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September 23, 2014 / 28 Elul, 5774
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Posts Tagged ‘Guardian’

Israelis and Iranians Held Talks on Dismantling their Nuclear Weapons

Tuesday, November 6th, 2012

Despite the verbal confrontation between Israel and Iran over Tehran’s nuclear program, Israeli and Iranian officials participated this week in secret talks in Brussels, Belgium, on dismantling both countries’ arsenals of nuclear and other weapons of mass destruction, Julian Borger reported in the Guardian.

Participants included Jeremy Issacharoff, the Foreign Ministry’s Deputy Director for Strategic Affairs. The chief Iranian representative is Ali Asghar Soltanieh, Iran’s ambassador to the International Atomic Energy Agency in Vienna. The meetings are moderated by Finnish diplomat Jaakko Laajava, whom the UN secretary general appointed to organize the planned conference in Helsinki.

The talks, conducted in a seminar format, were held under the auspices of the EU. A media blackout was imposed on the discussions and participants have pledged not to publicize even the fact that the talks are being held, much less anything about their content.

In sharp contrast with the saber rattling of both sides’ leaders, Mark Fitzpatrick, a non-proliferation expert from the International Institute for Strategic Studies and former state department official, told the Guardian that “there were no fireworks and no denunciations” at the conference.

Defamation: Combating the Assault on Israel’s Legitimacy at the Guardian

Monday, October 29th, 2012

H/T Chas

“Sometimes the left distinguishes between vulnerable European Jews who have been persecuted and latter-day “Prussians” in Israel. Yet it is often forgotten that a majority of Israelis just happen to be Jews, who fear therefore that what begins with the delegitimization of the state will end with the delegitimization of the people.” – Colin Shindler

Benjamin Pogrund, a former South African journalist, and anti-Apartheid activist, who made Aliyah in 1997 and founded Yakar’s Centre for Social Concern, published a piece at ‘Comment is Free’ on Oct. 25 titled ‘Israel has moved to the right, but is not an apartheid state.’

Pogrund refuted the recent poll on Israeli views of Arabs, and the profound distortion of the poll results, which smeared Israel with the charge of apartheid, by Gideon Levy of Ha’aretz.

Interestingly, Pogrund was forced to contend not merely with one misrepresentation, but two, as CiF editors noted the following below the essay:

“The original headline of this article, “Israel is hostile towards Arabs, but it is not an apartheid state”, was changed at 17:46 on 26 October 2012 at the request of the author.”

Anyone reading Pogrund’s piece would understand that he not only responded to the apartheid charge but, in fact, refuted those claiming that the poll demonstrated Israel’s hostility towards its Arab citizens.

One of the more thoughtful reader comments about the broader issue of the danger posed by slander against the Jewish state, below the line of Pogrund’s CiF piece, was posted by someone using the moniker Mita Khondria, who wrote the following:

Pejorative terms used freely against Jews in the last century led to people thinking that the Jews were a ripe target which could be injured with impunity, and attempted to wipe them out in an industrial murder operation the very scope of which was breath-taking.

Similar loose talk about a Jewish state in this century and blind insistence on its uniquely evil nature despite the obvious dangers (and the absurdity of applying these terms to this one state when there are plenty with far worse records) is irresponsible in the extreme.  So when people ask what you can say about Israel without being antisemitic I would ask them, whatever they say, to name at least one other current state about which they can say the same thing. Comparisons with Apartheid South Africa and Nazi Germany are of course ruled out as indications of a desire to do damage.

For instance, there were gasps of disbelief from Westerners recently that Israel had no civil marriage laws.  They were not aware that this is the rule not the exception in the Middle East.  It was therefore not antisemitic when put into the correct perspective.

The Hebrew term for speaking badly of others (Slander, spreading malicious, false information, etc.) is called lashon hara, literally “evil language.”

Such evil speech, when it involves criticism of Israel at the Guardian, often involves not outright lies – though they are not uncommon – but the dynamic of selectively reporting information void of historical or political context, or any sense of moral proportion.

Such context is vital in providing the nuance and complexity necessary to avoid misleading, lazy characterizations which render Israeli Jews as mere stereotypes, caricatures, or crude political abstractions.

Interestingly, according to Jewish tradition, while the person engaging in such slander is of course morally culpable, those who listen and fail to refute false, misleading and defamatory words are considered more culpable, because the person had the power to stop the lie and didn’t, thus completing the transgression.

All that is required of a philo-Semites – indeed of anti-racists more broadly – is the determination to not allow defamations of the Jewish people to go unchallenged.

