Monday, December 28, 2020

Israel, UAE Collaborating to Eliminate UNRWA


Israel and the United Arab Emirates are working together to eliminate the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees (UNRWA) without solving the issue of Palestinian refugees, the French newspaper Le Monde has reported.

The report alleged that this has been underway since Israel and the UAE announced normalization between them in August.

 According to the report, Emirati officials are considering an action plan intended to gradually eliminate UNRWA, without making this development conditional on a resolution of the refugee problem. This is despite the UAE having been a major source of funding to UNRWA in 2018 and 2019, along with Qatar and Saudi Arabia, to offset US President Donald Trump's halting of funds to the agency, which brought it to the brink of bankruptcy.

 "In doing so, Abu Dhabi would be rallying to a long-standing demand from Israel, which insists that the agency is obstructing peace by nurturing refugees in the dream of returning to the lands from which their parents were driven in 1948," a tweet of a portion of the report said.

 Last year in November, the UN General Assembly approved the extension of UNRWA’s mandate for three more years, only a week after its commissioner-general Pierre Krahenbuhl resigned over a UN ethics report alleged mismanagement and abuses of authority among senior officials of the agency, after which Israel called for UNRWA’s closure.

 The ethics report claimed that since 2015, members of UNRWA’s inner circle have been steadily consolidating their power, but that the situation escalated markedly from the beginning of 2018, coinciding with the US decision to remove its funding, serving "as an excuse for an extreme concentration of decision-making power in members of the ‘clique.’” 

It further claimed that these developments led to an “exodus of senior and other staff” and a work culture “characterized by low morale, fear of retaliation... distrust, secrecy, bullying, intimidation, and marginalization... and management that is highly dysfunctional, with a significant breakdown of the regular accountability structure.”

Much of the report focuses on allegations surrounding the conduct of Krahenbuhl, who took up the post in March 2014, citing a range of corrupt and unprofessional activities.

Shortly after the details of the report became known, the Netherlands and Switzerland suspended their funding of UNRWA. They were followed in August 2019 by the government of New Zealand.

Wednesday, December 23, 2020

Israeli Research Team Turns Corona into the Common Cold

Israeli researchers have made a breakthrough that will

revolutionize the way Covid-19 is treated.


Tuesday, December 22, 2020

Two Ethiopian Israelis win prestigious Rhodes scholarship for Oxford

By TOBIAS SIEGAL   December 10, 2020

The Rhodes scholarship program that offers exceptional candidates from around the world full tuition for studying at Oxford University in England has chosen two Israelis as its winners for 2021.

Two young Israelis – Eli Zuzovsky, 25, and Eden Amare Yitbarek, 23 originally from Ethiopia  – were chosen by the Rhodes selection committee following "a rigorous national selection process" that included 40 Israeli candidates, 12 finalists, and two "exceptional" winners, a Rhodes Trust press release noted.

"We are thrilled to honor these two exceptional Israelis with a Rhodes scholarship to Oxford University,"  according to Doron Weber, National Secretary for the Rhodes Scholarships for Israel, noting Zuzovsky's and Yitbarek's exceptional contribution in understanding and representing Israeli society.  

"We had an outstanding group of candidates, and the entire committee was deeply impressed by Eden's and Eli's personal journeys and their extraordinary moral character, academic excellence, leadership and powerful example in speaking for underrepresented groups in Israeli society."

The winners will begin their studies at Oxford this fall and will receive full tuition, a living stipend, housing expenses and more, allowing them to pursue their academic endeavors unfettered and to the fullest.

Zuzovsky's and Yitbarek's winning of the 2021 Rhodes scholarship marks the 5th cycle of the scholarship program in Israel, which started in 2016.

Tuesday, December 15, 2020

EU-funded review of PA textbooks reeks of ‘incompetence, concealment’

Serious mistakes were made undermining the credibility of the report, including analyzing the wrong textbooks and attributing Arabic-language Israeli textbooks to the Palestinian Authority, ignoring anti-Semitism and ignoring incitement to violence, martyrdom and jihad.

In a ground-breaking move and in response to the lack of change in the Palestinian Authority school curriculum and the continued insertion of anti-Semitism, hate and incitement to violence and martyrdom in its textbooks, the Norwegian parliament endorsed a cut last week in aid to the P.A.

