November 21, 2018

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04/03 Links Pt1: Gaza and the worthlessness of international opinion; UNESCO to pass ‘most extreme’ Jerusalem resolution next week

http://elderofziyon.blogspot.com/2018/04/0403-links-pt1-gaza-and-worthlessness.html

From Ian:


Gaza and the worthlessness of international opinion
It is by no means clear that the Palestinian border riots turned out to be the great propaganda triumph Israel’s enemies were hoping for. Most of the Arab world is responding with the same perfunctory protest as they put forward after President Trump recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

Egypt is not lifting the Gaza blockade. While European governments demand Israeli restraint, they won’t be applying any real pressure on Israel to strengthen the terrorist regime in Gaza.

The purpose of the march was not – as claimed by those who have accepted Hamas’ propaganda – a march for “a better future.” It was explicitly a march to demand a “right of return” for descendants of the 1948 Palestinian refugees into Israel.

As such, it is a call for war without end, since no Israeli government of any political stripe could ever concede this claim, which would effectively end the Jewish state.

The purpose of the protest was to produce Palestinian corpses, not to highlight any grievances. Given the numbers of those assaulting the border, the IDF showed its commitment to a limited use of force.

If you call for open borders for Gaza, you’re not so much advancing a humanitarian cause as you are advocating the arming of an Islamist terror group.

PMW: Murderers of Israelis are “sacrificing heroes and torches of freedom that have lit the skies of Palestine,” says PLO official

Mother of 5 terrorist sons, among them 2 murderers, raised “sacrificing heroes and torches of freedom that have lit the skies of Palestine”

Reporting on an event honoring Palestinian mothers “of Martyrs, prisoners, and wounded,” the official Palestinian Authority daily mentioned in particular the mother of 5 terrorists, among them 2 murderers. Although the paper listed the number of life sentences each is serving, it failed to mention that they are imprisoned for murder of 8 people as well as numerous other terror attacks (see descriptions below):
“Um Yusuf is the mother of Martyr Abd Al-Mun’im, and the mother of four prisoners serving life sentences: Nasser, serving 7 life sentences and an additional 50 years; Nasr, serving 5 life sentences; Sharif, serving 4 life sentences; and Muhammad, serving 2 life sentences and an additional 30 years.”
[Official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, March 23, 2018]

This is not the first time the PA has honored this mother of 5 terrorists (also known as Um Hmeid) as a model for Palestinian mothers. In 2011, the PA chose her to launch the PA’s statehood campaign with the UN.

At the recent event, a senior PLO official praised the mothers of the terrorists as “crowns on our heads” because they have educated their sons to carry out “heroic acts,” and raised them to become “sacrificing heroes and torches of freedom that have lit the skies of Palestine”:

UNESCO to pass ‘most extreme’ Jerusalem resolution next week

The United Nations Organization for Education, Science and Culture is expected next week to pass another resolution on Jerusalem that an Israeli official has denounced as “the most extreme and problematic text” ever proposed.

At first blush, the short text appears harmless from an Israeli perspective, devoid of any incendiary claims or designations. And yet, Jerusalem opposes it because it cites previous UN resolutions on Middle Eastern affairs, thus legitimizing more problematic formulations “through the back door,” Israel’s ambassador to UNESCO, Carmel Shama Hacohen, said.

The resolution, sponsored by Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Oman, Qatar and Sudan, consists of only four paragraphs. Two recall previous resolutions, one calls for their implementation and future discussion, and one reaffirms “the importance of Jerusalem for the three monotheistic religions.”

UNESCO has passed “less elegant” resolutions in the past, Shama Hacohen acknowledged, but nonetheless condemned next week’s draft as “the most extreme and problematic text we have ever seen.”

In a letter to fellow UNESCO envoys, a copy of which was obtained by The Times of Israel, he argued that the text’s brevity and lack of offensive language against Israel was misleading. Rather, he said, the resolution is “based on politicization and hateful propaganda against UNESCO’s core mandate and own sake, as well as against the Jewish People and the State of Israel.”

For one, the resolution is entitled “Occupied Palestine,” which the Israeli envoy argued is a “pure[ly] political title.”

