As to commentary and clarifying comments in brackets [ ] only: © Mark Rosenblit
THE BIG LIE
JULY 12, 2001
Questions Over West Bank Newborn Death
By MOHAMMED DARAGHMEH
Associated Press Writer
BARDALA, West Bank (AP) -- Israeli soldiers did not bar a Palestinian woman in labor from passing an Israeli checkpoint, her relatives said Thursday, contradicting initial claims by two Palestinian doctors who blamed a checkpoint delay for the newborn's death. The baby boy was born in a taxi at the checkpoint Tuesday, and was dead on arrival at a nearby Palestinian clinic, the family said. A doctor said the boy suffocated because the family members assisting in the birth did not know how to keep his airway open. The Israeli army had said in an initial response that the doctors' claims were unfounded, but that it was investigating the case. The army reiterated Thursday that soldiers did not bar the woman from passing the checkpoint.
The events began Tuesday afternoon at a remote Bedouin encampment in the hills of the northern West Bank. Firial Dais, a resident of the encampment, went into labor and her father-in-law, Ali, went to the nearest highway, about 10 minutes away, to flag down a taxi.
Ali Dais, speaking to The Associated Press on Thursday, said it took him about 30 minutes to find a taxi. He said he, his wife and daughter-in-law got into the taxi and drove toward the village of Tubas which has a medical clinic.
En route, they came upon an Israeli army checkpoint which was closed to Palestinian traffic at the time. Dais, 50, said he did not alert soldiers at the checkpoint to the fact that his daughter-in-law was in labor, and, when pressed, had no explanation.
Dais also said he did not remember how many cars, if any, were waiting at the checkpoint, adding that he was flustered by the situation. The taxi had been waiting for about 15 minutes at the checkpoint when the woman gave birth, said Dais, who was herding his flock of sheep Thursday close to the village of Bardala, several miles from his encampment.
After the birth, the taxi driver walked up to the soldiers and explained the situation to them. "They (the soldiers) asked whether it was a boy or a girl. They allowed us to pass, and we did," Dais said.
The shepherd said that by the time they reached the Tubas clinic, the boy was dead.
The director of the clinic, Dr. Abdel Hassan Daraghmeh, told the AP on Wednesday that the taxi had been held up at the roadblock for an hour.
Asked to explain the discrepancy, Dr. Daraghmeh said Thursday that it was the driver, not the woman's relatives, who informed him there had been a considerable delay at the checkpoint.
The family's physician, Dr. Ghassan Hamdan, said initially that he delivered the baby at the checkpoint after soldiers prevented the mother from traveling to a hospital. But he later said he was not present for the birth and only heard of the case second-hand.
© The Associated Press
[Note: This story is just the tip of the iceberg. That "Palestinian" Arabs, even respected professionals -- such as doctors, lawyers and "government" ministers -- continually lie and otherwise distort reality as part of their propaganda war against Israel is not surprising. That the Associated Press subsequently bothered to fact-check the two major lies appearing in its initial reportage of this story and then published the truth is surprising (and refreshing). Of course, the fact that the father-in-law and the taxi driver of the pregnant women revealed the truth is also to be commended. However, the real problem with The Associated Press and other syndicated media is that this corrective story is the exception that proves the rule, namely, that the constant and unerring repetition of the Big Lie -- as perfected by Nazi propaganda minister Paul Josef Goebbels during the Holocaust -- eventually and alchemically converts such tales from patently outrageous mendacities into unchallengeable truisms. When such media organizations -- as is their routine practice -- initially publish these "Palestinian" lies without prior fact-checking, the media thereby become a midwife to these blood libels. Subsequent fact-checking and post-publication corrective reports by the media are a poor substitute for what should be the media's initial refusal to publish such falsehoods. Please remember this story and the other articles in this Compendium the next time that you read a news report by an international media service in which a "Palestinian" Arab -- even a respected professional -- has accused the Jewish State of the basest atrocities. Of course, not all of these lies are motivated by Ideology; some are motivated by Fear (e.g., the concern that, by refusing to “corroborate” anti-Israel calumnies, the uncooperative person thereby endangers himself and/or his family). -- Mark Rosenblit]
[Note: An additional installment of the Big Lie was disseminated worldwide by means of a movie -- "Jenin, Jenin" -- which was made by an "Israeli" Arab actor about the fictitious massacre of "defenseless" Arabs by the Israeli Defense Forces in Jenin in Spring 2002. Read on!]
(Jerusalem Post, November 22, 2002) WEIN ON-LINE, BY BEREL WEIN: Hebron, Hebron
The merciless slaughter of Jews in Hebron last Shabbat [as a result of an Arab terror atrocity] has cast a further pall over all of us. The murders at Kibbutz Metzer the previous week are now pushed back by the blood of these new victims of Arab terror. The killings are all without strategic purpose any longer. The Arabs realize that their cause for Palestinian statehood has been badly impaired, if not completely destroyed, by their murderous terror. So, they are now killing just to kill, without true cause or practical purpose.
This is the harvest of hatred and propaganda foisted on the current Arab generation by 50 years of corrupt, cynical, and tyrannical leadership. As long as Arab schoolchildren are taught to hate Jews, as long as all of the ills of the Arab world are always blamed on the Zionists, as long as they are still told that eventually there will be no State of Israel, chances for peace and accommodation are absolutely nil. No "Peace Now" slogans can change this reality. That is really the lesson of the last decade of Arab-Israeli relations. Delusional haters are not partners for any type of peace.
No Israeli filmmaker is going to make a movie about Kibbutz Metzer or about Hebron. No, the movie that is made and shown in Israel to the intellectual avant garde is "Jenin, Jenin". In an article that recently appeared here in the Hebrew press, Dr. David Zangan, who was present during the fighting at Jenin, described the movie and the Jewish audience attending its showing. The movie is riddled with outright lies, misstatements, half-truths, and Palestinian propaganda.
The Palestinian doctor that was the head of a hospital in Jenin claims on camera that Israeli troops totally destroyed its newly built west wing. The truth is that there was never any west wing. The movie could not show the rubble of the destroyed west wing. It merely blithely accepted the lie, although the movie makers should have been aware, with a little investigation on their part, of the true situation.
The movie claims that electricity and water supplies to the hospital were cut off during the fight. Zangan states that the hospital was not damaged and that the IDF was careful to make certain that electricity, oxygen, and water were supplied to the hospital on a normal basis. When Zangan confronted the filmmaker on this, his only response was that a shard of broken glass, dramatically highlighted in the film, must have come from the imaginary west wing.
A 75-year-old Palestinian interviewed in the movie told how he was roused from bed in the middle of the night and was shot in the hand and leg by soldiers. He neglected to say that he had never been shot in the leg, that his hand wound was superficial, and that he was treated by army medics on the spot. Zangan and other Israeli doctors, upon examining him, saw that he had a chronic heart problem and he was then taken to Ha'emek Hospital in Afula and treated for three days for his heart problem and anemia.
The movie claims that a baby was shot dead and that medical attention was denied him by the Israelis. The body of such a baby was never found, nor was the child's name ever told to anyone. Where did he disappear to?
Stories about tanks crushing people, mass graves, air strikes, were all solemnly and mournfully detailed. The fact that no tanks crushed anyone, that there were no air strikes on Jenin, and that no mass graves exist in Jenin meant nothing to the filmmaker, who certainly had an agenda of his own, unrelated to the facts. The movie was shot in Jenin two weeks after the fact and the Palestinians "prepared" the sets in a most manipulative and distorted fashion.
The most disturbing thing to me is that when Zangan attempted to present these facts to the audience that saw the movie, he was hissed and booed off the stage. "Murderer" and "war criminal" were two of the milder epithets hurled at him. The Israelis present at the screening were so blinded by their disappointment at having been wrong about Yasser Arafat and the whole sorry "peace" mess that they turn their frustration inward at Jews who are trying to save their very lives.
Of course, they will say that the Hebron massacre is all the fault of the "settlers" and that Jews have no rights to pray at the Cave of the Patriarchs. Jenin, Jenin will undoubtedly have a long and successful series of showings worldwide. After all, it is not anti-Israeli because it was made by Israelis. But us "old Jews" know better. We have seen this all before in every age and every struggle. Eventually, Hebron with all of its difficulties and sacrifices will survive, while Jenin, Jenin will be cast in the dust bin of all other false histories.
(c) 2002 The Jerusalem Post
[Note: Here is Dr. Zangan's eye-witness account of the Jenin "massacre" and his recounting of his futile attempt to present the true facts to a Jewish audience in Jerusalem who had just watched the Big Lie movie "Jenin, Jenin". Read on!]
SEVEN LIES ABOUT JENIN
(Article by Dr. David Zangen, Ma'ariv, November 8, 2002, Weekend Supplement)
I watched Muhammad Bakri's film Jenin, Jenin in a limited forum, with Jerusalem Cinematheque Director Leah Van Leer and several journalists. After the private screening, I responded and indicated each lie and lack of credibility. One of those present at the screening was outraged: "If you don't accept the facts in the film, you apparently don't understand anything; how can you be a doctor?"
For a moment, I forgot that I had been in Jenin last April, serving as a regional brigade doctor, while this viewer had, at best, been fed on rumors. Bakri expertly weaves together lies and half-truths until it becomes very difficult not to be seduced by the distorted picture he creates.
I did not succeed in convincing the Cinematheque management to cancel the screening. I was told that the pictures of destroyed homes were authentic and that there was, therefore, truth in the film, and that the film would be shown around the world in any case. Even so, I was invited to its premiere screening in Jerusalem and I arrived in order to explain my position to the audience. Following are several points that I wished to raise to the audience:
1. Dr. Abu Riali, director of the hospital in Jenin, claims in the film that the western wing of the hospital was shelled and destroyed and that the IDF knowingly hit the hospital's water and power supplies. There never was any such wing and in any case, no part of the hospital was either shelled or blown up. IDF soldiers took care not to enter its grounds even though we knew that it was serving as a refuge for several wanted fugitives. We guarded the water, electricity and oxygen supplies to the hospital all throughout the fighting and assisted in setting up an emergency generator after the city's electrical system was damaged. Bakri himself is seen in the film wandering the hospital's clean and well-kept corridors, but not in the blown up wing. I met him outside the theater and asked him if he had visited the western wing. At first he said no, then he corrected himself and said, "You remember one moment in the film with shattered glass -- it was from there." It is important to point out that this Abu Riali is one of the "authorized sources" for the claim of a "massacre." At the beginning of the operation, he was interviewed on Al-Jazeera television and spoke of, "thousands of victims."
2. Another impressive part of the film is the interview with a male 75-year-old Jenin resident who mumbles and cries and tells how he was taken out of his bed in the middle of the night, shot in the hand, and after he failed to obey the soldiers' command to get up, was shot again in the foot. I met this very same old man as he was brought to me after an operation to clear one of the Hamas cells' houses in the refugee camp. He had indeed been lightly injured in the hand and was suffering from a minor scratch on the foot, but certainly not as the result of a bullet. IDF soldiers transferred him to a secure station that had been set up to treat wounded and there he was treated by me, among others. One of the military doctors identified diagnosed a heart problem. We suggested that he be transferred immediately to Haemek Hospital in Afula for treatment. He asked to be treated at the hospital in Jenin since he did not speak Hebrew. After the hospital refused to admit him, we transferred him to Afula and he stayed there for three days in the internal medicine department for treatment of his heart problems and the anemia that he suffered from as a result of another chronic illness.
3. Another person who was interviewed spoke about a baby who suffered a chest wound from a bullet that entered through his chest and exited his body, creating a hole in his back. According to the film the baby died after IDF soldiers prevented his evacuation to hospital. A baby's body with this type of injury has never been found. Moreover, such an injury would have been fatal, and evacuation would not have saved his life. What is this baby's name? Where did his body disappear to?
4. The same person interviewed also told how, using his finger, he opened the baby's airway in his neck after he was injured. Again, a complete lie. Such an action cannot be carried out with a finger. This "witness" adds that tanks ran over living people many times until they were completely crushed -- this never happened and is imaginary.
5. The film mentions a mass gravesite that IDF soldiers dug for Palestinian dead. Every international organization that investigated the matter concur that there were 52 Palestinian dead in Jenin, and that all the bodies were returned to the Palestinians for burial. Bakri does not bother to show the supposed location of this mass gravesite.
6. Israeli planes that supposedly bombed the city are mentioned in the film. There were no such planes. In order to prevent civilian casualties, only focused helicopter fire was used.
7. It is interesting to note that Bakri was not present in Jenin at the time of the operation, and only arrived two weeks after it was completed. In pictures shot at the site in the center of Jenin, the damage appears much larger than it was in actual fact, and the martyrs' [suicide bombers'] pictures and jihad slogans -- which had been present at the time of the IDF military operation -- had disappeared from the walls of houses. The film systematically and repeatedly uses manipulative pictures of tanks taken in other locations, artificially placing them next to pictures of Palestinian children.
In general, this is a vulgar, but extremely well done, work of manipulation. At the conclusion of the film, hundreds of viewers gave Bakri and the film's editor a standing ovation. Bakri asked the audience if there were any questions. I presented myself, I went up to the stage and began to systematically list the lies and inaccuracies in the film.
At first there were whispers in the audience, and later scornful calls, and I was labeled a "murderer," "war criminal" etc. I had barely succeeded in finishing my second point when a man in the audience aggressively came up on stage and tried to take the microphone out of my hand. I decided not to be dragged into violence. I allowed him to take the microphone and left the stage. I was surprised that only a few people stood up for my right to free speech and free expression. I was shocked that the audience was unwilling to hear the facts from someone who had physically been there.
It was difficult for me as a person, as a father and a doctor to hear calls of "murderer" from my people. I said that I did not kill anyone. But the calls became more heated, immense hatred was directed towards me. It left me with a hard feeling that has not subsided. I am not sorry that I went to the Cinematheque that evening. I am certain that in any case there were people who heard my doubts, and that this changed a small amount of their feelings towards the "facts" they saw. I am sure there were other people who were shocked at the intolerance demonstrated by the audience, but even so, it is hard for me [to accept] that they were the silent minority.
Allow me to say what I was unable to say to those people that evening. I am proud that I was part of this excellent and ethical force that operated in Jenin, regular army soldiers and reservists with motivation and a fighting spirit, who went to destroy the terrorist infrastructure in its capital. Many suicide-bombers came from Jenin, and were responsible for the murder of the elderly, women and children on our streets. I am proud that we were there, that we fought, and I also am proud of the morality of the battle. The camp was not bombed from the air in order to prevent innocent civilian casualties, and artillery was not used even though we knew about specific areas in the [refugee] camp where terrorists were holing up. IDF soldiers fought against terrorists, and terrorists only. Before destroying a building where terrorist fire against our soldiers had originated from, as many warnings as could be allowed, were given, so that the people could leave without injury. The medical team administered medical aid to all casualties, even if they had Hamas tattoos on their hands. At no point was any person refused medical treatment.
This battle, heroic on one hand and ethical on the other, took a heavy toll from the best of our fighters! We who had to be there -- the soldiers that fell there, their families and the IDF -- do not deserve that Muhammad Bakri should incite the world to murder and hatred at our expense.
[Note: Here are the true facts about the Spring 2002 assault on Jenin, launched in response to the horrific suicide bombing which murdered and maimed scores of innocents at a Passover seder in Netanya. Read on!]
What happened in Jenin?
[State of Israel] Ministry of Foreign Affairs
When the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) entered the refugee camp in the West Bank city of Jenin during Operation Defensive Shield, they encountered dozens of heavily armed terrorists shielding themselves behind Palestinian civilians. 23 Israeli soldiers, who risked their lives to avoid harming non-combatants, died in the fierce battle which ensued, while Palestinian casualties amounted to 56 (the vast majority of them armed terrorists). There were not hundreds or even thousands of civilian casualties, as the PA had originally claimed, and the Palestinian allegations of a 'massacre' were found to be completely baseless.
Jenin's terror industry -- with its command centers, explosives laboratories and arms caches -- has produced over two dozen suicide bombers and countless other armed terrorists. Prior to Operation Defensive Shield, the IDF had avoided entering Jenin's refugee camp, a small yet densely population section of the city. However, the appalling increase in attacks in March 2002 left Israel with no option but to strike at the terrorist infrastructure sheltered within the camp.
Jenin's refugee camp was not only a staging area of Palestinian suicide terrorism, it was also the site chosen by the armed terrorists to serve as a battleground against Israeli forces. These terrorists had prepared the field well, extensively booby-trapping houses and streets, and setting up sniper positions within civilian homes and structures. They acted with no regard for the safety of the camp's inhabitants or their property, and encouraged residents, including children, to take an active role in the fighting.
Shortly after the battle began, PA spokespersons proclaimed worldwide that Israeli forces had committed a "massacre" in Jenin. The Palestinians originally said that 3,000 civilians had been killed, but gradually reduced their claim to about 500. A few weeks later, after questions began to be raised in the international media, a high-ranking Fatah official was forced to admit that the death toll numbered only in the dozens. Kadoura Mousa Kadoura, the Director of the northern West Bank for Yasser Arafat's Fatah movement, told reporters that his own investigation showed that 56 Palestinians had died in Jenin during the operation. These were largely armed fighters, killed during combat. The subsequent report by the UN Secretary General, which found no evidence of a massacre, could only verify 52 Palestinian casualties.
The "Jenin massacre" myth is particularly galling since the IDF took great care to avoid harming innocent non-combatants, even though this increased the exposure of its own soldiers to risk. The IDF chose to employ infantry in house-to-house sweeps rather than using heavier weapons which, while providing Israeli troops with greater security, would also increase the risk to the civilian Palestinian population. Israel paid a heavy price for this decision -- 23 Israeli soldiers were killed and dozens more were injured in the fierce close combat that ensued.
The Palestinian Authority's unfounded allegations of a massacre combined with misrepresentative television pictures of heavy damage -- which in actuality was confined to a limited section of the refugee camp -- persuaded the international community to embark upon a UN investigation of events in Jenin. UN Secretary General Kofi Annan then initiated the formation of a fact-finding team to develop accurate information regarding the events in Jenin. Due to its high regard for the UN Secretary General, Israel immediately announced its support for UN Security Council Resolution 1405,which welcomed the Secretary General's initiative.
However, Israel believed that a number of points had to be clarified prior to the arrival of the team in order to safeguard the impartiality of the team's work. Israel believed that the team's mandate had to include an examination of Palestinian terrorism in the camp that created the necessity for Israel's military actions there. The right to self-defense, and the obligation to combat terrorism, could not be ignored. Israel expected that the Security Council definition of the mission as a "fact-finding" team would be preserved and that the practices of previous UN fact-finding efforts be maintained, including with regard to respect for the identity and rights of individuals providing information. While Israel had every intention of sharing information with the team, in the fight against terrorism, some information must remain classified and it would have been unreasonable to expect Israel to expose all of its security and operational secrets upon demand.
As satisfactory terms of reference could not be agreed upon, Secretary General Kofi Annan decided to disband the fact-finding team. By this time, respectable news outlets the world over and human rights organization finally confirmed what Israel had stated from the beginning -- that there had been no massacre in Jenin.
Unfortunately, the Palestinians continue their attempts to perpetuate the Jenin massacre myth, often adding unfounded allegations regarding the denial of vital humanitarian aid. In clear contradiction to their own claims, the Palestinians often spread these lies in the same breath that they refer to the refugee camp as "Jeningrad", a modern Stalingrad-like last stand, and the site of a great and heroic battle.
[Note: The Big Lie continues to prosper. This time its subject is Arab olive trees, cruelly hacked by Jewish settlers. Or were they merely zealously pruned by their Arab owners? Read on!]
500 Palestinian olive trees destroyed; hack down olive groves
By Matthew Gutman
(Jerusalem Post, November 3, 2003) It looked as if a lumberjack had run amok in the olive groves of the Palestinian village of Ein Abus, just south of Nablus.
Some 500 olive trees on dozens of dunams of land had been hacked limbless over the weekend and last week, and on Sunday the Palestinian farmers unanimously pointed an accusatory finger at their neighbors on the hilltop: the settlers of Yitzhar.
This is the latest installment of an annual struggle between the fringes of the settlement movement and Palestinian olive harvesters across the West Bank. The IDF proudly stated that, as opposed to last year, it has managed to limit settler vandalism of Palestinian olive groves to only two or three incidents.
But that was not enough for Fauzi Hussein. Settlers from the unauthorized outpost of Mitzpe Yitzhar -- dismantled in July but since repopulated -- swooped down from their hilltop perch and hacked apart 255 of his olive trees, he says. The villagers only dare approach the hilltops near the settlements when accompanied by human rights groups and an IDF escort.
"I staked everything I had in those trees," pleaded Hussein, who had worked in Tel Aviv's tourist hot spot of Kikar Atarim for 23 years before the onset of the intifada. Hopping down from one of the mountain's ragged terraces to talk to a reporter, the 53-year-old Hussein said he had supported his entire family by his olive harvest, the bulk of which he sold to Saudi Arabia.
Standing nearby, former deputy defense minister MK Ephraim Sneh (Labor), who hiked up to see the damage, said: "This is the sort of crime that every Jew must condemn in the strongest terms. This is the only source of income for the destitute peasants of this village."
Sneh called for the immediate evacuation of Hill 725 and Mitzpe Yitzhar, both of which had been dismantled in the last five years, only to pop back up. The two outposts crown the hills surrounding the fertile valley where most of the villagers live.
The olive harvest lasts about a month and a half during the fall, and this year, said IDF Central Command spokesman Maj. Yoni Shenfeld, only a few incidents were registered. In the Hebron Hills, farmers accused settlers of stealing their crops and in the village of A-Sawiya settlers hacked down another 300 olive trees.
Shenfeld added that, despite the "shocking uprooting and chopping of trees here," the villagers have been able to farm their 20,000 dumans of groves that sweep into the valley below largely undisturbed. About 50 dunams of trees were destroyed.
For their part, the settlers were unmoved by the incident. "We don't know who did it. But what I do know is that when the Arabs creep close to the community for the harvest it becomes a security problem. We are very happy that from now on they will not be able to approach too close.
"Anyway, the trees grow back, and ultimately we hope to harvest them in the place of the unwanted inhabitants of the area," said Yitzhar community spokesman Yosi Peli in a telephone interview. When asked if they heard the chain saws on previous nights, the soldiers guarding Hill 725, just 100 meters up the hill from the olive groves, shrugged. They said they had heard nothing. The Judea and Samaria police expressed shock over the damaged trees and wondered how no one heard the chainsaws lopping them down.
As Hussein passionately highlighted the absurdity of the IDF declaring his plot of land a closed military area, but allowing settlers to live there, Capt. A, one of the soldiers guarding the harvesters burst out: "Why doesn't Fauzi [Hussein] tell you about the five men in the village who planned to blow themselves up in Tel Aviv. Or that the last suicide bomber [who detonated himself at a Tulkarm checkpoint on October 9] was from the neighboring village of Uriff? Why doesn't he tell you about the posters of the shahids [martyrs] plastered in the elementary school classroom down there in the valley?"
Dumbstruck, Hussein had no ready answer.
Rabbi Arik Ascherman, the chairman of Rabbis for Human Rights, tried to explain to the three soldiers that Palestinian violence does not justify the settlers' vandalism, and in fact only breeds more hatred.
Picking up a lifeless branch from his grove, Nabil, 24, was sapped of hope. "No olives, no money," he said in English. Later he explained that men of his generation "do anything to get some work. When there is no work in the village, we walk across the border to Israel. When we cannot do that, some steal from Arabs and Jews. They also get themselves into other problems [by joining terrorist groups]."
A few members of the controversial International Solidarity Movement milled around chatting with the olive pickers, but they refused to be interviewed by anyone affiliated with The Jerusalem Post, they said.
Nabil's claim effectively sums up Chief of General Staff Lt.-Gen. Moshe Ya'alon's misgivings about Israel's policy regarding the Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza. In messages leaked to the press, he argued that Israel was forging a generation of hatred through partially unnecessary closures and sieges which would eventually backfire.
More than 60% of Palestinians live on less than a $2 per day, according to most recent World Bank report. Human rights activists note that with the collapse of the Palestinian economy many villages have reverted to subsistence farming.
"Although many of these people in the [Jewish] settlements claim to be religious, apparently many verses found in my Torah are missing from theirs," said Ascherman.
(©) The Jerusalem Post
YESHA RESIDENTS DENY CUTTING TREES; ACCUSERS REFUSE LIE-DETECTOR TEST
(Arutz Sheva, November 10, 2003) It led to anti-settler headlines, international embarrassment for the State of Israel, condemnations, and apologetics -- and yet it all may have been one big bluff, or worse.
On Nov. 3, the branches of hundreds of Arab-owned olive trees were found to have been cut down near the small Jewish community of Mitzpeh Yitzhar in the Shomron. Suspicions were immediately focused on the Jewish residents living nearby, and media reports and public officials took it for granted that they were responsible. The Jerusalem Post internet site reported on Nov. 7, "Last week, settlers from settlements in northern Samaria hacked approximately 500 olive trees belonging to Palestinians," and on the same day, a Voice of America report by Iris Makler went even further by opening, "Israeli settlers in the West Bank have destroyed olive trees belonging to Palestinian farmers in several areas in recent weeks..."
Israeli officials, too, were quick to respond. President Katzav issued a sharp condemnation, saying that the "struggle with the Palestinians ... must be conducted with good sense and integrity." Prime Minister Sharon said he views the matter with "great gravity," adding that he had ordered the security establishment to "take all possible measures" to catch those responsible for uprooting the trees. A headline in Ynet quoted Labor MK Ephraim Sneh as saying, "The Palestinians whose olive trees were cut down by settlers must be compensated." Even the Yesha Council of Rabbis fell into the trap, stating that that acts of vengeance carried out by individuals are forbidden and condemnable, and that the tree-cutting had "defamed the entire sector of Jews living in Judea, Samaria and Gaza."
The story has taken a dramatic turn, however, though the mass media have largely ignored it. Police now feel that left-wing Israelis and the Arab tree-owners may have manufactured the entire incident as a provocation and a way to besmirch the Jewish population. The police have requested that Rabbi Arik Asherman of the Reform Movement and an Arab who both filed charges against Jewish Yesha residents submit to lie-detector tests -- but the two have, thus far, refused to do so.
The investigation began its about-face when a Jewish National Fund expert brought in by the police concluded that no lasting damage was done to the trees, and that the tree-cutters did not "cut down" the trees, but rather "pruned" them. The severed branches, he said, will begin growing back within 2-3 months. The police thereupon requested that those who filed the accusations against the Jews take lie-detector tests.
"If it is determined that we are speaking about a provocation in which someone cut these branches and then filed a false accusation with the police, then we are dealing with false testimony, which is a serious infraction," police superintendent Doron Ben-Ami said.
Residents of the village of Yitzhar in Northern Shomron and environs have published a statement denying any connection to the cutting of the olive trees. In response to MK Ephraim Sneh and others, the residents wrote, "There is not one bit of truth in these accusations, which are simply baseless slander."
It appears that one need not be a policeman to suspect that the entire story was nothing more than another form of anti-Jewish libel. Rabbi Elyakim Levanon of Elon Moreh said that he was told by "official sources" that the pruning involved "dozens of hours of electric sawing." How is it, he asks, "that no one heard? I heard that one of the Arabs said something like, 'we heard something, but we didn't pay attention.' This is a total put-on: how could it be that throughout hours and even days of work, an entire village heard nothing?! [It's possible] that the Arabs did it themselves, in the course of regular pruning, after which someone had the brilliant idea of blaming it on the Jews..."
At the same time, Rabbi Levanon said that there are instances in which Jews would be permitted to cut down Arab trees. Asked what he thinks about Arabs harvesting their olives in proximity to Jewish communities during times of terrorist dangers, he said, "It definitely should not be enabled, but the question is who must stop them. It's obvious that not every individual is permitted to make these decisions on his own. The general guidelines are that in a perimeter of 300 meters around each community, Arabs are simply not allowed to enter. If they do so, it becomes a matter of immediate self-defense, and in such a case, individuals are allowed to take action. They may even take action against the property -- i.e., olive trees -- of those who endanger them in this way... Not long ago, Arab olive harvesters reconnoitered a community in the Shomron and identified a break in the fence, through which terrorists infiltrated and murdered three precious Jews."
Aviad Vissuly, of the Haifa-area Land of Israel Movement, stated, "It is incumbent upon Central Command O.C. Maj.-Gen. Moshe Kaplinsky to issue clear directives with regard to the [Arab] harvesting of olives on state-owned lands in areas adjacent to Jewish towns. This will eliminate the friction, misunderstandings, and vilification of Israel across the globe. For some unknown reason, Kaplinsky refuses to do so, and as a result, Jewish residents, the IDF and the State of Israel are vilified regularly by the press corps."
[Note: The false report of olive tree hacking received worldwide publicity. Yet the results of the subsequent police investigation received hardly any publicity, even within Israel. Arutz Sheva, which did report on the results of the police investigation, has a limited audience; and it is published only on the Internet. -- Mark Rosenblit]
[Note: The Big Lie never dies. P.A. officials and P.A.-controlled media continue to accuse Israel of the most outrageous -- and ridiculous -- atrocities. Read on!]
PA claims Israel selling "carcinogenic" juice
By KHALED ABU TOAMEH and
(Jerusalem Post, June 16, 2005) Israel has been flooding the Palestinian market with carcinogenic juice and "suspicious" computers used by its Defense Ministry, the Palestinian Authority claimed Tuesday.
Such allegations, which were common under Yasser Arafat's rule, have resurfaced in recent weeks in the Palestinian media.
PA officials have also accused Israel of dumping toxic chemical waste in some areas in the West Bank with the intention of causing severe damage to the health of Palestinians.
Last month, PA-controlled newspapers claimed that Israel was using wild pigs to destroy crops and agricultural farms in the West Bank. The papers claimed that settlers and IDF soldiers were seen setting loose many wild pigs near Palestinian villages as part of a campaign designed to destroy the Palestinian economy.
A senior official in the Prime Minister's Office [of Israel] said that with these types of allegations, the PA was resorting "to the same types of lies Yasser Arafat used to spread."
According to this official, the allegations represented a pandering to the radical elements on the Palestinian street and not much attention should be paid to them.
At the same time, he said that if the PA was being dragged along by the radical elements, then "the Palestinians are not on the way to a state, but rather to another intifada."
Asked if he was not concerned about the frequency of these types of remarks recently, he said it was not clear whether they represented "an ominous trend" or were part of intra-Palestinian politics.
But, he said, as PA officials stray from reconciliation to comments of this type, "there will be greater objection inside Israel about being able to move forward with the PA" on a diplomatic track.
Comments such as these, as well as PA Foreign Minister Nasser al-Kidwa's remarks last week that the PA had no intention of dismantling the terror organizations, would not halt disengagement, the official said, but would raise questions about moving forward with any type of diplomatic process with the PA after the disengagement.
The latest charge was made by Dr. Youssef Abu Safiyeh, chairman of the PA's Environment Authority, who told Palestinian legislators in Ramallah that the PA security forces had recently seized a number of shipments from Israel that included canned juice containing a carcinogenic substance.
"These drinks are specifically produced for Palestinian consumers in the Gaza Strip," Abu Safiyeh said.
He also claimed that the Egyptian authorities last March intercepted two Israeli trucks carrying children's toys that included carcinogenic and radioactive substances. The trucks were seized at the Rafah border crossing, he added.
Abu Safiyeh criticized the PA's law enforcement authorities for failing to prevent the import of second-hand Israeli commodities, including computers and other electrical appliances. He claimed that more than 200 computers previously used by the Defense Ministry had found their way to the markets of the Gaza Strip.
Over the past few years, PA officials have repeatedly claimed that Israel was distributing corrupt food in Palestinian cities. They were quoted in the Palestinian media as saying that the Israeli government was selling expired food products to Palestinians with the intention of spreading various diseases among them.
In 2001, the PA claimed that Israel was responsible for poisoned chocolates and explosive toys, pens and radios that appeared in markets in the Gaza Strip.
Doctors at Shifa Hospital in Gaza City said then that they had treated several children who were allegedly poisoned after touching candy bars.
Other doctors have blamed Israel for a reported rise in cases of cancerous diseases, heart disorders, paralysis and blindness.
(©) The Jerusalem Post
[Note: Apparently, it is not enough that Israel is poisoning the People. Now, settler agents of the Zionist Entity are also poisoning the Land. Read on!]
Dahlan: Settlers poisoning land
By KHALED ABU TOAMEH
(June 30, 2005) Palestinian Authority Minister of Civil Affairs Muhammad Dahlan, who is in charge of coordinating with Israel the withdrawal from the Gaza Strip, on Wednesday accused Jewish settlers of "poisoning" the lands in the settlements slated for evacuation.
Dahlan told reporters in Gaza City that the aim of "poisoning" the lands was to cause severe damages to them so that the Palestinians would not be able to use them after the Israeli pullout.
"We have information that the Israeli settlers are poisoning the lands in order to damage them and to prevent Palestinians from using them in the future," he said.
Dahlan, said that the Palestinians regard the withdrawal from any piece of land as a "victory" for their will and an "achievement accomplished through the sacrifices of thousands of martyrs and wounded."
He warned, however, that Israel was planning to turn the Gaza Strip into a "big prison" after its withdrawal, noting that the PA was insisting that all border crossings into the area be handed over to the Palestinians.
"If Israel doesn't relinquish its control over crossings and terminals, this means that Israel is not withdrawing from the Gaza Strip; it means that Israel is deepening its occupation," Dahlan added.
Dahlan said that coordination with Israel was focusing on three issues; the Rafah border terminal, the safe passage between the Gaza Strip and the West Bank and the Palestinian airport and harbor.
He said the coordination talks were also focusing on the assets inside the settlements and the "legal status" of the Gaza Strip and northern West Bank after the withdrawal.
According to Dahlan, the coordination with Israel does not mean that the Palestinians should make any concessions.
Dahlan complained that Israel was continuing its policy of foot-dragging with regards to the coordination process, pointing out that the Israeli government was refusing to hand over to the PA full information on the settlement assets.
"In principle, Israel will evacuate the border crossings, but details about that were not discussed and they didn't give clear answers about it. The Israeli government will keep the Karni [commercial] crossing working as it is now but with introducing some advanced technologies," Dahlan claimed.
He also claimed that Israel was not interested in having contiguity between the Gaza Strip and the West Bank because it prefers the current situation to remain as it is after the withdrawal. "The Israeli government doesn't understand the issue of the airport and they don't want us to use it or fix it or even reopen it after the withdrawal," he said.
Asked about the smuggling operations across the Egyptian border, Dahlan suggested that a third party should be involved in this issue to make sure that no weapons are smuggled into the Gaza Strip.
He described the recent meeting in Jerusalem between PA chairman Mahmoud Abbas and Prime Minister Ariel Sharon as "bad," adding that it had increased Palestinians' fears that Israel was planning to renege on the understandings reached earlier this year at the Sharm e-Sheikh summit.
Dahlan urged all Palestinian factions to coordinate with the PA their moves ahead of the withdrawal.
"These factions have not given responses yet as to whether they want to work with us," Dahlan said, adding that the "window of opportunity" was still open for all the groups.
Dahlan also called on Hamas and Islamic Jihad to consider joining a PA "national unity" cabinet.
(©) The Jerusalem Post
[Note: Again with the poisoning? Read on!]
Palestinians: Israel poisoned Gaza land
By Khaled Abu Toameh
(Jerusalem Post, August 25, 2005) Representatives of various Palestinian groups in the Gaza Strip on Wednesday accused Israel of burying "toxic materials" under the rubble of dismantled settlements to prevent Palestinians from exploiting the land.
The allegations were made during a press conference in Khan Yunis that was organized by the Popular Committee for Defending Palestinian Lands.
Committee coordinator Abdel Aziz Qadih claimed that the IDF and the settlers had buried the toxic materials six meters under the rubble of the settlements that were evacuated last week. He did not specify the type of toxins, but claimed that they were placed in large barrels underground.
"They want to destroy the land to prevent the Palestinians from using it after it's handed over to the Palestinian Authority," he said. "We call on all those who support our people to expose this matter and to help us deal with it."
Qadih also claimed that Israel was stealing water and sand from Gush Katif.
"This won't deter us from abiding by our rights and lands," he cautioned. He urged Palestinians to stay away from the settlement areas until the PA cleared the area.
(©) The Jerusalem Post
[Note: Israel also stands accused of “stealing water and sand” from the Gush Katif section of Gaza. Yet, if Israel has really poisoned the Land, then it stands to reason that the sand and water which Israel has allegedly stolen is also poisoned and, consequently, unusable. So, why would Israel want to steal toxic sand and water from Gaza? Furthermore, since more than 60% of Israel is desert, why would Israel need (or want) to steal any sand (whether clean or toxic) from Gaza? Moreover, since Gaza suffers from a chronic shortage of potable water, how would Israel manage to steal any of it? Oh those crafty, enigmatic Jews! -- Mark Rosenblit]
[Note: Again with the olive trees? Read on!]
Dec. 30, 2005 2:27 | Updated Dec. 30, 2005 5:02
Mofaz to investigate olive tree chopping
By JPOST.COM STAFF
Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz on Thursday established a special team to investigate claims by Palestinians that [Jewish] settlers intentionally uprooted their olive trees in the northern West Bank.
The decision came following complaints by Palestinians reporting of dozens of incidents in the past five years in which Israeli saboteurs allegedly damaged their olive crops.
On Monday, Judea and Samaria Police began investigating claims that Palestinians in the Nablus-area village of Burin hacked down their own olive trees to collect compensation from Israel.
The investigation followed dozens of incidents over the past five years in which Jewish saboteurs stole into Palestinians' orchards in Nablus-area villages and uprooted or hacked down olive trees.
With the Palestinian economy still sluggish after five years of fighting, many Palestinians increasingly rely on farming to earn daily wages.
'Something is clearly suspicious in the way these trees were cut,' said Supt. Shlomi Sagi, spokesman for the Judea and Samaria Police Department, after police investigators responded to claims from the village that settlers hacked down trees. 'We are investigating the claims of both sides.'
Police have no evidence of foul play by either the settlers or the Palestinians in this incident. However, several factors stumped investigators, according to Sagi. Police wondered why the settlers would trek to the far side of the orchard, the side nearest the Palestinians, to chop down the trees. They also wondered why chainsaw-wielding settlers would give the trees 'a grave pruning' rather than cut through the tree trunks.
[Note: There have been several opinion articles in Israel’s secular press which uncritically accept the claim that Jewish residents of Judea and Samaria have destroyed thousands of “Palestinian” olive trees and assert that such vandalism constitutes a violation of God’s Commandment prohibiting the destruction in time of War of trees which produce fruit or contain other edible components. The Divine Prohibition reads, in full, as follows: “When you besiege a city for many days to wage war against it to seize it, do not destroy its trees by swinging an axe against them, for from it you will eat, and you shall not cut it down -- is the tree of the field [equivalent to] a man that it should enter the siege before you? Only a tree that you know is not a food tree, it you may destroy and cut down, and build a bulwark against the city that makes war with you, until it is conquered.” (Deut. 20:19-20). A careful reading of these passages shows that the Prohibition is against destroying such trees only during purely offensive operations, meaning that fruit trees may be destroyed in order to protect and defend Jewish life, but not in order to take Gentile life (unless the former can only be accomplished by the latter). So, for example, when, from time to time, Arab terrorists have used olive tree groves as cover for surveilling and/or attacking adjacent Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria, these aggressors have created a situation where the Torah (and its Author) would permit the destruction of strategic portions of those groves in order to protect and defend Jewish lives. -- Mark Rosenblit]
[Even Israel -- to the delight of its many enemies -- sometimes promotes the Big Lie. Read on!]
Column One: 'Cool' anti-Semitism
By Caroline Glick
(Jerusalem Post, January 22, 2006) It's official: Anti-Semitism is "in." The decision to award the Palestinian film Paradise Now the Golden Globes Award for best foreign film tells us that Palestinian terror against Israelis has become so acceptable that it is now Hollywood kitsch. The sight of the Jewish American diva Sarah Jessica Parker, of Sex in the City [TV series] fame, excitedly announcing that a film which glorifies the mass murder of Jews in Israel was the big winner for 2005 only served to demonstrate how deep this trivialization of evil now runs.
On Wednesday, it was reported that the Jordanian border police have adopted a new policy regarding the entry of Israeli tourists into the Hashemite Kingdom. Any Israeli trying to enter Jordan will be turned away at the border if he is wearing or carrying any Jewish religious paraphernalia. This anti-Semitic policy, the Jordanian authorities explain, stems from security concerns. Jews, after all, are prized targets for terrorists. By this reasoning, stopping people with overtly Jewish appearances, or who have Jewish ritual articles in their luggage, is a friendly gesture.
The Foreign Ministry is not pleased with this newest Jordanian move. Israeli officials are reportedly trying to reverse the new orders. The Israeli protest is ironic because the government itself uses similar justifications for its policy of prohibiting Jews from praying on the Temple Mount. The government claims that Jews are forbidden from worshipping at Judaism's holiest site because allowing Jewish worship entails security risks.
It is hard to muster much righteous wrath towards the Golden Globes gang for granting their prize to a movie that extols the virtues of mass murderers of Jews. Today the official policy of the Israeli government regarding the status and rights of Jews in Judea and Samaria is itself based on anti-Semitic foundations.
Case in point is the government's handling of the Jewish "squatters" in the former marketplace in Hebron. The property in dispute is owned by a Jewish trust -- the Magen Avot Sephardic Community -- which purchased the land 199 years ago. Today, the Magen Avot Sephardic Community is headed by former Sephardic chief rabbi Mordechai Eliyahu. The Community wants the property to be used to house Jews.
On the face of it, it all seems rather cut and dried. The area is directly adjacent to the Jewish Avraham Avinu neighborhood. It is owned by Jews who want its current Jewish residents to remain in place. Why would the government have a problem with eight Jewish families living in the former shops in full accord with the expressed wishes of the property's owner?
On Tuesday morning I asked Lieutenant Assaf Azoulay, the spokesman for the Judea and Samaria Division, this question during a visit to Hebron. Azoulay responded angrily, "It's an issue of the supremacy of law!" He then proceeded to shout that the Supreme Court ordered that the Jews be expelled from the former shops and the IDF's job is to implement the high court's ruling.
The problem is that the Supreme Court never held a hearing on the issue and certainly never made a decision on the matter. Palestinians did petition the court some five years ago, asking that the Jews who had "squatted" in the stores -- that have been empty since 1994 and since replaced by new shops built by the Hebron municipality -- be expelled. The issue was argued before the appeals committee of the Civil Administration in Judea and Samaria two years ago.
In their ruling, the military judges tended to accept the recommendation to allow the Jews to rent the property in accordance with the wishes of the property's owners. But the judges' common sense clashed with the state prosecution's world view. Last October, for no apparent reason, Attorney-General Menachem Mazuz decided that the Jewish families must be removed from the shops no later than February 15.
And here we arrive at the main issue. In 1949, after conquering Judea and Samaria, the Jordanian regime seized all Jewish owned lands and placed them under the control of the Jordanian Custodian for Enemy Property. Jews were, by law, prohibited from entering the areas. In 1967, after Israel took control of Judea and Samaria, the government transferred control over the seized Jewish lands to the Custodian for Absentee Lands in the Civil Administration.
The question arises, why did the government not simply allow the Jewish land owners to reassert their rights over their lands? Israel's refusal to enable Jewish landowners in Judea and Samaria to exercise their rights over their private property constitutes an Israeli adoption of the anti-Semitic Jordanian legal regime which denied all Jewish property rights in Judea and Samaria.
ON THE face of it, this past Monday those who believe that Jewish civil and property rights in Judea and Samaria should be defended scored a major victory at the district courthouse in Kfar Saba. There on Monday afternoon, District Court Judge Navah Bechor acquitted Mr. Avri Ran of charges of aggravated assault against an Arab who trespassed onto his clover field on March 20, 2005.
Ran, the owner of the "Eternal Hills" organic ranch in Samaria, was indicted last spring on charges of aggravated assault of an Arab named Hader Masalam Abu Haniyeh from the village of Hirbat Yanoun. Since the altercation 10 months ago, Ran has been prohibited from entering Judea and Samaria. For the past five months he has been jailed pending the conclusion of his trial due to the prosecution's claim that his "ideological zeal" rendered him a danger to the public.
Ran asserted that, abetted by [Jewish] extremist leftist activists, Abu Haniyeh and his associate Amar Abu Shehadeh trespassed on his field with a tractor with the purpose of destroying his crop two months before the harvest. He maintained that he and three of his employees had gone to the field on the morning of March 20 to prevent the two men from harming his crop. Disturbingly, both the police and the state prosecutors refused to investigate Ran's version of events. They adamantly insisted that Ran and his men had brutally assaulted the two Arabs, and accepted the Arabs' statement that Ran and his men had a history of abusing their Arab neighbors, who never caused them any harm.
During Ran's three month trial, the police and prosecution's claims against Ran and his three employees completely unraveled. At a hearing on December 1, Ran's attorney presented a film produced in November by a French television crew where the Abu Haniyeh and Abu Shehadeh gave a candid version of the events of March 20. On film, to a sympathetic reporter, they explained that extremist leftist activists from Israel and abroad had distributed photographs of Ran to Arab villagers and asked them to provoke Ran by trespassing on his field and by filing complaints against him with the police. In his court testimony, under cross examination, Abu Haniyeh admitted that accompanied by these leftist activists, Arabs from Yanoun routinely entered Ran's field with the aim of destroying his crop. Abu Haniyeh further admitted that not only had Ran "not assaulted him," but that "I was instructed that anytime that Avri was in the area, I had to exaggerate what happened and get Avri in trouble."
In her ruling, Judge Bechor noted that in his testimony before the court, Bentzi Kessler, the Civil Administration's land supervisor for the Nablus district, "stated that [Ran] has cultivated the clover field at least since 2000 and that his ownership of the area stems from his proprietorship of the area, and that land sellers to Jews are afraid to admit that he owns the land for fear that they will be killed." The judge further noted that the police knew that Ran owned the field because Kessler "had stated his opinion on the matter in the past to two police investigators who questioned him on the issue."
Judge Bechor issued stinging criticism of the police in the Samaria and Judea district for their "tendentious" conduct of the investigation. In her closing paragraph the judge warned, "It would be hoped that in the future, the police will conduct its investigations of similar instances without being locked into preconceived notions and by truly clarifying all the sides' versions of the events."
Although, Bechor's ruling shows that there are judges in Israel who believe that the law should be enforced without prejudice, no solace can be taken from this fact. Over the past 10 months, at the insistence of the state prosecution and the police, two Supreme Court justices -- Edna Arbel and Esther Hayut -- saw fit to jail Ran pending the conclusion of his trial. They based their decisions on the prosecution's claim that Ran's ideological beliefs rendered him a danger to society.
Yet, the protocols of his trial and Judge Bechor's judgment expose an opposite reality. Extremist leftist activists, together with local Arabs, with the backing of the police and the state prosecutors, staged a provocation with the intent of criminalizing Ran and his men who had done nothing but exert their legal right to defend their private property from trespass and destruction. The fact of the matter is that Ran, who was innocent of any wrongdoing, was jailed for five months and kept from his family and his land for 10 months.
THE REALITY that is exposed both by the Ran trial and the current dispute over Jewish property rights in Hebron is that the question of whether Jews do or do not have rights to their property is a question of policy and politics, not a question of law. Is Israeli society ready to change the current policy? Acting Prime Minister Ehud Olmert is betting that the answer is no. He thinks that just as anti-Semitism is "in" in Hollywood, so too it is "in" in Israel.
And so it is that as terror groups ratchet up their activities in Judea, Samaria and Gaza and exact their toll in Jewish blood in Tel Aviv, Olmert is fashioning his political campaign around a war against "Jewish hooligans." On Wednesday, Olmert angrily ordered the police and the IDF to take "all necessary measures" to, not only eject the Jews from the disputed shops in Hebron, but to stop attempting to reach an agreement with them. He further instructed the military and police brass to make plans to expel Jews from eight communities that are considered "unauthorized" because the current government refuses to acknowledge the rights of Jews to build in Judea and Samaria. At the same time, Olmert has announced his intention to waive the road map's requirement for the Palestinians to destroy terror groups by expressing his willingness to open negotiations with the Palestinians even as they prepare to convene a parliament packed with terrorists.
Is Israel about to adopt a policy of fighting Jews rather than defending them against Palestinian terrorists? We'll know the answer to that question on March 28 when Israelis go to the polls and elect their next government.
(©) The Jerusalem Post
[The Big Lie never dies; it only gets reinvented! Read on!]
