Friday, September 9, 2011

What Are the Saudi Journalists Saying?

On June 7, 2011, two Saudi columnists - the liberal, Khalaf Al-Harbi, of the Saudi daily 'Okaz’, and Fawaz Al-'Ilmi, of the Saudi daily ‘Al-Watan’ - published articles comparing Israel's situation to that of the Arab countries

It should be noted that these articles are a rare phenomenon in the Saudi government press; however it is interesting to note that their thoughts have actually been published. We believe our readers should be aware of these articles.

Following are excerpts of both articles:

Al-Harbi: Do We Really Still Believe that Israel Is a Temporary Entity Bound to Disappear? Al-Harbi wrote: When we were young, the teachers exhausted us by reiterating that Israel is, without question, a temporary and transient country. When we got old enough to read, newspapers and books filled our heads with reasons why Israel could not [continue to] exist in its Arab surroundings.

For years, we waited for the moment when Israel would disappear, and here we are [today, witnessing] the moment when the Arab countries are beginning to topple, one after the other.

A few days ago was the 44th anniversary of the nakba [i.e., the defeat in the 1967 war], when Israel swallowed up Arab lands...

A week or more ago, [Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin] Netanyahu delivered a brilliant speech before the American Congress in which he emphasized that Israel would not return to the 1967 borders.

This statement means that Israel has achieved such a degree of complacency and tranquility that it is no longer willing to negotiate even over those lands it has admitted to occupying [in 1967], much less... over the lands it occupied in 1948. Do we really still believe that Israel is a temporary entity bound to disappear? " Perhaps Israel will disappear in another 100 or 200 years, as no one can foresee what will happen in the future.

However, looking at the current state of its Arab neighbors, I see addled countries, political entities that lack the ability to maintain their national unity, and armies that are not trying to wipe out Israel so much as to wipe out their own peoples....

The secret to Israel's survival, despite all the great challenges it has faced, lies in democracy and respect for the worth of the [Israeli] individual, regardless of [Israel's] racism and brutality vis-à-vis its Arab enemies.

The secret to the collapse of the Arab countries, one after another, lies in dictatorship and in the oppression of the individual... It is impossible for an Arab country, a neighbor of Israel, to succeed in liberating Palestine while denying dignity to individuals [within its own borders]. Israel won war after war, and scooped up Arab lands larger than [Israel itself] in both size and population. It then went on [to develop] manufacturing, industry, and invention.

The [average] income there is double [the average income] in the neighboring Arab countries. [Israel] has rendered itself an inescapable fact. Throughout all stages [of its development], it drew its power from the honor it granted to its citizens, while its Arab neighbors trampled the [poor] creatures known as their citizens under military boots.

"If only we could get in touch with our teachers to let them know that Israel still exists, while the Arabs are headed for destruction. In order to know who will remain and who will perish, one must always check who has democracy, human rights, and social justice." [1]

In the second article, Al-'Ilmi: Israel Is at the Pinnacle of Scientific Research, the Arabs at Its Nadir Al-'Ilmi wrote: "... [2] is the official website of the Israeli Foreign Ministry and, unlike Arab websites, it updates its entries every 12 minutes around the clock and offers them in Arabic, Hebrew, Farsi, English, French, and Russian. On January 20, the website published a report which revealed that the only registry in the world for Arab bone marrow donors is located in the Hadassah Medical Center, associated with the Hebrew University in Jerusalem.

It should be noted that the Arabs living in Israel constitute no more than 1.2 million of the world's Arabs, who number upwards of 400 million. "The report, prepared by Avigayil Kadesh, notes that Dr. Amal Bishara, who oversees organ donations at the Hadassah Medical Center - an Arab woman with a doctorate in life sciences and immunology - has single-mindedly visited more than 60 Arab villages and cities since the bone marrow registry was founded in 2008. [She did so] to further her own research and to supplement the Jewish registry, which has been active at the hospital for 22 years.

Through lectures and social networking, the Arab doctor added 9,000 [Arab] donors, thereby enabling six [transplants] of donated bone marrow... It should be noted that 60% of Arabs [in need of such transplants] find donors within their families, and 90% of the requests for bone marrow transplants are for Arab children suffering from hereditary diseases due to consanguineous marriages. Thanks to the Arab doctor, perceptions have changed, and Arabs and Jews are willing to donate bone marrow [to one another] in order to save the life of someone they don't even know.

