Saturday, April 18, 2015

Lancet accused of editorial misconduct

On March 31  2015, hundreds of physicians  from across the globe submitted a complaint to the Senior Management and Board of Reed Elsevier concerning “egregious editorial misconduct at The Lancet that is unacceptable in general and also gravely violates your own published Editorial Policies”.

The signatories include 5 Nobel laureates, 4 knights and a Lord.

The letter protests "the grossly irresponsible and damaging editorial misuse of The Lancet for political purposes" as well as the "abject failure of the owner/publisher, Reed Elsevier, to enforce appropriate ethical standards of editorship.", citing as examples, the publication of the fraudulent MMR vaccine article, as well as last years "Open Letter to Gaza"

The Lancet, owned by Reed Elsevier, is one of the major general medical journals. It has been misused by its editor-in-chief, Dr Richard Horton, as a vehicle for his own eclectic personal and political agenda, at times characterized by flagrantly irresponsible publications. The worst examples of this are the MMR vaccine scare of 1998 and “An open letter for the people in Gaza” by Manduca et al published on July 22, 2014.

There's been more.

In 1998, it was revealed that scientists received $156,000 from the tobacco industry to write letters disputing the carcinogenicity of second-hand smoke  The Lancet published one of these letters in 1993. Gio Batta Gori was paid $4,000 by the tobacco industry to criticize the EPA report on second hand smoke- his letter was published in the April 10, 1993 Lancet,  with no disclosure of his industry ties.

Other sources reported that there were representatives from the tobacco industry employed by the Lancet. From the Daily Telegraph, May 14 1998

Concerned Academics for editorial Ethics describes how the Lancet

...has become a vehicle for publication of deliberately false material which deepens polarisation between Israelis and Palestinians, and does nothing to promote either global health or the health of those involved in this conflict.

The most recent example of such a diatribe, “An open letter for the people in Gaza” by Manduca et al contains false assertions, unverifiable dishonest ‘facts’, many of them libellous, and glaring omissions while deliberately concealing the grossest possible conflicts of interest of its authors, as acknowledged by The Lancet’s Ombudsman.

Two of the authors (Manduca and Swee Ang) promoted an anti-Semitic video by American white supremacist David Duke. Chalmers, another co-author, has publicly spoken of how “Zionists” have “control in so many different domains.” These blatant anti-Semitic messages and speeches are well documented and readily accessible.

Concerned Academics have asked Reed Elsevier to behave ethically by retracting the Manduca letter, apologizing for its publication and ensuring that any further editorial malpractice at The Lancet is prevented.

Read the full text of the Open Letter to the Lancet here   Read an evidence-based analysis of the nature and impact of Israeli public health policies practices in the West Bank and Gaza here.

Israel Soldiers Stories: Northern California Tour

Via Dr. Mike Harris at San Francisco Voice for Israel
Every spring, StandWithUs brings Israel Defense Forces veterans on tour throughout the United States. This program features reserve duty Israeli college students who talk about the Israeli-Arab conflict, giving a human face to the IDF uniform. In addition to IDF service, they are graduates of the StandWithUs Israel Fellowship, a unique public diplomacy program that selects and trains 150 student leaders each year from six Israeli universities. The soldiers speak in a number of cities across North America, in venues including university campuses, schools, synagogues, and churches. Our soldiers share their personal experiences with tens of thousands of students and community members each year.

This year's soldiers, Kokit and Tslil, will be in Northern California next week. Kokit was born in Ethiopia and moved to Israel with her family as an infant. Kokit served in the IDF for seven years as the lead officer for the Department of Basic Training, a Safety and Training Officer at the pilot cadet course, and finally serving as a training officer at the Aerospace Defense headquarters. In March 2014, Kokit participated in a delegation that traveled to South Africa to help combat “Israel Apartheid Week,” where she spoke to students about her experiences as a black Jewish woman living in Israel. Kokit is currently studying law and government at IDC Herzliya. She enjoys reading and is addicted to shopping.

Tslil was born in Kibbutz Regavim in northern Israel and is currently living in Tel- Aviv. Tslil served four years in the IDF, during the 2005 withdrawal from Gaza, Gilad Shalit`s abduction and the Second Lebanon War in 2006, Operation Cast Lead in 2008, and Operations Pillar of Defense in 2012 and Protective Edge in 2014, as a Captain Reserve in the Maglan Unit. Tslil earned his B.A. in Political Science and Communications from Tel Aviv University and is a graduate of the Koteret School of Journalism. Tslil worked as a spokesperson for the Vice Speaker of the Knesset, MP Pnina Tamano Shata of the “Yesh- Atid” Party. As an alumnus of StandWithUs` 2012 Israel Fellowship, Tslil is currently working as a digital media consultant for a firm which provides public relation services and strategic media consulting. Tslil is now a volunteer spokesperson for One Day Social Volunteering Israel.

