Palestinians don’t deserve recognition


Kislev 23, 5775, December 15, 2014


The Impending Vote For The Recognition of Palestine

A vote for recognition would do more than anything in decades to undermine a peace settlement. The terrorism will continue, Hamas will import and stock ever more powerful weapons and will, in all likelihood, take control of the West Bank. ..Before recognition, the Palestinians have to do something positive to deserve it. They must stop their hate speech in schools and mosques, cease their praise of terrorists and suicide bombers as ‘martyrs’, give up their meaningless demand for the ‘Right of Return’ of millions of descendants of refugees, whose grandparents fled from a war the Arabs started

From Dr. Denis MacEoin

Jude Kirton-Darling MEP

Jonathan Arnott MEP
Paul Brannen MEP

RE: The Impending Vote for The Recognition of Palestine

Dear Madam, Sirs,
I hope you don’t mind my contacting you collectively, but it seems easiest to address you together as the three MEPs for my region. I have lived in Newcastle upon Tyne since 1981, where I taught Arabic and Islamic Studies at Newcastle University. I was also a Fellow at Durham University’s Centre for Middle East and Islamic Studies. Currently, I am a Distinguished Senior Fellow at New York’s Gatestone Institute, which covers Israel and the Middle East, for whom I write two monthly columns, and I am a Senior Fellow at the US Middle East Forum, for whom I edited the Middle East Quarterly. I believe my background and my extensive writings in this area entitle me to comment on the proposal, soon to go to a vote in the European parliament, to recognize a Palestinian State on the West Bank and Gaza, within the 1967 armistice lines.

May I write to you to ask if you will vote against what I perceive to be a wrong-headed and dangerous motion? Allow me to give you some of the reasons why I am opposed to it and why I think such recognition at this stage would bring further disaster to an already disaster-prone Middle East. I also add a link here to an article I wrote earlier about the Swedish parliament’s vote to recognize Palestine.

I don’t propose to cover the entire history of the conflict or most of the complexity that surrounds. But I do feel that such a vote oversimplifies things to the point where only one side of a nuanced argument is being heard and acted on.

Let me start by stressing that I am not anti-Palestinian nor am I opposed in principle to the idea of a Palestinian state. I would love to see a proud Palestinian state existing next to Israel, benefiting from its’ proximity to one of the world’s most advanced and technically advanced countries, with a reputation for the observance of human rights that far exceeds the standards of any Arab state, and before too long growing economically and in its own commitment to human rights. The Palestinian people have suffered since 1947, and they deserve to carry much of the blame for the ongoing violence. However, they are themselves the victims of their own leaders and many of the Arab leaders who have trapped them in an endless round of
Before recognition, the Palestinians have to do something positive to deserve it.
suffering, economic disaster, and never-ending waves of wars and terrorism initiated by those leaders. 

For there to be a Palestinian state there must first be a solid peace agreement between the Palestinians and Israel, an end to terrorism by Hamas, Islamic Jihad, and elements in the West Bank such as the PFLP, and agreed permanent borders. It is seriously premature to think of establishing a Palestinian state that has not made peace, has not renounced violence, and takes for its borders the highly vulnerable armistice lines agreed at the end of the Six-Day War in 1967. If we seek a peaceful Palestinian state, then we are agreed; but if we seek to promote it without those conditions being met, we will guarantee an even deeper conflict in coming years, when the Palestinians use whatever sovereignty they obtain to build and import bigger and more sophisticated weaponry and start to use it for their long-standing aim of annihilating the state of Israel.

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Students don’t understand BDS

The 3 types of students who keep BDS movement alive on campus

Logic, facts and reason have little to do with making an effective case.


Friday, December 12, 2014 | by Patricia Keer Munro

Reprinted from




On Dec. 4, I spent a drizzly, lonely day in U.C. Berkeley’s Sproul Plaza shoving “Vote NO on BDS” fliers at graduate students. Why did I do it? UAW 2865, the student-workers union that represents teaching assistants, graduate student instructors, readers and tutors, had proposed that the union support the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement; Dec. 4 was voting day. As a former graduate student and current affiliate, the results mattered to me: I care about the university and believe the union is important for ensuring good working conditions for students. I believe this vote diminishes the union’s credibility and effectiveness. I also believe that BDS is a misbegotten movement with goals, whether stated explicitly or not, that are inimical to peace and to the existence of Israel.

