Thursday, November 28, 2013

Incitement and Bigotry at SFSU. The story continues

Thanks are due to our representatives in Sacramento, including Assemblymember Marc Levine, Senator Marty Block, Assemblymember Das Williams, Senator Carol Liu, Assemblymember Jose Medina, Senator Lois Wolk, Assemblymember Richard Bloom, Assemblymember Steve Fox and Senator Mark Leno who have written  to San Francisco State University President Les Wong thanking him for denouncing the incitement and hate speech at an event sponsored by the General Union of Palestine Students earlier this month. 

In the letter addressed to Pres. Wong on Nov. 25, the legislators wrote:  "Celebrations of violence  towards an individual group or community lack legitimacy or standing in civilized society...These hateful demonstrations foster prejudice and bigotry. Such actions are the antithesis of an institution of higher learning, which is a wellspring of thoughtful and compassionate dialogue."

Blogger Elder of Ziyon has additional evidence that the intolerance and incitement of Nov. 7 was not an isolated incident. The General Union of Palestinian Students at SFSU have been selling t-shirts emblazoned with the message "Resistance is not terrorism", featuring PLFP hijacker Leila Khaled
General Union of Palestinian Students at SFSU celebrating terror

The Elder has designed an alternative image.
Leila Khaled. terrorist
No apology appears to be forthcoming from the General union of Palestinian students at SFSU. Also silent are the folks at Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP) who never seem to notice, much less denounce the antisemitism in their very own backyard.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

From Elder of Ziyon: SFSU's GUPS president explains that he wants to see all Israelis dead

This story isn't going away any time soon.

More details are emerging regarding the GUPS event at San Francisco State that featured placards inciting violence and glorifying murder. The Electronic Intifada has jumped into the act, attempting to pawn off responsibility for the offensive stencil ("My heroes have always killed Colonizers" ) on the San Francisco State University Student Kouncil of Intertribal Nations, (SKINS).

Swing and a miss.

They are late to the game. They’ve missed some rather striking information regarding the President of GUPS, revealed by blogger Elder of Ziyon.

It seems the President of the General Union of Palestinian Students (GUPS)  at San Francisco State University , Mohammad Hammad  isn't quite the  "peace activist" he pretends to be.  On the Facebook page of his organization, he wrote:
We are appalled at this blatant attack against the integrity and principled position that GUPS has maintained throughout its history. We are horrified by the baseless attack and allegations of anti-Semitism that have been leveled against GUPS and the Cesar Chavez Student Center, the organizers of the 6th annual anniversary of the Palestinian Cultural Mural honoring the late professor Edward Said."
Maybe not.
I don't think so.

From our friends at Elder of Ziyon:

SFSU's GUPS president explains that he wants to see all Israelis dead

Apparently,  Hammad has three Tumblr accounts, which have all recently become password protected: palestinianliberator, canttouchthisnuhnuhnuh, and astrangerdanger. Between the time that the disgusting signs were publicized and the time that the GUPS realized that they have a public relations problem, Hammad described to his friends on Tumblr exactly who the target of the signs are - and his opinion does not refer only to to Jews who lived in Israel in the 1940s:

 You know what?

 Israelis ARE colonizers, there is literally no way around it

And you know what else?

My heroes HAVE always killed colonizers

I literally see nothing wrong with this
and my only regret is that not all colonizers were killed 
Here is an essay Hammad wrote last April (again, from his recently taken down Tumblr account) where he explicitly calls for the destruction of Israel, with violence if necessary: 
I will no longer support the two-state solution, and will vie for the liberation of Palestine through the reclamation of the lands that are rightfully ours through any means necessary. If the Israelis want to live in peace with us, so be it, but this peace will NOT be on their terms. It may be Palestinian freedom fighters who pull the triggers, but whatever lives are lost in the battle for liberation rest squarely on the shoulders of Israel.

Until return, and until liberation, one-state for Palestinians through any means necessary.

The president of GUPS has made it crystal clear, in his own words, that he interprets the "MY HEROES HAVE ALWAYS KILLED COLONIZERS" sign as a call to kill Israeli Jews (he is not calling to kill Israeli Arabs!)Let's see GUPS try to spin this. 

I predict they will go on a wild attack, because misdirection is the last refuge for people caught with their pants down.

Elder is likely right on this one.  In spite of widespread condemnation  across the board, the offending students have dug in their heels and refused to apologize. Instead, they are channeling their venom towards Tammi Benjamin, the courageous human right activist that helped expose them. Attacking the messenger- its the cowards way out.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Buycott Target to counter anti-Israel extremists

From our friends at San Francisco Voice for Israel, the Bay Area's direct action Israel advocacy group:


On Sunday December 1 from 3-4 PM, anti-Israel extremists from a group called QUIT (Queers Undermining Israeli Terror—yes, an LGBT group that tirelessly advocates the destruction of the only society in the Middle east where they themselves wouldn’t get shot or hanged!) will be holding a protest at the Target store in San Francisco located at the Metreon (789 Mission St). The specific object of their rage that day will be the highly successful Israeli company Sodastream, because it dares to have a factory across the Green Line in which it employs Palestinian Arabs at Israeli wages and with Israeli-level benefits.
If you haven’t already seen it, there’s a wonderful 8 minute video that shows how the company actually helps bring Jewish and Arab workers together, and even sets aside a room and time for the Arab workers to pray; you can see it here:

Coexistence with the Jewish state, of course, is what fanatical groups such as QUIT hate the most.

