Sunday, September 29, 2013

BDS fail news of the Week.

More BSD fail news this week:

Sept. 28 was declared a "National day of Action against Sodastream".  Our friends in the UK were more than ready.

From  Sussex friends of Israel , a group dedicated  to developing greater support, awareness and understanding of Israel through education, communication and community partnership
Supporters of Israel came together today, to hold a Bagels Against Bigotry party outside Brighton’s environmentally friendly refill store Ecostream, to counter a planned day of action and demonstration by BDS, the anti Israel group Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions.

The bagel themed party started at 11.30am outside the Ecostream store on Western Road Brighton, with supporters offering home baked cakes and salmon filled bagels for passers-by to enjoy as they visited Ecostream.

According to the Police just 45 members of the anti-Israel ‘BDS’ group attended the event billed by them as a national day of action.

Within 20 minutes of their arrival the Police moved the protesters to the opposite side of the road, where their protests were not only drowned out by the passing traffic but also obscured by regular Brighton and Hove double decker buses.

This week the Ecostream store has reported its best ever week of sales since opening in Brighton last year. During the event today there was a constant flow of customers refilling their oils, vinegars and environmentally friendly detergents, stocking up with dry goods, as well as purchasing their brand new Sodastream machines. 

Sussex Friends of Israel organiser Simon Cobbs said: “The turnout from supporters of Israel, from across the country today has been superb, we outnumbered the anti-Israeli groups by at least two to one, and at the same time we had a party. I want to thank everyone for their support today, it just shows what can be achieved when the community comes together to counter bigotry and eat bagels.
“Our cross-denominational supporters, have been baking cakes, filling bagels and, most importantly, at the same time supporting the trade of Ecostream, one of Brighton’s greenest and most environmentally friendly shops.
“We were really surprised that the national day of action only generated 45 protesters, and despite their shouting and screaming, they didn’t interrupt our ‘Bagels Against Bigotry’ party, while Ecostream reported brisk trade throughout the day, which capped a record breaking week of sales”.
 Congratulations to Sussex friends of Israel for this successful example of the Buycott, as an ethical counter to the ugliness of the BDS  boycott.

And a huge, massive, epic  $130 million dollar BDS fail:

Israeli technology, research and innovation is coming to China. The Li Ka Shing Foundation from China has pledged  $130 million to Israel’s Technion. The funds will be used both at  Technion campus in Haifa and to establish the Technion Guangdong Institute of Technology, a joint venture with Shantou University in Guangdong Province in southern China. This is the largest ever donation to the Technion and one of the biggest in the history of Israeli higher education.

Facing Urban Shield: A Jump the Shark moment for Bay Area anti-Israel groups?

Lives depend on it. Preparation is key.  Writing in the venerable New England Journal of medicine, Doctors Arthur L. Kellermann.and Kobi Peleg described how years of advance training and preparation streamlined the response parameters, and potentially saved lives in the chaotic aftermath of the attack on the Boston marathon.

“The goal of a well-crafted disaster plan is to provide a framework for preconsidered action. Experience has shown that such a framework is necessary to ensure a well-coordinated response to a sudden mass-casualty event. Boston's health care providers reacted the way they did because they knew what they were supposed to do. Those who did not were smart enough to follow the lead of those who did. That's how a “ritualized” disaster plan works.”

Israel has had more than its share of mass casualty events, and the doctors agreed there is much to learn from their experience:

“In contrast to Israel, a country that has ample experience with terrorist bombings, too many U.S. hospitals treat disaster preparedness as an afterthought. We would be wise to emulate Israel's doctrine, which emphasizes the importance of national coordination, standard operating procedures, constant attention to surge capacity, the avoidance of emergency-department overcrowding, the distribution of casualties according to type and severity, and the frequent conducting of rigorous drills.4 Because Boston followed many of these principles, it mounted an effective response. Our goal must be to ensure that every U.S. city can do the same.”

A mass casualty event is just as likely to be “natural” as man-made.  Flooding. Fires. Earthquakes. Severe weather   Experts predict the overall probability of a 6.7 or larger earthquake striking the Bay Area in the next 30 years at 63 percent. Again,  preparation is key.

Urban Shield aims to save lives. Coordinating first responders in a variety of role-playing scenarios, it  is scheduled for Oakland October 25-28.   From their website:

Urban Shield has grown into a comprehensive, full-scale regional preparedness exercise assessing the overall Bay Area UASI Region's response capabilities related to multi-discipline planning, policies, procedures, organization, equipment and training. Urban Shield continues to test regional integrated systems for prevention, protection, response and recovery in our high-threat, high-density urban area. The exercise evaluates our existing level of preparedness and capabilities, identifying not only what we do well, but areas in need of improvement. The previous years' After Action Reports are referenced and used to assist in prioritizing upcoming expenditures possible for the region so we may become more prepared for any type of critical event or incident in our area.

The diverse list of participants includes Children’s Hospital,  Kaiser Hospital and Alta Bates. The Red Cross is involved, are local police, fire and EMT associations from ten different Bay area counties. The goal is preparedness training  in the service of saving lives in the Bay area.

Who could possibly object?  

A consortium of groups operating under the name "Facing Urban Shield' have organized in response, calling Urban Shield -  "a trade show and training exercise for SWAT teams and police agencies" , claiming  it "will bring local, national and international law enforcement agencies together with “defense industry contractors” to provide training and introduce new weapons to police and security companies".  Facing Urban Shield dismisses the training programs as "war games"  The list of groups participating includes the  Tristan Anderson Campaign, Palestine Youth Movement, International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network,Queers Undermining Israeli Terrorism, Arab Resource and Organizing Center, and the Islamic Labor Caucus.   See a pattern?
Why would anti-Israel groups join together to protest a first responders training conference and trade show?

