Tuesday, May 9, 2017

The death of 16 year old Fatima Hajiji

On May 7, 16 year old Fatima Afeef Abdul-Rahman Hajiji, 16, from Qarawat Bani Zeid village, northwest of Ramallah, charged at an Israel policeman, knife in hand.  She was shot and died of her wounds.

What makes a 16 year old girl take an action that is akin to suicide? Judging from her posts on social media, martyrdom was her goal.

Incitement and the glorification of violence and martyrdom are destroying  Palestinian youth. Until this ends, peace will remain elusive.

Richard Horton of the Lancet does teshuvah

The once venerable British Medical journal Lancet and its editor, Richard Horton have been taken to task in the past for publishing a letter filled with “concealments, half-truths, and distortions that revealed the biases of its authors and signatories” regarding Israel’s conflict with Gaza.

After the controversial document was published, Lancet editor Richard Horton, was invited to Israel to meet with medical professionals at Rambam hospital.

This is why the anti-Israel forces fear normalization the most of all.

This week Richard Horton made good on his regrets for publishing the biased and controversial article, writing

We have learned lessons from this unfortunate episode. Our collaboration seeks to undo the harm and tarnish of this episode by transforming these experiences to constructive practice.

The May 8 2017 issue of The Lancet features ten articles written by Israel doctors and researchers, on topics as diverse as treating the casualties of the Syrian civil war, digital health innovation, and maternal and child health.

Horton writes:

We have identified several determinants of Israel’s advancement in health, including articulation of a clear vision, national purpose, and long term commitment that seeks to take the health of its citizens seriously; a multi-ethnic population that brings diversity and energy to national progress: a political democracy, which is characterized by robust debate and discussion about the nation’s future; national legislation governing cardinal health-care processes: cultural and religious histories that respect and revere scholarship, learning, research and charitable donation; and expanding economy. with recent but increasing appreciation of the economic, social, and political underpinnings of health and health inequities, a strong base of support from the Diaspora Jewish community ;and a strong desire for acceptance by the international community in key areas, especially science and health.

“The special issue on Israel will not be a one-time project,” Horton said. “It is the beginning of a close partnership.”

For more information on this weeks Lancet see:

Prestigious health journal publishes edition dedicated to health in Israel

3 years after open letter alleged Gaza ‘massacre,’ Lancet eyes Israeli health

Tourism to Israel breaks a historic record. Hows that boycott working for you?

Looks like the considerable expenses and efforts of the BDS crowd to isolate Israel are for naught. 349,000 tourists visited Israel in April 2017. This is the highest ever figure for any month since Israel's inception in 1948. Since the start of the year 1.09 million tourists have entered Israel, representing an increase of 26% from last year. Tourism has injected a record NIS 6 billion into the Israeli economy this year.

This represents yet another in a series of BDS fails.

Sunday, May 7, 2017

San Francisco State University's toxic climate for Jewish Students

From the Jewish Community Relations Council Director Abby Forth:
“Campuses across the nation experience uncivil discourse and anti-Semitism. But what sets S.F. State apart is its administration’s unwillingness to state for its entire campus community that it will not tolerate these acts.
“When Jewish students and guests are intimidated and Hillel is discriminated against, this administration fails to speak out. More than that, it has celebrated the perpetrators while privately assuring our Jewish community that it will look into these incidents,”
“In so doing, this administration is, at best, complicit in the marginalization of Jewish students, and, at worst, responsible for it.

If case you missed it, check out the excellent series of articles on the campus climate for Jewish students at San Francisco State University, published in this weeks J the Jewish News of Northern California 

Dan Pine documents the history of anti-Semitic and anti-Zionist activism at San Francisco State University, and the current administration's tepid response

S.F. State’s Jewish problem: faculty and local leaders decry worsening climate''

Written by Max A.Cherney:

JCRC campaign aimed at ‘toxic culture’ for Jews at SFSU

Written by Mark G. Yudof  and Kenneth Waltzer of the Academic Engagement Network.

S.F. State ‘excommunicates’ Jewish students and pro-Israel speakers

Written by Marc Dollinger.the Richard and Rhoda Goldman Chair in Jewish Studies and Social Responsibility at San Francisco State University and  Fred Astren,chair of the Jewish studies department, stating:

"After six face-to-face meetings over the course of a year with San Francisco State University President Leslie Wong, we are obliged to report that there is no resolution in sight for problems plaguing Jewish student life on campus."
Jewish studies professors: S.F. State marginalizes Jews

Outraged? You should be.  This has been going on for a long time.

Community members are mobilizing for action.  A good first step- please sign this petition to California State University Chancellor Dr. Timothy P. White from StandWithUs  calling on him to take immediate action to "ensure the security and dignity of Jewish students"

The JCRC is encouraging people to email SFSU President Les Wong to remind him that it is the responsibility of the administration to set and enforce boundaries that protect free speech and ensure the safety of every student.  Demand he take action to protect Jewish students on campus.

Stay tuned. This is not over.

