Wednesday, April 23, 2014

"Growing numbers of Jewish tourists provokes Jordanians' anger"

Jordan's Erem News reports that Jordanians in the southern part of the country are increasingly upset that Jews are visiting the country, claiming that they are planting fake archaeological treasures to be dug up to help Israel claim that Jordan is really part of Israel.

Jordanian citizens in the city of Tafilah noticed "alarming movements" by eight Jewish tourists camping for a few days, they claim, in order to carry out digs. This provoked "anger and resentment" from them. Abu Ali Al-Majali shot a few shots in the air, (he claims that he didn't know that the Jewish tourists were there, claiming he was testing his gun.) Afterwards the Jews escaped in three vehicles carrying Jordanian license plates, The Jews left amid "angry shouting" by the citizens of the city, which included the throwing of shoes towards the Jews (considered a very severe form of degradation in the Arab world). Abu Ali Al-Majali was arrested by the police.

The article notes in its last paragraph that the Jewish tourists' "exploratory excursions" in the last 15 years frighten the people in the cities in the southern part of Jordan, especially in the regions between Madaba and Karak and Tafilah. The reason is that "according to the 'Jewish historians', these regions were a part of historic Israel, and so the Jews are not ashamed to consider a part of these regions as belonging to their "alleged state", as the "Jewish Lands Agency" said that "Jordan, from its north to its south and from the Dead Sea" is part of the lands of the Jewish people, and that Petra and the Nebo Mountain in Madaba are holier than many Jewish cities which were conquered by Israel ever since its establishment.

According to the article, despite the peace treaty with Jordan, the website of the Israeli Foreign Ministry's website has maps of the Promised Land showing Jewish cities both on the western bank and the eastern bank of the River (Jordan).

The MFA does have some historic maps of the Jewish kingdoms of David,  the Hashmoneans and Herod which of course did include parts of modern-day Jordan, so these seem to be what is upsetting them. Of course, there is no such thing as "ancient Jordan."

In what may be a reaction to this growing Jew-hatred, Jordan has been enforcing a rule that Israeli Jews cannot tour Jordan without a Jordan-approved tour guide.

Israeli Arabs have no such limitations.

(h/t Ibn Boutros)

Archaeologist claims to have found chisel that helped build the Kotel

From Haaretz:

Archaeologists have found a stonemason's chisel that they believe may have been used by the builders of the Western Wall in Jerusalem.

Actually Eli Shukron, an archaeologist working for the Israel Antiquities Authority, found the chisel last summer while digging at the lower base of the Western Wall, south of the Western Wall courtyard. However, the IAA has preferred to remain silent on the discovery, based on the need to study the tool and other evidence further before issuing any statements, it explained.

Shukron has been digging in the area of the City of David and the Western Wall together with Prof. Ronny Reich for the past 19 years, until a few months ago. In recent years Shukron had been excavating inside a tunnel found to lead from the City of David into the Old City, passing beneath its massive stone wall and ending at the Western Wall.

In effect the tunnel is part of a drainage system built beneath the main road during the Second Temple period. At its end within the city, the tunnel is right by Temple Mount and the lower area of the Western Wall, which had been a wall of the Second Temple.

The chisel is just one of many archaeological treasures that Shukron and Reich reported from the area. Other finds include a Roman sword, cooking vessels from the period of the Great Rebellion, a gold bell that they think may have adorned the robe of the High Priest, and a ceramic seal apparently used to confirm the suitability of sacrifices brought to the Temple.
The chisel is 15 centimeters long. Its head had become flattened, almost mushroom-shaped, from being repeatedly banged on rock.

Shukron suspects a builder working at one of the higher levels of the Western Wall, from a scaffolding structure, dropped the thing and couldn't be bothered to climb down and retrieve it. Thus the metal artifact became covered by rubble and stayed that way for 2,000 years. Or maybe he did climb down but couldn't find it.

