieve peace. You cannot avoid direct negotiations.

Thank you, Mr. President.

It is unfortunate that we are meeting here today;
For the past seven and a half years the Chairman of the Palestinian Authority, Mahmoud Abbas,
has refused to meet even once with Prime Minister Netanyahu.

He has refused to negotiate peace.

Yet, during that same time, Mr. Abbas has made seven trips here to the United Nations.

Today, once again. rather than driving just twelve minutes from Ramallah to Jerusalem, he has chosen to fly twelve hours to New York to avoid the possibility for peace.

Mr. Abbas.

You have made it clear with your words and with your actions, that you are no longer part of the solution. You are the problem.

What have you done to better the life of a single person in Ramallah or Gaza?

The Palestinians need leadership that will invest in education, not glorify violence.
They need leadership that will build hospitals, not pay terrorists.
They need leadership that will negotiate with Israel and not run away from dialogue.

You just addressed the members of the Security Council and spoke of your commitments to peace. This is what you often do when speaking to international forums.

But when you address your people in Arabic, you convey a very different message.

A few weeks ago, when you spoke to the PLO Central Committee you called the national movement of the Jewish people and I quote “colonialist project that has no connection to Judaism.”

In the same shameful speech, you had the audacity to accuse Jews of supporting antisemitism in order to promote Zionism.

This was not the first time you used such hateful language.

In September 2015, as part of your attempts to delegitimize the connection between the Jewish people and the Land of Israel you said that Jews had no rights to the Temple Mount and other holy sites. And that the Jews, and I quote…“desecrate them with their filthy feet.”

You then went on to incite your people to violence saying, and I quote, “we welcome every drop of blood spilled in Jerusalem.”

Mr. Abbas,
You inspire a culture of hate within Palestinian society.
You name schools and public squares in honor of terrorists.
You encourage your children to hate by teaching them in school that Jews are descendants of apes.

Just this month, your Fatah faction praised the terrorists who killed Rabbi Raziel Shevach.

And you remained silent and refused to condemn the terrorists who killed a father of six as he was driving home to see his children.

Mr. Abbas, your incitement does not end with rhetoric. You have made it official Palestinian policy to sponsor terrorism.

In 2017, you spent $345 million dollars paying terrorists for killing innocent Israelis.

That is fifty percent of total foreign aid donated to the PA.
This is money you could have spent building forty hospitals.
This is money, you could have used to build 172 schools.
Every year.

Your travel around the world seeking international intervention is an attempt to avoid the hard choices necessary for peace.

You look to every possible forum because you don’t want to actually negotiate with Israel.

Mr. President,

It is unfortunate, but this reckless behavior by Chairman Abbas is nothing new.

It is a pattern he has continued in the spirit of over seventy years of missed opportunities by Palestinian leadership.

We recently celebrated seventy years since the adoption of General Assembly Resolution 181.

For the Jewish people, it represented international recognition of our historic rights to our homeland. We accepted the resolution immediately.

It was not perfect. It did not provide us with all that we deserved.

But it gave us hope for a better future.

Yet, this past November, as Israel celebrated this milestone the Palestinians marked this anniversary with grief and mourning just as they did seventy years ago when they chose to reject it.

Since that moment in 1947 Israelis fought valiantly in too many wars against our enemies intent to destroy our country.

Over time, brave leaders emerged in Egypt and Jordan. Leaders who were willing to negotiate, compromise, and ultimately sign peace agreements with Israel.

But the Palestinian leadership continued to choose conflict over coexistence.

At the Camp David summit, in 2000, Prime Minister Ehud Barak presented the Palestinians with an unprecedented offer.

What was Mahmoud Abbas’s reaction? To side with Yasser Arafat, claim it was a trap, and reject the proposal.

In 2005, Mahmoud Abbas was elected to chair the Palestinian Authority.

The world hoped he would follow in the courageous footsteps of President Sadat and King Hussein, seek peace with Israel, and forge a better future for Palestinians.

But he let his people down.

