Wednesday, August 24, 2016

From Ian:

Anniversary of 1929 Hebron Massacre and Ethnic Cleansing of Jews
Hebron is a hot spot in many ways. Hebron and its immediately surrounding Arab areas are the single largest source of terror attacks during the so-called Knife or Stabbing Intifada.
It’s also a place where anti-Zionist and left-wing “liberal Zionist” American Jews love to gather to protest the Jewish “settlers” who live in a tiny section of the city. That section is under Israeli military control by agreement with the Palestinian Authority, with good reason. Hebron has a long history of violence directed at Jews.
Hebron also is the place of the Cave of the Patriarchs, which I visited in 2015.
Hebron had one of if not the oldest continuous Jewish communities in the world, dating back several hundred years at least. Until 1929.
On August 23, 1929, the Arabs attacked the Jews of Hebron along with numerous other Jewish communities.
But in Hebron it was particularly vicious. It was a blood frenzy in which the Jews were set upon with particular glee and slaughtered with knives, machetes and anything else available.

David Collier: HGSS, Jewish News and Yachad, shutting the mouths of the London Zionists
A Jewish newspaper in the UK smears a Zionist movement in a badly researched hatchet job, a London synagogue bows down to pressure and cancels a Zionist event. A scene from an antisemitic horror movie? No, this is the actual state of affairs ofJewish London in 2016. Read on for a Beyond the Great Divide exclusive:
Questions now need to be asked about just where British Jewry is heading. Are the ‘red fascists’ taking hold in our community?Background
Over the last few months, I have received several invitations from grassroots activist group ‘Campaign 4 Truth‘. Some of the speakers have been impressive. ‘Campaign 4 Truth’ are unashamedly Zionist. I only wish more of our established ewish community bodies could take a page from some of the grassroots groups and proudly wave the Israeli flag.
One of the more recent invites was for an event with an Israeli organisation called ‘Im Tirtzu’ that was due to take place on September 11th. It was scheduled to be held at HGSS, the ‘orthodox’ ‘United’ Hampstead Garden Suburb Synagogue.
Im Tirtzu
Like many of the groups currently campaigning against the delegitimisation of Israel, ‘Im Tirtzu’ are not without their critics. Just a few months ago, a horrendous name and shame campaign backfired badly, and brought criticism against ‘Im Tirtzu’ from across the political spectrum. The main focus of ‘Im Tirtzu’s’ campaigns are the NGO’s that sit to the very left of the Israeli political spectrum. Groups that are now under the microscope, such as B’tselem, Breaking the Silence and more importantly the donors that enable the activities of these groups. In the opening paragraph on the Wiki page for ‘Im Tirtzu’, it says this:
“Im Tirtzu is mostly known for its campaign against the New Israel Fund, foreign government-funded NGOs, and alleged bias in university curriculum”.
No surprise then that the Chief Executive of the New Israel Fund, Adam Ognall, appears to be a primary source for the article in the Jewish News.
Russian 'documentary' claims Jews behind Titanic, Chernobyl and 9/11
A documentary recently aired on a Russian television station with a potential reach of 100 million viewers laid blame for some of history's greatest calamities at the feet of the Jews.
According to The Jewish Chronicle, the short film, which aired on Russia's REN TV, claimed that Jews were behind the sinking of the Titanic, the nuclear disaster at Chernobyl and the September 11 terror attacks.
The new version of the documentary was updated from a 2012 broadcast which had claimed that 300 Jews, Illuminati and Freemasons had plotted to sink the Titanic in order to sow chaos and conquer the world.
The updated broadcast aired on the private network added the 1991 collapse of the Soviet Union to the conspiracy, along with 9/11 and Chernobyl.
Russia's Ministry of Education and Science has previously condemned REN TV's "documentaries" as "the most harmful pseudoscientific project (for spreading of myths, delusions and superstitions)," according to the Chronicle.

Judean Rose
by Varda Meyers Epstein

Yesterday I wrote the most beautiful piece about Yarden Gerbi, the Israeli judoka and bronze medalist. Yarden, you see, is auctioning off her Olympic back number. She's going to donate the proceeds to benefit children with cancer. It's the second time Gerbi's done that: auctioned off an important keepsake from an important competition for the sake of these kids.

And I just love her for that.

The truth is, I loved her already. I loved her wild and spontaneous leap into the stands—still sweaty and disheveled from the match—to hug and be hugged by the small number of audience members holding Israeli flags. I loved the way Yarden, with a shy smile, lovingly underscored with her finger, the Israeli flag on her gi, as if to say, "I did it all for you, my beloved Israel," knowing full well the cameras were catching the gesture for posterity, and not giving a damn that the world hates us, hates Israel.

She, Yarden, loves Israel.

And so I love her.

But back to the back number. This was a feel-good story about Israel that I had seen on Facebook and I realized it could be the perfect thing to write up for a website I've been trying to break into without success. Getting a piece placed on that website's a business thing. Something I do for work.

I write for a living, you see. Writing is actually my day job. And my job is to write articles with a tie-in to the work of the organization I work for, Kars4Kids. That means writing about parenting, education, nonprofits, and charity, for instance.

The pro-Israel stuff I write?  That's something I do on my own time. Because no one pays bloggers to write about Israel.

But yesterday, I came across that story about Yarden Gerbi and not for the first time I thought, "Wouldn't it be awesome if I could kill two birds with one stone and write up a story that both shows Israel in a good light and has a tie-in to my org?"