Furthermore, the draft refers to the 1981 inscription of the Old City of Jerusalem and its Walls in UNESCO’s World Heritage List, and the subsequent decision to add the site to UNESCO’s list of World Heritage in Danger. Both requests were made by Jordan and “were, and are, political fictions,” Shama Hacohen wrote.

Khaled Abu Toameh: Hamas accused of playing into Israel’s hands in wake of Gaza protest

Palestinian analysts and activists on Monday criticized the Hamas terror group for acknowledging some of the Palestinians killed along the Israel-Gaza border in last Friday’s mass demonstrations as members of its military wing, a move the critics argued served Israel.

Hamas made a mistake in rushing to publish old photos of the dead men in military fatigues, thus creating the impression that they had been killed in “armed clashes” between Hamas fighters and the Israel Defense Forces as part of a violent terrorism campaign, the critics said.

Hamas announced shortly after Friday’s clashes that five of the Palestinians killed by IDF gunfire were members of the terror group’s military wing, Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades. The group published photos of the men wearing combat uniforms and armed with assault rifles.

The five, who were described by Hamas as mujaheddin (warriors), were identified as Jihad Farineh, 35, Mohammed Abu Amru, 27, Ahmed Ibrahim Odeh, 19, Sari Abu Odeh, 27, and Muss’ab Zuheir al Alsaloul, 23.

The Hamas critics also warned against the “militarization” of the “March of Return” — the name given to the protests — arguing that such a move would play into Israel’s hands and damage the Palestinian campaign. The Palestinians say that the Hamas men who killed last Friday were unarmed and were not in uniform.

One veteran Palestinian journalist in the Gaza Strip told The Times of Israel that Hamas was also facing criticism for holding military funerals and rallies for its men — a move that, he said, created the impression that the men had been killed in armed clashes with the IDF rather than during a peaceful protest by unarmed civilians.

Hamas is preparing for violence on the Israeli border

Hamas is hiding behind civilians while orchestrating violence & terror

New York Times Describes Israel’s Gaza Border Defense as ‘Harsh’; Popular Comment Calls Israel ‘Bloodthirsty’

Hamas terrorists roll burning tires at the Israeli border, throw Molotov cocktails, and shoot at Israeli troops in a pre-planned violent riot.

The New York Times reacts by portraying the Israeli response as “harsh.”

Here’s the key passage from an account of the clashes by the Times’ Isabel Kershner. First she frames two opposing views of the events:

Palestinians, supported by human rights groups, view the events as a legitimate protest that was met with disproportionate force by trigger-happy Israeli soldiers.

Israel says it acted judiciously to prevent a dangerous breach of its borders and sovereignty led by Hamas, the Islamic group that controls Gaza, and to protect nearby communities.

This formulation already puts its finger on the scales, throwing a derogatory modifier at Israeli soldiers (“trigger-happy”) but a reverential one at Hamas (“Islamic”). Why stop at “trigger-happy”? Why not go all the way with an Easter blood-libel and just call the Jews “bloodthirsty”?

Actually, the Times did go so far as to permit this in one of its reader comments. Ed Watters of San Francisco describes what he calls “the fact that Israel is a bloodthirsty warden of Gaza.” The comment drew an astonishing 494 “thumbs-up” votes from Times readers.

The Times really lets readers know where it is coming from, though, with this sentence: “President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey described the harsh Israeli response as ‘an inhumane attack.’”

Seth Frantzman: ‘March of Return’ puts Palestinians back in the spotlight

The Palestinian mass march was supposed to highlight several issues. The main idea is to draw attention to the “right of return” as Palestinians approach 70 years since the “Nakba,” or catastrophe, which many see as the founding of Israel in 1948. Hamas also wants to use the march to remain relevant. However, it cleverly sought to distance itself from overt participation so that the march would seem like a populist event.

The Gaza Strip has real population pressures with almost two million residents living in a small area of land under a kind of blockade by Israel and Egypt. Hamas was unsuccessful at galvanizing any kind of march in the West Bank, so it’s success was only in Gaza.

The feeling in media coverage is that most people realize there will never be a “return” and that legitimizing this demand is not worthwhile.

The march was not successful at really focusing any light on the problems in Gaza or what people demand.