"This year, Israel published numerous scientific studies that put it in first place worldwide in terms of the number of studies [published] per capita - 12 studies to every 10,000 people. America is in second place, with 10 studies [to every 10,000 people], followed by Britain, with nine. As for the Arab countries, they are all at the bottom end of these statistics.

"Reports show that the annual education expenses of the [average] Arab citizen has dropped to $340, while in Israel it is more than $2,500. Indices... that measure income, education, and health levels place Israel at 23rd place worldwide, while Egypt has dropped to 199th place, Syria to 111th, Jordan to 99th, and Lebanon to 82nd. As for the number of scientists engaged in research per one million citizens, Israel has 1,395, versus 136 in the Arab world...

UNESCO's statistics indicate that, on average, scientific research expenses in the Arab countries do not exceed 0.2% of the annual budget, whereas in Israel the figure is 4.7%, placing it in first place worldwide... "For ten years now, Israel has been forming strategic ties with scientifically advanced countries in order to merge [its research] with their research centers, and in order to encourage its scientists to take part in international development programs. Today, there are 21 international science companies in Israel... It knows before everyone else the results of [these companies'] studies, reaping their fruits and using their scientific expertise to advance Israeli inventions. "The Israeli strategy in science and technology is based on finding new approaches in scientific research and technological invention by training new generations of scientists - especially in physics, chemistry, and the natural and social sciences, as [Israel] is convinced that these sciences will allow it to control the world and direct its course.

"Since 1949, Israel has established marine geology and nuclear physics institutes, as well as [institutes] for the study of desert regions and information technology. Israel makes use of scientific research and technological development to secure its coasts and meet its [other] strategic defense and security needs, and in order to protect the environment, discover and develop natural resources and use them before others, produce electricity, communications, and information technology, and research [alternative] energy..." [3]

End notes:
[1] 'Okaz (Saudi Arabia), June 7, 2011.
[3] Al-Watan (Saudi Arabia), June 7, 2011.

Palestine - 'Occupation Incorporated'

Tim Marshall July 18, 2011

An African UN worker in the West Bank recently remarked to a mutual friend 'When people see me coming they see a walking ATM machine'.

Driving through Ramallah, and then Jericho, the other day I was reminded of that quip as I looked at the smart restaurants, sparkling new hotels, and the scale of building work.

The Palestinian Authority likes to boast about the West Bank' s 8% economic growth, so does the Israeli government, which uses it to suggest that a prosperous Palestine would make an easier negotiating partner. They also know the Palestinians have more to lose if a 3rd Intifada breaks out.

What they fail to remind us is that there are well over 200 NGOs in the West Bank and Gaza, and 30% of the GDP here comes from international aid. Palestinians are among the most foreign aid funded people in the world and the place is awash with money.

This underlying economic problem is further complicated by the fact that UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees stipulates that not only are the Palestinians who fled their homes in 1948 refugees, but so are their sons and daughters grandsons and granddaughters, great grandsons and granddaughters and so on into the future. In Palestine many people are born refugees. There are people who have a vested interest in this continuing. In 1950 there were 750,000 Palestinians in the Middle East, now there are 4.8 million. UNWRA is considered a 'temporary agency'.

Even if the Palestinians declare full statehood in September they would not be truly independent, not only because of the continuing Israeli occupation, checkpoints, lack of freedom of movement of goods etc, but also because Palestine is addicted to aid and as long as you are addicted you are in thrall to your supplier.

The billions that pour in here mean the Palestinian Authority does not need to try very hard to deliver the services expected by voters, it also stifles the private sector, inflates wages and causes an internal 'brain drain'.

The restaurant I went to in Ramallah had a line of expensive cars outside and ranks of NGO workers picking their way through an expensive menu inside. The NGOs do fine work alleviating suffering, helping projects with expertise etc, but they also recruit the best of the local talent and take advantage of their charitable status to get tax breaks.

No Palestinian business can compete with NGOs which routinely triple what a local firm would pay. Many NGOs fork out 'danger money' and even 'hardship payments' to both local and international staff which further undermines the local private businesses. So the NGOs get the brightest and the highest paid, and the private firms get the rest but without the tax exemptions.

