Sunday, December 25, 2016

8 Reasons Why Friday's UN Resolution 2334 Is Counterproductive and Just Plain Wrong

In the aftermath of Obama's support for UN Resolution 2334 condemning Israeli, reactions have not been short in coming -- and there are cogent arguments against the resolution.

Beyond what is being said about Obama and his motives or against the United Nations itself and the way the resolution was carried out, the fact remains there are reasons why the UN resolution may have many results -- but none of the ones it claims to support.

Here are some of those arguments being made:

Friday, December 16, 2016

How Long Should Arab Anger Be A Deterrent To Moving the US Embassy to Jerusalem?

The messages the West sends to the Middle East matter.

Just ask President Obama -- or better, ask Jackson Diehl, Deputy Editorial Page Editor of The Washington Post. Back in 2010, Diehl described How Obama sabotaged Middle East peace talks:
So why does Abbas stubbornly persist in his self-defeating position? In an interview with Israeli television Sunday night, he offered a remarkably candid explanation: "When Obama came to power, he is the one who announced that settlement activity must be stopped," he said. "If America says it and Europe says it and the whole world says it, you want me not to say it?"

The statement confirmed something that many Mideast watchers have suspected for a long time: that the settlement impasse originated not with Netanyahu or Abbas, but with Obama -- who by insisting on an Israeli freeze has created a near-insuperable obstacle to the peace process he is trying to promote. [emphasis added]

Monday, December 12, 2016

Why Would Any Arab Country Buy A Rocket From Hamas?

That is the question that arises based on a post by Elder of Ziyon that Hamas offers to export Qassam rockets to any Arabs willing to shoot them at Israel:
Hamas official Fathi Hammad said that the terror group is s ready to export Qassam rockets to Arab armies in order "to fight the Zionist entity."

Hammad said that the rocket is comparable in quality to those produced by other international military rocket factories.
Speaking of quality, just what kind of quality do these Arab customers of Hamas have a right to expect?

Thursday, December 08, 2016

How The J Street Grinch Stole Hanukkah

It looks like J Street is at it again.

You really have to admire how a group that claims to be dedicated to Israel can find the time to involve itself in petty politics.

This time, J Street is taking a stand on where the Conference of Presidents can celebrate Hanukkah:
TELL CONFERENCE OF PRESIDENTS MEMBER ORGANIZATIONS: DON'T CELEBRATE HANUKKAH AT TRUMP HOTEL.

The Conference of Presidents purports to speak for the American Jewish community. Tell its member organizations: Speak out and make it clear that the Trump Hotel is an inappropriate place to celebrate Hanukkah.

It’s almost too outrageous to believe: An umbrella group that claims to represent the American Jewish community plans to host its 2016 Hanukkah Party at Trump Hotel.

Trump's campaign rhetoric and policy positions are an affront to some of the most core values of American Jews. To hold a Hanukkah party under the Trump banner is shocking in its wrong-headedness.

Wednesday, December 07, 2016

Secretary of State John Kerry: The End of an Error

MR. KELLY: I mean, we’re not – but it’s – we are less than a year into this Administration, and I think we’ve accomplished more over the last year than the previous administration did in eight years.

QUESTION: Well, I – really, because the previous administration actually had them sitting down talking to each other. You guys can’t even get that far.
Daily press briefing, November 17, 2009, with State Department spokesperson comparing accomplishments on Israel-Palestinian peace


It's only natural that the Obama administration would want to sell what it thinks is the superiority of its policies. As his term in office wore on, Obama certainly got better at it -- to the extent that he was able to push through a deal with Iran, despite opposition by Congress and a majority of Americans.

But drawing opposing parties like Israel and the Palestinian Arabs into an agreement has proven to be far more difficult than merely running roughshod over native opposition.

Just ask John Kerry.

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Castro Is Dead -- What Can You Say About a Dictator?

Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears;
I come to bury Caesar, not to praise him.
The evil that men do lives after them;
The good is oft interred with their bones;
So let it be with Caesar.
The Life and Death of Julius Caesar, William Shakespeare Act III, Scene II

Fidel Castro is dead, leaving it to the leaders of world democracies to say a word or two.

