Thursday, December 14, 2017

Cheryl Davila's BDS litmus test for Berkeley

Through the wonder of Berkeley's "ranked choice" voting Cheryl Davila found herself on the Berkeley city council.   In the November 2016 election, incumbent Darryl Moore received just under 40% of the 8,000 votes cast in the first round of the ranked-choice ballot. Nanci Armstrong-Temple and Cheryl Davila split the remaining votes 29% and 31%. 

The second round of ranked-choice voters gave Moore an additional 446 votes and Davila 1,236 votes, giving Davila a narrow victory margin of just 168 votes.
Davila's claim to fame in Berkeley previously had been her hijacking the agenda of the Berkeley Human Welfare Commission for months, in an effort to pass a divestment from Israel proposal.
In her quest for election to the city council, the Davila campaign called upon their old friends at UC Berkeley's Students for Justice in Palestine, visiting them, and posting on their Facebook page.

Cheryl has remained active in the anti-Israel camp, appearing at rallies on campus and in front of the local Israeli consulate.  She has apparently been attempting to pay back her campaign debts.

Berkeley City Councilperson Cheryl Davila promotes extremist views
Ben Gerhardstein, a former city transportation commissioner believes Cheryl Davila booted him off the Commission in part because he declined to state his opinion regarding divestment from Israel
From Berkeleyside: 

“You indicated that a non-transportation issue was important to you in selecting a Transportation Commissioner,” Gerhardstein wrote to Davila on Nov. 27 after she informed him by email that he had been removed from the commission. “During our first meeting, you noted that as a Human Welfare and Community Action Commissioner you authored a recommendation to Council to divest from companies benefiting from the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories, which raised your profile. You said that the issue was important to you and you asked whether I was pro-Palestinian (and supported divestment) or a Zionist. You noted that you were asking all potential District 2 commissioners this question and suggested that you were only interested in appointing divestment supporters to commissions...”
At least two other commissioners serving at the behest of Davila told Berkeleyside the question of Israel and divestment came up during their interviews with Davila....

By dragging her BDS litmus test into the realm of local politics, Davila has again shown her willingness to abandon the very real needs of the people of Berkeley.  Imagine if a Jewish candidate did what Davila has done.  Imagine the calls of "dual loyalty". 

Read it all at Berkeleyside.

UPDATE: From Dan Pine, writing in the J of Northern California

According to the City of Berkeley’s published record of campaign contributions, her campaign drew financial support from local anti-Israel activists U.C. Berkeley lecturer and SJP founder Hatem Bazian (currently under fire for anti-Semitic tweets from earlier this year), Barbara Lubin of the Middle East Children’s Alliance, and Donald Wagner from Friends of Sabeel.\


Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Congratulations to Lian Najami, Rhodes Scholar from University of Haifa

The 2018 Rhodes scholar from the University of Haifa Lian Najami is a perfect example of the diversity of Israeli society, and of intersectionality at its best.

Lian grew up in the  culturally mixed Haifa neighborhood of Ein Hayam. At the age of 12, Lian began volunteering at her  local community center and by her 15th birthday she founded her first start-up.  Fluent in five languages, Lian graduated with a BA in Political Science from the University of Haifa.  She was a foreign policy adviser to US Senator Brian Schatz (D-HI),and was a featured speaker at the Forbes Israel 30 Under 30 Summit in 2016. While at Oxford, Lian plans to research  initiatives designed to promote political inclusion within society emphasizing marginalized groups.

Lian joins 32 other students will begin their studies at Oxford in October 2018.  They were selected from a pool of 866 candidates nominated by their colleges and universities. 

Lian Najami was profiled in the Alumni Spotlight of the University of Haifa Magazine, writing

 I was first asked to speak to international delegations as a high schooler at Leo Baeck’s youth and co-existence projects.

