Thursday, September 18, 2014

09/18 Links Pt2: Simon Schama tells UK Jewry to stop living in a bubble, “we live in dark times”

From Ian:

Simon Schama tells UK Jewry to stop living in a bubble
Simon Schama, one of Britain’s most prominent historians, has called on British Jewry to engage more forcefully with the non-Jewish world as a counter to rising anti-Semitism and hostility towards the State of Israel.
Speaking at the annual fundraising dinner for the United Jewish Israel Appeal (UJIA) on Monday evening at Grosvenor House in London, Schama warned “we live in dark times.” While stressing he understood that “the situation in this country could be worse – it could be France,” Schama said that “right now, we’re a little bit on the back foot.”
UJIA is the largest charitable organization in Britain focused on working with young people and focusing on strengthening Jewish identity and a connection to Israel through formal and informal educational programming.
“We’re faced not just with criticism of Israel. What is new and poisonous and dangerous is that we are faced not with criticism of what Israel does, but what Israel is,” said Schama at the dinner.
“We need to reclaim the word ‘Zionist’ as if it is word to be ashamed of – it is not a word to be ashamed of and it is not a word to run away from,” said Schama, whose five-part documentary series “The Story of the Jews” and the first of two written volumes on Jewish history were released last year.
David Horovitz: Lady Gaga, we f*cking love you too
I’ve no idea how much of this is known to, or even interests, Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta — aka Lady Gaga. I do know that this summer, when all other artists about her were canceling their Israel visits, or having them canceled by our rocket-battered homefront authorities, the good Lady kept her head… and kept her Tel Aviv date optimistically in her calendar. So that when the rocket fire did subside less than three weeks before showtime, and we were finally able to emerge from our bomb shelters, she could fly in, perform, and tell us she loved us. (Kudos, as well, to Tony Bennett, a special guest at the Gaga show, and the star of his own sold-out Mann Auditorium concert on Sunday night.)
That took strength, bravery, confidence and more clear-headed morality than any international statesman managed to muster this terrible summer, when world attitudes to Israel ranged from half-hearted support to vicious, unjustified criticism. If they’re inclined to search for their moral compasses, Messrs. Kerry, Fabius, Miliband et al might care to consult with the singing star our reviewer magnificently described as “pop’s most promiscuous provocateur.” So thank you, Lady Gaga, and we f*cking love you right back.
Why the Palestinian Arabs lack civil rights
Sheizaf is right that the two-state solution idea is dead. He is right that Palestinian Arabs living in the territories do not have the same rights as Jews and Arabs in Israel. He is right that this is bad for Arabs and Jews alike.
But what he doesn’t understand is that ending the conflict isn’t up to us. Israel has already done more than what ought to be expected of it, and result has only been wars, intifadas, and the further radicalization of Palestinian Arabs.
The root of the problem is the Palestinians’ adherence to a false historical narrative and to ideologies that do not accept the existence of a Jewish state (and in some cases, like Hamas, the physical presence of Jews) in the Middle East. It is nurtured by the continuous propaganda coming from the terrorist organizations that own Palestinian politics, the anti-Jewish attitudes that permeate international institutions like the UN, and the complicity of the West.
Israel didn’t create this situation, and it can’t fix it.
The key to the solution to the problem, if there is one, is in the hands of the Palestinian Arabs, who will have to give up for good the idea of replacing Israel with an Arab state. Unless a Palestinian leadership arises that understands this, the conflict will continue, and so will the limitations on the rights of Palestinian Arabs.

Some random headlines from the Arab world

A supposed failed plot to assassinate Islamic Jihad secretary-general Dr. Ramadan Abdullah in Beirut, involving a female protagonist.

Egypt started snooping on all of its citizens online - and then denied it.

Saudi Arabia says it will donate $500 million to rebuild Gaza. (They are notorious for not paying their pledges.)

A Palestinian female terrorist who was exiled to Algeria (Zakia Shammout?) has apparently died. She was said to have been involved in numerous bombings in the 1970s but I couldn't find anything about her. (I'm sure some of you will, though.)

More Fake Palestinian Civilians - with videos!

On July 26, PCHR reported that the body of Ghassan Taher Abu Kamil, 25, was found. it identified him as a "civilian" (implicitly in English, explicitly in Arabic.)

