Thursday, April 21, 2016

From Ian:

No, Peter Beinart: Anti-Zionism Is Indeed a Form of anti-Semitism
Every time an article by Peter Beinart appears in Haaretz, I read it avidly. I don’t always agree with him, but I find his analyses deep and mordant and his prose elegant and eloquent. Often his predictions turn out to be right, and I believe that even his sharpest criticisms are motivated by a deep love for Israel and the Jewish people. Despite the opposition of many, I was honored to have him speak at the 2013 Jewish Funders Network annual conference.
However, I feel I need to raise to my voice against a few of Peter’s recent articles in which he argues that anti-Zionism is not anti-Semitism. Zionism is the national liberation movement of the Jewish people. It holds that Jews, like any other people, have the right to national self-determination. Denying that right to Jews, and only to Jews, can’t be called anything other than anti-Semitism. It may be different for the tiny minority of utopians out there who argue consistently against nationalism in any form and in any country, seeking to bring about a world without nation states. But that’s not what anti-Zionism seeks. Anti-Zionism isn’t directed at any other national movement but that of the Jews. (Otherwise they’d have to call it something else.) Most anti-Zionists wholeheartedly embrace other national movements, or at least fail to condemn the existence of any nation state other than Israel. Most notably, anti-Zionists often champion Palestinian national aspirations, but the stark double standard seems to escape them.
The anti-Zionist mutation of anti-Semitism is particularly pernicious, because it denies not only the right of the Jews to a state, but their very identity as a people. Very few anti-Zionists hold that Judaism as a religion should be eradicated. That distinction is, at the same time, their fig leaf and their weapon. By “tolerating” Judaism as a religion, they can try to shake off the designation of anti-Semitism, a curious attempt since they are trying to lecture the Jewish people about the nature (the negation, actually) of our own identity. The claim is that Judaism is a legitimate religion, but that the Jews are not a legitimate nation—just a collection of people of other nationalities who practice the religion of Judaism, who, therefore, are not entitled to a nation-state. This desire to dictate the parameters of Jewish identity to the Jewish people may be worse than traditional Christian anti-Semitism, or even than some forms of racial anti-Semitism, neither of which deny the Jews our place among the nations, hate us though they may.

Ryan Bellerose: Hearts And Minds
Why are you losing the Jewish millennials?
Judea and Samaria, Hebron, The Temple Mount, Joseph’s Tomb, Rachel’s Tomb – this is why you are losing them. Not because, as most mainstream Jewish “advocacy” groups suggest, these are “controversial and divisive” subjects, but because the other side has a very clear and concise position on these things, while the pro-Israel side has people teaching to avoid even talking about them. But if you avoid talking about the very places that you should be venerating, if you don’t act as if they are important on a visceral level, then you not only risk losing them but you risk losing everything. You erode your own morally superior position by not manifesting it. Basically if you act guilty, how do you expect young people to react?
Think about it, you have a group of young people who are taught their history, who are taught that Israel is perfect and that it’s the ideal for everything. They are taught the Torah, they are taught the importance of all the things I just mentioned but only in a religious context, a flawed religious context because it doesn’t concentrate on the importance of that “religion” in the context of their identity. Jewish identity is so much more than just Judaism. I liken all indigenous identities to a hand, with each finger being something that makes up that identity: Culture, language, traditions, core beliefs, and spirituality is the Thumb – if you cut off a finger, the hand is still functional. If you cut off the thumb it’s much less so. However, the more fingers you cut off, the less functional the hand becomes until it’s just a useless stump. THAT’S HOW IDENTITY WORKS. So back to the issue at hand so to speak – these kids, most of whom don’t speak their own language, who don’t follow the traditions, some of whom don’t have any spirituality at all, these same kids are taught that they shouldn’t support the “settlements,” that Judeans are Jews who are causing all the problems. That if they were not there, there might be peace. THEY HAVE NO REASON TO SUPPORT THEIR OWN PEOPLE ANY LONGER. It’s a simple solution based on the” logic” they see from so-called “pro-Israel” people.
JPost Editorial: Pollard claptrap
US Director of National Intelligence James Clapper’s recent letter to the US Parole Commission hyping the enormous threat to America’s national security which he claims Jonathan Pollard still poses is so much claptrap.
So is Clapper’s contrived contention that Pollard spied “against the US.” Pollard was indicted for spying for “the benefit of an ally” – Israel – not against the US.
Clapper’s lame attempt to inflame public sentiment against an aging and very ill Pollard who spent 30 years in prison paying for an offense whose median sentence is two to four years, is at best laughable.
