Friday, December 31, 2010

Israel: Best Economy in the West

The attempts of the BDS'ers to economically isolate the world's only Jewish state approached epic failure this year, with the Israeli economy recently pronounced "The Best in the West"

In spite of a world-wide recession, and the BDS'er's best efforts, Israel's Gross national product grew by 4.5% in 2010, compared with only 2.7% in the other 33 countries of the Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD). Israel became an OECD member state this past September.

Since Israel's independence, exports have increased 11,250 times, according to a report by the Israel Export and Cooperation Institute. Exports totaled $6 million in 1948, and grew to $67.5 billion in 2009. The current export value has more than doubled since 1998, and is $6.5 billion less than the expected figure for 2010.

Yep, BDS= epic fail.

And on a related note, candy sweet Sharon persimmons are back at the Berkeley Bowl. Enjoy them while you can- the season is way too short. They are great eaten like an apple- but try them sliced thinly in a spinach salad, with sliced red onions, and a fruit or nut based vinaigrette. You can eat well, torment the BDS'ers, and help Israel's economy grow grow grow, in a single step.

Life is good.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Dec. 27 : The Second Anniversary of Operation Cast Lead




This poster commemorating Operation Cast Lead has been making the rounds- on facebook, on listserves and on various anti-Israel websites. Its nearly breathtaking in its audacity. Look at the figures. 1180 "civilians" + 317 "kids" + 117 women. This adds up to 1616, not the 1415. Why the difference? Is this an acknowledgment of Iranian militants killed in Gaza?

The claim of 1180 "civilians" comes well after Hamas admitted that 700 combatants (originally claimed as "policemen" or "civilians" ) were killed during Cast Lead.

From the Huffington post:

So, in a recent interview with a London paper, Al-Hayat, Fathi Hamad, Hamas' Interior Minister, responded to these criticisms as follows:

"It has been said that the people were harmed by the war, but is Hamas not part of the people? It is a fact that on the first day of the war Israel struck police headquarters and killed 250 members of Hamas and the various factions, in addition to the 200-300 operatives from the [Izz al-Din] al-Qassam Brigades. In addition, 150 security personnel were killed, and the rest were from people. (The original text of the interview in Arabic, as reprinted in the Hamas newspaper Felesteen, can be found on the website of the Meir Amit Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center. It was also reported by Agence France Presse)

This statement not only supports the Israeli numbers, but it also acknowledges what Israel has long said about the 250 policemen who were killed on the first day of combat: they were "members of Hamas and the various factions" and were indeed "combatants" by any realistic definition of that term.

Fathi Hamad's figures are in striking contrast to those originally issued by Palestinian groups which claimed that only 48 combatants were killed and that the total amounted to a mere 17 percent of all fatalities.


Even if these figures were assumed to be accurate, there is a huge discrepancy between women and men killed. If Israel were targeting civilians, the gender ratio of those killed would be closer to 50/50. Only 8% of those killed in this conflict were women.

And the "children"? Invariably, the Palestinian "children" killed are older teenaged boys, cynically used as child combatants by Hamas. Blogger Elder of Ziyon identified some of these children from websites celebrating their martyrdom

Ahmed Rasmi Mohammed Abu Jazar "Mujahid" 16 years old
Nabil Mahmoud Mohammed Abu Ti’eima "Shahid Mujahid" 16 years old
Sha’aban ‘Adel Hamed Hanif 16 years old "al Mujahid"
Tareq Yaser Mohammed ‘Afana 16-years old Al Qassam Brigades member
Mahmoud Majed Mahmoud Abu Nahla 16 years old "Shahid Fighter" in ICT
Adham Na’im Mohammed Abdul Malik (17 years old) Islamic Jihad spotter
Belal Hamza Ali ‘Ubeid "Abu Khalid" 17 years old Al Qassam member
Samed Mahfouz Mahmoud Abed Rabbu, Islamic Jihad member, 16 years old
Mohammed Jaber Mohammed ‘Eleyan 16 years old member of PRC/Nasser Brigades
Feras Fayez Kamel Abu Samra 17 years old "hero martyr" on Paldf forum

The final word on Operation Cast Lead belongs to British Col. Richard Kemp who has testified:

"Based on my knowledge and experience, I can say this: During Operation Cast Lead, the Israeli Defence Forces did more to safeguard the rights of civilians in a combat zone than any other army in the history of warfare.

Israel did so while facing an enemy that deliberately positioned its military capability behind the human shield of the civilian population.

Hamas, like Hizballah, are expert at driving the media agenda. Both will always have people ready to give interviews condemning Israeli forces for war crimes. They are adept at staging and distorting incidents.

The IDF faces a challenge that we British do not have to face to the same extent. It is the automatic, Pavlovian presumption by many in the international media, and international human rights groups, that the IDF are in the wrong, that they are abusing human rights.

The truth is that the IDF took extraordinary measures to give Gaza civilians notice of targeted areas, dropping over 2 million leaflets, and making over 100,000 phone calls. Many missions that could have taken out Hamas military capability were aborted to prevent civilian casualties. During the conflict, the IDF allowed huge amounts of humanitarian aid into Gaza. To deliver aid virtually into your enemy's hands is, to the military tactician, normally quite unthinkable. But the IDF took on those risks."

Thursday, December 23, 2010

The Seattle Metro Bus Ads: Why do supporters of Palestine lie and cheat?

On Dec. 27, a number of ads vilifying Israel for "war crimes" are scheduled to appear on buses in the Seattle area.

From KING 5
"A group calling itself the Seattle Mideast Awareness Campaign has paid King County $1,794 so that 12 buses will carry that message around town, starting two days after Christmas. That's December 27: the two-year anniversary of Israeli attacks on Gaza, aimed at stopping rocket attacks and weapons smuggling."

The Seattle Mideast Awareness Campaign is an offshoot of the US Campaign to end the Occupation. Ed Mast, a spokesperson for the group has been involved with a variety of anti-Israel groups , including the International Solidarity Movement.

From the website Family Security Matters:
Seven years ago, Mast was an activist with the International Solidarity Movement (ISM), and more recently he has been involved with the “Palestine Online Store.” He is a founding member of the Seattle-based Palestine Information Project which also goes under the name Palestine Solidarity Committee, which has campaigned to boycott Israeli products and produces propaganda that declares that:

“The racism and colonialism of the Zionist movement, with its quest for an ethnic supremacist state, remain the fundamental causes of the current conflict.”


Of course, those of us who know that at its core, Zionism is the movement for Jewish self determination reject such hate speech

When the story broke at King 5, it was accompanied by an on-line poll, asking readers to weigh in with their own opinions on the ad. Hundreds of people, and dozens of anti-Israel groups received a personal email from Rachel Corrie's mother, Cindy, asking them to vote in support of the ads:

What We Can Do - A Request From Cindy Corrie


From: cindy@rachelcorriefoundation.org
Date: December 19, 2010 2:33:31 PM EST
Subject: Support Seattle bus ad effort - vote in King 5 TV poll

Friends,

The Seattle Mideast Awareness Campaign's effort to publicize Israeli War Crimes support with U.S. tax dollars on city buses is getting considerable attention. Story broke about this on Seattle King 5 TV Friday evening. The Jewish Federation has put out a letter opposing the ads.

If you haven't taken the simple step of voting in The King 5 TV poll about the effort, please do! And please pass along to your lists and let others know. Seattle activists will need support this week. Note that those supporting the ads surged ahead in the unofficial poll yesterday after we put word out - but today the opposition has taken the lead.

Over 4500 have voted in the poll in just over a day, and the story has been the first or second most read story for the past day - and the most frequently emailed. Comments are welcome.


Cindy

The trouble began when supporters of Israel realized what was up, and began voting as well. Votes against the ads began winning the poll. The anti-Israel forces mobilized, and realizing that the only way to win was cheat, hacked the poll. This was not the first time

From Stand With us:


Many of you are aware that KING 5 TV, which first broke the story, had an on-line poll on whether or not Metro should carry the ads. It very quickly became the most visited page on their website, with tens of thousands of people voting. Blogs across the country directed people to vote in the poll. By Monday evening, slightly more than 50 percent of the votes were against Metro running the ad. Then, between late Monday evening and early Tuesday morning, more than 15,000 nearly unanswered "yes" votes came piling in, supporting Metro running the ads.

StandWithUs Northwest realized that someone had set up a computerized voting application that created unique but false email addresses so that thousands of fake votes could be automatically sent in to the poll. The supporters of the anti-Israel ad were ballot stuffing.

StandWithUs Northwest's co-chairs, Carolyn Hathaway and Sharon Finegold, called KING 5 and explained the problem and showed them that it was statistically nearly impossible for so many no votes to come in so quickly in a legitimate way.

KING 5 responded immediately by investigating the problem and, within an hour, pulled the poll off the web.


