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The Palestinian Refugees: Facts, Figures, and Significance

The Palestinian Refugees: Facts, Figures, and Significance
The Palestinian refugee issue has been seen for some seventy years as a principal obstacle to a resolution of the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians. However, the expanding numbers of refugees from the Middle East and Africa today challenge the uniqueness of the Palestinian situation. In fact, the issue of Palestinian refugees is perceived more as the reflection of an ongoing lapse by Arab countries, Israel, and the international community, which have been unable to separate the solution to this problem from the greater political arrangement between Israel and the Palestinians. Despite the ongoing distress of the refugees, the subject is still seen as the Palestinians’ main bargaining chip in peace negotiations with Israel. However, the value of this historical card appears to be ebbing with the growing numbers of refugees worldwide and the absence of a solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. After seven decades and many changes in the Middle East, perhaps this complex issue should be disconnected from the greater political settlement.

By INSS -- Israela Oron- Monday, February 19, 2018 - Full Story

Trump Administration Policy and American Public Opinion: Implications for Israel

Trump Administration Policy and American Public Opinion: Implications for Israel
United States policy underwent significant changes during the past year under President Trump, as the administration’s national security strategy documents indicated that the shift toward the “America first” strategy was not merely about rhetoric. Recent surveys by the Pew Research Center enable evaluating whether these policy changes correspond to trends in public opinion. If so, one would expect the positions among the public to be long term and continue even after the current administration ends. If, however, the changes are not in line with prevailing public opinion, then the next elections could prompt a return to the American agenda that preceded the current administration. This analysis is important to both Washington’s adversaries and its allies, as it enables them to comprehend the significance of the current change. For Israel, the analysis is especially important, in view of the dramatic change in the ties between the countries since President Trump entered the White House.

By INSS -- Avner Golov- Monday, February 19, 2018 - Full Story

Trump promotes Jordan, downgrades PLO and defunds UNRWA

Trump promotes Jordan, downgrades PLO and defunds UNRWA
US Secretary of State—Rex Tillerson—was in Jordan this week delivering some very good news for Jordan - but not for the PLO and UNRWA.

Tillerson announced America’s commitment to fund Jordan to the tune of $1.275 billion per annum for the next five years - an increase of $275 million per annum over the previous annual commitment of $1 billion per annum during 2015-2017.

Part of this increased funding seems certain to come from defunding UNRWA—which receives about $355 million per annum from America. $65 million to UNRWA has already been frozen following President Trump’s earlier warning.

By David Singer - Sunday, February 18, 2018 - Full Story

Those bribery allegations against Netanyahu look awfully thin

Those bribery allegations against Netanyahu look awfully thin

I am certainly not an expert on Israeli law, and maybe the police have more than they’re letting on. But while the American media are jumping pretty excitedly on the storyline that Benjamin Netanyahu is in trouble over potential bribery charges, neither the known facts nor the reaction of Israel’s political class seem to suggest this amounts to much.

Here’s how Reuters summarizes the facts as they’ve been made public to date:

By Dan Calabrese - Friday, February 16, 2018 - Full Story

Israel’s police joins the political opposition to topple Netanyahu

Israel’s police joins the political opposition to topple Netanyahu
Foreign observers may have a hard time squaring Benjamin Netanyahu’s international stature as a statesman with his suddenly vulnerable position at home.

Abroad, both those that hate the Israeli prime minister and those that admire him view him as a successful leader. His diplomatic skills have transformed Israel from an international pariah, at the mercy of the Palestine Liberation Organization and the international left, to a rising star on the international scene.

Economically, Netanyahu is credited worldwide with shepherding Israel from a sclerotic socialist backwater in the early 1990s into a first world economy and a global leader in innovation and technological advancement.