With the Middle East a tinderbox of instability, the Palestine-Firsters are faced  with a stagnant movement to destroy the democratic state of Israel. They have prioritized building alliances as a way to grown their near moribund movement

From Lynn Gottleib,  published at the JVP Rabbinic Council blog: (emphasis mine)

 "Recently, Noura Khouri and I initiated the Facing Urban Shield Action Network in the Bay Area which is composed of over 20 organizations that address different aspects of the militarization of police. Urban Shield is the weapons trade show and training ground for police agencies from the US and around the world. The IDF is connected to Urban Shield. Protesting Urban Shield is an opportunity to link domestic and international struggles against occupation, incarceration and war and build the global movement for justice and peace."

What does this group have planned?  

From their Facebook page (As of today, all of 2 people have committed to attending)

Join us on October 25th at Oscar Grant Plaza in down town Oakland, at the Marriott Hotel. We will converge at the Marriott and keep a steady presence from 8-5, and rally from 5-6. We will raise our collective voices and say: enough police, and state violence - it doesn't work!

Expect a flash mob with a lame song and dance routine  Expect a few miscreants attempting to disrupt the exhibit hallExpect self-congratulatory youtubes and press releases on how successful they were. Expect more tales told by  idiots, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

UNRWA: You can't run from the truth

On August 16, 2013, the U.S. and the Palestinian Authority signed a new $148 million economic aid agreement.  

This aid is only a fraction of what the Palestinians receive from the world community.  Per capita, the Palestinian receive more aid than any other people in the world. Much of this money is channeled through UNRWA, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East

The Palestinians receive more aid per capita than any other group worldwide. Chart from Elder of Ziyon

UNRWA was established in 1949 as temporary organization yet has survived for 64 years by extending its services to the descendants of the original beneficiaries.   According to UNRWA, a Palestinian refugee is  someone whose residency  was in Palestine from June 1, 1946 to May 15, 1948, and who lost both their homes and their livelihoods in the war against Israel.  They make  no pretext of Palestinians being "indigenous"   There is simply a requirement of residency in pre-state Israel for two years.  UNRWA is unique because  its sole  responsibility is to one group of refugees. Throughout the world, other refugees fall under the jurisdiction of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR)

UNRWA's  2012 budget was $907,907,371., with the US, EU, UK, Sweden, Norway, Germany, The Netherlands and Japan paying 71 percent of the total.

Humanitarian aid, worldwide
 What does our tax money go to?

Watch this shot clip of UNRWA sponsored Camp Jihad.  Do you still believe this conflict is about "the occupation"?

From the film:
“Our parents were on the beach,” a teacher in Balata tells the young campers sitting around her during story time. “They sailed ships, they would travel, they had cars, palaces, and villas… Every night they would tell stories.”
She then asks the children if Palestinians still have the sea, and if they want to go to the sea in Jaffa, Haifa, and Acre. Notwithstanding her passion for teaching about local geography, she asks the children if they would like to return to the sea in the land-locked city of Nazareth.
Her story soon takes a chilling turn. The Palestinians were having a nice barbecue on the beach when a wolf appeared, she recounts. “Who is the wolf?” the teacher asks. “The Jews! Isn’t it true that the Jews are the wolf?”“Who expelled us?” she asks the kids, who listen with rapt attention. “The Jews!” they yell energetically.
“I will defeat the Jews,” a camper named Tayma tells the documentary crew. “They are a gang of infidels and Christians. They don’t like Allah and do not worship Allah. And they hate us.”
One young campers sums up, “The summer camp teaches us that we have to liberate Palestine.”

On October 5 there will be a San Francisco  fundraiser hosted by American Friends of UNRWA for this already bloated organization, ostensibly to fund programs for children.  A 5-K run around Lake Merced is scheduled, in "solidarity with Gaza".  To those participating. You can't run from the truth. UNRWA is an obstacle to peace, perpetuating generations of refugees and indoctrinating children with messages of intolerance and hate.  Is this an organization that deserves your support?

Alice Walker . Keep This disturbed Woman away from Children

Another thoughtful human being shocked at Alice Walkers' embrace of looney toon David Icke.  From the Blog: At The back Of the Hill. Read the whole post here

Yesterday around tea-time I ended up reading about Alice Walker. Alice Walker, you will recall, is the American literateur and harpy about whose book 'The Cushion In The Road' the Anti-Defamation League said "What is shocking, however, is the extremely vitriolic and hateful rhetoric employed by Walker, the author of The Color Purple and a poet and activist. Her descriptions of Israel and Israelis can largely be described as anti-Jewish and anti-Semitic."

 "Her writing is heavily peppered with explicit comparisons between Israel and Nazi Germany, an analogy employed by the harshest of anti-Israel critics..."

I wouldn't be surprised if The Cushion In The Road is one of Jimmy Carter's favourites. Walker and Carter are birds of a feather. 

A very filthy feather, to be sure.

"What is shocking, however, is the extremely vitriolic and hateful rhetoric employed by Walker"

According to Wikipedia, after having already visited Gaza in 2009, Alice Walker intended to participate in an aid flotilla countering Israel's blockade and contravening international law in 2011. "Explaining her reasons, she cited concern for the children and that she felt that "elders" should bring "whatever understanding and wisdom we might have gained in our fairly long lifetimes, witnessing and being a part of struggles against oppression."


