Sunday, June 26, 2016

Syrian Refugees vs. Palestinian "Refugees"

Of approx 500,000 Arabs who were ordered out of Israel prior by the Arab armys' invasion in 1948, very few indeed are alive today.

The rest are not refugees as defined by the UNHCR– in the entire rest of the world, no-one can pass on refugee status to their children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

It's time UNRWA was wound up. It has been the greatest fraud in human history.



Surprise? The EU Rewards PA Hate


Evelyn Gordon.  Commentary Magazine. 24 June '16.

   
Hats off to the British. Aside from all the other reasons of Britain’s decision to leave the European Union (i.e. democracy, national sovereignty), it has voted to secede from an enabler of Palestinian terror and hate education. And if that accusation sounds harsh, consider what transpired in the EU Parliament on the very day of the Brexit referendum.

While the British were voting, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas was addressing the EU Parliament in Brussels. By any objective standard, the visit didn’t start off well: Upon arriving, Abbas immediately rejected a personal plea by the parliament’s president, Martin Schulz, to meet with Israeli President Reuven Rivlin, who happened to be in Brussels at the same time. But things quickly got worse when Abbas started speaking.

Abbas’s speeches are always full of anti-Israel slander, and this one was no exception. 
- He accused Israel of “massacring” Palestinians’ “history, heritage, identity and geopolitical entity.” 
- He termed the Israeli “occupation” the longest in history and deemed it uniquely evil, “unlike anything that has happened to any other people anywhere in the world,” to quote one reporter’s live tweeting of the speech (I haven’t managed to find a transcript); in reality, of course, not only have there been many longer occupations, but few conflicts have ever entailed so little bloodshed. 
- He accused Israel of being “fascist” and “racist,” of committing extrajudicial killings, and of turning “our country into an open-air prison.” All this is pretty standard, as was the conclusion, in which he paid lip service to his willingness to make peace with the monstrously evil country he just described.

But even by Abbas’s standards, this speech was exceptionally vile in two respects. 
- First, he accused Israel of responsibility for all terrorism worldwide, ludicrously asserting that “Once the occupation ends, terrorism will disappear, there will be no more terrorism in the Middle East, or anywhere else in the world.” After all, Israel is clearly the reason why Muslims are killing fellow Muslims by bombing mosques, schools, and hospitals in Muslim countries like Syria, Iraq, and Pakistan, right?

- Then, he resurrected a medieval blood libel, accusing Israel of poisoning Palestinian wells. Granted, he was speaking in Arabic, and this accusation wasn’t in his prepared English translation; but the simultaneous translator rendered it into English, and Israeli reporters had no trouble hearing it; thus one has to assume it was audible to EU parliamentarians, as well.

So how did those parliamentarians respond? By giving him a standing ovation. In other words, they told him that hurling blood libels at Israel and refusing to meet with its president and would not be penalized, but rewarded.

This, of course, is not particularly surprising, the PA has been promulgating hatred of Israel through its schools and media for over 20 years now, and throughout this time, the EU and its member states have been the PA’s largest donors; thus the EU has been directly subsidizing Palestinian hate education for over two decades. The EU and its member states are also the main financiers of anti-Israel NGOs, so in that way, too, they’ve been funding anti-Israel propaganda for decades. 

And it’s no accident that the EU has devoted so much money to this purpose; it’s obsessed with Israel to the virtual exclusion of other foreign policy concerns, as evidenced by a 2010 study of what EU foreign ministers spend their time discussing. That study found the ministers had held exactly one meeting on China, a rising power, over the previous four years – but they discussed “the Middle East peace process” 12 separate times in 2009 and the first part of 2010 alone.

After Abbas refused to meet with him, Rivlin naively said he found this refusal “surprising.” But it’s not surprising at all when Abbas can be rewarded for it with a standing ovation from the very body whose president personally requested him to hold the meeting. Just as it’s not surprising that Abbas similarly rejected a personal request by France’s then-foreign minister Laurent Fabius to meet with Benjamin Netanyahu in Paris in October 2015. Why should he agree when Fabius promptly rewarded his refusal by announcing plans to convene an international conference to force Israel to accede to Palestinian demands and pledged that France would unilaterally recognize Palestine as a state if Israel declined to capitulate? Nor is it surprising that the PA continues to spew anti-Israel hatred, given that doing so earns it lavish EU funding and standing ovations from the EU parliament.


