Jerusalem News (30 September, 2014, 6 Tishrei, 5775)
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1. ArabsÂ leaving Gaza Killed by Other Arabs
(a) People drowning at sea, and the bottomless, money-driven, Arab-on-Arab contempt behind it
by Arnold Roth
(b) The Only Refugees in the World Denied the Right of Resettlement by Evelyn Gordon
2. ISIS Chemical Threat by Ronen Solomon
3. PMÂ NetanyahuÂ at the UN, September 29
1. ArabsÂ leaving Gaza Killed by Other Arabs
(a) 27-Sep-14: People drowning at sea, and the bottomless, money-driven, Arab-on-Arab contempt behind it
by Arnold Roth
This Ongoing War: A Blog
September 22, 2014
Several reports, like the one carried by a Palestinian Arab newsagency, Ma'an, in the past week have described tragic deaths at sea of hundreds of "migrants to Europe".
More than two weeks after a boat carrying migrants to Europe sunk off the coast of Malta, none of the bodies of Palestinians who are thought to have drowned at sea have been recovered by search teams. Eight Palestinians are known to have survived the Sept. 6 shipwreck that killed around 500 migrants, and they are being cared for between Italy, Greece, and Malta... Dozens of family members of the missing migrants on Sunday demonstrated outside the office of the International Committee of the Red Cross in Gaza City, urging authorities to give them more information on the whereabouts of their missing loved ones. ["Gaza families mourn amid failure to find missing shipwreck victims", Ma'an, September 25, 2014]
This is not a conventional ship-sinks-at-sea report. Nor does it appear to be an ordinary story about migration. We're also wondering why boat-people are called refugees everywhere else, but when it's about Palestinian Arabs who have embraced the 'refugees' label for the past 60+ years, they are called migrants? Why is there no name for the boat that carried 500+ people, the vast majority of whom are now dead? And why is the shipping company not named? Why does Ma'an's report skip providing even the most elementary background ?
The family members are protesting the tragedy, and getting media coverage for their agony, but why are those protests held in front of the Red Cross and not outside the locked gates of the shipping company, or the immigration ministry, or the prime minister's office in either Gaza or Ramallah? Why are they not demanding action by UNRWA?
What's actually happening in this odd story?
Since it involves the victimhood of Palestinian Arabs, it's almost certainly futile to look to Palestinian Arab sources for transparency or usable information. But the ever-reliable and very-well-plugged-in Khaled Abu Toameh, whom we have quoted here many times over the years, has uncovered some astonishing facts ["Palestinians and the "Death Boats" Scandal", Gatestone Institute, September 27, 2014]. By contrast, the reports we have seen in the Palestinian Arab media raise far more questions than answers.
Here's the core of the story: Palestinian Arabs, fed up with living under the Islamist Hamas regime, are paying extortionate sums of money to people-smugglers to get them out of the Gaza Strip and into Europe. It's a phenomenon that has been going on for some time, with "a dramatic increase since the end of the fighting in late August", according to Abu Toameh.
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Both Hamas and the Palestinian Authority bear responsibility for the tragedy of the Palestinian immigrants. The two rival parties have failed to improve the living conditions of their people in the Gaza Strip.Â Instead of creating job opportunities for young men and women, Hamas and the Palestinian Authority have spent the past seven years fighting over money and power. Now, the two parties are blaming each other for the tragedy
Abu Toameh sketches out the key elements:
Thousands of dollars are being paid to Hamas officials and Egyptian smugglers. The PA Foreign Minister Riad al-Malki quotes $1,000 as the price handed over to Hamas personnel at the Rafah border crossing with Egypt. Abu Toameh says it's as much as $5,000 per person. [And we found an Al-Monitor report here quoting the price as "$3,000-$5,000 per head".]
"Hamas and the Palestinian Authority... are now busy planning how to lay their hands on the millions of dollars that are supposed to go to the reconstruction of the Gaza Strip..."
Abu Toameh: "Most of the immigrants left the Gaza Strip through a two-kilometer tunnel belonging to a senior Hamas operative. Survivors told a Palestinian Authority Commission of Inquiry that when they reached the Egyptian side of the border, Egyptian gangsters intercepted them and robbed them of their money."Hamas gangsters worked in cooperation with gangsters on the Egyptian side of the border," said a senior Palestinian Authority official involved with the inquiry commission. "They operated like a real mafia..."
