Tuesday, April 21, 2015

04/21 Links Pt2: Memorial Day; Tenenbom: Undercover With the Israeli Left; Latma Ep10

From Ian:

'Meaning of independence is the ability to defend yourself'
At 8 p.m. Tuesday night, a one-minute siren will sound throughout Israel to mark the start of Memorial Day for Fallen Soldiers and Victims of Terrorism. A total of 23,320 Israelis have fallen in battle or been killed in terrorist attacks since 1860, when Jews first moved outside the walls of Jerusalem's Old City.
In the past year, 116 Israeli soldiers were added to the list of the fallen, including 67 who were killed in Operation Protective Edge last summer and 35 disabled IDF veterans.
There are 553 Israeli soldiers whose places of burial are unknown, including most recently Staff Sgt. Oron Shaul, whose body was seized by Hamas last July.
On Tuesday night, the traditional Memorial Day opening ceremony will be held at the Western Wall, with President Reuven Rivlin and IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Gadi Eizenkot in attendance.
On Wednesday, around 1.5 million Israelis are expected to visit military cemeteries across the country, from Kiryat Shmona in the north to Eilat in the south. At 11 a.m. on Wednesday, a two-minute siren will sound throughout the country.
JPost Editorial: Unique remembrance

Of course, the day was set aside to remember and honor those who made the ultimate sacrifice to ensure that the world’s only Jewish state continues to thrive and to comfort those whose loved ones are no longer with us.
But Remembrance Day is also a time of introspection.
Defense of Jewish sovereignty in Israel is a two-pronged challenge. One aspect consists of the physical protection of the Jewish people from its many enemies. Jewish power must be brandished through a strong army that is well-equipped with the most advanced weaponry. Maintaining a technological edge over the nations that inhibit the region is essential to deterrence.
Even mutually assured destruction – that element in the balance of powers that prevented a nuclear Holocaust during the long years of the Cold War – might not deter religious fanatics like the apocalyptic Shi’ite mullahs presently running Iran. But in general, it is safe to assume that as long as Israel’s enemies are cognizant of Israel’s unparalleled military advantage, they will refrain from aggression.
However, keeping a technical advantage over neighboring nations and terrorist organizations is not enough, and is ultimately tied to more fundamental aspects of Israeli society. Israel’s astounding technical innovation cannot be divorced from Israel’s unique character.
Latma: We'll be the Judge, episode 10

Palestinian killed in Saudi bombing that damaged PLO embassy in Sanaa

Saudi-led airstrikes hit a target near the PLO embassy in Sanaa yesterday, damaging the building.

Tariq Ahmed Hardan of Iraq, of Palestinian ancestry, was killed.

The ambassador, Diab al-Louh, said that the target was a "metal workshop" nearby.

The PLO has moved its operations to the ambassador's home.

Some 700 Palestinian students study in Yemen; 500 of them have left through Oman. There are also some 59 Gazans in Yemen, according to the ambassador.

Arab newspaper slams Hezbollah - for being antisemitic!

Al Arabiya (Arabic) notices something interesting. 

As we have mentioned before, the Houthi slogan and logo includes the phrase "Damn the Jews."

There are a few hundred Jews left in Yemen. They don't want to move to Israel despite the war.

So they are the direct targets of the Houthis.

Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah has thrown his support behind the Houthis even though their slogan is purely antisemitic.

Officially, the Arab and Muslim world s claim that they have nothing against Jews, only Zionists, and as long as the Jews keep their place as second-class citizens. Yet the remaining Jews of Yemen fit the profile the "good Jew" - poor, wretched, and no threat at all to Muslims.  And even so, the Houthis are cursing them.

And by having Hezbollah (and Iran) openly supporting the Houthis, they are openly supporting Jew-hatred!

Now in reality, Al Arabiya is a Sunni newspaper, and Sunnis don't love Jews any more than the Shiites do. it is just funny that the Sunnis are using antisemitism as an insult to Shiites, instead of doing what they normally do.

Which is to accuse their Shiite enemies of being Zionist.

Sounds Familiar: “The BBC … were apparently satisfied with the objectivity of their reporter”

On 5 June 1969, the second anniversary of the outbreak of the Six Day War, a four-page advertising spread appeared in The Times and other major British newspapers.  Sponsored by the League of Arab States, and issued by the Anglo-Jordanian Alliance, it proclaimed that the Alliance’s committee “salutes the Palestinians rendered homeless and those in occupied territory”.  Beneath were the names of five Labour MPs: Margaret McKay, William Wilson, David Watkins, John Ryan, and David Ensor.  As well as a quotation from Percy Bysshe Shelley’s “Rosalind and Helen”:

Fear not the tyrants shall rule forever,
Or the priests of the bloody faith;
They stand on the brink of that mighty river,
Whose waves they have tainted with death
The four-page spread contained nine articles, by contributors including Ian Gilmour, Christopher Mayhew and Anthony Nutting, three MPs prominently associated with the Council for Arab-British Understanding (CAABU), which, funded by Arab money, had been established immediately after the Six Day War. (David Watkins, mentioned above, was also a zealous member; indeed, he would serve as CAABU’s director from 1983 to 1990.)   Retired diplomat Sir Geoffrey Furlonge (1903-84), another contributor, would serve as treasurer of CAABU and write Palestine is my country: the story of Musa Alami (London, 1969); also a contributor was retired diplomat Sir Harold Beeley (1909-2001), who that same year had begun lecturing at London University, and would eventually chair the World of Islam Festival Trust.