Monday 4/20
6:00pm at Silicon Valley Hillel, San Jose
Tuesday 4/21
1:00pm at University of California Santa Cruz
Wednesday 4/22
8:30am at The San Francisco Jewish Community Federation
Thursday 4/23
10:30am at Congregation Shomrei Torah, Sonoma
7:00pm at Chico State University
Friday 4/24
1:00pm at California Capitol Building, Sacramento
Saturday 4/25
10:00am at Mosaic Law Synagogue, Sacramento
Sunday 4/26
6:00pm at Convergence House of Prayer, Fremont

Celebrate Israel at 67 in the Bay Area

The Bay Area celebrates Israel's re-birthday with opportunities to learn and to dance and sing, throughout our community. 

Here's a sample of what's offered.  Let us know if you have anything to add.

Wednesday April 22
 “Between Honor and Authenticity: Zionism as Theodor Herzl’s Life Project.” Presentation by Oxford University professor Derek Penslar. At Berkeley Institute for Jewish Law and Israeli Studies, 295 Boalt Hall, U.C. Berkeley. 5 p.m. Free, but RSVP requested.

Remembering the Fallen. Celebrating the People of Israel at 67.
We join together as a community to remember those who gave their lives in defense of Israel. Following our ceremony, we will celebrate Israel's 67th year of independence with a sing-a-long with the Lamah Lo Trio. Our program includes our local Israeli Scouts, the Jewish Community High School choir, informational booths, Israeli refreshments and Israeli folk dancing.
Admission is free.
7:30 - 9:30 Lafayette Veterans Center, 3780 Mt. Diablo Blvd. Lafayette, CA 94549

Sonoma County Celebrates ISRAEL at 67 !
6:00 PM  Congregation Shomrei Torah, Santa Rosa 2600 Bennett Valley Rd, Santa Rosa, CA 95404
Join the family-friendly community celebration of Yom Ha'atzmaut, Israel's
Independence Day, with dinner (falafel, pita, Israeli salad, etc) ,singing, Israeli dancing, and Israel-related kids activities. And, birthday cake, of course!

San Francisco Premiere of Body and Soul
7:00 PM to 10:00 PM
Congregation Adath Israel -- Modern Orthodox Shul
1851 Noriega Street
San Francisco, CA 94122

Thursday April 23 

Israeli soldiers tell their stories. Visiting reserve-duty Israel Defense Force soldiers discuss Israeli-Arab conflict. Sponsored by Congregation Shomrei Torah, StandWithUs and Hillel of Sonoma County. At Shomrei Torah, 2600 Bennett Valley Road, Santa Rosa. 10:30 a.m. Free.

Israel in Color
3:30-7PM Festivities, 7-10PM Program for Adults
 Enjoy Israeli music, children’s activities, artists, great food and a wonderful Israeli-style atmosphere.This year’s theme: Israel in Color - come and experience the colorful, fun, cool and hip Israel!
Oshman Family JCC, 3921 Fabian Way, Palo Atlo 94303

Israel: Independent and Proud
 7- 10 Arttitud  art & design gallery, 1121 Howard St. at 7th St. SF 94103

Monday April 27
Blue and White Monday
Party! (Donation requested)
6:00 -9:00
The Brickyard, 1787 Union St, SF, CA 94123
Register here:

Thursday April 30
“Answering Tough Questions About Israel.” Israel Education Committee program with speaker Jonathan Carey of the Israeli advocacy group BlueStar. At Temple Sinai, 2808 Summit St., Oakland. 7:30 p.m. Free.

Sunday May 3
Celebrate Israel's Independence Day at UC Berkeley
Memorial Stadium
Berkeley's Jewish Student Union is proud to present Israel’s  Independence Day 2015! Join us on Sunday, May 3, 2015 from 11am - 2pm for a barbecue, Israeli music, watermelon eating contests, and much much
more! The FREE event will be at the Lisa and Douglas Goldman Plaza at  California Memorial Stadium and is open to all U.C. Berkeley students and the community at large.

UC Santa Barbara: The repugnant anti-Semitism at the heart of the Campus Divest Movement

This week students at the University of California Santa Barbara defeated a BDS resolution  for the 3rd year in a row. The debate featured the divisive and shocking rhetoric we've come to associate with the BDS movement.   In a effort to further marginalize Jewish voices on campus, the debate was scheduled for Yom Hashoah.

Margaux Gundzik, a student at UCSB has written to the school run newspaper "The Bottom line", highlighting the rotten core at the very heart of the BDS movement.

She writes:

After eight hours of public forum, 12 senators voted to pass the resolution, 12 voted not to pass it, and one abstained. It was only due to the chair’s tie-breaking vote that the resolution did not pass. Despite the end result, I do not consider last night’s meeting a victory. I am disturbed that half of my student representatives felt it right to pass a resolution that countless Jewish students vocalized as being offensive, threatening, and blatantly anti-Semitic.          

Margaux calls out BDS for what it is- a movement that denies the Jewish people the right to self determination

Because of its linkage to BDS as well as its denial of the Jewish race’s right to self-determination, I—as a Jewish student—was threatened by the resolution, as were many members of the Jewish community. We attended last night’s senate meeting and spoke at public forum, begging our senators not to pass this resolution that perpetuated hate towards our specific minority group. Similarly, many students in favor of the resolution attended the meeting to oppose my community and press for the passing of this resolution.

