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December 28, 2014 / 6 Tevet, 5775
 
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘CAMERA’

Jews Blamed for Mosque Fire, Report Reveals Electrical Cause

Wednesday, December 17th, 2014

A mosque in the disputed territories town of Mughayer near Ramallah suffered severe fire damage back in November. The word out immediately was that Jews were responsible. Not just any Jews, of course, but those evil extremist “settlers.”

The mayor of Mughayer, Faraj al-Nassan, told the Associated Press that the Jews were to blame for the fire.

“Only Jewish settlers would do this,” he said.

He neglected to mention any other possibility, including the actual one, the electrical malfunction of a space heater.

Nassan made the statement to the AP, which dutifully reported it, and then the unverified rumor ossified firmly into fact, showing up in dozens of media sources throughout the world.

Yahoo! News posted an AP photograph of an Arab man holding a heavily burned Quran, describing the fire as having resulted from “an attack” against the mosque which “ignited a fire that destroyed its first floor.” The Yahoo! caption included the village’s mayor “blaming Jewish settlers for the attack.”

It wasn’t only an understandably distraught town mayor who blamed the Jews. Reports from villagers blaming Jews were not mere suppositions, they were stated as fact.

The fire in Mughayer took place during a spate of terrorist attacks against Israelis. Many media outlets happily invoked a standard trope known as the “cycle of violence,” where harm to anyone or anything on both sides are presented as similarly motivated acts of hatred.

But as the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America (CAMERA) revealed on Tuesday, Dec. 16, an investigation of the Mughayer mosque fire conducted by Israeli firefighters determined that “the cause was actually an electrical malfunction.”

The day of the fire, the far-left and popular Israeli paper Haaretz reported that local Arabs “claimed that the mosque had been set ablaze by arsonists from a nearby Jewish settlement.”

Haaretz has since put out a story acknowledging the new evidence, “Mosque blaze was electrical fire, not arson, firefighters say.

CAMERA’s report provides examples of news outlets which attributed the blame for the fire on “Jewish settlers.” It also describes its efforts to provide to those outlets the results of the investigation, and the determination that there were “no traces of flammable materials or liquids, nor was any racist graffiti found at the scene. The electric fire is believed to have been caused by a space heater. The second floor of the mosque suffered extensive damage.”

Some of those outlets have since issued corrections, such as Haaretz and the AP.  Others have remained silent in the face of proof that they provided their readers with a false indictment of Jews based on no hard evidence. Those include Agence-France Presse, the Los Angeles Times and Reuters.

Empty Calif. BDS Vote Triggers Neutrality Reminder: Israel Wins

Friday, December 12th, 2014

The big news coming out of the west coast this week seems bad for Israel. If you listen to or read the news as most people do, the gist of the story was that the University of California voted to join the anti-Israel BDS (Boycott, Divest from and Sanction Israel) movement.

What actually happened was that 65 percent of the voting members of the union representing the teaching assistants, readers and tutors and other student-workers at the University of California voted to join the national BDS movement.

That union, the UAW 2865, has more than 13,000 members. Fewer than 2,200 voted. That’s less than 17 percent of the total membership which voted, and of that number, only 65 percent voted in favor of the resolution. That means only 11 percent of the UAW 2865 membership voted to join the BDS movement. And that’s in California!

Still, it was a democratic election and the Resolution passed.

What exactly does the UAW 2856 BDS Resolution entail? Will Israeli academics no longer be permitted to speak at UC schools? Will Israelis be barred from attending UC schools? Will SodaStream no longer be used at UC events?

Of the three scenarios posed, only the last one could arguably be an issue under the UAW 2865 BDS Resolution, but it’s unlikely anyone is using SodaStream at UC events anyway.

The Resolution actually does very little. It calls on the University of California to “divest from companies involved in Israeli occupation and apartheid; it calls on the UAW International to do the same; and it calls on “the US government to end military aid to Israel.”

In other words, UAW 2865 BDS Resolution simply allows a group of self-righteous Israel haters to join together to ask the University of California to do something it will not do.

As for the U.S. government heeding the call from this tiny group of rabble-rousers? Not bloody likely. Finally, it is simply astounding that the UAW 2865 International has not already taken the action sought in this Resolution. Shouldn’t the members be sharing their hatred at home, first?

So, really, energy should not be expended worrying about the effects of this BDS resolution.

However, a group of knowledgeable non-profit organizations joined together and asked a very good question: are these teaching assistant and other student-workers permitted to engage in teaching their viewpoint about Israel to the UC students, as the organizers promised to do?

