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Resources updated between Monday, August 20, 2018 and Sunday, August 26, 2018

August 24, 2018

Israeli Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan (File photo)

Israel hails U.S. for halting U.N. "Human Rights" Council funding Article

August 23, 2018

Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas speaking at the United Nations (File photo)

"Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas reminded us once again last Saturday why he and his Palestinian demi-government may need be sidelined for sake of peace in the region: because he and the so-called 'Authority' in the West Bank are corrupt, ossified and obstructionist in every way.
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At the UN, he has called Israel at various times brutal, aggressive, racist, apartheid, horrific and colonial, and accused it of numerous crimes, including ethnic cleansing and genocide. Then he calls (repeatedly) on the international community to unilaterally recognize Palestinian statehood and to 'compel' Israeli withdrawals without the Palestinians having to compromise at all with Israel.
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Since 2015, Abbas has added to this fanatical portfolio a campaign of whole-scale denial of Jewish national rights in the Holy Land. He has proposed repeated UNESCO and other international resolutions that explicitly dismiss Jewish history in Jerusalem and Zion.

And he continues to rant dangerously about non-existent Israeli 'aggression and provocations against holy al-Aqsa Mosque and Christian sanctuaries in Jerusalem' another way, again, of inciting Palestinian violence against Israel.

So it's no wonder that the emerging American peace initiative seeks to bypass Abbas and his PLO rejectionists, and perhaps to initiate a long process in which Palestinians act to replace their past-sell-date rulers effectively, dictators focused on their own survival in power with more reasonable leaders.
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TO THIS END, the Trump administration's hard-nosed approach to the Palestinians, including its cut-off of aid to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), is useful. As Dr. Einat Wilf and Adi Schwartz write in their important new book, The War of Return, everlasting Palestinian refugee-dom and self-imposed victimhood has been fostered and coddled for too long.

UNRWA is a root problem. It perpetuates the Palestinian dream of return to homes in Jaffa and Haifa, ultimately destroying the Jewish state. 'When 70% of people who live in Gaza believe that they are refugees, and are stamped by the UN as such, you cannot fault them for thinking that their 'right' of return is internationally sanctioned,' Wilf explains. 'This is continuation of war against Israel. PA officials pay lip service to a two-state solution, but in reality are convinced that masses of refugees will return.

'The world literally has no problem telling the Jews that they won't have it all. Why not tell the Palestinians? Why continue to fund a UN agency with more than a billion dollars every year, feeding the delusion of return?..."

Bypass Abbas and Ax UNRWA in Pursuit of Peace Article

U.S. National Security Adviser, John Bolton (File photo)

"US President Donald Trump's national security adviser, John Bolton, said Thursday that the United States will cut funding for the UN Human Right Council and for the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, in the administration's latest blow against the United Nations.

'We are going to de-fund the Human Rights Council,' Bolton said in an interview with the Associated Press, while warning that other UN agencies could also be up for cuts in US funding.
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The move announced by Bolton would mean the Human Rights Council will lose one of its largest donors.
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Bolton rejected claims by some UN officials who insist the council gets its funding through the regular UN budget - meaning that its operating expenses can't be specifically targeted.

The United States pays about 22 percent of the UN budget - its largest single donor - as part of what's known as an 'assessment' based on economic weight and other factors.

'We'll calculate 22 percent of the Human Rights Council and the High Commissioner's budget, and our remittances to the UN for this budget year will be less 22 percent of those costs - and we'll say specifically that's what we're doing,' Bolton said. 'We expect that impact to occur on the Human Rights Council.'..."

Having pulled out of U.N. "Human Rights" Council, Bolton says U.S. will now cut its funding Article

Palestinian rioters along the Gaza border

U.N. Wants To Arm and Defend Terrorists Attacking Israel Article

Israa al-Ghomgham (File photo)

Saudi Arabia may execute female human rights activist Document

A fire along the Gazan border

Life-Saving Trees Burnt by Palestinian Incendiary Kites Document

August 22, 2018

Palestinian rioters along the Gaza border

Head of U.N. Gaza probe resigns Article

August 21, 2018

A mosque in Indonesia (File photo)

An Indonesian court sentenced a Buddhist woman to 18 months in prison for blasphemy on Tuesday, after she was accused of insulting Islam for complaining that neighborhood mosque was too loud.

Meiliana, a 44-year old ethnic Chinese Buddhist had complained the Muslim call to prayer, repeated five times a day, was being played too loudly at the mosque near her house in North Sumatra.

Indonesia has the world's largest population of Muslims and sizable Buddhist, Christian and other religious minorities. Recent years have seen a rise in conservative and hardline interpretations of Islam, prompting fears that the secular nation's long-standing reputation for tolerance and diversity was being eroded.

"She had said something that insulted religion, in this case Islam," said Jamaluddin, spokesman of the Medan district court, adding the defendant had "showed remorse and apologized".

Political activists have said the country's stringent blasphemy laws are being used to bully minorities and violate religious freedoms.