The Palestinians also had difficulty pushing the narrative that the march was peaceful. Although activists said that they were against stone throwing, tire burning and other violence, Israel seems to have at least encouraged coverage to cast doubt on whether the protest was peaceful.

That the Gaza protests, so far, did not result in a larger conflagration is evidence of the continued divisions in Palestinian society; between Gaza, the West Bank, Jerusalem, Israel and the Palestinian diaspora.

As with clashes in the last year, such as the metal detectors in Jerusalem or the US Embassy move, the Gaza march shows that although the Palestinian cause can gain the attention, it doesn’t appear to gain the traction it once did in the 1990s and early 2000s.

The Left has crossed a red line

In many ways, the Israeli Left has aligned itself with the progressive Left in the West. Swedish anthropology professor Aje Carlbum, of Malmo University, wrote about the Left’s peculiar Pavlovian response, saying the modern Left is a self-destructive organism because it will always identify the weak as the just and the strong as the sinner. Here the criteria are well-defined: The infiltrators are weak and Israel is strong; black is weak and white is strong; Arabs are weak and Westerners are strong, and so on.

Carlbum initially approached the problem because of the miserable situation of Swedish women, who require protection from the Muslim refugees who embitter their lives in the public sphere. Many Swedish women have left their homeland because of this. The Swedish elite has placed the rights of the “weak” over the rights of Swedes (primarily female Swedes) because even if the weak break the law or endanger lives, they are always right.

The implications of this uncompromising attitude alienate Israelis as well. Arabs will forever appear weaker, and therefore will always be seen as righteous. As a result of this attitude, even if a known Hamas operative charges the Israeli border with a Molotov cocktail intending to take lives, he should be seen as an innocent victim and his death should be mourned as the culmination of colonialist crimes by strong white men against weak Muslims.

This worldview has become so deeply rooted in the Left, both around the world and in Israel, that today almost no act of self-defense by Israel is perceived to be legitimate in its eyes. The wailing and rage against Israel following attempts by terrorists to penetrate state borders emphasized the harsh and shocking fact that as far as the Left is concerned, the room for Israel to respond has decreased to nothing.

Radio anchor apologizes for saying ‘ashamed to be Israeli,’ won’t be fired

Veteran radio and television presenter Kobi Meidan apologized Monday for saying that he was “ashamed to be Israeli” due to the military’s actions during violent protests Friday along the Gaza border.

During a clarification conversation with the commander of Army Radio, Meidan said that he “did not write a word against the IDF soldiers who were dear to us all, and that was not the intention, and if that was what was understood, I apologize for it.”

Following Meidan’s apology, Army Radio said he would not be fired from the station.

Reports over the weekend indicated that Meidan could lose his job over his remarks, though the Haaretz newspaper on Monday reported that station managers were leaning toward keeping him on board. The station, despite being under military auspices, is a largely independent body.

On Saturday, Meidan posted a stark message on his Facebook page that said, “Today, I am ashamed to be Israeli.”

He has since said he wrote the post before the details of Friday’s events had become clear.

An open letter to Canada’s UN ambassador: why are we supporting Hamas terrorists?

Dear Ambassador Marc-André Blanchard,

Just over two months ago I wrote to you in these pages regarding renewed Canadian funding — to the tune of an initial $25 million — of the UN’s Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees. In fact, my letter was timed for you to read just before you arrived in Israel for a visit, presumably, to learn about the manner in which Canadian financial support was being utilized.

I never did receive the courtesy of a reply. But I suppose that the recent announcement by your colleague in Ottawa, Minister of International Development Marie-Claude Bibeau, that Canada has pledged an additional $10-million to support UNRWA is a response in kind.

Correct me if I am mistaken, Ambassador, but I am quite certain that you did not pop into Gaza while here in order to learn about UNRWA operations in the terrorist-controlled territory. This is where much of the Canadian money will be spent, I expect.

Since 2006, when elections were last held in the Gaza Strip, Hamas — a group listed as “terrorist” by Canada and most Western countries — has controlled life with an iron and decidedly non-progressive fist. Many Western donations find their way into Hamas hands, where they are applied to enhance the network of terror tunnels boring into Israel for the sole purpose of attacking civilians. The population’s needs are ignored, deemed always secondary to the holy struggle — jihad — to destroy Israel and all Jews.