So I went back to that website, the one I've been trying to break into, and I did what I call "deep reading." I read about 15 articles on the website to get an idea of the type of articles they offer, and the tone of the writing itself. While there were many articles on celebrities and home beauty treatments, there were also pieces about the U.S. election and yes, several stories about the Olympics.

I saw no articles on Israel or Yarden Gerbi. Whether by intention or accident, I didn't know. But clearly, I'd found a niche not yet covered. Which I saw as a good thing. It meant I had a higher chance of placing my story there. Maybe.

I noted the website had a strong feminist bent, and lots of feel-good stories. I decided the Gerbi back number story, written in the informal chatty style of the website, was actually exactly the kind of thing that would fly.

Well, that's not quite true. I knew that the typical reader there was bound to be liberal left. And Israel is, shall we say, not exactly beloved by the liberal left.

But that's not always a bad thing. Controversy generates reader engagement so it's good for page views. And there was nothing in the story about Gerbi that anyone, liberal or otherwise, could find offensive. Except for the fact that the story is about Israel and Israelis.

What can I say? I'm a cockeyed optimist. Seeing nothing that could possibly offend in the story itself, I ran with it. I wanted to think that liberal left readers would exercise tolerance.

And seriously? It was a gorgeous story about a strong woman with a generous heart.

So I wrote it up. I included the back story. I'd noted that many of the articles on the website had gifs in them so I looked for a video of that wild leap into the stands, and then created a gif on Giphy. (It was something I'd never done before and I was kind of proud of that. Heck, I'm 55. And I can do cool things on the Internet.)

I included Yarden's Facebook post.

And I provided a better formatted quote of the English part of her post:

Three years ago, when I won the World Championship, I auctioned the special back number I was awarded with the title of world champion. The winner of the back number was Tal Keidar, and together we managed to raise $3800, all of which was donated to the children's oncology ward of Ichilov Hospital.
I decided to auction my signed Rio Olympic back number (the auction will close on the 29th of August).
In addition, if the winner of the back number is Israeli (the auction is open worldwide) I will gladly hand over the item personally. Once again, all the money raised will go directly to the same ward in Ichilov – child cancer patients. I don't know how much money I will raise, but I know that any amount will help.
When I visited the ward with Professor Bickles I met amazing kids who are heroes, doing their best to fight and keep high spirits.
I recently found out that Liran Or, a sweet and loving girl with whom I was in contact with, had passed away. That's the reason I decided to donate to the same ward.
Please, share the link and spread the word about the auction. And most importantly, keep healthy.
Yarden Gerbi
I further noted that the bidding (on e-bay) had reached, $13,000—about three and a half times the amount Gerbi  raised with her World Championship back number, with several days left to bid. And I mentioned that Israel's private giving comes in second only to that of the United States, with a link to a study by Johns Hopkins on the subject (True fact: Israel's private giving is 1.34% of its Gross Domestic Product (GDP), compared to the U.S. at 1.85% while for context Japan stands at 0.22%, and Germany at 0.13%)

I called my piece Yarden Gerbi: Bronze Medalist, Heart of Gold, because that's really how I see her and what I wanted to say about her. She's the epitome of feminine strength, but she's got this warm, loving, generous heart and soul. To me, she models a certain feminine ideal and is someone to emulate for her love of country, hard work in the ring, and charitable work on behalf of sick children.
Anyone else would have wanted to keep that back number as an important keepsake. Something to display on the wall of your den, something to show your children and grandchildren.

But that's not important to Yarden. Sportmanship is what matters, caring for others, and love of country.

Those are the things that matter to her.

So I finished up my piece. I looked it over once, twice, three times. Played with a line here, a line there.

Then I submitted it and crossed my fingers (well, not really, but you know, I hoped real hard).

I submitted it as a breaking news story, because it's a time-sensitive story. Today, it's already old news.

I waited an hour, two hours, three. And I imagined that if I were editor, I'd tell my staff to always keep an eye on breaking news submissions. Because the other stories can wait.

But still more time went by.

So I dropped them a line and said, "Hey. This is a time-sensitive piece. If you can't use it let me know so I can submit it elsewhere."

Not long after I heard from the editor.

Dear Varda,
Thank you for thinking of (______), and for sending us "Yarden Gerbi: Bronze Medalist, Heart of Gold" to consider for publication. We're going to have to pass this time, as we are very full on content these days and have to be extremely selective. We encourage you to pitch this elsewhere and to keep pitching to (______) anytime!
(Jewish-sounding name)
As rejections go, this one is encouraging. She's telling me I can write and she welcomes further submissions. But something didn't pass the smell test for me.

Now, maybe I'm oversensitive but I'm always concerned that a rejection means more than it appears on the surface when I'm dealing with a liberal-toned website. And when I do get something printed, I am always a little nervous when I tell a publication where to send the check (Israel). So I decided it was time I did some research on this particular editor, who by the way, connected with me on LinkedIn after my first submission, which further encouraged me to keep pitching her.