ON LINE opinion -- Australia's e-journal of social and political debate
Gaza beach -- when politics trumps human rights
Friday, 23 June 2006
The debate over the cause of the explosion on a Gaza beach, on June 9 which killed eight Palestinian civilians, has become a cause célèbre among human rights groups, journalists and politicians. In Cairo, London, Moscow, New York and Sydney, activists and politicians have condemned Israel’s “excessive” and “brutal” military tactics. The UN secretary-general, the British Foreign Secretary and other foreign leaders immediately joined the Palestinians in blaming Israel for the explosion and tragic deaths, and the movement for another anti-Israel UN resolution began.
These condemnations have been magnified by the efforts of human rights organisations, particularly a group known as Human Rights Watch (HRW).
Within a few hours of the Palestinian reports, HRW announced its own investigation of the incident, and within a week, had issued three press releases.
The first left no room for doubt -- the Palestinians had been killed by an Israel Defence Forces (IDF) 155 mm artillery shell fired in response to Palestinian missile attacks. These “findings” were widely quoted by the international media and have had significant impact in shaping the public perception of the incident.
However, the Israeli military launched its own investigation, producing detailed evidence that the evidence presented by the Palestinians and HRW was doctored.
The shrapnel wounds from two gravely injured Palestinian victims taken to Israeli hospitals for treatment (notably omitted in all of HRW's reports) were not from 155mm shells. (Doctors reported that before they arrived in Israel [for free medical treatment], the victims had undergone extensive surgery apparently in a failed effort to remove these metal pieces [in order to prevent Israel from examining these pieces and consequently proving that they did not come from Israeli shells].)
Questions were also raised about the “evidence” allegedly presented by the Palestinian police and “independent journalists” which provided the basis for the condemnation of Israel. A Palestinian video, allegedly showing Israeli naval ships firing at Gaza, was exposed as a fake and led to confusion on the alleged source of the explosion. Others suggested that the [completely uninjured] girl shown in the video frantically calling for her father was acting: the cameraman claimed she had been in the water at the time of the explosion, however her clothes were completely dry.
Faced with this evidence and the contradictions, HRW's self-proclaimed "military expert" backtracked, now claiming "the most likely cause [of the blast] was unexploded Israeli ordinance". The more likely explanation -- that the explosion was the result of a Palestinian mine -- was politically unacceptable for HRW's officials.
While the details of the Gaza beach incident remain subject to debate, the political agenda that has distorted human rights around the world is clear.
After the Gaza beach incident on June 9, 68 civilians on a bus were killed by a land mine reportedly planted by the Tamil Tigers in northern Sri Lanka, 30 civilians were killed by the Taliban in southern Afghanistan, and tribesman in the restive Pakistani province of Balochistan claimed that Pakistani forces had killed 17 civilians in an ongoing military operation in the region. These have not received even a cursory report by groups such as Human Rights Watch or Amnesty International. HRW also failed to call for independent investigations in these cases -- such treatment is apparently reserved for Israel.
This incident has also exposed the power of the human rights organizations to influence public opinion. As a result of the "halo effect", journalists rarely question the credibility of NGOs. Enjoying Special Consultative status at the UN, Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International are able to parlay their huge budgets directly into political influence. If these and other human rights organizations are to retain their credibility, political campaigns on behalf of Palestinians or any other groups must end.
Gerald Steinberg is a Professor of Political Studies at Bar Ilan University, directs the Interdisciplinary Program on Conflict Management and Negotiation, heads NGO Monitor and is a Senior Research Associate at the BESA Center for Strategic Studies.
© The National Forum and contributors 1999-2006. All rights reserved.
[In an effort to malign Israel for its “disproportionate response” to Hizbullah’s raining thousands of missiles upon the Jewish State’s civilian population centers, the international mainstream news media are publishing fabricated war photographs. Read on!]
Reutersgate strikes other news outlets
(Jerusalem Post, August 11, 2006) At first everyone thought they were just blowing smoke, but the debunking of a Reuters photograph by a group of Web sites has launched a fiery online war in which bloggers have taken on the mainstream media.
Bloggers, or writers on web logs, were the first to reveal that a Reuters photograph depicting plumes of black smoke rising over Beirut was doctored to enhance smoke above the city. The Web site www.LittleGreenFootballs.com is credited with first revealing the scandal, which has been dubbed Reutersgate, but the affair has spread far wider than the Reuters News Agency and into several of the most esteemed media outlets.
More than a dozen accusations of staged or doctored photographs have made their way through various Web sites in the past several weeks. None has been treated by the news outlets as seriously as the original Reuters incident, which saw the photographer Adnin Hajj fired and over 900 of his photos removed from the Reuters wire list. But numerous other outlets -- including the BBC, The New York Times and AP -- have been forced to recall photos or change captions following inaccuracies pointed out in online forums.
The fact that the online community rather than fellow mainstream media has become a watchdog of accuracy has surprised many who originally derided blogs as being "devoid of accuracy."
"In a blog you don't have to be accurate to anyone but yourself and your readers," said Laya Millman from the Jewlicious.com blog. "There is a great deal of accountability because, if you get anything wrong, the readers will quickly, very quickly, point it out."
As was demonstrated in the case with the Reuters photograph, blogs come with their own teams of investigators: the thousands of readers who stream through the site. Within hours of Charles Johnson's posting on Little Green Footballs, readers of the Web site had gone to work uncovering an array of damning evidence against Hajj, the most serious of which -- a second doctored photograph, an Israeli plane altered to make it look as though it was dropping a series of bombs -- may have pushed Reuters to fire Hajj after initially announcing that the freelance photographer would be suspended. That photograph, which was discovered by blogger Rusty Shackleford of The Jawa Report, included an illustrated account of how the photos had been doctored.
Photographs whose veracity has been questioned by blogs in the past few weeks since Reutersgate began include:
Two pictures used by The Associated Press and Reuters, in which the same woman appeared to be crying over the destruction of her Beirut home. Distinguished by a red-checkered scarf and scar on her right cheek, the woman was pictured crying in front of two different locations two weeks apart.
Several photographs of a bombed bridge in Beirut which appear on Reuters and AFP with the different captions stating that the bridge had been bombed on July 18, July 24 and August 5. Bloggers claim that the striking image was photographed to look like several different bombings in order to make destruction in Beirut appear more severe.
In The New York Times photo essay "Attack on Tyre," a photograph of a man who appears dead is accompanied with the caption reading "bodies were still buried under the rubble." However, in a later photograph in the same series, the same man appears to be walking in the foreground of a photo. The Times issued a correction for the first photograph, stating that the man was injured.
Some claim that the online controversy over the photos has gotten out of hand, with many blogs now launching investigations and hurling accusations at a variety of news sources.
"These accusations can be very damning, and need to be handled with care and not thrown out by any angry blogger," said one anonymous poster on Little Green Footballs.
In the meantime, however, Little Green Footballs -- along with many other online forums -- has been flooded with investigations into mainstream media, with the entire army of its hundreds of thousands of readers eagerly at hand.
(©) The Jerusalem Post
[More on fabricated claims of olive grove destructions. Read on!]
Tal Yamin-Walbowitz, Maariv website (Maariv NRG), 22 November 2006
Are the settlers hurting the Palestinians, or are the Palestinians hurting themselves?
Frequently Palestinians farmers complain that settlers cut their trees and hurt them and their livelihoods. At times even IDF soldiers and police had to protect the Palestinians farmers in the territories during the olive harvest season. But the police suspect now that in some cases the Palestinians themselves are those cutting the trees and then blamed the settlers and demanded compensation from the Civil Authority.
Foresters of the JNF patrolling the Shaar Efraim area today noticed to their surprise a number of Palestinians cutting olive trees in violation of the law as they were damaging scores of olive trees. The foresters hurried to call the police who arrived and held four of them for questioning.
The four were transferred to the police station in Kedumim and in their interrogation they said that the owner of the property invited them to cut the trees for firewood. A police spokesman for the Judea-Samaria District, Superintendent Pintzi Mor, told Maariv NRG that the owner of the area would be called in for questioning.
Sources in the police said that over the years the police have experienced a phenomenon of the filing of complaints to the Civil Authority regarding the destruction of olive trees, along with a claim for financial compensation. In the last year alone the Palestinians in the area of Judea and Samaria filed claims for 350 thousand shekels for the destruction of olive trees.
The police now intend to check the complaints in detail. A senior source in the police told Maariv NRG that "most of the complaints for damage to olive trees were filed in recent years at the end of the harvest season or towards the end, something that increase the suspicion that this is a cooked deal."
IMRA - Independent Media Review and Analysis
[Note: The Big Lie that demonized Israel at the very beginning of the so-called Second Intifada was finally unmasked by a courageous journalist who challenged the French media giant that created and broadcast the hateful mendacity. Read on!]
Palestinian Propaganda Coup
By NATAN SHARANSKY
October 2, 2007
Last month, a French court heard an appeals case whose forthcoming verdict will have far-reaching ramifications for all who value truth and accuracy in Middle East news reporting. The case involves Philippe Karsenty, a French journalist and media commentator, who was found guilty of defamation after he called for the firing of two France 2 Television journalists responsible for the Sept. 30, 2000, news report on the alleged killing of a 12-year-old Palestinian boy, Mohammed al-Dura, by the Israel Defense Forces (IDF).
It has been seven years since France 2 Television broadcast the excruciating footage of Mohammed and his father Jamal crouching in terror behind a barrel in Gaza's Netzarim Junction while, according to the report, under relentless fire from IDF soldiers. The 59-second clip, which ends with the boy apparently shot dead, was presented around the world as an unambiguous case of Israeli savagery.
The tape fanned the flames of what became known as the second intifada. The boy Mohammed was the iconic martyr, his name and face gracing streets, parks and postage stamps across the Arab world. His memory was invoked by Osama bin Laden in a jihadist screed against America, and in the ghastly video of the beheading of American Jewish journalist, Daniel Pearl.
Shortly following the al-Dura incident, however, a series of inquiries cast grave doubt on the accuracy of the original France 2 report. The official IDF investigation concluded that, based on the position of IDF forces vis-à-vis the Duras, it was highly improbable, if not impossible, that an Israeli bullet hit the boy. Research by the Atlantic Monthly, the New Republic and Commentary magazine concurred. Then a German documentary revealed inconsistencies and probable manipulations in the account of France 2's lone journalist on the scene that day, Palestinian cameraman Talal Abu Rahmeh.
And yet France 2 refused to release Abu Rahmeh's full 27 minutes of raw footage. It did, however, agree to let three prominent French journalists view the footage. All three concluded that it comprised blatantly staged scenes of Palestinians being shot by Israeli forces, and that France 2's Jerusalem Bureau Chief Charles Enderlin had lied to conceal that fact.
Subsequently, alleging gross malfeasance, Mr. Karsenty called for the firings of Mr. Enderlin and France 2 News Director Arlette Chabot. But France 2 stood defiant, suing Mr. Karsenty for defamation.
The defamation trial passed almost unnoticed in Israel, to the apparent detriment of Mr. Karsenty's case. In his ruling in favor of France 2, judge Joël Boyer five times cited the absence of any official Israeli support for Mr. Karsenty's claims as indication of their speciousness.
Israel's decision to stay on the sidelines was unfortunate because the truth always matters. The al-Dura incident wasn't the only media report to inflame passions against Israel in recent years, but it was the one with the highest profile. Moreover, if, as Mr. Karsenty and others have claimed persuasively, the al-Dura incident is part of the insidious trend in which Western media outlets allow themselves to be manipulated by dishonest and politically motivated sources (recall the Jenin "massacre" that never was, or the doctored Reuters photos from Israel's war against Hezbollah in 2006), then France 2 must be held accountable.
It is important to note that the al-Dura news report profoundly influenced Western public opinion. When I served in the Israeli government as minister of Diaspora Affairs from 2003 to 2005, I traveled frequently to North American college campuses. I heard first hand how Mohammed al-Dura had shaped the perceptions of young people just beginning to follow events in the Middle East. For many Jewish students, the incident was a stain of dishonor that called into question their support for Israel. For anti-Israel students, the story reaffirmed their sense of Zionism's innately "racist" nature and became a tool for recruiting campus peers to the cause.
To its credit, Israel has come to recognize that it must play an active role in uncovering the truth. The IDF recently sent a letter to France 2 demanding the release of Talal Abu Rahmeh's 27 minutes of raw footage, asserting the implausibility of IDF guilt for the death of Mohammad al-Dura, and raising the possibility that the entire affair may have been staged.
Tragically, there is no way to repair the damage inflicted on Israel's international image by the France 2 report, much less restore the Israeli and Jewish victims whose lives were exacted as vengeance. It is possible, however, to deter slanderous news reporting -- and the violence that often accompanies it -- by setting a precedent for media accountability via the handover of Talal Abu Rahmeh's full 27 minutes of raw footage. Encouragingly, the judge presiding over Mr. Karsenty's appeal has now requested the tapes. France 2 must make a full public disclosure. If there is nothing to hide, why should it refuse?
Mr. Sharansky is chairman of the Adelson Institute for Strategic Studies at the Shalem Center in Jerusalem.
Copyright 2007 Dow Jones & Company, Inc. All Rights Reserved
[Note: In May 2008, France’s Appellate Court reversed the lower court decision that Philippe Karsenty had libeled France 2 Television and its reporters. Read on!]
Myth & Muhammad al-Dura
Last week, a surprising decision handed down by the French Court of Appeals shed rare light on how both news and myths are made in this part of the world.
On September 30, 2000, two days after prime minister Ariel Sharon's visit to the Temple Mount, a 12-year-old Palestinian boy, Muhammad al-Dura, was filmed cowering with his father, Jalal, at the Gaza Strip's Netzarim junction during an apparent gun battle between Palestinians and IDF troops.
The video, taken by Palestinian cameraman and France 2 stringer Talal Abu Rahma, shows al-Dura hiding, and then cuts to footage of him lying, apparently dead, in the arms of his distraught father. Although he was not in Gaza that day, France 2's correspondent Charles Enderlin (a French Jew who became an Israeli citizen some 20 years ago) added a voice-over narration, ascribing the boy's death to "gunfire from the direction of the Israeli positions," and released his report to the World.
The effect of the image of wounded father and murdered son, a kind of modern pieta taken as a potent symbol of Israeli brutality, was electrifying. Al-Dura's death, a cause celebre of the second intifada, provoked worldwide outrage. Streets, public squares, and schools in Muslim cities bore his name. He was featured on a Tunisian stamp, a poem by Mahmoud Darwish, and an al-Qaida recruitment video. "In killing this boy the Israelis killed every child in the world," Osama bin Laden said. In June 2005, Wafa Samir al-Bis, an aspiring 21-year-old "martyr," after being apprehended by Israeli guards at the Erez checkpoint in Gaza with 20 pounds of explosives in her underwear, said that she intended to carry out a suicide attack to retaliate for al-Dura's death.
BUT THE video report -- 55 seconds of footage out of some 18 minutes that were shown in court -- also aroused doubts. It does not show the boy being killed. No bullets are seen hitting the alleged victims. No blood is visible on their clothes, on the wall, or on the ground. It never shows Israeli soldiers aiming at the al-Duras. More than a dozen cameramen filmed the junction that day. Reuters, AP, and France-2 outtakes show apparently staged scenes and faked ambulance runs.
The IDF, which initially apologized for the death of al-Dura, concluded that the boy could not have been hit by Israeli bullets. Citing the findings of the army's probe into the incident, ordered by then-OC Southern Command Maj.-Gen. Yom Tov Samia, the deputy commander of the IDF Spokesman's Office, Col. Shlomi Am-Shalom wrote, "we can rule out with the greatest certainty the possibility that the gunfire that apparently harmed the boy and his father was fired by IDF soldiers."
France 2 stuck to its story. On October 3, 2000, testifying under oath before the Palestinian Center for Human Rights, Talal Abu Rahmeh alleged that Israeli soldiers had intentionally murdered the boy. The station also initiated libel suits against several writers and Web sites who challenged the veracity of its story.
One of the defendants was Philippe Karsenty, director of the Media-Ratings watchdog site, who had called the report "a hoax." France 2 won three out of four judgments, including against Karsenty, who was convicted of libel in 2006. Last week, to bring matters around full circle, the appellate court overturned that decision.
THE RECENT verdict, besides usefully underscoring the right to criticize the press and its sometimes dangerously hasty product, also calls much-needed attention to the ways in which world opinion is shaped by perceptions that are themselves shaped by a not infallible media. The al-Dura affair, like the myth of a massacre in Jenin in April 2002, has been so fervently seized by those who seek confirmation for their belief in Israeli culpability, that it is likely never to be erased from international consciousness. It by now stands well beyond the reach of refutation.
That fact ought to give pause to Israeli officials, like Israeli ambassador to Paris Danny Sheck, who criticized Karsenty for so doggedly pursuing the matter. As for the rest of us, the sordid affair teaches a valuable lesson about the dangerous enthusiasms, especially in Muslim societies, and especially among those who claim to speak for an awakened conscience, for modern myths of Jewish evil.
[Note: The foregoing Editorial touches upon, but inadequately analyzes, the crucial distinction between those who support the “Palestinian” Arab Cause (i.e., its maximalist demands, the main ones being: (1) Israel’s withdrawal to its 1949 armistice demarcation lines, (2) the expulsion of almost 500,000 Jews from their homes in Judea, Samaria and the eastern portion of Jerusalem, and (3) and the admittance of over 4,000,000 hostile Arabs into a shrunken Israel) and those who support Israel’s continued existence as a Jewish nation-state within internationally-recognized borders. Advocates of the “Palestinian” Arab Cause, whether they be nations, non-governmental organizations (e.g., Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, Christian Aid, Oxfam, etc.), various trade unions, various academic unions or influential personalities, support this Cause unconditionally, that is: irrespective of the nature or frequency of the terroristic atrocities that the “Palestinian” Arabs have perpetuated -- and will continue to perpetuate -- against Israel’s civilian population centers. In practical terms, this means that the “Palestinian” Arabs can murder Jews by any means available to them (including by suicide bomber, mortar fire, rocket fire and sniper fire) without fear of being condemned by the vast majority of their allies -- let alone being abandoned by any of their allies; and the “Palestinian” Arabs, being well aware of this circumstance, consequently do not feel any need to reduce -- let alone to cease -- such atrocities. In contrast, the vast majority of the advocates of the Jewish State’s Cause (and all national advocates thereof) support this Cause conditionally, that is: only if Israel conforms to ethereal standards of restrained behavior. In practical terms, this means that Israel would be publicly excoriated, if not abandoned, by the vast majority of its allies (and all of its national allies) if it actually responded in kind to the continuous stream of “Palestinian” Arab crimes being perpetuated against it; and Israel, being well aware of this asymmetry, consequently attempts to limit its retaliation against the “Palestinian” Arabs to that level of counterforce that it believes -- often mistakenly -- will not cause an avalanche of public condemnation from its national and other allies. That is precisely why, between the time that Israel is falsely accused of an atrocity and the time that Israel is able to disprove such accusation, Israel is nevertheless condemned for it, not only by those allies of the “Palestinian” Arabs who seek Israel’s destruction, but also by those allies of the “Palestinian” Arabs (e.g., the United States and Europe) who also identify themselves as allies of the Jewish State. In contrast, the “Palestinian” Arabs can always rely upon their advocates to treat their atrocities -- of which they publicly boast and which they publicly celebrate -- as being justifiable (or, for those who support both the “Palestinian” Arabs and Israel, at least being understandable). Moreover, the “Palestinian” Arabs can also rely upon Israel’s national allies (who, of course, are also the “Palestinian” Arabs’ national allies) not to ever treat “Palestinian” Arab atrocities as a reason for reducing -- let alone severing -- their diplomatic relations with, and generous economic assistance to, the “Palestinian” Arabs. The motivational distinction between Israel’s national allies (all of whom support both parties) and the vast majority of the “Palestinian” Arabs’ national allies (who support only the latter party) may be essentially described as follows: The goal motivating all of Israel’s national allies is Peace (although this goal can be imagined by these nations only because they habitually ignore the “Palestinian” Arabs’ malevolent intentions towards Israel even as they harshly pressure the latter to make suicidal territorial concessions to the former), while the goal motivating the vast majority of the “Palestinian” Arabs’ national allies is Victory (i.e., Israel’s destruction). -- Mark Rosenblit]
Mohammed al-Dura - Israel's greatest PR failure
By Reuven Pedatzur - Haaretz - October 24, 2010
photograph of Mohammed and Jamal al-Dura crouching behind a cement-filled
barrel in a fruitless effort to avoid being hit by the bullets of Israeli
soldiers became a symbol of the cruelty and brutality of Israel. It established
the image of the Israel Defense Forces as a bloodthirsty army, operating on the
basis of unacceptable norms. At the end of the 55-second footage aired by the
France 2 television station, reporter Charles Enderlin declared that
"Mohammed is dead," opening "the floodgates to a torrent of
vengeance," as Amos Harel and Avi Issacharoff wrote in their book
"The Seventh War."
Mohammed al-Dura became a martyr, a symbol of the struggle of the Palestinian people against a ruthless occupier. Postage stamps bearing an image of the father and son were issued throughout the Arab world, and streets were named after the boy.
The story of Mohammed al-Dura was a tremendous propaganda victory for the Palestinians. But it was also Israel's biggest public relations failure, and it is unclear why. There is plenty of evidence showing that the story about the boy's death was a show skillfully orchestrated by the Palestinians.
What is troubling in this affair is that official Israel ignored the testimonies and investigations that began piling up immediately after the incident. The documentary by the German journalist Esther Shapira, and the investigation by French businessman Philippe Karsenty, raise suspicions that Palestinian cameraman Talal Abu Rahma who shot the footage that was delivered to France 2 meddled with the story. And many others were party to this effort.
The cameraman's testimony is full of contradictions. He says that "the soldiers shot the two in cold blood for 45 minutes." However, if the IDF soldiers wanted to hit Mohammed and his father in "cold blood" they could have killed them in less than a minute. Regarding the question of how many bullets were fired toward the two, Abu Rahma said "at least 400." The wall at the site of the incident clearly shows eight holes.
Karsenty managed to acquire the raw footage of Abu Rahma, including the 10 seconds of film after Enderlin declares that "Mohammed is dead," which shows the child raising his hand and peering toward the camera. Nowhere in the footage are bullets seen hitting the bodies of father and son, even though the father claims he was hit by 12 bullets and his son by three. No blood was found at the site of the incident.
Mohammed al-Dura was buried in a funeral attended by masses. However, the child who was buried was brought to Shifa Hospital in the Gaza Strip at 10 A.M., according to the testimony of a doctor who admitted him. The shots at the Netzarim junction began only at 2 P.M., and Mohammed was taken away from the site at 3 P.M. In the photographs shown by a Gaza pathologist, a child who had been hit by bullets is seen, but his injuries are not the sort that Jamal spoke of. While the father says that Mohammed was hit in his right leg, the boy at Shifa was hit in his left leg. A biometric identification expert compared the photograph of the child who was buried and the child at the Netzarim junction, and found that they are different.
The father, Jamal, claims that 12 bullets hit his body, and he proudly shows off the scars on his arms. However, Shapira found Dr. Yehuda David, who says that he operated on him six years before the incident and that the scars are the result of knife wounds.
Nonetheless, official Israel is silent. A golden opportunity to challenge the credibility of the Palestinian version on one of the most formative events in the history of the conflict is being missed, and it is hard to understand why. The IDF, more than once, has sinned in the excessive use of military force, which leads to the death of innocents. But when it turns out that in the Dura affair IDF soldiers did not hit a child and his father, those responsible for public relations at the IDF are silent, as is the Foreign Ministry. Thus Israel relinquishes the media front to the Palestinians, who are taking advantage of it with sophistication while using television stations that sympathize with their cause such as France 2.
[Note: Although debunking the Big Lie has intrinsic worth, it is naïve to believe that the World would stop believing it if only this or that particular portion of it were to be disproven in a timely manner. The World, which is so ready to demonize Israel for merely defending itself, would have found a justification to do so even without the Lie of Mohammed al-Dura. -- Mark Rosenblit]
[Note: It seems that during the “Palestinian” olive harvest, it is not “Palestinian” olive trees which are endangered by Jewish settlers, but rather Jewish synagogues and vineyards which are endangered by “Palestinian” settlers. Read on!]
Synagogue burned at Samaria outpost
(Jerusalem Post, October 28, 2007) Acts of vandalism committed against settlers in the Binyamin area on Friday added to the annual tensions between local Jews and Palestinians during the fall olive harvest.
On Friday morning, police received a report from the IDF that while "opening" a route around the Yad Yair outpost, near Dolev, troops saw that the road had been blocked with boulders.
Suspecting that the blockade indicated illegal activity, the soldiers searched the area and discovered that a trailer used as a study room and storage area, and as a synagogue on Mondays and Thursdays, had been burned to the ground.
Security forces, including IDF units, police and firefighters, were called to the scene, but as of Saturday evening, the reason for the blaze was unknown. Samaria and Judea Police said that they were awaiting the official opinion of a fire inspector before judging whether or not arson had been committed.
Investigators discovered tracks of two people leading away from the scene of the blaze toward Ramallah.
Police said that there were prayer books in the trailer, but that no Torah scrolls had been inside at the time of the fire.
Later Friday afternoon, the security director of the settlement of Neriya reported that he saw a large group of people descending from a nearby Palestinian village and entering a nearby vineyard operated by Dolev resident Shlomi Cohen.
"In light of past experience with such events in the vineyard, a small group under the command of the security chief arrived at the scene," said Samaria and Judea Police spokesman Dani Falk.
Three British women were detained at the scene by the security team, who called police and IDF. The additional forces en route to the scene said that they encountered barriers of stones which they believe were placed in the road to delay security forces from reaching the vineyard.
Police said that there was damage to the irrigation system in the vineyard and that some plants had been uprooted.
Representatives of the Council of Jewish Communities of Judea, Samaria and Gaza said that over 5,000 grapevines had been uprooted.
"This is the third time in the last two months in which an incident such as this one occurred in the same place," said Yesha spokesman Yishai Hollander.
"This incident comes following the burning of the synagogue in Yad Yair this morning, which is located in the same area."
Hollander emphasized the gravity of the situation in light of the shmita (sabbatical) year, which means the plants could not be replanted until next year.
"The local residents are upset that the security forces once again did not succeed in preventing the vandalism, and demand the expanding of security and, as a response, forbidding the residents of the neighboring Palestinian village, Mizra'a a-Kabaliya, from harvesting their olives," wrote Hollander.
(©) The Jerusalem Post
[Note: Perhaps the biggest lie of all is the diplomatic truism that the Arabs have finally accepted Israel’s existence as a Jewish nation-state, and that, consequently, Israel’s existential conflict with the Arabs is, in reality, merely a territorial dispute. Read on!]
The Recognition Sham
(Jerusalem Post, November 15, 2007) [Former Palestine Liberation Organization Chairman] Yasser Arafat recognized Israel's right to exist in 1988. He shook hands with [former Israel Prime Minister] Yitzhak Rabin and signed the Oslo Accords in 1993. The PLO later ostensibly amended its Covenant, as [former United States President] Bill Clinton visited Gaza, to eliminate calls for Israel's destruction. Most recently, the Palestinians approved the [U.S. Administration's] Road Map, which again was based upon recognition of Israel's right to exist.
So the Palestinians accept Israel's existence, right? Well, perhaps not. Now, on the eve of [the] Annapolis [peace conference convened by U.S. President George W. Bush], we discover that all of these claims of recognition may have been a giant sham.
On Monday, chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat said, "The problem of the content of the document [setting out joint principles for peacemaking post-Annapolis] has not been resolved... One of the more pressing problems is the Zionist regime's insistence on being recognized as a Jewish state.
"We will not agree to recognize Israel as a Jewish state," Erekat said. "There is no country in the world where religious and national identities are intertwined."
On Tuesday, another prominent Palestinian negotiator, Yasser Abed Rabbo, said, "It is only a Zionist party that deals with Israel as a Jewish state, and we did not request to be a member of the international Zionism movement."
Yesterday, Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Salaam Fayad joined in these statements. And Erekat chimed in again on Al-Arabiya TV: "Israel can define itself however it sees fit; and if it wishes to call itself a Jewish state, so be it. But the Palestinians will never acknowledge Israel's Jewish identity."
All this is mind-boggling from an Israeli perspective. To Jews and Israelis, it is obvious that if Israel is not a Jewish state, meaning (at least) a state with an overwhelming Jewish majority, than it would simply become the 22nd Arab state. Israel would cease to exist.
The Palestinian refusal to accept Israel as a Jewish state suggests that all their solemn and myriad expressions of Israel's right to exist did not mean anything. They did not mean that the Palestinians accepted the Jews as a people (as Palestinians expect to be accepted), or that Israel is the legitimate expression of the Jewish people's right to self-determination.
Erekat's claim that the "intertwining" of religious and national identity is unusual, let alone unique, is nonsense. Perhaps he has not heard of the Islamic Conference, a group of 55 states, or the Church of England. While Arab states, such as Saudi Arabia, will officially not let Jews set foot in their country, Israel has never seen a contradiction between its Jewishness and the need to respect and protect non-Jewish minorities.
[Israeli] Prime Minister Ehud Olmert stated this week that Israel would not participate in any post-Annapolis negotiations except on the basis of Palestinian acceptance of Israel as a Jewish state. In essence, Israel is demanding that the Palestinians end their double game.
If Israel is not a Jewish state, it is Palestine, which is exactly the point. So long as they hold to their positions, Fayad, Erekat and Abed Rabbo, representing Palestinian "moderates," are not espousing a two-state solution but a "Greater Palestine" ideology.
There is no way for Israelis to understand the refusal to accept Israel as a Jewish state other than as a rejection of the two-state solution and the embrace of the "strategy of stages," whereby a Palestinian state is not an end of claims against Israel, but a down-payment toward Israel's destruction.
As Olmert says, there is no point in entering a "peace process" on this basis. Every conception of the two-state vision has assumed a foundation of genuine mutual recognition. The first point of the first phase of the road map, for example, begins: "Palestinian leadership issues unequivocal statement reiterating Israel's right to exist in peace and security...."
Oslo's Statement of Principles begins, "[Israel and the PLO] agree that it is time to... recognize their mutual legitimate and political rights...."
The 1947 UN
Partition Plan called for dividing Mandatory Palestine "into Jewish and
mutual recognition, there is no basis for negotiation. The Palestinians expect
Israel to accept their existence and rights as a people. The Jewish people
expects no less.
(©) The Jerusalem Post
[Note: “Moderate” Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas helps the “Palestinians” to perpetuate their misbegotten collective halo of Victimhood by falsely accusing Israel of expelling “Palestinian” Arabs from Jerusalem. Read on!]
Civil Fights: Meet the world's most incompetent ethnic cleansers
(Jerusalem Post, March 20, 2008) It is hard to decide which aspect of Mahmoud Abbas's recent "ethnic cleansing" accusation is more worrying: what it reveals about him, or what it reveals about the world's willingness to tolerate even the vilest and most obviously nonsensical slanders against Israel.
Addressing the Organization of the Islamic Conference in Dakar last Thursday, the Palestinian Authority chairman declared: "Our people in the city [of Jerusalem] are facing an ethnic cleansing campaign through a set of Israeli decisions such as imposing heavy taxes, banning construction and closing Palestinian institutions, in addition to separating the city from the West Bank by the racist separation wall."
If Jerusalem's Arabs are facing ethnic cleansing, then Israelis are surely the most incompetent ethnic cleansers in human history. After all, ethnic cleansing usually aims at removing an unwanted population and substituting your own nationals.
But according to data from the Central Bureau of Statistics and the Jerusalem Institute of Israel Studies, Jerusalem's Arab population skyrocketed 266 percent between 1967, when Israel annexed east Jerusalem, and 2006 (the last year for which figures are available). That is almost double the Jewish population's growth during those years (143 percent); consequently, the city's ratio of Jews to Arabs shrank from 74:26 in 1967 to 66:34 in 2006.
Even during the intifada, which prompted the fence and the closed institutions that Abbas decries, the Arab population continued
ballooning: It rose from 208,700 at the end of 2000 to 252,400 at the end of 2006, an increase of 21 percent in six years, or 3.5 percent a year. Jerusalem's Jewish population grew by only 4.7 percent during those years, or less than 1 percent a year. In absolute terms, the Arab increase (43,700 people) was double the Jewish increase (21,100).
Nor was the Arab growth solely due to natural increase: Ziad al-Hamouri, who heads the Jerusalem Center for Economic Rights, estimates that some 30,000 Arabs have moved to Jerusalem since construction of the fence began; others put the figure even higher.
IF ABBAS is truly unaware of these very well-publicized facts, this casts doubt on his viability as a negotiating partner. Since any deal must be rooted in reality, it is hard to negotiate with someone who remains determinedly ignorant even about "core issues" such as Jerusalem. But more importantly, how can you trust the good faith of someone who has no qualms about accusing you of one of the most heinous crimes in the modern lexicon without even bothering to check his facts? Almost certainly, however, Abbas does know the facts. After all, both Palestinians and Israelis frequently cite east Jerusalem's Arab majority to support Palestinian claims to part of the city.
But in that case, the question becomes even more troubling -- because how can you trust the moderation, good faith and peaceful intentions of someone who has no qualms about publicly accusing you of such a heinous crime even knowing that it is false? Bluntly, this was nothing less than deliberate incitement against Israel, in a forum guaranteed to receive maximum coverage in the Arab world.
Nor was this a one-time aberration. Just last month, for instance, Abbas told the Jordanian daily Al Dustour: "At this time, I object to the armed struggle, since we are unable to conduct it; however, in future stages things may change." Yet if his only reason for opposing armed struggle is that he currently believes he cannot wage it successfully, that is hardly reassuring, as this reason would disappear following a peace agreement: With the IDF gone from the West Bank and Jordan border, Palestinians could easily import quantities of sophisticated arms and plan attacks unhindered.
THEN THERE was the PA's rejection in December of a French proposal, backed by senior UN officials, for a UN resolution mandating educational activities to support the peace process. The proposal would have amended an existing resolution that requires teaching about alleged Israeli crimes against the Palestinians, thereby fostering hatred rather than reconciliation. Yet Abbas evidently prefers fostering hatred.
It is hard to imagine anything more innocuous, or more vital to the success of the process, than peace education. If Abbas cannot even agree to that, one has to wonder about his commitment to peace.
There are numerous similar examples, such as his June 2006 charge that Israel was seeking to "eliminate the Palestinian people." Never mind that, by the PA's own figures, the Palestinian population of the territories has quadrupled under Israeli rule - including a 34 percent increase in the past decade alone.
But perhaps even more worrying than Abbas's statements is the world's response. Not a single international leader bothered to condemn last week's ethnic cleansing accusation. Nor did anyone condemn his Al-Dustour remarks, his rejection of the peace education resolution, or any of his other less-than-moderate statements and actions.
Given the world's fixation with resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, its reluctance to acknowledge that Abbas may be miscast as a peacemaker is understandable. Yet by tolerating such blatant incitement, the international community further undermines the prospects for peace.
First, such remarks scarcely encourage Israelis to believe that Abbas is acting in good faith, which is an obvious prerequisite for Israeli consent to any agreement. For that reason alone, the world should be interested in condemning such remarks.
Far more important, however, is the message this sends to Palestinians. If Abbas can hurl such vicious and patently false accusations at Israel without even a pro forma protest from world leaders, that tells Palestinians that willingness to live in peace with Israel is not necessary to retain international support. If the world has no objection to even the most vicious Palestinian incitement -- despite knowing that such incitement routinely leads to actual violence -- then it clearly cares nothing about peace; what it cares about is satisfying Palestinian demands.
That, in turn, encourages Palestinians to believe that eventually, the world will force Israel to accede to these demands even without peace -- thereby obviating any need to stop the violence or make the kind of concessions negotiated agreements always entail. And as long as they believe this, peace will remain a distant dream.
(©) The Jerusalem Post
[Note: “Pallywood” helps perpetuate the Big Lie in video format. Read on!]
One on One: Framing the debate
(Jerusalem Post, March 27, 2008) Richard Landes calls up a film clip onto the screen of his laptop to give an example of "Pallywood" -- a term he invented as a take-off on "Bollywood." The difference between the two, however, couldn't be greater. Whereas the latter is the name now used for the Indian movie industry, the former refers to what Landes asserts are pernicious productions staged by the Palestinians, in front of (and often with cooperation from) Western camera crews, for the purpose of promoting anti-Israel propaganda by disguising it as news.
It's a pretty harsh claim, and one that has earned the associate professor at Boston University -- and co-founder and director of the Center for Millennial Studies -- the reputation in certain circles as a right-wing conspiracy theorist. This perception of the French-born American, who divides his time between the United States and Israel, completely contradicts how he describes himself.
"I consider myself on the Left," says Landes, during an hour-long interview earlier this month in Jerusalem. "I've always been a liberal. I've always been in favor of progressive projects."
But, according to Landes, in the current global climate, a dangerous meeting of forces is taking place that must be fought: the blood-libels of pre-modernism and the post-modernist constructs of reality that allow for them. "It's like a wedding of pre-modern sadists to post-modern masochists," insists Landes. "It's a match made in hell."
Discussing breakthroughs in mass communications -- comparing the advent of the printing press to that of cyberspace -- Landes believes that there is an opportunity to combat misinformation on a large scale through the Internet. Indeed, Landes himself maintains two Web sites, Second Draft and Augean Stables.
Scientific discourse, he is convinced, is no longer exclusive to the universities. On the contrary, he says, "Academia is stuck." It is the blogosphere, he concludes, where the real war of ideas can be won.
Pallywood is a term I coined -- when I was looking into the Muhammad al-Dura case in October 2003 [the famous case of a 12-year-old Palestinian boy allegedly shot in the crossfire at the beginning of the second intifada in 2000, broadcast by France 2 TV] -- to describe staged material disguised as news. The Palestinians regularly fabricate scenes for TV cameras, which, when sent to Western media outlets, are cut down to the believable three-second sight bite. And what makes it to the evening news is a stringing together of these staged scenes.
How do you know that these kind of scenes are staged?
By watching the rushes [raw footage]. So, for example, in one scene in the rushes -- a scene we call "Molotov cocktail kid" -- there is a Palestinian with red "blood" on his forehead, indicating he's got a head wound. And he's running along with no sign of pain whatsoever, then hands over what looks like a Molotov cocktail to a friend and runs into a crowd. Then, in the next frame, all of sudden he's being picked up and carried into an ambulance, all the while holding his head up high in spite of his supposed serious injury. It's really obvious that it's fake.
How do you have access to these rushes?
Getting it was connected to the al-Dura investigation [spear-headed by Israeli physicist Nahum Shahaf], which I started looking into partly as a medievalist. Even before I thought the footage might have been staged, I knew that it was being used as a blood libel. In other words, one Jew allegedly kills a gentile child in cold blood, and all Jews everywhere are responsible. That's the beginning of the wave of anti-Semitism that literally has marked the 21st century, and we have not seen the end of it. This is where cyberspace can play a crucial role.
I made a documentary film called Pallywood, and tried to shop it around. I figured [the network] ABC would be interested in it as rivals of CBS whom we criticized [for bad coverage]. I was wrong. The guy at ABC said, "I don't know how much appetite there is for something like this."
Then I ran it by somebody else, who said, "We couldn't broadcast this unless it were balanced."
When I asked him what he meant by that, he said, "We'd have to have something showing how the Israelis also fake it."
So, I gave up. Remembering the outcome of the Dan Rather affair [involving a 60 Minutes II report -- broadcast on September 8, 2004 -- on George W. Bush's National Guard service, which was exposed by bloggers to have been bogus. The incident ended in Rather's resignation from CBS.], I decided to post Pallywood on the Web.
That was in the fall of 2005. By the summer of 2006, it had already been seen by a good 50,000-100,000 people.
Then, when the [June 9, 2006] Gaza beach incident occurred [in which a blast -- killing eight Palestinians, seven from the same family -- was
attributed to IDF artillery shelling; a subsequent investigation proved this to be false], I immediately started getting letters asking me whether I thought this was an example of "Pallywood."
We've since done a movie on it, which is up on the site.
Now, the Gaza beach incident... is not Pallywood in the sense that these people are not faking injury. They're really dead. But the overwhelming evidence is that they were killed by a Palestinian land mine. It was a terrible human tragedy. But the Palestinians just blamed Israel, and the press ate it up. And herein lies another real tragedy: The eagerness with which the media seize upon anything negative about Israel, and the reluctance with which they reveal anything negative about the Palestinians, have radically skewed the world's view of what's going on here.
If that's the case -- if the media are biased in that way -- then why would the Palestinians need to stage anything?
Because it gives the press the tools with which to tell the Palestinians' story. Their story in the intifada was, "We poor Palestinians were all of a sudden aggressed against by the Israelis who started shooting at us madly."
And in the West, people are indignant over the disproportion in the casualties. I mean, you've got editorials saying that the Palestinians have lost six times as many people as the Israelis. So what are they saying? That the Israelis have to lose as many as the Palestinians in order for the World to think it's balanced?
You've got Palestinians who want to get out a story about Israeli aggression. You have media that want to tell that story. And you have Pallywood that makes it possible for the media to tell the story of the Palestinian David against the Israeli Goliath.
We've been hearing about how poor Israel's hasbara [public relations] is in countering this phenomenon. But, if what you say about blood libels is true, does public diplomacy really make any difference?
If the Israelis are failing at hasbara, it's not simply because they can't explain themselves; it's because nobody's listening to them, or when anybody does listen, he listens with hostility.
The instinct on the part of Israelis now -- which probably dates back to the Sabra and Shatila massacre in Lebanon [in which a massacre of Muslim Arabs was perpetuated by Christian Arabs but blamed on Israel] -- is to apologize.
As a medievalist, surely you can't say that everything was hunky-dory until Sabra and Shatila. What period in Jewish history most resembles the current one?
I would say probably around 1900, when there were a lot of blood libels -- the Dreyfus case [in which an assimilated Jewish officer in the French army was falsely accused of spying for Germany] and so on. What you have then is a series of blood libels that take on even more strength once the Protocols of the Elders of Zion are published in 1903-1905. But already in 1892, [Zionist thinker] Ahad Ha'am, in an essay on blood libels, [rhetorically] wrote, "Is it possible that the whole world is wrong and that the Jews are right?"
Now, that's exactly what [former UN secretary general] Kofi Annan said after Jenin: "Is it possible that the whole world is wrong and that the Israelis are right?"
You're dealing with the circulation of these nasty stories about Jews, and there's this astonishing appetite for it. That's the depressing thing: how eager people are for these stories.
Still, the situation in 2008 is very different from that of 2000, when Europeans did not know that their continent was threatened by Muslims. They didn't know about the demographics, nor had they had any riots yet. At that time, viewing the Arab-Israeli conflict as a nationalist struggle between the poor Palestinians and the wicked Israelis had a great deal of appeal. At that time, the Arabs were bombarding the international media with photos and footage reinforcing that image. And what they were doing was bringing jihadi propaganda into France and other countries. Osama bin Laden immediately used the al-Dura image for recruitment. In fact, jihadis in French prisons have told interviewers that such TV images were critical in their decision to become jihadis. So, there was this astonishing porousness in Europe to a jihadist message, which came via anti-Zionism. And anyone who tried to resist it was accused of Islamophobia. This is how a kind of Islamist triumphalism has been spreading.
We're in a situation now in Europe where the elites -- the media and academia - are still completely committed to this paradigm of "anti-Zionism is good and Islamophobia is bad." These are interesting moments in history, when an elite becomes so out of touch with the populace.
it common for elites to be out of touch with the rest of the population?
Historically it's been the norm, but democracies are not supposed to work that way. Democracies have responsiveness between elites and the rest of the populace. This, incidentally, brings me to the larger question I ask about what it is that makes for a civil society, and whether Europe still fits into that category.
The point is, though, that this is a moment in which you have two things: an awakening population and the blogosphere. Now, the Internet existed in 2000, but the blogosphere did not. There were blogs, but it was really only after 9/11 that the political blogosphere was born. So, now you're in a situation where there is an alternative means by which to communicate to the public. And the public has a reason to want to know, because it is now aware that there's a serious problem.
But doesn't the blogosphere also work in favor of the radical anti-Zionists and anti-Americans? Aren't they cranking it our faster than the West can refute it?
Well, yes, they are cranking it out faster than we can refute it -- on every front -- but there are certain significant fronts on which we are fighting back effectively. Take Wikipedia, for example. There's a fight going on right now at Wikipedia about the nature of information accuracy, truth, history, etc. These are all crucial issues for the 21st century. And Jews and non-Jews who are aware of historical events need to be weighing in at sites like that.
Now, there's a very close parallel -- I teach a course on this -- between the printing press and cyberspace. Both dramatically transformed the nature of reading, writing and communicating. One of the things that happened initially with the advent of the printing press is the Protestant Reformation and with it the proliferation of new religions, most of which were apocalyptic when they began, and a proliferation of "prophecies" - reports from around the world of wondrous things, etc. At that time, the fight between the Lutherans and the Papacy was vicious. The cartoons we have today are around that same level of viciousness. The Pope was depicted as the anti-Christ or as an animal and other such images.
But printing also had another effect: the emergence of scientific discourse. Over time, the scientific discourse won. So, the question for today is how do we help people in touch with empirical reality win in the blogosphere?
And what is the answer?
Detective work and vigilance. The interesting thing about the Dan Rather affair was that though there were lots of blogs defending Rather, the empirical evidence was overwhelmingly on the side of the people who said that he put up a fake.
It's a kind of post-modern problem here - you know, as if all reality is constructed. But it is not reality that is constructed; it is we who construct narratives about reality. And not all narratives are equal. Some are better than others. Some can coexist with others. Some contradict others. We have to make judgements. The idea that we should open ourselves up and let any narrative in is dangerous.
One of the problems with the Israeli post-Zionists is that they're post-modernists. They say Israel has this myth about itself. OK, fine. But then they want replace it with the Palestinian myth, that is 100 times more fantastic and unconnected to historical events than Israel's. In other words, the post-modernists would toss out something that needs correcting, and replace it with something that needs replacing!
So, what we have are the pre-modern blood libelists, on the one hand, and the post-modernists on the other - who say that it doesn't even matter whether this or that specific fact is true, when they believe the general direction that the fact is telling them.
It's like a wedding of pre-modern sadists to post-modern masochists. It's a match made in hell.
The point of pushing for scientific discourse is that with each new case of Pallywood -- such as the recent Hamas "production" in Gaza showing residents holding up candles, as though they are in the dark due to Israeli electricity cuts, when one can actually see that they are doing it during daylight hours -- the Israelis are going to start looking for other examples.
Ideally, what I would like to see happen is to have forensic, medical, ballistics, munitions, language, sound and culture experts ready to examine whatever tape comes out of these areas.
Aside from that, we have to utilize the blogosphere. That is where the conversation that is independent of - not unattached to, but independent of -- academia is taking place. And as an academic, I can tell you that right now academia is stuck. The kinds of things that people can and can't say are so politicized and in such impoverishing ways that the next set of really important ideas is not going to come out of academia. And if it does, it will be nothing short of a miracle.
If radical Islamists can contribute to the blogosphere by writing in English, can the West counter them by writing in Arabic?
Oh yes! This is one of the enormous lost opportunities that the Israelis could lead in -- though people would probably say that Arabs won't listen to them. But the fact is that there are plenty of Arabs who know perfectly well that the Israelis are effective modernizers; that they themselves desperately have to learn how to modernize; and that there's lots they can learn from the Israelis. The idea that no Arab is going to listen to an Israeli is actually a form of prejudice that says you think the Arabs are so primitive that they can't even listen to a good argument when it's made by somebody they might mistrust. We constantly hear that 99 percent of the Muslim world is moderate. Well, if they really believed that, they'd be trying to talk to these people on the Internet. The Israelis should be putting out hasbara to the Muslims and saying: "You are the first and worst victims of anti-Zionism. You are the targets. Your leaders want to get rid of us, because as long as we're around, it makes it harder for them to keep you enslaved. And they continue to enslave you by saying they have to enslave you because the Israelis exist. They put all of your energy -- miserable as you are -- into getting rid of the Israelis, when in fact it's the people blaming the Israelis who are screwing you."
I research apocalyptic expectations. And in apocalyptic expectations, what you have is cognitive dissonance. You believe in something so much that when it's disproved, you're in an unbelievable cognitive quandary. On the one hand, you're emotionally attached to a truth that's been disconfirmed by reality. You have this enormous hope, and it's taken away. What do you do? Well, one of the things you do is redouble your efforts. And one of the ways that you go about it is trying to convince others. So, one second-stage apocalyptic activity is increased proselytizing, which among other things, explains what happened in Christianity and in Islam.
