Friday, April 27, 2018

Krähenbühl: UN Schools May Not Open Next Year, Due to Financial Crisis

[UNRWA may not open its indoctrination-ridden schools in the Fall? A Threat or a promise?- David Bedein]

The United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) for Palestinian Refugees said that the emergency aid for a million Palestinian in the Gaza Strip might run out in June, if the agency could not collect $200 million, after the United States cut its funding.

UNRWA Commissioner Pierre Krähenbühl said to Reuters: “Throughout the Middle East, US President Donald Trump has withheld funding of $305 million , much more than $65 million, which he said that he would withhold in January.”

He said in Conference of international donors for Syria in Brussels, ” We really have a very fragile society in Gaza.” He added, “If we are not suddenly certain about the amount of food aid provided by the United Nations to one million people, you can imagine the impact this might cause . I do not give any justification for any connection to the possibility of unrest.”

He pointed out, according to Al Ray Palestinian Media Agency, that the Gulf States, Norway, and Canada had provided $200 million to help fund the UNRWA budget that reaches to $465 million in 2018. The United States, which was the agency’s largest contributor, for a very long time, provided only $60 million of $365 million it promised to provide. This creates a deficit of more than $200 million in financing the purchase of rice, flour, and sugar and continuing to fund schools in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank.

The UNRWA’s demand for financial aid is facing difficulties because of other requests for crises in Syria, Yemen, Myanmar, Afghanistan, Congo and elsewhere.

Krähenbühl warned of the increasing unrest in Gaza that happens partly because of the worst collapse of the economy after an Israeli-led blockade for nearly 10 years and internal divisions in Gaza.

He also said that “the inability to fund UNRWA makes a lack of sufficient funds to reopen schools in August and September, at the beginning of the new school year. This is the biggest funding crisis we have ever faced.”

It is noteworthy that Trump cut funding for UNRWA in January, after doubting the value of such funding, and the State Department said that UNRWA needed unspecified reforms.

Many Western diplomats saw Trump’s move as a reaction to a condemnation across the Middle East of his decision on the 6th of December, 2017, to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

“I implemented a cut in funds, and I am trying to find new donors from the private sector, who may be from the Gulf States or donations to give solidarity with the Palestinians during the month of Ramadan,” said Krähenbühl.

After donors such as Qatar, Turkey and the United Arab Emirates agreed to contribute, Krähenbühl said he was now seeking help from Germany, France, Sweden and Britain and would travel to Berlin later this week. He considered these aids as a simple help that the future unrest would not increase.

ACLJ Files FOIA Lawsuit Against Anti-Israel Deep State Over Burying UNRWA Fraud and Joining UN in Circumventing International Law

The ACLJ is once again taking the anti-Israel Deep State back to federal court, this time over allegations that it is burying a U.N. agency’s fraud and joining the U.N. in circumventing international law.

Monday the ACLJ filed its latest FOIA lawsuit concerning its request to the State Department for records about the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), including a particular U.S. report on UNRWA which, according to recent media attention, indicates awareness by State Department officials of fraud by UNRWA.

We initiated the FOIA request on February 5, 2018, following news reports that the Obama State Department created a report concerning UNRWA relief to Palestinian “refugees” but unnecessarily (and thus improperly) gave it a “Classified” designation to prevent the information from reaching Congress and the public.

According to press coverage, the UNRWA report was commissioned in 2015 by former Senator Mark Kirk (IL), who was seeking information on the number of Palestinian “refugees” served by UNRWA who actually lived in the territory now known as Israel between 1946 and 1948. Rather than providing Congress with the completed report, it appears the State Department classified the report and has withheld it from outside eyes, going so far, the media reports, as to ignore a 2017 congressional directive that the Department produce an unclassified version of the report. The report is said to confirm that the number of Palestinian “refugees” is only in the tens of thousands, rather than, as UNRWA claims, the millions.

While the ACLJ is categorically opposed to the government labeling or treating the Palestinians as “refugees” of any kind, the State Department has decided to play UNRWA’s game of improperly labeling Palestinians as “refugees” of a war Israel didn’t start. It has bought into the leftist, Palestinian, U.N. narrative that Israel is an aggressor nation – rather than one trying to protect its sovereignty and citizens – and that because Palestinians have no nation of their own (a choice made, ironically, by the Palestinian leadership itself in rejecting multiple two-state scenarios offered by Israel), they are “refugees” – a specific legal term with international legal repercussions that is blatantly misused in this situation.

