Thursday, October 31, 2013

IDF patrol attacked from Gaza

Guest post by Emunah

 From YNET:

An IDF force apparently came under mortar fire emanating from Gaza Thursday night while operating on both sides of the border fence as part of the efforts to uncover additional parts of an underground terror tunnel that was located in the area a month ago. The force returned fire. 

Palestinian sources reported that an IDF tank opened fired at a terror cell belonging to Hamas' armed wing - the Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades, which was situated east of the city of Khan Younis in south Gaza.

The Palestinians further reported that during exchanges of fire between terrorists and IDF forces near the city of Abasan in south Gaza, a Palestinian terrorist was killed and another was wounded, apparently from IDF tank fire.  The Palestinians identified the terrorist who was killed as Rabiya Barakeh, 21. 

UPDATE from Arutz Sheva

Five IDF soldiers were wounded near the city of Khan Younis in southern Gaza on Thursday evening.

An initial investigation has found that terrorists detonated an explosive device as IDF soldiers were operating in the area, preparing to blow up the terror tunnel that was recently discovered by IDF soldiers, leading from Gaza into an Israeli kibbutz.

As the soldiers crossed the border fence, the device was detonated, wounding the five soldiers who were taken by helicopter to the Soroka Hospital in Be’er Sheva. The IDF responded by opening fire at terrorists who were in the ara.
The reaction in social media was swift.

Activists bragged about the ambush of the Israeli soldiers

Others were quick to claim Rabiya Barakeh was a "civilian", to keep alive the illusion of the Palestinians as helpless victims of brutal Israeli aggression.

Other photos of Rabiya Barakeh were soon posted. It was hard to perpetuate the lie of him as an innocent bystander, when he was photographed in military fatigues. Even Al Jeezerah identified him as a member of Hamas


And then there was "Pallywood". There always is.  This image of a 2012 air strike on a Sudanese weapons depot was posted as a photo of Gaza, and retweeted 53 times. 

Just another night on the net.


Wednesday, October 30, 2013

BDS fails of the Week

 In BDS fail news of the week:

According to the International monetary fund, the Israeli economy is expected to grow by 3.8 percent in 2013 and 3.3% in 2014. Israel's economy may very well outpace other Western economies.  IMF economists indicate that Israel's economy was strong, stable and diverse. 

Thats after 12 years of Boycotts, Divestment and Sanctions. 

And in other recent BDS fails:

Since March, anti-Israel activists have been collecting signatures on a petition to ban Sabra hummus from the George Mason University Dining Services. In 7 months, this crusade against healthy eating has reached the milestone of 445 supporters, the vast majority of who are not GMU students, and have no affiliation with GMU.

Glancing at the petition, some signators may not be real human beings, either.

BDS fail, GMU.

This week also brought us two sold out Tel Aviv appearances by Tom Jones.   Check out his version of My Yiddishe Mama.

Paula Adbdul is loving Israel, and is letting the 2 million who follow her twitter feed know all about it.

Cultural boycott, fail.

Rather makes me think that organizers of last weekends Students for Justice in Palestine conference should have brought in grief counselors as they collectively mourned their 12 years of abject failure.

Is Jewish voice for Peace Edging Towards a full boycott of Israel?

The ADL blog asks an interesting question: Is Jewish Voice for Peace Edging Toward a Full Boycott of Israel?   They write:
The Boston chapter of Jewish Voice for Peace posted a message on its Facebook page on October 28th urging its followers to buy Hanukkah candles from a candle-making project called "Narrow Bridge Candles" that supports the "full Palestinian call for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions." The company, which is based in Oakland, California, produces different kinds of candles needed for Jewish rituals, including Shabbat, Havadala and Hanukkah, so that Jews who are "in solidarity with Palestine" don't have to purchase candles from Israel.

An image on Narrow Bridge Candles' website calls for the company's candles to "fuel flames of resistance."

On its website, the project claims that Israel has a "monopoly on Judaica." In fact, many of the Hanukkah candles that are sold in the United States are produced by two Jewish companies in New York, Rite Lite in Brooklyn and Ner Mitzvah in New Square. Another popular brand sold in the U.S. is actually manufactured in China. While we didn't take the time to investigate the market share for these companies, suffice it to say that Israeli-made Hanukkah candles are not the only ones available for purchase.

What the ADL blog doesn't mention is that Narrow Bridge Candles is run by Jonah Aline Daniel, an anti-Israel activist from  IJAN- the International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network, and that the JVP recommendation comes straight from an IJAN mailing.
"While most Hanukah and other ritual candles are made in Israel, Narrow Bridge Candles is a Jewish ritual candle making project in support of the full Palestinian Call for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS). Profits go to support the Stop the JNF Campaign."

 Jonah Aline Daniel (aka Joanna Aline Daniel) is a member of the Sick collective , and prefers a collective plural pronoun, describing themself as

" gender variant, white, jewish, chronically ill, amphibious body worker, energetic herbalist, organizer, candlemaker, anti-zionist, radical, spiritual, intuitive, introvert. I am committed to decolonization, embodiment, consent, radical liberatory Judaism, the ocean, ending capitalism, white supremacy, christian dominance and patriarchy, affordable accessible culturally relevant health and healing, earth and environmental justice, plant communication, growing food and medicine, safety for all bodies, mushrooms, bees, home. I am falling more in love with plants and plant medicine every day, deepening in my respect for the wisdom and power of the body, building herbalism and craniosacral therapy practices, studying somatics and trauma, excavating family history, mapping landscapes of pain and memory, singing, resisting christian hegemony, meditating, remembering dreams, riding my own waves, organizing everything, grieving, reckoning, building home inside my body, surrendering to water, learning how to surf, sweating, shedding skin."

Ok, then.

The ADL blog continues:

More importantly, JVP Boston's support for Narrow Bridge Candles demonstrates the inconsistency in JVP's platform on BDS. In its 2011 statement regarding BDS, JVP-National, which was just named by ADL as a "Top Ten Anti-Israel Group," stated clearly that the group "focuses our efforts on boycott and divestment campaigns that directly target Israel's occupation of the West Bank and East Jerusalem and its blockade of the Gaza Strip." This suggests that JVP was restricting its pro-BDS advocacy to products made in Israeli settlements and to multinational companies that profit from the occupation.
But Narrow Bridge Candles supports a boycott of products made in Israel in general; no mention is made on its website of boycotting candles only made in Israeli settlements in the West Bank. Indeed, two of the most popular candle-making companies in Israel are based in Tel Aviv and Safed, cities that are part of Israel's pre-1967 borders.