Saturday, April 29, 2017

"My Name is Rachel Corrie" at San Francisco's Magic Theater

The one-woman show "My name is Rachel Corrie" is playing at San Francisco's Magic Theater in Fort Mason on a 2 week run. The play includes excerpts from the diary of Rachel Corrie, an International Solidarity Movement (ISM) member who was accidentally killed while guarding smuggling tunnels in Gaza

Even with the deep discounts offered to Jewish Voice for Peace members, there are plenty of tickets still available.

Writing in the Northern California Jewish Weekly, Johanna Meckel,  Northern California director of StandwithUs addresses the deification of Rachel Corrie:

The play “My Name Is Rachel Corrie,” currently running in San Francisco, omits all context, portraying that period of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict only through Corrie’s eyes.

Rachel Corrie’s death was accidental and deeply tragic. A 23-year-old American student decided to come to Gaza, a war zone in 2003, to stand in solidarity — but in solidarity with whom? From 2001-2005, hundreds of rockets a year were being launched from Gaza at the Israeli community of Sderot, using materials brought in through tunnels just like the ones Corrie was trying to protect by serving as a human shield. The bulldozer that tragically ended her life was there to uncover one of 90 tunnels that terrorists were using to smuggle weapons into Gaza.

She was deliberately placed in a war zone as part of a strategy by the International Solidarity Movement, whose founder George Rishmawi boasted “…if some of these foreign volunteers get shot or even killed, then the international media will sit up and take notice.” As detailed by the Israeli watchdog group NGO Monitor, the ISM has a lengthy history of working with Hamas and knowingly placing foreign volunteers in situations where ISM leadership knew that they could be injured or killed.

Dozens of innocent Americans have been killed in acts of Palestinian terror.  Their stories remain untold. If you know the name "Rachel Corrie", but don't know the name Taylor Force or Daniel Wultz then you aren't paying close enough attention.

London terror suspect was on Gaza flotilla ship Mavi Marmara

One of the "peace activists" from the Mavi Marmara has surfaced again.

Khalid Omar Ali is being held in custody in London on suspicion of terrorism.The 27-year-old man was arrested carrying knives near Prime Minister Theresa May's office by British police. He was detained as part of an intelligence operation. It was reported that a concerned family member contacted the police.

Reports indicate that Khalid Omar Ali was one of the "peace activists" aboard the Mavi Marmara, a ship in the 2010 Gaza flotilla. The ship was attempting to run the naval blockade of Gaza. After Israeli soldiers boarded it, they were attacked. The resulting scuffle left 9 dead.

Anti-Israel activists still maintain the Mavi Marmara was an aid ship, manned by peace activists
Khalid Omar Ali is currently detained under the Terrorism Act and is in custody in a London police station.

Photos from the Sun

Friday, April 28, 2017

All 100 senators sign letter asking for equal treatment of Israel at the United Nations

Bipartisan support for Israel in the US remains strong, with all 100 senators signing a letter asking for fair and equal treatment of Israel at the U.N.

The letter, released today asked the U.N. Secretary General António Guterres to address  the “continued targeting of Israel by the UN Human rights Council and other UN entities”

The letter was authored by Sens. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) and Christopher A. Coons (D-Del.).

Text follows:

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Power Grab: As Hamas and the PA posture for political gain, the Palestinian people suffer.

As Hamas and the PA posture for political gain, the Palestinian people suffer.

In anticipation of his meeting next month at the White House Palestinian Authority (PA) President Abbas has taken steps to pressure Hamas to accept PA authority over Gaza.  Presidential and parliamentary elections have not been held  for over a decade.

Palestinian Prime Minister Rami al-Hamdallah declared:

"I think there is a golden and historic chance to regain the unity of our people... Hamas should relinquish control of Gaza."

The PA  has been increasing the  pressure on Hamas by withholding the fuel  from Israel that powered Gaza's only generating plant, and by slashing the salaries of its 60,000 civil servants in Gaza by 30 percent.  These employees in Gaza do not work, but continue to draw salaries.  Hamas refuses to buy fuel from the PA for the Gaza power station because of a dispute over taxation. It shut down two weeks ago, plunging the people of Gaza into darkness.

Now,the Palestinian Authority has told Israel that it would no longer pay for the electricity Israel supplies to Gaza.   Israel supplies Gaza with 30 percent of its total electricity needs at a monthly cost of $11 million.  Less reliable Egyptian power lines also provide a portion of Gaza’s electrical needs. In an effort to avoid a humanitarian crisis, Israel did not immediately cut off the electrical supply.  The United Nations has also allocated $500,000 for the purchase of emergency fuel for Gaza’s 13 hospitals and 54 medical centers.

Electricity shortages have led to protests in Gaza. Cuts to the power supply affect the water supply. Sewage is flowing into the sea.

Fuad Al-Shobaki of the Palestinian Authority's Petroleum Authority blamed Hamas for manufacturing  the crisis, saying  Hamas was unable "to cover their inability to manage the Gaza Strip."

The fuel shortage is one more problem for Hamas-controlled Gaza, which is already dealing with soaring unemployment and a lack of drinkable water.

