Thursday, July 31, 2014

From Ian:

Bernard-Henri Levy: The ugly tide washing across Europe - WSJ
The double standard is odious. And it has become increasingly evident across Europe in the past month. Bluntly anti-Semitic slogans have marred most European demonstrations "in support of the people of Gaza." Residents of Frankfurt and Dortmund were horrified in mid-July to see neo-Nazi groups join hands with left-wing Islamists in a grim chant: "Hamas, Hamas, Jews to the gas." The center of London was blocked on July 19 by thousands who gathered in front of the Israeli embassy in Kensington to shout their hatred for Jews.
Not to mention Amsterdam, the city of Spinoza, Europe's capital of tolerance, where in certain neighborhoods it has become practically impossible to wear a yarmulke in public without running the risk of being insulted or assaulted.
For someone who has advocated, as I have, for nearly half a century the creation of a Palestinian state alongside a fully recognized Israel, this is truly discouraging. That there are sincere men and women among the demonstrators I do not doubt. But I would urge them to think twice before letting themselves be manipulated by those whose motive is not solidarity but hate, and whose true agenda is not peace in Palestine but death to Israel—and, as often as not, alas, death to Jews.
The Left Hate Israel Because It Is Everything They Despise: Capitalist, Conservative and Patriotic
Israel is a distillation of everything leftists hate about Western nations: capitalist, conservative and fiercely patriotic. It is a projection of their own prejudices about the supposed injustices of societies that cherish the ‘wrong’ values and the ‘wrong’ people. They don't share the Palestinians' spiritual beliefs, but they share a common enemy. Indeed, if Israel was removed from the equation, its critics would have little good to say about Gaza or Hamas. Theirs is a marriage of convenience.
The Left’s use of the Israeli-Arab situation as a platform for moral preening, and as a metaphor for its own hang-ups, blinds it to the evils of Hamas and the rest of the Muslim Brotherhood. It seems oblivious to the ideological conflict between Islamic fundamentalists and Western progressives, because it persists in regarding the former as pet victims of the latter. It may discover the hard way that it is giving comfort to an enemy that makes no distinction between liberal hand-wringers and any other infidels.
Hey, Liberals Who Oppose Israel: You’re All Right-Wingers Now
These, dear liberals, are the values you claim to espouse. Before you say one more thing about this conflict, ask yourself which side is fighting for a society most like the one in which you’re likely to want to live, and then support that side passionately and vigorously. And understand, please, that we’re at war, and that philosophical inquiries, existential ponderings, and musings about identity are all welcomed and valued in free societies, but that to entertain such soulful pursuits said free societies must first survive the attacks of their enemies. Unless you’re willing to embrace everything you claim to despise, we’d love to see you joining us in this war; Lord knows we could use all the help we can get.
The combat ethos is alive and well
An outsider observing the Israel Defense Forces' fighting during Operation Protective Edge will notice right away that brigade, battalion and company commanders make up a large proportion of the wounded and casualties. The Golani Brigade alone has lost a deputy battalion commander, and among its wounded are three platoon commanders and a brigade commander. Three officers are now vying to succeed the fallen commander. This is true not only in the regular army, but also -- maybe even more so in light of their stronger connection to civilian life -- among the reservists.
Even those who oppose the scope of the operation cannot ignore the obvious "IDF spirit" of it. This is the spirit that leads the IDF in its best moments. The battles of the 1948 War of Independence established the norm of "Corporals, retreat -- the commanders will cover you!" During reprisal operations carried out by the paratroopers in the 1950s, the officers' command "After me!" became the guide for IDF fighters and commanders. For the first time, general ideas like professionalism, personal example, confronting obstacles, and the rule that "We don't go back until we get it done" became iron-clad rules of thumb.

The curious case of a dual-identity BBC interviewee in Gaza
Unless, several decades ago, Mrs Al Ashi gave birth to identical twin boys and named them Nasman and Basman, it would appear that Chris Morris’ “defiant citizen” – whom he implies in his introduction is one of the people in Gaza who “don’t support Hamas” – is actually none other than the man who allowed Hamas to spend years digging a tunnel from the hospital under his authority and to turn it into a military facility – and who is now busy giving interviews in an effort to cover up that blatant use of helpless patients as human shields.
If that is the case, then obviously the BBC has some serious questions to answer regarding the misrepresentation of Dr Al Ashi as an ordinary man in the street. It would also be interesting to know how Morris met Mr Al Ashi in the first place. Were his interview services provided to the BBC by a local stringer or by Hamas itself? Why did the BBC not notice that it had interviewed the same man under a different name and description only eleven days earlier? Or – if the BBC was aware of Al Ashi’s identity – why did Morris not take the opportunity to tell BBC audiences what really happened at Wafa hospital and to correct at long last the obviously inaccurate and misleading report put out by Paul Adams? And why did Morris not question Al Ashi about his distinctly unprofessional collaboration with Hamas in turning his severely disabled patients into human shields?
Finally, of course, there is the not insignificant matter of the now repeated failure to edit out antisemitic remarks in BBC interviews; an issue which also clearly requires some very urgent answers.
