Saturday, September 26, 2015

10 Facts You Need to Know About 10 Years in Gaza

From the CIJA: 10 Facts You Need to Know About 10 Years in Gaza

1. Hamas and its followers destroyed infrastructure Israel left in Gaza after the 2005 disengagement. Functioning greenhouses and other facilities were torn down and stripped of metal for rocket construction.

2. Since 2005, Hamas has fired more than 15,000 missiles and mortars into Israel. At the same time, Hamas has openly boasted of using Palestinians as human shields – and Hamas missiles have often fallen within Gaza, injuring civilians and damaging infrastructure.
3. In 2005, Gaza maintained a strong annual GDP growth rate of 8.6%. By 2014, under Hamas rule, Gaza’s GDP rate of growth rate fell -0.8%.
4. Hamas has used “modesty police” to impose increasingly restrictive social conditions in Gaza, particularly on women. This includes requiring women to wear headscarves and avoid “immodest” clothing (like certain types of jeans), banning women from smoking water pipes, banning men from styling women’s hair, banning women from riding motorcycles, banning the sale of lingerie, and other prohibitions as per Hamas’ strict view of Islamic law. In keeping with its dedication to jihad, Hamas issued a statement in 2011 mourning the death of Al-Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden, calling him an “Arab holy warrior”.
5. At least 160 Palestinian children have died while digging tunnels for Hamas in Gaza.
6. Hamas’ reckless behaviour is both dangerous and economically costly. Concerned by Hamas’ abuse of funds and diversion of resources into terrorist infrastructure, international aid has been reduced. Since receiving $1.8 billion in 2008, more than $7 billion in pledges have gone unfulfilled. Although $5.5 billion was pledged following the 2014 Israel-Hamas conflict, only $960 million was actually delivered.
7. Rather than help Gazans gain access to homes, medical care, infrastructure and economic stability, Hamas has been using international donated funds to purchase weapons, build attack tunnels into Israel, and fund terrorism. In 2014, 18 of the tunnels discovered entering Israel from Gaza required 800,000 tons of concrete – more than seven times the amount required to build the world’s tallest tower (the Burj Khalifa building in Dubai).
8. Hamas regularly uses civilian locations, including hospitals and schools, as launch pads for terrorist attacks. Hamas terrorists have been known to dress like civilians, booby trap homes, and use teenagers as combatants and suicide bombers.
9. Hamas continues to devote funds to youth military training, including summer camps in which children are taught military techniques and Hamas’ violent ideology.
10. While we often hear about the effects of Israel’s blockade, Egypt also maintains an arms blockade of Gaza. This has included a metal and concrete wall between Gaza and Egypt, the creation of a large buffer zone between the two territories, and the flooding of Hamas’ smuggling tunnels beneath the Gaza-Sinai border
For more information, and complete sources, see 10 Facts you need to know about 10 years in Gaza

Monday, September 21, 2015

Berkeley City Councilman Darryl Moore ditches Davila

Via Emunah:

The Human Welfare and Community Action Commission of Berkeley, charged with dealing with  the issues of poverty in Berkeley is under fire for bypassing their central mission and instead focusing on the Israel/Palestinian issue.

Berkeley City Councilman Darryl Moore, appalled at the misuse of the commission,  terminated his appointee after she refused to withdraw the matter.  Cheryl Davila had been a commissioner since 2009.

Anti-Israel groups packed the South Berkeley Senior Center last Wednesday evening to urge the commission to pass a divestment from Israel resolution. Three supporters of Israel also addressed the council.

The events in Berkeley highlight the narcissism at the core of the BDS movement, and the hypocritical willingness of anti-Israel activists to sacrifice anything to achieve their goals- including those they purport to represent. 

Hundreds of Palestinians lost their jobs because of the BDS vendetta against Sodastream. On Wednesday night, the same phenomenon was on display. Berkeley’s poor were simply collateral damage as JVP and AROC pushed to have the resolution passed.

The long discredited Berkeley Daily Planet has picked up the cause, printing verbatim a press release by  local anti-Israel activists. In a desperate attempt to tie the resolution into her Commission’s mandate, Cheryl Davila is quoted as saying the war in Gaza  caused a “ severe social welfare crisis, particularly for children, women, and the elderly in Gaza.”

Commissioners voted to revise the resolution, in an attempt to get other Berkeley Commissions to endorse it. Voting will likely take place at the Human Welfare and Community Action Commission October 21st meeting.