“Palestine is the best-kept secret in the aid industry,” a medical NGO worker recently told This Week In Palestine, “People need field experience and Palestine sounds cool and dangerous because it can be described as a war zone, but in reality it’s quite safe and has all the comforts that internationals want'

Of course that could change. At any moment the West Bank could explode, indeed there are scenarios you can paint which suggest violence this September after the declaration, or non declaration, of statehood. But Palestine remains a friendly place, welcoming, hospitable, full of air con, hi-fi, Wi-Fi and wine. Journalists also take advantage of this state of affairs, writing of the poverty and suffering of Gaza for example, before retiring to very expensive sea front hotels after an excellent dinner in one of the expensive fish restaurants.

This is not to argue that NGOs are not required, many are, but they distort the situation and fundamentally the Palestinians cannot have properly functioning businesses, nor be fully independent until their leaders are partially weaned off their addiction to other people’s money.

The dangers in premature recognition of a “Palestinian state”!

By Abdallah al-Hadlaq, 22nd June 2011
(Translated from Arabic newspaper “Al Watan” in Kuwait)

International agreements dealing with peace in the Middle East must be respected

The Palestinian side is flaunting UNSC Resolutions 242, 338 and 1850 and the Road Map to Peace, all of which call for agreed solutions for disputes to be reached by direct talks, rejecting unilateral acts that undermine internationally accepted parameters for reaching peace, and defining basic principles for bilateral peace-making.

The Palestinians strive to obtain premature recognition for a “Palestinian State” this September despite the danger of derailing the peace talks, which is implicit in a unilateral declaration.

International agreements dealing with peace in the Middle East must be respected.

Israel indeed upholds them, as well as the principle of direct negotiations as being the only way to solve the dispute, while the Palestinians have long since abandoned direct peace talks, and now act unilaterally, trying to impose a fait accompli on Israel, using international pressure.

The Palestinians want to realize their dream of obtaining international legitimacy (which should be based on finding the agreed solution so necessary for peace) through the forcible imposition of an international diktat on Israel . A unilateral declaration will not conclude the conflict but only make matters worse, making it more intense instead of ending it. The Palestinians seem to have lost their keen interest in negotiation aimed at a reaching a deal, and now only want to act unilaterally in ways that will never solve key problems in the current impasse - which can only be tackled through direct talks between the parties concerned. Continued Palestinian obstinacy just complicates the conflict.

As the Palestinians press on unilaterally for premature recognition of their ”State”, they ignore Israel’s right to exist peacefully as the state of the Jewish people, recognized and living within its borders. The division of the Palestinians themselves between the Palestinian Authority that controls only parts of the West Bank, and the terrorist Hamas movement (loyal to the Persians of Iran) that holds the Gaza Strip negates legal criteria for the establishment of a state in form and character. Added to which, the Palestinian Authority has no authority over the Gaza Strip (which as noted is dominated by Hamas), the recent conciliation agreement between the warring factions notwithstanding.

Premature recognition of a Palestinian State means recognition of a terrorist entity - because Hamas openly intends to destroy Israel and wipe it off the map. Hamas rejects the terms of the international community for its own recognition that would make Hamas into a legal and accepted player in the region. These terms are: recognizing the right of Israel to exist, acceptance of existing international agreements, and an end to violence.

We must not forget that the international community still defines Hamas as a terrorist organization which is banned in Europe and the USA. How then can a terrorist body become the model for a Palestinian state?

Israel has for a long time made strategic concessions for peace, proving her desire for peaceful negotiations. She gave up Sinai in exchange for a peace treaty with Egypt, and withdrew from Gaza and South Lebanon. But the response she earned in the latter cases of Gaza and South Lebanon was a hail of rockets and barrages of artillery. Her towns and villages in the north and south of the country were attacked and many civilians were killed.

That should serve to warn of the dangers she faces from the terrorists of Hizballah and Hamas, and underlines the need for peace through solutions that will answer the needs and interests of all parties to the conflict.

Clearly, a premature recognition of a Palestinian state will negate the negotiating process and shatter the lofty idea of a modus vivendi attained through dialogue.

All those who hope for real peace in the region must reject these reckless unilateral Palestinian moves that block the negotiation process. The Palestinians must be made to understand that the only way to a permanent peace treaty will be through direct talks.

Families of suicide bombers given £5m in British aid cash

With the riots in the UK costing the country millions at a time of great austerity and the blame being put on lack of employment opportunities, it is interesting that the UK sees fit to honour suicide bombers.

