Wednesday, February 29, 2012

UC Davis should be Ashamed

Two young Israelis, Ranya Fadel and Ran Bar-Yoshafat are touring American campuses as part of Israeli Soldiers’ Stories. The tour is sponsored by StandWithUs, an international Israel education organization. On Monday, Feb 27, they were scheduled to speak at UC Davis in an event co-sponsored by Chai Life-Club.

Ranya belongs to Israel’s Druze minority community. Her father and brother have both served in the Israeli military. She has a diploma in biotechnology and a bachelor’s degree in political sciences at Bar Ilan University. She begins her talk apologizing for her English- reminding people that its her third language, after Arabic and Hebrew . Bar-Yoshafat is a Jewish Israeli and is the grandchild of Holocaust survivors. He is the former Israeli national champion for mixed martial arts (1999-2000) and is a lawyer in the Kenneset.

The young Israelis were here not as representatives of their government, but rather to put a human face on the conflict that too often is ignored.

What happened to them at UC Davis was a disgrace and an embarrassment. Two young people, visitors from far way were subject to a display from Davis students and community members that has no place on a college campus, where above all else, free speech and open discourse should be cherished. The repugnant behavior of anti-Israel students organizations and anti-Israel community organizations, and the deliberate negilence of the UC Davis campus police to maintain order was deeply disturbing and needs to be addressed

From a local blogger

1. The plan of the anti-Israel bashers was twofold:
*to arrive early and fill the room to capacity allowing no other people to enter–and then at a predetermined point to get up and walk out, leaving an empty classroom with no one to listen to the speakers
*and if they were unable to carry out the above plan, to continuously heckle the speakers making their presentation impossible
2. In regard to the first part of the anti-Israel plan, the pro-Israel organizers of the event changed the room at the last minute which forced the anti-Israel forces to show up after many others had already arrived to take their seats.
3. In regard to the second part of the anti-Israel plan, the main heckler, a student from India, indicated after the program had concluded that he was paid $50 by “Muslim students” to heckle so loudly that the program would not be able to continue.
4. A pre-program meeting of the “pro-Palestinian” students took place in the campus classroom in which the program was originally scheduled to take place. In that meeting, there were approximately 100 “pro-Palestinian supporters” including not only UCD students led by Students for Justice in Palestine, but also representatives of the Davis Peace Coalition, the Jewish Voice for Peace, the Davis Committee for Palestinian Rights, American Muslims for Palestine, and the Boycott, Divest, and Sanction (BDS) movement.

Ran and Ranya were exquisite, exhibiting tremendous grace under pressure. Never once loosing focus, they stressed to the students they were at Davis to talk. They spoke about their lives in Israel- lives very similar to those of American young people. They watched Seinfeld and Friends. They went to the beach. They went shopping with their friends. But all that changed during the second intifada. They spoke of the bus bombings and the assaults on Israeli civilians. They spoke of the friends they lost. Ranya showed a memorial- "This victim was Muslim. This victim was Druze. This victim was Jewish" Her message was clear- terror affects everyone. Ran showed us a list of his friends who had died- there were nearly 20 names on it. He carries the list so he never forgets.

UC Davis police, summoned to the event because of the disruptions refused to do anything. They refused to remove hecklers and do anything to ensure that the rights of the speakers were protected

Tuesday evening, Ran and Ranya spoke at UC Berkeley. A rapt, respectful audience listen to their every word, and politely questioned them after.

UC Davis should be ashamed. Let them know here.

The Great Gilad Atzmon Paperchase

Respectfully submitted by the Makabit, notes on the events befalling the Bay Area Zionists on the evening of February 25, Oakland, California:

Gilad Atzmon can be described in a variety of ways. You could describe him, as his adoring fans do, as a 'prolific performer, composer, author and activist'. You could describe him as nearly everyone else does, as a unhinged hater whose writings drip with classical anti-Semitism and a poisonous hatred of Jews and Judaism. Or, you could describe him, as a lady of my acquaintance does, simply as 'someone who makes a living being a self-hating saxophonist'.

A brief primer on Gilad Atzmon for those of you who may have blissfully erased him from your memory banks since the last time he popped up. Atzmon is on record as saying:

“I’m not going to say whether it is right or not to burn down a synagogue. I can see that it is a rational act.”

“American Jews do try and control the world by proxy” 

“There is no such thing as anti-Semitism”
“Why is it that the Jews who repeatedly demand  that the Christian world should apologize for its involvement in previous persecutions, have never thought that it is about time that they apologized for killing Jesus?"

“I wanted to be an ordinary human being, which is very unusual for a Jew.”

He is most recently the author of a book entitled The Wandering Who? A Study of Jewish Identity Politics, described by Walter Russell Mead as "a genuinely anti-Semitic book by a deeply twisted anti-Semite — who happens also to be Jewish." The book, among other things, speculates about the truth of the blood libel, and points out in Hitler's defense that American Jews were persecuting him by boycotting German goods. Atzmon also adds, of the Shoah: I think that 65 years after the liberation of Auschwitz, we must be entitled to start to ask the necessary questions. We should ask for some conclusive historical evidence and arguments rather than follow a religious narrative that is sustained by political pressure and laws. 

I won't even get into what he says about Israel, a nation that had the misfortune to count Gilad Atzmon as a citizen until he renounced his connections to Israel, Judaism, and sanity. (He now lives in Britain, which deserves better.) So you get the idea: proudly self-loathing, comfortable with the tropes of Holocaust denial, and reviving the ugliest smears of classical anti-Semitism. 

This charming fellow is much beloved by people who hate Israel, and are pleased by the vicious image that Atzmon creates of Jews and Israelis. Which is why he is repeatedly invited to star at various 'fundraisers' for various anti-Israel activities. Most recently, this led to his being invited to Oakland, CA, on the evening of Saturday, February 25, for an evening of music and anti-Semitism, to raise funds for the Global March to Jerusalem. For reasons that will follow shortly, I do not believe that they can have possibly raised enough money to cover the cost of flying Mr. Atzmon out from England. In fact, one of the most consistent things about Atzmon's fundraising endeavors is that they never seem to raise much in the way of funds. But that is a consideration for another day.

Of course, if we was gonna be there, we were gonna be there. The Zionist activists and proud Jews of the Bay Area revved up. We took old signs out of storage, and painted new ones. There was no way Atzmon was going to speak anywhere in the Bay Area without us standing by and telling the world the truth about his vile shtick. We were a little nervous, after the peaceful organizers of this event contacted anarchists at Occupy Oakland for 'security', soliciting the response "Who do you want us to beat up?" But we went anyway. We were determined to speak truth to...whatever it is Gilad Atzmon is.

Things got complicated after that, though, because rather than face being called out for being a purveyor of hate speech, racism, and vile lies, Gilad Atzmon went on the run.

We arrived at the designated location, only to find that the only people stirring around the building were young and fashionable--not exactly the typical Atzmon fans. Several of the girls were wearing wigs teased into big Afros. It was, as we later learned, the Seventh Annual Say it Loud 70's Fashion Show.

We admired the young people's retro ensembles. But where was Atzmon? We found this notice taped to the inside of a nearby door.

As you'll note, they didn't leave an address or phone number, which is customary when a piece of theater has a change of venue, but then again, the point of the change of venue may simply have been to shake off pursuit. While a forlorn pair of Atzmon fans called several numbers, trying to find out where the event had gotten to, the Zionists surveyed the scene, and shrugged. The field was ours, and we were on the point of declaring victory and going out to dinner. We even took a few photographs.

Fortunately or unfortunately, we then found out where Atzmon was hiding. (It was cold and bleak and dark, and I was actually looking forward to dinner.) However, one of the organizers showed up to discreetly hand out flyers with the new address, and armed with one of these, we leaped back in our assorted conveyances and headed out to find Atzmon's new hide-out.

The new location was on a residential street, and as we rolled down it looking for street numbers, we came to the conclusion that the new location was probably someone's living room. But we were wrong. Oh, how wrong we were.

Atzmon's new venue turned out to be the Islamic Cultural Center of Northern California, and I confess that when I saw the sign, I actually shrieked a little, and our driver was so discombobulated that she accidentally parked in the cultural center's parking lot. This later turned out to be something of a problem, but we were, to put it mildly, startled.

I do not know how Gilad Atzmon managed to find shelter from the storm at the Islamic Cultural Center of Northern California, seeing as he is neither a Muslim, nor particularly cultured, aside from his saxophone playing, which is apparently pretty decent. I can only assume that he was seriously mischaracterized to the poor soul in charge of scheduling, who therefore made the disturbing mistake of letting a man who thinks burning a synagogue is a 'rational act' into a building which serves as a mosque.

