Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Jewish Voice for Peace Values. Supporting Terror

Jewish Voice for Peace claims: If you want to act on your values and not just talk about them, Jewish Voice for Peace is for you
JVP values
Is promoting terror one of  your values?  Apparently it is for JVP, who proudly proclaim in the same handout that they “organized a solidarity fast for Khader Adnan

JVP Values: Supporting Terror
Khader Adnan? 

Really, JVP?  These are your values?

Khader Adnan is a leader of Islamic Jihad  widely recognized as a terrorist organization by the EU, US, UK, Israel, Australia, Canada, and Japan.
Islamic Jihad's handiwork

Islamic Jihad's handiwork
Check out Adnan’s terrorist ideology and his extremist rhetoric as he solicits suicide bombers at a 2007 event, urging   “Who among you will carry the next explosive belt? “Who among you will fire the next bullets? Who among you will have his body parts blown all over?”



Jewish Voice for Peace values. Providing cover for terror

Monday, March 23, 2015

Cesar Chavez on Zionism

This month we celebrate the birthday of Cesar Chavez, a friend to Israel and the Jewish people.

Following the 1974 UN Resolution equating Zionism with racism, Chavez  wrote to Rabbi Sidney Jacobs of the Board of Rabbis of Southern California.

From the letter, reproduced below:

The following statement was adopted by the National Executive Board of the United Farm Workers of America, AFL-CIO

The recent United Nations resolution condemning Zionism as racism is an affront to the Jewish people who have been history’s primary victims of racism.

As an embattled minority who have suffered the humiliation and degradation of racial and economic discrimination in this country, we know first hand the ravages brought by intolerance and prejudice. This resolution will encourage the latent anti-semitism that has been a blot on world history and continues to stain the conscience of mankind

A national Home for the Jewish People is the natural and legitimate aspiration of one of history’s most oppressed minorities. We are proud to stand with our Jewish brothers and sisters in America in affirming Israel’s right to live in peace with her neighbors. As  democratic trade unions and human beings we can do no less.

Warmest personal regards. Viva la Causa!


Cesar Chavez, President


Friday, March 20, 2015

Are the bus ad battles coming to an end?

In  2010, King County officials in Seattle initially agreed to accept  an anti-Israel ad  but backed off after getting after considerable  public outcry. Soon afterward  Metro transit system  barred all political advertising on buses. The federal appeals court was asked to determine if the County’s decision violated the Seattle Mideast Awareness Campaigns (Seamac) first amendment rights in refusing the ad.   In Seattle Mideast Awareness Campaign v. King County, 11-35914,  the court  has decided 2-1  that King County Metro Transit did not violate free-speech rights , ruling in the county's favor:

 “The county’s decision to reject SeaMac’s ad was both reasonable and viewpoint neutral, and thus did not violate the First amendment."

Judge Paul Watford, joined by Judge Alex Kozinski  ruled  “Because the county simultaneously rejected all of the proposed ads on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict - from opposing viewpoints - no reasonable jury could find that it engaged in viewpoint discrimination” and concluded "We believe the county’s decision to reject  Sea Mac’s ad was indeed reasonable, given the serious threat of disruption running the ad would have posed".

The ninth circuit decision may give our local MUNI an escape clause allowing them to reject the divisive and provocation ads promoted by such fringe groups Jewish Voice for Peace and American Muslims for Palestine

Thursday, March 19, 2015

BDS LARP ing at Hewlett Packard

From Emunah:

In 2002  Tzipi Shemesh, 29, was one of three people killed and 86 injured  in Jerusalem when a suicide bomber detonated his bomb. It was packed with nails and metal debris meant to maximize human suffering.  Tzipi was killed instantly. Her husband,  Gadi died shortly afterwards in hospital. Tzipi was 5 months pregnant with twins.

They left behind their two daughters - Shoval, age 7 and Shahar, age 3.

Over 1,000 people attended Tzipi and Gadi's funeral.  Shoval drew a picture of a heart and flowers, and wrote a  message to her parents."I am writing you a letter because I am parting from you. I won't see you for a very long time."

During the second intifada, 1,218 Israeli people were killed and 8,341 were wounded in an unrelenting series of attacks that targeted Israeli people in buses, cafes and discos.

That number has dropped significantly in recent years, due to a series of security procedures that Israel has put in place, including its security barrier and system of checkpoints.


These procedures serve as a nonviolent way to save lives, in the absence of a real and lasting peace. Who could possibly object?

Apparently, Jewish Voice for Peace and the American Friends Service Committee and other local extremists groups object. To them, Palestinian inconvenience trumps Jewish lives. To them, nearly everything trumps Jewish lives.

On March 18, they held a protest at Hewlett Packard headquarters in Palo Alto, protesting HP’s role in developing the technology that insures Israeli citizens remain safe.

In spite of press releases sent out by Carol Sanders not a single member of the press showed up, missing what might have been one of the most bizarre and baffling anti-Israel events in recent memory

Organized in part by Dalit Baum, the AFSC “Director of Economic Activism for Palestine”  the event featured silly hats, ill fitting wigs and octogenarians engaged in what can only be described as political activism meets  LARP- live action role playing.

BDS protest at Hewlett Packard

BDS Protest at Hewlett Packard
BDS protester keeping it classy
The  “HP Stakeholders Coalition” includes American Friends Service Committee; American Muslims for Palestine; Code Pink; Ecumenical Peace Institute; Friends of Deir IbzI'a; Friends of Sabeel NorCal; International Solidarity Movement; Jewish Voice for Peace –Bay Area, Santa Cruz, and South Bay Chapters; Peninsula Peace & Justice Center; QUIT! Queers Undermining Israeli Terrorism; Rossmoor Voices for Justice in Palestine; San Jose Peace & Justice Center; Bay Area Women In Black; Berkeley Women In Black; 14 Friends of Palestine; BDS Marin; Justice for Palestinians

There was also a small counter protest



People saw the flags from their office windows, and came down to join the group.

LARP ing- another jump the shark moment in the inglorious history of Bay Area anti-Israel activism.


Monday, March 16, 2015

Etsy-gate continues

Our story so far:

Paul Larudee of the International Solidarity Movement had a "shop" on the website Etsy that was shut down for a direct violation of the sites guidelines- for reselling items he did not design or make.

Although the ISM's support for terror regimes was not a contributing factor in the decision, Paul has pulled the "discrimination" card, claiming:

This is ripe for exploitation by persons who want to persecute others or sabotage their competition.  In our case, our Palestinian advocacy is not appreciated by persons or groups who would be pleased to see Palestinians disappear from the remnants of historic Palestine where they cling to existence under horrific conditions.  I can well imagine that such persons might organize in such a manner as to create a critical mass of reports in order to motivate you to close our store.  It is therefore not accurate to say that our store was not suspended due to our support of Palestinians and Palestinian human rights, only that this was perhaps not your intention.

