Wednesday, February 10, 2016

What Palestinian society wants for and from its children

Is there a name for the psychological condition that holds an entire society in its grip, causing it to invest its children in a death cult that will certainly lead to the deaths of many of those children, and to the justification of those deaths on the grounds that the enemy's children are harmed, injured and/or killed?

In the past five days alone:

·                A Palestinian teen girl attempted to stab Israeli troops at Jerusalem’s Damascus Gate on Tuesday morning, police said. The suspect, 16, was arrested after pulling a knife on border guards when they asked to search her, police said. There were no Israeli injuries reported. “The police reacted quickly, pushed her away and subdued her,” a police spokesperson said. Police said the teenager, a student, had concealed the knife in her backpack. When police asked to search her bag, she pulled the knife “and tried to stab the policemen,” police said. [Source]

·                [Also today, a] Palestinian teenage girl armed with a knife was detained outside the West Bank settlement of Carmei Tzur. The girl, said to be around 13, was arrested by the security guard at the entrance of the settlement in the Etzion bloc.  [Source]

·                An 11-year-old Jewish boy was stabbed and wounded Monday [February 8, 2016] in an attack in the central Israeli town of Ramle. The attacker fled the scene, apparently toward the Jawaresh neighborhood of the city. The boy was hospitalized with moderate injuries, the Magen David Adom emergency service said. The child said that the assailant was an Arab. A 17-year-old Arab youth was arrested a short time later on suspicion of carrying out the attack. [Source]

·                [A] guard at the bus station in [Ramle] was lightly injured when he was stabbed by two 13-year-old girls in a nationalistic attack [on Thursday, February 4, 2016]. One of the girls’ mothers subsequently apologized for her daughter’s action. [Source] ...Central District spokesman Ch.-Supt. Ami Ben-David said that the two teens approached the metal detector at the entrance to the station around 10:30 Thursday morning, at which point the security guard asked them to show him identification. At that point the two girls pulled knives and stabbed the guard, lightly wounding him in the hand and leg, Ben-David said... One of the two girls was carrying a school backpack and a picture taken at the scene by a police photographer showed the contents of the bag scattered on the pavement, including schoolwork, a calculator, a juice bag and two knives. [Source]

There's quite a collection out there of human rights groups that claim to be working for the protection of Palestinian Arab children. The Ramallah-based Defence for Children International - Palestine, for instance, says this on its website:-

We defend children’s rights three ways: offering free legal aid, documenting violations of international law, and advocating for greater protections... [The organization] is committed to securing a just and viable future for Palestinian children in the Occupied Palestinian Territory.

A viable future? Greater protections? If they have commented on, let alone condemned, the systemic and systematic incitement of Palestinian Arab children to become martyrs and killers for their grandparents' society's glory, then they are being awfully quiet about it. If any reader knows of any instance of DCI-P criticizing the fostering among Pal Arab children of martyrdom/murder as supreme values, click here please to tell us.

Another instance: the phenomenally-well-funded Human Rights Watch, who write this on their"Children's rights" page:
Millions of children... are forced to serve as soldiers in armed conflict... Young and immature, they are often easily exploited. In many cases, they are abused by the very individuals responsible for their care. We are working to help protect children around the world, so they can grow into adults.

Since they speak of "easily exploited", they're surely enraged by what's being done to Palestinian Arab children by the religious, educational and political leaders of their communities. Because if they are, we're surely not seeing any sign of it. If anyone knows of HRW condemnation of the fostering among Pal Arab children of martyrdom/murder as supreme values, please click here to enlighten us.

For the full article go to  

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

In Haifa, Liberal Palestinian Culture Blossoms


 At Elika, a bar in the Hadar neighborhood of this hilly port city, a 30-something psychodramatist rolled a cigarette and sipped coffee with her father, a well-known actor in Israel. The bartender poured tall beers for two women who wandered in for an afternoon pint. Nearby, a 22-year-old woman with a partly shaved head and colorful tattoos sat alone, working on her laptop.

