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October 25, 2014 / 1 Heshvan, 5775
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Posts Tagged ‘haaretz’

Birzeit U. Kicks Out Haaretz Left-Winger Amira Hass for Being Jewish

Sunday, September 28th, 2014

The Birzeit University near Ramallah threw out Haaretz’s left-wing journalist Amira Hass from a conference on “occupied Palestine” because she is Jewish.

The daughter of two Holocaust survivors, she has become over the past few years the most pro-Palestinian Authority journalist in Israel, has lived in Gaza and Ramallah and has written in Haaretz that Arab rock-throwing is a “birthright and duty of anyone subject to foreign rule.”

Her credentials as an enemy of a Jewish presence in Judea and Samaria are impeccable except for the fact that she is Jewish.

That is why the organizers of the conference on “Alternatives to Neo-Liberal Development in the Occupied Palestinian Territories – Critical Perspectives” told her she could not cover the event.

The organizers were The German Rosa Luxemburg Foundation and The Center for Development Studies (CDS) at Birzeit University.

Hass wrote in Haaretz on Sunday, “During the first presentation on Tuesday, two lecturers from the CDS approached me within ten minutes of each other, asking me to step outside…. ‘Am I not allowed to be here?’ I asked, half-kidding, but one of the lecturers answered that there was a problem.

“When I registered at the entrance of the conference I wrote next to my name the institution I belong to, Haaretz. For the past two decades, the lecturer said, there has been a law at Birzeit stipulating that Israelis (Jewish Israelis, that is) are not allowed on the university grounds. The students manning the conference registration desk saw that I had written ‘Haaretz,’ realized I was an Israeli, and ran to tell the university authorities. The security department in turn went to the conference organizers, the lecturer said. She and her colleagues were afraid, she told me, that students would break into the conference hall in protest over my presence.”

Hass added that she did not see anyone protesting, but a rumor spread that students had attacked her. Rumors often become self-fulfilling expectations, and one faculty member whom Hass said has known for 40 years “walked past and said, ‘This is for your own protection.’”

Her ouster was a classic example of a non-Arab leftist, in this case a Jew, embracing an Arab or Islamic cause only to get stabbed in the back.

Most leftists eventually see the light or simply are brainwashed so much that they forever blame the Zionists and the West for their fate.

Hass’ article included a hint of some enlightenment. When realizing she had to leave, “I was at that moment reminded of the image that Israelis commonly have of Palestinians: irrational hotheads,” she wrote.

But before coming to her senses completely, she comforted herself by hearing the protests by her colleagues and supporters in the Rosa Foundation who said they would not have agreed to allow the conference to take place at Birzeit without her being allowed to attend.

“In the past twenty years, I have entered Birzeit University dozens of times, and have been an audience member at various academic conferences there,” Hass wrote. “I have also interviewed faculty members both on and off campus. A year ago, an economics lecturer refused an interview, telling me, “It’s not personal. But you know what the rules are.”

It is nothing personal?

Wake up, Amira, you are Jewish. You were kicked out not because you are a journalist and not because you are from Haaretz. You were kicked out because you are a Jew, like it or not.

To your credit, your remain Jewish.

But you don’t take it personally that you are now allowed to do your job, which you think is to promote the Palestinian Authority campaign against Israel, because you are Jewish?

Typical Libel Against Israel Gets Promoted, then Accepted

Monday, March 10th, 2014

This ludicrous article by Dave Zirin in ‘The Nation” (which claims Israeli police attacked two ‘Palestinian footballers’ in an unprovoked attack) with the dramatic headline “After latest incident, Israel’s future in FIFA is uncertain” has been widely distributed around social media sites. The naive youngsters who distribute and read it are completely unaware that the Nation is a communist sympathising magazine (see its support for Putin’s intervention in Ukraine here). But there is something extremely strange about this story. Although some of the usual anti-Israel sites are carrying the story, the source appears to be the antisemitic Palestinian news agency Maan which has a very long history of spreading complete lies.