Now groups like this claim that their protest is solely because Sodastream has a factory across the Green Line. But their goal is not a peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians that will turn that territory into a Palestinian state, because they resolutely oppose the existence of a state of the Jewish people within any borders whatsoever. Their efforts are made not in the name of peace, but in support of the 65+ year jihad against the Jewish state.

The best strategy against this type of hatred isn’t going onto the streets to confront them; it’s to enrage them by making a special effort to buy THIS product from THIS store at THIS time. Nothing will ensure that Target will continue to carry Sodastream products better than a record day of sales!

So if you were thinking about buying a Sodastream device, go to the Target on Mission Street this Sunday and buy one. If, like me, you already have one, then at least buy a bottle or two of the soda mixes; and maybe even buy a Sodastream for a Chanukah gift for friends or family. You can even organize a group from your synagogue to make a mass purchase. And whatever you buy, make sure that you walk by the protestors and hold up your purchases—so they can see how they actually caused MORE sales of Sodastream products that day!

Many of you may prefer to shop at smaller locally owned stores rather than large chains such as Target. In that case, we’re happy to suggest that you buy Sodastream products at Cliff’s Variety at 479 Castro Street (between 17th and 18th), a locally owned business that has also been targeted by the same hate group.


Target Fights back and delivers a happy smiling "F**k You" to the BDS Cru. The front page of their flyer features Sodastream among the  "Best gifts ever".  Smooth move and right on Target

Saturday, November 23, 2013

San Francisco State: Beating a dead horse

"My Heroes have always killed colonizers" at SFSU
"My heroes have always killed colonizers'", the notorious little art project  associated with SFSU's General Union of Palestinian students (GUPS) has been widely condemned in mainstream sources, by advocacy groups as well as in the blogsphere.

ADL  Troubling Glorification Of Violence At Pro-Palestinian Event At San Francisco State University
Camera on campus  SFSU President Condemns Campus Event With Slogan “My Heroes Have Always Killed Colonizers”
The Times of Israel: SF State president slams pro-Palestinian placards
San Francisco ExaminerAnti-Semitic writing alleged at S.F. State event
JTA: S.F. State president condemns placards at Palestinian event
Algemeiner: SF State University Condemns Anti-Semitic Campus Demonstration After Protest From Jewish Group
AMCHA  AMCHA Co-Founders Challenge San Francisco State University President about Campus Event Glorifying the Murder of Jews
J weekly Outcry over anti-Semitism at mural event at S.F. State

As usual the Blogsphere was at least two steps ahead of the conventional news sources.

Special thanks for recognizing that this incitement to violence and murder on campus deserved  additional exposure goes to:

Gary Fouse  San Francisco State University Keeps its Radical Legacy Alive
More on the San Francisco State University Farce
Radicalism at Work at SFSU  SFSU President Statement on Posters Glorifying Murder
 Elder of Ziyon   SFSU Pal student group signs "My heroes have always killed colonizers"
SFSU "MY HEROES KILL COLONIZERS" followup: President wimps out, haters double down
Israellycool  San Francisco State University Student Openly Supports Terrorists  
Is Limousine Driver The New Baggage Handler?
Simply Jews San Francisco State University: Jew-Hatred Unlimited

Even Mondoweiss, Richard Silverstein, Electronic Intifada and the usual agitprop sites haven't been able to spin this one into a statement of the eternal victimhood of the Palestinians. They are keeping away from it with the proverbial10 foot pole. 

The involved students? Their reaction after being called on threats of violence was to respond with...wait for it....MORE threats of violence.  From the Tumblr account of Mohammed Hammad, president of GUPS,
                                "THIS IS MY THING.  I AM READY TO DESTROY"

In a move straight out of Mad Men ("If you don't like whats being said, change the conversation"), GUPS  is spearheading a petition accusing  Jewish Community hero Tammi Benjamin of attempting to muzzle their "academic freedom" to agitate violence and murder.

Alexandra Thornton of Southport signs the petition with her well-reasoned explanation "Zionists suck a lot"

Angelika Schneider weighs in on SFSU campus climate all the way from Lilienthal Germany. She apparently believes that supporting murder provides moral support for the Palestinians

And from Strasbourg France, Gunter Schneck describes the glorification of murder as "sacred"

Torange Yeghiazarian from Oakland California writes in against "fear mongering and threats", yet bafflingly signs the petition supporting incitement to violence. At least Torange is in the same time zone as San Francisco State

Lets give UC Berkeley Prof.Andrew Gutierrez the last word. He exhorts us to "allow freedom of discussion on campus". 

You may remember Prof. Gutierrez from this outburst,  asserting his own "freedom of discussion" at the top of his lungs.

I can't help but wonder- do any of these people actually know what they have endorsed?

SFSU President Leslie Wong gets it.  The Office of the President at SFSU issued a statement declaring “There is no place at S.F. State for celebrating violence or promoting intolerance, bigotry, anti-Semitism or any other form of hate-mongering...  The university is a place where dialogue, debate and the marketplace of ideas are cherished. We must also maintain a safe environment. Engaging in expressions that threaten and intimidate are counter to these goals"

Helping the Blind to See: More Miracles from the IDF in the Philippines

Pterygia  is a disorder among people with exposure to sunlight and wind.  Farmers, fishermen, and people living near the equator are often affected. This non-cancerous growth starts in the clear, thin tissue of the eye, and if untreated, can cause blindness   This week, the  Israeli medical delegation in the Philippines has managed to restore the eyesight to four people who were blind as a result of pterygia.  The delegation originally did not have the proper instrumentation to treat this disorder, but classic Israeli ingenuity prevailed.  Existing surgical instruments were modified and adapted successfully in an effort to treat these patients.  Read about it here

As of today,  2452 patients have been treated in the IDF Field Hospital. Over a third of them have been children.  52 surgeries have been performed.

