Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Celebrating 20 years of India/Israel relations

From the Ministry of Foreign Affairs:

"Israel and India share an intimately close and special relationship encompassing virtually every field of human endeavor. From trade to education, from agriculture to science and technology, from energy and water to homeland security - Israel and India today work together in a vast variety of fields, some of which are no less than existential to them both.

At the core of these multifaceted relations lie the values, the interests and the challenges that Israel and India share. Both countries are open and free democracies that embrace modernity and progress whilst preserving their ancient heritage and history. Both countries strive to achieve stability, human development and economic growth for the well-being of all their citizens. Both countries also face a large number of threats and difficulties ranging from the scourge of terrorism to water and energy scarcity. It is these commonalities that make the connection and collaboration between Israel and India so natural and fertile.

The remarkable development of bilateral trade in the past 20 years is an unequivocal example of the vector of Indo-Israel ties. In 1992, the annual trade between Israel and India stood at a mere $180 million. By 2011, the annual civilian trade between the two countries, diversified and well balanced, had expanded almost thirty fold to surpass $5 billion. Both countries have expressed their intention to finalize a Free Trade Agreement by the end of this year, a development which is expected to further invigorate and diversify bilateral trade.

One of the key pillars of the relationship is the cooperation in the field of agriculture. Food security is more than ever a critical concern for both countries. In cooperation projects across India, Israeli technology and knowhow is being demonstrated and shared with Indian farmers, and joint Indian and Israeli agricultural R&D is conducted on the ground. The recently finalized three-year action plan sets the path for the establishment of 27 projects across 7 States in India in various fields. This cooperation will no doubt benefit the Indian farmer and consumer and is already playing a significant role in India’s efforts to ensure food security to all its citizens.

Both Israel and India have excelled in the research and development of science and technology. At present, new platforms are being created for both government and private sectors to jointly enhance scientific innovation in crucial fields such as clean-tech and life sciences."

Live nearby? Explore the India/ Israel relationship further at a talk sponsored by Tikvah, Students for Israel

India meets Israel: A Cross-Cultural Dialogue

Nissim Reuben is currently the director of Jewish-Indian Relations for the American Jewish Committee. Originally born in India, Reuben volunteered with the IDF to participate in relief efforts following the Gujarat earthquake. Accompanied by representatives of the Israeli and Indian Consulate, Reuben will tell us about the history of Jews in India, current relations between India and Israel, and what we can do to ensure a prosperous relationship between both states.

Tuesday, February 7
7:00 PM
Location: 100 Boalt Hall, UC Berkeley

Palestinian child abuse

From our partners for peace
[PA TV (Fatah), Jan, 24, 2012]

Translation by Palestinian media Watch

PA TV narrator: "In the refugee camp Ein Al-Hilwe [in Lebanon], a rally was held in celebration of the [47th] anniversary [of Fatah]. A political symposium was also held on the occasion of the event."

Text on slide at event:
"Our children are our honor and glory,
they were created to be fertilizer for the land of Palestine,
and for our pure land to be saturated with their blood"

When will there be peace? When they love their children more than they hate us"
With the hate and incitement taught to Palestinian children, this may be a long time in coming

Brief Notes: Obama Validates Palestinian Racism Against Jews


{Cross-Posted at Israel Thrives}

Why is Barack Obama validating Palestinian racism? That has to be one of the fundamental questions going forward. Every time that Barack Obama (or for that matter representatives of the EU or run-of-the-mill western “progressives”) complain about Jews building housing for themselves in what Jordan dubbed “the west bank” they are validating Palestinian racism against us.

Mahmoud Abbas claims that he cannot accept a Palestinian state in peace next to the Jewish one so long as Jews continue to build housing for themselves in Judea.


If Israel can have Christian and Muslim citizens, why cannot the Palestinian Authority accept the idea that any future state of Palestine will also have Jewish citizens? The reason, of course, is because the Palestinian Authority has no intention whatsoever in ending the Jihad against the Jews of the Middle East and they do not want a state for themselves in peace next to Israel.

If that is what the Palestinians wanted they could have had that long ago.

And that, today, is my brief note.


Monday, January 30, 2012

Iran 's Ayatollah Khamenei speaks of Sunshine Lollipops and Rainbows at Islamic Youth conference

Ever wonder what they say about us when we're not around?

Iran's Ayatollah Khamenei spoke at the "Islamic Awakening and Youth Conference" and lovefest in Tehran. Addressing youth from 73 countries - including Egypt, Tunisia, Libya, Lebanon, Yemen, Bahrain and Palestine the Ayattolah expressed his vision of a world united under Islam. Apparently its time to cast off the idols of "Marxism, liberal democracy and secular nationalism" and turn to Allah.

"In light of the fulfillment of God's promises, the Zionists, the Great Satan - America - and western powers feel helpless in the face of Islamic Awakening and their sense of weakness and defeat will increase on a daily basis."

The "international tyrants" appear to be damaging the self esteem of his flock. Is psychotherapy the answer? Maybe not. The answer is Islam

"Islam that is based on reliance on God, Islam that is based on jihad, Islam that is based on hard work and action."

"The enemies of the Islamic Ummah have kept Muslim nations backward for around two centuries by instilling a sense of incompetence into Muslim nations and promoting the idea that the superpowers of the world are invincible, but the Islamic Ummah has awakened today and it has realized that both of these beliefs are a hundred percent wrong and that Muslim nations are able to restore the glory of Islamic civilization."

"In order to defeat the Islamic Republic, the arrogant powers have done everything in their power, but so far the Iranian nation has kicked them in the mouth at every stage. And in the future they will not achieve anything but defeat and failure."

"Muslim nations have certain differences as well. Considering the geographic, historical and social differences, there is no unified paradigm for all Islamic countries. But the important point is that everybody is opposed to the satanic hegemony of the Zionists and the Americans and that nobody would tolerate the existence of the cancerous tumor, Israel."

"In light of the fulfillment of God's promises, the Zionists, the Great Satan - America - and western powers feel helpless in the face of Islamic Awakening and their sense of weakness and defeat will increase on a daily basis."

Yeah. Its all about peace love and understanding. Read it all here

BDS "a racist and anti-Semitic program"

From an article in the J post by Asaf Romirowsky and John R. Cohn

"A self-proclaimed National Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions Conference is set to take place at the University of Pennsylvania, an Ivy league institution in the heart of Philadelphia, during the weekend of February 4. Last held in 2009, according to the organizers, the BDS movement intends to focus on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict by demonizing Israel while propagating the Palestinian victimhood status in order to gain global sympathy.

They believe that if universities, companies and even countries boycott, divest from and sanction Israel it will pressure the government to change its so-called “hard nosed” policies toward the Palestinians and in addition to give up land Israel supposedly “stole” from the Palestinians in 1948 and 1967.

A closer look at the BDS movement and its methodology shows not legitimate criticism but actually a racist and anti-Semitic program. In a world where refugees have been created and resettled by the tens of millions, including over 900,000 Jews that fled Arab states, BDS targets only Israel. Its stated goals vary but all include the “right” for descendants of Palestinian “refugees” to “return” to a country they have never seen, thus bringing about the end of Jewish Israel.

The movement takes care to give the impression that ending specific Israeli policies such as the “occupation” or “apartheid” will also bring an end to efforts to ostracize Israel. Their maximalist demand – the elimination of Israel as a Jewish state – is carefully hidden but readily apparent to a careful examiner.

It is a matter of great concern that respected universities lend their space and name to such conferences in addition to the participation of their faculty and others from around the country. In North America, whatever goes on in a classroom is deemed protected by “academic freedom,” whether it is academic or not. Only sexual harassment appears exempt from this blanket protection. Gradually, campuses have become an “academic freedom” zone where protests and other activities now qualify as academic “speech.”

This freedom to critique is, predictably, directed mostly at the twin Satans, Israel and America, although efforts to curtail speech that academics find unpleasant and unacceptable have been longstanding in the form of “speech codes” and restrictions on “hate speech.” Clearly academic freedom is a one-way street; only those having the correct opinions may claim it.

As such, we commend the University of Pennsylvania for clarifying it does not support or endorse the BDS movement, as well as for its clear statement that “The University of Pennsylvania... has important and successful scholarly collaborations with Israeli institutions that touch on many areas of our academic enterprise.”

Universities which should be bastions of critical thinking and opposition to fallacies of argument have become fertile ground for myth, fantasy and lies about history. North American college campuses have been suffering from an significant increase in anti- Israelism. This new situation has demonstrated the need for a clear and inclusive definition of anti-Semitism and an answer to the question of whether anti-Israelism constitutes anti-Semitism.

The apparent dilemma has been that anti-Israelism itself is not blatantly or even necessarily anti-Semitic but rather may appear merely critical of “Zionist policies,” thus distinguishing between Jews and Zionists. This well-worn distinction has enabled the anti- Israeli camp to pose as legitimate critics. What has actually emerged, in effect, is a new form of anti-Semitism, because the state of Israel acts as a proxy for Jews at large.

