Monday, February 08, 2016

Vote for Best Satire/Humor Hasby Award!

The nominees for Hasby Award for Best Satire/Humor 2016 are:

survey service

Voting open until Sunday.

We have lots of ideas, but we need more resources to be even more effective. Please donate today to help get the message out and to help defend Israel.

02/08 Links Pt2: The Israeli Settler Movement Isn't What You Think; Sanders’s (anti)Israel Advisers

From Ian:

Forward: The Israeli Settler Movement Isn't What You Think
Your cover story painted a distorted and unjust picture of the reality we live on a daily basis — especially as it relates to our young people and the focus of their lives and energies.
We are fully aware of the fact that there is a group of young people who are extreme. Those of us who live in the communities are pained by their actions and speak out against them. However, it is important to know that these youngsters represent a marginal group. Many of these extreme youngsters are dropouts who have been unable to integrate into the regular educational system. They are youth at risk who have no connection with their parents and, like children elsewhere in Israel whose circumstances are compromised, choose a negative path. These children don’t accept the rules, they violate our laws and, sadly, have acted violently against Arabs. These children do not have respect for any authority, including that of the rabbis.
The majority of residents in the communities condemn them, their actions and their ideology. The “price tag” violence has been conducted by a small group and we, in the communities, have begged the police to find them and arrest them.
In addition, we do not generalize and think that all the Arabs are terrorists. We, living in this hostile area, have Palestinian neighbors whom we talk with and from whom we hear their hopes to have a normal life. They are not involved in violence and they know that the situation ruins their lives, too.
We invite the editors, writers and readers to meet us, the average residents in Judea and Samaria. Come and see and hear for yourselves. And we will introduce you to some of our Palestinian neighbors. It will be a huge surprise to discover how the oft-repeated stories about the “settlers” and their children have turned into ingrained misconceptions. We should all have learned the lesson by now that a lie repeated often enough becomes the truth. Let’s work together to get the real story told.
Bernie Sanders’s Questionable Israel Advisers
Bernie Sanders gave a glimpse at his potential foreign policy on Sunday, and his choices of BDS supporter James Zogby and left-wing J Street raise serious questions.
Sanders, the Jewish Senator from Vermont, is infamous for his avowed socialism. On foreign policy, he is more or less a blank slate, making his choice of foreign policy advisers a valuable window into his mindsight and the least-worst predictor of a President Sanders’s policy.
On Sunday, two of the three advisers Sanders chose to identify were vehemently anti-Israel. Sanders told Meet The Press he met recently with Larry Korb, Jim Zogby and J Street.
Legal Insurrection readers will be well familiar with J Street – see one thorough discussion here. Self-described as “pro-Israel, pro-peace,” J Street nevertheless consistently promotes positions antithetical to Israel’s interests. It was founded with funding from George Soros and predictably pursues an agenda similar to his virulent anti-Israel views.
J Street President Jeremy Ben-Ami distanced himself and the organization from Sanders’s comment.
This is really beside the point, though. The salient issue is that Sanders sees J Street as a legitimate and valuable source of advice, whether or not J Street claims or desires a formal relationship.
James Zogby is President of the Arab American Institute. In June, 2015, he wrote an article for Huffington Post titled “BDS: A Legitimate and Moral Response to Israeli Policy.” (h/t Yenta Press)
Jew-hatred ‘recurrent problem’ in Dutch schools
Anti-Semitism is a persistent problem in some Dutch schools and especially among Muslim pupils, according to a new government-commissioned report on discrimination in education.
The findings appeared in a 55-page report titled “Two Worlds, Two Realities – How Do You Deal with It as a Teacher,” which was published last week by Margalith Kleijwegt, a Dutch-Jewish journalist, at the request of the Dutch ministry of education.
The report, which is based on visits to schools and conversations with dozens of teachers since January 2015, say that teachers sometimes feel powerless to change the deep-seated biases and violent attitudes of some pupils, including on Jews.
One female teacher from Amsterdam of high school pupils following a vocational education program told Kleijwegt of a lesson about democratic values and against discrimination, in which a female pupil of Moroccan descent stood up and said: “If I had a Kalashnikov [assault rifle], I’d gun down all the Jews.” She then made shooting gestures and sounds.
Shocked, the teacher tried to make the pupil empathize with a Jew but felt she was not getting through to the pupil.
“I wasn’t getting there,” the report quotes that teacher as saying. “I asked her to imagine a 5-year-old Jewish girl who lives here. What would she have to do with Israel’s policies? Unfortunately, there was no place for empathy. The pupil didn’t care about that girl. She had only one message: The Jews should die.”

