In a speech to Arab diplomats in Stockholm; Quoted in the Jerusalem Post (23 February 1996).
Yasser Arafat said the following-
The PLO will now concentrate on splitting Israel psychologically into two camps… We plan to eliminate the State of Israel and establish a Palestinian state. We will make life unbearable for Jews by psychological warfare and population explosion. Jews will not want to live among Arabs. I have no use for Jews. They are and remain Jews. We now need all the help we can get from you in our battle for a united Palestine under Arab rule.
The phrase “population explosion” seems simple enough to understand, but what did Arafat mean when he used the term “psychological warfare”?
There have been many studies made regarding “psychological warfare” and the purpose of this Blog is not to repeat and analyze its exact meaning. The main point I want to focus on is a recent story that took place toward the end of January. It appeared in TOI with the heading “Tlaib Deletes Retweet Blaming Israelis For Death Of Boy Who Apparently Drowned”.
The Israeli consul general in New York called the claim an “unfounded blood libel against Jewish Israelis”. “I am always extremely cautious in criticizing US elected officials,” Dani Dayan said on Twitter. “However, when an American elected official retweets an unfounded blood libel against Jewish Israelis, I cannot remain silent. Congresswoman @RashidaTlaib just did.”
This story involved a young Palestinian boy who went to a convenience store to buy items for his family. This took place in the Beit Hanina neighborhood of Jerusalem, which is populated by Arabs. Literally right across the street, is the Jerusalem suburb of Neve Yaakov, populated by Jews.
That suburb is where our family made our first home after leaving the absorption center in 1997. We moved from Neve Yaakov a few years ago. Our children basically grew up in that neighborhood. Here are some facts about Neve Yaakov that you may not be aware of-
The Ring Neighborhoods of Jerusalem (Hebrew: שכונות הטבעת) are eight suburban neighborhoods built as satellites to central Jerusalem. The first neighborhoods built after 1967 were Ramot, French Hill, Neve Yaakov, Pisgat Ze’ev, East Talpiot, and Gilo. In the 1990s, Ramat Shlomo and Har Homa were added to the list.
Neve Yaakov is the northernmost neighborhood in Jerusalem and was established in 1970.
In 1982, Kiryat Kaminetz, a housing development on the eastern edge of Neve Yaakov named for the Jewish community of Kamenets, Poland destroyed in the Holocaust, was built on the eastern side of the existing neighborhood. Several hundred apartments were populated by young, Haredi Jewish families, many of them from English-speaking countries.
In 1992, 700 new apartments were added to Kiryat Kaminetz on the eastern slope of the mountain; this new neighborhood is also known as Neve Yaakov Mizrach (Neve Yaakov East). The latter has a high concentration of Hasidic and Sephardic Haredi families, with a variety of schools and synagogues serving each population. Neve Yaakov Mizrach is also home to two yeshivas catering to American students: Yeshivas Bais Yisroel and Yeshivas Lev Aryeh This is the neighborhood that our family lived in.
Figures as of January 2016 from the Jerusalem Municipality showed a total population of 24,225, of which nearly half are under the age of 21. Seventy-six percent of the population is under the age of 40. Neve Yaakov is noted as having the largest kindergarten enrollment in the city. The 2016 figures cite 91 percent as being enrolled in Haredi kindergartens. In the elementary school system, 86 percent of children are enrolled in Haredi schools.
Living In Neve Yaakov
Life in Neve Yaakov is similar to living in Jerusalem with the municipal bus system providing frequent service. The light rail train which was built a few years ago running from Mount Herzl to Pizgat Zeev, is now in the process of being extended to Neve Yaakov. The majority of the housing units are apartment buildings, unlike a typical settlement that has individual houses spread out on the land it occupies.
Neve Yaakov has a very heavy military presence because it is home to the IDF’s Central Command. Therefore to describe Neve Yaakov as a typical settlement is very false and misleading. Because in a typical settlement, residents usually carry guns and other weapons for fear of a sudden terrorist attack. But the vast majority of my neighbors, around 99%,, never felt it necessary to carry such a weapon, while I never gave it a second thought.
Further Proof The Decision To Ban Omar And Tlaib Was Justified
Getting back to the abovementioned TOI story, the boy, Qais Abu Ramila went missing after he walked to a convenience store from his house in Beit Chanina. When he was reported missing by his family, suddenly a number of stories started to circulate on social media which quickly escalated, gaining international attention and resulted in local violence.
