Sunday, July 31, 2011

Fighting Hate with Hot Chocolate: Australia rejects BDS

"We remember the precedence of the 1930s; my father came from Germany, and (at) any sign of this kind of behaviour we have to draw a line in the sand." Australia Labor MP Michael Danby

from the Australian
Prominent Australians met for a hot chocolate last week in a solidarity in front of a Jewish business that was recently targeted as part of an anti-Israel boycott.

"Labor MP Michael Danby, Australian Workers Union secretary Paul Howes, former Labor Party president Warren Mundine, comedian Sandy Gutman, aka Austen Tayshus, and journalist Jana Wendt were among those who spoke out against a violent protest on July 1 outside the Max Brenner chocolate shop in Melbourne in which three police officers were hurt and 19 protesters arrested.

Mr Howes said the far-left protesters were "mimicking the behaviour of the Nazi thugs" and it was necessary to "nip this in the bud".

"I would say the bulk of the people who are voting Greens have no understanding of the xenophobic, extremist and abhorrent policies they are voting for," he said.

Wendt said she felt the tolerance of Australian society was under threat if people did not learn from history"

Want to help, but don't live in Australia? Max Brenner Chocolate shops can be found in America in:

New York
841 Broadway
Between 13th and 14th Streets

Las Vegas
The Forum Shops at Caesars
3500 Las Vegas Blvd

1500 Walnut Street
15th Street between Walnut and Locust Streets

745 Boylston Street

You can also shop on line at

Consider the many delicious ways you can show support for Max Brenner shops as they fight against BDS hate, violence and anti-Semitism. How about sponsoring a chocolate Kiddush at your synagogue? Endorsing a Hadassah "sit and eat -in" at a local Max Brenners? Or consider using Max Brenners chocolates at your next simcha

Mmmmmm. Fighting hate and intolerance never tasted this good.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Thats some Apartheid State: Ethiopian Singer wins Israeli idol

21-year-old Hagit Yasso from Sderot, the daughter of religious Ethiopian immigrants won Israel's version of "American Idol" won take first place in the televised song content "Kochav Nolad" ("A Star is Born") on Saturday night.

Hahit served in a musical troupe in the Israeli military and has worked as a kindergarten assistant.

Here's Hagit Yasso singing "Killing Me Softly"

Monday, July 18, 2011

Promotion of hatred against Jews, Israel at UCSC

NOTE TO READER: A small but mighty contingent of courageous Jewish activists in the UCSC community are fighting for the hearts and minds of the student body against huge, anti-semitic organizations at UCSC such as Students for Justice in Palestine, the Resource Center for Nonviolence, and the Women in Black. A voice of reason has been Tammi Rossman-Benjamin, a Hebrew lecturer at UCSC. Here is her letter seeking support from Jewish Californians to raise awareness about anti-semitism at UCSC and to seek action from an administration that is loathe to admit a problem exists. Tammi is a member of Scholars for Peace in the Mideast which has hosted nearly a dozen pro-Israel speakers at UCSC, events which were mostly boycotted by students and University staff. Ironically, UCSC has the largest percentage of Jewish students of any UC campus yet the anti-semitism demonstrated here is among the worst of all UC campuses. ----Becky Johnson, UCSC grad 1988


Dear Jewish Community of California,

Bigotry against Jewish students has occurred on University of California campuses over many years and on many campuses. Jewish students have been subjected to: swastikas; acts of physical aggression; speakers, films and exhibits that use anti-Semitic imagery and discourse; speakers that praise and encourage support for terrorist organizations; the organized disruption of events sponsored by Jewish student groups; and most recently the promotion of student senate resolutions for divestment from Israel that seek to demonize and delegitimize the Jewish State.

PHOTO: Tammi Rossman-Benjamin

Last May, more than 700 Jewish UC students signed a petition expressing outrage at anti-Jewish rhetoric and imagery on their campuses. They asserted that these incidents are as offensive and hurtful to Jewish students as a "Compton cookout" or a noose are to African American students.

In addition, dozens of Jewish students from three different UC campuses, who responded to an on-line questionnaire, described feeling harassed and intimidated by the promotion of hatred against the Jewish State and of Jews. Almost all of the students felt that the administrators on their campuses did not treat Jewish concerns as sensitively as they did the concerns of other minorities such as African Americans and Latinos.

In June 2010, leaders of 12 Jewish organizations, including the Orthodox Union and the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism, wrote to UC President Mark Yudof, expressing their concerns about the hostile environment faced by Jewish students on UC campuses, and calling on him to address this serious problem immediately. President Yudof responded by asking Jewish leaders to have patience and faith in the newly-established Advisory Councils on Campus Climate, Culture, and Inclusion.