John Avlon of The Daily Beast reminds us of some of Castro's accomplishments as Fidel Castro Finally Dies, But His Apologists Live On

The Scarlet Letter: "A" is for Antisemite

From the looks of the election season just passed, it seems we are returning to our Puritan roots -- labeling and seeking to ostracize those guilty of Antisemitism.

Or maybe its more like the Salem witch trials, using arcane tests to divine Antisemitic intent from articles and quotes on the one hand and the testimony of an ex-wife on the other, revealing membership in the cult of the alt-right.

Welcome to 2016.

It seems the usefulness of the "Nazi" comparison has its limitations.
Calling someone a racist in general or saying they are bigoted against African Americans and women - that works.
But labeling someone an antisemite, now there is something that has really caught on.

Who knew there were so many, who were so eager to be on the lookout to protect the Jewish community!?

Monday, October 31, 2016

Why Roger Cohen Still Refuses To Look At The Israeli-Palestinian Conflict Objectively

I erred in underestimating the brutality and cynicism of a[n Iranian] regime that understands the uses of ruthlessness.
Roger Cohen, Iran's Days of Anguish June, 2009.

Roger Cohen writes in The New York Times about Why Israel Refuses to Choose -- an odd title, really, considering that in his entire piece, the only one who explicitly refuses to choose is an Israeli Arab who will not choose whether they see themselves as Israelis, Palestinians, Muslims, Arabs, or something else.

The implication of the title though is that Israel refuses to choose peace, a position that Cohen supports by offering his opinion of Israel and Netanyahu.

Yet, in castigating Israel and the Netanyahu government, Roger Cohen is reduced to taking a quote of David Ben-Gurion out of context. Cohen claims:

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

World Chess Federation Requires Hijab At Iran Tournament -- Fallaci Tossing Chador At Khomeini's Feet Is Just a Memory

The big news in Chess last month was the decision by FIDE (Federation Internationale des Echecs), which resulted in headlines that Female Chess Players Forced to Wear Hijab as Governing Body Awards World Championship to Iran:
The world's top female chess players have reacted with horror after being told they must compete at next year's world championship wearing a hijab.

Within hours of Iran being revealed as its host country, the prestigious event was plunged into crisis as it emerged players taking part face arrest if they don't cover up.

Sunday, October 09, 2016

We Do Not Speak Their Name! Why Can't The Media Identify Terrorists As Palestinians?

In the media coverage of Sunday's Palestinian terrorist attack, we are reminded yet again that the Palestinians are They Who Must Not Be Named:




Friday, October 07, 2016

Iran May Enjoy Holocaust Cartoons, But Here Is One Cartoon They Were Skittish About

At least that is how Iran felt 10 years ago, back in 2006.

Reuters reported at the time that Iran demands apology for German soccer cartoon:
The Iranian embassy in Germany has demanded a written apology from a Berlin newspaper that printed a cartoon of Iranian soccer players dressed as suicide bombers and threatened legal action if none is forthcoming.

The sketch, published on Friday by Der Tagesspiegel, shows four moustachioed soccer players wearing Iran shirts with explosives strapped to their chests next to four German soldiers in a soccer stadium.

Monday, September 26, 2016

Terrorism? Obama And The Media Want You To Beware Lone Wolf Bathtubs

Earlier this month, The Economist encouraged us to be Learning to live with it -- apparently with the threat not only of lone wolf terrorists, but of lone wolf bathtubs as well:
Barack Obama was correct when he said earlier this year that the danger of drowning in a bathtub is greater than that of being killed by terrorists. Baths are a one-in-a-million risk. Even if the terrorism deaths in San Bernardino and Orlando were doubled to give an annual death toll, the risk would still be about one in 2.5m. Yet the president was lambasted for his otherworldly complacency.
Well, far be it that we should be complacent about either of these dangers, but when The Economist -- and Obama -- make this comparison, are they really pushing an apples to apples comparison?

