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Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Hamas profiting from "Gaza charities" - and from Gazans fleeing to Europe

Palestine Press Agency reports that Hamas gets a cut from the Gazans who are desperate to flee Gaza to try to migrate to Europe.

According to their sources (which is in all likelihood Fatah) Hamas takes a cut of the money being paid to smugglers - about $750 for every person being smuggled out of Gaza through either the Rafah crossing or the remaining tunnels that Egypt has not yet destroyed.

The article says that the Rafah crossing is a "mafia" run by Hamas.

This would help explain Hamas' reluctance to give up control of the Rafah crossing to the PA.

Fatah officials are blaming Hamas for the deaths of many Gazans who drowned in their attempts to sail to Europe with these smugglers.

In addition, Fatah spokesman Ahmed Assaf said that that the Hamas leadership in Gaza has received $700 million so far from "charities" that collected money for Gazans throughout the world.

There had been many appeals for funds during the war, both within the Arab world and throughout Europe.

The fundraising was supposedly for families of "martyrs," children, women and elderly or for rebuilding what was destroyed, but Hamas is collecting this cash and there is no accountability on how  they are actually using it.

Former AP reporter follows up on anti-Israel bias in the media

Matti Friedman, who wrote a hugely important expose of how AP and the rest of the mainstream media reports from the Middle East, has written a followup article in Tablet. He discusses the positive reaction the article received - even from fellow journalists - and he rebuts a critique from one of his former bosses:

There has been no serious public response to the piece, however, from inside the system I’m criticizing—no denials of the examples I gave, no explanations for the numbers I cite, no alternative reasons for the problems I describe. This uncomfortable silence is an admission.

Here I would like to reply briefly to the closest thing to an official explanation that has emerged so far. This is a short essay published by Steven Gutkin, the AP’s former bureau chief in Jerusalem, in the paper he currently runs in Goa, India, and highlighted here at Tablet last week. The article is important for reasons I believe its author did not intend.

...Most strikingly, Steve is happy not only to confirm the media’s obsession with Jews but to endorse it. If he thinks there’s any journalistic problem in a news organization covering Israel more than China or the Congo, he doesn’t say so. He thinks, in fact, that Jews—the “people of the Bible,” or perhaps the “persecuted who became persecutors”—are really, really interesting. His piece is, in other words, a confirmation of my argument mistaking itself for a rebuttal.

As for two of the most serious incidents I mentioned, a careful reader will note that Steve concedes them. Both have ramifications beyond the specifics of this story.

1. To the best of my knowledge, no major news organization has publicly admitted censoring its own coverage under pressure from Hamas. A New York Times correspondent recently said this idea was “nonsense.” Responding to an Israeli reporter asking about my essay, the AP said my “assertions challenging the independence of AP’s Mideast news report in recent years are without merit.” But the AP’s former Jerusalem bureau chief just explicitly admitted it. He confirms my report of a key detail removed from a story during the 2008-2009 fighting—that Hamas men were indistinguishable from civilians—because of a threat to our reporter, a Gaza Palestinian.

He goes even further than I did, saying printing the reporter’s original information would have meant “jeopardizing his life.” The censored information in this case is no minor matter, but the explanation behind many of the civilian fatalities for which much of the world (including the AP) blamed Israel. Steve writes that such incidents actually happened “two or three times” during his tenure. It should be clear to a reader that even once is quite enough in order for a reporter living under Hamas rule to fall permanently in line. This means that AP’s Gaza coverage is shaped in large part by Hamas, which is something important that insiders know but readers don’t.

I’m not saying the decision to strike the information was wrong—no information is worth the life of a reporter. But I am saying that the failure to get it out some other way, or to warn readers that their news is being dictated by Hamas, is a major ethical shortcoming with obvious ramifications for the credibility of everyone involved. The AP should address this publicly, and all news organizations working here need to be open about this now.

