Wednesday, January 28, 2015

01/28 Links Pt2: B’Tselem Adds to the False Gaza War Allegations; Europe's Real "Resistance"

From Ian:

NGO Monitor: B’Tselem Adds to the Chorus of False Gaza War Allegations
In its report on IDF strikes during the 2014 Gaza conflict, B’Tselem presents a simplistic and distorted political narrative of Israeli guilt and Palestinian victimhood, according to Jerusalem-based research institute NGO Monitor. B’Tselem’s publication follows those of Amnesty International, Physicians for Human Rights-Israel, and other investigation NGOs, contributing to the campaign surrounding the UN Human Rights Council by William Schabas, as well as Palestinian Authority efforts focused on the International Criminal Court.
“Once again, and regardless of the circumstances and available evidence, B’Tselem has contorted the facts in order to pronounce Israel guilty,” said Anne Herzberg, NGO Monitor’s Legal Advisor. “Contrary to such claims, Hamas is morally and legally responsible for civilian deaths in Gaza: Hamas systematically conducts military operations from within civilian areas and stores its rockets in schools, mosques, and private homes.”
B’Tselem’s claims regarding international law are marked by major omissions and distortions. It notably fails to state that under the laws of war, the presence of civilians does not render military objectives immune from attack. B’Tselem also does not explain why targeting Hamas fighters or Hamas command centers did not “effectively assist military efforts” or “provide a military advantage” to Israel.
NGO Monitor notes that, as in the past, this publication fails to present definitive evidence that would justify the allegations. Indeed, it is clear that B’Tselem, like other politicized NGOs, lacks the necessary information, including military intelligence and command decisions. B’Tselem also lacked direct access to Gaza, instead presenting unverifiable “testimonies” from purported victims and eyewitnesses in Hamas-controlled territory, mixed with other data that originated with the Hamas Ministry of Health in Gaza. (h/t Bob Knot)
Europe's Real "Resistance"
Europe's policies of encouraging groups such as Hamas, which constantly espouse violence, demolishes the Palestinian effort to achieve a responsible Palestinian state that finally could end the conflict with Israel.
The West has been duped. The French have naïvely taken the bait: they now associate Palestinian "Resistance" with the courageous French underground Résistance that fought the Germans in World War II. They incorrectly assume that the Palestinian "Resistance' must be a good thing, too.
But the Palestinian Resistance bears no resemblance to the French Résistance of Word War II. There is no way to compare them. The Palestinian "Resistance" is nothing more than terrorist organizations repressing their own people. They do not resist an evil force; they are an evil force.
The truth is that the Europeans do not really care about the Palestinians, only about destroying Israel.
Now the International Criminal Court is planning to investigate Israel because it had the gall to defend itself against terrorism, while what did Europe do? Europe, in the face of terrorism, invited every terrorist-sponsoring dictator to join it in a march to protest the very murders that these dictators had paid for.
There is no difference between Hamas's aspirations to be "liberated from the Zionist occupation," and radical Islam's aspirations to be liberated from the "Christian occupation" of Europe.
All "Resistance" should be against radical Islam as embodied by groups such as Hamas, Islamic Jihad, al-Qaeda, the Muslim Brotherhood, and the Islamic State, among others. They are the ones we should resist. They should not be allowed to rule us in some Islamist "Palestinian State."
Beinart is Wrong on Palestinian Incitement
On January 15, noted Israel critic Peter Beinart declared that Palestinians who hate Israel never claim that they were inspired by anti-Israel incitement.
Just six days later, on January 21, a Palestinian who stabbed twelve Israelis on a Tel Aviv bus said he was inspired by "radical Islamic broadcasts."
Beinart is a CNN commentator, a columnist for Haaretz, and a fellow at a liberal think think, the New America Foundation. He made a splash in 2012 in the Jewish world with his book The Crisis of Zionism, in which he called for a boycott of Israelis who reside in areas beyond the pre-1967 armistice line.
Appearing on the "Voice of Israel" radio show on January 15, Beinart attempted to explain Palestinians hatred of Israel and Jews. Here's what he said:
"I know a lot of Palestinians who hate Israel, in fact I would say almost all the Palestinians I know hate Israel, but when I ask them why they hate Israel, and I've talked many, many, many times with people about this, they don't mention textbooks, or movies, or names of streets that have terrorists on them…But what they tell me, what I hear about, again and again and again, is the personal trauma and suffering that they and people they love have experienced."
Internal Emails Show Al Jazeera English Banning Use of Terms ‘Terrorist,’ ‘Militant,’ ‘Islamist’
Shortly after news broke of a deadly January 27 attack by Islamic terrorists on a hotel in Libya’s capital, Al Jazeera English executive Carlos van Meek shot out an email to his employees.
“All: We manage our words carefully around here,” the network’s head of output wrote to staff at the Doha-based news channel’s New York and Washington, D.C. newsrooms. “So I’d like to bring to your attention some key words that have a tendency of tripping us up.”
In an email obtained by National Review Online, van Meek warned the network’s journalists against the use of terms including “terrorist,” “militant,” “Islamist” and “jihad.”
“One person’s terrorist is another person’s freedom fighter,” the Al Jazeera executive wrote.
The word “extremist” was labeled off-limits. “Avoid characterizing people,” van Meek said. “Often their actions do the work for the viewer.”
“Do not use,” van Meek’s said of the term “Islamist.” He described it as “a simplistic label.”

