Matti Friedman takes on the NGO's
You might recall that last summer, former AP reporter and editor Matti Friedman wrote a blockbuster piece about the institutional bias in the international media's reporting from Israel
. He's back again with lots more details, including the media's partnership with NGO's
To make sense of most international journalism from Israel, it is
important first to understand that the news tells us far less about
Israel than about the people writing the news. Journalistic decisions
are made by people who exist in a particular social milieu, one which,
like most social groups, involves a certain uniformity of attitude,
behavior, and even dress (the fashion these days, for those interested,
is less vests with unnecessary pockets than shirts with unnecessary
buttons). These people know each other, meet regularly, exchange
information, and closely watch one another’s work. This helps explain
why a reader looking at articles written by the half-dozen biggest news
providers in the region on a particular day will find that though the
pieces are composed and edited by completely different people and
organizations, they tend to tell the same story.
The best insight into one of the key phenomena at play here comes not
from a local reporter but from the journalist and author Philip
Gourevitch. In Rwanda and elsewhere in Africa, Gourevitch wrote in 2010,
he was struck by the ethical gray zone of ties between reporters and
NGOs. “Too often the press represents humanitarians with unquestioning
admiration,” he observed in The New Yorker. “Why not seek to
keep them honest? Why should our coverage of them look so much like
their own self-representation in fund-raising appeals? Why should we (as
many photojournalists and print reporters do) work for humanitarian
agencies between journalism jobs, helping them with their official
reports and institutional appeals, in a way that we would never consider
doing for corporations, political parties, or government agencies?”
This confusion is very much present in Israel and the Palestinian
territories, where foreign activists are a notable feature of the
landscape, and where international NGOs and numerous arms of the United
Nations are among the most powerful players, wielding billions of
dollars and employing many thousands of foreign and local employees.
Their SUVs dominate sections of East Jerusalem and their expense
accounts keep Ramallah afloat. They provide reporters with social
circles, romantic partners, and alternative employment—a fact that is
more important to reporters now than it has ever been, given the
disintegration of many newspapers and the shoestring nature of their
In my time in the press corps, I learned that our relationship with
these groups was not journalistic. My colleagues and I did not, that is,
seek to analyze or criticize them. For many foreign journalists, these
were not targets but sources and friends—fellow members, in a sense, of
an informal alliance. This alliance consists of activists and
international staffers from the UN and the NGOs; the Western diplomatic
corps, particularly in East Jerusalem; and foreign reporters. (There is
also a local component, consisting of a small number of Israeli
human-rights activists who are themselves largely funded by European
governments, and Palestinian staffers from the Palestinian Authority,
the NGOs, and the UN.) Mingling occurs at places like the lovely
Oriental courtyard of the American Colony hotel in East Jerusalem, or at
parties held at the British Consulate’s rooftop pool. The dominant
characteristic of nearly all of these people is their transience. They
arrive from somewhere, spend a while living in a peculiar subculture of
expatriates, and then move on.
In these circles, in my experience, a distaste for Israel has come to be
something between an acceptable prejudice and a prerequisite for entry.
I don’t mean a critical approach to Israeli policies or to the
ham-fisted government currently in charge in this country, but a belief
that to some extent the Jews of Israel are a symbol of the world’s ills,
particularly those connected to nationalism, militarism, colonialism,
and racism—an idea quickly becoming one of the central elements of the
“progressive” Western zeitgeist, spreading from the European
left to American college campuses and intellectuals, including
journalists. In this social group, this sentiment is translated into
editorial decisions made by individual reporters and editors covering
Israel, and this, in turn, gives such thinking the means of mass
In the aftermath of the three-week Gaza war of 2008-2009, not yet
quite understanding the way things work, I spent a week or so writing a
story about NGOs like Human Rights Watch, whose work on Israel had just
been subject to an unusual public lashing in The New York Times by its own founder, Robert Bernstein. (The Middle East, he wrote,
“is populated by authoritarian regimes with appalling human rights
records. Yet in recent years Human Rights Watch has written far more
condemnations of Israel for violations of international law than of any
other country in the region.”) My article was gentle, all things
considered, beginning like this:
JERUSALEM (AP) _ The prickly relationship between Israel and its
critics in human rights organizations has escalated into an
unprecedented war of words as the fallout from Israel’s Gaza offensive
persists ten months after the fighting ended.
Editors killed the story.
Around this time, a Jerusalem-based group called NGO Monitor was
battling the international organizations condemning Israel after the
Gaza conflict, and though the group was very much a pro-Israel outfit
and by no means an objective observer, it could have offered some
partisan counterpoint in our articles to charges by NGOs that Israel had
committed “war crimes.” But the bureau’s explicit orders to reporters
were to never quote the group or its director, an American-born
professor named Gerald Steinberg. In my time as an AP writer moving
through the local conflict, with its myriad lunatics, bigots, and
killers, the only person I ever saw subjected to an interview ban was
When the UN released its controversial Goldstone report on the Gaza
fighting, we at the bureau trumpeted its findings in dozens of articles,
though there was discussion even at the time of the report’s failure to
prove its central charge: that Israel had killed civilians on purpose.
(The director of Israel’s premier human-rights group, B’Tselem, who was
critical of the Israeli operation, told me at the time that this claim
was “a reach given the facts,” an evaluation that was eventually
seconded by the report’s author. “If I had known then what I know now,
the Goldstone Report would have been a different document,” Richard
Goldstone wrote in The Washington Post
in April 2011.) We understood that our job was not to look critically
at the UN report, or any such document, but to publicize it.
Decisions like these are hard to fathom if you believe the foreign
press corps’ role is to explain a complicated story to people far away.
But they make sense if you understand that journalists covering Israel
and the Palestinian territories often don’t see their role that way. The
radio and print journalist Mark Lavie, who has reported from the region
since 1972, was a colleague of mine at the AP, where he was an editor
in the Jerusalem bureau and then in Cairo until his retirement last
year. (It was Lavie who first learned of the Israeli peace offer of late
2008, and was ordered by his superiors to ignore the story.) An
Indiana-born Israeli of moderate politics, he had a long run in
journalism that included several wars and the first Palestinian
intifada, and found little reason to complain about the functioning of
But things changed in earnest in 2000, with the collapse of peace
efforts and the outbreak of the Second Intifada. Israel accepted
President Bill Clinton’s peace framework that fall and the Palestinians
rejected it, as Clinton made clear.
Nevertheless, Lavie recently told me, the bureau’s editorial line was
still that the conflict was Israel’s fault, and the Palestinians and the
Arab world were blameless. By the end of Lavie’s career, he was editing
Israel copy on the AP’s Middle East regional desk in Cairo, trying to
restore balance and context to stories he thought had little connection
to reality. In his words, he had gone from seeing himself as a proud
member of the international press corps to “the Jew-boy with his finger
in the dike.” He wrote a book, Broken Spring, about his front-row view of the Middle East’s descent into chaos, and retired disillusioned and angry.
