WHAT AMERICANS DON’T KNOW ABOUT THE OCCUPATION AND WHY

It is a shame that the average American remains completely in the dark about what it means to live under military occupation. The Israeli “occupation” that Palestinians have been living under for 48 years is a brutal military rule that reaches into every corner of every Palestinian’s life. It controls where we can go and when, where we can live, how we practice our religion, and so many other vital matters, including whether we live or die.

Image by Ismael Shammout

Image by Ismael Shammout

What Americans Don’t Know About the Middle East Conflict and Why

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu knows better than anyone else that if we Palestinians are permitted to engage non-violently, odds are we will expose Israel’s military occupation for what it is, a system of modern-day apartheid or worse. This is why, following his March election victory, Netanyahu assembled an extreme right-wing cabinet that would work to ensure that Palestinians were provoked to the point of turning violent.

He did this thinking that such violence, and the backlash he could unleash, would have limited international repercussions since Americans have been actively, thoroughly, and consistently deprived of the context necessary to understand the conflict.

For decades, every time violence has broken out, Israel has simply switched on its well-oiled public relations campaign designed to discredit Palestinians. In a new twist, the Israeli government recently began giving scholarships to university students who are willing to sit at their computers posting endless streams of comments on news sites and social media, engineered by Israeli experts to counter any criticism of Israel. Addressing western audiences, mainly American, Israel decontextualizes the violence.

A prime example is how Israel links every act of Palestinian violence to religious fervor, without any suggestion that Israel’s military occupation since 1967 and annexation of Jerusalem in 1980 could give grounds for legitimate political grievance. For decades, Palestinians in Jerusalem have been systematically humiliated, discriminated against, and even stripped of their Jerusalem residency status. Instead of providing a context that might help explain and stem the attacks, Israel goes to the extreme to make it seem as if Palestinians were just a different breed of people, bent on inexplicable violence. It has worked brilliantly, until now.

Today, after years of developing effective non-violent tools to resist the occupation, everything from a boycott, divestment and sanctions campaigns all the way to challenging the occupation in venues of the United Nations, such as the International Criminal Court, Palestinians have built a solidarity movement that can be found in every corner of the globe. We are finally giving the occupation a run for its money.

However, in America, despite widespread educational efforts on the issue in almost every state, change has been slow. Context is key, and Americans have been consistently deprived of the relevant context for understanding this conflict. Is it any wonder that so many Americans rush to contextualize Palestinian behavior by borrowing whatever negative Middle Eastern tags happen to be fashionable at the moment — from Osama bin Laden to ISIS, from Saddam Hussein to Hezbollah. If the comments online are any indication, a common response in the USA to the recent tragic events in and around Jerusalem is to call into question our very humanity.

Completely missing from this discourse is that the United States is the leading player in the actions, or inactions, of the international community that have allowed the situation to boil over once again. It is the U.S. that monopolized the peace process, that substantially arms Israel and that covers for it diplomatically like no other state in the world. Moreover, an annual $3 billion in American tax dollars flow to Israel in aid and goods. These rewards are carrots to keep Israel strategically allied to the U.S. but the weapons and equipment, not to mention the freeing up of Israeli tax dollars, are used as sticks to systematically oppress Palestinians on both sides of the Green Line.

For the average American citizen, in 2015, to still view Palestinians as creatures from Mars, their all-too-human desperation seen without any historic context and independently of any relation to the Israeli military occupation which runs their lives, is no longer acceptable. The American education system and media must do better, for the sake of us all.

Theoretically, American politicians and lawmakers could compensate for Americans’ lack of knowledge of the conflict but, alas, little hope is to be found in that direction: U.S. politics has long been allied with the pro-Israeli lobby and Congress has become an echo chamber for Israeli state propaganda.

It is a shame that the average American remains completely in the dark about what it means to live under military occupation. The Israeli “occupation” that Palestinians have been living under for 48 years is a brutal military rule that reaches into every corner of every Palestinian’s life. It controls where we can go and when, where we can live, how we practice our religion, and so many other vital matters, including whether we live or die.

The acts of violence we are witnessing against Israelis are horrifying — as are less publicized and more numerous Israeli attacks against Palestinians. We can remain appalled by the violence but can nevertheless understand what is motivating the actions. Indeed, to have any chance of stopping them, we are obliged first to understand why they are happening. For Palestinians, the names and places in the Bible, holy to so many Americans, are more than words we recite at church on Sundays: Jerusalem, Bethlehem, Nazareth and Jericho are our homes and when violence breaks out in those places, it is we and our children who have the most to lose.

Israeli and Palestinian casualties are a loss to us all and their memories should serve as an eternal reminder to all sides — that without an end to the Israeli occupation there can be no winners or losers, only more mourners on both sides.

 

Written for The Forward

NETANYAHU’S ‘KAMPF’

Netanyahu’s ridiculous comments this week have gone as viral internationally as Mein Kampf itself …. Surely they will boost sales for the infamous book.

BUT ….  the saga continues

Once the laughter and groans have died down, the unorthodox version of Holocaust history offered by Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem the other day confronts us with a deeply unsettling question: What to make of the fact that the Jewish state, of all places, has a Holocaust revisionist for a prime minister?

From WRH

From WRH

Why Benjamin Netanyahu’s Defense of Hitler Matters So Much

Once the laughter and groans have died down, the unorthodox version of Holocaust history offered by Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem the other day confronts us with a deeply unsettling question: What to make of the fact that the Jewish state, of all places, has a Holocaust revisionist for a prime minister?

Too harsh? Perhaps “Hitler apologist” would go down easier. What’s the proper term for a politician who stands before an international audience and declares that “Hitler didn’t want to exterminate the Jews,” but was talked into it by someone he’d just met?

That’s the thesis that Netanyahu laid out in his keynote address to the World Zionist Congress in Jerusalem on October 20. According to the prime minister, the idea of killing the Jews was pitched to the fuehrer by the grand mufti of Jerusalem, Haj Amin al-Husseini, when the two met over tea in Berlin on November 28, 1941.

“Hitler didn’t want to exterminate the Jews at the time,” the prime minister said. “He wanted to expel the Jews. And Haj Amin al-Husseini went to Hitler and said: ‘If you expel them, they’ll all come here,’” meaning Palestine. Netanyahu continued: “’So what should I do with them?’ he asked. He said, ‘Burn them.’” (You can watch Netanyahu’s comments here on Ynet, here at Haaretz or here on CNN.)

The remark has prompted an international uproar, with barbs flying in every direction. Critics say Netanyahu “plays into those who would trivialize or understate Adolf Hitler’s role in orchestrating the Holocaust,” in the words of the Anti-Defamation League’s rookie national director Jonathan Greenblatt. Supporters are, predictably, supportive. The Simon Wiesenthal Center’s associate dean Abraham Cooper and in-house historian Harold Brackman, wrote in a Jewish Journal op-ed that the prime minister “went too far” in claiming that Hitler needed Husseini’s help thinking up mass murder, but was “right on” in his larger point, namely that the the accusation of Jews threatening the Al Aqsa mosque can be traced back to the Holocaust-supporting Husseini, way back in the 1920s.

The implication, apparently, is that the mosque accusation is a Nazi-style, genocidal delusion. The further implication is that when current-day Palestinians and other Muslims accuse Israelis of planning to impinge on Muslim religious hegemony over the Temple Mount, they’re merely carrying on the ravings of the mufti who dreamed up the Holocaust.

Netanyahu tried to walk back his statement the next day, saying he didn’t mean to absolve Hitler of responsibility, since Hitler was the one who “made the decision.” He doubled down on Husseini’s role, though, citing a German official’s testimony at the Nuremberg trials to the effect that Husseini had been deeply involved in the gestation. The German, Adolf Eichmann’s deputy Dieter Wisliceny, has been quoted as testifying that the mufti and Eichmann were “best friends” and that the mufti “constantly incited” Eichmann to “greater extermination measures.” The Wisliceny testimony helped inspire the urban legend, which has circulated for years among right-wing Israelis, that Husseini was in fact one of the architects of the Final Solution.

The legend is so deeply rooted, and the facts so tangled up in myths, high-intensity polemics and endless volumes of dry history, that many journalists reporting Bibi’s latest fuehrer furor have given up trying to find the truth. Numerous news accunts of the dustup simply report, like CNN’s Greg Botelho, that the facts can’t be nailed down. “There’s no video or audio, not even a transcript, that can definitively prove Netanyahu’s account of the conversation between Hitler and Husseini,” Botelho wrote.

Actually, there is a record — possibly two, in fact. Hitler’s translator, Paul Otto Schmidt, took notes at the meeting, and they’re readily available. (Find the English translation here or here.) Moreover, the mufti himself kept a diary. The common Internet version of what are said to be his notes from his Hitler powwow (here) tracks closely with Schmidt’s minutes.

What the records show is that the mufti did not pitch genocide to Hitler. Husseini did express support for Hitler’s plan to eliminate the Jews, which he had plainly heard about before the meeting. Hitler proceeded to describe the plan to him in general terms. Husseini said “the Arabs” supported Nazi Germany because they shared the same enemies, namely Great Britain, the Jews and the communists. Hitler told Husseini that he opposed the British-sponsored Jewish national home in Palestine. Husseini asked for a public statement from Hitler endorsing the “elimination” of the Jewish national home. Hitler turned him down.

Both documents make clear that Hitler was already engaged in his genocidal final solution, and that the mufti was an enthusiastic fan. (He would later become an active participant.) Hitler favored extermination because he believed the Jews were trying to take over the world through their domination of capitalist Great Britain and communist Russia. Husseini wanted Jews removed from the Arab world because they were trying to take over Palestine.

There’s also abundant public record documenting the substantial progress Hitler and his lieutenants had made in gearing up the final solution by the time of the November 28 Hitler-Husseini chat. The organized mass killing of Jews by the Nazis had begun in June 1941, immediately after the German invasion of the Soviet Union. According to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, Hitler gave broad instructions to SS chief Heinrich Himmler to “physically eliminate” any perceived threats on July 17, 1941. On July 31, according to the museum, Hermann Goering, Hitler’s chief deputy and designated successor, “authorized SS General Reinhard Heydrich to make preparations for the implementation of a ‘complete solution of the Jewish question.’”

By the end of November, when Hitler met Husseini for the first and only time, planning was well underway for the Wansee Conference, which assembled various German government department heads in January 1942 to coordinate the immense bureaucratic blueprint for genocide that Heydrich had mapped out. Heydrich actually sent out the invitations to the conference on November 29, the day after the mufti met the fuehrer.

Netanyahu’s version of history is so demonstrably and utterly at odds with the historical record that it’s hard to fathom what could have driven him to offer it in a heavily watched keynote address to an international convention. The prime minister famously prides himself on his grasp of history. He makes frequent and facile use of the Holocaust as an object lesson for humanity. Even his harshest critics must have difficulty absorbing the realization that he can be so ignorant of the most basic facts of that history. There’s no lack of observers who disagree, often sharply, with his policies. But this goes to his competence.

There’s another, perhaps larger question raised by Netanyahu’s speech. It goes to the rapidly escalating level of vitriol that the prime minister is directing at Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas. One of the clearly evident goals of the Zionist Congress speech was to draw a straight line between the Final Solution and today’s Palestinian national movementand its leader. At a time when Abbas has been peppering nearly every major speech with an appeal for a two-state solution, for a Palestinian state alongside Israel within defined borders, trying to paint him as an heir to the Nazis perverts the truth. Nor does the prime minister stop there. Just hours after the Zionist Congress speech, during a joint press conference with United Nations secretary general Ban Ki-moon, he said that Abbas had “joined” with Hamas and ISIS.

If Netanyahu’s goal is to pave the way to an eventual reconciliation and coexistence, as he so often claims, he’s picked a funny way of doing it. If his goal is, as he says it is, to discourage slander, demonization and incitement, practicing those very things is a bad first step.

