Save the Children

I first came upon the “Save the Children” organization when I saw that they sponsored an appeal to raise money for Gaza in a poster in the London Underground. The name of the group sounded so innocent and well-meaning. Who is more innocent than a child? Who could possibly be against helping children? Can helping children ever be considered a biased agenda?

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Save the Children sponsored poster on Gaza,
London August 2014

Some days later, I came across a retail thrift store bearing the STC name in Bath, England. Posters in the store window contained two new appeals to help rebuild Gaza and to stop the “Israeli” War in Gaza. There was no appeal or comment to stop the Palestinian war against Israel. I decided to look into the group on their own website.

The President & CEO of STC, Carolyn Miles, posted a blog called “Gaza’s Miracle Tomatoes” on July 8, a day after Israel launched Operation Protective Edge to stop the bombardment of Palestinian missiles into Israel. It was her first ever (and currently only) post about Israel or Gaza.

In the column she describes the “bleak landscape” and “dusty barren patches” of Gaza. The scene contained “donkeys pulling carts filled with rubble and surrounded by men and boys along harsh, rocky earth”.

The blog continued that 20 minutes away from the bleak picture along the border with Israel, a “miracle” appeared from nowhere: “a lush green field …a simple greenhouse …row after row of beautiful tomatoes … the result of a recently-concluded project by Save the Children and other partners and funded by USAID.” This oasis painted by Miles intentionally gave a reader the specific impression that STC helped create a miracle from nothing in the terrible Gaza landscape. It contained three significant lies of omission:

  1. Gaza had a flourishing greenhouse business built by the Israelis for years. The Israelis cultivated 1,125 acres and built hundreds of greenhouses in Gaza while there in the 1990s up until they left in 2005. The business generated roughly $75 million of revenue.
  2. Jewish donors bought and donated the greenhouses to the Palestinians.  World Bank president James Wolfensohn, Mort Zuckerman and several others paid the Israelis $14 million for two-thirds of the greenhouse equipment to donate them to the Palestinians (some Israelis opted to not take the payment and take their equipment with them to re-start businesses back in Israel).
  3. The Palestinians looted and destroyed the greenhouses. Soon after the expulsion of Jews from Gaza, Palestinian looters stripped the greenhouses of the irrigation pumps, computer monitors and greenhouse sheeting, leaving over one-fourth of the greenhouses bare.  The businesses withered.

The STC piece continued: “we drove through the streets of Gaza and heard from residents about the impact of border crossing restrictions on children there—the rising rates of malnutrition and resulting stunting, the lack of basic medicines and care when children became sick, and the severe circumstances disabled children were in.” The article had now moved past being the miracle machine and placed blame for the situation on Israel (for border crossing restrictions), and continued with outright lies:

  1. The children of Gaza have better health statistics than almost all Arabs in the Middle East. According to the United Nations, UNICEF and UNRWA, Palestinians in Gaza have the highest immunization rates and longest life expectancy of surrounding Arab and Muslim countries (including: Turkey; Jordan; Egypt and Iran). They have the highest literacy rate.However, the facts don’t add to the Save the Children’s non-miracle.

Save The Children claims it does not choose sides, it just chooses children, but is that factual? Is the characterization that the children of Gaza suffer because of the actions of Israel – as opposed to the actions of their parents – really not taking sides? Is a minute and one-half video featured on the STC site that only shows bombings in Gaza (and nothing in Israel), not choosing sides? Has STC helped fund a single bomb shelter just a few miles away, in the targeted playgrounds of Israel?

A bigger question for Save the Children – and the world – is how do you protect children from their own parents?