Since then I have spoken at the University of Haifa’s 40th Board of Governors Meeting, and at functions organized by Combined Jewish Philanthropies (CJP) and Israel Campus Roundtables at campuses across the Boston area, including Williams College, Tufts University, UMass Amherst, Suffolk University, Harvard Kennedy School, Northeastern University, and Wellesley College.

These events enabled me to reach out to students who have no connection to Israeli or Palestinian issues, yet think they must take a side. I try to explain that the reality is very complex. As an Arab Israeli, I tell them that they can be both pro-Israel and pro-Palestinian.

 A large number of people are ignorant about the non-Jewish community living in Israel, which comprises 25% of the population.

I try to raise awareness about this demographic reality. The Boycott Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement claims that it is helping Palestinians and Arab Israelis. I say ‘thanks, but no thanks.’ What BDS is actually doing is simultaneously damaging Israel and Palestine, and when you harm Israel, you are hurting all of its citizens. Israel has done nothing but help shape the strong person I am and provided me with the help I needed to fully succeed in the Middle East and in life.

Congratulations to Lain Najami. May she continue to grow from strength to strength.

Friday, December 1, 2017

Hannukah Celebrations around the Bay

Let the light shine on!
Menorah lights and Hannukah celebrations around the Bay- shamelessly copied from the J Weekly's  Calendar page.

San Francisco

“Light It Up.” Beth Sholom celebration features play, live music and traditional treats plus a burrito bar. Thursday, Dec. 14. At Congregation Beth Sholom, 301 14th Ave., S.F. 5:30-8 p.m., with lighting and play at 6:30. $8-$26; 5 and under free.
Emanu-El young adult party. With music by SHAMATi. Friday, Dec. 15 at Brick & Mortar, 1710 Mission St, S.F. 8:30 p.m. to 2 a.m. Also Dec. 15, family party, service, dinner (RSVP required) and magic show at Congregation Emanu-El, 2 Lake St., S.F., 5-8 p.m. Other lightings at
“Share the Light.” Lighting, story time and activities at 4 p.m. daily, with free family “Fryday” party Dec. 15, also at 4 p.m. At JCCSF, 3200 California St., S.F.
Lighting of the giant Bill Graham Menorah at Union Square. Dec. 12-14, 17-19 at 5 p.m., Dec. 15 at 3 p.m., Dec. 16 at 7 p.m. “Bill Graham Menorah Day,” with kids’ activities and music by Jerry’s Kosher Deli, starts 2 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 17 and ends with lighting.

East Bay

“Chanukah on Ice.” Giant menorah lighting Thursday, Dec. 14 at Civic Park Ice Rink, 1375 Civic Drive, Walnut Creek. 7 p.m. $18+.
“Spin Till You Win.” Dreidel tournament with cash prizes Saturday, Dec. 16 at Chabad of Contra Costa, 1671 Newell Ave., Walnut Creek. 7:30 p.m. $50+.
“Life Size Dreidel Experience” and kids’ activities. Tuesday, Dec. 19 at Pacific Commons (near Dick’s Sporting Goods), 43440 Boscell Road, Fremont. 5:30-7 p.m. Free.
Under One Tent Grand Menorah Lightings. East Bay celebrations with latkes and doughnuts Wednesday, Dec. 13 at Alamo Plaza, Alamo, 5-6 p.m.; Saturday, Dec. 16 at Blackhawk Plaza, Danville, 6 p.m.; and Sunday, Dec. 17 at Broadway Plaza, Walnut Creek, with music by Saul Kaye, 4 p.m. Free.
Lighting of Oakland’s largest menorah. Tuesday, Dec. 12 at Lake Merritt Amphitheater, between 12th St. and 1st Ave., Lake Merritt Blvd. 5:30 p.m. Free.
Giant menorah lighting in Danville. With music by Sam Glaser, Lego menorah workshop, face painting and glitter art. Sunday, Dec. 17. At Blackhawk Plaza, 3380 Blackhawk Plaza Circle.
4-6 p.m. Free.
“Hanooka Festival of Lights and Latkes.” Includes klezmer shadow puppets and a silent auction for a menorah. Sponsored by Urban Shtetl Youth & Family Program. Saturday, Dec. 16 at Chochmat HaLev, 2215 Prince St., Berkeley. 4-7 p.m. $5-$20.