2. I wrote that in early 2009 the bureau wouldn’t touch an important news story, a report of a peace proposal from the Israeli prime minister to the Palestinian president. This decision was indefensible on journalistic grounds. A careful reader will notice that Steve does not deny this. He can’t, because too many people saw it happen, and a journalist as experienced as Steve might assume, correctly, that at least some of them vetted my account before it was published. He merely quibbles with a marginal detail—the nature of a map that one of the reporters saw. I repeat what I wrote: Two experienced AP reporters had information adding up to a major news story, one with the power to throw the Israeli-Palestinian relationship into a different light. Israelis confirmed it, and Palestinians confirmed it. The information was solid, and indeed later appeared in Newsweek and elsewhere. The AP did not touch this story, and others, in order to maintain its narrative of Israeli extremism and Palestinian moderation.

Failing to report bad things that Hamas does, and good things that Israel does, which is what these examples show, creates the villainous “Israel” of the international press. That these failures mislead news consumers is clear. But they also have a role in generating recent events like a mob attack on a Paris synagogue, for example, or the current 30-year-high in anti-Jewish incidents in Britain. There are several causes behind such phenomena, and editorial decisions like these are among them. But this is one subject about which the AP bureau chief, for all of his Jewish ruminations, has nothing to say. The press corps is obviously not “teeming with anti-Semitism.” But neither is it teeming with responsibility or introspection, and the kind of thinking that has taken hold there should have all of us deeply concerned.
Friedman also links to a piece I hadn't seen, from Richard Miron, former BBC correspondent, who confirms his experiences of anti-Israel bias from within media organizations:

Israel must be held to account not in comparison to elsewhere in the Middle East, but rather to other Western armies operating under similar conditions. And yet in reading and watching the coverage out of Gaza, it seems the media held Israel to an altogether different standard. Civilian casualties were often portrayed as the consequence of deliberate Israeli vengefulness and bloodletting.

I have seen for myself how Western armies operate during conflicts in the Middle East, the Balkans and elsewhere, and tragically there is no such thing as a clean conflict.

I still have the photos I took in an Afghan village of what remained after a U.S. air strike destroyed a family compound killing about 50 civilians in pursuit of one Al-Qaida operative. While there has been some questioning by the media over the extent of civilian casualties (numbering in their tens of thousands) in Afghanistan, Iraq and elsewhere, it has been muted by comparison to Gaza.

Where Matti Friedman is entirely correct is in the failure of news organizations and their correspondents to point out the controls and "pressures" both implicit and explicit exerted upon them in Gaza by the all-pervasive and tightly-run Hamas media operation. This inaction can only be seen as – at best – moral cowardice by media organizations.

It was also notable in what remain unobserved. One senior BBC correspondent wrote after a week of reporting in Gaza that “he saw no evidence ... of Israel’s accusation that Hamas uses Palestinians as human shields.” This is a very strange statement. Firstly, just because the journalist didn’t see it doesn’t mean it didn’t occur, particularly when missiles aimed at Israel were emerging from built-up areas inside Gaza. Secondly, knowing Gaza’s physical geography, it’s safe to conclude that if Hamas operatives did come out from the territory’s packed urban confines, they would have been quickly struck by an Israeli drone or aircraft fire. If they weren’t in the open, they were by definition sheltering in civilian neighbourhoods – thus they were using human shields (similar to the way other guerilla forces – such as the Taliban – operate).


...[T]he (Western) media must also account for itself and for its own conduct, including apparent omissions and failures in the reporting of the conflict. It must question where reporting may have ended and emoting began; if it held Israel to a standard apart from all others; and why it allowed Hamas a free pass in controlling the flow of information.

Its coverage had consequences in fuelling the passions (and hatred) of many on the streets of Paris , London and elsewhere toward Israel, and, by extension, toward Jews.

