Friday, February 16, 2018

The coming conflict between Iran and Israel

Last Friday night, the Iranian military crossed into Israel using a drone launched from a Syrian base. It’s not clear whether the UAV was armed or not, but it was likely a Saeqeh model based on designs reverse engineered from a downed US model.

Israel retaliated by striking the Tiyas air base from which the UAV was being controlled, prompting the launch of several volleys of anti-aircraft missiles which brought down an Israeli F-16I craft over Israeli territory. (The two pilots ejected.) Israel returned fire with a major air incursion into Syria, striking Iranian and Syrian targets.

Read more:
http://www.aei.org/publication/the-coming-conflict-between-iran-and-israel/

The Media Stopped Reporting The Russia Collusion Story Because They Helped Create It

Half the country wants to know why the press won’t cover the growing scandal now implicating the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Department of Justice, and threatening to reach the State Department, Central Intelligence Agency, and perhaps even the Obama White House.

After all, the release last week of a less-redacted version of Sens. Charles Grassley and Lindsey Graham’s January 4 letter showed that the FBI secured a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act warrant to search the communications of a Trump campaign adviser based on a piece of opposition research paid for by the Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee. The Fourth Amendment rights of an American citizen were violated to allow one political party to spy on another.

Read More:
http://thefederalist.com/2018/02/15/media-stopped-reporting-russia-collusion-story-helped-create/

Irrational insanity…writes Michael Kuttner

It has been one of those weeks again in which we have heard unbelievable utterances, read more misinformed media reporting and witnessed witless behaviour.

Just when you think you my have seen it all, events conspire to prove that in fact the outer limits of absurdity have not yet been reached.

OLYMPIC AMNESIA AGAIN

The farce surrounding the 1936 Olympic Games in Berlin remains a stark reminder of how nothing much has changed since then. The decision to go ahead with the games despite the German Nazi campaign against its Jewish citizens illustrated how prejudice, commercial greed and media co-operation all combined to ensure that “the show must go on.” The whoopla surrounding the spectacles in Berlin completely obliterated any coverage of and concern for lethal State sponsored Jew-hatred. Removing signs which prohibited Jews from public places, suspending temporarily any sign of discrimination or persecution and creating an artificial atmosphere of peace and brotherly love, managed to fool the masses of international visitors and create an illusion that nothing was in fact amiss.

We all know that this charade, swallowed hook, line and sinker by the Olympic movement and the international community, could not have succeeded if there had been even a shred of decency and moral courage displayed by those running the Olympics.

The recent winter Olympics in South Korea and the hysteria surrounding the visit by the sister of the North Korean dictator was a re-run of the insanity displayed back in Berlin of 1936. While North Korea continues to be a ruthless dictatorship, suppressing freedoms and condemning large numbers of its citizens to concentration camps and certain death, the world media engaged in an orgy of breathless coverage of the dictator’s sister. The fact that her presence and accompanying stage managed performances was all designed to deceive and deflect never entered the minds of those covering the games. Once more Olympic officials were complicit in a clever and elaborate cover up which diverted international attention away from the human rights abuses taking place just a few kilometers away.

The 1936 Berlin Games were used to successfully confuse and divert a gullible world that Germany was a model society with no aggressive or genocidal ambitions. Today’s Games are being manipulated in the same way. North Korea develops weapons of mass destruction and the means to deliver them, works with other despotic regimes and cruelly oppresses those who demand freedom. It pretends that it is peace-loving and sends its photogenic representative to Seoul where she is embraced by an adoring media and naive politicians.

The oldest trick and con job in the book once again works well.

IT WAS ONLY US

Poland is still in the news. Germany’s Foreign Minister asserts that “it was only us” which carried out the murder of Jews in particular. While it is commendable that he acknowledges his country’s primary guilt while trying to soothe the hurt feelings of the Poles, he also conveniently overlooks the fact that without the enthusiastic support of the local population the whole vast genocidal enterprise could not have succeeded to the extent it did. With very few exceptions the occupied countries were fertile breeding grounds for Judeophobia. The number of willing helpers stretched from Church leaders, the French railways, French police, collaborators of all sorts, the Mufti of Jerusalem, foreign SS volunteers to ordinary citizens itching to steal their neighbors’ properties and denounce them to the authorities.

The bottom line is that while German organisation and efficiency was crucial it was the enthusiastic support of locals which guaranteed the successful round ups and dispatch of Jewish communities.

As though whitewashing its role in the Holocaust was not bad enough Poland is now toying with the idea of making Shechitah impossible. After all that has transpired this latest effort at targeting Jews defies any sort of logic.

