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News and views on Israel, Zionism and the war on terrorism.

January 07, 2003

The Palestinians . . . Millions of Gollums?

A thought occurred to me tonight. I'd like to throw it out there for comment, to those who have seen The Two Towers. Aren't the Palestinians and the Arab/Islamist world a lot like the psycho-evil Gollum personality? "Those tricksy Zionistses, they stole it from us. Tricksy, false! We'll poke out their eyeses. Or . . . we could have Saddam do it. Yes! That's it! We'll have Saddam do it. And then, when they're dead, we takes the precious."

[This is cross-posted at Ben Shapiro Online.]

The Pride, by Martin Peretz in The New Republic (registration is neccessary to view). It talks about Israel's tense relationship with Hezbollah and the controversey over Oriana Fallaci's The Rage and the Pride.

In the matter of Tom Paulin's opinions about Israel, why discuss their legitimacy when we can discuss their stupidity?
Tom Paulin's opinions about Israel


In the matter of Tom Paulin's opinions about Israel, why discuss their legitimacy when we can discuss their stupidity? Paulin is the distinguished poet who wrote in a poem called "Killed in Crossfire" in the London Observer on February 18, 2001, that

... another little Palestinian boy
In trainers jeans and a white teeshirt
Is gunned down by the Zionist SS
Whose initials we should
--but we don't--dumb goys
Clock in that weasel word
Crossfire.

and told Al-Ahram Weekly of Cairo in April that "I have never believed that Israel had the right to exist at all" and that the Jewish settlers in the occupied territories "should be shot dead. I think they are Nazis, racists, I feel nothing but hatred for them." When he was asked last winter to read his poetry at Harvard, these unlyrical exclamations returned to haunt the luft-menschen and -frauen who invited him, there was pressure to rescind the invitation, a controversy ensued, first principles were strewn all over Harvard Yard, the poet withdrew, and everybody was left with a sensation of victimhood, which is to say that a good time was had by all. I would not have disinvited the man and his problem. If hate speech should not be restricted, then it should not be restricted even when it is me that it hates. The American way must be to take offense so as to give offense, to suck it up and then go after the substance of it, so that none of the mistake and the insult is left morally or intellectually standing. It is not all that hard to humiliate a person who believes that Zionism is Nazism, to make him seem like a perfect idiot. To question Paulin's legitimacy, by contrast, makes him seem only like a hero, which no doubt confirms him in his own image of his lonely, valiant, dissenting, visiting-professor self.

The view that Zionism is Nazism--there is no other way to understand the phrase "Zionist SS"--is not different in kind from the view that the moon is cheese. It is not only spectacularly wrong, it is also spectacularly unintelligent. I will not offend myself (that would be self-hate speech!) by patiently explaining why the State of Israel is unlike the Third Reich, except to say that nothing that has befallen the Palestinians under Israel's control may responsibly be compared to what befell the Jews under Germany's control, and that a considerable number of the people who have toiled diligently to find peace and justice for the Palestinians, and a solution to this savage conflict, have been Israeli, some of them even Israeli prime ministers. There is no support for the Palestinian cause this side of decency that can justify the locution "Zionist SS." Paulin's expression does not reveal him to be quite the "reader of almost fanatical scrupulosity" that Edward Said has found him to be, at least as regards the "reading" of history and morality. As for the reading of literary texts, in some of his critical writings Paulin has prided himself on his loathing for T.S. Eliot's anti-Semitism, carrying his prosecutorial enthusiasm beyond hermeneutical plausibility. (Paulin is one of the most remorseless politicizers of poetical interpretation now at large: He reads Emily Dickinson for her "critique of mercantile values.") In his new book of poems, The Invasion Handbook, he has Eliot entertaining himself in a wordgame with a notorious anti-Semite that mischievously anticipates a place "far away to the east" whose name is a "rhyme for Ritz/no not Biarritz." This is unfair even to Eliot; but its indignation on behalf of the Jews is forever vitiated by "Zionist SS."

As for the Jewish settlers, I will not dignify Paulin's bloodlust with my own objections to their worldview: Even if they are wrong, he can go to hell. There is an old radical tradition that blesses writers who demand that people who fall within a particular political definition be "shot dead," that discovers conscience in an appetite for murder. Is there a significant distinction between being shot dead and being blown to bits? If, instead of remarking that the settlers should be shot dead, Paulin had remarked that they should be blown to bits, then his jihadism would have been even more plain. Anyway he told the Egyptian weekly that "I can understand how suicide bombers feel." I wonder if Paulin believes that there will be room for progressive writers in Sheik Yassin's Palestine. Pity the poet who is disinvited from there.

When I say that Paulin's hate speech hates me, I do not wish to melodramatize. I wish to suggest that Paulin may suffer from, how shall I say, an acute sensitivity to Jews. I find evidence of this condition in that odd and phonily self-lacerating epithet "dumb goys." The epithet is only half right. You would have to be dumb to see the SS in Israeli crossfire, but you would not have to be non-Jewish. There are many Jews who make the foolish analogy, and there are many non-Jews who denounce it. Paulin's phrase suggests that in his unlovely view the debate about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is essentially a debate between Jews and "goys." (A fanatical scrupulosity would have written "goyim.") He reifies me. I will not be reified.

There is also anecdotal evidence for Paulin's imbalance in this regard. In 1999, Nadeem Ahmed, a graduate student at Hertford College, Oxford, who was pursuing a master's degree in medieval Arabic philosophy, was asked to take exams in Arabic, along with two other students. He took the exams and he failed. Then he sued the university for racial discrimination. As it happens, Ahmed's "moral tutor" at Hertford was Tom Paulin, who rose to his student's defense and concurred in his student's analysis that he had been persecuted. And, as it happens, Ahmed's instructor was a man called Friedrich Zimmermann. When the university's lawyer asked Paulin at the trial in March why he had not taken his complaint to Zimmermann, Paulin weirdly explained that "I had heard on the grapevine that he was a very difficult person," and also remarked that Zimmermann had arranged a sabbatical in Israel "to get out of the way." Get it? The Jew harmed the Muslim and escaped to Israel. The university's lawyer showed that the sabbatical was planned long before the trial was scheduled. But Paulin's sinister insinuation lingers. I have no idea whether Nadeem Ahmed's exam was graded properly by Friedrich Zimmermann. But I do know that piety about oppression sometimes breeds fantasy. When you invent victims, you invent victimizers.

Pretty demagogic, huh I mean my suggestion that Paulin may not be mentally pure in his treatment of this question. Sinister insinuations, indeed. But what did the dumb goy expect? I cannot help myself. I am a smart Jew. I write for an organ of international Zionism. I think that Israel has a right to exist. I do not care to understand how suicide bombers feel. I am the man who stands between a good world and a bad world, though I would never stand between Tom Paulin and Harvard.
Petain’s heirs harass, John bull bullies

Two pieces, one next to the other, from the Jerusalem Post.

First to Petain’s heirs. The Jerusalem Post story reports:
The French consulates in Jerusalem and Haifa are refusing to recognize Jewish wedding ceremonies, including those performed in pre-1967 Israel, if the presiding rabbi happens to be a resident of Judea, Samaria, or the Gaza Strip, The Jerusalem Post has learned.

In one recent case, Martine D., a Frenchwoman who converted to Judaism and married an Israeli in a ceremony in Jerusalem, approached the French Consulate to apply for a livret de famille, an official document which records the status and details of one's family members.

Martine's request was turned down, she was told, because the rabbi who performed the ceremony lives in Gush Etzion.
Would you not think that a country in which synagogues are burnt and rabbis are stabbed would have better things on its mind than harass democratic Israel? Well, you’d be wrong. It’s the pettiness that is so appalling, Pierre!

As to John Bull, the blood of Sunday’s terror victims has not even dried and Britain is already bullying Israel about her decision not to allow a PA delegation to attend the conference that the Brits are plotting. Again, the Jerusalem Post:
Britain protests Israel's decision about London conference

British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw expressed "great regret" about Israel's decision on Monday to prevent leading Palestinians from traveling to London for a British-sponsored conference on reforming the Palestinian Authority on January 24...
Straw seemed particularly displeased that he had not been told in advance of Israel's decision to prevent the Palestinians from traveling to London, noting that he had only learnt of the decision on a BBC news program...
He said the British government was seeking "further clarification," adding: "I very much hope the Israeli government will think again."
Together with all Israel's supporters, I hope that Israel stand up to the British bullies and sticks by the decision of the Israeli cabinet.

Contributed by Joseph Alexander Norland This piece is cross-posted on IsraPundit and Dawson Speaks.

In your dreams

Gwynne Dyer: Ageing Arafat his own worst enemy Op-ed piece in New Zealand Herald

You idiot.

Terrorism isn't about killing innocent people; that's just a means to an end. Terrorism is about goading a stronger opponent into behaving in ways that will benefit your cause.

That doesn't make it acceptable.

On Sunday, for the first time since November, a couple of Palestinian suicide-bombers got through and blew themselves up in central Tel Aviv. At least 23 people were killed, most of them foreign workers from Africa and Asia who came to Israel to do the low-wage jobs that were once filled by Palestinians.

With wearisome predictability, Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's spokesman blamed Yasser Arafat: "This terrorist attack has earned the Palestinian Authority's stamp of approval. It is a direct result of persistent incitement coming out of the Palestinian Authority and its refusal to rein in the terrorists in its midst."

