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Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Bret Stephens: Egypt's Prison of Hate - You know a country is in trouble when it blames shark attacks on the Mossad. - '... even if Egypt's leaders don't believe the preposterous anti-Israel and anti-Semitic conspiracy theories that circulate in their streets and newspapers, they are increasingly becoming prisoners of those theories. It's a trap with two sides: On the one hand, the regime understands that hatred of Israel remains the string that binds an unhappy and increasingly fractious country together, and it has been perfectly happy to allow an otherwise censored media free rein in this department. On the other, the regime has to pay the increasingly steep political price of allying itself with Israel, as it essentially did in the 2006 war in Lebanon and the 2009 war in Gaza...' | # | (0) | Share

Monday, January 3, 2011

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Looking Back at an Eclipsed Earth Explanation: Here is what the Earth looks like during a solar eclipse. The shadow of theMoon can be seen darkening part ofEarth. This shadow moved across the Earth at nearly 2000 kilometers per hour. Only observers near the center of the dark circle see a total solar eclipse - others see a partial eclipse where only part of the Sun appears blocked by the Moon. This spectacular picture of the 1999 August 11 solar eclipse was one of the last ever taken from the Mir space station. The two bright spots that appear on the upper left are thought to be Jupiter and Saturn. Mir was deorbited in a controlled re-entry in 2001.

Now it emerges why the Palestinian Authority wouldn't release the medical records of Jawaher Abu Rahma, allegedly killed by tear gas (!) at the weekly Bilin riot. They were lying: Story about Woman Killed by Tear Gas is a Hoax, Says IDF

The IDF shot down an ugly Arab hoax Monday, after it had already been propagated worldwide. The Nana-Channel 10 website reported that a military investigation found that the woman who supposedly died when she inhaled tear gas at a demonstration Friday was not even present at the that protest. She did not die of tear gas inhalation but of cancer, the IDF found, and had been lying in a hospital bed for ten days before passing away.

Arabs and leftists propagated the story that the woman, Jawaher Abu Rahma, 36, had inhaled tear gas at the weekly riot at Bilin, in Samaria. Adding pathos to the story was the allegation that she was the sister of an Arab who was killed in Bilin in 2009 after being struck by a tear gas canister.

The Palestinian Authority was quick to seize upon the story for lambasting Israel. "We condemn this abominable crime by the Israeli occupation army in Bilin against people taking part in a peaceful demonstration and consider it an Israeli war crime against our people," chief PA negotiator Saeb Erakat told AFP.

However, the IDF has now found that Jawahel Abu Rahma died of leukemia or lung cancer, and had been in Ramallah hospital for ten days before passing away. The story was a fabrication intended to delegitimize Israel, the IDF said...

Jameel has a very interesting report from an IDF conference call on the subject, here.

Carl also reports back on this bit of "opportunistic martyrdom".

Also Elder: "Tear gas death" was a hoax

Pure Pallywood.

Update: A reader sends in this academic snippet about cancer in Arab society, as to why this may still figure in to the shame narrative and may go to explaining why not all the girl's family may not have known of her sickness:

"Among the East Jerusalem Arab population, cancer is accompanied by a sense of shame and fear of genetic transmittance. Secrecy prevails as knowledge of the patient's sickness among the wider society might harm family members' marriage prospects. Keeping the secret is related to society's expectation of the individual to remain calm, suffer quietly, not show signs of weakness and protect the family's interests. Concealment makes it difficult for patients to seek and receive external help, especially through participation in support groups."

Hanan Qasem
Selected Issues in Palliative Care among East Jerusalem Arab Residents
Asian Pacific J Cancer Prev, 11, MECC Supplement, 121-123
Selected Issues in Palliative Care among East Jerusalem Arab Residents
Oncology Day Care Unit & Social Work Coordinator, Breast Cancer Services Shaare Zedek Medical Center, Jerusalem, Israel

Update2: J.E. Dyer calls Abu Rahma "The Palestinian Tawana Brawly." Good one.