NOBEL PEACE PRIZE

A Norwegian politician has nominated the group which promotes boycotts, divestments and sanctions against Israel for the Nobel Peace Prize. Those who are outraged by this should remember that the prize was awarded to Yasser Arafat in the past. Another year it was awarded to Barak Obama. If the committee can give this prize to a terrorist who facilitated the murder of Israelis and a President who enabled Iran to march towards nuclear terror while ignoring the persecution of Baha’is and Christians then nothing should surprise us anymore.

DON’T MENTION THE “I” WORD

The UK terror watchdog has banned the use of the expression “Islamic terrorism.” Its explanation for this was: “terrorism should not be attached to any of the world’s religions.”

This denial of reality explains why the fight against terror in the UK is doomed to failure.

INTER ARAB STRIFE EXPLAINED

A Palestinian Arab spokesperson stated: “all Middle East conflicts are Israel’s fault.”

This ludicrous explanation of massacres, mass migrations and turmoil afflicting Arab countries has already been swallowed by many politicians in the West. The EU has declared that its position is based on the Oslo accords. The problem is that Abbas has already announced that Oslo is dead and buried. Obviously Europe and others are flogging a dead horse.

CARROTS

The Leader of the Labour Opposition in the Knesset has advocated that Israel needs to offer carrots to Abbas in order to induce him to talk with us!!

This is after the PA President wrote Jews and Judaism out of the history of Israel.

The same Labour politician also proposed that Saudi Arabia should be given a role on the Temple Mount. Perhaps they could be put in charge of beheading Jewish infidels who dare to pray on Judaism’s holiest site.

There are more examples of irrational insanity, local and overseas, but they will have to wait for another occasion.

Meanwhile take a look at this video which parodies a serious subject. The funding of terrorists and their families continues. Here is a suggestion as to how the unemployment levels can be reduced in the areas under the control of our misnamed “peace partners.”

Here are the top 10 biggest donors to UNRWA in 2017: Source: Britannica

  1. United States ($364 million)

Source: Britannica

During the 2018 World Economic Forum, Trump threatened to cut Palestinian aid due to President Mahmoud Abbas’ refusal to meet with Vice President Mike Pence.

Trump said Palestinians must be willing to cooperate “or we’re going to have nothing to do with them any longer”.

If these persistent threats materialize and friction between the U.S. and Palestinian authorities heighten, this number is expected to severely decrease. As the largest donor to UNRWA since 2009 consistently, this reduced contribution by the U.S. may lead to “dire consequences”.

  1. European Union ($143 million)

Source: Britannica

In response to the U.S.’ reduced contribution to UNRWA, the European Union has pledged an additional €42.5 million ($52.9 million).

This aid package includes €14.9 million ($18.5 million) allocated towards the preservation of the ‘Palestinian character of East Jerusalem’, and €27.5 million ($34.2 million) towards the creation of institutions to facilitate democracy and accountability within Palestine.

  1. Germany ($76 million)

Source: Wikipedia

In December 2017, Germany also provided additional contributions to UNRWA with an aid package of €23.1 million ($28.8 million).

€18.1 million ($22.6 million) of this donation was designated to UNRWA’s reconstruction programme in Gaza, which aims to ensure the safe return of approximately 540 Palestinian families to their homes following total demolition during the Israel-Gaza conflict in 2014.

UNRWA dedicated the remaining amount to the construction of two schools in the Gaza strip, providing education to 6,000 students.

  1. Sweden ($62 million)

Source: Britannica

Olof Skoog, Sweden’s ambassador to the UN, raised his concern of regional instability and humanitarian crises due to the possible withdrawal of funding to UNRWA.

In 2014, Sweden became the first Member State of the EU to declare recognition for Palestinian statehood.

  1. United Kingdom ($60 million)

Source: Britannica

Although, according to the UNRWA donor charts, the United Kingdom has reduced its annual contribution to UNRWA since 2016, the country also warned against significant cutbacks in UNRWA funding, as it may lead to further instability in the region as well as military and strategic consequences.

Following Donald Trump’s announcement to withhold funds to UNRWA, the UK consulate in Jerusalem issued a statement reinforcing its support for the UN agency.

  1. Saudi Arabia ($51 million)

Source: Britannica

According to the UNRWA donor chart for 2017, Saudi Arabia is the largest Arab donor to UNRWA.

The Kingdom has made generous donations through the Saudi Fund for Development, including a grant of $67 million for the implementation of projects in Gaza, the West Bank, and Jordan.

