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Summaries of 4 articles from Daily Alert, with links

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Jan. 26, 2018

Iran’s Fast Boats Stop Harassing U.S. Navy in Persian Gulf – Gordon Lubold and Nancy A. Youssef (Wall Street Journal)

For at least two years, armed Iranian “fast boats” would dart toward U.S. vessels as they passed through the Persian Gulf, risking miscalculation, but haven’t done so since August 2017, U.S. military officials said.

“I hope it’s because we have messaged our readiness…and that it isn’t tolerable,” said Army Gen. Joseph Votel, who heads U.S. Central Command.

The Iranian boats are typically crewed by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps.

Ali Vaez, Iran project director at the International Crisis Group, said that in an internal directive last summer, Iran’s Supreme National Security Council ordered the IRGC to stand its ground in the region, but not to harass U.S. Navy ships.

Netanyahu: “The Palestinians Should Have All the Powers to Govern Themselves but None of the Powers to Harm Us” – Jacob Magid

Speaking at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, on Thursday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said, “Our position is that Jerusalem should remain united under Israel’s sovereignty with complete religious rights for those of all faiths….We will always keep the status quo at the Temple Mount and all of the holy sites.”

Netanyahu said, “[The Palestinians] want to govern themselves, which I don’t have any problem with.” He noted that in 2009 he backed the establishment of a demilitarized Palestinian state that recognized Israel as a Jewish state. “The principles have remained the same. The Palestinians should have all the powers to govern themselves but none of the powers to harm us. Israel will retain the overriding security control, but other than that, the Palestinians will be able to govern themselves.”

Netanyahu acknowledged that this amounted to less than full sovereignty for the Palestinian state, but noted, “U.S. troops remain in Europe 80 years later….I don’t want to annex the Palestinians and I don’t want them to live as subjects.”  (Times of Israel)


Why Does UNRWA Operate in Areas Governed by the Palestinian Authority?
 – Israeli Ambassador to the UN Danny Danon
Over the past year, multiple UNRWA employees have been caught working for Hamas. Suhail al-Hindi, who served as chairman of the UNRWA staff union in Gaza and principal of an UNRWA boys’ elementary school, was forced to resign last April. Numerous UNRWA teachers, counselors and other employees have been caught glorifying terrorism and inciting hatred and violence on social media and in the classroom.
In countries where Palestinians have been granted citizenship, the refugee status should be revoked and aid should instead be provided to the host country to assist in their absorption and acclimation. Moreover, there is absolutely no justification for UNRWA’s operation in areas governed by the Palestinian Authority. (Jerusalem Post)

The UN has one definition for Palestinian refugees, and a completely different definition for all of the world’s other refugees, and one agency that deals with Palestinian refugees (UNRWA) and a completely different agency to look after all of the other refugees (UNHCR).
Fewer than 1% of the people currently served by UNRWA fled from their homes during the 1948 or 1967 wars against Israel. The rest are descendants of refugees, many of whom are natives of other countries or enjoy full citizenship rights or permanent residency. The notion of refugee status being inherited and passed down in perpetuity to remote descendants who have never fled from their homes is without parallel in international law. It is not applied to, nor is it claimed by, any other refugee group.
Thus, the UN gives favored treatment to descendants of refugees who happen to be Palestinian. There appears to be no good reason why there is one UN agency and one set of rules for Palestinian refugees and another agency and another set of rules for all of the world’s other refugees. The criteria for determining who is a refugee should be standardized so that the same rules apply to everybody. The writer is executive director of the Executive Council of Australian Jewry. (ABC-Australia)

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