Thursday, May 08, 2014

From Ian:

Abu Toameh wins 2014 Pearl prize for journalistic courage
Khaled Abu Toameh, a reporter for The Jerusalem Post who has covered Palestinian and Arab affairs for the past three decades, is the recipient of the 2014 Daniel Pearl Award.
The award, named for Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl, who was kidnapped and murdered in Pakistan in 2002, recognizes courage and integrity in journalism.
“Khaled Abu Toameh has been telling us, with courage and objectivity, what life is like in the West Bank and Gaza,” said Judea Pearl, father of the dead journalist. “Rarely has a reporter been so successful in penetrating a conflict so complex and remaining consistently and definitively on the side of truth.”
Mike Lumish: University of California Cancels Nonie Darwish Speech
Nonie Darwish is among the prominent anti-Jihadists writing today and should therefore be supported.
Progressive western Jews must get beyond the cowardly fear of being called “racist” or “Islamophobic” if they oppose the movement of political Islam. Islam is Islam and so long as it does not seek to impose itself upon the rest of us then I have no grievance, but when Islam is the heart of a political movement – which it most certainly is – then it becomes a problem for all of us who are not both Muslim and male.
This is why Barack Obama’s support for the Muslim Brotherhood is such a betrayal of his own alleged values, not to mention a betrayal of the United States, itself, given the fact that the Brotherhood is also the parent organization of both Hamas and al-Qaeda.
The late, great Barry Rubin certainly understood this
A perverse Leftist racism against black women?
Aging radical leftists still fighting the Vietnam War and extreme Islamists fighting any hint of criticism of their religion triumphed in two battles in US universities against two extraordinary black women who happen not to be leftists -- Condi Rice, and Ayaan Hirsi Ali
One wonders if the Rutgers protestors are interested in anything of real importance in the world, especially abuse of women. At the time of their outbursts against Rice a more imperative incident affecting young black women was occurring. At least 276 schoolgirls, 16 to 18 years old, who are mostly Christians but including some Muslims, girls eager to become teachers or doctors, were kidnapped from their school, an all Girl’s Secondary School in Chibok in northeastern Nigeria, by a fanatical Islamist group Boko Haram, a murderous group with a five-year record of atrocities, that is strongly against the education of women.
The intention of the group is to sell the girls into sexual slavery to Muslims in Chad and Cameroon. The women Muslim students at Rutgers have not at this point registered sit-in protests against this barbarism.
One brave young girl has made her protest. This is Malala Yousafzai, who was shot at the age of 15 by a Pakistani Taliban fighter in October 2012 because she advocated education for girls. She joined the protest in London against the abduction of the schoolgirls.
By contrast, the Muslim students at Rutgers have remained silent on the cruel action of the Islamists. One knows they will not learn the virtue of tolerance from the aging revolutionaries in the faculty.

One Synagogue, Twenty Victims of Terror
Thirty years ago, on Israeli Independence Day, the pioneers of the town of Itamar arrived to establish the community. At the time they numbered seven families.
On Wednesday, over 200 families who currently live in the town will celebrate the anniversary by praying at a new synagogue, built in memory of the 20 Itamar residents who have been murdered over the years.
The number of those murdered is proportionally the largest in Israel, relative to the size of the community.
Construction on the synagogue began following the Fogel family massacre in 2011, when Ehud (Udi) and Ruth were killed in their home by Arab terrorists, along with three of their six young children, the youngest being their three-month-old daughter Hadas.
"The Problems for [Us] West Bank Christians Started in 1993 When the Area Was Handed Over to the Palestinian Authority"
“Unless Israel exists Hamas will take over West Bank – we need Israel to protect us. We do not hate the Israelis, we don't love them either but we are cool with them. They are protecting us."
"We want to live under the Israelian control we do not want the PA, it is bad for us Christians."
"....The problems for West Bank Christians started in 1993 when the area was handed over to the Palestinian Authority....after the 2nd intifada, it got worse ..."
Those are the statements of three young Palestinian Christians quoted in a document titled "Methodist Church Consultation Response" issued by the Emmaus Group, a Christian organisation that aims effectively to counteract the anti-Israel mischief of Sabeel and Kairos, and indeed of that of such anti-Israel clerical crusaders as the Rev. Stephen Sizer, who to judge from what he and his followers have written today on social media are (deservingly) much miffed by the document.