By Caroline Glick - Friday, February 16, 2018 - Full Story

More than 1.2 million Venezuelans have fled the country in the past two years

More than 1.2 million Venezuelans have fled the country in the past two years
How bad has it gotten in the socialist paradise of Venezuela. Well, lest you forget why the one-time communist countries behind the Iron Curtain in eastern Europe put up walls to keep people in, Venezuela is experiencing a level of migration so astonishing it’s almost never been seen in the Western Hemisphere.

And it’s becoming quite a burden for the magnanimous souls in Colombia, who want to welcome desperate Venezuelans but are finding it difficult to keep up with the onslaught:

By Dan Calabrese - Friday, February 16, 2018 - Full Story

The Evil Marxist Paradise of Millennials

The Evil Marxist Paradise of Millennials
I watched countless videos of Millennials interviewed on various campuses around the nation by people with knowledge of history or survivors of communism who were lucky enough to escape to this country or other western nations whose economies are based on the capitalist free market model and not the socialist one.

In every video, the well-fed and cared for Millennials, in their indoctrinated and delusional rage, shout the praises of socialism and communism without having any idea what socialism and communism are, how deprived and mistreated citizens are under such regimes, and how many millions of innocents were killed in the name of this failed Marxist philosophy they proudly advocate.

By Dr. Ileana Johnson Paugh - Thursday, February 15, 2018 - Full Story

UNRWA Fails its Students but Still Wants More U.S. Money

UNRWA Fails its Students but Still Wants More U.S. Money
The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) has hired a public relations firm, MarathonStrategies.com, to bolster its image after the Trump administration cut back sharply the amount of contributions the United States will be making to the agency. The Trump administration reduced the expected 2018 U.S. contribution of more than $360 million to about $60 million. As part of its Dignity Is Priceless global fundraising campaign to help make up for the shortfall, Scott Anderson, UNRWA’s Director of West Bank Operations, and Peter Mulrean, Director of UNRWA’s Representative Office in New York, spoke to reporters at UN headquarters last week.

By Joseph A. Klein, CFP United Nations Columnist - Wednesday, February 14, 2018 - Full Story

Kim Yo Jong is a Twisted Sister

Kim Yo Jong is a Twisted Sister
The Wall Street Journal

Who is Kim Yo Jong? “Kim Jong Un’s sister is stealing the show at the Winter Olympics,” declared a CNN.com headline. This princess of Pyongyang received a royal welcome from South Korea’s President Moon Jae-in. He seated her in his VIP box, near Vice President Mike Pence, for the opening ceremony. He hosted her for lunch at the presidential Blue House, where she delivered him an invitation for a summit with Mr. Kim. The resulting Reuters headline: “North Korea heading for diplomacy gold medal at the Olympics.”

Missing from most of the media coverage was any detail about Ms. Kim’s day job in Pyongyang. In North Korea this kid sister has served under Big Brother as a deputy director of the powerful and omnipresent Propaganda and Agitation Department. She has apparently racked up a record so stellar that last year the U.S. Treasury blacklisted her as a top North Korean official tied to “notorious abuses of human rights.” Mr. Kim gave her an alternate seat on his politburo.

By Claudia Rosett - Wednesday, February 14, 2018 - Full Story

Israel’s Engagement in Syria: Causes and Significance

Israel’s Engagement in Syria: Causes and Significance
The events on the northern border before dawn on February 10, 2018, beginning with the downing of an Iranian drone that penetrated Israeli airspace, illustrated the fragile dynamic between Iran and Israel in the Syrian arena. On the one hand is Iran’s increasing entrenchment in Syria, a trend evident over the seven years of the Syrian civil war; on the other hand, Israel has expressed its operational determination to prevent such entrenchment, particularly any Iranian construction of military infrastructure, and demanded a full withdrawal from Syria of Iranian elements, Shiite militias, and Hezbollah.