Like his predecessors, Clapper hides behind a veil of secrecy and relies upon hyperbole and ad hominem to obscure the absence of evidence against Pollard. This, despite the now-public knowledge that former defense secretary Caspar Weinberger (the man who drove Pollard’s life sentence) admitted before he died that the Pollard case was “a minor mater” which had been exaggerated to serve another agenda. Clapper continues the hyperbolic spin, regardless.
Here is the real scoop.
Jonathan Pollard, who spent an unprecedented 30 years of a 45-year life sentence in prison for the one count of spying for an ally, Israel, with which he was charged, while working as a civilian intelligence analyst for US Navy, was released from prison last November.

Obama Admin Awards $270K to Controversial Islamic Charity
The Obama administration has awarded $270,000 to an Islamic charity that has been outlawed by some governments for its support of the terror group Hamas and other jihadist organizations, according to grant documents.
The Department of Health and Human Services has provided a $270,000 grant to Islamic Relief Worldwide, a charity that has repeatedly been linked to terrorism financing and support for Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood, according to recent grant information.
The grant was awarded as part of a larger project to provide health services in Nairobi, Kenya, through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, according to the grant.
Some terrorism experts have expressed concern that the administration is providing funds to Islamic Relief given its past ties to the Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas, ties that have led some governments to outlaw the charity.
The United Arab Emirates and Israel both banned the charity in 2014 after investigations revealed that Islamic Relief had ties to Hamas, the Muslim Brotherhood, and other entities engaged in terror financing, according to reports.
An investigation by the Israeli government led to accusations that the charity was providing material support to Hamas and its operatives.
The Link Between Hamas and BDS
The idea that BDS is motivated by human rights concerns or a desire to end the “occupation” of the West Bank is taken as a given by its apologists. But it should be remembered that Hamas and that group’s Palestinian Authority rivals consider all of Israel, even inside the 1967 lines, as being “occupied” territory — a point that even PA leader Mahmoud Abbas made recently. Some left-wing Jews think that the point of BDS or even groups that support it such as Jewish Voices for Peace is to save Israel from itself. But their Palestinian partners, both in the Middle East and here in the United States, clearly have very different motives and goals.
Were a desire for statehood the principle motive of Palestinian nationalists the conflict would have ended 15 years ago after the first of several offers of independence were made to the Palestinian Authority by Israel. Nor are they primarily motivated by a desire to eliminate settlements in areas Israel took over after June 1967 since the withdrawal from Gaza in 2005 — where an independent state in all but name run by terrorists now exists — has done nothing to convince Palestinians to try to trade peace for land.
Even if we were to ignore the evidence that those funding Students for Justice in Palestine are the same people that were raising funds for Hamas before being closed down by the U.S. government, we need to also recognize that the at the bottom of their ideology is bias against Jews. The BDS movement isn’t merely economic warfare; it is an effort to delegitimize the entire notion of Zionism and the right of the Jewish people to sovereignty or self-defense in their ancient homeland. Since this is something that no one thinks to deny to any people other than Jews, it is necessary for those who treat their efforts as a benign protest to confront the hate at its core.
The problem with BDS isn’t who funds it so much as the fact that it remains a cause in service to hate. It is wrong not because of its associations but because, like Hamas, it’s purpose is to work for Israel’s destruction and the dispossession of its people. This is a fact that BDS supporters and fellow travelers ignore at the loss of their own integrity. The one degree of separation between Hamas and BDS is just one more piece of evidence of the malevolence of a cause that pretends to be about human rights but which actually serves as a front for blood-soaked terrorists that hate Jews.
Hirsi Ali shines in debate on Islam
Hirsi Ali immediately recognized she was being set up to run a gauntlet of criticism and so chose to go for the jugular.
“I reject Islamic law because it’s totalitarian ... because it’s bigoted and especially bigoted against women… Where Islamic law becomes the law of the land ... women will need a male guardian, child marriage is reintroduced, you will be disinherited. If you are raped it’s your fault, and you will get stoned to death ... I reject Islamic law because it’s inherently hostile to women. It is so bigoted.”
To applause from the audience, Hirsi Ali concluded: “We will not defeat and we will not eradicate these practices, unless we talk about the principle, and the principle is enshrined in the Islamic law, unreformed.”
Dutt would not relent. She pushed Hirsi Ali further by suggesting that in her own country of India, Hindu women were as excluded as Muslim women from places of worship.
The response of a stern and visibly frustrated Hirsi Ali again drew applause from the audience.
Obama's 'Countering Violent Extremism' Program Collapses Into Absurdity
In February 2015, President Obama hosted a three-day summit on "Countering Violent Extremism" (CVE) that featured a roll-out of three local programs in Boston, Minneapolis, and Los Angeles. This culminated CVE efforts by the Obama administration going back to 2011.
But just over a year from Obama's White House Summit on Countering Violent Extremism, the programs are now admittedly a complete failure -- and publicly rejected by elements of the very communities they intend to serve.