Upon learning that the Jewish Federation of Greater Seattle had set up a website to facilitate communication with local officials, Al Awda set out a email, encouraging their activists to hijack the site for their own use.

Lying. Cheating. Hacking. Hoaxes. Vandalism. Has it occured to you that maybe, just maybe, the anti-Israel forces are not on the side of goodness and righteousness? If they had truth or history on their side, they would not have to resort to these techniques.

UPDATE:

King County News Release
Citing potential for disruption to transit service, Executive implements interim Metro policy restricting new non-commercial advertising on buses.

Citing the potential for disruption to transit service, King County Executive Dow Constantine today approved an interim policy from Metro Transit that calls for a halt to the acceptance of any new non-commercial advertising on King County buses. Under provisions of the previous policy, Metro officials today also rejected a proposed ad from the Seattle Mideast Awareness Campaign and the proposed response ads from two other groups.

"The escalation of this issue from one of 12 local bus placards to a widespread and often vitriolic international debate introduces new and significant security concerns that compel reassessment," said Executive Constantine.

"My job is to deliver essential services to the people of King County, including transit service," he added. "I have consulted with federal and local law enforcement authorities who have expressed concern, in the context of this international debate, that our public transportation system could be vulnerable to disruption.

"Metro sells advertising to raise revenues to provide transit service. Metro’s existing policy restricts advertising that can be reasonably foreseen to result in harm to, disruption of, or interference with the transportation system. Given the dramatic escalation of debate in the past few days over these proposed ads, and the submission of inflammatory response ads, there is now an unacceptable risk of harm to or disruption of service to our customers should these ads run."

In light of the recent escalation of events, Metro Transit General Manager Kevin Desmond today asked his advertising consultant to notify the Seattle Mideast Awareness Campaign that Metro is rejecting its proposed ad, and for the consultant to notify the David Horowitz Freedom Center and the American Freedom Defense Initiative that Metro will not accept their proposed ads, as posing an unacceptable risk of harm to, disruption of, or interference with bus service, as defined under current policies.

In response to the Executive’s directive on Monday to review current policies, Desmond today also recommended an interim transit advertising policy that adds non-commercial ads to the list of current restrictions, with an exception for governmental entities that advance specific government purposes. Non-commercial ads that met the previous policy and for which contracts have already been signed are not affected, and ads already in place will remain.

"We cannot and would not favor one point of view over another, so the entire category of non-commercial advertising will be eliminated until a permanent policy can be completed that I can propose to the King County Council for adoption," said the Executive. "Further work during the coming weeks will help determine what constitutionally-valid policy is best for the safety and well-being of the transit-riding public, our drivers and personnel, and the community at large.

"I thank everyone who has reached out to us to express their interests on this matter."

Metro expects to complete work on a permanent transit advertising policy by the end of January, for the Executive to transmit to the County Council for adoption

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

METROPOLITE SERAPHIM DEMONSTRATES GREEK ORTHODOX CHURCH'S INHUMAN SIDE

All is not well within the Greek Orthodox Church. Judging by recent statements, one might even think that entering the priesthood is reserved for the mentally unstable, or atrophies the intellect.
That may be an over-pessimistic assessment, though I am still waiting for anyone to disprove either contention.

QUOTE:
A high-level priest on the morning show of the largest television station in Greece blamed world Jewry for Greece's financial problems. The Metropolite of Piraeus Seraphim also blamed world Jewry for other ills in the country during his appearance on Mega TV.
END QUOTE.


SOURCE:
http://www.jta.org/news/article/2010/12/21/2742275/greek-priest-goes-on-anti-semitic-tirade



QUOTE:
Mixing Freemasons with Jewish bankers such as Baron Rothschild and world Zionism, the Metropolite said that there is a conspiracy to enslave Greece and Christian Orthodoxy. He also accused international Zionism of trying to destroy the family unit by promoting one-parent families and same-sex marriages.
Thirteen minutes into the program the Greek host asked the Metropolite, "Why do you disagree with Hitler's policies? If they are doing all this, wasn't he right in burning them?"
END QUOTE.


'WASN'T HITLER RIGHT IN BURNING THEM?'

The Greeks, we remember, enthusiastically assisted the Germans during a regrettable period in Greece’s past.

More recently they have yielded aid and support to various Terrorist groupings – though not all of that was governmental.

QUOTE:
The Metropolite answered, "Adolf Hitler was an instrument of world Zionism and was financed from the renowned Rothschild family with the sole purpose of convincing the Jews to leave the shores of Europe and go to Israel to establish the new Empire."
END QUOTE.


It is entirely conceivable that the Metropolite may be barking mad.


QUOTE:
The American Jewish Committee on Wednesday called on the heads of the Greek Orthodox Church to condemn the Metropolite's statements.

"Seraphim's horrendous lies on Greek TV demonstrate that anti-Semitism is alive and well within the Greek Orthodox Church,” said Rabbi David Rosen, AJC's international director of interreligious affairs, in a letter to the head of the Greek Orthodox Church in Greece, Archbishop Ieronymos II, as well as Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew. “It is the responsibility of the church leadership to condemn and uproot anti-Semitism.
END QUOTE.

http://www.jta.org/news/article/2010/12/21/2742275/greek-priest-goes-on-anti-semitic-tirade


We’re waiting. This blog will let you know if it happens.
Please don’t hold your breath.



周小燕
-------------------------------------
CROSSPOSTED HERE: http://infectiousasian.blogspot.com/2010/12/greek-priest-missing-marbles.html
-------------------------------------

Saturday, December 18, 2010

No REAL Plan for Israel


NOTE TO READER: While the idea that assigning the United Nations as the premier, international body to adjudicate the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is appealing, can the writer truly be on earth to NOT know the vehement, anti-Israelism that exists among Arab and Muslim UN member states today which sours any fair treatment? One need only to look at the UN Human Rights Commission which Alejandro Wolff, former Deputy Permanent U.S. Representative to the United Nations (2005-2010), accused of having "a pathological obsession with Israel" for focusing resolution after resolution against the Jewish State but ignoring violators such as Cuba and Belarus.

But the demographic challenge which is used to taunt Jews in Israel with such conundrums as do they want a democratic country or do they want a Jewish country (as if the two were mutually exclusive) may not be true at all. The population of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip totals no more than 2.7 million people, according to Bennett Zimmerman and Michael Wise in "Defusing the Demographic Time Bomb" ( 2008). A simple fact check at the United Nations website reveals that fertility rates ranks the Gaza Strip at 20th and the West Bank at 50th in birth rates. An American University of Beirut study also corroborates a significant decline in Palestinian fertility levels, especially in the West Bank, based on extensive and large-scale household interviews and registration records of births. The Palestinian birthrate has not kept pace with expectations. Add in double-counted persons and Palestinians that live abroad, and the "demographic threat" disappears. ---- Becky Johnson: One Woman Talking


A U.N. Plan for Israel



found online at:
http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/12/13/a-u-n-plan-for-israel/?emc=eta1

The blogger Andrew Sullivan has called America’s policy toward Israel “assisted suicide.” That may be an exaggeration, but on Friday it became less of one. The occasion was a speech by Hillary Clinton, much anticipated after the collapse of talks between Israelis and Palestinians.

The good news is that Clinton sees the peril that Israel is moving toward. “The ever-evolving technology of war” means that, in the absence of a peace deal, “it will be increasingly difficult to guarantee the security of Israeli families.”

Further, “long-term population trends … are endangering the Zionist vision of a Jewish and democratic state.”Translation (with embellishment): If there is no two-state solution, Israel can either

(a) give Palestinians in the occupied territories the vote and watch as the Arab birth rate turns Israeli Jews into a minority; or
(b) keep denying the vote to Arabs it has ruled for decades, thus incurring charges of apartheid, moving toward pariah status among nations, continuing to give propaganda fuel to regional troublemakers and raising the chances of disastrous war.

Sadly, here is the policy Clinton unveiled to avert this catastrophe: America will talk to the two sides about what they might say should they ever talk to each other. As The New York Times headline put it, “Clinton Says U.S. Is Committed to Mideast Peace but Reverting to Old Strategy.” You’re familiar with how well that strategy worked?There is a strategy that could actually work.

It would take boldness on President Obama’s part, but it could win him a place in history and the enduring gratitude of most Jews and Palestinians. Seizing the opportunity involves first seeing the flaw in one premise of our current policy. As Clinton put that premise on Friday, “The United States and the international community cannot impose a solution. Sometimes I think both parties seem to think we can. We cannot.”

Yes we can.The United Nations created a Jewish state six decades ago, and it can create a Palestinian state now. It can define the borders, set the timetable and lay down the rules for Palestinian elections (specifying, for example, that the winners must swear allegiance to a constitution that acknowledges Israel’s right to exist).

Establishing such a state would involve more tricky issues than can be addressed in this space. (I take a stab at some of them atwww.progressiverealist.org/UN2states.) But, however messy this solution may seem, it looks pretty good when you realize how hopeless the current process is.

