Friday, August 19, 2022

What's With the Money?

In the past, I have published multiple blog posts and a few opeds (2014) on the funding provided by the United States and connected groups to the Arab population in Judea and Samaria which specifically ignores or discriminates against Jewish residents in that same geographical area.

Some examples: here; here; here; and here. There ae many more, going back years. And they include monies for student grants, programs, events, etc.

I had the opportunity recently to engage with an aide to a member of the House Appropriations Committee and I raised the issue, pointing out, besides the discrimination, that getting the two populations to work together on non-politial onerns and interests could possibly lead to a coexistence breakthrough and ultimately, achieve the goals of the programs. My impression was that the matter wasn't seen to be all that the important and moreover, that the discrimination has been dealt with.

So I checked at the website of the Palestinian Affairs Unit which is the former East Jerusalem American Consulate under another name. The Embassy-sponsored programs are separate.

Here are the details of one such aid program, the American Palestinian Arts, Culture, and Sports Initiative. Its objectives they have defined as

the U.S.OPA-PD mission: to advance a comprehensive and lasting peace through a negotiated two-state solution [no other option exists?] to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the development of a vibrant, representative, and responsive Palestinian civil society, private sector, and governing institutions through substantive engagement with American people, institutions, ideas and ideals in order to improve American-Palestinian relations and create greater opportunities for mutually beneficial partnership and cooperation.

So, to improve "Palestinian-Israeli/Jewish residents" is outside the purview of the initiative?

What is its "Priority Region"? Jerusalem, West Bank, and Gaza or a combination of two or three of them. The goal, though, really is to "increase understanding and collaboration between Americans and Palestinians" only.

Eligible primary applicants for grant funding must be not-for-profit Palestinian and/or American organizations working with Palestinians in Jerusalem, the West Bank and/or Gaza.

Another, now closed, funded program involves Journalism Capacity Building. Participants must be "Journalists, media professionals, social media professionals, journalism university students from the West Bank, Gaza, and Jerusalem." Does that include Jewish residents of those areas? Probably not as we read that a goal of the program is to: 

"Improve writing skills for journalists in specialized fields such as gender issues, entrepreneurship and business, economics, technology, foreign policy, democracy, and human rights, environmental issues, and other issues of interest to the United States and Palestinians;" 

as well as to 

"Increase awareness and understanding of American culture, media, society, history and/or current events, as well as of shared American-Palestinian values and interests.

"Palestinians" are who exactly?

This third recent example truly highlights the point I am making: its all about 'forget about the Israelis and the Jews living amongst the Arab population of Judea and Samaria'. It is named the: U.S. Public Diplomacy Palestinian Peacebuilding Program

It is "designed to partner with Palestinian, American, and International non-profit/non-governmental to implement activities which advance the applicant’s goals and the U.S.OPA-PD mission: to advance a comprehensive and lasting peace through a negotiated two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict 

The Priority Region, again, is: Jerusalem, West Bank, and Gaza or a combination of two or three of them

The goals are to: Promote negotiation, non-violence, social change, and civic education; Build capacity of peacebuilding institutions and organizations led by Palestinians; Advance equity with respect to race, ethnicity, religion, income, geography (!!!) 

And who are the eligible Participants and Audiences?

Palestinians in East Jerusalem, West Bank and Gaza. Preference will be given to Palestinian organizations when possible.

I do see that what is not eligible for funding inludes projects relating that support specific religious activities or promote only one faith/religion. But only when type of resident is what is at the basis of this all. 

No mixing. No mingling. Who knows what it might lead to?

Other programs: Advancing Palestinian Women’s Entrepreneurship ProgramMedia Literacy Training and so on like a joint dance show in Bethlehem between Palestinian and American dancers that was preceded by a joint workshop (Palestinian = no Israeli Jews).

If that is what the US wants to be, there'll be no coexistence, no empathy, no cooperation and no compromise, no solution and no peace.