Even at the time of the summit, the CVE programs had already been deemed a failure.
These programs are also a practical failure in preventing violent extremism. Earlier this month, the Associated Press reported on one Somali youth leader in Minneapolis associated with government-funded CVE programs who later attempted to join the Islamic State.
Remarkably, as the Obama CVE programs are in complete meltdown, Republican leaders such as Rep. Mike McCaul, chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, and conservative organizations such as the Heritage Foundation are openly embracing Obama's CVE agenda -- and even calling for its expansion.
His brother murdered Jewish children - he fights Islamism
He is the brother of jihadist Mohamed Merah, who four years ago killed three soldiers and four Jews, but in his extremist, anti-Semitic family it is Abdelghani who is seen as the black sheep.
Abdelghani Merah has light brown eyes, a shaven head and a surname immediately associated with terror in France, but after losing everything because of his brother's acts he has found a calling: de-radicalizing youngsters drawn to jihad.
In an interview with AFP, he says he will never forget the morning in March 2012 when he turned on the television and recognized the street where his brother lived, now crawling with security forces.
It hit him that the man who had been riding around on a scooter, shooting soldiers in the southern French city of Toulouse and nearby Montauban, and then a rabbi and three Jewish children in Toulouse a few days later, was his younger brother Mohamed.
"I rushed to the scene, in a panic. The police thought I wanted to attack them - but I wanted to help them negotiate with Mohamed," he said.
Mohamed was killed in a firefight with the police after a stand-off lasting about 30 hours.
None of these events took Abdelghani, who is around 40, by surprise.
US Army captain helped foil Danish Jewish school bombing
A US Army captain in Iraq helped crack a plot to bomb a Danish school after gleaning crucial details from documents recovered from extremists, the Pentagon said Wednesday.
Army Captain Bradley Grimm, who is based at Al-Asad airbase in Iraq's Anbar province, had "helped develop a system to speed the flow of intelligence from here on the ground to various national capitals," Baghdad-based spokesman Colonel Steve Warren said.
Grimm gleaned "actionable intelligence" from "captured documents" belonging to foreign fighters with ties to Denmark, Warren said.
"Brad's work likely saved the lives of Danish citizens," Warren said, without providing additional details of the plot itself. However, the announcement is likely in connection with the planned bombing of two schools - one of them a Jewish school.
For his work, Denmark awarded Grimm the Danish Defense Medal for Special Meritorious Effort.
Berlin government allegedly supports Hezbollah activists through refugee project
Senior employees of a Berlin-based theater project designed to assist refugees—which is funded by the Berlin government—are activists for the EU-designated terrorist organization Hezbollah, it has been alleged on Tuesday.
Nadia Grassman, the artistic director of the theater project Refugee Club Impulse (RCI) and her sister Maryam, a pedagogical director at RCI, were key organizers in the annual pro-Hezbollah and pro-Iranian regime al-Quds Day rally, according to a Tuesday report in the Berliner Zeitung daily.
The paper reported that at the al-Quds Day rally in 2015 “anti-Semitic slogans were chanted and the abolition of Israel was called for.”
The Berlin-based office of the American Jewish Committee alleged that the Grassman sisters support their father Jürgen Grassman, who completed the registration process for the al-Quds Day protest in Berlin.
French singer’s ballad for Hyper Cacher victims
A French singer-songwriter who compared Israel’s treatment of Palestinians to the Armenian Holocaust has released a song about the murder of four Jews at a Paris kosher supermarket last year.
Renaud Sechan, a gravel-voiced balladeer who has sold millions of copies from his 16 albums, released “Hyper Cacher,” the name of the store, on his latest album, “Renaud,” which hit stores earlier this month.
“He fired all around with hate-filled eyes on anyone wearing a kippah, on children, old, some cried, their eyes held up high, others hid where they could,” reads one of the song’s verses.
In his 1985 song “Miss Maggie,” a diatribe against the late British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, Renaud wrote: “Palestinians and Armenians testify from their graves that a genocide is masculine, like the SS, a bull fighter.”
But in “Hyper Cacher,” he struck a more conciliatory note, acknowledging Jerusalem and Israel as being the Jewish homeland.
“May they rest in Jerusalem, on their ancestral home, in the sun of Israel, I want to devote this poem to them, tell them they are dear to us, that we will never forget them,” the lyrics read.
Half The French Army Is Now Deployed On French Streets
Since the Islamist terror attacks in Paris last November, the streets of major French cities have been guarded by soldiers in full military fatigues. That permanent presence of the French army represents half of all its soldiers now deployed on military operations, but has been dismissed by critics as a political “anti-anxiety” measure.