Margaux documents the a repugnant rhetoric at the hearing that clearly crossed the line into anti-Semitism

Furthermore, I am disgusted by the normalization of anti-Semitic language so casually thrown around at the meeting. In those eight hours, I was told that Jews control the government, that all Jews are rich, that Zionism is racism, that the marginalization of Jewish students is justified because it prevents the marginalization of other minority groups, that Israel sterilizes its Ethiopian women (this is obviously not true), and that Palestinians in America who speak out against Israel are sought out by the IDF and denied entrance into Israel (also a ridiculous conspiracy theory). I heard a senator—someone who is supposed to be my representative—say that people were only voting against this resolution because they were afraid of losing “Jew support.” I heard my peers laugh at the mention of terrorists hurling stones at the heads of Israeli civilians intending to kill them. I saw students smile and cheer enthusiastically as a woman stood up and said the words, “I am ashamed to be a Jew.” The rhetoric I heard from students opposing Israel at this meeting could easily be equated to arguments that I have only seen in quotes at museums or mentioned in textbooks for their use in the justification of historical persecution of the Jewish race.

Read  Margaux Gundzik's letter in its entirety here.

The Campus divestment movement - the effort by anti-Israel activists to steamroll toothless BDS resolution through their school government. has long been characterized by a willingness to abandon truth  and to sacrifice campus climate to achieve their political goal. The UCSB Gauchos United for Israel have done a remarkable job of speaking truth to power under very challenging circumstances.       

Friday, April 17, 2015

Down on the Farm. Another BDS fail

While anti-Israel activists chortled over their short-lived BDS  paper "victory" at Stanford, the Board of Trustees was gathering information to formally denounce it, and Hillel was preparing the last laugh

On April 7, the Graduate School of Business  hosted its third annual Israeli Entrepreneurship Fair, an event for Israeli companies from Silicon Valley.   This  event was a collaboration between Hillel at Stanford University and the Israeli students of the Stanford Graduate School of Business, and featured 15 companies involved with social media, crowd funding, cyber-security and  bio-tech 

Over 300 students attended,  meeting representatives from the various companies,  listening to presentations and watching demos of new products.

From the Stanford Daily:
“When you look at the education backgrounds of all the [GSB] professors, the most overrepresented university outside the U.S. is Hebrew [University],” said Ophir Samson, a first year graduate student at the GSB and one of the organizers of the fair. Tal Briller, who works in tech in Silicon Valley, and Yaron Fishelson, a staff member at Hillel, also organized the fair.
Samson added that the link between Stanford and Israel extends beyond its faculty. He explained that Israel, like Silicon Valley, has a culture that is well disposed to startups and tech companies.
“There’s more venture capital per head [in Israel] than any other place in the world; there are more startups per capita than any [other] place in the world; and The Economist recently voted it the second-best place in the world to be an entrepreneur, after Silicon Valley,” Samson said. “So naturally there are strong links between Silicon Valley and Israel. And the [GSB] has a very… important role in nurturing that.”
Samson was excited by the turnout, explaining that many of the companies represented at the fair are “some of the top Israeli entrepreneurs in Silicon Valley.”

If you are looking for more opportunities to learn from the Start-up nation, consider a week or more at the Innovnation Summer Program, studying with leading Israeli entrepreneurs while earning academic credits  at Hebrew University's Rothberg International School.

To SJP and the BDS cru- how does it feel to be irrelevant?

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Human Rights Watch (HRW) Misleading Report on Palestinian Child Labor

Human Rights Watch (HRW) latest report "Ripe For Abuse: Palestinian Child Labor in Israeli Agricultural Settlements in the West Bank" reflects the organization’s obsession with Israel, as well as its sloppy and distorted research.

Illustrated by a  deliberately misleading 2010 photo of a Palestinian child working on a Palestinian farm, widespread exposure in social media have already forced HRW to issue a correction.
Fraudulent cover  from Human Rights Watch Report

Low-Hanging Fruit: Human Rights Watch and Palestinian Child Laborers

UK Media Watch prompts Telegraph correction to misleading photo illustrating HRW child labor report

HRW bias shines through in report on Arab child laborers

Ripe for Exploitation: HRW's Israel Obsession and Allegations of Child Labor

Rife with error,  the report's accompanying publicity video featured  HRW researcher Bill Van Esveld asserting blatant falsehood-  that Palestinian children "have no option to work on Palestinian farms. Most of them don't exist anymore."


But this claim is belied by the facts. The Palestinian date sector has enjoyed significant growth in recent years. According to a report published by Paltrade and the Ministry of National Economy, among others ("The State of Palestine National Export Strategy 2014-2018"):

Palestinian fresh fruit exports have grown at a rate of 52%, compared to global import growth of 21% over the same time period.

