News Digest — 1/17/23

UN Resolution: Over 90 Nations Demand Israel Lift PA Sanctions

Israel must rescind the sanctions it levied against the Palestinian Authority for seeking assistance from the world court, 90 nations have declared in a signed statement.

“We express our concern regarding the Israeli government’s decision to impose punitive measures against the Palestinian people, leadership and civil society following the request by the General Assembly of an advisory opinion by the International Court of Justice,” the nations said in the statement they signed.

They referenced the UN General Assembly vote to ask the ICJ to issue an advisory opinion on whether Israel’s “occupation” of the West Bank was legal.  The ICJ opinion will also cover Gaza, which is under Hamas control and east Jerusalem, to which Israel applied sovereignty in 1967.

The UN resolution passed with the support of only 87 nations out of the 193-member General Assembly.  Only 16 countries voted against it and 53 abstained.

Among those that signed the text were 24 out of the 27 European Union nations.  The only three EU nations that refrained from signing were Austria, Croatia and Hungary.  Even countries that are supportive of Israel in international forums such as the Czech Republic and Germany signed that statement.

“As member states of the UN, we reconfirm our unwavering support for the ICJ and international law as the cornerstone of our international order, as well as our commitment to multilateralism,” it added.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s new government came into power at the end of last month, just as the Palestinian Authority-led UNGA vote was held. 

One of its first steps was to deduct from the tax fees it collects on behalf of the PA a sum equal to the amount of money the PA spends on monthly stipends to terrorists and their families.

It also removed NIS 139 million from those fees and gave them to Israeli victims of Palestinian terror.  Other steps included halting all PA development in Area C of the West Bank which is under IDF military and civilian control and the denial of PA VIP cards.

Israeli Ambassador to the United Nations Gilad Erdan dismissed the groundswell of global resentment against the PA sanctions, explaining the PA request for an ICJ advisory opinion was an act of “political terrorism” against the Jewish state.

“This is a meaningless declarative statement and every country that signed it only added fuel to the fire of Palestinian incitement and terror, and removed any chance of reconciliation” Erdan added.



Even The PLO Knows The Jews Are Indigenous To Israel – Opinion

The Jewish people originated in and are indigenous to what is now the modern state of Israel.  Jews are from Judea.

Even the masterminds of Palestinian terrorism, those who founded the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO), understood and acknowledged this fact when they drafted their charter in the 1960s, which tellingly states, “Palestine is the homeland of the Arab Palestinian people.”

Why did they refer to Arab Palestinian people rather than just Palestinian people?

The answer is that even the PLO knew they couldn’t erase history, so they chose instead to rewrite history.  This is something they continue to do to this day, with many anti-Israel activists insisting that Jews are European occupiers of a land to which they have no right, a ludicrous claim on its face given the fact that a majority of Israeli Jews are not of European descent.

To deal with the inconvenient historical fact that Jews are the indigenous population of Israel, the drafters of the PLO charter created an arbitrary dividing line to determine who would be considered a Palestinian.  First, The PLO charter deems any Arab who had lived in the entirety of what is now modern Israel prior to the re-establishment of the Jewish homeland to automatically be Palestinian, without regard to whether they were residents in the land.  Further, the PLO charter deemed any Arab (but not Jews) born after 1947 to a Palestinian father to be a Palestinian.

Jews, on the other hand, were excised from their own national identity under the PLO charter.  Only Jews who had resided in what is now modern Israel prior to “the Zionist invasion” would be considered Palestinian.  And what did the PLO even mean when they called it “the Zionist invasion,” 1948 or the 1800s?  The latter, of course.

Jews were forcibly removed from Israel after the destruction of the Second Temple and dispersed across the globe, making Palestine, as conceived by the PLO charter, a nearly Jew-free land before the Zionist movement was ever founded.

Imagine if, at the time of the founding of modern Israel, Jews had made a similar declaration with regard to Arabs.  To wit, Israel would only recognize “Arab Palestinians” who resided in the land and identified as “Palestinian” prior to the time of Abraham.  This would obviously be an impossibility since the term “Palestinian” was created by the Romans after the Bar Kochba revolt in around 130 C.E., while Abraham arrived in the Land of Israel approximately 3,000 years before the first use of the term Palestine.

Recently, anti-Semitic activists have escalated their attacks on Jews, claiming they were “settler colonists” of a land they call Palestine.  In my latest new law review article, I examine the question of colonialism and Israel.  Part of my research involved tracing the history of the Jewish presence in Israel and comparing it to the waves of actual settler-colonists, ending with Palestinian Arabs, who displaced the indigenous Jewish population.

The only way that anti-Israel activists can strip Jews of their status as the indigenous people of the land and eliminate Jewish self-determination is to do as the PLO charter did: ignore history and designate a time when Jews had been ethnically cleansed from their own homeland as the point in time when Jewish history in Israel starts.

There are settler-colonists in Israel, and they are Palestinian Arabs.  Nonetheless, Israel welcomes these settler-colonists and provides them with rights that no other country would provide to invaders and occupiers.  It’s time for Palestinian Arab activists and their supporters to accept history and thank Israel for the gracious hospitality extended to newcomers.

The writer, Marc Herrndorfer is the president of Zachor Legal Institute, a US-based non-profit civil rights legal organization.



