Wednesday, October 23, 2013

From Ian:

‘Zionist BDS’ is a Lie
Peratis is not the only American Jew to have jumped into bed with the anti-Zionists. Some readers will have heard of, for example, MJ Rosenberg, a blogger who trades on the fact that he once worked for the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, and Richard Silverstein, another blogger who fuses a kind of hippie Judaism with full-throated defenses of the Iranian regime.
It leads them in farcical directions. Rosenberg, the man who popularized the anti-Semitic term “Israel-Firster,” has been complaining of late about anti-Semitism in the pro-Palestinian movement, while Silverstein has gone in the other direction, berating, on his twitter feed, a woman from Gaza for not being sufficiently supportive of Hamas!
For those of us watching this public spectacle of neurosis masking as political analysis, it’s all weirdly amusing. But nothing is so exquisitely ludicrous as Peratis’s view that you can be a Zionist and support an anti-Semitic movement at the same time.
Hollywood Insiders Form Group To Counter Celebrity BDS Campaigns
The Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement, which aims to isolate Israel because of its occupation of the West Bank, has often had trouble gaining traction on other fronts. But the performing arts have emerged as the one field in which calls to boycott the Jewish state have yielded some response. Roger Waters, Elvis Costello, Annie Lennox and Stevie Wonder, among others, have responded to calls from grassroots activists by canceling dates in Israel or declining to play there, or at Israel-related events, even as other performers, including Lady Gaga, Alicia Keys, Bob Dylan and Madonna, have pointedly ignored such calls.
But lately, a group opposed to BDS has been taking a notably different approach. Unlike its opponents, who focus on building grassroots pressure by fans, from the bottom up, the Creative Community for Peace has assembled an impressive roster of top entertainment executives supportive of Israel who are seeking to influence artists from the top down to perform there.
Towards a new ‘liberation theology’: Will progressives ever learn to embrace Jewish success?
The stubborn reality of a Jewish state, which adopts a democratic, open and largely free-market economy, vaunting impressive human development figures, while poverty and civil strife plagues those who reject such a paradigm, poses a life-threatening challenge to the progressive worldview.
If the failure of the Arab Spring has taught has taught us anything, it’s that our initial faith that freedom and prosperity will inevitably be the reward once Arab peoples are free from despotism, or even “occupation”, is indeed misplaced. While groups suffering from tyranny and under-development in the Middle East and elsewhere should continue to strive for political freedom and independence, they must realize that while they look outward at obstacles to their liberation, they must also look inward and strive to transcend the culture of fear, authoritarianism and scapegoating into one of openness, initiative and responsibility.
ADL raps Qatari organizers of swim competition over Israeli flag flap
“While it is notable that Israeli swimmers competed in the Swimming World Cup, the Qatari organizers surrendered to complaints and effectively whitewashed Israeli symbols from the competition,” ADL chief Abe Foxman said. “As more and more Arab countries host international sporting events in which Israeli athletes compete, this is an unacceptable gesture.”
“International sporting federations, who have guidelines mandating that all qualifying athletes be permitted to compete, must also now ensure that host countries guarantee that all participants and national teams – regardless of their nationalities – be treated equally, and that their national origin be fully recognized,” Foxman said. “Organizers of international sporting events cannot permit public opinion to politicize competitions, nor sully competitors."
What’s hiding behind attacks on circumcision?
In this context, connections between attacks on Jewish rituals and various anti-Israel measures emerge. The European Union greatly distorts international law when it comes to Israel. This has been exposed in a recent letter to Catherine Ashton, the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs, signed by more than a thousand jurists from many countries.
Now that the climate of hatred is widespread in Europe, anti-Jewish and anti-Israel laws are pushed through far more easily in many places. Battling attacks on Jewish rituals without confronting the root problem head-on is a highly mistaken policy for the Israeli government to pursue.
Satire Gone Too Far? The Onion Hurls Slurs At Redskins Owner
A satirical publication is making real news with its take on the debate surrounding the Washington Redskins nickname.
An article posted to The Onion’s website on Monday featured anti-Semitic slurs and stereotypes aimed at Redskins owner Daniel Snyder, who is Jewish.