Friday, September 16, 2016

What Do You Get The Palestinian Arab Who Has Everything?

The answer, of course, is a necklace.

But no, not just any necklace -- you can get them this necklace, available on Palestine-Shirts.com:

photo

Obviously, this is a very special necklace, as the site itself points out:

Monday, September 12, 2016

Is Abbas' Tantrum The Result of the Success of Netanyau's Latest Strategy?

Last week it was Mahmoud Abbas against the world as Abbas decries pressure from the US, Russia and the Arab world:
“Our relations with everyone must be good, but no one will dictate to us any position or idea...Therefore, let us think as Palestinians. I will think about Palestine, not Washington or Moscow”
photo
President Abbas speaks to Israeli journalists in Ramallah, January 21, 2016.
 of Israel (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)
What is going on here?

Tuesday, September 06, 2016

Why Is It The New State Anti-BDS Laws Don't Violate The First Amendment Right of Free Speech?

The BDS Movement has demonstrate over and again its dedication to free speech -- its own free speech -- to the extent of protesting against pro-Israel speakers and events, with the goal of hindering or preventing those speakers and events.

And depriving them of their free speech.

For example, here is a video of anti-Israel members of the Palestine Solidarity Committee at the University of Texas at Austin last November during an event held by the Israeli Studies Department:




Monday, September 05, 2016

Debunking A Palestinian Hoax: The True Story of Waseem Shalouf

Here is am image that made the rounds on Twitter earlier this year:


The translation (via Google Translate) reads:
Wounded in the Zionist aggression
Child Ghazzawi "handsome (7 years) .. smile" will "exceed" disability "(picture)

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Toronto Star Fixates on Fake Number of Palestinian Refugees, Despite Correction

CAMERA has prompted a correction by The Toronto Star in its article about Artist Ai Weiwei’s refugee documentary takes him to Gaza.

They write Toronto Star Corrects Inflated Number of Palestinian Refugees:
CAMERA has prompted correction of a Toronto Star photo caption which grossly inflated the number of Palestinians displaced in the 1948 war. The erroneous caption last week had stated:
The number of Palestinians who were displaced during the 1948 war surrounding Israel’s establishment is estimated at more than five million people.

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Bernie Sanders Has Family Living in Israel -- Just Like Hamas Terrorist Leader Haniyeh

Update: Sanders suspends Jewish outreach director who blasted Israel, Netanyahu

Just how does one prove their pro-Israel credentials these days, especially if you are a politician looking for the Jewish vote?

Well, if you are Bernie Sanders you might be expected to have an easier time than most.

During the Bernie Sanders interview with The Daily News Editorial Board, he certainly did seem to hit all the right notes, and then some:
  • “Here’s the main point that I want to make. I lived in Israel. I have family in Israel. I believe 100% not only in Israel’s right to exist, a right to exist in peace and security without having to face terrorist attacks..."

  • "Israel will make their own decisions. They are a government, an independent nation..."

  • “There are going to be demands being made of the Palestinian folks as well...for a start, the absolute condemnation of all terrorist attacks. The idea that in Gaza there were buildings being used to construct missiles and bombs and tunnels, that is not where foreign aid should go. Foreign aid should go to housing and schools, not the development of bombs and missiles.”
photo
Anthony Delmundo / New York Daily News Speaking with Sanders

One could question how much weight having family in Israel should carry -- after all, Hamas terrorist leader Ismail Haniyeh has three sisters secretly living in Israel as full citizens -- and 35 years ago, he used to visit his sisters in Israel as well. Of course, Haniyeh does not go around bragging about this. That's probably because Ismail does travel in different political circles than Bernie.

Then again, during that same interview, Sanders found another way to outdo Hamas, saying that
my recollection is over 10,000 innocent people were killed in Gaza. Does that sound right? I don't have it in my number...but I think it's over 10,000. My understanding is that a whole lot of apartment houses were leveled. Hospitals, I think, were bombed. So yeah, I do believe and I don't think I'm alone in believing that Israel's force was more indiscriminate than it should have been.
The Sanders number of "over 10,000" civilians killed exceeds the Hamas figure of 1,617 civilians killed. According to the UN the number was 1,462 civilians killed, and Israel estimates the number of Gazan civilians killed as 762.

