Tuesday, January 05, 2016

From Ian:

The Tragic Failure of the Arab World, and Why It's Bad for Israel
The 21st century is becoming increasingly characterized by Arab states coming apart at the seams or even completely crumbling, while jihadists are gaining footholds throughout Arab lands.
To compete with more developed nations, Arabs needed to address four challenges:
1. To create sovereign states with functioning national institutions that depend upon cooperative citizens.
2. To develop the capacity to produce technology, which would secure them a competitive position in the world economy.
3. To handle Islam in a way that would instill values to bring society together - like common identity and solidarity - but also neutralize the violent elements that look to restore the ways of the past.
4. To shake off the neocolonialist influence and involvement of superpowers, and act independently in the international arena.
In the West, the thinking tends to be that the toppling of an authoritarian regime might lead to the establishment of a democracy. However, bitter experience has shown that overthrowing the rulers prompts the whole system to collapse, and then the alternative is chaos. It turned out that while it's possible to topple a dictator, the proper foundations for fostering democracy in the aftermath - both conceptually and institutionally - were lacking.
The dizzying growth of the global economy is based primarily on knowledge. In most Arab countries, the level of scientific and technological know-how does not meet the levels required to support advanced, innovative means of production. Knowledge in the Arab world is not up to par because their schools and universities place too great an emphasis on memorization and rote learning.
In 2000, Islamist groups were small, underground factions with limited capabilities; by 2015, they had become large forces with military capabilities and cutting-edge weaponry, and were firmly established throughout Arab lands. The last 15 years have seen a series of mega-terrorist attacks throughout the world. During the last five years alone, there has been a stark increase in the number of casualties from Islamic terrorism.
Analysis: Doctors Without Borders’ Anti-Israel Crusade
The international medical organization Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF-Doctors Without Borders) prides itself on its neutrality, claiming to provide emergency assistance to people around the world regardless of their “race, religion, gender or political affiliation.” In practice, however, MSF consistently abuses its status as a humanitarian organization to launch venomous anti-Israel political campaigns. These attacks are entirely divorced from medical and health related issues, raising questions as to what its priorities and goals are.
The most recent manifestation of this phenomenon can be credited to MSF-France. The French branch of the organization recently launched an exhibition titled “In Between Wars,” serving as a mouthpiece for Palestinian propaganda. In it, MSF parrots the “Nakba” narrative that views the founding of the State of Israel as a catastrophe, thus delegitimizing the very existence of the Jewish state. Moreover, MSF romanticizes Palestinian violence by referring to images of “armed soldiers face[ing] young stone throwers or Molotov cocktails” as “icons symbolizing the struggle of the Palestinian people against the Israeli occupation.”
Similarly, the exhibition portrays the living room of Palestinian homes as a place to pay tribute to “martyrs”—a term that whitewashes the murderous terror attacks many carried out against innocent civilians.
In response, Roger Cukierman, head of the Council of Jewish Institutions in France, condemned the display as “an apology for terrorism…that could inflame antisemitic violence.”
HRC Op-Ed Published in Kingston Whig-Standard: “Deir Yassin ‘Misunderstood’”
In war, the saying goes, the first casualty is the truth. Referring to the battle to capture Deir Yassin during the 1948 Israeli War of Independence, Louis Delvoie, a fellow in the Centre for International and Defence Policy at Queen’s University, claimed in a recent column (“Terrorists and their causes,” Dec. 12) that Jewish militias committed “one of the most murderous terrorist attacks in the history of the modern Middle East” by intentionally killing “some 250 unarmed civilians, men, women and children, and threw their bodies into a well.” Importantly, there’s no evidence to confirm the veracity of Delvoie’s allegations.
Respected Middle East historian Mitchell Bard has observed that Deir Yassin “remains one of the most infamous, yet misunderstood, incidents in the history of Israel. During the battle, launched by the Irgun, approximately 100 Arabs were killed.”