Various members of JVP's leadership have indicated in the past that the group might consider shifting from targeted BDS to an adoption of the Palestinian call for BDS, which advocates for a complete boycott. In a 2011 interview, both Rebecca Vilkomerson, JVP's Executive Director, and Brant Rosen, a founder of its Rabbinical Council, indicated that the group might eventually support a full boycott. It remains to be seen if JVP-Boston's endorsement of Narrow Bridge Candles is a harbinger of that shift or an aberration of JVP's policy.

You know what to do. This Hanukkah, make a point of buying made in Israel candles. If you are local, check out Afikomen, for a wide selection of beautiful tapers from S'fat and elsewhere.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

American Muslims for Palestine: 26 murderers are "political prisoners"

 Today, extremist group American Muslims for Palestine issued this statement:(emphasis mine)

AMP congratulates released prisoners and their families; remembers those still incarcerated

The American Muslims for Palestine, a national education and advocacy organization, today congratulates the 26 Palestinians who were released from Israeli incarceration after being held for decades as political prisoners. At the same time we remember the thousands still being held in contravention on international law and vow we will not tire until every last Palestinian is free from occupation and until all Palestinian refugees can return to their homeland.

Political prisoners?

All of the 26 prisoners released were either convicted of murder or attempted murder. They were thugs. Criminals. Murderers.

Among those released include:

 Damouni Saad Mohammed Ahmed, convicted in the brutal lynching of IDF reservist Amnon Pomerantz in 1990.

Massoud Issa Rajib Amer, convicted  in 1993 of brutally hacking to death Ian Feinberg. Amer was also convicted of killing three Palestinians suspected of collaborating with Israel.

 Tukeman Yusef Suleiman Mahmed, Abu Hanana Zakariya Udia Usama, and Abdel-Aziz Said Kassam Ahmed, involved in the 1992 shooting death of Moshe Biton.

Samarin Mustafa Kalib Asrar and Kra'an Azat Musa Musa,  abducted and murdered Israeli soldier Tzvi Klein in the West Bank in 1992

 Abu-Dahila Hasan Atik Sharif  murdered his employer  Avi Osher.

Gnimat Amar Mahmad Mustafa and Gnimat Mahmoud Mahmad Ziad, convicted in the murder of Meir Ben-Yair and Michal Cohen.

Yosef Mahmad Haza Haza and Beni-Hasan Abdalla Mahmud Otman murdered  two hikers

Asor Masbach Khalil Mahmad murdered  an Israeli taxi driver David Kaspi

Abed al Raba Nimr Jabril Issa murdered Revital Seri and Ron Levy while they were hiking in 1984
Sabbag Ahmed Mahmud Mahmed , who tortured and killed three Palestinians suspected of collaborating with Israel in 1990.

American Muslims for Palestine  has been identified by the ADL as one of the top United States groups  "fixated with delegitimizing Israel."

Does Jewish Voice for peace, AMP's regular partner in slime also feel that the murderers of Israeli citizens were "political prisoners" ? Does it also brush off the the deaths of innocent civilians?  If not, why does it continue to stand shoulder to shoulder  and work with those who believe Jewish blood is cheap?

JVP aligns itself with anti-Semitic groups

Monday, October 28, 2013

Uptown Body and Fender hosts antisemitic speaker at Jazz for Palestine event

Only in the Bay area would an auto body shop play host to local non profits after hours. The concept is charming, and the venue is more attractive than you'd guess.  Uptown Body and Fender's website states  they "supports Oakland and East Bay communities by offering its shop free of charge to local and non-profit organizations for their fundraising events."
Unfortunately, either through ignorance or perhaps malice, Uptown Body and Fender has become the go-to venue for haters.  Do shop owners Lisandro Allende and Giovanna Tanzillo even care what takes place under their roof?  Earlier this year the auto body shop played host to notorious anti-Semite Gilad Atzmon, a man so bitter, so vile, he has been condemned by most of his former allies.
Uptown Body and Fender, located in the heart of Oakland on 26th Street continues on the low road, hosting "Jazz for Palestine" , sponsored by Friends of Sabeel, NA on Nov. 9  Sabeel itself is problematic, distorting Biblical language and imagery to push its extremist agenda. 
Sabeel’s efforts to demonize Israel and Israelis have also featured charges of deicide against Jews; they have compared Palestinians to a modern-day Jesus and accused Israel of engaging in a “crucifixion” of these Palestinians. In an Easter mes­sage several years ago, Ateek explic­itly said: “Jesus is on the cross again with thou­sands of cru­ci­fied Pales­tini­ans around him…The Israeli gov­ern­ment cru­ci­fix­ion sys­tem is oper­at­ing daily,” a highly offensive expression given centuries of Jewish oppression on the basis of deicide charges. Ateek and his organization have also compared Israel to the Nazis, accusing Israel of committing a “Holocaust” against Palestinians.
The event also features cartoonist Khalil Bendib, whose antisemitic caricatures could have been lifted straight from Der Sturmer.

From Bendib exposed

Giving lip service to a philosophy of equality and justice while turning a a blind eye to the antisemites by their side is one of the hallmarks of the anti- Israel movement world wide.  Its truly a shame that our local businesses have chosen to aid and abet this bigotry.

CAIR representative spys on pro-Israel teacher

From an article by Cinnamon Stillwell: Spies in the classroom CAIR vs Campus Watch
When on October 1, 2013, Samantha Bowden crept unannounced into the classroom of University of Central Florida communications professor Jonathan Matusitz, she wasn't hoping to advance her education on the sly. Rather, Bowden, the communication and outreach director for the Florida branch of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-FL), was doing something of which Campus Watch has been frequently accused, but has never done: spying on a professor in an effort to embarrass him and, with luck, even harm his career.
Since its inception in 2002, Campus Watch (CW)—a project of the Middle East Forum that reviews and critiques Middle East studies in North America with an aim to improving them—has been charged with an array of outrageous calumnies. They include paying students to infiltrate classrooms as "spies" or "informers"; targeting "pro-Palestinian" professors; and tracking "anti-Israel" comments." 

