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September 19, 2014 / 24 Elul, 5774
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Posts Tagged ‘Electronic Intifada’

Oxfam Conflicted by Pressure to Drop Great Fundraiser Johansson

Friday, January 24th, 2014

This is sooo much fun: leftist activists who’ve staked so much prestige on the good looks and good work of Hollywood star and sweet, caring person all around Scarlett Johansson, now have to work out a new take on her because, listen to this – she works for Jews, and the worst kind of Jews, the settlers, who took away Arab land just because said Arabs tried to kill them. But I digress.

According to the NY Times, the international aid and development group Oxfarm International “has distanced itself from one of its own global ambassadors, the actress Scarlett Johansson, since she agreed to become the face of SodaStream, an Israeli company that makes products in a settlement built on West Bank territory Israel has occupied since 1967.”

How deep is that cut, you ask? Check out the Oxfam web page on Johansson:

A long-time supporter of Oxfam, Scarlett was motivated to get involved by the organization’s response to the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami.

In 2007, she met tsunami survivors in Sri Lanka who were rebuilding their lives after losing their families and livelihoods, and saw how Oxfam projects such as village irrigation schemes and schools are helping to reconstruct devastated communities.

Scarlett’s appeal to US consumers on behalf of Oxfam Unwrapped drove over $100,000 in gifts for Mothers Day 2009 and generated worldwide media coverage for the gift catalogue’s Christmas promotion.

In 2011, Scarlett joined Oxfam’s GROW campaign, saying: “Sharing food is one of life’s pleasures… All of us, from Kentucky to Kenya, deserve enough to eat.”

Scarlett has recently supported Oxfam’s Typhoon Haiyan Appeal. She starred a short video urging people to make a donation.

Since she was named as an Oxfam Ambassador in 2007, Hollywood actress Scarlett Johansson has packed numerous fundraising, advocacy and promotional activities into her busy schedule.

And then at the bottom of the page, this:

Association with Israeli company, SodaStream

We are proud of our relationship with Scarlett Johansson who has worked with Oxfam since 2005 to support Oxfam’s mission to end poverty and injustice… Oxfam respects the independence of our ambassadors. However Oxfam believes that businesses that operate in settlements further the ongoing poverty and denial of rights of the Palestinian communities that we work to support. Oxfam is opposed to all trade from Israeli settlements, which are illegal under international law… We have made our concerns known to Ms. Johansson and we are now engaged in a dialogue on these important issues.

Now for a surprise video: actress and environmentalist Susan Sarandon at the International Housewares Association Home and Housewares show in Chicago in 2011, promoting SodaStream. How embarrassing.



We’re back.

Notes the Times: “The charity’s response came after more than a week of pressure from activists seeking to end Israel’s continued occupation of the West Bank through a campaign of boycotts, divestment and sanctions, known as B.D.S., modeled on the 1980s movement that helped undermine international acquiescence to apartheid in South Africa.”

SodaStream is a major threat to the left in both Europe and the U.S., because it goes against their narrative. Like other Jewish businesses in Judea and Samaria that offer good employment for good wages to more than 30,000 Palestinians, SodaStream presents a path to peace that does not require making anyone give up anything other than their antiquated notions and penchant for violence.

The Left can’t tolerate that, because in leftist dialectics there must be a struggle, to destroy the evil system that is, ushering in the utopian system that will be. I’ve long learned that any politicians who uses the words “struggle” and “fight,” as in “I will fight for better wages,” is a leftist. He can be a Republican – in his persona he’s a Bolshevik. I prefer politicians who talk about building stuff, cooperating, protecting rights.

Netanyahu’s Social Media Director Reportedly Suspended

Saturday, August 17th, 2013

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s social media chief was reportedly suspended for making inappropriate statements on his personal Facebook page.

Daniel Seaman, the prime minister’s director for interactive media, suggested that Palestinians who commemorate the Nakba, an Arabic word referring to the “catastrophe” that is Israel’s victory in the 1948 war, may want to reflect on their “stupidity.” Seaman also wrote he was “sick” of commemorations for the victims of the nuclear bombs dropped in Japan during World War II because “you reap what you sow.”

Israeli media quoted unnamed officials Thursday as saying that Seaman was suspended from his post. A statement from the government reported in the Jerusalem Post said only that Seaman was asked to “refrain from making such statements.”

Civil Rights Violations, Lies & Audiotape: B’klyn College Still in Spotlight

Monday, February 18th, 2013

The BDS event at Brooklyn College took place last week, but the fallout continues and what is coming may be far uglier than even the dueling charges of anti-Semitism and Zionist censorship that preceded the event.

As has been widely reported, an effort was made to bar four Jewish pro-Israel students who had pre-registered and received written confirmation of admission for getting into the building, and then again in the building, for getting into the room where the event took place.

Then, once those four were finally in the event room, they were forcibly ejected within 15 minutes of their arrival at the behest of Students for Justice for Palestine leadership, by Brooklyn College security, and with the tacit approval of at least one Brooklyn College administrator, Milga Morales, the Vice President for Student Affairs.

We are now in a situation where there seems to be no two ways about it – someone is lying, maybe several people.  And school officials, both administration representatives as well as faculty members were on the scene – so if the students were unfairly ejected, an apology will hardly suffice.

Perhaps the Jewish pro-Israel students who say they were tossed out of the anti-Israel event without cause aren’t telling the truth. Or perhaps it is the Brooklyn College administrators present at the event who confirmed and/or relied on students who claimed the pro-Israel students were being disruptive.  But there is admissible evidence available upon which a conclusion can be made.  So the next question becomes, what will the consequences be?