Here's his Al Qassam Brigades martyr video. He looks so innocent!

On July 24, PCHR implied that ‘Abdul Qader Jameel al-Khaldi was a civilian. (At that point PCHR didn't list names of militants who were killed, but they said 64 out of 80 killed that day were civilians but only identified 11 [English] or 13 [Arabic] of them.)

Here's his martyr video for Hamas:

PCHR reported on July 26 that the body of Mohammed Fayez al-Shareef, 55, a "civilian,"  was recovered. The Hamas Health Ministry reported him as being 23 years old (#932.) Hamas seems correct - this Facebook page created the day his body was found has lots of photos, and they match the photos and video of a Hamas terrorist. No one else with that name was listed in the "martyr" lists that I could find.

Also, I noted in July (before I started this series) that 17-year old Anas Kandil was with his Islamic Jihad father Yusef and a group of terrorists instead of the rest of his family when the IDF targeted them.

It turns out that 17 year old Anas was also a member of Islamic Jihad Al Quds Brigades:

PCHR identified him as a civilian but said he was 19. Numerous reports say that he was a high school student who just passed his exams, so he does in fact appear to be one of the "children" killed in Gaza according to the Gaza Health Ministry (spelled "Qandeel.")

Here are father and son in identical Islamic Jihad flags.

The entire series of fake Gaza civilians is here.

(h/t Bob K)

09/18 Links Pt1: Bibi: ‘We’ve Seen This Before. There's a Master Race, Now There's a Master Faith’

From Ian:

Netanyahu: ‘We’ve Seen This Before. There's a Master Race; Now There's a Master Faith’
In a speech on the anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu compared Islamist terrorist groups such as ISIS, Hamas and Hezbollah to Nazis: “We know this. We’ve seen this before. There's a master race; now there's a master faith."
“The tactics are uniform. Terror first of all against your own people,” Netanyahu told attendees at the International Institute for Counter-Terrorism's (ICT) 14th annual conference held at Herzliya, an Israeli technology center located about six miles north of Tel Aviv.
“There's a master race; now there's a master faith. And that allows you to do anything to anyone, but first of all to your own people and then to everyone else,” Netanyahu continued, in a reference to Nazi ideology stemming from Adolf Hitler’s belief, detailed in his speeches and writings, that Aryans were the “master race.”
"And what do you do to everyone else? For that you use new techniques. And the new techniques involve first of all, taking over civilian populations, putting yourself inside civilian areas, contravening the laws of war and the Geneva Convention; using your people as human shields, the same people you execute; and then firing indiscriminately at civilians. You hide behind civilians, you fire on civilians. And you fire rockets and missiles.
"And this creates a whole new set of problems. And these problems are born of the fact that it's much harder to fight this kind of terror - much harder. It's much easier to fight an army: tanks, artillery, command centers, open spaces. You destroy that, you destroy the army. End of war.
"But these people, because they're forcing you to face up to the moral limits that democracies obey, are basically forcing you to fight a new war."
Mordechai Kedar: Get Ready for the Real War
The battle against the problematic tenets of the Islamic faith is not bound in place or time and like the genie that comes out of a bottle, cannot be put back in it. Muslim emigration to Western countries unsettles those governments internally due to the Islamic takeover of public space, politics, economics and its image in the politically correct media. In many parts of the world one can say that "Islamic State is here", in neighborhoods that the local police do not enter, in the cities where a Muslim majority forces Sharia on supermarkets, pharmacies, bars and churches – and in the parliaments where the presence of the Islamic State is becoming more and more influential and solidly based.
The really significant battle is not in Iraq or Syria, where what is happening is just the introduction that follows the preface acted out in Afghanistan 13 years ago. The real war, far-ranging and dangerous, will develop once "Islamic State" is eliminated and the vengeance resulting from that success begins to be exacted in America, Europe, Australia and every place where man-made laws are in force. Its goal will be to impose the law of Allah as it is spelled out in Islamic sources.
Anyone who thinks that destroying "Islamic State" in Iraq and Syria will solve the problem had better think again, because the problem is not this or that organization or country. The problem is the ideology that today motivates one and half billion people who believe that the "religion of Allah is Islam" (Qu'ran chap.53, v.19). This ideology will not be eliminated even if we get rid of the jihadists in Iraq and Syria down to the last man. Their followers are to be found in most parts of the world and that world must be prepared to change the rules of the game, otherwise it will find itself putting out fires instead of apprehending the pyromaniacs.
Alan Dershowitz Says Bill Clinton is Wrong: Netanyahu’s the ‘Guy to Make Peace’
Clinton has said the current Israeli prime minister is “not the guy” to make a peace deal with the Palestinian Authority.
But Dershowitz disagrees. During an interview on The Steve Malzberg Show Tuesday on Newsmax TV, Dershowitz reminded the former American president that first of all, he doesn’t get to choose.
“President Clinton has to understand Israel is a democracy. He doesn’t get a vote. The people of Israel decide who their prime minister is going to be, and they have decided it’s going to be Netanyahu. He is the guy.
“He’s the guy who’s going to make peace or he’s not going to make peace. He’s going to make it without compromising Israel’s security,” Dershowitz added.
Noting that Netanyahu has a reputation for being tough and for keeping Israel’s security uppermost in his priorities, Dershowitz said, “I have to tell you what kind of peace he’s not going to make. He’s not going to do what [former prime minister Ariel] Sharon did in Gaza.

