Monday, April 30, 2012

Why Do They Capitalize the "East" in East Jerusalem?

(Cross-Posted at Israel Thrives and Geoffff's Joint, Bar and Grill..)

One of the things that I am most interested in within "I-P" discourse is how prevalent language influences our ways of thinking on the subject. For example, I gave up on the usage of "West Bank" when I learned that the term was invented by the Jordanians in the middle of the last century.

Those of us who care about the Jewish people, and therefore care about the Jewish state, need to be much more cognizant of how the language that we use predetermines conclusions. If speaking of the "Occupation" with a capital "O" condemns the Jews of the Middle East before the conversation even gets started, and if so much of the language that we use was created by those who hate the Jewish presence in the Middle East, then why should we use that language?

There is no such place as East Jerusalem. There is the city of Jerusalem. Jerusalem, like every other city on the planet, has an eastern part and a western part and a northern part and a southern part. But the eastern part of the city, which is to say, the Old City and adjacent neighborhoods, is not a separate and distinct entity. That being the case, why is it that I constantly see the term "East Jerusalem" in the western press?

I would suggest to you that it is due to the common notion that "East Jerusalem" is "Arab East Jerusalem" and, therefore, the Jews have no real claim on the foundational city of the Jewish people where we have had a presence for over 3,500 years. Just as calling Judea and Samaria "the West Bank" tends to erase the fact that it is historically Jewish land dating back millenia before Arabs turned up as conquerors, so referring to the Old City and adjacent neighborhoods as "East Jerusalem" tends to suggest that it is separate from the rest of the city, which it is not.

This being the case, I would very much recommend deleting that usage. If you care about the well-being of the Jewish people you should not use terminology that automatically puts us back on our heals. If you understand that we have been subject to 14 centuries of ongoing Arab-Muslim persecution in that part of the world, and that they portray our self-defense to that persecution as their oppression, then we must not use the language of our enemies to describe our own circumstance.

Doing so not only misrepresents Jewish history in the Middle East, but helps continue Jewish persecution there.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Pro-Palestinian or anti-Israel?

Pro-Palestinian groups and individuals in the US and Europe are doing Palestinians injustice by devoting all their energies only against Israel, writes Palestinian journalist Khaled Abu Toameh

He continues:
"There is a feeling in the West Bank and Gaza Strip that most of these groups and individuals are more interested in campaigning against Israel than helping the Palestinians.

Being pro-Palestinian does not necessarily mean that one also has to be anti-Israel.

The pro-Palestinian camp in the West should raise its voice against violations of human rights and media freedoms under the Palestinian Authority and Hamas.

In the past few weeks, six Palestinian journalists, bloggers and cartoonists were arrested by security forces belonging to the Palestinian government in the West Bank.

The pro-Palestinian activists around the world chose to turn a blind eye to the ongoing crackdown on freedom of expression in the West Bank.

They also failed --- even refused -- to condemn the Palestinian Authority government's decision to block web sites that are critical of Palestinian leaders in the West Bank.

The pro-Palestinian activists in the West also refuse to examine what is happening under Hamas in the Gaza Strip. They apparently do not care, or do not want to see, that there are executions, arbitrary arrests, and assaults against women and torture in Hamas prisons.

The pro-Palestinian activists and organizations also do not seem to care if the Palestinian Authority and Hamas are brainwashing Palestinian children and filling their minds and hearts with hatred.

Those who care about the Palestinians should come to the Gaza Strip and work toward promoting human rights under Hamas -- of children, women, and journalists.

It would help immensely if hundreds of pro-Palestinian activists came to the West Bank and Gaza Strip to teach Palestinian children English and expose them to the benefits of democracy and Western values, such as equal justice under law, free speech and a free press, and financial transparency and accountability

It would also help immensely if these activists came to the West Bank and Gaza Strip to offer advice on, and help in building, proper government institutions, and in combatting administrative and financial corruption.

But as far as many of the pro-Palestinian activists in the West are concerned, the interests of the Palestinians are not as important as hating Israel."

Our friend at Elder of Ziyon points out the newest manifestation of this phenomenon- with "peace activists" celebrating a decision that ultimately could hurt the Palestinian economy.

The Co-operative Group, Britain’s fifth-largest food retailer has announced that it will stop doing business with four Israeli companies, over the companies’ activities in the West Bank. The Co-op's decision will immediately affect four suppliers, Agrexco, Arava Export Growers, Adafresh and Mehadrin. The BDS cru are practically besides themselves in the flush of this "victory"

Elder of Ziyon has pointed out that Agrexco also exports Palestinian produce from Gaza marketed under the company’s Coral brand, and that the boycott was likely to affect Palestinian farmers who use the company to export their produce to Europe.

From the Elder:
"the Co-op is now boycotting Palestinian Arab farmers who have no other means of distributing their goods to the West, and directly hurting them - and the Palestinian Arab economy as a whole. Tomatoes and other produce grown in Gaza will be affected as well."

Why is a decision that will ultimately hurt Palestinian people and the Palestinian economy being heralded as a victory? In the skewered world of "peace activism" its increasingly clear that hurting Israel is more important to these than helping the Palestinians.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Examining Jewish Voice for Peace. No ten foot pole needed.

JVP sign " Jewish community: Israel Demeans Your Religion" from Zombie

Can a Blog Supposedly Dedicated to Free Speech — But Supports Muzzling Its Opponents — Be Taken Seriously?

Our friends at "Engaging Zion" have written an excellent expose on the tactics of the anti-Zionist group, Jewish Voice for Peace, chronicling the actions of the group to stiffle dissent in the community.

Jewish Voice for Peace has a blog, MuzzleWatch (which incidently does not permit comments) With characteristic hypocrisy and hubris, JVP claims that Muzzlewatch tracks "efforts to stifle open debate about US-Israeli foreign policy.” Stiffling open debate is JVP's raison d'être. After succeeding in shutting out Israeli LGBT voices in Seattle Stefanie Fox, Director of Grassroots Organizing Jewish Voice for Peace virtually chortled in a mass email "I will never forget the feeling of jumping up and down and shouting for joy outside Seattle City Hall."

Yep. Jewish Voice for peace is that kind of organization.

From Engaing Zion "Muzzle puzzle"

MuzzleWatch, a project of the Jewish Voice for Peace, states its mission as, “Tracking efforts to stifle open debate about US-Israeli foreign policy.” With such a slogan one would expect the editors to be First Amendment purists. Yet, JVP recently (and again) gave a hollow ring to their stated values. Here is what happened.

Last month, JVP’s Seattle chapter participated in a successful effort to pressure the Seattle LGBT Commission, a sub-committee of the Seattle City Council, to cancel a planned program at Seattle City Hall that would have hosted a visiting delegation of Israeli LGBT activists. Here is the headline on the JVP website:

In part, the letter stated:

“LGBTQ Palestinians and Jews and their allies will deliver a thank you letter signed by 3461 people to the Seattle LGBTQ Commission in appreciation for the brave decision they made to cancel a meeting with a one-sided, government-sponsored propaganda tour of LGBT Israelis. Local activists took issue with the rightwing sponsorship and cooptation of LGBTQ issues to divert attention from Israel’s abuses of human rights and violations of international law.” (emphasis added)

The letter’s reductionist pigeon-holing language worked: Israeli LGBT civil rights activists were effectively muzzled in Seattle’s most public space, and JVP was quite proud of this achievement. (For further reading on what anti-Israel activists call “pinkwashing,” see Scott Piro’s critique of this accusation in his ‘Pinkwashing’ Deconstructed at the HuffPost Gay Voices site.)

Fortunately, the story didn’t end there. After the Greater Seattle Business Association, the largest LGBT chamber of commerce in the US, issued a statement expressing its “outrage” over the decision to “silence LGBT voices by cancelling the City Hall event with a delegation of Israeli LGBT civil rights leaders”, the Seattle LGBT Commission (to its belated credit) issued an apology that included this sharp rebuff to the organizers of the muzzling campaign:

“We also have heard from many who celebrate the cancellation of this event. We flatly reject the suggestion that there could be any joy or celebration in this outcome.”

Disrupting dissent is a time honored tradition at Jewish voice for Peace. Do read it all, here.

Jon at Divest this! sums up JVP nicely:

"You see, Jewish Voice for Peace (or JVP - an organization we have seen before) is committed first and foremost to being the Jewish face of the BDS movement. The trouble is, the Jewish Community (notably the Jewish Federations), in addition to running the Heroes campaign, have unanimously decided that BDS advocates are one of the few groups of people who have placed themselves outside of the “big tent.”

Now to most of us, the obvious answer is for JVP to continue to feel free to do what it wants (including advocating for BDS, for a cutoff of US aid to Israel, for interrupting Israelis at speaking events, and other things the wider community finds noxious) with an understand that in doing so they represent themselves and not the Jewish community as a whole. Ah, but you see JVP desperately wants to claim they represent more than a small minority. And thus they endlessly rail against Jewish organizations which they claim conspire to exclude them."

The Jews have a future because the Jews have a state.

Another beauty by Daniel Gordis

"Imagine it's January 1946. Imagine, too, that you are exactly who you are now: thoughtful, educated, worldly, rational. And then, someone says to you, "Tell me about the future of the Jews." .... The Jews have a future because the Jews have a state. There are moments when a People has earned a celebration. Yom Ha'atzmaut is, without question, one of those moments. "

Rabbi Gordis again reminds us of the importance of Israel in the lives of Jews throughout the world, how we went from a position of despair and hopelessness after World War II to where we are today:

"The simple but often overlooked truth is that what has made this difference for Jews world over is the State of Israel.