In fact the only ‘main stream’ news organization that I could find carrying the story was the leftist Israeli newspaper Haaretz – which always prints any story it can that can discredit Israel. But even Haaretz (despite the irrelevant anti-Israel picture) tells a very different story from the one by Zirin and includes the following rather relevant information about the incident that was curiously not mentioned by Zirin:

A Border Police spokesman said, “During operational activity, a group of individuals was seen just seconds before throwing bombs at security forces. When they saw the Border Policemen, the group attempted to run away and tried again to throw bombs at the policemen. The policemen initiated the protocol for opening fire in order to neutralize the threat. The suspects were apprehended, and a bomb was found on them, which has been deactivated.” The response included a picture of the bomb.

In fact, further evidence of Zirin’s libel is his apparent total fabrication of the details of the medical treatment received by the bomb throwers footballers. He says

Ten bullets were put into Jawhar’s feet. Adam took one bullet in each foot. After being transferred from a hospital in Ramallah to King Hussein Medical Center in Amman, they received the news that soccer would no longer be a part of their futures.

But even the Maan report admits that the men

were taken to an Israeli hospital in Jerusalem

And Harretz confirms that

 The two Palestinians are under guard in Hadassah University Hospital, Ein Karem, have been operated on for their gunshot wounds, and will remain there until their treatment is finished.

To put this whole ‘Football/FIFA’ aspect into context it is worth remembering that Hamas used their FIFA-funded football ground to launch rockets at Israeli cities in November 2012; moreover, the many supposedly ‘pro-Palestinian’ sites that are quick to promote any libellous nonsense they find about Israel were completely silent about this story where several Palestinian football fans were beaten to death by police in Jordan.

More on the relentless football Jihad against Israel here.

Visit Confronting Antisemitism and Israel Hatred in the UK.

Should Israel Help Save America’s Jewish Community?

Tuesday, December 17th, 2013

On the list of really difficult dilemmas, this has to be in the top 10. Should the State of Israel, fast becoming the biggest—and certainly the most Jewish identified—Jewish center in the world, make an effort to save the second largest Jewish center from disappearing?

According to an AP report Monday, headlined “Israel reaches out to save US Jewish community,” more than 100 Israeli leaders gathered with Jewish-American counterparts in Jerusalem last month to discuss the “daunting mission” of saving Jewish life in North America.

In my opinion, Israel must invest only in one, narrow, even narrow minded effort: bringing Jews from the West to Israel, before it’s too late. Be the immigration country you’re supposed to be. Instead of spending money on strengthening Jewish identity in countries where such an identity is borderline meaningless—create better incentives for Jews to make Aliyah.

The economic crash is not going away any time soon in the U.S. and Western Europe, even as things look less terrible than they did 5 years ago. Israel should make it its business to entice a million Western Jews to make the move, by offering them a better life in the Jewish State.

Having made the move myself, with my family, only two years ago, I can tell you that besides the great weather and spiritual advantages, Israel also has a robust economy, where an educated Jew can make a future for himself or herself, and a fantastic healthcare system, where no one, but no one is left behind. But Israel should invest in making its system easier for newcomers to navigate, and, most crucially, create attractive housing opportunities across the country.

According to AP, Israel has invested more than $125 million trying to bring young Jews to visit, as a way of strengthening their ties with the Jewish homeland. More than 300,000 young Jews from around the world have been brought over by Birthright, with funding from Israel and Jewish philanthropists.

But studies show that the effect of the trips is usually short termed.

It’s no secret that assimilation and intermarriage are shrinking Jewish American communities at an ever faster pace, the notorious Pew study has found that young American Jews are growing increasingly estranged from Judaism.

Moreover, many American Jews, especially the younger ones, who are mostly socially liberal, have serious doubts about Israel’s security policies. Would they accept help from Israel, which they’re often more likely to boycott?

American Jews who are anti-Israel have reached that position over two or three key issues, all of them born by media distortion and outrageous political hypocrisy: the right of Jews to live in the disputed territories; the right of women to pray at the Kotel wearing talit and tefillin; and, maybe, Israel’s African illegal migrants problems.

