Palestinians: BDS Activists Are Troublemakers, Criminals

(Photo: Flickr/ Takver)

(Photo: Flickr/ Takver)

Stand for Israel has long stood against those who would boycott, divest from, and sanction Israel. Now even the Palestinians want to distance themselves from the BDS movement. At the Gatestone Institute, Khaled Abu Toameh writes that the Palestinians feel anti-Israel activists not only harm chances for peace and Palestinian relations with the rest of the world — and they have even arrested and prosecuted four BDS protesters for their actions:

For some PA officials, BDS is a movement that acts against the true interests of the Palestinians. They say that the actions of those promoting BDS make the Palestinians appear as if they are not interested in peace and coexistence with Israel. BDS activists in Ramallah have succeeded in preventing several planned meetings between Israelis and Palestinians in Ramallah and east Jerusalem.

The Palestinian Authority is also worried that BDS is harming the Palestinians’ relations with other countries. The most recent example of BDS efforts to damage Palestinians’ relations with friendly countries occurred a few weeks ago, when the “anti-normalization” activists tried to disrupt a performance by an Indian dance troupe in Ramallah.

A PA official in Ramallah explained that BDS and its followers make the Palestinians appear as if they are all radicals who are only interested in boycotting and delegitimizing Israel. “This goes against the PLO’s official policy, which is to seek a peace agreement with Israel based on the two-state solution,” he said.

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Monday, June 2nd, 2014 at 9:06 AM  | Stand For Israel

Was Nakba Shooting Another al-Dura Libel?

(Photo: flickr/ palestineproject)

(Photo: flickr/ palestineproject)

During the recent Palestinian commemoration of “Nakba” Day (Nakba being Arabic for “catastrophe” and the date marking the establishment of Israel) two young Palestinians were killed by what was claimed was Israeli fire. Jonathan Tobin, writing at Commentary, points out the questions surrounding these shootings and comparing it to another “shooting” that captured world – that of 10-year-old Mohammed al-Dura – that has since been more or less proven to have been staged:

Though the world is eager to indict and convict the Israelis of murders that would be seen as validating criticisms about the unjust nature of its “occupation” of the West Bank, no one should jump to any conclusions about this incident. Washington is right about the need for an investigation. But unlike the kangaroo court of international public opinion in which the Israelis already stand convicted, a more sober and less prejudiced probe of what happened may well reveal something very different than the narrative of Israeli brutality and Palestinian victimization.

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Friday, May 23rd, 2014 at 8:48 AM  | Stand For Israel

The International Criminal Court Strikes Out Again

(Photo: flickr/ Estonian Foreign Ministry)

(Photo: flickr/ Estonian Foreign Ministry)

Mahmoud Abbas and other Palestinian leaders have, from time to time, threatened to apply for membership in the International Criminal Court (ICC) and, from that position, launch wave after wave of legal assaults against Israel and her leadership. Western nations and Israel typically respond to this with violent opposition at the prospect of having to ward off such an onslaught.

Then there are days like yesterday when the nations of the world demonstrate why the ICC is not only nothing for Israel to fear, but also nothing for actual war criminals to fear.

Yesterday, the U.N. Security Council took up the question of whether Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad – who has killed more than 150,000 of his own people and used chemical weapons against civilians – should be referred to the ICC for prosecution for war crimes. The measure failed in the Security Council when it was vetoed by both Russia and China (neither of which has the power to veto on its own). Interestingly, neither Russia nor China are members of the ICC (full disclosure: neither are Israel or the U.S.).

Earlier, in 2008, the U.N. Security Council referred Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir to the ICC for the campaign of mass rape and murder in the Darfur region of that country. The ICC indicted him for war crimes in 2009. Bashir is still president of his country and looks no closer to arrest and trial than he was before his indictment.

If the U.N. can’t even agree to refer Syria to the ICC, and a murderer like Bashir doesn’t have to worry about trial, does Israel have much to fear from the ICC? Obviously, the concern is that the ICC assault could further isolate Israel. But this is a group that, to put it mildly, is not exactly the most effective and organized of world governing bodies. Watching the ICC and its backers fall over themselves trying to indict Israel would likely do a lot more damage to the already weak reputation of the Court than it would to…

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Friday, May 23rd, 2014 at 8:41 AM  | Stand For Israel

Choosing Other People’s Leaders

(Photo: wikicommons/ Uriber)

(Photo: wikicommons/ Uriber)

The Israeli press is reporting that the chairwoman of one of Israel’s small, left-wing political parties said on Tuesday that the only possible successor to Fatah leader and P.A. President Mahmoud Abbas is a man named Marwan Barghouti. Barghouti, of course, will find it difficult to lead the Palestinian Authority as he is currently serving five life sentences in an Israeli prison for his activities as a terrorist responsible for the deaths of Israelis. He was a leader of the First and Second Intifadas, and personally directed terror attacks – including suicide bombings – against military and civilian targets inside Israel.