Also from Wikipedia, "In May 2013 Alice Walker indicated her support for the conspiracy theorist David Icke. On BBC Radio 4's Desert Island Discs she said that Icke's Human race get off your knees (in which Icke claims that Earth's moon is actually a “gigantic spacecraft” transmitting “fake reality broadcast[s] much the same way as portrayed in the Matrix movie trilogy") would be her choice if she could have only one book. Walker has also praised this book on her own website, stating that upon reading the book she "felt it was the first time I was able to observe, and mostly imagine and comprehend, the root of the incredible evil that has engulfed our planet."

David Icke?

Man, I just looooove Wikipedia!

David Vaughan Icke is the new-age nutzoid who claims that many of the world leaders past and present are actually reptilian pedophiles from outer space.

Once again from Wikipedia: "Icke argues that humanity was created by a network of secret societies run by an ancient race of inter- breeding bloodlines from the Middle and Near East, originally extraterrestrial. Icke calls them the "Babylonian Brotherhood." The Brotherhood is mostly male. Their children are raised from an early age to understand the mission; those who fail to understand it are pushed aside. The spread of the reptilian bloodline encompasses what Norman Simms calls the odd and ill-matched, extending to 43 American presidents, three British and two Canadian prime ministers, various Sumerian kings and Egyptian pharaohs, and a smattering of celebrities such as Bob Hope. Key Brotherhood bloodlines are the Rockefellers, the Rothschilds, various European royal and aristocratic families, the establishment families of the Eastern United States, and the British House of Windsor. Icke identified the Queen Mother in 2001 as "seriously reptilian."

Read the entire post here

Action Alert: Insist that CSUN Remove David Klein's Biogoted Anti-Israel Web pages

From StandWithUs ,  an international, nonprofit organization supporting Israel around the world.

Cal State University Northridge [CSUN] mathematics professor David Klein has posted anti-Israel defamations on the CSUN server.  These inflammatory web pages violate Cal State University standards and policy, and foster a hostile environment for pro-Israel students on campus.  Thus far, CSUN officials have refused to remove the offending web pages.

Background.  David Klein, professor of mathematics at Cal State University Northridge (CSUN) posted anti-Semitic, anti-Israel material web pages on the CSUN server. One page, “Boycott Israel,” is crude anti-Israel propaganda with the inflammatory header that “Israel is the most racist state in the world at this time,” links to anti-Israel websites and materials,and gruesome photos of dead children to imply that Israel intentionally murders Palestinian babies—that is, the medieval blood libel charge. 

On a separate page, Klein posted an open letter to CSU’s Chancellor, urging CSU to reverse its decision to reinstate the study abroad program in Israel because Israel is an “apartheid,” dangerous state where American students would face discrimination and even possible death at the hands of the IDF.

These web pages should be removed immediately from the CSUN server.  They violate CSU’s policy of prohibiting misuse of the school name for political purposes.  They also are intended to incite hatred of Israel and Israel’s supporters. Professor Klein’s materials, with their double standards, distorted facts, and demonization of Israel are clear examples of what the US State Department identifies as the new Anti-Semitism.  Unfortunately, the letter urging revocation of CSUN’s study abroad program was signed by over 77 CSU faculty and staff, including the CSUN Deans of Humanities and of Arts and Humanities.  

What can you do to help?  
Sign an open letter to the university: 
The Amcha Initiative, founded by Professors Tammi Benjamin and Leila Beckwith, has posted a letter to Cal State University Chancellor Reed, urging that these offensive web pages be removed from the CSUN server. 
Sign here

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

The Silence of Their Friends. The Hypocrisy of the Middle East Children's Alliance

International relief organizations are warning of the risk of mass starvation across Syria, with 4 million people at risk.   According to the Moadamiyeh Media Center, six people have died of starvation in recent days- two women and four children ages. 15 other children are in intensive care in clinics, suffering from malnutrition.

From Save the Children UK, from Hunger in a War Zone.

 The devastation caused by the conflict has forced almost 7 million people into poverty.  Deprived of their income and assets, and with food prices rocketing, thousands of parents have been pitched from lives of relative comfort into destitution. While inflation is estimated to be around 50%,  food-price inflation is as high as 100%. impoverished by the conflict and faced with this rampant inflation, 40% of families across seven governorates report that they lack enough food; what used to be a comfortable state salary is now insufficient to buy enough basic food for families in areas like Deir-ez-Zor.

With food so scarce and so expensive, half of an average family’s expenditure is now on on basic food. This is already proving unsustainable for many families. According to one survey, one family in five is spending over a week a month without any food in the house because they cannot afford any.  More and more families are sinking into destitution and debt, selling off what little they still have and sliding nearer the point when they simply cannot feed their children.
"The world has stood and watched as the children of Syria have been shot, shelled and traumatized by the horror of war," said Roger Hearn, Save the Children's regional director for the Middle East. "The conflict has already left thousands of children dead, and is now threatening their means of staying alive."

The witness statements gathered by Save the Children paint a bleak picture of the devastation wrought by the 2 1/2 year long civil war.
  • It was very dangerous for me and my children — we had no food and were always hungry. When this hunger had continued for two months and we were very weak, that is when we decided to flee. We realized we would starve if we stayed in Syria. – Roula, mother
  • The price of food doubled in my village and we couldn't afford to eat at all. Milk, bread, everything — doubled. The children became very hungry all the time. And with no nutrients, they also became sick. – Jinan, mother of Siba, 3
  • Because of a lack of food, my children didn't grow as they should. They started losing weight, and it was all we could do to keep them alive. – Maryam, mother of two

Faced with this colossal  humanitarian crisis, you would expect the  Bay Area  "Human rights" organizations to have mobilized. 

