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Friday, August 31, 2012

BDS: Cultural graffiti

Starting last night, the Batsheva Dance Company is performing in Edinburgh, Scotland. Naturally, the Israel-haters are out in force, both noisily protesting outside and - last night - interrupting the performance three times from inside the theatre.

A number of Israelis refer to the BDS actions against Israeli artists as "cultural terror." I think that is an overstatement, and it also gives them too much credit. In reality, what they do is cultural graffiti.

On the surface, one might think that both graffiti artists and BDSers are motivated to get an important message out to the world. The scrawler on walls is, after all, spending time creating something for people to look at, and the boycotters are noisily chanting for their cause.

But only a little digging finds that both of them are driven not by altruism but by egocentrism. Just as graffiti artists usually emphasize painting their own code names, BDSers are obsessed with their own sense of self-worth. A look at their triumphant tweets shows that they are proud not so much at getting their message out as in bragging about successfully doing something very simple - shouting. Even then, as is often the case, they wildly exaggerate their supposed victories in order to feel important. (They showed great happiness and pride at forcing an Israeli official to use the side door to avoid injury.)

Both the graffiti artists and the BDSers will carefully plan their crimes, coming up with ways to avoid the police and security guards. The fundamental skills needed for both are quite limited - anyone can spray paint and anyone can shout robotic slogans. The fact that some are more talented than others in their space doesn't detract from the basic fact that they are both immensely proud of thinking that they can bypass authority, something that take very little skill.

Another commonality they have is the misguided notion that what they are doing makes a difference. They think that their illicit activities somehow serve a higher purpose, and they ascribe false morality to immoral activities.They regard themselves as having a more refined notion of what is right and wrong than ordinary people. This is again an offshoot of their fundamental egoism.

Related to that is that both groups are so self-centered that they have an utter indifference to the effects their acts have on others. Their actions cost them little but they cost the public a great deal, in extra security as well as in the psychic costs of living in an environment made deliberately uncomfortable by selfish blowhards.

Finally, in both cases, when they do get caught by authorities, they believe that this gives them more credibility in their own communities.

In the end, the self-righteous BDSers are no more than a bunch of kids with paint cans.

Some choice nuggets from Iran's Supreme Leader

The complete text of Ayatollah Khamanei's speech to the NAM summit is online, and it has some doozies:

The UN Security Council has an illogical, unjust and completely undemocratic structure and mechanism. This is a flagrant form of dictatorship, which is antiquated and obsolete and whose expiry date has passed. It is through abusing this improper mechanism that America and its accomplices have managed to disguise their bullying as noble concepts and impose it on the world....Torture and assassination are permissible and completely ignored if they are carried out by America, the Zionists and their puppets.

...The U.S. and its Western allies have armed the usurper Zionist regime with nuclear weapons and created a major threat for this sensitive region. Yet the same deceitful group does not tolerate the peaceful use of nuclear energy by independent countries, and even opposes, with all its strength, the production of nuclear fuel for radiopharmaceuticals and other peaceful and humane purposes. Their pretext is fear of production of nuclear weapons. In the case of the Islamic Republic of Iran, they themselves know that they are lying, but lies are sanctioned by the kind of politics that is completely devoid of the slightest trace of spirituality.
And spiritual people like Khamanei wouldn't lie, would he? I mean, the thousands of centrifuges being built underneath mountains are for medicine, right?
...The summary of this matter is that on the basis of a horrible Western plot and under the direction of England in the 1940s, an independent country with a clear historical identity called “Palestine” has been taken away from its people through the use of weapons, killings and deception and has been given to a group of people the majority of whom are immigrants from European countries.
Well, maybe he'll lie a teensy bit.
...Political and military leaders of the usurping Zionist regime have not avoided any crimes during this time: from killing the people, destroying their homes and farms and arresting and torturing men and women and even their children, to humiliating and insulting that nation and trying to destroy it in order to digest it in the haraam-eating stomach of the Zionist regime, to attacking their refugee camps in Palestine itself and in the neighboring countries where millions of refugees live.
Apparently, Khamanei wants all non-kosher restaurants in Tel Aviv to close down.
Even now after 65 years the same kind of crimes marks the treatment of Palestinians remaining in the occupied territories by the ferocious Zionist wolves.
Doesn't he mean a crossbreed between wolves and pigs?
Now I would like to give a benevolent piece of advice to American politicians who always stood up to defend and support the Zionist regime. So far, this regime has created countless problems for you. It has presented a hateful image of you to the regional peoples, and it has made you look like an accomplice in the crimes of the usurping Zionists. The material and moral costs borne by the American government and people on account of this are staggering, and if this continues, the costs might become even heavier in the future.
If the leaders of Iran would kill themselves and democratic elections would follow, the US would save even more money!

Just a benevolent piece of advice.

Friday links

From Ian:

IDF Blog Palestinian Terrorist Group Graduates Its First Class from New Academy
"The PRC, along with Hamas and Islamic Jihad, tries to enlist and train as many terrorists as they can in order to be able to fire rockets into Israel and fight the Israel Defense Forces. The PRC has established the Shahid Imad Hamad Academy of Military Training for this purpose. This week, the first class graduated from the academy."

Israel’s Right to Exist Not Based Upon UN Resolution
"Jewish rights to the Land of Israel are steeped in four millenia of facts. The right to re-establish a country on the entirety or any portion of this land stems from writ and deed, and from the continual presence of Jewish communities dwelling in the land throughout the epochs. Living descendants of these die-hard, holdout communities are firm links in the chain of generations, and proffer irrefutable proof. Every archaeological Tel and architectural artefact testifies to the truth. All remnants and ruins bear witness. Relics substantiate and place-names verify."

Romney: Obama 'threw Israel under the bus'
As he accepts Republican presidential nomination, former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney slams president's Iran policy • Every American is less secure today because Obama failed to slow Iran's nuclear threat ... We're still talking, and Iran’s centrifuges are still spinning, says Romney.

Iraqi Ally of Israel Dispossessed of his Home, he Says by Iraqi PM Maliki
"Former Iraqi Parliamentarian Mithal al-Alusi, who in a series of recent interviews with The Algemeiner has spoken of Iran’s alleged bribery of numerous Iraqi officials, says he has received notice from the office of Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki that he is being dispossessed of his home in Baghdad’s Green Zone."

UN investigator condemns Corrie court ruling
Richard Falk, a UN special rapporteur on human rights says decision "a victory for impunity for Israeli military."
Jimmy Carter calls Corrie ruling ‘unacceptable’
Former US president says decision exonerating IDF in activist’s death ‘confirms a climate of impunity
[There's that word again! -EoZ]

Pro-Palestinian group offers BDS tour of Australian stores
Sally McGregor, an American podiatrist who founded the Brisbane shop in 1994, said members of the group occupied her store until police were called and eventually moved them on, the newspaper The Australian reported Thursday.
“I am really scared that they will return and damage my business, but I will not be told what I should or should not stock,” she told J-Wire, a local Jewish website.A letter was given to owners of several stores visited by the group, asking them to “stop importing and selling goods from Israel,” according to the Justice for Palestine website.
Danny Lamm, president of the Executive Council of Australian Jewry, told The Australian: “These mafia-style tactics have no place in contemporary Australia. The shop owner deserves our admiration and every support for refusing to be stood over.”

LAPD: ‘Active’ Terror Plots Linked To Iran, Hezbollah, ‘Sovereign Citizens’
The Department is currently tracking “government of Iran operatives, Hezbollah, sovereign citizen, homegrown violent extremists, animal rights groups” and others, Downing said.
He added that Iranian or Hezbollah agents may initiate attacks locally if war erupts between the U.S. and Iran.