It was Israel's victory in 1967 that injected energy into Soviet Jewry and led them to rattle their cage, demanding their freedom. Post-1967, the world saw the Jews as people who would shape their own destiny. Unlike the Tibetans (or Chechnyans or Basques, to name just a few), Jews were no longer tiptoeing around the world, waiting to see what the world had in store for them.

The re-creation of the Jewish state has changed not only how the world sees the Jews, but how the Jews see themselves. The days of "We looked like grasshoppers to ourselves, and so we appeared to them" (Num. 13:33) are gone, and the reason is the State of Israel.

We are a people sometimes over-inclined to indulge in hand-wringing (and at others, unwilling to do the hand-wringing we ought to). And we face our challenges. Iran is worrisome, Egyptian peace is tenuous. Hila Bezaleli's tragic death was a metaphor for the lack of accountability that plagues this country. The behavior of Lt.-Col. Shalom Eisner, as well as the reactions to what he did, is also deeply unsettling.

But let us remember this, nevertheless: it is far too easy to lose sight of what we have accomplished. Sixty-six years ago, no sane, level-headed person could have imagined that we would have what we have. A language brought back to life, and bookstores filled with hundreds of linear feet of books in a language that just a century ago almost no one spoke. More people studying Torah now than there were in Europe at its height. An economic engine that is the envy of many supposedly more established countries. A democracy fashioned by immigrants, most of whom had never lived in a functioning democracy. Cutting-edge health care. An army that keeps us so safe, we go days on end without even thinking about our enemies.

That's worth remembering in the midst of the attacks on us, from the international community as well as from Jews. There's much to repair, and too often, we fail to meet the standards we've set for ourselves. All true, and they demand our continued attention, but at the same time, we dare not lose sight of what we've built. To borrow the phrase from Virginia Slims, "we've come a long way, baby." "

The Divestment Lobby turns its Attention to the United Methodist Conference

Anti-Israel lobbyists, led by Jewish Voice for Peace and the US campaign to end the Occupation have spent thousands on efforts to pressure the United Methodist Church to divest from holdings of companies that do business in Israel.

Andrea Whitmore introduces the key players:

"Sydney Levy of Jewish Voice for Peace is a new friend, Anna Baltzer from the US Campaign is a long-time friend, Rabbi Brant Rosen, Rabbi Lynn Gottlieb, Rae Abileah (the young woman who got assaulted for speaking out at an AIPAC gathering, Bishop Swenson, Rev. Alex Awad (whom many of you know), Daoud Nassar from Tent of Nations near Bethlehem, Frances Remillard representing the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions, and United Methodists and others from around the country whose names you wouldn't know ..."

Andrea- Rae was not "assaulted at an AIPAC gathering". Rae deliberately interrupted the US Congress in a much publicized temper tantrum. But Rae Abileah is well known for her near hysterical theatrics. Does she look like a rational voice for peace and tolerance?

Thanks to the Houston press for this photo of Rae Abileah at a local protest:

Andrea continues:
"Yesterday we (UMKR) held a luncheon for voting delegates to let them hear Israeli Jew Dalit Baum explain the cost of the occupation."

Andrea- "Israeli Jew" Dalit Baum has come out publicly calling for the destruction of Israel as a Jewish State.

The anti-Israel divestment crew has sent out frantic emails asking for additional funding- having vastly underestimated the cost of propagandizing the United Methodist delegates. The costs of hotels, transportation and food for the anti-Israel team is also escalating. But its all for a good cause- the demonization and destruction of the only democracy in the Middle east. With techniques that might have been cribbed from "Mad Men", the divestment lobbyists are keeping up the pressure.

Stay tuned. The United Methodists will be voting on Divestment very soon.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Israel at 64

And thank you, Google for the wonderful tribute. Notice the beautiful diversity of the children on the logo- its reflective of the diversity of Israel's population. Google should know, after all. Google has research and development centers in both Haifa and Tel Aviv.

Is it even necessarity to add "BDS fail" any more?

From Zionsquare

"How does the BDS Movement stand Israel’s Independence Day being celebrated on Google? Obviously they need to boycott Google immediately – stop searching using Google, delete their gmail accounts, stop using YouTube, stop blogging on Blogger, stop using Google Reader, stop using Google Translate, stop using the Chrome browser, and stop using Android phones.

For search they can switch to Bing. Wait, no, Microsoft built their first overseas research center in Israel more than two decades ago. Scratch Bing. BDSers should also stop using Windows, Windows Phone, Microsoft Office, Internet Explorer, MSN Messenger, Skype (bought by Microsoft last year), Hotmail and all other Microsoft products.

Maybe for search they can use Yahoo? Not if they mind that Yahoo has an R&D office in Haifa. That means also dropping Yahoo Mail, Flickr (Yahoo bought Flickr in 2005), Yahoo Messenger and all other Yahoo products.

Are there other major search engines? We’re not sure. However, there are a few other IT products BDSer should also boycott. PHP, probably the most popular web scripting language used worldwide, is developed in Israel. There are many BDSers who write blogs. We already determined they can’t use Google’s Blogger service (all blogs on and, but WordPress is written using PHP, so BDSers will need to drop WordPress as well. The Moveable Type blogging platform uses a combination of Perl and PHP, so that’s out too.

Of course, they can’t write those blogs using Windows computers anyways, so what computer can they use? They can’t use Apple computers, due to Apple’s recent major purchase of a company in Israel, and the subsequent setting up of their first overseas R&D facility. Interesting that both Microsoft and Apple both opened their first overseas R&D facilities in Israel. That also means no more iPhones, iPods, iPads, Macbook Pros (a BDSer favorite), etc.

Perhaps they can use Linux, the open-source operating system (sure many contributors to Linux live in Israel, but we’ll leave that out). Possibly, but they can’t run Linux on any computer that utilizes an Intel processor, since Intel also opened their first overseas R&D facility in Israel in 1974. They also manufacturer processors at a multi-billion dollar foundry in Kiryat Gat. A huge number of Internet servers also use Intel processors, so BDSers should make sure to check with their hosting companies and make sure their web sites are not running on Intel-based machines.

If not Intel, maybe AMD. That was an option until AMD bought a company in Israel in 2010 and opened an R&D center in Israel last year. AMD processors also run almost all the other servers that host web sites around the world, so BDSers will need to search hard to find places to run their web sites. Getting back to what computer BDSers can use themselves, if they can’t use Intel processors and they can’t use AMD processors, what’s left? There are some computers that run on ARM-based processors. ARM is a processor core developed by ARM Holdings in the UK. Most cell phones, tablets and some low-end computers use ARM-based processors. Wait, no, ARM Holdings has an R&D facility in Kfar Saba. Scratch all ARM-based products.

There is the graphics-processor company NVIDIA. They also have a line of processors that can power devices like cell phones and tabets which they call Tegra. Tegra processors power a number of cell phones and tablets, although we’re not sure if any of them are running operating systems other than Android or Windows Phone. NVIDIA did invest in an Israeli company a couple of years back, but they don’t own any companies or have facilities in Israel as far as we know. Perhaps then, if BDSers can overlook the minor connection to Israel, they can buy NVIDIA-based tablets and work hard to make a version of Linux with no contributions from Israelis to run on it. Palblets? Hopefully NVIDIA won’t start an R&D center in Israel before the work is done.

Sure, BDSers won’t be able to run Angry Birds on their device, but at least they’ll be able to access the Internet. We won’t tell them that Cisco, which builds many of the switches and routers that make up the Internet infrastructure has a major presence in Israel, including the recent purchase for $5 Billion of NDS which secures cable and satellite set-top boxes (including those operated by DIRECTV, Comcast, Cox, Charter and Cablevision in the US). Of course they also own Scientific Atlanta which manufactures the set-top boxes for many other companies. Maybe they can get more done if they stop using the Internet and stop watching TV?"

Happy Birthday, Israel. May you continue to go from strength to strength.

"Expectations are pretty high for Caterpillar right now"

How is the market dealing with the news that Lynn Gottleib, Sydney Levy, Anna Baltzer and friends are trolling the United Methodist Conference, attempting to pressure the group to divest from companies, including Caterpillar that do business in Israel?

Sure looks like they haven't made the tiniest little blip on the Radar screen. In 2012 Caterpillar's first-quarter profit jumped 29 percent. Caterpillar boosted its outlook for the year as U.S. builders replaced and upgraded old equipment and global demand for mining equipment boomed. Caterpillar generated $1.59 billion net income, or $2.37 per share, during the quarter. That's an increase from last year's $1.23 billion net income. Caterpillar said it now expects to generate earnings per share of $9.50 in 2012, up from a previous prediction of $9.25,

So, JVP - hows that boycott coming, btw? And how does it feel to be irrelevant?

Monday, April 23, 2012

Jewish Voice for Peace: Stacking the Deck

Sydney Levy of "Jewish" Voice for Peace just sent out this email:

"I'm on my way to Tampa. I'm going in support of our allies in the United Methodist church who are pushing for divestment from Israel's Occupation. But I'm not going alone. I'm taking the strong letter of support from members of Jewish Voice for Peace's rabbinical council and other Jewish clergy.

I'd like to take you with me too, or at least your name. I hope you'll go to right now and add your name in support of divestment. The United Methodists are considering divestment from Caterpillar, Hewlett Packard, and Motorla—all companies we have identified as profiting from the violation of Palestinians' human rights.

