Posted tagged ‘UN and Palestinians’

UN Chief Guterres, the Media and Palestinian Fake News

September 1, 2017

UN Chief Guterres, the Media and Palestinian Fake News, Gatestone InstituteBassam Tawil, September 1, 2107

(Please see also, INTO THE FRAY: The Taylor Force Act – Putting “Palestine” in perspective. — DM)

One of the mothers who attended the meeting with the UN chief was Latifa Abu Hmaid. Four of her sons, Nasser, Sharif, Nasr and Mohammed are serving multiple life sentences for their role in terrorism. The Palestinian Authority (PA) chose the mother of these terrorists because they are all members of President Mahmoud Abbas’s ruling Fatah faction, which is regularly described by Western media outlets as a moderate and pragmatic Palestinian party that believes in the two-state solution and peace with Israel.

The minimum the UN chief and his aides could have done is to call out the PA leadership and condemn it for the ambush and the fabricated report from the official Palestinian news agency. Had Israel been involved in a similar incident, we would have witnessed a diplomatic crisis, prompted by the UN secretary general and his spokesmen as well as the international media. Palestinians, as usual, are given a pass.

The lie about “Jewish extremists” setting fire to the Al-Aqsa Mosque has become so widespread and accepted that even senior Muslim scholars such as Abbas’s Grand Mufti, Sheikh Mohamed Hussein, has also been spreading the blood libel. He and most Palestinians continue to describe the Australian Christian arsonist as a “Jewish extremist.”

According to the Palestinian propaganda machine, nearly without exception, the terrorists were on their way to buy bread for their mothers or visit their grandmothers. These were innocent victims, the story goes, arrested or shot by Israel for no reason. Then there are the lies about Israelis “planting” knives near the bodies of terrorists who stab or try to murder Jews. Western journalists and others accept these lies as facts.

Fake news is an old story in the Palestinian world. Yet recently, fake news has been taken to new heights by Palestinian spin-doctors, who have been working overtime to mislead the international community and media. A number of stories published in the past few days in the Palestinian media demonstrate the extent to which Palestinians are prepared to go to deceive the world and impact international public opinion.

Excellence is often a virtue — except when one excels at lying. And if there is one thing at which the Palestinians have excelled in the past few decades, it is spreading lies about its conflict with Israel. The mainstream media in the West usually takes the fake-news bait — it sells papers! — and demonstrates tolerance, if not sympathy, toward Palestinian-produced fake news fabrications.

The most recent case of Palestinian fake news emerged during United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres’s visit to Ramallah, the de facto capital of the Palestinians. The UN chief, who does not seem to be familiar with the Palestinian culture of lies, fell victim to a typical PR stunt organized by his Palestinian hosts.

According to the Wafa news agency, the official organ of the Palestinian Authority (PA), Guterres “held a meeting on Tuesday evening (August 29) with families of Palestinian martyrs and prisoners held in Israeli occupation prisons.” The report said that the families called on the UN secretary-general to take rapid and serious action to save the lives of more than 6500 male and female prisoners held in Israeli prisons. Wafa then quoted Guterres as saying: “We understand the suffering of the Palestinian prisoners and we will work with the relevant parties to end their suffering.”

First, it ought to be of interest that the “prisoners” and “martyrs” are Palestinians who were involved, directly and indirectly, in terror attacks. Many of the prisoners have Jewish blood on their hands and were convicted of often unspeakable crimes.

Second, it quickly became clear that the meeting between the UN chief and the Palestinian families was part of an ambush set up by his Palestinian hosts in Ramallah. According to a UN spokesman, Guterres was surprised by the sudden request of the Palestinian Authority to meet with the “mothers of detained children” but that he agreed to meet with them. To his great credit, Guterres also issued a clarification that the report in Wafa that he had expressed sympathy for the prisoners’ plight was “fabricated.”

Third, it is worth noting that one of the mothers who attended the meeting with the UN chief was Latifa Abu Hmaid, from the Al-Ama’ri refugee camp near Ramallah. Four of her sons, Nasser, Sharif, Nasr and Mohammed are serving multiple life sentences for their role in terrorism. The Palestinian Authority chose the mother of these terrorists because they are all members of President Mahmoud Abbas’s ruling Fatah faction, which is regularly described by Western media outlets as a moderate and pragmatic Palestinian party that believes in the two-state solution and peace with Israel.

The response of the UN chief’s spokesman to the “fabricated” report by Abbas’s Wafa news agency and the unscheduled meeting with the families of the “prisoners” and “martyrs” is a fine example of how the Palestinian Authority manipulates the world’s top diplomat. The PA and other Palestinians, however, have been getting away with this for decades.