Muslim Persecution of Christians: July, 2012 by Raymond Ibrahim

Egypt's Salafi Party Objects to Banning Sex Slavery by Raymond Ibrahim

‘June 67 taught them respect’: Heavy-metal Swedes hail the IDF
Hard rockers Sabaton spend their only free day on tour in Israel visiting Ammunition Hill and army base in West Bank

The greenest house in the world?
Students at Ariel University marshal all sorts of techniques to build an environmentally sound abode

Israel Daily Picture Ottoman General at the Damascus Gate 1916
“...the street was full of observant Jews dressed in their Sabbath finery.”


Richard Millett: Paralympics are Go: Israeli team receives warm welcome from home crowd.

And a full-length dramatic film about the Jewish founder of the Paralympics, Sir Ludwig Guttmann:



Also, Iran's translator tampers with Morsi's NAM speech. (h/t O)

Robot gives science lesson at Israeli school

From Digital Journal:



Technology is making a bigger and bigger impact in the classroom and this summer, RoboThespian, a robotic actor, got a summer job as a guest science teacher for a group of grade 5 and 6 students in Israel.

Technion, the Israel Institute of Technology, describes RoboThespian as a robot that gestures, has facial expressions and multiple vocal effects. It was purchased by Israel’s National Museum of Science, Technology and Space from British company Engineered Arts Limited back in 2010 for a Robot Zoo exhibition.

Then this month the robot was put to work, giving a live lesson to kids on the science of levers. Prof. Igor Verner of the Technion’s Department of Education in Technology and Science tells the Institute’s magazine Focus, “We’ve just witnessed one of the first ever formal science lessons given by a robot.”

(h/t NoCamels)

Will Arab/Iranian Paralympians refuse to compete against Israel?

While the idea of countries refusing to compete against Israel in international sport is reprehensible enough, it will be interesting to see if they also refuse to compete in the Paralympics,which are going on now.

So far, I've only found one competition where an Israeli and Arab were together, the second heat of the men's 100m backstroke that was held yesterday. Israeli swimmer Yoav Valinsky competed in the lane right next to Iraqi Jawad Kadhim Joudah Joudah. Neither of them advanced but Joudan ended up in fourth place with Valinsky in sixth.

Israel is competing against UAE in a shooting competition but in that case the athletes are not competing at the same time. Israel's other main sports seem to be table tennis and sailing, with no apparent Arab or Iranian competition.

So far, one Israeli swimmer has won one bronze medal. 

By the way, this commercial for British TV coverage of the Paralympics is a must-see:



Report: Gaza vegetables being smuggled to Saudi Arabia

Palestine Press Agency reports that vegetable prices have risen dramatically in Gaza recently, while the prices of fruit have declined.

According to a dealer interviewed, the reason for the rise in prices is that Gazans have been smuggling their vegetables through Rafah tunnels to sell them to Saudi Arabia, which pays better than the local market.

The produce smuggled out include tomatoes, potatoes and eggplant.

Earlier this month, a shipment of vegetables was exported from Gaza through Kerem Shalom to Saudi Arabia, according to Arab media.

Saudi vegetable prices doubled over the summer due to a severe shortage because of the high summer temperatures and drought conditions, so the idea that there is a black market in imported Gaza vegetables is not so far-fetched. 

In July, Saudi Arabia ended a 20-year ban on importing vegetables from Jordan as well, apparently to ease the shortage.


Egyptian officials accuse Mossad of assassinating Sinai jihadist (update)

From Ma'an:
Egyptian security officials said Thursday that three Bedouin men from the Sinai are suspected of involvement in the killing of an Islamist militant earlier this week.

Two of them fled to Israel on Wednesday, while another was captured by a Jihadi group, the officials said.

Egyptian intelligence reports also accused Israel's security service Mossad of being involved in the operation.

Ibrahim Owida Nasser Madan was killed in an explosion while riding his motorcycle south of Al-Qasiya, 15 kilometers from the Israeli border, on Sunday.

At the time, an Egyptian intelligence report said he was hit by a missile fired by an Israeli drone.

Other officials told Ma'an that Madan may have been killed by a missile which exploded while militants were trying to launch it.

Israel told Egyptian authorities it was not involved in the incident, Egyptian security sources said.

Madan, a member of a Jihadi militant group, had just been released by Egyptian security services after he was detained a few days ago during an Egyptian security campaign in northern Sinai, the intelligence report said.
This article doesn't directly say that Madan was killed by a drone, but Egyptian media is saying that. According to those reports, the Bedouin acted as spotters and called in the drone to kill him.

Their evidence? They say that there was a crater three meters deep and three meters wide where the motorcycle exploded, and if he was carrying explosives or ran over a mine it would not create such a crater.

That would be convincing evidence - if it was true. But here are two photos of the motorcycle; the first one while it was still burning and unlikely to have been moved:



Can you see any crater, let alone one ten feet deep?

In fact, the photos pretty much prove that it was not an Israeli drone that killed him. The accusations of Bedouin who escaped to Israel could be a cover-up in order to hide the fact that Egyptian security could not find them, or it might actually be true that the Bedouin who know the desert went over the border just to hide until the heat is off.

I somehow doubt that the Mossad has drones!

A Daily Star (Lebanon) report at the time made a bit more sense:
Witnesses said he was killed in an explosion as he tried to fire a rocket, and as an Israeli military drone hovered in the sky above its side of the border.

But the Mossad story is so appealing when you are already a crazed conspiracy theorist who already blames the Mossad for everything. Like most Arabs and some of their biggest fans.

UPDATE: Challah Hu Akbar points out that these photos, while accompanying a number of stories about the incident, are from an earlier Sinai incident. The real photos show a crater but it still does not look like it came from a missile (which would leave some shrapnel, directed downward), rather an explosion or a landmine: It does appear to be 3 meters wide in the sand but not close to three meters deep.


UPDATE 2:
Egyptian police said they found a decapitated head in Sinai on Friday of a man kidnapped by Islamist militants, reportedly for his role in assassinating an extremist.

A security official said another man, also accused in the assassination, was believed to have been kidnapped by the Bedouin militants.

A Bedouin tribal source said the head found in the Muqatta area in north Sinai belonged to Manazil Bereikat from the same tribe of an extremist killed in a mysterious explosion near the Israeli border on August 26.

At the time, witnesses said the militant, Ibrahim Ouda Bereikat, died in a blast as he tried to fire a rocket into Israel. Security sources said he might have been killed in a landmine.

The Bedouin source, who requested anonymity because of the sensitivity of the subject, said the militants behind Manazil’s kidnapping accused him and several other men of planting a booby trap to assassinate Ouda Bereikat.

The security official said two other men the militants were hunting to avenge Ouda Bereikat’s death fled across the border into Israel.
Booby trap, landmine, malfunctioning rocket, missile? The stories change with the wind.

Miracle in Sderot as rocket hits house but fizzles

Is this even considered news anymore?:
The Color Red alert was sounded twice in Sderot and the surrounding area in the early hours of Friday morning. A short time later a rocket exploded in Sderot, hitting a home but miraculously – no one was injured...

Security forces arrived at the scene to remove the Qassam rocket, which failed to explode completely when it hit the house.

An additional rocket exploded in an open area in Sderot, no injuries were reported.

Later on Friday morning a rocket fired from Gaza has hit the Hof Ashkelon Regional Council, evidently exploding in an open area – but security forces have yet to locate the explosion site.

Limor Aflalo, the owner of the house that was hit by the rocket, told Haaretz that this was the second time a Qassam has hit her home: "This happens to us again, it's just desperation, thank God that there is damage only to property and not to any person, this is a great miracle, but at some point these miracles stop," she said.

"I'm not going to leave my house. In 2007, we left the house because of the Qassams, but I can't leave again, and now we're going back to that reality. It is hard for my children to deal with this. I do not believe in the phrase 'be strong' anymore. It's so sad that this is happening and that they are allowing this to happen. This is the fifth [rocket] to fall in our neighborhood, the second in my house. We hope it will stop," she added.

