Amnesty´s War on Israel: Accusations of "Unlawful Killings" without Evidence
On October 27, 2015, Amnesty International published a fundamentally flawed statement alleging a “clear pattern…of lethal force being used unlawfully by Israeli forces following a wave of recent stabbing attacks by Palestinians against Israeli civilians and military or police forces in Israel and the occupied West Bank.” This is at least the third statement from Amnesty since the escalation of Palestinian terror attacks beginning October 1 that makes such accusations, and demonstrates the organization’s on-going obsession with and disproportionate focus on Israel. None of Amnesty’s prior statements has focused exclusively on Israeli victims of these attacks, which have numbered in the hundreds – each one illegal and a blatant violation of human rights and domestic and international law. Moreover, Amnesty has remained silent on the vicious antisemitism and incitement campaign promoted by Palestinian officials, which has spurred on the attacks against Israeli civilians.UK Commander Slams World’s Weak Response to ‘Human Shields’ for Causing Terrorists to Use Them More
1. No evidence: Amnesty presents zero evidence to support its allegations. It does present entirely unverified and unverifiable testimony from anonymous Palestinian eyewitnesses. Israeli victims and security personnel are not mentioned.
2. Failure to establish a “clear pattern”: Amnesty cherry-picks four incidents out of dozens where security forces neutralized attackers. (And one of the four is from before October 1 and irrelevant to the responses to the current wave of terror attacks.) A comprehensive evaluation of Israeli responses to ongoing terror attacks would show a pattern of justifiable shootings, as well as numerous instances of Israeli police protecting wounded and detained perpetrators from vigilante justice.
3. Erroneous legal claims: Amnesty writes that “heavily armed soldiers and police wearing body armour facing a possible knife attack have a duty to use proportionate and graduated force and attempt to arrest suspects before resorting to the use of lethal force.”
4. Lack of credible researchers: The statement claims to present “findings of an ongoing research trip to the West Bank.” However, the researchers and staff members assigned to reporting on Israel have clear histories as anti-Israel activists, and generate analyses that are both inaccurate and blatantly prejudiced.
Jacob Burns (research and campaign assistant), who currently is in the region, previously worked for Forensic Architecture, a pseudo-scientific project that, in partnership with Amnesty International, made unsubstantiated charges of Israeli war crimes. In addition, Deborah Hyams (“researcher”) has an extensive background in radical anti-Israel activism, including acting as a “human shield” in Beit Jala (near Bethlehem) in 2001. Saleh Hijazi (“campaigner”) previously worked in PR for the Palestinian Authority and for the NGO “Another Voice” – under the group’s signature “Resist! Boycott! We Are Intifada!”
French Minister of Defense Jean-Yves Le Drian recently made an essential statement about the war against terror and the difficulties it involves for Western countries.Jobless and desperate Palestinians
In an interview with Europe 1 focusing on the French air strikes against the Islamic State, he remarked:
Daesh [ISIS] is organized in such a way that children, women, civilians are being put on front lines. Its leadership is hiding in schools, mosques, hospitals, making the action of the coalition in Iraq and the action of France and other partners in Syria difficult, because we don’t want civilian casualties. We pay as much attention to the targets we select as to the need to combat Daesh.
This is a frank admission of the “human shield” tactic practiced by Islamists, and their crippling effect on Western fighting.
Undoubtedly, Le Drian is aware that the United States and other Western partners in the coalition against ISIS are facing the same challenge, and that Israel faces similar difficulties when counter-attacking organizations like Hamas, Islamic Jihad, Hezbollah, and Fatah-affiliated terror groups.
What remains to be seen is whether he and the French government, now having this experience with human shields, will reconsider their foreign policy regarding Israel.
We asked Colonel Richard Kemp, the former British commander in Afghanistan and an expert about war ethics, to comment on Le Drian’s no-nonsense statement.
The most significant impact of BDS on SodaStream has been in Sweden. In response to pressure from retailers lobbied by BDS advocates, SodaStream agreed to stop shipping their machines from the West Bank factory. The Swedes have been pleased to receive products instead from a factory in China — a decidedly un-free country that “disappears” Tibetans who protest the Chinese annexation of their homeland. That has meant 150 fewer jobs for Palestinians with, again, each one responsible for an average of 10 dependents.
Perhaps the Swedes, along with other “progressive” Europeans and Americans, think Palestinians are better off as wards of the “donor community.” Perhaps they think another round or two of “peace-processing” will prompt good foreign investors (as opposed to Israeli investors) to head for the West Bank, checkbooks in hand. Or perhaps they think that if the Israelis bug out of the West Bank the result will not be — as it was in Gaza — the seizure of power by Hamas, which builds factories that make missiles rather than kitchen appliances.