Barghouti is extremely popular among Palestinians of nearly all factions. But Israel wants him in prison badly enough that his inclusion was a deal-breaker in the 2011 prisoner release deal to free kidnapped IDF soldier Gilad Shalit – this despite the fact that Israel ended up freeing over 1,000 prisoners. Releasing Barghouti was a step too far.

The unlikelihood of Barghouti ever leading the P.A. notwithstanding, all of this raises a good question: Who will replace Mahmoud Abbas as President of the Palestinian Authority? He is 79 years old and currently serving the ninth year of the four year term to which he was elected. If new elections do result from the nascent unity agreement being cobbled together by Hamas and Fatah, it is difficult to see how Abbas could run. Furthermore, the way he has undertaken negotiations makes clear that his stomach isn’t in fighting and his heart isn’t in talking.

If Abbas doesn’t run, none of the other options are good. Someone will have to replace him, but most of those possible successors are either more corrupt or more violent than Abbas. And none of them have a broad enough base of support among the highly factionalized Palestinian public to hold the street in the course of making real concessions. If a Palestinian leader is ever to emerge who can pull that culture back from the death-worship cult it has…

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Thursday, May 22nd, 2014 at 8:46 AM  | Stand For Israel

Israel Has Little to Fear from the International Criminal Court



Anshel Pfeffer, writing at Haaretz, says that the Palestinian threat – heard frequently in the past several weeks from members of the top echelon of Palestinian leadership – to seek the status of full statehood and join the International Criminal Court in order to use that venue as a launching pad for attacks on Israel doesn’t worry most legal experts, according to one of that organization’s top former prosecutors:

The ICC’s job is to investigate and prosecute only in cases in which the local legal system is not performing. “In a dictatorship they can make you disappear and kill you,” said Moreno-Ocampo. “But here [in Israel], even if the situation is awful, you cannot disappear; you have the rule of law.”

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Tuesday, May 20th, 2014 at 8:27 AM  | Stand For Israel

Want Peace? Change U.N.’s Refugee Policy

(Photo: UNRWA)

(Photo: UNRWA)

The past two days in the Stand for Israel Daily Dispatch, we’ve updated you on the debate at the United Nations over proposed changes in the definition of “refugee” used by UNRWA, the U.N. Relief and Works Agency that oversees aid to Palestinian refugee “camps.” Jonathan Tobin, writing at Commentary, notes that the never-ending victimhood of successive generations of Palestinians is what allows the conflict with Israel to continue:

Rather than help the refugees to adjust to reality, UNRWA’s policies have dovetailed nicely with a Palestinian political identity that regards accommodation to Israel’s existence as tantamount to treason. The Palestinian belief in a “right of return” for not just the original Arabs who totaled a few hundred thousand but for the millions who claim to be their descendants is only made possible by UNRWA’s willingness to go on counting second, third, fourth, and now even fifth generations of Palestinians as refugees.

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Tuesday, May 20th, 2014 at 8:20 AM  | Stand For Israel

Israeli Reporter Attacked by Masked Palestinians

(Photo: flickr/IDF)

(Photo: flickr/IDF)

Avi Issacharoff is one of the best reporters covering the Middle East. He writes in The Times of Israel of being attacked today while in the West Bank covering the Nakba Day protests. Issacharoff’s tale of being attacked, beaten, and then saved by P.A. police is chilling:

I was within moments of falling victim to the kind of lynch that saw two Israeli soldiers who strayed into Ramallah in 2000 beaten to death by a baying mob.

I was saved by pure good fortune: Two plainclothes members of the Palestinian Authority security forces happened to be nearby and waded in to extricate me. I was already being hit and kicked from behind when they rescued me.

I’ve been covering the Palestinian territories for many years, and been in no shortage of sticky situations, but this came out of the blue.

We’re thankful for God’s protective hand over Issacharoff and all others who bravely bring us news of the Holy Land.

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Friday, May 16th, 2014 at 4:33 PM  | Stand For Israel

Nakba Day Highlights Fatah, Hamas Differences on Israel

(Photo: wikicommons/ PSP Photos)

(Photo: wikicommons/ PSP Photos)

Last week, Israel celebrated Yom HaAtzmaut, her 66th Independence Day since 1948. Conversely, today is Nakba Day, when Palestinians lament the “catastrophic” creation of the Jewish state. Nakba Day, which occurs every May 15th, is usually marked by rioting and violence, and today looks to be no different. Yet statements made today about the “catastrophe” of Israel’s existence also highlight the differences between the two main Palestinian factions – Hamas and Fatah – as they also struggle to reach a unity agreement with one another:

Hamas vowed in the communique not to forgo any of the Palestinian principles; it rejected concessions on “even one inch of Palestinian land,” pledging to continue in the path of resistance “in all its forms, first and foremost armed resistance, which has proven its capacity to deter the occupation and break its vanity.”

