Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Husam and Lily, Together At Last

Picture from, "Staff & Collective" at AROC.

Lily Haskell
is located on the far left. She actually looks happy.
Lily Haskell, Program Director
Lily Haskell is a Moroccan American activist who has been working with AROC since 2007. She has previously interned with the National Lawyers Guild San Francisco Chapter, and worked with several youth development organizations: Telegraph Hill Neighborhood Center, Girls Inc of Alameda County, and Diversity Works. As a volunteer, she currently also organizes with Break the Siege. Previously, Lily has contributed and led Arab organizing and educational initiatives through cultural and political work, as well as anti-war organizing. Lily graduated from Wesleyan University with a Bachelors Degree in Sociology.

Husam Zakharia is located on the far right, a smug look with eyes closed.
Husam Zakharia, Legal and Outreach Coordinator
Husam Zakharia began working for the Arab Resource and Organizing Center in 2009. He has volunteered time to the organization before working, with ADC-SF and AROC on and off for four years, and has been on the board organizing at UC Berkeley for Students for Justice in Palestine. He has also assisted in coordinating university-wide elections for UC Berkeley's Associated Students of the University of California and has won campaigns for CalSERVE (Cal Students for Equal Rights and a Valid Education). Husam is a co-owner and operator of the Berkeley Free Clinic and currently volunteers his time as a lay health care worker treating acute illnesses in the East Bay. He has a degree from the University of California Berkeley majoring in Near Eastern Studies, with an emphasis in Arabic Language and Literature.

Both of them are cretins. Anti-semitic and proud of it. Haters of the Jewish community. They freely associate with other anti-semites and groups that seek the destruction of Israel, the slaughter of Jews, and the demonization and deligitimization of the Land of Israel with the use of lies and half-truths.

Lily Haskell.

She is a member of AROC, Arab Resource and Organizing Center, as well as a former intern of the National Lawyers Guild/San Francisco. On December 9, 2008, at an anti-Israel rally, with use of a bullhorn, Lily led this vile chant:

"Israel Supporters watch your backs, or we'll push you down a shaft!"

This was said in response to the untimely demise of our brother Dan Kliman who just recently had fallen to his death in an elevator shaft.

Three of us heard this loud and clear. This vile woman, Lily Haskell, entertained no moral qualms whatsoever, took no issue with issuing a threat in public, in front of police and bystanders, knowing full well that only we would understand its meaning. Her evil behavior will not be forgotten.

Husam Zakharia. Also a member of AROC, and another cretin. An anti-semite who recently assaulted a young Jewish woman on UC Berkeley Campus.

The assault and battery even made the news in Arutz Sheva:

Anti-Israel Activist Attacks Jewish Girl on Campus

So, Lily and Husam are indeed together at last. Now we know where Husam gets his paycheck that allows him to take one class at UCB in order to maintain a presence there. Our eyes are on you Husam, you asshole. As for you Lily, let go of the hate, let go of the hate.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Ahava Sales Skyrocket in Maryland: When we fight back we win

When the Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Washington found out that the pro-Palestinian group Sabeel DC had organized a protest and boycott call at Ulta in Silver Spring, Maryland last Saturday, the organization sent out an action alert urging supporters to visit the store and buy Ahava.

The store completely sold out of Ahava products.

“They cleaned the shelves out. It was the best Ahava sales weekend the store has ever seen. They had to order an expedited shipment” afterward, said Arielle Farber, director of Israel and International Affairs for the Community Relations Council. “The greater Washington community is not going to stand for this campaign to delegitimize Israel."....

Carrie Lannon, Ulta’s director of public relations, said in a statement that “Ulta selects the products that its stores carry based strictly on products’ sales and customer interest. Ulta does not take a position on or get involved with politically charged issues in relation to the merchandise that it offers in its stores.”

Read the full story here:

The moral, folks? When we fight back we win.
Here's how to help:
sign up here

Do you support Israel? Are you fed up with calls to boycott Israeli goods and services? Want to do something about it? NOW YOU CAN. Sign up for BUYCOTT ALERTS today.