The experience was both depressing and instructive. Sproul Plaza sits in the heart of social science and humanities buildings, which house the bulk of the BDS supporters. Throughout the day, a steady stream of people waited in line, all radiating a sense of shared righteousness that made it clear they were voting for BDS. In the midst of my growing sense of isolation and futility, some approached my table to discuss the vote and BDS. Their perspective made it clear that the people voting for BDS are not of peace, that those who oppose it do not always act, and that feelings trump facts for both sides. Here are the three types I met:

The Ostrich: “Why would I join an anti-Semitic organization?” said a biogenetics student. Over the summer, he had received UAW 2865’s communication that included the following statements: “The current situation in Palestine is one of settler-colonialism” and “The Israeli state enforces an apartheid system, illegally privileging one ethnic group over another.” He did not understand that not voting was capitulation. He wasn’t the only one. A co-worker reported the most common response in his science department was not for or against BDS, but against the union itself. What approach can reach those who care but won’t act?

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Vilification of Israel is unjustified

The Jew of Nations: The Global Demonization of Israel

Israel’s struggle to exist alongside its neighbors in peace went from being known as the Arab-Israeli conflict (in which it was undeniably David) to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict (in which its enemies could claim that it was actually Goliath).

Published on World Affairs Journal (

The Jew of Nations: The Global Demonization of Israel

James Kirchick, November 2014

Making David into Goliath: How the World Turned Against Israel
Joshua Muravchik (New York: Encounter Books, 2014)

Can there be any doubt that Israel is the most reviled country in the world today? No other nation engenders as much scorn, whether measured in newspaper column inches, street protests, or computer pixels. The only aspect of the hatred more disturbing than its virulent omnipresence is how out of proportion it is to Israel’s real (and alleged) wrongdoing. North Korea functions as a vast gulag, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad deploys chemical weapons on children, and the Castro brothers have ruled despotically over their Cuban island fiefdom for five decades running, but none of these dictatorial regimes invite anywhere near the scrutiny, never mind spittle-flecked loathing, engendered by the Jewish democratic state. A majority of Europeans, according to polls, consider this tiny country of eight million people to be the greatest threat to world peace. An Israeli soldier fires a rubber bullet in the West Bank and it will generate venomous crowds in cities around the globe; Iranian paramilitary basij forces murder peaceful demonstrators in broad daylight and the world emits barely a peep of protest.

Why the Jewish state generates such disproportionate anger is the subject of Joshua Muravchik’s thorough and careful study, Making David into Goliath: How the World Turned Against Israel. The easy answer is anti-Semitism, and while hatred of Jews certainly does factor in generating hostility to Israel, this cannot be the only explanation. We know this because Israel, ever since its founding in 1948, has been a Jewish state, and yet its status as the world’s polecat was not earned until decades later. Muravchik’s answer to the question is multifaceted, and he devotes a chapter each to several elements which, he contends, have contributed to Israel’s unenviable position, from the “Power of Oil” utilized by the Arab states as a weapon of political blackmail, to the volte-face of the Socialist International, the worldwide association of center-left political parties that once stood foursquare behind the Jewish state.

Much of the reason for the shift in world attitudes can be attributed to a basic change in the optics of the Middle East conflict. When Israel declared its independence on May 14, 1948, it did so as a nascent nation of Holocaust survivors and steely agrarian pioneers, surrounded by hostile Arab armies intent on finishing what the Nazis had started. In these circumstances, it is not difficult to understand why Israel earned the admiration of so many people around the world during the first years of its precarious existence, among Americans—many of whom, as Christians, felt a religious obligation to support the return of Jewish sovereignty in the Holy Land—in particular.

Israel accepted the United Nations Partition Plan for Palestine, which would have divided the British Mandate territory between Arabs and Jews and placed Jerusalem under a form of international trusteeship. The Arabs rejected it, choosing war over compromise. When Israel won that war, it also won the admiration of much of the (non-Arab and non-Muslim) world. Here was a plucky little nation, a young democracy, defending itself against annihilationist aggression. Facing such challenges, the Israel of the middle twentieth century was easily identifiable as David battling for its very survival against the Arab Goliath.

