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Wednesday, August 20, 2003

When Rachell Corrie of the so called peacufull movement, ISM, was killed by accident by an Israeli bulldozer people made a big fuzz. That is understandable, it was an accident that should not have happened.

5 Americans were killed in yesterday's horrific suicide bombing and you do not hear much about it.

Lets recap, a suicide bombing has the intention of killing civilians, that is its stated purpose. In this case, including a 5 year old and her Mother from New York. There is a very large difference between an idiotic accident and this despicable act. Sadly enough many cannot tell the difference and will call it the same, moral equivalency.

Tuesday, August 19, 2003

The BBC is a sad little entity when it comes to news, but great when it comes to entertainment. The sad thing is that their news tends to be entertainment, facts wrapped around a theme, a story based on a true story. They have a mission, and factual balanced reporting is not it.

The Weekly Standard does a good job deconstructing the BBC:

THE WAR IN IRAQ has left in its wake a string of embarrassments for the BBC that have many questioning its privileged status. Throughout the war, the BBC was consistently--and correctly--accused of antiwar bias. These accusations began almost as soon as the fighting did, when the BBC described the death of two Royal Air Force crew members, after their jet was accidentally downed by a U.S. Patriot missile, as the "worst possible news for the armed forces." On March 26 (less than a week into the fighting), Paul Adams, the BBC's own defense correspondent in Qatar, fired off a memo to his bosses: "I was gobsmacked to hear, in a set of headlines today, that the coalition was suffering 'significant casualties.' This is simply NOT TRUE." He went on to ask, "Who dreamed up the line that the coalition are achieving 'small victories at a very high price?' The truth is exactly the opposite. The gains are huge and costs still relatively low. This is real warfare, however one-sided, and losses are to be expected." Outside critics were even blunter: They revived the nickname "Baghdad Broadcasting Corporation," a coinage from the first Gulf War, when BBC broadcasts from the Iraqi capital were censored by Saddam's government without viewers' being notified.

Read the whole thing here.
Daniel Pipes has a very short but impressive take on Palestinian refugees.

How do Palestinian refugees differ from the other 135 million 20th-century refugees?
Answer: In every other instance, the pain of dispossession, statelessness, and poverty has diminished over time. Refugees eventually either resettled, returned home or died. Their children - whether living in South Korea, Vietnam, Pakistan, Israel, Turkey, Germany or America - then shed the refugee status and joined the mainstream.

Not so the Palestinians. For them, the refugee status continues from one generation to the next, creating an ever-larger pool of anguish and discontent.

Several factors explain this anomaly but one key component - of all things - is the United Nations' bureaucratic structure. It contains two organizations focused on refugee affairs, each with its own definition of "refugee":

* The U.N. High Commission for Refugees applies this term worldwide to someone who, "owing to a well-founded fear of being persecuted . . . is outside the country of his nationality." Being outside the country of his nationality implies that descendants of refugees are not refugees. Cubans who flee the Castro regime are refugees, but not so their Florida-born children who lack Cuban nationality. Afghans who flee their homeland are refugees, but not their Iranian-born children. And so on.

* The U.N. Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), an organization set up uniquely for Palestinian refugees in 1949, defines Palestinian refugees differently from all other refugees. They are persons who lived in Palestine "between June 1946 and May 1948, who lost both their homes and means of livelihood as a result of the 1948 Arab-Israeli conflict." Especially important is that UNRWA extends the refugee status to "the descendants of persons who became refugees in 1948." It even considers the children of just one Palestinian refugee parent to be refugees.

The High Commission's definition causes refugee populations to vanish over time; UNRWA's causes them to expand without limit. Let's apply each definition to the Palestinian refugees of 1948, who by the U.N.'s (inflated) statistics numbered 726,000. (Scholarly estimates of the number range between 420,000 to 539,000.)



* The High Commission definition would restrict the refugee status to those of the 726,000 yet alive. According to a demographer, about 200,000 of those 1948 refugees remain living today.

* UNRWA includes the refugees' children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren, as well as Palestinians who left their homes in 1967, all of whom add up to 4.25 million refugees.

The 200,000 refugees by the global definition make up less than 5 percent of the 4.25 million by the UNRWA definition. By international standards, those other 95 percent are not refugees at all. By falsely attaching a refugee status to these Palestinians who never fled anywhere, UNRWA condemns a creative and entrepreneurial people to lives of exclusion, self-pity and nihilism.

The policies of Arab governments then make things worse by keeping Palestinians locked in an amber-like refugee status. In Lebanon, for instance, the 400,000 stateless Palestinians are not allowed to attend public school, own property or even improve their housing stock.

It's high time to help these generations of non-refugees escape refugee status so they can become citizens, assume self-responsibility and build for the future. Best for them would be for UNRWA to close its doors and the U.N. High Commission to absorb the dwindling number of true Palestinian refugees.


Very true and very sad.

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