Google informed me this editor had worked for The Daily Beast, which was Peter Beinart's former blogging home and a place where I'd received a thrashing by Amy Schiller in 2012, in a piece called, The Pro-Holocaust Vote:

There’s a special kind of bracing refreshment when a commentator proclaims outright that a vote for Obama is a vote for the Holocaust, as Varda Epstein did in her op-ed in yesterday’s Times of Israel. Epstein brings in the ultimate manipulation trump card to make her closing argument for Mitt Romney, vis a vis his allegedly tougher stance on Iran: “All Americans need do to prevent a nuclear Holocaust of 6 million Israeli Jews is to pull a different lever on Election Day."
In a single sentence Epstein manages to exemplify everything that has gone awry with Israel’s perceived significance in U.S. politics. The Holocaust (Epstein would do well to note that it’s only capitalized in reference to an actual historical event, not a hypothetical future scenario) is the most profound trauma for the Jewish people and many others in recent history. Yet to equate the totalizing genocide of the Nazi regime with Iran’s as yet hypothetical development of nuclear capability Is irresponsibly, crudely alarmist.
(From a distance of four years on and many Iran deal violations later, I'd like to ask Schiller: How's that JPCA thing working out for ya?)

Having established that the editor of (______) formerly worked alongside people like Beinart and Schiller, I did some more sleuthing. I googled her name with the words "Jewish" and "Israel." Only one item came up. It was an article she'd written a year ago. In it, she mentions being able to speak Hebrew and having attended a Jewish day school. So far, so good. But then I found this:

I felt oddly defensive, kind of like when non-Jews criticize Israel, even though I'm about as left on the topic politically as you can get.
And the light went on. I had my answer. Here is someone who believes that Israel occupies and oppresses another people. Here is someone who is ashamed of her people and believes the land God bequeathed her and her children belongs to another people.

Here is the reason my article was rejected. The real reason.

And then I wondered why she encouraged me. And whether she knows that I live in Judea, which she likely thinks of as the "West Bank."

Does she really like my writing and think I might someday write something she can use? Or is she just gathering intel?

I told myself to stop imaging things. But I had a sick feeling in the pit of my stomach, and couldn't sleep.

I submitted my piece elsewhere, and haven't heard back. And now it's old news, so probably wasted work.

But maybe not wasted time. I learned something here.

Even if I'm not quite sure what it means.

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  • Wednesday, August 24, 2016
  • Elder of Ziyon
Our weekly column from the humor site PreOccupied Territory

Check out their Facebook page.

A mass grave from the Farhud, the 1941 riots in Baghdad that killed hundreds of Jews and injured 1,000.
Baghdad, August 24 - Rashid Muhammad, 90, has seen technological and economic advancement in his many years, but still considers his youth in Iraq a better time to live, because life was simpler then and Jews didn't fight back.

The retired merchant, whose family still runs the home furnishings business he founded in 1950, spoke in an interview about growing up under British, then Arab, rule at a time when the complex concerns of modern commerce and politics had yet to emerge, and violence against Jews brought little in the way of direct consequences if the political winds were blowing a certain way.

"We had a grand time during the Farhud," reminisced Muhammad, referring to the June, 1941 riots targeting Jews and Jewish-owned establishments. "Things were pretty straightforward back then. I had my friends, and our families all went to the same mosque where we learned the same values, among which was a heavy dose of Nazi propaganda. So we did what was obvious. I personally used my handprint to mark Jewish-owned homes in red ink so the mobs would know whom to target, and that was just thrilling. I mean, after a day or two the British came back and killed a few hundred rioters and looters, but it wasn't out of any great love for the Jews. It was the attitude - and, I would say, the freedom - to do what we'd wanted to do for ages that I'm talking about."

"The Jews had no weapons and no way to fight back - they were completely at the mercy of their neighbors," he continued. "It's not that simple anymore. Things have gotten a lot more complicated in the decades since. Technology, politics, health care, and Jew-killing aren't nearly as straightforward as they used to be. It used to be the doctor would come to your home when you got sick, and there were only a few available treatments anyway. Now there are tests up the wazoo and treatment options have to be explained like you wouldn't believe. Also, we killed or expelled most of the Jews within ten years of the Farhud, and nothing happened to us as a result. I miss those days."

Muhammad concedes that the increasing complexity of life might be a function of his changing perspective as he ages, and not an objective shift in life's complexity. "I have to admit I see the same simple thrill I used to have when I now look in the eyes of a young Iraqi setting out to join Daesh, who disdain nuance, and I know I could never be that excited about ideology anymore. It's not the way it used to be, when our victims couldn't defend themselves, and their pathetic situation only served to confirm their inferior position in our minds. I miss that."

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From Ian:

Egyptian athlete takes photo with Israeli flag, sparks outrage
Twelve days after Egyptian judoka Islam El Shehaby refused to shake the hand of his Israeli opponent, the country is again up in arms over one of its Olympic athletes, and Israel is again the reason.
This time, after recently participating in a beach volleyball match in Rio, female athlete Doaa Elghobashy photographed herself posing with a fan draped in an Israeli flag.
The photo was posted to the Facebook page of the Israeli Embassy in Egypt, and to the web page of pro-Israel organization Stand With Us, which reported that it received the photo from one of its members in Brazil.
The 19-year-old Elghobashy, who had already made headlines at the Olympics for playing in a hijab (a veil that covers the head and chest), responded by saying she did not notice the Israeli flag. She told reporters: "This is a conspiracy against me. If I had known that flag would be in the picture, I would not have taken it."
She also suggested that "it's possible this picture was edited in Photoshop and the flag was inserted there to try and hurt me."
Several commenters on social media sites in Egypt vilified Elghobashy, but there were those who came to her defense.

