Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Anti-Semitic country pays US Firm to diss Israel

This is truly sad. It pains me that a PR firm in the United States, no less, is being paid to diss Israel.
The employees, well-paid professionals, go to work every day and think up ways to make Israel look like a moral monster, a rogue state dangerous to world peace for which the only remedy — as in the case of Nazi Germany, Imperial Japan or apartheid South Africa — is more than just regime change, rather, a fundamental change in the nature of the polity which can only be effected by force.

They are creative people and they know their jobs. Their trade is building or wrecking the public images of politicians, products, organizations, companies and even nations.

Today their goal is to prevent the Jewish state from defending itself by creating a mass of public opinion that sees its self-defense as war crimes. To prevent the Jewish state from defending itself, so that its enemies can finally succeed in doing what they have been trying to do since Israel was born, destroy it.
Ken Timmerman:
Fenton Communications, which has offices in Washington, D.C., New York, and San Francisco, signed two contracts last year with Qatar to develop “a communications action plan for an 18-month campaign” aimed at delegitimizing Israel and generating international support for the Hamas-run Gaza strip, documents filed with the Department of Justice show.

The campaign, known as the “Al Fakhoora Project,” has a very visible Web presence that boasts of rallying 10,000 activists “against the blockade on Gaza.”

Fenton signed the contracts, worth more than $390,000, with the Office of Her Highness Sheikha Mozah Bint Nasser Al-Missned, the wife of the Qatari ruler, and a separate foundation she chairs. The contracts are ongoing, according to Fenton’s Foreign Agent registration forms.

U.S. diplomats in the region view the elegant sheikha as a “progressive” force in Qatar, who has partnered in the past with U.S. AID and other U.S. government agencies on projects involving education, women’s rights, and the arts.

Fenton’s Al Fakhoora project is cleverly disguised as a campaign to help students in Gaza in the pursuit of a better education.

One of the documents filed with the Department of Justice describes Al Fakhoora as a “student-led campaign to protect education from violence during war or conflicts, specifically in Gaza, and to lead an international public opinion awareness campaign that advocates for the accountability of those who participated in attacks on schools in Gaza.”
According to the contract with Fenton, Fenton has to:
• Train a spokesman for the group and provide “leadership development curriculum for student leaders”
• Conduct “spokesperson training sessions” for student leaders
• Monitor social networking and mainstream media outlets and blogs
• Develop press materials and “pitch stories to university and mainstream press”
• Train students how to research, compose, and produce propaganda clips
• Conduct outreach “to potential political partners in the United States”
Truly sad.


The United States has granted asylum to the son of Hamas' founder.
The son of a Hamas strongman, who had provided Israel's security establishment with valuable inside information for almost a decade, will not be deported from the United States, a California court ruled on Wednesday.

The U.S. Department of Homeland of Security ruled more than a year ago that Mosab Hassan Yousef should be denied asylum because he has "engaged in terrorist activity" and is a "danger to the security of the United States."

However, on Wednesday Homeland Security officials indicated they were prepared to grant Yousef asylum, thus retracting their original intention, after claiming to have received new information which shed new light on the case.

The pro-Israel think-tank EMET, who had aided Yusef in his attempts to be granted asylum, said in a statement following Wednesday's ruling that they were "enormously grateful to all those who played a part in standing with Mosab during this time, and helping the Department of Homeland Security come to understand what a grave error deporting Mosab would have been."

The 32-year-old son of one of Hamas' founders, whose story was first exposed by Haaretz earlier in the year, argued before Judge Rico Bartolomei at the San Diego court that he will be killed if he is deported because he spied on the militant group for the Shin Bet security's intelligence agency for a decade and abandoned Islam for Christianity.

"For 10 years, he fought terrorism in secret, hiding what he was doing and who he was," his attorney, Steven Seick, wrote in a court filing. "He deserves a safe place away from violence and fear."

"I will keep fighting the ideology that is behind terrorists because I know how they think," he told reporters in the parking lot. "I know that this is the real danger that is facing liberty, facing freedom, facing humanity."[...]

The Department of Homeland of Security called Yousef a terrorist danger when it denied him asylum in February 2009. In court documents provided to The Associated Press by Yousef's attorney, the department says he "discusses his extensive involvement with Hamas in great detail" in his recent memoir.

Yousef says his intelligence work for Israel required him to do anything he could to learn about Hamas and that neither he nor Israel knew they were suspects in the suicide bombing when he gave them rides.

"Yes, while working for Israeli intelligence, I posed as a terrorist," he wrote on his blog last month. "Yes, I carried a gun. Yes, I was in terrorist meetings with Yassir Arafat, my father and other Hamas leaders. It was part of my job."

Yousef has rallied support from members of Congress and others. Former CIA Director James Woolsey calls him a "remarkable young man" who should be commended for "extraordinary heroism and courage."[...]

Yousef says he started working with Shin Bet after witnessing Hamas brutalities in prison that left him disillusioned. He gravitated toward Christianity after his release in 1997, joining a Christian study group after a chance encounter with a British tourist at the Damascus Gate in Jerusalem.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Not every day that you see this in the WaPo

Richard Cohen writes that Hamas is a threat to the Palestinian cause. Of course it is!
It's a pity that Israel, while substantially loosening its grip on Gaza, will continue to enforce a blockade when, with just a little imagination, it could insist on a deal with the activists once again steaming its way: You can proceed to Gaza if, once you get there, you demand that Hamas cease the persecution of women, institute freedom of religion, halt the continuing rocketing of Israel, release an Israeli hostage, ban torture and rescind an official charter that could have made soothing bedtime reading for Adolf Hitler. This may take some time.

In fact, these demands would never be met. Gaza is a mean and brutal place with a totalitarian government steeped in a cult of violence and death. This hardly means that the government does not have a measure of popular support and did not, as some of the activists naively point out, come to power by democratic means. So did the Nazis.

The term "Islamic fascism" gets thrown around a lot. I initially recoiled from it because I prefer to reserve fascism for fascists. The term is too loosely employed -- New York City cops were called fascists by Vietnam-era peace demonstrators -- but Paul Berman, in his new book "The Flight of the Intellectuals," makes a solid case that it can, with justice, be applied to Hamas.

Berman traces Hamas's intellectual pedigree to Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood, whose founder, Hassan al-Banna, greatly admired Hitler, and to Haj Amin al-Husseini, the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem who spent much of World War II in Germany cozying up to Hitler, organizing a Muslim SS unit and, on occasion, remonstrating with the Nazis for not killing enough Jews. (See also Robert S. Wistrich's recent book, "A Lethal Obsession.") It's appalling not only that Husseini was granted sanctuary in Arab countries after the war but also that he continues to be revered as a Palestinian patriot.[...]

Now is the time, I suppose, to say that Israel is not exactly perfect either. It continues to overreact, uses too much force and has often trampled on the rights of Palestinians. Still, Israel is Thomas Jefferson's idea of heaven compared with Gaza, which could serve as a seaside Club Med for Jew-haters. One country is consonant with the Enlightenment; the other is a dark place of religious intolerance where the firmest principles of anti-Semitism -- not anti-Zionism or pro-Palestinianism -- are embedded in the Hamas charter.

The irony is that Israel is often called a colonialist power. In some sense, the charge is true. But the ones with the true colonialist mentality are those who think that Arabs cannot be held to Western standards of decency. So, for this reason, Hamas is apparently forgiven for its treatment of women, its anti-Semitism, its hostility toward all other religions, its fervid embrace of a dark (non-Muslim) medievalism and its absolute insistence that Israel has no right to exist. Maybe the blockade ought to end -- but so, too, should anyone's dreamy idea of Hamas. It's not just a threat to Israel. It's a threat to the eventual Palestine.

The Three Weeks start today

It's that time of year again. Last night, we entered the 17th day of Tammuz in the Jewish calendar, thus kicking off the start of the Three Weeks, a period of mourning. On the 17th day of Tammuz, the walls of Jerusalem were breached and that led to the destruction of the first Temple.

Here's some background on the 17th of Tammuz:
The 17th of Tammuz is a fast day commemorating the fall of Jerusalem, prior to the destruction of the Holy Temple. This also marks the beginning of a 3-week national period of mourning, leading up to Tisha B'Av.

The 17th of Tammuz is the first of four fast days mentioned in the prophets. The purpose of a fast day is to awaken our sense of loss over the destroyed Temple - and the subsequent Jewish journey into exile.[...]

Five great catastrophes occurred in Jewish history on the 17th of Tammuz:
*Moses broke the tablets at Mount Sinai — in response to the sin of the Golden Calf.

*The daily offerings in the First Temple were suspended during the siege of Jerusalem, after the Kohanim could no longer obtain animals.

*Jerusalem's walls were breached, prior to the destruction of the Second Temple in 70 CE.

*Prior to the Great Revolt, the Roman general Apostamos burned a Torah scroll - setting a precedent for the horrifying burning of Jewish books throughout the centuries.

*An idolatrous image was placed in the Sanctuary of the Holy Temple - a brazen act of blasphemy and desecration.