UPDATE    from August 19-26, 2022

In the West Bank, Senior Official Allen will discuss U.S. support for English language teaching and meet Palestinian alumni leaders of U.S. exchange programs.  Senior Official Allen will also join the visit of a U.S. Sports Envoy and participate in their skills-building program for youth.

In Jerusalem, Senior Official Allen will visit the U.S. Embassy’s American Center Jerusalem and learn more about public diplomacy programming innovations in science, technology, education, and entrepreneurship.  She will meet with alumni of U.S. exchange programs from diverse communities, including Haredi, Arabic-speaking, Bedouin, Ethiopian, and Druze.

Senior Official Allen will also meet with counterparts in the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs to discuss efforts to counter public disinformation campaigns and Holocaust distortion, as well as ways to facilitate continued U.S.-Israel academic exchanges, such as the Fulbright Program.


Wednesday, August 17, 2022

How Did Religious Autonomy Settle Into Jerusalem in 1967?

Here is from the recollection of Rephael Vardi who was at first chief of staff to Major General Herzog  who was appointed as the commander of IDF forces in the West Bank during the Six Days War and in December 1967 became commander of the West Bank and in 1974 the Coordinator of Government Operations in the administered territories.

A Supreme Moslem Council had been established by the British Administration early in the 1920s and the infamous Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, Haj Amin el Husseini, was appointed president of the Council...After the Jordanians had annexed the West Bank in 1950, they dissolved the Supreme Moslem Council in Jerusalem. Instead they established in Amman a Ministry for Religious Affairs. This ministry was put in charge of all Arab religious matters in Jordan and in the West Bank formerlymanaged by the Supreme Moslem Council.

In 1967 the 22 local Arab leaders decided to reestablish the Supreme Moslem Council. They informed us, contrary to their earlier request, that foreigners such as ourselves, who were not Moslems (virtually heathens), could not control Moslem religious affairs, though the Jordanian law which prevailed in the West Bank obliged the military government to control and take take of all religious institutions. In addition they decided to establish an Islamic (Shari’a) religious court of appeals in Jerusalem for Jerusalem and the West Bank, and announced that hence they would nominate the justices of this court, as well as of the lower Shari’a courts in Jerusalem and elsewhere in the West Bank. The justices and other officials were employees of the Jordanian government that paid their salaries. When the Israeli administration offered to pay those salaries, they refused, contending that even salaries could not be accepted from us because we were non-Moslems. What is especially interesting to note is that only a few weeks earlier, in June, they had asked us, as the legitimate government of the West Bank and East Jerusalem, to exercise our authority according to Jordanian law and to organize and control the same religious affairs.

The Supreme Moslem Council, which still exists today, was accepted by the population in those years as the political as well as the religious leadership of Jerusalem and the West Bank. The Council led and inspired the resistance that started against the military occupation of the West Bank and the Israeli authorities in Jerusalem. Strikes started gradually in August-September 1967, and then built up to a crescendo in 1968 and 1969...

The majority of the members of the Supreme Moslem Council were secular, not religious leaders. When they started leading the resistance, we expelled some of them and restricted the movement of others. As a result the Council’s overt activities concentrated more on religious matters while their political and other anti-Israeli activities were covert...The Council, to the contrary, did recognize the authority of the military government in the West Bank and East Jerusalem and tried to involve it in matters concerning Jerusalem. The Council was consistent in its refusal to recognize the Israeli civilian authorities in Jerusalem and entirely disregarded them, but was willing to deal with the Military Government in matters concerning Jerusalem...The Council cooperated, to a certain extent and when necessary, with the Jerusalem municipality. Years later, out of necessity, they “recognized” the Prime Minister of Israel, but failed to recognize the Ministries of Interior and Religious Affairs and refused to cooperate with them.

The Supreme Moslem Council acted in religious matters with complete independence. Our policy was not to intervene because we did not want religious matters to become issues of controversy between us.