In 2016, the PA’s budget was $4.14 billion, of which the Gaza Strip’s share was $1.65 billion. Hamas continues to divert this funding  to weapons and terror tunnel, in preparation for their next war against Israel.

Eylon A. Levy of i24 News explains the Gaza energy crisis on Twitter:

Monday, April 24, 2017

Holy Land Principles. Gateway Drug to Full BDS ?

Yet one more reason you shouldn't ignore the proxy statements that show up in your mail.

 Marriott International  has more than 6000 properties in over 122 countries and territories around the world. Next month at their annual shareholder meeting, they are slated to vote on a shareholder proposal urging the adoption of the  "Holy land Principles". The principles add  burdensome layers of restrictions, oversight and bureaucracy to the 2 Marriott properties in Israel.  The Marriott Board opposes this proposal and recommends a vote AGAINST it.

What are the Holy land Principles? Their website bills them as a "corporate code of conduct" that are applicable only to businesses within Israel.

From their Website: The 8 Holy Land Principles

The Holy Land Principles call on American companies conducting business in The Holy Land to:

Principle #1
Adhere to equal and fair employment practices in hiring, compensation, training, professional education, advancement and governance without discrimination based on national, racial, ethnic or religious identity.

Principle #2

Identify underrepresented employee groups and initiate active recruitment efforts to increase the number of underrepresented employees.

Principle #3

Develop training programs that will prepare substantial numbers of current minority employees for skilled jobs, including the expansion of existing programs and the creation of new programs to train, upgrade, and improve the skills of minority employees.

Principle #4

Maintain a work environment that is respectful of all national, racial, ethnic and religious groups.

Principle #5

Ensure that layoff, recall and termination procedures do not favor a particular national, racial, ethnic or religious group.

Principle #6

Not make military service a precondition or qualification for employment for any position, other than those positions that specifically require such experience, for the fulfillment of an employee’s particular responsibilities.

Principle #7
Not accept subsidies, tax incentives or other benefits that lead to the direct advantage of one national, racial, ethnic or religious group over another.

Principle #8

Appoint staff to monitor, oversee, set timetables, and publicly report on their progress in implementing the Holy Land Principles.

Marriott  has a labor relations code of principles and practices in place and already aligns with Israel's strict labor and employment laws. From their Proxy handbook:

Marriott’s practices align with the Principles included in the Proposal. Given our Global Employment Principles, Policies and Practices, Marriott’s practices at our two managed hotels in Israel align with the Principles included in the Proposal. In addition, the Israeli Equal Opportunity Law, which applies to our managed and franchised hotels in Israel, forbids discrimination in hiring, promoting, work conditions, training or termination of work. As a result, we believe that formal adoption of the Holy Land Principles is not necessary nor incrementally valuable to our business interests nor citizenship commitment. Given our portfolio of over 6,000 hotels globally in 122 countries and territories, our policies need to be applied consistently worldwide thus making a country-by country-approach inefficient and unduly burdensome. For these reasons, the Board opposes this proposal and recommends a vote AGAINST the proposal.

While the Marriott chain has 2 facilities in Israel, you'd never know it by looking at their website.
With 18 states enacting anti-BDS legislation, the "Holy land Principles"  provides a foot in the door and a nose under the tent for the "Israel is always wrong" crowd to demonize and delegitimize Israel outside the rubric of BDS.

Always open and read  your proxy statements, and Marriott shareholders- vote No on this resolution.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

BDS advocates again prove that they can't win on a level playing field

By most accounts, 2017 has been a bad year for BDS

From Jonathan Marks, writing at Commentary

... the campus BDS movement this year, until recently, had notched wins solely at the University of Michigan-Dearborn, which has been passing divestment resolutions with wearying regularity since 2004, and the University of California-Riverside, where a symbolic and ineffectual blow against Sabra Hummus was struck. Meanwhile, BDS  activists lost at Ohio State (for a third time), University of Illinois-Urbana, University of Wisconsin-Madison, and Columbia University.

But recently, two universities Student Councils, in an effort to push through resolutions when the Jewish students were otherwise occupied chose to have their votes during Passover week. Tufts University announced the vote 4 days in advance, and scheduled it for the day before Passover. Pitzer College held their vote during Passover, with no advance notice.

They resorted to underhanded tactics because they knew they could not win on a level playing field. They resorted to underhanded tactics because they wanted to silence opposition. They resorted to underhanded tactics to insure that their voices alone were heard.

Jonathan Greenblatt, the National Director of the Anti-Defamation League recently accepted an honor from Tufts, and took his alma mater to task for the vote, writing 

I find the BDS resolution passed by the TCU Senate deeply disturbing from all of my personal perspectives: as an alumnus who cares about Tufts; as a nonprofit executive who cares about justice and fair treatment; and as a Jew who cares about the fate of his people....

This vote intentionally was timed right before Passover in order to reduce the ability of all the interested Jewish students from participating in the debate. This meant that a number of individuals were forced to choose between practicing their faith and defending their people. This was a shameful tactic designed to silence the voices of Jewish students and the pro-Israel community at Tufts.