Following the killing of 132 people in coordinated Islamist terrorist attacks in Paris and its northern suburb, Saint-Denis, last November, President François Hollande, declared the attacks on France an “act of war”. In response the French army was sent to the streets of main cities to offer people a sense of security, beefing up operations already begun following the Charlie Hebdo office and Hypercacher supermarket attacks earlier in 2015.
Representing France’s first wide-scale peacetime military operation on the mainland, Operation Sentinelle deploys fully-armed and uniformed combat troops to patrol public areas and protect key sites such as synagogues, art galleries, nursery schools, Métro stations and mosques.
With 10,000 troops across the nation, about 6,500 of which are in the Paris area, the Guardian reports that scale of Operation Sentinelle is so huge it represents the single biggest military operation in volume of any such French operation anywhere in the world.
Foreign Ministry protests countries that voted for UNESCO resolution
More than a week after UNESCO’s executive board voted in favor of a resolution ignoring Jewish ties to the Temple Mount and Western Wall area, Foreign Ministry director-general Dore Gold wrote a letter to the 33 countries that voted for the resolution “registering Israel’s protest in the strongest terms.”
Gold’s letter came five days after Yesh Atid MK Yair Lapid penned a sharp letter of protest to UNESCO head Irina Bokova.
Among the 33 countries that voted for the resolution were a number of countries with whom Israel has close ties, such as China, Egypt, France, India, Mexico, Nigeria, Russia, Spain and Vietnam.
Two other EU countries, Slovenia and Sweden also voted for the resolution, as did Argentina, with whom Israel expected there to be dramatic improvement of ties following last year’s elections.
Six countries voted against the resolution – Estonia, Germany, Lithuania, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom and the US – and 17 abstained.
UNESCO Director distances herself from Temple Mount decision
Irena Bokova distances herself from UNESCO statement disregarding Temple Mount religious significance for Jews. 'This decision was made by UNESCO management, not me.'
Yesh Atid Chairman Yair Lapid sent a letter sharply criticizing UNESCO's decision to completely disregard the Temple Mount's religious and historic significance for Jews on Saturday. Irina Bokova, current head of UNESCO and in the running to be the next UN secretary general, sent a letter to Lapid in response on Wednesday in which she distanced herself from the resolution.
UNESCO claimed that "Israel attacks the Temple Mount" and completely ignored the fact that the area is sacred to Jews in addition to Muslims. The decision also claims that Israel is "planting fake graves in Muslim cemeteries" in item 14 under the section titled 'Al-Aqsa Mosqe/Al-Haram Al-Sharif.'
Foreign Ministry Director General Dore Gold sent a harsh letter in protest to all the countries who voted in favor of he UNESCO decision regarding Jerusalem. He spoke about the attempt to erase the Jewish connection to Jerusalem, the capital of the Jewish people, and the connections to Jewish holy sites.
"While the UNESCO decision has no practical effect, we will not allow international bodies to blur the connection between the Jewish nation and its eternal capital.".
Anti-Israel activists hijack Passover, turn it into Palestinian liberation event
This week JVP activists have also been partnering with other Jewish activists affiliated with the recently founded If Not Now movement to field a “public Passover action” on April 19-21.
The effort is spread on social media through this week’s trending hashtags #LiberationSeder and #IfNotNow (see samples below). It’s a five city (Boston, NYC, Chicago, Bay Area, and Washington, D.C.) series of “seders in the streets” and in various buildings that house major Jewish organizations in order to appropriate the holiday’s rituals and texts for an anti-Israel narrative.
The explicit goal of these publicly staged seders is to replace the essential Passover themes—the retelling of the exodus from Egypt and the Jewish people’s redemption in the land of Israel—with messages concentrated on the “fight for Palestinian liberation”.
Even more, it’s a bizarre program of anti-Jewish propaganda that has a precedent. As I describe below, in the 1920s some deluded Jews in the Soviet Union also enlisted in a campaign to eliminate the true meaning of Passover.
Introducing the new NUS president – who wouldn’t condemn Isis
To introduce readers to Bouattia’s politics, Mr S has compiled a three-point guide:
1 – Bouattia is not a fan of ‘mainstream Zionist-led media outlets’
In 2011, Bouatti called Birmingham University ‘a Zionist outpost in British higher education’ in a co-authored article to time with Israeli Apartheid Week. Since then, she has warned of ‘mainstream Zionist-led media outlets’, as well as claiming that peace talks between Israelis and Palestinians are ‘the strengthening of the colonial project’.
A number of her comments have worried heads of student Jewish societies, who published an open letter last week asking her to explain whether she ‘sees a large Jewish society as a problem’. While Bouattia replied to the letter by saying that she does not see a ‘large Jewish society’ as a problem, their concerns led to the Oxford University Students’ Union choosing not to support Bouattia’s bid for president.