The media is instinctively averse from turning the lens of scrutiny upon itself, and will – in all likelihood – veer away from any self-examination. It is better at calling out the wrongdoing of others than admitting to its own faults. But whatever it chooses to do or not, the picture the media painted of Gaza 2014 and its consequences are already etched in the consciousness of many around the world, and will serve as a further chapter in this never-ending story.
Unfortunately, he is right. The institutions that are charged with discovering and publicizing abuses - the media and NGOs - are the very ones who are the least likely to take a long, hard look at their own internal bias and corruption.

In this case, both Friedman and Miron point out that this significant bias against Israel has a serious effect in promoting today's antisemitism. Casual readers of the media's coverage of the Middle East simply do not have the tools to know that they are being fed a narrative, and not the truth. This has already led to a generation of ill-informed people and this manifests itself in politics and education.

It is a big deal, and nothing significant is being done to address it.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

No details on deal to allow building materials into Gaza

A deal was signed, but how exactly it would work is not being divulged.

Probably because it is nearly impossible to stop Hamas from diverting cement to build tunnels.

From the NYT:
Momentum for the rebuilding of the Gaza Strip advanced on Tuesday, with a senior United Nations diplomat briefing the Security Council on a temporary deal between Israeli and Palestinian officials to import cement and other building materials.

The diplomat, Robert H. Serry, the special envoy for the Middle East peace process, told the Council that he hoped the deal would lead to a broader agreement on opening border crossings to Gaza and on ending severe restrictions on imports to the Palestinian territory, where the economy was stagnating before the 50-day war this summer.

The Palestinian Authority, led by President Mahmoud Abbas, will have “a lead role in the reconstruction effort,” while United Nations monitors will ensure that reconstruction materials are not “diverted from their entirely civilian purpose,” Mr. Serry said.

Israel has long insisted that its restrictions on a range of goods, including cement, are necessary to prevent Hamas from using them to build underground tunnels into Israel. The limitations are a source of intense frustration for Gazans.

“Arriving at this agreement has not been without its challenges,” Mr. Serry said, according to a prepared statement. “We consider this temporary mechanism, which must get up and running without delay, as an important step toward the objective of lifting all remaining closures, and a signal of hope to the people of Gaza.”

The three-way agreement on reconstruction is between Israel, the Palestinian Authority and the United Nations. Mr. Abbas announced the agreement last Thursday in a televised meeting of the Palestinian leadership. The estimated reconstruction cost is about $7 billion, Palestinian leaders have said. An international donor conference is scheduled for next month.

Donors, however, are likely to be wary of committing money without assurances of a more enduring peace deal.

A further complication is the deteriorating relationship between Hamas and Mr. Abbas’s Fatah faction, which signed a reconciliation deal in April after a seven-year schism. It is unclear whether Hamas will continue to participate in a unified Palestinian delegation for the Cairo talks, which are supposed to resume soon to address unresolved issues in the cease-fire pact.

The reconstruction arrangement would give Mr. Abbas a foothold in Gaza. Hamas, buoyed in public opinion by the fighting, would have difficulty blocking any reconstruction effort, but may limit Mr. Abbas’s operations.

...But it was unclear exactly how the new mechanism would work, when it would begin, or how much material would be allowed through. Moshe Yaalon, Israel’s defense minister, told Israeli military reporters earlier on Tuesday that the number of trucks allowed through Israel’s Kerem Shalom crossing would increase to 380 a day from an average of 250, but that includes commercial goods and food.
But there never was a limitation on the number of trucks going through Kerem Shalom.

Which UN group would monitor the cement deliveries? Are they already Hamas apparatchiks, like UNRWA employees are?

And is Egypt obligated to supply anything to Gaza?

The devil is in the details, and in this case, there is no way that Hamas will not get access to the cement as long as it controls Gaza.



