All the more so since the long-scheduled construction of 20 apartments for Jews in Jerusalem is given greater political attention than the accelerated construction of Islamist Iranian nuclear weapons with the avowed intention of erasing the Jewish state from the planet.
Take a look at the state of play from the vantage points as far apart as Scandinavia, the USA, and inside the Middle East itself. A Finnish blogger, KGS of Tundra Tabloids, brings this story of how Church organizations in Finland and Sweden routinely engage in spine-chillingly anti-Semitic trips that are funded partly by the Church and partly by the State. It is a synthesis of religion and state apparatus pursuing an overtly anti-Israel agenda that gives considerable pause for thought.
In the USA, New York Post columnist Ralph Peters writes about how the US under Barack Hussein Obama is openly undermining the Jewish state in favour of radical Islamist regimes spanning the entire Middle East. Obama’s chronic inability to recognise Israeli anxieties is matched only by his overwhelming desire to anticipate whatever the Arab states want – and to pressure the Jewish state into feeding Arab rejectionist intransigence. Obama’s approach marks a social disparity with a worrying religious echo and unpleasant racist undertones.
On the subject of racism, in Egypt, an Israeli reporter was arrested by the military as he tried to cross the border into Israel together with Muslim African refugees who often make the hazardous journey across several Muslim countries to seek asylum in the world’s only Jewish nation. The reporter, Yotam Feldman, wanted to record the plight of the African asylum-seekers from their on-the-spot perspective. He recounts that he was treated reasonably well by the Egyptian authorities but testified to the far worse fate of the black Africans who he says are routinely mistreated in the Muslim state of Egypt, noting that the Egyptians make a distinction in their treatment of white people and their treatment of Africans.
It is remarkable that in a world characterised by economic tailspin, major environmental concerns, massive social inequalities, substantial political corruption and other crises of enormous weight, there is such corrosive preoccupation with the Jewish state in countries as far apart as the US and Finland, at the same time as these very same countries turn a blind eye to the vicious injustices perpetrated by Muslims on other Muslims, as testified by a journalist in Egypt.
How does one explain this imbalance without using the words “anti” and “Semitism”?
But it’s not all gloom, doom and anti-Semitism. For light comic relief, there’s always that stalwart of manic humour, the United Nations. As Barry Rubin reports with regard to the UN-Habitat organisation, “granting an award to the close friend of those who murdered the man it's named after, a backer of those who he fought against, and who is aiding those seeking to take over his country definitely qualifies for being granted our own award for ironic and disgraceful behavior”.
UN chief Ban Ki-moon has just been to the Gaza Strip.
He visited a Gaza City neighborhood that was damaged during IDF Operation Cast Lead, the Israeli response to 8 years of Arab attacks in which more than 10,000 missiles were fired from Gaza on Israeli civilian communities. Ban Ki-moon assured the Arab aggressors on behalf of the UN: "we stand with you."
He referred to Israel's decision to permit the entry of limited quantities of building supplies as "a drop in a bucket of water" and vowed that he would demand that the Israeli authorities do more. "This is a positive, welcome step and I believe that we need far more ... I have repeatedly made it clear to Israeli leaders that their policy of closures is not sustainable and is wrong ... It causes unacceptable suffering," Ban said.
“The world has condemned Israel’s settlement plans in east Jerusalem,” Ban went on to say at a news conference, continuing: “Let us be clear. All settlement activity is illegal anywhere in occupied territory and must be stopped.”
Following his visit to Gaza and his profuse comments on behalf of the Palestinian Arabs of Gaza and of Judea and Samaria (also known as the West Bank), Ban Ki-moon met with the parents of Gilad Schalit, a Jew who was kidnapped from Israel while still a teenager and has been held ever since – coming up to 4 years now – without prospects of freedom and without access to his parents, legal representation (not that he is accused of anything other than being a Jew), visits by the Red Cross (not that they have ever demanded to visit him) or such basic human rights as access to daylight.
"Gilad is being held by Hamas with disregard for basic human rights - a situation which is intolerable and unacceptable to any person in the free world," Ban Ki-moon told Gilad’s parents.
That’s it. Nothing else. No question of “demands” being made on his Hamas captors. No question of how pressure is to be ramped up against Hamas in the UN.
