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Goldstone recants — but does it matter?

Everyone has by now heard that Richard Goldstone has made a remarkable statement: that the conclusion of his eponymous report was wrong. In these words, he repudiates the primary blood libel of the report, that the intent of the IDF in Gaza was to punish Palestinian civilians for their support of Hamas:

Our report found evidence of potential war crimes and “possibly crimes against humanity” by both Israel and Hamas. That the crimes allegedly committed by Hamas were intentional goes without saying — its rockets were purposefully and indiscriminately aimed at civilian targets. Read More »

Posted in United Nations | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Radical Islam for Dummies

It would have been hard to find an American outside the 30-person congregation of Rev. Terry Jones who even knew that he burned a Koran last week. But thanks to the Internet, this nutcase was able to post a video on the Internet, with Arabic sub-titles, showing him burning a copy of the Koran.

The result, as we know, was riots in Afghanistan. The rioters in Mazar-e Shari, Afghanistan’s second largest city, left their mosque after the usual anti-Western diatribe delivered weekly from the pulpit there, and, with the assistance of Taliban exploiting the situation, attacked a UN compound killing seven of their employees. (As of this post, 20 have been killed and 80 injured as a result of the riots, a number which includes some of the rioters themselves). As far as I can tell, not one of those injured or killed was an American.

(Video of rioting. Listen at 0:57, you can hear the chant, “Mar al Yahud” – “Death to the Jews”) Read More »

Posted in Islam | Tagged , , , | 2 Responses
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Professors Call BS On Campus Anti-Israel Groups

At college campuses across the US, student organizations that attack Israel have become more and more active, and obnoxious, over the past decade. The members are drawn from some of the Moslem students and their far leftist companions. Most students are there to get an education, or at least get their degree ticket punched. While there’s little evidence these anti-Israel groups have much support, through their activism they load student governments and with their loud voices they usually dominate campus debates.

Over the past year or so, at many campuses Jewish groups have formed to counter this vileness. Others of sound minds have joined in.

The University of California, San Diego is one of the top-ranked academic campuses in the country. This week a group of professors joined together to call BS on the anti-Israel groups. Read More »

Posted in Campus Watching | Tagged , , , | 2 Responses

Foreign Donations to British Universities: Covert & Corrosive Ideological Influence

Oh! what a tangled web we weave
When first we practise to deceive!

(Sir Walter Scott, Marmion, 1808)

The recent publicity surrounding the acceptance of funding from the Libyan dictatorship by the London School of Economics, and the subsequent resignation of the university’s Director, brings once more into the spotlight an issue which has largely remained under the radar of public attention, despite the fact that there has been ample information on the subject available for some time. Read More »

Posted in Campus Watching | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Here’s Why The Contemporary Media Is So Bad

A reader asks me: But why is media reporting so bad (obviously with many honorable exceptions). I first wrote on this topic back in 1974. Then, however, the problems were traditional ones: the need to write and publish quickly (of course, a process sped up by new technologies), lack of familiarity with other countries and cultures, and so on.

But in the last decade or so, there has been a whole new layer of problems that can be summed up as follows:

A. Ignorance, partly due to the decline of the American educational system.

B. Stupidity, naivete, and laziness, the latter being a far more important factor than people suspect. How many journalists, for example, have done even a few hours real research on the Muslim Brotherhood in the last three months. Or as a New York Times journalist explained, it is a conspiracy theory to say that the Muslim Brotherhood was deeply involved in Egypt’s revolution because everyone who he interviewed in Tahrir Square told him they weren’t members of the Brotherhood. Read More »

Posted in Media Criticism | Tagged | 1 Response

Wake Up Israel Advocates: Goldstone Reversed the Momentum!

I was troubled by Michael W’s comment in my earlier post, The Goldstone Wedgie Campaign, so I just did a quick tour of all the pro-Israel blogs I value, and some that I don’t. I’m astonished to say that not a single blogger, many of whom I deeply respect, has understood the full significance of Goldstone’s retraction of portions of the report which bears his name; in the final analysis, exonerating Israel of “war crimes” and “crimes against humanity” in its conduct of Operation Cast Lead, even as he reaffirmed Hamas’ continuing culpability for these crimes under international law.

