Saturday, August 31, 2013

Mossad Agent captured in Egypt

An elite avian Mossad agent has been captured by Egypt.
As reported from Ahramonline:
Egypt’s police put a duck under arrest late Friday as a device was found attached to its feathers, fueling accusations that it might have been used for espionage, Al-Ahram Arabic-language news website reported.

According to Al-Ahram's Arabic site, a fisherman in the Nile River of Egypt’s southern governorate Qena caught the accused bird, which was among a group of five ducks waddling in the freshwater.

The fisherman became suspicious that the device on the duck's body could be used for spying, prompting him to hand over the bird to the Coalition of Arab Tribes in Qena, who in turn filed a police report.

An anonymous security official told Ahram Online on Saturday that security and environmental experts are currently examining the device in order to determine its intended purposes and whether or not the little bird has repeated national secrets to anyone.

Nearly immediately after, Zionist shills beseiged the twitter website, in an effort to cover up this fowl deed

Subsequent reports later identified the agent as a migratory Stork.  He remains behind bars. Qena is on quackdown, and residents have been urged to report suspicious waterfowl to the authorities.

Mossad Spy Stork

Maps of Disappearing Palestine

You've seen the ubiquitous 4 part map at every anti-Israel event you've attended. Currently, billboard sized ads of these maps are in Vancouver transit system (There is an on-line poll here, asking if these ads should be removed. Please take a moment to vote while the poll is still open.) These maps will be coming to a bus stop near you. Know how to debunk them. Understand why they misrepresent history.

There are two versions that generally circulate. Liars need good memories.

Under partition,  Jerusalem and Bethlehem were designated as a Corpus Separandum . Most of the maps we've seen, including the ones currently in Vancouver neglect this information.  But that's only the start of the inaccuracies.

We've assembled a resource list for debunking the "Map that Lies" Click on the links for excellent summaries regarding why these maps are  inaccurate

From  Yaccov Lozowick    The Maps of Disappearing Palestine 

From the Elder of Ziyon       The map that lies, and one that doesn't

The Elder offers this as an alternative map: Israel's Land Concessions for Peace

 From Phillipe Assouline's Facebook page:  I acknowledge Anti-Semitism Poses as Palestinian Human Rights Activism 

A variation on the theme, via the Mike report

From BluestarPR:   Don't be fooled by lies About Palestine

From the Website 5 Minutes for Israel:  A course in map Reading Four maps & five, six, seven … lies

From The Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs, Pacific Region : Factual Analysis of the Vancouver Transit Ads

If you know of other resources, let us know and we'll add them to the list.


The latest rebuttal  of the "maps of disappearing Palestine" is from StandWithUs, a non-profit founded in 2001 in response to the misinformation that surrounds the conflict in the Middle East.

UPDATE Oct. 9, 2013 StandWithUs comes through again, with this map profiling Jewish Loss of land from 1000 BCE through the present

UPDATE Dec 3, 2013
No Palestinian Arab state ever existed prior to the one currently being proposed by the international community.
Via: The Whole Story

Lets not forget the map they'll never show you: what Olmert offered the Palestinians, and what they turned down.
Via CAMERA : The Palestinians rejected peace three times

UPDATE Jan.6, 2014

Excellent analysis of the "Mendacious Maps of Palestinian Loss " by Shany Mot, a former director for foreign policy, Israeli National Security Council

He writes
Taken together, what we have is not four maps in a chronological series, but four different categories of territorial control presented with varying degrees of inaccuracy. Those categories are private property (“1946”), political control (“1967” and “2005”), and international partition plans (“1947”). They are presented in a fashion that is either tendentiously inaccurate (“2005”), essentially mendacious (“1947” and “1967”), or radically untrue (“1946”).

Shany Mor presents these 2  maps as a more historically accurate alternative:


 Read the whole article here


The revisions keep rolling in. This map details the emergence of a Palestinian state for the first time in history.

From the blog
Confronting antisemitism and Israel hatred: Countering the 'shrinking Palestine Maps' scam

Finally, a  quick film debunking the maps
Palestinian Loss of Land: The Myth of the 4 Maps

Excellent rebuttal of the Maps of Disappearing Palestine- fact and fiction

Friday, August 30, 2013

Hands off Syria

Via Twitter

When anti-Semitic conspiracy theorists forget to take their meds, they often write like this:

Seven reasons  why American soldiers are being sent to war with Syria
1. Syria does not have a Rothschild Central bank
2. Syria has zero debt to the International monetary fund.(IMF) Syria is a debe free country
3. Syria has no GMO foods and bans GMO foods
4  Syrians are well aware of and Syrian State media frequently discusses the new world order agenda
5. Syria has oil and gas. A lot
6. Syria opposes Israeli apartheid
7. Syria is the last secular country in the Middle East

Found on Twitter,  offered for your amusement.
Now stop laughing. This is serious.

via The Washington Post, written by Max Fisher

9 questions about Syria you were too embarrassed to ask

Excellent summary of the who what where when and why of Syria.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Mondoweiss Author Rebecca Armstrong Pierce shows her Bias

You might remember Rebecca Armstrong Pierce from her witch hunt  against beloved  UC Santa Cruz teacher (and tireless fighter against anti-Semitism on campus) Tammi Benjamin . You might remember her role in the failed divestment initiative at UC Santa Cruz.  Rebecca, an anti-Israel activist and graduate from UC Santa Cruz.recently published an article at the extremist Mondoweiss site, distorting the experiences of  young participants on a Bluestar trip to Israel.  She's not exactly objective, and she's no journalist.

