Sunday, September 25, 2016

Grape Expectations: Wine Spectator features the Wines of Israel

Rumors of Israel's impending isolation appear to be somewhat exaggerated.

The October 15, 2016 issue of Wine Spectator proudly features the wines of Israel

h/t SF Bay Pro Israel Counter Terrorist Unit

For an alphabetical list of the world class wines produced in Israel check out Wine Spectator's online listing.

The issue includes an article on Israel's transformation with "Fine wine production is now part of a rich cultural tapestry as a generation of modern-minded winemakers explore what is possible in their arid land" as well as an article on the top Israeli top wineries and restaurants 

This isn't Wine Spectator's first profile of Israeli wines - check out their Kosher wine and food archives

Antisemitic posters at UC Berkeley

Last week, Associate Chancellor Nils Gilman sent the following email to the UC Berkeley campus community:

Dear Campus Community:
This week a number of posters have appeared on campus that include anti-Semitic rhetoric. The language used violates our Principles of Community, as well as the Regents’ Principles Against Intolerance.
In accordance with our well known 'time, place, and manner' rules, we have instructed that the posters be removed. We urge all in our campus community to use this opportunity to reinforce our values as a campus, and to report any further incidents.
We will continue to do everything in our power to ensure we have a campus climate that is safe, welcoming, and respectful for all. 

Nils Gilman
Associate Chancellor-Chief of Staff

The Daily Cal, the UC Berkeley newspaper was uncharacteristically silent on the incident.
It took an article in Algemeiner to fill in the blanks for concerned community members

An antisemitic poster at UC Berkeley. Photo: Nanette Asimov/Twitter.

From Algemeiner

The posters began cropping up when UC Berkeley announced it was reinstating “Palestine: A Settler Colonial Analysis,” decried by a campus watchdog group as “a classic example of antisemitic anti-Zionism.”

One such poster referred to a coalition of 43 Jewish, civil rights and educational organizations that had written an open letter expressing concern about the course and disappointment in UC Berkeley’s vetting process, calling them “advocates for a foreign state” who “seek to control our freedom of speech and academic expression.”

It also claimed that the Israeli government was directly involved in the suspension of the course.

Another poster underscored the large US military-aid deal with Israel, snidely telling “non-Jews” that they had better “pay up and shut up” in the face of “Jewish bullies.”

No group has claimed responsibility for the posters


The Daily Cal weighs in on the posters here

Saturday, September 24, 2016

The Biggest Lies Abbas told to the 71st UN General Assembly

Created by StandWithUs

Governor Brown Signs AB 2844 Into Law

From our friends at the IAC

Governor Brown Signs AB 2844 Into Law

Moments ago, California Governor Jerry Brown signed AB 2844, the anti-BDS bill, into law. As an advocate of this important piece of legislation, you should be proud. Special thanks to you for your commitment and dedication to this cause.

This effort would not be possible without the leadership of Assemblymember Richard Bloom, the California Legislative Jewish Caucus, and Assemblymember Travis Allen.

And, thank you Governor Brown!
Here are some key points about the BDS movement, the California-Israel relationship, and this important legislation:
  • The aim of BDS is to delegitimize, demonize, and ultimately destroy the State of Israel
  • BDS is alive in California and throughout the United States, especially on our college campuses taking aim at Jewish students and other Israel supporters, creating a hostile campus climate
  • This has become so intensified on campuses that the UC regents took a stand to specifically condemn anti-Semitism and anti-Semitic forms of anti-Zionism
  • In July 2015 the Legislature affirmed support of the California-Israel MOU by stating that collaboration with Israel will foster peace and democracy in the Middle East
  • The MOU reflects the policy of California to maintain a partnership with the State of Israel.
  • BDS directly aims to damage this partnership by advocating that U.S. companies boycott Israel
When enacted, this legislation will prohibit public entities from contracting with companies engaged in discriminatory business practices in furtherance of a boycott against Israel. We firmly believe that public entities in California should not be forced to subsidize discrimination advocated by the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement against Israeli-Americans, Jewish Americans, or others who choose to freely associate with Israel. 

California joins at least 12 other states that have passed anti-BDS legislation, including Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa and South Carolina. New York's  Governor Andrew Cuomo has also signed an executive order banning state agencies from investing in companies that support BDS.

Jewish Voice for Peace "thick as thieves" with Miko Peled

Jewish  Voice for Peace has been "thick as thieves" with  Miko Peled for years. He tabled with the extremist group, representing them at a conference on Reform Judaism

In January he gave a talk at UCLA  sponsored by JVP and SJP, along with fellow "AsaJew" Max Blumenthal.