The minimum the UN chief and his aides could have done is to call out the PA leadership and condemn it for the ambush and the fabricated report on the official Palestinian news agency. Had Israel been involved in a similar incident, we would have witnessed a diplomatic crisis, prompted by the UN secretary general and his spokesmen as well as the international media. Palestinians, as usual, are given a pass.

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres during his to Ramallah, August 29, 2017. (Image source: UN Photo/Ahed Izhiman)

In another example of Palestinian fake news designed to slander Israel and win international sympathy, several Palestinian media outlets have been reporting during the past week that an Israeli female undercover agent masquerading as a nurse has been uncovered in a Palestinian hospital in Hebron.

According to the fake reports, the “nurse” was an Israeli settler who had helped the Israel Defense Forces infiltrate the hospital to arrest and shoot Palestinian fugitives. A quick check of the facts revealed that the Palestinians were apparently referring to a Western volunteer who had worked in the hospital to treat Palestinian patients. The hospital administration has strongly denied the reports, which continue to spread like fire on social media and Palestinian news websites. The purpose of the fake reports is to implicate Israel and present it as a state that shows disregard for hospitals and patients. This case shows that rumors and fake news are regularly accepted as facts in the world of the Palestinians and Arabs.

Or consider another example of how the Palestinian propaganda machine operates. On August 23, the same Palestinian news agency, Wafa, reported on the anniversary of the 1969 fire at the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem.

First, the historical facts: On August 21, 1969, an Australian citizen named Denis Michael Rohan set fire to the pulpit of the Al-Aqsa Mosque. Rohan was arrested for the arson attack, tried and found to be insane. He was hospitalized in a mental institution before finally being deported from Israel in 1974.

Since 1969, however, the Palestinians have repeated the lie that Israel and Jews were behind the arson attack. The fact that Rohan was a Christian is apparently inconsequential to them.

So this year, marking the anniversary of the arson, this is what Abbas’s official mouthpiece, Wafa, had this priceless piece of perjury to say: “The Al-Aqsa Mosque was torched by Jewish extremists in 1969.”

The lie about “Jewish extremists” setting fire to the Al-Aqsa Mosque has become so widespread and accepted that even senior Muslim scholars such as Abbas’s Grand Mufti, Sheikh Mohamed Hussein, has also been spreading the blood libel. He and most Palestinians continue to describe the Australian Christian arsonist as a “Jewish extremist.”

These lies are simply a few recent examples that extend a long list of Palestinian fake news and blood libels aimed at framing Israel and inciting the world against it. Take for example, the famous Palestinian lies about terrorists: according to the Palestinian propaganda machine, nearly without exception, the terrorists were on their way to buy bread for their mothers or visit their grandmothers. These were innocent victims, the story goes, arrested or shot by Israel for no reason. Then there are the lies about Israelis “planting” knives near the bodies of terrorists who stab or try to murder Jews. Western journalists and others accept these lies as facts.

The manipulation of the UN chief in Ramallah comes as no surprise to those familiar with Palestinian tactics of deception. The question, however, remains: For how long will the international community receive with equanimity the lies that Palestinians spit in its face, lies that hour after hour, day after day, only endanger the lives of both Palestinians and Jews, promote an all-too-welcomed anti-Semitism, and worst – contrary to the claims of those who purport to want to help them — prolong the suffering of Palestinians who dream of one day living in freedom –like their neighbors, the Israelis — with institutions of democracy like free speech, an independent judiciary and educational system, and most of all, with accountable leadership?

Bassam Tawil is a Muslim based in the Middle East.

Report: Terror Attacks by Palestinian Children on the Rise, Despite U.N. Coverup

August 2, 2017

Report: Terror Attacks by Palestinian Children on the Rise, Despite U.N. Coverup, Washington Free Beacon , August 2, 2017

Israeli forces arrest a Palestinian youth during clashes between demonstrators and security forces in the city of Hebron / Getty Images

Palestinian child terrorists as young as eight years old are increasingly being radicalized and spurred to carry out terror attacks on Israeli citizens, according to a prominent human rights organization that is accusing the United Nations of covering up the recruitment of child terrorists by Palestinian militant groups.

At least 79 separate terror attacks have been carried out by Palestinian children ranging in ages from eight to 17 since 2015, when a wave of Palestinian terror attacks began, according to Human Rights Voices, or HRV, a U.N. watchdog group that has accused the international body of engaging in a “feeble cover-up” of this growing terror issue.

Palestinian leaders and other officials continue to praise the use of children in terror attacks and continue to encourage youths to take up arms against the Jewish state, according to HRV’s report, which was provided to the Washington Free Beacon.

“In violation of [its] legal obligations” to prevent such attacks, “there have been at least 79 separate terrorist attacks by Palestinian children since September13, 2015,” according to the report. “The preferred method of murder and attempted murder by Palestinian child terrorists are stabbings or knifings, the modus operandi in 66 of the 79 attacks.”

