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Hidden video shows treatment of ‘flytilla’ detainees in Israeli prison

Aug 02, 2011

Adam Horowitz

Reut Institute: The Boycott Law helps Israel’s critics (and alienates American Jews)

Aug 02, 2011

Adam Horowitz

The Reut Institute, an influential Israeli think tank that has lead the way in Israel’s fight against “delegitimization,” has acknowledged that the recently passed Boycott Law furthers Israel’s international isolation rather than combat it. From “The Boycott Law Plays to the Hands of De-legitimizers“:

[The organizations’ and individuals’ promoting this de-legitimization campaign] ability to achieve disproportionate influence, and promote the political assault on Israel, has been due to their success in harnessing liberal and progressive circles in the West. Their strategy in this regard, is to deliberately blur the distinction between de-legitimization, and the legitimate discourse on Israeli government policy. In contrast, the inability of many in Israel and the Diaspora to recognize this critical distinction has only further enhanced the de-legitimizers and increased their influence. This is why legislation which attempts to restrict the actions of parts of Israeli society in their criticism of government policy, only further serves the interests of those seeking to blur the boundaries.

The Boycott Law is, in some sense, the worst of both worlds. The law does not properly address the de-legitimization phenomenon, as the law is territorial in its application and yet the de-legitimization campaign is global, primarily operating beyond Israel’s borders. Therefore, those who thought that the law would provide the legal tools to deter those promoting de-legitimization will soon be disappointed. The greater damage of the law, however, is the controversy forming around it. The internal divisions within the Israeli camp have been exacerbated, when in fact; the response to the assault on Israel’s legitimacy requires unity. Instead of uniting the major factions within Israeli politics against the de-legitimization threat, the legislation has turned the discourse into a public shouting match where those supporting the government’s policy and those opposing it are throwing mud at each other.

Another alarming symptom and consequence of the de-legitimization phenomenon can already be observed in some North American Jewish communities. While in the past Israel was a unifying issue, now Israel is such a polarizing issue that many communities prefer not to address it at all. The Boycott Law, which has already been the subject of much criticism from North American Jewry, certainly does not contribute toward reversing this trend of Israel becoming a factor that divides Jewish communities.

Pamela Geller slanders the Utoya victims (elitist anti-Semites, Hitler youth, oh and race-mixers)

Aug 02, 2011

Paul Mutter

Pamela Geller, founder of Atlas Shrugs, delayed a full response to the shootings in Norway (by her own admission). Her ideological associates, in the meantime, had been issuing statements condemning the violence – as well as the victims’ politics. And now, Atlas Shrugs has finally joined this argument: this past Sunday, Geller published an analysis of the victims titled “Summer Camp? Antisemitic Indoctrination Training Center“:

But the jihad-loving media never told us what antisemitic war games they were playing on that island. Utoya Island is a Communist/Socialist campground, and they clearly had a pro-Islamic agenda.

Only the malevolent media could use the euphemism summer camp and get away with it.

The slaughter was horrific. What these kids were being taught and instructed to do was a different kind of grotesque. There is no justification for Breivik’s actions whatsoever. There is also no justification for Norway’s antisemitism and demonization of Israel.

Even Geller knows these statement will be construed by the “Genocidal Leftists” as an endorsement of violence, but insists that it necessary to put the shootings in a larger context – the context of the global struggle against Islam:

. . . . Utoya camp was not Islamist but it WAS something not much more wholesome (by our standards, at any rate).

It was a summer indoctrination camp run by Norway’s ruling Labor Party for up-and-coming children of the ruling elite.

Glen Beck [sic] was not far off when he compared it to the Hitlerjugend or Young Pioneers.”

Think Progress caught on to the fact that an earlier version of this post referred to “race mixing” among the Norwegian youth at the camp. Specifically, a now-removed picture caption read “Note the faces which are more MIddle Eastern [sic] or mixed than pure Norwegian.” Even some favorable commenters on the post called Ms. Geller out on this caption. Perhaps the intent of this statement was to demonstrate that there were Muslims present at the summer camp and that their presence was (of course) related to the youth organization’s “anti-Semitic” and “pro-Palestinian” agenda?