Sources:

Save the Children president blog on Gaza: http://loggingcarolynmiles.savethechildren.org/?_ga=1.229256220.1625656554.1409305814

STC YouTube video on Israel-Gaza: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ISvA-rmhv4A

Jews donating the greenhouses to Palestinians: http://www.nytimes.com/2005/08/18/nyregion/18donate.html?adxnnl=1&adxnnlx=1409478973-DrXHog3bg5xC5HsRaqHwTg

Palestinians ransacking the greenhouses in 2005: http://www.haaretz.com/news/palestinian-militants-ransack-former-gush-katif-greenhouses-1.179788

http://www.csmonitor.com/2005/1025/p04s01-wome.html

FirstOneThrough on England’s Gaza Obsession: https://firstonethrough.wordpress.com/2014/08/29/no-disappearing-in-the-land-of-blind/

UNICEF immunization: http://www.childinfo.org/files/immunization_summary_en.pdf

CIA life expectancy at birth: https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/rankorder/2102rank.html

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No Disappearing in the Land of the Blind

Vacation is a time to relax; a time to turn off the work, the sights and sounds. During the terrible period of global violence of August 2014, it was a welcome chance to escape.

Traveling to a foreign country could theoretically give a person a chance to focus on just being a tourist and detach from craziness of every day. England has so many great attractions; it seemed a well planned day would keep a diligent tourist occupied. However, the walls, streets and people of England were obsessed with a perceived Israeli “occupation” and aggression that bombarded the short break.


The London subway, the “underground”, was filled with posters entitled “Crisis in Gaza”. The poster had a picture of a boy in front of what appeared to be the remains of a building. The text alongside the picture had an appeal to text in £5 to help him rebuild his destroyed home. It was endorsed by a dozen organizations including Oxfam and Save the Children. Of course, the posters did not describe how Hamas started the fighting and launched its rockets targeting Israeli civilians from Gazan civilian neighborhoods.

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Poster in London Underground,
August 2014

There were many stores in London with banners that called to “end Israeli apartheid” posted in the store windows. Of course, there were no notes that Israel has over 1 million Muslim citizens, but Gaza doesn’t have a single Jew.

The Saturday protest I stumbled upon had about 150 people waving Palestinian flags and yellow flags with a black four finger “R4bia” on it. The R4bia flag originated as a protest to the overthrow of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, but has spread across the Middle East and beyond as a call for jihad against western values and a restoration of the caliphate. Of course, a quiet protest against the overthrow of the democratically-chosen Egyptian government masks the movement’s greater goal of a new Muslim world order.

In the town of Bath, England, a building housing the Islamist Society hung banners that read “Free Palestine” and “End the War”. It was unclear but understood that the sign “Free Palestine” was a call for war to destroy Israel which was contrary to the other sign (or more to the point, end the war in which Hamas was losing).

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Anti-Israel signs in windows of Bath England,
August 2014

In Brighton, a fruit store had two placards at the checkout counter: one read “End the Occupation” and the other read “Free Gaza”. Of course, there was no note that Israel left Gaza in 2005 and didn’t enforce an embargo until 2007 when Hamas (dedicated to destroy Israel) took control of the territory.

So much for getting away. I sought a moment to close my eyes to today’s troubles. Instead, ironically, I was constantly confronted by arguments that were blind to reality.


Sources:

Gaza Crisis poster: http://www.dec.org.uk/

Muslim state protest flag: http://english.alarabiya.net/en/media/2013/08/21/Four-finger-salute-Egypt-rivals-use-Rabaa-symbol-to-turn-Facebook-yellow.html

FirstOneThrough on Save The Children charity: https://firstonethrough.wordpress.com/2014/08/31/save-the-children/

 

Aliyah to Israel

Even during these turbulent times, Jews from around the world move to Israel.

Jews have always lived in and moved to Israel. They started coming to Israel in greater numbers throughout the 1800s as the number of Jews in the land moved up from 3% to 14% of the population.

The reasons why people come to Israel have changed over time:

  • A spiritual connection to the land;
  • Escape from poor treatment in their prior home country;
  • Economic opportunities;
  • Family

The main regions that are coming to Israel over the past few years are: Russia/Ukraine; France; US/Canada.  In August 2014, over 300 Jews from the US and Canada moved to Israel, with over 100 joining the Israel Defense Forces.

Since 2008, Israel has been the home to more Jews than any other country- for the first time in almost 2000 years.


Source:

http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/183977#.U-oXhZt8OUk

New York Times Talking Turkey

Sometimes a contrast in coverage helps boldface the biases.