The struggle to stop these companies has been a long one. But we don't have much time left—the conference starts this week, and we will deliver our names Tuesday morning, in less than 24 hours, so please add your name now. You don't have to be a rabbi to sign, but you do need to sign now if we are going to bring you with us. And to keep you connected, we will be updating throughout the week with all the latest developments in this historic push for divestment."

Why is JVP "Stacking the deck"? Why are they filling up a "rabbis" letter with signatures, of Jews and non-Jews alike?

Maybe its because after weeks of searching for signatures, the signatories on their own letter are few and far between. As of now, the current signators are

Rabbi Margaret Holub
Rabbi Brant Rosen
Rabbi Alissa Wise
Rabbi Julie Greenberg
Rabbi Michael Feinberg
Cantor Michael Davis
Rabbi Rachel Barenblatt
Rabbi Lynn Gottleib
Rabbi Laurie Zimmerman
Rabbi Rebecca Alpert
Rabbi Joseph Berman
Rabbi David Mivasair
Rabbi Brian Walt
Rabbi Jeremy Milgrom
David Basior, Rabbinical Student
Alana Alpert, Rabbinical Student
Ari Lev Fornari, Rabbinical Student
Rabbi Borukh Goldberg
Rabbi Meryl Crean
Rabbi Howard A Cohen
Rabbi Mordechai Liebling
Rabbi Elizabeth Bolton
Rabbi Everett Gendler
Rabbi Michael Lerner

Contrast that extremely limited group with the 1200 rabbis from across the religious and cultural spectrum who have formally expressed their concern about the Methodist divestment referendum. Orthodox, Conservative, reform- religious leaders from across the Jewish spectrum have signed a "Letter from American Rabbis to Our Christian Neighbors Regarding Divestment Proposals" . If your rabbi hasn't already signed, its not too late.

From the Jewish Council for Public Affairs:

“A letter signed by so many Rabbis demonstrates the breadth and depth of the American Rabbinate’s commitment to the finding a peaceful resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict; something which cannot be achieved through divestment,” said Gutow. “I am privileged to join my colleagues from all fifty states, leaders from the Conservative, Reconstructionist, Reform, and Orthodox movements, rabbinic groups and seminaries, and some of the most influential Jewish thinkers and theologians of our time. There is a clear rabbinic consensus - divestment efforts will tear the fabric of our interfaith relationships and undermine ongoing efforts for peace.”

The Rabbinic letter spells out the profound concern of the signatories about the one-sided nature of the divestment proposals, which "shamefully" paint Israel as a pariah nation. "For Jews, the use of economic leverages against the Jewish state is fraught with inescapable associations,” the letter states. “They resonate in the Jewish consciousness with historic boycotts against Jewish companies and the State of Israel…policies that knowingly tap into the deepest fears and pain of another is, in our tradition, a serious failure of relationship."

It also spells out a commitment to a negotiated two-state solution, which includes Palestinian state building and economic development, programs of reconciliation, understanding of multiple narratives, humanitarian aid and other areas where collective action is needed to help foster peace. Divestment, the note explains, runs in opposition to these goals and "is more likely to encourage those with extreme aims” - and is so contentious that it "drowns out the real conversation about how to end the conflict.”

“At a time when politics in general have become so divisive, here and abroad, our efforts should be aimed toward reconciliation,” the letter continues. “Together and independently, Christians, Jews, and Muslims must give the parties to the conflict the confidence they need to move toward peace.”

Oh yes, the reality challenged bloggers at Mondoweiss (no, i'm not going to link there- you can find it your self) characterized the heart-felt plea for mutual respect and cooperation as "1200 rabbis threaten an end to interfaith harmony if Methodists support divestment"

The Methodist General Conference is being held in Tampa, Florida over the next week. If you have any friends or family attending, remind them of the words of our own community leaders:

"when politics in general have become so divisive, here and abroad, our efforts should be aimed toward reconciliation. Together and independently, Christians, Jews, and Muslims must give the parties to the conflict the confidence they need to move toward peace. There are many meaningful coexistence programs that are necessary to foster a generation of Israelis and Palestinians that will work and live side-by-side – moving past the teaching of hate and the resort to violence. As leaders of the Jewish and Protestant communities we need to deepen our understandings of the multiple narratives in the region. "

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Tell the International Olympic Committee: 40 Years is Enough!

From Ankie Spitzer:

At the 1972 Munich Olympic Games, eleven members of the Israeli team were murdered. For forty years their families have asked the International Olympic Committee to observe a minute of silence, in their memory. Please help us by signing our petition.

I am the wife of Andrei Spitzer. My husband was killed at those Olympic Games in 1972I am asking for one minute of silence for the memory of the eleven Israeli athletes, coaches and referees murdered at the 1972 summer Olympics in Munich. Just one minute — at the 2012 London Summer Olympics and at every Olympic Game, to promote peace.

These men were sons; fathers; uncles; brothers; friends; teammates; athletes. They came to Munich in 1972 to play as athletes in the Olympics; they came in peace and went home in coffins, killed in the Olympic Village and during hostage negotiations.

The families of the Munich 11 have worked for four decades to obtain recognition of the Munich massacre from the International Olympic Committee. We have requested a minute of silence during the opening ceremonies of the Olympics starting with the ’76 Montreal Games. Repeatedly, these requests have been turned down. The 11 murdered athletes were members of the Olympic family; we feel they should be remembered within the framework of the Olympic Games.

We are asking again to be heard in time for the 2012 London Summer Olympics. In 2010 JCC Rockland, New York contacted me and offered their help and made it their mission for their 2012 JCC Maccabi Games to honor the Munich 11 through multiple events as well as spearheading this petition.

Silence is a fitting tribute for athletes who lost their lives on the Olympic stage. Silence contains no statements, assumptions or beliefs and requires no understanding of language to interpret.

I have no political or religious agenda. Just the hope that my husband and the other men who went to the Olympics in peace, friendship and sportsmanship are given what they deserve. One minute of silence will clearly say to the world that what happened in 1972 can never happen again. Please do not let history repeat itself.
For my husband Andrei and the others killed, we must remember the doctrine of the Olympic Spirit, “to build a peaceful and better world which requires mutual understanding with a spirit of friendship, solidarity and fair play," is more powerful than politics.

40 years is long enough to wait.

Go to to learn more about how the JCC Rockland, in New York took up our fight to remedy injustice with the support & gratitude of the families of the Munich 11 and to learn the history of a day we should never forget.


Please sign the petition asking for one minute of silence at the 2012 Olympics at and pass this on to your friends, your synagogues and your favorite bloggers. Lets make this happen.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Another BDS Fail : Veolia in the running for Woodland-Davis Water Project

Thanks to our friends at Israelstreet for the information.

It looks like its another BDS fail, this time from the central valley of California. The Davis-Woodland Clean Water Agency has voted unanimously–4 to 0 –to ignore the BDS’ers and to include Veolia in a bid. for a multimillion dollar project to bring water to the arid communities of Central California.

The Woodland-Davis Clean Water Agency (WDCWA) WDCWA is in the early stages of a project to bring surface water to Woodland and Davis. Project objectives – which include improving water quality, water supply reliability, and the quality of treated wastewater discharge – were developed in response to challenges posed by aging water systems, more stringent drinking water regulations, and stricter wastewater discharge permitting standards, among other things. As part of that process, the WDCWA opened the project to bidders. Only three companies responded, including Veolia Water North America.

Veolia is large multinational French company which has different transportation and environmental subsidiaries worldwide, including Israel and the disputed territories. The primary target for BDS activists is the Veolia connection with the Jerusalem Light Rail system and Veolia’s ownership of Connex, a local bus company. Because of this, Veolia is in the cross-hairs of the BDS’ers (note to self: They are targeting Veolia contracts in the North Bay as well)

Last year the BDS cru demanded that the WDCWA exclude Veolia from bidding because of its “human rights violations”. The WDCWA wisely decided that international affairs were beyond its scope yet agreed to a “compromise”. They required the proposed bidders to respond to an “ethics questionnaire”. The companies responses are here

The BDS’ers sent around frantic emails, requesting

“Send emails to the members of the Board... before April 16, urging them to consider 1) Veolia Environnements international and domestic violations of its published code of corporate conduct, which Veolia has stated applies to all the subsidiaries of its corporate family; 2) its violations of the principles of the UN Global Compact Guidance on Responsible Business in Conflict-Affected and High Risk Areas, which it participated in developing; 3) and point out that local government agencies around the U.S. have been unhappy with Veolia’s business practices, operational short-cuts, cost-exceedances, environmental permit violations, and unfair labor practices. Make the emails brief...”

The Water Board made its decision on Thursday, April 19 to allow Veolia to bid on the project, in spite of 12 , count em 12 anti-Israel letters (Why does a British or a Dutch activist feel they have the right to tell the Central Valley Water Board how to vote on this decidedly local issue? Why does a Jewish Voice for Peace member in Boston feel she has the right to tell our local community how to conduct its affairs? ) Local ISM Head Paul Larudee also weighed in- at least he’s only an hour ago from the proposed project.

WDCWA staff gave its report–aand concluded that Veolia Water North America is a wholly different subsidiary from the Veolia subsidiaries in Israel. Oops. Looks like the BDS cru were so busy demonizing Israel, they forgot to do their research.

The Conclusion of the Woodland-Davis Clean Water Agency:

"We evaluated the Veolia ethics policy against the CEICI Blueprint recommendations and determined that the policy and related procedures substantially meet the recommendations.