The statement was probably removed, though, because it could be taken to suggest that a non-Caucasian life (especially one mixed in with Muslim blood) is somehow “worth less” than a non-Caucasian (or part-Caucasian) one. While Geller did not  come out and say that, the notion is far from the fringes of respectability in “journalistic” debate.

Geller also approvingly quotes an argument for moral relativismvis a vis Palestinians and Israelis in relation to the shootings:

“For them it is unacceptable for Breivik to murder Norwegian children, because his ideology is wrong. But it is acceptable for Palestinians to murder Israeli children, because their ideology is right.”

Given the intensely pro-Zionist feelings among the anti-Islamic right, it is sadly inevitable that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict would be used to “contextualize” a terorrist attack on “socialist” “pro-Islamic” “aristocrats” (all terms she uses to describe the camp attendees). The spleen is practically audible.

Is the anti-Islamic right suggesting that the Islamocommunist children of Norway’s ruling party were asking for trouble by engaging in behavior such as displaying signs that say “Opphev Blokkaden Av Gaza” (Oppose the Blockade of Gaza) and signing onto the BDS Movement? Geller and her cohorts suggested, soon after the identity of the shooter became known, that “If anyone incited him to violence, it was Islamic supremacists. If anything incited him to violence, it was the Euro-Med policy.”

Such statements now even more eerily echo Breivik’s own manifesto in that he lumped together his specific targets with the larger anti-Semitic Islamocommunist alliance that, according to the anti-Islamic right, holds Norway (and the EU in general) in its grip. Such sentiments have long been present in the discourse, but to hear such assertions articulated more forcefully now after what has happened is even more disturbing. “We are witnesssing the complete breakdown of rational society,” Geller opined in response to hate mail she has recieved since the attacks.

Geller has no idea how right she is!

Norway attack reveals Israel’s embrace of Islamophobia

Aug 02, 2011

Adam Horowitz

From Ali Abunimah’s Al Jazeera English article “Islamophobia, Zionism and the Norway massacre“:

Foxman’s claim that Breivik’s support for Israel is “bizarre” is a brazen attempt to deflect attention from the alliance that Foxman and leading Israeli politicians have made with the most racist Islamophobes – ones Foxman accurately likens to anti-Semites.

To be clear, Israel and Zionism have always been racist toward Palestinians and other non-Jews, otherwise how else could they justify the expulsion and exclusion of millions of Palestinians solely on the grounds that they are not Jews? It is the virulent, specifically anti-Muslim trend that has been particularly pronounced since 2001.

But the rot has already gone too far. As a recent article in Der Spiegel underscores, Europe’s far-right anti-Muslim demagogues have found many allies and admirers in Israel, particularly within the upper echelons of the ruling Likud and Yisrael Beitenu parties.

And the feeling is mutual: European ultra-nationalists, such as Dutch Islamophobe Geert Wilders, have put support for Israel’s right-wing government at the centre of their politics.

Islamophobia welcome in Israel

While the world was united in horror at Breivik’s massacre, several commentators in Israel’s mainstream media were much more understanding of his motives, if not for his actions. Anoped on Ynet, the website of Israel’s mass circulation Yediot Aharonot, stated that “the youth movement of the ruling Labour Party” – of which many of the youths murdered on Utoya island were members – “is an organisation of anti-Israeli hate mongers”.

An editorial in The Jerusalem Post offered sympathy for Breivik’s anti-Muslim ideology and called on Norway to act on the concerns expressed in his manifesto, while an op-ed published by the same papersaid that the youth camp Breivik attacked had been engaged in “a pro-terrorist program”.

Meanwhile, an article in the American Jewish newspaper The Forward noted that on many mainstream internet forums, Israelis expressed satisfaction with Breivik’s massacre and thought that Norway got what it deserved.

