Friday, February 05, 2016

02/05 Links Pt2: Melanie Phillips: Israel-bashers’ Achilles’ heel; MLK Hijacked by Academic Radicals

From Ian:

Melanie Phillips: Those nice Israel-bashers’ Achilles’ heel
Ban and others committed to universalism think this equation is fair. In fact, it diminishes Jew-hatred and sanitizes Islamic aggression. Which is why progressives who think they are pure because their hearts so conspicuously bleed for the oppressed are not pure at all. They are morally corrupt.
They aren’t driven by compassion for any kind of victim. What drives them instead is hatred of supposed victimizers in the “powerful” West.
Their purported even-handedness thus camouflages a moral degeneracy.
For while denouncing Israel, they support Palestinians who throw gays from the top of tall buildings, who abuse women and children, who jail, torture and kill dissidents. They support the racist ethnic cleansing of Jews from a future state of Palestine. They help incite false grievances that kill.
They have the blood of innocents on their own hands.
But they think of themselves as fair, decent, progressive. This is where they are vulnerable. For like Ban, they also tend to be remarkably thinskinned.
That’s because their image of themselves really is all that matters to them. They don’t care about the world’s victims. They care about being seen to care.
They think of themselves as nice people. We have to show them that they are not. Self-regard is everything to them. It is therefore their Achilles’ heel.
We should puncture it.
Gerald Steinberg: How NGOs Became a Weapon Against Israel
For Israel itself, however, the stakes are even higher. In question is Israel’s right to reassert its national sovereignty in the face of foreign manipulation, demand transparency from unelected groups that campaign intensely against the policies of its elected government, and counter an international campaign of hate and defamation that potentially threatens Israel’s very existence.
Ironically, the NGOs and their patrons have made this controversy inevitable. They are answerable to no one but themselves, keep their own internal affairs completely secret in a manner they would condemn if the Israeli government did the same, and resort to hysterical and often slanderous rhetoric almost reflexively when anyone questions their activities or ideology. In the face of this, the rising anger and mistrust directed toward them is completely understandable.
Finally, and perhaps most importantly, the proposed NGO law is, contrary to the claims of many inside and outside Israel, entirely compatible with democratic norms. It does not restrict these groups’ freedom of speech or assembly in any way. Countries like the U.S. and India have similar laws that are observed without controversy. Comparable laws have been passed in Israel that have left NGOs and their activities undamaged. And there is no reason for organizations to fear simple transparency; in fact, if they support democracy and open government, they should welcome it.
The NGO wars will undoubtedly continue, as both the Israeli people and the NGOs escalate their rhetoric and entrench their stands. The sight of Ezra Nawi conspiring to murder a Palestinian was a hammer blow to the NGO network, but there may be more revelations coming, and the network will unquestionably keep fighting against its critics. But the debate should be based on the facts, not on wild and unjustifiable accusations of McCarthyism and government suppression. The NGO law would be an asset to Israeli democracy, and those groups that claim to care so much about precisely that should embrace it. (h/t Yenta Press)
Ami Ayalon: Protesters silencing speakers like me won’t solve the Israeli-Palestinian problem
I came to the UK two weeks ago, at the invitation of the British Jewish organisation Yachad, to present my ideas for how Israel and Palestinian people might create a step-change that may bring about the forging of a political agreement. There is nothing more urgent than finding a way to end occupation and create two states, both for the sake of the Palestinian people and Israel. Both peoples deserve to live in secure, democratic, independent states, and I wish to see the Israel that my parents built remain true to its Jewish and democratic values.
Having spent my career serving in Israel’s navy and security establishment, having been present at numerous peace negotiations, and served as an Israeli cabinet member, I believe I have some ideas as to how this might be achieved.
I spoke to more than 1,000 people over the course of the week. But it was only at King’s College London, where I was speaking at an event jointly hosted by the KCL and LSE Israel societies along with Yachad, was I met with violence. A window was smashed, students were pushed and the event was cut short due to the disruption.
It is worth noting that in comparison to the audience inside the room, who came from a wide variety of backgrounds, and listened and engaged with what I had to say, those responsible for the chaos outside were small in number. Nonetheless, their behaviour has no place at a London university that is committed to free speech. In a democratic society, unless someone is guilty of hate speech or inciting violence, you have a right to express any opinion you want and people have a right to disagree with it, but not through violent means.