JVP even featured Peled's book, "The Generals Son" in its book club

With such intimate contact with Miko Peled, you'd think that JVP might have noticed before now that he harbors anti-Semitic beliefs.

JVP has taken considerable flack for tolerating open anti-Semitism in the past. In a surprising effort to shake JVP's reputation as an aider and abetter of anti-Semitism, Executive Director Rebecca Vilkomerson took a stand via Twitter

Local anti-Israel  activists (not one of whom accepts the right of the Jewish people to self determination in their ancient homeland)  weighed in immediately

Jane Chesterman Jewell from 14 friends of Palestine called Rebecca Vilkomerson the "Zionist's favorite gatekeeper"

From open supporter of terror groups Hamas and Hezbollah , Paul Larudee:

From Jeff Blankfort called "JVP is the equivalent of a COINTEL operation"

They all get it wrong, of course. Zionism is the civil rights movement of the Jewish people. By rejecting Zionism, you are rejecting Jewish self determination.  If you believe that all people, except the Jewish people, are entitled to self determination then, yes, you are an anti-Semite. If you believe the Jewish people are deserving of less rights than other people, yes, you are an anti-Semite.

This point is lost on both the defenders and detractors of Miko Peled.

JVP backtracks. via Legal Insurrection:
Under pressure, Jewish Voice for Peace re-embraces Miko Peled just days after accusing him of antisemitism

Muhammad Zoabi is coming to Berkeley.

Muhammed Zoabi is coming to Berkeley.

Muhammad Zoabi, a self described  “proud Israeli Arab Muslim Zionist” will be the keynote speaker in a fundraiser for the Israeli advocacy group, StandWithUs.

The Israeli-Arab teenager was forced to go into hiding  after he publicly expressed support for Zionism and the State of Israel. He took refuge with terror-survivor Kay Wilson.

Outspoken bravery runs deep in the Zoabi family. His mother Sarah Zoabi was a contestant on the television broadcast of Master Chef Israel  and declared “I believe in the right of the Jewish people to have their own country, which is the state of Israel, the holy land....I’m sure that the people who hear me will say: ‘what, have you lost your mind? How can you say you are a Zionist?’ I want to say to all the Arab [citizens] of Israel to wake up. We live in paradise. Compared to other countries, to Arab countries – we live in paradise.”

Muhammad Zoabi, Arab Muslim Zionist
Muhammad  will be joining the IDF next year, and has declared "I am proud to be part of Israel, its people and for sure in the future, our DEFENSE forces."

Save the date.

Nov 13.
Congregation Netivot Shalom, Berkeley

Saturday, September 17, 2016

A Palestinian Love Story

 A very Palestinian love story

The young couple that carried out yesterdays car ramming   (one of 5 terror attacks against Israelis in 24 hours) were reportedly young lovers, given a chance to redeem their family's honor by killing Jews.  

Firas al-Birawi Khadour and Raghad Khadour  rammed their vehicle into a bus stop near the community of Kiryat Arba.  The man was shot and  pronounced dead on the scene. The woman was shot in the stomach and  received preliminary treatment at the scene before being taken to a hospital in Israel. Three Israeli teenagers were treated with light injuries.

To the Palestinians, love isn't nearly as honorable as Jew-killing.

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Capital BDS event Cancelled

Caught ya!

Last week, the US Campaign to end the Israeli Occupation, a coalition of anti-Israel groups sent out an email blast urging their members to “Ask Your Members of Congress to Attend Pro-BDS Briefing”, touting what they described as “ the first-ever pro-BDS briefing on Capitol Hill”

The panel discussion featuring Shezza Abboushi Dallal, Philip Farah, Code Pink’s Alli McCracken and Rahul Saksena was originally scheduled  for  Friday, September 16.

Congressional rules prohibit the use of official offices to host groups that advocate discrimination. Rooms in the Rayburn building must be booked through a member of Congress. How did this group of extremists get sponsorship of a room on Capital Hill?

The real story shows how underhanded and manipulative Israel-haters can be.

The room was originally reserved by a  former staff member of Texas congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee. The event was cancelled after House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D – Calif) intervened.

 Jackson Lee's communications director, Mike McQuerry reported that the room was booked in March, and was  “done without the knowledge of anyone in the office."

"We've taken our name off of booking the room," he continued. "We weren't involved with planning."

McQuerry denied  an association with the U.S. Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation, the group hosting the event.

Jewish Voice for Peace schedules anti-Israel talk for Rosh Hashonah

The "As-a Jews" of  Jewish Voice for Peace are sponsoring an anti-Israel talk on Rosh Hoshanah, the Jewish New Year.  Its not surprising- in the past, they've organized protests and film screenings on Yom Kippor as well.  Scheduling events on Jewish holy days is a low energy way to muzzle dissent and silence voices that might gather in opposition.  It shows JVP lack of commitment and lack of respect for Jewish traditional observance.