They'll alert you when a boycott initiative needs to be countered, and we'll let you know the results of every BUYCOTT action.

Friday, July 23, 2010

I Am Trying So Hard To Have Patience With Bad History

Alice Walker is trying my last nerve one more time. You may recall that Alice has popped up in this blog in the past, speculating that Israeli sandals are made with prison labor and exchanging racist blessings with little old ladies.

Well, now she's written an introduction to Palestine Inside Out: An Everyday Occupation by Saree Makdisi. I will probably never read this book--I imagine that fairly few people will read this book--but the introduction is so very special that I have to share a few passages with you.

Alice begins with what has become a fairly common theme in her writings about Israelis and Palestinians, the analogy that she draws between her childhood in the racist American South, and the situation of the Palestinians. She continues:

After four hundred years of enslavement followed by over a century of brutal harassment and soul thrashing by white supremacists who had all along wanted only our labor or our land (when we, African or Native American people, possessed land) this internalized self-hatred kept people of color in the United States timid and bowed down with feelings of unworthiness and shame. Like the Palestinians of the last Sixty years, since the coming of European Jews to settle in Palestine after Hitler and the Holocaust in the Thirties and Forties, or like the indigenous people of South Africa (or Africa in general) my people (African, Native American and Poor European) could not fathom, for the longest time, what had hit them. After all, who could imagine it?

Please note, once again, that for Alice, Jews living in what is now Israel before the 1930s simply do not exist, despite the fact that in 1914, say, Jews were 7.6% of the population of Palestine, and in 1922, it was over 11%. Once again, also, for Alice, Jews are 'Europeans'. The thought of proud Sephardi families tracing their lineage in Jerusalem back dozens of generations, or of Jews from North Africa and points farther east made refugees from Arab countries simply does not exist in the hypnotic historical fantasy she's engaging in here.

There you are sitting by your own fire, living peacefully with your family and clan, never having harmed anyone (for the most part), praising and worshiping your own peculiar god. In come a trickle, and then a flood of strangers. First, you feed them, offer them a seat by your fire. Let them admire your little ones. Perhaps you generously teach them how to plant whatever grows around your compound. Perhaps you give them a turkey to keep them from starving in what they persist in calling “the wilderness.” Perhaps you lend them a starter set of goats. Living in the lap of generous nature, speaking generally, there is a certain kind of greed and stinginess that is quite beyond your understanding.

And here comes the next part of the fantasy...the simple, tribal, bucolic life assumed to have happened in Palestine before the nasty (not even Poor) European Jews showed up. I think what Alice is presenting here is loosely based on the Thanksgiving story we were taught as children--if she mentioned teaching the Yahud to plant fish in the corn hills, I could be sure--but it does seem to leave out the complex history of the region, in favor of a sort of general sentimentalized fantasy about simple tribal life.

In contrast to that simple, honorable life, of course, is the 'greed and stinginess' of the European Jew, quite beyond the understanding of the innocent and naive Palestinians. Greedy, greedy Jews. Enough said.

And of course, missing from Alice's patronizing portrayal of happy rural Arabs is any understanding that these simple country folk know what Jews are. They have a long history with them. They've banned them from holy sites of their own faith, for example, and occasionally massacred them. Alice refers a few passages back to "being black and living in the United States under American style apartheid. The daily insults to one’s sense of being human. Not just the separate toilets and water fountains with their blatantly unequal lettering and quality of paint, but the apparent determination of the white population, every moment, at every turn, to remind any person of color, no matter how well spoken or well dressed, or how well educated or in what position of authority in the black community, that they were niggers, objects of ridicule, contempt, and possible violent abuse." Yes. That's what it was like to live as a Jew in the Arab world, Alice.

I'm reminded of a seder where I listened as a man told his daughters about growing up Jewish in Baghdad. "We had good friends who weren't Jewish," he said, "but you had to remember all the time that anything could happen." Then he told a story about walking to school while boys threw stones at him and called him a Jew.

But I digress, I digress from Alice's happy ahistorical history of the European Jewish Conquest of the Palestinian Tribal Lands. Let's look at the next paragraph.