Clear warning signs

Foxman cannot claim he didn’t see any of this coming. Back in 2003, I interviewed him for an article about the inclusion of Yisrael Beitenu and other parties in Israel’s governing coalition, parties that openly advocated the expulsion of Palestinians. Foxman’s attitude was as indulgent toward those racists and would-be ethnic cleansers as he was to Hagee’s hate-mongering a few years later, and it is those same Israeli parties that have forged the closest ties with European and American anti-Muslim extremists.

The continued lurch towards extremism in Israel, and among many of its supporters, underscores the truth that anyone who wants to dissociate from ultranationalism, racism and Islamophobia, also has to repudiate Israel’s state ideology, Zionism. Universal rights and equality for all human beings are concepts that are anathema to both.

Read the whole article here.

Flip side of Jennifer Rubin n Robert Spencer
Aug 02, 2011

Philip Weiss

conspiracyFrom an Iranian site. (Spotted by neocons Michael Rubin and the Foundation for Defense of Democracies)

Propaganda spotlight: The truth about the West Bank
Aug 02, 2011 10:19 am | timhaughton

Danny Ayalon recently posted a propaganda video to his YouTube channel regarding the “Truth of the West Bank”. Ordinarily I’m not prone to producing videos for YouTube, partly because I have zero budget (it’s just me and Powerpoint) and also because I hate the sound of my own voice.

But, given that I was looking at a YouTube video, I thought it fitting that any riposte should take the same form. In that guise, I offer up the following (apologising in advance for the lack of slick cartoon animations):

Part I:

Part II:

Observing the discrimination against Palestinians gives me flashbacks to the ‘Whites Only’ signs in my youth in Mississippi

Aug 02, 2011

Gloria Brown

Interfaith Peace Builders sent an African-American team to Israel and Palestine last month. And on July 27, Gloria Brown filed this report (at the link among others):

Seeing dimensions of discrimination and oppression in Israel/Palestine (e.g., walls, murder scenes, unequal funding for education, class/race separation, hiring practices, gender inequity, etc.) has caused me to have major flashbacks about growing up and teaching in the state of Mississippi where “White” was right. As it relates to Israel/Palestine, Jews are “right.” Despite Biblical references to Jews being a chosen people, I know that is not how God works and I still cannot understand how Jews believe they have the right to oppress others who are attempting to remain on the land they ought to be able to rightfully claim.

I see the walls constricting Palestinians here and am reminded of the “White Only” signs of my youth – just knowing there were places I could not go. One specific example is the underpinning of why I never learned to swim. The White children in my Mississippi community had access to a beautiful swimming pool that African American children could only experience in passing. In order for me to learn to swim, it would have been necessary for me to brave the murky waters in concert with water moccasins, black runners, rattle snakes, and “you name the snake.” As much as I wanted to learn to swim, I did not want to be the main course that assorted reptiles would enjoy for dinner.

Another example of a wall in Mississippi was when I was among 22 African American teachers selected to deliver instruction in an all-White school during court-ordered desegregation.  The experience was horrific; two weeks of non-violent attempts to enter the school passed before we could walk through the doors of the all-white DeKalb High School. Day after day, we arrived and were turned back by the KKK in full regalia, mounted on horses, with shotguns drawn. With the help of civil rights lawyers, I was able to file affidavits almost daily to report the wrong-doings in this school (i.e., whites-only bells to change classes, whites-only bells for lunch, white faculty meetings, no faculty meetings for African Americans, and having to teach only African American children, among others).

I loved the African American children for many of them were my cousins or neighbors. The pain in my soul had to do with the fact that illegal makeshift solutions were emerging in the name of integration of schools in compliance with the recent court order to desegregate within 48 hours.

I heard several Palestinians talk about bloodshed and profiling. Those acts reminded me of the civil rights workers who were killed in Mississippi just a few miles from my home. I was reminded of a young man who went to the “Bottom” (a nightclub) on a Saturday night. He had an altercation with a police officer in Philadelphia, Mississippi, and was killed. No one was ever charged for his murder. I am also reminded of my uncles coming home from Cleveland, New York, and other places. They knew that at some point, they would be ticketed for having the wrong “paint job” (black skin/driving a decent car.)