(Originally, the fast was observed on the Ninth of Tammuz since that was the day Jerusalem fell prior to the destruction of the First Temple in 586 BCE. However, after Jerusalem fell on the 17th of Tammuz - prior to the destruction of the Second Temple - the Sages decided upon a combined observance for both tragedies, the 17th of Tammuz.)
Here's an overview of the laws relating to the period of the Three Weeks.
The "Three Weeks" between the 17th of Tammuz and the Tisha B'Av have historically been days of misfortune and calamity for the Jewish people. During this time, both the First and Second Temples were destroyed, amongst other terrible tragedies.

These days are referred to as the period "within the straits" (bein hametzarim), in accordance with the verse: "all her oppressors have overtaken her within the straits" (Lamentations 1:3).

On Shabbat during the Three Weeks, the Haftorahs are taken from chapters in Isaiah and Jeremiah dealing with the Temple's destruction and the exile of the Jewish people.

During this time, various aspects of mourning are observed by the entire nation. We minimize joy and celebration. And, since the attribute of Divine judgement (“din”) is acutely felt, we avoid potentially dangerous or risky endeavors.

1. No weddings are held. (However, engagement ceremonies are permitted.)
2. We do not listen to music.
3. We avoid all public celebrations -- especially those which involve singing, dancing and musical accompaniment.
4. We avoid pleasure trips or other unusually entertaining activities.
5. No haircuts or shaving. (Fingernails may be clipped up until the week in which Tisha B'Av falls.)
6. We do not say the blessing She-hechianu on new food or clothes, except on Shabbat.
The Nine Days, starting on the 1st day of Av start an strict period of morning.
1. We avoid purchasing any items that bring great joy.
2. We suspend home improvements, or the planting of trees and flowers.
3. We avoid litigation with non-Jews, since fortune is inauspicious at this time.
4. We abstain from the consumption of meat (including poultry) and wine. These foods are symbolic of the Temple service, and are generally expressions of celebration and joy.
**On Shabbat, meat and wine are permitted. This applies also to any other seuduat mitzvah -- for example, at a Brit Milah or at the completion of a tractate of Talmud.
**Wine from Havdallah should be given to a child to drink.
5. We refrain from wearing newly laundered garments, or laundering any clothes.
**If the "freshness" has been taken out of a garment prior to the Nine Days, it may be worn.
**Fresh clothes may be worn for Shabbat.
**The clothing of small children, which gets soiled frequently, may be laundered during the Nine Days.
**Clothes may not be laundered even if done in preparation for after Tisha B'Av, or even if done by a non-Jew.
6. We do not bathe for pleasure.
**It is permitted to bathe in order to remove dirt or perspiration, or for medical reasons. This may be done only in cool water.
**Furthermore, the body should be washed in parts, rather than all at one time.
**Bathing in warm water is permitted on Friday in honor of Shabbat.
What happened on Tisha B'Av?
On Tisha B'Av, five national calamities occurred:

1. During the time of Moses, Jews in the desert accepted the slanderous report of the 10 Spies, and the decree was issued forbidding them from entering the Land of Israel. (1312 BCE)

2. The First Temple was destroyed by the Babylonians, led by Nebuchadnezzar. 100,000 Jews were slaughtered and millions more exiled. (586 BCE)

3. The Second Temple was destroyed by the Romans, led by Titus. Some two million Jews died, and another one million were exiled. (70 CE)

4. The Bar Kochba revolt was crushed by Roman Emperor Hadrian. The city of Betar -- the Jews' last stand against the Romans -- was captured and liquidated. Over 100,000 Jews were slaughtered. (135 CE)

5. The Temple area and its surroundings were plowed under by the Roman general Turnus Rufus. Jerusalem was rebuilt as a pagan city -- renamed Aelia Capitolina -- and access was forbidden to Jews.
Some other misfortunates that came our way:
1. The Spanish Inquisition culminated with the expulsion of Jews from Spain on Tisha B'Av in 1492.

2. World War One broke out on the eve of Tisha B'Av in 1914 when Germany declared war on Russia. German resentment from the war set the stage for the Holocaust.

3. On the eve of Tisha B'Av 1942, the mass deportation began of Jews from the Warsaw Ghetto, en route to Treblinka.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Facebook deletes Boycott BP fan page

In the event that you may have missed it, Facebook deleted the fan page for Boycott BP.
As recently as 30 minutes ago, Facebook has removed the main "Boycott BP" from it's page. With it, it leave almost 800,000 fans hanging.

This group was created with the intent of sending a clear and strong message to BP and to Washington that what has happened in the Gulf has to stop everywhere.[...]

Boycott BP and it's creator, Lee Perkins, have been focused in several interviews recently, one of which was done with Diane Sawyer. To say he has made a large impact in a short amount of time is an understatement.

The question is: Why did Facebook suddenly take down the site? Some will call it a media black out of what is really happening down here in the Gulf. Some might say he was doing more harm than good given the fact that the Boycotting of BP was actually beginning to take hold if you judge by some of the photos and videos being posted of station owners either changing to a new brand, or closing altogether.
No sooner than it was deleted, Lee Perkins started up another fan page under the guise of Boycott BP/ARCO

Krugman on the money

Paul Krugman hits it spot on:
Recessions are common; depressions are rare. As far as I can tell, there were only two eras in economic history that were widely described as “depressions” at the time: the years of deflation and instability that followed the Panic of 1873 and the years of mass unemployment that followed the financial crisis of 1929-31.

Neither the Long Depression of the 19th century nor the Great Depression of the 20th was an era of nonstop decline — on the contrary, both included periods when the economy grew. But these episodes of improvement were never enough to undo the damage from the initial slump, and were followed by relapses.

We are now, I fear, in the early stages of a third depression. It will probably look more like the Long Depression than the much more severe Great Depression. But the cost — to the world economy and, above all, to the millions of lives blighted by the absence of jobs — will nonetheless be immense.

And this third depression will be primarily a failure of policy. Around the world — most recently at last weekend’s deeply discouraging G-20 meeting — governments are obsessing about inflation when the real threat is deflation, preaching the need for belt-tightening when the real problem is inadequate spending.

Senator Robert C. Byrd dead at 92

Last year, we lost the Liberal Lion, Senator Ted Kennedy. Now, in the past 12 hours or so, we have lost West Virginia Senator Robert C. Byrd. Byrd should be remembered for his legacy in the United States Senate over the KKK views that he held at one point.

Byrd had two years remaining in his term. Democratic West Virginia Gov. Joe Manchin has the power to appoint an interim replacement until November's special election. That said, whoever runs to replace Byrd in the Senate has some awfully large shoes to fill in.

Byrd held virtually every major leadership post in the Senate, but he is perhaps best known for running the Appropriations Committee, which helped him build a reputation for funneling federal money to projects in his economically depressed home state of West Virginia. Anyone who has driven the scenic byways of West Virginia, visited the state's national parks or stopped by the federal courthouse in Charleston, W.Va., has borne witness to his power -- Byrd's name is everywhere.
Charleston Gazette:
Robert Carlyle Byrd, the longest-serving member of Congress in United States history, who spent much of his career as a conservative Democrat and ended it by fiercely opposing the war in Iraq and questioning the state's powerful coal industry, died Monday. He was 92.

"I am saddened that the family of U.S. Senator Robert C. Byrd, D-W.Va., tearfully announces the passing" of the senator, Jesse Jacobs, Byrd's press spokesman, said in a statement.

Byrd died at 3 a.m. at Inova Fairfax Hospital in Falls Church, Va., according to the statement.[...]

Byrd ran for state and national office 15 times and never lost. Once elected to the U.S. Senate in 1958, he steadily advanced through the ranks. He was named majority whip in 1971 and majority leader in 1975. Democrats became the minority party in the Senate in 1981, but Byrd remained their leader until they regained control of the Senate in 1987.

In 1989, he was elected president pro tempore of the Senate -- a largely ceremonial post -- and named chairman of the Appropriations Committee. It was there that he began funneling federal projects and money to West Virginia in earnest. The first big salvo came in 1991, when FBI officials announced they would build their new fingerprint identification center just outside Clarksburg.[...]

In his autobiography, Byrd wrote of his membership in the KKK: "It has emerged throughout my life to haunt and embarrass me and has taught me in a very graphic way what one major mistake can do to one's life, career, and reputation."[...]

As for the war in Iraq, Byrd's opposition began mostly over what he saw as the Bush administration's attempts to declare war without the approval of Congress.

He described the situation as another Gulf of Tonkin, referring to the 1964 resolution that gave President Lyndon Johnson the power to use military force in Southeast Asia without a formal congressional declaration of war. Byrd voted for the Gulf of Tonkin resolution -- and again, came to regret his vote.

In June 2002, several months before the invasion of Iraq, Byrd said on the Senate floor, "I have not seen such executive arrogance and secrecy since the Nixon administration, and we all know what happened to that group."

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Civil Rights groups question Kagan's record

Civil rights organizations are questioning Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan's record on race even though she was nominated by President Barack Obama, along with being former Supreme Court Associate Justice Thurgood Marshall's favorite clerk.
On the eve of Elena Kagan's Senate confirmation hearings, her record on race in the Clinton White House and at Harvard Law School is producing discomfort among some leading civil rights organizations, leaving them struggling to decide whether they want her to join the Supreme Court.