They were among the many coifed, pierced and tattooed women and men who populate a slice of Haifa’s social scene that resembles that of the well-heeled hipsters of Tel Aviv. But here the cool kids are Palestinians, and they have unfurled a self-consciously Arab milieu that is secular, feminist and gay-friendly.

“Haifa is a center for Arabs, like Tel Aviv is a center for Jews,” said Asil Abu Wardeh, the Elika patron who practices a performance-based form of psychotherapy. “There is a cultural movement. There is a youth movement. There’s a kind of freedom here.”
“We have our own parties. Our own places. Our own discos. We dance. We drink. We do it all in Arabic,” she added. “This all began in Haifa.”

Arabs make up a fifth of Israel’s population of 8 million, and in recent years, Israeli Arabs have grown more assertive in expressing their Palestinian identity, allied with their brethren in East Jerusalem, the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.

But their public life in Haifa is a striking secular counterpoint to the conservatism of many of Israel’s Arab communities, where sex before marriage is taboo, and single men and women rarely date and tend to marry at relatively young ages, in matches often arranged by their mothers.

Haifa’s relative liberalism is a product of its unique, cosmopolitan tradition. It is easy for young, single people to get out in this city, which is built on a steep coastal hill, with Jews tending to live on its heights and Arabs by the sea. The once working-class city of 280,000 has several universities and has embraced its diversity. The 30,000 Arab residents, around 10 percent of the population, include equal numbers of Muslims and Christians, and they are generally wealthier and better educated than Arabs elsewhere in Israel.

This makes Haifa a comfortable place for liberal Palestinians who want not only to escape the constraints of conservative Arab communities but also to be among their own people.
“If you are in an Arab neighborhood, you have a community. If you live in a Jewish neighborhood, you are a stranger, and that gives you freedom as an Arab woman,” said Fidaa Hammoud, 32. “There are many de facto couples, and older women living alone without having to hear gossip.”

Ms. Hammoud moved to Haifa in 2011 after studying speech therapy for four years in Barcelona, Spain. She and her partner live together in a Jewish neighborhood where they run a Palestinian cafe called Rai. “I couldn’t do this anywhere else,” she said.

Ayed Fadel runs Kabareet, a seaside bar off a four-lane industrial road, through an alley and down some stairs. He envisions his out-of-the-way speakeasy with its red painted walls and old Arab movie posters as a place where people can truly be themselves.

“We want a gay couple to go to the dance floor and kiss each other, and nobody to even look at them,” he said. “This is the new Palestinian society we are aiming for.”
That society was on display late last year, when some bars and cafes held screenings for Kooz Queer, the first Palestinian gay film festival. And Dar al-Raya, a cafe that doubles as a publishing house, recently published “The Book of Desire,” believed to be among the first volumes of modern erotica by Palestinian authors.

For some, the blossoming Palestinian scene in Haifa is reminiscent of the city during British rule, when a lively Arab cultural life flourished. Much of that ended in 1948 with the war in which Israel was established, when Arabs fled, or were forced to leave, their homes in many cities, including in Haifa, said Mustafa Kabha, a lecturer in Palestinian history at the Open University of Israel.

Haifa in the 1930s and ’40s, he said, “had clubs, cafes, hotels, theaters and newspapers” for Arabs, including the Sham Cafe, where Syrian and Lebanese workers met, and the Port Cafe, for workers from the city’s busy port.

“You feel that the place is returning to a very natural harmony; in an old Arabic house you hear Arabic,” said Bashar Murkus, who recently opened the Khashabi Theater in an old warehouse owned by an Arab merchant in an industrial seaside neighborhood.

The liberal Arab renaissance in Haifa began with the opening of Fattoush, a Palestinian restaurant, in 1998. The restaurant, which hosted cultural discussions and art exhibitions, was once a scandal to polite Arab society because men and women openly drank alcohol and flirted. Now, it is a tourist-friendly fixture on Ben Gurion Boulevard, Haifa’s main drag.