Here is a video that shows how Schalit's Hamas captors - the government of Gaza - mock his parents and trample both Gilad's and his parents' basic human rights, parading an actor portraying their captive and threatening dire consequences if their human trafficking demands are not met:
The UN chief was keen to “condemn” Israel for building apartments in an area of Jerusalem that has never belonged to any sovereign nation other than Israel, but chose not to condemn Hamas for Gilad Schalit’s continued incarceration.
The UN chief branded Israel’s plans to build apartments as “illegal” – a word he carefully avoided using with regard to Gilad Schalit’s continued incarceration.
Israel may have allowed the entry of some construction materials into Gaza and Ban Ki-moon may regard this as “a drop in a bucket of water” – but Israel is still waiting for him to demand a corresponding symbolic “drop in a bucket of water” from the Hamas regime with regard to such niceties as the release of Schalit, the cessation of rocket fire (27 rockets so far this year, one civilian fatality in Israel last week while the UN chieftain was actually in Gaza), the cessation of anti-Semitic indoctrination on Hamas TV and in schools.
Ban Ki-moon anguished over the “wrong” and “unacceptable suffering” of the Palestinian Arabs subjected to road blocks and border closures, but did not mention the need for Israeli civilians to spend their entire lives within walking distance of bomb shelters for fear of repeated and continuing missile attacks from Gaza, nor did he talk about the “unacceptable suffering” of Schalit’s parents for the crime of being Jewish.
Israel is still waiting for Ban Mi-moon to publicly state “we stand with you” in the face of continued Palestinian Arab rocket attacks, racist incitement, rioting in public places, physical attacks on civilians and military personnel. In fact, Israel still waits for any sign from the UN chieftain that he stands with Israel on any score whatsoever or that he understands any aspect of the Jewish state’s predicament.
Ban Ki-moon stands firmly with the Palestinian Arabs, whatever they do.
And Ban Ki-moon stands very much apart from Israeli victims of continued Palestinian Arab aggression.
Ban Ki-moon does indeed represent the “United Nations” – nations united in their animosity towards the Jewish state of Israel.
Judea and Samaria Police nowadays field up to 40,000 phone calls a month from Palestinian Arabs who hurl crude abuse at the officers. The police manning the switchboards are trained not to respond in kind but to instead hang up the phone when they receive crank calls of this nature.
But whatever you do, don’t tell Richard Goldstone about the aggressive and disproportionate Zionist response because he’ll immediately appeal to the UN for additional millions out of our hard-earned tax dollars and set up a commission to condemn the Israeli police officers for hanging up the phone while they are being abused. After all, the torrent of naked abuse might just be a precursor to the caller’s wish to report that his cat is stuck up a tree, or that he suspects his neighbour hasn’t paid his TV licence fee.
Improbable, but possible. Which in UN-speak would probably translate into “definitely worth protecting and funding from public money as a human right specific only to Palestinian Arabs unto the ninth generation”.
But let’s be creative: all calls to the police should be automatically charged at a rate of say NIS 100 per call. Bona fide calls to the police will automatically result in this sum being immediately reimbursed to the caller’s phone account – the process will take a nanosecond – whereas any bogus call prompting the police to hang up will mean that the fee is applied in full.
Israel leads the world in software development. Any high-school kid could develop the software needed to run this application.
All proceeds could go towards the cost of extending the security barrier.
Just kidding - they're protected after all by the UN. The purpose of the UN is to protect dictatorships from the onslaught of democracy. And the democracies pay for this travesty of justice.
It is common knowledge that Gaza’s Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh personally ordered the missile onslaught that culminated in last December's Israeli response. During the eight years of Gaza-inflicted missile terror on Israeli civilians, something in the region of 12,000 missiles rained down on Jewish towns and cities such as Sderot and Ashkelon, farming communities, hospitals and schools.
Ismail Haniyeh is not the first Arab leader to order mass destruction of civilian Israeli infrastructure for political gain – Hizbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah did precisely the same thing in 2006, unleashing several thousand missiles on exclusively civilian Israeli targets such as hospitals, schools, railway stations and residential apartments.
Interestingly – and entirely predictably owing to the automatic pro-islamist and anti-Israel majority in a UN that is deeply flawed and increasingly marginalized – it is Israel, the victim of these and many other systematic targeted attacks, that is now the victim of yet another systematic targeted attack: by the UN itself.
The Goldstone Report has no parallel in history. It has been paid for by the UN member states with the predetermined aim of finding UN member state Israel guilty. And only that state, on the premise that the conflict only began when the victim hit back.
