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June 14, 2013

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HERITAGE FLORIDA JEWISH NEWS, JUNE 14, 2013 PAGE 5.A. HERITAGE encourages readers to send in their opinions fer the Viewpoint column. They must be signed; how- ever, names will be withheld upon request. Due to space limitations, we reserve the right to edit, if necessary. Opinions printed in Viewpoint do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the paper. Let the truth be known By Laurence Morrell I have a confession to make. This may come as a major surprise to everyone, but I strongly support the concept that all Palestinian Refugees have the Right of Return. Now before you get your panties in a wad let me clarify the term Palestinian Refugees. The United Nations Relief and Works Agency, (UNWRA is the designated agency to oversee the care of the Palestinian Refugees In the original U.N. Resolution 194. Article 11 dealing with the creation of the UNWRA. the definition used and accepted was "'someone whose normal place of residence was Pales- tine between June 1946 and May 1948, who lost both their homes and means of liveli- hood as a result of the 1948 Arab-Israeli conflict." Please remember that this new U.N. agency was established and "created to only deal with the Palestinians. In 1948 there were an esti- mated 650.000 that fell into the scope of this definition of a refugee, by providing vari- oustypesofassistance food. housing, medical assistance. educational facilities. Then with a unilateral internal de- cision, the UNWRA dramati- cally expanded the concept of Palestinian Refugees to also include the "descendants of the original Palestinian Refugees." As a result of this unilateral change in the definition of "Palestinian Refugee" the number has swelled from an original estimate of 650.000 to a "claimed" number of over five million. Currently, the UNWRA has an annual budget of $600.000.000 to service this bloated popula- tion. Of this total. 40 percent comes from the United States or $240,000,000. It also employs more than 30.000 Palestinians in Gaza and the Wes.t Bank: At the same time that the UNWRAwas set up to deal ex- clusively with the Palestinian Refugees another organiza- tion was also established. This is The United Nations' High Commission on Refugees (UNHCR). This organization on the other hand is mandated to deal with all of the world's refugee problems excluding the Palestinians. They cur- rently supervise the welfare of more than 34,000,000 refu- gees with a staffofonly 7,685. Their budget per refugee is half that of UNWRA. Now. let's get back to my original statement of sup- porting the concept of the Palestinian Refugees' Right of Return. If we continue to use the original definition of a Palestinian Refugee, estimates made by the United States Departtnent of State in "2012 is about 30,000 remain- ing from the original 650,000. Now that creates a totally different~picture. First. of the 30.000 how many would really want to return to their homeland without other family "members who don't qualify under this definition of Refugee? Again, using the number of refugees as 30.000, look at the cost to the United States. The figure should be much less since there are so many fewer legiti- mate Palestinian Refugees .To date the United States has contributed more than four billion-dollars to this effort. I urge you to contact Sec- retary of State John Kerry and ask: Why? I urge you to contact your representative and senators in Washington and ask them: Why? Why do the Palestinians receive preferential treatment? Why should the United States spend so much money that could be better used domes- tically? Laurence Morrell is a life- long resident of Orlando. war crimes By Ben Cohen An unexpected obstacle to efforts within the European Union (EU) to designate Hez- bollah as a terrorist organiza- tion emerged last week when the new Bulgarian foreign minister. Kristian Vigenin, stated in a radio interview that evidence connecting the Lebanese Shi'a organization with last year's murderous assault on a busload of Israeli tourists in the resort town of Burgas was "not conclusive." Vigenin produced no new evidence to counter the con- clusion, shared by American. Israeli and British intelligence agencies, that Hezbollah was behind the attack. Yet by cast- ing doubt on Hezbollah's role, Vigenin has opened the pos- sibility that the bitter political- divides within this compara- tively marginal member of the EU could impact the bloc's Middle East policy as a whole. For several years, Europe has been out of step with the United States and Israel over Hezboilah. Not applying the terrorist designation to He- zbollah has meant that the organization's supporters in Europe have been able to raise funds for it with impunity. The Burgas attack provided new momentum for British efforts to secure a reversal of this ghastly policy, espe- cially as Bulgaria's previous, pro-western government was in no doubt over who was responsible. Only a fortnight ago, France and Germany, two countries that had long been resistant to the terrorist designation, were signaling a major change of position. Enter the new Bulgarian government, a coalition of technocrats and ex-Com- munists elected on the basis of public anger with the perceived corruption and incompetence of the prior administration. Those who detect the hafid of Russia in this bizarre twist over Burgas are probably not wrong. In eastern Europe these days, governments who distance themselves from America and western Euroope are bound to veer towards Moscow. And Moscow doesn't want anyone to touch Hezbollah, given the