The rocket fell on the ceiling of her home. It broke the roof of her house, and then landed in her neighbor's garden.

The mayor of Sderot David Buskila said on Friday, "We can't relax here, we are going back to the tough days [of rockets falling] in Sderot. Sometimes there are lulls but the shooting has gone on for 12 years now. There was a miracle here."
GANSO did not report on any of these rockets.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

$40K grant to Ontario hatefest showing fake Gaza kids artwork

Notice how the people are drawn in a single-line outline - no child does that.
Festivals and Events Ontario supports and gives grants to various public festivals in Ontario, Canada. This year they gave $40,000 to MuslimFest, which takes place this weekend.

Normally, there would be nothing wrong with that. But in this case, MuslimFest is a hatefest.

It is showing an exhibition of the fake children's artwork from Gaza that is nothing but contrived anti-Israel propaganda, as I discussed previously.

Already a year ago I showed evidence that most of the "art" was not drawn by children at all, both from the style and from the simple fact that the artists didn't sign their names nor are they named in the exhibit. I added more information in this article for the Algemeiner.

This exhibit is vicious anti-Israel hate that uses a falsified story about the "art"origins in order to incite hate against Israel. Yet this fake art exhibit continued to be shown across the US and Canada.

Eye on a Crazy Planet reports that Muslim Brotherhood-linked IRFAN is also sponsoring this festival.

FEO should have more oversight on what they give their money to. The idea that a public festival is a venue for indoctrinating hate is something that simply should never happen in Ontario.

(h/t BlazingCatFur)

Rachel Corrie DID get college credit for joining ISM

Yesterday, I asked whether Rachel Corrie received college credit for joining the ISM in Gaza. I based this on a 2003 article that said that all Evergreen students in Rafah were getting independent study credit.

It looks like Corrie had set up her trip to Gaza as an independent study course at Evergreen. A lengthy 2003 article in Mother Jones tracing Corrie's journey says:
In the fall of her senior year a friend returned from five months in Gaza and talked enthusiastically to Corrie about the International Solidarity Movement, a pro-Palestinian activist group founded just the year before. A motley collection of anti-globalization and animal-rights activists, self-described anarchists and seekers, most in their 20s, the ISM upholds the right of Palestinians to carry out "armed struggle" and seeks "to establish divestment campaigns in the U.S. and Europe to put economic pressure on Israel the same way the international com- munity put pressure [on] South Africa during the apartheid regimes."

...Corrie proposed an independent-study program in which she would travel to Gaza, join the ISM team, and initiate a "sister city" project between Olympia and Rafah.
So indeed, Corrie went to Gaza with the expectation of receiving college credit for her work.

I still don't know which of her teachers sponsored her study program. Footnotes in the book based on her journals list three radical anti-Israel teachers who encouraged her to go: Simona Sharoni (who I mentioned in yesterday's post,) Steve Niva and Jean Eberhardt.

Steve Niva is a piece of work. In an article he wrote for Electronic Intifada on the first anniversary of Corrie's death, he defended her for burning the American flag - and made it sound like it was her patriotic duty!

Israeli apologists frequently circulate a picture of Rachel burning an American flag at a Palestinian demonstration, as if to prove that she was an irresponsible promoter of anti-American hatred.

Yet the most important point that her critics miss is that the symbol of an American questioning her government’s policy in the Middle East is extremely important and highly beneficial to Americans in general. It is very important for Americans to show people in this region that America is not monolithic and that some American civilians strongly disagree with their government’s policies. Lack of exposure to these voices is a major factor that increases the likelihood of terrorism and animosity towards American citizens.

Compared to the immensely dangerous impact on regional public opinion of the widely disseminated images of U.S. Marines placing flags on Iraqi government symbols during the recent war, Rachel’s act appears altruistic. Americans should be thankful for people like Rachel who uphold deeply rooted American values about freedom from illegitimate domination and for presenting a progressive image to the world.

Get that? Burning the symbol of America represents American values!

The Mother Jones article disputes the Corrie's parents contention that the area was not a war zone (they repeated this last night in a videoconference call): It also confirms the Haifa judge's contention that there were hidden explosives in the area that had to be cleared .
Masked militants from Hamas, Islamic Jihad, and the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades prowl the city's sandy alleyways at night, past gray cinder-block homes and shops whose walls are covered with "martyr" posters and brightly painted images of assault rifles and exploding Israeli tanks. Nightly gun battles pit Israeli tanks and armored personnel carriers (apcs) patrolling the border strip -- known by the Israelis as "Philadelphi Road" or the "Pink Line" -- against guerrillas firing anti-tank missiles, grenades, and Kalashnikovs. Roadside bombs lie buried in the sand, and a local Bedouin family controls a lucrative business smuggling weapons from Egypt via tunnels dug as deep as 100 feet and often concealed inside Palestinian homes.
And it appears that Corrie naively thought that her status as an international would be a kind of force field that would protect her, no matter what. As the article goes on to say:
Corrie had come to Rafah a paper radical, primed for outrage, but with little real-world experience. That changed immediately. On her first night in Rafah, she and two other human shields, a fellow Olympian and an Italian, set up camp in a heap of rubble inside Block J, a densely populated neighborhood along the Pink Line and frequent target of gunfire from an Israeli watchtower. By placing themselves between the Palestinian residents and the troops, and hanging up banners announcing the presence of "internationals," the activists hoped to discourage the shooting. But the plan backfired. Huddling in terror as Israeli troops fired bullets over their tent and at the ground a few feet away, the three activists decided that their presence at the site was provoking the soldiers, not deterring them, and abandoned the tent.
But even after this incident, Corrie still believed that she was invincible because she was an "international." She wrote on February 22, nearly a month after arriving in the Middle East:
People can’t get to their jobs and those who are trapped on the other side can’t get home; and internationals, who have a meeting tomorrow in the West Bank, won’t make it. We could probably make it through if we made serious use of our international white person privilege, but that would also mean some risk of arrest and deportation.
Joe Smith, another ISM member, admitted that they felt invincible:
It's definitely easy to get cocky in this war zone when a tank is shooting at people and you walk up to them and shout at them, 'Hey, I'm here!' and they pack up and leave. You get so used to this idea, 'Hey, they won't hurt us.' It [Corrie's death] has really made me realize how naive and cocky I was.

Corrie's professors and her ISM comrades told her that her "whiteness" would protect her, because Israeli  kill Palestinian Arabs purely for racist reasons.  She even wrote that in a February 27 email:
When I come back from Palestine, I probably will have nightmares and constantly feel guilty for not being here, but I can channel that into more work. Coming here is one of the better things I’ve ever done. So when I sound crazy, or if the Israeli military should break with their racist tendency not to injure white people, please pin the reason squarely on the fact that I am in the midst of a genocide which I am also indirectly supporting, and for which my government is largely responsible.
This is what Rachel Corrie was taught, and this is what she believed.

Her mentors encouraged her to risk her life for their anti-Israel cause, falsely telling her that she was protected because she was white and from America and had a magic fluorescent vest and a magic bullhorn and magic signs that can stop tanks and bulldozers.

No wonder that after her death, her martyrdom is celebrated. By dying, Rachel Corrie managed to make the difference she was indoctrinated to make. And, according to the same Joe Smith, it was all worth it:
The spirit that she died for is worth a life. This idea of resistance, this spirit of resisting this brutal occupying force, is worth anything. So the life of one international, I feel, is more than worth the spirit of resisting oppression.

(h/t Ian, Nevet)

Gazans keep firing rockets

Ma'an reports:
A previously unknown militant group claimed responsibility Wednesday for an attack on the Israeli city of Ashkelon with five Grad missiles the previous evening.