And here I thought that the continuation of the terror was "with wearisome predictability". Of course Arafat is responsible.

Sorry, could you run that by me again? You're talking about Yasser Arafat, the man whose whole career was dedicated to the goal of getting his people recognised as Palestinians (with rights to at least some of the land of what used to be called Palestine), rather than mere refugees with a right only to a tent and daily rations?

Wrong again. Arafat's career has been dedicated to destroying Israel. Look at his record; he doesn't give a damn about the Palestinians and when he started there were no people recognized as Palestinian. And if he really wanted rights to "some of the land of what used to be called Palestine", he would have accepted Barak's offer.

The man who then risked assassination by his own hard-liners by renouncing terrorism, signing the Oslo accords with Yitzhak Rabin, and then, after Mr Rabin was assassinated, waiting patiently while Binyamin Netanyahu stalled for three years on fulfilling the terms of the accords?

No. I am talking about the man who never renounced terrorism except when talking to the western media or when signing agreements. I am talking about the man who from the day Oslo was signed preceeded to violate the agreement by building a culture of hate and violence. I am talking about the man who considered Oslo as a phase leading to the destruction of Israel.

You reckon he sent the bombers?

You gotta believe it. Don't forget as the leader of the people, elected or otherwise, he is responsible. The only buck that stops with him is the one that ends up in his pocket.

Mr Sharon's spokesman doesn't really believe that Mr Arafat sent the bombers. He's just "on message" - the message being that we must discredit Mr Arafat because he's still the really dangerous Palestinian, the one who wants to make a deal. Mr Sharon isn't interested in making any deal that gives the Palestinians a viable country in what remains of their original territory because that would block his purpose of incorporating much of that land into Israel.

Your ignorance astounds me. That you would believe that Sharon, who has only been in power two years is responsible, whereas Arafat, the father of modern day terrorism, is well meaning and a lamb, is beyond belief.

So his goal is to paint all Palestinians who want to make a deal as unreasonable terrorists who have no interest in a deal.

Not quite. There may be Palestinians who want to make a deal but they are either mute or dead. Sharon is not accusing Palestinians in general,but Arafat and his followers as "unreasonable terrorists who have no interest in a permanent deal".

Mr Arafat is his own worst enemy, of course.

You assume that Arafat's actions work against the achievment of a state rather then work for the destruction of Israel which is his true objective.

He was a brilliant guerrilla/terrorist leader, cunning, long-sighted and staunch in adversity, but he is an inept negotiator and a dreadful administrator.

The reason everybody has all but given up on the Palestinian Authority is that Mr Arafat never graduated from being a guerrilla leader: he maintains control over his Administration by appointing three, or four, or five men to do the same job, setting them against one another so that only he can adjudicate the disputes.

When you finally get in to see him, five or six hours after the agreed time, you are likely to find him personally signing cheques for only a few hundred dollars: Mr Arafat is a bandit chieftain who never managed the transition to real power.

The last and greatest service he could have done for the Palestinian people would have been to die in the siege of Beirut 20 years ago, leaving it to a younger, better-educated generation of Palestinians to negotiate a land-and-peace agreement with a triumphant but still vulnerable Israel. Alas, he didnt
.

You should make your living telling fairy tales or lies. But you're right to refer to him as a "terrorist", a person who "never graduated from being a guerilla leader" and a "bandit chieftan". And lastly I agree that "The last and greatest service he could have done for the Palestinian people would have been to die in the siege of Beirut 20 years ago".

Terrorism is never "blind"; it is politics by other means.

True. But that doesn't make it moral or acceptable. Terrorism is a crime against humanity regardless if it is for a cause.

Join Bloggers in Support of Israel (BISI) and IsraPundit

This is a revised re-post of our invitation to pro-Israel bloggers to join BISI (and its vehicle, IsraPundit); we post this invitation weekly on Tuesdays. This week we include answers to questions raised by bloggers who’ve contacted us recently.

First, a warm welcome to all the new article-contributors: you are enriching IsraPundit by adding new voices and new viewpoints.

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There is no commitment whatsoever in joining BISI/IsraPundit, except for remaining within the limits of “pro-Israel advocacy”. In response to questions asked, I underscore that there are no charges, fees, etc. No traps, honestly.

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Some of us (including myself) have closed our original sites and post on IsraPundit only; the advantage stems from the fact that one need not feel beholden to post continually. With time, many bloggers feel the pressure to post daily as overly burdensome (just check out how many blogs are being discontinued every week!) With IsraPundit, you post when you can spare the time, knowing that others ensure that the site is never without new material.

Above all else, the main advantage in joining BISI is the knowledge that you are supporting our sister-democracy, Israel, at a very tough time.

The technicalities of joining are as easy as sending me an e-mail - dt804@yahoo.ca - indicating willingness to join. I then send a "formal invitation" and you're on your way to posting. When you write to me, please enclose name, e-mail address, and the URL of your site. If you don't have a site, please send a sample article. If you have questions, send them to me.

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BISI is more than just IsraPundit, though currently the effort is concentrated on IsraPundit alone. We do intend to initiate a discussion about other aspects of support for Israel that we may undertake to help our sister-republic, but we can only move one step at a time. In particular, we'd like to engage in a dialogue with "neutrals" or foes; preaching to the converted is comfortable, but it does not further the cause. We’d also like to see more collaboration and co-ordination among web sites (bloggers and others) who support Israel.

We are still having difficulties with our archives, as you can see by checking out the right-hand column. If you are a member of BISI and you can lend a hand to fix this problem, please contact me.

Thank you for reading this post, and if you join - a double thank you.

A special thanks to Fred for suggesting this posting which has already brought IsraPundit several new article-contributors..

Joseph Alexander Norland, dt804@yahoo.ca

Rantburg.com has some anti-Palestinian links posted here and comments by readers. Commentary: Is indifference to the fate of the Palestinians growing?
Daniel Pipes argues that the Palestinians now realize that Intifada II a big mistake and he enumerates "evidence," but polls I have seen argue that the Palestinians (a majority of them) want to continue with suicide bombings. Pipes while showing devestation to Palestinian's lives does not consider the costs to Israel. You decide.To End the [Palestinian] Violence
News Report by Neil MacDonald on CBCTV The National, Monday January 6, 2003

Dear Mr. MacDonald,

I am happy to say that last night I think you almost got it right! With your closing comment when you indicated that "the efforts by the extremists meant to push the Israeli public even further to the right would perpetuate the bloodshed here" you stated exactly what the Arab extremists want. It goes back to their carefully thought out "Plan of Phases" adopted in 1974 at the 12th Session of the Palestinian National Council held in Cairo Egypt, where they envisioned a 3-step approach for the destruction for the State of Israel. As you probably know, after losing 3 wars which they initiated culminating in their terrible losses as a result of the Six Day War, the Arabs realized that they would have to find an alternative method for "liquidating Israel" which had always been their goal*.

One aspect of their "Plan of Phases" is to destroy Israel through world public opinion. By inflicting these horrific attacks in the heart of Israel, she has no alternative but to respond. Israel is caught in a dilemma. If she does nothing she is perceived as weak. If she retaliates with too much bloodshed (which is the goal of the terrorists) she is perceived as being the evil aggressor on the world stage of public opinion. By bombing the "empty metal workshops" Israel at least taking a stand, however "mild a punishment". However, by goading Israel with these attacks and "pushing her further to the right" as you indicate, the Arabs hope to enrage Israel into responding with a massive retaliatory attack in order to have the United Nations enter the fray and impose harsh consequences by reducing Israel into an ineffective indefensible diminished enterprise which will ultimately result in her demise - The Plan of Phases - or Doctrine of Stages if you prefer! THIS IS THEIR GOAL!

However, I take issue with you on a different point! It was "extremely relevant" that Palestinian officials be barred from attending the conference in London England. These officials ARE a major part of "the equation" together with the extremist groups in further developing their strategies in effecting the "Plan of Phases"! They are the brains behind much of the revisionism and they use these 'get-togethers' to further their plans. AS WELL, it was a political achievement to be invited by Tony Blair for ARABS ONLY - NO ISRAELIS ALLOWED! The Palestinians would have been receiving 'a reward' for their intransigence instead of having the ultimate consequence for their actions by not attending. Why should they participate in a major offense and then be allowed to carry on as if nothing happened? When your children act naughty do you still agree to take them out for ice cream?

And one other point! The 'Israeli army veteran' who was venting about destroying and massacring the Arabs after this horrendous attack was reacting in a normal fashion. For you to give him prime exposure merely heightens world opinion against Israel. People now will say "See the Israelis do hate the Arabs - they too want to massacre the Arabs - see there is equal violence and hate on each side"! This was not fair of CBC. There is a big difference between one person at the height of anxiety voicing his feelings and the actual committing of a heinous terrorist attack. There is a big difference between someone voicing anger and hate compared with the 'deliberate teaching of hate as part of a national public indoctrination plan'! You were negating the impact of the attack. You should have stopped at the end of his first sentence! You should have had someone saying, "Look what the Arab terrorists have done - sheer butchery - mangled bodies - look at this mass slaughter of human life - this is deliberate genocide!"

Yes Neil, you are on the right track but you have a long way to go! You are still playing into the Arab hands and spreading their propaganda.