Visit  the IDF in the Philippines web page for live updates on Israels' the humanitarian mission, or follow them on twitter, using the hastag  #IDFinPhilippines

Julie Pearce is a  nurse from Duluth  who ventured to the Philippines, in the hope of aiding the typhoon victims. Instead she joined the IDF field hospital.  She writes of her experience here:

What we have found is that we are treating fewer and fewer medical conditions related to the typhoon. We have seen a good share of septic wounds improperly cared for, post-typhoon in unhealthy living situations, as well as undiagnosed fractures. My day was spent splinting and sewing up several people, mostly injuries from the cleanup and the random girl who fell out of a coconut tree.

The IDF has essentially turned a developing world, rural hospital into a fairly modern-day medical facility in just 48 hours, all in the context of a major disaster. They have integrated electronic records, ultrasound, digital X-ray, a fairly sophisticated laboratory, an active surgery suite and incredible medical staff with varying specialty backgrounds. I’ve been mainly working with the orthopedic specialists and surgeons. We have been treating a lot of septic wounds, fractures and fresh wounds from falls, motorcycle crashes and — particularly — soft-tissue wounds sustained in the process of the local residents’ cleanup efforts; machetes, axes, things falling, the list goes on.

These specialists are also offering treatment for chronic conditions that the rural health system here would never have been able to support. A woman with stage 4 breast cancer that was eating through her breast tissue had a mastectomy performed. A man’s mouth tumor was treated and much more. These lives saved may, in a small way, offset some of those tragically lost. For a patient pre-typhoon, these would all be fee-based hospital visits; fees that most in a lifetime would never be able to afford.

The IDF in the Philippines. One more reason to be a proud Zionist

Thursday, November 21, 2013

I'll take self-righteous hypocrites for $400, Alex

"Sanction is an  act of war. Sanction is not diplomacy. Sanctions hurt people."
From the Facebook page of Jewish Voice for Peace, a group that has been actively campaigning for  sanctions against Israel.

The unabashed hypocrisy of Jewish Voice for Peace
Its a new low for an organization that continues to set the standard for hypocrisy and double-speak.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Incitement at San Francisco State: The Saga continues

What do you do when you are caught being a jerk?

After photos surfaced of San Francisco State University students carrying placards "My heroes have always killed colonizers" , a reasonable person might have expected an embarrassed "My bad", and an apology.

That didn't happen.

Instead, the General Union of Palestinian Students (GUPS) at San Francisco State University  dug in their heels, refused to budge an inch and  instead have endlessly repeated a mantra extolling their eternal victim hood.

Instead of an apology we have a petition. The hubris and moral bankruptcy of GUPS is staggeringly arrogant and frighteningly perverse. Yes, they are calling incitement to violence and murder  a "principled position".   They defacto threaten the entire student body in the name of justice(aren't we all "colonizers" on native lands?), and yet they fear for their own safety. And they claim that "academic freedom" protects their right to glorify murder.

 Their petition follows:

Dear President Wong,

We are writing in response to the email sent to you and others by Tammi Benjamin, AMCHA initiative. We are appalled at this blatant attack against the integrity and principled position that GUPS AMED has maintained throughout their history. We are horrified by the baseless attack and allegations of anti-Semitism that have been leveled against GUPS, AMED, and the Cesar Chavez Student Center, the organizers of the 6th annual anniversary of the Palestinian Cultural Mural honoring the late Professor Edward Said.

We are proud to continue the rich legacy of justice-centered student activism at SFSU. GUPS has historically stood for justice in/for Palestine and has linked our struggle with that of all people’s struggles for self-determination, justice and peace.

We are concerned over our own safety and the safety of our friends, allies, and all those standing in solidarity with our movement, especially when their photos and names have been posted online as if to make them a moving target for violence.

This belligerent smear campaign meant to slander the Palestinian movement on campus has directly created a hostile environment that makes it impossible for us to express our views and exercise our academic freedom.

We call upon you, President Wong, to:

    Condemn this smear campaign
    Uphold our academic freedom as a core value of SFSU
    Ensure our safety and the safety of all

List of Endorsers and Signatories:

Student Kouncil of InterTribal Nations (SKINS)

Movimiento Estudiantil Chicano/a de Aztlan (MEChA de San Pancho)

As of today, only 2 SFSU organizations have endorsed this petition, and only a handful of people have signed on. 

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

The day the Chags collide: A Thanksgivukah tribute by Benji Lovitt

A long, long time ago
I can still remember how that oil used to last a while
And I knew if it made it eight
Then Jews would get to celebrate
And then we'd be rejoicing with a smile

But this year's just unprecedented
A holiday that's so demented
Chanukkah plus turkey
It doesn't get more quirky

I can't remember if I cried
From Jewish and American pride
My apple pie is extra fried
The day the chags collide

San Francisco State University President Wong responds to hate speech on campus

 From the Office of the President, San Francisco State University

San Francisco State University is recognized worldwide for making social justice a strategic priority; it is an integral part of our DNA. As president, I was deeply disturbed by incendiary language that marred an annual commemoration of a cultural mural on campus.

On November 7, 2013 members of the campus community gathered to celebrate the sixth anniversary of the installation of a mural honoring Edward Said. Nearby, several student organizations were staffing tables to raise awareness of their groups' activities. One table was set up to allow passers-by to create their own placards with a pre-made stencil, which read, “My heroes have always killed colonizers.”