Since the day he took office, peace plan after peace plan has been accepted by Israel and rejected by Mr. Abbas.

Israeli leaders have sat with Mr. Abbas time and again. Three different Israeli prime ministers, three different American presidents. But every time there is an inch toward progress…

Mr. Abbas runs away.

In 2007, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert offered the most generous deal since Resolution 181. An almost complete withdrawal from Judea and Samaria and a direct link to the Gaza Strip.

The offer even included a plan to place the Old City of Jerusalem, the gateway to our holiest sites, under international control.

Mr. Abbas’s response was simple: An unequivocal no.

Two years later, Prime Minister Netanyahu did something unprecedented. In an attempt to restart negotiations, he initiated a ten -month freeze on Jewish construction in Judea and Samaria.

This was a precondition that no Israeli Prime Minister, not even Yitzhak Rabin or Shimon Peres had ever agreed to. But soon enough, the ten months passed and Mahmoud Abbas was nowhere to be found. He never came to the table. (P)

In 2013, Secretary of State John Kerry opened another attempt at negotiations. Once again Prime Minister Netanyahu was ready to talk. Once again, he was ready to negotiate, despite the years of Palestinian rejections of peace.

Chairman Abbas responded by breaking his commitment to Secretary Kerry. He chose unilateral action joining international conventions. Then he sought peace with Hamas, the internationally recognized terrorist organization, without even demanding that it renounce violence.

Today, as we speak, the current US administration is once again working hard to make progress toward peace. Mr. Abbas, however, is once again looking hard for an excuse.

This time, he claims it was the American announcement about Jerusalem that drove him to reject negotiations. By recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, President Trump simply stated what should be clear to everyone.

Mr. Abbas,
Let me be clear.

For thousands of years Jerusalem has been the heart and soul of our people.

Jerusalem has been our capital since the days of King David.

And Jerusalem will remain the undivided capital of the State of Israel forever.

We will always insist on Israeli sovereignty over a united Jerusalem. But, even fair-minded observers would agree that under any possible agreement Jerusalem will be recognized internationally as our capital.

After all these years of Abbas’s rejectionism, one thing is clear: when we extend a hand,
Abbas extends a fist.

Only when the terrorists of Hamas extend a hand, does Abbas embrace them with open arms and without preconditions.

Mr. Abbas has no even insisted on the basic human gesture of demanding the return of the Israeli civilians and the remains of IDF soldiers Hadar Goldin and Oron Shaul that Hamas is savagely holding.

Mr. President…

Israelis are an optimistic people.

We weathered four bloody wars with Egypt while waiting for a leader like Anwar Sadat to courageously visit Jerusalem.

It took decades of talks with Jordan until the time was right for King Hussein to enter into what he rightly called a “peace of the brave.”

Three times a day Jews in Israel and all over the world turn to Jerusalem, and pray for peace.

We ask the following from God:

שִׂים שָ לוֹם טוֹבָה וּבְרָכָה
חֵן וָחֶֽסֶד וְרַחֲמִים עָלֵֽינוּ וְעַל כָּל יִשְׂרָאֵל עַמֶּֽךָ

“Grant peace everywhere goodness and blessing, Grace, loving kindness and mercy to us and unto all Israel and all of the world.”

We have no doubt that the day will come when the Palestinian people will also be blessed with leadership that shares these noble aspirations.

This will be a leadership that condemns violence and ends the shameful practice of paying salaries to terrorists. It will be a leadership that educates its people to tolerance instead of peddling in antisemitism. It will be a leadership that recognizes that Israel is and always will be
the national homeland of the Jewish people.