You know Neil, you are paid by Canadians - Canada is against terrorism - the future well-being of your family rests on our Western Society being able to win the war against terrorism - perhaps it's time that you acknowledged that the 'men' who perpetrated and organized this attack are in reality, 'terrorists' and no other word is going to adequately define them. AND you are right, they are not interested in making "any kind of deal with Israel"! It's time for you to start eliminating the subtle unnecessary innuendoes against Israel!

Shirley Anne Haber

Now this is what I call a peace maker Achille Lauro hijack mastermind in Cairo for ceasefire talks
Do they serve bagels and lox in Mecca?A Muslim Trawls For Jewish Souls
Daniel Pipes gets blacklisted. Free speech (?) at American universities gives in to pressure groups Speech Down the Pipes

France strikes again

The country that has been the world's whore since the post-Napoleon Bonaparte era struck again this week when they decided not to recognize marriages conducted by Rabbis living in Judea and Samaria. No matter where the wedding is or was actually conducted, if the Rabbi is a resident of Judea and Samaria, the French reject the marriage.

In one recent case, Martine D., a Frenchwoman who converted to Judaism and married an Israeli in a ceremony in Jerusalem, approached the French Consulate to apply for a livret de famille, an official document which records the status and details of one's family members.

Martine's request was turned down, she was told, because the rabbi who performed the ceremony lives in Gush Etzion.

I've been to Gush Etzion, and it is a beautiful settlement surrounded by Arab villages who fire on them all the time. Apparently, according to the French, being targeted for murder disqualifies you from performing wedding ceremonies.

"The woman at the consulate told me that even though I was married in Jerusalem, the French government does not recognize it because the marriage certificate bears the signature and heading of a rabbi from Gush Etzion, which she said is occupied territory," Martine said.
First, it's liberated, not occupied. And second, I wonder whether France recognizes weddings performed by Syrians, who occupy Lebanon.

"They told me I must apply to the Ministry of the Interior in France to seek a special exemption. This is ridiculous. Why should it matter where the rabbi who oversaw the ceremony lives?"

A spokeswoman for the French Consulate confirmed that its policy is not to recognize marriage certificates issued by the Chief Rabbinate's local branches in Judea, Samaria, and the Gaza Strip.
They're also not too keen on Jewish weddings anywhere in the world. Which is why during World War II, the French started shipping Jews to the gas chambers before the Germans even asked.

"This is our policy and it is not new. France does not recognize such marriage certificates, because it is the location of the rabbinate issuing the certificate that matters."

Asked about the policy, Jerusalem Consul Jacques Yves Raimbault would say only that the woman in question should make an appointment to see him, and that he would review her file.
Something tells me that he won't recognize her marriage. Of course, recognition of marriage from France is in and of itself a ridiculous idea. The French are perhaps the most immoral people on earth. In any case, this should remind Jews to stay as far away from France as humanly possible.

Seems it is easy to be anti-American, but now much is changing because of immigration and its discontents. Europe migrates to the right
Another summary of Israeli editorials:


This one is noteworthy mostly not only because it is truthful and unbiased, but because it appears in a Lebanese paper. There is hope.

Militantism, says this piece, is central to Islam and not a minor branch.There is No Militant Islam
found via Gabrielle Goldwater's Reports
Blair enters Israel ban row

But see: Dr. Steven Plaut, Univ. of Haifa Dr. Plaut, a professor of Economics and Business, derides the British attitudes and reveals the hypocrisy at work.
Emigration of French Jews to Israel increased drastically last year in the wake of a string of attacks on members of the community. French Jews leave home for Israel
SOME ARABS HAVE THEIR OWN TIMETABLE FOR ISRAEL

President Bush and United Nations Secretary Kofi Annan may be pursuing their three-year timetable to establish a Palestinian state, but Hamas Sheik Ahmed Yassin has unveiled his personal 23-year schedule: Loosely translated, destroy Israel.

Yassin told Hamas supporters at a mass rally in Gaza City on Friday, Dec. 27, "Resistance will move forward, jihad will continue, and martyrdom operations will continue until the full liberation of Palestine. The Zionist entity will fall within the first quarter of this century."

He could very well have been talking about Israeli control of the territories...if you wish to stretch your imagination. I strongly doubt it.

Advocates on both sides of the Israeli crisis convey sharply different predictions as to whether an independent state existing beside Israel will be sufficient for the Palestinians.

Supporters of the Palestinians claim that they will be happy with their own state. Many Jews and other supporters of Israel contend that creation of a state will be one giant step toward driving all Jews into the sea.

I hope it is the former, but after the events of the last two years, I have too much difficulty believing that that will be the end of all serious hostilities.

Two facts are clear after following this crisis since violence erupted in late September 2000. First, a large number of Palestinians in Israel’s territories have made it clear that they want not only a state but also the destruction of Israel.

Likewise, a fair number of Palestinians are perfectly willing to live in peace with the Israelis, and some probably don‘t care whether they have their own state or live under Israeli rule, so long as they are treated fairly.

Unfortunately, it is impossible to quantify how many fit either category, which makes it all the harder to determine if the extremists can be controlled should a Palestinian state be established.

The zealots among them indoctrinate their children to hate Israel and train them to kill and to die if it will help kill infidels. Thousands of them danced in the streets after Sept. 11 attacks and following a suicide bombing at Hebrew University. Not only do they murder Israelis but also fellow Palestinians who might be considered collaborators – even when they can‘t prove it.

It’s obvious that peaceful Palestinians remain silent because they are terrorized by the fanatics.

Can anyone say with a straight face that fanatics like these will settle down if they get an independent state?

The likelihood is that a sizeable segment of the Palestinians won’t give it up. They might have far less support than they have now, but there will probably be enough extremists to cause Israel serious trouble.

Such a force is one of the most volatile factors in an extremely complicated situation which must be addressed to reach an accommodation. Anyone who denies this reality is, well, in denial - an attitude which benefits neither side.

Contributedf by BRUCE S. TICKER, Philadelphia, Brucetic@aol.com


RESPONSE FROM CANADIAN GOVERNMENT TO MY CRITICISM OF HIZBOLLAH NOT BEING A PROSCRIBED ORGANISATION


Dear Dr Bornstein,
Thank you for your e-mail of December 8, 2002. Please accept our apologies
for the delay in the response.
On December 10, 2002, the Canadian Government listed Hezbollah in its
entirety under the Canadian Criminal Code and the UN Suppression of
Terrorism Regulations. New information concerning Hezbollah, such as Sheikh
Nasrallah's November 29 speech, was a key factor in deciding to list
Hezbollah in its entirety.
Canada condemns in the strongest terms the horrific suicide bombings which
occurred in Tel Aviv on January 5. We offer our sincere condolences to the
victims and their families. After more than two years of bloodshed, the time
has come to regain the road to peace. We call on all parties to pursue
actions consistent with that goal.
In relation to your concerns regarding some Canadian campuses, they may
relate to a decision made by the Concordia University Student Union. We
suggest that you raise your concerns directly with the institution
concerned, keeping in mind that the decision by the Concordia Student Union
may now be before the courts. You may also find of interest the following
announcement by Concordia University about the decision
A . As well, we attach a
media clipping from the Globe and Mail which describes the events which lie
behind the decision (see below).
Mailing address:
Concordia University
1455 de Maisonneuve Blvd. W.
Montreal, Quebec H3G 1M8
Canada
Phone: 514.848.2424
a
ANNEX
Banned group taking campus union to court
By OLIVER MOORE
Globe and Mail Update
A Jewish student group banned from Concordia University is going to court to
have its status on campus reinstated and its funding restored.
Legal counsel for Concordia Hillel on Wednesday announced the details of
their case, which they say represents the first banning of a Jewish student
organization "since Austria in the '30s."
The group was banned by the Concordia Student Union (CSU) after a complaint
that pamphlets they were distributed included appeals for students to join
the Israel Defence Forces.
Canada's Foreign Enlistment Act makes it illegal for anyone in the country
to recruit or induce someone "to enlist or to accept any commission or
engagement in the armed forces of any foreign state or other armed forces
operating in that state." After voting 8-1 to ban Hillel, the CSU justified
the action by noting that it is legally liable for the actions of its
student clubs.
The CSU argues that the group broke federal law because it was recruiting
Canadians to join a foreign army, but Concordia Hillel co-president Noah
Joseph says that the pamphlets were just an excuse to crack down.
"It's very clear that that's a thinly veiled excuse," he told
globeandmail.com from Montreal. "We're basically their only political
opposition on campus, we're the only ones who oppose them in any of their
practices or policies and they've been looking for a way to get us out of
the way."
Concordia Hillel's lawyer said that the CSU had ignored a Monday deadline to
reinstate Hillel and that court documents are being prepared. A preliminary
hearing could be set as early as next, lawyer Michael Bergman told
globeandmail.com.
"The resolution banning the Hillel from Concordia is illegal, it is contrary
to the Charter of Human Rights, it is contrary to the Concordia Student
Union constitution and bylaws, it was adopted using an irregular and
improper procedure," he said.
"It is essentially a ban on the rights of Jewish students at Concordia to
the four fundamental freedoms: freedom of religion, freedom of speech,
freedom of association and freedom of assembly.
Representatives of the Concordia Student Union were not immediately
available for comment.
Mr. Joseph said that "only the courts" can solve the impasse, arguing that
"the CSU has continuously misbehaved and misused the power that it's granted
by the Ministry of Education."
Mr. Bergman said that only a public apology from the CSU could head off the
brewing legal battle.
"My client will not accept that, for the first time since World War Two, a
Jewish organization has been proscribed," he said. "The only possible way to
resolve this is through the unconditional withdrawal of the ban and an
appropriate apology, a recognition that what they did was wrong"
Concordia has been the site of several violent incidents between
pro-Palestinian and pro-Israeli factions. Chaos broke out Sept. 9 when
former Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu was scheduled to appear and
campus security officials were forced to stop his speech from going ahead.
The university responded by imposing a moratorium on Middle East debate that
was only recently lifted.
Sincerely,
Inge Rumble
Public Affairs Officer/Agent, Relations Publiques
Canadian High Commission/Haut-commissariat du Canada
Commonwealth Ave
Canberra ACT 2600 Australia
Tel + 61 (0)2 6270 4022
Fax+ 61 (0)2 6270 4083
Mobile 0417 212 634
inge.rumble@dfait-maeci.gc.ca
www.canada.org.au