"The Mujahadeen consultative council in Jerusalem and its environs" said it would continue its attacks targeting Israeli areas near Gaza in response to its crimes against Palestinians.

Israeli authorities said two rockets and a mortar shell were fired into southern Israel late Tuesday. There were no reports of injury or damage in the attacks.
Don't you love how these "previously unknown groups" pop up all the time in Gaza - and they manage to get their hands on mortars and rockets?

Especially since every weapons tunnel into Gaza is monitored and controlled by Hamas?

GANSO says this is what they noticed Tuesday night:
MU, 29 AUG: Overnight, Pal. ops. fired 8 mortar shells and 3 HMRs ["home-made rockets"] toward the Green Line. 2 mortars and 1 HMR dropped short. No injuries or damage reported.
Luckily for Gazans, the ones that fell short didn't hit any homes. This time.

Meanwhile, Israel is complaining to the UN, and the UN is ignoring it:
Israeli Ambassador to the UN Ron Prosor has submitted another complaint to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon over the rockets that have been fired from Gaza on Sderot. Prosor accused the UN of inaction, urging the global body to condemn the violence.

Thursday links

From Ian:



Prosor: Roar of Gaza rockets fall on deaf ears to UN
Israeli Ambassador to the UN pens letter to UNSC president in response to report stating that Gaza won't be "livable" by 2020.
"A group of researchers on the moon could have produced a more accurate and balanced report on Gaza than the one the UN produced this week, Israel’s ambassador Ron Prosor wrote Wednesday in a blistering letter to Security Council President Gerard Araud."

How Many Millionaires Live in the "Impoverished" Gaza Strip? by Khaled Abu Toameh

Syria's War Spills Into Lebanon by Michael J. Totten

Palestinians Face Own Diplomatic Tsunami

In stinging rebuke to hosts, UN chief denounces Iranian anti-Israel threats and Holocaust denial
“I strongly reject any threat by any [UN] member state to destroy another, or outrageous comments to deny historical facts such as the Holocaust,” Ban said.
“Claiming another UN member state does not have the right to exist or describe it in racist terms is not only utterly wrong but undermines the very principles we have all promised to uphold,” the UN chief added.
Khamenei, who has final say on all state matters in Iran, accused Israel of being made up of “bloodthirsty wolves,” a day after Ban asked the cleric to tone down his rhetoric against Israel.

Australian Jews protest news reports about abuse by IDF
"The newspaper reports triggered a scathing response Tuesday from the Executive Council of Australian Jewry’s president, Dr. Danny Lamm, who described it as “crude propaganda” and challenged the testimonies, which he said were “anonymous, non-specific as to times and places, devoid of critical detail and untested by any kind of cross-questioning.”

Egypt may resume civilian nuclear program, Morsi says
Egyptian nuclear ambitions were discarded following the 1967 defeat at the hands of Israel. Egypt signed the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty in 1968 but delayed ratifying it, presumably because it had evidence that Israel had embarked on a nuclear weapons program

Red Cross halts most Pakistan aid in wake of doctor's beheading
"The killing of an ICRC official in Quetta had seriously worried staff members of the organization about their security in Pakistan, particularly in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan. Dale, who converted to Islam, ran a health program in Quetta when he was kidnapped on January 5 while going home from work."

MEMRI Man Crucified By Al-Qaeda-Affiliated Ansar Al-Shari'a For Allegedly Directing U.S. Drones In Yemen.

Upper Nazareth square dedicated for Munich athletes

Hamas Condemns Mahmoud Abbas for Saying “Israel Is Here to Stay”
During the meeting Abbas said that ”Israel is here to stay, no matter what certain extremists say…It is not that there is one state too many in the region; rather that there is one state too few.”
Now, Hamas has condemned Abbas for making this statement and says that he must apologize to the Palestinian people for taking such a position.

Hamas Accused of Torturing Salafi Leader in Gaza

Activists Call for Transparency From Mahmoud Abbas on Property & Bank Accounts in Jordan

Iranian World of Warcraft gamers blocked by sanctions (Surely the Iranians will abandon their nuclear bomb now!)

New worlds discovered, courtesy of US-Israel team
Kepler-47 is the first multi-planet solar system found in a binary star system

Israel To Make Agric Tech Available to Ghanaian Farmers
Israel is a world leader in agricultural research and development; this has led to dramatic increases in the quantity and quality of the country’s crops.
The drive to increase yields and crop quality has led to the development of new seed and plant varieties.
A statement issued by the organizers of the show quoted the ambassador as saying that, with an increasing population, Ghana was faced with the challenge of satisfying rapidly growing food demand.

Also:

Judith Butler and the politics of hypocrisy

Who Killed Rachel Corrie?



Egypt bans Rosh Hashanah in Alexandria

From the Point of No return blog:
For the first time in 2,000 years, this year there will be no Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur services at the Eliyahu Hanavi Synagogue in Alexandria.

The synagogue was the last 'working' synagogue in Egypt. A synagogue has stood on this site since Hellenistic times, although the current building dates back to the 19th century.

The Egyptian authorities have banned High Holiday services for 'security' reasons. The decision, announced on Monday, comes as a blow to Rabbi Avraham-Nino Dayan, an Israeli of Egyptian origin, who every year takes on the task of assembling a minyan (quorum) of volunteers from Israel and abroad. There are only two Jewish men and some 20 Jewish widows living in Alexandria.

Levana Zamir, who heads the International Association of Egyptian Jews in Israel, comments: "It seems this is really the end of Jewish life in Egypt. The authorities have found a way to take over the last Jewish bastion, since all the remaining synagogues are already archaeological and tourist sites. It is very sad."

The Passover Seder in Alexandria last year was also cancelled for security reasons, although a Seder took place in Cairo. High Holiday services are usually held for expatriate Israeli embassy staff at the Maadi synagogue in Cairo. Since the fall of Mubarak, Israelis have been flying home to spend the holidays with their families.
The blog spoke to the people in the article directly.

Here's a translation of what"security reasons" means:

We cannot protect Jews from the hate that our own media and government push against Jews, so they should make themselves scarce for their own good.

Jordan does this, too, by banning any tourist who has any Jewish object. For their own "security," of course.

Christians in Egypt are not going to be far behind the Jews in becoming victims of "security."

(h/t O)

Israelis subsidizing PA electric bill by $120M a year

Ma'ariv reports that it was discovered yesterday that Israeli taxpayers are subsidizing the PA's electricity bills to the tune of nearly half a billion shekels a year.

During a Finance Committee meeting, it was disclosed that when Israel deducts debts every month from the money owed to the PA in tax revenues under existing agreements, it has been only deducting 60% or so of the money the PA owes for electricity. This comes out to 40 million shekels a month, or the equivalent of US$120 million a year

That is the equivalent of Israel's entire cultural budget.

This appears to be separate from the $105 million owed directly to the Israel Electric Company by the PA.

Do you think The World Bank knew all this when they said that the PA is ready to become a state?

(h/t Elizabeth)

Morsi makes his play for pan-Islam leadership at NAM

While Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi's presence at the Non-Aligned Movement summit in Tehran is troubling for the political legitimacy it gives Iran, he did not shy away from confronting his hosts in his speech.

For one thing, Morsi emphasized Syria, a topic that Iran's leaders have avoided at the conference.

There are reports that Syrian delegates walked out during his speech.

But there was a lot that he said that was interesting, as he seems to be pushing for Egypt to reclaim its spot as the leader of the Arab countries. His mix of praise and not-so-subtle digs at Iran are worth studying to understand his plan for Egypt:
At the beginning of his speech Morsi made his by now common Islamist reference, "May God's peace be upon his Prophet Mohamed."

He added, "And may the peace of God be on the holy family of the Prophet." This reference to the 'family of Prophet Mohamed' might have been designed to send a positive message to his predominantly Shia hosts who are said to have been offended by remarks he made during a July visit to Saudi Arabia, another Sunni power in the Middle East, which indicated a Sunni-Shia polarisation between Egypt and Saudi Arabia on one hand and Iran on the other.