In 2018, the United Kingdom commissioned a report on Palestinian textbooks from the Germany-based Georg Eckert Institute for International Textbook Research (GEI), which then published a report that was found to be riddled with mistakes. The European Union then decided to commission another report, due to be completed this month, again using the GEI.

Marcus Sheff, CEO of the Jerusalem-based NGO Institute for Monitoring Peace and Cultural Tolerance in School Education (IMPACT-se), expressed shock that the European Union Commission dealing with this matter is appointing the GEI, which Sheff believes has essentially disqualified itself as an honest player by making so many, seemingly intentional mistakes in its research findings.

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The GEI review made serious mistakes that undermined the credibility of the report. These included analyzing the wrong textbooks and attributing Arabic-language Israeli textbooks to the P.A., ignoring anti-Semitism and ignoring incitement to violence, martyrdom and jihad.

In a turn of events that exposes the E.U.’s seeming engagement in pretense, Riem Spielhaus, the head of the study at GEI, actually admitted to German daily newspaper Taggesspiegel in October that the Israeli textbooks were indeed mistakenly included in the review.

In what can be seen as a significant development in this saga, Die Welt—the most prominent German daily—followed up on the Taggerspigel piece and ran a similar story, also in October, but also called out the E.U. for lying to the newspaper.

The paper quoted Ana Pisonero, a spokeswoman for the commission, who said that no false textbooks had been examined. According to IMPACT-se, the E.U. is trying to cover up the mistake.

Adding to this mess, a number of E.U. countries have expressed concern about the GEI and the commission’s insistence that nothing is wrong.

Tybring-Gjedde said European politicians “should not be comfortable” with E.U. money being used to incite anti-Israel hate and violence among Palestinian children. “We have to be absolutely certain that the taxpayers’ money goes to educate children to live in peace and reconciliation.”

In October, 20 members of the European Parliament urged the E.U. to partially withhold funding to the P.A. until it ends anti-Semitic incitement.

Niclas Herbst, a member of the European Parliament, told JNS that “these are serious mistakes and the E.U. commissioner is trying to cover it all up.” He also stated in that letter that he is “equally concerned” over the E.U.’s interim report. “Something went very wrong in this research process and must be put right,” he said.

With respect to the European Commission’s cooperation with GEI, the legislators from four major political groups said that in light of the GEI’s “deeply troubling and error-ridden interim review, it is inconceivable that the institute’s final report, due to be released in December, can possibly reflect a serious and scholarly assessment of the textbooks.”

‘Suspend P.A. aid related to curriculum’

Benjamin Strasser, a German politician of the Free Democratic Party, also expressed his concern and told JNS, “false school materials can cement hatred and prejudice for decades. Neither German tax revenues nor our contributions to the Palestinian Authority may be used to promote anti-Semitism and hatred against Israel.”

Steve McCabe MP, chair of Labour Friends of Israel (LFI), accused the government of “hiding behind the E.U. to escape accountability for its own inaction,” and demanded that the United Kingdom “immediately suspend all P.A. aid related to the delivery of the P.A. curriculum until wholesale and urgent revisions are guaranteed.”

In an emailed statement to JNS, a spokesperson for the Delegation of the European Union to Israel defended the flawed GEI study as “being carried out according to best international standards with native Arab speaking experts being part of the research team.”

The statement said that the E.U.’s Final Report “will be finalized by the end of the year. … Given that the final report has not even been published yet, any criticisms at the stage are clearly premature in our view, in particular as they have been based on alleged leaks regarding a preliminary report which had no other value than to inform the scoping of the study. … We should clarify that the E.U. does not fund and will not fund Palestinian textbooks.”


Morocco first Arab nation to teach Jewish history, culture in schools

Trailblazing change, Morocco on Sunday announced that its schools will soon begin teaching Jewish history and culture as part of the official curriculum—a first in the region and in the North African country, where Islam is the state religion.

 It follows King Mohammed VI of Morocco’s decision to normalize relations with the Jewish state in yet another historic peace deal brokered by U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration and announced last week.

The move has had “the impact of a tsunami,” Serge Berdugo, secretary-general of the Casablanca-based Council of Jewish Communities of Morocco, told the French news agency AFP.

The decision concerning the curriculum was reportedly made discretely, even before Rabat and Jerusalem formerly normalized relations. According to AFP, the decision was made as part of an ongoing revamp of the educational curriculum in Morocco, which began in 2014.