09/16 Links Pt2: War of Principles; Europe's Pro-Gaza Movement Cultivates Violence, Anti-Semitism

From Ian:

Alan Dershowitz: War of Principles: Fighting ISIS, other terrorist groups under democracy’s rule of law
When democracies seek to protect their citizens against new threats posed by terrorist groups such as Al Qaeda, ISIS, Hamas, and Boko Haram, the old rules — designed for conventional warfare among nations — sometimes become anachronistic. New balances must be struck between preserving people’s civil liberties and protecting them against terrorist violence. As Aharon Barak, the former president of the Supreme Court of Israel — a nation that has confronted this issue over many decades — once put it: “Although a democracy must often fight with one hand tied behind its back, it nonetheless has the upper hand.”
Barak was right on two scores: The commitment to the rule of law constrains democracies in fighting terrorists who have no concern for international law; yet although we must fight terrorism with one hand behind our back, that does not mean that we cannot use the other hand forcefully, effectively, and legally.
Employing military force against terrorists who take hostages, as ISIS does, or use human shields, as Hamas does, raises one of the many difficult challenges currently facing democracies.
How Europe's Pro-Gaza Movement Cultivates Violence, Anti-Semitism
Even if one differentiates between the people and their leaders, as the Algerian author Anwar Malek stated: "Arab leaders are a reflection of their people. Arab leaders don't come from Mars or the sun, they emerged from among the people and share the same beliefs. If you placed any Arab citizen in power... I challenge any Arab citizen who may become a ruler to do anything beyond what current Arab leaders are doing."
Although a sovereign Palestinian state might seem desirable "on paper" -- at least if it is not next to you and calling for your death -- the exaltation of a future Palestinian State, glorified during anti-Israeli demonstrations as a haven of peace and harmony, seems for the near future unfortunately baseless.
What the protestors in the Netherlands also revealed -- in terms of hypocrisy -- is that a killed Palestinian is only worth demonstrating for when the blame can be pinned on Israel.
In February 2014, 2000 Palestinian civilians had already been in killed in Syria. The Palestinian refugee camp Yarmouk in Damascus, has seen over 128 Palestinians literally die of starvation. Hamas executes Palestinians on a near-daily basis. Where are the demonstrators?
Anne Bayefsky: The United Nations: World's Leading Purveyor of Antisemitism
My time is short, too short to try to emulate the diplomatic sophistry that passes for respect in the meeting rooms of the United Nations. So I will get right to the point.
The UN is not having a conference on the threat that global antisemitism poses to international peace and security. This is lunch-time. The courageous organizer, assisted by the principled representatives of the small state of Palau, is independent of the UN. The facilities are not free.
But why couldn't the UN, founded on the ashes of the Jewish people, and presently witnessing a widespread resurgence in antisemitism, sponsor a conference on combating global antisemitism?
The answer is clear. Because the United Nations itself is the leading global purveyor of antisemitism.
Photo-ops of the UN Secretary-General and the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights at the gates of Auschwitz are not an alibi.
One does not honor the memory of Jews murdered by intolerance six decades ago by inciting murderous intolerance towards the remnant of the Jewish people in the here and now.

Those storming Jews!

I haven't been covering it lately, but there are daily articles in Arab media - not only from the Palestinians, but from Jordan and Egypt and the Gulf nations as well - decrying how Jews are "storming" and "desecrating" the Temple Mount with their "provocative" tours and "Talmudic rituals."

Here is video of Monday's visit by two Jews, where they were followed and harangued by a group of screaming Muslim women. (There are two other videos showing that they followed the men with their screaming chants of Allah Hu Akbar.)

Today's fake Gaza "civilian"

Islamic Jihad's Al Quds Brigades has a long obituary for Ahmed Mohammed al-Majadia today, quoting his parents about Ahmed's love of jihad and his deep desire to become a martyr.

His brother Mohammed talked about how  Ahmed's pride in his "heroic work against the enemies of God and humanity, the Jews, killers of prophets and children, the elderly and women."


Ahmed joined Islamic Jihad in 2009 and was training his unit on proper use of RPGs.

He died  on July 30 of his wounds from an earlier rocket strike. Islamic Jihad did not hesitate to claim him as one of theirs that very same day.

Despite clearly knowing this, PCHR called him a civilian.


The entire collection of fake civilians from the Gaza war is here.