The main fruit exports from the State of Palestine are nuts, dates, grapes, strawberries and almonds. The bulk of export growth for the sector has been driven by a rise of exports of dates. Palestinian exports of dates have risen from US$324,000 in 2007 to US$1.2 million in 2010, reflecting an absolute growth of over 250%.

Indeed, Nakheel Palestine for Agricultural Investment, located in the Jordan Valley, "cultivates a total of six Date Palm farms in Jericho, on the Palestinian side of the Jordan Valley, with a total number of 20,000 trees stretched along an area of 3000 Dunums."

CAMERA has asked HRW to correct Van Esveld's erroneous assertions that Palestinian children have no choice but to work in Israeli settlements and that "most" Palestinian farms "don't exist anymore" and to explain why Palestinian children would choose to work in Israeli settlement farms when Palestinian farms are situated nearby.

David Elhayani, head of the Jordan Valley regional council, denied HRW's allegations, and has stated “there were no children among the 6,000 Palestinians" employed by the regional council.

Human Rights Watch, recipient of a $100 million dollar donation by George Soros  has long been accused of  having bigoted agenda against Israel. "Ripe For Abuse: Palestinian Child Labor in Israeli Agricultural Settlements in the West Bank"  is just the latest in a series of biased, and disproportionate attack pieces on Israel.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Stanford Board of Trustees rejects BDS

The Stanford Board of Trustees concurs with what we've seen all along.  BDS causes "deep divisions" in the University community and unfavorably impacts campus climate.

Stanford Report, April 14, 2015  Statement of the Stanford Board of Trustees on divestment

For the last several months, Stanford has been evaluating a request submitted by Stanford Students for Justice in Palestine that it divest its endowment holdings of certain companies that do business in Israel. The Board concluded that the university's mission and its responsibility to support and encourage diverse opinions would be compromised by endorsing an institutional position on either side of an issue as complex as the Israel-Palestine conflict. Therefore the Board will not be taking action on this request, nor will it consider this request further.

In coming to this decision, the Board has observed the campus discussion surrounding the issue and received input from the Advisory Panel on Investment Responsibility and Licensing (APIRL). In its deliberations, the Board reflected on the fact that the Stanford community is diverse, with many groups and individuals – faculty, staff, students and alumni – highly engaged on all sides of this issue and other important issues of our time. A diversity of viewpoints and Stanford's commitment to open, thoughtful and civil debate are critical to the educational mission of the university.

The request from the Stanford Students for Justice in Palestine asserted that Stanford should divest its holdings in certain companies that they claim profit from human rights abuses and violations of international law in Israel/Palestine. Neither the APIRL nor the Board sought to determine the veracity of those claims, or to disprove them.

Rather than explore such issues, the Board focused on the questions of divisiveness and negative impact on its mission as contained in the Statement on Investment Responsibility. The Statement provides that if the Trustees conclude that a specific Trustee action "is likely to impair the capacity of the University to carry out its educational mission (for example, by causing significant adverse action on the part of governmental or other external agencies or groups, or by causing deep divisions within the University community), then the Trustees need not take such action." The Board concluded that any action on this issue would clearly have such an impact.

The Executive Director of Stanford Hillel Rabbi Serena Eisenberg responded:

Hillel applauds the Board of Trustees for this statement which makes clear that  the campaign to single out Israel and isolate specific communities at Stanford based on ethnic, religious, or cultural identity, is harmful to the campus environment and the university's reputation as a world-class educational institution. We steadfastly support the administration's broader efforts to promote debate in a strong intellectual climate, while ensuring that students uphold a civil campus environment.

We are proud of the extraordinarily robust opportunities for Jewish students to explore and develop positive Jewish identities during their college years, through a myriad of Hillel programs, Jewish Studies courses, Israel trips and many other offerings that comprise our flourishing Jewish community on campus...

Monday, April 13, 2015

A dozen protest Idan Raichel at New York's Beacon theater. BDS fail

Phyllis Chessler described it as  "Probably the most insane leftist protest ever".

Thats arguable. 

After all,  in the Bay area we've experienced the  Code Pink 2 hour "hunger strike".  We've witnessed "Mimes for Gaza".  We've seen queer groups protest the venerable Frameline LGBT film festival for the unforgivable offense of daring to show films about the struggle for equality - in Israel

Only in San Francisco. Mimes for Gaza
New York can't hold a candle to the Bay in terms of sheer, unbridled insanity.

On the evening of April 12th, at New Yorks beautiful Beacon Theater, members of anti-Israel groups including  Adalah-NY, the BDS National Committee,  the Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel, Jewish Voice for Peace and Jews Say No gathered to protest popular Israeli Singer Idan Raichel.

The press release from Adalah claims 40 people showed up- contradicted  by eyewitness reports that only 12 showed up , and were completely overwhelmed by over 200 pro-Israel supporters.

Phyllis Chessler, writing in Arutz Sheva, described the scene

On the side for Israel: A woman with a bright, fierce countenance told me she was a ninety-year-old Holocaust survivor. She said: “I will never stop fighting for Israel.” Her sign read: “Boycotting Israel is Racist.”

