Eretz Israel is our unforgettable historic homeland...The Jews who will it shall achieve their State...And whatever we attempt there for our own benefit will redound mightily and beneficially to the good of all mankind. (Theodor Herzl, DerJudenstaat, 1896)

We offer peace and amity to all the neighbouring states and their peoples, and invite them to cooperate with the independent Jewish nation for the common good of all. The State of Israel is ready to contribute its full share to the peaceful progress and development of the Middle East.
(From Proclamation of the State of Israel, 5 Iyar 5708; 14 May 1948)

With a liberal democratic political system operating under the rule of law, a flourishing market economy producing technological innovation to the benefit of the wider world, and a population as educated and cultured as anywhere in Europe or North America, Israel is a normal Western country with a right to be treated as such in the community of nations.... For the global jihad, Israel may be the first objective. But it will not be the last. (Friends of Israel Initiative)

Wednesday, 30 October 2013

Adelaide BDSers Scrubbing The Uncomfortable Truth (videos)

Here are two recent uploads by the StreetsOfAdelaide channel.

In the City of Churches, BDSers get busy with the scrubbing brush when, in two separate incidents earlier this year, they find subversive messages from a pesky supporter of the Zionist Entity who got there ahead of them chalked on their patches in the Rundle Mall.

In the first video, which, like the second, features well-chosen supplementary footage from elsewhere, BDSers in their familiar green t-shirts discover that their patch bears the chalked label "Danger Propaganda Zone" followed by the very appropriate "Boycott Real Racism":

And in the other a member of AFOPA (Australian Friends of Palestine Association) scrubs out a (conscience-pricking?) message found chalked on the pavement of the Mall:

Tuesday, 29 October 2013

Poisoned Seoul Food
In South Korea Christians comprise about 30 percent of the population. A couple of years ago, in the first event of its kind, thousands of Christians gathered in front of Seoul City Hall to demonstrate their support for Israel.

They vowed  "to consistently pray for the peace of Jerusalem and that Israel's capital will not be divided by others," and asserted that "God entrusted the stewardship of the land of Israel to the Jewish people," adding that they "stand along with Jewish and Palestinian people to pursue true peace".

An Orthodox Jew, David Nekrutman, executive director of the Center for Jewish-Christian Understanding and Cooperation, who had been invited to the event by pastors Joseph and Christian Koo, told the gathering:
"I am truly honored to be invited to this historical event and see first-hand a miracle of God that is transforming the hearts of Christians in Korea to advocate for the State of Israel and its people....People like you and others who have personally touched my life have shown me a world where Christians are indeed our 'Watchmen on the Wall'. The people of Israel appreciate your support. It is the reason why I stand here today in fellowship with you."
Last year the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews (IFCJ) opened an office in South Korea (as well as one in Australia), Chicago-based Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein, the IFCJ's founder and executive director telling the Jerusalem Post:
"Our goal is to deepen Christian bonds with Israel and the Jewish people and allow tangible and meaningful ways for supporters to express their love for Israel.
With offices already in the US and Canada, the IFCJ currently raises more than $90 million a year from Christian supporters for social welfare projects in Israel and other humanitarian projects around the world.
Our goal is to strengthen Christian and Jewish ties around the world and provide supporters of Israel with the vehicles to demonstrate their support....
We recently opened up our new office in South Korea and that is where 80 per cent of our emphasis will be in the coming year....
What I have done essentially is judge where there is a growth of Protestant Evangelical and Pentecostal movements and wherever there is a growth, wherever I see there is a potential for a pro-Israel position, I have tried to develop it....
Wherever I see a community that is tied to the Bible, I know that I have an audience for Israel..."
Not long ago, South Korea's ambassador to Israel Il Soo Kim observed that
 'Many Koreans believe that Jews win more Nobel Prizes than others because of the wisdom hidden in the Talmud. That’s why an abridged version of the Talmud can be found "in every household" in South Korea. "That makes our two nations understand each other better," he said.'
Indeed, as noted here, some Korean schools teach Talmudic Studies.

Around 50,000 South Koreans, many of them evangelical Christians, visit Israel every year, and there is a small but growing Korean community in the Jerusalem area, estimated by Il Soo Kim to consists of some 800 persons, attracted there by their Christian faith; many are enrolled in Biblical Studies programs.  Then, too, as reported here:
"There are a number of similarities between Israeli and Korean cultures: a strong focus on education, a proficient high tech-sector, compulsory military service for males and, perhaps most importantly, an existential threat from neighbors.... South Korea and Israel established full diplomatic relations in 1962. Today, the trade volume between them is roughly $2.5 billion annually; it is especially heavy in automobiles and cell phones. In 2007, Korea-based Samsung acquired Transchip, an Israeli chip design firm that specialized in image sensors in digital cameras. Israeli streets are filled with Korean-made Hyundais and Kias. Korea also buys Israeli weapons to the tune of almost $50 million a year, according to Kim."
 And a Korean-American sociologist remarked:
"There is a massive evangelical presence in Korea. There is a general acceptance or understanding and looking to as Jews as really smart, well-educated, financially strong people. For a country that has experienced a lot of economic and political change over such a short time that hasn’t always been on the upswing, it’s not surprising that they would look to Jewish texts and to the Jewish people as examples of a people that have weathered the worst of all storms for close to 6,000 years."
Into this essentially positive scenario (there are certainly elements in South Korea hostile to Israel and advocating BDS) has stepped a certain Anglican vicar of our acquaintance.