FROM

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More brilliant ‘wisdom’ from Netanyahu via WRH

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ATTITUDES THAT LEAD TO DEATH

 Or ~~ A NIGHT DEVOID OF STARS

BIQOdNNCUAEZilh

The situation in Israel/Palestine is spiraling out of control by the minute. Killings on both both sides continue with no immediate end in sight ….

The question is WHY?

I went through my archives this morning and found three posts which speak of attitudes that lead to hatred, that lead to death; I am reposting them to give you a better picture of what is going on here ….

WE LIVED IN PEACE TILL THE WHITE MAN CAME

(Originally posted in April, 2014)

rock-throwing_1748101i

On Friday evening I was approached by a local resident in the French Hill area who with anger in his voice he said that “a ‘creature’ threw stones at one of our buses …. we must do something about the situation”. My response was that “I never saw a ‘creature’ throw stones, was it a cat or a dog”? “NO! It was one of YOUR Arabs from Issawyia”! “What can we do about that”??

I answered with,”first we can end the occupation and second people like yourself can start referring to the Arabs as human beings and treat them as such”!

The resident in question is a recent immigrant from the United States. Not too long ago, after ‘coming down’ from a bad ‘trip’ on pot at a beach in Miami, he found God (the opiate of the people) , packed his bags and moved to Israel. Before his (and others of his ilk’s) arrival to the French Hill area we lived in peace with our neighbours in what was truly a  showcase of coexistence …

Co-exist

On the other hand, this short video gives a glimpse of what life is like on the other side of the wall in the neighbouring village of Issawyia …

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Surely this situation will lead to animosity, even hatred, towards the Jewish residents in the area …. but there are ways to deal with the situation. Stone throwing at innocent civilians is definitely NOT the solution and will only lead to a continuation of the growth of hatred on the Israeli side of the wall. Let us come together and prove to the White Man that peace IS possible. Then the wall will come down and hopefully the White Man will return to his true home on the beach in Miami. We definitely do not need or want his ilk destroying the peace process before it even starts.

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LIFE IS TOO SHORT

(Originally posted in July, 2010)

The time has come in my life where I just won’t waste it listening to certain opinions or be with the people that have them… call me closed minded if you wish, but you would be way off base.
 
 
Case in point
 
I live in a fairly mixed and progressive community in Jerusalem.  Mixed as there are both religious and secular Jews living here as well as hundreds of Palestinians. We have maintained our own level of Peace throughout what have been very turbulent years in the city.
 
English is the official ‘second language’ in this area which is a big attraction to new immigrants from the States. One such person moved in not too long ago…. one very strange person. He is the type that gets an idea in his head and proceeds to spout it out for the remainder of the week, literally ‘testing the waters’ to see if anyone was in agreement with him. People were tolerant towards him probably out of pity as he was here only with his wife and completely estranged from his children that remained in the States.
 
I was one that offered my ear to his ramblings, hardly ever agreeing with them….. BUT last week he crossed the line. He started spouting off about the violence displayed in baseball and how terrible that was….. but ended his rant with “Israel should learn something from that game, we should have bombed all of the ships in the Flotilla and killed them all”! I was beyond words, shocked would be too mild a word to express my feelings at the moment. I simply responded that “this is the end of this conversation” and walked away from him.
 
Last night he approached me again …. but I cut him off before he started talking by telling him that “whatever friendship we might have had ended last week when you expressed the most outrageous opinion I ever heard”. He was not expecting that from me, but should have as he is aware of my views regarding the situation in general in this country. He silently walked away from me, probably with the hope that I won’t be telling others about his madness.
 
Simply put, it’s bad enough having to witness the crimes against the Palestinians in this country, crimes that I can (and do) speak out against constantly…. but there is no reason in the world why I should have to listen to certain opinions regarding those crimes. Life is way too short to waste it on one ignorant person, there are others with open minds that one day might work together with us to make a real difference.
 
Hopefully this person will have learned something about ‘resting his gums’ so to speak. Either that or realise that his views are totally unacceptable in certain areas and leave, in which case not a tear would be shed by anyone in the community.
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And finally ….

‘THERE’S A GUY IN YOUR NEIGHBOURHOOD THAT LOVES ARABS’

(originally posted October, 2012)

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OMG! Can you believe that???
That is what I was told the other morning by a neighbour who recently visited a small town near Tel Aviv …
He went further to identify the ‘guy’ as Steve. OMG! C’est Moi!!!
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My cover has been blown …. what to do??
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It seems that for most of my adult life I have been accused of many things by a wide mixture of both zionists and Islamophobes, but this ‘accusation’ takes the cake. I have always taken pride in the fact that I consider myself a hate free person. The only people I have a problem with are those that hate, so call me an anti hate person. Does that make me an Arab lover? Yes, I have Arab friends and neighbours that I love, but I also have Jewish neighbours and friends that I love. Why then was I not labeled ‘the guy in your neighbourhood that loves Jews’? Perhaps because it is a known fact by all who know me that I am a supporter of Palestinian rights and support the creation of a Palestinian State on the lands that were stolen from them by the zionists. If that makes me an Arab lover, then I guess I am guilty as charged.
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But why the accusation in the first place??? Simple explanation …. it’s an accusation based on ignorance. One of my favourite quotes comes from a non person, Yoda of Star Wars fame … Fear is the path to the dark side. Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering.” I have seen enogh suffering in my lifetime and refuse to be a part of seeing it continue, so I will continue refusing to hate.
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Below is an excerp from a post I did a few years ago about life in my neighbourhood….
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Clash of the Cultures
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You see everything in Jerusalem. It draws tourists from all over the world, every race, every religion, every political persuasion. Our own local population is quite a mixture as well…

We have Muslim women who dress like this woman…

We have Jewish men that dress like these men…

It was once thought that ignorance is bliss… that is certainly not the case today and there is no excuse for much of our ignorance, especially when it pertains to our fellow citizens.

A quote from a beloved Star Wars character, Yoda is…“Fear is the path to the dark side. Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering.”
It was expanded by an unknown writer to say…”IGNORANCE leads to FEAR which causes HATE which leads to ANGER, which ends in SUFFERING.”
I prefer the second quote and it is fitting to the following episode I wish to relate here…

There was a woman walking towards the bank in my neighbourhood the other day. She was dressed like the woman in the photo. A man, on his way to the coffee shop passed her, he was dressed like one of the men in the other photo.

She covers her face so it would not be seen by men other than her husband, he, by his garb represents the ultra orthodox section of Judaism, is not supposed to look at other women. But he did, and he panicked. He ran from that woman as if he saw the devil himself. Why, because of ignorance. He had no idea why her face was covered. He was afraid. Most likely his fear will lead to hate and that will lead to suffering.

We cannot continue to live in our little isolated worlds. We have to open our windows and see who else dwells there. That alone will be a start to end this type of behaviour. It might even lead to peace.*

The Guardian’s Comment is free ran the following about my neighbourhood a few years ago … after reading it you will understand why I chose this particular area as my home. It will also clue you in to the fact that I am not the only guy in my neighbourhood that ‘loves Arabs’.

Thank God, Thank God Almighty I am not alone!

FEAR BUILDS WALLS

Could the harmony that has developed from an influx of Arab families in an area of Jerusalem set the tone for the rest of the country?

By Seth Freedman

Many critics of Israel’s security wall assert that its construction has driven another nail into the coffin of possible integration between the local Jews and Arabs. However, thanks to an unexpected phenomenon arising from its erection, certain Jewish parts of Jerusalem are experiencing an influx of Arabs into their areas – and the early indications are that their assimilation is progressing relatively smoothly.

The district of French Hill, which is technically over the Green Line but in reality bears little resemblance to the typical “settlement” stereotype, has seen a steep rise in the number of Arabs seeking to move into its neighbourhood in recent years. Not wanting to be caught on the “wrong” side of the security wall, many Arab families have sought homes on the Israeli side of the barrier, in order to ensure their Israeli IDs aren’t revoked, as well as to avoid hours-long delays at checkpoints as they commute to and from work.

With prices in the Arab villages of East Jerusalem soaring in the wake of a flood of eager buyers, those with fewer funds available have opted to move into Jewish parts of the city, including French Hill and nearby Pisgat Ze’ev. Their arrival hasn’t been to everyone’s liking, with the usual suspects up in arms and demanding that other residents band together to keep the Arabs out and ensure that the neighbourhoods remain strictly Jewish.

One such charming individual was quoted as saying: “As a Jew I am happy to be a racist,” claiming that it was the only way to preserve his children’s future in the face of the Arab invasion. Fortunately, however, his odious attitude is very much a minority one – at least, as far as I could tell from a visit to the area.

On arrival in the town centre, it was plain to see that the more level-headed and sedate residents have no problem with their neighbours and fellow shoppers. Jews and Arabs alike thronged the cafes, jostling for position in the bright sunshine as they downed cappuccinos and mint teas at the outdoor tables. The local bank was doing equally brisk business, and customers in kipot (skullcaps) stood in line behind others in Arabic headscarves with no hint of tension present.

Sitting behind the counter at Cafe Malcha, the Jewish owner spoke proudly of the mixed group of customers who pack his shop every day. “There’s no problem here. Jews and Arabs sit together, everyone’s friendly, and they come from all over, including the centre of Jerusalem and the surrounding [Arab] villages.” He pointed out that it is mainly the secular Jews and Arabs who socialise with one another, “since the religious on both sides are far more cautious.”

Iyal, a 19-year-old Arab who waits tables at the cafe, agreed with his boss that French Hill is largely devoid of any racial tension. “I’ve worked here for years”, he said, “and I never see any racism in the area”. Sitting outside was a group of five Arab workers, chatting loudly to one another in Arabic and clearly at ease in their surroundings – belying the image that some reporters portray of French Hill as being a hotbed of anti-Arab racism.

However, that’s not to say that under the surface there doesn’t linger some degree of antipathy between the area’s ethnic groups. Isawiya’s youth have something of a poor track record when it comes to their treatment of any Jews who enter the village. Many Jews go there to shop, or get their cars repaired, and are often pelted with rocks and stones by the local children, which does nothing to enhance relations between the two sides. At the same time, local Arab residents have made no bones about their desire to keep their neighbourhoods all-Arab, forbidding the sale of homes to Jewish buyers for fear of losing the Arab identity of their districts.

Similarly, one Jewish girl I spoke to had a great deal of venom in her system when it came to the local Arabs. “I can’t trust them enough to live alongside them,” she said flatly, before going on to assert that “they all want to kill us simply because we’re Jews, so why should we let them move into our neighbourhoods and get the chance to?” When pressed, however, she conceded that her work as a local receptionist has brought her into contact with plenty of Arabs, “and the ones I know aren’t like that at all. I suppose I shouldn’t generalise about them, actually.”

Despite it going against her defensive mentality, it is clear that the experience of working alongside Arab colleagues and discovering what they’re like as individuals – rather than collectively tarring them as “the Arabs” – has produced a chink in her armour. While I still wouldn’t want her in charge of the peace process, given her overriding penchant for painting the Arabs as bloodthirsty Jew haters, the fact that she softened her position at all during the course of our conversation indicates that the process of assimilation is bearing positive fruit.

And, in the words of another local I spoke to who said: “I can barely tell who’s Jewish and who’s Arab round here”, the success of French Hill’s multicultural exercise might well set the tone for the rest of the country one day. Of course, things aren’t going to change overnight – Arabs are still treated with a great deal of suspicion by many Israelis, at both street and institutional levels, but that shouldn’t stop the moderates on both sides forging on with their goal of overcoming the prevalent racist attitudes.

There is an aphoristic piece of graffiti sprayed near thecheckpoint between Jerusalem and Bethlehem that reads: “Fear builds walls,” which is as true as it is depressing. However, one unlikely byproduct of the security barrier’s construction could, ultimately, end up eradicating at least some of the fear that exists between the two communities, thanks to the Arab migration into Jewish neighbourhoods that it has created. And that, despite the overarching negativity that surrounds the building of the wall in the first place, is well worth clinging on to for those seeking at least a modicum of hope from a seemingly hopeless situation.

