Thursday, August 27, 2015

08/27 Liks Pt2: Syrian opposition: 'Israel Is the Most Humane Country in the Middle East'

From Ian:

'Israel Is the Most Humane Country in the Middle East': Why Syria's Southern Neighbors Are Working on Their PR
All of this has done remarkable things for Israeli-Syrian relations in rebel-held stretches of southern Syria. According to one Syrian opposition commander speaking in Amman: "Israel is the most humane country in the Middle East."
And that, said Elizabeth Tsurkov, a Syria researcher at Israel's Forum for Regional Thinking, is exactly the result Israel is looking for.
"This is a humane but also a very smart policy for Israel — its gets positive PR for treating Syrians, goodwill among civilians on the other side of the border fence, and intelligence about possible threats from southern Syria," she told VICE News.
In the past, Israel could rely on Syria's Baath regime to keep the border quiet. But with much of Quneitra now out of the government's control, Israel is increasingly looking to Golan residents to do the job. And it is no secret, said Tsurkov, that medical treatment of rebels in Israel is conditioned on them not attacking Israel and keeping Islamic State (IS or ISIS) militants at bay.
"While the treatment of injured Syrians in Israeli hospitals is a humanitarian effort, the impetus behind it is absolutely not humanitarian and Syrians are well-aware of this," she said.
Andrew Tabler, a senior fellow at the Washington Institute, said this pragmatic approach offers southern Syria's neighbors the chance to understand and build trust with whatever new political reality is forming there.
"This is part of a general strategy, which Jordan shares, of keeping ISIS out of southern Syria through the use of soft as well as hard power," he told VICE News. (h/t Alexi)
Europe's NGO Jihad Against Israel
Beneath a vexing tangle of funding operations -- most hiding under a pretense of "good works," "humanitarian aid," and "public interest" -- there is at work a sophisticated, multi-faceted, well-oiled propaganda machine against Israel.
A chief concern in the Knesset is how to curb the influx of millions of foreign dollars used to fund anti-Israel hate-groups operating as NGOs. These organizations are accused of using their "human rights" designation to mask a deceptive advocacy agenda to undermine, and even to destroy, Israel.
When Israel works to build "bridges for peace," such as SodaStream, where Arabs and Jews worked peacefully together, these organizations then knock them down.
Apparently, no one at World Vision asks the obvious question: Why are there even refugee camps in territories controlled by the Palestinian Authority (PA) and Hamas, such as Gaza, Jenin and Ramallah? Not only have those areas been under exclusive PA or Hamas civilian administration since 1994, but Israel totally evacuated the Gaza Strip in 2005.
Praise for Carter Ignores Ex-President's Anti-Israel Obsession
Falsifying the Camp David record
In 2006, Carter published Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid. It was laden with at least 38 errors, as CAMERA documented in our monograph Bearing False Witness: Jimmy Carter's Palestine, Peace Not Apartheid (2007). The work was widely debunked by Middle East experts, various news outlets, former President Bill Clinton and even some of Carter's long-time associates at the Carter Center.
Falsifying Jewish history and Israeli rights
In Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid, the one-time Georgia governor went so far as to omit the historic existence of the Jewish people in the land of Israel. As noted civil rights attorney and Harvard University Law School professor emeritus Alan Dershowitz pointed out, Carter wrote that Christian and Muslim Arabs have lived in what became modern-day Israel, yet he “leaves out the fact that Jews have lived in Jerusalem (where they were a majority since the first modern census), Hebron, Tzfat, and other cities far longer—continuously, in many cases.” (The Case Against Israel's Enemies)
Echoing Terrorist Claims
In keeping with his habit of both trying to cast Israel as an expansionist nation and simultaneously acting as an interlocutor for the Jewish state's opponents, Carter claimed that Israel did not withdraw completely from Lebanon in the spring of 2000. In fact, Israel's withdrawal was certified by the United Nations, which noted on June 16, 2000 that “Israeli forces have withdrawn from Lebanon.” Carter—echoing the Iranian-backed, Lebanese Hezbollah, a U.S.-designated terrorist organization—misrepresented Israeli counter-terrorism action on the border with Lebanon as proof the Jewish state had not withdrawn completely.
Carter also took at face value claims made by PLO leader Arafat. The former president repeated Arafat's lie that “the PLO has never advocated the annihilation of Israel. The Zionists started the ‘drive the Jews into the sea' slogan and attributed it to the PLO.”