"I'm in love with an ISIS jihadist"

This is not a joke. 

From Al Arabiya:
A tale of love and loss more suited to the pages of a novel is being bared on social media by the self-claimed Malaysian wife of an ISIS fighter in Syria.

The 26-year-old Malaysian doctor, who calls herself “Shams,” traveled to the war-torn country and entered into an arranged marriage with a fighter, according to her social media accounts and her blog “Diary of a Muhajirah.”

She said that she joined the organization, which has orchestrated beheadings and has overrun parts of Iraq and Syria in recent months, in February and adds that she was “excited” but also sad to leave her family behind.

Her social media posts indicate that she traveled to Syria via Turkey. She states that her parents were upset at first but then “supportive and happy.”

After two months in Syria, Shams was betrothed to an ISIS fighter, in a marriage arranged by her housemate, she said. According to her posts, she met and married her husband on the same day, declaring that she was “nervous [and] scared” before flipping her face covering to greet her spouse-to-be.

“He smiled. And he asked a question that I shall never forget for the rest of my life.

“Can we get married today? After Asr?

“Deep inside my heart shouted, noooo. But I have no idea why I answered ‘Yes,’” Shams reported on social media.

Shams then obtained permission from her father over the phone.

“I spoke about this issue to him and I can hear my mother was shouting in joy at the back,” she stated.

According to Shams, it is not uncommon that newly-introduced married couples in ISIS do not share the same language.

Shams later wrote that she and her husband downloaded dictionary apps to be able to communicate with each other in the initial stages of their marriage.

Overcome with emotion, Shams details the moment she realized her love for her new husband. After praying together the morning after their nuptials “he turned back and smiled at me. And I can feel something. Yes, I guess I just fell in love with someone — my husband!”

Four days after their wedding ceremony, Shams confronted the reality of being wed to an ISIS fighter upon visiting the home of a woman whose husband had been killed in battle.

“We entered the house, I saw there was almost 20 sisters. No body cried,” she said.

She carried on: “I went back home. My husband was quiet; perhaps he understood I need some time. I looked at his face, I’m married to him for 4 days and I felt so much pain.

“Abu al-Baraa,” she wrote, referring to her husband, “just don’t leave me too soon. Please.”

Eleven days after they got married, Shams says her husband went off for an operation.

“It was the most heart breaking thing I have ever heard since I came to Syria. I can’t deny that my heart bleeds and I can’t hold my tears,” she wrote.

“After our breakfast, I prepared his bag and handed his kalash to him. I couldn’t even look at his face, the pain was killing me. He noticed my gloomy face and said this to me: "Habibty, I’m married to Jihad before I’m married to you. Jihad is my first wife, and you’re my second. I hope you understand."
I went through a couple of months of her Tumblr. I don't think that this is a spoof.

It might be a legitimate diary of a mentally ill woman, or it might be a recruiting tool to attract young, idealistic Muslim women to the "Islamic State." We already know they have a sophisticated understanding of social media.