BACKGROUND As explained previously, the Brooklyn College division of Students for Justice in Palestine and the political science department of the college officially co-sponsored and endorsed an event at which two leaders of the virulently anti-Israel BDS movement – the Boycott of, Divestment from and Sanctioning of Israel – spoke on the Brooklyn College campus on February 7th.  The purpose of the event was to promote the BDS movement.

Critics charge that the BDS movement does not merely encourage the Israeli government to stop policies with which it disagrees, as some claim, but through its form of economic and political warfare, BDS seeks to cause the ultimate elimination of Israel, the Jewish State.

PRECEDING THE FEB. 7 EVENT Prior to the event there was much heated debate over whether it was appropriate for Brooklyn College, a publicly-funded university, to host the one-sided BDS event at all and whether the political science department should have endorsed and supported it.

The administration issued statements defending the department sponsorship on the basis of academic freedom and the marketplace of ideas. Admitting that the school-sponsored event only offered one side of an extremely controversial and divisive event, these statements claimed there was no suppression of ideas or speech because anyone would be able – and all were encouraged – to “attend, listen and fully debate.”  The BDS supporters got the green light from the school and the event took place.

THE CLAIM OF CIVIL RIGHTS VIOLATIONS Several pro-Israel students say attempts were made to intentionally block their attendance – some successfully – that non-conforming viewpoints were silenced and that Jewish pro-Israel students were rounded up and thrown out of a “public” event simply for having the “wrong” ideas.

WHO WAS EXPELLED The four Jewish students who were expelled from the event (the Expelled Four) are: Melanie Goldberg, 21, is one of the heads of the college’s Israel Club, is a Hasbara Fellowships Fellow and is a journalism student.  She said she has spoken up at other anti-Israel events in the past, but only to ask pointed questions, not in a disruptive way which others have confirmed.  The other female student who was ejected, Yvonne Juris, 22, is also a journalism student.  The other two are brothers,  Michael, 21 and Ari Ziegler, 23 – a Brooklyn College graduate student -  both of whom are members of the campus Hillel.

EVENTS AS CLAIMED BY EXPELLED FOUR According to two of the four Jewish students who were ejected, as reported by Ari Ziegler, in the New York Daily News, and Melanie Goldberg, in a Facebook posting, and in a blog at the Times of Israel:

• Goldberg explained that she and the other pro-Israel students had pre-registered for the event and received confirmation several times through several different sources, yet they were initially unable to enter the room or the building because their names had been removed from the “official” list.  It was only after the students were able to get a school administrator to intervene that they were able to enter the event room. How did that happen?  That should be part of the investigation.

New NY Times Jerusalem Bureau Chief Tips Her Hand

Wednesday, February 22nd, 2012

Incoming New York Times Jerusalem bureau chief Jodi Rudoren has been exhibiting not only questionable judgment but also an overt bias against Israel even before she’s landed in the country. Her Twitter praise of extremists like the Electronic Intifada’s Ali Abunimah and her laudatory references to Peter Beinart’s book trashing Israel indicated that she saw no reason why the public should have to wait until she started filing slanted stories to understand where she stood on the issues.

In an attempt to do some quick damage control, Rudoren submitted to an interview with Politico media reporter Dylan Byers to explain herself. But it did little to repair her image or to undermine the notion she has already made up her mind about how to report the conflict.

Rudoren claimed her tweet to Abunimah was meant to be private, not public. But the idea that she considers Electronic Intifada “important” already shows her frame of reference about Israel. It is one thing to say, as she does, a reporter must talk to all sides. It is quite another to make nice in this manner with advocates of economic warfare on Israel.

Even worse is her insistence that her praise of Peter Beinart’s tendentious attack on Israel isn’t an indication she supports his point of view. Indeed, she doubles down on her praise for Beinart:

“…I will absolutely not apologize for thinking that this is a good book…. I don’t agree with everything in the book, I don’t even have an opinion about the arguments in the book, but it’s really well-written, it’s really provocative, there’s tons of reporting in it with things people don’t know….”

The very fact that she thinks Beinart’s book, filled with left-wing clichés, contains original reporting demonstrates she has a poor grasp of what constitutes good journalism and she has come into this post knowing little about the conflict or the literature about it. Moreover, her claim she doesn’t agree with everything in the book is a weasel-worded excuse that will convince no one. You don’t give a gushing endorsement to a polemic such as Beinart’s if you are neutral about its thesis.

The Times has clearly made a mistake in appointing someone to this post with a clear bias against Israel. But the fact that she has been so indiscreet about her bias ought to alert her editors to not only her lack of political savvy but also her complete unsuitability for such a delicate position.

Jonathan S. Tobin is senior online editor of Commentary magazine with responsibility for managing the editorial content of its Contentions website as well as serving as chief politics blogger.

NY Times Jerusalem Bureau Chief Gets Acquainted with Anti-Israel ‘Sources’

Wednesday, February 15th, 2012

Jodi Rudoren, the new Jerusalem bureau chief for the New York Times, tweeted praise for Peter Beinart’s new book The Crisis of Zionism.

Rudoren, who is Jewish, wrote that the book is “terrific: provocative, readable, full of reporting and reflection.”

This comes after another questionable tweet the day before, in which Rudoren sent out introductory greetings to the founder of anti-Israel website Electronic Intifada. Rudoren wrote to Ali Abunimah that she “would love to chat sometime.”

Rudoren is taking over for Ethan Bronner in April.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/ny-times-jerusalem-bureau-chief-gets-acquainted-with-anti-israel-sources/2012/02/15/

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