Their reservations have introduced the first substantive division among liberals in what has otherwise been a low-key partisan debate over Kagan's merits to replace Justice John Paul Stevens. The uncertainty among some on the left is particularly striking, given that she was nominated by the nation's first black president.

Decades after the height of the civil rights movement, questions involving race and ethnicity persist as a recurrent theme before the Supreme Court, and attitudes on those issues remain a significant prism through which nominees are evaluated by those on the left and the right.[...]

Several liberal groups that are stalwarts on civil rights matters have uncharacteristically hung back, trying to persuade Democratic senators to press her on such issues during the hearings set to begin Monday. Some, including the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund, say they are still trying to glean her beliefs from fragmentary evidence. Others have parsed Kagan's public statements and actions and said they are uneasy.

"This is a complicated nomination," said Barbara R. Arnwine, executive director of the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, which decided last week not to take a position yet on Kagan. "There isn't a judicial record to review, indicating her views on critical civil rights matters," Arnwine said. "And otherwise, the civil rights record that exists is thin and mixed."[...]

No Senate Democrats have signaled that they are wavering on Kagan's confirmation. But the hesitancy within parts of the civil rights community is a reminder that, when it comes to a lifetime seat on the nation's highest court, presidential allies can prove as vexing as opponents. In 2005, criticism from conservatives prompted President George W. Bush to rescind the short-lived nomination of White House Counsel Harriet Miers.

Some women's groups have come forward to support Kagan. So have the NAACP and the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund. The latter issued a detailed report on her record, concluding that she possesses "an impeccable legal biography." Still, the group cited "some concerns" and emphasized that the "nature and extent of Elena Kagan's record on civil rights" makes it especially important for the Senate Judiciary Committee to explore "all...areas affecting equal opportunity and racial justice."

Other liberal organizations are in an awkward spot, wary of Kagan but reluctant to criticize the White House explicitly. "We really did struggle with this," Thompson said of the National Bar Association's decision to give Kagan the mid-level rating of "qualified" rather than an outright endorsement. "Of course, we want to support President Obama. But . . . I have to make sure I am true to the mission of the National Bar," whose 44,000 members are predominantly African American.


Am I mistaken or is the UNWRA finally seeing who is really at fault here?

The UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) called on the different Palestinian factions Sunday to stop the infighting in order to solve a developing electricity crisis in Hamas-run Gaza.

"It is such a tragedy that, on top of all the other crises that we have in the Gaza Strip, we now have a crisis of electricity," John Ging, director of UNRWA in Gaza, was quoted by AFP as saying.

"It's an unbearable situation here at the moment, and it needs to be solved very quickly. It's a Palestinian problem, made by Palestinians, and causing Palestinian suffering. So let's have a Palestinian solution," he added.[...]

The European Union used to pay for the plant's fuel as part of an aid package to the Palestinian Authority.

However, the EU decided to start scaling back and said it wants the Palestinian Authority to find other ways to pay for the fuel. The Palestinian Authority demands that Hamas pay its share.
The power plant was shut down over the weekend following a pay dispute.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Reaction to Landon Donovan's game-winning goal

This is the American spirit at work:

I'm not even into soccer but you just cannot ignore the history that took place yesterday. The first win in eight years and the first time winning the group pool since 1930!

Let's go TEAM USA!
This is interesting. A Palestinian journalist, Khaled Abu Toameh, has weighed in on the flotillas and women's rights. The journalist has some great points.
By seeking to help Hamas, the women who are planning to sail to the Gaza Strip are in fact encouraging the fundamentalist movement to continue oppressing Palestinian women living there.

Wouldn't it have been better and more helpful had the same group of female activists launched a campaign to promote women's rights under Hamas? Or to protest against the severe restrictions imposed by Hamas on all women, including the right to stroll along the beach alone or to wear a swim suit?[...]

Moreover, it is ironic (and sad) that some of the women who are behind the new flotilla adventure come from Lebanon, Egypt, Syria, Jordan and Kuwait - countries that not only have killed Palestinians, but also continue to oppress them and impose severe restrictions on them.
Hat tip to HR.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Eighty-seven senators stand with Israel

I salute the 87 Senators that stand with Israel. Jim Bunning, shame on you.

It is nice to see that all six of Kentucky's congressional representatives have signed.

Stephen Colbert forms USA Board of Ophthalmologist Freedom

What's Rand Paul going to do now? Write a letter to Comedy Central?

Jimmy Carter comments on Court Ruling

Former President Jimmy Carter has made his comments on the recent court ruling known.
Carter, whose advocacy has entailed contact with groups designated by the U.S. government as “foreign terrorist organizations” (FTOs) – notably Hamas and Hezbollah – said he was disappointed by the court decision.

The high court, in a 6-3 decision, upheld a federal law that forbids providing “material support” to an FTO, ruling that it can be applied to U.S. organizations whose engagement with terrorists involves promoting non-violent solutions to conflicts.

The law, part of the post-9/11 USA Patriot Act, forbids the provision of any aid, defined as including “service,” “training” or “expert advice or assistance,” to a designated FTO.

In a statement reacting to the decision, Carter said, “We are disappointed that the Supreme Court has upheld a law that inhibits the work of human rights and conflict resolution groups.”

“The ‘material support law’ – which is aimed at putting an end to terrorism – actually threatens our work and the work of many other peacemaking organizations that must interact directly with groups that have engaged in violence,” he said.

“The vague language of the law leaves us wondering if we will be prosecuted for our work to promote peace and freedom.”
I'm not disappointed by the decision. It's no different than an American AIDING the terrorist by supplying them with with arms.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Lebanese Flotilla Organizer agrees with Helen Thomas

An organizer of the flotilla sailing from Lebanon has some very Helen Thomas-esque feelings towards Israel. That's not just being an anti-Israeli activist but also, an anti-Semite.
“I hope that when the day comes, those ships will be able to take the European refugees [meaning: the Israelis; N.B.] back to their homelands. I am calling out to the Israelis to do that,” said Palestinian businessman Yasser Qashlak who stands behind the provocation flotilla expected to arrive in Israeli waters from Lebanon, during an Interview with Hezbollah’s television channel Al-Manar last weekend.

“Gilad Shalit needs to return to Paris, and the rest of the murderers need to return to Poland”, he said later during the same interview, adding, “We will continue to persecute them until justice will have been done regarding the massacres from Deir Yassin and until this day.” Then he called the State of Israel “a dog infected with leprosy, who was sent to the area in order to scare the Arabs”, and asked the citizens of Israel not to “believe in the illusion of peace created by modern Arab leaders”. He continued, “Even if our leaders sign peace agreements, we will not respect them. Our children will return to Palestine.”

“We’ll see what the Zionists will tell the world after they send their foolish commando soldiers to stop women. I swear that we will persecute the Zionists everywhere in the world for the crimes that they carried out against our Palestinian brothers,” Qashlak told the Lebanese media over the past few days. He explained that the flotilla will consists of two ships, one of them called “Naji El-Ali” and the other one “Mariam”, which is also nicknamed the “women’s ship”, since dozens of women of the Arab world will sail on this ship.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Peres speaks

Israeli President Shimon Peres speaks the truth.
President Shimon Peres on Sunday urged Hamas to abandon the path of terror and said that if it were to do so, there would be no need for a blockade on the Gaza Strip.

"If Gaza would turn to peace, she would have peace and there would be no need for flotillas," the president said at the start of the annual Jewish Agency assembly in Jerusalem.

"We withdrew from Gaza entirely and no Israeli was left in the Gaza Strip," he said.

"We did not understand then, nor do we understand now, why after evacuating Gaza, the rulers of Gaza started to fire thousands of missiles against civilian life in Israel. For what reason? For what purpose?" the president wondered.

"The question remains unanswered today," he continued, "Would Gaza agree to peace, to negotiations instead? Would Gaza leaders denounce terror, stop the building of tunnels and shooting missiles, stop attempting to kidnap Israeli soldiers and release Gilad Shalit who was abducted on Israeli territory, there would be no need for any sort of closure or blockade."

Peres said attempts have been made recently to de-legitimize Israel. " De-legitimizing Israel means to legitimize, directly or indirectly, the lawless organization like al-Qaeda, Hamas and Hezbollah and their overt and covert supporters, dictatorial regimes who kill and arrest their own people without count, without human respect."

Peres added, "Maybe some of us feel lonely, more than ever... But the truth is that we are not alone. I believe that President Obama says and means that Israel's security is America's top priority.

"I believe that Europe with its own experience and in its wisdom will turn to the people of Gaza and the West Bank and tell them that peace depends on them negotiating and is better than shooting."
Here's a good one by José María Aznar. Excerpts won't do it proper justice so just read it in full via the link.

Some news...

Interesting. Lebanon will not allow their flotillas to sell for Gaza as under current Lebanese law, it is illegal to sail into a Israeli-controlled port.
A reported Gaza-bound aid flotilla may not be allowed to depart from Lebanon, Lebanese sources told the Arab daily Al-Hayat on Sunday, saying it was illegal for a vessel leaving a Lebanese port to dock in a port under Israeli occupation.