I am dismayed by the glorification of violence that this message conveys. There is no place at SF State for celebrating violence or promoting intolerance, bigotry, anti-Semitism or any other form of hate-mongering. We are a university community committed to furthering civil dialogue. Each of us must remain vigilant in working to achieve this goal.

The university is a place where dialogue, debate and the marketplace of ideas are cherished. We must also maintain a safe environment. Engaging in expressions that threaten and intimidate are counter to these goals. In addition to conveying my firm commitment to a safe and civil campus environment directly to any students involved, I will be meeting with members of the campus community to express my concerns, and to learn more about their perceptions of our current campus climate. University leadership will continue to gather information about this occurrence and address it appropriately. We prize our role as a forum for open discourse and we will continue to work toward a campus culture that cherishes civility.

Les Wong

This appears to be California-speak for "No further action will be taken"


The Amcha initiative has  responded to Pres. Wong's letter, urging him to take concrete steps to discipline the appropriate parties.  Their email follows:

In direct response to a letter from AMCHA co-founders as well as letters from many AMCHA supporters, yesterday SFSU President posted a statement on his official University website, in which he condemned an on-campus event glorifying murder and acknowledged that there is “no place at SF State for celebrating violence or promoting intolerance, bigotry, anti-Semitism or any other form of hate-mongering.” President Wong also stated that the University will continue its investigation of this reprehensible event.  (You can see President Wong's Statement HERE).

In response to his statement, AMCHA co-founders have sent the following letter to President Wong commending him for taking these important first steps and urging him to appropriately discipline the responsible parties:

Dear President Wong,
We commend you for your statement condemning an on-campus event which glorified murder, and for your acknowledgement that there is “no place at SF State for celebrating violence or promoting intolerance, bigotry, anti-Semitism or any other form of hate-mongering.” We also commend you for initiating an investigation of what we believe is clearly an antisemitic event.

We hope that at the end of your investigation, all those responsible for this incident — whether students, faculty, or staff — will be disciplined for their behavior, which violates the tenets of civil discourse and may be unlawful.

We and other concerned members and supporters of the Jewish community are eager to know what steps you will take to ensure that such behavior is appropriately addressed and does not re-occur at San Francisco State University.


Tammi Rossman-Benjamin
Co-founder, AMCHA Initiative

Leila Beckwith
Co-founder, AMCHA Initiative

Monday, November 18, 2013

Urge San Francisco State University President Wong to denounce hate speech on campus

It certainly wasn't your kid sister's arts and craft project. Last month, the San Francisco State General Union of Palestinian students along with several community organizations sponsored an event on campus, creating signs that incited hate, violence and murder.
The AMCHA Initiative has picked up the story and has written to SFSU President Wong, asking him to denounce the hateful speech. (h/t  Gary )

Their email follows:

SFSU Student Group Activity Glorifying Murder of Jews
Sponsored by College of Ethnic Studies Initiative

Action Alert: Urge SFSU President to Publicly State Whether Antisemitic Behavior is Acceptable

For many years, the General Union of Palestine Students (GUPS), a registered and funded student group at San Francisco State University, has held on-campus events and activities with antisemitic content.  Often the Arab and Muslim Ethnicities and Diasporas Initiative (AMED) in the College of Ethnic Studies co-sponsors GUPS events, such as last March's "Israel Apartheid Week", giving academic legitimacy to campaigns to boycott Israel and calls for the elimination of the Jewish state.

Recently, AMED co-sponsored a GUPS event that included an activity glorifying the murder of Jews.

At the event honoring Edward Said, who rose to prominence popularizing the idea that Zionists are colonizers and Israel is an illegitimate state, the GUPS students set up tables with stencils for making posters with images of known terrorists as well as with the words "MY HEROES HAVE ALWAYS KILLED COLONIZERS," which students displayed in the campus square. 
AMCHA sent a letter to SFSU President Leslie Wong regarding this antisemitic activity and urged him to answer the following questions:

1) Is it acceptable behavior for GUPS, a University sanctioned and funded student organization, to run an antisemitic on-campus activity that encourages students to glorify the murder of Jews?

2) Is it acceptable behavior for AMED, an official academic unit, to sponsor an event that includes an antisemitic on-campus activity that encourages students to glorify the murder of Jews?

You can see AMCHA's letter to SFSU President Wong HERE.

Please consider writing your own letter to President Wong, reiterating the questions AMCHA has posed and urging him to answer them immediately. If you are an SFSU or CSU student, relative, alumnus, faculty, staff or donor, you may want to note your affiliation with the CSU system in your letter.

President Wong can be reached here

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Freedom House: Israel is the only free country in the Middle East

Each year Freedom house publishes a report in an attempt to measure the degree of democracy and individual freedom in each nation of the world

From their website:
Freedom House is an independent watchdog organization dedicated to the expansion of freedom around the world.

Today, as more than two billion people live under oppressive rule, Freedom House speaks out against the main threats to democracy and empowers citizens to exercise their fundamental rights.  We analyze the challenges to freedom; advocate for greater political and civil liberties; and support frontline activists to defend human rights and promote democratic change.  Founded in 1941, Freedom House was the first American organization to champion the advancement of freedom globally.

The latest updates are available from Freedom House, and again, the only free nation in the Middle East is the one subject to a campaign of harassment and boycotts, divestment and sanctions.  Israel once again is the sole beacon of freedom and democracy in an increasingly troubled region.

What countries in the Middle east are free?