Meanwhile, not far to the north, the jihadis of the Islamic State, al Qaeda affiliates and Hezbollah are watching. What sort of employment do you think they might have in mind for jobless, impoverished and desperate Palestinians?
By contrast, Mr. Birnbaum has literally been bringing the peoples of the Holy Land together, providing opportunities to earn decent livings making products consumers want and will pay for.
Those who oppose that, those who are trying to stop him and prevent others from following his example — with BDS advocates leading the pack — call themselves pro-Palestinian. Their claim is, when you think about it, nothing short of ludicrous.
Why Oslo failed: Confronting "Peace Now"
Notwithstanding the latest "Peace Now" demonstrations in Tel-Aviv, Oslo Agreements between Israel and the Palestinian Authority remain destined to fail. This is not because of any Israeli "right-wing government intransigence," but on account of an immutably corrupted Palestinian doctrine.UN resolution would freeze settlements, Palestinian lawsuits
From Oslo's beginnings, in 1993, the Arab side sought only to embrace the U.S.-brokered pact as a promising means of improving its own relative power position. Even then, in unhidden sentiments that have become still more explicit during the so-called "Third Intifada," the Palestinians had been seeking only a One-State Solution.
Never, even for a moment, did a single Palestinian faction display any authentic interest in living "side-by-side" with any Jewish State.
Never did any such faction actually favor a "Two-State Solution."
In the latest effort to revive direct Israeli-Palestinian peace talks, New Zealand has drafted a UN resolution that reportedly calls for a freeze on Israeli settlement building in the West Bank and for Palestinians to abandon their bid to take legal action against Israel at the International Criminal Court.UNRWA has got to go
The draft resolution would assert that the Security Council is “very concerned” over the stalled peace talks, and call on both parties to “take the necessary measures to rebuild confidence and prepare for the resumption of negotiations,” based on a two-state solution, Haaretz reported on Wednesday.
The draft urges both sides to avoid taking “actions or declarations that would harm mutual confidence or predetermine the results of negotiations,” including the expansion of settlements and demolition of Palestinian homes in the West Bank, the report said.
Distributed to the other 14 members of the Security Council on Friday, the resolution would also call on both sides to refrain from making “provocative actions” against the status quo on Jerusalem’s Temple Mount, the epicenter of recent unrest in Israel and the West Bank.
If only we could prescribe to the issues associated with running a large organization; after all, how is UNRWA supposed to keep track of a few nasty teachers? This is not the case unfortunately. A disdain for Israel exists at the highest levels of UNRWA. Last summer during Protective Edge Israeli ambassador to the UN Ron Prosor called for actions to be taken against UNRWA spokesperson Chris gunness after he interviewed Dr. Mads Gillbert, and advocated for Palestinian Terrorism against Israel. In a letter to UNRWA’s Commissioner general Ambassador Prosor wrote: “Gunness, yet again abused his position by calling on reporters to interview Dr. Mads Gilbert, an outspoken proponent of terrorist attacks against civilians. In September 2001, Dr. Gilbert explicitly supported the ‘moral right’ of Al-Qaeda to perpetrate the 9/11 terrorist attacks against thousands of American civilians.”All EU funds to the Palestinian territories should be conditional
The original sin of the Palestinian refugee problem was the creation of their special status. The United Nations High Commissioner on Human rights states that the three primary solutions to refugee problems are “Voluntary repatriation, local integration, resettlement” these solutions only apply to original refugees; would that the Palestinians had not been allowed their special status of being able to pass down their status as refugees to their children than estimates put original Palestinian refugees today at anywhere between thirty and fifty thousand people, a much more manageable number which could have easily been granted the right of return in a peace agreement. Instead, we have a number that has ballooned into the millions and which would be impossible for Israel to absorb. UNRWA and the special status of Palestinians as refugees in perpetuity at the moment pose an insurmountable roadblock to peace efforts. How can anyone really expect UNRWA to take an active and productive role in any peace initiative when said peace initiatives would mean its end? UNRWA needs to go. Plain and simple.
Lastly, it is evident that Europe should not allow itself to be drawn into the blame game. However European leaders should call things as they are and stop the ever-present balancing act of politically correctness.Does a gritty ex-cop’s move to Israel symbolize the end for France’s Jews?
While we are engaged in state-building measures, with funds and expertise, we should condition all the EU funds for the territories on an actual Palestinian renouncement to hate and incitement to violence. Building a Palestinian society who will see cutting people’s throats as abhorrent as it is for any western society is not a pro-Israeli position. It falls into the oft forgotten category: the right thing to do.
