Saturday, January 13, 2018

Did Obama Tip off Iran to Israeli Plan to Take Out World's Premier Terrorist? - Ari Lieberman

by Ari Lieberman

A Kuwaiti paper reveals another monstrous Obama betrayal.

We thought the Obama administration could stoop no lower when it was revealed that the administration transferred $1.7 billion in untraceable cash to the Islamic Republic as ransom for the release of four Americans hostages they were holding. We were wrong. In its twilight weeks, the administration gave its consent to allow the Iranians to receive 116 metric tons of natural uranium from Russia as compensation for its export of tons of reactor coolant. According to experts familiar with the transaction, the uranium could be enriched to weapons-grade sufficient for the production of at least 10 nuclear bombs.

If you thought that the administration’s betrayal of America’s security could go no further, you were wrong. Last month Politico, not known as a bastion of conservatism, published a bombshell 50-page exposé detailing the Obama administration’s efforts to delay, hinder and ultimately shut down a highly successful DEA operation – codenamed Project Cassandra – aimed at tracking and thwarting Hezbollah drug trafficking, arms trafficking and money laundering schemes. As a result, Hezbollah continued to import drugs into the United States, continued to provide anti-U.S. insurgents with deadly EFPs and continued to launder drug money to the tune of billions.

If you thought that was the end of the story, you were wrong. It seems that with each passing day, another layer of deceit and betrayal committed by the Obama administration is uncovered. The latest Obama scandal involves a reported effort by the administration to thwart an Israeli operation to liquidate Iranian general, Qassem Soleimani.

The Kuwaiti newspaper Al-Jarida reported that three years ago, Israel was on the verge of liquidating Soleimani near Damascus but the Obama administration tipped off Teheran of Israel’s plans. Soleimani is no ordinary general. He is arguably the world’s premier terrorist and is commander of Iran’s Quds Force, a branch of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps, responsible for its overseas mischief-making. Where there is drugs, misery and conflict, it’s a sure bet that Soleimani and his Quds Force are involved.

The elimination of Soleimani would have been a tremendous coup for the West, on par with or perhaps surpassing the assassination of Imad Mughniyah, chief of Hezbollah’s special operations. But the Obama administration, in its sycophantic zeal to curry favor with the mullahs, sabotaged the operation.

Of course, the facts alleged by Al-Jarida are just allegations and have not been confirmed but there is ample reason to believe the veracity of the claim. First, this would not the first time that the Obama administration betrayed an Israeli covert operation.

In 2012, the Obama administration leaked damaging information that inexplicably sought to sabotage a burgeoning strategic alliance between Israel and Azerbaijan. Such an alliance would have enabled Israel to seek alternate bases in close proximity to Iran from which it could conduct military operations including surveillance and rescue missions, refueling and maintenance and even direct military strikes. The embarrassing disclosure shed unwanted light on a covert military alliance that would have greatly enhanced Israel’s strategic capabilities vis-à-vis the Islamic Republic.

Then again in 2013, Israeli officials bitterly complained to the Obama administration over leaks sourced to administration officials that the Israeli Air Force had struck a military base near the Syrian port city of Latakia. The Israelis termed the leak “scandalous” and bitterly noted that it was not the first time that administration officials had publicly linked Israel to attacks aimed at preventing arms from falling into the hands of Hezbollah terrorists. At the time, the Israelis were attempting to keep a low profile but the administration’s leaks blew everything and Israel’s involvement could no longer be concealed.

But perhaps the most intriguing validation of the Kuwaiti newspaper’s allegation emerged from an unlikely source, a remarkable twitter exchange between New York Times columnist Bret Stephens and Obama’s former U.S. National Security spokesman, Tommy Vietor.

Stephens asked Obama’s National Security Adviser (and former aspiring fiction scribe) Ben Rhodes if there was any validity to the story. Tellingly, the normally talkative Rhodes refused to answer but Vietor chimed in to offer some revealing insight, calling the story unsubstantiated and noting the Obama administration does not condone assassinations.

Stephens hit back noting that the administration utilized SEAL teams and drone strikes to liquidate America’s enemies. Now here’s where it gets interesting. Vietor differentiated between Osama bin Laden and Qassem Soleimani referring to the latter as an “Iranian political leader,” and added that “an assassination of QS by Israel would be destabilizing to put it mildly.”

So there you have it. A top former Obama administration official, intimately involved with peddling Obama’s deleterious Iran policy, believes that Qassam Soleimani is a politician whose elimination from the scene would be “destabilizing.” Try selling that arrant rubbish to 470,000 dead Syrians.

Ari Lieberman is an attorney and former prosecutor who has authored numerous articles and publications on matters concerning the Middle East and is considered an authority on geo-political and military developments affecting the region.


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Undercover Videos Expose Twitter’s Dirty Secrets - Daniel Greenfield

by Daniel Greenfield

"So you would mostly just get rid of Conservatives?"

Daniel Greenfield, a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center, is an investigative journalist and writer focusing on the radical left and Islamic terrorism.

How do you know you’ve been shadowbanned? You may be tweeting, but you’re no longer being heard. You wonder if maybe people just aren’t interested in what you have to say.

But they might be interested. Twitter just isn’t interested in letting them read your messages.

Shadowbanning is the censorship that social media companies do in the shadows. It’s cowardly and dishonest. And it’s how the big firms get away with covertly censoring conservatives.

"The idea of a shadow ban is that you ban someone but they don’t know they’ve been banned, because they keep posting and no one sees their content," Abhinav Vadrevu, a former Twitter employee, explains in Project Veritas' undercover investigation of the company.

“They just think that no one is engaging with their content, when in reality, no one is seeing it.”

Shadowbanning is the perfect metaphor for the big lie of social media. The big companies claim to empower you while they actually take away your voice. And they do it without you realizing it.

Or as Olinda Hassan, Twitter’s Policy Manager for Trust and Safety put it, “It's something we're working on where we're trying to get the s___ people not to show up.”

Social media has duplicated the media’s hypocritical claims of transparency and fairness. Facebook and Twitter claim that they aren’t media companies. But they act just like them.

And with these videos, James O’Keefe pivots from hammering the media to exposing social media.

"Twitter was probably about 90% anti-Trump, maybe 99%," Mo Norai, a former Content Review Agent, revealed. And censorship was subjective. Anti-Trump employees felt free to censor pro-Trump messages. Twitter doesn’t run on definitive rules, but on unwritten codes and biases.

And Twitter’s unwritten code was to censor the right and favor the left.

As the James Damore lawsuit against Google revealed, this monolithic mindset is achieved at big tech firms by a strategy of intimidation and scapegoating. The shutdown of conservatives at companies like Google and Twitter begins on the inside, and then when control has been consolidated, goes outside.

There’s a direct line between Google’s suppression of conservatives within the company and its smears of conservative sites. The same tactics that were used to smear conservative employees at Google are being aimed at conservative sites by Google. Shadowbanning is just a high tech version of shunning. And there’s a direct line between shunning conservatives at work and working to shun conservative users.

On the video, Norai reveals that there were, “A lot of unwritten rules.”

"We're in San Francisco, we're in California, a very liberal, a very blue state,” he explained. "As a company, you can't really say because it would make you look bad, but behind closed doors are a lot of rules."

The unwritten rules, like shadowbanning, are how the censorship sausage gets made. The big online companies that control search and social media pretend to be one thing, but are really another. The unwritten rules are part of a secret world that outsiders rarely get to hear about. Just as the Damore lawsuit exposed the hidden corporate culture at Google, the Veritas videos reveal the truth about Twitter.

Pranay Singh, a Twitter engineer admitted, that accounts are suspended sometimes for political reasons.

"Do you get requests from the government to take down celebrities?" a Project Veritas journalist asks.

"Oh, all the f____ time," he replies.

The conversation also reveals just how out of touch the tech industry is with the rest of the country.

"Just go to a random (Trump) tweet and just look at the followers. They'll all be like, guns, God, 'Merica, like, and with the American flag, and, like, the cross,” Singh spouts. “Like, who says that? Who talks like that? It’s for sure a bot.”

Algorithms are used to flag and delete accounts that Twitter employees think are bots. And Twitter employees live in such a leftist bubble that they think that patriots don’t really exist.

"You look for Trump, or America, or any of, like, five thousand, like, keywords to describe a redneck,” the engineer explains. A majority of the algorithms, he admits, target Republicans.
"So you would mostly just get rid of Conservatives?" he's asked.

"Yeah," he replies.

Tech companies start out by purging conservatives from their ranks. And then they set out to purge all conservatives. When a corporate culture has no room for intellectual diversity, then its staffers start to believer that people who think differently don’t even exist. Or shouldn’t be allowed to exist.

That’s the state of mind that totalitarian societies induce. And the Project Veritas videos reveal how well Twitter has succeeded. The 1% of conservatives at Twitter have learned to keep their mouths shut. Censorship at Twitter follows the political biases of the overwhelming majority of employees.

And while Twitter is a private company, it also has a great deal of power over the national discourse.

President Trump has boosted Twitter’s influence, but as the Project Veritas videos reveal, the company and its employees are deeply hostile to him. The company hasn’t found the courage to delete Trump’s account, but its employees clearly fantasize about the idea, one even went so far as to try and do it, and they eagerly shadowban, censor, harass and delete the Twitter accounts of Trump supporters.

Some of the Twitter censorship measures revealed by the Project Veritas videos were occasioned by the media’s claims that a ‘fake news’ conspiracy resulted in Trump’s victory. But others are purely a matter of bias. And between the push to purge social media of ‘fake news’ and political biases, conservatives are an endangered species on social media. Much as they’re all but extinct in the mainstream media.

But social media was meant to be different. Instead of being told what to read, watch and hear, you would set your own agenda. Anyone could create and share content. The media was done. Instead of having your morning or afternoon defined by CBS or CNN, it would be built around your interests.
And that was a lie.

The internet makes that possible. But the big search and social companies decide what you see. The same way that Netflix pushes Black Mirror: Twitter, Facebook and Google push their results. But the old mainstream media companies never tried to fool anyone into thinking they were democracies. You were going to watch what CNN wanted you to. And that was that.

Social media pretends to be a viral democracy. But its corporate overlords run it like a tyranny. Twitter, Facebook and Google are built on lie. They aren’t meritocracies of content. The game is rigged. And these videos pull back the curtain to show some of the men and women doing the rigging.

Have you been shadowbanned yet? Give it time and the people in this video will get around to it.

Daniel Greenfield, a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center, is a New York writer focusing on radical Islam.


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DACA: The Immigration Trojan Horse - Michael Cutler

by Michael Cutler

How the original DREAM act was designed to cover 90% of the illegal alien population in the US.

Today DACA (Deferred Action-Childhood Arrivals) is a major issue for the Trump administration, with politicians from both parties attempting to persuade President Trump to provide lawful status for the illegal aliens who had been granted temporary lawful status in an ill-conceived and, indeed, illegal program that had been implemented by President Obama, a politically adept manipulator of language and a master of deception. 