The move aims to “highlight Morocco’s diverse identity,” according to Fouad Chafiqi, head of academic programs at Rabat’s Education Ministry.

AFP further cited two U.S.-based Jewish associations—the American Sephardi Federation and the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations—as saying that they had “worked closely with the Kingdom of Morocco and the Moroccan Jewish community” on the “groundbreaking” academic reform.

“Ensuring Moroccan students learn about the totality of their proud history of tolerance, including Morocco’s philo-Semitism, is an inoculation against extremism,” leaders of the two organizations said in a statement published on Twitter.

As part of the plan, two new books will be introduced into the curriculum. They include a description of the life and heritage of Moroccan Jews under Sultan Mohammed Ben Abdellah al-Khatib, a descendant of the Alawite dynasty that rules the country to this day.

The books, intended for fourth and sixth grades, include historical accounts dating from the 17th century to the present day.

Monday, December 14, 2020

Espionage Emergency: China 'Floods' USA and UK with Spies

  • Given the emergency, Washington should immediately close down all of China's bases of operation in the U.S., including its four remaining consulates — Chicago, Los Angeles, New York and San Francisco — and substantially reducing the staff of the embassy. The embassy, in reality, needs only the ambassador, immediate family, and personal staff, not the hundreds currently assigned there.
  • China's New York consulate is also an espionage hub. James Olson, a former CIA counterintelligence chief, "conservatively" estimated that China, in the words of the New York Post, "has more than 100 intelligence officers operating in the city at any given time." New York City, he said, is "under assault like never before."
  • Will Beijing merely transfer spies to Chinese banks and businesses operating in the U.S.? Probably, but that will take time and, in any event, Washington can order the closure of non-diplomatic outposts as well.
  • Others will say American businesses in China need consular support. Of course they do. My reply is that it is in America's interest to get its companies out of that country, for moral as well as other reasons. The loss of consular support will be one more reason for them to pack their bags in a hurry.

Revelations this month about U.S. Rep. Eric Swalwell, a California Democrat, highlight Beijing's complete penetration of American society.

China's influence, intelligence and infiltration attempts are overwhelming America. Given the emergency, Washington should immediately close down all of China's bases of operation in the U.S., including its four remaining consulates.

Perhaps the most striking aspect of the news about Swalwell is that Fang Fang, a suspected Chinese Ministry of State Security agent also known as "Christine," first contacted him not while he was sitting on the House Intelligence Committee but when he was a councilmember in Dublin City, California.

Fang followed and promoted his career as he was elected to the House of Representatives and assigned to a committee of great interest to China.

Meanwhile in the UK…

  • The UK's new MI5 director, Ken McCallum, said that countries such as China and Russia were no longer focused just on traditional espionage activities, such as stealing government secrets, but also on targeting Britain's economy, infrastructure, and academic research, while seeking to undermine its democracy.
  • China's ambassador to the UK, Liu Xiaoming, later denied threatening the UK by making still another threat: "We make no threats, we threaten nobody. We just let you know the consequences. If you do not want to be our partners and our friends, you want to treat China as a hostile country, you will pay the price. That means you will lose the benefits of treating China as a friend."
  • Meanwhile, Huawei's plans to build a research center in Cambridgeshire are going ahead.
  • "[China's] implementation strategy is to target elites in the West so that they either welcome China's dominance or accede to its inevitability, rendering resistance futile". — Clive Hamilton and Mareike Ohlberg, Hidden Hand: Exposing How the Chinese Communist Party is Reshaping the World.
  • In the UK, according to Hamilton and Ohlberg, the CCP has managed to "groom" British power elites to support Chinese interests, especially through the networking group the "48 Group Club".... The group features members such as former ministers, including former Prime Minister Tony Blair and former Foreign Secretary Jack Straw, five former British ambassadors to China, leading business people, directors of large cultural institutions and professors, as well as a number of highly ranked CCP officials, including several former Chinese ambassadors to the UK.

•   Much of Chinese influence on British campuses is done through the CCP's Confucius Institutes, of which there are at least 29 in the UK, according to a February 2019 report on the topic by the Conservative Party Human Rights Commission.

Another State and Yet Another Seek Normalisation

 Israel and the Kingdom of Bhutan established full diplomatic relations last week, in the latest of a series of normalization deals to be signed by the Jewish state.