Over the last year, however, these
Advisory Councils have failed to address, or even acknowledge, the problem of anti-Semitism on UC campuses. In fact, the aims and actions of the Advisory Councils since their inception, as revealed by documents released under a Freedom of Information request, show that Jewish students are not a focus at all.

In an effort to convey to President Yudof the deep concern that members of the California Jewish community feel for the well-being of Jewish students, and their distress that the harassment and intimidation of Jewish students have not been addressed by UC administrators in a substantive way, we have created the AMCHA Initiative. AMCHA is the Hebrew word meaning "Your People" and also connotes "grassroots," "the masses," and "ordinary people." It is our goal to bring together Jewish people from all over California so that they might speak in one voice, united in their concern for the safety of Jewish students on UC campuses.
Jewish students, like all students, should be guaranteed a campus environment that is safe and conducive to learning.
Please help protect Jewish students at the University of California by signing the Petition to UC President Mark Yudof protesting the intimidation and harassment of Jewish students on several UC campuses:

In order to reach as many Jewish Californians as possible, please circulate this letter widely.

For more information, contact Tammi Rossman-Benjamin:
Leila Beckwith, Professor Emeritus, University of California at Los Angeles

Tammi Rossman-Benjamin, Lecturer, University of California at Santa Cruz

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Qassams! Aisle 2! Grand Opening of the Gaza City metro market

From the Free Gaza Movement latest news - An explanation why they rejected the Greek governments offer to have humanitarian aid shipped to Gaza

"We refuse to accept your breadcrumbs. We crave freedom, dignity and the ability to make choices in our daily lives. "

Well, Greta, Huwaida and friends, today is your lucky day. No wonder you don't need humanitarian breadcrumbs. You've got ready access to your own supply. Announcing the grand opening of the brand new Gaza City metro mart for all your breadcrumb needs!

Sure looks like there is plenty of "choice".

So, do you still believe the flotilla is about delivering huumanitarian supplies to Gaza?

More photos from the worlds largest open air concentration camp here

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Code Pink attempts to Hijack Rebuilding the Dream house meetings

Interesting Code Pink email this week

We need YOU to join the Pink Dream Team.
Make time this weekend to attend a Rebuild the Dream house meeting near you. Don't forget to wear your pink, take your talking points, and ensure that ending the wars remains a pillar of the progressive agenda.

Were you disappointed when Obama chastised progressives during his deficit press conference on Monday? Instead of slashing vital programs, there's a real path to ending the country's debt problem - end the wars, cut military spending, and tax the rich.

With 9.2% unemployment, we can't afford one more cut to social programs. 25% of American children live in poverty - how will they build an American dream when the WIC budget is slashed?

As part of the Pink Dream Team, you'll help bring the voice of reason to this weekend's house meetings. It's up to YOU to make sure that ending wars, supporting whistleblowers, and cutting aid to Israel are part of the progressive agenda. Help us cover at least 10% of the 2000 meetings. Let us know which one you will be at and get your talking points and hand-outs.

For the peaceful America we all dream about,
Alli, C.J., Dara, Farida, Gayle, Heather, Janet, Jean, Jodie, Kristen, Lisa, Nancy, Medea, Melanie, Rae, Sanaa, Sasha, Tighe

P.S. Remember, staying home this weekend could mean the progressive movement joins the president in sweeping $4 trillion wasted on war under the rug. Can you afford to let that happen?

But check out their website. Can you see the difference?

Join CODEPINK in Rebuilding the American Dream!

CODEPINKers are participating in this movement to remind our sisters and brothers that Bringing the War $$ Home is a foundational aspect of rebuilding the dream. The PINK Dream Team is attending 33 events this weekend. Will you join the PINK Team?

How You Can Help:

1. Sign up NOW to attend an American Dream house meeting near you on July 16 or 17. Remember to Wear Your Pink!

2. Email to let us know you've joined the PINK team. Be sure to include what city you'll be attending a meeting in.

3. Things to remember to add into the discussion:

a. Over $3 trillion has been wasted on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan For more information see Brown University's Costs of War which is recapped in this Huffington Post article.

b. Our nation's mayors agree with us! They passed a historic resolution calling on Congress to cut military spending and redirect the money to domestic priorities at their recent conference in Baltimore

c. The president's "withdrawal" plan from Afghanistan keeps the war going for another three years. That's three years too many. Human needs must be met, not the war machine. Instead of cutting programs like Women, Infant, Children, the federal government should cut the military budget.

d. Another waste of tax dollars are the millions of dollars wasted on prosecuting, infiltrating, and harassing whistle blowers who expose criminal actions and activists who oppose wasteful war policies. The Washington Post reported on out-of-control waste and spending in US intelligence agencies.