Earlier Sunday, Haaretz reported that Israel had initiated diplomatic efforts designed to prevent the departure of at least one vessel, carrying 50 to 70 Lebanese women and food aid. Israel has been in touch with the UN, United States, France, Spain and Germany. It has also been speaking with the Vatican because the ship is expected to include several dozen Catholic nuns.[...]

Earlier Sunday, Israel informed the United Nations and - through diplomatic channels - the Lebanese government that it reserves the right to use all means necessary to stop ships seeking to breach the naval blockade on the Gaza Strip.

In a letter to Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, Israel warned that the attempt by the organizers to sail from Lebanon and deliver humanitarian aid to Gaza could escalate tensions and affect peace and security in the region.

"Israel reserves its right under international law to use all necessary means to prevent these ships from violating the existing naval blockade imposed on the Gaza Strip," wrote Israel's ambassador to the UN, Gabriela Shalev.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Other stuff...

Gary Wexler pens an op-ed on what we can learn from anti--Israeli activism.
They have managed to take this great Jewish nation -- a place of dynamism, creativity, humanity, innovation, celebration, warmth, spirituality, miraculous history, mystery, culture, vibrancy and fun, albeit with many, many flaws, tensions and wrongdoings -- and turn it on the world stage into a country and people wholly perceived as illegitimate, criminal, fanatic, rigid, frightening, hateful and unjust.

That is quite an accomplishment. And an even greater success on this team's behalf is that many of us Jews -- certainly the next generation -- are now coloring the Zionist and Israeli enterprise with their hues.
Jewish groups brief congressional offices.
American Jewish groups briefed congressional staffers on the intimidation of Jewish students on college campuses.

The June 7 briefing, convened by Rep. Ron Klein (D-Fla.), the co-chairman of the Congressional Task Force Against Anti-Semitism, drew staffers from about 25 congressional offices, including those of leading lawmakers such as Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.), the chairman of the U.S. House of Representatives Energy Committee; Rep. Howard Berman (D-Calif.), the chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee; and Rep. Nita Lowey (D-N.Y.), the chairwoman of the foreign operations subcommittee of the Appropriations Committee.

Jewish groups represented included the Zionist Organization of America, the American Jewish Committee, Hillel: The Foundation for Jewish Campus Life, and the Institute for Jewish and Community Research.

Staffers for the Jewish groups described "harassment and intimidation" faced by students, and outlined steps that could be taken toward "legal recourse if their colleges and universities do not rectify the problems," according to Susan Tuchman, the director of ZOA's center for Law and Justice.
BBI wants Syria condemned for their comments made at the UN.
B'nai B'rith International condemned the statement made June 8 by Syrian First Secretary Rania Al Rifaiy, and called on the president of the United Nations Human Rights Council to speak out against such anti-Semitic language.

Israel "is a state that is built on hatred, discrimination, oppression and a paranoid feeling of superiority," Al Rifaiy said during debate in the U.N. Human Rights Council following Israel's interception of a Gaza-bound flotilla that left nine passengers dead. "Hatred is widespread, taught to even small children, who are taught to use weapons, and who are taught to sign missiles that will be fired at Arabs.

"Let me quote a song that a group of children on a school bus in Israel sing merrily as they go to school. And I quote" 'With my teeth I will rip your flesh. With my mouth I will suck your blood.'

The United Nations Mission to the United Nations and other international organizations in Geneva condemned the comments and called on leaders of the council to do the same.

B’nai B’rith President Dennis Glick said that “Unfortunately, we hear rhetoric like this repeatedly with few-to-no consequences that follow. Words of this kind inflict hate and incite violence, and that simply cannot be tolerated.”

In a letter addressed to U.N. Human Rights Council President Alex Van Meeuwen, Glick and B’nai B’rith International Executive Vice President Daniel Mariaschin wrote, “Hate-speech must be confronted at the council, especially when the perpetrator is a Member State of the United Nations, sworn to uphold the U.N. Charter.”

Too funny....

I find this one too funny since Bob Dylan penned Neighborhood Bully:
A Bob Dylan fan site has blocked users inside Israel from accessing the site in what the site operator calls a cultural boycott in response to Israel's interception of a Gaza-bound flotilla.

Users with an Israel IP address are directed to webmaster Eyolf Ostrem's blog.

His message to Israeli users reads: "As a contribution to a cultural boycott of the state of Israel -- a long overdue reaction to the absurd inhumanity that is demonstrated in its actions and that goes against everything that I and this site stands for -- access to dylanchords has been blocked for visitors from Israel.

"If you think you have been blocked unfairly, vote differently in the next election, and convince your family and friends to do the same."

"Just so that is mentioned: The boycott is not directed against individuals of Jewish descent or religion, but against the state of Israel and its actions. I feel sorry for those Israelis who have fallen victim to the aggression and violence in the area, no less and no more than I feel for the Palestinians in the same situation."

Ostrem, a Danish music expert, continues the discussion on his blog, calling Israel "a fascist, belligerent regime."

In an entry dated Saturday, Ostrem says: "I consider my blockade as part of a cultural boycott of the same kind as that against South Africa in the 80s. As such it is a gesture which some people will feel is hurting them unjustly.

"But this misses the fundamental character of a cultural boycott … it is a symbolic gesture, aimed to send a signal: 'judging by your behavior, as a group, we can’t regard you as decent people. We can do without that contact. It’s up to you to give us a reason to want talk with you.' "

The website was shut down in 2005 due to American copyright violations, but runs on mirror sites.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010


While the world continues to blast Israel for securing its borders from rockets, etc., nobody seems to care thar Egypt also wants to protect its borders.

With pressure building on Israel to lift its blockade of the Gaza Strip, Egypt finds itself in the uncomfortable position of continuing to help enforce the siege while watching Turkey outflank the region's traditional Sunni Arab heavyweights in championing the Palestinian cause.

Egypt, the only nation aside from Israel to control a crossing into Gaza, has its own domestic political reasons for wanting the strip to remain closed. It views Hamas, the radical Islamist group that controls the territory, as an ally of Egypt's foremost opposition movement: the Muslim Brotherhood. Egyptian officials worry that any opening of the territory could have negative political repercussions for President Hosni Mubarak's government.

But since May 31, when Israeli commandos killed nine activists in a melee aboard a Turkish aid flotilla that was bound for Gaza, Egypt's stance has become increasingly awkward as calls have intensified for the blockade of the narrow coastal strip to end. Even as Turkey's popularity in the region has skyrocketed following its denunciations of Israel's tactics, Egypt, Jordan and other Sunni powers have come under attack for not doing more to help the 1.5 million Palestinians living under siege in Gaza.[...]

Meanwhile, Egypt continues to construct an underground wall to block tunnels used for smuggling, which is a mainstay of the Gazan economy. An Egyptian diplomat said it will be completed by the end of the summer.[...]

Gaza, a narrow strip of territory sandwiched between Israel and Egypt along the Mediterranean Sea, has long been subject to the whims of neighboring powers. Egypt controlled Gaza for most of the period from 1948 to 1967, when Israel seized control of the territory in the Six Day War.

In 2005, Israel withdrew 8,000 Jewish settlers from the territory, and a year later Hamas defeated Fatah in Palestinian elections. In 2007, Hamas sent most of Fatah's leaders fleeing to the West Bank after a bloody internecine battle; the move prompted Israel to intensify the closure of Gaza.

Amid the impasse in reconciliation talks, Faisal Abu Shala, a Fatah member of the defunct Palestinian legislature, is under his own kind of siege in Gaza. Hamas treats him and the few Fatah members who remain in Gaza more as members of an outlawed organization than as political rivals. On Sunday, two of his colleagues were summoned to a Hamas intelligence center for interrogation.

The Arab states "left us for a long time," Abu Shala said. "They left us split and they left us suffering in Gaza."

In Canada...

The Mayor of Huntington Quebec, Stephane Gendron, should be condemned for equating Gaza with the Warsaw Ghetto.
Stephane Gendron's diatribe as published in the June 1 edition of Le Journal de Montreal, not only unfairly maligned the state of Israel, it also exploited the Holocaust through contemptible comparisons between the Nazis and the Jewish state. By publishing Gendron's column in North America's largest circulation French-language newspaper, Le Journal de Montreal legitimized his bigoted views and provided him with a platform to spew his vile anti-Israel propaganda to a large audience.
The Honest Reporting organization of Canada had their rebuttal published in the June 10th edition. You can read the HRC op-ed via the above link prior to the blockquote.

Exposing blind support...

In these nearly 7 minutes, a report from Germany exposes how the left-wing activists (the description of them, not mine) are having no problems when it comes to rubbing the elbows, so to speak, with that of Turkey's fascist, anti-Semitic BBP Party aboard flotilla ship Mavi Marmara or the Islamist pseudo-charity organization that sponsored the ship. (hat tip: Z-Word and HR)

Spread the word

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Howard Kurtz talks to Rabbi Nesenoff

Howard Kurtz interviewed Rabbi David Nesenoff on Reliable Sources on CNN.