‘What begins with the delegitimization of the state will end with the delegitimization of the people.’

Our mission at CiF Watch – leveraging nothing more than the weight of our arguments and the power of our speech – is to refute false and misleading information about Israel and the Jewish people.

We also hope to inspire others to do the same.

Visit CifWatch.org.

UK Writer Compares Security Barrier to the Warsaw Ghetto Wall

Monday, October 22nd, 2012

On Oct. 21, the Observer (sister publication of the Guardian) published a review, by film critic Philip French, of the film ‘5 Broken Cameras,’ a documentary produced by a Palestinian about his “resistance” to Israel’s security fence in Bil’in.

French writes the following:

“Emad Burnat, the peasant and smallholder who spends his days and nights recording life about him in his native Bil’in, the township where his family has lived for generations

Like Filip in Camera Buff, Emad bought his first camera when his fourth son, Gibreel, was born in 2005. He initially used it for home movies and then, at their invitation, to make similar pictures for his neighbours.

But fairly soon Emad developed a sense of empowerment and a duty to serve his community. His camera became a way of uniting his fellow [Bil'in] citizens, publicising their struggle and becoming a witness for posterity when the Israeli authorities sent in troops to deprive them of land to create a defensive barrier of steel and wire that later became a high concrete wall.”

Background not provided by French includes the fact that, before the fence was erected, terrorists moved freely from Palestinian cities such as Bil’in to Israeli ones killing hundreds of innocent Jewish civilians.

French also fails to note the 2011  relocation of the fence bordering Bil’in due to a ruling by Israel’s Supreme Court, which enlarged Palestinian territory, making the village more suitable for Palestinian agricultural.

However, in addition to the story’s predictable Palestinian narrative, the most absurd claim is made by French in the following passage:

Emad developed a sense of empowerment and a duty to serve his community. His camera became a way of uniting his fellow citizens, publicising their struggle and becoming a witness for posterity when the Israeli authorities sent in troops to deprive them of land to create a defensive barrier of steel and wire that later became a high concrete wall. Inevitably, seeing this barrier going up in Israel we think of the wall surrounding the Warsaw ghetto, the one that appeared overnight in Berlin…

Of course, any sane commentator would dismiss out of hand the notion that Israel’s security wall evokes (in any conceivable manner) the Jewish ghetto walls erected by the Nazis.

The Warsaw Ghetto, the largest Jewish ghetto in Nazi-occupied Europe, was established in the Polish capital in 1940. Eventually, over 400,000 Jews resided in an area of 3.4 km. From there, at least 254,000 ghetto residentswere sent to the Treblinka death camp over a period of two months in 1942.

Average food rations in 1941 for Jews in Warsaw were limited to a mere 184 calories, and, among the Jews who weren’t sent to Nazi death camps, over 100,000 of the ghetto’s residents died due to disease, starvation or random killings.

Bil’in is a Palestinian administered town, and is not a ghetto in even the broadest sense of the word.

The Warsaw ghetto walls were designed to keep Jews from escaping.

Israel’s security fence was designed to keep terrorists from infiltrating Israel and murdering Jews.

Israel’s security fence would only evoke a Holocaust-related comparison for those inebriated by the constant drumbeat of Guardian anti-Zionist propaganda.

Visit CifWatch.com.

Did the Guardian Just Recognize “East” Jerusalem as Part of Israel?

Tuesday, October 16th, 2012

It’s been a tough year for the Guardian’s “research” department.

Earlier in Oct., the Press Complaints Commission concluded that the Guardian’s “unequivocal statement” in their “Style Guide” that “Tel Aviv is the capital of Israel” was incorrect and therefore breached “the Editors’ Code of Practice.”

Here’s what their Style Guide stataed about Jerusalem a few months ago.

Thanks to action by Honest Reporting, in taking the complaint to the PCC, their Style Guide now reads as follows:

Ok, they don’t refer to Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, but this is the Guardian, after all, and we’re always pleased when even a small dose of reality penetrates their ideological bubble.

However, the small admission that Tel Aviv is not Israel’s capital didn’t prepare us for what follows.

You see, the Guardian typically refers to the section of Jerusalem illegally occupied by Jordan between 1949 and 1967 as “East Jerusalem”, inspired by the belief that a future Palestinian state will inevitably include a capital in that part of the city, and that any Jews who live there are illegal “settlers”.

They even have an East Jerusalem page:

Typical is a report by Harriet Sherwood in 2010, titled Jerusalem “Western Wall Development plan opposed by Palestinians as illegal,” which included this passage:

“Jerusalem’s key Muslim, Jewish and Christian holy sites lie in and around the Old City, just on the eastern side of the “green line” or pre-1967 border. Israel captured and later annexed East Jerusalem in the Six Day War of 1967 in a move not recognised by the international community.”

