Sunday, February 27, 2011

Israel Peace and Diversity Week At UC Berkeley: Sponsored by Tikvah Students for Israel

Tikvah The Zionist voice at UC Berkeley has a special program in store for Israel peace and diversity week March 7 - 11, 2010.

Israeli Peace and Diversity Week is about peace and diversity in the Middle East and around the world. Israel, one of the world's most diverse countries and the only democracy in the Middle East, is a triumph of freedom and equality over racism and terror.

From the 2009 celebration of Israel at UC Berkeley

From the 2009 celebration of Israel at UC Berkeley

The 2011 schedule of events is now available:

Teach Peace
There will only be peace when children are taught to want peace, not war. Israel teaches its children to want peace with its neighbors.
Sproul Plaza 11a-2p

Life Under Fire: The Israeli Victims of Hamas Terrorism
A presentation by Yaakov Lapin about how rocket attacks from Gaza have affected the lives of the Southern Israeli civilians they are deliberately aimed at.
215 Dwinelle Hall 7-9p

Tuesday 3/8

Humans Rights in Israel
Israel has an excellent human rights record, including equal rights under the law for all citizens regardless of ethnicity, freedom of religion, women's equality, and gay rights.
Sproul Plaza 11a-2p

Art Meets Justice: Portrait of the Israeli Artist as a Social Justice Activist
A presentation by Netally Schlosser, a world-renowned painter, also known for her activism to improve the lives of Darfur refugees who have found asylum in Israel. Netally works with refugees in Tel Aviv's poorest neighborhoods to create multicultural events that promote understanding and tolerance for all backgrounds.
160 Dwinelle Hall 7-9p

Wednesday 3/9

Peace Rally
Our annual rally celebrating Israel and its quest for peace.
Sproul Plaza 12-1:30p

Thursday 3/10

The Path to Peace
Israel's many attempts for peace and history of being a willing partner for peaceful cooperation.
Sproul Plaza 11a-2p

Forgotten Refugees: Jews Indigenous to the Middle East and North Africa
A presentation by JIMENA about the return of Jews to their homeland in Israel after being persecuted in and expelled from Arab countries in the Middle East and North Africa.
110 Barrows Hall 8-9:30p

Please come at support Tikvah at UC Berkeley, the next generation of pro-Israel activists. Our future is in good hands

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Hussein Ibish: "If you can't get divestment through UC Berkeley, you're done."

From Hussein Ibish: "The bottom line is this: if you can't get divestment through UC Berkeley, you're done."

UC Berkeley to expand Jewish, Israel studies
February 24, 2011

From JTA: – The University of California, Berkeley, School of Law is expanding its Jewish and Israel studies offerings with the launch of a new institute.
The Berkeley Institute for Jewish Law and Israeli Law, Economy and Society, funded by a $750,000 seed gift from The Rosalinde and Arthur Gilbert Foundation, is an interdisciplinary initiative including faculty and student research, new course offerings, speakers and symposia, and collaboration with Israeli universities and academics.
It will offer separate programs in Jewish law, and in Israeli law, economy and society.
Christopher Edley, dean of the law school, said in a news release that the institute “builds on the law school’s historic strengths in religious law. It also capitalizes on our cross-disciplinary and comparative approach to law and society and our longstanding collaborations with Israeli scholars and academic institutions.”
One of the institute’s upcoming projects will be the university’s first campus-wide conference on Israel as a high-tech nation, proposed as an annual event.
A formal launch event featuring former Israeli Supreme Court Justice Dalia Dorner as keynote speaker is planned for April 6.

BDS. Celebrating ten years of epic failure.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Good-bye fair trade Chocolate. Time to Boycott Global Exchange

Yeah, I like their fair trade chocolate too, but I'll need to find a better source. Global Exchange has crossed the line. Today, they sent out an announcement:

"Don't Harmonize With Apartheid"
Sun, Feb 27, 2011 6:00 pm
Davies Symphony Hall
201 Van Ness @ Civic Center
San Francisco
Boycott the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra on its US Tour!

Bring your pots and pans, kazoos, ukuleles, whistles, creativity and everything else needed for a cacaphonic protest

The Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel has issued an appeal to BDS activists in the United States to boycott the US tour of the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra (IPO) in February and March 2011, due to its complicity in whitewashing Israel's persistent violations of international law and human rights. The IPO is scheduled to perform in Palm Beach, New York, Seattle, San Francisco, and Los Angeles.

The IPO is one of the flagship institutions of the Israeli state, tracing its history to the 1930's under the British Mandate. The IPO Foundation describes the orchestra as "Israel's musical ambassador." .

