Archive for the ‘UN and Israel’ category

Study: Muslim Terrorists in Israel More Likely to Abuse, Rape

June 18, 2017

Study: Muslim Terrorists in Israel More Likely to Abuse, Rape, The Point (Front Page Magazine, Daniel Greenfield, June 18, 2017

The Promundo/UN Women Study is trying to show one thing. But instead it shows another.  

The survey assesses gender roles, sexual harassment, etc across a few Middle Eastern countries. Including the part of Israel that is occupied by Muslim settlers, which the occupiers describe as “Palestine”. The “Palestine” part of the survey is littered with attacks on Israel and defenses of terrorism. It attempts, in a rather predictable fashion, to blame Jews for the Muslim abuse of women.

The way that the survey formulates this is by finding that Muslim settlers who report a higher level of “occupation-related violence” are more likely to abuse their wives or “partners”.

22% of those who complain about Israeli “occupation related violence” physically or sexually abuse. As opposed to 15% of those who don’t.

25% of them engaged in sexual assault or harassment in the last three months. Again, vs 15%.

The usual NGO/UN matrix is once again trying to blame Israel for Muslim abuse of women. But what it demonstrated instead is that Muslim settlers who hate Israel and may be terrorists are more likely to abuse women.

These results aren’t surprising. But they are another reminder that backing Muslim terror and the so-called “Palestinian settler” struggle is not just bad for its Jewish victims, but is even bad for Muslim women.

UN Secretary-General Launches Slanderous Attack on Israel

June 7, 2017

UN Secretary-General Launches Slanderous Attack on Israel, PJ MediaP. David Hornik, June 7, 2017

(If Mr. Guterres gets kicked out as the UN Secretary General, which won’t happen, a job may well await him at the Washington Post. Please see also
Washington Post Peddles Palestinian Propaganda, Part Two. — DM)

06/01/2017 Antonio Guterres, Secretary-General of the United Nations, at a meeting with Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs Sergei Lavrov on the sidelines of 2017 St. Petersburg International Economic Forum. Evgeny Biyatov/Sputnik via AP

“This occupation,” Guterres writes:

… has imposed a heavy humanitarian and development burden on the Palestinian people. Among them are generation after generation of Palestinians who have been compelled to grow up and live in ever more crowded refugee camps, many in abject poverty, and with little or no prospect of a better life for their children.

Further, he writes:

Resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict will remove a driver of violent extremism and terrorism in the Middle East and open the doors to cooperation, security, prosperity and human rights for all.

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At this time 50 years ago, Israel was fighting the Six Day War and conquering territories. Since then it has returned the Sinai to Egypt, withdrawn from Gaza, retained control of the Golan Heights, and created a self-governing Palestinian entity in part of the West Bank while retaining overall security control there.

This 50-year anniversary has seen a flood of statements lauding or lamenting the Six Day War and its outcomes for Israel. Statements of the former kind emphasize that the war gave Israel defensible borders, a close alliance with the United States (by showing that Israel was a regional power), and, eventually, peace treaties with Egypt and Jordan.

Among the best in this vein were op-eds by Michael Oren and Bret Stephens.

Statements of the latter kind bemoan Israel’s “occupation” of the Palestinians and describe it as a disaster that has to end — fast. And UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres offers some of the most egregious remarks in this vein.

“This occupation,” Guterres writes:

… has imposed a heavy humanitarian and development burden on the Palestinian people. Among them are generation after generation of Palestinians who have been compelled to grow up and live in ever more crowded refugee camps, many in abject poverty, and with little or no prospect of a better life for their children.

Further, he writes:

Resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict will remove a driver of violent extremism and terrorism in the Middle East and open the doors to cooperation, security, prosperity and human rights for all.

Let’s start with Guterres’ first claim about the alleged misery of Palestinian life since Israel took over the territory.

A few days before Guterres posted his statement, popular Israeli columnist Ben-Dror Yemini published a piece called “The truth about the occupation.” Yemini is not a right-winger; he wants Israel to eventually withdraw from most of the West Bank and separate from the Palestinians. But he also wants the discourse to be based on truth and not propaganda.

Yemini looks at some key elements of Palestinian life and compares the situations before and after the “Israeli occupation” (I use the scare quotes because Israel has withdrawn from Gaza and — except for anti-terror operations — Area A of the West Bank):

Education: Before the Six Day War in 1967, there was not a single university in the West Bank (under Jordanian rule) and Gaza (under Egyptian rule). “Today, there are more than 50 higher education institutions in the territories.”