Labeling Palestinians as “refugees” is legally, factually, and historically incorrect, and it must end.

In its own separate effort to induce major changes by UNRWA, the current U.S. Administration has cut millions of dollars from its UNRWA funding. At the same time that this decision and President Trump’s Jerusalem Declaration have created distance with the Palestinian Authority (PA), media reports state that the previous Administration, most notably former Secretary of State John Kerry, has maintained an ongoing relationship with the PA’s leadership. Thus, in addition to the UNRWA report itself and records concerning it, the ACLJ has requested from the State Department additional records concerning UNRWA, Palestinian “refugees,” the recent decision of the United States to cut UNRWA funding, and John Kerry’s dealings with the Palestinian Authority and its representatives.

In a letter dated February 13, 2018, the State Department acknowledged receipt of our request and indicated it would begin processing the request (i.e., searching for, reviewing, and identifying for release responsive documents). However, the Department denied our request for expedited processing of the request. This means the State Department concluded that these documents are not “urgently needed by an individual primarily engaged in disseminating information in order to inform the public concerning actual or alleged Federal Government activity . . . [because] a particular value of the information would be lost if not disseminated quickly.”

We believe a majority of the American public would vehemently disagree with this conclusion, as the documents we’ve requested concern basic taxpayer oversight of an agency that receives millions of U.S. dollars every year. If those funds are unnecessary or being used for improper purposes, that is undoubtedly a matter of urgency.

According to the latest information available from the State Department, the agency’s denial of expedited processing means our request falls into the category for which the average response time is some 653 days (over a year and a half). Because the Freedom of Information Act provides a cause of action for FOIA requesters who fail to receive a proper agency determination within 20 business days, the ACLJ filed this lawsuit so that it can begin to receive responsive records—and discover and reveal the truth about this situation—now.

Palestinian UN agency faces financial crisis, may cease services

[Now that UNRWA has hired a high powered PR firm, Marathon Strategies, UNRWA uses the tactics of proclaiming total breakdown in services to advance its cause, leaving policy makers to imagine that the five million clients of UNRWA will soon be left to starve. Hence, the following piece- David Bedein]

The United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) announced Wednesday that it may stop providing services in all of its operating areas starting September due to its chronic financial crisis, UNRWA spokesman Sami Mushasha said.

Mushasha told the official Palestinian WAFAnews agency that the money UNRWA recently received from European countries, which amounts to $200 million, will be enough for several months, and that the financial crisis will recur in September unless something is done to cover the deficit and to provide regular contributions to UNRWA.

UNRWA Commissioner General Pierre Krähenbühl told donors in Brussels that UNRWA may not open its schools in the coming academic year as a result of its most serious deficit in its 50-year history.

He said that food subsidies to around one million Palestinians in the Gaza Strip may stop as soon as June if UNRWA is unable to collect $200 million.

The UN agency, dedicated solely to so-called Palestinian refugees, has been facing financial straits after President Donald Trump slashed millions in US aid to the organization.

In January, the Trump administration cut its funding to UNRWA, demanding that it undertake fundamental reforms.

The State Department notified UNRWA that the US is withholding $65 million of a planned $125 million funding installment to the body.

It also made clear that additional US donations will be contingent on UNRWA making major changes. The agency has been heavily criticized by Israel for being the cause of, and not the solution to, Palestinian issues.

The State Department said it was releasing the rest of the installment — $60 million — to prevent the agency from running out of cash by the end of the month and closing down.

The US is UNWRA’s largest donor, supplying nearly 30 percent of its budget.

The Palestinians have a unique definition for their status as “refugees” which has permitted them to vastly inflate the number of Palestinian refugees. Specifically, refugee status for Palestinians is passed on to succeeding generations and is unaffected by citizenship from other countries, in contrast to the definition of refugee status for every other refugee population in the world.

Therefore, the vast majority of the “refugees” in Jordan, more than two million, are citizens of Jordan who identify as Palestinian.

Israel has argued for years that the UN and the Palestinians are working to perpetuate the Palestinian refugee problem and oppose any attempt to seek a solution.

Furthermore, the Palestinians’ status as refugees ensures an endless flow of international aid and has other financial ramifications.

A so-called Palestinian refugee receives quadruple the amount of aid that a Syrian, Iraqi or African refugee receives from the United Nations.