For a complete list of the false accusations made against Campus Watch since its inception in 2002 for allegedly sending "spies" and "informers" into university classrooms, see here

The article continues:
Indeed, CAIR has been caught red-handed doing exactly that with which academia and its allies have fallaciously charged Campus Watch and instead of outrage, the incident has been met with silence...
Campus Watch challenges these professors to denounce CAIR's harassment with the same fervor they've demonstrated over the years leveling spurious accusations of spying against CW. To do otherwise would be to demonstrate the hollowness of their concerns.
Will the Center for Constitutional rights Legal solidarity Initiative which purports to  "track incidents of repression, and to provide legal advice, representation, resources and advocacy support" condemn the egregious assault on Prof. Matusitz's academic freedom? 

Apparently not. According to their website, they only offer legal support to Muslim and Arab students, or to Palestinian solidarity activists. They will continue to ignore intimidation tactics by CAIR activists in the name of "justice".

That doesn't mean the rest of us will.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Jewish Voice for Peace to protest Baltimore Synagogue

JVP is organizing a  protest of a Baltimore synagogue, for daring to host a  fundraising event for the friends of the IDF.  The extremist group is encouraging the harassment of attendees.    JVP has a long, checkered history of disrupting Jewish community events.  This is just the  sort of activity that earned JVP a place on the ADL's list of anti-Israel groups.

Protesting a synagogue.  Really, JVP.  Can you get any lower?

JVP's announcement follows

Join Baltimore Jewish Voice for Peace for a picket of the Friends of the Israel Defense Forces (FIDF), which is holding a fundraising gala on Tuesday, October 29 at Chizuk Amuno Congregation in Pikesville.

FIDF initiates and helps support educational, social, cultural and recreational programs and facilities for Israeli soldiers. They financially support the IDF, which is the chief enforcement arm of Israel’s illegal occupation of Palestine.

The IDF's violations of Palestinian human rights are notorious and well documented. While Israel shuts down Palestinian and international humanitarian aid organizations, more land and resources are stolen in the West Bank, Gaza is under siege, and the Israeli Knesset votes to forcibly relocate tens of thousands of Bedouin citizens of Israel from their traditional lands. All the while, Israeli soldiers kill Palestinian civilians.

Join Baltimore Jewish Voice for Peace to say Baltimore does not support the occupation of Palestine! Bring signs, banners and noise makers, and meet by the entrance on Stevenson Road to greet gala visitors as they come into the parking lot.

When: Tuesday October 29, 5:00 PM

Where: 8100 Stevenson Road, Pikesville, Maryland

Directions: From Baltimore/East, take I-695 west towards Pikesville. Take exit 21: Stevenson Road. Turn right at the stop sign onto Stevenson Road and Chizuk Amuno is immediately on the left. From Columbia/West, take I-695 east towards Towson. Take exit 21: Park Heights Avenue/ Stevenson Road. Cross Park Heights Avenue to the service road that parallels I-695 (Brooks Robinson Drive). Proceed to the next light, Stevenson Road. Turn left onto Stevenson Road. Turn left into the Chizuk Amuno entrance.

If you're coming, please let us know at If you want to carpool from Baltimore, let us know.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Hello, Dolly. Disgusting propaganda from Iran

A deeply disturbing propaganda website from Iran
Dolls with explosives inside are captioned   "Gift from Israel for Palestinian children"

This hateful incitement is one of the main obstacles to peace in the Middle east and poisons the next generation.

Does the General union of Palestinian Students (GUPS) at San Francisco State University take lessons from Iran on how to demonize Israel?  Could be.

Bloody dolls sponsored by General union of Palestinian Students at San Francisco State

A is for Activist: Because its never too early to indoctrinate your young'ens

Inquiring  Berkeley parents want to know. When is the developmentally appropriate age to begin teaching  our little ones about the oppression/privilege dynamics of modern society?

Apparently,  pre-school is just about right.

"A" is for Activist,  is a new board book aimed for your tiniest anarchist.  Written and illustrated by Innosanto Nagara, it bills itself as the ABC board book for the kids of the 99%.

No, I'm not making this up.

Lest you say "Only in Berkeley", you should know that its also available on Amazon for $8.99. Because even anarchists and activists need to pull a profit.

The reviews are, shall we say, mixed?
This was interesting, written by William E. Fleischmann

"Such a book should never have been written, let alone presented to either of the audiences to which it is aimed. For the new reader, it smacks of brainwashing; for the critical thinker, it is mindlessly simple. For the responsible parent, it's merely a poor choice all around."

Written and illustrated by Innosanto Nagar
Written and illustrated by Innosanto Nagara
Written and illustrated by Innosanto Nagara
Can't help but wonder. Is "S" for smash the state?

"The Dream of centuries is about to be realized" To be a free people in our own land.

From the  Sunday June 17 1917 New York Tribune: The Birth of New Nations: Palestine.

 From the article:

The problem of the Jew is nearly 2000 years old. It first came into existence when Rome destroyed in 70 AD the Jewish state in Palestine exiling its inhabitants. Robbed of its home, the Jewish nation was dispersed to all corners of the Roman empire. There seemed little chance it would survive as an individual entity...

Wandering from land to land, spreading all over the surface of the globe, the people without a country continued to stick to their national institutions and to passionately yearn for their lost fatherland...

Since the Jewish religion is intensely a national one, fundamentally bound up with the Holy land, it is a big mistake to regard the Jews as professors of a certain faith only. The Jews are a nation. Their religion is almost entirely devoted to the perpetuation of that idea

The return to Palestine became a subject for daily prayer in the synagogue immediately after the disruption of the Jewish state. The fact that it is almost 2,000 years since the event occurred should not in the least affect the Jewish claim to Palestine. If anything, it should add to the strength of the claim.

Our eyes have always looked to the east.

