Thursday, March 06, 2014

From Ian:

Israel and the Rest of the World
Whatever its detractors may say, Israel declares loudly that it is a country where the best Western values are honored, where democracy, the rule of law, the creation of new laws through an elected parliament, the fair treatment of all minorities, rights for women, for gays, for all citizens, Jews and non-Jews alike, are demanded. But say it is also a Jewish country based on Jewish ethics, and someone of limited intellect will come along clutching a copy of the Torah, the Talmud, the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, or anything else they can lay their hands on, and declaiming that they can prove Judaism is a bloodthirsty religion that has always worked to defeat and mistreat non-Jews. In the past years, I have only known a violent and angry Islam; yet the world is silent. The world excuses Islamic murder, but focuses on flaws, often imaginary, on the part of Israel.
The very establishment of a Jewish state stood for more than even its founders guessed. It was open defiance of the universal impulse to persecute and kill Jews.
Israel: A failed state (satire)
I grew up in South Africa and left for Israel in the 1970`s. So I consider myself somewhat knowledgeable on South African apartheid. In view of the criticisms of Israel as an apartheid state, I felt it my duty that my understanding and knowledge of apartheid should be put to good cause by exposing the evil manifestations of apartheid in Israel.
I started in my neighbourhood. I went to the municipal park. In South Africa, only whites would have been allowed to enter. I could not believe my eyes. Arabs and Jews were mixing peacefully, Arab and Jewish children socialising and shouting at each other in their home languages. This cannot be, where is the separation? So I went to the shops and restaurants of the adjoining mall. What a major let down! Arabs and Jews shopping together as customers, Arabs and Jews employed together in the shops as assistants and cashiers, Arabs and Jews sitting in restaurants, an Arab dentist with his sign for all the world to see and the only missing ingredients were the “blankes alleen – whites only” signs. Clearly, in matters of commerce and common use of public and transport facilities, open to all, Israel is a failure in implementing apartheid: there is clearly no South African style apartheid to be found in public areas.
Expert bashes UN’s ‘politicized’ West Bank numbers
Claim that 300,000 Palestinians live in areas under full Israeli control is not quite true, says ex-official who drew the map
The OCHA report did not hide the fact that many of the Palestinian communities surveyed are located mostly within Areas A and B. One table in the report indicates that just 241 “residential areas” lie completely within Area C, while 291 residential areas lie partially within Areas A and B. Nearly 176,000 Palestinians cited in the report live in communities which lie mostly outside Area C, while only 67,000 Palestinians live in residential areas that lie entirely within Area C, according to the report.
OCHA carried out a “vulnerability study” on communities located entirely within Area C back in 2008, together with UNRWA. It was not immediately clear why the criteria were changed for the new study. No comment was available by the organization at time of publication.



“Advocating for Palestinian Rights in conformity with International Law: Guidelines” - A Layman’s Guide to Lawfare
According to the report, the accusation of “occupation” is insufficient for political purposes because “occupation per se is lawful, and an occupation regime may remain lawful even if certain policies and practices of the occupying power are illegal or constitute war crimes” and because it “suggest[s] that Israeli violations of Palestinian rights under international law are limited to the OPT.”
Instead, activists are encouraged to allege Israeli “colonialism, apartheid and ethnic cleansing,” dating to 1948 and earlier, in an attempt to undermine the existence of Israel. This language was also chosen to attract political allies (specifically Africans and Latin Americans) and to bolster campaigns for ICJ and ICC cases against Israel.
In other words, activists are directed to invent legal claims and alleged violations that undermine Israel’s existence and more effectively contribute to political warfare campaigns.
Egypt bars Nobel laureate from entering Gaza
Egypt detained and deported Northern Irish Nobel Laureate and peace activist Mairead Maguire on Wednesday and held up others who had been planning to go to neighboring Gaza, the activists and officials said.
Maguire had intended to join a delegation of women activists going to the blockaded Palestinian enclave on Thursday.
The group could embarrass the military-installed government, which is at odds with Gaza’s militant Hamas rulers, yet does not want to be seen as party to a siege of Palestinians, blockaded by Israel. (h/t Yenta Press)
Jewish Groups Express Concern About Anti-Semitism at California State Colleges
The event, titled “Report and Discussion From Members of the North American Based Academic and Labor Delegation to Palestine 2014,” features a seven-person delegation consisting of SFSU professors Rabab Abdulhadi and Joanne Barker, along with five other academics and activists who are “leading advocates for the academic boycott of Israel.”
According to the letter, the Jewish groups are particularly concerned about meetings the delegation has had with Palestinians who argue “for the use of armed violence against the Jewish state,” and about the fact that “at least two of the meetings were with individuals affiliated with U.S. State Department-designated terrorist organizations responsible for the murder of numerous Jews worldwide.”
The Jewish groups asked the California education officials, including SFSU President Leslie Wong, to “speak out forcefully against this event” and to monitor for “anti-Semitic and anti-Israeli animus.”