By granting financial and diplomatic rewards to Palestinian rejectionism and hate education, the EU has encouraged Palestinian terror and distanced peace. No self-respecting country should want to be associated with such sorry behavior. Britain is well out of it.

Monday, June 20, 2016

Israel Sends Bugs to Russia


No, not the computer kind !! Some 500 million little critters from Israel’s Bio-bee company will head to Russia, it was announced on this week.
 
Aiming to cut dependence on foreign agriculture imports as much as possible, Russia has been investing heavily in providing farmers with financial incentives for building greenhouses as well as using chemical-free pest prevention methods.
 
The country has banned the import of many European Union fruits, vegetables and even flowers, ever since violent conflict broke out between Russia and Ukraine, garnering sanctions from the EU. 
 
Bio-bee stepped in when the Russian government called with its $1 million order. 

This particular order of Bio-bee insects from Kibbutz Sde Eliyahu, near Beit She’an, included several types of predatory mites. Among them is the Phytoseiulus persimilis mite and the Amblyseius swirskii mite, which are intended to be a “natural pesticide” for crops of tomatoes, cucumbers and roses.
 
In addition, an order of Bombus terrestris – commonly known as bumblebees – will be sent to improve crop yields.
 
The bumblebees will also be part of a cherry pollination experiment taking place in Crimean orchards. If it proves successful, the company said it could pave the way for better cherry growing in Israel.
 

Though the company already has a 35 percent market share in Russia, according to Ran Gan-El, vice president of sales and marketing, this is the first time the firm’s products have been sent to the Crimean Peninsula.

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Ambassadors Online Haifa University

Last weekthe  "Ambassadors Online" programme at Haifa University completed its 5th  of activity with the graduation ceremony of this years students.

During the ceremony students presented their projects on which they had worked during the year and academic reports they had written. Following this a panel experts in the various sectors; education, Tourism, diplomacy, and communication had a discussion about the challenges we have faced in the public diplomacy field.
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Thank you to everyone for outstanding work in this programme and those devoted to those who support us  improving the image of the state of Israel.

A confession of a left-wing Zionist

For full article go to :-

SIMON KOVAR 06/18/2016 

There was a time when being a “Leftist Zionist” was no contradiction.
In 1944, the British Labour Party resolved not only to support Jewish settlement of Palestine but, “on human grounds and to promote a stable settlement,” the transfer of the Arab population. “The Arabs have many wide territories of their own,” it resolved; “they must not claim to exclude the Jews from this small area of Palestine [excluding Transjordan], less than the size of Wales.” Theodor Herzl was far from being a right-wing ethnic nationalist. He dreamed of a Jewish state where Arabs would live as equals and no army would be necessary.
In short, there was a time when you could be a liberal or Socialist and still be a hard-nosed realist on questions of power. Today’s Left prefers its heroes to be powerless. Israel commits the sin of being able and willing to defend itself. The Palestinians are absolved by dint of being less powerful.
When I entered university in the 1990s, the Left-inclined student’s default position was anti-Zionism. I was one of them. From 2000-2005, I worked for Britain’s Center-Left Liberal Democrats. In 2014, according to insider accounts, the party nearly blew up its coalition with the Conservatives over Gaza. Not tuition fees, healthcare, Europe, or trade with China and Saudi Arabia. Gaza.
There came a point where I had to ask whether some of my “comrades,” when speaking about Israel, were talking about the same thing I was. They slipped easily from humanitarianism into dark fantasies of hidden “Zionist” forces pulling the strings, medieval blood libels and rationalizations of terrorism

I visited Israel for the first time shortly after I left the party. Needless to say, it conformed to none of my leftist preconceptions. More than this, I no longer felt ashamed.

I understood that my anti-Zionism was composed largely of embarrassment and apology, impulses that were suddenly missing in Israel. “I am Jewish but not a Zionist” was like saying “I am Jewish but not one of them.” Why should there ever be a “but” after a statement of one’s identity? Another part of my anti-Zionism turned out to be based on a highly ideological brand of leftist historiography  which I began to pick apart and question as a postgraduate.

Here are some of my questions.

- Why is Jewish nationalism considered an “invention,” a “project,” an “ideology,” an “enterprise,” a “Western” imposition? Not to understand it, but to delegitimize it.

- Palestinian nationalism is treated as a fact of nature but was itself invented out of a whole compost of ingredients, including European Nazism and Fascism.

- Why is 1948 labeled a Zionist war to ethnically cleanse Palestine. The secretary general of the Arab League promised “a war of extermination and a momentous massacre which will be spoken of like the Mongolian massacres and the Crusades.”