The article by Gilmour – a born-with-a-silver-spoon-in-his-mouth future Secretary of State for Defence under Edward Heath, whose government so appallingly refused to supply Israel with spare parts for British-made tanks during the Yom Kippur War – was referred to the Race Relations Board as “likely to have an unsettling effect on race relations”; however, the Board declined to proceed with the complaint, citing a lack of remit.

The extract from Shelley’s poem caused a furore, as the second line was widely believed to refer to Judaism.  Anglo-Jordanian Alliance president Margaret McKay – a working-class firebrand feminist who nevertheless espoused the Arab cause with vigour, wore Arab dress in Parliament, and ended up living in Dubai – wrote to The Times (10 June 1969) explaining that the line referred to “the Zionists”.  Ensor – a colourful upper-middle-class member of the Labour benches – apologised for the extract; the other three refused to do so.  In any case, many supporters of Israel, Jew and non-Jew alike, remained unconvinced by Mrs McKay’s assurance.   (She would make headlines later in the year when she declared in New York that Britain’s Middle East policy was controlled by the fact that 62 Jews sat in Parliament.)  The Times itself had in the very issue in which the advertisement appeared distanced itself in a leading article from the contents, which it called “extremely partisan” and “not calculated to bring a settlement any nearer”; on 7 June, beneath a complainant’s letter, it added that it “much regretted” publication of the “grossly offensive” Shelley extract, which it would not have carried had the advertisement, owing to a mix-up, not escaped the usual practice of being “submitted for editorial clearance”.

This furore took place against the backdrop of what the late Professor Lionel Kochan, in his review of events in Britain for the American Jewish Committee’s Year Book, described as “an intensification of pro-Arab propaganda” – which had made headway in the United Nations Association, Oxfam, and Save the Children Fund, and was tightening its grip on sections of the Labour and Liberal parties.  Michael Foot (later a life peer), former editor of the left-wing weekly Tribune, had recently been recruited to the Arab cause.  Nastiness had infiltrated the Movement for Colonial Freedom (an organisation with many Labour Party parliamentarians, including that future foe of Israel, Tony Benn) whose monthly bulletin for September carried two offensive cartoons: one using a dollar sign to depict Israel, the other bearing the inscription “Apartheid-Zion Nazi system”.

The Palestine Solidarity Campaign (PSC) was consolidating.  It, to quote Kochan, consisted of “most of the members of the General Union of Arab Students (with about 30 branches at the universities, and a variegated collection of British and Commonwealth New Left groups dominated by Trotskyites and Maoists” and was supported by a number of extreme left expatriate Israelis. Thirty left-wing British students were reportedly among 145 students from Europe and the United States who flew out of Jordan to join Arafat’s Al-Fatah.  It was suspected that the person who bombed the Zim Shipping Line’s Regent Street offices was not an Arab but a far left adherent of the Arab cause.  The year saw numerous attacks on Jewish premises in London, including bombs at a Marks & Spencer store, and more attacks were warned of by the Amman-based PFLP leader George Habash, who added that

 “Our enemy is not Israel full stop.  Israel is backed by imperialist forces…. Consequently, if the West continues to back Israel, we have to regard the west as part of … the enemy.” 
A Scotland Yard Special Branch officer told The Times:

“Frankly, keeping an eye on all these places is almost impossible.  All we can do is hope for the best luck in the world.” 
(Sounds familiar.)

CAABU was also gaining influence.  Unlike the PSC, CAABU was the respectable face of the anti-Israel cause.  One of its contributors to the 1969 advertisement mentioned above  – Christopher Mayhew (1915-97; created a life peer as Baron Mayhew in 1981; a Labour MP until 1974, when he joined the Liberals ) – received in 1969 from Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan of Dubai £50,000 to set up an Arab Friendship Foundation in Switzerland.  Mayhew recalled in 1977 (see the pamphlet CAABU's Tenth Anniversary, published in London that year by the Arab-British Centre):

"Those who founded CAABU, at a meeting here in the House of Commons ten years ago, took on a formidable task – to challenge the deeply held beliefs about Palestine of the overwhelming majority of the British people.
An opinion poll just published by the Sunday Times had shown that only 2% of the British people supported the Arabs.  It was almost universally agreed that the 1967 war had been planned and started by the Arabs with Russian support; that the Arabs were racialists who aimed to drive the Jews into the sea; that the Palestinian refugees had left Israel in 1948 and should resettle elsewhere in the Arab world; that the refugee camps were kept in being by the Arab Governments as a political weapon against Israel; that Israel, a small country surrounded by numerous enemies, had no designs at all on Arab territory unless, reasonably enough, to secure her own security; and that, in general, after the appalling sufferings of the Jewish people, Israel was entitled, on moral, legal and historical grounds, to the wholehearted support of the civilised world.
To make things worse, these opinions were shared at that time by almost all newspaper proprietors and editors, almost all the directing staff of the BBC and ITV, almost all MPs, and almost the entire publishing and film industries.
They were also supported, with enthusiasm and sincerity, by the great bulk of Britain's large, lively and influential Jewish community, many of whose members were totally dedicated to Israel's cause and were willing to make great sacrifices of time and money to support it…
None of the founders of CAABU, I feel sure, expected to enjoy the experience of challenging the Zionist lobby ... but it was plainly a job that had to be done by someone…”