Palestinians and Israelis have taken turns impeding this process, and lately Israel has been in the lead. A raft of American inducements failed to get Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to forgo for even three months the construction of Israeli settlements that are banned under international law. It would be nice to think that this is just a phase, the product of an ephemeral far-right coalition. But there are signs that Israel’s drift to the right runs deep.

Only last week the chief rabbis in dozens of Israeli municipalities — who get government salaries — decreed that landlords shouldn’t rent to non-Jews. Meanwhile, hard-line settlers are systematically populating the upper levels of the military. And moderates seem to be heading for the exits. From 2000 to 2009 the number of Israelis applying for permanent residence in America nearly doubled.

Every day, settlement construction — especially in East Jerusalem — makes it harder to imagine two-state borders that would leave Palestinians with the minimal dignity necessary for lasting peace. As chances of a deal shrink, international impatience grows. This month Brazil and Argentina recognized a Palestinian state with 1967 borders.

By comparison, a United Nations solution looks Israel-friendly. Borders could be drawn to accommodate some of the thickest Israeli settlements along the 1967 lines (while giving the new Palestinian state land in exchange). But perhaps the biggest advantage is the political cover this approach would give President Obama.

Sure, he’d have to endure some noise from America’s Israel lobby. But at least he’d have to put on his noise-canceling headphones only twice: (1) when he agreed to explore this path with other members of the “quartet” — the European Union, Russia, the United Nations; (2) when the quartet, having produced a plan, handed it to the Security Council, at which point America would vote for it, or at least not veto it.

By contrast, the current path involves Obama taking political heat every time he tries to move Netanyahu a few inches toward the goal line. And there are 97 yards to go.

A prediction: if the United Nations does take the initiative, domestic resistance will be largely confined to the right wing of American Jewish opinion. Vast numbers of American (and Israeli) Jews will rally to the plan, because lasting peace will finally be within reach.

This Op-Ed column appeared in print on December 14, 2010. Postscript: Several months ago Amjad Atallah and Bassma Kodmani proposed that, in the event that Israeli-Palestinian negotiations collapsed, as they now have, the United Nations should take action different from what I’m advocating: “to obtain United Nations membership for [a Palestinian] state along with a Security Council resolution in which it assumes responsibility for finalizing the terms of a two-state deal.” For an argument that the collapse of negotiations could be a “potentially useful, clarifying moment,” see this very smart essay by Daniel Levy (who was on the Israeli negotiating team at the Taba talks in 2001) in The National Interest.

Palestinians Reject BDS. (So, where's this "civil society" we keep hearing about?)

More and more, we are hearing stories about Palestinians rejecting Boycotts, divestment and sanctions in favor of closer economic, cultural and social ties:

"I doubt you would find a company who says, 'I am closed for business'" to Israelis, said Ala Alaeddin, chairman of the Palestinian Information Technology Association.

Israel's high-tech industry is among the country's crowning achievements. Israel has the most start-ups per capita in the world and has helped produce such game-changing innovations as instant messaging and Internet telephony. Many Israeli tech firms send work offshore to eastern Europe, India or China.

In the past three years, however, some have turned to Palestinian engineers and programmers. They are cheaper, ambitious, work in the same time zone, and -- surprisingly to many Israelis -- are remarkably similar to them.

"The cultural gap is much smaller than we would think," said Gai Anbar, chief executive of Comply, an Israeli startup in this central Israeli
Read more here:

Coexistence extends beyond the high tech environment, and into the kitchen, as well.

Four chefs on a multiethnic Israeli team called Taste of Peace garnered three gold medals and a diploma of honor at the international Villeroy & Boch 2010 Culinary World Cup competition in Luxembourg, that took place November 20 to 24.

"I think these guys are the best ambassadors for peace," says Sarkis Yacoubian of his teammates, who are all close friends. "We are trying to go forward with it and hope we can do more activities together to show that in the kitchen there is no nationality or religion; we're just human beings who can talk with each other through the dishes we make."

"Working in the kitchen with sharp instruments doesn't mean we have to kill each other," says one of a team of multiethnic chefs who brought culinary glory to Israel.

"The idea is to show peace through the dishes we do," says Yacoubian, an Armenian chef instructor from Jaffa who founded Taste of Peace with Arab Christian Johnny Goric, executive chef at the Intercontinental Resort in Jericho.

The team is rounded out by Charlie Fadida, the Jewish executive chef at the Sheraton in Tel Aviv, and his sous chef, Muslim Arab Imad Shourbaji. Four culinary students and an instructor from the restaurant at the Notre Dame of Jerusalem Center came along for the event, considered the Olympics of cooking.

Read more here

Friday, December 17, 2010

LYNN GOTTLIEB WISHES HILLEL'S DESTRUCTION

Hillel, the world’s largest Jewish campus organization - with staff, funding and physical space on some 500 mostly US campuses - says it wants to create a “welcoming environment for Jewish students on campus by fostering students’ ability to incorporate Jewish tradition into their lives.”

Campus Hillel also stalwartly rejects the criticism and boycott of Israel advocated by ISM, JVP, BAWIB, ANSWER, SJP, and others of that ilk.

According to Hillel’s national director Wayne Firestone:
“Hillel welcomes, partners with, and aids the efforts of organizations, groups and speakers from diverse perspectives in support of Israel as a Jewish and democratic state.” We firmly state, however, that “Hillel will not partner with, house or host organizations, groups or speakers that as a matter of policy or practice:

* Deny the right of Israel to exist as a Jewish and democratic state with secure and recognized borders;

* Delegitimize, demonize or apply a double standard to Israel;

* Support boycott of, divestment from, or sanctions against the State of Israel;

* Exhibit a pattern of disruptive behavior toward campus events or guest speakers or foster an atmosphere of incivility.”

This forthrightness has outraged many who seek to subvert campus life.


Rabbi Lynn Gottlieb ("Renewal Movement", JVP, and fan of BDS) furiously objects to Hillel's guidelines, writing:

As a target of Hillel’s effort to silence dissent before selective divestment and BDS arose on the horizon as a tactic to end Israeli occupation of Palestinian land, and as someone who remembers when speaking to Palestinians was considered heresy, when supporting a two state solution was heresy, when protesting settlement expansion was heresy, when supporting Goldstone’s call for an investigation of Operation Cast Lead was considered heresy, it seems as if Hillel, once again, is failing to understand the positive contribution of nonviolent dissent to militarism and occupation to rabbinic and Jewish life.

By silencing dissent in broad and highly idiosyncratic language, Hillel is exiling thousands of young Jewish activists to life outside our own community. As for boycott, it has an honored place in Jewish life, especially when it is used to express non-cooperation with actions that are harmful to the public.

"Whoever is able to protest against the transgressions of his own family and does not do so is held responsible and liable for the transgressions of his family. Whoever is able to protest against the transgressions of the people of his community and does not do so is liable for the transgressions of his community. Whoever is able to protest against the transgressions of the entire world and does not do so is liable for the transgressions of the entire world. (Babylonian Talmud Shabbat 54b) R. Zera said to R. Simon: Did you rebuke those of the Exilarch’s house? He replied: they will not take it from me. R. Zera said: Even so, you should rebuke them. (Shabbat 55a and cf. Tanhuma Tazria parag. 9).

It has been further been taught: "It is forbidden to sell them weapons or accessories to weapons, nor should one sharpen weapons for them. One may not sell them blocks or neck-ands placed on prisoners or ropes or iron chains-neither to idolators (Romans) nor to Cuthites (a sect of Judaism). R. Nahman said in the name of Rabbah b. Avuha: Just as they ruled that it forbidden to sell (these items) to an idolator so is it forbidden to them to an Israelite who is suspected of selling them to an idolator (Roman). The rabbis taught: It is forbidden to sell them shields, but others say that shields may be sold to them. (They were used for decorative purposes) Said R. Nahman in the name of Rabba b. Avuha: The law agrees with the others. Yerushalmi 15b-16a The text describes a form of boycott in order to avoid cooperating with Roman military rule, even if one is making a profit. Noncooperation with acts that violate human rights in an ancient and honored form of religious action.

Finally, the Jewish American community supported the farmer workers’ boycott of grapes and the boycott of Nestle products because they believed in the universal principle of human rights which both boycotts supported. Why is selective divestment or other forms of consumer boycott different because it is directed at Israeli violations of human rights in the form of illegal land seizure?
Especially when these violations are being committed in our name? Rather than a form of delegitimization of Israel, the very act of protest by supporting selective divestment and public protest in the media and on the street is upholding the democracy that those who love Israel claim to cherish and promote.


===============================================

Rabbi Gottlieb's response is remarkable several different ways.