Infant mortality: According to a Palestinian study and World Bank figures, the rate has gone from 152-162 per 1,000 live births in 1967 to: 132 in 1974, 53-56 in 1985, less than 30 in 1993, 25 in 2002, and 18 at present.

Yemini notes:

“The sharp drop, from 1976 to 1993, took place under direct Israeli rule. The drop continued under the Palestinian Authority, but at a more moderate pace.”

” … [The] infant mortality rate among the Palestinians is much lower than the global average of 31.7, and is significantly lower than the average in the Arab world — 28.”

Life expectancy: “[F]rom 48.6 in 1967 to about 73 (or 75, according to different sources) today.”

Writes Yemini:

“I can touch on more and more areas in which an objective examination will reveal an amazing improvement in the past 50 years. For example, in the area of water. In 1967, only four of 708 Palestinian towns and villages were connected to running water. Today, 643 communities are connected to running water (97% of the population).”

From the UN secretary-general’s description — “a heavy humanitarian and development burden on the Palestinian people … with little or no prospect of a better life for their children” — one would think Israel is mercilessly grinding the Palestinians down. The truth is very different.

Guterres’ description of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict — “a driver of violent extremism and terrorism in the Middle East” whose resolution would “open the door” to some sort of utopia — is even more shockingly at variance with the truth.

Before the “Arab Spring” erupted in 2011, such claims about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict being the cause of Middle East strife were par for the course.

Since then, the region has seen six years of apparently endless warfare — among Sunnis, Shiites, Alawites, and Kurds, among Islamists and non-Islamists, and among armies, militias, and terror organizations of every conceivable stripe — from Yemen to Iraq to Syria to Egypt to Libya, accompanied by the displacement of hundreds of thousands of people.

To say that all these disparate groups are bombing, shooting, besieging, and even gassing each other because of the Israelis and the Palestinians is to make a mockery of reality.

None of Yemini’s work implies that most Palestinians favor the current situation on the West Bank. They’ve been taught from the cradle that Jews are demons, that Tel Aviv and Haifa are “settlements,” and that the only just fate for the Israeli endeavor is to be annihilated.

Yet Westerners, including the UN secretary-general, are not required to adopt the viewpoint of a brainwashed Middle Eastern people.

The Palestinians not only hate Jews but — in classic Middle Eastern style — are riven by violent internal animosities between the Islamists of Hamas and the nationalists of Fatah, and between different Fatah factions.

Awareness of facts, as opposed to anti-Israeli canards, suggests that Israeli security control of the West Bank is — for now — better than the alternatives, and is in fact preventing another Middle Eastern hellhole from erupting.

US To UN Human Rights Council: End Anti-Israeli Bias Or We’re Out

June 5, 2017

US To UN Human Rights Council: End Anti-Israeli Bias Or We’re Out, Daily Caller, Ted Goodman, June 5, 2017

(If we remain in the Council, at least we will continue to get a heads-up about what it is about to do and may be able to have at least a minimal impact. Withdrawing all US funding would be a good idea whether we remain in or leave.– DM)

The U.S. is expected to issue an ultimatum to the United Nations Human Rights Council Tuesday: either remove anti-Israeli bias or America may withdraw.

U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley said Saturday that Washington would decide whether to withdraw after a three-week session in Geneva, Switzerland wraps up this month, according to Reuters.

“When the council passes more than 70 resolutions against Israel, a country with a strong human rights record, and just seven resolutions against Iran, a country with an abysmal human rights record, you know something is seriously wrong,” Haley said in a Washington Post op-ed.

U.S. Diplomat Michele Sison spoke out against what the U.S. considers “unfair singling out of Israel” during a closed session of the U.N. Security Council May 24. The U.S. has long been a critic of the council, leading to a three-year boycott from 2006 to 2009 under former President George W. Bush.

The Trump administration took issue with the most recent U.N. report that asserted Israel was endangering the territorial viability of a potential sovereign Palestine by vastly accelerating the pace of housing announcements for Jewish settlements in the West Bank.

The U.S. historically vetoed U.N. Security Council resolutions that condemned Israel for years. That pattern changed in December when former President Barack Obama’s administration allowed a critical resolution to take effect by abstaining rather than vetoing the resolution.