Continue reading "Arab Woman "Killed" by Teargas Probably Died of Cancer - The Abu Rahma Hoax"

[By Barry Rubin, crossposted from The Rubin Report.]

On this the first working day of 2011 in the Western world, go read Melanie Phillips in her analysis of what's going on in the world. While she focuses on the demonization of Israel and the bizarre distortion of Middle East realities in the West, her argument applies across the board to the internal debate in Western democracies today.

In short, as in the title of her book, this can be described as turning things upside down, creating a counter-reality based on emotion over facts and the belief that privileged groups can be said to be always right whatever they do because of past claimed victim status. This new way of looking at the world throws out the window all of the logical, pragmatic, and democratic concepts that have made the West so successful.

Continue reading "How to Start 2011: Melanie Phillips, George Orwell--and, I Hope, Myself--Explain It All to You"

[By Ira Sharkansky, via email.]

The Israel-Palestinian conflict is at least a century old, although it was not described clearly in its present terms before 1948, or perhaps 1967. It has had periods of sporadic violence, organized mayhem,and most recently a campaign of Palestinians and their friends to achieve politically what they could not obtain with violence. It is not clear if their motives are the complete destruction of Israel, or only what they say in the international languages about 1967 borders, a capital in Jerusalem, and the refugees' rights of return.

One must always be modest about predicting the future, but it may well be too late for any of what the Palestinians want.

Continue reading "Ira Sharkansky: Where are we?"

Notorious Israel and America hater Norman Finkelstein has an interesting speaking engagement planned for March:

Date: March 15, 2011

Place: Cabot Auditorium, Fletcher School, Tufts University

Time: 7 PM

Sponsors, Tufts SJP, New Initiatives for Middle East Peace (NIMEP), Tufts Arab Students Association, Tufts J Street

Contact: Jack.Irmas@Tufts.edu; (310) 701-7705

This would come as no surprise as Tufts' Jewish pro-Israel stance has a checkered past. Current J Street spokesperson Amy Spitalnick is a Tufts alum and was seen protesting Daniel Pipes as a student.

For those who need a reminder of the sort of creature Norman Finkelstein, let us recall the spectacle of him virtually on his knees begging Hizballah to go to war against Israel.

If true, this would be one of J Street's most odious associations to date, and that's really saying something.

J Street national must be flipping, Here's Spitalnick on twitter:

Tufts J Street U's name used w/o knowledge or permission. Not involved w Finkelstein event, asking for name to be removed.

So the questions: Did Finkelstein make it up? Did a J Street U'er at Tufts give the go ahead and is now getting a lecture from his betters? What gives? Expect a story of interesting implications however it shakes out.

Jackson Diehl: Obama Dangerously Silent on Human Rights - 'In a speech to the U.N. General Assembly last September Barack Obama suggested that his administration's notoriously weak defense of human rights around the world would be invigorated. "We will call out those who suppress ideas and serve as a voice for those who are voiceless," he said. He went on to urge other democracies: "Don't stand idly by, don't be silent, when dissidents elsewhere are imprisoned and protestors are beaten."...' | # | (0) | Share
Palestinian Media Watch: The Palestinian Authority is like Europe says visiting journalist from Dubai on PA TV - '"I felt like I was in Europe," said a news reader from Dubai to PA TV, describing her surprise at the quality of life during her visit to the Palestinian Authority city of Ramallah. She explained that her incorrect impressions were because the news reporting likes to focus on bad news: "Bad news is good news," for the media, and "if someone dies, or something is destroyed, then that's newsworthy," she said. Having been witness to only negative reporting about life in the Palestinian areas, the Palestinian journalist who has been living in Dubai added: "I didn't expect to find you alive." But she found life in the PA to be different from the media image and felt as if in Europe...' | # | (0) | Share

[By Daniel Greenfield, crossposted from Sultan Knish.]

Headlines in New York papers are blaring once again that Islamophobia is up. Up and rising. Statistics released by the state's Division of Criminal Justice Services reveals that Islamophobic bias attacks are up by a whopping 15 percent.