Read the whole thing
. And yes, he also explains the genesis of that picture at the top of this post.
Labels: anti-Israel media bias, Gaza, Gerald Steinberg, Goldstone Report, NGO Monitor, NGO's, Palestinian incitement, Palestinian terrorism
Guess what country is more Muslim than Iran
The BBC reports that the Christian population of Turkey has declined
from 20% to 0.2% in the last 100 years. No, that's not a typo. And it's not an accident either.
"No country in the region - including Iran - is as homogenous in terms
of Islam as Turkey," says writer Cengiz Aktar. "It's a mono-colour
country - it's a Muslim country."
After the Turkish Republic was born in 1923, it carried out a
"population exchange" with Greece to create more ethnic and religious
consistency. More than a million Greeks were forced out of Turkey to
Greece while around 300,000 Muslims from Greece were relocated here.
The Greeks of Istanbul were initially saved but after a
crippling wealth tax, anti-Greek pogroms in 1955 and mass expulsions in
1964, the Greek community was left in tatters. And so was the Orthodox
Christianity they practised.
"The ethnic cleansing of these non-Muslim minorities was a huge
brain drain," says Mr Aktar, who has created a new exhibition on the
loss of the Greeks here.
"It also meant the disappearance of the bourgeoisie because
not only were they wealthy but they were artisans. Istanbul lost its
entire Christian and Jewish heritage."
It was not just the exodus of the Greeks that hit Christianity here.
Armenians were the other large Christian community. Hundreds
of thousands were deported in 1915. They were either killed or died from
starvation and disease. The label "genocide" is rejected by the Turkish
state. From a population of two million Armenians, around 50,000 remain
"Most of the believers hide their cross inside their shirt. They
can't open it and walk freely on the street because they could prompt a
reaction. I don't want to say all the Turkish population is against
Christianity but nationalism is so high that people are afraid to
That is now the worry among the Christian minority here: that
Turkish Muslim nationalism has grown under the Islamist-rooted
government of Recep Tayyip Erdogan, prime minister for 11 years before
being elected president last August.
And they call us 'racists'? Read the whole thing
Labels: Christians, Turkey, Turkish Islamization
Erdogan: US never landed on the moon
a parody. (See below).
President Hussein Obama's Best Friend Forever, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, has a new and bizarre claim. Erdogan is now claiming that the United States never landed men on the moon
(Hat Tip: Joshua I
Addressing a meeting in Izmir on global warming, Erdogan said USA has
to finally admit that astronauts never landed on the moon and it was
staged in the Hollywood. He also appealed to other leaders of the world
to back him up.
“Every president, PM or chancellor know the truth about US moon hoax.
When we are elected to the cabinets, we get the black suitcase where
all secrets of the world are kept. I was shocked when I learned that US
never went to the moon,” Erdogan said. “The leaders are supposed to keep
this secrets and never tell, but it is time for honesty.”
Turkish president promised that he will reveal more secrets when the time is right.
And for those of you who are too young to remember, let's go to the videotape.
You can all decide for yourselves.
UPDATE 6:37 PM
Sorry folks, this IS a parody.
Labels: moon landing, Recep Tayyip Erdogan
Islamic State claims to have kidnapped Canadian Israeli UPDATED
The Islamic State terror group claims to have kidnapped 31-year old Jill Rosenberg
, a Canadian immigrant to Israel who recently traveled to Irbil
to join the Kurdish resistance. This is from the second link - a report that is nearly three weeks old.
Rosenberg was born and raised in the Canadian province of British Columbia, while preparing for career pilots of civil aviation. However, in 2006, she left everything behind and immigrated from Canada to Israel, and a short time later was drafted into the ranks of the IDF. Rosenberg has served two years as a soldier of emergency services in the home front Command.
In 2009, Rosenberg was arrested in a joint operation by the FBI and the police of Israel:
12 people, including her, were accused of fraudulently obtaining $ 25
million from older Americans. Members of the criminal group called
themselves the representatives of the lottery were sent to the old
congratulatory bouquets and gifts to gain their trust, and then asked to
pay a Deposit before receiving the main prize".
On request of the American side Rosenberg
was extradited to the United States. On the court she expressed remorse
for his actions and told the judge, among other things, that "all the
time was looking for a better job and even tried to enter the Mossad".
The Federal court in new York sentenced her to four years in prison,
but, in all probability, it was released earlier this term and deported
Some time ago, Rosenberg
was established through the social network contact with the Kurdish
resistance and decided that its military and aviation experience for
them would be a great help. To reach Kurdistan was easy: November 2, Jill arrived at the airport of Amman in Jordan, and the next morning landed at the airport of Irbil, the Kurdish capital.
In a telephone conversation with the journalist of radio Rosenberg
said: "the Kurds just like the Jews - they are good people, they love
life as we are." She told me that now is training and familiarization
with the terrain and soon expects to be in a combat zone, which still
There are more pictures of Rosenberg here
(link in Russian).
There is no independent confirmation of this story. We can only hope and pray for the sake of a fellow Jew that it is not true.
UPDATE 6:34 PM
Labels: Islamic State, Islamic terrorism, Kurds
Why Israel's economy doesn't need 'peace' to grow
It's the technology, stupid!
Yoram Ettinger explains why - BDS notwithstanding - the Israeli economy doesn't 'peace' to grow
In fact, Israel's unique economic growth – from $1.5bn GDP in 1949 to $300bn in 2014, from $50mn annual exports in 1949 to $97bn in 2014, and from no foreign exchange reserves in 1949 to $92bn in 2014 – has been driven by Aliyah (Jewish immigration), fiscal responsibility, brain power, cutting-edge commercial and defense technologies, exports, military posture of deterrence and (most recently) natural gas; not by the peace treaties with Egypt and Jordan, or the Oslo Accord with the PLO.
For example, Israel's GDP surged by 8%-14% annually following Israel's victory in the Six Day War (1967-1972), and by 9% upon the launching of the Aliyah wave of one million Olim from the USSR in 1990. On the other hand, the post Oslo (1993-1996) economic growth of 4%-7% was triggered, mostly, by the Aliyah ripple effect, but was marred by rapidly worsening budget and trade deficits.
In addition, Israel's 42.5% annual inflation in 1977 - when the Begin-Sadat peace initiative was launched - galloped to 111.4% in 1979 and 445% in 1984. Inflation was reduced to 19.7% in 1986, and to the current low single digit levels through an unprecedented policy of fiscal responsibility; not through the Israeli-Egyptian peace treaty.