Convicted terrorist Rasmea Yousef Odeh has plead "not guilty"

Convicted terrorist Rasmea Yousef Odeh has plead not guilty in her first court appearance in Detroit on charges of immigration fraud. She is accused of failing to tell U.S. immigration authorities about her role in a deadly bombing in Israel.   If Odeh is convicted, her U.S. citizenship could be stripped, and she could serve up to 10 years in prison.

She became a naturalized United States citizen in 2004 and is now charged with covering up her conviction in an attack that killed two people at a Jerusalem market in 1969.  Two people were killed when Odeh and other PFLP members bombed a crowded Jerusalem supermarket on Feb. 21, 1969.  A second bombing four days later at the British Consulate was unsuccessful.
Odeh now lives in the Chicago area, but the case is filed in Detroit federal court because that's where the 66-year-old gained U.S. citizenship. She falsely told immigration officials she'd lived in Jordan all her life, prosecutors allege.
Odeh is the associate director at the Chicago based Arab American Action Network. She was released on bond and declined further comment.
Odeh's supporters marched outside the courthouse with signs that said "Stop anti-Arab racism." 
In Oakland, a local call for action by the  Arab Resource and Organizing Center (AROC), the Palestinian Youth Movement(PYM), and the International Jewish anti-Zionist Network (IJAN)  and endorsed by the Middle East Children's Alliance, Bay Area Committee to Stop Political Repression, National Lawyer's Guild-San Francisco and the Freedom Archive attracted 6 participants.
Oakland rally in support of convicted terrorist RasmeaYousef Odeh attracts 6 participants


Saturday, November 16, 2013

'Zionist Imperialists' quietly helping the Syrian people

Guest Post by Emunah

 Its a classic Girl Scout story.

While walking along a beach, an elderly man discovers a  young girl, picking up starfish one by one and tossing them gently back into the ocean.. He calls out, " May I ask what you’re doing?"

The girl replies, "The sun is up and the tide is going out. If I don't throw them in, they'll die."

Upon hearing this, the elderly observer commented, "There are miles and miles of beach and there are hundreds of stranded starfish  You can't possibly make a difference!"

The girl listened politely, then  bent down, picked up another starfish, threw it back into the ocean past the breaking waves and said, "I made a difference to that one."

Syria faces a devastating humanitarian crisis.  The dead number well over a hundred thousand- many more are missing. Millions are displaced.  Children are starving, and the nation may face a resurgence of polio, as thousands of children are unable to receive their vaccinations. 

The world wrings its hands and does nothing, but little by little, one by one, Israel is trying to make a difference.

 From the International Business Times

Historically bitter relations between Syria and Israel have been bypassed by the civil conflict as a wave of injured Syrians get urgent medical help from Israelis.
The two countries remain technically at war (Israel is frequently demonised as "Zionist Imperialism" by the Ba'ath Party rejectionists of the Assad regime) but that has not stopped more than 500 victims of the bloody civil conflict in Syria seeking life-saving treatment at three field hospitals especially constructed on the Golan Heights - occupied by Israel after Syria's defeat in the 1967 Six Day War. 
 One Syrian refugee gave birth to a baby boy in the field hospital, helped by an Israeli medical team.  Syrians are fleeing into the arms of their government's sworn enemy because medical facilities at home have been destroyed by the bloody civil war.
 October saw an all-time high of 120 patients treated at the field hospitals. Among the wave of injured people are likely to be fighters from both sides. The number is unknown because the Israeli Defence Force (IDF) does not ask a patient's identity.
The Financial Times has also written about this:

The IDF has kept a low profile about this rare regional humanitarian gesture. The hospitals involved have opened the door to journalists, but the military gives few details...

“We have the responsibility of people who come to the border and need help to try and facilitate and give them humanitarian aid,” says Lt Col Peter Lerner, an IDF spokesman. “If it’s immediate medical needs, we treat them and send them back; if the situation is more dire, we take them to hospitals in Israel.”
It's not just medical assistance.  Syrian refugees in Jordan are receiving food, cooking oil and cleaning supplies thanks to IsraAid  and a network of Jewish donors across the Diaspora, including the UJA Federation of Greater Toronto, the AJC, World Jewish Relief and the Pears Foundation. Read about it in the Times of Israel.

The help that Israel can give these refugees, the IsraAid volunteers and the director of the international aid organization both say, trickles in bag by bag, donation by donation. And if Israel’s involvement in Jordan is going to change political perceptions, they add, it’s going to happen in the same slow way.
“It’s not like we come in here and go, ‘We’re from Israel!,’” says the director of the IsraAid’s partnering organization. “You keep your mouth shut and you do the work. And maybe they will ask some questions after the fact, because actions speak much louder than words.”

The IDF in the Philippines: making miracles happen

Philippine officials have been overwhelmed by the scale of Typhoon Haiyan which tore a path through the central Philippines last week  The typhoon, one of the strongest ever to make landfall killed nearly 4,000 people, and many more are missing.  Over 1 million people have been displaced and have no access to food, water or medicine.  Many nations, including Israel  have stepped in to help

The IDF- the Israel Defense Force- sent a 148 person delegation to the Philippines on Wednesday in order to provide search, rescue and medical services to the typhoon ravaged nation. They brought with them over 100 tons of supplies. in response to super-typhoon Haiyan and  have set up a “multi-department medical facility” to provide medical care.  The facility includes an x-ray room, a children's department, an ambulatory care department and birthing facilities and is staffed by IDF doctors, nurses, paramedics, pharmacists, mental health professionals, x-ray technicians and lab workers. The IDF humanitarian mission completed the set-up of the hospital earlier Friday .