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15 percent that does sound like a lot. And by a lot, I mean that they've gone up from 8 incidents in 2008 to 11 in 2009. That's right, that whopping "15 percent" is actually an increase of 3 incidents. To put this into context, in 2008 there were 219 attacks targeting Jews. And in 2009, that number went up to 251. And here's some more context. That same report shows that Anti-Multi-Religious Groups attacks went up from 3 to 11 incidents in that same year. That's a much steeper spike which brings us to the same number as the so-called Islamophobic attacks. And yet you don't see the media trumpeting those numbers. But when there are more bias attacks by people who can't figure out which religion they hate more, than anti-Muslim attacks, it's safe to say that there is no Islamophobia crisis. Continue reading "The Muslim Elephant in the Room of Tolerance"

Christian Science Monitor: Freedom of religion equals lack of democracy - 'The Christian Science Monitor, never a friend to Israel, is contributing to the delegitimization of Israel by asking whether or not Israel is a democracy. The premise for this article, which is included in the CSM's year-end list section, uses spurious examples of actions by individuals and one proposed law to present a provably false case that Israel is cracking down on Arab citizens' rights. Note the scary headline and subhead...' | # | (0) | Share
A Case Study in the Goldstone Report's Fundamental Dishonesty - '...When you contrast that with the panel's handling of the attack on the policemen, the methodology becomes clear: when Palestinians claim someone is a civilian, they are believed. But when Palestinians claim someone is a combatant, they are disbelieved. In short, Palestinians are always innocent victims, no matter what. It's hard to imagine a more dishonest methodology than that. This same axiom led Goldstone to conclude that fewer than 300 of the Palestinians killed were combatants, even though Hamas's own interior minister recently admitted that Israel's figure, of about 700 combatants, was in fact accurate...' | # | (0) | Share

[By Adam Levick, crossposted from CiF Watch.]

We just came across this little nugget of information from a site called Views of the World.

To understand how British people perceive the events on the globe, one can look at how frequently a country has been mentioned in major news stories. The following maps do exactly this by visualising the number of news items on the website of the British Newspaper The Guardian (data derived from their Data store).

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One region of the world certainly seems bit, well, enlarged doesn't it? Just for the sake of comparison:

Continue reading "The Guardian's Israel Obsession in One Image"

Sunday, January 2, 2011

[By Geary, crossposted from CiF Watch.]

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OxFam's Israel Boycott Poster: "The Fruits of Israel Taste Bitter. Refuse the Occupation of Palestine: Don't Buy Israeli Fruits or Vegetables"

It is an open secret that several of even the mainstream "high street" charities and NGOs long ago morphed into political associations.

One area where this is most obvious is environmentalism. According to War on Want, the only way to fight climate change (and presumably everything else they don't like) is to smash capitalism.

Dr Patrick Moore, co-founder of Greenpeace, has often expressed his utter dismay at this process of politicisation:

"The environmental movement I helped found has lost its objectivity, morality and humanity."

His words are echoed by other experts in the field of human development:

Activists who've never had to worry about starvation, malaria and simple survival have no right to impose their fears, prejudices and ideologies on the world's poor.

(CS Prakash, Professor of plant genetics)

Stewart Brand, one-time Green guru, describes in his book Whole Earth Discipline: An Ecopragmatist Manifesto the infiltration of his field in the 90s by far-left ideologues, refugees from the lost Cold War who saw environmentalism as a new way of attacking the west and its economic system.

Continue reading "Charity begins with home truths: Secrets, lies and donations"

[By Barry Rubin, crossposted from The Rubin Report.]

Hey, boys and girls! Notice how we keep finding out more and more about the corruption of the Ground Zero mosque project and its chief sponsors? Well, now we discover that the whole thing received a lot of secret help from NY City's mayor and government to ensure it was approved even though--on purely legal and financial grounds--that was a questionable decision.

The mayor's office says that the project received only normal help. Wow, I'll bet a lot of New York developers would be amazed at that statement. But let's never forget that this project, budgeted at far over $100 million, has no serious money raised!

Continue reading "J Street AND Ground Zero Mosque Corrupt? Imagine That!"

[By Vic Rosenthal, crossposted from FresnoZionism.]

News item:

BILIN, Palestinian Territories (AFP) -- A Palestinian woman died after being teargassed by Israeli troops at a West Bank protest, sparking a protest in Tel Aviv on Saturday and drawing Palestinian talk of "a war crime."

Jawaher Abu Rahma, 36, died in hospital in the occupied West Bank city of Ramallah after collapsing on Friday during a protest against the Israeli separation barrier in the nearby village of Bilin, hospital staff said.

The army said that an "investigation has been opened to determine the exact cause of death," and that it had "unsuccessfully contacted the Palestinian Authority [PA] to obtain a medical report."

PA Prime Minister Salam Fayyad, was also at the "protest" -- a weekly gathering of hundreds of Palestinian Arabs, Israeli extremists and international activists who attempt to destroy the security barrier.

Continue reading "Another tragic death -- but who is responsible?"

[By Barry Rubin, crossposted from The Rubin Report.]

One should not generalize in describing European states. Still, the case of the Netherlands shows interesting points regarding both attitudes toward Israel and Islam.

Let's start with the Israel issue. I've been closely following the new Dutch government, formed after an election in which 55 percent of the voters supported explicitly pro-Israel parties.

When the new foreign minister Uri Rosenthal was asked about the country's policy toward Israel by the extremist (and virulently hostile) Green Left party, he replied that he thinks it's necessary to develop further the relationship with Israel because the right to exist of Israel, the only democracy in the region, is still put in doubt by some nations and groups. "The Netherlands want to push back against attempts of delegitimizing Israel. Israel's right to exist must be very clear and Israel should should feel supported in this by the international community."

Continue reading "What's Happening in Europe: Holland As A Case Study on Islam and Israel"

[By Vic Rosenthal, crossposted from FresnoZionism.]

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Details here.

I am always surprised at the lack of understanding of the idea of Zionism. It's really simple: it's the movement for national self-determination of the Jewish people in the land of Israel. Unlike some national movements, it does not declare that the Jewish people is superior to other peoples.

Continue reading "Moty & Udi and Zionist Potter"

[By Daniel Greenfield, crossposted from Sultan Knish.]

It is often forgotten that one of the causes of the evolution of the modern American urban union was the lawless suppression of workers by Democratic party affiliated political machines, and yet it did not take so very long before the union became an outgrowth of that same political machine. And having wiped out nearly every independent industry with which it was associated, the only unions still surviving are those in control of either municipal services or state subsidized service providers, particularly in the medical field.

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If the union began as a way to negotiate salaries and working conditions between employers and workers, the modern day union is often little more than governments and their union supporters bleeding the public dry in order to subsidize a political party and a union leadership that brings in the votes for that party. The situation is most critical in California, but many state and city budgets are almost as badly strained by the combination of municipal union contracts and the subsidized services that they are associated with. Continue reading "Who Will Protect the People from the Unions?"

When Menachem Met Margaret - '...In 1979, Begin signed a peace treaty with Egypt, returning land exceeding the size of Israel. He offered Palestinians a quasi-state autonomy; they rejected it. Thirty years later, we know, five times over, that settlements were not an obstacle to peace; to the contrary, their removal in Gaza resulted in a new rocket war. In the West Bank, a holdover regime wants a state but repeatedly turns one down; refuses to recognize a Jewish state; insists that Israel retreat to the indefensible 1967 lines; demands a "right of return" to delegitimize it demographically; and demands compensation for Arab refugees from the 1948 war the Arabs commenced, but not for the larger number of Jewish refugees from Arab countries. The appropriate word for this collection of positions is "absurd."' | # | (0) | Share
Julian Assange: Western Conspiracy at UN against Ahmadinejad over the Holocaust & Jews - '...In a combined effort, it really seems that Wikileaks are re-packaging the principled walkout at the UN against an anti-Semitic discourse, as if it were a Western conspiracy designed to stop Ahmadinejad talking about "important matters". This must not carry on.' | # | (0) | Share

Saturday, January 1, 2011

[By Lee Kaplan of StoptheISM.]

Academic leader Leon Botstein knowingly allows Hamas-support group to use campus facilities and money to aid terror front group ISM

Bard College is a small idyllic liberal arts college located near Annendale-on-the-Hudson in New York State. A shining star for Bard is supposedly its campus president, one Leon Botstein, Botstein has been the President of Bard College for the past seventeen years, a base from which he promotes his dual careers as an educator and music conductor. Botstein is also Jewish, born in Switzerland and the grandson of victims who died in the Holocaust. He is presently the second string conductor for the Jerusalem Philharmonic orchestra.

Botstein has decided to allow the International Solidarity Movement(ISM), a group that openly admits it works with State Department designated terrorist groups such as Hamas, the PFLP, and Palestinian Islamic Jihad, to set up shop on his campus using campus facilities and student activity money to train ISM activists to go to the West Bank and interfere with anti-terror operations of the Israeli army, as well as to act as human shields for Palestinian terror groups.

The ISM at Bard has actually invited Huwaida Arraf, a co-founder of the ISM and one of the main organizers of the Gaza Flotilla boats that continually try to run the Israeli navy's control of the sea lanes to Gaza to import weapons for Hamas. Arraf was invited to campus to do recruiting for ISM terrorism enablers once before and I alerted Botstein then, too, who did nothing about it. The Bard ISM campus group even recently raised money for the Gaza flotillas that included IHH, an al Qaeda-affiliated "charity" that was involved in the millennium bomb plot to blow up the LA airport in 2000. It is common knowledge the ISM organizes these flotillas in order to try to enable the Iranians to run weapons to the Hamas to attack Israeli civilians on Israel's southern border with rockets and mortars. Photos are available of ISM activists receiving medals from Hamas leaders in Gaza.

Continue reading "The Cowardice and lies of Bard College's President"

Robin Shepherd: New Year slaughter of Christians in Egypt shows we're all in it together against Islamism - 'It will be interesting to observe the international response following last night's slaughter of at least 21 Christians by Islamists outside a Church in Alexandria, Egypt. If it had been the other way around (heaven forfend that it had been carried out by Jews) there would have been mass protests around the world, condemnations from leading politicians and, given that this comes on the heels of other such massacres, could well have ended up with a resolution at the United Nations...' | # | (0) | Share
BBC: Egypt Bomb Kills 21 at Alexandria Coptic Church - 'At least 21 people have been killed at a Egyptian church in an explosion which officials have blamed on a suicide bomber with foreign links. More than 70 others were injured in the attack, during a new year's service at the al-Qiddissin (Saints) Church in the northern port city of Alexandria. Coptic Christians and Muslims clashed after the attack, but police moved in and used tear gas to restore order...' | # | (0) | Share

Lynn points out this excellent essay in the JPost, a message from Israel's Jews to the diaspora's: The gloves are off. Where is criticism OK, and where does the line get stepped over? Green has some advice. Here's a snip, but read it all:

...What is the motivation behind this need for public criticism? This is a very important factor in the debate. I can castigate a friend or sibling if I believe her behavior to be selfish or unreasonable, but if I do so in public, I will only humiliate and wound her. I would be mad to think that making her look ridiculous in front of others, and permanently damaging their perception of her is going to produce good results. In fact, I would only do such a thing if my friend's wellbeing were not the primary object. I might want to hurt her and put her down for complicated reasons of my own.

I speak for myself and many other Israelis when I say that for us, public criticism by UK Jews is suspect. For one, your call for "openness" has escalated at exactly the same rate as the delegitimization and demonization of Israel by the British establishment. This vindictive ostracizing of Israel has resulted in an extreme lowering of comfort levels for the Jewish community, as we've agreed. But should it result in your shouting to join that vindictiveness? And if you join in, does it increase your status and respectability in British society? My feeling is that it certainly does. So you'll forgive me if I doubt the integrity of your backing the shrill accusations of the British government and media...

...if you would like to criticize Israel as much as you like, then I, by the same token, will feel free to criticize you as much as I like. We will call this new way of relating "tough love."

We will use the two-directional model, instead of Diaspora Jews behaving as if their criticism is a lifesaving antibiotic, which Israel, the ever truculent child, refuses to swallow...

J. Christian Adams: Eric Holder's 'Made-Up' Defense - 'He claims that the New Black Panther case is a "made up controversy." Holder would be well-advised to retreat from this position. Too many stories, too many incidents are known by too many people...' | # | (0) | Share
African Migrants to Israel - 'There have been reports over the past week or so of Eritrean and other African refugees attempting the journey to Israel and being held hostage by Arab traders in the Sinai desert. According to the Italian-based human rights organisation EveryOne, the trafficking is under the control of Hamas. Now BBC correspondent Rupert Wingfield-Hayes travels across the Sinai to meet with the people-traffickers and some of their victims. He makes no mention of any Hamas connection, referring rather to Bedouin smugglers...' | # | (0) | Share

[By Ben Cohen, crossposted from The Propagandist.]

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I normally don't respond to my critics because if I did, I'd scarcely have the time to do anything else. But, as I'll explain, I have to make an exception in the case of As'ad Abu Khalil, a Political Science Professor at California State University and the author of a rather sordid little blog called the Angry Arab News Service.

Abu Khalil, seen here in a picture which may serve as a warning about the misuse of hair restoration products, berates me for my latest piece - published here in The Propagandist and on The Huffington Post - about Al Akhbar, a Lebanese newspaper with a Strasserite editorial line: anti-American, anti-capitalist and viciously antisemitic.

Abu Khalil, whom I have never met and never corresponded with, wants his readers to believe that I have no knowledge of Marx's oeuvre (dude, don't get into that with me - I really do.) And he's also spitting rage that a "Zionist hoodlum" like me - don't you just love that deliciously retro, Soviet term of abuse? - should criticize an Arab newspaper when I don't read Arabic.

It's that last point which has triggered my decision to respond. Abu Khalil is right. I don't read Arabic and I'd like to explain why. In 1941, my father's family was ethnically cleansed from Iraq in the wake of the farhud, a pogrom against Baghdad's Jewish community instigated by similarly "angry Arabs," allied with the Nazis and spurred on by the notorious Mufti of Jerusalem, Hajj Amin al-Husseini, which resulted in hundreds of deaths and injuries and destroyed homes. Had it not been for that event - painstakingly documented in Edwin Black's superb book on the subject - my mother tongue would have been Arabic.

Hence my desire to set the record straight. And now I'll move on.

[By Ira Sharkansky, via email.]

While I do not claim expertise in the history or politics of Great Britain, my impression is that the Munich Agreement of 1938, involving Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain and Hitler (" . . . peace with honour. I believe it is peace for our time.") is an icon of shame in that country. It represented great power pressure on the weak government of Czechoslovakia, and traded away part of another country's territory for the empty hope of peace. You find reference to the event under "appeasement" in the Oxford English Dictionary.

"Freely used in political contexts in the 20th century, and since 1938 often used disparagingly with allusion to the attempts at conciliation by concession made by Mr. Neville Chamberlain, the British Prime Minister, before the outbreak of war with Germany in 1939; by extension, any such policy of pacification by concession to an enemy."

The Economist is part of my Friday morning routine. I view it as the best news magazine in the English language. I usually excuse its tilt against Israel as not overly extreme, insofar as it is generally balanced with a reasonable assessment of Israel's options.

An article put on its website on December 29th, dealing with Israel, the Palestinians, and Barack Obama fell outside my parameters of tolerance. The Economist on this occasion is closer to the spirit of Neville Chamberlain than to that of Winston Churchill.

Continue reading "The Economist's Appeasement"

Friday, December 31, 2010

Patrick Poole: 2010: The Year of Islamist Infiltration - Appeasement and outreach are no match for the enemy's civilizational jihad. - '...While the domestic terror trend has continued unabated, elements of pre-violent, or rather stealth, jihad are taking firm root in our government, military, judicial, and educational institutions, without the slightest opposition from the Obama administration and our homeland security agencies. In fact, if we've seen anything this year, it has been the willingness of government officials to lend their support to aid this stealth jihad. The failure to recognize the "civilizational jihad" being waged against us is a bipartisan problem. Driven mainly by Muslim Brotherhood front groups and pushed by non-violent Islamist organizations in the West, the threat remains badly underrated by our national security establishment...' | # | (0) | Share

An expose in the Washington Times by Ben Birnbaum brings us more egg for the face of J Street's Jeremy Ben-Ami: Jewish group pays PR firm co-owned by its president - J Street 'self-dealing' seen as 'very messy'

The Middle East lobby J Street -- a tax-exempt 501(c)4 organization -- paid tens of thousands of dollars to a consulting firm co-owned by its founder and president, Jeremy Ben-Ami, according to internal documents obtained by The Washington Times.

The documents, including invoices sent to J Street, show that Ben-Or Consulting -- the Tel Aviv-based public-relations firm Mr. Ben-Ami co-founded in 1998 while living in Israel -- charged J Street at least $56,000 over a roughly six-month period.

Though Mr. Ben-Ami ceased a day-to-day managerial role with Ben-Or a decade ago, he remains a 15 percent shareholder in the company, according to the May 2010 Dun and Bradstreet listings, as well as current filings with the Israeli Ministry of Justice.

According to nonprofit analysts, Mr. Ben-Ami's stake creates a conflict of interest that runs afoul of ethical -- if not legal -- restrictions on acts of "self-dealing," in which an officer in a tax-exempt organization receives undue benefit from that organization's transactions.

"Even if it's technically legal, it gets very messy when you have these sorts of deals going on because, if you're going to benefit on the other end of it, be it 100 percent or 5 percent, it raises questions about objectivity and the arms' length in the transaction," said Ken Berger, president of Charity Navigator...

Read the rest.

[The following, by Barry Rubin, is crossposted from The Rubin Report.]

Israelis are known for being gloomy about the political situation. In fact, they generally enjoy criticizing things (themselves above all). As a result, Israel's enemies often make the mistake of underestimating the country's ability to endure, struggle, and prevail.

A typical example came in a recent Arab newspaper article that claims the serious fire in northern Israel was a sign of the country's collapse. Not so fast!

So when very positive economic figures are released for 2010, Haaretz, the left-wing newspaper, has to put its own spin on them.

Continue reading "Optimism, Israeli Style; Negativity on Israel, Western Style"

Cyprus: 'Turkey has no right to talk about international law' - 'PRESIDENT DEMETRIS Christofias yesterday hit back at Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu's comments on the Cyprus-Israel maritime agreement saying there was nothing in international law to justify his level of "cynicism and arrogance". The Turkish foreign minister had declared Cyprus' recent agreement with Israel on the delineation of their respective exclusive economic zones (EEZ) as null and void. Commenting on his remarks, Christofias said: "According to international law, the presence of the Turkish army in Cyprus is void and illegal therefore, neither the UN Charter nor international law can justify the level of Mr Davutoglu's cynicism and arrogance."...' | # | (0) | Share

[The following, by Vic Rosenthal, is crossposted from FresnoZionism.]

One of my earliest memories was of my grandfather sitting in his armchair, smoking his Camels and reading his Yiddish newspaper, the Forward (פֿאָרװערטס). It was a big deal in our neighborhood one day when he was elected to a post in The Union, and a tiny picture of him (with Camel, of course) appeared in its columns.

The Forward was always a socialist paper, but that was before this necessarily implied anti-Zionism. Today the Forward rarely misses an opportunity to dump on Israel. But I'm still shocked when what is supposed to be a responsible newspaper prints something which is obviously, demonstrably false:

Continue reading "Not My Grandfather's Camels"