Way back in Europe, though, your “guests” have come up with a plan to assuage their hunger for more: more land, more money, more crops, more food, more things to buy and sell, and drawn maps that have your “territory” on it like a large pie, and they are busy dividing up slices of it. You, sitting by your fire, your little ones clamoring for a bedtime story or another mango, date, olive or fig, are not on the map at all.

At this point, please notice, Hitler, who's been so far presumed to be these folks' reason for being here just vanishes, and the Jews morph into full-fledged European imperialist invaders. Please note, also, that I am not actually sure that mangoes were grown in Mandate Palestine. I could be wrong, and Israel does grow mangoes for export now. And this is a dumb thing to focus on. But I'm not sure about the mangoes.

Coming back to your fire, the strangers smile at you, learn your language, as if respecting it, admire your culture. But you notice they’ve brought strange gadgets that they use to measure things. At first you and your neighbors laugh: these crazy people, you say to each other, why, they would measure even the sky! But soon you do not laugh, because they have measured a road that goes right through your living room. They have destroyed all the villages on one side of yours, already. You did not know, because you couldn’t imagine anyone doing such a thing, and besides, you do not understand their language, though they, many of them now, certainly understand yours. Why should you learn the language of your guests, you think.For a long time it doesn’t make sense to make the effort. And when you begin to understand that your guests are your enemies, it seems horrible to you to try to learn to speak their wicked tongue.

I'm deeply intrigued by the way the whole Israeli War of Independence, especially the part where five peaceful, rustic, innocent Arab nations rolled tanks into the fledgling State of Israel, appears to simply not exist in Alice's narrative.

I'm equally impressed at her portrayal of mid-twentieth-century Palestinians as having, apparently, never seen 'measuring gadgets' before.

But mostly I'm appalled. This woman either knows nothing of the history of this conflict she opines so freely on, or she's lying about it to appeal to a certain audience, and either is shocking. Alice Walker's version of the origins of the Israeli/Palestinian struggle is historically false, bigoted against both Jews and Arabs, and based on a twee, prepackaged narrative of the invasion of indigenous lands. Epic fail.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Shop Gaza!

After eating at Roots, and sleeping in luxurious comfort at the Gaza Commodore, what does the typical Gaza tourist want to do? They want to shop! And now, all their shopping dreams have come true, with the opening of the Gaza Mall

According to the Gaza mall website and the wonders of Google translate:

"The Gaza Center for shopping the first shopping mall in the Gaza Strip is owned by a group of partners, investors, and consists of the Mall of two levels: the ground is a fast-food restaurant and hypermarket has all the needs of the family and institutions, while the upper floor is dedicated to clothes, shoes, accessories, jewelry, children's games." (Yes, what comes to my mind, too is "just like the Warsaw ghetto")

The Gaza Mall, which was officially opened on Saturday, is the first mall in the Gaza Strip to be opened since Hamas took control of Gaza in 2007.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Demonizing Israel for love or money

Its been obvious for some time that the Internet is one of the main fronts in the battle for hearts and minds in the war in the Middle East. Qatar believed in the power of the web so strongly, they hired a large public relations firm, Fenton Communications to advocate on line for Hamas, er...Gaza...

According to an article by Ken Timmerman, Qatar hired the public relations firm to

• Train a spokesman for the group and provide “leadership development curriculum for student leaders”
• Conduct “spokesperson training sessions” for student leaders
• Monitor social networking and mainstream media outlets and blogs
• Develop press materials and “pitch stories to university and mainstream press”
• Train students how to research, compose, and produce propaganda clips
• Conduct outreach “to potential political partners in the United States”the cash from Qatar bought a sophisticated U.S. media campaign aimed at manipulating public opinion to generate support for the Hamas-led government and the people of the Gaza strip.

After Fenton communication registered as a foreign agent the story was exposed, and they dropped the account like a hot potato.