It hasn't happened.

The Middle East Children's Alliance pays scant attention to the plight of Syrian children on their website, instead promoting  its usual unvaried menu of anti-Israel programming 

September 25, 2013 7:00pm Berkeley, CA: "Welcome to Hebron" Film Screening

October 05, 2013  6:30pm - 9:30pm A Cultural Benefit for Children in Palestine Traumatized by War

October 17, 2013  7:00pm - 10:00pm Children's Rights in Palestine & The U.S. as a Dishonest Broker

MECA pays mere lip service to the suffering of the children in Syria. There are no links to the Save the Children Report.  There is no programming to alert the world to the suffering of the children of Syria. There are no protests, no marches, no 10-K runs to raise funds. For MECA,  what defines worthy victims are their perceived oppressors.

There is something fundamentally dishonest about an organization  called the "Middle East Children's Alliance" that can look the other way in the face of such suffering. There is something fundamentally vile about an organization  that picks and chooses its morality based on the racist equation "Can we blame Israel for this?"

Sunday, September 22, 2013

More Palestinian non-violent resistance

There have been two Israeli Defense Force (IDF) soldiers murdered in three days. 

On Friday, September 20, 2013, 20-year-old Tomer Hazan, was lured to the West Bank by a Palestinian acquaintance and murdered.    42-year-old Nedal Amar told security forces he led the victim to the West Bank, and threw his body in a well.  They had  worked together in a restaurant in Israel

Earlier today, Sgt. Gabriel Kobi, 20 years old shot in the neck by a Palestinian sniper outside the Tomb of the Patriarchs in Hebron, one of the holiest spots in the world for the Jewish people. Hebron is on curfew, while the search for the assassin continues.

And in the equally warped world of social media,  anti-Israel activists celebrated the murders.
Anti-Israel activists celebrating murder on Facebook
Palestinian groups have called for a day of rage against Israel, and there are fears that the violence will increase.

Via Judge Dan, at the Israellycool website
Palestinian facebook pages  are featuring DIY instructions on making firebombs

Palestinian Non-violent resistance firebombs

 Apparently, non-violent resistance is as mythical a beast as the Palestinian "right" of return.
Pray for the peace of Jerusalem, and for the safety and health of her defenders.

Israel assisting Kenyan forces in Narobi Hostage Drama

From the novel Kite Runner, by Khaled Hosseini. :  

Baba would enlighten me with his politics during those walks with long-winded dissertations. "There are only three real men in this world, Amir," he'd say. He'd count them off on his fingers: America the brash savior, Britain, and Israel. "The rest of them – " he used to wave his hand and make a phht sound " – they're like gossiping old women."
Patriarchy and sexism aside, it appears that Israel again is proving its mettle.There are unconfirmed reports that Israel has sent a team to aid Kenyan forces in an attempt to free hostages in Nairobi's Westgate mall. Gunmen lay siege to the mall  midday Saturday, tossing grenades and firing automatic weapons,  killing at  least 68.  Victims ranged from 2 to 78. Among those confirmed dead are Kenyans, and French, Canadian and Chinese nationals.  Four American citizens were injured, according to the U.S. State Department.   The al Qaida linked al Shabaab group has claimed responsibility for the attack.

From CNN

The operation ticks the boxes that al Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri listed in a message published just over a week ago.

1. Ensure the target is Western. The Westgate Mall has several Israeli establishments and is popular with expatriates. Those killed include three British citizens, two French nationals and two Canadians, their governments said. In his September 13 message, al-Zawahiri warned against attacks on non-Western states unless the regime was part of "the American forces." Kenya, with its long tradition of pro-Western governments and close relationships with Western militaries, fits that bill.

2. Take hostages where possible. Al-Zawahiri recommended taking "the citizens of the countries that are participating in the invasion of Muslim countries as hostages so that our prisoners may be freed in exchange."

3. Try to avoid Muslim casualties. Al-Shabaab claimed on its Twitter feed that the gunmen escorted Muslims out of the mall, before turning on the "disbelievers" inside. Witnesses said the gunmen at the Westgate tried to identify Muslims by asking shoppers the name of Mohammed's mother. They shot those who didn't know.

“This will end tonight — our forces will prevail,” the police command center said in a Twitter post. “Kenyans are standing firm against aggression, and we will win.”

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Gaza: What Siege?

Ever wonder why the anti-Israeli activists have shelved their high profile publicity stunts?  Its been many months since we've heard about a flotilla or a flytilla.   I'm guessing its because they've finally realized that the world isn't stupid.

Social media shrinks the world. Its hard to even pretend there's a humanitarian crisis.   Do a quick Google image search search for Gaza hotels.  Check out the brand new construction. Palatial halls. Beautiful swimming pools. Luxurious rooms.

Arcmed Almashtal  hotel in Gaza.
Search for Gaza restaurants.  Look at their extensive menus and buffets.  Check out Palmera in Gaza City- known for its Bavarian pastries and cakes. (Yes, those photos are by the very same Sami Kishawi who bemoans the "siege" and "starving" and the children of Gaza)

Menu, Roots restaurant, Gaza city
 Everything thing you need to know about the "siege" of Gaza  is below. From Sept. 8  through  Sept 14, 1,428 trucks carrying 38,545 tons of supplies entered Gaza. 2,882 people crossed through the Erez crossing. From the beginning of the year, 41,852 truckloads of supplies have entered Gaza, bringing a total of 1,159,552 tons of supplies

Siege. Fail.