Either way, it is truly disturbing. ISIS has managed to use social media in ways that most corporations only dream of. Things like this blog, whether real or not, can easily influence naive young Muslim women to throw their lives away.

Peter Beinart's arguments against BDS apply to the "moderate" Palestinians as well

In Haaretz, Peter Beinart is upset over a proposed resolution by the CUNY Doctoral Students Council to boycott Israel.

Being a leftist Zionist critic of Israel, Beinart (who supports boycotting products made by Jews across the Green Line) sympathizes with their criticism but thinks that they went a bit too far. For example, here is his argument against boycotting Israeli universities:

Paragraph three declares that “Israeli institutions of higher learning are a party to Israeli state policies that violate human rights.” That’s true. They also incubate some of the most passionate opposition to those policies. “Israeli professors and students at Israeli universities who speak out against discriminatory or criminal policies against Palestinians are ostracized and ridiculed.” Yes, sometimes. Yet many Israeli professors and students do speak out against their government’s policies, because compared to most students and faculty in the world, they enjoy considerable freedom of speech. Does isolating them from their counterparts overseas really strengthen their efforts to defend liberal, cosmopolitan ideas against the hyper-nationalism of the Israeli right?
Beinart takes pains to distinguish the "good" Israeli Jews from the "bad" Israeli Jews who should be ostracized, sounding much like John Mearsheimer if not drawing the line in quite the same place.

But it is Beinart's attempt to draw another line that shows how absurd his position is:

I appreciate the fact that the BDS movement - unlike Hamas - practices nonviolence.

But I disagree with the movement’s goals. The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is the story of a powerful state oppressing a stateless people. But it’s also the story of rival, equally legitimate, nationalisms. In the BDS movement’s call to action, that second story is simply absent. The BDS call to action speaks of the “Palestinian people’s inalienable right to self-determination” without any reference to a similar Jewish right. The proposed CUNY boycott resolution mentions the Palestinians killed in the recent Gaza War without acknowledging that Israeli Jews died too.

If Jewish nationalism is no more legitimate than Palestinian nationalism, then the converse is also true. The BDS movement, sadly, does not recognize that. I hope CUNY will.
If Beinart's main problem with BDS is their inability to accept the Jewish right to a homeland, then - if he wants to be consistent - he must be just as critical of the entire PLO, Palestinian Authority and Fatah.

The current "moderate" Palestinian leadership - the people that we are told over and over again from the likes of Beinart are the most moderate, peace-loving leaders that Palestinian Arabs will ever have - have the identical position as the BDS movement. If anything, they go beyond the BDS movement in that they have been explicit in their denial of Jewish nationalism.

As I reported here, the official position of the PLO is that they must not ever recognize that Jews have the right to a state, or even that the Jewish People exist! In the words of an official PLO Negotiations Unit position paper:

Recognizing the Jewish state implies recognition of a Jewish people and recognition of its right to self-determination. Those who assert this right also assert that the territory historically associated with this right of self-determination (i.e., the self-determination unit) is all of Historic Palestine. Therefore, recognition of the Jewish people and their right of self-determination may lend credence to the Jewish people’s claim to all of Historic Palestine.
The reason that they won't accept a Jewish state is because it implies that the Jewish people exist, not the other way around.

I don't think that the BDS movement ever said something that extreme.

And these are Beinart's "moderate," peace-loving pals. This is Mahmoud Abbas' official position.  These people who are so hateful and deceitful that they cannot admit the existence of a Jewish people.

If the BDS movement is illegitimate because it refuses to recognize Jewish national rights, then so is virtually the entire Palestinian Arab nationalist movement.

But Beinart can't admit that, or else his entire career as a left-wing Zionist critic of Israel is in jeopardy.

Relative of Dutch "righteous gentile" was a Hamas terrorist

Last month there was a major news story about a Yad Vashem Righteous Gentile who returned his award to Israel after the IDF bombed a house with his innocent relatives inside.

As a front-page New York Times story said then:

On Thursday, Mr. Zanoli, 91, whose father died in a Nazi camp, went to the Israeli Embassy in The Hague and returned a medal he received honoring him as one of the Righteous Among the Nations — non-Jews honored by Israel for saving Jews during the Holocaust. In an anguished letter to the Israeli ambassador to the Netherlands, he described the terrible price his family had paid for opposing Nazi tyranny.