Our aspiring mediators or policy trend-setters should do just that, make sure cool heads prevail and focus on issues that would actually make a difference, such as Palestinian reconciliation and measures that would strengthen a civil society ready to live in peace side by side.
Until it does that, I fear the PA playbook will continue to prevail.
He contrasts this late-in-life change of country to what was evidently his own formative experience, fleeing Algeria for France as a college-age kid in 1962: His father, a hospital security chief, took his mother, his sister and Sammy to the airport in what sounds like a matter of hours after receiving a threat that apparently stemmed from an incident at Sammy’s school: Sammy was deemed responsible for a number of Arab sympathizers with the revolutionary FLN National Liberation Front being suspended, and violent revenge was threatened. “The man who replaced my father at the hospital was shot in the head immediately afterwards. They killed the wrong man,” Ghozlan says. “The FLN also killed my uncle after we left — my aunt’s husband.”French Jewish politician blames anti-Israel media bias for stabbing
Moving to Israel, he says, was not a case of fleeing. “I can return if I want to,” he points out. Still, he acknowledges, “my activities in France have made me a bit of a target. My car was set on fire outside my home (near Paris in 2010). The police investigated. Made a big show. Intercepted phone calls. Didn’t catch anybody.”
Ghozlan says he wonders “how Jews in France see my departure, what does it signal to them. Some have criticized me for abandoning them when there’s a big job to do in combating anti-Semitism… Others have thanked me for what I did. I’ve been saying what they’re not ready to say. I don’t ignore any attack — from the biggest to smallest.”
Well, what should the Jews make of his departure? “I don’t know,” he admits. “I’m not very optimistic. As long as politicians and journalists in Europe portray Israel in this very negative light, the problems won’t be reduced. It’s so sad.”
By now, Ghozlan is musing aloud, rather than waiting for questions. “I’ve been asking myself,” he says, sighing, “whether it is better to be someone who says ‘Follow me,’ or someone who saves himself from a sinking ship.”
I prompt: And?
“I keep asking that question.”
A French Jewish politician from Marseille suggested that the recent assault against three Jews there was connected to hostile media coverage of Israel in France.Honest Reporting: Journalism Bleeding in the Streets
Hagay Sobol, a regional alderman for the Socialist Party and vice president of Marseille’s Edmond Fleg Jewish Community Center, made the claim Sunday on Twitter in reference to the stabbing the previous day of a Jewish man by an attacker who also hit and accosted a rabbi and his 19-year-old son. The stabbing victim, 44, was seriously hurt but is no longer in danger.
“In this anti-Semitic attack, we cannot exclude the media coverage of the Israel-Palestine conflict,” Sobol wrote.
Many French and other European Jews and pro-Israel activists have complained of what they call biased reporting that presents Palestinians as victims who were hurt while trying to kill Jews in Israel.
There are a few things that neither the article nor the video make clear.ABC’s skewed reporting of Arab attacks on Israelis is sickening
1) The boy had just stabbed a thirteen year old Israeli child.
2) He was lying in the street because after he stabbed the Israeli child, he ran into the street and was hit by a car.
3) An irate Jewish man does indeed curse the young injured terrorist. The video does not show that there was more than the one man doing so.
4) The police did not stand idle. They kept the irate man away from the injured terrorist and ensured that Israeli medics could provide treatment.
5) The injured terrorist was treated at the scene and then taken for further treatment to an Israeli hospital.
The New York Times did not include these five points because they are not part of the Palestinian “narrative.” That’s fair if their goal was simply to show that Israeli and Palestinians have “dueling narratives” over what has been happening.
But that also means it is critical for the Times to explain to its readers that in cases like this, the Palestinian narrative is simply not true. Rather than attempting to be “balanced,” the Times needs to make clear that the Palestinian “narrative” is based on lies and half-truths.
From The Australian, 26 Oct 2015, by Rowan Dean:State Dept Press Pool Suggest Israeli Security Move is ‘Ethnic Cleansing’ and Wrong
Even the segment’s title – “Meet the young generation of Palestinians behind the third intifada” – was a disgrace, sounding like some hip, funky show.
How would 7.30 have portrayed the Holocaust? “Meet the blond, blue-eyed generation behind Germany’s third and final solution” perhaps?
“So far dozens of Israelis and Palestinians have been killed on buses, at bus stops and at checkpoints. Just hours ago, Israeli security forces shot two more Palestinians after they tried to board a school bus south of Jerusalem,” the presenter said.