The medical team from Israel is already making a difference.  The first baby born at the Israeli Defense Forces field hospital in the Philippines was delivered safely on Friday. The parents  named the boy Israel., declaring "We chose the name "Israel" just to say thank you to the Israeli people." Nearly 400 were treated on its first day.
 NBC news correspondent Dr. Nancy Snyderman reports from the Philippines:
 I’ve always been fascinated by how well the Israeli Defense Force, otherwise known as the IDF, delivers emergency response medical care in extremely poor conditions.  My first experience with the IDF was in Haiti after the devastation of the earthquake there. They were remarkable then, triaging and treating patients in the midst of the devastation.

I wondered if they had found their way here -- so we set off to find them. And when we did, it was in a place we least expected.

The IDF had selected Bogo, a small village on the northern island of Mactan, to establish its emergency response center. Bogo had been hard hit by the devastation but it hadn’t attracted as much attention as other towns.  It was definitely off the beaten path...
Smart. Sophisticated. Secure. This was what I had experienced with the IDF before.  But now I was impressed with something else: the place they had selected. This wasn’t a site where trauma surgeons were needed -- those injuries in other towns were being addressed.  What the people of Bogo needed was good, solid medical care.  They were already living in poverty when the typhoon decimated their fragile infrastructure.

I asked the IDF Surgeon General in charge why they chose Bogo.  He said it was because they were poor and their needs were great. As I left, I walked away in awe of this group of doctors: physician humanitarians, and medicine at its very best.
 The IDF. Making us proud. Again.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

From the Mike report: Hezbollah and Israel haters at the University of Washington

Its a familiar tactic- a panel discussion where all the panelists agree "Its all Israel's fault"

From the Mike report, not surprisingly by Mike

I received the call in the late afternoon, “do you want to go to BDS 101 at The University of Washington tonight?”

BDS stands for the Boycott, Divestment and Sanction of Israel and represents a radical movement bent on the destruction of the Jewish State. The D in BDS should stand for demographic destruction as the core demand of the BDS movement is the flooding of Israel with over five million hostile Arabs. Such an influx would mark the end of a Jewish majority in Israel and thus the end of Israel as a Jewish state. The Anti Defamation League, the American Jewish community’s central human rights and advocacy organization has identified BDS as an anti-Semitic movement .

The  BDS 101 program was held in a lecture hall filled with a mix of Muslim and Progressive students and a small handful of pro-Israel students and community members. The program  featured a four member panel anchored by Stefanie Fox of the anti-Israel group, Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP) and included Cindy Corrie, mother of the infamous Rachel Corrie. Two co-ed hosts from the sponsoring group (SUPER-UW) opened the event by declaring their solidarity with all of the other righteous struggles on the planet “we condemn all injustice” they said.


Mike notes that after the talk:

...a few pro-Israel members in the audience found themselves in an impromptu conversation with three  anti-Israel college students. The most engaging of these was a young man who had a kaffiyeh draped over his shoulders.

The young man told of being in Lebanon during the 2006 Lebanon-Hezbollah war against Israel. He shared of the horrible things he witnessed, things that no child should ever see.

When a pro-Israel woman sympathized but explained that Hezbollah was to blame for what he had suffered, he responded coolly with “I am Hezbollah”. As the discussion continued, the young man defended the bombing of pizza restaurants and buses “what do you expect them to do?” he said with a righteous dose of indignation.

As the woman, seemingly unfazed,  firmly challenged the young man point for point, he began to  back away from her and said “I feel threatened by you”. “You feel threatened by me?” responded the surprised mother of four to the young man a head taller than her. At that moment I recalled the scene from a comedy film of a few years back where the grossly anti-Semitic Borat was petrified in fear of a pleasant elderly Jewish couple with whom he was staying. But thus is the victim mentality.

The Hezbollah Husky politely listened as I tried to plant a few seeds of truth in his college addled brain. I reminded him that there are 22 Arab states, 49 Muslim states, 126 Christian majority states and one Jewish state. I shared with him the 2000 year old lesson of Jewish history, we die when our fate is left to others. I told him that this is why we will never give up our land and that his efforts in this regard are futile.

Read it all here

And thanks to the few, the brave and the intellectually stalwart that challenged the lies and demonization presented at this panel. When we fight back, we win.

Israel Sends aid to Typhoon ravaged Phillipines

The death toll from Super typhoon Haiyan is expected to reach 10,000.  There are critical shortages of food, water and medicine throughout the hardest hit areas of the Philippines. Nearly 800,000 people have been displaced.  The devastation is vast.   Yet within 48 hours,  Israel had medics on the ground in the island archipelago. An Israeli search and  rescue team is also assisting the efforts to locate survivors.
Now Israel's IDF  has sent a Boeing 747 with 234 doctors, nurses, paramedics, and much needed medical equipment and supplies. They are  planning on setting up a field hospital to aid the injured in the Philippines. Col. Ramtin Sabati, who commands the National Rescue Unit, and  deputy Medical Corps chief Col. Dudu Dagan, will supervise the operation.

 From the JPost

Philippine Ambassador to Israel Generoso D.G. Calonge expressed appreciation on Tuesday for the assistance Israel has offered to his storm-ravaged country, saying it made him “so happy.”
“I can’t describe the feeling right now... that my host country cares about our stricken people,” he told The Jerusalem Post.
The American Jewish community is also  mobilizing, and is collecting donations for relief efforts . Donations can be sent to:

Typhoon Haiyan Relief Fund,
The Jewish Federations of North America,
Wall Street Station, PO Box 148, New York, NY 10268

The American Joint Distribution Comittee   will ship food, shelter, hygiene and medical supplies through its partners, the Afya Foundation and Catholic Relief Services and will also be provide "School in a Box" kits for temporary classrooms for displaced children through its ongoing partnership with UNICEF.