The Agency also is aware of criticisms by a pro-Palestinian group against Veolia relating to the operation of bus and light rail systems in Israel. Those operations are not by Veolia Water West Operating Services, Inc. or Veolia Water North America Operating Services, LLC or any of their subsidiaries and therefore the charges fall outside the scope of the Agency’s Request.
From staff’s perspective, business operations in Israel by a Veolia company other than the companies that the Agency would be transacting with are not sufficient reason to disqualify the entire Veolia-Kiewit-MWH team. The companies in the team are highly qualified and generally practice good business ethics."

Or, to make it easier for you. BDS fail. Again.

Read about the hearing here

Friday, April 20, 2012

Berkeley Jews Unite in Support of Israel

In a speech given to Arab diplomats in Stockholm on January 30, 1996. Yasser Arafat revealed his true intentions: "We of the PLO will now concentrate all our efforts on splitting Israel psychologically into two camps...We will make life unbearable for Jews by psychological warfare and population explosion; Jews won't want to live among us Arabs."

He failed.

Has life become unbearable in Israel?
Maybe not.

The United Nation’s first World Happiness Report ranked Israel as the 14th happiest country in the world. Conducted by Columbia University’s Earth Institute, the report notes:

"it is not just wealth that makes people happy: Political freedom, strong social networks and an absence of corruption are together more important than income in explaining well-being differences between the top and bottom countries. At the individual level, good mental and physical health, someone to count on, job security and stable families are crucial."

To many, the mere existence of an organization such as "Jewish voice for Peace" shows that Arafat tried. But again, he failed. The Jewish community is not split into "two camps"- and the size of JVP's mailing list ( I'm on it, for example) is simply irrelevant.

To "Jewish" Voice for peace: What we have here is the Jewish community in action. What you are seeing is called unity.

This is in Berkeley, remember. Berkeley. Berkeley- the town with its own foreign policy. Check it out, JVP

The local Orthodox, Conservative and Reform synagogues have joined together in unity to celebrate our ties with Israel. A community commemoration of Yom Hazikaron and Yom Hatzmaut - Israel Memorial Day and Israeli Independence day is planned- and Berkeley Jews will unite in prayer and in song.

This is done because we honor and respect Israel as the homeland of the Jewish people. And whimper and cry all you want, JVP. Talk about "oppression" and "privilege" and the 99%. But know this. This topic unites us- unifies us and gives us strength. Your theatrics are meaningless and irrelevant. And remember this- when a dozen of you aging misfits protest Israel in the Gardens, supplementing your ranks with angry Arab youth - there will be 20,000 people inside the Gardens- all in support of Israel.

The people united can never be defeated.

Flytilla: Prevent, arrest and deport

"It is time that we recognize the reality we are faced with. The State of Israel is at war. This war is being fought on a completely different battlefield than in the past, one in which the word de-legitimization has replaced bullets and provocative actions such as the flotilla have replaced tanks and fighter planes."

From an article in the JPost:

"The unfortunate incident which took place in the Jordan Valley on Saturday where an IDF officer was forced to fight off an anti-Israel activist has proven once again that we are not dealing correctly with this latest attack on the very legitimacy of our existence.

We witnessed this regrettable phenomenon again this week with the ludicrous internal debate that has surrounded the “flytilla” attack on Israel. Our society is busying itself with an absurd internal debate that includes calls from the extreme Left to welcome these anti-Israel activists and open a dialogue with them.

This is not only misguided, but actually endangers the foundations of our society.

Attempts to explain the rationality behind the Zionist dream of building a state in our historic homeland will simply not work with those who are attempting infiltrate Israel’s borders only to attack us from within.

It is time that we recognize the reality we are faced with. The State of Israel is at war. This war is being fought on a completely different battlefield than in the past, one in which the word de-legitimization has replaced bullets and provocative actions such as the flotilla have replaced tanks and fighter planes.

Nevertheless, we must not be confused by this new type of warfare. Just as we did not hesitate to confront to violent acts perpetuated by our enemies in the past, we cannot waver in our resolve against this new threat.

Would we allow a suicide bomber into our country so that we could attempt a “dialogue” with him? Of course not.

Here, too, we must not be naïve and bury our heads in the sand. While the “delegitimization battle” may be sometimes confusing and seem less dangerous then actual acts of war, the implications of capitulation will be just as dire for Israel’s future as a military loss would be.

TO COMBAT this new form of warfare we must be just as creative now as we have been in the past on the traditional battlefield.

We must immediately implement a three-pronged approach to keeping these terrorists out of Israel: prevent, arrest and deport.

Our diplomats and envoys abroad must work with our allies around the world to ensure that these troublemakers never make it on a plane in the first place, and our security and immigration officials here in Israel should ensure that those who do get through are arrested and then either jailed or deported.

During this past week Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and his ministers prepared well for the current onslaught and the results of having a well thought-out policy are evident in the fact that the “flytilla” we were warned so much about ended relatively quietly. They should be commended for their vigilance."

Thursday, April 19, 2012

A Survey of Zionism

A copy of Palestine To-day and To-morrow: A Gentile's Survey of Zionism , written by John Haynes Holmes has just fallen into my hands. Written in 1929, its apparent that Holmes "gets it"- he understands Zionism more than, oh, lets say the folks at Jewish Voice for Peace.

John Haynes Holmes (1879–1964) was a prominent Unitarian minister, pacifist and anti-war activist. He helped found the National Association for the Advancement of Coloured People (NAACP) in 1909, as well as the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) in 1920.

Over 80 years ago he wrote:

"As a country, Palestine means a homeland returned to its people, as Ireland has been returned to the Irish and Poland to the Poles. Snatched from them by the sword and spear of the soldier, this land is now being recovered to them by the plowshare and pruning hook of the pioneer. That Jews, like other men should want a county seems strange to us only because they have been so long without a country….

The Jews, just because they are a people and not merely a religion are quite like other people. They long to-day, as they have longed throughout the centuries of their dispersion, for a home and country... Zionism means a recovered, restored, regenerated Israel."

Looking for a more Contemporary definition of Zionism?
Prof. Benyamin Neuberger writes:

"The origin of the term "Zionism" is the biblical word "Zion", often used as a synonym for Jerusalem and the Land of Israel (Eretz Yisrael). Zionism is an ideology which expresses the yearning of Jews the world over for their historical homeland - Zion, the Land of Israel.

The aspiration of returning to their homeland was first held by Jews exiled to Babylon some 2,500 years ago - a hope which subsequently became a reality. ("By the water of Babylon, there we sat down and wept when we remembered Zion." Psalms 137:1). Thus political Zionism, which coalesced in the 19th century, invented neither the concept nor the practice of return. Rather, it appropriated an ancient idea and an ongoing active movement, and adapted them to meet the needs and spirit of the times.

The core of the Zionist idea appears in Israel's Declaration of Independence (14 May 1948), which states, inter alia, that:

"The Land of Israel was the birthplace of the Jewish people. Here their spiritual, religious and political identity was shaped. Here they first attained to statehood, created cultural values of national and universal significance and gave to the world the eternal Book of Books.

After being forcible exiled from their land, the people kept faith with it throughout their dispersion and never ceased to pray and hope for their return to it and for the restoration in it of their political freedom."

Another definition of Zionism can be found at the Zionism-Israel Information Center:

"Zionism is the national revival movement of the Jewish people. It holds that the Jews have the right to self-determination in their own national home, and the right to develop their national culture. Historically, Zionism strove to create a legally recognized national home for the Jews in their historical homeland. This goal was implemented by the creation of the State of Israel. Today, Zionism supports the existence of the state of Israel and helps to inspire a revival of Jewish national life, culture and language.

Zionism today, in its simplest form, is the affirmation and support for the democratic state of Israel as the homeland of the Jewish people. "

Its time to take back Zionism- its been far too long.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Deppen Webber and Fantasy politics

Deppen Webber, organizer of the failed Global march for Jerusalem has just started a new blog. (no, I'm not going to link to it, but you can find it here: In it he chortles "the zionist experiment is crumbling and they know it"

Is this what Deppen considers evidence?

"In just two months, we have witnessed Israel Apartheid Week, Occupy AIPAC, Penn BDS Conference, Harvard Kennedy School One-State Solution Conference, International Open Shuhada Street Day, Bay Area UN-Welcome War Criminal Shimon Perez, Park Slope Food Coop BDS Referendum, BDS Global Day of Action, In Solidarity with Tristan Anderson Day, Global March to Jerusalem, and the Welcome to Palestine Flytilla. With the One Democratic State Conference to take place in Munich June 30 – July 1!"
Let me help you out here a bit, Deppen.

* Israel Apartheid Week: Fail

From the Times of Israel:
"Israel supporter events far outweigh Israel detractor events in several measures. Roughly twice as many campuses put on “Israel Peace Week” events, a series of events supported by Hasbara Fellowships that portray Israel’s historic quest for peace with its neighbors, as experienced the hateful “apartheid week” events.

In fact, the StandWithUs Israeli Soldiers Speak Out tour reached nearly three dozen campuses in North America, easily more than did the detractors. While individual detractor events had a greater total number in the analysis, the vast majority of those events occurred on a smaller number of campuses overall. Israel’s supporters have a broader reach on a national scale.

The same observation also holds true when evaluating individual events. Detractor events attract fewer attendees, and gain fewer co-sponsors, on the whole than do Israel supporter events."