A social experiment in Israel

A few months ago a viral video was released, called the "blind man honesty test,"  that purported to show that a blind man, asking for change for a $5 bill when he was holding a $100 bill, was bilked out of his money by passersby.

The video was staged and the "thieves" were actors.

But an Israeli TV show decided to try the experiment for real.

How would you react if someone mistakenly gave you more money than they intended?This social experiment captures Israelis' reactions when stopped by a "blind" man asking for help changing cash.You have to watch this! This is my Israel! This is My Truth!
Posted by Emanuel Miller on Thursday, February 4, 2016

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Turns out there's more cancer in WB than Gaza - but they blame Israel anyway

Yesterday I reported that the Palestinian Ministry of Health blamed unnamed Israeli weapons for the prevalence of cancer rates in Gaza - for World Cancer Day.

The PA's official Wafa news agency today has another article about cancer rates, but it says that cancer is more prevalent in the West Bank than in Gaza. 82 people per 100,000 in the West Bank have cancer, against 77 in Gaza. Lung cancer is the top type.

Dr. Jawad Al-Bitar gives a few reasons for this - more fast food and obesity in the West Bank, for one. But he specifies one other reason: "The occupation authorities also have a role through dumping waste in private fields in various parts of the West Bank which contain dangerous chemicals that are carcinogenic."

See? No matter what happens - floods, honor killings, cancer - it is always Israel's fault!

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02/05 Links Pt1: Caroline Glick: A (much) better year; A Prize for Fooling Peace Seekers

From Ian:

Caroline Glick: A (much) better year
On Wednesday the US media interrupted its saturation coverage of the presidential primaries to report on President Barack Obama’s visit to a mosque in Maryland. The visit was Obama’s first public one to a mosque in the US since entering the White House seven years ago. The mosque Obama chose to visit demonstrated once again that his views of radical Islam are deeply problematic.
Obama visited the Islamic Society of Baltimore, a mosque with longstanding ties to the Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas. During Operation Protective Edge, the leaders of the mosque accused Israel of genocide and demanded that the administration end US support for the Jewish state.
According to The Daily Caller, the mosque’s former imam Mohammad Adam el-Sheikh was active in the Islamic American Relief Agency, a charity deemed a terror group in 2004 after the US Treasury Department determined it had transferred funds to Osama bin Laden, Hamas, al-Qaida and other terrorist groups.
According to terrorism expert Steven Emerson, before Obama visited the Islamic Society of Baltimore, he asked the FBI for its opinion of the mosque. FBI investigators informed Obama of the mosque’s ties to terrorism. They urged him not to confer it with the legitimacy that comes with a presidential visit.
Obama ignored the FBI’s advice.
The next 11 months will be miserable for Israel.
But we should take heart. By all accounts, next year will be better. And judging by the way the presidential race is shaping up, next year may be a much, much better year.
PMW: PA cartoon: Israel is snake, its head a rifle targeting Muslim and Christian holy sites
Depicting Israel as a snake with its head a rifle, this official Palestinian Authority daily cartoon expressed visually the PA libel that Israel is targeting Muslim and Christian holy sites. The cartoon shows a snake with the head of a rifle coiled around a mosque and a church while aiming the rifle at the towers.
Palestinian Media Watch has documented this libel as well as the PA's portrayal of Israel as a snake, an octopus, wolves and rats threatening Jerusalem and the holy sites.
The libel that Israel is working to destroy the Al-Aqsa Mosque to build "the alleged Temple" as well as the PA message that Israel seeks to "Judaize" the Old City of Jerusalem are constantly kept alive by PA and Fatah leaders to instill fear, anger, and hatred in the Palestinian population. Whenever the PA leaders want violence and terror attacks, they build on these feelings, intensify the libels and use them to justify calling Palestinians to use violence to "defend" and "protect" the holy sites.
Thus PA Chairman Abbas used these libels as a pretext for encouraging Palestinians to use "everything in our power" to "protect" the Al-Aqsa Mosque in a speech in September 2015, leading to the onset of the current wave of terror attacks:
Netanyahu visits wounded border policewoman
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu visited a wounded border policewoman at Jerusalem’s Hadassah Mount Scopus hospital on Wednesday, describing her conduct during an attack in the city a day earlier as “heroic and resourceful.”
The policewoman, Ravit Mirilashvili, was hospitalized with serious injuries along with another officer, Hadar Cohen, after three Palestinians shot and stabbed them outside Damascus Gate in Jerusalem’s Old City on Wednesday afternoon.
Cohen, 19, suffered from multiple wounds to her upper body and died hours later. Mirilashvili left the hospital to attend her funeral on Thursday.
“The officers, together with their commander, prevented a much greater disaster,” Netanyahu told Israeli media following the visit, stressing that he admired the injured officer’s “courage and tenacity.”
He praised Cohen as “a genuine hero.”