There is no parallel in history for similarly bold, publicly funded prejudice
Bizarrely, absurdly, there is still no international tribunal to try either Haniyeh or Nasrallah for war crimes. Indeed, there has been no UN-commissioned report to investigate their guilt, let alone bring them to trial.
Both Haniyeh and Nasrallah should by now be the focus of immense international determination to bring them to The Hague. Instead, both leaders enjoy absolute support in the UN, and there have been no UN attempts whatsoever to bring either to account.
Perhaps it is time to enlist Swedish journalist Donald Boström to write an article accusing Haniyeh and Nasrallah of cannibalism. In accustomed Boström style he can then publish his allegations in Swedish tabloid Aftonbladet and demand that if they are innocent, they spend their own time and resources proving it.
A UN commission financed by funds earmarked for famine relief in Africa should be appointed to investigate the allegations. Failure to respond to the allegations will be interpreted as guilt, and the pair will then be referred to the UN General Assembly and finally to the UN Security Council for robust military and legal action.
After all, the precedent has already been set.
How the truth is officially ignored - by UN decree
It’s hard to know what’s more offensive – the UN’s total dedication to vilifying the world’s only Jewish state – the only democratic state in the entire Middle East – or the UN’s total dedication to whitewashing the most disgraceful human rights abuses by the anti-democratic Arab states surrounding Israel.
Either way, the result is systematically racist. Nothing the Jewish state does is correct, nothing any Arab state does is wrong.
It really is time to stop taking the UN seriously. After all, it hasn’t taken itself seriously for decades.
They both want the UN to be fundamentally restructured.
They both accuse the UN’s various key organisations of partisanship. Of failing to deal even-handedly. Of taking sides. Of gross disregard of certain member states.
They want to see certain member states excluded from the UN’s various bodies.
And they have a point. A very valid point.
It really is time to create an organisation that truly represents the entire world.
Not just the bully-boys in the Islamic sphere and their fanatical collaborators.
Imagine a UN in which discussion is encouraged. Where debate aims at resolving problems. Where funds are used to solve the root cause of problems, instead of perpetuating them. Where problems are tackled with honesty and straight talk, backed up by firm action.
Gaddafi and Ahmadinejad, those paragons of democracy, free speech and peace, are absolutely right.
It really IS time to restructure the UN.
There should be two UNs. One consisting of large swathes of the Arab and Muslim worlds, allied to such beacons of freedom and democracy as Zimbabwe, Sudan and Cuba.
And the other consisting of the free world.
Leaving them free to pursue their goals.
And allowing us to make improvements in the free world.
Because if you want to find out what the world really looks like today while it is under siege at the UN, look no further than UN Watch.
Here are two short films.
That was then.
This is now.
Unfortunately, the films require no explanation.
And that’s the really sad part of it: the situation is plain for us to see, we keep paying to maintain the status quo, and there’s no change in sight.
I say vote for Gaddafi and Ahmadinejad and their proposal – a new, restructured “United Nations” or UN.
They can have it. These nations are, after all, truly united in their goals.
We’ll call our organisation the “Federation that Recognises and Embraces Equality”. FREE for short.
The only problem is, it feels truly terrible to condemn millions upon millions of ordinary, peace-loving citizens of the old UN to a life of misery under the new UN. A life with no prospect of any improvement.
Daniel Barenboim makes some remarkable comments in his article in the International Herald Tribute of Jan 30, 2008, entitled “Israeli and Palestinian”. What he fails to do is to anchor these comments in either fact or logic.
Having immigrated from Argentina, he is of course entitled to refer to himself as an Israeli and a Palestinian if he so wishes. After all, hundreds of thousands of Arabs flocked to Palestine looking for work in the Yishuv – the forerunner to the Jewish State of Israel – and even if they only lived there for two years the UN granted them the right to call themselves Palestinians and has been giving them huge cash grants ever since, provided they abstain from working. One of the often underrated benefits of living in a democracy such as Israel is that Daniel Barenboim too can title himself as he pleases, although as a Jew no UN body is going to offer him cash grants for doing nothing. But then neither is any Israeli going to kill him for what many might regard as an act of high treason during a time of war. It’s all part of what we term democracy and freedom of expression.
What’s in a name? Like Barenboim, I too am Palestinian and Israeli. And Jewish. Palestinian because my maternal grandmother was born in Jerusalem into a highly religious Mizrachi Jewish family, at a time when the entire territory including today’s Jordan was known as Palestine. Her husband was an Iraqi Jew, both my parents are Jewish. I have my father’s Palestinian ID card from the period before the 1948 War of Independence. Even though I didn’t come to Israel from as far away as Argentina, my Palestinian and Israeli credentials are thus clear, so perhaps I will be allowed to debate with Daniel Barenboim on an equal footing.