As Steven Plaut, professor at the Graduate School of the Business Administration at the University of Haifa, noted: “Deir Yassin was a not-at-all-innocent Arab village sitting near the only road into Jerusalem in 1948. In the previous December, the UN had voted to partition what was left of Mandatory Palestine into two states, one a Jewish state and the other an Arab state to be named Palestine, of approximately equal sizes. The Jews of Israel accepted the plan, while the Arab states and the Palestinian Arab leadership rejected it. Had they accepted it, a Palestinian state would have arisen peacefully in 1948. In response to the UN resolution, Arabs launched attacks against Jews everywhere in the country and in particular placed the city of Jerusalem under siege. The Jewish population of Jerusalem was quite literally starving. The only road into the city passed through the area of Deir Yassin, and the Arab militiamen in the town were stopping all convoys from passing through.”
Israel’s path towards statehood, independence and the Jewish people’s right to self-determination was always hoped to be procured through diplomacy, not war. Israel, contrary to Delvoie’s assertions, did not “resort to terrorism in the fight for the creation” of the Jewish state.

Exclusive: The Intifada of the "moderate" PA chairman
In this exclusive, my Italian daily Il Foglio is able to do much more: give a name and a face to one of the main puppet masters of this Third Intifada.
One of the main indoctrination channels for the knife and car attacks carried out by Palestinians, is a Facebook page whose title can be translated from Arabic as “Strictly forbidden for drunk people”. The logo is a Palestinian boy wearing a keffiyeh and holding a knife, with the sentence: Watch over Palestine with the knife.”
To date, the page has collected one and a half million likes. It is listed under the “Arts and Entertainment” section and it was launched in 2011, during the so-called “Arab Spring”.
Since the Third Intifada was promoted, at the end of September, the page has recorded a daily growth in visitors. A careful analysis of this page reveals inflamed anti-Semitism and a daily call to kill Israeli Jews.
On December 9th, alongside photographs of Israelis taken away by ambulance: “Allah the Great has killed a Zionist”.
Two days ago, a timely post appeared, praising Nashat Melhem, the terrorist who killed Israeli young people on Friday at a Tel Aviv cafe: “May Allah protect him”.
All over the page, Jews are called “sons of monkeys and pigs”. On December 31st, an original wish was posted: “All await New Years eve. We await Netanyahu’s head in the hands of the Palestinian resistance.”
Who is behind this terrorist platform? Husam Nabil Adwan. He is a Palestinian Arab, born and raised in 1988 in Al Azariya, a southern suburb of Jerusalem. Why is this important? Because since 2006, Adwan has been wearing the tabs with curved swords of Abu Mazen’s Presidential Guard, the elite team tasked with the security of the Palestinian President and his foreign guests visiting Ramallah.
Israel girding for possible Palestinian Authority collapse — report
High-level government officials have reportedly been meeting to discuss the potential collapse of the Palestinian Authority, with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu instructing ministers to act to prevent the break up of the West Bank governing body.
Netanyahu told the security cabinet Monday that Israel must take steps to avert the collapse, but also warned them to prepare for a worst-case scenario, the Haaretz newspaper reported Tuesday.
“We must prevent the Palestinian Authority from collapsing if possible, but at the same time, we must prepare in case it happens,” the paper reported him as telling the closed meeting of top ministers.
According to the report, the security cabinet — tasked with outlining and implementing foreign and defense policy — has held two meetings over the past ten days to discuss the possibility of the PA’s collapse. The discussions come as a wave of terror continues across the country and amid rumors of a political crisis within the Palestinian government.
Exiled Palestinian leader calls Abbas reign ‘a failure’
The president of the Palestinian Authority, Mahmoud Abbas, will turn 81 in a couple of months. His critics say he is clinging to power. His supporters see an indispensable man. Abbas tells foreign visitors he is weary.
The Palestinian leader’s elected term in office was scheduled to end seven years ago. Yet on Abbas goes, presiding over a stalemate with the Jewish state; fighting with the Islamist movement Hamas; and trying to manage a status quo that American diplomats call unsustainable and Palestinians call apartheid: the 48-year Israeli military occupation.
Quietly, but cognizant of the political life span of any one leader, Palestinian politicians are jockeying for the top job.
One of a handful of names on a short list of possible successors to Abbas is Mohammed Dahlan, 53, a former chief of security in Gaza and protege of Yasser Arafat who lives in exile in the United Arab Emirates.
Palestinians dismiss rumors of Abbas ill health
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas is in “very good health,” his spokesman Nabil Abu Rudeineh said Saturday, denouncing “baseless” rumors to the contrary on social networks.
