The people we let into this country [and county].

Palestinian Election Commission Visits Caroline County Registrar’s Office:

Thursday, July 31, 2008 Caroline County registrar’s office hosted a visit from members of the Palestinian Election Commission. Pictured above (left to right) are Danette Moen, General Registrar, Suhair Dweik, an attorney who serves as the head trainer of the Election Commission, Vladimir Pran, Chief of Party for the International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES), Hisham Kuhail, the Chief Executive Officer of the Election Commission, Luther Morris, Vice Chairman of the Caroline County Electoral Board and Barbara Cockrell of the State Board of Elections (SBE) in Richmond.

The Election Commission arrived in Virginia on Sunday evening and attended the 2008 SBE Election Uniformity Workshop. The workshop was held Monday through Wednesday in Richmond. Thursday they visited DMV headquarters in Richmond to see how Virginia’s Motor Voter program works. Their trip also included tours of the SBE offices, the Capital and Henrico Department of Social Services before stopping by Caroline County on their way to Washington DC.

The purpose of the trip was to see how Virginia handles Voter Registrations. At present Palestine has one day a year for voter registrations and they are interested in seeing the many options for voter registration in the Commonwealth.

If you are not yet registered to vote go on the State Board of Elections website www.sbe.virginia.gov and copy an application or call the registrar’s office at 804-633-9083.

Who is Hisham Kuhail? Well, from The Chronicle of Higher Education (March 28, 2003):

In the West Bank, all Palestinian universities that were not previously closed by Israeli military orders suspended their operations for a few days. At Birzeit University, the oldest Palestinian institution, officials said that because Israel does not provide gas masks to Palestinians, the administration had decided students should remain home with their families in the event of an Iraqi attack with Scud missiles carrying chemical weapons. “The Israelis don’t even think about this for Palestinians,” said Hisham Kuhail, deputy minister of higher education for the Palestinian Authority.

And when did it become the responsibility for the Israelis to give gas masks to Palestinians?

The Palestinian Authority has been given $3,000,000,000.00 since 1993 from various countries (Edmonton Journal, April 22, 2002), and they have money to give to the families of suicide bombers, but they can’t provide for their citizens.

Oh, and didn’t Yasser Arafat have a massive mansion before he died? And didn’t he have $1,000,000,000.00 in his portfolio, most of it taken from the Palestinian Authority (CBS News)?

And the last time Iraq shot Scuds at Israel, the Palestinians were on the roof-tops cheering.

From USA Today (April 25, 2002):

At the Ministry of Higher Education, the Israelis scooped up computer disks and used explosives to destroy PCs, fax machines and other electronic equipment, Deputy Minister Hisham Kuhail says. “We have no secret information here,” says Kuhail, who estimates the damage at $ 289,000.

So, let me get this straight, the Israelis with their finite amount of explosives destroyed approximately 192 pieces of computer equipment ($289,000 / ~$,1500 a computer = ~192)?

That would require placing a piece of C4 on every single piece of equipment and detonating them.

Uh, wouldn’t dropping a couple bombs on the building be a hell of lot more efficient?

[…]

The Israeli government says it had to look everywhere: At the education ministry, there was material that will shed light on how Palestinian youngsters are taught to hate Israel and aspire to martyrdom as suicide bombers. In the home of the Nablus mayor, there was a secret laboratory for making explosives, Israel says.

From the Edmonton Journal (April 22, 2002):

Hisham Kuhail, an undersecretary in the six-story Ministry of Higher Education, stood atop a broken computer in a hallway crammed with cracked, smashed and burned computers, printers and copiers.

“They were on a mission of destruction only. … I could understand what they were doing if they’d come in looking for guns. But here? Guns? There is no single reason for what they were doing here,” Kuhail said.

[…]

Israeli army officials acknowledged searching the ministries but denied any attempt to deliberately cripple public services. They also denied using explosives to destroy computers or documents.

“We searched them because we had to search them. In these searches, there’s a certain amount of disruption,” said one military official. “We do not know of wanton damage.”

Well, this is just great, at the very least we have a Fatah propagandist touring the local registrar’s office and the Virginia DMV headquarters.

Anyone else feel safe?

2 Comments

  1. Hisham Kuhail says:

    Well I was very reluctent to make a comment, but the conclusion made is out of touch. It is rather easy to take one’s side and close one’s eyes towards the truth.

    The issue here is not blaming or accusing anybody, but if stating facts is something people can make accuzations against, then this is just unfair.

    As for the tour at the registrar’s office, did we pose any threat to feel unsafe? Such visit helps looking not just at mere experiences but also would open channels where people meet, share, and know eachothers.

    One has to try to talk to people rather than througing out conclusions.

    Again, direct and decent exchange of views is the right way for a better world.

    Best,

  2. Barbara C. Cockrell says:

    RE: the people we let into the country – I’m pretty sure that’s just what the Chief Powahatan and his tribe thought when those three ship dropped anchor at Jamestown in 1607.

    I have recenly retired from the Virginia State Board of Elections. The members of the Palestinian Election who visited the United States in 2008 came to Virginia at my invitation. I only wish I had seen the original entry in this thread when it was entered, but since I did not, I feel obliged to respond to it now that I am aware of it.

    I have worked on the field of elections for over thirty years. (Please note that I said “elections” and not “politics”) I have served as an officer of election in my polling place, as a member of my local electoral board and as General Registrar of my county (Middlesex). I have also served as an observer or superviser, administrator or trainer in many elections in post-conflict countries – including Bosnia, Serbia, Kosovo, Moldova and very recently, Belarus. I also worked for seven years as Director of Operations at the Virginia Board of Elections, the position from which I retired in August of 2010. It was in that capacity that I invited these visitors to come to Virginia to observe our training of local registrars and electoral boards and to visit local registration sites to gain more understanding of how voter registration is conducted in Virginia.

    Their visit had nothing to do with issues of conflict and war. Rather they were on a mission of peace, if you believe as I do that self-determination and democracy are essential to building a peaceful society. As I haave been welcomed into so manay other countries in the cause of democracy, we must not let fear and prejudice prevent us from sharing our knowledge and learning from others. i am sorry to learn that anyone was offended by that visit, but I stand firmly by the decision to invite these delightful people, whose dedication to the cause of democracy is at least as great as mine, to visit our Commonwealth. I hope to be able to return the visit someday.

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