According to Bluestar, Rebecca Armstrong Pierce:

"was NOT on our trip, did NOT interview anyone on our trip, took participant blog quotes out of context, made broad, unsupported generalizations, and even made up "facts" about funders, program philosophy and trip activities to support her biased allegations against BlueStar's program."

Israel haters lie? Mondoweiss publishes the lies?   Does this still surprise you?

From Bluestar:

Anti-Israel Sites Threatened by BlueStar College Fellows Program. 
 The BlueStar College Fellows leadership program has caught the attention of the Israel haters. Their aggressive, abusive and assertion-laden coverage shows the kind of diatribes our students are facing on campuses and beyond.  BlueStar created our college program to help train student leaders to counter exactly this kind of bullying and bias from here and here.
The other side is clearly threatened by what we are accomplishing in our program.  Now, it is up to you to help us continue our efforts to educate the next generation of Israel leaders and advocates.  New student leaders are waiting for us to secure the funding to admit them to our leadership program...

Students and board agree: Our student participants, who are puzzled by the inaccurate accounts of their trip, agree with BlueStar's board of directors: official responses to close-minded sites like these are a waste of time.  Time and energy are better spent telling the true story of Israel to the far more numerous people who can become our friends.  So, while we will use these articles as educational lessons to strengthen our students' skills and knowledge on how to respond to bullying and media bias both on campus and beyond, BlueStar does NOT encourage you to respond to these sites.

What you should know about BlueStar College Fellows:
During the trip, participants see evidence of Israel's diversity and values, the Jewish people's right to self-determination and historical attachment to the land and just dealings with its neighbors despite legitimate security concerns.  Our goal is to use the frame of journalism to help students develop the knowledge they need to have a more nuanced understanding of Israel, at a minimum.

Participants examine Israel's affirmative case in its conflict with its neighbors.  We reject black-and-white points of view, especially on difficult issues on land and security about which Israelis continue to debate.  Our program goal is not to dehumanize Palestinians, but rather to let participants examine the evidence against specious Palestinian claims that "Israel is an apartheid, illegal state built on land stolen from indigenous Palestinians and given to European Jews as a payoff for the Holocaust."

 Learn more about the Write on for Israel program at Bluestar, and see why Rebecca and her handlers at Mondoweiss feel so threatened by it.

From their website:

Each year, millions of Jewish high school graduates enter college mostly unprepared to deal with potential anti-Israel challenges from peers and faculty.  Our goal is to change that.

Write On For Israel/San Francisco is a unique, challenging, and exciting 1-year Israel education program, open to ALL high school students. Starting in December 2013, you can attend 7 monthly Sunday-seminars in the San Francisco/Silicon Valley area, where you will learn from professional journalists, communication experts, Israel educators, political leaders and people with fascinating stories.
Applications for Bluestar's program are currently being accepted  here

Journalism involving nuance. Rejecting black and white analysis. Journalism that actual examines evidence.  One might only imagine if  Rebecca Armstrong Pierce had attended a program like Bluestar, she'd understand why the drivel at Mondoweiss is not journalism.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Its All Israel's fault

Colony Collapse Disorder. Global Warming. The Collapse of the I-5 Bridge.

Its all Israel's fault.

Blaming Israel for the collapse of the I-5 Bridge.
A very special group of haters, Spokane Veterans for Peace claims responsibility for the billboard

From their Website:
Spokane Veterans for Peace, Chapter 35, has funded the placement of a 14′ x 48′ billboard facing westbound on I-90, between Cour d Alene and Post Falls, Idaho, urging that we “Stop $30 Billion to Israel”. This was a joint collaboration with an anonymous matching funder who has helped place dozens of similar billboards across the country, many of them sponsored by local Veterans for Peace chapters.

Its another in the ongoing saga of "billboard wars" . Perhaps StandWithUs, an Israel education group will counter it with a series highlighting Israel's gifts to the world?  They've done it before  StandWithUs has countered anti-Israel ads placed throughout the United States since 2007 including six times in San Francisco, three times in New York, twice in Montana; Denver, Washington DC, Portland, Albuquerque, Houston (in cooperation with Bridge Houston), Chicago and Seattle.

From StandWithUs CEO Roz Rothstein

  "Anti-Israel groups continue to misinform the public with these ad campaigns.  Their ads fail to inform viewers that the funds Israel receives are earmarked primarily for defense with contracts to US manufacturers thereby creating jobs in America.  They fail to mention that Israel must defend itself militarily against a radical Islamist enemy like Hamas, openly sworn to Israel's destruction.   As with all the anti-Israel campaigns we've encountered, context and facts are always left out.  The SWU ad directs people to which offers relevant information about the impediments to peace." 

Monday, August 26, 2013

Jewish Voice for Peace gets noticed

The attention seeking group Jewish Voice for Peace must be glowing with pride. They've been noticed.

First NGO Monitor released a scathing indictment. 