Fact versus fiction There is much to comment on in his article, but perhaps most astonishing in its departure from fact is the following (the emphasis is mine):
“A true citizen of Israel must also ask himself why the Palestinians have been condemned to live in slums … rather than being provided by the occupying force with decent, dignified and liveable conditions … in any occupied territory, the occupiers are responsible for the quality of life of the occupied, and in the case of the Palestinians, the different Israeli governments over the last 40 years have failed miserably.”
Set against this unsubstantiated claim is the truth: that the PLO and Arab League forced the UN to ensure that Palestinian Arab refugees from the war instigated against the Palestinian Jews by the Arab League would remain incarcerated in refugee camps. They were to be used as political pawns in the pan-Arab geo-strategic drive to rid Palestine of Jews from the Jordan River all the way to the Mediterranean Sea.
UN demanded that Israel stop helping the refugees The only nation that took any steps to alleviate the situation of the Palestinian Arabs in Gaza was the Palestinian Jewish nation, Israel. This Jewish country built not only proper housing and then donated that housing to the predominantly Muslim (but also Christian) Palestinian Arabs, it also created the proper infrastructure to service that housing.
This, however, was anathema to the PLO, which represented the Palestinian Arabs. It worked through the Arab League to force the United Nations to demand the destruction of the housing and the adoption of the following resolution: The UN General Assembly Resolution 31/15 from November 23, 1976: Calls once more upon Israel: (a) To take effective steps immediately for the return of the refugees concerned to the camps from which they were removed in the Gaza Strip and to provide adequate shelters for their accommodation; (b) To desist from further removal of refugees and destruction of their shelters. Acknowledging the truth is an essential stepping-stone to reconciliation. Daniel Barenboim’s article ignores the truth.
Racism as official government policy Barenboim writes rather naively that “in the sense that we share one land and one destiny, we should all have dual citizenship”. He might care to re-examine that sentiment against the oft-repeated statement of the Palestinian Hamas government – most recently on the 60th anniversary of the UN decision to partition Palestine into two states – that “Palestine is Arab Islamic land, from the river to the sea, including Jerusalem ... there is no room in it for the Jews.” Barenboim might wish to use his new-found Palestinian citizenship to persuade his government that racism is not really politically correct in 2008.
Having said that, it might be safer for him not to. In Israel, criticism of the state is commonplace in a country characterized by the Jewish ideals of debate, democracy and equality. Daniel Barenboim might find these traits somewhat lacking in his adopted country of Palestine, where political dissidents and religious minorities are routinely murdered by official sanction.
Better then for Daniel Barenboim not to voice an opinion in Gaza. After all, he can still be published in Jerusalem or New York.
Palestinians firing daily rocket barrages into Israel must be practising some kind of parallel diplomacy that they’ve managed to keep secret from the civilized world.
How else to explain Hamas and Fatah outrage at Israel’s decision to consider – merely consider – axing power supplies to Gaza factories making rockets that rain death on Israeli cities? According to Hamas and Fatah, the fact that Israel is considering cutting power is “a declaration of war”. Palestinian rockets on Sderot – the direct and sole cause of Israel’s proposed countermeasure – must therefore be acts of peace.
Palestinian Arab logic at its best.
UN chief Ban Ki-Moon, meanwhile, says Israel should not cut power to Gaza because this “would be contrary to Israel's obligations towards the civilian population under international humanitarian and human rights law.” Google Ban Ki-Moon and count how many times he has urged Hamas and Fatah to uphold the Palestinian Arabs’ obligations to Israeli civilians under international humanitarian and human rights law; in plain English, Israeli civilians’ right to live without daily rocket salvoes.
There’s a serious disconnect here between reality and fantasy. But not between the UN and Hamas.
The EU and UN are subsidising the Hamas penchant for kidnapping Israeli citizens.
The Palestinian government holds an abducted Israeli citizen, Gilad Shalit. The Israeli government holds Palestinian customs revenues. The Palestinian government has no intentions of releasing Shalit, kidnapped from inside sovereign Israel. But the Israeli government is apparently willing to release the withheld Palestinian revenues (“Cabinet weighs release of PA tax funds”, Jerusalem Post, June 24).