- If Palestinian leaders are true nationalists, then surely they are primarily concerned with securing a state? Apparently not.

Zionism was concerned with Jewish immigration above all. This was because it was fundamentally an ideology of rescue, not religion or land. So much so that in 1946 it offered to forgo statehood and give up its claim to Jerusalem in return for open immigration.

Palestinian “nationalism” was never intrinsically defined by a claim to statehood. It was quite happy to be part of Greater Syria or Jordan. Instead, it was defined by opposition to any Jewish immigration. That is why it said “no” even to the tiny Jewish state proposed by the Peel Commission in 1937, opposed the British White Paper in 1939 and bargained with Adolf Hitler to prevent Jewish refugees from reaching Palestine.

Put another way, the Palestinian leadership was quite happy to be part of a Pan-Arab empire or monarchy, even a Nazi-dominated world empire, provided it could get the one thing that mattered the most to them: a Judenfrei Middle East.

Why is Palestinian refugee status perpetual and saintly but Jewish refugees thought interlopers and a thing of the past? My grandparents were refugees from the Nazi occupation of Czechoslovakia, but I do not go around calling myself a refugee. I have heard Norman Finkelstein repeatedly claim that 80 percent of Gazans are refugees. This is true only if you claim the label in perpetuity from generation to generation. On the same basis, Israel is close to 100% refugee, but nobody on the Left seems to think this grants the country any moral license or sanctity.

Those who claim that Palestine was “ethnically cleansed” are not really bothered by refugees at all. They are bothered by Israel existing. Otherwise, Pakistan would be a far more obvious target of concern. 14 million people were “transferred” in that partition, which happened only the year before the pivotal year in Israel’s independence struggle. Unlike in Palestine, hundreds of thousands were butchered. No one says Pakistan – which engaged in two subsequent brutal and bloody occupations, in Kashmir and what became Bangladesh – has no right to exist.

In short, Zionism injected controversy into Middle Eastern politics not because there were competing nationalist claims for the same land, or because it entailed the creation of a Palestinian refugee issue. Rather, the issue was any significant Jewish presence in Palestine and the question of Jewish refugees.

I like to see myself as the sort of leftist you read about in textbooks. A democrat, an egalitarian, an anti-Fascist, a feminist and a peacenik. How can I be these things and not support Israel? How can I be these things and have any time for Israel’s enemies? How?

Friday, June 17, 2016

4, 000th child saved by Save a Child's Heart!

Sanusey and his family live in the small city of Brikama, Gambia, just south of the country's capital. At just three months old, Sanusey was diagnosed with a congenital heart defect. The surgery needed to repair his heart is not available in Gambia. After over three years of traveling back and forth to the local hospital for testing every other week, his doctor began looking for a way to get Sanusey the surgery he desperately needed. Thankfully, the Chairman of the Zionist Foundation UK, Paul Charney, stepped in and made the connection between Gambia and Save a Child's Heart. With his help contacting Ambassador Paul Hirschson at the Israeli Embassy, Save a Child's Heart was able to bring Sanusey and three other Gambian children to Israel for surgery.


Sanusey arrived to Israel on Sunday, May 15, together with 12 other children from both Gambia and Tanzania. He was accompanied by his older sister, Penda, and stayed very close to her during the many hours of travel from West Africa. The next morning, Sanusey, along with the rest of the children, was taken to the Wolfson Medical Center for initial examinations. He waited his turn, walking hand in hand with a Save a Child’s Heart team member who had accompanied the group to the hospital, while making sure that his sister was never too far away from him. At the hospital, Sanusey became anxious, collapsed and stopped breathing. In a matter of moments, the whole medical team rushed to his aid in the examination room and began resuscitating him.
It took over an hour and, fortunately, the medical team finally managed to stabilize Sanusey and he was taken immediately to the Operating Theater for emergency heart surgery to save his life.

Dr. Lior Sasson and his medical team operated on Sanusey for hours. Penda sat in the waiting room, crying and hoping for the best. Thankfully, the surgery was successful! Only three days after his operation, Sanusey was sitting up in bed and smiling. He is currently recovering at the Save a Child’s Heart Children's Home in Holon. His contagious laughter bellows through the house as he plays with volunteers and the array of toy trucks and arts and crafts activities. He radiates confidence and it is a pleasure to see him play with the other children from all over the world, smiling, happy, and finally healthy.