North Bay

Veteran’s Park lighting. Honoring Napa police and fire chiefs. Live klezmer, traditional treats. Thursday, Dec. 14 at park on Main Street, Napa. 5 p.m. Free.
“Light Up the Night.” Grand menorah lighting with raffle, latkes, doughnuts and participation of civic leaders. Tuesday, Dec. 12 at Whole Foods Market, 790 De Long Ave., Novato. 5 p.m. Free.
“Chanukah at the River.” With 9-foot menorah, fire juggling, live magic show and treats. Tuesday, Dec. 12. At Water Street Promenade, 100 Petaluma Blvd. N., Petaluma. 4:30-6 p.m. Free with RSVP.
“Chanukah Extravaganza.” With live music by Good Shabbos klezmer band and pescatarian kosher potluck (by assignment). Light your own menorah Saturday, Dec. 16. At Congregation Ner Shalom, 85 La Plaza, Cotati. 5:30-7:30 p.m. Free with RSVP.
“Chanukah Wonderland.” Tuesday, Dec. 19 party at Jelly Belly factory, with lighting of giant jelly bean-filled menorah, at 1 Jelly Belly Lane, Fairfield. 4-7 p.m. Free.
Hanukkah festival at the mall. With live music and kosher food, including latkes. Sunday, Dec. 17 at Montgomery Village, 911 Village Court., Santa Rosa. 4-6 p.m. Other events in Healdsburg, Cotati and Santa Rosa.

South Bay

“Flames and Friends Flametacular.” Bring your own menorah to light with other congregants. Friday, Dec. 15 at Congregation Etz Chayim, 4161 Alma St., Palo Alto. 7:30 p.m. Free.
Burlingame giant coin menorah lighting. With live music by Saul Kaye. Fundraiser for North Bay fire victims. Tuesday, Dec. 12 at 240 Park Road, Burlingame. 6-7 p.m. Free with RSVP.
“Chanukah on Ice.” Saturday, Dec. 16 at Central Park, 50 East Fifth Ave., San Mateo. 7 p.m. $10-$13 per person to skate.
Russian speakers celebration. Candlelighting, traditional foods and conversation. Monday, Dec. 18 at Oshman Family JCC, 3921 Fabian Way, Palo Alto. 6 p.m. RSVP by Dec. 15.

Monday, November 27, 2017

University of Washington Database moves Israel to Western Europe.

In which the University of Washington's database Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation determines that Israel is located in Western Europe

Interestingly enough, "Palestine" presumably meaning the West Bank and Gaza and therefore adjacent to Israel's borders, is listed in North Africa and the Middle East.

Wrap your head around that for a minute.

Looks like just another attempt to deny our heritage to me.

Let your voice be heard.  Contact the Institute:

For general information about the Institute
Phone: +1-206-897-2800
Fax: +1-206-897-2899
For questions regarding research, data, publications, and events
For information regarding the IHME website or share your feedback using their online form

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

UC Berkeley's Hatem Bazian anti-semitic tweets

Hatem Bazian, a man who infamously called for an intifada in America has been using his twitter account to spread repulsive anti-Semitism

On July 31, 2017, Bazian,  a lecturer in Berkeley's Asian American and Asian Diaspora Studies department. retweeted an anti-Semitic tweet accusing a “Zionist” of “apartheid, occupation, ethnic cleansing, genocide” and theft of “Palestinian land+resources+body-organs
One tweet  features a cartoon of a Jewish man, captioned: “I can now kill, rape, smuggle organs & steal the land of Palestinians.”

