Tuesday, May 24, 2016

  • Tuesday, May 24, 2016
  • Elder of Ziyon

New York, May 18:
An investigation continues in Midtown after police say a knife-wielding man was shot and killed by officers Wednesday morning at the corner of 49th Street and Eighth Avenue.
Omaha, May 20:
The knife-wielding suspect critically wounded by police trying to take him into custody at 165th and West Maple Road Friday morning has died. He was identified as 31-year-old Joshua Beebee.
Brooklyn, May 8:
A 27-year-old man was shot twice after he allegedly approached two police officers with a dagger in hand Sunday evening in Brooklyn.
Jacksonville, FL, May 14:
Jacksonville police shot a man who they said charged at them wielding both a machete-style knife as well as a dagger-like knife while threatening to cut their heads off Saturday morning near McDonald’s at East State and North Market streets downtown.
Los Angeles, May 1:
Los Angeles police shot and killed a man in Panorama City on Saturday night after he approached two officers with a knife in his hand, authorities said.
Citrus Heights, California, May 20:
A nearly seven-hour standoff ended Thursday night when police shot and killed a man barricaded inside a Citrus Heights apartment, police said.

Wausau, Wisconsin, May 1:
A Wausau police officer Saturday night shot and killed a man who was wielding a knife, according to Wausau Police Patrol Capt. Matt Barnes in a Sunday morning press conference.
Temecula, California, May 5:
Temecula police shot and killed a man who was advancing on them with a knife, the sheriff's department said Thursday.
House of Charity, Washington, April 28:
A man was killed Thursday outside the House of Charity, shot by police after approaching officers with a knife and urging them to “kill me, kill me,” witnesses said.

All of these happened in  just the past month and it is not an exhaustive list of cases where police routinely shooting people armed "only" with knives..

Now, from the Palestinian WAFA new agency, May 23:
The Detainees and Ex-Detainees Committee, said in a report published on Sunday, that 85 percent of Palestinians who were killed by Israel since the beginning of 2015; 179 Palestinians, were killed in extrajudicial field executions.

It maintained that Israeli forces executed Palestinians in ‘cold-blood’ and on the grounds of mere suspicion, maintaining that forces acted as both judges and executioners.

It said that the majority of killed Palestinians were shot from a very close range with the intention to kill.

It described Israeli politicians’ calls to kill Palestinians instead of detaining them, as a ‘war crime’, and intentional extrajudicial murders; which it affirmed, violates principles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the four Geneva Conventions, and the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court.
Time to bring international law charges against every police department in the US for shooting knife-wielding suspects.

It is International Double Standards Against Israel Day, celebrated on every day that includes a sunrise.



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Monday, May 23, 2016

From Ian:

No one has a monopoly on values
Since the media is never wrong, it takes care to create an imaginary reality for us in which the citizens of Israel are dying of hunger in the streets, the survivors are fascist occupiers, and those who believe in the sanctity of the land of Israel are messianic or right-wing extremists. There is no other option.
Let's suppose for a minute that the Left was in power, and senior officers were to take matters of value and morality into their own hands, but in the other direction: to the right. Would the media embrace them in that case, too?
In the reality in which we live, a senior officer (major general) who compares processes taking place here to the Germans in the 1930s is a man of values, but an officer who invites his soldiers to pray before an action in Gaza? That's darker, even reminiscent of Iran. It's a shame that Albert Einstein isn't here to test the theory of moral relativism in our country.
And another brief reminder, not from 1948 or 1973, but rather from March 2015, when Israel held elections. Remember? The people made the media eat dirt, and it can't forgive them. (h/t Elder of Lobby)
Zakia Belkhiri’s “Peace Selfies” and Her Antisemitic Rants
Zakia Belkhiri showed up to a rally being held by anti-Islam protesters, and she began taking selfies with those who had gathered. The BBC, Huffington Post, and many other sites praised Belkhiri for dealing with the protesters peacefully and for setting a positive example. A problem arose, however, when people went to Belkhiri’s social media pages and found viciously antisemitic comments. In this video, David Wood discusses Belkhiri’s posts and the double standards of the media.
Zakia Belkhiri’s “Peace Selfies” (and Her Antisemitic Rants)


The Sykes-Picot Agreement Obstructed, Rather Than Abetted, Jewish Aspirations for Statehood
Among the misconceptions that have been repeated in connection with the 100th anniversary of the 1916 Anglo-French plan to partition the Middle East is the notion—heard from both friends and foes of the Jewish state—that the treaty furthered the Zionist cause. Quite the contrary, writes Martin Kramer:
The Sykes-Picot map . . . constitutes the first partition plan for Palestine, into no fewer than five zones. . . . Many of the most veteran Zionist settlements—Metullah, Rosh Pina, Yesod Hamaalah, Mishmar Hayarden—would be in the exclusively French zone, as would Safed. The internationalized . . . zone would include Jerusalem, Jaffa, and Tiberias, as well as newer settlements such as Tel Aviv, Petaḥ Tikvah, Rishon Letzion, Reḥovot, and Zichron Yaakov. [The pro-British Zionist leader Chaim] Weizmann called this division a “Solomon’s judgment of the worst character; the child is cut in two and both halves mutilated.” Were Sykes-Picot implemented, he protested, “the Jewish colonizing effort of some 30 years [would be] annihilated.”
Second, the agreement gave France a dominant role as far as the Jews were concerned. France would have full control of the Galilee settlements, and would be on equal par with Britain in Judea and the coastal plain. Weizmann regarded France as wholly unsympathetic to Zionism; far from facilitating Zionist colonization, France would block it. . . .

  • Monday, May 23, 2016
  • Elder of Ziyon


World Religion News reports:
Medical marijuana or medical cannabis which is the use of cannabis and its cannabinoids to treat disease or improve symptoms. The legalization of medical marijuana has seen the market getting flooded with marijuana products, like marijuana lotions, marijuana edibles, and so on. The medical marijuana industry is booming. 2016 is slated to see a rise of $1 billion in legal sales of marijuana products. Boutique investment bank Ackrell Capital, reports that last year, the legal sales of marijuana products crossed $4 billion.

The market is becoming competitive. Hence, the companies are looking for different ways to promote their legal marijuana products sales. They are looking for ways to make their products appeal to a variety of consumers. The targeted customers also include Jews, hence, the companies are trying to certify their products as kosher by letting the Rabbis inspect their medical marijuana plants.

From a kosher dietary standpoint, smoking marijuana in itself is not an issue, since cannabis itself is kosher. It is a leaf. However, when making a marijuana product, a lot of things has to be considered, like its ingredients, whether it is being manufactured or made in a kosher kitchen, and so on. In the Jewish religion, there are certain foods that are forbidden, like pigs, insects, and so on. So care should be taken while making marijuana products that they do not come in contact with forbidden food.

Vireo, a subsidiary of Vireo Health, got its first medical marijuana certification last January, from the Orthodox Union, America's most prominent Jewish groups. Vireo is in the process of selling medical marijuana products like cannabis oil and tinctures that are kosher. Cresco Labs, Illinois, is another company that is in the process of getting their products certified kosher, from a local rabbinical organization. According to the executive VP of operations at Cresco Labs, David Ellis, they had to show every inch of their facility to the rabbis.
RT (formerly Russia Today) Arabic gives us an object lesson in how journalists can make things up with facts by taking this story and swapping cause and effect, leading to this sorry excuse for reporting:
After the Union of Orthodox Rabbis certified that American Jews could consume marijuana made by Vereo Health in New York, last year, the industry flourished in the United States in an unprecedented way....According to the firm Ackrell Capital, the legal sales of products made from marijuana exceeded $4 billion over the past year.
Yes, those kosher-keeping Jews are the main driver for a $4 billion pot market!

If you think that Western media wouldn't do the same type of misrepresentation every day, you aren't being very careful in how you consume the news.






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  • Monday, May 23, 2016
  • Elder of Ziyon
This poster comes from the official Fatah website. It shows all the major leaders of Hamas.



The caption says "baby killers."

It is referring to a fatal house fire in Gaza earlier this month that killed three children. Hamas blamed Fatah (and Israel) for the electricity shortages that cause people to have to use candles; Fatah blamed Hamas for making it impossible for Fatah to fix the problem (as if they could.) Both have been accusing the other of raising taxes on fuel that is part of the reason for the fuel shortages.

In a couple of weeks they'll go back to pretending that everything is OK again.



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From Ian:

How Do You Define a War Crime?
What does Hamas’s massive tunnel-building project mean to the people of Gaza? The answer can be summed up in one word: fear. They live in fear that the structures being dug beneath their homes will start a conflict that will bring down another round of death and destruction upon their families. Speaking off the record to the New York Times’ Gaza correspondents, various residents said anonymously what they couldn’t say in public at the fear of their lives. They had no doubt that much of the aid and building materials that has been sent to Gaza to rebuild the homes that were destroyed the last time Hamas started a war with Israel is being diverted to the Islamist terrorist group’s massive project.
But when asked as to whether Hamas building tunnels in residential neighborhoods whose only purpose is to facilitate cross-border terror raids into Israel is a war crime a Human Rights Watch official that the Times described as an “expert on international law regarding warfare, the best that Sari Bashi could come up with is a shrug of her shoulders. According to Bashi, building terror tunnels in residential neighborhoods is “not explicitly prohibited.”
Really? That, in a nutshell, sums up everything that is wrong with the international community’s response to the conflict between Israelis and Palestinians.
While Bashi, an American-born Israeli lawyer, admits Hamas has “an obligation to take all feasible measures to protect civilians, including not taking the armed conflict to civilian areas, to the extent possible,” she won’t go farther than that. That’s bizarre because it would seem obvious, even to those who aren’t “experts” in international law that structures built solely to facilitate efforts to cross an international border to murder and kidnap is illegal. Indeed, terrorism, whether it is committed via a tunnel or with rockets shot indiscriminately at cities (as Hamas did several thousand times during the 2014 war) or suicide bombings, is always illegal.
But in the upside-down world of human rights activism that a group such as Human Rights Watch epitomizes, ambivalence about Palestinian war crimes is always accompanied by vicious condemnations of Israel’s efforts to defend its people against things like terror tunnels and rocket fire. But while such organizations purport to have great sympathy for the plight of Palestinians, especially those in Gaza, their ire is almost always directed at the wrong people.
Netanyahu: Millions of children are taught that Jews are apes and pigs
Children throughout the Middle East have been brainwashed to believe that Jews are akin to apes and pigs and should be killed, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Sunday.
“Hatred against the Jewish people is so routine in the Middle East that many in the West fail to notice it, let alone condemn it,” Netanyahu said in a prerecorded brief address to the fifth annual Jerusalem Post Conference in New York on the danger of verbal and visual incitement against Jews, particularly on the Hamas-run Al-Aksa television.
“Hateful language that should be condemned everywhere and always, is not condemned everywhere and always,” he said.
“Millions of children are being taught daily that Jews are subhuman, that they are apes and pigs and they have to be destroyed,” he continued.
“These children get up each morning, put their clothes on and go to school. They play with their friends, they ride their bikes,” Netanyahu said as he described a normal childhood routine. “But their pure and impressionable souls are then seized by fanatics. Their minds are poisoned with hatred.”
Such incitement to kill “is one of the worst crimes imaginable,” he said.
“No child should be taught to hate, let alone to kill or to want to die,” he said, adding that this is occurring both in the Palestinian territories, such as Ramallah, and the Middle East in general.
PM Netanyahu addresses the Jerusalem Post Annual Conference


Dermer blasts 'narrative' of a moderate Iran and a peaceful Palestine
Israel's ambassador to the United States slammed on Sunday the "fiction" that a partner for peace exists within the Palestinian Authority, warning of a hostile reaction from Jerusalem to any effort to impose terms of a two-state solution through international bodies.
Addressing The Jerusalem Post's annual conference in New York, Ron Dermer, a close confidante to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, said that world powers supporting an initiative by France to outline parameters for peace between Israel and the Palestinians are "ignoring the will of the free people who live in the most endangered democracy on Earth."
"These powers, albeit with the best of intentions, will only encourage the Palestinians to continue their 100 year campaign to destroy the one and only Jewish state," Dermer told the crowd.
"Such an effort will not only prevent peace today," he said, but could prevent peace "for decades to come" and bolster international efforts to delegitimize Israel.

  • Monday, May 23, 2016
  • Elder of Ziyon


The Truman Library has a "student activity" sheet asking questions about how the US decided to recognize Israel.

The questions being asked are at odds with history.

Have the class review the documents regarding the complex issue of recognizing Israel. Look at the history of Palestine, the United Nations proposal, Truman’s friendship with Eddie Jacobson, and the world climate after World War II. What would have happened if Truman would have not recognized Israel? What would the world climate be like if Palestine would have been divided into two nations as in the UN proposition. Would the peace process even be necessary if Truman would have not conceded to Israel?
These are leading questions that ignore the fact that the partition plan was a dead letter because of violent Arab opposition. The idea that somehow the 1947 partition plan, and resultant Arab state, would still be in force in the 21st century had the US backed it in May 1948 is the height of absurdity. The wording that Truman "conceded" to Israel is also ahistorical. He very much made up his own mind.

It gets worse:

The refugees of country “X” have just liberated a province of one of the African nations. The new provincial government has sent a letter to the United States government wanting recognition of the newly liberated province as a legitimate nation. Do you recognize this new country? What protocol do you follow? How will other African Nations respond? What will the United Nations do? What is the country’s historical background? What are the religious and political beliefs held by the people of this new country? What are the qualities of the leaders of the political parties in question? Are there residents of the United States who have ties to country “X”? Would there be pressure from this section of the population to recognize the new government? Tackle these questions and others that a government must wrestle with in recognizing a new country and government?

Truman was nothing if not independent. The timeline on the Truman Library website notes that he resisted pressure from both sides and came up with his own ideas. A small excerpt:

October 4, 1946: On the eve of Yom Kippur, President Truman issues a statement indicating United States support for the creation of a "viable Jewish state."

October 23, 1946: Loy Henderson, director of the State Department's Near East Agency, warns that the immigration of Jewish Communists into Palestine will increase Soviet influence there.

October 28, 1946: President Truman writes to King Saud of Saudi Arabia, informing the king that he believes "that a national home for the Jewish people should be established in Palestine."

1947-48: The White House receives 48,600 telegrams, 790,575 cards, and 81,200 other pieces of mail on the subject of Palestine.

Yet in this interview with Truman he says that he "burned" all of the letters, not wanting to be influenced one way or the other. His friend Eddie Jacobson was instrumental in getting him to speak to Chaim Weizmann (and Truman resisted even that, ignoring an earlier telegram from Jacobson asking him to meet with Weizmann) but the Jewish lobby was utterly ineffectual.



Truman was most certainly not swayed by the Jewish community, just as he was not swayed by the unrelentingly anti-Zionist State Department.

This lesson plan is biased, and it actually insults Truman.

(h/t L. King)



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  • Monday, May 23, 2016
  • Elder of Ziyon
Heidi Levine in Gaza

The Israel Foreign Press Association issued a statement last week condemning Hamas:
On Thursday, FPA member Heidi Levine, a photographer for SIPA Press, was detained by Hamas security men for more than three hours before she was allowed to leave Gaza. As she exited, Hamas security told her she was banned from the territory, claiming her work “reflects badly on Gaza.” They provided no examples of the work that allegedly upset them.

The FPA strongly condemns the thuggish behavior of the Hamas security and the implication that Hamas should judge what is or isn’t acceptable coverage of Gaza. Unfortunately, this incident is not isolated. A number of FPA members have reported being forced to undergo uncomfortable questioning by Hamas security forces while entering or exiting Gaza in recent months.

We call on Hamas to end these practices immediately and urge the group to give journalists unfettered access in and out of Gaza.
One of the people questioned by Hamas recently was Reuters reporter Luke Baker, who issued a series of tweets about how pleasant the experience was:
























As I pointed out then:

Hamas could have given Baker a full day at a spa it wouldn't matter - a government detaining a journalist for no reason is a form of intimidation. Unless Baker could have freely refused to be questioned, he was being given a message that his actions in Gaza were being watched and that he should be careful not to upset the authorities.

In this case, there is no danger that Baker would ever say anything that would upset his Hamas buddies, and both Hamas and Baker know it. So he enjoyed his tea and chatted freely.



Who is the head of the Foreign Press Association in Israel?

Luke Baker.

Is he now tacitly admitting that he was being intimidated by Hamas in February? Or is he only complaining about the treatment given to Heidi Levine and unnamed others (and why are they unnamed?)

It sounds like Baker was forced to allow this press release because of Hamas becoming too egregious in its intimidation, but he doesn't consider his own being politely questioned as any problem at all.

More likely,  Baker is more concerned about his own access to Gaza than to journalistic ethics of exposing the abuses when it happens to him.

This retweet by the FPA after the Levine story is instructive:




Hamas officials don't offend them because they are intimidating journalists - they offend them because they are unfairly intimidating journalists!

The implication, of course, is that any reporter in Gaza who is critical of Hamas gets what she deserves.



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  • Monday, May 23, 2016
  • Elder of Ziyon

Middle East Eye reports:
Israel said late on Sunday it was lifting a ban imposed last month on private imports of cement to the Hamas-run Gaza Strip.

More than 1.2 million tonnes of construction materials have entered Gaza since the mechanism was set up in 2014, much of it for war reconstruction. According to an Israeli official, 80 truckloads of cement enter Gaza weekly, each carrying 40 tonnes.

The ban was imposed in early April, with Israel accusing Imad al-Baz, deputy director of the Hamas economy ministry, of diverting supplies.

"In accordance with the security assessment and the understandings reached with the international community, as of today Sunday May 22 the re-entry of cement into Gaza has been approved," said a statement from the government body responsible for implementing policies in the Palestinian territories, COGAT.

"The exploitation by Hamas is a severe violation of the construction mechanism and the agreement between COGAT, the Palestinian Authority and the United Nations," said Sunday's English-language statement, in response to an AFP query.

Al-Baz has denied the allegation, saying that the imports were conducted in line with a UN-brokered Gaza Reconstruction Mechanism, aimed at allowing for reconstruction after a devastating 2014 war with Israel.
In April, the UN implied that Hamas indeed was diverting cement:
Deliberations between Israeli and UN officials, including Nickolay Mladenov, the UN’s special coordinator for the Middle East peace process, yielded an agreement to allow cement to be imported anew. Stipulations included al-Baz’s dismissal and an increase in the number of Palestinian inspectors on the Gaza side of the Kerem Shalom border crossing, according to the sources.

The information about al-Baz’s actions came to light via international actors taking part in the reconstruction effort in Gaza, COGAT said in April.

“We are disappointed that Hamas continues to harm and take advantage of the Palestinian population, only to advance the personal interests of the organization,” COGAT wrote on its Arabic-language Facebook page.

The United Nations condemned the “deviation of materials” in a statement released at the time, but refrained from naming Hamas as responsible.

“Those who seek to gain through the deviation of materials are stealing from their own people and adding to the suffering of Palestinians in Gaza,” said Mladenov.
Haaretz says that this admission has of Hamas stealing cement has become a little more explicit:

Following a hiatus lasting some six weeks, Israel agreed to resume supplies to the private sector in Gaza after UN special envoy Nickolay Mladenov promised to ensure it doesn’t reach Hamas. One of the preventative steps involves stationing additional Palestinian inspectors on the Gaza side of the Kerem Shalom border crossing.

Mladenov also told Israel that the cement Hamas had stolen from private-sector contractors has been returned to them.
Whether we can trust any of this is another story. My impression is that Hamas doesn't usually steal the cement for tunnels, rather Gaza homeowners are choosing to sell the cement that they receive on the black market rather than rebuild their homes, and Hamas is buying it. That is very difficult to stop.




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Sunday, May 22, 2016

  • Sunday, May 22, 2016
  • Elder of Ziyon

HRW's Sari Bashi

From the New York Times:
Sari Bashi, a spokeswoman for Human Rights Watch and expert on international law regarding warfare, said that building tunnels in residential neighborhoods was not explicitly prohibited. But she said militant groups had “an obligation to take all feasible measures to protect civilians, including not taking the armed conflict to civilian areas, to the extent possible.”
Here's what the ICRC has to say:

Under the Statute of the International Criminal Court, “utilizing the presence of a civilian or other protected person to render certain points, areas or military forces immune from military operations” constitutes a war crime in international armed conflicts.[

The prohibition of using human shields in the Geneva Conventions, Additional Protocol I and the Statute of the International Criminal Court are couched in terms of using the presence (or movements) of civilians or other protected persons to render certain points or areas (or military forces) immune from military operations.

It can be concluded that the use of human shields requires an intentional co-location of military objectives and civilians or persons hors de combat with the specific intent of trying to prevent the targeting of those military objectives.
Why is HRW, which normally errs on the side of protecting civilians when interpreting international law, suddenly deciding to rule against Gaza civilians and for the Hamas terrorists who are deliberately digging tunnels underneath Gaza civilian homes?

Is there really any fundamental legal difference between forcing civilians to be herded to a military site (which is the restrictive way HRW defines human shielding) and placing the military target directly under the homes of civilians, who have nowhere else to go?

We saw this a lot during Operation Protective Edge. Over a dozen Hamas violations of internatinal law were all but ignored by "human rights" groups whose very job is to protect civilians being placed at risk from Hamas actions.

Apparently, when Israel is on the other side, HRW chooses to look the other way for all but the most egregious Hamas crimes.

And the losers are Gaza civilians.




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Last week I reported that Jordan had greatly reduced the number of permits that it gave to Gazans for travel through its territory.

Reuters caught up with the story four days later. But in a bizarre case of burying the lede, you cannot tell what Jordan did until you are well into reading the story.

The headline doesn't say it. The photo is not of the bridge to Jordan but the crossing to Egypt.

The first and second paragraphs imply that Israel is at fault for Abu Abdallah not being able to leave Gaza. It isn't, since Israel has let him out of Gaza many times before.

The third blames Egypt.

Finally, in the fourth paragraph, we learn what is news about this news story.




It's almost as if Reuters didn't want to say anything bad about Jordan and instead wanted to use the story as just another hook to blame Israel (and, in this case, Egypt.)



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From Ian:

NYTs: As Hamas Tunnels Back Into Israel, Palestinians Are Afraid, Too
Residents said they had heard thudding noises below an incongruous-looking nearby shack that they think covers a tunnel entrance. They said they were too afraid to ask the truck drivers or other men they see around the shack what was going on.
“How can we say they are helping when they are building tunnels?” a woman asked of Hamas, tapping the rubble under her feet.
Naji Sarhan, the deputy housing minister in Gaza, denied that Hamas was taking construction material, particularly cement, intended for reconstruction, instead accusing vendors of illegally selling their supplies on the black market. He said Hamas had “its own ways” to obtain building materials.
In Beit Hanoun’s “Caravan Quarter,” a cluster of donated mobile homes where hundreds have been camped since the war’s end as they wait to rebuild, the anger was palpable.
“We have a Gaza City under the ground, and we have nothing up here,” said one 23-year-old in the camp, who spoke on the condition he be identified only as Akram, and said he made a living delivering groceries.
A neighbor who is 29 and goes by the name Abu Mohammad, said that the danger of nearby tunnels made him reluctant to rebuild. “I give it 99.5 percent that our house will be destroyed again,” he said. “I go crazy thinking about it.”

Simon Wiesenthal Center denounces ‘Israel-bashing’ Romeo and Juliet play
A new adaptation of William Shakespeare’s famous play Romeo and Juliet was denounced by the Simon Wiesenthal Center for its perceived “Israel-bashing.”
The play, currently in previews at Theatricum Botanicum in California’s Topanga Canyon, is set in contemporary East Jerusalem and includes uniformed Israeli soldiers lording over Palestinians. In the play, a character depicting an Israeli soldier executes an unarmed Palestinian woman at close range.
“Shakespeare’s classic love story has been hijacked to demonize the State of Israel,” Rabbi Abraham Cooper, the Jewish NGO’s associate dean, said in a statement. “We do not believe in censorship, but this production has degraded a classic play into a heavy-handed, anti-Israel propaganda platform.”
“As currently staged, Romeo and Juliet is a ‘lose-lose’ proposition,” Cooper continued. “The play loses, the public loses and the truth loses. The genius of Shakespeare should be used to illuminate the human condition and promote understanding of issues, not the distortion of reality,” he concluded.
IsraellyCool: Roger Waters Narrates And Pimps For Anti Israel Propaganda Movie
This next video is 24 minutes, which is 24 minutes of your life you won’t get back. But it does show how utterly dishonest the anti Israel side are. As well as Roger Waters sprouting his BS while wearing a keffiyeh. Just in case you did not already know on whose side of the conflict he stands.
Waters joins the executive producer of the propaganda film Sut Jhally, who looks a bit like Doc Brown. But think big shmuck rather than great Scott. His face also looks like it is suffering from an illegal occupation by his eyebrows.
Waters acts as narrator for the film, which seems to be about how the “Israeli public relations campaign to influence U.S. public opinion.” Which sounds a hell of a lot like those antisemitic tropes about Jews being behind the media.

  • Sunday, May 22, 2016
  • Elder of Ziyon


Nothing LeftI do not know how many of you are familiar with Michael Burd and Alan Freedman's radio show, Nothing Left, from J-AIR out of Melbourne, but you definitely should be.

I say this, of course, because they have been foolish enough to put me on the show a few times and therefore my ego impels me to write this.

The thing of it is, J-AIR is a niche station and Nothing Left is a niche show within a niche station.

Our little band of pro-Israel / pro-Jewish bloggers and commenters definitely know what this is like.

The Tradition of the "Little Magazine"

We are provoking small-scale conversations among one another in much the same way that the so-called "little magazines" in New York City throughout the twentieth-century did so.

Nothing Left is a part of our greater international network and we are the "little magazines" of our day.

In fact, Jonathan Tobin, of Commentary has spoken with the guys on-air at Nothing Left and Commentary is one of the few "little magazines" still in operation.

{Somebody beat The New Republic to something resembling death once Marty Peretz retired, made aliyah, and was no longer their to defend the magazine. The Nation, of course, while derived from the noble Abolitionist tradition, has clearly lost its way and tends toward sympathy with political Islam. And, needless to say, Mother Jones staggers on across the Bay, but does anyone care?}

The analysts that Michael and Alan have attracted to the show represent a "who's who" of the pro-Israel / pro-Jewish community from all over the world.

They include famed attorney Alan DershowitzIsi Leibler on a weekly basis, my friend Shirlee Finn of Jews Down Under fame, Rabbi Shmuley BoteachTammi Rossman-Benjamin of AMCHA, Dr. Michael Harris of Stand With Us, analyst Dr. Martin Sherman of the Jerusalem Post (maybe!), political radio personality Dennis PragerLori Lowenthal-Marcus of The Jewish Press, Professor Mordechai Kedar, Professor Mathias Küntzel, Professor Denis MacEoin, Dr. Robert Spencer, MK Moshe Feiglin, journalist Daniel Greenfield, activist Pamela Geller, journalist Melanie PhillipsAbe Foxman of the ADL, and on and on and on.

I tell you guys, it is an impressive list and I only touched on some of the people that I am familiar with. But, as you can see, these are all formidable individuals within the Jewish community and any of the pro-Israel political blogs would be proud to gather such an esteemed line-up.

The latest episode, number 99 from May 17, features Prof Alan Johnson, Pat Condell, MK Sharren Haskel, Isi Leibler, and guest host Mary Werther, with a brief editorial from yours truly.

Those of you familiar with this blog are probably familiar with Pat Condell. Pat, I believe, has about had it with political Islam, if not Islam, more generally. Speaking as a member of a tiny ethnic minority that was persecuted for thirteen long centuries under the boot of Arab-Muslim imperial rule, it is not difficult for me to see why. Condell's contribution, however, is not an interview, but a piece concerning the latest Gaza war.


Professor Alan Johnson

The discussion with Professor Alan Johnson was, however, brilliant. I was not familiar with the gentleman but he is a political theorist, the editor of Fathom, and a current member of the UK Labour Party.

He is, thus, in a perfect position to discuss the manifold ways that Labour is ripping itself to pieces over anti-Semitism... as those of us from "across the pond" break out the popcorn.

Burd and Johnson discussed "open warfare" within the UK Labour party, the heinous former mayor of London, Ken Livingstone, and his equally heinous colleague Naz Shah who suggested that the Jews of Israel should be transplanted into the middle of the United States someplace, perhaps Nebraska.

They discussed holocaust inversion, the fact of rampant anti-Semitism within the British Muslim community and the exportation of classical anti-Semitic tropes into contemporary anti-Zionist discourse through that community and their allies on the progressive-left.


MK Sharren Haskel

Sharren HaskelWhat was equally interesting to me, however, is Michael's discussion with Israeli MK Sharren Haskel. Haskel is the youngest seated member of Likud and perhaps the youngest member of the Knesset, period.

With luck she represents the coming leadership within Israel, itself, if not merely within Likud. She has got something very fresh and very straightforward, while maintaining both compassion and clarity of thought on the issues... or so I thought as I listened through her segment.

She was a combat soldier in the IDF during Intifada Number 2 and experienced the pain of the field on "my body and on my soul."

She is working on Israeli / Arab-Muslim diplomatic relations in the Middle East and actually sounds rather optimistic. This is hardly surprising because she cannot enter into conversations in the hopes of easing tensions within a spirit of pessimism, now can she?

She talks with Michael about the ways hard-left groups within Israel undermine Israeli well-being and the fact that Israeli Arab MKs stood with murderers in Intifada Number 3, the Car Ramming / Stabbing / Knife Intifada. She also supports a potential new Israeli law that would curb the ability of traitors within the Knesset to support violence against Jews.

She is friendly to the rights of Gay people and even supports the use of medical cannabis. In fact, although she claims not to use that substance, she is the Chairman for the Medical Cannabis Caucus in the Knesset.

"Medical Cannabis Caucus in the Knesset"?

Just roll that around your tongue a few times!

Most importantly, however, she recognizes that the Arab-Muslim war against the Jews in the Middle East is not a land dispute, but a cultural-religious conflict by a much larger hostile and foreign national group (the aggressors from the Arabian peninsula) versus the much smaller indigenous population from Judea and Samaria.

This is a concept that we need to bang into the heads of western authorities.


Isi Leibler

The last thing that I want to do is give Isi Leibler short-shrift. 

The guy was a primary leader within the Australian Jewish community for decades who made aliyah and is now writing for various outlets, including the Jerusalem Post.

Leibler drops in to Nothing Left on a regular basis and he is one of those old-school, no-nonsense Jews who want for the Jewish people, not to mention the Jewish State, to stand up strong for itself.

His conversation with Michael revolved around the fact that that there is no other country in the world whose very existence is called into question other than Israel; this, despite the fact that, as Leibler says, "we are the most successful resurrection of a nation that has ever taken place."

Nothing Left and Michael Burd and Alan Freedman should be congratulated for airing their 100th show this Tuesday.

I bet Leibler will have some interesting words.



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