* Occupy AIPAC: Fail

One Hundred aged ex-hippies vs 14,000 diverse dedicated supporters of a strong relationship between Israel and the United States. Need I say more?

* Penn BDS Conference: Fail

A few hundred participants, including dozens of Zionist shills vs 900 who showed up to hear Alan Dershowitz.

* Harvard Kennedy School One-State Solution Conference: Fail

The same speakers, the same participants patting themselves on the back and accomplishing absolutely nothing

* International Open Shuhada Street Day: Fail

As far as I can tell, all that happened was a bizarre, ineffective and cringe-worthy song and dance routine on a Berkeley street corner.

* Bay Area UN-Welcome War Criminal Shimon Peres: Fail

A few dozen people outside, thwarted completely in their efforts to disrupt the 2,000 gathered inside to hear Shimon Peres, the president of Israel.

* Park Slope Food Coop BDS Referendum: fail
Failed by a margin 1,005-653. Not even close.

* BDS Global Day of Action: Fail

Countered by the fully effective buycott

* In Solidarity with Tristan Anderson Day: Fail

Unless success is measured by luring people with promises of free food

* Global March to Jerusalem: Fantastic mega epic fail

2 million protesters were announced- less than one half of 1 % of that even showed. Of the few demonstrations that were held, not a single one reached the Israeli capital.

* Welcome to Palestine Flytilla: Fail

2,500 announced. Final tally- total of 79 foreign activists landed in Israel.

With the One Democratic State Conference scheduled to take place in Munich June 30 – July 1 its too soon to tell, but given the track record of the Hate Israel cru, I'm guessing fail.

Our friend Jon writes about the delusional behavior of the anti-Israel cru here, explaining that this sort of activism is not so much about accomplishing a goal. Its more about feeling good about oneself. What else could explain the same tired failed tactics, repeated year after year?

"To understand this, we need to go back to my favorite political writer Lee Harris whose work on fantasy politics is still required reading for anyone trying to understand 9/11 and its aftermath. His essay on fantasy ideology that put him on the map began with this personal anecdote:

"My first encounter with this particular kind of fantasy occurred when I was in college in the late sixties. A friend of mine and I got into a heated argument. Although we were both opposed to the Vietnam War, we discovered that we differed considerably on what counted as permissible forms of anti-war protest. To me the point of such protest was simple — to turn people against the war. Hence anything that was counterproductive to this purpose was politically irresponsible and should be severely censured. My friend thought otherwise; in fact, he was planning to join what by all accounts was to be a massively disruptive demonstration in Washington, and which in fact became one.

My friend did not disagree with me as to the likely counterproductive effects of such a demonstration. Instead, he argued that this simply did not matter. His answer was that even if it was counterproductive, even if it turned people against war protesters, indeed even if it made them more likely to support the continuation of the war, he would still participate in the demonstration and he would do so for one simple reason — because it was, in his words, good for his soul.

What I saw as a political act was not, for my friend, any such thing. It was not aimed at altering the minds of other people or persuading them to act differently. Its whole point was what it did for him.

And what it did for him was to provide him with a fantasy — a fantasy, namely, of taking part in the revolutionary struggle of the oppressed against their oppressors. By participating in a violent anti-war demonstration, he was in no sense aiming at coercing conformity with his view — for that would still have been a political objective. Instead, he took his part in order to confirm his ideological fantasy of marching on the right side of history, of feeling himself among the elect few who stood with the angels of historical inevitability."

To Deppen and friends- all I can wish for you is more of the same kind of "success" you've grown accustomed to. And to the Jewish community, and to all friends of Israel - may you continue going from strength to strength

For Paul, Deppen and Feroze: A Little History. The Liberation of Jerusalem

This one's for you, Deppen Webber. And for Paul Larudee, and Feroze Mithiborwala. Its also for all the other terribly misguided participants in the failed Global March to Jerusalem. You know who you are.

Jerusalem Day will be celebrated this year, 2012 on the eve of May 19. This holiday commemorates the 1967 liberation and reunification of Jerusalem, the sacred capital city of the Jewish people.

The day is marked by solemn government ceremonies, memorial services for soldiers who died in the battle for Jerusalem, parades as well as prayers. No Deppen- its not that we are trying to "Judaize " our eternal capital and the heart of Jewish life. That’s been accomplished long ago, by 3000+ years of love, and longing and sacrifice.

Read please the transcript of events leading up to this moment of liberation. Read the order "Protect every building, in every way. Do not touch anything, especially in the holy places"- realize that then as now, even under fire, the ethics of the Israeli army shined through. Read about the soldiers of the Israeli Defense Force- unbelievably tough men- largely secular, sobbing at the sight of our Kotel- the last remnant of Solomon's temple. How can you read this, Paul. Deppen. Feroze, and still deny the cultural, religious and emotional ties of the Jewish people towards Jerusalem?

From the Jewish Virtual library:

Colonel Motta Gur [on loudspeaker]: All company commanders, we’re sitting right now on the ridge and we’re seeing the Old City. Shortly we’re going to go in to the Old City of Jerusalem, that all generations have dreamed about. We will be the first to enter the Old City. Eitan’s tanks will advance on the left and will enter the Lion’s Gate. The final rendezvous will be on the open square above.
[The open square of the Temple Mount.]
[Sound of applause by the soldiers.]

Yossi Ronen: We are now walking on one of the main streets of Jerusalem towards the Old City. The head of the force is about to enter the Old City.

Yossi Ronen: There is still shooting from all directions; we’re advancing towards the entrance of the Old City.

[Sound of gunfire and soldiers’ footsteps.]
[Yelling of commands to soldiers.]
[More soldiers’ footsteps.]
The soldiers are keeping a distance of approximately 5 meters between them. It’s still dangerous to walk around here; there is still sniper shooting here and there.
We’re all told to stop; we’re advancing towards the mountainside; on our left is the Mount of Olives; we’re now in the Old City opposite the Russian church. I’m right now lowering my head; we’re running next to the mountainside. We can see the stone walls. They’re still shooting at us. The Israeli tanks are at the entrance to the Old City, and ahead we go, through the Lion’s Gate. I’m with the first unit to break through into the Old City. There is a Jordanian bus next to me, totally burnt; it is very hot here. We’re about to enter the Old City itself. We’re standing below the Lion’s Gate, the Gate is about to come crashing down, probably because of the previous shelling. Soldiers are taking cover next to the palm trees; I’m also staying close to one of the trees. We’re getting further and further into the City.

Colonel Motta Gur announces on the army wireless: The Temple Mount is in our hands! I repeat, the Temple Mount is in our hands!
All forces, stop firing! This is the David Operations Room. All forces, stop firing! I repeat, all forces, stop firing! Over.
Commander eight-nine here, is this Motta (Gur) talking? Over.
[Inaudible response on the army wireless by Motta Gur.]

Uzi Narkiss: Motta, there isn’t anybody like you. You’re next to the Mosque of Omar.
Yossi Ronen: I’m driving fast through the Lion’s Gate all the way inside the Old City.
Command on the army wireless: Comb the area, discover the source of the firing. Protect every building, in every way. Do not touch anything, especially in the holy places.
[Lt.- Col. Uzi Eilam blows the Shofar. Soldiers are singing ‘Jerusalem of Gold’.]

Uzi Narkiss: Tell me, where is the Western Wall? How do we get there?

Yossi Ronen: I’m walking right now down the steps towards the Western Wall. I’m not a religious man, I never have been, but this is the Western Wall and I’m touching the stones of the Western Wall.

Soldiers: [reciting the ‘Shehechianu’ blessing]: Baruch ata Hashem, elokeinu melech haolam, she-hechianu ve-kiemanu ve-hegianu la-zman ha-zeh. [Translation: Blessed art Thou L-rd G-d King of the Universe who has sustained us and kept us and has brought us to this day]

Rabbi Shlomo Goren: Baruch ata Hashem, menachem tsion u-voneh Yerushalayim. [Translation: Blessed are thou, who comforts Zion and builds Jerusalem]

Soldiers: Amen!
[Soldiers sing ‘Hatikva’ next to the Western Wall.]

Rabbi Goren: We’re now going to recite the prayer for the fallen soldiers of this war against all of the enemies of Israel:
[Soldiers weeping]
El male rahamim, shohen ba-meromim. Hamtse menuha nahona al kanfei hashina, be-maalot kedoshim, giborim ve-tehorim, kezohar harakiya meirim u-mazhirim. Ve-nishmot halalei tsava hagana le-yisrael, she-naflu be-maaraha zot, neged oievei yisrael, ve-shnaflu al kedushat Hashem ha-am ve-ha’arets, ve-shichrur Beit Hamikdash, Har Habayit, Hakotel ha-ma’aravi veyerushalayim ir ha-elokim. Be-gan eden tehe menuhatam. Lahen ba’al ha-rahamim, yastirem beseter knafav le-olamim. Ve-yitsror be-tsror ha-hayim et nishmatam adoshem hu nahlatam, ve-yanuhu be-shalom al mishkavam [soldiers weeping loud]ve-ya’amdu le-goralam le-kets ha-yamim ve-nomar amen!
[Translation: Merciful G-d in heaven, may the heroes and the pure, be under thy Divine wings, among the holy and the pure who shine bright as the sky, and the souls of soldiers of the Israeli army who fell in this war against the enemies of Israel, who fell for their loyalty to G-d and the land of Israel, who fell for the liberation of the Temple, the Temple Mount, the Western Wall and Jerusalem the city of the Lord. May their place of rest be in paradise. Merciful One, O keep their souls forever alive under Thy protective wings. The Lord being their heritage, may they rest in peace, for they shalt rest and stand up for their allotted portion at the end of the days, and let us say, Amen.]