09/16 Links Pt1: Obama's self-defeating fight; Iron Dome: Israel ends the battlefield reign of the missile

From Ian:

Caroline Glick: Obama's self-defeating fight
After a week of talks and shuttle diplomacy, aside from Australia, no one has committed forces. Germany, Britain and France have either refused to participate or have yet to make clear what they are willing to do.
The Kurds will not fight for anything but Kurdistan. The Iraqi Army is a fiction. The Iraqi Sunnis support IS far more than they trust the Americans.
Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Jordan will either cheer the US on from a distance, or in the best-case scenario, provide logistical support for its operations.
It isn’t just that these states have already been burned by Obama whether through his support for the Muslim Brotherhood and the overthrow of Hosni Mubarak and Muammar Gaddafi. And it isn’t simply that they saw that the US left them hanging in Syria.
They see Obama’s “strategy” for fighting IS – ignoring the Islamic belief system that underpins every aspect of its existence, and expecting other armies to fight and die to accomplish the goal while the US turns a blind eye to Turkey’s and Qatar’s continued sponsorship of Islamic State. They see this strategy and they are convinced America is fighting to lose. Why should they go down with it? Islamic State is a challenging foe. To defeat it, the US must be willing to confront Islamism. And it must be willing to fight to win. In the absence of such determination, it will fight and lose, in the region and at home, with no allies at its side.
Chloe Valdary: Stealing from the Palestinians
Instead of condemning Abbas and the PA in the highest terms for their ill treatment of their people, we in the West have coddled them, made excuses for them, and have refrained from holding them accountable for their criminal activities. Moreover, we have proclaimed that in the name of peace, the Palestinian Arabs should be consigned to a life of perpetual misery and oppression by being made to live under the regime of the PA . We advocate for the sanctioning of the PA ’s war crimes vis-a-vis the creation of a Palestinian state while claiming that we care about the dignity and worth of Palestinian Arabs; this makes us accountable and guilty of giving the same lip service that Abbas gives to his people.
Indeed, many in the West routinely praise Fatah as the more “moderate” party. Thus, reporters attempt to make it their business to be au courant with the Arab-Israeli conflict but often miss the nuances and idiosyncrasies that fuel and prolong they very hostilities they claim to hate.
For example, in July, journalist and MSNBC commentator Rula Jebreal described Abbas in The Daily Beast as a “moderate,” who is allegedly “humiliated and ignored” by Israel. Haaretz columnist Peter Beinart also touts this line. He describes Abbas in an article as attempting “to bring [his] people dignity and justice” in contrast to Hamas. This is risible, to say the least; Abbas himself humiliates and ignores the plight of his own people. He encroaches upon their rights and rules by fiat; he is a dictator and there is no “justice” in this.
Indeed, Abbas perpetuates and profits from his people’s misery – all while claiming it is Israel who is to blame. In this, Abbas is able to provide a smokescreen for his own misdeeds. Anytime poverty is rampant or some other ill befalls Arabs, Abbas can simply blame Israel — all while stealing money from his people.
This is the real cycle of violence that fuels the Arab-Israeli conflict. It is a con game masterfully and brilliant played by Abbas and his ilk. The losers are the Arabs who are constantly told by the West that Abbas is the moderate savior who will rescue them from the sins of Israel. (h/t MtTB)
Bill Clinton: Netanyahu ‘Not The Guy’ For Peace
Bill Clinton said he agrees Benjamin Netanyahu is “not the guy” for an Israeli-Palestinian peace deal during an on-camera conversation at Sen. Tom Harkin’s steak fry fundraiser on Sunday.
An unnamed man approached Clinton in a rope line and said of Netanyahu: “If we don’t force him to make peace, we will not have peace.”
“First of all, I agree with that,” Clinton said. “But in 2000, Ehud Barak–I got him to agree to something, and I’m not sure I could’ve gotten Rabin to agree to it, and Rabin was murdered for giving land to the Palestinians.”
“But Netanyahu is not the guy,” the man replied.
“I agree with that,” Clinton said.
Clinton Pops Off On Netayahu


Ben-Dror Yemini - "The Industry of Lies", an interview


Synagogue in Brussels burned

Arutz-7 reports:
A fire broke out in a synagogue in the Belgian capitals of Brussels Tuesday, in what appears to be a "criminal" act, according to reports.