Yes, the Reverend Stephen Sizer is now in Seoul.  He's gone there for a week, during which he will appear at various churches and seminaries promoting the just-published Korean edition of his book, which of course opposes all that Christian Zionism holds dear:

 Let's hope the South Korean Christian Zionists are as steadfast in their beliefs as this writer:
'When it comes to the Christian situation in the Middle East, Islam is just not a problem. It’s all those pesky Jews.
The Church in general has a long history of dedicating resources to harassing the Jews and painting them as the "enemies of Christ[ians]," which the Bible specifically warns against.
Many thought we had moved beyond all that, that the horrors of the Holocaust had finally woken the Church to how wrong it had been. In fact, those Christians involved today in this new brand of Israel-bashing will most loudly protest the label of anti-Semitism. But, as the saying goes, "methinks they do protest too loudly."
What the World Council of Churches and others like it are doing is rebranding that most anti-Semitic of doctrines – Replacement Theology.
Instead of calling for their heads, this new brand of Replacement Theology sheds crocodile tears for the Jews as mistreated lost souls who once tasted God’s goodness, but have since been replaced as His "chosen" because of their rejection of Jesus.
They do not hate the Jews (at least not openly), but they believe the biblical promises made to national Israel have expired. And that is where the State of Israel comes in. If God’s promises to national Israel are no longer valid, then modern Israel has nothing to do with biblical prophecy or God’s plan of global redemption....
Ultimately, the aim of groups like the World Council of Churches is not biblical, it’s not even about genuine social justice. Whether they know it or not, whether they accept it or not, their agenda is about advancing the cause of Islam and reversing what God is doing in this land.'
Update: The Reverend Sizer  has reacted to my article, at any rate as it appears on Ruth King's Ruthfully Yours blog:

I don't see how he could possibly think that I am attempting to impute the quoted passage at the end to him.

The link surely makes clear that it is from the pro-Zionist "Israel Today".

But since the Reverend Sizer has reacted with such indignation, I am happy to clarify for his benefit and that of anyone else that I did not intend to imply that the quoted passage is his.

 I sincerely regret any distress caused to him over this matter.

Monday, 28 October 2013

BDSers Target Charles Aznavour

If his performance in London's Albert Hall a few days ago is any indication,  soulful-eyed French singing legend Charles Aznavour, although very soon to turn ninety, still has what it takes to enthral an audience.

On 23 November his audience will be in Tel Aviv, at the Nokia Arena.

But not if Omar Barghouti's Palestine Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI) and its eager accomplices in the West have their way.  They want Monsieur Aznavour to cancel his plans.

That's despite the fact that, as the Jerusalem Post reported on 1 October, as soon as the French singer's impending visit was announced: "Aznavour will dedicate his trip to promoting the peace process and increasing public support for it." 

To quote another report, which noted Aznavour's friendship with Shimon Peres: 
 'Aznavour is arriving in Israel not just as a legendary singer, but also as Armenia's ambassador to Switzerland and its permanent representative at the United Nations.
According to a statement issued by Aznavour's office, his visit to the region will be dedicated to promoting the peace process and increasing public support for it. The singer was therefore officially invited for lunch at the President's Residence, and accepted the invitation.
Some of Aznavour's songs were translated into Hebrew over the years. In 2011 he was awarded the Hebrew University's Scopus Award for his contribution to Israel.'
Mindful of the sprightly nonagenarian's ethnic heitage, in addition to their  their usual demonic canard that Israel practises "Apartheid" some BDSers, at least, are attempting to tug at Aznavour's heartstrings by making a suggestive analogy between the Israel's policy towards the Palestinians on the one hand and Turkey's historic atrocities towards the Armenians on the other.

Here, in translation, is part of what a certain Isabelle, officially representing the BDS movement in France, has written to Monsieur Aznavour, c/o EMI records in Paris:
'In January 2011 you received the Scopus prize from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.
In February 2011 Marie, a young Palestinian student, wrote you a fine letter in which she spoke about the suffering of the Palestinian people, the children's hopeless future, the forgotten lives, the stolen lands, the exile of so many men, women and children of Palestine.  She asked you to return that prize.... [L]ike us, she had read the words of your song for Armenia and seen in them the picture of martyred peoples like those of Palestine....
 We'd have liked the magnificent song you wrote for Armenia in 1968 to  have heralded your support to all the oppressed peoples, including the Palestinian people, and kept you from accepting the Scopus prize and from going to sing in Tel Aviv in November....
Mr Aznavour, don't go to sing in Israel.  Don't give your support to a government that ignores the rights of an entire people and subjects them to a policy of apartheid, as defined by the Russell Tribunal held in Cape Town in November 2011.  This is happening amidst the indifference of the international community.
Please take the path chosen by Stephen Hawking, Jean-Luc Godard, Gilles Vigneault, Vanessa Paradis and Dustin Hoffman, amongst others, who have refused to appear in Israel.
Please consider the significance of the commitment of personalities such as Desmond Tutu, Stéphane Hessel, Alice Walker, Ken Loach, Illan Pappe, Noam Chomsky, and so many others, who declared their support for the BDS (Boycott-Divestment-Sanctions) campaign against the policies of Israel'
More here

His heart, fortunately, seems to lie solidly with Israel, as glimpsed in this video of him expressing heartfelt gratitude to Israel for its humanitarian aid to Armenia during the devastating earthquake of December 1988, when Israel's emergency teams were the first to arrive there:

Sunday, 27 October 2013

JNF Shaliach Among The Jews Bashed At Bondi

The group of Jews (four men, the oldest of whom is a 66-year-old who suffered a minor fracture of the skull, plus a 62-year-old female teacher at the Kesser Torah College) who were subjected to antisemitic insults, viciously attacked, and injured (one had a broken nose and an injury to his eye) near Sydney's famous Bondi Beach on Friday night, include Shlomo Ben Haim, education shaliach for the New South Wales Jewish National Fund, J-Wire reports:
'JNF Executive Director Ygal Shapir told J-Wire: "We expect our emissaries to have to be especially cautious in certain European countries but who would have believed something like this could happen in Australia."
The Australia/Israel and Jewish Affairs Council’s Jeremy Jones added: "I have been maintaining records of anti-Semitic attacks in Australia for over 25 years but we have never come across an attack of this nature by so many on so many in all that time."
President of the The Executive Council of Australian Jewry Peter Wertheim added: "Although the police investigations are still proceeding, the vicious attack on a Jewish family in Bondi early on Saturday morning appears to have been the most serious incident of spontaneous antisemitic violence in Australia in living memory....
We ... want to thank the police for responding as swiftly and effectively as they did.  We especially thank the six employees from the Beach Road Hotel and a passing taxi driver who intervened to end the violence and apprehend some of the alleged assailants.  Thanks to their efforts we expect all members of the gang involved in the incident to be rounded up by the police and charged and prosecuted to the full extent of the law.  The brave and selfless actions of these bystanders is a much more accurate reflection of the attitude of Australians to their Jewish fellow citizens, than the hate-filled violence of the group who allegedly attacked the family...."
Read more here
Illustrated report, with the misleading term "brawl"!,  in the (not-very-friendly-to-Israel) Sydney Morning Herald here

Despite the fact that the three suspects who've been caught have not yet been named, some people are taking it for granted that they are Muslims.

This video from a national news channel has been uploaded to YouTube to reflect that assumption, and at least one blog has accordingly echoed the claim that "three Muslims" have been arrested for the attack.   Not very fair, is it?

Friday, 25 October 2013

Anti-Israel Fanatics Target Another Tel Aviv-Bound Performer

 Sir Tom Jones arrives in Israel earlier today.

(Update: With a warm smile and a wave Tom Jones has arrived in Israel.)

 'Singer songwriter Patrik Fitzgerald is scheduled to perform in apartheid Israel to a segregated audience in Tel Aviv on 21st November 2013. We are asking him not to turn his back on the oppressed, but to respect the Palestinian call to boycott apartheid Israel and cancel his performance in Tev Aviv.
We will be picketing his performance in London on 26th October, and speaking to his fans whom we are sure will want him to stand on the side of justice and against apartheid. He will be performing with Bob Geldof (Boomtown Rats) who himself is a shameful apologist for the JNF ethnic cleansing of Palestinian land.
Its imperative that we are there by 6:30pm so we have a chance to talk to his fans as they queue to enter at 7:00pm.'
See also here

Let's  hope that Mr Fitzgerald will be as contemptuous of their despicable bullying as Sir Tom Jones, Sir Paul McCartney, and other artists.

As for the apartheid slur, it was again disproved just yesterday with the announcement that IDF Chief of Staff Benny Gantz has approved the appointment of Colonel Ghassan Alian (its deputy commander) as the next commander of the Golani Brigade commander.

Colonel Alian will be the first Druze officer to lead the brigade.

As some one immediately remarked on Facebook:
'"Apartheid" Israel [is] to appoint a Druze Arab as commander of the fearsome/combat-tested Golani, all while the Jordanian army, has not a single Palestinian general despite Palestinians being 88 percent of the population...'
 Good point, eh?

Thursday, 24 October 2013

Stephen Sizer On "The Art Of Spin"

As a postscript to my previous post (which contains updates) regarding the outcome of the Board of Deputies' complaint against Stephen Sizer, please note that the Board of Deputies has the Conciliation report and linked material on its website, introduced thus by Board vice-president Jonathan Arkush:
'A year ago I concluded that the Board had to take action against Rev Stephen Sizer, a Church of England Minister, because of his growing habit of publishing material that we regarded as antisemitic and also his linking to racist websites.  The Defence & Group Relations Division fully supported the action. We took the decision to initiate a formal disciplinary complaint under Church law with deep reluctance, as we believed that nothing less would bring home to Rev Sizer the damage being caused to Christian Jewish relations and to the good name of our community by his actions. As far as I am aware, the community has never before made such a complaint. I hope that it will never have to do so again. 
The complaint had to be addressed to the Bishop for Dr Sizer's diocese, who held that there was a case to answer, and exercised his powers to recommend that the parties attempt to resolve the complaint by a conciliation process in the first instance, in order to avoid a full hearing.  The Board agreed. 
I am pleased to announce that the Conciliation process has produced terms agreed with Rev Sizer that have resolved the complaint.  Please read below the Board's press statement issued today, with links to the original complaint and supporting information.  This should be read with the statement below from the Diocese and the conciliation report that was signed by myself on behalf of the Board and by Rev Sizer.
I hope you will agree that this represents a good outcome for the Board and the community.  We must also hope that Rev Sizer and those in similar positions of responsibility will in the future exercise more care to avoid slipping into antisemitic discourse and recommending material on racist websites. Often I have to report on negative developments affecting our community. On this occasion I am pleased to be able to share good news.'
The Reverend Sizer's reaction:

Well, well.  Just fancy that.

