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December 9, 2016 / 9 Kislev, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘Boycott’

Swedish Zionist Federation Assembles Pro-Israel Rally

Sunday, August 28th, 2016

by Ilana Messika
The Zionist Federation in Sweden organized its fifth annual rally on Sunday under the theme of “Taking Back Zionism” in order to attempt to re-acquaint the Swedish public with the original Zionist concept, so as to confront the term’s misappropriation by the media and state institutions.

“The main goal of the rally is to create a safe forum for Jews and non-Jews alike to safely declare their pro-Zionist sentiments,” Swedish Zionist Federation Director Saskia Pantell told Tazpit Press Service.

“The objective is also to re-educate the Swedish population about the meaning of Zionism as the basic human right of the Jewish People to self-determination in their historic homeland. As such, being a Zionist is not confined solely to the Jewish population, but to all political and religious streams,” she added.

“The meaning of Zionism has been distorted; in Sweden it tends to symbolize right-wing extremists,” Jewish Swedish Student Union Chairwoman Nina Tojzner explained to TPS.

“Jewish youth need Israel as a safe haven to secure the future of the Swedish Jewish community due to the direction that anti-Semitism is taking in our country,” elaborated Tojzner. “We have to be able to support Israel openly without fear of harassment.”

In a paper published in June 2016, Swedish scholars Lars Dencik and Karl Marosi noted a significant discrepancy between figures recorded by the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) in 2013 and a survey of Swedish Jews conducted that year by the European Union Agency for Fundamental Human Rights (FRA).

The ADL claimed that four percent of the population in Sweden exhibited classic anti-Semitic stereotypes, while the FRA survey showed that 60 percent of Swedish Jews considered anti-Semitism to be a fairly-to-very big problem in their country.

The paper, published by Tel Aviv University’s Kantor Center for the Study of European Jewry, attributed the disparity to the fact that the criteria the ADL used to record anti-Semitism did not take into account what is now called “new anti-Semitism,” expressed in the form of opposition to Israel and the demonization of Zionism.

“I believe anti-Zionism is the new form of anti-Semitism and thus the institutional disdain for Zionism is actually an extension of classic Swedish anti-Semitism under the guise of political correctness,” Pantell declared.

“For example, most cases of hate crimes do not even make it to trial because they are dismissed beforehand as expressions of ‘anti-Zionism’ rather than expressions of anti-Semitism,” said Pantell. “As such, Jews in Sweden are afraid to express their Jewishness and their Zionism in public.”

Israeli-Swedish relations have been especially strained since Sweden became the first EU member in Western Europe to officially recognize a Palestinian Authority state in October 2014, and since Swedish Foreign Minister Margot Wallström recently declared the Israel-PA conflict to be a causal factor in the Paris terror attacks of November 2015.

“The Swedish media and governmental institutions are decidedly anti-Zionist and pro-BDS and we have already received death and bomb threats that have attempted to disrupt the rallies,” noted Pantell.

“However, this is our fifth rally and there has been a noticeable amelioration in the attitude of the Swedish collective towards Zionism,” Pantell claimed. “It is especially noticeable this year through the participation of Ebba Busch Thor, a member of the Christian Democrats Party in the Swedish parliament.”

A number of Israeli political figures attended the rally, such as the Israeli Ambassador to Stockholm Isaac Bachman and Yesh Atid party chairman MK Yair Lapid. Lapid had also been involved in the March 2016 pro-Israel rally outside the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) in Geneva as part of his efforts against the BDS movement.

TPS / Tazpit News Agency

San Francisco Bus Ad Defends BDS

Monday, August 15th, 2016

The Seattle Mideast Awareness Campaign (SeaMAC) has launched a new ad on buses in San Francisco with the slogan “Boycott Israel Until Palestinians Have Equal Rights.” The ad is not clear as to which Palestinians are bereft of those equal rights: are they the ones being repressed by Hamas that steals their charity funds, diverting them to luxury homes for Hamas bigwigs and to terror tunnels aimed at kidnapping and murdering Israeli civilians? Are they the ones struggling to make it under an incompetent, corrupt PLO-run Palestinian Authority, that hasn’t run a national election in almost ten years? Or are they Israeli Arabs, with a representation in the Knesset that matches their 20% of the population, democratic freedoms and access to higher education? Or is it too much to ask a bus ad for specifics?