“The circle of those who recognize Israel is growing. I would like to thank Israel’s ambassador to India for his work and the Kingdom of Bhutan for its decision to establish diplomatic relations with Israel,” tweeted Israeli Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi.

“This is a milestone in Israel’s deepening ties with Asia,” he said, adding that students from Bhutan are receiving agricultural training in Israel.

Ashkenazi said the agreement came after secret contacts and reciprocal with Bhutan in recent years, in a process led by the foreign ministry.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu welcomed the announcement, calling it “additional fruit of the peace agreements” concluded by Israel in September with the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain, according to a statement from his office. “We are in contact with additional countries that want to join and establish relations with us,” he added.

 Over the same weekend the Kingdom of Morocco announced the full normalization of relations with the Jewish state and more countries are expected to come.

Morocco announced on Thursday evening that it was reestablishing full relations with Israel.

Under the agreement, Morocco will renew official relations with Israel, allow Israeli aircraft to pass through Moroccan airspace, and allow direct flights between Israel and Morocco.

Morocco and Israel will open diplomatic offices in Tel Aviv and Rabat and later open official embassies. Under the agreement, Morocco and Israel will promote economic relations.



Tuesday, December 8, 2020

UNRWA's Moment of Truth?

 Seventy years after its founding with an 18-month mandate to provide emergency aid to the “Palestine refugees,” the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) has grown into a gargantuan $1.2 billion, 30,000-strong “phantom sovereignty”1 that has done more than any other international actor to perpetuate the “refugee problem” it was established to solve.

With the Trump administration slashing its donation to the agency, and the Gulf states and the Europeans demanding greater transparency regarding its finances and operations, UNRWA may at long last be approaching its moment of truth.

Monday, December 7, 2020

A Saudi Journalists Opinion on Iran

 In a recent article in Al Jazirah in Saudi Arabia, a Saudi journalist expresses interesting opinions on the current political scene in the Gulf from a Saudi perspective.

"The mullahs of Iran see and understand that Saudi Arabia’s growing role both in the Gulf region and on the global arena. They worry about this development. In response, they seek to destabilize the region with whatever means they have at their disposal, including through their proxies in Lebanon and in Yemen. Iran has no choice but to negotiate with the West and sign a new nuclear agreement that would lift the economic blockade reimposed upon it by the Trump Administration. Otherwise, it will most surely face political and economic collapse.

what the mullahs are failing to take into account is the fact that the countries of the region are much stronger today than they were when President Obama signed the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). The normalization of ties with Israel changed the political equation and created a new united regional front against Iran. No matter how much Iran tries to bully its neighbors, it is in a very weak position, both economically and militarily

Furthermore, the world has grown tired of Iran’s support of armed militias in the Middle East, and has placed many of these groups, including Hizbullah, on the terror watch list. The fanfare that Iran’s militias create — whether in Yemen, Syria, Lebanon or Iraq — is nothing more than bells and whistles

Thankfully, geopolitical changes that took place in the region over the course of the past four years ensured that Iran doesn’t have the upper hand even as Biden steps into office "

Wednesday, December 2, 2020

Third Lockdown for Israel Unavoidable

 Full article here  

The writing is on the wall, and everywhere you care to look, Israel appears to be headed for a third lockdown.

Through a combination of flagrant disregard of regulations among certain segments of the population and the inevitable outcome of opening more of the economy, the numbers of infected are steadily rising.

 Let’s take a look at the results of that reopening and of some of those flagrant violations.

• A week after the “green island” program was invoked, enabling hotels in Eilat and at the Dead Sea to open, 10 employees of the Isrotel Dead Sea were found to be infected. The hotel staff was sent home and anyone with whom they came in contact was alerted. All those who stayed at the hotel since November 22 were asked to be tested through their local health fund.

• A mall pilot program was launched Friday at 15 malls as a precursor to a wider opening of retail stores. The program had several basic rules: One person per every 7 sq.m. was allowed to shop (up to 10 customers); the number of visitors to the mall would be measured digitally and monitored; mall monitors would patrol and enforce the rules of mask-wearing and social distancing.

In fact thousands crowded together in entrances, hallways and in stores as they attempted to quench their consumer hunger after being deprived for close to two months. As a result, the Health Ministry was already considering shutting down the program and chalking it up as a failure.

Further, 3.3% of people screened for the novel coronavirus on Saturday tested positive – the highest number in the last month and up from an average of around 2% last week.