To the extent that it becomes harder to make a case for Israel on campus and in the Jewish community in general, the environment has become increasingly hostile to the pro- Israel community.

All of this has lent legitimacy to those who advocate for BDS. This paradigm is unique to the debate about Israelis and Palestinians and cannot be found in any other academic discipline. No university would host an “academic” conference on whether blacks are biologically inferior to whites, but even though the BDS movement makes a similar outrageous comparison one is considered acceptable and the other not.

Moreover, the involvement of Jewish individuals in such forums has become another indicator that this “genuine debate” deserves to be explored. In the US, politicized writing and teaching have often displaced scholarship, and academic freedom has been redefined as the liberty to dispense with academic standards. In response, hiring token Israeli Jews who subscribe to the anti-Israel narrative and support the BDS movement has become common practice on American campuses, thereby eliminating debate while providing the illusion of balance and using their Jewishness as a carte blanche to criticize Israel and question it existence.

Combating BDS has become complicated and confusing especially for those who want to believe that there is room for debating the “facts” presented by the BDS movement. What makes this battle so arduous for the pro-Israel community and so attractive for the antagonizers of Israel is the umbrella of academic freedom that argues that it is legitimate to debate all aspects of Israel, from specific policies to its elimination, in contrast to racial and gender discussions where such unsupported slanders are correctly and forcefully rejected by university communities.

Many in the Jewish community in their naïveté are willing to engage in these debates precisely because they are cloaked in academic freedom, which gives them the impression of legitimate criticism rather than racism.

On a positive note, the racist nature of the BDS movement has redrawn the lines of acceptable discourse. We are now seeing a sure but steady understanding of the real threats BDS and its sympathizers represent to not just the pro-Israel community but to honest academic discourse on the Middle East. The hope is that rejection of their hateful message will catch on."

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Carole Swords, Anti-Israel activist convicted of attack on Jewish man

Attacks on pro-Israel demonstrators are as common as , oh, kitten pictures on the Interweb. But a conviction- hmmm. Thats another story.

Carole Swords literally swooning over Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh

From the Jewish chronicle online
Veteran anti-Israel campaigner has been convicted of slapping a Jewish man during a protest last summer.

Carole Swords, chairman of the Tower Hamlets Respect Party and Viva Palestina supporter, attacked Harvey Garfield as he attempted to defend Israeli products from potential vandalism by protesters.

Swords, of Bow, east London, entered a Tesco store in Covent Garden on the afternoon of August 13 last year after attending an anti-Israel demonstration outside the nearby Ahava cosmetics store.

Volunteer Mr Garfield was at the supermarket helping staff protect Israeli products from potential acts of vandalism by the protesters.

On trial at City of London Magistrates Court on Thursday, 59-year-old Swords claimed Mr Garfield had harassed and attacked her as she entered the store to buy a drink.

But magistrates viewed CCTV footage of the incident and agreed with the prosecution's case that Swords used "threatening and abusive words or behaviour to cause harassment".

The court heard how she told Mr Garfield "don't you ****ing follow me" before turning around and landing the blow, knocking his spectacles to the floor.

Swords, whose mother was from a Russian Jewish family, was found guilty on one charge of a public order offence and given a conditional discharge. She must also pay court costs of £250.

Carole Swords already has quite a reputation on the other side of the pond, screaming "Go back to bloody Russia" to, one assumes , a Jew.

Read more about Carole Swords at the ever illuminating blog Harry's place

We Have Right on Our Side

{Cross-Posted at Israel Thrives}

One of the things that needs to be understood among pro-Israel advocates is that we do, in fact, have right on our side. I am not convinced that everyone in the pro-Israel community really believes that. As someone who spent years battling it out in the ditches of the progressive I-P blogosphere in places like Daily Kos, I can unequivocally tell you that many Jewish friends of Israel still believe that large parts of the "Palestinian narrative" are true.

They believe that Israel is holding the Palestinians under an unjust Occupation (they always capitalize the "O" as if it is the mother of all occupations, the uber-occupation, if you will) that must end and that it is Israel's responsibility to end it. This is the fundamental crux of the disagreement between "progressive" pro-Israel Jews and the rest of us.

As someone who watches the I-P debate (and the I-P Jewish debate) in a close daily manner, it is clear to me that the Obama administration has great potential for dividing the Jewish community. Because Barack Obama is bleeding support within the Jewish electorate this will, naturally, set Jewish people arguing among ourselves. {Shocking. I know.} Alan Dershowitz has consistently argued that we must do what we can to maintain bipartisan support for Israel within the general American electorate and I agree entirely.

The question is, though, how do we do that when we have a Democratic administration that validates a genocidal, fascist organization like the Muslim Brotherhood? Furthermore, how do we maintain political solidarity among Jews when the Jewish left tends to believe that the onus is on Israel to accept what it has always accepted, two states for two peoples, and therefore foreign pressure must be leveled onto the Jewish state, rather than on those who truly represent an obstacle to the two-state solution, the Palestinian leadership in both Fatah and Hamas?

The problem with the Jewish left is not only that they tend to forever focus their energies against Jewish conservatives, but that they perpetually ignore the millions upon millions of people around Israel that wants to see it destroyed. This is not hyperbole, but quite literally the case. The Muslim and Arab world is absolutely rife with genocidal anti-Semitism and, with the encouragement of the Obama administration, Radical Islam is coming into power, via the so-called "Arab Spring," in country after country in the Middle East. If the progressive movement doesn't have the stomach to face this, and if progressive Jews likewise have their heads in the sand, how can there possibly be any political solidarity among Jews, left, right, and center, who care about the state of Israel?

This is a good question, it seems to me.

The answer is in promoting the understanding of two major points. The first point that we need to agree upon, if we can, is that Radical Islam is a genuine and widespread political movement that seeks not only the resurrection of the Caliphate, but the genocide of the Jews. And, two, that Arab opposition to the presence of a Jewish state on that tiny bit of land is immoral on its face given the thirteen hundred years of Jewish oppression (dhimmitude) by the Arab majority. What they call the "Occupation" is nothing more than Jewish self-defense in the face of perpetual Arab hostility.

It seems to me that if we can really agree on these two points then we can reconcile the differences among Jewish people throughout the political landscape and thereby present a united front.

The key is recognizing that we have right on our side, which we most assuredly do, and that the Radical Jihad is not some fantasy of George W. Bush's fevered imagination.


Friday, January 27, 2012

This Is How You Do It

Ruben Navarette seems to be visiting Israel with a group sent by "America's Voices In Israel". I found out about this when I opened the Oakland Tribune to find an article of his about a recent High Court decision, "Israel's Wrong Turn On Citizenship".

Navarette believes that the Israeli court made a bad decision when they upheld a law preventing Palestinians from gaining Israeli citizenship through Israeli spouses. Depending on your feelings about this issue, you may want to write to Mr. Navarette and tell him he's right on, or totally wrongheaded and stupid. Personally, I'm a little torn on the issue, but I'm not linking and commenting on this article because of my take on Navarette's take on Israeli immigration law.

I'm linking it because it's a rather unusual piece of reporting. Unfortunately.

It's a criticism of an Israeli policy. That's all. It does not accuse Israelis broadside of racism or atrocities. It does not question Israel's right to exist. It does not question whether Israel can be considered a democracy. It does not carefully include any heart-tugging dubious anecdotes.

It reports on a specific Israeli policy, accurately, and then discusses, with some practicality, and realistic reference to reasons why such a policy exists, why he does not believe it is a good one. He acknowledges that he does not live in Israel, but that he believes that this was a poor call.

And he manages to describe the decision as 'troubling', without throwing in a wholesale dismissal of Israel's legitimacy among nations. Even that headline: "Israel's Wrong Turn ON CITIZENSHIP", not "Israel's Right Wing Takes Over Everything Even More".

You know how rare that is? I was almost puzzled when I finished reading it. It was as though something was missing. If you spend enough time reading about Israel in the papers, you get used to the myriad small buzzing stings of anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism that leave poison all over the most innocuous article topics if only Israel gets involved. I kept waiting. And waiting. And waiting. For the second shoe full of malice to drop. It didn't. I think Navarette is just...for real, not in the sarcastic, malevolent sense it's usually used...criticizing an Israeli policy.

That's not to say that this is a perfect piece. I think the connection he tries to make to U.S. immigration issues is clunky and forced, the situations too dissimilar to make a good parallel.  I think that it's inevitable that he would try to make a connection to U.S. immigration policy, both because it's familiar to his readers, and is a topic he frequently discusses, but I don't think it works.  I also think that some of the consequences he envisions are, similarly, not terribly relevent to the situation.

Nevertheless: for all the whiners who complain that if you 'criticize Israel's policies', you're immediately marked an anti-Semite, please take note of Mr. Navarette. I think he did a good job.

Israel Develops a Black Tomato. The world asks "Why?"

