Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Israel "apartheid" is a malicious slander

From JPost, 25 Aug 2015:

Boycott Israel sign
Boycott Israel sign. (photo credit:REUTERS)

A South African member of parliament said in an interview with Channel 10 Monday that Israel does not resemble the apartheid regime he grew up under, and spoke out against the BDS movement in the wake of a recent controversy involving Matisyahu.

Kenneth Rasalabe Joseph Meshoe, President of the African Christian Democratic Party, who is currently on a week-long visit to Israel, expressed his great admiration for the Jewish State in a brief interview with channel 10 and explained why it was inaccurate to call Israel an apartheid state.

"There are many Christians that support Israel, but they don't come out...Those who know what real apartheid is, as I know, know that there is nothing in Israel that looks like apartheid," Meshoe said, adding that those who voice support for Israel are usually faced with threats and "intimidation."

Meshoe went on to say that calling Israel an apartheid state "is an empty political statement that does not hold (any) truth," adding,"You see people of different colors, backgrounds and religions," interacting with each other everyday.  

The topic of conversation then touched upon the recent controversy concerning American Jewish singer Matisyahu, who was disinvited then reinvited to perform at a Spanish reggae concert after BDS organizers attempted to block the artist from performing.

"The BDS movement is a real pain... to us in South Africa who love the truth, (the) BDS movement is not a democratic movement; they are a movement of intimidation, a movement that performs hatred," the parliamentarian said. "People who don't believe in hatred should not allow the BDS movement to stop them from doing the right thing."

Meshoe is a well-known advocate of Israel in South Africa, battling the the narrative purported by the BDS movement that the Jewish State is an apartheid regime, and recently released a short video claiming that "slander" against Israel as an apartheid state is "malicious." 

"There is a widespread allegation, really a slander, that Israel is an apartheid state. That notion is simply wrong. It is inaccurate and it is malicious."

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

New Israel Fund: still demonising Israel

On August 20, NGO Monitor published an analysis of the latest available financial reports from the New Israel Fund (NIF), dealing with the facts and figures from 2014. 

...approximately 18% of NIF funding goes to 28 advocacy NGOs that are active, to varying degrees, in political campaigns that involve demonization of Israel, including BDS and lawfare.

....NIF funding for political advocacy NGOs such as Adalah, B'Tselem, Breaking the Silence, and Physicians for Human Rights-Israel increased significantly. These NGOs were also featured in the report of the United Nations Human Rights Council's Commission of Inquiry on the 2014 Gaza War (the Schabas-Davis report). (See here for more details on the involvement of NIF-funded NGOs in the UN commission.) 

Funding also continued to a number of radical fringe NGOs such as Social TV, +972 Magazine, and Human Rights Defenders Fund.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Jewish demographic tailwind

From The Ettinger Report, 1 August 2015, by Yoram Ettinger:

In 1898, the top Jewish demographer, Simon Dubnov, projected 0.5mn Jews in Israel in 2000. He was off by 5.5mn Jews. 

In 1944, the founder of Israel's Central Bureau of Statistics, Prof. Roberto Bacchi, projected 2.3mn Jews in 2001, a 33% minority. He was wrong by 3.7mn Jews. 

In 2015, there are 6.5mn Jews and 3.4mn Arabs in the combined area of Judea, Samaria and pre-1967 Israel: a 66% majority, benefitting from a fertility and migration tailwind.

In June 2015, there is a 1.1mn gap between the real number of Arabs in Judea & Samaria (1.7mn) and the number claimed by the Palestinians (2.8mn).

The 1.1mn excess consists of the inclusion of 400,000 Arabs living abroad for over a year, in defiance of internationally accepted standards, which stipulate their inclusion in the count of their new country of residence.

The 300,000 Jerusalem Arabs are doubly-counted as Israeli Arabs, by Israel, and as Palestinians by the Palestinian Authority.

A 32% excess in the number of births claimed by the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics was documented by The World Bank in a September 7, 2006 study.

While the Palestinians claimed net annual immigration, annual net-emigration of Judea & Samaria Arabs has been documented since 1950. For example, a 25,000 net-emigration was documented in 2014, 20,000 in 2013, 17,000 in the four prior years.  

Over 100,000 Palestinians, who received Israeli ID cards as a result of marrying Israeli Arabs, are doubly-counted as Israelis and Palestinians. 

The Arab population growth rate, in Judea & Samaria, trends sharply downward as a result of surging modernity: expanded education among women, declining teen pregnancy, higher wedding age, shorter reproductive age, intensified use of contraceptives, rapid urbanization and youth emigration. Judea & Samaria Arab fertility rate was 5 births per woman in 2000 and 2.76 births in 2015. Median age was 17 in 2000 and 22.4 in 2015.

Westernization of fertility rate characterizes all Muslim countries other than the sub-Sahara: Iran – 1.8 births per woman, Saudi Arabia – 2.3, Syria – 2.5, Egypt – 2.9, North Africa – 1.8, Jordan – 3.4.

In 2015, Israel's fertility rate (above 3 births per woman) is higher than all Arab countries other than Yemen, Iraq and Jordan.

A 68% increase in the annual number of Jewish births has occurred from 1995 (80,000) to 2014 (136,000), despite a moderate decline in the Ultra-Orthodox fertility rate. Modernity (integration) has lowered Israeli Arab fertility rate, stabilizing the annual number of Arab births at 40,000 during the same period.

The Arab-Jewish gap of fertility was reduced from 6 births in 1969 to 0.3 in 2015. 