 The Etsy representative calmly and patiently explained the policy, writing

"Based on the information you've provided, it appears that you, the person responsible for running the Etsy shop, are not making or designing the items being sold. As a result, I've determined that your business does not meet Etsy's Guidelines and suspended your selling privileges."

Oops.

But Paul's a classy guy. If he's going down, everyone is going down. Speaking of  "sabotaging the competition",  he writes to Etsy, fingering all other resellers of Palestinian goods:

Here is a partial list of other Etsy producers of the same or similar keffiyehs as ours, some of them from the same producer in Palestine:

Same items from other Etsy stores, same producer as ours (Yasir Hirbawi, in Palestine), all cotton:

https://www.etsy.com/listing/198998850/arab-shemagh-keffiyeh-black-or-red-100?ref=sc_2&plkey=3e1c222b0032b6ac8313133d5b54bbcb18abbab3%3A198998850&ga_search_query=keffiyeh&ga_search_type=all&ga_view_type=gallery

https://www.etsy.com/listing/214622312/keffiyeh-shemagh-made-in-palestine-green?ref=sr_gallery_1&ga_search_query=keffiyeh&ga_search_type=all&ga_view_type=gallery

https://www.etsy.com/listing/212910901/arab-shemagh-keffiyeh-black-or-red?ref=sr_gallery_9&ga_search_query=keffiyeh&ga_search_type=all&ga_view_type=gallery

https://www.etsy.com/listing/219519834/original-palestinian-keffiyeh-shemagh?ref=sr_gallery_5&ga_search_query=keffiyeh&ga_page=3&ga_search_type=all&ga_view_type=gallery

Made in Turkey or other countries, same manufacturing process, often with synthetic fabric.

https://www.etsy.com/listing/190866398/upright-keffiyeh-scarf?ref=sr_gallery_5&ga_search_query=keffiyeh&ga_search_type=all&ga_view_type=gallery

https://www.etsy.com/listing/154013318/black-and-white-keffiyeh-style-scarf?ref=sr_gallery_5&ga_search_query=keffiyeh&ga_search_type=all&ga_view_type=gallery

https://www.etsy.com/listing/212878117/vintage-huge-square-black-white-tassled?ref=sr_gallery_7&ga_search_query=keffiyeh&ga_search_type=all&ga_view_type=gallery

https://www.etsy.com/listing/164541859/unisex-keffiyeh-scarf-white-and-black?ref=sr_gallery_8&ga_search_query=keffiyeh&ga_search_type=all&ga_view_type=gallery

https://www.etsy.com/listing/210422949/checkered-egyptian-scarf-keffiyeh-black?ref=sr_gallery_10&ga_search_query=keffiyeh&ga_search_type=all&ga_view_type=gallery

Paul, Larudee
ISM-NorCal


There you have it, activists.  As your Etsy shops get closed down, one by one, you now know who is responsible. No, its not  the Worldwide Zionist Conspiracy, though we are sitting back with our popcorn and enjoying the show.  This is in the hands of your very own Paul Larudee.

Out of Business: ISM shop shuttered on Etsy

Ah, the exceptionalism of the Palestinians and their advocates.

Paul Larudee of the International Solidarity movement (ISM) is upset. After several years of selling Palestinian olive oil, soaps and Keffiyehs on the Etsy  website, their shop was closed.  Paul howled "discrimination". but it wasn't.  

Rules don’t apply to anti-Israel activists after all. Never mind that the Etsy marketplace deals exclusively with handmade goods, vintage goods and craft supplies, and the commercial, mass produced products marketed by the ISM were outside the scope of Etsy. Never mind that the ISM violated the very principles and mission of the Etsy, and damaged the integrity of the site by arrogantly shirking the guidelines

They are the victims. They are always the victims.

From Etsy:


In our diverse marketplace, handmade can't mean a single method or process. Instead, it's about these three principles.
Authorship
A handmade item begins with you. Etsy's not the place to sell new items you had no role in creating.
Responsibility
Shop owners on Etsy are invested and knowledgeable about how their handmade items are made.
Transparency
By being open and honest about how items are made, we create a marketplace built on trust.

Nonetheless, the ISM whines:
Etsy's complaint against us was that our items are not hand made by us. That is of course only partly true, because nearly everything that we sell requires the time and effort of our group volunteers to finish the product and make it ready for shipping.
A more telling point, however, is that there are nine other Etsy sellers offering keffiyehs for sale, and theirs are not any more handmade than ours. In fact, four of them offer the exact same product as us, from the exact same supplier in Palestine (Hirbawi factory). Why are we being singled out? We think it is precisely because we are a nonprofit supporting Palestinians and Palestinian human rights. That is the main difference between us and the other Etsy stores.
 No, packaging a product doesn't make it handmade.  And its just a matter before those other shops are closed too, for violating the ETSY principles.


Friday, March 13, 2015

#AskHamas The Hilarity Continues

The mainstream media, the Israeli Press, the Jewish press and countless bloggers have picked up on the social media phenomenon of #AskHamas

From Haaretz 
#AskHamas' Twitter campaign quickly backfires

From The Times of Israel
#AskHamas Twitter campaign backfires on Gaza group

From the Washington Post
Hamas’s #AskHamas Twitter campaign is being mocked and it hasn’t even started yet

From the Jerusalem Post
#AskHamas campaign a trending topic on Twitter as users turn Q&A into farce

From the JTA
#AskHamas is one big #TwitterFail


The attempt to create the illusion a warmer, softer, fuzzier Hamas  has turned into a failure and an embarrassment, especially for the people of Gaza.


  

Judea Pearl: Zionophobia is at least as evil as Islamophobia.

Behind a paywall at Haaretz

Judea Pearl, professor of computer science and statistics at UCLA writes about the anti-Israel culture at UCLA and how it relates to the attacks on Rachel Beyda for her “Jewish affiliations”

UCLA is a campus that has allowed Middle East history to be taught by instructors who demonize Israel, and has permitted its Center for Near Eastern Studies to be directed and co-directed by BDS supporters. It is a culture where a student can come to class wearing an "Israel Kills" T-shirt, yet any mention of Muslim symbols is sure to trigger the heaviest gun of political correctness, "Islamophobia!"
It is a culture where pro-coexistence students, especially in the social sciences, prefer to keep silent rather than risk mockery and social estrangement. Most importantly, it is a campus overrun by soft-spoken BDS propagandists who managed to hijack the student government's agenda with repeated proposals for anti-Israel resolutions, the purpose of which is one: to associate the word "Israel" with the word "guilty."
Coming from this culture, it is quite natural for a council member to assume that Rachel Beyda, as a Jew, is likely to have a built-in reluctance to joining the never-ending orgy of Israel indictments. Especially indictments authored by a movement like BDS, which openly denies one of Jews' most deeply held convictions – Israel's right to exist.
I am purposely using the generic term "as a Jew" here, in its most inclusive, people-based sense. I do so because a great many Jews do consider Israel the culmination of their millennia-long history. Likewise, I follow the observations of Hillel's leadership, who repeatedly assures concerned parents and outraged donors of its commitment to the Zionist dream, and to pro-Israel education.