Then Morsi went further and paid the most unusual tribute in a political speech at an international summit to the Sahaba (close associates) of Prophet Mohamed: Abu Bakr, Omar, Othman and Ali.

The reference to Ali, the most holy member of the Prophet Mohamed's family in the eyes of Shias, could have been perceived by Morsi's Shia audience in the conference hall as flattering had it not come after references to Abu Bakr, Omar and Othman, who are abhorred by Shias and whose role in early Muslim history is not even mentioned in the history books of Iranian schools.

A non-traditional reference was also made by Morsi when referring to Egypt's role in the launch of the NAM in the 1950s. "At the time Nasser was expressing the will of the people (of Egypt) to defy colonisation," Morsi said.

The fact that this first ever civilian, Islamist and freely elected Egyptian president, who comes from the ranks of the Muslim Brotherhood, who was an opponent of the Mubarak regime – despite short intervals of cooperation – makes a reference to Nasser is again something that goes beyond the predictable. However, the style of the reference is not necessarily free of all pejorative implications, at least to the ears of an average Nasser admirer.

The norm has been that Nasser is referred to in this context as "Leader Gamal Abdel-Nasser, one of the champions of the march against colonisation."

Beyond his references to Ali and Nasser, Morsi's speech included other non-traditional comments.

The president's references to the Palestinian cause broke away from the usual déjà vu statements about the right of Palestinians to statehood – and it certainly made no reference to the now notorious "two-state solution."

Instead, Morsi made some coherent statements about Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails and the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people – things that had almost completely dropped out of official Egyptian discourse on the Palestinian issue.

On Syria, Morsi's speech all but equated the Assad regime with the Israeli occupation of Palestine when he referred to "the struggle for freedom by the Palestinian and Syrian peoples."

Furthermore, Morsi said the Assad regime "had lost all legitimacy" and it was not enough to show sympathy towards the Syrian people, but the time had come to act upon this sympathy.

Morsi's statements on Syria certainly went way beyond the liking of his Iranian hosts who remain committed to the Assad regime, and caused the Syrian delegation to leave the conference hall.

Indeed, Iranian officials almost never speak of a "Syrian revolution" but of "unrest in Syria."

Morsi also went beyond the expected when he called the Iranian president "my dear brother" upon turning over the presidency of summit from Egypt to Iran. Interestingly, he called Iran "the sister Islamic republic of Iran."
It appears that Morsi is trying to implement the Muslim Brotherhood goal of consolidating all Islam into a single caliphate, and he is trying to include Shiites while making sure that the Sunnis - his Sunnis - are leading. Iran has roughly the same goal, of leading the entire unified Muslim world under its own umbrella.

Both of them have a shared interest in playing nice but also in slyly taking charge.

This speech proves that Morsi is no pushover, at least in this most basic of Muslim Brotherhood goals.

Even Hamas can't resist Israeli grapes! (Poster)

I couldn't help myself.


Photo in today's Palestine Times.

Note also the kid on the left eating an Israeli snack as well. Because, you know, he is forced to.

(h/t Elizabeth)

MB official: Peace with Israel gives Egyptians cancer

From MEMRI:



Following are excerpts from an address by Ahmad Sabi', media advisor for the Freedom and Justice Party in Egypt, which aired on Al-Alam TV on August 22, 2012.
Ahmad Sabi': [I support] amending the [Camp David] agreement, which is a mark of shame upon the Egyptian people. This agreement has been a heavy burden upon the Egyptian people, undermining Egypt's sovereignty. It has even undermined projects for the development of the Sinai. Therefore, it is an unjust and unfair agreement, which has isolated Egypt from its Arab and Islamic environs, and from the pan-Arab effort to liberate the land of Palestine and to support Palestinian resistance.

[...]

In addition, carcinogenic pesticides were imported from the Zionist entity, and Egyptian agriculture was made available to the Zionist entity. This led to the destruction of various sectors in Egypt. Egypt now suffers from endemic diseases, such as various types of cancer, hepatitis, and kidney infections. All these and other diseases are the result of the carcinogenic pesticides, which were brought here along with that agreement.

Indeed, this is an unjust agreement, which requires the reexamination of everything to do with Egypt's sovereignty over its land.

Obviously, Israelis only ship the carcinogenic pesticides to Egypt and keep the healthy stuff for themselves.

On the other hand, Egyptian businessmen helps Hamas export rockets to Israel, so it is an even trade.

Jordan, Lebanon, Syria discriminating against Palestinian Syrians

From IRIN:
In Jordan and Lebanon, the UN agency for Palestine refugees (UNRWA) has registered nearly 5,000 Palestinian refugees from the 17-month conflict in Syria. As both countries are already home to large Palestinian refugee populations, the newly arrived have become a political issue - with Palestinians feeling they are treated unfairly.

"It has been quite bad living like a prisoner, especially when you see other people come and go but you are trapped," said Samir, a Palestinian at a dormitory-style facility known as Cyber City, 90km north of the Jordanian capital Amman.

When Samir arrived in Jordan five months ago, Syrian refugees could move and work freely within Jordan with the signature of a Jordanian guarantor, while Palestinians, many of whom have family in Jordan, were prohibited from leaving the camp to visit or stay with relatives. ....

Samir's wife Hanah could have left the camp because she is Syrian. "Can you imagine such discrimination?" she asked IRIN. "I will not leave them."

Palestinians said they were not allowed to move more than 30m from the building. The camp is 12km from downtown Ramtha and is not served by public transport.

UNRWA told IRIN only 185 Palestinians without a valid visa - i.e. those who were smuggled over the border, or who had to leave their papers behind - have been sent to Cyber City, while another 770 live outside the camp. Refugees IRIN interviewed at the camp said Palestinians not holding Syrian or Jordanian nationality had been sent to the camp.

Palestinians at Cyber City told IRIN that family members trying to flee had been turned back at the Jordanian border, a phenomenon also noted by Human Rights Watch.

Reacting to the allegations, Samir Maaytah, minister of state for media affairs and communications, told IRIN: "Each country has the right to protect its sovereignty....Jordan should not be questioned over its sovereignty rights. "

Most of those at the camp are Palestinian Jordanians who had their citizenship withdrawn years ago in a Jordanian attempt to discourage Israeli transfers of Palestinians from the West Bank to Jordan.

"I was born in Jordan, but moved with my family to Syria. In 1995, they withdrew my citizenship from me and my brother. Although it is my country, I cannot move freely inside along with other people," said Samir, who showed his Jordanian birth certificate to IRIN.

While Palestinians are estimated to make up more than half of Jordan's population, the Hashemite dynasty relies on its non-Palestinian tribal support base for power. Since "Black September" in 1970 when Jordanian and Palestine Liberation Organization forces battled for control over the kingdom, the issue of how many Palestinians reside in the country has become taboo. During the second Gulf war, when scores of Palestinian expat workers fled to Jordan, the country found itself in a similar position as today.

"Jordan has experienced 500,000 Palestinians coming from Kuwait in 1992. It changed the way our society functions. In a country of just three million people, 500,000 refugees [are a lot]," a government employee, who preferred anonymity, told IRIN in March. "As Jordanians we are worried for the interests of our country."

Similar dynamics are at play in Lebanon, which hosted 455,000 Palestinians before the Syrian crisis.

"The Lebanese have made it clear they don't want to see more than a certain number of people coming here," a high-ranking aid official told IRIN on condition of anonymity.
Some 4,000 Palestinians have registered with UNRWA in Lebanon, many of them in the last month. Many more may not have registered because of their "vulnerable" status there, said Roger Davies, acting director of UNRWA affairs in Lebanon.