Odd.

As Varda Epstein writes, If You Love Israel You Don’t Exaggerate Civilian Deaths by a Factor of Ten. Nor do you allow yourself to be ignorant of what was happening at those schools and hospitals in Gaza and what Israel did to minimize casualties there.

And if you love Israel, you generally don't hire people to be in charge of Jewish outreach who hate Israel.

It turns out that the Sanders campaign’s newly hired Jewish outreach director condemned Israeli PM Netanyahu as a mass-murderer:


Zimmerman later cleaned up her post, substituting the words "politician" and "Shame on you" where appropriate.

In her favor, when she rounded up the number of Gazans killed, Zimmerman did not exaggerate as much as Sanders did.

Sanders does seem a bit tone deaf when it comes to Israel. Take for example the incident at the Apollo Theater when Bernie Sanders was challenged with an antisemitic statement:
“As you know,” opened the questioner, “the Zionist Jews–and I don’t mean to offend anybody–they run the Federal Reserve, they run Wall Street, they run every campaign.” As this unfolded, Sanders began wagging his finger in dissent, and interjected to deem “Zionist Jews” a “bad phrase.” His interlocutor, pressed to articulate a question, concluded by saying, “What is your affiliation to your Jewish community? That’s all I’m asking.”

“No, no, no, that’s not what you’re asking,” Sanders quickly replied, in a nod to the question’s underlying prejudice. “I am proud to be Jewish,” he declared, to cheers from the audience. But then Sanders did something odd. Rather than using the question as a teaching moment to address and rebuke its anti-Semitic underpinnings, Sanders instead immediately pivoted to his stump speech on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. “Talking about Zionism and Israel,” he said, “I am a strong defender of Israel, but I also believe that we have got to pay attention to the needs of the Palestinian people.” He never challenged the actual contents of the question, let alone labeled it anti-Semitic.
While there may be valid reasons to try to explain his reluctance to address this antisemitic slander head on, the fact remains that Sanders did not address the comment and failed to take advantage of the moment. Instead, he changed the topic to Israel in order to push his claim of balance by blaming both Israel and the Palestinians equally.

Bernie Sanders does not make an issue of his Jewishness, and that is fine. Nor is he the most outspoken defender of Israel -- and that is OK too. But when he addresses Israel as a political issue in his run for for presidential nomination, Sanders should not be given a pass on his stands and statements on Israel. The fact he lived on a kibbutz for a few months in 1963 or that he has family there is not relevant.

But what Bernie Sanders says about Israel, that he hires people who accuse Israel of mass murder and how he hides behind the issue of Israel rather than address antisemitic slanders -- that is relevant.
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Monday, March 21, 2016

James Joyce, Van Gogh, and The Unique Use of US Customs To Make Their Work Legal

Here I am in the hospital, after hurting my knee, and my roommate is a 92 year old retired professor of literature who can describe at length the background and details of the lives of past literary figures.

Like James Joyce.

Friday, March 18, 2016

Hamas Terrorists Exploits Arabs in the West Bank As Well As Those in Gaza

When Evelyn Gordon asks Are Palestinian Stabbings Ending?, she points out that the Palestinian stabbing attacks will continue only so long as the perceived reward outweighs the cost.

And the numbers indicate that a turnaround has begun. Thus:
in a poll taken just three months ago, fully 67 percent of Palestinians supported the stabbing attacks, including 57 percent of West Bank residents. Yet in the latest poll, not only did overall support fall to 56 percent but, in the West Bank, 54 percent of respondents opposed the stabbings.
Gordon explains that this cost of the stabbings -- to the West Bank Arabs -- is three-fold:

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

In Blooper, State Department Spokesman Claims Demolitions in Southern Israel Prevent A Two-State Solution

In southern Israel, the problem of the Bedouin homes there is a complex problem, combining the issue of Bedouin claims with the Western media's willingness to unquestioningly publish them and the European Union to honor them.