To the uninformed viewer, this surely sounds like whatever is happening, the Palestinians are clearly victims and the Israeli soldiers are doing all the killing. Worse, the statement gives the impression that there is a moral equivalence to the actions of the murderers and the security forces protecting lives.
Throughout eight turgid minutes, the show failed to point the finger of blame where it belongs: at those political and religious predators in the West Bank and Gaza who for a generation have tutored and groomed young Palestinians to desire to murder Jews. Muslim clerics in Palestinian mosques have been urging their followers in recent weeks to go out and hack Jews to death in the name of Allah. For the Islamist, the “cause” of “liberating” Palestine is just another facet of jihadist terrorism, the goal being the genocide of all nonbelievers, particularly Jews.
In the State Department press briefing discussion about this matter on Monday, of course, the message was distorted as well.BBC backgrounder manipulates audience perceptions of wave of terror in Israel
Ever-ready to paint Israel as the evil wrongdoer, Al Quds’ journalist Said Arikat asked State Dept. Spokesperson John Kirby about the security measure at Monday’s briefing.
Arikat said of the proposed security measure, “stripping 80,000 Palestinian Jerusalemites from their identity card, basically cutting them off outside of the wall,” and Arikat sought a response. “Do you have a comment on that?
That’s fine, Arikat is entitled to ask for a comment.
But then he went one step further: “Does that amount to some sort of ethnic cleansing from Jerusalem?”
This is what Arikat does. He introduces a poisonous phrase into the briefing room, a phrase likely to linger in the ears of those so inclined, a phrase that may very well appear in the reports filed by others in the room. It also spurs others to respond to that image, and to ask questions, and give answers, in light of that phrase permeating the atmosphere.
To his credit, initially the spokesperson declined to respond, uttering those magic talking points of the “expectations of all sides that they’ll avoid provocative actions and rhetoric and being to work cooperatively to restore calm.”
But the press group just couldn’t let it go.
So in fact, contrary to the BBC’s claim that “in East Jerusalem […] the proportion of Jewish Israeli inhabitants has swelled compared to the number of Palestinian residents”, the actual number of Arab residents in those parts of the city rose more than the number of Jews and the percentage of Jews making up the total population of “East Jerusalem” fell during the decade 2003 – 2013.Economist tries out new euphemism for malevolent terrorists: “Restive” Palestinians
Had the BBC confined itself to stating that the number of Jews living in what it terms “East Jerusalem” has risen since 1967, that claim would of course have been accurate – although sadly lacking in historic context. The claim as it stands, however, is inaccurate and misleading.
This backgrounder falls short of meeting its declared aim of providing “answers about what is going on” because it adheres to the selective framing of the story adopted by the BBC from the beginning of its coverage of the current wave of terror.
Any backgrounder genuinely seeking to provide information which would help audiences understand this topic could not ignore the issue of Palestinian Authority incitement and glorification of terrorism, would not obscure the religiously themed – and frequently racist – nature of that incitement and would not herd readers towards a view which obscures those uncomfortable issues by means of ‘contextualisation’ of the current wave of terrorism as “a fight over land and national rights”.
An article intended to mould readers’ perception of the story and advance a wider political narrative would, however, do exactly that.
As some news headlines on the recent Arab terror spree have demonstrated, the media’s capacity to use obfuscatory language to characterize Palestinian terror and extremism is at times quite extraordinary. Not only are editors often reluctant to use the ‘subjective’ word “terrorist” to describe extremists who attack Jewish civilians, but they also often insist on using words which obscure the malevolent nature of such acts.New York Times: Journalism of Few Facts
Here’s the headline of an article in the Oct. 27 edition of The Economist:
"Israel is once more demolishing the homes of restive Palestinians"The word restive is an adjective which describes someone “unable to keep still or silent and becoming increasingly difficult to control, especially because of impatience, dissatisfaction, or boredom.”
However, as the article explains, one of the “restive” Palestinians who faces home demolition as part of the government’s new policy in response to the recent spate of terror attacks is none other than Alaa Abu Jamal. Abu Jamal is the Palestinian arrested earlier in the month after he intentionally drove his car into a Jerusalem bus stop and then hacked a religious Jew to death with a meat cleaver.
How could the police "plant" a knife which Sider clearly carried with his own hand?Struggling with the truth at the NY Times
In short, Rudoren mentions a witness's denial that the assailant had a knife, she notes the fact that Israeli police published an image of the knife next to the body of the slain "teenager" [sic], and she reports Ashrawi's allegation that the police planted the knife. All of the above are tantamount to a series of claims and counter-claims.