I love her.

And then there was the woman whom I asked to estimate for me how many pro-Israel demonstrators she thought were there. She said: “Six hundred thousand. Everyone who left Egypt is here today.”

I love her too.

For Israel. There they stood: One Asian woman, one Black woman, several Mizrachi and Arab-looking women and men. People of all ages, including children and teenagers (at least five), but mainly fifty and older were there.

The irony of the so-called "progressive" left protesting Idan Raichel was not lost on Phyllis Chessler, who wrote:

My friends--welcome to Upside-Down Land.

The musician these groups tried to boycott is none other than Idan Raichel, one of Israel’s most popular musicians, and the one most responsible for introducing black and “ethnic” (including Ethiopian, Yemenite, Arab, and Sudanese) music into Israel, and for supporting it globally. I have been told that Reichel used to wear the longest Rastafarian dreadlocks. He is responsible for fusing electronics, Hebrew texts, Arab, and Ethiopian music; he welcomed non-Jewish refugee musicians, including Cabra Casey, from a refugee camp in Sudan.

Anti-Israel activists view the world through a prism of darkness, unable to see the light.  The rest of us know better.

Last year Idan Raichel won the distinguished MTV Role Model Award .

Following his winning the award, Keys surprised Raichel with a wonderful 'mazel tov' video, which was screened at the MTV Israel Award Ceremony at the Theater Club in Jaffa, where she lauded her "friend Idan" for "all the incredible work that you do."
"This is an amazing, amazing award," Keys said to Raichel in the video, "which is what you are. But really what you are is just an incredible human being who bridges cultures and promotes tolerance, which there's nothing more important than you and your mission and your work. So congratulations because you inspire me all the time."

Friday, April 10, 2015

JVP uses Syrian Crisis to Blame Israel

JVP is "concerned" about the ongoing humanitarian crisis facing Palestinians in the Yarmouk camp in Syria. Isn't that special?

JVP can't resist using this rather weak statement of concern as yet another opportunity to jab Israel, blaming them indirectly for the plight of Palestinians in Syria.  Not a word of reproach is directed toward the Arab regimes that kept 4 generations stranded in squalid camps, deprived of citizenship   JVP claims Israel has the denied the right of the Yarmouk  Palestinians to "return to their homes", as stipulated by UN Resolution 194.

JVP is perpetuating one of the longest lasting myths of this conflict- that there is an internationally sanctioned  "right" of return.

The relevant section from UN General Assembly Resolution 194 is cited below (full text available here)

Resolves that the refugees wishing to return to their homes and live at peace with their neighbours should be permitted to do so at the earliest practicable date...

From  Camera's Backgrounder: The Palestinian Claim to a “Right of Return”

Do Palestinians who fled Israel in 1948, and their descendants, have a legal or moral right to return to their former homes in Israel? Is it true that most other refugees around the world have already exercised such rights of repatriation? Palestinian spokesmen, and groups including Amnesty International, have repeatedly asserted that Palestinians do have a legal and moral right to return to Israel. Most legal authorities, however, contend that the relevant legal instruments, including UN General Assembly Resolution 194, and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, offer no support for these claims. Moreover, many analysts have pointed out that because an Arab and Palestinian-initiated war against Israel created a similar number of Jewish and Palestinian refugees, and because Israel settled the Jewish refugees, the Arab side should settle the Palestinian refugees....

Because this only recommends that refugees be permitted to return, it can hardly be characterized as creating a “right.” Moreover, the requirement that returnees first accept living “at peace with their neighbors” meant that Palestinian returnees would have to accept Israel's right to exist, something that very few of them, even today, seem truly willing to do. Further, it did not even hint at any return rights for descendants of refugees.

No, JVP is not lobbying Congress or mobilizing in the street to help the long suffering Palestinians of Yarmouk They are not organizing flash-mobs or phone in campaigns to bring attention to the plight of these particular Palestinians. Suffice it to say, there are no flotillas or flytillas or "Global marches" to Yarmouk.

JVP and its partners on the delegitimization circuit aren't in this to help the Palestinian people. If they were perhaps this real humanitarian crisis would merit more than a blip on a web page.  The end game has never been about helping the Palestinian people or establishing a Palestinian state. Its been about destroying the Jewish one.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Spread Hummus, not Hate

Bad news for those who enjoy made in America Sabra Hummus.  30,000 cases of the classic style hummus have been recalled because of possible listeria contamination. To see if your hummus has been subject to recall, you can check the SKU code at the US Food and Drug Administration website, here.

Sabra joins Blue Bell creameries Wegmans Organic Frozen Spinach,  and Carnival brand and Kitchen Cravings brand caramel apples all of which have experienced listeria recalls this year.

Anti-Israel activists are taking advantage of the recall to spread their special brand of hate on the Government's Food Safety Facebook page. Its just more of the same petty, small-minded activity we see on social media whenever anything peripherally related to Israel comes up.