Another of the contributors to the advertisement, baronet’s son (Sir) Anthony Nutting (1920-99), a Foreign Office Arabist who became a Conservative MP in 1945 and was once talked of as a future prime minister, had resigned as Minister of State for Foreign Affairs during the Suez Crisis of 1956, and soon afterwards lost his seat in the Commons.   On 12 November 1969 the Jewish Telegraphic Agency reported that he had been refused entry to Israel

‘because of "hostile" remarks he was reported to have made while visiting Arab countries…
Mr. Nutting attributed the Israeli ban to his remark that the Israel-occupied West Bank was "one large prison" [sounds familiar!] adding that they "must have something terrible to hide."
An Israeli spokesman said yesterday that Mr Nutting would have been welcomed to visit the West Bank and see conditions for himself. He was barred because of a speech he made to students in Beirut several days ago in which he reportedly said that the Palestine question can be solved only by force and that it was up to the Palestinian guerrillas to impose such a solution. The spokesman called those remarks inimical to Israel's security.’
Among CAABU’s enthusiasts was journalist Michael Adams (1920-2005), its inaugural director.  He had worked for the BBC early in his career (his son Paul is its chief diplomatic correspondent) but had later joined The Guardian. It had been one of his articles which prompted a columnist in the Jewish Chronicle (30 June 1967) to observe:

"It is with a sinking feeling and eventually turning stomach that one examines the Guardian each morning."
While still employed by The Guardian, Adams had gone on a CAABU-sponsored trip to the Middle East, which resulted, as intended, in a series of articles biased against Israel.  The Guardian printed them without explaining that they had been subsidised by Arab money.  There was also a despatch by Adams from Cairo which talked of the "forcible expulsion across the burning desert of Palestinian Arabs to Gaza".  In fact, those deportees were members of the Palestine Liberation Army and a threat to Israel's security, as The Guardian afterwards grudgingly acknowledged.  Adams also used the offensive term "final solution" to describe Israeli policy.  In the summer of 1969, on the BBC's Panorama, a flagship weekly current affairs programme, Adams spewed out vitriol about "nation-wide and even world-wide Jewish pressure" –  in other words, a certain lobby.   And in one of his platform appearances, he foreshadowed the avoidance by the BBC and its ideological twin The Guardian of the T-word, rhetorically enquiring why the British press referred to "Arab terrorists".

Nevill Barbour (1895-1972), an Oxford-educated Arabic scholar from Northern Ireland, was another CAABU activist with influence at the BBC.  He had lived in Tangier and then Cairo for some years before moving to Palestine in the 1930s with his wife and children, acting as local correspondent for The Times, and editing the Journal of the Palestine Oriental Society.  Following the outbreak of the Second World War he returned to Britain, joining the BBC in 1940 as Arabic Public Relations Officer.  He launched the magazine Arabic Listener and subsequently became Assistant Head of the BBC's Eastern Service, retiring in 1956.  The best-known of his publications, Nisi Dominus: A Survey of the Palestine Controversy, was published in 1946.

Yet another facilitator of a CAABU/BBC nexus was Doreen Ingrams (1906-97), wife of a British colonial administrator, Harold Ingrams (1897-1973), who had been stationed in Zanzibar, Hadhramaut, and southern Arabia, dressing like the locals.  Her diaries of the couple’s travels formed the basis for her book A Time in Arabia (1970).  Adams himself wrote her obituary in The Independent (31 July 1997):

'Doreen Ingrams spent 12 years as a Senior Assistant in the Arabic Service of the BBC, where she was in charge of talks and magazine programmes, especially programmes for women. Gathering material for these, she travelled widely and after her retirement in 1967 she kept closely in touch with developments in the Arab world.
In 1972 she made use of little-known archive material to produce a work of lasting historical significance in Palestine Papers 1917-1922 with the subtitle Seeds of Conflict, pinpointing the responsibility of British ministers and officials for the subsequent tragedy in Palestine. She was a founder-member of [CAABU] and served for many years on its Executive Committee. At a reception in her honour in 1994 the members of the Arab Club in Britain presented her with a silver tray as a symbol of "her outstanding contribution to the promotion of Arab-British understanding"....'
But it was the BBC’s Keith Kyle (1925-2007) who, thumbing his nose at the terms of his employer’s Charter, provided CAABU with its biggest boost from that quarter.  Kyle seems to have been the first BBC broadcaster to flout the neutrality incumbent upon the BBC when, during the tension leading up to the Six Day War, he declared that

 "fundamentally in this dispute the Arabs are completely in the right.  There can be no question about this at all." 
These words were also printed in the 1 June 1967 issue of The Listener, a BBC publication.
Kyle thus anticipating Jeremy Bowen and the rest of today’s BBC Israel-bashing coterie by several decades.  However, unlike Bowen, so infuriatingly and risibly out of his depth, the intellectual Kyle clearly possessed an academic knowledge of history and politics which, but for the overt bias in which he unashamedly indulged, undoubtedly fitted him for his post as a foreign correspondent.  The Oxford-educated son of an Anglican clergyman, he joined the BBC following five years as Washington correspondent of The Economist