In the West, you have a phenomenon where people are so attached to the politically correct paradigm: "If we're nice to them, they'll be nice to us." This means that if only Israel would make concessions, then we could get things on the right track. And the way to do this is through negotiations. Then you get all sorts of sayings like, "War never solved anything."
The Romans had a great expression: "Si vis pacem para bellum" -- "if you want peace, prepare for war". Now, I consider myself on the Left. I've always been a liberal. I've always been in favor of progressive projects. But the problem for the Left is because we like to be nice, we can't imagine preparing for war. We don't want to imagine preparing for war. And we can't believe that others may have a different view of things. It's what can be called "cognitive egocentrism" -- projecting onto others what you believe.
But guess what? Democracy was not established peacefully. The fear of picking up weapons is that once you do, you won't know when to stop. But the whole point about democracy is knowing when to stop. And the whole problem with pre-modern cultures is they do not know when to stop. This is why we have to beat them.
(©) The Jerusalem Post
[Note: Claims that Israel’s counter-terrorism activities have pushed the “Palestinians” from having peaceful intentions towards Israel to having hostile intentions towards Israel are also part of the Big Lie. Read on!]
Fights: Lies begging to be exposed
(Jerusalem Post, April 3, 2008) Many factors contribute to Israel's perennially poor public relations, most of them stemming from its own incompetence. They range from spokesmen who are not fluent in the relevant foreign language to the failure to formulate a clear, simple and consistent message for these spokesmen to convey. One aspect of the problem, however, is Israel's persistent failure to refute Palestinian lies.
Two weeks ago, for instance, the New York Times/International Herald Tribune ran a report on the latest poll by Khalil Shikaki's Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research (PSR). It stated that Shikaki "was shocked" because the poll "showed greater support for violence than any other he had conducted over the past 15 years... Never before, he said, had a majority favored an end to negotiations or the shooting of rockets at Israel."
Shikaki's "explanation for the shift," it continued, "is that recent actions by Israel, especially attacks on Gaza that killed nearly 130 people, an undercover operation in Bethlehem that killed four militants and the announced expansion of several West Bank settlements, have led to despair and rage among average Palestinians."
The message could not be clearer: The normally peace-loving Palestinians, who previously opposed rocket attacks on Israeli civilians, have been driven to violence by Israel's brutality. There is only one problem: Shikaki's claim is utterly false.
HIS LATEST poll found that 64 percent of Palestinians favored rocket attacks on Israeli civilians. Far from being unprecedented, however, that figure is almost identical to what it was 18 months ago, according to Shikaki's own data: A PSR poll conducted in late August, 2006 found that 63 percent of Palestinians favored such attacks. And it is lower than the figure in some earlier Shikaki polls: In September 2004, for instance, PSR found that 75 percent of Palestinians supported rocket attacks on Israel.
The other leading Palestinian pollster, the Jerusalem Media and Communications Center, has consistently produced similar results: A JMCC poll from July 2006, for instance, found that 60 percent of Palestinians supported rocket attacks on Israel.
In other words, peace-loving Palestinians have not been suddenly radicalized by Israeli brutality; they have supported rocket attacks on Israeli civilians from the moment they acquired this capability.
This is not a trivial issue. First, the main international criticism of Israel's counterterrorism operations in Gaza is that they hurt "innocent civilians." Yet that argument loses much of its force if those "innocent civilians" actually support the rocket attacks, because repeated studies have shown that whether terrorist organizations wither or thrive depends substantially on the support they receive from the local population. Thus a populace that backs terrorist activities is not "innocent," it is an active and essential contributor to the terrorists' success.
This is even truer for the Palestinians, because Hamas is not only a terrorist organization; it is also an elected ruling party. Public opinion is thus an especially crucial component of its power, one it cannot afford to totally disregard. Hence were ordinary Palestinians largely opposed to rather than supportive of rocket attacks, Hamas would be much more likely to restrain both its own military wing and smaller groups like Islamic Jihad.
Israeli operations in Gaza are also routinely slammed as counterproductive - which might be valid if these operations indeed increased support for anti-Israel attacks. But if support for rocket attacks against Israel has remained steadily high for years, regardless of the ups and downs of the fighting, that claim, too, loses much of its force.
THE SHIKAKI poll, of course, is merely one of many Palestinian lies that have gone unrefuted by Israel. Another excellent example is the partial fuel embargo on Gaza.
Palestinians have had great success in charging that this embargo deprives them of fuel for such humanitarian essentials as pumping water and running hospital generators. Israel routinely counters that it does provide enough fuel for humanitarian needs, but since it never provides evidence to back this assertion, the world has largely dismissed it.
Yet such evidence is readily available: One need look no farther than the New York Times.
On February 26, for instance, the International Herald Tribune ran a Times report on a protest against the Israeli embargo that Hamas organized in northern Gaza. Of the approximately 4,000 demonstrators, it said, "many were schoolchildren who arrived directly from their classrooms ... They had been bused in to join the protest, despite complaints from Gaza about a dire shortage of gasoline because of the Israeli sanctions."
On March 11, the Times reported on another Hamas-organized protest, in Gaza City. Palestinian livestock owners "were paid 100 shekels each (about $28) to attend the protest, as well as transportation costs. Hundreds of animals - sheep, camels and donkeys - came from all over Gaza."
Busing in schoolchildren from all over Gaza guzzles fuel; so does trucking in livestock from all over Gaza. Thus clearly, Hamas has fuel for things it deems important. If it considers anti-Israel demonstrations more important than supplying hospitals and pumping stations, that is hardly Israel's fault; it is Hamas that has chosen to deprive its own people in order to score propaganda points.
Again, this is a nontrivial issue. Virtually nothing could damage Israel's image more than people worldwide imagining Palestinian children with no water to drink, or hospitals unable to perform lifesaving operations, due to an Israeli embargo. And virtually nothing could damage Hamas's image more than having people worldwide realize that it is cynically withholding vital fuel from its own people in order to make Israel look bad.
It would be nice if journalists, world leaders and international human rights organizations consistently noticed such lies on their own, but the reality is that they rarely have the time, energy or interest to do the necessary research. For Israel, however, exposing Palestinian lies is a vital interest. Hence it is Israel's responsibility to invest the resources necessary to document these lies and expose them to international opinion leaders.
That would still be only one small element of the comprehensive public relations strategy that Israel needs. But it would be far better than the current policy of letting such damaging lies go unchallenged.
(©) The Jerusalem Post
[More on the Muhammad al-Dura Lie. Read on!]
Again: For once, the good guys win
(June 18, 2008) Charles Enderlin is not going quietly into the night. On May 23 a French Appeals Court dismissed the libel suit he and France2 brought against media critic Phillippe Karsenty, arising out of the latter's charge that Enderlin and France2 had duped the French public with their September 30, 2000 broadcast of the "death of Muhammed al-Dura" at Netzarim Junction. In his voice-over that night, Enderlin, who was not at Netzarim Junction during the events in question, unambiguously claimed that the boy in the film clip had been killed by Israeli fire that deliberately targeted him.
With the dismissal of his suit, Enderlin joined Oscar Wilde and Alger Hiss in the pantheon of those who brought libel suits and ended up destroying their own reputations. He has announced, however, that he will appeal to the French Supreme Court. And his friends in the French journalistic community are circulating a petition claiming that he is the victim of insane conspiracy theorists.
My friend Larry Derfner apparently shares that view. He wrote in these pages on May 28 that anyone who believes that France 2's broadcast was a hoax belongs in an asylum along with 9/11 deniers. According to Derfner: Karsenty, Boston University history professor Richard Landes, and Luc Rosenzweig, former editor-in-chief of Le Monde, are victims of Jewish paranoia. Larry admits that every word Enderlin said in his voice-over was false: There is no evidence that the boy and his father were targets of Israeli fire. Nor was he killed by Israeli fire. Yet, he writes, evidence of a journalistic hoax does not amount to .001 percent of the evidence that Shimon Peres masterminded the Rabin assassination. At most, Karsenty, Landes, et al, have gathered a few of the "oddities" favored by wacked-out conspiracy theorists.
ENDERLIN DISTRIBUTED the France 2 clip free of charge, and it was subsequently broadcast thousands of times. The image of the terrified boy cowering behind his father quickly assumed iconic status. It featured prominently in mass anti-Israel demonstrations in Europe, where it was juxtaposed to the image of the Jewish boy with his hands raised in the Warsaw ghetto.
To heighten its impact, Palestinian TV cropped into the France 2-clip pictures of an Israeli soldier firing. The image of "Muhammed al-Dura" beckoning other Palestinian children to join him as martyrs in paradise features prominently in the Palestinian death cult. His name was invoked by the Ramallah mob that disemboweled two Israeli reservists, in Osama bin Laden's 9/11 video, and in that of Daniel Pearl's beheading.
One would have thought that those who doggedly exposed one falsehood after another and provoked Enderlin and France 2 into their ill-fated libel suit are deserving of praise, not ridicule. At the very least, we would expect their accusers to show some minimal familiarity with the evidence they have amassed and to make some attempt to refute it.
Let's consider some of the "oddities" that are firmly established. Palestinians regularly fake media images and lie shamelessly. Recall Hamas legislators meeting by candlelight with the curtains drawn in what turned out to be the middle of the day, or the 5,000 Palestinians reportedly massacred in Jenin, or the family of eight supposedly killed by Israeli fire on Gaza Beach, who turned out to have stepped on Hamas-laid mines. Professor Landes coined the name Pallywood for these Palestinian media hoaxes, and documents a slew of them at his Web site Second Draft.
For the Palestinians, media is a pure propaganda tool. Thus Riccardo Cristiano of Italian national TV felt compelled to compose a craven letter to the Palestinian Authority stating that his station would never have broadcast the Ramallah lynch because it fully understands the rules of reporting from the PA.
FROM THE general to the particular. The sole footage of "Muhammed al-Dura's death" was that of Palestinian cameraman Talul Abu-Rahmeh working for France 2. Abu-Rahmeh is a liar. On October 3, 2000, he testified under oath to the Palestinian Center for Human Rights that there had been 45 minutes of sustained Israeli fire directed at the man and boy. As an experienced war reporter, he could verify that they could have only been hit by Israeli fire. Abu-Rahmeh claimed to have filmed 27 minutes of the fusillade. Later he told German documentary filmmaker Esther Schapira that he had filmed six minutes.
We now know that the boy could have only been hit by Palestinian fire [if he was, in fact, actually shot by anyone]. The story of a 45-minute fusillade was on its face laughable: Had Israeli soldiers wanted to kill Palestinians, they had dozens of rioters immediately in front of the Israeli stockade from which to choose. Moreover, Abu-Rahmeh's entire footage of the man and boy consisted of 58 seconds comprised of six spliced scenes.
The rest of his 27 minutes of footage -- only 18 minutes of which France2 produced when ordered to do so by the French appeals court -- consists of obviously staged scenes, according to three veteran French journalists who viewed it. The "al-Dura" footage was shot in the same area that Abu-Rahmeh and other Palestinian cameramen spent the day shooting such staged scenes.
Abu-Rahmeh once declared, "I went into journalism to carry on the fight for my people," and was certainly not above employing his camera for a bit of deception. A Reuters clip from the day shows him filming another staged scene involving a Molotov cocktail. That scene was inexplicably omitted from the rushes produced in the French court.
Whether Charles Enderlin knew from the first that his voice-over was false is unclear. That he lies is certain. He drew for gullible journalists a false map of Netzarim Junction, which wrongly placed the Israeli position in a direct line of fire to the man and the boy. Worse yet, he repeatedly claimed that he had edited out the last three seconds of the "al-Dura" footage because the boy's death throes were too painful to watch.
THERE WERE no such death throes. In those last three seconds, the boy lifts his head, peeks out from under his arm (with which he is shielding his eyes) prior to resuming a prone position -- albeit with his leg still held aloft. A nearby mob chants, "the boy is dead, the boy is dead," before he even lies prone the first time. Enderlin drew twitters of laughter in the French courtroom when he offered that perhaps the crowd was anticipating the boy's death.
Not only is there no dead boy on the film. There is no sign of blood or wounds of any kind. In other footage from the scene, civilians are seen passing by the crouching man and boy -- some running, some strolling but all apparently oblivious to any rifle fire. (See Nidra Poller, "Myth, Fact, and the al-Dura Affair," Commentary, Sept. 2005).
Over the years, more holes have developed in the al-Dura story. Phillipe Karsenty revealed that Jamal al-Dura had been treated many years earlier in an Israeli hospital for the same wounds later shown to journalists as corroboration [for the claim that he had just been shot by Israeli soldiers]. And Sami el-Soudi, a Palestinian journalist working for Metulla News Agency, found records of a boy named Muhammed al-Dura admitted to a Gaza hospital four hours before the filming at Netzarim Junction [thereby raising the possibility that the boy “shot” at the Junction was an actor rather than the real Muhammed al-Dura].
As his original tale unraveled, Enderlin adopted a fallback position: Even if his voice-over was totally wrong, it still reflects the "reality" of the Israeli occupation: Israelis killing Palestinian children. That too appears to be Derfner's position: Nothing must be allowed to absolve Israel of guilt for the Occupation.
The al-Dura affair, it turns out, was not just about Israeli culpability, but about the very concept of Truth itself.
Fortunately, this time the good guys won.
(©) The Jerusalem Post
[Note: Media apologists for the Big Lie believe that even if the specific allegations against Israel are -- in fact -- lies, they nonetheless represent a larger “Truth”, namely, that Israel’s presence in Judea, Samaria, and the eastern portion of Jerusalem (and, until August 2005, Gaza) is the epitome of Evil; hence the creation and repetition of the Big Lie becomes a moral necessity. Accordingly, for many journalists opposed to the “Occupation”, slander in the service of ending the “Occupation” is a virtue rather than a vice. Moreover, most journalists who publicly support ending the “Occupation” lack the courage to publicly acknowledge that the Arabs constantly employ the Big Lie for fear of being publicly labeled as collaborators with the very “Occupation” which they so fervently oppose. Consequently, these otherwise respectable journalists become midwives to the Big Lie. -- Mark Rosenblit]
[Note: According to the Big Lie, rats have been drafted by Israel to expel Arabs from the Old City of Jerusalem. Read on!]
'Israel using rats against J'lem Arabs'
(Jerusalem Post, July 20, 2008) The Palestinian Authority's official news agency Wafa says Israel is using rats to drive Arab families out of their homes in the Old City of Jerusalem.
In the past the news agency, which is controlled and funded by PA President Mahmoud Abbas's office, has accused Israel of using wild pigs to drive Palestinians out of their homes and fields in the West Bank. In the reports, Palestinians were quoted by the agency as saying that they had seen Israelis release herds of wild pigs, which later attacked them.
But this is the first time that Palestinians have spoken of rats being used against them.
"Rats have become an Israeli weapon to displace and expel Arab residents of the occupied Old City of Jerusalem," Wafa reported under the title, "Settlers flood the Old City of Jerusalem with rats." The report continued: "Over the past two months, dozens of settlers come to the alleyways and streets of the Old City carrying iron cages full of rats. They release the rats, which find shelter in open sewage systems."
Wafa quoted unnamed Arab residents as saying that they had tried to eliminate the rats with various poisons, but to no avail.
Israel's goal was to "increase the suffering of the Arabs in Jerusalem by turning their lives into a real tragedy and forcing them to evict their homes and leave the city," Hasan Khater, secretary-general of the Islamic-Christian Front in Jerusalem, was quoted as saying.
Jerusalem Municipality spokesman Gidi Schmerling said that the report was "pure fiction," and had no connection to reality.
Etgar Lefkovits contributed to this report
(©) The Jerusalem Post
[Non-governmental “human rights” organizations (NGOs) also disseminate -- and sometimes even initiate -- the Big Lie. Read on!]
The 'halo effect' shields NGOs from media scrutiny
(Jerusalem Post, August 11, 2008) A familiar scenario: A non-governmental organization (NGO) issues a report on alleged Israeli human rights violations, and it's instantly and automatically newsworthy. The Israeli and foreign media uncritically, even eagerly, promote the NGO's politicized agenda, regardless of the NGO's credibility or the veracity of the allegations.
This "halo effect," whereby the claims of human rights groups are accepted without a modicum of scrutiny, often results in Israel's vilification on the international stage for violating "international humanitarian law" or demonized as an "apartheid state" to be shunned and boycotted. By publishing these stories, the media reinforces the halo effect and becomes partner to the damage done.
The typical article on Israeli "violations" has a number of common denominators. Beyond the ubiquitous headline championing a human rights NGO and condemning Israel, the NGO's "evidence" and sensational accusations are repeated, left unchallenged by the reporter. By dint of its presumed independence and stated lofty goals, the NGO is considered more truthful than the government. The media pits universal human rights against Israel, leaving it to respond on the defensive. This might make for "good" journalism, but does it tell the whole story?
IN RECENT weeks, local, highly political rights groups -- funded by the EU and by European governments -- have received worldwide coverage for their attacks on Israel. Consider the publicity afforded to Physicians for Human Rights - Israel (PHR-I) when it accused the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) of denying Gazans life-saving health care in Israel unless the patients informed on family and friends. PHR-I's report was published in hundreds of major media outlets, and Israel was portrayed as cruel and inhumane, as opposed to genuinely concerned for the security of its citizens.
Yet, despite the importance of this story, did reporters question PHR-I's reliability? Rather, the halo effect shielded it from past mistakes. Three months ago, PHR-I reported that a cancer patient in Gaza died while awaiting a permit to receive treatment in Israel, only to admit days later that the "deceased" was still alive. The patient was attempting to evade a security check. Even if we give PHR-I the benefit of the doubt, that it was unknowingly misled by the patient's family, surely similar self-serving "evidence" from Palestinians and provided by PHR-I should be taken with a healthy dose of skepticism. But it was not.
A TELLING, but more subtle form of the halo effect was also manifest in The Jerusalem Post's coverage of Yesh Din during the last week of July. The Post published no less than three articles on the same data sheet alleging a failure by the IDF to report, investigate and indict soldiers for crimes against Palestinians ("Israeli rights group: IDF fails to indict soldiers," July 29; "IDF refutes report on misconduct claims," July 30; "Yesh Din renews complaint of IDF probes," July 31). The second in the series added value to the story, including a previously unavailable official IDF response and a subsequent reply from Yesh Din. However, the third article provided nothing more than Yesh Din's perspective on its back-and-forth with the IDF. This repetition failed to provide the reader with any fresh information. Needless to say, none of the articles assumed a critical point of view regarding Yesh Din's speculative conclusions drawn from an absence of data. The media merely served as a pawn in Yesh Din's politicized war against the justice system.
Should journalists report allegations of human rights violations by Israel? Absolutely, they have a duty to do so. However, journalistic integrity demands an equal duty to ask tough questions of NGOs and critically examine their claims. Human rights groups deserve the same scrutiny as any other actor in the theater of the Arab-Israeli conflict -- no more, but certainly no less. A truly effective media should lead civil society in discussing the implications of security policy, and even suggest viable alternatives. However, this valuable role is jeopardized by blind repetition of NGO allegations without obtaining independent verification or giving due consideration to their political agendas.
The writer is managing editor of NGO Monitor. www.ngo-monitor.org
(©) The Jerusalem Post
[The “human rights” organization known as “Palestinian Center for Human Rights” has initiated a blood libel against the Jewish community of Gitit (located in the Jordan Valley of Samaria), falsely accusing its residents of murdering an Arab shepherd in a hail of bullets. Read on!]
Resist the rush to judgment
(Jerusalem Post, October 5, 2008) Last week, the media both at home and abroad swallowed -- hook, line and sinker -- allegations propagated as fact by the Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) to the effect that on September 27, a young shepherd from Akrabeh, south of Nablus, had been shot and abducted by settlers from Gitit in the Jordan Valley.
The fact that Gitit, near Mechora, is hardly an extremist hotbed didn't serve to mitigate the instantaneous condemnation. But then both police forensic teams and the autopsy performed on 19-year-old Yihya Atta Bani-Minya revealed that not only were there no signs of the victim having been shot, death was in fact caused by his having handled an unexploded 40mm-shell.
The fact that the very dubious claims made by PCHR -- which is hardly known for veracity and has glaring propagandistic ulterior motives -- were so casually taken at face value even inside Israel is grave cause for concern.
For two days, leading politicians and journalists linked the shepherd's accidental death to the attack on Prof. Ze'ev Sternhell and even the Rabin assassination -- without waiting for the investigators' conclusions. These unproven accusations, moreover, received considerable resonance, particularly in the electronic media, while the forensic findings weren't accorded commensurate attention.
ALACRITY to convict, regardless of the evidence, can never be justified. This is true even if it's argued that the settlers' record is far from sterling and that the PCHR version sounded believable to some. The fact that it was Gitit in the dock should have given pause, as well as the fact that cases of Jews mowing down Arabs without provocation are rare.
A more worrying aspect yet is that PCHR continues to feature the unamended story on its Web page, omitting all reference to the police probe.
PCHR, its "report" says, "utterly condemns this heinous crime and reiterates that the neglect of complaints submitted by Palestinian civilians against Israeli settlers, plus the protection provided by the Israeli Occupation Forces to the settlers, have encouraged the settlers to continue launching attacks against unarmed Palestinian civilians."
But that's not all. "According to eyewitnesses," continues the still-circulated PCHR account, "the body had been hit by about 20
bullets to the neck, chest and legs." PCHR continues to demand that "the perpetrators be brought to justice" and that "all Israeli settlers be disarmed."
Such rush to judgment, especially when garnished with falsehoods, isn't of negligible significance. It can be incendiary. Disseminating untruths can be like tossing lit matches into a tinderbox.
PERHAPS PCHR wishes to inflame passions among local Arabs and instigate vendettas for a crime-that-wasn't. The sad fact is that PCHR boasts extensive ties with Israeli academics and human rights organizations and has cosponsored the campaign to try Israeli ex-generals -- including Shaul Mofaz, Moshe Ya'alon and Doron Almog -- for war crimes.
More reckless yet is the role of Israelis who uncritically echo such spurious charges. We must all be wary of repeating the Halhoul calumny of 1995 in which then Meretz head Yossi Sarid contended from the Knesset podium that a "settler underground" had murdered a Halhoul Arab. Eventually it emerged that bogus "credit" for the homicide was assumed by Shin Bet [Israel’s internal security bureau] agent provocateur Avishai Raviv, and that the real killers were neighboring Arabs.
When wholesale blame is attributed to entire settlements, the majority of which are comprised of law-abiding citizens, widespread alienation and growing isolation results. This alienation from their fellow Israelis breeds the very extremism which the settlers' political antagonists censure.
When whole groups are pilloried as outcasts, some among them are pushed into dark corners where pent-up steam seeks outlets, even illicit ones. It is therefore to the very real benefit of the undivided Israeli aggregate that extreme self-control be exercised and the temptation to cast complete collectives in the same offensive mold be strongly resisted.
The last thing this society needs is more polarization, more radicalization, spurred by whichever element, and for whatever reason. What we most need are cool heads and moderation, even at the price of passing up political gain.
(©) The Jerusalem Post
[Who would steal the provenance of humous? The Jews -- that’s who! Read on!]
Lebanese to file suit against Israel for 'stealing' humous market
(Jerusalem Post, October 8, 2008) A Lebanese official says his country is preparing to file an international lawsuit against Israel for claiming ownership of traditional dishes it believes were originally Lebanese.
The president of the Lebanese Industrialists Association, Fadi Abboud, accuses Israel of "stealing" its northern neighbor's cuisine by marketing dishes such as humous [made from garbanzo bean (also known as chickpea) paste] -- found across the Middle East -- as its own.
Abboud says that while Lebanon is partly to blame because it has never registered its main food trademarks, Israel's adoption of these dishes causes it major losses.
He told The Associated Press on Tuesday that the lawsuit would be based on the 2002 precedent in which Greece won a ruling that only its cheese could be called Feta.
Jalil Dabit, the chef at Samir's Restaurant in Ramle [a town located in central Israel], who serves humous with whole chickpeas, olive oil and a secret blend of spices, agrees with the Lebanese move.
"It is the right thing to do. The Israeli people are taking a product that does not officially belong to them. It originates among the Palestinian, Syrian and Lebanese people," he said.
Dabit's grandfather established the restaurant in 1948; the family is prominent in Israel's Christian Arab community.
"Because humous is Arabic, not a Jewish dish, Lebanon does not only lose a lot of money from potential exports. There is damage to their national heritage and pride," he said.
However, Tel Aviv-based food journalist and Jerusalem Post contributor Phyllis Glazer said that humous belonged to all the people of the region.
"We didn't steal it -- we also use it because people use the ingredients available in their area," she said, while admitting that humous was not Israeli.
made it long before there was Israel. In ancient times, people used the raw
materials of the area in which they lived to
create their cuisine. People who lived in areas where humous grows ate humous. Egyptians, where the fava bean grows, ate ful. It's for sure not a Jewish invention," Glazer said.
The Israeli identification with humous was given a boost this summer from Adam Sandler in his film You Don't Mess With the Zohan. Sandler portrays a stereotypical Mossad agent with an insatiable appetite for humous. It is considered a wonder-food, the subject of dozens of running wisecracks.
(©) The Jerusalem Post
[Who caused the present worldwide financial crisis? The Jews -- that’s who! Read on!]
blames Jews for global crisis
(Jerusalem Post, October 8, 2008) The "Jewish lobby" in the US is responsible for the world financial crisis, according to Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhum.
In a statement released Tuesday, Barhum said that the global crisis was due to "bad administrative and financial management and a bad banking system put into place and controlled by the Jewish lobby."
Whilst signing a US$700 billion bailout law, US President George W. Bush has not commented on "the Jewish lobby that put the US banking and financial sector into place," the Hamas statement continued.
Last week, the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) reported that the worldwide financial meltdown has triggered an uptick in anonymous anti-Semitic comments blaming Jews for the crisis on mainstream Web site message boards.
"Jews are greedy, rotten slimeballs," wrote one surfer on a Yahoo Finance group, according to the ADL statement.
"It's difficult, if not impossible, for one honest investor to neutralize the efforts of thousands of Jewish swindlers," another added.
In response to such comments, ADL national director Abraham Foxman had said, "The age-old canards about Jews and money are always just beneath the surface."
(©) The Jerusalem Post
[In another installment of the Big Lie, a Bethlehem-based Arab news agency claims to have uncovered an Israeli scheme to destroy al-Aksa Mosque on the Temple Mount and to build in its place both a Jewish Temple and a Royal Palace. Read on!]
Jerusalem researcher uncovers Israeli plans to build temple over Al-Aqsa
Date: 03 / 11 / 2008 [November 3, 2008] Time: 14:04
Ma’an – Disturbing long range plans from the Israeli Antiquities Authority
outline strategies for the construction of a Jewish Temple on the site where
the Al-Aqsa Mosque now stands, a Jerusalem researcher says.
The plans were obtained by Palestinian archaeologist and researcher Dr. Ibrahim Al-Fanni, who revealed the drafts and drawings to Ma’an’s Jerusalem correspondent.
The papers showed sketches outlining the demolition of the holy Al-Aqsa Mosque and the Marwani mosque (Solomon’s stables) beneath the building.
The series of designs is titled the “Comprehensive Strategic Plan,” and is divided into two possible routes.
“Plan A” outlines the architectural and archaeological plans in the eventuality that Israel fails to demolish the Al-Aqsa Mosque.
The plan involves opening up the Fatimi Halls, which are located under the Al-Aqsa Mosque. The halls would be turned into a Jewish Temple, and construction would gradually move to the upper part of the compound, taking over space in Al-Aqsa.
“Plan B” would see the demolition of the Al-Aqsa Mosque and the construction of a Jewish “Royal Palace” on the same site, which Muslims believe was the spot from which the Prophet Muhammad started his journey into the heavens.
Asked why Israel would choose to target the Dome of the Rock, which is not a holy site in Judaism, Dr Al-Fanni explained that “under the spot where the golden dome stands, according to Judaism, there is an exposed piece of bedrock of what they call Mount Moriah -- metaphysically known as Even Ishtiah which is a Hebrew term meaning ‘drinking stone’. Judaism says that the world is spiritually nourished from this spot…the stone is the center of the Universe.”
“From the earliest period of Jewish history,” continued Al-Fanni, “the Patriarchs of the Jewish people recognized the tremendous spiritual power of Mount Moriah. This is where Abraham, sensing God's presence, went up to offer Isaac -- according to the Bible, and Isma’il according to the Qur’an -- as a sacrifice.”
Dr. Al-Fanni is director of the Jerusalem Foundation for Research and Documentation.
[Even Arabs with United States citizenship insist that Jews control America. Read on!]
Pro-Obama in W. Bank's 'Little America'
(Jerusalem Post, November 5, 2008) For many of the US citizens living in Turmusayya, a small village north of Ramallah [located in Samaria], it doesn't really matter who wins the US presidential elections because -- in their view -- at the end of the day the new president will have to do what the Jews want.
Yet despite the indifference, almost all the US citizens here on Tuesday expressed support for Senator Barack Obama.
Turmusayya, home to some 5,500 villagers, has long been referred to by many Palestinians as "Little America" because of the large number of US citizens living there. At least 60 percent of the villagers are citizens of the US and other countries around the world.
After the signing of the Oslo Accords, many villagers who had been living in the US for decades returned home with high hopes. They were looking forward to investing in the PA territories and helping to build their future state.
However, many of them returned to the US as soon as they realized that things were going in the wrong direction under the corruption-riddled Palestinian Authority.
Many of the American citizens interviewed here continue to regard the US as an enemy, even though they were born and raised there.
Their anti-US sentiments are based on the argument that the US has always been "blindly biased" in Israel's favor in the conflict with the Arabs.
The general belief here, and among many Palestinians, is that any candidate would be better than President George W. Bush. They see Senator John McCain as a "second Bush," and as such, many Palestinians and Arabs despise him.
"If you want to harm America, vote for McCain," said Ali Abdullah, who lived in Chicago for nearly 30 years. "McCain will bring America down; he will bring America to its knees."
Mike Awad, who was also born and raised in Chicago, where his family still runs a pizza restaurant, said he and many Palestinians supported Obama, "because Bush has done nothing for the Arabs."
He added: "The Democrats are the best. Look what [former US president] Bill Clinton did for Jordan and the Israelis and Palestinians. The Republicans can't do anything good."
Mayor Muhammad Ibrahim said he was under the impression that the majority of the US citizens here had voted for Obama. "I don't know of one person who voted for the Republicans," he said as he made his way to evening prayers at the mosque in the center of the village. "We hope something good would come out of these elections."
Those who said they hadn't voted explained that they saw no real difference between Obama and MCcain.
"It's irrelevant who's going to win because the US policy is decided by the Jewish lobby in America," said Amin Ibrahim, a former resident of San Diego, California. "The Jews control America and this is a well-known fact."
His views appeared to reflect the attitude of many villagers. "Yes, I agree that there is no difference between the Democrats and the Republicans," said Fawzi Abdullah, owner of a supermarket in Chicago.
"When the new US president moves into the White House in January, he will discover that the foreign policy has already been set for the next four or eight years.
"The Zionist lobby always sets the foreign policy of the US. The new president will have to do what the Zionist movement wants or else they will get rid of him."
(©) The Jerusalem Post
[When the Israeli government conspires with “Palestinian” Arabs to blame Jewish residents of Judea and Samaria for violence that they probably did not start, that is most definitely part of the Big Lie. Read on!]
He said, she said between settlers, olive harvesters
(Jerusalem Post, November 10, 2008) Media reports and police allegations that four settlers beat up Palestinian olive harvesters and cameramen who filmed the October 18 incident were false and slanted, a spokeswoman for Hebron's Jewish community said Sunday.
The spokeswoman, Orit Struck, released transcripts of two Jerusalem Magistrate's Courts hearings that she said indicated that the harvesters were not Palestinians but rather left-wing activists, and
that the leftists had attacked the settlers.
The incident occurred in the Tel Rumeida area, part of which is inhabited by Jews. According to police, the olive grove belongs to a Palestinian but the area was designated as a closed military zone, and the harvesters did not coordinate their entry into the area with the army.
The hearings whose transcripts were released by Struck involved two separate requests by the police to extend the remand of three of the four settlers suspected of attacking the harvesters.
In response to the first request, on October 23, the deputy president of the court, Judge Shimon Feinberg, wrote that "the police showed those present in the courtroom a film documenting the events of that day. The film was taken by one of the Arab photographers who was there. It should be pointed out that the film was edited. From the evidence before me, it is not possible to determine who initiated the violence."
On October 28, Judge Ram Winograd rejected the State's request to extend the remand of one of the suspects. In his decision, he wrote that the explanation of the Palestinian whose film served as evidence was questionable.
The photographer, Amer Abdin, had explained to police that the film was disjointed because he had a small cassette and was trying to save film by shooting brief segments.
However, he spent much time filming the settlers walking through the olive grove on their way toward the harvesters. Then, the film skips the confrontation between the two groups, making it impossible to know who started the violence.
The film shows two of the suspects beating Amer, but does not show how one of the two settlers received a severe welt on his back.
Winograd also wrote that Amer's brother Naif threw a 20-centimeter [8 inch diameter] rock, apparently at the settler with the welt -- for which he should have been indicted.
The omission "backs the settlers' claim that the police discriminated against them," Winograd wrote.
The judge also wrote that the fact that the other Palestinian photographers took photos of Amer after he was beaten instead of helping him raised questions.
He concluded that while the police claimed the settlers had provoked the attack, "there was support for the opposite allegation."
(©) The Jerusalem Post
[Note: According to the Big Lie -- greatly assisted by a pliant and complicit international media -- Hamas is Virtuous and Israel is Evil. Read on!]
Death of innocents
(Jerusalem Post, January 7, 2009) How do Israelis feel when our artillery strikes a UN-run [Hamas-staffed] school building, killing dozens of people? The answer is: deeply shaken, profoundly distressed, sorrowful at the catastrophic loss of life.
But we do not feel guilt. We are angry at Hamas for forcing this war on us; for habitually using Gaza's civilians as human shields; and -- in this latest outrage -- for transforming a center where people had sought refuge into a shooting gallery and weapons depot.
To paraphrase Golda Meir, there may come a time when we will forgive the Arabs for killing our sons, "but it will be harder for us to forgive them for having forced us to kill their sons."
Images of carnage take on a momentum of their own, and it requires a certain amount of savvy to realize that, sometimes, a picture is not worth 1,000 words. Images that jumble people's thinking and distort reality are less than worthless -- they're propagandistic.
News consumers rely on journalists to keep them from being duped. But what if the media becomes part of the problem?
Take, for instance, a report by Gaza-based BBC producer Rushdi Abu Alouf from Shifa Hospital. The segment opened as frenzied crowds crying Allahu akbar encircled ambulances bringing war-wounded to Shifa's emergency room. The camera took us inside. This "you-are-there" treatment, patented by Al Jazeera, provides a voyeuristic, nearly pornographic, view from inside emergency rooms, operating theaters and morgues.
The BBC producer interviewed a Norwegian physician, Mads Gilbert, presumably to get the view of an impartial foreigner, a Good Samaritan who had arrived in Gaza days earlier to volunteer his medical skills. Gilbert, clad in green scrubs, stethoscope slung around his neck, expressed outrage that international aid agencies were absent from the hospital. He called what is now happening in Gaza the worst man-made medical disaster he'd ever seen.
The Israelis, prompted the producer, were claiming that most of the killed were gunmen -- Gilbert's cue to assert that of the hundreds of patients flooding Shifa, maybe two were "militants." He elucidated: 2,450 had been injured, 45 percent of them women and children -- and that didn't even include innocent men. Twenty-five percent of the dead were innocents; 801 children were "killed or injured."
Faced with heartrending images of blood-drenched hospital floors, and funeral processions bearing white-shrouded toddlers, who could be bothered to recall that Gaza's Palestinians empowered Hamas knowing full well that its raison d'etre is relentless struggle against the existence of a Jewish State? Or that some of Hamas's leadership is operating out of that very Shifa hospital? Or that Hamas hijacks international medical aid intended for the Gazan masses, diverting it to special locations where its gunmen are being treated?
When readers of Britain's Guardian are confronted by a front-page photo of a father collapsed in front of his three dead children, they can be forgiven for losing sight of the bigger picture: that between 2001-2008, over 8,000 flying bombs were launched at Israel, traumatizing an entire generation of Israeli children; and that unless the IDF manages to stop Hamas, the months ahead could see life in metropolitan Tel Aviv become as perilous as it is in Sderot.
And when readers of London's Times see the headline: "We're wading in death, blood and amputees. Pass it on -- shout it out" they, too, may be forgiven for overlooking the fact that Hamas purposely situates its launchers in densely populated areas.
When the Arizona Republic reports: "Israel ignores calls for peace," a photo isn't even necessary.
A WORD about Dr. Mads Gilbert: It turns out he's no neutral medical man, but active in "solidarity work with Palestinians" for 30 years. Responding to 9/11, Gilbert didn't rush to New York's Bellevue Hospital to offer his services. Instead, he defended the moral right of the "oppressed" to have launched that attack.
Too many news outlets have allowed their coverage of Gaza to be agenda-driven, to willfully disregard the duty of presenting news and images in context.
Cynically thrusting pictures of dead toddlers at readers and viewers obfuscates truth, bedevils news consumers, and robotically demonizes those "who could do such a thing."
What a devious way of giving succor to the uncompromising fanatics who are really to blame for the horror of it all.
(©) The Jerusalem Post
[Note: The refusal of "human rights" organizations to publicly denounce Hamas for its war crimes against Israel and against its own populace, for its incitement to genocide against the Jewish population of Israel and for its slavish adherence to the Islamic doctrine of global jihad serves to sanitize that terrorist group in the estimation of international public opinion. Such a policy is part of the "Big Lie"; for, by disingenuously insisting that Hamas war crimes require no public attention or investigation because they are obvious, but that Israeli "war crimes" do require such public attention and investigation because they are not obvious, these "human rights" organizations cause the World to falsely conclude that Israel -- and not Hamas -- is the perpetrator of atrocities (because, under their stated pretext, Israeli "war crimes" are the only ones that need be publicized and investigated by these organizations). And, anyway, the stated pretext that Israeli "war crimes" are not obvious to "human rights" organizations is laughable, as these organizations have exhibited no qualms or hesitations in publicly labeling Israeli military actions in Gaza as "war crimes" from the outset of the War -- well before being able to conduct any (self-serving) "investigation" into the truth of such labeling. Read on!]
'No need to probe Hamas because its war crimes are so blatant'
(Jerusalem Post, February 5, 2009) Human rights groups argued Wednesday that a detailed probe into Hamas's firing of Kassam rockets at Israeli communities is not necessary, because it constitutes such a "blatant" war crime. By contrast, Israel's actions are more complex, and therefore do require such investigation, they said.
War crimes, said Sarit Micha'eli of B'tselem, are those actions that violate Article III of the Geneva Convention, and it was clear that Hamas was in violation of the requirement of distinction between civilian and military targets.
"It makes it quite easy regarding Hamas. It is quite clear that they are attacking and targeting civilians. When someone straps a bomb on themselves or fire missiles at civilians, the details are less important. It is clearly a war crime without even looking at the details," she said. "Even if they fired a Kassam missile as a military target, the fact that it is an inaccurate weapon, it would still count as an indiscriminate attack.."
"With Israel things are more complicated because Israel states it does not deliberately target civilians and that it safeguards them. With Israel, you have to investigate each specific incident because even if a civilian is killed in an attack, it doesn't mean its necessarily a war crime. Targeting civilians is a war crime, but the damage to civilians in a given situation isn't indicative of a war crime."
"The Israeli authorities deny everything, so one has to prove what happened in a way that you don't need to do with the Palestinian rockets," said Donatella Rovera of Amnesty International.
Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum was quoted by AP Wednesday as saying Hamas attacks on southern Israel towns are "a means of self-defense."
"Those are not civilians. They are all soldiers," Barhoum said of the residents of southern Israel. "We are firing at places that bring us the F-16s, the warplanes and the tanks."
But Micha'eli dismissed Barhoum's statements as absurd. "No credible human rights law expert would accept that excuse," she added.
Also on Wednesday, Jerusalem-based watchdog NGO Monitor today released a report analyzing NGO [non-governmental organization] coverage of the recent Gaza conflict. The report documents the over 500 statements released by over 50 NGOs in the month covering the fighting and its immediate aftermath.
NGO Monitor accused the groups behind the statements of devoting minimal attention to Israeli human rights and casualties, as well as the "consistent manipulation of international law by NGOs in their statements on Gaza."
In 2008 alone, they wrote, NGOs issued over 300 statements in condemnation of Israel's policy regarding Hamas-controlled Gaza. This contrasts with a handful of statements condemning over 6,500 rockets fired on Israel from Gaza since disengagement in 2005.
NGO Monitor's Executive Director, Prof. Gerald Steinberg commented, "The NGO campaign in the Gaza conflict further erodes what remains of the moral foundation and the universality of the human rights movement. The consistent attempt to demonize Israel in the media and in the courts while turning a blind eye to the illegal activities of Hamas demonstrates that many human rights groups have lost their moral compass."
The organization warned that anti-Israel activities are likely "to continue through the persistent attempts by NGOs to bring 'war crimes' charges against Israeli military and political leaders in international law courts,' noting that "NGOs including Adalah, Amnesty International and Ittijah have already called for charges to be brought over Gaza."
In addition, they warned, the upcoming UN Durban Review Conference was likely to become another venue for similar attacks against Israel's actions in Gaza.
(©) The Jerusalem Post
[Note: The below article exposes 10 Big Lies concerning Gaza. Read on!]
A free lunch for Hamas
(Jerusalem Post, February 8, 2009) Daily Telegraph (London) correspondent Tim Butcher recently reported from Gaza after the war, stating: "Targets had been selected and then hit... but almost always with precision munitions... I was struck by how cosmetically unchanged Gaza appeared to be. It has been a tatty, poorly-maintained mess for decades and the presence of fresh bombsites... did not make any great difference... [O]ne thing was clear. Gaza City 2009 is not Stalingrad 1944."
Despite this, as far back as 1996 the NGO [non-governmental organization] Human Rights Watch has been predicting an "imminent humanitarian crisis/disaster" in Gaza. Indeed, various NGOs have lodged annual claims that the Jewish state is responsible for the "imminent humanitarian crisis" in the Gaza Strip. Might they have stopped to ask: How has the Gaza Strip been "on the verge" of a humanitarian crisis for in excess of 10 years?
In actuality, Israel has gone to extraordinary lengths, including the creation of the Gaza Coordination and Liaison Administration (CLA) where representatives of the IDF and government ministries work day and night, to prevent a humanitarian crisis. CLA commander Col. Nir Press spoke candidly of Hamas's "well-oiled media and propaganda machine which has succeeded in creating humanitarian 'crises' out of thin air." He gave as an example Israel's decision to suspend fuel supplies in early 2008 after a Palestinian attack on the Nahal Oz fuel depot. Before restricting the supply, Israel filled all gas tanks in Gaza to their maximum. Yet, "taking advantage of this as a PR opportunity," Hamas refused to draw on the fuel and "sent hundreds of people to gas stations in Gaza to stand with buckets in a long line."
Tony Blair, former British prime minister and current Quartet peace envoy, explained that "most people don't understand -- that we're trying to urge Israel to get fuel into Gaza, and then the extremists come and kill the people bringing the fuel in. It's a crazy situation." Thus, time and time again, the aid that Israel has allowed to enter Gaza fails to reach the intended recipients: Palestinian civilians in need.
The "imminent humanitarian crisis" chorus is not only exaggerated, it is also entirely specious. In the words of the Israeli Foreign Ministry, the critics "should point their criticism toward the Hamas terrorist organization that controls the Gaza Strip." A ministry spokesman also stated that "Israel allows shipments of food, medicine, fuel and electricity to Gaza because it doesn't want a humanitarian crisis, but... there is 'foolproof' evidence that Hamas diverts supplies for 'terrorist use.' If only the Palestinians choose to cease their pointless and indiscriminate firing of rockets against hundreds of thousands of Israeli citizens, the entire region would return to normal."
LET'S LOOK at the facts.
According to the World Bank, the Palestinians are the largest per capita recipients of foreign aid worldwide. Regrettably, over the past 60 years, tens of billions of dollars have been mismanaged by the UNRWA due to the organization's lax oversight and faulty accountability mechanisms. Last year, James Lindsay, former legal adviser to UNRWA, wrote a highly critical report calling on the organization to "ensure the agency is not employing or providing benefits to terrorists and criminals." Moreover, a member of the US Congress recently declared "there is absolutely no reason why the United Nations cannot take aggressive action to ensure that not one penny of US dollars is being redistributed to terrorists."
In the aftermath of the recent Gaza war, the immediacy of their criticism has never been greater, as nations with the best of intentions line up to donate millions for the so-called reconstruction of Gaza.
Several other relatively unknown facts regarding Gaza's potential are worthy of mention. First, Gaza's offshore gas deposits are worth an estimated $4 billion. This natural resource could be accessed to improve the lives of residents of Gaza once the anarchy and violence of Hamas is curtailed. Second, the population of Gaza is comparatively healthy and well educated. Life expectancy in the Gaza Strip is more than 72 years, which is higher than in Russia, the Bahamas, India, Ukraine and Glasgow East (Scotland).
Third, Gaza has a much lower infant mortality rate than Angola, Iran, India, Egypt and Brazil. Perhaps the most astonishing fact, is that literacy in Gaza stands at a staggering 92 percent.
Likewise, despite the ceaseless repetition by journalists that "the Gaza Strip is the most densely populated place on Earth," it is in fact markedly less densely populated than an array of other locales, including a number of economic success stories such as Monaco, Hong Kong, Singapore and Gibraltar. Additionally, Macau has nearly ten times the population density of Gaza. This is not intended to compare life in Gaza with Manhattan's Park Avenue or Beverly Hills. Neither should it be denigrated as a disaster zone.
AN ADDITIONAL MYTH popularized by the media, NGOs and certain governments accuses Israel of violating international law by engaging in "collective punishment"' However, exercising legal countermeasures against a hostile entity (such as Gaza) does not constitute collective punishment under international law. Furthermore, there is nothing in international law that requires Israel to maintain open borders with a hostile entity. Examples abound of countries that elect not to trade with hostile neighbors for a variety of reasons: military, religious, economic and political. Thus in the past apartheid South Africa and Saddam Hussein's Iraq were subject to economic sanctions. Recently, others have sanctioned Cuba, Iran and even Israel.
Some provisions of international law impose upon Israel duties to act against Gaza and the Palestinian terrorists who are based there. First, Israel has the duty to prevent and punish Palestinian acts of genocide covered by the Genocide Convention (1948). Second, Israel has the duty, under UN Security Council Resolution 1373, to take various steps against Palestinian terrorists. Among the required steps, states must "refrain from providing any form of support, active or passive, to entities or persons involved in terrorist acts."
Thus, arguably, Israel is forbidden to supply aid to the Palestinian Authority, knowing that part of it will be diverted to Hamas and other terrorist groups and will, therefore, become passive support for terrorist acts. Additionally, Israel is required by Resolution 1373 to "[p]revent the movement of terrorists or terrorist groups by effective border controls." This means that Israel is required to continue maintaining strict controls on the passage of persons from Gaza to Israel.
The conflated message of the NGOs and the Hamas authorities in Gaza has long manipulated a complex reality to reap political and financial gains. In reality, the Palestinian-Israeli fighting in Gaza has been characterized by the extensive commission of war crimes, acts of terrorism and acts of genocide by Palestinian fighters. On the other hand, Israeli countermeasures have conformed to the requirements of international law. International law requires that Israel and other states take measures to bring Palestinian war criminals and terrorists to justice, to prevent and punish Palestinian genocidal efforts and, most importantly, to block would-be humanitarian donations from being misappropriated by Hamas. If you pay the piper, you get to call the tune.
In conclusion, there should be no free lunch. Why should the Hamas leadership, responsible for destroying what existed, be entrusted to dole out reconstruction financing? Simply put, terrorists and those complicit with them should not be handed the purse strings that will finance a new war.
The writer is an international human rights lawyer and a member of the Israel and New York Bar Associations. He is currently a Scholar in Residence at the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, and an adjunct lecturer at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.
(©) The Jerusalem Post
[Note: The West, the United Nations and the international “human rights” NGOs have uncritically accepted Hamas claims concerning the ratio of combatant to civilian deaths in Gaza, Israel’s alleged shelling of a U.N.-operated school, and Israel’s alleged killing of Gazan medical personnel. Unsurprisingly, all of these claims -- for which Israel has been severely criticized by the Western media, by various Western governments, by the United Nations and by various NGOs -- have turned out to be false. That is why these claims are a major component of the “Big Lie”. Read on!]
