Friday, August 28, 2015

An op-ed whose agenda, without essential context, leaves readers ill-informed

...Israel—similar to most other countries—has laws and procedures that stipulate points of entry. Unless individuals are approved in advance and special permission granted, entry to Israel for those classified as Palestinian Arabs is through the Allenby Bridge border crossing. That two men with unmentioned histories of anti-Israel advocacy attempted to subvert long-standing, well-publicized procedures and cross into Israel illegally instead of by the Allenby Bridge crossing—as thousands of others have done—seems to indicate a purposeful attempt to create an anti-Israel narrative.

Sean Durns..
CAMERA Snapshots..
27 August '15..

(The CAMERA Op-Ed below was posted on The Hill newspaper's Congress Blog on Aug. 27, 2015 in response to an omission-laden commentary by Arab-American Institute head James Zogby. Zogby alleged a pattern of discrimination by Israeli immigration authorities against Arab Americans. The Hill serves members of Congress, staff, policy analysts, lobbyists and others.)

James Zobgy’s recent commentary “US passports scoffed at by Israel; US stands by” (Aug. 24) misleads readers through omissions. Zogby, the founder and President of the Arab-American Institute, falsely asserts that “in the past year Israel has continued…their practice of discriminating against persons of Arab descent” and cites the stories of what he implies to be two disinterested parties to advance this allegation.

The author cites two specific individuals who he claims were detained, interrogated and denied entry into Israel at Ben Gurion International airport—and relies exclusively on their accounts to allege mistreatment. Zogby identifies the two men, George Khoury and Habib Joudeh as simply “American citizens of Palestinian descent.”

Yet, Joudeh, identified only as a “pharmacist” by Zogyby, has been the vice president of the Arab American Association of New York since 1994. The director of that association, Linda Sarsour, has falsely accused Israel of ethnic cleansing and has dismissed reports of attacks by terror group al-Qaeda as conspiracy theories.

George Khoury—identified only as a “professor” and “deacon at his church”—is an anti-Israel activist who has previously alleged that as a nation, the Jewish state commits crimes “daily.” By failing to disclose the background, biases and associations of the two men, but uncritically recounting their unsubstantiated allegations, the author misleads readers.

Zogby also claims that “because both men were of Palestinian descent, Israel would not honor their U.S. passports or recognize the men as American citizens. Both were told they had to acquire Palestinian IDs and then, as Palestinians enter the West Bank.” However, for identifying the men as Palestinian Arabs and not as American citizens, it’s not Israel that Zogby should be faulting. It’s the Palestinian Authority.

According to Article 5 of the Palestinian National Charter those who were born in what is today land governed by the Palestinian Authority—as both Joudeh and Khoury were—are Palestinian. Apparently Israeli officials were following a definition made by the Palestinian National Charter. Unless Zogby is advocating that American officials should nullify Palestinian laws, rules for entry for those defined as Palestinian are well-known and publicly available.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

The New York Times’ Islamic Jihad Social Media Activist

...So unlike Hamas, Islamic Jihad has no ‘political wing,’ ‘social wing’ or anything other than a ‘military wing.’ A member of Islamic Jihad has no reason to be a member other than to promote terrorism and the murder of Israelis. This then is Mohammad Allan’s entire reason for being and something that the New York Times fails to enunciate.

Simon Plosker..
Honest Reporting..
27 August '15..

The New York Times has profiled Mohammad Allan, the Palestinian who recently made headlines with his two-month hunger strike. Throughout the article, Allan, a member of the Islamic Jihad terrorist organization, is the subject of quotes and anecdotes from admiring friends and family.

When confronted with rival Palestinian gunmen looking to take his home, Allan is “defiant.” And according to the New York Times:

During that standoff 10 years ago, Mr. Allan showed some of the fortitude he would demonstrate this summer when he nearly starved himself to death during a two-month hunger strike to protest his incarceration by the Israeli authorities without charges.

Later we hear that Allan was “energized by the fight against Israel during the second Palestinian intifada.”