Most of the Palestinians fleeing from Syria to Lebanon have gone to one of the 12 Palestinian refugee camps, but the camps in Beirut are overcrowded slums. With limited opportunities for Palestinians to find jobs and leave, many of these settlements have become breeding grounds for extremism. 
Officially both Jordan and Lebanon are keeping their borders open for all refugees from Syria. But unlike Syrians, who can freely enter Lebanon for up to six months, Palestinians receive only a one-week residency permit. Once that expires, they must pay 50,000 LBP (US$33) each month to renew it.

"There is a clear distinction between Palestinians from Syria and Syrians from Syria," said Davies.

For some of the Palestinians, the fee is hard to afford: "My son arrived on 18 July and is still here [without a permit]. Where do we get the money from?" said Umm al-Khayr, a sick woman in her sixties from Damascus. "Why don't they just give us six months like the Syrians?"

Corruption is also a problem: "I saw a Palestinian woman at the border, who did not know anyone in Lebanon and she was forced to pay $300 in bribes, $40 for each child," said Darim, a teenager from Damascus. Palestinians who want to leave Syria still need permission from the Syrian government. While UNRWA said the procedure has been eased, NGO worker Rawan Nassar told IRIN that people have been asked to deposit large sums of money to obtain permission from the Syrian authorities, or have even been forced into providing sexual favours by border officials.
So there is something that Lebanon, Jordan and Syria have in common: they all deliberately discriminate against Palestinian Arabs. 


Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Assad now blames Turkey for violence

You mean, it isn't the Zionist regime?
Looking dorkier every day
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad blamed Turkey for violence in a 17-month-old uprising in the country, in which thousands have died.

“Turkey bears direct responsibility for the blood being shed in Syria,” Assad told the pro-regime local television channel Ad-Dounia in an interview aired Wednesday.

Assad said the talk of a Western-imposed buffer zone on Syrian territory was unrealistic and that the situation in his country, where rebels have been fighting to overthrow him, was “better.”

“Talk of buffer zones firstly is not on the table and secondly it is an unrealistic idea by hostile countries and the enemies of Syria,” he said.

The embattled president, responding to rumors of his whereabouts since a July bombing in Damascus, said he was speaking from the presidential palace in the capital.


PLO: Lying as easy as breathing

From Courthouse News Service:
A U.S. magistrate judge sent an official letter to the State of Israel seeking judicial assistance in a terrorism lawsuit involving the PLO and the Palestinian Authority.

The family of Esther Klieman sued the PLO and Palestinian Authority in District of Columbia Federal Court. They claim Klieman was machine-gunned to death by a group affiliated with the defendants on March 24, 2002 near Neve Tzuf, Israel.

U.S. Magistrate Judge John Facciola sent the letter to the Directorate of Courts in Jerusalem, asking Israel to help counsel for Klieman's family, and for her alleged killers, by deposing the Israeli police officers who investigated the case.

The letter also asked that Israel release all documents relating to the shooting of Klieman, and any police interrogations of Tamer Rimawi, who admitted being involved in the murder.
But look at the end:
Facciola's letter to Israel comes after he denied the PLO's argument that Al-Aqsa is not a real entity.
The PLO actually tried to argue that there is no such thing as their terror wing???

Here's the webpage of the Nedal Brigades of the Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades. Today.


One article today praises the Munich Olympics massacre.

Here's their Facebook page, which includes photos like these (apparently taken in June):




(The page also praises Saddam Hussein.)

In fact, an earlier court document quoted the killer from his sworn statement given in Israel:

In 2002, I joined the Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigade, which is the armed wing of the Fattah movement in the West Bank. As all of the Palestinian military and security services work together, and really operate as one, I was told to go back to my old unit at the Palestinian Army and get a Kalashnikov rifle to use in my operations . . . While I was in the Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigade, my pay came directly from Fatah . . .

In 2003, I received a telephone call from my officer in the Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigade instructing me to carry out an operation. I listened carefully and followed instructions. I was taken by car to a site overlooking the road going into Attar . . . I shot my rifle at the front window and all over the bus . . . my bullets went through one of the side upper windows and killed Esther Klieman, a civilian passenger on the bus.

I am very sorry for what I did. I didn’t want to kill Esther Klieman . . . but I did what I was instructed to do by the officers of the Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigade . . .

Afterward, I went back to Ram Allah . . . I went to the Mukata, where I hid and stayed for many months. I saw Yasser Arafat and other leaders of the Palestinian Authority . . . From the Mukata I went out with my weapon, and with bullets I got at the Mukata, and did other operations . . .

So, yes, I think the Al Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades really has existed for over a decade, even if the PLO pledged back in 2007 that it was dismantled 

(h/t Ron)

Who's the extremist again?

Yesterday, Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman invited Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi to visit Israel.

"Those who speak of peace and stability must realize that it cannot be a hypothetical peace," Lieberman said Tuesday during an Israel Bar Association conference.

"We certainly hope to see Morsi hosting official Israeli representatives soon; we want to see him giving interviews to Israeli media; we want to see him in Jerusalem as President (Shimon) Peres' guest," the FM told the conference.
Today, the Muslim Brotherhood said "hell, no!"
Dr. Gamal Heshmat, a member of the High Commission for Freedom and Justice Party, the political arm of the Muslim Brotherhood, called Avigdor Lieberman,'s invitation diplomatic debauchery, saying: "This is immoral and it is impossible for President Morsi to visit the Zionist entity."

Heshmat told Al Ahram, "The call by Israel to President Marina is unacceptable and impossible to be met, and I expect the presidentto reject it."

In response to the difference between Morsi visiting "Israel" and visiting Iran, Heshmat said: "There a vast difference between the two; Iran is not a usurped land of an occupation authority; it is a sovereign state and [a visit] will not affect our relationship with all neighboring countries."
Now, since the Muslim Brotherhood gained success in the elections we have been treated to a stream of articles from analysts and so-called experts who let us know that the movement really isn't extreme, it is pragmatic and moderate and will act responsibly.

I don't believe there has ever been a single article in the mainstream media saying that Lieberman was anything other than an extremist.

But if you actually read the words said by either side without the spin created by the media and the supposed experts, things look much different.

The media has an emotional investment in demonizing Israel's right wing as "extremist," from Begin to Shamir, from Sharon to Netanyahu and to Lieberman. Their own words in context have never been nearly as extreme as they are portrayed.

Until you see articles that point out that Israel's "extremists" are advocating positions today to the left of Rabin during Oslo, you can be assured that the bias is still there.

Baaaaaaah.

From the Times of Israel Hebrew press roundup yesterday:
Yedioth reports that the slopes of the northern mountain have become inundated with sheep, disturbing soldiers trying to operate there and turning Israel’s toughest Rambos into veritable shepherds. The army believes the sheep are sent across the border by Lebanese and Syrians looking to cause trouble. “It’s reasonable to assume they were sent to this point. We are talking here about a disruption of Israeli sovereignty in an outstanding way. True, we are talking about sheep, but their presence is dangerous.”
I couldn't find the original article, but the Arabic press is reporting on it as well. They say that Israeli authorities are concerned about the possibility of booby-trapped cattle. Also there is the concern of cattle diseases spreading to Israel.

Israel complained to the UN about the violation of its border, and (according to the report) warned that they would be forced to quarantine the sheep if nothing is done.

The Arabic press, apparently seriously, says that Israel will imprison the sheep and that this is another example of "Israeli repression that knows no bounds."

Midweek links

From Ian:


After 40 years, State Archives releases Munich papers
45 documents chronicling 1972 Munich massacre, in which 11 Israeli Olympians were killed, made public for first time; then Mossad chief Zamir complained that German police "didn't make even a minimal effort to save human lives."
Palestinian academics act against Israel ties By Khaled Abu Toameh
Al-Quds University President Dr. Sari Nusseibeh once again under attack for cooperating with Israeli universities, academics.

