Friday, February 6, 2009

They listened to me!

Check out this article - UNRWA supsends Gaza aid after Hamas steals supplies

And this is being covered by international news agencies as well.



So here's the story. 

As soon as the UN aid - over 200 tons of grain, flour, etc - made its way through the Kerem Shalom Crossing from Israel into Gaza on Thursday, it was seized by trucks contracted by the Hamas Ministry of Social Affairs.

Are we seeing the emergence of the ruthless, Islamist, terrorist version of Robin Hood?

Hamas claims that the UN was distributing aid to their "enemies", and was being political in their actions, and therefore they needed to change the situation on the ground. 

This incident, which is the second time Hamas has jacked UN this week, is not a new trend. They love to take, take, take.

Nuaf Atar, a Fatah operative captured during last month's war in Gaza, told the Israeli Shin Bet (Security Agency) that the Hamas govenrment confiscated humanitarian aid Israel allowed into the strip during Operation Cast Lead, and sold it, when it was intended for all of Gaza at no price. (Jerusalem Post article)

Israel, which took a 3 hour ceasefire during the war each day in order to allow aid into the strip, the place where terrorists launched rockets in the direction of one million innocent Israeli Muslims and Jews, has been blamed for the humanitarian issues in Gaza, when in fact, Hamas had been preventing the aid from getting to innocent Palestinians the whole time.

Ummm, so who is at fault for Gaza's woes? 

According to the Jerusalem Post, "Officials in Jerusalem said the announcement by UNRWA constituted a UN approval and confirmation of Israel's position, that Hamas is using the Palestinian population in gaza "cruelly and cynically" and is solely responsible for hardship there."

Finally, the U.N gets it! 

Their actions say something, but now lets put it into words. 

Let's see the security council come out with a resolution against Hamas brutality in the Gaza Strip, and blame who is really responsibly for the "humanitarian crisis" in Gaza. 

Furthermore, I'd like to see the "moderate" leaders of the Arab World and their friends in Europe condemn Hamas for the hardship in Gaza.

So in short, those in the world - especially Turksih Prime Minister Edrogan (ucch this Guy needs to chill, but that's a whole different story) - condemning Israel for causing a humanitarian crisis in Gaza need to shut it! 

If I screamed from the rooftops and people listened, this is what I would say, "Can someone important with a lot of power and world influence communicate to his or her important powerful friends that Hamas steals from their own people, makes money off of their crimes, and then they get away with it because everyone is wrongfully blaming Israel's "blockade" and "occupation". 

If only my mom were not the only person who thinks I'm an important, powerful person with a lot of influence...

Monday, February 2, 2009

UNRWA - the problem, not the solution


In the recent conflict between Israel and Hamas in the Gaza Strip, UNRWA (United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees in the Near East) came to our attention when the IDF struck an UN school after Hamas terrorists hiding amongst the civilians seeking shelter in the school fired mortars at Israeli forces. 

According a report I read, the Hamas dudes had been holding the women and children in the school hostage - what a surprise, terrorists using human shields against Israel!

There is precedent for Hamas doing this. Look at this video from October 2007 of terrorists launching mortars from a UN school. 



On the other hand, UNWRA's man in charge in Gaza declared that there is no evidence of Hamas using his school to hide, or do any other of the shady/scandalous/terroristy things that they do. 

If that's what Mr. UNWRA has to say, then it's obviously true. 

Of course, Israel was not attacked by terrorists from the school because how could bad guys be hiding in an UN area - the UN is not biased and does not overwhelmingly support one side in this conflict right? And as the video you see above, they've never done it before...

Ok, well, what exactly is UNRWA? 

Established by the United Nations in December 1949, their aim is "to carry out direct relief and works programmes for Palestine refugees." Furthermore,  "In the absence of a solution to the Palestine refugee problem, the General Assembly has repeatedly renewed UNRWA's mandate, most recently extending it until 30 June 2011" (http://www.un.org/unrwa/overview/index.html).

The description on the founding of the group reads (http://www.un.org/unrwa/overview/index.html):

"UNRWA is unique in terms of its long-standing commitment to one group of refugees and its contributions to the welfare and human development of four generations of Palestine refugees."

Four generations of Palestinian refugees...Are you kidding me?!?! Over sixty years later, and children being born today in Gaza are still classified as refugees? Their families have been living there for four generations! 

Why shouldn't they be classified as refugees? Well, let's take a look at how other UN agencies classify refugees. 