The strategy, as stated by JVP’s executive director Rebecca Vilkomerson, is to create “a wedge” within the American Jewish community to generate the impression of polarization over Israel.  The tactic is to dilute support for Israel in the Jewish community, toward the goal of reducing or eliminating the United States government’s economic, military, and political support for Israel.

That was followed by a report from the venerable Anti-Defamation League  stating:
The group’s positions on BDS, its willingness to partner with anti Israel organizations that deny Israel’s right to exist and legitimize terror, and its refusal to support a two state solution to the Israeli Palestinian conflict, demonstrate JVP’s hardline stance. 
 In fact, JVP consistently co-sponsors rallies to oppose Israeli military policy that are marked by signs and slogans comparing Israel to Nazi Germany, demonizing Jews and voicing support for groups like Hamas and Hezbollah. JVP has never condemned or sought to distance itself from these messages. Indeed, JVP’s Executive Director Rebecca Vilkomerson recently gave an interview to American Free Press a conspiracy-oriented anti- Semitic newspaper.
Jewish Voice for Peace embracing conspiracy theories at SF rally. Photo by  Zombie

The unbridled hypocrisy of Jewish Voice for Peace may very well be their most defining characteristic. Both the NGO Monitor and the ADL report highlight JVP's willingness to partner with some of  the most extremist groups in the country. For all their "we are against the occupation" rhetoric, they have no trouble partnering  with some of the most committed Israel-haters out there- groups that would not accept the existence of Israel within any borders.

Just recently, in our own Bay area, JVP partnered with the Arab Resource Organizing Center for their Day of Rage against investment Giant Tiaa-Cref

Arab Resource Organizing Center partnering with JVP  
In this announcement from the  Arab Resource Organizing Center, a  "Day of Divestment from Israel" is promoted, with "solidarity" groups JVP, Sabeel and the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC). Carol Sanders of JVP is listed the contact person.

How extreme is AROC? At the recent fundraiser for their Youth Group AYO, geared toward young Arabs ages 14-22, they featured bumper stickers  "Support the Intifada" - the uprising that left thousands of civilians dead on both sides of the conflict. Hardly the words of a peace group.

In spite of their grandiose self-serving proclamations regarding racism and anti-Semitism, the Los Angeles chapter of JVP promoted a May 17  event featuring the man who described the burning of synagogues as "a rational act",  notorious anti-Semite Gilad Atzmon.

Hosting BDS summer camps,  sponsoring rallies where "Zionist Scum your time has come" is chanted, aiding and abetting those that would destroy Israel as the state of the Jewish people- all in a days work for Jewish Voice for Peace.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

What the World's Silence on Syria means to Israel

From Dr. Mordechai Kedar,  Director of the Center for the Study of the Middle East and Islam (under formation) at Bar-Ilan University, Israel reprinted at the Love of the Land Blog

In March 2011 a series of nonviolent demonstrations began in the cities of Syria, which expressed the wish of its citizens to live in a more decent state. Two and a-half years later, more than 100,000 are dead and four million are refugees in Syria and abroad. Hundreds of thousands of houses and apartments have been turned into rubble and the infrastructure in large parts of the country has been shattered. Without a doubt, there has been enough time, enough deaths, refugees and destruction for the world -- which claims to be guided by moral considerations -- to wake up and do something beyond verbal condemnation.
But this has happened. The world continues to look away.

The sad conclusions to emerge from the world's silence in the face of the suffering in the Middle East are very important to us as Israelis:

1. Even if tens of thousands of Israelis are killed, injured or displaced by war or terrorism -- the world will fail to respond.

2. Israel must not make any concessions in return for international guarantees, because when put to the test, every state operates according to its current interests, not according to its past commitments or moral considerations.

3. Moral considerations do not affect actions. Anti-Semitism, however, pushes moral imposters to boycott Israeli products.

4. Even those who use non-violent means may be exposed to violent reaction, and the world accepts this immoral equation.

5. If Iran does not threaten the West, the West will again be willing to sacrifice the Jews to the point of extermination, as long as oil from the Persian Gulf keeps flowing into the energy market.

6. In an international system that operates without a moral compass, Israel must act according to its own best interests. And if the security interest - Israel's existence - means holding on to all the Land of Israel or part of it - other considerations must not be involved in the decision.

7. Ethical considerations such as "the Palestinians also deserve a state" must be compared to saying that "Syrians deserve to live." A European or American who does not care about Syrian life has no right to demand that Israel be more moral than him.

8. Peace in the Middle East will only be achieved by he who is able to demonstrate to his opponents that he is invincible.

Read it here

Friday, August 23, 2013

"Thats Funny. You Don't look Jewish"

Great series of photos from Pop Chassid

He writes:
"As a Sephardic Jew who also happens to be religious, I thought I should do a bit of an exposé on the beautiful rainbow that is the Jewish people.  A people that can’t be defined as a race or be put into a convenient box.  A people that defy all stereotypes.."

Check them out
Jewish dervishes Agha-Jaan Darvish and his brother., Iran, c.1922.

Yemenite Woman

Rastaboy Raslion

And see all the photos here.

Salif Keita reports threats and harassment from "peaceful" BDS movement

More BDS lies and bullying.

