Sunday, April 13, 2014

From Ian:

The racism of the Israel-bashers
We who have visited Israel know the truth first hand. The country isn’t perfect (whose is?), but it strives for peaceful coexistence with its neighbors. Israel is the Middle East’s lone functioning democracy and by leaps and bounds the region’s leader in respecting human and civil rights.
Israel welcomes Arabs as citizens contributing to its democracy and legislative process, its military institutions,and universities, sitting in its parliament and in high judicial posts. It’s also the only nation in history to bring tens of thousands of Africans (Ethiopian Jews) out of Africa to be citizens, not slaves.
Valdary’s writings eloquently make the substantive argument for Israel. The comments by Silverstein and his allies show that there is still hate, racism and ignorance in this country that must be confronted.
So while Chloé Simone Valdary continues to fight for Israel, let all good people denounce Silverstein’s racism and stand with her. This is doubly true for liberal Americans, who have so long stood for rooting out hatred, discrimination and bigotry. They should make clear that they believe in these things just as strongly when it comes to the subject of Israel.
Anthony Hardy Williams is the Democratic whip in the Pennsylvania state Senate. His father, Hardy Williams, worked alongside Martin Luther King Jr. and broke the color barrier at Penn State.
Europe’s chutzpah can’t hide decline
"European Union officials alleged on Friday that Israel demolished EU-funded housing shelters outside of Ma’aleh Adumim earlier in the week, AFP reported.
EU officials demanded financial compensation from Israel to Brussels in response to the demolition of three of the structures, Belgian news service EurActiv reported."

The thought processes of the “EU officials” are remarkable. They finance illegal construction, and then expect to be compensated for their losses when the authorities intervene. If I pay someone to steal a car for me and he is arrested, can I sue the police to get my money back? Probably I would get arrested too! What should happen here is that the EU should pay any relevant fines plus the cost of demolishing the illegal structures.
But there is more. The EU gives large amounts of money to the Palestinian authority, much of which is used to pay the salaries of jailed terrorists — in other words, to reward them for every manner of crime, including murder. How about the EU paying Israel compensation for the actions of its, well, employees?