Meanwhile, a statement by Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas was markedly different in tone. Abbas paid homage to his predecessor Yasser Arafat, pledged allegiance to Jerusalem as the future Palestinian capital, and boasted of the fact that the Palestinian cause had reached the world stage “not as a refugee issue, but as an issue of national liberation and independence for a great and noble people.”

While blasting the Benjamin Netanyahu government for intransigence, Abbas nevertheless reached out to the Israeli leadership, seeking sympathy and understanding …

As we wrote in today’s Stand for Israel Daily Dispatch, we still doubt a Fatah-Hamas unity agreement can and will be reached, and the two sides’ differing Nakba Day reactions only reinforce our doubts.

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Thursday, May 15th, 2014 at 12:57 PM  | Stand For Israel

P.A. Unity Update

(Photo: wikicommons/ Uriber)

(Photo: wikicommons/ Uriber)

A few weeks ago, we expressed doubt that a Hamas-Fatah unity deal would ever come to fruition. Since that time, there have been some interesting developments. Our core prediction – that a unity agreement would fizzle out or blow up before being implemented – hasn’t changed. But there are indications that both parties are more serious, that international opposition has weakened, and that thoughts are already turning to what happens after a unity government is agreed to.

To begin with the seriousness of Hamas and Fatah leaders, reports out of the region yesterday announced that Hamas forces withdrew from the Gaza home of Fatah and P.A. leader Mahmoud Abbas. The villa, which had been used by Hamas as a headquarters, is mostly symbolic; but symbolism matters.

The European Union announced a few days ago that, despite the fact that it still considers Hamas to be a terror group (whew!), “something must be done” to forge peace in the Middle East and, thus, Brussels is supportive of a unity agreement. So, being labeled a terrorist organization by the Europeans now means that you’re marginally unlikely to have their full cooperation in the near term – but wait five minutes and we’ll see. All because, obviously, doing something is better than doing nothing. The ridiculousness of this position aside, the E.U.’s change in attitude suggests that a unified P.A. government will not have to forgo aid from Europe like it will from the U.S.

Lastly, there seems to be a focus by Palestinian leaders on the legitimacy of the government they cobble together – meaning a new round of elections in the near future and approval of the unity government (should one be agreed to) by the current P.A. parliament (in which Hamas has a majority).

We still believe a deal is unlikely.  Symbolism aside, the two sides hate each other. Putting together a unity government is a massive exercise not just in statecraft but in ego navigation and internal politics. And, whatever the E.U….

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Thursday, May 15th, 2014 at 8:17 AM  | Stand For Israel

Palestinian Prisoners Plotted Kidnap of IDF Soldier

(Photo: flickr/IDF)

(Photo: flickr/IDF)

Shin Bet (the Israeli Security Agency) foiled a plot to kidnap an IDF soldier. According to The Jerusalem Post, two Palestinian prisoners – serving life sentences for the 2006 murder of an Israeli citizen – were planning to kidnap an IDF soldier to be used as ransom for the release of imprisoned terrorists. But due to a diligent investigation, the two prisoners and their accomplices outside were all arrested before they could carry out their nefarious plan:

The plot, orchestrated by Palestinian prisoners serving life sentences, targeted IDF soldiers in the Huwara , Ariel and Yitzhar junction areas …

… suspects began discussing a kidnapping plot in 2012. They sought funding from another prisoner, who made contact with Hamas in Gaza, which agreed to pay for the attack. Additional prisoners, who were about to be released, were subsequently recruited to carry out the kidnapping.

The prisoners used smuggled cellphones to send instructions to recruits on the outside, as well as letters smuggled by visiting relatives.

Al-Rahman Athman’s relatives were ordered by the plot’s masterminds to prepare a hiding place, purchase arms, buy anesthetizing chemicals and prepare a stolen vehicle.

We thank God for protecting any soldiers who might have been taken, and ask for His continued protection for the IDF and others who might be targeted by terrorists.

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Monday, May 12th, 2014 at 11:33 AM  | Stand For Israel

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Answering His Call, Faithfully and Joyfully

2014 has certainly been a year of struggles. But those challenges have been answered by God, and by His faithful followers. The Fellowship and our generous friends have been able to offer assistance to those who need it most, from the Holy Land to the former Soviet Union, and we look hopefully to the coming year as one of peace, prosperity, and repairing the world.

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