Disgraced academician Steven Salaita also got in the act.

Imagine how much nicer the world would be if these "activists" spread hummus instead of hate.

Josh Bornstein falls victim to elaborate hoax at the Times of Israel

More Pallywood from the haters of truth and the haters of Israel.

Josh Bornstein was just the victim of an elaborate hoax, perpetuated by haters, and  facilitated by a lack of  editorial control on the part of the Times of Israel.

The Times of Israel is an online Jerusalem-based newspaper founded in 2012 to document developments in Israel, the Middle East and around the Jewish world.   It has a "blog" feature, to allow activists and independent journalists to share their work.

From the website of the Times of Israel,

Posts are contributed by third parties. The opinions, facts and any media content in them are presented solely by the authors, and The Times of Israel assumes no responsibility for them. In case of abuse, report a post.

A racially charged blog post was published, using the name of an Australian attorney and writer, Josh Bornstein.  Bornstein  responded that he had never started a blog at Times of Israel, and the post was removed, but not before the backlash began.

The Blogs platform on the Times of Israel was breached in an elaborate manner by a malicious hoaxer who on Thursday posted a hateful and racist post.

This hoaxer, it turns out, had opened a blog on the website some weeks ago using the identity of Josh Bornstein, a respected Australian lawyer, appropriating Bornstein’s name, biography, photograph and taking steps to lend the blog credibility.

Times of Israel staff had no reason to suspect this was a hoax, also given that half a dozen posts were published on this blog in subsequent days, all on topic and perfectly reasonable. As we found out Thursday, these posts were taken from Bornstein’s articles elsewhere on the internet.

After establishing his credibility on The Blogs platform, the impostor Thursday published a blog post that was vile and disturbing in the extreme. Shortly after it was published, we removed this blog post and the entire blog, and began investigating what had transpired. The post had also been copied to an online archive with the obvious intent of causing maximum harm.

We are dismayed that The Times of Israel fell victim to such a malicious and hateful hoax. Needless to say, we are appalled that the Times of Israel’s blog platform was taken advantage of in this manner.

We sincerely apologize to everyone who was affected, directly or indirectly. Most especially, we apologize to Josh Bornstein.

That hasn't prevented anti-Israel activists from posting archived and screen-shot copies of the removed article in an effort to demonize the Jewish people, Israel, and the Times of Israel. Agitprop sites on Facebook and Twitter continue to post the removed article without explanation
 Sami the Bedouin uses hoax  article to demonize the Jewish people 
Glenn Greenwald perpetuates the lie
The falsified and  fraudulent Josh Bornstein blog post in the Times of Israel shows how far anti-Israel activists will go to demonize the nation state of the Jewish people. Its yet another example of Pallywood from the haters of truth and the haters of Israel.

From the incomparable Elder of Ziyon- a neo-Nazi takes credit for the hoax.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Holocaust Remembrance Ceremonies in the Bay Area

Holocaust Remembrance Ceremonies in the Bay Area

Yom Hashoah Ve-Hagevurah, "The Day of (Remembrance of) the Holocaust and the Heroism," is marked annually on the 27th day in the month of Nisan, a week after the end of Passover. A variety of public observances will be held in recognition of this occasion throughout the San Francisco Bay Area.

April 12 - 13th Annual Holocaust Remembrance Day with the City of Berkeley, The Magnes (Berkeley)
April 13 - Santa Clara County Holocaust Remembrance Ceremony, County Government Building (San Jose)
April 14 - The 70th Anniversary of the Liberation of Mira Shelub, Temple Sinai (Oakland)
April 15 - An Evening on the Holocaust and Resistance, Temple Isaiah (Lafayette)
April 15 - Yom HaShoah Ve-Hagevurah, Congregation Beth El (Berkeley)
April 15 - Yom HaShoah Ve-Hagevurah, Congregation Beth Emek (Pleasanton)
April 15 - Yom HaShoah Ve-Hagevurah, Peninsula Temple Sholom (San Mateo)
April 15 - Yom HaShoah Ve-Hagevurah, Congregation Beth Am (Los Altos Hills)
April 19 - Sonoma County Holocaust Commemoration Ceremony, The Friedman Center (Santa Rosa)
April 19 - Marin Community Yom HaShoah Ve-Hagevurah, Congregation Rodef Sholom (San Rafael)
April 19 - Yom HaShoah: Holocaust Remembrance Day in San Francisco, JCCSF (San Francisco)
April 19 - Yom HaShoah Remembrance Service, Temple Beth Torah (Fremont)

All are encouraged to attend, participate and pay tribute.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Aiming Below the Belt. Anonymous takes down site of Israeli Urological Association

Proving Saul Alinksy's old adage "the threat is worse than the thing itself", Anonymous's threat of an "Electronic Holocaust" aimed at Israel has been less than successful.

The promised April 7 day of rage targeted websites throughout Israel,  yet only a handful were taken out of service.  Some soft targets, such as the websites of musicians Shalom Hanoch,  Ivri Lider,  Hadag Nachash and the Israeli Center for Excellence through Education were hacked. Government websites were unaffected.