JDC P.O. Box 4124 New York, NY 10163 
Make check payable to JDC.
Please write “Typhoon Haiyan Relief” on your check.

Additionally, you can donate directly to IsraAID's efforts here. You can donate in dollars (change the currency at the drop-down box from NIS to USD).

For live-updates of Israeli efforts in the Philippines check out the IDF blog.  They make us proud.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Miley Cyrus is coming to Israel

After twerking Robin Thicke  and appearing naked on a wrecking ball, what do you do for an encore?

Perform in Israel, of course!

Anxious for more controversy in her life, Miley Cyrus is coming to Israel 

From Haaretz
 Controversial American singer and actress Miley Cyrus will visit Israel next year, Channel 2 TV reported on Sunday night. Cyrus will perform in Israel in June 2014, the channel said.

Miley Cyrus has come far since she began her career in the teen TV show "Hannah Montana." In recent years, her provocative and erotic music performances have made her possibly the most talked-about performer on the global music scene.

Barely a day goes by when she does not appear in the gossip columns, more often than not for her risqué performances, daring outfits and hair styles, tattoos and reports about her drug use.

Preparations for Cyrus' visit to Israel are still at an early stage, the channel reported, with contacts going on between interested Israeli impresarios and her people. But "the direction appears to be clear," the channel said.

 Its a bit early to be sure, but this has every indication of becoming yet another BDS fail

San Francisco State University: Dangerous Incitement to Violence

Not that long ago, San Francisco State had a well deserved reputation for being a scary place for pro-Israel and Jewish students. This is the school that displayed flyers featuring a Palestinian baby on a soup can label, captioned  "Palestinian Children Meat, slaughtered according to Jewish rites under American license".  This is the school where Jewish students were physically assaulted, spat on and screamed at  "Too bad Hitler didn't finish the job," "Get out or we will kill you," "F**k the Jews," "Die racist pigs." at a vigil commemorating the Holocaust.

It was never about free speech or academic freedom. It was pure racism, unbridled Jew-hatred, and had it been directed towards any other minority on campus, it would not have been tolerated.

Anti-Semitic imagery from San Francisco State University, 2002

From "Peace with Realism":

Laurie Zoloth, Professor of Ethics and Director of Jewish Studies at San Francisco State, reports that such posters, as well as posters proclaiming "Jews=Nazis," have become common. She also states: "I cannot fully express what it feels like to have to walk across campus daily, past posters of cans of soup with labels on them of drops of blood and dead babies, labeled 'canned Palestinian children meat, slaughtered according to Jewish rites.'" 

In an open letter Zoloth described what happened at a "Peace in the Middle East" rally sponsored by SFSU Hillel on May 7, 2002 when a group of students, numbering around 50, remained to chant afternoon prayers. The following account has been confirmed by other witnesses:

Counter demonstrators poured into the plaza, screaming at the Jews to "Get out or we will kill you" and "Hitler did not finish the job." I turned to the police and to every administrator I could find and asked them to remove the counter demonstrators from the plaza, to maintain the separation of 100 feet that we had been promised. The police told me that they had been told not to arrest anyone, and that if they did, "it would start a riot." I told them that it already was a riot.

Finally, Fred Astren, the Northern California Hillel Director and I went up directly to speak with Dean Saffold, who was watching from her post a flight above us. She told us she would call in the SF police. But the police could do nothing more than surround the Jewish students and community members who were now trapped in a corner of the plaza, grouped under the flags of Israel, while an angry, out of control mob, literally chanting for our deaths, surrounded us. Dr. Astren and I went to stand with our students. This was neither free speech nor discourse, but raw, physical assault....

There was no safe way out of the Plaza. We had to be marched back to the Hillel House under armed S.F. police guard, and we had to have a police guard remain outside Hillel.
Apparently some are longing for a return to those days of infamy.

Last Thursday, a rally was held at San Francisco State to celebrate the 6th year anniversary of the Edward Said mural at the school  The 6th Annual Palestinian Mural Celebration  was entitled "We Speak for Ourselves; Honoring our Forebearers"      The event  was co-sponsored by the local Arab Resource Organizing center, and the Middle East Children's Alliance, as well as AMED , the Arab and Muslim Ethnicities and Diasporas program at SFSU.

The program began in Malcolm X Plaza. There were tables adorned with kaffiyahs, and bumper stickers that read "End Israeli Apartheid" and "End US funding of Israel."  There were also tables for art projects. There were cans of spray paint and stencils glorifying
convicted PFLP airline hijacker Leila Khaled, and there were stencils inciting extremism and murder. 

At San Francisco State, a young man proudly shows off his art project "My heroes have always killed Colonizers"

Again San Francisco State crosses the line.  "My heroes have always killed colonizers" is an outrageous incitement to violence, doing nothing to promote intellectual discourse on campus.  Please contact the Office of the President Leslie Wong  to express your concern over these threats to campus climate, and your concern for the safety of students on campus

Friday, November 8, 2013

Tis the Season: Latest day o' rage against Sodastream

Anna Baltzer and Ramah Kudaimi of the US Campaign  have announced the latest anti-Israel days of rage, and they are directed towards retail giant Target, because it dares sell eco-friendly Sodastream.

From their Facebook page

This holiday shopping season, keep SodaStream off the shopping list and on the boycott list! Friday, Nov 29 marks the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People as well as Black Friday, the biggest shopping day of the year. Cyber Monday is Dec 2 and Tuesday, Dec 10 is Human Rights Day.