Today, the BDS'ers gleefully claimed that Afro-pop singer-songwriter and musician Salif Keita's 11th hour cancellation of his Israel gig was because he  "has joined the cultural boycott of Israel."  No, not quite.  Keita is yet another artist that has reported threats, harassment and intimidation from the anti-Israel cru. But unlike Paul McCartney and Eric Burdon, Keita capitulated and cancelled his show. Does anyone still think the BDS movement is "peaceful"? 

From the facebook page of Salif Keta:

Salif Keita forced to cancel Jerusalem Festival due to dangerous threats by BDS

Dear Sacred Music Festival, Hadassah Hospital, Salif Keita fans,

 On behalf of Salif Keita and the Salif Keita Global Foundation, we would like to thank you for organizing a magnificent unifying music festival, and a visit of the albinism treatment center in Jerusalem. Unfortunately, Mr. Keita will not be able to attend either events because of the cancellation of his show at the Sacred Music Festival.

Although, the show was cancelled, Mr. Keita (and his foundation for albinism) would like to convey his most sincere apologies to all concerned, such as the concert organizers, the Albinism Treatment Center and especially all his wonderful and diverse fans in Israel. The reason for the cancellation is not one which was made by Mr. Keita, but by his agents who were bombarded with hundreds of  threats, blackmail attempts, intimidation, social media harrassment and slander stating that Mr Keita was to perform in Israel, “not for peace, but for apartheid.”
These threats were made by a group named BDS, who also threatened to keep increasing an anti-Salif Keita campaign, which they had already started on social media, and to work diligently at ruining the reputation and career that Mr. Keita has worked 40 years to achieve not only professionally, but for human rights and albinism.

Of course, we do not agree with any of these tactics or false propaganda, but management’s concern is to protect the artist from being harmed personnally and professionally. Although, we love Israel and all his fans here, and the fantastic spirit of unity of the Sacred Music Festival, as well as the important work your hospital is doing for albinism, we did not agree with the scare tactics and bullying used by BDS;  therefore management decided to act cautiously when faced with an extremist group, as we believe BDS to be.

In addition, Mr. Keita is not a politician who plays for governments, but a musician who performs for his fans who are of all faiths and origins in Jerusalem.  It is unfortunate that artists like him are threatened by this group who falsely claim to defend  human rights, when they should take their concerns to governments or ask for support of their cause in a lawful way, and not by endangering the freedom of expression of artists, or using harrassment and intimidation of artists who play for peace and for all people, in order to bring some kind of justice to the Palestinians they claim to represent.

Since Mr. Keita, during his stay and performance in Jerusalem, had planned to visit the Hadassah Hospital and albinism center, he had also planned to make a donation of certain goods to the hospital which he would still like to offer. The boxes are already in Jerusalem and were shipped for his planned visit to the hospital. The modest donation consists of about a couple of hundred new UV protected sunglasses, as well as UV protected clothing, swimgear and hats for patients with albinism.

Again, we thank you for your invitation to Jerusalem, and are deeply saddened and disappointed by the outcome of this planned performance and visit. We hope that you will receive this donation with the love it was intended to bring to the patients, as we determine a future time to be able to perform in Israel, and  visit your important center for albinism and skin cancer treatment.


Salif Keita and Coumba Makalou
The Salif Keita Global Foundation INC
Washington, DC

Elsewhere on Facebook, Tali Shapiro and her posse declare "victory", calling this a "cultural boycott success" and an "important milestone"


And true to form, Seattle Blogger Richard Silverstein cant keep up with the big kids, tweeting minutes ago:

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Academics against Academic freedom

 23,000 students from diverse ethnic and religious backgrounds attend Hebrew University, one of the crown jewels of Israel's higher educational system.  4,600 Arab students are enrolled, along with 1,200 students from over 50 countries.   Hebrew University  is one of the highest ranked universities in the world, and is ranked first in academic excellence by Israel’s Council for Higher Education. Eight Nobel Prize winners are Hebrew University graduates or researchers.

Twenty percent of the student body at Hebrew University is Arab. They do not boycott this academic powerhouse. Yet, this group of academics, disgraced math professors , graduate students,  anti-Israel activists and "independent researchers"  have signed a petition asking people to boycott the June 2014 ‘International Conference on Oral History’ organized by the Oral History Division of the Avraham Harman Institute of Contemporary Jewry at Hebrew University. Call them the "Academics against Academic freedom"

Academic boycotts are anathema to the free exchange of ideas that characterize a democracy.  The American Association of University Professors, as an organization, stands in opposition to academic boycotts as a matter of principle in keeping with their long-standing commitment to the free exchange of ideas, urging that academics seek alternative means, less inimical to the principle of academic freedom, to pursue their concerns.

 The AAUP especially oppose selective academic boycotts that entail an ideological litmus tests, refusing to endorse the use of political or religious views as a test of eligibility for participation in the academic community.

The undersigned 79 represent a true minority in the academic world, representing those who place a narrow political agenda above the pursuit of liberal ideals and the free exchange of ideas.