The Iranians determined the timing of these hostilities, although it is doubtful whether they correctly assessed their scope. The dispatch of a drone into Israeli airspace at this point in time is surprising, given the ongoing intensive fighting on multiple fronts and involving multiple rivals in Syria; strong public criticism in Iran of the investment in Syria-Lebanon instead of in Iranian civilian welfare; the efforts of European countries to preserve the nuclear treaty, inter alia by responding to the demands of the Trump administration in the context of opposition to Iran’s missile program and regional policy; and attempts by the Assad regime with Russian assistance to take control of large parts of the country and proceed to the stage of stabilization and reconstruction. These developments are part of the backdrop to the process of seeking a settlement in Syria, which is underway through a number of diplomatic channels and is the focus of attention of the international community, which in any case identifies the Islamic Republic as an element that threatens regional stability.

By INSS -- Carmit Valensi, Zvi Magen, Sima Shine- Wednesday, February 14, 2018 - Full Story

Egypt: Al Sisi’s pre-election maneuvers guarantee his March election victory


Imagine just one of the eighty-seven ancient, Orthodox churches in Egypt now in a heap of rubble fully restored and meeting the needs of the poor at its door. Should the state funds for Egypt’s upcoming presidential election this March be put to better use? Al Sisi has emptied the field of all challengers except for one, and Mr. Musa Mustafa Musa, head of Al Ghad (Tomorrow) Party, has already announced that although he is a candidate “he will give his vote to the president” implying that every Egyptian should do the same. Al-Sisi’s second term will be all but automatic. 

Al Sisi assures his win by ridding all civilian candidates from the slate. Here’s how. A human rights attorney, Kaled Ali, withdrew his campaign after citing the Al Sisi regime’s restrictions on the presidential election process and the oppression of power. A soccer club president and parliamentarian, Mortadi Mansur, decided to withdraw his name after the arrests of two fellow candidates (mentioned below). When the nephew of former President Anwar El Sadat became a candidate he was black-listed from conference rooms and suffered organized attacks and distortion directed at him with limited time to respond due to election bureaucracy, so was forced to withdraw. The race was thereby cleared of all non-military opponents.

By Dr. Ashraf Ramelah - Tuesday, February 13, 2018 - Full Story

What is your problem with a united Jerusalem?

What is your problem with a united Jerusalem?

  • Only the political left supports the idea of a divided Jerusalem, a large slice of the city chopped off for Arabs.
  • Only the left are concerned with Arab rights and never about Jewish rights.
  • Only the left rise in the streets when the Jews are doing the killing and the Arabs are doing the dying.
  • But never when the Arabs are doing the killing and the Jews are doing the dying.
By Andrew G. Benjamin - Monday, February 12, 2018 - Full Story

Rubio: What we need right now is a military coup in Venezuela

Rubio: What we need right now is a military coup in Venezuela
Marco Rubio is much better on foreign policy than he is on economic policy, if only because he represents a state that hates all the right dictators. Nicolas Maduro is uniquely easy to pick out as a ruthless, tyrannical dirtbag. But we don’t deduct points from your correctness score just because there are times when getting it right is like shooting fish in a barrel.

Rubio took to Twitter late last week to urge Venezuela’s military to take down Maduro himself. Maduro tends not to like it when Americans say things like that. We tend not to care. We’re with Rubio on this one:

By Dan Calabrese - Monday, February 12, 2018 - Full Story

North Korean propaganda director threatens South Korea

North Korean propaganda director threatens South Korea
I already discussed the way the media spent its weekend fawning over Kim Jong Un’s sister Kim Yo Jong.  She’s the propaganda chief for North Korea and an integral part of one of the planet’s most horrifically brutal regimes, but they don’t care.  According to the press, she’s “totes adorbs” and had a few swell days pushing her “charm offensive” at the Olympics.

Now, she’s back in the inky-black darkness of North Korea’s electricity-free nights.  But, before she left, she made a comment that should send chills down the spine of every single soul in South Korea.