IDF: World duped by Hamas's false civilian death toll figures
(Jerusalem Post, February 16, 2009) Four weeks after the cessation of Operation Cast Lead, the IDF finally opened its dossier on Palestinian fatalities on Sunday for the first time, and presented to The Jerusalem Post an overview utterly at odds with the Palestinian figures that have hitherto formed the basis for assessing the conflict.
While the Palestinian Center for Human Rights, whose death toll figures have been widely cited, reports that 895 Gaza civilians were killed in the fighting, amounting to more than two-thirds of all fatalities, the IDF figures shown to the Post on Sunday put the civilian death toll at no higher than a third of the total.
The international community had been given a vastly distorted impression of the death toll because of "false reporting" by Hamas, said Col. Moshe Levi, the head of the IDF's Gaza Coordination and Liaison Administration (CLA), which compiled the IDF figures.
As an example of such distortion, he cited the incident near a UN school in Jabalya on January 6, in which initial Palestinian reports falsely claimed IDF shells had hit the school and killed 40 or more people, many of them civilians.
In fact, he said, 12 Palestinians were killed in the incident -- nine Hamas operatives and three noncombatants. Furthermore, as had since been acknowledged by the UN, the IDF was returning fire after coming under attack, and its shells did not hit the school compound.
"From the beginning, Hamas claimed that 42 people were killed, but we could see from our surveillance that only a few stretchers were brought in to evacuate people," said Levi, adding that the CLA contacted the PA Health Ministry and asked for the names of the dead. "We were told that Hamas was hiding the number of dead."
As a consequence of the false information, he added, the IDF was considering setting up a "response team" for future conflicts whose job would be to collect information, analyze it and issue reports as rapidly as possible that refuted Hamas fabrications.
Basing its work on the official Palestinian death toll of 1,338, Levi said the CLA had now identified more than 1,200 of the Palestinian fatalities. Its 200-page report lists their names, their official Palestinian Authority identity numbers, the circumstances in which they were killed and, where appropriate, the terrorist group with which they were affiliated.
The CLA said 580 of these 1,200 had been conclusively "incriminated" as members of Hamas and other terrorist groups.
Another 300 of the 1,200 -- women, children aged 15 and younger and men over the age of 65 -- had been categorized as noncombatants, the CLA said.
Counted among the women, however, were female terrorists, including at least two women who tried to blow themselves up next to forces from the Givati and Paratroopers' Brigades. Also classed as noncombatants were the wives and children of Nizar Rayyan, a Hamas military commander who refused to allow his family to leave his home even after he was warned by Israel that it would be bombed.
The 320 names yet to be classified are all men; the IDF has yet complete its identification work in these cases, but estimates that two-thirds of them were terror operatives.
The CLA gave the Post the names of several fatalities who it said had been classified by the Palestinians as "medics," but who it stated were Hamas fighters, including Anas Naim, the nephew of Hamas Health Minister Bassem Naim, who was killed during clashes with the IDF on January 4 in the Sheikh Ajlin neighborhood of Gaza City.
Following the clashes, the Palestinian press reported that Naim was killed and that he was a medic with the Palestinian Red Crescent. The Gaza CLA, however, produced photographs of Naim posing holding a rocket-propelled grenade launcher and a Kalashnikov assault rifle that had been posted on a Hamas Web site.
Levi stressed that on no occasion were civilians deliberately targeted, and that every effort was made to minimize civilian casualties.
Work on the
death toll list was started during Operation Cast Lead under Levi's direction.
A special team was set up and led by an officer in the CLA who coordinated
efforts with the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) and worked from statistics
and information on the dead from the Hamas Health Ministry, the media in Gaza,
and other Palestinian and Israeli intelligence sources.
Much controversy and confusion has surrounded the number of Palestinian noncombatants killed during Israel's three-week campaign against Hamas, with the IDF and the Shin Bet refusing to release official numbers to refute Hamas allegations [until Israel was able to obtain satisfactory proof for its refutations]. Israeli estimates were intermittently leaked to the press, but not published in official press statements.
(©) The Jerusalem Post
IDF: 9 medics killed in Gaza op were Hamas operatives
Post, February 16, 2009) Nine Palestinians medics reported to have been killed
by the IDF during last month's Operation Cast Lead were in fact Hamas
operatives, an investigation by the IDF's Gaza Coordination and Liaison
Administration (CLA) has established. Hamas platoons that fought against IDF
troops during the ground offensive in Gaza consisted of combat soldiers,
reconnaissance squads and combat medics.
"Their medics were part of the Hamas medical staff and were similar to combat medics that we have in the IDF in the sense that they are soldiers," the head of the CLA Col. Moshe Levi told The Jerusalem Post on Sunday.
Last week, the International Solidarity Movement, a pro-Palestinian NGO, quoted statistics obtained by the Palestinian Health Ministry according to which 15 Palestinian medics were killed during the three-week operation. But, said the CLA, some of those reportedly killed were not medics, while in other cases the reports of deaths turned out to be false.
One of the 'medics' reported dead was Anas Naim, the nephew of Hamas Health Minister Bassem Naim, who was killed during clashes with the IDF on January 4 in the Ash Sheikh Ajlin neighborhood of Gaza City.
Following the clashes, the Palestinian press reported that Naim was killed and that he was a medic with the Palestinian Red Crescent. However, an investigation by the Gaza CLA discovered numerous pictures of Naim posing holding a RPG launcher and a Kalashnikov assault rifle posted on a Hamas website.
"Naim was killed, but he was, as the pictures show, not a medic," Levi said.
Two days earlier, on January 2, a Hamas website reported that Israel had shelled the Dabash family home in the Sheikh Radwan neighborhood of Gaza City and that a medic, named Id Ramzan, was killed.
But in a report posted on the same website several hours later, Ramzan, who was described as a member of Hamas's Civil Defense Unit, was reported to be alive and to have just conducted a live interview with Al-Aksa Television.
(©) The Jerusalem Post
[Note: A prominent Egyptian cleric explains why Muslims really hate Jews. Read on!]
[Middle East Media Research Institute] Special Dispatch | No. 2259 | February
are excerpts from a speech delivered by Egyptian cleric Ahmad Abd Al-Salam,
which aired on Al-Nas TV on January 28, 2009.
To view this clip, visit www.memritv.org/clip/en/2035.htm
TO VIEW THIS CLIP AND OTHERS, YOU MUST LOG IN/REGISTER FOR MEMRI TV, AT http://subscriptions.memri.org/content/en/member_registr_tv.htm REGISTRATION IS FREE OF CHARGE.
Following are excerpts from a speech delivered by Egyptian cleric Ahmad Abd Al-Salam, which aired on Al-Nas TV on January 28, 2009:
Al-Salam: The Jews "will not fail
to corrupt" the believers. What does it mean? The Jews are never remiss --
they invest their utmost efforts, day and night, in conspiring how to corrupt
the Islamic nation, the nation led by the Prophet Muhammad. I want you, Muslim
viewers, to imagine the Jews sitting around a table, conspiring how to corrupt
the Muslims, and how to destroy their worldly and religious affairs. The Jews
"will not fail to corrupt you," and this is why we hate them. The
Jews conspire day and night to destroy the Muslims' worldly and religious
affairs. The Jews conspire to destroy the economy of the Muslims. The Jews
conspire to infect the food of the Muslims with cancer. It is the Jews who
infect food with cancer and ship it to Muslim countries. We hate the Jews
because they spare no effort in stripping Muslim girls of their clothes. It is
the Jews who conspire to have Muslim girls, and even married Muslim women, wear
clothes that are tight, short, or see-through, or clothes that are open from
the front, or the back, from the right or the left. The Jews "will not
fail to corrupt you," and this is why we hate them. The Jews conspire to
destroy Muslims. The Jews conspire to bring Muslim youth down to the pit of
sexual temptation. The sexual temptations, which are prevalent worldwide, were
conspired by the Jews. The Jews "Invest Their Utmost Efforts... in
Conspiring How to Corrupt the Islamic Nation... This Is Why We Hate Them"
For assistance, please contact MEMRI at email@example.com
East Media Research Institute (MEMRI) is an independent, non-profit
organization that translates and analyzes the media of the Middle East. Copies
of articles and documents cited, as well as background information, are
available on request.
MEMRI holds copyrights on all translations. Materials may only be used with proper attribution.
P.O. Box 27837, Washington, DC 20038-7837
Phone: (202) 955-9070
Fax: (202) 955-9077
[Note: The “destruction” of Gaza is exposed as being part of the “Big Lie”. Read on!]
Puzzled in Gaza
(Jerusalem Post, March 5, 2009) I'm a poet, an English Jew and a frequent visitor to Israel. Deeply disturbed by the reports of wanton slaughter and destruction during Operation Cast Lead, I felt I had to see for myself. I flew to Tel Aviv and on Wednesday, January 28, using my press card to cross the Erez checkpoint [to enter northern Gaza], I walked across the border into Gaza where I was met by my guide, a Palestinian journalist. He asked if I wanted to meet with Hamas officials. I explained that I'd come to bear witness to the damage and civilian suffering, not to talk politics.
What I saw was that there had been precision attacks made on all of Hamas' infrastructure. Does UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon criticize the surgical destruction of the explosives cache in the Imad Akhel Mosque, of the National Forces compound, of the Shi Jaya police station, of the Ministry of Prisoners? The Gazans I met weren't mourning the police state. Neither were they radicalized. As Hamas blackshirts menaced the street corners, I witnessed how passersby ignored them.
THERE WERE empty beds at Shifa Hospital and a threatening atmosphere. Hamas is reduced to wielding its unchallengeable authority from extensive air raid shelters which, together with the hospital, were built by Israel 30 years ago. Terrorized Gazans used doublespeak when they told me most of the alleged 5,500 wounded were being treated in Egypt and Jordan. They want it known that the figure is a lie, and showed me that the wounded weren't in Gaza. No evidence exists of their presence in foreign hospitals, or of how they might have gotten there.
From the mansions of the Abu Ayida family at Jebala Rayes to Tallel Howa (Gaza City's densest residential area), Gazans contradicted allegations that Israel had murderously attacked civilians. They told me again and again that both civilians and Hamas fighters had evacuated safely from areas of Hamas activity in response to Israeli telephone calls, leaflets and megaphone warnings.
Seeing Al-Fakhora made it impossible to understand how UN and press reports could ever have alleged that the UNRWA [United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East] school had been hit by Israeli shells. The school, like most of Gaza, was visibly intact. I was shown where Hamas had been firing from nearby, and the Israeli missile's marks on the road outside the school were unmistakeable. When I met Mona al-Ashkor, one of the 40 people injured running toward Al-Fakhora -- rather than inside it as widely and persistently reported -- I was told that Israel had warned people not to take shelter in the school because Hamas was operating in the area, and that some people had ignored the warning because UNRWA previously told them that the school would be safe. Press reports that fatalities numbered 40 were denied.
I WAS TOLD stories at Samouni Street which contradicted each other, what I saw and later media accounts. Examples of these inconsistencies are that 24, 31, 34 or more members of the Fatah Samouni family had died. That all the deaths occurred when Israel bombed the safe building it had told 160 family members to shelter in; the safe building was pointed out to me but looked externally intact and washing was still hanging on a line on one of its balconies. That some left the safe building and were shot in another house. That one was shot when outside collecting firewood. That there was no resistance -- but the top right hand window of the safe building (which appears in a BBC Panorama film "Out of the Ruins" aired February 8) has a black mark above it -- a sign I was shown all day of weaponry having been fired from inside. That victims were left bleeding for two or three days.
I saw large scoured craters and a buckled container which appeared to have been damaged by an internal impact (its external surfaces were undamaged). Media accounts of Samouni Street don't mention these possible indications of explosive caches (although the container is visible on media footage). The Samouni family's elder told me during a taped interview that he had a CD film of the killings. As far as I'm aware, no such film has been made public. He also told me that there are members of his family who have still not been found.
The media have manufactured and examined allegations that Israel committed a war crime against the Samounis without mentioning that the family are Fatah and that some of its members are still missing. They have not considered what might flow from those facts: that Hamas might have been active not only in the Samouni killings but in the exertion of force on the Samounis to accuse Israel.
THE GAZA I saw was societally intact. There were no homeless, walking wounded, hungry or underdressed people. The streets were busy, shops were hung with embroidered dresses and gigantic cooking pots, the markets were full of fresh meat and beautiful produce -- the red radishes were bigger than grapefruits. Mothers accompanied by a 13-year-old boy told me they were bored of leaving home to sit on
rubble all day to tell the press how they'd survived. Women graduates I met in Shijaya spoke of education as power as old men watched over them.
No one praised their government as they showed me the sites of tunnels where fighters had melted away. No one declared Hamas victorious for creating a forced civilian front line as they showed me the remains of booby trapped homes and schools.
From what I saw and was told in Gaza, Operation Cast Lead pinpointed a totalitarian regime's power bases and largely neutralized Hamas's plans to make Israel its tool for the sacrifice of civilian life.
Corroboration of my account may be found in tardy and piecemeal retractions of claims concerning the UNRWA school at Al-Fakhora; an isolated acknowledgment that Gaza is substantially intact by The New York Times; Internet media watch corrections; and the unresolved discrepancy between the alleged wounded and their unreported whereabouts.
The writer is a poet and freelance writer who lives in London. Her collection Boukhara was a 2008 Smith/Doorstop prize winner. She also translates the poetry of Semyon Lipkin, the Russian World War II poet.
(©) The Jerusalem Post
[Note: The Arab masses have never forgiven Great Britain for its initial role in creating the legal framework for the establishment of modern Israel via the League of Nations Mandate for Palestine of 1920, for which it was appointed Mandatory trustee. One way that British elites atone for that egregious sin is to exhibit open hostility -- via academia and the media -- to the continued existence of Israel. That hostility becomes part of the “Big Lie”. Read on!]
Israeli 'death squads'
(Jerusalem Post, March 5, 2009) Considered part of what passes these days for Britain's prestige press, The Independent "viewspaper" has a circulation of just over 211,000. Though it sells for less than the Guardian or Times, the Sunday edition is hemorrhaging readers. The Independent caters to that sliver of readership which finds the Guardian a tad too conservative. If cash prize contests don't boost circulation, it may soon have to switch to an Internet-only format.
The daily is edited by Roger Alton; the Sunday edition by John Mullin. Simon Kelner is managing director of both editions. But The Independent's overarching animosity toward Israel has been entrenched by its Middle East editor, Robert ("I am being vilified for telling the truth about Palestinians") Fisk. Osama bin Laden personally vouched for Fisk's objectivity. By comparison, Katherine Butler, the paper's foreign editor, can only be thought of as a Zionist-sympathizer. The paper's reporter in Israel since 2004 is the genteel Donald Macintyre, its former chief commentator.
This brings us to the "viewspaper's" cover story this past Sunday: "Israel's death squads: A soldier's story" written by Macintyre in cooperation with the nebulously funded advocacy group "Breaking the Silence," which describes itself as devoted to gathering "testimonies" that expose the "depth of corruption" in the Israeli military.
The protagonist of Macintyre's rendering is a "former sharpshooter with psychological scars" who cannot be identified by name. On November 22, 2000 the soldier was purportedly part of an elite unit ordered to arrest "a Palestinian militant called Jamal Abdel Razak" at Morag Junction in the southern Gaza Strip.
Macintyre's quotes the soldier as saying that his unit was abruptly informed that Razak was on the way "and then we got an order that it was going to be an assassination [not an arrest] after all."
Razek, The Independent says, was unarmed. To complicate matters, a taxi carrying Sami Abu Laban -- a "baker" -- and Na'el al Leddawi -- "a student" -- chanced upon the scene.
The Breaking the Silence soldier continued: "They gave us two seconds and they said, 'Shoot. Fire.'" So he "fired 11 bullets into the head of the militant Razek." The "baker" and "student" along with another "militant" caught in the crossfire, were all killed. Macintyre sums up: The soldier "never told his parents what happened." Coming from "a good home," how could he?
There you have it: A front-page Independent scoop "proving" that the IDF employs death squads which kill with little compunction, both unarmed "militants" and any civilians who get in the way.
THE NAME Itamar Yefet doesn't figure in Macintyre's account. He was an 18 year-old from Netzer Hazani killed a day earlier by Palestinian snipers at the Gush Katif junction. The day Yefet was ambushed, a bus travelling in the Galilee was firebombed. And two days earlier, St-Sgt Sharon Shitoubi, 21, had been mortally wounded by enemy snipers close to Morag junction. Also around this time, three children ages 8-12 from the Cohen family, Orit, Yisroel and Tehila, each lost a limb in an attack on their school bus.
Yasser Arafat's war of attrition -- the second intifada -- which would claim over 1,000 Israeli lives -- was underway. As IDF soldiers were seeking Jamal Abdel Razak, a car bomb in Hadera killed two Israelis and wounded 50.
FOR REASONS that remain obscured by the fog of war, the arrest operation of Jamal Abdel Razak went sour; he along with three other Palestinians were killed.
But Razak was no mere "militant." He was a senior Tanzim operative [from Fatah] who had been imprisoned by Israel (1992 - 1997) and when released planned numerous bombing attacks.
Contrary to the implication left by Macintyre, all four killed were Fatah. The movement issued a statement condemning "the assassination of four of its cadres" warning that the "blood of its sons" would be avenged.
Some may wonder why we bother taking umbrage over yet one more slanderous attack in a British press long fixated on delegitimizing Israel.
Because though anti-Israelism pervades the British media and academia, truly independent readers deserve to know the wider circumstances of Jamal Abdel Razak's demise, and that there are no "killing squads" in Israel.
(©) The Jerusalem Post
[Note: Is Israel ethnically cleansing Jerusalem of Arabs or is it just enforcing municipal zoning laws? Even the United States government is sometimes convinced by the “Big Lie”. Read on!]
(Jerusalem Post, March 8, 2009) During her visit here last week, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton chided Israel for the Jerusalem Municipality's plans to demolish some 80 buildings illegally constructed by Arabs in east Jerusalem's Emek Hamelech.
Israel, according to Clinton, thereby violates "obligations entered into under the road map," proving itself "unhelpful" in furthering peace prospects.
But Clinton's comments during her first official foray into this region's diplomatic minefields were themselves unhelpful.
We're used to overseas critics of Israel championing, with little reflection, the Arab position. Yet since Clinton is new to her role, and represents Israel's most important ally, her every statement is scrutinized to divine what Israel can expect from the Obama administration.
What we heard, therefore, generated unease. The importance attached to Clinton's rebuke by outside diplomatic observers and the media makes it all the more unsettling.
We are concerned by the linkage she made between the road map and the operations of Jerusalem's municipal administration. If Israelis were to follow such a linkage to its logical conclusion, then any local authority here could at any time be accused of overstepping arbitrary bounds imposed by outside powers. This infringes on Israeli sovereignty at the most elementary level.
The Jerusalem Municipality, moreover, has acted with utmost care and in legally airtight fashion. It has, if anything, conducted this affair with greater circumspection, moderation, tolerance and restraint than would any American municipality given similar circumstances.
Not that the circumstances anywhere else can compare to those of Emek Hamelech (King's Valley or Silwan). This area, part of a First Temple royal enclave, perhaps King David's own, is of matchless historical significance and includes sites holy to all three monotheistic religions.
"Because of its importance to three billion people of faith around the world," observed a municipal spokesman, "Emek Hamelech is not intended for residential development but as an open public space. This position is concurrent with positions taken during the British Mandate and going back to Ottoman control of the area."
Residents of the unlawful buildings in question, continued the spokesman, had "turned to the District [Planning] Commission of the Interior Ministry, which rejected their petitions and did not [retroactively] approve the illegal construction of the buildings, due to the fact that the Emek Hamelech area is intended for public recreational use."
WHAT THE spokesman did not specify is that the area is a prime archeological site and that the illegal construction, according to the Israel Antiquities Authority, has already wrought considerable, often irreversible damage to some of the world's most unique biblical-era relics.
Paradoxically, Arab illegal construction in this particular area is recent and wouldn't have been possible without Israeli technological improvements. King's Valley was regularly flooded each winter, until the municipality devised means to drain it some 20 years ago. Since then, Arab squatters flocked to the reclaimed land and illegally constructed a variety of structures on what was earmarked as an archeological park.
There were 88 illegal buildings in all, of which seven were demolished over the years. Legal proceedings are under way to pull down the remaining structures.
Various advocacy groups appealed to the District Planning Commission. Their failure to secure retroactive approval for the land-seizure left the squatters legally vulnerable.
Thereupon, Hamas sympathizer Sheikh Raed Sallah of the Northern Branch Islamic Movement [of Israel] sounded the rallying cry and organized protests that culminated in an Arab general strike. As expected, this extremist garnered instant support abroad. We are, however, perturbed that even the American secretary of state has seen fit to amplify Sallah's incendiary propaganda.
It would have been better had she noted that of 28 court-ordered demolitions already implemented during 2009 in Jerusalem, 11 were in west Jerusalem. The municipality, furthermore, went out of its way to offer brazen offenders compensation and substitute holdings, as if their claim to the archeological site was bona fide.
Looking to the future, Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat needs to honor his campaign promise to invest more city resources in Arab neighborhoods and make it easier for Arab residents to obtain necessary building permits.
Yet in the case of Emek Hamelech, Barkat is right to say that Clinton has been misled by Palestinian Arab "disinformation."
(©) The Jerusalem Post
[Note: Is Israel stealing rocks from the “Palestinians”? Read on!]
Israel's latest crime
(Jerusalem Post, March 11, 2009) To the ever-lengthening litany of Israeli wickedness -- crimes against humanity, war crimes, occupation, genocide -- add quarry pillaging. So says Yesh Din, a group of "volunteers who have organized to oppose the continuing violation of Palestinian human rights in the Occupied Palestinian Territory." Yesh Din says that as part of its "brutal economic exploitation" of the Palestinians, Israel has been stealing their rocks.
Much of the gravel Israel quarries for marble kitchen counters and such comes from the West Bank. "This type of activity," Yesh Din asserts, "constitutes a violation of the laws of belligerent occupation [and is] pillage."
Yesh Din wants Israel's Supreme Court to enjoin companies from transporting rocks across the Green Line because, bereft of rocks, Palestinians would find it impossible to build a state. Or, in the words of the front-page headline in Sunday's International Herald Tribune: "West Bank losing land to Israel, rock by rock."
IN FACT, the West Bank is disputed: When the Palestinians rejected the two-state solution in 1948, Jordan [invaded Israel within its 1947 United Nations Partition Plan lines, captured the West Bank and then illegally] annexed the area. In 1967, Israel repelled a Jordanian attack and captured the territory.
The 1949 Geneva Convention -- the basis for claims that Israel is violating international law -- applies in cases of armed conflict between signatories to the convention. While Jordan and Israel are signatories, virtually no state recognized Jordan's annexation of the West Bank. Hence the area was and remains in legal limbo.
While Israel, de facto, adheres to the humanitarian provisions of the Geneva Convention, it has a right to quarry in the contested territory. No one suggests the quarries have been illegally confiscated or are private property.
It's legitimate to call attention to the environmental impact of quarrying or the depletion of natural resources. The territory between the Mediterranean and the Jordan, encompassing Israel proper and the West Bank, is one integral unit. What happens in the mountainous interior affects the coastal plain, and vice versa. The New York Times recently reported that Israel is heading toward a "serious shortage of raw building materials," noting that West Bank quarries supply 25 percent of the sand and gravel we use.
Perhaps our regulatory authorities need to do a better job of monitoring the environmental impact and economic consequences of quarrying in Judea and Samaria. But these issues are not Yesh Din's primary concern.
THE GROUP, founded just four years ago, is the recipient of considerable largesse. Funds flow, legitimately, from The New Israel Fund, Oxfam, Hermod Lannungs Fund, Jacobs Charitable Trust, The Marc Rich Foundation and the Naomi and Nehemiah Cohen Foundation. It is also supported by the powerful Israeli law firm of Yigal Arnon.
But it's the money Yesh Din gets from foreign governments that's troubling. The European Commission, the Netherlands, Germany, Ireland and the UK all want Israel out of the West Bank. We suspect they give Yesh Din money because its work helps delegitimize Israel's presence there.
Unfortunately, Israel lacks anything like America's "Foreign Agents Registration Act," which requires persons to disclose if they are "acting as agents of foreign principals in a political or quasi-political capacity."
Yesh Din's volunteers and individual contributors are doubtless sincere about promoting human rights; but this is one of several organizations funded by foreign governments that work against the interests of Israel's mainstream by chipping away at any Jewish claims beyond the 1949 Armistice Lines.
Israel's security concerns -- for instance, how to prevent the West Bank from becoming a Kassam launching-pad against the Jewish state's main population centers -- do not interest Yesh Din; nor does the threat of terrorist infiltration.
Not even Palestinian political intransigence, reflected in the unwillingness of relative moderates like Mahmoud Abbas to meet half-way willing Israeli partners -- Yitzhak Rabin in 1993, Ehud Barak in 2000 and Ehud Olmert in 2008 -- has relevance for Yesh Din: The group and the foreign governments that fund it want Israel out of the West Bank. Period.
Thus, while "promoting human rights," an organization subsidized by foreign powers encourages Palestinian negotiators to hang tough while it lobbies their interests.
Clearly, casting an avalanche of criticism at Israel's "violations of international law" is easier for Yesh Din than plumbing the ethics of its dependency on foreign powers.
(©) The Jerusalem Post
[Note: Israel’s demand that the “Palestinian” Arabs recognize it as a Jewish State is universally viewed as an “obstacle to peace”. But this “obstacle to peace” is also part of the “Big Lie”. Read on!]
Civil Fights: The only state in the world whose existence is deemed negotiable
(Jerusalem Post, June 25, 2009) To mainstream Israelis, [Israeli Prime Minister] Binyamin Netanyahu's demand that the Palestinians recognize Israel as a Jewish state is self-evidently just. Yet many in the West, the Arab world and even Israel's left reject it utterly.
Meeting in Luxembourg last Monday, European foreign ministers said conditions such as this were unacceptable. Former US president Jimmy Carter echoed this comment. Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak declared that "nobody in Egypt or anywhere else... can recognize Israel as the state of the Jews"; pro-government papers in Jordan and Saudi Arabia published similar statements. The Palestinians said they will never accept this demand. Even some Israelis objected: Peres Center for Peace president Uri Savir termed it "unnecessary" in this paper on Friday; columnist Yoel Marcus labeled it "idiotic" in Friday's Haaretz; Yonatan Touval of the Geneva Initiative called it "absurd" and "deeply harmful" in The New York Times last month.
Opponents raise three main objections. First, Israel never demanded recognition as a Jewish state in its peace treaties with Egypt and Jordan, so this is clearly not essential for peace. Second, the Palestinians will never accept it, so not only is it unnecessary, it is an obstacle to peace. And third, the Palestinians should not accept it, because it would undermine the rights of Israel's Arab minority.
THE FLAW in the first two arguments is that they overlook a crucial distinction: Neither Egypt nor Jordan ever sought to eradicate Israel's Jewish character via their peace treaties; their demands were confined to mundane issues such as territory and water rights. The Palestinians, in contrast, are actively seeking to eradicate Israel's Jewish character via a peace treaty.
Specifically, they demand the right to relocate 4.6 million Palestinian refugees and their descendants (UNRWA's figure) to Israel -- a demand from which they have never budged in 16 years of negotiations. This influx, combined with the 1.5 million Arab citizens, would make its 5.6 million Jews a minority in their own country, effectively eradicating the Jewish State.
Thus it is the Palestinians, not Israel, who have placed its Jewish character on the negotiating table. Netanyahu, far from raising new and irrelevant demands, is merely responding to theirs.
Moreover, far from being an obstacle to peace, Netanyahu's demand is indeed essential to it -- because the Jewish State will never agree to abolish itself via a peace treaty. Hence until the Palestinians stop demanding that it do so, no treaty will be possible.
The third argument, in contrast, is simply ridiculous. Since this already is a Jewish state, Palestinian recognition of this fact would in no way worsen Israeli Arabs' existing situation. Nor would it preclude them from using democratic means to try to change its Jewish character from within: They are not citizens of Palestine, so Palestinian commitments do not bind them.
Indeed, the only effect Palestinian recognition of Israel's Jewish character could have on Israeli Arabs is forcing them to abandon the delusion of someday eliminating it via mass Palestinian immigration. But since not even the most sweeping definition of democratic rights includes allowing national minorities to take over their country by importing millions of their fellow nationals, depriving Israeli Arabs of this delusion in no way violates their rights.
STILL, ALL of the above begs two questions. First, if Israel's main concern is preventing millions of Palestinians from flooding the country, why muddy the waters by demanding recognition as a Jewish state? Why not simply reiterate its long-standing position -- which most of the West accepts -- that the refugees and their descendants must be resettled elsewhere? And second, why should recognition of its Jewish character be a precondition for negotiations, as Netanyahu initially demanded -- though he has since shamefully backtracked? To answer these questions, it is necessary to ask a third one: If Palestinian recognition of Israel's Jewish character is so important, why did it not raise this demand in 1993, when talks began? The answer is that then, it assumed both sides were negotiating in good faith, making it unnecessary to spell out the obvious endgame of two states, one Jewish and one Palestinian. And indeed, the original Oslo Accord mentions neither [recognition of] a Jewish state nor [creation of] a Palestinian one.
Sixteen years later, however, this assumption has proven only half-true: Successive Israeli governments have committed explicitly to the goal of a Palestinian state, but the Palestinians have yet to abandon their demand for the demographic elimination of the Jewish one. It has thus become increasingly clear that the real problem is not the refugees, but Palestinian unwillingness to accept the very existence of a Jewish state. And since Israel will not agree to commit suicide, further talks will be pointless unless this unwillingness changes.
Yet the justice of making recognition a precondition for talks goes far deeper than that, as a Palestinian parallel ironically demonstrates. Prior to his speech last Sunday, Netanyahu had refused to commit to the goal of a Palestinian state. The Palestinians refused to resume negotiations unless he did, and the world, rightly, backed them. Essentially, the Palestinian position was "we will not agree to negotiate about whether we have a right to exist; we are only prepared to discuss the details." But the Jewish state is also not prepared to negotiate about whether it has a right to exist. It, too, is only prepared to discuss the details: borders, water rights, compensating the refugees, etc. And despite its initial belief in Palestinian good faith, it never should have allowed the "right of return" onto the table: No sane country would agree to make its very existence a subject of negotiations.
Netanyahu, however inconsistently, is belatedly trying to correct this fatal error, and he deserves the world's wholehearted support. And this is not merely because, practically speaking, no peace deal will be possible unless the Palestinians accept the Jewish state's existence.
Primarily, it is because the Jewish state cannot be the only state in the world whose very right to exist is subject to negotiations. And the Jewish people cannot be the only people in the world whose right to a nation-state of its own is deemed negotiable.
(©) The Jerusalem Post
[Note: There is another and perhaps more significant distinction between Egypt and Jordan (on the one hand) and the "Palestinian" Arabs (on the other hand). The former, although they tried to annihilate Israel by means of war and terrorism over many decades, never used as a pretext therefor the false claim that "Palestine" (i.e., the State of Israel within its 1949 armistice demarcation lines) actually belongs to them (or either of them) because from 1920 (the creation of the League of Nations Mandate for Palestine) until 1948 (Israel's declaration of independence) the Jewish people illegally colonized and then, via an unprovoked war, stole the Land from them (or either of them) by expelling most of them and subjugating the rest. Rather, these two countries and the split leadership of the "Palestinian" Arabs (i.e., Hamas which rules in Gaza and the Fatah-controlled Palestinian Authority which rules in Judea and Samaria) all teach their respective populations that the Jews committed these very crimes only against the "Palestinian" Arabs. This falsified history is what has created an irredentist and revanchist "Palestinian" claim to the Jewish State which is not part of the current national ethos of either Egypt or Jordan. -- Mark Rosenblit]
[Note: Are Israeli soldiers kidnapping Arabs and harvesting their internal organs? Read on!]
Israel aghast at Swedish report on IDF
(Jerusalem Post, August 19, 2009) The Foreign Ministry responded furiously on Tuesday to a story in Sweden's largest circulation daily, Aftonbladet, that accused IDF soldiers of abducting Palestinians to steal their organs, saying this was a grotesque throwback to the blood libels of the Middle Ages.
Foreign Ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor characterized the story as "racist hysteria at its worst."
"No one should tolerate such a demonizing piece of medieval blood libel that surely encourages hate crimes against Jews," Palmor said. "This is a shame to freedom of expression, and all Swedes should reject it unconditionally."
Israel's embassy in Stockholm was expected to issue a sharp denunciation.
In the story, headlined "They plunder the organs of our sons," and accompanied by a gruesome photograph, Palestinians are quoted as saying IDF soldiers kidnapped their sons and stole organs.
Haaretz quoted Donald Bostrom as writing the following: "'Our sons are used as involuntary organ donors,' relatives of Khaled from Nablus said to me, as did the mother of Raed from Jenin, as well as the uncles of Machmod and Nafes from Gaza, who all had disappeared for a few days and returned by night, dead and autopsied."
The article makes reference to the recent arrests in New Jersey of several US Jews, including rabbis, for a number of alleged crimes, including brokering the sale of organs for transplant.
The story also cites allegations of similar instances of organ-snatching in 1992, during the first intifada.
The Foreign Ministry was not the only party aghast at the story, and smelling the stench of anti-Semitism. A competing newspaper, Sydsvenskan, ran an op-ed on the story under the headline "Antisemitbladet," in an obvious reference to Aftonbladet's name.
"Whispers in the dark. Anonymous sources. Rumors," wrote Swedish columnist Mats Skogkֳ₪r. "That is all it takes. After all, we all know what they [the Jews] are like, don't we: inhuman, hardened. Capable of anything. Now all that remains is the defense, equally predictable: 'Anti-Semitism? No, no, just criticism of Israel.'"
(©) The Jerusalem Post
[Note: Israel must be stealing Arab organs because a “Palestinian” news service has now “confirmed” the allegations. Read on!]
Palestinian news agency 'confirms' organ snatching story
(Jerusalem Post, August 23, 2009) The Bethlehem-based Palestinian news agency Ma'an published a report over the weekend which it said confirmed allegations that IDF soldiers kill Palestinian civilians to harvest their organs.
The charges appeared last week in Sweden's left-leaning Aftonbladet newspaper and have since been widely quoted in Palestinian and Arab newspapers.
"They plunder the organs of our sons," read the headline in Sweden's largest daily newspaper, which devoted a double spread in its cultural section to the article.
Ma'an, which is funded by Denmark and the Netherlands, headlined its feature: "Disappearances, Holding Bodies, Organ Theft - Intertwined Crimes."
The feature is based on an interview with Abdel Nasser Farwaneh, a former security prisoner in Israel who is described by the news agency as an "expert on prisoners' affairs."
Farwaneh is quoted as saying that the "findings" published by the Swedish newspaper are true.
"All the facts, evidence and testimonies over the past few decades regarding the way the occupation forces were treating and killing innocent civilians don't leave room for doubt about the credibility of the report in the Swedish newspaper," he said.
The "expert" claimed that hundreds of Palestinian and Arab prisoners have disappeared in Israeli detention centers and prisons.
"This policy of hiding prisoners is surely connected to what the Swedish newspaper published," Farwaneh said. "It's possible that all those missing prisoners, or a large number of them, were deliberately killed so that their organs could be stolen and used illegally. The remains of these prisoners are then hidden in secret cemeteries known as the Cemeteries of Numbers."
Farwaneh told the agency that there was also good reason to believe that the allegations were true because many bodies of Hizbullah gunmen that were returned by Israel were missing organs.
He also claimed that IDF soldiers had "executed" more than 50 civilians after arresting them during the second intifada, which began in September 2000. "This could be related to what the Swedish newspaper reported about organ harvesting," he said.
Farwaneh expressed deep admiration for the Swedish newspaper and the journalist who reported the allegations, Donald Bostrom, and called on the international media to follow suit and expose Israeli "atrocities and war crimes" against Palestinians.
(©) The Jerusalem Post
When blood libel becomes part of 'Kultur'
(Jerusalem Post, August 25, 2009) Few readers of the Israeli or Jewish media will have missed the reports about a recent article in a Swedish tabloid that accused Israel of abducting and killing Palestinian civilians to harvest their organs.
Since the story broke last week, a number of interesting commentaries have been written; among the most worthwhile to check out is JPost Columnist Barry Rubin's article "Stop the pressses: Blood libel goes mainstream" on his blog The Rubin Report, which includes several updates on additional developments and information.
I must confess that I was struck by a perhaps rather marginal aspect of the story: the fact that the article was published in the "Kultur" [English-language translation: “Culture”] section of the paper. There may be some entirely mundane reasons for this arguably odd placement, but I felt that by publishing the article in the "Kultur" section, the paper's editors had -- probably unwittingly -- made a very fitting choice.
AS ARIEH Kovler notes in a superb article "Recycling Old Libels" on the website of the European Institute for the Study of Contemporary Anti-Semitism, the author of the Swedish tabloid article claims that rumors of organ theft by Israelis are common among Palestinians. Kovler suggests that one reason for the popularity of such rumors could be the Middle East's popular culture, specifically "the Iranian TV series Zahra's Blue Eyes, broadcast in late 2004 and later dubbed for an Arabic audience. The plot involves the IDF conspiring to harvest Palestinians' eyes for transplant into blind Israelis."
According to a Memri report on the series, one episode also included a story that claimed that "the Israeli president is being kept alive by organs stolen from Palestinian children." Barry Rubin mentions a similarly-themed Turkish film.
Another very important point highlighted by Kovler is that the accusations in the Swedish paper not only echo the blood libels of the past, but also suggest that Israelis resemble the Nazis: "The Nazis treated Jews as raw materials rather than people, to be worked, killed or experimented on. The accusation that Israel would use the Palestinian as living organ banks is an inversion of this aspect of the Holocaust thrown back at Jews."
As chance would have it, just a day after the Swedish paper published this article, the British Guardian carried a piece by the much celebrated philosopher Slavoj Zizek. Commenting on Israel's policies toward the Palestinians, Zizek did his best to make the Israel-Nazi comparison respectable: he not only accused Israel of "ethnic cleansing", but also argued that "Palestinians often use the problematic cliche of the Gaza strip as 'the greatest concentration camp in the world.' However, in the past year, this designation has come dangerously close to truth. This is the fundamental reality that makes all abstract 'prayers for peace' obscene and hypocritical. The State of Israel is clearly engaged in a slow, invisible process, ignored by the media; one day, the world will awake and discover that there is no more Palestinian West Bank, that the land is Palestinian-free, and that we must accept the fact."
It is worth noting that the online version of the article, unlike the print version, originally included the term "Palestinian-frei", obviously intended to invoke the Nazis' "Judenfrei" [English-language translation: “Jew-free”]. Moreover, Zizek not only suggested that it is becoming ever more legitimate to compare Gaza to a concentration camp; by asserting that "Israel is clearly
engaged in a slow, invisible process", he also invoked the familiar theme that after 1945, all too many people claimed that they had not "known" what was happening to the Jews.
Needless to say, Zizek's claim that anything Israel does is "ignored by the media" is utterly ridiculous.
It was doubtless a coincidence that on two consecutive days, two major publications in two European countries gave out the message that Israel deserves to be compared to the Nazis - but it was arguably a revealing coincidence.
It's even more revealing when you check out Memri's "Anti-Semitism Documentation Project". Here are just a few recent titles: August 12, 2009: Article in Syrian Government Daily: The Holocaust - Part of a Reciprocal Conflict between Hitler and the Jewish Capitalists; Its Real Victims Are the Germans and the Palestinians; June 11, 2009: Saudi Columnist: The Real Holocaust - Israel's Slaughter of the Palestinians; May 11, 2009: Articles in Syrian Government Dailies on 'Bloodsucking,' 'Blood-Letting' Jews; April 7, 2009: Jews Portrayed as Blood-Drinkers in Anti-Semitic Drama Aired on Hamas TV; March 4, 2009: Omani Columnist: What the Jews Did in Germany 'Impelled Hitler to Punish [Them] For Their Bad Deeds'; 'The US Today Finds Itself in the Same Predicament as Germany Back Then.'
SO MAYBE it's time for a variation on the last item: what the Jews do today in Israel -- or what they are suspected and accused of doing -- impels some people to compare Israel to Hitler's Germany. Naturally, suspecting anti-Semitism as the root cause of such comparisons would cause lots of righteous indignation among all those oh-so-well-meaning folks who feel "impelled" to draw this comparison in order to express their "entirely legitimate" criticism of Israel's policies -- or of what they think Israel's policies are.
As Zizek demonstrated so well, it doesn't matter if it's about an "invisible process" -- if you are a clear-sighted philosopher, you can see that it doesn't really matter that today, there are more Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza than ever before in history, and you can clearly foresee the day when "the world will awake and discover that... the land is Palestinian-frei" -- ehm, make that "free", that's just so much more subtle, isn't it?
This article first appeared in the blog The Warped Mirror on JPost's BlogCentral.
(©) The Jerusalem Post
[Not only have the Jews been kidnapping Arabs in order to steal their internal organs, but now the Jews are also conducting medical experiments on imprisoned Arab terrorists. Read on!]
PA blames Israel for prisoners' sickness
Jerusalem Post staff
(Jerusalem Post, September 2, 2009) A Palestinian Authority minister said Israel was not doing enough to maintain the health of Palestinian prisoners.
Prisoner Affairs Minister Issa Karaki was quoted by the Palestinian Ma'an news agency on Monday as saying that the recent discovery of cancer in 25 Palestinian prisoners "was a troubling phenomenon which indicates the decline in Palestinian prisoners' health conditions and the lack of minimal medical care."
Karaki mentioned a 22-year-old prisoner who was released after falling ill with a tumor in his mouth. He said it was the second case of the same cancer in the space of a few months, and that in the first case the prisoner was also released due to his disease.
The minister accused doctors in the Israel Prison Service of knowing that the prisoners were ill but waiting until their conditions worsened. He also claimed that many Palestinians released from Israeli prisons die of cancer.
"There are 1,500 [prisoners] who are in urgent need of medical treatment," he said.
He further alleged that, "as exposed in Israeli media," Israel was conducting experiments on Palestinian prisoners.
He called on the international community to intervene on behalf of the Palestinian prisoners and called on the World Health Organization to investigate the decline in the health of prisoners in Israel.
(©) The Jerusalem Post
[Note: Perhaps the biggest Big Lie purveyed by the Arabs is that there has never been any Jewish historical connection to Jerusalem. Read on!]
PA judge: Jews have no history in J'lem
(Jerusalem Post, August 27, 2009) The Palestinian Authority's chief Islamic judge, Sheikh Tayseer Rajab Tamimi, said on Wednesday that there was no evidence to back up claims that Jews had ever lived in Jerusalem or that the Temple ever existed.
Tamimi claimed that Israeli archeologists had "admitted" that Jerusalem was never inhabited by Jews.
Tamimi's announcement came in response to statements made earlier this week by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, who said that Jerusalem "is not a settlement," and that "the Jews built it 3,000 years ago."
"Netanyahu's claims are baseless and untrue," said Tamimi, the highest religious authority in the PA. "Jerusalem is an Arab and Islamic city and it always has been so."
Tamimi claimed that all excavation work conducted by Israel after 1967 have "failed to prove that Jews had a history or presence in Jerusalem or that their ostensible temple had ever existed."
He condemned Netanyahu and "all Jewish rabbis and extremist organizations" as liars because of their assertion that Jerusalem was
a Jewish city.
Tamimi accused Israel of distorting the facts and forging history "with the aim of erasing the Arab and Islamic character of Jerusalem." He also accused Israel of launching an "ethnic cleansing" campaign to squeeze Arabs out of the city.
"By desecrating its holy sites, expelling its Arab residents and demolishing their homes and confiscating their lands and building
settlements in Jerusalem, Israel is seeking, through the use of weapons, to turn it into a Jewish city," he said. "This is a flagrant violation of all religious, legal, moral and human values."
In another development, Hamas and Islamic Jihad on Wednesday rejected the political platform of PA Prime Minister Salaam Fayad.
The platform, which was published on Tuesday, pledges that the Fayad government would work toward establishing a de facto Palestinian state within two years even if no agreement was reached with Israel. The platform talks about peaceful resistance against Israeli "occupation." The two Islamic groups said in response that the only way to establish a state was through "armed struggle." They said that Fayad's plan was unrealistic and unclear, adding that it would be impossible to establish a state "under occupation."
(©) The Jerusalem Post
[Note: Misnamed “human rights” organizations are also part of the Big Lie. Read on!]
Human Rights Watch earns its pay
(August 25, 2009) There's a certain asymmetry in the international demonization of Israel. Organizations like [United States-based] Human Rights Watch (HRW) get to make things up out of whole cloth, but Israel has to spend precious resources disproving the charges.
By the time the nonsense is debunked, the news cycle is long gone. And nobody publishes "turns out, Israel didn't commit war crimes after all" articles. In addition, anti-Israel academics just repeat the myths anyway since they can just footnote the original report.
For example, in 2006 HRW put out a report saying that Israel took potshots at Lebanese civilians waving white flags. It was dutifully picked up by the usual outlets. Of course the report was nonsense -- Israel produced documents and videotapes showing the "civilians" waving white flags were Hizbullah soldiers launching missiles.
But as of 2008 the report is still being cited in academic dissertations under headings like "8.1.1 Possible war crimes committed by Israel."
EARLIER THIS month, HRW published a study pointing out that, yes, Hamas did in fact try to kill Israeli civilians. Rather than let that simmer for a while, it quickly published a brand new "Israel shot at civilians waving white flags" report. This way, it can say "we release reports on both sides" -- which is what it did in its Lebanon "white flags" incident -- without bringing up how its anti-Israel reports are (a) more numerous, (b) mostly false and (c) timed to starve any anti-Hizbullah or anti-Hamas reports or coverage.
The money line from the summary of the new report, helpfully boldfaced on its Web site says: "In the 11 killings documented in this report, Human Rights Watch found no evidence that the civilian victims were used by Palestinian fighters as human shields or were shot in the crossfire between opposing forces. The civilian victims were in plain view and posed no apparent security threat."
This is the same organization that also stated -- flat out -- that there was no evidence that civilians were used by Hizbullah fighters as human shields. Of course there was the photographic evidence and the video evidence, and how Hizbullah leader Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah explicitly bragged about using human shields -- but whatever.
And in Gaza, there's the photographic evidence and video evidence, and how Hamas explicitly bragged about using human shields... - but whatever.
Which is not to say that HRW is outrightly making the whole thing up. It could be that its vaunted Palestinian witnesses are the ones making it up. Of course HRW representatives wrote that they used "ballistic evidence found at the scene, medical records of victims and lengthy interviews with multiple witnesses."
Except ballistic evidence and medical records can't establish anything about white flags and by "multiple" they mean "three" and by "witnesses" they mean "embittered people who hate Israel." But other than that -- solid.
This is the third anti-Israel report that HRW has published on Operation Cast Lead [being Israel's December 2008 incursion into Gaza in order to put an end to the 8 prior years of rocket and mortar fire raining down upon Israel's nearby Jewish communities]. At least HRW's Saudi funders are getting their money's worth.
The writer is the publisher of Mere Rhetoric (), a blog focusing on the geopolitical, cultural, and economic dimensions of the global war between the West and political Islam. He studies rhetoric at the University of Southern California's Annenberg School for Communication, where he is currently a PhD candidate. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
(©) The Jerusalem Post
[Note: HRW has admitted that its leadership recently made a very successful fundraising trip to Saudi Arabia -- a country that denies equal rights to women, murders homosexuals and prevents any religion but Islam to be practiced on its soil -- where the "human rights" organization touted its "war crimes" accusations against Israel. No doubt, HRW's Saudi hosts were well aware that HRW pays scant attention to Saudi violations of human rights. -- Mark Rosenblit]
[The media often places its freedom to publish in the service of the Big Lie. Read on!]
Spanish paper calls Holocaust denier Irving 'expert' on WWII
(Jerusalem Post, September 3, 2009) First the Swedish newspaper Aftonbladet cited freedom of the press as its justification for accusing IDF soldiers of harvesting Palestinian organs. Now the Spanish daily El Mundo is using the same argument to defend including Holocaust denier David Irving among its list of experts to be interviewed this week to mark 70 years since the start of World War II.
An interview with Irving, who served time in an Austrian prison for his Holocaust denial, is scheduled to appear in the paper on Saturday, a day after an interview with [Israel Holocaust Museum] Yad Vashem's chairman Avner Shalev.