By Matthew Kalman 8th August 2011

British aid cash is being given to the families of suicide bombers, it was claimed last night.

The Palestinian Authority, which gets £86million of British aid a year, has authorised payments of almost £5million to the families of ‘martyrs’.
Another £3million has been given to 5,500 Palestinian prisoners held in Israeli jails. The payments, using taxpayers’ cash donated from Britain and the European Union, have been described as ‘ludicrous’ by one Tory MP.

The Palestinian Authority, which oversees the West Bank, has introduced a new law which pays the families of suicide bombers out of its civil service budget.
According to the official Palestinian daily newspaper, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, payments to the families of ‘martyrs’ – those killed fighting Israel, including suicide bombers – totalled 3.5 per cent of the budget.

‘Every terrorist in prison, including those whose acts led to the deaths of Israeli civilians, are on the PA payroll,’ said Itamar Marcus, of Palestinian Media Watch.
‘The salary goes directly to the terrorist or the terrorist’s family, and prisoners receive their salaries from the day of arrest.’

Tory MP Philip Davies said the payments were ‘ludicrous’. He added: ‘People think overseas aid is to try to alleviate terrible poverty in places where they can’t afford to look after themselves. But it’s being put to these kind of purposes.

‘It would be bad enough at the best of times, but at a time when we have got no money, it is utterly inexcusable.’

Last month, Britain committed to giving £86million a year in aid to the Palestinian Authority until 2015
The payments to families and prisoners are on a sliding scale, from £250 a month for prisoners sentenced to less than three years, to a maximum of £2,140 a month for anyone serving more than 30 years.

The payments compare with salaries of £515 for a regular Palestinian civil servant and £480 for officers in the Palestinian security forces.

Minister of State Alan Duncan said in February: ‘We are very careful how we spend our money in the occupied Palestinian territories. We would abhor any money falling into the hands of extremists.'

The Government is under pressure for the amount of aid it is handing out at a time of austerity. It plans to increase foreign aid payments by 35 per cent to £11.4billion by 2015
This comes despite several scandals involving aid. Last week, it was revealed that money to Ethiopia was being used as a political tool and those who oppose the government do not receive handouts.

David Cameron has admitted that the controversial pledge to spend billions more on international aid was a ‘difficult commitment’ at a time when spending programmes were being slashed at home.

The Prime Minister admitted that some aid had been ‘wasted’, but continued to dismiss ‘aid sceptics’
Read more:

UK Minister Plays Propagandist for Palestinians

The UK Minister for Overseas development aid DfiD has produced a video in which his bias against Israel comes across in a very blatant way. See and judge for yourselves

There are numerous allegations that he has made without checking for accuracy. We should write to the members of parliament below USING YOUR OWN WORDS but including the points

He claims that the security barrier is a land grab of land, land which “belongs to the Palestinian Authority. There is no reference in it as to why Israel has had to build a the barrier in order to protect its citizens, no reference to the oft repeated government statement that if the PA stop the terror, the barrier can come down and the land returned to its legal owners. Yes, there are still regular instances of terror attacks and attempted attacks, though these are never reported in the international media.

RE the remarks about Israel deliberately depriving the Palestinians of water, these are TOTALLY unsubstantiated. Until 1967, the Jordanians had done NOTHING to provide any water infrastructure for the area. After 1967 took it upon itself to provide the necessary infrastructure so that for the first time, the VAST majority of Palestinians had access to running water. No comment is made of the amount of water stolen and not paid for full details of which can be provided by the Water Commissioner’s Office. No comment is made on a number of projects agreed to be carried out by the Palestinians for the Palestinians and which have never been completed – again full details can be obtained from the same office.

In fact the whole clip seems to have been made with the intention of damaging Israel's reputation. No doubt this was made with the help and advice of the many anti-Israel N.G.O.s operating in Judea and Samaria but it is surprising that a member of Her Majesty's Government would Issue such biased and ill-informed statements without validating his “ facts” from the Israeli side which it is obvious that he didn't.


Please write to the UK members of Parliament below IN YOUR OWN WORDS

Alan Duncan also for attention of his assistants Rob Flint and Frazer Raleigh at the same address,

Send copy to

David Cameron
William Hague
Diane Abbott
Theresa May

This video is irresponsible on behalf a senior member of the ruling Conservative party.