Belgian daily La Dernière Heure said that several people broke into synagogue, which is located in the predominantly Muslim neighborhood of Anderlecht, and ignited several fires on the fourth floor of the building.

The wife and two children of the synagogue's caretaker suffered slight smoke inhalation in the fire on the top floor of the building, where they lived, said Laurens Dumont, a spokesman for the city prosecutor. The caretaker was absent at the time.

Dumont said "it would seem that the fire was set deliberately" at the synagogue in the Brussels neighborhood near the main train station, but the investigation was in its early stages.
Here is the news video about the story in French.



Evidence mounts of child terrorists in Gaza, but no one reports it

Here is part of a Harvard Medical School podcast with plastic surgeon Sumner Slavin who, after spending time in the Middle East, started a fellowship program to teach plastic surgeons from the region advanced techniques and procedures.


Despite the conflict, some amazing things happened.

To give you an example: About a year or two ago, a Palestinian boy in the Gaza Strip threw a grenade at Israeli soldiers. A not unusual event. In doing so, because he was ten years old, he blew his arm off. His arm was on the ground. The soldiers picked him up, and his arm, lifted him by helicopter from the Gaza Strip to Beersheba.

A team of microsurgeons went to work immediately to restore the arm and reconnect it. Both of those were plastic surgeons trained in microsurgery here.

They were successful; the boy's arm was reattached, he was returned to the Gaza Strip.
This is not an isolated incident, as Dr. Slavin indicates. There is evidence that recruiting children for fighting is widespread in Gaza -  including pre-teens.

In a pro-terror message forum, the obituary for nine-year old Obaid Fadel Abu Hwaisehl says that he was killed helping his uncle performing jihadi tasks. The boy was buried with full Hamas honors and wrapped in its flag, just like mujahadin.


Using the most recent list of Gaza dead that included ages and genders, 88 out of 124 kids from ages 9-17 were boys - 70%. The ratio goes up the older the teens are, from 62% of those 9-11 to 79% of those between 15-17.  

It is apparent that terror groups are recruiting teens. The statistical evidence indicates that recruitment is happening much earlier. One would expect a similar amount of boys and girls being killed in Gaza, but that simply isn't the case.

We already know that Hamas gives paramilitary training to teens in high school and  to younger children in summer camps.

But no "human rights' group is even looking at this.


On the contrary, NGOs like "Defense for Children International - Palestine" go out of their way to hide the issue of child fighters, identifying them as innocent victims even when other NGOs admit that they were militants.

The world media has no hesitation reporting about child terrorists in ISIS. Why are those in Gaza being ignored?

(h/t Jason, Bob Knot)

Ken Roth uses "antisemite" straw man to avoid answering critics. Time to grow up, Ken.

This interview with Human Rights Watch's Ken Roth on Dutch TV reveals how Roth avoids answering the many substantial, provable criticisms of his clear anti-Israel bias.



He simply claims that all his critics are accusing him of antisemitism.

In the past ten years, I can find only a single serious critique of Ken Roth, by professional pundits or writers, that criticized him for his opinions of Judaism. Here it is, from The New York Sun, July 31, 2006:

Mr. Roth concludes his letter with a slur on the Jewish religion itself that is breathtaking in its ignorance."An eye for an eye — or more accurately in this case twenty eyes for an eye — may have been the morality of some more primitive moment," Mr. Roth writes. The reference is to the phrase "an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth," found in Exodus 21, in Deuteronomy 19, and Leviticus, Chapter 24. The sages have long made clear that this referred to monetary compensation, as the Talmud points out in Baba Kamma 84a. To suggest that Judaism is a "primitive" religion incompatible with contemporary morality is to engage in supersessionism, the de-legitimization of Judaism, the basis of much anti-Semitism.