Many Jewish leaders turned their eyes toward the holy land, seeking a way towards the return of the scattered Jews to the land of their fathers...Barren Palestine became the center of pilgrimage to many patriotic Jews.  With enormous energy the immigrants tackled the difficulties of cultivating the long neglected soil of the Holy Land.

The article concludes:

"The dream of centuries is about to be realized" , and indeed it has. Again, we are a free people in our own land.

San Francisco Friends of the IDF raises $900,000 for Israel

Way to go, San Francisco!

Over 300 people attended Sunday nights Friends of the IDF fund raiser, and nearly $900,000 was donated to support the brave young men and women who keep our people safe. Not too shabby coming from one of the hubs of anti-Israel organizing in the world, but we've got a long way to go to match So Cal.

 From Yeshiva World 
Over $20 million was raised at the annual Friends of the Israel Defense Forces (FIDF) Western Region Gala yesterday, Tuesday, October 22, 2013. More than 1,000 FIDF supporters and dignitaries from the United States and Israel gathered to express their support for the Israel Defense Forces (IDF). FIDF National Board Member and major supporter, Haim Saban, and his wife, Cheryl, served as chairs of the star-studded FIDF Gala that took place at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, CA.

Notable donations made at the event included $4.5 million from Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein, Founder and President of the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews, $3.5 million from Vicki and Ron Simms of Simms Commercial Development, $2.3 million from Cheryl and Haim Saban, $2 million from Younes Nazarian, Co-Founder of Qualcomm, and his wife Soraya, and $1 million from Larry Ellison, CEO of Oracle. Simon Cowell of American Idol and X-Factor also attended the event and announced a donation of $150,000 to benefit the IDF soldiers. The funds raised at the Gala will go towards wellbeing and educational programs for IDF soldiers

There are other appreciable differences between  Northern and Southern California.  Is it an exclusively Northern California phenomenon that the so called peace groups advocate and practice violence?

The Northern California J Weekly reports

Police arrested and booked three people who protested outside of a Friends of the IDF fundraiser held Oct. 20 at the InterContinental Hotel in San Francisco. Fewer than 10 protesters were at the event, according to officials. Julia Pereira, 19, of San Francisco and Powell DeGange, 28, of Berkeley were arrested for trespassing and resisting arrest when they entered the hotel after being told to leave, said Albie Esparza, a spokesperson for the San Francisco Police Department.

A few minutes later, Nancy Mansour Leigh of New York was arrested for assault with a deadly weapon and disturbing the peace, police said, after she attacked a hotel guest with a bullhorn. She and a few other protesters had entered the hotel shouting anti-Israel slogans and “engaging in verbal altercation with hotel patrons that became a physical assault,” Esparza said. All three have been released but will later face charges in court.
Nancy Mansour Leigh, also known as Harrabic Tubman, is a co-founder of a group "Existence is Resistance".  The group sells shirts emblazoned with the picture of notorious  PLFP hijacker Leila Khaled, captioned  "Resistance is not terrorism" .

From the Resistance is existence website 

She was described by Ramsey Clark's International Action center as a spokesperson for the Hamas linked Viva Palestina delegation to Gaza.   Precisely the sort that might conflate assault with a bullhorn with "non-violent resistance".

Incidentally, although Students for Justice in Palestine and Women in Black both promoted this protest, they have been silent in condemning the violence.

An anonymous commentor on this blog has indicated that Nancy Mansour Leigh was eventually acquitted of the changes

Brutal antisemitic attack in Australia

Don't let them tell you its all about the "occupation".  The latest incident in the worldwide rise of antisemitism is from New South Wales, Australia.

According to Australian police,  four men, aged 27 to 66 wearing kippot and a 62-year-old woman were walking home after Sabbath dinner when they were brutally attacked by eight men.

From the Sydney Morning Herald
Two men remain in hospital with serious injuries after an alleged anti-Semitic attack near Bondi Beach on Saturday.

 Five people were injured suffering a fractured cheekbone, broken nose, concussion, lacerations and bruising when they were set upon by eight youths on Blair Street.

 St Vincent's Hospital spokesman and member of the Bondi Jewish community David Faktor said the victims told him the attack was unprovoked and racially motivated.

 He said the family was returning from a Jewish Sabbath dinner and did not know their attackers or do anything to incite the violence.

 ''Any kind of serious unprovoked attack is of great concern but the fact it was racially motivated is all the more concerning,'' Mr Faktor said.

''It is extremely shocking that an attack like this could happen in Australia let alone in Bondi being such a multicultural area.''

The attack was racially motivated.
  The NSW Anti-discrimination Board of NSW will investigate the incident.
Board president Stepan Kerkyasharian told Channel 7 News there appeared to be "severe racial vilification involved in the incident".
 "That’s a term under the [anti-discrimination] legislation," he said.

 "And I think that we should be taking action."


AU Sky news reports on the event without mentioning the antisemitic nature of the attack. Their headline reads  "Five people have ended up in hospital following a brawl in Sydney's eastern suburbs", as though this were some sort of barroom altercation.


Friday, October 25, 2013

SJP and friends take up the cause of Convicted terrorist Rasmea Yousef Odeh

The latest cause célèbre of the "Its all Israel's fault" folk is Rasmea Yousef Odeh,  currently under arrest on charges she lied on immigration and citizenship papers by concealing her conviction in a terrorist attack over 40 years ago . If convicted, Odeh could face up to 10 years in prison, and lose her American citizenship.  The 66 year old woman  was arrested Tuesday.

According to reports, Rasmea Yousef Odeh was a member of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine She was involved with a 1969 bombing in a crowded Jerusalem supermarket, that killed two, and with another bombing at the British consulate. An Israeli military court sentenced Odeh to life in prison in 1970. She was released 10 years later in a prisoner exchange.

According to U.S. authorities Odeh withheld information regarding her terror record on immigration papers when she came to the U.S. from Jordan in 1995 and again in 2004 when she became a US citizen.

From the FBI

“The United States will never be a safe haven for individuals seeking to distance themselves from their pasts,” said William Hayes, acting special agent in charge for HSI Detroit. “When individuals lie on immigration documents, the system is severely undermined and the security of our nation is put at risk.”

