Friday, December 19, 2014

12/19 Links Pt2: Dershowitz: Harvard’s president stops an anti-Israel boycott against SodaStream

From Ian:

Alan Dershowitz: Harvard’s president stops an anti-Israel boycott against SodaStream
I have no doubt that some students and other members of the Harvard community may be offended by the presence of SodaStream machines. Let them show their displeasure by not using the machines instead of preventing others who are not offended from obtaining their health benefits. Many students are also offended by their removal. Why should the views of the former prevail over those of the latter? I’m sure that some students are offended by any products made in Israel, just as some are offended by products made in Arab or Muslim countries that oppress gays, Christians and women. Why should the Harvard University Dining Service — or a few handfuls of students and professors — get to decide whose feelings of being offended count and whose don’t?
In addition to the substantive error made by Harvard University Dining Services, there is also an important issue of process. What right does a single Harvard University entity have to join the boycott movement against Israel without full and open discussion by the entire university community, including students, faculty, alumni and administration? Even the president and provost were unaware of this divisive decision until they read about it in the Crimson. As Provost Garber wrote, “Harvard University’s procurement decisions should not and will not be driven by individuals’ views of highly contested matters of political controversy.” Were those who made the boycott decision even aware of the arguments on the other side, such as those listed above? The decision of the HUDS must be rescinded immediately and a process should be instituted for discussing this issue openly with all points of view and all members of the university community represented. The end result should be freedom of choice: those who disapprove of SodaStream should be free to drink Pepsi. But those who don’t disapprove should be free to drink SodaStream. Economic boycotts should be reserved for the most egregious violations of human rights. They should not be used to put pressure on only one side of a dispute that has rights and wrongs on both sides.
Harvard president asks for probe into SodaStream boycott
Drew Faust asked for an investigation into the decision, Provost Alan Garber told The Harvard Crimson student newspaper on Wednesday night.
The request came following an article written earlier in the day by the newspaper reporting that the university’s dining service agreed in April to halt buying the equipment following protests by Palestinian students and their supporters.
The dining service agreed to remove the SodaStream labels on existing water machines and purchase new ones from American companies after university officials met in April with members of the Harvard College Palestine Solidarity Committee and the Harvard Islamic Society, the newspaper reported Wednesday.
“Harvard University’s procurement decisions should not and will not be driven by individuals’ views of highly contested matters of political controversy,” Garber wrote in an email statement to the Crimson late Wednesday night. “If this policy is not currently known or understood in some parts of the university, that will be rectified now.”
Garber said in the statement that neither he nor Faust was aware of the decision before reading about it in the newspaper.
New Play Explores the ‘Arrogance’ of American Jews Critical of Israel, Playwright Says
In his new play Mr. Goldberg Goes to Tel Aviv, playwright Oren Safdie tackles an issue that he has a major concern with: the relationship between Israelis and left-leaning Diaspora Jews with their “I know better” critical views.
At the heart of the one-act play is Tony, a Jewish and gay Palestinian sympathizer who expresses strong anti-Israel sentiments when the play begins and at one point even sides with a Palestinian terrorist who holds his captive. Tony, who is also an award-winning author, arrives in Tel Aviv to give a speech but things don’t pan out so smoothly for him. His scheduled trip to Gaza has been blocked by the Israeli government, he deals with an obnoxious hotel waiter fresh out of the Israeli army who brings him cold tea, and then finds himself at the center of a major operation to assassinate an Israeli minister. Up until the final moment there is enough suspense and drama to fill the hotel room where the entire play takes place.
On the surface, Mr. Goldberg Goes to Tel Aviv shows the struggle between a Jew, Tony, and a Palestinians extremist. But Safdie said the real “battle” in the play has a lot more to do with Israelis versus a growing Jewish diaspora critical of Israel. “The people more like the liberal Jewish community in North America versus the Israeli perspective,” he explained.
In an interview with The Algemeiner, Safdie talked about how bothered he is with American Jews and their sense of “arrogance, thinking that they know better” than those living in Israel. He asked, “Why is there a need to second guess Israelis who live in the middle of this small country surrounded by enemies?”

Chanukah video night #4: The Jabberwocks of Brown University - Chanukah Lights

Islamic fear of "evil eye" causing major problems in Saudi Arabia

From Arab News:
The abnormal and obsessive fear of the evil eye, or envy, makes many people in this country act in strange and irrational ways to ward off harm, say experts.