Israeli Law Center Expands Fight on Oxfam’s Alleged Ties to Terror Funding
An Israeli organization is mulling taking a legal fight against Oxfam International to the global aid conglomerate’s donors, in an attempt to cut off a source of funds it says is ending up in the hands of people allied with terrorist groups.
Shurat HaDin – Israel Law Center is considering bringing the terror funding issue to the attention of foundations that fund Oxfam, companies like Coca-Cola, and Oxfam’s global ambassadors.
“They have a lot of celebrities who serve as their ambassadors,” Nitsana Darshan-Leitner, director and founder of Shurat HaDin, told JNS.org. The warning, said Darshan-Leitner, is that such entities “may pay directly or indirectly to fund a terror organization if they fund Oxfam.”
Defying BDS Calls, Promoter Shuki Weiss Brings Big-Name Performers to Israel
Musical guests attracted to Israel by the company have included Metallica, the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Radiohead, Madonna, David Bowie, and Eric Clapton. The trend continues this summer, with Neil Young, Soundgarden, and the Pixies all signed by Weiss to perform in Tel Aviv, and The Rolling Stones tentatively booked by Weiss but still unconfirmed.
“I’m not getting the message from the artists that they are feeling the pressure [from the BDS movement]. While that might have been true in the past, that’s not the case today,” Oren Arnon, the head promoter for Weiss’s company, tells JNS.org.
Weiss has also signed the international circus troupe Cirque du Soleil, which is bringing its “Quidam” performance to Tel Aviv this summer.
How not to keep Neil Young away
Israelis actually have much in common with Native Canadians. In the case of Canada, the Europeans who came to her shores had no prior connection to the land. However, archeological discoveries have proven time and again the 3000 year old connection of the Jewish People to the Holy Land. Neil’s involvement and important work promoting First Nation rights has touched the hearts and minds of many Israelis, due to similarities between the two nations. Both have experienced genocide, exile and continued persecution, yet both nations continue to defy the odds and strive to reaffirm their culture in their ancestral homelands.
Although the indigenous and First Nation population in Canada is not unified in its approach toward Israel, the Israeli example of an indigenous people returning to its homeland continues to serve as an inspiration for key figures in Canada’s First Nation people. Only last year, the Chief of the Canadian Cree Nation, the Grand Chief of Manitoba and the National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations visited Israel and expressed support for the nation and strengthening these bilateral ties. Chief Phil Fontaine of the Assembly of First Nations, stated that “Indigenous people in Canada have much in common with the people of Israel, including a respect of the land…”.
Academic Left Silent On Russian Imperialism; ‘It’s Not Israel’ (satire)
In an address to a conference of the Harvard-Yale-Princeton-Oxford- Columbia-Radcliffe-International Team of Educators (HYPOCRITE), Professor Lisa Duggan told HYPOCRITE attendees that they must be careful not to object too loudly to Russia’s violation of Ukraine’s sovereignty, lest the world get the idea that there are problems worthy of addressing that do not lend themselves to direct demonization of Israel.
“While no one disagrees that Russia’s behavior is less than perfect, we as academics have a responsibility to keep international attention focused on the evil that is Israel and the ways in which we can delegitimize Israel,” she said. “Since no major elements of the Russia-Ukraine crisis can be directly attributed to Israeli crimes, our attention to the crisis must remain at most perfunctory.” She said an academic boycott of Russian institutions was out of the question.
BBC employs smoke and mirrors in report on Iranian weapons smuggling ship
In conclusion, BBC audiences are actively misled by this report in that they are encouraged to view Iran’s long and well documented history of arming and financing terrorist organisations as a debatable Israeli claim. The repetition of obviously ridiculous Hamas propaganda and citation of barely veiled accusations of war crimes from unidentified “critics” does nothing to lend ‘balance’ or ‘impartiality’ to the article and distracts from the actual subject matter. The deliberately equivocal presentation of the actions of terrorist organisations in the Gaza Strip and the responses of the armed forces of a nation protecting its citizens from that terrorist activity is clearly politically motivated.
BBC not sure people firing missiles at civilians are ‘militants’
On March 4th a short report appeared on the Middle East page of the BBC News website (and oddly also on its US & Canada page) under the headline “Two killed in Israeli air strike in northern Gaza Strip“.
The sources of those “conflicting reports” – used to justify the BBC’s absurd reluctance to classify two men caught in the act of firing a missile at civilians as “militants” – are not made clear to readers.
However, the terrorist organisations themselves were on hand with claims which should clear up the BBC’s angst.
90% of missile attacks from Gaza Strip in February ignored by the BBC
Of the attacks originating in the Gaza Strip, the thwarted IED attack was ignored and only one of the ten different incidents of missile fire or attempted missile fire was partly reported, but without it having been made clear that an attack was in progress. In other words, 90% of missile fire at Israeli civilians from the Gaza Strip during the month of February was ignored by the BBC.
That of course means that BBC audiences continue to be denied information concerning the vast majority of attacks by terrorist groups on Israeli civilians in southern Israel and hence lack the background and context to enable them to be able to reach informed opinions on the subject of Israel’s responses to the activities of terror organisations on its southern borders.