OBAMA COFFEE ‘JOKE’

25-Barack-Obama-Coffee-Art

As posted on Twitter ….

Q. Do you know what Obama coffee is?

A. Black and weak.

That’s supposed to be funny?

Well it’s NOT!

Nothing more, nothing less

Nothing more, nothing less

After removing the ‘joke’ the poster said in an apology to the President, “I like people no matter about their race and religion.”

Brings to mind the classic anti Semitic comeback of  “Some of my best friends are Jewish”.

Israeli Minister’s Wife Tweets Offensive ‘Obama Coffee’ Joke

The wife of Israeli Interior Minister Silvan Shalom apologized after tweeting a tasteless joke about U.S. President Barack Obama.

Judy Shalom Nir Mozes posted the joke Sunday and removed it shortly after, but not before unleashing a storm of criticism.

“Do u know what Obama Coffee is? Black and weak,” read the offensive tweet.

After deleting the tweet, Mozes apologized in a second tweet, which said: “I apologize, that was a stupid joke somebody told me.”

A second apology posted a half hour later was directed at the U.S. President: President Obama I shouldnt have written the inappropriate joke I heard. I like people no matter about their race and religion.

A third apology read: “Sorry if I caused any offence to anyone. I hope I will stay married when my husband will land and hear what I did.”

Mozes, an Israeli talk-show host, has nearly 75,000 Twitter followers.

Shalom, of the Likud Party of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, also is a vice prime minister.

WHERE ARE THE WOMEN IN THE NEW ISRAELI GOVERNMENT?

Once again the ultra-‘orthodox’ removed the faces of the women, this time, in Netanyahu’s Cabinet ….

Female ministers? That’s immodest: Ultra-Orthodox website Behadrei Haredim has blurred the faces of the Israeli government’s new female members in the traditional picture at the President’s Residence due to the haredi practice not to publish women’s pictures for “modesty” reasons.

The evolution of censorship: First, only ministers' face blurred (Photo: GPO, Behadrei Haredim)

The evolution of censorship: First, only ministers’ face blurred (Photo: GPO, Behadrei Haredim)

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Now, minister's legs blurred too (Photo: GPO, Behadrei Haredim)

Now, minister’s legs blurred too (Photo: GPO, Behadrei Haredim)

Haredi website censors female ministers from government picture

Behadrei Haredim posts traditional government picture taken at President’s Residence, but blurs faces of Ministers Gila Gamliel, Ayelet Shaked and Miri Regev; amended picture censors Minister Regev’s legs as well.

Female ministers? That’s immodest: Ultra-Orthodox website Behadrei Haredim has blurred the faces of the Israeli government’s new female members in the traditional picture at the President’s Residence due to the haredi practice not to publish women’s pictures for “modesty” reasons.

Different organizations slammed the “despicable exclusion,” calling on Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to intervene and work to stop it.

In the picture which was published on the website Tuesday, the faces of Ministers Gila Gamliel, Ayelet Shaked and Miri Regev were blurred in accordance with the norms of most haredi media outlets and of the public domain in the haredi sector. Regev’s legs, by the way, remained exposed – which caused many on social networks to ridicule the website’s modesty norms – but were later blurred as well.

Galia Wolloch, chairwoman of the Na’amat movement, wrote in an appeal to the prime minister that the incident was “a great offense to women and an attempt to exclude them and even make them disappear completely,” and that the new female ministers were being treated “as criminals if not worse.”

According to Wolloch, the blurring of the women is even more offensive in light of the fact that one of those women is the gender equality minister – a role which aims to eradicate gender discrimination cases.

“This is an outrageous and offensive publication, a serious offense to the Israeli government and the presidency, and a serious offense to all women,” Wolloch wrote. “The Israeli government’s female ministers are not criminals and should not have to conceal their faces… Excluding them from the public domain and from the eye of the public is simply intolerable.”

‘Unnecessary vulgarity’

The Na’amat women turned to Netanyahu as the communications minister as well, asking him to ensure that the website would no longer be able to act in a way which offends, excludes and degrades female ministers and women in general in the State of Israel.

They further noted that “a picture issued by the Government Press office must be published in the exact way it was issued, without changing it and without degrading the photographed people.”

Attorney Rabbi Uri Regev, CEO of the Hiddush – For Religious Freedom and Equality association, said in response to the censored picture: “It’s sad that the Behadrei Haredim website has reached the 21st century from a technological perspective, but is still in the Middle Ages when it comes to the exclusion of women. No one demanded that the haredi media outlets publish the government picture. They could have omitted it, like some of them did. Censoring the picture is unnecessary vulgarity.”

Regev added, “It’s unclear why the website, which is so sensitive about the haredi public’s image in issues like the attacks on haredi soldiers, couldn’t have demonstrated the proper sensitivity in this case as too. It’s unclear why the website’s editors think that the haredi representatives in the government can sit with women, cooperate with them and pose for pictures with them – but that the pictures must not be published.”

He offered an answer: “State funds ‘purify’ women.”

The censored picture was shared on many social media groups, where it was condemned and criticized.

The Behadrei Haredim website offered the following response: “‘Behadrei Haredim’ is the biggest haredi website in the world, and we would like to stress the word ‘haredi.’ As such, it does not publish pictures of women on its homepage, unlike other websites which pretend to be haredi. The haredi press has never and will never feature pictures of women. The basic right of freedom of expression does not stop at the entrance to Bnei Brak.”

Source

If only it was that easy to get rid of the ultra right extremists in the government😉

 

 

IF HE LOOKS LIKE A MUSLIM HE MUST BE A TERRORIST

Assistant to head of security for Israeli embassy in Brussels mistakenly identifies young man carrying cricket bat covered in sweatshirt as possible terrorist yielding gun, causing man and his family to be expelled from country.

The photo of Abbassi that appeared in Belgian media outlets.

The photo of Abbassi that appeared in Belgian media outlets.

 

Israeli security guard mistakenly identifies ‘terrorist’ in Belgium

Assistant to head of security for Israeli embassy in Brussels mistakenly identifies young man carrying cricket bat covered in sweatshirt as possible terrorist yielding gun, causing man and his family to be expelled from country.

A security guard from Israel’s embassy in Belgium sparked controversy after he mistakenly identified a young man carrying a cricket bat covered in a sweatshirt as a possible terrorist yielding a gun.

The assistant to the head of security in the embassy was on a stroll with his baby son in mid-August on a street in Brussels when he noticed a suspicious man.

He later described the man as a “Middle-Eastern-looking young man holding a weapon covered in cloth,” a description that started a chain of events which eventually led to the expulsion of the young man from Belgium – through no fault of his own.

After the security guard noticed the “suspicious man,” he took a picture of him on his phone but avoided confronting him because the security guard was holding his baby son.

The security guard then proceeded to run to the house of one of the Israeli ambassadors (Israel’s ambassador to Brussels Jack Revach and Israel’s ambassador to the European Union David Waltzer both live in Brussels) out of fear he had detected a potential assassin.

The security guard issued emergency procedure and instructed the ambassadors not to leave their homes. After leaving his son in the care of someone else, the security guard attempted to return to the scene in order to seize the suspect.

However, by the time the security guard returned to the scene the suspect had left the area.

The security guard sent the pictures he had taken of the suspect to the Brussels police, which led to the publication of the picture in the media under the headline “Armed Anti-Semite” and called for individuals to send in any information about the man.

The day after the publication of the picture, 22-year-old Assim Abbassi from Pakistan called the police and identified himself as the man in the photograph.

Abbassi said that the described “weapon” was a cricket bat that was wrapped with his sweatshirt to protect it from the rain, and added that he was on his way to practice the sport.

His explanation was accepted by the police.

It was also revealed that Abbassi was the son of a manager at the Pakistani embassy in Brussels and had been living in Belgium for the past four years.

After the publication of the photo and the suspicions surrounding Abbassi, Abbassi’s father was allegedly fired from his management role at the Pakistani embassy.

The entire family was allegedly told to return to Pakistan within a week because of “the fear they harmed the reputation of Pakistan in Belgium.”

“They denied me and my family the right to live here,” said Abbassi in a campaign to cancel the decision.

“I lost my education. I lost everything and nobody apologized to me,” he added.

Pakistan’s Foreign Ministry spokesman refused to comment.

The spokesman for Pakistan’s embassy in Brussels denied Abbassi’s father was fired because of the incident and claimed that his contract had expired.

Israeli sources confirmed that it was later revealed that Abbassi was innocent and in fact not a terrorist. They also said his version of events was found credible.

Source

THE END OF THE DIASPORA?

It ain't gonna happen

It ain’t gonna happen

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First read THIS from the archives

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Just imagine much of Brooklyn or Miami Beach turning into ghost towns …. not to mention the ‘burbs’. 

Israelis are getting bolder (or dumber) by the day as can be seen in the latest poll regarding WHO’S A JEW …

Just how would Israel survive if they got their way?

Talk about alienation …

Can you imagine an America without a Foxman or a Wiesenthal Centre? Do you think they are prepared to give up their high paying jobs to move to Israel?

HA!
*
Not to mention THESE people …

Poll: One-third of Israelis think about leaving

Poll by Israel’s Channel 2 reveals sense of despondency among many residents. Though most would never leave, attitudes on emigration soften.

Click HERE to read report

BUT …

Opinion poll on Jewish identity finds a third of Israelis believe that to be considered a Jew, one has to live in Israel; only quarter of public believe that a Jew is anyone who calls himself one.

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'You can't be a Jew outside of Israel'

‘You can’t be a Jew outside of Israel’

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Poll: Majority of Israelis stringently define Jews

Opinion poll on Jewish identity finds a third of Israelis believe that to be considered a Jew, one has to live in Israel; only quarter of public believe that a Jew is anyone who calls himself one.

Kobi Nachshoni

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Fifty-eight percent of Israelis define a Jew as someone who is the child of a Jewish mother, a poll conducted by BINA, the Center for Jewish Identity & Hebrew Culture revealed on Wednesday.

Ahead of the Jewish holidays and following the controversy surrounding the “conversion law”, the poll seeked to determine the public’s opinion regarding questions that have been preoccupying Israel for decades – who is a Jew?

Alarming Figures

The poll was conducted by the Geocartography research institute among a nationwide representative sample of 500 respondents – a representative sample of the adult Jewish population in Israel.

Results of the poll showed that 58% of Israelis believe that any child born of a Jewish mother is a Jew; 26% said that a Jew is “anyone who defines himself as Jewish and wishes to be considered one”.

The findings also revealed that 6% of of respondents believe that only those who believe in God and are committed to the commandments of the Torah and the Jewish law are considered Jews, while 6% think that a Jew is anyone who is involved in Jewish studies (for example out of interest or as part of an academic education). The other respondents answered: “none of the above”, “all are equally Jewish”, or “I don’t know”.

The results analysis shows that the younger part of the group is more faithful to the Jewish tradition on that particular issue than the rest of the sample group: The younger the respondent is, the more he sanctifies the Halachic criterion of the Jewish mother (they are also those who believe that every Jew should have faith in God and observe the Jewish Mitzvot).

At the same time the number of those who believe that a Jew is someone who considers himself as one, is declining. Segmentation using religious definitions indicates that 42% of secular Jews acknowledge the Jewishness of anyone who claims to be Jewish – in contrast to just 15% among conservative Jews and 3% among ultra-Orthodox Jews who would not agree with such an assertion.

Among the ultra-Orthodox Jews, 86% believe that a Jew is one who was born to a Jewish mother, in contrast to 63% conservative Jews and 43.5% secular Jews.

In the second part of the survey, the participants were presented with several possibilities that express Jewish identity and were required to choose the one to which they felt more connected; 30% chose living in Israel, usage of the Hebrew language and army service in the IDF.