Defiant. Energized. Fortitude.

These are all very positive adjectives to describe a member of Islamic Jihad. And while it is mentioned that Allan “was first jailed by Israel in 2006 for trying to recruit a suicide bomber to carry out an attack in Israel,” we are left with the impression that this is really a distraction from Allan’s true character as a man with radical thoughts, which he could never possibly take any further.

After all, as the article says:

Mr. Allan’s father said his son had on social media supported the Islamic State, as defenders of oppressed Sunni Muslims, but it never went beyond online missives. Mr. Allan claimed to support the brutal militant group, also known as ISIS or ISIL, only to be provocative, Mr. Hussein said.

Only “to be provocative?” In most Western countries, supporting Islamic State on social media is more than enough to warrant being detained by the security services. And, unlike the New York Times, which refers to the Islamic Jihad organization as a “militant group,” let’s remember what Islamic Jihad is:

Surprise! "Palestinians are literally dying of thirst" latest anti-Israel slander

...Don't they know, as they swim in their Olympic-sized pools, that their fellow Palestinians are literally dying of thirst only a few miles away????

Elder of Ziyon..
26 August '15..

This article was originally published in June in "Foreign Policy in Focus" but has recently been republished in other places, including The Ecologist:

Literally dying of thirst? Funny, I have not heard about a single Palestinian Arab dying of thirst! I must have missed all the articles.

But when I searched for them, I found some interesting photos of how scarce water is in the West Bank:

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Updates throughout the day at If you enjoy "Love of the Land", please be a subscriber. Just put your email address in the "Subscribe" box on the upper right-hand corner of the page.Twitter updates at LoveoftheLand as well as our Love of the Land page at Facebook which has additional pieces of interest besides that which is posted on the blog. Also check-out This Ongoing War by Frimet and Arnold Roth. An excellent blog, very important work as well as a big vote to follow our good friend Kay Wilson on Twitter

Actually, funding can be easily found for artists who want to inflict damage on the state

...Having said that, I would like to point out that "equal" state funding for everyone leads to inequality. On the one hand, as Garbuz said -- artists who want to inflict damage on the state can easily find funding from "other countries" (I am not saying the B'Tselem film inflicts damage on the state, as I have yet to watch it). On the other hand, artists who want to create an apolitical film will not be able to make inroads on the world stage, even if their work does not praise the "occupation" or, God forbid, the State of Israel (as Roy Zafrani knows all too well).

Prof. Asher Maoz..
Israel Hayom..
27 August '15..

The B'Tselem human rights organization will host a special event at the Tel Aviv Cinematheque on Thursday, titled "Gaza: An Inside Look." According to organizers, the event will include "footage documenting fierce fighting, as seen through the eyes Gazans." B'Tselem's Facebook page notes that the footage is based on "video journals that were created by young men and women after Operation Cast Lead [in 2008-2009] and curated by B'Tselem."

Right-wing activists have appealed to the Culture and Sports Ministry to have the event canceled or moved to a venue that is not publicly funded. Culture and Sport Minister Miri Regev will obviously not be able to grant their request, but Cinematheque Director Alon Garbuz wasted no time criticizing her. "We will manage just fine even without the money," he said. "As I always say, 'If the state doesn't want to give us money, there are other countries that would.'"

Garbuz knows what he is talking about when he speaks of "other countries." The foreign funding he is referring to is very much on display at B'Tselem. To determine the scope of this funding, all you have to do is contact the organization's top officials.

Roy Zafrani is a veteran filmmaker. He directed the film "The Other Dreamers," which chronicles the lives of disabled children in Israel. It has won accolades from viewers, who said it was both touching and subtle. When Zafrani sought to have this film compete at the Human Rights Human Wrongs Film Festival in Oslo, organizers rejected his request.