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Bat Ye'or: Delegitimizing the Jewish State - '...the OIC's sustained effort to delegitimize the Jewish state has borne substantial fruit. Not only is Israel's right to exist constantly debated and challenged in Western public opinion forums, but sixty-three years after establishing the Jewish state in an internationally recognized act of self-determination, the United Nations has become a foremost purveyor of anti-Israel and anti-Semitic incitement...' | # | (0) | Share
Tom Friedman and friends: Sick of hearing about Israel - 'A senior official from the Israeli consulate in New York City was 'ambushed' by members of the New York Times editorial staff - including Tom Friedman - in what was supposed to be an off the record friendly chat. As the meeting started, the Times editors - most of them Jews, and one of them a former Israeli - began to attack the Israeli diplomat, and refused to give him even a moment to respond. They blamed Israel for everything, the diplomat told Israel Today...' | # | (0) | Share
Floyd Abrams: Why WikiLeaks Is Unlike the Pentagon Papers - 'Everyone knows that Daniel Ellsberg leaked top-secret government documents about the Vietnam War. How many remember the ones he kept secret, or why?...' | # | (0) | Share

[The following, by Barry Rubin, is crossposted from The Rubin Report.]

Since I have written about how easily fooled Western politicians, officials, journalists, and academics are by Middle Eastern radicals, I'm going to try to provide examples in a regular feature called Dopes of the Day. This is a good starting point. (Be sure to read this article to the end to find out about both Dopes of the Day.)

There is a newspaper in Lebanon called al-Akhbar. Curiously, while other newspapers are in decline or starved for funds, al-Akhbar is expanding. The New York Times reporter fell for the foolish notion that this newspaper is some model of independence and enterprise. In fact, it is not exactly a secret in Lebanon that it is a hard-line, Syrian backed newspaper that repeatedly slanders the moderate forces there as well as delivers propaganda for Hizballah. And that's where the money comes from.

So the Times is cheering a Syrian propaganda operation just as, not long ago, the Guardian went into rhapsodies about a supposedly wonderful publication in Turkey that is a front for the Islamists and producing false material that enabled the regime there to throw innocent people into prison on trumped-up charges of conspiring to overthrow the government.

Any serious investigation should have shown the true nature of al-Akhbar but the reporter couldn't even find anyone to quote on this point, apparently not even trying to produce a balanced article, much less an accurate one.

Continue reading "Dopes of the Day: Fooled by Syria...Twice"

It shouldn't be a surprise, but it always is. Richard Goldstone's defenders complain that his detractors a) Don't present any facts, and b) attack Goldstone in a personally abusive manner.

They do this by a) Showing they haven't independently examined the facts, nor do they present any, and b) attacking Goldstone's critics in as base an ad hominem manner as possible.

So goes the latest from Letty Cottin Pogrebin appearing in The Forward who plays precisely true to type. (Why The Forward is printing such tripe is an open question.) A book-length treatment is promised/threatened. Those who have been around for awhile, and followed the construction of the Understanding the Goldstone Report web site will understand how infuriating this is.

Elder of Ziyon unloads in The Forward comments:

I take personal offence to this article.

From the moment that Goldstone's report was released, I - along with other bloggers, prominent writers and others - have spent countless hours writing specific criticisms of the report. I personally wrote at least 25 articles on my blog cross-referencing Goldstone's assertions with reliable information available from other sources, proving Goldstone's pattern of bias and disregard for facts and international law.

I daresay that I read Goldstone's report with much greater care than Letty Cottin Pogrebin did.

To say that I and my fellow critics of Goldstone did not address the contents of the report is simply a lie. To say that we wanted to bury it is ridiculous - I quoted large swaths of the report in my articles. On the contrary, we wanted to highlight the report's lies and bias for the many people - including, sadly, most journalists - who themselves couldn't be bothered to actually read it.

I invite readers to look at the many weighty criticisms of Goldstone available at goldstonereport.org. I would invite Pogrebin to do the same, but it appears that she is guilty of what she accuses us - making false claims without actually reading the content.

Omri Ceren has a great treatment at Contentions: Goldstone Book Author: Critics Refuse to 'Discuss the Contents of the Report', and Carl in Jerusalem: The Forward lies in defense of St. Richard

Update: And don't miss this dump-truck full of substance from Daled Amos: Neither Letty Cottin Pogrebin Nor Goldstone Have Read The Rebuttals Of The Goldstone Report [h/t: SoccerDad]

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