The university administration of Tufts issued a bland critique of  the resolution, saying

We have made clear in the past our opposition to calls to boycott Israeli academic institutions.  While members of our community vigorously debate international politics, Tufts University does not adopt institutional positions with respect to specific geo-political issues.

Ever immune to criticism, the  Students for Justice in Palestine, and their fan-boys at the Electronic Intifada nonetheless declared victory.

Jonathan Greenblatt concludes, with an appeal to Tufts for concrete action to address this incident, and insure that it never happens again:

I appeal to you to organize a task force that convenes alumni and administrators to review how this transpired and recommend steps to ensure it is not repeated.

And I advocate that you consider introducing a code of ethics — call it acovenant of active citizenship — for student leaders, one that demands ethical behavior, that upholds democratic processes and that creates accountability for those who fall short of these basic standards.

Now, I realize that it may seem odd for an alumnus to criticize his alma mater on the very day when I am receiving an honor from this institution.

But, from what I learned at Tufts, this is exactly what you taught me to do.

To take responsibility. To speak out. To defend free speech. To demand fair play. To make arguments respectfully and forcefully but also factually and rationally. And to defend and support the university that I so deeply love.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Israeli Economy Ranked 3rd Most Stable in the World

How that BDS working for you?

After 16 years of Boycotts, Divestment and Sanctions directed towards the only democracy in the Middle East, you'd think you'd be seeing some concrete results.

Ummmm. No.

Israel's low unemployment rate, low inflation rate and reputation for innovation have earned it the rank of third most stable economy in the world by the Bloomberg Finance. Only Hong Kong and South Korea ranked higher.

Imagine if all that wasted energy directed towards bringing the Israeli economy to its knees was channeled instead towards building a real and lasting peace?

Read more about the abject failure of BDS here:

Bloomberg ranks Israel with third most stable economy in 2016

The Israeli Economy’s Got Intel Inside

Israeli Economy Ranked 3rd Most Stable in the World for 2016

Why Israel still needs checkpoints.

Two sisters from Gaza were arrested today after they were stopped at the Erez crossing between Israel and Gaza.  They were caught smuggling explosives for Hamas in medical supplies. One of the sisters was receiving medical treatment for cancer in Israel, and the explosives were found hidden inside tubes labelled "medical materials"

According to the Shin bet, Hamas was behind the attempt and the explosives were to be used to manufacture improvised explosive devices for attacks within Israel .

“This is a continuation of the attempts by terrorist organizations in Gaza, mainly Hamas, to abuse the humanitarian channel and the medical aid Israel provides to Gaza residents to carry out terrorist attacks in Israel,” the Shin Bet said.


Data gathered by the Coordination of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) indicates that since the beginning of 2015 and mid-2016, more than 360,000 Palestinians entered Israel for humanitarian needs and approximately 1,000 Palestinian physicians received medical training in Israel or abroad. The Civil Administration says, "We see medical care as the highest priority and there is no compromise on the subject; we're doing whatever it takes to save a life.”

If only Hamas felt the same way.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Berkeley Police facilitate virtue signalling

Oh, Berkeley.
Enabling the ultimate in virtue signalling.

Upon request, and with prior arrangement, the Berkeley  Police Department will "symbolically" arrest you, allowing the ultimate in virtue signalling, without any real risk. Now you too can appear cool and edgy, and earn bragging rights, simply by filling out the proper forms!

From the Berkeley Police Departments Event Planning Checklist:  

The Berkeley Police and City of Berkeley want to facilitate the safe expression of constitutionally protected speech.  We want to work in partnership with you to hold a safe and peaceful event.  The following items are things that we recommend you do to ensure a safe event.
Go to City of Berkeley Website
  • Download and complete forms
  • File them at the Recreation Department
Contact the Police Department and Provide:
  • Purpose of protest
  • Date(s) and time of event
  • Location(s)
  • Route of march, if planned
  • Estimated attendance
  • Organizing person or group
  • Number of organizers
  • How to identify and contact organizers/monitors at the event (hats, shirts, armbands)
  • What will they be wearing?
  • Will they have mobile phones?
  • Do you want symbolic arrests?
  • If so, where and when?
When advertising on social media
  • Inform people of date, time and location
  • Encourage peaceful expression and lawful behavior by attendees
  • Discourage certain items from being brought to the event
During the Event
  • Make organizers/monitors visible through clearly identifiable clothing
  • Coordinate at the event with uniformed bicycle officers, they will help facilitate the event
  • Stay on your planned march route, if applicable
  • Maintain communication with officers throughout the event and notify them of any change in plans

Thursday, April 6, 2017

JCRC Deeply Concerned about Climate at SF State University for Jewish and Pro-Israel Students

Statement from the Jewish Community Relations Council on this weeks events at San Francisco State University

JCRC Deeply Concerned about Climate at SF State University for Jewish and Pro-Israel Students

JCRC is deeply disappointed by the events which led to the cancellation yesterday of Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat’s speaking engagement at San Francisco State University (SFSU). The opportunity to welcome Mayor Barkat back to campus was especially important given that his speech last year was disrupted by protesters.