The AMCHA Initiative and 11 other pro-Israel organizations (see the full list at the end of this article) sent a letter to UC PResident Janet Napolitano several months ago, when the UAW 2865 vowed to push for a vote on its BDS Resolution.

In that letter, the pro-Israel organizations refer to a UAW 2865 public pledge:

We have a responsibility as educators to both learn about and teach the social issues of our time, including pressing global struggles such as the struggle of the Palestinian people for liberation from settler-colonialism and apartheid.

Given that pledge, the concerned organizations called on Napolitano to explain how the university system was going to enforce its “UC Regents Policy on Course Content.”

In response, the provost for the university system, Aimée Dorr, explicitly reminded all the university chancellors that the Policy on Course Content prohibits the UAW 2865 graduate student instructors from promoting BDS and anti-Israel propaganda in the classroom.

That policy, Regents Policy 2301, explicitly states: “Misuse of the classroom by, for example, allowing it to be used for political indoctrination, for purposes other than those for which the course was constituted… constitutes misuse of the University as an institution.”

NY Times and Haaretz Officially in Cahoots

Tuesday, November 11th, 2014

For those seeking to explain to Americans who don’t know what type of newspaper Haaretz is, in terms of its political orientation and its perspective on lsrael, Israel supporters will typically explain it as the New York Times of Israel. And they don’t mean that as a compliment.

The same is true in the other direction: the New York Times is the Haaretz of the United States.

What this shorthand means is that the two papers are frequently viewed (mostly by their own readers) as the paper of the elite, the intellectuals, the academics. And it also means that the two papers are consistently unflattering to Israel – even at the expense of accuracy – whenever possible.

For abundant examples, just take a visual tour through CAMERA’s website. CAMERA, the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America, has expanded its reach and not only monitors U.S. media sites for inaccuracies regarding Israel, it also monitors the press in Britain, Spain, and now in Israel.

But both leftist papers have been struggling economically over the past several years. One astonishing fact revealed at a CAMERA event held in Jerusalem earlier this week revealed that only 4.8 percent of Israelis read Haaretz – an infinitesimally small number, especially compared to the high regard in which Haaretz holds itself.

So it was less of a shock than it might otherwise have been, but still a surprise to see that the New York Times has now officially teamed up, at least in terms of subscription piggybacking, with Haaretz.

Notices were sent out to those on the New York Times email list offering a special: all New York Times readers can now get a 40 percent discount on a one-year subscription to Haaretz, and the new subscribers will pay only $1 for the first month of the subscription.

In addition to revealing how desperate both papers are for additional subscribers, it is worth noting that even people who only subscribe to online news alerts from the Times received the offer. In other words, it is not a stretch to believe that the Times includes those alert-only subscribers in reporting to advertisers the number of its subscribers, thereby inflating the numbers.

But here’s a question: why would readers of the New York Times want a subscription to Haaretz? They are already receiving all the negatively-slanted information about the Middle East from the Times.

Non-Jewish Groups Join Protest against Campus Anti-Semitism

Thursday, October 2nd, 2014

A group of 14 Jewish and non-Jewish organizations has issued a letter to more than 2,500 U.S. colleges and universities urging them to protect Jewish students on campus in light of rising anti-Semitism in America and abroad.

The organizations include Alpha Epsilon Pi, AMCHA Initiative, American Association of Jewish Lawyers and Jurists, Americans for Peace and Tolerance, Christians United for Israel, Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America (CAMERA), David Horowitz Freedom Center, Hasbara Fellowships, Institute for Black Solidarity with Israel, Louis D. Brandeis Center for Human Rights Under Law, Scholars for Peace in the Middle East, Simon Wiesenthal Center Campus Outreach, StandWithUs, and the Zionist Organization of America.

“None of us should tolerate a campus climate of fear or disrespect, which can seriously impair the physical and psychological health of students and create conditions that negatively affect their learning and their ability to achieve their full potential,” the letter states.

The signatories raised concern over the actions of the anti-Israel Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP), which the letter notes has a history of “harassing and intimidating Jewish students.”

The letter goes on to cite several incidents on campuses, including a recent one at Temple University in which a pro-Israel student was physically and verbally assaulted by SJP members, as well as SJP’s planting of anti-Israel mock eviction notices under students’ dorm rooms.

“While justifying its hatred and bigotry as protected under the First Amendment, the SJP employs tactics geared to silencing and marginalizing the views of Jewish students who support Israel,” the letter says.