U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Michigan Barbara L. McQuade said in a statement that anyone convicted of terrorist attack is barred from entering the United States.

"Upon discovery that someone convicted of a terrorist attack is in the United States illegally, we will seek to use our criminal justice system to remove that individual," she said.

This convicted terrorist is now the poster child of the SJP National Conference who claim her arrest is "part of a campaign of political intimidation", and somehow neglect to mention her role in terror attacks on Israeli civilians.

Extremist group American Muslims for Palestine and its affiliates  (AMP)   have also taken up the cause,  and they too neglect to mention Rasmea Yousef Oded's  involvement with terror attacks in Israel. Rather they state    "She has overcome amazing odds after being convicted by the Israeli military court system in 1969 for her alleged association with a leftist Palestinian nationalist group that the U.S. designated a terrorist organization".

Oh, yes. Just a model citizen.

This case was investigated by agents of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Homeland Security Investigations along with the  Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Rihanna in Israel. BDS fail.

Pop Superstar Rihanna  played to a sold out crowd of 52,000 of her fans this evening in Israel. She last performed in Israel in May, 2010

She spent the earlier part of the day frolicking in the Dead Sea

Israel loves Rihanna.  And it appears that Rihanna loves Israel.  1,236 favorites!

The BDS'holes lost again.   Grand Dame BDS'er Tali Shapiro found herself blocked from Facebook for repeatedly harassing artists scheduled to perform in Israel. She kept up her crusade of hate under a fake profile, determined to harass Rhianna until she left Israeli soil. Remember, the "B" in BDS stands for Bullying.

As long as you are on line, take a minute please to report "Other Talis" to Facebook as a fake profile. It won't stop the hate, but it may slow it down.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Toronto transit rejects Maps of Disappearing Palestine ads as "Inaccurate"

 The ubiquitous 4 part map featuring "disappearing Palestine"  violates truth-in-advertising standards. We already knew that.   The Toronto Transit Commission  has rejected four anti-Israel advertisements for being “inaccurate and misleading.” B’nai Brith Canada congratulated the commission “for making the right decision.”

“In properly interpreting the law on free speech to understand that it does not include the right to spread false information, the TTC has not allowed itself to fall prey to the false anti-Israel propaganda campaign,” B’nai Brith Canada said.

Maps of Disappearing Palestine exposed as lies

 From  JTA

Brad Ross, a spokesman for the transit commission, told JTA on Monday that the ads were turned down because they were “inaccurate and misleading.” The ads were intended to run on buses and subways, as well as the commission’s shelters. 

Proposed by the Montreal-based Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East, the ads were similar to the “Disappearing Palestine” ad that ran this summer in Vancouver’s transit system. The Vancouver ad showed four maps, spanning from 1946 to 2012, that suggested Israel was taking over Palestinian land....

“Our legal opinion,” Ross said, “is that there has never been a finding by any international court or tribunal with respect to the illegality of loss of land, and by making that statement, it potentially could cause discrimination or advocate hate towards a specified group, in this case Israelis and/or the Jewish people.”

Ross said the four ads contained similar language, maps and the line “illegal under international law.” He said “the real legal issue” for the transit commission “was a statement that we determined to be either inaccurate or misleading.”

Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East may appeal the decision, asserting that freedom of speech allows them to post whatever lies they want.  Stay tuned.

Three Arrested for Storming Friends of the IDF San Francisco Fundraiser

From 22-year-old Bay Area native Ilan Benjamin, author of  “Masa: Stories of a Lone Soldier.” 
“From my first week of basic training to my last day serving next to Gaza, it was driven into our heads again and again that our purpose was to defend innocent people,” he says. “And not just Israelis but Palestinians, too. I saw whole operations foiled based on intelligence of high civilian clusters situated too close to our target. The IDF goes out of its way to protect human life. In 21⁄2 years of service, I was never given one immoral order.” 
Friends of the IDF exist to support young people like Ilan Benjamin who risk their lives to defend Israel's borders and to protect her citizens. FIDF provides educational, social and recreational programs for them, as well as support for the families of fallen soldiers.  In 2011,  FIDF brought 77 Bar/Bat Mitzvah children to a trip to the U.S., presented Rosh Hashana gifts to 4,900 widows,  hosted  700 widows at R&R centers in Israel and funded workshops for nearly 1,000 bereaved siblings. 
From the FIDF website:
The strength of the IDF, which has been guarding the State of Israel since it declared independence in 1948, derives from the selfless determination and great capabilities of the young men and women who form it. At the tender age of 18, all Israelis are drafted into the IDF. Those who serve commit to uphold the difficult tasks of defending Israel’s borders and guaranteeing the safety of its people.

 The Israeli government is responsible for training IDF soldiers and providing them with the necessary tools for their service. FIDF is committed to providing these soldiers with love, support, and care in an effort to ease the burden they carry on behalf of the Jewish community worldwide.

 The Israeli government is responsible for training IDF soldiers and providing them with the necessary tools for their service. FIDF is committed to providing these soldiers with love, support, and care in an effort to ease the burden they carry on behalf of the Jewish community worldwide
On Sunday, October 20, San Francisco Friends of the IDF  held their annual fundraiser at the Intercontinental Hotel. 

A tiny group of protesters stood in front. According to reports, some protesters appeared to be wearing  pajamas.  Is this an indication that they consider themselves a "sleeper cell" or is it just a testament to significant mental health issues? We can only wonder.

Dalit Baum of the American Friends Service Committee and Nancy Stoller stood in protest. No strangers to anti-Israel activism, both women were involved in the repeated harassment of Cliff's Variety Store in the Castro, because it dared sell Israeli products.  Noura Khouri- a woman so extreme she once referred to the saintly Rev. Cecil Williams as "racist" was also there.   Yet in spite of promotion by groups such as Students for Justice in Palestine, and Women in Black, less than 10 came in opposition.

Desperate for some acknowledgment, members of the group came into the hotel, allegedly approaching the FIDF registration desk screaming "Intifada", before they were removed by police. 

Three were cited and later released. One was charged with assault with a deadly weapon.