New AP boilerplate on "Palestinian frustration over occupation"

Over the past couple of days, AP has created a new two-sentence boilerplate to describe the current wave of attacks on Jews by Arabs:

"Israel says the violence has been fueled by a Palestinian campaign of lies and incitement. The Palestinians say it is rooted in frustrations stemming from nearly 50 years of Israeli occupation."

This is indeed the meme that journalists have been using since the murder of the Henkins last year. But if you look at Palestinian Arabic sources, you know that this isn't true.

According to their own words, these attacks started for one reason only: because of supposed Israeli designs on the Al Aqsa Mosque. After the first month or so, a new reason was given: revenge attacks because Israelis defended themselves by killing would-be murderers.

At no time in Arabic did Palestinians claim that this was some sort of spontaneous uprising because somehow they just hit the tipping point.

Of course, the real reason is exactly as Israel says: it is the result of incitement. Mahmoud Abbas lit the match when he gave his "filthy feet" speech calling on Arabs to defend Al Aqsa from a few people with yarmulkas walking around their holiest spot.

Evidence can be seen by what happened yesterday when two Israeli Arab 13-year old girls - not "oppressed Palestinians" - carried out a stabbing attack:
Immediately after the incident, the suspects’ parents were taken to the police station for questioning. Members of the Abu Amar family were having a hard time processing the events.
“I don’t know what came over her, we’re scared,” said Mona, the sister of one of the suspects. “She’s a good girl. This doesn’t make sense.”

The girl’s uncle, Ahmed Abu Amar, concurred. “I must say that if this happened in this family, it’s totally unacceptable; we have good neighborly relations with the Jews and we are shocked at what happened today. I can’t imagine any reason for her to do such a thing,” he said.

Ali Abu Amar, the girl’s aunt, speculated that the girls had seen videos encouraging attacks on social media and had been influenced by them. “Lots of young people see these things nowadays,” she said. “We know that they were not given that type of education at home or at school, so maybe the videos put ideas in their head.”
13-year old girls decide to stab Jews instead of going to school because of brainwashing, and it works because there is no visible Arabic-language media that countervails the non-stop messages of hate.

But the girls said what the Arab media has been reporting:
The teens told police the attack was “revenge for the situation in the Al-Aqsa Mosque,” and was in protest of Israel’s “killing of Palestinians.”
So where does AP get the idea that the reason for these attacks are the "occupation"? It is mostly laziness - years of reporting that the "occupation" is the worst human rights abuse situation in the world necessitates it becoming the obvious reason for stabbing Jews. But since Ban Ki Moon has legitimized that excuse, the media is running with it.

Accuracy isn't as important as the narrative.

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Another journalist blows the whistle on lazy, ignorant reporters in Israel

A must read in The Tower by Zenobia Ravji, a journalist who has been in Israel for two years. Excerpts:
first came to Israel in January 2014 for a short trip. This two-week holiday turned into two years. At the time, I was a graduate student in journalism at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. While traveling, I stumbled on a really eye-opening story—“everyday life” in the West Bank. In the U.S., I was exposed to images of violence and chaos any time the West Bank was mentioned in the news. So when I accidentally ventured into the West Bank during my travels, I had no idea I was even there. I was surrounded by tranquil scenes, modern infrastructure, and economic cooperation between Palestinians and Israelis. I guess this was too boring to make any headlines.

I thought it would be interesting to show people the uneventful side of the story. This wasn’t to negate any social and political injustices of the situation. I just thought people should see the entire truth—not just soldiers, bombs, and riots, but also what’s happening when none of the drama is taking place.