Under the headline, “Redskins’ K— Owner Refuses To Change Team’s Offensive Name,” The Onion referred to Snyder as “hook-nosed” and “shifty-eyed.” The K-word was used three times, once in the headline and twice again in the story — and it wasn’t the only derogatory term used.
Finland Convicts Department Store Owner Kärkkäinen for Publishing Anti-Semitic Articles in Free Paper
A Finnish court convicted the high-profile owner of Helsinki’s Kärkkäinen department stores for publishing anti-Semitic articles in free paper Magneetti Media, which he also owns.
Juha Kärkkäinen was fined €45,000 for “inciting hatred against an ethnic group” and was ordered to take down the offensive articles from Magneetti Media’s website, according to Jewish human rights group Simon Wiesenthal Center, which alerted Finnish authorities, including the country’s president, to the hate literature being published by Kärkkäinen and assisted local organizations in filing the lawsuit.
Rihanna, perhaps the real mayor of Tel Aviv, entertains but doesn't sing
Maybe Rihanna should have run for mayor of Tel Aviv. This is only her second time performing in the White City, but she seemed to unite much of it, with an audience ranging from children to middle-aged couples, religious to secular, straight to gay.
Rihanna also shouted "Tel Aviv" about a dozen times, said she'd never forget the night, and did not stop flashing her megawatt grin for a moment, so she already sounds like she's a fan of the city. Plus, she couldn't be blamed for the low voter turnout, since she appeared on stage an hour late, minutes after the polls closed at 10 p.m.
MEMRI: Rihanna Photo Shoot In Courtyard Of UAE Mosque Sparks Media Uproar
On October 20, 2013, during a visit to Abu Dhabi as part of a concert tour in the UAE, the singer Rihanna sparked outrage by posing for photos in the courtyard of the emirate's Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque. Though she was dressed modestly and wearing a hijab, the mosque authorities ordered her to leave, deeming her conduct inappropriate to a holy site. The photos were posted on Rihanna's Instagram account.
The incident was widely reported in the Arab media and social networks. Twitter users even launched a "Rihanna Defiles the Sheikh Zayed Mosque" hashtag, which saw a remarkable amount of activity. Reports published in the Arab media likewise criticized Rihanna for this incident, and also for her immodest performance in her Abu Dhabi concert later that day.
US university to open ‘peace campus’ in Nazareth
The Nazareth municipality has already designated a plot for the new campus, an offshoot of Texas A&M University, which is expected to cost $70 million and be completed by October 2015. It is still unclear, however, which academic programs it will offer.
President Shimon Peres and Texas Governor Rick Perry were scheduled to sign a Memorandum of Understanding for the creation of the campus on Wednesday morning.
The American Cartoonists Who Spoke Out Against Kristallnacht
Most American editorial cartoonists, like most Americans, exhibited little interest in the plight of Germany’s Jews. But there were exceptions. A handful of cartoonists used their platforms not only to express sympathy for the refugees but also to call for practical steps to help them.
Six days after Kristallnacht, Paul Cormack, staff cartoonist for the Christian Science Monitor, drew a cartoon titled “The Best Answer to Race Persecution.” It showed a large hand, labeled “Humanity,” handing a document titled “Assistance” to a crowd of Jewish refugees.
Reinventing wheels
For GM, much of the technology needed for the vehicle of the future is being developed at its Israel research and development facility.
“The technologies that will power autonomous vehicles including smart sensing, vision imaging, human machine interface, wifi and 4G/LTE communications, and much of that is being done at our Herzliya facility, in conjunction with GM’s other R&D facility in Silicon Valley,” said Gil Golan, director of GM’s Advanced Technical Center in Israel. “The industry is being driven by customer preference and demand, and in order to keep up, we need to develop these technologies and ensure we are meeting customer demand. To stay on top of the market you have to be versatile, and the Israel ATC helps the company to do that.”
Three Israeli TV formats headed to US screens
“We are delighted that the New York, Little Mom and Magic Malabi Express formats will be distributed to the US market. The shows have been wonderful additions to our catalogue having had great success in their domestic market, and they stand an excellent chance of replicating their success in the US. These formats can be easily adapted to other cultures across all continents, so we hope this international success can be extended in the future,” said Nadav Palti, President and CEO of Dori Media Group.
New York tells the story of the son of the head of a notorious crime family who rejects the subservience of badly exploited foreign workers and is determined to change it. In Israel, it was the most watched drama of all time on the ‘YES’ channel.


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