Legal Insurrection discusses Negev Bedouin problems – real and imagined and Akiva Bigman discusses in an article for The Tower why the Bedouin's claims to the Negev are outrageous.

A central claim of the Bedouin is that they are indigenous to the Negev, thus deserving of special consideration and rights under international law.

Photo
Bedouin village in the Negev. Photo: Nati Shohat / Flash90 

Wednesday, March 09, 2016

The Three Ways Israel Faces Isolation -- Yet Succeeds In Making Friends and Influencing People

I'm unmoved by the hand-wringing over Israel's "isolation." When I came to the country 30 years ago, Israel had no relations with the USSR (and Eastern Europe), China, and India. There was no foreign investment and a UN General Assembly resolution still stood, condemning Zionism as racism. It will take more than a Cairo mob, a truculent Turk, and another UN resolution to make me feel "isolated."
Middle East expert Martin Kramer, quoted by Todd Warnick in The "Isolation" Canard


For decades, claims are periodically trotted out that Israel -- by virtue of its actions -- is being faced with the threat of being isolated.

In describing Jerusalem's Decreasing Isolation, Efraim Inbar delineates 3 ways to measure a county's isolation:

Tuesday, March 01, 2016

3 Examples Of The Growing Trend To Label Stories Of Campus Antisemtism As "Crying Wolf"

There seems to be a new trend developing in the face of the growing incidents of antisemitism reported on college campuses -- outright denial along with claims that such reports are mere exaggeration.

Take Vassar for example, where the president of Vassar, Catharine Hill claims social media misrepresents tensions as incidents of antisemitism.

What kind of "tensions"?

Legal Insurrection has been tracking the spread and increasing appearance of antisemitism on college campuses. At Vassar, here are some examples:

Sunday, February 28, 2016

The UN Resolution Equating Zionism With Racism Has Roots In The Cold War in 1965

Joel Fishman writes that UN Resolution 3379, claiming that Zionism is a form of racism, did not just appear out of nowhere. Though passed in 1975, the roots of the UN resolution equating Zionism with racism can be found in the UN in 1964. Back then, the UN Sub-Commission on the Prevention of Discrimination and the Protection of Minorities was engaged in discussions aimed at recognizing Antisemitism as a form of racism -- along with apartheid and Nazism.

At the time, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency had the story of what happened next:
Russia Asks U.N. to Condemn Zionism Along with Anti-semitism, Nazism

The Soviet Union called formally upon the United Nations today to condemn Zionism along with anti-Semitism, Nazism and neo-Nazism as a policy of “colonialism and race hatred.” The step was taken in the General Assembly’s Social, Humanitarian and Cultural Committee where a draft convention was being debated calling for the elimination of all forms of racial discrimination.

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Steven Salaita's Academic Activism Against Israel Leaves No Stone Unturned

"Moreover, all journalism is a form of activism. Every journalistic choice necessarily embraces highly subjective assumptions — cultural, political or nationalistic — and serves the interests of one faction or another."
Glenn Greenwald, quoted in "Is Glenn Greenwald the Future of News?"


If the future of journalism really is that it will be reduced to emotional assumptions instead of fact-based assertions, we can also ask if that is the future of other formerly respected endeavors as well.

Take for instance Steven Salaita, described by Wikipedia as an American scholar, author and public speaker currently holding the Edward W. Said Chair of American Studies at the American University of Beirut.

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

MEQ: Efraim Karsh: Obama's Middle East Delusions

The following by Efraim Karsh is reposted here with the permission of The Middle East Forum:


Saturday, February 20, 2016

The J Street Version of Israeli History -- Coming To a Jewish School Near You

J Street's activities extend from politics and advocacy -- to education:
J Street University is circulating a map that restores the Green Line and working to get it into synagogues, Hebrew schools, and summer camps. Good for them. Of course, fighting (nonviolently) over maps is preferable to shooting over the borders of the territories they represent, but there’s no substitute for a one-map solution.
Here is the map:

J Street has a lesson plan to go along with the map. I embedded a copy of the lesson plan at the end of the post.