The rumors claimed that Abbas, 80, suffered a stroke on Friday evening, and was flown by helicopter to Jordan for emergency medical treatment.
Contacted by The Times of Israel Sunday, Abbas’s office in Ramallah would not comment on his current location, but said that he was “in good health.”
The Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) also declined to comment on his whereabouts.
Hamas demands: Let us join the PLO
Khalil al-Haya, a member of Hamas's political bureau, declared on Saturday that Hamas will not participate in meetings of the preparatory committee of the Palestinian National Council, the parliament of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), because the group is not part of the PLO.
Al-Haya said Hamas was ready to join the preparatory committee within the framework of a comprehensive reconciliation agreement to establish a new Palestinian National Council to support the “intifada”.
In an interview with Hamas’s Palestine newspaper, Al-Haya said that the first step should be the convening of a meeting of the PLO's interim leadership to discuss two issues: The latest terror wave, which Hamas refers to as the “Al-Quds Intifada”, and the mechanisms for implementing the reconciliation agreement between Hamas and Fatah.
Al-Haya accused Palestinian Authority chairman and Fatah head Mahmoud Abbas of being unwilling to accept the principle of partnership and of striving to achieve exclusivity in the Palestinian leadership.
Pete Hoesktra: NSA Spying on Congress Requires Suspending State of the Union Invite
Elected officials and leaders of the U.S. Intelligence Community (IC) must maintain the integrity of America’s vast intelligence enterprise as a lawful, neutral, independent and fair arbiter of facts. Recent news that the Obama White House obtained intelligence containing private conversations of members of Congress and American Jewish organizations from the National Security Agency (NSA) suggests the integrity of our intelligence agencies have been undermined.
The heads of the 17 organizations in the IC oversee a massive foreign data collection network that produces sensitive information on adversaries and allies.
It is an awesome capability for good, but it poses a threat to free society if exploited for political purposes.
The prospect of the White House – or any political element – using one of these agencies to mine information on members of Congress and U.S. citizens is frightening and criminal. So it is of grave concern to learn that the administration allegedly permitted the National Security Agency (NSA) to monitor American communications between the Israeli prime minister and U.S. Congressmen and members of Jewish organizations during the sensitive domestic political debate on the Iran nuclear agreement.
Lawmakers must respond quickly. This is about the NSA potentially violating constitutionally protected civil liberties.
Passive-Aggressive Obama Facebook Tags Everyone but Netanyahu in UN Group Photo (satire)
In yet another sign of their frosty relationship, U.S. President Barack Obama neglected to tag Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in a group Facebook photo of world leaders at a recent United Nations meeting in New York.
Calling the incident “a grave insult to every Jew, Holocaust victim and democracy-loving fighter of global terror,” Netanyahu told the Sheldon Adelson-owned Israeli newspaper, Israel Hayom, that “Obama tagged every world leader except me – including genocidal Islamo-fascists like Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and absolute nobodies like Slovakia’s Andrej Kiska!”
The perceived slight follows years of mounting diplomatic tensions between the two leaders over Iran’s nuclear program and Palestinian statehood, and analysts are calling the latest incident one of the pettiest yet, with a foreign policy expert at the Brookings Institution saying it even tops Obama’s infamous Facebook ‘unfriending’ of the Israeli PM last year.
According to the New York Times, Netanyahu subsequently tried to call Obama to ascertain whether “Tag-gate” was intentional or simply an oversight. “It went to voicemail after one ring, so I know he saw the call and pressed decline,” the Israeli leader reportedly complained to an aide within earshot of a NYT reporter, before adding, “Thank god we’ve only got one year left with this jihadi-appeasing anti-Semite!
One Year After Massacre Charlie Hebdo 'Feels Alone' in Poking Fun at the World
So much for #JeSuisCharlie.
It is hard to believe that just one short year ago the world united in hashtag-solidarity for victims of the Charlie Hebdo massacre in Paris. The satirical magazine lost eight cartoonists and journalists at the hands of Islamic terrorists "offended" by the outlet's depiction of the Prophet Muhammed. In the wake of the attack, the world swore it would uphold the principles of free speech Charlie Hebdo lived by.