Western nations and allies are responding now that the Trump administration is putting the U.N. on notice. Eight groups, according to Reuters, wrote to Haley in May, saying that withdrawal would actually hurt Israel more than it would help, according to Reuters.

Haley made it clear that the U.S. is looking for the U.N. to make some changes within the Council in order for it to feel comfortable as a member.

Haley also asserted that membership on the Council must be determined through competitive voting, in order to keep human rights abusers from obtaining seats. “As it stands, regional blocs nominate candidates that are uncontested,” she explained in the op-ed. “Competition would force a candidate’s human rights record to be considered before votes were cast.”

The Trump-Haley Effect at the United Nations

June 1, 2017

The Trump-Haley Effect at the United Nations, Front Page MagazineAri Lieberman, June 1, 2017

Judging by this past week’s swift action by the UN Secretary General and Norway, it appears that the Trump-Haley, one-two combo is having the desired effect. Haley’s continued pressure at the UN is all but certain to produce more positive outcomes but it is still an uphill battle given the level of long-standing and embedded vitriol which still prevails in that cesspool of depravity. 

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It has become routine for Palestinians to name public places, including streets, schools, parks and public squares after hard core terrorists convicted of the most heinous offenses. Over the years, Israel has vigorously protested these outrages to the European Union, the United Nations, and the United States. The latter, particularly under the Obama administration, offered faux sympathy and little else, while the UN and EU were routinely dismissive of Israel’s objections. In the eyes of the UN and EU, the Palestinians could do no wrong and the Obama administration, by its deafening silence, gravitated toward this obscene position. This shocking inaction further encouraged the Palestinians to engage in what can only be described as depraved and aberrant behavior.

But on May 28, something strange but surprisingly decent happened at the UN. UN Secretary-General António Guterres issued a stinging rebuke to the Palestinian Authority for naming a women’s center after Dalal Mughrabi, a notorious terrorist. In 1978, Mughrabi along with seven other Arab terrorists commandeered a bus packed with civilians and mercilessly murdered 37 people, including 12 children.

For the Palestinians, this act of debauchery warranted praise and Mughrabi was elevated to the status of heroine and martyr. On May 26, the watchdog group, Palestinian Media Watch revealed that a women’s center named after Mughrabi in the Arab town of Burqa was constructed with funds provided by the UN and Norway. A prominent sign posted on the building bore the logos of the Palestinian Authority, the UN and Norway. Worse yet, PMW quoted a village council member who stated that “the center will focus especially on the history of the struggle of Martyr Dalal Mughrabi and on presenting it to the youth groups, and…constitutes the beginning of the launch of enrichment activities regarding the history of the Palestinian struggle.”

Upon learning of the outrage, a spokesperson for Guterres released a statement that termed the naming “offensive” and “unacceptable” and described it as a “glorification of terrorism” and an “obstacle to peace.” Guterres also demanded the immediate removal of the UN’s logo. Just two days prior, Norway issued a similar rebuke to the Palestinian Authority demanding not only the removal of the Norwegian logo but the return of all Norwegian funds earmarked for the project.

A statement released by Borge Brende, Norway’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, was unusually harsh in tone and content. It called the Palestinian “glorification of terrorist attacks…completely unacceptable” and noted that “Norway will not allow itself to be associated with institutions that take the names of terrorists in this way [and] will not accept the use of Norwegian aid funding for such purposes.”

So what led to this sudden, drastic change in attitude? There are likely three causes.

Unlike his predecessor Ban Ki-moon, Guterres has made statements and taken actions demonstrating a more balanced, nuanced approach to the Arab-Israeli conflict. For example in March, he rejected a UN report authored by an Israel-hating conspiracy theorist that peddled the banal and false claim that Israel practices apartheid and had the report removed from the UN’s website. Shortly thereafter, a top official that headed the commission which issued the report resigned. That same month, he publicly reiterated recognition of ancient historical and religious Jewish ties to Jerusalem. This was seen as a rebuke to UN bodies like UNESCO, which had sought to sever that nexus. In an address to the World Jewish Congress in April, Guterres stated that “Israel needs to be treated like any other UN member state,” and tellingly noted that, “the modern form of anti-Semitism is the denial of the existence of the State of Israel.”