The BDS impact on Israel's economy is minor as demonstrated by the improved trade balance between Israel and Turkey and Britain, independent of the Turkish government and British Parliament support of BDS. Moreover, Israel's vulnerability to BDS is highly constrained since 90% of Israel's exports are business-to-business, enhancing the cost-effectiveness and the level of health, medicine, irrigation, science, education and national security of Israel's trade partners. Furthermore, Israel's trade is trending away from Europe – the epicenter of BDS – towards India, China, Russia, Japan, South Korea and the former Soviet Republics.
Read the whole thing
If anything, I would argue that 'peace' would pose a danger to our economy because of the vastly increased risk of terrorism - including rockets - emanating from a 'Palestinian state.'
Labels: BDS, Israeli economy, Israeli high tech
Obama's Center for American Progress: An Israeli attack on Iran would solve some problems
This is rich. The Obama-linked Center for American Progress wants Israel to attack Iran's nuclear program
(Hat Tip: Mike P
While the CAP paper was addressing the
already-passed Nov. 24 deadline, it is instructive to note CAP’s support
for Israeli military strikes on Tehran’s nuclear facilities if the
talks had ended in failure.
CAP’s thinking on the issue could give a glimpse into the Obama
administration’s attitudes and future planning if the nuclear talks
collapse after the seven-month extension.
If the talks had failed, the CAP suggested the Obama administration
should prepare “for the greater probability of an Israeli attack on
Iran’s nuclear installations.”
The think tank posited the U.S. “should not necessarily oppose an Israeli strike under certain circumstances.”
Continued the CAP paper: “First, a successful Israeli attack may
allow the United States to avoid difficult decisions about intervening
in Iran’s nuclear program.”
“Second, the current regional situation diminishes the odds of an Israeli attack developing into a wider regional conflict.”
CAP explained the Iranian-backed Hezbollah would find it difficult to
retaliate against Israel since it has been bogged down in Syria
fighting the insurgency targeting Bashar al-Assad’s regime there.
CAP believes Assad himself is “unlikely to divert precious military
resources away from his own survival, even to retaliate on behalf of his
benefactors in Tehran.”
The paper concluded that most probably Iran would be left alone “with a very limited capability to retaliate.”
I've been arguing that here for years
PS Anyone else remember where we've seen Shlomo Brom
Labels: Barack Hussein Obama, Hezbullah, Iranian nuclear threat, Israeli attack on Iran, P 5+1
Sunday November 30 is Jewish Nakba Day
This is long overdue.
Israel's President, Reuven Rivlin, will conduct a ceremony at his residence on Sunday marking the expulsion of Jews from Arab countries. Ben Dror Yemini
The Knesset decided
only this year to set aside a special day, November 30, to mark the
Jewish Nakba. Most school children in Israel know about what was done to
the Jews of Kishinev and also about what was done to the Jews in Deir
But most Israeli students don't know about Jewish Nakba. They don't
know about a long series of pogroms and massacres perpetrated against
Jews in most Arab countries. The Kishinev pogroms in 1906 claimed the
lives of 29 Jews. A year later, in pogroms in Morocco, 50 Jews were
murdered in the city of Settat, and another 30 were killed in
How many high school students know about them? And how many know
about the pogrom in Aden in 1948 in which 82 Jews were murdered? And how
many know about the hundreds more who were killed during that period in
Iraq, Egypt, Syria and Libya only because they were Jews?
The "narratives" have taken control of the university campuses and
school system. On their behalf, Israeli students are told "the other
side's version of the story." Not that one should belittle the pain of
the Palestinians. God forbid. The thing is that there is nothing unique
about the Palestinian story in particular. People fled. Some were
deported too. But where were things any different?
And yet, the Jewish Nakba vanished into thin air, despite the fact
that it was far more severe. After all, the Jews of the Arab states
didn't declare war on the Arab countries; they didn't have a leader like
the Mufti who was planning and plotting to eradicate all the Arabs –
every last one. On the contrary, they were peaceful citizens wherever
* * *
Let's set the record straight. The disintegration of the empires,
beginning with the Ottoman, through to the Austro-Hungarian, and on to
the British, intensified the demand on the part of various peoples for
self-determination – no more multi-ethnic states under imperial rule,
but nations with a sense of independent identity instead. Some would
call it an imaginary heritage, but that's not important.
The result was huge waves of population transfers, beginning in 1912
and through to the years following World War II. Around 52 million
people underwent the experience, including tens of millions in the
period after the war.
Millions of Germans, Hungarians, Poles, Ukrainians, Turks, Greeks,
Bulgarians, Romanians, Indians, Pakistanis and more and more were forced
to leave their birthplaces to make way for national entities, old and
new. One would be hard pressed to find a single conflict during the
period in question that did not end without a population exchange.
And the same happened
in the Jewish-Arab conflict too. When the Peel Commission decided in
1937 on a population exchange, one of the reasons it offered to support
its decision was the fact that the Iraqis had carried out against the
Assyrian minority, despite earlier assurances to safeguard their rights.
Read the whole thing
The population exchanges between Greece and Turkey also served as a
backdrop for the commission's decision. At the time, this was the
position held by statesmen, scholars and intellectuals. Furthermore, in
1930, the Permanent Court of International Justice, the highest
international judicial instance at the time, approved population
transfers by force when it ruled that the purpose of mass population
transfers was to "more effectively aid the process of pacification of
the Near East."
Labels: Arab genocide, Jewish refugees, naqba, Ruby Rivlin
Suicide bomber crosses from Turkey to Kobani
Kurdish fighters in Kobani, Syria are accusing Turkey
of allowing a suicide bomber to operate against them from its territory.
The assault began when a suicide bomber driving an armored vehicle
detonated his explosives on the border crossing between Kobani and
Turkey, said the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights and
Nawaf Khalil, a spokesman for Syria's powerful Kurdish Democratic Union Party.
The Islamic State group "used to attack the town from three sides," Khalil said. "Today, they are attacking from four sides."
A Turkish government statement on Saturday confirmed that one of the
suicide attacks involved a bomb-loaded vehicle that detonated on the
Syrian side of the border. But it denied that the vehicle had crossed
into Kobani through Turkey, which would be a first for the extremist
"Claims that the vehicle reached the border gate by
crossing through Turkish soil are a lie," read the statement released
from the government press office at the border town of Suruc. "Contrary
to certain claims, no Turkish official has made any statement claiming
that the bomb-loaded vehicle had crossed in from Turkey."
a Kobani-based activist, said by telephone that Islamic State group
fighters have taken positions in the grain silos on the Turkish side of
the border and from there are launching attacks toward the border
crossing point. He added that the U.S.-led coalition launched an airstrike Saturday morning on the eastern side of the town.
is now clear that Turkey is openly cooperating with Daesh," Bali said,
using the Arabic acronym for the Islamic State. Later in the day, he
said the situation was relatively calm on the border after a day of
Someone needs to tell Erdogan that Islamic State will not appoint him as the Caliph.
Labels: Caliphate, Islamic State, Nusra Front, Syria, Syrian Kurds, Syrian uprising, Turkey
Video report on Mubarak acquittal
Here's a CBS News report on the acquittal of former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak.