The New York Times Persists in Emphasizing IDF Defensive Strikes While Downplaying Palestinian Terrorism
CAMERA’s monograph, Indicting Israel: New York Times’ Coverage of the Palestinian-Israeli Conflict, noted the newspaper’s consistent emphasis on Israel’s defensive military strikes while downplaying Palestinian violence. During our 6-month study, Palestinian attacks –including those that killed Israelis – were never featured prominently, but the newspaper repeatedly highlighted Israeli military actions or vandalism by radical Israelis. While 12 headlines implicated Israel for killing Palestinians none referred to Palestinians killing Israelis even though 14 Israelis were killed by Palestinians during that time. (See: Indicting Israel, Chapter 4 “Violence Double Standards”, page 57)
Well, it seems this pattern of coverage is endemic to The New York Times. Correspondent Jodi Rudoren, recently back from a speaking jaunt in the U.S., just published an item about an IDF air strike on an Islamic Jihad rocket squad about to fire missiles into southern Israel. The problem is, the article was headlined “Israeli Airstrike Kills 2 in Gaza”
Israeli agent Jonathan Pollard hospitalized
Israeli agent Jonathan Pollard was hospitalized on Wednesday morning after a deterioration of his medical condition.
Pollard had been suffering from various medical ailments and has suffered from extreme pain for an extended period of time.
Sources close to him hope to receive more information when it is morning in United States.
Israel treats man injured in Ukraine unrest
A man injured in Ukraine was brought for treatment to Kaplan Medical Center in Rehovot, Israel on Wednesday, the first to arrive from the conflict region so far.
Alexander S. was admitted for bone reconstruction surgery after suffering injuries in Kiev's Independence Square during the riots.
His treatment was approved after Dr. Valeria Bivitzchik, who volunteered with the Red Cross in Ukraine, arranged for injured citizens to be flown to Israel for medical care. (h/t Zvi)
Statue of Liberty upgrades with Israeli digital video surveillance
The Statue of Liberty National Monument has added a state-of-the-art surveillance system that includes Israeli technology. Total Recall Corporation, a video-centric security technology provider specializing in surveillance solutions, brought together nine top technology vendors including BriefCam.
The award-winning IP-based, digital video surveillance solution offered by Total Recall is being used by the US Park Police, National Park Service and the Department of Interior to enhance public safety and improve operational efficiencies at the recently renovated Statue of Liberty National Monument and Liberty Island.
Israel’s Briefcam was chosen for its unique Video Synopsis software solution that enables law enforcement and security personnel to review hours of surveillance video in minutes.
House of Representatives Passes U.S.-Israel Strategic Partnership Bill
The American Israel Political Affairs Committee (AIPAC) on Wednesday applauded the adoption of the United States-Israel Strategic Partnership Act of 2013 by the House of Representatives.
The passage of the bill in a 410-1 vote comes after AIPAC held its annual policy conference this week in Washington, D.C.
PM signs pro-business deal with California governor
During a meeting at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, the two emphasized their joint interests in cybersecurity, energy sources and water conservation, and suggested Israel — an arid country with a growing population — might be able to help California cope with its ongoing drought.
“California doesn’t need to have a water problem,” Netanyahu said. “Israel has no water problems because we are the number one recyclers of waste water, we stop water leaks, we use drip irrigation and desalination.”
Brown said he would welcome their ideas.
Age gap fades as IDF’s oldest paratrooper dons red beret
The uniformed teenagers, dozens of them, awaited the start of a ceremony that would award them red berets and mark their official entry into the IDF’s Paratroops Brigade.
Among them, one man stood out. He wasn’t from Israel nor was he surrounded by family — and at 29, Private Isaac Moyal was the oldest person to ever join the paratroopers.
New Israel-China fund closes $100m financing round
China-Israel business relations got a huge boost last week, when Israel’s Catalyst Equity Management and Hong Kong-based China Everbright Limited investment fund announced the closing of a $100 million round of financing for their new Catalyst CEL Fund. The fund will invest in Israeli companies that have technologies, products, and services that China needs — and those needs are legion, said Shangyan Fan, Head of Strategic Investment and Development at China Everbright Ltd., and a Managing Director in Catalyst-CEL.
The deal was closed in a special ceremony at Catalyst’s Tel Aviv office, attended by top executives of Catalyst and Everbright. “China has a lot of needs, and we believe that Israeli companies are in unique position to bring in many of the solutions China needs,” Fan told The Times of Israel in an exclusive interview. “We are concentrating on bringing in companies that have established solutions in areas like technology, environmental and water technology, manufacturing, and even consumer needs.”
Chinese Automaker Qoros Challenges Europeans on Home Turf
Chinese upstart Qoros Auto Co. is out to challenge Volkswagen AG (VOW), PSA Peugeot Citroen (UG) and other Europeans on their home turf, signaling a broader push by the country’s car manufacturers to target western customers.
Qoros, a joint venture between China’s Chery Automobile Co. and Tel Aviv-based holding company Israel Corp.
, presented the midmarket 3 Hatch in Geneva this week, a year after creating buzz at the show with a sedan, its first model ever.


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