So why all the outrage about the misuse of the inclusive term "Jewish?" Roth's mistake was not that she probed into Beyda's faith as a Jew, but that she implied that Jews can only gain social acceptance and student government credentials by joining the "indict-Israel" circus, as some of their professors have chosen to do.

Part of our outrage should also be directed at ourselves, and at our leadership, for failing to educate the campus that Jews are a people, not merely a religion, that this people has a dream called Zionism and that religion does not have a monopoly on human sensitivity. In other words, that when it comes to campus norms of civility, Zionophobia is at least as evil as Islamophobia.
By reacting to anti-Semitism with greater sensitivity than to anti-Israelism we reinforce the idea that religions are entitled to a greater protection from discrimination than other identity-forming narratives, and we thus give anti-coexistence forces the legitimacy they seek to harass Israel-supporters with ideological impunity.

Read it all here

Thursday, March 12, 2015

#AskHamas. What could possibly go wrong?

Inspired by the phenomenally successful #AskGalloway campaign, the media wing of Hamas has announced a new  social media operation .  Senior members of the terrorist group will answer questions on Twitter using the hashtag #AskHamas, presumably to show a softer, gentler Hamas.

Hamas media coordinator Taher al-Nunu announced the launch of a weeklong interactive campaign starting Friday on social media outlets under the hashtag #AskHamas.

The campaign aims at answering any questions that might be raised by European communities with the approach of the time limit, on March 18, of the EU appeal of an earlier court ruling calling for the removal of Hamas from EU’s terrorism list.

Nunu said, in a speech during a media workshop on Thursday, that the campaign would primarily target western audiences, especially in the EU.

“It will send messages reflecting Hamas’s opinions and attitudes towards many issues that concern the western people and demonstrate that Hamas is not a terrorist group”, he explained.

Its going quite well.





This will be going on all week. Join in the fun, and #AskHamas anything.


Anything at all.

Rasmea Odeh sentenced to prison, deportation

Rasmea Odeh, a member of the PFLP terror group was convicted of a 1969 bombing that killed Hebrew University students Edward Joffe and Leon Kanner,  as well as the attempted bombing of the British Consulate in Israel.

She served 10 years of a life sentence before being released in a prisoner exchange in 1979, and came to America.  In November 2014, Rasmea was convicted in federal court in Detroit of lying on her immigration paperwork by denying her Israeli convictions,  incarceration, and affiliation with terror groups

Today, Rasmea Odeh was sentenced to 18 month in prison and stripped of her citizenship. She will be deported to Jordan at the end of her sentence. She is free on bond pending a planned appeal.

Anti-Israel activists attempted to turn this trial into a highly politicized  anti-Israel circus. It didn't fool Judge Gershwin Drain

"It's not about freedom fighters,"  Judge Drain said. "It's about telling the truth."

Victims of Rasmea Odeh: Edward Joffe and Leon Kanner

Funeral of Edward Joffe and Leon Kanner

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Surprising reaction by the family of Israeli Teen assasinated by ISIS.

Accused of being a spy by ISIS, 19 year old Israeli Arab Muhammad Said Musallam was assassinated this week.

His parents'  reaction may surprise you. From an interview with Said Musallam, Muhammd's father

Via the Jerusalem Post

“I understood from my son that Islamic State lied to him,” he said.

“I will sacrifice myself and my three other sons to go to war and fight against Islamic State with Israel. The leader of Islamic State will die the way my son died. His death is coming.”

His son had been killed, Said said, because he knew too much.

“Muhammad was knowledgeable about Islamic State – the maps, territories, locations, everything,” he said. “The reason Islamic State was scared was because if he came back to Israel, he could tell the Mossad the information and destroy them because he knew everything.”

Despite his son’s decision to join the terrorist organization, Said emphasized that he and his family stood with Israel.

“My loyalty is to Israel, because my family lives in Jewish neighborhoods and no one gives us any trouble or complications,” he said.

“We believe that we are family. We have the same father, Abraham.”

Anti-Semitism at the University of California: Its getting hard to ignore

UC President Janet Napolitano and UC Board of Regents Chairman Bruce D. Varner made the following statement today (March 11):

Recent instances of anti-Semitism at University of California campuses compel us to speak out against bigotry and hate, wherever it might occur and whoever might be targeted.

Like other members of the University of California, we were appalled when student government representatives at UCLA doubted the ability of a Jewish student to serve on the Judicial Board without bias simply because of her faith. While the student government representatives ultimately realized they were wrong to treat this student as they had, and voted unanimously to appoint her to the Board, the initial action wounded the entire UC community. 

Earlier this year, vandals at UC Davis defaced a Jewish fraternity house with anti-Semitic graffiti, including two swastikas — a hateful affront to all across the UC system. Administrative leaders and students quickly decried the crime as repugnant and a gross violation of our values. But the damage was done, to all of us.

Anti-Semitic incidents such as these, as well as bigotry directed against any members of the UC community because of their faith, ethnicity, gender or sexual orientation, will not be tolerated. They deserve our condemnation. We applaud the UCLA and UC Berkeley student governments for unanimously passing resolutions condemning anti-Semitism.

All of us bear responsibility for preserving and strengthening the University of California’s bedrock values of respect, inclusion and civility. Doing so requires the constant attention and the enduring commitment of every member of our community, every day, everywhere.

Monday, March 9, 2015

Cal Student Sumayya Din trivializes murder


Via StandwithUs

An anti-Israel candidate for student senate, Sumayya Din, at UC Berkeley decided to promote her campaign with a play on the word, "Intifada." 

On this day, March 9, 2002, during the Second Intifada, 11 Israelis were killed and 54 were injured (most severely) when a Palestinian terrorist blew up a Cafe in Jerusalem.

This candidate's slogan makes light of a massive campaign of violence (The Second Intifada) in which racist terrorist organizations killed over 1,000 Israelis.


Intifada Is Murder. Not A Campaign Slogan.


A student senate candidate at the University of California, Berkeley is under fire after making reference to the murder of innocent men, women and children as part of her campaign platform. 

Despite the fact the UC Berkeley recently unanimously passed a bill condemning anti-Semitism, Sumayyah Din, a candidate on the "Independent Voice" slate, made use of the term when she launched her campaign late Sunday evening. 

"I am honored to have the opportunity to run for ASUC Senate as an independent candidate," wrote Din. She added:
I believe it is tremendously important for ALL students at Cal to have a voice in our student government and I want to represent my communities in this space. My vision encompasses a collaborative force on campus that utilizes our collective identities for an inclusive campus climate. I hope to move forward with the utmost transparency, compassion, and vigor. Vote the Independent Voice for an Independent Choice! #DIN4THEWIN #DINASTY #DINTIFADA #DOIT4THEDIN
An intifada is defined literally as "uprising" or "resistance." During Palestinian intifadas, attacks have included Islamist suicide bombers detonating themselves in public areas within Israel and have led to the deaths of hundreds of innocent men, women and children of all faiths. Din edited her post and removed the intifada reference hours after posting.