"I have no doubt that it belongs to the time the Wall was built," Shukron says. "We found it at the base of the Western Wall, about six meters below the main street of Jerusalem in the era of the Second Temple. The coins we found in the area, and ceramics too, indicate that it was at the time the Western Wall was built. The chisel itself was found inside rubble of stone chips that fell from the stonemasons working on the rocks comprising the Western Wall."

It is true that the rocks comprising the Western Wall had been transported there from far away. But the final work on the giant stones, and the job of fitting them with incredible precision, were done on site.

In contrast to the stones at the lower layer of the Wall, which remain quite natural in shape, the stones nearer the top were beautifully worked.

"People pray and kiss these holy stones every day, but somebody carved them, somebody chiseled them, somebody positioned them," Shukron says. "They were workers, human beings, who had tools. Today for the first time we can touch a chisel that belonged to one of them."

The IAA commented that the chisel had been found more than a year ago, and it is awaiting results of tests on the implement, and on other findings at the site. When solid results come in, it will comment, the IAA stated.

(h/t Yoel)

Fatah, Hamas announce "unity" - again (updates)

I'll believe it when I see it....
Rival Palestinian leaders from the West Bank and Gaza Strip have decided to form a government of national unity within the "next five weeks," officials said early on Wednesday.

The agreement, between members of the PLO and Hamas, was reached following talks in Gaza City which began on Tuesday evening, a member of the PLO who wished to remain anonymous told AFP.

"There has also been progress on the holding of future elections and the composition of the PLO," said the Palestinian official without giving further details.

Secretary-general of the Palestinian People's Party Bassam al-Salihi told Ma'an that a "road map plan" had been agreed upon.

The plan starts with the formation of a unity government, which will carry out presidential and parliamentary elections within six months at most, al-Salihi said.

Hamas member Khalil al-Hayya said in a statement Wednesday that noticeable progress had been made in the talks with regards to the implementation of a reconciliation agreement reached in Cairo.

"A positive atmosphere prevailed" during the meetings, al-Hayya said.

Talks, which are taking place behind closed doors, are expected to continue throughout Wednesday.

It is not the first time that a national unity government has been announced by the rival factions, and on several previous occasions attempts to form an administration have collapsed.

Fatah, the PLO's main component, and Hamas signed a reconciliation accord in Cairo in 2011 aimed at ending the political divide between Gaza and the Palestinian Authority-ruled West Bank.
What we can tell from this article is that it is the "moderate" Fatah that is caving to Hamas, and not the other way around. They are not talking only about a "unity" government but about allowing Hamas (and maybe Islamic Jihad) to join the currently Fatah-dominated PLO.

Which is what was discussed in 2011 as well.

What is also clear is that the PLO is more willing to work with Hamas and Islamic Jihad terrorists than it is to negotiate with Israel. Not that this is a surprise; Fatah's goals are identical to Hamas' of destroying Israel, it just managed to fool the West by pretending otherwise when speaking in English.

(UPDATE: Hamas apparently is willing to give control of the Rafah crossing to Fatah, because Egypt does not want to deal with Hamas.)

Hamas cannot abandon its charter while remaining Hamas. There is no wiggle room there; Hamas' goal to destroy Israel is not changing. Fatah, however, has lots of ambiguity in its position on Israel that would allow it to move towards Hamas' position. This is precisely what we will see happening in the next few months, as we've seen in the past - Fatah trying to accommodate Hamas intransigence while papering over that fact when talking to Western media and politicians.

The reaction from the West to this announcement will be telling as well. It is likely that the EU (and possibly the White House) will happily paper over Hamas' terrorism (and ignore Islamic Jihad if they are part of this deal), and continue to pretend that Israel is at fault for not wanting to negotiate its destruction with those whose goals are explicit.

In the end, though, Hamas isn't going to give up its military hold on Gaza and Fatah isn't about to risk its power base in the West Bank. Even in the unlikely event that there are elections by October, the chances that the results would be honored by the losers are pretty low.

The announcement just proves yet again how little Mahmoud Abbas cares about real peace with Israel.

UPDATE 2: Hamas (unofficial) leader Mahmoud Zahar says in Al Monitor:

Al-Monitor: Has Hamas truly abandoned armed resistance while other parties insist upon continuing it?