Cairo Book Fair has session dedicated to bashing Jews

Yesterday I noted an article in Arab media about research done by Dr. Hassan Zaza who had done "research" about how evil Jews have been throughout history.

It turns out that Dr. Zaza died in 1999. The reason that he is suddenly in the news again is because at the Cairo International Book Fair, being held now, there was an entire session dedicated to promulgating his antisemitic views.

Four academics - Dr. Ibrahim Bahrawy, Dr. Laila Abul-Magd, Dr. Jamal al-Rifai, and Dr. George Kadis - discussed the lasting legacy of the antisemite.

Bahrawy said "Jerusalem is 100% Arab, and the Zionist entity is trying to occupy the region by spreading lies, because they have a dream of a Jewish state from the Nile to the Euphrates." He added that the defeat in 1967 was very painful and Dr. Zaza was instrumental in explaining the Jewish psyche to Egyptians so they can eventually defeat the Zionists. He added that Egypt inflicted heavy losses on Israel during the War of Attrition, but Israel hid the deaths in order to pretend that they were invincible. The jig was up when Dr. Zazs noticed Hebrew poems by girls who were mourning their dead boyfriends.

Bahrawy went on to say that all of the upheaval in the Arab world are because of Israeli machinations behind the scenes, quoting the Oded Yinon "plan" that has convinced generations of haters that the blueprint for Israeli domination was published in an otherwise obscure Israeli journal in 1982.

Dr. Abul-Magd said that the idea that God promised Israel to the Jews is not true because they forfeited their claims on an land after worshiping the Golden Calf.

Dr. al-Rifai seems to have pushed his hate of Jews into Muslim apostasy, saying that King Solomon never existed or was greatly exaggerated. But, you might ask, the Quran mentions King Solomon? "The Quran is not a history book," answers Dr. al-Rifai.

There were other controversies at the Cairo International Book Fair that involved Israel. A couple of publishing houses apparently showed copies of books from leftist Israelis translated into Arabic, which led some to accuse them of "normalizing" relations with Israel. In at least one case (sorry, I am going from memory here) the publisher answered that the original Israeli author didn't make a dime on the book sales because they didn't seek permission to publish him to begin with.

(h/t Bob K)

We have lots of ideas, but we need more resources to be even more effective. Please donate today to help get the message out and to help defend Israel.

How an anti-Israel rumor gets started

Israel Hayom reports:
Most of the Israeli public supports taking action against Balad MKs Hanin Zoabi, Basel Ghattas and Jamal Zahalka over their meeting last week with the families of Palestinian terrorists, an Israel Hayom survey conducted Sunday by the New Wave Research Institute has found.

Asked "What course of action do you think should be taken in the case of the three Arab MKs who met with Palestinian terrorists' families?" 57% of respondents said they should be expelled from the Knesset and 35% said they should be prosecuted for incitement. Only 8% said they believed the MKs had not exceeded their authority and no action should be taken against them.
How Palestinian Arab media reported this:
An opinion poll conducted by the newspaper "Israel Hayom", shows the extent of racist extremism among Israeli Jews, with 57% of them supporting the expulsion of Arabs from the Knesset.

The 35% of respondents believed that they must be brought to trial.

And only 8% said that Arab MPs had acted within the framework of their office.

This exposed the Arab members of Knesset to a fierce attack by the occupation government, parties and other parliamentary blocs in the Knesset showing their racist attitudes towards those that reject the Israeli occupation.
The Arab media pretends that Israelis upset over members of their government openly supporting murderers are really just racist.

We have lots of ideas, but we need more resources to be even more effective. Please donate today to help get the message out and to help defend Israel.