...Dr. [Hassan al-] Zeyada (older brother) said last month that none of his family members were militants.

I reported here that one of the people in the house, a "guest" named Mohammed Mahmoud al-Maqadma, was actually an Al Qassam Brigades terrorist - a fact noticed by B'Tselem. This is something that the New York Times reporters should have checked out, but didn't.

PCHR reported, without qualification, that the entire family (as well as Mohammed al-Maqadamah) were innocent civilians. the NYT reported, without question, that none of the family members themselves were militants. An earlier story also quoted  Hassan al-Zeyada as saying that none of them were militants:

He said two of his brothers were in Palestinian police forces — one a municipal officer employed by the Hamas administration and the other under Fatah, the rival faction that was sidelined when Hamas took over in 2007. Police forces have often been Israeli targets, but his brothers were not militants, he said — and anyway, “I am not looking for justifications.”

And neither did the New York Times.

It turns out that Maqadama was not the only member of Hamas in that house.

Meet one of Hassan's "not militant" brothers. Omar Ziyada was a field commander of Hamas' Al Qassam Brigades.

Here's a screen shot from a 19-minute Qassam martyr's video that was just released in memory of Omar Ziyada.

Here's a shorter version of the video.

Both the poster and the video were posted on the Facebook page of Omar's older brother, Saad. He obviously knew Omar was a terrorist - but he didn't write anything about that during the war, following Hamas' social media guidelines.  Only now, weeks later, is the truth revealed.

Omar's sister Salma happily posted the martyr video as well.

If Omar's brother and sister knew he was a terrorist, so did his brother Hassan - happily lying to the New York Times about how supposedly innocent Omar was.

Now we know that there were at least two terrorists in the Ziyada house. During a war, this strongly indicates that the house was in fact a command and control center of some sort, if not a weapons cache. The IDF actions appear to be more and more justified.

No doubt the surviving relatives know exactly what the house was being used for - and they are keeping mum. The New York Times' Anne Barnard didn't bother  to research that, because their reporters are credulous enough - and reflexively anti-Israel enough - to accept the words of Gazans without skepticism.

No matter how many times they lie.

The Economist   and others used this story as more proof that Israel was monstrously murdering Gazans for no reason.

And because the New York Times and Haaretz were so keen on reporting on the apparent irony of a "righteous gentile" turning against Israel, they didn't do basic fact checks that might ruin such a good story. They missed the real irony:a person who saved Jews from Nazis ended up being related to modern Nazis who want to finish Hitler's job.

When will we see this reported in the NYT?

(h/t Bob Knot)

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Syria says UN proves Israel-Al Qaeda connection

The Syrian SANA "news" agency is always good for a laugh.

Syrian patient in Israel
Here's a story they ran that got picked up by the crazy conspiracy site Global Research:

The United Nations (UN) has stressed that there are strong links and contacts between the armed terrorist organizations in Syria and the Zionist entity.

The UN remarks came in a report by its Secretary General on the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF) during the period from May 29th to September 3rd 2014.

The report said that members of the so-called “armed opposition” transported 47 of its wounded members through “the ceasefire line” and handed them to the “Israeli army”, indicating that the “Israeli army” handed 43 of the wounded who were treated at the Israeli hospitals to the armed terrorist organizations.

The report talked about the attack of the terrorist organizations including Jabhat al-Nusra against the positions of the UNDOF personnel and how they seized a number of their vehicles and equipment and how they used the UN uniform.

It added that the UNDOF Commander was in constant and regular contact with the Syrian Arab army in the area as the army provided all types of support to guarantee the evacuation of the UNDOF personnel.

The report affirms what Syria has always mentioned about the close relations between the armed terrorist organizations and the Israeli occupation authorities which shows how much the Israeli occupation is participating in the sinister conspiracy hatched against Syria.