Feel free to print out these points and bring them with you to the discussion for easy reference.

4. Download the Not War sign. You can write in your priority for spending. This is based on our popular "Make Love Not War" material. This time, you can tell the world what you'd like to make instead of war! Try to print on pink paper. Take it with you to your meeting and invite people to take a picture with you and the sign. If you can print out other copies and have other attendees write in their priorities, that would be great!

5. Download the War Dollars Home Flyer (pdf). The flyer is designed to be printed double-sided and cut into 1/4 page handouts. This flyer will provide other participants with a succinct introduction to our campaign.

6. Bring a sign-up sheet for our Bring Our War $$ Home campaign, so people can stay connected with us.

7. Remind your CODEPINK sisters to join the PINK team and attend a house meeting near them!

8. Email and tell us how the dream meeting went. How many people attended? How many signed up for more information from CODEPINK? What did you think about the experience?

Notice the difference? Code Pink knows that ending aid for Israel is an unpopular stand. That part of their agenda was reserved for very "special" activists. What can you say about an organization that feels the need to lie about its agenda in public forums?

The Right To Make And Eat Felafel

Over at Anne's Opinions, she's tearing up Guardian Israel correspondent Harriet Sherwood. Most of the piece is about coverage of the new anti-BDS legislation, but she added something else that caught my Jewish foodie eye. Anne writes:

In a similar, and totally related, development, Harriet Sherwood reports on McDonald’s withdrawing its McFalafel from Israeli restaurants due to its unpopularity.

So far so tasty.

Then she scrambles her omelette by adding in this nasty little aside right at the end:

"Falafel is thought to have originated in Egypt, although Israel now claims it as a national dish."

Oh! Those thieving Israelis! Not only content to steal other people’s land, now they go and steal other people’s foods! They can claim it as their national dish but we liberal-minded people know better.

Once again Sherwood betrays her bias by inserting an unrelated dig at Israel.

May she stew in her own falafel oil.

This sort of tripe is not uncommon with anti-Zionist types. Assuming as they do that Israelis plopped into the Middle East like Martians from outer space, they are constantly on the lookout for examples of appropriated Middle Eastern foods and such, in order to better define Israelis as fundamentally inauthentic and nonindigenous. I thought I should add a note at Anne's blog, reproduced below:

Lemme ‘splain, Harriet. In 1948, Egypt had 75,000 Jews. Currently, it has less than a hundred. Most of those people headed to Israel, after state persecution and confiscation of their property. In 1956, the Minister of Religious affairs announced that ‘all Jews are Zionists and enemies of the state’, and promised to expel them. Almost no one managed to stay after the 1967 war.

In Israel, these fine people continued to make felafel, and along with other Jews from the region popularized it with the multicultural population of the new nation.

Now, of course, not only is their right of return to Egypt not a potent talking point with left-wing pundits, but even their right to make and eat felafel is apparently up for grabs.


JVP, Tiaa Cref and Pointless Gestures

Some friends of ours emailed us a copy of their TIAA CREF proxy statement, proudly showing their support for Israel, in what they felt was a highly visible and effective manner

And while we were delighted about the support, we explained that proxy statements went to independent tabulating firms, not to Tiaa Cref, and this was an ineffective way to make a pro-Israel statement to their retirement fund.

Generally, its the anti-Israel activists who expend their energy in ineffective manners. Divest this points out this cringe-worthy "flash mob" (lacking, as commenters have pointed out , both "flash" and "mob")

From Divest this:
"Well we defenders of Israel might as well throw in the towel now that BDS advocates have decided to triple down on their “Flash Mob” strategy of pulling 8-12 people together to break into incoherent song and dance at telephone stores or (more recently) a meeting of TIAA CREF here in Boston. After all, who can possibly withstand the awesome political power of images such as this:"

JVP's scheme to coerce Tiaa Cref to divest from Israel's "resilient, globally-oriented and technologically advanced" economy was launched in New York June 10, 2010 , with a coalition that consisted of Code Pink (3 members), Brooklyn for Peace, Veterans for Peace (2 members), Jews Say No, and Adalah (2 members) It was a long term 3-5 year campaign, with organizers declaring "We don’t think we can win in 6 months or a year."... and wistfully mentioning "If we had a flotilla a week it can be much faster."

And they were right. In a full year, they've only managed to gather signatures on an on-line petition, the vast majority from anti-Israel activists world wide who do not hold accounts with Tiaa Cref. And yes, they've managed to get a half dozen or so folks willing to make fools of themselves on youtube. Over and over. And then there was this baffling email from JVP's own Alice Rothchild where she states "CREF has chosen to refuse to share with its own investors a shareholder proposal submitted by nearly 20 of their participants--including me" . Nearly 20, Alice? NEARLY 20? Tiaa Cref serves over 3.7 million individuals and more than 15,000 institutions. Persumably one of the main reasons for their success is that they don't allow "nearly 20" to dictate sound investment strategies for the other 3,699,980.

