Gleanings, 13.04.11

NB. Most of the postings (and the regularity of) the Gleanings comes from Fabian Pascal (oao), who blogs at The PostWest.

Mark Silverberg: The Middle East Mindset (MUST READ)

It is now clear why Mahmoud Abbas and his Palestinian Authority have refused negotiations with Israel for more than a year, even after Israel agreed to freeze Jewish construction in Judea, Samaria and Jerusalem: they have been busy working behind the scenes with South American leaders to obtain a declaration of statehood for “Palestine.” Abbas has reason to gloat. President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner of Argentina recently recognized “Palestine as a free and independent state based on its pre-1967 borders,” and other South American countries have followed her lead …

This is what the Arab-Israeli conflict was about in 1948, 1956, 1967 and 1973; this is what the conflict is about today. Are we to believe that U.S., South American and European leaders are ignorant of these facts or willfully blind to them due to their own domestic and foreign agendas? The dispute is, was and always has been about the destruction of Israel as a sovereign Jewish state in the midst of the Islamic world. As such, Israel’s return to the 1949 armistice lines (euphemistically referred to as “borders”) will not mark the end of this conflict. On the contrary, a Palestinian state established on the West Bank and Gaza will serve as the staging area for even further aggression and destabilization in the region — as promised in the Palestinian and Hamas Charters; in the Arab media, schools, summer camps, textbooks, and even crossword puzzles [ and].

Rick Richman: All Set to Be a Failed State

Not to put too fine a point on it: if you can’t finish drafting your constitution; if your “president” is in the seventh year of his four-year term; if you have no functioning legislature and cannot hold parliamentary elections; if half your putative state is occupied by terrorists; if your education system is a cesspool of anti-Semitism; if you insist upon dedicating public squares to those who massacred civilians; if your ruling party is corroded by corruption; if you have no free press or independent judiciary; if you cannot implement anything in negotiations that you refuse to conduct in any event; and if you haven’t finished Phase I of the Roadmap . . . well, you might not be ready for a state.

Efraim Karsh: How Many Palestinian Arab Refugees Were There?

The number of Palestinian Arabs fleeing their homes during the 1948 war has constituted one of the most intractable bones of contentions of the Arab-Israeli conflict, not least since the Palestinians have insisted on the “right of return” of these individuals and their descendants to territory that has long been part of the state of Israel. More than a half-century later, these exaggerated initial numbers have swollen still further: as of June 2000, according to UNRWA, the total had climbed close to three and three-quarters million, though it readily admits that the statistics are largely inflated. For its part the PLO set a still higher figure of 5 million refugees, while Israel has unofficially estimated the current number of refugees and their families at closer to 2 million.

At the end of the war, the Israeli government set the number of Palestinian refugees at 550,000-600,000; the British Foreign Office leaned toward the higher end of this estimate. But within a year, as large masses of people sought to benefit from the unprecedented influx of international funds to the area, some 962,000 alleged refugees had been registered with the newly-established UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA).

[NB: The BBC rpresents five million as the accepted number. -RL]

NGO Monitor Analysis: NGOs vs. Goldstone

Judge Richard Goldstone’s Washington Post op-ed, retracting the substance of the UNHRC “Goldstone Report” on the Gaza conflict, undermines the credibility of the NGOs that provided the false allegations of “deliberate killings” by the IDF. In response, NGOs and NGO officials have issued numerous statements distorting and rewriting Goldstone’s words, in an effort to preserve their credibility.

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