Rabbosai,


The Devil is always able to quote scripture.
Consequently, it is no surprise that Ms. Gottlieb can find something in Talmud to bolster her position - so can Stormfront Netherlands, so can the usual gang of insane Jew-haters on the fringes of the internet.

The Talmud, we know, is a discourse. Wherefore one can find any number of counter-arguments to Ms. Gottlieb and almost anyone/anything else in it, and in the commentaries, and in Tosefta - Midrash - Mechilta - Pesikta etcetera.
But that is somewhat pointless.
The key here is the methodology - which in her case, as she ab initio seeks to undermine Hillel and support for Israel, rather than come to any actual understanding or grasp of principle, is entirely farkert.

What she did is the exact equivalent of the Papacy and Inquisition quoting Talmud. Not Talmud for Talmud's sake, but twisting Talmud for their own purposes.
The monks in Paris did the same visavis the Rambam.
So did yesterday's National Socialists and the Czar's secret police, and exactly so do today's twisted mental buttends of humanity on the far left and right.
I have done likewise to Marxist-Leninist crap.


That a purported 'rabbi' would seek to gut the very values in Hillel which she herself claims to profess is shocking. That she would be an accessory to the demonization of Israel is downright repulsive. And that she would wish that Hillel, often a sanctuary against the current hateful atmosphere on so many campi, should become victim to the very forces which demand the silence of Jews and friends of the only democratic state in the Mid-East on campus, is utterly appalling.

Yom Kippur must be a very interesting experience at 'chez Gottlieb'.
Assuming that it is in any way meaningful there.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Mama, they're not making Anarchists like they used to: Application process for the UC Boat to Gaza: the Audacity of Hope

They aren't making anarchists like they used to. Did you all get your 4 page application to be a passenger aboard the US Boat to Gaza, the "Audacity of Hope"? What do you think of the invasive personal questions they ask? Many of these would be illegal to ask on any application in America. Applicants are asked specifically to identify their ethnicity, race,religion, and sexual orientation.

The part that really got to me, though was that the form needs to be signed and notarized before it's sent back to the Bearsville, NY Post Office box.

Do you think the IHH members from the Mavi Marmara were also asked about their sexual orientation?

I can't help but wonder if the questions on identity and sexual orientation relate to the recent controversy on sexual abuse of international activists in the Palestinian territories. Its worrying the haters, judging by the "help wanted" they distributed:

Their email:

We are in need of volunteers to join us this winter and spring as we struggle to end the Israeli occupation in all its forms and to promote justice and self-determination for the Palestinian people. We have a wide range of programs lined up for the next few months, and are in need of dedicated, enthusiastic volunteers to help make our goals a reality...

Our Principles:

All internationals agree to respect traditional Palestinian culture. For example, internationals will dress appropriately (long-sleeves, no shorts or skirts, loose-fitting), not engage in sexual activity, drink alcohol or use drugs while volunteering with PSP.
We agree to respect each other at all times. We as internationals agree not to act in racist, sexist, homophobic or xenophobic ways, even if we encounter these behaviors within Palestinian society.


Interesting. Very interesting.

If you always wanted to be the next Rachel Corrie, write to "US to Gaza" Po Box 373Bearsville, NY 12409. And be sure you have a notary lined up. Thats a good anarchist.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Protesting Aipac Dec. 14 - All quiet on Nob Hill

Despite absolutely FRANTIC appeals from SJP, Codepink, and Lilly at the Arab Resource Organizing Center, not a single protester showed up this evening.

Nob Hill was peaceful, serene and romantic in the dark wetness of late Autumn.

A very perfect San Francisco night, it actually wasn’t raining very much.

When I passed by the Fairmont shortly after six, there were cop cars all over the place. And barricades.
No Palestinian flags. No revolutionary banners or signs. And no one manning the barricades – not a single person or Berkeleyite.
No evidence whatsoever that anyone had ever even been there protesting.
Nothing pink. Nor green.

I believe the operative terms is EPIC FAIL.

Perhaps aged hippies and young punks can’t walk uphill?

Quite likely they can’t read maps either ("see this BIG blob over here? It’s FILLED with Palestinians! It’s called 'Jordan' ").


周小燕

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Seven Arrested Attempting to Crash AIPAC dinner in Oakland

A group of seven hate-niks, led by the notorious Noura Khouri, a woman of staggering  hubris and ignorance who once accused Glide's Reverend Cecil Williams of "overt racism" was arrested this evening attempting to crash the annual AIPAC dinner.


Noura Khouri of the AFSC, arrested at AIPAC


The dinner at the Oakland Marriott, one of 4 sold out venues in the Bay area hosted hundreds of AIPaC supporters that were unaware of the disturbance in the lobby.

Immediately after entering the lobby, the group was surrounded by security personnel. The group then inexplicably broke into song.

In addition to Noura Khouri,others arrested and taken away in handcuffs included
Valerie Ortiz, Santa Cruz,
Leslie Angeline, San Francisco,
Martha Hubert, San Francisco,
Gene St. Onge, Oakland
Janet Kobren, Oakland, and
Peter Tcherneff, Santa Rosa

More details and photos as they come available.
True to form, the charming folks at Stop AIPAC sent out a press release, immediately declaring victory over the mighty lobby.

It has been proposed that the seven currently in custody in Oakland be traded in a prisoner exchange for Gilad Shalit.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Aipac protests in the Bay Area

As happens every year, the usual pack of brainwashed supporters of extremist Islamic misogyny and Jew-hate will be out protesting in front of the AIPAC dinners in the Bay Area. Such 'protests' are usually forums for mayhem and socially approved bigotry among a certain class.

This year's sponsors of hatred and opportunistic thuggism in front of hotels:
Progressive Democrats of America-East Bay• Middle East Study Group• Middle East Children’s Alliance • Bay Area Women in Black • Students for Justice in Palestine • 14 Friends of Palestine • Richmond Progressive Alliance • American Friends Service Comm. • Code Pink • Jewish Voice for Peace • ANSWER- SF Bay Area • Friends of Deir Ibzi’a.

Conspicuously absent from any mention is the International Solidarity Movement. That does NOT mean that they do not have any thoughts regarding the matter.


THE ISM?

A dynamite piece in the Contra Costa Times perfectly highlights how utterly despicable some of the people on the anti-Israel side really are.

Quote:
PAUL LARUDEE writes in the Times (Dec. 4) to lament that people in the East Bay will be breaking bread with the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC). What Larudee does not tell his readers is that he has repeatedly bragged about sharing the bed of a suicide bomber, who had committed mass murder, and that he is a prominent member of the anarchist International Solidarity Movement.
[End quote]

From Would You Rather Break Bread With AIPAC or Share Bed of a Suicide Bomber? by Abraham H. Miller

SOURCE: Readers' Forum, by Abraham H. Miller, Guest Commentary
Posted: 12/11/2010
http://www.contracostatimes.com/columns/ci_16827099?nclick_check=1

Quote:
This group routinely works with such terrorist groups as Hamas, Islamic Jihad, and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine. Larudee justifies violence as long as the dead and injured are Jews. He is so obsessed with Israel that he helped organized the Gaza Flotilla that was seeded with Islamist fanatics who sought and achieved martyrdom under the ruse of bringing aid to the Hamas-dominated territory.

That aid was so vital to the people of Gaza that Hamas has refused to accept it. It now rots in warehouses in Israel and Egypt.

Undeterred Larudee's latest obsession is to fly an airplane into Gaza in an effort to precipitate a new propaganda event. Larudee is neither a man of peace nor a human-rights activist.

He is a propagandist obsessed with the destruction of Israel by whatever means necessary. In 2006 his terrorist-loving ISM members were photographed carrying AK-47 machine guns, while standing next to members of the terrorist Al Asqa Martyr's Brigade. As someone who has proudly broken bread with
AIPAC, permit me to note some factual errors in Larudee's piece. AIPAC has neither supported nor opposed the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. It has no positions on those, despite what Larudee says.

In a week when WikiLeaks clearly shows us that it is the Arabs, not the Israelis, who were actively calling for the Obama administration "to remove the head of the snake," Larudee tells us that Israel and AIPAC are the ones promoting war with Iran.

AIPAC supports a two-state solution to the Arab-Israeli conflict, with both states living in peace, harmony and mutual security. Larudee's anarchist ISM does not.

AIPAC and its predecessors have promoted a strong, mutually beneficial alliance between the United States and Israel. It was Israeli intelligence that gave the United States one of the greatest intelligence coups of the Cold War, the complete text of Khrushev's secret speech to the 20th Party Congress of the Soviet Union. It was Israel that turned over an intact Russian MiG to the United States and an entire working Soviet radar system. Israeli intelligence was the only Western intelligence service ever to pierce the workings of a Politburo and make them available to the United States.

This vital strategic relationship, made more important by contemporary events, has resulted in at least five "secret" American bases on Israeli soil. These bases are vital to American security in the war on terrorism.