Palestinian university students’ trip to Auschwitz causes uproar
Professor Mohammed S. Dajani took 27 Palestinian college students to visit the Auschwitz concentration camp in Poland a few weeks ago as part of a project designed to teach empathy and tolerance. Upon his return, his university disowned the trip, his fellow Palestinians branded him a traitor and friends advised a quick vacation abroad.
Dajani said he expected criticism. “I believe a trip like this, for an organized group of Palestinian youth going to visit Auschwitz, is not only rare, but a first,” he said. “I thought there would be some complaints, then it would be forgotten.”
But the trip was explosive news to some, perhaps more so because it took place as U.S.-brokered peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians were in danger of collapse, and emotion surrounding the decades-old conflict is high.
American academia bites the dust: Brandeis University’s hist...
Hirsi Ali is a consummate intellectual. Students should hear what she has to say.
Instead, Brandeis and the Muslim Student Association have taken a Sharia-like position about apostates and the anti-Islamist position she has adopted.
The Brandeis MSA student Facebook page is filled with an attitude of offended Islamist supremacism and rage over alleged “Islamophobia.”
Ironically, none other than Brandeis Professor Jytte Klausen, the author of The Cartoons That Shook the World, published her views in the Brandeis student newspaper The Justice. In her (Stockholm-syndrome?) view, giving Hirsi Ali a degree “undermines years of careful work to show that Brandeis University promotes the ideals of shared learning, religious toleration and coexistence, irrespective of religion.”
Anti-Israel “Climate of fear” at Vassar
Our post, Anti-Israel academic boycott turns ugly at Vassar, exhaustively detailed the fury directed by Vassar Students for Justice in Palestine at two Vassar professors teaching a class that involved travel to Israel and the West Bank.
That fury erupted in an Open Forum organized by the Vassar administration at which those professors together with Jewish students were heckled, jeered and belittled in such a frenzy that it shocked even Philip Weiss of Mondoweiss website, who himself is anti-Israel and was present at the event.
The accuracy of our reporting was confirmed by the two professors involved, as detailed in The Anti-Israel Cultural Revolution at Vassar.
Now the two professors have written a lengthy column in the Vassar student newspaper detailing their experience. They specifically address how this incident fits into the perceived climate of fear at Vasssar.
NUJ rejects call to boycott Israel
A pro-boycott motion has been roundly defeated at the union’s annual Delegate Meeting today. It had called on members to back all forms of BDS.
The London Magazine branch calls on the meeting to instruct the union’s National Executive Council to “encourage members to boycott Israeli products and back lecturers and other professionals who refuse to co-operate with Israeli institutions” and to “write to the BDS movement declaring the union’s support for the campaign”.
Ed Miliband spoke out against the proposed boycott during his recent visit to Israel:
“Don’t vote for a boycott,” was his message to delegates. “My general position is against boycotts. Anyone looking also at the sensitive stage we’ve reached in the negotiations would even additionally to that general principle would realise it’s so not the solution. You’re in a very sensitive moment when you’re wanting to encourage both sides not to try to isolate one or the other.”
Irish Times columnist ponders whether ‘rich Zionists’ control US foreign policy
We’ve previously written about Irish Times columnist Eamonn McCann, a Trotskyist activist and commentator who has employed the “chosen people” canard to suggest that Israeli attacks are arguably inspired by a belief in their own superiority, claimed that Zionism is racism and prophesized on the Jewish State’s ultimate demise.
In his April 10 Irish Times op-ed, the ‘truth telling’ radical expressed his disgust at Sheldon Adelson – or, more precisely, a recent episode involving New Jersey Governor Chris Christie in which the possible Presidential contender apologized to Adelson (a Republican donor) after giving a speech in which he referred to Judea and Samaria as ‘occupied territory’.
[Response] Embassy of Israel, Dublin: American support for Israel
It seems that when accounting for American support for Israel, Mr McCann cannot resist the temptation to resort to well-worn stereotypes of Jewish finance controlling US foreign policy. The terminology has been adjusted slightly, but the classic tropes are there: Governor Christie “kowtowed to Zionism”, servile Republican hopefuls “paraded their wares” for the all-powerful Zionist mogul’s inspection. Yet Mr McCann allows a glimpse of the truth in his last line when he tacitly admits the existence of spontaneous mass pro-Israel sentiment among the US public. Truly, in the venting of unhealthy obsessions, a “very useful issue for some,” to quote Mr McCann, “is Israel”. Yours, etc,
Why does the BBC Trust’s ESC pretend that the 1947 Partition Plan is a thing?
In both of the above documents produced by the BBC’s Editorial Standards Committee (page 39 here and page 51 here) it is stated that:
“The [BBC Trust's Editorial Standards] Committee noted that while there is no expectation that in a two-state solution West Jerusalem would become Palestinian territory, a UN resolution passed in 1947 has not been rescinded. It calls for the whole of Jerusalem to be an international city, a corpus separatum (similar to the Vatican City), and in that context, technically, West Jerusalem is not Israeli sovereign territory. “
Yes, you read that correctly: the highest BBC body charged with ensuring the corporation’s adherence to editorial standards (including those of accuracy and impartiality) claims that the 1947 UN Partition Plan – aka UN GA resolution 181– has some sort of relevance or validity and based upon that gross misinterpretation, presumes to dictate that a city in which there has been a Jewish majority since the nineteenth century “is not Israeli sovereign territory”.
Elliott Abrams: Standing firm -- to blame Israel
Several well-known members of America's foreign policy establishment have just published an open letter to Secretary of State John Kerry, titled "Stand Firm, John Kerry." And firm they are, in blaming Israel for every problem in the peace negotiations.
Criticism of Israel and of the policies of the Netanyahu government is certainly fair, whether from the Left or the Right. But the criticisms adduced here are not. Why not?
The authors' (Zbigniew Brzezinki, Carla Hills, Lee Hamilton, Thomas Pickering, Frank Carlucci, and Henry Siegman) first point is that the "enlargement" of Israeli settlements is the central problem in getting to peace. They propose stopping all negotiations until settlement "enlargement" ends. One problem with this approach is that it is the Palestinians, after all, who want to change the current situation, end the occupation, and get a sovereign state, so halting all diplomatic activity would seem to punish the party the authors' wish to help. But there's a deeper problem: There is no "enlargement" of Israeli settlements.
Quit Kerrying On
Nobody can say what is in John Kerry’s heart. Is he well intentioned and a true believer in his efforts to bring peace between Arabs and Israelis? Or are Kerry and the administration playing to the public, creating a highlight reel of success for future history books?
Regardless of their mindset, their latest efforts, indeed Obama’s entire presidency as regards the Middle East, amount to one lowlight after another. History will scratch its head trying to fathom how Kerry had the chutzpah to fault Israel for Jews building homes and refusing to release yet another batch of murderers and terrorists as the reason why “we find ourselves where we are.”
The same can be said for the president whose grandfatherly portrayal of Abbas as a man who has always stood for peace would be comical if it weren’t so dangerous. (h/t Zvi)
Settlers get okay for Seder in contested Hebron building
Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon gave approval Sunday for settlers to move back into a disputed building in Hebron. The building, known by settlers as the “Peace House,” was already being prepared Sunday to house three families who intend to celebrate the Passover festival at the site on Monday evening.
The four-story structure had been at the center of a seven-year legal battle. Last month the Supreme Court rejected a petition by a Palestinian man who claimed that the 2007 purchase of the building by Jews was illegal, leaving Ya’alon’s approval as the last step to reoccupying the building.
The court ruled that Faiz Rajabi’s claim that papers documenting the sale had been falsified was unfounded, and added that legal ownership of the building should be returned to the settlers at once.
Ed Miliband wants to be ‘the first Jewish PM’? Ed: meet Benjamin Disraeli
Ed Miliband says he wants to be Britain’s “first Jewish PM”. He apparently has no ambitions to be its most historically informed. As any fule kno, Benjamin Disraeli – one of the greatest PMs there ever was – was Jewish.
Yes, he converted to Christianity. But Ed Miliband doesn’t even believe in God and describes himself as a “Jewish atheist” – so we’re talking about ethnic identity here, not religion. And Disraeli was keenly aware of his ethnicity, calling himself "the blank page between the Old Testament and the New". He said that he regarded the Christian church as "the only Jewish institution that remains, and, irrespective of its being the depository of divine truth, [I] must ever cling to it as the visible means which embalms the memory of my race."
Rioters hurl stones, firebombs at police on Temple Mount
Riot police were called in to quell a violent protest at the Temple Mount’s Mughrabi gate as the site opened to visitors Sunday morning.
Two police were lightly injured after rioters threw stones and two Molotov cocktails at about 8 a.m., police spokesman Mickey Rosenfeld said.
The Mount, located at the heart of Jerusalem’s Old City, was closed after the incident.
Police responded by entering the al-Aqsa mosque compound and using stun grenades and rubber bullets to disperse the rioters, he said.
He said police quickly took control of the situation and extra units were posted to prevent any further disturbances.
British MP George Galloway: Gaza Is A Warsaw Ghetto