An organization with a slogan "building people to people ties" is advocating the disruption of a cultural event that has the express purpose of, wait for it "building people to people ties" . years ago, the Philharmonics famed "Keynote" program ran program for Israeli and Palestinian children. One concert, for children of the Dheisheh Refugee Camp, was a multi-cultural, bi-lingual encounter featuring the IPO percussion section and an ensemble of Arab musicians from Nazareth. Rather than encourage this kind of activity, Global Exchange is proposing a disruption.

What can you do?

If you aren't busy Sunday night, pick up tickets for the Philharmonic. Davies Hall is a wonderful venue for a concert.

Can't make it to San Francisco? Pick up the phone. Global Exchange has stores throughout the country, as well as a thriving catalog business. Use their 800 number- 1 800 497 1994. Tell them you shop their stores or their catalogs regularly. Tell them how deeply offended you are that they are encouraging the disruption of a cultural event. Tell them you aren't planning on shopping there ever again.

And please, pass the word on to your friends.
Thank you!

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Kiss my BDS. Israeli Agricultural exports rise 10.5% in 2010

Kiss My BDS
Hows that boycott going, btw?

Israel's fresh agricultural exports rose 10.5% in 2010 compared to 2009, totaling $1.359 billion, reports.
Citrus exports were up 24.7% to $173 million; animal product exports were up 16.8%; and exports of non-citrus fruits were up by 13.4% at a total value of $222 million.
Exports of cotton and other field crops totaled $88 million, an increase of 29.9%. Vegetable, potato, and melon exports saw a more modest increase of 6.4% compared to 2009 for a total of $537 million.

Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Orit Noked said that the agricultural export figures were proof of the "strength and stability of Israeli agriculture," despite the problems of drought and rising water costs.
Yeah, that BDS movement is just going gangbusters.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Jewish Voice for Peace Announces "Day of Rage " against the Jewish National Fund

Jewish Voice for Peace has announced today as day of rage against Jewish National Fund, urging people to launch a coordinated attack against the venerable non-profit. Our "proud to be ashamed to be Jewish" friends are using the eviction of squatters in Israel's Negev desert as an excuse to harrass the JNF. Its another in a series of attacks, orchestrated by JVP and its allies on Jewish institutions and organizations that support our right to self determination in our ancient homeland.

Lets turn this into a "buycott", folks. Go to the JNF website. Buy some trees. Do it in honor of someone you love. For added impact, ask the JNF to send the acknowledgement to "Jewish Voice for Peace"
1611 Telegraph Avenue, Suite 550. Oakland, CA 94612

Can't plant a tree? Thats ok, too. Sometimes its necessary to turn the tables. So why don't you pick up the phone today and give JVP a call. You can reach them at 510-465-1777. Be polite and respectful, as difficult as it might be.

Go ahead. You know you want to.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Kiss My BDS: Israel's economy grows 7.8 % in the last quarter of 2010

Kiss my BDS.
So hows that boycott coming, btw?

Israel's economy picked up in the last quarter of 2010, chalking up 7.8 percent growth and a higher-than-expected annual growth rate of 4.5 percent, official figures show on Thursday...

Central Bureau of Statistics data show the economy grew by 5.2 percent in the second quarter and 4.4 percent in the third.

Earlier this week, the Bank of Israel (BoI) had predicted fourth-quarter growth of between 4.3 and 4.6 percent.

The annual growth figure far outstrips the 2.8-percent average registered in 2010 by countries of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development, the club of developed nations which Israel joined last year.

Read the full report here

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

War is Peace. Freedom is slavery. 1984 comes to the First Presybterian Church of Oakland

Nothing like generating some controversy to boost sagging ticket sales. In spite of saturating the web with their announcements, the organizers of "Never Again for anyone" just have not been able to generate enough sales to fill their venue, the First Presbyterian Church of Oakland. Could Oakland have had enough of their lies and distortions? That remains to be seen.
Already the venue is under criticism for misleading ticketing practices. Rev. Jack Shiver describes the event in his church bulletin "Temple Tidings" as "free" . The church website also claimed "No one will be turned away" up until today, when that vanished. Thats ok, folks. We took a screen shot.

And todays screen shot

Why the bait and switch? Why did a previously free venue suddenly start charging? It happened before, at Rutgers university . They are trying to keep out those who might bear witness. They are trying to keep out those who might challenge the lies. This action alert from Team Hate will give you a better idea:


Support First Presbyterian Church of Oakland against Zionist attack:
Attend Never Again for Anyone event Thursday night and send email in support of Reverend Shriver

( OAKLAND 02/16/2011) – Stand With Us and other Zionist groups are pushing for protests tomorrow at the First Presbyterian Church of Oakland in an effort to shut down events planned by the Never Again for Anyone national tour. The tour features Auschwitz survivor Dr. Hajo Meyer and Dr. Hatem, chairman of the American Muslims for Palestine and a professor of Near Eastern and Ethnic Studies at the University of California , Berkeley .

