Thursday, April 24, 2014

From Ian:

The Origins of Palestinian Refugee Relief Efforts (REVIEW)
Romirowsky and Joffe’s book Religion, Politics and the Origins of Palestine Refugee Relief is an important volume for those interested in truly understanding the origins of the Palestinian refugee issue. Utilizing a treasure trove of newly released documents, the authors link UNRWA’s (United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine) origins to the Quakers/American Friends Service Committee (AFSC). For those readers who thought they knew most of the Middle East story, Romirowsky and Joffe’s version provides another twist. The authors meticulously show how prior to UNRWAs founding in 1949, the AFSC played a leading role and influence in decisions and choices.
It turns out that for the first ten years of UNRWA’s existence, repatriation of Palestinian refugees to Israel was of no interest.
Numerous surprising actors from the U.S. State Department, the United Nations (UN), the AFSC and multiple Arab interest groups believed that Palestinians who left when Israel declared statehood, would be absorbed into surrounding Arab territories. More complicated was the process of identifying and defining refugee status given the frenetic frauds perpetrated by non-Israeli Bedouins, riot victims, inflated child counts and those who never resided in Israel e.g. Bedouins. Factor in religion, Holocaust memory and instead of a welcoming by neighboring Arab nations, refugee status is conferred and a politics of Palestinians is born.
NGO Monitor: Why does Germany fund demonization of Israel?
However, there is a vast gap between the words of the leaders and the actions of their government – specifically in the form of taxpayer money provided to non-governmental organizations (NGOs), political foundations and church groups that are central to delegitimization. European money, in general, and German funds in particular, pay for the fuel and ammunition for the political warfare strategy adopted at the infamous NGO Forum of the 2001 Durban Conference, whose participants declared their objective of “the complete international isolation of Israel as an apartheid state.” In many parts of Europe, including Germany, particularly on university campuses, churches and trade unions, this insidious form of warfare has been successful in demonizing Israel.
One of the most egregious examples is the German support for and cooperation with a notorious “one-state” (meaning no Israel) NGO known as Zochrot, whose mission is to “raise public awareness of the Palestinian Nakba” and to support the so-called Palestinian “right of return.” Zochrot repeats modern blood libels, in the form of accusations of “ethnic cleansing” and “forcible displacement and dispossession of the Palestinian people.”
Isi Leibler: Incentives for murdering Jews
It is a damning reflection on the civilized world that one rarely hears a word of condemnation of the criminal Palestinian society in which the murder of Jews is not only considered laudable, but has today effectively become a vehicle for achieving upward social mobility, both socially and financially.
Let us relate hypothetically to Ahmed, a typical youngster in a large and impoverished Palestinian family.
Like his peers, Ahmed has been brainwashed – since kindergarten and throughout his schooling, by the mullahs at his mosque and in the daily media – into believing that the highest level of piety is attained by killing the Israeli enemy. He knows that if he were killed while attacking a Jew, he too would become a shaheed – a martyr – and be compensated for his sacrifice by the rewards and pleasures of Paradise. Moreover, his family would be honored and would receive a lifelong state pension from our “peace partner” Mahmoud Abbas and the Palestinian Authority.
Ahmed recollects the interviews he watched on PA state television of mothers displaying pride in their offspring’s sacrifice on behalf of Islam, and their frequently expressed hope that some of their remaining children follow the example of the blessed martyr.
The Serpent's Tongue - An Open Letter To Catherine Ashton, EU Policy Chief
Does that bother you at all, Lady Ashton, to be a part of providing an incentive for all those murders? In legal terms, Lady Ashton, doesn't that make you and the EU accessories to those murders? Have you even once forcefully condemned the Palestinian Authority's practice of rewarding and making heroes out of those who murder innocent men, women and children? Has the EU ever once threatened to end the cash flow unless it stopped?
And to add insult to injury, in your remarks, the murder of Baruch Mizrachi barely rates a sentence, almost an afterthought. And you equivocate by calling for 'an immediate end to all acts of violence', as though Israelis were likewise targeting Arab families for murder on the highways. And then you call on Israel and Israel alone to mend its ways and reverse these so-called punitive actions that you deplore so much.
Are you that dead to shame, Lady Ashton? Are you that blind to justice?
Do you sleep well at night?