Finally, despite all the pain and suffering of the Palestinian people, they are extremely friendly and giving. At every Palestinian door, I am welcomed with open arms. I want the Palestinian people to know that our struggles are similar. Treatment of African Americans in Mississippi is much better today. Many African Americans are attorneys, engineers, hold political offices, are educators held in high esteem, and are distinguished citizens.

I urge the Palestinians to keep up the non-violent fight, for I believe a brighter day is just on the horizon.

Wash. Post blogger Rubin may not be ‘an ogre or a racist’ but is she a ‘bigot’?

Aug 02, 2011

Philip Weiss

Patrick Pexton, Washington Post ombudsman, defends blogger Jennifer Rubin from her error in declaring that the Norway bomber was a jihadist. He cuts her a pass on late correcting because she is a religious Jew and was not online during the Sabbath following her error.

In a long chat with Rubin last week, I found her forceful and unrepentant, yet not unreasonable. She is not an ogre or a racist. And she does not deserve some of the calumny she got.

I guess she does deserve some of the calumny then? The comments are fabulous.

There’s this from MarkMacDonald: “Also, using the Sabbath as an excuse for inaccurate writing simply does not cut the mustard.”

And this from bernielatham. wow. Note that Webster’s defines bigot as “one obstinately or intolerantly devoted to his own opinions and prejudices.” Shoe fit?

Certainly not an ogre. Possibly not a racist either depending on how you define your terms. But it would be very interesting to see an explication from you or how the term “bigot” does not apply as regards Rubin’s statements on Muslims along with examples of to whom that term would apply in this context.

“This brings us back to the shootings in Norway, an act committed by a disturbed man who drew some of his inspiration from extremist Web sites. A blogosphere given to vitriol and hasty judgments ought to consider the possible consequences of its own online attacks.”

“Some”? What proportion, do you think? And among those sources, how many has Rubin herself quoted, referenced or linked to in the past (Geller, Spencer, Pipes)?

But it’s your final sentence I’ve quoted above which is the real head-shaker. How in the name of heaven can it be that Rubin’s many derogatory and inflammatory comments on Muslims are not part of what you indict here? How is it that you make no reference to that at all?

Will Israel’s tent protesters awaken to the tents that came before theirs?

Aug 02, 2011

Ofra Yeshua-Lyth

It is the corner of Seinkin and Rothschild Boulevard, Friday afternoon. We and our Palestinian guests – a group of “Illegal Sojourners” in the ugly Occupation Jargon – have had a lovelyday of sightseeing and swimming. Now we are on our way to be entertained lavishly by one of us who is blessed with a flat and a roof in the coveted heart of Tel Aviv. On the way there we pass a new and exciting tourist attraction: the huge tent camp which keeps mushrooming in the boulevard.

Our guests, some in pious head gear, listen attentively to the story about middle class Jewish youngsters with no place to live, to study and to work from. The tents are so many, so small. They nod in amazement, expressing sympathy or perhaps even some pleasure over the new potential for solidarity. The sharp tongued one is quick to come up with a punch line none of us would have thought of: “Hada Muchayem Lajiyin Israeliyin!” – “A refugee camp for Israelis”, she exclaims.

We laugh at this smart crack. No similarity at all, to be sure – or maybe just a little something, after all. The young people of Rothschild (may Allah help them, may their protest yield fruit), are supposedly able to get up any time and move back to the grim life they were accustomed to before settling into the sizzling Boulevard.  However they are condemned to life in the lower end of the Israeli chain of housing – with no property, no land and no roof of their own. Some of the women we have with us this evening –exuberant, full of curiosity and passion for fun – have been living in “real” refugee camps most of their lives. Some were born there, others  got married and moved to share the fate of large families condensed into crumbling homes that were started as temporary tents at the outskirts of towns and villages in the West Bank many years ago.