Zahar: Anyone who claims so must be drunk. How has Hamas abandoned the resistance effort? What are the manifestations of it doing so? Where have we prevented the launching of rockets? The last time three men were martyred as they fired rockets, did we stop them? This so-called ban came as a result of agreements between the factions after the last war. After every war, the factions agree about when to strike and when to stop. Some factions aim to cause tensions on the border crossings, which is not part of the resistance’s plan, but an attempt to bolster the siege by closing down the Kerem Shalom crossing. That is why they are arrested. And, in fact, some of them turn out to be spies or affiliated with factions that have nothing to do with the resistance movement. This is a clear case of psychological projection; those who fought against the resistance, criminalized it, imprisoned it, stripped it of its weapons and cooperated with Israel against it, now want to project their deeds onto Hamas.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Visa removes ad, but Egyptians remain unapologetic about blood libel

The Visa ad was removed from the Egyptian women's magazine that published the most vicious blood libel I've seen in years.

Visa issued a statement (received via email):

We can confirm that the Visa-branded third party advert in El Kebar magazine has been removed. The advert was not directly placed by Visa or any agents acting on its behalf, neither do we have any influence over editorial content. On occasion Visa permits the use of its logo and promotions to third parties so that they may promote their own Visa-branded products. While guidelines for the use of Visa’s logo are stringent, the decision about where the advert is placed lies with the third party. When Visa was made aware of the intolerant nature of the content, we worked to have the advert removed. This took longer than anticipated due to the holiday weekend. We regret that our brand has been associated with this type of content and we condemn intolerance of any kind. We would like to thank the online community and cardholders for alerting us to this issue and for giving us an opportunity to act. We will review our advertising policy to see if there are any changes we can make to improve it.

While Visa successfully distanced itself from the offensive article, no Egyptian has. The article is still online.

On the page of the article itself, a number of people commented about how it was filled with lies. The author, Firnas Hafzi, defended her "research" claiming that she quoted from the Talmud and Torah to prove that Jews drink Christian blood. Of course, she didn't, but instead relied on secondary sources with most questionable provenances, like a 19th century antisemitic essay  called "The Jew, The Gypsy and El Islam" by Richard Burton (who she claims was an expert on Talmud) and which has s strange passage that seems to imply Jews drink gentile blood.

Of course, she must believe that millions of Jews today, from self-haters to the devout, are all jealously guarding the secret conspiracy from the Gentiles so she can only find evidence from obscure works.

On the Facebook page of the head of the Egypt Post, which actually placed the ad, there is no response to inquiries. Similarly, the editor of El Kebar noted on his Facebook page that someone complained to him about the antisemitic article but did not comment besides linking to the article again.

Egyptian antisemitism is simply a fact and there no pushback from Egyptians against it.

Samuel Tadros writes about this phenomenon in an excellent article published this week:
The starting point of the anti-Semitic worldview in Egypt, as elsewhere, is the evil nature of the Jews. Whereas the fact of that evil is a given, its wellspring is a matter of dispute. For those more exposed to European anti-Semitic literature, the source of Jewish evil is racial. The more broadly accepted narrative traces the evil to the Jewish faith. The Jewish people as a collective (and for the anti-Semite, there is no room for individuality for a Jew) has been the premier source of evil for time immemorial. Such evil is often proved through the construction of historical narratives of Jewish evil and betrayal throughout time. Tales of the conflict between Islam’s Prophet and Jewish tribes during the founding period of Islam are thus a favorite subject for Islamists, especially when combined with anecdotes of Jews as murders of prophets and rejecters of God’s message.
Given this evil nature, Jews naturally seek to harm others, according to this belief. Who these “others” are is a matter of debate. For some the other is Islam itself, which Jews view as their natural enemy; for others it is the Arab nation; for Egyptian nationalists it is Egypt that the Jews aim to destroy; for still others it is simply Jewish hatred of mankind in general. Jewish ill will is revealed in various forms. Sometimes anti-Semites invoke European themes, such as the poisoning of wells or blood libel accusations. The Damascus Affair continues to be one of the most frequently believed and used examples in that regard. Fabrications from the Talmud are also common. Some of these themes are given more modern forms, with the blood libel being replaced by Jews stealing body parts, or with well-poisoning being replaced by Israel planting Egypt’s lands with carcinogenic pesticides to kill its people.
Yet I am unaware of any NGOs that fight antisemitism in Egypt or even any that acknowledge it. Of all the organizations that say they support peace between Israel and Arabs, none of them seem to admit that endemic Arab antisemitism is even an issue to be tackled. No, it is Israel that is perceived to be racist, not the wonderful Arabs who tell each other that Jews poison their wells and drink their blood.