Last year, the former ethnic Chinese governor of Jakarta was tried and jailed for blasphemy after several Muslim groups accused him of insulting Islam when he said his political rivals were using the Koran to deceive voters.

The ruling was widely condemned and believed to be politically motivated. Basuki Tjahaja Purnama also lost his re-election bid because of the accusations.

There are hundreds of thousands of mosques across the vast archipelago and most use loudspeakers to play the 'azan' or call to prayer, which lasts a few minutes. But many also play lengthy versions of prayers or sermons lasting over 30 minutes, which has been deemed unnecessary by the Indonesian Mosque Council.

Vice President Jusuf Kalla, who is also a member of the Council, formed a team in 2015 to review mosques' use of loudspeakers and regulate their use and volume. He has previously called on mosques to use their public address systems "wisely".

Kalla's spokesman did not respond to requests for comment on Meiliana's conviction.

Meiliana's lawyer, Ranto Sibarani, said they would appeal the verdict, according to The Jakarta Post.

Indonesian Buddhist woman imprisoned for complaining mosque too loud Document

Israeli Ambassador to the U.N. Danny Danon (File photo)

Israel to launch #No2Antisemitism campaign at U.N. General Assembly Article

August 20, 2018

Former U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan

"If personal dignity and good intentions are enough to justify a long career, then Kofi Annan deserves all of the plaudits that he's received in the wake of his death at the age of 80.
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But the first line of The New York Times' lengthy and generally laudatory obituary, in which the paper noted that he 'projected himself and his organization as the world's conscience and moral arbiter despite bloody debacles that stained his record as a peacekeeper,' requires a response. The fact that Annan was far from the worst example of those who populated that moral cesspool makes his death an appropriate moment to evaluate the awful failures over which he presided. More than that, a serious discussion of what happened on his watch explains why the entire idea of global institutions has become discredited, despite the continued support it receives from much of the foreign-policy establishment and those associated with the Obama administration.
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Annan believed that his crowning achievement-and something that might perhaps justify the 2001 Nobel Peace Prize he shared with the United Nations as a whole-was a 2005 unanimous U.N. vote to accept the concept of 'the responsibility to protect.'...It was particularly ironic for Annan because it was during his time as the head of U.N. peacekeeping operations that genocides were allowed to happen without the world body or even Western governments that purport to care about the issue lifting a finger to help.
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Annan also was the man who presided over the 'oil for food' scandal-a shocking scam pulled off by his son, Kojo, who traded on his father's prestige in order to profit from crooked deals linked to humanitarian efforts to alleviate the suffering of those who lived in Saddam Hussein's Iraq when it was being sanctioned by the international community for the regime's crimes.
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The same piece points out that Annan also believed he had reformed the United Nations by replacing the corrupt and blatantly anti-Semitic Commission on Human Rights with a new Human Rights Council. The fact that the council turned out to be every bit as bad (if not worse) as the commission it replaced may not be Annan's fault. But it does speak volumes about the illusions that the foreign-policy establishment continues to hold about international institutions of this sort.

That's the worst thing about the plaudits for Annan. Both the U.N. bureaucracy and most of those who claim to be experts on foreign policy tend to confuse their endlessly expressed good intentions about making the world a better or more peaceful place for actually doing things to effectuate those goals..."

Annan's failures explain why the U.N. remains a sad farce Article

UNIFIL peacekeepers near the border between Lebanon and Israel

"The saying that 'insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results' has been attributed to several people over the years, including Albert Einstein. Now, UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres' latest report on the spectrum of options to help protect Palestinians seems like a perfect illustration of that statement.
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Over the years the Palestinians have been one of the major recipients of international aid; indeed, it has been argued that the Palestinians receive one of the highest levels of aid in the world.
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Needless to say, all the international organizations act as advocates for the Palestinians, and are extremely visible, despite what the UN chief may say.

The idea of civilian observers is also not new in our region. In Hebron, after the 1994 massacre of Palestinians by Baruch Goldstein, a Temporary International Presence in Hebron was established to guarantee the safety and protection of Palestinian civilians. Its mandate was revised over the years and its current one was determined in the Hebron Agreement in 1997, under Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. The force was established to guarantee the safety and protection of Palestinian civilians, the same logic and goals as the one the UN is now suggesting for Gaza. The problems of the one-sided mandate of such organizations can be clearly seen following the recent reports of a TIPH observer slashing tires of an Israeli vehicle, or a video that circulated of an observer slapping an Israeli settler child.

Finally, the idea of a UN military or police force to deter or protect civilians is useless in the Palestinian arena due to the already highly politicized reality. Israel has learned that it cannot depend on international forces like UNIFIL and UNDOF for its security concerns. When things get tough, these forces seem to only focus on Israeli violations, repeatedly failing to gain Israel's faith or confidence in their contribution..."

The U.N.'s Insanity on Gaza Article

Fire in southern Israel caused by an incendiary balloon launched from the Gaza Strip on August 18, 2018.

Arson balloons from Gaza spark two fires in southern Israel Document