The narrative, however, began to change following the Six-Day War of 1967. In the midst of defending itself against yet another Arab attempt to destroy it, Israel came into possession of the West Bank and Gaza Strip, territories that had, up until that time, been illegally occupied by Jordan and Egypt, respectively. Both parcels of land were populated with Arabs, many of whom had fled from Mandate Palestine—either on their own volition or because they were driven from their homes by Israeli troops—in 1948. Now, the conflict could be reframed not as that of little Israel against the vast Arab world, but rather, between mighty Israel and the occupied, stateless Palestinians (who had only recently begun to embrace a distinct “Palestinian,” as opposed to Arab, national identity). In shorthand, Israel’s struggle to exist alongside its neighbors in peace went from being known as the Arab-Israeli conflict (in which it was undeniably David) to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict (in which its enemies could claim that it was actually Goliath).

No longer was the saga of Israel one of a long-stateless people returning to their national home and defending it against the legions of the Arab world. “Instead of proclaiming openly their determination to deny the Jews a state,” Muravchik writes, “Israel’s enemies now accused the Jews of denying that same right to another people, the Palestinians.” Ruling over an occupied population, Israel and its sympathizers would have more difficulty portraying it as the underdog. This is the major reasons that the international left, which (at least theoretically) loves underdogs, turned on Israel.

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Neurons involved in bat navigation

3D Compass in the Brain

03 Dec, 2014

Neuroscience, Weizmann Institute of Science, Israel 


A study on bats’ flight pinpoints the neurons that tell us which way we are headed


Pilots are trained to guard against vertigo: a sudden loss of the sense of vertical direction that renders them unable to tell “up” from “down” and sometimes even leads to crashes. Coming up out of a subway station can produce similar confusion: For a few moments, you are unsure which way to go, until regaining your sense of direction. In both cases, the disorientation is thought to be caused by a temporary malfunction of a brain circuit that operates as a three-dimensional (3D) compass.

Weizmann Institute scientists have now for the first time demonstrated the existence of such a 3D compass in the mammalian brain. The study was performed by graduate student Arseny Finkelstein in the laboratory of Prof. Nachum Ulanovsky [1] of the Neurobiology Department, together with Dr. Dori Derdikman, Dr. Alon Rubin, Jakob N. Foerster and Dr. Liora Las. As reported in Nature on December 3, the researchers have shown that the brains of bats contain neurons that sense which way the bat’s head is pointed [2] and could therefore support the animal’s navigation in 3D space.

Navigation relies on spatial memory: past experience of different locations. This memory is formed primarily in a deep-seated brain structure called the hippocampal formation.  In mammals, three types of brain cells, located in different areas of the hippocampal formation, form key components of the navigation system: “place” and “grid” cells, which work like a GPS, allowing animals to keep track of their position; and “head-direction” cells, which respond whenever the animal’s head points in a specific direction, acting like a compass. Much research has been conducted on place and grid cells, whose discoverers were awarded the 2014 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, but until recently, head-direction cells have been studied only in two-dimensional (2D) settings, in rats, and very little was known about the encoding of 3D head direction in the brain.

To study the functioning of head-direction cells in three dimensions, Weizmann Institute scientists developed a tracking apparatus that allowed them to video-monitor all the three angles of head rotation – in flight terminology, yaw, pitch and roll – and to observe the movements of freely-behaving Egyptian fruit bats. At the same time, the bats’ neuronal activity was monitored via implanted microelectrodes. Recordings made with the help of these microelectrodes revealed that in a specific sub-region of the hippocampal formation, neurons are tuned to a particular 3D angle of the head: Certain neurons became activated only when the animal’s head was pointed at that 3D angle.

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Israel chosen for biological pest control

Israel sells 380 million male fruit flies to Croatia

Fruit flies have very short lives – in the case of the Mediterranean Sea one, a week at most. Naturally their purpose in that short time is to procreate and indeed, the purpose of this exercise is for the sterilized fruit flies to make merry with the local females, which will then produce barren eggs.

By Ruth Schuster | Dec. 4, 2014 | Haaretz


Croatia, Israel has your back, as attested by the rescue mission involving an emergency shipment of 380 million Mediterranean male fruit flies to the Adriatic nation.