Latest from the White House

The latest statement relating to the flotilla from White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs:
Today, the Government of Israel took an important step forward in proposing an independent public commission to investigate the circumstances of the recent tragic events on board the flotilla headed for Gaza. Through a presidential statement of the United Nations Security Council, the United States joined the international community in condemning those acts which led to nine fatalities and many injuries on board the flotilla, and supporting the completion of a prompt, impartial, credible, and transparent investigation.

We believe that Israel, like any other nation, should be allowed to undertake an investigation into events that involve its national security. Israel has a military justice system that meets international standards and is capable of conducting a serious and credible investigation, and the structure and terms of reference of Israel's proposed independent public commission can meet the standard of a prompt, impartial, credible, and transparent investigation. But we will not prejudge the process or its outcome, and will await the conduct and findings of the investigation before drawing further conclusions.

While Israel should be afforded the time to complete its process, we expect Israel's commission and military investigation will be carried out promptly. We also expect that, upon completion, its findings will be presented publicly and will be presented to the international community.
The rest of the global community, however, decided to prejudge the conclusion.

ESPN Around the Horn Panelist Kevin Blackistone suggests Israel boycott

First was the exposure of Helen Thomas as anti-Semite, which forced her into a retirement. Now, we have word that frequent ESPN Around the Horn panelist Kevin Blackistone is suggesting a boycott of Israeli sports. This is truly sickening.
Maybe a sports boycott of Israel, where sports are beloved the same as in South Africa, could help foster a round of truly meaningful peace talks between Israel and Palestinians. Maybe such a collective effort could exercise the same leverage on Israel that it did for nearly 30 years with South Africa.

I wouldn't suggest a boycott of individual Israeli athletes, like tennis player Shahar Peer, who wasn't allowed entry last year into the United Arab Emirates for the tournament. It wouldn't have been right to deny boxer and rabbinical student Yuri Foreman last Saturday night to defend his undefeated record and junior middleweight belt in Yankee Stadium against Miguel Cotto, who beat him.
Kevin, why not a boycott of Iran or North Korea? Furthermore, isn't the point of a boycott to include everything with no exceptions? You make me sick.
A sports boycott would certainly intensify the world's spotlight on Israel's approach to dealing with its occupied territories, just like it did South Africa's defunct government's dealings with its occupied peoples.
Hat tip to Honest Reporting, Israel Matzav, and Jennifer Rubin.

I am disgusted with Kevin Blackistone and his anti-Israel views.

Someone didn't read the fine print...

Read this excerpt first:
THE STATE OF ISRAEL will be open for Jewish immigration and for the Ingathering of the Exiles; it will foster the development of the country for the benefit of all its inhabitants; it will be based on freedom, justice and peace as envisaged by the prophets of Israel; it will ensure complete equality of social and political rights to all its inhabitants irrespective of religion, race or sex; it will guarantee freedom of religion, conscience, language, education and culture; it will safeguard the Holy Places of all religions; and it will be faithful to the principles of the Charter of the United Nations.
That came straight from The Declaration of the Eestablishment of the State of Israel, signed on May 14, 1948.

Now read this:
U.S. President Barack Obama has updated America's official vision of Israel's future to stress that the Jewish state must ensure equal rights for Israeli Arabs. His new National Security Strategy, released by the White House last month, defines the two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in a way that differs from the terminology used by previous American administrations. According to the document, the U.S. seeks two states that will live side by side in peace and security: "a Jewish state of Israel, with true security, acceptance, and rights for all Israelis; and a viable, independent Palestine with contiguous territory that ends the occupation that began in 1967 and realizes the potential of the Palestinian people."
Mr. President, if you read the above from the document that established statehood, they already do such a thing.

Unfortunately, right now, there is no viable solution for peace until Hamas is completely out of the picture. Right now, Fatah gets the West Bank and Hamas gets Gaza but Hamas doesn't want just Gaza, they want everything. Israel will not divide Jerusalem into an eastern and a western portion. It must be united.

Also, Mr. President, the Palestinians were given Jordan. They didn't want it. If I recall, Arafat was exiled from Jordan. Was he not?

Abbas: Don't lift blockade

Yet all these "humanitarian activists" are calling for the blockade to be lifted?

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas is opposed to lifting the naval blockade of the Gaza Strip because this would bolster Hamas, according to what he told United States President Barack Obama during their meeting at the White House Wednesday. Egypt also supports this position.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu once more put off announcing the creation of a committee of inquiry into the naval commando raid on the Gaza Strip flotilla, and the matter will not be brought before the cabinet for a vote this morning.[...]

European diplomats updated by the White House on the talks said that Abbas had stressed to Obama the need of opening the border crossings into the Gaza Strip and the easing of the siege, but only in ways that do not bolster Hamas.

One of the points that Abbas raised is that the naval blockade imposed by Israel on the Strip should not be lifted at this stage. The European diplomats said Egypt has made it clear to Israel, the U.S and the European Union that it is also opposes the lifting of the naval blockade because of the difficulty in inspecting the ships that would enter and leave the Gaza port.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

RIP: George Unseld

Louisville Metro Council member George Unseld collapsed prior to tonight's meeting of the Metro Council and later died. May he rest in peace.

Rabbi gets hate mail

Folks, sending hate mail to a rabbi constitutes an act of anti-Semitism.

The rabbi whose interview with Helen Thomas ended the veteran White House correspondent's career says he has been deluged with hate mail.

Rabbi David Nesenoff has posted several of what he says are the 25,000 and counting anti-Semitic e-mails on his website, Some of the e-mails say "Hitler was right" and others are replete with obscenities.

Nesenoff interviewed Thomas on the White House grounds on May 27 while he was attending a Jewish American Heritage Month event there. Asked to comment on Israel, Thomas said Israeli Jews should "go home" to Germany and Poland.
Some of the hate mail, which is NOT SAFE FOR WORK OR YOUR CHILDREN, can be found at Rabbi Live.

Groups urge State Department

Jewish organizations are urging the State Department to designate the IHH as a terrorist organization. They should be...peace activists wouldn't be aiding terrorists, nor would such activists be using weapons against soldiers.

American Jewish groups are calling on the State Department to designate a Turkish relief group, a main organizer of last month's Gaza flotilla, as a terrorist organization.

In a letter to U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, the Anti-Defamation League said that the Insani Yardim Vakfi (Humanitarian Relief Fund, or IHH) has “well-documented ties to Hamas.”

The ADL also has written to Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner urging his department to add IHH to its lists of terror-sponsoring organizations, which triggers restrictions on business and banking transactions with Americans.

The American Jewish Committee also urged the State Department to investigate ties between IHH and terrorist organizations on the U.S. list of foreign terrorist groups.

"As the result of IHH’s activities in support of terrorism, we believe it is vital that IHH’s involvement with Al-Qaida and Hamas be investigated and that appropriate action be taken to prevent it from abusing its non-profit status to aid terrorists," AJC Executive Director David Harris said in a letter to Clinton.

Meanwhile, B'nai Brith Canada is working to get 10,000 signatures on a petition asking the Canadian government to designate IHH as a terrorist entity in Canada.

A Rallying Cry

Time and time again, Israel is attacked by those that want her removed from the map. Well, Israel is not going anywhere.

The last time American Jews took to the streets in significant numbers to make the case for Israel’s right to defend itself, during Israel’s war with Hamas in early 2009, rockets were raining down on southern Israel from the Gaza Strip.

This time it’s a public relations war rather than a military one that has sent American Jews into the streets warning that a campaign is under way to wipe Israel off the map.

In indignant statements to the media, in Op-Eds and at rallies around the country, American Jews jumping to Israel’s defense are casting the fallout to last week’s flotilla incident -- and the mounting opposition to Israel’s blockade of Gaza -- as part of a campaign to delegitimize Israel’s right to defend itself.

“Why did Israel even have to resort to blockade?" syndicated columnist Charles Krauthammer wrote. "Because blockade is Israel's fallback as the world systematically de-legitimizes its traditional ways of defending itself -- forward and active defense.”

“If none of these is permissible, what's left?” Krauthammer asked rhetorically. “Nothing,” he answered. “The world is tired of these troublesome Jews, 6 million -- that number again -- hard by the Mediterranean, refusing every invitation to national suicide.”

As with the Gaza war, and the Lebanon war of 2006, Israel’s defenders see in the global assault on Israel’s enforcement of the blockade of Hamas-run Gaza -- a territory controlled by an organization committed to Israel’s destruction -- nothing less than a threat to Israel’s existence.

“Once again, my friends, Israel is under siege,” Rabbi Marvin Hier, dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, declared at a pro-Israel rally Sunday in Los Angeles opposite the local Israeli consulate.

Some 3,000 people showed up for the demonstration, including California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.

The international outcry against Israel is an attempt to delegitimize the Jewish state, Israeli Consul Jacob Dayan warned the crowd.

“Enough of the campaign of lies spread by the defenders of terror,” Dayan said. “Those on the flotilla were not peace activists.”[...]

Many Jewish groups said the worldwide reaction to the flotilla incident smacked of hypocrisy.

“Why did we not hear the same voices of condemnation raised as thousands of rockets poured down on Israel or on behalf of Gilad Shalit, who was kidnapped by Hamas more than four years ago and held incommunicado ever since?” the main Jewish umbrella group, the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, asked in a statement.

