Sunday, April 28, 2013
Evelyn Gordon 04.18.2013 http://tinyurl.com/cfpmpok
The UN High Commissioner for Refugees is threatening to end relief operations for Syrian refugees - who currently number 1.3 million and counting - if it doesn’t receive the necessary funds soon. The agency says it has received only a third of the $1 billion it needs to mfund its work through June, and only $400 million of the $1.5 billion donors pledged earlier this year. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has warned explicitly that without more funds, UNHCR will have to stop distributing food to refugees in Lebanon next month. And Jordan, which has the largest largest of Syrian refugees, is threatening to close its borders to new entrants unless more aid is forthcoming urgently.
Meanwhile, another UN agency enjoys comfortable funding of about $1 billion a year to help a
very different group of refugees - refugees who
- generally live in permanent homes rather than flimsy tents in makeshift camps
- have never faced the trauma of flight and dislocation,
- having lived all their lives in the place where they were born often
- have jobs that provide an income on top of their refugee benefits
- enjoy regular access to schooling, healthcare and all the other benefits of non-refugee life.
In short, these “refugees” are infinitely better off than their Syrian brethren - yet their generous funding continues undisturbed even as Syrian refugees are facing the imminent loss of such basics as food and fresh water. I am talking, of course, about UNRWA.
It has long been clear that UNRWA - which deals solely with Palestinian refugees, while UNHCR bears responsibility for all other refugees on the planet - is a major obstacle to Israeli-Palestinian peace. Since, unlike UNHCR, it grants refugee status to the original refugees’ descendants in perpetuity, the number of Palestinian refugees has ballooned from under 700,000 in 1949 to over five million today, even as the world’s non-Palestinian refugee population has shrunk from over 100 million to under 30 million. Moreover, while UNHCR’s primary goal is to resettle refugees, UNRWA hasn’t resettled a single refugee in its history: by its definition, refugees remain refugees even after acquiring citizenship in another country. It has thereby perpetuated and exacerbated the Palestinian refugee problem to the point where it has become the single greatest obstacle to an Israeli-Palestinian agreement. Quite simply, Israel cannot absorb five million Palestinian refugees (though it could easily absorb the fewer than 50,000 original refugees who still remain alive); yet under UNRWA’s rules, refugee status can’t be ended except by resettlement in Israel.
But an even more basic reason for abolishing UNRWA is the harm it does to the world’s most vulnerable people - real refugees like the Syrians. Were the Palestinians handled by UNHCR like all other refugees are, UNHCR would have the budgetary flexibility to temporarily divert aid from the Palestinians who need it far less to people who need it more, like the Syrians today. Instead, it is forced to watch helplessly as Syrian refugees go roofless and hungry while $1 billion in aid is squandered on Palestinians with homes, jobs, and all the comforts of settled life.
Anyone who claims to have a shred of genuine humanitarian concern for refugees ought to be agitating for UNRWA’s abolition and the Palestinians’ transfer to UNHCR’s auspices. Unfortunately for the Syrians, it seems that many of the world’s self-proclaimed humanitarians prefer harming Israel to helping those who need it most.
Sunday, April 21, 2013
Read. this article . It would be funny if it wasn't so typical of the BBC.
The headline of news he was complaining about was "Labour peer Lord Ahmed was suspended after "Jewish claims"
And some of you may ask why should we protest against such dreadful misinformation.whether on BBC TV , radio or on their website . It's not that important is it? The answer lies in the facts below and the fact that if people bothered to complain the BBC would have to take notice becuse it costs the money to employ people to respond to complaints. especially if you appeal against their answers.
1. About BBC News
BBC News reaches 81% of the UK each week across all platforms.
Overall, BBC TV accounts for 73% of TV news consumption but produces just 25%.
The BBC regional 6.30pm news slot is the most watched UK bulletin.
The BBC News Channel is the most watched news channel reaching over 9m adults weekly.
The BBC News website is now used by over 20 million UK browsers each week.
BBC Network Radio news reached 54% of adults weekly in 2012 The audience to Global News in 2011/12 was 239 million, up 14m on the previous year.