Gaza Fighting Proves J Street’s Irrelevance
Pity poor J Street. As Israelis seek to defend themselves against Hamas rockets and terrorist tunnels, the left-wing lobby finds itself in a tough spot. Its flagging bid for mainstream support has caused it to try and craft a low-key position of support for Israeli self-defense. But that nuanced stance is causing many of J Street’s supporters to abandon the organization for those groups that take sides against Israel.
As the Forward noted today, J Street has tried not to repeat the mistake it made in 2008 when the group publicly opposed Israel’s efforts to suppress Hamas rocket fire during Operation Cast Lead. The position was very much in character with J Street’s ideology that sees Israel as the obstacle to peace rather than the Palestinian refusal to recognize a Jewish state no matter where its borders would be drawn. But the group that at that time harbored an ambition to replace AIPAC as the voice of the pro-Israel community learned its lesson after it was condemned for this outrageous decision by a wide spectrum of American Jews, including many liberal leaders. During subsequent crises J Street has avoided open condemnations of Israeli actions while still failing to play the sort of role in mobilizing support for an embattled Jewish state that other more mainstream groups take as a matter of course.
Medical Journal The Lancet Infected with Anti-Israel Bias
On July 23rd, the medical journal The Lancet published “An open letter for the people in Gaza.” In so doing, the journal betrayed what it calls its “prestigious heritage as one of the world's leading medical journals [which] continues to inspire our authors and editors today as they strive for medical excellence in all that they publish.” There is neither medical nor journalistic excellence in the piece. Instead, it is little more than an anti-Israel screed replete with mischaracterizations, important omissions, flat out falsehoods and unsubstantiated accusations.
This is not surprising coming from The Lancet which has a sad history of publishing anti-Israel pieces, some by the very same authors who wrote this one. CAMERA has documented a number of these in the past. Richard Horton, the journal's editor, has also exhibited an anti-Israel bias in other publications.
Michael Lumish Join the American Red Cross!
Nancy Pelosi's office is telling us that Qatar might use its influence with Hamas to encourage them not to bomb Israel and to dismantle the terror tunnels.
Are we honestly supposed to believe that this is a credible position for the leading Democrat in the United States House of Representatives?
Given the fact that Qatar funds Hamas' efforts to murder Jews it is rather unlikely that it would use its influence to encourage Hamas not to murder Jews. In fact, I feel reasonably comfortable in asserting that the very reason Qatar funds Hamas is precisely because Hamas is in The Jew Killing Industry. The very point of Hamas' existence is to harass and murder the Jews of the Middle East, for the purpose of demoralizing them, while crying to the western-left that ZioNazi Imperial Colonialists are being mean to the bunny-like "indigenous" population.
I do not believe that Pelosi is malicious.
I suppose that what we are left with is either "shockingly naive" or "not really very intelligent."
I'll go with the former.
JPost Editorial: Cold Turkey
Ordinary Israelis should give up on Turkey, at least while it is under Erdogan’s sway. Tourists should stay away and understand that any Israelis who choose Turkey as their vacation destination should not count on another rescue mission.
Israeli generosity in granting Turkish Airlines landing rights is not reciprocated. Turkish Airlines is Ben-Gurion’s most active foreign carrier and this too ought to lead to a grassroots rethink. Given the hostility of the administration in Ankara, average Israelis have only their pride to gain by standing firm and reevaluating the purchase of Turkish products.
We can do what our government perhaps cannot.
Fawning will not earn us friendship.
Ankara’s Tel Aviv embassy lowered its flag to halfmast for three days to “mourn the innocents slain by Israel in Gaza.” This is nothing less than diplomatic provocation. That Turkey’s provocateur-in-chief aims to garner glory by parading as an honest broker demonstrates colossal gall.
The hidden picture in Gaza
In recent days, Hamas members seized UN food coupons and prevented Gazan civilians from receiving the aid, in order to try and keep field cell members fed. The Islamist regime refuses to publish most of the names of its members who were killed fighting the IDF, and disposes of their bodies quickly, to avoid harming morale. It has tried to ban Gazan civilians from giving interviews to the foreign press during humanitarian truces.
The IDF has seen Hamas tunnel fighters surrender because they have run out of food. To be sure, this does not mean Hamas is near the breaking point.
Its terrorist army is composed of 15,000 trained members, and Hamas is mobilizing battalions from across Gaza to replace the hundreds of guerrillas killed in combat.
Hamas' UN schools
That rocket launchers were found at U.N. facilities is hardly surprising. Fifteen years ago, the Gaza-based employees of the U.N. Relief and Works Agency held elections to determine its union leaders. Hamas took advantage of the campaign and took over the entire school system. By 2012, more the 90 percent of UNRWA employees had become Hamas supporters.
As a result of the takeover, Hamas created an entire apparatus whose mission was to maintain its grip on all the Gaza-based UNRWA schools. The organization, Al-Kutla Al-Islamiya (the Islamic Bloc), changed the school curriculum and introduced new textbooks. Anyone looking at the subject matter would see an organization that is bent on disseminating its ideology to young Gazans.
The takeover of UNRWA was an inside job, carried out by the Hamas representatives who were assigned to each school and whose job was to recruit students to the Islamic Bloc. This ensured the schools had programs that prepared the pupils for the armed struggle against Israel. This includes their grooming as "would-be shaheeds [martyrs]" and brainwashing them on the "right of return." To get a an idea of the indoctrination that is taking place in Gaza, it would suffice to look at the Islamic Bloc's YouTube clips, which allegedly feature UNRWA instructors doing Hamas' bidding.
