Saturday, February 28, 2015

From Ian:

Europe Without Jews?
Even if many Muslims came to Europe seeking economic opportunity, they are often defined as victims of racism and oppression. So, the thinking goes, if you are a victim of racism and oppression, how can you be racist yourself?
The Palestinians repeat almost daily that they would like to kill the Israelis, while the Israelis say they would like peace. What follows are usually bitter, politically-motivated denunciations of Israel by Europe, masquerading as human rights.
Despite the increasingly savage state of the world and an openly genocidal Iran -- soon to be nuclear, if it is not already -- Israeli leaders remain the ones Europeans love to accuse, hate and demonize.
The terrorist attacks are denounced by journalists and political leaders, but their denunciations always sound sanctimonious and thin, condemning the "anti-Semitism" they themselves have been encouraging.
In Europe today, slandering Israel is widely conveyed by European Muslims, and if a political leader or journalist does not agree with what they say, he must be a racist.
There are now 44 million Muslims in Europe.
Ben Shapiro: First They Came for the Jews
President Obama does not stand up for Jews murdered by Islamic Terrorists. President Obama does not stand up for Christians murdered by Islamic Terrorists. Is there anyone President Obama will stand up for? Ben Shapiro explains why the answer is probably 'no.'
TRANSCRIPT:
After a Muslim terrorist shot up a kosher supermarket in the hours after the Charlie Hebdo massacre, President Obama spoke out. He said:
It is entirely legitimate for the American people to be deeply concerned when you've got a bunch of violent, vicious zealots who behead people or randomly shoot a bunch of folks in a deli in Paris.
Randomly. Obviously, the shooting of Jews in a kosher supermarket was not random. In fact, we have proof: the shooter called the media and stated, “I targeted them because they were Jewish.”
Why didn’t Obama acknowledge the reality of Islamic anti-Semitism? Because were he to do so, he would have to acknowledge that Israel is right and its enemies are wrong, that no territorial concessions would buy off Muslim religious fanatics. He would have to realize that whether radical Muslims attack Jews in Jerusalem or in Paris, they’re attacking Jews, not stand-ins for Israel.
Ben Shapiro: First They Came for the Jews



Why Bibi’s Speech Matters
The emerging nuclear deal with Iran is indefensible. The White House knows it. That is why President Obama does not want to subject an agreement to congressional approval, why critics of the deal are dismissed as warmongers, and why the president, his secretary of state, and his national security adviser have spent several weeks demonizing the prime minister of Israel for having the temerity to accept an invitation by the U.S. Congress to deliver a speech on a subject of existential import for his small country. These tactics distract public attention. They turn a subject of enormous significance to American foreign policy into a petty personal drama. They prevent us from discussing what America is about to give away.
And America is about to give away a lot. This week the AP reported on what an agreement with Iran might look like: sanctions relief in exchange for promises to slow down Iranian centrifuges for 10 years. At which point the Iranians could manufacture a bomb—assuming they hadn’t produced one in secret. Iran would get international legitimacy, assurance that military intervention was not an option, and no limitations on its ICBM programs, its support for international terrorism, its enrichment of plutonium, its widespread human rights violations, and its campaign to subvert or co-opt Iraq, Yemen, Lebanon, and Syria. Then it can announce itself as the first Shiite nuclear power.
And America? Liberals would flatter themselves for avoiding a war. Obama wouldn’t have to worry about the Iranians testing a nuke for the duration of his presidency. And a deal would be a step toward the rapprochement with Iran that he has sought throughout his years in office. The EU representative to the talks, for example, says a nuclear agreement “could open the way for a normal diplomatic relation” between Iran and the West, and could present “the opportunity for shaping a different regional framework in the Middle East.” A regional framework, let it be said, that would leave American interests at risk, Israel one bomb away from a second Holocaust, nuclear proliferation throughout the Middle East, and Islamic theocrats in charge of a large part of a strategic and volatile region.
I feel safer already.



Senate Unanimously Welcomes Netanyahu to America
The Senate on Thursday unanimously passed a resolution welcoming Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to America and endorsing his speech before a joint session of Congress.