More Arab-owned businesses opened on that street in the years since, with signs welcoming all people in Arabic, English and sometimes Hebrew. Many of these bars, cafes and restaurants were crowded on a recent weeknight with couples strolling along teeming sidewalks decked with Christmas lights.

Back up the road at the Elika bar, Samer Asakleh was hanging out with a co-worker. A folksy Arab song about smoking marijuana played from the speakers, and posters tacked to the wall advertised a concert featuring an Arab ska band, Toot Ard.

“The people in Haifa, especially in these cafes, they are making revolutions,” said Mr. Asakleh, 23, his long hair tied in a messy bun. He moved here from his home village of Mughar, in Galilee, to study management and was initially surprised by the open, seemingly libertine attitudes and social mores of people he met. He said he had not encountered any openly gay people before moving here in 2011, and he used to excuse himself from parties when gay couples would show up because he did not approve of homosexuality.

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Gifts Countering the BDS Campaign

 GREER FAY CASHMAN   12/24/2015

WAS IT chutzpah or making a political point when Ambassador to the United States Ron Dermer sent blue-and-white-striped gift packages bearing the national crest of Israel to members of Congress with best wishes for a happy holiday? The packages contained products from settlements in Judea and Samaria and the Golan Heights. In the accompanying letter Dermer stated that he had decided that this year he would send a holiday gift that would also help combat the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement.

The gift packages contained wine, olive oil, halva and body cream.

Dermer characterized the key forces behind BDS as “fanatics who actively seek to eliminate Israel,” adding that “unfortunately they are occasionally joined by fools who naively believe that in promoting BDS they are advancing peace between Israelis and Palestinians.” Regardless of why they promote BDS, wrote Dermer, “they are simply promoting anti-Semitism. Once, Jews were singled out and held to a different standard than other peoples. Today, the Jewish state is singled out and held to a different standard than other countries.”

The gift made headline news with mixed reactions in the American media. 

How much more effective would it have been if accompanying the package, it was stated exactly how many Palestinian households rely on an income from factory plants in which boycotted products are produced.

Co Existence Through Music

 GREER FAY CASHMAN   12/24/2015

 MANY SINGERS and musicians claim that music paves the way to peace. When people sing together or make music together, they tend to harmonize rather than antagonize, and their differences are cast aside.

A prime example of this can be seen in the Galilee Orchestra founded in 1995 by composer Nabil Azzam, who was the first Arab student at the Rubin Academy of Music, and who subsequently went on to receive degrees in musicology and ethnomusicology from Tel Aviv University, the Hebrew University and UCLA.

Jews and Arabs play together in the Galilee Orchestra, and last Saturday night they performed at a concert hosted by industrialist Stef Wertheimer at his Nazareth Industrial Park, in cooperation with the Polyphony Foundation, the Orpheus Group and the Nazareth Tourist Information Center.

Among the guests were head of the European Union Delegation Lars Faaborg-Andersen and his wife, Jean Murphy; Nabeel Abboud-Ashkar, head of the Polyphony Foundation and Conservatory; and some 370 other invitees.

In welcoming the guests Wertheimer said that inasmuch as he loves culture, everyone present should be aware that they were sitting in an industrial park whose main purpose is to provide work for the people of Nazareth and other parts of the Galilee and the Jezreel Valley, who can come here to create and produce, and with their earnings can enjoy cultural experiences such as the cinema and stage productions.

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

BDS: The lies and the truth – part 3

The Lie: "Continuing the settlement project is proof that Israel does not want peace."

The Truth: The settlements are at the center of a heated debate within the Israeli public. The criticism against it, one has to stress, is not part of the demonization. But the peace proposals make it clear that the settlements are not an obstacle for peace.

Israel has evacuated thousands of settlers from the Gaza Strip. In any future agreement, there will be settlers living in settlement blocks on 5% of the area. The agreements regarding the minority of settlers outside those blocks, is subject to negotiations between the parties. Maybe they will stay where they are. Just as there is an Arab minority in Israel, there could be a Jewish minority in the Palestinian State. Or perhaps a different arrangement will be found.