I'm fond of Israel. Its a fondness that runs deep- like a Jungian archetype, an ancestral memory that I can't escape from. I know its history. I see its flaws. I remember my last visit- was it really 5 years ago? I was moved to tears at the sight of a homeless encampment lighting Shabbat candles. A Jewish state has all the issues of any other state. The same, yet different. A state with a Yidishe Tam.

This tiny nation has few natural resources other than the creativity and the tenacity of its people, yet has managed to win 10 Noble prizes. Israel, at war with its neighbors for 63 years has managed to beat the odds and has become a major player in the global economy. Israel is one of the world's hubs of entrepreneurship . This ingenuity and creativity promises a cancer vaccine by 2017 and a non-invasive test for detecting lung cancer.

The talent and energy that fuels Israeli innovation extends beyond the world of high tech and medicine. Drip irrigation was perfected in Israel.

The latest astonishing development from Israel has me shaking my head in astonishment, with a side of nausea thrown in.
Israeli farmers have developed a black tomato.

Why, Israel, why?

I envision a lasagna, smothered in bubbly mozzarella cheese and covered with a black tomato sauce. Fail.

I envision a Bloody Mary, viscous and black, festooned with a branch of celery. Fail.

I envision a bowl of creamy tomato bisque- the consummate comfort food. And no, it just doesn't work in black.


"The new tomato, which sports the name "Black Galaxy," was developed by Technological Seeds DM. The company says that the color is the produce of a special pigment, which was derived from blueberries and introduced into the new species."

The black tomato will make its debut at the Arava Agricultural R&D Exhibition next month. Over 250 companies from Israel and the world over will participate.

I may just sit this one out

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Understanding the BDS Movement

From an article by Avishai Don in the Harvard Crimson

Avisahi, processing strong intestinal fortitude has endured the reading , cover to cover of Omar Barghouti's book “Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions.”

"Next weekend, the University of Pennsylvania will host the second national BDS conference, an event that will advocate for the “growing global campaign to boycott, divest from and sanction (BDS) the State of Israel.” Last April, Omar Barghouti, a leader and spokesperson of this campaign, spoke at Harvard. He insisted that anyone wanting to learn more about the fundamental tenets of BDS should read his recently released book, aptly titled “Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions.”

So I followed his advice—I bought a copy of Barghouti’s book and read it from cover to cover. He writes some things in this work about the aims of BDS that lead me to believe that the movement is being far from forthright about its ultimate goals.

The Penn conference states that the purpose of the global BDS campaign is to isolate Israel economically “until it complies with its obligations under international and human rights law.” Understanding this to mean ending the Israeli occupation and fostering a viable Palestinian state in the West Bank and Gaza, a number of Zionists—that is, individuals who believe in the Jewish state’s right to exist—have either joined the BDS Call or implicitly sanctioned it. Two years ago in the Los Angeles Times, for example, an Israeli professor insisted that he supports BDS because it is “the only way to save his country.” Jewish Voice for Peace, an organization composed of both “Zionists [and] anti-Zionists,” considers itself “proud to be a part of the BDS movement.” Last year, J Street, an American liberal Zionist organization, held a panel at their national conference on the efficacy of this movement’s tactics “as a means to end the occupation.” Although J Street does not endorse the BDS movement, J Street’s president describes it in his book as a group of “activists who seek to raise pressure…against Israel to end the occupation.”

Clearly, these individuals have not read Barghouti’s work.

“A few Israeli and international activists have a tendency to make the [BDS] struggle Israel-centric, arguing that ending the occupation is good for Israel, above everything else,” Barghouti writes. “We totally reject that ‘save Israeli apartheid’ view.” He goes on to say that although BDS should coalesce with diverse political forces, “caution should be exercised in alliances with ‘soft’ Zionists, lest they assume the leadership of the BDS movement in the West, lowering the ceiling of its demands beyond recognition.”

So what, then, are BDS’s demands? Although Barghouti insists that BDS is neutral on the debate about a one-state versus two-state solution, even a cursory glance at Barghouti’s book reveals that this movement considers the existence of a Jewish state in the region patently unacceptable. For example, Barghouti explains that his movement cannot ally with Israeli peace groups, because even “the most radical Israeli ‘Zionist-left’ figures and groups are still Zionist, adhering to the racist principles of Zionism” that “maintain Israel’s character as a colonial, ethnocentric, apartheid state,” which BDS seeks to dismantle.

If the BDS movement were more open about its aims to purge the Jewish state from the Middle East—rather than just end some of its policies—I could have written an op-ed decrying the movement for its distortion of international law rather than its duplicity. I could have asked, for example, how the movement could possibly believe that a liberal democracy cannot have an ethnic identity when democracies across Eastern Europe—including members of the European Union like Finland, Slovenia and Germany—explicitly privilege one ethnicity over others in areas like immigration and culture. I could have also noted how odd it is that the movement vocally opposes the ethnic nature of the Jewish state, yet says nothing about the myriad Arab states that surround it.

But the BDS movement hides its ultimate goal of dismantling the Jewish state behind its public rhetoric. As a result, it has co-opted numerous individuals—and quite possibly donors—who desire to see both a Jewish and Palestinian state flourish into supporting its campaign. Although some members of the movement might actually support the Jewish state’s continued existence, as Barghouti makes abundantly clear, the Palestinian BDS National Committee—the “reference and guiding force for the global BDS movement”—cannot do so under any circumstances.

So because this movement will not broadcast its ultimate aims loud enough, I will do it for them. If you support the BDS movement, you are supporting an organization that is actively working to undermine the Jewish state. Utilizing the vocabulary of international norms, the movement actually systematically attempts to undermine the international consensus that recognizes Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state. And if you support this right—regardless of your politics, regardless of your stance on the occupation, and regardless of your feelings towards the current Israeli right-wing government—then there is only one moral option. Boycott the BDS movement."

Thank you, Avishai.

Stanford is also resurrecting the divestment movement. The anti-Israel group on campus is sporting a new and improved politically correct name "Stanford Students for Palestinian Equal Rights" and a thinly disguised BDS agenda of "targeted divestment".

We will keep you posted.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Palestinians Reject BDS, find jobs at SodaStream

With the already discredited PennBDS conference approaching, and their ubiquitous claim of being supported by Palestinian civil society, I just need to ask "Does the Palestinian civil society we keep hearing about include the workers of Sodastream"?

Sodastream, a beverage carbonation system is widely available at stores such as Costco, Bed Bath & Beyond and Sur La Table. It is under attack because one of its production facilities is located in Mishor Adumim. Yet of the 700 employees at least 160 are Palestinians.

The Palestinians working at Sodastream receive full social and health services in accordance with Israeli law. This includes pension contributions and insurance. Labor law in Israel requires an employer to pay wages and contributions 4 times higher than those required by the Palestinian Authority. In addition, SodaStream also provides benefits that include daily hot meals, clothing, transportation and overtime pay up to 200% as required by Israeli law.

Do the 160 Palestinian Sodastream workers really want you to boycott their company? Do they want their livlihoods put at risk?

Sodastream has been one of the objects of the BDS'er ire recently, but apparently the flash mobs had zero impact on consumers.

From the Sodastream Form 20-F(Annual and Transition Report -foreign private issuer
(Filed 06/30/11 for the Period Ending 12/31/10)

"We currently sell our products through more than 40,000 retail stores in 41 countries, including 25 new countries that we have entered since the beginning of 2007. We distribute our products directly in 12 countries and indirectly through local distributors in our remaining markets."

The song and dance routine and repeated spamming of retail websites clearly doesnt play in Peroia. Or Paris, for that matter, as Sodastream continues to grow and expand.

"From 2008 through 2010, our revenues grew at a compound annual growth rate of 26.8% from €99.9 million to €160.7 million. We had net income of €530,000, €7.1 million and €9.7 million in 2008, 2009 and 2010, respectively. Similarly, from 2008 through 2010, our revenues from soda makers and exchangeable CO 2 cylinders grew from €31.4 million to €74.2 million, while our revenues from sales of consumables grew from €59.8 million to €80.4 million. Although we are only in the early stages of our United States marketing investment plan, our sales in the United States have increased from $4.4 million in 2007 to $39.8 million in2010, more than doubling in each of 2009 and 2010 as compared to the prior year."

If the American and European activists leading the jihad against home carbonation really cared about the Palestinians, why are they encouraging this boycott? A growing, prospering Sodastream will provide new opportunities for Palestinian workers. A rising tide raises all ships.

And yes, of course. BDS fail. Again.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Can you tell me how to get, how to get to Shuhada Street?

Hebron is the oldest Jewish community in the world, and is the second holiest city to the Jewish people. According to Jewish tradition, Abraham purchased the field where the Tomb of the Patriarchs is located as a burial place for his wife. Our forefathers and mothers- Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Sarah, Rebecca, and Leah are all buried there.