By Robert Laurie - Monday, February 12, 2018 - Full Story

Pyramid of Greed

Pyramid of Greed
A notable humanistic psychologist Abraham Maslow (1908-1970), considered that “man is a perpetually wanting animal” and researched the dynamics of multiple determinants of human behavior. In “A Theory of Human Motivation” (1943), Maslow presented his views on the hierarchy of needs that serve as our driving force. The psychologist observed” The average member of our society is most often partially satisfied and partially unsatisfied in all his wants”.

Looking at the five-tier “Pyramid of Needs”, I can´t help but wonder how the requisites of an “average member of our society” differ from wishes of wannabe members of the power elite.

By Joanna Rosamond - Monday, February 12, 2018 - Full Story

UN Secretary-General Guterres ignores Jordan-Palestine nexus

UN Secretary-General Guterres ignores Jordan-Palestine nexus
United Nations Secretary-General—Antonio Guterres—displayed how little he knows of the history, geography and demography of Palestine when addressing the opening of the 2018 Session of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People (“CEIRPP”).

Established by the General Assembly in 1975 - CEIRPP was responsible for the publication in 1978 of a false narrative of the Arab-Israel conflict - “The Origins and Evolution of the Palestine Problem 1917-1947” (“UN Study”) - which has undoubtedly influenced United Nations thinking and decision-making.

By David Singer - Sunday, February 11, 2018 - Full Story

The PLO Central Council Convention: Impasse with Possible Opportunity

The PLO Central Council Convention: Impasse with Possible Opportunity
The climax of the recent PLO Central Council convention, which began on January 14, 2018 in Ramallah, was the speech by Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas. On the following day, the Council passed several resolutions that in effect are recommendations to the PLO Executive Committee, the organization’s executive body. Most of the resolutions were in the spirit of Abbas’s recommendations in his speech and resonated of past resolutions.

By INSS -- Kobi Michael- Friday, February 9, 2018 - Full Story

US Palestinian policy – water or gasoline?

US Palestinian policy – water or gasoline
President Trump’s Palestinian policy aims to avoid the critical errors of his predecessors, who joined the 1993 Oslo Process, which relocated 100,000 PLO members – headed by Arafat and Mahmoud Abbas –- from their terrorist headquarters and bases in Tunisia, Libya, Sudan, Yemen and Lebanon to Gaza, and the mountain ridges of Judea and Samaria. It dramatically intensified the terror and hate-education infrastructures of these regions and misrepresented Arafat and Abbas as partners for peaceful-coexistence.

Therefore, it has failed to advance the cause of peace, while undermining US interests.

By Yoram Ettinger - Thursday, February 8, 2018 - Full Story

Venezuela’s socialists not too pleased U.S. is encouraging a military coup

Venezuela's socialists not too pleased U.S. is encouraging a military coup
I wonder if Nicolas Maduro would be glad to renounce all foreign involvement in Venezuela’s politics, which would mean among other things no bailouts from Russia when the socialist workers’ paradise can’t pay its bills.

Bet not.

When you’re starving your people and arresting your political opponents, it’s unsurprising that some people would want you gone. Actually it would be surprising if anyone apart from your most shameless cronies don’t want you gone. The U.S. has been known to invade countries with dictators that treated their people badly. Maduro should be pleased the Trump Administration is merely suggesting the Venezuelan military take care of the problem on their own.

By Dan Calabrese - Monday, February 5, 2018 - Full Story

Venezuela has come to resemble a lower level of Dante’s Inferno

Venezuela has come to resemble a lower level of Dante’s Inferno
WASHINGTON, D.C. —  On January 24, former major league baseball player Marcos Carvajal died of pneumonia. He was only 33.  The common respiratory infection should not have killed him.

But Carvajal was in Venezuela, a country where more than three-quarters of all public hospitals lack basic medicines, and common ailments have become death sentences.

Venezuela’s healthcare system is supposed to be one of Hugo Chavez’s greatest legacies.  But severe shortages of medicines and medical supplies have decimated public healthcare.

By Ana Quintana - Friday, February 2, 2018 - Full Story