What can you do?

Drop the Human Welfare and Community Action Commissioners an email, urging them to avoid distracting, divisive foreign policy proclamations, and to focus on the very real problems of Berkeley. 

And please, come to the Oct 21 meeting, and let your voice be heard
South Berkeley Senior Center
2939 Ellis Street
7:00 p.m.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Just some kids throwing stones

From Israel national news

Arabs attacked an Israeli vehicle Sunday with rocks, as it traveled between Tekoa, in the Etzion Bloc, and the southern Jerusalem neighborhood of Har Homa.

A married couple and their six-month-old daughter were in the car. The car's windows were badly smashed but miraculously, the parents and child were unhurt.

The father said afterward that Arabs with covered faces attacked the car not far from an IDF roadblock. One rock penetrated from the front of the car, flew over the baby's head, and struck the rear seat, where it was stopped by the baby seat.

And meanwhile, on social media, 

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Essential facts on the Iceland boycott

On Tuesday, Iceland’s  Reykjavik City Council voted in favor of a general boycott of Israeli goods.  The decision will be retracted, according to  Reykjavik Mayor Dagur Eggertsson and amended to indicate that the Council will be boycotting only  goods produced “in occupied areas”

Our friends at Five minutes for Israel call this "virtue signalling"

From Five Minutes for Israel

Essential to know

  1. Iceland-Israel trade is minimal. According to Statistics Iceland, the small island exported 103.7 million Icelandic Krona (about $US805,000) to Israel in 2012 and imported 798.2 million Icelandic Krona  (about $US6.27 million) in 2012.
  2. Björk Vilhelmsdóttir, retiring councilwoman for the Social Democratic Alliance, put forward this motion forward as her last major act in the city council. What perfect virtue signalling. If there are consequences she won’t be around to take responsibility.
  3. The boycott is for all goods from Israel not just those produced over the 1948 armistice lines (AKA 1967 borders or the Green Line). (Note: this part has been rescinded)
  4. Reykjavik City Council may decide to boycott other countries that violate human rights in the future. This implies that they don’t do so now. China, which accounts for 7.2% of Iceland’s imports must be so relieved. In 2013 Iceland became the first European country to sign free trade agreement with China.
  5. The Icelandic Ministry of Foreign Affairs has declared, the City of Reykjavik’s resolution is not in line with Iceland‘s foreign policy nor should it be seen to reflect on Iceland‘s relations with Israel.
  6. The boycott is probably illegal as it is contrary to Iceland’s constitution.“Municipalities are the government and they can only perform what they are mandated by law. Day B. Eggertsson and the City has not been assigned foreign policy or decide sanctions against foreign countries. So they have gone far beyond its role as a municipality. In addition, could not even government take such a decision, it would have the authority of Parliament. “
  7. The boycott is probably illegal because both Israel and Iceland are parties to theWTO international trade treaty which bans such boycotts.
  8. The boycott is probably illegal because Iceland is a member of EFTA (European Free Trade Association) which signed a free trade agreement with Israel in 1992.
  9. Most Israeli imported goods are not of the type that the Reykjavik City Council would buy, anyway. The bulk of it are Dead Sea chemicals and machinery.
  10. Of the roughly 300,000 people who live in Iceland, it is believed that no more than 50 to 100 are Jewish, nearly all of whom live in the country’s capital city of Reykjavik.
  11. Iceland has its own problems with boycotts. Their continued commercial whaling is highly controversial and has led to formal protests by the European Union, USA, Australia, Brazil, Mexico, New Zealand – and yes, Israel. Should actions follow word the results will not be symbolic.
  12. If you were planning on visiting Iceland as a tourist (really?) the Simon Wiesenthal Center has issued a travel advisory on Reykjavik, Iceland. That could really hurt Iceland’s economy and is unlikely to be lifted while the Icelandic boycott is in place.

Omar Barghouti met with protests at UC Berkeley

On Friday, October 18, Omar Barghouti spoke to an audience at UC Berkeley's Dwinelle Hall in an attempt to justify academic boycotts as part of a continued effort to isolate Israel. 
Via Emunah:
UC Berkeley Students meet Omar Barghouti's message of BDS intolerance with their own of academic freedom and free exchanges of ideas between all people.
"Silencing ideas is stiffing progress"
 "Standing Against discrimination Means Academic Freedom for All"
 "Banning the ideas of one nation is Discrimination"
 "UC Berkeley Academic Departments Support Limiting Academia"

This assault on academic freedom was sponsored by several UC Berkeley academic departments, including

The Center for Race and Gender
Asian American Studies
Native American Studies
Ethnic Studies
Chicano Studies
Near Eastern Studies

We get stalked!

