Sunday, October 31, 2010

Mövenpick, Ramallah. 5 star luxury in the West Bank

The Movenpick Hotel in Ramallah with its sparkling new swimming pool

Located just minutes away from the city centre of Ramallah in Palestine,close to the city shopping and entertainment district and with a great view over the suburbs of Jerusalem from the upper floors of the hotel, the Mövenpick Hotel in Ramallah is the first 5 star hotel opening in the disputed Palestinian territories. It is a locally owned franchise of the Swiss-based chain.

The 40-million-dollar hotel includes 171 rooms and suites, an outdoor pool, fitness centre and seven conference rooms. The main restaurant has an Italian chef and a downstairs cigar bar that will serve up 20-year aged whiskeys.

Jewish Voice for Peace and others (forgive me if I don't link to them) have described "the acute water shortage among Palestinians in the West Bank" , blaming illegal "Jewish-only colonies (that) fill up their swimming pools while many Palestinian families do not have enough water to grow food or bathe regularly." Will they condemn the Mövenpick Hotel in Ramallah for building a swimming pool that deprives the ordinary Palestinian people of drinking water? Its unlikely.

For organizations like JVP, the diversion of water resources for the Palestinian ruling elite is acceptable and they'll continue to use their initimable smoke and mirrors approach to blame the ramifications on Israel. Just click your heels twice and repeat, "Its all Israel's fault. Its all Israel's fault"

"Peace Activists" and Palestinians Destroy Olive Trees, blame the "settlers"

Documented in this article from YNet news:

Arabs and leftist activists staged an attack on Palestinian fields in a bid to accuse settlers of vandalism, an organization that claims to have documented the incident says.

Tazpit Unit members, an organization identified with the settlers which documents news events in the territories says that these staged attacks were meant to falsely accuse settlers of attacking Palestinian land.

The photos were shot on Palestinian land Friday, near Neveh Tzuf . The images allegedly show Palestinians and left-wing activists cutting down Palestinian olive trees using an electric saw.

"We are talking about an olive grove east of Beit Zayit, located near Route 60," Amiton said."I immediately saw that it was no ordinary pruning, it was done very aggressively...Some of the branches broke and other trees were cut off entirely. When I approached closer with my camera, the Palestinian man waved his saw at me threateningly. I felt uneasy so I backed off".

Tazpit unit director Amotz Eyal said that "during every olive harvest season, just like this one, there are many cases of Arab farmers cutting down olive branches, later blaming it on the settlers."

"Time after time photos prove that these Arabs are not holding back; they provoke in order to tarnish the image of Jewish settlers," he said.

Eyal vowed that Tazpit photographers will continue to document such activities in order to show the public actual events on the ground.


This is not the first time International "peace activists" have been documented destroying Palestinian property, in an effort to demonize the Jews of the region. Many speculate that the International solidarity Movement dresses its activists as Orthodox Jews specifically to stage such events.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Iranian weapons bound for Gaza seized in Nigeria

This underscores why the maritime blockade of Gaza is so crucial for Israel's security.

13 containers of military grade armaments including rocket launchers, grenades and 107 mm artillery rockets camouflaged as building material were seized in the Nigerian port of Lagos after being unloaded from an Iranian ship on Thursday, Oct 28. The shipping company said the manifest for the weapons described the shipment as "packages of glass wool and pallets of stone".

This advanced weaponry represents a step up in hostilities in the region. Terrorist groups have launched more than 10,000 rockets at Israel since disengagement from Gaza, with 170 mortars and rockets launched at civilian targets in Israel this year alone. Hamas is now escalating its threats “We’re coming to liberate Haifa and Acre together with world armies,” Hamas’ interior minister for Gaza, Fathi Hammad, said on Oct. 25. Hammad added “We must remain committed to jihad .”