This includes not wanting to wear new clothes, moving to a new home, or buying a new car. A common practice among some women is to collect the water left over after washing dishes at weddings to protect themselves.

They then run advertisements selling this water as a first line of defense against those who harm others with the envy in their hearts. Date pits are also commonly collected, say the experts.

Ali Zairi, a psychology consultant at Al-Nakhil Medical Center, said that the fear of the evil eye is often passed down from parents to their children. These adults believe that envy has caused the failures in their lives.

He said there are also uneducated medicine men in villages around the country who reinforce these beliefs, unaware that some conditions are caused by medical problems.

People who have these beliefs can become delusional and suffer from various psychological disorders including depression, obsessive neurosis and introversion.

“Exaggerated fear of the evil eye can deprive men and women of the joys of a normal life, and throw them into a state of perpetual suspicion and distrust of every- thing. This makes their lives miserable.” Zairi said many also do not realize they need psychiatric treatment.

Sheikh Muhammad Al-Nojaimi, a member of the Islamic Fiqh Academy, said “the woes caused by the evil eye is an undeniable fact established in the Qur’an and the sayings of the Prophet, peace be upon him.”

Al-Nojaimi said the Prophet, peace be upon him, said: “The evil eye is a fact and ... could even cause death.” However, he warned that sometimes people have to seek medical help for mental and other illnesses.

“They deny themselves the pleasures that Almighty Allah made lawful for them. This is against the religious faith,” he said. “A Muslim should believe that he is given only what Allah has destined for him, nothing else.” Al-Nojaimi said that it is obligatory for Muslims to rely on Allah and seek help when they discover they have an imagined affliction. 

B'li ayin hora, I'll post more later today :)

12/19 Links Pt1: Palestinians’ UN Charade Collapses; Countdown to the Next Gaza War Has Begun

From Ian:

The Countdown to the Next Gaza Conflict Has Begun
Hamas could, with a fair amount of ease, cause Israel to end its security blockade by accepting the terms of the international Quartet. These include recognizing the state of Israel, renouncing violence and abiding by past agreements.
Of course, those would contravene Hamas's ideology of Islamist jihad and move it away from its current trajectory of organized violence and religious hatred, the foundations upon which it was established in the 1980s by the Muslim Brotherhood.
For now, it seems, Hamas will try, as it has been doing for months, to orchestrate terrorism in the West Bank, on the opposite side of Israel, while upholding its truce in Gaza.
The Israel Defense Forces, too, has spent recent months preparing to respond if there is a fresh round of hostilities.
UN Watch Calls Out Syria for Murdering Palestinians

JPost Editorial: Whitening the list
Elements within the EU are questioning whether Europe should continue to support the West’s policy of refusing to deal with Hamas until it recognizes Israel, abandons terrorism and abides by previously signed agreements.
A growing number of European politicians, civil servants and officials are motivated by anti-Israel sentiment (read anti-Semitism) and a naive, politically correct belief in Palestinian goodwill, despite the abundant evidence of ongoing incitement and terrorist attacks.
In the words of World Jewish Congress President Ronald S. Lauder, the delisting “gives Hamas a huge moral victory and will strengthen it vis-à-vis moderate forces in the Palestinian territories.”
Added Lauder, “It is especially ironic that today, at a time when not just Western countries such as Canada and the US, but also moderate Arab countries such as Egypt and Jordan, consider Hamas a terrorist group, the European Union shouldn’t anymore.”
The course the PA is pursuing toward statehood increasingly demonstrates that political aims can be achieved through terrorism. Not procedural changes, not unilateral moves, not propagandistic declarations, but only direct negotiations can resolve the conflict.

"Jews promote atheism to destroy all religions and cultures on Earth"

Dr. Elham Shaheen, professor of religion and philosophy at Al Azhar University, said that the entire concept of atheism is Satanic and was created by Jews to destroy all civilizations and religions of the world.

The reason, naturally, is to establish Jewish rule over the entire world.

Shaheen told newspaper El Balad that Zionists wrote the ideas of atheism in their books, especially in The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, as this is the Fourteenth Protocol: "When we come into our kingdom it will be undesirable for us that there should exist any other religion than ours ... We must therefore sweep away all other forms of belief, even if the temporary result of this is atheism."

Shaheen is considered somewhat of an expert; I've seen her quoted for a number of topics concerning sharia.

This is the sort of everyday antisemitism that is endemic in the Arab world that is not worth being mentioned in the media.

Masked Hamas terrorists invade holiest Jewish site

Hamas held a rally on the Temple Mount today.

