Monday, April 14, 2014

From Ian:

Why the Left Doesn’t Understand the Arab War Against Israel
Frankly, the Palestinian Arabs should be celebrating their dumb luck that they happen to live next to and among Jews in Israel, where biology trumps ideology, and where Israel’s actions don’t mirror how they are treated by the Palestinian Arabs: with acts of terrorism, hatred, and glorification of murderers.
If the Palestinians lived anywhere else in the Arab and Muslim world they would be persecuted and the media and world would not report nor care about their fate. That is really how most of the rest of their so-called Arab brethren treat them – as political pawns and pariahs in their war on the Jews.
Peace is a long way away. It’s not helped by the moral narcissists and useful idiots on the Left. Too many on the Left, including in academia, engage in Stockholm syndrome, becoming emotionally attached to and sympathetic with the victimizers, the terrorists (who, ironically, would slit their throats if given the chance).
The status quo is terrible. But all of the alternatives to date are existentially dangerous to Israel. The onus must be on the Palestinian-Arabs to prove they truly are interested in recognition and peaceful co-existence with Israel. For the past 66 years, they have in fact proved the exact opposite.
The Left’s jealousy and envy of Israel’s amazing success and humanitarian accomplishments; their self-hatred; failure to listen to what the Judeo-Christian world’s enemies advocate; appeasing them; excusing them is breathtakingly presumptuous and arrogant.
Where is the feminist anger at Brandeis?
‘Honor Diaries” might not be coming to a theater near you, at least not if CAIR gets its way. The award-winning documentary about “honor” violence against girls and women in much of the Muslim world was released last month in honor of International Women’s Day, and it didn’t take long for the Council on American Islamic Relations to slap its all-purpose “Islamophobic” label on it. The film has been shown in dozens of venues, but CAIR has raised enough of a stink to get screenings cancelled on several college campuses, including the University of Michigan and the University of Illinois.
CAIR — a front group for Islamist extremism that masquerades as a civil rights organization (its first executive director, Nihad Awad, was an open supporter of Hamas) — is good at raising stinks. Last week Brandeis University caved in to demands that it rescind its offer of an honorary degree to Ayaan Hirsi Ali, a heroic defender of women’s rights in the Islamic world. With a life story that reads like a screenplay, Ali has personally experienced many of the evils she fights, including genital mutilation, forced marriage, and savage “honor” crimes. Her remarkable accomplishments should easily merit the honor of any university that upholds reason and intellectual diversity. But Brandeis apparently has different priorities now, like giving CAIR and the Islamophobia-phobes a veto over honorary degrees.
Ali was involved in making “Honor Diaries,” which goes out of its way to convey respect for moderate Islam. It spotlights nine eloquent women with roots in the Islamic world, several of whom are devout Muslims — “Islam is my spiritual journey,” says one — and all of whom are passionate about exposing the terrible abuses women and girls in many Muslim cultures suffer in the name of family honor. None thinks such horrors should be excused or neglected out of a misplaced cultural sensitivity or political correctness.



Fighting the anti-Israel boycott is an honor
What has been most satisfying is to see the pro-Israel students organize and mobilize in the face of these threats. It’s not easy for them. They didn’t ask for it. They would rather be studying.
But they have no choice. The issue has been forced onto them by anti-Israel students, faculty and outside non-student agitators who seek to monopolize campus life and turn it into a Middle East battleground.
Ronald Lauder made a comment recently that rings true:
Fighting BDS “is not a burden or even a challenge. [It] is an honor….”
Pro-Israel Ads Hit Cherry Blossom Bus Route
Seeking to counter a deluge of anti-Israel ads in the Washington D.C. Metro, a group has paid to place several ads on D.C. busses asking the government to “Stop U.S. Aid for Palestinian Terrorism.”
The pro-Israel group StandWithUs (SWU) has paid for the ads to be featured on seven D.C. public busses that travel along the cherry blossom route most frequented by tourists seeking to view the spring floral display.
SWU’s ads seek to counter a separate anti-Israel campaign by the American Muslims for Palestine (AMP), which is running its own Metro ads informing taxpayers dreading the April 15 deadline that their cash will fund U.S. aid to Israel.
Four Bodyguards Hired for NYC Book Launch Hosted by Israeli War Hero
Raanan Lurie, the legendary Israeli political cartoonist and war hero, was in the gossip pages this week when a book launch party hosted at his New York City home drew protests from neighbors and his building insisted he hire four bodyguards for the event.
Lurie told The New York Post‘s ‘Page Six‘ column that he was not intimidated by anyone, including his well-heeled neighbors. He told the nosy neighbor how Idi Amin, the Ugandan dictator, once threatened to rip out his heart and eat it, and Lurie was unmoved. “It was a very civilized conversation,” he told the newspaper
PCUSA and The Great Witch-hunt of the 21st Century !