But The New York Times journalist, whose job it is to deliver the facts, does not mention the evidence which blows Palestinian alleged witness claims out of the water and which also belies Ashrawi's unfounded allegation: the televised footage of Sider running with the knife.
While Rudoren ignores footage which appeared on national television confirming Israeli police accounts that Sider was wielding a knife, she does cite footage said to substantiate a Palestinian "narrative." But here's the rub: Not only was the footage in question not featured as prominently as the footage of Sider on national television, but there's no evidence that the footage existed at all.
An article by its bureau chief here in Jerusalem in yesterday's New York Times ["The Dueling Narratives of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict", October 27, 2015] seems to us to be a classic of its kind.First Step Taken to Impeach IRS Commissioner John Koskinen
But for us, the part that stopped us in our tracks was this pair of lines:
To most Israeli Jews, what has been happening is a spate of random attacks against innocents. Palestinians see it as excessive force against not only attackers but anyone who looks like them.Just like that. A real challenge. What's a thinking person to do in the face of opposing forces that seem to be about equally believable? Evidently just throw hands in air and declare that it's all too hard. What then? Go back to safe formula of pouring scorn on the side perceived to be stronger, less exotic, more privileged?
Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives moved on a pledge first made during the summer and introduced a resolution to impeach Internal Revenue Services Commissioner John Koskinen.Caroline Glick: AIPAC’s devastating decision
The resolution accused Koskinen of making false statements under oath and with failing to properly respond to congressionally-issued subpoenas for evidence. Koskinen did not become commissioner until late in 2013, and he was not charged with any wrongdoing prior to that date, but with actions taken once he assumed his position.
The charges both have to do with how Koskinen responded to congressional inquiries and requests for emails belonging to Lois Lerner.
Lerner was the head of the exempt organizations division of the IRS during the time the service was charged with having targeted conservative and pro-Israel organizations in their applications for tax-exempt status.
In other words, AIPAC is saying that it exercises a double standards. Whereas the pro-Israel lobby expects Republican lawmakers to support Israel, it supports Democratic lawmakers who oppose Israel.The Ayatollah dreamed it, Obama delivers it
And, if AIPAC abandons its expectations of Republicans, as its event for Coons indicates it has for Democrats, and supports anti-Israel politicians regardless of their partisan pedigree, then AIPAC will cease to function as a pro-Israel organization at all.
Clearly AIPAC is struggling to get its arms around its loss. The $20 million its Super Pac Citizens for a Nuclear-Free Iran spent to scuttle the deal managed to secure the votes of just four Democratic senators. Today it faces the dismal reality in which Democratic lawmakers believe the upside of voting with their convictions, the will of their voters and America's national security interests is smaller than the downside of voting against Obama and his Democratic party.
But surrendering to Obama is not the answer. If AIPAC wants to remain relevant, (or reinstate its relevance) in Washington, it needs to follow a simple rule. It must support those who support Israel and oppose those who oppose Israel.
Chris Coons voted for a deal that constitutes a mortal threat to Israel and to the US-Israel alliance. He is not a supporter of Israel. And neither are his 41 Democratic senate colleagues who supported the deal.
But lots of other Democrats do support Israel. It is AIPAC's job to find them, support them and stand by them. This is must do first and foremost by exacting a price from those who failed to stand up and be counted last summer when the chips were down.
The late Ayatollah Khomeini dreamed it; President Barack Obama is trying to deliver it: the end of Pax Americana.Iran State-Media Claims Russian Strikes Near Syrian Border Intended to Send Message to Israel
The topic was at the center of a daylong seminar in Tehran last week attended by ambassadors from Bolivia, Cuba, Ecuador, Nicaragua and Venezuela, plus a number of Islamic Iranian officials and scholars.
The five Latin American nations with left-wing regimes represent one of the “clusters” that former President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad tried to organize as points of anti-American “resistance” across the globe. Another “cluster” consisted of Lebanon, controlled through the local branch of Hezbollah, Syria, under Bashar Al-Assad, and parts of Iraq dominated by pro-Tehran armed groups. The plan was to set up another “cluster” by breaking up the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) bloc through the Finlandization of some of its members while seizing control of Yemen through local Trojan outfits.
Next month, Tehran is scheduled to host the fifth annual “End of America” conference with a number of professional anti-American figures from Europe and the US itself also expected.
However, the timing of the exercise is puzzling. For the first time in almost a decade, the presidency, and part of the government including the foreign ministry seem to be controlled by the so-called Rafsanjani faction that has been trying to make a deal with the Americans since the late 1980s.
