Birthplace of Christ Used in Bid for Palestinian Statehood
The issue is not genuinely about a two-state solution – as many are fooled into believing. Lethal opposition to the State of Israel remains fierce. This tiny democracy, Israel, which lives by individual freedoms, equal justice under law and respect for universal human rights, is an affront to these autocratic regimes.
The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), will soon decide whether to honor the Palestinian application to award The Church of the Nativity the designation of a World Heritage Site—a title reserved for locations considered to have outstanding Universal Value.
The World Heritage Committee is now meeting in Saint Petersburg, Russia, presumably to decide to whom to award the Church of the Nativity, said to be the birthplace of Christ, as well as the Pilgrimage Route in Bethlehem.
Here is where it gets problematic: although only applicants recognized as having an independent state are eligible for consideration, the Palestinians are being considered even though they do not meet that qualification.
This ambitious move by the Palestinian Authority [PA] started in February 2011; Palestinian Tourism Minister Khulud Daibes was explicit about the motive: "The timing is crucial for us; it is part and parcel of our plan to end the (Israeli) occupation and build the institutions of the state of Palestine."
The drive to have the Church of the Nativity recognized as a global heritage site is nothing short of offensive. Christians have been driven out of their ancestral lands; Palestinians have shown nothing but hostility to both Christians and Jews. Moreover, Christ himself was a Jew.
Upon the birth of the State of Israel in 1948, Bethlehem had a Christian population of over 80 percent. With the rise of the Muslim population, Christians dwindled in numbers. Yasser Arafat and the Palestinian Authority took over the town in 1995, thanks to the Oslo Accords. Along with the PA, came a tribal political system which caused Bethlehem's Christian population, already at 15%, to further sink to 2% today. Under this political system Christians are targeted, seen as inferiors, and subjected to threats, violence, discrimination and acts of terrorism.
Upon entering Bethlehem Yasser Arafat was strategic in overtaking the Christian populace. He first expanded municipal boundaries to include 30,000 Muslims living in refugee camps, as well as Muslim Bedouins who lived east of the town.
The first and second intifadas further drove Christians out of their ancestral town as they became trapped in the crossfire between the Palestinians and Israelis. The violent struggle predictably drew international attention, and created the ideal platform for Palestinian sympathizers to levy blame on the so-called Israeli "occupation."
Israel's so-called "occupation" and "aggression" were solely based on self defense: both the Palestinian and Hamas Charters call for Israel's obliteration; Israel's southern cities is still live under nearly daily attack by hostile Arab States and forces seeking its destruction.
The Muslim aggression on the other hand is based on a conditioned, generational hatred against the Jews (and Christians) evidently determined to see the Jews of the State of Israel, a country the size of Vancouver Island, pushed into the sea, while an Islamic Caliphate is formed to rule the Middle East.
This tiny democracy, Israel, which lives by individual freedoms. equal justice under law, and respect for universal human rights, is an affront to these autocratic regimes.
In mid-June, Palestinian Media Watch identified a program in which children are being indoctrinated to hate Jews and Christians.
Given the plight of beleaguered Christians in Bethlehem, the Palestinian delegation to UNESCO still brazenly included duplicitous high praises for the Christian heritage in its application, while Islamicizing the Christian tradition: "Jesus' role as Issa,," it stated,"the divinely inspired prophet in Islamic belief, is equally significant and underscores the sanctity of the place;" and further, that "there is no other site in the world that bears such an exceptional outstanding religious value for more than 2 billion Christians. There is only one site in the world that has the honor of being the birthplace of Jesus."
As one step closer to the Arab vision of Palestinian statehood, the U.N. General Assembly voted to allow Palestine admission as a full member into UNESCO last October after President Mahmoud Abbas—whose PhD featured Holocaust denial-- unilaterally made a case for Palestinian statehood and full U.N. membership.
Many Western nations condemned this unilateral maneuver, and protested that it would be best to allow negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians to continue -- yet even to begin negotiations, Palestinians should first recognize the fundamental right of Israel to exist as a Jewish state, and change the contents of their charters to reflect this change. How can anyone negotiate anything with people who state that you have no right to exist?
The issue is not genuinely about a two-state solution -- as many are fooled into believing. In 1947 the United Nations already came up with a two-state solution when it recommended partitioning Palestine into two states, one Jewish, one Arab; so there would have been a Palestinian state in 1948. But instead five Arab counties went to war against the new Jewish state to try to obliterate it at birth.
Today, sadly, nothing has changed. Lethal opposition to the existence of Israel remains fierce, including this current, more subtle provocation from a territory now using a Christian holy site -- the Church of the Nativity -- to try to advance a most un-Christian agenda.
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by Khaled Abu Toameh
It is important to note that these cease-fire demands are not part of Hamas's or Islamic Jihad's overall strategy, namely to have Israel wiped off the face of the earth.
Many foreign journalists who came to cover the war in the Gaza trip were under the false impression that it was all about improving living conditions for the Palestinians by opening border crossings and building an airport and seaport. These journalists really believed that once the demands of Hamas and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad are accepted, this would pave the way for peace between the Israelis and the Palestinians.
To understand the true intention of Hamas and its allies, it is sufficient to follow the statements made by their leaders after the cease-fire announcement this week. To his credit, Ismail Haniyeh, Hamas's leader, has never concealed Hamas's desire to destroy Israel.
Hamas and its allies see the war in the Gaza Strip as part of there strategy to destroy Israel. What Hamas and its allies are actually saying is, "Give us open borders and an airport and seaport so we can use them to prepare for the next was against Israel."
by Burak Bekdil
A front-page headline was particularly revealing: They (Israel) bombed a mosque in Gaza! Including the exclamation mark!
A quick internet search, if you typed "mosque bombing Shiite-Sunni," would give you 782,000 results on July 16.
Why did we not hear one single Turkish voice protest the death of 300,000 Muslims in Darfur?
Hamas's Charter is must-read fun.
by Bassam Tawil
What is sad is that the Gazans have not yet been able to free themselves from the yoke of Hamas.
The world seems not to understand that Hamas, like ISIS and the Muslim Brotherhood, does not exist in a vacuum. It is one cog in the radical Islamist wheel that threatens the Arab and Muslim world and the major cities of Europe.
The Western world also seems not to understand that it has to incapacitate or totally neutralize the countries funding terrorism, such as Iran, Qatar and Turkey, for whom the Palestinian problem is only a pretext on the way to destroying the Western world as we know it and replacing it with only Islam.
by Burak Bekdil
Hamas spokesman Sami Abu-Zuhri said: "All Israelis are legitimate targets." What would the Palestinian death toll have been if Mr. Netanyahu's spokesman declared all Palestinians as legitimate targets?
Underdog-nation romanticism tells us Israel should not respond when under rocket attack because it is capable of intercepting the rockets.
That there are fewer Israeli casualties does not mean Hamas does not want to kill; it just means, for the moment, Hamas cannot kill.
by Soeren Kern
Austria figures prominently in a map produced by the IS that outlines the group's five-year plan for expanding its caliphate into Europe, and has emerged as a central hub for jihadists seeking to fight in Syria.
"The spectrum of recruits for the conflict in Syria is ethnically diverse. The motivation, however, appears to be uniformly jihadist." — Austrian intelligence agency BVT.
"Allah also gives you the opportunity to wage jihad in Austria." — Austrian jihadist Firas Houidi.
"We are proud that Allah has chosen us. We feel like lions." — Austrian jihadist Abu Hamza al-Austria.