Church Near Beit Jala Attacked
A Bethlehem Greek Orthodox Church (St. George's Church - Khadar - near Beit Jala) was attacked by Muslims during its annual St. George's Day services on May 6. ... Some local Muslims either tried to park a car too close the church and/or tried to enter the church during a service honoring St. George - the initial instigation isn't clear. But when the intruders were asked to leave, one of them stabbed a Christian man who was outside the church serving as a guard. He was hospitalized. Several then started throwing stones at the church. 7 or 8 Christians were injured and some physical damage was done - broken windows etc. The police didn’t show up for an hour.(h/t Bob Knot)
"We've Done Well Under Israel; Israel Never Treated Us Badly": Palestinian Jordanian Leader Mudar Zahran (video)
In an interview in Sweden with Avner Ben Israel, Mr Zahran, the leader of the Palestinians in Jordan, prudently self-exiled for the time being owing to his harsh criticism of his country's monarch, explains how Palestinians have benefited under Israeli rule and why Israel is definitely not an apartheid state.
Also interviewed by Avner Ben Israel is David Rubin, former mayor of Shiloh: (he is interviewed first, and after Mr Zahran is interviewed the two enter into a cordial and informative discussion regarding the present and the future, including the path to peace.)
John Kerry: Terrorists “Don’t Offer a Health Care Plan” (not satire)
Is John Kerry the dumbest Secretary of State in American history? It’s hard to say.
Secretary of State John Kerry at the weekend again pledged U.S. support for efforts to locate and rescue them.
“I will tell you, my friends, I have seen this scourge of terror across the planet, and so have you,” he continued. “They don’t offer anything except violence. They don’t offer a health care plan, they don’t offer schools. They don’t tell you how to build a nation, they don’t talk about how they will provide jobs. They just tell people, ‘You have to behave the way we tell you to,’ and they will punish you if you don’t.
“Our responsibility and the world’s responsibility is to stand up against that kind if nihilism,” Kerry said.
Anne Bayefsky: UN replaces notorious Richard Falk -- don't expect changes
For over a month, the U.N.’s top human rights body has been struggling with a major dilemma. How much prior Israel-bashing experience is necessary to be appointed U.N. “independent expert” on Israel?
On Wednesday we found out. Indonesian Makarim Wibisono has just the right mix of confirmed anti-Israel bias and diplomatic cover to replace outgoing U.N. “expert” Richard Falk.
Falk was a notorious anti-Semite, infamous 9/11 conspiracy theorist, and Boston Marathon apologist. But at the U.N., a six-year time limit forced his retirement -- and not a matter of principle.
Former Indonesian U.N. ambassador Wibisono is from a country that does not recognize Israel’s right to exist. He served as the president of the U.N. Human Rights Commission in its last year of operation in 2005 – a body that even U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan said “cast a shadow on the reputation of the United Nations system as a whole.”
Baird warns UN council about new food envoy who once compared Israelis to Nazis
Canadian diplomats and other experts say the the UN Human Rights Council (UNHCR) could appoint Hilal Elver as its special envoy on the right to food as early as this week.
Baird argues that Elver's previous statements and activities "shows indisputably that she is not a suitable candidate."
Baird says that, among other things, Elver accused Israel of "genocide" and "water apartheid" and, as result, cannot be counted upon "to possess, at a minimum, the appearance of impartiality (that) is crucial for " success.
"Her public record clearly demonstrates abysmal judgment, as well as associations with fringe groups," Baird said in a letter sent to Baudelaire Ndong Ella, a diplomat from the African country of Gabon and current UNHCR president.
Honest Reporting: Is the EU Preparing to Drop the Hammer?
Israeli officials are concerned that the collapse of peace talks with the Palestinians may push the EU to apply economic pressure on Israel regarding the West Bank, according to the Wall Street Journal.
David Walzer, the Israeli ambassador to the EU, told the Journal that rumors abound that the EU is preparing to resume efforts to ensure that products produced in the West Bank, eastern Jerusalem, and the Golan do not receive the “made in Israel” label because the EU does not consider them part of Israel.
UCLA Student Government Candidates Sign 'Ethics Statement' Against Israel Trips
According to an article in UCLA’s student paper The Daily Bruin, “The majority of candidates running for undergraduate student government officer positions this week have promised to not go on free or sponsored trips with certain pro-Israel lobbying organizations and non-student centered external groups if they are elected.”
UCLA student Gabriel Levine, a former J Street U member who is now a board member of Jewish Voice for Peace, told The Daily Bruin that a number of anti-Israel organizations drafted the "ethics statement" last week. According to the report, trips with American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) and Hasbara Fellowships are all prohibited under the agreement.
The proposal was drafted by student members of Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP), the Armenian Students’ Association and Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP). JVP and SJP promote the anti-Semitic Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement, which targets only the Jewish state of Israel on campuses across the country.