Why one should oppose a second Palestinian-Arab state in Judea, Samaria and Gaza - Part 16 of 23

This piece continues a series of which the first 15 parts were posted on September 8, 9, 11, 17, 20, 22, 23; October 7, 24, 28, 29; November 6, and 26; and December 5, and 13, 2002. (Alternatively, the previous articles may be found in the IsraPundit archives as follows: September 8, 9, 11, 17, 20, 22, 23; October 7, 24, 28, 29; and November 6 and 26; and December 5, and 13, 2002). The object of the series is to provide a database that is not only reliable and well-documented but also one for which documents are easily accessible, preferably from web resources. The term "second Palestinian-Arab state" is used in order to underscore that one Palestinian-Arab state already exists: it's called Jordan, and it is located in that part of Eastern Palestine that was originally to have been part of the Jewish National Home.


16. The Palestinian Arabs in Judea, Samaria and Gaza (“Yesha”) lack the elements that permit the development of an economically viable sovereign state.

Table of contents:
(16.1) Introduction and definition
(16.2) Review of selected elements of “economic viability” as they apply to the Palestinian Arabs
(16.3) The historical record
(16.4) Implications

(16.1) Introduction and definition

To discuss the question as to whether a sovereign Palestinian-Arab state in Judea, Samaria and Gaza ("Yesha") has the potential of economic viability, one has to bear heavily on economics and related fields such as demography. Not only does such a discussion require a great deal of specialized expertise, but as a literature search on this question indicates, any thorough discussion would extend over many volumes. Complicating the discussion further is the fact that one should consider several scenarios for a hypothetical Palestinian-Arab state, such as free-trade agreement with Israel, customs union with Israel, and various models of foreign investment.

The space available here, even for a long article, can only permit the highlighting of a few basic points, starting with a working definition of what we mean by “economically viable”. Next, we’ll examine such elements as the geographic, demographic and infrastructure bases for the hypothetical state, and their implications vis a vis economic viability. Finally, this article will review the record of the PA on matters economic, the point being that the past may be an indicator of what might transpire if indeed a sovereign Palestinian-Arab state is ever created.

The discussion assumes that the nightmare scenario of the Quartet is realised, and a sovereign Palestinian-Arab state is created in Yesha, possibly with overland links between Gaza and Judea/Samaria through Israel. Under these conditions, given the current economic state of the Palestinian Arabs in Yesha, is an economically-viable sovereign state possible?

As a working definition of “economic viability” we borrow a statement from Leila Farsakh, who wrote as follows in an MIT article on the question we are examining:
It is generally understood that an economy is viable if it is able to use its human, financial and physical resources to grow, sustain itself and increase the welfare of the inhabitants living within its area.
[Cited from MIT Electronic Journal of Middle East Studies, Vol 1, pp. 43-57.]

Some of the factors that should be considered include: Work force/labour pool - quality and availability; industrial base; raw materials and natural resources, including energy resources; agriculture; financial infrastructure; commerce and trade; education and literacy; bureaucratic professionalism (speed of decision making); science and technology; transportation and communications; political stability.

Since it is impossible to cover all these aspects in any depth, we will deal with only the few that seem to us the most pertinent. Note that the vital issue of water was discussed separately in Part 15 of this series (Israpundit or Dawson Speaks).


(16.2) Review of selected elements of “economic viability” as they apply to the Palestinian Arabs

The emphasis in the definition of economic viability, as given above, should be on the words “sustain itself”, for with an endless infusion of financial support and capital, even a basket case may be rendered “economic viable”. But experience shows that the Palestinian Arabs cannot rely on such fairytale support even if their Arab cousins are rolling in petro-dollars. The Arab countries have done precious little to resolve the poverty of their own people, so much so that Egypt now depends on an annual US grant of US$2 bil.

Therefore, one has to judge whether under real-life conditions it is possible for capital to flow into the hypothetical Palestinian so as to create an economy that can “sustain itself”.

To assess the economic viability of a sovereign Palestinian-Arab state in Yesha, let us begin with a very brief review of the area and its population.

Land-locked Judea and Samaria are the size of Delaware, while Gaza is twice the size of Washington DC with a 220 km coastline, but with no port to speak of in the west. The highlands of Judea and Samaria “are main recharge area for Israel's coastal aquifers”. The area has no mineral resources worthy of being mentioned and the industrial basis is virtually non-existent.

The Palestinian-Arab population of Judea and Samaria is 2.2 million, and that of Gaza, 1.2 million, for a total of 3.4 million. The growth rates are, respectively, 3.4 and 4.0 - an international record. These figures imply that just to keep the population from falling behind, the economy of Judea, Samaria and Gaza must grow by at least 3.6% annually. Making this goal virtually impossible is the child dependency ratio (population 0-14 / population 15-64 - a common socio-demographic indicator), which is 0.85 and 1.04, respectively. The latter figure means that Gaza has more children 0-14 than adults 15-64. By comparison, Israel’s child dependency ratio is 0.43. This socio-demographic indicator alone should flash red alert lights in the hallowed offices of the Quartet.

We turn now to other factors that affect economic viability, as listed in Section 16.1 above. Describing some elements of the infrastructure of the Palestinian Arabs in Yesha at the end of the 1990's, Prof. Karen Pfeifer (a professor of economics at Smith College) notes:
For every 13 kilowatts of electricity used by Palestinians, Israelis use 82. Palestinians have 3.1 phones for every 100 people; Israelis have 37. Palestinians have 80 meters of paved roads per 100 people; Israelis have 266. All Israeli households have indoor plumbing, as compared to 25% of Palestinians. Israeli electric power systems fail just 4% of the time, while Palestinian systems fail 30% of the time.
I should emphasize here that Prof Pfeifer wrote one of the usual academic anti-Israeli rants, dripping with vile accusations against Israel, and the data she quoted are designed to highlight how “bad” the Israelis are; we can nonetheless use her statistics to make the point that the Palestinian Arabs have no infrastructure to support economic viability.

Another vital element in the context of economic development concerns banking and the legislation that goes with it. Here is Pfeifer’s admission on this score:

After 1993, banks were again allowed to set up shop in WBG [West Bank and Gaza] and accept deposits. But few of these are locally owned, and, due to lack of deposit insurance and regulatory oversight, they have been unwilling to lend to finance new investment in productive activity in Palestine.
In an article published in 1996, way before Arafat’s Intifada destroyed the economy of the Palestinian Arabs entirely, Aaron Segal assessed the economic viability of a Palestinian-Arab state in an article published in the Middle East Forum. Segal’s assessment does not differ in tenor from that of Prof. Pfeifer but his analysis is much more detailed Here are selected passages:
An independent Palestine is not likely to enjoy economic growth greater than its very high rate of population increase (currently 3.7 percent yearly). Recent years have seen negative growth, negligible savings and investments, and massive deficits in balance of payments, trade, and the budget. Unemployment and underemployment rates are not just extremely high but are worsening as Israel replaces Palestinian day workers with labor from such countries as Romania and Thailand. The few potential growth sectors (tourism, domestic light industry, and agriculture for foodstuffs and exports) all suffer severe external and internal constraints owing to shortages of investment capital, human resources, and markets. Government institutions are a poor bet to operate the electric, postal, telephone, and other services.

As of late 1996, the future Palestine still lacks its own currency, central bank, and effective taxing authority; nor are these likely to emerge soon. The Palestinian Monetary Authority has no reserves and lacks the powers of a central bank. At present, for example, most tax income derives from transfers by the Israeli authorities. There is little likelihood for replacing tax transfers from Israel and declining remittances from Palestinian migrant workers with local tax sources.

Palestine would start out with minimal foreign-exchange reserves, revenue, or ability to borrow or to service debts. Most banks are branches of Israeli and Jordanian corporations, with limited lending capabilities, and are likely to remain that way. The independent state will depend for many years on grants and low-interest loans with extended grace periods. High political and economic risks render foreign direct investment and diaspora capital flows unlikely. Instead, diaspora and migrant-worker remittances will flow directly to households, where they will be used mostly for consumption, not investment. Changing the savings-investment ratio will be critical for the new state.