1. BBC remains the news provider that the UK public trusts the most by far. An Ipsos Mori survey for the BBC, conducted in The February 2013, showed BBC News is by far the most trusted source of news in the UK – with 58% selecting it as the one source they would most likely to turn for news they trust, significantly ahead of the nearest provider (ITV on 14%).
The BBC is also considered the leading source for news that is trustworthy and impartial.
A YouGov poll for the Sunday Times between the 27-28 March contained questions from looking at trust in professions, including BBC news journalists.
It showed scores for trust in BBC journalists have risen markedly since December, back to levels seen in January 2012 1. The BBC remains the news provider that the UK public trusts the most by far. An Ipsos Mori survey for the BBC, conducted in February 2013, showed BBC News is by far the most trusted source of news in the UK – with 58% selecting it as the one source they would most likely to turn for news they trust, significantly ahead of the nearest provider (ITV on 14%).
The BBC is also considered the leading source for news that is trustworthy and impartial.
A YouGov poll for the Sunday Times between the
27-28 March contained questions from looking at trust in professions, including BBC news journalists. It showed scores for trust in BBC journalists have risen markedly since December, back to levels seen in January 2012
Wednesday, April 17, 2013
• By JONATHAN S. TOBIN
• April 14, 2013
The resignation of Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Salam Fayyad is a pivotal moment in the history of the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians. His exit lays bare the collapse of what The New York Times called “Fayyadism” — the hope that Palestinian nationalism would be refocused on development and coexistence rather than violence. Without the fig leaf of responsibility that Fayyad provided, the idea that the PA is anything but a corrupt regime fatally compromised by connections with terror rings false.
Fayyad’s inability to either generate much public support among the people of the West Bank or to use his credentials as a respected international figure to outmaneuver PA President Mahmoud Abbas is a tragedy for the Palestinian people. His failure dooms them to a choice between the venal and incompetent cadres of Fatah or the bloody Islamist tyranny of Hamas.
Fayyad has always had the strong support of both the United States and of Israel, which despite its suspicions about the PA has seen him as an essential interlocutor and partner. His problem is that Abbas’ Fatah Party viewed him as an obstacle to both its drive for political hegemony in the West Bank as well as to the continuation of its crooked patronage schemes that diverted foreign-aid money into its leaders’ pockets.
Without a Fayyad (or someone like him), there is no pretense that what the peace processers seek to create in the West Bank is a state living in peace with Israel or its other Arab neighbors, rather than a kleptocracy run by terrorists. That is not only bad news for the Palestinian people, but also a guarantee that the terms of any peace deal signed with them will not be observed.
This conundrum goes to the heart of the original motivations behind the Oslo process that created the PA in 1993.
Shimon Peres conceived the Oslo process as a path to a “New Middle East” in which Israel and a Palestinian state led by Fayyads would create a Benelux-like enclave in the Middle East. The late Yitzhak Rabin, though, thought handing the territories over to Yasser Arafat would work because the old terrorist would be willing to settle for statehood in only part of the country and would then be free to quash Hamas and any other terrorists without the interference of a Supreme Court or gadfly groups that inhibited Israeli counter terror measures.
As it turns out, both were wrong. Peres’ hopes about what the PA would become were delusional. But the hard-boiled Rabin was just as wrong to think a Palestinian state led by corrupt terrorists isn’t antithetical to the entire concept of two states for two peoples living alongside each other in peace. This has already been amply demonstrated, first by Arafat’s use of terrorism and then by what has happened in Gaza where an independent Palestinian state in all but name already exists.
Fayyad’s tragedy was not just that both Fatah and Hamas wanted to be rid of him, but that he had virtually no support among ordinary Palestinians. So long as shedding Jewish blood is the main factor that gives a Palestinian political party credibility, men like Fayyad will have no chance no matter how much they are applauded by Americans or Israelis.
The collapse of his effort to change Palestinian politics is therefore a key moment that should signal to the world that it must dispense with the theories of both Peres and Rabin and cease ignoring reality in favor of illusions.