04/22 Links: Bibi to PA: When you want peace, let us know; Brandeis U's Anti-Israel Ethics Center

From Ian:

Khaled Abu Toameh: Palestinians: Our Blood Is More Precious Than Jewish Blood
A Palestinian Authority [PA] minister who equated Jewish blood with Palestinian blood has been strongly condemned by many Palestinians, including his own family.
The attacks and threats against PA Minister of Religious Affairs Mahmoud al-Habbash serve as a reminder of the extent to which Palestinians have been radicalized over the past few decades.
The uproar began when al-Habbash, in a meeting with Israeli journalists in Ramallah, was asked about the recent terrorist attack near Hebron that killed police officer Baruch Mizrahi on Passover eve.
In response, al-Habbash said, "We reject all forms for violence, whether they are directed against Israelis or Palestinians. Palestinian blood is like Israeli blood. It is human blood and precious and no one wants anyone killed."
The attacks on al-Habbash have come from Palestinians representing all walks of life, including the ruling Fatah faction in the West Bank.
Zakariya Zubeidi, a well-known former leader of Fatah's terrorist group, the Al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades, called on al-Habbash to apologize to
the Palestinians. "If your blood is like the blood of the Zionists, our blood is not,"
Zubeidi declared.
The Sources of Egyptian Anti-Semitism
Anti-Semitism in Egypt is not merely a form of bigotry. It forms the basis on which its adherents interpret and understand the world. As such, at the forefront of those concerned by its widespread adaptation by the country’s leaders and intellectuals should be Egyptians themselves—at least those who care enough about the country’s future and wish it well. As Walter Russell Mead has argued: “Rabid anti-Semitism coupled with an addiction to implausible conspiracy theories is a very strong predictor of national doom.”
Anti-Semitism is one of the pillars of socio-political life in Egypt. A country consumed with such madness cannot become a flourishing liberal democracy. Egypt should not be doomed to such a condition. Those who seek a better future for their country must begin by combating the vicious monster head on, before it consumes them. (h/t messy1a)
Netanyahu to Palestinians: When you want peace, let us know
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu criticized the Palestinian Authority on Monday, saying that its threat to dissolve and the ruling Fatah faction’s efforts to forge unity with Hamas indicate a lack of desire for peace.
“Today, we saw the Palestinian Authority speak of dismantling itself and also talking about unity with Hamas,” the premier told revelers at a Mimouna celebration in Or Akiva. “They should decide – either dissolve, or enter into a union with Hamas. When they want peace, they should let us know. Because we want a genuine peace.”

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Chag sameach, part 2

I will not be posting anything until at least Tuesday night.

Chag sameach!

The liberals who pretend to care about Arab antisemitism

We've written about the recent incident with Brandeis reversing its invitation for Ayaan Hirsi Ali to speak and receive an honorary degree.

We've also written about how Brandeis reluctantly broke off relations with Al Quds University after the latter sponsored fascist-style pro-terrorist rallies on their campus, and how they are now trying to re-establish those same relations.

By any yardstick, a Nazi-style rally and a rally that celebrates terror is far more offensive than saying negative things about Islam.

In other words, to Brandeis, politically incorrect speech about Muslims is absolutely forbidden, while far more offensive speech and actions by Muslims or Arabs is swept under the rug when it is even acknowledged at all. They are intolerant towards some kinds of speech and very, very tolerant towards others.