When Israeli Ambassador to Spain Raphael Schutz learned of the plans, he wrote a letter to the newspaper, saying it was obscene to include Irving in the list of experts and give him an esteemed platform. Such exposure, Schutz argued, lent Irving credibility.
Schutz's letter appeared in the paper on Wednesday.
Schutz wrote that one of the problems facing the post-modern age was an inability to recognize anything as true [or false], saying instead that there were only "different narratives."
As such, Schutz wrote, there was no capacity to differentiate between truth and lies, between the important and the superfluous. And in this world void of truth, everything is at the same level -- the murdered and the victim, the wise and the ignorant, Mozart's opera and the latest pop song.
Even freedom of the press, Schutz wrote, had limits. One sentence that was edited out of his letter was his charge that the paper was printing the interview to cause a sensation.
The paper's response, which was run under the letter, was not to endorse Irving's ideas, but rather to cite press freedom and the right for everyone to decide on their own.
Yad Vashem spokesman Estee Yaari, speaking for Shalev, said that it was "shocking" that a paper like El Mundo would include an interview with Irving as an "expert."
Shalev, she said, "would never have agreed to be interviewed had he known."
Aftonbladet, meanwhile, received backing for its article on IDF organ harvesting from Syrian President Bashar Assad's spokeswoman Bouthaina Shaaban, who praised the article in the Pan-Arab Asharq Al-Awsat on Tuesday, and said Israel "should be put on trial" for the these "criminal acts."
"These criminal acts began in 1992 when Palestinians started to witness a sharp rise in the number of young Palestinians disappearing and of bodies of Palestinians killed by occupation forces being returned with organs like hearts, kidneys, livers and eyes missing," she wrote, in a story that appeared on the paper's English Web site.
She also wrote that "investigations in New Jersey have proved that Rabbi Levy-Izhak (Isaac Rosenbaum) from Brooklyn and other rabbis have run for years Soprano-like networks to sell the kidneys of Palestinian martyrs in the US black market. Patients in the United States paid up to US $160,000 per kidney. In 2003, a medical conference showed that Israel is the only country in the world in which the medical profession does not condemn stealing human organs and does not act against those involved in such a crime."
Yossi Levy, the Foreign Ministry's spokesman for the Israeli press, said Shaaban's praise for the article should be a "warning light" for the Swedish government which "unfortunately has still not fully and courageously condemned the article."
"It is not surprising that Damascus smelled the anti-Semitism emanating from the article, and quickly embraced it for its propaganda purposes," he said, adding that "poisonous anti-Semitism was no stranger to Syria's political philosophy."
Levy cited as just one example remarks Assad made to welcome Pope John Paul II to Damascus in 2001. At that time Assad said Israel and the Jews "tried to kill the principles of all religions with the same mentality in which they betrayed Jesus Christ and the same way they tried to betray and kill the Prophet Mohammed."
(©) The Jerusalem Post
[There is an ideological doctrine which declares that, in a conflict, the weaker side is always the more virtuous side. That doctrine is often a conduit to the Big Lie. Read on!]
Exposing the 'Weapon of the Weak'
(Jerusalem Post, September 13, 2009) Targeting the mainstream media (MSM) of the "strong" side is a fundamental tactic for any "weak" group conducting an asymmetrical war. Unable to win on the battlefield, insurgents and terrorists seek to convince their foes' civilian population that the wars their leaders have undertaken are unwinnable, even immoral. They need the other side's public to stop their own armies. The strategy worked in Vietnam; it almost worked in Iraq; it's in play in both Afghanistan and Israel and, in a different sense, all over the West.
Indeed, forces of Muslim militancy have had extraordinary success over the past decade. Anyone in the optimistic 1990s who had predicted that anti-Semitism would return with a vengeance, that Muslims would publicly express their desire to destroy or subjugate Europe, that parts of Europe would be Islamic by mid-century, that a riotous Muslim "street" in European cities would render [the Muslim month of] Ramadan [during which Muslims fast during daylight] a tinderbox, would have been ridiculed.
SO HOW could things have turned around so dramatically?
The answer is complex, but one aspect has received little attention: These are the victories of a cognitive war waged in the theater of our own media. My own research, which began as a medievalist investigating "the first blood libel of the 21st century" -- the Muhammad al-Dura affair [in which Israeli soldiers sitting inside a pillbox in Gaza were falsely accused of targeting and killing a child while he was being cradled in his father's arms] -- has led me to conclusions I never anticipated: that Palestinian cameramen regularly film fake scenes of injury and ambulance evacuations (Pallywood), and that Western journalists regularly edit these fakes into bites they run as news.
But there's an even more dangerous element to the story. Not only do the media broadcast as "true" Palestinian narratives designed to arouse hatred, they also disguise the effects, and even the sources, of these narratives. When the footage of Dura, running constantly on French TV, unleashed attacks on Jews in France, the French MSM reported nothing for years. If Muslims hated Jews, it was understandable.
As for Palestinian hate-mongering, it's a case of the less said the better. Reporting on a sermon broadcast on PA TV calling for Muslims to butcher Jews wherever they find them, William Orme of The New York Times, in an article on the role of incitement in the intifada, quoted only the opening: "Labor, Likud, they're all Jews, they're all the same..." To this day, the genocidal incitement of Palestinian TV is unknown to the Western public.
The relationship between Palestinian and Western journalism recently hit a new low/high with a Swedish article by Donald Bostrom, in which, without evidence, and against medical possibility, he accused the IDF of harvesting Palestinian organs. The refusal of the Swedish government to condemn this blood libel lest it infringe on "freedom of the press" is facetious. It did not hesitate to pressure the Swedish media not to publish the Muhammad cartoons.
The Swedish response to Israel and its appeasement of Muslim sensibilities points to a key problem: intimidation. Publishing lies about the Israelis will, at worst, get you pained protests; publishing anything that offends the Palestinians (or in Europe, the Muslims), could get you killed. Asked why British cartoonists pick on Israel but not the Palestinians, the head of the professional society that had just given its annual award to a depiction of Ariel Sharon devouring Palestinian children, said: "Jews don't issue fatwas."
That rare candor aside, most journalists, for fear of losing their audience, cannot admit how much they're intimidated, to what extent they buy access to Palestinian sources by scrupulously following "the journalistic procedures with the Palestinian Authority for work in Palestine." Were they to tell the West what was really going on, at best they'd lose access, at worst, their lives.
So in order not to admit even to themselves that they're misreporting, they become advocates: "I'm for peace, justice and fairness, so I support the underdog Palestinians." "In the Middle East a picture can be worth 1,000 weapons," said [network television reporter] Bob Simon. 'So,' reasons many a reporter, 'if the Israelis have the weapons, why not level the playing field by giving the 'weak' the victory in the battle of images?'
NO WONDER so many Middle East journalists take the side of the Palestinians. Only that kind of pack mentality can present the image of Israelis as killers of civilians, when Israel has by far the lowest rate of civilian casualties in the world -- a 2:1 ratio of [military] target to civilian [casualty] vs. a 1:10 ratio for the next best.
It may seem "cost free" to trash Israel and "respect" Palestinian sensibilities in the short run, but the long-term consequences are destructive. Through the MSM's (and the NGOs') laundering of Palestinian propaganda as real news, Westerners have had their minds colonized by the Palestinian narrative: It is our fault they hate us; if we could only make enough concessions, we could fix the problem.
This susceptibility of Western news media to Palestinian disinformation imperils not just Israel (its apparent target), but the entire West. It never occurred to the European journalists, for example, whose use of Dura aroused the rage of their Muslim immigrant population, that they too would be the targets of jihad.
And yet policies based on the idea that if only Israel were nicer then all would go better have failed miserably, despite the good intentions of those who insist on trying them. They are the policies our foes want us to adopt, not because they seek peace, but because they seek the advantage in war -- a war in which the Jews are only one target.
The cognitive warriors of jihad want the West to offer up Israel as a sacrifice on the altar of Muslim honor. Westerners like [former U.S. President] Jimmy Carter and [author] John Mearsheimer think sacrifice will appease, bring peace, end the jihad. For jihad's warriors, nothing could make them happier.
The MSM should be the eyes and ears of civil polities.
The writer is a medieval history professor at Boston University. He blogs at The Augean Stables, and has assembled all the information on Dura at The Second Draft. He is currently writing a book subtitled A Medievalist's Guide to the 21st Century.
(©) The Jerusalem Post
[Are nefarious Jews selling tons of tainted food to innocent “Palestinians”? Read on!]
PA destroys 45 tons of spoiled food and settlement goods
(September 7, 2009) Hebron – Ma’an News Agency – Palestinian customs agents destroyed 45 tons on Monday of what they said were spoiled foodstuffs and products from Israeli settlements which are banned in the Palestinian market.
According to officials, the expired products included chocolates, dates, jams, juices, coffee. Most of these products were found to have been labeled with false expiration dates.
The products which were determined to have come from Israeli settlements were mineral waters, pickles, fireworks, biscuits, and toys.
The governor of Hebron Hussein Al-Araj attended the destruction of the products, along with representatives of the ministries of health, economy, Preventive Security, Civil Defense, police, liaison office, Military Intelligence Service, Political Guidance, and civic society institutions.
[Note: Ma’an News Agency is a European-funded Bethlehem-based “Palestinian” news service.]
[Have Jews graduated from harvesting “Palestinian” Arab internal organs to harvesting Algerian Arab internal organs? Read on!]
'Jews harvesting Algerian kids' organs'
(Jerusalem Post, September 15, 2009) The anti-Semitic blogosphere and many Arab and Muslim media outlets are aflutter in recent days over accusations of an international Jewish conspiracy to kidnap Algerian children and harvest their organs.
Unlike the multiple conspiracy theories about Jews circulating among radical fringe organizations online, this one seems to be gaining momentum on mainstream Arab and Muslim Web sites.
According to the story, first reported by Algeria's Al-Khabar daily, bands of Moroccans and Algerians have allegedly been roaming the streets of Algeria's cities kidnapping young children, who are then transported across the border into Morocco. From the Moroccan city of Oujda, the children are then purportedly sold to Israelis and American Jews, who then harvest their organs for sale in Israel and the United States. The organs are said to fetch anywhere from $20,000 to $100,000.
The source for the Al-Khabar report seems to be a Dr. Mustafa Khayatti, head of the Algerian National Committee for the Development of Health Research. Khayatti reportedly claimed that several Jews were arrested in New York in connection with the trade. He claimed Interpol knew of the situation and was leading the investigation into the abductions.
"The arrest of Jewish organ trafficking gangs does not mean that the danger has gone; top officials and specialists in this issue assert that there are other Jewish gangs who remain active in several Arab countries," Khayatti was quoted as saying.
Picking up on the Algerian report, the official Iranian news agency Press TV claimed that the Jewish group "is said to be connected to Israeli Rabbi Levi Rosenbaum, who was recently arrested in New Jersey for the direct involvement in importing human organs."
The report also ran without scrutiny on certain American news outlets, including the Web site of the California-based American Arab weekly Watan.
With its rapid online dissemination, the report has begun to draw fire from those worried about the ease with which such a story, lacking any evidence, can spread in the Muslim world.
The report "sounds as [though] Dr. Khayatti is well connected within the FBI and has access to Interpol documents," but this was not the case, wrote Hassan Masiky, a reporter for the American Moroccan news service MoroccoBoard.com.
"Needless to say, neither Al-Khabar nor PressTV provided a source for their story, other than an obscure low-level Algerian bureaucrat," Masiky complained.
"What is dangerous in this work of fantasy is the plot to package the true story of the arrest of Rabbi Levi Rosenbaum in New Jersey with the nonsense, nightmarish tale out of Algeria," he said.
Masiky noted that the Algerian-Moroccan border was closed and carefully watched by the countries' armies. It was therefore difficult to ascertain how such a plan could be implemented without help from the Algerian state.
"To their credit, the Algerian authorities, up until now, did not ask their Moroccan counterparts for an official investigation, as most Algerians ask themselves: Who are these kidnapped children? Where are their parents? Who conducts these organ harvesting operations? How are the children and the organs transported from Morocco to Israel? And more importantly, how can the Algerian army allow such illicit traffic to go unabated?" Masiky wrote.
The Iranian PressTV noted in its coverage that the report followed claims made in the Swedish newspaper Aftonbladet last month of an IDF conspiracy to harvest organs from kidnapped Palestinians.
The connection indicated "a possible link between the Israeli military and the mafia of human organs detected in the US," the Iranian report said.
Aftonbladet, too, did not offer evidence in its article, relying on claims by a handful of Palestinians who spoke to the reporter.
(©) The Jerusalem Post
[Is Israel trying to destroy al-Aksa Mosque by tunneling underneath the Temple Mount? Read on!]
Arab leaders at al-Aksa: Israel digging under Temple Mount
(October 8, 2009) A delegation of elite Arab-Israeli activists and Arab MKs toured Jerusalem's Aksa mosque on Wednesday morning, in the wake of Arab riots around the Old City holy sites.
The leaders reiterated previous claims of Israeli archeological excavations under the Temple Mount.
After a relatively quiet day in the capital on Tuesday, Western Wall Rabbi Shmuel Rabinovitz called such claims "ludicrous," adding that forces outside of Jerusalem were operating to stir up religious tensions in the Old City.
"Ludicrous claims about excavations under the Temple Mount are an absolute lie," he said in the message. "To claim that the Jews are digging [under] the Temple Mount site is like claiming that day is night."
This latest upswing in violence began on Sunday morning when some 150 Muslims threw rocks and bottles at police after being denied entry to the Temple Mount compound for morning prayers at the Aksa Mosque.
Security forces had decided to close off the compound after calls for Muslim men to come and "defend the Mount" had circulated throughout east Jerusalem and Arab villages in northern Israel over the weekend.
In addition, a police patrol on the Temple Mount early Sunday morning had discovered wheelbarrows filled with rocks, which led security forces to believe that riots had been planned in advance of Sunday's prayers.
Abe Selig contributed to this report
(©) The Jerusalem Post
[Note: If Israel really wanted to destroy al-Aksa Mosque, it would not use a method that might undermine the structural integrity of the Temple Mount -- the holiest shrine in Judaism. -- Mark Rosenblit]
[Did Israel poison Gaza’s unborn children? Read on!]
Hamas health minister: More babies born with defects after Cast Lead
By JPost.com Staff
Post, October 11, 2009) A comparison of the months July, August and
September in 2009 to the same period of the last year has found that the amount
of babies born with birth defects has risen by 50%, a report compiled by Gaza
City's Shifah Hospital found.
Hamas Minister of Health Hassan Khalef said that the ministry is considering the option that the implementation of Israel's Operation Cast Lead (December 2008 - January 2009) is related to the findings.
Khlaef speculated that the IDF's alleged use of White Phosphorus during the maneuver was connected to the increase in babies born with defects, among them missing limbs.
He added that he was very worried as a result of the developments and that "Israel's war crimes" must be investigated.
(©) The Jerusalem Post
[Note: Hamas officials are not known for their objectivity towards Israel, especially when the opportunity to falsely accuse the Jewish State of genocide arises. White Phosphorus is legitimately deployed to create a smokescreen over a battlefield in order to protect advancing troops. According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency, it is not classifiable as a carcinogenic substance; and no scientific study has ever suggested any link to cancer. Nonetheless, due to its ability to cause severe burns upon contact with skin, this substance was not used by Israel in densely-populated areas of Gaza. Since White Phosphorus was not deployed in these areas, it is absurd for the Hamas “Health Minister” to claim that any pregnant women were exposed to the substance, let alone in such large numbers as to increase the rate of birth defects by a staggering 50%. -- Mark Rosenblit]
[Did the Jewish people fabricate a history in “Arab Palestine”? Read on!]
2009 Palestinian Media Watch
to view on PMW's new web site PA historian and PLO official deny Israel's
history in the Land of Israel and accuse Israel of "stealing"
Marcus and Barbara Crook
Palestinian Media Watch:
p:+972 2 625 4140 e: email@example.com
f: +972 2 624 2803 w: www.palwatch.org
A Palestinian historian and a senior PLO official have denied that the Jewish nation has any historical connection to the Land of Israel, thus continuing the Palestinian Authority's ongoing historical revision.
In an interview on official PA television, historian Nabil Alqam first denied thousands of years of documented Jewish history in Israel, then replaced it with "4,000 to 5,000 years" of fictitious Palestinian history.
Israel has publicized many archeological finds in recent years, including coins with Hebrew writing and even stamps [bullas] with names of biblical figures. It is possible that Alqam was responding to these numerous finds when he went on to accuse Israel of creating "artificial Israeli symbols." Nabil Alqam, PA historian: "Why does the occupation [Israel] concern itself with stealing, [cultural] theft, distorting and erasing the Palestinian heritage? Because it [Israel] seeks a history [in the land] while [Palestinian] heritage is a history that proves our connection to the land... [The Palestinian heritage] has historical depth of 4,000 to 5,000 years. And here [Israel] attempts to steal these symbols to create fake Israeli symbols and identity."
[PA TV (Fatah), Oct. 22, 2009]
Click here to view http://palwatch.org/main.aspx?fi=496&fld_id=496&doc_id=1412
Saleh Rafat, a member of the PLO Executive Committee, said earlier this month that Israel has even stolen "cuisine, clothing [and] architecture" that were Palestinian in origin and claimed they are part of Jewish history. He denies that the Jewish Temple ever existed, arguing that the tunnels near the Western Wall of the Temple ruins are merely the remains of old aqueducts:
Rafat, PLO official:
revive this [Palestinian] heritage and cling to it in order to counter all of
the attempts by Israel, by the Israeli occupation, to steal the national
heritage and to falsify it with the claim that it is their heritage -- from
cuisine to clothing, and architecture. Every part of our heritage in our land,
they claim is their heritage -- even the tunnels they are trying to dig beneath
the Al-Aqsa Mosque and under Jerusalem. Many of these tunnels are ancient
tunnels that carried water to Jerusalem, and they [Israelis] claim that they
are seeking an alleged Temple."
[Al-Filistiniya (Fatah) TV, Oct. 15, 2009]
Click here to view http://palwatch.org/main.aspx?fi=496&fld_id=496&doc_id=1413
For more than a decade, the PA has been conducting a longstanding, systematic campaign to deny Israel's right to exist, first by claiming there was no Jewish history in the Land of Israel and then by fabricating a "Palestinian" history for Jewish sites, artifacts and archeological finds.
Since 1998, PA academics and religious leaders have claimed that Palestinians, Arabs and Muslims all populated the land of Israel in biblical times and even earlier. This year, the Supreme Islamic Council of the Palestinian Authority declared that Arabs have been living in the land of "Palestine" since 7500 BCE [Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, March 17, 2009].
Placing Palestinians, Arabs and Muslims in Israel in biblical times is historically impossible:
1. The name "Palestine" as a replacement for the Land of Judea/Israel was coined by Rome only in 136 C.E., and for nearly 2,000 years Jews were the only Palestinians the world recognized.
was established only in 610 C.E.
first arrived in Israel with the Muslim invasion in 637 C.E.
To view the interview with PA historian Nabil Alqam, click here. http://palwatch.org/main.aspx?fi=496&fld_id=496&doc_id=1412
To view the interview with PLO official Saleh Rafat, click here. http://palwatch.org/main.aspx?fi=496&fld_id=496&doc_id=1413
For in-depth review of PA rewriting Jewish history and fabricating Palestinian history, click here. http://palwatch.org/main.aspx?fi=487
[Does Israel murder “Palestinian” Arabs in order to harvest and sell their organs? Read on!]
UN site posts organ harvesting claim
By TOVAH LAZAROFF
25/03/2010 [March 25, 2010]
Statement written by NGO accuses Israel of “ethnic cleansing, massacres.”
Allegations that Israel harvests Palestinian organs have re-surfaced and are posted on the UN Human Rights Council [UNHRC] website in the form of a statement written by an NGO [non-governmental organization].
The [Libya-based] International Organization for the Elimination of all Forms of Racial Discrimination [EAFORD] accused Israel of “ethnic cleansing and massacres” before it moved on to the issue of what it called “dead, kidnapped and killed Palestinians.”
“Their [Palestinian] human organs, as reported in the press, can be a source of immense wealth through illegal trafficking in the world market,” wrote EAFORD.
“Israeli physicians, Medical Centres, rabbis and the Israeli army may be involved,” it stated.
“After Israeli physicians remove organs they think marketable, the soldiers bury the bodies in graves that carry only numbers and no names, or place them in sealed caskets and deliver them under curfew conditions to the families and supervise the digging of the graves and burial,” stated the NGO document, which is posted on the UNHRC’s Web site.
EAFORD called for a boycott of Israel physicians and medical centers. It also asked the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon to report on the matter to the Security Council and to demand that it be sent to the International Criminal Court for action.
EAFORD’s statement along with that of other NGOs can be found on the UNHRC Web site in a section for documents, which were submitted for the council’s 13th session, which is taking place this March in Geneva.
NGOs regularly submit documents to the UNHRC relating to matters under debate. In this session the council is debating the human rights situation in the Palestinian territories.
The fact that the allegations were on the site was first publicized by UN Watch in Geneva, which on Wednesday sent a protest letter to the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights and the council’s president.
The council and the commissioner’s office, “however unwittingly, helped to propagate an anti-Semitic libel by publishing [EAFORD’s charges] as an unofficial UN document,” wrote UN Watch Executive Director Hillel Neuer.
He called on the UN council and high commissioner to “immediately cease circulating this racist, hateful and inflammatory text to the ambassadors and other delegates of the UNHRC.”
Neuer told The Jerusalem Post that the UNHRC in the past has asked UN Watch to change the language in documents that UN Watch plans to submit, including in this session where UNHRC asked UN Watch to edit their words with reference to Iran and Libya.
If UN Watch can’t use the word “regime” when talking about Iran, than one would think that a “blood libel” would be unacceptable, Neuer said.
Allegations that Israeli soldiers killed Palestinians to harvest their organs were widely publicized this summer in an article written by Swedish journalist Donald Bostrom for the country’s largest circulated daily, Aftonbladet.
Israel has denied the story. Bostrom later admitted that he relied solely on the testimony of Palestinian families for his story.
Foreign Ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor said it was “outrageous” that the allegations were published on a UN Web site.
“The only organ that was stolen is in people’s brains,” said Palmor.
“The most preposterous, ridiculous and horrendous of all lies can gain respectability at the UN,” he warned.
“I am deeply revolted by the fact that anyone in their right mind can actually advance such horribly surrealistic accusations,” said Palmor.
According to the NGO “Eye on the UN”, EAFORD was founded in Libya and accredited at the UN in 1981. Its Web site states that it has focused on the ideological systems of Apartheid and Zionism.
The office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights had no response to the matter.
Separately on Wednesday, the US chastised the UN Human Rights Council for its continued focus on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, as it opposed four resolutions on that matter which the council passed.
Since the council’s inception in 2006, most of its resolutions censuring countries have focused on Israel.
US Ambassador Eileen Chamberlain Donahoe told the council “it is too often exploited as a platform to single out Israel, which undermines its credibility.”
Out of the four resolutions which passed Wednesday, one focused on the “occupation of the Golan [Heights],” two focused on alleged human rights violations in the West Bank including settlement construction and Israeli actions against Palestinians in east Jerusalem, and the fourth called for the Palestinian right to self-determination.
Israel's ambassador to the UN in Geneva, Aharon Leshno Yaar, said, “we have witnessed today another anti-Israel show of the human rights council.”
(©) The Jerusalem Post
[Note: A Member of Britain’s Parliament claims that Israel uses local Jews to buy British elections. Read on!]
UK lawmaker `sorry` for Israel conspiracy theory comment
By JONNY PAUL, JERUSALEM POST CORRESPONDENT
(Jerusalem Post, April 6, 2010) Pro-Palestinian campaigner Linton claimed Israel's "long tentacles" in Britain funding election campaigns.
LONDON – A British Labor Party lawmaker and pro-Palestinian campaigner apologized on Friday for alluding to anti-Jewish conspiracy theories to encourage people to vote wisely in the upcoming general elections at an event in Parliament last month.
Speaking at a fringe meeting in the House of Commons on March 23, Martin Linton, founder and chairman of Labor Friends of Palestine & the Middle East, said: “There are long tentacles of Israel in this country who are funding election campaigns and putting money into the British political system for their own ends.
“You must consider over the next few weeks, when you make decisions about how you vote and how you advise constituents to vote, you must make them aware of the attempt by Israelis and by pro-Israelis to influence the election,” he said.
Another Labor MP, the anti-Israel activist Gerald Kaufman [who is himself a Jew], said Lord Ashcroft, the wealthy Conservative Party donor [who is not Jewish], owned most of the [Conservative] Party, and “right-wing Jewish millionaires” the rest.
“Anybody who understands anti-Semitism will recognize just how ugly and objectionable these quotes are, with their imagery of Jewish control and money power,” said Mark Gardner of the Community Security Trust, a charity that monitors anti-Semitism and aims to provide security for the Jewish community in Britain.
“Ask the average voter who had made these comments, and they would most likely answer that it was the British National Party, not a pair of Labor MPs,” Gardner said.
“It is shameful to see MPs using classic conspiracy theory language,” said Danny Stone, director of the All-Party Parliamentary Group Against Anti-Semitism. “Both the Labor and the Conservative parties have previously indicated to us their intentions to crack down on any and all racist language or behavior; I hope we will see swift action taken.”
Linton, who has been the member of Parliament for Battersea since 1997, told the Jewish Chronicle on Friday that he was sorry for any offense caused but was not aware of the anti-Semitic nature of his comments. However, the MP said he still believes that a powerful pro-Israel lobby is influential in British politics.
“I am sorry if a word I used caused unintended offence because of connotations of which I was unaware, but completely understand and sympathize with,” he said.
Last month Linton commended the government’s decision to expel an Israeli diplomat in the wake of the Dubai passport affair, and urged the foreign secretary to act in like fashion whenever Israel “disregards the law.”
“May I urge my right honorable friend [Foreign Secretary David Miliband] to take similar action every time Israel disregards the law, whether it is by building settlements, building the wall in occupied territory, the annexation of east Jerusalem, targeting civilians in Gaza or the use of human shields?” Linton said.
Meanwhile, a radical Muslim Web site exposed for publishing a host of anti-Semitic material has published a list of “Zionist MPs,” in an attempt to rally British Muslims to vote against them in May’s election.
Asking if “your MP is a Zionist,” the Muslim Public Affairs Committee (MPAC) has published a list of the names of MPs, as well as “Zionist prospective MPs,” from the Conservative, Labor and Liberal Democrat parties who are members of their party’s Friends of Israel organizations.
The 2006 All-Party Parliamentary Report into Anti-Semitism showed how the anti-Israel MPAC group used material from Holocaust denial and neo-Nazi publications, uses the word “Zionist” as a replacement for “Jew,” and spreads conspiracy theories about Jews. In 2006, it was discovered that MPAC founder Asghar Bukhari made a donation to convicted Holocaust denier David Irving.
In other Web entries, MPAC accuses both Prime Minister Gordon Brown and Conservative leader David Cameron of being Zionists and racists.
(©) The Jerusalem Post
[Note: The oft-made assertion that demonization of Israel is not a species of Jew-hatred is also part of the Big Lie. For example, a German prosecutor has claimed that a publicly-displayed cartoon depicting a Jew eating the body parts and drinking the blood of an Arab child does not incite hatred against Jews because the cartoon is merely critical of Israel. Read on!]
Israel Embassy slams German anti-Semitic cartoon
By BENJAMIN WEINTHAL, JPOST CORRESPONDENT IN BERL
“The claim that one must distinguish between hatred of the Jewish people and hatred of the State of Israel leaves a bad taste.”
(Jerusalem Post, April 18, 2010) BERLIN – The Israeli Embassy in Germany on Friday rebuked the public prosecutor’s office in Cologne for allowing a public exhibit named “Wailing Wall” that features a cartoon it says encourages “hatred and violence” against Jews and the State of Israel.
“If one shows a figure with an Israeli flag devouring a Palestinian child, this reminds us of the most scurrilous accusations of ritual murder in European anti-Semitism,” the embassy said in a statement. “Immediately after Israel’s national Holocaust Remembrance Day, a German prosecutor gave Israel-haters a shot in the arm.”
The embassy added: “We don’t interfere in the decisions of German judicial authorities. But at the same time, we are convinced that the cartoon was of a clearly anti-Semitic nature and that it incites hatred and violence. The claim that one must distinguish between hatred of the Jewish people and hatred of the State of Israel is absolutely inappropriate and leaves a bad taste.”
The public prosecutor last week dismissed a legal complaint by Gerd Buurmann, a non-Jewish theater director, that the cartoon violated Germany’s hate-crime law.
After reports in The Jerusalem Post and the regional daily Kölner Stadt-Anzeiger in February, the Post has learned that Israeli diplomats traveled to Cologne to meet with Social Democratic Mayor Jürgen Roters to voice their frustration and disgust at the anti-Israeli exhibit located in the heart of the pedestrian zone of Germany’s fourth largest city.
It appears that the discussions with Roters and city officials proved to be futile and the Israeli Embassy, departing from diplomatic protocol, blasted the Cologne prosecutor’s office.
The embassy circulated its criticism on its electronic daily newsletter in Germany, which reaches journalists, policy-makers and government officials.
Rainer Wolf, a spokeswoman for the public prosecutor in Cologne, could not immediately be reached for a comment on the embassy’s criticism. Wolf previously told the Post that the cartoon – depicting a Jew eating body parts and drinking the blood of a Palestinian child – is “not a tendency of hostility toward Jews, but an actual criticism of the situation in Gaza.”
According to informed observers in Cologne, Walter Herrmann, the organizer of the exhibit, has used the city’s bustling Cathedral Square to spread anti-Jewish and anti-Israeli resentment with his Wailing Wall exhibit.
“Hatred of Jews has led to catastrophe, and encouraging this hatred under the cover of ‘freedom of opinion’ and supposed ‘political criticism’ leads to the same sort of hatred and violence,” the Israeli Embassy said.
“To our regret, the accusation of ritual murder has been given legal confirmation. Despite this decision by the prosecutor, we will continue the public and moral struggle against any form of Jew hatred in Germany.”
Buurmann, the theater director who has spearheaded a campaign to shut down Hermann’s festival of Israel-hate, said in a statement: “Only the left-wing parties and with them the mayor of Cologne keep silent and tolerate Herrmann’s diatribes against Israel. It is Walter Herrmann who brought back the cartoons and the ideology of the Nazis, and a German court is supporting him.”
A spokewoman for the mayor`s office, Inge Schürmann, said in response that the city of Cologne and the mayor “are against anti-Semitism.”
But the simmering dispute about Cologne’s indifference toward the Wailing Wall exhibit has created tension over the city’s partnership with Tel Aviv-Jaffa.
(©) The Jerusalem Post
[Israel’s leftwing intelligentsia, including its leftwing media, is often a willing participant in the “Big Lie”. For example, Uri Blau, a reporter for Haaretz, Israel’s leading leftwing daily newspaper, received stolen military documents from Anat Kamm, a former soldier who was posted to the Office of the Chief of General Staff. This reporter subsequently published articles in Haaretz purportedly based upon information in these documents. Although the reporter was promised immunity from prosecution if he returned all stolen documents, he returned only a fraction thereof, falsely claiming that he had complied with the immunity offer. He subsequently fled to London with the remainder of the documents. Several prominent leftwing personalities and organizations, including Haaretz, have lauded the theft of these classified documents, claiming that these documents depict secret Israel Defense Forces plans to perpetuate war crimes in violation of a decision of Israel’s Supreme Court requiring, if feasible, that the IDF arrest rather than kill terrorists. Read on!]
‘Haaretz’ could not be more wrong -- or misleading
By BEN-DROR YEMINI
(Jerusalem Post, April 21, 2010) In its attempts to portray IDF soldiers as violators of judicial rulings and war criminals, the newspaper would not let itself be distracted by the actual facts.
Many in the media say that what Anat Kamm uncovered was an important revelation. The IDF, they claim, violated High Court of Justice orders, and conducted targeted killings while violating judicial guidelines. The IDF, they continue to assert, committed war crimes, and there is no journalist out there who would have remained silent, were he or she to receive documented proof of this.
Let us put aside the thousands of documents that have nothing to do with the leaks she gave to Haaretz journalist Uri Blau and which contain military information with no journalistic value [such as war deployment standing orders, which if disclosed to Iran, Syria, Hizbullah or Hamas would seriously undermine Israel’s defensive capabilities]. And let us put aside the fact that the IDF was forced to alter its military plans due to the stolen information. And the fact that the possession of such material constitutes a criminal offense, which an Israeli paper is aiding.
Let us deal with the heart of the matter this time.
Were the documents revealed and brought before the public indeed proof that the IDF violated judicial orders? The headline, at the time, was “The chief-of-staff and IDF leadership authorized killings of wanted and innocent men.” The word “innocent” appears almost 20 times in the article in which the documents were published. The impression is that the IDF has been committing war crimes, an impression Haaretz intentionally attempted to create.
We should rise to the challenge, and examine what these documents show exactly.
The main argument was regarding the High Court of Justice and the legality of targeted killings. It was no other than former president of the Supreme Court Aharon Barak who made the determination in 2006: that it is impossible to determine a priori that all targeted killings are forbidden by international law, just as it is impossible to determine a priori that all targeted killings are permissible according to international law. This is a very clear statement that is somewhat at odds with the impression received when reading Haaretz back in 2008, when the documents appeared in Blau’s article, and certainly today, as the paper attempts to hide behind the guise of exposing the truth.
The documents, it should be noted, deal with the need either to arrest or target an Islamic Jihad cell – clearly terrorists, who have committed acts of murder and planned more attacks. They consistently roamed the land with rifles and bomb belts. Any army of a democratic nation would regard their assassination as something both legitimate and desirable. This would not involve any troubles of conscience. According to Haaretz, however, it was more appropriate to arrest these righteous cell members than harm them.
THE DOCUMENTS indicate that the IDF rigorously abided by the ruling. They reveal four matters.
First, that OC Central Command Maj. Gen. Yair Naveh ordered an arrest rather than an assassination. Only if these turned out to be the Islamic Jihad members that, as stated earlier, were walking around with bomb belts and rifles, and only if events developed into a situation that both necessitates and allows this, should they be killed.
Second, it appears that the implementing force received an additional order: if there are women or children in the area, assassination must be avoided. Here then, argues the sanctimonious Haaretz, is the proof that there was an alternative to assassination and that arrests were possible. Nonsense. This proves one thing only: that when there are innocent civilians on the premises, particularly women and children, IDF troops take on themselves a far greater risk.
Third, it shows that the IDF places restrictions on the implementing force, in all things concerning the possible harming of innocent civilians. In the course of the meeting conducted by Naveh it was decided that only if there were as few as two unidentified men in addition to those that are wanted, could the operation take place.
In a second meeting, this time under Gen. Tal Russo, it was decided to restrict this further and allow only one innocent individual to be accidentally struck. The matter reached the chief-of-staff, and there too, Ashkenazi ordered that the operation against the arch-terrorists from Islamic Jihad take place only “if there is no more than a single unidentified individual” on the scene. Not even two.
In other words, if there are women and children, the operation is off. And if there are two unidentified figures, the operation is off. And it should be stressed that there was certainly no order to take out the unidentified figure. Does this violate the High Court of Justice’s rulings? Let us examine. In the ruling, Barak states that “collateral damage in which innocent women and children are harmed shall be legal only if it abides by proportional standards.”
Let us suppose, for the sake of argument, that we are talking about the accidental killing of two innocent civilians, compared to the striking down of five murderers belonging to a terrorist cell. Is this proportional? The man who was in charge of targeted killings in the Pentagon, Marc Garlasco, a former defense intelligence analyst at the Pentagon – yes, he of the Nazi memorabilia fiasco in 2009 – was interviewed on 60 Minutes, where he told interviewers that when it came to the assassination of a senior Iraqi terrorist, the guidelines were to kill as many as 29 innocent individuals, in order to take the man out. For them the US, it is one to 29 innocent men, and in Israel, permission is only given if there is one unidentified figure on the scene. And no, there is no order take him or them out. There is a huge gulf between Israel and the United States. Garlasco, incidentally, is responsible for the killing of some 200 innocent civilians, as part of pursuits of wanted terrorists – all while no terrorist was actually struck. No international arrest warrant was issued against Garlasco. On the contrary, he later became a senior member of Human Rights Watch. These are the ratios. This is the proportionality. Haaretz has failed to explain what it regards as proportional. Nor will it ever explain.
FOURTHLY, IT appears that in order to authorize any operation against Islamic Jihad members, many deliberations across different echelons take place. In these deliberations it was determined that innocent civilians shall not be harmed. That arrests are preferred over assassination. That women and children must be protected. That proportionality must be rigorously defended.
And these were not merely debates, the OC Central Commander himself could not approve the operation, and the authorization of the chief-of-staff was required. Can this complex process, of wavering, of debate after debate, of orders to safeguard the lives of women, children and innocent civilians, of clear definition of proportionality, be called a war crime, or murder?
In the course of the mission discussed by the Haaretz article, two terrorists were killed, Ziad Tzubahi Mahmad Malaisha and Ibrahim Ahmad Abed-El Latif A’abad. The two, not only according to the IDF but also according to a statement published by Islamic Jihad, were killed as they attempted to resist arrest, and while they were armed with M-16s in the throes of a battle with IDF troops. Islamic Jihad regards them as fallen troops. Haaretz created the impression that they were victims of war crimes.
In the very same article, the newspaper presents at length the views of three legal experts, Motta Kremnizer, David Kremnizer, and Moshe Hanegbi. They conclude, each in his own way, that the the troops on the mission has violated IDF orders, and that their actions constituted war crimes.
Based on what? What evidence do they present? Any search would be in vain. Haaretz turned to three legal experts whose opinions it knew in advance. The aim was to implicate the IDF. The legal experts brought home the bacon.
But, there was one other opinion. Following the report, two attorneys, Michael Shepherd and Avigdor Feldman, approached the attorney general and demanded that the matter be investigated. The attorney general at the time, Menahem Mazuz wrote in a reply: “the military sources in the IDF General Staff received constant legal counsel, were aware of High Court of Justice guidelines, stressed and executed this in every state of planning and approval of the mission.”
Haaretz would not allow itself to be distracted by the facts. After all, legal advice is not an exact science. Therefore, the paper chose to approach legal experts who would recite exactly what it wanted to hear.
One could, of course, add that the number of targeted killings in recent years stands at approximately zero. There were targeted killings during the second Intifada but following the 2006 High Court ruling, the number of assassinations did indeed decline, and the number of innocent civilians killed in the process fell to zero.
And now, in order to justify the view it has long held, Haaretz attempts to create the opposite impression, one of mass targeted killings and harming of innocent civilians, contrary to the High Court’s ruling.
Anyone reading the paper gets the impression that the IDF is deeply engaged in the criminal act of assassination when nothing could be further from the truth.
The demonizing, and delegitimizing of Israel got some help these past days thanks to Haaretz.
The paper has the right to hold its views and run any story it pleases. However, this recent affair should be called by its name: a libel manufactured by Haaretz.
The writer is a regular columnist at Maariv [a centrist Israeli daily newspaper].
(©) The Jerusalem Post
[Note: Egypt has long discriminated against its Coptic Christian minority. Moreover, Muslim mobs have attacked Christians and their homes. Recently, Christians have rioted against the government. But who is really behind all of this strife? The answer is obvious to a senior Egyptian government official. Read on!]
Egyptian Civil Rights: 156 Christians Arrested Over Church
by Maayana Miskin
(Arutz Sheva, November 26, 2010) Egyptian officials arrested 156 Christians Thursday in connection with a protest one day earlier over an unfinished church. One Christian protester was killed by police during the Wednesday demonstration.
The detainees are charged with several crimes, including attempting to murder the assistant head of security in Giza. They were not allowed legal representation during questioning.
The just recently publicized Executive Summary of the U.S. State Department's annual International Religious Freedom Report for 2010 listed Egypt in the category of countries who have "noteworthy" violations of religious freedom,, a placing protested strongly by Egypt;'s government.
The Christian community in Giza had planned to use a partially-complete building as a church once construction is finished. However, the community was denied a permit for a church and told the building can be used as a community center, but not as a house of worship.
Government officials have accused the community of violating building law, while many Christians have accused the government of discrimination against non-Muslims.
Earlier in November a Muslim mob burned down several Christian homes in southern Egypt over rumors that a Christian man had been seen walking with a Muslim woman.
United States officials have expressed concern over the timing of recent Muslim-Christian clashes. Tensions between Egypt's Muslim majority and Coptic Christian minority have risen shortly before the parliamentary elections scheduled for December.
“We've seen a clear uptick in recent weeks of incitement coming from media outlets and clerics espousing sectarian hatred and violence. This kind of rhetoric goes too far and stokes the fire of extremists looking for ammunition to justify violent acts against religious minorities,” said Leonard Leo of the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom.
Egyptian Foreign Affairs Committee head Mustafa El-Feki laid the blame elsewhere, accusing Israel of causing Muslim-Christian fighting. The Mossad was behind recent clashes, he claimed.
Persecution of religious minorities in Egypt dates back generations, and led to the expulsion of nearly all of Egypt's Jews. Despite this, Egyptian Jews have a long history, as attested to by the 280,000 documents in the Cairo Geniza, found in a synagogue storeroom in 1996, taken to Cambridge University by the British and still being catalogued to date.
Members of the Jewish minority, which in the 1940s numbered approximately 80,000, were usually denied citizenship. In 1948 bombs were set off in the Jewish quarter in Cairo, murdering 70 and wounding hundreds more.
In 1956, the Egyptian government expelled 25,000 Jews and confiscated their property. A second round of expulsions and confiscation took place in 1967.
It is estimated that less than 100 Jews now live in Egypt. Anti-Semitism,however, remains a problem, as media outlets often incite against Jews and Israel.
The government has announced plans to honor Jewish structures as part of Egyptian history, and in March 2010 completed a restoration of the historic Maimonides synagogue in Cairo. However, no government officials attended the opening of the synagogue, and the government announced shortly after the opening that Jews would not be allowed to pray in the building
[Note: Apparently, Israel has been placing sharks into Egyptian waters in order to ruin that country’s tourism business. Read on!]
Egypt: Sinai shark attacks could be Israeli plot
By JPOST.COM STAFF 12/06/2010
After shark attack leaves woman dead in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egyptian official says Mossad could have put shark in sea to harm Egypt's tourism.
A possible connection between Israel and the shark attack that left a 70-year-old German woman dead in Egypt's Sharm el-Sheikh on Sunday is not unfounded, according to South Sinai Governor Mohamed Abdel Fadil Shousha, quoted by Reuters on Monday.
Some have suggested that the shark attack could have been part of a secret plan by Mossad to harm Egyptian tourism.
"What is being said about the Mossad throwing the deadly shark (in the sea) to hit tourism in Egypt is not out of the question, but it needs time to confirm," Shousha was quoted as saying by state news site egynews.net, according to Reuters.
Egyptians have previously blamed Israel for other problems such as drug and weapon smuggling, and have said it supports media that seek to portray Egypt in a negative light.
According to local diving experts in Sharm el-Sheikh, shark attacks are extremely rare in the area and many were baffled by why so many tourists were attacked in the Red Sea in recent weeks.
"Egypt is full of rumors and one does not know what to believe," Gasser Mohamed, a diving instructor at CFun Divers center in South Sinai told Reuters. "I see that there are a lot of sharks in the sea and the possible rarity of tuna fish due to over-fishing seems to be causing the attacks.
(©) The Jerusalem Post
[Note: Various “human rights” organizations accepted an Arab farmer’s accusation that Jewish settlers burned his herd of sheep to death, but the accusation now appears to be just another installment of the Big Lie. Read on!]
Leftists Caught Red-Handed: ‘Burning Sheep’ Libel Was Faked
by Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu
(Arutz Sheva, December 26, 2010) A Jordan Valley Arab farmer has exposed the tactic of leftists accepting Arab claims and falsely accusing Jews of attacking Arabs. He admitted that the “burning sheep” libel against Jews was meant to disguise his own blunder of losing control of a brush fire.
Last week, left-wing groups in Israel and counterparts in the United States spread a story that that an Arab shepherd “saw settlers light a fire in the field where his herd was grazing, burning to death 12 pregnant ewes, and then drive away."
The story of the sheep burning was so extreme that the police immediately doubted the claim. The supposed burning of the sheep occurred on the Sabbath, when observant Jews, the usual scapegoats, are forbidden to drive.
The Arab farmer, Samir Bani Fadel, claimed that four armed Jews approached him, chased him away, set fire to his field – which also is forbidden on Sabbath – and drove away as the fire spread and burned to death 12 pregnant ewes while injuring others.
Regardless of the doubts, the left-wing B'Tselem and Yesh Din human rights group rushed to allege that the supposed attack was another one of hundreds of supposed acts of vandalism by Jews against Arabs.
New York-based writer Philip Weiss promptly reprinted the libel on his Mondoweiss blog, and the image of sheep being cruelly burned aroused sympathy for Arabs and anger against Jews. “It was an awful sight,” the farmer said. "I've lost at least $12,000."
The Palestinian Authority called on the international community to pressure Israel to stop "settler violence.”
The tale began to unravel when Arabs pointed their fingers at residents of Itamar, an easy target as it is a religious community, but located almost an hour’s drive from the scene of the fire. The story then was changed, with the blame being placed on the closer community of Maaleh Ephraim, most of whose residents are professionals and who almost never have been accused of any activities against Arabs.
Fadel finally admitted to police the whole story was a lie and that he was responsible for the fire, which he set to burn thorns before it spread beyond control. Blaming Jews not only would have saved him from the embarrassment of having burned his own sheep, it also would allow him to claim damages from the government while being hailed as a hero among Palestinian Authority Arabs and left-wing anti-Zionists.
Hundreds of accusations against Jewish residents of Judea and Samaria have been leveled in recent years, usually in claims that Jews attack or destroy olive trees, although evidence has been produced that in most cases the Arabs have simply pruned their trees, counted on lack of agricultural knowledge on the part of the media and leftwing groups, and then accused Jews of damaging them. Olive trees look hacked when they are pruned and months later, the supposedly damaged orchards have been seen to be full of fruit.
Another tactic has been to instigate violence, especially on the Shabbat when Jews are forbidden to take pictures, and then accuse Jews of attacking them.
Yossi Dagan, adviser to the Samaria Regional Council, commented, “There is a system among left-wing groups who campaign for financial contributions from foreign countries, many of whom are hostile to Israel. They use European Union money, which has reached billions of dollars the past few years. Many of the workers for left-wing groups enjoy high salaries and use reports from so-called human rights organizations and then travel throughout Judea and Samaria and blow up or change facts to spread libel against Jews.”
Dagan explained that Jews are blamed for burning cars in Arab villages when in fact they are damaged as a result of fights among Arabs.
David Ha’Ivri, who heads the Shomron (Samaria) Liaison Office that handles public relations for the Jewish communities in Samaria, said, "We have a very difficult task up against a bunch of well-funded NGOs like B’Tselem and Rabbis for Human Rights, whose agenda is to hurt the image of the State of Israel and the Jewish residents of Yehuda and Shomron (Judea and Samaria).
“Their slanderous claims are always given the benefit of the doubt by international media agencies who jump at an opportunity to project a Satanic image of the ‘evil Jewish settlers.’ The events reported in this story are a perfect example of blood libel promoted by NGOs who claim to be humanitarian and peace activists.”
[Note: Does Israel use birds to spy on the Arabs? Read on!]
'Saudis hold vulture for being Mossad spy'
By JERUSALEM POST STAFF
05/01/2011 [January 5, 2011]
Bird found bearing leg bracelet and transmitter tagged with words “Tel Aviv University” detained, Saudi paper says.
Saudi media reported on Tuesday that a vulture tagged with the words, “Tel Aviv University,” had been detained for being a Mossad spy.
A report in the Saudi paper, Al-Weeam, claimed that the vulture, bearing a leg bracelet and transmitter, apparently placed by Israeli bird scientists studying migration patterns, had been found in a rural area of the country.
The paper said the flight appeared to be “a Zionist plot.”
The report triggered a plethora of posts on Arabic websites, claiming that “Zionists” had trained birds for espionage.
The South Sinai governor last month suggested that a shark that killed a tourist in Sharm e- Sheikh had been intentionally released by the Mossad to sabotage tourism in the area.
All rights reserved © The Jerusalem Post 1995 - 2010
[Did Israeli army tear gas kill an Arab bystander during a violent riot, as claimed by the Palestinian Authority? Read on!]
It's Proven: Bilin Woman Died of Overdose, not IDF Gas
by Maayana Miskin
Arutz Sheva January 20, 2011
An IDF investigation has found that Jawaher Abu Rahma, who PA leaders accused Israel of killing, actually died due to a doctor's mistake. The PA had claimed that Abu Rahma died after inhaling tear gas as PA rioters clashed with Israeli soldiers near the Samaria separation/security barrier.