Opinion: How the UNRWA is Blocking Peace and a ‘Marshall Plan for Gaza’
Peri’s Marshall Plan for Gaza sounds great – except for one hurdle: UNRWA, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency, which has operated the Arab refugee camps since 1948.
As a matter of policy, UNRWA will not allow any discussion of any permanent resettlement of Arab refugees from 1948 – not even for their descendants. Instead, UNRWA insists that Arab refugees from 1948 remain refugees until there is a political resolution to the Arab-Israeli war – a development that is not at all imminent.
The UN policy is not new.
In 1983, at the initiative of Israeli government minister Mordecai Ben Porat, Israel embarked on a program to relocate Arab refugees to camps in the vicinity of their “temporary” Arab refugee camps – an initiative overruled by a 1985 UN resolution that declared that the resettlement of Arab refugees from 1948 would violate their “inalienable” right of return to villages that they left in 1948.
The UN’s Tunnel Vision
With or without terrorist intent involved, those routes of ingress into Israel exist in violation of international law. They violate the borders of a sovereign state. Even only as such, they must be destroyed, and legitimate international organizations are obliged to demand and support that process. The UN General Assembly, rendered worse than useless – overtly destructive – by misguided sympathy and the coordinated efforts of the 57 member Organization of Islamic Cooperation that openly pursues injustice, will not acknowledge that fact.
Israel must demand conformation with international law. The UN is morally obliged to help. Not only has UNRWA – the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees,which is charged with helping Gazans – failed to realize that Hamas was storing rockets in at least three of its locations, but a booby trapped Hamas tunnel has just been discovered on UNRWA’s premises. That discovery will lead to its destruction, but already it has cost three Israeli lives. It is the obligation of the United Nations to obey and administer international law. It must help Israel destroy those murderous and illegal tunnels, eating up the roots of a possible settlement between Israel and the Palestinians like gophers in an assailed backyard.
Mordechai Kedar: Op-Ed: Why Hamas is Still Holding Out
Before the start of Operation Protective Edge, an entire bevy of so-called "experts" appeared on Israeli media informing us of the weak state of Hamas, how its oxygen supply is cut off because the smuggling tunnels from the Sinai are closed and Egypt has turned against it, as has Saudi Arabia; it cannot pay salaries, it wants to preserve the state it has created in Gaza at all costs - and so on and so forth.
Because of that, they concluded, its power of resistance is limited and since we have the Iron Dome to protect us, our decision makers can act judiciously, using our military power – particularly from the air – which is immeasurably more massive than that of Hamas. Even the world is on our side, they said, and surprisingly, supports us.
Unfortunately, our mistakes result from continuing to look at the enemy through our own cultural lenses: we need money, a strong army, protection from rockets, friends in the region and international approval, and we think that if Hamas has none of these, it will be as weak as we would be if we lacked them. There is no greater error than that line of thought, because Hamas is the product of a vastly different culture where the strength and weakness factors are totally different from ours.
Gaza’s Present is 'West Bank' Prologue
With these points in mind, it’s easy to understand why Binyamin Netanyahu was recently quoted as stating:
“But at the same time, Israel had to ensure that “we don’t get another Gaza in Judea and Samaria” — aka as the "West Bank".
Amid the current conflict, he elaborated, “I think the Israeli people understand now what I always say: that there cannot be a situation, under any agreement, in which we relinquish security control of the territory west of the River Jordan” — a reference to the Jordan Valley as well — as Kerry had urged during a US-led peace effort that collapsed in April.
Citing by name both Kerry and the US security adviser Gen. John Allen, who was charged by the secretary of state to draw up security proposals that the US argued could enable Israel to withdraw from most of Judea and Samaria, including the Jordan Valley, Netanyahu said passionately, “I told John Kerry and General Allen, the Americans’ expert: We live here, I live here, I know what we need to ensure the security of Israel’s people.”” (h/t Canadian Otter)
Obama's Walter Cronkite Moment
Barack Obama's Walter Cronkite Moment has been provided by the Washington Post, the “nerve center” of the nation’s capital.
In two remarkable lead editorials, less than a week apart, the Post has come down squarely for the policies of Israel’s prime minister, and against the Obama administration, in the Gaza war.
On July 18, the lead, unsigned editorial in the Post focused on Hamas's vast network of tunnels, which it noted "have only one conceivable purpose: to launch attacks inside Israel." It condemned "the outside world" (implicitly including much of the news media) for wrongly "blam[ing] Israel for the civilian casualties it inflicts while attempting to destroy the tunnels," pointing out that Hamas deliberately built the tunnels under homes, mosques, schools and hospitals.
John Kerry Has Hamas’ Back: So, Who Has Israel’s?
You know there’s something going on when Haaretz, the flagship of the Israeli left, reads like it’s being edited by Dick Cheney. Last Friday Secretary of State John Kerry presented the Israeli cabinet with a draft of a ceasefire agreement that, in the words of Haaretz columnist Barak Ravid, “could have been penned by Khaled Meshal. It was everything Hamas could have hoped for.” The draft, Ravid explained, “recognized Hamas’ position in the Gaza Strip, promised the organization billions in donation funds and demanded no dismantling of rockets, tunnels or other heavy weaponry at Hamas’ disposal.” Accordingly, wrote another Haaretz columnist, Ari Shavit: “The Obama Administration proved once again that it is the best friend of its enemies, and the biggest enemy of its friends.”
