Monday, August 31, 2015

Revisiting a Palestinian Arab village and its monsters

Frimet and Arnold Roth’s daughter was murdered by a member of the Tamimi family from Nabi Saleh. Read their version of the events last weekend when women and children attacked an Israeli soldier


Nabi Saleh this past Friday [Image Source: Daily Mail UK]
Imagery in the service of jihad, mayhem and chronic
child abuse
There's a media fuss about images [here] of an Israeli serviceman tangling with "a little boy" in a Palestinian Arab village. The Daily Mail UK, one of the busiest online news sites, gave it very considerable attention on Friday here in Israel, correctly linking it to the particular form of image exploitation defined by Prof. Richard Landes as Pallywood, the alleged media manipulation by Palestinians to win public relations war against Israel [Daily Mail UK, today]
This short video clip of the same interaction provides a little more helpful context.

People not-so-much-in-the-know are unlikely to realize that the published photos are a small part of a larger, orchestrated event of the kind that 
happens in Nabi Saleh every week. Local press people know this because of the weekly invitations they get to come along and provide coverage. But most news consumers don't know that. They have no reason to understand - or to care about - the context and the larger picture.

Back in March 2013, we wrote ["
A little village in the hills, and the monsters it spawns"] about several of the people who appear prominently in today's photos: about their town; about its systematic abuse of its own children; about how a place hell-bent on acts of lethal violence directed against Jews and Israelis has succeeded in camouflaging itself thanks to the willingness of gullible reporters, photographers and editors who provide them with the exposure they crave like oxygen; about the girl - the one in the pink t-shirt in the photo above - who for years has been paraded in front of the cameras in a variety of spunky-on-demand poses (all based on the certainty that IDF personnel are required to be careful and considerate when facing children - this isn't Syria, Ramallah or Gaza) and who has fully earned the nickname given to her by insightful observers who understand the artificial nature of the provocations in which she is the central performer. They know her as Shirley Temper: it's a totally fitting stage name.


That article remains the most viewed post we ever wrote. But most news consumers unfortunately have no idea of the points we made and are making now. The mainstream news reports didn't tell them.

We went back to the contents of that 2013 post tonight in light of what happened on Friday. And we were struck by something interesting that unfortunately we failed to notice much earlier. Here's part of what we said in 2013:
The Wikipedia entry for Nabi Saleh describes the village of some 550 people in notably gentle terms. Centred on an old religious shrine to the prophet Shelah whom we encounter in Genesis as the son of Judah and grandson of the patriarch Jacob, it was a hamlet of a mere five houses in the late nineteenth century when the Turks ruled the area. It grew slowly under the Jordanian military occupation that started in 1948; then declined when Israel took control of the West Bank in 1967, and flourished and multiplied in the past two decades. Today, it’s the scene of weekly protest demonstrations and, to judge from Wikipedia’s English-language version, a place where things are done to passive inhabitants and for no apparent reason. Now if you go to the Arabic-language version of Wikipedia, you see a quite different emphasis. It's not at all a direct translation of the English version. It's created by different people for a different audience and different sensibilities. The Arabic Wikipedia entry depicts Nabi Saleh as a place of “popular resistance” that boasts of having taken a prominent role in two Intifadas, providing “hundreds of prisoners” and 17 so-called “martyrs on the altar of freedom”... The most prominent of the prisoners (Wikipedia's description) is a woman called Ahlam. Her surname is shared with almost every other inhabitant of the village: Tamimi
(That woman is the convicted murderer of our daughter Malki. Often described as an "escort", she was in reality the chief planner of the massacre at Jerusalem's Sbarro pizzeria on August 9, 2001. She personally brought the bomb to the site that she had selected, and fled before the explosion. She lives free as a bird today in Amman, Jordan, from where she makes weekly TV propaganda programs encouraging more acts of terror. Her chilling demonstrations of pleasure at the deaths of her victims, and in particular the children she killed, have given her the status of an iconic figure in the social media of both sides.)