Bringing Sanusey to Israel for life-saving heart surgery would not have been possible without the help and support of SACH UK and SACH Switzerland, who connected Save a Child's Heart to the Sherman Trust who co-sponsored Sanusey's surgery, and Brussels Airlines, who helped sponsor Sanusey's flight. Thank you!


Thursday, June 16, 2016

The Other Side of the West Bank Palestinian Story

There is more to this story, a side often overlooked. In communities throughout the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank, a surprising degree of luxury exists alongside the poverty. After receiving billions of dollars in Western aid over many decades, major improvements are visible in the standard of living in the West Bank, as seen in newly-constructed buildings, late-model cars, and luxury items.
This study offers an often overlooked window into life in the Palestinian Authority. The empirical data provides a more complete picture of living standards in the West Bank.  The truth is that alongside the slums of the old refugee camps, which the Palestinian government has done little to rehabilitate, a parallel Palestinian society is emerging.
Marwan Asmar, a Jordan-based journalist with a PhD in political science from Leeds University in the UK, described this phenomenon upon returning to the West Bank after 30 years:
“There has been a total transformation since I was last in Howara in the West Bank in 1985. One can see a buzz of activity at the shops, restaurants, offices and cafes. This wasn’t the sleepy village I saw long ago. Buildings, villas, mosques and rest areas have been constructed everywhere. There is even a swimming pool.
This was certainly not the picture I had in mind. This was not the picture the media presents – of Palestinians surviving on daily wages of $2 as pointed out by the World Bank, of high unemployment and pockets of poverty. The people I spoke to here said many worked as laborers in Israel and were paid high daily wages. This is how they could build their houses, they told me.16
As speculation continues about renewing the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, it is important to understand how the quality of life in the West Bank has improved and how a new Palestinian society is emerging – one that requires a changed perception of the reality of Palestinian life.
While the Arab world is in the throes of a major melt-down – with widespread violence and destruction in Syria and Iraq, together with serious instability in Lebanon and Egypt – daily life for Arabs in the West Bank offers a stark contrast to those scenes of violence and decline.
Foreign Aid
Since the establishment of Palestinian self-rule in the West Bank and Gaza in the mid-1990s, the U.S. government has committed approximately $5 billion in bilateral assistance to the Palestinians, who are among the world’s largest per capita recipients of international foreign aid.17 Overall, Palestinians receive approximately $2 billion in aid each year.18 Palestinian economic analysts estimate that the PA has received a total of $25 billion in financial aid during the past two decades.19
Poverty
The CIA World Factbook reported the poverty rate in the West Bank as 18% in 2011,20 in contrast to Israel’s poverty rate in 2012 of 21%.21
Life Expectancy
In 2015, life expectancy in the West Bank was 76 years.22  This was notably higher than the life expectancy in Arab states of 71 years (in 2012), and the average life expectancy around the world of 70 years.23
Infant Mortality
In 2015, the infant mortality rate in the West Bank and Gaza was 13 per 1,000 live births,24 compared with 27 per 1,000 live births in the Arab states in 2013 and 36.58 per 1,000 live births in the world in 2014.25
Literacy
In 2015 the literacy rate for people aged 15 and above in the West Bank and Gaza was 96.5%.26
Education
In 2011, when Palestinians were asked “Are you satisfied or dissatisfied with the education system?” 63.5% answered “satisfied”, a higher percentage than the U.S. (62.8), Netherlands (60.3), Sweden (61.6) or Japan (54.6).27  The overall percentage in Arab states was 50.0%.28
Water Resources29
Palestinians insist that they suffer from water shortages due to Israeli policies. However, data shows that Israel has fulfilled all of its obligations according to the signed water agreements with the PA. The development of water supply systems for Palestinian communities has been carried out on an extensive scale, much larger than that called for in the Israeli-Palestinian Interim Agreement.
From 1967-1995 the number of towns and villages connected to running water through modern supply systems increased from four to 309 communities. In March 2010, 641 of 708 Palestinian communities, which include more than 96 percent of the Palestinian population, were found to be connected to a running water network. Water supply networks for an additional 16 villages (encompassing an additional 2.5 percent of the population) were under construction.