$32 million of this amount will be allocated to the ‘reconstruction, furnishing, and equipping’ of health centers and schools in the West Bank.

  1. Japan ($43 million)

Source: Britannica

Japan has made a series of additional pledges to UNRWA throughout 2017, including a $28.4 million contribution in February.

The donation aims to serve a range of UNRWA’s projects and services, including education, healthcare, and emergency operations.

Takeshi Okubo, the Ambassador for Palestinian Affairs and Representative of Japan to the Palestinian Authority, said:

“We appreciate UNRWA’s commitment and dedication to the protection of human rights and enhancement of human dignity of Palestinian refugees through its services. I hope people in dire situations will receive our message through UNRWA’s assistance that the international community stands beside them at all times.”

  1. Switzerland ($27 million)

Source: Britannica

As many other state actors within the international community, Switzerland has raised concern regarding the humanitarian consequences of withholding funds to UNRWA.

According to the Swiss Commissioner-General of UNRWA, Pierre Krähenbühl, “In financial terms, this is the most serious financial crisis ever in the history of this agency”.

In order to meet the funding gap, Switzerland has provided its 2018 donation in advance along with Finland, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Germany, and Belgium.

  1. Norway ($26 million)

Source: Britannica

Norway is among the seven countries that have already transferred its 2018 contributions to UNRWA in order to avoid potential reductions in funding and significant consequences.

This donation amounts to 125 million Norwegian Krone ($16 million).

Ine Eriksen Søreide, Norway’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, urged other states to follow their example and provide their contributions as soon as possible.

  1. Netherlands ($21 million)

The Dutch government also plans to join the group of states pledging to advance their contributions to UNRWA for 2018 in hindsight of the expected reduction in funding.

Exclusive: Israel Pushes Separation Wall Construction, Lebanese Troops Hold Guard

Exclusive: Israel Pushes Separation Wall Construction, Lebanese Troops Hold Guard
Asharq Al-Awsat Wednesday, 14 February, 2018 – 12:45
Naqoura– Nazir Rida
https://aawsat.com/english/home/article/1175181/exclusive-israel-pushes-separation-wall-construction-lebanese-troops-hold-guard

The calm and tightened security along the southern Lebanese border is far from resembling the sound of drums of war rolling.

With that cleared, politics has managed to contain prospects of an all-out war between the two forces. But working diplomatic efforts did not stop Lebanese troops from remaining on guard in case matters take a sudden turn for the worse.

UNIFIL peace-keepers, on the other hand, maintain attentive observations as Israeli construction machines continue their work on erecting a separation wall according to plan. Nevertheless, the wall does not encroach on disputed points.

Five kilometers away, the thudding of machines is all but strange for residents in Naqoura, the last Lebanese border town with Palestine on the southernmost coast.

Locals say they have grown accustomed to hearing construction noises across the wide space.

“These are the Israeli rock-drilling mechanisms,” says a local when asked about the thudding.

“They run 8:00 am through 4:00 pm,” others added.

At the border checkpoint, all the signs point towards war almost breaking loose last week. Lebanese soldiers dug up trenches and tightened procedures and ran extensive patrols to prevent any unauthorized person from crossing into the area.

The army, side by side with intelligence, are prepared and focus all working capacity towards the Israeli construction site.

The scene is split into two, Lebanese Army troopers and three UN peacekeepers, monitoring construction on one side of the border, facing 10 workers who manage the massive wall’s construction and Israeli soldiers looking beyond cement blocks into the Lebanese side. Though soon, Israeli soldiers disappear behind the wall.

Israeli soldiers are hiding behind the wall, and the Jewish state will soon follow suit and disappear behind the five-and-a-half meters tall wall.

The wall will also block the coast of Nahariya, which is easy to see from a high ground where the Lebanese soldiers and UNIFIL members.

Nevertheless this wall, will not cross disputed points– UNIFIL and Lebanese army personnel monitor and document Israeli construction steps to prevent its construction in the border conflict zones pending the end of Lebanese diplomacy.

The wall, of which less than 100 meters have been built so far, has not been set off from the first coastal point. But from a high point east of border—launching from point D1, keeping in mind that unregistered maritime borders are an extension of the land border.

Any error of a few centimeters in the land would constitute an error of hundreds of kilometers into the sea. The maritime boundary is another matter of dispute, and Lebanon insists on its sovereignty over all its territory whether on land or into the sea.

In fact, there are no border violations at the place where the first section of the wall is now being built, which is why it is not interrupted by diplomatic efforts. The violations are located down east, since border point D1 has been agreed upon in the demarcation of the border in 1923.