Let's go to the videotape.
More from Ed Morrissey here
Labels: Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, Cairo, Egyptian Revolution, Hosni Mubarak, Mohammed Morsy, Muslim Brotherhood, Tahrir Square
Islamic State to host 2026 World Cup
After Qatar (2022), what did you expect? The Islamic State terror group will be hosting the 2026 World Cup
The bid was decided at a star-studded ceremony in Zurich, after what
observers termed a “ruthlessly well-organised, take-no-prisoners style
campaign”. FIFA President Sepp Blatter has defended the selection,
noting that ISIS government policy, while ‘not perfect’, meets FIFA’s
required ethical standards.
“At FIFA we believe that football is a truly global game,” he said.
“That’s why we’ve chosen ISIS, an up-and-coming nation in the Middle
East, to host the game.”
Alleged flaws in the human rights record of ISIS have made the choice
highly controversial. One spot of contention has been the safety of
Western football fans, who will, in the words of one ISIS spokesman, be
‘politely but firmly’ taken hostage and then killed regardless of
religion. Blatter has suggested that these fans should stay at home.
It is also unclear whether air strikes will still be in operation
against some of the venues. And Islamic State have yet to field an
international team in football. “Their extremely radical interpretation
of Islam doesn’t look kindly on playing football against non-Muslims,”
explained one Sharia law expert. “They do have a strong local militant
league with a growing youth squad, so they could be ones to watch in the
future. Plus they’ve got lots of British-born talent going out there
now to play.”
Can't wait to see the riots. Heh.
Labels: humor, Islamic State, soccer, World Cup
The BDS terrorists' new photoshop - UPDATED
Shavua Tov, a good week to everyone.
The BDS terrorists have been spreading the image above around the internet. The Algemeiner reports
posted by a page named “I Acknowledge Apartheid Exists”, shows skeletal
survivors holding up signs that read “Israel Assassins,” “Break the
Silence on Gaza,” “Stop the Holocaust in Gaza” and “Stop US Aid to
Israel.” A sign in the far back of the image says Gaza is “the world’s
biggest concentration camp,” while another poster shows a Palestinian
flag along with the words “Free Palestine.”
A slogan at the bottom of the offensive image reads, “Whatever happened to ‘never again?’”
The Facebook page, which boasts over 91,000 members, captioned the
post “Viva Palestine.” At the time of publication, the picture has been
“liked” by 307 users and “shared” on the social media site by 110 users,
including the Central NY Committee for Justice in Palestine.
Many Facebook users expressed disgust over the image, calling it
“inappropriate,” “shameful” and asking for the picture to be taken down.
One user said, “I find this really disturbing. It’s not a case of ‘not
getting it’. How can exploiting and image of other people’s suffering be
an acceptable thing to do? Is that not what we’re supposed to be
Don't bother to write to Facebook about this. They won't take the page down anyway.
UPDATE 10:46 PM
It turns out that this story was originally reported by Legal Insurrection
around the time the Sabbath was starting in Israel.
I suppose that anyone who has been to the Anne Frank house in Amsterdam cannot be too surprised by Holocaust images being used to induce people to hate Israel. (That was already going on in 1980 when I was there).
Labels: BDS, Facebook, terrorism
We have a Darwin award winner
A Pakistani has won a Darwin Award
for dying from smoke inhalation
while burning an American flag.
Some 10,000 people rallied this week in Lahore, the capital of the
Punjab province, to protest the movie trailer that Muslims say insults
Islam, according to the International Herald-Tribune. One participant,
identified as Abdullah Ismail, died after being taken to an area
hospital. Witnesses said he had complained of feeling sick from the
smoke from American flags burnt at the rally.
Labels: Darwin Award, Pakistan
Are we going to new elections?
Channel 2 reports that Prime Minister Netanyahu may ask to dissolve the Knesset
this week and go to new elections - just a year and a half after the last elections.
According to the report, Netanyahu is considering three options, but
it is believed that his preferred route would be to dissolve the
The first option is for Netanyahu to wait until March 31 without the
state budget for 2015 passing its second and third reading in the
Knesset, which by law requires an election at the end of June.
The second option is to approach President Reuven Rivlin and ask him
to dissolve the Knesset. In such a case, 21 days will given for an
alternative government to be formed before elections are called,
possibly paving the way for Finance Minister Yair Lapid or Opposition
leader Yitzhak Herzog forming an alternate government with the hareidim.
The third option is a bill to dissolve the Knesset. According to Channel 2,
Netanyahu's associates are attempting to find out whether the other
parties in the Knesset would support the dissolution of the Knesset if
it is brought to a vote next week. Either way, Netanyahu is expected to
decide on the issue within days, the report said.
Netanyahu and the parties in his coalition have been at odds over
several issues, the latest being the controversial Jewish State Law,
which passed a Cabinet vote this week but which Lapid and Justice
Minister Tzipi Livni are opposed to and have threatened to vote against
when it comes to a vote in the Knesset.
I don't see Lapid forming an alternative government with the Haredim, and although Herzog could, his party's Knesset delegation is too small to pull it off. Arutz Sheva goes on to report that Netanyahu offered the Haredi parties a deal on Wednesday, but that the Haredi parties are denying it.
But the Haredi website Kikar Shabbat reported this morning that in fact Netanyahu has offered a deal to the Haredim and is awaiting a response from R. Aaron Yehuda Leib Steinman
(link in Hebrew). The deal on offer would have the Haredim agree to recommend that Netanyahu form the next government after the elections in exchange for being assured that they will be part of that government.
In Maariv's Friday edition, columnist Ben Caspit reported that Rav Steinman may veto the idea - recalling that Netanyahu made promises to the Haredim that he did not keep after the last election, and not wanting Haredi 'demands' to become the key issue in the election.
Labels: Binyamin Netanyahu, Haredim, Israeli elections, Rabbi Aaron Leib Steinman, Tzipi Livni, Yair Lapid
IDF develops flying pigs to destroy 'Palestinian' agriculture
Leave it to the IDF
Israel’s efforts to drive Palestinian farmers off their lands
received a boost this week with the announcement that the army would
partner with local pig breeders to develop flying pigs for release in
Palestinian agricultural areas.
Palestinians have long accused Israel of releasing wild boars to
wreak havoc with Palestinian farms. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas
repeated the charge again several days ago, but as in the past, few
international bodies have given the matter much attention. Until now the
boar-release program has apparently been a private initiative, but to
capitalize on the apparent apathy of the international community, the
Israeli military entered into an arrangement with the country’s only
pig-farming enterprise to launch a breeding program aimed at producing
winged, flying swine capable of mobility and destruction that far
outstrips the achievements of the current available animals.
