UPDATES 9 am Israel time Friday:
*It didn’t take long. Rami Hamdallah, the new, unelected Prime Minister of the PLO/Palestinian Authority has resigned after less than a month on the job. Apparently Hamdallah ran afoul of dictatorial, unelected, PLO/PA chairman Mahmoud Abbas who is unwilling to share any power whatsoever.
But the story is never over in the theater of the absurd known as the PLO/PA “government”. How many times has Abbas resigned only to take back his resignation? How many more times has he threatened to resign (of course, how can one resign an office that one doesn’t hold?)? The question is now whether Abbas will accept Hamdallah’s resignation. We should know by tomorrow.
*The bizarre story of the two Jewish men (in their 20s) who were nearly killed by an Arab mob in the Beit Orot neighborhood of eastern Jerusalem continues today. Two nights ago the two were traveling through the neighborhood in their car when they came under a “rock” attack by Arabs.
When it became clear that they would be killed if they stayed in their car, they jumped out and began running–all the while calling the police. The police finally showed up on the scene 20 minutes later after the two had already reached safety.
No Arabs were or have been arrested.
Instead, the two were cited by the Jerusalem Police this morning “for abandoning their car in a public thoroughfare.”
Back in the United States where your humble servant lives for half of the year, people know UNICEF as the wonderful organization that helps children around the world. We are made specifically aware of this fact at Halloween each year when many young trick or treaters arrive on our doorsteps asking for candy–and pennies to put in the little orange UNICEF boxes they are carrying.
Your humble servant has never contributed a cent.
Why he has not was amply answered yet again today when yet another report was issued accusing the Israeli government of “systematically torturing” Palestinian children. This particular report was issued by the notoriously biased “U.N. Committee on the Rights of the Child”. Consisting of 18 self-proclaimed “independent experts”, the Committee is currently headed by Norwegian Kirsten Sandberg.
In reality, the Committee works in tandem with UNICEF, and today’s report is little more than a replication of a UNICEF report that appeared three months ago. As Israeli government spokesman Yigal Palmor remarked today: “If someone simply wants to magnify their political bias and political bashing of Israel not based on a new report, on work on the ground, but simply recycling old stuff, there is no importance in that.”
But what does “the report” actually say?
According to the report, the “children” referred to are almost exclusively between the ages 13-17 who have have been taken into Israeli custody for such “minor” offenses as “throwing stones”. But if you dig deeply enough in the report, you will discover that the “experts” found that most of these “children” are given “lenient sentences” by Israeli judges or released on their own recognizance.
So how is it that they have been tortured exactly? By being connected to cattle prods? By being whipped and beaten? By having bamboo shoots driven under their fingernails?
Actually, the committee says that it doesn’t really know because Israel refuses to respond to requests for information. But the Committee notes that it has uncorroborated evidence that:
*Israel interrogates prisoners in Hebrew
*Israel brings suspects into court while handcuffed
*Israeli soldiers sometimes surround their jeeps with teenagers to stop other teenagers from attacking the jeeps
*Israel sometimes put older teenagers who are accused of more serious crimes into solitary confinement.
Finally the report has a large section on Israeli “crimes” in Gaza suggesting that Israel indiscriminately targets Gazan children when it responds to missile attacks launched against southern Israel.
Of course there is no mention that the Gaza missiles randomly target Israeli children, that Hamas puts its rocket launchers in schools and peoples’ apartments, or that numerous Gazan children have been killed by errantly fired Hamas rockets.
So what is the bottom line here? The unfortunately reality is that we live in a world in which teenagers (and even younger) are combatants. Nowhere is this more true than in places like Gaza, Judea, and Samaria. Just this week, Hamas has announced that it is running summer camps for 100,000 Gazan children under the age of 13 to learn how to attack Israelis and kidnap Israeli soldiers.
Throughout Judea and Samaria, the “children” described in the report are out everyday throwing “rocks”, Molotov cocktails, and IEDs at Israelis. And this is when they are not trying to stab Jews or shoot them.
The next time UNICEF or the U.N. Committee on the Rights of the Child comes knocking on your door, you know what to do.