This is not only about Brandeis. This year's blood libel in Arab media is not unique; last year I revealed a very similar article on the website of a Palestinian NGO Miftah. Miftah, it will be recalled, gets funding from many European governments and NGOs.

How did these NGOs react to the revelation that they were funding pure hate, the most offensive and libelous accusation anyone can say against Jews?

They hemmed and hawed and got Miftah to issue an obviously insincere apology and then everything was just fine again. Funding continued unabated and everyone was relieved that they could put this episode behind them.

The worst part is that these tepid reactions by Brandeis and the EU towards explicit Arab hate are more severe than the reactions of Western "human rights" activists to most Arab hate and antisemitism!

Don't take it so personally! 
As I've noted in the past, while Human Rights Watch and Amnesty are on the record as saying that antisemitism is a human rights issue, that is only when the antisemitism is from the right. Leftist and Arab antisemitism is roundly ignored, even when a petition is presented to them with thousands of signatures demanding that they be consistent in their positions.

For most of the world, extremist Arab hate is tolerated. At best, it is downplayed, at worst it is ignored. Yet these same people have zero tolerance for a true human rights activist like Ayaan Hirsi Ali.

This is why I am so upset over an Egyptian woman's magazine that publishes pure bigotry and filth. I don't want it to be treated as just one of those things. It is the most offensive article I've seen in any media in a long time, and that's saying something.

And not one so called "liberal" group or "human rights" activist gives a damn.  

Hundreds of newsreels of Palestinian Jews released (VIDEOS)

Israel's Picture a Day site reports:
The giant newsreel archive, British Pathé, released its entire collection of 85,000 films to the public this week.

The films, dating from 1896 to 1976, include hundreds of newsreels from Palestine prior to the establishment of Israel in 1948. We found of particular interest the films of combat between British and Turkish forces during World War I and the brave attempts to push desperate Jewish refugees from Europe past British barriers in the 1930s and 40s.

Here are some that were interesting to me:

US Jews protesting  in New York against Arab pogroms, 1929:

Absurd 1938 film blaming Jews and Arabs equally for Arab riots:

Tel Aviv Jews protest British White Paper in 1939:

Back to the Land (1939)

Jews building a new village (1939)

Rosh Hashanah 1946 in Palestine:

UN Session on Palestine (1947)

The Arabs Declare Holy War (after partition vote - 1947)

04/20 Links: Adele’s sad saga; Fatah accuses AQ leader of 'Zionism'; Iran's 'exercise in deceit'

From Ian:

Peter Beaumont wants you to believe that Jews oppress Christians in Jerusalem
Israel, on the other hand, is the one country in the region where the Christians are free, the population thriving, and their numbers growing.
Yet, despite the fact that Israel is the only safe haven for Christians in the Middle East, the Guardian’s new Jerusalem correspondent Peter Beaumont filed a report employing quintessential Guardian trickery on the issue: imputing Israeli intolerance from a few highly questionable accounts that are, at the very least, completely devoid of context, while ignoring the far more egregious crimes against Christians by Palestinian Muslims.
His report, Christian pilgrims in Jerusalem find their path to the Via Dolorosa is an ever harder road, April 20, all but ignores the larger story, that tens of thousands of Christians were able to visit the Church of the Holy Sepulcher as part of Easter celebrations in Jerusalem’s Old City, and characteristically focuses on a few sporadic complaints.
J Street Student Leaders to Repair Brandeis-Al Quds Relationship UPDATED: Students for Al Quds get $10,000 grant after heckling former IDF spokesman