The Lie: "Israel is committing Palestinian genocide."

The Truth: Eleven to 12,000 Palestinians have been killed between 1967 and 2015. The vast majority were involved in hostile activities. Relative to the size of the population this number is smaller than the average death rate from road accidents. One can call it many things – but not genocide.

It does not even come close to being genocide. This is one of the most blatant lies behind anti-Israeli propaganda. Contrary to terrorist organizations, who intentionally target civilians (both with rockets and with suicide-attacks in densely populated centers); Israel makes every effort not to harm innocent civilians.

The Lie: "Israel is the number-one enemy of Muslims and the source of all conflicts in the Middle East."

The Truth: Israel is not the enemy of the Arab World, and has diplomatic relations, including peace agreements, with countries with large Muslim populations. The number-one enemy of the Muslims is world Jihad that kills mostly Muslims – in Nigeria, Somalia, Afghanistan, Yemen, Iraq, Libya and Syria.

Israel has nothing to do with this blood fest. Many Muslims admit that their main problem is the Jihad, which murders – in terrorist acts only – about 2500 Muslims every month. In 2014, for example, more than 32 thousand people died in terror acts executed by the Jihad, with all its branches. This does not and did not have anything to do with Israel.

The Lie: "Only an academic and consumer boycott of Israel will improve the situation of the Palestinians and bring peace."

The truth: Objective data proves that the Palestinians’ situation has improved under Israeli rule. For example, in 1967 there was not even one academic institute in the West Bank or the Gaza Strip. Since Israeli rule, and under its patronage, scores of institutions of higher-education have been established.

The will of Palestinians for peace has to be respected, but one should realize that the main demand of the boycott movement is not “put an end to occupation”, and not even “two lands for two peoples’’’ but rather “the right of return” i.e. the annihilation of the State of Israel.

The heads of the Boycott Movement ‘the likes of Omar Bargouti and Ali Abuneima’ make it absolutely clear, that this is their intention. This is what makes the boycott the number-one enemy of any peace settlement based on two-lands-for-two peoples. The boycott only nurtures the illusion, and in doing so – perpetuates the conflict.

BDS protesters. Boycott movement leaders really
 desire the annihilation of Israel (Photo: Reuters)

The Lie: "Israel harms the Palestinians in every Humanitarian aspect. What the Nazis did with gas chambers Israel does by raising mortality rates among babies."

The Truth: The World Bank, the World Health Organization, and even Palestinian investigators have presented data which clearly shows that these allegations are no more than a pack of lies. Life expectancy among Palestinians in 1967 was 48.6. It has risen to 75.

Mortality rate among Palestinian babies is 15 to every thousand babies, compared to 22 in Turkey and 39 in the world average. In almost every humanitarian aspect that can be checked and measured, the Palestinians under Israeli rule are better off than the world average, and they are usually at the top of the MENA countries block. (Middle East and North Africa)

The Lie: The definition of Israel as a "Jewish state" is an expression of racism.

The Truth: The most important principle in the U.N. Charter is the right to self-determination. Jews who want autonomy, as well as Palestinians, have that right. Jews have fought for the right to self-determination because they suffered persecution.

Czechoslovakia was divided into two nation states; Yugoslavia was split into six entities, because each people claimed their right to self-determination. An effort to deny any people this right is a violation of International law, and in itself is an expression of racism. It must be said, that as a Jewish Democratic country, non-Jews have full and equal rights in Israel.