Protesting a non-profit that aids widows. Terrorizing people gathered in a hotel lobby. Assaulting those who disagree with them.  Thats the face of pro-Palestinian activism in San Francisco today

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Gilad Atzmon: coached by JVP and Ali Abunimah on avoiding accusations of antisemitism

Its meltdown time for the anti-Israel cru, and those of us watching from the sidelines aren't shedding any tears. Its not just this week's  triple exposure of Seattle blogger Richard Silverstein,  confirming him as a bully and a fraud .  Rapid hate-monger Gilad Atzon has revealed startling new information about his relationship with the Electric Intifada's Ali Abunimah, as well as with Jewish voice for Peace.

Admittedly, Gilad Atzmon's veracity is questionable. The saxophonist is better know for his lapses into pure antisemitism than for his musical prowess.  Last year, much of the anti-Israel community disavowed and disassociated with Atzmon.  (Not so Deppen Webber and Paul Larudee of the International Solidarity movement  They used Atzmon for a fundraiser in Oakland in support of the "Global March to Jerusalem".)

Surprisingly Gilad Atzmon recently revealed that both Ali Abunimah and  Jewish voice for peace coached him on avoiding accusations of antisemitism, urging him to "refer to Zionism instead of Jewish identity"

Originally revealed via Twitter and Facebook,  Atzmon was encouraged to tell more.  And he did, writing in his blog

It is not a secret that Abunimah and myself are not on cordial terms.  Yet, we communicated briefly in 2010 following Abunimah's laughable statement on history and culture. Here is a juicy bit of information Abunimah would probably prefer to keep hidden from the public eye: On the 1st of December 2010, Abunimah wrote to me in an amicable manner:

“What you describe as ‘Jewish’ might perhaps be more accurately described as ‘Zionist,’ - and then we might find grounds for a lot of agreement”

Abunimah basically advised me to mislead my readers and say ‘Zionist’ whenever I mean to say ‘Jewish’ so we (he and I) can ‘find grounds for a lot of agreement’. Around the same time I also met with a JVP top leader who repeated pretty much the same line. "Don’t refer to Jewishness, make sure you concentrate on Zionism," she said, "you will then enjoy our support."
 According to Atzmon, both Abunimah and JVP urged him to use "Zionism" as an all purpose "get of of jail free card" , to avoid accusations of antisemitism.  Atzmon chose not to listen to their advice and later was denounced by them. 

 In Jewish voice for Peace's case, liars need good  memories.  An email from  Jewish Voice for Peace, Los Angeles sent 05/04/13 actually promoted  Gilad Atzmon's May 17 concert in the Levantine Center , over a year after their proclamation  stating " we cannot endorse events in which he takes part."   The endorsement also appears on the JVP website.

In spite of  delusions of his own integrity Gilad Atzmon is not the hero in this sordid little tale.  He is still a vile anti-Semite.  But JVP and Ali Abunimah are equally complicit through their attempts to shield this evil little man.

Anti-Semitism in Europe

A survey conducted this year among 5,100 Jews by the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights  in France in Britain,  Belgium, Germany,  Sweden, Italy, Hungary,  Romania and Latvia has painted a bleak picture of Jewish life in Europe. The vast majority of respondents have reported an uptick in antisemitism in their communities, with 75% of incidents going unreported to the police.

Almost a quarter of respondents said they avoid visiting places and wearing symbols that identify them as Jews for fear of antisemitism. 49% of Swedish respondents , 40 % of the French and 36% of the Belgians reported avoiding wearing such items in public.

22 percent of respondents said they avoided “Jewish events or sites” because of safety concerns.

There was an overall perception of a rise in antisemitism. In Hungary, 91 percent said anti-Semitism has increased in the past five years. 88 percent in France; 87 percent in Belgium and 80 percent in Sweden agreed.   In Germany, Italy and Britain, some 60 percent of respondents identified a growth in antisemitism.  

The full report will be published next month in Vilnius.

Its been notably bad in  Malmo, Sweden. In 2012,  60 anti-Semitic hate crimes were registered -nearly three times that of previous years. There have been no convictions. Simon Wiesenthal Center issued a travel warning in 2010 for the city of Malmö, Sweden, urging “extreme caution” for Jewish travelers, writing:

“We reluctantly are issuing this advisory because religious Jews and other members of the Jewish community there have been subject to anti-Semitic taunts and harassment. There have been dozens of incidents reported to the authorities but have not resulted in arrests or convictions for hate crimes”

Patrick Reilly, an Irish journalist living in Malmo, decided to wear a kippah for the day and see what he experienced.

From Political Blindspot:

"First he was being stared at, giggled at and finally called “f*cking Jew”. Feeling afraid, different and unwelcome he explained that he was relieved to take the kippah off and return to the social privilege of being a non-Jew."

He concludes

 “As an Irish person abroad I’ve never felt remotely threatened but wearing the kippah for a few hours was enough to instill feelings of fear. Even when I didn’t feel afraid I was made to feel different and unwelcome. The statistics show that my fear is well-placed "

Friday, October 18, 2013

Bedouin Success Story

Eoin Murray of the Independent  has written a highly biased and inaccurate article on the Bedouins. An actual Bedouin responds:

I was very surprised to read Eoin Murray's reporting of Israel's policy towards the Bedouin community in Negev, Israel (October 11). Being a Bedouin myself, and an Israeli diplomat, my perspective is different and, I believe, more informed.

Descendants of nomadic tribes who migrated to the region in the 19th and 20th centuries, we, the Bedouin community in Israel, are part of the Israeli success story. There are close to 190,000 Bedouins in Israel: some in Galilee, in northern Israel, while the majority (160,000) live in Negev. The Galilee community is generally more organised, educated and integrated into modern Israel, while 40,000 Bedouins in Negev still live in unregulated villages.

Since Israel was established 65 years ago, various Israeli governments have attempted to help the Bedouins adopt a modern lifestyle, providing free education, infrastructure, medical care and more. This takes time, and requires the full participation of community leaders. What is needed is a united community leadership, which sadly does not exist at present.

A shepherd cannot be transformed into a hi-tech engineer, and the government must retain a realistic understanding of the population. The Bedouin are a nomadic people who are not by nature landowners. Yet the government suggests, for example, free land to build houses. It would be more successful, instead, to allow the building of agricultural farms, similar to the Jewish kibbutzim.