A study released in September shows that in 2016 UNRWA, which provides assistance solely to Palestinians, spent an average of $246 for each of the 5.3 million Palestinians it defines as refugees, while the UNHCR spent only a quarter of that, $58 per refugee, on non-Palestinians.

UNRWA – House questions continued funding and population estimate

In 2012 the Senate jn 112-172 directed the State Department to issue a report detailing the approximate number of Palestinian people in 2011 who received services from United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA): (1) detailing those who actually lived in the region and were displaced during the Arab-Israeli conflict in 1948; and, (2) the number of descendants who had received funds. They asked in 2014 and 2015 as well.

The State Department finally complied. However, they classified the information despite there being no apparent national security reasons to be classified. The members of the House viewed this as a deliberate use of “classified” to conceal information from the public.

On April 18, 2018, fifty-one members of Congress sent a letter to President Trump requesting that the “classified information” label on a Senate report concerning UNRWA was not necessary and should be made public.

The letter praised President Trump for his announcement of Jerusalem as our embassy and his reduction of payments to UNRWA. They also asked that he direct the Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration to remove the classified label for transparency purposes.

What they pointed out as well was that in 1948 the UNRWA was set up to assist less than a million people but that now the Palestinians were using a figure of 5.2 million refugees to be returned to the Jerusalem area as part of a peace deal.

The House members are hoping to provide information to help resolve the conflict but felt that the figure provided by the Palestinians was unrealistic and would overwhelm the Jerusalem area if that amount of refugees were allowed to stand.

The UNRWA receives funds in a small part from the United Nations regular budget for staffing but mostly from donations supplied by different countries. Their main purpose when established under  Resolution 302 (IV) was to direct relief and works programmes for Palestine refugees in particular focusing on refugee camps set up in areas such as Jordan.

The agency, initially intended to serve as a temporary relief effort, has now morphed into a quasi-governmental entity that represents, for better or worse, the only remaining element of crucial UN resolutions regarding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict still operational today.

Information available without using State Department classified documents.

When the Agency began operations in 1950, it was responding to the needs of about 750,000 Palestine refugees. Today, some 5 million Palestine refugees are eligible for UNRWA services. The agency and its purpose is unique to any other humanitarian agency in the world because they are focused specifically on 1948 Palestinian refugees and their descendants. 

Besides its obvious education and humanitarian work, the UNRWA has documentation of the refugees themselves, due to its supposedly accurate and well-kept records of refugees from the Nakba (the 1948 Palestinian exodus) and their descendants.  It may be likely, however, that many Palestinian refugees who were not in need of humanitarian assistance nonetheless registered with UNRWA in the 1950s specifically as a “proof of identity” or that the registration documentation includes other periods of time and possible refugees who are not part of the original group.

According to the UNRWA in 2010, there were 5 million refugees signed up in the region including Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, the Gaza strip, and the West Bank. However, their 2006 documentation of refugees only shows 4.4 million. So somehow half a million plus individuals suddenly were born in four years to descendants of 1948 refugees and are themselves living as refugees?

Interestingly a study done by Tiltnes and Zang for a Norwegian Research Foundation (FAFO) for 1999 showed that only 5% of Palestinians residing inside of camps were part of the first generation refugees.  Another important note in the study was that they found that the majority of those Palestinian refugees in the camps were actually citizens of Jordan with full political and civil rights of all Jordanians. A higher percentage even of those registered as living outside the camps held Jordanian citizenship. It also specifically drew attention to the fact that there were two major refugee surges noted–one from 1948 and one from 1967. According to UNRWA requirements, those from 1967 should not have been registered for assistance but apparently someone decided to do so anyway.

The study went into a great deal of detail about where the original 1948 refugees originated. To be specific, it stated that only 6% of refugees registered inside camps and 12% of refugees outside the camps originated from the Jerusalem area. Everyone else came from Hebron, Ramla, Jaffa, or Ber Sheba. All of those were outlying areas of the state of Israel. It also notes that about one-third of all the registered refugees have parents, children, or siblings who reside abroad. Though it appeared some had been returning to the camps in a bit of reverse migration at the time according to the report.

So all of this is a lot of trivia information right?  Wrong. If the UNRWA claims 5 million registered refugees or more are supported by their efforts and the Palestinians are demanding that all of those 5 million return to Israel and specifically the Jerusalem area as part of their peace negotiations then there is a big problem.

1 Funds for UNRWA are supporting far more than the original 750,000 refugees who were supposed to be receiving aid for no more than a year a two. Arabs demanded and got the extension of the original to be paid renewable every year.