Well, memories are short and those displays of solidarity proved empty as those left behind at Charlie Hebdo say they feel "alone" in their crusade to uphold the very freedoms their colleagues died for.
AFP reports
The newspaper was held up as a symbol of freedom of expression and an astonishing 7.5 million copies were sold of the first issue produced by its surviving staff just a week after the attack.
But now those same staff feel they have been left to carry that torch alone, according to the newspaper's financial director, Eric Portheault, who escaped death by hiding behind his desk when the gunmen stormed in.
"We feel terribly alone. We hoped that others would do satire too," he said. "No one wants to join us in this fight because it's dangerous. You can die doing it."
France honors victims of Charlie Hebdo, kosher market attacks
The ceremonies Tuesday come as Charlie Hebdo is releasing a special anniversary issue laced with obscene and offensive cartoons, its surviving artists and columnists vaunting their freedom to lampoon everyone from Muslim fundamentalists to children, politicians and Catholic priests.
Families of victims joined Hollande and other dignitaries near the building where Charlie Hebdo staff were holding an editorial meeting when two heavily armed brothers stormed in January 7, 2015, killing 11 people. The plaque begins: “To the memory of victims of the terrorist attack against freedom of expression.”
They then paid homage to a police officer killed as he tried to chase down the fleeing gunmen. Spraypainted on the sidewalk was a message of support for the Muslim officer, reading “Je suis Ahmed,” or “I am Ahmed,” in the red, white and blue of the French flag.
Hebdo plaque misspells Jewish cartoonist’s name
The widow of one of the Jewish cartoonists slain in last year’s attack on the French satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo said she was livid to see her husband’s name misspelled on a plaque unveiled Tuesday by President Francois Hollande.
Georges Wolinski’s name appeared as “Georges Wolinsky” on the plaque listing the 11 people shot dead in the attack by jihadist gunmen at the newspaper’s then offices in Paris on January 7, 2015.
“This morning, when I saw the ‘Y,’ I can tell you I was furious,” Maryse Wolinski told French television.
She said she pointed it out straight away to Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo, who had unveiled the plaque alongside the president, and was assured that the mistake would be quickly corrected.
Asked what her cartoonist husband would have thought of the typo, Wolinski suggested it was no joking matter.
Accidental hero: The Muslim who saved Jews in Paris attack
Lassana Bathily was an undocumented migrant from Mali until he became an unlikely hero by saving shoppers’ lives during the jihadist attack on a Jewish supermarket in Paris a year ago.
The 25-year-old became the one positive story to emerge from the three days of violence in January, when jihadist attacks on the Charlie Hebdo satirical weekly, police and the Jewish Hyper Cacher supermarket in the east of the capital killed a total of 17 people.
“Ah, here is my favorite Frenchman,” cried President Francois Hollande when he received Bathily at the Elysee Palace a fortnight after the carnage.
Bathily, a shelf-stacker in the supermarket, helped save shoppers from gunman Amedy Coulibaly on that fateful day, January 9, 2015.
The narrative of a Muslim saving Jews from a jihadist made him a positive symbol of France’s diversity.
Year after attack, France’s Jews learn to live under armed guard
Ever since a jihadist attack on a kosher store left four people dead a year ago, France’s Jews have grown used to soldiers patrolling their neighborhoods and schools.
While a comfort to some, the fact that the large Jewish community is forced to live under armed guard only heightens the sense of being a target.
“I don’t feel safe here anymore. As Jews we are a preferred target, in a country which itself is a target” of jihadists, said Noemie, 27, who escaped the bloody hostage drama.
Paris was shaken and on edge two days after 12 people were gunned down at the Charlie Hebdo satirical weekly when Noemie went to the Hyper Cacher supermarket on January 9 to buy some groceries for her grandmother.
It was a day of high drama.
A pertinent question for the BBC from Douglas Murray
The British writer and commentator Douglas Murray recently asked a question on Twitter.
Douglas Murray @DouglasKMurray
@BBCWorld Where you say 'Belgian writer Dyab Abou Jahjah' don't you mean 'Hezbollah-trained extremist Dyab Abou Jahjah'?