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The New York Times (for some reason) wrote quite glowingly of Prime Minister Erdogan of Turkey during presidential elections in August 2014. Some of the choice language on August 9 before the election included:

  •  “hoping to secure a legacy greater than that of the revered founder of modern Turkey”;
  • “broken down secular taboos”;
  • “economic policies have improved the lives of many”;
  • “long been a strategic ally of the United States”;
  • “In 2011, President Obama developed a close personal relationship with Mr. Erdogan, seeing Turkey as a model to emulate for countries upended by revolution’

After the elections, on August 11 the Times continued to use positive expressions: “thousands massed…and erupted in applause” to Erdogan’s victory, while caveating later in the article that there were some concerns among the country’s “liberals” about an “authoritarian” streak in Erdogan.

In both articles, the New York Times neglected to remind readers of a few policies of Erdogan over the prior year that gave Turkish citizens pause about Erdogan:

But if the New York Times likes you, certain facts will fade to the background.

Consider the surprisingly low-turnout for this first-time Turkish presidential election: only 74% came out to vote compared to 87% in 2011 general elections. The NYT said that few people showed up to vote “presumably because many had assumed Erdogan would win”. Erdogan squeaked out a win with 52% of the vote compared to the second place winner at 38% – only 37% higher. However, the NYT said “the election felt like a coronation”.


By way of comparison, look at the way the Times covered the election of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in January 2013.  The Times did not include any of the commentary used for Turkey about Israel: being a strong US ally; the strong economy of Israel; the island of stability in the sea of chaos of the Middle East.  Instead, the headline read: “Tepid Vote for Netanyahu in Israel Is Seen as Rebuke”. In that “tepid vote”, Israelis came out in numbers greater than ever before – 67% voted for the cabinet, compared to the 2009 election turnout of 65% and of 63% in the 2003 election.  Not only was the vote not “tepid”, but Netanyahu’s Likud party won the vast majority with 31 seats compared to the second place winner, Yesh Atid, with 19 votes – a margin of 63% (almost twice Erdogan’s clearance).

But the Times despises Netanyahu. The article had remarkable quotes for the victorious Prime Minister:

  • weakened Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu”;
  • “the outcome was a humbling rebuke”;
  • “Mr. Netanyahu posted a panicky message on Facebook”;
  • “The results were a blow to the prime minister, whose aggressive push to expand Jewish settlements in East Jerusalem and the West Bank has led to international condemnation and strained relations with Washington.”

This last quote is a particularly embarrassing and revealing lie.  Jodi Roduren (who wrote the piece from the fantasy of her head instead of based on facts) sought to lay out a scenario where the Israeli public disagreed with the “aggressive push to expand Jewish settlements”.  In the real world, both the number two party, Yesh Atid (19 seats) and the number four party, Jewish Home (11 seats), were in favor of a united Jerusalem and continuing to build homes for Jews in Judea & Samaria.  The Jewish Home party campaigned on the basis of annexing Judea & Samaria.  The Times’ favorite parties, the left-wing parties of Hatnua and Meretz came in almost last place with 6 seats each.  (If you’re counting at home, that’s 61 seats versus 12 seats for the parties that want to keep united Jerusalem- a margin so large and bold you would think Roduren’s handlers could have managed to edit her “news” article).


The Times ignored reality in both situations. In Turkey, it failed to report on Erdogan’s strong right-ward shift into deep Islamic camp and painted him as more of a moderate. His modest win as blown out of proportion.

For Israel, Netanyahu’s strong win was considered poor. The country’s support of his policies about the rights for Jews to live all parts of Judea and Samaria were not just dismissed, but painted in a way that was completely opposite of the facts.

I sometimes think of the Times the way I think about turkey:  it tastes quite good but it puts a person to sleep.  Oh, and of course, it is one of the dumbest animals on the planet.


Sources:

Turkey, most journalist jailed 2012 and 2013: http://cpj.org/reports/2013/12/second-worst-year-on-record-for-jailed-journalists.php

Erdogan banned twitter May 2013: http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2014/03/21/turkey-bans-twitter-and-twitter-explodes/

Erdogan blocked Youtube: http://www.cnn.com/2014/03/27/world/europe/turkey-youtube-blocked/

Turkey ban kissing in public; late sale alcohol: http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-22780773

Netanyahu headline “Tepid Vote for Netanyahu in Israel Is Seen as Rebuke”: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/23/world/middleeast/israel-votes-in-election-likely-to-retain-netanyahu.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

Lapid, Yesh Atid: Jerusalem not for negotiation http://www.jpost.com/Diplomacy-and-Politics/Lapid-Jerusalem-is-not-up-for-negotiation-because-the-city-will-never-be-divided-330680

 

Palestinian “Refugees” or “SAPs”?