The fact is that Haaretz is simply in step with Israeli public opinion. One poll, conducted by Israel’s Channel 10, showed that 87 percent of Israelis were in favor continuing the operation in Gaza, with another 69 percent in favor of toppling the organization that the White House wants to save. Another poll showed that 86.5 percent are against a ceasefire right now because “Hamas continues firing missiles on Israel, not all the tunnels have been found, and Hamas has not surrendered.” Therefore, explained one pollster, Netanyahu would be confronting the vast majority of Israel if he accepted, as Obama reportedly demanded in a phone call Sunday, an immediate ceasefire.
Asymmetries and proportionalities
For both legal and practical reasons, therefore, conflating asymmetry and proportionality is both inaccurate and harmful to the law of war's core purposes. Disproportionate does not mean asymmetric, nor does it mean "more than." And asymmetrical does not mean disproportionate, nor does it mean criminal. They are simply wholly different concepts: one a factual game of numbers and one a comprehensive legal analysis.
Indeed, widely different numbers of civilian casualties between two sides in a conflict says nothing about the proportionality of particular attacks on specific targets. News reports of civilians killed or wounded in the course of combat in Gaza tell us of tragedy and loss. They tell us of the horrors of urban warfare and the challenges of fighting against a terrorist group bent on using the civilian population as a shield for its operatives, rocket launchers and weapons caches. They tell us that we must be more vigilant in condemning and holding accountable those who exploit civilians for tactical and strategic advantage. They tell us that commanders launching attacks must fulfill all obligations to minimize civilian harm and be held accountable when they do not. But numbers of casualties alone do not provide answers about proportionality or legality — you need both law and all the facts, not just numbers, to do that.
Britain's Hammond: Perfect Example of Hypocrisy Towards Israel
Speaking to BBC Radio 4's Today, Hammond [British Foreign Secretary] suggested--without evidence--that Israel might have committed war crimes by using force that is disproportionate to its military objectives.
Hammond added: "Israelis have to understand that while they are defending their security in seeking to root out these rocket launchers and deal with the attack tunnels, they are also undermining the support for Israel that exists in the west."
In other words: Israel has the right to defend itself, but in doing so it undermines its own political legitimacy.
The unspoken corollary--that a defenseless Israel is better--demonstrates the absurdity of Hammond's position.
Paul Flynn Could Learn a Lot from a Trip to Israel... I'll Pay
Labour Member of Parliament Paul Flynn has criticised Conservative MPs for taking a trip to Israel and visiting military facilities.
According to the Guardian, Flynn claims:
"It is insensitive when people are being slaughtered in such numbers and going out there is giving tacit support to one side. It does seem to be unwise to put it mildly to be there at the moment because the only possible way out is an agreement between the two sides and I don't think you should go there without going to both sides".
Yes, Mr. Flynn. You're absolutely right. What representatives of the British Parliament should do instead is sit on their comfortable sofas in their constituencies and sound off on Twitter about what the BBC tells them is going on in Gaza, right?
I can't help but wonder if all the pro-Cannabis campaigning (not that there's anything wrong with that) is finally taking its toll on the scarcely unbiased member for Newport West.
40 questions for the international media in Gaza
1. Have you or any of your colleagues been intimidated by Hamas?
2. Do you feel restricted in your ability to ‘say what you see’ in Gaza?
3. How do you feel about the Spanish journalist who said Hamas would kill any journalist if they filmed rocket fire?
4. Has Hamas pressured you to delete anything you have published?
5. Has Hamas ever threatened to take your phone, laptop or camera?
Edgar Davidson: What the main stream media is NOT telling you about Israel/Gaza: Links to videos and articles
To support this article here is a set of links to send to friends who rely on the main stream media for their news and views of the Gaza conflict.
Wall Street Journal's 'Purported' Caption on Rocket
A The Wall Street Journal photo caption today suggests that perhaps an Israeli woman has faked a rocket attack on her home in Kibbutz Ein Hashlosha. The page A5 caption reads:
"A resident of Kibbutz Ein Hashlosha inspects the damage purportedly caused by rocket fire from Gaza"
Chuck Todd Ignores Israeli Ambassador’s Request To Correct False Story
Part of the way through a live interview, Israeli Ambassador to the United States Ron Dermer asked NBC’s Chuck Todd if the network would correct a false accusation made by Gaza-based reporter and Hamas sympathizer, Ayman Mohyeldin.
Mohyeldin claimed on Twitter and in a report for NBC News that an Israeli drone had attacked a United Nations facility, killing more than a dozen civilians. The claim led to widespread condemnation of Israel. Yet an investigation proved that the cause of the explosion was a rocket from Islamic Jihad that fell short of its target in Israel, landing in Gaza.
After Dermer asked Todd to correct the story, Todd changed the subject and then ended the interview.
Where’s the Syrian Death Count?