The other shows Kim Jong-Un, of North Korea,  wearing a kippah, saying he has just converted his nation to Judaism: “Donald Tlump: Now my nukes are legal & I can annex South Korea & you need to start paying me 34 billion a year in welfare.”

Hatem's anti-Semitism was exposed by Tikvah, the Zionist Voice at UC Berkeley.
Tikvah, the Zionist Voice at UC Berkeley, condemns every form of Anti-Semitism and expects that people be held accountable for their actions. Professor Hatem Bazian, a lecturer at UC Berkeley’s Ethnic Studies Department, has shown his true colors after retweeting a truly revolting, Anti-Semitic tweet shown below. It is unacceptable for a lecturer at a highly acclaimed and diverse university to be allowed to spew propaganda and discriminatory content, whether it is in the classroom or online. We are calling on the UC Berkeley to condemn Professor Bazian’s actions and hold him accountable for his Anti-Semitic behavior. We also expect a public apology and a pledge to attend sensitivity training by Professor Bazian.
News of Bazian's antisemitic tweet spread widely through the Jewish papers

UC Berkeley lecturer apologizes for anti-Semitic tweet

UC Professor Tweets Anti-Semitic Propaganda

Pro-BDS UC-Berkeley Professor Slammed for Antisemitic Tweet Accusing Jews of ‘Organ Theft’

After word of the blatant anti-Semitism spread, Hatem Bazian issued a tepid apology, admitting the cartoon was "wrong and offensive".

Coming from Bazian, a man with a long history of divisive, offensive rhetoric, the words were meaningless.

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Another day, another vehicular attack in Israel.

Earlier this week, a 17 year old Palestinian "child" plowed his car into a 70 year old Israeli man and a 35 year old near Gush Etzion Junction..  Its no surprise if you didn't hear about it.  Vehicular attacks in Israel are routinely ignored by the mainstream media.
One of the Palestinian  "children" Betty McCollum obsesses over

Don't dismiss this as a normal traffic accident.  

Az al-Din Kraja left his vehicle carrying a knife and charged at a group of IDF soldiers. He was shot and  evacuated to Hadassah Ein Kerem Medical Center.

Weapons used in the attack  (Photos from the IDF)

What does Minnesota Rep. Betty McCollum propose that Israel do with children who attempt murder?  Why has she completely ignored the cultural foundation of these attacks- the glorification of violence that is pervasive not only in social media, but in the government controlled mass media? Why has she ignored the financial incentives  given to convicted Jew-killers?  Why has she ignored this toxic stew that leads 11 year old boys to rationalize attempted murder simply by saying I wanted to die a martyr’?

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

J Street endorsed Representatives introduce anti-Israel bill into Congress

What do Representatives  Betty McCollum , Mark Pocan, Earl Blumenauer, André Carson, John Conyers, Jr., Danny K. Davis, Peter A. DeFazio, Raul Grijalva, Luis V. Gutiérrez, and Chellie Pingree all have in common?

They have all been endorsed by J Street, and they are all co-sponsors of 
H.R.4391, an anti-Israel bill introduced by Betty McCollum this week that calls for 
"the Secretary of State to certify that United States funds do not support military detention, interrogation, abuse, or ill-treatment of Palestinian children, and for other purposes."
Full text can be found here
The legislation is the result of a fierce lobbying campaign conducted by groups such as  American Friends Service Committee, Amnesty International USA, Center for Constitutional Rights, Churches for Middle East Peace, Defense for Children International - Palestine, Friends Committee on National Legislation, Global Ministries of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and United Church of Christ, Jewish Voice for Peace, Mennonite Central Committee, Presbyterian Church (USA), the U.S. Campaign for Palestinian Rights, United Methodists for Kairos Response (UMKR), and United Methodist General Board of Church and Society.

The bill is most notable for its omissions.  It does not concern itself with the use of Palestinian children as human shields or as child soldiers by their own government.  It does not address the glorification of violence in Palestinian textbooks and media, or incitement in the mosques.