And it wasn’t just the normalcy of life in the West Bank that went unreported. Many of the human rights violations by the Palestinian Authority were never mentioned, such as the lack of freedom of speech and the press, and a complete neglect of the Palestinian people by their own politicians, who continue to exploit the peace process while pocketing European and American funding for a “free Palestine.” My work, however, didn’t consist of criticizing the PA. I thought I should leave that to the “real” journalists. It was their job, after all, to report such things.

During my time in Israel, I landed an internship with an Israeli non-profit that provided support services for foreign reporters based in Israel. For the most part, my job was to accompany members of the press on field tours, getting perspectives on both the Israeli and Palestinian sides. I found to my surprise that much of the foreign press was ignorant and quite lazy in their reporting. They often had a less than limited understanding of the region, its history, and its politics. They tended to write stories that fit the preconceptions of their editors and producers. For the most part, this narrative consisted of the idea that Israelis are bad and Palestinians are good.

On several occasions journalists asked me the most basic questions about the region, such as “What is the difference between a Palestinian and an Israeli-Arab?” Once, a reporter asked me “where is the West Bank?” even though we had been on a tour of the West Bank for the past two hours. I was shocked. I had learned in journalism school that foreign correspondents were meant to be talented professionals. How did these well-educated, ostensibly top-notch journalists be so ignorant, even after spending months and sometimes years in the region?

After working closely with the foreign press, I realized that you can tell a lot about a journalist’s abilities when they are under stress. I would say some of the most memorable performances I witnessed took place during the 2014 Gaza war. One Brazilian journalist comes to mind. He had been flown into Tel Aviv on a day’s notice. He knew nothing about the region. He didn’t even want to be there. When he arrived at Ben-Gurion Airport, he had no idea where he was. In fact, his colleague had to show him where Israel, Gaza, and the West Bank were on a map. The only reason he was even sent to cover the war was because his colleague was Jewish. His paper didn’t want a Jewish name attached to any articles, lest readers think his reports were biased.

In other words, a major international newspaper sent a journalist who didn’t even know where Israel was to cover a war born out of one of the most complicated international situations in modern history. It was incomprehensible to me.

So, why does the Western media get away with such unprofessional and sometimes outright biased conduct? There are two main reasons: First, Israel is a democracy. Second, Israel fails to stand up for itself.

The best part of being a journalist in Israel is freedom of speech. Israel is the only democracy in the Middle East and the only country in the region that respects freedom of the press. And as with all democracies around the world, it is a privilege for journalists, civilians, foreigners, and the like to criticize it. Members of the foreign press are free to say whatever they want about Israel, without fear of censorship or retaliation.

This is not the case on the other side of the conflict. In fact, during the 2014 Gaza war, there were several incidents in which Hamas deleted photos and video footage from journalists’ memory cards before they crossed back into Israel. These journalists did not report the entire story for a simple reason: Hamas wouldn’t let them.

On the other hand, Israel has terrible PR. The Israeli government does not defend itself very well against media bias in times of war or when facing criticism. The spokespeople for this or that politician are not the friendliest. Almost every member of the Israeli bureaucracy is more or less rude to journalists. Let’s also not forget the treatment of journalists and diplomats at Ben-Gurion Airport. Jewish or non-Jewish, if you don’t hold an Israeli passport, you may be treated like a potential threat to the state. One shouldn’t underestimate the effect this has on how journalists see Israel.

Over time, I came to realize that to be considered a successful journalist by the Western media, a journalist must stick to an acceptable script. In the Middle East, this means portraying Israel and the Jews as the bad guys, and the Palestinians and the PA as the good guys. If you don’t do this, you are professionally ostracized.

I saw journalists depict the easiest stories to tell without digging any deeper into the facts behind the conflict. There were various reasons for this—lack of time, money, and resources; ignorance and pressure from editors. These editors sometimes act as experts on the region from their comfortable offices in New York.

Beyond this, however, I found that some stories carried with them an inherent dislike for the Jewish state and the Jewish people. I’m not speaking about most of the Western media. But a few conversations with journalists do come to mind in which it was obvious that the motivation for their stories was anti-Semitism. What’s scary is that these stories inevitably play a major role in shaping foreign policy toward Israel.