Where are the Palestinian Gandhis?
The spate of “lone wolf” terrorism against Jews that began last October has further eroded our dream of living in peace with our Arab neighbors. It is easy to scoff at anyone who suggests that we need to continue pursuing peace. Nevertheless, we need to ask ourselves if it is possible to prevent future tragedies without establishing peace. A few decades ago, the Lubavitcher Rebbe proclaimed that Israel must establish unquestioned military superiority over the Arabs so they wouldn’t even contemplate fighting us. But he said that was only the first step to creating peace.
Since making Aliya a year-and-a-half ago for the second time in my life, after 27 years in the U.S., I have made “peace” my hobby. I have spoken to many Jews and Arabs (admittedly more of the former than the latter), and almost all of them say they want to live in peace with the other. However, they almost all say they have become disillusioned. They believe that the other side doesn’t really want peace but rather to engage in murder.
There is no need to argue to this readership that Jews want peace. We are a nation of שלום רודפי. But I have heard many Jews ask, “Where are the Palestinian Gandhis?” The belief is that if such figures existed, we would have achieved peace by now. This is also the question posed by Julia Bacha, a documentary filmmaker, in her excellent Ted Talk titled, Pay Attention to Nonviolence.
The answer to Bacha’s rhetorical question is that there are Palestinian Gandhis – many of them. But we don’t know of them because the media doesn’t pay attention to them. I will be informing you here about one of such individual, Ali Abu Awwad. Before I discuss him, a little background.
Muslims and Jews must combine to champion tolerance and stop the Isil-inspired hatred across the Middle East
Christianity has been part of the essential fabric of the Middle East for two thousand years. Far from being a Western import as some, incredibly, now seem to suggest, it was born here and exported as a gift to the rest of the world. Christian communities have been intrinsic to the development of Arab culture and civilisation.
This central role in our region and civilisation is why it is abhorrent to us, as a Muslim and a Jew, to see Christianity and Christians under such savage assault across our region.
We are appalled not only by the sickening attacks on our fellow human beings. We also know that to lose Christianity from its birthplace would be to destroy the richness of the tapestry of the Middle East and a hammer blow to our shared heritage. The reality is that we are all one community, united by shared beliefs and history. But this is increasingly denied, with Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant, or Daesh as it is known in our region, taking the lead both in justifying and carrying out these attacks. The most recent issue of its publication Dabiq, headlined “Break the Cross”, explicitly rejects the fundamental belief that we are all People of the Book.
Fighters from al-Qaeda linked Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) marching in Raqqa, Syria
Daesh peddle an apocalyptic vision that harks back to a mythic Golden Age which is solely the creation of the warped minds of today’s jihadists. They are in the same mould as those whose misguided zeal turned Christian Europe in the Middle Ages into a byword for fanaticism and oppression. Daesh want to take us to a new Dark Age, an age made even darker by the dangers that the gifts of science and technology pose in their hands.
It is not just Christians, of course, who they have made targets for their hate. The search for religious purity poses a universal threat. As we have seen all too often, fundamentalists display a particular loathing for co-religionists whose views do not conform to their own. Daesh has shown itself as prepared to slaughter indiscriminately other Muslims as it has Jews, Christians and others, whatever their nationality: Jordanian or Egyptian, American, British or European.
HRH Prince Hassan of Jordan, is the founder and president of the Royal Institute for Inter-Faith Studies
Dr Ed Kessler is director of the Woolf Institute

  • Wednesday, August 24, 2016
  • Elder of Ziyon
From Electronic Intifada:

An Israeli citizen is claiming asylum in Canada, citing his government’s escalating repression of political activism, particularly the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement.

Gilad Paz told The Electronic Intifada that he landed at Montreal airport on 11 August, after traveling from Tel Aviv, and immediately asked for political asylum.

He said he told the Canadian asylum officer that he is a BDS and human rights activist.

Paz, 34, is an attorney who specializes in civil cases and employment law. He has also been a member of Amnesty International’s Israel section and the leftist Zionist party Meretz for several years.

Paz says his BDS advocacy has taken place online, especially on Facebook, and he acknowledges that he has yet to face any personal consequences for speaking out.

Gilad Paz is preparing for his asylum hearing he says is scheduled for 29 September. His claim would have to succeed despite the fact that he has a thin resumé as an activist, notwithstanding Israel’s clear moves against human rights defenders.

Asked what he would do if his claim is rejected, he said, “In this case I will have to appeal or take the risk and come back to Israel and see what will happen.”

“I’m very, very afraid what is going to happen because the Israeli government knows I claimed asylum,” Paz added.
So a supposed BDS activist that no one had heard of before now is claiming not that he is being persecuted by Israel, but that he thinks he is about to be persecuted by Israel.

Why doesn't he apply for asylum in Ramallah? Oh, that's right - he's Jewish. Sorry.

It is obvious that this is a publicity stunt for Paz to jumpstart a career as an anti-Israel activist, since up until now no one has ever heard of him despite his claim to be a "human rights attorney." Apparently he started his supposed "activism" only a few weeks ago when he started sending friend requests to many well-known anti-Israel figures.''

On Facebook, his page has nothing original, just reports of anti-Israel articles by others. He is no activist - he is a failed lawyer ("self-employed") who couldn't figure out how to make a living in Israel so he decided to get some cheap publicity.