Israel eagerly awaits the day, when this Palestinian leadership will emerge and will bring the hope of a better future for its people and our region.
Thank you.
 And here's Nikki Haley's response:

Thank you, Mr. Secretary-General, for being with us today, as well as to Mr. Mladenov for his briefing.
We are meeting today in a forum that is very familiar to all of us. This session on the Middle East has been taking place each month for many, many years. Its focus has been almost entirely on issues facing Israelis and Palestinians. And we have heard many of the same arguments and ideas over and over again. We have already heard them again this morning.
It is as if saying the same things repeatedly, without actually doing the hard work and making the necessary compromises, will achieve anything.
Beginning last year, we have tried to broaden the discussion, and we have had some success in doing so. I thank my colleagues who have participated in those broader discussions.
One reason we did that is our well-founded belief that the United Nations spends an altogether disproportionate amount of time on Israeli-Palestinian issues. It’s not that those issues are unimportant. They are certainly very important. The problem is that the UN has proven itself time and again to be a grossly biased organization when it comes to Israel.
As such, the UN’s disproportionate focus has actually made the problem more difficult to solve, by elevating the tensions and the grievances between the two parties.
Another reason we have attempted to shift the discussion is that the vast scope of the challenges facing the region dwarf the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
As we meet here today, the Middle East is plagued by many truly horrendous problems.
In Yemen, there is one of the worst humanitarian disasters on earth, with millions of people facing starvation. Meanwhile, militia groups fire Iranian rockets from Yemen into neighboring countries. In Syria, the Assad regime is using chemical weapons to gas its own people. This war has taken the lives of over half a million Syrians.
Millions more have been pushed into neighboring Jordan, Turkey, and Lebanon as refugees, causing major hardships in those countries.
In Lebanon, Hezbollah terrorists exert ever-more control, illegally building up a stockpile of offensive weapons, inviting a dangerous escalation that could devastate regional security.
ISIS is engaged in an inhumane level of cruelty in much of the region. They’ve been dealt severe setbacks in Iraq and Syria, but they are not completely yet destroyed, and they still pose serious threats.
Egypt faces repeated terrorist attacks.
And of course, there is the terrorist-sponsoring regime in Iran that initiates and encourages most of the troubles I just outlined.
These immense security and humanitarian challenges throughout the region should occupy more of our attention, rather than having us sit here month after month and use the most democratic country in the Middle East as a scapegoat for the region’s problems.
But here we go again.
I do not mean to suggest that there is no suffering in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Both sides have suffered greatly. So many innocent Israelis have been killed or injured by suicide bombings, stabbings, and other sickening terrorist attacks. Israel has been forced to live under constant security threats like virtually no other country in the world. It should not have to live that way.
And yet, Israel has overcome those burdens. It is a thriving country, with a vibrant economy that contributes much to the world in the name of technology, science, and the arts.
It is the Palestinian people who are suffering more. The Palestinians in Gaza live under Hamas terrorist oppression. I can’t even call it a governing authority, as Hamas provides so little in the way of what one would normally think as government services.
The people of Gaza live in truly awful conditions, while their Hamas rulers put their resources into building terror tunnels and rockets. The Palestinians in the West Bank also suffer greatly. Too many have died, and too much potential has been lost in this conflict.
We are joined here today by Palestinian Authority President Abbas. I’m sorry he declined to stay in the chamber to hear the remarks of others. Even though he has left the room, I will address the balance of my remarks to him.
President Abbas, when the new American administration came into the office last January, we did so against the fresh backdrop of the passage of Security Council Resolution 2334.
In the waning days of the previous American administration, the United States made a serious error in allowing that resolution to pass. Resolution 2334 was wrong on many levels. I am not going to get into the substance now.
But beyond the substance, perhaps its biggest flaw was that it encouraged the false notion that Israel can be pushed into a deal that undermines its vital interests, damaging the prospects for peace by increasing mistrust between the Israelis and the Palestinians.
In the last year, the United States has worked to repair that damage. At the UN, I have opposed the bias against Israel, as any ally should do.
But that does not mean I or our administration is against the Palestinian people. Just the opposite is true. We recognize the suffering of the Palestinian people, as I have recognized here today.
I sit here today offering the outstretched hand of the United States to the Palestinian people in the cause of peace. We are fully prepared to look to a future of prosperity and co-existence. We welcome you as the leader of the Palestinian people here today.
But I will decline the advice I was recently given by your top negotiator, Saeb Erekat. I will not shut up. Rather, I will respectfully speak some hard truths.
The Palestinian leadership has a choice to make between two different paths. There is the path of absolutist demands, hateful rhetoric, and incitement to violence. That path has led, and will continue to lead, to nothing but hardship for the Palestinian people.
Or, there is the path of negotiation and compromise. History has shown that path to be successful for Egypt and Jordan, including the transfer of territory. That path remains open to the Palestinian leadership, if only it is courageous enough to take it.
The United States knows the Palestinian leadership was very unhappy with the decision to move our embassy to Jerusalem. You don’t have to like that decision. You don’t have to praise it. You don’t even have to accept it. But know this: that decision will not change.
So once again, you must choose between two paths. You can choose to denounce the United States, reject the U.S. role in peace talks, and pursue punitive measures against Israel in international forums like the UN. I assure you that path will get the Palestinian people exactly nowhere toward the achievement of their aspirations.
Or, you can choose to put aside your anger about the location of our embassy, and move forward with us toward a negotiated compromise that holds great potential for improving the lives of the Palestinian people.
Putting forward old talking points and entrenched and undeveloped concepts achieves nothing. That approach has been tried many times, and has always failed. After so many decades, we welcome new thinking.
As I mentioned in this meeting last month, the United States stands ready to work with the Palestinian leadership.
Our negotiators are sitting right behind me, ready to talk. But we will not chase after you. The choice, Mr. President, is yours.
Thank you.
(h/t Daled Amos)