Don't despair, children. Even if you don't have the power, backing and funding of a Middle eastern emirate behind you, there are still ways you can demonize Israel via the net.

h/t fatima

Yes, you too can troll the Internet, demonizing Israel in your spare time. The volunteers trained by MAS will act and speak as ordinary net-surfers and as citizens, and will write responses that will look personal. They work around the clock writing anti-Israeli responses on Internet websites all over the world, and on services like Facebook, Twitter and Youtube. Sign up as a "virtual volunteer" for the Muslim American Society, and they'll show you how.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Yawn: Marking 5 years of Failure: BDS Media Day fizzles

A call from the usual suspects to turn July 9th into BDS Media day has taken on water and sunk like a brick. Locally, the Meserele verdict and ensuing “Will loot for justice” riots took precedence over the non story of BDS "success".

Anti-Israeli activists were urged by their handlers to “celebrate their achievements” on July 9th by

- Publishing BDS articles in the local and national press;

- Briefing journalists on BDS activities, establish enduring relationships and make a case with them on why they should cover BDS;

- Staging public actions with focus on media, such as direct action and launching of high profile campaigns, publicize legal actions, expose violators and promote public debates;

- Use alternative media to mark the anniversary;

The day instead was marked by neither sound nor fury, nor press coverage.

I visited the Berkeley Bowl, a local independent grocer on July 9th, to see what was happening in the campaign to bully the Bowl into compliance by the local enforcers of "political correctness". The store was quiet, though I couldn’t help but notice they’ve added a new line of Israeli olive oils to their stock.

The Boycott Divestment and Sanctions Movement has a long history of failure. The single best documentation of the divestment movement can be found here

"During the very period when BDS was supposedly on the march, the size of Israel’s economy (as measured by GDP) nearly doubled from $110B to $190B. Now given that the BDS project is based on their activity having economic consequence for the Jewish state, the takeaway from this chart seems to be that such consequence has been an explosion of growth in the Israeli economy."

A recent article in Bloomberg News called the Israeli economy one of the world's "happy stories"

Nobel Prize-winning economist Paul Krugman described Israel was one of the small number of countries, such as Canada and Australia, that were able to weather the current crisis well. Israel’s rebound from the global financial crisis has been powered by exports, which make up almost 50 percent of gross domestic product.

Israel’s economy expanded an annualized 3.6 percent in the first quarter of 2010, led by exports.

Omar, what were you saying about "momentum" in the BDS movement again?

Thursday, July 8, 2010

SF Board of Supervisors and SFPD agree: shut up and take it, Jews!

The following three violent Jew-beating incidents are brought to you by the members of the SF Board of Supervisors who encourage or enable popular anti-Semitism by expressing their hatred of Israel.
It is also brought to you by the numerous opinionated politically correct windbags for whom SF is the centre of the world, and by the letter J.

Incident ONE
Several angry Palestinians and their supporters attack one old Jewish man wearing a kippa and blowing a shofar. This happened on the sidewalk in front of the Israel consulate before an anti-Israel protest on Tuesday July 6, after four o'clock. There were about fifty or sixty people present – thirty Palestinians and their friends (International ANSWER members, Codepink, etc.), twenty police officers (SFPD), and maybe ten Jews. Once violence broke out, the mob rushed the elderly Jewish gentleman with arms flailing, intent on mischief.
For several seconds, no one intervened, not even the SFPD. It is quite likely that the San Francisco officers were unfamiliar with even the concept of 'violence'.

The pro-Palestinian side notes the accusation that the Jew had committed a shocking and offensive act by blowing a shofar, and shows more of the rally here.
They did not put the actual incident itself on youtube.

Incident TWO
Richard Becker and his posse get rowdy with another Jewish gentleman. Several courageous Palestine supporters, one Jew.
Same place as the above incident, with much the same police response.

Incident THREE
Big Palestinian wrestler tries to strangle a weasely little man holding an Israeli flag directly in front of the Israeli Consulate. After several minutes, the police intervene. For which they are roundly cursed by Forrest Schmidt of International ANSWER (Richard Becker's handyman and household servant).