Among the results, 27% of Israelis felt that Jewish culture and traditions are key aspects of Jewish identity, 18% chose observance of Jewish law, and 13% express their Judiasm by observing the Sabbath with their family.

Here too, in comparison to other respondents, the younger respondents chose less “civilian” characteristics such as IDF military service, speaking Hebrew and living in Israel as elements of their Jewish identity. They gave more weight to the Jewish mitzvoth, culture and tradition.

Among the adults the trend was just the opposite. Naturally, these patterns encompass the secular, conservative and ultra-Orthodox Jews.

BINA director Eran Baruch said that the “survey voices one of the most central ideas we believe in – that believing in god and observing the mitzvoth are not the only ways to engage in Judaism. There are various ways to be Jewish”.

“The survey shows the diversity of the Israeli public regarding its Jewish identity: nationalistic and cultural components such as language and military service along with a warm approach to the Jewish tradition such as celebrating the holidays with the family – all these serve as a central part of the Israeli Jewish identity.

“We encourage Israeli Jews – secular, conservative and ultra-Orthodox – to take an interest in Judaism in its many layers and connect to it by choice and out of identification with it.”

ANOTHER ATTACK ON THE JEWISH LEFT FROM THE ZIO RIGHT

D09A11_2*

For the second time this week, the Jewish Left came under attack …. this time from an Israeli government spokesman. The earlier attack was from the Jerusalem Post’s Psycho Gal. Sad to see that her level of ‘thinking’ has reached the government corridors.

WE MUST BE DOING SOMETHING RIGHT (as leftists)
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One should always look to see where the
attack is coming from 

… those, such as these can be

dismissed without a problem.

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A poll last week by the Knesset channel found that 39% of respondents saw Bennett as leader of the “right-wing” in Israel, giving him the edge over Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu. Coming in second, Netanyahu got 28% support, while 20% picked Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman as their right-wing leader of choice.

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Bennett: Leftists Live in the Nineties

In his first public speech since the conclusion of Operation Protective Edge, Naftali Bennett sharply criticized the Israeli left.
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Naftali Bennett
Naftali Bennett Flash 90
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In his first public speech since the conclusion of Operation Protective Edge, Economics Minister and Jewish Home party leader Naftali Bennett sharply criticized the Israeli left, accusing them of having outmoded world views that they have refused to update.

“I cannot believe the things I hear from supporters of the left,” said Bennett. “They speak as if I am still in the 1990s,” when Israel spun off large chunks of Judea, Samaria, and Gaza to the control of the Palestinian Authority.

“But it’s the left that is stuck in the 90s, not me,” he said at the Herzliya Interdisciplinary Center Monday.

“They are like people sitting on the beach as a tsunami approaches,” Bennett said. “They ignore the tsunami and concentrate only on their little aquarium.”

The idea of a Palestinian state in Judea and Samaria is simply a non-starter for Israel, Bennett said. Those who still believed in it after the war in Gaza, during which Hamas was able to significantly interrupt daily Israeli life evenfrom the far south, indicated what would happen if Hamas and other terror groups could do as they pleased in Judea and Samaria.

“Six months ago I said that a Palestinian state would destroy the Israeli economy, and they laughed at me,” Bennett said. “But after Hamas managed to close down flights coming into Israel by targeting Ben Gurion Airport, my colleagues have stopped laughing. Does the left really believe we can trust the PA with the hills overlooking the center of the country? All it would take is one missile to ruin our economy,” Bennett said.

Besides the terror of Hamas and Fatah, said Bennett, a Palestinian state would advance the terror of ISIS and similar Islamist groups. “Israel needs to be a lighthouse in the storm that surrounds us,” said Bennett.

“With our solid base in a strong state, a strong economy, and 4,000 years of tradition, we must export this light abroad. We in the Economics Ministry are doing these things, exporting Israeli water technology and other positive things to India and China, as well as medical technology to the entire world. This is our vision.”

A poll last week by the Knesset channel found that 39% of respondents saw Bennett as leader of the “right-wing” in Israel, giving him the edge over Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu. Coming in second, Netanyahu got 28% support, while 20% picked Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman as their right-wing leader of choice.

 

From my ziocrap file

THE HATRED WE CALL OUR OWN

no-to-hatred
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“For me, personally, Arabs are something I can’t look at and can’t stand,” a 10th-grade girl from a high school in the central part of the country says in abominable Hebrew. “I am tremendously racist. I come from a racist home. If I get the chance in the army to shoot one of them, I won’t think twice. I’m ready to kill someone with my hands, and it’s an Arab. In my education I learned that … their education is to be terrorists, and there is no belief in them. I live in an area of Arabs, and every day I see these Ishmaelites, who pass by the [bus] station and whistle. I wish them death.”
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Israeli Teens Gripped by Virulent Racism

Book Details Spread of Anti-Arab Hatred in Schools

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HAARETZ

By Or Kashti

 

(Haaretz)  (VIA)— “For me, personally, Arabs are something I can’t look at and can’t stand,” a 10th-grade girl from a high school in the central part of the country says in abominable Hebrew. “I am tremendously racist. I come from a racist home. If I get the chance in the army to shoot one of them, I won’t think twice. I’m ready to kill someone with my hands, and it’s an Arab. In my education I learned that … their education is to be terrorists, and there is no belief in them. I live in an area of Arabs, and every day I see these Ishmaelites, who pass by the [bus] station and whistle. I wish them death.”

The student’s comments appear in a chapter devoted to ethnicity and racism among youth from a forthcoming book, “Scenes from School Life” (in Hebrew) by Idan Yaron and Yoram Harpaz. The book is based on anthropological observations made by Dr. Yaron, a sociologist, over the course of three years in a six-year, secular high school in the Israeli heartland – “the most average school we could find,” says Harpaz, a professor of education.

The book is nothing short of a page-turner, especially now, following the overt displays of racism and hatred of the Other that have been revealed in the country in the past month or so. Maybe “revealed” isn’t the right word, as it suggests surprise at the intensity of the phenomenon. But Yaron’s descriptions of what he saw at the school show that such hatred is a basic everyday element among youth, and a key component of their identity. Yaron portrays the hatred without rose-colored glasses or any attempt to present it as a sign of social “unity.” What he observed is unfiltered hatred. One conclusion that arises from the text is how little the education system is able – or wants – to deal with the racism problem.

Not all educators are indifferent or ineffective. There are, of course, teachers and others in the realm of education who adopt a different approach, who dare to try and take on the system. But they are a minority. The system’s internal logic operates differently.

Much of the chapter on racism revolves around the Bible lessons in a ninth-grade class, whose theme was revenge. “The class starts, and the students’ suggestions of examples of revenge are written on the blackboard,” the teacher told Yaron. A student named Yoav “insists that revenge is an important emotion. He utilizes the material being studied to hammer home his semi-covert message: All the Arabs should be killed. The class goes into an uproar. Five students agree with Yoav and say openly: The Arabs should be killed.”

One student relates that he heard in the synagogue on Shabbat that “Aravim zeh erev rav” [“Arabs are a rabble,” in a play on words], and also Amalek, and there is a commandment to kill them all,” a reference to the prototypical biblical enemy of the Children of Israel. Another student says he would take revenge on anyone who murdered his family, but would not kill them all.

“Some of the other students are outraged by this [softer stance],” the teacher reported. “The student then makes it clear that he has no love for Arabs and that he is not a leftist.”

Another student, Michal, says she is shocked by what she is hearing. She believes that the desire for revenge will only foment a cycle of blood; not all Arabs are bad, she adds, and certainly they don’t all deserve to die. “People who decree the fate of others so easily are not worthy of life,” she says.

Yoav himself claims to have heard Michal say: “Too bad you weren’t killed in a terrorist attack.”

“The students all start shouting,” the teacher says, according to Yaron. “Some are personally insulted, others are up in arms, and Michal finds herself alone and absorbing all the fire – ‘Arab lover,’ ‘leftist.’ I try to calm things down. The class is too distraught to move on to the biblical story. The bell rings. I let them out and suggest that they be more tolerant of one another.”

In the corridor during the break, the teacher notices that a crowd has gathered from all the ninth-grade classes. They have formed a human chain and are taunting Michal: “Fie, fie, fie, the Arabs will die.” The teacher: “I contemplated for five seconds whether to respond or keep going down the corridor. Finally I dispersed the gathering and insisted that Michal accompany me to the teachers’ room. She was in a state of shock, reeling under the insult, with tears to come instantly.”

Six students are suspended for two days. The teacher reports on his conversation with Michal: “She continues to be laconic. This is what always happens, she says. The opinions are racist, and her only regret is speaking out. I just want to hug her and say I’m sorry I put her through this trauma. I envy her courage to say aloud things that I sometimes am incapable of saying.”

Leftists as ‘Israel-haters’

In his research, Yaron spoke with Michal and Yoav, with other students in the class and with the homeroom teacher and the principal. The multiplicity of versions of the goings-on that emerge suggest a deep conflict and a lack of trust between the educators and the pupils. Each world functions separately, with the adults exercising little if any influence on the youngsters. It’s hard to believe that the suspension, or the punishment inflicted on some of the students – for example, to prepare a presentation for the ninth-grade classes on the subject of racism – changed anyone’s opinion.

The same goes for the principal’s unequivocal declaration that, “There will be no racist comments in our school.” Even the essay Michal was asked to write on the subject was soon forgotten. “The intention was to launch an educational program, but in the meantime it was postponed,” the homeroom teacher admits.

A year later, however, the incident itself was still remembered in the school. The same student who told Yaron that she won’t think twice if she gets the opportunity “to shoot one of them” when she serves in the army, also said, “As soon as I heard about the quarrel with that leftist girl [Michal], I was ready to throw a brick at her head and kill her. In my opinion, all the leftists are Israel-haters. I personally find it very painful. Those people have no place in our country – both the Arabs and the leftists.”

Anyone who imagines this as a local, passing outburst is wrong. As was the case with the girl from the ORT network vocational school who alleged earlier this year that her teacher had expressed “left-wing views” in the classroom – in this case too a student related that he cursed and shouted at a teacher who “justified the Arabs.” The students say that workshops to combat racism, which are run by an outside organization, leave little impression. “Racism is part of our life, no matter how much people say it’s bad,” a student said.

In the concluding discussion in just one such workshop, the moderator asked the students how they thought racism might eradicated. “Thin out the Arabs,” was the immediate reply. “I want you to leave here with the knowledge that the phenomenon exists, for you to be self-critical, and then maybe you will prevent it,” the moderator said. To which one student shot back, “If we’re not racist, that makes us leftists.”

The moderator, in a tone of despair: “I’d like it if you took at least something small from this workshop.” A student responds to the challenge: “That everyone should live the way he wants, that if he thinks he’s racist, let him think what he wants, and that’s all.”

As an adjunct of racism and hatred, ethnic identities – Mizrahi (Jews from Middle Eastern and North African countries) and Ashkenazi – are also flourishing. Yoav believes that there is “discrimination between Mizrahim and Ashkenazim. We were severely punished for the incident [with Michal], but if it were the other way around, that wouldn’t have happened.” Yoav later told Yaron that he found the common saying, “What’s this, an [open-air] market?” offensive, because his whole family works in the local produce market.

“Our business has existed since the state was established,” he said. “I am proud of my father, who is a man of the market. What are they trying to say, that my father isn’t cultured? When people say something about ‘Arabs,’ it’s considered a generalization, but when they say ‘market,’ that’s alright. When people say ‘market,’ they are actually talking about Mizrahim. We need to change the prejudices about the market and about the Mizrahim. People say I am a racist, but it’s just the opposite.”

“There is no discussion about the topic of racism in the school and there probably will not be,” the principal admits. “We are not prepared for the deep, long-term process that’s necessary. Even though I am constantly aware of the problem, it is far from being dealt with. It stems in the first place from the home, the community and the society, and it’s hard for us to cope with it. You have to remember that another reason it’s hard to deal with the problem is that it also exists among the teachers. Issues such as ‘human dignity’ or ‘humanism’ are in any case considered left-wing, and anyone who addresses them is considered tainted.”