The students—Eli Philip and Catriona Stewart—serve as the copresidents of Brandeis’s J Street U group. They most recently drew headlines for heckling a former IDF soldier who was speaking on campus.
The Al Quds dialogue initiative comes at a critical time for Brandeis, which is facing a fierce backlash for rescinding an honorary degree from the Islamic human rights activist Ayaan Hirsi Ali.
The J Street leaders were awarded the $10,000 as part of the Davis Projects for Peace program, which encourages students to “design grassroots projects for peace.”
Philip and Stewart wrote in their grant proposal that they are seeking to “create a framework for long-term student dialogue between Brandeis University and Al Quds University.”
Meet the Craziest Anti-Israel Boycotter
The BDS movement is nuts. But even within every nutty movement, there is a horrifying walnut of insanity that no one can crack.
And that brings us to Kat-Yang Stevens.
...In other words, she’s a lesbian who took too many useless college courses before dropping out to annoy people full time.
The last one is the least surprising and the least confusing. And of course she has a zine. Because it’s 1982 on her planet. You can order an issue for only $13 or you can buy five cups of hot coffee and spill them all over yourself. I’m not sure which is a better use of your money.
She hates Keystone, accuses environmental groups of racism and claims to have narrowly avoided the “school to prison pipeline”. Apparently that’s a major problem for spoiled Taiwanese brats living in occupied New York.
Also she claims to have PTSD (what unpaid full time community organizer doesn’t?) and is constantly being victimized by fellow lefties, who, for some inexplicable reason, claim that she’s insane, when she’s only confronting their white supremacism. Also she likes to refer to herself in the third person using gender neutral pronouns to define her identify.

The Death of the Left (Michael Lumish)

Michael Lumish, of the Israel Thrives blog as well as a regular blogger at Times of Israel and Jews Down Under, continues his weekly column here at EoZ.

Iconic feminist professor, Phyllis Chesler, has a piece for Arutz Sheva entitled Brandeis Feminists Fail the Historic Moment.

She writes:
Feminists have called Hirsi Ali an “Islamophobe” and a “racist” many times for defending Western values such as women’s rights, gay rights, human rights, freedom of religion, the importance of intellectual diversity, etc.

The 1960s-early 1970s feminism I once championed — and still do — was first taken over by Marxists and ideologically "Stalinized." It was then conquered again by Islamists and ideologically "Palestinianized."

I and a handful of others maintained honorable minority positions on a host of issues. In time, women no longer mattered as much to many feminists — at least, not as much as Edward Said's Arab men of color did. The Arab men were more fashionable victims who had not only been formerly "colonized" but who, to this day are, allegedly, still being “occupied."
My problem with the progressive-left is not that I am either a conservative or a Republican who opposes western-liberal values, but that the western-left has betrayed its own values, as Phyllis Chesler would certainly understand.

The western Left, as a political movement, claims to believe in universal human rights. It believes that people the world over, in every society, deserve to be treated in a decent and respectful manner consistent with contemporary western ideals of human justice as derived from the political Enlightenment prior to the American and French Revolutions. Progressives also claim to believe in the ideal of multiculturalism. As alleged anti-racists they refuse to condemn social practices or ideologies of "indigenous" peoples - by which they mean anyone who is neither white, nor Jewish - because to do so represents a white imperialist racist imposition onto the natural autonomy of other peoples.

This has led in recent decades to a generally unacknowledged tension between the competing ideals of universal human rights and multiculturalism. The fundamental problem is that these are inherently contradictory notions. If one believes in universal human rights then by necessity one must be opposed to, say, the stoning of women in Pakistan for violations of al-Sharia. If a political movement fails to stand up for such an abomination than it cannot be said to stand for universal human rights. The reason that the progressive-left fails to strongly stand against such practices in that part of the world is because in the ideological contest between universal human rights and the multicultural ideal, the multicultural ideal won the day.

It is thus considered "racist" to criticize non-white or non-Jewish peoples' cultural practices, including stonings, honor killings, female genital mutilization, and calls for genocide.

In this way the western Left has thrown the very concept of universal human rights into the toilet thereby paving the way for the western Left betrayal of women, Gay people, Jewish people, and the Christian minority in the Middle East, as well as its own essential values.

After all, if the western Left does not stand for universal human rights then what can it possibly stand for?

