In the country’s south – our desert is alive

ב“ה

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The Negev desert covers about 60% of the State’s territory. Nevertheless, only about 10% of the population live in this barren triangle between the Mediterranean in the west, from about Ashkelon in the north, to the Dead Sea and Ein Gedi in the in the east ,to Eilat in the south.

The biggest city is Beer-Sheva, which should be called the capital of the largest region of Israel. With over 200,000 inhabitants it is one of the country’s most important cities. In the course of the last decades, Beer-Sheva has succeeded in developing into a vibrant city. An industrial zone was established in the south. Ben Gurion University of the Negev is one of Israel’s most modern universities. The city’s goal is to attain 500,000 to 600,000 inhabitants. The size increase is no problem since there are practically no inhabited areas in the surrounding region, and only the south is to be reserved for industry.

Parts of the urban area go back to the 4th millennium BCE, as witnessed by excavations. The town was named Beer-Sheva after Abraham and Abimelech, King of Gerar, concluded an agreement:

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27 And Abraham took sheep and oxen, and gave them unto Abimelech; and they two made a covenant. 28 And Abraham set seven ewe-lambs of the flock by themselves. 29 And Abimelech said unto Abraham: ‚What mean these seven ewe-lambs which thou hast set by themselves?‘ 30 And he said: ‚Verily, these seven ewe-lambs shalt thou take of my hand, that it may be a witness unto me, that I have digged this well.‘ 31 Wherefore that place was called Beer-sheba; because there they swore both of them.

Judges 20.1 mentions Beer-Sheva as the Israelites‘ southern residential border: Then all the children of Israel went out, and the congregation was assembled as one man, from Dan even to Beer-sheba, with the land of Gilead, unto the LORD at Mizpah.

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The northern part of the Negev desert can be considered as being quite fertile. A thin layer of loess, makes it possible to maintain permanent agriculture. By means of targeted and gentle drip irrigation, and the use of desalinated water, the dry desert is being pushed back ever further to the south. Beer-Sheva enjoys more than 200 mm annual precipitation.

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It is at the edge of the dry desert, which becomes an extreme desert south of Sde Boker, the old age refuge of David Ben Gurion and his wife Paula. Eilat, Israel’s most southerly town, gets only 30 mm rain, if any. Flooding like last winter happens once in a century.

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To the south of the city, Bedouin settlements are coming closer to the outskirts. The industrial zone and the desert natives are struggling for room to expand. 34% of the population in the southern district are Bedouins, who have been living here for centuries. The once nomadic people have gradually become only semi-nomads. Traditionally the tribes live from livestock breeding, though their own nutrition is mainly vegetarian. New additional occupations added are weaving and embroidery for women and jobs in tourism for men. In the 1960s, the State of Israel began attempts to have the Bedouins settle in towns that were built especially for them. This planning may have been well meant but did not suit their traditions. In the triangle between Arad, Dimona and Beer-Sheva, there are still 35 unauthorized Bedouin settlements. Regretfully there are often ugly scenes, when bulldozers come to demolish the sheet metal huts. During recent years the Bedouins‘ acceptance of the new towns slowly increased. When driving along the Bedouin triangle one can see how clean the new settlements look and how in the smaller settlements, as well, they make all efforts not to miss the connection to modern life. Solar collectors assure the electricity supply. Solar boilers guarantee warm water around the clock. Only water itself has to be brought by tanker to the unauthorized settlements, since Israel does not connect them to the communal infrastructure.

There are always NGO activists on location to document what is happening. Time and again loud complaints are made against Israel. Photographs posted on the Internet by the NGOs show an ugly picture of Israel. The fact that there is always another, pleasanter but untold, side, is due to the very nature of the anti-Israel NGOs.

But why did the Bedouins – even during the Ottoman rule – refuse to have their land registered? Although they could see what was happening during the Ottoman period and became first semi-nomadic and later sedentary, they never had documents for their claim to the land. Detractors say that they wanted to avoid paying land taxes. If that is indeed so, they were given bad advice.

Bedouins belong to Israel like any other citizens. They are fully integrated in the IDF, but as volunteers, because they are formally exempt from military service. Thanks to their life in the desert and their special semi-nomadic way of life, they usually serve as trackers. They are simply unbeatable in that field.

7897898010014879801077noThe extent of the Bedouin integration into Israeli life is described in a recently published newspaper article. A Bedouin couple and their three children have been accepted as full-fledged members of a traditional Kibbutz in the north of the country. That would have been unthinkable only a few years ago.

But are the Bedouins the only desert inhabitants who may claim that they have been there „forever“?

 

„Forever“ is what UNESCO has notoriously been trying to use against Israel. No connection to Jerusalem, none to the Temple Mount, and the latest: none to Hebron. Though we read in Genesis, 23:15: 15 ‚My lord, hearken unto me: a piece of land worth four hundred shekels of silver, what is that betwixt me and thee? bury therefore thy dead.‘ 16 And Abraham hearkened unto Ephron; and Abraham weighed to Ephron the silver, which he had named in the hearing of the children of Heth, four hundred shekels of silver, current money with the merchant. 17 So the field of Ephron, which was in Machpelah, which was before Mamre, the field, and the cave which was therein, and all the trees that were in the field, that were in all the border thereof round about, were made sure 18 unto Abraham for a possession in the presence of the children of Heth, before all that went in at the gate of his city. 19 And after this, Abraham buried Sarah his wife in the cave of the field of Machpelah before Mamre–the same is Hebron–in the land of Canaan. 20 And the field, and the cave that is therein, were made sure unto Abraham for a possession of a burying-place by the children of Heth.

Whose testimony that Hebron is the Jewish Heritage par excellence can be worth more than that of our patriarch Abraham? The Tora’s stories about Abraham point to its creation around 2000 BCE.

Around 1000 BCE, in King Solomon’s time, Israelite tribes were living in the Negev Desert. This was proven by the excavation of small settlements around Beer-Sheva.

Around the 6th century BCE, the Nabateans originating from Arabia conquered the region and expelled the Israelites. The Nabatean presence is certain from 312 BCE to 328 BCE. Where they came from is only surmised. What is certain is that around 500 BCE they also settled in what is now Petra and in Edom, to the south of the Dead Sea, in present-day Jordan.

The Sicilian historian Dioderus has described the two attempts to destroy the Nabateans in a battle near Gaza in 312 BCE or at least to expel them. In both battles the attackers were beaten and destroyed. Dioderus describes them as follows: „The Arabs have no fixed houses and have neither agricultural nor horticultural activity; they let their camels and muttons graze in the desert which also serves as their safe haven when enemy armies approach; as only the Nabateans know the few water sources and are able to survive in the desert; they also know how to build wells and covered cisterns; their income comes mainly from the sale of asphalt and the trade with incense, myrrh and rare spices that originate from „Arabia Eudaemon“; occasionally they undertake raids into neighboring regions“.