In which The Free Palestine movement whines

Awww. The hapless Free Palestine Movement's billboard request was denied, and they are upset. Likely  FPM will eventually find a different vendor with less meticulous standards to display their propaganda, but in the meanwhile,  thank you, CBS Outdoors, and thank you Reed Saunders for your good judgement. 

From the free Palestine movement:
Dear Friends of Palestine,

The following message concerns a project that we are supporting with your donations and especially the donations specifically earmarked for billboards and other advertising.

The FPM Team

Sample picture

CBS Outdoor Billboard Censorship

    "A lobby is like a night flower: It thrives in the dark and dies in the light.” – former AIPAC foreign policy director Steve Rosen

CBS Outdoor has shown itself to be an arm of the Israel lobby, if there was any doubt. 

 When Beth Daoud of the Colorado BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) Campaign first approached CBS Outdoor about leasing space to express a message critical of Israel's human rights abuses of Palestinians, she received a rather strange response.  "That's fine," said Reed Saunders, the CBS Outdoor sales rep, "but our requirements are that you must not use the words "Israel" or "Jew".

 With that challenge, Beth's group paired with No Tax Dollars To Israel, a tax exempt nonprofit organization that advocates withholding tax money and exemptions from abusers of human rights, including the state of Israel.  Together, they came up with the wording "Want peace? Stop ethnic cleansing in Palestine."  Beth sent it to Saunders and got approval.

 The partnering groups then chose the design and illustration to go with the wording, submitted a final copy to Saunders, and waited.  And waited.

 Nearly two weeks went by before Saunders replied, "I'm sorry to report that the billboard design was not approved and will not be accepted. No explanation was given, nor am I expecting one."

 The explanation is not needed.  CBS Outdoor also removed billboards in southern California that advocated stopping aid to Israel.  The Israel lobby has also worked overtime to prevent similar ads from seeing the light of day in Seattle, New York and other locations.

 Rest assured that you have not heard the last of this story.  We will not rest until this ad is displayed for all to see.

Wishing the Free Palestine Movement many more sleepless nights.

Is David Klein of CSUN using tax-payer resources to promote extremist agenda?

As documented by the Amcha Initiative,  Prof. David Klein Cal State Northridge has been using the CSUN name and resources to promote his personal political agenda. Klein has been using his University email and website to endorse political candidates, solicit donations for them and to promote boycotts against Israel.  Using state resources gives the appearance of imprimateur from the University.   Klein may be in violation not only of CSU guidelines but the California Educational Code, as well.

          Misuse of the CSU name
It is inappropriate to use the CSU name without the written permission of the institution for any purpose, including:
  • Designating a business, social, political, religious or other organization;
  • Claiming an affiliation or endorsement of the California State University, where none exists;
  • Advertising any meeting or activity that has the purpose of supporting or opposing any strike, lockout, boycott, or political, religious, sociological or economic activity; and
Any other commercial purpose.

Consequences for Misuse of the CSU Name
The California State University strives to resolve any misuse of its name by first bringing the situation to the attention of the individual/business and requesting immediate correction. If that fails, or in the first instance in egregious situations, the CSU will take legal action to protect its name, which can result in civil and/or criminal penalties including:
  • Money damages or fines
  • Injunctive relief
  • Criminal charges
  • Seizure of infringing merchandise
  • Attorneys' fees
As California taxpayers, how do you feel about David Klein using state resources to push an extremist personal political agenda? Speech might be free, but bandwidth is not. The CSU Board of Trustees can be reached here.

Students- to report antisemitic activity on a college or university campus click here


Israel sends aid team to Assist Colorado flood victims

“Biblical" levels of rain  have triggered massive flash flooding along Colorado’s Front Range mountains.   Over 17,000 properties are estimated to be damaged or destroyed.  As of now, 9 bodies have been recovered, but many more are missing.
An IsraAID relief team is enroute to Boulder, Colorado to join the efforts of American relief teams

From ShalomLife:

A relief team from IsraAID, The Israel Forum for International Humanitarian Aid - UJA’s partner since 2005 - is expected to land in Denver on September 20th, and head towards Boulder to join the efforts of national American relief teams, government agencies and the Jewish communities of Denver and Boulder.

“IsraAID aims to help local residents find and save their possessions, clean debris and gut houses so families can begin the slow path to recovery,” said Shachar Zahavi, CEO, IsraAID “As with Superstorm Sandy last November, the cleaning stage is crucial to avoid major health and hygiene issues from contaminated water, open sewage, and the onset of dangerous mold. We wish to thank UJA Federation of Greater Toronto, The Allied Jewish Federation of Colorado and the Jewish community of Boulder for supporting our efforts in Colorado.”
Over the past few years, IsraAID has extended a helping hand to US communities affected by disasters, including Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans, super storm Sandy in New York and  tornado ravaged communities of Oklahoma.