Assad's champion
Seale genuinely yearned to facilitate a breakthrough -- on Assad's terms, of course. Later that month, Seale published side-by-side interviews with Barak and Assad, in which they signaled hope for this and that. Seale denied being a go-between, but that's exactly how Israelis regarded him.
It turned out to be a bridge too far, for reasons that will keep historians busy for years to come. When Assad died a year later and his son Bashar took over, Israelis concluded that Seale didn't have the same access in Damascus that he'd had under the old man. Failure at Camp David, Intifada II, Barak's departure, Ariel Sharon and George W. Bush, 9/11, and the Iraq War all pushed Syrian-Israel peace off the agenda, and put Syria on the defensive. Seale slipped into Israel-bashing on a scale unprecedented even for him.
Anti-Semitism and False Moral Equivalence
Yossi Klein Halevi is an admirable Israeli thinker, writer, and Jew, who recently authored Like Dreamers, a terrific book about Israel. I don’t know much about Imam Abdullah Antepli, the Muslim chaplain at Duke University, except that Mr. Halevi counts him as a “beloved friend,” so I therefore trust that he is admirable as well.
That is why it is puzzling that Halevi and Antepli jointly posted an article last week entitled “What Muslims and Jews should learn from Brandeis,” on The Times of Israel blog. In their piece, they extol Brandeis and its president for rescinding the offer of an honorary degree to Ayaan Hirsi Ali, whom they call a Muslim “renegade.” Halevi and Antepli claim that Brandeis’s president provided Muslims and Jews with an “essential teaching moment,” inasmuch as “one of the ugliest expressions of the antipathy between Muslims and Jews is the tendency within both communities to promote each other’s renegades.”
This is preposterous. Given the tsunami of anti-Semitism propagated by Muslims all over the world, whether through Jewish “renegades” or otherwise, the moral equivalence the authors posit could not be more misplaced. And this, in an article published just a few days after one of the latest “expressions of antipathy”–the terrorist murder of an Israeli Jew while he was driving his wife and children to a Passover seder.
Irwin Cotler and Alan M. Dershowitz: Freeing Pollard: It’s a matter of justice
Reports now indicate that, in an effort to salvage the floundering Israeli-Palestinian peace talks, the Obama administration is considering the release of Jonathan Pollard, the former U.S. naval intelligence analyst sentenced to life imprisonment in 1987 for passing secret documents to Israel.
The injection of Pollard as a bargaining chip has been described by proponents of the peace process — Democrat and Republican alike, as well as liberal and conservative pundits — as lamentable. Indeed, for the following reasons, President Obama should commute Pollard’s sentence to time served as a matter of fundamental justice, rather than as quid pro quo.
Lapid calls for improved anti-BDS tactics, says settlements not the issue
Speaking at a session of the executive board of the European Jewish Congress, Lapid said that Israel “should do much better in helping the European Jewish community” fighting organizations affiliated with the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement.
“We have to fight this together.”
“I have heard before and I have to agree to some extent that we do not have a clear-enough policy for Europe and we are working on it,” Lapid told the Jewish leaders, who represented communities in France, England, Greece and other nations. “Let me remind you that our Foreign Minister came back to office just recently and he is devoted to this, we are devoted to this [and] we are going to work together.”
Calling European proponents of BDS “vicious propaganda organizations” that are “just lying,” Lapid asserted that using Israeli settlements as a pretext for boycotts is disingenuous.
Anti-Israel BDS Resolutions Seize Campuses in Ontario, Canada
Under the guise of promoting peace and human rights, resolutions to join Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions [BDS] drives are being foisted on Canadian university campuses to push the agenda of the Muslim terrorist group, Hamas, to destroy Israel.
It is Hamas—an offshoot of the Muslim Brotherhood—that has fueled and directed the BDS and Israel Apartheid Week campaigns on university campuses across North America through chapters of the Muslim Student Association and the Palestine Solidarity Network.
Despite drawing a negligible fraction of the student population, the votes are gaining traction. According to the website of the Palestinian BDS National Committee, BDS is a global campaign designed to pressure Israel to end its so-called "occupation and colonization of all Arab lands." Hidden is the real BDS agenda: to delegitimize and ultimately obliterate Israel by destroying its economy.
Anti-Israel Groups Shout Hate Slogans Outside Toronto Consulate
Elias Hazineh, former President of the Palestine House, added to the chorus of inciting remarks against Israel.