He is a fraud. Yet now Haaretz and YNet are giving him oxygen for his asylum gimmick.

Canada will laugh him out of the hearing on September 29, and Paz will then tell the media about how fearful he is to go back to the country where major newspapers call Israel "evil." And no one will look slightly behind his claims to see that he is a joke and playing the media for fools.

We have lots of ideas, but we need more resources to be even more effective. Please donate today to help get the message out and to help defend Israel.
  • Wednesday, August 24, 2016
  • Elder of Ziyon
From Iran's Ahlul Bayt news agency:
A large number of activists have held a demonstration in the US city of Los Angeles to protest against Israel and Hillary Clinton, the Democratic presidential nominee.

The pro-Palestinian demonstrators marched on Monday night near the Beverly Hills home of Zionist billionaire Haim Saban, who was hosting a big a fundraising event for Clinton.

The protest rally was organized by the anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions Movement (or BDS Movement), which seeks to end the Israeli occupation and colonization of Palestinian lands.

...Zionist billionaires like Saban, Sorores [sic] and Sheldon Adelson have vowed to punish those who boycott Israel.
Soros a Zionist? Well, Iranian media isn't the first to think so.

Believe it or not, George Soros - who funds BDS-friendly organizations like Adalah - has himself been targeted by BDS for investing in Israeli companies in 2014:
The Palestinian BDS National Committee (BNC), the largest coalition in Palestinian civil society that is leading the global Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement for Palestinian rights, called today for a boycott of the Soros Fund Management and the Open Society Foundations due to the recently announced[1] -- first-quarter 2014 -- investment by Soros in SodaStream stock and increased investment in Teva Pharmaceuticals, both Israeli companies that are deeply involved in violations of international law.
Since then, Soros' fund has sold Sodastream and Teva, invested in Teva again, and invested in at least two other Israeli companies plus Nobel Energy which invests in Israeli energy companies.

I don't see any Israeli companies in his current portfolio, but clearly his fund buys and sells Israeli holdings like those of any other country.

We have lots of ideas, but we need more resources to be even more effective. Please donate today to help get the message out and to help defend Israel.
  • Wednesday, August 24, 2016
  • Elder of Ziyon
One of the many misconceptions about Lebanon in the West is that it is liberal with respect to women's rights.

It is a classic example of how being liberal in comparison with the very low bar set in most of the Arab world is mistaken for being truly liberal.

A Pew study in 2014 showed both how liberal Lebanon is in comparison with its Arab neighbors - and how conservative it is in comparison with the West - with this simple question:

49% of Lebanese felt that women should be able to dress however they want, and 51% felt they should cover at least most of their hair.

This is hardly "liberal."

Similarly, in Lebanon there is a law that a rapist can go free if he marries his victim. This causes conservative families to often pressure their daughters to marry their rapists in order to avoid social stigma.

That is hardly "liberal."

A 2013 Now Lebanon article by Michelle Ghoussoub, titled "The Myth of Lebanese Liberalism," sums it up:
Yes, in Lebanon, we don’t have it all that bad. We can drive, dress as we like, study what we wish and have successful and fulfilling careers. But these norms should not be hailed as some kind of liberal victory, but rather, as minimal requirements for a state that at least tries to manage itself democratically. These so-called modern practices did nothing to help Roula Yaacoub when she was brutally murdered, allegedly by a husband who beat her regularly, and who remains a free man.

It frankly doesn’t mean much that women can dress provocatively and order a drink when their husbands can also legally rape them. Nor should we feel empowered by our right to date freely (within our religions, of course) when any woman who has lost her virginity is treated as damaged goods, or worse.
A new article in Now Lebanon points out that things are even worse - men can murder their wives for "honor" reasons without worrying too much about any consequences:
Lebanon has truly become (or has always been) a dangerous place for women. In recent years, Lebanon’s media began covering cases of women murdered by their spouses, and the frequency of the occurrence of violence against women revealed a pattern associated with deeply rooted patriarchal sentiments. And if being murdered by the person you vowed to share your life with isn’t tragic enough, in most cases, the judicial system did not deliver justice for the victims. The Lebanese public never knew the depth of the problem our society faces with unpunished domestic violence and the long-standing tradition of honor killings – which was, until recently, permissible by law. The following is a recap of some of the cases that made us aware of the injustices against women in our country and that also sparked public outrage over the judicial system’s handling of violence against women.

...Manal Assi was brutally murdered by her husband. After Manal confronted her husband about his marriage to another woman, he began to beat her with everything in sight – including kitchen utensils, cleaning equipment, tables and chairs. The doctor’s report mentioned serious injuries in almost every part of Manal’s body, and her husband confessed to calling her mother and having her watch her daughter being beaten to death. On July 16, the husband was given a “light sentence” of 5 years in prison for his crime. According to the sentence, Manal had “cheated” on her husband which made him angry and forced him to brutally kill her. The honor killing – which has been illegal in Lebanon since 2011 – was being revived in a completely shameful decision that ignored the violence Manal had endured for years at the hands of her husband. Tuesday is the deadline for the court to consider appealing the decision and KAFA is organizing a protest Tuesday morning to pressure the court.