"Unlike the U.N. High Commission for Refugees, which deals with the rest of the world's refugees and aims to settle them in their respective host countries, UNRWA perpetuates the Palestinian problem by classifying as refugees not only those who originally fled their homes, but all of their descendents as well," says Gunnar Heinsohn in his recent Wall Street Journal op-ed piece on UNRWA's perpetuation of the Palestinian refugee problem (http://online.wsj.com/article/SB123171179743471961.html?mod=rss_opinion_main).

Check out the U.N High Commission for Refugees definition of refugee status - http://www.unhcr.org/protect/PROTECTION/3b66c2aa10.pdf

UNRWA has never tried to encourage the development of the Palestinian economy or civil society. How do I know this? Look at these simple facts posted on the UNWRA website.

- 750,000 Gazans rely on UNRWA Food Aid

- 200,000 children attend 221 UNRWA schools throughout Gaza. 

Half of Gaza relies on the U.N. Yikes! What if the U.N actually tried to help Gaza develop its economy and society? I got an idea of how they can do that. 

Why doesn't UNRWA say that by the end of the year, it will begin to slowly end its aid for those newborns in the Gaza Strip, and stop classifying the fourth generation as refugees. This would eventually ween the Palestinian population from relying on aid. They could even coordinate with the Gazan government to encourage civil society and economic development. Maybe they could even pressure those in charge a little bit to invest in infrastructure, the economy, you know, jobs for their people, instead of rockets, booby trapping their neighborhoods, and building tunnels to smuggle really bad stuff from really bad people in Iran.  

Oh wait, who's in charge? Right, a terrorist organization. Crud! UNRWA sees it fit to make the problem worse in Gaza. Let's see how they do this.

As Heinsohn explains, "Gazan teenagers have no future other than war. One rocket master killed is immediately replaced by three young men for whom a martyr's death is no less honorable than victory. Some 230,000 Gazan males, aged 15 to 29, who are available for the battlefield now, will be succeeded by 360,000 boys under 15 (45% of all Gazan males) who could be taking up arms within the coming 15 years...The reason for Gaza's endless youth bulge is that a large majority of its population does not have to provide for its offspring. Most babies are fed, clothed, vaccinated and educated by UNRWA, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East."

And what are these youth doing? They fight. If they're not launching rockets at Israel, they're killing each other. Remember, it was only two years ago when Hamas took over the Gaza Strip in a bloody coup against their "pragmatic" Fatah rivals, 300 Palestinian dead and 1,000 wounded later.

In short, because these men have no reason to get a job because they're given everything by the UN, they have nothing else to do, so what's better than guns, rockets, more guns, and well...more rockets. 

I guess in Gaza they have a different reason why there are no jobs. 

In America and the rest of the world, this thing called the financial crisis has been kind of messing things up. 

But in Gaza, well they got the United Nations making sure young men are jobless, rely on "food stamps" and turn to terrorism as a means to salvation. 

Good going guys, keep up the good work!

Keep ruining hopes for peace for many generations to come! 

Monday, January 19, 2009

I just returned from a two week visit to Israel. I spent my last weekend in Sderot and the Western Negev. One year out from volunteering in Sderot, I have written this piece on the international media's lack of context in covering the current conflict between Israel and Hamas.

Get the Story Right!

Hundreds of journalists from all over the world just left Sderot and the surrounding areas covering the current conflict between Israel and Hamas. Where were they one year ago? Where were they four years ago, eight years ago? I spent six weeks volunteering in Sderot exactly one year ago, and I can tell you, the journalists were no where to be found. 

(Look at the little 
village they had overlooking Gaza)

Unfortunately for Israel, it took eight years for the international community to understand that innocent civilians in a western democracy live daily under the current threat of rocket fire. During this time, the range of the threat expanded from a tens of thousands to over one million innocent Jewish and Muslim Israeli citizens.


In these eight years, has the UN Security Council ever condemned nearly a decade of rocket fire on innocent civilians of one of its member
states, Hamas’ use of human shields, and its use of schools, hospitals, and Mosques to store and launch rockets at Israel?

Are you laughing at me for even thinking to ask such a question? Well you should be, because 
why would anyone assume the international community to be, um, sensible?

Maybe they could be just a little rational? Nah, that’s just too silly!

Furthermore, has any news organization mentioned the fact Israel is the only western democracy in the entire world that has a significant – let alone any – part of its population
living under the threat of daily
rocket fire?

“Oh it’s just Israel, who cares right?” “They can take it?” Or rather, “Maybe they deserve it, right?”  

Well you know what I have to say that...





INTERNATIONAL MEDIA!




I’d also like to thank the international media for providing ZERO context for the humanitarian issues of the Palestinian people.

Let me describe to you a little bit of Israel’s commitment to helping the Palestinians suffering from the wrath of their authoritarian, fanatical terrorist rulers, Hamas.