The cooperation between the terrorist organization of Jabhat al-Nusra which has been designated as a terrorist group by the UN and the Israeli occupation authorities shows that Israel supports a terrorist organization which requires a response from the international community.
OK, so what did this smoking gun UN report say? Actually, it is quite interesting:
Throughout the reporting period, UNDOF frequently observed armed members of the opposition interacting with IDF across the ceasefire line in the vicinity of United Nations position 85. UNDOF observed armed members of the opposition transferring 47 wounded persons from the Bravo side across the ceasefire line to IDF, and IDF on the Alpha side handing over 43 treated individuals to the armed members of the opposition on the Bravo side.
The reporting period is May 29-September 3. Al Nusra is supposed to have taken over the Quneitra area (the crossing between Israel and Syria) on August 28. So whatever the UNDOF observed, it was not between Israel and Al Nusra.

So what's going on?

The answer can be seen from this Times of Israel article this week, an interview with a Free Syrian Army official.
Since the capture of FSA commander Sharif as-Safouri by the al-Qaeda affiliate al-Nusra Front in July, Israel has reduced the number of injured Syrian opposition fighters received for medical treatment, the commander said. Safouri, the commander of Al-Haramein Brigade, was the main coordinator of medical treatment with Israeli authorities.
So Israel did have a contact from the rebels for coordinating patient transfers - a commander for the Free Syrian Army, not the jihadist Al Nusra group.

Syria, of course, tries to conflate the two.

That article also says:
No more than 150 fighters belonging to al-Nusra Front are present along the Syrian border with Israel, the commander asserted, claiming that more Islamists are based further east, in the Daraa province. The border area, including the Quneitra crossing, is being held by moderate opposition groups, he asserted.

I have no idea if that is true - there is a video of a black Al Nusra flag flying over Quneitra - but it seems fairly clear that any coordination between Israel and the Syrian opposition has been with the Free Syrian Army, not the jihadists who want to destroy Israel.

09/17 Links Pt2: Ayaan Hirsi Ali Met With Standing Ovation At Yale; Germany’s New Anti-Semitism

From Ian:

Ayaan Hirsi Ali Met With Standing Ovation At Yale University
Despite a dishonest attempt by Yale's Muslim Students Association to sabotage a scheduled lecture by women's rights activist Ayaan Hirsi Ali, the event took place Monday evening absent of conflict. On the contrary, Hirsi Ali was met with a standing round of applause at the end of the evening.
The Somali-born Hirsi Ali, who fled after undergoing forced genital mutilation and was arranged to be married, delivered the talk on the "Clash of Civilizations: Islam and the West" in which she touched on the Muslim world, which she deemed "on fire."
She thanked Yale University for standing for academic freedom as opposed to Brandeis University which revoked the offer of an honorary degree in April.
Hirsi Ali stated that she understood United States president Barack Obama's hesitancy to enter war but warned that "a world not led by America is going to be really, really a bad place to live in and we can see that."
Ayaan Hirsi Ali Urges Yale MSA To Refocus Energies
Despite more than 30 student organizations petitioning her appearance, Somali-American women’s rights activist and author Ayaan Hirsi Ali spoke at the William F. Buckley, Jr. Program’s “Clash of Civilizations: Islam and the West” event, during which she said the current state of Islam is in need of reform.
“You live in a time when Muslims are at a crossroads,” Ali said. “Every single day there is a headline that forces the Muslim individual to choose between his conscience and his creed.”
Ali spoke directly to the Muslim Students Association (MSA), whose representatives approached Buckley Program President Richard Lizardo and requested that Ali be disinvited. Lizardo said that was a “nonstarter.” The MSA now denies that such a request was made.
Ayaan Hirsi Ali Speaks to Yale MSA

What’s Behind Germany’s New Anti-Semitism
Until recently, Germany has been unwilling to discuss this trend. Germans have always seen Muslim anti-Semitism as a less problematic version of the “original” version, and therefore a distraction from the well-known problem of anti-Jewish sentiment within a majority of society.
And yet the German police have noted a disturbing rise in the number of people of Arabic and Turkish descent arrested on suspicion of anti-Semitic acts in recent years, especially over the last several months. After noticing an alarming uptick in anti-Semitic sentiment among immigrant students, the German government is considering a special fund for Holocaust education.
Of course, anti-Semitism didn’t originate with Europe’s Muslims, nor are they its only proponents today. The traditional anti-Semitism of Europe’s far right persists. So, too, does that of the far left, as a negative byproduct of sympathy for the Palestinian liberation struggle. There’s also an anti-Semitism of the center, a subcategory of the sort of casual anti-Americanism and anticapitalism that many otherwise moderate Europeans espouse.