Inadequate physical infrastructure aggravates the acute lack of capital. Palestine will likely lack a fully operational international airport or commercial port, and have deficiencies in electricity, phones, potable water, and other services. Although some of these services are in the planning stage, implementation is weak. The lack of administrative capabilities to provide these and other services is a most serious problem; state-owned corporations probably cannot productively absorb increased capital flows.

Since September 1993, donors have pledged nearly $1.4 billion but the PA continues to be a major restraint on absorbing donor aid, for too much of it has gone to pay the salaries of a bloated and patronage-based civil service and police. In 1996, the Palestinian police numbers eighteen thousand and the civil service thirty thousand; moreover, with average monthly salaries of $475 and $530, respectively, these employees enjoy an income more than two times the Palestinian average.

Despite the use of aid for recurrent expenditures rather than investment, the PA itself is unable to expand most of the basic social services, such as health and education, for a growing population. The budget deficit combines with the constraints on borrowing to absorb most social-services expenditures in salaries and maintenance. Any expansion of educational and medical services has to compete with external aid for infrastructure. Donors are more and more inclined toward paying for projects rather than salaries. The United Nations Relief and Works Administration (UNRWA) continues to provide health and education services for the nearly 10 percent of Palestinians who remain in refugee camps. The major educational bottleneck is the lack of secondary, technical, and vocational institutions, leaving primary-school graduates with nowhere to go.
...
A lack of appropriate institutions presents another obstacle to economic growth. Few multinational corporations are present; local businesses consist primarily of small-scale firms with limited capital and technical capacity. Research and development is minimal, even in the seven universities of the West Bank and Gaza. The diaspora too is characterized by small-scale trading firms.

The growing gap in income and opportunity between the richer West Bank and poorer Gaza also creates problems. For 1992, the World Bank reported $1,150 in per capita income for the Gaza Strip and $2,500 for the West Bank. Unemployment and underemployment reaches 40 percent in Gaza versus a mere 20 percent in the West Bank. Gaza is over-urbanized, lacking in arable land and water, and ridden with infrastructure deficiencies. Lacking almost all other exports, Gaza for a decade or more must depend disproportionately on the earnings of migrant workers in Israel -- even as its workers are increasingly denied access to Israel, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and much of the Gulf. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has concluded about Gaza that "the prospects for a marked improvement in employment, the fiscal balance, private sector investment and real per capita consumption are limited." It and the World Bank recommend a strategy that "is outward-looking, led by the private sector, and able to promote sizable nondebt-creating private capital inflows for investment in productive, labor-intensive activities."

In all, Palestine is likely to be a highly dependent, slow-growth state unable to respond to the expectations of its inhabitants. The West Bank is likely to grow modestly while Gaza lags. If donor support falters, economic stagnation or even negative growth may result. It is difficult to develop a scenario in which sustained economic growth stays significantly ahead of population increase.
And all this was said before the Palestinian Arabs destroyed the weak economic basis they had by starting the Intifada of mid-2000. Bearing these facts in mind, one can appreciate the conclusion drawn by Neill Lochery (director of the Centre for Israeli Studies at University College in London) in his June, 2002 article:
Economically speaking, a Palestinian state is not viable either. There would be an over-reliance on international aid from Arab and European Union countries -- dangerous given that much of what was promised in the past never arrived. The business sector has not developed as was hoped back in 1993. The majority of successful Palestinian entrepreneurs live outside the boundaries of the proposed state and have shown little inclination to invest in the Palestinian Authority, preferring markets where there is a stronger chance of financial return. Put simply, they continue to invest in global markets for business and not nationalist reasons, and there is little sign this would change with the creation of a state. Consequently, many Palestinian families would become increasingly reliant on one or more members of the family working in Israel or in Kuwait. In these circumstances, it is difficult to see how a state could raise enough taxes to pay for even the most basic services for its citizens.

What one should emphasize here is that this situation cannot be remedied by some magic wand; if at all possible, it might take decades to reverse the current situation and trends. Until then, there is no point in talking about a sovereign Palestinian-Arab state, unless one is eager to see the immediate demise of Israel. To reinforces this point, the following Section 16.3 reviews of what Arafat and his henchmen have wrought over the last decade.


(16.3) The historical record

This Section reviews what the PA has achieved in economic terms since the 1993 Oslo agreements.

The Paris Economic Protocols, which constituted part of the 1995 Interim agreement between Israel and the Palestinian Arabs, established the economic scope of the PA, allowing as follows (quoted from the foregoing MIT article by Leila Farsakh):

The Economic Protocol binds the WBGS [West Band and Gaza Strip] in a custom union with Israel, which allows for the free movement of capital and goods except for a list of agricultural goods to be phased out by the year 1998. Free movements of labor flows between the two economies are not guaranteed, but the economy of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip is allowed to trade directly with Arab and foreign countries for a limited list of goods. Moreover, the CU [customs union] gives the Palestinians the right to decide on their economic priorities, to determine the nature of their employment, industrial and agricultural policies, as well as to impose tax and to invest in areas under its control. It also gives the Palestinians limited leeway in monetary and trade policy... Israel, though, accepted to remit to the Palestinian economy VAT and custom taxes collected on goods specifically destined to the WBGS, something it never did before 1994...This mechanism consists basically of keeping the WBGS integrated with Israel through a custom union while at the same time giving the Palestinians the right to run their domestic affairs and time to improve their non-territorial economic base. It also gives the Palestinians the right to trade in limited goods and quantities with third countries, thereby allowing them to reduce their dependence on Israel. At the same time, by keeping the link to Israel, the CU enables the WBGS to benefit from trade with a neighboring strong economy.
Leila Frasakh is one of the many virulent anti-Israeli writers and quoting from her (and similar anti-Israeli writers) to corroborate our argument should at least obviate the accusation of quoting writers who are biassed in favour of Israel.

Clearly, the Economic Protocol enabled the PA to use the Oslo agreement to create a strong (if not viable) economy, but the reality shows that the PA preferred to use this framework for corrupted self-enrichment, for shackling the population to the PA and, ultimately, for the total destruction of the economy. Just as significant is the fact that the PA squandered the financial goodwill that the “international community” extended. In addition to what we have already quoted, Leila Farsakh documents:

Between 1994-1999, the international community pledged a total of $3.4billion for a total of 2.8 million Palestinians.
But none of this was utilized to create anything akin to a strong economy.

In 1996, three years into the reign of Arafat and his PA, Gerald Steinberg observed in an aricle entitled, The case against a Palestinian State:

After three years, we cannot find any evidence that the Palestinian leadership can create a viable economic foundation. The per capita GNP in Gaza is approximately $1000 and has declined under Palestinian control, while the very high jobless rate increased. The hundreds of millions of dollars in foreign aid that have already been transferred have disappeared without accountability, and without any significant new investment in infrastructure or job producing industry. As a result, many foreign donors have stopped providing funds, as there is no evidence that the money is being used for the purposes for which it was intended - namely to provide a foundation for economic development and stability in the areas under Palestinian control.
In reviewing the economic mess created by the PA, the standard Palestinian and Arab line of blaming Israel for all the ills in the universe has even less credibility than the Palestinian/Arab average. Here’s what transpired well before the Intifada, according to Leila Farsakh (remeber - this is the virulent anti-Israeli prof writing in an MIT publication):
[D]espite all expectations, the economic situation in the WBGS deteriorated. Just as alarming has been the fact that the two parts of the Palestinian economy, i.e. the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, have further disintegrated rather than integrated. To begin with, per capita income fell by 17% between 1994-1996, while the percentage of people living in poverty increased to 40% in the Gaza Strip and 11% in the West Bank in 1997. Unemployment soured [sic], reaching levels as high as 39% in Gaza in 1996 and 24% in the West Bank . Although it fell to less than 11% in WBGS in 2000, it remains today a major problem, particularly for the inhabitants of the Gaza Strip. While, on average 30,000 new domestic jobs were created per year between 1995-1999, this increase remains insufficient to absorb a rapidly growing population. The Palestinian labor force is presently growing at an annual rate of over 40,000 new persons and has, on average, 70,000-120,000 workers employed annually in Israel since 1995... The Palestinian economy also failed to rely on trade as a vehicle for growth. The actual size of exports fell by 30% between 1994-1996. At the same time, Israel has continued to absorb 96% of all the WBGS exports,
The one area where the Palestinian Arab economy showed growth is the public sector, reflecting Arafat’s attempts to have as many of his people as possible dependent on the PA for employment, thus securing their loyalty. Quoting Leila Farsakh again:

Still in 2000, the Public sector today absorbs more than 24% of all employed in the domestic economy in the Gaza Strip and around 15% of the labor force in West Bank. These jobs are not always productive, though, given that they are mainly concentrated in the police and security services...