1. Professor Ahmed Abbes, Directeur de Recherche au CNRS, Bures-sur-Yvette, France

2. Professor Saleh Abdel Jawad (Hamayel), Birzeit University, Palestine

3. Professor Nadia Abu el Haj, Barnard/Columbia University, USA

4. Professor Lila Abu-Lughod, Columbia University, New York, USA

5. Professor Ghada Ageel, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada

6. Professor Ammiel Alcalay, Queens College, City of New York, USA

7. Dr. Diana Allan, Society for the Humanities, Cornell University, Ithaca, USA

8. Professor Lori Allen, University of Cambridge, England

9. Professor Amjad Barham, Hebron University, President of the Palestinian Federation of Unions of     University Professors and Employees, Palestine

10. Ryvka Barnard, Doctoral student, New York University, USA

11. Dr. Samia al-Botmeh, Birzeit University, Palestine

12. Professor Oren Ben-Dor, Southampton University, England

13. Professor Hagit Borer, Queen Mary, University of London, England

14. Dr Robert Boyce, London School of Economics and Political Science, London University, UK

15. Professor Haim Bresheeth, SOAS, University of London, England

16. Professor Michael Chanan, University of Roehampton, England

17. Professor Hamid Dabashi, Columbia University, New York, USA

18. Professor Lawrence Davidson, West Chester University, USA

19. Professor (emerita) Sonia Dayan-Herzbrun, Université Paris, France

20. Professor Ann Douglas, Columbia University, New York, USA

21. Professor Haidar Eid, Al-Aqsa University, Gaza, Palestine

22. Professor Randa Farah, University of Western Ontario, Canada

23. Professor (emeritus), Emmanuel Farjoun, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel

24. Arie Finkelstein, Student, Université Paris Est, France

25. Senior Scholar Bill Fletcher, Jr., Institute for Policy Studies; former President, TransAfrica Forum,
Washington, DC, USA

26. Professor Cynthia Franklin, University of Hawaii

27. Professor Candace Fujikane, University of Hawai‘i at Ma-noa, Honolulu

28. Dr Terri Ginsberg, ICMES, New York, USA

29. Professor (emerita) Sherna Berger Gluck, California State University, Long Beach, USA

30. Professor (emeritus) Yerach Gover, City University of New York, USA

31. Professor Michel Gros, CNRS (National Centre for Scientific Research, Rennes, France

32. Professor (emerita) Sondra Hale, University of California, Los Angeles, USA

33. Professor Salah D. Hassan, Michigan State University, Lansing, USB

34. Professor Sami Hermez, University of Pittsburgh, USA

35. Shir Hever, Independent Economist/Researcher, Palestine-Israel

36. Tineke E. Jansen, Independent researcher, former IOHA Council member, England

37. Professor Rhoda Kanaaneh, Columbia University, New York, USA

38. Dr. Fatma Kassem, Independent researcher, Israel

39. Professor Robin D. Kelley, University of California, Los Angeles, USA

40. Professor Tarif Khalidi, Center for Arab & Middle Eastern Studies, American University,Beirut Lebanon

41. Dr Laleh Khalili, Reader in Politics, SOAS, University of London, England

42. Professor David Klein, California State University, Northridge, USA

43. Professor Dennis Kortheuer, California State University, Long Beach

44. Professor Ronit Lentin, Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland

45. Dr Les Levidow, Open University, UK

46. Professor David Colles Lloyd, University of California, Riverside

47. Professor (emeritus) Moshé Machover, Kings College, University of London, England

48. Professor Nur Masalha, SOAS, University of London, England

49. Professor Joseph Massad, Columbia University, New York, USA

50. Professor William Messing, University of Minnesota, USA

51. Jennifer Mogannam, Ph. D. candidate, University of California, San Diego

52. Professor Chandra Talpade Mohanty, Syracuse University, New York, USA

53. Professor Ahlam Muhtaseb, California State University, San Bernardino, USA

54. Dr Karma Nabulsi, University of Oxford, UK

55. Professor Premilla Nadasen, Queens College, City of New York, USA

56. Dr. Dorothy Naor, Independent researcher, Israel

57. Dr Sonia Nimr, Birzeit University, Palestine

58. Professor Isis Nusair, Denison University, Ohio, USA

59. Professor Gary Y. Okihiro, Columbia University, New York, USA

60. Professor Ilan Pappe, Exeter University, England

61. Professor Willie Van Peer, Ludwig Maximilian University, Munich, Germany

62. Professor Gabriel Piterberg, UCLA, USA

63. Professor Jonathan Rosenhead, London School of Economics, University of London, UK

64. Dr Rosemary Sayigh, Center for Arab and Middle East Studies Centre, American University of Beirut,
Beirut, Lebanon

65. Professor (emeritus) Pierre Schapira, University Pierre et Marie Curie, Paris, France

66. Professor (Emerita) Evalyn F. Segal, PhD, San Diego State University, USA

67. Professor May Seikaly, Wayne State University, Detroit, USA

68. Professor Sherene Seikaly, American University in Cairo, Egypt

69. Professor Anton Shammas, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, USA

70. Professor Sarah Schulman, ACT UP Oral History Project, New York (USA)

71. Professor Andor Skotnes, Chair, Department of History and Society, The Sage Colleges, Troy, NY, USA

72. Dr Kobi Snitz, Weizmann Institute, Israel

73. Professor Ghada Talhami, Lake Forest College, Illinois, USA

74. Professor Lisa Taraki, Birzeit University, Palestine

75. Sibel Taylor, PhD candidate, Oxford Brookes University, Oxford, England

76. Dr Salim Vally, University of Johannesburg, South Africa

77. Dr. Patrick Wolfe, Trobe University, Australia

78. Dr Hala Yameni, Bethlehem University, Bethlehem, Palestine

79. Professor Mahmoud Zeidan, University of Cairo, Egypt

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Food Fight. Palestinians steal olives, cucumbers and tomatoes

 From our friends at CIF Watch:

In a commentary focusing on food as a unifying element in the Middle East, (Could palates, rather than politics be the key to peace in the Middle East?, Aug. 13) ‘Comment is Free’ contributor Rachel Shabi couldn’t help but lament that ‘some countries’ in the region, for obtuse nationalist reasons, claim ownership of legumes that aren’t their own.