Mayor Barkat requested that his April 6 scheduled appearance be a fully accessible public forum for "the kind of healing needed after the assault on free speech last year." We believe that this request was very important given the intention of disrupters to prevent the normalization of Jewish and pro-Israel voices on campus. The university should have been able to provide such a forum and also done more to assure the event was widely promoted. Instead, the university's insistence that this be a ticketed, limited event and lack of publicity communicated that it will go to lengths to prevent students from engaging in important conversations rather than advancing its purpose of fostering civil discourse and promoting the free exchange of ideas.

JCRC is deeply troubled by a pattern of marginalization at SFSU of Jewish students, and anyone else who supports Israel's right to exist. The university claims a commitment to creating opportunities for “each student to discover his or her unique path in life,” but the voices of Jewish students, particularly those in support of Israel, are limited. For the past year, we have been in constant discussions with university administration about how to correct this and improve campus climate, and this week’s cancellation represents a major failure in advancing the principles for which we believe this university stands.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat cancels visit to SFSU

Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat has canceled a scheduled visit to San Francisco State University, accusing the university of failing to adequately prepare for his visit.

“By failing to provide the necessary public forum and properly publicize my lecture, the University has contributed to the continuing marginalization and demonization of the Jewish state,” Barkat declared, adding “If I were a representative of any other country, no institution of higher learning would have allowed my speech to be drowned out by protesters inciting violence and then bring me back to campus in a limited, secluded way,”

The visit was scheduled for Thursday, a full year after his talk at SFSU was interrupted by anti-Israel activists.  A subsequent investigation found that SFSU failed to properly handle the protest, yet the participants faced no actual consequences. San Francisco State University is regularly listed as one of the most difficult campuses for Jewish students.

Mayor Nir Barkat planned to visit the campus exactly a year to the day after students with the General Union of Palestine Students group interrupted his on-campus speech with chants of "Intifada, Intifada", terrorizing the Jewish students and community members attending the event.

“Dozens of anti-Israel protesters disrupted my public lecture through intimidation and provocation, vulgarities and incitement that bordered on the anti-Semitic,” Barkat said

Barakat’s speech was scheduled to take place Thursday  at the Seven Hills Conference Center. The venue quickly sold  out.

Bay area Anti- Israel activists had already begun to mobilize for the event, distributing a rambling, incoherent diatribe emphasizing  their personal and collective victimhood, and demanding Wong cancel the appearance.

Instead, Barakat will be speaking a private venue.

Mayor Barkat's full statement follows:

"At San Francisco State last April, dozens of anti-Israel protesters disrupted my public lecture through intimidation and provocation, vulgarities and incitement that bordered on the anti-Semitic.

Following the incident, President Wong invited me back to the University to provide students the opportunity to learn that they were denied last spring. I felt a moral obligation to return to San Francisco State and share Jerusalem’s progress, challenges, and opportunities.

Unfortunately, the University did not offer the lecture that would provide the kind of healing needed after the assault on free speech last year. Instead, the University offered a ticketed, limited event, and no legitimate effort was made on the part of the University to publicize the lecture. I have decided not to participate.

By failing to provide the necessary public forum and properly publicize my lecture, the University has contributed to the continuing marginalization and demonization of the Jewish state. If I were a representative of any other country, no institution of higher learning would have allowed my speech to be drowned out by protestors inciting violence and then bring me back to campus in a limited, secluded way.

Mostly importantly, the University's proposed framework is nothing short of a double standard. The University has demonstrated that they will protect the rights of anti-Israel students to drown out diverse voices through violent incitement, while they will not protect the rights of the students to engage in open, robust dialogue."

Rachel Greenspan
Deputy Advisor, Foreign Affairs and International Media
Office of Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat"

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Convicted terrorist Rasmea Odeh to be stripped of citizenship and deported

Convicted Palestinian terrorist Rasmea Odeh, 69 will plead guilty to unlawful procurement of naturalization, will be stripped of her U.S. citizenship and deported, as part of a plea deal to avoid prison time.

A member of the PFLP terror group, Odeh was convicted of involvement in a 1969 grocery store  bombing in Jerusalem that killed 2 Hebrew University students and injured nine others. Bomb-making supplies were found in her apartment.  She released  after 10 years in prison in a prisoner exchange in 1980. Her co-conspirators bragged about their roles in the attack on Arab language media.

She lied about her status on US immigration forms and was able to become a citizen.

Anti-Israel groups have repeatedly defended the convicted terrorist. She is scheduled to speak at a Jewish Voice for Peace conference later this month.

Rasmea’s defense team have called her plea bargain a “victory”, claiming

Through a massive, organized defense campaign, Rasmea Odeh—a long-time icon of the Palestine liberation movement—is now a name known in every corner of the movement for social justice in the U.S.  From the Movement for Black Lives in Ferguson, Chicago, and beyond, to the call for a global #WomenStrike on International Women’s Day, Rasmea has become synonymous with resilience and resistance. This fight not only brought her story to the U.S. and the world, but also pushed forward the cause of the liberation of Palestine.