The ambiguous bus ad will run for four weeks, according to a SeaMAC press release. The ad includes the slogan “Stop Anti-Boycott Legislation” and features a list of historic boycotts, including the Boston Tea Party, segregated buses in Montgomery in 1956, and South Africa’s apartheid regime.

“Advocates for Israel’s apartheid are trying to persuade state and national legislatures to outlaw the right to boycott against social injustice in Israel,” said Edward Mast, volunteer board member of SeaMAC. Of course, Israel does not have an apartheid system — the Arab member of the Supreme Court would never approve of it, nor would the thousands of Arab students in Israel’s universities, thousands of Arab doctors and lawyers, and Israeli Arabs from all walks of life who participate in a free Israeli society. It’s not a problem-free society, but compared to the neighborhood it is pretty impressive.

Mast, however, sees attempts to seek legal means of stopping his campaign of lies as an “attack on free speech … one more example of demanding special treatment for the State of Israel.”

SeaMAC ran the slogan “Boycott Israel Until Palestinians Have Equal Rights” on buses in Washington, D.C. and three other cities in 2015, but the same ad was taken off a billboard in Chicago. in early 2016. SeaMAC has also been blocked from running anti-Israel bus ads in Seattle, Washington.

David Israel

Jewish UK Labour Peer Threatens to Quit If Corbyn Re-Elected

Wednesday, August 10th, 2016

Jewish Labour Peer of the Realm Parry Mitchell is threatening to quit the party if Jeremy Corbyn is re-elected as leader.

Mitchell, a member of the House of Lords and former frontbencher under Ed Miliband, slammed the recent internal Labour inquiry into racisim and anti-Semitism led by Shami Chakrabarti.

In a letter to the editor of The Times of London published Wednesday morning, Mitchell called the inquiry — which concluded the party was not “overrun” by anti-Semitism — “insipid whitewash.”

The report found an “occasionally toxic atmosphere” against Jewish members of the party, but that anti-Semitism is not prevalent among the rank and file. British Jews have harshly criticized the report.

Mitchell wrote: “As a Jew, I find the allegations of anti-Semitism in the Labour Party very distressing. Even more upsetting is the way Jeremy Corbyn dismisses what he has permitted to fester at the highest levels of our party.

“I had hoped that the Chakrabarti Report commissioned by Corbyn would get to the bottom of allegations of antisemitism: sadly Ms. Chakrabarti produced an insipid whitewash. Indeed, she seems to have done her master’s bidding to absolve the party of blame. Her prize? The only Labour peerage awarded by Mr. Corbyn.

“Anti-Semitism has no part in a progressive party. I have come to the painful conclusion that were Mr. Corbyn to be re-elected next month, then I will have to resign my membership of the Labour party. I cannot remain a member of a party that goes against such a crucial issue that I hold dear.”

Numerous of prominent Labour Party members were outed by a British political muckraking website for their anti-Israel and anti-Semitic jabs over the past two years.

Among those forced to apologize for his venom was UK Labour politician Muhammed Butt, the Lead for Equalities at London Councils who shared a clip on social media that appeared to show a young girl from the Palestinian Authority in a clash with an Israeli soldier. The clip was captioned: ‘Israel is a terrorist state like ISIS.’

Butt was outed by the UK-based Guido Fawkes political website, which is credited with tracking down and exposing numerous other anti-Semitic posts by British politicians as well

Jeremy Corbyn is being challenged for leadership of the party by Owen Smith. The results of the election are to be announced on Sept. 24.