A report by the Coronavirus Knowledge and Information Center indicated that there has been a consistent increase in the number of cases and that it expects the number to continue rising.

A TV channel reported on Saturday that two-thirds of Israelis returning from countries with high coronavirus infection rates have been breaking quarantine. It was reported to the authorities that between 1%-2% of those returning from abroad were later found to be infected with the virus. According to regulations, travelers returning from one of those countries are required to enter quarantine for 14 days, a period that can be shortened to 12 days.

All of the above examples – whether through good intentions, accumulative frustration over nine months of restrictions, or simply disregard for what needs to be done – spell a lockdown.

Former Health Ministry director-general Gabi Barbash said about a lockdown: “The question is not if. It’s how long until” it happens.

That writing on the wall is as depressing as it is infuriating. With it comes the realization that until we start acting smart and responsibly as we wait for a vaccine to be distributed and administered to a significant majority of the population, we’ve created a vicious cycle that we will be forced to live with.

Tags Coronavirus Coronavirus in Israel COVID-19 coronavirus lockdown

Tuesday, November 24, 2020

A Mask - to be or not to be

 For years, the most common of all lies, the most often told lie, was “the check is in the mail.”

Then we entered the technology age and parents of any teenager will tell you that the most told lie in the world became “If you’re over 18 click here.”

Today, in the throes of the pandemic of 2020, the two most common lies in my world – and probably in yours, are intertwined. The first big lie is, “I had COVID.” The second is, “I have antibodies.” I hear the arguments from people who don’t want to wear a mask in synagogue.

People tell these lies to bolster a claim that they can neither give nor get COVID. Claims that any serious doctor will tell you are incorrect. For those who never had COVID or never tested for antibodies, the statements are not only incorrect, they are also lies. The reason they feel compelled to make these claims is because, plain and simple, it’s easier to put it that way than to just say, “I don’t want to wear a mask” or “I don’t like wearing a mask.”

The quickest way to discover that they are lying about their antibodies is to ask them what their count was. Most people haven’t even gone to the trouble of researching what an antibody count should be for COVID. Just as they are too lazy to wear a mask, they are too lazy to do the research that would bolster their claim. It’s not that they don’t believe that masks are helpful or preventive or necessary – those people have facts and figures to support their opinion. It’s just that they feel masks to be cumbersome and uncomfortable. Which, I admit, they are.

What is most puzzling about people who say that they had COVID and then refuse to wear a mask is this: If you had it, if you suffered through this awful virus, wouldn’t you want to do everything you could to spare someone else the suffering? Something as simple as wearing a mask?!

For more on this go to 

Arab State Snubs BDS

The UAE fruit and vegetable market if full of Israeli 
products with bold advertising under the Israeli flag


Tuesday, November 17, 2020

High Employment by Israel Arabs in Medicine and Pharmacy

 Arab members of parliament have a habit of calling opponents ‘racists’ and of portraying the Arab minority in Israel as oppressed and neglected.

High unemployment among Arab Israelis, they claim, is also the fault of the Jews in Israel and so are the gaps in income between the Jewish and the Arab sectors in Israel, according to the Arab MK’s

In the narrative of the Joint Arab list, Israel is also guilty of the rampant crimes and violence in Arab towns and villages while the Israeli police is accused of doing nothing against the indeed high number of violent crimes in these communities.

This claim runs counter to the data which indicate that Arab inmates make up 40 percent of prisoners in Israeli jails while they only make up a fifth of the Israeli population.

Anyone who bothers to investigate the reality in the Arab towns and villages, especially in the Galilee where the bulk of the Arab Israelis are living, will see that the reality is much more different than the narrative of the Joint List.

Take, for example, the Arab town of Arraba which is located in the Galilee and has 26.000 residents of whom 400 are working as physicians the highest number per capita in the world.

"Something strange is happening in our town. In every home, you will find three or four physicians. I have several clinics all over the country. Who comes to my clinics? (People) from many cities and villages, Jews and Arabs alike," says Dr. Yussef Nasar a plastic surgeon from Arraba.

Saeed Yassin, a veteran family physician from Arraba, says all of his 10 sisters and brothers are now working as a physician while the same is true for three of Yassin’s children.

"Every six months, you hear the fireworks being launched to celebrate the graduation of another 15 or 20 physicians who passed the medical exams," according to Yassin.