Recent Russian airstrikes near Syria’s border with Israel were intended as a warning signal to Jerusalem, Iran’s semi-official state news agency Fars claimed on Tuesday.Iran Arrests American Founder of Pro-Regime Lobby
The report said that the Russian strikes targeted Syrian rebel forces located in strategically important hilltops bordering the Golan Heights, and quoted “political observers” assessing that there was a dual purpose behind the initiative.
The first was to weaken the rebels who have made gains against the regime of Syria’s Bashar al-Assad, and the second was to convey an “important message” to Israel, which is “trying to pretend that it has reached an agreement with Moscow on Syria’s southern skies.”
Last week, another Iranian news agency, Mehr, published a similar report, alleging that Russian warplanes intercepted Israeli jets over Lebanon, en route to carrying out reconnaissance flights over Syria, and “forced [the] Israeli fighter-bombers to change their course.”
Siamak Namazi, an Iranian-American citizen who helped establish a pro-Tehran lobbying group in America, has been arrested in Iran and imprisoned indefinitely.Iranian Poets Sentenced to 99 Lashes for Handshakes with Members of Opposite Sex
Mr. Namazi was visiting family in Tehran when he was arrested by Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) soldiers and sent to Evin Prison, according to Iranian media reports.
The detention center is infamously known for its horrific mistreatment of prisoners. The facility is noted for its routine “beatings, torture, mock executions, and brutal interrogations,” experts have said.
As the 5th American citizen now held hostage by the regime, Namazi joins the Washington Post’s Jason Rezaian, former FBI agent Robert Levinson, Christian pastor Saeed Abedini, and former U.S. Marine Amir Hekmati.
The Iranian government has jailed two prominent poets and sentenced them to 99 lashes each “for shaking hands with members of the opposite sex,” the Associated Press reported Tuesday.Wiesenthal Center Calls For Boycotting Roger Waters
The sentences follow a pattern of arrests and convictions targeting activists, journalists and artists that has served as a grim backdrop to President Hassan Rouhani’s efforts to soften the country’s image and improve relations with the West, including through the landmark nuclear agreement reached last summer. …
“I think people thought with the nuclear deal, there would be sort of a bit of a thaw as well or a bit of an opening up,” said Karin Deutsch Karlekar, the director of Free Expression Programs at PEN America, an organization promoting literature and freedom of speech. “I think the judiciary is sort of pushing back and trying to make clear that there isn’t going to be that opening people were hoping for.”
Fatemeh Ekhtesari, a practicing obstetrician, and Mehdi Mousavi, a trained doctor who teaches literature and poetry, were first arrested in December 2013, months after Rouhani took office. Earlier this month, Ekhtesari received an 11½-year prison sentence, while Mousavi got nine years on charges ranging from propaganda against the state to “insulting sanctities,” as well as the lashings, according to PEN. (h/t The Kenosha Kid)
Waters’ commitment to freedom of expression doesn’t extend to performers who dare to share their talents with the people of IsraelPreOccupied Territory: Roger Waters Livid At Israeli Reverence For Wall (satire)
“Roger Waters is an entertainer who hates the Jewish State of Israel. He is a major promoter of the anti-peace Boycott, Divestment and Sanction (BDS) movement. This extreme anti-Israel campaign has never helped a single Palestinian as it is designed only to demonize and denigrate the lone democracy in the Middle East and the only society in the region where freedom of speech and artistic expression flourish,” charged Rabbis Marvin Hier and Abraham Cooper, Dean and Founder and Associate Dean of the leading Jewish Human Rights organization. “His words and actions have been condemned by the full spectrum of Israelis—from the Progressive Left to followers of Likud on the Right,” Hier and Cooper noted.
Waters, who in the past has used a pig with a Star of David as props for his concerts, has vilified other performers for the “crime” of performing before Jews, Christians and Muslims in Tel Aviv and elsewhere in the Jewish State. “Waters’ commitment to freedom of expression extends only to those who agree with him and does not apply to anyone who wants to share their talents with the people of Israel”, added Mark Weitzman, the Center’s Director of Government Affairs.
“At this time, when Israelis are being butchered by Palestinian terrorists, it is indeed unfortunate that he was invited to Sag Harbor’s Bay Street Theater this Friday to what he would block others from doing in Israel.
The Simon Wiesenthal Center therefore calls on New Yorkers to give Roger Waters the reception he deserves: an empty hall. We urge people who may have been unaware of his hate-filled boycott campaign and bought tickets for his performance, to vote with their feet and instead stand in solidarity–outside of the theater– with the innocent victims of terrorism in The Holy Land,” Center officials concluded.