Jpost Editorial: Erdogan’s hypocrisy

Yet European leaders of nearly every political stripe have argued for Turkish membership in the EU. Just last week the EU’s top brass hosted the Turkish strongman at Varna on Bulgaria’s Black Sea coast. The summit enabled Erdogan to keep alive the admittedly distant hope that one day Turkey would join the EU.

How can the EU, purportedly a bastion of liberalism and openness, even contemplate the candidacy of Turkey? The country’s anti-democratic, Islamist regime now controls all major media outlets and the legal system, while it conducts a military offensive against Syria’s Kurds, one of the few pro-democratic forces in the Middle East.

How do the US and other Western nations continue to condone Turkey’s membership in NATO, the most important military alliance the Western powers have?

Part of the reason has to do with Turkey’s role in stopping the waves of Syrian migrants into Europe. Instead of taking responsibility for their own borders, Europeans prefer delegating the task to Turkey, which is exploiting this fact to extract aid money from the EU and pressure it to jump-start a new bid to allow Turkey to join the EU.

This is an unhealthy relationship based on fear, not trust or common interests and values. As Israel discovered in its own failed attempts at reconciliation with Ankara in the wake of the MV Mavi Marmara incident, Erdogan sees himself as a representative of an anti-Western, pro-Islamist agenda popular in the Muslim world. He has no interest in adopting Western, democratic values.

The time has come for more international leaders – particularly in Europe – to join Netanyahu in public condemnation of Erdogan’s hypocrisies. Through his actions, Erdogan has removed Turkey from the community of democratic nations. He should face the consequences.

Minister calls for Israeli recognition of Armenian genocide

With tensions between Israel and Turkey on the rise, Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan has called on Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to recognize the mass murders of 1.5 million Armenians by the Ottoman government in 1915 as genocide.

In the past, the Foreign Ministry had assessed that such a move was likely to lead to the expulsion of Israeli Embassy staff in Ankara and the recalling of Turkey’s ambassador from Israel.

While Turkey denies that the mass killings constitute genocide, 29 countries and 48 of the 50 U.S. states have officially recognized them as such.

Erdan’s call to recognize the Armenian genocide follows a war of words between Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, in which Erdogan accused Israel of using “disproportionate force” against the “peaceful protesters” during Friday’s Hamas-orchestrated march in the Gaza Strip. He later called Israel a “terrorist state.”

On Monday, Erdan said the 2016 reconciliation between Jerusalem and Ankara may have been “a mistake.”

Once close regional allies, Israel and Turkey froze diplomatic ties after the 2010 Israeli Navy raid on a flotilla trying to breach the Gaza blockade, in which 10 Turkish nationals were killed.

NGO Monitor: Human Rights Watch on Violent Hamas Border Riot: Promoting Terrorist Propaganda at Expense of Human Rights

On April 3, 2018, Human Rights Watch (HRW) issued an “analysis” of the March 30, 2018 events along the Israel-Gaza border – marking the NGOs further descent into exploiting human rights for the doctrine of hate. Like other HRW responses, this latest publication lacks credible methodology and manipulates the presentation of facts and law to advance a political narrative rather than engage in professional human rights research. It denies Israel’s sovereign right to defend its border, erases the context of Palestinian terrorism and Hamas’ rejectionist agenda, and promotes Hamas propaganda.

In advance of the well-publicized events on March 30 (the first in a series of scheduled “Return Marches”), NGO Monitor noted the high probability for violence behind the façade of a peaceful protest. We highlighted that given that Hamas, Islamic Jihad, and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) terror groups were involved in organizing the event that human rights groups should caution against participation in this confrontation. The organizers also made clear that the use of children would be an integral part of the riots. Nevertheless, HRW, ostensibly favoring a cheap propaganda victory (similar to Hamas’ own goal) against Israel, ignored these warnings and remained silent. HRW’s failure to speak out against confrontations that would likely cause casualties and the use of children as human shields is not in keeping with the core principles of universal human rights. The prioritizing of politics over protection is not surprising given that HRW’s Middle East staff is made up of several anti-Israel demagogues and BDS (boycott, divestment, and sanctions) activists.