Larudee's ISM promotes no one's interest, but its own. In November of 2005, the Arabs of Hebron asked their Orthodox Jewish neighbors to help them in getting rid of ISM activists, whose behavior had become patently offensive to the Arab community.

Larudee's ISM promotes propaganda events, fronts for terrorists, seeks Israel's destruction while he laments that our neighbors will break bread with an organization that promotes the mutual security interests of Israel and the United States, an organization that advocates a two-state solution based on peace and security.

Given a choice between breaking bread with AIPAC or sharing the bed of a suicide bomber, I believe most of us would choose to break bread with AIPAC.
[End quote.]

Abraham H. Miller is emeritus professor of political science, University of Cincinnati. He is a former counterterrorism consultant to the National Institute of Justice.


=================================

http://www.contracostatimes.com/columns/ci_16827099?nclick_check=1

=================================

"AIPAC supports a two-state solution to the Arab-Israeli conflict, with both states living in peace, harmony and mutual security. Larudee's anarchist ISM does not."

In addition to the anti-Israel organizations listed above, there will be unaffiliated elements with their own agendas among the baying mob. In years past, threats were made towards attendees, and violent incidents occurred. We'll see if this year the Oakland and San Francisco Police Departments are prepared - they have at times been caught off guard by the venom and aggression displayed toward Jews, Israel, and America by the organized fronts and their allies.
I wish the supporters of Israel good luck, and fervently hope that they do not get accidentally caught up in any of the "direct action" planned for today and tomorrow.


---G.P.


=================================

Crossposted here: http://grantpatel.blogspot.com/2010/12/aipac-protests-in-bay-area.html

=================================

Drats! Foiled Again. Another Failed Code Pink Ahava Action

The Buycott campaign continues to succeed beyond our wildest expectations. This weeks Buycott victory comes from Boston, where the silly silly activists of Code Pink turned their attention to Lord and Taylor, and were dismayed and disturbed to find all Ahava products completely sold out.

From the Boston AJC:

"In Boston, there has been an incredible response to our call to action with many people purchasing Ahava products and thanking Lord & Taylor for selling Israeli brands," said AJC Boston Director Rob Leikind.
“This is a dynamic demonstration of solidarity with Israel,” said AJC Executive Director David Harris. “But this is not a one-day event. Our commitment to buy from Israel is ongoing, as part of our global effort to mobilize support and understanding for the Jewish state"

The Boycott tactic has been so successful that our own home-grown local haters will not announce the focus of their ire publicly, out of fear of creating yet another embarrassing sell out.

Einstein once defined insanity as doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. With yet another failed action under their feathered pink boas, you'd think Code Pink might be willing to try something new. And you'd be wrong. From a two hour hunger strike at the Egyptian Consulate to boycotts that lead to empty shelves, to peace rallies that led to dead policemen, Code Pink manage to accomplish absolutely nothing while looking completely ridiculous. And they do it over and over and over again.

Because the last one went so swimmingly, CODEPINK is organizing another trip to Gaza via Egypt Jan. 30, of next year. The Plan: "We will enter Gaza via the Egyptian crossing at Rafah, departing from Cairo the morning of January 30 and returning to Cairo the evening of February 6. Payment of $1,000 includes transportation from Cairo to Gaza and within Gaza, program, translation, 2 meals/day, Gaza accommodations, donations to local organizations. Payment does not include flight to and from Cairo, Cairo hotel or visa fees". Knowing Code pink, they won't meet any of their goals, but they'll still happily take your money. Email ali.glenesk@gmail.com of SJP Berkeley fame for more information.
Ask her if you'll be staying at the Gaza Commodore. And check out Roots, in Gaza City. Its where all the hip activists go for their lattes.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Stand with us. Stand for Peace. Stand with Israel: Action Alert Oakland Dec 13

This evening, the AIPAC dinner in San Jose was sold out. Hundreds of participants attended, with only three, count them three protesters outside (Yes, you guessed it, Donna and Darlene Wallach and one other troll)

Join San Francisco Voice for Israel tomorrow in Oakland. International ANSWER, Bay Area Women in Black, Students for Justice in Palestine and all the local haters will be protesting. They've asked their followers to show up in Hamas green.

Action Alert follows: Please forward widely
Monday December 13, 5-7 PM: counterprotest anti-Israel groups in front of the AIPAC Membership Dinner in Oakland. The dinner will take place at the Oakland Marriott City Center, 1001 Broadway (closest BART station: 12th Street).

BACKGROUND

Without a doubt, The American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) is one of the most powerful lobbies on Capitol Hill. The enemies of Israel, however, inflate this into the charge that AIPAC, and by implication Jews, run the US government. In reality, AIPAC works to lobby for pro-Israel legislation and to educate legislators on issues related to the US-Israeli relationship. According to the New York Times, AIPAC is the most important organization affecting the
US's relationship with Israel.

Every year, AIPAC holds gala events throughout the Bay Area. Every year, the enemies of American and Israel and their relationship protest outside these events, often trying to harass event attendees. This year the anti-Israel groups have targeted the Oakland membership dinner.

EVENT DETAILS:

As we have done in previous years, Stand WithUs/SF Voice For Israel will be there to be sure the pro-Israel voice is publicly represented.

Whether or not you agree with AIPAC's policies, please come join us. The protests typically are only nominally about AIPAC and mostly about demonizing Israel. As an example of the political orientation of the anti-Israel demonstrators, one of the organizers of previous Sacramento anti-AIPAC demonstrations has written that "Hamas and Hezbollah are part of the global movement for a more just world."
Few if any of the anti-AIPAC protestors at this event want peace between Israel and its Arab neighbors.

For those of you attending the event, we do not want you to miss the dinner itself,; we encourage you to stand with us outside before the event begins at 6 PM.

As always, feel free to make your own signs but please no signs or graphics offensive to any racial or ethnic group including but not limited to Arabs, Islam, or Palestinians. Signs in violation of our policies will not be allowed.

IMPORTANT WARNING: Because of the possibility, at any public event, of violent behavior by those opposed to the very existence of Israel-- please do not engage the anti-Israel demonstrators and please DO follow any instructions of the Oakland police on the scene. We will be working with the Oakland Police Department to try to keep the anti-Israel groups well away from the entrance to the hotel. We recommend that if you will travel on BART, do not wear hats or clothing that identifies you as an Israel supporter, and do not bring your own signs or flags-- we will have plenty available at the scene.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

MAS: A Week to Remember Gaza

The curiously named "Muslim American Freedom society" has just declared the week of January 24-30, 2011 , a Week to Remember the Plight of Gaza. What exactly is the plight they are referring to? Is it getting too hard to get reservations at Roots, the gourmet destination of Gaza City? Is the new Olympic sized swimming pool too crowded? Or is the waiting list too long for one of the new25,000 new housing units being built in Gaza? (Here's a hint: families of martyrs have priority in grabbing one of the new units)

From the MAS (their mailing in italics):
As part of our year-long commitment to the End the Embargo-Let Gaza Live Campaign, the Muslim American Society Freedom announces the Gaza Not Forgotten week of January 24-30, 2011 .

How can Gaza be forgotton, MAS? How much is being spent on flotillas du jour? How much is being spent on teach-ins, speakers tours and moblizing the red/green alliance? Haven't you turned every week into a week to "remember " Gaza?

This week is planned as a time of information dissemination, public engagement, and mass appeals for the end of the nearly five years of a crippling economic blockade

Don't you think it would help the cause of peace to can the hyperbole, people? What crippling economic blockade? Bloomberg Financial news reported 16 % economic growth in Gaza, in the first half of this year.

… imposed on the people of Gaza by Israel, and to a lesser extent, Egypt, that had imposed overwhelming hardship and deprivation on the lives of nearly 1.5 million people in the Palestinian territory.

Some photos of that deprivation:








….We do not accept that any trickle of token humanitarian relief to Gaza is a substitute for the complete end of the blockade, and we continue to call on President Obama to use the power and influence of his office to persuade his Israeli and Egyptian allies to end this embargo."

Some trickle. Aid to the Palestinians is the highest per capita in the world. Just this week , 1083 truckloads (26,167 tons) of goods were unloaded at the crossings, in addition to fuel. This "trickle" included rice, spices, wheat, salt, cooking oil ,legumes, produce (Fruits and Vegetables) meat, chicken and fish, flour, dairy products and sugar.

Additionally 4 truckloads of strawberries and flowers were exported from the Gaza Strip this week to the markets of Europe.

The Muslim American Society has been identified by the ADL as a " cover for anti-Semitism and extremism" , Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director described their annual conference as providing " a platform for extremist views calls into question the sincerity of the effort to serve as a legitimate counterbalance to radicalization. No legitimate blueprint for change can emerge from a convention permeated by messages conveying hatred of Jews, the denial of Israel's right to exist and the idea that the U.S. is at war with Islam.". Looks like "Gaza not Forgotten Week" will be more of the same

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Helen Thomas: Not Aging Gracefully

Helen Thomas, 90, spoke at a workshop on anti Arab bias at Byblos Banquet Center in Dearborn Michigan Thursday, Dec. 2, 2010, and scratched the surface of nearly every anti-Semitic medieval canard, remembering that substituting the word "Zionist" for Jew functions as a "get out of jail free" card, and makes everything ok.