Reverend Jack Shriver has received pressure from the local Board of Rabbis, the ADL, Stand With Us and other Zionist groups urging him to cancel the event. Similar pressure has been applied to the SALAM Center in Sacramento and the Jewish Winchevsky Center in Toronto .

In Sacramento the Board of Rabbis, under the leadership of Rabbi Reuven H. Taff, has issued a thinly veiled threat to disrupt future interfaith work Imam Mohamed Abdul Azeez may undertake if he continues with plans to allow the SALAM Center to be used as a venue for the tour. In Toronto , Zionist groups have threatened to break all ties with and are attempting to threaten the funding of the Jewish community center.

Never Again for Anyone...blah blah blah, blah blah balh (you didn't expect me to repeat their crap, did you?)....


* Attend one or both events.
* It is imperative that those who embrace collective humanity and support human rights for all – and who also support the rights of free speech and free assembly – attend these events to send a clear message that we will not be intimidated by Zionist efforts to smear us with the ‘anti-Semitic’ label.
* Send email of support and appreciation to Reverend Jack Shriver at .

What Zionist attack? Could they be referring to this action alert? The one that explicitly says "It is very important that those who join us refrain from engaging in confrontations with extremists from this event."

Apparently yes. If supporters of Israel use the tools of the activists' trade- leafletting, vigils, protests they are condemned, in much the same manner that Israel herself is attacked simply by defending herself.

What can you do? Try and contact the church. Go ahead. But judging by his promotion of the racist Sabeel organization in his church bulletin, Rev. Shriver may already be too far gone.

Please contact the church at
(510) 444-3555 or email
Di Pagel, Director of
Christian Education
& Church Administrator and

Rev. Jack Shriver
Interim Pastor

More importantly, show up tomorrow. rain or shine. The only thing necessary for evil to triumph is for good people to do nothing.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

It's time for those who hold the keys to their homes to rise up

"It's time for those who hold the keys to their homes to rise up"

Like all other sweeping proclamations from Al Awda, this doesn't include the 850,000 Jews who were expelled from Arab lands, leaving behind assets valued in todays standards of $300 billion. Real-estate left behind in Arab lands is estimated as worth $6 billion today. But I digress...I do that...

The following are excerpts from an article by Dr. Salman Abu Sitta who will be speaking at the Ninth Annual International Al-Awda Convention .The author is the founding president of the Palestine Land Society and an honorary adviser to the Middle East Monitor. The Arabic article appeared in Al Quds Al Arabi, 9 February 2011

"The issue is not that documents giving details of negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority were leaked by Al Jazeera and the Guardian. We all had a general picture of the positions taken by Palestinian negotiators in front of Israel. Such positions were already subjected to strong criticism for being excessive, especially the concessions made over the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people. Rejection of these concessions has been emphasised in conferences, statements and demonstrations over a number of years.

However, the leaks revealed the true picture of the submissiveness of the negotiators, how low they could get, and the shameless way in which they begged the Israelis for little more than a mini-state with citizens gathered in isolated cages and Palestinian refugees abandoned along the "road map to peace". For this, the negotiators were rewarded with great jobs and villas in Abu Dis or Jericho; in the meantime, the question of Palestine, including Jerusalem and the right of return, could go to hell.

That is the real issue and scandal; it's the straw that broke the camel's back. After displaying great patience for 18 fruitless years since the disaster of Oslo, it is time for the Palestinian refugees to have their own people's revolution."

He continues

" The primary issue for Palestinians, the right of return of the refugees, has been dropped from the agenda, to be held in reserve as a potential "bogey" in discussions... " That negotiator's option is a gimmick. The right of return is an inalienable individual right that cannot be negotiated away; any refugee is entitled to use it at any time possible as it does not have an expiry date. Article 13 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights provides for the right of anyone to leave their country and return to it; this is not subject to international agreements or negotiations and no one can cancel it."

Here's article 13 for you:
(1) Everyone has the right to freedom of movement and residence within the borders of each state.
(2) Everyone has the right to leave any country, including his own, and to return to his country.

There is absolutely nothing in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights that extends this privilege to the 3rd and 4th generation.