There is another day o'rage scheduled against Tiaa Cref July 19. Expect more "flash mobs". Yawn. Stay tuned.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

The failure of the Flytilla/ Flotilla Follies. Is Infighting at Fault?

Could infighting be one of the contributing causes of the failure of the flotilla/flytilla follies ? There is much whining and finger pointing on various anti-Israel sites implying as much. Bay area activist Paul Larudee appears to be at the center of this firestorm.

From one commenter, in reference to an open letter from Lubna Masarwa of the "Welcome to Palestine " campaign:
"It is a shame that opportunists like Paul exist in our movements for social change but it has always been this way. The best way to deal with people like this is to expose and isolate, not to enable them to continue. Paul's actions over the past six months have been a tremendous drain of energy for the organizers of this effort."

Lubna's letter follows
Date: Fri, 8 Jul 2011 02:44:16 +0300


I regretfully send you this second letter and will publish it publicly
as you have left us no choice.
You have appeared in the media over the last week, often stating that
you organized the Welcome to Palestine campaign. All statements you
have made in regards to this campaign were false.
As organizers, we were surprised by your statements as you were never
part of this campaign. Sadly, your declarations about our campaign
being about the right of return have confused the media and brought on
damage to our basic plan.
We appreciate your will to work for Palestine but trying to take over
any activity has profoundly affected the trust we have in you and we
would be very surprised if any respectful organization in Palestine
will be willing to work with you.
We urge you to stop giving statements to the media in the name of the
Welcome to Palestine campaign.

Lubna Masarwa
On behalf the "Welcome to Palestine" campaign

I don't know about you all, but I don't think I'll take sides in this battle. I'll just pour myself a beer, and sit back and watch the fireworks....

Because you can't tell the Players without a Scorecard

Excellent chart showing the relationship between the Muslim Brotherhood, Hamas and the Flotilla organizers from the Big Peace website. Thanks to Elder of Ziyon for pointing this out

From Big Peace regarding the European Campaign to End the Siege on Gaza, one of the primary organizers of the flotilla:

So who is the ECESG?
Simply put, ECESG is an anti-Israel, pro-Hamas umbrella organization that organized the Freedom Flotilla 2, supported the Mavi Marmara flotilla, and is involved in other projects to further delegitimize and isolate Israel.

The ECESG founder, Amin Abu Rashed (aka Amin Abu Ibrahim) is one of the key organizers of Freedom Flotilla 2. A daily Dutch newspaper, De Telegraaf, recently named Rashed as the “brain behind the flotilla” and main backer. He is a Palestinian born in Lebanon who holds a Dutch passport and subscribes to the radical ideology of the Muslim Brotherhood. Rashed’s past affiliations include the Dutch branch of the Al-Aqsa Foundation, and the Union of Good. Israel outlawed Al-Aqsa in 1997, and declared it a terrorist organization in 1998. The US followed and designated Al-Aqsa as a terrorist group in May of 2003, and then designated the Union of Good in 2008.

Rashed’s resume gets even more pockmarked as he was implicated in the prosecution of the Holy Land Foundation, which the US Treasury cited as a Specially Designated National and the European Union (EU) banned it for its financial material support to Hamas. For those keeping score, this adds up to Rashed having connections to three organizations that exist to support Hamas’s terrorist agenda.

It was never about aid. At its core, the flotilla and its cousin the flytilla are about challenging Israel's sovereignty.

From an excellent new blog, Engaging Zion

"Let’s be clear: Free Gaza activists are not peace activists. Through their actions they seek to intensify the conflict, not defuse it. These are warmongers..."

"What the Flotilla/Flytilla organizers hope for is Israel’s destruction. Some otherwise goodhearted, well-intentioned people (including such notables as flotilla passenger Alice Walker) have been fooled by the Flotilla/Flytilla organizers’ rhetoric of “peace and justice.” But, we dare not be lulled into thinking these ongoing efforts are passing phenomena of no significance, a mere midsummer’s distraction. These people are serious, determined and they are working with our regional enemies toward our eradication. To believe otherwise is to engage in self-delusion."