Claiming that "You can not say anything (critical) about Israel in this country.", she went on to criticize Israel. "We are owned by propagandists against the Arabs. There's no question about that. Congress, the White House, and Hollywood, Wall Street, are owned by the Zionists. No question in my opinion. They put their money where there mouth is…We're being pushed into a wrong direction in every way."

"I can call a president of the United States anything in the book but I can't touch Israel, which has Jewish-only roads in the West Bank," Thomas said. "No American would tolerate that -- white-only roads."



Helen darling, if the roads in Israel are Jew only, why do they bother making highway signs in English, Arabic and Hebrew?

In Commentary Michael Totten write about the The Myth of Jewish-Only Roads

She’s right that no American would tolerate white-only roads. Israelis, likewise, would never tolerate roads for Jews only. That’s why such roads don’t exist.

The roads she’s referring to in the West Bank are Israeli, and they’re not just for Jews. Israeli Arabs can drive on them, and so can non-Jewish foreigners, including Arab and Muslim foreigners. Palestinians were once able to drive on them but have not been allowed to do so since the second intifada, when suicide bombers used them to penetrate Tel Aviv and Jerusalem in order to massacre people.

There are also, by the way, Palestinian roads in the West Bank that Israelis can’t use.


For 57 years, this anti-Semite has been reporting the news. Does anyone actually believe she's been impartial?

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Its A BIG Deal! Nov 30. Buy Israeli Goods day a BIG Success!

We've seen some great photos from "Buy Israeli Goods" Day.



In NYC, people flocked to Ricky's to stock up on Ahava.

Others went to Target to buy the "Yes to Carrots" line, also made with Dead Sea Minerals



These young people opted for salty snacks from Israel.



And check out this haul from Trader Joes



So, uh, hows that boycott coming, anyway?

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

The Peace Dividend: Economic Growth in the West Bank and Gaza

The Portland Trust believes in the important role of economics in resolving the Middle East conflict, supported by evidence from other conflict situations. They believe the development of a thriving and sustainable Palestinian economy is a necessary condition for peace, and that the Israeli and Palestinian private sectors can be powerful forces for peace in the region. The Trust's Economic Bulletin for November 2010 highlights some of the material gains that have been registered in Gaza and the West Bank

Chief among the bulletin's findings are an increase in foreign investment between 2008 and 2009, from $1.34bn to $1.58bn, an 18% rise. However, Palestinian investment abroad is still three times more than the amount invested in the territories themselves: $5.43 bn. According to Dr. Jihad Al Wazir, governor of the Palestinian Monetary Authority political instability in the territories is the main cause of preferred overseas investment. The percentage of Palestinian banks that kept their assets abroad has dropped markedly a historic high of 65% to 47% today. Fascinating that overseas investment has historically taken precedent over building local infrastructure. Can we find a way to blame this on Israel?

Meanwhile, back in Hamasastan
Hamas has approved the construction of three high rise apartment buildings in Gaza that will be funded primarily by Iran. The funding for the new buildings comes mainly from Iran, but donations have also been received from Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas. Each building will be located on a complex that will have an adjoining shopping center, schools, a playground and a mosque. Apartments in the new neighborhoods will cost $25-40,000. First in line for the new units will be will be the families of 'shahidim' (martyrs), prisoners and casualties of war. Next in line will be young couples who have no apartment of their own, followed by families whose homes were destroyed by Israel, especially during Operation Cast Lead. The remaining apartments will be handed out according to a housing ministry raffle.
In addition to the apartments, international organizations operating in Gaza are supervising 70 projects to improve the health, education and sanitary conditions in the Gaza Strip. Yet on the streets in the Bay area, we still hear about starving Palestinians living in tents. Reality and fantasy are on a parallel track here- never actually intersecting.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Pay Attention to me! Pay Attention to ME! The BDS'ers get increasingly more desperate

The-Israel haters , having failed to get their message across though protests, vandalizing Israeli foods and harassing shoppers , are trying increasingly more bizarre tactics. The St. Louis Palestine Solidarity group is desperately trying to put together a flash mob to protest Motorola. As of today, a mere 8 people are attending, illustrating the organization’s failure at creating either “flash” or “mob” .

Their announcement:

Who's interested in being part of a flash mob? We will be meeting to learn dance moves for a December flash mob that is part of a coordinated effort to help bring awareness boycotting Motorola products.
Even if you can't dance, we will have other roles for people to assist with. However, we are desperately seeking dancers...or at least people who can move in some sort of simultaneous pre-organized and coordinated motions.
Please try to attend the Sunday November 28 Information/Rehearsal meeting at 3pm at the World Community Center (438 Skinker Blvd).


Its interesting that the BDS'ers will try and do anything, just anything to advance their cause, except of course open dialog, legitimate discourse and free debate.

The Motorola boycott , like many BDS ventures is failing, big time. The BDR'ers were apparently unable to convince the IHH terrorists on the Mavi Marmara to boycott Motorola. Each squad of mercenaries was equipped with a Motorola communication device so they could pass information to one another.

Human Rights Watch Founder, Robert Bernstein on the Moral Failures of HRW in the Middle east

Robert Bernstein, the 88 year old founder of Human Rights Watch has recently delivered a lecture condemning the organization he had established for moral failures in its treatment of Israel. These are excerpts from the Shirley and Leonard Goldstein Lecture on Human Rights, delivered November 10 at the University of Nebraska at Omaha.

From the Jerusalem Post:

"I know we all believe in free speech.
We believe in equality for women. We believe in tolerance of each other’s religious beliefs and in an open campus. It seems to me that the State of Israel has all the values we just outlined. It is surrounded by 22 Arab states occupying 99 and a half percent of the land in the Middle East and these states do not share these values. Israel, which occupies less than half of one percent, does share these values.

There is a battle about two things: First, the size of the 23rd state, the new Palestinian state, which at present has many of the same values as the other 22 states. Secondly, the claims of many Arab states, Iran and its proxies Hizbullah and Hamas, about the very legitimacy of the State of Israel.

I don’t think human rights organizations alone can solve this mess but I do wonder about the discussions on many campuses, particularly about Israeli abuses, regardless of what you believe about them, and whether they are constructive.

I don’t see how discussions of Israeli abuses can take such precedence over the kind of state that will be next to Israel. That is, not only internally, although human rights advocates should care about that more than they do, but in its foreign policy toward its neighbor Israel.



He describes how HRW shifted its focus from basic freedoms to warfare:

"It seemed to me that if you talked about freedom of speech, the rights of women, an open education and freedom of religion – that there was only one state in the Middle East that was concerned with those issues. In changing the public debate to issues of war, Human Rights Watch and others in what they described as being evenhanded, described Israel far from being an advocate of human rights, but instead as one of its principal offenders. Like many others, I knew little about the laws of war, Geneva Conventions and international law, and in my high regard for Human Rights Watch, I was certainly inclined to believe what Human Rights Watch was reporting.

However, as I saw Human Rights Watch’s attacks on almost every issue become more and more hostile, I wondered if their new focus on war was accurate."



Describing the build up of arms in Gaza and in Lebanon, and the UN's inability or unwillingness to intervene, Bernstein says

"It is hard for human rights organizations to do anything when war starts. Can anything be more threatening to civilian life than the thought of another war in Gaza? Shouldn’t human rights organizations be talking to the Gazans about the wisdom of their government in rearming? Instead, there is a debate about the blockade of Gaza. The debate over the blockade and whether Israel is achieving the right balance in trying to keep Gaza livable while keeping Gaza unprepared for war is too complicated to discuss here. We do know that a ship, coming from Iran and loaded with sophisticated arms, was apprehended by Israel off the coast. Yet, many visit Gaza and call for a complete lifting of the blockade without mentioning arms.

Human Rights Watch believes the blockade is illegal based on their opinion that Israel and not Hamas controls Gaza. If one believes Hamas controls Gaza, a blockade is a legal way of trying to prevent rearmament.

Hamas’s irresponsible use of arms, even to the point of sacrificing its own citizens as a way to build world sympathy, is well known."


More here

Friday, November 26, 2010

San Francisco and Haifa: Sister Cities


Haifa and San Francisco are sister cities- the reasons seem obvious. Both are cities on a hill, both have a diverse population, both are centers of high-tech, and both sit on an earthquake fault. Just as San Francisco functions as a "sanctuary" city, Haifa too provided a sanctuary for people of the Bahai faith, and today is the home of the Bahai World center. Last week, Haifa mayor Yona Yahav came to San Francisco, to celebrate and promote Haifa's 35 year old relationship with the "City by the bay".