Wards of the World The well-know secret (but not discussed, as honesty is considered impolite in politics) in the halls of governments around the world is that there are currently only 30,000 Palestinian refugees as defined by the United Nations. That definition states:

Palestine refugees are defined as “persons whose normal place of residence was Palestine during the period 1 June 1946 to 15 May 1948, and who lost both home and means of livelihood as a result of the 1948 conflict.

This generous definition of “refugee” ignores some basic points:

  • There were hundreds of thousands of “Palestinians” who moved to the region of Palestine from around the Arab world during the British Mandate prior to June 1946. They were newcomers, not indigenous people;
  • A “refugee” is defined as someone who is forced to flee a country, not a house or town. Palestine was not a country, but an administered region under the British Mandate;
  • Many of these “refugees” did not flee at all, but left on their own free will;
  • Many of the “refugees” were renters, not land-owners

Today, the United Nations refers to 5 million Palestinian “refugees”. These are not refugees, but descendants who voluntarily registered to receive aid from the “temporary” United Nations agency. UNRWA, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency, made these services available on a longer term basis when it appeared that the Israeli-Arab conflict would continue for many years:

UNRWA services are available to all those living in its area of operations [Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, West Bank and Gaza] who meet this definition, who are registered with the Agency and who need assistance. The descendants of Palestine refugee males, including adopted children, are also eligible for registration.”

UNRWA enabled people to register for services, not to register as a “refugee”. A person can no more register to be a refugee than to register to be a different gender or race. A person is either a refugee or is not- but cannot volunteer to sign up as one. Today, there are roughly 11 million Arabs who claim to have Palestinian heritage. The majority (55%) of them are citizens in new countries such as Chile, the United States and Israel. They have productive lives like many families from around the world. They call themselves Arab Chileans, Arab-Americans or Israeli Arabs. There are roughly 5 million Arabs who live in Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, West Bank and Gaza who have opted to take aid from UNRWA. Unlike relatives that made new lives and became citizens around the world, they decided to become SAPs, Stateless Arabs from Palestine. They accepted a beggar’s bargain which left them without a country in exchange for becoming wards of the world. In 2014, of the 11 million Palestinians:

  • 0.3% are Palestinian refugees who can make a claim of actually being displaced 66 years ago;
  • 55% have taken citizenship around the world;
  • 45% have elected to be SAPs, to live on the world’s charity and complain about their lack of dignity. 2.16 million people in Gaza and the West Bank currently receive aid from UNRWA, and another 3.1 million in Lebanon, Syria and Jordan

Source: http://www.unrwa.org/palestine-refugees Refugee definition, http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/refugee

  • someone who has been forced to leave a country because of war or for religious or political reasons” (not a descendant)

US Senate defining 30,000 Palestinian refugees http://www.clarionproject.org/analysis/30000-or-5-million-real-number-palestinian-refugees

UNRWA statistics: http://www.unrwa.org/userfiles/2013042435340.pdf


Related First One Through article:

800,000 Arabs moved to Palestine between 1920 and 1947

UNRWA tries to hand key to Israel to Palestinians

Help Refugees: Shut the UNRWA, Fund the UNHCR

“Please Sir, May I have Some More?”

As the 2014 Operation Protective Edge (hopefully) draws to a close, one can expect the same histrionics that have become well-known and well-worn to emanate from the Arab world. The video below of Queen Rania of Jordan, is of her appeal to the United Nations five years ago, which can serve as the outline for the Arab textbook on UNRWA. In summation, we are pathetic and we want to ask the world for money again.

(As further background/amusement, Queen Rania of JORDAN was born in KUWAIT and considers herself Palestinian, when convenient).

“Life half-lived” – Palestinian Quality of Life. The Arabs will bemoan their treatment by Israel and ignore their treatment by their Arab brethren.