There is another reason why Western journalists must begin to question their biases and their conduct toward Israel: Their failure do so is pushing peace further away. For example, the Western media feeds the corruption of the Palestinian Authority. If journalists really want to help change things for the better, they should have the courage to criticize the Palestinians and their government. They should report on human rights violations committed by the PA (and Hamas). They should tell the world about incitement again Jews and Israelis in PA-controlled media, as well as mosques and schools. They should report on the television shows that teach Palestinian children to hate Jews. They should share the stories of Palestinians who want to speak out against their leaders, but are afraid to do so for fear of imprisonment or death. Give Palestinians a real voice. Putting all the blame on Israel will never change the fate of the Palestinian people.

As a journalist myself, it pains me to see how bias, unprofessionalism, laziness, ego, and sometimes outright racism influences coverage of Israel and its conflict with the Palestinians. These failures are not only a violation of journalistic ethics, they make peace less likely and embolden Israel’s enemies, and the enemies of democracy around the world.
Read the whole thing.

Only a couple of weeks ago, Khaled Abu Toameh said virtually the same thing about journalists in Israel, and he was roundly criticized by the good-old boys club.

And the same thing happened to Matti Friedman, formerly of AP.

Are a Zoroastrian, Arab and Jew all in cahoots with the international Zionist conspiracy while the reporters who copy each others' stories to get back to the bar at the American Colony hotel are the paragons of journalistic integrity?

An example of Ravji's unbiased reporting from Israel is here.

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Major NYC synagogue to host Ban Ki Moon tomorrow

From the Park East Synagogue:

This comes only two days after the Palestinian Authority justified murdering Jews by using Ban Ki Moon's own words. 

I have no doubt that Ban believes that the Holocaust was a horrible event. But today he is doing nothing to prevent the next one; on the contrary he is giving the idea moral justification.

It is outrageous that he will be speaking to a major New York synagogue in the wake of his statements as well as his outlandish apparent belief that Israel's actions are far, far more important than anything else happening in the Middle East nowadays, based on his speech?

Maybe this was all arranged before the controversy. But the rabbi should take Ban Ki Moon to task for his words and actions. His self-righteous op-ed in the New York Times wasn't a condemnation of terror - it was incitement to terror.  He should be forced to answer about how Arabs who cheer murderers of Jews are now using his own words to justify their actions as he speaks about how terrible it is to kill Jews.

Comment on Park East's Facebook page.

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Thursday, February 04, 2016

Two Arabs tried to burn a bunch of Jews to death today. Good luck finding the news story.

Arab media is all over the story of a Molotov cocktail being thrown at a small bus of Jews and igniting it.

I couldn't find the Hebrew website that these photos were taken from. (UPDATE: Here's one that reported the story, h/t Dorith.)

This attempted mass murder is no big deal to Israelis, and therefore the English language Israeli media ignore these daily terror attacks - and the international reporters aren't even aware.

Here are photos of the burned bus:

Apparently, Israeli forces arrested two men, a 25 and a 23 year old.  Again, this is in Arab media which are very proud of every attack on every Jew.

But the world never hears about it.

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02/04 Links Pt2: Chomsky criticizes BDS!; The death of journalism; France: An Antisemitic Hell for Jews

From Ian:

US Jewish scholar Chomsky criticizes cultural boycotts of Israel
One of Israel’s harshest critics took to the airwaves earlier this week and denounced attempts to impose a cultural and arts boycotts against the Jewish state.
Noam Chomsky, the world-renowned linguist and scholar, told Al Jazeera earlier this week that the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions campaign that limits its activities to targeting Israeli institutions involved in maintaining military control over the Palestinians in the territories is legitimate.
The MIT professor said that he differentiates between attempts to shun Israeli entities linked to its policies beyond the Green Line and efforts to ostracize Israelis with no connection to “the occupation.”
"Just as I do not suggest boycotting Harvard University and my own university, even though the United States is involved in horrific acts," he said. "You might as well boycott the United States."
The death of journalism
"Three Palestinians killed as daily violence grinds on" was the CBS headline after ‎three Arab terrorists armed with guns, knives and bombs attacked two border policewomen at Damascus Gate in Jerusalem. One of the police officers, 19-year-old Cpl. Hadar Cohen, ‎was killed in the attack. The other is in hospital with serious injuries.‎
There is nothing unique about this headline, though the Foreign Ministry ‎correctly slammed it as "biased and dishonest" and an example of ‎‎"unparalleled chutzpah."
Later in the day, CBS changed the headline to "Israeli police kill 3 alleged Palestinian ‎attackers."‎ Eventually, under strong pressure from multiple government agencies and countless critics on social media, the headline was again changed, this time to "Palestinians kill Israeli officer, wound another before being killed."
Too ‎little, too late.
Such headlines proliferate every time there is a terrorist attack (if it is reported at ‎all) and by now, they surprise few people, maybe apart from the Foreign Ministry. The ‎BBC and The Guardian, as well as the big news bureaus such as Reuters and AFP, positively ‎excel in headlines like this. In November, AFP published a list of countries suffering ‎from terrorism and infamously omitted Israel. ‎
This kind of "reporting" is biased to the point where it becomes equivalent to incitement ‎against Israel and collusion with the terrorists' aims. It is not journalism in any sense of the word. ‎What passes for news today constitutes a travesty of both journalism and any sense of moral ‎obligation that journalists once had to report the factual news, instead of pushing their own ‎highly politicized and subjective "narratives." Facts, as the Israel-hating historian Ilan Pappe once ‎said, do not matter. Only ideology does. Unfortunately, the profession that is paid to report only ‎facts, and to do so according to a certain ethical standard, has come to subscribe to that ‎essentially Marxist view of the world. ‎
France is pro Holocaust Memorials, Iran and a terrorist state
A decade ago, I created the “Future Holocaust Memorials” blog as a wake-up call to those nations who built Holocaust memorials yet turn their backs on those planning a Second Holocaust. This blogart project was honored in 2007 as an exemplary work of digital art by Rhizome Artbase at New York’s Museum of Contemporary Art.
In the tradition of Picasso’s Guernica, I propose to President Francois Hollande to double the size of the dozens of Holocaust memorials in France, built with crocodile tears to mark the murder of 6,000,000 Jews in Europe. These upgraded Holocaust memorials will include in advance the extermination of the 6,000,000 Jews in Israel today that Iranians and the Palestinians are planning with France’s help.
On International Holocaust Remembrance Day, President Hollande enthusiastically welcomed Hassan Rouhani, president of the Holocaust-denying Iranian genocidal regime. Less than a week later, France threatened to recognize the establishment of a terrorist state of Palestine in the historic heartland of Israel. The Palestinians share with the Iranians the aim to wipe the Jewish state off the map.
Future Holocaust Memorials in the tradition of Picasso's Guernica
Future Holocaust Memorials are a wake-up call warning the world of France’s actions to trigger a second Holocaust. It follows in the artistic tradition of Picasso’s Guernica crying out against a barbaric prelude to genocide.

UN mildly scolds Turkey for murdering Kurdish civilians with white flag

From the NYT:
The United Nations’ top human rights official urged Turkey on Monday to investigate a report that the army shot unarmed civilians in the mainly Kurdish southeast, and expressed alarm at a crackdown on journalists and critics of the country’s government.

Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein, the United Nations high commissioner for human rights, said Turkish authorities should open an independent investigation of the shooting in the southeastern town of Cizre.

The events were captured by what Mr. al-Hussein called an “extremely shocking” film by a Turkish journalist, which appears to show a group of people, some holding white flags, being shot at while they pushed a cart carrying bodies in view of an armored vehicle.

Two people were said to have been killed and nine others wounded in the episode about 10 days ago. The wounded included the journalist who had filmed the shooting, Refik Tekin. The local prosecutor’s office has issued an arrest warrant for Mr. Tekin, alleging that he is a member of a unnamed terrorist organization.

The government has severely limited journalists’ coverage of the southeast and has arrested some who have covered clashes between the government and Kurdish militants.

Mr. al-Hussein acknowledged the “major difficulties” that Turkey faces in the southeastern part of the country, where security forces are engaged in operations against Kurdish militants. But he also drew attention to deteriorating human rights in the area and emphasized that “if state operatives commit human rights violations, they must be prosecuted.”
Can you imagine the world outcry if this could have been blamed on Israel? There would have been an extraordinary UN session called. But for Turkey, hey, it's "shame on you.".

In fact, I wouldn't be surprised to see this exact video being edited as if the victims were Palestinians in a month or two.