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Why I do not support the Gaza Flotilla

by Becky Johnson
July 7 2011

Photo: Bay Area Women in Black picket Israel in the Gardens in San Francisco, 2010

Santa Cruz, Ca. -- On July 4th, I joined a small group of anti-war activists at a busy intersection with signs, flags, and banners. Sherry Conable, Louis Lafortune, and Steve Pleich were there. There were WILPF'ers. There were Raging Grannies. And there were the

Women In Black. As someone who dedicated my life to world peace at age 14, normally I would be donning black garb, wearing a hat with a black veil, and standing somberly with the WIB against those who would turn our children into cannon fodder, but I'm not. For WIB has been imbued with what can only be called anti-semitism and a rabid hatred of Israel.

And on that street corner, several Santa Cruz area residents showed up with signs supporting the Gaza Flotilla, currently chained in a Greek harbor under "house" arrest. I do not support the Flotilla.

Photo: As Israel withdrew from Gaza in September of 2005, mobs of Palestinians set fire to the 24 synagogues that the Jewish residents had declined to raze.


Thursday, July 7, 2011

Its about denying the Jewish people the right to Self determination.

This guy gets it. What do the flotilla , the flytilla and the border marches have in common? They challenge Israel's right to enforce its borders- part of the sovereignty of any state. By doing so, these action deny the Jewish people the right to self determination.

From Oy Va Goy, written by Chas Newkey-Burden

"As the flotilla flops in the Mediterranean, the flytilla gets underway. All this, hot on the heels of the border protests in May and June. A specific theme unites these new routes of anti-Israel hatred. The basic fact of national self-determination is to have borders and security, and the common theme of these protests is a desire to breach this security. This shows what the underlying motivation is: anger at the fact that, in Israel, the Jewish people have self-determination.

Flotilla and flytilla indeed – they’d probably try and send in Godzilla if they could. Anything for a bit of attention. For most of these participants these ‘protests’ are vacuous gimmicks: bored, bigoted people yet again forcing Israel to be the moral adult, by visiting their childish whims on its hardworking security staff.

In taking-up these new tactics, the Israel-haters reveal more about themselves than they might have intended.

The very nature of these provocations show that those taking part in them do not believe their own hype. They can claim that Israeli policemen and soldiers are brutal monsters all they like, if they believed it they would not dare provoke them this way. So actually, in flocking to ‘protest’ this way they are paying a back-handed compliment to the morality and restraint of the IDF, police and other Israeli security staff.

Well, at least someone benefits from the venture; trying to breach Israel’s security does nothing to assist the Palestinian people. There are people who genuinely care about the Palestinians and work honestly to help them. Last month, the Miles Of Smiles aid convoy quietly and legally delivered genuine aid to the Gaza Strip. In its sincerity and modesty, this convoy constituted quite a contrast to the flotilla, and other related stunts.

For many other campaigners, the Palestinians are merely a people to use as a stick with which to beat Israel, a cause with which to promote themselves and a route to a feeling of self-righteousness. After all, they are silent about the oppression and brutality rained down on the Palestinians by Jordan, Lebanon, other Arab states and Hamas. In encouraging the Palestinians to blame Israel only for their woes, they patronise and misdirect them. After all, Israeli leaders – particularly Rabin and Barak – have made more honest efforts to give the Palestinians a state than any Arab has.

In a way, gimmicks like the flytilla and flotilla sadden me. It is upsetting that the agencies that work so hard protect Israel against so many threats should be forced to spend time dealing with stupid stunts. I also feel for any passengers who are making a genuine trip through Ben Gurion Airport this weekend.

But given what the fundamental motivation of these protests are, they are also a happy reminder of the self-determination Israel brings the Jewish people. Let these fools turn-up with their chests puffed-up and their cameras in their hands. What they really oppose will never go away. Jewish self-determination will outlive every one of them. Am Yisrael Chai."

Anti-Israel activist Paul Larudee, in introducing the concept of the flotilla to a local audience never even tried to maintain the fiction that this was about delivering aid.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Thank Greece for Upholding International law!

The Flotilla organizers have been exerting tremendous pressure the Greek Government. We must let them know that these extremists do not represent the citizens of the United States.

Please send a quick email to The Honorable Ioannis Andreades, Consul General of Greece sfgr at and to To His Excellency Vassilis Kaskarelis, Ambassador of Greece to the United States ambassador at to thank them for their co-operation in upholding international law preventing the provocative flotilla from attempting to break the legal blockade on Gaza.

Here's a sample:

I wish to express my gratitude for the efforts of the Greek government to prevent vessels from sailing from Greek ports to Gaza as part of an effort to break the lawful naval blockade of the Gaza Strip

The State of Israel has the right to enforce the Gaza blockade, which is legal under international law, to ensure the safety and security of its people from Hamas, the terrorist organization governing the people of Gaza. The State of Israel is also committed to ensuring the people of Gaza have access to humanitarian goods through land crossings, with more than 6,000 tons of food, fuel, merchandise and building material entering Gaza each day.