Palestinians in Lebanon and Syria are denied citizenship by their host countries. They are denied the ability to own property and obtain white color jobs. The Jordanians gave Palestinians citizenship in 1954, only to revoke it in 1988. Egypt has totally shut down Hamas which runs Gaza, as it is a part of the banned Muslim Brotherhood.

The reason why Palestinians have a bad quality of life (beyond the discrimination from their Arab “brothers”) is because of UNRWA. UNRWA has given millions of second and third generation Arabs a life “half-lived” because of a promise that they will get to go to a house that no longer exists, in a country that their grandparents sought to destroy at its infancy. The Arabs in Israel have twice the life of Palestinians in Arab countries.

Regardless, all protests about quality of life will be directed at Israel, and not at UNRWA, Lebanon, Syria or Egypt.

“Hours wasted at checkpoints” – Border control. The Palestinians will complain about the restrictions of movement out of Gaza and the West Bank. The fact that those territories have amassed over 10,000 rockets, have a charter calling for the death of Jews and destruction of Israel, have fired over 10,000 rockets at Israeli towns over the past 13 years, and killed hundreds of Israeli civilians does not seem to factor into their concern about Israel’s need for border controls.

Regardless, Arab nations will press Israel to alleviate travel restrictions.

“UNRWA has delivered sanctuary.” – Charge of War Crimes. The vast majority of UNRWA employees are Palestinians. These employees were caught not only storing missiles in their schools, but handing them over to Hamas to launch against Israel. Those same members of Hamas launched missiles in and around the UNRWA schools.  UNRWA teachers have been caught building rockets for Hamas.

Regardless, the histrionics of Israel firing at the missile launching sites will continue.

“Reconstruction”. – Appeal for Money to Gaza. The historic blame for the limited re-building homes and schools in Gaza was laid squarely on Israel’s restriction on allowing building materials into Gaza. As Operation Protective Edge made clear, the fault was not the lack of cement in Gaza, but which projects the Palestinians sought to develop. Hamas used the materials to build terror tunnels instead of schools and roads above ground.

Regardless, the Arabs will argue for the ease of more materials into Gaza without oversight.

“School provides a comforting routine.” The schools in Gaza may fly an UNRWA flag, but the curricula are determined by the ruling authority – Hamas. The Hamas education is complete with demonization of Jews and Holocaust denial.

Regardless, Palestinians will demand a rebuilding of schools under the Hamas watch.

“Hell on Earth”. Queen Rania described Gaza as “Hell on Earth” for many years. She used this statement even though people in Gaza had: longer life expectancy; better immunization rates and higher literacy rates than Jordanians.

“If we let UNRWA collapse… we risk destabilizing the entire region.” Queen Rania should hand back her prophesy credentials. The Arab and Muslim world is in total chaos in Syria, Iraq, Libya, Nigeria and other places, with no connection to Israel or UNRWA. UNRWA itself is a destabilizing force to the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, in its current configuration.

Regardless, the Arabs will shout that the organization should not be overhauled.

“All of us depend on UNRWA.” The appeal that the world needs UNRWA will continue even though it is blatantly false. It is a cheap attempt to get the world to continue to fund salaries for 30,000 Palestinians.

The amazing hypocrisy, is that the Arab world funds only 10% of the UNRWA budget, while they are the ones who claim it is necessary.

Regardless, Palestinians will once again have their hands out asking the world for more money.


Source:

“First of its kind” missile discovery: http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/jul/17/unrwa-investigating-20-rockets-empty-gaza-school-palestinian

“Second time” http://www.unrwa.org/newsroom/press-releases/unrwa-condemns-placement-rockets-second-time-one-its-schools

Third time a trend? http://www.timesofisrael.com/rockets-found-in-unrwa-school-for-third-time/

“Vast Majority” of UNRWA employees are Palestinians: http://www.unrwa.org/userfiles/20100118153142.pdf

UNRWA teacher and terrorist: http://www.globaljihad.net/view_news.asp?id=409

Frontpage article on UNRWA: http://www.frontpagemag.com/2014/dgreenfield/defund-the-unrwa/

Protesting the Victor, not the Victims

Brett Stephens of the Wall Street Journal wrote an editorial on August 5, 2014 about the seeming hypocrisy of parts of the world protesting against Israel in the current Israel-Hamas war but barely making a peep about wars in Pakistan, Iraq, Nigeria, Libya, etc. He doubted the sincerity of people’s stated concern about Arab victims, and considered the protestors motivation of racism, since they only show up when the counter-party is Israel.

