Israel in the News Nov/Dec 2010

Hamas Sells Aid for Profit
ARUTZ-7—Journalist Mitchell Prothero said Hamas is confiscating humanitarian goods donated by the international community and forcing Gaza Arabs to pay for them.

Prothero spoke to a commander of Islamic Jihad who complained about being forced to purchase for his son donated medicine clearly labeled “Not for resale.” “I had to go to a Hamas pharmacy to make sure the pills weren’t fake or made from poor materials in Egypt,” he explained. “If you want real medicine, you have to buy the aid Europe sends us.”

A Gaza businessman said, “If you’re not in Hamas, you get nothing.”

Give Us a State or It’s War!
ARUTZ-7—Senior Palestinian Authority (PA) negotiator Nabil Shaath said recently the PA will never accept Israel as a Jewish state and threatened war if the PA fails to obtain its demands through negotiations: “A Palestinian state will arise, either through negotiations or through armed resistance.”

The Arab League voted in September to support PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas’s refusal to recognize Israel as Jewish.

Shaath said recognizing a Jewish state would undermine the PA’s demand for the “right of return,” which would grant Israeli citizenship to the millions of descendants of Arabs who fled Israel during  its War of Independence.

The PA has demanded that no Jews remain in the territory it wants. Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak backed the PA view: “I say to Israeli citizens, including Jews, Muslims and others, that there is no such thing as a state in which all the citizens are Jews.”

However, many Arab League nations—among them Saudi Arabia, Yemen, and Libya—are officially Muslim. In Syria the president is required by law to be a Muslim, as is the prime minister of Lebanon.

PA Labels Jewish Worship ‘Sin and Filth’
ARUTZ-7—The Palestinian Authority (PA) labeled Jewish worship at the Western Wall “sin and filth” in a television program broadcast in Arabic after the first round of peace talks in Washington, DC.

The documentary aired on Fatah’s PA TV, run by the faction headed by PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas. It was translated by the Palestinian Media Watch. The program showed Jews praying at the Western Wall, Judaism’s holiest site. As the camera panned the scene, the narrator said, “They [Israelis] know for certain that our [Arab] roots are deeper than their false history. We, from the balcony of our homes, look out over [Islamic] holiness and on sin and filth [the Jews praying at the Western Wall].”

Denial of Jewish history in Jerusalem and the existence of the Temples is a central component in the PA’s ideology. Islamic clerics constantly claim Israel plans to destroy the al-Aqsa mosque, perched where the first and second Jewish Temples once stood.

More Virgins for Shahids
ARUTZ-7—Palestinian Authority Hamas official Ahmad Bahr has updated from 72 to 2.5 million the number of virgins awaiting shahids (“martyrs”) “in the Garden of Eden.”

In a recent speech translated by the  Middle East Media Research Institute, Bahr said the “palace” where the virgins are waiting can be entered “only by prophets, by the righteous, and by martyrs.”

Most Muslim preachers and politicians have used the expression “72 virgins” to encourage Arab youth to die in anti-Israeli terrorist attacks and suicide bombings. According to Bahr’s new arithmetic, “In the Garden of Eden, there is a palace…with 500 gates. At every gate, there are 5,000 black-eyed virgins. Brothers, 500 multiplied by 5,000 is 2.5 million.”

In his speech, aired on Hamas television, he said men “should be praying for a son who would wage jihad for the sake of Allah….As long as we continue on this path, nobody on Earth will be able to confront the resistance or the mujahedeen, those who worship Allah and seek martyrdom.”

U.S. Universities Urged to Study in Israel
THE JERUSALEM POST—Eight of America’s top universities will launch study-abroad programs in Israel in 2011 and 2012, the Jewish Agency has announced.

Eight institutions will receive $50,000 each in seed grants from the Jewish Agency’s Masa program to develop study programs with Israeli institutions.

They include Washington University’s Olin Business School with IDC Herzliya, Columbia’s Barnard College with Hebrew University, and the University of Maryland’s Smith School of Business with the University of Haifa. Others are Arizona State University, Case Western Reserve University, Michigan State University, the New Jersey state university system, and the University of Florida.

Harvard already partners with Hebrew University, and the University of Miami partners with UGalilee. They receive a combined $85,000 from Masa Israel.

ZOA Leader Challenges TIME to Debate
ARUTZ-7—Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) President Morton Klein has challenged TIME magazine’s managing editor to a debate over its September cover story, “Why Israel Doesn’t Care About Peace.”

Calling the article “wretched,” Klein accused writer Karl Vick of “falsely claiming Israel doesn’t care about peace, while ignoring the reality of Palestinians having repeatedly rejected every extraordinary peace deal Israel has offered. Not only do they reject peace offers, they also responded with terror and more incitement against Israel and Jews.”

He challenged Vick or TIME  managing editor Richard Stengel to a public debate. TIME  has not responded.

Klein charged, “The cover and the article are a malicious depiction of Israelis as a people more interested in making money and enjoying material pleasures than in concluding a peace agreement with the Palestinians. To prove its bogus thesis, TIME  magazine primarily relied on the words of two Israeli real estate agents, a left-wing columnist, a left-wing academic, and a few others, while totally ignoring Palestinian Authority (PA) lack of interest in peace.”

Klein said Vick “unsubtly” introduced “traditionally anti-Semitic stereotypes about Jews being preoccupied with money at the cost of human virtues. The article shows picture after picture of Israelis enjoying themselves in cafes and lying on sunny beaches.

“This anti-Semitic and misleading cover and article plumbs new depths in TIME magazine’s long-running, historic bigotry towards Israel. The ZOA demands an apology and retraction of this story, which ignores all the concessions Israel has made to the Palestinians, including giving away half of Judea and Samaria, all of Gaza, and agreeing to the recent 10-month construction freeze.”

He said Vick “didn’t tell his readers that in January, when Fatah terrorists murdered and Israeli in a roadside assault, the PA praised the terrorists as martyrs and heroes,” and PA leader Salam Fayyad paid condolence calls on the terrorists.

Castro Denounces Anti-Semitism
Fidel Castro told an American journalist in September he despises anti-Semitism and said Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad should admit that the Holocaust of World War II took place.

In a September article in The Atlantic, Jeffrey Goldberg said the ailing 84-year-old Cuban dictator invited him to Havana to discuss Iran and Israel. Castro excoriated anti-Semitism and said Iran should acknowledge anti-Semitism’s “unique” history and try to understand why Israelis fear for their existence.

Castro said when he was a boy, people “would say, ‘The Jews killed God.’ They blamed the Jews for killing God!…I don’t think anyone has been slandered more than the Jews. I would say much more than the Muslims. They have been slandered much more than the Muslims because they are blamed and slandered for everything. No one blames the Muslims for anything.”

He said the Jewish people “were expelled from their land, persecuted and mistreated all over the world, as the ones who killed God….The Jews have lived an existence that is much harder than ours. There is nothing that compares to the Holocaust,” Castro said.

Wrote Goldberg: “I asked him if he would tell Ahmadinejad what he was telling me. ‘I am saying this so you can communicate it,’ he answered.”

The entire article can be read here.

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