If you go to the Arabic Wikipedia entry for Nabi Saleh today, you will see only a small fraction of what we saw then. Every single reference to the village people's adoration of jihad, martyrdom and death to the Israelis has been erased. The place is filled with virgins all over again.

This seems unfair to us, so we went digging and - bless the Internet and its boundless resources - found the original Arabic text as it appeared on Wikipedia in May 2013.
·                We have now saved the original Arabic text here
·                For those without an online translation capability to do Arabic-to-English, here is the same page rendered into English courtesy of Google Translate.
Friends of Israel, and of objective and accurate news reporting, understand well that the negative, visceral impact of powerful imagery - irrespective of whether it is stage-managed or altogether faked - is powerful and often unstoppable. The Tamimis of Nabi Saleh know this better than most and act on it. Their abuse of children, truth and the global news media channels will certainly continue because... it simply works.

UPDATE: Here's a 
longer video of Friday's Nabi Saleh production courtesy of the Tamimi publicity enterprise. And another here. The IDF service men we see clearly have the power, the skill, the strength and the weaponry to do something dramatic and long-lasting to stop the unpleasantness to which they are exposed in this stage-managed eruption of violence. They choose to avoid rising to the locals' provocation, handing the provocateurs a publicity gift, but ensuring the patient men and women of the IDF will continue to face the same kind of challenge in the coming days in Nabi Saleh - as they have for years already.


Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Why Isn't Gaza Being Rebuilt?

Jonathan S. Tobin 25.08.2015 -
See full article at http://tinyurl.com/p4h4wyu  
It’s been a year since the last summer’s war in Gaza ended and those who lost their homes during the fighting are still waiting for them to be rebuilt? To listen to Palestinian propagandists, this is the fault of Israel. That’s the conceit of an op-ed published Monday in the New York Times by author Mohammed Omer. 

According to Omer, Gaza is a “Gulag on the Mediterranean” still suffering under Israel “occupation” even though the Jewish state withdrew every last soldier, settler and settlement ten years ago. All the strip’s problems can, he writes, be attributed to an Israeli siege that imprisons and stifles the Palestinians living there. But, oddly enough, a slightly more realistic evaluation of their problems was to be found in a news article published by the Times the day before. The reason why not a single one of the 18,000 homes destroyed or damaged in the war has not been made habitable isn’t because the Israelis are preventing it from happening.

Even Hamas government officials concede that the Israelis haven’t stopped the shipment of cement and other building materials designated for civilian reconstruction from entering Gaza. Some of the problem lies in a cumbersome process needed to approve such shipments. The failure of international donors, especially from the Arab world, to make good on their pledges to help Gaza is also huge. But the main problem is that although homes aren’t being rebuilt, there is a lot of construction going on in Gaza. Unfortunately, the work is concentrated on the building of terror tunnels and other military infrastructure that will enable Hamas to launch another war on Israel if it suits their political needs or the whims of their Iranian allies.
Omer’s argument is a familiar one. Israel ought not to be allowed to prevent free entry in and out of Gaza for people or goods. The siege — in which Egypt plays as much a role as Israel though Omer barely mentions that point — reduces the Hamas government to a “municipal authority.” But this is nonsense. The reason why the international community has no problem with the loose blockade of Gaza is that it is run by a terrorist organization.
Gaza is an independent Palestinian state in all but name, and its government believes its main purpose is to wage a war on Israel to end the “occupation.” But by occupation, it doesn’t refer to an effort to get the Israelis to withdraw from the West Bank or even Jerusalem. Rather, as Hamas tells us over and over again in the public statements made by their leaders and its charter, occupation refers to all of Israel. Their war is not a limited one but an existential conflict whose only goal is to end Israel’s existence. It maintains its tyrannical control over the strip by trying to focus public anger at the Israelis and their Fatah rivals in the West Bank.
The reconstruction problem is terrible for the people of Gaza, but it also points out how the propaganda about Israel creating a humanitarian crisis there is a myth. Every day truck convoys of food, medicine and construction material approved by the joint commission run by United Nations, the PA and the Israelis arrives. But somehow that has not resulted in the rebuilding of homes since, as the Times reports, homeowners who are able to purchase the needed material resell it on the black market. That ensures it winds up being used, alone with Iranian aid smuggled into Gaza, to build more tunnels along the border with Israel or other military projects. Everyone knows that the joint monitoring system has failed to stop the use of international aid for Hamas terror projects.
Meanwhile, as the Times notes, 37,000 tons of cement allowed in by Israel sits unused in warehouses. This is largely due to Hamas incompetence and the fact that the Arab world is dubious of sending money to Gaza that won’t be used to help people.