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I don't have time to fully annotate this yet, but there are plenty of absurdities and lies. I highlight a few of them.

--------------------------

Excellency Sheikh Sabah Al-Khaled Al-Hamad Al-Sabah, President of the Security Council,

Excellency Mr. António Guterres, Secretary-General of the United Nations,

Excellencies Members of the Security Council,

Seventy years have passed since Palestine’s Nakba, from which 6 million Palestine refugees continue to suffer from the cruelty of exile and loss of human security. They continue to wander the world after the loss of their peaceful and stable lives in their homeland. They are part of the 13 million Palestinians, whose country has not yet been recognized as full Member State of the United Nations, despite the numerous resolutions reaffirming their right to self-determination and statehood on their national land.

We are the descendants of the Canaanites that lived in the land of Palestine 5,000 years ago and continuously remained there to this day. Our great people remain rooted in their land. The Palestinian people built their own cities and homeland and made contributions to humanity and civilization witnessed by the world. They established institutions, schools, hospitals, cultural organizations, theaters, libraries, newspapers, publishing houses, economic organizations, businesses and banks, with wide regional and international influence.

(If they are Arabs, they aren't Canaanites. And they are Arabs. Except for some Christians, every major Palestinian family traces their ancestry to Arabia.) 

(I want a list of the Arab-established theaters, libraries, publishing houses and banks in Palestine before 1917.)

All of this existed before and after the Balfour Declaration issued by the British Government in 1917, a declaration by which those who did not own, giving to those who had no right. The British Government bears responsibility for the catastrophic consequences inflicted on the Palestinian people as a result.

Since then, and although our people remain under occupation, they continued their journey in building and developing their country with the establishment of their National Authority in 1994. Our national institutions are recognized by international organizations for their merit and work, which is based on the rule of law, accountability and transparency, and empowerment of women and youth in an environment of tolerance, coexistence of civilizations and nondiscrimination.

Moreover, we continue to strive to unite our people and land and to ensure one authority, one law, and one gun, and are determined to convene parliamentary and presidential elections.

(Yes, since 1994 we have still not managed to do any of this. But we promise we will!)

Mr. President, Excellencies,

Our conviction is deep and our position is clear regarding the use of arms of any kind. We not only call for the dismantlement of nuclear weapons, but are also opposed to conventional weapons, which have caused such vast destruction of States in our region and around the world.

(The Fatah logo has a hand grenade and submachine gun.)