Your group can pick the most comfortable and context-appropriate time to take action ANY DAY(s) between Nov 29 and Dec 10. This period is when SodaStream traditionally amps up its promotional efforts as holiday shopping goes into full swing. Your activities and reports can unfold, one after another, during this exciting period!

The primary CORPORATE FOCUS of the Days of Action will be Target. For more than a year, from Sacramento, CA to Washington, DC, Palestine solidarity organizations have been challenging Target and other U.S. vendors asking them to stop selling SodaStream products, which are produced in an illegal Israeli settlement through the exploitation of Palestinian land, labor, and resources. Last month, Friends of Sabeel sent a letter to the CEO of Target, outlining these grievances. Other faith communities from the Interfaith Boycott Coalition and beyond have signed on in support.

 Sodastream, a home carbonation device for do-it-yourself soda making has been phenomenally successful and is carried in stores as diverse as Walmart and Sur la table.   Sodastream employees a both Palestinians and Israelis  in its production facilities, and this seems to infuriate the haters.

Target  touts an ethical policy saying "We hold ourselves to the highest ethical standards, and we expect our partners to do the same."  Watch this, and you'll know why Target is a proud seller of Sodastream

After years of BDS rage against Sodastream, surely the company is taking a pounding.  Right?  RIGHT?
Umm. No.

From Motley Fool

....SodaStream third-quarter segment sales were up 157% for CO2 canisters, 53% for flavoring, and 12% for soda machines at retail locations. While these numbers are approximations, they're regarded as being very accurate.... As you can see, the company is performing admirably pre-holiday in all categories;

Sodastream. Another BDS fail

Jewish Voice for Peace: aiding and abetting the Haters

Jewish Voice for Peace, the self described "Jewish wing"  of the Palestinian solidarity movement will be co-sponsoring  a conference with  the  Council for Islamic America Relations, the Muslim students Association and  American Muslims for Palestine.

Of course, Jewish voice for peace no longer claims to be a Jewish organization, but rather one inspired by "Jewish values". Its unclear what "Jewish value" is represented by finding common cause with those that seek to destroy us.

Speaking at the conference will be Ali Abunimah,  Hatem Bazian and Max Blumenthal. JVP should feel right at home.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Terror attacks against Israel October 2013

Data from the Israel Security Agency

136 terror attacks were recorded  in October 2013, a slight increase from last month.

This month's attacks included an Israeli citizen was stabbed to death in Brosh / Jordan Valley on Oct. 10. His wife was also injured.   A  nine year old girl in Psagot near Ramallah ) was attacked on Oct 5.  There was also an attempt to run-over two soldiers near Bzaria / Nablus on October 5.   

On October 31, five IDF soldiers attempting to demolish a terror tunnel leading from central Gaza Strip into Israel were injured by an explosive device

Throughout October 2013 3 rockets and 2 mortar shells were launched towards Israel

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

American Public Health Association (APHA) rejects anti-Israel resolution

Despite months of lobbying by anti-Israel activists and a  desperate last minute petition drive, the American public health Association has defeated an anti-Israel resolution by a margin of 3 to 1.

From the BDS world digest
Last night on November 5th 2013, the American Public Health Association (APHA) dealt a huge loss to the BDS campaign after it had extensively propagandized the committee members on Israel’s medical practices towards the Palestinians in occupied territories. For months, BDS activists had gone after members on the APHA committee to convince them to vote in favor of their prestigious organization to boycott Israel and it’s medical practices. The committee held its vote last night, and was overwhelmingly voted against boycotting Israel by 74% compared to 3% voting in favor of boycott. This loss deals a huge blow to the BDS campaign which has been desperate in searching for wins lately in the campaign to boycott Israel. 
 The importance of going after a prestigious organization such as the APHA shows that the BDS campaign and their activists have no limit to which organization they will reach out to and no limit to the means that they will use in order to get a victory. The BDS activists were using improper information in order to sway committee members to vote in favor of boycott, for example that Israel refused to medically treat Palestinians and grant access to public health when needed. If the BDS campaign had been victorious in getting the American Public Health Association, an organization full of medical professionals in the United States to boycott Israel, the immediate effect would have been felt in the public diplomacy realm. This would have catered to altering Israel’s image in the medical field, which is something that Israel takes great pride in.
The document, "Improving Health in Occupied Palestinian Territory" was not written by impartial social scientists, instead, it was authored by activists with a clear political agenda.    Co-written by anti-Israel activists Amy Hagopian, Nancy Stoller and Cindy Sousa, it is characterized by sloppy data, sloppy science and a universally sloppy conclusion- that Israel is always to blame. They present "facts" devoid of context , and come to the conclusion  (don't they always?) that BDS is the answer.  They discuss life expectancy in Gaza, without noting that it is significantly higher than the world average of 66.57 years  or that it far exceeds that of its neighbor, Egypt. They discuss stunting, without context- the Palestinian territories have the second lowest rate of stunting in the region.   And they blame  Israel for the high rate of birth defects in the region, ignoring the enormous role of consanguineous marriages in the occurrence of congenital malformations. They write about the "decline in amount of food consumed", without mentioning the Western levels of obesity, and efforts to control that as a public health concern.

Obesity rate among Palestinians

They largely ignore the huge role Israel has played in providing health services to the Palestinians, and throughout the region.  In the end, the American Public Health Association was not fooled, and rejected the measure by a margin of 3 to 1.

The reaction to this major BDS fail?  "Even when we lose we win". We've heard that one before.