"The suggestion that Jerusalem and the Old City could be given up is unforgiveable, even if decorated with pseudo-respectability by an international committee to manage the Noble Sanctuary. If international law has rejected such a concept, how can those who say they represent the people of this Holy Land accept it? "

Yet Jerusalem, the holiest city in the world for the Jewish people has been the center of our religious lives for thousands of years. And to the Muslims? Its not mentioned even once in the Koron. In the immortal words of Dr. Mordechai Kedar“We were here when your forefathers were drinking wine, burying their daughters alive, and worshipping idols”

Think Abu Sitta was unreasonable and unwilling to compromise up to this point? He was just getting started:

"The occupation of Palestine did not begin in 1967; it started in 1948, with the Nakba (Catastrophe) of the creation of the state of Israel"

And this is the real key. The extremists of Al Awda will never accept the existence of a Jewish state in Israel. They reject Jewish self determination. This conflict is not about settlements. Its not about Occupation. Its not even about the eventual borders of a Jewish state and a Palestinian state. This is about the very existence of Israel. And don't forget that

Read the rest of his spewing missive, er, article here:

Monday, February 14, 2011

First Presbyterian Church of Oakland Debases Holocaust to Defame and Delegitimize Israel

WHAT-- Protest Debasement of the Holocaust to Defame and Delegitimize Israel
WHERE-- First Presbyterian Church, 2619 Broadway (at 27th), Oakland
WHEN-- Thursday Feb 17, 6 PM-7:30 PM

This Thursday, the First Presbyterian Church in Oakland is hosting an event of the nationwide tour called "Never Again for Anyone". It features Hajo Meyer, an elderly anti-Zionist Holocaust survivor, who carries the endorsement of ex-KKK leader David Duke, and Hatem Bazian, a UC Berkeley faculty member with a lengthy resume of anti-Israel activities. It is sponsored by 3 extremist anti-Israel groups: MECA (the so-called "Middle East Children's Alliance" that has never spoken out about the murder of Israeli children by Palestinian terrorists), the American Muslims for Palestine (Bazian's group), and the International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network.

Last month, this event was held at Rutgers University in New Jersey, where event organizers suddenly instituted an admission fee (in violation of university policy) to discourage Jewish pro-Israel students from entering the event.

StandWithUs also reported on this event when it was held February 4 at DePaul University in Chicago . Here are some excerpts from that report:

"The organizers created an intimidating atmosphere. One attendee likened it to a Ku Klux Klan rally. No audience members were allowed to record, film, or photograph the speakers. Members of Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP), which sponsored the event, patrolled the aisles looking for “contraband” recording devices. This created a tense atmosphere, which one audience member described as fascist."

"The speakers vilified current peace efforts and praised the terrorist group Hamas. They repeatedly attacked the moderate Palestinian Authority for “collaborating” with Israel by engaging in peace talks and extolled Hamas as “the democratically elected representatives of the Palestinian people." They attacked Israel’s peace treaties with Egypt and Jordan, with Bazian claiming that the treaties were simply an Israeli plot to “extend its strategic borders all the way up to Iraq.”"

"Hajo Meyer made the Nazi-Israeli equation more explicit. Exploiting his status as a Holocaust survivor, he compared IDF soldiers to Auschwitz guards. He denigrated Jews and Judaism. “The Jewish people are not a civilization,” he charged. The only religion that pro-Israel Jews share is the Holocaust religion. . . . They cannot claim they are Jewish, so therefore they had to invent the Holocaust religion, that is, with its high priest Elie Wiesel,” he said."

(perhaps this is why they are afraid of recording devices inside-- they don't want to let the world know about the hate speech being offered inside).

This is what is coming to Oakland. And not only does the First Presbyterian Church know the content of the program, acting Rev. Jack Shriver is endorsing it.

StandWithUs/San Francisco Voice for Israel will be holding a vigil in front of the church from 6 PM to 7:30 PM on Thursday. We stand against the debasement of the Holocaust and the distortion of history. We stand against the delegitimization of Israel and the endorsement of radical Islamist terror. We stand for the Jewish people's right, along with all other peoples of the world, to national self-determination in our own land. We stand in front of a church that professes to support peace and say "SHAME ON YOU" for hosting this travesty.

We will have Israeli flags and appropriate signs expressing Israel's desire for peace, highlighting Hamas as the impediment to peace, and showing how the situation in Gaza does not at all resemble the Holocaust.

Those who wish to go inside should note that the church's announcement about the event states "No One Turned Away for Lack of Funds according to the organizers." We suggest that you print this announcement up and bring it with you, though we doubt that they will honor their own words. We've taken a screen shot, in case they pull a last minute bait and switch.