From Jewish Virtual Library

"Hebron has a long and rich Jewish history. It was one of the first places where the Patriarch Abraham resided after his arrival in Canaan. King David was anointed in Hebron, where he reigned for seven years. One thousand years later, during the first Jewish revolt against the Romans, the city was the scene of extensive fighting. Jews lived in Hebron almost continuously throughout the Byzantine, Arab, Mameluke, and Ottoman periods. It was only in 1929 — as a result of a murderous Arab pogrom in which 67 Jews were murdered and the remainder were forced to flee — that the city became temporarily "free" of Jews. After the 1967 Six-Day War, the Jewish community of Hebron was re-established. It has grown to include a range of religious and educational institutions. "

After the signing of the Israeli-Palestinian Interim Agreement ("Oslo II"), authority for most civil affairs regarding Hebron's Arab residents was transferred from the Israeli Civil Administration to the Palestinian Authority and the (Arab) Municipality of Hebron.

From The Israeli ministry of foreign Affairs

"Providing security for Hebron's Jewish residents is a particular challenge since Hebron's is the only Jewish community in Judea, Samaria, and Gaza which is situated directly in the midst of a city with a large Arab population. Moreover, the community is not concentrated in a single area or bloc, but is, rather, comprised of dispersed and separated sites. Terrorists could thus threaten one individual site, or isolate one site from the others by creating pressure on the roads (traffic jams, etc.) and thus impede the arrival of Israel security forces should one site be attacked, or could attack the roads joining the sites. Additionally, some of the sites are situated lower than the surrounding areas, and thus face clear threats. "

Under the Hebron Agreement, the city was divided into two areas: H-1, under full Palestinian Authority, and H-2, under full Israeli control. At the outset of the second intifada in 2000, the IDF resumed operations in the H-1 area.
Map From Elder of Ziyon :

Whats the real story of Shuhada (King David street)?
This road was open to Arab traffic prior to the Intifada. It was closed to Arab traffic following numerous terror attacks, including a suicide bomber who exploded and killed two people on this road. A bypass route is accessible. Except for a kilometer and a half of Shuhada st, all of Hebron is open to Arabs. Does this constitute Apartheid in Hebron? According to the "Israel must go" crowd, it does.

The week of February 20 will be a "Week of Rage", directed against the second holiest city in the Jewish tradition

Their event announcement:


“Youth Against Settlements” invites you to participate in the
3rd annual Global Day of Action to Open Shuhada (Apartheid) Street!

This year, Palestinian activists in Hebron are planning a week of activities to commemorate the Baruch Goldstein Massacre and demand the opening of Shuhada Street. The planned activities in Hebron are as follows:

Monday : 20/02/2012 : Photo Exhibition about the Ibrahim Mosque Massacre and Non-violent Resistance in Palestine
Tuesday : 21/02/2012 Tour For Israeli Parliament Members (if Possible )
Wednesday : 22/02/2012 Film screening about Shuhada Street
Thursday : 23/02/2012 Presentation about Apartheid System in Hebron
Friday: 24/02/2012 Main Demonstration
Saturday : 25/02/2012 Visit to The Families of the Massacre Victims and Families in H2
As we have done for the past few years, we urge all people who are against Israeli Apartheid in Hebron to organize solidarity actions on February 25, 2012. Below is a list of suggested solidarity actions that we hope you will consider.

1. Demonstrations, Marches, Vigils, Flashmobs
2. Presentations about Apartheid in Hebron
3. Photo Exhibitions concerning Apartheid in Hebron
4. Twitter: Use this hashtag #OpenShuhadaSt to spread the word and educate the masses about Hebron. This is especially important during the week of actions.
5.Video Message: Create and send video messages to community forums, media, and social media outlets urging the international community to use diplomatic pressure to re-open Shuhada Street.
6. Letter-writing and Petitions to the Israeli Ambassador and elected officials in your country asking them to intervene
7.Write letters to the Palestinian Families in Hebron to show solidarity
8.Close roads to show the public the effects of closing the main road in Hebron.
9.Visit Hebron to gain an understanding of the situation and the daily suffering of the people living there.
10. Any other non-violent activity you feel supports the cause, be as creative as possible!!

For more information please contact : Media.YAS@gmail.com



(The following list is intended to provide a representative -- not exhaustive -- summary of terrorist attacks and violent incidents which have occurred in Hebron since 1929.)

23.08.29 67 Jews (including women, children, and the elderly) were murdered, and 60 injured in a vicious pogrom which had been well-planned by Arab rioters. In the course of the pogrom, women were raped, homes and synagogues were plundered and burned, and Torah scrolls were desecrated and burned.
09.10.68 A 17 year-old Arab youth threw a grenade at Jews praying on the steps of the Tomb's main gate. 47 Jews, including an eight month-old baby, were injured.
05.11.68 A Jewish man and his son, an elderly Arab man, and three Arab children were injured by an explosive charge near the Tomb.
29.12.68 Terrorists attack a security post near the Tomb. One terrorist was killed; the others fled. No Israeli soldiers were injured.
07.08.76 Two Jews were wounded when terrorists shot at a tour bus in the city.03.10.76 On the eve of Yom Kippur, a mob of Arab youths burst into the Tomb and desecrated several Torah scrolls. Three soldiers fired in the air in an attempt to prevent their entry. 61 rioters were arrested in the Tomb.
02.05.80 Arab terrorists ambushed a group of Jews returning from the Tomb to Beit Hadassah. Six Jews were murdered and 20 wounded.
21.05.80 A Molotov cocktail was thrown at an Israeli vehicle in Hebron. A Jewish woman was wounded.
02.06.80 11 Arabs, including four schoolchildren, were injured when a booby-trapped grenade exploded in the Hebron market.
16.12.80 An Arab resident of Hebron was wounded by a bomb at Glass Junction in Hebron.
10.02.81 A Jewish resident of Kiryat Arba was stabbed and wounded in the Hebron casbah.
07.07.83 Beit Romano Yeshiva student Aharon Gross was attacked and stabbed by three Arab youths in the market area. He later died of his wounds.
25.07.83 Jewish terrorists opened fire at the Islamic College in Hebron. Three students were murdered and approximately 30 wounded.
10.08.85 A Jewish resident of Kiryat Arba was stabbed and wounded in the Hebron casbah.
25.04.86 A 16-year old Jewish youth was stabbed and lightly wounded in the casbah.
06.06.86 A Jewish resident of Kiryat Arba was stabbed and wounded in the casbah.
14.09.86 A young Arab woman, the daughter of a local mukhtar, stabbed a soldier at the entrance to the Tomb. She was shot and killed.
16.10.86 A Jewish resident of Kiryat Arba was stabbed in the city.
25.10.92 Three Arab terrorists shot at soldiers guarding the Tomb's generator. One reserve soldier was murdered; two were wounded.
28.05.93 Yeshiva student Erez Shmuel was stabbed to death approximately 500 meters from from the Tomb, while on his way to Friday evening prayers at the Tomb.
06.12.93 Mordechai Lapid and his son Shalom were shot to death near Glass Junction in Hebron. Hamas claimed responsibility.
25.02.94 Kiryat Arba resident Baruch Goldstein opened fire on Muslim worshippers inside the Tomb, murdering 29 and wounding 125.
07.07.94 Sarit Prigal (17) was shot to death in a drive-by shooting, when terrorists opened fire from a passing car near the entrance to Kiryat Arba.
19.03.95 Nahum Hoss (31) of Hebron, and Yehuda Partus (34) of Kiryat Arba, were murdered by shots fired at their bus from a terrorist ambush near Glass Junction in Hebron. Six others were injured.
26.03.01 - An Israeli infant, Shalhevet Pass, age 10 months, was killed by sniper fire at the entrance to the Avraham Avinu neighborhood in Hebron.
11.03.03 St. Sgt.Tomer Ron, 20, of Moshav Moledet, was killed and an Israel Defense Forces officer and two soldiers were injured when Palestinian snipers ambushed their IDF patrol in Hebron.

Pray for the Peace of Jerusalem. Keep Hebron in your thoughts as well.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Envelopes filled with white powder sent to Jewish, Israeli institutions

From the Boston Globe:

Hazardous materials crews went to the Boston Park Plaza hotel and towers today after a report of a suspicious white powder being found in an envelope at the Consulate General of Israel.
Security officials at the consulate found an envelope with a “powder-like substance” on the exterior. Inside the envelope, officials found a smaller envelope with a powder and the word “anthrax” written on it, according to an e-mail from Kelly Anne Smith, head of press and political affairs at the consulate.
In the e-mail, Smith said the State Department and the FBI will “further investigate the situation, identify the suspicious substance, and properly dispose of it.”
“The item was field tested and indicated no immediate threat to public safety,” FBI Special Agent Greg Comcowich said. “Additional testing will be done.”
Following the initial response, the Israeli consulate closed for the day.
“Pending the results of testing to determine what exactly the substance reported at the Israeli consulate this afternoon, the office has been closed for the day,” Smith said in an e-mail.
According to police, the initial call came in at 12:19 p.m. The police, fire, and EMS departments are at the scene. A police spokeswoman said shortly before 1:30 p.m. that crews were shutting down Columbus Avenue in the area.
Boston Fire Department officials and hotel managers were not immediately available for comment

There have been scattered reports that other Jewish and Israeli institutions in America have been targeted as well.