It doesn't look like they are praying.

Here you can hear them screaming anti-Israel chants.

200 Gazans (over 60 years old) were allowed to go to the Al Aqsa Mosque this morning to "pray." So no doubt many of them are at this rally.

Don't worry: no Sodastream labels were publicly shown at this rally, so Hamas cannot be guilty of "microaggression."

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Fisking Chris Gunness' latest deceptions and lies

Chris Gunness of UNRWA writes another deceptive piece, this time in the Jerusalem Post, meant to do one thing and one thing only: to maintain UNRWA's funding in the face of increasingly sharper critiques of the agency.

Let's go through it:

As a neutral UN human development agency, UNRWA is ...

"Neutral"??? Neutral between which two poles - Fatah and Hamas? Because UNRWA is certainly not neutral when it comes to Israel. It has taught generations of children that they will return to Israel by force. As I have noted before, this started in the 1950s as UNRWA children exercised to the chant of a-w-d-a, or "return."

A UNRWA principal in 1961 described his school's curriculum to journalist Martha Gellhorn:
In our school, we teach the children from their first year about their country and how it was stolen from them. I tell my son of seven. You will see: one day a man of eighty and a child so high, all, all will go home with arms in their hands and take back their country by force.

And this is still being taught today. A poem from a 2011 UNRWA fifth grade textbook:
“We Shall Return
Return, return, we shall return
Borders shall not exist, nor citadels and fortresses
Cry out, O those who have left:
We shall return!
[We] shall return to the homes, to the valleys, to the mountains
Under the flag of glory, Jihad and struggle
With blood, sacrifice [fida’], fraternity and loyalty6
We shall return
[We] shall return, O hills; [we] shall return, O heights
[We] shall return to childhood; [we] shall return to youth
To Jihad in the hills; [to] harvest in the land”
(Our Beautiful Language, Grade 5, Part 1 (2011) p. 50)
There is nothing neutral about teaching children that they will conquer Israel with jihad.

Also, UNRWA is not a development agency. It used to be, back in the 1950s, but the main jobs UNRWA manages to find for Palestinians nowadays is in UNRWA itself. It is not teaching self-sufficiency, it is teaching permanent welfare.

UNRWA welcomes legitimate discussions, as well as critical reviews, with our many stakeholders, including members of the media – such as The Jerusalem Post – but also with our largest donors, as well as host governments, refugee communities and the Israeli authorities.
Is this why Gunness called to boycott the Jerusalem Post?

Is this why Gunness has blocked me on Twitter, even though over the years the things I have revealed have been consistently covered up by UNRWA - proving that my criticisms were correct?

Gunness is lying, and lying big time.

While there is much praise for UNRWA and the courage of our staff, we also face criticism that we are partisan or carry an agenda contrary to the interests of some stakeholders.

That these allegations are made by parties on both sides of the conflict – who also routinely express support – is surely indicative of the effectiveness of our efforts on neutrality.
ISIS criticizes Al Qaeda. The US criticizes Al Qaeda. By Gunness' reasoning, this must mean that Al Qaeda is "neutral."

I hope that UNRWA doesn't try to teach logic to its students.

It has been our consistent practice to address these criticisms as factually and appropriately as possible.
Actually not. It has been their practice to obfuscate their actions to the West while maintaining almost no transparency in terms of its true curricula or detailed budget.

One such criticism focuses on the notion that UNRWA in some sense endorses extremism.

This is an accusation we reject in the strongest possible terms. During the latest Gaza hostilities, it was UNRWA that came out proactively condemning militant groups that had placed rockets in our schools and which we had discovered during our own neutrality inspections.
I for one never claimed that UNRWA is fully aligned with Hamas, in fact I've reported a number of times where Hamas complained about UNRWA actions. That doesn't mean that UNRWA doesn't teach its students about jihad and martyrdom, as I have demonstrated using their own words.

Of course, UNRWA never addressed my criticism, contrary to what Gunness claims. They just hid the evidence without any indication that things have changed.

I would submit that jihad and martyrdom are extremist concepts. UNRWA cannot answer without admitting that either they used to teach it, or that they still do, and that's why they try to ignore me.

There is a related argument that UNRWA is in some sense anti-Israel. This is a notion we reject as groundless.
From the UNRWA "human rights" website: "the Zionist movement has been working day and night on the theft of Palestinian land." Nah, that's not anti-Israel.