Security camera footage of a child being pulled toward a car inflamed the situation. The family issued a statement saying, “If it turns out he was kidnapped by settlers it would set the entire neighborhood on fire.”
Qais’s father later acknowledged that the child in the camera footage was not his son but apparently an uncooperative child being dragging to a car by his parent. But the damage was done.
A Twitter account belonging to “Real Seif Bitar” accused “a herd of violent Israeli settlers” of kidnapping Qais and throwing his body “in a water well.” Hanan Ashrawi, a former Palestinian Authority legislator, re-tweeted this lie, adding, “The heart just shatters, the pain is unbearable, no words.” Michigan Democratic Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib, who proudly flaunts her Palestinian roots and anti-Israel stance, re-tweeted Ashrawi’s post, spreading the blood libel further.
While Ashrawi later apologized for “re-tweeting something that’s not fully verified. It seems that the news of his being kidnapped is not certain,” Tlaib simply deleted the tweet with no explanation or apology. Rep. Rashida Tlaib still hasn’t apologized for pushing a blood libel against Jews
These False Statements Ashrawi And Tlaib Made Were Without Justification
Point 1- Ashrawi Is Well Aware Of These Two Neighborhoods
Beit Hanina and Neve Yaakov are located only 11 km from Ramallah where Ashrawi heads Miftah. If that name sounds familiar it should because Miftah was planning on bringing out Omar and Tlaib as part of a fact finding group. Once Bibi heard that, he decided to ban Omar and Tlaib from entering Israel.
Ashrawi is very aware that Neve Yaakov is a suburb of Jerusalem, rather than a settlement. And she is also aware that myself and my former neighbors are called residents and not settlers.
Point 2 –“ Violent Israeli Settlers” Do Not Live In Neve Yaakov
Neve Yaakov has many fine people who are from all parts of the world. These former neighbors of mine work in many different occupations and blend in well into Israeli Society.
Neve Yaakov is also home to many places of learning. This includes adults and children of all ages, with two large Yeshivas catering for boys from overseas. There are many full time kollels which are active during the day. And I want to repeat from a previous Blog, that Neve Yaakov was home to Rabbi Nachman Bullman ZT”L, who had a very large following. Many other learned Rabbis also live and come to study and teach in Neve Yaakov.
Hence, when the term “Violent Israeli Settlers” is used, it immediately gives a very negative connotation to readers. It paints an unfair picture of Neve Yaakov and its residents, and it clearly shows how anxious Ashrawi and Tlaib are to spread a negative impression of the former neighborhood I lived in.
Point 3 – Who Should Really Be Identified As “Violent Settlers”?
The report stated that clashes broke out after Beit Hanina residents searching for the missing boy tried to enter Neve Yaakov believing the residents there had kidnapped the boy. Policed blocked those demonstrators from entering Neve Yaakov which resulted in these demonstrators throwing rocks at police.
Some 12 demonstrators were lightly injured in scuffles with police who arrested three of the protesters for disturbing public order.
So, in reality, the real “Violent Settlers” were the Beit Hanina residents themselves.
Point 4 – The Pattern Of False Accusations Hurled At Neve Yaakov Residents Is Consistent With The Pattern That Is Demonstrated By Certain“Squad Members” In Congress, Among Others, This Past Year
Many times we have seen those who speak against Israel and Jews, make statements which are totally false. In some instances, they will make unfounded statements which are obviously very wrong and insulting and when asked to retract these statements, will refuse to do so. But the majority of these false statements, instead of being corrected, are defended with such nonsense as being “taken out of context” or some similar claim. This results in time wasted by the person who makes them and then corrects them. This pattern repeats itself many times.
The above examples from the Neve Yaakov incident are typical of what the supporters of the Palestinian cause have been doing to place Israel and its residents in a negative light.
At the beginning of my Blog, I made reference to a quote by the PLO leader and his phrase “psychological warfare”. It seems we are seeing this today more than ever before. The increase in “psychological warfare” against Israel and Jews, has resulted in a sharp rise in Anti-Semitic attacks.
This trend must be stopped and those responsible for it must be banned from holding public office.
It’s bad enough for Israel and my fellow Israelis as well as American Jewry the way it stands now.
But if Omar and Tlaib would have been allowed to visit Israel with Miftah as their sponsor; that would have been a nightmare.