The Order for Beatings Came From Abbas's Office by Khaled Abu Toameh
A Palestinian commission of inquiry into the beating of Palestinian journalists and demonstrators in Ramallah has found that top officials in Mahmoud Abbas's office had ordered the assault.

Ban Ki-Moon’s Neville Chamberlain Moment
The parallels between Hitler and the leaders of the current Iranian regime are too many to disregard. They are pathological liars driven by hatred and a megalomaniacal belief in the righteousness of their cause no matter how many innocent lives are lost in the process. Yet Ban appears to believe that he can trust the word of Ahmadinejad and Khamenei if they somehow were to positively respond to his entreaties. He is as wrong as Chamberlain was.

IDF Blog: Preparing for Battle: The Nahal Brigade's Reconnaissance Battalion

Palestinians shelve move for UN recognition
President Mahmoud Abbas decides not to petition the General Assembly in Septembe
In Melbourne, Screaming Ferals Picket Israeli Film Festival
Carrying banners showing the whole of Eretz Israel's map coloured red, white and green, and chanting the all-too-familiar vow that Israel will be eradicated, the Israel-hating ferals who call themselves Students For Palestine have been giving their usual performance.

Bulgaria set to blame Hezbollah for Burgas attack, report claims
Investigators still searching for bomber, but Lebanese paper says terror group will be fingered

US student's mouth stapled in 'anti-Semitic attack'
Michigan State Jewish student attacked at party, knocked unconscious; ADL "horrified by violent assault."

Anti-Semitic attacks in France surge by 40% since March
Dean of Simon Wiesenthal Center meets French interior minister, tells him, "We met with Jewish people who said either they are sending their kids overseas to Israel or the States, or Canada to go study. Some people say they are thinking of relocating to Israel."

Happy birthday, Gilad Shalit!
Former IDF soldier celebrates first birthday since his release — after more than five years — from Hamas captivity

Qualcomm acquires Israeli start-up DesignArt Networks for $150 million
The Israeli company’s technology helps boost mobile capacity on cellular networks, using small cell modems and base stations

Also:

Rabbi attacked in Berlin
Berlin police are investigating after a 53-year-old rabbi and his six-year-old daughter were allegedly attacked by four Arab teens in downtown Berlin. The rabbi required treatment for head wounds at the hospital.

Building boom in Gaza (Economist)

What on earth was Rachel Corrie doing in front of an Israeli army bulldozer in the first place?  and The secular beatification of Rachel Corrie sums up everything that is wrong with modern solidarity with Palestine (Telegraph)

The Forgotten Rachels (Muqata)

Here's the Corries' lawyer (PMW)



In a Palestinian Authority TV interview, Abu Hussein said Israel's founding was worse than the founding of Nazi Germany because "Nazi Germany was a state based on the rule of law for a short while," whereas "the State of Israel was founded from the start on robbery and theft." He also called Israel a "giant monster" and indicated that people should take action against Israel: "We all want to step on its head, but talking is not enough. Everyone has their role."
Judge asks Israel's help in terror lawsuit

(h/t Jefferson, Herb, Ronald, Dalia)

SABC removes anti-semitic picture - but their excuse doesn't hold water

Earlier this week I posted about an anti-semitic photo that accompanied a story in South Africa's SABC - an image that had nothing to do with the story. The poster depicted a stereotypical Orthodox Jew as a monkey.

One of my readers emailed it to the South Africa Jewish Board of Deputies, who complained to the general manager at SABC. 

SABC responded:
The SABC received a number of complaints about the image accompanying a
report headlined “Israel making inroads in halting African migration”,
published on 24 August on the SABC News website. The picture accompanied
a report supplied by a respected news agency and which was published by
many media outlets around the world.

While we stand by the report, the SABC removed the image in response to
the complaints received.
As far as I can tell, SABC is lying when they say that AP (which supplied the story) had sent that photo over to illustrate it. I could not find a single other news outlet that used the offensive photo; in fact, this is the one that was used most often:


Moreover, the original offensive image was not snapped by AP, but by Reuters. (photo 9)

So while the SABC is to be commended for replacing the clearly offensive and irrelevant photo, the fact is that someone at SABC chose it deliberately - it was not from the wire service. And SABC's excuse is simply not true, which may be almost as problematic as the offensive photo was to begin with. The response is essentially a cover-up - the sort of thing the media pretends to expose when others do it. Instead of owning up to the decision and getting to the bottom of how the photo got there, SABC is hoping no one will notice their lies so they can continue to do business as usual.

(h/t Avril)

Islamic rules for wife-beating (video)

From MEMRI:


Following are excerpts from a lecture delivered by Egyptian cleric Abd Al-Rahman Mansour, which aired on Al-Nas TV on August 17-18, 2012.

Abd Al-Rahman Mansour: Islam instructs a man to beat his wife as a last resort before divorce, so that she will mend her ways, treat him with kindness and respect, and know that her husband has a higher status than her.

I say to every husband: Do not rush to beat her whenever a problem arises. Oh servant of Allah, Allah said: "Admonish those of them on whose part you fear disobedience, refuse to share their beds, and beat them." One should not beat out of anger.

This you must know: If the wife utters the name of God, the beating must stop.
[...]
When 'Aisha thought ill of the Prophet Muhammad, believing that he did not treat her the same as his other wives, and that when he left her room, he would go to another wife, she followed him and spied on him. 'Aisha said that when the Prophet found out about this, "He gave me a shove that was painful."

This was done in order to discipline her, not because the Prophet enjoyed beating or inflicting bodily harm. The Prophet did this in order to discipline this woman.
[...]
A good woman, even if beaten by her husband, puts her hand in his and says: "I will not rest until you are pleased with me." This is how the Prophet Muhammad taught his women to be.
In other words, when your husband beats you, it is all your fault.

Did Rachel Corrie get college credit for joining the ISM? (updated)

There is an interesting detail in this 2003 article from a local Olympia, Washington newspaper that profiles a number of Evergreen College students who traveled to Rafah along with Rachel Corrie:

Rafah is one of the most dangerous places in the Gaza Strip--"a combat zone," according to Captain Jacob Dallal, the Israeli army spokesperson.

...My Jewish ass has been to Israel several times, but never to Gaza, and I am a bit scared. I have been told not to use any of my Arabic, lest I be suspected of being an Israeli spy. Above all, I have been told not to mention my religion.

[Corrie's] cohorts at ISM Rafah were an international group, with members from both Europe and the U.S. It was a young group--most people were under 30, and many were closer to 20. And it was a group that held the potential for romance--a Swedish ISMer named Stefan Villkatt would soon become Rachel's boyfriend.

...In addition to Stefan, there was Chris Allert, 31, also from Olympia, who joined the ISM in April 2002 after hearing about the intense fighting in the West Bank town of Jenin.

...There was Will Hewitt, 25, another Evergreen student who arrived in Israel around the same time as Rachel.

..And then there was Joe Smith, 21--yet another Evergreen student who, with his thick beard and red-checked kaffiyeh, looks like a better-fed, Palestinian-territory version of John Walker Lindh. Joe is from Kansas City, Missouri, and says he (like other Evergreen students) is getting independent study credit for his time in Rafah.
At the time, the US State Department had a travel warning against Americans going to Gaza.

If true, Evergreen College was rewarding students to go to a war zone and put their lives in danger.

(h/t Daled Amos via email)

UPDATE: MThis was noticed in 2010 in this JPost article:
Corrie arrived in Israel as part of an independent study program during her senior year at Evergreen State College. It was there that Corrie first heard of going to Gaza with the loosely affiliated assortment of left-wing radicals known as the International Solidarity Movement (ISM). Evergreen’s faculty also displayed gross negligence in allowing her to spend a semester abroad, for course credit, in the West Bank and Gaza during the height of the second intifada. After a mere two days of ISM “training,” Corrie and her fellow activist trainees were sent to the Rafah crossing, described by IDF spokesman Capt. Jacob Dellal as “the most dangerous area in the West Bank and Gaza.”