 

Elsewhere, he writes: „They lead a marauding life, robbing the neighboring countries on their raids. […] They plant neither corn nor other fruit bearing trees, nor do they drink wine or build any houses. If anyone breaches those rules, his punishment is death. […] Though there are many other Arab tribes using the desert as grazing fields, they are much richer than the others, despite being not many more than 10,000 people, since many of them are used to carry incense and myrrh as well as selected spices to the sea.“ 

Around 150 BCE the tribes united to become a kingdom with its capital in Petra in present-day Jordan. The reason why they were able to survive for such a long time in the inhospitable desert is due, among others ,to their pioneering invention: flash flood irrigation. In a sophisticated system of supply and draining ducts, walls and trenches, as well as adequate terraces, rain water (when it does rain) is collected in the channels. This system ensures that the water soaks the layer of loess or sand instead of simply flowing away. Once the soil is drenched the remaining water is conducted to the next lower terrace. In good years, this makes rich harvests possible. On flatter terrain, the „Limnic system“ was used. In this system small plots are carefully walled so as to create a kind of basin, which is deeper at the middle, thus collecting the overflow. Drinking water and water for other uses were pumped, sometimes from substantial depths, near the settlements.

In the 1950s, biologist Michael Evenari and his team discovered the remains of this antique irrigation system. At the suggestion of Michael’s wife Lieselotte, the team started the reconstruction of a Nabatean farm in 1959. In 1960 they were able to bring in their first good harvest. Clearly, it is true all over the globe: behind any successful man stands a smart wife.

With this security, the Nabateans were able to increase their wealth. The „incense road“ led from Yemen to Gaza in the west and Damascus in the east. Some of the highly coveted wares that were painstakingly listed by Plinius the elder were cardamom, myrrh, incense.

 

Over a 2,400 km road, traders wanted to be sure that their caravans would reach their destination safely. This security was assured by the Nabateans: in easy daily marches of 35 km, travelers could find either a camel station or a fortified town. Between the different stops there were observations posts, securing the caravans‘ route. But then as today, security had its price: fodder, water, sleeping places, food supply, custom duties, payments for guards and their assistants, everything influenced the final price at destination.

Nowadays the ruined towns of Avdat, Mamshit, Shivta, Nitzana, Chalutza and Rehovot tell us the story of the flourishing Nabatean period in the Negev desert. As was often the case in this region, earthquakes were what put an end to life in those historic places.

 

Whoever walks through the ruins on a hot summer day contemplating their history, can perhaps feel how life changed here when the caravans came and the lanes and squares filled with loud and colorful life. Perhaps they can even smell all those exotic foreign delicacies that were stored here securely overnight.

In the meantime Avdat has been wonderfully restored, and one can truly recognize history here. In Shivta, the second town we visited, there is still a lot to be done, but buildings can already be recognized which are worth reconstructing.

 

 

© esther scheiner, Israel

© translated by: Translation International, Herzliya

 

 

 

Enough is enough – Dayenu!

 

ב“ה

I just saw the picture of Staff Sgt. Maj. Ha’il Satawi holding his now two weeks old son in his arms. The picture had been taken at the hospital, a short time after birth. A picture filled with tenderness, love, protection and trust.

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I imagine Ha’il checking on his baby son when he comes home from work at night, and dreaming about his future.

The picture made me furious and terribly sad.

Nothing will be as he wished. All plans made by Ha’il and his wife were destroyed the day before yesterday, in a brutal act of terror. His parents, his wife and his three brothers must learn how to live with that fact. Ha’il began his military service with the border police and afterwards, in 2012, he started his regular service with the unit in charge of security on the Temple Mount.

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Staff Sgt. Maj. Kamil Snaan and Staff Sgt. Maj. Ha’il Satawi

The second victim, Staff Sgt. Maj. Kamil Snaan, the younger of the two, was not yet married. An engagement party for him and his girlfriend had been planned this week as a surprise. His sudden death is certainly traumatic for the young woman. Nor are his parents, his brother and his three sisters able to grasp the unthinkable. Kamil had been serving with the unit for only seven months.

They were comrades in arms in the service of the State of Israel. Their daily task was to look after visitors to the Old City and in particular visitors to the Temple Mount. They performed their work with prudence and extreme concentration. The service near the Temple Mount is particularly hard. Tensions can erupt at any time and turn into uncontrollable, excessive violence.

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IDF soldiers with Israeli and Druze flag

Both murder victims were Druze. The relationship between Druze and Jews is good. The Druze refused to be excluded from the  military service and serve either with the IDF, but also with the Border Police. Until a short time ago the IDF had a Druze Battalion, but following the soldiers‘ request, it was abolished and integrated into another battalion.

Both murdered policemen were interred on Friday afternoon in their home village. Both were living in a mixed Jewish-Arab-Druze village in the Galilee. Colleagues, friends and politicians of all parties participated in the moving ceremonies.

One of the distinguishing features of Israel is that whenever a soldier or policeman is murdered on the job, which regrettably is no seldom occurrence, no friend, colleague or politician will refrain from participating in the funeral, even if Shabbat starts two hours later.

There is a video that shows the attack. Ha’il and his colleague are sitting, relaxed, at their guard post, the obligatory Styrofoam container with cold water nearby. It is Friday morning; it is still early, around seven a.m. And it is hot. A few hard hours stretch out before them, but then they go home. Suddenly there are murderers – terrorists. They come from the direction of the Temple Mount, taking into account that just before they storm the narrow passage a man walks towards them.

They attack the two policemen insidiously, and severely wound them. A third policeman is lightly wounded. The two severely wounded men are given first aid on the spot, but soon after they arrive at the hospital, they die from their wounds.

The attackers flee, seeking out protection on the Temple Mount.  They fall, one of them stands up and tries attacking policemen again, but now he is neutralized – as one can clearly hear – by well-aimed fire. Should additional policemen have died instead of the three terrorists? The video immediately finds its way to the Internet.

The police promptly sealed off the Temple Mount. There would be no prayers there this Friday. It was not harassment of Muslims that made this procedure necessary. It was the concern as to whether additional weapons had been smuggled on to the Temple Mount, as was obviously the case here.

Furious Muslims who still believed they were right, conducted their Friday prayers on the parking lot next to the southern Lions Gate. The Temple Mount will presumably be reopened to the public on Sunday.

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Meanwhile, the Supreme Mufti of Jerusalem seems to have been running around the Temple Mount like crazy in the hope of finding some loophole allowing him to enter the plateau. Instead, he was arrested and freed only after several hours with a cautionary fine of NIS 10,000.  All the time he had been asking, snarling, demanding and requiring that the Temple Mount be immediately reopened to all Muslims.

Jordan protested and demanded the immediate re-opening of the Temple Mount, neither was Abbas able to refrain from adding his veto; the Arab League protested vehemently and warned not to change the „status quo“ on the Temple Mount (which had already been promised by PM Netanyahu). But they did not condemn the terrorist act. One can only be curious as to when the UN will say something.