More often, we hear about the politics of Middle Eastern food in the context of nationalistic battles over ownership. Israel sparks fury with its ubiquitous postcards of falafel skewered with an Israeli flag and a strapline declaring the pitta-nestled chickpea balls to be their “national snack”. President Obama unwittingly picked that barely-covered scab when it was revealed that he’d be served falafel by the Israeli president on a recent regional trip.
While questions remain as to where precisely in the Middle East the deep-fried round patties (made from ground chickpeasfava beans or both) originated, as Shabi surely knows, nearly half of Israeli Jews are Mizrachi – descendants from Jewish communities in the Middle East.  So, to suggest that Israelis are ‘colonizing’ the ubiquitous street food is not only petty, but ahistorical.


The anti-Israel cru's relentless rants regarding "Zionism’s cultural appropriation of indigenous Palestinian folklore and cuisine"   (thats a direct quote from the Electronic Intifada) reflect not only lack of understanding regarding basic cultural interactions, but also their characteristic inability to see anything beyond the prism of their eternal victimhood.

Petty and ahistorical?  We can play that game, too. Check out this photo from the facebook page "Palestine Food"

How can you not love this photo of absolutely luscious "Palestine" food, labneh , zaatar, flatbread, stuffed eggplant, olives, cucumber and tomato.... wait a second...
Yep. Apparently olives, cucumber and tomato have been appropriated and are now exclusively "Palestine Food".

Its a war crime.


In reality, the food of the Middle East is reflective of its location at the crossroads of civilizations, as well as the waves of immigrants that settled the land.

For a much more nuanced view of food in the Middle East, check out "Beyond Falafel: Food Culture in Israel" , a short film made by Bay Area high school students.   Funny how high school students get these basic concepts of intercultural communication and sharing  that appear beyond the intellectual grasp of the  Electronic Intifada.

And check out  the wonderful cookbook "Jerusalem", written Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi.  From Tablet magazine:  Can the ‘Jerusalem’ Cookbook Bring About Peace?   From the looks of it, yes. The authors write about how the food culture of Jerusalem helps break down boundaries:
"You can see people shop together in food markets, or eat in one another’s restaurants. On rare occasions, they work together in partnership in food establishments. It takes a giant leap of faith, but we are happy to take it--what have we got to lose?--to imagine that hummus will eventually bring Jerusalemites together, if nothing else will."

Saturday, August 17, 2013

As Egypt Burns, Who is blamed?

Why take responsibility for your own conflict when the United States and Israel are just such convenient scapegoats?   

More Antisemitism in the Arab Media

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Another BDS Hoax from JVP and Friends: TIAA-CREF confirms Sodastream holdings

Last month, the We Divest Campaign,  which includes Adalah-NY, the American Friends Service Committee, Grassroots International, Jewish Voice for Peace, the US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation, and the US Palestinian Community Network claimed that Financial giant TIAA-CREF had divested from Sodastream, an Israeli company that manufacturers home carbonation devices.

Their press release read:
Pension fund giant TIAA-CREF has removed the increasingly controversial Israeli company SodaStream (NASD: SODA) from its portfolio. As of March 2013, financial data posted on TIAA-CREF’s website valued shares in SodaStream at $9,444,292. According to financial data available today, it is zero.
“No matter the reason TIAA-CREF dropped SodaStream, we view this as a conscientious decision.” said Sydney Levy of the We Divest Campaign ( “While SodaStream may be a profitable investment, it is socially bankrupt, operating out of an illegal Israeli settlement in the occupied West Bank.”
Alissa Wise, from JVP's Rabbinic council also sent out an email, declaring victory over the forces of evil and sound financial planning..
It is an exciting time for the We Divest Campaign!
Today, we released the news that according to TIAA-CREF's available financial data, they have dropped their investments in SodaStream--the Israeli company which manufactures its home seltzer machines in an illegal Israeli settlement in the West Bank. Read more about TIAA-CREF dropping SodaStream!
Tomorrow, is the CREF shareholder meeting and the We Divest National Day of Action! We Divest activists will be taking to the streets in over a dozen cities nationwide. Locate a demonstration near you and join us!
If you can't join us in the streets, you can always be part of making our demand that TIAA-CREF divest from the Israeli occupation right from your couch! Log-on to Twitter and/or Facebook and help spread the word!
Alissa, We Divest National Coordinator

 Like so many other claims regarding the success of the BDS movement, this turned out to be false.

From The Algemeiner
TIAA-CREF, Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association – College Retirement Equities Fund, which manages $520 billion on behalf of millions of teachers and other union members, confirmed on Thursday that, as of July 15, 2013, it held a significant stake in SodaStream International Ltd., denying claims from the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement that the fund manager had sold its shares in the Israeli company as a political protest.