That's what friends are for.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Prof. Ron Lopez. More low-level anti-Israel propaganda in the CSU system

A recent comment and its follow-up (Links added )
In my experience, the harassment of Jewish students and Israel supporters on California campuses is not necessarily marked by major incidents. Instead, it is characterized by a steady pattern of low level annoyances and minor grievances that together add up to an uncomfortable climate.
 Last year I had a class with Prof. Ronald Lopez of the ethnic studies department of Sonoma State University. Other students had reported his bias against non-Latino students, but ethnic studies are required and his class was available and fit my schedule. Mid semester I went to his office to speak to him about a test. His office door was filled with flyers about creating a safe space for all students. Maybe not ALL Students. Front and center however was a disgusting piece of anti-Israel propaganda.
 I didn't go in, and I didn't talk to him. I was angry and there was no where to turn and no one to complain to. Knowing any action I took would affect my grade, I was silent.
Documentation was provided. This was Ron Lopez's office door at Sonoma State University

SSU Professor Ron Lopez's office door

This was the offensive "anti-Israel propaganda"  that upset the student.  Ariel Sharon has been in a coma since 2006.  Its not only vile inappropriate propaganda, it is dated, vile, inappropriate propaganda
Lies and Distortions on SSU Prof. Ron Lopez's office door
How many Jewish students, when faced with  biased speech and inaccuracies from their professors actually speak out? How many simply drop their classes?  How many incidents of bias in education remain undocumented?

We need to prepare our students for life in college. They need to be educated in the history of our people. They need to be taught to confront bias where it exists. And they need a campus support system so they know that they are not alone.

Monday, September 16, 2013

JVP: Jewish disagreement on Israeli policies is not the issue; but assisting Israel’s enemies is beyond the pale.

Throughout the world, the Jewish people gather in communal prayer on Yom Kippur. Yet in Sacramento, California, members of  Jewish Voice for Peace spent the day picketing Target for daring to sell SodaStream, a home carbonation device based in Israel.   No one familiar with JVP would be shocked that their activists would spend the holiest day in the Jewish calendar protesting Israeli products.
From the Times of Israel: When Dissent Becomes Abandonment, by Yitzhak Santis
In an environment of demonization and double standards targeting Israel, JVP tries to project itself as a legitimate member of the mainstream American Jewish community.  But JVP actively supports the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) campaign, and the demonization strategy adopted by the 2001 NGO Forum in Durban, South Africa. JVP is instrumental in bringing these campaigns to mainline churches, on campuses, and within the Jewish community.
For the overwhelming majority of American Jews, these goals and activities lie far outside the broad communal tent.  There has always been room for dissent within the community regarding Israeli policies.  But responsible dissenters accept Israel as a Jewish and democratic state within secure and internationally recognized borders, seeking a two state solution.
On the core question, JVP claims to be neutral on “one-state” elimination or a two-state solution.  “One-state” means a bi-national framework open to thousands of “returning” 1948 Palestinian refugees and their millions of descendants.  Jews will be a minority, meaning no national self-determination and Zionism. And given the reality faced by minorities elsewhere in the Arab world, Jews would be unwelcome and endangered.  Yet, JVP’s amorphous position on whether Israel should exist is explained by them as follows: “we have members and supporters on both sides of this question, as well as many others who, like the organization as a whole, are agnostic about it.”
“Agnostic” on whether Israel should exist is not dissent.  This is abandonment.

Jewish Voice for Peace has a long history of standing alongside those committed to the destruction of Israel, literally sharing a tent with Alison Weir's notorious group "If Americans Knew" and the International Solidarity Movement (ISM) at the Marin County fair.  At a JVP sponsored rally in San Francisco last year, supporters of Israel were besieged by opponents chanting "Zionist Scum, your time has come" .  Santis takes JVP to task for consistently aiding and abetting groups with an anti-Semitic agenda.

Nor is JVP averse to working with groups espousing antisemitism.  One of JVP’s principal partners in the church BDS effort is Sabeel, which promotes historic Christian anti-Jewish teachings of replacement theology and deicide imagery.   Sabeel’s founder, Naim Ateek, has said, “The establishment of Israel was a relapse to the most primitive concepts of an exclusive, tribal God…”  Despite this anti-Judaism, JVP’s Rabbinical Council – headed by Brant Rosen – issued a “Statement of Support for the Sabeel Institute” declaring, “We stand in solidarity with the work of Sabeel.”
Similarly, in June 2013, JVP’s Sacramento chapter sent an email forwarding an action alert by Charles E. Carlson’s Strait Gate Ministries.  Carlson has written of “the Zionist influenced banking fraternity” that is “in league with world Zionism.”  In 2011, JVP’s Colorado chapter co-sponsored an anti-Israel vigil with Carlson’s group.

He concludes
JVP’s hope is to gain admission to the Jewish communal table so as to inject BDS and anti-Zionism into Federations, Hillels, JCCs, and synagogues.  This hope should remain unfulfilled. 
Interested in reading more about Jewish Voice for Peace?

From NGO Monitor: Driving a Wedge: JVP's Strategy to Weaken US Support for Israel by Dividing the Jewish community

From the Anti-Defamation League: Profile : Jewish Voice for Peace

Sunday, September 15, 2013

SDSU Ghassan Zakaria: Indoctrination as Free Speech

It seems the world has been turned upside down. A consortium of students are demanding the right to have Ghassan Zakaria's  political and historical inaccuracies taught at the college level, in the name of academic freedom.

Zakaria recently distributed a map of the modern Middle East to his Arabic class, sans Israel. Only after student complaints and negative publicity for the University, did he redistribute the maps, with "Israel" scrawled in by hand. 

Ghassan Zakaria , a lecturer at San Diego State University apparently disagrees with Daniel Patrick Moynihan, who famously declared "Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not to his own facts." Equally appalling  is the response from some students, claiming that academic standards of truth and accuracy are tantamount to censorship.