Aboud Dandachi: Fight extremism by buying Jewish newspapers

Aboud Dandachi, the Syrian activist living in Istanbul, makes an interesting point about how Europeans should respond to the rising tide of increase in anti-Jewish attacks. Excerpts:

On January 27th 2015, commemorations were held world-wide in remembrance of the Holocaust. Seventy years after the liberation of the Auschwitz concentration camp, these remembrances are as necessary as ever, as evidenced by the past year’s rising tide of antisemitic attacks the world over. And while it may be impossible to stop every terrorist attack everywhere in the world, the manner in which societies and individuals react to such atrocities is just as important as “killing the bad guys”.
A case in point would be the terrorist attack on the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo in early January. In the aftermath, a massive two million strong march was held in the heart of Paris in support of freedom of expression. The phrase #JeSuisCharlie became the most widely used hashtag in Twitter’s history. To meet the increased demand from multitudes of first-time readers seemingly eager on making a statement against extremism, the publication run for the magazine’s January 12th 2015 issue was increased from 60,000 copies to three million, and increased again to five million, and yet again to seven million copies.
Marches, Twitter campaigns, and a massive surge in readership. And yet largely relegated to the background was the fact that Jews were specifically targeted during those three terrible days in Paris. Indeed, for months before the Paris terrorist atrocities, Jews in much of Europe had been subjected to a relentless wave of vicious antisemitic attacks. An atmosphere of raw, unchallenged hatred for all things Jewish preceded the events in Paris, and the warning signs were there for anyone who cared to pay attention. When Jews in Denmark trying to hold an event calling for religious coexistence are chased off the streets by “Allahu Akbar” screaming-black-banner-waving thugs, then very soon someone will get it into their head to try to kill Jews in Paris.
Marches, Twitter campaigns, and millions of new readers. Momentary, short-term reactions to a very long term problem, one that has been building up for years. In the wake of such atrocities, it is natural for individuals to feel a strong need to act. And nothing reputes terrorism as effectively as making a stand with its intended targets and victims. By making a stand with the Jewish communities of Europe and the world over.
And one effective, long term method of displaying solidarity with Jewish communities world wide is to show the same enthusiasm for their publications as the world has displayed for scooping up issues of Charlie Hebdo. To repudiate global extremism, one only needs to act on a very local level.
....Holocaust commemorations are held just once a year, and if a society feels compelled to respond to atrocities in its midst with million-person marches, by that time it is probably too late, extremism has already dug its roots deep into that society. Extremism is more effectively fought on the individual level, with small, daily acts of kindness towards those that may be vulnerable, and the ostracizing of those groups and individuals who are hateful in their speech and behavior (I’m looking at you George Galloway, you shameful carpetbagger). Global extremism is most effectively fought by very local acts of consideration.
And in this day and age, fighting extremism can be as simple as buying a newspaper. Şalom.
Read the whole thing.

(h/t Michal)

Arab columnist argues that Palestinian suffering is worse than Holocaust

Jihad el-Khazen is a writers whose op-eds appear in many major Arab media outlets.

In 2006, he wrote something amazing:
About a month has passed since I made my suggestion to popularize the term 'Nazi Zionist' and the derivative 'ZioNazi', and readers are still discussing the matter....

What I say about myself is what I said when I put the term forward on September 5, 2006. I said at the time that the objective of the term was to exasperate the Zionists, because nothing vexes them as much as associating them with the Nazis. I do see the term as an exaggeration, since the crimes of the Nazis against the Jews are greater that the crimes of the Israeli government against the Palestinians and the rest of the Arabs. There is nothing between the Arabs and the Jews that is the equivalent of using gas chambers.
In other words, he is advocating calling Israelis "ZioNazis" not because there is any truth to the term, but because there is inherent value in upsetting the Jews.

Of course, using that logic it could be argued that cartoons making fun of Mohammed are important because it causes Muslims to get angry.

