Arabs and Muslims Run to Israel
Many Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip have a dream: to work or live in Israel. Some even say they are prepared to pay large sums of money to obtain Israeli citizenship.
Others pay a lot of money to Palestinian and Jewish traffickers who help them bypass checkpoints to enter Israel in search of work and good life.
These are not self-hating Palestinians. Nor are they "pro-Israel traitors" who support the Zionist movement.
Many Palestinians feel that neither Fatah nor Hamas has done enough to alleviate their suffering. Many Fatah leaders who stole billions of dollars of international donations earmarked for the Palestinians have invested their fortunes in hotels, tourist resorts and real estate firms in the West. Hamas, on the other hand, prefers to spend millions of dollars on purchasing [and smuggling] large amounts of weapons, including rockets and ammunition.
It is a disgrace for Arab and Muslim dictators, particularly those who make billions of dollars from selling oil, that their constituents have to seek work and refuge in Israel and the West. It is also a disgrace for Fatah and Hamas that thousands of Palestinians cannot find jobs or a good life in the two Palestinian states in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.
Arab and Islamic regimes are spending billions of dollars on building new mosques and madrasas while nearly half of their people are illiterate and live under the poverty line. University graduates in these countries are forced to search for work in the West because of poor working conditions and lack of opportunities.
The absence of good government, transparency, accountability and democracy in these countries is driving Arabs and Muslims to seek work and a better life not only in North America and Europe, but even in places like Israel.
A wealthy Arab prefers to spend millions of dollars on a private zoo than building a hospital or a university. Why should he when he and his family members could travel anytime they wish to receive medical treatment at Mayo Clinic or study at Harvard University?
In many ways, these Palestinians are not different from the African immigrants who try to infiltrate Israel every day through Egypt. The immigrants come from Sudan, Ethiopia, Eretria, Nigeria and other African countries.
Like the Palestinians, the Africans are prepared to pay a lot of money to get into Israel. Egyptian traffickers charge up to $1,000 for each immigrant.
But for the African immigrants, the journey is also a very dangerous one. In the past three years, Egyptian border guards have shot and killed dozens of African men and women who tried to cross the border into Israel.
Last week a 23-year-old Sudanese man was fatally shot by Egyptian troops as he tried to enter Israel. Another four asylum-seekers were taken into custody.
While the Egyptians are killing the African immigrants, Israel is providing the lucky ones who manage to cross the border with jobs, as well as medical and social services.
True, Israel is not 100% perfect. But an African Muslim or Christian still prefers Israel to countries like Egypt, Jordan, Syria, Saudi Arabia and Iran. As a "refugee" from Darfour, Sudan, who now lives in Tel Aviv, explained: "I feel more secure in the Jewish state than in Sudan or any Arab or Islamic country."
For many Palestinians, it is easier to find a job in Israel and Canada than in any Arab or Islamic country, most of which impose strict travel and work restrictions on them. Palestinians cannot enter most Arab and Islamic countries without a visa.
One can understand why a Palestinian needs a visa to enter the US or any European country. But why does a Palestinian need a visa to visit his relatives in Syria, Lebanon and Egypt?
Many Palestinians from the West Bank who visit Arab countries often find themselves thrown into detention centers for weeks, months and years without trial. Hundreds, if not thousands, of Palestinians are believed to be languishing in prisons throughout the Arab world, especially in Syria and Egypt.
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by Khaled Abu Toameh
"Armed robbery in broad daylight." — Palestinians, after Hamas "seized" $750,000 from Gaza bank.
Fatah accused Hamas of "squandering" $700 million of financial aid earmarked for the Palestinian victims of war. Fatah wants to ensure that the millions of dollars intended for the Gaza Strip will pass through its hands and not end up in Hamas's bank accounts. Relying on Fatah in this regard is like asking a cat to guard the milk.
The head of the Palestinian Authority's Anti-Corruption Commission revealed that his group has retrieved $70 million of public funds fund embezzled by Palestinian officials. Arab and Western donors need to make sure that their money does not end up (once again) in the wrong hands. Without a proper mechanism of accountability and transparency, hundreds of millions of dollars are likely to find their way into the bank accounts of both Hamas and Fatah leaders.
by Mudar Zahran
"If Hamas does not like you for any reason all they have to do now is say you are a Mossad agent and kill you." — A., a Fatah member in Gaza.
"Hamas wanted us butchered so it could win the media war against Israel showing our dead children on TV and then get money from Qatar." — T., former Hamas Ministry officer.
"They would fire rockets and then run away quickly, leaving us to face Israeli bombs for what they did." — D., Gazan journalist.
"Hamas imposed a curfew: anyone walking out in the street was shot. That way people had to stay in their homes, even if they were about to get bombed. Hamas held the whole Gazan population as a human shield." — K., graduate student
"The Israeli army allows supplies to come in and Hamas steals them. It seems even the Israelis care for us more than Hamas." — E., first-aid volunteer.
"We are under Hamas occupation, and if you ask most of us, we would rather be under Israeli occupation… We miss the days when we were able to work inside Israel and make good money. We miss the security and calm Israel provided when it was here." — S., graduate of an American university, former Hamas sympathizer.
by Ben Cohen
Now, with the Islamic State's self-proclaimed caliphate having captured key oil wells in the Middle East this year, foreign oil has become an even more lethal financial weapon-of-choice for those seeking to destroy democracy and further escalate the War on Terror.
That President Barack Obama failed even to mention oil as a critical factor in the war against IS during his speech to the nation on September 10, is an omission both revealing and dangerous in terms of how his administration wants to depict the stakes involved in this latest confrontation with the jihadis.
by Lawrence A. Franklin
One Pakistani recruiter of child suicide bombers describes these children as "tools provided by God."
Another Muslim cleric in a madrassa [Islamic boys' school] describes child suicide bombers as "a gift from Allah that we have an unlimited number willing to be sacrificed to teach Americans a lesson."
Using children as suicide bombers will stop when... they stop "condoning the killing of innocents."
by Denis MacEoin
"No religion condones the killing of innocents." — U.S. President Barack Obama, September 10, 2014.
"Islam is a religion of peace." — U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron, September 13, 2014.
"There is a place for violence in Islam. There is a place for jihad in Islam." — U.K. Imam Anjem Choudary, CBN News, April 5, 2010.
Regrettably it is impossible to re-interpret the Qur'an in a "moderate" manner. The most famous modern interpretation by Sayyid Qutb (d. 1966), the Muslim Brotherhood ideologue, leads the reader again and again into political territory, where jihad is at the root of action.
If they deviated from the true faith -- as we are seeing in the Islamic State today -- "backsliders," like pagans, were to be fought until they either accepted Islam or were killed.
In India alone, between 60 and 80 million Hindus may have been put to death by Muslim armies between the years 1000-1525.