Not to mention the antisemitism I found, where UNRWA said that Jews have no concept of human rights or that they were dirty.

Once again, the facts are quite different from what Gunness tells the world.

It is also alleged that UNRWA ... somehow intentionally perpetuates the problem through the generations, unlike UNHCR, which, as our critics would have it, has a mandate to resettle refugees and never registers through generations. This is erroneous.....UNHCR also registers children of refugees as refugees where their political plight remains unresolved.
I showed the truth about this in much more detail recently. Gunness no doubt read that and tries to pretend that UNHCR children who received refugee benefits under family unity provisions are considered refugees themselves, and I show using UNHCR documentation that he is not telling thew truth. Again.

Gunness and other UNRWA flacks think that they can keep fooling people with their doubletalk, deceptions and lies. But the truth comes out. Facts matter. And I am still waiting for a UNRWA official to step up and address my facts in an honest way.

12/18 Links Pt2: The four ‘controversial’ words banned at Ireland’s Holocaust event

From Ian:

Exclusive: The four ‘controversial’ words banned at Ireland’s Holocaust event
Further to our post on December 15th about the Master of Ceremonies (MC) for the Holocaust Educational Trust Ireland’s (HETI) Holocaust Commemoration event being forbidden to say the word ‘Israel’ or the phrase ‘the Jewish State’, we now have the closing part of 2014 MC Yanky Fachler’s draft speech which evidently so upset HETI trustees.
It seems that (according to our sources) objections were raised over Fachler saying “And we owe it to the victims, to the survivors, and to ourselves, to prevent the memory of the Holocaust being cynically distorted and hijacked by a vicious campaign that denies the Jewish people and the Jewish state – our past and our future.”
Fachler gave in and omitted the phrase “and the Jewish State” because he did not want to cause trouble. Hence the letter – signed by HETI Chair Peter Cassells – dated October 7th to Fachler, saying that in future, MCs would not be allowed to mention ‘Israel’ or ‘the Jewish State’.
Andrew Klavan: Defend Cancer Against the Jews!

IDF medics seen treating Syrian rebels in new video
The Israeli army is shown providing medical assistance to wounded Syrian rebels in a new video issued Wednesday by Vice News.
In the video, military medics in the Golan Heights are seen tending to three Syrians in a military ambulance, assessing their condition and providing initial treatment before moving them to a hospital.
The soldiers collect the injured men under cover of night as they are transfered to Israeli hands from across the border. They suffer from various injuries apparently sustained in fighting with the forces of Syrian President Bashar Assad, and appear to be in some pain.
The Israeli medical staff seem to do their best to make the three comfortable as they try to identify their injuries and their causes. One is said to have been shot, another possibly hit by shrapnel.
Syrian Fighters Rescued by the IDF: The War Next Door (Part 1)

Hasby Award nominations time! (continuously updated)

It is time to solicit nominations for the annual Hasby Awards for best examples of pro-Israel activities during the year.

Please enter your nominees (and seconds)  in the comments for each category. Please include links!

I am trying not to include previous winners.

Possible categories (and previous nominees plus some initial nominees from me, you may second them) include:

BEST PRO-ISRAEL TWEETER (Previous winners: Avi Mayer, No Camels)

Arsen Ostrovsky (seconded)
Margie in Tel Aviv (seconded)
CiFWatch (seconded)

BEST PRO-ISRAEL MEDIA OUTLET/WRITER NOT EXCLUSIVE TO ISRAEL (Previous winners: The Commentator and Melanie Philips)

Douglas Murray (seconded)
Gatestone Institute (seconded)
Charles Krauthammer (seconded)
Walter Russell Mead (seconded)
Bret Stephens (WSJ) (seconded)
Legal Insurrection (seconded)
Daniel Greenfield (seconded)
Colonel Richard Kemp (seconded)
Brendan O'Neil
SunNews Media (Canada)

Ryan Bellerose (seconded)
Chloe Valdary (seconded)
Daniel Mael (seconded)
Mohammed Zoabi (seconded)
Sarah Bernamoff (seconded)
Samantha Hamilton (seconded)
Orit Arfa


Caroline Glick (seconded)
Martin Kramer (seconded)
Daniel Gordis (seconded)
Evelyn Gordon (seconded)
Khaled Abu Toameh (seconded)
Mudar Zahran
Israel Revolt 

BEST ENGLISH-LANGUAGE PRO-ISRAEL ONLINE MEDIA OUTLET (Previous winners: Times of Israel and The Tower)