A TIAA-CREF spokesman said that information provided in its second quarter filing of June 30, 2013, was accurate and that SodaStream shares were held during that period. The fund is prohibited by regulators to cite positions held within the past 30 days, but the spokesman was also able to confirm to The Algemeiner that SodaStream shares were still in its portfolio as of July 15, 2013, the last date it could disclose.

The spokesman said that while there was an element of truth in the BDS claim,  it was also, ultimately, inaccurate.  One TIAA-CREF fund, its Mid-Cap Growth fund, had sold its SodaStream shares as of its first quarter filing on Mar 31, 2013. But, within the second quarter, Soda Stream shares were bought by another TIAA-CREF portfolio, the  Growth & Income Fund, which continued to hold the shares, as of July 15.

Meanwhile, an institutional fund, called the General Account, which invests for the TIAA-CREF Traditional Annuity product and only reports its holdings once a year, was ignored by the BDS campaign: that TIAA-CREF portfolio has held its SodaStream shares continuously, including during the second quarter.

 True to form, no disclaimer, rebuttal or addendum has appeared on any of the sites formerly claiming this a "huge" BDS success. No email has been sent out apologizing for the misleading information.

Truth does not matter to those that hate Israel. It never has. It never will.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Bayard Rustin: Civil Rights Leader. Union Organizer. Zionist

Labor leader and civil rights activist Bayard Rustin has been posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian award in the United States. Along with Rustin, 15 others will be honored at a White House ceremony later this year.

Bayard Rustin will be remembered as an American labor leader, an advocate for universal civil rights for all, regardless or color or sexual orientation, and as a Zionist. He worked to protect the rights of marginalized communities both at home and abroad, fighting against apartheid in South Africa, as well as for the freedom on Soviet Jews. Rustin was a strong friend of the Jewish Labor Committee and a defender of the state of Israel. A. Philip Randolph, the founder of the first African-American labor union- the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters and Rustin joined forces to create the Black Americans to Support Israel Committee (BASIC).

As a member of the Fellowship of Reconciliation he participated in the group's interracial Journey of Reconciliation, engaging in nonviolent acts of civil disobedience throughout the South. These demonstrations served as a precursor to the Freedom Rides of the1960s. As a result of his outspoken activism and acts of civil disobedience, Rustin served time on a prison chain gang.

Rustin was also major figure in organizing the 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, serving as an adviser to Martin Luther King Jr on the philosophy and tactics of civil disobedience. Over a quarter million people participated on the march, which culminated in Dr. King’s unforgettable “I have a dream” speech. Congress passed the Civil Rights Act ten months later.

In 1965, Rustin and Randolph founded the APRI, which helped coordinate the AFL-CIO's work on civil rights and economic justice, eventually serving as director . He was also a regular columnist for the AFL-CIO News.

As an openly gay African American, Rustin was a trail blazer and an inspiration to many who followed. In 1986 he declared: "The barometer of where one is on human rights questions is no longer the black community, it's the gay community. Because it is the community which is most easily mistreated."

Bayard Rustin was also an outspoken friend of Israel.

From Eric Lee,  founding editor of Labourstart an on-line news service for the trade union movement, writing about Rustin:

Like his mentor Randolph, he believed strongly that the labor movement was the key to social change and was willing to work with conservative union leaders to achieve his goals.

He was a consistent advocate of human rights and stood up for the Vietnamese “boat people” in the 1970s when many on the left were busy cheering on the victorious Vietnamese Communists.

And he was the strongest supporter Israel ever had outside the Jewish community.

Rustin supported Israel because he believed in its values of democracy. But he wasn’t an uncritical advocate. He campaigned for the rights of the “Black Hebrews” who had settled in the southern Israeli town of Dimona. He was a strong supporter of the Histadrut and the Israel Labor Party.
Appalled by the Nov 10, 1975  United Nations GA Assembly resolution 3379 which declared that that Zionism was a form of racism, African American community leaders joined with their Jewish colleagues in a rally against racism and antisemitism in Manhattan.

From Gil Troy's book, Moynihan's Moment 
Three important African-American leaders spoke: Percy Sutton, a famous lawyer and politician; Clarence Mitchell, a veteran NAACP official, and the activist Bayard Rustin. Many in the black civil rights community resented the Arabs hijacking their language and sloppily misapplying it to the Middle East.

  “Smearing the ‘racist’ label on Zionism is an insult to intelligence,” wrote Vernon Jordan, the then-40-year-old president of the National Urban League. “Black people, who recognize code words since we’ve been victimized by code words like ‘forced busing,’ ‘law and order,’ and others, can easily smell out the fact that ‘Zionism’ in this context is a code word for antisemitism.” Jordan, a Southern-born lawyer, based his case against the General Assembly for “saying that national self-determination is for everyone except Jews.” And he detailed Arab discrimination against Christian Copts, Kurds, Sudanese blacks and Jews – especially dark-skinned Sephardi Jews.

One African-American speaker in particular, Bayard Rustin, stole the show...

 Rustin considered the resolution “an insult to the generations of blacks who have struggled against real racism.” In his newspaper column, he described the “incalculable damage” done to the fight against racism when the word becomes a “political weapon” rather than a moral standard. Rooting anti-Zionism in the ugly intersection between traditional antisemitism and the Arab desire to eradicate Israel, Rustin quoted Rev. King, a strong supporter of Israel, who said: “when people criticize Zionists, they mean Jews, you are talking antisemitism.”