As we said two weeks ago, “While the daily articles that contain the graphics may provide some of the necessary context for any given day, the cumulative graphic reduces the conflict to just two bits of information – rockets (or targets) and deaths. It places an emphasis on those two figures as central to understanding what is taking place.”
As we have written many times, with Hamas’ use of civilians as human shields and with the Israeli investments in defensive systems, it is not surprising that there are more Palestinian casualties.
Despite this, the Times believes that an ongoing body count is essential to understanding the conflict. So day after day, readers around the world can glance down at the graphic and see how many Palestinians have died.
But if the New York Times believes this is the most accurate way to report on a conflict, why haven’t they employed the feature in other areas. For example:
Jon Snow to Hamas: You Endanger Your Civilians With Your Rockets
At the same time, Snow maintains the anti-Israel tone that has earned him criticism for bias. He demonstrates little empathy for the millions of Israelis forced into bomb shelters repeatedly for more than three weeks. “Your attacks on them have virtually no effect other than causing hysteria,” Snow tells Hamdan at one point.
Actually, three Israeli civilians have been killed by Hamas rockets since the fighting began. And only Israel’s incredible efforts to protect civilians have kept the numbers from being higher.
Snow also seems to scorn all of Israel’s efforts to limit civilian casualties, presenting Israel as though it is firing indiscriminately at Palestinian civilians.
In LA Times Gaza-Israel Photo Slideshow, Hamas Not in Picture
In The Los Angeles Times' online photography slideshow about the Israel-Gaza conflict, Hamas is literally not in the picture. As of this writing, the collection of 75 photographs, including many by Times photographer Carolyn Cole, does not include a single photograph of anyone identified as a Hamas fighter, dead or alive. According to Times photo editors, the Israeli army and Gaza's civilians are the only players in this conflict. Hamas literally does not have a role. (The collection is constantly being expanded.)
And it's not just the pictures. Not a single one of the 75 captions includes any mention whatsoever of the word "Hamas." And just once do the captions mention the word "rocket."
Hamas expel Russia Today’s Harry Fear from Gaza for tweeting about Hamas rocket fire from civilian area
Palestinian photo-journalist Fadi Arouri announces on Facebook:
#‎RT‬ Correspondent Harry Fear Asked officially to leave ‪#‎Gaza‬ After a recent tweet that refers to the location of Fired rockets Towards Occupied Palestinian lands Which is Called “Israel”
Media Looking for a Tragedy Big Enough to Stop Gaza War
The mainstream media know their role in the Gaza conflict: to find--or create--a disaster big enough to create an international outcry that will stop the Israel Defense Forces (IDF). First, they tried using the deaths of four boys on the beach in Gaza. Then, they tried using the attack on Al-Shifa hospital--which turned out to have been hit by Palestinian rocket fire. Now they have a new candidate: an attack on a UN school in northern Gaza.
NPR reported the attack as if it was immediately clear that Israel had shelled the facility. When Israel reported that it had no knowledge of any of its forces attacking the building, NPR said that Israel "did not know" what happened--suggesting that Israel was actually admitting culpability, rather than the opposite. And of course NPR neglected the recent reports of Hamas using UN schools to store and launch rockets were not mentioned.
The pattern has been the same at other outlets throughout the conflict. Earlier in the week, the Los Angeles Times reported the Al-Shifa attack as if it was Israel's fault, basing its assessment only on Palestinian reports and "eyewitness" accounts among individuals living in Hamas's totalitarian media bubble. When even the New York Times felt compelled to include IDF protests that it was not responsible, the L.A. Times updated its story.
Guardian journos Tweet their ‘liberal’ views on the Jewish State
Much like the Guardian’s egregiously one-sided coverage of the war, many tweets by Guardian journalists about the conflict have demonized Israel, and completely ignored the role played by Hamas – the antisemitic terrorist group ruling Gaza.
Here’s are just a few recent Tweets by ‘professional’ journalists affiliated with a media institution which fancies itself the world’s leading liberal voice:
Guardian publishes letters legitimizing terrorism & evoking Israel-Nazi analogy
Before posting two of the letters that Guardian editors decided to publish, on July 30, first let’s look at the headline.
Again, remember that these are not simply comments below the line, but letters to the editor that Guardian editors believed had merit, and provided “historical context” to help understand the conflict.
Why has the ‘impartial’ BBC adopted Hamas terminology?
In the past few days, however, we have seen a shift in the BBC’s approach to the topic. No longer content with ‘merely’ providing context-free advertisement for the demands of a proscribed terror organisation, the BBC has now adopted that organisation’s terminology, ditching its former use of the phrase “economic blockade” for the inaccurate and partial term “siege”.
BBC smokescreen for terrorists’ use of human shields reaches new low
In other words, the BBC would have audiences believe that it cannot possibly tell them which is more reliable: the evidence provided by a sophisticated system of radars and trackers which are part of a technologically advanced early warning system, or the unverified word of ‘health officials’ belonging to a terrorist organization which, if it did not fire the specific missiles itself, is collaborating with the terrorist organization that did.
Notably, the BBC’s journalists on the ground apparently had no inclination to carry out their own investigations into the incident.
AP Claim: Israeli Unity Means Dissent is 'Silenced'
The Associated Press, noting the overwhelming support among Israelis for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the war effort in Gaza, concludes that the minority of Israelis who dissent are being "silenced."