Outrageously – why did the BBC let him get away with it? – he identified openly with CAABU from its infancy.  He was a keynote speaker at one of its first major rallies, where the Jewish Chronicle (29 November 1968) noted "the intense anti-Jewish feeling generated in the CAABU audience – and among some of the speakers – by the very existence of the Jewish State, referred to as the Zionist State" as well as the way pro-Israel Jewish questioners were mocked and shouted down.
One of the worst examples of Kyle’s pro-Arab stance concerned the bungled hijacking attempt (with innocent casualties) by PFLP terrorists of an El Al aircraft at Zurich Airport in February 1969.  He had learned of the plan from Arab contacts in Damascus, but had not disclosed the information "to avoid Israeli retaliation against it".  In a subsequent attempt to prevent him visiting Israel there were threats of him being prosecuted as “an accessory before the fact” if he set foot there.
In the same year he presented on BBC programmes such as 24 Hours reports on the Middle East highly biased against Israel and replete with gratuitous comments of his own.  For example, he suggested that the nine Iraqi Jews convicted on trumped up charges of spying charges and publicly hanged in Baghdad in January were indeed guilty, accused Israel of violating the 1949 Geneva Convention on the treatment of populations under occupation, and denounced Israel’s policy of “massive retaliation”.  Aghast, a Jewish Chronicle columnist (9 May 1969) observed:

"The casual viewer will doubtless have been fooled into believing that the Israeli occupation of Arab territories is barbaric and ruthless."
On behalf of the Board of Deputies of British Jews, Sir Barnett Janner (later Lord Janner; 1892-1982) and Victor Mishcon (later Lord Mishcon; 1915-2006), discussed communal concerns regarding Kyle’s “slanted” reports with the Chairman of the Board of Governors of the BBC, Lord Hill.  But following an investigation of the transcripts – by the BBC itself, as all complaints of bias to the BBC still are – the BBC (to quote Lionel Kochan again)

“were apparently satisfied with the objectivity of their reporter, who happens to be political and foreign affairs adviser to the BBC TV Current Affairs group”
(Sounds familiar.)

Kyle was quoted in The Times (16 July 1969) as saying:
“I simply refuse to discuss the Middle East in terms of pro- and anti.  I am not a Middle East expert.  I went there to look at the situation afresh … I have a bias towards peace.”
Lionel Kochan considered that
“The balance was restored, to some extent, when opportunity was given to Kyle’s critics, in July, to confront him on two separate occasions in the studio.  With Kyle in the chair, a confrontation between Tel Aviv University professor Zvi Yavetz [the distinguished Romanian-born historian] and [American University of Beirut] Professor Yusaf [Yusuf] Sayigh – who refused to appear in the same studio – representing the PLO – was widely held to have been a verbal victory for the Israeli.  A week later, Kyle met four of his Jewish critics in the studio in a “Talkback” programme.”
(The latter may or may not have been have been the occasion on which, according to The Times (19 July 1969), Kyle was due to face David Pela, deputy editor of the Jewish Chronicle, Professor Zvi Yavetz, and non-Jewish Labour MP Raymond Fletcher.)

Also incensed by Kyle’s bias was Israeli Foreign Minister Abba Eban, who cancelled a scheduled interview with the BBC journalist.  Kyle, on entering Israel, was refused security clearance to examine the work of the UN observers in the Suez Canal zone.  He subsequently became prominently associated with the Royal Institute of International Affairs (RIIA; Chatham House) and wrote tendentious books on Suez and on Israel.  In 1983, when membership secretary of the RIIA, he invited as speaker Dr Israel Shahak, chairman of the so-called (and miniscule) Israel League for Human and Civil Rights, who had written a book containing this evil claim:

"In the Jewish State, only the Jews are considered human.  Non-Jews have the status of beasts." 
Need we be surprised that Kyle's obituary in that infamously anti-Israel newspaper The Guardian (27 February 2007) observed that Kyle "would have made a wise foreign secretary"?

Daphne Anson is an Australian who under her real name has authored and co-authored several books and many articles on historical topics including Jewish ones. She blogs under an alias in order to separate her professional identity from her blogging one.

04/21 Links Pt1: Why Arabs Loathe Hezbollah; Obama Kept Iran's Short Breakout Time a Secret

From Ian:

Khaled Abu Toameh: Why Arabs Loathe Hezbollah
Tariq al-Hamid, a prominent Saudi editor and political analyst, said that both Iran and Hezbollah have "gone haywire" as a result of the Saudi-led coalition's air strikes against the Iranian-backed Houthi militias in Yemen.
Al-Hamid pointed out that Iran and Hezbollah were now frustrated because of the severe blows that their allies have been dealt in Yemen. "They were hoping that the Houthi control over Yemen would boost the morale of their followers, who are already frustrated because of what is happening to them in Syria," he said. "All the crazy folks in the region are now targeting Saudi Arabia. What is the difference between Hezbollah and Al-Qaeda? And what is the difference between Iran and the Islamic State? The answer is simple; they are all trying to establish a foothold on the border with Saudi Arabia."
Addressing the Hezbollah leader, a Saudi blogger wrote: "You must pay the price for the crime you committed against Lebanon in 2006, when you destroyed Lebanon through your light-heated actions. All what you were seeking back then was to rally as many Arabs and Muslims behind you through your dirty trick." Another blogger wrote: "It is time for the Arab countries to arrest the terrorist Nasrallah and bring him to trial for his interference in Yemen's affairs and crimes against Syria, as well as his betrayal of his country, Lebanon."
Nasrallah and his Hezbollah terrorist group are now more isolated than ever in the Arab world. Until a few years ago, Nasrallah was seen as a "hero" of the Arab world because of his fight against Israel.
Now, however, many Arabs seem to have woken up to the reality that Nasrallah is nothing but an Iranian puppet whose sole goal is to serve his masters in Tehran. This, of course, is good news for moderate Arabs and Muslims in the region. But it remains to be seen whether the U.S. Administration and other Western powers will also wake up and realize that Iran and its proxies pose a real threat not only to Israel, but also to many Arabs and Muslims.
The Emergency
Let us be clear about what the White House is considering. It is threatening to cease protecting Israel from the jackals at the United Nations and other international organizations. These words from the Obama administration came the same week that the UN’s Commission on the Status of Women singled out Israel—alone among the UN’s 193 member nations—as the worst abuser of women’s rights in the world. In brief, Obama is signaling his desire to Europeanize American policy toward Israel.
Two weeks later, Obama told Friedman: “It has been personally difficult for me to hear…expressions that somehow…this administration has not done everything it could to look out for Israel’s interest.” Why? “Because of the deep affinities that I feel for the Israeli people and for the Jewish people.”
Translation: Some of my best friends are Jewish.
Many liberal American Jews think of Obama as their friend. He is not—not the friend of any Jew who understands his people are under unique and unprecedented threat. Obama is working to strengthen not only Iran’s hand but also the hand of those in the United States who believe the relationship between the U.S. and the Jewish state should be cleaved.
Nor is Obama a friend of Israel, for his policies are now aiding and abetting the nation that poses a literally apocalyptic danger to the Jewish people. If this deal is signed on June 30, Barack Obama will have made the world a far less safe and far more dangerous place—and by signing it, he will have signaled his willingness to see the Jewish future sacrificed on the altar of his own ambitions.
The threat is not immediate. The emergency is.
Why I began labeling Guardian Readers and their ilk “The Fascist Left”
Madeleine Albright was the first woman to become the United States Secretary of State when she was sworn in on January 23, 1997.
According to Wikipedia “Albright was raised Catholic, but converted to Episcopalianism at the time of her marriage in 1959. She did not learn until adulthood that her parents were originally Jewish and that many of her Jewish relatives in Czechoslovakia had perished in the Holocaust, including three of her grandparents.” It was during her tenure as Secretary of State that she learned of her Jewish religious background (or so she claimed at the time).
It was when her family history was mischievously ‘revealed’ by Britain’s Guardian Newspaper that I became forever alienated from that racist publication. They editorialized that the knowledge of her antecedents made for an unbridgeable conflict of interest between her Jewish ‘past’ and her senior American administration position as Secretary of State and therefore she had no choice but to resign from that position. It was a moment of shocking clarity for me, my Damascene conversion.
We do not ever repudiate a persons’ right to express themselves because of their race, their religion, their color, their ethnicity, their sex or their sexuality. That is one of the fundamental rights that inhere in a democratic system. To state that a politician should not have an opinion is absurdly illogical. In fact, I cannot stress enough how infantile the Guardian editorial was. If we assume the sanity of the Guardian Newspapers’ editorial staff then the only possible explanations for making such a statement was either temporary insanity or a concealed agenda.

Report: UNESCO committee passes resolution condemning Jewish rights in Jerusalem

The Jordan Times reports that the foreign affairs committee at UNESCO's executive board passed a resolution with a series of antisemitic demands designed to eliminate any Jewish rights in the Old City of Jerusalem.

The foreign affairs committee at UNESCO's executive board on Monday adopted a resolution submitted by Jordan and Palestine that reaffirms the definition of Al Aqsa Mosque as the entire sacred complex surrounding it.

The resolution, supported by the Arab and Muslim group, confirms that Bab Al Magharbeh, the largest entrance for non-Muslim visitors to Al Aqsa Mosque complex, is an indivisible part of Al Aqsa, Islam's third holiest shrine, the Jordan News Agency, Petra, reported.
This is the Moroccan gate; Jordan is claiming thatit should control the gate and therefore prohibit Jews from entering the Temple Mount.
The resolution also calls on Israel to cease all excavation work and demolitions within the Old City, and urges it to end all violations that exacerbate tension and conflict among the followers of various faiths.

The UNESCO committee also called for an immediate stop to all actions impeding 19 projects implemented under the Hashemite rehabilitation projects of Al Aqsa Mosque.
In other words, Arab excavations that destroy Jewish heritage are OK, but any careful Israeli archaeology in the region is forbidden.
Israel is also required to reopen the Bab Al Rahma gate of the mosque, put a stop to actions disrupting reconstruction work at the site and take the necessary measures to ensure the implementation of the Jordanian design for the reconstruction of the road to Bab Al Magharbeh.

The resolution also urged Israel to end the forced entry of Jewish extremists and armed military personnel to Al Aqsa courtyards and their assaults on Jordanian awqaf department personnel in Al Haram Al Sharif.

Moreover, it called for stopping the transformation of various buildings at the site into synagogues, and criticised decisions to change the historical names of dozens of streets and archaeological sites into Jewish names.
The committee demanded that Israel refrain from hindering Muslims’ and Christians’ access to their places of worship and urged Tel Aviv to stop working on over 100 excavation sites implemented by settler societies with the aim of imposing a Jewish identity on unearthed Islamic or Christian artefacts.
Even normally anti-Israel reporter Karl Vick recognized that the major aim of the PLO joining UNESCO was to bar Jews from their holy sites.

Amnesty International votes against resolution condemning antisemitism

This pretty much says it all:
Amnesty International has rejected a motion to tackle the rise in antisemitic attacks in Britain at its annual conference.

The motion was table by Amnesty member Andrew Thorpe-Apps in March who said it was defeated at the International AGM on Sunday by 468 votes to 461.

Mr Trope Apps said: “It was the only resolution to be defeated during the whole conference.”

In March the charity confirmed the resolution calling for the group to “campaign against antisemitism in the UK and lobby the government to tackle the rise in attacks” had been accepted for discussion at the conference.

A spokesperson for Amnesty said: “We can confirm this resolution has been tabled and will be debated at the AGM.”

Mr Thorpe-Apps said he put forward the motion because “I recently joined and I believe passionately about human rights.

“I was aware that the organisation has been outwardly pro-Palestine in the past but it hasn’t stood up for the Jewish population and I think it would be good if they did that.

“I’m not Jewish myself but I’ve been appalled by what I’ve seen in the press facing the Jewish community and an organisation like Amnesty should really add their voice to that as they do with other human rights issues.”

Here is the text of the resolution that was defeated:
• Campaign against anti-Semitism in the UK.
• Lobby the UK Government to do more to tackle the rise in anti-Semitic attacks in Britain, whether physical or verbal, online or in person. The UK Government should monitor anti-semitism closely and periodically review the security of Britain’s Jewish population.

Proposer background notes:
It has been 70 years since the liberation of Auschwitz. Yet, even in 2015, European Jews are facing intolerance and abuse from anti-Semites.

There are now Jewish schools in the UK where the children are prepared for a potential terrorist attack, and there are Downing Street-style car bomb barriers to shield school buildings.

This year witnessed the murder of four Jews following the appalling Charlie Hebdo massacre in Paris. In February a Jewish man was shot outside Copenhagen’s main synagogue following an attack at a free speech debate.

On 9th February, the All-Party Parliamentary Inquiry into AntiSemitism report was launched at Lambeth Palace. The report found that there was a 221% increase in hate crimes directed at Jews during the 2014 conflict between Israel and Gaza, when compared with the same period in 2013.

The Community Security Trust, which monitors anti-Semitic abuse and attacks, recorded 314 incidents in July 2014, the highest ever monthly total and more than the preceding six months combined. A quarter of these incidents took place on social media, and one third used Holocaust-related language or imagery.

The All-Party Parliamentary report recommends that:
• An independent council of non-Jewish figures is established to highlight trends in anti-Semitism, and make suggestions to the police and Crown Prosecution Service (CPS).
• The UK Government fund more research into antiSemitism, report the findings to Parliament at least once per session about its work combating hate crime, and work with the CPS, police, and social-media companies to make online anti-Semitic abuse easier to report and stop.
I assume that the voting was by secret ballot, which means that while Amnesty publicly says that it is against antisemitism, in reality most members actually have no problem with attacks against Jews.

Which indicates that Amnesty's bias against Israel isn't a result of Israeli actions, but a result of the Jew-hatred among Amnesty's membership, a hate that they hide behind the false mantra of human rights.

Even more troubling is the fact that there are so few Amnesty members condemning this. The only tweets from the conference itself about this issue seem to have all come from Matt Provost:

One would think that at least some of the 461 "human rights activists" who voted in favor would be publicly upset at Amnesty's obvious double standards, or how it has been taken over by Jew-haters. (Really, how else would you characterize people who vote against condemning Jew-hatred except that they support it?) If Amnesty really cared about human rights, this event would evince some soul-searching among its leadership.

Yet we are hearing practically nothing, even though the conference ended two days ago.

Amnesty claims to be for universal human rights - but Jews who are being attacked are apparently not human enough for these self-righteous hypocrites.

Amnesty International has zero credibility as a human rights group.

Netanyahu's $50 billion Iran "prediction" comes belatedly true

On March 2, President Obama preemptively criticized Binyamin Netanyahu's upcoming speech to Congress:

He reiterated the administration's criticism of Netanyahu's address and said the Israeli leader had been wrong before with his opposition to a 2013 interim deal with Iran.

"Netanyahu made all sorts of claims. This was going to be a terrible deal. This was going to result in Iran getting 50 billion dollars worth of relief. Iran would not abide by the agreement. None of that has come true.

"It has turned out that in fact, during this period we’ve seen Iran not advance its program. In many ways, it’s rolled back elements of its program."
I cannot find anywhere that Netanyahu said that Iran would get $50 billion of relief under the JPOA. This graphic shows how much Iran has received since the interim agreement, though: over $10 billion.

But that $50 billion number is very interesting for another reason. From the WSJ:
The Obama administration estimates Iran has between $100 billion and $140 billion of its oil revenue frozen in offshore accounts as a result of sanctions. U.S. officials said they expect Tehran to gain access to these funds in phases as part of a final deal. Iran could receive somewhere between $30 billion and $50 billion upon signing the agreement, said congressional officials briefed by the administration.
Obama's seemingly fictional Bibi quote has become a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Will "snapback sanctions" somehow take those $50 billion away?

Now, about Obama's other assertion that Iran had not advanced its program since 2013.

March 2013:

Iran is about a year away from developing a nuclear weapon and the United States remains committed to doing everything in its power to prevent that from happening, President Barack Obama said in an exclusive interview aired Thursday on Israeli TV.

Just days before he is to arrive in Israel for his first presidential visit, Obama told Israel’s Channel 2 TV that while he still prefers diplomacy over force, but that a nuclear Iran is a “red line” and all options remain on the table to stop it.