Thanks to BH for sharing this.

Seems that even our tiny local blog is not immune from harassment and stalkers.

Its all part of a well orchestrated and directed effort to shut down dissenting voices. 

We'd been thinking about closing up shop- in the age of mobile, blogs are a lumbering old dinosaur, and there are better, faster ways to communicate with further reach.

But if the likes of Sylvia Posadas are stalking us across the big wide ocean, maybe there is still a need for our contributions.

Stay tuned.

Friday, September 18, 2015

Clowns for Palestine

Clowns for Palestine. Because everyone loves a clown. Well, almost everyone.

Photo: Pallasos en Rebeldía/Facebook

Pallasos en Rebeldía (Clowns in Rebellion)  posted nude photographs online on Wednesday in front of the security barrier, as a heartfelt gesture of  "solidarity" with the Palestinian people
The Palestinians were apparently,  less than appreciative.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Ari Shavit: Only Love Can Win the Battle for Israel

"Our grandparents, parents and siblings have performed miracles in this land. It’s our responsibility not to let these miracles slip into the depths."

Beautiful essay from Ari Shavit in Haaretz

I actually love you, my homeland; it’s a painful, complex, but stubborn and deeply rooted love. I love Israel because it’s my home. I was born here, became who I am here and it’s here that I will die.

I love Israel because it is the third and last home of the Jewish people, which has contributed so much to humanity, has suffered so much at its hand and has a right to a place of its own. I love Israel because despite everything it is still a democracy that grants its Arab citizens rights and freedoms that no Arab nation grants any man, woman or minority. I love it because it is a unique enterprise that rescues the persecuted, rehabilitates refugees and shelters the displaced like few others.

I love Israel because it is warm, smart, lively, passionate, creative, dynamic, full of infinite talents and afflicted with a constant restlessness that makes it one of the most fascinating nations on earth. I love it because it’s the land of those who rose from the dead and were threatened with death and chose life. For me it is a remarkable phenomenon of life.

Read it all here

(Gaza)Kids say the darndest things

Early this month Hamas-owned al-Aqsa TV channel in Gaza featured an interview with two young boys dressed in camouflage.

One of the children, Zakariya,said that he wanted to be an engineer, “so that I can blow up the Jews.”

The host of the show (perhaps trained by JVP) corrected Zakariya saying, “No, we want to blow up the Zionists. You mean the occupation, right?”

Another young boy Wissam, replied, “Keep waging Jihad, and Allah willing, when you grow up, you will wage resistance against the Jews.”.


Wednesday, September 16, 2015

The City of Berkeley debates Divestment.

Berkeley. A California city with its own foreign policy agenda.

The foreign policy branch of Berkeley’s municipal government has traditionally been the Peace and Justice Commission- however, the  Berkeley  Human Welfare and Community Action Commission has placed a divestment from Israel proposal on its agenda, and it will be heard tonight.  Professional anti-Israel activist Dalit Baum has been leading the lobbying effort to pressure the Commission.

Its an odd and wholly inappropriate choice.  The Commission’s mandate is to  advise  the  City Council  “concerning social welfare needs.  Creates citizen awareness and encourages improved standards.  Assists in the administration of the Community Action Program.”  

Anti-Israel activists have hijacked a commission meant to find solutions for struggling local families, and are using it to force through a one-sided, divisive  resolution on a foreign conflict thousands of miles away.

The meeting is scheduled for tonight at 7:00 pm. Speakers are needed.

South Berkeley Senior Center
2939 Ellis Street
3rd Wednesday every month

The text of the controversial proposal can be found here (Scroll all the way to page 68)

Emails and phone calls are also needed:

Contact the members of the Human Welfare and Community Action Commission here
The Roster of Berkeley City Council representatives can be found  here

Our municipal tax dollars at work. Thanks, Berkeley.


Emunah attended the hearing and reported that Jewish voice for Peace packed the room, and heckled and harassed the few anti-divestment speakers.