[Soldiers are weeping. Rabbi Goren sounds the shofar. Sound of gunfire in the background.]
Rabbi Goren: Le-shana HA-ZOT be-Yerushalayim ha-b’nuya, be-yerushalayim ha-atika! [Translation: This year in a rebuilt Jerusalem! In the Jerusalem of old!]

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Roberto Carlos sings Jerusalem de Ouro ( Jerusalem of Gold )

Yerushalayim shel zahav
v'shel n'choshet v'shel or
halo l'chol shirayich ani kinor

Legendary Grammy Award-winning singer and composer Brazilian pop icon Roberto Carlos celebrated his 70th birthday in Jerusalem. One of the most famous Brazilian singers of all time, with a career spanning over 50 years Carlos has sold over 120 million albums.

Roberto Carlos gave a concert in the Old City of Jerusalem in front of thousands of Brazilian supporters of Israel, highlighted by his version of "Jerusalem of Gold", sung in Portuguese and Hebrew. This was filmed September 7th, 2011 at the Sultan Pool right outside the Walls of the Old City of Jerusalem. And yes, now that you've mentioned it, its yet another BDS fail.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Palestinian sentenced to Death for Selling land to a Jew. The World is silent

Munich's going to be hosting a One Democratic State Conference this summer.
This event is sponsored by One Democratic State in Palestine and hosted by the Palästina Komitee München and by Dr. Gabi Weber. Its by invitation only and not open to the public. (JVP- I'm waiting for the cries of "muzzling")

Dr. Weber- just curious- will the Palestinians' intolerance and intransigence be on the agenda? How do you plan on convincing the Palestinians to accept a state based on democratic principles-on tolerance and equality for all its citizens? If a Palestinian Arab in the West bank can be put to death for simply selling land to a Jew, what reason do you have to believe Independence will change this?

(Its a rhetorical question, Dr. Weber. I can't expect anyone who'd defend Gilad Atzmon to put any serious thought into this matter)

From the Times of Israel
"Jewish leaders in Hebron have called for international intervention to help the Palestinian man sentenced to death for selling a home near the Cave of the Patriarchs to Jews.

A letter on behalf of Muhammad Abu Shahala, a former intelligence agent for the Palestinian Authority, was signed by Hebron Jewish community leaders David Wilder and Noam Arnon, and addressed to, among others, the secretary-general of the United Nations, Ban Ki-moon; U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton; the president of the European Council of the European Union, Herman Van Rompuy; and the director general of the International Red Cross, Yves Daccord, among others.

Shahala reportedly was sentenced to death for his part in selling what has become known as Beit Hamachpela (the Machpela House) to a group of Jews. He reportedly confessed to the sale after torture and was subject to a rushed trial, according to Arutz-7, which cited various news agencies. Palestinian officials said Shahala was not authorized to sell the home.

The death warrant still must be signed by Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, according to reports."

I've seen nothing in the mainstream media about this. Human rights organizations operating in the West bank are uncharacteristically silent. Regardless of your feelings about "settlers", executing a man for selling property to Jews is wrong, racist and a dangerous precedent for a future state.

Flytilla activists leave "gift" for Israel: Swastika drawn on airport walls


"A swastika was found drawn on the wall of a holding facility for illegal aliens at Ben Gurion Airport, where several foreign pro-Palestinian activists who arrived in Israel as part of the "Welcome to Palestine" fly-in protest were held.

The activist responsible for the drawing was deported back to his country of origin on Monday. "This was the gift the 'peace activists' left Israel," a source at the Immigration Authority said.

The swastica was discovered by the detention facility employees after two foreign activists – citizens of France and Spain - were removed from the building. "

Sunday, April 15, 2012

From Jordan state TV :"The arrogance of the Jews will be defeated"

Yeah, its all about the "occupation". No anti-Semitism involved. Even in "moderate" Jordan

A Jordanian cleric, Imam Ghaleb Rabab’a delivered a Friday sermon on state TV, declaring that Jordan’s army will destroy Israel and regain Jerusalem from the “killers of prophets”, adding "The [Jordanian] army is invincible. Its units are filled with people who pray, with imams, and with people who memorized the Koran. This army will never be defeated, Allah willing.”

The following footage was translated and released late last week by the Middle East Media Research Institute.

From the J post

"Article 11 of the 1994 Israel-Jordan peace treaty calls on both countries “to abstain from hostile or discriminatory propaganda against each other, and to take all possible legal and administrative measures to prevent the dissemination of such propaganda by any organization or individual present in the territory of either party.”

Pat Condell: Israel and the United Nations

The legal basis for keeping the Flytilla out

Many nations have specific laws in place to prevent infiltrations such as this weekends flytilla to Israel

From our friends at Five Minutes for Israel (and thanks, David for the cool logo!)

The legal basis for keeping the Flytilla out
Management reserves the right to refuse service to anyone

America asserts her right to refuse entry in detail.
United States Code 8 USC § 1182

a) Classes of aliens ineligible for visas or admission

Except as otherwise provided in this chapter, aliens who are inadmissible under the following paragraphs are ineligible to receive visas and ineligible to be admitted to the United States:

(3) Security and related grounds

(A) In general

Any alien who a consular officer or the Attorney General knows, or has reasonable ground to believe, seeks to enter the United States to engage solely, principally, or incidentally in—

(i) any activity

(ii) any other unlawful activity, or (that surely includes causing damage by closing down Ben Gurion Airport for their photo opportunity)

(iii) any activity a purpose of which is the opposition to, or the control or overthrow of, the Government of the United States by force, violence, or other unlawful means,

is inadmissible (Palestine from the river to the sea. BTW is there any lawful means to advocate these things?)

(B) Terrorist activities

(i) In general Any alien who—

(I) has engaged in a terrorist activity;

(II) a consular officer, the Attorney General, or the Secretary of Homeland Security knows, or has reasonable ground to believe, is engaged in or is likely to engage after entry in any terrorist activity (as defined in clause (iv));

(III) has, under circumstances indicating an intention to cause death or serious bodily harm, incited terrorist activity;

(IV) is a representative (as defined in clause (v)) of—

(aa) a terrorist organization (as defined in clause (vi)); or (The USA and other countries define Hamas as a terrorist group even if these fools deny it).

(bb) a political, social, or other group that endorses or espouses terrorist activity (that covers ISM and most anyone who thinks blowing-up a bus is legitimate resistance);

(V) is a member of a terrorist organization described in subclause (I) or (II) of clause (vi);

(VI) is a member of a terrorist organization described in clause (vi)(III), unless the alien can demonstrate by clear and convincing evidence that the alien did not know, and should not reasonably have known, that the organization was a terrorist organization;

(VII) endorses or espouses terrorist activity or persuades others to endorse or espouse terrorist activity or support a terrorist organization;

(VIII) has received military-type training (as defined in section 2339D (c)(1) of title 18) from or on behalf of any organization that, at the time the training was received, was a terrorist organization (as defined in clause (vi)); or

(IX) is the spouse or child (I guess that means the family holiday to Ramallah is off) of an alien who is inadmissible under this subparagraph, if the activity causing the alien to be found inadmissible occurred within the last 5 years,
is inadmissible. An alien who is an officer, official, representative, or spokesman of the Palestine Liberation Organization is considered, for purposes of this chapter, to be engaged in a terrorist activity. (Oops! Aren’t Fatah supposed to be the moderates?)

Ireland and the UK also maintain the right to deny enerance to anyone.
Read it all at 5 minutes for Israel

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Welcoming the Flytilla

Its been reported that 60% of the professional Israel haters have been barred from flights to Israel. What will happen to those that slip through?

The state of Israel is planning an official “welcome”. This letter will be given to the flytilla activists who will be arriving this weekend.

It reads as follows:

“Dear Activists,

"We appreciate your choosing to make Israel the object of your humanitarian concerns.

“We know there were many other worthy choices.

“You could have chosen to protest the Syrian regime’s daily savagery against its own people, which has claimed thousands of lives.

"You could have chosen to protest the Iranian regime’s brutal crackdown on dissent and its support of terrorism throughout the world.

"You could have chosen to protest Hamas rule in Gaza, where terror organizations commit a double war crime by firing rockets at civilians and hiding behind civilians.

“But instead, you chose to protest against Israel, the Middle East’s sole democracy, where women are equal, the press criticizes the government, human rights organizations can operate freely, religious freedom is protected for all - and minorities do not live in fear.”

“Therefore, we suggest you solve the real problems of the region first, and then come back and share your experiences with us.

Have a nice flight.”

Friday, April 13, 2012

Flopping Flytilla Redux.

It looks like another failed Flytilla. Early reports indicate that provocateurs are being turned away from Lufthansa, Air France, Spanish Iberia airlines, Easy Jet and discounter Most airlines appear to be cooperating with the Israeli government and upholding international law.

From the Times of Israel:

"EasyJet in England said it had been advised by Israel of a number of passengers that would not be allowed to enter the country. The airline said it had a legal obligation to “refuse carriage of any passenger at the request of the relevant authorities.”