“When I first saw footage of this wall, of people flocking to it and praying near it, I was stunned,” said the 72-year-old. “I spent years of my life working on The Wall back in the late seventies. I poured my soul into that project. And now those evil bastards are exploiting my efforts, my investment, my publicity, and my art to get Jews to worship their God at an actual wall? The arrogance makes me want to put my fist through a… well, you know.”BDS movement to top chefs: Don't feed apartheid
The Western Wall, as it is commonly known, has become a prime destination for worshipers and tourists alike, either out of religious connection to the last remnant of the ancient Jewish temple complex, a sense of history, curiosity, or some combination thereof. Millions of people come to the site each year, with the Jewish holidays attracting hundreds of thousands at a time – about 1.5 million visited this year during the month of Tishrei alone, which this year straddled September and October on the secular calendar. Visits to the wall have increased steadily despite Waters’s efforts, and those of his allies in the Boycott, Divest, Sanctions movement, to convince people not to visit, support, or engage in commerce with Israel. That increase makes the phenomenon of Israeli exploitation of his Wall even more frustrating, says Waters.
“I’m doing everything I can, but it doesn’t seem to be working – yet.” he conceded. “But persistence is important. It may take a very long time, but I’m going to put a stop to this nonsense. Even if it takes two thousand years.”
He added that there were also rumors that Jews were making unauthorized use of Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon concept album every month by marking the reappearance of the new moon.
The Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions Movement, known as BDS, is calling on top chefs from around the world to refrain from participating in the upcoming Round Tables culinary show, a "Gastro-diplomacy” event "which aspires to improve trade and cultural relations between countries."Walmart pulls IDF, ‘Sheikh Fagin’ costumes
According to a BDS statement released Tuesday, the organization is urging top chefs from nine of the world's most prestigious restaurants to cancel their visits to the Jewish state, which the BDS movement says is a "complicit initiative that whitewashes Israel's oppression of the Palestinians."
The BDS statement also notes that none of the chefs invited to the event have taken steps to cancel their planned visits.
The Round Tables culinary event is being held next month in Tel Aviv and will bring head chefs from nine famous restaurants based in the United States, Britain, Germany, Spain, Greece, Italy and the Netherlands to the White City.
Walmart on Tuesday pulled an IDF soldier Halloween costume and a controversial “Sheik Fagin nose” following outrage on social media and from an Arab anti-discrimination group.California thrift store removes Holocaust costume
According to the New York Times, Walmart’s online store pulled the prosthetic nose described as “perfect for an Arab sheik” just hours after the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee expressed concern that it would be used in “racist anti-Arab costumes.”
The “Sheikh Fagin nose,” a latex prosthetic nose which the Walmart website deems “perfect for an Arab Sheik,” likewise generated criticism for its name, the stereotypical greedy Jew in Charles Dickens’ “Oliver Twist,” the BBC reported.
The company that produces the noses told the newspaper that they would “definitely discontinue it.”
A Holocaust-themed costume was removed from the shelves Monday at a Goodwill Store in Berkeley, CA.French embassy fires intern over anti-Semitic Facebook rant
According to the report by local affiliate ABC 7, the costume was put in the store because employees were unaware of the nature of the outfit, which features a striped top and a yellow Star of David.
The costume is similar to the type of uniform that concentration camp prisoners were forced to wear during the Holocaust.
A Kuwaiti intern at the French embassy in the United States was dismissed Tuesday after she was accused of publishing an anti-Semitic rant on Facebook.Vatican marks historic end to official anti-Semitism
The intern was also suspended by Sciences Po university in Paris, where she was a student, pending further investigation, a faculty spokesman told the AFP news agency.
The alleged comments were published Friday on the website of a group called "The Inglourious Basterds," which says it aims to expose anti-Semitic postings.
The student's Facebook and Twitter pages were no longer available, and the date the alleged remarks were posted was unknown.
"Yes you Jews deserve to learn these lessons," the student said in an Facebook exchange, according to the Inglourious Basterds site -- which borrows its name from a Quentin Tarantino movie about a band of Nazi-hunting Jewish soldiers.
"You don't belong anywhere in this world -- that's why you guys are scums and rats and discriminated against wherever you are. Do not blame it on the poor Palestinians," continued the exchange.
The Catholic Church on Wednesday marked the 50th anniversary of a landmark declaration by which it ended centuries of officially condoned anti-Semitism and urged bridge-building with all other faiths.Ex-porn star Jenna Jameson to have reality show about her conversion to Judaism
The document "Nostra Aetate" (Latin for "In Our Time") most significantly repudiated the charge that all Jews should be held responsible for the death of Jesus.
