Dear Friend of FLAME:
This New Year finds the Palestinians, led by the Palestinian Authority (PA), in much the same sad place as last year. Simply put, the PA continues to face abject financial, political, and moral bankruptcy.
Yet of course the PA won't admit their dire problems, and the U.S., the E.U., the Arab and Muslim nations---in fact every member of the United Nations---refuses to face these facts.
Indeed, the U.N. General Assembly, in a typically logic- and fact-mocking move, recently granted "Palestine" observer state status. The Palestinians are no more a sovereign state than Spanish Catalonia or Indian Kashmir. At least those provinces have functioning regional governments, which the Palestinians do not.<
This week's FLAME Hotline article, by Israeli Arab Khaled Abu Toameh, boldly illuminates many of the "inconvenient truths" the PA is desperately trying to hide.
From the continued mistreatment of Palestinian Christians---who continue to leave areas controlled by the PA---to the continued intimidation and arrest of anyone who dares to speak out against them, it's clear that the PA operates in a moral vacuum. In fact, just this week, the legal advisor of President Mahmoud Abbas has stated that Abbas has no plans to outlaw the barbaric practice of honor killings against women.
What's more, in the past week Abbas' legal advisor reported that "the Palestinian Authority's financial crisis may prevent it from joining several international and United Nations institutions." However, despite the P.A.'s utter financial shambles, a member of the PLO executive committee was photographed while shopping with his family at an Israeli mall, along with his private driver and maid.
Hypocritically enough, just a few months ago, the Palestinian Authority announced an economic boycott of Israel, knowing full well that the Palestinian economy is totally dependent on Israel's. Apparently this economic sacrifice only applies to the average Palestinian, and not to elite officials.
Perhaps most outrageously, as they have consistently done during the Christmas season, the Palestinians again claim that Jesus was actually an ancient Palestinian. An editorial in the PA official daily news even went so far as to declare that the three greatest Palestinians are Jesus, Arafat, and Abbas.
Through these and many other examples, the PA continues to demonstrate how utterly incapable it is of conducting the affairs of an actual state. From a moral, financial, or political perspective, the Palestinians may be further than they have ever been from successfully governing themselves.
To help make these inconvenient truths known to your friends, colleagues, and fellow congregants, I urge you to pass this week's Hotline along using the "send to a friend" button at the bottom of this email, or using the buttons above to share it via social media.
Thanks for your continued support of Israel, and thank you for your support of FLAME.
FLAME Hotline Contributor
Since much of the world, including, unfortunately, the Obama administration, makes so much of the so-called settlements in Judea and Samaria (also called the West Bank), we at FLAME have issued a position paper on this question that I think you'll appreciate. It's called "The Myth of 'Settlements': Are they indeed the 'root cause' of violence in the Middle East?" This hasbarah message explains the historically unbreakable bond of Jews to the Holy Land and why these rights equal and in many cases exceed those of the Palestinian Arabs. We've published this bold position paper in media reaching more than 10 million people and delivered it to all U.S. Senators and Representatives. Ask yourself: If FLAME doesn't keep trumpeting the truth about Jewish rights to the Holy Land, who else will tell this story in mainstream media? If you agree that these kinds of forceful advocacy efforts on behalf of Israel are essential, I urge you to support us. Remember: FLAME's ability to influence public opinion comes from individuals like you, one by one. I hope you'll consider giving a donation now, as you're able---with $500, $250, $100, or even $18. (Remember, your donation to FLAME is tax deductible.) To donate online, just go to http://www.factsandlogic.org/make_a_donation.html. Now more than ever we need your support to ensure that Israel gets the support it needs---from the U.S. Congress, from President Obama, and from the American people.
The Palestinian Authority's Inconvenient Truths
by Khaled Abu Toameh, Gatestone Institute, January 3, 2013
The truth sometimes hurts; that is why the Palestinian Authority has been working hard to prevent the outside world from hearing about many occurrences that reflect negatively on its leaders or people.
In recent years, the Palestinian Authority leadership, often with the help of the mainstream media in the US and EU, has been successful in its effort to divert all attention only toward Israel.
Following are examples of some of the inconvenient truths that the Palestinian leadership in the West Bank do not want others to know about:
- Over 100 senior PLO and Fatah officials hold Israeli-issued VIP cards that grant them various privileges denied to most Palestinians. Among these privileges is the freedom to enter Israel and travel abroad at any time they wish. This privileging has existed since the signing of the Oslo Accords between Israel and the PLO in 1993.
- Out of the 600 Christians from the Gaza Strip who arrived in the West Bank in the past two weeks to celebrate Christmas, dozens have asked to move to Israel because they no longer feel comfortable living under the Palestinian Authority and Hamas.
- Dozens of Christian families from east Jerusalem have moved to Jewish neighborhoods in the the city because they too no longer feel comfortable living among Muslims.
- Palestinian Authority security forces in the West Bank continue to summon and arrest political opponents, journalists and bloggers who dare to criticize the Palestinian leadership.
- The Palestinian Authority government, which has been complaining about a severe financial crisis for the past few months, just cancelled outstanding electricity debts for Palestinians in the West Bank. Palestinians pay their bills to the Arab Jerusalem Electric Company, which buys electricity from the Israeli Electric Company; the Palestinians have not been paying their electricity bills and many have been stealing electricity from their Arab company.
- Tens of thousands of Palestinian Authority civil servants in the Gaza Strip receive salaries to stay at home and not work. The practice has been in effect since Hamas seized control over the Gaza Strip in 2007. According to Fatah spokesman Ahmed Assaf, the Palestinian Authority, which is funded mostly by American and European taxpayer money, spends around $120 million each month on the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip.
- Mahmoud Abbas's ruling Fatah faction has allocated more than one million dollars for celebrations marking the 48th anniversary of the "launching of the revolution" -- a reference to the first armed attack carried out by Fatah against Israel.
- Despite the calls for an economic boycott of Israel, more than 40,000 Palestinians have received permits to work in Israel. Moreover, another 15,000 Palestinians continue to work in Jewish settlements in spite of an official ban.
- Top PLO and Fatah officials continue to do their shopping in Israeli-owned businesses both in the West Bank and Israel. Last week, for example, a member of the PLO Executive Committee and his family were spotted shopping in Jerusalem's Malha mall. Of course, the PLO official did not forget to bring along his private driver and maid.
- The wife of a senior PLO official recently spent $20,000 for dental treatment in Tel Aviv at a time when there is no shortage of renowned Palestinian dentists in Ramallah, Bethlehem and Nablus.
These are only some of the inconvenient truths that the Palestinian Authority does not want the outside world to know. Palestinian journalists often avoid reporting about such issues out of concern for their safety or for "ideological" reasons. These journalists have been taught that it is forbidden to hang out the dirty laundry.
Western journalists, funders and decision-makers who deal with the Israeli-Palestinian conflict need to know that there are many truths being completely ignored or hidden from their eyes and ears.