The three terrorists come from the Town of Um-el-Fahm in the center of Israel, which is known as the nucleus of Hamas terror in the country. They were Israeli citizens. The traditional tent which Arabs erect for mourning ceremonies, was destroyed on Saturday morning by policemen. That is as it should be.

Yesterday UN Watch spread this article via Twitter: http://www.timesofisrael.com/the-first-medic-to-respond-to-the-temple-mount-terror-attack-was-muslim-heres-his-story/.  That’s how human beings should be.

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© for the pictures: www.ynetnews.com (13–17 July 2017)

© esther scheiner, Israel

© translated by: Translation International, Herzliya

Chosen and excluded, Part III (BDS, Judea and Samaria, Gaza)

ב“ה

1. Part : BDS

BDS has fought for years worldwide for an economic, cultural and academic boycott, the withdrawal of investments and sanctions against Israel. States, businesses, academics, artists, NGOs and many others have joined this campaign.

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BDS is also supported by church representatives from Judea and Samaria and also from Israel. In the Kairos paper, the Ecclesiastic Manifesto, Palestinian terror is declared a resistance. In many forums and commentary columns of well-known newspapers, this absolutely false definition serves as an argument for homicide. In this manifesto all the blame for the conflict is attributed to the Israelis. Christian communities from all over the world have joined the movement without questioning.

In Paris, a group of highly motivated followers of the boycotts gather. As always, most of the activists are female, elderly women or female students, only a few are Muslims. The statement on their shirts is this time „Free Palestine“. „You do not always have to agree with Israel, its politics or PM Benjamin Netanyahu. But if in France pro-Palestinian groups with cameras go into a supermarket and destroy Israeli products before all those present and tell the clientele that they are not to buy Israeli products, what happens? Then an indecisive person, who has something against Jews, no matter what reason, he just does not like them, one evening watches the clip on YouTube. And then he waits before the synagogue for young people and attacks them. Because he saw it on the Internet and thinks „I could also attack a Jew“ That is bad!

 

2. Part:  Ariel, Samaria

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Here is the plant of Lipski Plastic, a plant where everything is produced that seems useful for the modern, plastic-oriented household. Until the final decision, how Judea and Samaria will one day be „divided“, the Israeli government has given Palestinian workers the same rights and duties as the Israelis. Rashid Mrar, a long-time employee of the plant, stresses that the entrepreneur actually does not care where he produces his goods, whether at the current headquarters of the plant or within the „Green Line“. If he has to move because he can not sell anything from here because of the boycott, he will move. The Palestinian workers will lose. „In thirty years of working with Israelis, I have never experienced anything bad. Every day people come here and ask for work. If I worked with Palestinians, I would not even get 2.000 shekels, I get 9.000 here, that’s a big difference.“ Yehuda Cohen, the owner, adds: „90 people work with me, 50 of them are Palestinians. There are Palestinians and Israelis among the leaders and the workers. It all depends on the person. In 2014 my son was in Gaza and my workers knew that. It was a difficult situation. On the one hand they see how we care for them, see that we get enough orders, and on the other hand I am at war with their brothers. But they also know that in my village many rockets fell, four houses were hit. (…) They all know how complicated the situation is, but here in the company we feel no tensions. (….) We are here an island of normality, that should be clear to us. We should consider how we can transfer this normality to other areas.“

30.000 Palestinians work here in almost 900 Israeli companies. BDS wants it to end. Soda stream gave in, 750 Palestinian workers lost their job.

 

 

3. Part: Gaza
There are many distorting and false associations on Gaza: concentration camps, open air jail, child murder, water deficiency.

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The entry into Gaza does not pose any problems for journalists. The first part, a building similar to a check-in hall in the airport, where the Israeli controls take place, is skipped. It is also boring. A person whose papers are OK, and anyone else who is inconspicuous, can go through within 10 minutes at the most and can go on the pedestrian path to Gaza. The Fatah control is easy as well. More problematic is the last control, by the Hamas. There one is scrutinized very carefully look and whoever is not welcome, can turn back immediately.
Some facts about Gaza
Life expectancy 74 years, higher than in Egypt, Ukraine and 125 other states.

Child mortality is at the level of Turkey and lower than in 97 other states.

On 360 sq. km live 1.800.000 people, that is 5.000 inhabitants per sq. km, in Paris there are 21,000.

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Hamas does not want peace with Israel, Hamas wants the whole country and, if possible, clean of Jews. Ziad al-Zaza, a high-ranking Hamas member, smiles at the camera: „Jerusalem must become capital of the Palestinian state.“ All of Jerusalem?? „Yes, all of Jerusalem.“ Any questions? How extraordinarily charming they can smile, these well-groomed gentlemen from Hamastan with the finely cut five-day beard. They undoubtedly know what they want!

On the beach of Gaza City, they line up as a pearl chain, the villas of the rich and the beautiful. Where do they get the money to afford this luxury? World Vision is suspected of redirecting € 45,000,000 from the relief funds to Hamas.

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Of the 10.000.000 Palestinians worldwide, about 7.000.000 are considered refugees. Since 1948 the population has increased tenfold! That is unique. More than half the population of Gaza is under 25.

 

Screenshot 2017-06-13 21.09.02In Gaza, too, are academically educated young people who are willing to talk. There are four universities. One student can hardly help laughing. „Yes, the financial grant arrives. It comes from Europe, sometimes from Qatar, sometimes from the USA. I saw it on TV. But I have never seen anything of it, by Allah. Everyone stuffs their pockets and the people sleep.“ Another looked at the dilemma from another angle. „I know that a lot of Palestinians would contradict me here, but I think two states are appropriate for both sides. Part of the money lands in the pockets of other people. And you do not know where it really is going to. (…) I can only say that there is corruption here.

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Do female students have different opinions? „I think before we look at people abroad, we have to find fault with ourselves. We urgently need a fundamental renewal. (…) It is a big problem to only talk about Hamas, or about Jihad, or all the others here in Gaza.“ „I admit that the government is responsible for what is happening here. When they took the country, everything was blocked. Nothing has opened for us.“

This is obviously what Fatah, Hamas and the international community have wanted. The status of refugees is passed on only to Palestinians. The number of Palestinian refugees has been increasing worldwide for 70 years. They are not integrated because they are the pledge promising Western financial aid and the political claim to additional territories.

It is astonishing that the Gazans are relatively open in the street, or is this allowed as Hamas propaganda? To admit a bit and then immediately slip into the double victim role? „The Western financial aid arrives and is well kept here. But it does not arrive with the needy. It is clear that there are some transgressions. Only about 90% is implemented.“ „The solution is that a state is founded, that the border crossings are opened, that we finally see the world. We live very poorly, we vegetate. How can this happen? The great leaders play with us, they play against each other, that is the situation.“

Without being filmed by the camera, a man said: „The West needs to stop all financial aid to Gaza. Then the Hamas regime will collapse. Even if it would take years.”