He quotes sources who say "Some 13,000 Palestinians have already fled the Gaza Strip to Europe with the help of the gangsters. Most left through Hamas's smuggling tunnels or by bribing its security officials at the Rafah terminal. Another 25,000 Palestinians from the Gaza Strip have applied to various European countries for immigration."
Hamas is denying any involvement with the exodus, but Abu Toameh says they have set up "special offices to register those wishing to start a new life in Europe", and "are providing the emigrants with forged visas and travel documents to enable them to enter Europe".
Those boats did not sink for random, unfathomable reasons: "Some reports have suggested that rival gangs deliberately sunk the boats. The gangs are fighting for the cash the Palestinians are prepared to pay to leave the Gaza Strip. Palestinians refer to the situation as their "Death Boats" scandal."
There's some startling information about those "rival gangs" in a report issued by the Euro-Mid Observer for Human Rights organisation, based in Geneva and Gaza, pieced together from eyewitness accounts by the handful of survivors:
On the afternoon of Wednesday, 10 September, the smugglers ordered the passengers to move to yet another boat... An argument ensued. Less than an hour later, another small boat suddenly appeared with the name of Al-Hajj Rizk , Damietta. Five to 10 men were on board, and they yelled at the passengers with an Egyptian accent. The small boat then began to deliberately ram the passengers' ship, despite their screams and waving. The side of the ship ruptured, allowing in seawater, which mixed with oil and fuel. The men waited to make sure the refugees' ship was sinking, laughing as they watched, then left. The Maltese Navy confirmed that the ship was in international waters at the time, about 300 nautical miles (555 km) southeast of Malta. Most of the passengers drowned relatively quickly. [Euromid]
The UN High Commission for Refugees (again: not UNRWA) was looking into the possibility that there had been no fewer than five separate shipwrecks and that what was happening was "without any doubt the deadliest weekend ever in the Mediterranean" [during which] at least 500 were dead or missing in the last three days." That's according to a news report in The Guardian published on September 15, 2014.
Â (b)The Only Refugees in the World Denied the Right of Resettlement
Evelyn Gordon -
5 Tishri 5775 (September 29, 2014)
The news that hundreds of Palestinians from Gaza drowned last week when the boats in which they were trying to reach Europe sank once again highlights the hypocrisy of the world's attitude toward the Palestinians. After all, the 'international community' has designated two-thirds of all Gaza residents as bona fide refugees, even though the vast majority of them were born in Gaza and have lived there all their lives. And as bona fide refugees, they shouldn't have had to board rickety smugglers' boats in a desperate attempt to reach Europe; they should have been able to apply to the UN for orderly resettlement right from their refugee camps, just as thousands of other refugees do every year. But they can't, because Palestinians are the only refugees in the world who are denied the basic right of resettlement.
Granted, they are also the only 'refugees' in the world for whom refugeehood is an inheritable status that can be passed down to one's descendants in perpetuity, generation after generation. Under the definition used by the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, which deals with all the world's refugees except Palestinians, only a few thousand elderly Gazans who were personally displaced in 1948 would be considered refugees today, rather than the 1.2 million actually on UN rolls. So if the 'international community' were to argue that Gazans don't deserve a right to resettlement because they aren' really refugees, that would be perfectly legitimate.
But it doesn't. In fact, not only has the world adopted the unique definition of refugeehood promulgated by the Palestinians' personal refugee agency, UNRWA, but it actively supports this definition by funding UNRWA's ever-expanding budget to keep pace with its ever-expanding number of 'refugees.' And once having accepted the claim that these born-and-bred Gazans are actually refugees from an Israel they've never seen, the international community is morally obligated to ensure that they enjoy the same rights as all other refugees.
Instead, Palestinians are the only refugees in the world who are denied the right of resettlement. Whereas UNHCR resettles tens of thousands of refugees every year, UNRWA hasn't resettled a single refugee in its 65 years of existence. On the contrary, the schools it runs for Palestinian refugees indoctrinate them from kindergarten on that there is one, and only one, way for them to end their refugee status: by 'returning' to the towns or villages in Israel that their ancestors fled, which most of them have never seen, and some of which no longer even exist. In short, since Israel would never voluntarily accept all five million 'refugees' on UNRWA's rolls, it's telling them that the only solution to their refugeehood is Israel's destruction.