On December 18th I participated in an interview on Fox News to discuss DACA and the fact that according to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) legalizing the estimated population of “Dreamers” would cost an estimated $26 billion. 
On January 9th President Trump conducted a bi-partisan White House meeting to consider a compromise that would provide lawful immigration status for the approximately 800,000 illegal aliens who enrolled in DACA. As the San Francisco Chronicle reported, Trump seeks a "bill of love" from Congress for "Dreamers"
The “deal” would require funding a border wall, ending “chain migration” and perhaps, making E-Verify mandatory.  Of course without an adequate number of ICE agents, mandatory E-Verify would be of limited value since unscrupulous employers could simply hire illegal aliens “off the books” and without agents to conduct field investigations these criminally deceptive employment practices would not be discovered.
President Trump’s previous call for hiring an additional 10,000 ICE agents was not mentioned by the participants in the meeting.  This is extremely worrisome.
A lack of effective interior enforcement of our immigration laws, has for decades, undermined the integrity of the immigration system. In fact the 9/11 Commission cited the lack of interior enforcement as a key vulnerability that terrorists, and not only the 9/11 hijackers, had exploited to embed themselves in the U.S. in preparation to carrying out deadly attacks.
DACA was a travesty foisted on America and Americans by the Obama administration, from its inception, was a scam based on lies and false suppositions. Legalizing these 800,000 illegal aliens would, in point of fact, legitimize Obama’s illegal action.
Obama claimed that he was invoking “prosecutorial discretion” when he stood in the White House Rose Garden on June 15, 2012 and announced that “since Congress failed to act” (to pass Comprehensive Immigration Reform) he was going to act by creating DACA. But in reality Congress did act: it voted down legislation known as Comprehension Immigration Reform and, in so doing, took an action that is consistent with the role of Congress as established by the U.S. Constitution that created the system of “checks and balances.” 
For Mr. Obama, however, the problem was that Congress did not act the way he wanted it to act.
Two days after that speech in 2012, I wrote an Op-Ed, “Obama Invokes Prosecutorial Discretion to Circumvent Constitution and Congress,” in which I noted that what Obama had referred to as “Prosecutorial Discretion” should, in reality, be referred to as “Prosecutorial Deception.”
Legitimate use of prosecutorial discretion can provide a pragmatic solution to real-world limitations of law enforcement resources in a manner comparable to a triage.  For example, law enforcement officers frequently ignore relatively minor violations of law so that those limited resources can be available to address more serious violations of law.  Consider, for example, the police officer operating speed radar who ignores cars that exceed the speed limit by a small margin, but are being otherwise driven in a safe manner.  This enables the police officer to focus on vehicles that are being driven dangerously.
Under DACA, however, illegal aliens were not ignored to conserve limited resources.  In fact, limited resources were not conserved but were squandered to provide temporary lawful status to a huge number of illegal aliens without legal authority or justification.
Moreover, DACA constituted the de facto creation of law without the legislative process, but by unconstitutional executive fiat.
Let’s now consider the notion of “deferred action,” the foundation upon which DACA was purportedly created.  There are legitimate provisions in the immigration system to provide aliens with “deferred action” when it is a matter of compassion, for humanitarian purposes.  The key word is “deferred.”  What is deferred is the ultimate required departure of non-immigrant aliens.
For example, if a family from another country lawfully came to the United States as non-immigrants for a temporary visit with friends or relatives in the United States and one of the members of the family was injured in an accident or became ill, those aliens could apply for deferred action so that they would not have to leave the United States until the family crisis was resolved.  
As an INS agent I dealt with such cases.  Generally the doctor who was treating the injured or ill family member would provide documentation to immigration authorities to verify the medical situation, with periodic updates. 
As an INS special agent I was responsible for conducting investigations to make certain that applications were not fraudulent.
Generally these aliens would not be granted employment authorization except under the most extraordinary of circumstances if they needed to remain in the United States for a protracted period of time. However, DACA essentially “dropped a net” over 800,000 illegal aliens, not out of humanitarian concerns because of an unforeseen emergency but as a means of achieving a political objective.
Obama claimed that his action was to help young people who were brought to the United States by their parents and, consequently, were the victims of their parents’ actions over which they had no control.
Obama was counting on the fact that Americans are among the most compassionate people in the world, especially where children are concerned.  Media reports furthered this narrative and, to this day, many ill-informed Americans believe that all aliens who participated in DACA were teenagers. But in fact, the age cutoff was actually 31.  These aliens simply needed to claim that they had been brought to the United States prior to their 16th birthdays.  Those aliens today might now be as old as 36 years of age.  DACA should have been called DACCA (Deferred Action- Claimed Childhood Arrivals). 
There were virtually no interviews or field investigations to verify any information or claims contained in the applications.
(The DREAM Act would have allowed aliens as old as 35 years of age to apply to participate in the amnesty that would have been created had the legislation passed.)
It is vital to note that even the term DREAM Act and the derivative term “Dreamers” is hypocritical.  Ever since the administration of Jimmy Carter, the term “Alien” has been eradicated from the immigration debate, not out of supposed “political correctness” but as a means of Orwellian thought control and Newspeak.
However, the “DREAM Act” is an acronym for Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors Act.  It is maddening that when the imagery of the “American Dream” can be exploited, the term “alien” becomes palatable -- but only when used in conjunction with this bit of Orwellian deception.
If the purpose of the DREAM Act was to help young illegal aliens, why did the politicians and “Gang of Eight” not simply limit it to aliens who had not yet attained the age of 21 and who could provide immigration authorities with their current school transcripts and report cards to verify their status as students in good standing?
What was never discussed in the mainstream media is that the whole point to the DREAM Act, pushed by some members of Congress and particularly the “Gang of Eight,” was to construct a legislated immigration “Trojan Horse.”
The DREAM Act established 35 years of age as the cutoff age for this amnesty because it would have covered an estimated 90% of the illegal alien population in the United States.  Furthermore, without the ability to conduct interviews, let alone field investigations, aliens could easily lie about their identities, their dates of birth and even their dates of entry into the United States.
There would be no way for adjuration officers to refute the claims of the aliens who participated in the program.
The DREAM Act was a carefully disguised version of failed legislation known as Comprehensive Immigration Reform.  
In 2007, after I testified about Comprehensive Immigration Reform before several hearings in the House and Senate, I wrote an Op-Ed for the Washington Times, Immigration bill a ‘No Go' in which I suggested that the legislative disaster be renamed the “Terrorist Assistance and Facilitation Act” because under that legislation, millions of illegal aliens who had entered the United States surreptitiously and without inspection, would have been provided with lawful status and official identity documents.
This would have violated the findings and recommendations of the 9/11 Commission, to which I provided testimony.
I was gratified when then-Senator Jeff Sessions quoted my Op-Ed from the floor of the U.S. Senate during the contentious floor debate on Comprehensive Immigration Reform on three separate days, in which he shared my concerns and my proposed new name for that legislation.
The Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 (IRCA) created a massive amnesty program that ultimately led to the greatest influx of illegal aliens in the history of our nation.  It has been said that insanity is doing the same things the same way and expecting a different outcome.
As a highly successful real estate magnate, President Trump must especially understand that just as it is unwise to erect a building on a swamp, legislation must be constructed on morally and legally solid ground.

Michael Cutler


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The Palestinian Terror Party: Celebrating Murder - Bassam Tawil

by Bassam Tawil

The Palestinians do not even feel the need to condemn terror attacks against Jews, because the international community is no longer demanding that they come out against terrorism.

  • The Palestinians do not even feel the need to condemn terror attacks against Jews, because the international community is no longer demanding that they come out against terrorism.
  • Instead of condemning the murder, the Palestinian Authority has been condemning Israel for launching a manhunt for the terrorists.....
  • Why do the Palestinians not want anyone to call them out? Because they are planning ... a new intifada.
What do the Palestinians think about the murder of a young rabbi and father of six? They "welcome" it with open arms.