The Betrayal of Women

There was a time when western feminism stood up for women in the Middle East, but those days are long gone. In the 1990s the feminist Left took the lead in opposing the Taliban in Afghanistan and the mistreatment of their women according to fundamentalist Islamic principles. Since then, however, as the tension between universal human rights and the multicultural ideal has played itself out in the west, progressive-left feminism has decided that the burka might represent a form of liberation and that the Muslim Middle East treats their women in a manner that should not be objected to. To the extent that there are feminists who are speaking up against Islamic misogyny, with the exception of pioneers like Phyllis Chesler, they are merely whispers in the wind.

The Betrayal of Gays

The only place throughout the entire Middle East where it is socially acceptable to be Gay is Israel. The Muslim Middle East is probably the most homophobic place on the planet and Iranians hang Gay people from cranes for the crime of being Gay. Nonetheless Queers Against Apartheid support the Arab aggressors over the Jewish defenders in that part of the world and do so out of concerns for "social justice." Thankfully, Queers Against Apartheid, and other like-minded organizations, represent only a tiny proportion of western Gay people, but that doesn't change the fact that the western Left, as a whole, has failed to speak up in defense of a persecuted Gay minority in that part of the world. For the same reason that they fail to speak up for women in the Middle East, so progressives fail to speak up for Gay people in the Middle East. To do so would be in violation of the multicultural ideal and thereby considered racist.

The Betrayal of Jews

Because the Jews of the Middle East are considered imperialists, if not interlopers, on historically Jewish land the western progressive-left tends to view the tiny Jewish minority as the aggressors against the innocent "indigenous" Arab population. In order to do this they must contract the conflict in both time and geographical space so that the tiny Jewish minority that is under siege by the great Arab majority is seen in the West as a hostile majority population persecuting a small native population. Instead of understanding the conflict as it is, i.e., as a religiously-based conflict by the Arab-Muslim majority against the tiny Jewish minority, they portray it as a conflict between Jewish aggressors and largely innocent "Palestinians." Likewise, instead of understanding the conflict in the full dimensions of its historical context they contract it in order to make it seem that Jewish hostility toward Arabs in the middle of the twentieth-century is the primary cause. This is false. Religious hostility towards Jews since the time of Muhammad is the primary cause and will remain the driving force for Islamic hatred toward Jews, and toward Israel, until such a time as Islam reforms itself.

The Betrayal of Christians

The rise of political Islam throughout the Middle East has meant a ramping up of Christian persecution throughout that part of the world. The Christians under Arab-Muslim dominance today are being chased out of the Middle East, just as the Jews were chased out in the middle of the twentieth-century, thereby creating Fortress Israel. Since the fall of Muhammad Morsi in Egypt, the Copts have been under very intense persecution. Dozens of churches, perhaps as many as one hundred, have been set aflame in Egypt and the Coptic Christians are blamed for the well-deserved failure of the Muslim Brotherhood. Christians throughout the country have been tortured and killed. Much the same is true in Syria where the Christian population finds itself caught in-between a civil war between Shia and Sunni, secularist dictators and theocratic monarchists. It is a very sad thing to witness the Christian west failing to stand up for Christians throughout the Muslim Middle East. The sense of abandonment by Middle Eastern Christians must be profound.

What we are witnessing today is the erosion of contemporary western liberalism.

Western liberalism, as it emerged from World War II, became a political movement heavily invested in what we might call "rights liberalism." If pre-World War II western liberalism was primarily about economic justice, post-war liberalism was primarily about human rights and civil liberties. Liberals championed the Civil Rights Movement, the Women's Rights Movement, the GLBT Movement, Brown Power, and so forth. It championed the Anti-War Movement, Environmentalism, and issues of social justice across the board.

The movement always claimed to believe that such rights were universal, but we are now seeing that it does not have the will to actually stand up for what it claims to believe in. Western feminism gave up its last breath in Afghanistan and the larger progressive movement is choking on the sands of its own internal contradictions as it studiously ignores human rights violations throughout the world, particularly in the Muslim Middle East and Africa.

Abbas threatens to dismantle the PA. Yet again.

YNet reports:
The era of the two-state solution may soon be rocked by a decision that could signal its demise. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas is mulling the merits of a proposal to dismantle the Palestinian Authority, Yedioth Ahronoth reported Sunday morning.