In addition, the relentless surge of radical Islamic terrorism in Europe has likely produced an increased level of empathy with Israel. Moreover, nations affected by terrorism have reached out to Israel and sought its expertise. Only the most radical and anti-Semitic of Europe’s leaders, like Sweden’s Deputy Prime Minister Margot Wallström and British Labor Party head, Jeremy Corbyn, still differentiate between Israeli blood and blood spilled in Western Europe.

But perhaps the single most influential factor for the positive change in attitude lies with President Donald Trump and America’s ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley. From the moment he was elected, Trump made clear that he would no longer tolerate the UN’s inequitable practices and shoddy treatment of Israel. He could not have picked a better emissary than Nikki Haley to carry out America’s new and robust approach toward rectifying a long-standing, systemic UN problem.

At every opportunity and in every forum and venue, Haley has made clear that the United States will not sit idly by while one of its most important allies and only Mideast democracy is mercilessly attacked and vilified by assorted despots and dictators, while other nations with abysmal human rights records are allowed to go unchallenged. Haley has made clear to UN member states that “there’s a new sheriff in town” and that sheriff is “taking names.”

Judging by this past week’s swift action by the UN Secretary General and Norway, it appears that the Trump-Haley, one-two combo is having the desired effect. Haley’s continued pressure at the UN is all but certain to produce more positive outcomes but it is still an uphill battle given the level of long-standing and embedded vitriol which still prevails in that cesspool of depravity.

The Palestinian Authority is the obstacle to peace

May 16, 2017

The Palestinian Authority is the obstacle to peace, Israel National News, Minister Ofir Akunis, May 16, 2017

(Please see also, White House Clarifies Western Wall Position with JewishPress.com and associated comments. — DM)

President Trump has shown himself to be a true friend of Israel, we continue to see eye-to-eye on many of the current issues I mentioned, as well as the similar values we share.

I believe the President will keep his promise to recognize a united Jerusalem as the only capital of Israel, not just because it is the current reality, but more so because it is RIGHT historically.

I am also looking forward to meeting the new U.S ambassador to Israel, Ambassador Friedman, IN HIS NEW EMBASSY IN JERUSALEM.

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Please allow me to share a small part of my day with you, something that actually took place recently.

As I was going through my daily tasks in my Jerusalem office, I noticed something of concern and I will even say, disturbing. As I was browsing through some international news sources, I couldn’t help but notice the lack of coverage or attempts to link and explain the connection and history of the Jewish people and Jerusalem. It even went to the extreme of completely denying this connection, such as the UNESCO vote, just to name one example.

My friends, I turn to you from Jerusalem with great conviction and say JERUSALEM WAS, JERUSALEM IS, AND WILL FOREVER BE, THE UNDIVIDED CAPITAL OF THE JEWISH PEOPLE, just as it was for the past 3000 years, and just as it is the capital of Israel today. Anything else would be equivalent to erasing our identity, erasing who and what we are as the Jewish people.

My friends, Israel is a country of great beauty, amazing people, a place of bright minds and a positive contribution to the world, not to mention a great breeding ground for the advancement of science, technology and innovation.

Sadly, the situation is quite different in the rest of the Middle East today. I often ask myself, can this be real? Is this the world we live in today? Can this really be happening in our backyard?

As Shimon Peres predicted it the 1990s, it is a whole “new Middle East.”

He was right, but unfortunately in a negative sense of the word “new,” as we can now see that it is a much, much worse Middle East.

What we originally thought was an Arab Spring, has now become a dark and stormy winter.

My friends, the time has come to stand united against evil around the world and in particular the Middle East. Whether it is the Islamic republic of Iran, the Islamic state in Iraq and Syria, the Islamic “state within a state” of Hezbollah in Lebanon, or the Islamic Hamas in Gaza, we must stand united.

Unfortunately, and I say this with great disappointment and sadness, Israel’s repeated attempts to convey such dangers and concerns with previous administrations were not sufficiently heard.

Let me say this once again in a clear manner: the forces of evil in the Middle East are not only a threat to Israel, but a threat to all people who uphold the value of life and democracy.

Israel is proud to stand with the United States of America and all life and freedom loving people.

In the spirit of democracy, Israel looks forward to be welcoming President Trump and his delegation to Israel this month.

President Trump has shown himself to be a true friend of Israel, we continue to see eye-to-eye on many of the current issues I mentioned, as well as the similar values we share.

I believe the President will keep his promise to recognize a united Jerusalem as the only capital of Israel, not just because it is the current reality, but more so because it is RIGHT historically.