JVP instructions to those attending Berkeley divestment hearing

The resolution is currently being reworked and reworded, and will be re-examined in 30 days.

To Jewish Voice for Peace's Gabi Kirk, this counts as a "lose".  After all, 30 days will give the mainstream Jewish Community time to weigh in and express their displeasure. And JVP knows that when all voices are heard they cannot prevail.   They can't win on a level playing field.

Monday, September 14, 2015

JVP celebrates the Jewish New Year

The "proud to be ashamed to be Jewish" folk at Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP) have a new publication out, just in time for Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish new year.  Introducing the "Table Blessing Ritual"

JVP  uses Shehecheyanu to celebrate their BDS  "victories",  giving a shout out to George Soros, the Presbyterians, and the United Church of Christ.

But really, what could we expect from an organization whose Rabbinic council doesn't even know the Hebrew year?

 (Psst, Lynn. Its 5776)


From a Facebook friend of Lynn Gottlieb, reporting from the Chicago opening of the new "anti-Zionist" synagogue

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Daniel Fischer: Getting off easy after terrorizing a Connecticut Synagogue

Daniel Fischer of New Haven, Connecticut has been granted “accelerated rehabilitation”  after he and co-defendant Gregory Williams terrorized an event at a Connecticut synagogue on May 12.

Fischer has been ordered to stay away from Westport's Temple Israel and not to contact anyone from the synagogue.  If the 18 month long program and 25 hours of community service are successfully completed, the charges against him will be dismissed.  Both Fischer and Williams are currently free on $1,500 bond.

Gregory Williams, 25  has an existing criminal record, and was not eligible for the program. He has been charged with criminal trespass first-degree and breach of peace second-degree, and will return to court on Oct. 15.

 From WestportNow

An attorney for Temple Israel, Bruce Koffsky, who was present in court, submitted a letter from the Temple supporting Fischer’s AR request.

The letter outlined the events of May 12, in which some congregants huddled under luncheon tables or fled the synagogue in panic as Fischer and Williams began shouting and banging on a door as they sought to enter a dining hall. 

“Mr. Fischer should be made to understand that his ‘political’ stunt caused panic and fear for both Temple Israel’s staff and guests and has caused Temple Israel to increase its security precautions – and as a result, its expenses,” the letter said. “This was not a victimless crime.”

The letter continued: “We say all the above with the understanding that Daniel Fischer has no criminal record, appears to be eligible for the AR Program and has been charged with misdemeanor offenses.

“That being the case, Temple Israel does not object to the granting of the AR Program for Mr. Fischer provided he engage in substantial community service where he can put his passionate support for the less fortunate to better use.

“Additionally, we would respectfully request that additional conditions of the defendant’s AR be that he not enter or go on Temple Israel property, not contact Temple staff or congregants and that he not attempt to participate in Temple Israel activities.”

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Cymru loves Israel. Israel loves Cymru

Scenes of light and love from todays Wales/ Israel EURO 2016 group B qualifier at Cardiff City Stadium

Photos from North West friends of Israel

From Israel in the UK

And from Daniel Jacobs- Mincha at half-time

Hatikvah and Israel flags, posted by our friend Simon Cobbs. Check out that ruach!

In response to the inevitable voices protesting the most egalitarian and diverse team in the Middle East Arieh Miller, executive director of the Zionist Federation, declared:
 “We are here to celebrate an incredible football game between Israel and Wales and welcome the Israeli national team and the fans from Israel to this amazing city.

“We feel the match has the ability to go over and above politics. If some individuals - a small, very vocal minority - choose to bring politics into sport, that really is shame.

“The Israeli national team is the only team in the Middle East where you have Jews, Muslims and Christians all playing side by side with the same shirt in the same colours for the same manager and the common cause of beating their opponents.

“Unfortunately, those protesters are trying to silence that coexistence and cooperation when in actual fact that’s the exact message we should all be promoting for peace.”

Saturday, September 5, 2015

American Muslims For Palestine: Inventing a heritage

American Muslims for Palestine is looking for "Palestinian" artifacts  to display at their November convention.

Their call for "coins and currency' is illustrated by the coins of the colonial power, the  British Mandate. 