 Rustin and others also feared distraction from the anti-apartheid fight. Before the vote, 28 African-American intellectuals appealed to the General Assembly to bury this “extraneous issue.” The scholars warned that a taint of antisemitism around the broader mission “will heavily compromise African hopes of expunging apartheid from the world....”

 Tall and handsome, with his Afro sticking up and looming over his high forehead, Rustin ended his speech by bursting into song, singing Go Down Moses. As thousands of New Yorkers, black and white, Jewish and non-Jewish, joined in shouting “Let my people go,” the black and Jewish experiences reached a harmonic convergence.

Later that month,  Rustin’s group Black Americans to Support Israel Committee (BASIC) took out an ad in the New York Times, signed by nearly 200 African American leaders, including Hank Aaron, Reverend Ralph Abernathy, Yvonne Brathwaite Burke, Shirley Chisolm, Coretta Scott King, Roy Wilkins and Rosa Parks declaring:
“Zionism is not racism, but the legitimate expression of the Jewish people’s self determination...From our 400 year experience with slavery, segregation, and discrimination we know that Zionism is not racism.”
The ad also stated:

We support democratic Israel’s right to exist.
The democratic values that have sustained our struggle in America are also the source of our admiration for Israel and her impressive social achievements. No nation is without imperfections. But Israel’s are far outweighed by the freedom of her democratic society. Only in Israel, among the nations of the Middle East, are political freedoms and civil liberties secure. All religions are free and secure in their observance. Education is free and universal. Social welfare is highly advanced. Her communal farms (Kibbutzim) are models of social idealism, creative innovation, cooperative spirit. Israel’s labor movement, the Histadrut, has earned the deep respect of freed trade unionists throughout the world.
Black Americans to Support Israel Committee ad in New York Times

Read the full text of the ad here:

Many Americans will be commemorating the March on Washingtons’ 50th anniversary later this month. Lets use this an opportunity to remember the pioneering work of Bayard Rustin and his vision of a world without hate. We have come quite far in 50 years, but there is still a long way to go.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Snapshots from Gaza: What the mainstream media will not show you

Snapshots from Gaza, revealing horrors unseen since the Warsaw ghetto. The photos of the Bashir Nur resort in Gaza City are from Al Ray, the Palestinian Media Agency.  Strangely enough, they only appear on the Arabic language site. The English language site speaks about the humanitarian crisis facing the "besieged" Gaza strip.

Horrors of Gaza: Photo from Alray Palestinian media agency

Horrors of Gaza: Photo from Alray Palestinian media agency

Horrors of Gaza: Photo from Alray Palestinian media agency
Horrors of Gaza: Photo from Alray Palestinian media agency

Horrors of Gaza: Photo from Alray Palestinian media agency
Look at those lines. Look at those crowds. Its a war crime.

Nicholas Payton calls out the BDS'ers on their Hypocrisy

Having failed to convince Barbra Streisand, Cliff Richards, Alicia Keys and so many more to boycott Israel, the BDS holes have focused their cross-hairs on participants in the Eilat's  Red Sea Jazz festival.

But Nicholas Payton has their number.

Why Nicholas Payton refuses to boycott Israel

Though highly unlikely, let’s say my audience in Eilat would be comprised of nothing but Zionist oppressors: Has anyone thought that perhaps those who most need to hear love in action through music  are the people who think it’s cool to fuck over others? Why should all attendees of the festival be punished for the actions of a few assholes in power? Sometimes you’ve got to go into the belly of the beast to make progress. If you always boycott and refuse to use your art to heal those most in need, what’s the point? Not only am I an artist, but I’m a cultural diplomat. It is my job to open people’s hearts and minds all over the world through the power of art.

By your way of thinking, I would never play another jazz festival or club again. Jazz itself is musical apartheid. It’s the whitewashing of Black music. It was stolen from Black people who aren’t still fully credited, and to this day, is not controlled by Blacks. White people make most of the money and the very existence of the White race—which enables White supremacy and privilege—is apartheid to all people of color. So any time I play a gig anywhere, I am serving The Colony. It’s all dirty money. If I refused to play jazz venues or refused to teach at jazz schools, I would be doing the ancestors and the music a disservice. So whereas for you, “Eilat” may be a name that has an oppressive connotation, to me, the name “JAZZ” has the same effect.

I refuse to boycott Eilat and I refuse to boycott jazz venues, for your reasons, so those of you who are trolling me online about my decision to play the Red Sea Jazz Festival are just wasting your time trying to call me out. How much do any of you know about who I am, anyways? How many of my recordings do you own? How many of my shows have you attended? You appear to only be interested in using Nicholas Payton for your own personal, political narrative. I write my own stories. I don’t allow others to define me and will not be pressured into feeling guilty about using my life passion to instill more beauty in the world.
Thanks, Nicholas Payton for calling out the hypocrisy of the BDS movement, and how counter-productive it is to target art and music for cultural boycotts.

The BDS holes, including  social media regulars Tali ShapiroSylvia Posadas and Emma Rosenthal remain undaunted and continued to stalk Payton using a variety of sock-puppet accounts after their own accounts were banned