2 The 1967 displaced people should not have been included in the original group unless they classed as refugees themselves, were direct descendants of the original refugees, and not recognized as full citizens of a country.  Jordan alone had registered 2 million refugees who were displaced after 1967 many if not most of whom have become Jordanian citizens in every sense of the word. The lineage from those direct descendants and including their own descendants who are citizens of different countries to which they first fled should not be considered as still under refugee status covered by UNRWA.

3 We are funding a specific humanitarian effort for a specific group of people and their progeny not just for a year or two but far into the future. This is ridiculous considering they are not the only country or people in the world undergoing serious needs and displacements. It is not a fair use of funds few countries can afford considering their own economic plights.

4 Those that are citizens of countries to which they first fled should have either never been registered or been dropped from the rolls immediately upon receiving citizenship. They should have no longer been considered refugees. Therefore the figure of 5 million is incorrect and should be reevaluated.

What has it cost the US to fund its part of UNRWA?

UNRWA has a site that lists contributed amounts by donor countries since 1948. Usual payments by the US appeared to range from $89 million in 2000 to $188 million in 2008 as listed by the Jewish Virtual Library.

The grand total of $5.2 billion give or take a few million has been paid by the US since 1950.

  • 1950-1999, $2.2 billion
  • 2000-2014, $2.6 billion
  • 2015-2016, $311 million
  • 2017, $125 million – $68 million withheld by Trump

Particularly interesting and what may have prompted the “classified” purpose may have been the following: (in millions)  2009 – $268; 2010 – $248 ; 2011 – $239; 2012 – $233; 2013 – $294; 2014 – $251; 2015 – $159; 2016 – $152.

This was during the Obama Administration when we were suffering under the 2008 crash and when he was restricting payments to our country’s defense and other agencies.  This was also during the Clinton State Dept. days and when the Clinton Foundation received “donations” from the Middle East.

–00–

Not only is it time to declassify this information but also time to discontinue the UNRWA and if necessary set up a new transparent agency to help with humanitarian needs or move UNRWA to be part of some other agency such as UNESCO. They are not unique and after 68 years those original 750,000 and any children they may have had at the time may have long passed away.  Any needing help after the original group like the ones from 1967 should have already been included in other humanitarian efforts.

It appears the Palestinians are particularly worried about the records of their families that UNRWA is said to have documented.   If the Palestinians had already established a state government years ago, those documents would have been better served in the government archives. Given that this did not happen long ago then they ought to be housed in a particularly important mosque and guarded by their own imams. Perhaps even the UN could archive them.

There is no purpose to continue funding such an agency just to keep the records. Why should every country that contributes be put at a disadvantage when their own countries are needing funds for their own displaced or disadvantaged? There are already a lot of organizations in the world designed for humanitarian and educational assistance that either are helping or could also include these if absolutely necessary. I am sure each of them would appreciate a few more contributions to their funds if focus was taken off the one UNRWA.

The facts remain this is a long outdated funneling of funds to keep people in the Middle East going. These same people are often involved in fighting within their separate groups and as part of ISIS or some other radical organization. They appear to remain in poverty despite pouring so much money into their health, education, and upkeep. Perhaps this is no different from any other welfare situation after a period of time. Dependency begets nothing more than dependency and lack of initiative.

 YES — TRUMP WAS RIGHT TO WITHHOLD THESE FUNDS.

Simon Wiesenthal Center: Unsafe to Wear Kippahs in German Cities? German Authorities Are Failing To Protect Jewish Citizens or Curb Anti-Semitism

The Simon Wiesenthal Center expressed alarm today over the failure of German authorities to deal effectively with increased anti-Semitism, including violent hate crimes.

“When the respected head of German Jewry feels it necessary to urge Jews to hide their identities in public, it is clear that German authorities have failed to protect the rights of their Jewish citizens and are failing to counter growing anti-Semitism,” charged Rabbi Abraham Cooper, the Simon Wiesenthal Center’s Associate Dean and Director of Global Social Action.

“I first raised the question, over three years ago with then Justice Minister (and current Foreign Minister) Heiko Maas, as to how Germany would deal with the anti-Semitic biases that many arrivals from Arab and Muslim societies brought with them. Clearly, not enough has been done to address this issue since the subsequent arrival of hundreds of thousands of refugees and immigrants from these countries, and there is a new phenomenon of Jewish students being bullied by children of immigrants in Germany’s public schools,” Cooper added.