The ADL's Abraham Foxman referred to this incident as an aside in a much wider-ranging attack on Roth that same year.

Since 2006, Roth and HRW have been criticized for their obsession with Israel from many quarters besides this blog. Here is a small sample:


None of these critiques, many of which are quite substantive, accuse Ken Roth or Human Rights Watch of antisemitism. 

The reality isn't close to what Roth claims in the video. HRW's critics are not using a charge of antisemitism to silence the organization or Ken Roth. On the contrary, Ken Roth is using accusations of antisemitism charges to avoid answering his many critics!

Roth is playing whatever games he can to avoid facing reality: His over-the-top anti-Israel bias is provable from his own words and from what he doesn't sayThere is no impartiality in his organization, whose very moral force is dependent on its appearance of fairness.

Roth has a choice. He can keep trying to weasel out of addressing the valid points made by his critics, or he can take their criticism to heart and revamp his organization to address the very real problems it clearly has. There are specific things that HRW can do to prove to the world that it can be a real force for good, and not filled with the corrupt, self-promoting hypocrisy as it appears to be today.

At this point in time, Roth has chosen to act in ways that are worse than the countries his organization criticizes. There is no transparency in HRW's methodology for fact finding, no transparency in HRW's funding sources, no transparency in how HRW hires employees or chooses researchers, no transparency as to what topics it has actual expertise in and what topics that it doesn't. Despite its clear ignorance of military strategy and forensics - critical fields when evaluating the facts - HRW writes reports suffused with ignorance and hand-waving.

HRW likes to accuse its targets of acting with impunity, but that is exactly what Human Rights Watch does under Ken Roth's leadership, by using childish excuses to avoid self-reflection.

It is not unreasonable to demand that an NGO act with at least the same degree of morality and responsibility that it demands from others. Yet its leader, with a salary of  over $400,000, reacts to well-founded criticism petulantly instead of responsibly.

Isn't it time for HRW to stop running away from criticism and to actually address these issues head on? That's what one would expect from a multi-million dollar for-profit corporation, and one should expect no less from an NGO that pretends to be the world's moral conscience.

(h/t Mark)


Incidentally, when Roth claims that he takes antisemitism seriously - that isn't true either. By ignoring the major sources of antisemitic incitement today, namely, the Arab and Muslim world, it is Roth that cheapens the term, not his critics.


Monday, September 15, 2014

Egyptian military expert says Judaism is not a religion but a system of theft

Albawabh News reports that Egyptian general Muhammad Ghabari, head of a military academy, has pronounced Judaism to be nothing more than a scheme for looting.

.Ghabari said that Judaism is not ideological. Its entire purpose is to steal the land from Arish (not the Nile, surprisingly) to the Euphrates.

All of this is in the Talmud, this expert says.

The plan was to create Israel in stages, including espionage, usurping land, expansion. The Iraq war on Kuwait provided them with the means to finish their expansion.

And Hebrew isn't a language but rather a dialect,, and there are no Jews but only Zionists, he added.

This is the country Israel has been at "peace" with for over three decades. And while the guy is nutty, so are a great number of his fellow Arabs.

For all his craziness, Ghabari hates Hamas also. The Egyptian military is what is keeping the border with Israel peaceful.

This is as good as it gets.

Anyone who thinks that there can ever be peace between Israel and its neighbors is delusional. But the detente that Israel has with Jordan and Egypt is literally the best it will ever be. And that is the best that can ever be hoped for if there is a Palestinian Arab state.