It is very important that those who join us refrain from engaging in confrontations with extremists from this event. Remember that we won't change the minds of those who are openly lying to the public. And we will not stoop to their level of hatred by holding signs that disparage Palestinians, Arabs, or Muslims (or any other ethnicity) as an entire group.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Ishmael Khaldi Muzzled : JVP silent

Ishmael Khaldi in San Francisco 2008 (photo taken by Dan Kliman , z'l)

Many people in the Bay area have fond memories of Ishmael Khaldi, an Israeli Bedouin who rose through the ranks of Israel's foreign service to become the vice consul general of Israel in San Francisco. We remember his courageous outreach to Muslim students at UC Berkeley. We remember his article in the San Francisco Chronicle where he exhorted the organizers of Israel Apartheid Week,

"You are part of the problem, not part of the solution: If you are really idealistic and committed to a better world, stop with the false rhetoric. We need moderate people to come together in good faith to help find the path to relieve the human suffering on both sides of the Israel-Palestinian conflict. Vilification and false labeling is a blind alley that is unjust and takes us nowhere."
Ishmael has been touring campuses in recent months and reports "The situation I encountered on many of the campuses in North America and Canada was horrifying.", describing a shocking climate of intolerance and hatred on American and Canadian campuses.

The situation deteriorated further when Khaldi came to Edinburgh University . Described as a scene “reminiscent of tyrants silencing their opposition,” security officers had to be brought in to contain the situation and the event was eventually canceled.

“This isn’t free speech; it is hatred, it is vandalism,” Khaldi told The Jerusalem Post . “These activists abuse the values of freedom and democracy of the UK, they put the seeds of hatred in Europe and they betray the cause of moderate Palestinians who, despite everything, are ready to do everything to reach reconciliation and peace with Israel, toward establishing an independent Palestinian state.”

And once again, the "Proud to be ashamed to be Jewish crowd" Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP), who claim to "track efforts to stifle open debate about US-Israeli foreign policy" on their blog "Muzzlewatch", were totally silent. But why would we expect any different? The stiffling of free speech and open debate that they disagree with is one of their organizational tactics.

Khaldi, one of 11 children, began life as shepherd. He went on to serve in the Israeli border police, and earned a master's degree in political science from Tel Aviv University. His is a voice worth listening to, when he reminds the disruptors and demonizers

"You are betraying the moderate Muslims and Jews who are working to achieve peace: Your radicalism is undermining the forces for peace in Israel and in the Palestinian territories. We are working hard to move toward a peace agreement that recognizes the legitimate rights of both Israel and the Palestinian people, and you are tearing down by falsely vilifying one side."

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

To Anna Baltzer: What I did with My Caterkiller campaign kit.

The US Campaign to end the Occupation will generously send activists...any activists...campaign kits. Included are postcards, posters, cd's- an entire toolbox of props designed to perpetuate the demonization of Israel. The new National Organizer for the Campaign, Anna Baltzer recent sent out an email asking us just what we did with the literature her organization generously provided

Dear friends,

I just started as National Organizer with the US Campaign and am trying to gather information on past and present work by US groups on the Caterkiller Campaign, which will inform how we proceed with the campaign.
If you're getting this it's because you've probably ordered our CAT organizing packets in the past. Would you be willing to take a moment to answer some or all of the questions below?:

1. Did you find the CAT organizing packets useful? Do you have any suggested improvements?
2. What work has your group done on the CAT campaign in the past?
3. Do you continue to advocate for CAT accountability? If so, how? If not, why not?
4. Can you share any ideas or lessons learned that would inform how we proceed with the campaign?

If you'd prefer to talk about this by phone rather than email, please send me some times you'd be available and we'll set a date!
Thanks in advance, everyone,


Dear Anna,

I used the Caterkiller campaign kit as kindling for my organizations annual Lag B'Omer bonfire. I am extremely pleased with its performance. It ignited perfectly, and burnt clean and quickly. Thank you for asking.

It is traditional to light bonfires on Lag B'Omer. Lag B'Omer is the anniversary of the death of Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai, author of the Zohar. The Zohar (The Shining Light) deals with the mystical teachings of the Torah and forms the basis for Kabbalah. Taking this a step further, it is the tradition of local Israel activist groups to kindle a bonfire using the accumulated refuse of hate groups such as the US Campaign. Request your kit here and remember, the best tool against darkness in our world is simply increasing the light.