We all spilled out of our cars, and lined up along the fence in front of the ICC parking lot. We had signs, and a banner, and a flag, and we all made ourselves fairly comfortable. (It was cold, it was dark, and we were protesting a nasty bigot in front of a local Cultural Center, but other than that, we were comfortable.)

After that, things went fairly smoothly. An event organizer hovered outside, glaring at us, and denouncing our flyer as a pack of lies. A few young men, wearing sunglasses in the middle of the night, were produced from somewhere, and stood around, nominally protecting the entrance to the ICC. I believe they were intended to look menacing, but they seemed more intrigued by us than anything else.

Meanwhile, no actual ticket-holders seemed to be showing up. We gathered, from hurried conversations between the organizers, that things were being delayed, while everyone was apprised of the new location. That was OK. We waited. Meanwhile, people kept exiting the ICC, many of them with young children, apparently leaving some other event inside. I felt rather awkward as they walked past me. It seemed like mere politeness to scream a warning. "Your cultural center has Gilad Atzmon in it!" I mean, I would want to know. But I wasn't sure of the etiquette for this situation. I settled for smiling politely.

The organizer-in-chief threatened to call the police, so we tried to be helpful and called them ourselves. They showed up several minutes later, and chatted with our representative and that of the Atzmon fans, familiarizing themselves with the situation.

They also turned out to be useful because, as I may have mentioned, we had parked in the ICC's parking lot, and getting out was now starting to seem somewhat perilous. I'm trying to make this whole outing as lighthearted as possible, but the truth of the matter is that any fan of Gilad Atzmon's is pretty much automatically a pretty special kind of hater, and these people scare the heck out of me. Luckily, one of the police officers, apprised of the situation, agreed to escort our car and driver out of the parking lot.

After that, we stood around and held our signs and got very cold, while the Atzmon people engaged in their favorite pastime, filming Zionists. One of them attached to one of our activists and kept him talking for the entire hour and a half we were there, filming the whole thing. A young woman smoking hand-rolled cigarettes and wearing an "I Heart Gaza" t-shirt filmed the rest of us.

Oh, yes, the actual event? Well, fewer than twenty-five people attended in the end. A trickling handful arrived and were ushered into the parking lot as we stood there. There may have been more activists outside than suckers inside.

We were freezing outside, and in the dubious company of Gilad Atzmon's fans. We were still doing better than those inside, who were listening to Gilad Atzmon. Transcript of the hideous speech that transpired inside coming up in the next post.

Monday, February 27, 2012

"Murdering Assad More Important Than Killing An Israeli"

Well, this is different.

Saudi cleric who once offered cash prize to whomever kidnaps Israeli soldier comes out against Syrian president

Saudi cleric Dr. Awad al-Qarni is claiming that killing Syrian President Bashar Assad would be a more noble deed than killing an Israeli person.

Saudi newspaper Sabah quoted al-Qarni as saying that Assad deserves to die for heresy, referring to him as "Basharon," in a jab alluding to former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon. The Muslim cleric claimed that the Golan Heights will not be freed until Assad's "treacherous" regime falls.

I guess it's important to keep your priorities straight.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Palestinian children "throwing stones'

Ask yourself- What if it were you and your children in these cars?

To label this unprovoked violence against Israeli civilians as "non-violent resistance" is deliberately deceptive and manipulative. This is precisely the act that lead to the death of 25 year old Asher Palmer and his infant son Yonatan.

Asher Palmer and Yonatan were killed in a terrorist attack after Palestinians threw rocks at their car, causing it to overturn on a highway near Kiryat Arba. The incident was originally reported as a traffic accident.

From Arutz Sheva

"Arutz Sheva has obtained a document detailing findings from the scene of the crash. Among the evidence that at first failed, for unknown reasons, to convince police that terrorists may have been involved: a hole in the front windshield of the car, a massive rock found in the front seat with human blood on it, a tear in fabric of the steeling wheel cover and dust indicating a blow from the rock, and damage to Asher Palmer's face suggesting an impact unrelated to the crash.

The autopsy and a CT scan of Asher Palmer's face showed evidence of facial fractures caused by a rock."

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Near lynching of Israeli teenagers in Haifa

Haifa, sister city of San Francisco, another city by the bay, has been noted for its diversity and tolerance. Until now. Details are emerging of a horrifying attack on two 19 year olds, as reported in YNET

“After we parked the car, another vehicle approaching quickly stopped next to us,” one victim said. “They asked us whether we’re Jewish, and then started yelling ‘Jews, Jews.’ We ran in different directions but they chased us.”

“They caught up with me and started to beat me up with clubs all over my body. I felt they wanted to murder me,” he said. “I saw about 15 or 20 people and felt I was finished.”

According to the second victim, the assailants came out of three vehicles equipped with clubs and metal rods.

“Seven or eight people grabbed hold of me, beat me up and kicked me all over my body,” he said. “They also tried to hit my head with a club, but I protected myself with my arms. That’s why my arms were pulverized. They hit also my head and pelvis with a rock.”

During the savage assault, the attackers decided to “leave their mark” on one of the victims, resorting to a particularly brutal tactic.

“At one point they pounded my head against the pavement,” one soldier said. “One of them grabbed hold of my arms and someone who stood above me engraved something on my head using a knife or a sharp object. I fainted.”

As it turned out, the assailants engraved the words “you dog” in Arabic on the victim’s head. "

Did a Global March to Jerusalem Organizer Solicit violence against Local Peace Activists?

Truth, its been said is stranger than fiction.

Our story so far.
Gilad Atzmon is known as much for his virulent anti-Semitism as his music. He was scheduled to appear in Oakland this evening at 7:30. Human rights activists led by our friends at San Francisco Voice for Israel organized a vigil to show that Oakland and the entire Bay Area stand united against hate speech.

Alarmed by the presence of an anti-hate vigil at his pro-hate event, local anti-Israel activist Deppen Webber solicited "security" volunteers on Twitter from the Occupy Oakland anarchists. Then the threats began.

(thank you to everyone who brought this to our attention)

Yep. Anarchists to Deppen "Who do you want us to beat up?"

Deppen Webber. Member of "Jewish" Voice for "Peace". Member of the International Solidarity Movement. Organizer of the Global March to Jerusalem. Was Deppen Webber soliciting thugs to harass, intimidate and attack peaceful protesters? Just something to think about the next time the ISM tells you that they believe in "non-violent" resistance.

The story continues. Apaprently there is a strong rumor floating around that Gilad Atzmon fundraiser was cancelled. They'll blame the "zionists"- they always do. But we know- the real reason was that almost no advance tickets were sold for this event.


No, the event was not cancelled. The event was ultimately held at the Islamic Cultural Center, on Madison Ave in Oakland.
As people approached the Arts center, they were handed a flyer that read:

"SHAME on You MCCA ManagementYou Dishonor Malonga Casquelourd" "

On Feb 6 we reserved Annex A100 for Feb 25 event featuring anti-etc..... (insert boilerplate anti-Israel propaganda here)
On Tuesday Feb 22 the Anti-Defamation League" [ADL] issued a press release denouncing Gilad Atzmon and our scheduled and advertised program at MCCA. the ADL is notorious for their spying operations against North American activists who fought apartheid in South Africa and Israel. In 2003 a public acknowledgement of their spying operation was front page news in the SF Chronicle as they lost a civil liability case.
Yet ADL and the 1% have clout.
One day after the ADL press release denouncing our program and identifying MCCA there was suddenly a "problem" with our room reservation at MCCA. 48 hrs before our event we were informed that we would have to reschedule because we did not have the proper "permit". Contacts with senior management overseeing MCCA took place the next day Friday Feb 24 but resulted in no reversal of this outrageous censorship. A series of lame falsehoods was offered by MCCA management. Obviously they cannot say the real reason for the abrupt and sudden finding of a problem.
We do not know if it was through bribery or threats but one way or another ADL and its supporters corrupts the integrity of Oakland Parks and Recreation which manages the Malonga Casquelourd Center for the Arts. The 1% has again demonstrated its influence and insidous power.
Shame on you, MCCA and Oakland Parks and Recreation management....."

The Gilad Atzmon dog and pony show at the Islamic Cultural center of Oakland began 40minutes late, and was attended by approximately 2 dozen people.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Global March to Jerusalem. Is the Red/Green Alliance Imploding?

Paul Larudee and Deppen Webber are the local organizers of the Global march to Jerusalem. Noura Khouri, embedded in Egypt is also hard at work on the project, which seeks to storm the borders of Israel on March 30.

But the hapless Paul and Deppen have seemed despondent of late. (Have both of them been banned from Israel for 10 years? Whatever could they have done to deserve that?)After all, a 21st century crusade is such brilliant idea, but, according to Paul, they are having trouble finding organizations to endorse this action. Not even the Israel is always wrong folk at JVP want to touch this action with a ten foot pole.

Why, they ask? After all, this assault on the legitimacy and sovereignty of the Jewish homeland had been planned for over a year. Deppen and Paul have spent long hours traveling the capitals of Europe and the Middle east organizing this.

From the ISM website (

"On March 30, 2012, however, the Global March to Jerusalem (GMJ) will attempt a massive nonviolent march within Palestine, along all its borders and in as many countries as possible around the world. It has been in the works for a year, and most of the major western solidarity organizations have been approached to participate in both the organizing and execution of the project. Despite a recent influx of major endorsements, however, many still refuse or ignore the invitation.


We hear some of the same arguments: that the project is too risky and confrontational. However, it is also true that the project was not the brainchild of any of these solidarity groups, or even of their Palestinian allies. Instead, it came from groups that represent large numbers of Palestinians – including many from the Palestinian expatriate communities in the border countries, such as the refugee camps, the Islamic movements and the supporters of armed resistance groups. "

Paul seems genuinely surprised that American organizations are loathe to associate themselves with organizations that support and endorse terror.

Our friends at CIF Watch have carefully documented the clear links to Iranian extremist groups, as well as the Hamas and Muslim Brotherhood ties of the organizers of the Global march to Jerusalem.

read it here:
Extremists & terror supporters organizing ‘Global March to Jerusalem’
Part 1

and here:
CiF Watch Special Report on Extremists & Terror Supporters organizing ‘Global March to Jerusalem’
Part 2

And in a new report published at CIF Watch, Hadar Sela documents the infighting and divisions among the organizers of this action.

‘Global March to Jerusalem’ Update: Quarrels within anti-Zionist ‘Sunni-Shia/Red-Green’ Alliance?

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Zionists in Berkeley? You bet!

If 2011 goes down in history as the year we "punched back", then 2012 is well on its way to becoming the year we took a pro-active stand. No longer content to merely respond to hate and delegitimation , the local community is leading the way with positive programming, show-casing our pride in our ancient homeland.

The Berkeley conference "Israel through the High tech Lens conference" was met with 2 very bored protesters while hundreds gathered to learn about the "Start up nation", and to take home lessons regarding Israel's culture of innovation.

This unabashed pride in Israel is being seen all over Berkeley, from the streets to the synagogues. Check out the latest offering from Berkeley Hadassah

And, in a gesture than cant help but rub salt into the wounds of the BDS'ers, check out the raffle prizes!

And, in the category of "How's that Boycott coming, btw?" , a quick glance at the local Costco shows the answer is "epic fail"

(Why, yes! That's Israeli cheese!Thank you for asking.)

Even the local Safeway is stocked with israeli goods

Shows that in the belly of the beast, progressive liberal Berkeley, merchants ignore BDS in favor of good old supply and demand.

From Hussein Ibish: "The bottom line is this: if you can't get divestment through UC Berkeley, you're done." Lets take it a step further. If the Zionists in Berkeley of all places are unified and are fighting back, BDS is going down for the final time.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Congressman Barney Frank at UC Berkeley tomorrow





From the Jewish Student union, UC Berkeley

Congressman Barney Frank
When: Thursday, February 23, 7:30 PM to 9:30 PM
Location: 155

Category: Academic CONGRESSMAN





Some needed context

So often I hear about the Palestinians, so hungry and desperate for freedom and equality that they simply cant stop themselves from loading nails and screws soaked in rat poison into a bomb and turning themselves into a weapon. As often, I hear about the oppressed Palestinians children, acting as children do- throwing stones at their oppressors.

Here's what it looks like.

Zehava Weiss, a teacher was on her way home to to Karmei Tzur on Tuesday when she found herself the target of a rock salvo that smashed her windshield. An AFP photographer who was standing nearby captured the scene

Some context, from YNET

"This wasn't Weiss' first time in an incident of this kind.

"The Palestinians love to throw stones near that spot, and at two other sites near the village," she said. "I have lived in Karmei Tzur for eight years and I can tell you that they hurl stones almost every day.

"My heart was beating so fast after the incident, but we have to continue driving through there," she added. "What choice do we have?" "

Does this look like "non-violent resistance" to you?

How Come No One Wants to Help Gaza?

Another excellent article by Khaled Abu Toameh

The Palestinian Center for Human Rights announced that Palestinians -- not Israel -- were to blame for the electricity crisis.

"Who is stopping the Palestinians from turning the Gaza Strip into the Middle East's Hong Kong? Is it Israel, the Palestinians themselves or the Arab countries?

In the past few weeks, Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh has visited a number of Arab and Islamic countries in a bid to secure financial aid for "rebuilding" the Gaza Strip.

Haniyeh returned to the Gaza Strip this week with a suitcase full of promises from Iran, Qatar, Sudan, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates to help the Palestinian residents of the Gaza Strip.

Some of the Arab countries promised to provide cement and construction material, whiles others pledged to fund various economic and housing projects there.

But the Palestinians have become used to empty promises from the Arab and Islamic countries.

In the past, the Arab League promised $4 billion in aid to the residents of the Gaza Strip. However, Palestinians say that so far they have seen almost nothing from the Arab and Islamic countries.

Earlier this year, Hamas accused the Palestinian Authority of laying its hands on a few million dollars that were donated by some Arab and Islamic countries for helping the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip. The Palestinian Authority has denied the charge.

Of course it is easy to blame Israel for the ongoing crisis in the Gaza Strip; that is exactly what Hamas, the Palestinian Authority and the rest of the Arab and Islamic countries have been doing.

Israel alone , they say, is to blame for everything that goes wrong in the Gaza Strip. If there is a problem of drugs in the Gaza Strip, it must be the Israelis who are behind it.

And when there is no electricity in the Gaza Strip, both Hamas and the Palestinian Authority often rush to blame Israel for the crisis.

But the Palestinian Center for Human Rights announced this week that Palestinians -- not Israel -- were to blame for the electricity crisis.

The human rights group pointed out that Hamas announced that the operation of the Gaza Energy Plant was stopped because it ran out of fuel.

Until recently, the fuel used to be smuggled from Egypt through underground tunnels. Before that, the fuel was bought from Israel, and the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank used to cover the costs. But because of the dispute between Hamas and Fatah, the Palestinian Authority stopped its contribution.

Palestinian Authority officials have accused Hamas of stealing the fuel for its own institutions and vehicles.

So if anyone is to blame for the fact that hundreds of thousands of Palestinians have been left without electricity it's both Hamas and Fatah.

Also, when there's a shortage of medicine in the Gaza Strip, Hamas usually hold the Palestinian Authority responsible for failing to deliver them to the Gaza Strip.

When Israel left the Gaza Strip back in 2005, the Palestinians had the opportunity to turn the coastal area into the Arab world's Singapore.

Everyone, including Israel and Jews living in the US and Canada, was prepared to help the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip. But the Palestinians chose instead to turn the Gaza Strip into a center for Islamist groups.

These groups have since brought nothing but death and destruction to the residents of the Gaza Strip. Today, the Gaza Strip is counting to march backward. Backed by many Palestinians, the radicals continue to call the shots, and there is no hope for the emergence of moderate forces in the foreseeable future.

That is the main reason the Arabs and Muslims are not eager to transfer billions of dollars to the Gaza Strip. They know that money will go to purchasing missiles and ammunition there instead of building new schools and hospitals."


And even with this incontrovertible evidence, whom does "Jewish" Voice for peace blame on the situation in Gaza?

You guessed it.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Khader Adnan, the Gentle Jihadi Baker

Who is Khader Adnan?

Khader Adnan is a spokesperson for Islamic Jihad, a Palestinian militant group dedicated to the destruction of Israel. Islamic jihad is considered a terrorist group by the US, Canada, EU, and Australia. In 2005 Adnan was quoted in the Boston Globe as ‘repudiating any sort of ceasefire with Israel, and urging all Palestinian terror groups to resume fighting with Israel’. In an interview with al Jazeera he declared “we the PA and all the Palestinian people are in one trench and targeting the Zionist enemy”. He has been arrested by Israel and is being held in Administrative detention. He is currently in day 65 of a hunger strike in an effort to manipulate Israeli officials into releasing him.

Why was Khader Adnan taken into Custody?

Mr. Adnan’s latest detention “stems from involvement in actions that threaten regional security.”

What is Administrative Detention?

Administrative detention, “is a tool used when information pertaining to a case is based on sensitive sources that cannot be released.” In Israel, defendants retain the right to appeal in the military court and the High Court of Justice. Adnan’s case has been taken to Israel’s High Court of Justice and will be heard on Tuesday. if the high court determines there is no basis for his continued detention, then he will ultimately go free. There are approximately 300 administrative detainees in Israeli prisons.

Administrative Detention is used in many democracies, including the USA, the UK, Australia, Brazil and Ireland.

Adnan has been visited by his attorney, his family and by a doctor from Physicians for Human Rights-Israel . He is at the Ziv Medical Center in Safed . Adnan was reported lucid and able to communicate, said Anat Litvin, the director of the group’s prisoners and detainees department. Mr. Adnan is receiving an IV drip with salts and minerals to keep him hydrated.

Khader Adnan- ruthless instigator or gentle baker? You decide:

Will you hear any of this from the fans of this gentle "baker" with the "pregnant wife"? Not likely. Expect Adnan's Jihadi fans from Al -Awda at a protest in front of the Israel Consulate in San Francisco tomorrow, from 4 -7.

Its Not about the "Occupation". It never was

Everyone in the Bay Area has heard it. Its all about "The Occupation". Just the "occupation". Never mind that the vast spectrum of anti-Israel activists from Women in black to Al Awda wouldn't accept a homeland for the Jewish people within any border. Its still about the "occupation".

Except that its not.

According to an AWRAD Poll of Palestinians 15-30 years old only 5.8% most concerned by Israeli Occupation.
Are American anti-Zionists that far removed from reality?
Apparently the answer is "yes"

The results from the AWAD poll, as published in IMRA

To you personally, which of the following issues is causing the most concern in your life? Please rank from 1(being most concerning)to 8 (being least concerning)

Finding a job 35.2%
Covering the expenses of my education 20.6%
Corruption in public life 12.9%
My personal freedoms 11.1%
The expenses of marriage including housing 6.8%
Occupation 5.8%
Unstable social/psychological situation 3.7%
Dealing with boredom as there is nothing fun to do 2.6%
The consequences of the Wall 1.5%

In your opinion, which one of the following is the best means to reach an independent Palestinian state?

to reach an agreement between the two parties 19.6%
An international conference that imposes a settlement on 16.1%
A non-violent popular uprising 13.4%
Armed/militant confrontations 19.0%
A mix of non-violent and militant means 30.5%
Other 0.7%
Don't know 0.7%

Results of an Opinion Poll among Palestinian Youth
Publication Date: 1 February 2012
Fieldwork: 15-17 January 2012

Sample Size: 1200 Palestinian Youth in the West Bank & Gaza (18-30 years
Margin of error: + 3 %

Hadar Sela on the Global March to Jerusalem

Hadar Sela has written two excellent articles at CIFWatch, exposing the extremist ties of the Global march to Jerusalem.

Read them here, and here

Her latests article appears at the Commentator.
From British Involvement in a dangerous Middle east provocation:

"Nearly a year ago to the day, on February 18th 2011, the spiritual guide of the Muslim Brotherhood, Sheikh Yusuf al Qaradawi, addressed a victory rally in Cairo's Tahrir Square at which he called for the re-conquest of Jerusalem by his co-religionists.

Few subjects on the Islamist agenda are as galvanising as that of the Al Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem and severe violence has frequently erupted or been engineered by interested parties due to the spread of rumours of 'threats' to the integrity of the Waqf-administered area.

Now, with the Middle East in its second year of turmoil and uncertainty, Muslim Brotherhood, Hamas and Iranian-linked elements are planning to exploit the sensitivity of Jerusalem's Al Aqsa Mosque in order to recruit participants in a 'Global March on Jerusalem', scheduled for March 30th.

This latest high-profile publicity stunt - designed to further the assault on the legitimacy of Israel – involves groups of international marchers (the organisers are hoping for a million participants) setting out from the surrounding countries of Lebanon, Syria, Jordan and Egypt and converging upon Israel's borders whilst demanding the right to reach Jerusalem."

She continues:

"It is a basic premise of national sovereignty that a country has the right – and indeed the obligation – to control its borders, to determine which non-citizens it allows to enter, to remove those entering without authorisation and to take steps necessary in order to protect its own citizens. Even the EU policy of internal free movement is rooted in the understanding that "[l]ifting internal borders requires strengthened management of the Union’s external borders as well as regulated entry and residence of non-EU nationals".

The participants in the 'Global March on Jerusalem' have already stated that they will not apply for the necessary visas in order to enter Israel. Some of them are citizens of countries with which Israel does not have diplomatic relations. Some are also members of or associated with terror organisations dedicated to Israel's destruction and a significant number have previously taken part in one or more of the 'flotilla' campaigns designed to break the maritime blockade (deemed legitimate and legal in the UN's Palmer report) on the Gaza Strip.

It is therefore clear that the pre-planned result of this march will be provocation and unnecessary confrontation which – as has been the case in the past - could well result in tragedy."

Read the entire article here

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Palestinians stone Christians in Jerusalem

The tension on the Temple Mount is ratcheting up, the flames fanned by various hate groups on Facebook and twitter. The incitement is clearly building to a crescendo timed for the Global march to Jerusalem.

Today's victims were a group of Christian tourists, attacked by a Palestinian mob that assaulted them with rocks. Police arrested 11 Palestinians, several of them minors, for their role in the attack.

From Israel today:

"The attack is believed to have been instigated by the former Muslim mufti of Jerusalem, Ekrama Sabri, who told Palestinian media over the weekend that Jewish groups were planning to break into the mosques that occupy the holy compound and desecrate them.

Sabri urged all local Muslims to protect the mosques from "the Israeli conspiracy against the city and its holy places."

Muslim religious figures regularly claim that Israel is plotting to destroy the Dome of the Rock and the Al Aqsa Mosque to pave the way for the rebuilding of the Jewish Temple, which the Muslims now insist never previously existed.

Because of the constant threat of Muslim violence, and despite the fact that the Temple Mount is the most holy place on earth to Jews and many Christians, the Israeli police comply with Muslim demands for harsh restrictions on non-Muslim visitors to the site. For instance, Jews and Christians are forbidden to carry Bibles atop the Temple Mount or to utter even silent prayers within its walls. Jews and Christians are regularly detained for violating these conditions."

Friends of Sabeel, North America are planning two northern California Conferences next month, in Sunnyvale and in Sacramento. Looking at their workshops, it is clear that the violence directed towards Christians in the middle east is the furthest thing from their minds. Sabeels only raison d'etre is demonization of the state of the Jewish people, Israel.

Why Israel Still matters

Once again, Rabbi Daniel Gordis reminds us why Israel matters.
From his blog: Dispatches from an Anxious State

Surplus Jews
We Jews permit ourselves degrees of intolerance towards each other that we would never exhibit toward others outside our community. The settings are numerous – theology, Halacha, denominations, politics and more.

But nowhere are the vehemence and the inability to actually listen to those with whom we disagree more pronounced than with regard to the State of Israel.

The great irony of our age is that arguments about how to safeguard the Jewish state are a significant part of what now threatens to destroy any semblance of unity among the Jewish people. It is therefore helpful to have periodic reminders of just how much is at stake in the survival and flourishing of this state.

This week affords just that opportunity, for we are just days shy of the 70th anniversary of the sinking of the SS Struma. Few people today remember the Struma or its story; the young among us cannot even imagine the Jewish existential condition that it reflected, a condition that the state has, thankfully, completely eradicated.

The story begins in 1941, when it was clear to many Eastern European Jews that they were destined for a horrific end. In Romania, several Zionist organizations, Betar among them, commissioned a Bulgarian ship to transport almost 800 Jewish passengers to Palestine – the Struma.

Like Europe, however, the Struma was a disaster waiting to happen. The ship was barely more than a floating tub, 61 meters in length and six meters wide, which had been built in 1830 for shipping cargo; it had subsequently been used to transport cattle. It was powered by a motor that had apparently been salvaged from the bottom of the Danube River. The immigrants aboard had, according to some accounts, but a single bathroom.

Their only sources of comfort were the knowledge that they were finally succeeding in fleeing a burning Europe, and that the whole trip to Istanbul, the first leg of their journey, would take merely 14 hours.

The Struma set sail on December 12, 1941, but the engine gave out almost immediately. The tugboat that had towed them out of the harbor eventually sent its navigator and engineer on board, but they would only fix the engine for a large sum of money. The passengers, however, had given all their money to the Romanian customs officials. So they parted with their gold wedding bands in return for the repairs.

Four interminable days later, the boat limped into the Istanbul harbor, where it would remain for months.

Turkey refused to allow the passengers to disembark – what country would want a boatload of homeless Jews? Nor did Britain want them to make their way to Palestine; the British were anxious to assure an increasingly restless and sometimes violent Arab resistance that limits on Jewish immigration would be enforced.

On February 12, almost two months after the boat had left Romania, the British finally acquiesced and granted Palestinian visas to the children on board. But His Majesty’s government refused to send a ship to collect them, and Turkey refused to grant them overland passage. The children thus remained on board. With negotiations between Turkey and Britain at a standstill, Turkish officials towed the disabled boat up the Bosporus Strait toward the Black Sea.

Passengers hung signs over the side that said “Save Us” in both English and Hebrew. The signs were plainly visible to people on the shores of the Bosporus, but no one, of course, did anything to help them.
When the hapless Struma reached the Black Sea, the Turks abandoned the ship, leaving it to drift. The next morning, on February 24, a Soviet submarine torpedoed the Struma, which exploded and sank. Of the 769 people on board, only one survived, by holding on to wreckage for more than 24 hours. His name was David Stoliar, and he was imprisoned in Turkey for several weeks, then admitted to Palestine. Stoliar served in the British Army during the war, and then in the IDF during the War of Independence; he later moved to Oregon.

There is much we do not know about the Struma catastrophe. Why did the Soviets sink the boat? Did they mistake it for something else? Did the British actually encourage their Soviet allies to sink the ship in order to “solve” the problem without putting pressure on Palestinian immigration? Some people believe so, but we will probably never know with certainty.

The incident, now mostly forgotten, had all the iconic elements of the Shoah. Human beings transported with equipment once used for cattle. Subhuman and unlivable conditions. Helpless Jews, whom no one wanted, with nowhere in the world to go. And finally, of course, mass death, with no graves to mark the fact that these innocent people had even existed, and had died for the simple reason that they were Jews.

Perhaps the most important element of the story to remember is to be found in a British governmental communication from 1941, referring to the Jews who were desperate to escape Europe and who, the British rightly understood, would try to make their way to Palestine despite British objections. “We should have some alternative scheme in hand for disposing of these surplus Jews, who having escaped from persecution in Europe, are going to be kept in detention camps in British colonies,” the communication stated matter-of-factly.

“Surplus Jews”: The phrase is used with no hint of embarrassment, no expression of responsibility. “Surplus Jews,” as in human beings that are, for now, a commodity – until they become literally worthless. “Surplus,” as in not needed, as in a problem that needs to be disposed of.

No one uses this phrase anymore. Not the British, nor the Turks. Not Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, nor Mahmoud Abbas. People across the globe still have their beef with us; some are justified, most are not. But whatever one might say about the State of Israel, one thing is clear – the Struma incident simply could not happen today.

It is simply impossible for today’s Jews to find themselves in a world in which no one wants them or will have them. That, perhaps most fundamentally, is the dimension of Jewish life that Israel has changed, hopefully forever. Jews may be all sorts of things, but we are no longer “surplus.”

It is worth remembering now just how much has changed in the past 70 years. And as we battle over how Judaism should be manifested in this state, what its borders should be and how we can best protect it, the memory of the Struma ought to serve as a chilling reminder of what we will lose if the stridency of our debate rips our people – and then our state – asunder.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Silicon Wadi in Gaza and the West Bank

From the Christian Science Monitor:

The West Bank and Gaza Strip is home to hundreds of tech companies, creating everything from websites to smart phone apps

"In the hip Ramallah coffee shop ZAMN, Yousef Ghandour laments the slow Wi-Fi as he launches the beta version of one of his many start-ups, a social networking site that allows users to travel through time to find connections.

Mr. Ghandour, who never wastes a moment, shares the e-books he is currently reading on his iPhone (among them, "Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap ... and Others Don't"), shows off his blog, and lingers for a moment on his latest vision for a social networking site for Muslims called AnaBasili, or "I'm praying."

"People are really passionate about entrepreneurship and putting Palestine on the map using technology," says Ghandour, a software engineer who is helping to create – and brand – an emerging community of technology entrepreneurs in the Palestinian territories. They call themselves Palestinian geeks, or peeks."

Hip Coffee shops? Entrepreneurs? Palestinians High tech starts ups? But, but, but... What about the open air prison? What about the humanitarian crisis? What about the starving Palestinians?

For some, the commitment to helping the Palestinian people goes beyond the BDS cult, beyond the literal attacks on Israel. For some, helping the Palestinians means building infrastructure and creating jobs, with the goal of building a nation.

"The Sadara Fund, the first venture capital fund focused on the Palestinian territories, launched last year with an initial $28 million to invest in Palestinian start-ups. At the time, Sadara estimated that more than 300 tech companies were operating in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, employing about 3,200 people."

Confront Anti-Semitic Hate Speech in Oakland

From our friends at San Francisco Voice for Israel:

ACTION ALERT-- Confront Anti-Semitic Hate Speech in Oakland, Saturday
February 25, 6:30 PM.

Gilad Atzmon, an anti-Semitic author, writer and musician based in London, is scheduled to speak in Oakland, California, on February 25, at a “benefit for the Global March to Jerusalem – North America.” The event will be at 7:30 PM at 1428 Alice Street Oakland (near the 12th Street BART station--Alice Street is 4 blocks east of Broadway).

According to a flyer publicizing the event, Atzmon will appear with Dennis Bernstein, producer and co-host of KPFA news program, Flashpoints Radio, at the Malonga Casquelourd Center for the Arts, which is administered by the City of Oakland and its Department of Parks and Recreation.

The “Global March to Jerusalem” campaign seeks to coordinate efforts by activists from around the world to cross Israel’s borders and enter Jerusalem to “demand [its] freedom” on March 30, 2012. The “Global March to Jerusalem” Facebook page is rife with anti-Semitic and other extreme content. While Atzmon rejects being characterized as an anti-Semite, the following remarks from his writings reveal an almost obsessive hatred of Jews and Jewish identity.

* "Tolerance, democracy and liberalism, are foreign to Jewish political precepts which are all racially orientated and supremacist to the bone.”
* “I like to fight alone; I take responsibility. Along the years, there have been a lot attempts to destroy the few of us who have stood up against Jewish power.”
* “We are all subject to Zionist global politics. According to my model, the credit crunch is in fact a Zionist ‘punch’.”
* “Jews were responsible for the killing of Jesus.”
* “If the Left wants to stop Israel for real, then it must openly question the notion of Jewish Power and its role within Western politics and media. But can the Left do it? I am not so sure.”
* “I'm not going to say whether it is right or not to burn down a synagogue, I can see that it is a rational act.”.

(information quoted above courtesy of the Anti-Defamation League)

Atzmon has crossed so far over the line into anti-Semitic hate speech that even extreme anti-Israel activists in the UK have denounced him.
StandWithUs/San Francisco Voice for Israel will hold a vigil outside this event from 6:30-7:45 PM. As always, feel free to make your own signs but please no signs or graphics offensive to any racial or ethnic group including but not limited to Arabs, Islam, or Palestinians. Signs in violation of our policies will not be allowed.

Coates, Goldberg and a Question of Approach

Another day, another comment thread online, and the Makabit is slinging comments with another 'critic of Israeli policies'. This isn't a good one; it's like playing ping-pong with a robot. His moves are predictable, his shell impenetrable, and we can do this for as long as I'm willing to send the ball back across the table. As the conversation deteriorates, it gets even more routine.

We've identified one another's agendas, and are no longer even pretending to talk. "Israel seized a country," he says. That's not true, by any possible definition, I tell him. He doesn't bother to bring the facts he's been demanding from everyone else, defaulting to telling me that I 'know' I'm not right about that. Finally, he informs me that if I want people to think I'm a peacenik (a goal and title I hadn't actually laid claim to), I should change my name. "Makabit" apparently, is too warlike...darn those indigenous freedom fighters!

I sign off, bored and frustrated, and vowing, probably in vain, not to engage in this sort of futile fight again. And I start thinking:

Ta-Nehisi Coates has a reputation for having an excellent and active group of commenters at his Atlantic blog. I read there often, and occasionally comment, and I find it to be an extremely pleasant experience. The commentariat is bright, literate, and interested in the issues Coates addresses. Conversely Jeffrey Goldberg only recently opened comments on his blog at the Atlantic, and the results have been mixed.

Goldberg is currently carrying on a running feudette with Glenn Greenwald over Greenwald's use and defense of the anti-Semitic slur "Israel-Firsters", but I think that any widely read blogger with a positive attitude toward Israel would have drawn a similar crowd. The words 'anti-Israel' are enough to bring them popping out of the woodwork. "Define anti-Israel!" they scream. "Was is racist when South Africa was boycotted? Define anti-Semitic! Give us links!"

Under these circumstances, any conversation deteriorates back to the ping-pong game. You have to start from basic principles every time, going over the essential history of the region, fighting over framing. Then the rest of the bag of tricks. It is combative, and mind-numbingly repetitive. Trying to have an intelligent conversation about Israel, anti-Semitism, or pretty much anything else under these circumstances is like trying to play chess under artillery fire.

How does Coates do it? I started to wonder. After all, he frequently writes about race in the United States, not exactly a non-controversial subject on the Internet, and one with its own endless framing arguments. How has he created a place where people have intelligent discussions about the things he posts, without endlessly setting the discussion back to, "Wah, wah, you say everything's racist! Define racism succinctly! I want links!"?

Well, Ta-Nehisi Coates doesn't allow people to show up and pee on the floor, and he bans people when they do that. I've watched him do it. He's not liked by some for it. They complain bitterly, elsewhere. If you show up referencing racist authors, or pouting that you could say that affirmative action is black supremacism, and why doesn't anyone want to discuss that, or wanting to go over the complicity of Africans in the slave trade, Coates will show you the door. Then you can go and talk about what a coward he is on your own blog, and the rest of us can actually talk about whatever the subject du jour is.

Most pro-Israel blogs with discussion-prone comments sections don't do this, and many blogs (by no means most, or all, I have no statistics) dealing with racial issues or gender issues do.

I suspect we don't do it because we think that banning commenters who are being asses is censorship. We don't want to provide ammunition to people who already like to claim they're being silenced all the time. I think we've also developed within the BlogoZion a belief that action online means addressing these people, all the time, and debating them wherever they show up.

It's kind of pointless, though, and I think it hinders our ability to talk about more nuanced issues. What would happen if, instead of indulging the "Define anti-Israel!" crowd, Goldberg simply blocked them and left them to go elsewhere? Would we be able to talk about a wider range of subjects? Would people feel freer to explore nuance, without the artillery fire coming in from everywhere?

Beyond the practical, I think that setting standards for discussion about Israel and enforcing them is a healthy move toward reframing. It says: Israel exists, and has a right to. We won't discuss this any longer, and we won't allow the conversation to be derailed with false history or attempts to put words in our mouths. We won't waste our time endlessly playing games with people whose clear agenda is to harm Israel, any more than we waste our time playing games with people who want everyone to agree that racism is over, and women have too much power in modern society.

What would it mean to actually log out of conversation with the armchair anti-Israel crowd? What could we do with that time? That emotional and spiritual energy?

Friday, February 17, 2012

Americans Support for Israel continues to grow

The Reut Institute called 2011 the year we punched back.

Indeed it was . The organized Jewish community as well as grassroots activists (the dis-organized community?) waged a relatively successful efforts to contain the assault on Israel's legitimacy and her right to exist.

According to Reut:
"These achievements are primarily the result of growing attention dedicated to the challenge, increasing comprehension of its global nature, and timely dedication of resources to fight against it. Indeed, all over the world,Israel and its allies have achieved small but significant ‘triumphs.’"

These efforts are beginning to have a long term effect. According to a recent Gallup poll, support for Israel amongst Americans rose 3% last year.

"Americans are feeling more favorably toward several of the United States' major allies in 2012 than they have in the past. This year's ratings for Canada (96%), Australia (93%), Germany (86%), Japan (83%), and India (75%) are all record highs for those countries in Gallup trends that stretch back at least a decade. Additionally, the survey finds Great Britain (90%), France (75%), and Israel (71%) rated near their all-time highs."

With anti-Israel propagandists working overtime on their provacatillas du jour, it good to see that support for America's only real ally in the Middle east is continuing to grow.

Yes, Alison Weir. Americans Do Know, and that's why they support Israel.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

The Repugnant Gilad Atzmon on the equally Repugnant Norman Finkelstein

Gilad Atzmon on Norman Finkelstein's recent characterization of BDS as a "cult":

PS. how can any read lines like this and not believe Atzmon is an anti-Semite?

"we are actually dealing with a rabbinical operation that exercises the most repulsive Judaic excommunication tactics."

"Israel is dominated politically by an oppressive and racially exclusive Jewish political philosophy"

"all the British political parties are controlled by the Israel Lobby (Friends of Israel), CFI, LFI, & LDFI"

From Atzmon's website:

"Norman Finkelstein has recently bought himself a few enemies within the Palestinian solidarity movement for openly and enthusiastically advocating the Two States Solution. In the last interview it seems as if Finkelstein defends Israel’s right to exist.
From an academic point of view, Finkelstein has a point. He argues that in order to win we have to operate within the parameters set by international law. However, some points should be made here.
It is far from being clear who sets the parameters of international law. Is it really the international community? Or is it just a few powerful Western countries looking into their own particular expansionist interests.
It is also far from being clear whether the international law is either ethically or sensible. Is it ethical to let the Jewish State celebrates its exceptional symptoms at the expense of the indigenous people of the land i.e. the Palestinians? Is it sensible to maintain an, aggressive, expansionist, racist, and exclusivist, nuclear Jewish State in Middle East? Is it safe? Is it good for world peace?
It is far from being transparently obvious to me why an American Jewish academic or any other Western solidarity activist should have a say about the way or manner in which Palestinian should live on their land. I, for instance, have never come across a Palestinian academic preaching Britain to divide its island by resurrecting the wall at the Scottish border. The meaning of it is simple, there is something fundamentally pretentious in the solidarity discourse and in resolution discourse in particular. We, for some reason, like to tell others what is right or wrong.
Do we need to discuss resolution for the conflict? Israel is already a one State, it has a single electric grid, one sewage system, one international pre dial number. Yet Israel is dominated politically by an oppressive and racially exclusive Jewish political philosophy. This has to be changed and it will be changed by means of resistance with our solidarity or without it.
Yet, Finkelstein’s criticism of the solidarity movement is largely valid. The recent expulsion of Palestinians and academics from the UK PSC, proves that we aren’t just dealing with a ‘cult’ discourse as Finkelstein suggests, far worse, we are actually dealing with a rabbinical operation that exercises the most repulsive Judaic excommunication tactics.
Finkelstein is correct when he suggests that the achievements of the solidarity ‘cult’ operations are pretty limited. However, he may fail to realise that solidarity with the Palestinian doesn’t end in the West, in NYC, London or Paris. The recent political triumph of Muslim parties in the region is fuelled by Hamas and Hezbollah victories. It is more than likely, that the Palestinians and the Aabs will liberate themselves.
Unlike Finkelstein, I believe that the solidarity movement is already a mass movement. More and more people out there grasp that the continuum between Israel, AIPAC and the Conservative Friends of Israel (CFI) is the biggest threat to world peace. More and more Brits are astonished to find out that all the British political parties are controlled by the Israel Lobby (Friends of Israel), CFI, LFI, & LDFI . How many British politicians are as friendly with Hartlepool or Penzance? More and more Brits and Americans grasp that their politicians are for sale. They realise that on the Israeli shopping list, a Western politician comes out much cheaper than a tank. More and more Brits and Americans come to realise that in this crucial battle for elementary freedom ‘We are all Palestinians"

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Norman Finkelstein on BDS

From the Huffington Post Monitor

For those of you who can't tolerate a half hour of Norman Finklestein: Here's the highlights:

Transcript follows.

I've earned my right to speak my mind, and I'm not going to tolerate what I think is silliness, childishness, and a lot of leftist posturing.

I mean we have to be honest, and I loathe the disingenuous. They don't want Israel. They think they are being very clever; they call it their three tier. We want the end of the occupation, the right of return, and we want equal rights for Arabs in Israel. And they think they are very clever because they know the result of implementing all three is what, what is the result?

You know and I know what the result is. There's no Israel! And if you don't want the same framework then stop talking about the law and stop trying to be so clever. Because you're only so clever in your cult. The moment you step out you have to deal with Israeli propaganda. And here they have a case.

They say no they're not really talking about rights. They're talking about they want to destroy Israel. And in act I think they're right I think that's true. I'm not going to lie. But this kind of duplicity and disingenuous, "oh we're agnostic about Israel." No you're not agnostic! You don't want it! Then just say it! But they know full well: If you say it you don't have a prayer reaching a broad public. Because that's where the public is right now.

I support the BDS. But I said it will never reach a broad public until and unless they're explicit in their goal. And their goal has to include the recognition of Israel or it's a nonstarter. It won't reach the public because the moment you go out there Israel will start to say what about we and they won't recognize our right and in fact that's correct. You can't answer the Israelis on that because they're making a statement that's factually correct. It's not an accidental and unwitting omission that BDS does not mention Israel. You know that and I know that

It's not like they're "oh we forgot to mention it." They won't mention it because they know it will split the movement. Cause there's a large segment of the movement that wants to eliminate Israel.

You talk about BDS they make all these claims about their victories. All their claims. You know what? You use these ten fingers? These more than suffice to count all their victories. There are superfluous fingers here to count all their victories. It's a cult! Where the guru says we have all these victories and everyone nods their head and no one sits down to do the arithmetic on their own.

Yes it's had some victories no question about it. But the way people promote it as if it's proven itself and we're on the verge of a victory of some sort. It's just sheer nonsense. Its a cult. And I personally am tired of it.

There's no Israel. That's what it's really about. And you think you're fooling anybody. You think you're so clever that people can't figure that out for themselves? No they understand the arithmetic perfectly well. Are you going to reach a broad public which is going to hear the Israeli side 'they want to destroy us?' No you're not. And frankly you know what you shouldn't. You shouldn't read a broad public because you're dishonest. And I wouldn't trust those people if I had to live in this state. I wouldn't. It's dishonesty.

The full video can be found here . The BDS'ers are scampering madly to have it removed- watch it, download it and spread it while you can.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Alison Weir's Council for the National Interest attempts to Infiltrate Tea party

Increasingly, the hate Israel team has not been flaunting their real agenda. Rather, like true students of Saul Alinsky they join churches, co-ops and clubs and attempt to infiltrate the system from within. By penetrating existing institutions such as unions and political parties they are able to leverage the good will and good name of these organizations.

Notorious Anti-israel activist Alison Weir has recently admitted attempts by her group, the "Council for the National Interest" to infiltrate the tea party. The Council board features such luminaries as Hassan Fouda, Paul Findley and Pete McCloskey. Alison Weir's work has appeared on the David Duke website. Yeah. She's that kind of "peace activist"

The ADL on the Council for the National Interest:

"The Council for the National Interest (CNI), which includes the Council for the National Interest Foundation (CNIF), is an anti-Israel organization that opposes U.S. aid to Israel and disseminates demonizing propaganda about Israel to academics, politicians, and other audiences.

CNIF sent several delegations to the Middle East that met with terrorist leaders from Hezbollah and Hamas, including two delegations that met with Hamas leader Khaled Meshal in Damascus in 2009 and 2008. A previous delegation met with Hezbollah Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah in January 2006. During the meeting, Nasrallah informed his guests of his intention to abduct Israeli soldiers. Edward Peck, a member of the delegation, later described Nasrallah's comments as a "logical, reasonable presentation" and cited it as proof that Hezbollah's image in the West was distorted. "

Egyptian anti-Israel activist and CNI board member Hassan Fouda posing "as a Jew"

Alison Weir writes:

"I’m happy to report that, thanks to your generous support, the Council for the National Interest has been particularly busy recently.

Despite some small amount of negative press and protests—from the usual radical sources—my lecture last week, “Israel-Palestine: Beyond the Headlines,” hosted by the Student Forum at the James Baker Institute for Public Policy/Rice University, was very well received. The next night I spoke to an equally receptive audience at the University of Houston. Educating and motivating young people is a priority for CNI. U.S.-Middle East relations have been contradictory and counterproductive for half a century. The future of American foreign policy is in the hands of the next generation. We have the information they need to hear—and with your help we are reaching out to students nationwide.

Our Executive Director Phil Giraldi is taking CNI’s message to new constituencies—he spoke to “Tea Party” events in Virginia and Texas, and to supporters of Congressman Ron Paul’s presidential campaign. Recruiting new friends and allies is essential to our growth and influence."

Philip Giraldi is a former CIA counter-terrorism specialist and former foreign policy adviser to Ron Paul. He is also a venomous antisemite who has written that "Israel-firsters" are the "masters of the executive and legislative branches." Yeah. He's that kind of "peace activist", too.

Alison continues:

"Finally, as you know CNI hosted, in conjunction with the International Council for Middle East Studies, a discussion on “The Arab Revolts and Their Consequences” here in Washington. There was a standing room only crowed that ranged from Congressional staff to the media—and included a former Congressman, a former ambassador, representatives from two European embassies, as well as organizations ranging from university study programs to the watchful eyes of the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs."

Just a cautionary tale to the Tea party, and to any other organization that might find itself hosting an anti-Semite someday. A word to the wise should be sufficient.

Has the Left Betrayed the Jews?: A Discussion Continued


{Cross-Posted at Israel Thrives}

There are political realities that become so large over time, and thereby so normative, they just seem to fade into the wallpaper and remain virtually undiscussed. Likewise, there are political realities that have such painful consequences if directly addressed that people avoid doing so by avoiding recognizing the reality of it.

I am more and more convinced that this is the situation that liberal American Jews find themselves within the progressive movement and the activist base of the Democratic Party.

My thesis is that the progressive movement, and the grassroots / netroots of the Democratic Party, has betrayed its Jewish constituency through accepting anti-Semitic anti-Zionism as part of the larger coalition.

In the previous piece I offered four pieces of evidence.

1) That the larger progressive and Democratic blogs and journals express, at worst, a true hatred for the Jewish state and, at best, a comfortable acceptance of that hatred.

2) The ongoing agitation of anti-Semitic anti-Zionists within large Democratic and progressive venues such as Daily Kos, the Huffington Post, and the UK Guardian.

3) The polling which consistently shows that Republicans and conservatives are far more well-disposed to Israel than are Democrats and progressives.

4) And the fact that Israel is the only country on the face of the planet in which progressives discuss whether or not it should ever have come into existence and whether or not it should continue to exist.

Fizziks has been kind enough to engage my argument in an effort to refute it.

While Fizziks' argument is strong enough to give me some pause, I do not believe that he has actually succeeded in refuting my argument. Part of the reason for this is that the question is not whether I am entirely right or I am entirely wrong. The question really is, to what extent, or to what degree, is the above true? Is it true enough that we need to discuss it and re-orient our politics accordingly.

I believe it is.

Fizziks' effort to refute my thesis takes the form of attempting to diminish the significance of a blog like Daily Kos by arguing that it is not representative of the progressive-movement or the Democratic Party, that national political figures within the Democratic Party tend to be pro-Israel, and that there are elements on the right who also discuss whether or not Israel should have even come into existence.

Fizziks writes:

In short, Daily Kos, and these other places like HuffPo, are rarified worlds that do not, a present, reflect the real world of the Democratic Party. Daily Kos is at present full of deranged keyboard warriors, most of whom are not even Democrats, and has a presently active readership of maybe 10,000 people. It has no prestige or power in the Democratic establishment anymore, and its' views, as evidenced by my co-op example above, do not reflect the views of the base of the Democratic party.

There are several problems with this seemingly strong argument. The first is that my thesis says nothing about national politicians, nor about the Democratic Party as a whole. It is specific to the progressive-movement and the activist base of the party. Furthermore, although I neglected to stress this earlier, it is not even just about the blogs like Daily Kos or the Huffington Post. It is also about anti-Zionist trends within academia and the hatred spit at Israel on prominent American universities, about anti-Israel NGOs that seek to perpetually defame that country or paint it in the worst possible light, and about the the movement to boycott, divest from, and sanction Israel (BDS), a movement that has become institutionalized within the larger progressive-left.

Fizziks points out that BDS has been, thus far, unsuccessful and he is right. For the most part BDS has been unsuccessful as Jon Haber tends to stress in Divest This!  But this does not suggest that anti-Zionists have not become part of the constituency of the progressive-left or have not embedded themselves within the activist base of the Democratic Party. The evidence for this goes far beyond any two or three political blogs and is clearly evident in the things mentioned above, the universities, the progressive journals, the NGOs, and the BDS.

So, there is simply no question that that the progressive movement, and the grassroots / netroots of the Democratic Party, has accepted anti-Semitic anti-Zionism as part of its larger coalition. The only real question for those of us bold enough to engage it is whether or not this constitutes betrayal of its Jewish constituency. It doesn't even matter if Republicans and conservatives do this, as well, because we are not discussing them. They are also far less relevant, on this question, to American Jews because American Jews tend to be progressives and Democrats, not conservatives and Republicans.

My conclusion, as someone who pays close attention to the Israel-Palestine discussion within progressive venues is that, yes, the progressive movement and the activist base of the Democratic Party has betrayed its Jewish constituency via an acceptance of anti-Semitic anti-Zionism. That they have accepted anti-Semitic anti-Zionism as part of the larger constituency is irrefutable. Those of us who pay attention see it on a daily basis. I tend to write about Daily Kos, because I come out of Daily Kos, but even if prominent political blogs like Daily Kos or the Huffington Post or the UK Guardian represent "rarified worlds," which given their size and taken together, I do not believe that they do, this does not explain away the presence of anti-Semitic anti-Zionism on the campuses and within the "human rights" organizations.

Until friends of Israel, Jewish or otherwise, are willing to recognize this situation and acknowledge it and discuss it, we can never actually address the issue in a manner that will be helpful. We cannot create strategies and tactics until we are ready to acknowledge that the situation exists.

I want to thank Fizziks for taking the time to address the issue, despite our disagreement, because this is the only way we can even begin to move forward. It has to start with a recognition of political conditions as they are.

Only then can we determine what they mean and what to do about it.


Monday, February 13, 2012

Global March to Jerusalem: Terrorists and Anti-Semites, Oh My! Gilad Atzmon in Oakland. Again.

Our Friends at CIF Watch have done an excellent job of documenting the terror-links of the principals behind the Global March to Jerusalem, scheduled for March 30.

Organizers include:
Maan Bashour: the General Co-coordinator for the Muslim Brotherhood centre in Beirut, head of the preparatory committee for the ‘right of return forum’ and General Coordinator of the National Initiative Committee to Break the Blockade of Gaza (NICBBG).

Dr Ribhi Halloum : joined the PLO in 1966 and was its regional underground organizer in the UAE until 1971. He was a member of the Fatah Revolutionary Council and the PNC until resigning in 1993 over opposition to the Oslo Accords. He heads the Jordanian preparatory committee for the march and according to an interview he gave in December 2011 prior to the recent GMJ conference in that country, “[t]he protest aims to move the right of return possessed by Palestinian refugees from theory to practice”

Paul Larudee: one of the founders of the ‘Free Gaza’ and ‘Free Palestine’ movements as well as the International Solidarity Movement (ISM) with which he was active during the second Intifada. He took part in the 2008 and 2010 flotillas, was deported from Israel in 2006 for trying to enter the country under a false identity and allegedly volunteered as a ‘human shield’ for Hizballah during the second Lebanon war.

George Galloway : well-known figure on the anti-Israel activism scene, his activities ranging from ‘Viva Palestina’ in its various incarnations, to working with the Palestine Solidarity Campaign and Stop the War Coalition and being employed by the Iranian regime’s Press TV. Galloway believes that “Hizbollah is not and has never been a terrorist organization” and that Israel is responsible for the assassination of Rafik Hariri. Last seen sucking up to teh bitcher of Syria.

Khaled Soufiyani:former chair of the Arab National Congress and co-coordinator of the Moroccan organization the ‘National Action Group (sometimes ‘Task Force’) for Solidarity with Palestine and Iraq’. In 2010 he called on a Moroccan Jewish advisor to the king to leave the country as a result of the former’s suggestion that the Holocaust should be part of the curriculum in Moroccan universities. He is strongly opposed to any normalization of relations between Israel and Morocco, and in particular to the establishment of the Amazigh-Israel Friendship Association, and has made several attempts to use ‘lawfare’ against Israelis visiting the country.

Saud Abu Mahfouz: member of the Muslim Brotherhood’s political party in Jordan, the Islamic Action Front. He was a participant in the 2010 flotilla, along with several other Muslim Brotherhood members from Jordan, the former leader of which is on record as having stated:

“We in the Muslim Brotherhood in Jordan see Palestine as part of the Islamic and Arab land that must not be relinquished – on the contrary, defending it is a national and jurisprudential obligation… We see Hamas movement in Palestine as standing at the head of the project of the Arab and Islamic liberation for which the Muslim Brotherhood calls… The Muslim Brotherhood supports Hamas and every Arab resistance movement in the region that works for liberation.” ( report 4265)

Abdul Ghaffar Aziz: member of – and spokesman for – Jamaat e Islami – the Pakistani Islamist movement which has ties to the Muslim Brotherhood and was founded by Abul Ala Maududi.

You get it, right? These aren't peace activists. These are people inextricably linked to Hamas and the Muslim brotherhood, and to the destruction of the state of Israel.

So, when terror supporters want to get together and have a party, there's only one person they call. Who else could it be but Gilad Atzmon?

The racist and anti-Semitic agenda of Gilad Atzmon is known world-wide. He is scheduled to appear on Feb. 25 at the Malonga Casquelourd Center for the Arts in Oakland as a fundraiser for the Global March to Jerusalem. He's graced the Bay Area before. On his first trip, sweet gentle Unitarians were reported to flee his talk in tears, appalled by his overt anti-Semitism. On his second trip, he played to a nearly empty house. Both times, community members joined together in protest.

From our friends at Bluetruth
Classic anti-Semitism from the mouth and pen of Gilad Atzmon:

"Throughout the centuries, Jewish bankers bought for themselves some real reputations of backers and financers of wars and even one communist revolution. Though rich Jews had been happily financing wars using their assets, Alan Greenspan, the Chairman of the Federal Reserve of the United States, found a far more sophisticated way to finance the wars perpetrated by his ideological brothers Libby and Wolfowitz."

Source: http://palestinethinktank dot com/2008/09/30/gilad-atzmon-credit-crunch-or-rather-zio-punch/ (note: to avoid linking to some of these sites, I have replaced "."with "dot")

Another Jews-run-the-government line, this one from his own website www dot :

" The 'Elders of Zion' syndrome: Zionists complain that Jews continue to be associated with a conspiracy to rule the world via political lobbies, media and money. Is the suggestion of conspiracy really an empty accusation?
The following list is presented with pride in several Jewish American websites.
Jews in Bush's Administration (a list of some 30 names follows…)
Let me assure you, in Clinton's administration the situation was even worse. Even though the Jews only make up 1.9 per cent of the country's population, an astounding 56 per cent of Clinton's appointees were Jews. A coincidence? I don't think so."

The same article trots out the old "Christ-killer" charge:

"I would suggest that perhaps we should face it once and for all: the Jews were responsible for the killing of Jesus who, by the way, was himself a Palestinian Jew. …..Why is it that the Jews who repeatedly demand that the Christian world should apologise for its involvement in previous persecutions, have never thought that it is about time that they apologised for killing Jesus?"

The careful reader will note that the words "Israel" or "Zionism" do not appear in the above quotes. Yes, they appear elsewhere in those screeds. But the record is clear. He is spreading anti-Semitic hate.

There's so much more. There's a treasure trove of Atzmonia collected over at Harry's Place --just type in "Atzmon" in the search box

In 2005, the Guardian reported one of his statements that is clearly incitement.

"Gilad Atzmon, a pro-Palestine advocate, gave a talk to students this month, arguing: 'I'm not going to say whether it is right or not to burn down a synagogue, I can see that it is a rational act.'"

There's nothing ambiguous, nothing that can be misinterpreted about THAT.

And again, a protest is planned. From Craig's list
Join a protest against Racist and anti-Semitic musician Gilad Atzmon at Malonga Casquelourd Center for the Arts.
1428 Alice St Oakland Feb 25th at 6:30pm

Our community says No to hate Speech. Join us in Oakland on February 25

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Magen David Adom's First Muslim Ambulance Driver

In the last several years, there have been more and more Israeli Arabs and other Israeli minority groups, especially women, moving into areas of Israeli society where they haven't previously worked. I like highlighting these, and other Israeli pioneers, here. They offer a slice of life in Israel, good and bad, that you really can't understand from anything but an individual's experience.

Today's profile is of Sherian Kihia, a young Muslim woman from East Jerusalem, who is Magen David Adom's first Muslim ambulance driver. (Note: a commenter on this piece says that they work for MDA, and that there are other Muslim drivers. S/he thinks the article may mean to say the first Muslim woman driver.)

For years, 24-year-old Sherian Kihia of east Jerusalem dreamed of volunteering with the Magen David Adom emergency organization. In order to realize her ambition she had to overcome internal and external criticism about working alongside men and until the small hours of the night. 

For a moment she even feared she won't be able to find a match. But all this did not stop her from fulfilling her life's dream.

Now, after being admitted by MDA and making history as the organization's first Arab volunteer, she says with complete confidence: "I engage in saving lives and don’t get into questions of religion or nationality. I'm actually receiving a lot of support within my sector."

Her husband is supportive: "One of the problems was the fact that I get home late, which is unacceptable in my sector," she shares, "but my family supported me and so did my husband. He said, 'Do what you want. You have my support.'

"The truth is that I didn't even think about what people would say. Even before I met him I said I wouldn't want to marry a man who would be annoyed by the fact that I return home late or drive an ambulance."

It's hoped she will be a role model: Murad Salman, director of the east Jerusalem team, concludes: "We hope that Kihia's decision to join us will raise awareness for volunteer work among other young people from the Arab sector."