From Jpost:
Envelopes arrived Monday at the Israeli embassies in the Hague, Brussels and London, as well as the consulates in New York, Boston and Houston, according to Israeli media reports. The only mission to be evacuated as a result of the suspicious envelopes was the consulate in Boston, according to the report.

The white powder eventually proved harmless.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Tefillin Banned In Jordan

Further putting the regional conflict into context. At IMRA:

Makor Rishon correspondents Avinadav Vitkin and Asaf Gabor reported in the 19 January edition that Jordan continues to ban the entry of tefillin (phylacteries) into Jordan by Israeli tourists.

A veteran tour guide recommended that religious tourists enter Jordan via the Eilat-Aqaba border as the ban is not strictly enforced there.

The Jordanian Foreign Ministry told the reporters that they are in contact with Jordanian authorities trying to lift the ban but that there are a number of elements in the Jordanian establishment who are preventing it.

I'm curious to know what the worst thing that could happen if Israelis bring tefillin into Jordan. Actually, I'm kind of curious to know if there's any way at all to spin this as being something other than simple anti-Semitism.

Iranian pastor sentenced to death. Sacramento Sabeel remains silent

Iranian Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani, languishes on death row in Iran. A 2010 brief from the Iranian Supreme court stated that his sentence was based on the crime of apostasy, renouncing the Islamic faith. Pastor Nadarkhani, a member of the Protestant evangelical Church of Iran has been offered leniency if he agrees to renounce his Christian beliefs. He has refused.

From the Jpost

"...Giulio Meotti, an Italian journalist with Il Foglio and author of the book A New Shoah, wrote “After the ethnic cleansing of Jews in 1948 from the Arab countries, Islamic fundamentalism is now trying to push away the Christians from the region. They want to establish a pure Islamic environment and the mass exodus already began under our noses.”

Meanwhile, the Pakistan Christian Post wrote last week on its website, “The Christian community in Syria has been hit by a series of kidnappings and brutal murders; 100 Christians have now been killed since the anti-government unrest began."

From Dr. Richard Landes, an associate professor of history and director and cofounder of the Center of Millennial Studies at Boston University:

"There’s a bizarre, eery, indeed terrible (a-)symmetry between the nearly hysterical concern of the media and the ‘progressive’ NGOs etc. about Israeli violations of the Palestinian ‘human rights’ and the nearly total silence about the horrendous things happening to Christians in Muslim majority countries, not necessarily at the hands of their neighbors but of Salafists, Jihadis, etc.”

Indeed there is.

Sacramento Sabeel Conference workshop and Plenary topics

• Palestine-Israel: History and current developments including Arab Spring.
• Children & Youth in Palestine & Israel: Living under occupation and apartheid.
• Christian Zionists to Mainstream Christians: Their role in maintaining support for Israel despite its human rights violations.
• Kairos Palestine: Reflecting on and applying this document written by Christian Palestinians about what is happening in Palestine.
• Islamophobia: What it is and what is behind it.
• Black Perspectives on Apartheid in Palestine: Connecting Palestine to other social justice & peace issues.
• Bias in the Corporate & Independent Media: How it works and how to overcome it.
• Congress/U.S. Administration: Understanding America’s Pro-Israel Lobby (AIPAC) and other influences on U.S. policies towards Israel
and strategies for changing those policies.
• Boycott & Divestment: Using this historic strategy on campuses, in the faith community, and in the community at large.
• Direct Action: How and when to do it (and have fun!).
• Public Advertising Campaigns: How, when, and where they can be effective.
• Communicating about Palestine: How to talk about the issue (including doing presentations).
• Organized Silencing: Understanding the structure, funding and strategies of those who attempt to silence any criticism of Israel’s policies.
• The Palestine Academic & Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI) Campaign: What is it and how to participate.
• Addressing False Charges of Anti-Semitism.

The Sacramento Sabeel Conference "organizes silence" and consistently ignores the injustice and persecution of Christians in the Middle east. Clifford D. May describes the war against the Christians as "The most important story not being told ". In spite of their mission of pursuing "peace and justice", its not being told by Sabeel, either.

Dr. Martin Luther King jr once said "In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends." Shame on you, Sabeel for your collusion in "organizing silence".

Muslim Brotherhood involved in Orchestrating the Global March to Jerusalem.

Scheduled for March 30, 2012 The Global March to Jerusalem is the latest in a series of assaults on the borders of Israel. Like the flytilla and the flotilla (we'll be seeing more of those, too), the Global March represents an assault on the sovereignty of Israel, and on her borders.

The idea? Tens of thousands will gather on the borders of Israel, and attempt to overwhelm the nations' border defenses. Its a modern day crusade. The public is being whipped into a religious frenzy by those accusing Israel of the "Judaisation" of Jerusalem, and of plotting to destroy Al Aqsa.

Who could conceive of such an act?

The Muslim Brotherhood of course.

Six of the twelve individuals listed as sponsoring/endorsing the initiative are either leaders in or closely tied to the Global Muslim Brotherhood:

■Zaher Birawi, leading Palestine activist, Britain (director of the Palestine Return Center in the U.K)
■Gretta Duisenberg, Chair Foundation “Stop the Occupation”, Board member Free Gaza Movement, Netherlands (widow of former European Bank president; works closely with Muslim Brotherhood leaders in the Netherlands)
■Dr. Hafiz al Karmi, Chairman Palestinian Forum in Britain (The PFB works closely with Muslim Brotherhood groups in the U.K.)
■Mohammad Kozber, British Muslim Initiative (The BMI is part of the U.K Muslim Brotherhood)
■Mikalis Lukianos, Ship to Gaza, Greece (The Gaza Flotilla movement is closely tied to the Global Muslim Brotherhood)
■Ismael Patel, Chairman Friends of Al Aqsa, Britain (FOA and Patel work closely with the U.K. Muslim Brotherhood)

The close association with the Muslim Brotherhood, a recognized terror organization has not stopped American citizens from participating in the organizing of this event. Both Paul Larudee, of the International Solidarity Movement and Deppen Webber have been involved in organizing this assault on the sovereignty of our closest ally and the only real democracy in the Middle east. The extremist Bay Area Women in Black and the Wellstone Democratic renewal Club have also endorsed the march.

More Palestinian/ Israeli Cooperation

Co-Coexistence. Pass it on

From the website: Coordination of Government Activities in the Territories

"Palestinian staff of the Civil Administration worked hand in hand with Israeli firefighters in Upper Galilee for the irrigation of recently transplanted trees.
For the construction of a new road within a national park in the West Bank, the Civil Administration had to move trees and planted them again in the forest next to Umm ar-Rihan village.

“Because of this delicate operation, we need to supply those trees with water every two weeks during one year if we don’t want them to die,” said Uriel Harari, the Deputy Head of the Agriculture Department of the West Bank.

Firefighters came voluntarily with a truck full of water and made their tools available for the Palestinian workers.

These kinds of operations are of primary importance for the environment and for the protection of all the forests in the area"

After transferring the trees from a national park to a forest next to Umm ar-Rihan in Upper Galilee, Palestinian workers of the Civil Administration cooperated with Israeli firefighters to water them. This Joint operation between the Civil Administration and Israeli firefighters is precisely the type of cooperation that builds a web of interdependance. More coperation. Closer ties. Stronger ties. This is the path to peace. Don't let the BDS'ers tell you otherwise.

Presenting Israel through the High Tech lens

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

Oh, Yes.

Presenting Israel through the High tech Lens- an International Conference to be held at UC Berkeley Feb 1 and 2, 2012

The two-day interdisciplinary conference will bring together business leaders, scholars and policy makers from Israel and from the US to discuss business, legal, economic and social aspects of the Israeli High-Tech world.

The conference will have over 35 speakers and 10 diverse sessions addressing a range of topics including: models of tech-sector investment, green-tech trends, legal challenges to US-Israel business collaboration, global corporations' involvement in Israel, labor-market diversity, cross-border collaboration in the Middle East, and high-tech entrepreneurship.

The Conference will Focus on Two Key Themes

• Challenges and Opportunities of Local and Global Dynamics in the Israeli Technology Sector.
• Past Experiences, Present Trends and Future Directions - lessons from the past and challenges
for the Israeli technology world in the 21-century.

Speakers include

Kheir Abdel Razek. She's has been serving as Deputy CEO at "Kav Mashve" since April 2011. Kav Mashve ("the Equator") is an Israeli non-profit organization dedicated to promoting equal employment opportunities for Arab university graduates in the Israeli labor market. As Deputy CEO, Kheir is responsible for the organization's strategic marketing activities and cooperation with the business private sector.

Dr. Gilad Almogy brings more than a decade of experience leading global technology organizations. Mr. Almogy is the inventor of over 30 registered US patents and holds a Ph.D. in Applied Physics from the California Institute of Technology and a BSc in Physics and Mathematics from the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, Israel.

Isaac Applbaum is a Founding General Partner of Opus Capital, an early stage venture capital fund. Previously, Isaac was a Partner and Managing Director for Israel at Lightspeed Venture Partners an early stage venture capital firm based in Menlo Park, California.