If I may speak to the pro-Israel blogosphere directly for a moment, and paraphrasing comments I made on many of your blogs – guys and gals, you’re caught up in the minutia of parsing Goldstone’s words, trying to redress this or that minor point or fact. This is all worthwhile but irrelevant; Forget history – it’s for historians! Goldstone’s retraction is not a gift in the legal sense – because the legal case he’s now adopted was made long ago, and was ignored – but a political one. The Washington Post editorial is no less than a tremendous and unexpected development, an earthquake with considerable ramifications, but only if we – yes, we – dare to make a difference. Read More »

Posted in Israel | Tagged , | Leave a comment

The Goldstone Wedgie Campaign

By now, most of you have read of the earth-shattering retractions made by Richard Goldstone in the Washington Post, repudiating key findings of a UN sponsored inquiry, which bears his name, into the lawfulness of Israeli military conduct during Operation Cast Lead. The race is on to find quotes by everyone who not so long ago boldly concluded, on the basis of assertions made in the Goldstone Report, that Israel committed war crimes in Gaza by intentionally murdering and terrorizing civilians, that the Goldstone commission performed a fair and unbiased inquiry, that civilian casualties were far greater than claimed by Israel, and so on. Once found, these quotes can and should be used to mount the largest campaign of rhetorical atomic wedgies ever enacted on G-d’s green earth. Read More »

Posted in United Nations | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Goldstone @ DivestThis

My own two cents on the subject of Mr. Goldstone’s recent realization that he just might have done something wrong:

http://www.divestthis.com/2011/04/goldstone.html

No doubt you’ll let me know if I’m being too generous.

Posted in Uncategorized | 3 Responses

Olive Tree: Seriously Broken

In the past few days, new and disturbing information has come to light about the activities of The Olive Tree Initiative at the University of California Irvine. Touted by the University as evidence of a climate of tolerance and understanding at UCI, the Initiative has previously been exposed as a mere “fig leaf” intended to obfuscate the true tolerance that abounds on that campus – tolerance for antisemitism, intimidation and bigotry toward Jewish students.

Now, in a letter recently obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request, it emerges that the Olive Tree Project arranged for students on a UCI sponsored trip to Israel in 2009 to meet in secret with a leader of Hamas and then instructed the students to lie about it.  As Front Page reports: Read More »

Posted in Israel/Jewish Lobby | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Moty & Udi Meet a Rabbinical Student

Yesterday I mentioned an article by Rabbi Daniel Gordis that I found positively shocking (although on second thought, not so surprising). Gordis, a Conservative rabbi who made aliyah to Israel from the US in 1998, tells us about some American rabbinical students: Read More »

Posted in Zionism | Tagged , , , , , , | 2 Responses

Of Kurdish Jews and Koobe Dumplings

Koobe burghul, a Kurdish speciality

The Aramaic-speaking Jews of Kurdistan (northern Iraq) have had their ups and downs in history; their community was almost completely transplanted to Israel in 1950, where they work to maintain their distinctive customs and cuisine. Dennis Wasko continues his culinary series in the Jerusalem Post:

It is believed that Jews have lived in the area of modern Kurdistan since the 8th century BCE. Also known as Assyria and Mesopotamia, the area now encompasses parts of Iran, northern Iraq, Syria, and eastern Turkey. The first Jews arrived after the Assyrian conquest of the Kingdom of Israel and the subsequent exile of the ten tribes during the period 858 – 824 BCE. An ancient Kurdish tradition relates that Kurdish Jews are the descendants specifically of the tribes of Dan, Naphtali, and Benjamin. Read More »

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How The Bizarre World of Middle East Studies Messes Up U.S. Foreign Policy

Engaging in Middle East studies, as Lawrence says about putting your hand in a flame, hurts. The trick “is not minding that it hurts” and trying to do a good job of it.

I’m trying to understand the history of Middle East studies in some of its bizarre twists and turns. This has become an important issue now that U.S. (and European) policies in the region have become so ignorant, ridiculous, and even suicidal. Why is the analysis of the region so badly done? Read More »

Posted in Campus Watching | 4 Responses

Richard Goldstone: “Oops”

Yeah, Richard Goldstone’s op-ed in the Washington Post is making major waves. Is this a mea culpa? Eh.

Reconsidering the Goldstone Report on Israel and war crimes. Read it all, but here’s a snip:

…The allegations of intentionality by Israel were based on the deaths of and injuries to civilians in situations where our fact-finding mission had no evidence on which to draw any other reasonable conclusion. While the investigations published by the Israeli military and recognized in the U.N. committee’s report have established the validity of some incidents that we investigated in cases involving individual soldiers, they also indicate that civilians were not intentionally targeted as a matter of policy. Read More »

Posted in United Nations | Tagged , , , , , | 7 Responses

Hummus Wars on The Boston Common

Street Theater Flops in Boston

Busy as little bees they were for weeks planning their latest anti-Israel gala.  Having expended their capital on “Occupation” and “Apartheid” the Cambridge based group that had become a fixture at the Park St. subway entrance at the Boston Common would now try out their Marat-Sade routine au sujet de BDS, but not just any BDS – this time they would target Sabra Hummus because an Israeli group owns 50% of the company.  Adalah, the notorious anti-Israel group, is one of the most active BDS groups inside and outside Israel and directs the campaign against Sabra.  Adalah, you may recall, is heavily funded by The New Israel Fund, a constituent organization within J Street.  Ben Ami of J Street – in true lawyerly fashion – claims that his organization opposes BDS, but is nevertheless, supportive of organizations that urge and practice BDS.  The Cambridge crew includes many who some years ago paid a cordial call on the Bethlehem Municipal Council whose majority councilors were either members of Hamas or Islamic Jihad.

Last Wednesday, the greying pony tails converged at their favorite haunt, the T stop at Park St. on the edge of Boston Common. They’ve been defaming Israel on this spot for years with any issue that they think will resonate with commuters rushing home. Most people I canvassed were thoroughly disgusted with their boring, vicious propaganda. If “Apartheid Wall” seems stale, they resort to “Settlements”, “Water Theft” or, in this case, Israeli Hummus! (oh so) Cleverly replacing the brand, “Sabra” with “Stolen”, they went to a great deal of effort to convince by-passers to boycott Sabra products. The effort, however, seemed more designed to feed their own hate than to convince anyone of their viewpoint. One of the Cambridge mujahadeen grew so frustrated at the presence of Israeli flags that she frantically began to phone the police, unaware that there were a number of uniformed officers right next to her. Cogent arguments against BDS, it would appear, constitute serious threats.

Read More »

Posted in Divestment | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Responses

Beinartism

Israel has a problem. OK, Israel has a lot of problems, but one of the biggest is American Jews who

  1. take as their primary sources the loud but demographically unimportant media and academic Left in Israel; and,
  2. combine ignorance with remarkable arrogance to apply American paradigms and analogies to Israeli society and politics, and
  3. conclude that Israel is becoming (or has already become) morally corrupt, right-wing, theocratic, anti-democratic and anti-peace.

I call this position ‘Beinartism’. The Beinartist manifesto is this Peter Beinart article, which I also discussed here and here. Read More »

Posted in J Street | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Zionist Barometer

The Syrians, Bahrainis, Jordanians and Yemenis are marching against their dictators in order to – let’s not kid ourselves – replace them with dictators from a tribe or sect of Islam they like better. The Libyans are fighting a civil war that apparently every single Westerner, including yours truly, is too stupid to understand and know who to side with. The Egyptians are threatening they want “respect” in international relations; apparently they have no self-respect, and think that treating the rest of us the way they treat their wives will make them feel better about it. The Palestinians are advocating a march of millions to converge on Israel’s borders, overcome its defenders and reconquer the land, but peacefully(!), because everyone knows that swarming a sovereign state with millions of people who want to destroy it is how you make peace. The Iranians are raping protesters, especially children, as a “Fath Al Moin (aid to victory).” Read More »

Posted in Antisemitism, Middle East | Leave a comment

2011 – Britain is becoming the Fourth Reich

The drumbeat against Israel has finally scored a grim victory in the heart of London with the decision by the landlord of the Ahava store, Shaftesbury PLC, not to renew the store’s lease when it expires. You may think that the description of Britain as the Fourth Reich is over the top, and I imagine there will be those who do, but how else do we describe a decision to move the Jews out of a commercial area in London – not because of what they do, or the problems they create – but because of the disturbance that those who hate them have created?

Let me make it quite clear – I do not distinguish between “Jews” and “Zionists”, or “Jewish” products and “Israeli” products, or products manufactured within the area west of the Green Line that some hooligans have decided shall be Israel’s Eastern border, and those manufactured in a tiny kibbutz in a god-forsaken corner of the Dead Sea where no Arab has lived in millennia. Nor, do I believe, do those demonstrators who scored this pyrrhic victory. They are fueled by the rising tide of anti-Semitism in Britain, which has become a country where significant numbers of people are proud to demonstrate under the banners of Hamas and Hezbollah, two organizations calling for the annihilation of the Jewish citizens of Israel. Read More »

Posted in Britain, Divestment | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Afghan Mob, Hopped-Up on Friday’s Sermon, Murders 10 UN Workers

They beheaded two of them: Afghan Mob Kills 10 United Nations Workers

KABUL, Afghanistan — Protesters angered by the burning of a Koran by a fringe American pastor in Florida mobbed offices of the United Nations in northern Afghanistan on Friday, killing ten foreign staff members and beheading two of the victims, according to an Afghan police spokesman. Five Afghans were also killed.

The attack began when hundreds of demonstrators, some of them armed, poured out of mosques after Friday Prayer and headed to the headquarters of the United Nations in the northern city of Mazar-i-Sharif. They disarmed the guards and overran the compound, according to Lal Mohammad Ahmadzai, spokesman for Gen. Daoud Daoud, the Afghan National Police commander for northern Afghanistan…

Actually, they weren’t “angered by” Terry Jones’ Koran burning, they were stirred up by someone with something to gain by inciting them. I’m still waiting for a similar story of Israeli Jews coming out of Shabbat services and doing damage to UN personnel, but we all know the mere thought is ridiculous. They at least have a reason to be angry with the UN. What’s the UN ever done to Afghanistan other than try to provide services? Barbaric.

Posted in Afghanistan | Tagged , | 1 Response

New York Times and Gaza “Human Rights” Org Avoid The Obvious

The New York Times reports that the Palestinian Center for Human Rights “took the unusual step this week of condemning the building and storage of anti-Israel rockets in densely populated areas, a practice that has led to injuries and deaths of civilians.”

“Unusual” isn’t quite the word for it. The Palestinian Center for Human Rights also supports Hamas and its affiliated terrorists “resistance” to Israel, and regularly condemns Israel for militarily reacting. In 2008, this NGO, financed by Western NGOs, also criticized the stockpiling and firing into Israel from populated locations in Gaza. Less populated areas in Gaza should, instead, be the depots and firing positions.

What’s missing from the Palestinian Center for Human Rights criticism, and from the New York Times report? Read More »

Posted in Israel | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Video: BBC Ethics Unveiled: Lies About Jerusalem, Lies About Guidelines

From CAMERA: BBC Ethics Unveiled: Lies About Jerusalem, Lies About Guidelines

The BBC revealed its complete disregard of its own Editorial Guidelines when it defended an egregiously one-sided and inaccurate documentary about Jerusalem.

This video investigates the flouting of these guidelines by Panorama and the disingenuous ruling of the BBC Trust’s Editorial Standards Committee in support of the January 2010 segment. For more details, see CAMERA’s original analysis and the BBC Editorial Standards Committee ruling.

Posted in Britain | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment
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