Hana Levi Julian

Israel Resolves to Track Down, Deport & Ban Entry of BDS Activists

Sunday, August 7th, 2016

A new joint ministerial task force has been formed to address the increasingly damaging phenomenon of Boycott, Divest and Sanctions (BDS) movement activists entering Israel and organizing activities to delegitimize and destroy the country from within.

Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan and Interior Minister Arye Deri announced in a joint statement Sunday that the news task force will be focused on tracking down the hundreds of BDS activities who already exist within Israel and who organize events calling for boycotts of the Jewish State.

The task force “is a necessary step in light of the malicious intentions of delegitimizing activists who work to spread lies and twist the truth about the reality in our region,” Erdan said.

“We have a responsibility to do everything possible to crush any boycott and to state clearly that we will not allow the State of Israel to be harmed,” added Deri. The Interior Minister is responsible for the Population, Immigration and Borders Authority as well.

Both were firm that it is time to put a stop to the boycotts against Israel, and each expressed determination to fight the phenomenon via the laws and agencies at his disposal.

The move comes as the realization sets in that Israel is increasingly being seen in the international arena as a pariah state — an existential threat that must be turned around if Israel is to survive.

Speaking to the Knesset Committee for the Transparency and Accessbility of Government Information, Sima Vaknin-Gil said the goal of the Strategic Affairs and Public Diplomacy Ministry is to replace that image with one that is more positive, hopefully within the decade.

Vaknin-Gil, director-general of the ministry, said that if all goes as planned and the current “narrative” is replaced, by 2025, no one will question whether the State of Israel has the right to exist.”

Meanwhile, as a start, the lawmakers will work to deport those involved in the BDS movement in the country, according to the statement released by the ministers. In addition, BDS activists will be barred from entering the country. Boycotting Israel, said Erdan, “must have a price.”

At least two dozen NGOs receive more than half of their funding from foreign government and other sources outside the State of Israel, and use the money to delegitimize and further isolate the Jewish State.

Erdan — who doubles as Strategic Affairs and Public Diplomacy Minister — added that BDS activists make a point of traveling to Judea and Samaria to incite violence among citizens of the Palestinian Authority, and to block operations by the IDF and Border Guard Police.

A Swiss BDS activist was deported from Israel for the first time this month before she was able to enter the country after landing at Ben Gurion International Airport.

Rita Faye has visited Israel a number of times in the past and is well known to the IDF for her harassment of Israeli soldiers at checkpoint crossings into the Palestinian Authority around Jericho. When it became known that she was on her way to Israel, the IDF requested the Interior Ministry block her entry into the country.

Faye is a member of a pro-BDS Christian organization. She was put on a plane and sent back to where she came from, with a deportation order signed by the Interior Minister.

Hana Levi Julian

Former Georgia Lawmaker Implies Israeli Linked to Nice, Munich Terror

Saturday, July 30th, 2016

It looks like anti-Semitism is starting to become a new fad among politicians in the United States — or perhaps those who long have cherished such feelings simply now feel safer about expressing and promoting them.

On the heels of reports this week that Georgia Congressman Hank Johnson referred to Jewish Israeli residents of Judea and Samaria as “termites,” came another revelation that a former Congresswoman from the same state also held anti-Semitic views on Israel. Johnson was compelled to issue a grudging apology for his slurs, although he refused to back down from the rest of his comments; it remains to be seen what the future will bring with former U.S. Representative Cynthia McKinney, PhD, who was also the 2008 presidential nominee for the Green Party.

On the Twitter social media site a week ago (last Saturday night) McKinney tweeted: “Same Israeli photographer captures Nice and Munich tragedies. How likely is that? Remember the Dancing Israelis?” 

The photographer in question, Richard Gutjahr, tweeted photos from terror attacks both in Nice and in Munich, where the death tolls rose to 84 and 9 respectively.

Gutjahr is not Israeli, although he is married to former Labor Knesset member Einat Wilf, an Israeli woman. Wilf served in the elite IDF Unit 8200 intelligence unit.

The ‘Dancing Israelis’ thing is a reference to a conspiracy theory that five Israeli men were detained by New Jersey police on Sept. 11, 2001 after they were allegedly seen celebrating the Al Qaeda attack on Twin Towers of the World Trade Center.