Thursday, November 9, 2017

BDS holes behaving badly. Galilee Green Olive Oil Under attack.

Its not about the green line or about the so-called occupation.  It never has been.  Its about Israel's very right to exist. Its about hatred for Israel's triumphs.

Galilee Green in Israel has been selling extra virgin olive oil from Israel for 3 years, and has amassed a loyal following and rave reviews on their product.   Last week, their facebook page came under  a coordinated attack, encouraged by posts like this that were shared widely across social media.

From the Jerusalem Post

Dozens of Facebook users have bombarded the Galilee Green Facebook page urging people not to buy their products, based on their claims that the products come from “stolen land” and “stolen olives” as well as far more virulent accusations.

“Ironically, we work with Kibbutz Deganya Alef,” Galilee Green president and CEO Rabbi Shmuel Veffer told The Jerusalem Post on Thursday. “The land the trees are on was purchased from the Ottoman Turks before WWI and the Balfour Declaration. Our offices are in Yavne’el on land purchased by Baron Rothschild from the Turks and Yavne’el was founded in 1901. The land here and at Deganya was rocky and barren of trees.”

Veffer and his wife, Chana, founded the company together with Nili and Arnie Abrahams, all of whom are immigrants from Toronto, Canada.

The first bombardment of messages, many in the form of one-star reviews, succeeded in bringing Galilee Green’s 5-star rating down to 3-stars.

How can you help fight the haters?

Like the Galilee Green Facebook page. Leave a kind word and some encouragement.
Consider a purchase (free delivery to North America!)
Go to the one star reviews- the one who have clearly never tried the olive oil.  Click on the three dots “…” at the top right of the offensive review and “Report” it to Facebook. If they get enough complaints, they will potentially remove it and ban the user.

When they write "Boycott all Israeli products and anything marked kosher" you know its nothing less than garden variety Jew-hate.

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Freedom House: Israel is the only Free Nation in the Middle East

Freedom House is an independent watchdog organization dedicated to the expansion of freedom and democracy around the world.

Each year, Freedom House analyzes the world's nations and territories, examining the electoral process, political pluralism and participation, the functioning of the government, freedom of expression and of belief, the rule of law, and individual rights. Their results are published in their annual report, Freedom in the World.

Freedom House's 2017 rankings are out.  Again, Israel is the only nation in the Middle east that is ranked as "free". 

Israel scored 80 out of100 points, and is described in the report as "a multiparty democracy with strong and independent institutions that guarantee political rights and civil liberties for most of the population".

Why is the only nation in the region that is ranked as free subject to such vitriolic rhetoric across the media, in the UN and on college campuses?

Could it be because it is the only Jewish state, not only in the region, but in the world?

Monday, November 6, 2017

The shameless hypocrisy of Jewish Voice for Peace.

Chapter 458 in the shameless hypocrisy of Jewish Voice for Peace.

NYU 's Jewish Voice for Peace branch is recruiting using a poster with the tagline  "Wherever we live that's our homeland."

Its meant, of course to deny the Jewish people's deep cultural and spiritual ties with Israel, our ancient homeland.

Would Jewish Voice for Peace use the tagline "Wherever we live that's our homeland" for the Palestinians?   JVP believes in the mythical "right of return", and  certainly does not consider the generations of Palestinians living in Syria, in Jordan and in Lebanon at "home."

Why does JVP have a different set of standards for the Jewish people than it has for the Palestinians?

Thats the real Palestine exception.

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Faith-washing: Friends of Sabeel provides cover for Terror

Friends of Sabeel prove once again that no lie is too outrageous for Israel haters
From the Friends of Sabeel (FOSNA)Facebook page

Except for 2 things.

1. The tunnel was on the Israeli side of the border.

2. The tunnel targeted a kibbutz. Was that the source of "much needed supplies"? Were the Palestinians planning on a shopping spree at the local Super Sol? Why doesn't Sabeel read the actual words of the Palestinians, who don't try and conceal their true motives? 