Threat of noise

Prof. Yoram Harpaz is a senior lecturer at Beit Berl Teachers College and the editor of Hed Hahinuch, a major educational journal. Recalling the recent promise of Education Minister Shay Piron that classes in the first two weeks of the coming school year will be devoted to “emotional and social aspects of the summer’s events,” including “manifestations of racism and incitement,” Harpaz observes that schools in their present format “are incapable of dealing with the racist personality and identity.”

He adds: “The schools are not geared for this. They can only impart basic knowledge and skills, hold examinations on them and grade the students. In fact, they have a hard time doing even that. In classes of 40 students, with a strict curriculum and exams that have to be held, it is impossible to engage in values-based education.”

Yaron, a senior lecturer in sociology at Ashkelon Academic College, emphasizes how important teachers and the principal (and the education system in general) feel it is to stick to the curriculum and the lessons schedule – two islands of quiet amid a risk-laden reality.

“Doing this makes it possible for the teachers not to enter a dynamic sphere, which obligates openness and is liable to open a Pandora’s box, too,” he notes. “The greatest threat to the teacher is that there will be noise – that someone will complain, that an argument will break out, etc. That danger looms especially large in subjects that interest young people, such as sexuality, ethnicity, violence and racism. Teachers lack the tools to cope with these issues, so they are outsourced, which only emasculates educational personnel even more.”

The demand for quiet in the schools is not only an instrumental matter, deriving from the difficulty of keeping order in the classroom. There is also an ideological aspect involved. In general, there is a whole series of subjects that are not recommended for discussion in schools, such as the Nakba (or “catastrophe,” the term used by Palestinians to denote the establishment of the State of Israel), human rights and the morality of Israeli army operations. This was one of the reasons for the warnings issued by Tel Aviv University and Ben-Gurion University of the Negev during the fighting in the Gaza Strip about “extreme and offensive remarks.”

Harpaz: “In Israel, the most political country there is, political education has not been developed as a discipline in which high-school students are taught how to think critically about political attitudes, or the fact that those attitudes are always dependent on a particular viewpoint and on vested interests.”

What, then, can be done? According to Harpaz, the solution will not be found in discussions between the homeroom teacher and the students. Nor is a condemnation, however late, by the education minister sufficient. A more radical change is needed.

“Values and outlooks are acquired in a lengthy process of identification with ‘significant others,’ such as teachers,” Harpaz explains. “This means that every aspect of the schools – patterns of teaching, evaluation methods, curricula, the physical structure and the cultural climate – has to change in the direction of becoming far more dialogical and democratic.”

And he has one more recommendation: not to flee from political and moral dilemmas, or from possible criticism. “Our leaders are so fearful of criticism, but they don’t understand that critical education is what generates close ties and caring. We get angry at those we love.”

ANTI SEMITISM IS THE FORCE BEHIND BDS

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Life could be so simple if you are stupid!

*

“There’s a lot of anti-Semitism out there,” Johansson told Vanity Fair, in an interview for the cover of their May edition.

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Johansson: Anti-Semitism behind criticism of SodaStream endorsement

American Jewish actress came under fire for promotion of Israeli company with factory in West Bank settlement.

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American Jewish actress Scarlett Johansson believes anti-Semitism is to blame for much of the fire she drew earlier this year over her endorsement of Israeli company SodaStream, which operates a factory in the West Bank.

“There’s a lot of anti-Semitism out there,” Johansson told Vanity Fair, in an interview for the cover of their May edition.

Johansson resigned from her position as ambassador for Oxfam in January, after the organization contested the actress’ promotion of SodaStream due to the company’s West Bank factory. She said at the time that she was stepping down from the role because of a “fundamental difference of opinion.”

*

*

Her decision to disconnect from Oxfam won her praise from Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman, who wrote in a Facebook post: “I would like to express my support for actress Scarlett Johansson, who took a brave stand against immoral hypocrites.” She also received support from the World Jewish Congress.

SodaStream employs Palestinian and Israeli workers at its plant in the Ma’aleh Adumim insdutrial zone. It says the factory offers a model of peaceful cooperation, but Israel’s settlements are deemed illegal under international law and are condemned by Oxfam, which has a large operation in the region.

Source

HOW ISRAELI SHMUCKS CELEBRATE INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY

This happened in December, but it could have been yesterday as well …

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The incident took place in December 2011 on a gender-segregated bus in Jerusalem. Moshe Fuchs, 44, asked a woman paying the driver at the front of the bus to go to the back. Matalon, sitting in the front, told him women could sit wherever they wanted to. The defendant said to her, “Who asked you, prostitute, go to the back. You’re standing among yeshiva students and it’s a disgrace.”

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Beauty Queen Who Refused To Go to Back of Israeli Bus

Man Called IDF Soldier ‘Prostitute’ on Jerusalem Bus

FACEBOOK

By Nir Hasson

*

(Haaretz) — An ultra-Orthodox resident of Beit Shemesh was convicted of sexual harassment yesterday for calling a female Israel Defense Forces soldier a “prostitute” after she refused to move to the back of a bus.

The soldier, Doron Matalon, who has since started a modeling career, won second place in Tuesday night’s televised “Miss Israel” beauty pageant.

The incident took place in December 2011 on a gender-segregated bus in Jerusalem. Moshe Fuchs, 44, asked a woman paying the driver at the front of the bus to go to the back. Matalon, sitting in the front, told him women could sit wherever they wanted to. The defendant said to her, “Who asked you, prostitute, go to the back. You’re standing among yeshiva students and it’s a disgrace.”

At that point other ultra-Orthodox men joined Fuchs and yelled at her “prostitute” and “shikse” (gentile woman), Matalon said.

At that point she “felt threatened and a huge commotion began. I yelled out for the conductor to come quick, and two male conductors rushed in. They pushed him away from me and said: ‘Why are you shouting, she’s a soldier,’ but he continued to be abusive.”

Fuchs asked the Jerusalem Magistrate’s Court to acquit him because the incident was “trivial.” Magistrate Hagit Kalmanovitch rejected this argument and said the defendant’s misconduct was grievous.

She wrote in her verdict that he had embarrassed the soldier in public “without an apology and without expressing regret.” The incident was also grave “because the defendant acted as part of a social practice of excluding women on segregated lines in particular and in public in general,” said the judge.

From HaAretz Via

CANADA’S HARPER NEEDS A LESSON IN WHAT ZIONISM REALLY IS

AntiZionism (1)
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Despite the 30 Billion a year that the US taxpayers send to Israel, Netanyahu considers Harper his best, perhaps only, friend among today’s world leaders, and to be a wholehearted supporter of his government’s policy.
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Neither seem aware of the Canadian Government’s policy …
On the eve of Harper’s visit to Israel, the Foreign Ministry in Ottawa issued an updated policy paper on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Although many on the right believe the Harper government to be a full-fledged supporter of Israeli policy on the Palestinian issue, the policy paper states that Canada believes the settlements are illegal and an obstacle to peace.
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Harper tells Knesset: Anti-Zionism is the new face of anti-Semitism

Stephen Harper is first Canadian PM to address the Knesset; ‘Canada won’t tolerate delegitimization of Israel’.

By Barak Ravid
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Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper.
Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper addresses the Knesset. Photo by AFP
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Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper on Monday became the first leader of his country to address the Knesset, telling parliamentarians that Canada supported Israel’s right to statehood and would not tolerate efforts to delegitimize it within the international community.

Speaking in both French and English, Canada’s national languages, Harper opened his address by telling members of Knesset that “Canada and Israel are friends in a natural way.”

“To truly understand the ties between Canada and Israel one must go beyond the institutions and look at the ties between peoples,” Harper said. “Jews have been present in Canada for more than 250 years… 350,000 Canadians share with you their heritage. They are immensely proud of what was accomplished here.”

“Canada supports Israel fundamentally because it is right to do so,” he added. “We stand up for a free and democratic Jewish state.”

But, Harper said, Canada also supports the creation of a Palestinian state. “Just as we support Israel we support peace for the Palestinians,” Harper said, later adding: “I believe that a Palestinian state will come when the people will realize that peace is the way.”

Canada will not accept the delegitimization of Israel, Harper declared. “Canada finds it horrible that there are those in the international community who challenge Israel’s legitimate right to exist,” he said. “That with one solitary Jewish state among many others, it is all too easy to isolate Israel.”

The Canadian prime minister also told MKs that he believed expression of anti-Zionism to be on par with anti-Semitism. “Anti-Semitism still exists in its traditional form based on ignorance in some of the dark corners of the world,” he said. “In the Western world it takes on a more sophisticated form. With some intellectualized arguments on some campuses.This is the new face of anti-Semitism.”

Harper also turned his attention to the issue of Iran, which dominated headlines on Monday after the Islamic Republic began halting uranium enrichment and prompted the U.S. to suspend some its sanctions. “Canada’s sanctions against Iran will stay in place,” Harper vowed.

While Harper’s speech was welcomed by most parliamentarians, he was heckled by two Arab lawmakers: MK Ahmad Tibi screamed “settlements,” and MK Talab Abu Arar then shouted and stormed out of the hall. After the outburst, Harper received a standing ovation from other parliamentarians.

A royal welcome

Harper arrived in Israel for his first visit on Sunday night, greeted with a royal welcome by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Netanyahu considers Harper his best, perhaps only, friend among today’s world leaders, and to be a wholehearted supporter of his government’s policy.

In introducing Harper to the Knesset, Netanyahu told his Canadian counterpart: “The people of Israel appreciate your steadfast support and sincere friendship. Welcome to Israel, dear friend.”

“There are those in the international community know the true facts, but you have the bravery to stick to the truth and to say the truth,” Netanyahu added. “Canada under your leadership is a moral compass and a lighthouse of honesty in the age of hypocrisy we live in.”

Throwing in some Canadian humor, Netanyahu told Harper: “There are streets in Toronto that are longer than the distance between Jerusalem and Ramallah,” referring to Yonge Street, which feeds into the TransCanada Highway. “This is why security is crucial.”

Netanyahu also praised Canada for standing with Israel against those who would delegitimize it, for backing it in the war on terror and against anti-Semitism, and for supporting a real peace with has “at its roots the Palestinian recognition of Israel as the Jewish national state.”

Changing subject to Iran, Netanyahu said, “The international community must take the Iranian nuclear train off the tracks in a permanent agreement… it is about time the international community stop legitimizing Iran while it is still calling for the destruction of Israel,” he said.

During a press conference with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah earlier on Monday, Harper dodged a question about the Israeli settlements. “I will not single out Israel on this trip,” he said. “Our position on this is known.”

This is Harper’s first visit since his election in 2006, and he is the first Canadian prime minister to ever address the Knesset. He will also receive an honorary degree from Tel Aviv University.

On the eve of Harper’s visit to Israel, the Foreign Ministry in Ottawa issued an updated policy paper on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Although many on the right believe the Harper government to be a full-fledged supporter of Israeli policy on the Palestinian issue, the policy paper states that Canada believes the settlements are illegal and an obstacle to peace.

The policy statement, published on January 13, six days before Harper’s arrival in Jerusalem, points out that Canada does not recognize permanent Israeli control over territories conquered in 1967 and says the settlements constitute a violation of UN Security Council resolutions. “Israeli settlements in the occupied territories are a violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention. The settlements also constitute a serious obstacle to achieving a comprehensive, just and lasting peace,” it reads.

The policy paper reveals that the Canadian government also does not support Israeli policy on Jerusalem, for Netanyahu’s demand for recognition of Israel as the national homeland of the Jewish people, nor Netanyahu’s position that not a single Palestinian refugee will return to Israel.

Canada’s stated support, however, for Israel touches on several issues – security arrangements, Israel’s right to self-defense, and opposition to anti-Israel discrimination at the UN.