However, Sherwood left out quite a bit.

In the aftermath of Israel’s War of Independence, Jerusalem was arbitrarilydivided, and Jews living on the “east” side were expelled by Jordanian forces, and dozens of synagogues (and other physical traces of Jewish life) were destroyed.

This map of the 1949-1967 boundary between “East” and “West” Jerusalem shows that the line cut off the Old City from Israel, including the Jewish Quarter, as well as Judaism’s holiest site (The Temple Mount).

The misnomer of “historically Arab East Jerusalem” – based on a geographical reality imposed by Arabs for a short 18 years in its long history – has become so part of the official meme that the U.K. Advertising Authority ruled in 2010 that an Israeli tourism ad featuring the Western Wall, Temple Mount and the Dome of the Rock was a violation of advertising laws.

The Advertising Authority ruled that the historic Jewish locations were, in fact, located in “East Jerusalem and part of the occupied territories.”

So, given the Guardian’s strict adherence to such absurd narratives about the Israeli capital, I was shocked to find the following caption in an Oct. 3 edition of the Guardian’s series, “Picture Desk Live.”

While the “holiest site” in Judaism is actually the Temple Mount, and not the retaining wall where Jews are seen praying, this is a minor fact compared to the text at the end of the caption. Indeed, I had to look at the caption twice as I truly didn’t believe my eyes the first time.

Amazingly, the Guardian evidently now recognizes “East” Jerusalem as part of Israel!

So, now that they have started “Judaizing” Jerusalem, I think it’s reasonable to wonder what other concessions to Zionism we can now expect?

Will their reporters start referring to the West Bank as Judea and Samaria?

Will “settlers” now be called “Israelis”, and “settlements” now called “Yishuvim”?

Will Harriet Sherwood begin to characterize Palestinians who murder innocent Israeli civilians as “terrorists,” instead of “militants”?

Alright, perhaps I’m over-reacting just a bit!

Visit CifWatch.com.

The Guardian, Muslim Rioting and ‘Cause & Effect’

Wednesday, October 10th, 2012

An official Guardian editorial on Oct. 1, ‘In praise of the political cartoon,’ commended the Egyptian newspaper Al Watan for “publishing… pictures with the message that the west misunderstands Islam,” which the editorial contrasted with “Charlie Hebdo‘s senselessly inflammatory caricatures of the prophet Muhammad.”

Charlie Hebdo is a French satirical magazine which printed a set of cartoons on Sept. 19 featuring Muhammad which included more than one depicting him naked.

The magazine’s editor, Stephane Charbonnier, explained that they were “using its freedom of expression to comment on the news in a satirical way.” The news he’s referring to is rioting by Muslims throughout the world, beginning in mid-September, in response to the low-budget anti-Islam film ‘Innocence of Muslims.’

In addition to praising the Egyptian cartoons, about the West’s apparent misunderstanding of Islam, the Guardian editorial contrasted such attempts at greater understanding with “…Charlie Hebdo‘s caricatures which, “produced a week of protest, embassy closure, legal complaint and, most gravely, 19 dead [and 160 injured] in Pakistan.”

What the Guardian is referring to is violent rioting, on Sept. 19, in Pakistan’s largest cities – on a day of government-sanctioned protests over the film and cartoon.  According to a New York Times report on the violence, most of the deaths occurred in Karachi, where “protesters burned effigies, stoned a KFC and engaged in armed clashes with the police that left 14 people dead and more than 80 wounded by evening.”

Regardless of the details of the deaths, however, to claim that the Hebdo cartoon – of a man who Muslims believe was a messenger and prophet of God – “produced” the Pakistani deaths is absurd.

The editors of a French satirical magazine do not have blood on their hands.

Citizens of Pakistan, Israel, America, or adults of any faith in any other nation in the world who possess moral agency, can freely chose to engage in senseless rioting over a religious or political insult  - thus risking death or injury – or they can choose not to.

Is such an intuitive understanding of ‘case and effect’, and individual moral responsibility, even debatable?

Visit CifWatch.com.

US Warned Europeans against Supporting Palestinian Statehood

Thursday, October 4th, 2012

The United States reportedly warned European governments in a memorandum not to support a Palestinian bid for increased status at the United Nations.

The memorandum, which was exposed by the Guardian, called giving the Palestinians enhanced non-member state status “extremely counterproductive” and threatened “significant negative consequences” for the Palestinian Authority, including financial sanctions.

