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What's Happening With the Palestinians?

With all the talk about Israel and the Arab World these past few weeks, and the changing Middle East, it is easy to look past what is going on with the Palestinians. Here are the stories that you should know from the past few weeks, courtesy of your Israel tour guide.

The Arab states are tired of giving money to the Palestinians. Basically because they know that so much of it is either siphoned off to secret bank accounts or goes to help further terror and extremism. That and the fact that they are cozying up to the new Middle Eastern order. And they have stopped paying. Plus the Europeans have finally started to investigate where some of there money is going (it took them long enough) and have started to pull out of various projects.

Even though the Palestinian Authority has lost 70% of its income,their leader Mahmoud Abbas has been refusing to accept the taxes collected by Israel on their behalf (these are VAT on import/exports as they need to use Israeli ports and airports). This makes up another huge amount of the Palestinians' budget and doing this is causing salaries to not get paid (though there is always money for "martyrs" in Israeli jails and their families). It has led to an economic disaster for Palestinians and their anger at Abbas for not coming down from his ideological tree is rising. Abbas refused to take the tax money in protest of Israel's potential annexation on July 1 which is now three months past happening and which has been frozen due to the peace agreement with the UAE. He previously had refused to accept the tax money because Israel decided to deduct from the taxes all the money the Palestinians were [are still] paying terrorists and their families (the more Israelis you murdered, the more money you receive).

Meanwhile, Fatah and Hamas have been holding numerous talk about having a unified response to being "stabbed in the back" by the Arab world. Fatah and Hamas have tried several times to "unify" in the last number of years since their mini-war 15 years ago, but it has never been successfully sustained. For more click here:

A hole mysteriously opened on the Temple Mount floor in the southwest corner of the compound. It was a chance to look around and see what was there but instead of the Israeli Antiquities Authorities being allowed to investigate, the Islamic Waqf filled it in, as G-d forbid anything Jewish be found there.

Famed Palestinian hijacker/terrorist/"resistance fighter' Leila Khaled, of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine - which is designated as a terror organization by Israel and the USA among other countries - had her online appearance shut down by social media. Khaled hijacked two separate planes and when she was caught, tried to throw a grenade on one of them. She was invited to speak by San Francisco State University whose chancellor recently had the gall to write an op-ed in a local Jewish newspaper as to why this was a good idea. Unfortunately the laws of the USA did not seem to agree; it was cancelled by Zoom, refused by Facebook and then shut down by YouTube before it could get going.

Meanwhile, as of two years ago some 400,000 Palestinians had been killed in Syria. And now their largest refugee camp is being dismantled and the remaining residents ethnically cleansed from it to make room for Syrians who need new homes. You won't hear any of this on the news, however, because Israel is not involved and it highlight an uncomfortable truth for many pro-Palestinian supporters - as incredible as it might sound - that Israel has treated that Palestinians better than virtually every nearby Arab country (Jordan being one notable exception).

One thing Israel has not done well with - and something which I have argued against numerous times - has unfortunately happened again: A Jerusalem court - in two separate cases - has ordered Palestinians to be evicted from homes because they belonged to Jews pre-1948. It is often forgotten that many Jews whose homes were destroyed or who were forced to flee their homes in ethnic cleansing during the War of Independence [and yes, of course there were many Arabs to whom this happened as well]. The problem is if you start to say that Jews can return to their homes (or those homes), than what is to stop a Palestinians from wanting to return to their homes. While it may be painful for people involved, I think this is a can of worms that should not be opened. And it should definitely not be allowed for one side and not the other. Hopefully a higher court will rectify this decision.

People sometimes ask why are there Israeli checkpoints? I believe there is a difference between internal (those set up in between Palestinian-controlled areas) and external checkpoints (those that enter into Israel). The external ones are absolutely necessary - just as you would go through a security check when entering into a different country - whereas the internal ones should be used sparingly and only when absolutely necessary security-wise. When people say, well why are you checking ambulances and babies and kids - well, unfortunately, Palestinians have used all of these to try and bring weapons (and sometimes terrorists) into Israel. Here is a sad reminder of that from just a few weeks ago [note this is not necessarily meant for terror but could just be part of rising crime issues in Arab villages in Israel]. The gun was put in her backpack by her family, thinking it would not be checked by the Israeli authorities. Fortunately the Israelis are as stringent at checking things as they are.

Gaza - which due to its very nature had been one of the best places to be as far as coronavirus is concerned - has been dealing with its first outbreak of unknown origin. An excellent first-person article in the Washington Post talks about what it has been like there at this time.

And finally, two amazing human interest stories. One is a Palestinian from Gaza who fled from hatred, moved to Israel, converted to Judaism and just got married.

The other is the story of a stateless Palestinian woman who discovered her Sephardi Jewish roots, which allowed her to get citizenship from Spain. Unfortunately the Arab League ruled to not give Palestinians citizenship (only Jordan diverged from that) and nowhere is the discrimination against Palestinians worse than in Lebanon, where her family is from. That being said, her last night refers to a town in Turkey - which gives us the Sephardi Jewish connection.

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