 

© esther scheiner, israel

© translated by: Translation International, Herzlyia

Chosen and excluded, Part II (Europe and the UNWRA)

ב“ח

1.Part: Europe

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The Jews are guilty of almost everything, including the sinking of the Titanic. The Titanic? But that was an iceberg. Iceberg – Rosenberg – Goldberg, it is all the same. The film begins with this cheap word game, with this well-known association. The statement behind it: Jews are not even worth remembering their name. Or: That sounds Jewish, so he/she must be a Jew.

Screenshot 2017-06-13 17.09.29PA President Abbas before the European Parliament in June 2016: “… but as soon as this occupation ends, the excuses will disappear, then terrorism, violence and extremism all over the world and the Middle East, also in Europe and the rest of the world, shall end. (…) A week ago, rabbis in Israel called on their government to poison our water. And kill Palestinians. Is that not a clear incitement to mass murder? Of the Palestinian people?“

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European Parliament Chairman, Martin Schulz, running to be the next chancellor (SPD) in Germany,  must have liked it, he already had a problem with the water in Israel, as he twitters afterwards.

 

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Two days later Abbas was forced to admit to having been misinformed. But in the minds of the people, his words, which had led to standing ovations in the EU Parliament, remained, anchored in their original form. For those who want to interpret it literally, the logical conclusion is: If only the Palestinians finally get what they want, peace will prevail world-wide. If the Jews did not exist in the Middle East, or if there was no Jewish state at all, peace would reign in the region.

Screenshot 2017-06-13 17.48.48On the occasion of the Evangelical Church Day in Stuttgart in 2015, one of the pro-Palestinian activists said with excitement: „The water supply in Gaza was purposefully destroyed. That is also against international law, it is forbidden to do this. Gaza really does not have means of support anymore. Israel causes damage to itself when it brings all the chemicals, tons, tons, hundreds of thousands of tons to that sea. The Mediterranean. And that moves on. There is toxic material in it, you know. It is also highly dangerous for everyone!” The woman, who so emphatically airs her accusation against Israel, could almost refer to the speech made by Abbas before the EU Parliament, had it not been held a year later. She is well educated, and strongly indoctrinated.

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Berlin, Reichstag Demonstration. This is where all of those people gathered. People who nobody outside of their group wants to confront. New rightists, frustrated leftists, political esoterics, neo-Nazis. Jürgen Elsässer, who began his political activist career as a journalist in a moderately leftist newspaper, moved to the extreme left in 2003. In a 180° turnaround, he moved to the right in 2009 and from there to the extreme right and is presently a member of the German Alternative Party (AfD). Besides the publication of vulgar political writings, he also published clearly anti-Semitic writings.

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During his performance, he is accompanied by people who roar the Hitler greeting: „We are the people“, and wave the Nazi war flag. His doctrine creed at this meeting is easy to summarize: „This (whatever that may be) is not a matter of left or right. It is a matter of common sense, of the patriots. We must defend ourselves against Islamization, Israelization and Americanization.”

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A Pro-Palestine Event in Berlin. Here, finally, the long-awaited concepts are heard: Zionism = money, mafia – the secret meetings of the Bilderbergs – behind the US stands another power – as yet everything that is written in the Protocols has proven itself quite well. (In the „Secret Meetings“, there was a description of how the takeover of world dominance was to occur). This perfidious hateful writing is a clear fabrication. In the Weimar Republic, it became a bestseller, and in the Nazi schools it was compulsory reading. A nice young man does not let himself become confused: „Even if it was only fabricated, someone had cool thoughts, he was a good prophet.“ After all, Hamas quotes the Protocols in their statutes. The young man describes himself as a libertarian.

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At another event in Germany, Fuad Afane is allowed to speak: „I am a confessed anti-Zionist, I want to help you dispel your fear. Do not let yourself be exploited. Freedom for Palestine and also for the German people!“ He is announced by a toothless activist tiger: „This is Fuad Afane from Palestine.“ Fuad Afane does not live in Palestine any more than the man on the moon lives in the moon. He may be a Palestinian, but he was born and grew up in West Berlin. Here he is allowed to chant „Zionism is fascism“ – without punishment or impediments. On his Facebook page, there is a photo of his passport which is now invalid. On it, one sees the entrance stamp to the Ben Gurion airport, marked „Entry denied“. He claims that the entry ban is in effect for a lifetime and he will try to enter the country by land via Jordan. More information about this dangerous arsonist can be found here:

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Change of location. May 15th, Nakba Day in Berlin. His t-shirt shows what he stands for: Artists for Palestine. In the background, among the countless Palestinian flags, a BDS poster is conspicuously displayed with pictures. The artist’s message is: „Anne Frank would have been on the street for our sake today. Against racism and against Israeli politics. Pro-Palestine is left, against imperialism is left. Today, we are the leftists here in Germany, the ones who are working for Palestine. We must fight the ideology that says that anti-Zionism is anti-Semitism.

Screenshot 2017-06-13 18.40.38A still hesitant student, still holding a coiled Palestinian flag, would like to explain: „Zionism is first and foremost the nationalism of the Israeli government.“ Her friend, obviously only at the beginning of his activist career, goes a step further: „The government demands a declaration of religion, all Jews are a nation, and that is how its nationalist character has come about.“ Two others, one of them is still shy and has her face pixelated are convinced: „Israel is either the instrument of the United States, or the other way around.“ „I think that Israel exerts influence regarding what is to be done and what will happen.“ „Many say yes, David against Goliath, but I think it is about self-determination against imperialist power.“ „For us, Israel is clearly a construct of imperialism, deliberately supported and maintained by imperialism, to create a base for American and European imperialism. We need a revolution of the Palestinian and the Israeli proletariat together, in order to realize the right of return by means of multi-ethnic workers in a socialist state.”

 

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Back to the Evangelical Church Day. Merry, colorful activity, the hallelujah ascending to the blue sky. Perhaps this was meant to somewhat lessen the harshness of the exhibition, which impressively tries to demonstrate the fate of the expelled Palestinians and their descendants. It could also be called “The Culture of Refugees and Reinterpretation of History” and not „Without Homeland„. As usual, nothing is said about the fact that an approximately equal number of Jews were expelled from their Arab homelands. They had to leave behind their property. No one speaks of a right of return. Is this hushed up, only because they were integrated very quickly and completely into the young Israeli society?

On the church day, dozens of NGOs are regular guests, lovingly devoted to the welfare of the Palestinians.

Where do these organizations obtain their funds? The funds are supplied by the churches and also by us, the taxpayers. Especially active are the ladies of the German-Palestinian Women’s Association. On its homepage, detailed information about the association and its projects is displayed. It seems striking to me that the Palestinian women they serve, live exclusively in Judea and Samaria, as well as Gaza – while the former Palestinians who live in Israel do not need their help, they are Israelis. But what about the others? They live for instance in Jordan, Egypt and in Syria. By ostracizing these people, EDP is exposed as a political organization and not as a humanitarian one. The activists were equipped with EAPPI vests and shirts. This organization also defines itself as a humanitarian NGO. A look at its homepage helps to find a redefined and more objective standpoint here too.