Khazen at least knew in 2006 the difference between the truth and his rhetoric. Nowadays, not so much:

On TV today (writing on Tuesday afternoon) at 8:20 in the morning I saw two young women in front of me talking about Auschwitz and the seventieth anniversary of its liberation.

Auschwitz was 70 years ago, yet there are daily holocaust of Palestinians in the country committed by Israeli government among whose members claim that their families perished in the Holocaust. Their Holocaust that lasted six years or so, and the Palestinian Holocaust has been going on continuously for 66 years.

Every day there is a Palestinian people ruled by the Israeli occupation, and if the subject is the extermination of entire families, there are Palestinian families destroyed in Israel's war on the Gaza Strip last summer.

...In the Christian West there was anti-Semitism against Jews over the centuries, and this culminated with the Holocaust, which pushed the Palestinians from their land and their lives paid the price of other crimes.

There is a museum, or museums, for Auschwitz. Why do not I see a museum for 517 children killed by the government of Benjamin Netanyahu in the Gaza Strip over only ten days? [This is a lie - EoZ] Fifty children were killed every day but no one mentions the names of the child victims.

The memory of Auschwitz is being exploited to divert attention from the crimes of the Israeli government.

Today I read calls from the heads of Jewish associations that require the enactment of laws against anti-Semitism... There are campaigns of anti-Semitism against Muslims in Europe, but the news about that is limited; the focus on solely on anti-Semitism against the Jews.

The uproar after terrorism in France diverted attention from the crimes of the Netanyahu government....
See other gems from el-Khazen here and a 2006 essay I wrote here.

Egypt Bans Dying During Protests (PreOccupied Territory)

Our weekly column from the humor site PreOccupied Territory

Check out their Facebook page.

Cairo, January 28 - Renewed civil unrest over the last week has prompted an Egyptian government concerned about its image to outlaw dying as a result of being shot or beaten by police.

Uploaded footage of a young woman killed by a police shotgun blast on Saturday spread rapidly across social networks this week, prompting authorities first to deny the police were involved, and then, when incontrovertible video evidence emerged that they were, to issue a ban on leaving this mortal coil by way of being hit by a law-enforcement fusillade.

The incident began as a commemoration of protesters killed during anti-government demonstrations, but the nonviolent gathering was not approved by Egyptian authorities, leading the police to open fire on the protesters. Shaimaa al-Sabbagh, 32, was hit in the chest and died soon afterwards. The following day, 18 more protesters were killed, and although their deaths had less of an impact in international media, the Sisi government immediately moved to make dying in such a fashion illegal.

The courts will now be authorized to levy stiff penalties on those caught losing their lives during confrontations with police, with lesser fines for bystanders or passers by not directly involved in the protest. Funerals for those who died unlawfully will be similarly banned, and anyone caught conducting or attending such a funeral will be charged, as well. Illegal funeral attendees who get killed by police will face the stiffest penalties of all.

"The malcontents fomenting unrest must understand the threat to pubic safety that dying by cop presents," said Sisi spokesman Thisaint Selma. "The Egyptian people will no longer tolerate those who, ostensibly in their name, go and get themselves killed, and endanger others in the process. This must stop immediately." He vowed that the government and police would act with a "strong hand" to bring violators to justice.

The announcement elicited objections from the Association of Funeral Directors, who accused the government of harming their livelihood. "The lading cause of death in Cairo over the last four years has been police gunfire," noted the group's chairman, Al-Digg Thenberi. "Our industry's services have been in high demand, and now our chief source of livelihood will be removed. We ask the government to help us negotiate this new situation."

At the same time, enterprising attorneys have begun advising their clients to make use of official media information in formulating either a defense or preemptive action to forestall accusations or convictions of dying at the hands of law enforcement. "Government-controlled news outlets are chock-full of stories about Jews controlling all sorts of important industries, and how notorious they are for framing others and getting others to do the dirty work," explained Geddaway Withett, whose firm specializes in legal defense. "It shouldn't be too difficult to persuade the judge that it was all a Zionist conspiracy."