“An Israel which doesn’t address these issues is an Israel which in the long run endangers the relationship with world Jewry,” Donniel Hartman told AP. He said Jews who don’t believe Israel shares their liberal values may disconnect from it.

It used to be that U.S. Jews saw themselves as Israel’s lifeline, raising millions of dollars and lobbying government on its behalf. At least that was the common perception. But today Israel is an affluent country, with a thriving economy, a stunningly innovative high tech industry, and the strongest army in the Middle East.

It is also the superior intellectual and religious center of the Jewish world, far exceeding the accomplishment of the U.S. Jewish community. And so, despite the fact that many American Jews aren’t happy with it, Israel is the natural choice when it comes to saving their communities from oblivion.

Memo to Those Who Still Think Hezbollah Is a Distant Threat

Monday, June 17th, 2013
If there is one single factor that explains why we write this blog, it’s that having gone through the horror of our child being murdered (murdered, murdered, murdered, murdered… the word has never for a moment lost its power to stop us in our tracks), we feel the need to turn to others and say: This happens, and the people doing it want it to happen to many more people.
It’s hard to say we have a better understanding than others do of the process that turns individuals into jihadists and terrorists of other kinds. We probably don’t. Nor do we claim, even for a moment, to be smarter or better informed. We have simply learned to take these things seriously.
Others, we are reminded every time we look at news and analysis from all over the world and from our own country as well, don’t. At least, not seriously enough.
And we now have much less patience for the self-serving nonsense that is constantly served up by ill-informed and/or ideologically-driven reporters and their editors. You know, the utter rubbish about how we need to get down to “root causes“, to understand the “desperation” that brings people to do whatever the latest atrocity is, to apologize for the occupation or the prosperity of the alienation or whatever alleged trigger is top of their list of concerns and accusations.
This brings us to a startling article in Haaretz that went up in the last few hours: “Out of Iran, into Africa: Hezbollah’s scramble for Africa“, by Eli Karmon of the Interdisciplinary Center (IDC) in Herzliya, Israel. The subtitle conveys what he wants us to know: “Across East and West Africa, Iranian and Lebanese nationals have been arrested in connection with Hezbollah-related terrorist activities. What is Hezbollah – and Iran – building in Africa, and why?
Because it can be hard to get people to read full-length articles, and especially about obscure dimensions of the incomprehensible Middle East and its never ending conflicts, here’s the key quote:

In the event of an acute diplomatic or military crisis in the Gulf arising from tensions relating to Iran’s nuclear efforts, Iran and Hezbollah, its proxy, could easily use the African continent for attacks against American and European targets there or as a platform for operations in Europe itself. At a time when the European Union appears so hesitant in designating Hezbollah, or even its “military branch”, as a terrorist organization, it is no wonder that countries such as India, Thailand, Bulgaria or Cyprus do not dare compel Iran, and Hezbollah, to pay the diplomatic and political price for their deadly activities. Europe is setting a poor example not only to its members but to the international community as a whole.

We have much more to say about Hezbollah, but not now. It’s enough if our readers will focus on the brief quote in the previous para. On the other hand, if Karmon’s analysis speaks to you, please read more about those murderous Islamists here.

Downfall of a Great Newspaper

Thursday, April 25th, 2013

Editor’s Note: A version of this article appeared in Hebrew at Mida, a publication of El Haprat, a nonprofit organization. It was then published in English in a new online publication The Tower. It is being republished here by permission. Erez Tadmor is a political editor at Mida Magazine.

In early April of this year, the controversial Haaretz reporter Amira Hass, whose coverage of Palestinian violence over the last decade has often prompted accusations of bias, caused a major stir when she published a column called “The Internal Syntax of the Occupation.” Most provocative was her claim that “throwing stones is the hereditary right and duty of someone under a foreign power”—words that appeared only a few days after Adele Biton, a 3-year old Israeli girl, was critically injured when a Palestinian threw a rock at the car her mother was driving, causing it to slam into a commercial truck.