The investigation found that Rahma was not at the demonstration, but was in a house nearby. Initial PA reports had implied that she was at the demonstration; however, when pictures of the protest did not show her presence, it was then reported that she had been overcome by tear gas at home.
However, the IDF found that Rahma was not taken to a hospital during or immediately after the protest, but only later in the day.
Once in the Ramallah hospital, Rahma was given unusually high doses of Atropine, a drug whose uses include countering nerve gas or speeding up a dangerously slow pulse. The drug apparently caused her death, investigators said.
Documents received by the IDF also provided additional evidence for the theory that Rahma had been seriously ill prior to the demonstration, possibly with cancer.
IDF commanders planned to meet last week with PA officials to brief them on the ongoing investigation. However, the PA canceled the meeting. PA leaders continue to claim that the IDF caused Abu Rahma's death, and to label the death a war crime.
[Even Israel’s police sometimes participate in the Big Lie, thereby resulting in a reporter for a major Israeli newspaper learning what it’s like to be treated in the same manner as are Jewish settlers. Read on!]
Israeli Reporter's Car Stoning has Kafkaesque Aftermath
by INN Staff
Arutz Sheva March 27, 2011
Well-known Israeli investigative reporter for the Maariv Hebrew daily, Kalman Liebskind, had a Kafkaesque story to report this week, and the subject of the article was himself.
“Driving down the road that leads to our home in Gimzu, I heard the first bang”, he wrote in Hebrew in his weekly column. “ My wife, Ilana, who was driving behind me with some of our children, had gotten a direct hit to the front window of her car. By some miracle, the window didn’t shatter, but the rock hit the part of the window that was a little over a foot from my son’s head. I could hardly believe it was true. Rocks? On our road? An asteroid hitting us seemed more probable than rock throwing 100 yards from our home.”
Gimzu is a middle class, religious Zionist suburban community (moshav) located near the cities of Modiin and Lod, not in Judea or Samaria.
He continues: “Everyone piled into my car and we drove out of the community. The instant we reached the place where the rocks had been thrown, we heard another bang. This time the rock hit the front fender, and this time we saw who was throwing the rocks, a youth who looked around 18 and was standing about 3 yards away. He ran off with an accomplice into the wooded area nearby. We discovered only later that two other women had had rocks thrown at them shortly beforehand.”
Liebeskind and his neighbors called the police, who took some time to reach the community, but then went out to the wooded area with them to search for the rock throwers. They came upon a campfire with about 20 Israeli Arab young men from Lod and their bearded teachers or counselors wearing Muslim dress and headgear. “If we want to, we can burn all of Gimzu” said one of them to the shocked Israeli Jews.
The Arabs informed the police that they had left a mosque in Lod after hearing a lecture on the Koran and continued on their way to make a campfire. They had vandalized the woods by spraying the trees with Arabic words. "The police did not question anyone and only arrested the rock thrower whom we could identify," LIebeskind wrote.
Later in the week, Liebeskind received a call from the Lod Police Department asking him to come in to help complete the investigation of the incident. To his astonishment, within a short time of arriving there, he found himself being accused formally, under “suspicion of threatening the Arabs with a weapon” and heard an officer tell him “you don’t have to respond. Anything you say may be used against you.”
“Where did this ridiculous idea come from?” he asked the police officers. It turned out that the Arab who had thrown the stones and his friends had filed a complaint claiming that Liebeskind threatened them. The journalist suggested asking 50 people in Gimzu to serve as character witnesses for him. "That's useless; they will be your friends and not objective," was the response. "And these Arabs who threw stones at me and know that I filed a complaint against them are objective?" he rejoined. To no avail. After an hour of questioning, he found himself measured, photographed, fingerprinted and freed under personal recognizance.
Humiliated, the journalist described himself as shocked by the possibility that the police might believe the offender's version of what had occurred to him.
He had found himself in a situation that has happened often to residents of Judea and Samaria, who often find themselves falsely accused in the mainstream media, including the newspaper for which Liebeskind works, of crimes perpetrated by Arabs, from stealing and destroying olive trees to burning sheep and throwing rocks.
© Arutz Sheva, All Rights Reserved
[Jewish] Activists Arrested After Being Attacked By Arabs
by Gavriel Queenann
(Arutz Sheva, June 16, 2011) Women in Green head Nadia Matar was detained Wednesday by [Israeli] Civil Administration officials after a violent confrontation initiated by Arabs near Netzer.
Matar's saga began Tuesday night when Women in Green planted several large olive trees on state-owned land near Netzer on a hill connecting the Jewish communities of Elazer and Alon Shvut to stop Arab encroachment.
"Arabs had started planting vines there, squatting on state owned land. Then they started fencing it in and we knew we had to step in. We ordered a huge truck and came in the night. We planted many large olive trees and hooked up irrigation pipes for them. Then we posted a guard because, when we've done this in the past, the Arabs try to uproot the trees," Matar told Israel National News.
Wednesday morning Matar said she received a phone call from the sentry telling her local Arab farmers with saws were cutting the trees down. Matar, her partner Yehudit Katzover, and their supporters rushed to the scene where they were violently confronted by the Arabs.
"When we came we saw the Arabs cutting the trees with saws. They had already uprooted the irrigation pipes. They threatened us, pushed and attacked us," Matar related. "We started putting the irrigation pipes back together and they started striking us. Of course we immediately called for the army to come."
Shortly after the initial confrontation Civil Administration officials, along with police and army officers, arrived to investigate the incident and took Nadia and Yehudit into custody for questioning after the Arabs accused them of being the aggressors.
"This is a time-honored tradition among the Arabs: to attack you and then claim to be the vicitms. As soon as we called the Army one of the Arab women there told her son to lie down and showed him how to pretend he was hurt. The performance he put on would have won him an award in any theater. He played the perfect victim. So the police arrested us, Yehudit and I, as well as the Arabs," Matar said.
Matar and Katzover were held and interrogated by police until four in the afternoon before being released. The two thanked lawyer Adi Keidar of Honenu for his efforts on their behalf.
"The police held me for a very long time. They were very angry. They yelled at me and demanded we name the other Jews who were present. I refused. I told them I was there to complain about the Arabs planting on state-owned land and attacking us and would talk about nothing else," Matar related.
"I told them the other Jews did not want to be involved because they know that whenerver a Jew files a complaint against an Arab they become the accused. When my interrogator heard that, he threatened me with obstruction charges. I told him he was proving my point. Finally, when Yehudit was released, she was able to get me out," Matar related.
Matar, who cited the incident as a victory, said she and the Arabs were issued a restraining order forbidding them from going to the Netzer site for fifteen days while the Army investigated who owned the land.
"If you call and complain Arabs are stealing state-owned land, nothing happens. They will only intervene if their is a confrontation. So, by doing this, we forced the army to come. Now they will review the maps and be forced to make a decision on the land's status," Matar explained.
"We always research first," Matar said. "We always have maps and survey the areas we patrol. We know what the army will find. They say no one will be allowed in until a decision is made, but we will continue our patrols. Sometimes confrontation is the only way to force the authorities to stand up for Jewish rights."
Matar was charged with obstruction and trespassing before being released on bail. Israel Police spokesperson Mickey Rosenthal said Matar was obligated to cooperate with investigators.
"As the spokesperson I can't comment on the exact tone or what have you of Ms. Matar's interview - we expect officers to be cool and collected as there is normally no need for elevated emotions in an interview - but she is obligated to cooperate and provide investigators with any information relevant to their investigation. It’s her duty," Rosenthal said.
© Arutz Sheva, All Rights Reserved
[Even the persecuted Christian Arabs propagate the Big Lie. Read on! ]
Middle Eastern Christians and anti-Semitism
By AYMENN JAWAD
Statements by Arab clerics reveal that blood libels are still very much alive.
(Jerusalem Post, August 1, 2011) I was recently told by my aunt in Baghdad that there was a widespread belief among Iraqis that some external force was behind the protests and uprisings across the Middle East. What outside conspiracy, I wondered, could be responsible for the Arab Spring? Not to worry, however; George Saliba -- the Syriac Orthodox Church’s bishop in Lebanon -- offers us a simple answer. In an interview with Al-Dunya TV on July 24, Saliba declared that “the source... behind all these movements, all these civil wars, and all these evils” in the Arab world is nothing other than Zionism, “deeply rooted in Judaism.” The Jews, he says, are responsible for financing and inciting the turmoil in accordance with The Protocols of the Elders of Zion.
These remarks are not an isolated case among Middle Eastern Christians. The anti-Semitic trend has become especially apparent in the aftermath of Iraq’s assault last October on the Syriac Catholic Our Lady of Salvation Church in Baghdad, leaving 58 dead and 67 wounded in the worst attack on the Iraqi Christian community since 2003.
Two months after the atrocity, for example, the Melkite Greek Patriarch Gregory III Laham characterized the terrorist attacks on Iraq’s Christians as part of “a Zionist conspiracy against Islam.”
He further affirmed, “All this behavior has nothing to do with Islam... but it is actually a conspiracy planned by Zionism... and it aims at undermining and giving a bad image of Islam.”
He then said the massacre “is also a conspiracy against Arabs and the predominantly Muslim Arab world that aims at depicting Arabs and Muslims in Arab countries as terrorist and fundamentalist murderers in order to deny them their rights, and especially those of the Palestinians.”
While the patriarch has warned of the dangers of Christian emigration and the formation of a “society uniquely Muslim,” he attributed the risk of “demographic extinction” solely to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Similarly, in an interview with NBN TV on November 9, 2010, Iraqi priest Father Suheil Qasha claimed that the Jews consider all gentiles to be beasts, and asserted that the “real danger” to Middle Eastern Christians came from Zionism. He went on to state that those who perpetrated the attack on the church in Baghdad were certainly not Muslims, but probably those trained and supervised “by global Zionism.”
Anti-Semitism extends to the Coptic Orthodox Church, which, serving around 10 percent of Egypt’s population, is the largest single church in the Middle East and North Africa. As liberal Egyptian blogger Samuel Tadros points out, a certain Father Marcos Aziz Khalil wrote in the newspaper Nahdet Masr: “The Jews saw that the Church is their No. 1 enemy, and that without [the] priesthood the Church loses its most important component . Thus the Masonic movement was the secret Zionist hand to create revolution against the clergy.”
AT THIS point, many would no doubt be inclined to explain away this anti-Semitism by pointing to the anti- Jewish sentiments that are mainstream among the Muslim populations of the region. Living in such an environment -- the reasoning goes -- Christians would naturally be careful not to denounce deeply held convictions among their Muslim neighbors for fear of provoking persecution.
However, the cancer of hostility toward Jews among Middle Eastern Christians goes much deeper than that.
Indeed, it is telling that other non-Muslim minorities that have suffered discrimination and violence at the hands of Islamists -- including the Yezidis, Mandeans and Bahá’ís -- have never blamed Jews or Zionism for their persecution; their religions have not featured anti-Semitic doctrines.
The case of the Bahá’í community is especially important because, with the religion’s global center located in Haifa, charges of collaboration with Israel can easily be leveled against Bahá’ís. Yet the Universal House of Justice has never complained of a Jewish/Zionist conspiracy against the Bahá’í communities in Iran and the wider region. Rather, it has always rightly identified the problem as enforcement of traditional Islamic law on the treatment of non-Muslims and apostasy, along with the supremacist attitudes fostered by the promotion of Shari’a.
Ultimately the malaise of anti-Semitism among Middle Eastern Christians is entrenched in charges of deicide (i.e., of killing Jesus) against the Jewish people as a whole. As Saliba put it, Jewish conspiracies are “only natural” because the Jews repaid Christ for his miracles by crucifying him. In particular, Pope Shenouda III of the Coptic Orthodox Church lambasted the Western churches for exonerating Jews for Christ’s death, in a televised interview on April 8, 2007. He argued that Jews were “Christ-killers” because “the New Testament says they are.”
It is clear that in general, the Eastern churches have yet to move beyond the noxious anti-Semitic motifs repudiated by the Vatican in its Nostra Aetate declaration issued in 1965, after the Second Vatican Council. If anti-Semitism in the Middle East and North Africa is to be eradicated, the burden of theological reform will evidently not be a task for Muslims alone.
The writer is an intern at the Middle East Forum and a student at Oxford University. His website is www.aymennjawad.org.
All rights reserved © 1995 - 2011 The Jerusalem Post.
[Are Zionists orchestrating a worldwide conspiracy to suppress plant-based medicines? Read on!]
News - English
News numbre: 9006220194
2011-09-14 - 11:13
Ahmadinejad Raps Zionists for Misusing Pharmaceutical Knowledge
TEHRAN (FNA) - Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad blamed the world Zionists for commercializing and misusing the pharmaceutical knowledge, and called for the revival of traditional medicine.
"The Zionist and western capital holders have changed all human and cultural concepts in the world so widely that treatment is completely considered as a business in the world today," Ahmadinejad said in a meeting with the World Health Organization (WHO) Regional Director, Hassan Abdolrazzaq Jazzayeri, in Tehran on Tuesday night.
He underlined the high potentials of different natural herbs in curing different diseases and treating people, and said, "We should try to revive our own traditional medicine."
"We should revive our traditional medicine which is in harmony with our culture and is naturally cheaper and more useful, otherwise we should import more drugs and medicines in future," Ahmadinejad cautioned.
Iran is among the most geographically diverse countries in the world. This ancient nation can be divided into 12 separate geographic environments and boasts 5 major climates. No wonder Iran is so diverse when it comes to the natural herbal remedies it produces.
This astounding diversity in Iran's geography allows the country to host more than 7500 species of plants--around 1800 of which are used in medicine. Many of Iran's most precious herbal treasures are plants found nowhere else in the world.
The WHO announced that there are currently 30 companies producing natural herbal remedies in Iran. The government of Iran requires all herbal remedies to be manufactured to the same quality standards as pharmaceutical drugs.
© 2006 Fars News Agency. All Rights Reserved
[Did Israel frame Iran for the aborted plot to murder the Saudi ambassador to the United States? Read on!]
News number: 9007161207 11:12 | 2011-10-17
Source Reveals Link between Israeli Mossad and Alleged Iranian Plotter
TEHRAN (FNA) - A senior Pakistani intelligence official revealed on Sundaythat Iranian-American citizen Manssor Arbabsiar, who has been accused by the US of an elaborate plot to kill the Saudi ambassador in Washington, had received fake ID documents from the Israeli Mossad agency three months ago.
"The person who is accused in this case had received fake ID documents from the Israeli spy agency, Mossad, three months ago," the Pakistani Urdu-language daily, Nation, quoted the official as saying on the condition of anonymity.
He also revealed that Arbabsiar "was due to conduct an operation named Foss Fling" for the Mossad.
"Manssor is an Iran-American and the US ties with Iran are not normal and good to let him go unmonitored by the US spy agencies; therefore, Iran is totally unlikely to use an individual for assassinating the Saudi ambassador, who is closely monitored by the US intelligence agencies," the Pakistani intelligence official told the Nation.
In a new plot against Tehran, the US officials alleged on Tuesday that Tehran had intended to assassinate a Saudi envoy to Washington through a hitman from the notorious Mexican drug cartel, Los Zetas.
Yesterday, the Iranian Foreign Ministry dismissed the US accusations for a third time, and stressed that the claims had no "legal rationale."
The ministry said in a statement that the Iranian government has no connection to Arbabsiar. The statement further derided the claims, saying that US officials have put forward no proof.
"Unilaterally announcing accusations without showing documentation and creating a media wave against Iran is in no way compatible with legal logic, and can only be a purely media and political show," it said.
It said the accusations were "put together based on statements, guesses and suppositions by individuals involved in drug smuggling" and would never stand up in an "appropriate, impartial courtroom".
©2006 Fars News Agency. All rights reserved
[Has Israel been stealing “Palestinian antiquities” and destroying the “Islamic and Arab culture in Jerusalem”? Read on!]
Who’s destroying antiquities in Jerusalem?
By DAVID M. WEINBERG
There is little doubt that Palestinian authorities are conducting this assault on the Temple Mount so as to erase any vestige of archeological evidence for Jewish (and Christian) history.
(Jerusalem Post, November 17, 2011) Now that it has been admitted to UNESCO as a “member state,” the Palestinian Authority plans to sue Israel for “stealing Palestinian antiquities.”
“We will take Israel to court for systematically destroying and forging Arab and Islamic culture in Jerusalem,” said Hatem Abdel Qader, former PA minister for Jerusalem affairs, after the UNESCO vote.
PA Minister of Tourism Khuloud Daibes alleges that Israel’s renovations of Jerusalem’s Old City walls and its intention to replace the crumbling Mughrabi Bridge at the southern entrance to the Temple Mount are hostile attempts to “change the Islamic and Arabic character of the city.”
The Palestinians are also planning to ask UNESCO to declare several sites in Jerusalem and the West Bank, such as the Cave of the Patriarchs in Hebron, international heritage sites belonging to Palestine, not Israel.
If this weren’t so funny, it would be outrageous. Talk about the pot calling the kettle black! Israel set the international gold standard for unimpeded religious worship in Jerusalem, and for painstaking preservation of Muslim and Christian holy sites and archeological sites across Israel. In civilized and professional circles, Israel is recognized as having contributed enormously to the excavation, study and preservation of Holy Land historical sites and relics.
By contrast, there is no Arab or Islamic country in the Middle East where Christians or Jews can freely operate religious institutions. Under Palestinian Authority and Hamas rule, Christians in the West Bank and Gaza have been hounded, terrorized and driven out. Christian Bethlehem is, effectively, no more. The Church of Nativity was defiled by Palestinian Muslim terrorists who turned it into an armed refuge in 2002. Churches in Gaza have been bombed and burned. Can you imagine how the churches of Jerusalem might fare under Palestinian rule?
Meanwhile, Jewish synagogues and holy sites in Jericho, Nablus and Gush Katif have been burned to the ground while Palestinian police looked on.
In 1996, Palestinian mobs assaulted Rachel’s Tomb in Bethlehem, and Palestinian policemen on the scene shot and wounded the Israeli soldiers guarding the Tomb. Ever since, the site has been sheathed in high concrete barriers, turning it into a Fort Knox-like encampment. Then a Palestinian mob, led by Palestinian policemen, assaulted Joseph’s Tomb in Nablus, torched the synagogue inside and opened fire on Israeli troops at the site, killing six Israeli soldiers.
In 2000, Palestinian mobs once again attacked, killed one Israeli soldier and destroyed the building. Palestinian forces again took part. The Shalom Al Yisrael synagogue in Jericho, with its unique Byzantine-era mosaic floor, was also torched. Today, Israelis have only sporadic access to the site. As for Gush Katif, the wild Palestinian mob destruction of all the synagogues there is just too fresh and painful a wound to talk about.
The Palestinians learned from the Jordanians. Before 1967 Jews were not allowed to reach their holy places in Jerusalem at all; thousands of Jewish graves on the Mount of Olives were desecrated and the tombstones used to pave streets and latrines; and the synagogues of Jerusalem’s Jewish Quarter were dynamited.
The greatest crime of all – an antiquities crime of historic proportions – has been committed over recent years by the Palestinian Wakf on the Temple Mount. In 1999, the Wakf dug out hundreds of truckloads of dirt from caverns known as Solomon’s Stables beneath the upper plaza (more than 1,600 square meters in area and 15 meters deep) without any archeological supervision or documentation.
Thousands of tons of earth rich in archeological remains from all periods of the Temple Mount were haphazardly dumped into the Kidron Valley and the city garbage dump at Eizariya. The Wakf also destroyed stonework done by Jewish artisans 2,000 years ago in the underground “double passageway.”
Thousands of years of layered history – Jewish history, of course – were gouged out of the ground with heavy machinery and shoveled out of sight. UNESCO didn’t say a thing.
Israeli archeological students are still sifting through this precious rubble, and have found numerous antiquities from the First and Second Temple periods, including stone weights for weighing silver, and a First Temple period bulla (seal impression) containing ancient Hebrew writing which may have belonged to a wellknown family of priests mentioned in the Book of Jeremiah. Other findings are from the late period of the Kings of Judea (8th and 7th centuries BCE), including about one thousand ancient coins, jewelry made of various materials, stone and glass squares from floor and wall mosaics, and many other items.
The Wakf has also allowed the destruction of Christian relics on the Temple Mount, including the Crusader pillars of the 13th-century Grammar Dome in the southwestern corner of the Mount, and the Crusader- era Chain Gate.
According to the 1978 Law of Antiquities, it is forbidden to perform any “alteration, repair or addition to an antiquity located on the site,” but that hasn’t stopped the Wakf from sanctioning the haphazard addition of concrete and stone to these architectural relics, drilling holes into them, spray painting them, chopping through them for electricity cables, and more.
There is little doubt that Palestinian authorities are conducting this assault on the Temple Mount so as to erase any vestige of archeological evidence for Jewish (and Christian) history.
“In Arabic, this practice is known as as Tams al-ma’alem, which means ‘erasing the signs,’ in the sense of destroying the relics of all cultures that preceded Islam,” asserts Dr. Mordechai Kedar of the Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies.
And now the PA is going to sue Israel for antiquities theft? Inconceivable! Such chutzpa.
The writer is director of public affairs at the Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies.
All rights reserved © The Jerusalem Post 1995 - 2011
[Israel’s European “allies” are quick and eager to adopt the Big Lie. Read on!]
By JERUSALEM POST EDITORIAL
Yesteryear’s aggression shouldn’t determine today’s legalities.
As it turns out, UK Ambassador Matthew Gould’s righteous indignation last Tuesday was uncommonly instructive.
At a press briefing he hauled official Israel over the coals for supposed new building projects in beyond-Green-Line Jerusalem. Subsequently, however, his severe censure proved a tad embarrassing as it emerged that no new plans had been announced, no new tenders issued and no new pretexts for disapproval furnished. Gould’s blunder, of course, isn’t the heart of the matter.
What’s compellingly enlightening is the exceptional opportunity he afforded Israelis (and fair-minded observers everywhere) to peek into the actual mechanisms of demonization. By rushing to judgment, Gould (followed a day later by France, although the farce had already been exposed) showed all and sundry precisely how Israel is condemned, facts notwithstanding. Israel can apparently only do wrong – even when it does nothing.
Contending that new housing permits were publicized that Tuesday for Pisgat Ze’ev and Har Homa, Gould waxed irate: “This is unhelpful and a disappointment to those who want to see the sides turn a corner.” This, he charged, “took the shine off” that day’s Amman meeting, geared to restart moribund negotiations.
In other words, there’s already a designated culprit –Israel – for whatever might go awry. Even after Gould’s halfhearted retraction, the gist remains – Israel is in the dock, potentially guilty. And, as France showed, slander sticks.
This episode too, as in other cases in which Israel is besmirched, was instigated by an Israeli NGO’s alacrity to telltale. In this instance it was Ir Amim – Jerusalem’s left-wing, self-appointed monitor of Jewish construction, which reportedly enjoys EU/British financial largesse.
Ir Amim unequivocally proclaimed that new construction tenders were issued just as Israeli and Palestinian representatives convened in Amman. The timing, asserted Ir Amim’s communiqué, “is a slap in the face to Jordan.”
Gould evidently treated this unverified “revelation” as gospel. Ir Amim’s word alone sufficed to trigger a harsh rebuke of Israel. Presumably, checking up on the NGO’s claims was not warranted, to say nothing of the fact that Israel regards all of Jerusalem as its unified capital under its sovereignty. Israel isn’t even granted the indulgence accorded other democracies, where no venture is decreed overnight by a despot’s whim but where bureaucratic due process dictates the slow, labored implementation of any policy. Nonetheless, here, too, urban development isn’t the product of erratic impulses. We are an orderly society, bound by red tape and regulations galore.
Yet in our case we’re chided anew for each plodding step along the arduous road from blueprint to formal authorization. The projects that so peeved Gould (and France) were in the works for an extended period before construction tenders were published – way before Gould’s hullabaloo. Such tenders constitute the culmination of complex approval procedures for construction in Israel. These take up to 10 years to complete and aren’t under the government’s direct or constant supervision or control.
Although during his briefing Gould hotly denied an inherent anti-Israel bias in London and other European capitals, his knee-jerk eagerness to scold Israel powerfully indicates otherwise. The pattern is undeniable: first comes the stern supercilious admonishment and only later – perhaps – an unenthusiastic examination of whether the upbraiding was justified.
We may be forgiven for doubting that this is the order of things when Britain approaches other countries and other conflicts. Equally as disturbing was Gould’s retraction, which characterized the absence of new tenders as “a welcome reassurance.”
(Subtext: Israeli construction in parts of the Israeli capital remain intrinsically illegitimate. Gould thereby underscored his fundamental displeasure with Israel’s presence in given Jerusalem neighborhoods.)
Even if one doesn’t accept our attachment to the whole of Jerusalem – where an overwhelming Jewish majority existed since the first 19th-century census – plain decency should command the British envoy to at least portray it as disputed territory rather than as outrightly occupied.
After all, it was the Arab Legion [of Transjordan nka Jordan] in 1948 – under British leadership and active assistance – that conquered east Jerusalem, expelled its Jews and occupied it for 19 years in brazen contravention of 1947’s UN Partition Resolution. Yesteryear’s aggression shouldn’t determine today’s legalities.
All rights reserved © The Jerusalem Post 1995 - 2012
[Is it possible that Jews did not burn a mosque in the Arab village of Tuba Zangariyya? Read on!]
Gunfire at Arab Who Doubted Mosque was Burned by Jews
by Gil Ronen
(Arutz Sheva, January 16, 2012) More than three months after a mosque was set on fire in the northern Bedouin-Arab village of Tuba Zangariyya, a resident of the village has been victimized for voicing doubt that the attack was carried out by Jews.
The incident occurred Saturday night, hours after Bassem Swaid, a disabled [Arab] IDF veteran who lives in the village, told Channel 2 news that he is certain the fire was not set by an outsider.
Assailants fired a hail of bullets at his home. No one was hurt in the attack.
The mosque, Swaid had explained to the television reporter, is located deep inside the village, and an outsider who wanted to burn a mosque would have targeted one of the more accessible ones.
He said that people from inside Tuba must have set fire to the mosque, and described an atmosphere of fear and internecine fighting within the community.
The current Head of the Tuba Zangariya local authority, Brig.-Gen. (res.) Tzvika Fogel, told Arutz Sheva that "it was predictable" that Swaid would be attacked for saying what he said. The amount of illegal weapons in Tuba Zangariya "is enough to equip an infantry battalion," he said.
While most of the village's residents want to be a peaceful part of Israeli society, 15 to 20 percent of them want to instill terror in the streets. "One day this will be turned against us," he warned.
Israel's leading rabbis, politicians and journalists' knee-jerk reaction to the arson at Tuba in October was to apologize profusely to the Arab residents right away. Almost all were convinced that Jews had carried out the attack, as part of the "Price Tag" operations, although Chief Rabbi Shlomo Amar was more circumspect and noted that the arson could have been planned as a libel against Jews. Police have no leads regarding the arson and the Jews who were arrested shortly after the attack were soon freed.
© Arutz Sheva, All Rights Reserved
[Do the Jewish people have a plan to conquer and colonize the southern portions of Argentina and Chile? Read on!]
The Dreyfus revival
By DAVID BREAKSTONE
Herzl was wrong. Zionism did not put an end to anti-Semitism and now wildfires have sparked outrageous theories of an international Jewish conspiracy to take over southern Chile.
(Jerusalem Post, January 20, 2012) When Theodor Herzl began covering the trial of Captain Alfred Dreyfus in 1893 as Paris correspondent of the Neue Freie Presse, he suspected that the French army officer charged with treason was guilty of the crime for which he’d been arrested. A devotee of the promises of Enlightenment and Emancipation, it was difficult for him to accept that the French republic – born of the belief in liberté, égalité and fraternité – was capable of fabricating the web of lies that would result in the public humiliation and imprisonment of a loyal French officer. Ultimately, however, the affair would have a dramatic effect in propelling him toward the conclusion that the Jews could never be at home anywhere in the world until they had a home in a land of their own.
Herzl wasn’t so much shaken by his discovery that the authorities had conspired to frame an innocent Jew, but rather by the response of the masses to Dreyfus’s conviction, culminating in the cry of the mob that continues to reverberate to this very day. “Death to Dreyfus” he might have been able to swallow, but “death to the Jews” was a different matter altogether, giving expression, in Herzl’s words, to “the wish of the overwhelming majority in France to damn a Jew, and in this one Jew, all Jews.”
Enter Rotem Singer. Hustled into a Punta Arenas courtroom last month on charges of igniting the fire that would consume 28,300 hectares (69,900 acres) of pristine Chilean forestland, the Israeli backpacker was accosted by spectators who decried him as a ”stinking Jew,” unleashing a pandemic of anti- Semitism in this otherwise civilized society. Local newspapers, blogs and social networks are abuzz with the most outrageous conspiracy theories accusing Jews in general and Israelis in particular of a plot to establish a second Jewish state in southern Chile.
Suddenly it turns out that there are more people expert in Zionist history in Chile than there are here in Israel. Making reference to the possibility Herzl raised in his Zionist manifesto, The Jewish State, that the Jewish people might consider establishing their homeland in Argentina, an alarming and baffling number of personalities are now reviving talk of the century-old Andinia Plan, the South American equivalent of The Protocols of the Elders of Zion. Though no such program ever existed (Herzl himself nixed the idea of Argentina two months after publishing his book), those who swear by it maintain that there is an international Jewish conspiracy to colonize southern Argentina and Chile, in the precise area of Patagonia where the conflagration was burning out of control.
Fanning these flames of anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism, Andres Figueroa Cornejo published a diatribe against Israel in El Ciudadano that is shocking to read, even in an age when we have become accustomed to the virulent lies and vituperative distortions that characterize the campaign to delegitimize the very idea of a Jewish state. In it he accuses Israel of crimes against the Palestinian people that, he notes, are ironically similar to those perpetrated against the Jews by Nazi Germany. What else is new? In this instance, the insinuations included in his tirade that Singer, “a militaristic Israeli” trained in the ways of occupation and domination by one of the strongest armies on the planet, was sent by the imperialist Israeli government to further its strategic geo-military objective of taking over the territory that was ravaged.
I wish we could simply dismiss this absolute hogwash as the inane gibberish of a mentally unbalanced fanatic. Unfortunately, that would be dangerous to do. Figueroa Cornejo’s rantings are based in part on a statement attributed to a member of the Chilean senate and chairman of its Foreign Affairs Committee, Eugenio Tuma of the Party for Democracy. Tuma said that “it is not normal that the Israeli government send a military team to tour Patagonia. The free transit of tourists is completely different from having a state financing and organizing its former soldiers,” who, he suggested, are being sent to the area in order to help them deal with post-traumatic stress disorder developed as a consequence of their role in oppressing the Palestinian people.
These remarks were echoed by another Chilean senator, Fuad Chachin, vice president of the Christian Democratic Party, who raised questions as to whether Rotem Singer was really a tourist at all, or perhaps, as he suggested, someone sent by Israel for other reasons “after killing Palestinian children.”
Laudably, the heads of the Christian Democratic Party and the Party for Democracy have condemned these statements and distanced themselves from the anti-Semitism they reflect.
Unfortunately, others – probably far more than we would like to believe – take the wild claims seriously. A quick Google search revealed dozens of websites and hundreds of talkbacks relating to the matter. One that appeared on “The Ugly Truth,” a website “dedicated to defaming Zionism, Jewish extremism and a few other nasty items making our world uninhabitable today,” suffices to capture the essence of them all: “These IsraHelli ‘backpackers’ cause havoc to locals around the world… These creatures are never ‘retired’ -- just like a vampire never retires from drinking blood. Many of them are members of the IDF and the Mossad and they are always on call when their fellow demons ask them to do a favor. I feel sorry for the Polish people who have to put up with these creatures when they flood in to remember the Holohoax.”
It now remains to be seen how the rest of Chilean society will react to such outrageous outbursts of anti-Semitism and whether this response will echo or rebuff Herzl’s observation of more than a century ago. “We have honestly tried everywhere to merge ourselves into the social life of surrounding communities,” he wrote. “We are not permitted to do so… In countries where we have lived for centuries we are still cried down as strangers.”
But one thing is certain. The legacy that the visionary of the Jewish state bequeathed to the 18,000 Jews of Chile is one that allows them to respond with confidence and pride to the accusations being made against them and the State of Israel, despite the trauma of their past and the less than comfortable circumstances of the present. Many are second-generation survivors of Nazi Germany and all of them are neighbors of Santiago’s Palestinian community which, numbering between 350,000 and 500,000 members, is the largest outside the Middle East.
Unfazed by this demographic disadvantage, the local Zionist Federation, now in the hands of a new generation of self-assured Jews in their 20s and 30s, responded swiftly to the hateful epithets hurled at Singer by those who acted zealously ”to damn a Jew, and in this one Jew, all Jews.” Its leaders, bolstered in their commitment to Jewish continuity by the existence of the State of Israel and the time they have spent here, have been in direct contact with the young Israeli and his lawyer and have launched a campaign on Facebook and Twitter to set the record straight on this and related matters.
Hopefully their efforts and those of others in this well-organized Jewish community will mean that the negative impact of the last few weeks will be minimal. But while Singer is certainly no Dreyfus, this disagreeable episode is nevertheless an unpleasant reminder that anti-Semitism did not disappear with the advent of Zionism, as Herzl predicted it would, and that the uncomfortable question as to just how much the Jewish people can ever really be at home outside of a Jewish state remains unanswered.
The writer is deputy chairman of the World Zionist Organization and a member of The Jewish Agency Executive. The opinions expressed herein are his own.
All rights reserved © The Jerusalem Post 1995 - 2012
[Are Jews planning to storm the Temple Mount and massacre Arabs on Jerusalem Day? Read on!]
Palestinians fear Jerusalem Day could turn violent
By KHALED ABU TOAMEH
PA mufti of Jerusalem warns against attacks by Jews, Palestinian shopkeepers reject police instructions to shutter shops.
(Jerusalem Post, May 19, 2012) Palestinians over the weekend expressed fear that Jerusalem Day celebrations would turn violent as thousands of Israelis are set to march in various parts of the city.
Palestinians shopkeepers in the Old City rejected instructions from the Police to close down their shops on Jerusalem Day on Sunday.
The Palestinian Authority mufti of Jerusalem, Sheikh Mohammed Hussein, warned against attacks by Jewish settlers on Palestinians, especially in the Old City. He also voiced concern that Jews would try to storm their way into the Temple Mount during Sunday's celebrations.
The mufti said that the Israeli authorities would be held fully responsible for clashes that could erupt between Palestinians and Israelis during the "provocative" marches, especially inside the Old City.
Another senior Islamic religious official, Sheikh Yusef Idais, warned that Israelis were preparing to perpetrate "massacres" against Palestinians during Jerusalem Day celebrations.
Idais urged Palestinians to converge on Jerusalem Sunday to "confront the extremist settlers."
He pointed out that in previous years settlers who took part in celebrations inside the Old City had chanted "Death to Arabs" and insults against Prophet Mohammed.
Idais predicted that Jerusalem would witness "violent confrontations" during the celebrations and called on Arab youth in the city to put up "strong resistance."
Representatives of the Palestinian merchants in the city issued a statement in which they said that the purpose of the Sunday celebrations was to "make Jerusalem a Jewish city and provoke the feelings of Muslims and Christians."
Fakhri Abu Diab, member of the Committee for Defending Silwan, condemned the authorities' decision to block several roads and neighborhoods during Jerusalem Day, noting that this would disrupt normal life and prevent people from going to work and students from attending school.
Abu Diab said he expected Sunday to be a "dangerous and difficult" day for Arabs in the City.
All rights reserved © 1995 - 2012 The Jerusalem Post.
[Did Israel send an avian spy to Turkey? Read on!]
Turkey investigates bird for being Israeli spy
By ARIEH O’SULLIVAN/THE MEDIA LINE
20/05/2012 [May 20, 2012]
Alleged spy bird damned for having a big nostril.
An increasing paranoia of Israeli zoological militancy conspiracy theories has turned a small bird with a larger than normal nostril and Israeli foot band into the latest suspected Mossad spy.
“Tell me. If it’s a spy would they put that it’s from Israel? Are they that stupid?” Ohad Hatzofe, an avian ecologist for Israel’s Nature and Parks Authority (NPA), told The Media Line.
A farmer in Gaziantep province in southeastern Turkey last week turned the dead Merops Apiaster, commonly known as the European Bee-Eater, to police after he noticed its band read “Tel Aviv University, Israel,” with serial number C43917. Local police turned it over to the regional Agriculture directorate, which then quickly brought in Turkey’s national counter intelligence police, Haberturk reported.
“It might be used for audio or video” surveillance, Akif Aslanpay, head of the Animal Health Division at Gaziantep’s Agriculture Directorate was quoted as saying. “Israel can do such things.”
The bird’s band wasn’t the only thing that raised suspicions; it was its huge nostril.
“We saw that the bird’s left nostril was three times larger than its right,” said Nebi Koca, president of the local Beekeepers Association, to whom the bird was first brought by the farmers who found it. “Presumably, anything could have been placed in there.”
The implausible spy story took root easily in Turkey, particularly after the Turkish media widely reported it with a photo of the little bird, its incriminating band circled in red. Ornithologists tag birds to track their migration patterns and many bee-eaters pass through Israel and Turkey on their journeys between Europe and Africa.
“This data helps you understand longevity, routes of migration, survival, immigration, demographic and geographic parameters or understanding of changes in timing of migration. That’s the basics of ornithology,” Hatzofe said.
Hatzofe said that only about 2% of tagged birds are ever heard from again. But this statistic is much lower for birds tagged in Israel, mainly due to political realities. “Many Israeli birds that are found in some countries will never be reported,” Hatzofe said.
“The idea that there is such a bad reputation for Israel and everything that we are doing is suspected of being a spy. So even if we mark our spies and say this is a spy, we are still suspected that it’s an Israeli spy,” Hatzofe said sardonically.
“It’s such a common bird and it weighs just 70 grams. So what instruments can it carry? Maybe it is a biological weapon and is spreading germs? I am ashamed even to speak about it.”
Last year, Saudi Arabia claimed to have detained an eagle for being a Mossad spy. Earlier, the south Sinai governor suggested that a shark that killed a tourist in Sharm el-Sheikh had been intentionally released by the Mossad to sabotage tourism in the area.
Still, reports such as the latest one about the little Bee-eater with a big nostril lends credence to Arab propaganda that the Jewish state has no boundaries when it comes to collecting intelligence. Stories of sharks, raptors and rodents used by a “Zionist plot” continue to appear.
In 2007, Iran’s state-sponsored IRNA news agency reported that 14 squirrels working for the West had been arrested with spy gear. A year later, Iran announced it nabbed two pigeons with “invisible strings” staking out a nuclear site in Natanz.
“We can be enemies or have disputes on water or borders or other issues, but birds and other wildlife belongs to all of us and we have to cooperate,” Hatzofe said. “We actually do have cooperation across the borders with some colleagues in countries that we are technically enemies. Ignorance causes these stupid beliefs that they are used for spying.”
All rights reserved © 1995 - 2012 The Jerusalem Post.
[Are the Jews installing fake graves in order to create a fake history in the Land of Israel? Read on!]
Israel plants fake Jewish graves around Al-Aqsa
29-05-2012 [May 29, 2012]
Al Qassam website -- Hundreds of Jerusalemites organized a sit-in at Wadi Rababa neighborhood in Silwan to protest the planting of fake Jewish graves south of Al-Aqsa Mosque [which is located on the Temple Mount] in occupied Jerusalem.
The occupation has planted during the last week fake graves around Al-Aqsa in order to take control of unused lands as a prelude to implement the so-called Talmudic gardens plan.
The protesters demanded the removal of these fake graves and called for public and diplomatic moves to expose the Israeli occupation practices.
The protesters explained that occupation's bulldozers have removed the Islamic graves in Mamanullah cemetery [more commonly known as the Mamilla cemetery] in Jerusalem, then planting fake Jewish graves in Wadi Rababa as a prelude to take over more than 36 dunums [approximately 9 acres] of strategic Palestinian lands there in the southern old city and Al-Aqsa mosque.
Protesters expressed anger at the deliberate falsification of the Arab-Islamic and Christian history of the city of Jerusalem, noting that Jerusalem municipality and the so-called department of environment became tools to implement the extremist settler organization Elad's goals.
Deputy Head of the Islamic Movement in the 1948-occupied lands [i.e., in pre-1967 Israel] Sheikh Kamal Al-Khatib said that occupation authorities seek to steal the land's history and the geography through convincing the world that this land particularly Jerusalem contains Jewish graves for hundreds of years.
The occupation took by force the Palestinian lands in 1948 and 1967, and it is trying now to legitimize its presence through planting these fake graves to show that it is the land of Jews, Khatib told Quds Press on Monday.
This land is a Palestinian Arab Muslim land, which cannot accept under any circumstances this falsification, he added.
The Deputy of the Islamic movement pointed out to "the need to face this project through disclosing these crimes and this occupation project which depends on armed force in order to prove its presence", he added that what has been disclosed is enough to prove that these graves are fake and unreal.
He said that fighting the occupation through law and media is not enough because the main problem is its presence. The Islamic nation has to combine its efforts to end this occupation, because if it continues, it will continue its aggression on the history, Geography and people.
Copyright © 2005 - 2012
Ezzedeen AL-Qassam Brigades – Palestine
The military wing of the Islamic resistance movement Hamas
[Note: The only truthful assertion in this article is actually a half-truth. In August 2010, the municipal government of Jerusalem did, in fact, remove approximately 300 tombstones -- not graves -- from the Mamilla Muslim cemetery located within the boundaries of Independence Park in the western portion of Jerusalem. Suspicious municipal officials noted the statistical unlikelihood that so many Jerusalem Muslims had died over the prior 7 months that approximately 600 new graves needed to be created in that particular cemetery (which is located in a mostly Jewish-populated part of the City), especially in a locational pattern which enlarged the perimeter of the Muslim cemetery, thereby encroaching on State land -- namely, Independence Park. When municipal inspectors removed approximately 300 of the encroaching tombstones and found no graves -- and no human remains -- underneath them, they realized that those fake tombstones were erected as part of a bold -- albeit modest -- plan by Muslim Arab religious authorities to steal State land. Consequently, although reeking of Chutzpah, it is not surprising that Israel’s Islamic Movement has now falsely accused the Jewish State of perpetrating the very same fraud that it had orchestrated several years earlier. -- Mark Rosenblit]
[Is Israel stealing “Palestinian houses” and “Palestinians water”? Read on!]
Richard Beinart and Peter Goldstone – Part I
By MARTIN SHERMAN
Into The Fray: Peter Beinart has placed himself in precisely the same category as Richard Goldstone. He should be treated in precisely the same manner.
(Jerusalem Post, May 31, 2012) “A Palestinian family named the Ghawis lives on the street outside their home of fifty-three years, from which they were evicted to make room for Jewish settlers” – Peter Beinart, “The Failure of the American Jewish Establishment,” June 10, 2010
In two recent articles, I made the following statements: “Peter Beinart [has] for all intents and purposes declared political war on Israel.” Indeed he has.
And, “There are only two possible explanations for [Beinart’s] actions: He is either sincere or he is not. If he is sincere, he is merely a ‘useful idiot,’ and he should be treated as such. If he is not, then he is engaging in activities that are intentionally detrimental to Israel. He is, therefore, an enemy – and should be treated as such.” Indeed he should.
Beinart has placed himself in precisely the same category as another self-professed “dedicated Zionist” – Richard Goldstone [a religious Jew who had been a highly esteemed judge in South Africa. Despite the pleas of numerous Jewish organizations that he was being manipulated by one of the most anti-Israel agencies within the United Nations system, he nonetheless agreed to lead a “fact-finding” commission for the U.N. Human Rights Council which, without first conducting its own empirical investigation, unsurprisingly concluded that Israel had perpetrated war crimes and crimes against humanity against Gaza in connection with the 2008-2009 Gaza War. Goldstone eventually repudiated those conclusions as being contrary to the evidence; but, by having lent his name and reputation to the published UNHRC report, he had already greatly contributed to the diplomatic harm to Israel that was caused (and that was intended from the outset to be caused) thereby]. He should be treated in precisely the same manner – by both the Jewish establishment and Israeli officialdom.
Noble or nefarious?
We don’t know what motivates Beinart – whether he is merely silly but sincere, or whether he is actually sly and sinister. We can only infer what drives him from what he does, and what he says – and perhaps more important, from what he doesn’t.
But in the final analysis, his intentions are less important than the consequences of his actions, which are deeply detrimental to Israel, the professed object of his devotion and affection.
After all, for the vast majority of those who follow the Middle East conflict, there is little daylight between the charges Beinart hurls at Israel, Israelis, and the Israeli government and those of the Jewish state’s most visceral detractors.
If any differences can be detected, they typically relate more to nuance rather than principle.
Even if he does occasionally level some perfunctory reprimand at the Palestinians for their “recalcitrant” (read “brutal”/“ bloody”/“barbarous”) behavior – as if reluctantly discharging some distasteful but obligatory chore –he studiously avoids any policy-relevant conclusions Israel might conceivably be forced to draw from that behavior.
Whether his unrelenting censure of Israel arises from benign but misguided concern or from calculated self-seeking malevolence, it is beyond dispute that Beinart has reaped immense rewards from his Israel-bashing.
The rich rewards of Israel-bashing
Indeed, it was Israel-bashing – and Israel-bashing alone – that catapulted Beinart into instant celebrity.
After all, imagine for a moment that he had written a brilliant article, whose major theme was Israel’s cutting-edge achievements in science, technology, medicine, agriculture and telecommunications, and extolled the central role Israeli ingenuity and innovation played in saving lives (including Muslim lives), reducing hunger and improving living standards for millions across the globe. It would clearly be beyond the realm of plausibility that The New York Review of Books would have assigned him the 5,000- word slot that it did for his diatribe against Israel and against the US Jewish establishment for supporting it.
Had he highlighted Israeli humanitarian efforts in far-flung corners of the world or cataloged the country’s internationally acclaimed cultural accomplishments, it is more than doubtful that the paper would have afforded him such lavish exposure.
Of course, Beinart would probably protest, as he does in his response to [criticism from journalist] Bret Stephens, that “my book is not primarily about Israel, but about American Jews and the relationship between [them] and Israel.”
Disingenuous and spurious claim
But of course this claim is as disingenuous as it is specious.
For this relationship is not one forged in a vacuum but is dependent on how Israel is viewed by American Jewry, which in turn is dependent on how it is presented to them.
So if Beinart were genuinely alarmed by the alleged alienation of young US Jews from the Jewish state, one might have expected him to act differently. Even if he did not entirely suppress his misgivings over some of Israel’s policies – he could have put them on the backburner, while urging his kinfolk to take pride in the many extraordinary feats of the country that are indeed worthy of pride.
He could have made a compelling case for young Jews to rally around Israel for the way it is dealing with awesome challenges, while pressing for it to address the defects which in his opinion exist in its policy toward the Palestinians.
But of course Beinart chose a different course. Although he does pay occasional lip service to Israel’s achievements, this is invariably an aside followed by a “but.”
Overwhelmingly, it is the alleged blemishes that are paraded front and center, the negatives that dominate the positives, the supposed “warts” that comprise the dominant theme of the narrative that brought Beinart such prominence.
This clearly undermines the credibility of his professed aims and the sincerity of his professed sentiments. For it would be difficult to conceive of anything more counterproductive to an effort to deal with Jewish alienation than presenting – or misrepresenting – the Jewish state as a hideous distortion of itself.
Grave question marks
But let’s suppose for a moment that Beinart is genuinely perturbed about the issues he raises in his writing and public appearances. The question that must then be raised is why he chooses to portray incidents that allegedly raise his concern in such a misleading – at times, mendacious – manner, without giving the slightest hint that compelling interpretations of the same events exist which contradict his version.
Take, for instance, the case mentioned in the introductory excerpt regarding the eviction of Arab tenants in the east Jerusalem neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah.
In Beinart’s account, one is given the clear impression that the evictees were the helpless victims of some callous, arbitrary act perpetrated by a heartless regime, driven by a discriminatory Judeocentric dogma. Nowhere could the reader get a sense that the reason for the eviction was the tenants’ refusal to pay rent; that their removal from the Jewish-owned property was the culmination of a legal battle that extended over three decades and was backed by a verdict of the Supreme Court, an institution invariably depicted [by the Left] as a jealous custodian of the liberal-democratic values Beinart claims are so dear to his heart.