So what if Rabbi Raziel Shevach was said to have maintained good relations with his Palestinian neighbors?

The Palestinians are still happy that he was gunned down last week as he was driving his car in the northern West Bank. They are happy because the victim was a Jew. They are happy because the victim held a religious position: Rabbi. They are happy because the victim was a "settler."

The fact that Rabbi Shevach was the father of six children does not faze the Palestinians one bit.

For them, what is important is that another Jew has been murdered. This meant, for the Palestinians, that his presence in the West Bank also carried religious weight. A rabbi living in the West Bank is emblematic of Jews' historic and religious attachment to the land. For all those reasons, the Palestinians are happy about the murder. Notably, the rabbi's political affiliation is irrelevant. He could be from the most extreme left-wing or right-wing party in Israel – this still would not make any difference. Rabbi Shevach was not murdered because of his political views.

The Palestinian Authority and its leader, Mahmoud Abbas, have thus far refused to condemn the murder. Abbas has been quick to condemn terror attacks around the world, from Russia to France, Germany, Turkey and Egypt. When it comes to the murder of Jews by Palestinian terrorists, however, Abbas and his aides are quick to go into hiding.

Mahmoud Abbas. The PA leader is happy a Jew was murdered, but outraged at U.S. officials who called him out on his failure to condemn terrorism. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

Yet, in their world, the failure of Abbas and the Palestinian Authority to condemn the murder of the rabbi makes sense. They cannot do so because they themselves have been inciting their people against Israel and Jews for decades. In the past few weeks, the anti-Israel incitement has even intensified due to U.S. President Donald Trump's announcement recognizing Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

Abbas fears that if he condemns the murder of the rabbi, his people will turn against him and accuse him of being a traitor and of "selling out" to the Jews.That view partially accounts for why leaders such as Abbas remain silent before the ruthless killing of a Jewish father of six. Fear, however, is only one reason; there is another, deeper one: Abbas and his senior officials actually rejoice in the news of this atrocity.

Here is where it gets tricky: Abbas and the Palestinian Authority cannot express their true feelings in public. That admission would jeopardize international aid lose them the sympathy of many in the international community. It would strip their masks and show them as the terror supporters and anti-Semites they truly are.

Until a few years ago, Abbas and the Palestinian Authority would issue laconic and ambiguous communiqués denouncing "all forms of violence, regardless of the identity of the perpetrators or victims." This was done merely for public consumption, to appease American and European donors.

Now, the tide has turned. The Palestinians do not even feel the need to condemn terror attacks against Jews, because the international community is no longer demanding that they come out against terrorism.

The message that the Palestinian Authority leadership is now sending to its people is that the murder of Rabbi Shevach is a "heroic" attack that brings "pride" to all Palestinians. Instead of condemning the murder, the Palestinian Authority has been condemning Israel for launching a manhunt for the terrorists and imposing strict security measures around some Palestinian communities in the aftermath of the murder. The tone on Palestine TV and Palestine Radio (both of which are controlled by Abbas) has been one of joy over the murder of the rabbi.

Abbas not only feels the need to condemn the murder of the rabbi, he also seems outraged by U.S. officials who dared to call him out on his failure to condemn terrorism.

After the murder, U.S. special envoy Jason Greenblatt and U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman had the "audacity" to criticize the Palestinians for incitement and rejoicing over terrorism. What was Abbas's response to this criticism? He sent Osama Qawassmeh, a Fatah spokesman, to launch a scathing attack on Greenblatt and Friedman, and accuse them of sharing the views of right-wing extremists in Israel.

"Greenblatt and Friedman only see things through Israeli eyes," Qawassmeh charged. "They don't see the Israeli crimes or violations of international law."

This Palestinian response is meant to accuse the two U.S. envoys of being Israeli "agents," as if to ask: "How dare you criticize us?" This represents a new degree of Palestinian arrogance; they are not used to hearing any form of criticism from foreign governments, and certainly not from the Obama administration. For Abbas and many Palestinians, any U.S. official who dares to criticize the Palestinians must be on the payroll of the Jewish lobby or in collusion with the Israeli government and the Zionists.

What the Palestinians are saying is that when they celebrate murder and terrorism, they expect to be considered immune to criticism. The Palestinians want the Trump administration to return to the Obama administration's policy of scapegoating Israel and turning a blind eye to Palestinian incitement and terrorism.

The Palestinians object to interference in their terror party. They wish to continue, unimpeded, the handing out of candies on the streets each time a Jew is murdered. They wish to celebrate each and every death of an American, as they did with the celebrations that swept the West Bank and Gaza Strip after 9/11. Now, the Palestinians are celebrating the murder of Rabbi Shevach and they do not want anyone to spoil the festivities -- not Trump and not any of his emissaries.

Why do the Palestinians not want anyone to call them out? Because they are planning more killings, more terrorism, in the form of a new intifada. They are hoping that the rabbi's murder will help trigger a new holy war to destroy Israel. Just one problem marred the recent murder: Only one Jew was killed. Yet, even one killing offers Palestinians "hope" for pursuing the murderous campaign against Israel and Jews.

"The Palestinian people have not been as happy [in a long time] as they were after the killing of the rabbi," said Palestinian columnist Ibrahim Al-Madhoun. "True, the operation did not result in the death of several Israelis, but only one settler. However, it gave momentum to the effort to revive and escalate the intifada (against Israel)."

Some Palestinians should be given credit for being more honest than their leaders about their true goals.

Bassam Tawil is a Muslim based in the Middle East.


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'The threat of anti-Semitism comes from mainstream Germany' - Eldad Beck

by Eldad Beck

Josef Schuster, the president of the Central Council of Jews in Germany, is less concerned about the Islamists in Germany and more about the general public: "Anti-Semitism disguised as criticism against Israel is now acceptable in Germany," he says.

President of the Central Council of Jews in Germany Josef Schuster
Photo: AP

Israeli flags are being set on fire by brainwashed masses; Jewish schoolchildren are coming under attack at schools; national television networks are broadcasting anti-Israel propaganda during Christmas season; the foreign minister publicly accuses Israel of being an "apartheid state" – all these things are not happening in a hostile Middle Eastern country. No. They happened in Germany, which purports to maintain warm relations with Israel.