“However, it would be a mistake to attribute this spike of anti-Semitism entirely to extremists within the Arab and Muslim population. For years, Israel has been demonized and vilified in the media and by some politicians, and neo-Nazi activities contribute to the growing unease among Jews that anti-Semitism is a growing threat to their future. Clearly, whatever has been done until now by German authorities is not enough,” Cooper concluded.

For more information, please contact:
Josh Berkman, Rubenstein Public Relations
JBerkman@rubensteinpr.com | 212-805-3055

 

Palestinian Refugees – War by Other Means

The 19th-century Prussian military theorist Carl von Clausewitz wrote that “war is a mere continuation of policy by other means.” He could not have envisaged that the Palestinian refugees would be turned into…

Let My People Know

US is a prime funder of UNRWA education. Therefore  US Congress conducted its first GAO study of new PA texts used in UNRWA schools  ​Yet  the US State Department ​has ​now ​asked  Congress  to not publicize the GAO investigation of PA/UNRWA school books.

Ten selections From new UNRWA textbooks introduced in 2018*:

  1. A terrorist attack on an Israeli civilian bus by molotov cocktails is described in a story as “a barbecue party [haflat shiwaa in Arabic] – Arabic Language, Grade 9, Part 1 (2017) p. 61.
  2. A verse in a poem describes the fate of the Jews in the country following its supposed liberation: “I swear! I will sacrifice my blood to water the land of the noble ones, to remove the usurper [code name for Israel] from my land and to exterminate the remnants of the foreigners…” – Our Beautiful Language, Grade 3, Part 2 (2017) p. 64.
  3. A picture of Dalal al-Mughrabi, who led the terrorist attack on an Israeli bus on the Coastal Highway in 1978, in which over thirty civilians – men, women and children – were murdered, appears alongside a text describing her as a martyr who “painted with her struggle a picture of challenge and heroism which has made her memory eternal in our hearts and minds.” – Arabic Language, Grade 5, Part 2 (2017) p. 51.
  4. The refugees will return to their former places of residence which will be part of sovereign Palestine: “We shall return to hoist Palestine’s flag… on our green hills.” – Arabic Language, Grade 5, Part 1 (2017) p. 82.
  5. A cartoon appears in one of the books showing an Israeli bulldozer digging beneath the mosque on the Temple Mount thus explicitly accusing Israel of planning to destroy it – Social Studies, Grade 7, Part 1 (2017) p. 64.
  6. A poem describes the Jews as the Devil’s aides in the context of Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem – Arabic Language, Grade 7, Part 1 (2017) p. 66
  7. The Hebrew inscription is erased from a coin of the British Mandate period – Mathematics, Grade 6, Part 2 (2017) p. 63.
  8. Another piece denies the Jews’ share in Jerusalem’s history: “Jerusalem is an Arab city built by our Arab forefathers thousands of years ago. Jerusalem is a holy city for Muslims and Christians.” – National and Social Upbringing, Grade 3, Part 1 (2017) p. 28.
  9. An assignment next to a map of the whole country under the name “Palestine” presents Israel’s pre-1967 territory as occupied Palestine: “We will distinguish between the Palestinian cities occupied by the Zionists in 1948 and the ones that they occupied in 1967.” – Social Studies, Grade 7, Part 1 (2017) p. 56.
  10. The whole country appears in one color with the name “Palestine” next to it and with the Palestinian flag flown above – National and Social Upbringing, Grade 4, Part 1 (2017) p. 7.
  • Full texts at IsraelBehindTheNews.com

Time has come to ask Congress and the Trump Administration to ignore the request not to publicize their own investigation

Stop ignoring child abuse in the Muslim world

Images from Douma, Syria of dozens of dead children with foam around their mouths recently emerged as their families were gassed to death by the Bashar Assad regime and its allies. In the wake of this grotesque crime against humanity, now is the time to raise awareness about child abuse in the Muslim world.

As we speak, Syrian men, women and children are being raped and massacred by the Assad regime on a massive scale. While children are not the only victims of the Syrian civil war, they are clearly the most vulnerable.

The U.N. recently issued a report charging that the Assad regime frequently uses rape as a means of suppressing dissent. The youngest rape victim was reported to be 9 years old.  While the report noted that Syrian rebel groups also rape on a massive scale, it claimed that Syrian rebel atrocities paled in comparison to those of the Assad regime.