Critics of the Obama administration view the unanimous approval as a rebuke to the White House and Democrats, who have vowed to boycott Netanyahu’s address and work to counter his warnings about the dangers of a nuclear Iran.
No Senate Democrats sponsored the measure, which attracted 50 Republican cosponsors. However, none attempted to block its passage, signaling that support for Israel and Netanyahu’s message has outweighed a pressure campaign by the Obama administration to sabotage the address.
“The Senate warmly welcomes the Prime Minister of Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu, on his visit to the United States, which provides a timely opportunity to reinforce the United State-Israel relationship,” the resolution states.
Congress “eagerly awaits the address of Prime Minister Netanyahu before a joint meeting of the United States Congress,” it continues.
More Have Favorable Opinion of Netanyahu than Unfavorable Opinion
More Americans view Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu favorably than unfavorably, a new Pew Research Center poll shows.
Thirty-eight percent of Americans have a favorable opinion of Netanyahu.
This is in contrast to just 27 percent who have an unfavorable opinion of Netanyahu. Thirty-five percent have no opinion of the Israeli leader.
Additionally, more Americans (48 percent) say the level of U.S. support for Israel is “about right.” Twenty-nine percent say the United States is not supportive enough of the country. Eighteen percent say the United States is too supportive of Israel.
Gutfeld Slams Bill Nye 'The Denial Guy' for Comments on Anti-Semitism in Europe
On "The Five" tonight, Greg Gutfeld blasted Bill Nye “The Science Guy” for suggesting on Bill Maher’s show that Jews fleeing Europe should stay and “get to know your neighbors.”
"So, the cure for anti-Semitism is for Jews to get to know their neighbors?" Gutfeld asked. "Maybe bring them some matzo ball soup?"
Gutfeld pointed out that it's not radical Jews storming Muslim cafes and killing innocent customers.
"The science is settled: Jews are the leading target of abuse and attack here and in Europe," Gutfeld said. "And new research finds that 27 percent of British Muslims sympathized with Paris gunmen. Nye's pithy denial minimizes such evil."
Greg Gutfeld Slams Bill Nye 'The Denial Guy' for Comments on Anti-Semitism in Europe

Brendan O'Neill: MI5 didn’t make Jihadi John; he made himself
A lot of liberal observers blamed the 7/7 attack on Blair, on Iraq, as if those four guys had no choice but to strap bombs to their backs and murder their fellow citizens; as if they were less than human, attack dogs effectively, programmed to go off by forces beyond their ken or control. In 2013, Glenn Greenwald described various acts of terrorism in the West, from the Boston marathon attack to the failed underwear bombing of a plane, as ‘the inevitable outcome’ of Western wars in the Muslim world. Inevitable? Wow. So those bomb-planters and aspiring mass killers of airplane passengers couldn’t have stopped themselves? Put their weapons down? Seems not. Seems that, for some reason, they lacked the powers of reasoning enjoyed by Greenwald and others, and did their disgusting deeds as ‘inevitably’ as a lemming leaping off a cliff.
This apologism for jihadists presents itself as cool and caring. Those who weep for the beautiful men made murderous by MI5 / Blair / Homeland’s portrayal of Muslims believe they ooze sympathy for the beleaguered Muslims of the modern West. In truth, they practise inverted bigotry. They promote a view of Muslims as so child-like, so suggestible, so bereft of the moral agency us non-Muslims are lucky enough to possess, that they can be propelled into bloodlust and bomb-making by the merest slight or hint of harassment or TV images of American airplanes bombing Baghdad. They slam the West for allegedly painting all Muslims as evil (which the West doesn’t do), but you know what’s worse? Depicting Muslims as being incapable of evil, as lacking the ability to make conscious moral judgements and to decide whether to do good or bad, and instead holding them up as pathetic creatures driven to do this or that by their surroundings, as if they were cells in a petri dish slavishly responding to the lab technician’s stimuli.
It would indeed be bigoted to say all Muslims do wicked things; it’s equally bigoted to absolve them of sentient culpability when they actually do wicked things. MI5 didn’t make Jihadi John; he made himself, through making conscious and profoundly immoral choices for which he, like all adult humans who err, sin or kill, must be held solely responsible.