Islamic Jihad: "The tunnel targeted by the occupation yesterday was to be used to abduct soldiers for the liberation of the prisoners"

Why is FOSNA providing cover for terrorists?

Tikvah Rally for Israel

From our friends at Tikvah, Students for Israel at UC Berkeley

Thursday, November 2, 2017, marks 100 years since the Balfour Declaration was penned. On this day, we will defend the right of the state of Israel to exist, and the right of Jews to live in their national and historic homeland. We will counter the lies spread about Zionism and Israel, and will share the truth with our campus community. 

Please join us to show your support for Jewish existence in the Land of Israel, and to stand up against the bigotry and lies that are propagated about the Jewish homeland. We will have posters, shirts, and flags for you!

Join Tikvah and other pro-Israel students on campus in solidarity, as they stand up for Israel's right to exist with safe and secure borders.

Sproul Plaza. Thursday November 2.  11-1.

SJP "Students for Just Us In Palestine" will be there, too.

Photos from the rally.

Gaza terror tunnel destroyed

Gaza’s terror tunnels are in the news again.  Earlier this week, UNWRA reported a tunnel located under one of their schools. Once again, Hamas is cynically using their own children as human shields to protect terrorist infrastructure.  Today, Israel discovered a tunnel that began in KhanYounis, in Gaza, and led into Israel.  It was still under construction. It was the 3rd such tunnel into Israel discovered since the 2014 Operation Protective Edge

Israel destroyed the tunnel, killing at least 7, including a senior member of the al-Quds Brigade, Islamic Jihad's military arm. Members of Hamas on a “rescue” mission were also killed.  Twelve others were reported injured.

Martyrdom photos are beginning to appear across social media.

Tragedies often bring people together.  Islamic Jihad and Hamas were able to put aside their ideological differences, and show unity in their shared battle against the world's only Jewish state.

Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stated to the media: " I told you many times before that we are developing breakthrough technology to deal with the tunnel threat,”  “We are implementing it. Today, we located a tunnel, and we destroyed it.”

Israel also is constructing an underground barrier to prevent further tunnels crossing into Israel. 

UPDATE:  Nov.3

The bodies of 5 more Islamic Jihad terrorists have been found in the tunnel, making a total of 12 dead.

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Israeli Bamba comes to Trader Joe's

Why are so many Americans proudly posing on social media holding bags of the Israel peanut snack, Bamba?

This unabashed public display of affection is thanks to Trader Joe's, with is now carrying the same Bamba you grew up loving:

Made for us in Israel, where Bamba is far and away the best-selling snack in the country, Trader Joe’s Bamba Peanut Snacks contain just four, simple ingredients: corn grits, peanut paste, palm oil, and salt. First, the corn grits are “popped” under high pressure, turning them into long rope-like lines of white, puffed, unflavored “Bamba.” Next, the Bamba is cut into peanut-sized nuggets and air-baked for 20 seconds in a drying chamber, which gives it an even crispier texture.

Bamba is just one of many fine Israeli products carried by Trader Joe's.

h/t Shlomo

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Reactions to anti-Semitic cartoon in the Daily Cal

Last week, an anti-semitic cartoon featuring a caricature of civil rights attorney Alan Dershowitz appeared in UC Berkeley's student newspaper, the Daily Cal.

Your recent editorial cartoon targeting Alan Dershowitz was offensive, appalling and deeply disappointing. I condemn its publication. Are you aware that its anti-Semitic imagery connects directly to the centuries-old “blood libel” that falsely accused Jews of engaging in ritual murder? I cannot recall anything similar in The Daily Californian, and I call on the paper’s editors to reflect on whether they would sanction a similar assault on other ethnic or religious groups. We cannot build a campus community where everyone feels safe, respected and welcome if hatred and the perpetuation of harmful stereotypes become an acceptable part of our discourse.