2 – Bouattia once opposed a motion to condemn Isis
3 – Bouattia has been endorsed by a spokesman for Muslim Public Affairs Committee

A Vote for Anti-Semitism
We must acknowledge the fact that the world has an ingrained double standard. That questioning Australia or Germany’s right to exist is absurd, but to question Israel is being analytical. That questioning the memory of the Armenian genocide is unheard of, but to debate the commemoration of the Holocaust at the NUS conference is legitimate.
The timing of Malia’s victory, with the upcoming holiday of Passover, draws stark messages of forewarning in my mind. There is a reason why it is an obligation for our people to remind ourselves of the exodus from Egypt. To go beyond the matza, and comedic seder woes, the story of Passover teaches us 2 things.
Firstly, the freedom the Jews experienced was a mental freedom as much as it was physical. We were free to make our own decisions, to care for our own needs, and to fight for the justice we saw fit.
Secondly, we remind ourselves that in every generation, there will always be an entity trying to bring us down. But by observing the strengthening of Jewish solidarity, especially amongst students, we are witnessing our very own miracle. We are witnessing the rebirth of Jewish visionaries, who do not take no for an answer.
Yes the election of Malia Bouattia is worrisome, and yes NUS is a flawed organisation, but what I know, and what I can’t help but seek comfort in, is that feeling of confidence in our resilience.
We will not back down, its just not in our DNA.
Guardian report on NUS vote omits Malia Bouattia’s ‘Zionist-led media’ comment
An April 20th Guardian report on Britain’s National Union of Students (NUS) election was titled ‘NUS elects first female black Muslim president after tense contest’. However, the report by Jessica Elgot fails to inform readers that the new NUS president, BDS activist Malia Bouattia, represents another first – the first time NUS (a group representing the interests of 7 million British students) will be led by someone who’s supported terrorism and used thinly veiled antisemitic tropes.
Elgot’s report deals with the controversy surrounding Bouattia’s refusal to boycott ISIS for fear of stoking Islamophobia, as well as criticism surrounding her ‘accusation’ that University of Birmingham is “a Zionist outpost in British higher education” due it’s “large Jewish Society”. However, Elgot failed to note far worse comments by Bouattia revealed in a video circulated elsewhere in the media (including at the BBC) hours before her Guardian report was published.
MUST WATCH: Non-Jewish Cambridge Student Speaks Out Against Antisemitism
Earlier today, Brian posted about Malia Bouattia, the newly elected President of the National Union of Students in the UK.
At the same NUS conference, students applauded motions not to commemorate the Holocaust.
But in the darkness comes this speech by non-Jewish student Olly Hudson of Cambridge, speaking out against antisemitism.

No UK visa for PSC guest speaker: terror-supporter Manal Tamimi
Terrible news for the Palestine Solidarity Campaign, which had planned to invite Manal Tamimi to the UK for “Nakba Week”, but now writes:
Unfortunately Manal Tamimi was not granted a UK visa, for administrative reasons and so is no longer able to come to the UK for her speaking tour. Many of her scheduled dates will go ahead with alternative speakers.
Tamimi was scheduled to speak in Parliament on May 11th. The idea of a supporter of terrorism and murder such as Manal Tamimi speaking in Parliament is frankly sickening, and any political figures lending her their support ought to be ashamed of themselves.
Nabi Saleh’s Tamimi clan is notorious for its support for Ahlam Tamimi, who drove a suicide bomber to a restaurant. Ahlam was delighted to hear how many children she had killed.
German Bank defends neo-Nazi party and BDS bank accounts
The BW Bank in the German city of Stuttgart stood by its business accounts with a neo-Nazi party and a Palestinian group that seeks the destruction of Israel.
“The [neo-Nazi party] account belongs to a permitted party in Germany,” Rüdiger Schoß, a spokesman for the BW, wrote The Jerusalem Post by email on Thursday.
A Post investigation traced neo-Nazi party and BDS accounts (Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions movement against Israel) to the BW, which is owned by the financial institution Landesbank Baden-Württemberg (LBBW) in southern Germany. The BW accounts allow the allegedly hate-monger groups to receive electronic transfer donation funds, which both organizations advertise on their websites.
Schoß said “Generally, we do not make the opinions our customers our own views.” He added that the BW can only discontinue an account when “according to German law, objective impediments are present.” Schoß said that the BW’s Code of Conduct has an anti-discrimination policy.
When pressed by the Post as to whether the neo-Nazi and BDS group Palestine Committee Stuttgart accounts unfairly single out Jews and Israelis for discrimination, Schoß refused to comment.
Dean of Harvard Law School Denounces ‘Smelly Tzipi Livni’ Comment as ‘Embarrassment to This Institution’
The dean of Harvard Law School (HLS) issued a strong condemnation of a recent incident in which a visiting Israeli official was publicly insulted, calling it an “embarrassment to this institution,” The Algemeiner has learned.