From the Daily Aztec, the student newspaper of San Diego State University
Multiple student organizations including Students for Justice in Palestine, Afrikan Student Union, Movimiento Estudiantil Chicano/a de Aztlan, Students of the World and the Arab Student Association among others signed a letter to SDSU Provost Nancy Marlin asking to not censor freedom of speech in the classroom in support of Zakaria.
  But Aztecs for Israel member and Stand With Us intern Nirit Revzin said students, who wished to remain anonymous for confidentiality reasons, enrolled in the class disclosed the information and their concerns to Stand With Us which in turn distributed the information through a newsletter email.
“The Pro-Israel community spoke up against this issue because we strongly value education, and want to ensure students recognize reality from falsehoods,” AFI said in a statement.
 The university also said in a statement that “while SDSU encourages scholarly debate and discussion of varying opinions, presenting inaccurate information to students is not acceptable.”
The letter is reproduced below

Dear Provost Marlin,

We are writing out of concern for academic freedom on the San Diego State University campus. As students, we expect that our professors will not be subject to censorship or have their freedom of expression violated. It has come to our attention that one SDSU lecturer, Ghassan Zakaria, was forced to change the label on a map he presented to his class in order to satisfy the concernsof a single SDSU student and an off-campus political organization, StandWithUs, which has no role on our campus and has no business representing us as students.

Professor Zakaria is a wonderful professor who is careful not to let his personal opinions spill over into what he teaches in his classes. According to a large number of his students, his manner of teaching is inclusive of all backgrounds, and politics is left out in this linguistics course. That being said, it is perfectly reasonable that while teaching a class on Arabic language and culture, Lecturer Ghassan Zakaria would include a view of the Middle East and North Africa aligned with the perspective of most Arabic speakers. It happens that many in the Arabic speaking world do not recognize the state of Israel, but instead understand the region to be historic Palestine. If one of the aims of such classes is to understand how Arabic speakers themselves view the region, this map will aid students in that understanding. In fact, Mr. Zakari would be remiss if he did not include this perspective. Mr. Zakaria’s personal and political opinions, whatever they may be, are irrelevant and should not have any bearing on how he is treated as an employee of the university, and as an academic. His right to free speech should not be infringed upon or censored in any way.

We hope you will agree that it would be shameful to think that Stand With Us, and a small number of students could jeopardize a professor’s entire career simply because he exercised his right to portray the valid political opinion of millions of people to his class.

There are countless maps in the university’s books and classrooms that label the region solely as “Israel,” which is not only completely inaccurate, but also very offensive. These maps label the entire area as “Israel” without even the slightest mention of East Jerusalem, the West Bank, or the Gaza strip- which even the state of Israel recognizes as Palestinian territories. Palestine/Israel is not the only region in which land and naming are controversial. The situations of Tibetans, Kurds and Western Saharans are a few instances that should be familiar to students. We hope all in the SDSU community will take this opportunity to learn more about the issue.

Additionally, we absolutely reject all attempts to conflate Zionism (a racist political ideology) with Judaism or the Jewish people. There are many Jews around the world who oppose Zionism, including here at SDSU, and who do not feel that their political opinions are included in the Zionist depiction of Jews as unquestioningly aligned with the state of Israel. Such a cynical politically-motivated stereotype excludes and silences pro-Palestinian Jews and is in itself offensive.

Finally, any attempt to tarnish professor Zakaria’s reputation as a professor with fantastic academic credentials is a purely political and uninformed act of slander that should not be acceptable on our campus. We as students are not represented by this narrow-minded opinion and ask that the university take note of the wide support that professor Zakaria has received from his students and from the San Diego State community in general.


Students for Justice in Palestine, SDSU
Amnesty International, SDSU
Arab Student Association, SDSU
Movimiento Estudiantil Chicano/a de Aztlán, SDSU
Afrikan Student Union, SDSU
Association of Chicana Activists, SDSU
Muslim Student Association, SDSU
Students of the World, SDSU
International Socialist Organization, SDSU
Students for Justice in Palestine, UCSD
Al-Awda Foundation, San Diego
Students for Justice in Palestine, CSULB
Students for Justice in Palestine, CSUF
Students for Justice in Palestine, UCLA
Muslim Student Association, CSUSB
Students for Justice in Palestine, UCSB
Students for Justice in Palestine, UCD
Students for Justice in Palestine, UCR
Muslim Student Association, UCR
General Union of Palestine Students, SFSU

The letter claims Ghassan Zakari's teaching is  is inclusive of all backgrounds, and politics is left out in this linguistics course."  This statement is contracted by an earlier claim made to Channel 10 News  , implying the political nature of the course
The department chair said the professor used Palestine in place of Israel on the labels to "reflect the view of Arab-speakers in the region."
Also, the statement to the group said the language class professor intended to "have students get into groups and research the political developments of each area on the map, with the assumption that this would lead to a discussion of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the history of the state of Israel."
Aristotle once said " It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it."
By refusing to address the historic truths of the region, and using his classroom as a forum for historical revisionism and indoctrination, Zakaria commits a grave disservice, not only to his students, but  to higher education as well.

This weeks BDS Fail news

Foreign investment in Israel has surged in the second quarter of 2013.  Net foreign investment has grown to $5.1 billion - its highest level in more than two years, and 4% up compared with the first quarter. Israel’s exports goods rose  0.7% from the first quarter to $23.8 billion in the second.

What were you saying about the unstoppable BDS movement, again?

And there is another chapter in the ongoing saga  "If the Palestinians don't Boycott Israel, why should the Presbyterians/American Universities/  Performing artists"?

Israel and  the Palestinian Authority have agreed to establish a regional center for economic and agricultural cooperation.