To see The Daily Californian’s anti-Semitic cartoon online depicting Harvard Law School professor Alan Dershowitz was a reminder that as a Jew living in our open society, we are still plagued by undertones of historical anti-Semitism. There should be no excuse or rationalization for why this cartoon is “simply” a critique of Israeli policy or the speaker’s opinion. Like any bigoted cartoon, it should be called out, and the leadership of The Daily Californian needs to take responsibility for its actions. Jewish students on campus have every right to be included, practice their beliefs and express their passion for and love of Israel — their Jewish homeland — without experiencing anti-Semitism.

There has been no comment from the staff at the Daily Cal, or Joel Mayorga, the illustrator of the cartoon

Caterpillar Stock Surges. BDS fails

Caterpillar has been in the cross-hairs of Team BDS  for years now.  Looking at Cat's performance over time shows how irrelevant the BDS agenda is.

Caterpillar's sterling performance this quarter reinforces the irrelevancy of  BDS as a tactic. So, hows that boycott working for you, anyway?

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Anti-Semitic Cartoon appears in the UC Berkeley Daily Cal

Joel Mayorga, political cartoonist for UC Berkeley's student newspaper, the Daily Cal has hit the daily double of anti-Semitism. Mayorga has managed to squeeze both blood libel and conspiracy tropes into this cartoon commemorating Alan Dershowitz's talk at Cal.

This cartoon appeared days after an op-ed in the same paper alleging "suppression" of Palestinian activism on campus.

The Daily Wire has an exclusive interview with Alan Dershowitz regarding the cartoon.  His reaction:

My first reaction was surprise that the official student newspaper of a major state university would publish a Dur Sturmer-type cartoon which would have fit comfortably into any Nazi publication.

My second reaction is what I’ve always believed, and that is, there is very little difference between the Nazis of the hard Right and the anti-Semites of the hard Left. This obviously was a hard Left neo-Nazi cartoon.

My third reaction is, I’m surprised that it was treated with as little response. Imagine if a comparably anti-black or anti-woman or anti-gay cartoon was ever published in the Berkeley student newspaper. Again, it reflects for me the incredible double standard in tolerance that people have toward anti-Semitism.

Students for Justice in Palestine at UC Berkeley has a post featuring the cartoon on their FaceBook page.  There is not a single comment condemning it.

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Reem's Bakery: at the intersection of left and right anti-semitism

What does the Bay Area "social justice" community look like?  We need to look no further than the supporters of Oakland bakery owner Reem Assil for a cross section of the abject hypocrisy and moral bankruptcy of the local "progressive"  movement. Reem owns a bakery that features a floor to ceiling mural of confessed, convicted Jew-killer Rasmea Odeh.

Reem's supporters exhibit a racist intolerance, a feckless disregard for facts and an inability to process new information that might surprise bona fide believers in individual human rights who tend to attribute those characteristics to denizens of the flyover states.

For over 15 years, Indybay has been considered one of the vanguard sites of the "progressive" Bay Area.  Naturally, they support Reem's.  Their support however doesn't take the form of an absolutist belief in the first amendment. Here, instead, is an example of the staggering depth of their intellectual integrity:

(Incidentally the "stupid signs" they attempted to crop out said "Honor the Victims. Not their Killers")

With the cultural sensitivity characteristic of both toddlers and activists of the hard left, Zoe Samudzi describes the kippa worn by an observant Jew at a Reem's vigil as an "ugly hat". 

Clearly her anti-oppression efforts stop short of respecting traditional Jewish observance.

And again proving that anti-Semitism is often found at the dank intersection of the hard left and the hard right.  Reem's Bakery numbers among its supporters the Twitter account  "Jew World Order" 

With these among her allies, its not surprising that Reem's strategy in dealing with opposition was her cynical attempt to use the legal system to suppress activism,  silence dissenting voices and repress the civil and human rights of others.

They're just not making "progressives" like they used to.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Reem Assil abandons her assault on the first amendment

Since the summer, there have been a series of vigils at Reem's California, an Oakland bakery that features a floor to ceiling mural of convicted terrorist Rasmea Odeh.

Rasmea Odeh, a member of the PFLP terrorist group was recently deported from America for not disclosing her role in a grocery store bombing that led to the deaths of Leon Kanner and Edward Joffe.

In true "progressive" fashion,  the initial response to these vigils was a physical attack on the participants.  There were multiple attempts to harass and intimidate the participants. Mall security and the Oakland police department were repeatedly called. When that failed to stop the vigils, libelous reports about the participants began appearing across the web.  

The "progressive" response from bakery owner Reem Assil, a self described "community organizer" was to file for a restraining order, which was ultimately denied by the court. Twice.

Reem Assil's assault on individual rights and freedoms has been documented by the good folk at  Legal Insurrection:

Anti-Israel activists try to shut down protests over California bakery honoring Palestinian terrorist

A participant in the vigils has written about her experience in the Times of Israel:

Reem’s Cafe Owner Has a First Amendment Problem

This week, Reem Assil dismissed the case against journalist Michael Lumish and two others

From Mintz Levin, the law firm handling Michael Lumish's case:

The lawsuit against Mr. Lumish has been dismissed by the plaintiff, Reem Assil. Early yesterday morning, we provided notice to Ms. Assil’s counsel that we were going to appear in court ex parte on Wednesday to adjust certain pending case dates because we would be filing later that day – on behalf of Mr. Lumish – a motion to strike Ms. Assil’s case as a Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation (“SLAPP” suit) designed to chill Mr. Lumish’s exercise of his free speech rights. A few hours later, while we were waiting for the Court to provide a hearing date for our Anti-SLAPP motion, we received word from the Court of the plaintiff’s voluntary dismissal.

Because Ms. Assil’s lawsuit against Mr. Lumish was precisely the type of effort to use the courts to try to obtain a content-based prior restraint on political speech, which California law does not countenance, we are very pleased that Mr. Lumish is no longer facing the burden of having to deal with such an action and attempt to intimidate him and others from engaging in peaceful protest. In light of the time and effort that we were required to invest in order to vindicate Mr. Lumish and to stand up for his free speech rights, we are considering the possibility of recovering defense fees and costs from Ms. Assil and/or her counsel in connection with this action and with their effort to silence protest against Ms. Assil’s own political speech and choice to use her restaurant to honor a convicted murderer and terrorist.

The take home lesson is that when we fight back, we win. This path is not easy, but this is the path. We can not let ourselves give in to threats and intimidation.


Mike Lumish has issued a statement, in a post chag spirit of t'shuvah.

Reem Assil and her malicious, anti-Zionist friends challenged the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States and promptly got their legalistic butts kicked.

{Good for them.}

Anyone who followed the story of Assil's extremist and terrorist-admiring restaurant at the Fruitvale BART Station in Oakland knows that her attorneys dismissed her malicious "lawfare" action against Bob Pave, Robin Dubner, and myself.

This was due to the insightful work of Mitch Danzig, Evan Nadel, and Paul Huston of the law firm, Mintz Levin.

Speaking strictly for myself, I owe those gentlemen a significant debt of thanks.

There are, however, a few loose ends dangling that I want to tie up.

The first is that I owe an apology to StandWithUS, particularly Randy Kessler, Executive Director of the Northwest chapter.

And I owe a big tip 'o the kippa to Yael Lerman, Director of the SWU legal department.

{Were I her I do not know that I would have been quite so nice to me.}

When, during the vigils, it looked as if we would get zero support from the larger San Francisco Bay Area Jewish community, I lambasted that organization and stormed into Kessler's Facebook space with a self-righteous fit.

It was inappropriate, unfair, and I was wrong to do it.

Nonetheless, despite my bad manners, SWU did more to help the ongoing vigils at Reem's than any synagogue or other Bay Area Jewish organization.