Wishing the forces of hate and intolerance many more such "victories".

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Mezuzzah burning at UC Hastings

Another act of anti-Semitism in our local community, the oh so tolerant and inclusive Bay Area.

A student at UC Hastings reported his mezuzah on the doorframe of his McAllister Tower campus housing had been set on fire. It is being investigated as an anti-Semitic hate crime.

UC Hastings Chancellor David Faigman sent out a letter to students, faculty and staff  condemning this “cowardly act of anti-Semitism.”

“I am deeply troubled by the possible implications of such an act on our campus,” Faigman wrote. “We will not tolerate hateful actions of any sort against members of our community. UC Hastings is dedicated to the principals of diversity and inclusion.”

Anyone with more information is urged to call UC Hasting campus police at (415)525-4611

Monday, February 20, 2017

Israeli born Ovadia Brothers wow New York's fashion week

Israeli twins and fashion designers Shimon and Ariel Ovadia have been wowing audiences during New York Fashion Week.

The brothers, described a few years back by GQ as Best New Designers in America have a fashion line described as “chill and fresh”and having the “exact charm, edge and creativity of New York".  WWD marvels “ how two kids without a college education or any design experience launched themselves from the observant Jewish enclave of Flatbush, Brooklyn, to a Vogue-sponsored fashion show at the Chateau Marmont. And did it without working on the Sabbath.”

From the New York Times, writing about 2017 New York fashion week

The New York Giants wide receiver Victor Cruz, left, and the rapper Fabolous sat front row.
He went on to praise the fellow New Yorkers, less like a football star than a fashion editor: “I love their aesthetic — from the energy that they put into their clothing, to the silhouettes, to the cuts of their T-shirts. It’s just really beautiful.”

On the same front-row bench sat the rapper Fabolous, who appeared not to mind the fashion-mad fan crawling at his feet, trying to get a clear smartphone shot of his Puma x Trapstar sneakers.

“One thing that Ovadia has is the dope streetwear, but there’s a little touch to it that screams New York City, screams high-end,” Fabolous said. “But it’s still comfortable and casual at the same time.”

Yet the Electronic Intifada’s Ali Abunimah can’t see beyond his seething hatred of the Ovadia Brothers  Jewish/Israeli background, describing their New York Fashion Week lineup as “ racist chic”

Its hard to imagine anyone looking at this gritty, diverse cross-section of New Yorkers and thinking "Hmmmm. Thats racist", but Ali Abunimah manages.

Photo by John Taggart for The New York Times

Could it be this proud homage to the twins Israeli heritage that set him off? Could this mainstreaming of Hebrew, the the language of the Jewish people, have triggered Ali Abunimah's latest outburst?

Perhaps Ali Abunimah would find the designs of Paloma Spain, also exhibited at Fashion Week more to his liking? 

Are Anti-Israel activists attempting to hijack the People's Climate march?

This is how it begins.

The People's Climate March is scheduled for April 29 and we're already seeing the tell-tale signs of infiltration and co-option.

This email is being shuffled around various "social justice" e-lists. Its all about "peace". Sounds innocuous enough, right?

Subject: Sign the petition! Petition to the organizers of the April 29 People's Climate March: Will you stand for peace?


I signed a petition on Action Network telling Petition to the organizers of the April 29 People's Climate March to Will you stand for peace?.

Your website at PeoplesClimate.org proposes a march on Washington on April 29, 2017, to "unite all our movements" for "communities," "climate," "safety," "health," "the rights of people of color, workers, indigenous people, immigrants, women, LGBTQIA, young people, and more," "jobs and livelihoods," "civil rights and liberties," "everything and everyone we love," "families," "air," "water," "land," "clean energy jobs and climate justice," to "reduce greenhouse gas and toxic pollution," for "a transition to an equitable and sustainable New Energy and Economic Future," "that every job pays a wage of at least $15 an hour, protects workers, and provides a good standard of living, pathways out of poverty, and a right to organize," "massive investments in infrastructure systems from water, transportation, and solid waste to the electrical grid and safe, green building and increasing energy efficiency that will also create millions of jobs in the public and private sector," . . . but not peace. We wish to make you aware that approximately half of federal discretionary spending is going into wars and war preparation, and that this institution constitutes our single biggest destroyer of the environment. More on that here. Will you please add "peace" to the list of things you are marching for? If you will, it will become a list of things that WE are marching for, as we will join you.

This email originated with "World Beyond War"

The advisory board of World Beyond War includes anti-Israel activists who were involved with the Gaza flotilla,  including Mairead Maguire,  Medea Benjamin, Ann Wright and Kathy Kelly. Their support and participation in the flotilla, a challenge to the sovereignty of the state of Israel and its right to secure its own borders cheapens their talk of "peace". These are people that reject the existence of a nation state of the Jewish people within  ANY borders. Their vision of "peace" is a world without Israel.