Until I was eight years old, the Bedouins in my Galilee community lived in tents. Now, most Bedouins are living in concrete homes, attending college, holding positions in government, and more

Ishmael Khaldi
Counsellor for Civil Society Affairs
Embassy of Israel, London

Here in the Bay area,  Ish is a familiar face.  From 2006-2009, he was Israel's Vice Consul for the region.  (That quite an apartheid state, btw.)

Ishmael Khaldi, taken in San Francisco at Israel in the Gardens

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Does Richard Silverstein need a hug?

Its been a bad week for Seattle blogger Richard Silverstein, described by  Adam Levick as  "one of the more shrill and dishonest commentators in a very crowded anti-Zionist blogosphere" . The blogger has been exposed in rapid succession as both as bully and as a purveyor of lies.   Yet this isn't news to anyone who closely follows the issues.  Silverstein  already has quite a reputation.  Silverstein is the self proclaimed expert on all things  Israel who once emphatically declared that hummus was... wait for it...made out of sesame seeds.

Early this week he was called out for harassing (in 140 characters or less) a Palestinian woman on Twitter, because she had the audacity to blame Hamas for the problems in Gaza.

Israellycool documents the fun and games here

Later, Richard was caught harassing a woman filming a public event in Seattle.

From The Mike report: 

Richard Silverstein Disrupts anti-Israel event at St. Marks Cathedral
Silverstein arrived at Skinner Auditorium at Seattle’s Saint Mark’s Episcopal Cathedral with the Parent’s Circle lecture already well in progress.  After scanning the room, the ecumenical Enforcer quickly spotted his quarry.  A young woman  was videotaping the Parent’s Circle lecture. 
 Disrupting the program in progress, the meddling Marshall rushed up to the woman who was taping the event and demanded of her “who are you with!?”.  All heads in the auditorium spun towards the frantic Silverstein. “She is with Standwithus!” he exclaimed, referring to a local Israel advocacy organization. Silverstein demanded that the woman immediately stop videotaping the lecture, frightening the woman and  bringing the program to a halt.

Clearly annoyed with Silverstein’s dingbattery, one of the presenters, Robi Damelin,  left her seat on the panel and walked towards Silverstein and his videotaping suspect. Silverstein scurried back a few feet as Demelin approached.  Staring directly at Silverstein while addressing the woman taping the event,  Damelin urged her to please continue videotaping.  With that an ashen faced Silverstein slunk out of the room, not to return for the duration of the program.
And just yesterday, Richard revealed his aversion to fact-checking, when he printed verbatim totally false information, leaked to him from an "Israeli source".  CIFwatch writes about it here

 Richard Silverstein via The Mike Report
 Again from The Mike Report
At the beginning of this week Richard Silverstein, Seattle’s one man Hamas cheer-leading squad, had posted a series of  ”exclusive” articles revealing for the first time anywhere that Iranians had hacked and crashed a whole bunch of Israeli drones. Silverstein waxed gleeful that Israel had suffered such a setback, all the sweeter as it was delivered  at the hands of the Iranians (Silverstein is big fan of the Iranians, Hamas too). Turns out that Silverstein was taken in and his anonymous source, whom he didn’t even vet, was taking Richard for a ride.
Will this week's revelations on his bullying and casual disregard for truth relegate Richard Silverstein  to the dustbin of the blogsphere?  Unfortunately, its not likely.  His whole cause is built upon a shaky truth optional foundation.  He fits right in .

Review: Max Blumenthal's book "Goliath"

From Eric Alterman and Reed Richardson at the Nation, reviewing Max Blumenthal's book Goliath : Life and Loathing in Greater Israel.:

When I was asked to do my column about Max Blumenthal’s book, Goliath, I was of two minds. On the one hand, I like to be a team player. But on the other, whenever I criticize BDS types, I apparently invite an avalanche of personal invective from its fans. (This happens when I criticize neocons on Israel as well, but to be honest, the BDS types appear to have more time on their hands for this kind of thing.) Second, I’ve known the author’s parents since he was a little boy, and whatever the quality of the book, I expected that my honest views of it might threaten three decades of friendly relations.

Reading what follows, I suspect Eric is not expecting any more invitations to dinner or Canasta at the Blumenthals in the near future. (emphasis mine)

I expected to disagree with its analysis. I did not expect it to be remotely as awful as it is. Had the magazine not published its excerpt, it would have been easy to ignore. It is no exaggeration to say that this book could have been published by the Hamas Book-of-the-Month Club (if it existed) without a single word change once it’s translated into Arabic. (Though to be fair, Blumenthal should probably add some anti-female, anti-gay arguments for that.) Goliath is a propaganda tract, not an argument as it does not even consider alternative explanations for the anti-Israel conclusions it reaches on every page. Its implicit equation of Israel with Nazis is also particularly distasteful to any fair-minded individual. And its larding of virtually every sentence with pointless adjectives designed to demonstrate the author’s distaste for his subject is as amateurish as it is ineffective. As I said, arguments this simplistic and one-sided do the Palestinians no good. There will be no Palestinian state unless Israel agrees to it. And if these are the views of the people with whom Israelis of good will are expected to agree, well, you can hardly blame them for not trusting them.

Max Blumenthal is currently on a book tour to promote his awful, simplistic, one sided propaganda tract. He'll be coming to an SJP or MSU meeting near you.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Woody Allen on Israel: "it’s a wonderful, marvelous country"

“I support Israel and I’ve supported it since the day it was founded. Israel’s neighbors have treated it badly, cruelly, instead of embracing it and making it part of the Middle East family of nations. Over the years Israel has responded to these attacks in various ways, some of which I approved of and some less so. I understand that Israelis have been through hard times, I don’t expect Israel to react perfectly every time and that doesn’t change the fact that it’s a wonderful, marvelous country.”

Woody Allen

Famed director Woody Allen speaks on Israel, and Judaism at the Times of Israel
Allen, 77, was interviewed in France by Israel’s Channel 2 Monday ahead of the release in parts of Europe of his latest movie, “Blue Jasmine,” a comedy-drama starring Cate Blanchett that’s been well-received since its summer opening in the US. 

