Archive for the ‘Arab-Israeli Conflict’ Category

Jan 2 2017

The War Isn’t Over Yet

Anyone who wants to understand why the conflict between the Zionist movement and the Palestinian Arabs has been going on for over 100 years won’t find the answer in learned discussions of the question as to whether a quarter, a third or half of the Arabs were expelled during the 1948 War of Independence.
Anyone who wants to understand how only as a result of that conflict there are millions of people today claiming to be refugees from a war that ended decades ago, (more…)

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Dec 8 2013

The UN’s Palestinian refugee agency is a farce

With much international media coverage, a photo exhibition called “The Long Journey” opened at the end of November in the old city of Jerusalem. A few dozen black and white images from the archives of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) will be on display until the end of January, when they will move on to Europe and North America.

These images of Palestinian refugees are part of a digital archive compiled by UNRWA, a project that was hailed by the agency’s commissioner general, Filippo Grandi, as “a contribution to building a national heritage for the Palestinians.” On UNRWA’s website, the exhibition is considered part of the Palestinian “collective memory” and “communal identity.”

While a photo exhibition in itself is hardly a problem, it serves nonetheless as an excellent example of the negative and non-constructive role that UNRWA—supposedly a neutral organization—plays in the Arab-Israeli conflict. Even the date chosen to launch the exhibition, Nov. 28, one day before the day commemorating the 1947 UN Partition Plan, is symbolic for the pro-Palestinian stance this UN body adopted. (more…)

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Aug 3 2013

Where is the Palestinian peace plan?

The current round of peace negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority will unfortunately follow in the footsteps of earlier rounds and end without an agreement. Why? The short explanation is that the Palestinians are simply not interested in establishing an independent state within the pre-1967 West Bank borders. Had they been interested, they could have created a state at least twice in the last dozen years or so. (more…)

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Jun 24 2013

The right to claim innocence

Jamal and Muhammed al-Dura

What is a man supposed to do, if he is accused of a crime that he believes he did not commit? Judging by some of the reactions to Israel’s recent claim that the IDF soldiers didn’t kill a Palestinian boy – well then, he should simply shut up. Never mind how much evidence he has on his side, he should nevertheless remain silent.

The case in hand is the al-Dura case, the iconic 13 year old Palestinian who was allegedly killed by Israel in the Gaza Strip on September 30th 2000, the first day of the Second Intifada (uprising) against Israel. TV footage broadcasted on that evening by the French television station France-2 showed Jamal al-Dura and his son Muhammed, ducking behind a concrete cylinder, and trying to protect themselves from an endless barrage of automatic fire heard in the background. After a few seconds, in which the father frantically waved his finger at the seemingly source of fire and yelled words in Arabic, a strange silence prevailed: the boy lied in his father’s laps, while the latter’s head tumbled towards the ground. (more…)

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May 21 2013

The Palestinian Textbook Fiasco

School children in Gaza (photo: Wissam Nasser/Flash90)

For years, the Palestinian Authority (PA) has been accused of inciting violence by promoting the delegitimization of Israel and its people and, in some cases, even outright anti-Semitism, in its education system. According to both Israeli and third-party observers, the PA was ingraining future generations with a worldview that essentially prevented any long-term commitment to peace (let alone coexistence). So it was no surprise that a State Department-funded study called Victims of Our Own Narratives? Portrayal of the “Other” in Israeli and Palestinian School Books, published last February, sparked a firestorm that leapt from the otherwise parochial world of education policy straight into the headlines of newspapers around the world.

(This piece was originally published in The Tower Magazine)

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