According to a poll taken in late August, a whopping 43 percent of Gazans would like to emigrate. Many of these would-be emigrants are presumably among the two-thirds of Gazans registered as refugees, meaning they ought to be entitled to resettlement aid. So here's a modest proposal: Western countries, which are UNRWA's main donors, should take a big chunk of the over $1 billion a year they give UNRWA and spend it instead on resettling those Gazans who want to leave. Not only would that help the Gazan refugees themselves, but it would save money in the long run by significantly reducing the number of refugees under UNRWA's care.
Transfer the Palestinians
Send the Arabs of Gaza to Latin America
2. ISIS Chemical Threat by Ronen Solomon
The real threat ISIS poses is mass attacks in aerial transportation and subways using chemical and biological weapons.This is the real concern that brings the Western intelligence services to act firmly against ISIS, not just the horror videos. The emerging concern is that ISIS activists holding western nationalities will be able to lay their hands on unconventional weapons (chemicals and biological toxins) from Syrian stockpiles and possibly smuggle them into Europe in order to carry out attacks in subways, similar to the use of sarin gas (organophosphorus compound) in March 1995, in which thousands of people were injured on the subway in Tokyo. This assessment is now also joined by an announcement by the Iraqi prime minister, who said Thursday that the intelligence of his country has revealed a plan by ISIS to conduct a terror attack in subways in the United States and Paris. Syria has one of the world's largest stockpile of sarin, and Israeli intelligence sources estimate that, in spite of the disarmament agreement signed with the West, some of these stockpiles are still in hiding in Syria.
On September 18, "Reuters" revealed Israel believes that Syria has maintained its chemical weapons caches ready for use , Â despite the fact Assad's regime previously gave away the raw materials used to manufacture such weapons. "Reuters" was basing on the words of a senior Israeli defense official, who expressed concern that the fighters of the Islamic State in Syria will try to put their hands on chemical weapons. The source revealed that Israel knows that the Syrians kept for themselves combat warheads, air-to-ground bombs and anti-tank missiles containing toxic gases such as sarin. The same source estimated that ISIS can get grenades or missiles armed with sarin gas, and that Israel has already operated to prevent such scenarios when these kind of concerns were raised.
Â Western diplomats have expressed concern that along with chemical threat Syria also has research and development facilities designed to produce the poison ricin.
Â In the morning of March 20, 1995, during rush hour in the subway in Tokyo, when thousands of people were on their way to work, terrorists of the Japanese religious cult "Aum Shinrikyo" released sarin compound on five train cars in three different lines at the same time. Members of the cult, known to be extremists, had previously committed acts such as murder, kidnapping, torture, and other acts of terrorism.Â The release of the sarin gas was timed so that it would happen as the trains meet under the government offices. 12 infusion bags containing approximately 300-500 cc of sarin each were hidden in lunch boxes and drink containers. At the designated time, the terrorists punctured the bags with a sharp tool and the sarin began spreading in the train cars and stations. 16 stations were contaminated, causing the deaths of 12 and 5,500 casualties with various degrees of injury who were evacuated to 50 different hospitals throughout Tokyo.
3. PMÂ NetanyahuÂ at the UN, September 29
Â Prime Minister Netanyahu's Speech at the United Nations General Assembly, 2014 September 29, 2014 1:56 pm
# Thank you, Mr. President. Distinguished delegates, I come here from Jerusalem to speak on behalf of my people, the people of Israel. ... Ladies and gentlemen, the people of Israel pray for peace, but our hopes and the world's hopes for peace are in danger because everywhere we look militant Islam is on the march... It's militant Islam. And typically its first victims are other Muslims, but it spares no one: Christians, Jews, Yazidis, Kurds. No creed, no faith, no ethnic group is beyond its sights. And it's rapidly spreading in every part of the world. ... For the militant Islamists, all politics is global, because their ultimate goal is to dominate the world. Now, that threat might seem exaggerated to some since it starts out small, like a cancer that attacks a particular part of the body. But left unchecked, the cancer grows, metastasizing over wider and wider areas. To protect the peace and security of the world, we must remove this cancer before it's too late. Last week, many of the countries represented here rightly applauded President Obama for leading the effort to confront ISIS, and yet weeks before, some of these same countries, the same countries that now support confronting ISIS, opposed Israel for confronting Hamas. They evidently don't understand that ISIS and Hamas are branches of the same poisonous tree. ISIS and Hamas share a fanatical creed, which they both seek to impose well beyond the territory under their control. Listen to ISIS' self-declared caliph, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. This is what he said two months ago: A day will soon come when the Muslim will walk everywhere as a master. The Muslims will cause the world to hear and understand the meaning of terrorism and destroy the idol of democracy. Now listen to Khaled Mashal, the leader of Hamas. He proclaims a similar vision of the future: We say this to the West , Â 'by Allah you will be defeated. Tomorrow our nation will sit on the throne of the world. As Hamas' charter makes clear, Hamas' immediate goal is to destroy Israel, but Hamas has a broader objective. They also want a caliphate. Hamas shares the global ambitions of its fellow militant Islamists, and that's why its supporters wildly cheered in the streets of Gaza as thousands of Americans were murdered in 9/11, and that's why its leaders condemn the United States for killing Osama bin Laden whom they praised as a holy warrior.