Last Thursday, at a panel featuring former Israeli foreign minister and current member of Knesset Tzipi Livni — and attended by several hundred people — an HLS student publicly asked, “My question is for Tzipi Livni. How is it that you are so smelly? It’s regarding your odor — about the odor of Tzipi Livni, very smelly.”
In an email sent out to the student body obtained by The Algemeiner, Dean Martha Minow wrote, “The comment was offensive and it violated the trust and respect we expect in our community. Many perceive it as antisemitic, and no one would see it as appropriate. It was an embarrassment to this institution and an assault upon the values we seek to uphold.”
Minow made clear that while free speech is a right shared by all, it “does not mean that hateful remarks should go unacknowledged or unanswered in a community dedicated to thoughtful discussion of complex issues and questions.”
Harvard student apologizes for asking Livni why she’s ‘so smelly’
The head of a student group at Harvard Law School has apologized for asking Israeli lawmaker Tzipi Livni, “How is it that you are so smelly?”
The unidentified student posed the question during an April 14 panel event on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict involving Livni and American diplomat Dennis Ross.
The leaders of the school’s Jewish Law Students Association blasted the student’s question as “blatantly anti-Semitic rhetoric” that invoked the “antiquated and offensive notion of the ‘smelly Jew.’”
“A quick Internet search will show that the stereotype of ‘the Jew’ as ‘smelly’ or ‘dirty’ has been around since at least the 1800s,” the group’s leaders wrote in the Harvard Law Record. “The Nazis promoted the idea that Jews ‘smell’ to propagandize Jews as an inferior people.”
The student, identified only as a “president of a student organization on campus,” issued a lengthy apology on Wednesday.
IsraellyCool: Harvard Law Student Who Called Livni “Smelly” Is No Stranger To Controversy
Unsurprisingly, it turns out Husam El-Coolaq [author of the infamous "smelly" comment] has been in the spotlight before. He appears to be listed here (with the spelling Husam El-Qoulaq) as the organizer of an event that took place this past fall called, “The Palestine Exception to Free Speech: A Movement Under Attack.” The sponsoring group, HLS Justice for Palestine, subsequently described the event as follows,
Between bites of Milbank-funded formaggio, event attendees listened as speakers discussed the widespread suppression of Palestinian rights advocacy in the United States. One of the cases highlighted was that of STEVEN SALAITA, an academic whose tenure position at the University of Illinois was revoked after he tweeted criticism of Israel’s 2014 aerial bombardment over Gaza. SALAITA’s lawyers later discovered that the university had caved in to significant pressure from donors who had threatened to pull their donations if the university insisted on retaining him.
The referenced law firm, Milbank, subsequently pulled its funding. (I’ll save for another time the rant about why these Harvard law students seemed not to understand that the right to free speech also includes the right of private funders to not pay for speech they find objectionable.) (h/t Bob Knot)
BDS: Disneyland of Hate
What truly puzzles the Israeli public is "Israel Apartheid Week," being staged on several U.S. college campuses these last few weeks. A spin-off of the anti-Israel BDS movement, its “commercial” success can best be explained as a “Disneyland of Hate.” Activists are not fighting a real struggle for their own rights or anyone else’s. Rather, this is a pretend civil rights struggle for a mediated image of a subjugated victim of an evil oppressor in faraway Occupied Land.
The story is so rife with metaphors that it has become a radical paradise: Indigenous people lived in the beautiful land of Jesus, herding sheep and growing olive trees. All of a sudden enter a bunch of crooked-nosed, conniving, colonialist Jews, armed to the teeth and backed by vast financial resources, who cheat and kill the poor victims, rob them of their land, raze their villages, and drive them away to camps. Then they build a huge wall to keep them in perpetual captivity. The colonialists use their sinister, cutting-edge technologies to ravage their victims, extending their tentacles globally to influence politicians, the media and the public.
This is an activist Disneyland; it's practically Star-Wars’ Evil Empire meets the Matrix. Other conflicts could be a hundred times bloodier, more oppressive, more local, but this small story is so photogenic that it hijacks them all.
Academics, journalists to trash Jerusalem's 50th celebrations
The campaign is specifically designed to embarrass the Netanyahu government and keep the "Israeli occupation" in the news. The organizers are planning protests around the world during Jerusalem's festive 50th year, seeking to boost opposition to Israel's continued presence in Judea, Samaria and of course, eastern Jerusalem.
The campaign is to climax on Jerusalem Day of 2017, the 50th anniversary of Jerusalem's liberation and reunification, with a series of coordinated demonstrations in Israel and around the world against the government of Israel.