This is a tragedy, but sympathy for suffering Palestinians and criticism of Israel won’t make anything better for them. Had the Palestinians used the Israeli withdrawal to build a free society and their economy, it might have thrived. Instead, the bloody Hamas coup enabled the terror group to transform the strip. But instead of a prison, it is a terror fortress.
If demands by so-called human rights groups for granting Gaza an open border were agreed to, it would result in the strip becoming even more of a military menace both to Israel and Egypt, not freedom for its people.
The problems of Gaza will only be solved when it is run by leaders that value the lives and the property of their people as much as the Israelis do. With Iran looking to invest some of the vast wealth that will come to it under the nuclear deal in aiding Hamas, there is little doubt there will be more bunkers and tunnels built in Gaza but few homes. It’s time for the international community to focus on the real problem. When they are no longer under the thumb of a group that is obsessed with an ideology of hate that prompts them to fight for Israel’s destruction, the Palestinians will rebuild Gaza and there will be no more danger of another war.


Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Hamas Catch Dolphin Spying for Israel

Hamas announced on today that underwater "frogmen" commandos operating just off the coast of the Gaza Strip managed to stop a dolphin that it claims was spying for Israel. Officials in the Palestinian Islamist organization say that the dolphin was equipped with a surveillance device.


One reader commented:
              "They could tell he was on a mission because of his porpoiseful behavior."

Hunger Strikes and Force Feeding

The world media is, as usual, distorting the question of force feeding hunger strikers, so I think the following points should be made:-

1. Hunger strikes, particularly those undertaken for political reasons, pose a challenge to any democracy. On the one hand, governments have the responsibility to protect the life and health of those in their custody. On the other hand, they are reluctant to undermine an individual’s decision to refuse food as a method of protest.

2. Israel has faced this dilemma for several years now. Periodically, inmates in Israeli custody - particularly administrative detainees held on terrorism charges - choose to undergo hunger strikes, occasionally for extended periods. Their goal is not to end their lives, but rather to exploit their condition and the subsequent publicity they receive to generate pressure on Israeli authorities to release them, thereby facilitating their return to terrorist activities.

3. The matter has again come to the public’s awareness following the extended hunger strike of Muhammad Allan, a detainee from the Islamic Jihad terrorist organization. Allan, previously convicted of recruiting a suicide terrorist, is currently held in administrative detention for planning large-scale terrorist attacks with fellow Islamic Jihad terrorists.   

4. The issue has gained particular attention due to a recent amendment to Israel’s Prison Ordinance ("Preventing Damage from Hunger Strikes”), which aims to resolve the matter in a manner that balances a person’s desire for autonomy over his/her body with the government’s duty to safeguard the health of persons in its custody.

The amendment establishes a mechanism that allows for the administration of non-consensual life-saving medical treatment in certain and highly limited circumstances, under strict legal and medical control. The mechanism includes a decision by a senior judge (a District Court President or Deputy President), on the basis of the independent medical opinions of the detainee's treating physician and a medical ethics board, and following a hearing with the detainee's attorney. The law clearly states that the administered treatment must be the minimal treatment necessary to preserve the life of the hunger striker or to prevent severe irreversible disability, while maintaining the utmost respect for his personal dignity and preventing unnecessary suffering. 

Additionally, it should be noted that all hunger strikers receive regular visits by the International Red Cross, as well as by personal attorneys and private physicians, when requested by the detainees in accordance with the law.

5. The amendment accords with international law norms. There are many views regarding this issue in the international arena. In fact, the administration of artificial nutrition to prisoners, against their wishes, is permissible in a number of Western countries.