At least two of these attacks were committed by terrorists as young as eight, while another four attacks were done by children aged 12, according to the report. Thirteen-year-olds have carried out seven terror attacks, while Palestinian children 14 years of age are responsible for at least 10 of these terror incidents. The majority of these attacks were committed by children ages 16 and 17.

Palestinian leaders have celebrated the violence, even in the halls of the U.N., HRV found.

“After Palestinian child terrorists had murdered two and injured nine in sixteen attacks in the fall of 2015, Palestinian UN representative Riyad Mansour made this declaration in the public hall of UN Headquarters on November 23, 2015: ‘We are so proud that in this popular uprising that has started almost two months ago, that the backbone of this uprising are the youth of Palestine,'” according to the report.

“Since that time, Palestinian child terrorists have attacked Israelis at least another 60 times,” the report found.

Despite scores of public records outlining these attacks by child terrorists, the U.N. had moved to downplay and ignore this activity in official reports, prompting criticism from human rights organizations such as HRV.

The U.N. Secretary General’s 2017 annual report on children in armed conflict zones, which was published in April, claims there is little information about Palestinian children terrorists, despite publicly available data.

“Limited information is available about the recruitment or use of children,” the report states on its section about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

“Since the secretary-general’s claim is manifestly untrue, the United Nations is not merely engaged in a feeble cover-up,” the HRV report states. “The fact is that the U.N. is now an active enabler of the violation of the rights of Israelis and Palestinians: the basic rights to life and security of the person of the Israeli victims of Palestinian children engaged in terrorism, and the rights of Palestinian children not to be recruited or engaged in terrorism in the first place.”

Palestinian leaders continue to incite violence against Israel, despite recent promises to refrain from such activity. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas denied officials engage in incitement during a recent meeting at the White House with President Donald Trump, a claim that prompted pushback from pro-Israel organizations.

“The Palestinian U.N. ambassador publicly supported child terrorism at the U.N. itself,” according to the HRV report. “Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas embraced and shook hands with one of the child terrorists following his attack. ”

“Videos, photographs, television programs, and social media outlets—from Palestinian and Israeli sources—provide a multitude of other evidence both of Palestinian children engaged in armed conflict and Palestinian adults (from the political sphere to the education system—run by the U.N.’s own refugee agency UNRWA—to the family unit) promoting such behavior,” according to the report.

Israel blasts UN naming Hebron a Palestinian site

July 7, 2017

Israel blasts UN naming Hebron a Palestinian site, DEBKAfile, July 7, 2017

Israel blasted as “shameful and anti-Semitic” the UNESCO designation of Old Hebron and the Cave of the Patriarchs as “Palestinian heritage sites in danger.” “Not a Jewish site?” Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu asked, after 12 countries voted in favor, three against and six abstained from the resolution in a secret ballot held Friday, July 7, in Krakow, Poland. “Who is buried there, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, Sarah, Rebecca and Leah, our patriarchs and matriarchs,” Netanyahu said.

“Everywhere else in the Middle East mosques, churches and synagogues are being destroyed. Only in Israel is freedom of worship guaranteed.”

The Cave built over the site purchased, according to the Bible, by Abraham is Judaism’s second holiest site after Jerusalem and Islam’s fourth. Both faiths worship there at separate times. By Jewish tradition, Hebron is hallowed as the first seat of King David’s kingdom’s 3,000 years ago.

“We’ll continue to safeguard the Cave of the Patriarchs, freedom of religion and truth,” Netanyahy vowed.

President Reuven Rivlin tweeted: “UNESCO seems intent on sprouting anti-Jewish lies, while it remains silent as the region’s heritage is destroyed by brutal extremists.”

Opposition Yesh Atid leader, Yair Lapid, called UNESCO’s decision “a despicable falsification of history. Does UNESCO not believe that the Bible is heritage?”

The decision was hailed by Palestinian officials as a diplomatic victory against pressure from Israel and the US to derail the vote. Israel failed to have the motion on Hebron blocked, despite the personal intervention of the US ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley.

This UN body consistently passes anti-Israel, pro-Palestinian resolutions. Tuesday, UNESCO carried a Jordanian-drafted resolution declaring Israel an ‘occupying power’ in Jerusalem’s Old City and denying the Jewish state’s right to sovereignty in its capital.

U.N. Hosts Jew-Hate Palestinian Forum

June 30, 2017

U.N. Hosts Jew-Hate Palestinian Forum, Front Page MagazineJoseph Klein, June 30, 2017

U.S. Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley has tried, since assuming her post, to move the UN away from its blatant anti-Israel bias. As the “United Nations Forum to Mark Fifty Years of Occupation” shows, she definitely has her work cut out for her.