We have thus been committed to fostering a culture of peace, rejection of violence, pursuit of sustainable development and the building of schools, hospitals, industrial zones, agricultural farms and technological production, as opposed to establishing weapons factories and purchasing tanks and fighter jets, for we wish for our people to live in freedom and dignity, far from wars and destruction and far from terrorism and extremism, which are being relentlessly combated in all areas of the globe. Accordingly, we have become party to 83 security agreements with States around the world, including the United States, Russian Federation, European countries and others.

(I just posted about how Abbas' party, today, glorifies terror on their official social media accounts.)

Why are we here today?

After a long journey and efforts to create a political path based on negotiations and leading to a comprehensive and just peace, as you are aware, we participated in the Madrid Conference in 1991 and signed the Oslo Accords in 1993, which affirmed the imperative of reaching a solution of all the permanent status issues before 1999. Unfortunately, this has not become reality.

Nevertheless, we persisted in our efforts to attain peace. We engaged in dialogue at Wye River and Camp David. We participated in the Annapolis Conference; we engaged in dialogue with the former Israeli Prime Minister Olmert, and met with Prime Minister Netanyahu in the presence of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and George Mitchell; and we accepted President Putin’s invitation to meet with Mr. Netanyahu in Moscow, but he has regrettably evaded participating in such a meeting. We engaged with all seriousness with former Secretary of State John Kerry. But the Israeli Government’s intransigence caused the failure of all of these efforts.

After all of this, how can it be said that it is we who reject negotiations?

(See Danny Danon's response, being posted here soon, with a pretty good list of what Abbas has walked out of.) 

Confronted with this deadlock, we have neither given up, nor have we lost hope. We have come to the United Nations, believing in the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations, which affirms, inter alia, the inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by force and affirms the right of peoples to self-determination, which are among the issues this august Council will address tomorrow. We continue to engage with all of its agencies and bodies in our search for an end this occupation of our land and people. Yet, in spite of all of this, the international community has failed to implement the relevant UN resolutions, even to this day.

Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,

Is it logical that, despite the adoption of 705 General Assembly resolutions and 86 Security Council resolutions in our favor, none of them have been implemented? Is it logical that Israel violates its obligation to implement resolutions 181 (II) and 194 (III), the implementation of which Israel’s admission to the UN was conditioned upon, as pledged in writing by its Foreign Minister Moshe Sharett at that time?

(Lie.)

Israel is acting as a State above the law. It has transformed the occupation from a temporary situation as per international law into a situation of permanent settlement colonization and has imposed a one-State reality of Apartheid. It has closed all doors to realizing the two-State solution on the basis of the 1967 borders.

Here, we must reaffirm, as we have done in the past, our problem is not with the followers of Judaism. Judaism is a monotheistic religion as are Christianity and Islam. Our problem is only with the occupiers of our land and those denying our independence and freedom.

Mr. President, Excellencies Members of the Council,

We met with the President of the United States, Donald Trump, four times in 2017, and we have expressed our absolute readiness to reach a historic peace agreement. We repeatedly reaffirmed our position in accordance with international law, the relevant UN resolutions and the two-State solution on the basis of the 1967 borders. Yet this administration has not clarified its position. Is it for the two-State solution, or for one-State? And, then, in a dangerous, unprecedented manner, this administration undertook an unlawful decision, which was rejected by the international community, to remove the issue of Jerusalem “off the table” and to recognize the City as Israel’s capital and to transfer its embassy to the City. It did so ignoring that East Jerusalem is part of the Palestinian territory occupied since 1967 and is our capital, which we wish to be a City open to all faithful of the three monotheistic religions, Islam, Christianity and Judaism.

It is also strange that the United States still lists the Palestine Liberation Organization on its terror list and imposes restrictions on the work of our mission in Washington under the pretext of Congressional decisions since 1987. And, most recently, it has decided to punish the Palestine refugees by way of reduction of its contribution to UNRWA, in spite of the fact that it supported the Agency’s establishment and has endorsed the Arab Peace Initiative, which calls for a just and agreed solution for the plight of the refugees in accordance with resolution 194 (III).

(Endorsed is way too strong a word.)