Wednesday, 23 October 2013

Stephen Sizer Placates The Board of Deputies

Sizer to his Facebook followers today

Reports the Jewish Chronicle's Marcus Dysch:
'[Reverend Stephen Sizer] has said he regrets posting website links which promoted Holocaust denial and Zionist conspiracy theories.
 Reverend Stephen Sizer said he accepted that his actions had offended the Jewish community and acknowledged he should have "taken more care" and "reflected on the choice of words more carefully".
 Rev Sizer was the subject of an unprecedented complaint made by the Board of Deputies to the Church of England last year.  Following mediation sessions with the Board, he said on Wednesday that while he did not accept claims that he had made antisemitic statements, he now realised the importance of monitoring online posts and avoiding "inflammatory" language.  He was twice forced to alter his website last year and was briefly investigated by police.

One link had directed readers to a website featuring Holocaust revisionism and adverts for the Protocols of the Elders of Zion. Another had claimed that countries including Britain and Israel had "special forces operating in Syria… backed up by the CIA and Mossad".
The mediation sessions, held earlier this year, were led by Christian and Jewish conciliators – the Very Rev Christopher Lewis, Dean of Christ Church Oxford, and retired High Court judge Sir Gavin Lightman.

During the meetings Rev Sizer discussed the offensive links with Board vice-president Jonathan Arkush. He agreed to have three people check his blog posts and links he posts to other websites, and said he would respond "promptly" to future critics.

After both parties signed the conciliation agreement, Mr Arkush said:
 "The outcome has demonstrated that the Board of Deputies, the community and very many Christians were right to feel very deep concern about Rev Sizer.

The Board welcomes Rev Sizer’s acknowledgments and undertakings, which clearly demonstrate that conduct on his part which led to the complaint was unbecoming or inappropriate to a minister of the Church of England."
Mr Arkush said the Board was committed to ensuring strong Christian-Jewish relations in Britain, and that Rev Sizer’s actions had been "the exception, not the rule".
The Board has agreed to treat the result of the mediation as the resolution of its initial complaint....'
 More here

Sizer's reaction to the outcome was contained in a long press release that he issued today, which forms the substance of this blogpost of his; it will be seen that he avows "the right of Israel to exist within internationally agreed borders," a stance that has not always been apparent in his numerous written and uttered indictments of Israel -

- and might prompt the cynical to say: "Will the real Stephen Sizer please stand up?"

Re the verdict:

Later on:

More re the verdict:

And from another old mate of ours:

(The latter in response to Sizer drawing attention to the now disputed report that at her concert in Tel Aviv Rihanna changed the words of a song from "All I see is dollar signs" to "All I see is Palestine")

See also my next post!

Legitimate Criticism, or A Beat Up? (video)

Personally, I think this video may be crying "wolf!" unnecessarily, much as I distrust the BBC.  After all, it was the Mandate for Palestine that the British acquired in the immediate wake of the break up of the Ottoman Empire.

See what you think.

Hat tip: reader Jean

In Tinsel Town, an anti-BDS initiative

Reports the Jewish Daily Forward:
'The Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement, which aims to isolate Israel because of its occupation of the West Bank, has often had trouble gaining traction on other fronts. But the performing arts have emerged as the one field in which calls to boycott the Jewish state have yielded some response. Roger Waters, Elvis Costello, Annie Lennox and Stevie Wonder, among others, have responded to calls from grassroots activists by canceling dates in Israel or declining to play there, or at Israel-related events, even as other performers, including Lady Gaga, Alicia Keys, Bob Dylan and Madonna, have pointedly ignored such calls.
But lately, a group opposed to BDS has been taking a notably different approach. Unlike its opponents, who focus on building grassroots pressure by fans, from the bottom up, the Creative Community for Peace has assembled an impressive roster of top entertainment executives supportive of Israel who are seeking to influence artists from the top down to perform there.
“Because our members work within the industry, we are able to use our personal contacts to proactively reach out to artists and their representatives to provide balanced information about Israel,” said Lana Melman, CCFP’s director. “We prepare them for the possibility of a boycott campaign, educate them about Israel and the artistic freedom there, and work to arrest potential cancellations.”
CCFP, which formed in 2011, does not yet have its status as a tax-exempt charity recognized by the Internal Revenue Service. But while awaiting the processing of its application, it has partnered with StandWithUs, a group widely perceived as being on the far right of the pro-Israel spectrum. Pending acceptance of CCFP’s application, donors to the organization send their contributions to StandWithUs, an already recognized public charity. StandWithUs channels these donations to the newer group. This enables CCFP supporters to claim their donations as tax deductions. CCFP also currently shares office space with StandWithUs.
These are legal and commonly used practices for new groups in the not-for-profit world, according to tax experts. But CCFP’s choice to partner with StandWithUs — a group that has co-produced videos with Israel’s [former deputy]foreign minister, Danny Ayalon, rejecting the notion that the West Bank is occupied — has moved critics to question its real agenda....
The criticism has not stopped CCFP from bringing together an impressive roster of Hollywood heavies behind its banner. They include, among others, Ben Silverman, a former co-chair of NBC Entertainment; Jody Gerson, co-president of Sony/ATV Music Publishing; Gary Ginsberg, executive vice president of Time Warner; Samuel Schwartz, co-founder of the music talent agency Gorfaine/Schwartz, and Ron Fair, chief creative officer and executive vice president of Virgin Records and former chairman of Gefen Productions. Fair has also produced albums for acts such as the Black Eyed Peas and Christina Aguilera, and these high profile connections underline the kind of personal and professional relationships the group can bring into play...."
Read the entire report here

Tuesday, 22 October 2013

Israel's Ten Most Influential American Enemies:The ADL lists the groups most dangerous

American Muslims for Palestine ad at a NY railway station
The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) in New York has drawn up a list of what in its view are the ten organisations in the United States most toxic to the welfare and standing of Israel, something it has done every year since Operation Cast Lead.