Ambassador Ram (Ret) Aviram is an expert in the sphere of cross boundary water interactions. His experience is based on 25 years of multilateral and bilateral diplomacy, while serving in high ranking positions at the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs including Chief of Staff of H.E. Shimon Peres, Ambassador to Greece and long term service periods in Europe and Asia

And many many others

Keynote speakers will include:

Dan Senor, co-author, Start-up Nation
David (Dadi) Perlmutter, Executive Vice President, Intel Corporation

Sound interesting? I thought so, too. You can register here.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Another week of BDS failures

Pity the hapless BDS'er. Or don't. Its ok to snicker at them behind their backs. I know you want to.
They just can't win for losing.

This weeks epic BDS defeats:

British museum refuses call to boycott Ahava lab

A group of anti- Israel artists and academics has condemned the Natural History Museum in West London for its research collaboration with Ahava/Dead Sea Laboratories. The Museum has refused to submit to their demands and will not sever its working relationship with Ahava.

On Thursday, Prof. Ian Owens, the museum’s director of science, said that the museum will not heed to any boycott calls and that it is dedicated to expanding and sharing knowledge. Academic freedom is an important principle in pursuing this goal, he said.

“In this respect we are in broad alignment with the wider UK academic community. We work within the legal and policy boundaries established by politicians and policy makers, and would not participate in any academic or educational boycotts that could restrict academic freedom,” he said.

The other BDS failure that caught my attention was a bit more subtle. The BDs'ers claim their movement is sanctioned by "Palestinian civil society". We've seen quite the opposite however.

From Elder of Ziyon:

According to the head of the Federation of Trade Unions of Palestine, Shaher Saad, some 31,000 Palestinian Arab workers are now employed in Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria. This is a significant increase compared to the number of such workers in April, 2010 - estimated at 25,000 - when Mahmoud Abbas signed a law banning Palestinian Arabs from working in settlements.

And from Ha'aretz

Palestinians invest twice as much in Israel as they do in West Bank.
Private Palestinian investment in Israel, as of 2010, amounted to $2.5 billion in a conservative estimate, and according to a more optimistic estimate this investment possibly even amounts to $5.8 billion. For purposes of comparison, private Palestinian investment within the West Bank, as of 2011, was only $1.5 billion.

A poll recently released by a marketing research firm, Geocartography Knowledge indicated that , 85% of Palestinian residents in the West Bank were interested in cooperation with Israel

If Palestinian civil society truly rejected "normalcy" with Israel, and endorsed BDS, how do you explain this? There are Palestinian Arabs willing to serve in the IDF. What more visceral rejection of BDS could there possibly be that having non-Jews in Israel willing to fight and die for their country?

This Bedouin family has been serving Israel for generations. BDS fail, fail, fail.

From YNet:

"Can a person be both Arab and Zionist? The answer appears to be yes.

Ask Shirin Shlian, a 20-year-old IDF soldier from one of the Galilee's Arab villages, whose job in the Israeli army is to encourage high school students to enlist – and better yet, to join combat units. "

Remind me again about this "Palestinian Civil society"

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

"A Jewish Boy Is Going To Represent Turkey!"

This nice young man is Can Bonomo. His family has lived in Turkey for 540 years, and now he's going to represent that nation at Eurovision this year. Oh, yeah, and he's Jewish.

Naturally, there's an element in town that objects:

Turkey’s Jews are pleased as can be that for the first time, a Jew will be representing their country at the Eurovision song contest.

But the singer, Can Bonomo, isn’t exactly trumpeting his accomplishment -- at least not the Jewish part.

“We would like to inform that Mr. Can Bonomo is bound to refuse answering all the questions about his religious beliefs, anti-Semitism and political subjects,” Bonomo’s spokesman, Ece Kahraman, wrote in a statement to JTA.

Bonomo has taken pains to tell fans that he will be participating in Eurovision as a Turk, not as a Jew.

“My family came from Spain 540 years ago,” Bonomo said in an interview on the "Aksam" news show in a video posted Jan. 11 that has gone viral. “I am Turkish and I am representing Turkey, I will go out there with the Turkish flag and represent Turkey. I am an artist, a musician. That’s all that everybody needs to know.”

Prior to his appearance on "Aksam," radical right-wing papers had accused Bonomo of being a tool of Zionists and Freemasons.

The way in which the anchor framed her question in the interview probably didn’t put him at ease.

“People might say you were chosen because Turkey wants to ingratiate itself with Israeli lobby groups,” she said. “I would like to get your comments.”

Bonomo is choosing to deal with this simply by emphasizing that he's going to Eurovision as a Turkish singer. That's probably for the best, and I can understand why a 24-year-old Turkish hipster musician doesn't want to wade deeper into the morass that is anti-Semitism and paranoia about Israel, not when he's on his way to Baku. (Yes, seriously, it's in Baku this year. A town I can never hear the name of without beginning to quote the opening lines of a poem by Zelda Knizhnik that begins (in Yiddish), "My husband's in America, a son is in Baku...")

It's worth noting, though, the ways in which anti-Israel and anti-Semitic threads are so casually drawn around a kid who's entirely apolitical, singing Turkish hipster music. This, the fact that this kid, whose family has lived in Turkey for over five hundred years has to be asked to prove that he's not a Zionist front man, this illustrates perfectly how foolish it is to imagine that anti-Zionism exists without anti-Semitism.

On a lighter note, here's Can singing "Mezcup". I have no idea what this song is about, but he's got some style. And he's just adorable.


The Prime Minister of the only democracy in the Middle-East is on an official visit to the Netherlands. Naturally, this is important news. The Netherlands is one of Israel's oldest friends, and currently experiences much the same venom from many of the same sources as Israel and the United States.

Worthwhile youtube clip - The Israeli National Anthem as sung in the Gran’ Esnoga today:


[SOURCE: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HigpVgHgc5k .]

There was a small protest by anti-Semites and pro-palestinians outside the house of worship.
Approximately four dozen haters opposing the visit of Benjamin Netanyahu.

The demo was charitably described as follows: "Kortom, Jose van het NPK was weer eens betrokken bij een onvoorstelbaar zielige vertoning. Gefeliciteerd daarmee Jose!"

[Translation: 'In short, Jose of the NPK was once again involved in an unimaginably pathetic display. Congratulations with that, Jose!']

NOTE: The NPK is one of the Christian denominations in the Netherlands. Jose van Leeuwen is one of the well-connected agitators for the Arab cause, who among other things has asserted that Jewish Holy days serve hardly any better purpose than to oppress non-Jews in Israel (article dated 11/14/11), and has described violence and stone throwing as 'peaceful protest'. Which is much like Kate (an activist from the Bay Area) informing a class of protest-volunteers a few years ago that smashing plate glass windows, pouring water on computers, trashing business offices, and resisting arrest qualified as "non-violent".
In one of his most recent pieces (01/12/12), Jose van Leeuwen shows himself absolutely obsessed with Orthodox Jews.


{Cross-Posted at Israel Thrives}

I have been criticized for my alternative framing of the Israel-Palestine conflict or, as I like to call it, the Long Arab War against the Jews. The truth of the matter is that framing is very much at the heart of what I am trying to do here.

Framing is important and what is most important is recognizing the framing of one's own political movement so that we can change that framing when necessary. It should be obvious by this point that progressive-left framing on I-P favors Arabs at the expense of Jews, despite the fact that we represent a tiny population in comparison to either Arabs or Muslims, who tend to be far more hostile to us than we are to them.

{The progressive tendency toward moral equivalency also needs analysis, but that is a discussion for another day.}

Given the uncertain status of Jews in the world, we win or lose this fight before it is even begun via framing. The well-being of the Jewish people, and the survival of the Jewish state, is very much dependent upon how our concerns get framed in venues throughout the world. The reason for this is because we are so small. 13 to 14 million Jews. That's it. We represent a tiny percentage of the world population, so what the world thinks of us makes a very big difference on the question of Jewish survival. This should be obvious. At the same time, a non-stop anti-Jewish / anti-Israel propaganda machine has been operating out of the Arab and Muslim worlds for decades and it has poisoned Jewish-Israeli relations with the progressive-left in Europe and the United States. This is because the inclination among progressives is to feel Palestinian pain due to Palestinian and Arab framing of the entire issue.

Let's take a couple of framing questions and hold them up to scrutiny. Let's take the "West Bank" versus "Judea and Samaria" and let's take the very notion that the conflict is one between Israelis and Palestinians.

The fact of the matter is that for thousands of years Judea and Samaria were called Judea and Samaria. It was only when Jordan occupied that land when we suddenly started hearing about a geographical location known as the "West Bank." Jordan called Judea part of the "West Bank" because it did not want to acknowledge the Jewish nature of that small part of the world. From 1967 until the present, despite the failure of Oslo, progressive-left Jews have also used the term "West Bank" because doing so encourages the possibility of giving that land away in a two-state solution deal. For quite some time now it has mainly been conservative Jews, the Likud, who frames the area as Judea and Samaria, their traditional names. Just as progressives want to give away that land in a two-state end of hostilities, so Likudniks, traditionally, believed that holding that land is a requirement for security.