There are 13 points of border dispute between Lebanon and Israel, on which Israel intends to build its wall, maximizing tension.

No vetting of Textbooks Exists in Jerusalem Arab schools, Located in Sovereign Israel

I was present in the Knesset Education Committee on jan 30, 2017 when that Knesset committee sent an urgent directive to the Jerusalem Municipality to vet the school books fro Arab Schools in Jerusalem.

However, the opposite has occurred

Please read:

The Palestinian Authority, senior Palestinian religious leaders and local figures in east Jerusalem are waging a campaign to keep the Israeli curriculum out of east Jerusalem schools

Palestinian diplomat: We’ll continue teaching our kids to throw stones

David Bedein: Will someone come forth and demand the removal of diplomatic immunity of a PLO diplomat at the UN who endorses children to commit acts of violence?

A Palestinian diplomat speaking to students at the United Nations headquarters in New York told them the Palestinians were proud to be throwing stones at Israeli forces and will continue teaching their children to do so. In a recording obtained by Ynet, Abdallah Abushawesh, who serves as a senior adviser to the UN’s Development Group and as a member of the Palestinian UN mission, is heard saying in broken English, “We are very clever and very expert at throwing the stones. We are very proud to do that. We will not stop to learn our kids (to do that).”

Please read: https://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-5111526,00.html

UNRWA Fails its Students but Still Wants More U.S. Money

The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) has hired a public relations firm, MarathonStrategies.com, to bolster its image after the Trump administration cut back sharply the amount of contributions the United States will be making to the agency. The Trump administration reduced the expected 2018 U.S. contribution of more than $360 million to about $60 million. As part of its Dignity Is Priceless global fundraising campaign to help make up for the shortfall, Scott Anderson, UNRWA’s Director of West Bank Operations, and Peter Mulrean, Director of UNRWA’s Representative Office in New York, spoke to reporters at UN headquarters last week.

Continuing to provide hundreds of millions of dollars to UNRWA is throwing good money after bad

The UNRWA directors pitched the importance of UNRWA’s humanitarian work. They said that the current financial crisis is in on a scale unlike any that UNRWA has experienced in the past, calling the cutback an “existential” threat to UNRWA’s ability to continue serving the needs of the Palestinian people. They complained that the United States government has not explained the rationale to UNRWA for its action. All that UNRWA’s leadership should do is to look in the mirror.

The truth is that continuing to provide hundreds of millions of dollars to UNRWA is throwing good money after bad.  Mr. Anderson, UNRWA’s Director of West Bank Operations, unwittingly pointed to the fatal flaw in the educational program UNRWA offers to its students, consuming about half of UNRWA’s regular budget, which he described as the most important service that UNRWA provides. UNRWA, he said, must teach the “host” country’s curriculum, which UNRWA considers to be the curriculum that the Palestinian Authority creates. Mr. Anderson said that it treats the Palestinian Authority for this purpose as representing a “sovereign” nation. Based on this fiction, UNRWA contends it has no choice but to use a curriculum designed by the Palestinian authorities that has been found to indoctrinate Palestinian children to hate Jews and to believe that Israel has no right to exist. A study released last year by the Center for Near East Policy Research, the Simon Wiesenthal Center and the Middle East Forum found that textbooks used in UNRWA schools during 2016 and 2017 have continued instilling anti-Israel, anti-Jewish hatred.

UNRWA cannot change the Palestinian Authority’s curriculum, according to Mr. Anderson, although it can develop “enrichment” materials to help teachers introduce tolerance lessons that “conform to UN values.” When UNRWA tried to do just that, however, it faced fierce resistance from the Palestinian Authority because it perceived the new materials as too favorable to Israel. Last year, the Palestinian Authority Education Ministry issued a statement complaining that “[A]ny distortion of the Palestinian curriculum is a flagrant violation of the laws of the host country, and any change to any letter to appease any party is a betrayal of the Palestinian narrative and the right of the Palestinian people under occupation to preserve its identity and struggle.” UNRWA’s added materials were condemned as an “affront to the Palestinian people, its history and struggles.” The ministry said that the Palestinian Authority’s suspension of cooperation would continue until the UN agency’s “positions are corrected.”