Right now, we think it would take over a year or so for Iran to actually develop a nuclear weapon, but obviously we don’t want to cut it too close,” he said.

Obama press statement, April 2015:
Today, estimates indicate that Iran is only two or three months away from potentially acquiring the raw materials that could be used for a single nuclear bomb. Under this deal, Iran has agreed that it will not stockpile the materials needed to build a weapon. Even if it violated the deal, for the next decade at least, Iran would be a minimum of a year away from acquiring enough material for a bomb.
So somehow Iran went from a year away to 2-3 months away - without advancing its nuclear program!

(h/t Mike Anon)

Monday, April 20, 2015

Hebrew language charter school in Washington DC serves diverse student body (video)

An interesting report from Israel's Channel 10:

I'm familiar with a couple of other Hebrew-language charter schools in the US, but I hadn't seen one that was in a predominantly non-Jewish neighborhood before.

(h/t Yoel)

04/20 Links Pt2: EU To Combat ISIS Beheadings By Labeling Settlement Products (satire)

From Ian:

JPost Editorial: European boycott
European foreign ministers, who are acquainted with the challenges of balancing human rights with security needs – particularly in the wake of 2004 Madrid train bombings, the July 7, 2005, London public transport bombings, the 2012 Toulouse and Montauban shootings and the January 2015 Charlie Hebdo and Hyper Cacher massacres, must understand that Israel cannot simply lift movement restrictions placed on Palestinians living in the West Bank as long as Hamas and Islamic Jihad operate in the area and the Palestinian Authority continues to glorify terrorists.
Using economic boycotts to punish and ultimately close down Jewish businesses located in Judea, Samaria and east Jerusalem also works under the assumption that only by making the entire West Bank judenrein can there be peace. These boycotts ignore the extensive economic cooperation that exists between Palestinians and Israelis.
Large proportions of Palestinians living in the West Bank are interested in various forms of cooperation with Israel, including economic. In a survey conducted in 2011 by pollster Geocartography Knowledge, 85 percent of respondents said they were interested in cooperation with Israel. Jewish businesses in Judea and Samaria and east Jerusalem employ tens of thousands of Palestinians.
European nations are engaged in a struggle to protect their Jewish communities from predominately Muslim aggression. When EU foreign ministers issue declarations that are driven by bigotry and distortions, they are feeding into anti-Semitism disguised as criticism of Israel. They are helping to spread lies.
PreOccupied Territory: EU To Combat ISIS Beheadings By Labeling Settlement Products (satire)
Fresh on the heels of yet another brutal video clip featuring a mass-execution of “infidels” by Islamic State fighters, sixteen Foreign Ministers of the European Union decided to address the danger by voting to mark products produced in Israeli settlements.
IS militants in Libya conducted two mass executions this week, beheading one group of Ethiopians and Eritreans along the Mediterranean coast and shooting the other. Dozens of victims were killed in the two incidents, which were filmed and distributed to international media. In response, the EU ministers vowed to take measures to protect those threatened by IS barbarism, and determined that the best way to prevent recurrences of mass beheadings in Syria, Iraq, and Libya would be to apply a distinctive label to all products imported into EU nations from areas in the West Bank where Jews live.
“We realized just how precarious existence is for so many people in the shadow of the Islamic State, and elected to make an unequivocal statement in that regard,” said Federica Mogherini, the head of EU foreign policy who presided over the conference of ministers. “We can think of nothing better in our capacity as European leaders than this important measure.”
UN Watch: Ex-UN Expert Richard Falk Compares UN Watch to Goebbels, “Their Defamatory Attacks Damaged My Reputation”
In a new diatribe delivered before an April 10th anti-Israel gathering in Washington, DC, former UN expert Richard Falk lashes out at UN Watch for “defamatory attacks” that “damaged my reputation, referring to the exposure of his support of 9/11 conspiracy theories and anti-Semitic remarks. Falk compared the Geneva NGO’s practices to those of Nazi propagandist Joseph Goebbels (see video 9:00 to 10:00).
In fact, those who joined UN Watch in condemning Falk’s poison included UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, the U.S., the UK, Canada — and the Palestinian Authority, which famously tried to fire him. For a glimpse into Falk’s numerous statements supporting terrorism against America, the West and Israel, click here.
According to Falk, writing in prepared remarks, UN Watch was the “most aggressive” of organizations to take him on, and “with incredible persistence” gave voice “to their denunciation of my character and activities.”
Falk complains that UN Watch circulated “defamatory attacks” calling for him to be fired to prominent international personalities, “including high-ranking civil servants in the UN itself, such as the UN Secretary General, the High Commissioner for Human Rights, and a variety of ambassadors of countries friendly to Israel.”
Richard Falk compares UN Watch to Goebbels, says he was subjected to "defamatory attacks"

UN TV features Israeli initiative to save Palestinian kids' lives

A couple of years ago I visited the Wolfson Medical Center in Holon and made a mini-documentary about the remarkable Israeli organization Save a Child's Heart:

SACH was recently featured in a video report in, of all places, United Nations Television:

This must not have been easy for the UN to produce.

While Save a Child's Heart is recognized as an NGO by the UN's Economic and Social Council, that wasn't a slam dunk. This press release shows that SACH had hurdles that no other NGOs had to clear simply because it was Israel, as the representative was peppered with questions from Cuba, Venezuela, the PA and especially Syria casting doubt upon its true humanitarian purpose:

The Committee reviewed the applications of a range of organizations for consultative status with the Economic and Social Council, and heard substantive debate on a handful of NGOs present at the meeting. A highlight of the discussion concerned Save a Child’s Heart in Memory of Dr. Ami Cohen, an international organization founded in Israel working to improve the quality of paediatric cardiac care for children in developing countries suffering from rheumatic and congenital heart disease. It also aims to create centres of competence in those countries.