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Partners of EAPPI are, among others, UNICEF, UNWRA, B’tselem, Rabbis for Human Rights, Machsom Watch, Breaking the Silence, Jerusalem Legal Aid and Human Rights Center, Alternative Tourism Group.

The numerous NGOs are also funded by Bread for the World, Pax Christi, World Vision, Amnesty International, Oxfam, Medico International, FDIH , partly under Palestinian and partly under Israeli leadership.

In Israel, there are 398 NGOs, the figures from Judea and Samaria, and also from Gaza are not known. Figures from 2012 indicate more than 1,000, with headquarters in Ramallah. EAPPI does not publish its budget, NGO Monitor considers it one of the main supporters of boycott activities. EAPPI distributes funds to organizations that support the boycott of Israel. Untrustworthy theories are being circulated: „Israel supports apartheid, like South Africa did in the past; Israel kills children out of revenge; Israelis put knives alongside dead Palestinians to feign a terrorist act.”

Faced with these accusations, one woman can hardly hold back her tears, because „this is so great a burden for her to bear.“ „Actually, they do what they experienced themselves. In this obsession, they adopt the psyche of a victim. The victim role has dug itself deeply into their souls, and now, in this generation, maybe it is being misused. I am also sorry for the Israelis, we are not those who incite against Israel, we do not begrudge them their own state, but we do not want them to saw off the branch they sit on the way they do.“ Isn’t there some linguistic confusion here?

In 2015, Bread for the World paid € 5,600,000 for projects in Israel, Judea and Samaria; whether they were also active in Gaza, is unknown.

Between 2013 and 2015, € 800,000 went to B’tselem which, interviewed by Tuvia Tenenbom, expressed the opinion that the Holocaust was an invention of the Jews.

According to estimates, the EU, European governments and churches, as well as UN-sponsored UN organizations, donate € 100,000,000 annually to political NGOs in Israel, which are mostly hostile toward Israel. The share of the FRG is about €10,000,000 annually. No one knows exactly how much money is donated to the NGOs in the PA areas.

In 2014, the EU transfers € 307,000,000 of taxpayers’ money to the PA, most of which comes from Germany, which provides an additional € 143,000,000.

€ 440,000 comes from the USA, while many millions from the Gulf States and other Muslim countries are not taken into account here. Year after year. No one, anywhere in the world, receives more per capita than the 4.6 million Palestinians in Gaza and in Judea and Samaria.

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Meanwhile, Apartheid Weeks are now taking place worldwide. BDS is trying to open a new frontline by linking the fate of the Palestinians to that of blacks in the US. In Zurich, demonstrations were held with the goal of excluding the Israeli Football Association from FIFA, as requested by Palestine, with the help of BDS. One female activist has unfortunately chosen the wrong headgear for this event. BPS Switzerland, was written on it, an advertisement for a bank located in Ticino. But after all, the event is about gunfire, and this she has somehow internalized, even if misinterpreted. „Sometimes you do not know where the first shot comes from when it is fired at night. It is fired from the vicinity. But no one knows if this is a Palestinian, or a hidden Israeli or a Palestinian, who was forced to shoot so that Israel can shoot back.”

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A young man who has obviously traveled to Zurich from its northern neighbor country said in excitement: „So, if you refer to Israel as an Apartheid state, you are offending any South African. For as bad as the Israelis deal with the Palestinians, there is no comparison. I’ll give you a comparison! In which country are rockets simply fired at helpless people who live in an open-air prison?“ UNWRA only admitted to the fact that there were, and still are, tunnels between the buildings of the UNWRA, just a few days ago. The launching bases are meticulously documented, and also that shots were always aimed exactly at the place where the first shot came from. Those people are helpless, yes, that must be admitted. This is certainly the case when they were dragged by Hamas to rooftops of houses to serve as human shields – knowing that the IAF would try to stop any attack to avoid civilian casualties. But this does not fit the world view of those who are so passionately anti-Israel. Nevertheless, Hamas is still downplayed as an innocent resistance movement.

2. Part: UNWRA

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It is a unique phenomenon that the Palestinian refugees have been supported by UNWRA for 70 years, with a budget of € 1.36 billion in 2106. Nevertheless, there are not enough classrooms. Teaching must be done in shifts. UNWRA is the second-largest employer after the PA, employing almost 30,000 people. Nearly all of them are Palestinians. Only a small part of the budget flows directly to the needy.

The UNWRA spokesman, Adna Abu Hasna answers the question regarding where the money from the richly filled coffers has flowed to. „Yes, that is a big question. In 2014, after the Gaza war, we at UNWRA asked for $ 724 million. Unfortunately, we received only 1/3 of the money so far. The shortage of money, building materials, the blockade, the illegal blockade, and access in and out of Gaza, are a big problem for everyone. The solution is very complicated.”

Faced with the conditions in a refugee camp which, quote, ‘looks like a big piece of shit’, he puts the accusations aside with a smile. Also, the question of the corruption within Hamas, UNWRA or a third party which has not yet been mentioned, cannot erase the smile, on the contrary. He describes UNWRA’s well-functioning checkpoints; and therefore, UNWRA cannot be corrupt. However, he suggests that it is the political solution that has become corrupt. A political solution is impossible. UNWRA receives its money exclusively from donor countries, primarily, the EU. There is no supervisory board. The staff workers are almost exclusively locals. Because UNWRA hands over the management of funds to the refugee camp on the spot, it loses all control over the use of that money. Funds for medicine, relief services, social services, food etc. go to the local authorities and from there its tracks are lost.

3. Part – back to France

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In 2014, during the Gaza War, anti-Israel events took place throughout Europe. In France, the first flags were burned and the first synagogues were attacked. Since then, the security measures for Jewish buildings have been strengthened. Sarcelles near Paris was considered a showpiece. Jews, Christians and Muslims lived there together without problems. Until a few years ago, Muslim gangs began to make trouble. Meanwhile, the situation has escalated to such an extent that young [Jewish] people spend most of their spare time inside the schoolyard and hope soon to be able to emigrate with their parents. Where will they emigrate? At least one of them is quite clear about this: „To Netanya, it’s like Paris!”

 

© esther scheiner, israel

© translated by: Translation International, Herzlyia

 

Chosen and excluded, Part I (About the film and the voices of science

ב“ה

  1. About the Film.

In 2015, the German-French cultural channel ARTE commissioned this film. It was scheduled to be supervised by the German public legal broadcaster WDR in Cologne. Joachim Schröder and Sophie Hafner were entrusted with the work. After the film was submitted for review by late 2016, there was no reaction, no justification, and no concrete suggestions, there was only silence.
According to the subtitle “The Hate for Jews in Europe”, it was probably ARTE’s intent to restrict its content to Europe only, and not to conduct half of the research in Gaza and Judea, as the filmmakers had planned.