The article concerned – “How the world was changed by the slogan ‘Je Suis Charlie’” – appeared on the BBC News website on January 3rd and the relevant passage is this one:
“The day after that, another – much bigger – hashtag peaked on Twitter, “Je suis Ahmed,” which used the name of a policeman, Ahmed Merabet, who was killed in the attacks and was a practicing Muslim.
“Je Suis Charlie attributed some kind of nobility to the content of the newspaper, which I couldn’t really agree with,” says Dyab Abou Jahjah, a Belgian writer who tweeted that tag. “My problem with them is that they publish racial stereotypes of Muslims.”
“Of course it’s their right,” he adds. “But it’s the right of people to be appalled by it as well.””

As Douglas Murray rightly points out that highly sanitized description of Abou Jahjah fails to clarify to audiences that the man whose opinion is considered important enough by the BBC to be highlighted in this article joined the terrorist organization Hizballah in his youth. That, however, is by no means all that can be said about the ‘writer’ given asylum in Belgium: as the CST has documented, his writing includes promotion of conspiracy theories about Israel and Zionists.
Ayelet Shaked: NGO law protects Israel from existential threats
Currently, Israel is also fighting repeated attempts to undermine its very legitimacy. The BDS movement that is spreading all over the world presents itself as working against Israeli government policy, yet the official anti-Israeli sentiment it presents serves solely as a cover for the classic anti-Semitism that is only too well known. The same forces that in the Europe of the 1930s and ’40s cried “Jews – go to Palestine,” are now calling out to Israeli citizens: “Jews – go back to Europe.”
To justify the demand to put an end to the Zionist enterprise in the land of Israel, these forces wish to weaken Israel’s hold of the land of Israel. In the opinion of these forces, the way to do this is by tarnishing Israel with charges of war crimes and immoral conduct towards the Arabs. This notwithstanding the fact that the Arab population in Israel enjoys full rights and equality under Israeli law, and that the majority of Palestinians in Judea and Samaria, traditional Hebrew names for the West Bank, are under the responsibility of the Palestinian Authority.
Like the United States, we have discovered in recent years the danger posed by the existence of forces financed by foreign money. We have discovered that hundreds of millions of dollars are sent to NGOs in Israel from countries that seek to decide the existing dispute between Israel and the Palestinian Authority. Often, those countries are not at all aware of the fact that the money they are sending is used by the bodies it is sent to for the purpose of weakening Israel’s moral claim and presenting it as a country that is prima facie committing a breach of international law.
Israel believes that whoever seeks to influence the policy of its members of parliament in the name of a foreign country’s money is no better and no worse than any other lobbyist working on behalf of the money it receives. Therefore, Israel wishes to create transparency in this area and prescribe a duty of disclosure with regard to the activities of the NGOs operating on behalf of foreign governments. Criticism of the law, which is so exaggerated and absolutely exceeds any relevant claim based upon any pertinent dispute, is part of the same foolish attempt to besmirch Israel’s name.
The EU's Israel Problem Goes Far Beyond Labels
What does all of this amount to? First, it is important say that there is no reason for panic. Israel’s relations with the EU are not doomed. In fact, they are growing and expanding. Israel has many friends in European capitals, as well as a dynamic economy that makes it an effective competitor in European markets. But opposition to Israel is also growing, and it would be a mistake to underestimate the magnitude of the threat. What is needed is a “line of defense” strong enough to challenge Israel’s enemies in the EU effectively.
In particular, a more sustained and systematic effort to recruit allies inside the EEAS bureaus, the Commission, and the leading national ministries is needed. While there are many opponents of Israel in Brussels, these bureaucracies are not monolithic. Nor are they completely closed to outside influence. Pro-Israel advocacy groups have tended to concentrate on the European Parliament because it is an open forum. But it is the harder-to-reach executive branch in which most problems and opportunities begin, and where allies must be found.
Having friends on the inside will increase the chances of identifying threats to Israel early enough to stop them. Intervention in the early stages of the process is far more effective than trying to stop such threats once they have gained momentum. Worst of all is trying to reverse a decision once it has passed through the many arcane processes and byzantine bureaucracies of the European Union.
Friends of Israel should also seek to avoid strident rhetoric. It is counterproductive in the European environment, where reasoned dialogue is the norm. The most effective proponents of the pro-Israel perspective in Brussels are those who can interface with experienced officials as peers.
