Friday, July 04, 2014

From Ian:

Caroline Glick: Ari Shavit and American Jewry
The success of Shavit’s book reveals the rupture in the relationship between the American Jewish community and Israel. A generation ago, being pro-Israel meant believing in the justness and morality of Israel and being willing to be inconvenienced a little or even a lot to defend the Jewish state.
Today, being pro-Israel means that you support Israel despite its immorality because you are forgiving. And supporting Israel means you’ll help Israel so long as it doesn’t inconvenience you in any way or make you feel uncomfortable about anything at all.
Ari Shavit’s libelous account of the birth of Israel is just playing to the crowd. It’s time to start worrying about how to heal a crowd that celebrates being lied to in this way.
Yes, the West Bank is dangerous. Here’s why my family lives there anyway.
What motivates my wife and me to choose this place to raise our children (some the same age as the murdered boys from Gush Etzion) in spite of it all? Why do we disregard direct threats of terror and overcome all the challenges of living in small isolated towns, far from Israel’s main cities of Tel Aviv, Haifa and Jerusalem?
To us, that’s no different from the question all Israelis face: Why live here instead of in Los Angeles or in Australia? Zionism is the national hope of the Jewish people. It promises a return to the national homeland from which our ancestors were expelled 2,000 years ago. At the core of Zionism is the historical connection of the Jewish people to this land. And not only do we see Judea and Samaria as part of Israel, but they are the heart of that national homeland. In the time of the Bible, our fathers dwelt on these hills. The cities of Shechem (also known as Nablus), Shilo, Beit El, Jerusalem, Bethlehem and Hebron are all situated along Route 60, the Road of the Patriarchs, which in biblical times was the main route taken by pilgrims to our capital, Jerusalem. In short, living here is a major part of our patriotism. By building our homes and raising our children here, we are reviving the historical connection of our people with our land. That is what Zionism is all about.
Proud to be a Zionist
We have come a long way over the last century. My great-grandparents immigrated to the United States following the Russian pogroms, leaving behind their homes as the Russian Army razed them to the ground. While their hometowns no longer exist, the Jewish people have survived millennia of genocide, persecution, inquisition, and second-class treatment. Today, the Jewish people thrive in Israel, where it is socially acceptable to be Jewish and to express our Judaism in whatever ways seem fit to us. Zionism called for such freedom and autonomy for the Jewish people, and it fueled the hopes and desires of those who fled from anti-Semitic persecution.
Zionism is not just a political right; it is a human right for the Jews to have self-determination in our rightful homeland. As a self-proclaimed Zionist, I champion the beliefs that an indigenous people, thrown out of their home for more than two thousand years, should return to where they belong. If we cannot start taking ownership in our pride for fighting for human rights, then we start losing ground in an information battle that continues its unrelenting attacks on Jewish self-determination.
For the last seven years, I have heard almost every single possible negative comment against Zionism and had almost every anti-Semitic comment directed at me. But what I must do in my last year of college is not only to combat the anti-Semitism that occurs on my campus, but also to tell the story of why I am a Zionist and why I am proud of it. Only positivity can win this war of words and information. If the Jewish people have fought hatred and persecution for millennia and survived, then so shall the Zionists.
There is No Such Thing as ‘Occupied Territory’ in Israel
While many international governments and the media wrongly refer to areas of Israel as “occupied territories,” the reality is that the Jews have historic claims and ties to this area of Israel.
The Jewish legal, moral, political, historical, and biblical right to Judea and Samaria (the “West Bank”) throughout history is very clear. There are countless people who understand and speak clearly on the fact that this area belongs to the sovereign State of Israel.
Some quotes to remember:

Sarah Honig: Badge of dishonor
News that the mass grave of thousands of slain Jewish men, women and children was ransacked by Ukrainians in their lust after fabled riches, cannot but churn the stomachs of even those most inured to evidence of enduring Judeophobia. In one of his most memorable rebukes (2Kings 21, 19), the Prophet Elijah asked: “Have you murdered and also usurped?” Seven decades after the Holocaust this question is still painfully applicable to all too many in Europe, especially to the Nazis’ most avid collaborators.
These proliferated appallingly in areas with Ukrainian inhabitants. So it was in the vicinity of the then-Polish city of Lvov (which started out as the Austrian Lemberg and is now Lviv in Western Ukraine). Ukrainian accomplices there did much of the Nazis’ dirty work with undisguised relish.
Apparently, the evil spirits of those dark years haven’t yet abated.