In a move that can only be described as hitting below the belt,  the Israeli Urological Association was temporarily taken down. 

From Newsweek:

Benjamin T. Decker, senior intelligence analyst at Tel Aviv-based geopolitical risk consultancy the Levantine Group, says that this cyber attack represents the least effective of the last four years of attacks as Israeli authorities grow increasingly capable of defending against these cyber attacks.
“The ‘electronic Holocaust’ has not had the grandiose impact of erasing Israel from the internet,” he says. “It’s important to note that this is being led exclusively by the Middle Eastern contingent of Anonymous, rather than the entirety of the organisation.”
“For most of these claimed hacks, the websites were back online within 10 to 15 minutes,” he adds. “I would say this had significantly less impact than last year’s and going back farther, this is probably the most miniscule of the annual OpIsraels that there have been.”

Caterpillar and Tiaa-Cref. Lies the BDS'ers told me.

Caterpillar. One way or another, the BDS'ers are obsessed by it. Even Medea Benjamin  of Code Pink found Caterpillar irresistible, and kept an investment of $180,000 in Caterpillar stock in her Foundation until 2011.

Caterpillar. Another BDS fail
Its no wonder. Caterpillar performs, both in the field and in the market.  Caterpillar continues to pay a dividend yield of 3.27%, compared to the average 2% dividend paid out by other companies in the S and P index.

Gaza loves their Caterpillars, too, and neither JVP nor the Corries have been able to convince them to give 'em up, begging the question of just who and what is this "Palestinian civil society" we keep hearing about?

Caterpillar in Gaza
But, but, but, you say "Tiaa-Cref divested."   Ummmm.  No.  Several socially conscious funds removed Caterpillar from their portfolio in 2012 as the result of an employee labor dispute. When the issue was resolved Caterpillar was returned to the listing.

In 2012,  the We Divest Website- a JVP sock puppet site proudly proclaimed Caterpillar Removed from TIAA-CREF’s Social Choice Funds , heralding it as a "Victory for Pro-divestment Advocates". The carefully worded press release implied that Tiaa-Cref's choice was the result of activist pressure, when the reality was different. It was another routine business decision manipulated by anti-Israel activists and transformed into yet another BDS hoax

Notice how JVP and friends aren't that quick to announce that today Tiaa-Cref has over $3.4 million invested in Caterpillar in their Social Choice Equity Fund, marking another great big BDS fail ?

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Jewish Heritage Festival in Sacramento

It sounds like a perfect day in the Central Valley sunshine. There will be yummy food, great music and 4,000 of your closest friends. Come to the Jewish Heritage Festival in Sacramento. The renowned  a capella group, the Maccabeats will be performing. 

May 17, 2015
Raley Field, 400 Ball Park Lane in West Sacramento.

San Francisco State University proud of new relationship with An-Najah University, the "greenhouse for martyrs."

The President of San Francisco State University took a principled stand this week supporting a University boycott of Indiana, after the state passed the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, or RFRA , a  law widely interpreted to be anti-gay.

From Les Wong,  in an email sent to the students of SFSU  

Dear Faculty, Staff and Students:

I am dismayed, if not extremely disappointed, in the recent legislation signed into law in Indiana. It is unconscionable for this great University to spend its resources in a state that attempts to legislate discrimination of any kind.

By this note, I am informing the campus community that no San Francisco State University funds from any source--general funds or auxiliary--will be used to support employee or student travel to Indiana. This action is effective today, Monday, March 30, 2015 until further notice. Any travel authorized prior to today may proceed as planned with approval of the appropriate vice president.

We are researching similar legislation reputed to be existent in other states to determine further action.
As a member of the NCAA Division 2 President’s Council, I will not attend a required meeting of the Council to be held in April in Indianapolis. A copy of this note is being sent to NCAA President Mark Emmert and to CSU Chancellor Timothy White.

Our commitment to social justice on this campus remains a point of pride for me. The vice presidents, deans and Academic Senate's Executive Committee all endorse this action.

Les Wong, President

President Wong's stand in support of social justice flies in the face of recent actions on the San Francisco State University campus, including the recent Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between SF State and An-Najah National University in Nablus, marking SF State’s first MOU with an academic institution anywhere in the Arab and Muslim world.

An-Najah National University is widely considered a breeding ground for terror and intolerance in the disputed Palestinian territories.

From the venerable Anti-Defamation League's overview on the Islamic Palestine Block Student Cell at An- Najah 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." 

From Matthew Levitt, director of the Washington Institute's Stein Program on Terrorism, Intelligence, and Policy, 

Al-Najah is the largest university in the territories and "the terrorist recruitment, indoctrination and radicalization of students for which al-Najah is known typically take place via various student groups," among them the Hamas-affiliated Islamic Bloc. "Of the thirteen members of Al-Najah's 2004 student council, eight," he says - "including the chairperson - belong to Hamas's Islamic Bloc."