The three Jews involved were all cited by the police. Jews are supposed to be passive.
Whereas critics of Israel are examples embraced by a large segment of the San Francisco population, and have the moral support of Chris Daly, David Campos, Sophie Maxwell, John Avalos, and other members of the SF Board of Supervisors.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010


At an anti-Israel protest yesterday in San Francisco's financial district three middle-aged Israel supporters were attacked. Fortunately no one was hurt. One of the victims, an elderly gentleman with a shofar, was rushed by several young Arab-Americans while Forrest Schmidt of International ANSWER screamed abuse.

Later a large Arab American tried to crush a pro-Israel activist whom he attacked after trying to destroy the sign that the activist was holding.
Forrest Schmidt hastened to add oil to the blaze after police had separated the two.

A third pro-Israel demonstrator was tackled by people standing around Richard Becker, head of International ANSWER.
Again, Forrest Schmidt was instrumental in furthering disruption.

Mister Schmidt seems to be developing quite a talent for making an already venomous and hate-filled event even more dangerous and explosive.
Who knows - this skill may 'come in handy' in Oakland after the Mehserle verdict is announced.

In all three instances, the SF police were markedly absent, and did not prevent the attacks.

After these assaults, the police persuaded the pro-Israel side to move to the other side of the street due to the great likelihood of further acts of aggression.

For the next two and a half hours, the crowd of Arab-American teenagers, liquor store owners, SF State U and Berkeley professors, and International ANSWER agitators screamed invective, and revolutionary slogans that promised to eradicate Israel.

"Falastin Arabbiya, kullu kullu Shah'ddiya"
'Palestine belongs to the Arab world, we are all its martyrs' - a holy war chant indicating Jihadi sentiments.

"From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free"
This oft-repeated chant is the promise to ethnically cleanse Jews and Israel off the map.

"Ba ruh, ba dam, nafdeeq ya Falastin"
'With our souls and our blood we will redeem you oh Palastine' - the war cry for the momentous battle to eradicate the Jewish stain on the holy land and reclaim it for the Arabs and Islam.

There were several speeches about genocide, claiming that Israel was guilty of ethnic cleansing, despite the Arab population of Israel proper increasing several fold since independence, thus mirroring the massive increase in people labeled 'Palestinian' in surrounding countries.

There was no mention whatsoever of the massacres perpetrated by Jordan against Palestinians during Black September, nor of the desperate struggle of Lebanese Christians, Muslims, and Druze against the terror unleashed in Beirut by the PLO during that country's civil war, nor even of the mistreatment and expulsion of 'Palestinians' in the Gulf States after Saddam invaded Kuwait.
Crimes against Arabs by other Arabs, no matter how horrendous, are not part of Richard Becker's agenda. Even if they dwarf the number of Palestinian deaths from the Arab world's war against the Jews a hundred fold.

In contrast to other hate-fests organized by stalwarts such as Richard Becker, Forrest Schmidt, Lily Haskell, and the revolutionarily inclined faculty members of several universities in the Bay Area, this time there was scant mention of Cuba, Venezuela, and Iran - though there was repetitive angry rhetoric about Afghanistan and Iraq, and praise for the fighters in those countries 'resisting' imperialism.

I did not see any members of the National Lawyers Guild there, but their presence was nevertheless keenly felt - certainly by the SFPD, who seemed quite hesitant about their abilities to control the hostile mob.

Around seventy revolutionaries and Jew-haters, about forty Israel supporters, and perhaps two dozen of SF's finest.
Also in attendance: Jim Harris aka Tom Joad (hack for JVP / ISM), plus self-righteous harridans from Codepink and Women in Black. And several nice middle class Berkeley Jew-haters.

Not present: the San Franciscan pro-Palestinian politicians who endorsed the anti-Israel resolution tabled two weeks ago, representing the public face of the effort to attack Israel in the SF political establishment: Chris Daly, David Campos, Sophie Maxwell, John Avalos, et al.

This demonstration was NOT about peace, it was NOT about justice for Palestinians, it was NOT about achieving an equitable solution to a political problem; it was about Jew-hate.
Which the pro-Palestinian side demonstrated repeatedly.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Jethro Tull hate speech page on Facebook

Today the Jethro Tull fan facebook page is populated by racists and anti-Semites.