This is the genesis of how a well-meaning and singularly focused event gets hijacked by the anti-Israel cru. If the People's Climate March agrees to add "peace" to their agenda, it opens the door to groups like World Beyond War, who will no doubt offer to provide signage and speakers that will invariably alienate the Climate march core.

Stay in your lane, People's Climate March.  Don't allow groups with an extremist agenda to hijack your message.  We've seen this happen before.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

2016. A year of BDS fails

The Electronic Intifada's "Rah Rah BDS is on a roll" end of the year list was particularly subdued this year. (No, I don't link to hate sites) 

My comments in BOLD

Electronic Intifada claims: Activists rose up against Hewlett Packard. Campaigners in dozens of cities across six continents participated in an international week of action against Hewlett-Packard...

Yes, some cities had as much as a half dozen people holding signs.  And there was a hashtag. And a petition, too.  The net result?  See for yourself.

Electronic Intifada claims: Spanish municipalities declared themselves “apartheid-free zones.” More than 50 cities across Spain now declare themselves free of Israeli products in a campaign that began in July 2014...

Oops.  The Electronic Intifada left out a crucial bit of BDS fail information. From the October 5,  2016 J Post

In a massive blow to the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement, a Spanish High Court of the Asturias region, upheld a decision last week, declaring a Langreo City Council agreement to boycott Israel illegal.

This marks the first time that a High Court in Spain has issued a judgment relating to BDS, thanks to the legal actions brought forth by ACOM, a pro-Israel lobby group working to combat BDS in Spain

Electronic Intifada claims: Churches continued to mobilize for Palestinian rights. Denominations voted in 2016 to boycott Israeli financial institutions, and to dump or bar investments in corporations that profit from Israel’s occupation.

A  single church in California vowed not to purchase supplies from Hewlett-Packard, a company that provides equipment to Israel’s military and settlements. This was a church that had previously taken a strong anti-Israel stand, and frequently hosted extremist speakers.

Electronic Intifada claims: Activists helped defeat anti-BDS legislation. Grassroots campaigners fought back against a growing wave of legislation promoted by US state and federal lawmakers – and encouraged by Israel lobby groups and the Israeli government – to suppress BDS activism.

Grassroots campaigners fought back and lost. 14 states have passed anti-BDS legislation

In May, lawmakers in Ontario, Canada’s most populous province, made history: theirs was the world’s first full legislature to vote down an anti-BDS law...

Oops.The Electronic Intifada left out another crucial bit of BDS fail information. In December Ontario has become the first Canadian province to reject the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions Movement

Electronic Intifada claims: G4S was forced to buckle under BDS pressure. Under years-long pressure by grassroots campaigns, the world’s largest private security firm, G4S, ditched most of its Israeli businesses.

The global security firm G4S sold its business in Israel as part of a portfolio review. 60 other businesses were sold as well.   The G4S statement on the sale 
G4S reiterates that it does not support the anti-Israel boycott by BDS or any other group. The decision to sell G4S Israel was made on strategic and commercial grounds as part of a portfolio management program established by the company in 2013. Under its portfolio program G4S has sold or identified for sale 65 businesses which have combined revenues of £1.6 billion.
G4S also rejects BDS comments relating to the conduct of business by G4S Israel. As numerous independent reviews have confirmed, G4S Israel operates to the highest business standards. G4S Israel is a well-managed business that will grow and prosper under the right new owner, providing a positive future for our 8,000 colleagues in Israel and long-term service and support for our customers.
Electronic Intifada claims: Students stood strong. Students in the US, Canada and the UK passed strong divestment measures in their student governments and trade unions, amidst intensifying smear campaigns by outside Israel advocacy groups and shady websites.
Students in the US, the UK and Canada also rejected divestment measures. There is no indication that a single dollar of university money has ever been divested from targeted businesses 

2016 was also a year when a record-breaking $1.127 billion in Israeli bonds were sold in the U.S. Since the program began in 1951, there have been over $40 billion dollars in global sales of Israeli bonds.  Sorry, Ali. Clearly rumors of Israel's impending isolation are overstated.

Friday, February 17, 2017

The University of California and Israel’s Innovation Authority sign cooperation agreement

A major BDS fail from the University of California. While the students keep discussing what brand of hummus they want in their dining halls, the grown-ups are hard at work.

Press Release from the UC Office of the President  Friday, February 17, 2017

With the goals of fostering technological innovation and boosting research and development, the University of California has signed a memorandum of understanding with Israel’s National Technological Innovation Authority to increase cooperation between the two entities.

The memorandum aims to identify opportunities for projects, partnerships and collaborations between UC and Israel’s Innovation Authority that may lead to innovative technologies and products with the potential for commercialization in the global market.

“This agreement aligns with UC’s larger efforts to build relationships with state, national and international partners to propel the many discoveries and innovations from our campuses, labs and medical centers into the world economy,” UC President Janet Napolitano said. “Developing groundbreaking technologies that can be put to practical use around the world is central to our mission as a public institution, and we’re delighted to have Israel’s Innovation Authority as a partner in this mutually beneficial endeavor.”

