Palestinian War Crimes
An interview with Daniel Seaman, MEF's director in Israel – Palestinian incendiary attacks launched against Israel from Gaza constitute war crimes ignored by the international media
Daniel Seaman is a 31-year veteran of the Israeli government. He has B.A. in Political Science from Hunter College. Mr. Seaman previously served as director of the Israeli Government Press Office from 2010 to 2010. After leaving government, he worked as bureau chief for Voice of Israel and as editor of English-language content at Mida.org.il. He currently serves as the director of MEF's Israel office.
Seaman heads the Israel office of the Israel Victory Project, a Middle East Forum initiative which addresses the stalled peace process and injects a much-needed dose of reality into the equation. Progress on resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict can only occur when the Palestinian Arabs realize that their war to eradicate Israel is lost and that Israel has won. Despite living under the threat of daily Palestinian attacks, the Israeli people are resolute in their belief that the Jewish state is here to stay. The sooner the Palestinians acknowledge this reality, the sooner a climate conducive to conflict resolution will follow. Support for the Israel Victory Project's message from both the Israeli government and the U.S. administration is key if there is to be any hope of clearing the hurdles that have dogged progress to date.
Israel's current internal security threat emanates from Palestinian incendiary attacks using gasoline-filled kites and balloons, lit and launched to destroy land, agriculture, and nature reserves in the south of Israel. The deliberate attacks are far from random and are the responsibility of Hamas, who have pointed rockets aimed at Israeli civilian centers and populations as part of their ongoing war against Israel. These attacks, paired with on-the-ground attacks of burning tires at the Gaza border, have been a constant threat during the past year. The fumes have created health issues for residents affected by wind-carried toxins. Environmentally, the burned acres are an ecological disaster.
The airborne weapons are landing on apartments and fields of kibbutzim and small towns around the border with Gaza. Now made even more lethal with the addition of explosives tied to the incendiary devices, attacks launched from the Gaza Strip have spread to the West Bank in the Palestinian's aim to target locations across Israel.
Under international conventions, the assault on Israel and the ecological destruction from weaponizing children's toys constitute a war crime that is being largely ignored by the international community. A tragedy was recently averted by a Be'er Sheva mother in Israel's southern community after she was awoken by the alarm signifying an incoming missile attack from one of these devices. Finding shelter with her three small children in their safe room with only 15 seconds to take cover, they emerged to find their home demolished by the rocket attack.
There are rumors that the Trump administration is pressuring Israel to accept its yet-to-be-revealed peace plan. If true, the administration should consider the fact that for the past three decades the Palestinians have yet to prove that they have been peace partners willing to acknowledge the Jewish state. Israel's separate agreements with Egypt and Jordan have proven its willingness to make concessions for peace. In both cases, attempts to defeat Israel militarily failed. As an alternative to waging war, reaching agreements has served to reduce tensions.
The Palestinian entity was created to undermine the legitimacy of Jewish claims to nationhood and self-determination. The re-establishment of Israel was an outgrowth of a 1947 U.N. resolution granting Israel sovereignty. The Arab states at that time took part in the voting process. The Palestinians' refusal to abide by that U.N. vote exposed their hypocrisy and makes it incumbent upon Israel to force them to recognize the Jewish right to exercise sovereignty in its ancestral homeland. By pressuring the Palestinian leadership, they will realize that continuing violence against Israel will result in losses like the recent withdrawal of U.S. support for UNRWA.
In light of their failure to victimize Israel, the Palestinians have resorted to portraying themselves as victims, enabled by the Europeans who do not hold them accountable. Past American administrations, as well as the European Union and the U.N., have sent mixed signals to the Palestinians by ignoring their violations of international law. The war crimes currently being committed against Israel are a consequence of this inaction.
Accepting Israel may well be an impossibility for the Palestinians, given their history of corrupt leadership. However, once they realize that they have no right of return, their refugee status is coming to an end, and there will never be a Palestinian state within Israel's borders, they will understand that they have lost and Israel is victorious. Only then will there be a resolution.