Next evening, at the great Saturday Night Demonstration of the housing crisis, angry signs and voices point at the many housing perks bestowed on the settler community and the ultra-orthodox. It is not hard to recognize the many billion investments in the settlements all over the territories occupied by Israel since 1967 as assets robbed from the welfare of the next generation of Israelis. Blunt sectarian favoritism is to be blamed for the neglect suffered by every hard working citizen not aligned to one of the “preferred” sectors, who has not been blessed with parents of deep pockets.

It is far more difficult and painful to point at the basic choice of Israel to be a state for only one sector, defined by its religion, as the basic cause of this country’s many malaises, including the housing situation. Undeniably, the cost of this choice is incredibly heavy in financial, military and human resources.  Israel’s present rulers constantly wave its “Jewish State” identity as a concept superior to any pretence it ever had to be a just, democratic and peace seeking society. They incite and radicalize, but they had really not started any new path. They merely carry on a tradition that started when this state started –with blood bath and fire – as an entity unable to tolerate anybody perceived as “Other” according to the rabbinical code.

Most young people in the tents do not wish to hear this but a large part of the most coveted addresses in our non-stop city actually belong to landlords who are unable to overcharge, profiteer, or make any use of their assets. Israelis of all ages dedicate their best years and certainly a major part of their tax payments to our state’s continuous and stubborn effort to prevent these owners from practicing their property rights. Jaffa and its surroundings, Manshia nest to the Charles Clore promenade, Sumeil on the corner of Arlozorov and Ibn Gabirol, Jamussin of Bavli and the Akirov Towers and Sheich Moanis of Ramat Aviv and the University, all are real estate under the Israel Land Administration, which have the firm obligation to make them available to Jews only. It is perfectly ridiculous to hear the Prime Minister and his people puffing angrily against the “cartel” (as they currently call this Administration) which Zionism established for the purpose of preserving the “national lands” for one ethnic group. Aspiring for a free real estate market? Fine, let us find whose names are on the deeds and start to negotiate.

Israeli governments irregular housing solutions did not start in Ariel, Ofra, Efrat and their hundreds illegal predator copies. Bibi Nethanyahu did not initiate them. He was born into these solutions just like the rest of us, the parent’s generation of today’s angry young men and women. Israel’s venerated founding fathers chose to house hundreds of thousands of long suffering refugees in the homes from which hundreds and thousands of long suffering refugees escaped or were expelled. Next they flooded the country in transit camps (“maabarot”) of miserable tents and shacks, for the masses that were lured to forsake their homes in Arabic speaking countries in favor of improving the demographic balance for the Jews in Zion. These masses were ground to dust in the social habitat that designated them to the role of farmers and laborers, a substitute the gap left by the Palestinians that could only observe, sad eyed, as they still do, from their refugee camps all over the Middle East. The children and grandchildren of these Arab speaking Jewish immigrants grew into a new incarnation – some as fervent religious nationals who despise all Arabs passionately.

“A Home is a fundamental value, it is the base for  everything”  leaders of the Youth rally shouted last Saturday. Their impressive, just and heart warning demonstration called for social justice, rejected charity, and warned against crafty make-belief solutions. “WE HAVE WOKEN UP”, some black signs read, “AND WE SHALL NOT GO BACK TO SLEEP”. One can only hope that the awakening also included an end to the illusion, that only the continuous violent oppression of part of the people of this land can secure the well being of the other part, defined by the “correct” religion.

Perhaps there are no instant solutions to the housing problem, but great public works are certainly an option. This country, like many others, has great resources that should and could support its needy young. A land that knew how to transfer hundreds of thousands in and out, built development towns, transit camps and a huge region of army camps and settlements should not have any difficulty in performing some model projects.