01/28 Links Pt1: Two soldiers killed, 7 hurt in attack on Lebanon border; IDF strikes Syria targets

From Ian:

Two soldiers killed, 7 hurt in attack on Lebanon border
Two soldiers were killed Wednesday when an Israeli army patrol came under anti-tank fire from Hezbollah operatives in the northern Mount Dov region along the border with Lebanon.
The IDF confirmed that at least seven soldiers were wounded in the attack and ruled out the possibility that a soldier had been kidnapped.
The two soldiers were not immediately named. They were identified as a company commander and another soldier.
“Earlier today, an anti-tank missile hit an IDF vehicle in the Har-Dov area, killing two soldiers and wounding an additional seven, two of them moderately,” said the IDF in a statement Wednesday afternoon. “The soldiers’ families have been notified.”
The vehicles were hit by Kornet guided anti-tank missiles, Channel 2 reported.
Photos that emerged after the attack showed two badly damaged vehicles in flames. The IDF vehicles were unarmored. Later reports said they were not traveling on a border road, but on a dual-use military-civilian road.
IDF strikes Syria targets; sirens sound in Golan Heights
For the second time in just 12 hours, air raid sirens sounded in the northern Golan Heights right past midnight early Wednesday morning, but there were no immediate reports of rockets falling. The alarms sounded as Israeli Air Force jets struck several targets on the Syrian side, in response to rocket attacks earlier in the day.
The sirens, which usually signal incoming attacks, were heard in several towns in the area including the Druze villages of Majdal Shams and Mas’ade, the town of Neve Atid which is adjacent to the Mount Hermon ski resort and Nimrod.
The IDF said it found no evidence of a second round of rocket or mortar fire and launched a probe as to why the sirens were triggered.
The Israeli military said it confirmed direct hits on a number of Syrian army posts, hours after two rockets launched from Syrian territory landed in the Israeli-controlled region. The projectiles set off the air raid sirens in the same area Tuesday mid-morning.
Is Hezbollah trying to draw Israel into a ground offensive?
Indeed, although it seems counterintuitive, there may be some in Hezbollah who hope to see Israeli tanks entering Syrian territory and hitting Syrian military targets.
The shelling has so far succeeded in only slightly disrupting routine life in the Golan Heights and closing the Hermon ski resort for several hours. But one can assume that if Hezbollah was indeed behind the attacks, as some in Israel claim, it won’t be the last such strike by the terror group’s contingent in the Syrian Golan.
The next stage, as far as Hezbollah is concerned, could be to try to further upset the security situation by firing rockets sporadically into the Israeli Golan Heights, in a manner that may force the IDF to send troops deep into Syrian territory.
This would make it easier for Hezbollah to exact Israeli casualties and at the same time focus Arab public opinion on the battles in the Golan Heights, distracting it from the daily acts of carnage perpetrated by Assad loyalists.
Furthermore, if Hezbollah manages to draw Israel into committing even a small number of troops to a ground incursion in the Syrian Golan Heights, the Sunni radical groups Islamic State and al Nusra Front will be in the problematic position of being portrayed as collaborators with Israel in its battle against the Assad regime and its Lebanese ally.
The rockets fired at the Golan Heights constitute a serious challenge for Israel. On the one hand Jerusalem seeks to deter Hezbollah from continuing to disrupt life in the north. On the other, too aggressive a response will prompt Hezbollah to escalate its attacks in a manner that may leave Israel no choice but to deploy ground troops, furthering the goals of Assad and the rest of the Shiite axis.

Outstanding speech by Matti Friedman

Matti Friedman, former AP journalist, spoke at a BICOM dinner in London on January 26. His speech is an absolute must-read. (h/t Alex)

One night several years ago, I came out of Bethlehem after a reporting assignment and crossed through the Israeli military checkpoint between that city and its neighbor, Jerusalem, where I live. With me were perhaps a dozen Palestinian men, mostly in their thirties – my age. No soldiers were visible at the entrance to the checkpoint, a precaution against suicide bombers. We saw only steel and concrete. I followed the other men through a metal detector into a stark corridor and followed instructions barked from a loudspeaker – Remove your belt! Lift up your shirt! The voice belonged to a soldier watching us on a closed-circuit camera. Exiting the checkpoint, adjusting my belt and clothing with the others, I felt like a being less than entirely human and understood, not for the first time, how a feeling like that would provoke someone to violence.

Consumers of news will recognize this scene as belonging to the Israeli occupation of the West Bank, which keeps the 2.5 million Palestinians in that territory under military rule, and has since 1967. The facts of this situation aren’t much in question. This should be an issue of concern to Israelis, whose democracy, military, and society are corroded by the inequality in the West Bank. This, too, isn’t much in question.

The question we must ask, as observers of the world, is why this conflict has come over time to draw more attention than any other, and why it is presented as it is. How have the doings in a country that constitutes 0.01 percent of the world’s surface become the

focus of angst, loathing, and condemnation more than any other? We must ask how Israelis and Palestinians have become the stylized symbol of conflict, of strong and weak, the parallel bars upon which the intellectual Olympians of the West perform their tricks – not Turks and Kurds, not Han Chinese and Tibetans, not British soldiers and Iraqi Muslims, not Iraqi Muslims and Iraqi Christians, not Saudi sheikhs and Saudi women, not Indians and Kashmiris, not drug cartel thugs and Mexican villagers. Questioning why this is the case is in no way an attempt to evade or obscure reality, which is why I opened with the checkpoint leading from Bethlehem. On the contrary – anyone seeking a full understanding of reality can’t avoid this question. My experiences as a journalist provide part of the answer, and also raise pressing questions that go beyond the practice of journalism.