So ask yourself: What is likely to exacerbate the alienation of young liberal US Jewry more, Beinart’s partial and partisan misrepresentation of the evictees as blameless victims of blatant ethnically biased discrimination? Or the alternative fact-based portrayal of them as rent-delinquents, who had the right of due process, and were found to be violating the property rights of the Jewish proprietors? See what I mean about counter-productive? Unless of course you question his true motives.
The Khaled Jaber thing
But even more troubling (and revealing?) is Beinart’s cheap (or is that cynical?) exploitation of the Khaled Jaber episode that sets the tone for his new book, The Crisis of Zionism.
Beinart relates, in highly emotive and self-righteous terms how a video (55 seconds long) showing a Palestinian man, Fadel Jaber, being arrested by Israel forces while his sobbing son begs for his release, troubled him deeply.
Beinart then proceeds to makes incendiary accusations which are both wildly distortive and totally unsubstantiated by anything in the video. He claims that Fadel was arrested for stealing water; while the Israeli authorities claim he was arrested for disturbing the peace and attacking the law enforcement officers. Beinart makes no mention of the Israeli version – which might have been nice, even if for some reason he disbelieved it. You know, in the interest of fair and balanced coverage – especially given his concern about the alienation of US Jewry.
Beinart goes on to present Fadel’s unauthorized tapping into Israeli pipes as an act of desperation “after his family repeatedly asked Israeli authorities for access to the pipes” which had been denied – but provides no evidence of such repeated requests or any clue how he came to know about them.
In his response to Bret Stephens’s criticism, Beinart snarls that Fadel was “unjustly arrested by police from the Jewish state,” leaving the reader to puzzle over what led him to this far-reaching and unflattering conclusion – other than his own prejudices.
Water – the dry facts
What Beinart fails to convey is that since the conclusion of the Oslo II Agreement almost two decades ago, the entity responsible for supplying water to Palestinian consumers, such as the Jabers, is the Palestinian Authority – not Israel; that since these accords, Israel provides the PA with quantities well in excess of its Oslo II obligations, and that the amount of water it transfers from inside pre-1967 lines across the Green Line is more than the entire consumption of the maligned “settlements” together with their “swimming pools and intensive irrigation systems” he so resents. [In other words, Israel sends to the Palestinian Authority more water than it “steals” from the latter.]
Indeed, for Israel to supply consumers like the Jabers, it would have to usurp powers given to the PA. Is that really what Beinart is advocating? Had he wished to, Beinart could have painted a far different – accurate – picture of Israel’s water policy and the huge benefits the Palestinians have derived from it.
For whether one focuses on overall consumption of fresh water; per capita consumption of fresh water; consumption of fresh water relative to Israelis; accessibility of running water to households; the area under agricultural cultivation; or the size of the agricultural product, the conditions for the Palestinians improved dramatically under Israeli administration.
And while it is true that per capita consumption of water by Israelis is much higher than that of Palestinians, he could have explained – correctly – that this is principally a result of differences in demand, rather than supply, due to differences in lifestyles. After all, similar – indeed greater – consumption differentials prevail between various socioeconomic groups within the Jewish population without anyone suggesting this reflects ethnic bias.
The facts are incontrovertible. Whereas in 1967 only 10 percent of the “West Bank” Arab population was connected to a running water system, the figure today stands at 95%.
Likewise, Palestinian agricultural performance improved dramatically, even though water allocations were not increased. (In recent years Israeli farmers have had their freshwater allocations slashed by 50% and more.) This was facilitated by the introduction of advanced irrigation and cultivation methods, resulting in an increase of the area cultivated by about 160% and of the agricultural product by 1,200%.
Attenuating or amplifying alienation
Clearly then, Israel’s water policy could have been presented as a telling illustration of the deeply humanitarian impulses of Israeli society, even toward a hostile alien population whose deeds and declarations repeatedly affirm their rejection of the Jewish state. Beinart could have seized on the hydrological facts to underscore the tolerance and extraordinary goodwill Israel has displayed toward an implacable adversary. (Interestingly, the Jaber family is on record as rejecting any compromise or acceptance of Jewish statehood, which might have made an illuminating – albeit discordant – footnote in Beinart’s book).
Instead, he chose to embrace the most derogatory, defamatory and distortive depictions of Israel’s water policy and endorse the deceptive and deceitful hydro-narratives propagated by the likes of Omar Barghouti, a leader of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement. Way to go, Peter! Again, we might speculate as to what is likely to attenuate the alienation of liberal US Jewry and what is likely to amplify it: The false portrayal – on the basis of dubious anecdotal evidence – of Israel’s water policy as discriminatory deprivation? Or the factual presentation of the extraordinary enhancement it has irrefutably brought to living conditions for the vast majority of Palestinians? Well, we know what Beinart seems to think.
These are but two examples in which he elected to adopt a pejorative presentation of Israel/Israeli actions when compelling countervailing alternatives could have been espoused with greater plausibility. His work is replete with additional instances, but to deal adequately with them I would have to write a book of my own.
Despising the demos
The more one delves into Beinart’s pronouncements, the more dubious his Zionist credentials appear.
For although he tries to suggest that his disapproval is focused mainly on “this Israeli [i.e. Netanyahu-Liberman ] government,” a perusal of his works suggests otherwise.
Indeed, as the following excerpt from his New York Review of Books essay indicates, he has a deep distaste for much – if not most – of the sectors comprising the Israeli population: “Israeli governments come and go, but the Netanyahu coalition is the product of frightening, long-term trends in Israeli society: an ultra-Orthodox population that is increasing dramatically, a settler movement that is growing more radical and more entrenched in the Israeli bureaucracy and army, and a Russian immigrant community.”
He quotes a plethora of opinion surveys, expressing dismay at the findings which reflect views of varied segments of Israeli society – from the Russians to the religious, from school kids to settlers. Indeed, he seems to reserve his most severe censure for Israel’s youth, bewailing that “Attitudes are worst among Israel’s young.”
So while Beinart claims he values Israel’s democracy, it seems he deeply detests the Israeli demos – or most of it.
Presidential faux pas
It was recently announced that Beinart has been invited to speak at the 2012 Israeli Presidential Conference later this month.
This is a scandalous blunder of breathtaking proportions.
Indeed, it is difficult to think of anything less appropriate. It is a slap in the face for the large swathes of the Israeli public for which he has expressed such deep and undisguised distaste. It is an unconscionable insult to millions for whom Beinart has demonstrated his unmitigated contempt.
Think of it: Would anyone dream of inviting Richard Goldstone to such an event? If not, neither should Beinart be invited. He is more hypocritical, more detrimental and more undeserving.
All rights reserved © 1995 - 2012 The Jerusalem Post.
[Note: The Muslim doctrine of “Takiyah” not only permits, but even mandates, the employment and dissemination of the “Big Lie”. Read on!]
By ISRAEL KASNETT
(Jerusalem Post, June 14, 2012) Syrian President Bashar Assad blatantly lies to his people as bloodshed continues.
Syrian President Bashar Assad continues to deny responsibility for massacres taking place daily in his country, and Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad says the nuclear program is for peaceful purposes only.
Clearly, their claims are laughable and it doesn’t take much to see they are lying through their teeth.
If the West realizes this now, this has certainly not been the case for a long time. It continues to be duped into thinking that it is being told the truth and relies on the idea that people are innocent until proven guilty even if all evidence points to the contrary. While this is necessary in a regular court of law, rogue leaders need to be dealt with in a more suspicious fashion and come under heavier scrutiny.
In Assad’s case, you don’t need proof to know that he is the one behind the wholesale slaughter taking place.
In February, [2012,] 7,000 innocent civilians had been killed in Syria. Just four months later, that number has doubled to over 14,000.
According to Reuters, Assad condemned last week the “abominable” massacre of more than 100 people in Houla, saying even monsters could not carry out such acts, and promised a 15- month-old crisis would end soon if Syrians pulled together.
But empty promises are what allow regimes like Syria and Iran to continue their malfeasant activities.
Ever since Muhammad used deception when he signed a 10-year treaty [commonly known as the “Treaty of Hudaibiyah”] with the Meccans that allowed him access to their city while he secretly prepared his own forces for a takeover, Middle Eastern leaders have long been notorious for spreading lies and deceit to support their interests.
In the case of Ka’b bin al-Ashraf, Muhammad used deception to trick his enemies into letting down their guard and exposing themselves to slaughter by pretending to seek peace.
And again later, Muhammad used deceit to kill Usayr ibn Zarim who was attempting to gather an armed force against the Muslims. Muhammad’s emissaries went to ibn Zarim and persuaded him to leave his safe haven on the pretext of meeting with the prophet in Medina to discuss peace.
Once vulnerable, the leader and his 30 companions were massacred.
The notion of “Taqiyya,” an immoral tactic to trick the enemy in wartime by offering a false peace or truce while preparing to attack once the enemy lets down its guard, is considered by the Koran to be an acceptable way of Muslim diplomacy.
Not only do people like Assad and Ahmadinejad strictly adhere to this concept, but many others have as well.
During the 2003 invasion of Iraq, Iraqi politician Mohammed Saeed al- Sahhaf became known as “Baghdad Bob” for spewing outrageous propaganda lies. He once claimed that there were no American troops in Baghdad while two American tanks could be seen behind him on the screen.
Palestinian leaders are equally guilty in spreading outrageous propaganda lies.
At the Aspen Institute’s Aspen Ideas Festival a few years ago, [United States educated] Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Salam Fayyad said, “Jews to the extent they choose to stay and live in the state of Palestine will enjoy rights and certainly will not enjoy any less rights than Israeli Arabs enjoy now in the State of Israel.”
But his words are deceiving.
Just a few months after Fayyad’s speech in English, PA President Mahmoud Abbas said, in Arabic, “We are prepared to move toward peace based on international resolutions, the Road Map and 1967 borders, but when a Palestinian state is established it will be empty of any Israeli presence.”
In an interview with historian Benny Morris that appeared in [the British-based newspaper] The Guardian 10 years ago, Defense Minister Ehud Barak is quoted as saying that Palestinians have no compunction about telling lies and see truth as irrelevant.
He said, “They are products of a culture in which to tell a lie... creates no dissonance... They don’t suffer from the problem of telling lies that exists in Judaeo-Christian culture.”
“Truth is seen as an irrelevant category,” he said. “There is only that which serves your purpose and that which doesn’t. They see themselves as emissaries of a national movement for whom everything is permissible. There is no such thing as ‘the truth.’” In an op-ed in the same paper, Benny Morris wrote, “The Palestinian Authority has emerged as a virtual kingdom of mendacity, where every official, from President Arafat down, spends his days lying to a succession of western journalists.
The reporters routinely give the lies credence equal to or greater than what they hear from straight, or far less mendacious, Israeli officials. One day [then Palestinian Authority chairman Yasser] Arafat charges that the Israel Defence Forces (IDF) uses uranium-tipped shells against Palestinian civilians. The next day it’s poison gas. Then, for lack of independent corroboration, the charges simply vanish – and the Palestinians go on to the next lie, again garnering headlines in western and Arab newspapers.”
Even Mosab Hassan Yousuf, [the estranged] son of Hamas leader Sheik Hassan Yousuf [and a convert to evangelical Christianity], bravely devotes his time to dispelling Arab lies about Israel.
And lies abound.
As pointed out by a blogger on mepeace.org, in April 2002, after a horrific campaign of suicide bombings murdered dozens of Israelis, the IDF entered the Jenin refugee camp in the West Bank to kill or capture terrorists.
Palestinians claimed that much of the camp was leveled, with a death toll of thousands. A subsequent United Nations investigation revealed that only 52 Palestinians died – more than half of them terrorists.
Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat also lied about a massacre by the IDF in Jenin.
At the time he told [U.S.-based news network] CNN’s Jim Clancy, “You know, the Jenin refugee camp is no longer in existence...”
As the media-monitoring organization CAMERA points out, Erekat repeated the charge one week later to CNN’s Wolf Blitzer, stating: “There is no longer a refugee camp there. And maybe the [Israeli] defense minister and the prime minister of Israel want to deny what CNN is showing, that the camp was totally destroyed.”
Hezbollah launched the Second Lebanon War in summer 2006 by kidnapping two Israeli soldiers. Again, casualty figures were inflated. For example, then-Lebanese prime minister Fouad Siniora said that Israel had deliberately massacred civilians in the village of Houla. This was duly reported.
He later admitted that there had been only one death. The systematic use of doctored and staged pictures gave us the word “fauxtography.”
After Hamas violently took control of the Gaza Strip in 2007, Israel closed its border crossings with Gaza. Hamas exaggerated the effect of the closures.
An almost comical example took place when the media published photos of a “candlelit” meeting of Parliament despite the fact that sunlight was shining through the heavy curtains.
Mark Twain famously quipped that “a lie can travel halfway around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes.” And the reason lies travel so fast is because the world media creates an avenue for leaders to say anything they want.
A Forbes article in 2002, titled “Ahmadinejad Lies, and the West Complies,” describes how “Ahmadinejad claimed that there was no crackdown in Iran against the opposition and that the people in his country enjoyed complete freedom.”
The article goes on to say that Ahmadinejad is “getting his information from the Koran, which directs Muslims to deceive their enemies until such time as they are strong enough to destroy the infidels. It is a shame that the media in America provides him with an avenue for this deception.”
Clearly, the world needs to wake up to the lies that are being told, especially by the Iranians and Syrians, and the media needs to start questioning the rhetoric that goes against facts on the ground.
All rights reserved © 1995 - 2012 The Jerusalem Post.
[Note: The Palestinian Authority is a charter member of the “Big Lie”. Read on!]
By JPOST EDITORIAL
It’s still unclear whether attack on Israeli tow truck driver near Hebron can be attributed to criminal intent or terror.
(Jerusalem Post, June 20, 2012) It’s still not clear whether the attack on the Israeli tow truck driver near Hebron last Sunday can be attributed to criminal intent or a terrorist plot. Often these motivations are intertwined and not readily distinguishable.
In the end, therefore, it doesn’t really matter what impelled local Palestinian Arabs to phone for a tow truck and then set upon the Israeli who responded to their purported call for help, pounding his head with metal pipes and wrenches.
That attack didn’t raise much commotion in the Palestinian Authority. What did cause outrage was that the driver, bleeding profusely from his wounds, dared defend himself.
He pulled out a pistol and shot at his three assailants, killing two and wounding a third who escaped.
It’s what happened next that is most instructive about our situation. After the driver, a 52-year-old Ashkelon resident, was taken to the hospital, he was interrogated by police and a comprehensive forensic investigation was launched.
No such moves were necessary for the PA. Its spin was instantaneous and unambiguous. In an official statement, PA President Mahmoud Abbas decreed without hesitation or inspection that “settlers commit crimes under the auspices of the Israeli government and the IDF.”
This contention resonated in the international media.
The attack on a middle-aged Israeli civilian disappeared under the radar overseas, but his reaction generated indignation without question. It was man bites dog.
Yet Abbas’s unsubstantiated declaration couldn’t be more skewed. He willfully disregarded the fact that a trap was set for an unsuspecting victim. This could have been a scheme to heist his vehicle or a kidnapping attempt (of the sort tried of late several times in Judea and Samaria).
Not only didn’t this prevent Abbas from asserting that it was the Israeli who had committed a crime, but he ascribed malevolent involvement to the Israeli government and army. This vilification constitutes incitement to more violence and vendettas, in keeping with the PA’s traditions.
But the slander extends further. Without a second thought, Abbas’s knee-jerk inclination was to identify the Israeli shooter as a settler, thereby casting aspersions on all so-called settlers and giving increased legitimacy to violence against them.
It’s immaterial that the driver in question hailed from Ashkelon. The bottom line is that all Israelis, regardless of their place of residence, are considered settlers and that any accusation may be leveled at “settlers,” the facts notwithstanding.
If any additional evidence were needed of the PA’s official succor for anyone who attacks Israelis, it was furnished by Abbas’s official news agency, WAFA, which lamented the two deceased attackers as “martyrs.” WAFA’s report cited unidentified “speakers” who “denounced the crimes of the settlers under the continued support and protection of the Israeli occupation army, demanding the international community to intervene to end the occupation and to end crimes against our people and land and property....
“They stressed the importance of national unity and closing ranks and activating the popular resistance against the occupation and the settlers to leave our land and establish an independent Palestinian state with its capital in Jerusalem.”
In other words, a foiled onslaught against a Jew becomes the pretext for calling for “activating the popular resistance against the occupation and the settlers” – a code phrase for terrorism.
This is disconcertingly reminiscent of the calumny Ramallah disseminated following the February 16 overturning of an Arab school bus outside Jerusalem. Israeli paramedics risked their lives by venturing into the still-burning bus to rescue trapped children.
Yet IDF servicemen were vehemently accused of malice and of “intentionally foiling Palestinian rescuers.” There was no note of the cutting-edge resuscitation and subsequent treatment accorded the injured in Israeli trauma wards. Not only weren’t there even grudging hints of gratitude, but the accident was turned into another blame-Israel fest.
Anyone who genuinely desires peace must ponder hard whether unbridled, cynical incitement is at all compatible with lip-service to coexistence.
Can a credible peace momentum materialize from such callous manipulations of information? When no opportunity is missed to deepen the deception, it gains a raison d’être of its own.
All rights reserved © 1995 - 2012 The Jerusalem Post.
[Note: Does Zionism and the Talmud promote drug trafficking? Read on!]
VP Blames Zionists, Talmud for Growing Drug Trade in World
News number: 9103083782 2012-06-26
TEHRAN (FNA) - Iranian First Vice-President Mohammad Reza Rahimi condemned Zionists for inciting global drug trade and addiction in a bid to annihilate non-Jewish communities in accordance with Talmudic teachings.
Addressing a ceremony on the occasion of the International Day of Drug Abuse here in Tehran on Tuesday, Rahimi stated that prevalence of narcotics and drug-addition throughout the world finds its roots in the wrong teachings of the Zionists' religious book, Talmud.
The Talmud (Hebrew: "instruction, learning") is a central text of mainstream Judaism in the form of a record of rabbinic discussions pertaining to Jewish law, ethics, philosophy, customs and history.
"The book teaches them how to destroy non-Jews so as to protect an embryo in the womb of a Jewish mother," Rahimi stated.
The Iranian vice-president said that the Zionists' direct involvement in the prevalence of illicit drugs is while "you cannot find a single addict among the Zionists".
Rahimi, however, pointed to Iran's heavy spending and loss in the campaign against drugs, including the loss of 4,000 lives. "We could receive money and allow drug cargos to pass through Iran as a transit route and end up in the western countries without leaking into the Iranian society, but our religious teachings do not allow us to do so because paving the ground for the transit of narcotics to the other countries is against ethical codes."
Eastern Iran borders Afghanistan, which is the world's number one opium and drug producer. Iran's geographical position has made the country a favorite transit corridor for drug traffickers who intend to smuggle their cargoes from Afghanistan to drug dealers in Europe.
The Islamic Republic has emerged as the leading country fighting drug trafficking after making 89 percent of the world's total opium seizures.
Iran spends billions of dollars and has lost thousands of its police troops in the war against traffickers.
© Fars News Agency. All rights reserved
[Note: Did the Israeli army kidnap Lebanese goats after failing to kidnap their human guardians? Read on!]
Israeli Forces Fail to Kidnap Shepherds from Lebanon, Steal 900 Goats Instead
by Naharnet Newsdesk
(July 16, 2012) An Israeli force failed on Monday to abduct two shepherds from southern Lebanon, reported the National News Agency.
It said that 20 soldiers crossed the border at Mount Hermon and infiltrated 500 to 800 meters into Shebaa where it tried to kidnap Mohammed Qassem Hashem from Lebanon and Ahmed Haidar from Syria.
After their failure, said NNA, the soldiers stole some 900 goats in the area and took them to the occupied Shebaa Farms.
Naharnet © 2012
[Note: Is Israel preventing Azeri women from wearing the hijab (head covering)? Read on!]
Iranian Parliament Condemns Azeri Gov't for Killing Hijab Supporter
News number: 9104251014 2012-07-22 [July 22, 2012]
TEHRAN (FNA) - The Iranian parliament in a statement on Sunday denounced the Azeri government for killing Abdullah Vaqefiov who was one of the defenders of Islamic hijab (veil) in the Muslim country.
"We as the members of the Islamic Consultative Assembly (parliament), in addition to defending the rights of the Muslim Azeri people for safeguarding their religious values, condemn the Azeri government's inhuman act of martyring Shahid Abdullah Vaqefiov," the statement signed by 153 legislators said.
The statement said that Muslim revolutionary Vaqefiov had done nothing wrong but defending the religious values and hijab.
Azeri officials have been preventing Muslim women wearing headscarves from attending different public places.
Azerbaijan's constitution has entitled Muslim women to wear headscarves. Muslims constitute almost 98 percent of the population of Azerbaijan.
Muslim communities in Azerbaijan blame the growing secularism in the country on Tel Aviv and accuse Israel of being behind anti-Islamic programs.
© Fars News Agency. All rights reserved
[Note: A U.N. official claims that Israel has murdered “another child” in Gaza. Is it true? Read on!]
UN completes probe into false tweet about Gaza
By STEWART STOGEL, SPECIAL TO THE JERUSALEM POST
Findings not yet released after completion of investigation into tweet of photo falsely claiming Palestinian killed by IDF.
(Jerusalem Post, October 9, 2012) NEW YORK — The United Nations coordinator for humanitarian affairs, Valerie Amos, has confirmed to The Jerusalem Post that the investigation into a controversial Twitter posting by its staff member Khulood Badawi has been completed.
In March, Badawi, an information officer for the UN’s Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs in Jerusalem, tweeted a photo of a Palestinian child covered in blood and falsely claimed she was killed by an IDF strike.
Badawi tweeted the following text along with the photo: “Palestine is bleeding. Another child killed by Israel... Another father carrying his child to a grave in Gaza.”
The picture, it emerged, was published in 2006 by Reuters and was of a Palestinian girl who died in an accident unrelated to Israel.
A subsequent investigation was launched by the UN Development Program, which held Badawi’s contract for employment, even though she worked for OCHA.
Amos did not release details on the investigation’s findings, stating that she was awaiting recommendations from UNDP.
Israel’s UN mission had no immediate reaction.
United Nations Ambassador Ron Prosor has in the past demanded that Badawi be fired. In July, Prosor sent Amos a letter asking for the investigation to be expedited.
Jerusalem Post staff contributed to this report.
All rights reserved © 1995 - 2012 The Jerusalem Post.
[Note: The Palestinian Authority claims that Israel assassinated master terrorist and P.L.O. Chairman Yasser Arafat. In this case, I only wish that it were true! But, alas, it is just another installment of the Big Lie. Read on!]
By JPOST EDITORIAL
26/11/2012 [November 26, 2012]
Where the culture of mendacity reigns, trustworthy accords cannot grow. That’s why the latest twist in the “Arafat assassination” tale matters.
As Gaza – purportedly part of the Palestinian totality – was embroiled in fiery conflict [with Israel], its Ramallah twin engaged in surreal hijinks. Yasser Arafat’s mausoleum reverberated with the din of jackhammers as workmen toiled to pry open their deceased leader’s concrete- encased grave and exhume his remains.
Why? This is another feature of the multifaceted war against Israel. The aim here is to accuse Israel of having assassinated Arafat in 2004 with radioactive poison.
Hot on the heels of Arafat’s demise, conspiracy theories abounded wildly throughout the Arab realm. The only scenario serially discounted was that the 75-year-old Arafat died by natural causes.
The years haven’t mitigated the suspicions/fabrications.
Insinuations reached a frenzied crescendo earlier this year when Al Jazeera reported that tests at a Swiss lab conducted on Arafat’s ostensibly uncontaminated personal items – clothing and a toothbrush supplied by his wife Suha – had yielded indications of elevated traces of radioactive polonium-210.
This, it needs be noted, is the substance used six years ago to eliminate Russian spy-turned-dissident Alexander Litvinenko in London.
So suggestive was the Litvinenko connection, that Suha Arafat, leading the accusing chorus, summed up the Al Jazeera “documentary” by asserting that it has been firmly established that her husband’s death was part of “a criminal scheme.” Since the Lausanne lab stressed that nothing can be said for certain without exhuming Arafat’s body, agitation was mounted for the exhumation.
French, Swiss and Russian experts will take samples from the corpse on Tuesday to test them for radioactive residues. A full military reburial will ensue with all the attendant international publicity.
The participation of the Russians is particularly ironic considering rife speculation that Russia perpetrated the unique Litvinenko assassination. He was a former officer of the FSB (Russia’s Federal Security Service) and prior to that of the KGB. Litvinenko fled to the UK from prosecution in Russia, was granted political asylum and was thereafter reported to have been in cahoots with [the British intelligence services] MI6 and MI5.
Given this background, the Russians should indeed boast special expertise in the arts of radioactive poisoning.
The French are involved because Arafat died at a French military hospital, which, however, adamantly refused to divulge the cause of death. That said, after the Swiss furor, hospital spokespeople did go on record as saying that Arafat’s symptoms didn’t resemble those of radioactive involvement. That didn’t prevent the French authorities from launching an official murder investigation last August after the Lausanne lab hullaballoo.
Can we really rely on an impartial forensic investigation now? Too much political capital appears to have been invested in this affair to instill much confidence that everything will be strictly on the up and up. This, moreover, is without even going into the issue of whether all evidentiary material is in fact untainted.
This entire eerie episode is a sad testament to what preoccupies the Palestinian Authority which is concurrently seeking UN General Assembly recognition as a state. Such skewed scales of priorities hardly befit a serious bona fide member of the international community.
The peddling of preposterous slander hardly augurs well.
Apparently tall tales of a plot to murder Arafat are too good to pass up in a setting where fact and fiction are intrinsically indistinguishable. Since no one would anyhow believe Arafat died a natural death, better just blame all foul-play on Israel.
The initial PA version of events was that Israeli agents clandestinely substituted toxins for medications Arafat was taking. Nothing was said about radioactivity. These lethal Israeli concoctions were, according to Ramallah’s officially sanctioned account, deliberately brewed especially for this purpose by a leading (unnamed) Israeli pharmaceutical firm.
Herein lies the trouble. Assorted canards achieve the status of outright gospel. Hence Arab masses are convinced that Israel was behind the 9/11 destruction of the [New York City] Twin Towers [in 2001].
Not only is invaluable energy expended on deception at the expense of tackling actual problems, but fantastic convolutions of trumped up cloak and dagger stories don’t bolster the cause of genuine peace. Falsehoods negate peace.
Where the culture of mendacity reigns, trustworthy accords cannot grow. That’s why the latest twist in the “Arafat assassination” tale matters.
All rights reserved © 1995 - 2012 The Jerusalem Post.
[Note: Is Israel causing Arabs to become infected with the AIDS virus? Read on!]
'Israel behind increase in Palestinian AIDS cases'
By KHALED ABU TOAMEH
PA official: Palestinians who work in Israel subjected to "political blackmail" by authorities -- something that exposes them to AIDS.
(Jerusalem Post, December 1, 2012) Israel is responsible for the increase in the number of AIDS patients in the Palestinian territories, As’ad Ramlawi, director of Primary Heath Care in the Palestinian Authority, claimed Saturday.
The PA’s official news agency Wafa reported Ramlawi’s allegation.
Ramlawi was speaking during an event organized by the PA Ministry of Health in Jenin marking the United Nation’s World AIDS Day.
He claimed that Palestinians who go to work in Israel are subjected to “political blackmail” by Israeli authorities -- something that exposes them to AIDS.
Ramlawi did not explain what he meant by “political blackmail” and how it is connected to AIDS.
But some Palestinians have in the past claimed that Israeli security forces recruit “collaborators” by first seducing them to have sexual intercourse with prostitutes and then threatening to publish their photos in public if they refused to serve as informants.
In the past, Egyptian newspapers had also accused Israel of spreading AIDS in the Arab world by dispatching prostitutes to these countries.
Ramlawi revealed that there were 77 cases of AIDS patients in the Palestinian territories.
An Israeli government official said “these sort of ridiculous charges unfortunately demonstrate the mind-set of all too many in the Palestinian leadership, that whenever there is a problem -- no matter what -- it is Israel’s fault.”
The official described this phenomenon as the “blame Israel first club.”
The “luxury” of belonging to that club, he said, was that “you never have to take any responsibility on yourself.”
Herb Keinon contributed to this report.
All rights reserved © 1995 - 2012 The Jerusalem Post.
[Note: The Big Lie revisited: The “murder” of Muhammad al-Dura. Read on!]
Truth on trial
By JONATHAN ROSENBLUM
France 2 broadcast a boy cowering behind his father, with a voice-over solemnly intoning that Israeli soldiers shot the boy.
(Jerusalem Post, February 2, 2013) The fourth round in the ongoing legal battle between Charles Enderlin and television station France 2 on one side and media critic Philippe Karsenty on the other took place recently in Paris with little media attention.
The subject of that legal battle is the alleged shooting by Israeli soldiers of a Palestinian boy identified as Muhammad al-Dura at the Netzarim Junction on September 30, 2000.
That evening, France 2 broadcast 55 seconds of footage of a boy cowering behind his father, with a voice-over commentary by its chief Israel correspondent, Enderlin (who was not present at Netzarim Junction), in which he solemnly intones that Israeli soldiers shot the boy.
The image of the terrified boy crouching behind his father quickly assumed iconic status.
When Daniel Pearl was beheaded in Pakistan, the photo was prominently displayed in the background.
The crowd that eviscerated two Israeli reservists in Ramallah at the outset of the second intifada chanted of revenge for Muhammad al-Dura. And Osama bin Laden made reference to the boy in the tape he released after 9/11. Palestinian TV has made a staple of Muhammad al-Dura, beckoning to young children to join him as jihad martyrs in Paradise. And most recently, Muhammad Merah, the cold-blooded murderer of four Jews (three of them children) at point blank range at a Jewish school in Toulouse turned out to be obsessed with al-Dura.
That 55-second clip in fact consisted of six different segments spliced together from a total of 27 minutes of footage filmed by Palestinian cameraman Talul Abu Rahmeh. Enderlin also spliced in a picture of an Israeli soldier firing a gun to suggest that he was firing at the boy and his father.
The legal battle commenced when Enderlin and France 2 sued Karsenty for defamation after the latter published a series of pieces in which he charged that the clip was a fraud. Karsenty was able to show that the boy in the film clip could not have been directly targeted by Israeli soldiers, as he was not in the line of fire of the Israeli stockade. At most, he could have been hit by ricocheting bullet. But all the bullet holes in the wall behind where the boy and his father were crouching showed direct shots.
Abu Rahmeh’s story that Israeli soldiers shot at the boy and his father for 45 minutes was absurd. Hundreds of rioting Palestinians were standing in front of the Israeli stockade. Had Israeli soldiers wanted to shoot Palestinians, there had hundreds of ready targets in front of them.
Enderlin and France 2 put on no case whatsoever.
They contented themselves with a letter from then-president Jacques Chirac attesting to Enderlin’s general excellence as a journalist. Amazingly, that proved sufficient for the court to rule against Karsenty.
Karsenty appealed, and the Appeals Court shocked the plaintiffs by ordering France 2 to produce all the footage shot by Abu Rahmeh. Enderlin claimed that he had not included in the final clip the boy’s actual death because the death throes were simply too painful for a TV audience to see. But in the full footage (or at least the 18 of the original 27 minutes which France 2 provided), there were no such death throes. The supposedly dead boy lifts his head, looks around, moves his leg and shields his eyes from the sun, while the crowd chants, “The boy is dead, the boy is dead.” Enderlin provoked titters in the courtroom when he suggested that the crowd really meant, “The boy is in danger of dying.”
Whether Enderlin knew from the start that he had been deceived by his Palestinian cameraman is unknown. That he is a liar is incontestable. In addition to the concocted story about nonexistent death throes, he provided the foreign press with a blatantly false drawing of the Netzarim Junction showing the boy and his father in the line of Israeli fire.
The outtakes provided by France 2 and clips filmed by other film crews at the same time clearly establish that the entire incident was staged. In those outtakes, bystanders stroll by casually and children ride their bicycles in front of the father and boy, apparently oblivious to the [alleged] Israeli fusillade. A slow-motion examination of the outtakes shows the cameraman holding up two fingers to indicate “take two.” In a contemporaneous Reuters clip, Abu Rahmeh is shown filming another obviously staged scene involving a Molotov cocktail. (That staged event was omitted from the France 2 outtakes furnished to the court.) Nachum Shalaf, a civilian physicist who was placed in charge of the Israeli government investigation, discovered that a boy named Rami Jamal al-Dura had been declared dead in a Gaza hospital at 1 p.m. on the day in question, even though the supposed shooting of a boy initially identified as Muhammad Rami al-Dura did not take place until 3 p.m. The boy who died was much bigger than the one seen crouching in the film clips.
The “father” in the France 2 clips later pointed to wounds as corroboration of the claim that he had been under fire. But an Israeli doctor later proved that he had treated the man for identical wounds years earlier. The father subsequently sued the doctor in a French court and lost.
The French Appeals Court reached the only possible conclusion and ruled for Karsenty. One would have expected Enderlin to retire in disgrace and the French government to pose an inquiry as to the standards of veracity of the state-owned station. But nothing of the sort occurred. Enderlin appealed to the French Supreme Court.
Even more troubling, Enderlin’s journalist colleagues rallied to his defense. A petition describing him as the victim of a “seven-year hate-filled smear campaign” appeared on the website of the left-wing Le Nouvel Observateur and quickly garnered more than 300 signatures from some of the leading names in French journalism.
Anne-Elisabeth Moutet published a 2008 piece in The Weekly Standard called “L’Affaire Enderlin: Being a French journalist means never having to say you are sorry,” based on interviews with many of the signatories.
None argued that Israeli soldiers had harmed the boy cowering in the TV clip. Rather, they expressed sympathy for their colleague, who had, in the words of one, probably made a mistake in haste under a tight deadline, and then doubled down on his lie. Jon Randall, the former Washington Post Paris correspondent, complained about journalists being subjected to the scrutiny of watchdog groups with their own agendas.
Others sniffed that Karsenty is not a real journalist because he publishes on the Web.
The most amazing “defense” was that of French journalist Claude Weill Reynal, who wrote that Karsenty must be a madman for spending so much time proving that France 2 had broadcast a staged clip purporting to reflect reality because “[fake images] are used all the time everywhere on television and no TV journalist in the field or film editor would be shocked.” Enderlin himself expressed the philosophy behind Reynal’s argument: Even if Muhammad al-Dura was not killed by Israeli fire, other Palestinian children have been.
Therefore, at a deeper level, the clip was true.
Meanwhile, the route suffered by Enderlin and France 2 in court received almost no coverage in France or the international press.
There was still one more amazing twist to come.
The French Supreme Court ruled that it had been a mistake for the Appeals Court to compel France 2 to produce the outtakes, despite that fact that they constituted by far the best evidence of the journalistic integrity – or lack thereof, of Enderlin – Talul Abu Rahmeh, and France 2.
The Supreme Court ordered another trial, at which Karsenty was forced to present his case without benefit of the most probative evidence. In short, he was required to show not only that Enderlin and France 2 had perpetrated fraud, but that he had grounds to know that when he wrote his harsh criticisms. That was the trial that took place last month.
Richard Landes, a Boston University historian who has followed the al-Dura case from the beginning, was in the courtroom for the fourth round (actually the sixth hearing). He describes the hearing on his website “The Augean Stables,” devoted to the al-Dura case in particular and Palestinian use of faked images (Pallywood), in general.
Karsenty presented a detailed forensic case, beginning with a mock-up of Netzarim Junction, to show how wildly implausible the whole story was. Then he deftly went about demonstrating the ways in which France 2 consistently used staged footage in its broadcasts.
In response, France 2 did nothing more than show four news broadcasts dealing with the al-Dura “killing” – the very clips that Karsenty had just deconstructed – as if repeating a fraud again would turn it into the truth.
The French Societé des Journalistes and SNJ de France Television called on their members to attend the trial to show their support for Enderlin, who had little to say for himself. And the avocat général – an independent figure in the French legal system – reminded the judges that the truth of what happened at Netzarim Junction was not the issue – only Karsenty’s good faith in slamming Enderlin.
The trial took place the same week Jeffrey Goldberg quoted US President Barack Obama as saying that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu does not serve Israel’s best interests because he has caused Israel’s growing international isolation. The president’s remark assumes that the world is an impartial observer ready to give Israel a fair hearing.
Sadly, however, the manner in which the French elites – media, political, and judicial – have treated a lethal blood libel against Jews and the Jewish state suggests that the world is not much concerned with truth or justice when it comes to Israel.
The writer is director of Jewish Media Resources, has written a regular column in The Jerusalem Post Magazine since 1997, and is the author of eight biographies of modern Jewish leaders.
All rights reserved © 1995 - 2013 The Jerusalem Post.
[Note: The Big Lie is so easy to believe that its subsequent refutation is usually ignored. Read on!]
Another Tack: Bad Jews = Good story
By SARAH HONIG
Israel is presumed guilty even when proven innocent -- even when exculpated by an ultra-hostile body like UNHRC.
(Jerusalem Post, March 21, 2013) It was a PR windfall for Hamas when 11-months-old-Omar Misharawi was killed by a rocket that hit his family’s home on November 14, 2012 – at the very outset of Operation Pillar of Defense.
During that confrontation, thousands of Hamas missiles and mortars rained on Israel. The long-range ones reached all the way to Tel Aviv but were still depicted in news reports abroad as crude homemade projectiles with minimal damage potential.
Omar’s misfortune dealt Israel’s image a particularly nasty blow – probably the worst since the bogus Muhammad al-Dura episode. Newspapers the world over featured what became an iconic AP photo of Omar’s weeping father, Jihad, cradling the little corpse, his agonized face turned skywards as he plaintively exclaimed: “"We're only civilians. So why did Israel do this?"
It was a damning question resonated unquestioningly around the globe.
Further fanning the anti-Israel flames was the fact that Misharawi was a video editor employed by the BBC Arabic service in Gaza. This served both to amplify the story and to claim for the father the role of a nonviolent observer, the last person who deserved Israeli punishment.
This powerfully underscored the vileness of Israel’s ostensible latest crime.
Then, months later, UN investigations unexpectedly determined that Omar was “killed by what appeared to be a Palestinian rocket that fell short of Israel.” This is the wording of a report on operation Pillar of Defense commissioned by non-other than notorious Israel-basher Navi Pillay, the UN High Commissioner of Human Rights. She’s the one who had initiated the Goldstone Report on Operation Cast Lead. Goldstone had since backtracked from the wholesale denunciation of Israel for alleged intentional targeting of Gazan civilians. Pillay hasn’t.
Her animus toward Israel is so doctrinaire and so all-consuming that either obfuscation down the line of the UN’s own investigators’ findings or some revision must not be ruled out. Moreover, this report’s designated recipient is non-other than that disreputable repository of antagonism to Israel, UN Human Rights Council, which routinely singles Israel out as its constant and compulsory scapegoat.
It’s not that this latest report is on the whole kinder on Israel than any previous texts inspired by Pillay and addressed to the UNHRC, but by some inexplicable fluke this one’s language appears a tad less hectoring (comparatively speaking). It also doesn’t entirely ignore aggression from Gaza that “continuously violated international humanitarian law by launching indiscriminate attacks on Israel and by attacking civilians.” Additionally, Gazans are faulted for “launching rockets from populated areas, which put the population at grave risk.”
Yet no matter how Pillay and the UNHRC wrestle with their predicament, they cannot deny that their own investigation ruled that a rocket which Gazans fired with premeditated aim at Israeli homes (where, surprise of surprises, babies like Omar also reside) struck the Misharawi home, killing Omar as well as his aunt and uncle.
In other words, Omar was Hamas’s own collateral damage, a casualty of Gazan bloodlust. While not specifically an intended victim, he was nevertheless a very useful victim who was instantly pronounced a shahid (a martyr in the holy war). In no time Omar’s pictures starred on placards of anti-Israel protestors in European streets and on American campuses.
One would therefore assume that when an outfit as noxiously anti-Israel as UNHRC uncharacteristically exonerates Israel, this should command special attention and not be pooh-poohed – certainly not by those who avidly hang onto the UNHRC’s every slander.
But did the tardy retraction of the smear receive anything like the play accorded the initial defamation? Heck no! Not even close. Not even an infinitesimal fraction of the emotional manipulation of last November. The truth merited no notice. Guiltless Jews make no story. Bad Jews make a good story.
BBC Gaza correspondent Jon Donnison showed just how good in the November 24, 2012 BBC broadcast of “From Our Own Correspondent.” Two days later his story also debuted in the BBC News website magazine, under the headline “Gaza baby only knew how to smile.”
“Standing in what is left of his burnt-out home this week, Jihad showed me a photo on his mobile phone,” Donnison recounted. “It was of a cheeky, chunky, round-faced little boy in denim dungarees, chuckling in a pushchair, dark-eyed with a fringe of fine brown hair pushed across his brow.” But, Donnison added without a hint of British understatement, “Also on Jihad's phone is another photo. A hideous tiny corpse. Omar's smiling face virtually burnt off, that fine hair appearing to be melted onto his scalp. Jihad’s sister-in-law Heba was also killed. ‘We still haven't found her head,’ Jihad said. His brother, Ahmad, suffered massive burns and died of his injuries in hospital several days later.”
Donnison didn’t merely commiserate with a workplace colleague. He also went to unmistakable lengths to demolish educated assessments, voiced soon after the incident, that this carnage was Hamas’s handiwork.
Donnison’s unsubstantiated premise was that Hamas mostly fired mortars early on in the fighting. “Mortar fire,” he then conjectured matter-of-factly, “would not cause the fireball that appears to have engulfed Jihad's house.” How could the uninitiated abroad challenge the seeming expert’s verdict?
With equal assurance he also rejected the notion that “the damage to Jihad's home was not consistent with powerful Israeli attacks… The BBC visited other bombsites this week with very similar fire damage, where Israel acknowledged carrying out what it called ‘surgical strikes.’" Again, if the reporter on the scene says so, why would news-consumers doubt him?
There was no doubt whose narrative Donnison was pushing: ”Most likely is that Omar died in the one of the more than 20 bombings across Gaza that the Israeli military says made up its initial wave of attacks.” Donnison needed no investigation and no proficiency in rocket trajectories or warheads. He just knew whom to blame.
But while Gaza-resident foreign correspondents may prove tendentious, owing in part to fear of their highly illiberal hosts, this decidedly is no excuse half-a-world away in America.
Patrick Pexton, until this month The Washington Post’s ombudsman, took the trouble on November 23, 2012 to respond in an op-ed to readers who complained that running Jihad’s photo on page-one was biased because nothing of the sort is ever featured when Israeli civilians are killed.
Pexton resorted to the devil’s arithmetic – there just aren’t enough current Israeli casualties.
He might have heaped praises on Israel for looking after its civilians. He might have noted approvingly that, unlike its enemies, Israel doesn’t position rocket launching pads in residential quarters. He might have mentioned that Hamas fired Fajr 5 missiles from the Misharawis’ Zeitoun neighborhood in Gaza.
Instead, however, Pexton imparted the impression that that the Palestinians, as per the popularized myth, are proverbial Davids struggling against an ogre Israeli Goliath.
He described Gazan rocketing of Israeli towns and villages as “disruptive and traumatic. But let’s be clear: The overwhelming majority of rockets fired from Gaza are like bee stings on the Israeli bear’s behind. These rockets are unguided and erratic, and they carry very small explosive payloads; they generally fall in open areas, causing little damage and fewer injuries.” Boiled down, Pexton’s argument is that Israel deserves less empathy because more Israelis aren’t killed.
Most members of the media overseas willingly subscribe to the theory that a fundamental asymmetry exists in Israel’s favor. This supposed asymmetry is used to downplay the immense firepower directed deliberately against Israeli civilians. At the same time, Israeli guilt for whatever befalls Gazans is presented as self-evident.
It’s never emphasized that the inadvertent injury of civilians – inevitable in combat – is considered disastrous in Israeli eyes. Conversely, when Israeli civilians are murdered by callous design, Gaza celebrates gleefully.
Therein lies all the difference. But who cares? Undeniable alacrity exists to ascribe culpability to Israel. Thus Pexton wrote “That the man [Jihad Misharawi] is Palestinian — not a terrorist but a journalist — and that the bomb was dropped by Israelis, to my mind, is almost beside the point.” Israeli wrongdoing is a given.
This automatic assumption that Israel is blameworthy must more than all else worry us. Against this background, there’s no chance that we could conceivably win the battle for hearts and minds overseas. These hearts and minds had been a priori predisposed against us – be it subtly or blatantly.
There’s an alarming eagerness to find fault with the Jewish state, eagerness that is simply without match in other contexts. In no other conflict – including in conflicts which claim incomparably more innocent lives – is there such a self-righteous, almost ecstatic rush to judgment.
The upshot is that Israel is presumed guilty even when proven innocent – even when exculpated by an ultra-hostile body like UNHRC.
Were the world’s opinion-molders genuine truth-seekers, they’d readily concede that murdering Israeli children is a deliberate Arab goal. They’d also readily concede that the Arab side harbors no misgivings about cynically putting Palestinian children in harm’s way. Gaza’s human shields are valuable when their presence deflects counter-strikes but also if these shields are accidentally hit. It’s a win-win gambit.
Hypercritical news-purveyors need to own up that their heartstrings are never tugged by the indisputably intentional murders of Israeli babies like ten-months-old Shalhevet Pass or three-months-old Hadas Fogel (and way too many others).
Israeli babies whose lives were cut short by Arab rockets, by suicide bombers, by fire-bombers, by rock hurlers, by snipers who coolly pulled the trigger or – close-up and gruesomely personal – by knife-wielding butchers, didn’t inspire tearjerker coverage about their lost smiles or their family’s grief. Their images never dominated the front pages. At most they were described as generic “Israelis” or “settlers” but never as sympathy-stimulating real individuals, with specific ages, names and faces.
If there’s asymmetry in this saga, it’s foremost in the dehumanization of Israeli casualties, even of juvenile ones.
There can be no fair reporting until the media everywhere concedes that displaying bloodied corpses (be they real or fake), especially of tots, constitutes an indispensable tactic in the Arabs’ psychological blitz against Israel.
Reporters and commentators who dismiss the Israeli case out of hand and betray their responsibility to check the facts, all but sign on as active soldiers in the Arab propaganda war – even when they purport to don the mask of solemn neutrality.
All rights reserved © 1995 - 2013 The Jerusalem Post.
[Note: Sometimes the Big Lie is so outrageous that its purveyors find themselves forced to “apologize”. Read on!]
Palestinian nonprofit apologizes for blood libel article
Western-funded Miftah organization posted article that claimed Jews have in the past used Christian blood in Passover rituals
The Times of Israel, April 2, 2013
JTA — A Palestinian nonprofit organization has removed an article from its website that accused Jews of using “the blood of Christians in the Jewish Passover.”
The Miftah organization, founded by Palestinian lawmaker Hanan Ashrawi and funded by European and Western governments, reportedly apologized for publishing the article, after first refusing to apologize and condemning the Jewish bloggers who publicized the article.
The apology was first reported by Adam Kredo at the Washington Free Beacon.
The apology expressed the organization’s “sincerest regret.”
“It has become clear to us after investigating this incident that the article was accidentally and incorrectly published by a junior staff member. The said staffer has been reprimanded and all our staff has been informed as to the disgusting and repulsive phenomena of blood libel or accusation, including its use against Jews. Dr. Hanan Ashrawi, as founder, has nothing to do with the day-to-day management at Miftah and was [in] no way involved in this incident,” the apology issued Monday said.
The original article in Arabic by Nawaf Al Zaru was first exposed by the Elder of Ziyon blog. It criticized President Obama for his tribute to Passover, by holding a seder in the White House.
“Does Obama in fact know the relationship, for example, between ‘Passover’ and ‘Christian blood’..?! Or ‘Passover’ and ‘Jewish blood rituals?!’” read the article posted March 27. “Much of the chatter and gossip about historical Jewish blood rituals in Europe are real and not fake as they claim; the Jews used the blood of Christians in the Jewish Passover.”
Miftah on March 30 defended the publishing of the article in a statement on its website, calling it [i.e., Jewish criticism of the article] a “smear campaign.”
Miftah receives government funding from countries including Switzerland, Sweden, Denmark, the Netherlands, Italy, Austria, Germany, Ireland, and Norway, and from US-funded NGOs that receive government funding, NGO Monitor reported.
© 2013 The Times of Israel, All rights reserved.
[Note: Sometimes one wishes that the Big Lie, although completely ridiculous, would be a little bit True (except for the claim regarding God). Read on!]