The letter also cited that these schools are responsible for protecting Jewish students from anti-Semitism under Title VI of the Civil Rights Act.

“Jews around the world are being held collectively responsible for Israel’s actions, which are defensive and undertaken to protect its people,” says the letter. “This is anti-Semitism, according to U.S. government standards.”

 

Jewish Student Assaulted by ‘Pro-Palestine’ Student at Temple University

Thursday, August 21st, 2014

It happened before the school year even officially began.

A group of students were seated at an organizational table at Temple University’s orientation on Wednesday, Aug. 20. The group represented Students for Justice in Palestine, and were handing out literature attacking Israel.

A Jewish, pro-Israel student, Daniel Vessal, attempted to engage in a dialogue with the SJP students, but dialogue is not what they were interested in.  Instead, they started laughing at Vessal, and calling him a “baby-killer,” according to a report at TruthRevolt.

Vessal, a campus fellow for the pro-Israel organization Committee for Accuracy in Media Reporting in America (CAMERA), told TruthRevolt that he attempted  to engage the SJP students in conversation about the conflict, but their response was simply laughter, curses, and then violence.

I said, ‘when Hamas stops sending the rockets, that’s when there can be peace. That’s when we can start.’”

“This one girl sitting at the end of the table was just laughing and laughing at me,” he explained “As she was laughing at me, people at the table were calling me a ‘baby killer,’ I said when she stops then maybe we could have a genuinely peaceful conversation.”

“And then this kid just rocks me in the face as hard as he can. My glasses flew off. After a two-second blur I had no clue what had happened.

As Vessal explained to Temple University security what happened, the SJP students were shouting at him, “Zionist pig!” Other witnesses told TruthRevolt they heard the SJP students yelling “Kike” at Vessal as he lay on the ground.

According to Vessal, Temple’s head of student activities immediately stated that the SJP table should be shut down, but Temple campus security refused, stating that the student who sucker-punched Vessal had already been sent home.

Vessal was taken to Temple University Hospital for evaluation following the assault. He intends to pursue legal action.

Students for Justice in Palestine has been responsible for the vast majority of the most heinous anti-Israel acts on U.S. campuses over the past several years, whether at Brooklyn College or Northeastern University, at Florida campuses and at Michigan. But now that the actions of the group have become violent, perhaps what passes for leadership at Jewish campus organizations and campus administrations will take steps to shut down the organization.

New Project to Revive Zionism as a Source of Pride in Diaspora Youth

Thursday, August 14th, 2014

Since bursting on the national scene just two years ago, Chloé Simone Valdary has become a constant fixture in the pro-Israel world. First she created a pro-Israel group, Allies of Israel, on her University of New Orleans campus. Then she started writing about Israel and calling out the hypocrisy of the anti-Israel crowd. Soon thereafter Valdary became a much-in-demand motivational speaker and writer for many different pro-Israel organizations and websites. And she keeps expanding the areas in which she comes to the forefront of the pro-Israel youth movement in America.

This summer Valdary was an intern at one of the most successful and well-established pro-Israel organizations, the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America (CAMERA), in Boston.

During her stint with CAMERA, Valdary worked on many different projects, but she also created one of her own. It’s called “My Zionism.”

My Zionism” is a vehicle for reaching American youth and helping them to learn about Zionism:  “the national liberation movement of the Jewish people, and one of the world’s greatest civil rights causes of all time.”  The project went live on Wednesday, August 13.

Valdary spoke with The Jewish Press the night before the official launch of  “My Zionism.” We asked her about the goals of the project.

“The goal is to take back the term Zionism and really own it and begin to explain what it really is a liberation movement,” Valdary explained. She said that the short-term goal is to “take back the language and celebrate Zionism.”

One of the ways “My Zionism” works is through reintroducing the art and the poetry of the early phases of the Zionist movement. There have already been several generations of Diaspora Jews who are completely ignorant of the development of the movement. “My Zionism” intends to change that.

“The ‘My Zionism’ project is part of CAMERA’s overall campaign to instill in students the inspirational messages of Zionism. They need to know about our heroes and their incredible achievements,” Andrea Levin, CAMERA’s executive director told The Jewish Press. “Chloe Valdary, who authored this project, has been a brilliant addition to our team during this challenging summer.”

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TED Publishes Anti-Israel Lies in Interview With Arab Photographer

Friday, May 23rd, 2014

Who doesn’t love TED?

For those who don’t know, TED is the phenomenally popular series of lectures that began as a one-off conference in 1984 showcasing the convergence of Technology, Entertainment and Design. TED now encompasses almost every conceivable category, so long as people In The Know deem it is, or will be, great.