Monday, December 21, 2015

Now I have Broken my Silence

The devious activities of the organisation "Breaking the Silence" (BTS) has finally resulted in a backlash. BTS operates with finance from foreign governments trying to undermine the sovereignty of a democratic state.
It has never come out with claims that can be proven. Their claims are always anonymous and and based on hearsay not fact. 
Now the #MyTruth’ Movement Grows Among IDF  and is coming out with facts and sources to counter ther BTS claims.
Following is one letter from an IDF serving soldier.
I am writing this in English because I want everyone to understand, not just the Israelis.
Dear Breaking the Silence, I too served as an infantryman in the West Bank, Lebanon, and the disengagement from Gaza. I too served in a unit that was probably the most left-leaning company in the army at the time until I finished my operational training. I have continued to serve Israel in various capacities, abroad and here in Israel, since my discharge in 2007.
I have read your various posts and “testimonies”.  Why did you wait years to tell stories to audiences abroad? Stories that include a lot of hearsay, jumping to conclusions, a lack of knowledge about the incidents in question. The stories you tell seem to have little basis in the reality that I remember.
I remember being told in every briefing that all civilians were to be treated with respect, that in case of a firefight we were to avoid returning fire if there were civvies in the area.
I remember going into Lebanon and running out of food and being told that we were not allowed to touch the food stores in the houses we were in, that rule only being broken after realizing that we physically wouldn't make it back to Israel on foot on a starvation diet (I lost between 10-15 lbs/ 4-8 kg that week).
I remember officers telling soldiers not to sleep on the beds and mattresses or damage anything unnecessarily, this in houses with tank shell holes in them.
I remember the civilians that we would give food to in Hebron until we realized that they were carrying out recon on us and that their brothers would throw rocks at us after they would leave.
Why do you protest against soldiers (your own brothers-in-arms) who carry out missions in extremely complex areas of operations which are 100 percent legal according to international law? 
There is nothing “Nazi-like” about conducting routine checks at checkpoints for explosives and/or weapons, nor is there anything wrong about setting up mobile checkposts in known “hot areas”. There is certainly nothing wrong about arresting members of terror cells in the middle of the night. These are all things that are/ would be done by any sensible military force that would find itself in the same situation.
You are not an organization that wants the IDF to be an ethical force. If you were, you would work with the chain of command in order to find those who do not act according to the ethics and commands of the IDF and punish them, all without garnering media attention and demonizing the entire army. 
You are an organization whose sole purpose is the demonization of Israel in the US and Europe. I can have respect for those who disagree with me but not for those who undermine democracy by running to other countries and telling exaggerated stories about us in order to feed their conscience for something they may have done or witnessed when they were young and no moral backbone.
Now I too have Broken my Silence.

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Majority of Palestinians Support Terror Attacks against Israelis

A new poll conducted by the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research showed that two-thirds of Palestinians support the stabbing attacks, and that a growing majority supports an armed intifada and rejects the two state solution.
This is precisely why the Israeli public on the left and right is skeptical of any agreement with the present Palestinian leadership

Furthermore, if presidential elections were held today in the West Bank, Hamas would win against President Mahmoud Abbas.

False allegations and incitement to violence have been spread on social media by both Hamas and the Palestinian Authority. On Sunday, President Barack Obama said, “Palestinian leaders have to condemn the ongoing attacks [against Israelis] and stop incitement.” However, on Tuesday (Dec  15th) Abbas called the terror attacks against Israelis a “justified popular uprising.” Abbas has failed to condemn the terror attacks against Israelis and has continued to make inflammatory remarks, while reiterating false accusations that Israel is performing “field executions against defenseless Palestinian civilians, including children.”

In October, he accused Israel of actions aimed “at altering or eliminating the Palestinian Christian and Muslim presence in and the identity of the Holy City.” 

Abbas has also appeared to glorify the violence, declaring, “We welcome every drop of blood spilled in Jerusalem…With the help of Allah, every shaheed (martyr) will be in heaven, and every wounded will get his reward.” 

On Tuesday Hamas boasted that the perpetrator of Monday’s (Dec 14th) vehicular attack on a crowded bus station was a member of the organization. The head of the terror group, Khaled Mashaal, called on Palestinians to embrace jihad and praised Palestinian stabbers as “the most exalted and the noblest of people.”