"I'm sorry but we can't show this film. We support the academic and cultural boycott of Israel so unless the films are about the illegal occupation, or deals [sic] with the occupation or the blockade of Gaza, or otherwise about the discrimination of Palestinians, we can't show them," Ketil Magnussen, who is the founder of the festival’s parent organization, wrote him. "I'm sorry. Please let me know if you have documentary films that are dealing directly with the occupation, the you would want us to consider," Magnussen added.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Defiance, activism, jihad and NY Times journalism

...What she and her editors have created can only be called a hagiography, beatifying a quiet-spoken hero who... thirsts, hungers, to kill people.

Click for the background to this 2013 CAMERA campaign. 
The girl in the poster is our murdered daughter, Malki
Arnold/Frimet Roth..
This Ongoing War..
26 August '15..

An article by Diaa Hadid in yesterday's New York Times, a classic exemplification of lethal journalism, reminds us of the extraordinary amorality the paper's editors have demonstrated when dealing with the ideology-driven murderers of Jews and Israelis.

It's a piece about a Palestinian Islamic Jihad terrorist (rooted in a defiant past, she writes) who is at the center of an article we posted here on Friday ["21-Aug-15: Hungering, thirsting, just dying for fresh victims"] and another two days later ["23-Aug-15: Do they understand the price of freeing the hunger-striking terrorists?"].

Hadid repeatedly invokes his quiet, his defiance, his activism. But never his blood-lust or doctrinal hatred of Jews.

She devotes precisely zero words to an explanation of Palestinian Islamic Jihad and its goals ("destruction of Israel through violent means", according to the Council on Foreign Relations) and its status as a client of the Islamist regime in Iran. These are at the very heart of understanding how a man ends up being and doing what he is and does. But it goes unmentioned, unanalyzed.

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Updates throughout the day at If you enjoy "Love of the Land", please be a subscriber. Just put your email address in the "Subscribe" box on the upper right-hand corner of the page.Twitter updates at LoveoftheLand as well as our Love of the Land page at Facebook which has additional pieces of interest besides that which is posted on the blog. Also check-out This Ongoing War by Frimet and Arnold Roth. An excellent blog, very important work as well as a big vote to follow our good friend Kay Wilson on Twitter

Egyptian Ire and the Hamas "Cockroaches"

...The incident also proves that Hamas does not hesitate to take advantage of Cairo's humanitarian gestures to smuggle its men out of the Gaza Strip. Obviously, the four Hamas men were not on their way to receive medical treatment or pursue their studies in Egypt or any other country. That they are members of Ezaddin al-Qassam speaks for itself. Instead of dispatching its fighters to Iran and Turkey, Hamas should have allowed medical patients and university students to leave the Gaza Strip. But Hamas does not care about the well-being of the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip. Rather, it cares about sending its men to Iran and Turkey to receive military and security training. This practice by Hamas is something that the Egyptian authorities have come to understand, which is why they are refusing to reopen the Rafah border crossing between Gaza and Egypt. The question now is whether the international community will understand Hamas's true intentions and plans -- namely to prepare for another war against Israel.

Khaled Abu Toameh..
Gatestone Institute..
26 August '15..

Egypt's President Abdel Fatah Sisi has once again proven that he and his country will not tolerate any threats from Hamas or other Palestinians.

The crisis that erupted between Sisi's regime and Hamas after the removal from power of Muslim Brotherhood President Mohamed Morsi two years ago, reached it peak in the past few days with the kidnapping of four Hamas operatives in Sinai.

The four men were snatched from a bus shortly after crossing from the Gaza Strip into Egyptian territory on August 19. Reports said that unidentified gunmen stopped the bus and kidnapped the four Hamas men, who are wanted by Egypt for their involvement in terrorism.

Although initial reports suggested that the kidnappers belonged to a salafi-jihadi group based in Sinai, some Hamas officials have accused Egyptian security forces of being behind the abduction. The Hamas officials even issued veiled threats against Sisi and the Egyptian authorities, and said that they held them fully responsible for the safety of the Hamas men.

A statement issued by Hamas warned the Egyptian authorities against harming the four men. "These men were the victims of deception and their only fault is that they are from the Gaza Strip," the statement said. "This incident shows that the criminals are not afraid to target our people."