“This is a great opportunity for bilateral research and development projects that will combine state of the art technology from the UC system with the capability of Israeli companies,” said Avi Hasson, chairman of Israel’s Innovation Authority. “The economic fruits of collaboration with this large and impressive California environment will certainly play an instrumental role in helping these companies to increase their competitiveness and accelerate commercial success in global markets.”

As part of the agreement, UC and the Innovation Authority will boost cooperation through increased bilateral meetings and information sharing. It comes on the heels of a similar memorandum signed between the state of California and Israel on bilateral cooperation in industrial research and development.

“The memorandum of understanding with the University of California is yet another important step forward in the ongoing effort to bring Israel and California closer,” said Andy David, consul general of Israel in San Francisco. “As two global leaders of innovation, this collaboration is a natural one that can enhance our mutual goal of creating a better world for everyone.”

From the Daily Cal

The University of California signed a memorandum of understanding with Israel’s National Technological Innovation Authority to expand collaboration between both parties.

The memorandum was signed with the intention of cultivating technological innovation, research and development, according to a UC Office of the President press release.  The agreement further aims to promote projects between the university and Israel’s Innovation Authority that would lead to “commercialization in the global market,” the press release stated.

Part of the agreement involves an increase in bilateral meetings and information sharing between both bodies.

“This agreement aligns with the university’s objectives of steering UC inventions through our labs and into the world economy,” said UCOP spokesperson Ricardo Vazquez in an email. “We believe that this will be a mutually beneficial partnership.”

Vazquez cited the January 2014 UC-Mexico Initiative as an example of the university’s cooperation with other nations and states in a variety of fields. According to Vazquez, the collaboration between the university and Israel’s Innovation Authority is founded on similar principles.

The memorandum between Israel and the university comes almost three years after a similar memorandum between Israel and the state of California, based on collaboration in industrial research and development.

Monday, February 13, 2017

US Military Assistance to the World

Lies, Damned lies and Statistics.

A recent perspectives paper from the BESA Center gives surprising insight into the frequently heard claim that Israel is the leading recipient of US aid.

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: Many American detractors of Israel begin by citing that Israel receives the lion’s share of US military aid. The very suggestion conjures the demon of an all-powerful Israel lobby that has turned the US Congress into its pawn. But these figures, while reflecting official direct US military aid, are almost meaningless in comparison to the real costs and benefits of US military aid – above all, American boots on the ground. In reality, Israel receives only a small fraction of American military aid, and most of that was spent in the US to the benefit of the American economy.

Countless articles discrediting Israel (as well as many other better-intentioned articles) ask how it is that a country as small as Israel receives the bulk of US military aid. Israel receives 55%, or $US3.1 billion per year, followed by Egypt, which receives 23%. This largesse comes at the expense, so it is claimed, of other equal or more important allies, such as Germany, Japan, and South Korea. The complaint conjures the specter of an all-powerful Israel lobby that has turned the US Congress into its pawn.

The response to the charge is simple: Israel is not even a major beneficiary of American military aid. The numerical figure reflects official direct US military aid, but is almost meaningless compared to the real costs and benefits of US military aid – which include, above all, American boots on the ground in the host states.

According to America Unniversity's Prof.David Vine,  the 150,500 American troops stationed in seventy countries around the globe costs the American taxpayer an annual $ US 85-100 billion. 800-1,000 American soldiers stationed abroad represent US$565-665 million of aid to the country in which they are located.

Using the Vine formula: 

Japan’s US military aid package is nine times larger than that of Israel.
Germany’s US Military aid package is seven times larger than that  of Israel.
Italy’s  US Military aid package is twice times larger than that of Israel.

From the Elder of Ziyon:

Keeping in mind that 75 % of the US military aid to Israel never leaves the US and benefits the US economy with thousands of American jobs, US military aid to Israel remains a bargain.  

Sunday, February 5, 2017

New Yorkers take matters into their own hands

The passengers on New York's uptown 1 line at 50th Street looked around in shock. Every window and every advertisement on the train was covered in vile anti-Semitic graffiti, with swastikas and slogans including "Destroy Israel, Heil Hitler," and "Jews belong in the oven." 
Then they sprung into action.

From the Facebook page of Gregory Locke:

I got on the subway in Manhattan tonight and found a Swastika on every advertisement and every window. The train was silent as everyone stared at each other, uncomfortable and unsure what to do.
One guy got up and said, "Hand sanitizer gets rid of Sharpie. We need alcohol." He found some tissues and got to work.
I've never seen so many people simultaneously reach into their bags and pockets looking for tissues and Purel. Within about two minutes, all the Nazi symbolism was gone.
Nazi symbolism. On a public train. In New York City. In 2017.

"I guess this is Trump's America," said one passenger. 

No sir, it's not. Not tonight and not ever. Not as long as stubborn New Yorkers have anything to say about it.

Check out the Times of Israel  and NBC News for more on this story.  There has been a recent spike in antisemitic activity nationwide following  Novembers election.