Rather than hire an expensive public relations firm to polish its image, UNRWA should fundamentally reform its ways

UNRWA appeared to cave to the Palestinian Authority’s demands. UNRWA Commissioner-General Pierre Krähenbühl promised that “UNRWA is completely committed to the Palestinian curricula, and that no change will be made in these curricula.” Even then, the Palestinian Authority Ministry of Education would allow no wiggle room. According to an article published on November 8, 2017 by the official PA daily, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, “The [PA] Ministry of Education and Higher Education reiterated its complete opposition to any step or attempt that UNRWA (UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East) or any international body are liable to make against the Palestinian curricula – whether by omitting, changing, or adding any materials in contradiction of the philosophy of the [PA] curricula and in contradiction of the contents of the schoolbooks in everything connected to the national identity and cultural, social, and national heritage of our people.” The article quoted from the ministry’s November 7, 2017 notice that “all of the materials that UNRWA is interested in adding must be complementary and consistent with all of the contents of the schoolbooks.” In other words, UNRWA cannot stray from the Palestinian Authority’s hate-filled curriculum.

Mr. Anderson said that UNRWA was just beginning to roll out its “enrichment” materials, but was deliberately vague as to what that really meant, given the Palestinian Authority’s use of hate-filled indoctrination as part of its curriculum. He gave no timetable for the rollout, or any indication whether the teachers in UNRWA’s schools would have to use the additional materials in their classrooms. The only example he offered of an UNRWA lesson in tolerance had to do with gender equality.

Until the Palestinians stop using UNRWA schools to poison the minds of Palestinian children with hate, the Trump administration should continue its cutback of funding for the UN agency. Rather than hire an expensive public relations firm to polish its image, UNRWA should fundamentally reform its ways.

The Palestinian textbook problem

On what values does the Palestinian Authority and United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) school system raise and educate generations of students? Dr. Arnon Gross, formerly a senior Arabic language broadcaster at Voice of Israel Radio, read no less than 200 Arabic textbooks from both past and present to understand exactly what Palestinian students are taught.

Gross’ latest research will be published in the coming days. His investigation was the result of an initiative by the Center for Near East Policy Research in Jerusalem, headed by David Bedein. Gross takes quotes and conclusions from the textbooks, which amount to libel for all intents and purposes, to demonstrate that the school system drills into the heads of students that there is no entity called “Israel.” And if indeed it does exist, it should be called by another name: “The Zionist entity” that must be destroyed.

In conversation with Gross, he is remarkably straightforward, wasting no time on political correctness. What were his conclusions after studying some 200 school textbooks taught in the Palestinian school system? With no ifs, ands or buts, Gross’s answer cuts like a razor: “There is no chance for peace and reconciliation between the State of Israel and the Palestinian Authority.”

Moreover, he concludes the books clearly intend to “demonize the Jews and Israel, and encourage the violent struggle to liberate Palestine from the [Jordan] river to the [Mediterranean] sea.”

The area in question here is not only the land on the other side of the 1967 Green Line of “the Occupation” but the whole Land of Israel – as it is drawn in the textbooks, covered with the Palestinian flag. The ludicrous suggestion here is that Israel does not exist.

Take, for example, a ninth-grade textbook’s description of Safed, a city in the north of Israel with millennia of history : “Safed is one of the most beautiful Palestinian cities in the Galilee. Its magnificence hails back to its Canaanite origin, despite the fog of occupation that will one day lift.”

Looking through Gross’s research, it becomes clear that all this information, invaluable to “knowing thy enemy,” is presented to us slowly, over time, very sparingly. The reason for this, apparently, is to avoid making some people “uncomfortable.” It may greatly inconvenience the well-wishers and dreamers working to strike a peace agreement with the Palestinian representation. In any case, this information is not hidden in top-secret binders by the intelligence establishment – it is openly printed in Arabic textbooks.

Would it not be more fitting for Gross’ research to be distributed among the 120 MKs who speak day and night about peace with the Palestinians? Anyone who looks at this research will arrive at the negotiation table – if negotiations ever restart – armed to the teeth with clear and publicly available information. This should be used in public speaking abroad. This is heavy ammunition in the diplomatic struggle. Israeli diplomats all over the world should keep the pages of this research within arms’ reach and submit a copy to the government of their host countries.

The research brings truly hair-raising, dehumanizing examples to demonstrate how the Palestinian education incites to the annihilation of the Jews. One of the textbooks calls the 1978 Coastal Road massacre – in which Fatah terrorists crossed from Lebanon into Israel, hijacked a bus and murdered 38 Israeli passengers – a “barbecue.” Why? Because the terrorist cell leader, Dalal Mughrabi, gave a command to firebomb the bus and burn the Jews alive. The burning of Jews alive is actually presented as a “barbecue.” Gross stresses that from year to year, Palestinian textbooks have not become more moderate – quite the opposite, in fact.

Israel warns Iran after launching major raids in Syria