In the most recent parliamentary election, a problematic right-wing party became the third largest in the Bundestag, but it was this problematic party that was actually the only one in Germany to support U.S. President Donald Trump's Dec. 6 recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital. At the U.N., Germany voted against this recognition, while at home, three months after the election, there is still no new government. A renewed "grand coalition" bringing Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservatives together with the social democrats, if established, may prove unstable.

Josef Schuster, a physician specializing in internal medicine, is facing this tense interim period as the president of the Central Council of Jews in Germany. He may have been born in Israel, but he is a descendant of one of Germany's oldest Jewish families – a rarity among the uprooted and immigrant Jews who gathered in Germany after World War II.

Schuster, 63, was appointed to the position shortly before the start of the country's immigrant crisis, with its dramatic implications in Germany. He was the first to alert the public to the threat of the imported anti-Semitism brought into Germany by the hundreds of thousands of Muslim immigrants flooding the country. He was viciously criticized for this warning, but time only proved he was right. Now, however, he identifies a different threat as the main danger facing German Jewry.

Q: Are you concerned about Germany's current state?

"No, but I would be happier if a stable government were to be established in the near future. Too long without an elected government is a recipe for stagnation."

Q: The previous "grand coalition" played a destabilizing role in Germany. Isn't it dangerous to try for another coalition like that?

"I'm not convinced your assessment is accurate. There were decisions that certainly led to developments that were less desirable in my opinion, but I think that another coalition would have made the same decisions."

Q: What developments would be desirable for you?

"The immigration crisis in 2015. The chancellor's decision to open the borders, while I can understand her motives – any Jew understands too well what it means to be forced to flee your home – at that moment, no one foresaw that the sheer number of people that would arrive, coming from a completely different cultural background, would cause the kind of problems that ultimately emerged, or how difficult these problems would be to solve. As early as the fall of 2015, the chancellor arranged a meeting, inviting representatives of all the affected groups. I was the only one who used that forum to warn against imported anti-Semitism. The others viewed the influx of immigrants as positive. I didn't express a negative stance, only concern. Today, the situation is different in Germany. I am sure that we will not see another massive influx like we experienced then, regardless of the makeup of the future coalition."

Between the extreme Right and the populist Right

The Jewish community, headed by Schuster, maintains no contact with Alternative for Germany (AfD) – currently the third largest party in the Bundestag. "The way I see it, it is a populist right-wing party that has not yet fully committed to distancing itself from members who hold extremist right-wing views," he says. "As long as the party is incapable of drawing a clear boundary among its ranks between the populist Right and the radical Right, it cannot be a partner for dialogue with us."

Q: Where would you draw this line, then, between the populist and the radical Right?

"When party members, in senior positions, decry Germany's 'cult of guilt' and praise German soldiers' 'performance' during World War II, or talk about 'mulattoes,' then, the way I understand it, the line has been crossed."

Q: Were attempts made at dialogue?

"We didn't make any direct attempts. The AfD didn't initiate anything either. The absence of initiative in this instance doesn't bother me."

Q: Did the Jewish community display the same kind of sensitivities toward the radical left-wing party Die Linke, whose members were also known to be anti-Semitic?

"In the past, yes. The first meeting with the top echelon of the party was about two years ago, at the request of the vice president of the Bundestag, Petra Pau, who always expressed a very clear position toward Jews and Israel. We spoke very openly about the views voiced by some of her fellow party members about Israel, and we made it very clear that we consider general criticism against Israel – not criticism against the policies of the Israeli government – anti-Semitic. I think that party has undergone a very positive shift in its views on Israel.

Q: The Alternative for Germany party is the only party in Germany that supported the American recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. How do you explain that?

"The AfD is always stressing its pro-Israel stance, on the basis of our common enemy: Israel has a problem with Arabs and Muslims and the AfD has a problem with them, so, for them, the enemy of my enemy is my friend. Members of the party claim that they are the only ones who can guarantee Jewish life in Germany because they are against the Muslims. But if ever a situation arises where I need them to guarantee Jewish life in Germany, Jewish life in Germany will be in very bad shape indeed."

Q: Do you agree with the official German position that rejects the U.S. move to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital?

"I would have hoped for a different position. After all, what did Trump say? He declared something that has already been a reality for decades. The Israeli government is in Jerusalem, and every official visit, including by senior German officials, takes place in Jerusalem. Everyone can think whatever they want of Trump, but in my opinion, he was very smart and diplomatic."

Q: Why is it so difficult for Germany to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel?

"I feel that every German government has seen itself as committed to the U.N. and hoped that this way it would be easier to achieve a peace agreement."

Q: Where do you think the anti-Semitism is most dangerous: among the radical Right, the radical Left of among the Islamists?

"I see the most dangerous anti-Semitism in mainstream German society. There are obviously increasing influences from extreme right-wing currents, lines are being crossed. It is now once again acceptable in Germany to say things that I wouldn't have imagined 10 years ago, particularly on anything having to do with anti-Semitism disguised as criticism against Israel. 'Look at what the Jews in Israel are doing' – things like that. Criticizing certain actions by the Israeli government is legitimate. In Germany, too, not everyone is happy with everything Merkel or her government does. But when Israel is blamed for everything that happens, as is the entirety of the Israeli population, that is anti-Semitism.

"This phenomenon has been on the rise, and so has the online campaign. Online, people are allowing themselves to express their anti-Semitism in a more obvious, hostile way. It is coming from both the Left and the Right. Studies have been showing for years that a fifth of the German population holds anti-Semitic views, but on the internet, it is more conspicuous. Arab Muslim anti-Semitism may be more perceptible on the surface, like the protests after Trump's Jerusalem announcement, but it is certainly not the only thing worrying me right now."

Q: Is there a problem in Germany in acknowledging the anti-Semitic aspect of anti-Israeli criticism?

"I actually think it is a positive thing that after the latest protests in Berlin, where Israeli flags were burned, there are now political initiatives on a national level, as well as in Berlin, to outlaw flag burning. There is much more awareness."