The flotilla organizers have rejected your government's generous offer to transport humanitarian aid to either Egypt or Israel for inspection and land transport to Gaza, indicating that the flotilla is not about delivering aid. Rather, it is about aiding the Hamas regime in Gaza which has fired over 10,000 missiles into Israel over the past 8 years.

As the friendship among the Hellenic Republic, the United States and the State of Israel continues to strengthen, please know that the American community stands with you and appreciates the actions of your government to uphold international law and maritime regulations.

Thank you,

The Gorilla Flotilla: The Gaza Flotidiots could take a lesson from this group

In celebration of the Bristol Zoo's 175 birthday, a 'Gorilla flotilla' sailed into Bristol harbor. The Gaza Flotidiots could have taken a lesson from this clearly more organized and intelligent group

Photos from the BBC

More about the Gorilla flotilla:
"Today sees the launch of a summer art spectacle to celebrate Bristol Zoo’s 175th Birthday. After a launch at the Radisson Blu hotel, at 11.15AM a flotilla of three boats from the Bristol Ferry Boat Company will arrive in the floating harbour, sailing into Bristol on the boats will be a selection of colourful, life-size gorilla sculptures, just a few of the sixty unique sculptures that will grace Bristol’s streets and parks for the next ten weeks.

The boats will take the gorillas on a journey up the river, past the new M Shed Museum and the Thekla and under Prince Street Swing Bridge before arriving outside the Arnolfini where a further selection of Wow! Gorillas will be on display...

The aim of the Wow! Gorillas project is to unite Bristol’s residents, visitors, schools, artists and businesses in a city-wide celebration of the Zoo’s big birthday; Dr Bryan Carroll, Director of Bristol Zoo, says “As well as showcasing the wealth of creative talent the city has to offer, this public exhibition will attract tourists to Bristol, while encouraging Bristolians to be tourists in their own city. The trail also aims to engender civic pride, stimulate the local economy and create a fun event for everyone to enjoy.”

Well, Code Pink and friends- when a flotilla of plaster gorillas has more impact than you, maybe its time to re-strategize. We'll be waiting

Israel Speaks to our Hearts

Yascher Koach, Brandeis Hillel and Ms. Rosenthal's second graders. They've won "Best in Show", for Junior Arts and Crafts at the Marin County fair. This lovely mosaic map of Israel has been viewed by thousands

"...abundant will be the peace of your children; do not read ‘your children,’ rather read ‘your builders.’ (Isaiah 54:13)”

Sunday, July 3, 2011

From Alice Walker, On Her Latest Star Turn

A portion of Alice Walker's latest arrogant and ahistorical screed, blogged from Greece: Emphasis is mine.

I have never believed in the Israeli/Palestinian peace talks. Whenever I saw the men gathering to talk about peace I was reminded of what the Indians said to the white colonizers of America who came to talk peace with them: ” Where are your women?”

This would make slightly more sense if the Palestinians, whom Alice clearly casts in the role of the Indians, had a tradition of including women in political negotiations. As it is, we have here two traditionally patriarchal groups, and while including the ladies might be an excellent idea, one feels that here the example is used simply to get those Indians in there somehow.

An occasional woman has appeared to take part in the talks, but overwhelmingly the process has been male driven. I like to think if women, in equal numbers to men, had been at the table things might not have turned out so badly. But perhaps, recalling the disrespectful young Israeli women at the check-points, this is naive. 

Israeli women aren't the right kind of women, anyway. 

In any case, it is when one sees the Israeli settlements, after hearing about them for decades, that the final “Aha” moment arrives. They are colossal, and, like the wall, they are everywhere. It is obvious, looking at them, gigantic, solid, white and towering, that they have been constructed to completely devour the rest of Palestine, and that the peace talks have been a ruse to continue their growth so that Jewish Israelis can claim the land by possession alone. Possession is nine-tenths of the law is one of the dictums I learned from my Jewish lawyer former husband. This belief might even be enshrined in the Torah. In any case it is a very old idea, and Israelis have made good use of it.

So, we a. don't need to worry about the peace talks, because the Israelis don't want peace anyway, and b. her Jewish lawyer former husband, apparently the origin of her nasty streak of anti-Semitism, pops up again. Brief note: "Possession is nine-tenths of the law" is not 'enshrined in the Torah", as Alice could very easily have found out by Googling it, or asking someone with even a slight knowledge of the text. The ugliness of that slap is matched only by the ignorance.