It is a tired, false charge often made by Israeli and Jewish leftists even during peacetime--a canard that confuses losing an argument on the merits with being suppressed, and which is often calculated to damage Israel's reputation.
The AP quotes--without irony--an op-ed published by a left-wing writer in one of the country's most widely read newspapers, complaining that those who oppose war are being cast as traitors.
Publishing an opinion is an odd way of "silencing" it.
Daily Beast Columnist: Conservatives 'Love Seeing Arabs Get Killed'
Daily Beast columnist Dean Obeidallah believes conservatives "love seeing Arabs get killed." Using his Twitter account late last week, Obeidallah asked and answered his own question in the affirmative:
Do conservatives defend Netanyahu bc they share same values or because they love seeing Arabs get killed? Trick question: It's both
— Dean Obeidallah July 25, 2014

Obeidallah is best known for taking part in an MSNBC segment last December where Mitt Romney's infant grandson Kieran was ridiculed for being black.
Facebook says calling for death to Israel isn't hate speech because it's a country
On Monday, I reported that Facebook users complaining about a page calling for death to Jews were told that it didn't violate the social network's “community standards.” That page was subsequently removed, but readers have passed along links to additional Facebook pages calling for some variation of death to Israel or Zionists.
Matt Steinfeld, a spokesman for Facebook, explained that pages calling for death to Israel do not automatically cross over into what is considered hate speech under the social network’s media standards.
“Language attacking a country is not considered hate speech in our community standards,” Steinfeld wrote in an email.
John “I’m with Assad” Wight on Israeli “barbarity”
In a “Letter to an Israeli Soldier” published at RT and Socialist Unity, John Wight presumes to lecture the IDF about their supposed “barbarity” and asks:
"[W]hen will your thirst for Palestinian blood be sated?"
Jews thirsting for Gentile blood? That sounds vaguely familiar.
This, recall, is the same John Wight who proudly stands with the Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad– who, unlike the IDF, deliberately targets, terrorizes and starves civilians (including of course Palestinians).
Amsterdam home flying Israeli flag targeted by firebomb
A Jewish woman who displayed an Israeli flag from her balcony in Amsterdam was targeted with a firebomb and death threats.
The firebomb landed on the balcony of neighbors of Leah Rabinovitch, a Mexico-born Jewish woman who flew the Israeli flag on Amsterdam’s Kruger Square, located in an eastern neighborhood heavily populated with Moroccan immigrants, the Het Parool daily reported Wednesday.
Dutch arrest 2 for ‘anti-Semitic’ chants at rally
The Hague mayor Jozias van Aartsen has been hit by a wave of criticism for failing to act against alleged anti-Semitism at two pro-Gaza demonstrations earlier this month amid Israel’s withering offensive on the enclave, launched to counter rocket attacks on Israeli cities and a vast network of cross-border tunnels used to launch attacks on Israeli soil.
The arrests came in connection with the second demonstration on July 24, during which some protesters carried black flags associated with Islamist militants, including the Islamic State that has proclaimed a “caliphate” encompassing parts of Syria and Iraq.
Pro-Israel Rally in Milan Fights Misconceptions Over War
The protest - spearheaded by youth groups, Amici di Israele (Friends of Israel) and the President of the Jewish Community of Milan, Walker Meghnagi - also included a landmark speech from President of Lombardy, Roberto Maroni.
"We want to encourage that Israel is for peace, that Jews worldwide should not be scared to speak up against anti-Semitism," Rebecca, one of the protesters stated to Arutz Sheva.
The protest did not proceed without opposition, however.
Thousands Rally in Rome: 'Israeli Flag is the Pledge of Freedom'
Last night, it was a great night in Rome. My newspaper, Il Foglio, rallied for Israel, its right to exist and to defend itself.
More than 1,000 people came to the demonstration. We met along the Tiber river.
In a Europe where barbarians are burning the flags with the star of David again and are calling to “kill the Jews”, some of the river's lights were for us.
There was lots of security, but courage ultimately prevailed and there was not one incident.
French JDL head: Reported ban on group is still rumor
A leader of France’s Jewish Defense League dismissed as rumors reports that officials were considering banning his far-right group.
The reports began after Muslim community leaders earlier this week called on authorities to ban the group, which is ideologically close to the American and Israeli branches of the Jewish Defense League, or JDL.
Quebec Muslims want to ban the JDL
The Muslims want to ban the JDL? Hahahahaha!
Cowell slammed for IDF donation
Celebrity music impresario Simon Cowell is getting criticism for a $150,000 donation to the Friends of the Israel Defense Forces.
Cowell’s donation, made at a Beverly Hills gala last October, has recently drawn more public attention, and with it some harsh online criticism for Cowell.
According to Ynet, critics of Israel have been posting images of Palestinian children killed in Gaza to Cowell’s Twitter account. Other tweets accused Cowell of having “blood on your hands” and of acting on orders from his “masters in Tel Aviv.”
AUJS. Imagine rocket attacks on Australian Universities
The Australasian Union of Jewish Students has launched a new campaign to put Israel in context for university students.
The campaign focuses on imagery of university campuses under rocket fire with the text ‘what would you do?’.