From the beginning of Operation Cast Lead, December 27, 2008, until January 12, 2009:

- 926 truckloads (22,046 tons) of humanitarian aid were delivered to Gaza

- 449 dual nationals were evacuated from Gaza

- 3000 units of blood were donated by Jordan and transferred into Gaza

- 5 ambulances were donated by Turkey and transferred into Gaza

- 5 ambulances were transferred from the West Bank to Gaza on behalf of the Palestinian Red Crescent Society

- 34 people were evacuated to Israel for medical needs

On Jan. 7, 2009, the IDF decided it would ceasefire for three hours each day in order to let humanitarian aid reach civilians in the Gaza Strip.


I love when this gets mentioned, and they say three hours is simply not enough. So, Israel should stop defending its civilians all together, fully commit itself to giving aid to the other side, and allow terrorists to fire rockets at it and threaten one million of its population?

Do you find it a tad bit odd that Israel is forced not only to defend its own citizens, but those of its enemies as well? Well I don’t…I mean, isn’t every western democracy supposed to do that during wars? Duh!

I got a question for you Mr. and Mrs. International Media.

Israel is the bad guy? Are you kidding me!

What does Hamas do for Israeli civilians? Oh yeah, they’ve been terrorizing them with rockets for the last eight years!

What other country, when immersed in a full scale war, commits itself to providing humanitarian aid to their enemy? Oh yeah, Russia!

Did you know Hamas is also really nice to their innocent women and children? Yes you did, because that’s what you would assume from watching the news over the last few weeks. 

However, a Palestinian child from Gaza describes how Hamas use children for combat support missions:

We the children, in small groups and in civilian clothes, are fulfilling missions of support for the [Hamas] Resistance fighters, by transmitting messages about the movements of the enemy forces, or by bringing them ammunition and food. We ourselves are not aware of the movements of the Resistance fighters. We see them in one place, they suddenly disappear, and then reappear somewhere else. They are like ghosts, it is very hard to find them (Palestinian Media Watch Communique, Jan. 13, 2009).

So Hamas terrorists hide behind children. Hmm, headline story anyone?

I got an even better quote for you – this coming from a high up British dude in the U.K Military.

Colonel Richard Kemp CBE, former Commander of British Forces in Afghanistan, on the current situation in Gaza.

Despite Israel’s extraordinary measures a tragically high number of innocent civilians have been killed and wounded. That is the inevitability of Hamas’ way of fighting. Avoiding civilian casualties when fighting among the people is always difficult. When combating an enemy that uses human shields it is impossible (BICOM briefing: "Gaza Situation Update," Jan. 10, 2009).

Thank you Colonel. Only if the BBC would listen to their fellow compatriot…If they only understood that Hamas attacks Israeli civilians with lethal - not home made - rockets (with a range of over 25 KM) shipped from Iran.  If they only reported that Hamas fighters hide behind children and women, and use schools and mosques as launching points to attack Israeli soldiers and civilians.  If they provided the proper analysis, they would explain that when Israel does not respond to Hamas rocket fire, the terrorists succeed in making it nearly impossible for
one million Muslims and Jewish Israeli civilians,or nearly 1/7 of Israel’s population, to live with any sense of normalcy. They would also point out that if Israel responds than Hamas also wins because it launches rockets from civilian areas, and its fighters wear civilian clothing and place themselves within towns and villages, thus putting at risk thousands of innocent Palestinians, of which Israel is blamed for any harm done to them, and the international community therefore condemns Israel and pressures her to stop its defense of its own innocent population. 

As a result, whether Israel responds or does not respond to terrorist rocket fire, it is a win-win situation for Hamas.

Unfortunately, as Alan Dershowitz succinctly puts it, "Until the world recognizes that Hamas is committing three war crimes - targeting Israeli civilians, using Palestinian civilians as human shields, and seeking the destruction of a member-state of the UN - and that Israel is acting in self-defense and out of military necessity, the conflict will continue" (Alan Dershowitz, "An Honorouble Warrior," The Australian, http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,25197,24866318-7583,00.html). 

Do you think the International Community or Media will ever understand the true roots of the conflict between Israel and Hamas?Do you think they will ever get the fact that its Hamas' use of human shields, their targeting of Israeli, and even their own civilians, and their commitment to destroying Israel that is the main impediment to peace in Gaza today? Well, as Borat would so articulately  proclaim... 




"NOT SO MUCH!!"






In short, my return to Sderot this past week proved to me that people still don’t get it. For some reason Israel is the bad guy, and the dudes firing rockets and endangering the lives of one million innocent Muslims and Jewish Israeli civilians are the victims.

Go figure…