Newsletter : 14fx1230.txt
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PA Toughens Language in Unilateral UN Resolution
By IsraelNationalNews.com& YnetNews.com
The Palestinian Authority's envoys presented on Monday a more toughly-worded United
Nations draft resolution on statehood that could come up for a vote at the Security
Council this week, AFP reported.
Arab ambassadors met at UN headquarters for about two hours to endorse the text that
contains new provisions on declaring eastern Jerusalem the capital of a Palestinian state,
settling the issue of prisoner releases and halting Israeli construction in Judea, Samaria
and Jerusalem. But a final decision on the timing for a vote on the draft resolution at
the Security Council rests with PA and Jordanian leaders.
"Both our leaderships will be discussing, to find the best way and the best timing to
vote on the Security Council resolution," Jordanian Ambassador Dina Kawar was quoted as
having told reporters. "Realistically, it could happen tomorrow," added PA envoy Riyad
The draft resolution was formally presented to the council on December 17, but the
United States quickly rejected the text over Palestinian insistence that deadlines be set.
The PA said it was open to negotiations on the text and Jordan began talks on a measure
that could garner a consensus among the 15 council members. But the latest push showed
that prospects for a resolution that would satisfy both the PA and the United States were
It remains unclear if the PA would seek a quick vote or hold off until January 1 when
five new members with a pro-Palestinian stance join the Security Council. Diplomats said
it was unlikely that the resolution would garner nine votes under the current makeup of
the council -- a scenario that would allow the United States to avoid resorting to its
veto power. Angola, Malaysia, New Zealand, Spain and Venezuela begin their two-year stint
at the council on January 1, replacing Argentina, Australia, Luxembourg, Rwanda and South
Russia has said it will support the resolution, and while Secretary of State John Kerry
has not publicly stated that Washington would use its veto against the resolution, his
spokeswoman recently said the United States will not support the resolution.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu on Monday called on the international
community to oppose the PA's moves at the UN. "We expect the international community, at
least the responsible members of that community to oppose vigorously this UN diktat, this
UN Security Council resolution because what we need always is direct negotiations and not
imposed conditions," Netanyahu said during a meeting with Indiana Governor Mike Pence.
"But I want to guarantee you, to you and to the people of Israel: If the international
community does not reject the Palestinian Authority's proposal, we will. Israel will
oppose conditions that endanger our future," he added.
The United States said on Monday it did not support a draft statehood resolution that
the Palestinians plan to introduce at the United Nations, saying it would not advance the
goal of peace or address Israel's security needs.
"We don't think this resolution is constructive," State Department spokesman Jeff
Rathke told a regular news briefing. "We think it sets arbitrary deadlines for reaching a
peace agreement and for Israel's withdrawal from the West Bank, and those are more likely
to curtail useful negotiations than to bring them to a successful conclusion. "Further, we
think that the resolution fails to account for Israel's legitimate security needs, and the
satisfaction of those needs, of course, integral to a sustainable settlement."
PA Minister: Killing Babies is Part of 'Resistance' Against Israel
A Palestinian Authority "minister" has justified the murder of a one year-old Israeli
baby as legitimate "resistance" against Israel, Palestinian Media Watch reported Monday.
Israel fined Ali Sa'ada, a terrorist prisoner who murdered the child and his father, with
3.5 million shekel ($896,355) earlier this month. Sa'ada was convicted last year of
murdering 25 year-old Asher Palmer and his son Yonatan in a rock attack in September 2011.
According to PMW, Prisoners' Affairs Authority Director and PA Parliament Member Issa
Karake protested the move, saying it is "delegitimizing the [Palestinian] national
resistance" against Israel. "[Israeli] courts have been... passing sentences on prisoners
that force them to pay large sums in financial compensation to Israelis who have been
exposed to resistance by Palestinians," Karake told the WAFA news agency two weeks
Karake's remarks follow the praise of both Hamas and the Palestinian Authority for the
murder of three-month-old baby Chaya Zisel Braun in a "car rampage" attack by an Islamic
Jihad terrorist in October. Hamas openly praised the baby's murder in the wake of that
attack, whereas PA negotiator Saeb Erekat was slightly more subtle, claiming the PA
"regrets" all loss of life while equating the murder with the "violence and instability"
caused by the "occupation of Palestine."