The introduction in the lesson plan introduces what they see as the issue behind maps of Israel today:

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Obama Was Right: Time For Israel To Put "Daylight" Between Itself and US -- To Preserve Credibility and Security

Last year, in the midst of the Iran negotiations that Israel so strenuously opposed, Kerry came out with the claim that not only was the Iran deal actually in Israel's interest, but that continued Israeli opposition to the Iran deal would further isolate her. But increasingly, the more pressing question is not so much whether Israeli  is really isolated from other countries, but rather whether the time has come for Israel to distance itself more from the United States.

Brett Stephens writes that Israel Looks Beyond America -- and is doing so very successfully:

Monday, February 15, 2016

Historically, Have Boycotts Ever Really Worked -- And What Does That Mean For BDS and Israel?

With all the talk of boycotts, especially talk of the BDS movement against Israel, it has been a given that boycotts work. So leave it to Freakonomics to ask the question: Do Boycotts Work?. The entire broadcast is embedded below at the end of this post, but there are some key points worth highlighting.

The podcast starts with the Montgomery Bus Boycott in response to the treatment of Rosa Parks, quoting a political scientist on the difficulty of tracing a causal connection between the boycott and the Supreme Court decision declaring bus segregation to be unconstitutional:
the bus company was ready to cave in early. It was the politicians who held out. The holdout was followed by more and more press coverage, which was followed by the Supreme Court case, which was followed by desegregation of the Montgomery buses. So how much credit should be given to the boycott?

Sunday, February 14, 2016

A Call For Death To Jews In Austria, Death Wishes For Clarence Thomas -- Just Good Honest Criticism?

Antisemitism in Europe reaches a new low when a representative of the law can openly defend the right of someone to openly praise the death of Jews at the hands of the Nazis as a legitimate form of criticism of Israel.

Benjamin Weinthal writes Austrian prosecutor: Call to kill Jews is legal criticism of Israel, noting that a Turkish man posted on his Facebook page a quote falsely attributed to Hitler: "I could have annihilated all the Jews in the world, but I left some of them alive so you will know why I was killing them." -- this in the context of criticism against Israel’s war against Hamas last summer.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

In 1958, Egyptians Laughed At Wearing the Hijab -- Today, Israel Has Sharia Courts

During a speech in 1958, Egyptian president Gamal Abdel Nasser entertained his audience with a story about a meeting he had with the leader of the Muslim Brotherhood 5 years earlier. He claimed the first request of the Muslim Brotherhood was to enforce the wearing of the hijab among women. Nasser's response to the leader had his audience roaring with laughter (English subtitles are in yellow at the top of the video).



Today, of course is a very different matter.

Tuesday, February 09, 2016

Why Israel Suspended The Three Balad MK's For Visiting The Families of Palestinian Terrorists

"After prophecy and righteousness there is no status Allah has exalted more than Shahada (Martyrdom)... ''And think not of those who have been killed in Allah's way as dead. Nay, they are alive (and) are provided sustenance from their Lord.'
...'The Shahid - his sins are forgiven with the first gush of his blood from his wound... The Shahid advocates on behalf of 70 members of his family, and saves them all from hell. The Shahid lives together with the prophets and the righteous ones.'"
[Official PA TV, Nov. 8, 2013]


Yesterday, in light of the possibility of punitive action against 3 Arab MK's who visited parents of Palestinian Terrorists, I posted about the question Are These Israeli Arab MK's No Less Deserving of Expulsion Than If They Were Congressmen?

Today, a decision was reached by the Knesset Ethics Committee to take action as Knesset Suspends Arab MKs for Meeting Palestinian Terrorists’ Families. Of the 3 members of the Balad Party, Hanin Zoabi and Basel Ghattas were suspended for 4 months and Jamal Zahalka for 2 months. While they are banned from participating in Knesset committee meetings and plenum discussions, they will be allowed to vote in them.