Questions arose about the organization’s involvement with Palestinian children and medical institutions, along with its stance on the Palestinians’ right to self-determination. In response, the NGO representative stressed that it stood for Israeli society and not the State of Israel. Of the more than 2,600 children served since the organization’s inception, more than 1,500 were Palestinian children recommended by a group of partnering Palestinian doctors and hospitals in Gaza, the West Bank and East Jerusalem, he said.
(h/t Yoel)

Iran-Saudi naval showdown looms as world's double standards crystallize

From TheHill:
U.S. military officials are concerned that Iran's support for Houthi rebels in Yemen could spark a confrontation with Saudi Arabia and plunge the region into sectarian war.

Iran is sending an armada of seven to nine ships — some with weapons — toward Yemen in a potential attempt to resupply the Shia Houthi rebels, according to two U.S. defense officials.

Officials fear the move could lead to a showdown with the U.S. or other members of a Saudi-led coalition, which is enforcing a naval blockade of Yemen and is conducting its fourth week of airstrikes against the Houthis.

Iran sent a destroyer and another vessel to waters near Yemen last week but said it was part of a routine counter-piracy mission.

What's unusual about the new deployment, which set out this week, is that the Iranians are not trying to conceal it, officials said. Instead, they appear to be trying to "communicate it" to the U.S. and its allies in the Gulf.

It is not clear what will happen as the convoy comes closer to Yemen. Saudi Arabia has deployed ships around Yemen to enforce the blockade, as has Egypt. An official said the ship convoy could try to land at a port in Aden, which the Houthis have taken over.

Although the U.S. is assisting with the Saudi-led air campaign, it is not participating in the naval blockade of Yemen, said U.S. Central Command spokesman Col. Pat Ryder.

However, the U.S. Navy is in the region and has already "consensually boarded" one Panamanian-flagged ship in the Red Sea on April 1 on the suspicion it was illegally carrying arms for the Houthis.

None were found, but the move raised alarm bells in Washington over an increasingly active U.S. military role in the conflict. The Pentagon indicated this week that more boardings could occur.

U.S. officials say they are unsure why Iran is making the brazen move. One theory they have floated is that the Saudi-led coalition has effectively blockaded any air routes into Yemen and there are no other ways to resupply the Houthis.

Another theory is that Iran is trying to distract the coalition from another ship it has tried hard to conceal that is currently docked at Oman — a potential land route for smuggling arms into Yemen.

Yet another theory is that Iran wants to force a confrontation with Saudi Arabia that it believes it will win, because Iran views the Saudi military as weak and suspects the U.S. lacks the willpower to support its Gulf ally.

Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei last week on Twitter taunted Saudi Arabia, calling its military puny and smaller than Israel's. He also said the air campaign was tantamount to genocide of innocent Yemeni civilians and that the U.S. would also fail in Yemen.
Clearly, US forces in the Gulf are not frightening Iran in the least. The mullahs have concluded that there is no way that Obama would do anything to upset them.

At any rate, Saudi Arabia is enforcing a real blockade against Yemen and there is a real humanitarian crisis there:
Millions of Yemenis, especially in the south, are living through similar hardship, cut off from food, water, electricity and other basic needs. As the bombing campaign enters its fourth week, aid agencies are warning of a burgeoning humanitarian crisis in what is already the Arab world’s poorest country.

“Probably in the last 10 years, it’s one of the worst crises that has hit Yemen and the situation is deteriorating very rapidly,” Abeer Etefa, World Food Programme’s spokeswoman for the Middle East and North Africa, said by phone from Cairo. “We’re talking here about really a very grim outlook.”

At the beginning of the month, the Houthi-controlled Saba news agency said there were enough food stocks to last six months. But amid the fighting, those supplies are dwindling fast. On April 8, thick clouds of smoke hung over Aden when grain silos went up in flames.

No further food shipments are expected, Etefa said, as the coalition has blockaded ports to control shipping routes.
A country of 26 million, Yemen imports the bulk of its food, including nearly all its wheat and rice. The number of “food insecure” people in Yemen has increased to 12 million, a 13 percent rise since the start of the crisis, the WFP says.

Yemenis “will be starving soon, literally,” said Farea Al-Muslimi, a visiting scholar and Yemen analyst at the Carnegie Middle East Center in Beirut.
Yemen has 10 times the population of Gaza, and probably less than one percent of the news coverage that Gaza had last summer - despite Saudi airstrikes that have killed hundreds of civilians, a Saudi  blockade that is keeping out nearly all food, and even Saudi bombings of supplies of aid, as it did yesterday:
The relief organization Oxfam said in a statement on Sunday that the coalition had also bombed one of its storage facilities in Saada Province, in northwest Yemen.

“The contents of the warehouse had no military value,” the group said. “This is an absolute outrage, particularly when one considers that we have shared detailed information with the coalition on the locations of our offices and storage facilities.”
This morning, dozens more were feared killed after an apparent Saudi airstrike on a munitions dump in a residential area.

The lack of concern from so-called "peace activists" who were holding daily protests against Israel last summer is striking, but not surprising.