PA Co-opts Jesus as the 'Palestinian Messiah and Martyr'
In what has become a "Christmas tradition" for the Palestinian Authority, Chairman
Mahmoud Abbas and other senior figures of the group once again made a historical claim
that Jesus was "Palestinian." Abbas last Monday told the official PA paper WAFA "we
celebrate the birth of Jesus, a Palestinian messenger of love, justice and peace," as
reported by Palestinian Media Watch.
The message follows on Abbas' claim last year that Jesus was "Palestinian," which the
Israeli Foreign Ministry rebuffed in a verbal riposte referencing Christian tradition,
saying "we forgive him because he knows not what he does."
It goes without saying that Abbas' claim completely flies in the face of historical
fact. PMW notes that Christianity defines Jesus as a Jewish resident of Judea, and only
hundreds of years after Jesus' death did the occupying Roman Empire change Judea's name to
"Palestina," a name brought back thousands of years later by the British mandate which
termed Israel "Palestine" after World War I.
Abbas was not the only one getting in on the holiday spirit; Abbas' adviser on
religious and Islamic affairs and PA Supreme Shariah Judge Mahmoud Al-Habbash, who has
announced Israel will disappear and that Abbas is inciting a religious war, also joined
"Christmas is also a Palestinian holiday, because Jesus, peace be upon him, was
Palestinian. He was born in Palestine; lived and was sent (as prophet) to Palestine.
Therefore, Christmas has a special Palestinian flavor," said Al-Habbash last Sunday,
District Governor of Ramallah and El-Bireh Laila Ghannam said on official PA TV earlier
this month "we are standing here, Muslims and Christians, in Yasir Arafat Square, (named
after) the symbol of our cause, to celebrate Christmas. So too we will stand united to
celebrate victory, far off as it may be. Merry Christmas, let's celebrate and be merry;
Jesus the Messiah is Palestinian, and we are Palestinians and will continue to hold our
heads high," said Ghannam.
Likewise, Adnan Al-Damiri, official spokesman for the PA Security Forces, on Facebook
on December 25 celebrated "the anniversary of love and peace, the birthday of Jesus the
PA chief negotiator Saeb Erekat, a member of the Abbas' Fatah's Central Committee,
referenced "the first Martyr, the first Palestinian, Jesus." Tawfiq Tirawi, also on
Fatah's Central Committee, on Facebook wished the "united Palestinian people a new
Christmas that will herald liberty, as did Jesus, the first Palestinian."
The PA exploitation of Christianity as propaganda for its campaign against Israel
reached new heights during the visit of Pope Francis in May, when the organization showed
the pope an art exhibit presenting Jesus as a "suffering Palestinian martyr."
Hamas Bars Gaza Children from Making Conciliatory Trip to Israel
By Israel Hayom
Hamas authorities in the Gaza Strip on Sunday prevented a group of Palestinian
children, some of whom lost parents in Operation Protective Edge, from making a postwar
conciliatory trip to Israel that was meant to foster peace, organizers of the trip said.
Gaza's Hamas-controlled Interior Ministry, citing the children's "suspicious" itinerary,
confirmed they were barred from crossing the border into Israel.
Israeli peace activists said they had secured permission from the Israel Defense Forces
to admit the 37 children and five accompanying adults for a week-long tour of Israel and
the West Bank. Yoel Marshak, an Israeli organizer of the trip, said the group included
children of Hamas fighters killed in the fighting this past summer. "These children will
one day be the leaders of Gaza and they would have remembered this trip and known that we
can live in peace, side by side," he said.
Marshak said he received written approval for the trip three weeks ago from Hamas and
that the cancellation came as a surprise. He said he and other organizers were working to
reorganize the trip. During their visit, Marshak said, the children were to have toured
Arab towns in Israel as well as southern areas that were under threat of Gaza rockets.
They were also scheduled to attend a performance by a Jewish-Arab band and visit a
mixed-race school, the Tel Aviv beach and a nearby safari. The schedule also included a
meeting with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah.
Said Abu Luli, a 13-year-old Palestinian boy whose father was killed in an electrical
accident in 2009, said he was disappointed he could not make the trip. "I was very happy
that I will go and was saddened when we were prevented," he said in a telephone interview.
"I was hoping to visit the places in the West Bank and our lands in Palestine."