PA names forest after arch-terrorist Abu Jihad
The official Palestinian Authority daily reported that the PA and Fatah inaugurated a forest they chose to name after arch-terrorist Abu Jihad: "The Martyr Abu Jihad Forest."
Abu Jihad was a founder of Fatah and deputy to Yasser Arafat. He headed the PLO's military wing and planned many deadly terror attacks. These attacks, which according to the official PA daily killed at least 125 Israelis, included the most lethal in Israeli history - the hijacking of a bus and killing of 37 civilians, 12 of them children.
Palestinian girl's goal: "to reach level" of terrorist who killed 37

Syrian opposition activist calls for peace with Israel
A senior Syrian opposition member has appealed for collaboration with Israel to topple the Assad regime, claiming that “the revolution created a historic opportunity for peace between the nations.”
Kamal al-Labwani, a physician and former decade-long political prisoner, told the Walla news portal over the weekend that he believes “we have shared interests with Israel.”
“Iran, Hezbollah, and al-Qaeda are the joint enemies of Israel and the Syrian people. We must collaborate against them,” the influential activist said.
The sudden consideration of Israel as a potential political ally, he explained, comes in light of the evolving political landscape in the Middle East.
Mursi’s daughter claims man in prison is not her father
The daughter of President Mohammad Mursi said on Friday she is “certain” that the televised footage showing the ousted leader in prison is not of her father.
Alshymaa shared two pictures of Mursi on her Facebook page, one while he was president and the other of him during his trial. She claimed in a comment that the one in prison does not resemble her father.
Leading Egyptian Women's Rights Activist: Global Zionism behind Problems in Egypt and the World

Hezbollah develops new tactics in Syrian civil war
The aim of the new strategy, that includes hit-and-run attacks as well as reconnaissance missions, is to help Assad hold onto power, limit Hezbollah casualties and attack groups that want to launch attacks inside Lebanon itself.
"Hezbollah is also well aware of its comparatively limited manpower capacity," said Charles Lister, an analyst with the Brookings Doha Center. "So exploiting an ability to inflict damage on the enemy without expending significant resources ... is a natural strategic development."
British teacher threatens Jewish student with gas chamber
A Jewish 17-year-old who attempted to cut a line was reprimanded by a teacher who allegedly threatened to send the teen girl to “one of your gas chambers,” the student’s father said Sunday, according to The Daily Mail.
The teacher, who has been employed at the North London Collegiate School for a few years, apologized to the student privately after the incident occurred a few months ago.
However, due to the institution’s opacity regarding whether the educator was penalized, the parents issued a demand for greater transparency on how the issue was ultimately resolved.
Anti-Semitism in Canada becoming more violent
Anti-Semitic incidents decreased slightly in Canada in 2013 over the previous year, but cases of vandalism and violence rose “significantly,” according to B’nai Brith Canada.
The organization’s annual audit of anti-Semitic incidents, released April 11, found that Canada-wide there were 1,274 incidents recorded in 2013, a 5.3 percent decrease over the year before.
While episodes of harassment decreased from 1,013 in 2012 to 872 in 2013, representing a nearly 14 percent drop, acts of vandalism rose by 21.6 percent – 388 in 2013 and 319 the year before, and cases of violence rose by one, from 13 to 14.
Lest “they be dismissed as trivial annoyance,” the audit noted that 113 of the 872 cases classified as harassment “involved explicit threats of violence or harm against individuals, families, businesses or institutions.”
Carla Bruni ‘crazy about Israel’
France’s former first lady Carla Bruni declared herself “crazy about Israel” and talked about Jewish family ties in an interview published by an Israeli daily on Friday.
Ahead of a May 25 concert in Tel Aviv, the singer, guitarist and former model told the Hebrew-language Yedioth Aharonoth that she hoped to bring both her husband, former president Nicolas Sarkozy, and her son Aurelien with her.
The Italian-born Bruni, 46, told the newspaper that her father was Jewish and that while Sarkozy had a Jewish grandfather he also has a Jewish grandson, Solal, through his son Jean’s 2008 marriage to Jewish heiress Jessica Sebaoun.
Israel Daily Picture: Rabbi Kook and Mr. Cook -- in Jerusalem on Passover, 1928
The Harvard Library/Central Zionist Archives collection provides a series of pictures from 1928, all captioned "Jewish Pilgrims Celebrate Passover in Jerusalem."
No other information is provided, but we can deduce quite a bit.
The picture above shows the Chief Rabbi of Palestine, Abraham Isaac Kook, delivering a Torah discourse to a large audience. Where? Quite possibly near his home between Jerusalem's Prophets Street and Jaffa Road. While women are sitting separately from the men, the audience is most certainly not an ultra-Orthodox crowd. With their heads covered, they are more likely a religious Zionist grouping. Their holiday dress suggest that it either the Passover holiday or the Sabbath of Passover.


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