From Arutz Sheva
The initiative aims to improve food quality for the PA population, and to assist both Israel and the PA in fighting crop disease and infestation, both of which can easily cross man-made borders.
 The return to pre-2000 status will mean the reestablishment of several committees, including committees for marketing, for the protection of plant life, and for veterinary care. The Israeli Agricultural Ministry will also resume providing workshops and other guidance for interested PA resident farmers, on topics including food production, veterinary oversight of slaughterhouses, and vegetable export.
“Residents of both Israel and the Palestinian Authority territories benefited from the upgrade in economic cooperation,” he said. “There is no doubt that agricultural cooperation will help reduce regional tensions, by creating an economic mechanism that is good for both sides.”

Peace through economic cooperation. What a novel idea. So much for the "civil society" that the BDS movement purports to represent.  Try mentioning it to a BDS'er, though. Watch the smoke come out of their ears while they attempt to process it,  before resorting to their banal platitude "No normalization with the oppressor".

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

San Diego State University Professor Ghassan Zakaria eliminates truth in his classroom

Just as the authorities dismiss the claims of Jewish students of hostile campus climate...

From ABC News, Channel 10 in San Diego

A map distributed in a language class at San Diego State University labeled Israel as Palestine, leading to an outcry from the local Jewish community.
 Sources told Team 10 the map was handed out by a professor on the second day of class in an Arabic language course. Sources said students were upset and unsure how to protest the erroneous map because they feared speaking out publicly could have a negative impact on their grades. 
One student talked with Team 10, on the condition of anonymity."I don't really believe it was the right place for dialogue," the student said. "It is a language class, it's not a class about conflict." 
Students gave the map to the non-profit, pro-Israel San Diego group, "Stand With Us."The group sent a newsletter to its members and urged the community to contact the department's chairman and Arabic program director. The group also posted the map to its Facebook page. The electronic newsletter states the map "not only fails to label 'Israel' as a legitimate country," but that "it falsely portrays the entire territory of Israel as 'Palestine....'"
 The department chair said the professor used Palestine in place of Israel on the labels to "reflect the view of Arab-speakers in the region." Team 10 contacted SDSU late Tuesday morning with questions about the handout, and on Tuesday afternoon the school issued this statement:
 "While SDSU encourages scholarly debate and discussion of varying opinions, presenting inaccurate information to students in not acceptable. SDSU's Provost has conferred with the department chair, who spoke with the faculty member. This inaccurate portrayal will not reoccur."
As of today, the map  has been altered and redistributed, with Israel scrawled by hand

From Channel 10

Sources said the new map students received Wednesday was only a slight improvement. They said it marginally showcased Israel's true and legitimate existence in the region.
Sources also added that their ideal solution would have been to distribute a real and accurate map of the Middle East rather than adding the obviously handwritten word "Israel" to an incorrect map of the region.
As of late Wednesday evening, the professor had not issued an apology to the Jewish community.
Will  the new Palestine Solidarity Legal Support advocacy project advocate for Ghassan Zakaria's right  to spread lies and misinformation in the name of academic freedom?


The stated goals of the initiative sponsored by the Center for Constitutional Rights, in collaboration with the National Lawyers Guild mentions nothing about ensuring truth or accuracy, as they seek to

* Track incidents of repression of Palestinian rights activism
* Provide legal advice, referrals or representation
* Undertake advocacy to support activism
* Provide activists with legal and advocacy resources

We should fear for  all students in today's 'truth optional' academic environment

Sunday, September 1, 2013

"Jewish Voice for Peace" supports hate speech

From the Elder of Ziyon Website:

At the "Jewish Voice for Peace" anti-Israel site, they urge their fans to lobby to defeat Proposition 76:

The California Assembly is considering Resolution 76, which opens the door to condemning advocacy for Palestinian human rights in California campuses. Arab, Muslim and progressive students of all identities should not be in fear of censure, discipline or reputational smear for criticizing injustice and demanding Palestinian equal rights. Defend campus freedom of speech. Tell your legislator in Sacramento to vote NO on Resolution 76!
Does Proposition 76 curtail anyone's right to demand equal rights for Palestinian Arabs?

Not at all. It mentions multiple times how important freedom of speech is, and it really only seeks to stop hate speech on campus.

Here are operative parts of the latest draft:

Be it Resolved by the Assembly of the State of California, the Senate thereof concurring, That the Legislature recognizes the supreme importance of the right to freedom of speech , as protected by the First Amendment to the United States Constitution, and its rightful place on college campuses as a mechanism for the sharing and discussion of diverse ideas and opinions, including those that challenge a person to consider the merits of his or her own positions; and be it further

Resolved, That the Legislature hereby condemns biased, hurtful, and dangerous speech intended to stoke fear and intimidation in its listeners speech that promotes discrimination based on a protected characteristic, such as race, color, national origin, religion, sex, disability, age, genetic information, marital status, sexual orientation and identity, medical condition, or political activities or affiliations ; and be it further

Resolved, That the Legislature encourages public post-secondary institutions to ensure that they provide a safe, encouraging environment for exercising the right to freedom of speech and for the vibrant discussion of ideas and opinions from people of all walks of life; and be it further

Resolved, That the Chief Clerk of the Assembly transmit copies of this resolution to the author for appropriate distribution.

Jewish Voice for Peace is an anti-Israel organization which views itself as the “Jewish wing” of the Palestinian solidarity movement.  

 From the NGO monitor report on JVP

Though JVP regards the organized Jewish community as its “enemy” and “opponent,” it nonetheless demands a seat at the communal table.  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.