Hamas Spies On Israel For Iran From Istanbul – Yoni Ben Menachem

Several senior leaders of Hamas and their families now live permanently in Turkey, and some received Turkish passports.  In addition to engaging in terrorism, they have also established their own businesses.  The intelligence branch of the military wing of Hamas continues to operate unhindered in Istanbul, with the approval of Turkish intelligence, despite Israeli protests.

According to senior Israeli security officials, the Hamas branch in Istanbul collects intelligence on Israel for Iran in exchange for large sums of money.  Hamas terrorists who learned Hebrew in Israeli prisons, along with Hamas cyber experts, monitor the communication networks and phone calls of the IDF, social networks, and computer communications.  This information is then passed on to Iranian intelligence.

Security officials in Israel say that Turkish intelligence, led by Hakan Fidan, is a professional organization with accurate information about everything that happens in the Hamas branch in Istanbul.  However, as long as President Erdogan gives backing to Hamas, nothing can be done.  Israel has committed to Turkey not to act against Hamas operatives on Turkish soil, even though they engage in terrorist activities against it.



EU Financial Support Used To Fund Murder of Jews

The European Parliament in Brussels held a special session last Wednesday (11th) to discuss the funding it provided to the Palestinian Authority, much of which, Israel said, was used to finance monthly stipends to convicted terrorists or their families.  The session began with a memorial service to honor Esther Horgen, a French-Israeli woman who was brutally murdered two years ago while jogging near her home in the West Bank.

Samaria Regional Council head Yossi Dagan said: “The despicable terrorist Muhammad Mruh Kabha, who murdered Esther Horgen receives from you, the European taxpayer, NIS 12,000 ($3,490) per month, six times the average salary in the PA.  So I ask you – does it not pay to kill Jews?”

Binyamin Horgen, Esther’s husband, said: “There are Israelis and Palestinians who work and live together, peacefully.  However, some of the Palestinians do not.  They are guided and supported by their leaders in the Palestinian Authority.”



Sea To Home: Israel’s Desalination Plants Addressing Water Scarcity

In Israel, water is at a premium – there’s not enough natural freshwater for the Jewish state’s 10-million-strong population, which means it has to make its own.

Israel maintains the world’s highest per capita usage of desalinated water, thanks to desalination plants like in Hadera in the country’s north, which pumps water from the Mediterranean Sea and makes it drinkable 24-hours a day, 365 days a year.

Some 75 percent of water consumed in Israel comes directly from the Mediterranean.  Without desalination plants, Israel wouldn’t have access to drinking water due to a lack of natural resources, according to David Muhlgay,  CEO of Omis Water Ltd and head of the Hadera mega-factory.

Muhlgay explained to i24NEWS how one pipe can desalinate and deliver some 137 million cubic meters of drinkable water to the public.

“We can see now, all over the world, that water is becoming scarce.  97 percent of the water on earth is in the sea.  So we have to learn how to desalinate efficiently” he said.

After being extracted from the sea, the seawater is propelled into tubes at very high pressure, where it is filtered until it becomes a perfectly pure liquid.  Certain minerals are then added, such as calcium, before redistribution.

This technique – called “reverse osmosis” – makes it possible to obtain drinking water in as quickly as 90 minutes.

There are already five desalination plants like the one in Hadera along the Mediterranean coast, and the number will rise to seven in the coming years in an effort to meet all of Israel’s future clean water needs.

“In 2018, the government of Israel made a resolution that by 2030, it would desalinate 1.1 billion cubic meters of seawater, and that is anticipating future needs and the growth of the population,” Muhlgay noted.

In the next 30 years, around 60 percent of the world’s population could experience severe shortages of drinking water, according to some experts.  For its part, Israel seems to be sheltered  from these forecasts, thanks to its desalination plants.



Poll: Israelis Remain Proud Of Identity, Youth Identify More As Right-Wing

Israel’s national pride remained stable in 2022, and a higher percentage of young Israelis identified as right-wing, according to the 2022 Israeli Democracy Index, whose findings were released by the Israel Democracy Institute (IDI) on Sunday (15th).

“Pride in being Israeli has remained stable among the Jewish public over the years (multi-year average: 85.9%),” the poll found.

However, the poll also found that since 2019 and until 2022, there was a decline in the percentage of those surveyed who saw Israel’s situation as “good or very good.”

The survey found that over the last 20 years, a higher percentage of younger respondents than of older respondents identified as politically right wing (73% in the 18-24 age group).

The poll noted however that “in all age groups, the percentage of respondents on the right has consistently risen over the years.”

The strongest tension in Israeli society is between Arabs and Jews, the poll found.  The Arab public viewed the tension between the two groups as the worst in the 20 years the poll has been conducted.  The Jewish public also rated the tension highest compared to most other years of the survey.

The Arab riots of Spring 2021 pushed the numbers higher in both groups.

When asked, “Israel is defined as both a Jewish and democratic  state.”

Eighty percent of Jewish respondents said that crucial decisions regarding peace and security should be made by a Jewish majority.  On decisions related to economy and society, 60% said a Jewish majority was necessary.

The survey was conducted on the Internet and by telephone from May 22-June 21, 2022.