Palestinian protesters use mirrors in attempt to blind IDF troops

Hamas on Monday urged Palestinians to hold another mass protest on the Israel-Gaza Strip border on Friday to show solidarity with those killed and injured during last week’s border riots.

Some 30,000 Palestinians took part in last week’s march and subsequent riots on the border, during which hundreds of protesters hurled firebombs, torched tires and stoned Israeli troops. Seventeen people were killed, 10 of them known terrorists, and some 1,400 were wounded.

While several small protests took place on the border on Sunday, and 250 Palestinians demonstrated near the border on Monday, the protests have waned and many demonstrators stayed back at a safe distance from the fence.

However, sporadic border breaches continued on Monday, and two unarmed Gazans were apprehended by IDF forces moments after crossing the border.

The IDF remains on high alert near the southern security fence in the wake of the violence last week.

Troops patrolling the border on Mondy found a bag containing dozens of firebombs. It is believed the bag was left there during Friday’s riots.

Arab League to discuss Israeli ‘massacre’ in Gaza

The Arab League is planning to hold an emergency meeting on Tuesday at the level of permanent representatives to discuss “the crimes of the occupation against the Palestinian people,” the assistant secretary-general for Palestinian affairs, Said Abu Ali, told official Palestinian news agency Wafa.

He added that the league is closely following developments after the “Israeli massacre against peaceful civilians” on the Gaza border.

Abu Ali called on the international community to put an immediate halt to “the Israeli crimes” and to provide protection to the Palestinian people.

The meeting comes in response to a Palestinian request that was supported by Kuwait, Egypt and Jordan.

Meanwhile, a Jordanian columnist advised the Palestinians that they should refrain from responding violently to the IDF’s killing of 16 protesters along the Gaza fence on Friday.

“If the Palestinians respond by firing rockets, opening fire, stabbings or car rammings the results will be catastrophic for them,” wrote Jamal al-Nammary in Al Ghad daily newspaper.

He argued that this will only bring heavier Israeli violence and alienate the international community.

West Bank Palestinians Apathetic to Gaza’s “March of Return”

Residents of Kalandiya said “We have no time,” when asked on Monday if they worried about the unrest on the Israel-Gaza border.

It was business as usual in the town as people crossed the busy checkpoint to and from school and work, or to shop in Ramallah. Streets were busy with commuters, stores were open and people were going about their daily routine normally.

Two young women who spoke to The Jerusalem Post on condition of anonymity said they were more concerned about “putting food on the table” and “looking after their families,” than taking part in or showing solidarity for what organizers dubbed the “March of Return.”

“It’s not a good situation in Gaza, but we can’t afford to take part in the protests when we have families. We want peace, the walls must come down, the occupation must end. But causing riots on the border and in our universities is pointless.”

The younger of the two, a 10th-grade student, said she wants to bring children into a peaceful country. “I hate the walls and occupation. It needs to change, but I can’t worry about Gaza now. I want to finish school, get an education and then I will join the struggle.

My priority is school. I want to be a lawyer and fight the occupation at the UN.”

PreOccupiedTerritory: Fizzling “March Of Return” Leaves Joint List Short Of Recruitment Goals (satire)

Officials from the parties composing the political alliance called the Joint List voiced frustration today that the masses of Palestinians who were expected to cross the Gaza border over the weekend to “return” to homes they never had before the establishment of Israel were not materializing in the hoped-for numbers, casting doubt on the prospect of having those numerous Arabs hostile to Israel’s existence become members of those parties.

Spokespeople for Balad, Ta’al, Hadash, and the United Arab List confessed their disappointment at a press conference this morning upon discovering that the Hamas-driven effort to march toward the coastal territory’s border fence with Israel had not met with any significant success, and that the anticipated throngs of potential new voters for their parties would not materialize.

The “March of Return” calls for sustained demonstrations and attempts to cross into Israel, and has already resulted in more than a dozen deaths, with the majority of the fatalities belonging to Hamas and other terrorist organizations. Had the violent demonstrations taken on a different character and the incidents not involved bombs, rockets, and gunfire directed at Israelis patrolling the border, the Joint List parties expected to have the thousands of newcomers register as members of their parties and move the alliance above the 13-seat mark it has held in the Knesset for years.