The policy statement says that Canada recognizes Israel’s right to ensure its security: “Israel has a right under international law to take the necessary measures, in accordance with human rights and international humanitarian law, to protect the security of its citizens from attacks by terrorist groups.”

Written FOR

LOOK WHO’S AN ANTI-SEMITE NOW

3,500 American Jews!
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Has Abe Foxman lost confidence in American Jews?

Ali Abunimah 
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Abraham Foxman, the national director of the pro-Israel group the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), has angrily rejected the mildly critical views of Israel revealed in a major survey of 3,500 American Jews conducted by the Pew Research Center.

The survey found that about half (48 percent) of American Jews “do not think the current Israeli government is making a sincere effort to bring about a peace settlement and three-quarters say the same about the current Palestinian leadership.”

Only 38 percent thought Israeli peace efforts were sincere.

Almost half (44 percent) agreed that “the continued building of Jewish settlements in the West Bank hurts Israel’s security.”

But those holding those views are either “uninformed, unengaged, or wrong,” officials of major American Jewish organizations told the Jewish Daily Forward.

Foxman was particularly dismissive of the apparent disconnect between organizations like his, which function as apologists for the Israeli government, and even the mild dissent revealed in the survey.“You know who the Jewish establishment represents? Those who care,” Foxman told theForward. “This is a poll of everybody. Some care, some don’t care.”

“I think it’s interesting, we need to be aware,” Foxman said. “But I’m not going to follow this.”

Foxman’s reaction is reminiscent of Bertholt Brecht’s ironic poem “The Solution,” written after the 1953 uprising in East Berlin:

After the uprising of June 17th
The Secretary of the Authors’ Union
Had leaflets distributed in the Stalinallee
Which said that the people
Had forfeited the government’s confidence
And could only win it back
By redoubled labour. Wouldn’t it
Be simpler in that case if the government
Dissolved the people and
Elected another?

In other words, it is not the leadership of Jewish communal organizations that is out of step, but Jewish communities, who need to get back behind Foxman’s Israel-right-or-wrong approach.

Generation gap

Overall the Pew survey found fairly high levels of “attachment” to Israel among American Jews, but these varied with the highest levels reported among those who were more religious.

Age differences are particularly significant given that many major pro-Israel groups see the future of US support for Israel depending on their ability to attract young Jews toward their positions.

The Pew survey says:

Older Jews are more likely than younger Jews to see caring about Israel as an essential part of what being Jewish means to them. More than half of Jews 65 and older say caring about Israel is essential for their Jewish identity (53 percent), as do 47 percent of Jews aged 50-64. By comparison, 38 percent of Jews in their thirties and forties and 32 percent of Jewish adults under age 30 say caring about Israel is central to what being Jewish means to them. It is hard to know whether these age differences suggest that US Jews’ attachment to Israel will weaken over time. If younger Jews retain their lower levels of attachment to Israel, then overall attachment to Israel may weaken with time. Alternatively, if Jews become more attached to Israel as they get older, then attachment to Israel overall could hold steady or even grow in strength.

It is the fear that younger Jews will not gain an attachment to Israel as they age that has driven efforts like Taglit-Birthright which provides free trips for younger North American Jews.

Taglit-Birthright has been criticized for promoting an “exclusivist” and “settler-colonial” ideology among the constituency it targets.

It is also concern over younger American Jews’ lack of identification with Israel that animates the Israel lobby group J Street.

J Street tries to put a younger and cooler spin on traditional anti-Palestinian messagingwhich includes opposition to the right of return for Palestinian refugees as well as viewing the births of Palestinian babies as a “demographic threat” to Israel.

 

 

Written FOR

FINDERS KEEPERS?? BEST NOT TO LOSE YOUR SMARTPHONE IN ISRAEL

Yet another ruling from the dark ages regarding lost property …..

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kosher-phones300-300x300

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The new halachic ruling, issued by Rabbi Nissim Karelitz, states that banned cellular phone are not considered a property which, if lost, must be returned to its owner according to the Torah.

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Rabbi: No need to return lost smartphone
Halachic ruling issued by Rabbi Karelitz says because advanced cellular phone is ‘not kosher,’ there is no obligation to give it back to its owner*An innovative halachic ruling issued recently states that there is no need to return a lost “non-kosher” phone to its owner.

The ruling was given following an incident which took place in a bakery in the central city of Bnei Brak, when a saleswoman refused to return a smartphone to its owner. The case sparked a halachic debate on social networks on whether the saleswoman had violated the “thou shalt not steal” commandment.

The new halachic ruling, issued by Rabbi Nissim Karelitz, states that banned cellular phone are not considered a property which, if lost, must be returned to its owner according to the Torah.

Meanwhile, a new court on communication affairs was established in the ultra-Orthodox sector at the initiative of Refael Meir, the brother of haredi journalist Yedidia Meir. The court will headed by five leading rabbis, who will issue rulings on the use of cellular phones and the Internet.

The decision to set up the new institution was made during a meeting held at the home of Rabbi Chaim Kanievsky, one of the leaders of the haredi Ashkenazi public.

The court will also run a PR campaign against haredi websites which rabbis have ordered their followers to boycott. Some of these websites have been taken down as a result of the boycott calls, yet many other websites have been launched recently.

Source

DR. SEUSS AND ‘THE MAN IN THE BAG’

Passenger was ‘simply following his rabbi’s orders’ ….
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Picture that stirred a row (photo from New York Daily News)
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Surely the saga of the ‘man in the bag’ can become a children’s story. It is funny, it is ridiculous and needless to say quite entertaining.
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Even funnier is that its roots appear to come from the Neanderthal sector of the Rabbinical Order of Idiots …
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Rabbi Brook, who heads a haredi yeshiva which is home to newly religious Jews, says that the passenger is a unique personality he has known for more than two decades, and that the halachic move was misunderstood by the critics, who he refers to as “primitives”.
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Here’s a report from Ynet dealing with the incident …
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Man in bag: I was following rabbi’s orders

Haredi passenger photographed wrapped in large plastic bag during flight tells Ynet about his long Air Force service before becoming religious. His rabbi criticizes public reaction to photo, says people should ‘treat Judaism with a minimum of respect’

Itzchak Tessler

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The ultra-Orthodox man who was photographed wrapped in a large plastic bag during a flight told Ynet on Sunday that he was “simply following my rabbi’s orders.”

The picture caught the attention of international media, as initially it was thought that he was distancing himself from women in accordance with strict rules of gender segregation in public.

The New York Daily News later explained that the man was aKohen, a descendant of the Jewish priests who presided over the Temple, and as the aircraft flew over a cemetery he covered himself in a plastic bag so he could remain pure. Under Jewish law, Kohanim are banned from going near cemeteries.

The Kohen, formerly a secular Jew who embraced Orthodox Judaism and asked to remain anonymous, told Ynet of his long service in the Israel Defense Forces, where he held sensitive posts. In 1983, as a show of appreciation, the Air Force commander gave him the “opportunity to study in a yeshiva at the expense of the Air Force, which paid my salary for the two and a half years I studied in the yeshiva.”

After his studies, he returned to the army for 10 more years – “an unprecedented move in the Air Force,” he says.

The photo was the subject of public criticism and was shared and condemned on social networks.

Rabbi Yosef Brook, head of the Netivot Olam Yeshiva and the passenger’s rabbi, criticized the media coverage of the photo and the public reaction to it, saying: “I am convinced that none of those who reacted is at (the Kohen’s) personal or intellectual level.”

Rabbi: Critics are primitives

Rabbi Brook, who heads a haredi yeshiva which is home to newly religious Jews, says that the passenger is a unique personality he has known for more than two decades, and that the halachic move was misunderstood by the critics, who he refers to as “primitives”.

“I have known him for 25 years now. He is a retired lieutenant colonel who served in senior and classified positions in the Israel Air Force,” the rabbi told Ynet.

“Before Passover he flew to Israel, and because of a change in the flight he found out that he would be flying over a cemetery. He consulted a rabbi, who ruled that although the plane was a closed place, there was impurity over the cemetery and in order to deal with it – he must reach a situation of a ‘container with a lid fastened on it.'”

According to Rabbi Brook, what the public may have seen as an attempt to “bypass” Halacha using tricks – is Halacha itself, and so he “advises people to consider how they would feel if their values made others give them degrading and puzzling looks.

“Once again, the familiar scenario repeats itself: Any issue related to Jewish Halacha turns into a festival of defamation. Anything related to cultural heritage, which is not understood, leads to a mocking and slandering attitude. The rule says that the more you know less, the more you shout, and this is what happened in this case too.

“If a person from the Zulu tribe would see me talking into a telephone, he would think I had gone mad, because he can’t understand how sound waves can travel hundreds and thousands of kilometers. He has no understanding of electromagnetic radiation either, because he can’t see it with his eyes.

“The same way, there is also a spiritual system of impurity and purity, and we don’t have the ability or tools to identify its activity. So I say to the the critics, if you have no knowledge about the issue, do us a favor – leave us alone and treat us kindly and politely.

“Just like people understand Muslims who take their shoes off before entering a mosque and don’t ridicule them, just like they understand that Christians remove their head cover while entering church – treat Judaism with a minimum of respect.”

The Kohen who “starred” in the picture told Ynet that he had studied with the Belz Hasidic movement, “considered a human and moderate Hasidic dynasty, where I studied Torah and faith and was close to the rabbi.

“I also studied at the Netivot Olam Yeshiva, which is an organized institution where respectable people study. Four other combat pilots studied with me there. At the time, as a newly religious person, I even had the honor of being an associate of Rabbi Shach (a leading Lithuanian rabbi and the founder of the Degel Hatorah political party).”

LOOSE LIPS SINK SHIPS AND PRO PALESTINIAN MOVEMENTS

 Greta Berlin of Free Gaza said her tweet was only supposed to be posted to her private Facebook account. Well it wasn’t! It wound up on Twitter as well.
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The woman in question has a history of speaking out before she thinks it out, but this time she went way too far. At a time when the pro Palestinian movements need the support of all sections of the population (including Jews), the last thing we needed were the evil thoughts of Greta Berlin.
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All that is accomplished by her ignorant outbursts is that the enemy collects ‘ammo’ to fight the movement as can be seen in the report below. Best that the responsible collective leadership of the Free Gaza Movement remove Ms. Berlin from whatever posts she might hold.
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Evil witch (Greta Berlin) that planned Gaza flotilla caught out on Twitter.
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Gaza flotilla sponsor blames Jews for Holocaust on Twitter
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Petros Karadjias/The Associated Press files

Petros Karadjias/The Associated Press files
Greta Berlin of Free Gaza said her tweet was only supposed to be posted to her private Facebook account.

The Free Gaza Movement, a U.S.-based activist group known for provisioning ships to run the Israeli-Egyptian blockade of Gaza, was hit with charges of anti-Semitism on Wednesday after posting a tweet claiming that Jews were responsible for the Holocaust.

“Zionists operated the concentration camps and helped murder millions of innocent Jews,” read a Tweet posted Sunday to @freegazaorg, the official Twitter feed of the group, which includes Canadian author Naomi Klein and Bishop Desmond Tutu on its board of advisors.

An embedded link led to a video of a speech by known conspiracy theorist Eustace Mullins claiming that the word Nazi is an amalgam of the words “National socialism” and “Zionist.”

“[Hitler] allied with the Zionist Party, and the mission of the Nazis was to force the anti-Zionist Jews to accept Zionism — and this is what the concentration camps were about,” said Mr. Mullins, who died of a stroke in 2010.

I shared it without watching it. I am sorry that I just sent it forward without looking at it. It won’t happen again

Although the tweet was eventually deleted, it was picked up on Monday by Avi Mayer, head of social media with the Jewish Agency for Israel. In a Wednesday blog post, Mr. Mayer posted a screenshot of the post along with a link to the video, which he claimed revealed Free Gaza as “the lowest anti-Semites.”

Within hours, the American founder of the movement, Greta Berlin, tweeted that she had intended only to publish the link to her private Facebook account, but it was accidentally redirected to the Free Gaza Twitter feed.