In this context, it is important to note several rulings of the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR), especially a 2005 decision (Nevmerzhitsky v. Ukraine, Para. 94) which permits even force-feeding prisoners in certain circumstances. A similar ruling was given by the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia in the 2006 Vojislav Seselj case. Both of these tribunals, in line with the new amendment, recognize the obligation of the state to safeguard the health and life of hunger strikers while balancing this commitment with the prisoners' rights.

6. While the amendment‘s goal is to save lives, attempts are currently being made to misrepresent it.

Opponents to the law are attempting to portray it as being equivalent to forced feeding through a feeding tube administered without painkilling measures. This is not the case. The life-saving treatments available under the law include regular medical procedures such as the intravenous administration of total parenteral nutrition (TPN), widely used for patients - including children - who cannot consume a diet in the regular manner.

Previously-existing legislation also gives physicians the right to consider other necessary medical procedures, such as performing blood and urine tests and dispensing medications and salts.

Any treatment or test must be done in a manner consistent with a doctor’s ethical obligations, including the proper use of pain management methods. The law does not instruct doctors what to do – any treatment is subject to the medical and ethical judgement of the treating physician. What it does do is give the medical community the authority to save the lives of hunger strikers. A similar authority traditionally exists in the case of individuals who want to commit suicide or who suffer from diseases such as anorexia, and who reach a life-threatening condition.   


Monday, August 10, 2015

The Secret Ethnic Cleansing of Palestinians

  • According to  Abu al-Walid, a Palestinian researcher, many Palestinians captured by Shiite militias in Iraq have been brutally tortured and forced to "confess" to their alleged involvement in terrorism. Since 2003, the number of Palestinians there has dropped from 25,000 to 6,000.
  • Most interesting is the complete indifference displayed by international human rights organizations, the media and the Palestinian Authority (PA) toward the mistreatment of Palestinians in Arab countries. International journalists do not care about the Palestinians in the Arab world because this is not a story that can be blamed on Israel.
  • The UN and other international bodies have obviously not heard of the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians in the Arab world. They too are so obsessed with Israel that they prefer not to hear about the suffering of Palestinians under Arab regimes.
  • PA leaders say they want to press "war crimes" charges against Israel with the International Criminal Court. However, when it comes to ethnic cleansing and torture of Palestinians in Arab countries such as Iraq, Syria and Lebanon, they choose to look the other way.
  • An Arab killing or torturing an Arab is not an item worth publishing in a major newspaper in the West. But when a Palestinian complains against the Israeli authorities or Jewish settlers, many Western journalists rush to cover this "major" development.
  • Not only do the Arab countries despise the Palestinians, they also want them to be the problem of Israel alone. Since 1948, Arab governments have refused to allow Palestinians permanently to settle in their countries and become equal citizens. Now these Arab countries are also killing and torturing them and subjecting them to ethnic cleansing, all while world leaders continue to bury their heads in the sand and point an accusing finger at Israel

Friday, August 7, 2015

Educating their Children: a Modest, Peace-focused Proposal

Arnold Roth Aug 6th – See full article at This Ongoing War

This post is about making a radical change to the education that Palestinian Arab children get in their schools. A change for the better, but then - as most people know - that's not saying much.

We have posted here about UNRWA dozens of times over the years. Why? Because its existence is a fundamental pre-requisite for the hatred and passion for lethal violence that is cynically injected daily, year after year for almost 66 years into the blood and consciousness of generations of Palestinian Arab children.

This has been happening for nearly seventy years. As refugee support organizations, can there be one as spectacularly ineffective as UNRWA? As a terrorist training institution, can there be one as heart-breakingly effective as UNRWA?