Kibbutz Lahav’s swine program has sparked controversy since its
inception, given the Jewish dietary ban on pork and the cultural
aversion to the animal. However, the army, which officially maintains
Jewish dietary laws in its facilities, nevertheless sought out the
program heads to develop this new kind of bio-weapon, which could be
deployed much more flexibly to destroy Palestinian farms and property
without directly implicating Jewish settlers.
And least you think this post was not written with tongue firmly planted in cheek....
A spokesman for the IDF declined to divulge the details of the
breeding program. “We’ll be intentionally harming Palestinian
agriculture when pigs fly,” he said.
Labels: humor, IDF
Birthright terminates relationship with New Israel Fund
Birthright Israel has terminated its relationship
with the Leftist New Israel Fund
, the largest and most powerful non-governmental source of support for
Israeli civil society organizations, providing funding and
organizational/political assistance. This is from the first link.
Birthright Israel, the American organization that organizes visits to
Israel for participants from 66 different countries, has terminated a
partnership with the controversial New Israel Fund (NIF,) resulting in
the cancellation of a December visit to the Jewish state assembled by
the two groups.
In an email to trip participants, Stephanie Ives, the New York
Director for the NIF, said that “we have been cut from the trip for
three reasons that have been communicated to us: (1) Birthright Israel
determined that our marketing of the trip was in violation of their
policy because our NIF logo was slightly larger than the Birthright
Israel logo; (2) Birthright Israel NEXT has determined that it can no
longer partner with NIF in any way because we seek to influence policy
in Israel, and they have a rule against partnership with organizations
that seek to influence policies in Israel or the United States; and (3)
Birthright Israel decided to cancel a number of the New York UJA trips
because of recruitment concerns.”
Ives added: “I wish this were not the case. We were truly excited to
participate and honored to have been recruited to do so by Birthright
Israel NEXT. More importantly, we think participation by progressive
Israel organizations is crucial to allow Birthright Israel to continue
having the kind of impact on the next generation America-Israel
relationship that it seeks and that we seek.”
For those who aren't familiar with the New Israel Fund (search this blog!) NGO Monitor reports:
“Allegations by NIF-funded groups are frequently used to advance
anti-Israel BDS (boycotts, divestment, and sanctions) activism – the
claims of these groups are used to justify demonization,” NGO Monitor says. “For instance, the UC Berkeley divestment campaign (April 2013) referenced B’Tselem,
Adalah, and PHR-I as documenting ‘ongoing human rights violations
systematically committed by the Israeli government.’ We also note that
previous NIF funding for radical anti-Israel groups (ICAHD, Coalition of Women for Peace, Mada al-Carmel,
Al-Qaws, etc.), which has ended, continued for years and caused
significant damage, including, for example, the decision by Dutch
pension funds to divest from Israeli banks in January 2014.”
It's about time!
Labels: Birthright, New Israel Fund
Har Nof terrorist's wife doesn't want to leave
Nadia Abu Jamal, the wife of 31-year old Har Nof terrorist Ghassan Abu Jamal, is protesting her expulsion from Jerusalem
back to her home in the 'Palestinian Authority.' She had a residence permit to live in Jerusalem because her late husband lived there.
Referring to her three children, Nadia Abu Jamal told Channel 2 News: "As if it is not enough that they lost their father, now they will also lose the home they live in.”
"They told us, the day after the (synagogue) attack, that they had
revoked my residency rights in Jerusalem and that the house will be
razed to the ground," Nadia Abu Jamal told AFP.
"If we'd known that my husband was planning an attack, of course we
would have stopped him," she claimed. "I heard it on the radio, I heard
that the man I loved had done such a thing."
MK Rabbi Eli Ben Dahan (Jewish Home) has no pity for Abu Jamal.
"The wife of the terrorist who murdered five innocent people and left
25 orphans is crying over the fact that following a decision by the
Interior Minister, her children will lose their home after they 'lost'
their father,” wrote Ben-Dahan on Facebook.
"It is interesting that she does not exhibit a single drop of mercy
to the 25 children whose fathers were murdered by the terrorist in cold
blood," wrote Ben Dahan. "Shocking."
Members of the Abu Jamal family passed out candies in celebration
after last Tuesday's attack.
For now, however, the Abu Jamal homes are safe. The 'supreme court
' issued restraining orders against their destruction on Thursday. Disgraceful....
Labels: Arab celebrations, East Jerusalem, family reunification, home demolitions, Palestinian terrorists
General Security Service stops mass terror attack at Teddy Stadium
Israel's Shin Bet General Security Service has broken up a large 'Palestinian' terror cell that was planning a mass terror attack at Jerusalem's Teddy Stadium
. The terror cell was commanded from - where else? - Turkey.
The Shin Bet announcement confirmed a Times of Israel report last week that said Israel had arrested dozens of members
of a Hamas terror network operating throughout the West Bank. The
network, Palestinian officials said, was funded and directed by Hamas
officials in Turkey who have set up a de facto command center in the
More than 30 Hamas operatives were arrested
during the month of September, the Shin Bet said Thursday. The majority
were recruited while studying in Jordan and trained in either Syria or
the Gaza Strip, which they entered via tunnels from Sinai.
The Shin Bet said the ring was preparing to
kidnap Israelis in Israel and abroad, enter Israeli villages, detonate
car bombs, perpetrate roadside attacks, and execute a terror attack in
Teddy Stadium, where the Israeli soccer team Beitar Jerusalem plays its
The Shin Bet asserted that the plan was
evidence of an “indefatigable” desire on Hamas’s part to rehabilitate
its terror infrastructure in the West Bank and to tug Israel into a
sharp military response, which might indirectly lead to the toppling of
PA President Mahmoud Abbas’s regime, which is “one of Hamas’ goals.”
As with the previous network, the man behind the terrorist grouping was
Saleh al-Arouri, a Hamas leader who was deported from the West Bank to
Turkey in 2010, the sources said.
Labels: Hamas, Palestinian terrorism, Saleh al-Arouri, terrorists for Gilad trade
'Palestinian Authority' television calls the Har Nof terrorists 'victims'
Our 'peace partner's official government television station is calling the two terrorists who murdered five people in Har Nof last Tuesday 'victims.'
Let's go to the videotape.
But some people think this isn't incitement. More (including details of the terror attacks involved that passed too quickly to read on the screen) here
Labels: Jerusalem, Palestinian Authority Television, Palestinian incitement, Palestinian terrorism
A really important and moving video
Last night, I received the email and video below along with several other Israel-related blogs and news sites. My first reaction was that it had nothing to do with the normal fare of my blog, but I was curious to see it. Having now watched it, I think it's really important to spread it around.
15 years ago, I represented two investors who walked away from a business transaction because the Chief Executive Officer of the company turned out to be a child molester. The company's founders had no idea of that when they hired him. I was proud of the two clients for walking away on principle - they wouldn't do business with someone who molested children. Too many people in Israel would have said 'but we invested so much in the deal already' (or stiffed the lawyer on the bill). They did neither of those things. They paid their bill and walked away. Then I found out that one of the clients had a child who had been abused by an educator....