The Jews countered with rallies of their own in communities across the country.[...]

In Philadelphia, Steve Feldman, director of the greater Philadelphia district of the ZOA, summed up the approach he expected of supporters of Israel.

“I would not be satisfied,” he said, “until every Jewish person in the Philadelphia area, every person of good conscious in the area, everybody who knows right from wrong in the area, will be out supporting Israel, because Israel is in the right.”

NJDC: Reject Kucinich' letter

The NJDC is urging congressional members not to attach their name to a letter being circulated by Congressman Dennis Kucinich.

The national body of Jewish Democrats urged lawmakers not to join a letter by U.S. Rep. Dennis Kucinich calling on President Obama to penalize Israel for its deadly raid on an aid flotilla.

"The State of Israel's conduct, attacking a Turkish ship in international waters, constitutes an act of belligerence against Turkey," says the letter to Obama that Kucinich (D-Ohio), who ran against Obama in the Democratic primaries, is now circulating. "The attack on the Mavi Marmara requires consequences for the Netanyahu Administration and for the State of Israel. Those consequences must be dealt by the United States. They must be diplomatic and they must be financial."

The National Council of Jewish Democrats urged Congress members to reject Kucinich's "reckless" message.

"Kucinich is blind to the serious responsibility of both so-called 'peace activists' and the state of Turkey in provoking this incident and ignores the historical reality that Israel has a proven track record of fair and impartial review of its own military's actions," the group said.

Wednesday, June 09, 2010


This is seriously brilliant and you should REALLY read it. It is just one of many replies to Helen Thomas' comments.

Excerpts will not do it justice. You have to read it.

Obama to give $400 MILLION

It is one thing to send aid to a country. But it's another to pledge aid to an area run by known terrorists. That is exactly what President Barack Obama has done. Dare I even say it but any Jew that remotely cares about Israel has already made up their mind as to 2012. Jews--at least the Democrats that care about Israel and her right to defend herself--are already openly saying that they will not vote for Obama in 2012. Obama had the chance to stand up for Israel and he blew it. He blew it big time.

The United States will contribute $400 million in development aid to the Palestinian territories and work with Israel to loosen its embargo on Gaza, President Barack Obama said Wednesday.

Obama's announcement came after White House talks with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas. The money will be used to build housing, schools, water and health care systems in both the Palestinian Authority-controlled West Bank and Gaza, which is ruled by the Palestinian Islamic movement Hamas.
CNN, Hamas is not a movement. It's a terrorist organization. Get your facts straight.
Obama called the situation in Gaza "unsustainable," and said the United States would work with its European allies, Egypt and Israel to find a "new conceptual framework" for the Israeli blockade of Gaza.
Mr. President, good luck with that but the United States blockaded Cuba during the Cold War. Did you forget?!?
"We agree Israelis have right to prevent arms from coming into Gaza," Obama said. But he said "new mechanisms" were needed to allow more goods to reach the territory - and he repeated that the long-term solution was a permanent deal creating "a Palestinian state side-by-side with an Israel that is secure."
Again, this is going to require Hamas being removed from power.

Turkey government supports extremists' views

Umm, this is like saying Turkey supports Iran--which they do seeing as how they voted against UN sanctions on Iran. But anyway:
A report released this week by the Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center (ITIC) said new details have emerged which show how approximately 40 operatives from the Turkish Islamist IHH organization carefully prepared a violent ambush on navy commandos last week on board the Mavi Maramara ship, and acted with the full backing of the Turkish government.

The IHH operatives were armed with knives, axes and other weapons, communicated with one another using walkie talkies, set up a control room onboard the ship, and maintained close ties with Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan, the report said.[...]

"The operatives, who acted according to a clearly-defined internal hierarchy, boarded the ship in the port of Istanbul without undergoing a security inspection as opposed to the other passengers, who boarded in Anatolia after a full inspection," the report said.

"The IHH operatives’ preparations included handing out walkie-talkies as they boarded the ship, taking over the upper deck, setting up a situation room for communications, and a briefing given to the operatives two hours before the confrontation by IHH head Bülent Yildirim, who was on board the ship and commanded his men," it continued.[...]

"The passengers, including the IHH operatives, stated that there were close relations between the organization and Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan and that the Turkish government was involved in preparations for the flotilla," the report asserted.

A journalist onboard the Mavi Marmara, described as having good links with the heads of the Turkish government and Bulent Yildirim, head of the IHH, had stated, "The flotilla was organized with the support of the Turkish government and Prime Minister Erdogan gave the instructions for it to set sail. That was despite the fact that everyone knew it would never reach its destination," according to the report.

Files found in laptops seized from IHH members contained a letter written in Turkish from IHH head Bülent Yildirim to Turkish President Abdullah Gül. The letter requested Gal's assistance in efforts to release an IHH operative, named as Izzat Shahin, from an Israeli prison.

Sahin was arrested by Israeli security forces in the West Bank on April 27 on suspicion transferring cash to Hamas under the guise of charitable aid. He has since been deported from Israel "at the request of Turkish officials," the report added {...]

In January, the IHH helped organize a convoy to Gaza which became stranded at El-Arish in the Sinai Peninsula after being denied entry into Gaza by Egypt, "Turkey enacted major pressure on Egypt to let the convoy into Gaza. The Egyptians eventually agreed," Karmon added. An Egyptian soldier was killed during clashes between members of the convoy and the Egyptian security forces.

Last week, the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI) released footage of statements made by Bulent Yildirim, head of IHH, in Gaza in February 2009.

During the speech, which was filled with references to “martyrdom,” Yildirim said, "All the peoples of the Islamic world would want a leader like [Turkish prime minister] Recep Tayyip Erdoğan."

Tony Blair supports Israel

Tony Blair is with Israel 100% when it comes to self-defense!
Speaking with Channel 10 a week after the deadly clash, Blair said that he believed the Israeli blockade on Gaza should be lifted but at the same time he also understands Israel's security concerns.

"There's no question that there are rockets fired from Gaza and that there are people in Gaza who want to kill innocent Israelis," he said. "When it comes to security, I'm 100 percent on Israel's side. Israel has the right to inspect what goes into Gaza."

Blair said he was troubled by Turkey's recent shift in policy that has lead to a deterioration of the Turkey-Israel relationship.

On the Iranian nuclear issue, Blair said that there was no doubt that Iran should be prevented from obtaining nuclear weapons.

"Iran with nuclear weapons is not something we should contemplate or allow," he said.

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Egypt not easing blockade all that much...

While Egypt has announced that they will reopen the border at Rafah with the Gaza Strip, there's still some things that the media isn't exactly saying about Egypt and Gaza at the moment.

First the AP:
Egypt will not allow in large cargo shipments or construction material because the terminal is designed primarily as a crossing for travelers, said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the issue.
Additional commentary from Honest Reporting:
1. Gaza's open to grandstanding politicians and activists willing to travel overland via Egypt. Grip-and-grin solidarity photos with Hamas are valuable in Turkey's domestic political arena. And those images will be bad news for Mahmoud Abbas and the peace process.
2. The smuggling industry and the income Hamas makes off of tunnel license fees will take a hit now that Palestinians are shopping on the Egyptian side of the border.
3. Oh yeah, it's a lot harder for people to argue that Israel continues to occupy Gaza by virtue of its control over the borders.

The View gets it wrong

Somebody, please get the members of The View a book on the Jewish history of Israel because they need it. I know Barbara Walters is away while recovering but somebody needs to tell the rest of them that they have their facts wrong.

CAMERA has a summary.
Whoopi Goldberg, another show regular said:
Let me ask you this. Because for many, many, many years, there were not Jews in Israel. Okay?
Statement or question, Goldberg’s premise was wrong. Jews, and only Jews, have maintained an unbroken presence in Eretz Yisrael (the land of Israel), for more than three millennia. And despite repeated conquests and expulsions, Jews also returned from foreign exile in small numbers beginning more than 500 years ago, then in larger groups starting around 1880.

After Behar replies only with “yeah,” Goldberg ventures some mistaken, generalized diplomatic history, empathy for poor Helen Thomas kicks in.

“It’s with the way she put it. I think if she had put it maybe a diplomatic way ....” Behar suggests.

“The View’s” other panelists don’t ask what a more diplomatic way to declare “Jews back to the Third Reich” might be. “Peace activists” onboard the “Free Gaza flotilla” gave it try, reportedly taunting Israeli commandos with “back to Auschwitz.” In any case, “The View” team, including Goldberg, end by discussing Thomas’ resignation as an example of suppressed free speech.

Monday, June 07, 2010

PA worried...

The PA is worried...

The Palestinian Authority is concerned about Turkey’s increased support for Hamas, a PA official in Ramallah said on Monday.

The official said that the PA leadership was “unhappy” with Turkey’s policy toward Hamas, especially with regard to pressure to lift the blockade on the Gaza Strip unconditionally.

“Turkey’s policy is emboldening Hamas and undermining the Palestinian Authority,” the official told The Jerusalem Post.