The current potential of a 500,000 Aliyah wave (Jewish immigration) in five years - preconditioned upon a pro active Israeli Aliyah policy, which has been absent since 1992 - further bolsters the future of Jewish demography west of the Jordan River.

Demographic reality sheds light on the systematic squandering of the American taxpayers' money by the Palestinian Authority, which receives annual foreign aid, based - partly - on highly inflated numbers.

Once again, conventional so-called wisdom is refuted by reality. The demographic trend is Jewish. Anyone claiming that Israel must concede geography (Judea & Samaria), in order to secure demography is either dramatically mistaken or outrageously misleading.

What do Palestinian Arabs REALLY want?

From Fikra Forum, 21 Aug 2015, by David Pollock:

....In a mid-June poll conducted by the Palestine Center for Public Opinion (based in Beit Sahour, the West Bank), 52 percent of Palestinians living in Israeli-ruled East Jerusalem said they would prefer to be citizens of Israel with equal rights – compared with just 42 percent who would opt to be citizens of a Palestinian state.

This remarkable result confirms and extends a trend first observed five years ago.

In a similar poll in September 2010, one-third picked Israeli over Palestinian citizenship; by September 2011, that proportion had risen to 40 percent. As of today it has risen again to just over half. This is dramatically different from results in the West Bank or Gaza, where a mere 4 percent and 12 percent, respectively, would prefer Israeli citizenship. The latest poll was based on personal interviews by local survey professionals of a representative, geographic probability sample of 504 East Jerusalem Palestinians and comparable samples in the West Bank and Gaza, with a statistical margin of error of approximately 4.5 percent in each area.

In the earlier polls, East Jerusalem respondents mostly cited practical reasons for this preference: better jobs, income, health care and other social benefits, freedom of travel, and the like. Their Israeli residence permits (“blue identity cards”) already provide such advantages over West Bank residents, and they increasingly want to retain those advantages as the Israeli economy prospers while the West Bank stagnates. Similarly, in the current poll, around half (47 percent) say they would take a good job inside Israel. But since such benefits are available to them today even without Israeli citizenship, social taboos and the great practical difficulties of applying for that citizenship mean that only a very small proportion have actually acquired that full formal status to date.

Their everyday access to Israel has probably also made Jerusalem’s Palestinians more sanguine about that country’s long-term future. A majority (62 percent) think Israel will still exist, as either a Jewish or a bi-national state, in 30 or 40 years – compared with just 47 percent of West Bankers and 42 percent of Gazans who think so. They are also somewhat more aware of the city’s history, if perhaps not so much as might be expected. Thirty percent of East Jerusalem’s Palestinians, as against a mere 18 percent of West Bankers, say that there were Jewish kingdoms and temples in Jerusalem in ancient times.

In some other respects, too, East Jerusalem Palestinians have acquired relatively moderate attitudes toward Israel. A stunning 70 percent say they would accept the formula of “two states for two peoples – the Palestinian people and the Jewish people.”

In the West Bank, the comparable figure is 56 percent; in Gaza, 44 percent. An equally noteworthy 40 percent in East Jerusalem say that “Jews have some rights to the land along with the Palestinians” – as against just 13 percent in the West Bank or 11 percent in Gaza. And concerning Jerusalem itself, only 23 percent of its Palestinian residents insist on Palestinian sovereignty over the entire city – just half the percentage with that view in either the West Bank or Gaza.

This does not mean that Jerusalem’s Palestinians are moderate in every respect. For example, 55 percent say that even after a two-state solution, they would still want to “liberate all of historic Palestine,” though not necessarily to expel or disenfranchise Israeli Jews. Combined with their comparatively widespread preference for Israeli citizenship, this may indicate a drift among East Jerusalem Palestinians toward a “one-state solution.” Meanwhile, however, a majority (61 percent) also offer at least verbal support for “armed struggle and car attacks against the occupation.” This figure is somewhat lower than among West Bankers or Gazans, but not by much.

Most surprising of all in this connection are the findings about partisan affinity. Fully 39 percent of East Jerusalem Palestinians say that Hamas “most closely represents your political affiliation.” Possibly this is in part because they are relatively religious; 37 percent pick “being a good Muslim” as their first or second personal priority, from a list of ten diverse options. But even more (47 percent) East Jerusalemites say they are politically “independent.” These numbers may also be somewhat skewed by the reality that Fatah and the Palestinian Authority (PA) are not allowed to operate officially in Jerusalem.

Interestingly, declared support for Hamas is only half as high in Gaza, whose residents have had to live under actual Hamas rule since 2007. And in the West Bank, where the PA rules and sometimes arrests Hamas activists, a mere 11 percent openly affiliate with that party. A plurality of 44 percent identify as “independent.”

Beyond the intrinsic interest of these surprising survey findings, there may be several broader political lessons here.

First, the findings suggest that benefits from practical coexistence may produce a more moderate mindset.

Second, partisan affiliation may not be a good guide to underlying attitudes.

And third, most important, those who care about both democracy and peace would do well to pay more attention to the desires of the Palestinians who actually live in Jerusalem, not just of those who claim to speak on their behalf from outside the city.

Obama's "strategy"

John Kerry introduces Admiral Ace Lyons to speak at a private meeting

James Aloysius "Ace" Lyons, Jr. (born September 28, 1927) is a retired Admiral in the United States Navy who served as Commander, U.S. Pacific Fleet.

On Obama's "strategy"
...It's anti-American, anti-Western...'s pro-Islamic, pro-Iranian, and pro-Muslim Brotherhood