(h/t Ronald)

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Hillary’s advisers from Hell (Vic Rosenthal)

Vic Rosenthal's weekly column:

So it turns out that the advice Hillary Clinton gets from her advisers regarding Israel is overwhelmingly anti-Israel:
…the stream of anti-Israel advice received by Hillary was much more comprehensive than that which came from just [Sidney Blumenthal]. In the entire batch of Hillary’s emails, you will be hard pressed to find a single email that is sympathetic towards the Jewish state, from any of the people on whom she relied. …

These emails seem to demonstrate that a huge segment of her close advisers and confidants were attacking Israel, condemning Netanyahu, and strategizing about how to force Israel to withdraw from Judea and Samaria at all costs.

Someone recently remarked that “soon the US will get a president from the SJP [Students for Justice in Palestine] generation,” and that this is true of younger staff members already. Clinton is old enough to know better, but it seems she is hearing only one side of the story.

President Obama, too, is a special case. He is ahead of most of his age group, probably because of his third-world anti-Western orientation. But soon most educated Americans will have absorbed what is becoming the conventional wisdom: Israel bad, Palestinian Arabs good. 

The universities are not the only institutions working overtime against us. The US media systematically underreports Arab terrorism: how many Americans know that since October 1, virtually every day has seen at least one murder or attempted murder of an Israeli Jew by an Arab? And much of the media implicitly or explicitly promotes the administration’s position that the reason the conflict continues is that “Israel is building settlements and won’t negotiate” – both false propositions.

There isn’t much that can be expected from over-educated academics, who live on a planet that exists only on the insides of their eyelids, and under-informed media people who care more about access to administration sources than truth. But what’s with the hard-headed political analysts that are advising the candidates? They are supposed to be developing policies that will advance the interests of the US in the world. Are they unaware that the world has changed significantly since the 1990s?

I have always believed that it was both in America’s practical interest and consistent with its values to back Israel. But until recently, it was possible to argue (and many did) that the need to guarantee the oil supply required the US to maintain good relations with the Arab nations – which implied that it had to continue to try to force Israel to abandon all the territory it had come to control in 1967.

But in the past decade and a half, several very significant events have occurred which have vitiated this argument. They are:

  •  Technological developments that have increased the oil supply, especially in the US and Canada, and have brought about a precipitous reduction in the world price of oil,
  • The burgeoning Sunni jihad against the West, and
  •  The advance of Iran in the region, aided by the splintering of its traditional enemy, Iraq, and by its recent diplomatic and financial gains from its humiliation of the US in nuclear negotiations.

America no longer needs to live in fear of the Arab ‘oil weapon’. At the same time, it is menaced by both the Sunni jihad pursued by groups like the Islamic State and al-Qaeda and the Shiite one of soon-to-be-nuclear Iran. The US then has a very practical interest in fighting the Sunni jihad and restraining Iran, as well as supporting Israel – which is the key to defending Jordan, Lebanon and Egypt against the jihadists of both stripes.

The “domino theory” applies here. If Israel goes down, so do its neighbors – and so does the rest of the eastern Mediterranean region. And there is no doubt that the Sunni and Shiite jihads are pressuring Israel with an eye on Europe. Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi claims that the IS will “conquer Rome,” and it isn’t unimaginable that it might succeed.

The Obama Administration has taken a course almost completely opposed to America’s real interests, supporting the Muslim Brotherhood – part of the axis of jihad – allowing Iran a free hand in Iraq and Syria as well as failing to interdict its nuclear program, not taking serious action against the IS, and doing its best to force Israel to accept indefensible borders. 

Barack Obama not only won’t act against it, he refuses even to admit that jihadist Islam is a threat to the West.

Obama’s motives are opaque, but they are probably composed of anti-colonialist ideology, a strong pro-Islamic and anti-Western bias, historical ignorance, and cowardice in the face of terrorist threats (like that historically displayed by European leaders). Regardless of the reason, his policy can seriously damage the US in the long run, exposing it to the threat of terrorism and even nuclear attack. And if it is in the American interest to keep the entire Middle East from becoming a jihadist stronghold, a strong Israel is the best defense. 

So what’s wrong with Hillary Clinton’s advisers? Probably they are less concerned with the American interest than with personal interests. Although the Saudi regime is threatened by the IS, Saudi individuals are its biggest backers. They have a history of buying influence by paying off American functionaries – sometimes after they leave office, as in the case of Bill Clinton and of course Jimmy Carter. There are also persistent rumors that Hillary’s closest assistant and adviser, Huma Abedin, is sympathetic to the Muslim Brotherhood.