The times have changed but, unfortunately, our framing has not changed with it. Since the Palestinians have shown the world in no uncertain terms that they have no intention of allowing the Jews of the Middle East to live in peace, state or no state, the old Oslo-based framing is now entirely counterproductive toward Jewish well-being. Calling Judea and Samaria the "West Bank" does little more at this point than validate the Palestinian narrative. The reason that Jews are almost always on the rhetorical defensive when it comes to discussing the Arab war against us is because we have a tendency to be so open-minded that our brains have fallen from our skulls and are now rolling around on the floor like marbles.

We cannot win a fight if we perpetually have that fight on our enemy's turf. That is, we cannot win the I-P argument if we insist upon adopting Palestinian framing. Calling Judea and Samaria the "West Bank" is Arab framing. Every time we use that framing we've already lost the discussion because embedded in the idea of "West Bank" is the notion that it does not belong to the Jews, but it's impossible to get people to believe that Judea is not Jewish so they don't call it by its proper, long-standing name. The reason to call Judea by its proper name is not because we necessarily wish to keep the area, but because it is, in truth, traditional Jewish land and if Israel wishes to be so gracious as to gift that land to their neighbors, so be it. In the mean time, Palestinian propagandists scream from the hillsides that the "West Bank" was stolen from them by those conniving Jews. I say that we force them to make the argument that the Jews stole Judea from its rightful owners, a brand-spanking new type of Arab that the world calls "Palestinians."

Another very big part of the framing issue has to do with underdogs and overcats. Between 1948 and 1967, the non-Arab, non-Muslim world was mainly in sympathy with the Jews of the Middle East who they viewed as a scrappy underdog surrounded by enemies 100 times their number. This is still the case. Israel remains under siege and its towns continue to get rocketed by Arab forces, but the world no longer sees scrappy little Israel as an underdog. Progressives like underdogs much more than they like facts. If even the most heinous and guilty individual can get progressives to view him as the underdog they will take his side.

After 1967, the Arabs changed the framing from that of a conflict between the vast Arab nation versus the small, harrassed Jews to a conflict between the great Israeli war machine versus the innocent, indigenous Palestinians and this is the framing that progressives use to this day. This is why "progressive Zionists" constantly get kicked around on places like Daily Kos. It's because other well-meaning progressives no longer see Jewish people as worthy of sympathy because the framing makes of us a colonial, imperalistic, racist people oppressing the other. This framing is entirely false, but so long as it operates in the background as a given among those having the conversation then the Jews can never win the argument. So long as "progressive" Jews continue to employ Palestinian-Arab framing of the issue they will continue to be kicked around in left-wing political venues and on the university campuses.

I say that we create new framing that stays true to history, that stays true to current events, but that frames the argument in such a way that the Jews of the Middle East are not maligned before the conversation even begins. Progressives, following the lead of Arab propogandists since 1967, have framed the I-P conflict in a way that maligns Jews and "Progressive Zionists" catapult that anti-Jewish framing, whether they realize it or not.

I have suggested that it is imperative that we must free ourselves from the Palestinian colonization of the Jewish mind, but we can only do that if we rid ourselves of Palestinian framing.

Times are changing and it is long past time that we change with it.

Adapt or die.


Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Gaza Activist Stabbed After Exposing Hamas Use of Human Shields

And the world is silent.
From UN Watch

"The stabbing in Gaza of a Palestinian rights activist after he exposed Hamas' contempt for its own people by using them as human shields, and after he criticized the radical Islamic group for torture, abuse and trampling free speech, should be strongly condemned by the United Nations—both as an attack on the victim’s human rights, and on the idea of freedom of expression.

Masked attackers on Friday stabbed Mahmud Abu Rahma multiple times in the back, leg and shoulders, it was revealed today.

This latest attack on a rights activist underscores Gaza's brutally enforced intolerance for any discourse other the anti-Israel mantras of Hamas, which rules the area with an iron fist.

The attack only proves the simple truth of the victim's words.

Abu Rahma's crime was publishing an article in the Palestinian press that dared to criticize Hamas' "outrageous attack upon free expression and peaceful assembly" over the past year, and the "hundreds of cases of torture and abuse."

Abu Rahma also dared to publish basic facts about Gaza that completely contradict the Hamas narrative, and that of the UN's Goldstone Report, which repeatedly found "no evidence" that Hamas used civilians as human shields.

What is remarkable is that with all of the massive UN resources ostensibly dedicated to protecting Palestinians—the 16-member Division for Palestinian Rights, the 20-odd resolutions on Palestinians last year by the General Assembly, the Human Rights Council's special agenda item on Palestinians at every session, resolutions on Palestinians by UNESCO, the WHO and numerous other agencies, the full-time post of "Special Rapporteur on the Situation of Human Rights in Palestine" held by Richard Falk—still, with all that and more, the world body somehow managed to turn a blind eye to the massive violations of Palestinian rights described by Abu Rahma

• Although Abu Rahma considers Hamas, Islamic Jihad and other terrorist organizations to be “resistance groups,” he said they "show little or no care for people's life and well being.”

• “Military training sites function and are located in places very close to neighborhoods and/or schools, from where acts of resistance, including firing rockets, also occur.” As a result, “The population of these locations are inevitably vulnerable to Israeli attacks.”

• “Numerous people were injured from live fire coming from resistance groups training sites; including children and at least one man who lost his eye.”

• “There is a training site in the town of Beit Lahiya that threatens people every day, including a girl who was injured inside her school when an explosion occurred in this site on Sep. 20 2011.”

• “Explosions also occur frequently in densely-populated areas around Gaza, and have their victims, many of whom are children.”

• A man in the al-Nasser neighborhood in Gaza city, whose house is near a military training site, “complained to the resistance members many times. He explained the family’s fear for their life and house. But he was told the family could move out of the area, even if they had no resources to move. He died the way he feared most: tragically.”

• “The state of carelessness from the part of resistance is also causing continued victims of the misfiring of home-made rockets that fall on houses inside Gaza. Many of the victims are children and all of them are civilians who happen to be in their homes.”

• “There are more victims of shootings from, or explosions in, training sites. Many children are killed or maimed when explosive devices left in the streets or farms explode in their hands. And there is the young man who was shot in the legs for daring to publicly criticize a local resistance leader.”

If the UN's colossal pro-Palestinian infrastructure would have truly done its job and reported the above simple facts about Hamas perfidy to the world's attention, it is fair to ask whether Abu Rahma would have been assaulted for writing his article.

The incident raises serious questions about the ability of the Palestinians to create a democratic state where people feel free to question their government without fear of being seriously injured or killed for doing so.

The attack should be immediately denounced by Navi Pillay, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, by Irina Bokova, the director general of UNESCO, the world agency mandated to uphold press freedom, and by Frank La Rue, the UN Human Rights Council's Special Rapporteur on freedom of expression.

The attack is also serious enough for its implications that even the UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon, should personally condemn it."

Read it all here

Monday, January 16, 2012

USAID awards contracts for 750 million for the development of Palestinian infrastructure

From US trade and Aid monitor

The first round of Palestinian infrastructure contracts worth upwards of $750 million was awarded this week by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID).

The Infrastructure Needs Project Phase II (Solicitation #RFP294-2010-108), as the USAID endeavor is known, will help the Palestinians build or improve public works initially in the West Bank and, "if conditions permit, in Gaza" at a later time.

Task orders could be awarded under this indefinite quantity contract (IQC) for initiatives including:

• Transportation networks such as primary and secondary roads, bridges and/or other transportation infrastructure;

• Water systems including the supply, storage, treatment, transmission and/or distribution of water;

• Sanitation infrastructure including solid waste management and disposal, wastewater treatment and reuse, pollution control, and/or ecological sanitation;

• Vertical infrastructure including schools, clinics, health facilities, public buildings, government buildings and facilities, sports facilities, warehouses, food storage facilities, youth and sports centers, and/or other vertical infrastructure designed to benefit the public interest;

• Electrical Power sector infrastructure to include alternative, sustainable and/or traditional forms of power generation (such as wind turbines, photovoltaic, solar thermal, geothermal, and/or fossil-fuel-fired thermal power plants), and/or electricity transmission and distribution systems in the West Bank;

• Other critical infrastructure that USAID may decide to support subject to USAID development objectives and/or the availability of funds;

• Operations and Management of Water Facilities;

• Design/Build contracts are anticipated under this solicitation;

• Procurement, transport, shipment, storage of equipment and materials;

• Drilling and Equipping of Deep Water Production and Monitoring Wells and Facilities

• Construction and Rehabilitation of Electric Power Generation, Transmission and Distribution systems.

Gaza: Its not just Rocks any More

Was it ever?

Hamas and Islamic Jihad weaponry has grown significantly more sophisticated and more deadly. New weapons continue to enter Gaza virtually unchecked.