Three decades of US lies about Jonathan Pollard unmasked
Those who have opposed relief for Pollard have asserted that the VIS merely describes what could be shared with the public, and that grave damage to US national security is documented in the secret Weinberger Declaration. This has now been proven false. The Weinberger Declaration is merely a more detailed version of the VIS.
The revelations also dovetail closely with the disclosures in another recently declassified document, a 1987 CIA study of the Pollard case. The CIA study concludes that Pollard supplied Israel with information regarding Arab and Pakistani nuclear intelligence, Arab military capability and weaponry (including biological and chemical weapons), Soviet advisers in Syria and Soviet training of Syrian personnel, the PLO’s Force 17, and a radio signal notation manual requested by Israel to help in the decryption of intercepted communications of Soviet military advisers in Damascus.
Tellingly, the CIA study specifically states that Israel never requested information from Pollard concerning “US military activities, plans, capabilities, or equipment.” Thus, both recently disclosed government documents, as well as the VIS, point to the same conclusion: Pollard’s activities may have ruffled feathers in the Middle East, but there was no material impact on US national security.
The government’s unconscionable deception has deprived Pollard of his freedom for too many years. The document brandished by the government to implement its scheme, hidden from scrutiny until now, has finally been exposed for what it is: a description of a brief, long-forgotten blip in foreign relations, not a frightening exposition of unprecedented harm to US national security.
After nearly three decades, in light of the government’s perfidy, the only conceivable way to provide a belated measure of justice is to end Pollard’s incarceration immediately. President Barack Obama has the solemn duty to uphold the law of the land by finally putting a stop to this ongoing travesty. There are no more excuses. The president should exercise his constitutional power and grant clemency to Jonathan Pollard.
Kerry Rewrites History
Is it possible that American journalists are so ignorant of the recent past that they have failed to remark upon John Kerry’s scandalous rewriting of history in his attack upon Israeli prime minister Netanyahu during his congressional testimony on Wednesday (February 25)? To illustrate Netanyahu’s poor political judgment Kerry angrily alleged that the Israeli PM may be wrong about Iran’s nuclear program and intentions, just as he had been wrong in 2003 in his support of the invasion of Iraq—“and you remember how that turned out,” he sarcastically added.
Apparently Mr. Kerry takes his views of history from people who blame Israel for every misery on the planet except avian flu. Stephen Walt and John Mearsheimer, for example, blamed Israel for talking President Bush into that invasion, though even those two conspiracy theorists knew that Ariel Sharon, not Netanyahu, was PM at the time. In 2007 Lawrence Wilkerson, a member of the US State Department’s policy planning staff and later chief of staff for Secretary of State Colin Powell, said that “the Israelis were telling us Iraq is not the enemy—Iran is the enemy.” He added that a large number of Israeli officials had told their American counterparts that “if you are going to destabilize the balance of power, do it against the main enemy,[and] not be distracted by Iraq and Saddam Hussein.” Wilkerson noted that these urgings of the Israeli officials were triggered by reports in December 2001 that the Bush administration was seriously planning an attack on Iraq. In the weeks preceding Sharon’s meeting with Bush on February 7, 2002, numerous Israeli officials told the Bush administration that Iran was a far greater threat to America and to everybody else than Iraq.
I suppose we should be grateful that Mr. Kerry has not (yet) blamed Israel for global warming, his chief hobby-horse.
US official sets out ‘bottom lines’ for Iran deal
Washington had stuck to its guns that it wanted a “good deal” and had agreed to several extensions of the negotiations “because we have held firm to certain bottom lines,” a senior US administration official said.
“We will only accept an agreement that cuts off the different pathways to the fissile material that Iran needs for a nuclear weapon,” the official stressed.
US Secretary of State John Kerry will leave at the weekend for Switzerland, where he will meet once again with his Iranian counterpart Mohammad Javad Zarif.
The pace and intensity of the talks have sped up as global powers gathered under the P5+1 group have been seeking a deal with Iran to stop it acquiring a nuclear weapon — something Tehran denies trying to do.
A March 31 deadline for a political framework for the deal is looming with negotiators saying they will aim to pin down the final technical details by June 30.