Due to medical problems with several of my family members over the past year I was able to witness myself that Israeli Arabs are in large numbers working in hospitals such as the Baruch Padeh Medical Center in Poriah near Tiberias.

In the Poriah hospital roughly half of the staff is Arab including many physicians and nurses.

Even in hospitals that are located in regions with a small Arab majority such as Asuta Hospital in Ashdod, Arab nurses and doctors are making up a large percentage of the medical staff.

In pharmacies, one can see the same phenomenon. Many pharmacists are Arab Israelis and the same counts for universities in Israel where Israeli Arab students are well represented many of them women.

Dr. Wuroud Yassin, a physician now working in the Carmel Hospital, says she “studied at Technion ( a university in Haifa) together with people from various backgrounds and religions, including Arabs and Jews."

"I was the only girl in my family, and I was taught that there is no difference between a boy and a girl. I was also taught that nothing is impossible if you work hard,” she added.

An Arab girl from Kfar Kanna in northern Israel told me this week that she was happy with her life in Israel and said she wears jeans and other modern clothing because she feels very Israeli. She emphasized she is a 'liberal' Muslim.

An Arab entrepreneur from Wadi Hama in northern Israel, who wished to remain anonymous, says he has a large picture of the late Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon behind his desk because he liked Sharon and because he did very good things for the country.

In this respect, also the current Israeli government led by Netanyahu is doing good things for the Israeli Arab community.

By the end of 2020 the Israeli government will have invested $4.3 billion in the Arab sector over the past four years while another $5.6 billion will be spent on developing the Arab high-tech sector which lags behind compared to its Israeli counterpart.

You won’t read this in the international mainstream media because it doesn’t fit into the narrative that is being promoted by both Arab members of the Knesset and the Palestinian leadership that rejected an American plan that would bring $50 billion in foreign investment to the Palestinian Arabs.

Discriminatory Laws That Do Not Discriminate


Recently, the Movement for Black Lives announced it would engage in BDS actions against Israel because, among other reasons, “Israel is an apartheid state with over 50 laws on the books that sanction discrimination against the Palestinian people.” It credits Adalah – The Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel, as one of its “organizations currently working on policy.” The movement is an offshoot of the American organization Black Lives Matter.

Adalah calls itself “an independent human rights organization,” and thus its statements enjoy some of the halo effect attached to this self-anointed status. But Adalah has goals far beyond human rights. It seeks to nullify Israel as a Jewish state – as the nation state of the Jewish people.

Thus it promotes a constitution for Israel that would grant citizenship to all Palestinian refugees and all their descendants, wiping out the Jewish majority in Israel, and its provisions substitute a bi-national state for the Jewish one, with no “right of return for Jews” and with mechanisms to eliminate all Jewish symbols.

One of its most effective tools to delegitimize the Jewish state is the compilation and dissemination of its list of “more than 50 Israeli laws enacted since 1948 that directly or indirectly discriminate against Palestinian citizens of Israel.” This is the list that the Movement for Black Lives found so compelling that they embraced the BDS goals to work against Israel, which they call the “apartheid state.”

A basic underlying presumption used to condemn 21 of the 57 laws, is that any enactment defining or promoting Israel as the nation state of the Jewish people discriminates against Arab citizens of Israel (e.g., the flag law and the law to support Yad Ben Zvi, a prominent institution promoting Zionist study and values). But this flawed premise would delegitimize the vast majority of the world’s democracies, which are also nation states – that is, states established by and for a predominant ethnic or religious majority. As I pointed out in a Wall Street Journal article, “Most of the more than 60 democracies are built on the ethnic identity of a predominant group, which molds the character of the state while affording minorities full civil and religious rights. In this regard the Jewish state of Israel is a typical democratic country.”

Adalah claims that laws designed to protect citizens against terrorism are discriminatory because the predominant majority of terrorists are Arabs. What democratic country would repeal laws defending against terrorist attacks because the suspected terrorists caught and charged were predominantly Muslims or Arabs? Laws that provide equal rights for both majority and minority groups are nevertheless labeled discriminatory by Adalah. The Law and Administration Ordinance (1948) that defines the country’s official rest days, and the Law for Using the Hebrew Date, both explicitly exclude institutions and authorities that serve non-Jewish populations.