‘Humanitarian’: Arab Zionist Teen Should be Kidnapped and Raped
According to his Facebook page, Fadi Arouri is the Communications and Media Officer for the Italian Humanitarian non-governmental organization Gvc Onlus, and also a photographer for China’s Xinhua News Agency.
Arouri is also, perhaps primarily, an ardent activist Palestinian Arab who is at the forefront of what is known as the “anti-normalization” effort. What they want to make abnormal is any relationships between Arabs and Israelis, including those which Arabs agree is purely beneficial to them. There have been suggestions that Arouri’s employment with Reuters was terminated because of Arouri’s excessive political activism.
But what caught our attention about Arouri right now is something he posted on his Facebook page that is even more shocking than it might already be at just about any other time.
Rabid Palestinian Crowd Attacks and Beats Jewish Protesters in Toronto
Earlier this night JDL-Canada organized a vigil and protest to commemorate the brutal murder of three Jewish teenagers near Hebron in Judea and Samaria. The murder was committed by Muslim terrorists and it is just the beginning of the new wave of crimes to hit Israel after the unification of the two terrorist organizations – Hamas and PLO.
The protest was supposed to take place in front of Palestine House, a notorious organization with links to the Palestinian extremism. Because of those links and other shady activities, it was stripped of its funding by the Government of Canada.
By the time the Jews and their supporters arrived, a big rabid Arab crowd with “Palestinian” flags has already assembled. With the consistency of angry parrots they kept yelling the same chants we’ve heard at all Muslim events: “Netanyahu, Netanyahu, you will see, Palestine will be free!” and “From the river to the sea Palestine will be free!” (more video at BCF)
Is Presbyterian Divestment About Human Rights or Jewish Sovereignty?
The Presbyterian anti-divestment group, Presbyterians for Middle East Peace, called it exactly right when they reported that “there has been no effort made to divest from companies doing business in China, Iran, Russia, Syria or other nations where there are well-documented human rights abuses, including persecution of Christians.”
Snapshots readers are invited to peruse the Presbyterian Foundation’s schedule of investments for June 30, 2013 here. There are a lot of companies in the Presbyterian Foundation’s portfolio. A quick perusal found two Chinese companies that profit from human rights abuses of one form or another. There are probably others.
But for Presbyterians obsessed with the evils of the Jewish state, they’re easy to miss.
It’s time to help them out.
A Familiar Name Fights Presbyterian Divestment
For Gustav Niebuhr, the former New York Times religion reporter, this month’s controversial decision by the Presbyterian Church (USA) to divest from companies that do business with Israel is an affront—both spiritual and personal.
The 58-year-old grand-nephew of famed Protestant theologian Reinhold Niebuhr—once described by Barack Obama as “one of my favorite philosophers”—is fighting back against what he sees as the Church’s misguided take on Israel and attack on his great-uncle.
The Shame of Anti-Israel Propaganda in The Atlantic
In her article, “The Shame of Shuhada Street,” published in The Atlantic on June 12, 2014, Ayelet Waldman demonstrates her dependency on testimony from “Breaking the Silence,” and a conspicuous inability to report actual data concerning the realities of Jewish/Arab relations in Hebron. Egregious errors, distortions and omissions enable the author to ignore the Jewish history of Hebron while simultaneously presenting a distorted picture of Israeli oppression of Palestinians.
“Breaking the Silence” is an Israeli NGO funded by British, Spanish and Dutch governments as well as EU organizations. According to their website, they are “an organization of veteran combatants who have served in the Israeli military since the start of the Second Intifada and have taken it upon themselves to expose the Israeli public to the reality of everyday life in the Occupied Territories.”
Waldman visited Shuhada Street under the guidance of two representatives of this organization, which promotes stories of alleged IDF wrongdoing from anonymous and unsubstantiated sources.
As is evident from her article, these stories have colored Waldman's perception of reality.
BBC’s Gaza correspondent tells WS listeners civilian kibbutz is ‘military outpost’
Abualouf is clearly trying to promote the notion of linkage between the discovery of the bodies of Eyal Yifrach, Naftali Frenkel and Gil-ad Sha’ar on June 30th and the airstrikes carried out in the early hours of July 1st. However, that is not the case: those airstrikes came in response to the firing of over eighteen missiles at Israeli civilian communities in southern Israel by terrorists in the Gaza Strip. Abualouf then goes on to promote another falsehood.
“This morning the militants fired a couple of mortars towards one of the Israeli military outpost close to the border between Gaza and Israel and people are expecting Israel might, like, do more strikes tonight if the rockets from Gaza continue to fall in the south of Israel.”
