Founder of the Palestinian Human Rights Monitoring Group – Bassem Eid – has told 850 people attending WIZO’s major function at Randwick Racecourse last night that the current Palestinian leadership is too old, corrupt and is thinking more about the past than the future.
Eid criticised the Palestinians running after the United Nations instead of continuing negotiations.
He said: “We are going to be the losers again, again and again. We are experts on missing lost opportunities. We have become a divided society. We haven’t found any unity between ourselves. How can we preach peace with Israel? We are moving backward rather than forward”
He claimed that most Palestinians were seeking dignity rather than identity and that dignity can only come with economic prosperity.
He criticised the Hamas leadership for forcing people back into their houses in Beit Lahiya during the war in Gaza last summer and of using the population as human shields by digging tunnels under their houses. He accused Hamas of using the people to protect their missiles and rockets.
Eid claimed that Gazans were offered $50 per month to allow each tunnel to be built under their homes.
He said Palestinians were interested in jobs, education and a proper health system – that no one was talking about a State because no one believed such a State will be created under the Palestinian Authority.
He urged those present as Australian taxpayers to approach the Australian Government for an accounting of how the $65 million given annually to the Palestinian Authority is spent and for what purposes.
Eid called the BDS movement “an economic terrorist” and that a majority of the Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza did not support it – claiming that 92000 Arabs from the West Bank get work in Israel each day.
Hillel Neuer Executive Director of UN Watch told the gathering told of his experiences appearing before the UN Human Rights Council (UNHCR) which contained some of the world’s worst human rights abusers including China, Russia, Cuba and Saudi Arabia.
He said that more than 50% of all resolutions in the last 10 years were directed at Israel. He said that at each meeting there was one agenda item to deal with human rights abuses in all countries and one agenda item specifically for Israel.
Neuer said the Council is heavily biased against Israel and related how some of its appointments had exploded in its face following exposes by UN Watch.
Neuer concluded that Jews are obliged to stand up and tell the truth, that it was an uphill battle to combat the UNHCR campaign to delegitimise and denigrate Israel but “if you believe in the truth of your cause then you will succeed”.
Greg Sheridan, Foreign Editor of the Australian, concluded a memorable trilogy of speakers by speaking about his latest book, ”When we were young and foolish”, his Catholic upbringing , the close personal relationship forged by him with Prime Minister Abbott during their University days, and how he came to support and continue to support Israel.