Israel in the News Nov/Dec 2009

Dutch Hatred Thrives Online
ARUTZ-7—Virulent anti-Semitism thrives on a Dutch social media Website used by nearly half of the entire population of Holland, according to a recent report. And many of the online instigators appear to be Dutch-speaking Arabs.

“Posts which call for killing Jews are quite common. Others contain calls to burn Israeli flags. We also noticed public calls for Hitler to ‘finish his job’ or ‘to gas the Jews,’” the report explains, adding that the forums also host various libels against Israel and Jews. Perhaps more seriously, a pro-Palestinian group called The Jihad Fighters openly praises suicide bombers who target civilians.

The report, produced by investigators from Yad Vashem, the Dutch-language Israel Facts Monitor group, and the Network on Anti-Semitism based in the Netherlands, was provided to all the political parties in the Netherlands, as well as to members of the Dutch government.

“Anti-Semitism and hatred toward Israel containing anti-Semitic content is a common phenomenon on the Internet in the Netherlands,” the report declares. “Remarks which were unthinkable only 10 years ago are now common practice and do not seem to raise eyebrows anymore.” In fact, after three months of regular monitoring, the investigators concluded, “The climate in which the public debate about Israel and the Middle East conflict is taking place on the Internet is deteriorating.”

The report presents examples and trends of anti-Israel blood libels, violent anti-Semitic hate speech and, simultaneously, Holocaust denial, smearing Israelis as Nazis and calls for returning Jews to the death camps. For the purpose of gauging online Dutch social media, the investigators monitored closed and open groups on the Facebook-like Hyves social networking Web site, which claims around 9 million members, and the talkback section of de Volkskrant, a leading newspaper in Holland.

Thirty-five groups on Hyves are defined as either “pro-Palestinian” or “anti-Israel.” The majority “are run by young Arab immigrants or descendants of Arab immigrants living in the Netherlands.” While the most popular anti-Israel or pro-Palestinian groups have several thousand members, the largest pro-Israel Hyves forum has 900.

Hamas Trains in Judean Desert
ARUTZ-7––A complex network of caves embedded in the Judean Desert hills have become the latest venue for Hamas training programs. Israel Defense Forces (IDF) soldiers have found a complex network of tunnels and caves, some of which contain empty bullet casings and cartridges, as well as other bits of evidence of military activity.

More than a year ago, IDF soldiers uncovered a 150-meter-long tunnel packed with explosives under the southern Judean city of Hebron. An entire network of tunnels used by terrorists to launch attacks against IDF soldiers was also discovered in 2007 in the Casbah, the inner part of the open air market in the Samarian city of Shechem.

Breath Test Detects Cancer
ARUTZ-7—Scientists at the Technion in Haifa have created a device called the “breathalyzer” that has detected lung cancer with 86 percent accuracy. The new device was revealed recently in the journal Nature Nanotechnology.

In addition, the test can detect cancers that are not yet large enough to show up on X-rays or CT scans. It works by testing for chemicals that tend to be in cancerous lungs but not in healthy lungs. Researcher Hossam Haick and his team have patented their device, but will continue to perfect it. The device must pass further clinical trials, and scientists will face the challenge of creating versions of the test that are simple and inexpensive enough to be used in day-to-day practice in hospitals and clinics.

U.S. Poll Supports Israel
ARUTZ-7––A majority of Americans support Israel and blame Hamas and the Palestinian Authority (PA) for the conflict and humanitarian crisis in Gaza, according to a new poll commissioned by The Israel Project.

Americans blame the PA for the current problems in Gaza (56 percent to 18 percent) and “Hamas leaders who control Gaza” for the current humanitarian crisis (66 percent to 17 percent), the Public Opinion Strategies and Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research poll of registered voters revealed.

Nearly half of Americans polled say they have seen, read, or heard “a lot” about the military conflict in the Gaza Strip and sided with Israel’s anti-terror efforts over the PA by a 57 percent to 8 percent margin. The figures are virtually unchanged from pre-Gaza War polling in November 2008 (57 percent to 6 percent).

Polled voters said they believe the Israeli-PA conflict is about ideology and religion (73 percent), and peace can only be achieved by acknowledging each other’s right to exist. Only 19 percent said they think the conflict is really about land.

No to UN Flag
ARUTZ-7—Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has vowed that the Israeli flag will continue to fly over the Western Wall (Kotel), ignoring U.S. President Barack Obama’s apparent trial balloon that he wants to see the UN flag fly over the Old City holy sites.

Declared Netanyahu, “The flag that flies over the Kotel is the Israeli flag….Our holy places, the Temple Mount—will remain under Israeli sovereignty forever.”

UNRWA Never Helped, Never Will
ARUTZ-7—The Israeli Initiative has accused the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) of impeding Arab refugees from building a better future and “introducing fresh generations into the circle of poverty, despair and hate.”

“Recently we’ve seen refugees from Iraq successfully integrate in Iceland, Slovakia, Norway, and the United States,” said Israeli Initiative spokesman Gidon Yisrael. “None of them are among those under UNRWA’s care. UNRWA does nothing to rehabilitate the refugees, and the millions of Palestinians under its care are doomed to remain refugees forever—that is, as long as the State of Israel survives.”

UNRWA is the UN agency tasked with assisting Arabs (now, primarily their descendants) who fled Israel during the 1948 War of Independence. The agency defines any descendant of an Arab who considered his or her primary place of residence to be pre-state Israel during the 23 months before the 1948 war as a “refugee.” It runs programs throughout the Middle EAst to provide refugees with housing, food, and education; in Gaza, UNRWA gives aid to approximately 80 percent of the population

UNRWA “is an agency that has yet to rehabilitate a single refugee, and will never do so,” says Israeli Initiative’s head, former minister Benny Elon. “UNRWA was not created to serve the Palestinian population but, rather, to serve the Palestinian national narrative. As such, it perpetuates the conflict and offers the refugees conflict and blood instead of wellbeing and life.”

The Israel Initiative states, “UNRWA’s mandate is one that has perpetuated the refugee situation for more than 60 years (!) and continues to keep the Palestinian refugees in a situation of humanitarian catastrophe. Billions of dollars given to the agency throughout the years by Western governments and organizations have not led yet to the rehabilitation of even one family.”

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