[T]he large size of the public sector raises key questions around the economic survival of the public sector and the efficient use of resources. While the public sector eases unemployment in the short run, it also increases bureaucratic hassles and decreases service efficiency.
As to encouraging investment and fostering economic development, Leila Farsakh describes some of the steps taken by the PA - all of which, especially the PA’s “investment law”, amount to zero:
[T]he investment law has been criticized for being directed to foreign investors who will not come given the instability of the economic and political situation. It is also ill suited to encourage domestic investment of small and medium firms. Moreover, the PNA's policy of controlling trade licensing is giving rise to monopolistic practices that are counter-productive. Today, a limited class of PA-affiliated companies and individuals are monopolizing rent and benefits from trade links to Israel. The Palestinian Commercial Service Company (PCSC), fully owned by the PA, holds majority shares in the 34 major Palestinian companies. In 1999, the PCSC held assets totaling $345 million, the equivalent of eight percent of total GDP.
And then there is the corruption angle, to which even Prof Farsakh admits:
On the other hand, corruption scandals within the PNA reveal a loss of resources, whilst the failure of the judiciary to assert itself as a workable and independent system suggests that more needs to be done to improve performance in the Palestinian economy. Without a transparent and legally protected economic environment, investments will not flow nor be effective.
On this very topic, Gerald Steinberg elaborates in the article quoted avove:
Corruption is a major problem. For decades, the PLO has built up foreign currency reserves and created a major corporate empire. In 1993, the British National Criminal Intelligence Service estimated that the PLO had worldwide assets of $10 billion, with an annual income of up to $2 billion. With millions of Palestinians living in poverty, one would expect these assets to be used for national development rather than personal gain.

The Palestinian economy is managed, as one analyst reported, "out of Arafat's hip pocket," without separation of personal funds, party or state accounts. The Washington Post revealed that Arafat maintains a former wife, Yassin, in an opulent villa in Tunis. PLO sources report that "she received from him great wealth. The jewels she has would be enough to build all Gaza anew". Calls from the donor states and the IMF for a proper system of accountability have been ignored. Investment laws have not been enacted, and the bloated bureaucracy is maddening. As a result, foreign investment is close to zero. The surrounding Arab states, including Kuwait and Saudi Arabia are reluctant to contribute, and even under intense American pressure, account for less than 5 percent of total external aid and investment. Even Palestinian investors have stood on the sidelines. Plans for industrial parks and cooperative factories at the intersection of Israel and Gaza, that were expected to provided thousands of jobs to Palestinians, were dropped when Palestinian officials blocked Israeli participation and insisted that the import of materials await the construction of a port in Gaza (an economic mega project which is motivated by personal and political factors). Other mega projects, such as Arafat's reinforced command centre, built in the Saddam Hussein style, vast villas on the Gaza coast, an airport that may never open, and an airline that may never get off the ground, are attempts to buy prestige, not an improved standard of living.
Anyone who believes that the problems outlined above can be rectified one way or another, so as to render a Palestinian-Arab state economically viable, should note how entrenched and endemic the problem is. To corroborate this point we only need to quote from Edward Said, yet another one of the most virulent anti-Israeli writers in the US.
He [Arafat] has an enormous and unproductive bureaucracy. According to the World Bank, he employs in the bureaucracy about 80,000 people, which we don’t need at all. I mean, it’s totally unproductive. But if you add up the security forces and the bureaucracy and multiply them by seven or eight, which is the number of dependents of each person he employs, you’ll find that he, in effect, employs about 700,000 or 800,000 people. And that’s where his support comes from. People who are indebted to him...
(Quoted from p. 433 of:
Said, Edward W. Power Politics and Culture. New York: Pantheon Books, 2001.)

Or, from another opus magnum of Said’s:
A few weeks ago the Guardian's senior correspondent, David Hirst, a lifelong sympathizer with the Palestinian tragedy and a first-rate reporter who has devoted his life to living in and writing about the Arab world, wrote a devastating report entitled "Shameless in Gaza" in the Guardian on "the open corruption of the Palestinian Authority." He described the enormously ostentatious and expensive villas being built on the coast by Abu Mazen and Um Jihad, the company called "al-Bahr" which, true to its name (the sea), swallows up property and businesses for Mr. Arafat's interests, the nightclubs, the luxurious limousines, the commercial abuses of various high officials, all of them going on at a time of huge unemployment in Gaza, the protracted misery of the thousands of camp dwellers, the total paralysis of the Palestinian economy and the complete breakdown in any sort of advance in Palestinian rights.
...
The really serious theft is the system of monopolies operated by Arafat and his cronies, including his ministers, their children, wives, uncles, and aunts. There are now monopolies on wheat, cement, petroleum, wood, gravel, cigarettes, cars, gasoline, cattle feed, and a few other commodities; all these compel the ordinary citizen to pay inflated prices several times greater than the price under direct Israeli occupation. Thus a ton of cattle feed used to be ~zo dinars; it is now 3oo dinars. No one knows exactly how much money is made in this way, nor who gets it, or how it is spent. There are no laws for companies or investments, and consequently no requirement to register companies nor to hold bidding competitions and offer tenders.

(Quoted from p. 178-180 of: Edward W. Said. The end of the peace process. NY: Pantheon Books, 2000.

Arafat displayed one of the most amazing feats of economic mismanagement when he attended the Davos conference in January 2001. The conference was supposed to have been a demonstration of co-operation between Arafat and Peres, so as to encourage investors to send their capital flows towards Arafat’s Yesha. In an article entitled, Sharon, Arafat and Mao , 8 February 2001, Thomas Friedman describes what transpired:
Mr. Peres did extend the olive branch, as planned, but Mr. Arafat torched it. Reading in Arabic from a prepared text, Mr. Arafat denounced Israel for its "fascist military aggression" and "colonialist armed expansionism," and its policies of "murder, persecution, assassination,
destruction and devastation."
That was the end of Davos-generated investment for the PA. (The entire speech is available on the web at the Palestinian-Arab site, Palestine Affairs Council. It is a masterpiece of self-destruction.)

Summarizing the economic situation created by the PA, Gerald Steinberg opined:
Since the PNA was established in Gaza and Jericho in 1994, its performance has shown all the characteristics of a failed state, including corruption, economic failure, nepotism, intimidation, systematic police violence and torture.


(16.4) Implications

What are the implications of a non-viable sovereign Palestinian-Arab state? I would suggest that such a state is a danger to the region, and particularly to Israel, for at least two reasons. First, at any point such a state might fall prey to an extremist regime such as Iran’s, which will be only to happy to purchase the loyalty of the Palestinian-Arabs for an appropriate amount of petrodollars.

Second, such a state will harbour a substantial underclass of people liable to destabilize the Palestinian regime, which in turn will adopt irridentism for diverting the attention of the masses, and in this case, irridentist claims can only mean the destruction of Israel.

And this is what the Quartet in its infinite wisdom is attempting to achieve.

Neville Chamberlain's heirs are about to bring about Holocaust II, this time with US approval. Let us not sit idle while this happens!

Contributed by Joseph Alexander Norland. This piece is cross-posted on IsraPundit and Dawson Speaks.

January 06, 2003

Useless idiot

Here we have David Newman, a professor at the Ben Gurion University in Israel, writing an op-ed piece for the New York Times in which he (predictably) disses Israeli democracy for kicking two Arabs terrorists out of the Knesset. Let's analyze.

BEERSHEBA, Israel
Even amid conflict, Israelis have always applauded themselves for allowing anyone to run for office — including those who reject the very raison d'être of a Jewish state.
Which is why there has been consistent war with the Arabs for 50-odd years. Jews are tolerant even of those who wish to murder them.

Only rarely has a political party been banned from the elections, the most notable being Kach, the extreme rightist anti-Arab party founded by Meir Kahane.

But now, with a round of Knesset elections three weeks away, Israel has much less reason for pride. While Mr. Kahane's successor, Baruch Marzel, was allowed to run for office as the No. 2 candidate for another extreme rightist party, the two most prominent Arab legislators in the outgoing Knesset, Ahmed Tibi and Azmi Bishara, were barred by the Central Election Committee last week.

First Newman applaudes the ban on Rabbi Kahane, who had a legitimate perspective on the question of Israeli security and existence as a Jewish state. Now he says that it's a disgrace that Rabbi Kahane's successor is allowed to run, while terrorists like Tibi and Bishara are not.

The committee, composed of representatives of the parties that have Knesset seats and two neutral members (both of whom opposed the decision), described Mr. Tibi and Mr. Bishara as consistently expressing opposition to the existence of a Jewish state (as contrasted with a state of "all its citizens" in which everyone is equal, Jew or Arab). Under Israeli law, such opposition bars a person's candidacy. Mr. Bishara was also accused of supporting armed resistance in the occupied territories, an accusation he denied.
Whether or not he denies it, he does it. Arafat denies terrorism every day, but he's still a murderous monster.

Mr. Marzel, whose candidacy was in danger because of his association with the banned Kach, could run, the committee members decided, because he had assured them that he no longer held to the racist policies of Kach — even though he is often shown on television promoting "transfer," a code word for the expulsion of the Palestinians from the West Bank and Gaza.
Here is Newman's real point -- he's unwilling to do what it takes to secure Jewish lives, so he wants Marzel banned. Not only is he a chicken, he's a slimebucket if he wants Tibi and Bishara, who support the slaughter of Israelis, to maintain their seats in Knesset.

The final decision on Mr. Tibi's and Mr. Bishara's candidacies now rests with the Supreme Court, which is scheduled to hear the candidates' appeals tomorrow. But even if the court overturns the ban, Israeli Arab voters' faith in the election system has been broken.
What a tragedy. Israeli Arabs, who overwhelmingly support the Palestinian Authority and the Intifada, aren't happy with Israeli democracy. If they don't get to elect leaders who want to bomb the hell out of Israel, then they'll be mad. Oh darn.