US-Iran Nuclear Deal May Be Dead On Arrival And Should Be
The most recent talks in Geneva between US Secretary of State John Kerry and Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif may have completed a major step toward a landmark nuclear accord that the Obama Administration believes will diminish Tehran's pathways to a nuclear weapon. The potential deal, as reported by the AP and The New York Times, would impose uranium stockpile and enrichment limitations on Iran, and Tehran would have to submit to a restrictive verification and inspection regime for a period of 10 to 15 years. In return, sanctions on Iran would be lifted, and its status as a uranium-enriching nation would be prescribed under international law.
Israeli Intelligence Minister Yuval Steinitz stated , however, that if the emerging US - Iran nuclear agreement did not include measures preventing any nuclear cooperation with North Korea or other rogue states, it would be meaningless, referring to North Korea's previous clandestine and illegal nuclear projects in Syria - "We all know that Iran, Syria and North Korea are very close to each other," he said.
Yet the Obama Administration appears to ignore this potential loophole in order to conclude an agreement acceptable to Iran. Unless specifically prohibited and enforced within the terms and conditions, Tehran may attempt to sidestep the protocols by "outsourcing'" parts of the bomb production process to North Korea, Iran's long-term partner on everything from launch missiles to guidance systems to nuclear war head technology and other required components.
Senators unveil new bill challenging Obama on Iran
A bipartisan group of senators unveiled legislation Friday that would require a congressional review of any deal the Obama administration and other western powers strike with Iran on its nuclear program.
The measure would mandate that President Barack Obama submit the text of any pact to Congress and bar the administration from suspending congressional sanctions on Iran for 60 days. In that time, Congress would hold hearings and have a chance to approve, disapprove or take no action on the agreement.
The legislation is a fresh challenge to Obama’s authority as the United States and other nations engage in negotiations with Iran over its nuclear capability. It is likely to draw a veto threat.
Leading the effort on the measure are Sens. Bob Corker of Tennessee and Bob Menendez of New Jersey, the chairman and top Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
Rubio slams Obama’s ‘lack of support for Israel’
Florida Sen. Marco Rubio criticized President Barack Obama’s foreign policy for not being sufficiently supportive of Israel. The Obama administration and its allies are in negotiations with Iran to curb Tehran’s nuclear program, an effort that Rubio said was destined to fail.
“It is a foreign policy that treats the ayatollah of Iran with more respect than the prime minister of Israel,” Rubio, speaking at the Conservative Political Action Conference, said.
At the conference, the Republican Party’s leading presidential contenders on Friday promised conservative activists they would pursue aggressive military action to prevent the spread of global terrorism, including a renewed use of ground forces in the Middle East.
Jeb Bush says Obama’s foreign policies ‘catastrophic’
Former Florida governor Jeb Bush called US President Barack Obama’s foreign policy “catastrophic” on Friday and said Washington was wrong to clash with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu over his planned speech to Congress next week, in an interview with daily newspaper Israel Hayom.
In the interview, published only in Hebrew, the Republican politician — considering a run for the presidency in 2016 — placed the blame for the sorry state of relations between Washington and Jerusalem squarely on the Obama administration.
“President Obama’s foreign policy is a catastrophe,” he said. “There aren’t many places in the world you can point to and say — things have gotten better since Obama’s been in power.
“He believes removal of American influence from the rest of the world will make the world a better place and encourage peace. But history has shown that lack of American involvement creates instability and serious problems.”
A reply to Oxfam’s Catherine Essoyan blog on the re-building of Gaza
I first read your blog on both the Daily Telegraph website and then I had to check I had read it correctly so I read it again on Oxfam’s website. I had to check that what I first read was your actual words as I was so shocked at such a biased piece from someone in the position of Director at an esteemed charity such as OXFAM.
Why biased you may ask? Because its main thrust lays the blame firmly at the feet of Israel for as you say ‘Gaza is blockaded by Israel’ and OXFAM is ‘calling for the end of the blockade that has been in place for nearly eight years’. What you fail to point out in your blog is that the blockade was only put in place by Israel when Hamas commenced firing rockets into Israel, prior to that the boarder was open and goods were freely moving across it. You also fail to point out that the Gaza’s southern border with Egypt has been completely closed for many months preventing ANY goods or building materials to enter. So Catherine, maybe now you understand why I accuse you of bias?