“Of course we want to see the blockade lifted, but Hamas must also end its coup in the Gaza Strip and accept an Egyptian proposal for achieving reconciliation with Fatah.”

The PA is also concerned the reopening of the Rafah border crossing to Sinai would enable Hamas to tighten its grip on the Strip.

“We wish to remind the Turkish and Egyptian governments that the border crossing was controlled by the Palestinian Authority before Hamas launched its coup in 2007,” the official added. “If the Rafah border crossing is going to be reopened, that should be done in coordination with us and not with Hamas.”

Azzam al-Ahmed, a top Fatah official in the West Bank, was quoted over the weekend as saying that he was opposed to the lifting of the blockade on the Gaza Strip until Hamas agreed to end the dispute with his faction.

Ahmed stressed that there was no humanitarian crisis in the Gaza Strip because the PA government was sending aid through Israeli border crossings.

Comments at Robert Gibbs' Press Briefing

From today's Press Briefing with White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs:
Q: Robert, off the subject of oil, does the President have any reaction to the controversy over Helen’s remarks that were publicized Friday?

MR. GIBBS: Well, I’ve not spoken with him directly on that. I would say this, Tommy, I think those remarks were offensive and reprehensible. I think she should and has apologized, because -- obviously those remarks do not reflect certainly the opinion of I assume most of the people in here, and certainly not of the administration.

Anti-Semitic journalist Helen Thomas retires

Not considered to be a a surprise but journalist Helen Thomas has retired as of today, and as such, the White House blasted her as they should.
Veteran journalist Helen Thomas announced Monday that she would retire immediately, amid a controversy over her comments that Jews should "get the hell out of Palestine" and go "home" to Germany, Poland and elsewhere, according to a report from her employer, Hearst News Service.[...]

Thomas, the daughter of Lebanese immigrants, has covered the White House for almost half a century -- mostly as bureau chief for United Press International, but in the past decade as a columnist for Hearst Newspapers. She is well known to the television-watching American public because for years she had the honor, as dean of the White House press corps, of asking the opening question at presidential news conferences.

After becoming a columnist, Thomas lost that privilege. But she continued to ask questions during televised news conferences and was often sharply critical of Israel -- so much so that the late Tony Snow, as press secretary for President George W. Bush, once dryly thanked her for offering up "the Hezbollah view."

On May 27, during a White House commemoration of Jewish Heritage Month, Thomas gave an impromptu interview to a Web site called Asked about recent arrests of Palestinians by Israel, Thomas said Israelis should "get the hell of Palestine."
Nobody full of that much hate should be in a position to be a journalist, much less be able to cover news items objectively.

Terrorists aboard Flotilla ships

Various news outlets reported what Israelis have said all along. There were terrorists aboard the flotilla ships.

The Israel Defense Forces revealed on Sunday that five of the pro-Palestinian activists aboard the Turkish-flagged ship it intercepted last week en route to the Gaza Strip have links to the Hamas and Islamic Jihad movements.

The military did not specify whether these five activists took part in the violent clashes with the Israel Navy commandos that left nine people dead and several more wounded.

One of the activists exposed by the IDF was named as Iranian-born Fatima Mahmadi, a 31-year-old resident of the United States. According to the IDF, Mohammadi is a member of Viva Palestine, a movement that had tried bringing illegal electronic devices into the Gaza Strip.

Ken O'Keefe, a 41-year-old citizen of the United States and Britain, was another activist named by the IDF as having links to terrorist organizations. According to the IDF, O'Keefe is an extremist who hates Israel and whose "goal was to reach Gaza in order to help train and establish Hamas commando units."

The other activists singled out by the IDF were Hassan Iynasi, a 28-year-old Turkish citizen who belongs to an Islamic charity and regularly contributed financial assistance to Islamic Jihad; Hussein Urosh, a supporter of the Turkish IHH who was allegedly planning to help bring Al-Qaida militants from Turkey to Gaza; and Ahmad Umimon, a 51-year-old Moroccan-born resident of France and allegedly a member of Hamas.

Reaction to Helen Thomas and her anti-Semitism

Here's the transcript:
Rabbi David Nesenoff: Any comments on Israel. We’re asking everybody today for any comments...

Thomas: Tell em to get the hell out of Palestine.

Rabbi: Whoaa.

Thomas: (laughing)

Rabbi: Any better comments?

Thomas: Remember these people are occupied and it’s their land. It’s not German; it’s not Poland.

Rabbi: So where should they go? What should they do?

Thomas: They can go home?

Rabbi: Where’s home?

Thomas: Poland, Germany.

Rabbi: So you’re saying Jews should go back to Poland and Germany?

Thomas: And America and everywhere else.
Clinton Press Secretary Joe Lochart:
The good news is Ari no longer has the weight of government behind him in intimidating voices he doesn't agree with.”
Lanny J. Davis, former Special Counsel to President Clinton (1996-98) and White House spokesman:
Helen Thomas, who I used to consider a close friend and who I used to respect, has showed herself to be an anti-Semitic bigot. This is not about disagreement about her criticisms of Israel. She has a right to criticize Israel and that is not the same as being an anti-Semite.

However, her statement that Jews in Israel should leave Israel and go back to Poland or Germany is an ancient and well-known anti-Semitic stereotype of the Alien Jew not belonging in the "land of Israel" -- one that began 2600 years with the first tragic and violent diaspora of the Jews at the hands of the Romans.

If she had asked all Blacks to go back to Africa, what would the White House Correspondents Association position be as to whether she deserved White House press room credentials -- much less a privileged honorary seat?

Does anyone doubt that my friends Ann Compton, head of the WHCA, and Joe Lockhart, who believe in the First Amendment right of free expression as much as I do, would be as tolerant and protective of Helen's privileges and honors in the White House press room as they appear to be if she had been asking Blacks to return to Africa? Or Native Americans to Asia and South America, from which they came 8,000 or more years ago? I doubt it.

Of course Helen has the right as a private citizen under the First Amendment to speak her mind, even as an anti-Jewish bigot - but not as a member, much less privileged member with a reserved seat, in the WH press corps.
Ann Comption, ABC and head of WHCA:
"Helen has been a columnist for about a decade now and her strong beliefs on the Middle East are well known. I think I saw that she regretted these remarks and realized they were hurtful and inappropriate. Ari Fleischer is a private citizen and certainly free to express his opinion that this was a firing offense even for an opinion columnist. I would agree with you that Helen enjoys a rather special status as the White House. But I think her employer will have to decide whether the comments went over the line."
This was not the first time that she has shown her being an anti-Semite.

Sunday, June 06, 2010

Agency drops Helen Thomas

Following very inappropriate comments, Nine Speakers has dropped Helen Thomas as a client.
It is with a heavy heart that Nine Speakers, Inc. announces its resignation as the agent for Helen Thomas, Dean of the White House Press Corps.

Ms. Thomas has had an esteemed career as a journalist, and she has been a trailblazer for women, helping others in her profession, and beyond.

However, in light of recent events, Nine Speakers is no longer able to represent Ms. Thomas, nor can we condone her comments on the Middle East.

Nine Speakers will continue to enthusiastically represent all of our other current and future clients.

No food crisis? World gets Punked

Apparently, the global community was punked.

Hamas has said so themselves that there is no food crisis.
Hamas officials concede that the blockade has not caused a humanitarian crisis in its classic sense.

"There is no starvation in Gaza," said Khalil Hamada, a senior official at Hamas's ministry of justice. "No-one has died of hunger."
Now, what about the aid? Where does that go?
"People who are not in with Hamas don't see any of the relief goods or the gifts of money," Khadar says. On the sand dune where his house once perched, there is now an emergency shelter. The shelter is made of concrete blocks that Khadar dug from the rubble, and the roof is the canvas of a tent that provided the family with shelter for the first summer after the war. "Hamas supporters get prefabricated housing, furnishings and paid work. We get nothing," Khadar complains.

Rand Paul leaves RJC concerned

It's something both parties can agree on.

Matt Brooks of the Republican Jewish Coaltion recently commented on Rand Paul's shocking victory over Trey Grayson.
While some political observers say Paul’s strong pro-Israel views could be a magnet for Jewish campaign givers, even some ardent Jewish Republicans are worried about what they see as the political newcomer’s views on U.S. foreign policy and his positions on issues such as civil rights.

All of which led the Republican Jewish Coalition to oppose his candidacy for the nomination and, in an unusual move, to spurn him now that he is the party’s standard-bearer.

“Rand Paul is outside the comfort level of a lot of people in the Jewish community, and in many ways outside of where the Republican Party is on many critical issues,” said Matt Brooks, the RJC executive director, adding that leaders of his group worked on behalf of Paul’s primary opponent, Kentucky Secretary of State Trey Grayson.[...]

Jewish Democrats, battered by recent controversies over the Obama administration’s handling of the Israel issue, couldn’t be happier.

“This is manna from heaven for us,” said Ira Forman, CEO of the National Jewish Democratic Council. “And it’s not just in Kentucky. Like Sarah Palin, Rand Paul is going to be very good for Jewish Democrats.”[...]

In one statement, Paul said he “strongly object[s] to the arrogant approach of [the] Obama administration. ... Only Israel can decide what is in her security interest, not America and certainly not the United Nations.”