The Next Step in the Campus War on Jews
In recent months, those advocating boycotts of Israel have lost a series of votes on college campuses around the country. Though the political culture of academia swings hard to the left with faculty members often tilting the discussion about the Middle East against Israel, a critical mass of fair minded students still exist at most institutions of higher learning. Part of that stems from the fact that some students—especially Jews—have been to Israel on trips where they learn the other side of the story from the pro-Palestinian propaganda that is often shoved down their throats in classes or at college forums. So rather than merely accept the lies about Israel being an “apartheid” state they can lean on their own experiences and speak about the equal rights that are held by all people in the Jewish state or discuss the complex questions about the West Bank in terms other than that of an “occupation.”
British University to Host Hamas Supporter
Counter-extremism group Stand for Peace reports that The Middle East Monitor Online (MEMO), an English-language pro-Hamas publication, is sponsoring an event at King's College London with notorious Hamas supporter Azzam Tamimi as a guest speaker.
To add to the controversy, the “inaugural Abdelwahab Elmessiri Memorial Lecture” honors an Egyptian Holocaust revisionist and a prolific writer of anti-Semitic works.
In 1999 Elmessiri published an eight-volume anti-Semitic “encyclopedia” of Judaism, which won first prize at the Cairo Book Fair that year. He also adamantly denied the Holocaust, claiming that it was a device Zionists exploit for their justification of establishing the State of Israel and that far fewer than 6 million Jews died.
Despite Economist claim, the ‘fanatical settlement’ of Kochav Ya’ir is neither ‘fanatical’ nor a ‘settlement’
Though the community was indeed named after Ya’ir Stern, a quick check on Google Maps would have demonstrated to the Economist journalist that Kochav Ya’ir is NOT a settlement:
Additionally, the claim that Kochav Ya’ir is “fanatical” does not hold up to scrutiny.
First, contrary to the stereotype of such fanatical ‘settlers’ [sic] as religious fundamentalists, Kochav Ya’ir is an overwhelmingly secular community.
Moreover, in the last national elections in 2013 a majority of Kochav Ya’ir residents (according to official results) voted for centre and left-wing political parties. In fact, while Likud-Israel Beiteinu was the party which attracted the greatest percentage of votes overall in the country, the top vote-getters in Kochav Ya’ir were centrist Yesh Atid and the left-wing Labor Party (at 24 and 21 percent respectively).
So, Kochav Ya’ir is clearly not a “settlement”, nor does it appear to be at all “fanatical”.
The Economist got it wrong.
The New York Times Whitewashes Anti-Israel Terrorism
There was just one problem. The article by The New York Times Jerusalem bureau chief included no mention whatsoever of Islamic Jihad’s terror attacks or anything at all about its victims.
Rather, the reporter euphemistically described the group’s “focus on military resistance to the Israeli occupation” – a description that adopts the terrorist group’s narrative justifying attacks against Israeli civilians, with the aim of eliminating all of Israel, as legitimate.
Anti-Semitic material found in JCC shooter’s home
During their search of Miller’s home in Aurora, Missouri, located about 200 miles from Kansas City, FBI agents found anti-Semitic paraphernalia, including a copy of “Mein Kampf” and a book Miller had written titled “A White Man Speaks Out.”
They also found a user’s manual for a shotgun, three boxes of ammunition, and a computer printout with directions to area synagogues and kosher eateries and the details of a Kansas City-area talent contest.
Livingstone and the Left’s Jewish Problem
Livingstone’s claim that Jews won’t vote Labor because they are rich, much like his previous allegations of Jewish betrayal on account of their support for Israel under Begin, is part of a wider left-wing angst that bemoans the Jews being on the wrong side of the barricades. Which side of the political spectrum Jews actually choose to identify with is irrelevant; the left has increasingly come to imagine the Jews as their adversaries. That said, perhaps this sentiment has always been there–even in the 1840s left Hegelians like Bruno Bauer were chastising the Jews for requesting emancipation while not sufficiently helping to emancipate mankind from a system that they themselves were in part guilty of constructing.
As Britain’s Education Secretary Michael Gove once observed, when the Jews were weak, impoverished, and persecuted the left saw them as natural allies. Yet if Jews have had the audacity to become successful and assertive then the left now views them as having broken ranks. But perhaps the more important division today is not one of class or affluence, but rather one of race and geopolitics. If, as many have suggested, the left’s disappointment with the docile workers of the West has instead led it to seek a global proletariat in the peoples of the Third World, then this is certainly a dividing line that the Jews fall on the wrong side of. The struggle against Zionist colonialism, which is closely followed by the equally ridiculous notion that there is such a thing as American imperialism, serves as the very revolutionary battleground that the left seeks so as to justify its own worldview.