military support these terror- ists and war criminals have given to the Syrian regime of Bashar al-Assad, which President Vladimir Putin and his cohorts energetically support. This messy political con- text may, ironically, yield a positive result, in that it's uniikely that the rest of the EU, and particularly the Brit- ish, will feel obliged 'to take Bulgaria's clumsy change of heart seriously. Moreover, the Burgas attack is not the only reason to apply the terrorist designation. For one thing, the British government has repeatedly cited the conv.ic- tion of a Hezbollah operative in Cyprus, Hossam Taleb Yaacoub, for conspiring to launch a Burgas-style attack against Israeli tourists visiting the island a plan which one terrorism analyst described as "a rare lifting of the veil on bow [Hezbollah terrorists] operate." For another--and this is certainly of even greater importance--Hezbollah has become an active element in Assad's murderous war on his "Swn people, which has claimed 80.000 lives. With- out the support of Hezbollah units, it is unlikely thatAssad's regime could have conquered rebel forces in the western town of Qusair, an outcome that further boosted Assad's morale in a week when his Russian allies announced that they would be providing his regime with S-300 air defense missiles. Indeed. the French have already suggested that policy towards Hezbollah will be determined by events in Syria, rather than the Burgas attack. "Given the decisions taken by Hezbollah and the fact that it has fought very hard against the Syrian population. I con- firm that France will propose to inscribe the military wing of Hezbollah on the list of terrorist organizations," the French foreign minister, Lau- rent Fabius, recently declared. This reference to a Hezboi- lah "military wing" will with- out a doubt draw impatient sighs from the Israelis, who correctly point out that since Hezbollah doesn't distinguish between its "political" and "military" wings, neither should anyone else. But if the designation measures are robust enough to override any sly attempts to raise funds. for Hezbollah as a political organization, that shouldn't really matter. Additionally, if the EU doesn't act decisively against Hezbollah. it will face the accusation of complicity not just with terrorism, but with war crimes and crimes against humanity as well. By mobi- lizing in support of Assad, Hezbollah. as a Lebanese or- ganization, has both crossed an international border for the sole purpose of carrying out military aggression, and par- ticipated in some of the'ugliest atrocities against civilians witnessed since the Darfur conflict in Sudan. France has said that has no doubt that the "'regime and its accom- plices" have used chemical weapons in their offensive. Even the Israel-obsessed UN Human Rights Council has described "murder. torture. rape, and other inhumane acts" as proof that the Syrian conflict has reached "'new levels of brutality." It's a far cry from the shameful scenes in European cities in 2006, when left-wing celebrities led demonstrations against Israel's decision to strike against Hezbollah after the terrorists launched missiles at northern Israel, clad in T-shirts bearing the legend, "We Are All Hezbol- lah." Now, only the most fanatically mindedwill hold to the conviction that Hezbolla is a legitimate "resistance" organization. Consequently, if the Eu- ropeans want to show that they are serious about tak- ing on Hezbollah, they can go one step further than a terrorism designation. They can tell Hezbollah's leader, Hassan Nasrallah, that he, along with his key officers, Publication Date: August 2, 2013 2013 will be held personally re- sponsible for the abysmal crimes committed by their forces in Syria. Since Assad's atrocities have reached the unspeakable depths visited by other, similar conflicts in recent years--I think in particular of Bosnia. Congo and Rwanda a war crimes tribunal is an absolute ne- cessity. And the butchers of Hezbollah should be among the first in the dock. Ben Cohen is the Shill-. man Analyst for His writings on Jewish affairs and Middle Eastern politics have been published in Com- mentary, the New York Post, Ha'aretz, Jewish Ideas Daily and many other publications. HERITAGE welcomes and encourages let- ters to the editor, but they must be typed or printed and include name and phone number. We will withhold your name if you so request. Please limit letters to 250 words. Due to space limitations,we reserve the right to edit letters. Send letters to P.O. Box 300742, Fern Park, FL 32730. Or e-mail to How could it happen? Dear editor: How could it happen that some Jews, young and old, could and would embrace an ideology and people that call for their own destruc- tion? How could it happen that some Jews, young and old, call for boycott, divesture and sanctions of the only country, Israel, that would save them when they would be in danger of being killed in acts of Jew hatred? How could it happen that some Jews, young and old, care for the Palestinians more than their own people when the Palestinian charter calls for the destruction of Israel and all Jews. How could it happen that some Jews, young and old, hate themselves, their own families and their own religion in favor of a religion that is non-tolerant, hateful and a scourge in the world? In 40 conflicts in the world today, 38 of them are caused by Islam. Many of these Jews, young and old, are smart. Don't they read? Don't they analyze the situation? Don't they know? How could it happen? Sandra Solomon Casselberry CLICK WORRIES THEN: /A5 HIS PHONE 8EtN$ TAPP , Caglecartoons,com CLICK /O RES NOW: WERE HIS CHOICES BEING TRACK 7,