All members of minorities are guaranteed a day of rest on the day specified by his/her recognized religious faith or on Saturday, at the employee’s option. Apparently, Israeli law on Saturday is discriminatory, but not Moslem and Arab countries with Friday or Christian countries with Sunday (most of which do not protect minorities’ day of rest). But one thing is for sure, no Jew is discriminated on his day of rest in most of the Arab countries, because the Jews were kicked out in the late 1940s and early 1950s.

Every single one of the 57 laws listed by Adalah list is proven by the Institute for Zionist Strategies study to be non-discriminatory. Anyone can read the laws and the Institute’s conclusions on the IZS site to verify this fact for him/herself. One can also visit the Adalah site, for many of its claims are absurd on their face.

Adalah, of course needs money to compile this list, to draft constitutions, to build attractive Internet sites in three languages, and to appear all over the world before international organizations to condemn Israel.

As reported by NGO Monitor, Adalah received generous funding from: Broederlijk Delen (Belgium), Bread for the World- EED (Germany), Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (Switzerland), Oxfam-Novib (Netherlands), Human Rights and International Law Secretariat (joint funding from Sweden, Switzerland, Denmark and the Netherlands), Christian Aid (UK), European Union, UNDP, and others. From 2012 to 2015, Adalah received direct funding from foreign governmental bodies of NIS 12,719,902. From 2008 to 2014, the New Israel Fund, which tells its donors that it will not support BDS efforts and that it will support Israel, authorized grants for Adalah in the amount of $1,874,656.

And this funding continues.

More on this at

Monday, November 16, 2020

The Era of Changing Supply Chains

BESA Center Perspectives Paper No. 1,788, October 27, 2020

The world is an increasingly unstable place. This is reflected in the way supply chains, a pillar of the globalized world, are changing. More and more countries are considering moving away from their dependence on China to the Indo-Pacific region, which has a burgeoning population and rising economies. This process will accelerate as differences between the West and China multiply.

For Israel this means continuing to walk the diplomatic tightrope as a result of the many Israel-China agreements that have been entered into. There are the ongoing suspicions of the Chinese government as the COVID-19 pandemic ramped up discussion about changing global supply chains. This notion was present before the epidemic, when tensions with China were growing on a number of fronts: trade; Beijing’s geopolitical ambitions related to its flagship project, the “Belt and Road Initiative” (BRI); issues related to Hong Kong; and ethnic problems in Xinjiang and Tibet.

 The trend is growing in intensity as the West’s disagreements with Beijing approach the insurmountable.In this difficult year, the West has come to see how vulnerable it is to supply chains that are largely focused around China. To prepare for future disruptions, it is expedient for the West to evaluate the possibility of reorienting supply chains of major products toward countries that are geopolitically close.

An interesting development in the West’s rhetoric over the course of Beijing’s handling of the pandemic is its near-complete disillusionment with China’s government system. This made calls for reorienting supply chains to democratic countries more insistent. As has become clear, at least as far as the rhetoric suggests, democracy now matters as much as or even more than access to a cheap workforce. 

Tuesday, November 3, 2020

Will Obama's Policies be Repeated

 By the time this is read, the results of the voting for the American presidency will likely be known. With Obama now getting involved as an advisor to Biden, there are great concerns in the Arab world that Obama’s policies will again come into effect

On October 15, 2020, Saudi journalist Badr bin Sa'ud warned, in the Saudi Al-Riyadh daily, that a Biden victory would mean a replay of what he called Obama's highly flawed presidency and he Democrats' support for the Muslim Brotherhood (MB). Harshly criticizing the latter, bin Saud stated that the Obama administration had made a pact with Qatar and with the MB, and had supported the "so-called Arab Spring," thus wreaking havoc and destruction in Arab countries. He also argued that Obama had allowed MB members to attain senior positions in his administration and to take part in setting U.S. policy against the Arab countries and in favor of their enemies Iran, Turkey, and Qatar. The MB's Machiavellianism, he added, and the Democratic Party's phony idealism join together in an alliance that serves both their interests.