As posted in FirstOneThrough on July 21, wars involving Israel account for a very small portion of all Muslim deaths in wars. Muslim-Muslim wars account for 90% of fatalities.

That should not come as a surprise. Most wars are between neighboring countries or are civil wars. (The United States is the exception which seems to only go to war with countries that are not neighbors). As most Muslim countries neighbor other Muslim countries, it would stand to reason that most Muslim wars and fatalities would be at the hands of other Muslim countries.

However, the expected number of fatalities in wars involving Israel is out-of-proportion. Israel’s neighbors account for 7% of the world’s Muslim population (117 million people), but the fatalities account for only 1% of the deaths in wars.

The reason that so few deaths happen in wars with Israel has a lot to do with the length of the wars.

Israel’s wars tend to be much shorter than wars between Muslim countries. The Iran-Iraq war went on for 8 years. The civil war in Angola- 27 years; Somalia- 15 years; and the wars of Sudan (which included Christians) went on for 17 and 22 years. Those Muslim wars killed millions of people. Compare that to the 6-Day War of 1967, and the Israeli wars in 2006, 2008 and 2012 which were 34, 22 and 7 days long, respectively. Those four wars plus the current 2014 war killed 20,000 people combined.

The Israeli wars were short – when they were winning/won. The longest Israeli wars had heavy casualties. The 1948 Israeli War of Independence against five invading armies lasted 300 days, when Israel fought for its very existence. The First Lebanon War lasted three years and did not have a clear victor. Each of those wars had as many fatalities as the five short wars combined. Those battles where Israel was the decisive victor were typically under one month and consequently, the death tolls much smaller.

These facts lead to some interesting questions about the protests:

  • Were the wars short because Israel achieved its near-term security objectives and did not factor in global protests?
  • Did the protests help shorten the war?

More specifically to the question raised by Brett Stephens about the motivation of the protestors during these short battles with Israel:

  • Were the protestors actually concerned that Israel would wipe the opponents off the map, as their Muslim adversaries would certainly have done if they were the winner?
  • Would they protest a quick end to the wars if Israel were losing?

The answers to those questions would demonstrate that the motivation has little to do with victims, and everything to do with the victor. As the Arabs lost the wars, the protests masked their hatred for Israel as a call for the victims. If the Arabs had been winning, the protests would have been chants of support for the Muslim armies, and the “victims” would have been hailed as “martyrs” for the cause.

These anti-Israel protests occur in places with significant Muslim immigrants. If they protest a Muslim-Muslim war in their new host countries, it could lead to local street battles between Sunnis and Shiites, essentially importing their religious war to Europe. However, protesting against a common adversary in Israel is not only easier, but serves as a way of uniting Muslims that are in the middle of a large global war with themselves.


Sources:

Brett Stephens, Palestine and Double Standards: http://online.wsj.com/articles/bret-stephens-palestine-and-double-standards-1407194971?mod=trending_now_8

FirstOneThrough, Israel and Wars: https://firstonethrough.wordpress.com/2014/07/21/israel-and-wars/

 

The History of Jewish Expulsions

The streets of Europe are once again filled with mobs yelling to expel the Jews. Mankind has not advanced far over the last 1000 years.

For 1000 years Jews were persecuted and evicted from their homes as a vulnerable minority in countries throughout Europe, Asia and Africa. The justifications for the expulsions ranged from: Jews serving as scapegoats for mysterious deaths; a convenient method of cancelling debts and stealing property; and a distorted view of Christianity and Islam requiring that Jews suffer for believing in an unpopular religion.

Ironically, now that Jews have a country of their own, they are the ones evicting Jews in the hopes of appeasing their neighbors.