“This intentionally provocative campaign puts students into the shoes of innocent Israeli civilians who are faced with a barrage of rocket fire every day of their lives” AUJS Political Affairs Director Matthew Lesh said.
Being a Jew in the UK: how the media's false narrative on Israel is opening up a tsunami of anti-semitism
Typical of this 'average British person' was a 'friend' on facebook who, having never in her life previously expressed a political view on any subject at all, suddenly started broadcasting passionate pleas about how we had to "stop Israel's genocide against the children of Gaza". Her view was that this was one of the worst tragedies in the history of the world. When challenged about her views she said she was especially moved by a documentary she had seen by Jon Snow (Channel 4).
Obviously she was not aware that Jon Snow (in common with many BBC reporters) has an obsessive anti-Israel agenda (and judging by this report is also a genuine anti-semite). My reaction was to tell her what the media is NOT telling the public. I said the media is not telling you anything about:
Over 800 People Call on Preston Council to Fly Israeli Flag after Pro-Hamas Group Fundraiser
Over 800 people have joined a Facebook group calling on Preston Council to fly the Israeli flag just days after Breitbart London revealed that the British local government body worked with a pro-Hamas group to hoist the Palestinian flag over a public building.
The group, called '500 Plus Names for Preston Council to Fly the Israeli Flag' was formed this weekend and has already surpassed the number of people who called for the Palestinian flag to be raised, which ended in a four minute ceremony, as well as £1500 raised for a pro-Hamas campaigning group.
Casual Antisemitism Gone Wild
An invaluable new site called The EveryDay Antisemitism project, which documents the casual antisemitism we are seeing more and more of each day, has come to my attention.
Here are some “highlights”:
This “anti-Zionist-not-antisemitic” freak on a leash:
Woman confronts bystanders at Gaza Protest in London - 19 July 2014

Al-Qaeda Has Received $125 Million In Ransom From Europe Since 2008
The New York Times reports that al-Qaeda has raised at least $125 million from European governments in ransom payments. The Treasury Department thinks the number is even higher, closer to $165 million.
France was the country that paid the most money to al-Qaeda groups, with $58.1 million. Qatar and Oman were second at $20.4 million, followed by Switzerland, Spain and Austria. The United States and Britain are countries that refuse to pay ransom to terrorists.
Boko Haram Caught with 10 Year-Old Girl Wired with Suicide Bomb
The Nigerian government reported that security forces arrested two suspected Boko Haram members traveling with a 10 year-old girl with explosives strapped to her.
Government spokesman Mike Omeri said the suspects had been intercepted in a Honda CRV car traveling along a road in the north's Katsina state.
While Global Anti-Semitism Surges, Don’t Forget U.S. Campuses
In light of the alarming rise in global anti-Semitism and the unwillingness of university or government officials to protect Jewish students from campus-based anti-Semitic activity, it is fair to say that when Jewish students return to school in the fall, they will be the single-most vulnerable students on campus.
The Jewish community must act now. As university stakeholders—students, parents, alumni, donors, and taxpayers—members of the Jewish community and their supporters have every right to use their influence as consumers and funders to demand that Jewish students are protected from the growing scourge of Jew-hatred on U.S. college campuses.
Disney Heiress Takes Code Pink Line, Withdraws Investment from Israeli Company over 'Occupation'
Abigail Disney, Walt’s great-niece and heiress, has just withdrawn her 12 million dollar investment in the Israeli Company Ahava because, she says, it is “stealing minerals” from an “Occupied West Bank.” Ms. Disney believes this violates both the 1970 Hague Convention and the Geneva Convention “by exploiting natural resources in occupied territories.”
Well—not exactly, and not so fast.
Disney is not actually withdrawing a penny for “complicated financial reasons.” She has decided to “donate the profits, as well as funds equal to the value of her shares in the Dead Sea minerals cosmetics firm Ahava, to groups working to end this illegal exploitation."
Serious Israeli (and non-Israeli) legal experts view the territories as “disputed” not “occupied”—but let’s not quibble.
32 nations back making Yom Kippur a UN holiday
Thirty-two countries have written to a U.N. General Assembly committee asking the United Nations to recognize Judaism's holiest day, Yom Kippur, as an official holiday.
The letter to the assembly's Committee on Conferences, circulated on Wednesday, says the U.N. "recognizes the major festivals of many of the world's main religions, yet Judaism is not represented."
"We believe that the United Nations calendar should reflect the organization's founding principles of coexistence, justice and mutual respect," the letter said. "We urge the United Nations to correct this inequity and recognize the holiest day of the Jewish faith."
Amid fighting, Europeans told to visit scenic, peaceful Israel
In between watching Tour de France riders cruise through the countryside and up and down steep mountains, European viewers this summer have also been treated to panoramic and peaceful views of Israel, the product of an ill-timed Tourism Ministry ad blitz.
The Eurosport deal, including commercials during the high viewership period of the Tour de France bike race, was a push to get affluent, active people to consider visiting Israel. But coming amid intense fighting with Gaza and high tensions with West Bank Palestinians, the attempt to portray Israel as a beautiful and safe destination may not be able to compete with pictures of rockets and airstrikes on the evening news.