Adopted on October 28, 1965, by Pope Paul VI at the end of the ground-breaking Second Vatican Council, the declaration was credited with revolutionizing Catholic relations with Judaism.
"The Jews should not be presented as rejected or accursed by God," the document said, insisting that Christians should decry "hatred, persecutions, displays of anti-Semitism directed against Jews at any time and by anyone."
Pope Francis led a special audience to mark the anniversary, stressing the document's significance for all interfaith relations.
Former porn star Jenna Jameson will be the subject of a reality show documenting her conversion to Judaism and her upcoming marriage in Israel.God actor Morgan Freeman seeks answers in Jerusalem
Jameson, 41, retired from pornography in 2008 after winning over 35 adult film awards in a 15-year career. She announced in June that she was converting to Judaism to marry Bitton. Since then, she has repeatedly shown support for Israel and showcased her kosher cooking on social media.
Bitton, 41, told Walla News in an interview that it wasn’t easy telling his family that he was marrying the former “queen of porn.”
“Look, I didn’t come to my mom and say, ‘I’m dating the biggest porn star in the world.’ I mean, there are porn stars, and then there’s Jenna Jameson,” Bitton said. “At the start, I didn’t tell her who she was. It was a slow process. I let her know in bits and pieces until eventually she was able to accept it. And then it was fine.”
The show will be modeled on reality shows such as “Keeping Up With the Kardashians” and will focus on Bitton and Jameson’s private life in the lead-up to their marriage.
He may have depicted God in Hollywood films, but Morgan Freeman came to Jerusalem with questions about religion still unsettled.John Hagee Ministries Distributes $3.2 Million to Israeli, Jewish Charities
"I'm primarily interested in why, what is the why of it," the Academy Award-winning actor told Reuters on Wednesday during a break in shooting "The Story of God", a National Geographic and Highlight Films documentary exploring faith and theology.
"I haven't found any answers yet. We're still in production," he said at the 4th-century Church of the Holy Sepulchre, a traditional site of Jesus's tomb where many pilgrims seemed as impassioned by the star's surprise presence.
Freeman, who played God in "Bruce Almighty" and "Evan Almighty" and is also famed for his plangent film narrations, is both star and executive producer of the documentary, slated for release in April. Locations include Israel, the Palestinian territories, Egypt, Guatemala, Turkey and India.
John Hagee Ministries distributed more than $3.2 million to Israeli and Jewish charities earlier this week at the 34th annual “Night to Honor Israel” at Cornerstone Church in San Antonio.Special exhibit to show Jewish texts, oldest New Testament
Organizations receiving support from Hagee Ministries included Afikim Family Enrichment Association, American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee, Bikur V’Ezras Cholim, Friends of the IDF, Galilee Medical Center, Heart of Benjamin, Herzl Institute, Holocaust Memorial Museum of San Antonio, International Council of Young Israel, Israel Help and Education Center at Kiryat Gat, Israeli Christian Recruitment Forum, Jewish Agency for Israel, Just One Life, Koby Mandell Foundation, Laniado Hospital, Magen David Adom, Meir Panim, Nefesh B’Nefesh, Netanya Academic College, Ohr Torah Stone, Or L’Doron, Shurat HaDin – Israel Law Center, and Women’s International Zionist Organization.
Hagee Ministries has distributed more than $95 million to Israeli and Jewish charities since holding its first Night to Honor Israel.
The world's oldest bible is among 200 objects tracing Egypt's religious evolution in an exhibition at London's British Museum, which opens Friday and spans the 1,200 years since Cleopatra's death.
Titled "Egypt: faith after the pharaohs", the exhibition covers 12 centuries, from the country's integration into the Roman Empire in 30 BC to the fall of the Islamic Fatimid dynasty in 1171.
One of the highlights is part of the 4th century Codex Sinaiticus, a book written in Greek on animal skin by monks on Mount Sinai, and which contains the oldest complete copy of the New Testament.
"It is without question the most important book in Britain. It is a remarkable chance to see it in the context of the world in which it was made," said British Museum director Neil MacGregor.
The exhibition shows how Christian, Jewish and Muslim communities reinterpreted Egypt's pharaonic past and shows that they were far from segregated, with one document outlining a lease agreement between two Christian nuns and a Jew.
The curators also highlight how monotheistic faiths developed - sometimes practices related to pagan worship and polytheistic beliefs, such as the casting of spells, were incorporated into the new faith.
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