Joachim Schröder comments on this in Die Zeit, on the 13th of June: „In my opinion, our concept has made it clear that the film deals with anti-Semitism in Europe which is influenced by anti-Zionism; and therefore, it is inextricably interwoven with the Middle East conflict. The focus was on Germany and France. The main tenor of European anti-Semitism today is anti-Zionist resentment. If one wants to try and explain how this has come about, one has to go to the appropriate source. That is what we did. And by doing so we have not missed the topic, as the broadcaster is trying to insinuate.”

 

Spiegel Online (SPON): „Did Arte and WDR exercise censorship when they decided not to broadcast a documentary on anti-Semitism? Hardly – the film simply has technical flaws. The decision of Bild.de, nevertheless to show it in an unfinished form, was not appropriate“, complaints Spiegel in today’s online edition. “One cannot ask a professional journalist to make a “balanced” report on targeted hate and traditional stupidity. However, he should not negligently leave gaps through which doubt may leak. What is right, must also be clear. It is lack of clarity by which the film weakens its own basis in the heat of the battle. That is why there is no merit in that this documentary is now being shown after taking detours. With a little more work, it could have developed much more momentum. In its present state, it is only something you see on the Internet, which you can or cannot believe. And that is bad.“

How Bild was able to be the first to upload the film online yesterday for 24 hours, is anyone’s guess. This popular paper once again took the lead. For those who have not seen it, here is a subjective summary with the corresponding screenshots and some additions that are subjective as well. I largely renounce the numerous historical backgrounds and interviews, as they don’t bring anything new and are dispensable here.

 

  1. The Voices of Science

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Prof. Monika Schwarz-Friesel, Communications Scientist at the Technical University of Berlin considers the phenomenon of anti-Semitism from a scientific perspective. „No anti-Semite will stand up publicly and say „Yes, I am anti-Semite”, no one will publicly say that the Jews are very bad people. But the concept is in their minds and they cannot let it go. Anti-Semitism includes a great obsessiveness, a fixation. They do not address it directly, they use indirect speech. They use paraphrases. Not „Jews are the evil of the world“, but „Israel is the evil of the world”. It is not „Jews dominate the financial market,“ but they resort to Jewish names (Rothschild, Goldmann, Sachs). They use abbreviations – before 1945, they used the term International Financial Jewry, now it is referred to as international finance. Instead of speaking directly of Jews, they speak of „those influential circles, the bankers from the east coast, Zionists, the Israel lobby“. Without even mentioning the term „Jew“, everyone knows what is meant.”

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Dr. Stefan Grigat, political scientist, attempts to give a sociological – historical – scientific explanation. „The need to relativize National Socialism is even more pronounced among the leftists than among those on the right. There is hardly any greater offense for the leftists than the fact that National Socialism has definitely documented that the revolutionary subject of the proletariat does not fulfill the hope that generations of Marxists had placed in this revolutionary subject. The critical theory of Adorno and Horkheimer is so important; because for the first time, this unbelievable historical defeat, where large sections of the German population, including the working class, took part in the extermination project of the National Socialists, with virtually no significant resistance. They were the first to try and include this in the leftist theory, and tried to account for its meaning. Many leftists simply act as if one could start again from 1932.”

 

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Why do the more than 1,000 NGOs feel so comfortable in Ramallah? Prof. Eugene Kontorovich examines this question. „Anyone in Morocco who would criticize the state or report human rights violations in the Western Sahara would hardly survive. In Israel, an open and liberal country, there is disagreement, contradiction and a multi-party system. Well, a democracy with too many parties. If you come here and criticize Israel, you will not be sent home in a coffin, you will be given a medal. That is easy. (…) Ironically, this is due to the liberal society, which is going through a process of self-criticism and is about to reform itself. This is one of the reasons why Israel gets the largest share, although it needs it the least. But whatever the reasons, the effect is a unique and unparalleled standard set exclusively for the Jewish state. And that is practically anti-Semitic. This does not mean that the motives of the people who are doing this are anti-Semitic, or that one is aware of thinking badly about someone???, but the fact that exactly the State in which the majority of Jews live, is chosen for special treatment by the Europeans, is extremely remarkable.”

 

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Prof. Georges Bensoussan attempts to offer an interpretation from the French perspective. „The anti-Semitism that develops in France is quite different in nature. It is not Nazism and does not resemble Kristallnacht. It is something different. I give you an example for illustration. (….) One has difficulties with the thought that history does not repeat itself and that anti-Semitism will always occur in other forms. This lesson of history, which should help us understand it, keeps us from understanding it. This has to do with education, with the fact that the Jews are always shown to us as victims. It is believed that there is no Jewish culture at all, and that they are here only to die. (…) In short, people do everything as if there exists no Jewish world in and of itself. Literature, ritual, Talmud, Bible, Torah, all of this belongs to the great Jewish culture, which is found not only in the Diaspora, but also in Zionism. The culture of Zionism is declared guilty. By representing the Jews as victims, they are socialized as victims. And by defending oneself, the next persecution is already justified.”

© esther scheiner, israel

© translated by Translation International, Herzlyia

 

 

 

 

 

Christian Imark’s motion against financial support of Palestinian Terrorism

ב“ה

We Swiss love our direct democracy. We are, undisputedly, world champions in keeping the politicians we voted for on their toes. Several times a year, we are called to cast our votes online or in the polling booth , in order to state our opinion regarding a certain subject. Regardless of the resulting vote, until that time and subsequently, our representatives are required to deal intensively with the issue. Our politicians, on all levels – State, Canton or Commune – must fight for their place on the list.

Until now, Christian Imark, SVP, a member of the National Council since 2015, behaved in the way newcomers usually do. First, he thought, then he acted.

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Last week, he succeeded in his biggest and most spectacular political breakthrough – no more tax money for anti-Israeli and/or pro-Palestinian NGOs. The Federal Council had recommended that the motion be denied, but the Council of States and the Lower Chamber did not accept the request and endorsed the motion by a great majority.

What is the issue?

 

For many years, EDA, the Swiss Foreign Affairs Department, has repeatedly been the focus of criticism. Long-term contacts with the terrorist organization, Hamas, are not in keeping with the image of a clean Switzerland. At the classy „Center for Humanitarian Dialogue“ in Geneva, Hamas representatives can freely meet representatives of the Western World. Behind closed doors of course.

In this case, it was with EDA representatives led by Foreign Minister Burkhalter. The contacts were „practically inherited when he took over the Department from Micheline Calmy-Rey (71) in 2012“

EDA Information Director, Jean-Marc Crevoisier: „We do not publish our partners‘ names, otherwise we would endanger the work of those institutions.“ However, he confirms that, „in order to promote the dialogue in the region“, they are cooperating with partner organizations. The Department’s attitude is clear: whenever possible, Switzerland tries to promote a dialogue between conflicting parties.“

In July of 2014, PA President Dr. Mahmud Abbas, in a letter addressed to Foreign Minister Burkhalter, had asked that a conference of the partners of the Geneva Conventions be urgently organized. Our Foreign Minister did not deny the possibility of talks with the radical-Islamic Hamas; however, he underlined that they can only take place under certain conditions. , Hamas must recognize the State of Israel’s right to exist.