Middle East Studies on U.S. Campuses
An interview with Winfield Myers, director of the Middle East Forum's Campus Watch – Exposing Middle East Studies professors who indoctrinate versus educate
Previously featured on MEF Sentry Radio, Winfield Myers is director of the Middle East Forum's Campus Watch, which reviews and critiques Middle East studies in North American universities. He has taught world history and other topics at the University of Michigan, the University of Georgia, Tulane, and Xavier University of Louisiana. He was previously managing editor of the American Enterprise magazine and CEO of Democracy Project, Inc., which he co-founded. Mr. Myers has also served as senior editor and communications director at the Intercollegiate Studies Institute.
In a recent article, a Middle East Forum fellow, A.J. Caschetta, illustrated the connection between many of America's Middle East Studies professors, terrorist supporters, Islamists, and an Islamic authoritarian regime. A conference held last week in Istanbul, Turkey, hosted a half dozen American academics. It was chaired by Sami al-Arian, a former University of Florida computer engineering professor, who had been arrested and served time in a federal penitentiary for funding the U.S. designated terror group, Palestinian Islamic Jihad, whose board he had chaired.
In a plea deal with the U.S. government, al-Arian was released to Turkey and feted by the increasingly authoritarian regime of its Islamist president Erdoǧan. One of the six U.S. academics was Georgetown University professor Jonathan Brown, director of Georgetown's Al-Waleed Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding. The center, funded in 2005 with a $20 million grant from Saudi Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal, spreads Islamist propaganda throughout the U.S. from its Potomac location. Brown, a convert to Islam and an unapologetic Islamist who defends the existence of the institution of slavery in Islam, is al-Arian's son-in-law. He is married to Layla al-Arian, a journalist who writes for Qatari-owned al-Jazeera network. Qatar, itself a supporter of terrorism, employs al-Arian's son, Abdullah, who earned his PhD at Georgetown and is a professor at its campus in that country. Similar networks exist that are a microcosm of what is now de rigueur in U.S. Middle East Studies departments.
Other attendees included Joseph Massad of Columbia University, infamous for his intimidation and attacks on Jewish students; Nadir Hashemi of the University of Denver, an apologist for the Muslim Brotherhood; Sarah Shields of the University of North Carolina, who is a strong BDS supporter; and Rabab Abdulhadi, a San Francisco State University professor who posted on her Facebook page of the Ethnic Studies program,"Zionists not welcome on campus." Abdulhadi arranged for convicted terrorists who have served time in prison to fly to the West Bank to partake in a conference at the University of Nablus. A Washington-based Middle East analyst classified the University of Nablus as a "greenhouse for martyrs" who join Hamas and other terrorist organizations that launch attacks against Israel. Abdulhadi's signature to an
agreement with the university for student and cultural exchanges sets a dangerous precedent with no consequences.
The refusal to address the problem of professors who whitewash terrorism directed against Israelis, Americans, and Westerners in general, is largely attributable to first amendment rights to free speech that permit professors to indoctrinate and proselytize rather than educate. It is for the same reason that the U.S. government allows foreign countries to sponsor programs that incubate extremism on American college campuses. Campus Watch monitors this lack of professional responsibility that has spread throughout America's academe because of the plethora of radical professors in Middle East Studies programs.
The moral outrage towards Saudi Arabia expressed by Middle East Studies professors who are by and large BDS supporters is politically motivated. Prior to Saudi Arabia's current alignment with Israel to counter Iran's Shiite crescent, the same professors who defended Saudi Arabia and gladly took money from prince bin Talal now object to Saudi Arabia because it has moved closer to Israel. Selective in their outrage, these professors turn a blind eye to totalitarian countries like North Korea, China, and Cuba that employ torture on a regular basis; or Turkey, that jails and tortures its journalists but welcomes the likes of Sami al-Arian.
The Campus Watch website archives tens of thousands of articles and is a resource for vetting university professors by providing lists of recommended professors and professors to avoid.
As America approaches its midterm elections, be wary of Middle Eastern Studies professors who voice support for candidates from the left. These candidates seek to break America's connections with Israel and weaken alliances designed to protect the U.S. with strong borders and a strong military in a dangerous and unstable world.
Summary accounts by Marilyn Stern, Communications Coordinator for the Middle East Forum