“Zionists are taking over Canada," he claimed loudly, according to Alternative Angle. "They are taking over our government. Zionism is racism and they are taking over our government [. . .] Be careful, wake up Canada, wake up, Zionists are taking over the country.”
BBC WS fails to clarify the credentials of an anti-Israel activist, promotes academic boycott
Those familiar with Qumsiyeh’s range of activities will appreciate that the introduction obviously does nothing to contribute to the BBC commitment to “clearly summarising the standpoint of any interviewee where it is relevant and not immediately clear from their position or the title of their organization”.
Audiences are not informed of Qumsiyeh’s involvement in provocative publicity stunts designed to delegitimize Israel such as the ‘air flotillas’, the so-called ‘Freedom Rides’ and the ‘Global March to Jerusalem’ and they are not made aware of his full range of affiliations with organisations and projects dedicated to bringing about the demise of Israel as the Jewish state.
Guardian op-ed: Mordechai Vanunu is a hero ‘like Snowden’
Naturally, Vanunu is something of a cause célèbre at the Guardian, which has published no less than 76 separate pieces (reports, op-eds and letters) on the convicted felon (dating back to 1986), including an official editorial entitled “In Praise of…Mordechai Vanunu“.
The Guardian’s latest celebration of Vanunu comes in the form of an op-ed written by Duncan Campbell (a long time Guardian contributor), one which evokes Edward Snowden in characterizing Vanunu as nothing less than a hero:
Another Hizballah plot against Israeli tourists gets the BBC silent treatment
As readers will of course be aware, this is far from the first time that Hizballah has carried out or planned attacks against Israeli tourists abroad.
The BBC’s reporting on a previous incident in Cyprus began as non-existent and proceeded to tardy. Its reporting of the 2012 bombing in Burgas, Bulgaria, in which six people were killed and dozens injured has been hallmarked by the use of the euphemistic term “militants” to describe an internationally active, Iranian backed terror group. BBC coverage has promoted the myth of a separate “armed wing” to the organization. Hizballah’s designation as a terrorist organization has frequently been inaccurately represented and downplayed by the BBC, including in a report concerning a previous incident in Thailand.
In this case, the BBC has chosen to ignore the story altogether.
BBC’s Knell politicises St George’s Day with promotion of PA propaganda
If the name of Knell’s clerical interviewee sounds familiar, that is of probably because of his rather more earthly extensive political activity. Atallah Hanna is one of the authors of the Kairos Document and gave his endorsement to the 2012 exercise in delegitimisation of Israel known as the ‘Global March to Jerusalem’. He sits on the board of advisors to the flotilla-organising ‘Free Gaza’ movement which is linked to the ISM. In 2002 – during the second Intifada – he was sacked by his own church from the position of spokesman after having allegedly condoned terrorism and in the same year was detained by the Israeli authorities on suspicion of illegally entering an enemy country.
Despite clear BBC editorial guidelines concerning the need “to make it clear to the audience when contributors are associated with a particular viewpoint”, Knell of course neglects to inform her readers of the Archbishop’s political motivations for the promotion of “historic Palestine” as the place of St George’s birth. She reinforces the political sub-text running through her piece by going on to write:
UN Watch: Iran wins coveted UN human rights posts
The United Nations yesterday voted by acclamation to elect the Islamic Republic of Iran and more than a dozen other repressive regimes to top committees charged with protecting women’s rights and overseeing the work of human rights organizations, according to an exclusive report by UN Watch, a non-governmental Geneva-based human rights group.
Today is a black day for human rights. By empowering the perpetrators over the victims, the UN harms the cause of human rights, betrays its founding principles, and undermines its own credibility.
Why the UN empowers repressive regimes
The more savagery these repressive regimes commit, the shorter the route to the UN ultimate goal. Without them, the UN would eventually fade. If people do not commit crimes, we would not have a police force. These repressive regimes must continue to abuse human rights for the UN to strive and prosper along their side.
Like a vampire, the UN must drink blood to claim it protects us from the diseases our blood may spread. Why else would some of the evil people at the UN elect human rights abusers with a detestable history to protect human rights?
Would you trust an unrepenting sex offender to baby sit your child in order to show him there are better ways to live? Believe it or not, that is the UN high command selling message to their good middle managers and the good, but innocent, people working at the UN.