So when it comes to their ultimate goals, Hamas is ISIS and ISIS is Hamas.
And what they share in common all militant Islamists share in common. Boko Haram in Nigeria, al-Shabab in Somalia, Hezbollah in Lebanon, al-Nusra in Syria, the Mahdi army in Iraq, and the al-Qaida branches in Yemen, Libya, the Philippines, India and elsewhere. Some are radical Sunnis, some are radical Shiites, some want to restore a pre-medieval caliphate from the seventh century, others want to trigger the apocalyptic return of an imam from the ninth century. They operate in different lands, they target different victims and they even kill each other in their battle for supremacy. But they all share a fanatic ideology. They all seek to create ever-expanding enclaves of militant Islam where there is no freedom and no tolerance, where women are treated as chattel, Christians are decimated and minorities are subjugated, sometimes given the stark choice, convert or die. For them, anyone can be considered an infidel, including fellow Muslims. Ladies and gentlemen, militant Islam's ambition to dominate the world seems mad, but so too did the global ambitions of another fanatic ideology that swept into power eight decades ago. The Nazis believed in a master race. The militant Islamists believe in a master faith. They just disagree who among them will be the master of the master faith. That's what they truly disagree about. And therefore, the question before us is whether militant Islam will have the power to realize its unbridled ambitions. There is one place where that could soon happen, the Islamic State of Iran. For 35 years, Iran has relentlessly pursued the global mission which was set forth by its founding ruler, Ayatollah Khomeini, in these words. 'We will export our revolution to the entire world until the cry, 'there is no god but Allah' will echo throughout the world over."Â
... So don't be fooled by Iran's manipulative charm offensive. It's designed for one purpose and for one purpose only: to lift the sanctions and remove the obstacles to Iran's path to the bomb. The Islamic Republic is now trying to bamboozle its way to an agreement that will remove the sanctions it still faces and leave it with a capacity of thousands of refugees, of centrifuges, rather , to enrich urauranium. This would effectively cement Iran's place as a threshold military nuclear power. And in the future, at the time of its choosing, Iran, the world's most dangerous regime, in the world's most dangerous region, would obtain the world's most dangerous weapons. Allowing that to happen would pose the gravest threat to us all. It's one thing to confront militant Islamists on pickup trucks armed with Kalashnikov rifles. It's another thing to confront militant Islamists armed with weapons of mass destruction.
I remember that last year, everyone here was rightly concerned about the chemical weapons in Syria, including the possibility that they would fall into the hands of terrorists. Well, that didn't happen, and President Obama deserves great credit for leading the diplomatic effort to dismantle virtually all of Syria's chemical weapons capability. Imagine how much more dangerous the Islamic State, ISIS, would be if it possessed chemical weapons. Now imagine how much more dangerous the Islamic state of Iran would be if it possessed nuclear weapons....
Iran's nuclear military capabilities must be fully dismantled. .. ...
Isaiah, our great prophet of peace, taught us nearly 3,000 years ago in Jerusalem to speak truth to power. (Speaks in Hebrew.) For the sake of Zion, I will not be silent, for the sake of Jerusalem, I will not be still until her justice shines bright and her salvation glows like a flaming torch. Ladies and gentlemen, let us light a torch of truth and justice to safeguard our common future. Thank you.