02/08 Links Pt1: UN chief heckled at NY synagogue during Holocaust speech; Iran Infiltrates the WB

From Ian:

UN chief heckled at NY synagogue during Holocaust speech
UN Director General Ban Ki-moon was met with jeers and heckling Saturday at the Park East Synagogue in New York, where he delivered an address in honor of International Holocaust Remembrance Day.
Congregants at the Manhattan synagogue accused the UN chief of justifying terror, with some saying his comments attributing a wave of near-daily Palestinian attacks to “frustration” was like rationalizing the 9/11 attacks, the Walla news site reported.
Two weeks ago, Ban’s comments — that “it is human nature to react to occupation, which often serves as a potent incubator of hate and extremism” — drew a furious response from Israel.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu accused him of “stoking terror.” The UN has “lost its neutrality and its moral force, and these statements by the secretary-general do nothing to improve its situation,” he said in an angry video statement.
Ban subsequently reiterated his harsh criticism of Israel’s policies in the West Bank, but stressed that his words under no circumstances amounted to a justification for terror attacks.
Ban did not mention Israel in his speech on Saturday.
Israeli envoy Danon: Palestinians citing UN Secretary General to excuse terror
In a speech at the monthly Security Council debate on the Middle East earlier this month, Secretary- General Ban Ki- Moon, addressing the issue of Palestinian terror, said that “as oppressed peoples have demonstrated throughout the ages, it is human nature to react to occupation, which often serves as a potent incubator of hate and extremism.”
Ban made his remarks on the same day that terrorist victim Shlomit Krigman, 23, was buried in Jerusalem. The young woman was fatally stabbed on Monday evening by two Palestinian terrorists.
"Palestinian terrorism is using your words to excuse its actions," Danon wrote in response to the statements made by the Fatah spokesperson.
"Your words have created two categories of terrorism: Terror against Israel, and then the rest of the world," Danon explained.
Danon explained to the Secretary General that an additional terrorist attack had been executed in Israel's capital city of Jerusalem since his statements, and that only the bravery of Hadar Cohen, a 19 year old police officer, prevented a large scale attack by paying the price of her life.
"Since when is it the job of the UN to find justifications for terror?," asked Danon. "Since when does the UN create two categories for terrorism and its victims?"
In closing, Danon wrote, "I urge you to retract your statements and to make it clear that there is no justification for the bloodshed of Israeli victims."
Jewish boy, 11, stabbed and wounded in Ramle
An 11-year-old Jewish boy was stabbed and wounded Monday in an attack in the central Israeli town of Ramle.
The attacker fled the scene, apparently toward the Jawaresh neighborhood of the city.
The boy was hospitalized with moderate injuries, the Magen David Adom emergency service said. The child said that the assailant was an Arab. A 17-year-old Arab youth was arrested a short time later on suspicion of carrying out the attack.
The victim said he was walking down the street when an Arab teen asked him for a lighter, and stabbed him when he answered he did not have one.

EoZTV: Travel+Leisure magazine removes Instagram post mentioning Israel

Here is the EoZTV version of the story I broke yesterday about how Travel+Leisure magazine apparently caved to threats by haters when they couldn't stand the idea of the word "Israel" being in their Instagram feed.

We have lots of ideas, but we need more resources to be even more effective. Please donate today to help get the message out and to help defend Israel.

Violent protests force ICRC offices to close in Gaza, even after safety assurances

2014 attack against Red Cross vehicle in Gaza
Yesterday, AP reported:
The International Committee of the Red Cross says it is temporarily closing its Gaza office after protesters repeatedly tried to storm it.

Spokeswoman Suhair Zakkout said the office will operate remotely until "local authorities in Gaza provide assurances that our premises, work and staff are respected."

Dozens of Gazans have protested daily at the office in recent weeks in solidarity with a Palestinian hunger striker detained by Israel, demanding that the Red Cross help bring about his release. They tried to enter the building forcefully on Sunday, smashing garage windows and causing other damage.

Mohammed al-Qeq, a 33-year old journalist, has been on a hunger strike for 75 days.

Israel's Shin Bet security service says al-Qeq is involved in militant activity.
Last night there was an apparent agreement between Hamas and the Red Cross that would allow it to re-open today. ICRC spokesperson SZ Zaqout told the media that the Red Cross agreed to resume work as usual today. It appears that a side deal may have been struck between the protesters - many of them journalists - and the ICRC to have the organization be more vocal in protest over Israel's holding of al-Qiq who is said to be close to death.