Palestinians claim that the water consumption of the average Israeli is four times greater than that of the average Palestinian. However, this claim is not factually supported. In 1967, there was indeed a large gap in the per capita consumption of water. This gap, however, was reduced during the Israeli administration period and the difference is now negligible. The per capita consumption of natural, fresh water in Israel is 150 m3/c/y and in the PA 140 m3/c/y.
According to the PA, roughly 33.6 percent of their water leaks from internal pipelines, compared with 11 percent in Israel. Moreover, the Palestinians have violated their part of the water agreements by refusing to build sewage treatment plants (despite available international financing). Thus, raw sewage discharged from Palestinian communities flows freely in many streams in the West Bank.
Palestinian Employment in Israel 30
In 2014, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, the official newspaper of the Palestinian Authority, published an article lauding Israeli employers for their treatment of Palestinian workers in Israel. The article stated, “Whenever Palestinian workers have the opportunity to work for Israeli employers, they are quick to quit their jobs with their Palestinian employers – for reasons having to do with salaries and other rights….The salaries of workers employed by Palestinians amount to less than half the salaries of those who work for Israeli employers.”
“The [Israeli] work conditions are very good, and include transportation, medical insurance and pensions. These things do not exist with Palestinian employers….”
According to Bassem Eid, founder of the Palestinian Human Rights Monitoring Group, 92,000 Arabs from the West Bank work in Israel each day.31
16. Marwan Asmar, “A Trip into the Heart of Palestine,” Gulf News (Dubai), June 17, 2015, http://gulfnews.com/culture/people/a-trip-into-the-heart-of-palestine-1.1536536 .
17. Jim Zanotti, “U.S. Foreign Aid to the Palestinians,” Congressional Research Service, July 3, 2014 ,https://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/mideast/RS22967.pdf..
18. Global Humanitarian Assistance, “Global Humanitarian Assistance Report 2015,” June 2015 ,http://www.globalhumanitarianassistance.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/GHA-Report-2015_-Interactive_Online.pdf p – 141
19. Khaled Abu Toameh, “What Are Palestinians Doing with U.S. Money?,” Gatestone Institute, August 19, 2015 ,http://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/6353/palestinians-us-aid
20. CIA, “The World Factbook: West Bank,” Central Intelligence Agency, August 6, 2015, https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/resources/the-world-factbook/geos/we.html
21. CIA, “The World Factbook: Israel,” Central Intelligence Agency, August 10, 2015, https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/resources/the-world-factbook/geos/is.html
22. CIA, “The World Factbook: West Bank,” Central Intelligence Agency, August 6, 2015, https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/resources/the-world-factbook/geos/we.html
23. UNDP, “Human Development Report 2013,” UNDP, 2013, http://hdr.undp.org/sites/default/files/reports/14/hdr2013_en_complete.pdf p – 25
24. CIA, “The World Factbook: West Bank,” Central Intelligence Agency, August 6, 2015, https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/resources/the-world-factbook/geos/we.html
25. CIA, “The World Factbook: World,” Central Intelligence Agency, August 6, 2015, https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/resources/the-world-factbook/geos/xx.html The World Bank, “Arab World,” Word Bank Group, Date Unknown, http://data.worldbank.org/region/ARB
26. CIA, “The World Factbook: West Bank,” Central Intelligence Agency, August 6, 2015, https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/resources/the-world-factbook/geos/we.html
27. UNDP, “Human Development Report 2013,” UNDP, 2013, http://hdr.undp.org/sites/default/files/reports/14/hdr2013_en_complete.pdf p – 171
28. UNDP, “Human Development Report 2013,” UNDP, 2013, http://hdr.undp.org/sites/default/files/reports/14/hdr2013_en_complete.pdf p – 40
29. Haim Gvirtzman, “The Israeli-Palestinian Water Conflict: An Israeli Perspective,” Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies, Bar-Ilan University, January 2012, http://www.biu.ac.il/SOC/besa/MSPS94.pdf. The writer is a professor of hydrology at the Institute of Earth Sciences, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and a member of the Israel Water Authority Council.
30. Itamar Marcus and Nan Jacques Zilberdik. “Official PA Daily Lauds Israel’s Treatment of Palestinian Workers – PMW Bulletins,”www.palwatch.org. Palestinian Media Watch, September 23, 2014. http://palwatch.org/main.aspx?fi=157&doc_id=12696, See also “Palestinian Workers Treated Better in Israel,” I24news.tv. September 24, 2014 http://www.i24news.tv/en/news/international/middle-east/44941-140924-palestinian-workers-treated-better-in-israel

31. “Palestinian Human Rights Campaigner Excoriates Palestinian Leadership,” J-Wire, August 27, 2015, http://www.jwire.com.au/palestinian-human-rights-campaigner-excoriates-palestinian-leadership/