There are quite a number of Jethro Tull fans in the Arab world. Many of them seem to be old-fashioned bigots and psychopaths in the style of Husseini and As-Sawad.

Sample one: "Christians in Jerusalem want Jews to stop spitting on them"

Sample two: "The Day of Judgement will not come about until Muslims fight the Jews - when the Jew will hide behind stones and trees. The stones and trees will say O Muslims, O Abdullah, there is a Jew behind me, come and kill him."

I am baffled why this is has happened.

Not being a Jethro Tull fan, I do not know if their music is a natural fit for racial hatred and Arabic revisionism - probably everything in this world can be bent to those goals.
And seemingly everything in Cairo, Jordan, and Damascus, is.

Currently there are several Jew-haters there saying the most appalling things. Please report that page for racism/hate speech.

"The internet seemingly exist for FOUR things: recipes, cute kitten pictures, pornography, and anti-Semitic rants."

Fair enough. The pro-Palestinian crowd do not use computer access for recipes or cute kitten pictures.
They make up for that by overusing the other two categories.

Rallying for Shalit - Pro-Israel in San Diego: An example to be emulated

Can we do something about Israel hate? You bet we can! And someone is doing it. The San Diego Israel Coalition held a rally for Gilad Shalit, in captivity for four years.
Here's a video of NBC TV News coverage - Gilad Shalit Rally in San Diego

It is quite a coup for a brand new organization to get network news coverage for their event. Watch these folks and learn!

In San Diego Jewish News, Tinanarie Bernard reports about the San Diego Israel Coalition :

... Following the now infamous flotilla incident, a new group has formed in San Diego — the San Diego Israel Coalition — to discuss what individuals can do locally to support Israel. Before the Coalition even formed, the group, eager to support Israel amid local pro-Palestinian rallies, managed to do something small, remarkable and upwardly focused: they, along with Morris Casuto of the Anti-Defamation League, organized a peaceful pro-Israel counter rally. The counter rally drew local press and helped empower the local community to take back the dialogue from an increasingly noisy and hostile media.

“We took the other side by surprise and motivated hundreds of San Diegans that there was a place for them to stand up and show their support for Israel,” said Audrey Jacobs, who, along with Michael Lurie, is organizing the group.

Due to the overwhelmingly positive response, Jacobs and Lurie formed the San Diego Israel Coalition, “a grassroots, passionate, inclusive pro-Israel group focused on powerful and peaceful Israel advocacy in San Diego, working in partnership with all local pro-Israel organizations,” Jacobs said.

By the time this article goes to print, they will have had their first community-wide meeting to mobilize future actions.

.. For more information on the San Diego Israel Coalition, email Audrey Jacobs at sdisraelcoalition(at)

The San Diego Israel Coalition joins a growing number of grass roots groups like San Francisco Voice for Israel and the San Diego team group, the Orange Country Task Force and others. They will be working together to beat state-wide BDS initiatives and other organized "spontaneous" anti-Israel activity. They need our help. If you live in California, they need you! Wherever you live, you would do well to follow their example.

Ami Isseroff

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Kill A Jew Day: Anti-Semitism on Facebook

kill a jew day
Friday, July 9, 2010
12:00am - 11:30pm

you must kill at least one jew

Forgive me if I don't link to it. Over 100 people have reported they will attend the event, "Kill a Jew day" on Facebook . And no, don't try and convince me its all in jest. Anti-Semitism is no joke.
According to the JTA, Anti-Semitic incidents around the world more than doubled in 2009 over the previous year. The record number of incidents -- cases that show clear anti-Semitic content and intention -- included 566 incidents of vandalism of Jewish property, which constituted 49 percent of all incidents. Hundreds of incidents against Jewish people and property did not meet the criteria. Many other incidents went unreported.

Perhaps if enough people report this page it will be shut down, as a direct incitement to violence. If that happens, expect Jewish Voice for Peace to claim that the voices of the people have been muzzled by the Zionist lobby.

UPDATE: The Jewish Internet Defense Force reports that 240,000 people received notice of this story as the result of action alert they initiated , and the offending event was removed in hours.