How sick is the UNRWA school system? Ask Chris Gunness! (UPDATE)

Chris Gunness' opening sentences describing the new UNRWA school year in Gaza prove a lot more than he intends.
The opening of the school year in Gaza this week was the most harrowing in living memory. Hundreds of psychologists were on hand at all 252 UNRWA schools to lead a week of counseling for 241,000 students. We began with a roll call to see who was alive or dead.
Really? A roll call to see how many students in each class died?

The names of the children killed are no mystery. They were widely published. The school administration and teachers knew, before entering the classroom, whether there were any victims in their classes.

If UNRWA has hundreds of psychologists, and if they cared about the welfare of the traumatized kids, they would have done preparation ahead of time to talk to the classmates of the ones who were killed.

If there really were roll-calls throughout UNRWA's hundreds of schools, there can only be one purpose. They were done to teach the kids to hate.

There is no other explanation.

Let's look at some numbers. If 500 kids were killed, then perhaps 350 of them were school-aged. If UNRWA schools teach 241,000 students, then that is perhaps 1/3 of the school-age kids in Gaza. (About half of 1.7 million Gazans are children.)

Which means that about 100 of the children and teens killed in Gaza attended UNRWA schools, out of the 241,000.

If we assume 50 students per classroom, that is about 4800 classrooms, so the likelihood of a child having been killed in a random UNRWA classroom is about one out of a fifty.

Would you want to put your kids through a roll-call to see how many of their classmates were killed if the chances are that low? You would if you want to teach the next generation  to hate.

Is that in UNRWA's mandate?

If UNRWA has hundreds of psychologists, they could have dispatched them to the specific schools that were affected, and they could deploy multiple therapists per classroom to help the healing process.

On the other hand, if there were really roll-calls in UNRWA schools, then UNRWA is not trying to heal traumatized kids - they are trying to traumatize them more!

If you believe Gunness' account here, then he has unwittingly proven how thoroughly sick the UNRWA mentality really is.

UPDATE: Another part of the article I had missed:

Behind these statistics are real lives each with a dignity and a destiny that must be nurtured and respected. Allow me to tell you about one of them – the nephew of my colleague, Kamal. A missile struck the house where he lived with his extended family. Four of his brother’s children were severely injured as they slept. Kamal’s eight-year-old nephew was wounded by shrapnel to the face. He was taken to hospital unconscious. The child awoke from his coma blind. We found a hospital in Amman to take the boy. But his mother was denied passage out and eventually his aunt accompanied the sightless boy from Gaza. Ten days later, his father was in the mosque about to pray. It was hit. The child found himself both sightless and fatherless.

Chris Gunness isn't mentioning the apparent reason why the IDF attacked that house. Kamal's brother and the child's father was Nidal Badran, an Al Qassam Brigades battalion commander, who was meeting with two other Hamas terrorists in the mosque - not getting ready to pray.

Everyone knows he was a terrorist - even PCHR admitted it at the time.

Gunness implies that Israel was randomly shooting rockets at houses. All the research I've done is showing quite the opposite. Gunness must know that the brother of his colleague was a Hamas terrorist, but to mention that takes away some of the pathos and therefore reduces the hate that Gunness wants to incite against Israelis.

(h/t Akiva Cohen)

Human Rights Council Votes To Exclude Beheading From Mandate (PreOccupied Territory)

More from the humor site PreOccupied Territory

Check out their Facebook page.

Palais des NationsGeneva, September 17 - The United Nations body tasked with monitoring and addressing human rights violations around the world voted today to remove beheading and other brutal forms of murder from its purview, saying that the member nations did not consider those acts in and of themselves worthy of attention.
Human Rights Council Resolution 4411, adopted by majority vote, calls on the various organs of the Council to exclude reports of beheading, Nazi-style mass shootings, and the starvation of besieged civilians from reports, as those acts are no longer categorized as violations. Thirty nations voted in favor of the measure, twelve opposed, and one, Britain, abstained. The United States representative was not present.
Council representatives expect the measure to make their work more efficient, as they can focus more intensely on the issues that really matter, such as Israel. The resolution, introduced by Council member Sudan, explicitly calls for the establishment of several investigative commissions into Israeli crimes, in addition to the Schabas Commission, using personnel now made available through the new limitation of the Council's mandate. Recommended areas of investigation include blatant Israeli disregard for the Palestinian political and civil right of killing as many Israelis as possible, and the illegal use of deadly force in combating Palestinian use of deadly force.
Diplomacy experts note that the language of the resolution does not comprehensively define beheading, mass shooting, and starvation as acceptable. Instead, the resolution instructs investigators to take into account certain specific circumstances surrounding those acts. Under most circumstances, says Dutch commentator Kan Garouwkort, those brutal acts would not be counted as violations of human rights, but certain situations might render them so nevertheless. "For example, if anyone accused Israel of such actions, that would automatically qualify," he explained.