In its press release the ADL explains that the list is based on
"various criteria, including the groups’ ability to organize, sponsor and endorse Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaigns against Israel; their sponsorship of and participation in anti-Israel rallies, panel discussions or conferences; and their ability to pursue anti-Israel policy initiatives and lobbying efforts against Israel.....
In addition to their national impact and influence, many of the groups included in the list are known to employ rhetoric that is extremely hostile to Israel, Zionists and/or Jews.  Examples of this include:
Allegations that Israel or Jews control the U.S. government or the media;
Offensive parallels to the Holocaust by comparing Israeli leaders to Nazis or describing Gaza as the “new Auschwitz;”
Calls for the dismantlement of the state of Israel;
Expressions of support for terrorist groups that seek Israel’s destruction."
Explains the ADL's national director, Abe Foxman, the organisations listed are
"fixated on delegitimizing Israel and convincing the American public that Israel is an international villain that deserves to be ostracized and isolated. 
“The list represents the worst of the worst anti-Israel groups.  They lob any and every accusation against Israel, including charges of Nazi-like crimes, ‘apartheid’ policies, ethnic cleansing, war crimes and genocide. Their accusations are rarely, if ever, balanced with an acknowledgement of Israel’s repeated efforts to make peace with the Palestinians, or the legitimate terrorism concerns faced by Israeli citizens."
CodePink struts its stuff
The current roll of ignominy stands as follows (more about each of the groups can be found on the ADL's website):

   * ANSWER (Act Now to Stop War and End Racism)
   * American Muslims for Palestine
   * Friends of Sabeel-North America
   * If Americans Knew/Council for the National Interest
   * Jewish Voice for Peace
   * Muslim Public Affairs Council
   * Neturei Karta
   * Students for Justice in Palestine
   * U.S. Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation

Continues the press release:
"New to ADL’s list of the Top 10 Anti-Israel Groups are American Muslims for Palestine, CODEPINK, Neturei Karta and the Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC). Despite MPAC’s positive role in the civil rights, counterterrorism and interfaith communities, the group’s involvement in anti-Israel campaigns and its leadership’s consistent use of anti-Israel rhetoric is extremely troubling.
Once again, the Jewish anti-Israel group “Jewish Voice for Peace” (JVP) made the ADL list.  The group’s leaders and members of its Rabbinical Council are regularly invited to major anti-Israel events and conferences, and the group claims that its Jewish nature gives it a “particular legitimacy in voicing an alternative view.”  ADL further noted in its report that JVP “intentionally exploits Jewish culture and rituals” in an effort to convince other Jews that opposition to Israel does not contradict, but is consistent with, Jewish values.
Anti-Israel groups no longer ranking in the Top 10 have, for various reasons, scaled down the type of activity that merited their inclusion in the original report. They include The International Solidarity Movement, Al-Awda, the Muslim American Society, and the Council on American-Islamic Relations."
As will be seen, J Street (no foe to JVP) is conspicuous by its absence!

Read more here

Monday, 21 October 2013

BDS: Another one for the album

Says all that needs to be said, really, doesn't it?
On the back of last weeks poster, seen and shared by hundreds of thousands of our friends - here is the latest one. Please read the poster, like the post and share with your friends.
Well done, that poster girl from Sussex Friends of Israel!

In Paris, BDSers Invade Supermarket (video)

At the weekend, in the capital of the land where one citizen in twelve is said to be a Muslim, and from which escalating levels of largely Islamic-driven antisemitism is forcing Jews to flee, BDSers were harassing shoppers at a supermarket, urging a boycott of Israeli goods.  Here are two of the dupes involved, one blathering on in ignorant and unjustified fashion about Israeli "apartheid" and "state racism" and "torture of children".

But it seems that the protest was not as big as the organisers hoped, or media attention warranted, to judge from the remarks of the (strangely Irish-accented) interviewee on Iran's satellite propaganda channel Press TV, as shown on this much fuller video here

Sunday, 20 October 2013

Sizer Talks About "The Zionist Lobby" To The International Quran News Agency

As Bibi Netanyahu remarked to Knesset members recently:
“Iran is a large empire. Its offshoots are arrayed throughout the Middle East. It sends them against us. It is in de facto control of Syria, it controls Lebanon, it controls half the Palestinians through Hamas. [Iran's rulers] have no interest in compromise or an agreement. They have the power to control any territory we withdraw from. Their goal is to remove us from here. That’s their publicly stated agenda ... Iranian nuclear weapons will threaten the existing peace treaties with our neighbors and [any] peace [achieved] with the half of the Palestinian people who are led by a government that is not calling for our destruction.
Who among us [Israeli politicians] doesn’t want peace? But we want a real, sustainable peace, not a temporary one. This peace will have to take into account the real forces that surround us: Iran, Hezbollah, Hamas, [Islamic] Jihad, Al-Qaeda."

But for our old mate the Reverend Stephen Sizer (who of course is rather a favourite with the Iranian regime, and appears fairly regularly as a guest on its Press TV satellite propaganda channel)  the "Zionists," not the mullahs and their proxies, are the warmongers.