Despite the horrendous atrocities committed by the Assad regime, the international community has been slow to act. While the U.S., U.K. and France did recently bomb targets associated with Assad’s chemical weapons program and Israel has gone after Iranian targets in Syria, the international community continues to refrain from seeking to topple the Assad regime despite its massive human rights abuses.

Meanwhile, the plight of young Christian girls in Nigeria is equally horrendous and yet has received a fraction of the publicity.  Boko Haram, who has declared a caliphate in the region, routinely attacks Christian communities and engages in abductions, forced conversions, rapes, pillaging and murder. According to UNICEF, over 1,000 children have been kidnapped by Boko Haram over the last four years. However, except for a brief Twitter campaign by Michelle Obama, the world continues to ignore Boko Haram’s atrocities that victimize Christian Africans. Stories on the subject are relegated to the back pages of Western newspapers if they are published at all.

As with the children of Syria and Nigeria, the world is likewise turning a blind eye to the terrible plight of young Hindu girls in Bangladesh. According to Shipan Kumer Basu, the president of the World Hindu Struggle Committee, the rape of Hindu girls in Bangladesh is rampant. Apparently, according to the belief system of radical Islamists in that country, rape is thought to help to convert Hindus to Islam. Basu has claimed that the Bangladeshi government led by Sheikh Hasina is covertly in a coalition with ISIS to rid the country of Hindus. Most of the rapes against Hindu girls are not recorded in official statistics, he says, and this is a cover-up for the government’s gradual ethnic cleansing of non-Muslim minorities.

The plight of non-Muslim girls in Pakistan is also dire. According to the Movement for Solidarity and Peace, around 1,000 Hindu and Christian girls in Pakistan are kidnapped, forcefully converted and married to Muslim men against their will every year. It claims that the victims are usually between the ages of 12 and 25. The Movement for Solidarity and Peace says that the actual figures are most likely much higher; many such cases go unreported. Pakistan has a horrific record on both women’s rights and minority rights. Recently, there were massive protests in the country after an 8-year-old girl was raped and burned alive, and after a 7-year-old girl was raped and murdered. Despite the attention brought to the issue of Pakistani girls’ and women’s rights by Nobel Prize winner Malala Yousafzai, the international community has generally turned a blind eye to the fate of Hindu and Christian girls in the country.

Indeed, the West has a tendency to ignore the oppression of non-Western, and particularly Muslim, children. Yemen is the prime example of this. The plight of children in Yemen is even more dire than that of Syrian children. CNN has reported that every five minutes, a child in Yemen dies as a result of entirely preventable causes. Over 8 million people in the country do not know when their next meal will be and three-quarters of the population is in desperate need of humanitarian aid. Given the horrific situation that has developed as a result of the struggle between the Iranian-backed Houthi rebels and Saudi Arabia and its allies, the rate of child marriage has risen dramatically. Nearly two-thirds of Yemenis are married before they reach age 18.

Nujood Ali, the Yemeni child bride who made international headlines after seeking a divorce from an abusive husband who raped her at age 10, remains the poster child for the right of children to remain children.  However, after her book, “I Am Nujood, Age 10 and Divorced,” was published, it was reported that almost all of the funds raised to help her achieve her goal of becoming lawyer and working to improve women’s rights, were instead pocketed by her father – the very same man who sold her into an abusive child marriage in the first place.

Her father used the money to buy two more wives for himself rather than ensuring the future of his daughter. According to various media reports, while he lives in the home that was bought for his daughter by her publisher, Nujood was forced out of her own home and is living in squalor.  She never got to finish school. Her situation further deteriorated when the civil war broke out. Her life could have turned out so much better if the money sent to help her had been given to her via her lawyer rather than her abusive father and if she had been given the opportunity to study outside of Yemen.

Another young child bride, Marib al-Mishwahi, the daughter of Iraqi parents who immigrated to the U.S., faced a much better fate than Nujood Ali. Al-Mishwahi was to be forced into an unwanted marriage in another city in the U.S. in exchange for her family receiving $20,000. According to The Washington Post, when she refused the marriage proposal, her parents poured boiling water on her, beat her with a broomstick and choked her almost to the point of unconsciousness. To save her own life, she told her parents that she would agree to the marriage. She ended up in protective custody along with her five siblings after briefly disappearing and is now able to start her life over again in the U.S. Her parents were arrested.