From the J Post

"Hamas is believed to have a fighting force number over 20,000 armed men who are split into five brigades corresponding with different sections of the Gaza Strip. Each brigade is then split into a number of battalions. In addition, Hamas also has special teams for surveillance, anti-tank missiles, mortar and rocket fire and anti-aircraft shoulder-to-air missiles."

20,000 armed men? Wanna bet they are all civilians?

The IDF General Staff has ordered the Southern Command to prepare for a possible large Gaza operation that could occur within the next few months. Preparations include finalizing operational plans and distributing them between the various units that would be deployed inside Gaza.

In 2011, 680 rockets and mortar shells were fired into Israel, including 80 long range Grad-model Katyusha rockets. Only 2 Grads in 2010 were fired into Israel from Gaza in 2010

Why Israel needs checkpoints: Terror attack averted

For the second time in two weeks, a massive terror attack on Israel was averted.

From the Jpost

"Border Police intercepted two Palestinians carrying eleven pipe bombs who were likely on their way to carry out an attack at the Samaria military court, as one of the murderers of the Fogel family was being sentenced.

The suspects, both in their 20s, were trying to cross the Salem checkpoint near Jenin, when their nervous conduct aroused the suspicions of a veteran Border Policeman.

"They were placed in a bomb-proof examination hut for a search, but did not cooperate," Border Police spokesman Supt. Shai Hakimi told The Jerusalem Post.

Security personnel became even more suspicious and declared a "situation bell," which is code for strip search of suspects thought to be carrying weapons.

The search revealed eleven pipe bombs, a homemade gun, and ammunition.

The suspects were arrested, and the explosives were neutralized by Border Police bomb squad officers"

And this, once again, is why Israel's needs checkpoints. Checkpoints save lives, civilians lives, innocent lives, every day.

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr on Israel

Israel is the only country in the Middle East to commemorate the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr, and his pursuit of peace, justice and equality.

"Peace for Israel means security, and we must stand with all our might to protect her right to exist, its territorial integrity ..... Israel is one of the great outposts of democracy in the world, and a marvelous example of what can be done, how desert land can be transformed into an oasis of brotherhood and democracy. Peace for Israel means security, and that security must be a reality.”

Spoken by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr 10 days before his assassination

Israel acknowledges the legacy of Dr. King with a memorial in Jerusalem, and with a forest, planted in the Galilee. Currently, trees are also being planted to honor his wife, Coretta Scott King.

From the JNF

"In the summer of 2006, Hezbollah launched Katyusha rockets into northern Israel, destroying two million trees that covered thousands of acres of forest in the Galilee. As a tribute to Coretta Scott King and her message of peace and equality, a section of the Biriya Forest, which was destroyed by the rockets, will be replanted as the Coretta Scott King Forest. King, who passed away in 2006, was a distinguished human rights activist and leader. She devoted her life to social justice, alongside her husband, The Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. The Coretta Scott King Forest is in addition to a forest that was planted in Israel in memory of her husband."

From Israeli Ambassador Michael Oren, on the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King

Martin Luther King St. in Israel. Note the English, Hebrew and Arabic of the sign. What were you saying about "Jew only roads", again?

Sunday, January 15, 2012

PA Mufti calls for genocide of Jews quoting Islamic Hadith

Wasn't Fatah the "moderate" voice? Weren't they supposed to be our partner for peace?

From Palestinian Media Watch

Last week, the principal Palestinian Authority religious leader, the Mufti Muhammad Hussein, presented the killing of Jews by Muslims as a religious Islamic goal. At an event celebrating the 47th anniversary of the founding of Fatah, he cited the Hadith (Islamic tradition attributed to Muhammad) saying that the Hour of Resurrection will not come until Muslims fight the Jews and kill them:

"The Hour [of Resurrection] will not come until you fight the Jews. The Jew will hide behind stones or trees. Then the stones or trees will call:
'Oh Muslim, servant of Allah, there is a Jew behind me, come and kill him.'"

The last time official PA TV broadcast a sermon during which this Hadith calling to kill Jews was quoted was in 2010.

The years of PA promotion of killing Jews and PA religious leaders' citing this Hadith to justify it, may have contributed to the high acceptance of it in PA society. A poll sponsored by the Israel Project last year found that 73% of Palestinians "believe" this Hadith. [July 2011, Greenberg Quinlan Rosner.]

The moderator who introduced the Mufti at the Fatah event last week reiterated another Islamic belief; that the Jews are the descendants of apes and pigs:
"Our war with the descendants of the apes and pigs (i.e., Jews)
is a war of religion and faith."

The Mufti did not distance himself from this hate statement that Islam is in a religious war with the Jews, but added to it that Islam's goal is to kill Jews.

Watch it here:


Youtube has removed the film. It is still available at the Pal Media Watch site

Saturday, January 14, 2012

"Chosen People Have To Be Perfect"

If providing human rights to LGBT Israelis is 'pinkwashing', what is it when they provide excellent prenatal care to expectant mothers? "Blue-and-pinkwashing"? "Babywashing"?

I really cannot add much to this excellent dissection of an article that appeared in a Dutch paper, written by Yochanan Visser, and crossposted to CIFWatch, in which Israel's prenatal health program is cast as a sinister eugenics project:

Last week the Dutch Christian daily ‘Trouw’ reached a new low when it published a vicious article about prenatal care in Israel entitled: “The chosen people have to be perfect”.

The writer, Ilse van Heusden, gave birth to a healthy baby boy while temporarily living in Israel.

She succeeded in portraying the prenatal care in Israel as a government instigated ‘military operation’ aimed at the production of babies as perfect as possible.

Apart from distortions and lies the article contained many accusations and insinuations which are reminiscent of classic anti-Semitic rants.

Read the whole thing. This is a new classic in the subgenre of anti-Israel writing called, "I was in Israel, and nothing much happened, but I could feel it was all icky and fascist in my bones". (If anyone can come up with a shorter name for the genre, that would be much appreciated.) She is asked to do a lot of tests. She doesn't want to, but does anyway. The healthcare system is different from the one in the Netherlands, and she doesn't like the way they do things. She is asked to do the tests, even though she's healthy, and not Ashkenazi. She asserts, with no proof given, that the state 'demands' children. (They do seem to expend a lot of energy on hers, however, who isn't 'chosen', nor will he be an Israeli citizen.) She has a strange (and I think, fictional) encounter with another mommy, who tells her that the 'chosen people' must be physically perfect. (If I read the Dutch correctly.) Finally, her son is born healthy, with an undersized toe which she sees as some sort of personal triumph over Israeli medicine. (Really. He can take off his sock at BDS meetings for the rest of his life, and show how he defeated the Zionazi OB/GYNs.)

The overall effect is of a series of perfectly ordinary events, being dramatized through scary music and horror-movie lighting. Israel (like dozens of other countries), offers a small (smaller than the Netherlands') subsidy to families with children. (SCREAMING!) Israeli doctors are kind of test-happy. (MORE SCREAMING!!!) Israelis like children. (HYSTERICAL NONSTOP SCREAMING!!!)

This article is the perfect fusion of anti-Semitism and navel-gazing. Four stars.

Go & Learn: Seminars on Anti-Semitism in Sonoma county

According to the 2010 FBI annual report on hate crimes

Of the 1,552 victims of an anti-religion hate crime:

67.0 percent were victims of an offender’s anti-Jewish bias.
■ 12.7 percent were victims of an anti-Islamic bias.
■ 4.2 percent were victims of an anti-Catholic bias.
■ 3.0 percent were victims of an anti-Protestant bias.
■ 0.5 percent were victims of an anti-Atheist/Agnostic bias.
■ 9.1 percent were victims of a bias against other religions (anti-other religion).
■ 3.5 percent were victims of a bias against groups of individuals of varying religions (anti-multiple religions, group).

In January and February, Congregation Beth Ami in Santa Rosa will be presenting an exciting series on Modern Anti-Semitism. All events are scheduled in the Sanctuary, followed by an oneg in the Social Hall.

· Sunday, Jan. 15: Modern Anti-Semitism: Rabbi Jerry Danzig “Overview: From California to the World.” Starting at 2:00 pm and followed by oneg in the Social Hall.

· Sunday, Jan. 29: Modern Anti-Semitism: On California Campus. Tammi Rossman-Benjamin & Prof. Leila Beckwith of the Amcha Initiative “How to rid California colleges of their increasing anti-Semitism” Starting at 2:00 pm and followed by oneg in the Social Hall.

· Sunday, Feb. 12: Modern Anti-Semitism: Anti-Defamation League . Nancy J. Appel, Associate Director, Anti-Defamation League, Central Pacific Region:“Responding to US Anti-Semitism.” Starting at 2:00 pm and followed by oneg in the Social Hall.

· Sunday, Feb. 26: JIMENA Speakers' Bureau Member, Rachel Wahba, and JIMENA Director, Sarah Levin. Arab State-Sponsored Anti-Semitism. Starting at 2:00 pm and followed by oneg in the Social Hall.