We have recently been focusing on the money problems at the billion-dollar-annual-budget agency, and how its absolutely sickening focus on educating for terror goes unremarked, unchecked and un-stopped by all of the world's agencies for the protection of children. We're referring, in no particular order, to UNICEFDefence for Children InternationalUNESCOChild Rights International NetworkUN Committee on the Rights of the Child, the Washington-based Jerusalem FundSave the Children
Arab Council for Childhood Development and numerous others. Thousands of bureaucrats, hundreds of fund-raisers and no one with enough time to address the daily disaster which is Palestinian Arab education

Just a few recent examples of those posts of ours:
Now there's a new UNRWA crisis. Alright, not exactly a new crisis, but a new batch of reports and headlines referring to something chronically and terribly wrong at UNRWA - the abuse of its allegedly-humanitarian mission, the mis-allocation of its massive resources, and the setting of its hugely-politicized priorities. And naturally, the principal victims are the children

UNRWA funds crisis worries Palestinian refugees | Nisreen El-Shamayleh | Aljazeera | Yesterday |  With a funding shortfall of $101m, UNRWA, the UN agency that has been looking after Palestinian refugees in the Middle East for 65 years has said it may be forced to delay the new academic year at the schools it runs in refugee camps across the region. UNRWA schools are considered one of its most successful projects. With 700 overcrowded schools in Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, the West Bank and Gaza unable to open their doors to students, half a million Palestinian children will be deprived of their right to education. And if that's not enough, 22,000 UNRWA teachers will be out of their jobs...
And if that's not enough, there's a distinct loss of perspective here. The Palestinian Arabs are part of a larger Arab world that includes several of the world's wealthiest populations both per capita and in absolute terms. If they can't fix this, they don't want to fix it.

The funds of which UNRWA is so desperately short amount to 0.05% (in simple words: one twentieth of one percent) of the sum reported to be being laid out by the Qataris alone for something else of a comparably urgent life-and-death nature

Why single out Qatar? Because of the gas-soaked family business' fraternal passion, endlessly trumpeted, to "leverage the enormous and abiding symbolism of the Palestinian cause to both enhance its own profile and credentials" [source]. 

Since Qatar's owners read the news and know about the existential dangers of which UNRWA bleats, and do nothing to help, might it be a smart move if Israel were to step up and offer to take over the education budget of the morally-and-otherwise bankrupt UNRWA? And develop a suitable educational curriculum that actually promotes peace?

What an opportunity. And cheap at the price. And if children's minds and welfare mean something to you, as they do to us, prepare to weep.


Wednesday, August 5, 2015

A Palestinian Voice in the Wilderness


Bassam Tawil, Aug 4th.


I cannot count the number of times that I heard from Israeli Jews the phrases "I'm ashamed" and "I'm sorry" in response to the horrific crime that claimed the life of Palestinian toddler Ali Dawabsha in the West Bank village of Duma last week.

The strong response of the Israeli public and leaders to the arson attack is, truthfully, somewhat comforting. The wall-to-wall Israeli condemnation of this crime has left me and other Palestinians not only ashamed, but also embarrassed -- because this is not how we Palestinians have been reacting to terror attacks against Jews -- even the despicable murder of Jewish children.

Our response has, in fact, brought feelings of disgrace and dishonor. While the Israeli prime minister, president and other officials were quick strongly to condemn the murder of Dawabsha, our leaders rarely denounce terror attacks against Jews. And when a Palestinian leader such as Mahmoud Abbas does issue a condemnation, it is often vague and equivocal.

Take, for example, what happened after last year's kidnapping and murder of three Israeli teenagers by Palestinians in the West Bank. It not only took President Abbas four days to issue a statement condemning the terror attack, but even then, the condemnation was at best a tentative: "The Palestinian presidency... condemns the series of events that happened last week, beginning with the kidnapping of three Israeli youths." Abbas then went on to denounce Israel for arresting dozens of Hamas members after the abduction and murder of the three youths.

Later in 2014, when Abbas did condemn a Palestinian terror attack that killed five Israelis in a Jerusalem synagogue, Fatah official Najat Abu Baker, a few days later, explained that Abbas's condemnation was made "within a diplomatic context... [he] is forced to speak this way to the world."

Abbas's condemnation of the attack at the synagogue in Jerusalem's Har Nof neighborhood apparently came only under pressure from U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, who telephoned the Palestinian leader twice to demand that he speak out against the killings. Abbas's statement said that the Palestinian leadership condemns the "killing of worshippers in a synagogue and all acts of violence, regardless of their source." His statement then also called for an end to "incursions and provocations by settlers against the Aqsa Mosque."