B'nai Brith International highlights the history of the coins here

In September, 1923, the formal start of the British Mandate for Palestine went into effect. At that time, there was no stable economic system. There were a great number of coins and currencies used from different countries: Turkish, American, numerous European, Russian and Indian. Stamps were sometimes used. Barter was common. Something had to be done. On July 24, 1922, in London, the League of Nations formalized the Palestine Mandate, by issuing a covenant that had 28 articles. Article 22 was concerned with the economy. It read: "English, Arabic and Hebrew shall be the official languages of Palestine. Any statement in Arabic on stamps or money in Palestine shall be repeated in Hebrew and any statement or inscription in Hebrew shall be repeated in Arabic." 

The design was controversial from the very beginning

"To conform to the Balfour Declaration, two additional Hebrew letters were added in parentheses next to the Hebrew script on the coins. These letters, the aleph and yod, were an abbreviation for Eretz Yisra'el, "The Land of Israel." This infuriated the Arab citizens who rioted in protest. Orthodox Jews were also displeased with the text as they believed only the Messiah from the house of David could reestablish the historical Kingdom of Israel. These conflicts still rage on today."

No one doubts that the the British mandate for Palestine existed, and its unclear how  exhibiting coinage that  proclaims the "Land of Israel" supports the AMP claim of the historic existence of a Palestinian people.

A quick search of the New York Times Historical index shows that common use of the term "Palestinian" did not begin until 1970.

Before 1970? Guess who the term "Palestinian" referred to?
Fail, AMP. Fail.

American Muslims for Palestine  knows the true history of the coinage- in their promotional material advertising their conference  they deliberately cut out the Hebrew writing.

After all, you cannot  'reclaim a narrative' with eliminating an existing one.

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Co-existence? They'll have none of that in Wales

An exhibit in Cardiff meant to celebrate peace through football was abruptly shuttered, following "complaints". The Cardiff library was hosting the photographic exhibit, meant to show how sports builds bridges across political divides in advance of Sundays Wales vs Israel game at Cardiff City Stadium.

Photographers Gad Salner and Vadim Tarasov highlighted  Muslim, Christian and Jewish communities playing together throughout Israel  lower-league football throughout Israel.

From the Daily Mail:

The project, created by photographers Gad Salner and Vadim Tarasov, records how football can bring rival communities together. It has previously been displayed at the Guardian offices.

The photography project focuses on lower-league football throughout Israel, emphasising how Muslim, Christian and Jewish communities come together through the beautiful game.
One example is the Betar Nordia Football Club in Jerusalem, a small, fan-owned club that promotes diversity and sportsmanship, while opposing violence and racism in football. The club’s Jewish participants play alongside their Arab Muslim and Christian colleagues.

'From forgotten Arab villages in the north to dusty Jewish neighborhoods in the south, we visit places where the seemingly ever-present tension between cultures evaporates, and where diversity is embraced, encouraged and celebrated,' said the photographers in a statement.

Judith Woodman, leader of the opposition at Cardiff Council, called the censorship
"a disgraceful reflection on our city."

Read it all here.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Bay Area Says No to a Nuclear Iran

Hundreds of Bay area resident gathered on Sunday, August 30 in San Francisco's Civic center Plaza to ask their elected representatives to "Say No" to the bad Iran deal.

The bipartisan rally was sponsored by a host of grassroots community based organizations, including 

Zionist Organization of America, Western Region

Russian Speaking Jewish Community of SF
Rimon Club Z
Stand With Us
Jewish National Fund
Golden State Teenage Conservatives 
Phyllis Chesler Organization
Iron Dome Alliance
Americans for a Safe Israel
JCC Watch
Human Rights Voices
Log Cabin Republicans
London Center for Policy Research
Clarion Project
National Council of Young Israel
American Friends of Yeshivot Bnai Akiva 
Middle East Forum
The World Values Network
American Friends of Ateret Cohanim
Frederick Douglass Foundation
One Family
My Liberty
Bay Area Patriots
Christians United for Israel Action Fund
Bay Area Says Vote No On Iran Nuclear Agreement

Speakers included John Rothman, Dr. Mike Harris, Rabbi Shimon Margolin, Rochelle Conner, Director of the Frederick Douglass Foundation of California and retired Judge Quentin Kopp

More photos here.

And todays Darwin award goes to....

Silly Gaza.  Didn't you learn anything from Rachel Corrie?  Caterpillar bulldozers are dangerous. They aren't toys.

Wedding party in Beit Lahiya mugs for the cameras, on a Caterpillar Bulldozer

If the Palestinians don't boycott Caterpillar, why should anyone?