Monday, August 15, 2022

The Parker Expedition Postscript

Over a three year period, between 1909 and 1911,  Montagu Parker oversaw an excavation near, and then in, the Temple Mount.


In April 1911 they bribed the guardian of the Haram al-Sharif to let them dig in the Dome of the Rock. They were discovered and riots and disorder broke out.

But what happened to the local officials?

We know that Governor Azmey Bey was fined $25,000 for allowing a dig in oriental disguise on the Temple grounds after dark. Historians have noted that Azmey Bey included Sheikh Khalil al-Ansari, the superintendent of the Haram, in this agreement and 'An angry crowd of Muslims and Jews', "united for this one and only time in their indignation", tried to lynch Sheikh Khalil al-Ansari and the translator Hagop Makasdar in Jerusalem. Only the arrest by Ottoman soldiers saved their lives. (Al-Ansari was later executed; Makasdar, the only member of the expedition whose authorities could get hold of him, was sentenced to prison.

More in this book.

According to Ha-Herut newspaper published in Jerusalem, in its December 11, 1912 edition, there was a trial

and we know that Khalil was given a year's imprisonment, his sons, Hassan and Said were given three months imprisonment and Anoub, head of the gendarmerie, and two other security officials were sentenced to a month each. Having been incarcerated during their trial for more than that period, they were immediately released.


Tuesday, August 09, 2022

Arab Rights and Jewish Rights: Jaffa 1936

In June 1936, a significant section of Jaffa was demolished due to the need for British security forces to combat growing Arab terror.

But there was a side concern: what to do with now homeless Arabs?

Here is an academic article on the matter.

And here is a parliamentary question from December:


HC Deb 16 December 1936 vol 318 

22. Colonel WEDGWOOD asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies whether he has authorised the expenditure of £15,000 which has been assigned from Palestine revenues to build a village for the Jaffa Arabs evicted from that town; and whether anything similar is being done for the Jaffa Jews who were forced to leave Jaffa and live elsewhere?

Mr. ORMSBY-GORE The Palestine Government has been authorised to expend £15,000 on the erection of houses, for which a suitable rent will be charged, to accommodate 100 Arab families rendered homeless by the special demolitions in Jaffa undertaken by Government in the circumstances explained in my reply to a question in the House on 24th June by the hon. Member for West Fife (Mr. Gallaeher). I understand that in consultation with the appropriate Jewish bodies the Palestine Government has agreed to contribute about £5,000 towards the cost of maintenance and rehabilitation of Jewish refugees in Tel-Aviv from Jaffa and elsewhere.

Colonel WEDGWOOD Seeing that the Jewish refugees from Jaffa outnumber the Arab refugees by about 20 to one, will the right hon. Gentleman make representations to the Palestine Government that the rebuilding which they are doing for Arab refugees should be paralleled by rebuilding for the Jewish refugees?

Mr. ORMSBY-GORE I do not think that I can accept the right hon. and gallant Gentleman's figures, nor can I accept his description of these particular Arabs as refugees. In the military interests, and in the interests of peace and order in Jaffa, it was decided to dynamite two lines through the town. The Royal Engineers blew up the houses, and I think the Palestine Government have the duty of rehousing these people elsewhere, as they are now doing.

Colonel WEDGWOOD Does the right hon. Gentleman not see that the Jews who were driven out of Palestine owing to the danger of assassination have exactly the same case for rehousing, with Government assistance, as the Arabs?

Mr. ORMSBY-GORE Then it would be the duty of the Government to re-house almost everybody who have been removed or have removed themselves during a period of disturbance and disorder which we all regret. I cannot commit the Government to that.

Colonel WEDGWOOD I am sorry to be persistent, but is it possible now for the Jews to go back to Jaffa with safety, or is the protection still inadequate?

Mr. ORMSBY-GORE I hope that when we know what the policy of the future is to be, when we have the report 2438of the Royal Commission and the whole Palestine question is cleared up, it may be possible for Jews and Arabs to live as they have up to this year in friendly accord in Jaffa.