Can't help but wonder if those who dismiss this as a  "manufactured controversy" feel that way about campaigns against made in New Jersey hummus, or boycotts of Israeli modern dance troupes.

I'd guess not.



Jewish Voice for Peace: Still spreading lies

If groups like Jewish Voice for Peace have their way, the indoctrination of our young people will begin well before college

The annual California Council for the Social Studies Conference was held last weekend at the Oakland Marriott. In addition to the usual textbook and software vendors, the fringe group of anti-Israel activists also had a booth. 

 NGO Monitor on Jewish Voice for Peace

 (JVP) ...views itself as the "Jewish wing" of the Palestinian solidarity movement.  Though JVP regards the organized Jewish community as its "enemy" and "opponent," it nonetheless demands a seat at the communal table.  The strategy, as stated by JVP's executive director Rebecca Vilkomerson, is to create "a wedge" within the American Jewish community to generate the impression of polarization over Israel.  The tactic is to dilute support for Israel in the Jewish community, toward the goal of reducing or eliminating the United States government's economic, military, and political support for Israel.

JVP activists lured people to their table with a huge pile of Hershey's miniatures, and reeled in their unsuspecting victims by encouraging them to take a spin on their wheel of "truth"  Those who fell for it were subjected to a false historical narrative of out of context quotes, misrepresentations, deletions and downright lies.

In the JVP mindset, Israel "seized" the Gaza strip and the West bank, but Israel's near miraculous defeat of 6 Arab armies in that war was not worth a mention. To JVP, Israel's "wall"- never mind that 97% is a fence- exists to prevent Palestinian access to Israel. Its security function and its success at  protecting the Israeli population went unmentioned.  The mythical "right" of return, the libel of "Jewish only" roads, the lie of racial segregation- long discredited tropes were dug up and displayed at this convention. History and truth were discarded.




The mission of the  California Council for Social Studies  states

"We want our students to understand the value, the importance, and the fragility of democratic institutions to develop a keen sense of ethics and citizenship, and to care deeply about the quality of life in their community, their nation and their world." 

It hard to see how the lies and demonization spread by  JVP work towards that aim.

One teacher painstaking explained to the activists why the 4 part maps that were distributed did not show a historical reality. She was summarily and rudely dismissed.

We'll give her the last word.


Saturday, March 7, 2015

Jewish Voice for Peace. Aiding and Abetting Anti-Semites. Again.


 The 2015 AIPAC Policy conference was the largest ever, with over 16,000 supporters of strong bonds between Israel and America attending.  Of those, 3,000 were college students, ground zero in the campaign against Israel.  A variety of fringe groups protested the event. Jewish Voice for Peace proudly stood shoulder to shoulder with notoriously anti-Semitic groups in its protest of the conference. The group was silent as a Hezbollah terror flag was unfurled at their protest.  Later that week, the same groups joined forces to protest Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu's speech to Congress

In an email, Hatem Bazians' American Muslims for Palestine boasted of the alliance, which also included such fringe groups as the Neturai Karta and Code Pink



In Algemeiner, Yizthak Santis asks  "Why is a self-styled “Jewish organization” collaborating with rabid anti-Israel campaigners, including antisemites?", chronicling how Jewish Voice for Peace's partnership with groups that use anti-Semitic rhetoric belie its claims  that “as Jews, we have no tolerance for antisemitism”

He writes:

With such partners, it should come as no surprise that JVP endorses the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement. This is consistent with JVP activities such as attempting to block ZIM cargo ships from unloading in Tampa and in Los Angeles, participating in the Free Gaza flotillas, and raising funds for the anti-Zionist International Solidarity Movement.

Why does JVP associate itself with such radical, hateful organizations? Perhaps it is because they share the same goal: Israel’s demise. To this end, JVP advances a one-sided anti-Israel narrative, refers to Israel as an “apartheid” state, and lobbies to distance the United States from Israel. JVP views itself as the “Jewish wing of the Palestinian Solidarity movement” and is an integral part of this anti-Israel coalition, serving as its “Jewish shield,” washing away the moral stain of antisemitism from their partners’ records.


Given JVP’s emphatic statement that “as Jews, we have no tolerance for antisemitism,” the organization should be the first to speak out against its allies’ antisemitic rhetoric. Yet JVP remains silent, showing it has a blind spot when anti-Jewish hate emanates from its anti-Israel comrades. This willingness to consort with antisemites hiding behind an anti-Zionist façade says much more about JVP’s character than Israel, the sole target of its vitriolic and obsessive criticism.

Read it all here:

Thursday, March 5, 2015

"Censoring Palestine at the University: Free Speech and Academic Freedom at a Crossroads"

The academic gatekeepers  who cry “Islamophobia” in an  effort to prevent meaningful discourse on the role of religion in the worlds conflicts are having a conference tomorrow at UC Berkeley. The same groups that decry "normalization" and dialog - the same groups that shout down speakers they disagree with will be discussing "censorship".

"Censoring Palestine at the University: Free Speech and Academic Freedom at a Crossroads" is sponsored by American Muslims for Palestine, Council on American Islamic Relations-SF Bay Area, Jewish Voice for Peace-Bay Area Chapter, Students for Justice in Palestine-Berkeley and the Muslim Students Association.

March 6th, 2015
9:00AM- 6:30 PM
100 Boalt Hall School of Law
University of California, Berkeley

Panel One
9:30AM - 11:15AM
An Overview of Palestine at the Academy
Yaman Salahi, Staff Attorney at Asian Law Caucus
Rahim Kurwa, SJP UCLA
Taliah Mirmalek, SJP UC Berkeley
Moderator: Liz Jackson

Panel Two
11:30AM- 1:15PM
Typology of Palestine's Censorship at the Academy
Prof. Hilary Aked
Typology of Censorship
Prof. Stephen Zunes, Professor of Politics and International Studies at the University of San Francisco
"Balancing" Moderates with Extremists: How Academic Administrators Demand Inclusion of Supporters of Occupation
Rahim Kurwa, Ph.D. Candidate in Sociology, UC Los Angeles
Censorship of pro-Palestinian Speech at the University of California since 2009

Panel Three
2:15PM - 4:00PM
Academic Discourses on Palestine: Structured Limits
Prof. Lara Deeb, Chair of Anthropology at Scripps College
Prof. Jessica Winegar, Professor of Anthropology at Northwestern University.
Fears of Attacks on Academic Freedom: Anthropologists Navigate Israel/Palestine
Prof. Deborah A. Gordon, Chair and Associate Professor, Center for Women's Studies and Religion Department, Wichita State University
Honor Diaries: Islamophobia in Zionism's Retort to Palestine on Campus

Panel 4
4:30 - 6:30PM
Censoring Palestine at the University: Free Speech and Academic Freedom at a Crossroads
Prof. Richard Falk, Albert G. Milbank Professor Emeritus of International Law at Princeton University
Censoring Palestine at the University: Free Speech and Academic Freedom at a Crossroads
Prof. Rabab Abdulhadi, Associate Professor of Ethnic Studies/Race and Resistance Studies
Resisting the New McCarthyism: Campus Activism and Zionist Backlash at San Francisco State University
Dr. Hatem Bazian, Near Eastern and Asian American Studies Departments at UC Berkeley, Professor and Co-Founder of Zaytuna College.
Institutional Gate Keepers and Seamless Censorship

UPDATE:
The audience appears to be rather limited

Censoring truth. This was a public conference in a public university yet the photographer was threatened for taking this snapshot.



Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Vanessa Beeley: Spinning "Palestine"

 A March 4 email sent by Vanessa Beeley spreads insight into the mind-set of the anti-Israel activist. Vanessa writes:

My name is Vanessa Beeley and I currently volunteer with the Global Campaign to Return to Palestine, a global NGO based in Lebanon that is an umbrella organization for civil society associations that support the Palestinian Cause, both in the Arab countries and the world, and has representatives and partners in over 45 countries around the world to set up events and movements to advocate the Palestinian cause and in particular the right of return.

We are looking for volunteers that could help promote our English Facebook page by posting on a regular basis.

This role requires a daily contribution of around 5 pertinent articles or posts and will therefore not take up too much of your time especially if you are already involved in the Palestinian cause and an avid reader of news on Palestine or a regular on Facebook.

If this is of interest to you and you would like to get involved please check out the page itself (link above) and then decide if you would have the time to devote to this project which has also just started a French page and will shortly be considering a Turkish and Spanish page, so you will be an important part of a global pro Palestinian movement, with particular emphasis on the right to return.

Please find below, the Global Return's page policy which will give you a very clear indication as to what they require regarding posts.

I hope this will be of interest to you and please dont hesitate to contact me should you have any further questions. 

In solidarity

Vanessa Beeley


Vanessa is committed to keeping the posting on this facebook page formulaic and predictable, using the same tired tropes  that emphasize the eternal victim-hood of the Palestinians at the hands of the Israelis.

Palestinians and their activists have narrative- and any correlation with truth with highly coincidental. Vanessa's guidelines do not, as she claims "advocate for the Palestinian cause".   These guidelines are simply anti-Israel. In Vaneesa's world, the extremists of Hamas and Palestinian jihadist groups can be ignored in support of her "righteous" cause.

Vanessa continues with  The Global Campaign to Return to Palestine Face book page Policy statement, writing


The Page’s editors should take into consideration that it is not a news platform but rather a page for an NGO. It covers many aspects of the Palestinian cause alongside the news about the Campaign’s activities, and maintains a unifying tone away from dealing with any religious, sectarian, regional, and Political divisions, with focus on civil work and movements. It aims at bringing all people together, from different backgrounds and intellect, in support of our central and righteous Palestinian Cause....

 Most important Palestinian events which are not classified as daily or routine occurrences and clashes between the Palestinians and the Israeli Soldiers for example:      
*  Child and students’ Detentions such as the most recent case of Malak Al Khatib (14 Years- Youngest prisoner in Israeli Jails and have spent almost two months in detention).
*  Settlers taking over Palestinian houses in Jerusalem or West Bank, and their assaults against Palestinian lives and other properties. 

*  Palestinians Killed by the Israelis during protests or sit-ins that end up with Clashes.
*   Bulldozing Palestinian Houses in Jerusalem and other places all over Palestine.


Humanitarian stories from Gaza (and the rest of Palestine), like:
*  Children dying out of cold during winter storms and the miserable conditions of the homeless families after the Israeli aggression.
*   The consequences of the Israeli Blockade, like most recently a group of students threw their diplomas in the sea of Gaza because they are unable to leave the strip and resume their degrees in the universities outside.

 *  Stories of wounded recovering from their injuries and other news about the situation post-war.

Civil Society organizations and NGOs’ movements and activities that are held in solidarity with Palestine, and those are classified according to three domains:

*  Activities and events held by the members of the Campaign each in their own country.
*  Activities and movements of NGOs around the world that are not members of Campaign.
*  Civil movements against the Israeli occupation that take place inside Palestine (whether by Palestinians or by foreign activists)


 Special and outstanding writings about Palestine, its people, and major events, by authors, activists, or blogs.

Photos and videos from Palestine that covers the following points:
*  Highlighting the beauty of the cities, towns, and villages in occupied Palestine.
*  Shedding light on certain aspects of the Palestinian cause like
*  The miserable conditions in Gaza caused by the blockade and the latest Israeli aggression.
*  Israeli Soldiers assaulting Journalists.
*  Child detentions. 

Vanessa Beeley ' s guidelines for spinning this conflict remove all responsibility from the Palestinians, and promotes a one sided biased narrative that does nothing to bring about peace.


  

Sacramento Rally against Anti-Semitism

 In our community, we are seeing a frightening resurgency and mainstreaming of anti-Semitism.

The Board of Rabbis, the Sacramento Jewish Federation, and the Jewish Community Relations Council will hold a rally to address this concern. Please join our community's rally against the growing anti-Semitism in the Central valley and around the world on Monday, March 9, from 5:30-6:30pm on the West Steps of the Capitol in Sacramento

Please come, and forward widely


Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Full transcript of Benjamin Netanyahu's Address to Congress March 3 2015

Complete transcript of  Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's address to a joint meeting of Congress.

NETANYAHU

Speaker of the House John Boehner, President Pro Tem Senator Orrin Hatch, Senator Minority -- Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, and House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy.

I also want to acknowledge Senator, Democratic Leader Harry Reid. Harry, it's good to see you back on your feet.

(APPLAUSE)

I guess it's true what they say, you can't keep a good man down.

(LAUGHTER)

My friends, I'm deeply humbled by the opportunity to speak for a third time before the most important legislative body in the world, the U.S. Congress.

(APPLAUSE)

I want to thank you all for being here today. I know that my speech has been the subject of much controversy. I deeply regret that some perceive my being here as political. That was never my intention.

I want to thank you, Democrats and Republicans, for your common support for Israel, year after year, decade after decade.

(APPLAUSE)

I know that no matter on which side of the aisle you sit, you stand with Israel.

(APPLAUSE)

The remarkable alliance between Israel and the United States has always been above politics. It must always remain above politics.

(APPLAUSE)

Because America and Israel, we share a common destiny, the destiny of promised lands that cherish freedom and offer hope. Israel is grateful for the support of American -- of America's people and of America's presidents, from Harry Truman to Barack Obama.

(APPLAUSE)

We appreciate all that President Obama has done for Israel.

Now, some of that is widely known.

(APPLAUSE)

Some of that is widely known, like strengthening security cooperation and intelligence sharing, opposing anti-Israel resolutions at the U.N.

Some of what the president has done for Israel is less well- known.

I called him in 2010 when we had the Carmel forest fire, and he immediately agreed to respond to my request for urgent aid.


In 2011, we had our embassy in Cairo under siege, and again, he provided vital assistance at the crucial moment.

Or his support for more missile interceptors during our operation last summer when we took on Hamas terrorists.