Concern, not fear

Two years ago, Israel and Germany marked 50 years of diplomatic relations. Since then, the festive atmosphere has given way to mounting tension between the two countries. "The main problem is that some of the decisions made by the Israeli government are misunderstood here. The chancellor has told me that she sometimes has trouble understanding Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's decisions. I also find it difficult sometimes to justify certain decisions, especially when it comes to settlement policies.

"I can imagine a solution based on the idea of two states for two peoples, but I know that in Israel there is a lot of mistrust toward this idea. I know it from my own family. I have a cousin in Israel who makes Netanyahu look like he's pro-Palestinian. Perhaps Israel is doing a bad job 'marketing' its settlement policies here, and they are perceived as an obstacle standing in the way of a peace process and it disrupts the relations between the governments."

Q: On the Israeli side of the equation, there are complaints that Germany is intervening in Israel's internal affairs by financially supporting organizations with problematic agendas and at the same time neglecting to pressure the Palestinians.

"The German side would be wise to be more careful in selecting who they speak to in Israel. Two weeks after Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel's memorable visit [in which a meeting with the prime minister of Israel was canceled over Gabriel's insistence on meeting with groups that slander the IDF], German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier arrived, and himself met with organizations and bodies that are critical of the [Israeli] government. The difference was that they were all focused on a clear, practical objective: to work toward peace, not against the government. To support organizations with a constructive approach would be better than supporting groups that are destructive."

Q: What are your expectations from Germany in regard to the BDS movement?

"There has been a positive development in Munich, which was the first city to adopt an initiative forbidding events by this movement in municipality buildings. Later, the same attitude was adopted in Frankfurt and Berlin as well. People are beginning to wise up to the character of this movement, in the federal government as well, and to understand that this is not a harmless peace organization. It is an organization that is not only anti-Israel, but also anti-Semitic. I will welcome the Bundestag's decision on the matter. It will take some more time, but I think we are well on our way."

Q: The conservatives in the Bundestag want to deport immigrants and anti-Semitic refugees. Is that a possibility? 

"The bill communicates a very clear message about what Germany is willing and unwilling to accept. However, it would involve revoking permits, not immediate deportation."

Q: Are you worried about the future of the Jewish community in Germany?

"At the moment, no. There are developments that obligate us to stay vigilant, inspiring concern, but not fear. I feel that the politicians and the public in Germany are aware, and I am convinced that it is possible to suppress the anti-Semitic voices, which have grown louder in the recent past."

Eldad Beck


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How to treat strangers in need: Israeli version, Palestinian version - Stephen M. Flatow

by Att'y. Stephen M. Flatow

An Israeli medic goes to the aid of an Arab baby. Two Czech women tourists take a wrong turn and enter the PA. Find the differences.

How a society treats strangers in need can be very revealing.

Let’s start with the remarkable experience of Yossi Rosen, a volunteer for United Hatzalah, one of Israel’s two major emergency medical services. At 4:00 on Sunday morning, when the rest of us were comfortably curled up in bed and not planning to get up any time soon, Rosen jumped out of his bed when he heard a Hatzalah radio alert about “a child with a head wound, at the Deir Balut Junction checkpoint.”

Rosen, it should be noted, is an evil racist colonialist warmongering settler. That’s because he resides in Peduel, a Jewish community located beyond the 1949 armistice line, in an area that has been part of the historic Jewish homeland for approximately 3,000 years. But this is no time for a history lesson! My point is only that in defiance of stereotypes, this “settler” didn’t ask whether the wounded child was Arab or Jewish. He raced to the scene to help.

Of course, as a resident of Peduel, Rosen knows that the residents of the nearby Arab village of Deir Balut are not always as neighborly as one would prefer. He knew terrorists could be in the vicinity of the injured child. So, as per his United Hatzalah training, he asked the dispatcher whether Israeli soldiers were on their way to provide backup to the medical responders. To his surprise, the dispatcher replied that it was the soldiers on the scene who had called for medical help.

A word about the Deir Balut checkpoint, to which Rosen was heading. Israel maintains 27 permanent staffed checkpoints in Judea-Samaria, a region of more than 2,000 square miles. Twenty-six of the 27 are situated at the border between Israel and the Palestinian Authority territories. Foreign citizens who want to enter Israel (such as Arabs from the PA areas) are briefly checked to make sure they aren’t carrying bombs, guns, or knives. Just like every American citizen is checked at every airport before entering some other country.

Incidentally, according to the extreme-left group B’Tselem, the Israeli Army also operates 16 “temporarily manned checkpoints,” which are—get this—“generally open for Palestinians to cross without being checked.” Israeli security forces are present only “sometimes.”

Well, it was tightly lucky for the parents in this case that Israeli soldiers were present when they showed up with their injured child last week. The parents were Muslim Arabs from Deir Balut. It’s interesting that instead of bringing their injured five year-old son to a Palestinian Authority hospital, they brought him to an Israeli checkpoint. I wonder what it is about corrupt Arab dictatorships that they all seem to have such poor medical care.

It turned out the boy’s condition was not life-threatening; he had suffered a seizure and fallen out of bed. The medic, Yossi Rosen, examined and treated him. He also soothed the frightened boy by giving him some candies that he happened to have in his pocket from a bar mitzva in his synagogue the day before. Imagine the scene: 4:00 in the morning, at an Israeli army checkpoint, a “settler” medic answering questions from curious Muslim parents about why Jews throw candy at a bar mitzvah boy.

Unfortunately, not everyone responds so kindly when a stranger in need shows up. On Wednesday, two Czech women tourists driving to the Dead Sea accidentally made a wrong turn and found themselves in the Palestinian Arab village of Taqua, near Bethlehem. Not a big deal, right? After all, confused tourists make wrong turns all the time.

But if you enter a Palestinian Arab village, and you don’t look like a Palestinian Arab, apparently it is a very big deal. The locals in Taqua did not take kindly to “The Other.” They tried to stone the women to death.

When the attackers in Taqua began throwing rocks at the two women, they knew that they might kill them. After all, stoning has been a popular method of execution in the Middle East for thousands of years. And at least 15 Israelis have been murdered by Arab rock-throwers in recent years.

The two women were not brandishing weapons. They were not establishing a settlement. They were not persecuting Palestinian Arabs. Their only “crime” was that they did not look like Palestinian Arabs. They were strangers. And that was sufficient for the mob to attack.

The Czech women got lucky. Some Israeli traffic policemen in the vicinity had noticed them heading down the wrong road, became concerned, followed them, and rescued them from their would-be murderers.