Talks with Hamas? Is that possible as such? As far as National Councilor Alfred Heer (SVP) is concerned, it is clear that supporting Hamas is counterproductive, the attempt of making the terrorist organization Hamas socially acceptable to the West.

Swiss Foreign Minister Didier Burkhalter (FDP) announced his resignation, shortly after the motion was adopted. Coincidence or calculation? Was he really serious when defending Israel’s right to exist as a State?

But not everything paid for by EDA is hidden from the public. Time and again, numbers are revealed that are shocking. David Klein mentions in his article „EDA and the children soldiers of Hamas“ of March 18, 2017:

All in all, Switzerland has paid 476 million Francs to UNRWA to date. Between 2014 and 2017 alone, EDA transferred some 60 million Francs, and between 2017 and 2020, another 80 million are scheduled to be transferred. That is probably why EDA president Didier Burkhalter only dealt superficially with Imark’s criticism and instead exploited his speaking time to justify the exorbitant financial assistance for UNWRA, though Imark’s motion does not mention it at all.

Dominik Feusi shows here that payments are not only effected directly via EDA. „Switzerland supports an exceptionally large number of non-government organizations in Israel and Palestine -with more than 35.6 million Francs. The Helvetic Department for Foreign Affairs (EDA) alone financed 57 organizations in 2015, as shown in an official listing made for BaZ (Basler Zeitung). Additional organizations are being paid more Swiss money than a year earlier.

This in addition to contributions also streaming into the region from federal funds indirectly via Swiss Help Organization, such as, for instance, the Help Organization of the Evangelical Churches (Heks). – not exclusively but in the main, the Swiss money goes to organizations, which in the decades long conflict between Israel and the Arabs have campaigned against the State of Israel or supported those who do.“

EDA does not disclose all the recipients of payments. In 2014, five NGOs remained anonymous, in 2015, three. The question regarding why that is so, why EDA’s secrecy seems expedient, only receives a vague reply from EDA „It might cause damage to Swiss foreign policy.“

Hillel Neuer from UN Watch describes Switzerland’s donating activity in further detail: Swiss money has also been paid to the anti-Israeli NGO „Breaking the Silence“ (BIS). This NGO accuses IDF soldiers of violating human rights and delegitimates Israel wherever possible. The fact that the statements on which BIS base themselves are in part proven falsifications hardly interests the activists. They know that whatever enters the minds of easily manipulated people is practically impossible to correct.

Money is also transferred directly to the PA, to be distributed from there among so-called funds for development aid and social assistance. A considerable part of the money is then used by the PA, without any further external influence, to transfer pensions to terrorists or their families. Consequently, Switzerland has been using our tax money to finance Palestinian acts of terror against Israel.

On April 26, 2016, Christian Imark, supported by 41 members of Parliament, submitted a motion to the Swiss National Council „The Federal Council is required to adapt the relevant legal instructions, ordinances and rules in such a manner that Swiss public funds aimed directly or indirectly for development cooperation may no longer be assigned when the non-government organizations (NGOs) supported are involved in racist, anti-Semitic and hateful actions or BDS campaigns (boycott, capital deduction and sanctions). Hateful actions include campaigns by NGOs that can be considered to be provocations by rivaling groups or sovereign states. BDS campaigns are boycott, capital reduction or sanctions against rivaling groups or sovereign states.“

A detailed listing of all payments can be found here

An excerpt from the position of the Federal Council, which eventually led to the recommendation to deny the motion: „Switzerland supports only organizations whose engagement corresponds to our foreign policy as stated in the Federal Constitution. (…) The Federal Council is of the opinion that those rules fulfil the motion’s purpose and therefore, it believes that an adaptation of legal instructions is unnecessary. (…) The Federal Council advocates a just and lasting peace between Israelis and Palestinians, achieved by way of negotiations. It recognizes the State of Israel within its 1967 borders and is in favor of a viable, continuous and sovereign Palestinian State based on the 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital“.

On March 8, 2017, the National Council adopted the motion, on June 13 it was followed by the Council of States. The oral justifications for both votes can be found here 

A long overdue step for Switzerland! And a courageous step for a young parliamentarian, who – together with the 41 co-signatories – adopted a clear position that is against antisemitism and pro-Israel!

©Esther Scheiner, Israel

©Translated by Translation international, Herzliya

Sabre Rattling and Morning Dawn against Terror

ב“ה

Forget everything you heard about the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians. Israel has been the scapegoat that must pay for the fact that within Islam, two feuding groups have been confronting each other without any possible solution: the Sunnis and the Shiites. Both sides have unlimited reserves of accusations and insinuations demonizing Israel. The general belief is that without the Jewish State, there would only be peace in the entire region.

I shall not explain in detail the differences and the commonalities between Sunnis and Shiites, this is a tremendously vast field!

Around the world, approximately 90% of Muslims belong to the Sunni denomination. The majority of Shiites live in Iran, Bahrain and Azerbaijan. They comprise large parts of the population in Lebanon, Yemen, Kuwait, Syria, the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia.

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Screenshot www.cfr.org

A majority of Shiites believe that the 12th Imam, the Mahdi, who disappeared in 941 CE, will come back at the end of time as the Savior. This belief is so strong that the Government of Iran is only a deputy government and has stated this even in its Constitution.

„In the Islamic Republic Iran, during the absence of the 12th Iman (may God hasten his reappearance), the mission and authority of leadership in matters of the Islamic community devolve upon the just and pious, who is fully aware of the circumstances of his age; courageous, resourceful, and possessed of administrative ability, will assume the …“. 

The Constitution of the Islamic Republic Iran, 1979 (article 5)

The terrible omens by which the 12th Imam will introduce the End of Time can be examined here.

Tradition has it that Shiites, who yearn for this event to take place as soon as possible, can shorten the remaining time by bringing about the big final battle. This yearning is reflected in Iran’s policy. The aim of their efforts is the complete destruction of Israel.

This type of cult is not found among the Sunnis. They prefer the idea of the Caliphate, as Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has demonstrated to us with his policy for months.

A few weeks ago, President Trump made a speech in Riyadh, which may serve as a small piece of the puzzle in understanding present events.

[…] “Young Muslim boys and girls should be able to grow up free from fear, safe from violence, and innocent of hatred.

And young Muslim men and women should have the chance to build a new era of prosperity for themselves and their peoples.

God’s help, this summit will mark the beginning of the end for those who practice terror and spread its vile creed. At the same time, we pray this special gathering may someday be remembered as the beginning of peace in the Middle East – and maybe, even all over the world.

But this future can only be achieved through defeating terrorism and the ideology that drives it.[…]

The true toll of ISIS, Al Qaeda, Hezbollah, Hamas, and so many others, must be counted not only in the number of dead. It must also be counted in generations of vanished dreams.