Hamas leader Musa Abu Marzouk said that his movement holds the Egyptian authorities fully responsible for any harm caused to the abductees. He said that the kidnapping raises many questions and its circumstances remain unclear.

Hamas claims that salafi-jihadi groups in Sinai have informed its representatives that they did not kidnap the four men. According to Hamas officials, the abduction took place near the border with the Gaza Strip -- an area where the Egyptian army maintains a large presence.

Sources in the Gaza Strip, however, have confirmed that the four men belong to Hamas's armed wing, Ezaddin al-Qassam. The sources said that the men were apparently on their way to Iran for military training. The sources pointed out that the four had received permission from the Egyptian authorities to leave the Gaza Strip through the Rafah border crossing. The visas, however, are supposedly for civilians, not for Hamas operatives.

Hamas's threats against Egypt have, meanwhile, enraged the Egyptian authorities as well as some top journalists in Cairo.

Perhaps Half the News That’s Fit to Print?

...How have Rudoren and her colleagues treated the news that reveals her previous depiction of Netanyahu was a fraud? Let’s put it this way: When it comes to certain stories, only half the news is fit to print at The New York Times. That is, the half that smears a political leader whom the Times dislikes. The other half — the news that exonerates a victim of the Times‘s wrath — is nowhere to be found.

Benyamin Korn..
The Algemeiner..
25 August '15..

When Benjamin Netanyahu’s opponents accused him of excessive personal spending earlier this year, it was headline news in The New York Times. Guess how much space the Times allotted to the recent news that the Israeli prime minister’s spending has reached a five-year low.

When Netanyahu was under fire for supposedly lavish spending by the staff of the prime minister’s official residence, the NYT‘s Jerusalem bureau chief, Jodi Rudoren, could barely contain her delight at the opportunity to tarnish Netanyahu’s image.

The fact that the “story” broke at the height of Israel’s election campaign probably filled Rudoren with hope that she might be able to contribute to the downfall of a prime minister whose policies she obviously despises, despite her claim to be an objective journalist.

Rudoren’s extensive February 17 dispatch on the subject was nearly 1,000 words long, ranging over 16 paragraphs. She detailed such outrages as the suspicion that the Netanyahus had spent too much money on ice cream. Rudoren even sarcastically noted the favorite ice cream flavors of the prime minister and his wife.

To maintain the pretense of journalistic balance, Rudoren gave Netanyahu’s Likud Party a chance to have a say — with a grand total of two and a half sentences to respond to the litany of accusations.

Rudoren then proceeded to present anti-Netanyahu quotes from a professor, a newspaper columnist, the leaders of three different left-wing political parties and a political consultant (whose views merited two entire paragraphs).

For some reason, the editors at the Times saw nothing unbalanced about Rudoren’s selection of people to quote. When it comes to Netanyahu, five against and one in favor apparently strikes the Times as a perfectly reasonable ratio. It is, after all, the news organization that hired Jodi Rudoren in the first place.

Like to Guess Why Gaza Isn't Being Rebuilt?

...The problems of Gaza will only be solved when it is run by leaders that value the lives and the property of their people as much as the Israelis do. With Iran looking to invest some of the vast wealth that will come to it under the nuclear deal in aiding Hamas, there is little doubt there will be more bunkers and tunnels built in Gaza but few homes. Instead of blaming Israel for what is happening in lands they’ve already given up in the hope of peace, it’s time for the international community to focus on the real problem. When they are no longer under the thumb of a group that is obsessed with an ideology of hate that prompts them to fight for Israel’s destruction, the Palestinians will rebuild Gaza and there will be no more danger of another war.

Jonathan S. Tobin..
Commentary Magazine..
25 August '15..