Europe is not lost, but neither is it won. A serious pro-Israel effort within the EU can make a difference, and that effort should begin now.
Let's boycott dictatorships, not Israel...
Earlier this month, two Welsh councils reversed their decision to boycott Israeli goods. The government recently announced plans to prevent local councils launching politically motivated boycotts of Israel. However, five councils in the UK - West Dunbartonshire, Highland, Newry & Mourne, Stirling and Clackmannanshire - still support the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign.
Discrimination remains widespread. Recently, a former Cambridge academic, Marsha Levine, refused to help a 13-year-old Israeli girl with a class project on horses. Why? Because she's Israeli. Even though the request was totally unrelated to the pupil's national identity, Levine, a supporter of the BDS movement against Israel, said she would only engage with the young girl when "there is peace and justice for Palestinians."
The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson criticised "lefty academics" in favour of a boycott against Israel and Israeli universities. He added that they were "foolish" to target the "only democracy in the region".
Florida becomes 5th state to pass anti-BDS resolution
Florida has become the fifth American state to pass a resolution condemning the anti-Semitic and anti-Israel BDS movement.
On Dec. 21, Florida legislators followed the lead of Tennessee, whose state legislature was the first to pass a similar resolution against the Boycott, Divest and Sanctions movement targeting Israel. Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam became the first state leader to sign a resolution of this type, following efforts by PJTN – Proclaiming Justice to the Nations, a Tennessee-based Christian Zionist organization.
"Florida and Israel have enjoyed a long history of friendship and are great allies of our shared Democratic values," stated PJTN's Board Chairman Stanley G. Tate. He worked closely with Florida State Senator Miguel Diaz de la Portilla and State House Representative Lori Berman in drafting the bi-partisan resolution to condemn BDS and call a halt to the increasing incidents of anti-Semitism on Florida campuses.
Following Tennessee's landmark resolution to confront BDS, the states of New York, Indiana and Pennsylvania also passed similar declarations. Some 35 more states are considering doing the same.
PJTN explains that as efforts increase to boycott Israeli political leaders and businesses, and as anti-Semitic attacks on university campuses grow worldwide, grassroots activists are mounting pressure on their state legislators to condemn "this anti-Semitic, anti-Israel, and anti-Zionist propaganda campaign."
Anti-BDS bill introduced in California legislature
A bill aiming to counter the anti-Israel Boycott, Sanctions and Divestment movement, or BDS, was introduced in the California State Legislature.
The measure introduced Monday forbids the state government from contracting with companies “engaging in boycotts based on race, color, religion, gender or nationality.”
Travis Allen, a Republican assemblyman, in introducing the bill said that “boycotts of entities and individuals affiliated with specific countries can amount to ethnic, religious, racial and/or national origin discrimination.”
“No group better demonstrates this fact than the BDS movement, whose use of false, demonizing and delegitimizing propaganda against the State of Israel has become a pretext for the expression of anti-Jewish bigotry,” said Allen, of Huntington Beach in Southern California’s Orange County.
Jewish schools in the UK: The apes and pigs dilemma
Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis, the Chief Rabbi of the British Commonwealth has recommended that Islam be taught in Jewish schools in the UK. This follows a decision obligating British schools in the framework of religious studies to teach two faiths.
The chief rabbi’s proposal raises many questions. Jewish children are taught the Ten Commandments from an early age, which explicitly forbid murder. How are teachers at Jewish schools going to explain that leading Muslim religious authorities issue fatwahs (religious legal decisions) to murder certain individuals? A case in point is the fatwa issued in 1989 by Iran’s highest Muslim leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini against Salman Rushdie, the British Indian author of the Satanic Verses. This merits to be mentioned in schools as the UK was Rushdie’s country of residence at that time.
Will Jewish schools in the UK teach the falsehood that some Islamists are not Muslims, for instance adherents of Islamic State or Hamas genocidal movements? Even if the spiritual leaders of these movements remain outside the curriculum, many deeply racist statements by other prominent Muslim clerics and leaders will have to be tackled.