I expect the above makes those who read your blog and support the work of OXFAM truly believe the suffering of Gaza’s civilians is wholly the fault of Israel. Is this something new for OXFAM? Well those that follow OXFAM closely know this isn’t the case as OXFAM are a constant critic of Israel whilst defending Palestinian Arab terrorists.
Of course we are all tremendously concerned that innocent civilians in Gaza are suffering and not able to re-build their homes, schools and hospitals. We should also be concerned at what building materials that do enter Gaza are actually used for. I suggest you take a look at this link to find out.
Italian MPs overwhelmingly approve recognition of Palestine
Italian lawmakers backed a non-binding resolution on Friday urging the government to recognize Palestine as a state.
Italy’s Chamber of Deputies voted by 300 to 45 to pass the motion presented by Prime Minister Matteo Renzi’s Democratic Party, the Italian news site repubblica.it reported on Friday.
The resolution urges the government “to recognize the state of Palestine so that negotiations to reach a two-state solution are restarted.”
Friday’s symbolic vote does not change the position of the Italian government, which, like other European countries, still supports a negotiated two-state solution.
Muslim Council says Jewish fears 'justified'
After the president of the Central Council of Jews warned against anti-Semitism in Muslim areas of German cities, his Muslim opposite number agreed that 'these fears are justified”.
Aiman Mayzek, president of the Central Council of Muslims, told the Berliner Zeitung on Friday that he and his organization were taking a stand against anti-Semitism among Muslims.
“Attacks on Jews are an attack on our society,” he said.
Josef Schuster of the Central Council of Jews had said on Thursday that Jews should avoid “neighbourhoods with a large proportion of Muslims in the population,” especially in Berlin.
But while Mayzek agreed that there was a problem, he warned against the “islamization” of problems in German society.
Islamist seized for praising Paris attacks
Norwegian islamist Mullah Krekar was arrested at his home in Oslo on Thursday evening after telling Norway’s NRK that the Charlie Hebdo terror attacks made him “happy” and that anyone who made cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed deserved to die.
Krekar, an Iraqi Kurd whose real name is Najmuddin Faraj Ahmad, was charged for “inciting criminal offences” for the extreme statements, which caused uproar in Norway when the interview was aired on Wednesday.
“The cartoonist has become an infidel at war, and therefore it is permissible to kill him,” Krekar told the interviewer, arguing the attacks were justified under Islamic law.
“As he has trampled on our dignity, our principles and beliefs, so he must die. Anyone who does not respect 30 percent of the world's population has no right to live.”
Sweden artist talk halted after Denmark attacks
A planned lecture at Sweden's Karlstad University by the controversial Swedish cartoonist Lars Vilks, the presumed target of the terror attack at a cultural event in Copenhagen earlier this month, has been scrapped by organisers.
Karlstad University in central Sweden announced on Friday that it was cancelling the lecture because it could not guarantee the safety of the audience in the wake of the recent shootings in Denmark and France.
"We have done a security check and decided that it is too high a risk to have this arrangement in our building," Jan Ganbreng, head of security for the university told The Local.
"It has been cancelled, not postponed. But perhaps another building will offer to hold it," he added.
Dieudonne gives Ahmadinejad gold ‘quenelle’ statue
Iranian ex-president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad called Dieudonne M’bala M’bala a “great artist” during a meeting in Tehran with the French comic who is a repeat inciter of hate against Jews.
Dieudonne visited the Islamic Republic last week, the news site fararu.com reported, and presented Ahmadinejad with a golden statue of a man performing the quenelle — a gesture reminiscent of the Nazi salute that Dieudonne is promoting as a sign of discontent with the establishment but that French Prime Minister Manuel Valls has called a gesture of “anti-Semitic hate.”
Dieudonne calls the statue a “golden quenelle” and has presented a number of them to personalities he defines as anti-Zionist.
Ahmadinejad is a noted Holocaust denier who during his presidency expressed his wish that Israel would disappear.
Former Clinton PR Advisor, Conservative PR Leader Condemn New Israel Fund
We are two proud Jewish New Yorkers who work in communications. Though we differ in some of our approaches in business and politics, we share a common love for Israel, a unique democracy which celebrates the triumphs of the Jewish people, and is America’s closest ally in the Middle East.