Around Lebanon, many other women share a similar story. Crystal Abou Shakra was poisoned to death by her ex-husband, who she had divorced due to his acts of violence towards her. Again, her ex-husband was not indicted due to “lack of evidence.” Roqaya Monzer was shot at point blank by her husband when she asked for divorce due to his violent behavior. Zahraa Al-Qabout also faced a similar fate. This past week, a new victim was added to the list. Maymouna Abou Alaylah was murdered by her husband who reportedly used the glass that forms the base of the hookah to strike her on the head and then stabbing her repeatedly with a knife. These are just some of the cases that have been reported and the frightening reality is that many more cases are undisclosed.

The real battle here is that the killers of the women mentioned above are not paying for their crimes. The only way for this madness to stop is for justice to be served. These men knew beforehand that will not suffer the consequences of their actions in a country like Lebanon, which embraces patriarchy and suffers massively from corruption in its institutions. This unique and unfortunate alliance between corruption and sexism is why Lebanon is a dangerous place for women.
This is the best place to be a woman in the Arab world.

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Tuesday, August 23, 2016

  • Tuesday, August 23, 2016
  • Elder of Ziyon
Monday was the 34th birthday of Avichai Adraee, the Arabic-language spokesperson for the IDF.

He mentioned it on Facebook in light of the party thrown for him at his office.

As of this writing, he received over 1700 comments from Arabic speakers around the world.

While many of the comments were the usual hate, with commenters cursing him and all Israelis, a surprising number of the comments were warm and sincere birthday greetings from Arabs.

Many of the positive comments came from Iraqis, causing much consternation in jihadist media and Egyptian sites calling it "shocking" and worried that Iraq is losing its anti-Israel mojo.

We have lots of ideas, but we need more resources to be even more effective. Please donate today to help get the message out and to help defend Israel.
From Ian:

Honest Reporting: How Accurately Does the Media Cover Israel?
I think that everyone who cares about Israel believes strongly that the mainstream media does not cover Israel accurately. We accept it as a given that almost all coverage represents an anti-Israel media bias that stems from either anti-Semitism, a liberal world view that sees the country in a negative light, or simply journalists who are ignorant of the complicated nuances of events here.
But Israel’s critics claim the media is biased in favor of Israel. Review some of the writing on sites like Electronic Intifada, and you would get a very different view.
Who’s right? Are we just taking our emotional attachment to Israel and making assumptions that anyone who does not see the country the same way must be biased? Is the truth somewhere in between the opinions of those who are pro and those who are critical of Israel?
I believe there are specific, objective criteria that can be used to show clearly that much of the mainstream media not only reflects an anti-Israel media bias, but is factually inaccurate.
But to effectively evaluate media coverage of Israel, we need to put our emotions, politics, and backgrounds aside. Otherwise it becomes just one of many political debates that journalists can effectively ignore.

NGO Monitor: Adalah, the New Israel Fund and BDS: The mystery of the Black Lives platform
The political platform recently published by the Movement for Black Lives repeats the demonizing rhetoric of the infamous antisemitic NGO Forum of the 2001 Durban Conference, which launched the BDS movement. The platform labels Israel as an “apartheid state”, accuses the country of committing “genocide” against Palestinians, calls for an end to military aid, and endorses the anti-Israel BDS movement, including opposition to the “expanding number of Anti-BDS bills being passed in states around the country.” In response, a number of mainstream Jewish organizations issued condemnations, including the American Jewish Committee, the Anti-Defamation League and the Reform movement’s Religious Action Center.
In the initial text, the Black Lives platform listed Nadia Ben-Youssef, who represents the Israel-based Adalah organization in the US, as an “author and contributor.” The BLM platform also included a reference to Israeli laws that allegedly “sanction discrimination against the Palestinian people,” based on the tendentious “database of discriminatory laws” published by Adalah. This publication refers to Zionism in a pejorative manner, and makes no distinction between laws that were actually passed by the Israeli Knesset and legislative proposals that went nowhere. Furthermore, laws promoting Zionism and the historic Jewish connection to Israel are labeled as discriminatory, including the use of Jewish symbols and the Hebrew calendar.
Adalah’s participation in the BLM project was not particularly surprising, as the NGO has often been involved in political campaigns that promote the Palestinian narrative and seek to isolate Israel through the use of labels such as “racist”, “apartheid” and “anti-democratic”. The reference to Adalah in the BLM platform was reported by the Jewish Telegraphic Agency (JTA) and other media frameworks, and noted by NGO Monitor.

  • Tuesday, August 23, 2016
  • Elder of Ziyon
New housing built by Israel for Gazans in Sheikh Radwan
neighborhood, 1977
We've spoken about this before, but here is a 1977 LA Times article that shows how much UNRWA (and the PLO)  were against Israel moving Arabs into decent housing.

There was, of course, a postscript.

The UN condemned Israel for improving the lives of hundreds of Palestinians and for trying to get them out of these crime-ridden, crowded camps.

Many times.

For example, in 1976, resolution 31/15E:
The General Assembly,
1. Calls once more upon Israel:
(a) To take effective steps immediately for the return of the refugees concerned to the camps from which they were removed in the Gaza Strip and to provide adequate shelters for their accommodation;
(b) To desist from further removal of refugees and destruction of their shelters;
There was similar language in a 1979 resolution 34/52.

This article shows that UNRWA was more concerned over losing control of the lives of Palestinian Arabs than they were about improving their lives.

As it remains today.