Various leading Muslim clerics present a number of evil concepts as integral to Islam. Noticeable among these is the Koran-related view of Jews as pigs and apes. According to Islam, ancient Jews were turned into animals for disobeying the word of Allah. The Koran mentions this punishment in three verses, one of which says, “They are those whom Allah has cast aside and on whom His wrath has fallen and of whom He has made some as apes and swine... (5:60).”
Haifa, History and the New York Times
Hadid's report is about the presence in Haifa of, as she puts it, a "self-consciously Arab milieu that is secular, feminist and gay-friendly." One of the Haifa residents interviewed by Hadid adds that:
Haifa is a center for Arabs, like Tel Aviv is a center for Jews. There is a cultural movement. There is a youth movement. There's a kind of freedom here. We have our own parties. Our own places. Our own discos. We dance. We drink. We do it all in Arabic. This all began in Haifa.
While neither Hadid nor those she interviews can quite admit it, this oasis of tolerance in the roiling, war-torn Middle East could only happen in Israel. There is nothing like it in any Arab country, nor has there ever been. Perhaps unintentionally, Hadid gives it away when she writes that many of the avante-garde Arab shops and cafes are on Ben Gurion Boulevard.
In the entire Middle East it is only in Israel, protected by the Israeli army and Israeli police and Israeli laws and Israeli courts, that Arabs can enjoy Western levels of tolerance, freedom and security.
Palestinian Cool Yay Hipsters with Tattoos and Piercings?
However, shortly after the article was published, Ayed Fadel, one of the main sources quoted at length in the article, posted on Facebook how he had been completely taken out of context by the Times:
I actually found this piece disturbing. It refers to certain aspects and neglects so many others that I personally mentioned during the interview, it portrays the modern Palestinian in a “Western” image that comforts white readers and make them say, “oh, they’re just like us!” Well no, we’re nothing like them, in fact, we’re very different and deep into the shit, and having to portray us in this image is insulting.
…there are so many points missing, crucial ones, that the lack of them make this article shallow, offensive and degrading. Plus on that 90% of the interview we were talking about how the culture of the cultural resistance is growing…
I don’ know if what I am writing now is even enough to cover all what have been written in this article, but hopefully that could explain the situation and make it more clear that it was another trap by the white media, that is always trying to show us as the cool yay hipsters full of tattoos and piercings – far away from the grounded reality that we are facing and fighting every day!
BBC News links to xenophobic rant in inaccurately reported story
In fact – as the link promoted by the BBC shows – the very selectively quoted complainant did not use the words “foreign party host” but instead employed a term considered as derogatory.
“These Ang Mos [red-haired devil] really have no respect for our country and our flag! They come to our country to steal our jobs, our women and now they even think that they can step all over us by insulting and disrespecting our sovereignty! “
One would of course not normally expect the BBC to promote a link to a xenophobic rant of the type above. It would however appear that such standards fall by the wayside when a story from the popular ‘Israelis behaving badly’ genre is in the offing.
Israeli Sends “Unprecedented” Delegation to Economic Conference in China
Israel’s delegation to a two-day investors’ conference in China this week is being called ‘unprecedented’ by the Ministry of Economy and Industry. At the event (Tuesday and Wednesday) in Beijing, 150 corporate leaders from 90 Israeli companies will meet with potential investors from all over China.
The conference is taking place with the participation of Minister of National Infrastructure, Energy, and Water Resources Yuval Steinitz, Ministry of Economy and Industry director general Amit Lang, and Ministry of Economy and Industry Division for Foreign Investment and Industrial Cooperation director Ziva Eger.
Israel runs economic offices in Shanghai, Beijing, Guangzhou, and Hong Kong.
“This is the biggest event we have ever done in China, and one of the biggest events ever done in the number of participants,” Eger told Globes. “Around the event, 500-600 business meetings with potential investors from all over China have been scheduled for Israeli companies. The Chinese are already realizing the significance of investment in Israel and its great potential, and the goal of this conference is to reveal more information and data about Israel.”
Ethnic harmony in an Israeli city you never heard of
Can Jews, Muslims and Christians live side by side peacefully in Israel? It’s a question many people ask themselves.
But they can, and they do, in cities such as Haifa and in less well-known Lod, whose slogan is “A mosaic of cultures.”