The continued anti-Israel (and essentially pro-jihad) American policy is profoundly immoral, contrary to traditional American values, and not justifiable in terms of Realpolitik or in any other way. Its practitioners are either antisemitic or corrupt, and if it is not changed, it may result in the destruction of the Jewish state and a triumph for the Islamic jihad. 

In that case, historians will write that if the first blow of World War III was struck on 9/11, its turning point against the West and toward Islam was the loss of Israel. Assuming anyone is left to write from a Western viewpoint, they will not be kind to those American leaders who sold Israel – and ultimately their own country – out.

A new American president will have the opportunity to reverse this irrational and dangerous policy. Here’s a tip for the folks advising Hillary and the other candidates: as my father used to say, the American people are not as dumb as they look. 

We have lots of ideas, but we need more resources to be even more effective. Please donate today to help get the message out and to help defend Israel.

02/04 Links Pt1: At her funeral, slain border policewoman hailed as heroine

From Ian:

At her funeral, slain border policewoman hailed as heroine
Hundreds of people gathered Thursday afternoon for the funeral of Hadar Cohen, a border policewoman who was killed by Palestinian attackers in a stabbing and shooting attack outside Jerusalem’s Old City a day earlier.
Police said the 19-year-old, who was shot in the head by one of the Palestinian gunmen, managed to return fire before losing consciousness, helping to thwart a potentially worse attack by the three assailants.
Joined by Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan and Israel Police Chief Roni Alsheich at the funeral, in the military cemetery in Yehud outside Tel Aviv, friends and family praised Cohen’s heroism.
Cohen’s father, Ofer, eulogized his daughter, saying: “My beloved Hadar, my dearest daughter who was more beloved to me than anything. How am I supposed to say goodbye to you now?”
“Everyone says you were a hero, a true hero, who saved so many people with your body and soul. But no one truly knows you, my Hadar, your warmth,” he said, after reciting the Kaddish at his daughter’s grave.
“I’m proud of you. I’m proud of you and salute you,” he said.
Damascus Gate killers planned to attack group of civilians, police believe
Israeli security officials said Wednesday’s fatal attack at the Damascus Gate in the Old City of Jerusalem, in which Border Police officer Hadar Cohen was killed and a second policewoman badly injured, marked “an escalation” in the ongoing terror wave.
The three West Bank Palestinians who stabbed and shot at the Israeli forces had been sitting and waiting for a large group of Israeli civilians to enter or leave the Old City, and had planned to target them, Israel’s Channel 2 news reported on Wednesday evening, citing police sources.
“As far as we can tell from the armaments, [the terrorists] planned a larger, more sophisticated attack,” Jerusalem Deputy Police Chief Avshalom Peled said. “This is an escalation from what we’ve seen thus far. The police officers prevented a combined and much larger attack.”
Husam Badran, an official with the Hamas terror group, also called the attack “a turning point,” apparently referring to its severity and sophistication during a terror wave that has mostly consisted of lone stabbers.
Honest Reporting: Is Murdering Israelis Just “Human Nature”?
Once again, Ban presented no evidence as to the drivers of violence and extremism. So let’s do what the Secretary-General did not, and actually examine history, facts and human nature.
Question: Is violence against civilians really a natural response to territorial disputes throughout the ages?
Answer: No.
Oxford University Press recently published a thorough academic study of more than 2,000 militarized, territorial disputes around the world from 1816 to 1996. The analysis demonstrated that only 17% of militarized territorial disputes escalated into war within one year, and only 30% escalated into war within five years. In other words, humans usually do NOT respond to territorial disputes with violence. That’s not an opinion, that’s just history.

Question: Does Ban Ki-moon actually believe that terrorism (against people other than Israelis) is “human nature?”
Answer: No.
A UN Secretary-General has to deal with a lot. For example, right now 190 different countries are engaged in territorial disputes. Further, according to the Armed Conflict Database, there are 42 violent conflicts raging around the world (as of 2015), and in the year 2014 alone, these conflicts produced 12,181,000 refugees and 180,000 fatalities.
Yet in over seven years as UN Secretary-General, we have not been able to find even one example of Ban Ki-moon referring to any of these deaths as “natural” or “human nature,” except for the murder of Israelis.