You won’t read about either of these incidents in the New York Times. Neither J Street nor Jewish Voice for Peace will be issuing any press releases about them. Admitting that “settlers” are human would disrupt The Narrative. Acknowledging the violent bloodlust of Palestinian Arab rock-throwers would disrupt it, too.

I am capitalizing “The Narrative” because we have reached the point where the manner in which Israel’s critics describe events is so predictable and rigid that it has become an easily-recognizable phenomenon. The Jewish Left and much of the news media have an obsessive agenda: to create a Palestinian Arab state alongside Israel’s major cities and airports, no matter what the cost (to Israel), no matter what the risk (to the lives of Israelis).The experiences of the medic from Peduel and the tourists from the Czech Republic represent a mortal threat to The Narrative.

Att'y. Stephen M. Flatow, a New Jersey attorney, is vice president of the Religious Zionists of America and the father of Alisa Flatow, who was murdered by Palestinian terrorists in 1995 on a study trip to Israel when the bus she was on exploded on her way to the beach in Gush Katif. When Alisa succumbed to fatal head wounds at Soroka Medical Center, the family donated her organs to save the lives of others.


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Muslims to outnumber Jews in US by 2040 - David Rosenberg

by David Rosenberg

While size of US Jewish population stagnates, number of US Muslims set to double by 2040.

American Muslims are expected to overtake Jews as the largest non-Christian religious group in the United States in just over two decades, a report by the Pew Research Center claims.

According to the report released last week, there are currently some 3.45 million self-identified Muslims in the United States, compared approximately six million American Jews, making Muslims the second largest non-Christian religious group in the US, making up slightly over 1% of the population. The next largest religious group, Buddhists, make up about seven-tenths of a percent of the total American population, as do Hindus. About 71% of Americans identify as Christians, according to Pew.

But while the American Jewish population has remained relatively stable at roughly six million, the number of American Muslims is growing at a faster rate than the country as a whole.

While the US population grew from 301 million in 2007 to 326 million in 2017, an 8 percent increase, the number of American Muslims went up by 47% - from about two-and-a-third million in 2007, to just under three-and-a-half million in 2017.

The Pew report, which is based on data from the 2010 US Census and a 2017 Pew study on the US Muslim population, suggests that Muslims will outnumber American Jews by 2040, becoming the country’s largest non-Christian religious group. The number of Muslims will hit 8.1 million by 2050, making up 2.1% of the total population – about double their current proportion of the population.

David Rosenberg


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A lesson in incitement - Nadav Shragai

by Nadav Shragai

Far from the eyes of the press, the U.S. government is investigating the U.N. Relief and Works Agency's suspected embrace of PLO ideology, including the use of Palestinian textbooks that indoctrinate Palestinian children to hate and fight Israel.

An UNRWA school in the Gaza Strip. The U.S. fears that UNRW
is not taking steps to keep the curriculum neutral
Photo: AFP

A potential hot potato known as the "UNRWA file" has been on a back burner in Washington for months, unreported. UNRWA – the U.N. Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees – is being investigated by the U.S. government. The reasons for the investigation are suspicions backed by a wealth of documentation about the growing overlap between the organization and the existence and goals of the PLO, to the point of accepting content of violence, terrorism and incitement.

The U.S. government announcement that it intends to reduce funding to UNRWA in light of the "Palestinian Authority's retreat from the peace process" – which the Palestinians have called a line in the sand in terms of its relations with the U.S. administration – is linked to this investigation no less than to the "peace process."

Here are the full details: In January 2017, immediately after U.S. President Donald Trump entered the White House, a team from the U.S. Attorney General's office launched a probe, on behalf of Congress, into whether the textbooks used in UNRWA schools in Judea and Samaria and the Gaza Strip included anti-Semitic content and encouraged terrorism. The team is also investigating whether and to what extent UNRWA is linked to terrorist entities, particularly in Gaza.

The team's report is expected to come out in February or March. The investigation is being handled by professionals, not politicians. Head of the Government Accountability Office Eugene Louis Dodaro, an appointee of previous U.S. President Barack Obama, is the one who decided to launch the investigation in response to a request by Republican Sen. James Risch.

The investigation Risch set in motion is the result of significant information submitted to him by the Center for Near East Policy Research, which is chaired by David Bedein. Bedein and his staff supplied Rich with dozens of research papers, recordings, videos, photographs and in particular Palestinian textbooks, all of which he handed on to the government investigators. They amassed additional material and started to get the picture. UNRWA was asked to respond. As of now, nothing has been leaked. However, the material from the Center for Policy Study in the Middle East and Israel are available to everyone.

They were collected over many years by Badin and by former IDF Intelligence official, Lt. Col. (res.) Yoni Dahuh-Halevy; Middle East researcher Dr. Arnon Gross, who has spent years studying Arab and Palestinian textbooks and their content; and recently Dr. Ronni Shaked, coordinator of the Middle East Unit at the Harry S. Truman Research Institute for the Advancement of Peace, located next to the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. The results are not flattering to UNRWA, to put it mildly. Over the past few weeks, the organization has been trading accusations with the center's researchers.

Martyr pop

One of the subtitles in the latest report from the center, which is hard to argue with – if only because UNRWA doesn't make any attempt to hide anything – has to do with UNRWA's links to famous Palestinian singer Mohammad Assaf, who rose to fame in 2013 after he won first place in the "Arab Idol" competition, a sort of Palestinian "American Idol," thus becoming a Palestinian national symbol.

The story about Assaf and UNRWA is more than gossip because it is symptomatic of UNRWA's identification with the Palestinian narrative, as well as the fact that the organization has accepted many expressions of incitement to terrorism and violence, both in the forms of the textbooks used in its schools and in its ongoing ties to Hamas members in Gaza.

For years, the Israeli defense establishment has been warning about the dangerous give-and-take between Hamas and UNRWA, which for years has shaken off these accusations. But James G. Lindsay, a former legal advisor to UNRWA, confirmed in one of his reports that "UNRWA did not take steps to identify terrorists or push them out of its upper echelon or decision-making positions."

In the case of Assaf, whose songs glorify holy death and jihad, UNRWA not only is not distancing itself from him but has also made Assaf its official youth ambassador. Assaf was supposedly chosen to promote peace, but in his songs, he repeatedly praises sacrifice and violence and encourages a martyr's death and jihad.

