The Israeli/Palestinian Conflict: The Evidence

  evidence-based reports | authored and compiled by
constantine kaniklidis
scholars for peace in the middle east (spme) | director, progressive voices for peace in the middle east (pvpme)


false authorities: unrwa


►The Facts

UNRWA is the only UN organization dedicated solely to Palestinian refugees, and in contradiction of the UN's own High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), UNRWA has bizarrely no mandate to reduce refugee populations or gain citizenship in countries of current residence. Innumerable investigative reports have demonstrated (below) that UNRWA ensures the indefinite perpetuation of Palestinian refugee status for ideological purposes, with UNRWA funded schools maintaining the delusion that refugees will return to Tel Aviv and Haifa to live side by side with the Zionists they have been daily taught to hate, facts acknowledged even by Arab journalists (Bassem Eid of the Palestinian Human Rights Monitoring Group (PHRMG), sponsored by PA’s Palestinian Legislative Council). [Ironically, while BDS supporters distribute fantastical propaganda leaflets to stop US support to Israel, the main source of funds for all Palestinian refugees comes from America, not the Arab world, and the Territories receive more foreign aid per head than any other group in the world ($675 per person per year), more than the 47 countries of Sub-Saharan Africa - one of the poorest regions in the world - combined (OECD, L’Annuel de l’OCDE 2011)].

The "Islamic Block" (Al-Kutla al-Islamiya), the Hamas official arm operating all UNRWA schools in Gaza explicitly exposes students to Hamas ideology, confirmed in statements by MP (Hamas) Ahmad Bahr, deputy speaker of the Palestinian parliament, and through translation of Arabic news sources and educational material in the Territories, with a direct path between activity in UNRWA's schools and recruitment to the terrorist al-Qassam Brigades [Bedein, David. “Where Has All the Flour Gone: Whims and Waste of UN Palestinian Refugee Policy". Paperless Publishing LLC, 2011; also investigative reports from The London Observer, Foreign Affairs, and Arabic translated sources, among others].

Indeed, UNRWA's management has been aware that Suhail al-Hindi, head of UNRWA Teaching Sector, is a senior Hamas activist condoning Hamas jihad and suicide against Israel, acknowledged openly by UNRWA spokesperson, Chris Gunness (his article, Ynet, January 27, 2009). Thus Hamas has finally gained complete domination of the UNRWA Union’s Executive Council, with rabid anti-Israel bias in UNRWA textbooks, all cross-confirmed by the non-political / non-partisan Institute for Monitoring Peace and Cultural Tolerance in School Education (IMPCTSE), and also by Nahd Rashid Ahmad Atallah, senior UNRWA official in Gaza for financial aid distribution to refugees (who admitted using his UNRWA car to transport explosives and armed members of the Popular Resistance for terrorist strikes and a missile attack against Jewish settlements); and also acknowledged by UNRWA's former Commissioner-General, Peter Hansen. Hamas itself has added to this confirmation: Mustafa Sawaf, editor-in-chief of the Hamas daily Felesteen: “the employees of the aid agency [UNRWA] … are all members of the ‘resistance’ in its various forms” [Letter to John Ging, UNRWA Director of Operation, April 16, 2009].

►The Lessons
Time to end the 60+ year hostage situation the Palestinian refugees have become.
Bad for Palestinians, bad for peace: UNHRC, HRW, AI, and UNRWA.


evidence-based reports: our reporting


Imperative in this context is a new equity in geopolitics that eschews disproportionate approbation of one actor to the exclusion of all others while also acknowledging the competitive narratives of national ambition and identity in the Middle East, with the need for new engagement and negotiation. 

This misplaced and uncritical reliance on ideological and prejudicial sources has evolved to be a formidable obstacle to peace in the Middle East. It has led to what others have termed a new “soft powerlessness” for Israel whose legitimacy has been successively eroded and who stands accused and convicted in the international arena. And it helps account for the current moribund state of peace negotiation. We therefore realized that what is needed to overcome these barriers to peace is effective confrontation through the exposure and refutation of lawfare as practiced by anti-peace NGOs and obstructionist initiatives like BDS. This will in turn require a new rational and equitable discourse in addressing the clash of competitive nationalist aspirations for self-determination in the same land, in order to achieve a fair and durable peace in the Middle East for Israel, and for the Palestinians.

To that end, I as Director of Progressive Voices for Peace in the Middle East (PVPME) and a member of Scholars for Peace in the Middle East (SPME), have authored and compiled a series of evidence-based reports (EBRs) on the Israeli/Palestinian Conflict which are founded on an objective critical systemic review of the core issues and a critical appraisal of the relevant arguments, sustained by scrupulous attention to and respect for principles of international and human rights law.  This demands (1) systematic review of all credible sources on an issue, (2) critical appraisal of all sources extracted for factual basis, (3) cross-confirmation of accuracy wherever viable, and (4) use of the highest caliber of sources available, with preference to peer-reviewed literature.

These evidence-based reports hone to the principles of the evidence-based paradigm and methodology as it has evolved from initial domain of application (medicine) into a broad spectrum of evidence-based practice and research
, in the form of evidence-based sociology, evidence-based education and evidence-based teaching, evidence-based psychology, evidence-based crime policy / policing, evidence-based  decision making /policy, evidence-based social work, among many others. We  also commit to industry-standards promulgated by the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ) in their SPJ Code of Ethics, the guidelines for online  journalism issued by Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism in their What are the ethics of online journalism?, and the elements of PIRC (Public-Interest Responsible Communication), especially the Verification Of The Reliability Of Sources, the Independent Verification of Factual Assertions, the Transparency with Sources, and Assessing Objectivity. (For a good summary, see Elements of "Responsible" Journalism of the Canadian Journalism Project, a project of The Canadian Journalism Foundation in collaboration with leading Canadian journalism schools and organizations). 



progressive voices for peace (PVPME)

Progressive Voices for Peace in the Middle East (PVPME), a Brooklyn based initiative, grew out of the recognition that these next-generation obstacles to peace require effective confrontation through counter-lawfare initiatives and the need for a new rational and equitable discourse in addressing the clash of competitive nationalist aspirations for self-determination in the same land.

Director, Constantine Kaniklidis



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Constantine Kaniklidis | Progressive Voices for Peace in the Middle East | 2016.  All rights reserved.