Dispossessed of land and houses, poverty stricken, refugees in their own country since the catastrophe of 1948, when Zionist terrorists drove them from their villages, towns and cities, Palestinian laborers have been forced to build these settlements for the Israeli settlers and, having built them, are rarely permitted inside them, except to service them. This is similar to our own history, in America: the genocide and enslavement of Native people, and the forced black and Indian labor that built so much of America, including The White House. Sometimes one wonders if this greed that devours the very substance of other human beings is part of human DNA. I don’t think it is; and, in any case, I hope not!

And, as usual, one doesn't even know where to begin with this tumble of lies, half-truths, and determined editing of history. Really, it's a mistake to even start trying to undo Alice's tangle of deceit. Elsewhere in the piece, she's still going on about "Jewish-only roads".

Bleah. This nonsense could scramble your brains.

More Photos from the hell that is Gaza

From the UNRWA website

Gaza’s children entered the Guinness Book of World Records for the third year straight today, as they broke the record for the world’s biggest parachute game.

"Schoolchildren from across the Gaza Strip gathered at Khan Younis stadium late this afternoon for the first of four world records they will attempt to break in Gaza this summer.

The attempt, comprising 3,520 children playing with 176 parachutes, more than doubled the record set by pupils at Plymstock School in Plymouth, England on 4 April 2006, when 1,547 children played with 58 parachutes.

International witnesses were on hand to count, including two judges in charge of signing the official statement on behalf of Guinness."

Yes. There is a stadium in the worlds largest concentration camp. Yes, the well nourished happy children were playing games. And yes, the Guinness Book of World records folks somehow found their way to Gaza without the use of a provocative, illegal flotilla

Friday, July 1, 2011

Once Again, JVP chooses the Wrong Side

Any of you unfortunate enough to be on the receiving end of Rabbi Alissa Wise, National Organizer of Jewish Voice for Peace's email?
Can you believe her last missive?
She says
"Let our people go.

Our people are the 1.6 million Palestinian men, women and children who are virtual prisoners who cannot leave Gaza and who cannot get access to sufficient food, medical supplies and resources they need to live.

Our people are the Americans and internationals, including Jewish Voice for Peace members, who are risking their lives to show the world the injustice of the siege, and who bring a message of hope and solidarity to the Palestinians of Gaza."

No- her people are not living in the beseiged town of Sderot. No- her people aren't the Israelis living in the shadow of terror. How clear is that?

Alissa Weiss is precisely who we discuss at our Pesach seder. She, and her collegues at Jewish Voice for peace are the "Wicked children" deliberately excluding themselves from their community.

And with Weiss's email, she and Jewish Voice for peace join their allies at Al Awda and the US campaign to end the Occupation in showing contempt for international law and diplomacy.

Code Pink Ship of fools Sails again!

Medea Benjamin of Code pInk just LOVES a sea adventure. She hasn't even dried off yet from her Mediterranean cruise, and yet, there she goes, planning another.

Come with CODEPINK to the Caribbean! Politics, food, drinks, dancing, the Bahamas, and some of your intellectual and cultural heroes!
Join CODEPINK co-founders Medea Benjamin and Jodie Evans on the 14th Nation seminar cruise to the Caribbean, December 11-18, 2011. Leaving from Fort Lauderdale, Florida stopping in Grand Turk, Puerto Rico, St. Maarten, and Half-Moon Cay, Bahamas!

Other speakers, seminar leaders and dining companions include: Victor Navasky, Katrina vanden Heuvel, Julian Bond, Kai Bird, Jessica Valenti, Van Jones, Christopher Hayes, John Nichols, Jeremy Scahill, and Ramona Ripston. With more to be announced!

All CODEPINKs on board can expect extra special treatment, including breakout sessions with Jodie and Medea, and the opportunity to dazzle other guests with CODEPINK-style actions.

We are looking forward to the opportunity to connect and engage, to think of new ideas AND to boogie with you on the dance floor!

Email CODEPINK at or call Kristen at (310) 827-4320
and we will give you more information and help you navigate the registration process.


Stuck on a boat with Code Pink and no hope of escape? Welcome to Hell.


The following was written by Ami's brother Hadar, and read by one of Ami's sons at his funeral at Rehovot on Thursday.
It is shared with the kind permission of his kin.

Eulogy for Ami Isseroff
Wednesday June 29, 2011

When Ami was born with a congenital heart problem, the doctors said he would not survive, but his mother, Batia, refused to listen and through her perseverance he was able, after several operations, to lead an almost normal life. She always felt that he was destined for greatness.. Today, she would be very proud of him. He fulfilled her fondest dreams in that he married a sweet and caring girl and had three exceptional children, Asaf, Amit and Michal. He will always be remembered in their hearts as a loving, if irascible husband and father. But the rest of us, will remember him for his wit, intellect and unique outlook on life. He and I shared many adventures and their retelling always brought us much pleasure.