He also sings about the vision of a Palestinian state that will stand on the entirety of the territory of Israel. His music videos are broadcast on PA and Hamas television, with background images of Palestinians fighting IDF soldiers and funerals of "martyrs," whose bodies are wrapped in Palestinian flags and carried on supporters' shoulders and passed from hand to hand by the throngs.

Assaf sings about his country, which stretches from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea. "Take my blood, and bring freedom," he trills. "Victory or a martyrs' death, said its men."

In one song, "Oh, Flying Bird," many places in Israel – Safed, Tiberias, Acre, Haifa, Beit Shean and Nazareth – are presented as some of the locations to which Palestinians will return. Many Palestinians doubtlessly identify with what he is saying. What is unclear is why UNRWA opted to be identified with a singer who holds views like these?

Tel Aviv – not what you thought 

For years, UNRWA has been stringently criticized for using Palestinian schoolbooks written in this spirit and even more for not doing anything to change. The latest report from Gross and Shaked, published a few months ago, focuses on the Palestinian books used in UNRWA schools.

The report is some 200 pages long. It has been presented in the Knesset and forwarded to monitors in Washington. Some of the books for early childhood education covered in the report ignore the existence of Israel. In one of them (a 2016 edition), Tel Aviv is renamed "Tel al-Rabia."

"Apparently, this is a new development in the Palestinian narrative in which Tel Aviv is presented as a modern Jewish city that was built on the ruins of an ancient Arab town," Gross explains.

In another book published in 2015, Hebrew writing is deleted from a picture of a stamp. A fourth-grade textbook from 2014 explains that "Acre is a Palestinian city founded by the Arabs and Canaanites in 1000 B.C.E.," and that it is destined to return to its rightful owners [the Palestinians]. Another Palestinian publication shows a girl floating above the security fence who aspires to reach "the lost parts of the country" of Palestine.

Elsewhere, the pupils are asked to repeat: "Let us sing and learn by heart: the ground of the noble – I have sworn. I will sacrifice my blood to saturate the ground and the noble will cast the thief out of my country and destroy what remains of the foreigners. O, the land of Al-Aqsa and the forbidden holy place; O, the cradle of pride and nobility. Patience. Patience, as our victory will be the sun rising out of the darkness."

The books used in UNRWA schools eradicate almost any mention of Israel, and when they do refer to it, it is in the context of "occupation" or the perpetrator of the "Nakba."

'A very harsh picture'

Gross and Shaked checked the books used up to ninth grade in UNRWA schools and discovered a "very harsh picture."

"The schoolbooks published by the Hamas government in Gaza, which include blatant anti-Semitic expressions and open incitement to an armed struggle to wipe out Israel, are taught as part of the UNRWA curriculum there, in which some quarter of a million students were enrolled in the 2015/16 school year," they said.

"UNRWA is an international organization that is not supposed to take a side in the … conflict, but rather adhere to the principles of the U.N. on a solution for peace. Therefore, it cannot be that this organization's schools are teaching material that calls for a violent struggle against Israel and for jihad, especially when the struggle is not limited to the areas that might be considered, by the world at large, occupied – but covers the entire area of the sovereign state of Israel as it is recognized in international circles," they add.

The two researchers also attempt to refresh what is obvious: "UNRWA, as a U.N. organization, is obligated to prevent any situation in which a U.N. member state – Israel – is portrayed as illegitimate to students at schools it operates, both in the texts [used] and on maps. A textbook in which Israel does not appear on the map should not be used at all in an UNRWA school.

"We must not forget UNRWA's historical responsibility for the future of the children and youths it educates. Allowing the Palestinian Authority to insert into UNRWA textbooks content that teaches them about a future war against Israel is a betrayal of UNRWA's obligation to protect Palestinian children from such a future," they say.

UNRWA spokesman Christopher Gunness calls the information from Gross and Shaked "inaccurate and misleading." Gunness claims that 178 of the 201 books checked by the duo are not in use in UNRWA schools and have gradually been phased out, while the other 23 were in use, but have been "thoroughly checked" by UNRWA and paired with complementary supplemental material. According to Gunness, the PA textbooks were found to be "free of incitement to terrorism." Gunness says that the UNRWA curriculum seeks to meet the values of the U.N.

Gross, who has been researching Palestinian textbooks since 2000, is doubtful about the UNRWA claim that 178 of the books he and Shaked reviewed have been phased out. He mentions that his latest report covers a three- to four-year period.

"The books used by UNRWA do not call for Jews to be killed. They 'only' say that Dalal Mughrabi, who led a terrorist attack on an Israeli bus in 1978 that killed 30 men, women, and children, was a hero and a martyr," Gross responds.

"They 'only' describe a Molotov cocktail attack on an Israeli bus in the West Bank as a 'barbecue.' These are two examples taken from books printed in 2017 for grades six to nine, which the UNRWA spokesman says in his statement are being taught in his organization's schools."

Gross explains that the textbooks in use in UNRWA schools "do not call for the destruction of Israel. They 'only' erase Israel from maps and replace it with 'Palestine.' The new books from 2017 even managed to erase the name Israel from their many demonizing sections and replace it with the expression 'the Zionist occupation.'"

The Center for Near East Policy Research continues to inspect Palestinian textbooks. Gross is now reviewing the books published in December 2017. He is getting the impression that the "demonization [of Israel] is on the rise. One ninth-grade book, for example, tells students that the Zionists built their entity on terrorism, destruction and colonialism."

Two other books published that same month portray the terrorist Mughrabi in an admiring manner. One book, intended for use by fifth-graders, writes: "Our Palestinian history is full of many names of martyrs who sacrificed their lives for the homeland. These include the martyr Dalal Mughrabi, who in her battle wrote one of the banner chapters of resistance, challenge, and heroism."

Gross is convinced that UNRWA "must re-examine the material is has been teaching to over 2 million Palestinian children and youth for over 70 years in the areas in which it is active. Their bending to ideas of jihad, martyrdom, victory, and return [of the Palestinians] are dangerous to both peoples, and certainly do not fall in line with the principles of the U.N. The future of the young generation of Palestinians, which is in its hands, must be a main consideration for UNRWA, otherwise it will betray its mission," he warns.

Nadav Shragai


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