09/17 Links Pt1: What Does Hamas Really Want? Peace Negotiator Martin Indyk paid $14.8M by Qatar

From Ian:

Elliott Abrams: UNDOF fled
After 40 years, the U.N. forces meant to separate Israel and Syria have fled their posts -- fled into Israel, for safety.
International forces in the West Bank are an old nostrum, but the failure of UNDOF is a reminder that it won't work. Until the region is at peace and all terrorist groups defeated, or the Palestinian Authority is clearly able to defeat terrorism and assure law and order, the only thing that prevents a powerful terrorist presence in the West Bank is the Israeli military.
What ought to be better appreciated is that not only Israelis, but also Palestinians and Jordanians, depend on the IDF to prevent groups like Hamas, al-Qaida, and even Islamic State from gaining ground in the West Bank. U.N. forces in southern Lebanon have been unable to control Hezbollah and unwilling to challenge it, and UNDOF has fled in the face of terrorists; the same outcome is entirely predictable in the West Bank today and tomorrow should Israeli forces leave. To admit this is not to hope for permanent Israeli occupation of the West Bank, but surely any hopes or plans for peace must be based in reality.
As Yossi Klein Halevi said in the article quoted above, Israelis' views of these questions are based in a tough assessment of their situation: "Israelis watch the fate of the Yazidi and Christian minorities in the Middle East and tell each other: Imagine what would happen to us if we ever lowered our guard." That guard, essential for their safety and for that of Palestinians and Jordanians, cannot be replaced by an amorphous international or U.N. force that, judging by experience, will shrink from confrontations and flee in the face of real danger.
Alan Dershowitz: National Lawyers Guild seeks to indict Obama for helping Israel build Iron Dome
The National Lawyers Guild—a hard left assortment of radical lawyers and "legal workers"—is seeking to have President Obama, Secretary of Defense Hagel and members of Congress indicted by the International Criminal Court for "aiding and abetting" genocide, crimes against humanity and other war crimes. Among the bases for these extraordinarily serious accusations, is that "the United States Congress overwhelmingly passed, and President Obama signed, an appropriation of $225 million for Israel's Iron Dome missile system"—a purely defensive shield that destroys missiles heading for Israeli population centers.
Yes, you read that correctly. According to these irresponsible bigots, it is genocide to help the nation-state of the Jewish people protect its Jewish and Arab citizens against thousands of rockets being fired at its cities, towns and airport. Imagine the implication for the rule of law if defending one's citizens becomes a war crime. But don't worry. These professional Israel-bashers won't try to apply this Orwellian theory to any countries other than Israel and its supporters.
What Does Hamas Really Want?
Now, Hamas will focus on its next goal -- trying to strengthen its presence in the West Bank, and eventually, toppling the Palestinian Authority from power there, just as it did in Gaza.
As a recent Shin Bet investigation found, a large-scale Hamas formation, uncovered recently in the West Bank, was planning a violent coup to topple the Palestinian Authority and take over the West Bank.
From there, Hamas would create a second rocket and mortar base, targeting central Israel with thousands of rockets in an attempt to paralyze the greater Tel Aviv metropolis.
If the Israeli military were to withdraw from the West Bank, Hamas would find such a coup easier to accomplish.
Israel's military presence in the West Bank secures the very existence of the Palestinian Authority, which is calling for an Israel's withdrawal -- just the thing that would endanger the PA most.
In the meantime, sadly, Hamas, like ISIS, can still cause much cause much suffering -- especially to its own Palestinian people.