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Tony Greenstein: Dishonest, dangerous and anti-Democratic

"I would kill for my cause, why wouldn't I lie for it ?"
Yassir Arafat
July 2001

We've documented the anti-zionist manipulation of an opinion poll here. Now there been another attempt, and once again, they've gotten caught

From the Jewish Chronicle on-line:

On the front page of our website, we have a poll 'Should Rabbis work with the EDL?'. On the EDL, the Jewish community is united, the Board of Deputies, the CST and the great and the good have urged us to have no involvement with them, calling the group violent, with a hidden, racist agenda.

Luckily, overwhelmingly, our readers are agreeing, and voting 'No' in our poll.

But Tony Greenstein, the ardent anti Zionist blogger, has other ideas. On the "Boycott Israel Network", a forum of antizionist rantings...

Terry Gallogly, chairman of York Palestine Solidarity Campaign, says: "People might like to vote in this poll if only to embarass Hoffie [Jonathan Hoffman] and the Zionist Federation"

Tony Greenstein replies:"Done so and voted - in favour of course. Please try to make sure that people on BIN vote and to vote yes. It will be quite good for us that a JC poll comes out in favour of working with the EDL!!!"

Lucy Lips on Harry's Place writes:

So, in a nutshell, Tony Greenstein is suggesting that anti-Zionists should try to rig a JC poll, so that they can falsely paint Jews as racists.

This is dirty tactics at its lowest. EDL presence at pro-Zionist demonstrations is unwanted and the ZF have made it clear they are not welcome behind the same barriers. We are sending a clear message that our community does not want friends like these.

Greenstein's actions are not only dishonest and antidemocratic. They are very dangerous. As are those of the PSC, which the first poster Gallogly, claims to represent. The PSC are closely associated with the TUC, which recently extended their boycott of Israel. Perhaps the TUC, and not the ZF, should be the ones scrutinising their friends more closely.

UPDATE: We have suspended the poll. We can't trust the results any more and we wouldn't print the results of a hijacked poll in next week's paper. The results would not really reflect the view of the community. But despite the best efforts of Greenstein, when the poll came down nearly 80 per cent were still voting against contact with the EDL.

Friday, October 15, 2010

"You must give back to the country you live off" Second Lieutenant Hisham Abu Varia, highest ranking Muslim soldier in the IDF

Hisham Abu Varia, 26, is one of 14 children. At the age of 10 he was already doing manual work, from fruit picking to construction work. After high school he worked for two years installing roofs. He gave his earnings to his parents who paid for his brother's medicine studies in Russia. He is now the highest ranking Muslim Arab in the IDF.
Since childhood, Hisham has wanted to be a soldier, inspired by one of his older brothers – one of the few Arab-Israelis to complete three years of service. "He was a role model to me and many others because of his integrity and conviction to do what he thought was right. A brave man not influenced by other people's opinions."
"The army is the entry pass into the Israeli society," Hisham explains. "The Arab sector thinks it's second rate here, but to get privileges one has to give and not just receive. The state protects its citizens even if they don’t serve – my parents live off income support. You must contribute to the country you live off. What other country would have an Arab Knesset member, who is being paid by the state, promoting the interests of the Islamic movement and screwing the promotion of the sector it is supposed to represent?"
Hisham continued "The Arab sector is like a herd. It doesn't think by itself and is affected by various radical movements. Most youngsters don't have anything to do with themselves. They run around the streets, wasting their time and that's only if they finished school. Service in the army is educating, it gives you structure, order – that's what young people are missing here."
Hisham's goal "To reach the highest rank I can," he answers without hesitation, "and the get my masters in anthropology. It’s because of the service. In the army everyone is equal, but there is no other place that gathers such different people with such different cultural backgrounds who still manage to live together. That's what interests me the most."

Read more here

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Israeli soldiers at a California University

Two Israeli soldiers visited CSUF. You can find a report about the visit at the link and you can see them in this video below. Better yet, you can invite them to your university. IDF is probably not what you thought, is it?