“I shared it without watching it. I am sorry that I just sent it forward without looking at it. It won’t happen again,” read a tweet from the Free Gaza Movement account, posted Wednesday afternoon.

 

Source

IT’S ROMNEY THAT’S CULTURALLY DEPRIVED, NOT PALESTINE

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Palestinian development of all kinds is severely hindered by the Israeli occupation. Yet Palestinians have not given up. Palestine has one of the highest literacy rates in the Arab world. Our youth continue to graduate from our universities, opening businesses and gaining skills. Our private sector innovates and grows.

All of this is happening on the 22 percent of historic Palestine that is the West Bank and Gaza. If Romney had any historical perspective, he would dispose of his racist judgments about Palestinian culture and instead imagine our potential without Israel’s imposed hindrances.

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The Palestine Romney doesn’t know

By Zahi Khouri

I am a proud American. I am a hardworking businessman and job creator. I am a faithful Christian.

And I am Palestinian.

Much as my multiple identities might drive Mitt Romney to head scratching, it is he who needs a lesson in, to borrow his recent words, “culture and a few other things.”

Were he to spend a day with me in the Holy Land, I could take him to the Jerusalem neighborhood where my family home has stood for five centuries. I could show him the orange trees in Jaffa that my family helped introduce to the world in the 1930s.

That’s right: Jaffa oranges are a Palestinian, not Israeli, trademark. Yet like so many “cultural” markers claimed by the self-professed Jewish state, even the fruit trees my people have tended for centuries have been expropriated.

Romney might be duped into thinking that oranges, falafel and hummus — staples of Palestinian cuisine for generations — are Israeli products. But how dare he claim that a state built at the expense of another people’s history and accomplishments is guided by “the hand of providence”?

Israel did not make the desert bloom. Instead, thanks to a deal struck with the British viceroys of Mandate Palestine, it made away with a land, a set of institutions and, indeed, a culture that was not its own.

It did so at the expense of my people. Like more than three-quarters of Palestine’s population, my family was forced to leave this land after Israel’s creation in 1948. Even though we had to abandon our successful businesses and centuries-old homes, however, we did not become the “uncultured” victims that Romney’s caricature suggests.

Most of us went to other Arab countries, where Palestinians became known for our business acumen and management know-how, and helped to build nascent private and public sectors. Ask our fellow Arabs in Lebanon, Jordan or elsewhere in the Persian Gulf region and they will tell you: Palestinian culture, with its premium on education and hard work, has been a force for hope, development and prosperity.

Despite their circumstances, Palestinians living under Israel’s brutal occupation share the same culture and proudly claim the same remarkable achievements. I, for one, returned to Palestine in 1993 to launch the first Coca-Cola bottling plant in the West Bank. It was granted a Best Country Bottling Operation award in May by Coca-Cola, a testament to my colleagues’ ingenuity and determination. But these traits alone cannot overcome the stifling effects of Israel’s occupation.

If Romney got one thing right, it’s that Israelis far outdo Palestinians in net wealth. In fact, his estimates of the disparity were too conservative: Israel’s per capita gross domestic product is roughly $32,000 to the Palestinians’ $1,500.

Remarkably, that $1,500 figure is roughly half of what Palestinians claimed in 1993, when the Oslo accords were signed. In other words, the U.S.-sponsored peace process has made us poorer.

How is that possible?

Palestinians have no say in our economic development. Every resource — water, land, soil, minerals, airspace, humans — is controlled and commandeered by Israel, which then deigns to sell us back a small portion.

In the West Bank, for example, Israeli settlers consume on average 4.3 times the amount of water as Palestinians. In the Jordan Valley alone, some 9,000 settlers in Israeli agricultural settlements use one-quarter the amount of water consumed by the entire Palestinian population of the West Bank, about 2.5 million people.

Palestinians have no control over our borders. This means we cannot import or export without being subject to discriminatory measures by our occupier. It also means that, without Israeli permission, we cannot hire experts to enhance our employees’ skills or send employees for overseas training.

Worse, we are restricted within the territories ostensibly under our “control.” At any given time, there are more than 500 Israeli checkpoints, roadblocks and other barriers to movement within the occupied West Bank — an area smaller than Delaware — hindering Palestinians and their goods from moving between their own towns and cities and the outside world.

Palestinian development of all kinds is severely hindered by the Israeli occupation. Yet Palestinians have not given up. Palestine has one of the highest literacy rates in the Arab world. Our youth continue to graduate from our universities, opening businesses and gaining skills. Our private sector innovates and grows.

All of this is happening on the 22 percent of historic Palestine that is the West Bank and Gaza. If Romney had any historical perspective, he would dispose of his racist judgments about Palestinian culture and instead imagine our potential without Israel’s imposed hindrances.

 

 

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IGNORANCE EXPOSED IN THE LAND OF THE PROPHETS // INCLUDING THE TOP 10 MOST DISTASTEFUL THINGS ABOUT ROMNEY’S TRIP TO ISRAEL

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Given Palestine is part and parcel of an Arab culture that was the cradle of civilization, is home to the oldest cities in the world, and provided humanity with significant contributions towards the development of many “modern” sciences, such as physics, chemistry, medicine, mathematics and astronomy, one can only assume Romney sees no value in any of these – or is entirely ignorant of them. Instead, he views Israel as the “miracle,” a 64-year-old country that was built on the ruins and ashes of the indigenous Palestinians, many of whom refuse to submit to a continuing campaign of slow – and sometimes not so slow – removal from the land.
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Romney exposed his ignorance in the land of the prophets

Sam Bahour 

 Mitt Romney made history on Monday. In a single speech from Jerusalem, he proved beyond a reasonable doubt that to qualify to be a U.S. presidential candidate one needs precious little understanding of history, economics, or reality. Romney has just enough to be dangerous. 

 

With no sense of the impediments Palestinians labor under, Romney compared Israel’s economic success to that of its Palestinian neighbors and claimed the discrepancy was due to “cultural” differences and the “hand of providence.” Such blatantly racist and bigoted references to the conflicting parties are only occasionally rivaled by Israel’s most right-wing politicians.

Given Palestine is part and parcel of an Arab culture that was the cradle of civilization, is home to the oldest cities in the world, and provided humanity with significant contributions towards the development of many “modern” sciences, such as physics, chemistry, medicine, mathematics and astronomy, one can only assume Romney sees no value in any of these – or is entirely ignorant of them. Instead, he views Israel as the “miracle,” a 64-year-old country that was built on the ruins and ashes of the indigenous Palestinians, many of whom refuse to submit to a continuing campaign of slow – and sometimes not so slow – removal from the land.

The likely GOP presidential nominee also overlooked the fact that the Arab world was home to the world’s three great monotheistic religions – Islam, Christianity, and Judaism – long before any modern state of Israel was even conceived.

As if these racist remarks were not enough, Romney uttered the magic conceptual ingredient, God. He said that he is “overwhelmingly impressed with the hand of providence (and how Israelis) are able to build and accomplish things that could only be done by a species created in the image of God.” This perverted reference seems to indicate that others, like Palestinians or even his own people, Americans, are of a lesser “species,” unable to match Israeli accomplishments.

Romney also praised Israel’s economic accomplishments while bashing the Palestinians’. The presidential candidate totally ignored the principal reason for the huge discrepancy between the Israeli and Palestinian economies: Israel’s military occupation of Palestinian territory and total micromanagement of that economy. I suspect Bain Capital would not have succeeded had the Israeli government restrained its every effort. Furthermore, Israel’s economy is subsidized with over $3 billion in U.S. military aid every year. That military aid helps repress Palestinians.

Over the years, not only has Israel prohibited the emergence of a new Palestinian economy – it has structurally and systematically made certain that even the buds of such a productive economy would never see the light of day. Anyone who scratches the surface of all the political spin can see for themselves what the World Bank now repeats: that Israel’s “apparatus of control” has “become more sophisticated and effective in its ability to interfere in and affect every aspect of Palestinian life, including job opportunities, work, and earnings … (turning) the West Bank into a fragmented set of social and economic islands or enclaves cut off from one another.” Besieged Gaza is in far worse shape than the West Bank. The International Monetary Fund and the European Union are making similar points.

Given that so many respected international organizations and analysts see reality for what it is, the question is what is being done about it. For Romney the answer to the Palestinians is crystal clear: Give up. After all, in his view Palestinians are “culturally” defective and God is on the other side.

As an American, before even speaking as a Palestinian, Romney scares me – seriously scares me. President Obama may have failed the Middle East in his first term as he picked up the pieces of eight years of damage caused by George W. Bush’s administration, but Romney has exposed his extraordinary American ignorance in the land of the prophets.

 

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Top 10 Most Distasteful Things About Romney Trip to Israel

By Juan Cole

 

 

he trip of Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney to Israel is in bad taste for lots of reasons.

 

  1. He is holding a fundraiser at the King David Hotel in Jerusalem. It is distasteful for an American political candidate to hold a high profile fundraiser abroad, implying a commitment to a foreign country as a means of reaching out to American interest groups (in Romney’s case, Christian Zionists among the evangelicals and the minority of American Jews who would be willing to vote Republican).

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  2. It is distasteful that Romney has broken his pledge of transparency and declared the fundraiser off limits to the US press.

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  3. It is distasteful that Romney won’t explain why he has abruptly gone back on his word, and closed the Jerusalem event to the press.

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  4. There is a convention in US politics that you don’t criticize the sitting president, even if you are an opposition politician, while on foreign soil. Romney clearly intends to slam President Obama while in Israel.

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  5. It is distasteful that Romney is clearly holding the event in some large part to please casino mogul Sheldon Adelson, who first bankrolled Newt Gingrich and now is talking about giving $100 million to elect Romney. Adelson is a huge supporter of far rightwing Likud Party Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, and published a free newspaper in Israel to support all things Bibi all the time. Adelson isunder investigation for allegedly bribing Chinese officials in Macau in reference to his casino empire there. Since Adelson is potentially an agent of Chinese influence and is a partisan of one of Israel’s most rightwing parties, Romney’s indebtedness to him is disturbing.

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  6. It is distasteful to have Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu interfering in an American domestic election by openly favoring Romney over Obama.

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  7. It is distasteful that Romney is promising his donors in Jerusalem a war on Iran. When George W. Bush promised his pro-Israel supporters a war on Iraq, it cost the US at least $3 trillion, got hundreds of thousands of Iraqis killed, destabilized the Gulf for some time, cost over 4,000 American soldiers’ lives, and damaged American power, credibility and the economy. As Nancy Reagan said of drugs, so US politicians must say to constant Israeli entreaties that the United States of America continually fight new wars in the Middle East on their behalf: “Just say no.” Instead, Romney is playing war enabler, and that abroad!

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  8. It is distasteful that Romney will not meet with Mahmoud Abbas, president of the Palestine Authority, who actually was elected by Palestinians, but only with an appointed and toothless ‘prime minister’ known for cooperation with Israel’s Likud.

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  9. It is distasteful the Romney will not commit to a two-state solution within 1967 borders or demand Israel cease illegal squatting on and unilateral annexation of Palestinian land. If he is going to this Middle East hot spot, why doesn’t he visit a Palestinian refugee camp so as to understand the nub of the dispute, instead of hobnobbing with the uber-rich in Jerusalem.

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  10. It is distasteful that he is holding the fundraiser in the King David Hotel, which was famously blown up by the Zionist terrorist organization Irgun in 1946, in a strike that killed 91 persons and wounded dozens, many of them innocent civilians. Irgun leader Menachem Begin (later a leader of the ruling Likud Party) hit the hotel because there were British security offices there, which were tracking violent organizations like his own, during the British Mandate period of Palestine. He maintained that he called ahead to warn of the bombing, but that is just propganda to take the edge off the deed – who in 1946 would have taken such a call seriously? When current Israeli Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu and other Likud leaders attended a commemoration of the bombing, the British Foreign Office sent over a sharp note of protest. I guess Romney is not finished with insulting London.