Kudos to Jack for sending in this photo of a creature (gremlin? Rabbit? any guesses?) making great use of his Caterkiller activists kit. Way to go Jack!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

First Presbyterian Church of Oakland: Never again for anyone

The Hatem Bazian/Hajo Meyer dog and pony show ("Never again for anyone") is coming to town. The current cycle of hate, lies and demonization comes to the First Presbyterian Church of Oakland on February 17. Early reports from the tour have been troubling, with Jewish students alleging discriminatory admissions policies, in an event that had been advertised as "free and open to all"

Please contact the church at
(510) 444-3555 or email
Di Pagel, Director of
Christian Education
& Church Administrator and

Rev. Jack Shriver
Interim Pastor

Explain politely, why this program is so hateful, not just to the Jewish people, but to all that struggle against lies and injustice. Why politely? Because the best way, the only way to decrease the darkness in the world is to increase the light.

My open letter to them follows:

Dear Rev. Shriver,
"Like an unchecked cancer, hate corrodes the personality and eats away its vital unity. Hate destroys a man's sense of values and his objectivity. It causes him to describe the beautiful as ugly and the ugly as beautiful, and to confuse the true with the false and the false with the true. "
Martin Luther King Jr

I noticed your church is hosting a program with Hatem Bazien and Hajo Meyer, and that you are promoting it on your website. You may be unaware of how offensive and hateful this program is, not only to the Jewish people, but too all who suffered and perished in the Holocaust. If you have done any background into this program, you would have heard disturbing reports from Rutgers University that when supporters of Israel showed up to what was advertised as an event that was "Free and open to all", the organizers changed the policy on the spot, and began to charge admission.

There is no genocide in the Palestinian territories, and to use that word diminishes the suffering and death of millions who perished in the Holocaust

From the American Muslim for Palestine Website: “It’s very clear that the plan to ethnically cleanse Palestine of its indigenous Palestinian population predates the creation of the State of Israel,” Hatem Bazian said during Friday’s event at DePaul University. “That plan reaches to the very highest levels of the government.”

My question to Hatem: If the goal was to ethnically cleanse the Palestinians, why did Israel begin its "brutal and genocidal" occupation by vaccinating Palestinian children?

From an essay by Prof. Efraim Karsh:
The larger part, still untold in all its detail, is of the astounding social and economic progress made by the Palestinian Arabs under Israeli "oppression." At the inception of the occupation, conditions in the territories were quite dire. Life expectancy was low; malnutrition, infectious diseases, and child mortality were rife; and the level of education was very poor. Prior to the 1967 war, fewer than 60 percent of all male adults had been employed, with unemployment among refugees running as high as 83 percent. Within a brief period after the war, Israeli occupation had led to dramatic improvements in general well-being, placing the population of the territories ahead of most of their Arab neighbors.

In the economic sphere, most of this progress was the result of access to the far larger and more advanced Israeli economy: the number of Palestinians working in Israel rose from zero in 1967 to 66,000 in 1975 and 109,000 by 1986, accounting for 35 percent of the employed population of the West Bank and 45 percent in Gaza. Close to 2,000 industrial plants, employing almost half of the work force, were established in the territories under Israeli rule.

During the 1970's, the West Bank and Gaza constituted the fourth fastest-growing economy in the world -- ahead of such "wonders" as Singapore, Hong Kong, and Korea, and substantially ahead of Israel itself. ..

Under Israeli rule, the Palestinians also made vast progress in social welfare. Perhaps most significantly, mortality rates in the West Bank and Gaza fell by more than two-thirds between 1970 and 1990, while life expectancy rose from 48 years in 1967 to 72 in 2000 (compared with an average of 68 years for all the countries of the Middle East and North Africa). Israeli medical programs reduced the infant-mortality rate of 60 per 1,000 live births in 1968 to 15 per 1,000 in 2000 (in Iraq the rate is 64, in Egypt 40, in Jordan 23, in Syria 22). And under a systematic program of inoculation, childhood diseases like polio, whooping cough, tetanus, and measles were eradicated.

No less remarkable were advances in the Palestinians' standard of living. By 1986, 92.8 percent of the population in the West Bank and Gaza had electricity around the clock, as compared to 20.5 percent in 1967; 85 percent had running water in dwellings, as compared to 16 percent in 1967; 83.5 percent had electric or gas ranges for cooking, as compared to 4 percent in 1967; and so on for refrigerators, televisions, and cars.

Finally, and perhaps most strikingly, during the two decades preceding the intifada of the late 1980's, the number of schoolchildren in the territories grew by 102 percent, and the number of classes by 99 percent, though the population itself had grown by only 28 percent. Even more dramatic was the progress in higher education. At the time of the Israeli occupation of Gaza and the West Bank, not a single university existed in these territories. By the early 1990's, there were seven such institutions, boasting some 16,500 students. Illiteracy rates dropped to 14 percent of adults over age 15, compared with 69 percent in Morocco, 61 percent in Egypt, 45 percent in Tunisia, and 44 percent in Syria.