In a Sunday interview with journalist Kalman Libskind of the radio station Galei Yisrael, Haaretz publisher Amos Schocken set out to defend Hass’s article. Growing flustered, however, Schocken ended up saying that moving to a settlement was a form of deliberately endangering the welfare of one’s children, something that in another context would trigger the intervention of social services. As for Hass’s sympathy for rock-throwers, Schocken refused to distance himself. “Sometimes,” he concluded, “you have to fight violence with violence.”

The method Amos Schocken chose to defend Hass’s article, and his defense of editor-in-chief Aluf Benn’s decision to publish the piece in full, sheds some light on the recent changes at the once-venerable Israeli daily. In a series of interviews conducted with current and former Haaretz employees, some of whom held high-level positions at the paper and most of whom still hold it close to their hearts, a consensus emerged to the effect that the paper is undergoing a process of major change that has led to a dramatic reduction in staff, a precipitous decline in journalistic standards, and a willful radicalization of its politics in pursuit of Internet traffic.

As Israel’s longstanding newspaper of record, these developments have raised important questions about the future of print journalism, especially in a country where a free and dynamic press has always been at the center of Israel’s democratic discourse.

For decades, Israelis have associated Haaretz with journalistic quality—or, rather, they’ve associated journalistic quality with Haaretz. The paper was known for its scrupulous editorship and for articles, reviews and columns issued in a Hebrew so highly styled and written in such a lofty register that it bordered on the literary—something that comes as no surprise considering the paper’s pedigree. Salman Schocken, grandfather of Amos and patriarch of the family that controlled the paper for decades, transforming it from an official administrative paper of the British colonial authority into a cultural institution, was also the founder of one of the world’s most distinguished publishing houses—Schocken Books, which published Kafka, Hannah Arendt, Walter Benjamin and other literary luminaries of pre-war Germany.

Though it literally means “the land,” the Hebrew word haaretz is understood to refer to the nation, the country, and the State of Israel all wrapped up into one. And for three-quarters of a century, Haaretz in many ways was all that. It was Israel’s unrivaled national stage, and what played out in its news articles and opinion pages was Israeli public life itself. In this sense, it could be thought of as Israel’s New York Times—the difference being that the centrality of Haaretz to Israeli life was far greater than that of the Gray Lady in America, where a number of other stalwart dailies were able to successfully vie for readership and influence over the years. But although its circulation never approached that of the popular dailies Maariv and Yediot Aharonot, Haaretz had nothing that could be seriously spoken of as competition.

However, Haaretz has gone through excruciating times of late, much like the rest of Israel’s print-media industry. Recent months have seen major staff cuts, reports of a crisis between management and employees, the closure or downsizing of major supplements, and an oftentimes-inelegant shift in emphasis from print to digital.

But according to the employees interviewed for this article, all of whom refused to be identified out of fear of the impact on their careers in Israel’s small and insular media environment, the Amira Hass affair was a red flag not only for the Israeli public, but also for many on the Haaretz staff. As one former editor at the news desk put it:

Amira Hass’s article must be seen as the result of a conscious decision to radicalize the paper, to make it something shallow, sensationalist, and shocking, and to give it the image of a paper—really, a website—that is courageous and groundbreaking. At the end of the day, there is only one goal: To generate traffic. It doesn’t matter if the piece is good or bad, what matters is that it leads to website traffic.

The Jewish Press cartoonist Asher Scwartz's take on the Amira Hass controversy.

The Jewish Press cartoonist Asher Scwartz’s take on the Amira Hass controversy.

Ha’aretz Depicts Anti-Israel Groups as Representing America Jewry

Tuesday, April 9th, 2013

The uber-left Jew-hating Israeli newspaper Haaretz’s headline today reads: “U.S. Jewish groups call on synagogue to cancel anti-Muslim speaker.”