PCUSA produced a booklet/DVD teaching packet entitled “Zionism Unsettled“ in which they hope to educate their constituents about Israel and Palestine and lead them to make the right decision about BDS. Behind the thin veneer of an ethical study performed by reputable academics and theologians, we find nothing but anti-Israel propaganda. The appearance given by the “pseudo-scholarly” approach of the people used on this project is very misleading. Unfortunately, many people within PCUSA and even outside of the denomination but within Christendom will buy the story hook, line and sinker! This will only worsen Israel’s image.
The following is a non-exhaustive list of some of the issues I have identified in my review:
Bethlehem Conference Promotes Submissive Dhimmi Narrative
The 2014 Christ at the Point Conference raises an important question: Can Christians talk about their fellow Christians being murdered in Muslim countries throughout the world without somehow blaming the Jewish state?
Or is the Christian obsession with the Jews and their homeland – and fear of Islamist oppression – so overpowering that they must always steer the conversation back to Israel?
Focus Magazine Gives a Platfom to the Ethnic Cleansing Libel
Focus, Victoria’s monthly magazine featuring “people, ideas and culture”, has published an ad in its April 2014 issue claiming “Israeli Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine Continues”. The ad is sponsored by the BDS movement and Coalition Against Israeli Apartheid.
A photo referring to Israel’s creation in 1948 as a Naqba (catastrophe) sets the tone for this ad and takes issue with Israel’s establishment as a state in 1948. The Naqba is a reference to the “catastrophe” that they claim is Israel. In 1948, Arabs refused to establish a state side-by-side with Israel and have since defined Palestinian aspirations as replacing and conquering the Jewish state, viewing its establishment as a failure to achieve the Jewish state’s annihilation.
Focus has given a platform to salacious accusations by groups who seek the destruction of a UN member state, fanning the flames of hatred.
A Middle East reality show winner who doesn’t interest the BBC
If readers have formed the impression that the BBC has an extraordinary interest in Middle East reality TV shows, that is probably the result of the fact that in the past year, the BBC News website has covered the Israeli version of ‘The Voice’, the ‘Miss Israel’ beauty contest, the 2013 ‘Arab Idol’ competition (in no fewer than seven reports!), a Palestinian TV show called ‘The President’ (two reports) and the Israeli version of ‘X-Factor’.
To date, however, there has been no BBC report on Dr Nof Atamna-Ismaeel’s recent win of the Israeli version of ‘MasterChef‘.
One might have perhaps thought that an Arab-Israeli woman with three children, a PhD in microbiology from the Technion and no fewer than four post-doctoral degrees could open the door to a somewhat different view of the region than that to which BBC audiences are usually exposed. In the meantime, however, that door remains closed.
CiF Watch prompts revision to Financial Times claim about Palestinian prisoners
The pre-Oslo prisoners – schedule for release under terms agreed upon last year to restart (and continue) negotiations – are all convicted of murder, attempted murder or being an accessory to murder, and there was no provision in the Oslo Accords requiring their release. Israel (per Annex VII of the agreement) agreed to release women, administrative detainees and minors, as well as elderly and sick prisoners, but stated quite clearly that they would not release “prisoners who killed Israeli citizens or were deemed likely to become involved in future acts of violence”, or otherwise had “blood on their hands”. Additionally, “only members of organizations that had stopped supporting terrorism” would be considered for this amnesty.
Another dose of context-free Gaza Strip pathos from Yolande Knell
Since the departure of Jon Donnison last summer, the BBC has not had a permanent foreign correspondent in the Gaza Strip, but Knell has been among those paying occasional visits and reporting from there. Like most of her previous reports from the past few months, this one too is an exercise in context-free pathos and promotion of the theme of poor, blameless, downtrodden Gazans.
The most striking feature of Knell’s report is its framing of Egyptian actions and policy solely as a “crackdown on the Muslim Brotherhood” and the failure to make any mention of the connections between the Gaza Strip and terrorist activity in the northern Sinai.
Topman forced to apologise after selling jacket with SS symbol on chest
High street fashion chain Topman has apologised after it emerged that one of its jackets features an emblem worn by the SS, the notorious elite troops of Hitler's Nazi regime.
The £205 hooded jacket, part of the 'Horace' range, features the Odal rune, the emblem of ethnic Germans of the 7th SS Volunteer Mountain Division Prinz Eugen, which operated during the Second World War.
The division operated in the Nazi Germany-sponsored Independent State of Croatia and was infamous for its cruelty.
French Jewish Group Urges Hitler Furniture Auction Ban
On Sunday, France's main Jewish body called for the cancellation of an auction of Adolf Hitler and Nazi air force chief Hermann Goering's personal effects due in Paris next month.
CRIF, the French associate of the World Jewish Congress, said the sale, planned for April 26, was "a form of moral indecency" and disrespectful to "the victims of Nazi barbarism.”
It asked the culture ministry to block the auction. The ministry has yet to do so.