This demonstrates that a child bride’s place of residence can make all the difference in breaking the cycle of abuse.

A child bride in Yemen never managed to break out of the abusive cycle despite massive international support because the charity organizations made the mistake of giving the money to her father rather than her lawyer and because she was not taken away from her abusive family. The children in Syria are being massacred because the world has turned a blind eye to their suffering. Young Christian girls in Nigeria continue to be abducted and raped; the world does not care about their plight. No country has intervened to save their lives; those who could take action on their behalf apparently do not sufficiently value their human rights. The rate at which Hindu children in Bangladesh and Pakistan are raped continues to rise and the West does not care: The victims are not white, are not Christian and are not of European origin.
The time has come for the West to start to care about the plight of children in the Muslim world and to take a stance against the child abuse that permeates Muslim societies instead of ignoring grave human rights abuses merely because the victims are not Western.

Rachel Avraham is a senior media research analyst at the Center for Near East Policy Research and a correspondent for the Israel Resource News Agency.

Summary of April 17 2018 Mtg with Advisor at US Mission to the UN

Dear…

It was good to see you this week, following lectures that our agency, which focuses its energies on UNRWA (1), provided for the public concerning UNRWA policies (2).

Many thanks for taking the time to meet.

To review the items which we brought to your attention:

  1. A memo on UNRWA stationery, distributed to UNRWA donor nations, asserts that UNRWA now engages in reform of UNRWA education. This memo appears on the web site of the Israel Civil Administration. (3) However, UNRWA  never issued any such memo. Please look into who may have forged the letterhead of UNRWA for distribution.
  1. UNRWA has hired a high powered political PR firm – Marathon Strategies. (4) Who authorized the budget for UNRWA to hire them ? Is it appropriate to hire a PR firm to handle communications of a UN relief agency which proclaims that it is debt-ridden?
  1. We presented you with the current UNRWA curriculum (5), whose theme is the indoctrination of a half million students with denigration, demonization, delegitimization and war against a member state of the UN. How can a UN agency absorb textbooks which defy the UN slogan that “peace starts here”?
  1. The U.S. State department now demands that Congress not disclose the GAO report on the UNRWA curriculum and UNRWA operation (6). Please find out: why does the State Department not want the disclosure of UNRWA education?
  1. We shared our latest commissioned study which documents continued Hamas control of the UNRWA workers union and the UNRWA teachers union. (7) Since Hamas is a designated FTO (8), why is there no demand that UNRWA fire any workers or teachers who are declared members of Hamas?
  1. We are pleased to report to you that a Knesset Lobby for UNRWA Reform has been formed (9).  It will conduct a public forum amongst all agencies which aid UNRWA, to discuss ways to ensure the efficient distribution of humanitarian aid, so as to prevent funds and supplies from being stolen or siphoned for terrorist operations by UNRWA personnel who are themselves members of terror groups.  Would Ambassador Haley be interested in attending this forum or sending a delegate?

(1)    http://israelbehindthenews.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/Scope-of-Our-Work-UNRWA-Reform-Intiative-2003-2018.pdf

(2)    http://israelbehindthenews.com/insight-behind-the-news-in-gaza/17203/

(3)    http://www.cogat.mod.gov.il/en/Our_Activities/Pages/UNRWA-Against-Incitement-28.3.17.aspx

(4)    http://israelbehindthenews.com/unrwa-fails-students-still-wants-u-s-money/16938/

(5)    http://israelbehindthenews.com/full-study-school-books-now-used-unrwa-palestinian-authority/16438/ AND http://israelbehindthenews.com/israel-jews-peace-new-pa-textbooks-used-unrwa-schools-today-final-study/16903/

(6)    http://israelbehindthenews.com/?s=GAO

(7)    http://israelbehindthenews.com/hamas-continues-to-operate-freely-in-unrwa-schools-in-gaza-updated-apr-2018/17222/

(8)    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_State_Department_list_of_Foreign_Terrorist_Organizations

(9)    http://israelbehindthenews.com/lobby-reform-unrwa-launches-knesset/16126/

Who would have believed it?

“Independence is never given to a People – it has to be earned and once earned must be defended.”

This quote from Chaim Weizmann, Israel’s first President and head of State since the Roman illegal occupation of the Jewish homeland succinctly sums up the situation which confronted us seventy years ago…writes Michael Kuttner.

If ever a group warranted restoration to their own territory it was and is the Jewish People.