Monday, February 08, 2016

Are These Israeli Arab MK's No Less Deserving of Expulsion Than If They Were Congressmen?

There was an uproar when it was reported that members of the Balad Party visited the parents of 10 Palestinian terrorists who had attacked Israelis.

The three MKs who made the visit were Jamal Zahalka, Haneen Zoabi and Bassel Ghattas, and among the parents they met was the the father of Baha Alian, who, along with an accomplice, stabbed and shot to death three people on a bus last October.The MK's rebuffed Netanyahu's criticism of their visit by claiming that their goal was a humanitarian one -- to push for the return of the bodies of the terrorists to their families.

Wednesday, February 03, 2016

5 Anti-Israel Memes in the Media Broken Down

In a recent article countering media bias in general and New York Times bias in particular, Stephen Flatow invites us: Let’s play the ‘blame Israel game’ with The New York Times, examining on how the game is played by Steven Erlanger. Erlanger focuses on Sa'ir, a Palestinian Arab town where 12 Palestinian Arabs have been killed, a town where he claims Anger in a Palestinian Town Feeds a Cycle of Violence

Here is one of Erlanger's examples that Flatow examines:
Erlanger describes a recent funeral for another local fatality: Moyyad Jabarin, 19, who was “killed at the Beit Anoun checkpoint after trying to stab a soldier.” The Times reporter then quotes Sakit Jaradat, father of the aforementioned Raed, saying that his son and the others were angry because “they have lost hope and dignity, they are humiliated at the checkpoints, and now we are afraid.” Erlanger notes that Palestinian leaders see “the young dead as martyrs to the cause of Palestinian resistance to Israel’s occupation of the West Bank.”
Flatow then breaks down the convenient memes journalists unquestioningly parrot (emphasis added):

Monday, February 01, 2016

Interview With Shulamit Lando, and First Chapter of Her New Book: Hope Beyond Illness -- A Guide To Living Well With A Chronic Condition

Shulamit Lando has overcome Multiple Sclerosis and, through her success, has learned how to help others:
32 years after the original diagnosis, (and the traumatic aftermath of both, the actual diagnosis and the symptoms of the devastating illness) I have no symptoms whatsoever and I am totally functional. Since then I wanted to learn how to help others with challenging situations.

I became passionate about helping people in distress, those who felt lost and “paralyzed” in their lives. I help them learn how to overcome any challenge through understanding our essence and purpose, our drives, needs and emotions; and essentially, not giving up! Together we learn to trust that doing the best you can is always good enough.

By using the different tools that I have learned in my own journey towards recovery and growth, I am able to inspire, assist, guide and cheer people to achieve whatever they want in their lives.

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Drones vs Vultures: Why Sometimes The Old Ways Are The Best

Looks like it was all just a simple misunderstanding, as the BBC reports that Lebanon returns Israeli vulture cleared of spying:
A huge vulture detained in Lebanon on suspicion of spying for Israel has been returned home after UN peacekeepers intervened, Israeli officials said.

The bird, which has a 1.9m (6ft 5in) wing span, flew over the border from an Israeli game reserve and was caught by Lebanese villagers on Tuesday.

They became suspicious as the griffon vulture had a tracking device attached to its tail.

It is part of a conservation project to reintroduce raptors to the Middle East.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

When The Media Notices That Hamas Tortures Journalists

“We are not oppressing people and people can speak loudly, can criticise the government, can criticise Hamas. We never put anyone in jail who criticizes Hamas or write something against Hamas. We have different organisations, political parties, even writers, they have full freedom to write what they want.”
Hamas deputy foreign minister, Ghazi Hamed, January 2014

And of course, if Hamas says it -- it must be so. After all, how often do we read or hear in them media about any human rights abuses by the Hamas terrorist group. If the media is inclined to not report on Hamas rocket attacks until after Israel retaliates, what is it supposed to take before the media will report on Hamas humanitarian rights abuses?