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman: Israel Has a Right to Exist

Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has done something unprecedented among Arab leaders: affirm Israel’s right to exist.

Salman said the Jewish state had the right to exist in an interview with the Atlantic, and the magazine reports that American peace negotiator Dennis Ross considers this is a first for any Arab leader. While some have recognized Israel’s existence, none have apparently said the Jewish people have a right to a peaceful nation.

“I believe that each people, anywhere, has a right to live in their peaceful nation,” Salman said. “I believe the Palestinians and the Israelis have the right to have their own land. But we have to have a peace agreement to assure the stability for everyone and to have normal relations.”

Atlantic editor in chief Jeffrey Goldberg then asked whether he had any “religious-based objection” to Israel’s existence, and he said his only concern is the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem and the rights of Palestinians.

“We have religious concerns about the fate of the holy mosque in Jerusalem and about the rights of the Palestinian people,” he said. “This is what we have. We don’t have any objection against any other people.”

Saudi king states support for Palestinians after son accepts Israel’s legitimacy

Saudi King Salman reaffirmed his nation’s support for the Palestinians in a conversation with US President Donald Trump, state media said Tuesday, after his son and heir apparent said Israel has a “right” to a homeland.

The king “reaffirmed the kingdom’s steadfast position toward the Palestinian issue and the legitimate rights of the Palestinian people to an independent state with Jerusalem as its capital,” the official Saudi Press Agency said.

The king also emphasized the need to advance the Middle East peace process in his phone call with Trump, which came after recent clashes between the Israeli military and Gazan protesters at the border fence in which 16 Palestinians were reported killed and over 1,000 were injured, according to the Hamas-run Palestinian health ministry.

Saudi Arabia and Israel have no formal diplomatic relations, but behind the scenes their ties appear to have improved in recent years in the face of what they see as a common Iranian threat.

Israel’s conflict with the Palestinians has long proved an obstacle to a full rapprochement, however, as Riyadh still supports the Palestinian claim to sovereignty.

But Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman seemed to indicate a notable shift in the kingdom’s official position in an interview published Monday with US news magazine The Atlantic.

Poll: Palestinians Reject State on ’67 Lines with Land Swaps (PDF)

71% of Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza reject the creation of a Palestinian state on the 1967 lines with some land exchange as a final solution for the Palestinian cause, according to a poll conducted on 22-24 March 2018 in the West Bank and Gaza by the Center for Opinion Polls and Survey Studies at An-Najah University. At the same time, 77% reject the creation of a binational state for both Arabs and Jews as a final solution for the Palestinian cause.

55% support and 41% reject an unarmed peaceful intifada in the Palestinian territories, while 38% support and 56% reject an armed intifada.

When asked “Which political party do you support?,” responses were: Fatah 35%, Hamas 11%, Popular Front 2%, Islamic Jihad 1%, None of the above 36%.

Australia should fund Palestinian welfare, but not “pay to slay”

From an essay by Sharyn Mittelman, Senior Policy Adviser at the Australia/Israel & Jewish Affairs Council:
(An edited version was published in the Daily Telegraph, 2 April 2018).

A key obstacle to peace between Israelis and Palestinians is the institutionalised incitement to anti-Israel violence by the Palestinian Authority (PA). Such incitement includes the naming of public streets and buildings after terrorists and encouraging “martyrdom” throughout the media, even in children’s television programs.

Pay to Slay ; the more Jews you kill, the more money you’ll be paid

Perhaps the worst aspect of this incitement, however, is the PA’s “martyr” compensation scheme, which incentivises terrorism by providing lifetime monthly stipends to convicted terrorists relative to their sentences and to the families of slain terrorists. The worse the crime you commit, the more money you receive. The PA recently announced that its budget for 2018 will include US$403 million for such payments.

The United States Congress has now decided to act against this nefarious scheme. The Taylor Force Act, officially passed on March 23, requires that the US halt its funding to the PA if the latter refuses to end its “martyr” compensation program.

The legislation is named after an American citizen and US army veteran Taylor Force who was killed in a stabbing attack by a Palestinian terrorist in Jaffa, Israel in 2016 which also injured eleven people. Given that the terrorist who killed Force died while committing an act of terror, his relatives are paid a monthly stipend by the PA’s Martyr’s Fund.