Russian Immigrants in Israel Targeted by Extortion Fraud
By Israel Hayom
The Anti-Fraud Unit of the Tel Aviv District Police has begun investigating a scam that
has cheated dozens of immigrants from the former Soviet Union out of tens of thousands of
The investigation began after a number of Russian-speaking immigrants recently filed
complaints reporting the same scheme: They would receive a telephone call from an unknown
person who identified himself as a lawyer and claimed that he was calling from Russia,
where the immigrants still have family. The caller would have the name of a relative of
the victims, and he would say that the relative had caused an accident that injured
The caller would then inform the Israeli family that the supposed accident victim was
in urgent need of medical treatment, and if they did not want the police involved, they
needed to send sums ranging from NIS 20,000 ($5,090) to NIS 30,000 ($7,640). To convince
the Israeli family that he was telling the truth, the caller would also tell them that
their relative had sustained injuries to the face and it was hard for him to speak. Later
in the call, he would read out a few sentences supposedly written by the family
When the people in Israel asked the caller how they should send him the money, he would
send a representative with a document for them to sign, purporting to be an agreement that
absolved them from any future lawsuit. After the money was received, the family in Israel
would eventually learn that no relative of theirs had been injured or involved in any
accident, and it was all a fraud.
When it became clear that the same scammer had operated dozens of times, Tel Aviv
Police Chief Maj. Gen. Bentzi Sau ordered his officers to find the people who had showed
up to collect the money. On Sunday morning, investigators met one couple who had evaded
the scam. When the couple received the phone call, they asked that the relative in
question take the line and say a few words in Hebrew. When the caller realized they were
on to him, he hung up.
Al-Qaida Urges 'Lone Wolf' Attacks Against Western Airlines
By Israel Hayom
In the latest issue of its English-language online magazine, Inspire, al-Qaida in the
Arabian Peninsula called for individual jihadists to carry out "lone wolf" attacks on
Western commercial passenger flights. The magazine named a number of U.S. airline
companies -- American Airlines, Delta, United and Continental -- as potential targets. It
also cited British Airways, EasyJet, Air France and KLM as alternative targets.
"The first priority and the main focus should be on America, then the
United Kingdom, then France. ... This goes on with the NATO countries as per the
known order," the magazine said.
The magazine advised would-be terrorists on the best locations and altitudes for
detonating explosive devices, saying planes should be blown up over land, as this would
also cause casualties and damage down below. Methods of evading airport security were also
suggested. Inspire also named prominent American economic figures, such as former Federal
Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke and Microsoft cofounder Bill Gates, as potential targets for
Picture Grim for Young Israeli Couples Wishing to Buy Homes
More than a decade ago, young couples living in southern Israel were able to buy a home
many with financial aid from the state provided to young families willing to set
roots in the Negev. Today, young couples cannot afford to become homeowners amid rising
housing prices and stagnant wages, and the government is no longer providing
One couple who bought an apartment in southern Israel when the government still
provided aid, examined the market today and said, "If we wanted to buy a home today, there
is no way we would've succeeded. No way in the world."
The Negev Laws, passed in 2000, provided tax reliefs to residents of Be'er Sheva and
its surroundings, an additional grant to buy an apartment for young couples and more.
Today, these laws are no more than a distant memory, and tax benefits have been reduced
drastically existing only in remote communities such as Mitzpe Ramon and Dimona.
"If young couples received help now like they did then, the situation in Israel would
be completely different," says Oren Joreno, a resident of Be'er Sheva. Joreno and his wife
Nurit, both 41 years old, are parents to two children aged 12 and 14, and bought a house
14 years ago which was subsidized by the Negev Law and the Sharansky Law, which also gave
grants to those who met the criteria for the purchase of a new apartment.
"We were a young 24-year-old couple and now we are about to finish paying our mortgage.
The conditions for eligibility were determined by how many siblings you had, your military
service, and more," says Nurit. "We were helped a lot with housing and rent. The state
used to help."
Nurit has been a state employee for 16 years now and her husband works as an
electrician at the Electra company. Together, they earn NIS 13,000 a month after taxes and
they know that today they would have no chance of buying another home. "Today, it's a
disgrace," says Oren. "Every day when we come home we thank God that this is our kingdom.
But for young couples it's really hard, the rent is continuously rising, and today people
are paying very expensive mortgages. Whoever has a home today is rich.