It’s been a year since the last summer’s war in Gaza ended and those who lost their homes during the fighting are still waiting for them to be rebuilt? To listen to Palestinian propagandists, this is the fault of Israel. That’s the conceit of an op-ed published Monday in the New York Times by author Mohammed Omer. According to Omer, Gaza is a “Gulag on the Mediterranean” still suffering under Israel “occupation” even though the Jewish state withdrew every last soldier, settler and settlement ten years ago. All the strip’s problems can, he writes, be attributed to an Israeli siege that imprisons and stifles the Palestinians living there. But, oddly enough, a slightly more realistic evaluation of their problems was to be found in a news article published by the Times the day before. The reason why not a single one of the 18,000 homes destroyed or damaged in the war has not been made habitable isn’t because the Israelis are preventing it from happening.

Even Hamas government officials concede that the Israelis haven’t stopped the shipment of cement and other building materials designated for civilian reconstruction from entering Gaza. Some of the problem lies in a cumbersome process needed to approve such shipments. The failure of international donors, especially from the Arab world, to make good on their pledges to help Gaza is also huge. But the main problem is that although homes aren’t being rebuilt, there is a lot of construction going on in Gaza. Unfortunately, the work is concentrated on the building of terror tunnels and other military infrastructure that will enable Hamas to launch another war on Israel if it suits their political needs or the whims of their Iranian allies.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Welcome to UN-istan: occupation above and beyond morals and ethics

...During the Jordanian occupation, and following that Israel’s return of Jews to their lands, and after the PA was granted full administrative responsibilities under the Oslo Accords, it turns out that little industry has been created in “Palestine”; the UN-funded and UN-run education programme is a case study in mass indoctrination in hatred, racism and violence; the economy is kept alive by the UN thanks to the fact that the UN employs 25,000 locals to maintain the permanent refugee status of the local population; the UN provides the funding and training for the PA’s almost two dozen different internal and external security agencies; the UN runs many of the medical services and, if the PA’s own claims and that of the UN are to be believed, then even issues as basic as food, water supply and nutrition would be non-existent without the UN.

Ilya Meyer..
Times of Israel..
21 August '15..

It turns out “Palestine” is occupied after all. By the UN.

Half the world, consisting of authoritarian Islamist theocracies, non-democratic dictatorships and brutal military regimes, would have you believe that something called “Palestine” is occupied. It is apparently occupied by the Jewish state of Israel. According to these people, “Palestine” is occupied – and this includes the ethnically cleansed, judenrein, Gaza Strip where not a single Jew, dead or alive, remains.

The other half of the world – consisting of people who believe in the quaint notions of democracy, free speech, religious freedom, gender equality and human rights – believes that “Palestine”, that is to say the two Jewish provinces of Judea and Samaria, are at best disputed territories.

Disputed not least because the only rationale behind Arab demands for this territory is that Arab Jordan successfully managed to ethnically cleanse all Jews from this territory between 1948 and 1967, when Israel retook the territory and once again made it possible for Jews to return to their homes.

The Arab position – and that of their leftist, communist and anarchist collaborators in the West – is that because the Jordanian expulsion of Jews and the subsequent ethnic cleansing of Jews from Judea and Samaria was successful for 19 years, the territory now rightfully belongs to the Arabs. This apparently passes for logic in some quarters.

But hold on a minute. What about the occupation?

Which occupation, you ask?

Well, for starters, there was the illegal Jordanian occupation of the disputed territory following the pogroms and mass expulsions of Jews – ethnic cleansing – between 1948 and 1967. That illegal occupation was not recognised by the United Nations (the oh-so-adored and untouchable UN). In fact, the only country that recognised Jordan’s illegal occupation was Islamic Pakistan – itself illegally occupying large swathes of Indian Kashmir. And that occupation continues to this day, although strangely the UN has no presence there and nothing to say on the issue. Of course, no Jews are involved in Kashmir so that may explain the UN’s silence.

BTW, about that UNRWA posting of anti-Semitic cartoons inciting murder of Jews? a time when UNRWA claims to be in crisis, it is shameful that an UNRWA facility featured on a UN video asking for help for victims in Syria would be the same one engaged in incitement to racism, terrorism and murder. All of this follows the April report of your board of inquiry which found that UNRWA effectively turned a blind eye to Hamas rockets and other terrorist weapons being stored in its facilities. The UN cannot demand more and more funding for UNRWA from the U.S. and others while this agency aids, abets and incites to terrorism, murder and anti-Semitism.