Ugly truths and Liberal Democrat Friends of Palestine
Last week’s Jewish Chronicle exposed the Liberal Democrat Friends of Palestine group for having repeatedly linked via Facebook to articles on a notorious American antisemitic hate website, The Ugly Truth. Its strap-line “Zionism, Jewish extremism and a few other nasty items making our world uninhabitable today” should have warned the Lib Dem group that this was taking pro-Palestinian activity into unsavoury territory: but nobody seemed to care.
The Ugly Truth’s interpretation of “truth” makes it a very ugly place indeed. At the top of the page is an American Uncle Sam image, pointing at the reader, declaring “I’M ISRAEL’s BITCH AND SO ARE YOU”. Next is the website’s logo, a Star of David being cut by a pair of scissors. Scroll down and you find “Israel Did 9/11”.
Upon being exposed in the Chronicle, the Lib Dem group’s administrator Miranda Pinch apologised and said she would not link to The Ugly Truth again. Her apology seemed premised upon The Ugly Truth having occasionally included Holocaust denial.
Mango the bear has disc fixed
In Israel, a 19-year-old Syria brown bear named Mango underwent surgery Wednesday to repair a herniated disc, said Sagit Horowitz, a spokeswoman for the Ramat Gan Zoological Center near Tel Aviv.
Zoologists first noticed Mango had a problem when he started to show signs of paralysis in his hind legs in the last few weeks, said Dr. Merav Shamir, who led the surgery on the furry patient.
Bo Derek Gives Israel A ’10′
..for helping a Syrian bear named Mango.
Thank you Israel! “@haaretzcom:Syrian brown bear named Mango undergoes back surgery in Israel
Israeli TV series on deck for Hollywood pilot season
Among this year’s bumper crop of potential television shows currently being considered by major US networks, there are a number of Israeli ideas and concepts. The Israeli execs tied to “Allegiance,” a family thriller in which a CIA analyst and war hero has no idea that his parents are deep-cover Russian spies, can already breathe easy – that show, a remake of the Israeli hit “Gordin Cell,” from Keshet TV, has already been ordered to series and will debut on NBC with Scott Cohen (“The Carrie Diaries”), Gavin Stenhouse and Hope Davis among its cast.
Executives at ABC are still considering “Irreversible,” a remake of the beloved Israeli comedy “Bilti Hafich,” a comedy of errors featuring two fumbling first-time parents. “Friends” star David Schwimmer, who hasn’t been seen much on the small screen since 2004, is set to star.
Ellen DeGeneres Buys Israeli Grandmothers Show Format; NBC Buys Spy Drama Based on Israeli Series
Ellen DeGeneres’s production company, A Very Good Production, bought the rights to Israeli TV show The Gran Plan, which stars three grandmothers “who use their rich life experiences to help the younger generation deal with personal crises,” Israel’s Globes business daily reported on Wednesday.
The Gran Plan, which is airing in Israel today, is owned by Artza Productions and Channel 10.
Can Mei Finegold belt out a winner at Eurovision 2014?
Mei Finegold will belt out the Hebrew-English rock tune Same Heart at today’s Second Semifinal of the 2014 Eurovision Song Contest in Copenhagen and try to regain some of Israel’s lost stardust.
International media and music fans are hailing her as one of the top performers at this year’s song competition.
“Mei has the voice of Pink, the body of Gaga, the empowering angst of Kelly Clarkson and the dance moves of Beyoncé – so basically she’s pretty gosh darn amazing,” writes the UK’s Daily Mirror. “Same Heart is a mash-up of the best parts of rock, dance and power pop and uses Mei’s impressive voice better than nearly any other Eurovision entry this year, but that’s its only downside.”
Israeli Google Glass-style tech does night vision, too
Two cutting-edge Israeli optics companies have joined forces to develop a Google Glass-style night-vision display system. Leveraging their advanced technologies, Lumus, which makes personal displays for the eye, and Opgal, which develops thermal cameras for night vision, have developed the Therm-App mobile device that, mounted on headgear, transmits high-resolution images to the Lumus wearable display, enabling the user to see in the dark as they would in the daytime. The product is in development and is planned to be available in the coming months, the companies said.
Lumus is less well-known than Google, but the Israeli company’s “near to eye personal displays” are similar to the American firm’s famous Glass devices. Lumus, like Google, is developing a system that lets users access the Internet, watch TV or video, play games and engage with augmented reality applications.
The difference between Lumus’s devices and Google Glass is that the Israeli company’s product looks a lot cooler than the American’s. Instead of an orb-like attachment that covers one lens of a pair of glasses, the Lumus device looks like a super-modern pair of sunglasses.

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