Paletinian media have been filled with posters in support for al-Qiq.

Today, despite Hamas' assurances, the Red Cross offices in al-Bireh were again forced to close by a group of protesters.

There is a long history of Palestinians violently protesting the NGOs that are dedicated to helping them. When it happens to UNRWA, usually the agency tries to sweep the incidents under the rug, which is one reason that the media ignores those stories. In this case the Red Cross publicly said that they refuse to work under conditions that would endanger their employees.

The difference is that UNRWA does not want to shame their Arab clients by publicizing their violent activity. The Red Cross, on the other hand, values its own mission more than the honor of the violent protesters. Even though this local office was still closed, the fast response by Hamas in this case as opposed to their foot-dragging when it happens to UNRWA shows that shame is a powerful weapon against obscene behavior by Arabs - but it is a weapon that Western NGOs and reporters and politicians are loath to use.

We have lots of ideas, but we need more resources to be even more effective. Please donate today to help get the message out and to help defend Israel.

Frustrated Gazans ask jetsetting leader Khaled Meshal to "Come live in Gaza"

A new social media campaign from Gaza is "spreading like wildfire," according to Karama Press.

24 year old and unemployed Gazan Ahmed Nafez started the hashtag "#Khaled_Meshal, #Come_live_in_Gaza" as a way to express indignation and anger at the Hamas leaders in Gaza.

Khaled Meshal, the political leader of Hamas, is an obvious target, as he is known for traveling in style between villas and luxury hotels in Doha and Ankara.

Despite the tightening control Hamas exerts over Gaza's Internet, others quickly created their own versions.

A 19-year old woman named Nola Mohammed joined in, creating numerous posters targeting Meshal. Her father was not able to pay her university tuition this semester, but at the same time he sees her neighbor who is prominent in Hamas with a modern car whose two sons enjoy full scholarships in universities in Turkey.

(h/t Bob Knot)

We have lots of ideas, but we need more resources to be even more effective. Please donate today to help get the message out and to help defend Israel.

Sunday, February 07, 2016

Hasby Awards voting: Best Own Goal

For Super Bowl Sunday (please don't sue me NFL), what could be more appropriate than to open the voting for the Best Own Goal Hasy Award, given to the best example of an anti-Israel idiot making an even greater fool of him or herself.

The nominees are:

Roger Waters, Lifetime Achievement 

web survey

Voting will be allowed all week.

(Hopefully more polls will be coming soon, been busy...)

We have lots of ideas, but we need more resources to be even more effective. Please donate today to help get the message out and to help defend Israel.

02/07 Links: PA official: 'Do we have to hijack planes for you to care about our cause?'

From Ian:

Letter to Ban Ki-moon on Terrorism & “Human Nature”
Dear Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon,
Tomorrow when you attend synagogue to mark International Holocaust Remembrance Day—after two weeks when you singled out Israel at the Security Council and in the New York Times—I hope you will pay heed to the following verses of Exodus in the weekly Bible portion that will be read out before the congregation:
“Do not spread a false report… Do not follow the crowd to do evil; neither shall you testify in a dispute by siding with the multitude to pervert justice.” (Exodus XXIII)
As you begin your 10th year as Secretary-General of the United Nations, I hope you reflect upon these words, and on how your conduct has changed over time.
Because I remember when, during your first year in office, in 2007, you admirably criticized the Human Rights Council after it decided to permanently single out Israel under a special agenda item at every one of its meetings. You were sharply rebuked for this by the 56-strong Islamic group.
Today, perhaps because you have been stung by such rebukes from the multitude that dominates your organization—including the 120-strong Non-Aligned Movement, now chaired by Iran—too often your own actions, and those carried out by U.N. officials under your command, spread false reports, follow the crowd to do evil, and deliver testimony that perverts justice.
Mr. Secretary-General, your op-ed was entitled “Don’t shoot the messenger, Israel.” Perhaps you ought to consider that the U.N. is not a messenger here, but a key actor; and that, too often, your organization’s actions encourage, enable and legitimize terrorism.
If you unequivocally condemn terrorism that strikes French, American, and Nigerian victims, without expressing sympathy and understanding with the alleged grievances of the murderers, you should do no different when the victims are Israelis.
I conclude again with the words of the Bible:
“Do not spread a false report… Do not follow the crowd to do evil; neither shall you testify in a dispute by siding with the multitude to pervert justice.”
Poll: Palestinian support for 'intifada' is falling
During a similar poll that was conducted in November, 63 percent of the people asked responded that they were in favor of another intifada breaking out. In the recent poll that number diminished to only 42 percent. A majority of Palestinians who answered, some 54 percent, said that they were against another intifada breaking out. 50 percent believe that such an intifada would delay the establishment of a Palestinian state.
Other statistics that were published in the poll included results from questions about Palestinian governance and hypothetical election results. Through the responses it was revealed that 79 percent of Palestinians are against the dissolution of the Palestinian Authority and returning full control of area "A" to Israel, whereas 14 percent of Palestinians support the move.
Questions regarding the Palestinian leadership to follow President Mahmoud Abbas were asked, and based upon the answers Fatah would gain a minority government in both the PA and Gaza. However an overwhelming majority felt that open elections were the best method to select their next leader.
Senior PA official: 'Do we have to hijack planes for you to care about our cause?'
A senior Palestinian Authority official has suggested that the West ignores the Palestinians when they maintain security, rhetorically asking if they have to resort to "hijacking planes" and "destroying airports" to garner Western support for the Palestinian cause.
In an interview translated by MEMRI on the PA-backed station Awdha TV last week, Nabil Sha'ath asserted that being moderate does not turn heads.
He sought to substantiate his claim by drawing attention to the ongoing refugee situation in Europe: "If the Syrian problem had not been exported to Europe - through refugees, on the one hand, and terrorism, on the other - the Europeans would not have cared even if the entire Syrian people had died."
Sha'ath stated that the European decision to finally deal with the Syrian crisis was not motivated by good-willed humanitarianism, but rather by a fear that the massive influx of "non-Anglo-Saxon" refugees would alter the composition of the population.
"But when all of a sudden there were four million Syrian refugees in Europe, and when this was accompanied by ISIS operations in France and elsewhere...it started a debate about racial transformation, the entrance of non-white, non-European races," he said in the interview.
Nabil Shaath on International Peace Conference: Anything Is Better than U.S.-Led Negotiations

Hamas executes one of its own for "moral excesses" (update)

The Al Qassam Brigades of Hamas announced that it executed its own member, Mahmoud Rushdie Eshtewi, for what it called "behavioral and moral excesses."

In a statement on its website, it said "The Martyr Izz el-Deen al-Qassam Brigades at 16:00 pm on Sunday, 28 April 1437 H corresponding 7-2-2016, implementated the death sentence against a member of the al-Qassam Brigades, Mahmoud Rushdie Eshtewi, by military courts and the sharia judiciary of the al-Qassam Brigades for behavioral and moral excesses."

Usually, when Hamas executes a suspected spy or "collaborator" with Israel, they do not announce his name. Either this is a change of policy or he was sentenced to death for some other equally heinous crime, like homosexuality.

Palestine Press Agency says that this is the first time Hamas has ever executed one of its own members. Eshtawi was arrested last summer and his family has been staging sit-ins to find out his fate. According to the article, he was ranked fairly highly and had been the target of Israeli airstrikes.

It will be interesting to see how strongly "human rights" organizations denounce this application of the death penalty - if at all.

(h/t Bob Knot)

Websites linked to the Palestinian Fatah group had in the past alleged that Eshtawi had led Israel to the hiding place of Hamas commander Muhammed Deif during the 2014 Gaza war, resulting in a failed assassination attempt against him, according to Israel Radio.

Executions have previously been carried out in the Gaza Strip, including in public squares in the Palestinian territory, but it appeared to be the first time Al-Qassam itself had sentenced one of its own through a court martial and executed him.

We have lots of ideas, but we need more resources to be even more effective. Please donate today to help get the message out and to help defend Israel.

The Unabashed Zionist (Michael Lumish)

Anyone who follows the Long Arab War against the Jews of the Middle East knows about the harassment of vocal pro-Israel professors on western university campuses, including in the United States.