This is yet another inglorious moment  for San Francisco State- a university  with a considerable history of turning a blind eye to terrorism and anti-semitism within its own halls

Khalida Jarrar arrested for involvement with Terrorism

You'd never know just who Khalida Jarrar is by glancing at the headlines on anti-Israel agitprop sites or on social media.

To the Electronic Intifada, Khalida Jarrar is a "lawmaker"

To extremist JVP, Khalida Jarrar is a "feminist"

To Michael Letwin, Khalida Jarrar is simply a suffering victim with no back-story, who suffers from an unnamed "chronic illness"

The reality is quite different. Khalida Jarrar is involved with the terrorist PFLP group- Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, the Marxist-Leninist faction of the Palestine Liberation Organization. The PFLP took responsibility for the terror attack on the Jerusalem synagogue last year which killed 5 rabbis

From the Jerusalem Post

In August 2014, the IDF ordered Jarrar to leave her home in Ramallah and move to Jericho. She was told that she would not be permitted to leave the district of Jericho without permission from the IDF commander in the West Bank. Jarrar refused to comply with the order and waged a campaign in protest against the decision to “exile” her to Jericho.

According to the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency), Jarrar is one of the dominant militant forces in the PFLP, and advocates for military resistance against Israel. Jarrar has been involved over the past few months in strengthening the PFLP in the West Bank, the Shin Bet said, including pushing its members to be take part in terror attacks. 

The IDF arrested her only after the injunction failed to halt her activities which posed a risk, the Shin Bet said.

Administrative detention, the holding of a person by the state without a trial is lawful under international law. Article 78 of the fourth Geneva Convention states that if a nation “considers it necessary, for imperative reasons of security, to take safety measures concerning protected persons, it may, at the most, subject them to assigned residence or to internment.” Article 4 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights also allows for administrative detention during times of public emergency that threaten the life of a nation.

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Jibril Rajoub. Not a good sport

The Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) is the international governing body of football/ FIFA.  Founded in 1904, it has 209 member associations

From their mission statement

FIFA’s primary objective is "to improve the game of football constantly and promote it globally in the light of its unifying, educational, cultural and humanitarian values...”

Football can inspire communities and break down barriers. Football is for all. FIFA believes that everybody has the right to play football free from discrimination or prejudice and we are striving to ensure that this is the case.

Jibril Rajoub, the head of the Palestinian Football Association is unclear on the concept of building coexistence through sport . He has stepped up his lobbying of the Fédération Internationale de Football Association  in an effort to get Israeli players banned from the beautiful game.. 

Jibril Rajoub isn't a  very good sport. Listen to him urge his followers to slaughter Israelis in this clip from Palestinian Media Waatch.

Deputy Secretary of the Fatah Central Committee Jibril Rajoub: “I’m telling everyone: Fatah has decided that our relations with the Israelis are relations between enemies. There is no kind of coordination between the Israelis and us. Everyone can be certain that any form of mutual coordination ended a day after they declared war on the National Unity Government... OK, brother, here is the occupation, am I stopping you from slaughtering a settlement?  No one is stopping anyone. Don’t lie and tell me: ‘the [PA] Security Forces and Mahmoud Abbas,’ and so on [stop you]. Drop it, OK? No one is stopping anyone. Our political decision is resistance in the occupied territories in order to bring an end to the occupation [using] all forms of resistance.”


 FIFA President Sepp Blatter says he will attempt to persuade the Palestinian Football Association to withdraw a bid to get Israel suspended from world football's governing body.
"I will try to convince him that such a situation should not occur at FIFA," Blatter told reporters after attending Tuesday's Confederation of African Football (CAF) Congress.
"A suspension of any member affects badly the whole organisation," he added.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

In which Enno Raschke rips Max Blumenthal a new one

Max Blumenthal's colleague, “independent journalist”  Rania Khalek recently tweeted a link to a video that she characterizes as Max "lay[ing] out Zionist collaboration with Nazi Germany.

What happens when Yad Vashem historian Enno Raschke watches it?  He characterizes Max’s bastardization of history as  “disgusting foolish and fraudulent,” concluding “That's not collaboration, it's Pikuach Nefesh - which calls to abandon all other principles in order to save innocent life.”

Check out the result on Storify.  Thanks to Nurit Baytch  for compiling these. 

Monday, March 30, 2015

Slap on the wrist for Berkeley SJP

In direct violation of campus policy, UC Berkeley's Students for Justice in Palestine distributed several hundred fake eviction notices under the doors in Unit 2 during "Israel Apartheid Week".  Its the same tired old tactic we've seen for years by a group desperate to be noticed.

Via the Daily Cal
“We do not allow any solicitations out of respect for the students residing there,” said Adam Ratliff, spokesperson for the campus’ Division of Student Affairs, in an email. He said he is not aware of any planned response to SJP for breaching dormitory policy.

No, there was no consequence to this breach of the Code of Student Conduct. Yet again,  the spoiled children of SJP  have been allowed to flagrantly violate campus rules with impunity by campus administrators too spineless to endorse their own guidelines.