The White House said in a statement that it “commends the Congress for including the Taylor Force Act, which prohibits most US foreign assistance that directly benefits the Palestinian Authority (PA) until the PA ends the abhorrent practice of providing payments to terrorists and their families in reward for acts of violence.”

After flip-flop, Netanyahu formally cancels deal to let 16,000 migrants stay

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced Tuesday that he was canceling a new agreement with the UN refugee agency that would have seen thousands of African migrants given temporary status in Israel — a day after first announcing the plan.

“Every year I make thousands of decisions benefiting the State of Israel and Israeli citizens. Occasionally a decision is reached that has to be reconsidered,” he said at a meeting with anti-migrant activists from south Tel Aviv, where many of the migrants reside.

Netanyahu said that after consulting with activist leaders, as well as with Interior Minister Aryeh Deri, “I have decided to cancel the agreement. Despite the mounting legal and international limitations, we will continue to act with determination to exhaust all of the options at our disposal for expelling the infiltrators.”

Netanyahu had suspended the agreement on Monday night, hours after announcing it. As Tuesday’s meeting began, Education Minister Naftali Bennett, who leads the right-wing Jewish Home party, tweeted that a temporary halt was not enough.

“The agreement with the United Nations to absorb the infiltrators is bad for Israel,” Bennett said. “It is not enough to freeze it. I call on the prime minister to cancel it entirely.”

He said that the deal would set a terrible precedent and would cause problems for generations to come. “The government of Israel will never succeed in the future in persuading people that infiltrating into Israel isn’t worth it,” he wrote.

UNHCR urges Netanyahu to reconsider migrants agreement

The UNHCR on Tuesday called for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to reconsider implementing the migrants deal signed by the Israeli government and the United Nations Refugee Agency on Monday, before it was canceled by Israel the next day.

“It is with disappointment that UNHCR notes today’s cancellation by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of the Israel-UNHCR Agreement of 2nd April on solutions for Eritreans and Sudanese currently in Israel,” the UN agency said in a statement.

“The agreement was the result of discussions over an extended period of time, and reflected a shared effort to find a solution that gave international protection to people arriving in Israel fleeing war or persecution while also meeting the concerns of Israeli host communities,” the statement continued.

The agency noted that it sees the agreement as a “win-win” that would benefit both Israel and asylum-seekers.
UNHCR hopes Netanyahu gets support to implement agreement on refugees’ relocation, April 3, 2018 (Reuters)

“And we encourage the government of Israel to consider the matter further, while standing ready to be of help,” the UNHCR stated.

The agreement allowed for some 16,000 African asylum seekers to be resettled in Western countries, while an additional 23,000 would be permitted to remain in Israel.

Israeli human rights organizations slammed Netanyahu’s flip-flopping on the deal, releasing a joint statement that denounced the government for neglecting the common good of Israel’s citizens and residents, as well as its moral, legal and international commitments.

Netanyahu accuses EU, New Israel Fund of pressing Rwanda to nix migrants deal

The New Israel Fund on Monday night railed against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for his “pathetic, shameful” accusations that the left-wing organization put pressure on Rwanda to reject the Israeli government’s proposed resettlement of African migrants in the country.

“In recent weeks, amid enormous pressure on Rwanda by the New Israel Fund and sources in the European Union, Rwanda has withdrawn from the agreement and refused to accept infiltrators from Israel that were forcibly deported,” the prime minister wrote in a Facebook post on Monday evening, after a chaotic day in which he announced a deal with the UN refugee agency on the African asylum seekers, and then, hours later, suspended the agreement.

Netanyahu was referring to earlier government plans to deport tens of thousands of African migrants in Israel illegally, most of them from Eritrea and Sudan, to Rwanda and Uganda.

“Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has once again resorted to lies about the New Israel Fund in order to score cheap political points. The New Israel Fund had nothing to do with Rwanda’s decision to refuse to participate in the Prime Minister’s cruel mass deportation plan,” the New Israel Fund said in a statement.

“It is pathetic, shameful, and a stain on Israel in the global arena that the Prime Minister would blame Israel’s human rights defenders for his ineptitude and his immoral policies,” it added.



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