The Israel-bashing vicar spoke earlier this month to Javad Arabshirazi of the International Quran News Agency.  Here's part of the interview (I've added the emphasis):
Q: How do you evaluate resistance against US and European domination and confronting the Zionist regime in the statements and views of Ayatollah Khamenei? 
A: Statements in themselves, however true or profound, have little impact. When those statements are translated into government policy and international relations they have influence. President Rouhani is having a profoundly positive effect on the West at the moment. He is undermining and discrediting the Zionist Lobby that is thirsting for war with Iran, by taking a conciliatory position that has integrity. He is building trust that I am sure President Obama will want to reciprocate.'
Full text here

Friday, 18 October 2013

Comedy Half Hour: BDSers confounded in Oxford Street (video)

A young man of unmistakable Middle Eastern appearance approaches a gaggle of bourgeois-looking BDSers on Oxford Street who are protesting SodaStream outside the John Lewis department store.

One of the protesters hands him a leaflet.  After all, the young man's sure to be receptive to material demonising the Zionist Entity, right?

Wrong! The young man in question, from Iraq and of mixed Iraqi and Iranian parentage, is in fact a staunch and well-informed supporter of Israel, and superbly capable of challenging the BDSers' nonsense (in which that infamous set of Four Maps plays its mute mendacious part).

The ensuing scene is one of chaos and confusion, as an eclectic cast of characters joins the young Iraqi man in a counter-demo, throwing the BDSers into confusion, and making a bespectacled woman in a "Free Palestine" t-shirt scurry off to complain to a trio of cops.  She never does seem to recover her calm ...

Catcalls from the counter-protesters are answered by anti-Israel chants from the BDSers, whose plans for the day have clearly gone awry.  Adding to the cacophony are cries (not all of them politically correct) from an American-accented guy wearing a tallit and what looks like a Zahal beret. At one point, he's politely led away by a Mr Plod for what's presumably a pep talk.

The young Iraqi man recalls on his download message onYouTube:
"We were walking along oxford street, central London, BDS supporters were horrified by our stance and ran to the police as if we were terrorists (Which were her allegations), there after another pro Israeli, made his presence felt by giving facts about the muslim world, I then came across a Kuwaiti at 24:10, and when asked about the rape of kuwaiti women by palestinians, when saddam invaded, after the palestinians had sided with saddam, he nodded! At 26:15, I then came across an Egyptian who not only claims that Israelis are the culprits but also claimed that christian copts are persecuting muslims in Egypt!"
Amid the comedic scenes, some serious snippets, then.  They include the young Iraqi man's message to the Egyptian: "This is a genocidal campaign against the only sane nation in the Middle East".

Adding to the comedic feel of the video are certain captions (purporting to be the thoughts of the BDsers), not all of them in good taste.

Thursday, 17 October 2013

"If You Only Look At Israel Through The Prism Of The Palestinian Conflict You Don't Understand Israel [and] Its Motivations": BBC Man (video)

Like colleague Jeremy Bowen before him, the BBC's Paul Danahar has written a book in the wake of the so-called Arab Spring.  A few days ago he spoke to an audience at the left-leaning journalistic Frontline Club in London about his impressions of "the new Middle East" and afterwards answered questions from the floor.

Naturally, the talk focused largely on Egypt and Syria, but inevitably Israel was mentioned at some length, notably from about 27:47 when Danahar was invited to discuss "the impact of all this change on Israel" and then en passant at about 1:07, 13:03, 47:00, and right at the end of this 82-minute video.

Knowing that, as the BBC's Middle East Bureau chief, Danahar (who's now moved from Jerusalem to Washington) has sometimes evinced that bias against Israel which characterises the BBC, I was prepared for the worst, but (praise where it's due) I was pleasantly surprised.  Unlike the pedestrian Jeremy Bowen, Danahar obviously possesses an incisive mind, and, again unlike Bowen, he made what appeared to be a genuine attempt to be fair.  He noted that Israel is "genuinely nervous and has got genuine reasons why it's nervous," observed that Israel is (unfortunate phrase, this) "not a bunch of Europeans plonked" in the region but in many respects strongly Middle Eastern, and that in his book he tries to show readers aspects of this "very very interesting country" that go beyond the one that's usually presented.

See what you make of it!

Wednesday, 16 October 2013

Up The Jumper! Galloway & The Israeli Flag (video)

Remember how George Galloway refused to debate with Brasenose undergraduate Eylon Aslan-Levy?

"I don't recognise Israel, and I don't debate with Israelis!" announced the MP before strutting out of the scheduled debate.

Well, Galloway's been back to Oxford, where his squalid little outburst and boycott of a young man who just happens to be a citizen of the Zionist Entity has returned to haunt him.

In the video below Brasenose undergraduate Jonathan Hunter delivers a heartfelt message in Hebrew, rattling Gorgeous George, who warns him not to approach further, before asking "What's that up your jumper?"

Out comes an Israeli flag ... and then young Mr Hunter says his piece in English and is duly escorted from George's presence.

As reader Ian says, "Comedy Gold!" (though Galloway's observations following Mr Hunter's outburst are no laughing matter).

Jonathan Hunter has described the reason for his action here
Read more here

So, Will The BDSers Boycott Facebook?