That is what makes it so unusual to read in The Times about Three nights of torture: the price for criticising Hamas:

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

When Democracy Doesn't Work Anymore: For Egypt Nor The United States

Remember those heady days of the Arab Spring in Egypt in 2011?
Do you recall the pictures of protests in Tahrir Square and the promise of democracy and change made possible with Facebook and Twitter?

photo
Demonstrators on Army Truck in Tahrir Square, Cairo Date: 29 January 2011
Photographed by: Ramy Raoof

Things did not quite turn out the way they were supposed to.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

UN's Ban Ki-Moon Excuses Palestinian Terrorism As "Natural" Reaction

It was less than 2 years ago that we read that Ban Ki-moon Admits United Nations Anti-Israel Bias, going so far as to say, "Unfortunately, because of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Israel has been weighed down by criticism and suffered from bias and sometimes even discrimination."

It should not be surprising that Ban shows the same bias when he claims It Is 'Human Nature' to React to Occupation:

Monday, January 25, 2016

When Will Facebook's Zuckerberg Apply His Pro-Muslim Statement To Jews?

On December 9, 2015, Facebook Founder Mark Zuckerberg posted on the need for Muslims to feel welcome on Facebook:
I want to add my voice in support of Muslims in our community and around the world.

After the Paris attacks and hate this week, I can only imagine the fear Muslims feel that they will be persecuted for the actions of others.

As a Jew, my parents taught me that we must stand up against attacks on all communities. Even if an attack isn't against you today, in time attacks on freedom for anyone will hurt everyone.

If you're a Muslim in this community, as the leader of Facebook I want you to know that you are always welcome here and that we will fight to protect your rights and create a peaceful and safe environment for you.

Having a child has given us so much hope, but the hate of some can make it easy to succumb to cynicism. We must not lose hope. As long as we stand together and see the good in each other, we can build a better world for all people.
It is hard to argue with Zuckerberg's sentiments -- but his double standard is an issue.

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Abbas Approves of The Occupation -- When It's Arab Morocco Occupying Western Sahara

One of the issues in the wake of the labeling of Israeli products from Judea and Samaria ("The West Bank"), is the double standard of the European Union refusal to label products from occupied territories such as Cyprus (occupied by Turkey) and the Western Sahara (occupied by Morocco).

Now we read that Palestine Supports Morocco’s Sovereignty Over Western Sahara:
Palestine reiterated its support for Morocco’s sovereignty over Western Sahara on Thursday at a diplomatic meeting between both countries, held in Rabat.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Why Is the Terrorist Murderer Omar Nayef Zayed Getting World Sympathy?

Stephen M. Flatow writes about the Palestinian Authority’s dirty little secret:
A Palestinian terrorist who escaped from an Israeli prison 25 years ago is now being given shelter in the PA’s consulate in Sofia, the capital of Bulgaria.

The terrorist is Omar Nayef Zayed, who was convicted in 1986 of murdering an Israeli yeshiva student. He started a hunger strike in 1990, which resulted in the Israeli authorities admitting him to a hospital in Bethlehem. He escaped from the hospital, slipped out of the country, and made his way to Bulgaria.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Does Obama Really Want To Be The Next UN Secretary General -- And Is He Eligible?

Breitbart is one of those reporting that after his term as president is over, Obama has plans to become the next Secretary General of the UN. It seems though that the idea of Obama pursuing that goal is not nearly as newsworthy as the idea that Israel's Prime Minister Netanyahu is determined to stop him.

So the emphasis in the Breitbart story is Netanyahu Working to Block Obama Bid for U.N. Secretary-General:
Israel National News describes a Kuwaiti newspaper’s report about President Barack Obama’s post-presidential plans as “somewhat far-fetched,” but apparently plausible enough to bounce through publications around the world.

According to the Al Jarida report, President Obama wants to be appointed Secretary-General of the United Nations after he leaves the White House, and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is working to thwart his ambitions.

Al Jarida has Netanyahu exclaiming, “Is it not enough that we have had to live through eight years of Obama’s rule, in which he ignored Israel? Now he wants to be in a position to cause us difficulty in the international arenas?”
Putting aside the accuracy of the Al Jarida report, is Obama even eligible to become Secretary General of the UN?