Even today, according to UNICEF, Palestinian children have the lowest rate of stunting and malnutrition in the Arab Middle East, after Qatar.

Please, Rev. Shriver do not allow your beautiful church to be used by those spreading hate and lies. Thank you.

Several anti-hate groups are planning a vigil at the church, Feb. 17 from 6:00-7:30
2619 Broadway, in Oakland, California
Please join us.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Can we find 433,971 people to hate on Israel? Guess Not. California's Divestment Initiative fails

In case you were wondering:

The efforts to get a California divestment initiative on the ballot has failed. According to the Israel Divestment campaign:

"January 31, marked the end of the campaign to gather signatures to qualify The Israel Divestment Act for the California ballot. While the campaign produced signatures in nearly all 58 counties in the state, we do not have sufficient signatures to submit the petitions to the Secretary of State's office."

But, like a bad cold, or an infestation of bedbugs, its not going away just yet. Organizers have urged us to come back after February 15 for round two of "Can we find 433,971 people to hate on Israel?". We'll keep you all informed.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Muslim Brotherhood: ‘We are against Zionism’

No surprises here.

From the Jerusalem Post: A spokesman for the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt on Thursday evening repeatedly refused to commit to maintaining the peace treaty with Israel, or even recognizing Israel, if the Brotherhood becomes a player in the future governance of Egypt.

Mohamed Morsy also said the Muslim Brotherhood opposed violence. “We do not use violence against anyone,” he said. But what was happening on “Palestinian land,” however, he said, was not violence but “resistance. And resistance is acceptable by all mankind. And it is the right of people to resist imperialism,” he said.

Just a reminder. Palestinian resistance looks like this:

And this:

From the Stand With Us factsheet on the Muslim Brotherhood:

The Motto of the Muslim Brotherhood is "Allah is our objective. The Prophet is our leader. The Qur'an is our law. Jihad is our way. Dying in the way of Allah is our highest hope. Allahu akbar!”. The Brotherhood’s goal is to turn the world into an Islamist empire. The Muslim Brotherhood, founded in Egypt in 1928, is a revolutionary fundamentalist movement to restore the caliphate and strict shariah (Islamist) law in Muslim lands and, ultimately, the world. Today, it has chapters in 80 countries.

“It is in the nature of Islam to dominate, not to be dominated, to impose its law on all nations and to extend its power to the entire planet.” —Muslim Brotherhood founder Hassan al-Banna

The Brotherhood advocates violent jihad: The “change that the [Muslim] nation seeks can only be attained through jihad and sacrifice and by raising a jihadi generation that pursues death just as the enemies pursue life,” said Muslim Brotherhood Supreme Guide Muhammed Badi in a September 2010 sermon. Major terrorists came out of the Muslim Brotherhood, including bin Laden’s deputy Ayman al-Zawahiri and Khalid Sheikh Mohammed (mastermind of the 9/11 attacks).

My question: If the Muslim Brotherhood rises to power and abrogates the longstanding peace treaty with Israel, do we get to take the Sinai back?

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Eleven students charged with disrupting Israeli Ambassador's speech at UC Irvine

The Orange County District Attorney's Office has filed charges of misdemeanor conspiracy to disturb a meeting and misdemeanor disturbance of a meeting, said Susan Kang Schroeder, chief of staff for Orange County District Attorney Tony Rackauckas. The charges stem from the disruption of Israeli Ambassador Michael Oren's speech Feb. 8, 2010. "This case is being filed because there was an organized attempt to squelch the speaker, who was invited to speak to a group at UCI," Rackauckas said.
We must decide whether we are a country of laws or a country of anarchy. We cannot tolerate a preplanned violation of the law, even if the crime takes place on a school campus and even if the defendants are college students. In our democratic society, we cannot tolerate a deliberate, organized, repetitive and collective effort to significantly disrupt a speaker who hundreds assembled to hear."

The defendants are:

Mohamad Mohy-Eldeen Abdelgany, 23, of UCI
Khalid Gahgat Akari, 19, of UC Riverside
Aslam Abbasi Akhtar, 23, of UCI
Joseph Tamim Haider, 23, of UCI
Taher Mutaz Herzallah, 21, of UC Riverside
Hakim Nasreddine Kebir, 20, of UCI
Shaheen Waleed Nassar, 21, of UC Riverside
Mohammad Uns Qureashi, 19, of UCI
Ali Mohammad Sayeed, 23, of UCI
Osama Ahmen Shabaik, 22, of UCI
Asaad Mohamedidris Traina, 19, of UCI

True to form, Jewish Voice for peace, known for their blog Muzzlewatch that claims to track "efforts to stifle open debate about US-Israeli foreign policy", spoke out in support of the disruptors. Apparently its perfectly fine to stifle open debate when they don't like whats being said.