As I wrote in a piece last summer:
Professor Andew Pessin is a Professor of Philosophy at Connecticut College.  He studied at Yale and earned a PhD at Columbia University.  He is the author of five books, including most recently Uncommon Sense: The Strangest Ideas From The Smartest Philosophers.  He is also friendly to the Jewish State of Israel and in opposition to political Islam for reasons having to do with social justice and human rights.
Pessin, as you will recall, took a beating on his home campus for daring to disparage Hamas. Meanwhile, at San Francisco State University, professors Rabab Abdulhadi and Trevor R. Getz have partnered with what is perhaps the most racist university in the entire world, An-Najah National University, in the Palestinian Authority controlled town of Nablus. and nobody even blinks.

The ADL has this to say about An-Najah National University:
An-Najah University, in the West Bank city of Nablus, has been a flashpoint in the conflict between Israel and Palestinians since at least 1980, when violent anti-Israel protests led the Israeli military to close the school intermittently. Today the student council of An-Najah is known for its advocacy of anti-Israel violence and its recruitment of Palestinian college students into terrorist groups. The council, almost completely controlled by factions loyal to Hamas, Islamic Jihad and Fatah, glorifies suicide bombings and propagandizes for jihad against Israel. Hamas has described An-Najah as a "greenhouse for martyrs." 
Yet San Francisco State University supported Abdulhadi, while Connecticut College turned its back on Pessin. Is this the sad condition of American campuses these days? Supporting a genocidal organization like Hamas is A-OK from a progressive-left viewpoint, but supporting the lone, sole Jewish-democratic country in the entire world is verboten and considered illiberal?

Well, I am pleased to see that Professor Pessin, is well-liked by most of his students, one of whom wrote this:
actually the best professor at conn. intensely passionate about the subject matter and works exceptionally hard to make sure his wording is precise and his arguments are clear. will go out of his way to help, he read 8 drafts of one of my essays. take pessin's classes if you want to learn rigorous (real) philosophy.
Aside from garnering the support of some very well respected colleagues at nearby universities, such as Richard Landes of Boston University, and successfully high-lighting the issue of anti-Jewish support for genocidal terrorists on American college campuses, he has also started up his own venue which he calls The Unabashed Zionist.
"Because an unabashed Zionist is better than a bashed one."
I could not agree more.

In a recent piece by Noah Beck of the Algemeiner we learn:
A pro-Israel professor won’t be on campus at Connecticut College when classes start Monday, missing the second straight semester since his 2014 Facebook post criticizing Hamas led to death threats and ostracism.

Andrew Pessin “requested and received a sabbatical for the Spring semester to continue his studies in Jewish philosophy and Israel studies,” Connecticut College spokeswoman Pamela Serfes said in an email last week. “He has been and continues to be a valued member of the Connecticut College faculty.”

The vague and misleading response glosses over the intensity of the campaign against Pessin — he first took a medical leave last spring as a smear campaign against him was at full throat. The controversy exposed an administration unwilling to enforce its own honor code to protect a professor against anti-Israel activists and a student journalist responsible for covering the very controversy she had joined.
It seems to me that those of us in the pro-Jewish / pro-Israel community need to stand up for this guy... which is why I am writing this piece.

Check out The Unabashed Zionist and lend your vocal support to Professor Pessin who did nothing more than disparage Hamas, an organization in great need of disparagement from decent people everywhere.

In the Hamas Charter we read:
Within the circle of the conflict with world Zionism, the Hamas regards itself the spearhead and the avant-garde. It joins its efforts to all those who are active on the Palestinian scene, but more steps need to be taken by the Arab and Islamic peoples and Islamic associations throughout the Arab and Islamic world in order to make possible the next round with the Jews, the merchants of war.
The next round with the Jews.

This document is nothing less than a call for the genocide of the Jewish people within living memory of the Holocaust, yet Pessin gets called to the carpet for strongly disagreeing.

I have tended to be critical of San Francisco State University because it is one of the most racist universities in the entire country, but Connecticut College made an exceedingly bad decision when that administration refused to stand up for Dr. Pessin.

May he find greener pastures elsewhere.

Michael Lumish is a blogger at the Israel Thrives blog as well as a regular contributor/blogger at Times of Israel and Jews Down Under.

We have lots of ideas, but we need more resources to be even more effective. Please donate today to help get the message out and to help defend Israel.