(APPLAUSE)

In each of those moments, I called the president, and he was there.

And some of what the president has done for Israel might never be known, because it touches on some of the most sensitive and strategic issues that arise between an American president and an Israeli prime minister.

But I know it, and I will always be grateful to President Obama for that support.

(APPLAUSE)

And Israel is grateful to you, the American Congress, for your support, for supporting us in so many ways, especially in generous military assistance and missile defense, including Iron Dome.

(APPLAUSE)

Last summer, millions of Israelis were protected from thousands of Hamas rockets because this capital dome helped build our Iron Dome.

(APPLAUSE)

Thank you, America. Thank you for everything you've done for Israel.

My friends, I've come here today because, as prime minister of Israel, I feel a profound obligation to speak to you about an issue that could well threaten the survival of my country and the future of my people: Iran's quest for nuclear weapons.

We're an ancient people. In our nearly 4,000 years of history, many have tried repeatedly to destroy the Jewish people. Tomorrow night, on the Jewish holiday of Purim, we'll read the Book of Esther. We'll read of a powerful Persian viceroy named Haman, who plotted to destroy the Jewish people some 2,500 years ago. But a courageous Jewish woman, Queen Esther, exposed the plot and gave for the Jewish people the right to defend themselves against their enemies.

The plot was foiled. Our people were saved.

(APPLAUSE)

Today the Jewish people face another attempt by yet another Persian potentate to destroy us. Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei spews the oldest hatred, the oldest hatred of anti-Semitism with the newest technology. He tweets that Israel must be annihilated -- he tweets. You know, in Iran, there isn't exactly free Internet. But he tweets in English that Israel must be destroyed.

For those who believe that Iran threatens the Jewish state, but not the Jewish people, listen to Hassan Nasrallah, the leader of Hezbollah, Iran's chief terrorist proxy. He said: If all the Jews gather in Israel, it will save us the trouble of chasing them down around the world.

But Iran's regime is not merely a Jewish problem, any more than the Nazi regime was merely a Jewish problem. The 6 million Jews murdered by the Nazis were but a fraction of the 60 million people killed in World War II. So, too, Iran's regime poses a grave threat, not only to Israel, but also the peace of the entire world. To understand just how dangerous Iran would be with nuclear weapons, we must fully understand the nature of the regime.

The people of Iran are very talented people. They're heirs to one of the world's great civilizations. But in 1979, they were hijacked by religious zealots -- religious zealots who imposed on them immediately a dark and brutal dictatorship.

That year, the zealots drafted a constitution, a new one for Iran. It directed the revolutionary guards not only to protect Iran's borders, but also to fulfill the ideological mission of jihad. The regime's founder, Ayatollah Khomeini, exhorted his followers to "export the revolution throughout the world."

I'm standing here in Washington, D.C. and the difference is so stark. America's founding document promises life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Iran's founding document pledges death, tyranny, and the pursuit of jihad. And as states are collapsing across the Middle East, Iran is charging into the void to do just that.

Iran's goons in Gaza, its lackeys in Lebanon, its revolutionary guards on the Golan Heights are clutching Israel with three tentacles of terror. Backed by Iran, Assad is slaughtering Syrians. Back by Iran, Shiite militias are rampaging through Iraq. Back by Iran, Houthis are seizing control of Yemen, threatening the strategic straits at the mouth of the Red Sea. Along with the Straits of Hormuz, that would give Iran a second choke-point on the world's oil supply.

Just last week, near Hormuz, Iran carried out a military exercise blowing up a mock U.S. aircraft carrier. That's just last week, while they're having nuclear talks with the United States. But unfortunately, for the last 36 years, Iran's attacks against the United States have been anything but mock. And the targets have been all too real.

Iran took dozens of Americans hostage in Tehran, murdered hundreds of American soldiers, Marines, in Beirut, and was responsible for killing and maiming thousands of American service men and women in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Beyond the Middle East, Iran attacks America and its allies through its global terror network. It blew up the Jewish community center and the Israeli embassy in Buenos Aires. It helped Al Qaida bomb U.S. embassies in Africa. It even attempted to assassinate the Saudi ambassador, right here in Washington, D.C.

In the Middle East, Iran now dominates four Arab capitals, Baghdad, Damascus, Beirut and Sanaa. And if Iran's aggression is left unchecked, more will surely follow.

So, at a time when many hope that Iran will join the community of nations, Iran is busy gobbling up the nations.

(APPLAUSE)

We must all stand together to stop Iran's march of conquest, subjugation and terror.

(APPLAUSE)

Now, two years ago, we were told to give President Rouhani and Foreign Minister Zarif a chance to bring change and moderation to Iran. Some change! Some moderation!

Rouhani's government hangs gays, persecutes Christians, jails journalists and executes even more prisoners than before.

Last year, the same Zarif who charms Western diplomats laid a wreath at the grave of Imad Mughniyeh. Imad Mughniyeh is the terrorist mastermind who spilled more American blood than any other terrorist besides Osama bin Laden. I'd like to see someone ask him a question about that.

Iran's regime is as radical as ever, its cries of "Death to America," that same America that it calls the "Great Satan," as loud as ever.

Now, this shouldn't be surprising, because the ideology of Iran's revolutionary regime is deeply rooted in militant Islam, and that's why this regime will always be an enemy of America.

Don't be fooled. The battle between Iran and ISIS doesn't turn Iran into a friend of America.

Iran and ISIS are competing for the crown of militant Islam. One calls itself the Islamic Republic. The other calls itself the Islamic State. Both want to impose a militant Islamic empire first on the region and then on the entire world. They just disagree among themselves who will be the ruler of that empire.

In this deadly game of thrones, there's no place for America or for Israel, no peace for Christians, Jews or Muslims who don't share the Islamist medieval creed, no rights for women, no freedom for anyone.

So when it comes to Iran and ISIS, the enemy of your enemy is your enemy.

(APPLAUSE)

The difference is that ISIS is armed with butcher knives, captured weapons and YouTube, whereas Iran could soon be armed with intercontinental ballistic missiles and nuclear bombs. We must always remember -- I'll say it one more time -- the greatest dangers facing our world is the marriage of militant Islam with nuclear weapons. To defeat ISIS and let Iran get nuclear weapons would be to win the battle, but lose the war. We can't let that happen.

(APPLAUSE)

But that, my friends, is exactly what could happen, if the deal now being negotiated is accepted by Iran. That deal will not prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons. It would all but guarantee that Iran gets those weapons, lots of them.

Let me explain why. While the final deal has not yet been signed, certain elements of any potential deal are now a matter of public record. You don't need intelligence agencies and secret information to know this. You can Google it.

Absent a dramatic change, we know for sure that any deal with Iran will include two major concessions to Iran.

The first major concession would leave Iran with a vast nuclear infrastructure, providing it with a short break-out time to the bomb. Break-out time is the time it takes to amass enough weapons-grade uranium or plutonium for a nuclear bomb.