Bad news for the BDSers.  It's just been announced that Facebook has
"acquired Onavo, a three-year-old start-up that makes data compression software and offers a variety of analytic services for smartphone applications.The purchase of Onavo, which has about 40 employees, gives Facebook, the world’s biggest social networking company, its first office in Israel. 
Most of Facebook’s employees work at its headquarters in Menlo Park, California, and historically, the company has sought to pull workers at acquired companies into the mother ship. But Onavo cut a deal to keep most of its employees in Tel Aviv as part of the sale, which was for about $120 million, according to a person familiar with the terms.
The big draw for Facebook is Onavo’s pioneering data compression technology, which helps smartphones cut data consumption as much as 80 percent. Such compression is vital to the goals of, an organization started by Facebook’s chief executive, Mark Zuckerberg, in August that is trying to offer mobile Internet access free or at very low cost to the about four billion people globally who do not have it....
 Guy Rosen, co-founder and chief executive of Onavo, said that his company would largely function as a stand-alone entity, much like two previous Facebook acquisitions, Instagram and Parse. (Snaptu, another Israeli start-up with innovative data compression technology, was absorbed into Facebook after it was purchased in 2011, and its technology forms the basis of the company’s Facebook for Every Phone software for more basic phones.) ..."  Read more here
So, will the BDSers boycott Facebook? After all, to be true to themselves they really should.

No, of course they won't.  Hypocrisy is integral to the BDS movement, whose members couldn't do without so many Israel-originating technological (and medical) innovations we all take for granted.

Besides, they're having too much fun on Facebook spreading their poison against Jews (sorry, Zionists) and Israel and, yes, promoting the Boycott obscenity any way they can.

Tuesday, 15 October 2013

In Malmö, A Walk On The Wild Side

Non-Jew Patrick Reilly decided  to test the antisemitic reputation of Sweden's third city, Malmö, for himself.  Donning a kippah, he took a stroll through a bustling neighbourhood.

It was an unsettling experience:
"....The idea was to go about my normal day and also visit places which a potential tourist may go to, albeit with one major difference the kippah clipped to the back of my head....
Well, it didn't take long before I got the feeling that I was on display as I walked towards Möllevången. Möllan, as it is referred to by locals, is the bohemian quarter of Malmö with a bustling fruit and veg market manned largely by immigrants by day and pubs serving cheap beer by night.
I've walked down this street countless times in my normal garb, without causing as much as a backwards glance. Now, it was as if I had two heads judging by the number of stares arrowed in my direction.
As I passed a well-known bar I spotted some lunchtime coffee drinkers looking open mouthed in my direction. Navigating the fruit and vegetable stalls it was obvious that I was being stared at by shoppers and stall workers.
When it came time to make a purchase something strange happened. The stall worker started to giggle and beckoned his boss to come over and witness this transaction. Both were friendly to the point where it was almost too much.
Stares I'd expected but good-natured laughter I certainly hadn't. This was strange.
For safety reasons I asked a friend to shadow me from a discrete distance just in case things got ugly. Whilst in Möllan we went to one of the local coffee shops sandwiched between the falafel and ethnic food stores.
As we waited for our drinks I was spotted by two men in the corner of the small coffee shop. I could feel their eyes burning into the back of my borrowed shiny white kippah but –  again nothing was said or done that could be construed as anti-Semitism, or at least not of a sort that would make me fear for my safety.
Nevertheless, I was nervous and those feelings only intensified as we sat outside in the public square to drink our coffees.
On several occasions people stopped and looked back at me with a mixture of disbelief and menace. Another woman promptly broke into a fit of giggles like it was the funniest thing she had seen in ages. Then a group of men with large dogs lingered, for what seemed like an eternity, just in front of me.
Perhaps it was because they spoke fast in a language I didn't understand or it was the close proximity of the dogs which made me feel scared. Whether the threat was real or imagined the fear was genuine and that stemmed from what I was wearing on my head.
This was hardly helped when my friend told me that another group of men had been staring solidly at me for 30 minutes from a cafe across the street.
It was time to leave Möllan but I wanted to buy some flatbread before then. Once again the young man in the ethnic food store broke into laughter when I handed him the ten kronor for the fresh bread. A (faux) Jew in this part of town certainly had a curiosity factor.
Next I walked up the big shopping street, Södra Förstadsgatan, to the main square at Gustav Adolfs Torg. More stares followed, particularly from a woman as I ate lunch, but I did feel safer in this part of town.
After a while I began to forget I was wearing the kippah until a burly man walked aggressively in my direction and mouthed "fucking Jew" to his friend. It was a reminder that making your Jewish identity in Malmö obvious carries its own risk. Frankly, it was a relief to take it off.
I've lived in Malmö for almost two years and in that time there have been numerous shootings and violent crimes. As an Irish person abroad I've never felt remotely threatened but wearing the kippah for a few hours was enough to instill feelings of fear. Even when I didn't feel afraid I was made to feel different and unwelcome.
The statistics show that my fear is well-placed. Sixty anti-Semitic hate crimes were registered in Malmö in 2012 – almost three times the number in previous years. None of these resulted in a conviction....'
Read the entire article here
Hat tip: Vlad Tepes blog

Getting Their Rocks Off: The Truth Laid Bare

There's an important new website that's dedicated to exposing the truth about Palestinian rock-throwing. On Legal Insurrection, Professor William A. Jacobson, Clinical Professor of Law at Cornell Law School, draws attention in detail to the new website.  He writes:

'We have featured Pallywood here many times, the Palestinian industry producing everything from outright video hoaxes to mere gross exaggerations all in the name of demonizing Israel.
But there is an even more pernicious western media version of Pallywood, the outright bias and misleading characterization of acts of terror against Israel.
These actions often are deliberate provocations set up by media and activists who side with the Palestinians, in which a phalanx of photographers and videographers waits to catch an Israeli soldier responding to a provocation.  The use of children as provocateurs is a common tactic — nothing plays better in the media than the image of an Israeli soldier confronting a child.
But those children often are engaged in violent behavior, particularly rock throwing.  A “rock” can shatter a skull, or in where thrown at a moving vehicle, can cause a serious accident.
To the media, rock throwing is no big deal.  Because the media has not been on the receiving end.'
Read and see more on Legal Insurrection here

Monday, 14 October 2013

From Sussex With Sense

A true, pithy message here from a member of the Sussex Friends of Israel at their recent counter-demonstration outside the EcoStream shop in Brighton where the BDS "idiots" were making, well, further idiots of themselves:

More photos here

"An Explosive Cocktail Indeed": David Singer On The World Bank's Exposure of the PLO's Disastrous Miscalculations

Here's the latest article by Sydney lawyer and international affairs analyst David Singer. (The accompanying photograph of a prime piece of real estate in the West Bank was taken last year by reader Shirlee.)