When McKinney’s tweet was challenged online, in response she defiantly followed it up with another: “Yes, remember the Dancing Israelis? Why were they dancing in the park as Americans were dying? Why were they in the park in the first place?”

But McKinney’s anti-Semitism didn’t stop with her potshots referencing the 9/11 blood libels. Take a look at her cozy relationship with the Boycott, Divest and Sanctions (BDS) movement. She tweeted a cry of joy in another post during her July 24 ‘blitzkrieg‘: “This is huge: NLRB rules that unions have a right to boycott Israel.”

And last but not least, another in the series which she retweeted and praised, saying, “I LOVE this!”

It remains to be seen what McKinney will do, now that the Democratic National Convention is over and all the hoopla of national attention is diverted elsewhere.

Hana Levi Julian

Tim Kaine’s Decision to Boycott Netanyahu’s Speech Could Hurt Hillary

Saturday, July 23rd, 2016

When Hillary Clinton’s choice for VP, Virginia Senator Tim Kaine, joined the Democrats who avoided Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s March 2015 speech to a joint session of Congress, he announced: “There is no reason to schedule this speech before Israeli voters go to the polls on March 17 and choose their own leadership.” Revealing that he had labored to delay the Netanyahu appearance, Kaine said, “I am disappointed that, as of now, the speech has not been postponed. For this reason, I will not attend the speech.”

Before Kaine made his announcement, only three other senators had planned to boycott the speech: the two anti-Netanyahu Vermont Senators Bernie Sanders and Pat Leahy, and Hawaii Senator Brian Schatz. All the other Democratic senators were reluctant to commit either way, and told the press they were thinking about it. Even the biggest Democratic opponent of the Iran deal, New York Senator Chuck Schumer, did not forcefully call on his fellow Democrats to show—not willing to upset an already irate President Obama. Most Democratic legislators who said they’d avoid the speech came from blue states and blue districts. But when Kaine, whose state of Virginia until 2008 voted Republican for president, gave permission to Democrats from red states to boycott Netanyahu when he declared he was skipping the speech.

The Forward on Friday wrote that Kaine “Will be the Jewiest Vice President” under Hillary Clinton, describing him as “a friend to the Jewish community for about as long as he’s been in public service.” But when one reads the reasons why Kaine is so “Jewey” according to the Forward, one realizes Kaine would be a bonanza to leftwing Israeli Jews, very much like the folks who are currently in the White House.

Kaine supports a two-state solution, argues the Forward; also, he is a religious Catholic (so he knows all about the auto-da-fé); during his time as the governor of Virginia, Sabra built the world’s largest hummus factory outside Richmond, and hummus is Jewish, isn’t it, ask anyone from Cairo to Ramallah to Damascus; and Kaine hosted several Passover seders and played matchmaker to Conservative Rabbi Jack Moline’s daughter.

So, in considering Kaine’s pros and cons regarding Israel, you have his support for a nuclear deal with Iran, and his support for a Palestinian State, while on the plus side you have lots of hummus.

JNi.Media

Israelis Not Happy Over Pharrell Williams’ Notice

Wednesday, July 13th, 2016

If you live in Israel and are a fan of Pharrell Williams — the Grammy Award-winning singer-songwriter who is known best for his music video “Happy” — you won’t be happy to read the following news.

For reasons unknown, Williams has cancelled his much-anticipated July 21 concert set to be held in Rishon Lezion this summer.

Promoters told media that “unexpected scheduling conflicts” were behind the sudden cancellation and apologized to ‘Happy’ fans, saying the star hoped to reschedule.

There was no mention of pressure on Williams by supporters of the Boycott, Divest and Sanctions (BDS) movement that backs the Palestinian Authority against Israel.

Full refunds to ticket holders are set to begin on Sunday, July 17.

Hana Levi Julian

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/israelis-not-happy-news-about-pharrell-williams/2016/07/13/

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