Males. Not a female in the lot. But why would Croatia want fruit flies?

Because like most of the rest of the world, Croatia’s farmers have a problem with the Mediterranean fruit fly. The insect’s name is a misnomer: they’ve even reached South America, says Shaul Bassi, CEO of BioBee, an insect-breeding company owned jointly by Kibbutz Sde Eliahu and a financial investor, Tom Bar.

Yes, Croatia actually wanted the flies, at least after they had been rendered barren by radiation at the BioBee laboratory’s radiation facility. “The fly larvae are exposed to radiation for some tens of seconds. They are not hurt in any way,” Bassi hastens to reassure the tender of heart among us. “But they become sterile.”

The flies were flown to Split, then after some organization, were released in orchards throughout Croatia and Bosnia too.

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Israel is attacked on campus

The Ferocious Battles for Israel on Western Campuses

What we learned from Israel’s unilateral withdrawal from Gaza in 2005 is that should Israel withdraw from Judea and Samaria — which is not occupied but disputed — it would lead immediately to the creation of another terrorist state run by Hamas. Israel would be sandwiched between two terror launching pads intent on its total destruction.

Posted: December 1, 2014

Rabbi Shmuley Boteach, Huffington Post

The Jewish State is fighting wars for its very survival against barbarous, genocidal foes like Hamas, Hezbollah, and Iran. But far outside the Middle East ferocious battles are being fought on the campuses of the world’s great Universities for Israel’s reputation and good name. The consequences of failure are too horrible to contemplate, including the destruction of Israel’s economic lifeline through economic boycotts that germinate on campus and pass into the mainstream.

I became an Israel campus warrior in 1988 when the Lubavitcher Rebbe first sent me as Rabbi to Oxford University. A steady stream of attacks on Israel were launched by the likes of Hanan Ashrawi, Saeb Erekat, and Yasser Arafat himself. Many of these speeches took place at the world-famous Oxford Union. Our Oxford University L’Chaim Society responded with five Israeli Prime Ministers, including Binyamin Netanyahu, Yitzchak Rabin, Shimon Peres, Yitzchak Shamir, and Ehud Olmert. We partnered with the Union for most of the speeches including mesmerizing defenses of the Jewish state delivered by a young and hyper-charismatic Bibi Netanyahu.
Since those days the battles have become ever more ferocious with the much more timid pro-Israel groups at America and Europe’s leading Universities being clobbered by Students for Justice in Palestine, Israel Apartheid Week, and BDS.

At NYU, in the heart of a city with 2.5 million Jews, SJP regularly stages die-ins that feign murder at the hands of the IDF, an Israeli apartheid wall, and serves "IDF Eviction Notices" on students to convey the brutality of the Israeli regime. In September Mahmoud Abbas received 20 standing ovations from NYU students three days before he accused Israel of genocide at the UN. Aside from my son Mendy who is an NYU undergraduate, there was not a single protest. The formal pro-Israel group on campus would later tell the New York Observer that they did not protest Abbas lest they legitimize BDS, as if there is some comparison between holding a banner outside a lecture theater and calling for the economic destruction of an innocent nation.
Last week I traveled back to Oxford with my close friend Dennis Prager for a debate on Israel versus Hamas that was easily the most hard-fought debate on Israel I have ever participated in. In an aggressive and merciless contest, our opponents in the debate threw monstrous charges that Israel is an apartheid regime, that it murders Palestinians with impunity, that Israel is a quasi-Nazi government, that Israel seeks the theft of Palestinian land and the eradication of the Palestinian people, and that Hamas is a legitimate resistance movement whose terrorism is an inevitable and organic response to Israeli colonial rule. As for America, it is like ISIS. Islamic State beheads only a few prisoners but America annihilates innocents in Pakistan each and every day with drone strikes. There is no real difference.
Rising to speak, I looked at the huge assembled crowd of students and felt a righteous indignation bubbling up within me. My people were under attack. Whatever the odds arrayed against us, I had an opportunity to strike a blow at one of the most influential speaking platforms on earth.