The upshot is that Israel did everything it could to improve the lives of Palestinian Arabs, to make them self-sufficient and productive. 

The Arab world, most NGOs, and the UN have done the opposite. 

(h/t Ahron Shapiro)

We have lots of ideas, but we need more resources to be even more effective. Please donate today to help get the message out and to help defend Israel.

Words matter.

Words are used to explain reality but they can also be used to shape reality, to create it. Sometimes exchanging a single word for another can change the picture entirely.

Personally I don't believe there is any neutrality on the issue of Israel. There are people who are uninvolved and not particularly aware of the facts (in addition to those involved despite having no knowledge of the facts). The point is, there are facts - historical, cultural and religious, well documented facts. These can be disputed (and they often are) but not in arguments based on actual facts.

The people who wish to destroy Israel are hyper-aware of the power words have in creating reality and are consciously using well-chosen terminology to delegitimize Israel. Words are carefully chosen and used over and over as a mantra, a marketing slogan, until the general public begins to accept the words as accurate labels with historical, factual value.

Americans my age were told over and over: "Milk. It does a body good." We heard it so many times, most people believe that milk is healthy, never considering that this message, designed by people wanting to sell milk, may not actually be true.

The words chosen in regard to Israel are specifically intended to disconnect Jews from our homeland, to diminish our history to the point where it can be completely disregarded.

And it is working.

Worse than that – people who love and support Israel are taking part in this, reinforcing and legitimizing it by participating in the narrative of the enemy.

Let's be very clear: 

When you use the terminology of the enemy you empowering the enemy.

If you are using these terms you are strengthening and providing justification to those that hate Israel. You, who love Israel, agree with their concepts, accept their terminology and by extension, are helping to create a reality where their terms must be accepted.

1)  West Bank
West Bank seems like an innocuous term however it is its seeming innocence that makes it so deadly. "West Bank" is a term that takes the Jordan River as a reference point i.e. the west bank of the Jordan River.

The territory that is subtly being appropriated is Judea and Samaria, the heartland of Israel. This is the territory in which most of the bible took place. Shilo, the first capital of Israel is in the center of this territory. The Tabernacle was in Shilo for 369 years, before it was brought to Jerusalem.

Shilo can be found easily by following the directions contained in the Book of Judges (21:19). North of Bet El, east of the road heading from Bet El to Shechem (which the Arabs call Nablus), and south of Levona. The connection between this land and the Nation of Israel is very well documented.

The territory became disputed when it was conquered and occupied by the invading Jordanian army in 1948. When Israel was attacked in the 1967 Six Day War and had the temerity to actually win, regaining her ancient heartland and freeing Jerusalem it became popular to attempt to delegitimize this through terminology. 

In reality calling Judea and Samaria the West Bank, as if this land is part of Jordan, is no better than saying "the occupied territories." Can one really "occupy" their own home?
The war that the Arabs lost with soldiers and tanks is now being fought with words.

2)  Wailing Wall
This commonly used, highly offensive term is an ancient form of delegitimizing Jewish history by diminishing Jewish anguish at the loss of the ancient Jewish Temple, destroyed by the Romans in 70 CE.
This is the term of non-Jews who occupied Israel, ridiculing the pain of the Jews who stood weeping at the Kotel, the Western Wall, which is the only wall left standing of the ancient Temple in the heart of Jerusalem.
During the period of Christian Roman rule over Jerusalem (ca. 324–638), Jews were completely barred from Jerusalem except to attend Tisha be-Av, the day of national mourning for the first and second Temples, and on this day the Jews would weep at the holy site. The term "Wailing Wall" was thus almost exclusively used by Christians, and was revived in the period of non-Jewish control between the establishment of British Rule in 1920 and the Six-Day War in 1967.
This derogatory term mocks the pain of the Jewish people, as in "there go those Jews, weeping again."
Damn straight. We have much to mourn and weeping is a reasonable reaction to deep, painful loss. Would you mock a child whose mother was murdered in front of him? Would you ridicule the child who always remembered and mourned the loss of his mother? The Temple was the heart of the Nation of Israel, the center of the Jewish religion and culture. The Jewish people have not forgotten this and standing next to the Kotel, the Western Wall of the Temple that once stood on the Temple Mount in the heart of Jerusalem is a poor substitute for what is supposed to be there, for what was once there.
Kotel is the word used in Hebrew which simply means "Wall". The choice of this term is indicative of the importance of the structure in the Jewish mind – this one remaining wall is so significant that it is not necessary to detail which wall is being mentioned, it is THE Wall. It is not the Wall itself that is holy, it was the Temple and what stood at its center that was holy. 2000 years, exile and many terrible experiences along the way, have not been enough to make the Jewish people forget the importance of the Temple. The Wall has grown in significance because it is all that remains of the Temple, because of that it is precious.

"Western Wall" is a factual description of the Wall. The Kotel is the western wall of the Temple and it is perfectly reasonable to describe it as such. The "Wailing Wall" is an offensive term, used to belittle and diminish the Jewish people and our connection to Israel and Jerusalem. If that is not your goal, don't use that term. 

3)  Palestine
The most effective media stunt in the history of the world, Palestine is a term used for one goal: to wipe Israel off the map.