Writes David Singer:

'The failure by the PLO to accept two offers made by Israel in 2000/1 and 2008 ceding Israel's claims in more than 90 per cent of the West Bank have been political and economic catastrophes for West Bank, as substantiated by a World Bank Report published this week titled "West Bank and Gaza, Area C and the Future of the Palestinian Economy".

Whilst Israel and the PLO are once again engaged in negotiations behind closed doors for the next eight months, any prospect for their successful conclusion seems destined to founder for the same reasons that led to the collapse of the negotiations in 2000/2001 and 2008 namely:

1. The PLO refusal to recognise Israel as the national home of the Jewish people

2. The PLO insistence that any Palestinian State not be demilitarised

3. The PLO rejection of the right of Jews to live in the West Bank under any circumstances

4. The PLO objection to abandoning the claimed right for millions of Palestinian Arabs to emigrate and settle in Israel.

The World Bank Report has highlighted the following disastrous economic outcomes suffered by the West Bank Arab population –  because the PLO failed to grab those two political lifelines thrown to it by Israel:

1. Private investment has averaged a mere 15 per cent of GDP over the past seven years, compared with rates of over 25 percent in vigorous middle income countries.

2. The manufacturing sector, usually a key driver of export-led growth, has stagnated since 1994, its share in GDP falling from 19 per cent to 10 per cent by 2011.

3. Manufacturing been not been replaced by high value-added service exports like Information Technology (IT) or tourism, as might have been expected.

4. Much of the meagre investment has been channeled into internal trade and real estate development, neither of which generates significant employment.

Consequently, unemployment rates have remained very high in the Palestinian territories and are currently about 22 per cent - with almost a quarter of the workforce employed by the Palestinian Authority – an unhealthy proportion that reflects the lack of dynamism in the private sector.

The World Bank has concluded: 
"Whilst the unsettled political environment and internal Palestinian political divisions have contributed to investor aversion to the Palestinian territories, Israeli restrictions on trade, movement and access have been seen as the dominant deterrent."
Accepting the Report's conclusion – the fastest way to end these Israeli restrictions would be a signed peace treaty between the PLO and Israel.

In Area C - 61 per cent of the West Bank where Israel exercises complete administrative and security control under the Oslo Accords - the World Bank report states:
"Area C is particularly important because it is either off limits for Palestinian economic activity, or only accessible with considerable difficulty and often at prohibitive cost. Since Area C is where the majority of the West Bank's natural resources lie, the impact of these restrictions on the Palestinian economy has been considerable. Thus, the key to Palestinian prosperity continues to lie in the removal of these restrictions with due regard for Israel's security."
Realistically these restrictions in Area C are not going to disappear until the signing of a peace treaty that guarantees Israel's security.

Yet the PLO stubbornly maintains its intransigent and rejectionist demands –  whilst simultaneously encouraging economic, divestment and sanctions boycotts and public relations campaigns undertaken with funds supplied by foreign governments and wealthy private foundations –  designed to denigrate and delegitimise Israel and erode Israel's legal rights negotiated under the Oslo Accords with the PLO.

That is the PLO's prerogative –  but it has come at a heavy political and economic cost.

The World Bank report confirms this gloomy assessment:
"Access to Area C will not cure all Palestinian economic problems - but the alternative is bleak. Without the ability to conduct purposeful economic activity in Area C, the economic space of the West Bank will remain crowded and stunted, inhabited by people whose daily interactions with the State of Israel are characterized by inconvenience, expense and frustration."
Regrettably those affected by the PLO's political stance –  the West Bank Arab population –  are denied any say in determining whether changes need to take place that would improve their economic and political fortunes.

PLO Chairman Mahmoud Abbas refuses to hold elections in the West Bank, preferring to continue with failed policies that threaten the future aspirations of the people he claims to represent –  so clearly exposed in this damning World Bank Report.

Abbas continues to travel the world's capitals unsuccessfully seeking financial support whilst an ailing economy collapses before his very eyes –  as the World Bank Report makes ominously clear:
"Recent growth rates are proving unsustainable, however. Growth in recent years has been driven largely by extraordinary levels of donor budget support, which amounted to USD 1.8 billion, or 29 percent of GDP, in 2008. This fuelled a significant expansion in consumption, particularly the consumption of valuable public services such as policing, education and health (the share of public administration, education, and healthcare in GDP increased from 19 to 26 percent between 1994 and 2011). By 2012, however, budget support had decreased by more than half, and growth rates had declined from 9 percent in 2008-11 to 5.9 percent by 2012 and 1.9 percent in the first half of 2013 (-0.1 percent in the West Bank)."
International donors' financial support is running out – as is PLO peace treaty signing time – as is the continuing disenfranchisement of the West Bank Arabs.

An explosive cocktail indeed.'