I am also looking forward to meeting the new U.S ambassador to Israel, Ambassador Friedman, IN HIS NEW EMBASSY IN JERUSALEM.

My friends, I would like to bring to your attention a growing problem which Israel is facing, the lies and attempts to re-write history.

Most, if not all of these lies come from terror-supporting states, terror backed organizations, BDS organizations, Left wing NGO’s and anti-Israel Student Organizations.

But when we hear these lies about the Jewish People and Israel, what should our response be?

WE MUST TELL THEM THE TRUTH.

I already mentioned one of the lies earlier, and its sole purpose is to make people believe that the Jewish people have no ties to the city of Jerusalem. And by the way, if anyone in the world has any doubt, I suggest they go visit many of our amazing museums where they will find ancient Jewish artifacts. I have yet to hear about any “Palestinian” findings.

Another of the lies that is well spread is that the Palestinians are ruled by Israel.

My friends, the truth of the matter is that the PALESTINIANS RULE THEMSELVES and this is the case for 23 years already. They run their own educational system, healthcare, security, financial, justice and media. All under the Palestinian Authority.

Sadly, almost in every instance, they use their influence to glorify violence and death.

In schools their text books are filled with hatred toward Jews and Israel. Their year-end ceremony includes a kidnapping of Israel soldier or worse.

In their court system they give a death sentence to those who sell their private land to Jews.

Their financial system have budgets for families and individuals who commit terror and to those who murder Israelis.

They use their health systems and facilities to hide and transport weapons and terrorists (most notably in Gaza).

They use their media to incite the youth to violence and publish “how to kill Israelis” videos.

And all of this, with the full support, encouragement and approval and at times even at the direction of the Palestinian Authority.

My friends, are we speaking the same language here? Or maybe I should say, are we on the same page here?

I ask myself, what prevents the Palestinian Authority from engaging Israel without any preconditions and making peace? Well, we all know the answer.

And we all know that Israel, on the other hand, is ready and willing for peace.

But each time we reach out to the other side, the terrorists spill more of our blood, and there is more mourning, more death.

This must stop.

Israel is not the obstacle to peace. Israel continues to extend its hand in the efforts of peace, but the choice to end this war lays with the Palestinians themselves.

People always ask me why am I against the idea of the establishment of a Palestinian state. To that I answer:

1. Jews have always had a connection to the land of Israel since the beginning of our time and before anyone else was walking on this land. Our entire identity and “who we are” evolves around this land and its history. Our nation was born on the hills of Judea and Samaria.

2. Israel need stable and defensible boarders in order to survive in the Middle East; a Palestinian state will place a direct security threat upon all of the citizen of Israel.

3. I want my children to grow up with peaceful neighbors, not generations of children that call for our death and destruction.

My friends, I’m happy to see that the Trump administration says what I’ve been saying all along, the settlements in Judea and Samaria are not the obstacle towards peace!

It is the Palestinians’ leaders who are the obstacle to Peace.

So for as long as I am elected to serve my country, I will ensure that a Palestinian state will not be created.

My friends, before I go I would like to tell you this, ISRAEL IS A LIGHTHOUSE OF DEMOCRACY IN THE MIDDLE EAST. It doesn’t matter if you are a man or woman, black or white, left or right, gay or straight, and there is really no difference if you are Jewish, Christian, or Muslim. We are life loving people, our strength is our freedom and values. All citizens of Israel live together in peace. Now my friends, how many other countries in the Middle East hold and live by these values? Instead of fighting with Israel, they should view Israel as a role model and stop preaching us to make peace.

And for this my friends, I am so proud to call myself an Israeli. Proud of our democracy, economy and our achievements. I’m proud of our advances in science and technology.

My friends, Israel and the United States have always been close allies. I am happy with our current accomplishments but I am even more excited about what we can and will accomplish in the future.

In the coming years, America and Israel must stand shoulder to shoulder in matters relating to the Middle East. We must stand united when they burn our flags. We must stand together when they attack nightclubs and cafes.

ISRAEL HAS NO BETTER FRIEND THAN THE UNITED STATES, AND THE UNITED STATES HAS NO BETTER ALLY THAN ISRAEL.

And so, I look forward to continue working with the United States in making true peace in the Middle East while building stronger connections in the field of science and technology.

Thank you again for the warm welcome and for allowing me to address you all today. I’m sure you will enjoy the rest of the conference. Until next time, shalom and toda raba!