While here, Yahav attended a screening at the Kabuki Sundance Theater of the Israeli film “The Matchmaker,” which was filmed in Haifa. He also spoke at the World Affairs Council discussing Haifa as a model of coexistence in the Middle East. Haifa, with a population of almost 600,000 is third-largest city in Israel. Haifa’s residents consist of Jews, Arabs, Christians, Bahai, and other communities living side-by-side. His theory as to why his city seems to be an island of Arab-Jewish cooperation. “In our city,” he said, “nothing is holy.”

Stronger relations are being promoted between San Francisco and Haifa, sister cities with much in common. How's that BDS movement going, btw?

Monday, November 22, 2010

Its a BIG deal: Buy Israeli Goods Nov. 30 and Always


It’s a BIG deal: Buy Israel Goods Campaign November 30
From the Israeli advocates at Stand With Us:


On Tuesday, November 30, anti-Israel activists in New York City plan to demonstrate and call for boycotts of stores that sell Israeli products. Their target is Ricky's because it carries Ahava goods. But this action in New York is just one of many. Boycotters have been energetically lobbying other stores across the country to drop Israeli products, from local co-ops to Costco and Trader Joe's.

The pro-Israel, pro-peace community urges you to join a counter campaign. We are making November 30 a BIG (Buy Israeli Goods) Day. Let us show anyone that calls for boycotts of even one or two stores, that it will always be met with a much larger counter-movement to buy Israeli goods.

StandWithUs and the America-Israel Chambers of Commerce calls on schools, college campuses, synagogues, community organizations, and individuals to designate Tuesday, November 30, as the day to actively Buy Israeli Goods. Go to your local stores and request Israeli products. Whenever a boycott is called, respond by purchasing the very Israeli goods that are being targeted and let store managers know they should keep them well-stocked on the shelves.

The holiday season is fast approaching. When you go holiday shopping, choose presents from the wonderful array of Israeli-made items, from fine Israeli wines to the high quality Ahava beauty products, Israeli jewelry, shoes and clothing lines, and of course, food. Select Sabra or Tribe hummus, great Israeli wines and Osem cookies to grace your holiday party.

We must defeat the boycotters who advocate destructive instead of constructive measures, who undermine hopes for peaceful co-existence, and whose only goal is to defame, cripple and damage Israel.

We can defeat them if we join together. The very date, November 30th, should encourage us. It comes the day after the 53rd anniversary of the UN Partition Resolution when the effort, against all odds, to restore the Jewish State was endorsed and recognized by the international community. It also comes just as Hannukah is approaching when we celebrate the Maccabees who also restored Jewish independence, and who were a few who triumphed over the many. We can do the same, and shine a light on Israel for all people of good will.

On November 30th, go shopping for Israel no matter where you live. Buy for Israel. Buy for peace. Be a big part of this BIG (Buy Israeli Goods) Day.

Where can you buy Israeli products locally?

Try here.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

JVP ATTACKS MIDDLE AGED DISABLED WOMAN

Jewish Voice for Peace attack news
http://grantpatel.blogspot.com/2010/11/jewish-voice-for-peace-attack-news.html
Excerpt: "Fellow bloggerstress Balabusta in Blue Jeans also weighs in on the cruel assault on a pro-Israel activist by the ever-venomous and vile Jewish Voice for Peace soldiers. She says: "The Balabusta will add that she has met this lady many times, and that she has also seen JVP's choice of 'nonviolent' friends at a number of demonstrations. Given JVP's inability to notice threatening and violent behavior carried out by those they choose to like, I'm not surprised they also fantasize violence by those they attack." "


Jewish Voice for Peace and bully tactics
http://proisraelbaybloggers.blogspot.com/2010/11/jewish-voice-for-peace-and-bully.html
Excerpt: "Yesterday evening there was a fracas at a Jewish Voice for Peace event, in which a middle-aged woman was victimized by several people. Jewish Voice for Peace has already come out with a press-release in which they desperately seek to put their spin on matters.
Truth, as is so often the case when JVP and similar groupings are involved, is not part of their narrative."

Jewish Voice for Peace and bully tactics
http://grantpatel.blogspot.com/2010/11/jewish-voice-for-peace-and-bully.html
Excerpt:
"Here’s the victim’s account:

"Jewish Voice for Peace" has issued a press release that I attacked several people attending one of their events with pepper spray. They also go on to make absurd allegations regarding my politics and intentions at the meeting.

This is completely bizarre. I am a DISABLED WOMAN (see the legal notice on my car). I carry pepper spray as my only means to defend myself. It IS true that on the evening of November 14, at a JVP meeting, I needed to defend myself. I was physically attacked.

The JVP meeting at Berkeley Senior Center was advertised to the public. I attended this meeting as an individual and not as a member of any organization, in order to deepen my understanding of their perspective on the Middle East conflict.

Ironically, a stated goal of the meeting was to HONOR activists that had recently PHYSICALLY DISRUPTED a speech by Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu. Perhaps I should have understood that as a warning.

THE ATTACK: Around 20 minutes into the meeting, I tried to photograph a woman speaking in support of Israel. Almost immediately, several JVP members surrounded me and tried to take my camera from me. Then they attacked me. They took hold of my arms and would not let me go. They also pushed their chests into me many times and knocked me against a wall. I yelled at them 20 to 30 times to let go of me. They refused to let go of my wrists and forearms and continued to bang their chests into me. They banged me into the wall over a dozen times. Their faces were red from hatred and exertion. As a result of their violence, my wrists and arms are bruised and I am currently suffering serious pain in my lower back. I am unable to work this afternoon and I must take medication for pain relief.

I am a large woman but I am physically frail. As I said, I am disabled.
- I see a pain management physician regularly for chronic back pain. I am unable to move without severe back pain. I have had major surgery on my back. I am unable to stand for more than a couple of minutes without unrelenting back pain and sciatica pain.
- I also have had nine surgeries on my knees which are another main source of pain.
- I have asthma, and I use inhaled steroids daily; the anti-Israel activists’ attack on me exacerbated my asthma and I had to take medicine while at the senior center.
- I also have a serious blood disorder that weakens me. I am currently under treatment by a hematologist/oncologist, and I am on daily chemotherapy.

I am 58 years old. I have a Disabled Person’s license plate for my car. I am physically incapable of overpowering or attacking anybody! The people who attacked me were physically fit and at least 20 years younger than I;

While pleading with the attackers to let me go, I tried to get away but they followed me and kept grabbing my arms. At one point they knocked my camera out of my hand. I bent down to pick it up and tried to walk away. They followed me and continued to grab my arms and shove me into the wall. They isolated me from the rest of the crowd. Because they were beating me up and because I am disabled and could not defend myself otherwise, I sprayed pepper spray into one woman’s face. As soon as I did that, they all backed off from me and let me go.

I resorted to the pepper spray because I feared for my safety and my life!!! I believe that had I not used pepper spray, I would be in the hospital today suffering far more serious injuries. Pepper spray causes extreme discomfort but is unlikely to cause permanent injury. The purpose of pepper spray is to temporarily disable an attacker, to allow time for escape. It worked.

The JVP press release is an outright lie. I cannot and did not attack anyone. I was attacked!

[END CITE]

Jewish Voice for Whaaaa? Again?
http://balabustabluejeans.blogspot.com/2010/11/jewish-voice-for-whaaaa-again.html
Excerpt: "Over at Pro-Israel Bay Bloggers, the irrepressible Grant Patel writes up a recent encounter between the poorly named Jewish Voice for Peace and a local pro-Israel activist who was physically attacked and continues to be attacked in words by JVP."


Self-Loathing Jews & Leftists Assault Jewish Woman at JVP Meeting
http://brandishingbeets.blogspot.com/2010/11/self-loathing-jews-leftists-assault.html
Excerpt: "This is a repost from my fellow San Franciscan's blog, Pro-Israel Bay Bloggers:
Monday, November 15, 2010
Jewish Voice for Peace and bully tactics ... "



JEWISH VOICE FOR PEACE VIOLENCE
http://deathbynoodles.blogspot.com/2010/11/jewish-voice-for-peace-violence.html
Excerpt: "On Sunday night in Berkeley, members of Jewish Voice for Peace displayed all their worst character flaws, and ganged up on a middle-aged handicapped woman."


Jewish Voice for Peace - lies, distortion, and spin
http://infectiousasian.blogspot.com/2010/11/jewish-voice-for-peace-lies-distortion.html
Excerpt: "The following is an example of the lies told by Jewish Voice for Peace, which once again shows that ethical considerations and truth are not any part of their agenda."