 

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‘A WOMAN’S PLACE IS IN THE HOME’

Or … at the back of the bus, on the other side of the street …. only in ‘The Only Democracy in the Middle East😉
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Elsewhere, there are no limits…..
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A leading nationalist-Zionist rabbi has written a treatise claiming that home is a women’s place, and “not the domain of social activity,” thus reflecting further radicalization among religious Zionists.
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Leading Israeli religious Zionist rabbi: A woman’s place is in the home

Leaflet promotes the opinion that too much education for women would ‘harm the quality of life of the nation.’

By Chaim Levinson
Rabbi Zvi Tau
Rabbi Zvi Tau Photo by Michael Yaacovson
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A leading nationalist-Zionist rabbi has written a treatise claiming that home is a women’s place, and “not the domain of social activity,” thus reflecting further radicalization among religious Zionists.

Rabbi Zvi Tau, president of Har Hamor Yeshiva and a leader of the more extreme orthodox trend among the national-Zionist public, wrote the treatise for internal use. The leaflet promotes the opinion that too much education for women would “harm the quality of life of the nation.”

Austria-born Tau was for many years a student of Rabbi Tzvi Yehuda Kook, and one of the heads of the Merkaz Harav, religious-Zionism’s most prestigious yeshiva. In 1997 he turned his back on the yeshiva and created the Har Hamor yeshiva, but is still considered one of the leading rabbis of the movement and a notable supporter of the concept of nationalism, which considers the state of Israel holy and opposes refusal to follow orders in the IDF.

Tau publicly supported former President Moshe Katzav, who was imprisoned for rape, and called on him, at the time, to refuse to resign.

Two months ago Tau wrote, for internal use, a treatise called “who created me as he willed,” a quote from the prayer said by women every morning dealing with the proper place of women according to the Torah. Tau’s position is radical, often more than orthodox concepts.

Tau writes that men and women have different roles. Indeed,it seems that the woman is discriminated against but it isn’t so, he writes. Women, according to Tau, have more emotional power, while men are more cerebral. This division is needed because of the world’s limitations, since it is unable to contain full realization of both emotion and mind. Women, due to nature’s needs, were not meant to occupy themselves with “the depths of science and morals,” but rather with carrying, giving birth to, feeding and raising children. Rabbi Tau claims that this is woman’s “natural vocation, and God created within her the necessary talents and an inner orientation for these issues,” which negate the possibility of “commiting oneself to the depths of science.”

Tau adds that the worldwide trend of allowing women equal education, and striving for equality, can only guarantee short-term profits. In the long run this trend “will harm the quality of life of the nation and society, since the true female character will not be realized and will be missed by the world. Society and the nation should rather be built on perfecting the special attributes imprinted in women.”

Tau continues to explain that children born to couples including women who devote themselves to their career will be “weak and flaccid.”

So what can women do? Rabbi Tau answers: “Home is the natural habitat for women to express their special tendency … not the domain of social activity. At home, without the bustle … is where a woman can fully live her life.”

Source

RACISM AND IGNORANCE ARE WITHOUT NATIONAL BOUNDARIES

Racism and ignorance know no nationality
By Nima Shirazi
Iranian government officials often make bigoted, ignorant statements – but so do many in Israel and the US
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Ehud Barak reportedly described the Shia concept of taqiyya as giving leaders ‘permission to lie’ [GALLO/GETTY]
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In late June, when Iranian Vice President Mohammad Reza Rahimi spouted anti-Semitic comments at a Tehran forum marking International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking, his offensive rhetoric was rightfully ridiculed and condemned. Rahimi declared his belief that the Talmud, the central holy scripture of Judaism, “teaches [Jews] how to destroy non-Jews so as to protect an embryo in the womb of a Jewish mother”, and also to “destroy everyone who opposes the Jews”. Jews, according to Rahimi, “think God has created the world so that all other nations can serve them”.

Midway through his speech, Rahimi decided to distinguish between Jews who “honestly follow the prophet Moses” and the Zionists who are “the main elements of the international drugs trade”.

“While the Zionists utilise the narcotics to devastate other societies,” Rahimi stated, “they safeguard their own society against such drugs” – noting incorrectly that “you cannot find a single addict among the Zionists. They do not exist”.

Commentary such as this should be called out for what it is: racist, ignorant, and appalling. Yet, Rahimi’s tirade was also disingenuously elevated to the level of an Iranian government official statement, and used as “proof” that the Iranian government was not merely vehemently anti-Zionist, but venomously anti-Semitic.

So if the bigoted comments of government officials are evidence of a country’s inherent backwardness and barbarism, one must wonder what all those who were so offended by Rahimi’s comments about the holy scripture and belief system of the Jewish people have to say about the comments and actions on July 17 of Israeli Knesset Minister and Meir Kahane devotee Michael Ben Ari.

‘The King’s Torah’

After all Knesset members received a new edition of the New Testament, gifts from of a Christian Israeli publisher, Ben Ari (who is also leading thestaggeringly racist pogroms against Africans living in Israel) reacted bytearing the Bible to shreds and throwing it in the trash, making sure to have the episode photographed. He then proudly sent the pictures to the Israeli newspaper Ma’ariv .

Ben Ari was quoted as declaring: “This abominable book [the New Testament] brought about the murder of millions of Jews in the Inquisition and autos-da-fé.” He added: “This is a provocation by church missionaries and there is no doubt that this book and those who sent it belong in the garbage can of history.”

The Jewish Daily Forward, in its report on the incident, appropriately asked: “Does one dare imagine what the reaction would be from Jews if a non-Jewish Knesset member, or perhaps a politician in another country, publicly destroyed and disposed of a volume of Talmud?”

For all the condemnations of Rahimi’s statement regarding Jewish doctrine, it seems that no one has attempted to trace the comment back to its possible (and, I stress, possible) origin in the much publicised writings of Rabbi Yitzhak Shapira, an Israeli settler who lives in the illegal West Bank colony of Yitzhar near Nablus, whose ultra-fundamentalist Od Yosef Hai Yeshiva has received a massive amount of funding from the Israeli government.

In November 2009, Shapira published The King’s Torah, which – according to Ha’aretz – “describes how it is possible to kill non-Jews according to halakha (Jewish religious law)”. Ma’ariv reported that “the book contains no fewer than 230 pages on the laws concerning the killing of non-Jews, a kind of guide for anyone who ponders the question of if and when it is permissible to take the life of a non-Jew” and states that, as non-Jews are “uncompassionate by nature”, attacks against them curb “evil inclination”.

Shapira’s book lists hundreds of sources from the Bible and religious law, as well as quotes from Rabbi Abraham Isaac Kook, one of the fathers of religious Zionism, and Rabbi Shaul Yisraeli, a dean of the Mercaz Harav Yeshiva, the stronghold of national-religious Zionism located in Jerusalem.

According to Shapira and his co-author Rabbi Yossi Elitzur: “In any situation in which a non-Jew’s presence endangers Jewish lives, the non-Jew may be killed even if he is a righteous Gentile and not at all guilty for the situation that has been created … When a non-Jew assists a murderer of Jews and causes the death of one, he may be killed, and in any case where a non-Jew’s presence causes danger to Jews, the non-Jew may be killed…”

Even innocent civilians and children are determined to be legitimate targets for murder. “One must consider killing even babies,” the book says, “because of the future danger that will be caused if they are allowed to grow up to be as wicked as their parents.”

Recently, an investigation into allegations of racism, bigotry and calls to violence found within The King’s Torah was officially closed.

Islamophobia has also reached high levels within the US government.

Asleep to the danger

In October 2009, US congressmen Sue Myrick (Republican-North Carolina), Paul Broun (Republican-Georgia), John Shadegg (Republican-Arizona) and Trent Franks (Republican-Arizona) issued a call for a federal investigation into the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) for placing interns in the Committees on the Judiciary, Intelligence and Homeland Security. The call was triggered by a book named Muslim Mafia: Inside the Secret Underworld that’s Conspiring to Islamise America, by Dave Gaubatz, an anti-Islamic activist who posed as an intern for CAIR in an attempt to prove that the group is trying to infiltrate Congress.

Myrick also wrote the forward to Gaubatz’s book, in which she avers that radical Muslim terror agents live among us and are “carrying out their subversive plan”. She continues: “America is asleep to the danger that confronts us. Since the 1960s there has been a concerted effort on the part of radical Islamists to infiltrate our major institutions.”

Myrick writes of “their secret plot to take over the United States from within”, establish “an impressive infrastructure of support”, and “to infiltrate all areas of our society” in order to replace the constitution with “Sharia law”. She urges government officials “to stop hiding behind political correctness and keep the American people informed” about “the threat to our sovereignty and our way of life”, concluding: “We Americans must wake up before it is too late!”

When asked about potential “domestic security threats” back in 2003, Myrick replied: “Look at who runs all the convenience stores across the country.”

In 2011 in Yorba Linda, California, an US-Muslim group held a fundraising event for relief work in the US, attended by local families and their young children. Outside, an appalling anti-Muslim protest raged. Among the speakers addressing the crowd were California Congressmen Ed Royce and Gary Miller and Villa Park Councilwoman Deborah Pauly.

Pauly described the Muslim charity event as “pure, unadulterated evil” and after boasting that her son was serving in the Marine Corps, said: “As a matter of fact, I know quite a few Marines who would be very happy to help these terrorists to an early meeting in paradise.”

Royce told the rabid, hateful crowd: “I’m gonna say this too, a big part of the problem that we face today, is that our children have been taught in schools that every idea is right, that no one should criticise others’ positions no matter how odious, and what do they call that? They call that ‘multiculturalism’. And it has paralysed too many of our fellow citizens to make the critical judgment we need to make to prosper as a society.” One need only think about where Anders Breivik’s views on “multiculturalism” led him to see how dangerous this sort of talk actually is.

Miller, who said he was there to support the protest and hand out American flags, told those gathered: “I am proud of you, I’m proud of what you’re doing, I’m proud of this country and what we believe in, and let’s not let people who disagree with us destroy it.”

Net of suspicion

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Inside Story Americas – The US military’s ‘anti-Islam classes’

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The country Miller is so proud of is the one in which Peter King holds congressional hearings encouraging racial profiling, inciting Islamophobia, and promoting vicious stereotypes of an already targeted, terrorised, and tormented minority community. It’s the nation that reacts to theperceived threat of Muslim-American terrorism “by casting a wide net of suspicion over entire communities based solely on their religious beliefs, race, or national origin” and conductssecret, illegal surveillance of those communities.

It’s where the “future leaders” of the most powerful and aggressive military on the planet have been taught “that a ‘total war’ against the world’s 1.4 billion Muslims would be necessary to protect America from Islamic terrorists” and that “using the lessons of ‘Hiroshima’ to wipe out whole cities at once” and “targeting the ‘civilian population wherever necessary'” may be required. It’s a country whose secretary of defence hand-delivered to the former president a daily report of critical, classified military intelligencewith cover sheets featuring Biblical quotes to emphasise the Crusades-like effort of US soldiers in the Middle East.

Iranian Vice-President Rahimi’s comments about the Talmud are unacceptable. So are Ben Ari and Shapira’s interpretations of both the Torah and New Testament. The same goes for Binyamin Netanyahu’s incessant repetition that the Iranian government is inherently “irrational” due to its faith, and Ehud Barak’s misunderstanding of the Shia concept of taqiyya, which he erroneously described to CNN‘s Christiane Amanpour in an April interview as “a kind of permission, from heaven, to the leader to lie [and] mislead partners as long as it’s needed in order to reach the objective, the political objectives of the movement, the group or the tribe or the clan or the nation”.

So next time the media overreacts to something blurted out by some Iranian official, let’s make sure to remember that Iranians certainly have no monopoly on ignorance. There’s plenty to go around.

Written at the request of AlJazeera …… Our Blogging Community has officially gone Global.

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