Among the leaders of the $8 million program are Haaretz journalist Akiva Eldar and Prof. Daniel Bar-Tal of Tel Aviv University, working together with the New Israel Fund and J Street.
Eldar said in a recent interview that he envisions the publication of an ad in major American newspapers – a different paper every week during the course of the 50th year. Each ad will cite another "expert" as to why Israel must give up on a united Jerusalem and quit Judea and Samaria.
Nothing has been announced as to what should happen to more than 400,000 Jews living in the areas from which the academics in question wish Israel to withdraw. The possibilities include having them remain in their homes as citizens of the new Arab state, or relocating them back to "mainland" Israel as occurred with the Jews of Gush Katif. Many of the latter still do not have permanent homes, nearly 11 years later. Fewer than 9,000 Jews lived in Gush Katif, some 50 times less than the number of Jews in Judea and Samaria.
PreOccupiedTerritory: Iron Dome To Ignore Rockets Headed For Haaretz Building (satire)
Israel Defense Force technicians have reprogrammed the Iron Dome missile interceptor system not to shoot down any rockets that would hit the headquarters of the Haaretz newspaper and online publications, an IDF spokesman said today.
Major Painin Diaz told reporters gathered for a Ministry of Defense briefing this morning that the system, which uses a complex algorithm to determine whether an incoming missile is headed toward a populated area to determine whether or not to fire, will begin exercising its new functionality next week. Major Diaz said the move will help the unit operating the Iron Dome to conserve energy and resources that would be put to better use defending parts of Tel Aviv that actually matter.
“Analysis of targeting data and available projectile resources led us to the conclusion that the Home Front, as well as the IDF as a whole, plus the country and basically the world, would be better off not expending such resources to intercept anything headed toward that part of Schocken Street,” said the officer. “Bottom line, our mission is to defend Israel, and including Haaretz in the defense umbrella that Iron Dome provides is not part of that mission.”
HuffPo Gives Platform to Another Anti-Israel Screed
No context is provided for why Israeli security would interpret the social media post that way. In fact, deadly attacks have been carried out by terrorists who post about them in advance.
When the article tackles the issue of online incitement to violence, it quickly dismisses the idea that social media activity is connected to Palestinian terror:
Israel alleges that the sharing of online videos played a critical role in the rise of violence in the final months of 2015. However, journalists and human rights organizations have spoken out against policies of censorship that violate freedom of speech.
If HuffPo readers are concerned with freedom of speech on social media, the site should publish articles about the fact that the Palestinian Authority has jailed journalists and others for insulting PA President Mahmoud Abbas.
The article also promotes the meme that Israel is unfairly blocking Palestinian entrance to al-Aqsa mosque:
In 2015 online activists saw their hashtags, photos and videos being shared worldwide and often getting picked up by mainstream foreign media. For example, one of the hashtags trending on Palestinian social media in the months before the October uprising was #it_will_not_be_divided, which aimed to bring attention to Israeli policies preventing Palestinian men and women from entering al-Aqsa Mosque during August and September.
Time Magazine Ignores Facts to Denigrate Israel
Time Magazine has a long and unfortunate history of anti-Israel media bias, dating back many decades. In May 1977, a Time magazine article introducing Menachem Begin, Israel's newly-elected prime minister, began by citing all the negatives attributed to him by his critics, before infamously noting that his name "rhymes with Fagin," the villainous Jew from "Oliver Twist," with all the anti-Semitic implications invoked by that comparison.
Since then, Time Magazine has periodically published egregiously biased and misinformative articles and negative features about Israel, its leaders and society. The magnitude of Time Magazine's anti-Israel bias was evidenced in the frank anti-Israel imagery on a September 2010 cover displaying a large Magen David comprised of daisies with the headline “Why Israel Doesn't Care About Peace” and a story that once again invoked anti-Semitic stereotypes.
This month (April 2016), there were two misleading Time Magazine features on the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, including: 1) a photo essay on Hebron and 2) an article about a controversial decision by a Haifa high school principal to abolish an annual trip to Holocaust sites in Poland.
Media Watchdogs Blast ‘Salon’ for ‘Gross Misrepresentation’ of State Department Report on Israel
The Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America (CAMERA) and HonestReporting — whose self-described purpose is “defending Israel from media bias” — railed against a piece that appeared Monday in the news outlet by political staff writer Ben Norton, titled: “US acknowledges Israel’s unlawful killings, excessive force, torture, discrimination against Palestinians.”
According to Norton, the State Department’s 2015 Country Report on Human Rights Practices “thoroughly details how the Israeli government discriminates against Palestinians in almost every aspect of society.”
He stated, as well, “The US also confirms that Israeli government forces are responsible for unlawful killings and the use of excessive force and torture against Palestinians,” and “The report documents Israel’s violent repression of Palestinian journalists and peaceful activists. It also addresses the hundreds of attacks on Palestinian civilians each year by extremist Israeli settlers, who are guaranteed almost complete impunity.”