From the Facebook page advertising the event

Monday, October 3 at 7 PM - 9 PM in PDT
105 Northgate Hall, Berkeley, CA 94720-1002, United States

Israel’s arrest and detention of Palestinian children.
by Beth Miller Defense of Children International (DCI)

This guest lecture is sponsored by:
Students for Justice in Palestine
Norcal Friends of Sabeel
Bay Area Jewish Voice for Peace
Middle East Children Alliance

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

UC Berkeley suspends anti-Israel class

Two Jews, three opinions? Not this time.

Earlier this month, 43 human rights and Jewish advocacy groups signed an open letter to UC Berkeley Chancellor Nicholas Dirks expressing concern regarding a decal class, “Palestine: A Settler Colonial Analysis,” with an obvious political bias and a bigoted agenda.   The course was in clear violation of the UC Regents Policy on Course Content  which states “  Misuse of the classroom... allowing it to be used for political indoctrination...constitutes misuse of the University as an institution.”

The University of California, Berkeley suspended the class on Tuesday. Only 28 students had signed up for it.

It was reported that the facilitator,  Paul Hadweh, “did not comply with policies and procedures that govern the normal academic review and approval of proposed courses for the Decal program”, and for that reason, “approval for the course has been suspended pending completion of the mandated review and approval process. It should also be noted that the Executive Dean of the College of Letters and Science is very concerned about the offering of any course, even a student-run course, which espouses a single political viewpoint and/or appears to offer a forum for political organizing rather than an opportunity for the kind of open academic inquiry that Berkeley is known for.”

AMCHA, a watchdog group with a focus on campus Antisemitism coordinated the letter,  pointing out to the Chancellor that:
A review of the syllabus of  “Palestine: A Settler Colonial Analysis” reveals that the course's objectives, reading materials and guest speakers are politically motivated, meet our government’s criteria for antisemitism, and are intended to indoctrinate students to hate the Jewish state and take action to eliminate it:

  • Course Learning Objectives - These make it clear that a key goal of the class is to encourage students to accept unquestioningly the false and defamatory idea that Israel is an illegitimate settler colonial state.  Furthermore, by the end of the course students are required to have "researched, formulated, and presented decolonial alternatives to the current situation,” which, in the context of the other course objectives, means that a significant part of the course will be devoted to thinking about ways to “decolonize” -- that is, eliminate — Israel. 
  • Course Readings - All of the course readings, without exception, have a blatantly anti-Israel bias, and most contain language that demonizes and delegitimizes Israel and is recognized as antisemitic by the U.S. government, democratic world leaders, scholars of antisemitism and the Jewish community. In addition, virtually all of the authors of the course readings have either publicly endorsed an academic boycott of Israel, called for the dismantling of Israel, or both.
  • Guest Speakers - Both guest speakers listed in the syllabus — Keith Feldman and Hatem Bazian -- have publicly supported an academic boycott of Israel, and Bazian, who is also the course’s faculty sponsor, is himself a well-known leader of the anti-Israel boycott, divestment, sanctions (BDS) movement as well as campaigns to eliminate the Jewish state. 
Roz Rothstein, CEO of Israel advocacy group StandWithUs, praised the decision to suspend the class:

“We applaud the UC Berkeley administration for recognizing that this course was designed for political indoctrination, and not open academic inquiry,” she said. “Approving a class premised on the denial of Jewish history, identity, and rights in their homeland would have been a stain on the university's reputation as both an academic institution and a force for progress in the world.”

Read more about the suspension of  “Palestine: A Settler Colonial Analysis” here:
UC-Berkeley halts class that critics say advocates the elimination of Israel

‘Antisemitic Anti-Zionist' Course at UC Berkeley Suspended Following ExposĂ©, Outcry

Monday, September 12, 2016

On the Avenue: Jewish Voice for Peace at the Solano Stroll

Via Emmunah:

It wasn’t all cotton candy and churros at Sundays' Solano Stroll, the East Bay’s largest street festival.   Extremist group JVP also had a presence, and what they dished out was unpalatable.

JVP is only nominally Jewish and is not for peace. Jewish Voice for Peace routinely protests Jewish social and cultural events. They've scheduled and sponsored anti-Israel events on Yom Kippor.  Their members stand shoulder to shoulder with the worse anti-Semites out there.
Jewish voice for Peace via Zombietime
They’ve been behind the scenes at many college, municipal and corporate divestment proceedings, invariably beginning their diatribes "As a Jew".  JVP members disrupted an Israeli LGBT Shabbat event  in Chicago. A JVP member brought a terror supporter to Ithaca New York to propagandize a classroom of 3rd graders.   JVP disrupted a NYC  Holocaust commemoration.