If you are going to Boycott Israel, do it right

If you are going to Boycott Israel, do it right: Reject Israeli Technology and Insist on Invasive and Expensive Medical techniques

For all you BDS’ers out there: Saving lives is never as important as advancing an ideology. If you are suffering from respiratory disease, be sure to reject Electromagnetic Navigation Bronchoscopy- a new technique developed by Super Dimension , a private company based in Israel. ENB is a comprehensive, advanced lung navigation system now used in over 275 hospitals worldwide, that has facilitated diagnosis in over 15,000 patients, with the potential to aid in the early diagnosis and treatment of lung cancer extending the reach of the conventional bronchoscope, deep in the lungs and lymph nodes.

Read more here:

HIV positive ? A substance that destroys cells infected with deadly HIV and could prevent AIDS, has been developed in Israel after a decade of research by biologists and chemists at Hebrew University . The focus of all the excitement is a unique peptide, a short protein-like substance . When researchers applied it to human cell cultures, the peptide destroyed HIV-infected cells within two weeks without harming healthy cells. The Israeli discovery holds the promise of preventing AIDS. But we know you will reject this, and encourage the 33 million currently infected with HIV to do the same. It’s a small price to pay for rejecting zio- neocolonialist apartheid.

Read More Here:

Are you a Kaiser patient? Then insist on name brand pharmaceuticals, not generic Teva drugs, that bear the taint of the apartheid state. Surely money is no object in your effort to bring down one of the great evils of the world?

Boycotting Israel is about so much more than abandoning your Israeli couscous or Elite chocolate. If you are going to boycott Israel, be consistent. For more tips:

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

The California BDS Initiative-- Anti-Peace and Unjust

Cross posted at Bluetruth Written by DrMike

The BDS movement is attempting to take its jihad-in-human-rights-clothing program to the California electorate sometime next year. Taking advantage of California's initiative process, they are trying to gather enough signatures to qualify an Israel divestment initiative for one of 2011's statewide elections.

initiative itself is standard BDS text-- the language of "human rights" and "international law", including the ever-present reference to UN Resolution 194 and the false claim that this resolution gives descendants of Arab refugees from the 1947-8 war the "right" to force Israel to repatriate them.

We know this initiative, even if it qualifies for the ballot, won't pass. Even the organizers know it won't pass. But they have learned quite well about the "Big Lie", and they are eager for the chance to bring it to the big stage.

Who is behind this? A resident of Sacramento named Chris Yatooma and his group, the Sacramento BDS organization. A casual look at their website tells you everything you need to know about them They link to all of the usual players in the anti-Israel movement: the Free Gaza movement that wants to allow the Hamas regime to import Iranian missiles without interference; to the If Americans Knew website of Alison Weir, whose assocation with neo-Nazis alarm neither her nor her friends in the BDS movement; to Sabeel, the Arab Christian group that promotes an anti-Semitic "replacement theology"-- that its form of Christianity has essentially replaced Judaism, and it's just the stubbornness of Jews that insist on their own nationhood that stands in the way of peace; to the fringe extremists of Jewish Voice for Peace ,which long ago abandoned the fig-leaf that they don't take any position for or against a state for the Jewish people and has repeatedly participated in anti-Israel demonstrations in the Bay Area; and of course to the International Solidarity Movement, which recruits naive young adults to help shelter terrorist groups (and possibly worse, as multiple reports of rape of young women volunteers in the West Bank have surfaced). In short, not a single group that supports peace between a Jewish state of Israel and an Arab state of Palestine. Yet their pitch to get people to sign the petition is "Can you spare 15 seconds to support peace in the Middle East?"

As to the initiative itself, the clause that would be enacted states as follows:
"The CalPERS Board of Administration and the CalSTRS Teachers Retirement Board shall examine their respective investment funds within six months of passage of this initiative. Upon completion of this six month period, they shall publicly identify and list any investments in companies that provide products or services that contribute to the construction or maintenance of Israeli settlements and/or the Separation Wall in the Palestinian Territories or provide military supplies, equipment and services to the State of Israel. "
(emphasis mine)

There is no provision that states that this would then become inoperative upon the signing of a peace agreement between Israel and the leadership of the Palestinian Authority, or upon a unilateral Israeli withdrawal to the June 1967 lines. Any company that provides any item used by the Israel Defense Forces is the target for divestment. Presumably this could also include companies such as Domino's Pizza and Coca Cola that provide food to IDF soldiers. So, just as the BDS movement insists that BDS activities must continue until a Jewish state allows itself to be demographically eliminated by the forced repatriation of descendants of Palestinian refugees, the BDS initiative requires that divestment be targeted at any military self-defense of the Jewish state--forever.

[Note that California's Divest from Iran law, the language includes a sunset clause:

m) This section shall cease to be operative if both of the following apply:

(1) Iran is removed from the United States Department of State’s list of countries that have been determined to repeatedly provide support for acts of international terrorism.

(2) Pursuant to Public Law 104-172, as amended, the President of the United States determines and certifies to the appropriate committee of the Congress of the United States that Iran has ceased its efforts to design, develop, manufacture, or acquire a nuclear explosive device or related materials and technology."]

Yatooma and his BDS group have been trying to get attention and validation for this extremist effort by asking the Sacramento Jewish Community Relations Council for a debate on the initiative as well as the proposed anti-Israel boycott of the Sacramento Food Cooperative. Barry Broad, the chair of the Sacramento JCRC, had a very straightforward response which I am happy to share with his permission:

"Mr. Yatooma:

Representatives of your group, the “Sacramento BDS Working Group,” publicly stated on more than one occasion in testimony before the Coop Board that “Jewish money controls the government and media.” Another one of your activists, Dan Bacher, has posted a “historical revisionist” (as in Neo-Nazi) rant on a Democratic Party website (to the extreme consternation of the Democratic Party). Such statements are pure anti-Semitism and a central feature of historical anti-Semitism going back to the nineteenth century—if not further. That your group makes no effort to restrain, much less repudiate, openly anti-Semitic remarks made by your own chosen spokespersons indicates that anti-Semitism is a core value of your organization.

In short, we don’t debate racists. We fight them, whether their hatred is aimed at us or any other racial or ethnic minority. As such, we look forward to defeating the BDS effort at the Coop."

Agreed. We don't legitimize the anti-Semitism at the core of the BDS movement. So what, then, should we do about this?

We educate the public-- we show up where they will be gathering signatures and talk about what this initiative is really about. Our community organizations need to do outreach via interfaith groups, to educate those who our partners in other ventures. At the same time, we should tell those churches who support this contemptible project that we will not be able to work with them in other arenas.

We educate our political leaders-- we meet with them to ensure that they understand the intent of this measure and that they don't add their names in support. We show them that the entire political spectrum of the Jewish community (aside from fringe extremists like JVP) opposes divestment-- even left-wing groups such as J Street and the New Israel Fund.

And, of course, we buy Israeli goods.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

An inside look into the prison of Gaza

What comes to mind is "Just like the Warsaw ghetto"

Recruiting a new Rachel Corrie.

Elder of Zion points out that last week alone, 2491 people managed to escape "the world's largest prison". The easing of travel restrictions to and from Gaza has not escaped the notice of the notorious International Solidarity Movement (ISM), who have begun earnestly recruiting for the next Rachel Corrie wanna-be:
Their appeal follows:

The International Solidarity Movement is appealing for volunteers to join our team in the besieged Gaza Strip. In recent weeks people have managed to cross into Gaza so there is at present a rare window of opportunity to enter - and more activists are always badly needed, as attacks by Israel are incessant.

ISM Gaza was reinstated in August 2008, when volunteers traveled aboard the historic, siege-breaking voyage of the first FreeG aza Movement boat.

ISM Gaza has maintained a continuous presence since then and joined fishermen to witness the illegal enforcement of a 3 nautical mile blockade by Israeli naval forces.

ISM volunteers refused to leave when Israel began bombing Gaza in December 2009. They accompanied ambulances and provided vital testimony to the international media as the assault unfolded.