Antisemitic UNRWA teachers on Facebook. UNRWA pretends they aren't there

Today, Chris Gunness has told The Jerusalem Post that the UNRWA school whose Facebook page I discovered had antisemitic material had nothing to do with UNRWA.

Yeah...someone forged an UNRWA page for a couple of years in hopes that its antisemitism would be discovered by someone like me eventually. Makes perfect sense.

He also dismissed claims that a staff member in the Palestinian territories had posted anti-Semitic material on a Facebook page.

“The posting on Facebook appears to have been designed to look as if it was posted by an UNRWA staff member but there is no evidence that any UNRWA staff member was involved,” Gunness said.

Separately, Gunness added, UNRWA had written to Facebook about another impostor account, which has since been removed.

“In the last year, upon UNRWA’s request, Facebook has removed or disabled access to over 90 pages and groups using UNRWA’s name and/or our logo without authorization,” Gunness said.
Amazing! All of those posts I discovered from people who identified themselves as UNRWA teachers, many with photos of their schools, really weren't from UNRWA teachers!

Earlier today I posted about how UNRWA promises to investigate any serious allegation of bias on the part of its staff, suggesting that we send examples of such bias to UNRWA and copy their donors in the EU and US to demand an investigation.

Here's one I wrote about last year that was widely tweeted at the time and Chris Gunness didn't do anything - the antisemitism is still on Facebook today.

It would be hard to argue that Mohammed Abu Staita doesn't work for UNRWA. He is friends with many other UNRWA teachers, there are photos of him at professional seminars and in the classroom.

So here is another poster to send to the State Department or Foreign Office demanding that UNRWA live up to its obligations to investigate this UNRWA teacher and publicize its findings and disciplinary action.

This cartoon was not the only one advocating murdering Jews on his page, by the way. 

Is this a credible enough allegation, Chris?

I've been tweeting other Facebook pictures from UNRWA teachers that were never removed from when I discovered them last year:

I'm sure they are all fake!

How the Internet has wrecked political discourse (Vic Rosenthal)

Vic Rosenthal's weekly column:

If you are reading this, chances are that you would describe yourself as pro-Israel and probably right of center.

You probably read several other pro-Israel and conservative blogs. You do not read +972 Magazine, or Mondoweiss. If you are American, you probably prefer Fox News to MSNBC. If you are Israeli, you might read Israel Hayom or Makor Rishon. You would not be caught dead buying Ha’aretz.

This is called an ‘information bubble’. If you are inside such a bubble, you are only exposed to opinions that you already agree with. A large part of the reason is the psychological phenomenon of confirmation bias, by which we tend “to search for, interpret, favor, and recall information in a way that confirms one's beliefs or hypotheses while giving disproportionately less attention to information that contradicts it.”

Confirmation bias has been the subject of much study by psychologists and brain scientists, who have found that the process of finding confirming evidence for a proposition that one is already committed to is accompanied by brain processes associated with release of emotional tension and pleasure. Reading Gideon Levy in Ha’aretz is, for a certain kind of individual, similar to sex (or at least more available).

What has happened is that the Internet and especially social media, which might have been expected to remove limitations and provide a plethora of options to consumers of information, have had the opposite effect. They have become amplifiers of confirmation bias.

This is because of the economic facts about advertising-supported sites. The more clicks, the more money. So developers want people to look at their sites as much as possible, which they accomplish by doing their best to figure out what users want to see and giving it to them.

In his book titled “The Filter Bubble,” left-wing activist Eli Pariser (they can be right about some things) argued that search engines like Google and social media like Facebook amplify our own confirmation bias by trying to show us what their algorithms think we want to see, on the basis of our location, age, gender, interests, use of keywords, ‘likes’ and prior searches.

In Pariser’s search engine example, “one user searched Google for "BP" and got investment news about British Petroleum while another searcher got information about the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.”

Facebook’s algorithm is tuned to produce pleasurable sensations from confirmation of biases and agreement with prejudices in order to keep its users clicking. It is applied psychology at its most sophisticated, rivaling addictive video slot machines which combine visual and auditory stimuli with just enough monetary reinforcement to keep the player going until she (usually) or he drops. In Facebook the reinforcement is in the form of agreeable information bites, but it is just as possible to become addicted to it as to slot machines.