Here's the email I got last night:
Survivors from Orthodox Jewish Community break the silence on abuse in short film by Jewish Community Watch
NY, November 26, 2014 - Jewish Community Watch, an organization
dedicated to preventing child sexual abuse (CSA) and assisting survivors
within the Orthodox Jewish community has announced the release of a new short film called Speak Up,
telling the stories of seven young adults from the Orthodox Jewish
community who suffered the horrors of child sexual abuse and have
journeyed from being victims to survivors.
video was produced in order to raise awareness of abuse and to send a
message of solidarity to survivors, that they are not alone,” said Meyer
Seewald, Founder and CEO of Jewish Community Watch. “If you are a
survivor, please know that you have nothing to be ashamed of! You can
come forward and speak up,either by contact us or publicly, because when
you do, JCW will be there to support you!”
Speak up was produced and directed by Daniel Finkelman of Sparks Next Productions
About Jewish Community Watch.
Community Watch was founded in 2011 with the stated goal of breaking
the silence and shame that surrounds CSA in the Orthodox Jewish
community. JCW prevents
further abuse by notifying the public of the threat of the abusers in
their vicinity, educates the public about what to look out for, and
helps survivors of abuse heal by reminding them that they are not alone
and by supporting them through their battles.
JCW recently re-launched JewishCommunityWatch.org
which represents the most extensive Jewish website combating child
sexual abuse. It hosts extensive content, including a vast education
center, the Wall of Shame with 93 profiles of alleged abusers,
information for survivors to get help, relevant laws with regards to
each state, myths and facts on CSA and much more.
Connect with JCW:
And here's the video. Let's go to the videotape.
Labels: personal stuff, sexual assault
Must see video: UN Ambassador Ron Prosor rips the Europeans some new body parts
This is guaranteed to be the best three minutes you spend today.
Here's Israel's ambassador to the United Nations, Ron Prosor, telling the Europeans to stuff it where the sun don't shine. This is part of the the UN International day of solidarity with the 'Palestinian People' debate.
Let's go to the videotape (Hat Tip: Leah P
And they consider themselves 'friends.' With 'friends' like this....
Labels: European anti-Semitism, Palestinian people, Ron Prosor, Swedish anti-Semitism, United Nations General Assembly
Happy Thanksgiving to all of my readers in America!
'Secret back channel' doomed 'peace talks'?
The New Republic reports that the failure of last summer's 'peace talks' was brought about by the use of a secret back channel
between Prime Minister Netanyahu's personal attorney, Yitzchak Molho, and an unnamed and apparently unauthorized confidante of 'moderate
Mahmoud Abbas Abu Mazen
. This is from the first link.
The secret channel—reported here for the first time—created
substantial progress toward an agreement. But it also had one
fundamental flaw, which contributed to the collapse of Kerry's entire
process. Abbas’s supposed representative was in fact holding these talks
without a real mandate from the Palestinian President; the concessions
he discussed with Molho didn't represent the President's views. Parts of
this story remain unsolved—most importantly,
why this lack of a mandate was missed or ignored in real time. But what
can be told is enough to raise some hard questions about Kerry's effort,
and offer important lessons for future attempts at reaching an
The extent of Abbas's detachment from the secret-channel's product
became clear in early 2014, when Kerry decided to merge the two
negotiation tracks. The understanding that had developed through the
secret channel was spilled into the discussions that Indyk's team was
holding with both sides over a "framework document.” Netanyahu was
willing to work with the fruits of the secret channel (although he
insisted on airing his reservations, and the negotiations his advisers
held with Indyk over the exact wording were endless). But Abbas
completely rejected what had already, supposedly, been accepted by his
own negotiator. He wasn't willing to show any flexibility on the Jewish
state issue, and the idea of excluding any clear reference to a
Palestinian capital in Jerusalem seemed like political suicide.
The anger Abbas expressed at the American framework caught Kerry by
surprise: After all, these were all ideas his supposed negotiator was
discussing with Molho. Realizing he had a problem with Abbas, Kerry
tried to convince Netanyahu to tilt some of the provisions in Abbas's
direction. But the Israeli Prime Minister was not having it. "We already
agreed on these issues in the secret channel," he told the Secretary,
according to a former senior U.S. official.
"Bibi is angry at Kerry for
opening up understandings that everybody considered a done deal, just
because Abbas had changed his mind,” an Israeli Minister told me in
February. But a Palestinian official rebuffed this criticism, saying
that Abbas never changed his mind on anything: "He was presented with
positions that no Palestinian leader could ever accept, and that he
personally had spoken out against many times."
For some, it was
always clear that the positions presented by the supposed "Palestinian
negotiator" in this secret channel were totally unacceptable for Abbas.
Officials involved in the process admit in retrospect that there was too
much wishful thinking regarding the backchannel.
A major reason
for the skepticism of some people involved in the negotiations toward
this backchannel, had to do with Abbas's ostensible confidante. A number
of Israeli, American, and Palestinian officials claimed that it was a
miscalculation to assume this person would have authority to make
concessions on delicate issues. One senior Palestinian official told me
that those in the American and Israeli camps who thought otherwise were
A possibility that's not really considered here is that this was all an effort by the 'Palestinians' to see if Israel was bluffing. They never intended to make any concessions but they wanted to see if Israel would. Now, they will pocket the concessions made in the 'back channel' and insist that the 'negotiations' start from there the next time.
Sounds like a recipe for disaster.
Labels: Abu Mazen, Binyamin Netanyahu, Dennis Ross, John Kerry, Martin Indyk, Middle East peace process, Yitzchak Molho
And they lived happily ever after...
Labels: Islam, Saudi Arabia
Abu Bluff opposes BDS?
Labels: Abu Mazen, BDS, South Africa
Sarkozy comes out against French recognition of 'Palestine'
Former French President Nicolas Sarkozy has come out against
a measure that is to be voted on in the French parliament next week calling for the unilateral recognition of 'Palestine.'
Sarkozy condemned the unilateral measure,
which is set to be presented for a parliamentary vote on December 2, in
the wake of the “heinous and bloody” Har Nof terror attack last week in
which five Israelis were killed.
“I will fight for the Palestinians to have
their state. But unilateral recognition a few days after a deadly attack
and when there is no peace process? No!” he said at a political rally.
Sarkozy said he would never accept a resolution that would “call into question the security of Israel.”
“This is the fight of my life,” he said.
France’s plans for a non-binding but highly
symbolic vote follows similar resolutions passed by the British and
Spanish parliaments, and an official decision to recognize Palestine by
the Swedish government.
Sweden’s move infuriated Israel which responded by recalling its ambassador to Stockholm.
Don't these European countries have anything better to do?