The message could not be clearer: if you are a Jewish extremist, you can go on the campaign trail. But if you belong to the Arab minority and do not openly toe the government line, you cannot be part of the election game.
"Do not openly toe the government line"? That's the understatement of the century. Bishara and Tibi fund terror, openly support terror, and claim that Hizbollah and Hamas terrorism are the first steps toward the "total liberation" of "Palestine." In the US, these people would be called traitors. In Israel, they're called Knesset members.

In the elections held for prime minister just two years ago, one factor in the defeat of Prime Minister Ehud Barak was the Arab minority's boycott of the polls.
That was the first time in Israeli history that Arabs didn't vote Labor. That's the real reason Labor opposes transfer -- if the Israeli Arabs were to go, Labor would lose its electoral majority power.

This was seen by most political commentators as a dangerous step toward voluntary disenfranchisement of 20 percent of the country.
Voluntary disenfranchisement? So they didn't want to vote because Barak was bombing Ramallah every so often and blowing up worthless buildings. This is a "dangerous step"?

Arab politicians have worked hard to convince their constituents that the way to achieve greater economic and social equality — and to realize the goal of a state for their Palestinian cousins — is by engaging in the political process.
This is truly unbelievable. Tibi and Bishara used the political process as a Trojan horse. They weren't pressing for Israeli democracy, but for the murder of Jews and the implementation of a "Palestine" from the river to the sea. These parties should have been made illegal a long time ago.

But such efforts may now have been in vain. With their two most outspoken representatives banned, Israeli Arabs are saying that once again, they will stay away from the polls.
Good, let them stay away from the polls forever. Because what will Newman say when the Arabs are a majority in Israel, and decide to vote in a Shari'a government?

Even if the Supreme Court allows Mr. Tibi and Mr. Bishara to run, Israeli Arabs will remain reluctant to vote, because the message of the election committee has been heard loud and clear in Arab towns and villages.
I weep for them.

Who can blame them? No Israeli prime minister has ever given leaders of the Arab parties significant positions of power. The argument used to justify the exclusion has been that cabinet discussions are too sensitive to include representatives with Palestinian sympathies.
Sounds like a pretty solid argument, considering that the Israeli Arabs in general hate the state of Israel.

The ban on Mr. Tibi and Mr. Bishara demonstrates that it is only a short step from excluding parties from the cabinet to excluding their representatives altogether. By not protesting this exclusion from government positions, we have paved the way for the more extreme antidemocracy measures last week. No matter the decision of the Supreme Court tomorrow, the damage to Israeli democracy has been done.
The decision of the Israeli government to ban Tibi and Bishara was a triumph. Tibi and Bishara are evil Islamofascists. They have no place in Israel, let alone in Knesset.

[Note: This post is cross-posted at Israpundit and Ben Shapiro Online.]



Victimological Accounting

Max Boot's latest, fine article for The Weekly Standard, which explores the various manipulations of the Palestinian cause, provides some revelatory economic analysis of the conflict:

More than 1.1 million Palestinians are jammed into 59 refugee camps whose support comes mainly from the United Nations Relief and Works Agency and other international bodies. As former U.S. ambassador to Morocco Marc Ginsberg points out, all the Arab states combined donate less than $7 million to UNRWA, just 2.4 percent of its $290 million budget. (Kuwait, Egypt, Libya, Oman, Qatar, Iraq, and the United Arab Emirates collectively contribute a grand total of zero.) By contrast, the Great Satan forks over $110 million, or 38 percent of UNRWA's budget. The Arabs prefer to spend their money to support Palestinian suicide bombers."
This further delegitimizes the ubiquitous Funding Canard, which states that America disproportionately funds Israel in relation to other Middle Eastern states (e.g., Egypt's $2 billion per annum), and more pointedly the Palestinians themselves. (For a further rebuttal to the latter claim, click here.)

I wonder if Thomas Stauffer factored American funding of the UNRWA camps into his recent upping of the ante.

Crossposted at Fightin' with Grabes.

The British lion gets a punch in the nose: three cheers, Israel

It’s too good to be true but it’s still a joy to read.

Ha’Aretz has just reported:
Britain has suspended preparations for a conference on Palestinian Authority reforms that had been scheduled for January 13 and 14 in London. The cancellation apparently derives from an assessment that the chances of Israel approving the departure of PA officials to the event are next to nil...
British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw... criticized Israel's decision not to allow the departure of Palestinian officials.
Three cheers, Israel! And as for Jack Straw, he is, after all the heir to Ernest Bevin, that other foreign minister from the Labour Party, is he not?

Contributed by Joseph Alexander Norland This piece is cross-posted on IsraPundit and Dawson Speaks.

If you have not read this before, read it. If you have, it bears re-reading - Oriana Fallaci on Antisemitism

[...]I have often had disagreements with the Israelis, ugly ones, and in the past I have defended the Palestinians a great deal. Maybe more than they deserved. But I stand with Israel, I stand with the Jews. I stand just as I stood as a young girl during the time when I fought with them, and when the Anna Marias were shot. I defend their right to exist, to defend themselves, to not let themselves be exterminated a second time. And disgusted by the antisemitism of many Italians, of many Europeans, I am ashamed of this shame that dishonors my Country and Europe. At best, it is not a community of States, but a pit of Pontius Pilates. And even if all the inhabitants of this planet were to think otherwise, I would continue to think so.
DEBKA Headline
Amid exchanges of fire, large IDF force enters Central Gaza Strip refugee camps Deir el Balah and Moazi after Monday midnight
How the American military will use skills learned from Israelis to fight in Iraq
Road to Baghdad Goes Through Tel Aviv

More than one way to lose accreditation Israel closes three Palestinian universities

A C T I O N !

The following was e-mailed to me by Mike Diamond. Let's join in - it just takes a minute or two (your milage may vary, however).

Please sign the petition to support the following motion at ContreLeBoycott.

The primary content of the motion is printed below but you must go to the site to vote.

This deals with the entirely inappropriate boycotting by various universities in Europe of Israeli academics and universities.

AGAINST A SENSELESS BOYCOTT


The motion approved on December 16, 2002 by a vote by the Administrative Council of Pierre and Marie Curie University (University of Paris 6) on a matter which was not originally on the agenda and was discussed at the end of the session when only 33 members out of the 60 were still present, received 22 votes. This decision of the Administrative Council of Paris VI appeals to the European Union not to renew a framework agreement for university-level scientific exchanges with Israel and is both totally unwarranted and counter-productive for those who truly wish to work for peace.

Why should Israeli university faculty be excluded?
Are they responsible for the situation of their Palestinian colleagues?
Should we agree to ban faculty simply on the basis of their nationality?
Isn't stigmatizing them in the name of democracy and human rights adopting a manichean vision?
What state or democratic body -- recognized as such by the international community -- has ever raised doubts as to the democratic nature of the State of Israel?

All violations of human rights should always be denounced. Yet, to be legitimate, denunciations should apply to all sides in a conflict.
[Truncated; please see full text at the link given above].


Here's how Yasser Arafat combats terrorism:
Israel Radio reported this morning that Yasser Arafat's security forces moved swiftly in the Gaza Strip, arresting the Al Jazira Gaza correspondent who forwarded an announcement by Yasser Arafat's Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades (the illegal military wing of Yasser Arafat's Fatah movement) to his station taking credit for the Sunday Tel Aviv bombing that murdered 23.
...by arresting journalists who make him look bad.

"Children" being killed by Israel?

More and more the international media have been reporting on "boys" that are killed by the IDF, leading viewers to believe that Israeli soldiers are targeting children.

Nothing can be further from the truth. What is happening, is that Palestinian terrorist organizations are recruiting children from 8-15 to become suicide bombers and terrorists. Below are articles from the IDF spokesman and from Palestinian sources that reveal this to be the situation.

Where is/are U.N. organizations for the rights of children? Why aren't they taking these children from their parents and protecting them from death and exploitation?

Naomi Ragen



Criticism against sending Palestinian children to carry out terrorist attacks
IDF Spokesperson 6 January 2003


Three Palestinian children attempted to infiltrate the Israeli community Eli Sinai in the northern Gaza Strip, 1 Jan. 2003, in order to carry out a terrorist attack with knifes they had in their possession.

The three children, 14-year old Muhammad Dawas, 15-year old Tarek Dawas and 13-year old Jihad Abed, were identified by an IDF force which fired towards them and killed the three while preventing an additional terrorist attack against Israeli civilians.

This is not the first case in which terrorist organizations have dispatched Palestinian children to carry out terrorist attacks.

24 April 2002 - Three Palestinian children (Issmayeil Abu Nadi, Anwar Hamdona and Yusuf Zakut) were armed with knives and pipe bombs, when they attempted to infiltrate the Israeli community of Netzarim, located in the central Gaza Strip. An IDF force positioned in the community identified the attempted attack, and shot and killed the erpetrators.

30 December 2001 - Three children (Ahmed Banat, Muhammad Madhun, and Muhammad Labad) attempted to infiltrate the Israeli community of Dugit, in the northern Gaza Strip, in order to kill Israelis by stabbing them with their knives. An IDF force prevented the terrorist attack when they shot and killed them.

The phenomenon of Palestinian children being sent to carry out terrorist attacks has stirred a debate amongst Palestinians.