In addition to the mechanical coercion of the algorithm, a principle of Facebook etiquette has emerged that one doesn’t challenge the initiator of a thread. So if the same link has been shared by a right-wing and left-wing person, the comments on each post will mostly support the position of the initiator. The ‘wrong’ kind of comment will be met with vituperation and announcements that the commenter has been blocked. God forbid that anyone might see something that they disagree with!

The problem posed by the bubble to those, like me, who want to influence readers, is that the only people who will see my content are those who already agree with it. So it would be a waste of time for me to write an article aimed at refuting false perceptions of Israel. All I can do is try to provide my ‘base’ with new information or arguments. But such material will be as useless to them as it is to me, since nobody who doesn’t already agree with them will see it either. And if I do succeed to talk to someone on the ‘other side’, I find that we are working with an entirely different set of facts and assumptions, so that substantive interaction becomes impossible.

All bubbles are not created equal. For example, the right of the Jewish people to the land of Israel is a fact, based solidly in history and international law. This ‘bubble’ is a bubble of truth, and the bubble containing Gideon Levy is not.

Another issue, since discussion only takes place within groups that share the same ideology, is the one-way reinforcement of more and more extreme positions. The way to ‘ring the bell’ of the pleasure centers of the brain in a group with a particular ideological bent is to push the envelope. Moderation is boring, and doesn’t impress your peers. So when such a group goes off by itself and bounces ideas back and forth -- think of leftist academics -- the more extreme ones are reinforced. As a result, there is a sort of centrifugal force pushing the adoption of more radical positions and driving opposing groups farther apart.

It’s true that ‘traditional’ media like newspapers and national or local radio and TV have similar issues – I mentioned Ha’aretz – but it is to a far lesser extent. If there is a limited number of newspapers or TV channels available, more diverse groups will be exposed to them. So in the US for example many conservatives read the NY Times or listen to NPR because they provide some content of interest despite disagreement with their editorial slant. But the Internet provides an unlimited variety of slants, and in effect everyone’s Facebook timeline has its own individual slant.

There is a relationship between the Internet and the burgeoning of 'political correctness’. We have all been admonished at one time or another not to talk about politics because it is ‘divisive’. But in the age of the Internet, it is not politics in general, but politics that don’t agree with someone’s prejudices that one is not allowed to talk about. The Facebook etiquette I mentioned that forbids going against the ideology of a thread is an example.

Some people have developed exquisite sensitivity to what they will allow themselves to hear. I strongly doubt that the meme of ‘microaggressions’ (also here) would have developed before the Internet taught people that they ought to have the right – because on the Internet they have the ability – to be free from hearing anything that they might judge to be the slightest bit offensive. The same idea pops up in student demands for safe spaces – local restrictions on free speech – and trigger warnings on books, films, etc.

These demands are couched in language about ‘protecting’ students who may suffer from PTSD-like conditions, but in fact serve to override the principles of free speech and academic freedom. And the effect is usually to support leftist views. You don't hear a lot about 'safe spaces' for conservatives, or 'trigger warnings' for the presence of Marxism.

Finally, there is the much-discussed phenomenon that cyber-anonymity permits breaches of civility that would not occur in face-to-face discussion, or even signed correspondence. I think anonymity is just part of it; it’s the combination of anonymity with bubble-generated extremism and solipsism that have given us the ‘cesspool’ of the comments sections found on some sites. It’s ironic that the same technology that has encouraged acute hypersensitivity and attempts to restrict speech, has also given rise to a genre of take-no-prisoners verbal aggression.

08/27 Liks Pt1: Terrorist who stabbed officer was freed in 2013 after murdering professor

From Ian:

Palestinian who stabbed officer was freed in 2013 after murdering professor
The Palestinian who stabbed and lightly wounded an Israeli border policeman in Jerusalem’s Old City Wednesday evening is the convicted killer of an Israel Prize winning professor.
Muammar Ata Mahmoud, 56 of Hebron, was released in 2013 as part of an ultimately unsuccessful round of peace talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority, Ynet news reported.
Mahmoud, along with Salah Khalil Ahmad Ibrahim (also released in 2013) was convicted of murdering Menahem Stern, a history professor at Hebrew University. Stern was stabbed to death while walking to work at the university’s Givat Ram campus on June 22, 1989. In addition, the two murdered a Palestinian suspected of collaborating with Israel, Hassin Zaid.
Stern’s daughter Meira Stern-Glick protested the pair’s release at the time, saying it caused her “great distress” and called their freedom unjust.
“These people are murderers,” she said. “A person who murdered in cold blood should sit for life.”
Mahmoud was overpowered by other Border Police officers after stabbing the officer in the leg outside Jerusalem’s Damascus Gate.
Despite Confession, Ramallah Lynch Terrorist 'Not a Murderer'
Fifteen years after the infamous “Ramallah lynching,” in which Arabs brutally murdered two IDF soldiers, a military court has decided that that one of its participants isn't a murderer, after all.
Marwan Ma'adi was convicted on Thursday of assault for his role in the murders, after his attorney successfully argued that Ma'adi “could not predict the final results of the spontaneous action he participated in.”
In the midst of the second Intifada on October 10, 2000, two IDF reserve soldiers, Yosef Avrahami and Vadim Nurzhitz who lost their way found themselves in Ramallah, where they were murdered and mutilated in a Palestinian Police station.
The soldiers were beaten, stabbed, had their eyes gouged out, and were disemboweled.
Since the incident, the IDF has been hunting down those who participated in the lynching, with several sentenced to long prison terms
For example, Aziz Salha, the murderer who appeared at the window of the police station displaying his bloody hands to a cheering crowd, was arrested in 2001 and sentenced to life in prison. He was among the terrorists released in the Gilad Shalit prisoner swap deal in 2011.
Ma'adi, a member of Hamas, was arrested in 2012 and admitted participating in the lynch. It was on that basis that the army sought to imprison him for a long-term sentence as well – if not on charges of murder, then on charges of being an accessory to murder.
However, his attorney, I'ad Mahmid, claimed that the IDF could not prove that his client was part of the lynch.
Rocket from Gaza explodes in Israeli territory
A rocket launched from the Gaza Strip exploded in an open field in Israel Wednesday night. There were no casualites in the attack and no damage was reported.
The rocket landed in the Eshkol Regional Council of the Western Negev. Local residents said no warning sirens had sounded prior to the explosion.
Security officials said the projectile had fallen near the border fence, possibly explaining the lack of sirens.
It was not immediately clear who was responsible for the attack.
Israel strikes Hamas site after Gaza rocket attack
The Israeli military carried out an airstrike in the central Gaza Strip Wednesday night, in response to a Palestinian rocket attack earlier.
The army said it struck a Hamas weapons production facility in the center of the territory, stating that it considered Hamas to be solely responsible for the happenings in the Gaza Strip.
There were no immediate reports of casualties on the Palestinian side.
The military noted that eight rockets had been fired from Gaza since the beginning of the month. Spokesman Lt. Col. Peter Lerner said the army would “not tolerate any attempt to undermine the security of Southern Israel. The Hamas terror organization is responsible for today’s attack against Israel.”

Apartheid is OK in Lebanon - it's a long-standing convention!

From AFP:

Two people were killed when gunmen briefly opened fire in Lebanon's largest Palestinian refugee camp, breaching a tense ceasefire, Palestinian sources said on Thursday.

A source from the Fatah Palestinian faction said a Fatah official and a civilian had been killed in fire by "unidentified gunmen" overnight in Ain al-Hilweh in southern Lebanon.

The breach threatened a ceasefire that ended several days of clashes between Fatah and an Islamist group in the camp.

Palestinian officials said the ceasefire remained in place despite the breach and that high-level contacts were made during the night to ensure it would be respected.

Ain al-Hilweh is an impoverished, overcrowded camp near the coastal city of Sidon, home to some 61,000 Palestinians, including 6,000 who fled the war in Syria.

By long-standing convention, Lebanon's army does not enter Palestinian refugee camps, meaning many have turned into lawless areas.
By long-standing convention, Lebanon does not allow Palestinian Arabs to become citizens.

By long-standing convention, Lebanon forces Palestinians to live in crowded "camps" where they cannot even build or repair buildings.

By long-standing convention, Palestinians who flee Syria are forced into these same camps (or to turn back to Syria) instead of accessing other facilities for other Syrians.

By long-standing convention, Palestinians in Lebanon are banned from many professions, including physicians, journalists, pharmacists or lawyers.

By long-standing convention, Palestinians in Lebanon cannot buy land.

By long-standing convention, the Lebanese army stops people from entering and exiting these ghettoes.

By long-standing convention, Palestinians are allowed to kill each other and the Lebanese authorities will not intervene.

So Lebanese apartheid against Palestinians isn't a real issue. Because it's always been that way. It's conventional!

UNRWA must dismiss Chris Gunness. He said it himself.

In my last post I quoted Chris Gunness on Israeli TV last week:

Where we find credible allegations of neutrality violations among our staff, we investigate and where it's appropriate we take disciplinary action up to and including dismissal. And that process is audited by our major donors.

Since he said that, he tweeted this::

Chris Gunness is trying to dig up dirt on UN Watch because they wrote to the UN Secretary General about the antismeitism posted in a UNRWA school Facebook page that I discovered.

Someone sent him a response, that Gunness immediately sent out to his 36,000 followers:

That link is a long article attempting to smear UN Watch but all it shows is that the organization is partially funded by the American Jewish Committee and that it is pro-Israel. This is, to Gunness, apparently enough to damn UN Watch enough for his readers, but we needs a bit more dirt.

In Chris Gunness' mind, if someone is pro-Israel then their criticisms are not worth responding to.

This is not a one-time thing. In 2009, after an email exchange with me about reports of UNRWA aid being diverted to Hamas, we had this conversation via email:

where do u fit in politically? C 
I'm not sure why that is relevant, but you can see from my site that I would be considered a fairly hawkish Zionist. I spend a great deal of time trying to understand the Palestinian Arab psyche, and I am much harsher on their leadership than on the people.
Is there condemnation on your site (which your link didn't get me into) of the white phosphorous attacks on neutral UN compounds? Does it carry the Secretary General statement calling for those responsible to be punished? Chris

I answered, and that was the end of that conversation, but this shows that Gunness treats questions differently depending on the political views of the questioner.

Which is, by definition, a violation of neutrality.

Similarly, Gunness blocks many of his critics on Twitter, which again is against what a spokesperson should do.

We mustn't forget Gunness' pathetic attacks on The Jerusalem Post trying to paint it as "ultra-right" and supporting Jewish terrorism. The UN defended him by denying that he wrote what he wrote.

Based on these well-documented examples, it is clear that Chris Gunness is guilty of what he claims is UNRWA policy against bias and violations of neutrality. As a spokesperson, he must address the issues, not try to divert the issue by smearing the people who point out UNRWA hypocrisy and lies. By his own stated standards, instead of attacking those who point out UNRWA's problems, UNRWA should be investigating them - impartially, and regardless of the source.

Therefore, Chris Gunness is in violation of UNRWA's own neutrality standards. and since there is no chance of an impartial investigation from within UNRWA, he must be disciplined and fired, and UNRWA must hire a spokesperson who actually performs those duties impartially and with respect to all who have legitimate criticisms of the agency.

Fire Chris Gunness now.

Today's pro-violence @UNRWA teacher. Your move, Chris Gunness.

Last week, on Israeli TV, in response to my scoop about UNRWA teachers posting pro-terror and pro-Nazi images on Facebook, UNRWA's spokesperson Chris Gunness said words that I am not going to let him forget.

He said:

Where we find credible allegations of neutrality violations among our staff, we investigate and where it's appropriate we take disciplinary action up to and including dismissal. And that process is audited by our major donors.
 -Chris Gunness, UNRWA Spokesperson
August 19, 2015

I have never seen such an audit, which should be transparent and public, from among the many examples I have unearthed of UNRWA staff advocating violence and antisemitism.

So, Chris. here's your chance.

Essam Taybeh, UNRWA teacher, posted this graphic on Facebook (click on thumbnail on right to see the poster with Essam's name and UNRWA affiliation)::

There you have it. An UNRWA teacher is advocating Arab violence as the only legitimate action for Palestinians.

Chris Gunness must do something, because he said he would and that this is UNRWA's policy. Unless he believes that a teacher who openly advocates violence is a proper role model for young Palestinian kids. Or unless he is a liar.

And his major donors, including the US and EU countries, must ensure that UNRWA launches a transparent investigation into Essam Taybeh, and let the world know exactly what was done..

Your move, Chris. 

Please email and tweet c.gunness@unwra.org, the UN Secretary General @secgen and your national diplomatic office with this information,

Here's a poster to make it easier:

And I will be keeping Chris busy for the foreseeable future. Because there are lots more, and lots worse, examples. But this one, which only advocates violence, still violates UNRWA's principles, and if the criteria for investigations are "allegations of neutrality violations" then UNRWA will be busy investigating and disciplining teachers for a long time.

Who knows, maybe one day they will actually decide to uphold their own standards rather than keepcovering up what their staff is doing.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

08/26 Links Pt2: Abbas: Holocaust is something Jews "say"; Palestinian minister of disinformation

From Ian:

Update: Extent of EE's blocking of pro-Israel websites has got MUCH worse
On 3 August I reported on EE's censoring and blocking of pro-Israel websites on its UK Mobile network, while placing no such restrictions on any vicious anti-Israel sites. Despite having sent several emails to different departments in EE and a letter to Olaf Swantee ( the EE CEO) I have not even received an acknowledgement. And today I can confirm that things have got much worse. It is beyond doubt that a campaign of anti-Israel discrimination is taking place.
Here is what I discovered using EE 3G and 4G mobile network on an iphone with all the default security settings:
The following very popular and important sites are now blocked* whereas they were NOT previously
Elder Of Ziyon* Sultan Knish* Abu Yehuda Israel Matzav Pamela Geller Jihad Watch Robin Shepherd
The following sites were previously blocked and remain blocked:
My own site Edgar Davidson Daphne Anson Israpundit The Religion of Peace Bare Naked Islam
The following sites were previously blocked but are now unblocked (there was just one I could find):
PMW: Abbas presents Holocaust as something Jews "say"
PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas in a speech before a delegation of Polish journalists in Ramallah, referred to Jewish suffering in World War II as a Jewish or Israeli claim that he is willing to respect:
"They say they made sacrifices in World War II - we respect what they say."
He made this statement in the context of libeling Israel, as the second half of his statement accuses Israel of doing to the Palestinians what the Nazis did to the Jews:
"They should not treat us the way they were treated [by the Nazis]. We must not be a victim of the victim. I did not do anything bad to him."
It is striking that in his statement Abbas presents the Holocaust not as historical fact to be acknowledged but as something "Jews say" which he is willing to "respect." Additionally, his choice of terminology to describe the genocide of 6 million Jews completes his trivialization of the Holocaust:
"... they made sacrifices in World War II."
Palestinian Media Watch has documented that Holocaust denial and trivialization are repeated regularly by the PA.
Abbas compares Jews to Nazis: "They [Jews] should not treat us the way they were treated"

Palestinian minister of disinformation
Mustafa Barghouti’s “Obama can still do something for peace in the Middle East” (Aug. 17) misleads through omissions, misrepresentations, and falsehoods.
The author—who has previously falsely claimed that Jesus, a Jew from Judea, was a Palestinian Arab—argues that the “Palestinian plight” is one of “dispossession followed by occupation.” He fails to mention that Arabs became refugees not because of the creation of the state of Israel, but due to Arab rejection of the United Nation’s 1947 Palestine partition plan and then their violation of U.N. General Assembly Resolution 181, which called for Arab and Jewish states, by attacking Israel. In that Arab war of aggression, Jordanian troops conquered eastern Jerusalem, destroyed synagogues and murdered or expelled Jewish residents.
Israel reunited the city (whose Arab population has since grown faster than its Jewish population) after successful defense from another Arab-initiated war or aggression in 1967. But Jordanian forces had seized what was then known as Judea and Samaria in Israel’s 1948 War of Independence, in 1950 renaming it the West Bank, during an illegal occupation only recognized by Great Britain and Pakistan. Israel seized that land during the Arab-initiated ’67 war and remains the obligatory military occupational authority prior to a settlement negotiated according to U.N. Security Council Resolution 242 (1967), 338 (1973), the 1995 Israeli-Palestinian agreement, and related pacts.
As for the settlement's legality, the League of Nations Palestine Mandate Article 6, called for “close Jewish settlement on the land" west of the Jordan River. The U.N. Charter, Chapter 12, Article 80, upholds the Mandate’s provisions. Barghouti harps on the themes of Israel’s “occupation” and “illegal settlements.”
Brendan O’Neill: Anti-Zionists are not as different from anti-Semities as they’d like to think
To see much of the left sniffily write off criticisms of Corbyn as overblown, or sinister, confirms the left has a big anti-Semitism problem: it treats anti-Semitism as less bad than other prejudices.
Were a British politician to share a platform with a white nationalist or a crazy woman-hater, there’d be outrage. But it seems mixing with those who aren’t fond of Jews is okay, or excusable, less wicked somehow.
What’s behind this extraordinary double standard among those who pose as loathers of prejudice?
It springs from that phrase “anti State of Israel”. Sadly, today’s anti-Zionists are not as different from anti-Semities as they like to believe. What both sides share in common is an urge to find one thing in the world on to which they might pin the blame for every global, political and social problem.
The anti-Semite blames the Jew; the anti-Zionist blames Israel, seeing it and its Western backers as the cause of conflict, the sinister influencers of the media, and, as the Corbyn fuss makes clear, as aspiring controllers of the fate of British politics.
The left’s notable lack of genuine agitation over anti-Semitism springs from the fact that there is, however vaguely, a common link here. The modern left thinks dark forces control every aspect of our lives. So do anti-Semites.
The left can’t convincingly condemn anti-Semitism because, terrifyingly, it sees a little bit of itself in it.

New anti-Israel slander: "Palestinians are literally dying of thirst"

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:

Like recent photos on the Facebook page of the Palestine Water Sports School:

The Dolphin swim club is still open for business:

So are the Al Waha pools in Tulkarem:

There are a whole lot more.

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????

The rest of the article is also filled with the usual lies. I have previously discussed how Palestinians politicize the water issue and the truth behind the water libels.

I don't know if The Ecologist is a respected website or not, but after this fiasco, their reputation should be pretty bad.

(h/t JW)

BREAKING: Abbas Resignation A Prelude To Taking Meretz Helm (PreOccupied Territory)

Our weekly column from the humor site PreOccupied Territory

Check out their Facebook page.

Ramallah, August 26 - Sources close to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas say his resignation from the position of PLO Executive Chairman is calculated not, as generally assumed, to clear a path to his reelection as head of the organization, but as a preparatory step in assuming a leadership role in the Israeli Meretz Party.

Abbas loyalists remained mum on Tuesday regarding the leader's specific plan, but documents leaked from the president's headquarters point to a departure from frontal opposition to Israel in the international arena and instead, entering and exploiting the Israeli political system to achieve his ends. The documents contain, among other things, an analysis of various Israeli political parties and the conclusion that the one most ripe for a takeover by Abbas is Meretz, which might not even notice that he had done so.

Experts caution that even if the documents are authentic, prudence dictates they be treated with skepticism until other pieces fall into place. "The timing, reasoning, and methods all make sense, but I would caution against assuming this scenario represents what we should necessarily expect in the coming months," said political analyst I. C. Dedpipple. "For one thing, if this is the real deal, we should be seeing Abbas meeting with, for example, Opposition leader Isaac Herzog, an even that Abbas could use to help gain an understanding of where and how he would fit in among the diverse elements of the Opposition." Herzog traveled to Ramallah last week to meet the Palestinian president.

Complicating such a scenario, said Dedpipple, is the current Meretz leadership. "I can't see Zehava Gal-On or Ilan Gilon just moving out of the way," he explained. "Mahmoud Abbas might be their ideal candidate, embodying everything they've ever campaigned for, but that doesn't mean they don't like their jobs. If something happens, expect a fight."

Dedpipple noted that Gal-On's hold on the leadership is not as tight as it could be. "When preliminary election results came in after the elections this past March, it looked like Meretz was only going to get four seats in the Knesset, down from five - which itself is pitiful compared to the twelve they commanded back in the early nineties. Gal-On offered to step down. She didn't have to, because absentee ballots eventually gave Meretz a fifth seat, but it's clear she's aware how close to disaster she led the party - and it's got to be even clearer to anyone seeking to oust her."

Still, says commentator Hanan Krystal, Abbas faces an uphill political battle. "Aside from having his hands tied in terms of whom he can arrest just to get them out of the way, Abbas is at an electoral disadvantage," said Krystal. "In a general election he might bank on Arab Israelis to vote for him - not a given, mind you, considering how wary Arab citizens are of Abbas and his corruption-infested regime. But before that he has to secure the support of the Meretz rank and file in a primary, and, unfortunately for Mr. Abbas, he's just not distinguishable from any of the other emerging candidates."

08/26 Links Pt1: How to put some teeth into the nuclear deal with Iran; Iran won the Media War

From Ian:

Dennis Ross and and David H. Petraeus: How to put some teeth into the nuclear deal with Iran
Surely if the Iranians are dashing toward a weapon, especially after year 15, there is a need not to speak of our options but of our readiness to use force. The threat of force is far more likely to deter the Iranians.
The Iranians also should know that if they produce highly enriched uranium — for which there is no legitimate civilian purpose — that we would see that as an intention to make a weapon and would act accordingly. There is no mention of highly enriched uranium in the president’s letter. Although Obama speaks in the letter of providing the Israelis with the BLU-113, a 4,400-pound “bunker buster” bomb, it would not be sufficient to penetrate Fordow, the Iranian enrichment site built into a mountain. For that, the Israelis would need the 30,000-pound massive ordnance penetrator (MOP) and the means to carry it. While some may question whether we would act militarily if the Iranians were to dash to a bomb, no one questions whether the Israelis would do so.
Bolstering deterrence is essential in addressing key vulnerabilities we see in the deal. A blunter statement on the consequences of Iran moving toward a weapon and of producing highly enriched uranium would allay some of our concerns. Providing the Israelis the MOP and the means to carry it would surely enhance deterrence — and so would developing options now in advance with the Israelis and key Arab partners to counter Iran’s likely surge of support for Hezbollah and other Shiite militias after it gets sanctions relief.
Deterrence would be more effective — and full implementation of the agreement more likely — if the Iranians understand that there will be a price for every transgression, no matter how small, and that we will raise the cost to them of de-stabilizing behavior in the region. The president’s letter to Nadler was useful but fell short of addressing our concerns. It is still possible for the administration to do so.
Khaled Abu Toameh: Egypt and the Hamas "Cockroaches"
"What were your four [Hamas] men doing in Sinai? Haven't you denied in the past the presence of any Hamas men in Sinai? So where did these men pop up from?" — Dina Ramez, Egyptian journalist.
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. That they are members of Hamas's armed wing, Ezaddin al-Qassam, speaks for itself.
The Egyptians are particularly fed up with reports about Hamas's increased involvement in their internal affairs and links to terror groups in Sinai.
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.
Iranian-Born Jewish Author: Iran Has “Decidedly Won” Its Media War with the West
While Iran has engaged in several conflicts since the Islamic Revolution in 1979, one it “has decidedly won is the media war” with the West, Roya Hakakian, a prominent Iranian-American Jewish author and journalist, wrote in an op-ed yesterday in The Forward.
Hakakian argued that foreign journalists frequently fall into the trap of writing feel-good stories about Iran for Western audiences, as she witnessed while working on a CBS segment about an Iranian political prisoner with the late Bob Simon in 1999. The piece was being produced at a time when Mohammad Khatami, a reputed moderate, was president of Iran.
Hakakian also observed that Tehran granted The Forward permission to send its reporter, Larry Cohler-Esses, to Iran earlier this month with a strange stipulation: Cohler-Esses was instructed to request a letter of recommendation from the leaders of Iran’s Jewish community. Hakakian pointed out the impossible constraint the letter placed on Cohler-Esses:
The demand for a letter should have instantly alarmed the Forward, for it was made based on the bigoted notion that the Jews run a worldwide network which can instantly be activated. Why should an Iranian Jewish leader be asked to recommend an unknown journalist for a visa if not to generate a clear signal to the invested parties as to on whose credit he was getting in and what was expected of him to return with? The Jewish leader who vouched for the Forward was, it seems, mortgaging his freedom in the hopes that Cohler-Esses would not print what might have incited the ire of the regime. Has such a letter of recommendation ever been asked of, say, the Economist or Der Spiegel?
The Israel Project: "The Inspectors"

EoZ praised in Finnish lecture on media bias

On August 22, a church group held a philosophy seminar on "War and Peace." at the Vanha Paukku cultural center in Lapua, Finland.

One of the speakers, Juhani Huttunen, is a journalist for the Lutheran Church paper's foreign news department.

He gave me a shout-out as a dependable media source.

Here's video with subtitles.

Thanks to Tundra Tabloids!