According to the deal, not a single nuclear facility would be demolished. Thousands of centrifuges used to enrich uranium would be left spinning. Thousands more would be temporarily disconnected, but not destroyed.

Because Iran's nuclear program would be left largely intact, Iran's break-out time would be very short -- about a year by U.S. assessment, even shorter by Israel's.

And if -- if Iran's work on advanced centrifuges, faster and faster centrifuges, is not stopped, that break-out time could still be shorter, a lot shorter.

True, certain restrictions would be imposed on Iran's nuclear program and Iran's adherence to those restrictions would be supervised by international inspectors. But here's the problem. You see, inspectors document violations; they don't stop them.

Inspectors knew when North Korea broke to the bomb, but that didn't stop anything. North Korea turned off the cameras, kicked out the inspectors. Within a few years, it got the bomb.

Now, we're warned that within five years North Korea could have an arsenal of 100 nuclear bombs.

Like North Korea, Iran, too, has defied international inspectors. It's done that on at least three separate occasions -- 2005, 2006, 2010. Like North Korea, Iran broke the locks, shut off the cameras.


Now, I know this is not gonna come a shock -- as a shock to any of you, but Iran not only defies inspectors, it also plays a pretty good game of hide-and-cheat with them.

The U.N.'s nuclear watchdog agency, the IAEA, said again yesterday that Iran still refuses to come clean about its military nuclear program. Iran was also caught -- caught twice, not once, twice -- operating secret nuclear facilities in Natanz and Qom, facilities that inspectors didn't even know existed.

Right now, Iran could be hiding nuclear facilities that we don't know about, the U.S. and Israel. As the former head of inspections for the IAEA said in 2013, he said, "If there's no undeclared installation today in Iran, it will be the first time in 20 years that it doesn't have one." Iran has proven time and again that it cannot be trusted. And that's why the first major concession is a source of great concern. It leaves Iran with a vast nuclear infrastructure and relies on inspectors to prevent a breakout. That concession creates a real danger that Iran could get to the bomb by violating the deal.

But the second major concession creates an even greater danger that Iran could get to the bomb by keeping the deal. Because virtually all the restrictions on Iran's nuclear program will automatically expire in about a decade.

Now, a decade may seem like a long time in political life, but it's the blink of an eye in the life of a nation. It's a blink of an eye in the life of our children. We all have a responsibility to consider what will happen when Iran's nuclear capabilities are virtually unrestricted and all the sanctions will have been lifted. Iran would then be free to build a huge nuclear capacity that could product many, many nuclear bombs.

Iran's Supreme Leader says that openly. He says, Iran plans to have 190,000 centrifuges, not 6,000 or even the 19,000 that Iran has today, but 10 times that amount -- 190,000 centrifuges enriching uranium. With this massive capacity, Iran could make the fuel for an entire nuclear arsenal and this in a matter of weeks, once it makes that decision.

My long-time friend, John Kerry, Secretary of State, confirmed last week that Iran could legitimately possess that massive centrifuge capacity when the deal expires.

Now I want you to think about that. The foremost sponsor of global terrorism could be weeks away from having enough enriched uranium for an entire arsenal of nuclear weapons and this with full international legitimacy.

And by the way, if Iran's Intercontinental Ballistic Missile program is not part of the deal, and so far, Iran refuses to even put it on the negotiating table. Well, Iran could have the means to deliver that nuclear arsenal to the far-reach corners of the earth, including to every part of the United States.

So you see, my friends, this deal has two major concessions: one, leaving Iran with a vast nuclear program and two, lifting the restrictions on that program in about a decade. That's why this deal is so bad. It doesn't block Iran's path to the bomb; it paves Iran's path to the bomb.

So why would anyone make this deal? Because they hope that Iran will change for the better in the coming years, or they believe that the alternative to this deal is worse?

Well, I disagree. I don't believe that Iran's radical regime will change for the better after this deal. This regime has been in power for 36 years, and its voracious appetite for aggression grows with each passing year. This deal would wet appetite -- would only wet Iran's appetite for more.

Would Iran be less aggressive when sanctions are removed and its economy is stronger? If Iran is gobbling up four countries right now while it's under sanctions, how many more countries will Iran devour when sanctions are lifted? Would Iran fund less terrorism when it has mountains of cash with which to fund more terrorism?

Why should Iran's radical regime change for the better when it can enjoy the best of both world's: aggression abroad, prosperity at home?

This is a question that everyone asks in our region. Israel's neighbors -- Iran's neighbors know that Iran will become even more aggressive and sponsor even more terrorism when its economy is unshackled and it's been given a clear path to the bomb.

And many of these neighbors say they'll respond by racing to get nuclear weapons of their own. So this deal won't change Iran for the better; it will only change the Middle East for the worse. A deal that's supposed to prevent nuclear proliferation would instead spark a nuclear arms race in the most dangerous part of the planet.

This deal won't be a farewell to arms. It would be a farewell to arms control. And the Middle East would soon be crisscrossed by nuclear tripwires. A region where small skirmishes can trigger big wars would turn into a nuclear tinderbox.

If anyone thinks -- if anyone thinks this deal kicks the can down the road, think again. When we get down that road, we'll face a much more dangerous Iran, a Middle East littered with nuclear bombs and a countdown to a potential nuclear nightmare.

Ladies and gentlemen, I've come here today to tell you we don't have to bet the security of the world on the hope that Iran will change for the better. We don't have to gamble with our future and with our children's future.

We can insist that restrictions on Iran's nuclear program not be lifted for as long as Iran continues its aggression in the region and in the world.

(APPLAUSE)

Before lifting those restrictions, the world should demand that Iran do three things. First, stop its aggression against its neighbors in the Middle East. Second...

(APPLAUSE)

Second, stop supporting terrorism around the world.

(APPLAUSE)

And third, stop threatening to annihilate my country, Israel, the one and only Jewish state.

(APPLAUSE)

Thank you.

If the world powers are not prepared to insist that Iran change its behavior before a deal is signed, at the very least they should insist that Iran change its behavior before a deal expires.

(APPLAUSE)

If Iran changes its behavior, the restrictions would be lifted. If Iran doesn't change its behavior, the restrictions should not be lifted.

(APPLAUSE)

If Iran wants to be treated like a normal country, let it act like a normal country.


(APPLAUSE)

My friends, what about the argument that there's no alternative to this deal, that Iran's nuclear know-how cannot be erased, that its nuclear program is so advanced that the best we can do is delay the inevitable, which is essentially what the proposed deal seeks to do?

Well, nuclear know-how without nuclear infrastructure doesn't get you very much. A racecar driver without a car can't drive. A pilot without a plan can't fly. Without thousands of centrifuges, tons of enriched uranium or heavy water facilities, Iran can't make nuclear weapons.

(APPLAUSE)

Iran's nuclear program can be rolled back well-beyond the current proposal by insisting on a better deal and keeping up the pressure on a very vulnerable regime, especially given the recent collapse in the price of oil.