Early on, we in his immediate family recognized his superior mental abilities as he excelled in his studies throughout high school and college. His memory was phenomenal. He played the piano and guitar as a teenager and his love of music continued throughout his life. With Ami's talent for writing and oral disputation, the family thought he would choose to study law. Instead, his Zionist inclinations led him to join a kibbutz in Eretz Ysrael.

There, for a time, he was happy to perform socialistically heroic tasks such as driving tractors, moving irrigation pipes, feeding pigs and cleaning out their pens. Difficult as these jobs were, it was the lack of an intellectually stimulating environment that caused him to leave the kibbutz. He couldn't believe that at the end of the workday kibbutzniks preferred to watch television rather than have a rousing discussion on some aspect of world affairs, politics or the class struggle. Hence, he embarked on a program of graduate study in Psychology at the Universities of Jerusalem and Haifa.

It was at the University in Jerusalem that Ami met the love of his life, Ruth. Through his long and exhausting, years as a graduate student that included many disputes with his faculty advisors as well as exasperating turf wars between them, it was Ruth"s love and support that kept him from giving up and returning to the States. When the warring parties and their various factions finally agreed to award him a Doctorate in Experimental Psychology we thought that he would be offered secure employment. However, the weak economy and an excess of trained Psychologists made it difficult for Ami to find and keep a University job, despite post-doctoral training at Yale and Worcester Universities.

Fortunately, in the course of his graduate studies he had developed a number of computer skills, including the ability to write complex programs that were at the cutting edge of the technology. These skills made it possible for him to earn a living and to pursue a new vocation as a respected observer and opinion maker in the World's media and on the internet. It was here that he found his true calling as an outspoken advocate for peace and good will between Palestinians and Israelis.

I know that Ami believed that if ever these two peoples should arrive at a state of mutual trust and respect his major life-effort would not be in vain.

With sadness and love to you all,

Hadar Isseroff


It is with the passing of great people that we finally understand our greatest triumphs.
We, Ami's internet community, have lost a friend and ally - he was for many of us an inspiration and a profound source of encouragement.
We join his family in grief; may the Omnipresent console you among the mourners of Zion and Jerusalem.

HaMakom yenachem et'chem b'toch shar avay'lay Tzion vee'Yerushalayim.

Lesson from the Audacity of Dopes: Can't get your way? Lie!

At a press conference earlier, the "Audacity of Dopes" announced it would be leaving Greece later this week. Turns out they were lying through their teeth, and they attempted to make a run for it just minutes ago.

Shortly after leaving port, the Greek coast guard stopped the ship. "We are just here, two miles off Piraeus. We've been stopped by the coastguard, their ship maneuvered in front of us and they are now talking to the captain, they want us to turn around," Ann Wright, told Reuters.

The Greek Ministry of Citizen Protection issued a statement saying that the Minister, C. Papoutsis, decided to prohibit the departure of ships flying either Greek or foreign flags "to the maritime area" of Gaza.

"By orders of the Hellenic Coast Guard Head Quarters to all local Hellenic Coast Guard Authorities, all appropriate measures are taken for the implementation of the said decision," the statement said

And the tweets are coming fast and furious from the US Boat

RT .@ibnezra: Passengers are now chanting to the fully armed Greek commandos just ten meters in front of the boat #flotilla2 5 mins ago
RT .@LopeztoGaza: #Greece commandos on Coast Guard boat pointing weapons at The Audacity of Hope #flotilla2 20 mins ago via .@theIMEU Phone update from .@MedeaBenjamin on @USBOATTOGAZA: #Greek Coast guard captain begging us to return to port. #flotilla2 26 mins ago LIVE @USBOATTOGAZA press conf, organizer: "I never knew the Mediterranean was owned by #Israel quot;: #flotilla2 49 mins ago We sat sail playing & singing now we're in a standoff w/ Greek Coast Guard. Passengers are in high spirits. #flotilla2 54 mins ago

A second Greek Coast Guard boat with more heavily armed forces arrived and the Audicity of Dopes made the decision was made to return to shore.

Challah Hu Akbar is doing a wonderful job of live blogging the incident.

The latest in a series of publicity stunts and provocations directed against the worlds only Jewish state is scheduled for the week of July 8- the flotilla is clearly anxious to arrive in time to participate, and is willing to disregard international law to accomplish their goal.

As for Israel? They've shown their commitment to using diplomacy and non-violent means to accomplish their goals. Good for them.

How can you help end this provocation? Send the Greek embassies an email or call the Greek Embassy in Washington, DC: 202-939-1300. Thank them for promoting peace by observing international maritime law.