I have been writing from and about Israel for most of the past 20 years, since I moved there from Toronto at age 17. During the five and a half years I spent as part of the international press corps as a reporter for the American news agency The Associated Press, between 2006 and 2011, I gradually began to be aware of certain malfunctions in the coverage of the Israel story – recurring omissions, recurring inflations, decisions made according to considerations that were not journalistic but political, all in the context of a story staffed and reported more than any other international story on earth. When I worked in the AP’s Jerusalem bureau, the Israel story was covered by more AP news staff than China, or India, or all of the fifty-odd countries of sub-Saharan Africa combined. This is representative of the industry as a whole.

In early 2009, to give one fairly routine example of an editorial decision of the kind I mean, I was instructed by my superiors to report a second-hand story taken from an Israeli newspaper about offensive T-shirts supposedly worn by Israeli soldiers. We had no confirmation of our own of the story’s veracity, and one doesn’t see much coverage of things US Marines or British infantrymen have tattooed on their chests or arms. And yet T-shirts worn by Israeli soldiers were newsworthy in the eyes of one of the world’s most powerful news organizations. This was because we sought to hint or say outright that Israeli soldiers were war criminals, and every detail supporting that portrayal was to be seized upon. Much of the international press corps covered the T-shirt story. At around the same time, several Israeli soldiers were quoted anonymously in a school newsletter speaking of abuses they had supposedly witnessed while fighting in Gaza; we wrote no fewer than three separate stories about this, although the use of sources whose identity isn’t known to reporters is banned for good reason by the AP’s own in-house rules. This story, too, was very much one that we wanted to tell. By the time the soldiers came forward to say they hadn’t actually witnessed the events they supposedly described, and were trying to make a point to young students about the horrors and moral challenges of warfare, it was, of course, too late.

Also in those same months, in early 2009, two reporters in our bureau obtained details of a peace offer made by the Israeli Prime Minister, Ehud Olmert, to the Palestinians several months before, and deemed by the Palestinians to be insufficient. The offer proposed a Palestinian state in the West Bank and Gaza with a capital in a shared Jerusalem. This should have been one of the year’s biggest stories. But an Israeli peace offer and its rejection by the Palestinians didn’t suit OUR story. The bureau chief ordered both reporters to ignore the Olmert offer, and they did, despite a furious protest from one of them, who later termed this decision “the biggest fiasco I’ve seen in 50 years of journalism.” But it was very much in keeping not only with the practice at the AP, but in the press corps in general. Soldiers’ vile t-shirts were worth a story. Anonymous and unverifiable testimonies of abuses were worth three. A peace proposal from the Israeli prime minister to the Palestinian president was not to be reported at all.

BDSers are panicked by a tiny interfaith program

In all the time I've been watching Israel haters, I've never seen a group as panicked as BDSers are now.

What is scaring them? Well, let Ali Abunimah of Electronic Intifada tell you:

The largest Palestinian civil society coalition has called for a boycott of the Muslim Leadership Initiative and other projects that bring international delegations to Palestine “in a manner that is complicit with Israel’s regime of occupation, colonialism and apartheid.”

The Palestinian Boycott National Committee (BNC) said in a statement today that the Muslim Leadership Initiative “is part of a broader spectrum of political tours” that are “designed to normalize and build acceptance to Israeli policies of oppression against Palestinians.”
We've discussed the Muslim Leadership Initiative recently. It sponsors a small number of professional American Muslims to go to Israel to take classes and trips under the auspices of the Shalom Hartman Institute.

Let's read how its Muslim organizer answers critics:

The main organizer of the trip, Abdullah Antepli, denied the charges in an interview with Ma'an on the final day of his trip, stressing that the "program is primarily about Muslim-Jewish relations in the United States" and that participants do not have any "delusions" about trying to "solve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict."

"I am having a hard time understanding why this small amount of Muslim participation could lead to all this hoohaa and shenanigans," he told Ma'an during a telephone interview.

"This is about learning," Antepli told Ma'an, adding: "My religion says even if knowledge is all the way in China, go and learn it."

Not understanding religious Zionism, in his opinion, hindered US Muslim leaders' attempts to reach out to Jewish counterparts.