JVP ASSAULT WITNESSED
http://atthebackofthehill.blogspot.com/2010/11/jvp-assault-winessed.html
Excerpt: "One of the people who was there witnessed the assault on Robin by the JVP’ers Sunday evening in Berkeley very clearly. This is what he wrote:
"I witnessed the assault on Robin Dubner on 11-14-10. I heard a fracas to my left and behind me. I turned and saw a blonde woman with short hair and a man with glasses pushing Robin backwards, toward a wall of windows and a plaster wall-- a corner, essentially. Robin had both hands above her head and the two JVPers were shoving her backward and grabbing at Robin's hands. Another two persons were behind the two assailants, all moving forward on Robin, who was retreating backward from them. Robin was screaming words to the effect of: "Don't touch me; let go of me." I didn't catch the JVPers' words, but several people were yelling at Robin at once.

I saw Robin's camera fly out of her hands and the attack on her let up for a moment. When Robin picked up her camera from the floor, the attack started again, with more pushing, grabbing and screaming at Robin by multiple people. Robin took out her pepper spray and sprayed the blonde woman; I didn't notice her spray the man but I understand he was also sprayed. At that time, Robin was able to move away.

I can testify in court that this was a brutal attack by multiple cowards on a disabled person (Robin) and that Robin was justified in protecting herself with pepper spray. The spray was used solely in self-defence. Even I feared for Robin's safety at the hands of these thugs who unjustifiably, physically attacked Robin."


[END CITE]


Another witness writes:

The chairs in the room were arranged in a big circle. We began by introducing ourselves and discussing our plans for Thanksgiving. Lots of JVP'ers are spending Thanksgiving day on Alcatraz. It was oh so very very Berkeley.

Someone (a pro-Israel person?) began taping. They actively tried to stop her. A spirited discussion ensued about if it was legal or not to tape in a public venue. Were they planning to engage in any illegal activity? Was that why they objected to taping?

Then JVP introduced the students who interrupted Netanyahu. Rae Abileah from Code Pink, Matthew Taylor, 3 others. Oh, they were so proud of their brave, brave, young people!

They set up the video from their disruption. And that is when a pro-Israel person started reading from Chaim Herzog's 1975 speech to the UN on Zionism. Someone else asked Matthew Taylor about the psycho-sexual nature of his (Matthew Taylor's) foreskin restoration crusade. Had he tried any of the do it yourself procedures?

Two loudly angry JVP'ers attempted to prevent someone else taping. I think they were waving their fists at her and trying to push her. It looked very threatening. The victim of the JVP bullying was shoved into a corner, a wiry blonde thing grabbed her wrist, and the camera fell to the group.
And at that point, the shit hit the fan. Chaos and screaming.

Cecilie Shuransky had brought her little boy to the meeting . The turmoil just fascinated him - I suspect he said to his mom on the way home "It wasn't as boring as it usually is".

Rae whined "it's not the same. We interrupted the head of a state. You are interupting...us...powerless young people."

I really hate sinking to their depths.

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PLEASE ALSO NOTE MENTIONS ELSEWHERE OF JVP'S TENDENCY TO BEND THE TRUTH BEYOND ALL RECOGNITION, HERE AS WELL AS ON OTHER BLOGS.

If you Plant Ice You're Gonna Harvest Wind. Heckling the Hecklers at JVP

On Sunday night Nov 14, a group of pro Israel supporters attended a Jewish Voice for Peace meeting at the South Berkeley Senior Center. The Jewish Voice for Peace meeting was a celebration of a group of 5 activists who had heckled Netanyahu's appearance at the GA in New Orleans, a fact carefully omitted from subsequent JVP incident reports. The group, calling themselves "Young Jewish and Proud" is already inspiring parodies across the web.

Inspired by famed community organizer Saul Alinsky whose 1971 publication Rules for Radicals stresses “the difference between being a realistic radical and a rhetorical one.”, the pro-Israel activists used the meeting as an opportunity to heckle the hecklers- to give them "a taste of their own medicine".
From 'Rules for Radicals"
Rule 3: Whenever possible, go outside the experience of an opponent. Here you want to cause confusion, fear, and retreat.
Rule 4: Make opponents live up to their own book of rules.
Rule 5: Ridicule is man’s most potent weapon. It’s hard to counterattack
ridicule, and it infuriates the opposition, which then reacts to your advantage.

The activists succeeded. Frequent interruptions made it impossible to continue the meeting, and it was effectively shut down, with many people simply walking out. Conflicts over filming and photography escalated into a much publicized attack, followed swiftly by a cyber-attack directed towards the victim, a 58 year old disabled woman. Robin Dubner, an attorney, ethical vegetarian and animal rights activist who frequently speaks for the silenced voices in our community was physically isolated and attacked, and responded by pepper-spraying her assailants. JVP tweeted, spammed and mass marketed their version of the events across cyberspace in an effort to intimidate the pro-Israel activists into submission. It has failed. The truth can not be silenced.

How ironic that the group that claims to be "muzzled" celebrates the "muzzling" of people that don't share their point of view. How ironic that the group that claims to be "muzzled" refuses to allow comments on their blog.

JVP phoned the incident into the Berkeley police department as a " riot". 6 squad cars, 1 firetruck and an ambulance showed up at the scene. One assault. One pepper spraying. Two brief musical interludes reminiscent of the Titanic.

And hopeful a reminder to all (or at least to the smart ones) that the only real way to achieve peace is with dialog, mutual respect and compassion.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Jewish Voice for Peace and bully tactics

Yesterday evening there was a fracas at a Jewish Voice for Peace event, in which a middle-aged woman was victimized by several people. Jewish Voice for Peace has already come out with a press-release in which they desperately seek to put their spin on matters.

Truth, as is so often the case when JVP and similar groupings are involved, is not part of their narrative.


Here’s the victim’s account:

"Jewish Voice for Peace" has issued a press release that I attacked several people attending one of their events with pepper spray. They also go on to make absurd allegations regarding my politics and intentions at the meeting.

This is completely bizarre. I am a DISABLED WOMAN (see the legal notice on my car). I carry pepper spray as my only means to defend myself. It IS true that on the evening of November 14, at a JVP meeting, I needed to defend myself. I was physically attacked.

The JVP meeting at Berkeley Senior Center was advertised to the public. I attended this meeting as an individual and not as a member of any organization, in order to deepen my understanding of their perspective on the Middle East conflict.

Ironically, a stated goal of the meeting was to HONOR activists that had recently PHYSICALLY DISRUPTED a speech by Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu. Perhaps I should have understood that as a warning.

THE ATTACK: Around 20 minutes into the meeting, I tried to photograph a woman speaking in support of Israel. Almost immediately, several JVP members surrounded me and tried to take my camera from me. Then they attacked me. They took hold of my arms and would not let me go. They also pushed their chests into me many times and knocked me against a wall. I yelled at them 20 to 30 times to let go of me. They refused to let go of my wrists and forearms and continued to bang their chests into me. They banged me into the wall over a dozen times. Their faces were red from hatred and exertion. As a result of their violence, my wrists and arms are bruised and I am currently suffering serious pain in my lower back. I am unable to work this afternoon and I must take medication for pain relief.

I am a large woman but I am physically frail. As I said, I am disabled.
- I see a pain management physician regularly for chronic back pain. I am unable to move without severe back pain. I have had major surgery on my back. I am unable to stand for more than a couple of minutes without unrelenting back pain and sciatica pain.
- I also have had nine surgeries on my knees which are another main source of pain.
- I have asthma, and I use inhaled steroids daily; the anti-Israel activists’ attack on me exacerbated my asthma and I had to take medicine while at the senior center.
- I also have a serious blood disorder that weakens me. I am currently under treatment by a hematologist/oncologist, and I am on daily chemotherapy.

I am 58 years old. I have a Disabled Person’s license plate for my car. I am physically incapable of overpowering or attacking anybody! The people who attacked me were physically fit and at least 20 years younger than I;

While pleading with the attackers to let me go, I tried to get away but they followed me and kept grabbing my arms. At one point they knocked my camera out of my hand. I bent down to pick it up and tried to walk away. They followed me and continued to grab my arms and shove me into the wall. They isolated me from the rest of the crowd. Because they were beating me up and because I am disabled and could not defend myself otherwise, I sprayed pepper spray into one woman’s face. As soon as I did that, they all backed off from me and let me go.

I resorted to the pepper spray because I feared for my safety and my life!!! I believe that had I not used pepper spray, I would be in the hospital today suffering far more serious injuries. Pepper spray causes extreme discomfort but is unlikely to cause permanent injury. The purpose of pepper spray is to temporarily disable an attacker, to allow time for escape. It worked.

The JVP press release is an outright lie. I cannot and did not attack anyone. I was attacked!


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PLEASE NOTE:

The event was open to the public, and advertised as such. Public, in JVP terminology, may mean people who agree with distortions and untruths. Or violent psychopaths.
They're rather picky.


Crossposted here:
http://grantpatel.blogspot.com/2010/11/jewish-voice-for-peace-and-bully.html

GP