The memorandum, sent by U.S. officials to representatives of European governments at the United Nations General Assembly last week in New York, said that Palestinian statehood “can only be achieved via direct negotiations with the Israelis.” It called on the European governments to block Palestinian attempts to be recognized as a non-member state.

It also asked each government where it stands on the issue and said the U.S. was interested in knowing whether the European governments had been approached by Palestinian representatives.

The Palestinians reportedly will wait until after November’s presidential elections in America to make their bid for the new status in the General Assembly, where the United States does not have veto power. They will, however, press for a vote by the end of the year and expect the issue to pass by a “comfortable majority,” according to the Guardian.

Tevye in the Promised Land, Chapter 15: Guardian of Israel

Friday, September 28th, 2012

As a sign of his grief over Tzeitl, Tevye tore his shirt and sat on a low stool in Hodel’s house in the traditional custom of mourners. He maintained a stalwart expression to disguise the hole he felt in his heart. His strength came from Golda. She appeared to him in a dream and told him not to worry.

“Don’t be so sad, my husband. Our Tzeitl is fine. She is back with her Motel, and she visits me all the time.”

When Bat Sheva blamed God for being unfair, Tevye reprimanded her for her bitterness. Who was man to complain, he asked her?  God was in Heaven, and they were on earth. A mortal had to accept the Almighty’s decrees in humility and believe that all of His doings were just.

The traditional period of shiva allowed a mourner to express his grief in the comforting presence of family and friends. All during the week, the pioneers of the kibbutz arrived at Hodel’s house to share their condolences with the family. Though none of the members of the kibbutz were religious, the men agreed to make up a prayer minyan so that Tevye could say the mourner’s Kaddish. Since they did not have prayerbooks for everyone, Shmuelik wrote out handwritten copies of the prayers. He also convinced the community that they should all have mezuzahs on their houses. It was decided that Ben Zion’s friend, Peter, would accompany Shmuelik to Tiberias, where he would buy kosher parchment. The quarantine in the city had ended, and Shmuelik was happy to find a thriving religious community in the ancient lakeside enclave. Throughout the rest of the week, the young scholar sat hunched over a table, quill in hand, carefully forming the letters of the Shema Yisrael prayer on the small clafs of parchment which he rolled up into the wooden mezuzah cases that Goliath whittled while watching the children. Though the kibbutzniks had made a religion of denying religion, they all willingly nailed the mezuzahs to their doorways as an expression of their Jewishness, in the same way that they all circumcised and bar-mitzvahed their sons.

Bolstered by his faith that man’s brief existence in this world was but a doorway to an eternal World to Come, and that Tzeitl was truly happy in Heaven, Tevye was able to enjoy the long and often heated discussions which filled Hodel’s house throughout the week. After all, as much as a Jew liked a good sour pickle, he savored a juicy debate. Most often, Perchik or Ben Zion represented the Zionist platform, while Tevye defended the sacred path of the Torah. The striking, white-bearded Gordon also had plenty to say. The philosopher and writer was the oldest member of the kibbutz, and the younger people, including Perchik and Ben Zion, showed him a great deal of respect. In a play on the life of Moses, Gordon would have been chosen to play the lead role. His high, balding forehead glowed red from his work in the sun, his eyes shone with intelligence, and his long, untrimmed beard gave him a prophet’s charisma. But, without a yarmulkah to cover his head, he looked more like a Jewish Tolstoy than the lawgiver of the Jews.

Surprisingly, the kibbutz women were as outspoken in their opinions as the men. In Tevye’s eyes, this breach of modesty was shocking. Ever since the time of Abraham and Sarah, the place of a Jewish woman was in the inner sanctums of the home. In the home itself, a woman could express her opinions from morning to night, but in public, when strange men were present, speaking out like a man was strictly taboo. The young, long-braided girl, Sonia, whom Ben Zion had danced with, was particularly loose with her tongue. Her free-thinking outbursts caused Shmuelik to redden with embarrassment and seek pretenses to withdraw from the room. The girl’s chutzpah particularly annoyed Bat Sheva. Tevye’s daughter would argue with her fiercely, even when she agreed with the things that Sonia was saying. Ben Zion greatly enjoyed their jousts, knowing they were meant to win his attention. Recalling Tevye’s warning in the snow-covered forest on the road to Odessa, the Zionist kept a respectable distance away from the milkman’s daughter, but now and again, he cast her passionate glances which made her believe he still cared.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/books/the-book-shelf/tevye-in-the-promised-land-books/tevye-in-the-promised-land-chapter-15-guardian-of-israel/2012/09/28/

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