A recent email sent out by Emily Ratner, on behalf of Jewish Voice for Peace, claims her interuption of Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu's speech before the Jewish Federation's General Assembly in November, was inspired by the brave example in part by these 11 students . Emily asked, paradoxically, "What will happen to the Irvine 11and to freedom of speech for all of us?".

Noam Chomsky once said (remember, this Emily) "If we don't believe in freedom of expression for people we despise, we don't believe in it at all." The attempts of the MSA in Irvine, and JVP to curtail others liberties is an affront to us all.

Read more here:

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Everybody Dance Now! Flash Mobs for Social change.

The US Campaign to End the Occupation has issued a handy checklist for activists planning a flash mob, presumably to avoid such embarrassments as this.

Do with it as you please, remembering that this is the year of the Flash Mob! (Lucky attendees at national AIPAC might even get to experience the joys of a Code Pink flash mob in person)

Anna Baltzer, from the US Campaign to End the Occupation recently sent out a missive touting flash mobs as a substitute for traditional protests, claiming

"Through social networks, we now have the ability to generate and distribute influential media on our own. Flash mobs enable the use of pop culture and social networks to promote a message or campaign in a way that is easily accessible, especially to the young generation. This is a great complement to traditional forms of protest, and anyone can do it."

The Blog Divest this has a different take, noting the confusion and disgust many feel when experiencing a Code Pink and friends production

"The BDS flashers, in contrast, could not care less about the crowd in whose face they strut their stuff, for the simple reason that unsuspecting shoppers at Best Buy are not the audience for this performance, but are merely props. The audience for this dance troupe are like-minded BDSers with whom they can share a demonstration of “edgy direct action” which amounts to little more than self-indulgent irrelevancy.

This may explain why, in a YouTube world where the online audience for joyous flash mobs shoots into the millions, the “Hang Up on Motorola Dancers” have trouble breaking five figures, a reasonable estimate of the number of people who share their cause, minus the few of us who checked out their performance either for research purposes or simply to stare in dumbfounded shock at the lengths the Israel-dislikers will go to get anyone to pay attention to them. "

The US Campaigns checklist highlights the most important part of the flash mob: shameless self promotion, urging the flashers to "Distribute like mad!"
Their blueprint for publicity follows (Team Israel take note, and remember the words of ben Zoma "Who is wise? He who learns from everyone" )

Prepare your distribution plan and lists beforehand.

Send press releases to media (example press releases). Have it ready beforehand. If you send it out immediately following the event, you can tell them you have raw footage they could run so they don’t have to wait for the whole edited piece.

Post widely on Facebook and ask others to do the same; it can spread like wildfire.

Twitter (Don’t forget to use hashtag #bds)

“Like” and comment on the video on YouTube and Facebook, which increases traffic. That includes on friends’ Facebook pages.

Send it local, national, and international allies/leaders on this and other issues, especially people connected with larger networks and communities.

Send it out on sympathetic email lists, asking people to forward

Write related articles for online publications

For all the above, you can organize a gathering right after the video is released during which people sit together with their laptops and post the links on Twitter, Facebook, forums, listservs, websites, etc. Make a fun evening of it. The Bathrobes Brigades in the Netherlands organizes regular internet activism evenings.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Mubarak controlled by Jews

Anybody who thinks that something good will come of events in Egypt is not thinking clearly. Perhaps they cannot think.
Mubarak, whether he comes or goes, is identified with everything that Egyptians hate.
Not because he caused it, or is even in any way responsible for it, but because they cannot conceive of having personal responsibility themselves for their miserable conditions.

For most people in the Middle East, it's someone else's fault.
Not theirs.

And if Mubarak displeases them, it naturally follows that he's an Israeli agent.


"Who support Hosni Mubarak? Who support Hosni Mubarak? Da United States Government, da British government, and German cou..... government, and Freeeeeench government....... da pipple, if dey go free, dey gonna destroy Israel! Da country who control da Irak state, is Israel!"

And once they've gotten rid of Mubarak, all their problems will be solved! Life will be good!


Precisely like Dick Becker of International ANSWER, like Medea Benjamin of Codepink, and like every single half-wit between here and the Caucasus mountains, the Egyptian man in the street willingly believes conspiracy theories and simplistic feel-good explanations.

Such people will never manage to engineer a free and open society.

We have far too many like them in the United States and Europe.
The Middle East, with one notable exception, is filled with such people.