09/15 Links Pt2: Anti-Zionism is anti-Semitism; Briton encouraged Arab armies to invade Israel in 1948

From Ian:

Ben-Dror Yemini: Anti-Zionism is anti-Semitism
We have yet to witness a military campaign devoid of anomalies, and Operation Protective Edge was no different. Rule of law presides in Israel, and as such, even if Israel's anomalies are far smaller than those of other countries in similar situations, state has a duty to investigate them all.
For two left-wing groups, B'Tselem – The Israeli Information Center for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories and Yesh Din – Volunteers for Human Rights, the probes to be conducted by the Israel Defense Forces will not do.
And they are already preparing excuses to cooperate with the commission of inquiry set up by UN Human Rights Council, with its findings already a foregone conclusion, and with William Schabas appointed to deliver the goods. According to Yesh Din attorney Michael Sfard, the IDF investigations do not meet the necessary international standards.
I asked the spokeswoman for Yesh Din for information about investigations conducted by countries such as the United States and Britain, which Israel would do well to follow. After all, there have been an endless number of reports pertaining to war crimes on the part of both countries.
I received a vague response to the effect that Sfard was not referring to Britain and the US. Then who was he referring to? After all, these are the two Western countries that over the past decade have been more involved in wars, in Iraq and Afghanistan, than any others.
Uncovered: U.K. intel encouraged Arab armies to invade Israel in 1948
September 11, 1947. On the eve of the Arab League’s political committee meeting to decide on the Arab response to the United Nations Special Committee on Palestine (UNSCOP) report [supporting the end of the British mandate and partitioning the land between Jews and Arabs], the Lebanese newspaper L’Orient published an article. “Bloc Oriental et extension de la Ligue” argued that, like the Greater Syria plan [that aimed to unite Syria, Lebanon, Jordan and Palestine], the Oriental Bloc – a French term for Britain’s planned regional defense pact – hung over the independence of Arab countries and the Arab League like the Sword of Damocles, and that its authors were one and the same: [Iraqi Prime Minister] Nuri al-Sa’id and [Jordanian] King Abdullah.
On September 20, the Lebanese newspaper Le Jour reported that after the Arab League meeting in Saoufar, Lebanon, Brig. Iltyd Clayton – whom it defined as “head of the British intelligence in the Middle East” – had left for Damascus. It quoted a Syrian newspaper speculating on whether his visit was connected to the Greater Syria scheme and the tense relations between the Syrian and Lebanese presidents (Shukri al-Quwatli and Bishara al-Khuri) and Jordan’s King Abdullah, or to events in Palestine.
On February 19, 1948, the Lebanese newspaper Le Soir published an article titled “Claytonmade.” Based on “Zionist sources,” it reported that Brig. Clayton – “architect” of the Greater Syria plan, the Oriental Bloc and the bilateral defense treaties with the Arab states – was now advocating a new scheme for the partition of Palestine. The plan proposed that : “Imperialist Lebanon will annex the Western Galilee up to Shavei Zion; Syria the northeastern part of the Galilee and part of its southern region; Egypt will have part of the cake; and Transjordan will swallow up the rest.”
In fact, these and other reports in the Lebanese press on the activities of British secret agents were part of a secret war being waged by French intelligence against the British.
In Germany a gap between 'Never Again-Jew-Hatred' and real action?
German Chancellor Angela Merkel delivered a characteristically excellent speech against anti-Semitism on Sunday in the heart of the country’s government district.
She lambasted “pretend criticism of Israel” as an “expression of Jew-hatred at pro-Palestinian demonstrations.”
Her contempt for anti-Jewish activists and sentiments was crystal-clear. “It’s our national and civic duty to fight anti-Semitism,” she declared.
During Israel’s Operation Protective Edge to stop Hamas rocket fire, Germany was engulfed with anti-Semitic violence, including the firebombing of a synagogue in the city of Wuppertal and attacks on Jews wearing kippot.
Given the vanishing line between anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism in Europe, some German Jews questioned why the rally was not called “Stand up: Israel Hatred – Never Again!” instead of “Stand Up: Jew Hatred – Never Again!” Nathan Gelbart, a prominent Berlin lawyer and chairman of the German branch of Keren Hayesod-United Israel Appeal, told The Jerusalem Post a banner stressing “No denial of Israel’s right to self-defense” would have carried more weight.