Algemeiner  (seconded)
Israel HaYom (seconded)
Tablet (seconded)
JPost (seconded)
Israel21c (seconded)
Mosaic Magazine (seconded)
YNet (seconded)
Arutz7 (seconded)

BEST MAINSTREAM MEDIA WATCHDOG (Previous winners: Honest Reporting and CAMERA)

BBC Watch (seconded)
CiF Watch  (seconded)

BEST WATCHDOG - ARABIC MEDIA AND NGOs (Last year's winner: Palestinian Media Watch)

MEMRI  (seconded)
NGO Monitor (seconded)
UN Watch (seconded)

BEST PRO-ISRAEL BLOG (PRESENT COMPANY EXCLUDED) (Previous winners: Daphne Anson, Missing Peace, Israellycool)

Israel Matzav (seconded)
This Ongoing War (seconded)
Jews Down Under (seconded)
IsraelSeen (seconded)
Thomas Wictor (seconded)
IsraelStreet (seconded)


IDF (idfnadesk) on YouTube  (seconded)
StandWithUs (FBYouTube)  (seconded)


BEST "OWN GOAL" (Anti-Zionists acting so stupid they disgust even disinterested parties or backfire spectacularly)

Max Blumenthal and David Sheen Toiletgate (seconded)
George Galloway (seconded)
 Brighton BDS warning people about 'Zionist donations' to food banks
Saima Jamal
Ala'a Hamdan  “I will soak a koffiah with your blood and save it to show to your siblings "
UCLA student meltdown after BDS defeat (seconded)
Kat-Yang Stevens (seconded)


A Letter to the Jewish Nation: Why an Indian Stands With Israel , Vijeta Uniyal (seconded)
Native Jewish Bond Thicker Than Water, Ryan Bellerose
Why I Decided to Start Wearing a Kippah, Ryan Bellerose (seconded)
Israel: The World's First Modern Indigenous State, Ryan Bellerose

BEST GRASSROOTS PRO-ISRAEL ORGANIZATION (Previous winner: Sussex Friends for Israel)


Bassam Eid (seconded)
Mohammed Zoabi (seconded)
Orim Shimshon (seconded)
Father Nadaf (seconded)
Aboud Dandachi
Tarek Fatah (seconded)
Raheel Raza (Honour Diaries)


Dry Bones (seconded)
Tikun Olam
Benji Lovitt


Industry of Lies by Ben-Dror Yemini (Hebrew)
Catch the Jew by Tuvia Tenenbom (Hebrew)
Like Dreamers, Yossi Klein Halevi (seconded)

David Draiman
Roseanne Barr (seconded)
Mark R. Pelligrino
Joshua Malina

StandWithUs "Passport"Campaign

Chanukah video night #3: Ari Goldwag - Chanukah Light

Today's bizarre Temple Mount accusations

Every time a Jew visits the Temple Mount, the Arab media report on it from Egypt to Saudi Arabia.

Because that gets boring after a while, they need to goose things up a bit.

Today's news is that the valiant Al Aqsa guards managed to foil an attempt by "Jewish settlers" to fly a plane over the Temple Mount. They say this is the fourth time they have frustrated such attempts. How exactly they stopped the "attack" is not clear.(It is possible that some Israelis are trying out a hobbyist drone.)

The more interesting story is that PA minister Sheikh Yusuf Odeih went on TV and claimed that Jews had been drinking alcohol on the Temple Mount along with their Talmudic prayers.

He also said that because of the Jews digging underneath the Mount, the mosque can now collapse from merely a strong wind.

Hey, its only incitement to attack Jews. No big deal.

New "work accident" meme

In the first half of this year, there were a large number of "work accidents" and errant rockets that killed dozens of Gazans.

But since the Gaza war, a new meme has emerged whenever Gazans get killed in explosions: Now it is israel's fault.

This morning Arabic media are reporting on the death of Hamas terrorist Bilal Abdel Moneim Almunirawi of an explosion in a Hamas training site near Rafah. But instead of saying that it was a "mysterious internal explosion" as they used to claim, now they are saying he was killed by some leftover Israeli ordnance.

This is not the first time this has happened since the war - the number of "work accidents" has declined sharply while the number of people supposedly killed by leftover Israeli munitions has increased just as sharply.

Hamas' Al Qassam Brigades, for its part, doesn't blame Israel for this, although they do of course beseech Allah to accept him as a martyr so he can enjoy his "wedding" to the 70 virgins.