The Spanish Iberia airline said it had been asked by the Israeli government to increase security checks on passengers bound for Tel Aviv. As of next week, Iberia will be advising passengers with that destination to check in one and a half hours prior to boarding time"

Some of the poor hapless provocateurs will be getting poorer. Adding insult to injury, is a non-refundable airline. The hate Israel crew leaving from Manchester just received this email:

From: “CustomerCare”
Date: Apr 13, 2012 10:21 AM
Subject: – LS907 Manchester – Tel Aviv Flight LS907 Manchester to Tel Aviv Sunday 15th April 2012

Dear …, is required by the Israeli authorities to provide Advance Passenger Information in relation to all passengers that it carries on flights to Israel. Advance Passenger Information includes a passenger’s name, date of birth, passport number and nationality.

In accordance with Article 7 of its Terms and Conditions, has provided Advance Passenger Information in respect of your flight from Manchester to Israel. As a result of providing that Information, has been informed by the Israeli authorities that you will not be not permitted to enter Israel. Consequently, if carries you to Israel, you will be refused entry and will be liable for both a fine and your return to Manchester.

As a result, and in accordance with Article 24 of its Terms and Conditions, “may refuse to carry you where such action is necessary for reasons of safety and/or security and/or to comply with any applicable laws, regulations or orders of any country to be flown from, into or over including laws or regulations relating to Advance Passenger Information requirements.” We regret that, in light of the decision taken by the Israeli authorities, we are unable to accept you for carriage to Israel on this occasion and your booking with has been cancelled.

In accordance with Article 26.3 of its Terms and Conditions, is a non-refundable airline and we will therefore be unable to offer any refund, with the exception of a refund of the applicable taxes paid, as a result of the decision taken by the Israeli authorities. would like to apologise for the inconvenience caused by the cancellation of your booking, which we hope you will appreciate is totally beyond our control.

Yours sincerely Customer Care Team

Details on the latest floptilla as they become available....Stay tuned.

UPDATE April 16, 2012

Organizers claim : 45 arrived, 2 went through, 31 detained, 12 deported . 9 activists based in Yaffa have also been detained. The Hate Israel Cru estimated 1500-2500 were originally scheduled to arrived. Want to to bet they declare an overwhelming triumph for the Airflotilla?

Film Screening Israel Inside: How a Small Nation Makes a Big Difference

Celebrate democracy, diversity and innovation. Its Israel's 64th birthday. Come to a bay Area screening of Israel Inside: How a Small Nation Makes a Big Difference

Wednesday, April 25
7:30 PM
Cong. B’nai Shalom, 74 Eckley Lane, Walnut Creek

Thursday, April 26
7:00 PM
Beth Jacob Cong., 3778 Park Blvd., Oakland

Thursday, May 3
7:30 PM
Cong. Beth Emek, 1400 Nevada Street, Pleasanton

Israel Inside: How a Small Nation Makes a Big Difference is a new feature-length documentary that explores the positive characteristics of Israeli society from a humanistic, psychological, and emotional perspective. This insightful and uplifting documentary sidesteps the usual conversation of politics, conflict and violence, and tells the story of the Israeli people – whose resilience has propelled Israel to the forefront of world innovation and progress.

Despite daily challenges ranging from limited resources to security needs, Israeli creativity and inventiveness help make the world a better place. Israel has made significant advancements in the fields of science, environment, medicine and technology, and has shared these developments with the rest of the world.

How did this happen? What underlying growth factors have given rise to this small nation’s triumph over adversity?

The 55-minute film is hosted by Dr. Tal Ben Shahar, who gave up the unique distinction of being Harvard University’s most popular lecturer to return to his native country, Israel. In the film, Ben Shahar explores the core character strengths – called “actualizers” – that enable Israelis to succeed against incredible odds. Through Tal’s eyes we explore the deep-seated values such as education, family, and responsibility for the world (a Jewish concept known as “tikkun olam”), which directly contribute to Israel’s accomplishments in the economic, technological and humanitarian spheres. And while none of these actualizers are in and of themselves unique to Israel, in combination they are bringing about unparalleled progress and achievement.

Israel Inside features interviews with leading entrepreneurs, academics, and politicians including Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat, Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks, Sir Martin Gilbert, Prof. Alan Dershowitz, Prof. Jacob Frankel, Tamar Jehuda-Cohen, and Shai Agassi.

Israel Inside was produced by

Admission is free.

Presented by the Jewish Federation of the East Bay, East Bay International Jewish Film Festival, Beth Jacob Cong., Cong. Beth Emek and Cong. B’nai Shalom

Air flotilla or Air floptilla? Its all about the Noise

The organizers of the last few anti-Israel publicity stunts seem to have taken the words of Saul Alinsky to heart. "The threat is usually more terrifying than the thing itself."

Its not about the event or the tactic as much as the publicity. Its about the fight to keep the Palestinian cause in everyone's faces, blithely ignoring the uproar in the rest of the region. Pay no attention to the 9,000 people killed in Syria during the 13-month uprising.

Tangible results are meaningless- the goal is publicity at any cost. It’s a battle for "Trending" on Twitter. It’s a battle for web domination.

This weekends' "Welcome to Palestine" is no different. The campaign consists of anti- Israel activists from the United States, Europe, Australia and New Zealand who plan to go fly into Ben Gurion airport in Tel Aviv . It’s a potentially volatile situation, and security forces are gearing to stop the activists at the airport should they cause a public disturbance – something authorities believe is more than likely. After all, its all about the noise level.

From Mazin Qumsiyeh.
"Tens of thousands of media stories appeared just in the last 48 hours(ranging from social media to mainstream media). All major Israeli media
covered the campaign. Some media outlets doing several stories (almost on a
daily basis)...Our websites in different countries including support websites recorded significant increase in hits with a logarithmic growth after our
phenomenally successful press conference last Tuesday "

From our friends at CIFWatch who have created a Fact sheet on the "Welcome to Palestine campaign"- also called the Air flotilla 2

"In 2011 the Palestine Justice Network launched a campaign entitled the ‘One State Initiative’ which rejects the internationally accepted route of negotiations leading to a two-state solution in order to end the Arab-Israeli conflict. Thus, ‘Air Flotilla 2′ represents another campaign designed to lead ultimately to an externally imposed ‘one state solution’ which would entail the dismantling of Israel as a Jewish state and an end to Jewish self-determination.
Provocation and bad public relations for Israel are also part of the underlying motive of the project, as expressed by organizer Jaques Neno when he told potential participants at a meeting in Paris last January that should they end up being arrested, “you have won because when Israel puts you in prison it shows how it becomes more and more fascist”.

Social media sites are already predicting this campaign will be the next "flop-tilla". Even though, we can be sure than Mazin and friends will crow loud enough to wake the dead about the success of their operation. Its all about the noise, after all.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Egyptian Team Breaks Adidas Boycott. BDS fail?

Adidas is now being targeted by the BDS'ers for having the unmitigated audacity to have sponsored last month's Jerusalem marathon. Truly a war crime.

The boycott was announced by Saudi Prince Nawaf bin Faisal, chairman of the Arab council of youth and sports ministers and was quickly broken by Egypt, whose team, the "Pharaohs" had nothing else to wear.

From Ahram Online:
"We have no choice but to wear Adidas in the UAE camp as we don’t have any other outfits," the Egyptian national team's Executive Director Samir Adly told Ahram Online...
Earlier this month, Saudi Prince Nawaf Bin Faisal, chairman of the Arab Council of Youth and Sports Ministers, announced during the council’s meeting in Jeddah that "all companies that have sponsored the marathon in Jerusalem, including Adidas, will be boycotted."

From Arutz Sheva
"The head of the Palestinian Authority’s Olympic Committee, Jibril Rajoub said that the boycott will send a clear message to all those who think that the Israeli occupation of Jerusalem can be supported. He added that Jerusalem would remain a Muslim and a Christian city.

Rajoub added that the Jerusalem Marathon “was a provocation to all Arabs living in the city.”

Günter Comes Full Circle

(Cross-posted at Israel Thrives.)

Nobel prize winning writer, Günter Grass, was a Nazi. As a member of the Waffen SS, he was a soldier and a fighter for Nazi beliefs, values, and ideals. If he was a "good" Nazi he believed that Jews are responsible for much, if not most, of the world's misery and therefore needed to be stomped like a cockroach.

The Germans didn't slaughter the Jews because they were mean, they did it because they believed that the Jewish people were a disease on German culture and society, if not cultures and societies throughout the world. In particular, the Nazis accused its population of Jews (which amounted to about 1 percent of the whole) of being responsible for World War II, itself. They considered the Jewish people a menace who needed to be crushed. Whatever else Günter Grass thought that he was doing as a young Nazi, he promoted this bloody defamation of the Jewish people. It was a view that led to the slaughter of two-thirds of Europe's Jewish population, including much of my own family.

Since that time, of course, Grass has redeemed himself... or so we all thought. The writer of The Tin Drum was widely believed within liberal Jewish circles to be a Nazi who reclaimed his humanity. In all fairness, I have not closely followed this man's career, but he is someone that I was aware of growing up. I read The Tin Drum as a kid and I saw the movie. My recollection, faulty as it may be, was that this was an artist of sensitivity and intelligence.

That's what I thought.

Every once in awhile... however... unfortunately... to my never-ending horror and disgust... an artist or thinker that I admired comes busting out with malicious anti-Semitic nonsense of the type that historically has gotten us killed. When I first heard Helen Thomas yammering about the need for Jews to "get the hell out of Palestine" and to move back to Poland and Russia and Alpha Centauri Seven, I practically fell out of my chair. I just couldn't believe it.