Here is a suggestion for a really easy one: Last Saturday demonstrators were squeezed to the barb-wire coroneted wall of this camp facing Tel Aviv Museum for the Fine Arts. Behind this eye sore lies a huge and spacious estate, the well guarded, superbly protected shrine of the Middle East’s most powerful army and one of the greatest military forces in the whole world. Why not clear the Kiria IDF headquarters in favor of affordable housing well located for the poor children of Tel Aviv? Its top ranking officers do not really need a workplace so indulgingly urbane for the purpose of planning their next war, during which we shall be instructed to keep quiet (fighting is in progress!) and to stop moaning about the rent. No doubt they will be happy to move somewhere else. It is after all very wrong, they always tell us, to have military facilities in the midst of civilian population. At least we complain bitterly when this is done by Hezbollah and Hamas.

Or maybe the army will not be willing to move so willingly, as it had long ago ceased to be the People’s Army. We, the people, are its submissive subjects, and who are we to deny it the high-rises from which it  looks down on us, all the way from the Azrieli shopping center to Café Dubnov. It is under the hospices of the army that the government is supplies its only generous “housing solutions”:  reaped off Bill’in,  Ni’ilin, Hebron, Beith Ommar, Saffa, Nabi Salach and dozens other hard beaten spots under occupation. It is the army’s unlimited violent might that facilitates the usurping of homes in Siluan and Sheich Jarrach in favor of some chosen members of militant groups with an inclination for affordable homes well located in Jerusalem.

The yellow clouds of tear gas and the unbearable stink of the “skunk” hoses, the armed forces faithful allies, have long ago transcended oceans all the way to the United Nations halls in New York. No longer may transfers, lootings and expulsions be hidden and silenced, as was the fate of the inhabitants of Iraq Manshia (today’s Qiryat-Gat) or Sidna Ali (Herzlia Pituah). But likewise, they are the products of the same tough and hollow ideology we were all educated on. These days this ideology is compulsory by law even for kindergarten toddlers. Its repetitive false message, anchored in ancient and unfriendly religion: it is dangerous and forbidden for Jews to live in the vicinity of other people.

The angry residents of Israel’s “refugee camps” all over the country are going these days through an awakening process from the false consciousness that brought them to this tricky junction of the summer of 2011. It is not an easy process, but well worth making the effort to go all the way to the root of our problems. Those of us, who were privileged last weekend to dance, sing and hug on a Tel Aviv rooftop with our friends from the villages and refugee camps of the occupied territories, will never agree to give up the warm human contact with people we once considered enemies. Just think how many good flats could be produced with the assets wasted over the decades on fortifying the dumb concept that all non Jews are a “danger for our demography”.

This piece first appeared at Zochrot. Ofra Yeshua-Lyth’s book “A State of Mind` why Israel should become Secular and Democratic ” is published these days by Maariv publishers.

Thinktank backed by Bronfman and Saban promotes claim that Muslims will force Jews from Europe and rape uncovered women

Aug 02, 2011

Philip Weiss

The Foundation for the Defense of Democracies sent out an email blast today that is all about the Iranian “terrorist hydra” and that approvingly quotes Mark Steyn issuing the bigoted statements about Muslims in my headline. I’d remind you that this is the Foundation that, as Eli Clifton reported a couple weeks back, wants war with Iran and has been backed by leading conservative figures in the Jewish community, including Haim Saban, Bernard Marcus (of Home Depot),  Charles and Edgar Bronfman, and Michael Steinhardt (author/financier and backer of Jewish day school in New York, the New Republic, and Makor, a social center aimed at promoting Jewish inmarriage). From FDD:

Mark Steyn writes that by 2050

a majority of Austrians under 15 will be Muslim. 2050 isn’t that far away. …

A world that becomes more Muslim becomes less everything else: First it’s Jews, already fleeing Malmo in Sweden. Then it’s homosexuals, already under siege from gay-bashing in Amsterdam, “the most tolerant city in Europe”. Then it’s uncovered women, already targeted for rape in Oslo and other Continental cities. And, if you don’t any longer have any Jews or (officially) any gays or (increasingly) uncovered women, there are always just Christians in general, from Egypt to Pakistan.

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