[xxxx..]an Zionists Stand with Israel

[Fill in your country], and stand with Israel

 

People around the world have been upset about the fighting in Israel and have reacted in a variety of ways.

  • Many communities around the world focused on sending packages to soldiers in Gaza. Items ranged from letters, pizzas, underwear and socks.
  •  Some communities held fund-raisers, such as selling challah in support of Leket, the Israeli food bank, and the Friends of the IDF.
  •  Many people flew to Israel and volunteered to help disabled people who have difficulty getting to bomb shelters amid the constant attacks from Hamas. Others went to staging areas near Gaza to help set up food stations. Many went to funerals for people they never met.

While the global media has often repeated that the Operation Protective Edge has been fought during the Muslim holiday of Ramadan, they have neglected to discuss that the timing is also the Jewish period of mourning – the Three Weeks – that culminates on August 5th with the 9th of Av.

The Three Weeks is a period when many tragedies happened to the Jewish people throughout history. The common belief is that the various tragedies – especially the destruction of the Temples in Jerusalem – happened because Jews did not treat each other with respect nor did they care for each other.

In 2014, the tremendous support within Israel for the Israeli government, and the global Jewish communities’ constructive responses to the attacks from Gaza may lead one to believe that these three weeks may lead to the building of the Third Temple.

 


Source:

http://jpupdates.com/2014/07/30/survey-israelis-overwhelmingly-support-idf-gaza-attack/

 

The Iron Lady of Syria

In January 2009, Asma al-Assad, the first lady of Syria, gave an interview on CNN criticizing Israel’s first war against Hamas in Gaza. The FirstOneThrough review with an overlay of news stories went viral and is below.

The irony of the interview can be viewed on different levels in August 2014:

Death toll:  In August 2014, the death toll in the Syrian Civil War approached 175,000, of which 57,000 were civilians. The 175,000 total dead would surpass the 174,000 civilians killed in the United States War on Terror in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The 57,000 civilians would amount to 46 Syrian civilians killed on average per day for over three years since March 2011, compared to 37 civilians killed on average in Iraq and Afghanistan for 13 years. In the four weeks of the current Gaza fighting, an estimated 50-70% of the deaths were civilians or 29 to 41 civilians killed on average over four weeks.

Muslim Brotherhood: The Hamas party that rules Gaza is a part of the Muslim Brotherhood. As specified in Article 2 of the Hamas charter: “The Islamic Resistance Movement is one of the wings of the Muslim Brothers in Palestine. The Muslim Brotherhood Movement is a world organization, the largest Islamic Movement in the modern era.”

The Muslim Brotherhood was a banned political party in Syria. Asma al-Assad’s father-in-law, Hafez al-Assad banned the party and imposed the death penalty on its members in 1980. In 1982, Hafez al-Assad sought to crush the Brotherhood in Hama, where he slaughtered over 20,000 people – over 740 Syrians per day on average for 27 days – and then leveled the city.

Palestinians: The Palestinians who reside in Syria are treated as illegals – even though they have been there since 1948. They are denied citizenship. The are not given the rights to own property or hold white-color jobs.

Since the Syrian Civil War began, Palestinian Arabs have been pushed from their homes to Jordan and have been shelled repeatedly by al-Assad’s Syrian army.

Youth: Asma al-Assad talks about the significant youth population in the Middle East and Syria who have hopes for a brighter future. Over 10,000 children have been killed in her husband’s civil war, or over 8 children per day for over three and one-half years.


Sources:

http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/features/2012/02/20122232155715210.html

http://carnegie-mec.org/publications/?fa=48370

http://www.dailystar.com.lb/News/Middle-East/2014/Jul-10/263416-syria-war-toll-tops-170000-one-third-civilians.ashx#axzz39IXDSkpF

http://www.nbcnews.com/storyline/middle-east-unrest/gaza-death-toll-nears-1-500-72-hour-truce-israel-n170236

http://syrianfreepress.wordpress.com/2014/05/06/martyrs-day-asma-al-assad-syrian-womens-sacrifices-unlimited-media-martyrs-honored-on-martyrs-day-and-arab-press-day/

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-02-06/102c000-children-killed-in-syrian-civil-war3a-un-report/5241448

http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=47662#.U92-VaNeLi8