The United States has contradicted itself and contradicted its own commitments and has violated international law and the relevant resolutions with its decision regarding Jerusalem. So, it has become impossible today for one country or State alone to solve a regional or international conflict without the participation of other international partners. Therefore, to solve the Palestine question, it is essential to establish a multi-lateral international mechanism emanating from an international conference and in line with international law and the relevant resolutions.

Mr. President, Excellencies,

Faced with Israel’s policies and practices in violation of international law and Israel’s noncompliance with and non-implementation of agreements signed, our Central Council, the highest Palestinian parliamentary body, decided several weeks ago to review the relationship with Israel, considering that we have become an Authority without authority and the occupation has become one without cost and that Israel must uphold its obligations as an occupying Power.

In spite of this, I confirm to you our commitment to maintain our institutions and achievements, which we have realized on the ground in Palestine as well as in the international arena. We are determined to remain committed to the political, diplomatic, legal path, far from violence, and through political negotiations and dialogue, which we have never rejected.

We will continue to extend our hands to make peace and will continue to exert efforts to bring an end to the Israeli occupation based on the two-State solution on the 1967 borders and international legitimacy as per the relevant resolutions in order to achieve our national aspirations.

At the same time, we will continue to oppose any attempts, regardless by whom, to impose solutions that contradict this legitimacy.

We have been granted the status of non-member Observer State by the General Assembly and, on that basis, we have become a State party to 105 international treaties and organizations. We have been recognized by 138 States. All of this has further strengthened the status of the State of Palestine, which continues to strive for recognition by the rest of the States in the world, among them Member States of the Council that have not yet recognized the State of Palestine, even while knowing that recognition of the State of Palestine is not a substitute for negotiations, but rather would enhance the prospects for success of negotiations.

In the coming period, we will intensify our efforts to achieve admission to full membership in the United Nations and to guarantee international protection for our people. We hope for your support for these efforts aimed at ensuring the rights of 13 million Palestinians, who yearn for an independent homeland just like all other peoples of the world and yearn for their State to take its rightful place in the international community.

Mr. President, Excellencies,

We come here before your august Council in the midst of the deadlock of the peace process due to the US decision regarding Jerusalem, Israel’s ongoing illegal settlement activities, its violation of the resolutions of this Council, and its disrespect of the signed agreements. We are here because of the Palestinian side’s desire to continue working positively and courageously in the building a culture of peace, rejecting violence, saving the principle of two-States, and attaining security and stability for all, to restore hope to our people and the peoples of the region, and to find a way out of the stalemate and crisis we are in.

Driven by our conviction in a just, lasting and comprehensive peace, which is our strategic choice for the sake of the coming generations in our region, including the Palestinians and Israelis, I present to this august Council a peace plan that addresses the core problems that have undermined peace efforts across the decades. Our plan includes the following:

First: We call for the convening of an international peace conference by mid-2018, based on international law and the relevant UN resolutions, with broad international participation and including the two concerned parties and the regional and international stakeholders, foremost among them the Permanent Members of the Security Council and the international Quartet, as was the framework for the Paris Peace Conference and as envisaged for the conference to be convened in Moscow as per resolution 1850 (2008). The outcomes of this conference should be as follows:

a. Acceptance of the State of Palestine as a full member of the United Nations and a call on the Security Council to achieve that, taking into account General Assembly resolution 67/19 of 29 November 2012, and guaranteeing international protection for our people.

b. Mutual recognition between the State of Palestine and the State of Israel on the basis of the 1967 borders.

c. Formation of an international multilateral mechanism that will assist the two parties in the negotiations to resolve the permanent status issues defined in the Oslo Accords (Jerusalem, borders, security, settlements, refugees, water and prisoners), conduct those negotiations on the basis of international law and the relevant UN resolutions, and implement what is to be agreed upon within a set timeframe and with guarantees for this implementation.