According to CAMERA senior research analyst Steven Stotsky, this depiction is utterly inaccurate. “Norton grossly misrepresents the tone and content of the State Department report,” Stotsky told The Algemeiner. “His overall characterization of the report as showing comprehensive discrimination against Palestinians is a distorted reading of what is actually written, and his claim that the State Department ‘confirms’ that the Israeli government is responsible for unlawful killings and the use of excessive force and torture is nowhere to be found.”
Inconsistent BBC
BBC emphasises a Jewish criminal’s religion. It would never do so with a Muslim terrorist.
The BBC leans over backwards not to mention the R.O.P. when they commit crimes in the name of religion but has no problem labeling this man’s religion in both the headline and the introductory paragraph.
Nor would it mention what happens to gays in the Muslim world.
In which BBC Radio 4 tries to explain Zionism without the history
Significantly, neither Freedland nor Stourton make any effort to inform listeners why Jews see their homeland as being in the place Freedland elects to call “Palestine” no fewer than three times during this item but which most Jews would call Eretz Israel – the Land of Israel. Audiences hear absolutely nothing about the Jewish nation’s history in that location, the connection of Jewish traditions and festivals to its land and seasons or the significance of specific sites and landmarks in Jewish religious practices such as the direction of prayer or the mention of Jerusalem at the Pessah Seder and in the Jewish marriage ceremony.
Thus, the portrayal presented by Freedland and Stourton steers listeners towards the inaccurate impression that Zionists just happened to haphazardly prefer that location (which, as noted above, is repeatedly referred to as “Palestine” – crucially without any clarification of what that meant in the 19th century) to the additional options available.
Israeli anti-tunnel tech could thwart US-Mexico smugglers
Smugglers of drugs and illegal migrants using tunnels along the US-Mexico border may want to keep an eye on Israel. The US government, after all, is cosponsoring the tunnel-detection technology now being developed by Israeli engineers.
Described by the Hebrew media as the underground equivalent of Iron Dome anti-missile defense system, this latest innovation hit world headlines upon the announcement that the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) uncovered a two-kilometer-long, concrete-lined tunnel on its Gaza border.
The media is awash with reports about this first-of-its kind tunnel detection system. While the Israeli government has been funding its development for five years, few details about the new system have been reported until now.
News reports say that up to 100 companies – including Iron Dome’s developers, Elbit Systems and Rafael Advanced Defense Systems — are involved in assembling this groundbreaking detection system. Military units, Shin Bet security agency officers, civilian engineering, infrastructure contractors and tunnel construction experts are also credited with helping.
In first, US army uses Iron Dome to down drone
Israel’s Iron Dome missile-defense system successfully intercepted an unmanned drone in the United States earlier this week, in the battery’s first-ever trial on foreign soil.
The US military fired Tamir missiles, the projectiles used in Iron Dome batteries, to successfully down the unmanned aerial vehicle.
According to Israel’s Rafael Advanced Defense Systems, the state-owned company that developed the advanced missile defense systems, the Tamir missile successfully struck and destroyed the target drone.
The trial was conducted by Rafael together with Raytheon, a major American defense contractor and the world’s largest producer of guided missiles.
Rafael quoted the head of the US army’s interceptor program, Lt.-Col. Michael Fitzgerald, as saying the test was part of a larger process of selecting potential air defense systems to be used by the US. So far, the Iron Dome technology has not been sold to foreign militaries.
Censors, transparency watchdogs spar as Israeli archive goes online
The orderly world of archives is in tumult in Israel after an effort to enhance transparency has instead led to allegations that access to sensitive documents is being restricted.
The dispute is rooted in laws requiring online publications to be submitted for military censorship, which means that as the Israel State Archive digitizes its vast trove of documents, papers dealing with national security may undergo new redaction.
In the past, anyone could go to the archive, request documents and view them in its reading room. Now the reading room's operations are being cut, and those same documents could in theory appear online with content scrubbed by the censors.
"I'm all for digitization, but the way it has been handled here raises serious questions of propriety," said Lior Yavne of the Akevot Institute for Israeli-Palestinian Conflict Research, which, backed by the Association for Civil Rights in Israel, has demanded reassurances that the reading room will stay open.
With the archive technically under the authority of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, a conservative lay historian with a less than positive view of the media, scholars whose business it is to delve into Israel's past feel they have reason to fret.
For the director of the archive, Yaacov Lozowick, the controversy is an unwelcome distraction from plans to scan and upload 400 million documents, a task expected to take 25 years.
He says the archive's website is already active and that any document not yet there can be custom-ordered by users and brought online within two weeks.

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