Thursday, April 4, 2013
By Charles Krauthammer, Published: March 29
“I honestly believe that if any Israeli parent sat down with those [Palestinian] kids, they’d say, ‘I want these kids to succeed.’ ”
Very true. But how does the other side feel about Israeli kids?
Consider that the most revered parent in Palestinian society is Mariam Farhat of Gaza. Her distinction? Three of her sons died in various stages of trying to kill Israelis — one in a suicide attack, shooting up and hurling grenades in a room full of Jewish students.
She gloried in her “martyr” sons, wishing only that she had 100 boys like her schoolroom suicide attacker to “sacrifice . . . for the sake of God.” And for that she was venerated as “mother of the struggle,” elected to parliament and widely mourned upon her recent passing.
So much for reciprocity. In the Palestinian territories, streets, public squares, summer camps, high schools, even a kindergarten are named after suicide bombers and other mass murderers. So much for the notion that if only Israelis would care about Arab kids, peace would be possible.
That hasn’t exactly been the problem. Israelis have wanted nothing more than peace and security for all the children. That’s why they accepted the 1947 U.N. partitionof British Palestine into a Jewish and Arab state. Unfortunately — another asymmetry — the Arabs said no. To this day, the Palestinians have rejected every peace offer that leaves a Jewish state standing.
This is not ancient history. Yasser Arafat said no at Camp David in 2000 and at Taba in 2001. And in 2008, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert offered a Palestinian state on all of the West Bank (with territorial swaps) with its capital in a shared Jerusalem. Mahmoud Abbas walked away.
In that same speech, Obama blithely called these “missed historic opportunities” that should not prevent peace-seeking now. But these “missed historic opportunities” are not random events. They present an unbroken, unrelenting pattern over seven decades of rejecting any final peace with Israel.
So what was the point of Obama’s Jerusalem speech encouraging young Israelis to make peace, a speech the media drooled over? It was mere rhetoric, a sideshow meant to soften the impact on the Arab side of the really important event of Obama’s trip: the major recalibration of his position on the peace process.
Obama knows that peace talks are going nowhere. First, because there is no way that Israel can sanely make concessions while its neighborhood is roiling and unstable — the Muslim Brotherhood taking over Egypt, rockets being fired from Gaza, Hezbollah brandishing 50,000 missiles aimed at Israel, civil war raging in Syria with its chemical weapons and rising jihadists, and Iran threatening openly to raze Tel Aviv and Haifa.
Second, peace is going nowhere because Abbas has shown Obama over the past four years that he has no interest in negotiating. Obama’s message to Abbas was blunt: Come to the table without preconditions, i.e., without the excuse of demanding a settlement freeze first.
Obama himself had contributed to this impasse when he imposed that precondition — for the first time ever in the history of Arab-Israeli negotiations — four years ago. And when Israel responded with an equally unprecedented 10-month settlement freeze, Abbas didn’t show up to talk until more than nine months in — then walked out, never to return.
In Ramallah last week, Obama didn’t just address this perennial Palestinian dodge. He demolished the very claim that settlements are the obstacle to peace. Palestinian sovereignty and Israeli security are “the core issue,” he told Abbas. “If we solve those two problems, the settlement problem will be solved.”
Finally. Presidential validation of the screamingly obvious truism: Any peace agreement will produce a Palestinian state with not a single Israeli settlement remaining on its territory. Any settlement on the Palestinian side of whatever border is agreed upon will be demolished. Thus, any peace that reconciles Palestinian statehood with Israeli securityautomatically resolves the settlement issue. It disappears.
Yes, Obama offered the ritual incantations about settlements being unhelpful. Nothing new here. He could have called them illegal or illegitimate. It wouldn’t have mattered — because Obama officially declared them irrelevant.
Exposing settlements as a mere excuse for the Palestinian refusal to negotiate — that was the news, widely overlooked, coming out of Obama’s trip. It was a breakthrough.
Will it endure? Who knows. But when an American president so sympathetic to the Palestinian cause tells Abbas to stop obstructing peace with that phony settlement excuse, something important has happened. Abbas, unmasked and unhappy, knows this better than anyone.