(APPLAUSE)

Now, if Iran threatens to walk away from the table -- and this often happens in a Persian bazaar -- call their bluff. They'll be back, because they need the deal a lot more than you do.

(APPLAUSE)

And by maintaining the pressure on Iran and on those who do business with Iran, you have the power to make them need it even more.

My friends, for over a year, we've been told that no deal is better than a bad deal. Well, this is a bad deal. It's a very bad deal. We're better off without it.

(APPLAUSE)

Now we're being told that the only alternative to this bad deal is war. That's just not true.

The alternative to this bad deal is a much better deal.

(APPLAUSE)

A better deal that doesn't leave Iran with a vast nuclear infrastructure and such a short break-out time. A better deal that keeps the restrictions on Iran's nuclear program in place until Iran's aggression ends.

(APPLAUSE)

A better deal that won't give Iran an easy path to the bomb. A better deal that Israel and its neighbors may not like, but with which we could live, literally. And no country...

(APPLAUSE)

... no country has a greater stake -- no country has a greater stake than Israel in a good deal that peacefully removes this threat.

Ladies and gentlemen, history has placed us at a fateful crossroads. We must now choose between two paths. One path leads to a bad deal that will at best curtail Iran's nuclear ambitions for a while, but it will inexorably lead to a nuclear-armed Iran whose unbridled aggression will inevitably lead to war.

The second path, however difficult, could lead to a much better deal, that would prevent a nuclear-armed Iran, a nuclearized Middle East and the horrific consequences of both to all of humanity.

You don't have to read Robert Frost to know. You have to live life to know that the difficult path is usually the one less traveled, but it will make all the difference for the future of my country, the security of the Middle East and the peace of the world, the peace, we all desire.

(APPLAUSE)

My friend, standing up to Iran is not easy. Standing up to dark and murderous regimes never is. With us today is Holocaust survivor and Nobel Prize winner Elie Wiesel.

(APPLAUSE)

Elie, your life and work inspires to give meaning to the words, "never again."

(APPLAUSE)

And I wish I could promise you, Elie, that the lessons of history have been learned. I can only urge the leaders of the world not to repeat the mistakes of the past.

(APPLAUSE)

Not to sacrifice the future for the present; not to ignore aggression in the hopes of gaining an illusory peace.

But I can guarantee you this, the days when the Jewish people remained passive in the face of genocidal enemies, those days are over.

(APPLAUSE)

We are no longer scattered among the nations, powerless to defend ourselves. We restored our sovereignty in our ancient home. And the soldiers who defend our home have boundless courage. For the first time in 100 generations, we, the Jewish people, can defend ourselves.

(APPLAUSE)

This is why -- this is why, as a prime minister of Israel, I can promise you one more thing: Even if Israel has to stand alone, Israel will stand.

(APPLAUSE)

But I know that Israel does not stand alone. I know that America stands with Israel.

(APPLAUSE)

I know that you stand with Israel.

(APPLAUSE)

You stand with Israel, because you know that the story of Israel is not only the story of the Jewish people but of the human spirit that refuses again and again to succumb to history's horrors.

(APPLAUSE)

Facing me right up there in the gallery, overlooking all of us in this (inaudible) chamber is the image of Moses. Moses led our people from slavery to the gates of the Promised Land.


And before the people of Israel entered the land of Israel, Moses gave us a message that has steeled our resolve for thousands of years. I leave you with his message today, (SPEAKING IN HEBREW), "Be strong and resolute, neither fear nor dread them."

My friends, may Israel and America always stand together, strong and resolute. May we neither fear nor dread the challenges ahead. May we face the future with confidence, strength and hope.

May God bless the state of Israel and may God bless the United States of America.

(APPLAUSE)

Thank you. Thank you very much. Thank you all.

You're wonderful.

Thank you, America. Thank you.

Thank you.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Cosmetic Surgery on the Rise in Gaza

More dispatches from Concentration Camp Gaza, via  Al-Monitor

Pregnancies significantly changed Safa Ahmad's physical appearance, which began to affect her marriage and cause her psychological problems. About five months ago, Safa, a 28-year-old living in Gaza City, had breast implants in the hope they would help her feel better psychologically and improve things at home. 

“My husband wanted to marry someone else because of the changes in my looks after I gave birth to three sons," she told Al-Monitor. "But by coincidence, I heard about cosmetic surgeries in Gaza, and I suggested to my husband that I have one. He immediately agreed, so I got silicon breast implants, and they drastically changed my looks as well as my marital and family life. My husband then let go of the idea of marrying someone else.”

The mainstream media continually carries stories of the "humanitarian crisis" in Gaza- of critical shortages of food and medicine. We are not getting the full story.

Al-Monitor continues

The difficult economic and social situation in Gaza does not appear to be preventing Gazans from undergoing cosmetic surgery in search of happiness, which is difficult to find given the siege of Israeli occupation and recurring wars.

Dr. Salah Zaanin, a cosmetic and laser surgery consultant, started working in the field three years ago in a private hospital in Gaza City. The high demand for cosmetic surgeries, by men and women, led him to open his own clinic.

Zaanin told Al-Monitor that three years after returning from Greece and working in the Gaza Strip, he found that rapid progress had been made in this area and that the demand for surgery, despite the economic and other problems Gaza residents were experiencing, had increased. “We are a people who love life and beauty like all other people," he said. "Because of the psychological pressures, a lot of women began looking after their emotional and physical well-being, especially after learning of the advances in cosmetic surgery and the presence of modern equipment in Gaza.”

Zaanin said he has conducted hundreds of cosmetic operations in Gaza, all of which were successful. Some clients even began entrusting him with operations that used to be referred to the outside.
He said that the most common procedures in Gaza are liposuction, breast augmentation and “tummy tucks” for women. Tightening eyelids and removing bags under the eyes are popular as well. “In the past month, using Botox to fill and remove wrinkles in men and women rose by 600% in my clinic, indicating that despite the blockade and the stress, we are trying to be happy by looking better," Zaanin said. "In addition, there has been a 300% increase in lip augmentation and beautification.”

The economy, of course, still plays a role in the demand for certain types of operations even with the prices in Gaza being low compared to other countries. Zaanin said that the fees for cosmetic surgeries in the Gaza Strip are the lowest in the world and that they depend on the materials used in a procedure. “Cosmetic surgeries range in price from $1,000 to $2,000, while nonsurgical [silicon injections] cost up to $300," Zaanin said. "Therefore, all social classes are resorting to cosmetic surgery. For example, the poor opt for low-priced operations. Everyone should have the right to enjoy and live life, and I feel happy when I can make that happen for someone.”

Zaanin also said that the changes in Eastern societies, such as women entering the workforce, their financial independence and the importance of looking good, have all played a role in the growing popularity of cosmetic surgery among women and men. He said that all operations are conducted within Gaza's religious and social frameworks and medical standards. “Women come accompanied by their guardian, either the father or the husband, and we do not conduct operations without them," Zaanin said. "In fact, many men choose to have such operations because of these visits...”



h/t Elder of Ziyon