Labels: France, Nicolas Sarkozy, Palestine, Palestinian terrorism
Study: NY Times seven times more likely to criticize Israel than 'Palestinians'
A study done by CAMERA shows that the New York Times is seven times more likely to criticize Israel
than to criticize the 'Palestinians' and twice as likely to publish opinion pieces that promote the 'Palestinian' narrative than the Israeli one.
The analysis, which examined staff columns and guest Op-Eds
during the year period from Oct. 5, 2013 through Oct. 4, 2014, considers
the 75 opinion pieces that focused on Israel or the Palestinians. Of
those, 31 were either predominantly critical of Israel or sympathetic to
Palestinians; 14 were either predominantly critical of Palestinians or
sympathetic to Israel; the remaining 30 did not predominantly criticize
or support one side over the other, although they often suggested a
moral equivalence between Israel and Hamas by criticizing both in
roughly equal measure.
(While moral equations between Israel, a liberal democracy, and
Hamas, an internationally designated terror organization, are often and
understandable viewed as anti-Israel, for the purpose of this study
articles that equate those two parties are considered neutral. However,
articles that equate Hamas and Israel while casting the Palestinian
Authority as the one reasonable, moderate party are categorized as
primarily sympathetic to Palestinians/critical of Israelis.)
As tensions rose in Israel and Gaza, the lopsidedness became
even more pronounced. From June 12, the day three Israeli teens were
kidnapped and killed, through Aug. 26, when Israel and Hamas reached a
cease-fire agreement, the newspaper published three times as many
opinion pieces predominantly critical of Israel or sympathetic to
Palestinians as those critical of Palestinians or sympathetic to Israel —
3 vs. 9.
In practice this means, for example, that after the murder of three
Israeli Jewish teens and the subsequent murder of an Arab teen, readers
were exposed to "A Mother's Fear in East Jerusalem," an emotional,
first-person account by an Arab mother about her worries about her son's
safety, which she used as a hook to argue that "the world must hold the
Israeli government accountable for its actions"; but those same readers
are left unexposed to the fears and feelings of Jewish mothers, even
though it is them and their sons who most often are targeted in acts of
The discrepancy fits with the recent admission
by a New York Times
opinion editor that the newspaper chooses to shy away from scrutiny of
Palestinians. Opinion editor Matt Seaton, who was commenting on Twitter
about his department's decision to publish three Op-Eds alleging Israeli
racism in three consecutive months, asserted
that The Times
does not intend to publish pieces about Palestinian racism until the Palestinians have a "sovereign state."
While none of this is shocking to anyone who follows the Times, the fact that studies like this one are nowhere to be found in the legacy media is mind-boggling.
Read the whole thing
Labels: anti-Israel media bias, CAMERA, New York Times
What could go wrong?
The so-called 'gap' in construction labor could be filled in by employers voluntarily paying living wages so that Jews would be more likely to be willing to fill the positions in question. That would be the best scenario. It's not like the construction contractors are starving.
It could also be filled with legal temporary residence permits for people from countries with little or no history of overstaying visas (e.g. Philippines and Thailand).
Allowing Gazans to work here opens a Pandora's box for terrorism that has largely been closed for the last 12-14 years.
In the meantime, the Histadrut Labor Federation (think of the AFL-CIO, the Teamsters and the Mafia all rolled into one) has started a campaign to raise the minimum wage, which would only drive the cost of employment in the construction industry up further and increase the salaries that would be demanded by manual labor-averse Jews, ensuring that no one other than Arabs would take the positions for the salaries offered.
This is crazy.
What could go wrong?
Labels: Histadrut, illegal immigration, Israeli economy
Who is killing Israelis/'Palestinians'?
There's a difference between how the deaths of Israelis and the deaths of 'Palestinians' are being reported in the international media. And it's an important difference that indicates bias.
Let's go to the videotape (Hat Tip: Tzippy Yarom
Labels: anti-Israel media bias, CNN lies, Honest Reporting
The first thing we do: We blame the Joooz
(Hat Tip: The Beguiling Avigayil
- Child #1 Daughter #1).
What the Newton public schools pro-'Palestinian' education has brought
There's a lot of outrage over this report
about the public schools in Newton, Mass., the town in which I grew up.
Parents groups are up in arms after a recent report found public
schools in Newton, Massachusetts presented whitewashed versions of Hamas
and Palestinian Authority (PA) charters, as well as other materials
posing the destruction of Israel as acceptable.
The findings were made through an investigation of classroom materials by the independent watchdog group Verity Educate, which discovered "repeated
instances of bias against Israel, bias against the US and its actions
in the Middle East, and bias that sanitizes the ideology and actions of
Parents for Excellence in Newton Schools (PENS), which took part in
the research, on Sunday released a statement demanding action over the
issue and detailing just how serious the school materials were.
In one case, students were given a modified version of the Hamas
charter, in which references to genocide were removed and the word "Jew"
was replaced with "Israeli" to sanitize the terrorist group's murderous
I wonder how growing up in the Newton public schools influenced this New York Times reporter
Labels: Jodi Rudoren, Newton South High School, Palestinian education to hatred, Palestinian propaganda
Michele Flournoy decides she doesn't want to be Defense Secretary either
Michele Flournoy has decided that she doesn't want to be US Secretary of Defense
either (Hat Tip: Memeorandum
in a letter
Tuesday to members of the CNAS board of directors, Flournoy said she
remain in her post at the think tank and asked Obama to take her out of
consideration to be the next secretary of defense. Flournoy told the
members that family health considerations helped drive her decision and
the fact that two of her children are leaving for college in the next
"Last night I spoke with President Obama and removed myself from
consideration due to family concerns," reads the letter. "After much
agonizing, we decided that now was not the right time for me to reenter
government. The good news is that you all are stuck with me for the
The move means that only
one of the three names rumored for the post remains under consideration: Ashton
Carter, the former deputy secretary of defense. When Hagel was ousted Monday,
speculation had immediately turned to Flournoy, Carter, and Democratic
Sen. Jack Reed of Rhode Island, a former Army Ranger. But Reed took himself out
of the running almost immediately after Hagel announced his resignation.
I wonder whether the history of Obama's Secretaries of Defense
had any influence on Flournoy's decision.
Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) on Monday suggested Hagel had vented “frustration” to him over his treatment by the White House.
steady stream of stories in recent weeks that suggested Hagel was
having a difficult time penetrating the president’s inner circle carried
echoes of Robert Gates and Leon Panetta, two past Defense secretaries
who went on to write tell-all books critical of the president’s handling
of defense policy.
Former Democratic aide Brent Budowsky said
Democrats across the Capitol saw Hagel’s ouster as the latest example of
“unprecedented” drama created by “too tight and too controlling of an
He noted that not only had each of the president’s
previous Defense secretaries voiced concern over his Syria policy, so
had former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
“This is going to
precipitate a very visible battle beginning today and going through the
confirmation of his successor about what the policy should be, and
highlight the long-term and chronic internal disagreement,” said
Budowsky, who is a columnist for The Hill.