Paul, a strong opponent of foreign aid in general, doesn’t say how he would vote on Israel’s $3 billion appropriation, but he did say he opposes aid to Arab countries that could end up threatening Israel. Such sentiments have earned strong criticism from the anti-Israel right, but praise from some prominent conservatives -- including several leaders of the Christian right, a faction that generally worries that the Tea Party candidates focus too little on social issues such as abortion and gay rights.[...]

The Republican Jewish Coalition, however, still has questions.

“We don’t write off anybody,” said Brooks, its director. “But as it stands now, there are just too many questions about Paul. Is he more like [Sen.] Mitch McConnell, who has been terrific on Israel, or is he more like Ron Paul?

"His civil rights views are another indication of a tone deafness and a point of view that are troubling to a lot of people."

Saturday, June 05, 2010

Schock gets it right...

Republican Congressman Aaron Schock has penned an op-ed in the Jerusalem Post.
There are some vital points being overlooked in the international coverage of the Israeli response to the Gaza flotilla, and a mountain of hypocrisy that needs to be exposed. Egypt, the Palestinian Authority (PA) and every Arab foreign minister agreed that Hamas not be allowed to control the southern border crossing with Egypt after the terror group violently seized control of Gaza in 2007.

Yes, Egypt has blockaded Gaza under Hamas’s control as much as the Israelis have – and with the widespread support of Arab governments and the PA. Where’s the outrage?

Palestinians are supposedly experiencing a humanitarian crisis, and yet no Arab or Islamic government has demanded Egypt open its border with Gaza. Hello, Turkey?

When Israel pulled out completely from the Gaza Strip in 2005, it imposed no blockade. It was only after Hamas began a terror campaign with 10,000 rockets fired at Israeli civilians that Israel and Egypt imposed this blockade – with PA and Arab support. No Arab government wanted a terror-prone Hamas to flourish in Gaza, let alone spread.

ONE NEEDS to ask: If the Kurds or the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) across the Turkish border in Iraq rained 10,000 rockets on Turkish civilians, what would the Turks do? After all, the Kurds have legitimate disputes with the government of Turkey, and have been viciously repressed.

What if international NGOs decided to airlift humanitarian supplies to PKK refugees in Iraq, with those shipments containing civilian equipment that could easily be made into weapons?

Only Turkey recognizes a Turkish republic in Northern Cyprus. What would the Turkish military’s response be if organizations from nations that do not recognize the Turkish occupation of Northern Cyprus decided to break that military occupation?

Again, regarding Turkish hypocrisy, the prime minister of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, received the international pariah who leads Sudan – President Omar Bashir – a man who has committed genocide. The International Criminal Court has an arrest warrant out for him on charges of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes. Not only has the Darfur region of Sudan experienced genocide directed by Bashir and his government, but other regions of southern Sudan have as well. During the visit in mid-August of last year, Erdogan said he did not believe Bashir was guilty of the war crimes for which he was indicted.

And here is how the Turkish prime minister justified that widely disputed contention: “It is not possible for those who belong to the Muslim faith to carry out genocide,” said Erdogan. He deems Bashir innocent. End of story.

THE TURKISH foreign minister recently called the flotilla episode, “Turkey’s 9-11.” Shame on you sir. No American should ever forget such an insult.

What if the spill was in Louisville?

Check it out here

Some news tonight...

Israel made sure to avoid a PR snafu that we saw over the past weekend. Here's the radio transmission between the Israeli Navy and the 7th flotilla ship.

Video of those passengers from the 7th ship disembarking at the port in Ashdod following their attempt to break the blockade. The IDF boarded and there was no resistance this time.

Friday, June 04, 2010

Turkey embraced Iran and Hamas

Michael Oren fires back to the latest Turkish comments.
“Turkey has embraced the leaders of Iran and Hamas, all of whom called for Israel’s destruction,” declared Israeli ambassador to the US Michael Oren.

“Our policy has not changed but Turkey’s policy has changed, very much, over the last few years,” he said. “Under a different government with an Islamic orientation, Turkey has turned away from the West.”

But Oren, speaking on a conference call organized by The Israel Project, held out hope for reconciliation. “We certainly do not have any desire in any further deterioration in our relations with the Turks,” he noted. “It’s an important Middle Eastern power. It has been a friend in the past.”

Earlier Friday, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan declared at a rally in the Turkish province of Konya that Hamas was not a resistance movement.

Erdogan said Hamas, the legitimate winner of the Palestinian elections, was fighting for its land. "You are always talking about democracy. You’ll never let Hamas rule. What kind of democracy is this?” he was quoted as saying by Turkish daily Hurriyet, apparently addressing the Israeli leadership.[...]

In his speech, Erdogan also slammed Turkish media reports which were critical of his party's support of Hamas, saying the "columnists" had a slanted view of the events.

Earlier on Friday, Turkey's deputy prime minister said his country would work to reduce its military and economic cooperation with Israel. Existing contracts, he said, would be reviewed and reworked or canceled.

And another...

Charles Krauthhammer:
The world is outraged at Israel's blockade of Gaza. Turkey denounces its illegality, inhumanity, barbarity, etc. The usual U.N. suspects, Third World and European, join in. The Obama administration dithers.

But as Leslie Gelb, former president of the Council on Foreign Relations, writes, the blockade is not just perfectly rational, it is perfectly legal. Gaza under Hamas is a self-declared enemy of Israel -- a declaration backed up by more than 4,000 rockets fired at Israeli civilian territory. Yet having pledged itself to unceasing belligerency, Hamas claims victimhood when Israel imposes a blockade to prevent Hamas from arming itself with still more rockets.

In World War II, with full international legality, the United States blockaded Germany and Japan. And during the October 1962 missile crisis, we blockaded ("quarantined") Cuba. Arms-bearing Russian ships headed to Cuba turned back because the Soviets knew that the U.S. Navy would either board them or sink them. Yet Israel is accused of international criminality for doing precisely what John Kennedy did: impose a naval blockade to prevent a hostile state from acquiring lethal weaponry.

Oh, but weren't the Gaza-bound ships on a mission of humanitarian relief? No. Otherwise they would have accepted Israel's offer to bring their supplies to an Israeli port, be inspected for military materiel and have the rest trucked by Israel into Gaza -- as every week 10,000 tons of food, medicine and other humanitarian supplies are sent by Israel to Gaza.

Why was the offer refused? Because, as organizer Greta Berlin admitted, the flotilla was not about humanitarian relief but about breaking the blockade, i.e., ending Israel's inspection regime, which would mean unlimited shipping into Gaza and thus the unlimited arming of Hamas.

Turkish Ambassador calls for final solution

In comments that make it seem like it's 1941, said Ambassador Namik Tan, the Turkish Ambassador to the United States has said that Hamas is the final solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
In an unfortunate turn of phrase, the Turkish ambassador to Washington twice said Friday that the terrorist group Hamas is a necessary and important part of the "final solution" to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

"Final solution" was the phrase Adolf Hitler adopted to describe his plan to exterminate the Jewish people.

"For a final solution, you cannot ignore Hamas. That's what we are saying," said Ambassador Namik Tan. "This is not the first time that we are trying to bring this into the discussion. We have told this to the Israelis, to our American friends, to our international interlocutors, everyone. How could you imagine a final solution without Hamas?"

Tan's choice of words aside, his comments highlighted the yawning gap between the positions of the Turkish government and that of the American and Israeli administrations, as tensions linger following this week's Gaza flotilla incident.[...]

At his embassy Friday afternoon, Tan railed against Israel, made broad threats about the Turkish-Israel relationship, and professed deep disappointment with the Obama administration and its handling of the crisis.

"Israel is about to lose a friend ... This is going to be a historical mistake," he said, calling on Israel to make a public apology if its wishes to keep its ties with Turkey. "The future of our relationship will be determined by Israel's action."

Calling the Israelis "criminals," he reiterated Turkey's call for an international investigation. "It's all criminal ... Can you imagine a criminal investigating its own wrongdoing?"[...]

Asked about the next flotilla, currently headed to Gaza, Tan said that Turkey was not discussing it with either the U.S. or Israel. In fact, he professed not to be aware of it. "Is there another flotilla? Are there even any Turkish citizens on it? I have no idea."
I'm sorry but anyone that supports Turkey right now is essentially supporting not just anti-Zionism but anti-Semitism as well.

Helen Thomas = Anti-Semite

These comments from Helen Thomas are absolutely disgusting. I'm appalled and disgusted by them.

White House Correspondent Helen Thomas makes herself perfectly clear. She thinks Israelis should "get the hell out of Palestine" and go back to Poland, Germany, America "and everywhere else."[...]

2:38, June 4, 2010: Helen Thomas is a regular contributor to Liberal Opinion Week. According to the publication's website, she shares a masthead with a number of prominent journalists in the United States. These journalists include Maureen Dowd, Paul Krugman, Nicholas Kristof and Derrick Jackson. CAMERA has sent emails to these writers asking if it is appropriate for them to share a masthead with a journalist who makes such hostile comments. CAMERA has also left a message with the publication itself.

CAMERA will provide updates on any responses recieved.