Israel faces tremendous challenges living in a “dangerous neighborhood.” And while we embrace diversity of thought, we also know that sometimes language can be used in a harmful manner. For example, yelling “fire” in a crowded theatre would lead to a calamity. Likewise, those who support boycotts, divestments, and sanctions (BDS) are simply anti-Israel. To suggest otherwise is a lie.
Thus, we urge anyone affiliated with the New Israel Fund (NIF) to stop supporting this organization financially.  These extremists – amongst many other activities — openly support BDS, as is reflected on their website.  They write: “NIF will thus not exclude support for organizations that discourage the purchase of goods or use of services from settlements.” NIF prides itself in funding numerous organizations that also support BDS.
The Deputy Speaker of the Knesset Yoni Chetboun noted, “The main goal of the NIF is to undermine the Israeli Army, by knowingly financing left-wing Israeli groups that try to get young Israeli soldiers prosecuted for war crimes.” The New Israel Fund spends nearly $27 million annually on activities which harm the Israel Defense Forces, encourage sanctions on Israel, and more.
Legitimating Lies Through the BDS Movement
Jed Babbin and Herbert London’s masterful new book, The BDS War Against Israel, opens with a blood-chilling quotation from Mao Zedong: “A lie repeated a hundred times becomes the truth.” Chairman Mao would have marveled at our Information Age, when lies can be shared, pinned, tweeted, and retweeted thousands of times over with the tap of a screen. Lies can self-replicate like viruses, taking on the character of commonplace truths with stunning rapidity. In this respect, the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement is an epidemic.
Most Americans first heard of BDS in the lead-up to the 2014 Super Bowl, when Scarlett Johansson stepped down as a “global goodwill ambassador” for the UK-based charity Oxfam. The charity objected to her endorsement of SodaStream, an Israeli company that—at the time—employed more than 500 Palestinians in “occupied” territory. In response to the controversy, Johansson remarked, “I stand behind that decision … Until someone has a solution to the closing of that factory, to leaving all those people destitute, [boycotting Israel] doesn’t seem like the solution to the problem.”
Johansson exposed an important truth about BDS when she called attention to the price its advocates expect Palestinians to pay: BDS isn’t really about the Palestinians at all.
As Babbin and London explain in this slender tour de force, the fundamental problem that the BDS movement is trying to solve is not Palestinian destitution. Nor, for that matter, is it ongoing human rights violations in the West Bank and Gaza. If it were, pro-Palestinian advocates would set their sights on Hamas brutality and P.A. kleptocracy. Rather, the “problem” BDS is out to solve is the very existence of the State of Israel. The solution? Israel’s isolation, delegitimation, and ultimate dissolution.
Telling lies: The one and only strategy of anti-Zionists
For a truthful person, demonizing Israel is difficult. How can one convincingly denounce a liberal democracy that is surrounded by despotic regimes, especially one that treats even its enemies better than the despotic neighbours treat their own citizens? How can one denounce a country that is a major contributor of humanitarian aid to the world despite being unfairly singled out and demonized by most of the world? How can one refuse Israel’s right to exist on land occupied by Jews for over three millennia? How can one not support a tiny nation that stands up to all the regional bullies? Easy: lie, then lie, and then lie some more. That is in fact the only logical strategy in this circumstance, and what’s more, because it is used at a massive and an overwhelming scale, it works!
The whole anti-Zionist enterprise is based on lies, as the Simon Wiesenthal Center has demonstrated (the lies that Israel was created by European guilt over the Nazi Holocaust, that Israel is the main stumbling block to achieving a Two-State solution, that Israeli policies are the cause of worldwide antisemitism, etc), but the lies go much further than a shaky ideological foundation. Fabrications about supposed crimes by Israel are frequent and unrelenting. Anti-Zionists clearly know that the accusations are always much more widely broadcasted than the refutations that inevitably follow sooner or later. They know that no matter how much effort is employed in defending Israel, frequent lies damage the reputation of Israel beyond repair.
Routine and habitual
Lying is a routine and automatic part of the anti-Zionist discourse. Listing all lies against Israel would be far beyond the scope of this blog. In December 2013, Barry Rubin estimated that “about 10 to 20 slanders (at least) are issued against Israel each day”. A recent lie is the false accusation that Israel tried to drown Gaza. Another recent lie is a fake picture of a Palestinian being chased by Israeli police officers. Lying about Israel has become so routine among anti-Zionists, that they often don’t even bother trying to obtain accurate information. For example, during the last war between Israel and Hamas, pictures from Syria were widely used with the claim that they came from Gaza.
Israel’s involvement is not even required in order to fabricate lies about Israel. The claim that ISIS is an Israeli invention controlled by Mossad has now travelled the world more times that one cares to count. These are in fact the most effective lies; since Israel has nothing to do with ISIS, it is impossible to present counter evidence for such claims. What can one show as evidence? A blank page?
The Problem is Palestine
Many years ago as a student at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, I sat with a group of Arab friends discussing politics over lunch. When I posed the question “How do you define a Palestinian?” they began arguing among themselves. They could offer no common answer other than the idea that a Palestinian opposes Israel.
The Palestinian national movement has always defined itself as Israel’s nemesis; its struggle with Israel is seen as a zero-sum game. Palestinians have reflexively opposed anything that helps Israel and supported anything that hurts her. The idea of Palestine, by definition, precludes a peaceful solution because it is predicated on the negation of Israel.
If the Palestinian movement were a genuine drive for national liberation, Israel would have a true negotiating partner. Unfortunately, the Palestinian national movement has always been nihilistic; the focus has never been on nation building, but rather on destroying the Jewish State. The more land and power given the Palestinian Authority and Hamas, the more violent their incitement against Israel, and the more radical their demands.
In Coverage of Banksy's Erroneous Gaza Video, There's No Such Thing as Bad Publicity
Clearly, skepticism is a cardinal virtue of journalism, at least when journalists write about their craft, not necessarily when they practice it.
For example, when the well-known graffiti artist Banksy produced a video criticizing conditions in the Gaza Strip, too many journalists tossed aside skepticism in their rush to distribute and summarize the video. The result, to borrow a phrase from Carr's piece about 60 Minutes, was reporting that was "more ‘gee whiz' than ‘what gives?'" With journalists playing the role of publicists, news consumers weren't enlighten but instead led astray with misinformation about Gaza.@
A CNN piece describing and sharing the video practically gushed. The film "highlights plight of Gaza." Using "sharp irony," it "shines a spotlight on the suffering of ordinary Palestinians." It provides a "reality check."
But a reality check is what reporters are supposed to bring to the table. So when CNN passes to readers Banksy's claim that Palestinians are "not allowed to leave" Gaza (in fact, Egypt occasionally opens its border crossing with the territory and Israel entry to Gazans for humanitarian purposes), that "no cement has been allowed into Gaza since the bombing" (thousands of tons enter the territory every day), and that images of Israeli soldiers in the West Bank are actually depict Gaza, and when the reporter herself added a falsehood of her own in claiming that 3 Israeli civilians were killed (it was twice as many) during the 2014 fighting between Hamas and Israel, without checking their facts, the network shirks its responsibilities.
So it was with outlet after outlet. From NPR, it was all embedded video and credulousness. Here, too, the journalist not only failed to correct Bansky's errors but, in reporting so gently, conveyed a falsehood in his own voice. Banksy gave us "a two-minute video of life in the Palestinian territory," the Gaza Strip, the reporter tells his audience, although the images of Israeli soldiers in the West Bank are hardly part of life in the Gaza Strip.
Egyptian court rules Hamas a terror group
A month after an Egyptian court ruled that Hamas’s armed wing, the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades, was a terror organization, another court on Saturday branded the entire group — including its political wing — with the same designation.
Since Egypt’s military ousted Islamist president Mohamed Morsi in 2013, the authorities have accused Hamas of aiding jihadists who have waged a string of deadly attacks on security forces in the Sinai Peninsula.
Hamas slammed the decision calling it a “stain on Egypt’s reputation.”
Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri said the ruling has turned the Palestinian people into the enemy of Egypt and Israel, its friend. He accused the Egyptian court of trying to blame outside forces for the internal unrest.
Last week, state-run newspaper al-Ahram accused Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood of conspiring to overthrow the Egyptian regime within the next few years.
Palestinian killed in blast near ruined Gaza airport
A young Palestinian was killed and his brother seriously wounded in an explosion on Saturday near the Gaza Strip’s abandoned airport, the health ministry said.
“Naji Khaled Abu Sabla, 21, was killed and his brother Akram, 18, seriously wounded in the face and stomach when an unidentified device blew up in the area of the airport” in southern Gaza, said ministry spokesman Ashraf al-Qidra.
Police in the Hamas-run territory said they suspected it was “a device left behind by the Israelis in the zone, where they make regular incursions.”
However there was no verification of this claim.
Gaza tunnel collapse kills senior Egyptian officer
Egyptian security officials say a senior army officer was killed and another was injured when a cross-border smuggling tunnel with the Gaza Strip collapsed after troops went into it to investigate.
The officials say the tunnel was discovered on Friday in the Egyptian town of Rafah in northern Sinai. One of its entrances was close to the town’s intelligence headquarters while the other was apparently on Gaza’s side of the border, in the Palestinian town of Rafah.
The officials say Lt. Col. Hussam Hamdi Abdel-Aziz was killed in the cave-in and Maj. Ahmed Farouq Mostapha was injured. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity according to regulations.
New Winton biography shows life after daring WWII rescues
When Barbara Winton began writing her biography of her father, Sir Nicholas Winton, she had initially thought not to include an event that was, for many thousands of people, the most important episode of his life.
In 1939, Nicholas Winton — known to friends as Nicky — was responsible for saving the lives of 669 children, mostly Jews, from Nazi-occupied Czechoslovakia. This short nine-month period has come to define him in many people’s eyes, yet, as Winton emphasizes in her book, “If it’s Not Impossible,” not in his.
In late February, the book was the subject of a session at Jewish Book Week in London, in which Winton took part. Its launch was a major event last May at Hay, Britain’s foremost literary and arts festival and, more recently.
Talking on the phone with the Times of Israel from her Herefordshire, England home, Winton explains she realized that telling the story of the rescue operation was essential, despite it being widely known. She decided to use it as “a kind of pivot… one to explain how he got to be the person, [a young stockbroker at the time] who at 29, had all those motivations and abilities to do [what he did].”
Daughter Barbara wanted to demonstrate that his life went on thereafter; that he was the same person, with the same sense of motivation. Even though what he achieved in later life was less dramatic, it was always on the same impulse.
China, WJC to mark Shanghai ghetto liberation
The World Jewish Congress and China’s government are preparing a joint commemoration of the 70th anniversary of the liberation of the Shanghai Ghetto.
The People’s Republic of China and WJC intend to host the ceremony in September, the parties said in a joint statement to media on Wednesday.
More than 23,000 Jewish refugees lived in the ghetto in Shanghai, which was then occupied by Japan — an ally of Nazi Germany and co-founder of the fascist Axis powers.
Some of the refugees in the ghetto arrived there from Lithuania, where the Japanese diplomat Chiune Sugihara gave transit visas into Japan to approximately 6,000 Jews in defiance of orders from Tokyo.
Leonard Nimoy, famous as Mr. Spock on ‘Star Trek,’ dies aged 83
Leonard Nimoy, the actor known and loved by generations of “Star Trek” fans as the pointy-eared, purely logical science officer Mr. Spock, has died.
Nimoy’s son, Adam Nimoy, said the actor died Friday of end-stage chronic obstructive pulmonary disease at his Los Angeles home. He was 83.
Although Leonard Nimoy followed his 1966-69 “Star Trek” run with a notable career as both an actor and director, in the public’s mind he would always be Spock. His half-human, half-Vulcan character was the calm counterpoint to William Shatner’s often-emotional Captain Kirk on one of television and film’s most revered cult series.
He played Israeli leader Golda Meir’s husband opposite Ingrid Bergman in the TV drama “A Woman Called Golda” and Vincent van Gogh in “Vincent,” a one-man stage show on the life of the troubled painter. He continued to work well into his 70s, playing gazillionaire genius William Bell in the Fox series “Fringe.”


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