Hard to know if this shows abysmal incompetence, lack of strategic imagination or mere political callousness, but we are actually about to pay a ransom without recovering the kidnapped victim. If Abu Mazen means business about a new partnership with Israel, Olmert should persuade him the only way the funds will be released is if Fatah rounds up and imprisons every single Hamas member and operative in the West Bank, with the assurance they will all be released unharmed and PA funds unfrozen once Gilad Shalit is delivered safely to Israel.
Otherwise we are financing the abduction of our own citizens. We’re paying not to get them back. The fact that the EU and other world bodies are now pouring money into the PA government faction that abducted Shalit without making this aid conditional on his immediate release speaks volumes.
When all is said and done, the positions of the Israeli and EU governments don’t really seem to be all that far apart. Explain that to the Shalit family.
Sweden recently organised an international donors’ conference for the victims of Hizbollah’s war in southern Lebanon. However, the fund-raiser benefited only the Lebanese victims and excluded victims from the Jewish state.
It is interesting to put Sweden’s initiative into a wider perspective. Hizbollah’s war was launched from sovereign Lebanese territory. Eight soldiers were killed on Israeli soil, two soldiers were abducted from Israel, and rockets were fired into towns in northern Israel.
Set against this backdrop is Sweden’s own record on recent issues relating to Israel and to Jewish interests. The Swedish Chancellor of Justice declined to try a case where an imam in the main Stockholm mosque called for “death to the Jews”. The Chancellor said that Jews in Sweden should accept that this was part of the ‘normal discourse’ in a democracy.
Recently, Swedish state-owned wines and spirits monopoly changed the labelling on some Israeli-produced wines to state they came from “occupied Syrian territory”. No similar differentiated labelling was implemented for other conflict-ridden areas, such as the Lebanon (until recently occupied by Syria and with a strong wine-export industry). While the EU and UN labelled Hamas a terror organisation and banned dealings with the group, Sweden was the sole country in Europe to give a leading Hamas representative an entry visa, thereby opening the door to his entry into the rest of the EU under Europe-wide visa regulations.
Swedish minister for International Development Cooperation Ms Carin Jämtin, on the subject of the Israeli anti-terror barrier that has slashed Palestinian suicide bombings by over 90 percent, said the barrier, which she also termed an apartheid wall, was “entirely incomprehensible, it is not possible to express in words how incredibly sick it is”. She was then promoted to Deputy Foreign Minister. Twenty-three percent of the Swedish Jewish communities’ budget is allocated to security – that’s before one single cent is spent on providing any benefits for the communities’ members. We have to pay for the privilege of living here. There is a term for that in Arabic – dhimmi.
In the meantime, Swedish Jews demonstrating for peace are attacked by mobs burning flags and throwing stones. Once again there are posters bearing the hated Nazi swastika – now carried by Islamist extremists. The Swedish judiciary cannot decide whether or not to ban the swastika. Jews have to cancel Shabbat services and move them to secret locations because the lives of worshippers cannot be guaranteed. The Swedish police do an admirable job, they are the most sympathetic, understanding and dedicated of public servants, but they cannot do what they have neither the mandate nor the resources to do.
Sweden goes to elections in mid-September. This a country with about 400,000 Muslims and 16,000 Jews, with the Labour government trailing in the polls despite support from the Swedish Left (formerly Communist) party.
Hosting a donors’ conference that bizarrely rewards the Arab aggressors and ignores the victims in the Jewish state does not come as a surprise. In Sweden, expediency comes before principle.
Edward Mortimer, Director of Communications at the UN, issues a lot of denials, listing what UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan did not say (“Kofi Annan and the Gaza beach killings,” Jerusalem Post Letters, June 19).
Surely what is much more interesting is what the Secretary-General actually did say in response to the tragic killing on a Gaza beach of almost an entire family.
The question is perfectly simple: did, or did not, Mr Annan say “I don’t believe it is plausible that the Palestinians planted charges in a place where civilians often spend their time.” (“Annan doubts IDF Gaza shelling findings,” Jerusalem Post On-Line Edition, June 14).
Because if the UN Secretary-General – a person whose salary is paid for by everyone reading this newspaper – is either so blind or so partisan as to not recognise the Palestinian penchant for planting bombs among Jewish civilians and Kassam batteries among Palestinian civilians, then the time has come for us all to save our money while Mr Annan’s replacement is trained to do the job properly.