"The Fatah movement officially released an announcement on 2 Jan. 2003, against Palestinian terrorist organizations sending children to carry out terrorist attacks. In the announcement, the Fatah movement accuses, "the disrespect and the game with the fate [of the children], and the ease in which their blood [of the children] is used for the narrow party interests."

"Dr. Suna Abu Daka, head of the Psychology Department of the Islamic University in Gaza, stated in an interview with a journalist on 3 Jan. 2003, that, 'The [Palestinian] family must educate its children about the significance of suicide attacks, its importance, its significance and to explain to them when they are ready to be capable to carry out terrorist attacks. Moreover, it's the responsibility [of the Palestinian families] to protect their children until strong and they can have the capability to make decisions on their own [regarding perpetrating terrorist attacks].' She stressed that terrorist organizations play an important role in the subject."

It is important to note, that the deputy of Yassir Arafat in the PLO, Muhmud Abbas (Abu Mazen), claimed in an interview with the Jordanian newspaper A-Rai on 20 June 2002, that Palestinian terrorist organizations give children five Israeli Shekels (NIS) in order to hurl explosive devices towards IDF soldiers. As a result, 40 Palestinian hildren have become amputees.

Sources:
(1) IDF
(2) IslamOnLine

Sharia law 'Gang rape' victim faces jail on adultery charges


A businesswoman who accused three men of gang rape has been arrested in Dubai and faces trial on charges of adultery.

Touria Tiouli, 39, from Limoges, in France, has had her passport confiscated and cannot leave Dubai after being charged under the emirate's Sharia law.

This declares any sexual relationship outside marriage to be illegal.

Mme Tiouli was on a business trip last October when, she alleges, she was raped by three men who offered her a lift home from a nightclub.

She reported the attack immediately to the Dubai police, who after investigating her claim arrested her rather than those she accused.
[more]
The WSJ Opinion Journal notes that at least she will not be stoned to death.
Just in case you're still confused about their real goals...

Just in case you're still confused about the goals of Hamas, Fatah, PFLP, Islamic Jihad, Al Aqsa, Hezbollah, and every Islamic nation (including Canada) that funds their operations under the guise of charitable works:

ARABIC NEWS: Two Palestinian operations in Tel Aviv result in killing 23 Israelis, wounding 80

Two Palestinians yesterday carried out two operations near a coach station in the downtown of Tel Aviv that resulted in killing 23 Israeli settlers and wounding other 80, seven of them in a critical health condition.

Let's look at that one sentence closely, shall we? We've heard time and time again that Hamas, et al., all want the "occupied" territories freed from Israel. When it comes to their "operations' they consider settlers to be legitimate military targets.

In this article, the Arabic News reports the victims as "settlers." The attack took place in Tel Aviv in the State of Israel proper.

Do the math.

It becomes patently obvious that this cheering piece of Islamic press garbage considers Israel to be nothing more than one gigantic settlement, and they want nothing less than every single Israeli dead and cleared out through "operations" like these. It's not just the terrorist proper who want Israel destroyed, but a lot of the so-called moderate institutions like the Arabic/Islamic media. Anybody who tells you otherwise is just providing cover for their true intentions, either as part of the "operations" or as a useful idiot appeaser.

Print that article and keep it handy. If you find yourself faced with such individuals who act as apologists, pull it out and help them do the math, too.

The West must get ready to rumble.

The Really Big Picture

One cannot begin to address the question of borders separating Israel from the state in waiting or for that matter whether the creation of a second Palestinian state is a good or workable idea, without first deciding whether such a state will be used as a stepping stone to the destruction of Israel. Slowly but surely the word is getting out that that is what this conflict is all about. No solution is a solution unless it is crafted to effectively ensure Israel’s survival.

Unfortunately the US has not yet come to grips with this issue. Other goals seem to have got in the way such as getting the SC support for an invasion of Iraq, or keeping the Arabs in a coalition of countries opposing Iraq or Al-Queda terrorism, or showing the World that the US is even handed or is not fighting Islam etc.

In serving these ends, the security of the state of Israel is being sacrificed. Israel is being asked to commit suicide by travelling down The Road Map. They should refuse to have anything to do with it. So should the US.

But the survival of Israel is not the really big picture. The survival of the West is. And The West regardless of whether they like Israel or not, must decide whether sacrificing Israel will hasten its own destruction. Israel’s retreat from Lebanon may have solved a small problem, the threat to the lives of its soldiers, but it led to bigger problems, the treat to the existence of Israel.

There is a war being waged by Islam to conquer the West whether the West is willing to recognize it or not. This is made patently clear in a series of excerpts adapted by Robert Locke from Dr. Serge Trifkovic’s new book The Sword of the Prophet: A Politically- incorrect Guide to Islam.
According to the official publication produced twenty years ago, the Islamic Movement is,
“an organized struggle to change the existing society into an Islamic society based on the Koran and the Sunna and make Islam, which is a code for entire life, supreme and dominant, especially in the socio-political spheres… the ultimate objective of the Islamic movement shall not be realized unless the struggle is made by locals. For it is only they who have the power to change the society into an Islamic society.”
Since then, jihad has never had it so good. The Moslem population of the world has been exploding, not only in Asia and Africa but also in Europe and the United States. Unlike the Western democracies, China, Japan and India, all of which try to control the birth rate in order to raise living standards, most Muslim countries regard demography as a political weapon. They will gladly export their surplus population to Europe and America, aware that the bigger the diaspora, the greater the political influence it will exert, and the more concessions the Islamic world will be able to extort from the West.

Maintaining the loyalty of the dispersed Muslim diaspora has been a top priority. For that reason, Islamic religious instruction in the newly-planted Muslim communities on both sides of the Atlantic has been carried out by immigrant imams who have a clear agenda aimed at inculcating their Western-born wards with disdain and even hatred for their surroundings
That is the agenda. All events must be considered as furthering that agenda including the attempts to destroy Israel which is part of a broader attempt to get the US out of the Islamic world, the fostering of Wahabbism by the Saudis throughout the world, the constant incitement of their followers to hate and kill the Jews, Christians and infidels, and the demonization of Israel and America. Make no mistake; they are out to get us. And what is the West doing about it. Less than nothing. In fact they are abetting the enemy. Here is a case in point.
“UK mosques prey to terror” warned a recent headline in the London Times, and the article explained that this was partly due to the British Home Office routinely approving priority entry into the country to Muslim clerics from countries such as Pakistan who speak no English and don’t want to control extremists who took over their mosques. The British security services, like the government, have long been in a state of denial regarding the Islamist threat. There has been no serious effort to develop and enhance intelligence coverage and analysis capability; nor was the recruitment of Arabic speakers made a priority. Time and again the British courts have interpreted the criminal, asylum, and terrorism laws in the manner damaging to the security of the Realm and favourable to the Islamic underground. British police have repeatedly ignored warnings that the recruiting agents for extremist groups prey on mosques, universities and community centres. There are now over three hundred after-hours schools run by militant groups all over Britain in which the children are indoctrinated, Taliban style.
Sound familiar. And more.
Our own legal framework stops us from dealing with extremist religion,” concludes a Pakistani-born British Anglican who grew up as a Muslim. Historically, Islam has never learned to live as a minority and cannot reconstruct itself in Western societies:

“My own feeling is that what will happen in the British society - I am waiting to see whether it will happen in the U.S. - is Muslim societies will emerge within Western countries where they will develop their own patterns of social sharia [Islamic law]. In Britain today, where Islam controls the inner cities, we have major social exclusion and the development of sharia. We have had churches burned, Christians attacked and a mission centre destroyed. The media has deliberately kept everything off the air.”

By allowing a vast and so far utterly unsupervised subculture of intrinsically hostile non-Western immigrants to emerge within their societies, the developed nations have permitted the emergence of an alternative social and political structure in their midst in which terrorists can operate virtually undetected. By seeking to appease it by granting it special privileges, the host countries only prompt laughter at our stupidity and demands for more. Examples abound.

“The Turks in Berlin constitute a social problem without a solution. There are entire sections of the city closed in on themselves that support a parallel and hostile culture, with no kind of symbiosis with the German culture. And the Magrebins have done the same thing in Marseilles [France]. The very opposite of integration, their objective is to organize society according to the Koran. Islam is a way of life that annuls any separation between the religious, civil and political reality.”
This situation is repeating itself all over Europe. In fact about one third of all babies born now in Europe are Moslem. This means that in two generations over half the population of Europe will be Moslem. The US will follow thereafter. At any rate the US is already beginning to lose its most natural ally, the EU, which is snuggling up to the Arabs rather then the US.

To win this battle of civilizations the US has to be more resolved at home and abroad. They must defeat Iraq and then proceed to undermine the Mullahs in Iran and then to let the air out of the Wahabbi tires. All influences of Wahabbism in the madrassahs and the mosques must be banned all over the world. The US must continue the fight against terrorism and those countries that support it. And finally they must support Israel in this fight and allow Israel to do what must be done to end the terror once and for all. They should not allow Israel to make another retreat, as they themselves should not retreat.

At home they should do whatever is necessary to avoid the fate of Europe; namely restrict Moslem immigration, make the Moslem societies conform to our values, foster the melting pot rather than the multicultural model and require the FBI to protect America from the threat of Islamisation. In a few word, identify Islam as the enemy and act accordingly.