And now we discover that the great, world-renowned writer, Günter Grass, still believes that the Jews are a menace to the world who want nothing more than genocide for another people, for no other reason than shear malice. He wrote:

It is the alleged right to the first strike / That could annihilate the Iranian people/ Subjugated by a loud-mouth / And guided to organized jubilation / Because in their sphere of power / It is suspected, a nuclear bomb is being built.

Annihilate the Iranian people? Really? Merely because we "suspect" a bomb is being built?

Over at Bloomberg News, Jeffrey Goldberg has some words:

Perhaps it reads better in the German, or perhaps Grass is simply T.S. Eliot’s inferior in anti-Semitic poetry, but put aside the poem’s aesthetic shortcomings and consider the idea advanced in the first two lines: That Israel, which in reality is contemplating targeting six to eight nuclear sites in Iran for conventional aerial bombardment, in fact wants to annihilate the Iranian people in a “first strike.”

This is, of course, delusional. Not even the Iranian regime seems to believe this. To make yourself believe that Israel is seeking to murder the 74 million people of Iran, you must make yourself believe that the leaders of the Jewish state outstrip Adolf Hitler in genocidal intent.

In this way the former Nazi, Günter Grass, much like his former compatriots, the original Nazis, is again telling the world that the Jews are a menace that must be stopped at all costs. The hideous irony is that the Israelis are not calling for the genocide of anyone.  All they want is to be left alone so that they can build computer doodads and send Natalie Portmans out into the world.  The fact is, however, that many of the surrounding 200 to 300 million Arabs (and Persians) are calling for the slaughter of the Jews. We are 1/50th of the region's population, yet western European's often tell one another that the Jews are menacing the Arabs and Muslims, even as so many Arabs and Muslims scream to the hillside about their genocidal desire to murder us.

How's that for twisted and sick?

And, so, Günter Grass comes full circle. He started out supporting a political movement that defamed the Jewish people, leading to our slaughter, and now he intends to go out defaming us again.

Good-bye, Günter.

You're done for the day.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Nietzsche and the Nazis: A Movie Review (Kinda)

(Cross-Posted at Israel Thrives.)

Nietzsche and the Nazis is a fascinating 2006 lecture on film by professor of intellectual history, Stephen Hicks, in which he asks the same question that people have been asking themselves since World War II: how is it that Germany, perhaps the most educated country in the entire world at the time, could turn to genocidal fascism resulting in the deaths of tens of millions of people in war and the slaughter of two-thirds of Europe’s Jews?

His answer is not that economic troubles, or Germany’s failure in World War I, were the primary causes because, indeed, Italy, a country that prevailed in World War I also turned to fascism and many countries suffering from major economic troubles do not do so. Nor does Hicks find the answer within the “essence” of German culture or the German people, as if there was something inherently evil about the Germans of that time. Yet another answer rejected by Hicks is that the rise of National Socialism in Germany was a result of the personal psychologies, failures, and neuroses, of the main cast of characters.

“Oh, come on,” he says to the camera. “How many failed art students turn to fascism?”

Instead, Hicks finds the answer in ideology and philosophy. A big part of the answer, he suggests, is in the writings of significant intellectuals and opinion makers heading into the 1930s

Millions of voters in a democracy don’t decide spontaneously to vote for this political party or that,” he notes. “A mass political movement requires that much cultural groundwork be done over the course of many years. And this is where intellectuals do their work. Intellectuals develop a culture’s ideals, its hopes, its aspirations in books, magazines, in sermons, and radio broadcasts. It is intellectuals who are a culture’s opinion shapers. It is intellectuals who write opinion pieces for the mass newspapers, who are the professors at the universities, the universities where the next generation of preachers and teachers and politicians and lawyers and physicians are all getting their education.

Hicks demonstrates that support for the Nazis did not come primarily from German street thugs, as is sometimes mistakenly assumed, but from the German middle class and intellectual elites of an intellectual society. Great German philosophers like Martin Heidegger, as well as Nobel prize winning scientists, jurists, celebrated writers and scholars supported the rise of National Socialism because they honestly believed that the ideals of Hitler’s political party represented the best hope for the German people going forward into the twentieth century.

The primary cause of Nazism resides in philosophy, not economics, not psychology, not even politics… National Socialism was a philosophy intensive movement.

The Nazis were idealists, Hicks argues. This is what so many people refuse to understand. The Nazis were not cartoon villains and their supporters were, for the most part, not street thugs. They were, instead, crusaders and idealogues in what they considered to be a noble cause.

The National Socialist German Worker's Party was a highly idealistic political party that attracted young people and college students intent upon a social revolution. They believed in socialism, collectivism, nationalism, and racism. And they opposed both Marxism and capitalism, and, needless to say, associated the Jews with both.

Hicks asks:

Come the 1920s, just how strong is the case for capitalism, liberalism, democracy, republicanism? What if a culture’s brightest intellectuals believe that democracy is a historical blip? What if they believe that the lesson of history is that people need structure and strong leadership? What if they think that history shows that some cultures are obviously superior to others, superior in their arts, their science, and technology, their religion? What if they believe that history shows that we live in a harsh world of conflict and that in such a world strength and assertiveness against your enemy are necessary to survive?

Hicks finds three main ideological themes, aside from racism, in the rise of German National Socialism: collectivism, socialism, and nationalism. Combining these themes, Nazism became a moral ideal and a spiritual crusade, with a huge following among the idealistic young.

The book burnings were not instigated by non-intellectuals, but by the students themselves.

But, if other great social-political movements drew their inspiration from certain key thinkers, who, asks Hicks, did the Nazis look to? When we think about the rise of Communism in the twentieth century the name that immediately comes to mind as the ideological father of the movement is Karl Marx. When we think about the rise of liberal-democracy and the American Revolution we look to John Locke as a primary spiritual forefather.

For the Nazis, Hicks argues, it is Friedrich Nietzsche who served that role.

If the Nazis were brutal it is, in part, because they embraced an ideal of brutality that was meant to advance the well-being of the volk. The Nazis weren’t cruel merely for the sake of cruelty, but out of a moral understanding of the world that places a premium on strength in a zero-sum contest between the “races.” Nietzsche maintained that there are essentially two types of people in the world, those with a slave’s morality and those with a master’s morality. Neither morality comes from a transcendent being because God is, after all, according to Nietzsche, "dead."  Instead, morality depends upon our biological natures and different biological natures have different moral codes. If one is a sheep what is moral would be sticking together, but if one is a wolf what is moral is aggression. In both cases, morality is a survival mechanism. A wolf who thinks that killing and eating a sheep is immoral will not survive for long.

Hicks then raises the question of whether or not, given Nietzsche’s philosophy, the Nazis were correct to regard him as a true ideological predecessor? What he finds is that in some ways they were and in some ways they were not.

For example, Nietzsche never argued, as the Nazis did, that some “races” were superior to others. Nor did Nietzsche admire the contemporary Germans, the volk. Quite the contrary. Nor was Nietzsche an anti-Semite and he viewed Christianity and Judaism as ideological allies because they both embraced, according to his philosophy, "the slave’s morality."

In other ways, however, the Nazis were right to see Nietzsche as a spiritual father to their movement. According to Hicks, both the Nazis and Nietzsche were anti-individualistic. Nietzsche believed in a form of biological determinism (an anti-individualist notion) and saw no value in the vast majority of the lives of individual people. Nietzsche’s goal was not to improve the life of the individual, but to promote the emergence of the uber-mensch for the purpose of creating a stronger species of human.

Both Nietzsche and the Nazis saw conflict as essential and good and zero-sum conflict as fundamental to the human condition.  Both were irrationalists in their view of psychology and believed in instinct over intellect. Both praised war as something that could bring out the very best in people. Both were anti-democratic, anti-liberal, and anti-capitalist.

Hicks ends his discussion with an appeal to rationality and discussion. We can fight them in theory or we can fight them on the battlefield. It is better, Hicks argues, to fight them in theory in order to prevent the rise of fascism in the future. This is where he leaves his argument and who among us would disagree with his conclusion?

Of course it is better to fight them in theory, rather than on the field of battle.

But, today, who is “them”? The Nazis, after all, are long gone and right-wing fascism is not on the rise in Europe or the west. We do see a form of genocidal fascism rising up in the Middle East, however, under the misnomer “Arab Spring.” It is the rise of radical Islam that represents the foremost geopolitical problem in the world today. Our conflict with this movement is often discussed as a battle for hearts and minds, but is it? It should be, perhaps, but do we see the west mounting actual arguments against the fascist nature of radical Islam?

I would argue that in certain conservative circles there is a discussion of the philosophical-political differences between the prevalent trends that characterize the west versus those that characterize radical Islam. This conversation, however, is only taking place on the political right, because the political left refuses to acknowledge what is before their very eyes. For the most part, the progressive-left refuses to discuss radical Islam because to do so marks one as an “Islamophobe.” In this way the progressive movement has removed itself from the discussion almost entirely.

We cannot beat them on theoretical grounds if we insist upon censoring ourselves and those around us. Further, if the left refuses to even have the discussion this leaves their political rivals on the right in charge of defining the terms of that discussion and thereby having the greater influence. It also means that, for all intents and purposes, the western left has abandoned any real fight for social justice beyond their own communities and thus has abandoned its core value of "universal human rights."

One cannot stand for universal human rights, if one will not stand up for the rights of women in the Middle East.

One cannot stand for universal human rights, if one will not stand up for the rights of gay people in the Middle East.

And one cannot stand for universal human rights, if one will not stand up for the rights of the Jewish people to live in peace and security in the Middle East.

Sad, but true.