Asked whether it’s harder these days to be a Jew in the US, Allen responded with an immediate, “No, I don’t think so.” He added wryly that “by the low standards of tolerance for Jews all over the world, America’s been a very tolerant country.”

He went on to say, however, that “I do feel there are many people that disguise their negative feelings toward Jews, disguise it as anti-Israel criticism, political criticism, when in fact what they really mean is that they don’t like Jews.”
Woody gets it.  Read it all here

In BDS news this week

BDS is on a roll, we hear.  Can't stop it. Such momentum.
But, er. no.  It's not.
In BDS news this week:

* Web giant will open an office in Tel Aviv to support Amazon Web Services (AWS), its cloud computing offering. The office is expected to begin operating at the start of 2014.  It will support companies from start-ups to large organizations as they move to cloud computing services.

Why Israel? Werner Hans Peter Vogel, the chief technology officer and Vice President of in charge of driving technology innovation within the company declared " If you start a business today you no longer buy IT (information technology). You spend your money on getting better engineers and product builders. "

* Facebook  has acquired Onavo, an Israel-based startup for well over 100 million. Facebook  will gain both talent and technology in the deal. All of Onavo employees will join FB. Onavo’s Tel Aviv headquarters  will become into Facebook’s first Israel office.

* Warren Buffet purchased a third Israeli company Ray-Q Interconnect.  Ray-Q, which helped develop Israel’s Iron Dome and Arrow military systems, will keep its operations in Israel Buffet total investment in Israel is nearly  $7 billion.

Oh, yes.  And a handful of students at George Mason University  are desperately trying to get anyone to sign their petition, banning made in America Sabra hummus from their school.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Gaza Terror Tunnel discovered

A mile-long, concrete-lined tunnel complete with an electrical supply and phone lines was discovered and destroyed earlier this week . The Israeli military said the tunnel was detected during a routine patrol and was the third tunnel found in the past year.  The tunnel began near  Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip and exited in Israel

The tunnel may have been intended for terror attacks on Israeli civilians, or to kidnap Israeli soldiers. In 2006, Hamas militants used a tunnel to sneak into Israel. Two Israeli soldiers were killed and third, Gilad Shalit was kidnapped and heldh ostage in Gaza for five years until he was released in a prisoner exchange.

Photos from Buzz feed  Stunning Images Of A Tunnel Found From Gaza Strip Into Israel

From the Jpost

A security source said it was the most well-designed terror tunnel found by the IDF to date.

The tunnel was constructed using approximately 24,000 Israeli concrete slabs which the IDF had permitted into Gaza to ease the crisis in the civilian construction sector, Southern Command chief Maj.-Gen. Sami Turgeman said. As a result, Israel has stopped allowing concrete into Gaza as of Sunday morning, he added.

“Last Monday, we exposed a terror tunnel that penetrated Israeli territory, near where the IDF operates and where communities are located,” Turgeman said, speaking near one of the tunnel entrances.

“This is the third tunnel we’ve found this year. It constitutes a gross violation of Israeli territory. If Hamas carries out a terrorism attack, it will pay a heavy prize, and Gaza will look different afterward,” he warned.

“Hamas invested tens of millions of dollars into constructing this. This is a terrorism industry. Instead of investing in schools, or civilian industry and employment, Hamas invests in terror,” Turgeman said.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Help fight Antisemitism on Facebook

Facebook doesn't feel this violates its "Community Standards"
Antisemitism on Facebook
Facebook is ok with this, as well.
Antisemitism on Facebook
They appear to have no objection to this one, either
Antisemitism on facebook

Do you care about the hate speech on Facebook?  Please sign this petition  and call for change developed by Dr Andre Oboler of the Online Hate Prevention Institute and Michael Mendelson of the 14 October protest organising committee.

From the petition:

We believe Facebook is one of this century’s most important communications tools not only in the United States but globally. We believe Facebook Inc has a social responsibility to run the Facebook platform is fair and transparent manner. We commend Facebook for prohibiting Hate Speech in its terms of service, but feel this does not go far enough. We also believe that the current provisions against hate speech are not seriously or effectively enforced.

We call on Facebook to:
1. Revert back to the old rule under which ‘hateful speech’ was prohibited rather than ‘hate speech’. This captures a far wider variety of hate, and Facebook should not allow the use of its platform as a channel for hate against any individual or group.
2. Have a person properly review the first complaint about any content.  Algorithms for identifying hate are fine when they are identifying hate in the system themselves, but if a person takes the time to make a report, Facebook must take sufficient staff time to properly consider it.
3. Be transparent about the way complaints are reviewed. If a large volume of complaints are made about the same content in a relatively short period of time, then it is fair for a certain number of those to be logged without reviewing the content again, however:
a) Users must be told this is what happen to their report
b) A sufficient number of complaints should trigger a fresh assessment by a different reviewer or manager
c) Additional fresh assessments should occur periodically (based on elapsed time or volume of complaints) and at each point of escalation a more senior Facebook staff member should review the reports.
d) It should be possible for a sufficiently serious complaint (relative to other complaints) to rise all the way up to the CEO and board for final determination if it is not upheld earlier and keeps being reported by a significant number of users.
4. Improve quality control of the complaints process. Facebook should conduct random audits of complaints and publically report on the percent of complaints that on further review are reassessed. Facebook should also set an expected quality of service for complaint handling and take steps to address the problem when the quality drops below this threshold. We believe there is an extreme bias in favour of rejecting complaints.
5. Work with local NGOs that focus on hate speech in each of the countries in which Facebook has users. Most of Facebook’s audience (approximately 83%) is outside the United States and the language of hate speech differs country by country. In order to effectively implement its prohibition of hate speech, Facebook needs to directly work with, and learn from, local organisations around the world who counter hate speech. Facebook should also run a more open consultation on policy matters and invite these organisations to participate.
6. Recognise Holocaust denial as a form of hate speech. Facebook’s continued refusal to acknowledge Holocaust denial as a form of hate speech is a disgrace that must be fixed. This issue will not go away until Facebook fixes it.