Other articles in the Saudi press sought to allay concerns and downplay what they called the danger of a possible Biden win. For example, Saudi journalist Muhammad Aal Al-Sheikh wrote in his column in the Al-Jazirah daily that while a Trump victory is definitely in Saudi Arabia's interest, a Biden win would not necessarily be a catastrophe, because some think that Biden is more of a moderate than Obama was. A President Biden would not be able to disregard either the regional terrorist activity of Iran and its proxies such as Hizbullah or the consolidation of the European view opposing Erdogan's conduct, he said. Stressing that a President Biden would also not be able to ignore the fact that Saudi Arabia is an important and influential country with a strategic relationship with the U.S., he downplayed the significance of the current criticism of it and of other Arab countries in the U.S. media. He noted that this criticism was aimed more at President Trump than at the countries themselves, and stressed that such criticism is part and parcel of a populism that will dissipate after the election.

Wednesday, October 28, 2020

Foreign Anti-Bibi Money Floods Into Israel

 Whether you love Bibi or hate Bibi, no foreign government has the right to interfere in the democratic process of government in Israel

The amount of foreign money flowing into Israel is staggering.

Leftist “human rights” organizations and leftist governments regularly try to change demographic facts in Area C, support terrorists in Israeli courts, incite the Israeli-Arab population, and try to bring the “left” to victory in the elections.

 In this latter regard, one might ask where the money is coming from to fund the endless Black Flag demonstrations that started taking place once again last night after a week’s respite.

Who pays to bus the protesters? Who pays for the signage? Who pays for the parade and site permits? Who pays for fines that protesters receive for not following Corona guidelines?

A report on Israel’s Channel 20  provides some of the answers. Here are some of the organizations on record for providing financial support to the anti-Netanyahu forces:

The Rosa Luxemburg Foundation (German Government): $45,337

Heinrich Boell Foundation (German Government): $11,764

ZFD Foundation (German Government Financing): $13,080

Human Rights Defenders Foundation Switzerland: $70,730

Norwegian “Protection of human rights defenders” project: $7,734

Danish “Protection of human rights defenders and advocacy” project: $42,537

In total, more than $200,000 has been given to the anti-Bibi demonstrators this year.

Can you imagine what the outcry would be if Israeli human rights organizations fomented demonstrations against the government in other countries?

Tuesday, October 27, 2020

Saudi Normalization Ties Close


US-mediated normalization talks between Israel and Oman are reportedly close to achieving a breakthrough.

By Yonah Jeremy BobAaron Reich  October 25, 

A normalization announcement between Israel and Saudi Arabia is close and there could be major developments following the US presidential elections depending on who wins, Mossad director Yossi Cohen has said in closed conversations, 

In the pre-dawn hours of Sunday morning, N12 reported that Cohen had said privately to those around him that the Saudis were waiting until after the US election, but that they could potentially announce normalization as a “gift” to the winner.

However, it seems that the N12 report either misunderstood or did not fully flesh out what Cohen had said. What Cohen actually said to those around him was that if US President Donald Trump wins reelection, there could be an almost immediate announcement.

Yet, if as the polls suggest, Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden wins the election, though the Saudis would still want a normalization deal with Israel, there would not necessarily be a clear timeline.

Cohen had emphasized that the Saudis did not want to give a gift to Trump and then get nothing for it upon a Biden administration taking over the reins.

Rather, Cohen understands that a Biden administration may want to link normalization with the Saudis to progress with negotiations with the Palestinians – the opposite tactic of the Trump administration which is trying to pressure the Palestinians to show flexibility in negotiations with Israel by moving ahead with normalization deals without them.

Further, Cohen would have acknowledged that the post-election situation in the US, especially if Biden is elected, would be far more uncertain regarding international relations in general, and that his estimate was based on knowing what the Saudis want and are ready for.  

The normalization deal will also reportedly involve an arms deal between the US and Saudi Arabia, which could serve to cushion the move, Cohen said.

Normalized ties are something many in Israel and Saudi Arabia look forward to, with a recent poll by Zogby Research Services finding that nearly 80% of Saudis are in favor of working towards normalizing ties with Israel within the next five years.

This was reflective of another poll published by Mitvim – The Israeli Institute for Regional Foreign Policies, which saw Saudi Arabia as the country with which most Israelis would like to next establish normalized ties.

In addition, it was also reported by N12 citing Israeli sources that US-mediated normalization talks between the Jewish state and Oman are close to achieving a breakthrough. In fact, these sources believe Oman is the most likely country to next normalize ties, though some believe Muscat will also take a more cautious approach and not sign anything until the election is over.

These announcements follow the ongoing wave of full relations being established between Israel and countries in the Arab world, with Sudan recently announcing a move towards normalization.