Other defense experts say Hagel was not particularly close with the president or members of his national security team.
had no relationships that were already established within this
administration," said a retired military officer with current policy
experience in Washington, who wanted to speak on background.
retired officer noted that Hagel is also older than the president's
closest advisers, such as Rice and chief of staff Denis McDonough.
"The generational difference was a really difficult thing," he said.
Labels: Barack Hussein Obama, Chuck Hagel, John McCain, Leon Panetta, Michele Flournoy, Robert Gates
Remembering the martyrs
As you might recall, a week ago tonight, I attended a memorial
at Maimonides school in Brookline, Mass. for Rabbi Moshe Twersky HY"D (May God Avenge his blood), one of four holy men who were murdered during their morning prayers at Kehillat Bnei Torah in the Har Nof neighborhood of Jerusalem last Tuesday morning. The shiva (seven-day mourning period) for these four men ended on Monday morning, and this evening, Tuesday, I was part of an overflow crowd that spent more than three hours (plus extra time just to get into the synagogue) one floor up from where the terror attack took place, listening to eulogies for those four and praying for five other men who are still hospitalized, many of them still in serious condition.
I won't give you a lot of details of what was said, but I will tell you that I started crying when Rav Yitzchak Mordechai Rubin shlita (May he live for long days and years), the shul's rabbi, brought the story from the Talmud (Gittin 57) of Hannah and her seven sons who were martyred for refusing the Roman emperor's command to bow to an idol, and how she told the last son to go find our forefather Abraham in Heaven and tell him that while he, Abraham, had only offered to make one altar with a son for God (Akeidath Yitzchak, the binding of Isaac), she, Hannah, had made seven altars. Rav Rubin then instructed the four martyrs to go to Abraham and tell him that the synagogue had made four altars for God....
I have an update from Rebbetzin Tzipora Helle
r, which I would like to share with you (Hat Tip: Mrs. Carl
The men who died in Kehillas Bnei Torah died as they lived; they were dedicated to living with emunah, faith in God, and beginning their days with dedication. They were killed for not being Muslim. When my daughter Miri received the call from the hospital social worker telling her to get to Hadassah hospital as soon as possible and not to come alone, it was one of the worst moments that anyone could experience. All four people in the car spent the 20-minute ride saying all of the variations of "I can't believe that this can be happening. It sounds terrible" that you can possibly imagine. When we were allowed into the recovery room to see Shmuli after his initial surgery, there were no tears; we were too shell-shocked. It takes only seconds to assume a new sort of normal.
When I asked the nurse about the trickle of blood that I saw flowing out of Shmuli's ear, she told me that they were able to control the majority of the flow, and that this isn't really significant. When they do the second surgery they'll take care of it. The answer sounded reasonable and left me feeling relieved. I had accepted that blood coming out of a man's head was normal, and that a second surgery was something to look forward to. I don't know what Miri was thinking, but the one thing that I know never crossed her mind or mine was regret.
Neither of us wished that he would have stayed home from the synagogue that Tuesday morning any more than Sunday or Monday. Neither of us wished that my grandson Mordechai would be the kind of kid who doesn't like to go to shul with his dad. We both know that the villain of the story isn't the coincidences of time and place that led them to be in Kehillas Bnei Torah Tuesday morning. The villain is the man with the cleaver and the man with the gun.
They are the stars of the tragedy but you can't let yourself be blind to the fact that they are supported by a cast of thousands. The countless kids who are taught hatred from their earliest youth for anyone who isn't them. The kadi in the mosque who spews out Itbach al Yahud (kill the Jews) in his Friday sermon after duly praising Allah the Compassionate. There are bit players in the ongoing drama. They have made the media the message, and the subtle and not so subtle anti-Semitism disguised pathological hatred for Israel all deserve billing.
Neither Miri nor I thought about them at the moment. We were both aware of something much bigger, more real than the ongoing soap opera called Them against Us. It's called faith in God, Who can turn things around in a moment, and whose Will isn't known to us but His ongoing kindness is. It was the only thing that mattered in the recovery room.
Read the whole thing
As I was leaving the synagogue this evening, I noticed a handwritten sign on the wall. It asked in Hebrew and English that anyone who has a freezer from R. Aryeh Kopinsky HY"D's Gmach
should call a certain number.
May God Have mercy on the families of all the victims, and give them the strength to continue.
Labels: Jerusalem, Palestinian terrorism, terror victims
Oh my: Times' public editor all but admits Matti Friedman was right
You will recall that over the summer, I blogged a Tablet Magazine article in which former AP Jerusalem reporter Matti Friedman accused the international media of institutional bias against Israel
. Now, New York Times public editor Margaret Sullivan has admitted that many of Friedman's allegations were correct
Perhaps the most eye-opening tidbit of the
piece is Sullivan’s disclosure that “The Times has no native Arabic
speakers in its [Jerusalem] bureau.” This, she notes, can make it
difficult for the paper to adequately cover Palestinians in all their
complexity. It’s a concern Matti Friedman raised in his widely shared
Tablet critique of
media coverage of Israel, which Sullivan cites in her column. “If you
follow mainstream coverage, you will find nearly no real analysis of
Palestinian society or ideologies, profiles of armed Palestinian groups,
or investigation of Palestinian government,” Friedman wrote.
“Palestinians are not taken seriously as agents of their own fate … Who
they are and what they want is not important: The story mandates that
they exist as passive victims of the party that matters.”
Sullivan picks up where Friedman left off, and recommends that the Times invest in beefing up its investigation of Palestinians:
Diversify. Strengthen the coverage of Palestinians. They
are more than just victims, and their beliefs and governance deserve
coverage and scrutiny. Realistic examinations of what’s being taught in
schools, and the way Hamas operates should be a part of this. What is
the ideology of Hamas; what are its core beliefs and its operating
principles? What is Palestinian daily life like? I haven’t seen much of
this in The Times. There should be a native Arabic speaker on staff who
can penetrate Palestinian society with understanding and solid news
Here are some of Sullivan's other recommendations
Include more. Provide as much historical and geopolitical context as
possible in individual articles, within the space constraints of news
coverage. Include, too, whenever possible, a sense of the region – for
example, that the rise of radical Islam is not a distant issue for
Israel but a very real one and a very local one.
Stop straining for symmetry. In headlines, in side-by-side photos, in
photo galleries, the Times sometimes looks like it is running scared.
Maybe this is just an excess of sensitivity, but it doesn’t reflect the
core value of news judgment above all.
So can someone please explain why the Times chose not to cover
John Kerry's blaming 'Palestinian' incitement for last week's terror attack in Har Nof?
Labels: anti-Israel media bias, John Kerry, New York Times, Palestinian incitement, Palestinian terrorism