‘Voyage of the Damned’ Commemorated in New Cruise
A new cruise will commemorate the “Voyage of the Damned,” when 937 Jewish refugees aboard the MS St. Louis were blocked from entering Cuba in 1939, and forced to return to Europe, where many ultimately died in the Holocaust.
Ruth Kalish and Robert Krakow, the producer and director of a film about the voyage called “Complicity: The Untold Story of Why the Roosevelt Administration Denied Safe Haven to Refugees,” will be participating in the cruise organized by the SS St. Louis Legacy Project, a nonprofit organization that champions human rights and immigration issues, and Protravel International.
50 Years Later: The March That Launched the Soviet Jewry Movement
In the spring of 1964, not many American Jews were paying attention to the plight of their three million coreligionists in the Soviet Union. But Yaakov (Jacob) Birnbaum and Morris Brafman were.
Their personal experiences had made them keenly aware of the commandment to not stand idly by as fellow Jews were persecuted. Birnbaum, 37, was born in Germany but raised in England, to which his parents fled from the Nazis. Brafman, 58, was a refugee from Austria. His nephew—prominent criminal defense attorney Ben Brafman—has written about how on Kristallnacht, his father, Sol, and uncle Morris “ran into a burning synagogue and rescued a Torah that would otherwise have been consumed by the flames.” In 1960, the Brafman brothers, living in New York, established the first fledgling Soviet Jewry group, the American League for Russian Jews.
The Youngest Holocaust Survivor from Oscar Schindler’s List, Now 75, Tells her Story
Before moving to Israel and establishing a family, Eva Levi, 75, lived a very different reality. She is the youngest person alive who lived through the horror of the Holocaust thanks to the famous Oscar Schindler. Today, a few days before Holocaust Memorial day, she tells her story.
Hello, my name is Eva Lavi. I was born in Krakow, Poland and when I was two-years-old, WWII broke out. When the war was over, I was 8 years-old. During the war I was deported from a ghetto to Auschwitz and then to Czechoslovakia. I am alive today and can tell you my story thanks to two people: Oscar Schindler and my mother. Today I am married and live in Israel. I have two children and three grandchildren. (She laughs) They are a bit lazy! My first granddaughter, Anne, is currently in the Israeli army. Because of this, I am telling my story to the IDF.
Gesture Recognition Is Not Just For Games: Israeli Tech Tracks A Skeleton For Biometric Authentication
Extreme Reality, an Israeli video technology firm, may have found the solution to racial or ethnic profiling in a biometric profiling system that can automatically analyze how an individual moves, based on a “skeletal map” that indicates if an individual is up to no good.
A biometric system uses quantifiable biological data to discover information about an individual. Such systems are usually part of an authentication or security system, comparing an individual’s information collected from biometric sensors to the information about them in a database. Airports around the world, including Ben-Gurion Airport, have a biometric authentication system that frequent travelers can use to speed up their check-in. Users register and record their biometric profile. When they reach a sensor station at the airport, they can pass through when the sensor determines that their biometric profile matches the one in the database, skipping the long lines at passport control.
Hyperion to buy Israeli diabetes drug developer Andromeda Biotech
U.S. biopharmaceutical company Hyperion Therapeutics said on Thursday it agreed to buy Israel's Andromeda Biotech, a developer of a new diabetes drug, in a deal that could be worth close to $600 million.
Andromeda is a subsidiary of Clal Biotechnology Industries . At the closing, expected this quarter, Hyperion will pay $12.5 million in cash and nearly 313,000 shares of Hyperion stock - valued at $7.85 million, it said.
SodaStream rumored to be In talks with Starbucks for 10% equity stake
Shares of SodaStream International Ltd. (SODA) rocketed higher today after the Globes, an Israeli news publication, reported that Starbucks (SBUX) is in discussions to purchase up to 10% of the soda maker company. The following is from today's publication:
"Sources inform 'Globes' that Starbucks Corporation is in advanced talks to acquire 10% of SodaStream International Ltd. at a company value of $1.1 billion. SodaStream has a market cap of $850 million; Starbucks' offer reflects a 30% premium on the market price. Sources close to the deal say that an official announcement will be made soon. The move comes 11 years after the failure of Starbucks' Israeli franchisee Delek Group Ltd. to operate the US cafe chain in Israel. SodaStream said in response, 'There are always rumors surrounding the company. The company has not responded to rumors in the past, and it will not respond now.'"

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