Sent to Arutz Sheva by the MK, this is an excerpt from Minister of Science and Technology Ofir Akunis’s speech to the JPost Conference in New York, May 7, 2017.

UN to jailed Islamic dissidents: “You will love it”

May 12, 2017

UN to jailed Islamic dissidents: “You will love it”  Israel National News, Giulio Meotti, May 12, 2017

Now, the favorite to succeed Irina Bokova is a Qatari politician and a Saudi will be the spokesman for the UN agency conference, while an Iranian will be the head of its executive board. They call it the “Islamic Troika”. That is the purpose of these exclusive nights at the Four Seasons Hotel in Riyadh whose slogan is: “You will love it!”. 

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Why miss a long weekend at the Four Seasons Hotel in Riyadh, where “spacious marble bathrooms boast deep soaking bathtubs” and are waiting for you?

This is what the 2,100 delegates of 400 Western non-governmental organizations thought when attending last weekend’s forum on “Youth and their Social Impact” sponsored by the United Nations. Participants of the gentle sex were asked to wear the abaya, the long caftan-like robe that veils Saudi women. Men were asked not to give their left hand, impolite under Islam. 

The event was organized by a foundation of the Saudi ruling family and was attended by, among others, Unesco’s Secretary General Irina Bokova, the founder of Wikipedia Jimmy Wales, the French intellectual Jacques Attali, and Bloomberg Media Executive, Justin Smith.

Obviously, to save face, all these humanitarian organizations had to ignore the fact that a few miles from their forum Abdullah al Attawi and Mohammed al Oteibi had been persecuted and found “guilty” of having founded a human rights organization.

The two stars of Western journalism present in Riyadh, the Wikipedia chief and Bloomberg executive, had to avoid thinking that a hero of freedom of speech and open sources of information regarding which Wikipedia pretends to be a pioner, languishes in a Saudi prison at this moment. It is Raif Badawi, a liberal blogger lashed by the Saudi rulers.

They had to silence the case of Waleed Abu al Khair, who was condemned to fifteen years in prison for comments he made on human rights. Or the journalist Alaa Brinji, sentenced to five years in prison for criticizing religious authorities and sustaining women’s rights. A year ago, the Saudis arrested all the leadership of the Saudi Civil and Political Rights Association for supporting pro-democracy reforms.

They did not have to talk about them at this forum.

One of the most courageous NGOs, UN Watch, condemned the event: “Regrettably, Unesco, the U.N. agency for education, science, and culture, mentioned nowhere at its 7th International Forum of NGO, or on the conference website, that Saudi Arabia prohibits independent NGOs and arrests, jails and even sometimes flogs human rights activists”.

The UN forum was sponsored by the wealthy MiSK foundation, a Saudi charity led by Mohammad bin Salman, the Saudi defense minister who led the Yemen bombing that killed 10,000 civilians and imposed a naval blockade on medical supplies, resulting in twenty million Yemenites who now need humanitarian assistance and seven million suffering from hunger.

But the Riyadh forum tells more. It tells us about the level of penetration of Islamic regimes in the UN human rights councils and commissions. In fact, in six months, Unesco has approved two resolutions that have cancelled the Jewish roots of Jerusalem, while the Saudis have also been able to get re-elected at the UN Commission on Women’s Rights.

Two years ago, during the same hours that medieval Saudi justice flogged Raif Badawi, a delegation from the United Nations landed at Gedda to promote an international conference on religious freedom. No, it’s not a joke. Joachim Rücker, the president of the UN Human Rights Council, was photographed smiling at the side of the guardians of the Wahhabite regime. The Obama administration also sent two envoys to the Gedda conference: the Ambassador for Religious Freedom, David Saperstein, and Arsalan Suleman, the envoy at the Organization for Islamic Cooperation.

There was also Heiner Bielefeldt, United Nations Special Envoy for Religious Freedom, a well-known scholar of Immanuel Kant, who must have seen applications of his philosophical reason in the whip that slashed the blogger.

Now, the favorite to succeed Irina Bokova is a Qatari politician and a Saudi will be the spokesman for the UN agency conference, while an Iranian will be the head of its executive board. They call it the “Islamic Troika”. That is the purpose of these exclusive nights at the Four Seasons Hotel in Riyadh whose slogan is: “You will love it!”.