JVP simultaneously demands a voice within the established Jewish community while admonishing its members against “normalization”  with the community.

Their stated mission, according to executive director Rebecca Vilkomerson, is to drive“a wedge” within the American Jewish community. 

Marching in the Solano Ave parade under the “Jewish” Voice for Peace banner were a handful of anti-Israel activists, including  Schivone Jews, Hassan Fouda  and Andrew Gutierrez along with other charter members of the “moral outrage as a lifestyle choice” club.

 Hassan Fouda  and Andrew Gutierrez of JVP
After all, being Jewish is optional for "Jewish" Voice for Peace members. 

At the Jewish Voice for Peace booth the usual variety of widely debunked anti-Israel propaganda was distributed.

In addition to the “Maps of Disappearing Palestine”, distributed OUTSIDE the booth in direct violation of the festival guidelines, JVP distributed a newsprint propaganda piece,

 made up to look like a copy of the  New York Times.

This is in a clear violation of the New York Times Trademark

This isn’t the first time JVP  has tried this stunt.  According to Times spokesperson  Eileen Murphy, in February, the Times shut down online versions of the fake paper because it was

 “deliberately designed to trade on our name and mislead users.....We are extremely protective of our brand and other intellectual property and object to these two groups - or any other groups - attempting to cloak their political views under the banner of The New York Times... It is our firm belief that those advocating for political positions are best served by speaking openly, in their own voice.”

The New York Times has tolerated this repeated disregard for their trademark, and allowed the dilution of their brand for over half the year. In spite of their words, the print copies are still being distributed with impunity.

Why would Jewish Voice for Peace betray their ally in the propaganda war against the Jewish State? The New York Times anti-Israel bias is so pronounced that media watchdog CAMERA has launched a billboard campaign calling them to task for their skewed coverage and biased reporting.

Once again, truth, morality and fair play have fallen prey to JVP's anti-Israel zeal. Not even a family friendly street fair or the once well regarded "newspaper of record" is safe from their lies.

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Fremont High School student arrested for anti-Semitic threats

A 17 year old student was arrested for criminal threats and hate crimes directed against Jewish students at  Fremont High School in Sunnyvale and Homestead High School in Cupertino.

From the Department of Public Safety in Sunnyvale;

 Investigators believe the suspect was acting alone and there is no current danger to students and staff. DPS increased security at the school this morning to ensure everyone's safety. Sunnyvale DPS and the school will continue to work together to ensure the safety of the students. School administrators will continue to keep parents and students updated. 

The messages were sent from an Instagram account with the name "Jewslaughter." 

 "Jews disgust me, I'll f***ing kill you. I got connections to the aryan brotherhood gang. You and the rest of your people are dead."

The J weekly- the Jewish News Weekly of Northern California posted a screenshot of the threat

The principal of Fremont High School Bryan Emmert posted the following message on the school's website:

Dear Fremont High School Community,

I am writing to provide you with a brief update on the situation regarding criminal threats posted to social media that the district has been dealing with over the last several days.

As you know, over the holiday weekend, FUHSD administrators were notified by a number of students and families from Fremont and Homestead high schools about anonymous threats posted to social media sites. I would like to take this opportunity to commend the students that came forward with this information for the courage and care they demonstrated in bringing these threats to the attention of the school district and law enforcement. If it were not for their bravery and concern for their peers, teachers and school staff, law enforcement may have been unable to identify and apprehend the individual responsible for these threats as quickly as they did.

I would also like to express our sincere gratitude to the Sunnyvale Department of Public Safety for working closely with district leadership and staff to take all necessary precautions to ensure the security of our schools. SDPS worked tirelessly to investigate these threats and to locate and arrest the perpetrator in less than 24 hours. We could not be more thankful for the support of SDPS in bringing about a positive resolution in what has been a serious and unsettling situation for all of us.

SDPS believes that the perpetrator acted alone in making these criminal threats. Their investigation did not yield any evidence that the individual was capable of carrying out the threats. The official statement from SDPS can be read here:

This morning, both SDPS and the Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Office had a presence on the Fremont and Homestead campuses as an extra precaution, reassuring students and staff of the safety of our campuses. We thank both law enforcement agencies for their assistance in ensuring a smooth start and end to the school day so that students did not experience an interruption in their regular instructional day.

Student and staff safety remains our number one priority. As a district, we look forward to beginning the healing from this difficult situation united together as one community.

Thank you all for your support during this time.


Bryan Emmert

The culprit has not been identified.