The municipality is working hard to raise the profile of this mostly working-class city of 77,500. It recently invited a group of journalists and diplomats to help spread the message that coexistence is alive and well in Israel — even in the climate of heightened fear and mistrust engendered by stabbing and shooting attacks by Arabs in various parts of the country lately.
“In the past few months, as a Jew I have not felt any tension here, and most of the people I speak with agree that regardless of whether they are Jews, Christians or Muslims, people here feel very, very safe,” said Deputy Mayor Aviv Wasserman, a graduate of the London School of Economics and a major force in the turnaround of Lod from hardscrabble to hopeful in the past seven years.
IsraAID helps British flood victims
The Israeli humanitarian aid agency IsraAID has sent four volunteers to northern England to help relief teams cope with the effects of massive flooding, the UK’s Jewish Chronicle reported Tuesday.
Another team of five are on standby.
The first response group is already helping to repair homes and hand out blankets and food in Leeds, where more than 1,000 homes were inundated.
“We have responded to 10 floods and tornado disasters in the US and when we saw what was happening to the UK in the news, it looked worse than ever before,” said Shachar Zahavi, founding director of IsraAid.
The organization contacted Jewish communities around northern England who told them which groups were working in flooded areas, Zahavi added.
What a US Military Veteran Learned From Serving in the IDF
One year later, as I reflect upon my service to Israel, I am so proud as an American to say that I have stood alongside both the defenders of the United States and the defenders of Israel. As a result of this military service, I have learned a great deal about myself, our two countries, and why we are — as I learned to say in Hebrew — brothers.
The first thing that struck me as I donned the dark green uniform of the Israeli Defense Forces, and for the first time since my own injury while serving in the US Army returned to the life of military service, was just how welcoming every IDF soldier I encountered was. Each soldier would greet me with a smile, a heartfelt thank you for coming to stand along side them, and then a sincere inquisitiveness about why this American on two prosthetic legs was back in uniform, thousands of miles from home.
At that time, all I really knew for myself was that I had decided to come and show my support for Israel because not long before, while in the vicinity of an anti-Israel demonstration in Boston, several protesters turned their aggression toward my pregnant wife and our young boys.
The aggression we experienced was a direct result of those protesters recognizing me as a US Service Member. It became immediately obvious to me just how quickly those who scorn Israel turn their hatred towards the United States. It was that moment when I decided I could no longer stand idly by, and that I had to show my support for Israel with more than words.
I belong to one of Israel’s minorities
Israel has many minorities that over the years have become unseparated parts of Israeli society, such as the Druze people - around 122,000, Christians-around 123,000, Muslims - over 1,200,000, the Bahai people around 700, Bedouins around 250,000 and more.
I belong to one of the smallest minorities in Israel, the refugees from the SLA (South Lebanese Army). Those are former soldiers and their families (around 700 families) who were supported by Israel during the South Lebanon conflict, to fight against the PLO and Hezbollah in 1982 until 2000.
After the decision of the Israeli government to leave the south of Lebanon on May 23rd 2000, SLA people were given the choice to flee to Israel and get asylum. My father left Lebanon that day and my mother, my brother and I followed him on August 28 2001. At the beginning the Israeli government arranged motels, hotels and holiday villages for the families for a year and a half. During that year they sent the children to special schools so they could learn Hebrew and continue their studies in school and the grownups were sent to Ulpan for Hebrew studies. Also each family received a small amount of money every month.
After we grew up and finished school with full diplomas, had learnt to speak Hebrew fluently, as children of SLA’s we were given the choice to join the army. Some of us joined it or the national service, like my brother and I, as we wanted to feel like regular Israeli citizens and do our civil obligations. Every Israeli citizen at the age of 18, by law, has to join the army, men for three years and women for two years (optional for Israeli Arabs).
Israel is considered one of the safest places in the Middle East for minorities because of its acceptance of freedom of religion. (h/t Zvi)

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Elder of Ziyon - حـكـيـم صـهـيـون

This blog may be a labor of love for me, but it takes a lot of effort, time and money. For over 12 years and over 25,000 articles I have been providing accurate, original news that would have remained unnoticed. I've written hundreds of scoops and sometimes my reporting ends up making a real difference. I appreciate any donations you can give to keep this blog going.


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