Coming to Israel and learning about Zionism "doesn't mean I agree with their policies, nor does it jeopardize my loyalty to my Palestinian brothers and sisters," he told Ma'an.

Noting that the Shalom Hartman Institute runs similar institutes -- using almost the exact same syllabus -- for American rabbis and Christian clerics, Antepli said: "The whole idea that Shalom Hartman Institute is a deceptive Zionist organization inviting gullible Muslims and turning them into propaganda machines is ridiculous. It was my idea. I approached the leadership of the institute after being involved (with them) for three years and studying with them."

"These are people who believe there can be a different kind of relationship between American Muslims and the American Jewish community," he told Ma'an, "and receiving an education from a credible, recognized, reputable Jewish Israeli organization can be utilized in improving or allowing a different kind of conversations within the American Jewish community within America."
The BDSers are hysterically claiming that the Shalom Hartman Institute is a far right wing Islamophobic organization, the Muslims who go on the trip are being brainwashed and being used as pawns for Israeli propaganda, that this is a Trojan horse and "faithwashing."

So what is really bothering the BDS Movement about MLI? Here is what they say:
The MLI comes at a time when a strong multi-faith alliance in the United States of broad-based organizations such as American Muslims for Palestine, Jewish Voice for Peace, Friends of Sabeel North America, as well as several influential groups in the Presbyterian Church USA, the United Methodist Church, the United Church of Christ, among others, are working in harmony, in diverse but interconnected struggles from Ferguson to Palestine. ...In short, the MLI is a BDS bashing project that seeks Palestinian fig leaves[4] to hide its dishonest agenda. The BNC strongly condemns the MLI and calls all people of conscience to boycott it.

Reading slightly between the lines, and you can see the source of their panic.

BDS has spent years trying to convince the world that they are the only authentic voice of the Palestinian Arabs. They always say that they are backed by "Palestinian civil society," a phrase that upon examination is really a group of self-appointed leaders of often tiny organizations who represent no one. 

But the entire legitimacy of BDS rests on the lie that is has a monopoly on the opinions of Muslims and Palestinians - a lie that sympathetic leftists are quite happy to believe as they sign on to their own boycott initiatives.

If well-spoken Western Muslims - Muslims who care about Palestinians, who want to see real peace - publicly disagree with the BDSers about their ban on talking to Israelis, it proves that BDS does not have the monopoly on how Muslims think.

So even a tiny number of Muslims who are willing to speak out for themselves are a major threat to BDS' underpinnings of claiming to speak for them. 

I showed a video last time of an MLI member demolishing the obnoxious BDS interviewer on the Temple Mount. The BDSer is infantilizing Palestinians, claiming that they all think the exact same way, and the MLI participant calmly tells him that he is completely wrong.

Here is another small clip from Al Jazeera where the MLI participant comes across as sane while the BDSers are foaming at the mouth (video repeats twice for some reason):

Another participant in MLI is a former mayor of Teaneck, NJ, which has a large Jewish population. he clearly knows a thing or two about how interfaith dialogue is supposed to work. And he is denouncing the BDSers who are frantically trying to paint him as being brainwashed or Zionist or whatever.

The MLI participants are intelligent, independent, free-thinking and brave.  These are all attributes that BDSers hate Muslims to have, because they want all Muslims to blindly follow their demands.

That's why BDS is panicked over MLI. And it shows how tenuous the BDS movement's foundations are when they lash out so fiercely at a program that has had only a few dozen participants.

The Fatah Intrafada

The split between Fatah members loyal to former Gaza strongman Mohammed Dahlan and those loyal to Mahmoud Abbas it turning even more violent.

From JPost on Monday:

Hamas warned on Monday that it wouldn’t allow the Gaza Strip to slide into anarchy and lawlessness.

The warning came amid growing tensions among members of the rival Fatah faction. The tensions erupted after Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas decided to cut off salaries of more than 200 Fatah officials and activists suspected of being affiliated with his political rival, Mohamed Dahlan.

The tensions in Fatah spilled into violence over the past week as Dahlan’s supporters attacked Abbas loyalists on a number of occasions.

“Hamas won’t allow the Fatah infighting to lead to anarchy and lawlessness,” said Hamas official Salah Bardaweel. He also denied charges that Hamas was “agitating” tensions between the two rival parties.

Bardaweel’s remarks came in response to a statement by Fatah spokesman Osama Qawassmeh, who claimed that Hamas was responsible for the current dispute between Abbas and Dahlan loyalists.

Abbas’s decision to stop paying salaries to more than 200 officials and activists in the Gaza Strip drew sharp condemnations from senior Fatah officials, including some who are not affiliated with Dahlan, who has been living in the United Arab Emirates ever since he fell out with the PA president four years ago.