In the incident Abualouf describes, nine mortars – not “a couple” – were fired at Kibbutz Kerem Shalom – a civilian agricultural community in the Eshkol region: not a “military outpost” as Abualouf inaccurately informs BBC audiences.
UK media report 200 Israelis chanting racist slogans, but fail to cover 1,000 at peace rally
Thus, though support for the terrorist kidnappers/murderers expressed by many Palestinians during the 18 day ordeal was (to the best of our knowledge) not mentioned by any of the major UK dailies, multiple news outlets have subsequently seen fit to report every Israeli expression of intolerance towards Arabs since the teens’ bullet-ridden bodies were discovered near Hebron.
A perfect example of this skewed coverage can be found by comparing ubiquitous reports on a march by a couple of hundred racist Israelis in Jerusalem on Tuesday, who chanted hateful slogans, including ‘death to Arabs’, vs the absence of any coverage devoted to the pro-peace, pro-tolerance rally held the following day in the Israeli capital. Here are the relevant passages from UK media reports about the racist march. Guardian, July 2: (‘Live Blog’ edited by Matthew Weaver)
GE-Sponsored Site Accuses Israel of War Crimes
Vox writer Max Fisher accused Israel of waging “collective punishment” against the Palestinians and preferring war to peace following Israel’s targeted military strikes on Hamas terrorists responsible for murdering the children and launching rocket attacks on citizens.
Fisher argued that air strikes against Hamas are not justified because the killings were carried out by a “few rogue militants.”
“The Hamas political leaders based in Gaza seem unlikely to have participated in a kidnapping in the West Bank committed by rogue Hamas militants, so it’s not clear that air strikes on Hamas political leaders in Gaza are an appropriate or justified response,” he wrote.
The Netanyahu government prefers war to peace, Fisher added.
Honourable Woman – Dishonourable BBC?
To begin with a disclaimer. The new BBC series The Honourable Woman will only be broadcast next week so my fears about this being another BBC anti Israel smear masquerading as even-handed may be unfounded. I hope so but the advance publicity combined with the BBC record of broadcasting Israel Hating agitprop as drama (see The BBC drops a brick or Peter Kosminsky’s The Promise) don’t make one optimistic.
The red flags are raised
In the BBC’s own words: Compare The Honourable Woman tells the story of one woman’s personal journey to right her father’s wrongs with As children, Nessa and her brother Ephra witnessed the brutal assassination of Eli, a Zionist arms procurer, at the hands of the armed wing of Palestinian Liberation Organisation (PLO).
US declines to meet Iran ‘half way’ in final diplomatic push over nuclear crisis
Fewer than three weeks remain for the world’s most weathered diplomats to forge a comprehensive deal with Tehran over its nuclear program, a fact on the minds of all present in Vienna on Thursday, as high-level negotiations resumed.
Delegations from the United States, United Kingdom, France, Russia, China and Germany – formally known as the P5+1 powers – arrived in Vienna at the beginning of July and will effectively set up camp in the Austrian capital until July 20, a self-imposed deadline for the parties to reach a deal, extend the talks, or go home.
China Bans Muslim Holy Month of Ramadan
Uyghur Muslims located in the northwest of China have been ordered to cease their observance of Ramadan, the Islamic holy month that necessitates taking part in fasting during the day.
According to the Associated Press, statements about the ban have been posted on the websites of government agencies, organizations, and schools in the Xinjiang region. Chinese officials said the Ramadan ban was being instituted to protect the well-being of students, and to protect them from schools and government offices that wanted to promote the Islamic faith. (h/t MtTB)
Lincoln Center Presents an Opera Without Jews, Set in Auschwitz
The Lincoln Center Festival’s publicity for an opera titled The Passenger, aimed at New Yorkers eager for an unusual musical experience, is magnetic: a “forgotten Holocaust opera,” as the copy calls it, adding that Dmitri Shostakovich hailed it “a perfect masterpiece.” Completed by the Polish-Jewish composer Mieczyslaw Weinberg in 1968, much of the opera is set in Auschwitz. But beyond a few lines given to a Jewish character, there’s no explicit Jewish presence in this concentration camp.
Seeing the work, it’s hard to believe: An opera set in the killing factory known for subtracting Jews from the world, and it subtracts Jews.
The main characters of The Passenger are two Polish gentiles and a German camp officer, surrounded by an international array of women packed into a barracks. They come from Warsaw, Zagreb, and other cities—and then there’s one Greek Jew. Her name is Hannah and she has so little to sing—“This star they pinned on me, this star I have to wear is the fatal mark of my death,” is most of it—that she’s easy to miss.