"I look at my husband's nieces and nephews, the next generation, and they have a hard
time surviving and borrow money from us even though both of them work," says Nurit. "In
our time there really was help. We saw it. The monthly payments were lower than what they
are today: We pay back NIS 1,400 but today people return NIS 3,000-4,000. These are
Nurit is calling for a change and her husband agrees. "We have a prime minister that is
an economist, but the doors are blocked and they must be opened. He can open the option of
grants for young couples and let them live, but we are simply denied this. Everybody could
be a homeowner," says Oren.
Hagit, 36, and Ali Elimelech, 41, live in Be'er Sheva in a home they purchased 11 years
ago in the prestigious Ramot neighborhood. They also received a subsidy within the Negev
Law framework. "They gave out NIS 20,000 in equity back then, there wasn't a need for too
much," explained Hagit. "Those who didn't do this a decade or more ago, there is no chance
they would be able to buy a home today without help from their parents. The government is
doing nothing to help. And it's not just with housing - it's also with the cost of living.
Everything is going up except for wages which are stagnant. We feel like we are
being backed into the corner."
"If the state wanted to develop housing beyond the limits of central Israel, it could
do it," says Ilana, 35, who lives in the Eshkol Regional Council with her husband Ohad,
39, and her two children aged 8 and 2 and a half. In 1999, Ohad bought a share of land
with financial assistance provided from the Negev Law. They received assistance totaling
10% of the property value. "The choice to live in this area enabled us to acquire the
property. Today, even those who buy (homes) in the south are only those that have
financial ability," says Ilana.
"The only time when the residents of the Negev felt as though they were an inseparable
part of the State of Israel was the period when we passed the Negev Law," says former MK
Weizman Shiry, who was one of the law's main proponents. "There were tax benefits and an
additional grant for housing purchases in Be'er Sheva and the surrounding area. It was a
great period for contractors and especially for local residents," says Shiry.
According to Shiry, "The person who cancelled the Negev Laws and cancelled all the
grants associated to housing was finance minister Benjamin Netanyahu. During my time, we
cancelled all the benefits for Judea and Samaria and transferred the funding to the Negev.
But now we have a housing minister who only cares about settlers. We closed all the roads
during the struggle over the Negev Laws but nothing helped. They changed their priorities
and cancelled the benefits."
Last Jew in Pakistan Fights for Jewish Cemetery
Engineer Fishel (Faisal) Benkhald, a Pakistani who according to his own estimation is
the last Jew in the Muslim country, is struggling to preserve the Jewish cemetery in
Karachi, Pakistan's largest city with a population of 20 million.
Benkhald, whose father was Muslim and whose mother was an Iranian Jew, told the British
The Guardian last Friday that he grew up in Karachi and identifies as a Jew, even though
his Pakistani ID lists him as Muslim. "I want the government to recognize the Jews as a
minority in Pakistan," said Benkhald, who is the only self-declared Jew in Muslim
Pakistan, where anti-Semitism is rampant.
While Benkhald has sent letters and launched a Twitter campaign, his requests have gone
ignored by the authorities, and the cemetery continues to remain untended for. Currently
Chand Arif, the self-styled caretaker of the graveyard who has been squatting there with
his extended family and several goats for two generations, remains in de facto control of
the Jewish cemetery. "There are people who want to come over and make this a Muslim
graveyard," Arif said. "They tell us we will give you money to give this area to us."
The Jewish cemetery is being encompassed by the Mewa Shah burial district which is
fueling the requests to take over the Jewish cemetery and turn it into a Muslim
Karachi architect Arif Hasan, who is a member of the provincial government's cultural
heritage committee, told the British paper he has proposed to turn the Jewish graveyard
into a protected site. "Naturally there is an anti-Israel feeling which is very strong,"
said Hasan. "But this is our heritage, irrespective of whether we are Jewish, Muslim or
Christian, and we have to protect it."
Most of the 300 graves that remain in the cemetery date from the mid-19th century CE.
In one corner a grand sarcophagus housed in a square sandstone building holds the remains
of Solomon David, founder of the Magen Shalom synagogue in Karachi who died in 1902. The
synagogue was replaced with an apartment building in the 1980s, with the request of one of
the last remaining Jews in the city to provide a replacement synagogue ignored by the
Nearly all of Pakistan's Jewish community was forced to flee the Muslim nation amid
rising attacks following the foundation of the modern State of Israel. Aside from
Benkhald, a small handful of Jews are thought to still remain in Karachi, although they
apparently have all intermarried or hidden their identities.
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