At present ISM activists in Gaza are engaged with grassroots initiatives against the siege. Volunteers accompany Gazan farmers in the 'buffer zone', make frequent solidarity visits to Palestinians affected by the blockade, write reports about the situation on the ground, and film, photograph and document the illegal use of live ammunition against demonstrators and farmers.

As the international community becomes more critical of Israel's policies, it is vital to have individuals on the ground that can attest to the conditions inside the open-air prison of Gaza. Their voices lend strength to efforts abroad, as BDS campaigns gain momentum and freedom flotillas become pandemic.

For further details, please contact gazaism at gmailcom

The requirements for joining the ISM Gaza team are that applicants must:

a) have at least two months previous experience of non-violent direct action solidarity work in the Middle-East, preferably with ISM, including intervention in critical situations;
b) have a good understanding of the history and current political situation in Palestine;
c) have at least fair Arabic language skills (preferred but not required);

d) sign a contract agreeing not to engage in behaviors contrary to Gazan cultural/social norms
e) sign a contract agreeing to remain with ISM Gaza for the length of their stay

f) prepare a written statement outlining their personal wishes should they be kidnapped, injured, or killed.

Item "D" particularly intrigues me. Is the ISM pandering to Hamas? What are these social and cultural norms? For women, is submitting to rape and sexual abuse included?

Thursday, October 7, 2010

A matter of perspective: Israeli and Palestinian treatment of prisoners

The anti-Israel websites are having a field day with the images of Israelis "abusing" Palestinian prisoners. In August, a female soldier exhibited photos of herself on Facebook, smiling next to Palestinian prisoners. Tasteless and inappropriate? Absolutely. The IDF condemned the ex-soldier saying in a statement: "These actions are ugly and callous; details of the incident have been forwarded up the chain of command." More recently, an Israeli soldier was videoed belly dancing next to a female prisoner. And again, this was widely condemned by the authorities.

Bored young people acting like jerks? Yes, it happens. It happens across cultural lines. The unfortunate actions of some thoughtless young people reverberates across the world.

But lets get some perspective here. Do you remember what happened 10 years ago when 2 Israelis inadvertently wandered into Ramallah?
The Israelis were beaten, stabbed, had their eyes gouged out, and were disemboweled.

Still from video footage from italy's Rai State TV network

Aziz Salh appeared at the window, displaying his blood-stained hands to the crowd, which erupted into cheers.

Photo attributed to Chris Gerald/ AFP

One of the soldier's bodies was then thrown out the window and stamped and beaten by the enraged mob. One of the bodies was set on fire. The mob dragged the two bodies to the city center as the crowd began a victory celebration.

While the immature behavior of some Israeli soldiers is a disappointment to those who know the painstaking training they go through, let's keeps some perspective here. Remembering not only the two Israelis lynched in Ramallah, but the ongoing saga of Gilad Shalit who has been a prisoner of Hamas for over 4 years. No visitation. No contact with the outside world. Solitary confinement. We have no way of knowing the agony of his existence.

And lets remember the ones who cry loudest about "civil and human rights" have consistently remained silent bout Gilad Shalit.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Sacramento Natural Food co-op says No to BDS

And another ones gone.
And another ones gone.
Another one bites the dust.
Yes. We are happy to report another failure in the movement to isolate Israel, the only democracy in the Middle east.

The Sacramento Natural Food Co-op like so many others before it, looked BDS in the face and said "No thank you". No thank you to divisiveness. No thank you to politics. No thank you to injecting conflict and controversy into our beloved co-op. Last night at the board meeting, the co-op board decided unanimously to suspend its current boycott policy because it is in conflict with the fundamental principles of the cooperative movement. This will also have the effect of suspending the current boycott investigation.

No doubt Maggie Coutler and friends will try another way to push their agenda on the co-op, with a petition, perhaps, or running a BDS'er for the Co-op Board. But they will find that the community will not tolerate this, and is ready to fight back.

A note to the community: If BDS rears its ugly head in your community, contact us and we'll help you mobilize. The war against Israel is being fought on many fronts. Remember- the people united can never be defeated. Together, we will win.