American Jews Must Wake Up to Anti-Semitism of Hungary’s Jobbik Party
What American Jews need to understand is that Jobbik is a mass phenomenon that is now well poised to infect the politics of other European countries. Sadly, too many in our community believe that the only moral challenge we face is Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians. They worry that our Hillels aren’t “open” enough, they fret at any statement that isn’t sugarcoated with interfaith, intergroup platitudes, but they can’t stomach the idea that anti-Semitism is again in the ascendant. As a result, they live in denial, waffling on about how Jewish ethics are compromised by Jewish power.
But as I’ve argued before, we Jews have, in the United States and other countries, political influence and power. We have the State of Israel. And if we weren’t embarrassed by those facts, we’d be ready to strike at the Jobbiks of this world.
Vienna Philharmonic to Return Nazi Looted Painting
The Philharmonic, famed for its annual New Year's concert, sent a letter to the descendants of the painting's former French owner Marcel Koch on Thursday to inform them of the move, a spokeswoman said.
The 1883 painting "Port-en-Bessin" by French artist Paul Signac, known for his pointillistic style, was confiscated in 1940 in France's Jura region and given to the Philharmonic after it performed in the region, the orchestra said in a statement.
After over two decades of research, an art historian commissioned by the orchestra, Sophie Lillie, finally managed to identify the painting's origins.
‘Start-up’ Microsoft sees Israel as an inspiration
Microsoft is turning to the start-up nation for inspiration in reinventing itself as a start-up, according to the company’s local research and development chief.
“In the past year, Microsoft has changed more than in any single year,” Yoram Yaakovi, head of Microsoft Israel’s research and development lab, told journalists at a press conference Monday. “We have developed a new vision around devices and service, with hardware and software development. We are changing ourselves from an incumbent to a challenger.”
Tailoring retailer Bagir has got £28m listing stitched up
Bagir Group will join the market tomorrow, raising £21million to give it a market valuation of £28million.
It is being advised by N+1 Singer.
Founded in 1961, it caters for both men and women and has 1,000 staff ranging from “designers and innovators” in Israel to factory workers in China, Burma, Vietnam, Egypt, Romania and Jordan.
It makes about 3 million items of clothing a year, including many suits sold in the UK by leading retailers such as Marks & Spencer and the Arcadia Group.
Mini robot printer makes waves on crowdfunding site
Almost everything, from computers to phones, has gone mobile, but the miniaturization revolution has bypassed the printer. Printers are still important, Elbaum said, noting that our ostensibly paperless society still requires plenty of paper for contracts, legal documents, resumes and more. Unfortunately, printers are still bulky, heavy affairs ill-suited for portability.
But there’s no need for the bulk, said Elbaum. “Printers today are essentially a printhead running on a moving piece of paper. Why not just put the printhead on a set of small wheels and let it run across a piece of paper?”
Israeli gas holds promise of better ties with neighbors
Israel's drive to export its new-found natural gas could help to rebuild strained ties with old regional allies Egypt and Turkey, but could deprive Europe of a precious alternative to Russian gas.
Israel has in recent months already signed energy deals with Jordan and the Palestinian Authority, though relations with the Palestinians are at a low ebb, and now needs to expand its export horizons to cash in on its huge energy discoveries.
LightCell unto the nations
Halogen is too hot, fluorescent too harsh, incandescent so inefficient it’s being phased out in many countries. The lighting technologies of today are cool, economical, long-lasting and ecological.
In a field crowded with seekers of the ultimate disruptive lighting tech, the spotlight is on Israeli company Oree Advanced Illumination Solutions for its LightCell — a thin, flat panel spread uniformly with powerful LED (light-emitting diode) light. LEDs are commonly used as point light sources rather than as thin panels.
Israel-Guatemala, a surprisingly close friendship
Despite the fact that many Israelis are not aware of the significant role Guatemala played in our history, the Spanish- speaking country still seems to captivate the Israeli traveler’s attention, mainly for its spectacular nature and the colorful traditional culture. Israeli companies and entrepreneurs have found many economic opportunities in Guatemala, where they can implement their innovative spirit while helping Guatemalans deal with their most pressing challenges.
While Europe is becoming increasingly Islamized, now, more than ever, we need to cultivate our ties with the Latin American countries and use the historical momentum of the Evangelical support in our favor. Guatemala is an example of a loyal friend that has supported us from our first baby steps, and as Israelis, we need to nurture this friendship through strong economic, political and cultural ties.
Like Israel, Guatemala may not be for the faint of heart, but those with vision, patience and an open mind can enjoy her vivid colors.
IDF Chief Rabbi: Passover is the People of Israel’s Gift of Freedom to the World
This week, we will all sit at the Seder table – some of us in our homes with our families, some of us on IDF bases, and some of us in the field, protecting the people of Israel so that we can celebrate the Festival of Freedom in peace.
3,326 years ago, our nation celebrated its miraculous release from slavery in Egypt, an event which marked the beginning of the journey to the land of Israel. The journey was long and arduous, and full of ups and downs, but in the end an entire nation walked to freedom.
Happy Passover From the IDF


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