The UNRWA book battle

April 20, 2017

The UNRWA book battle, Israel Hayom, Jonathan S. Tobin, April 20, 2017

(More on the UN Rocket Warehousing Agency and the Palestinian authority. Please see also, UNRWA Won’t Be Changing School Textbooks and Curriculum. — DM)

It is an article of faith for the international community and the Jewish Left that the ‎Palestinian Authority is a moderate force that wants to make peace with Israel. ‎That belief has been undermined by many of the PA’s actions and statements since ‎its creation after the signing of the Oslo Accords in 1993, yet somehow it survives and forms the basis for many of the assumptions critics make ‎about Israel’s government.

The latest proof that the PA is a principle obstacle to ‎peace rather than its best hope has not received any attention in the Western press. ‎But a discussion of the conflict that has arisen between it and the United Nations ‎Relief and Works Agency speaks volumes about everything that is wrong ‎with the PA.‎

UNRWA is the world body that is devoted solely to aiding Palestinian refugees. ‎Unlike the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, which is tasked with helping all other refugees around the world, UNRWA doesn’t try ‎to resettle refugees or resolve their problems. On the contrary, since its creation ‎after the Arab failure to destroy Israel in its War of Independence, UNRWA has ‎helped to perpetuate the clash between Israel and the Muslim and Arab worlds and ‎championed the “right of return” that would spell Israel’s end. Its schools and aid ‎projects have been hotbeds of radicalism aimed at erasing the existence of the ‎Jewish state and have even been used by Hamas. In particular, critics have noted ‎the way UNRWA schools in the West Bank and Gaza have curricula and textbooks ‎that teach up to 600,000 Palestinian youngsters to reject Israel’s legitimacy and ‎glorify the struggle to destroy it. ‎

But, like the rest of the U.N., UNRWA has been feeling some pressure to ‎reform. The Trump administration has shown a willingness to throw its weight ‎around that directly contrasts with former President Barack Obama’s support for the U.N. Under ‎new Secretary General Antonio Guterres, who previously headed the U.N.’s other ‎refugee agency, efforts to promote the libel that Israel is an apartheid state were ‎rejected. So when the Arab press reported leaks about a shift in UNRWA’s ‎education policy, this seemed to indicate that even that agency was feeling some ‎pressure to change its ways.‎

According to those reports, UNRWA was planning to alter the textbooks it uses ‎in its schools. Among the planned changes, cities inside Israel would stop being labeled as Palestinian, a practice that instills a sense in readers that the Jewish state is ‎merely a colonialist intrusion built entirely on “stolen” Arab land. Other changes ‎included an effort to tone down praise of Palestinians who commit terrorism ‎against Jews and Israelis. Its teaching about Jerusalem would treat it as a city that ‎is as holy to all three monotheistic religions, rather than just Islam. That’s significant because Palestinian efforts to claim that shrines such ‎as the Temple Mount and even the Western Wall are ‎exclusively Muslim were part of a campaign of incitement that led to the recent ‎‎”stabbing intifada.” Perhaps just as significant is that the new texts would also seek ‎to correct gender bias that was part of the old books.‎

But rather than welcome reform, the Palestinian Authority has reacted with fury. ‎Last week, the PA announced that it was suspending ties with UNRWA over the ‎proposed changes, which have yet to be formally announced. It said the revisions ‎to the curriculum were an “affront to the Palestinian people, its history and ‎struggles” and that the suspension would continue until the agency’s “positions are ‎corrected.”‎

The PA Education Ministry issued the following statement:‎ “Any 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.‎”

The implications of the PA position for the prospects for peace in this or future ‎generations cannot be overestimated.‎

For more than a century, Palestinian national identity has been inextricably tied to the war on Zionism. Throughout two decades of failed peace negotiations, the ‎supposedly moderate Palestinian Authority has consistently rejected Israeli offers ‎of independence that would obligate it to recognize the legitimacy of the Jewish ‎state within any borders. Any chance that this will change rests not so much on ‎more Israeli concessions but on a sea change in Palestinian political culture. ‎Leaving aside the role of Hamas, unless the PA’s future leaders are able to embrace ‎peace without fear that doing so will be seen as a betrayal, the failure of more talks ‎is foreordained. UNRWA’s proposed changes are a step in the right direction. The ‎PA’s opposition is more proof that it is an obstacle to any hope for a better life for ‎both Israeli and Palestinian children.‎