Second: During the period of negotiations, all parties must refrain from unilateral actions, particularly those that would prejudge the outcome of a final solution, as set forth in Article 31 of the Oslo Accords of 1993. Foremost must be the cessation of settlement activities in the territory occupied since 1967, including East Jerusalem, and suspension of the decision regarding Jerusalem and halting transfer of the US embassy to Jerusalem, in compliance with the relevant Security Council resolutions, including in particular resolutions 476 (1980), 478 (1980), 2334 (2016), and General Assembly resolution ES-10/19. At the same time, the State of Palestine would refrain from further joining organizations, as we have previously committed ourselves to. (Namely 22 international organizations out of 500 organizations and treaties.)

Third: Implementation of the Arab Peace Initiative, as adopted and endorsed, and the conclusion of a regional agreement upon achievement of a peace agreement between the Palestinians and Israelis. In this regard, we must reaffirm the terms of reference for any upcoming negotiations and they are as follows:

1. Respect for international law and the relevant resolutions, including Security Council resolutions 242 (1967), 338 (1973) through to resolution 2334 (2016), and the Arab Peace Initiative, and the signed agreements.

2. Preservation of the principle of the two-States, i.e. the State of Palestine, with East Jerusalem as its capital, living side by side with the State of Israel in peace and security on the basis of the 4 June 1967 borders, and rejection of partial solutions and a State of provisional borders.

3. Acceptance of minimal land swaps, in equal value and ratio, with the agreement between the two parties.

4. East Jerusalem as the capital of the State of Palestine and an open city for the faithful of the three monotheistic religions.

5. Ensuring the security of the two States without undermining the independence and sovereignty of either of them through the existence of an international third party.

6. A just and agreed solution for the Palestine refugees on the basis of resolution 194 (III) and in accordance with the Arab Peace Initiative and, pending a just solution, continuation of the international commitment and support to UNRWA.

(That #6 is the plan to destroy Israel. 194 is not international law by any definition.)

Mr. President, Excellencies,

We are ready to undertake the longest journeys to the farthest places in the world in order to realize our rights. But we are not ready to move one inch if anyone wants us to forsake these rights.

We will present any agreement reached with Israel to a general referendum among our people, respecting democracy and reinforcing legitimacy.

We have knocked on your door today, you who comprise the highest international body entrusted with the maintenance of international peace and security. We have presented our vision for peace. Hopefully it will be received with wisdom and justice. We are ready to begin negotiations immediately in order to achieve the freedom and independence of our people, just like all other nations, and to achieve peace and security for all in our region and the world, so that future generations can enjoy the benefits of this peace, following the enormous sacrifices by our people of that dearest to them, among them our martyrs, wounded and prisoners.

This Security Council is the highest entity to which the peoples of the world seek sanctuary and protection; after this Council, we rest our issue to the Almighty. For, if justice for our people cannot be attained here, then to where should we go?

I thank you, Mr. President.



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Palestine Today reports:
Palestinian factions announced on Tuesday a comprehensive trade strike with a one-quarter-hour stoppage  to express the real catastrophe in the Gaza Strip as a result of the deteriorating economic situation.

The factions said during a press conference that Gaza was a barrel of gunpowder that was about to explode if it did not break the silence, calling on the Palestinian Authority to take responsibility, especially after the government took over its duties in the Gaza Strip in accordance with the recent Cairo agreement.

The factions called on the international community to act and provide urgent aid to the besieged Gaza Strip, appealing to Egypt to open the Rafah crossing, allowing it to enter the Gaza Strip.

It renewed its call on the League of Arab States and the Islamic Cooperation Organization to move to save the sector.
Hamas wants the PA to pay what it owes. The PA says that Hamas isn't handing over tax revenues it collects.

And so it goes.

Police in Gaza stopped all traffic in major intersections for 15 minutes today at noon to protest the situation.

There are some occasional articles in Western media about the real crisis in Gaza - the crisis that is entirely Arab-created - but for the most part this is all being ignored, because the meme of "Israeli siege" is too strong for lazy journalists to bother contradicting.

And, in the end, no journalist or NGO wants to criticize Mahmoud Abbas.




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

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