Palestine is a name given to the Land of Israel for the sole purpose of disconnecting the Jewish people from Judea, from Israel, from Zion. This was done in the 2nd century CE, when the Romans crushed the revolt of Shimon Bar Kokhba (132 CE), and gained control of Jerusalem and Judea which was renamed Palaestina in an attempt to minimize Jewish identification with the land of Israel. After World War I, the name “Palestine” was applied to the territory that was placed under British Mandate; this area included not only present-day Israel but also present-day Jordan. Leading up to Israel’s independence in 1948, it was common for the international press to label Jews, not Arabs, living in the mandate as Palestinians.

Words give meaning and form to reality, thus names are of vast importance. It is obvious that Jews belong in Judea, but who belongs in Palestine?

Palestine is and always was, a politically motivated name. It is a name that is meant to denigrate and destroy the Jewish connection to her homeland. Arab “Palestinians” are a nationality invented to facilitate and justify cleansing Jews from Israel.

If you will – calling Israel, “Palestine” is the original hate speech.

Before the Final Solution was formulated, Hitler wanted to send the Jews "home to Palestine." At the time there was no question regarding where the Jews belong. Now Jews in Israel are being told to "go home" to Europe. We are being told that we are occupiers of a land called Palestine, that we have usurped a people called the Palestinians. 

This insidious lie has taken root within the world culture to the point where many nations around the world have recognized the existence of a Palestinian people and even declared there to be a country called Palestine. The fact that this is a modern day invention meant to REPLACE Israel is completely ignored.

The historical facts are indisputable. There have been Arabs in the region for centuries. There are Israeli Arabs, Jordanian Arabs, Syrian, Lebanese and Egyptian Arabs. There are Arabs in Gaza and Arabs in Judea and Samaria. There are Muslim Arabs and Christian Arabs.

(There used to be Jews in all the same areas, before it became necessary for Jews to flee Arab ruled lands.)

There never was a Palestinian people. This modern day invention based on the geographical territory Palaestina was created for the sole purpose of undermining Israel.

And it is working.

The Palestinian myth has taken root in the political arena, leading many to assume that with the right leadership, a country called Palestine can live peacefully next to Israel. The Two State Solution places Palestine instead of Judea and Samaria, the heartland of Israel, the territory that is or historical and religious connection to this land. The assumption that this is a reasonable or even feasible solution ignores the Arabs in Jaffa, Akko and Haifa that consider themselves "Palestinians." It is Arabs throughout Israel who are dreaming of a new land instead of Israel.

When a place called Palestine replaces Judea, it will be possible for "Palestinians" to replace the Jews.

The Arabs that never accepted the existence of the Jewish State, who lost all the wars they waged against Israel and the Jewish people are winning the war of ideas. They are winning because people like you and me are adopting their terminology and accepting the concepts and reality being constructed by those words.

Words matter. Choose wisely.

We have lots of ideas, but we need more resources to be even more effective. Please donate today to help get the message out and to help defend Israel.
From Ian:

Caroline Glick: Soros’s campaign of global chaos
As far as Israel is concerned, Soros-backed groups work to delegitimize every aspect of Israeli society as racist and illegitimate. The Palestinians are focal point of his attacks. He uses them to claim that Israel is a racist state. Soros funds moderate leftist groups, radical leftist groups, Israeli Arab groups and Palestinian groups. In various, complementary ways, these groups tell their target audiences that Israel has no right to defend itself or enforce its laws toward its non-Jewish citizens.
In the US, Soros backed groups from BLM to J Street work to make it socially and politically acceptable to oppose Israel.
The thrust of Soros’s efforts from Ferguson to Berlin to Jerusalem is to induce mayhem and chaos as local authorities, paralyzed by his supported groups, are unable to secure their societies or even argue coherently that they deserve security.
In many ways, Donald Trump’s campaign is a direct response not to Clinton, but to Soros himself.
By calling for the erection of a border wall, supporting Britain’s exit from the EU, supporting Israel, supporting a temporary ban on Muslim immigration and supporting the police against BLM, Trump acts as a direct foil to Soros’s multi-billion dollar efforts.
The DCLeaks exposed the immensity of the Soros-funded Left’s campaign against the foundations of liberal democracies. The “direct democracy” movements that Soros support are nothing less than calls for mob rule.
The peoples of the West need to recognize the common foundations of all Soros’s actions. They need to realize as well that the only response to these premeditated campaigns of subversion is for the people of the West to stand up for their national rights and their individual right to security. They must stand with the national institutions that guarantee that security, in accordance with the rule of the law, and uphold and defend their national values and traditions.

How the UN Enables Massacres
The Syria Campaign, an advocacy group, has put together a meticulous report arguing that the United Nations has hopelessly compromised itself by agreeing to the Syrian regime’s terms and filtering money and aid through the Syrian government. The Executive Summary minces no words:
By choosing to prioritize cooperation with the Syrian government at all costs, the UN has enabled the distribution of billions of dollars of international aid to be directed by one side in the conflict. This has contributed to the deaths of thousands of civilians, either through starvation, malnutrition-related illness, or a lack of access to medical aid. It has also led to the accusation that this misshapen UN aid operation is affecting – perhaps prolonging – the course of the conflict itself.
Alas, this is absolutely true. The real tragedy is that the UN’s decisions and compromises were eminently foreseeable. After all, Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon is simply following the precedent established by his predecessors Kofi Annan and Boutros Boutros Ghali, and their dealings with Iraqi President Saddam Hussein, alas, with the same exact results.

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