Looking back at the events which culminated in restored sovereignty it is obvious that the nations of the world at the time never expected the Jewish remnants of the Shoah to survive the onslaught of its Arab neighbours. Historic as the UN decision may have been the stark fact remains that almost without exception nobody had any confidence that a handful of rag tag Jews bereft of weapons and military knowhow and confined into a miniscule piece of territory grudgingly allotted to them could hold off let alone push back the hordes poised to finish them off. The declarations of hateful intent issued by Arab leaders left no doubt as to their final solution.

Having rejected the opportunity of creating an Arab State alongside the Jewish State, in favour of a genocidal campaign the Arab/Islamic world set a precedent for the next seventy years. At the end of the day when miraculously the Jews thwarted the murderous plans the blame game commenced and has continued to this very day.

The contrast between the new State and those plotting to destroy it could not have been greater. While we created and built, our adversaries destroyed and plundered. In the 1920’s a campaign undertaken by the Zionists of America to assist chalutzim (these days derisively called settlers in certain quarters) was promoted with the slogan “let us rise up and build.” That exactly exemplified Weizmann’s statement. Despite no prospect of independence young men and women rolled up their sleeves, subjected themselves to every form of physical danger and disease, braved the harsh elements and the opposition of British authorities to lay the foundations of a modern, thriving future Jewish nation.

In contrast the Arabs of mandated Palestine who refused to call themselves “Palestinians” used every violent means to prevent and frustrate the Jewish revival. Terror attacks against property and people predated any so called “occupation” and with the declaration of independence in 1948 the new State in its truncated armistice lines became “occupied” as far as our neighbours were concerned.

For the last 70 years in one form or another we have faced boycotts, terror, wars and a continual campaign of lies and delegitimisation.

The tragedy of the situation is brought home to each and every Israeli on Yom Hazikaron when we pause to honour and remember the over 26,000 individuals, civilians and military, who have fallen in battle and have been murdered by terrorists since the start of the resettlement of our country to the present moment. The numbers who have been injured (some for life), including women, small children and babies, is incalculable. Those who believe that this hate will prevent the rebuilding of our ancient homeland are delusional. After millennia of pogroms, ghettos, yellow stars and theologically inspired libels, culminating in the Shoah, we have finally arrived at a time when we can and must defend ourselves.

It was the sacrifice of those defending Israel from numerous attempts to wipe us out that enabled us to reach the situation we face today. Current plotters of evil against the Jewish State will find that the start up nation is no longer an easy target and that they tangle with it at their own peril.

This is a land of miracles but we cannot always rely on them alone. We also have to contribute our own resources and ingenuity and this is exactly what has sustained us over 70 years. Survivors of the Holocaust could never in their wildest dreams have ever imagined that one day Israel air force planes would fly in  formation over Auschwitz and that thousands of youth proudly waving Israeli flags would participate in a March of the Living in Poland. Not a single individual alive in 1948 could have envisaged that from an impoverished land where rationing of basic items was the norm and the landscape was predominantly arid, in seven decades the country would be transformed beyond recognition.

All of the achievements in every field of endeavour are as the result of hard work and a determination to build and progress. No other country has proportionally taken in so many immigrants from every corner of the globe and successfully integrated them into the dynamic society Israel has become. Of course there are problems still to be solved. The rebuilding of Israel is an ongoing process hampered unfortunately by the necessity to devote so many of its scarce resources to defense and security.

If the fake “Palestinians” and their cheer leaders would have devoted a fraction of their own unlimited resources to constructive efforts they too could have achieved something much better than the miserable situation they now find themselves in. Blaming others for their self inflicted misfortunes, spreading wild conspiracies, inculcating new generations with hateful demonization of Jews and supporting terror unfortunately is the continuing agenda. This why while Israelis win Nobel Prizes, lead the world in many fields, innovate and make the world a better place, our detractors wallow in self pity and bitterness.

This Yom Ha’Atzmaut will be special because not only does it celebrate 70 years of miraculous achievements but it also will be followed by celebrations for 51 years as a reunified Capital and then finally the relocation of America’s Embassy to Jerusalem. This latter event will hopefully be the catalyst for other countries to do the same. No doubt the usual suspects will rant, rave and resort to violence.

We will however redouble our efforts to rise up and build while they rise up and try to destroy.

At the end of the day it is the builders and innovators who will win out and succeed while those promoting “nakba” (catastrophe) who will always fail.

 

Chag Ha’Atzmaut Sameach