Mr Mortimer might consider answering the one simple question that is actually being asked, instead of issuing denials. It would put us all in a far better position to judge his claims of “serious factual errors” in the Jerusalem Post’s reporting of the events.
Kofi Annan to London-based newspaper Al-Hayat (reported in Jerusalem Post on 14 June 2006):
"The Israeli claim that the (Gaza) beach blast was caused by an explosive charge at the site sounds strange to me. I don't believe it is plausible that the Palestinians planted charges in a place where civilians often spend their time."
Really? Does Mr Annan really not believe Palestinians would plant explosive charges in places where civilians often spend their time? Would someone please ask the UN Secretary General how he can stay on in his job if he is unaware of the innumerable explosive charges the Palestinians have placed on Israeli buses, in Israeli schools, restaurants, bus stops, shopping malls? Or does Mr Annan subscribe to the Palestinian view that all Israelis, even two-year-olds, are part of the “Zionist war machine” and therefore not civilians?
This is the most outrageously insensitive statement that the UN Secretary General has ever made. His replacement is long overdue.
Iran is a volatile global problem. Like other dictatorships, it prizes respect. Respect comes through fear of the opponent’s strength.
Israel has commanded respect through fear of its strength. Israel’s ever-faster slide into compliance with the short-term political expediencies of the US and EU has eroded regional perception of Israel’s strength. It upsets a balance everyone respects, however unwillingly. Iran is jockeying with Israel for regional domination. Fighting Iran will exact a high price today – but the price will be far higher tomorrow. We learned that 65 years ago.
Iran's two aims Iran has two aims. Firstly, tried-and-trusted anti-Semitism. In most nations race hatred is deemed a crime and treated as such. For the community of nations, the UN, to fail to follow the norms of individual nations is a mockery of what the UN is all about.
The second aim is equally tried-and-trusted: blackmail. Having attained a position of stranglehold power by tying western economies to Iranian oil and huge commercial projects, Iran is now blackmailing these nations. Iran is not demanding money but rather cowed global acquiescence while it pursues its goal of destroying Israel. We’ve heard it confirmed for the past 25 years by its leaders, and now once a week by its current president.
Blackmail Blackmail too is deemed a crime in most nations. If the community of nations fails to address these crimes robustly today, this weakness will return to haunt us all tomorrow. The Iranians have evidently read the history books. We apparently have not.
I am writing with regard to your quiz no. 9 (May 2003, Basic), which my 13-year old son enjoyed doing this morning.
I would like to congratulate you on putting together a well-expressed and highly topical quiz that trains the spotlight on current events in an interesting and easy to understand way, yet without talking down to youngsters.
I do, however, take serious issue with one of the questions in this quiz: The first question asks: “Yassir Arafat is the President of Palestine. Now the country also has a Prime Minister. What is his name?”
While it is highly laudable to draw attention to such a topical event of great current interest and potentially far-reaching importance, I strongly object to what is at best perhaps an unintentional error, at worst an invidious departure from fact designed to indoctrinate impressionable young children: there is no country called Palestine.
The facts of the matter are that Arabs of former Jordanian and Egyptian colonies – people who never previously expressed a wish for independence while under Arab occupation – now express a wish to create an independent state on lands currently administrated by Israel, lands that were secured from the aforementioned two Arab countries by Israel following a series of wars aggressed against Israel by these and other Arab states. Before that, Palestine was a geographical area (not a politically defined entity) administrated by Britain, and before that by Turkey. This historical Palestine included all of what is today Israel, as well as parts of the Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, all of Jordan and Egypt.
It is an unequivocal fact that local Arabs on the West Bank and in Gaza identify themselves as Palestinian Arabs. Equally so, it is an unequivocal fact that the region as a whole stands to reap immense benefits from a solution to the conflict that would grant the Palestinian Arabs the right to determine their own future once they stop perpetrating suicide-bombing massacres and armed ambushes against Israeli civilians. There is a wide gap, however, between this highly desirable theoretical state of affairs, on the one hand, and the presentation of “Palestine” as an already existing fact, on the other – this simply smacks of the indoctrination of impressionable schoolchildren.
Until the current state of conflict is resolved, might I suggest the use in future of the internationally accepted definition for the area under advisement? It is referred to by all the foremost authorities, including the UN, as “the Palestinian Territories” or “the Palestinian Authority Area”. I feel sure you would not wish to put yourselves forward as a greater authority on the subject than even the UN – the very body under whose auspices the conflict erupted in the first place.