German teacher arrested for stealing Auschwitz artifacts
Museum guards caught the man late on Tuesday in possession of a dozen items including a fork, part of a pair of scissors and porcelain fragments. He had dug them up from an area where warehouses full of inmate’s possessions stood during World War II, the museum said.
“The man is a teacher in Berlin and said he wanted to show the objects to his students, who are doing a project on the Holocaust,” town prosecutor Mariusz Slomka told AFP.
The 47-year-old was released after pleading guilty to theft, accepting a suspended prison sentence and agreeing to pay a fine, Slomka added.
Israel could become largest gas exporter in region
The Leviathan field, which is estimated to hold 19 trillion m3 of gas, is operated by the American Noble Energy Company who holds the largest share at 39.66 percent. Together, the Israeli subsidiaries of Delek Group, Delek Drilling and Avner Oil possess a 45.34 percent share of the field, with the remaining 15 percent belonging to the Israeli company Ratio Oil.
The reserve is accepted to well surpass the country’s domestic needs, hence, thanks to this reserve Israel will soon become the region’s leader in gas exports, reversing its previous role as an importer country. Even though there are many conflicts between Arab countries and Israel, partners have already signed agreements with Arabian, Jordanian and Palestinian companies, thus showing that BG is not the first who plans to export Israeli gas. In May, Noble Energy signed a letter of intent to export gas to the Spanish company Union Fenosa Gas SA from the smaller Tamar field.
Filmmaker Paul Haggis visits Israel
The critics’ verdicts are still out on “Third Person,” the latest movie from director Paul Haggis, who is known for his complex, character-driven movies, such as the Oscar-winning “Crash” and “Million Dollar Baby.”
But what’s certain is he trusts Israeli actress Moran Atias,
one of the producers of the film as well as one of the actors.
Now Haggis is in Israel with Atias, who wanted to show him around her homeland, and possibly pitch him another movie idea, she told Guy Pines.
Ron Leshem signs French-UK TV deal
A new television series from Israeli writing wunderkind Ron Leshem will be developed by Keshet UK, the London arm of Israel-based international media house Keshet International, and French production house Atlantique Productions, Variety reported Monday.
The series, “Crater Lake,” has been described by producers as a “life-affirming, character-driven show about death.”
British Pathé shares Holy Land history via YouTube
Pathé newsreaders were known for their unique and often lively delivery. In many of the newsreels and films the tone can vary from business-like to casual and from solemn to humorous.
In one film clip, “In Palestine Today,” from 1938, the newsreader is at pains to convey the first-rate job being done by the British army then governing the country. Somewhat overstating the case he recounts, “Britain shows she is master of the situation… The army cleans out the city and restores order… In two days of continuous skirmishing only nine people have been killed!”
A short film about Jerusalem emphasizes the divisions within the city and its centrality and importance to the Jewish, Muslim and Christian faiths. The camera pans over the walls of the Old City, shows scenes of market-life, some of the city’s holy sites and brings viewers inside a beautifully decorated church.
The newsreader propels the viewer along with his fractious tale. “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem,” he intones.
Israeli firm ready to replace US rebroadcaster Aereo
An Israeli company is ready to step in after a United States Supreme Court ruling against the business model of Aereo, a company that rebroadcast live TV via its servers to subscribers, essentially putting it out of business.
TV fans who want to “cut the cable” can turn to an Israeli solution for casting TV shows to devices like tablets and smartphones. “Our TV gateway allows you to legally take a live broadcast off your television and watch it anywhere you want on your own private network,” said Amir Aharonovich, VP Marketing of Herzliya-based Vbox Communications. “So far we haven’t run into any legal challenges.”
The difference is paper-thin but apparently sufficient: Aereo sold subscriptions; Vbox leases antennas.
'Indiana Jones' of the Cairo Genizah
Most of the material was sent to Cambridge, England. Schechter even managed to publish several studies about it, but the research was put on hold and abandoned due to the upheavals of that period and the two world wars.
The entire collection remained unidentified until the 1970s, when a young researcher named Stefan Reif, a historian and expert on Jewish studies and Medieval Hebrew and Semitic languages, was appointed head of the department handling the Jewish manuscripts at the University of Cambridge.
Discoveries still waiting to be solved
Professor emeritus Stefan (Shlomo Kalman) Reif was recently awarded an honorary doctorate of philosophy from the University of Haifa. He is known in the academic world as the person who exposed the Cairo Genizah and its discoveries to the world.
Until his retirement, Prof. Reif was responsible for the huge archive, which is considered one of the most important archives in the world and includes as many as 200,000 rare Jewish manuscripts, some of them more than 1,000 years old.


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