Terrorists do not worship God, they worship death. […]

If we do not act against this organized terror, then we know what will happen. Terrorism’s devastation of life will continue to spread. Peaceful societies will become engulfed by violence. And the futures of many generations will be sadly squandered. […]

It is a choice between two futures – and it is a choice America CANNOT make for you. […]

A better future is only possible if your nations drive out the terrorists and extremists. Drive. Them. Out. DRIVE THEM OUT of your places of worship. DRIVE THEM OUT of your communities. DRIVE THEM OUT of your holy land, and DRIVE THEM OUT OF THIS EARTH. […]

As we deny terrorist organizations control of territory and populations, we must also strip them of their access to funds. We must cut off the financial channels that let ISIS sell oil, let extremists pay their fighters, and help terrorists smuggle their reinforcements.

I am proud to announce that the nations here today will be signing an agreement to prevent the financing of terrorism, called the Terrorist Financing Targeting Center – co-chaired by the United States and Saudi Arabia, and joined by every member of the Gulf Cooperation Council. It is another historic step in a day that will be long remembered. […]

TOPSHOT-SAUDI-US-DIPLOMACY

Those words were a follow-up to deeds. Trump was granted the honor of dancing the most famous dance in Arab countries with representatives of the Al Saud family: The Dance of the Sabre. He was not very good at it, he did not really succeed in swinging the sabre. But at least it brought a smile to Melania’s face, something we regrettably did not see very often during their visit to the Middle East.

Only a few days later, some wonderful things happened, in particular in the Orient, but also in Europe.

Denmark froze the substantial amount of US$ eight million intended for 24 Palestinian and pro-Palestinians NGOs. An unnamed amount was also terminated, which had been intended for the Women’s Affairs Technical Committee (WTAC). This was in reaction to the fact that the money would not have reached the above-named projects, but were earmarked to go to a Youth Center named Dalal Mughrabi. In 1978, Mughrabi, at the age of 19, was one of the 11 terrorists who killed 38 and injured 76 more during the Coastal Road Attack of 1978.

Denmark is now demanding the return of an additional US$ 500,000 that were already paid.

Norway and the UN have also demanded the return of money already paid and requested that the logo of the Norwegian representation office already affixed to the building be immediately removed.

Immediately after his entry into office, President Donald Trump cancelled the US$ 221 million which President Obama had ordered to be transferred at the end of his term at the White House. They have been freed by USAID to be distributed among humanitarian and infrastructure projects in Gaza, Judea and Samaria. Reports from the USA say there is no new date for their payment.

After the PA paid out approximately 1.12 billion euros in „charity“ – in other words, support for terrorists and their families – during the last four years, it now seems that a new way of thinking is slowly taking shape. Starting one week ago, money is no longer paid to 270 former Palestinian prisoners living in the Gaza Strip. Moreover, five terrorists who are still in prison in Israel no longer receive any support, nor do 47 Hamas employees living in Samaria and Judea. Nothing is known about the background. It was apparently only a technical error and the money was paid later. This is at least what Maan News has reported, although it has not been confirmed by the Israelis. Today, Sunday, July 11, the Knesset is scheduled to vote on a new procedure making it possible not to transfer or to transfer to the PA significantly reduced custom duties collected by Israel. This is in reaction to the fact that it has become ever more evident that this money was used to pay terrorists and their families so-called „charity“.

The current reality is that the Palestinian Authority not only rewards the murder of Jews, but also encourages it. The more you murder, the more you get. That is how their reward system is built. This must be stopped not only because it is immoral, but also because it is an obstacle to peace on both sides.“

And then the big bang: a completely new alliance, which until recently would have been inconceivable, seems to be in a emergent state. Exactly as suggested by Trump in his speech – I purposely avoid the word „demanded“.

Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and, only hours later, also Yemen froze their relations with Qatar. The Maldives joined the boycott against the very rich tiny state on the Arab Gulf. Mauritania and Jordan followed one day later.

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The consequences for the country which can no longer be reached by land are numerous. Qatar Airlines, one of the world’s luxury airlines, is being boycotted internationally and has been grounded. Air space over the neighboring countries is mostly closed to incoming and departing flights. The airlines of the countries participating in the boycott no longer fly to Doha. Doha’s super modern airport is considered to be the turnstile of air travel in the Near and Middle East.

 

What is the reason for this apparently sudden and completely unexpected boycott? Qatar has long been considered the principal country supporting terror and extremism. There is active political terror tourism between Doha and Gaza. All Hamas executives who could afford to leave Gaza’s sadness far behind are living a life of incredible luxury in Doha. Tailor-made summer suits simply look better in the luxurious environment on the Arab Gulf than in dusty Gaza. There, one would have to admit to preaching water and drinking wine. In Doha, one is among friends.

This has now come to an end. Qatar has to defend itself and is currently alternately blaming Israel and/or the USA for being the cause of their dilemma. Fake news. Nothing else. Only the Qataris are at fault. And since in principle they have to admit this themselves, they are now expelling many Hamas leaders as soon as possible. Popular and welcome guests have become personae non gratae. Citizens of other countries have been given up to two weeks to leave the country.

Attempts are being made to deescalate the situation. The food reserve is sufficient for more than a year. Prices are stable and the Government has taken all measures necessary for supplying the needs of the population.

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Does this mean that everything is okay on the Arab Gulf? Qatar is preparing for the 2022 Soccer World Championship. Although they won the tender, things have not worked out well to date, not to mention the justified criticisms regarding the construction and preparation work.

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Five years are a long time for someone who decides to grow daisies. But for a project worth billions, five years are nothing.

In light of the principle that everyone should be given the opportunity to achieve something seemingly impossible, I will mention the Saudis once again. In April, the country that does not believe in women’s rights was elected to the UN Commission on Women’s Rights. This choice – understandably – sparked an unprecedented political whirlpool. And currently, the Saudis are scheduled to become a partner, a partner against terrorism. When weighing the values against each other, in my opinion, the fight against terrorism is of greater importance. This is what has been threatening us all worldwide and on a daily basis. This is what must be fought against.

The following video illustrates a humoristic aspect of the subject of women’s rights in Saudi Arabia.

P.S. As we learned only last weekend, during the course of the extension jobs in two schools in the Gaza Strip, UNWRA discovered underground tunnels, although there are no entrance and exit points within the schools. UNWRA strongly condemned the existence of such tunnels and stressed: „It is absolutely unacceptable that pupils and teachers are exposed to risks in this manner. Construction work and the existence of such tunnels are not compatible with the UN conditions which may not be breached.“ UNWRA decided to seal the tunnels. Hamas refuted the accusations and said that no resistance operations had taken place in the area.

For too long, UNWRA and its Commissary General Pierre Krähenbühl have been firmly shutting their eyes. It is much easier to accuse Israel, to lie and to attack objectives in Gaza without clear reason, than to look for the fault in their partner, the Hamas.

© esther scheiner, Israel

©Translation by Translation International, Herzliya, Israel