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The United Nations once again has displayed its anti-Israel bias by hosting what is called the “United Nations Forum to Mark Fifty Years of Occupation.”  The United Nations Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People has organized the two-day meeting taking place this week in New York. Representatives affiliated or working with two terrorist organizations – Hamas and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) – are taking part. 

Palestinian representative Saeb Erekat told the Israel haters that “Hamas and the PFLP are not terrorist organizations.”  Erekat also said that the way to defeat ISIS is by ending the Israeli “occupation.” He added, “The Israeli government, headed by Mr. Benjamin Netanyahu, is trying to replace the two-state solution with one state, two systems, apartheid.”

Israel’s Ambassador to the UN Danny Danon responded to such nonsense, saying, “They have no shame. These are lies and incitement from those who are paying terrorists to kill innocent Israelis.”

Hamas is indeed a terrorist organization, with innocent civilian blood on its hands as it tries to carry out its genocidal campaign against the Jewish state.  As for the PFLP, Ambassador Danon displayed a photograph of Israeli policewoman Hadas Malka who was killed in a terror attack earlier this month. He explained to reporters that one of the groups presenting at the UN forum works with the PFLP terror organization which claimed responsibility for Malka’s murder. Both Hamas and the PFLP are considered foreign terrorist organizations by the U.S. State Department.

Nevertheless, United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres and his Deputy Secretary General Amina J. Mohammed legitimized the hatefest by their participation along with terrorist organization collaborators.

The Secretary General’s message to the forum, delivered by his deputy, lamented “Israel’s occupation of the West Bank, East Jerusalem, Gaza and the Syrian Golan, and the displacement of hundreds of thousands of Palestinians and Syrians.” He went on to declare that only the end of Israeli “occupation” would “lay the foundations for enduring peace that meets Israeli security needs and Palestinian aspirations for statehood and sovereignty.” He repeated the canard that “recurring cycles of violence and retribution” were “fueled “by “[F]ifty long years of occupation.”

The Palestinians could have had their own state the same year that Israel was created. Instead, they chose the rejectionist path, vowing with their Arab nation neighbors to destroy the Jewish state at birth. They failed, but would not give up their ambition to drive the Jews into the sea. Cycles of violence against Jews were carried out by Palestinian terrorists before the June 1967 War, while Jordan controlled the West Bank and Egypt controlled Gaza. The Palestinian leadership is not interested in a genuine two-state solution. They want an immediate state on the lands that Israel took over after the June 1967 War, to be followed by the implementation of the so-called “right of return” that would result in the Palestinians’ eventual demographic takeover of pre-1967 Israel. In short, the Palestinians’ version of the two-state solution is two Palestinian states, in addition to Jordan which has a majority Palestinian population.

Gaza has been in Palestinian hands since Israel’s unilateral withdrawal in 2005. Instead of using the opportunity to build a prototype state living side by side with Israel in peace, the terrorist organization Hamas turned Gaza into a launching pad for rocket attacks against Israeli civilian population centers.

Jerusalem was divided by virtue of Jordan’s illegal occupation of the Old City after the 1948 Arab–Israeli War, and restored to its undivided, unitary status, open to members of all faiths, by Israel in 1967. The notion of a separate “East Jerusalem” that is “occupied” by Israel is a Palestinian fiction that the so-called international community has cynically bought into.

When Syria controlled the Golan Heights, it took advantage of the high terrain to launch sniping attacks against Israeli civilians, including children, in the Huleh Valley below. The UN Mixed Armistice Commission ignored Israel’s complaints. During the June 1967 Six Days War, Syrian armored units fired on villages in the Huleh Valley. Israel fought back and seized control of the Golan Heights terrain that Syria had used to conduct its lethal attacks on helpless Israeli civilians. Even so, Israel was willing to return the Golan Heights to Syria in exchange for a genuine peace agreement. But the offer fell on deaf ears after the passage of the Khartoum Resolution of September 1, 1967 at the conclusion of the 1967 Arab League summit. This resolution declared, “no peace with Israel, no recognition of Israel, no negotiations with it, and insistence on the rights of the Palestinian people in their own country.”

Israel was willing to be a gracious victor and give back territory that had been used to terrorize its population, but was met with intransigence, a pattern followed by the Palestinians repeatedly over the years. Syria has forfeited any legitimate right to reclaim the Golan Heights, which Israel has every right to retain for defensive reasons.

The Palestinians have only their own leadership to blame for their present plight. No UN forum can change the truth that, to paraphrase the great Israeli statesman Abba Eban, the Palestinians “never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity.”

U.S. Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley has tried, since assuming her post, to move the UN away from its blatant anti-Israel bias. As the “United Nations Forum to Mark Fifty Years of Occupation” shows, she definitely has her work cut out for her.

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.