Hillel Neuer..
UN Watch..
23 August '15...

His Excellency Mr. Ban Ki-moon
The Secretary-General
The United Nations
New York, NY 10017

23 August 2015

Dear Mr. Secretary-General,

UN Watch is gravely concerned that the UN’s special relief agency for Palestinians, which received some $400 million from the U.S. last year in exchange for its signed promise to refrain from supporting terrorism and to uphold neutrality, is nevertheless disseminating crude, anti-Semitic caricatures on the Internet that incite to the murder of Jews. We respectfully demand that you take action immediately to remove the images, apply accountability to the highest levels of UNRWA, and apologize.

We call your attention to two of the ten first items appearing on the UNRWA Facebook page of the Rameh school, based in the Jaramaneh camp outside Damascus, which are cartoons celebrating Palestinian car attacks against Israeli Jewish civilians.

One of the cartoons posted by UNRWA resorts to classic anti-Semitic imagery, depicting a hook-nosed ultra-Orthodox Jew dressed in black, with a Star of David marked on his black hat:

Another of UNRWA’s images shows cars attacking people, with the caption that translates to “Cars intifada Daes,” using the Ara­bic term “Daes” (Run-over), a play on the Ara­bic word for “Daesh” (ISIS):

In these postings, UNRWA joins the terror-inciting social media campaign that praise the Palestinian car attacks such as the one in Jerusalem on 22 October 2014, which killed 3-month-old baby Chaya Zissel Braun, and 22-year-old Karen Jemima Mosquera of Ecuador, and wounded eight others.

This vile cam­paign prais­es car attacks as a form of “resis­tance,” and incites oth­ers to per­pe­trate sim­i­lar attacks and, as documented by the Anti-Defamation League, fea­tures vio­lent expres­sions of anti-Semitism.

New York Times Flunks Gaza History Course

...Hamas was fully in charge when last year’s Gaza War erupted. Why then not ask Hamas if it could have prevented the war by halting rocket attacks against Israel from Gaza? Would the New York Times, one wonders, run a piece about World War II without mentioning Pearl Harbor? Or without mentioning the German attack on Poland?

Leo Rennert..
Amrican Thinker..
24 August '15..

If you pick up the Aug. 23 edition of the New York Times, you will find on the front page of the foreign-news section a huge color photograph of a devastated Gaza neighborhood atop a lengthy article by correspondents Jodi Rudoren and Majd al Waheidi about last year’s Gaza war and its aftermath.

Start with the caption under the devastation photo, which reads: “Shejalya, a neighborhood of Gaza City, was devastated by Israeli attacks during the conflict last year between Israel and Palestinian militants, and the destroyed home are still uninhabitable.”

Now look at the top headline: “Gaza Is Still in Ruins One Year After War” -- with a subhead that reads “Political Infighting and Lack of Funds Stymie a Reconstruction Mechanism.”

The article runs for 29 paragraphs and spills over to another page with a couple more headlines: “One Year After a 50-Day War, The Gaza Strip is Still in Ruins” and “International donors, fearing new violence, haven’t met pledges.”

The article focuses on the human toll -- with Israel as a chief culprit. A homeowner is trying to rebuild his house -- “one of hundreds flattened by Israeli attacks.”

There’s also a big-picture view across the Gaza Strip where “not a single one of the nearly 18,000 homes destroyed or severely damaged in Gaza is habitable.”

As to why this is so, Rudoren and Waheidi report that rebuilding has been slowed “by Palestinian political infighting, Israel’s involvement in approving projects and participants, and a lack of funds.”

There may be some controversy about how much each of these factors is responsible for Gaza’s continued misery. But with the huge play given to the Rudoren-Waheidi report, there nevertheless still remains a huge causality gap.

What, pray tell, caused last year’s Gaza War? On that point, total silence.