Thursday, May 22, 2014

From Ian:

Why Are the Irish Increasingly Siding With Palestine Over Israel?
As the Irish conflict has ended, or even as a result of it, Israel has become the favored target of an adventurous but ineffectual activist left in search of a cause that is both suitably righteous and distant. Unlike with other conflicts—say, the invasion of Western Sahara by Morocco—Israel’s modernity marks it as recognizably Western. It can easily be cast in the role of being little more than a U.S.-backed aggressor against the noble Palestinians unfettered by modern affectations.
Johnson say this does a disservice to Palestinians.
“When the Palestinians are anything other than [victims of Israel], when they’re being thrown off rooftops by Hamas or are being starved by Assad in Syrian refugee camps, [pro-Palestine activists] don’t have any interest in that,” he says. “They’re pro a certain kind of agency-less Palestinian. It’s politically useless.” (h/t MtTB)
The Left’s Hatred Of Israel Has A Rich History
Communists saw no anti-Semitism in the Soviet Union; modern radicals deny Arab anti-Semitism.
Antisemitism and the American Far Left is the first systematic study of the American far left’s role in promoting anti-Semitism (and at times combating it). The book covers the Communist Party (CP) from 1920 onward, tracing all of its often sudden and dramatic shifts in approach and response to anti-Semitism and Israel; the role of Trotskyists; the new left and its black nationalist allies; and the contemporary remnants of the new left.
I analyze the deficiencies of the far left’s explanations of Nazism and the Holocaust, marred by its commitment to a simplistic class analysis. The far left ignored anti-Semitism’s deep roots in Christian theology and culture, claiming that the ruling class merely propagated it to deflect working-class anger and undermine unity among the masses.
Is the Rockefeller Brothers Fund consciously funding delegitimization of Israel?
The Rockefeller Brothers Fund (RBF) is one of the more august grant-making institutions in the United States. Founded in 1940 by the sons of legendary oil tycoon John D. Rockefeller—America’s first billionaire, and a man whose political reputation was distinguished by his support for the Union during the Civil War as well as his commitment to educational opportunities for African Americans—the fund has always been a progressive enterprise, with a current emphasis on good governance, environmentalism, and the promotion of peace.
It is in that latter category, an area that the fund calls “peacebuilding,” that serious concerns have been raised regarding its funding commitments to NGOs working on the Arab-Israeli conflict. NGO Monitor—an Israel-based organization dedicated to analyzing the activities of civil society groups working in the Middle East, along with those groups’ funders—has just published a report which casts doubt on RBF’s goal to promote a “more just, sustainable, and peaceful world,” for the simple reason that many of the Middle Eastern beneficiaries of its largesse demonize the state of Israel in stridently anti-Zionist terms.
For example, “Breaking the Silence,” a small group of left-wing former IDF soldiers who accused of Israel of committing war crimes during its 2008-09 defensive operation against Hamas terrorists in Gaza, has received $145,000 from RBF. A commentary and opinion website called +972 (named after the international dialing code for Israel) has received $130,000 from the fund. +972 regularly publishes articles endorsing the analogy between Israel and the apartheid regime in South Africa, and recently plastered its front page with articles about the “Nakba”—the Arabic word for “catastrophe” that is employed by Palestinian propagandists to describe the creation of the state of Israel. Among +972’s contributors is the odious Yossi Gurvitz, who recently tried to persuade me via Twitter that Judaism is a racist religion, drawing on the discredited tropes of Soviet Communist anti-Jewish literature to make his case. +972 has also cross-posted content co-written by the anti-Semitic American writer Max Blumenthal.
Anti-Semitism is a perversion
Guess who said that strong sentence in the title.
It was Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdoğan.
It was not too long ago; June 10, 2005, at a ceremony organized by the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) in New York, where ADL Chairman Abraham Fox presented a “Courage” award to Erdoğan for a “Better future for our children.” In his speech, Fox said Turkey, “which was established by the great Kemal Atatürk,” had been setting a unique model for Muslim countries with its “secular system.”
Accepting the ADL award on behalf of Turkey, Erdoğan said the following: “Anti-Semitism is a shameful mental illness; it is a perversion. The Jewish genocide [Holocaust] is the heaviest crime against humanity throughout history. Genocide, discrimination, Islamophobia, Christianophobia, ethnic cleansing are all different forms of the same illness.”
If anyone in today’s Turkey said the same words, they would not only be labeled a “Zionist,” but also be accused of being a “spy for Israel” by certain figures in Erdoğan’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Parti) and pro-government media.



Latest round-up of BDS Fails
Last night's abject failure of the University of Washington divestment vote by a resounding 59 against, 8 in favor and 11 abstentions isn't the only reason to be cheerful.
Its just one in an ever-increasing series of failures of the 13 year old BDS movement
From the Stones to Lana Del Rey – a guide to the plethora of international musical artists headed to Israel this summer
Israel-China tech deal another blow to BDS
Sure, we’re going to fight BDS vigorously, to the end, because it’s malicious.
Witness what happened at Vassar, where SJP actually posted a Nazi cartoon and cited white supremacists for their anti-Zionist theories.
But the world is moving on. The two most populous nations in the world — not to mention the United States — are solidly behind expanded economic ties with Israel.
You are being played for fools students, by people who are invested in continuing the conflict here and abroad.
Chinese state company buys controlling stake in Tnuva
China’s Bright Food Group bought a controlling stake of Israeli dairy conglomerate Tnuva from a London-based firm late Wednesday night for NIS 8.6 billion ($2.5 billion).
The deal gave the Chinese state-owned company a 56 percent stake in Tnuva, which controls more than 70% of the dairy market in Israel.
Tnuva, which started out nearly 80 years ago as a cooperative owned by kibbutz dairy farmers, was controlled by the British private equity firm Apax — which sold its shares to Bright Foods — and Israeli Mivtach Shamir Holdings, which together bought 76.7% of the company in 2008.
"Terror-enabling ISM scumbag" Abe Greenhouse. Now at JVP
International Solidarity Movement activist Abe Greenhouse is now working as the Technology director for Jewish Voice for Peace.
It's a perfect example of just how detached JVP is from mainstream American morality, not to mention mainstream American Judaism.
Greenhouse has been described as a "terror-enabling ISM scumbag" who desecrated one of Judaism's most holy sites. Greenhouse was also been arrested and charged with disorderly conduct after he assaulted former Soviet refusnik, author and human rights activist, Natan Sharansky at Rutgers University.
More Misinformation from Presbyterian Peacemakers
Earlier this year, the Israel Palestine Mission Network of the Presbyterian Church USA, an organization with a well-documented history of demonizing Israel and American Jews, issued a text called Zionism Unsettled. True to form, the IPMN’s booklet includes a chapter that accuses American Jews of "living in a bubble.”
Who is living in a bubble, really? American Jews who support Israel or IPMN leaders?
It's a reasonable question to ask after watching one of the videos on a DVD that accompanies Zionism Unsettled. In an on-camera interview, Irving Wesley Hall (pictured above in a screenshot from the video) reports that prior to the Six Day War, Israelis and Jews did not care too much about Jerusalem.

"Up until the 1967 conquest of Jerusalem, it was not regarded by any element of Israeli society or any of the streams of Judaism as somehow central to God's plan for the Jews.
But that all changed in 1967."
EU bans poultry imports from settlements
The 28-nation bloc informed the Israeli Agriculture Ministry that it recognized its veterinary supervision only within the Jewish state’s pre-1967 borders and that settlement poultry produce therefore did not meet public health regulations for import, the website said.
“It should be noted that poultry and poultry-related products from the settlements account for under five percent of all such products in Israel, so that the new European guideline will not have much practical impact from an economic standpoint,” Walla reported.
UCLA Judicial Board rejects attempt to disqualify pro-Israel students
While this is was a show trial in which no remedy was available, this sets an important precedent: pro-Israel students at UCLA who associate with pro-Israel organizations need not fear being legally barred from holding office or voting on Israel-related issues.
Additionally, the fact that not even one member of the Judicial Board bought Students for Justice in Palestine’s argument, despite the fact that the conflict of interest bylaws at UCLA are very broadly written, will help discourage anti-Israel lawfare of this type nationwide.
However, it is important to remember that the pseudo-legal battle are only half the story: politically, SJP achieved one of their objectivea: narrowly costing Singh the election in favor of their own candidate (with the same alleged conflict). The status of BDS resolutions at UCLA now likely hinge on a special election in the fall.
Anti-Israel Divestment Crushed at the University of Washington
StandWithUs CEO Roz Rothstein echoed Jacobs' sentiment: "We are so proud of the students at the University of Washington for showing leadership and standing up to BDS bigotry."
Popular blog Elder of Ziyon offered a summary of the embarrassment that the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement now faces given the fact that they lost even in the leftist dominated state of Washington:
J Street U Continues Assault on English Dictionary, Democracy
Tarlin began by implying that without J Street U the definition of “pro-Israel” is “refusing to criticize the country’s policies, taking an incomplete view of the Israeli-Palestinian issue, and ignoring that the occupation threatens the very existence of Israel’s character as a Jewish homeland and democratic state." This claim is clearly false, as members of the Jewish community, both in the United States and in Israel, disagree on issues of policy on a daily basis.
He then continued to clarify his stance on the word “pro-Israel.” In typical leftist fashion, he harped on the fact that his intentions are good and implied that therefore J Street U’s behavior or identity as “pro-Israel” shouldn’t be questioned:
J Street's one way traffic
The arrogance stems from the self-definition that J Street is a heroic group daring to issue criticism of Israeli personnel and activities when others fear to do so. But its fundamental mistake is that far from being the lone group in the world crying wolf, J Street is merely echoing the mainstream media and organizations that are constant critics of Israel.
The statements of Ben-Ami repeat those to be read or heard every day in the New York Times, MSNBC, the U.N. General Assembly and other units of the U.N., the New York Review of Books, the London Review of Books, the BBC, the Independent, the Guardian, the World Council of Churches, Oxfam International, Amnesty International, and the bigoted armchair revolutionaries on so many university campuses.
The true courageous people and groups are those who defy this mainstream chorus of critical voices who see Israel as the one country to be incessantly condemned as being responsible for violation of human rights of innocent people and the cause of almost, if not all, the problems of the world.
Liberals must refute the Leftist bigots on campus
A distinction must be drawn between the radical leftists on one hand and true liberals, a group that on the issue of intellectual freedom would include conservatives today. Liberals have to make their voices heard on campuses. They must proclaim themselves as supporters of real tolerance on campuses and of the right of speakers who are not leftists to be heard. Ideological indoctrination by faculty and choice of textbooks should be criticised, conservative faculty or speakers should not be confronted by a hostile environment, speech codes that ban politically oriented speech should be abolished, and even administrators should question the self-perpetuation of their radical faculty and appoint real liberals and even conservatives.
Liberals must make sure that students elsewhere do not suffer in the same way. They should have courage, stand up to the bullies and ignorant bigots, and be on the frontlines proclaiming what Max Weber called “the ethics of responsibility.”
Nazi salute ISN'T a crime if you’re using it as a personal statement, rules Swiss court after man makes oath to country then shouts 'Heil Hitler'
A Nazi salute isn't illegal racial discrimination provided it's intended as a personal statement, Switzerland's top court ruled today.
The Federal Tribunal's ruling - entitled 'Hitler salute in public not always punishable' - said the gesture is a crime only if someone is using it to try to spread racist ideology to others, not simply declaring one's own conviction.
The ruling by the Lausanne-based court overturned a lower court's conviction last year of a man who was charged with racial discrimination after he took part in an August 2010 demonstration with 150 participants. (h/t Canadian Otter)
Why is Greece the most anti-Semitic country in Europe?
With 69 percent of Greeks espousing anti-Semitic views, according to the survey, Greece was on par with Saudi Arabia, more anti-Semitic than Iran (56 percent) and nearly twice as anti-Semitic as Europe’s second-most anti-Semitic country, France (37 percent).
On its surface, the poll suggests that anti-Semitism is running rampant in Greece. Much of the blame goes to the neo-Nazi Golden Dawn party, which has found fertile ground for its extreme-right ideology in the ruins of Greece’s economic crisis. In elections held Sunday for Athens mayor, for example, 16 percent of the vote went to Golden Dawn spokesman Ilias Kasidiaris, a man notorious for beating a female political opponent during a television interview and for the large swastika tattooed on his shoulder.
But both the ADL and Greece’s small Jewish community caution that the reality is more nuanced than the poll numbers suggest.
Analysis: Regional pipelines likely future of Israeli energy
Despite the universal disappointment surrounding Woodside Petroleum’s decision to abandon the Leviathan gas reservoir partnership, Israeli energy analysts are confident in the developers’ ability to move forward, particularly with regional pipeline options.
Without the participation of Woodside – whose focus would have likely been on developing a floating liquefied natural gas (FLNG) facility for export – the first priorities of the Leviathan reservoir partners is to be rooted in regional export opportunities, particularly in pipelines to Turkey and/or Egypt.
“In the gas industry it is standard to start with trying to market the gas by pipeline supplies, and only move to LNG if there is no robust market,” Prof. Brenda Shaffer, an expert on energy policy in the School of Political Science at the University of Haifa and a visiting researcher at Georgetown University, told The Jerusalem Post on Wednesday. “Pipeline gas is potentially more profitable and less risky and capital intensive.”
Pressure on Woodside chief as deal falls over
WOODSIDE Petroleum chief Peter Coleman is under pressure to find new growth opportunities after pulling out of an immense natural gas project in Israel.
The company, Australia’s biggest oil and gas group, has abandoned a deal to spend about $US2.5 billion ($2.7 billion) taking a major stake in the Leviathan project.
It follows a breakdown in talks with partners in the project and marks a setback to Woodside’s global expansion plans at a time when other assets are causing it headaches.
Alcatel-Lucent to Open New Bell Labs Research Center in Israel
Israel was chosen by French network-equipment maker Alcatel-Lucent as the site for a new Bell Labs research center, Bloomberg News reported on Tuesday.
Bell Labs is known as the Nobel-prize-winning group which discovered cell phone technology, among other inventions.
Alcatel-Lucent also runs the original Bell Labs, in Murray Hill, New Jersey, as well as research sites worldwide including facilities in Villarceaux, France; Antwerp, Belgium and Shanghai.
House Votes to Award Shimon Peres Congressional Gold Medal
The House of Representatives on Monday voted to give the Congressional Gold Medal to Israel’s outgoing president, Shimon Peres.
The bill, HR 2939, which was co-sponsored by Rep. Trent Franks (R-AZ) and Rep. Joe Kennedy (D-MA), would confer the medal, one of the highest civilian honors in the United States, on Peres, who has been president since 2007. The language of the bill (which was introduced last year) reads in part:
Did a German Officer Prevent the Massacre of the Jews of Eretz Yisrael during World War I?And Later His Son-In-Law Conspired to Kill Hitler
Is it true? Did a German general protect the Jewish population of Palestine from massacre?
A Falkenhayn family genealogy, posted on the Internet, elaborates further: "While he was in command in Palestine, he was able to prevent Turkish plans to evict all Jews from Palestine, especially Jerusalem. As this was meant to occur along the lines of the genocide of the Armenians, it is fair to say that Falkenhayn prevented the eradication of Jewish settlements in Palestine."
Again, is this true, or is this self-serving German testimony to scrub the stain of Nazism two decades later?


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