TED is run by a non-profit foundation and is best known for the 18 minute talks given by the hundreds of presenters chosen by the TED staff. TED also hosts conferences, sells books, encourages independent “TEDx” events and takes on “TED Fellows.”

There is an in-depth interview with a Gazan female photojournalist chosen as a TED fellow in 2014. It was posted on the TED Blog on April 25, 2014. The now-26 year old Eman Mohammed spoke with Karen Eng, part of the TED writers team.

Much of what Mohammed discusses during the interview has to do with the wildly misogynistic culture of Middle Eastern men. Mohammed insists that the misogyny is not dictated by Islam, but is instead an oppressive cultural norm.

In Islam, you’re allowed to work, you’re allowed to be in the field. And men have to respect you because you’re a woman, regardless of what you do, as long as it doesn’t go against Islamic rules. You can’t be, say, an escort or something like that. That goes against modesty rules. But you can be anything else, if you want to. Photography doesn’t offend Islam in any way. So it was never an issue religiously speaking, but it was a huge issue culturally speaking.

Mohammed also discusses, naturally, her work. Her truly spectacular photographs have been used by such major players as Getty Images, The Washington Post, Le Monde, the Guardian, UNICEF and Save the Children.

On the TED blog, Mohammed was allowed to caption her own pictures. In those captions and during brief sections of the interview, Mohammed provided wildly inaccurate accounts of the activities, ethical standards, and operating procedures of the Israel Defense Forces.

In discussing how she was injured while photographing an incident during the Cast Lead Operation in Gaza in 2008, Mohammed attributed to the IDF a particularly heinous practice for which Palestinian Arab terrorists are notorious.

There had been an air strike on a police compound, and I was there afterwards. The thing about the Israeli military, when they start an air strike, they wait for civilians and medical teams to arrive, and then they strike again, so they can have biggest number of casualties.

Before the erection of the Security Fence, when homicide bombers were regularly terrorizing Israel, it happened that an initial bombing was followed by a second one, timed so that it would explode when rescue workers and onlookers had rushed in to help the wounded at the initial bombing site.

The IDF, in stark contrast, dropped over two and a half million leaflets throughout Gaza, and phoned and texted the residents there, warning them of impending attacks.

As the media watchdog organization CAMERA, which was the first to notice the problematic TED interview and wrote about it in an article published in its Hebrew publication, Presspectiva, continued,

Colonel Richard Kemp, former commander of the British forces in Afghanistan addressed the United Nations Human Rights Council in 2009, praising the “extraordinary measures” that Israel took in Cast Lead to avoid civilian casualties:

I am the former commander of the British forces in Afghanistan. I served with NATO and the United Nations; commanded troops in Northern Ireland, Bosnia and Macedonia; and participated in the Gulf War. I spent considerable time in Iraq since the 2003 invasion, and worked on international terrorism for the UK Government’s Joint Intelligence Committee.

Mr. President, based on my knowledge and experience, I can say this: During Operation Cast Lead, the Israeli Defence Forces did more to safeguard the rights of civilians in a combat zone than any other army in the history of warfare.

Israel did so while facing an enemy that deliberately positioned its military capability behind the human shield of the civilian population.

Hamas, like Hizballah, are expert at driving the media agenda. Both will always have people ready to give interviews condemning Israeli forces for war crimes. They are adept at staging and distorting incidents.

The truth is that the IDF took extraordinary measures to give Gaza civilians notice of targeted areas, dropping over 2 million leaflets, and making over 100,000 phone calls. Many missions that could have taken out Hamas military capability were aborted to prevent civilian casualties. During the conflict, the IDF allowed huge amounts of humanitarian aid into Gaza. To deliver aid virtually into your enemy’s hands is, to the military tactician, normally quite unthinkable. But the IDF took on those risks.

Despite all of this, of course innocent civilians were killed. War is chaos and full of mistakes. There have been mistakes by the British, American and other forces in Afghanistan and in Iraq, many of which can be put down to human error. But mistakes are not war crimes.

There is other misinformation provided as fact by Mohammed which the TED writer and/or editor failed to suggest were anything but fact. She discusses as fact, the highly disputed use of white phosphorous by Israel in the 2008-09 Cast Lead Operation, and the specific targeting of civilians and residential areas. Several of those points are addressed in the CAMERA article, which has been translated into English.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/ted-publishes-anti-israel-lies-in-interview-with-arab-photographer/2014/05/23/

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