And Evergreen still has an independent study program that could include study abroad.

I wonder who the academic supervisor of the Evergreen students was?(h/t Nevet)

UPDATE 2: Maybe Simona Sharoni?
 Corrie "was one of Sharoni’s “dear and beloved” students who Sharoni influenced to go to Gaza to serve what Sharoni has called “compassionate resistance."

A citizen of Israel who served in the IDF, [Sharoni] worked closely with Rachel Corrie before she left to Gaza while Sharoni was teaching at the Evergreen State College.
And this from Commentary:
Corrie’s school, the progressive Evergreen College, irresponsibly encouraged her participation with ISM. Corrie wrote that the course that most affected her was “Local Knowledge,” whose primary purpose was to get students involved in community activism for progressive causes. ...

She had had no particular interest in the Middle East or knowledge about it, but spurred by the class, she began attending Olympia Movement for Justice and Peace (OMPJ) meetings since anti-Israel activism was one of the smorgasbord of causes. There she uncritically absorbed OMPJ’s ideology and learned about “people offering themselves as human shields in Palestine,” and heard ISM activists talk about their “Freedom Summer” in Palestine in September 2002. She was inspired: “They say we are invited there. I can’t believe this can be true. Even me?”

She eagerly signed up, and her indoctrination continued. She began ISM training and reading ISM recommended tracts about the Palestinian-Israeli conflict and staple anti-Israel narratives from Amira Hass, Sarah Roy, Noam Chomsky, Al-Ahram Weekly, and journalist Graham Usher. The three Evergreen faculty and staff members she consulted included Simona Sharoni, an Israeli who co-founded Women in Black. They did not try to dissuade her from going.

There is an air of unreality in all of this. Neither Corrie, nor the faculty, nor the ISM activists ever acknowledged she would be entering a war zone. Suicide bombing in Israel had reached a peak in early 2002, and Israel had launched Operation Defensive Shield to wipe out the terrorist networks in late March and early April. The violent conflict was still intense when Rachel chose to go to “meet the people who are on the other end of the portion of my tax money that goes to fund the U.S. and other militaries”—and to “get the learning that comes from traveling while hopefully having my trip have some use to the people I am going to see.” No one warned her that entering a war zone was not just an interesting travel experience.
Sharoni has been the faculty member who has most associated herself with Corrie, but it appears that there were three Evergreen teachers who could have been involved.

Here are Sharoni's Facebook and homepages. From her many interviews, it does not appear that she feels bad at all about her role in Corrie's death. But then again, Corrie is a martyr, and martyrs should be celebrated, right?

UPDATE 3: A book about Corrie says that the three teachers who encouraged her were Simona Sharoni, Steve Niva and Jean Eberhardt.

(h/t Ian)

Video: Palestinian Arab attacking Jew with an axe


From YNet:
A Jewish settler was attacked with an axe on Tuesday while documenting construction work allegedly conducted by Palestinians in Khan Luban, near the West Bank settlement of Ma'ale Levona.

The man sustained light injuries and was transferred to Shaare Zedek Medical Center in Jerusalem. Police arrested the Palestinian involved in the assault.

The area of Khan Luban has seen ongoing disputes between Palestinians and settlers. On Tuesday morning, settlers from Ma'ale Levona arrived in the area to document how, according to them, a Palestinian family was taking over the area.

Shortly afterwards, a verbal altercation developed between the Palestinians and the settlers, ending with an attack with an axe.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

"Assad ordered terror attacks in Lebanon"

From Ya Libnan:
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad gave his direct orders to executing terrorist attacks in Lebanon, details of an investigation with former Lebanese information minister Michel Samaha, detained for alleged involvement in the plot, revealed on Monday.

Lebanese daily newspaper al-Jumhourya reported that Samaha had admitted to investigators that he was working for the Syrian regime trying to execute a plan to blow up explosives in the northern Lebanese city of Akkar.

Samaha admitted to having collaborated with General Ai al-Mamlouk, head of the Syrian national security bureau, whom Samaha said is now holding a senior position within the Syrian regime.

Samaha was arrested on Aug. 10 and was accused of planning to detonate bombs prepared by the Syrians with the aim of “inciting sectarian fighting” in Lebanon.
And as I have mentioned, Jordan has uncovered Syrian spy cells among the refugees.

Looks like Assad is planning to take everyone down with him.

Corrie roundup

CiFWatch points out that the ISM is responsible for Rachel Corrie's death - but no one is blaming them for their cavalir attitude towards the deaths of "activists:"

In a 2002 article, ISM co-founders Adam Shapiro and Huwaida Arraf wrote, “The Palestinian resistance must take on a variety of characteristics, both non-violent and violent,” adding that “[i]n actuality, nonviolence is not enough…Yes, people will get killed and injured.”

Shapiro and Arraf lauded such deaths as “no less noble than carrying out a suicide operation. And we are certain that if these men were killed during such an action, they would be considered shaheed Allah.”

ISM activists and organizers have time and again justified terrorism and associated with terrorists.

In 2003 alone, for example, ISM activist Susan Barclay admitted in an interview that she worked with representatives of Hamas and Islamic Jidhad; terrorists originating from UK who had attacked the Mike’s Place bar in Tel Aviv, murdering three people, had, according to an Israeli report, ”forg[ed] links with foreign left-wing activists and members of the International Solidarity Movement (ISM)”; and senior Islamic Jihad terrorist Shadi Sukiya was arrested while he was hiding in ISM’s Jenin office and being assisted by two ISM activists.

...Corrie’s ISM colleague and handler, Joseph Smith eulogized Corrie, chillingly justifying the sacrifice of human life for the cause, stating:

“The spirit that she died for is worth a life. This idea of resistance, this spirit of resisting this brutal occupying force, is worth anything. And many, many, many Palestinians give their lives for it all the time. So the life of one international, I feel, is more than worth the spirit of resisting oppression.”
Commentary notes that Rachel Corrie was no peace activist.

The ISM themselves wrote back in 2002 that they actively encouraged their volunteers to put themselves in danger:
Without a doubt the level of risk dramatically increased in this latest ISM campaign with internationals on the receiving end of shrapnel, live fire over their heads, tear-gassing, rubber bullets, sound bombs, beatings, interrogations, arrests and deportations. Without sounding crass, the benefits were many and obvious.

In an astonishing example of admitted conflict of interest, Time's Karl Vick notes (after saying that Israeli justice is hopelessly biased) that his wife had volunteered to assist the Corries in the court case. In fact, his wife Stacy Sullivan is the press contact for the Corries! Time apparently thinks that such an egregious conflict of interest is AOK as long as it is parenthetically mentioned in a long screed against Israel.

By the way, Vick quotes Corrie's sister as saying "I can say without a doubt that I believe my sister was seen as that bulldozer approached her." Here's what an Israeli D9 armored bulldozer looks like:


It doesn't look like the driver has a very clear view at all.

I have still not seen anyone actually point out where the Israeli judge says anything that is less than truthful.

And the Philadelphi Corridor that Israel was clearing was, under international law, legally controlled by Israel. As Wikipedia notes:
Under the provisions of the Israeli-Egyptian peace treaty of 1979, the buffer zone was controlled and patrolled by Israeli forces. After the 1995 Oslo Accords, Israel was allowed to retain the security corridor along the border.
And this classic 2005 piece on The Forgotten Rachels is important to recall as well.

PJMedia had a nice article worth reading from 2010.

And if you are in a very politically incorrect mood, you can always re-watch my 2008 Rachel Corrie music video. 

(h/t EG, CHA, Anne)