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West trapped in Persian Bazaar

A Western Tourist Hasn’t a Chance in a Persian Bazaar

To get what you want in a Persian bazaar you have to play by the rules. If you don’t even know they exist, you are going to be roundly cheated.

From Dr. Mordechai Kedar, Nov. 27, 2014, Arutz Sheva

The West played the role of the dumb tourist as it shopped in the Iranian bazaar.

There are two kinds of markets in the world today: the Western store and the Eastern bazaar. In the West, stores have fixed prices for merchandise, with the cost visible on each item by law. Everyone pays the same amount for his purchases, whether he really wants what is for sale or can manage perfectly well without it.  Westerners are used to this kind of shopping, which is why many of them spend a good deal of time and effort to find the stores with the best prices. The price is objective and based on the merchandise, not on the personality of the seller or the identity of the buyer. You will not find someone arguing about a price in a store in the United States and anyone who dares to do so is regarded like a creature from Mars, a barbarian from another culture.

In contrast, in the Middle East, bazaar culture is the rule and the relationship between buyer and seller is based on totally different cultural norms. The price varies from minute to minute depending on various factors: how badly the seller needs the money he can get from the sale; how much the buyer wants the merchandise; whether the seller is afraid the buyer will leave him and look for another seller; how many other traders are offering the same item. When the seller needs cash and the buyer can live without the merchandise, when there are other traders with similar items and the buyer can get to them easily  – the price goes down. If the seller is not in need of the money, the buyer really wants the merchandise and especially if he says he is willing to pay anything for it, and if there are no others selling the same thing or it is hard to get to them – the price will be high. This is where market forces play a central role in determining the price of merchandise.

In the Middle Eastern bazaar culture there is another, very important factor, the personal one. The buyer and seller want to see one another, touch one another, talk to each other and feel each other. The interpersonal contact,  smile,  handshake, words of welcome, questions and answers, familiarity, body language, all are part of the negotiations on the price. A deal is not just an economic act, it is an event, almost like a wedding. Factors involved here have nothing to do with economics: if the seller is someone the buyer is not willing to talk to because he is, for example, a Jew, Christian, Shiite, Sunni, Kurd, Persian, Turk or member of any group the buyer does not like, he will not buy from him even if the item is practically free of charge.

Someone from the West – let’s say a tourist, for our purposes  – who enters a Middle Eastern bazaar, gets high from the odors, confused by the scenes, dizzy from the colors, excited by the music, disgusted by the crowding, and then buys whatever he sees because the prices are low, only to discover that night, at his hotel , that he overpaid, the paint is peeling off and the merchandise is falling apart or rotten. Besides, some of it is made in China and can be bought on the internet for half of what he paid.

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Ron Prosor adresses UN

Israel Admonishes UN General Assembly

The Speech:

Question of Palestine Debate

November 24, 2014

Delivered to UN General Assembly at around 4:00 PM today (Nov 24/14) by Israel’s Ambassador Ron Prosor

Mr. President,

I stand before the world as a proud representative of the State of Israel and the Jewish people. I stand tall before you knowing that truth and morality are on my side.  And yet, I stand here knowing that today in this Assembly, truth will be turned on its head and morality cast aside. 

The fact of the matter is that when members of the international community speak about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, a fog descends to cloud all logic and moral clarity.  The result isn’t realpolitik, its surreal politik.

The world’s unrelenting focus on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is an injustice to tens of millions of victims of tyranny and terrorism in the Middle East. As we speak, Yazidis, Bahai, Kurds, Christians and Muslims are being executed and expelled by radical extremists at a rate of 1,000 people per month.

How many resolutions did you pass last week to address this crisis?  And how many special sessions did you call for? The answer is zero. What does this say about international concern for human life?  Not much, but it speaks volumes about the hypocrisy of the international community.

I stand before you to speak the truth.  Of the 300 million Arabs in the Middle East and North Africa, less than half a percent are truly free – and they are all citizens of Israel.

Israeli Arabs are some of the most educated Arabs in the world. They are our leading physicians and surgeons, they are elected to our parliament, and they serve as judges on our Supreme Court.  Millions of men and women in the Middle East would welcome these opportunities and freedoms. 

Nonetheless, nation after nation, will stand at this podium today and criticize Israel – the small island of democracy in a region plagued by tyranny and oppression. 

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