“If we had the option to push it off we probably would have,” said Pini Shani, the deputy director of marketing at the Tourism Ministry. He said the ministry’s contract with Eurosport, which Ynet reported to be at least $1 million for a year of commercials and special emphasis on events such as the Tour de France, prohibited it from making changes once the campaign was underway. The commercials ended on Sunday, the last day of the Tour de France.
Culture Ministry wants money back from ‘Palestinian’ film
The Culture Ministry, together with other public organizations, may seek to retrieve over NIS 2 million ($580,000) that it provided for a film by an Israeli-Arab director after the finished movie was billed at the Venice Film Festival as produced in Palestine.
The film “Villa Touma” by director and writer Suha Arraf was featured at the International Critics’ Week of the prestigious festival without any mention of Israel despite the funding that made the work possible, Walla reported on Thursday.
Calls to Stop Destruction of Community Honoring Murdered Teens
The High Court is set to consider whether or not to order the removal of caravans near the Gush Etzion town of Tekoa that had been set up to honor the memories of murdered Israeli teens Eyal Yifrah, Naftali Frenkel, and Gilad Sha'ar.
Chairman of the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee MK Ze'ev Elkin appealed on Thursday to Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon not to order the demolition of the caravans.
“I demand that the Defense Minister immediately put a halt to the process of demolition of these caravans,” said Elkin, himself a resident of Gush Etzion, south of Jerusalem. “Especially now, when so many residents are on the front lines fighting in Gaza, demolishing homes in Tekoa that were build on state land – and were built in memory of the three teens who were murdered by Hamas terrorists not far from the site – is a perversion of justice and common sense,” he said.
Gaza War Does Not Stop Palestinian Efforts to Scam Translators
One sector of the world economy that is unlikely to side with Gaza in Operation Protective Edge is the translation community. Translation of foreign languages is an industry that has mushroomed since computerization and globalization, and is now worth billions of dollars. As with every other business sector that relies heavily on electronic communication, the translation business is vulnerable to scams and identity theft – and the Gazans are the Olympic gold medalists in this field. One expert who runs a site identifying scammers estimates that 98% of the fake translation agencies who steal translators’ identities and rip off clients and translators alike, are based in the Arab world and mainly in Gaza.
It works like this: a translation agency finds a professional translator through the Internet. It approaches the translator and tells him/her if the translator sends them his/her resume, it will market their services. In fact, the scammer uses the resume in order to steal the translator’s identity. It then changes the translator’s email address on the c.v. to one it invents for itself, and markets this c.v., sometimes pretending to be the translator in question but more often under a fake identity. The technique has been very successful, but now scammers just steal the identities of genuine translators without their knowledge or permission, and market the translator’s services as their own.
Syrian Refugees Are No Longer Welcome in Istanbul
You can see them all over the city, sitting cross-legged on blankets along posh streets near Taksim Square or staring out of crumbling buildings in the nearby slums. Some sleep in parks or outside local mosques. Others rest on benches, dreaming under the stars or the metal awnings hanging over bus stops.

Over the past three years, up to 100,000 Syrian refugees have poured into Istanbul, fleeing war and famine. Nearly a million more have crossed the border and settled into other parts of Turkey.
Warsaw Uprising exhibit opens at center of Nazi power
The Polish and German presidents have opened an exhibition on the 1944 Warsaw Uprising at what was once a center of Nazi power in Berlin.
Photos, documents and films on the uprising will be on show until Oct. 26 at the Topography of Terror, a site that once housed the Gestapo secret police and the SS leadership. The exhibition was put together with Poland’s Warsaw Rising Museum.
The rising against Warsaw’s German occupiers began Aug. 1, 1944 and ended 63 days later with the insurgents surrendering, following the deaths of some 200,000 rebels and residents.
Polish President Bronislaw Komorowski said Tuesday Poland appreciates that Germans increasingly “understand how important this chapter was not only for Polish history but also for German history, the history of Europe and the entire world.”
IPOs, investments thrive despite war
When TV’s talking heads ask serial entrepreneur and investment guru Jon Medved whether the current conflict with Hamas is harming Israel’s high-tech sector, he points out some surprising facts:
Investors poured $920 million into Israeli startups in the second quarter of 2014. Mobileye, ReWalk Robotics, MapiPharma and three other Israeli companies are moving ahead with major IPOs. On July 29 Mobileye increased the amount of money it plans raising in its NYSE IPO by 22 percent, to more than $600 million.
And, believe it or not, the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange is up since the start of hostilities less than a month ago.
Israeli Biotech Macrocure Sets Terms for $75 million IPO
Macrocure, a late-stage Israeli biotech developing white blood cell injections to treat hard-to-heal and chronic wounds, has announced terms for its $75 million IPO.
CureXcell has been approved as a medical device in Israel and has been used in more than 5,000 patients in commercial or clinical study settings with consistent results, according to Macrocure data.
Promoters hold out hope for some culture this summer
ProStage said it didn’t expect a cancellation from heavy metal band MegaDeath, due to perform on August 6 in Tel Aviv.
“We’re getting organized for the band that isn’t scared of anything,” announced the company.
The concert promoter will also host The Manhattan Transfer on September 1.
Concert promoter Udi Appelboim says he’s also still expecting Lana Del Rey on August 20, and recently announced that local singer Marina Maximilian Blumin will be Del Rey’s warm-up act.
“No news is good news, right?” said Appelboim.

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