Palestinian sources confirm that the government in Ramallah was considering the unprecedented move. Senior sources in the IDF's Central Command, who recently met with the heads of the Palestinian security services confirmed their West Bank counterparts were sincerely debating dismantling and disarming the PA's forces.

Officials in the Israeli administration have been informed of the dramatic threat, according to Palestinian sources.
Dramatic! Unprecedented!

Reporters that don't know recent history!

December 2012:
If diplomatic stagnation continues after the Israeli election and construction in the settlements doesn't stop, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas will dismantle the PA and return responsibility for the West Bank to the Israeli government, he told Haaretz in an interview on Thursday.

"If there is no progress even after the election I will take the phone and call [Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu," Abbas said. "I'll tell him, 'my dear friend, Mr. Netanyahu, I am inviting you to the Muqata [the PA presidential headquarters in Ramallah]. Sit in the chair here instead of me, take the keys, and you will be responsible for the Palestinian Authority."

"Once the new government in Israel is in place, Netanyahu will have to decide -- yes or no," Abbas said.
December 2010:
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas threatened to dissolve the Palestinian Authority (PA) if Israel does not stop building settlements on occupied Palestinian land, he told Palestinian television before heading to Turkey and Athens.

"If Israel does not stop settlement building and if US support for the negotiations collapses, I will strive to end Palestinian self-rule in the occupied territories," he said.

"I cannot be the president of a non-existent authority as long as Israeli occupation of the West Bank continues," he said.
November 2009:
Mahmoud Abbas, president of the Palestinian Authority, has threatened to walk out on the struggling peace process between Palestine and Israel. Abbas announced he would not be running for election in January only a few days before other Palestinian officials claimed they were meeting in order to consider disbanding the authority. Internationally this has caused much dismay, as it strikes a blow to the fragile infrastructure of Palestine’s limited sovereignty as well as crushing hopes of further peace talks with Israel.
September 2008:
Rafik Husseini, the top adviser to the Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, told The Sunday Telegraph that Palestinian politicians may take the drastic step of disbanding the authority if a lasting agreement is not reached during the current peace negotiations.

Such a move would mark the end of the US-backed talks launched with much fanfare at Annapolis last November, the report said, and put day-to-day Palestinian governance back in Israeli hands, almost certainly igniting fresh violence in the process.
July 2008:
Abbas vows to dismantle PA if Israel frees Hamas prisoners for Shalit
June 2007:
President Mahmoud Abbas will dissolve the Palestinian Authority's government Thursday after fighting between rival parties Hamas and Fatah consumed the Gaza Strip and was expected to call for a state of emergency, sources close to Abbas confirmed to FOX News.

But this time he really means it!

Qatar reneges on promise to employ thousands of Palestinians

Ma'an reported n January:

Qatari Emir Sheikh Tamim Ibn Hamad Al Thani has given orders to grant work visas to 20,000 Palestinians, the Palestinian ambassador to Qatar told Ma'an on Monday.

The move comes after 20 years in which Palestinians were prevented by Qatari authorities from acquiring visas to work in the prosperous Persian Gulf emirate, according to the ambassador.

Muneer Ghannam told Ma'an that Palestinian Authority prime minister Rami Hamdallah, who met with Sheikh Tamim two weeks ago, had requested that Qatar allow Palestinian specialists to work in Qatar in order to help reduce unemployment rates in Palestine.

The Emir of Qatar responded positively and eventually approved the entry of 20,000 Palestinians to work in his country.

The ambassador highlighted that the Palestinian Authority minister of interior Said Abu Ali and his Qatari counterpart signed an agreement detailing all employment conditions and regulations.
Tens of thousands of Palestinian Arabs applied for these jobs, both in person and online.

But in the end it was just another broken Arab promise.

As of this week some 40,000 applied for work in Qatar, but Qatar froze the process and has not allowed a single Palestinian Arab to enter its territory for work.

Showing once again how much Arabs care about their Palestinian "brothers." They are quick to make promises but don't exactly make a habit of following through.