MEMRI Special Dispatch |5288|April 29, 2013
Iranian Official: The Jews Use Sorcery Against Iran
An Iranian regime official and a website close to the regime have recently accused the Jews of engaging in sorcery and of employing it against Iran.
Mehdi Taeb, who is close to Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei and heads Khamenei's Ammar Base think tank, said in April 2013 that the Jews are the most powerful sorcerers in the world today, and that they have used their powers to attack Iran – for instance by turning the U.S. into their tool and getting it to impose sanctions on Iran, and also through attempts, albeit failed, to interfere in the 2009 [Iranian Presidential] elections. He added that while Iran has so far withstood their assaults, they have not yet used the full scope of their powers against it.
In March 2013, the Rasanews.ir website, which is associated with the religious seminaries in Qom, posted an article about the status of sorcery and numerology in Jewish mysticism. According to this article, Jews cherish the knowledge of sorcery, pass it down from generation to generation, and believe that it can be used to control mankind, nature and even God's decisions.
The following are excerpts from Taeb's statements and from the article on Rasanews.ir.
Mehdi Taeb, Official Close to Khamenei: 'So Far, [The Jews] Have Not Used The Full [Scope Of] Their Sorcery Against Us'
Speaking on April 20, 2013 to students at a religious seminary in Ahwaz, Mehdi Taeb noted: "The Jews are currently subjecting us to an unprecedented trial. As you read in the Koran, [King] Solomon ruled the world… and God ordered a group of sorcerers to come out against him. The Jews have the greatest powers of sorcery, and they make use of this tool.
"All the measures that have been brought against us originate with the Zionists. The U.S. is a tool in their hands. So far, they have not used the full [scope of] their sorcery against us. Sorcery was the final means to which they resorted during the Ahmadinejad era, but they were defeated. This ability of the Jews was eliminated by Iran. Five years ago they tried to oust [Iranian President Mahmoud] Ahmadinejad [by this means]."
Rasanews.ir, Website Associated With Qom Seminaries: The Jews Believe They Can Use Sorcery To Control God's Decisions
The article on Rasanews.com, published March 7, 2013, stated: "The Jews have always tended to resort to divination, [a practice] that has its roots in astronomy, astrology and sorcery, [which they picked up] when they consorted with various peoples in the course of history. They cherished this [knowledge] like a treasure, generation after generation. In most cases, they base their predictions on the holy book [the Old Testament], especially on the book of Daniel, and they create an ideological climate in which the appreciation of sorcery and the yearning for it increase.
"The [Jewish] people think that ruling over man, nature, and divine traditions can be achieved only by means of sorcery. They believe that it is possible to conquer nature and control the world, and even to control God's decisions, by using sorcery methods…
"Sorcery is known to be a practice of which the divine books [i.e., the Old Testament, the New Testament and the Koran and] and the monotheistic religions disapprove. But Jewish mysticism regards it as a [legitimate] means to uncover the secrets of the holy book [the Old Testament]."
 Rahyab.news.com, April 20, 2013.
 Rasanews.ir, March 7, 2013.
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[Note: It is finally official: The iconic death scene that launched a thousand blood libels against the Jewish State was staged. Read on!]
Muhammad Al-Dura: The boy who was not really killed
By BEN CASPIT
Defense Minister Ya'alon formed a secret investigative committee that concluded Al-Dura had not been hurt and the video showing him shot at by IDF had been staged; findings to be made public in near future.
(Jerusalem Post, May 12, 2013) Does anybody remember Muhammad Al-Dura? He was the 12-year-old boy from Gaza who was allegedly killed by IDF fire during the Second Intifada as he crouched behind his father, Jamal, crying. He became the most potent symbol of the Palestinian struggle. His name can still be heard around the world even to this day.
At first, Israel did not deny that its forces had hit Al-Dura, who had been caught in the crossfire between Palestinian and IDF forces at the Netzarim junction on September 30, 2000. The IDF admitted that it had hit and killed the boy.
Following an investigation, however, the official IDF version changed: the IDF did not actually hit the boy. But it was too late: the narrative had already gone viral.
In the meantime, 13 years have passed, during which various and sundry conspiracy theories have been suggested, including claims that the boy Muhammad Al-Dura was never even injured.
A few days ago, MK Nachman Shai (Labor) met with Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon to give him a copy of his new book, Media War Reaching for Hearts and Minds, which deals with the role of media in current military conflicts, including the Al-Dura affair.
Ya’alon then surprised Shai by saying that an investigation carried out by Israel shows that Al-Dura was never hurt. In other words – he is alive and well.
As I mentioned above, this theory has been circulating on the Internet for a few years already, including in a detailed account on the Israeli Connection TV program I myself prepared.
But this was the first time that an Israeli defense minister was stating this so publicly. Now it’s official. Not only was Muhammad Al-Dura not killed by IDF fire during the incident filmed by France 2 TV channel and watched by people the world over – but he was not even hurt. Today, Al-Dura should be about 25 years old, alive and kicking somewhere (unless he was killed later in a separate incident).
It turns out that Ya'alon had formed a secret special investigative committee for the Al-Dura affair. Without anyone knowing about it, his office had carried out a comprehensive investigation that had lasted several years.
The committee was headed by Brigadier-General (res.) Yossi Kuperwasser, who was the former head of the Research and Analysis Division of the IDF Directorate of Israeli Military Intelligence, and is currently Director General of the Ministry of Strategic Affairs.
The committee comprised numerous specialists from the Technion - Israel Institute of Technology, as well as other academic institutions. The committee also collected information from physicist Nahum Shahaf, who proved, based on the angles and rate of fire, that the scene had been staged. Kuperwasser himself even met with Shahaf a number of times.
I spoke with Kuperwasser this week and he confirmed that the committee’s conclusion was that that Al-Dura had not been hurt at all and that the video clip had indeed been staged. This means that the France 2 TV channel report was erroneous, perhaps even knowingly.
I asked Kuperwasser when the official Israeli findings would to be publicly broadcasted and if anyone knew where the boy was. He replied that the investigation would be ready in the near future, and that most of the work had already been completed.
As to where the boy is – no one knows. Moreover, he’s no longer a boy.
Translated by Hannah Hochner.
All rights reserved © 1995 - 2013 The Jerusalem Post.
[Note: Is Israel using avian agents to spy on Turkey? Read on!]
Turkey releases bird suspected of spying for Israel
26/07/2013 [July 26, 2013]
Authorities free winged suspect after X-ray scans reveal it was not embedded with surveillance equipment.
ISTANBUL - Turkish authorities detained a bird on suspicion it was spying for Israel, but freed it after X-rays showed it was not embedded with surveillance equipment, newspapers said on Friday.
The kestrel aroused suspicion because of a metal ring on its foot carrying the words "24311 Tel Avivunia Israel", prompting residents in the village of Altinayva to hand it over to the local governor.
The bird was put in an X-ray machine at a university hospital to check for microchips or bugging devices, according to the Milliyet newspaper, which carried a front-page image of the radiogram with the title "Israeli agent".
Ties between Turkey and Israel, long military allies, have been tense since May 2010 when Israeli commandoes killed nine Turkish activists aboard the Mavi Marmara, a ship in a Turkish-led convoy seeking to break a naval blockade of the Gaza Strip.
All rights reserved © 1995 - 2013 The Jerusalem Post.
[Note: Again with the avian spies? Read on!]
Hezbollah: We have captured an Israeli 'spy eagle' in Lebanon
By YASSER OKBI, THE POST CORRESPONDENT
Bird allegedly found with receiver implanted on its body and ring around its foot with markings from Tel Aviv University.
(Jerusalem Post, October 16, 2013) An alleged avian Israeli agent has been captured in Lebanon, Hezbollah's Al-Manar TV station reported on Wednesday.
The eagle was captured by amateur hunters in the the town of Ashqout in the Keserwan district of the country, which is north east of Beirut.
The eagle was carrying an implanted receiver and a brass ring was found around its foot with markings in English that connected the suspect to Tel Aviv University, according to the report.
Hezbollah TV broadcast an image of the "alleged spy" saying that a receiver had been located on its body.
"Israel has used spy birds in the past: in Saudi Arabia in 2010, in Turkey in 2012 and in Egypt, in 2013 and all were found to be used as listening devices" Al-Manar reported.
Turkish authorities detained a bird this past summer on suspicion it was spying for Israel, but freed it after X-rays showed it was not embedded with surveillance equipment.
The kestrel aroused suspicion because of a metal ring on its foot carrying the words "24311 Tel Avivunia Israel", prompting residents in the village of Altinayva to hand it over to the local governor.
Reuters contributed to this report.
All rights reserved © 1995 - 2013 The Jerusalem Post.
[Note: Did Israel kill Gaza’s twin lion cubs? Read on!]
Twin lion cubs die in Gaza zoo days after birth
By JPOST.COM STAFF
Hamas-run Bissan zoo supervisor blames Israel for lack of needed supplies to care for celebrated felines, AFP reports.
(Jerusalem Post, November 22, 2013) Two lion cubs born in a zoo in the Gaza Strip died Thursday two days after their birth.
“The lions named Fajr and Sijil died today due to a deterioration of their health at birth,” Shadi Hamad, supervisor of animals at the Hamas-run Bissan park told AFP.
The twin felines, named in reference to the conflict between Hamas and Israel last November, were born Tuesday in the Bissan zoo after their parents had been smuggled into the coastal enclave from Egypt.
According to Hamad, the death of the animals resulted from "a lack of experience and resources for the birth and treatment of cubs".
The report also cited the zoo worker as blaming Israel's blockade of the Strip for the lack of food and medicine needed for such a situation.
“We had tried to contact the relevant authorities in Egypt, but these are blockade conditions,” AFP quoted Hamad as saying.
All rights reserved © 1995 - 2013 The Jerusalem Post.
[Note: Did Israel open the dam gates and flood Gaza? Read on!]
THE TIMES OF ISRAEL
How Hamas used the weather to defame Israel
Islamic government falsely claims Israel flooded Gaza, by opening dams that don’t exist
By Elhanan Miller December 18, 2013, 2:03 pm
Even the weather is fair game in Hamas’s war of words against Israel. A fabricated claim that Israel intentionally flooded the Gaza Strip during the worst storm to hit the region in decades has made headlines in Middle Eastern and international media over the past week.
The Gaza Strip was one of the areas most affected by the storm Alexa. Torrential rain caused widespread flooding, forcing some 40,000 residents to evacuate their homes as rescuers used rowboats to assist stranded civilians. UNRWA, a UN agency tasked with assisting Palestinian refugees, described parts of northern Gaza Strip as a disaster zone.
Rainfall of 260 millimeters (10.23 inches) was documented in the Gaza area between December 11 and 13, comprising a staggering 60 percent of the annual average for the region. According to Israel’s Water Authority, the flow in Shikma River — emanating in the Hebron hills and pouring into the Mediterranean Sea north of the Gaza Strip — broke a 50-year record.
But force majeure would not suffice for Gaza’s Hamas authorities as an explanation for the population’s suffering. Hamas’s Disaster Response Committee chairman Yasser Shanti told journalists on Friday that Israel opened dams just east of the Gaza Strip, causing a flood in the area of Moghraqa near the town of Deir El-Balah.
A variation on that claim was made by Civil Defense spokesman Muhammad Al-Maidana, who told the Palestinian daily Al-Quds that Israel had opened sewage canals east of the Gaza Strip, “exacerbating the crisis and raising the water level, causing homes to be submerged.”
Al-Majd, a Palestinian security-oriented website, went so far as to claim that Israel opened the dams in order to expose Hamas tunnels leading into Israel and impose an unbearable financial burden on Gaza’s government. “For Gaza to drown is an old Zionist dream,” the site wrote in a report.
Israel denied Hamas’s claims out of hand.
“The allegation of [Israel] opening dams and flooding the Gaza Strip is baseless and false,” Uri Schor, a spokesman for Israel’s Water Authority told The Times of Israel in an email correspondence Wednesday. No dams even exist in the area, he added, noting that water reservoirs have overflowed across the country, causing flooding.
“The opposite is true: due to the damage caused by the storm — which affected all neighboring countries and not only the Palestinian Authority — Israel responded to a special appeal conveyed through the UN, transferring four high-power pumps to the Gaza Strip intended to help residents remove water from flooded areas.”
But Hamas’s false reports had already run their course. Articles claiming Israel intentionally flooded Gaza went viral on news channels, blogs, and social media.
Moussa Abu Marzouk, deputy head of Hamas’s political bureau, acknowledged Israel’s assistance to Gaza, claiming that Israel was acting in a contradictory manner with regards to the crisis.
“The Zionists, of course, have taken advantage of the situation, sending some pumps and supplies which they had deprived the besieged Gaza Strip of,” the Hamas official wrote on his Facebook page Sunday.
“Later, the occupation forces opened the Wadi Salqa dams to sink dozens of Palestinian homes in the central region of the Gaza Strip, thereby sending two contradictory messages!”
A spokesman for the Israeli Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories told The Times of Israel in an email reply that rumors of Israel flooding Gaza “repeat themselves every year when Gaza is drenched in rain.”
Schor, the spokesman for Israel’s Water Authority, said it was regrettable that Israel’s “immediate and professional” assistance to the Gaza Strip was not adequately reported by Palestinian media.
“One can assume that the considerations motivating the Palestinian side [on this matter] were political rather than professional,” he wrote.
© 2013 The Times of Israel, All rights reserved.
[Note: Is Israel committing “Water Apartheid” against the “Palestinian” Arabs? Read on!]
By David M. Weinberg
(Israel Hayom, February 13, 2014) European Parliament President Martin Schulz has now admitted that he "had not checked the figures" when in the Knesset yesterday he accused Israel, effectively, of water apartheid against the Palestinians. "A young Palestinian asked me why Israelis can use 70 liters of water and Palestinians only 17. I didn't check the data. I'm asking you if it's right," Schulz now says, only somewhat apologetically.
Prime Minister Netanyahu and Economy Minister Naftali Bennett were right to blast Schulz for such sloppy, reflexive regurgitation of Palestinian propaganda.
Can you imagine the leader of any country haphazardly throwing into their speech in a foreign parliament a statement or accusation that hadn't been checked and verified a dozen times?
Of course not! These speeches are usually carefully prepared and vetted by many bureaucrats, political aides and superior officers. But not when it comes to Palestinian lies about Israel. They can casually be cast into a major, formal speech in the Israeli parliament without caution.
That is a classic example of the bias in EU behavior regarding Israel, and is exactly what Israel abhors about European attitudes these days. All's fair in the Palestinian war against Israel, and Europe is there to lap up Palestinian accusations against Israel, and to churn them out and amplify them without judicious review, reflection or balance.
Schulz and his undoubtedly many European Parliament aides could have known better -- had they wanted to. The Palestinian Authority considers water and waste as weapons against Israel, not as areas of cooperation with Israel. As a result, it wildly wastes water and pollutes Israel with sewage, while stealing water from Israel's wells and pipelines. Then it runs around the world falsely accusing Israel of inequitable and discriminatory water policies.
In an exceptional study published last year by the Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies, one of Israel's top hydrologists, Professor Haim Gvirtzman, shows that large differences in per capita consumption of natural water between Jews and Arabs that existed in 1967 (when the administration of Judea and Samaria moved from Jordan to Israel) have been greatly reduced over the last 40 years. He thoroughly refutes Palestinian accusations of inequitable and discriminatory Israeli water policies.
The Palestinian Authority currently consumes 200 million cubic meters of water every year, with Israel providing more than 50 million cubic meters of this -- which, under the Oslo and Paris accords, is more than Israel is supposed to provide a full-fledged Palestinian state under a final status arrangement!
Nevertheless, the Palestinian Authority claims that it suffers from water shortages in its towns and villages due to the Israeli occupation and it cites international law in support of its claims. These claims grandiosely amount to more than 700 million cubic meters of water per year, including rights over the groundwater reservoir of the Mountain Aquifer, the Gaza Strip Coastal Aquifer and the Jordan River. These inflated demands amount to more than 50 percent of the total natural water available between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River.
But Gvirtzman, of the Institute of Earth Sciences at the Hebrew University (who has for years been part of the Israeli team for water coordination with the PA), demonstrates that the current division of natural fresh water resources between Israel and the Palestinians is fair. Israel's population stands at 7.2 million, five times the actual West Bank Palestinian population of 1.4 million. Proportionately, Israel controls 1,200 million cubic meters of the available natural fresh water, and the PA 220 million cubic meters. In per capita terms, this works out to about 160 metric cubes [i.e., cubic meters] of water per person per annum in both Israel and the PA. As for settler water use, well, Israel sends into the West Bank for Palestinian usage far more water than settler communities use.
Statistics released by the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics and the Palestinian Water Authority for World Water Day last March, according to Gvirtzman, are fabricated. Straight-out lies. In complete contradiction of the PA's concocted data, Gvirtzman shows that every Israeli citizen pays more for his or her water -- in order to subsidize Israel's sale of water to the Palestinians at discount prices! In fact, residents of Ariel and Maaleh Adumim (not to mention Tel Aviv and Haifa) pay twice as much for their water than residents of Nablus and Ramallah pay for their water -- if the latter bother to pay anything at all.
But most of all, Gvirtzman's BESA Center report accuses the PA of doing almost nothing to preventing massive leaking in its domestic pipelines; almost nothing to implement modern water conservation techniques; and nothing to recycle sewage water for irrigation.
In fact, many Palestinian farmers routinely overwater their crops through old-fashioned, wasteful flooding methods. Generally, they don't pay their own water bills, so they don't care to conserve. (The PA uses international donor money to pay for this waste). Moreover, at least one-third of the water being pumped out of the ground by the Palestinians is wasted through leakage and mismanagement -- by the Palestinian Water Authority's own estimates. The PA euphemistically calls this "unaccounted for water."
Worse still, no recycling of water takes place in the Palestinian Authority and no treated water is used for agriculture. By contrast, in Israel about half of all agriculture is sustained by treated waste water. In fact, Israel's use of treated wastewater, its desalination activities, and its measures to reduce water losses in the water system add 800 million cubic meters per year to its water supply, amounting to one third of Israel's total water usage.
At the same time, 95% of the 56 million cubic meters per year of sewage produced by the Palestinians is not treated at all. Palestinian sewage flows untreated into the streams and valleys of the West Bank, and infiltrates into the mountain aquifer, polluting it for Jews and Arabs alike. Some 17 million cubic meters per year of raw Palestinian sewage flows into (pre-1967) Israel too.
Only one sewage plant has been built in the West Bank in the last 15 years, despite there being a $500 million international donor fund available to the Palestinians for this purpose, and despite the fact that Israel has practically begged the PA to build these sewage plants. Only last year did the PA agree to accept World Bank funding for wastewater treatment plants in Hebron and Nablus.
Even when Israel itself builds a sewage pipeline, like the Wadi Kana trunk line to collect waste water from several communities in the Qalqilya district and treat the sewage in Israel, the PA declines to cooperate. It has not connected the 11 Palestinian towns in the area to this new sewage line. "The Palestinians generally refuse to build sewage treatment plants," Gvirtzman says.
The PA also has violated its water agreements with Israel by drilling over 250 unauthorized wells, which draw about 15 million cubic meters a year of water, and by connecting these pirate wells to its electricity grid. Moreover, the PA has illegally and surreptitiously connected itself in many places to the water lines of Israel's Mekorot national water company -- stealing Israel's water.
The Civil Administration points out that the PA has barely begun to tap into the Eastern Aquifer in the West Bank (which was allocated to PA use by accord with Israel), from which it could produce another 60 million cubic meters per year. The Israeli-Palestinian Joint Water Committee has approved the drilling of 70 water wells by the PA for this purpose, yet more than half of the approved wells have not yet been drilled. This would put a grand total of 260 million cubic meters of water per year at the disposal of the PA.
The Palestinians also have rejected on political grounds a proposal which would have created a water desalination plant in Gaza specifically to meet Palestinian needs. The U.S. had set aside $250 million for the project, which again could have yielded a huge increase in the amount of available water for the Palestinians.
"The ugly truth behind all the anti-Israel propaganda is that PA is neither judicious nor neighborly in its water usage and sewage management," says Gvirtzman.
Unfortunately, the international community has allowed the PA to get away with this hostile behavior; allowed the PA to continue its strategy of non-cooperation with Israel; and overlooked the PA's flouting of all logical standards of professional conduct in water and waste management. It also fails to credit Israel for its advancement of the water situation in Judea and Samaria, and Israel's willingness to do more.
And then Mr. Schulz of the European Parliament has the gall to come to the Knesset to criticize Israel for "water discrimination." Such incredible chutzpah!
All rights reserved to Israel Hayom
Fresh water and old assumptions
By JOEL H. GOLOVENSKY
Contrary to what Schulz was advised by his friend in Ramallah, Israeli and Palestinians per capita consume equal volumes of fresh water.
(Jerusalem Post, February 18, 2014) When European Parliament President Martin Schulz manages to check the facts on water allocation on the West Bank, he will find that Israel has more than fulfilled its international obligations under the Oslo Water Agreement of 1995.
In fact, while Israel was required to facilitate a 20 percent increase in the fresh water supplied to the Palestinians, that supply has been increased by 50%. This is the clear finding of the comprehensive analysis released by The Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies of Bar-Ilan University (BESA) back in 2012, researched by the distinguished Hebrew University hydrologist, Prof Haim Gvirtzman. This report, which is readily available for president Schulz to study, is based on previously classified data.
The study reveals many facts that are little known and even less understood. Today, contrary to what President Schulz was advised by his young student friend in Ramallah, Israeli and Palestinians per capita consume equal volumes of fresh water. The study differentiates between fresh water [i.e., lake, river and aquifer water] and artificial, manmade water [i.e., desalinated ocean water and recycled wastewater], focusing on the former, since this is the shared resource to be governed by agreement. Artificially generated water is solely within each authority’s control, sanction and prerogative.
As Professor Gvirtzman documents, since 1967, Israelis have dramatically reduced their per capita annual consumption of fresh water, while the Palestinians have increased theirs. The global trend is for people to consume less fresh water because of increases in population coupled with declining water resources, and this is what, in fact, has happened in Israel.
Thus, in 1967, the per capita annual fresh water consumption by Israelis was 508 cubic meters, but by 2006 had been reduced to 170 cu.m. Over the same period, bucking global trends, the Palestinian usage had increased from 93 cu.m. to 129 cu.m. The Palestinians have increased their consumption of fresh water due to receiving a 50% increase in water allocation, illegally tapping into the Western Aquifer (rather than the Eastern Aquifer), digging illegal wells, and also because of ruinous rates of leakage (over 33 percent, according to the Palestinian Water Authority’s own reports).
The Palestinians have recklessly failed to invest in their water infrastructure (hence the astronomical leakage), have failed to build more than one, solitary recycling plant, even though plants have been approved for all major cities, and even though there is an existing international fund of $500 million waiting and ready to finance these plants. The Palestinians, rather than build the recycling plants, elect to float raw sewerage out of Hebron, Nablus and other major centers, polluting the streams, the groundwater of the Mountain Aquifer, and the countryside.
The Palestinian Authority, in short, has acted irresponsibly. It has done little or nothing to modernize irrigation systems so that its farmers continue to over-water their agricultural crops by using the primitive and wildly wasteful technique of flooding. This, while the Israeli drip-irrigation technology is readily available, inexpensive and proven world-wide to be dramatically effective in reducing fresh water consumption while increasing crop yield.
The Palestinian leadership does not monitor individual water usage, has not built the legal wells authorized under the agreement, performs inadequate if any maintenance, and generally is oblivious of its prerogatives under the 1995 water treaty and its obligations regarding the welfare of its citizens.
The Palestinians claim that they are entitled to 50% of the fresh water between the Jordan and the Mediterranean, and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas is quoted in Monday’s Jerusalem Post as accusing the Israelis of demanding too much water – “12 times as much water as the Palestinians.” But this claim is refuted by the terms of the 1995 Oslo Water Agreement, which preempts all other sources of international law. Nor is Abbas’s claim validated by the new rules of international law which would have governed in the absence of the Oslo agreement and which can guide both sides in the peace negotiations.
I first read the Gvirtzman study a few months ago after I was disturbed to hear allegations similar to those related to Mr. Schulz in Ramallah. It occurred to me that I should study the matter before accepting recurring rumored allegations.
I find the Gvirtzman Bar-Ilan study to be very discouraging because it portrays a Palestinian conceptual framework which a Western-educated mind cannot readily grasp. Why would the Palestinian Authority not build recycling plants, for example, approved by the Israelis under the agreement and paid for by the Europeans? One reads of PA corruption and the fact that hundreds of millions of dollars in aid have been diverted. I recall reading – and this was years ago – that more aid per individual has been granted to the PA than was spent in Europe for the Marshall Plan.
But predilection to corruption would not seem to explain the failure to build at least some of these water recycling plants so vital for the Palestinians’ welfare.
The Arabs, Jordan excepted, have refused to settle the Palestinian refugees or even their third- and fourth-generation descendants, it is claimed, in order to preserve the Palestinian refugee problem, and its asserted “right of return” as an insurmountable obstacle to a final settlement which would recognize Israel. On the assumption that Arabs care about their fellow Arabs and coreligionists, this is a severe and self-inflicted wound on generations of innocent individuals for the sake of a distant ideal. After 65 years, one would expect rational people to reassess the equation of cost and benefit and to reconsider the balance of pain and pleasure.
The sad story of the PA’s water policy and behavior seems to suggest that we cannot seek to understand their behavior through our own cultural prism. One must question whether we understand our interlocutors and what makes them tick.
The author is an attorney in Israel and the US, and is the founding president of the Institute for Zionist Strategies, which seeks to strengthen Israel as the democratic nation-state of the Jewish People.
All rights reserved © 1995 - 2014 The Jerusalem Post.
[Note: Both of the above two articles reveal that the Palestinian Authority has resorted to illegally overexploiting and polluting the Mountain Aquifer, while declining to legally exploit the pristine Eastern Aquifer. The reason for this seemly illogical behavior is obvious. Pursuant to the Oslo Accords, the Mountain Aquifer must be shared with Israel, while the Eastern Aquifer is only for Arab use. That being the case, despite the fact that its conduct is also harming the Arab population, the Palestinian Authority’s overexploitation and pollution of the Mountain Aquifer serves the higher objective of eventually destroying an important fresh water source for the Jewish population. Once that objective has been achieved, the Palestinian Authority will undoubtedly commence exploitation of the Eastern Aquifer for the sole benefit of the Arab population. -- Mark Rosenblit]
[Note: Is Israel training the terrorists of the Islamic State aka ISIS aka ISIL aka Daesh? Read on!]
Fars News Agency Sat Feb 21, 2015
Iraqi MP: Israel's Golani Brigade Training ISIL Commanders in Sinai
TEHRAN (FNA) - Israel's Golani
Infantry Brigade is training the high ranks and commanders of the ISIL
terrorist group in the Sinai for sabotage operations in Egypt, a senior Iraqi
legislator revealed on Saturday.
Wahhab al-Tayee, rapporteur of al-Sadeqoun parliamentary faction in Iraq affiliated to the Asaib Ahl al-Haq group, told FNA that ISIL is nearing complete annihilation in Iraq and Syria, and "it has been transferred to Egypt under the name of Daames (the Islamic State in Egypt and Sudan)".
"The serial killings of Egyptian militaries in the Sinai vindicates the veracity of this claim," he added.
"At present, the ISIL has deployed several brigades in the Sinai, whose commanders have been trained by the Zionist regime's Golani Brigade and are now operating against Egypt," he added.
In relevant remarks in December, Iranian Supreme Leader's senior adviser Ali Akbar Velayati underlined that the ISIL had been created by the West and Israel to pursue their interests in the region.
"ISIL has actually been created by the western colonial powers and the Zionists because whatever this terrorist group does runs counter to Islam and the rules of all Islamic sects," Velayati said.
He said the Israeli regime could use the destruction of Muslim holy sites by ISIL as a justification for the destruction of the Al-Aqsa mosque.
Also in the same month, Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei described the ISIL terrorist group as just a branch of the Takfiri [meaning: apostate] stream which had troubled the region, and said ISIL was serving the US and Israel's interests.
Addressing the political and religious figures participating in the 'International Congress on Takfiri Streams in the Eyes of the Islamic Ulema'in Tehran, Ayatollah Khamenei described the Takfiri stream as a problem imposed by the arrogant powers on the region in line with the US and Israel's interests, and said the Takfiri stream should be considered as a phenomenon beyond the ISIL as the terrorist group is only a branch of the Takfiri stream.
"The Takfiri stream and the
governments which support it completely move in line with the goals of the
arrogant powers, meaning the US, the hegemonic European governments and the
Zionist regime, and are practically at their service under an Islamic disguise,"
Ayatollah Khamenei said diverting the Islamic Awakening was one of the goals pursued by the arrogant powers by supporting the Takfiri streams, and said, "The forefront of Muslims' struggle in the region was focused on the occupied Palestine but the Takfiri stream changed this frontline and moved it into the streets and cities of Iraq, Syria, Pakistan and Libya and this is one of the Takfiri stream's crimes which cannot be forgotten."
He underlined that another instance
for showing that the Takfiri stream was serving the US, Britain and the Zionist
regime was that its supporters didn’t even show a minimum opposition to the
Zionist regime and even collaborated with the regime in fighting the Muslims.
The Supreme Leader described destruction of the Muslim states' infrastructures as another instance of the Takfiri stream's services to the enemies of Islam, and said the stream also took the world attention off the 51-day Israeli war on the Gaza Strip, leaving the Palestinian resistance groups and people alone in their defense against the Zionists' aggression.
He stressed that the so-called US-led anti-ISIL coalition was nothing but alie, and said the US airdrops of military equipment and weapons for the ISIL displays much of the truth.
He also underscored the Muslim Ulema's responsibilities in the current situation, and said they should form a scientific, logical and pervasive campaign to uproot the Takfiri stream.
Fars News Agency. All rights reserved 2015 ©
Israeli footwear conspiracy? UK activist accuses Mossad of stealing shoe
By JPOST.COM STAFF
Social media erupted with uproarious responses to bizarre accusation with hashtags trending on Twitter reading: #MossadStoleMyShoe and #ShoeishConspiracy.
(Jerusalem Post, June 15, 2015) A British Muslim activist made waves on the Internet Sunday after accusing "Zionists" of a conspiracy against Muslims, which involved breaking into his home and stealing one of his shoes while he slept.
Founding member of the Muslim Public Affairs Committee UK, Asghar Bukhari, took to social media ranting about the purported Mossad operation on his unassuming footwear.
As his claim on Facebook made its rounds on the Internet, social media erupted with uproarious responses to Bukhari's bizarre accusation with hashtags trending on Twitter reading: #MossadStoleMyShoe and #ShoeishConspiracy.
In a 15-minute-long video later posted on YouTube, Bukhari spoke in depths of the psychological victimization he believed Israel's intelligence agency had carried out as part of an intimidating campaign against him due to his activity as a "hard-core pro-Palestinian activist [who is] really hard on Zionists."
"Why are you so shocked that a Zionist would try to intimidate or steal something from me? Man, they stole Palestine," he asserted in the possibly half-barefoot web recording.
However, the age-old question still remains surrounding the mysterious disappearance of all those missing sock pairs. Was it the washing machine, or perhaps the Mossad?
All rights reserved © 1995 - 2015 The Jerusalem Post.
'ISIS atrocities based on Talmudic rituals,' says Syrian expert
By JPOST.COM STAFF
According to the expert, the means and style by which the Islamic State doles out violence is different from other groups, and is therefore Israel's fault.
(Jerusalem Post, June 27, 2015) Syrian experts have deduced the source of the Islamic State's savagery - an insidious Israeli influence.
According to Hessam Shoaib, a Syrian analyst who shared his revelations with Iran's semi-official FARS news agency, the means and style by which the Islamic State group doles out violence stands apart from the actions of other groups in the region, and is therefore Israel's fault.
"Israel's presence in [Islamic State's] command center is indicated by the savagery of this terrorist group that is based on Talmudic rituals," Shoaib said.
Shoaib did not provide any particular excerpts from the Talmud to corroborate his point, but FARS did juxtapose their commentator's remarks with the latest of the self-styled caliphate's filmed atrocities, among them the drowning execution of five individuals who were locked in a cage before being lowered into a pool.
In another video, three of the group's captives are locked in a car and later shot with a rocket-propelled grenade.
A third segment features seven men bound together, an explosive device attached to their necks. The video then records the decapitation of the men when the device is detonated.
The Islamic State has featured a host of gruesome deaths as propaganda tools meant to galvanize potential recruits from across the world into joining its cause, yet while some Arab Israelis have left the country to join them, Israel's Talmudic sages have yet to send their pupils to consult the jihadists on their tactics.
Copyright © 2015 Jpost Inc. All rights reserved
Palestinians accuse Israel of harvesting organs of dead attackers
November 5, 2015 7:00am
JERUSALEM (JTA) — The Palestinian Authority’s representative to the United Nations accused Israel of harvesting the organs of Palestinians killed while attacking Israelis.
Israel’s U.N. envoy responded by calling the P.A.’s accusation a “blood libel.”
“A medical examination conducted on bodies of Palestinians returned after they were killed by the occupying power found that they were missing organs,” Riyad Mansour, Palestinian Permanent Observer to the U.N., said in an official complaint to U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon on Wednesday, Ynet reported.
The letter said that the bodies were returned missing corneas and other organs.
Israeli Ambassador to the U.N. Danny Danon, in a response to Ban, wrote in a letter that “the Palestinian representative’s anti-Semitic face has been revealed.”
In 2009, the Swedish daily Aftonbladet sparked an angry reaction from Israeli officials and Jewish leaders with the publication of an unverified account that Israeli troops harvested organs from Palestinians who died in custody. Israel squarely denied the accusation.
In 2014, Time Magazine cited the report in a two-minute video about the Israel Defense Forces on its website. It later retracted the allegation.
© 2015 Jewish Telegraphic Agency All Rights Reserved.
[Note: I wish that this lie were true. Harvesting the organs of dead Arab terrorists to give life to their surviving Jewish victims (and others in need) would not only salvage Good from Evil, but it would also serve to humiliate potential terrorists, thereby disincentivizing them from proceeding with their plans for “martyrdom”. -- Mark Rosenblit]
Palestinian rights activist raises possibility Israel behind Paris attacks
Activist made similar remark following attack earlier this year on French newspaper Charlie Hebdo.
By JPOST.COM STAFF \ 11/14/2015
A co-founder of the Free Gaza movement, Mary Hughes-Thompson, raised the possibility that Israel was behind the deadly attacks that hit Paris on Friday night and killed 120 people.
"I haven't accused Israel of involvement. Still, Bibi [Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu] is upset about the European settlement boycott. So who knows," Hughes-Thompson tweeted following the attacks on Saturday morning.
The "European settlement boycott" the activist mentions, refers to new labeling guidelines for goods produced in the areas captured by Israel in the 1967 Six Day War that the EU approved earlier this week.
Free Gaza says its mission is to "break the Israel’s illegal siege on Gaza’s 1.8 million civilians, since it inflicts collective punishment on the Palestinians who live there and has destroyed its economy."
This is not the first time that Hughes Thompson has questioned if Israel was involved in terrorist activity on French soil.
Following the January  Paris terrorist attack on the Charlie Hebdo newspaper, she similarly hinted at Israeli involvement.
“Hebdo killings indefensible. Can’t help thinking JSIL Mossad false flag though…,” ADL, the American human rights group quoted her as tweeting. ADL explained that JSIL is the acronym for “Jewish State in the Levant,” a term used by anti-Israel activists to equate Israel with ISIS.
Hughes-Thompson's co founder of Free Gaza, Greta Berlin [, a Jew who fled Nazi Germany], explicitly blamed Israel for the Charlie Hebdo attack.
“MOSSAD just hit the Paris offices of Charlie Hebdo in a clumsy false flag designed to damage the accord between Palestine and France…Here’s hoping the French police will be able to tell a well-executed hit by a well-trained Israeli intelligence service and not assume the Muslims would be likely to attack France when France is their friend. Israel did tell France there would be grave consequences if they voted with Palestine. A four year old could see who is responsible for this terrible attack,” Berlin wrote on Facebook ADL reported.
The vote Berlin was referring to was the French parliament vote in December 2014 in which a majority of French lawmakers called on the French government recognize "Palestine."
"Israel stands shoulder to shoulder with French President Francois Hollande and the French people in the common war against terrorism," Netanyahu said following the Friday attacks.
The Prime Minister's Office called for bolstered security at Israel's embassy in Paris along with Jewish institutions.
Copyright © 2015 Jpost Inc. All rights reserved
Palestinian Authority claims Israel planting knives near the bodies of Palestinians
"Israel has become professional in distorting the facts... accusing victims of its crimes that they were carrying knives or by planting a knife next to their bodies," said a PA spokesman.
Jerusalem Post By KHALED ABU TOAMEH \ 11/22/2015
The Palestinian Authority government on Sunday accused Israeli authorities of planting knives near the bodies of Palestinians who are killed during stabbing attacks against Israelis.
In response to the killing of 16-year-old Ashraqat Katnani after she tried to stab Israelis near Nablus, the government said: “Israel is violating all international treaties that provide protection for children. Israel has become professional in distorting the facts to divert attention from its crimes by accusing victims of its crimes that they were carrying knives or by planting a knife next to their bodies.”
The PA government said that Katnani was a “victim of daily crimes and organized terrorism carried out by the occupation.”
However, the girl’s father, Taha, was quoted by Palestinian media outlets as saying that his daughter had planned the attack because she wanted to die as a “martyr.”
He said that his high-school daughter set out to seek “martyrdom.” He added: “I’m proud of her. The father said that Katnani had also asked that her organs be donated after her death.
Citizens and security forces killed Katnani on Sunday, after she had attempted to knife Israelis as they waited by a bus stop and a hitch-hiking post, near the Hawara checkpoint just outside the city of Nablus in the West Bank.
Former Samaria Council head Gershon Mesika, who ran over Katnani with his car, that he "saw someone large running after a young woman. I didn’t think twice, I turned the steering wheel to the right, I pressed my foot onto the gas, and ran her over."
“She fell over and then security forces shot her,” he said.
This incident was one of several which occurred on Sunday. In another incident, a Palestinian tried to ram a taxi into Israelis at a West Bank junction near Jericho and then got out with a knife in his hand to stab them, before an armed Israeli at the scene shot him dead, police said.
In the latest incident, police said a Palestinian stabbed and seriously wounded an Israeli woman at a junction near a West Bank settlement bloc. A military spokesman said the assailant was shot and killed.
Ofir Gendelman, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Arabic-language spokesman responded to the charges on Twitter.
“The PA says the girl who carried out a stabbing attack today was innocent but her dad says: She wanted to stab Israelis, I’m proud of her. Father of the 16 y/o Palestinian girl who went on a stabbing attack today: She wanted to stab, asked me about the best knives in the house.”
Tovah Lazaroff and Reuters contributed to this report.
Copyright © 2015 Jpost Inc. All rights reserved
Israeli 'spy vulture' captured in south Lebanon
Lebanese media reported that the incident did not mark the first time that Israeli 'spy vultures' have infiltrated Lebanon.
By JPOST.COM STAFF \ 01/26/2016
Citizens from the town of Bint Jbeil in south Lebanon were surprised to discover on Tuesday morning a vulture carrying what they claimed was Israeli spy equipment, Lebanese media reported.
According to the reports, the vulture, which arrived in Lebanon from Tel Aviv, according to a tag on its leg band, was immediately captured in order to prevent it from attacking Bint Jbeil's citizens.
After the town's security staff assured that the vulture was not carrying any dangerous equipment, they released it.
Lebanese media reported that the incident did not mark the first time that Israeli 'spy vultures' have infiltrated Lebanon. Three months ago, a similar "Israeli vulture" was captured in the village of Kfar Kila, also in south Lebanon.
Israel's neighbors have previously accused the Jewish state of employing the use of spy animals on multiple occasions.
In fact, veteran ornithologist Prof. Yossi Leshem said after the capture of an eagle accused of spying for Israel in 2013, he feared that the increasing phenomenon of capturing such "spy” animals was harming the country’s wildlife preservation.
Copyright © 2016 Jpost Inc. All rights reserved
[Note: In the below article, Danny Danon, Israel’s Ambassador to the United Nations, reminds us that the Big Lie has very specific purpose, which is to demonize the Jewish people and thereby provide a “moral” justification (accepted by both domestic and foreign audiences) for massacring Jews -- whether they be young or old, or male or female. Read on!]
Applause can kill
By Dannon Danon
(Israel Hayom, July 4, 2016)
The story of the horrific murder of [13-year-old] Hallel Ariel last Thursday did not begin when the Palestinian terrorist entered her home in Kiryat Arba, or even earlier when he decided to set out on his ghastly mission.
Rather, it began a week before the attack, far from Israel, when Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas delivered an address full of anti-Semitic incitement to the European Parliament in Brussels.
In his speech to hundreds of EU [European Union] lawmakers, Abbas claimed Israeli rabbis had demanded that the government poison Palestinian drinking water. And instead of walking out of the hall and immediately condemning Abbas, EU lawmakers, who are supposed to represent democracy and moral values, enthusiastically applauded the PA leader.
At that moment, the world saw Abbas' deliberate and unrestrained incitement. But instead of repudiating this anti-Jewish blood libel, the world gave Abbas its seal of approval.
We Israelis were outraged by Abbas' statements. "How could he say that? How could he lie to the European Parliament? This is blood libel," Israelis said. Our disgust with Abbas is completely legitimate.
However, the main issue here is not what Abbas said (the extent of PA incitement against Israel has been known for years), but rather the applause he received from EU lawmakers.
Incitement has seeped into the minds of young Palestinians and incitement is what caused a 17-year-old Palestinian boy to turn into a monstrous beast and murder a 13-year-old Israeli girl in her sleep. Incitement is what terrorists use to justify their sick actions. In their minds, it is fine to slaughter a young girl because "rabbis want to poison our wells." There is, however, a step between believing in a twisted ideology and committing a terrorist act based on that ideology. But it becomes easier for a young Palestinian to take that step when he or she gets ideological affirmation from EU lawmakers. The line of thinking is: "If they cheer for Abbas, they will definitely cheer for me too."
Unfortunately, in today's complex world, applause can kill. As I was writing these very lines on Friday, I read the news of another tragedy. "Israeli man murdered in front of his family, three family members wounded" was the headline.
These vile killings are not part of human nature. Rather, they are the product of longstanding Palestinian incitement. The terrorists are fueled by the pure hatred propagated by Palestinian leaders. Just a week ago, a senior Abbas adviser said, "Wherever you find an Israeli, slit his throat." Only a few days later, we saw that order carried out.
We must not give up. We will defeat terrorism. We will win because we believe in life. We will continue to deepen the bond between the people of Israel and the Land of Israel. We will continue to build our country, based on our morals and our value for life. We will continue to fight Palestinian terrorism and work to cut the roots of PA incitement -- for the purpose of halting the assembly line of human monsters who live an eight-minute walk from the homes of Israeli citizens.
We will carry on and we will be victorious.
Danny Danon is Israel's ambassador to the United Nations.
All rights reserved to Israel Hayom
[Are Jews harvesting Gentile organs? Read on!]
German University's course claims Israel harvests Palestinian organs
By BENJAMIN WEINTHAL
Academic material reportedly says Israel commits genocide.
(Jerusalem Post, July 24, 2016) BERLIN - An academic seminar at a German university claims Israel’s military harvests organs from Palestinians and the Jewish state is responsible for a genocide.
“Our sons were robbed of their organs,” was the title of a part of the seminar’s course material, Rebecca Seidler, an academic who blew the whistle on the anti-Israel material, told the weekly German-Jewish newspaper Jüdische Allgemeine Zeitung in a Thursday article.
The paper reported that the University of Applied Sciences and Arts (HAWK) offers a course on “The Social Situation of Youths in Palestine,” which contains the allegedly anti-Semitic material.
After reviewing the content of the course, Seidler, who was slated to conduct the seminar, complained to the university’s management. The Dean of the faculty of Social Work and Health, Christa Paulini, dismissed Seidler’s criticism in a telephone conversation as being overly-sensitive.
Seidler told the JAZ that material showed “a picture of a genocide on the Palestinians, an ethnic cleansing as well as a complete disenfranchisement of Palestinians by Israel.”
The seminar syllabus also covered the “victims of torture in Israeli prisons,” said Seidler. The JAZ wrote the seminar conveyed “anti-Semitic stereotypes.”
Jerusalem Post press queries to the HAWK media department on Sunday were not immediately returned. The HAWK instructor Ibtissam Köhler prepared the seminar material, which also contained an anti-Israel essay from a right-wing extremist magazine titled “Compact.”
The seminar was slated for the semester 2015/2016. It is unclear how long the HAWK has conducted anti-Israel seminars.
The HAWK is located in Hildesheim, a small city in the state of Lower Saxony, Germany, with a population of nearly 100,000.
HAWK’s president Christiane Dienel told the German wire service DPA on Friday that an ethics commission examined the seminar and it in “no way propagates anti-Semitic or anti-Israel content.”
The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) in New York City, an organization that combats anti-Semitism, termed the allegation of harvesting organs to be a “new Blood Libel.”
The ADL wrote on its website: ”The allegation that Jews murder non-Jews to use their blood for ritual or medicinal purposes dates back to the Middle Ages and has spawned many variants over time. “
In 2010, the ADL said” The false and malicious report in a Swedish newspaper that Israeli soldiers abducted and killed Palestinians, including children, to harvest their organs has mushroomed into a global conspiracy theory. Within months, the story has generated several conspiracy theories about various Jewish plots to harvest organs from victims around the globe, including from kidnapped Algerian and Ukrainian children and from Haitians pulled from the rubble of the earthquake that devastated their nation.”
[Are Jews murdering Gentile children and using their blood to make holiday pastries? Read on!]
Former Hamas official: Jews use blood of non-Jews to prepare Purim pastry
By JULIANE HELMHOLD
"Because of this, the European people loathed the presence of the Jews in their countries and longed for them to leave."
(Jerusalem Post, March 2, 2018) A former Hamas official, Mustafa al-Lidawi, accused Jews of using the blood of non-Jews to prepare pastries for Purim on Tuesday, the day before the Jewish holiday.
In an article that was published in the independent Palestinian Ma'an News Agency, al-Lidawi said that "[Purim] is the same holiday that the people of Europe hated and detested [and because of it] wished that the Jews would leave their countries so they could be saved from their wickedness.
"This is because the Jews who lived in Europe would always bake a large pastry on the occasion of the holiday, and everyone would eat it. However, this pastry was mixed with the blood of a victim they chose from among those who were not Jews. Most of the time the victim was a little boy," he continued.
"Because of this, the European peoples loathed the presence of the Jews in their countries and longed for them to leave. For they were the reason for every despicable deed, the mechanism for the commission of every crime, and the source of all social and economic corruption," the article, translated by the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI), asserted.
Drawing parallels between the author's version of history and the modern Palestinian struggle, he emphasized that "This Jewish mentality and this ancient nature [of the Jews] have not changed. For they fashioned their joy from the blood of others, hold their celebrations at the expense of the sighs and groans of the victims who they tortured, and base their happiness on the sorrow of others.
"They don't mind robbing happiness from its owners and erasing the smile from the faces of the women and children whom they deprive of the sacred right to live, and whom they rob of their opportunity to rejoice, to be happy, and to live."
Al-Lidawi is well-known for his blatantly antisemitic views. Five years ago, he published a similar article concerning Passover in which he claimed the Passover matzah was customarily prepared with the blood of a Christian child.
"The Jewish Passover has always been accompanied by suffering and pain… When the Jews began celebrating their holidays, blood would begin to flow [...] For the Jews always made sure to hunt down a pure and innocent Christian child, who had not tasted wine and whose blood had never been contaminated with impurity. They would take him to the altar in their temple, where they would stab him with knives [...] Then they would mix the blood into some dough [and bake a matza] cake."
Al-Lidawi's article came as a response to the routine four-day closure of the West Bank and Gaza which went into effect on Tuesday morning, as has become customary prior to all major Jewish holidays.
"The Palestinians hate and fear the Jewish holidays... They feel that these holidays are revenge against them, or a hex they have been cursed with. For the Jews are happy then, celebrating and preparing decorations and rituals, but the Palestinians are tortured during these times to the same extent. They are under siege, they are hampered, there is a total closure in the areas [where they live]," he stressed.
The routine closures of the Palestinian areas are enacted by the IDF in order to counter an uptick in tensions and violence, often occurring during the holidays; however, they also negatively affect tens of thousands of Palestinians who work legally inside Israel on a daily basis.
Copyright © 2018 Jpost Inc. All rights reserved
As to commentary and clarifying comments in brackets [ ] only: © Mark Rosenblit