October 1, 2018

UN Secretary-General: Denying Israel’s Right To Exist Is Anti-Semitism

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres told a UNESCO conference on anti-Semitism on Wednesday (26th): “Jews continue to be attacked for no other reason than their identity….Where there is anti-Semitism, there is likely to be other discriminatory ideologies and forms of bias – feeding each other in a cauldron of contempt.  Anti-Semitism threatens all people’s human rights.”

“In more recent times, it is expressing itself in attempts to delegitimize the right of Israel to exist, including calls for its destruction, using the pretext of the situation in the Middle East to target Jews and Jewish symbols….All of us have a duty to fight back,” he added.

Meanwhile, In a response to a growth in global anti-Semitism, Israel’s Mission to the UN set up a “No to Anti-Semitism” pavilion at the UN General Assembly this week.

The goal is to offer world leaders attending the 73rd annual General Assembly a chance to stand up to anti-Semitism.

The pavilion has been operating in the lobby of the entrance to the UN headquarters in New York since the UN General Assembly kicked off on Monday (24th) and will continue till Thursday (28th).

Several of the leaders who visited the pavilion come from countries known for anti-Semitism including Poland, Austria and Ukraine.

(un.org; jpost.com)


Netanyahu Declined Invite to Attend UNESCO Anti-Semitism Conference

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declined an invitation from UNESCO to participate in a conference on anti-Semitism at the UN on Wednesday (26th).  He said: “I have decided not to participate in this week’s UNESCO conference on anti-Semitism due to the organization’s persistent and egregious bias against Israel.  Since 2009, UNESCO has passed 71 resolutions condemning Israel and only 2 resolutions condemning all other countries combined. This is simply outrageous.”

“UNESCO…must do more than host a conference on anti-Semitism.  It must stop practicing anti-Semitism….No matter what UNESCO says, the Western Wall is not occupied Palestinian territory and the Cave of the Patriarchs – the burial site of Abraham and Sarah, Isaac and Rebecca, Jacob and Leah – is not a Palestinian Heritage Site….If and when UNESCO ends its bias against Israel, stops denying history and starts standing up for the truth, Israel will be honored to rejoin.”



PA Reportedly Arrests Dozens Of Hamas Members In The West Bank

The Palestinian Authority security forces arrested dozens of Hamas members in the West Bank early Thursday morning (27th) the Hamas-linked al-Risalah reported, citing sources in the terror group.

The reported arrests came a day after the official PA news site Wafa  reported the Hamas-run security forces summoned dozens of Fatah members in the Gaza Strip and arrested several others, including the son of a Fatah Central Committee member.

The PA dominates urban centers in the West Bank, whereas Hamas controls Gaza.

Wafa also reported the Hamas-run security forces threatened print shop owners with “arrests and beatings” if they printed materials in support of PA Leader Mahmoud Abbas ahead of his speech at the United Nations General Assembly on Thursday (27th).

Fatah, the PA, and the Palestine Liberation Organization organized events in support of Abbas and his UN speech.

“The Abbas security forces’ arrests of dozens of Hamas members in the West Bank represents a dangerous escalation,” said Hamas spokesman Abu Zuhri in a tweet Thursday morning (27th).

Since Hamas forcibly took over Gaza in 2007, the PA has cracked down on its activities in the West Bank and frequently arrests Hamas members.

The reported arrests also came as reconciliation efforts between Hamas and Fatah appear to be at a standstill.



European Parliament Committee Votes To Freeze 15M Euros To PA Over Inciting Textbooks

The European Parliament Budgetary Committee voted to Freeze over 15 million Euros from the Palestinian Authority if they do not remove incitement from their textbooks.

“The reserve will be released,” the bill reads, “when the Palestinian Authority has committed to reform its school curriculum and textbooks to bring them in line with UNESCO standards for peace and tolerance in school education.”

The bill, an amendment to the EU’s draft budget proposed by Budgetary Committee chairwoman MEP Dr. Ingeborg Grassle, is expected to go to a plenary vote on October 24th.

If the bill passes the plenary vote, the EU will withhold 15,440,597 Euros until the PA changes its textbooks.  The European Union is the largest single donor to the Palestinian Authority.

The bill states: “The textbooks published by the PA in 2017, which are financed by the EU…contain, across all subjects, numerous examples of violent depictions, hate speech – in particular against Israel – and glorifications of jihad and martyrdom.  As has already been pointed out by Parliament in its resolution on the 2016 budget discharge (par. 272), EU-financed teaching and training programs should reflect common values.”

(jpost.com; reuters.com)


UK Labour Vote On Israel And Palestinians Is An Empty Gesture – Anshel Pfeffer

At the debate at the UK Labour party’s annual conference in Liverpool on Tuesday (25th), the entire hall was waving Palestinian flags.  A motion to condemn Israeli policies passed in a near-unanimous show of hands. Not only was this the only foreign policy issue debated at any length, but in a preliminary vote by party members on their agenda priorities, Palestine came in fourth – outstripping issues of far greater relevance to British citizens such as the Brexit process and the crisis in the National Health Service.  It certainly didn’t reflect the priorities of the British public, and not even Labour voters.

The Palestine debate was an exercise in virtue-signaling by the party’s ascendant hard left.  Anyway, it was hardly a debate. There were no dissenting voices or anyone trying to present Israel’s position.

The motion freezing British arms sales to Israel is largely declarative, as Israel does not acquire any major weapons systems from Britain – just a few things that could easily be bought elsewhere.  In fact, as far as arms sales go, British acquisitions of Israeli drones, missiles and airborne systems crucial to British operations – as well as most British military-flight training – is more than tenfold the value of British arms bought by Israel.