Earlier this week, Abbas also decided to stop paying salaries to some 130 community leaders in the Gaza Strip who are also suspected of being affiliated with Dahlan.
Already, Fatah media has split between pro- and anti-Dahlan factions. Firas Press features a photo of Dahlan prominently on its home page along with anti-Abbas graphics.

Abbas' team is calling Dahlan an "Israeli tool." Hamas has been warming up to the Dahlan faction in Gaza.

Now, Abbas loyalists declared that they will target the Dahlan loyalists in Gaza.

A new group called "Protectors of Groups Against Illegal Dahlan Gangs" in Gaza saif it will fight "Dahlan and his gang" using "the language of spears and breaking of skulls" against them. They accused the Dahlan loyalits of dismembering the Fatah movement and threatening its institutions.

The group said they "decided to fight back immediately with full force against all the excesses and abuses and crimes of the Dahlanis, and will hunt down all the heads and symbols of the treacherous Fatah Dahlani movement at home and abroad who are responsible for the attack on the leaders and institutions of Fatah, and to sabotage the election, and the burning of vehicles, and discrediting the honor of the freedom fighters."

The group listed out the names of 80 Dahlan supporters in Gaza who they say they will be targeting.

Forget Hamas-Fatah unity - Fatah can't even be united with itself!

Perhaps it should be called the IntraFatah?

By the way, keep in mind that even with the budget crisis in the "unity government," there will never be any pressure to stop paying the salaries of terrorists in Israeli jails, terrorists released from Israeli prison in prisoner swaps, and the families of "martyrs." That money is the most sacred part of the PLO budget.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Never again, Obama-style (ElderToon)

Here was President Obama's statement for Holocaust Rememberance Day:
On the tenth International Holocaust Remembrance Day and the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau, the American people pay tribute to the six million Jews and millions of others murdered by the Nazi regime. We also honor those who survived the Shoah, while recognizing the scars and burdens that many have carried ever since.

Honoring the victims and survivors begins with our renewed recognition of the value and dignity of each person. It demands from us the courage to protect the persecuted and speak out against bigotry and hatred. The recent terrorist attacks in Paris serve as a painful reminder of our obligation to condemn and combat rising anti-Semitism in all its forms, including the denial or trivialization of the Holocaust.

This anniversary is an opportunity to reflect on the progress we have made confronting this terrible chapter in human history and on our continuing efforts to end genocide. I have sent a Presidential delegation to join Polish President Komorowski, the Polish people, official delegations from scores of nations, and many survivors, at today’s official commemoration in Poland.

As a founding member of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance, the United States joins the Alliance’s thirty other member nations and partners in reiterating its solemn responsibility to uphold the commitments of the 2000 Stockholm Declaration. We commemorate all of the victims of the Holocaust, pledging never to forget, and recalling the cautionary words of the author and survivor of Auschwitz Primo Levi, “It happened, therefore it can happen again. . . . It can happen anywhere.” Today we come together and commit, to the millions of murdered souls and all survivors, that it must never happen again.
That all sounds very nice, until you realize that Obama's policies are leading directly towards an Iranian nuclear weapon whose primary target would be the six million Jews who live in Israel.  It is as close an analogy to the Holocaust as one can imagine, and Obama is railing against those who are trying to put real pressure on Iran because of its history of hiding all aspects of its program.

Anyway, I made this cartoon as a response:

01/27 Links Pt2: The Delirium of Anti-Zionism; Hamas: Give Us Money Or We'll Become Terrorists

From Ian:

The Delirium of Anti-Zionism
In 1975, when the UN infamously declared that Zionism is a form of racism, Daniel Patrick Moynihan defiantly stood before the General Assembly and informed the delegates that the UN had just granted “symbolic amnesty” to the murderers of the six million Jews. The increasingly common accusation that Israel is in some way replicating the crimes of Nazi Germany is certainly in part an effort to give that same amnesty, as well as to belittle the Nazi crime itself. This effort by anti-Israel activists to hijack Holocaust commemorations with an anti-Zionist message is of course a vicious–albeit clumsy–attempt to invalidate Israel’s very right to exist. These people inhabit a historically illiterate narrative in which they wrongly believe that the world powers simply handed the Jews someone else’s country as an afterthought following the Holocaust. By distracting from Nazi atrocities against Jews while accusing Jews of equal crimes against Palestinians, they seem to believe that they are nullifying the Jewish claim to statehood.
It is a similar ignorance about the history of anti-Semitism that allows everyone else not to see how this is nothing less than the latest manifestation of an ever-mutating Jew hatred. This malady has an unending appeal because of the way it always promises to liberate mankind, in one way or another, by “solving” the Jews. It was with great optimism that a former minister of the Dutch government recently expressed the opinion that transferring all the Jews from Israel to the United States would herald a new era of world peace. Of course, by the same logic it is the selfish Jews clinging to their state who bear ultimate responsibility for entrapping mankind in the ongoing horrors of war.
Anti-Semitism always expresses itself through the prevailing value system of the time. In Nazi Germany it was pseudo race-science, and in the Soviet Union Marxist doctrines, that were employed against the Jews. In the Middle Ages it was the teachings of the Church that fulfilled this role. Today, as human rights and international law are being hijacked to demonize the Jewish state, the UN is assuming a similar role to the one that the medieval papacy once had. It was encouraging then to hear Bernard Henri-Levy denouncing the delirium of anti-Zionism from the General Assembly chamber, voicing a truth that is all too rarely expressed. (h/t NormanF)
Jeffrey Goldberg: Hamas Warns: Give Us Money Or We'll Become Terrorists
Buried in an Agence France Presse article about the failure of international donors to pay the $5.4 billion they've pledged to help rebuild Gaza is an absolute gem of a quote:
A Hamas official warned recently that the territory could become a breeding ground for extremism unless promised reconstruction is accelerated.
"Our message to the world, which is scared of terrorism and extremism, is that the delay in rebuilding Gaza and the continuing blockade against it will make it a ripe environment for the spread of extremism and terrorism," Khalil al-Haya told a Gaza City meeting of the movement's representatives in the Palestinian parliament.

I'm struck more by the credulity of the reporting in this article than by the actual statement from Mr. al-Haya. Of course it is in the nature of Hamas to believe itself to be non-extremist, and of course it is in its nature to threaten violence if it doesn't get paid. (To understand Hamas and its extremist views, read its charter, and to survey a catalogue of its violence against civilians over the years, simply Google "Hamas bus bombings.")
NPR: Journalist Documents Anti-Semitism In A Swedish City
Journalist Petter Ljunggren wore a Jewish skullcap and Star of David pendant to covertly film the anti-Semitism he experienced in the Swedish city of Malmo. NPR's Robert Siegel speaks with Ljunggren.
Over the past few years, the Swedish city of Malmo has earned a reputation for anti-Semitism. Members of Malmo's small Jewish population say that walking in some of the city's Muslim neighborhoods wearing a skull cap, a kepah, is to risk verbal abuse and possibly worse. Well, that risk has now been documented by Swedish television journalist Petter Ljunggren. Ljunggren wore a cap and also a Jewish star pendant in Malmo while secretly filming. One scene captures him fleeing a group of increasingly agitated young men as eggs are thrown at him from nearby windows. Later, a young man from that neighborhood describes how on that night, he'd gotten a text telling him to egg the Jews.

It's official: BDSers are the dumbest and sickest people on the planet

Everyone knows what a sabra is. As Wikipedia explains:
Sabra is an informal term that refers to Israeli Jews born in Israel. The term first appeared in the 1930s to refer to a Jew who had been born in Mandatory Palestine or in Ottoman Palestine (cf. Old Yishuv). Since the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948, Israelis have used the word to refer to a Jew born anywhere in the historical region of Palestine (Eretz Yisrael), which today comprises Israel proper, Gaza, and the West Bank.

The term alludes to a tenacious, thorny desert plant, known in English as prickly pear, with a thick skin that conceals a sweet, softer interior. The cactus is compared to Israeli Jews, who are supposedly tough on the outside, but delicate and sweet on the inside.

Yes, everyone knows what a sabra is - everyone except for rabid, stupid Israel haters:

Sure, some Zionists decided to create the Sabra Blue and White Foods company in 1986 in order to honor the massacre of Arabs by Lebanese Christians. Nothing to do with the actual word "sabra" that every Jewish schoolchild knows. That would be way too obvious, and we all know how much Zionists like to sneak hidden meanings in the names and logos of their food companies.

Zionists, being brilliant marketers, know that Jews are so bloodthirsty that they would turn "Dead Arab Dip" into a smashing success. Jews just love to eat foods that remind us of vicious murders done by Christians against Muslims. That's how Jews think, according to the disgusting, loathesome bigots behind the BDS movement.

This is the sick, twisted thinking behind the oxymoronically named "boycott4peace" and their BDS friends.

It proves that while they care nothing for peace, but they are sure filled with hate.

Hasby Award - Best Blog

The most anticipated Hasby Award is for Best Blog, and there were a lot of nominations:

It was anther difficult category, but for me an enjoyable one to research, as many of these excellent blogs are not on my normal radar.

Ans the winner is: