My awful Palestinian ‘history’ lesson (Part 1)
I’ve done some real soul-searching recently. By that, I mean trying to balance my understanding of the Arab-Israeli Conflict. My understanding of the Israeli narrative is deep and personal, so recently I endeavoured to understand the Palestinian narrative on the matter. In order to do this, I went to the Hamas-run “Palestinian Info Center” in the hope that I’d get some background on their perspective so I might understand their claim better.Who Is Destroying Al-Aqsa Mosque?
I went straight to the page “the History of Palestine”. The introduction was not meant for ‘any’ target audience- only Muslims. It was not only historically dubious, but most disturbingly it was rich in anti-Semitic allegations.
"The officials themselves and the staff members are the reasons," one of the Mosque's Muslim security staff said. "This chaos and indifference rolls down from the senior officials here who enjoy huge salaries compared to the average staff member."NGO Monitor: Economic cooperation or economic warfare?
He pointed at scaffolding stretching to the Mosque's dome, "You see these scaffoldings? They [the officials] put them up to claim maintenance work is being done in order to beg donors for money. These scaffoldings have been there for years with nothing done... The sheikh here just takes photos of them to show to donors. "
He points to two large donations boxes at the center of the mosque. "Look at the donation boxes here; they collect an average of one million shekels ($284,000) per month. We have no clue where that money goes...The poor and the needy never get any of it."
Economic warfare against Israel, also known as “BDS” (boycotts, divestment, sanctions), is a central component of a strategy developed by NGOs at the 2001 UN Durban Conference aimed at demonizing and isolating Israel internationally. The Dutch government has publicly denounced BDS initiatives, stating that they directly contradict Dutch policy and harm peace efforts.Is Ireland Obsessed with Israel?
Yet, there are at least 17 NGOs receiving Dutch support that actively partake in blatant anti-Israel BDS campaigns. Groups such as Addameer, Defense for Children International – Palestine Section, and Miftah, endorsed the 2005 Palestinian Civil Society Call for BDS against Israel.
However, there is one volatile region of the world that hasn’t left the Irish political consciousness since the 1970s. I am of course talking about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict – an issue so divisive that it can send an ordinarily placid, peace-loving hippy into an apoplectic fit of rage. Ireland has an internal and external image of being very pro-Palestinian whilst also being very anti-Israeli. We were deemed the most “hostile country in Europe” in 2011 by the Israeli foreign ministry after an over-the-top pantomime performance on Grafton Street where activists portrayed IDF soldiers as Nazis – a particularly insensitive and hard-hitting insult to the majority Jewish state.The Lancet: Injecting Politics Into Medicine
This begs the question: why are we as a nation so obsessed with a land over 4000 km away, with which we have no historical ties? Surely we should be more concerned with getting our own back yard in order? Let’s examine several theories often put forward to explain this peculiarity.
Each year, UK medical journal, The Lancet, publishes a series of special reports exploring health conditions in the Palestinian territories. The journal is regarded as a prestigious publication and submitted articles are peer reviewed.American Studies Association leaders to members: Dear Mindless Sheep
The Lancet’s 2013 report contains some 35 contributions, most of which, at first glance, appear to deal with quantifying genuine medical issues without unwelcome politicization. A closer look, however, reveals that the journal is still tainted with anti-Israel bias.
I may have left the impression that the American Studies Association’s academic boycott was a done deal, but so far the only thing that has passed (albeit unanimously) is a vote of the organization’s leadership to jettison academic integrity for the sake of narrow, partisan interest. Whoops! I mean to preserve academic integrity by opposing it for just one group, Israelis (but just the Jewish ones) in solidarity with “Palestinian Civil Society.”When Did the Quakers Stop Being Friends?
Finalizing the deal will involve a ratification of this decision by the membership of the organization, and just as the BDSers took no chances when they stacked the deck of the committees responsible for the original decision and ensured a lopsided number of voices heard during that debate supported the leadership’s preferred outcome, they then went on to minimize chances that the hoi polloi of the American Studies Association (i.e., the scholars they were elected to represent) get in the way of their political crusade.
Such beliefs and activities are a tragic betrayal of the AFSC’s own history and religious origins. It may be that a movement like the Quakers, which has seen its numbers dwindle along with other liberal Protestant denominations, sees anti-Zionism as a last resort; a movement with powerful emotional appeal on which it can draw in order to maximize its power. If so, then it has undone a great deal of the good it once did, and substituted hypocrisy and bad faith instead.BBC silent on doubling of terror attacks since renewed ME talks
Once a byword for humanitarianism and faith, it has now become, in effect, a brand—one on which the AFSC can trade as it exploits the putative neutrality and pacifism it stands for in order to advance hostility toward Israel and, with its promotion of the “right of return,” an end to Israel itself.
In the end, the AFSC’s story reflects the tensions between pacifism and politics, between aid work and political activism, and between neutrality in the Middle East conflict and religious anti-Zionism. It demonstrates that small religious movements are susceptible to hijacking by radicals, and suggests that pacifism may inevitably engender its opposite. The organizations slide has been a long one, and at the moment it shows no sign of or interest in reversing it. Today, only the “inner light” of individual Quakers will bring about change.
In a recently published summary of terror attacks carried out in November 2013, the Israel Security Agency notes a rise in the number of attacks. In Judea & Samaria, 107 attacks took place (compared with 99 in October) and in Jerusalem 53 attacks occurred (compared with 32 in October). The majority of incidents in Judea & Samaria and in Jerusalem – 135 out of a total of 160 – were attacks with fire-bombs, whilst twenty-one of the attacks involved the use of improvised explosive devices and two were small arms shootings.Welcome to Hebron: Leave Your Preconceptions At the Door
A look at the statistics provided by the ISA for the months July to November 2013 shows that the number of terror attacks taking place in Judea & Samaria and Jerusalem since the renewal of direct negotiations between Israel and the PLO on July 29th has more than doubled.
The BBC’s consistent under-reporting of terror attacks against Israeli citizens in Judea & Samaria and Jerusalem means that BBC audiences are – in contravention of the BBC’s public purposes remit – unaware of the context of the doubling of the number of attacks in the months since the renewal of talks, just as they are also largely unaware of the continued missile attacks from the Gaza Strip and security incidents along Israel’s border with Syria for the same reason.
Even as Palestinians throw fire bombs and commit acts of violence in Hebron, our soldiers risk their lives to uphold freedom and security for all of the city’s residents. In the face of constant attacks, our values prove stronger the violence against us.IDF Blog: POV video: What Is It Like to Be Attacked By Rocks?
The city of Hebron is one of the oldest cities in the Middle East. It is the spiritual center for the three Abrahamic religions, and where Abraham purchased the Cave of the Patriarchs in order to bury his wife Sarah, according to the Bible. The city has held great significance throughout the ages and has been ruled by a large number of kingdoms and empires.
Agence France-Presse Whitewashes Palestinian Murderer in Mandela Tribute
Agence France-Press, a global news service to which many publications (including Breitbart News) subscribe, whitewashed the crimes of jailed Palestinian activist Marwan Barghouti on Friday, in publishing his tribute to the late South African leader Nelson Mandela. Nowhere in AFP's article did it mention the fact that Barghuti was convicted of murder in connection with three terrorist attacks against civilians, including one inside Israel.
Al Jazeera Fires Reporter Who Questioned Objectivity of Arafat Coverage
Investigative journalist Ken Silverstein, who joined Al Jazeera two months ago and co-wrote the network’s November scoop about a team of Swiss scientists that found unusual traces of polonium-210 in Arafat’s bone samples, was fired after he refused to travel to Paris to cover the pending release of a French laboratory study on Arafat’s bone samples, multiple sources familiar with the situation told the Washington Free Beacon.Antisemitic reporter Mira Bar-Hillel pens op-ed (on antisemitism!) for The Independent
Get it? Bar-Hillel not only comes to the risible conclusion that British newspapers don’t provide enough coverage of Israel, but that this putative dearth of coverage is inspired by fear of being labeled antisemitic.Downplaying the Holocaust -- Sulzberger & NY Times: Anna Blech at TEDxHunterCCS
Of course, her working theory is undermined by recent studies on British media coverage of Israel (and, more specifically, the Guardian’s own data) which demonstrates quite the opposite: that news relating to the Jewish state represents something approaching an obsession to UK editors, reporters and commentators.
Conclusive proof that British papers don’t fear accusations of antisemitism can of course also be found in the simple fact that Indy editors felt no hesitation in publishing an essay – on the topic of antisemitism – by a journalist who has admitted to possessing an antipathy towards Jews.
Anna Blech won first prize at the New York City History Day competition for her research paper, "Downplaying the Holocaust: Arthur Hays Sulzberger and The New York Times." For this paper, she also was awarded The Eleanor Light Prize from the Hunter College High School Social Studies Department and membership in the Society of Student Historians. (h/t Jewess)Analysis: Israel’s Economic Dominance of the Middle East; Foreign Currency Reserves Dwarf Neighbors
“Israel’s ability to put spare cash in the bank for emergencies very much signifies that the Israeli economy is growing, especially compared to its Arab neighbors,” said Professor Joseph Pelzman, the Institute for International Economic Policy the Elliott School, George Washington University Professor of Economics, International Affairs and Law, in Washington, D.C., and a permanent visiting professor at Ben Gurion University of the Negev, in Be’er-Sheva.OECD chief: Other nations can learn from Israel's economy
“What I found fascinating is that the world hasn’t really understood how marvelous the Israeli economy has become and, obviously will expand much faster, as its natural gas makes Israel a participant in the global energy business — and this because of the anti-Israel sentiments on many international levels that have worked to preclude Israel from being recognized,” Professor Pelzman said.
The Finance Ministry said the OECD report highlighted Israel's robust economic growth, low unemployment rates and a strong high-tech industry. But the report also cited a low average living standard compared to other leading OECD countries, acknowledging ongoing environmental challenges.Israel, Jordan, Palestinians to finally build Red-Dead pipeline
"OECD membership is very important to Israel, helping us deal with social and economic challenges," said Lapid, standing alongside Gurria. "Israel will continue to maintain high levels of growth and financial stability."
The secretary-general called Israel's economy "strong," and encouraged Israel to work toward incorporating its benefits into all segments of society. He said other OECD members could learn from Israel's managing of its economy.
Representatives of the three parties to the agreement – Israel’s Minister for Regional Cooperation Silvan Shalom, Jordanian Minister of Water and Irrigation Hazem Nasser, and Palestinian Authority Minister for Water Shaddad Attili – were scheduled to gather at the World Bank in Washington for an official signing ceremony.Seinfeld’s kibbutz days
“We’re talking about a historic process that realizes a dream of many years,” Shalom told Yedioth Ahronoth, which broke the story. “We have here strategic cooperation of national significance between Israel, Jordan, and the Palestinian Authority.”
Other notable celebrities have also experienced kibbutz life. Sigourney Weaver rebelled against her parents at the age of sixteen, and ended up in Israel for a short three weeks’ stay. Bob Hoskins picked oranges and bananas at Kibbutz Zikim. Sacha Baron Cohen (Ali G / Borat) volunteered at Rosh Hanikra and Beit Haemek for a year in the late 1980s. British actress Helen Mirren volunteered on a kibbutz for 6 months after the Six Day War. American Congresswoman Michele Bachmann spent a summer volunteering on Kibbutz Be’eri at the age of 18 in 1974.One Soldier’s Choice to Join the Jewish People and the IDF
Private Meir Ben Dror was born Matthew Pasualito, and in the past two years has adopted a new name, tongue, religion and home on his path to enlistment.From Alaska to the IDF, With Love
With a beaming smile and pronounced Italian accent, Private Meir Ben Dror yelled, along with about 600 graduates of the Mikve Alon Hebrew Training Base, “I have no other country [but the land of Israel].” Meir, whose birth name was Matthew Pascualito until he moved to Israel, has taken a truly unique path.
Meir grew up in a secular Catholic family in Venice, Italy but never felt a special closeness to the religion he was born into. “I cannot say I left Christianity to convert. I simply joined the Jewish people,” he shares. “I feel like I was born Jewish, as if I was a part of this from the first day of my life. Throughout the holidays, I feel as if I’ve been eating pomegranates on Rosh Hashanah, fasting on Yom Kippur and sitting in the sukkah all the years of my life.”
Six years ago, Channah Kopel of Efrat suggested that her local knitting group make hats for IDF soldiers. At the time, her son was a soldier stationed in the Golan, one of the coldest places in the country.Technion Formula Race Car Takes First Place
Today, the knitting group’s idea has spread around the globe, with knitters from as far away as California, Alaska and New Zealand pitching in to keep Israel’s soldiers warm through the winter.
25 Technion students took first place worldwide out of all newcomer teams Sept. 2013 in Italy, with the Formula SAE car they built and raced. Here’s the stop-motion version of their endeavor.