Abbas's ambiguous, half-hearted condemnations of attacks by Palestinians against Israelis are only intended for public consumption and are primarily aimed at appeasing Western donors, so that they will continue channeling funds to the Palestinian Authority (PA). In addition, his condemnations almost always seek to blame Israel for the Palestinian terror attacks -- presumably an attempt to justify the killing of Jews at the hands of Palestinian terrorists.

In contrast, Israeli leaders who condemned the murder of the Palestinian toddler sound firm and unambiguous. Here is what Prime Minister Netanyahu said after visiting the murdered baby's parents and brother, who were wounded in the arson attack and are receiving medical treatment in Israeli hospitals: "When you stand next to the bed of this small child, and his infant brother has been so brutally murdered, we are shocked, we are outraged. We condemn this. There is zero tolerance for terrorism wherever it comes from, whatever side of the fence it comes from."

Netanyahu's strong and clear condemnation left me and other Palestinians wondering when was the last time we heard similar statements from our leaders. I cannot remember ever hearing Abbas or any other Palestinian leader express shock and outrage over the killing of a Jew in a Palestinian terror attack. Nor can I remember the last time we heard of a Palestinian official visiting the Israeli victims of a Palestinian terror attack.

The Israeli leaders' condemnation of the baby's murder is a sincere voice that reflects the views of the overwhelming majority of the Israeli public. In contrast, the Palestinian leaders' denunciations of terror attacks do not reflect the general feeling on the Palestinian street. Each time Abbas reluctantly condemns a Palestinian terror attack, he faces a wave of criticism from many Palestinians.

Unlike the Israeli public, many Palestinians often rush to justify, and even welcome, terror attacks against Jews. This was the situation just a few weeks ago, when an Israeli man was shot dead near Ramallah. Several Palestinian factions and military groups applauded the murder, calling it a "natural response to Israeli crimes."

This is the huge difference between the way Israelis and Palestinians react to terrorism. The murder of Dawabsha saw thousands of Israelis hold anti-violence rallies to condemn the horrible crime. But has anyone ever heard of a similar rally on the Palestinian side whenever terrorists kill innocent Jewish civilians? Is there one top Palestinian official or prominent figure who dares to speak out in public against the murder of Jews, at a rally in the center of Ramallah or Gaza City? Has there ever been a Palestinian activist who dared to hold a rally in a Palestinian city to condemn suicide bombings or the murder of an entire Jewish family?

While Israelis have been holding rallies to condemn terror attacks against our people, we have been celebrating the killing of Jews. How many times have we taken to the streets to hand out sweets and candies in jubilation over the killing of Jews? Such sickening scenes of men and women celebrating terror attacks against Jews on the streets of the West Bank and Gaza Strip have never been condemned by our leaders. These scenes have become commonplace each time Palestinian terrorists carry out an attack against Jews.

These scenes stand in sharp contrast to the public statements and rallies in Israel in response to terror attacks against Palestinians. Our leaders need to learn from Israel's President, Reuven Rivlin, who said he was "ashamed" and "in pain" for the murder of the Palestinian toddler. When was the last time a Palestinian leader used such rhetoric to condemn the murder of Jews? The laconic statements issued by Abbas's office in response to anti-Jewish terror attacks never talked about shame or pain.

We have failed to educate our people on the principles of tolerance and peace. Instead, we continue to condone and applaud terrorism, especially when it is directed against Jews. We want the whole world to condemn terrorism only when it claims the lives of Palestinians. We have reached a point where many of us are either afraid to speak out against terrorism or simply accept it when it claims the lives of Jews.The Israeli president has good reason to be ashamed for the murder of the baby. But when will we Palestinians ever have a sense of shame over the way we are reacting to the murder of Jews? When will we stop glorifying terrorists, and naming streets and public squares after them, instead of strongly denouncing them and expelling them from our society? We still have a lot to learn from Israeli leaders and the Israeli public.