Wow, Haaretz implies that the anti-Israel groups and boycott-Israel groups “Jewish Voice for Peace,” “Jews for Racial and Economic Justice,” and “Jews Say No!” represent “US Jewish groups.” No, they represent anti-Jewish and anti-Israel groups.

These are vicious anti-Jewish groups bent on destroying the tiny Jewish state. The libel and lies by anti-Jewish Haaretz continue as they label me “anti-Muslim.” Haaretz is defaming and libeling those who expose Islamic Jew-hatred as “anti-Muslim.” Anti-Muslim — as if opposing jihad and the most brutal ideology on the face of the earth, the sharia, is “anti-Muslim.” Obviously Haaretz believes that all Muslims support sharia and jihad, or else they would not use that smear. Yet their assumption is in direct contradiction to the idea that most Muslims are “moderate.”

I am not anti-Muslim or anti-anyone, and this label smears my work in defense of the freedom of speech and equality of rights for all as a campaign against a group of people.

But what do you expect from the newspaper that endorses stone-throwing by “Palestinian” jihadists?

Visit Atlas Shrugs.

License to Murder: It’s Not Just Amira Hass

Tuesday, April 9th, 2013

The Palestinian Authority is the official body behind the recent “intifada” of rocks and Molotov cocktails, and Haaretz journalist Amira Hass has long been the Palestinians’ unofficial spokeswoman. When she wrote an article this week legitimizing rock throwing, she was doing her part in the PA’s effort to stretch a defensive umbrella over the young brutes lobbing rocks and incendiary bombs. They are the ones who mortally wounded baby Adelle Biton. They are the ones who seriously injured musician Itzik Kalah’s wife, Tziyona, four months ago near Beitar Ilit. Both events occured in the so-called settlements blocs: the Palestinians do not discriminate.

The Central Command of the IDF won’t admit it, but a rash of so many terrorist attacks at the same time and with such scope is impossible unless it is centrally organized. The PA, meanwhile, is not in the least embarrassed by what it dubs a “popular intifada.”

The terrorist organizers don’t only deploy terrorists. They also deploy collaborators and lawyers, as well as sympathetic media coverage from within the civilian population under attack (in accordance with the doctrines of terrorism first developed in the Soviet Union).

I don’t have any intention of taking on Amira Hass. She turned traitor long ago, and her case is one for the legal authorities. But is Hass the only journalist in the service of the “popular intifada”? What about the other news media—are they doing their job? Or are they also collaborating, by keeping silent?

Helplessness

Most of the media do not report most rock-throwing attacks. I encountered this reality in the past when my wife and I were nearly lynched on our way home from visiting my parents’ graves on the Mount of Olives. Only a few of the media reported on the injury to my head, even though pictures were provided to them on a silver platter. No journalist came to interview me about what I had experienced, about the feeling of helplessness that comes with the inability to protect one’s wife.

There was my wife’s angle too. She was the one at the wheel. Aside from the fear and the terror, the trembling and the tears that gripped her, the post-traumatic symptoms, she was left with a sense of betrayal. My wife is a nurse, and she has occasion to provide treatment to residents of the Arab neighborhood where we were attacked, while virtually all the teachers from the little terrorists’ school stood outside watching as their students set upon us. Fittingly or not, the principal brought his daughter to be treated by my wife just one week later.

Then there is my daughter the journalist, who hurried to the scene only to discover that this was the same school about which she had published a number of complimentary news items.

And I have to make mention of the two times when I personally rescued Arabs who found themselves in the midst of angry crowds gathered for funerals of terror victims. Yet none of the Palestinians in the dozens of vehicles around us on the Mount of Olives made a move to save us.

What we have here is a perfect scoop by any measure. But almost nothing was published.

So when did the media report on what was happening in the area? Just one day after I was wounded, when City of David head David Be’eri lightly injured an Arab youth who was throwing rocks at his car as he drove through the area. The footage taken by the photographers who had been invited to film the Palestinian ambush, showing the youth being injured by Be’eri’s car, was broadcast repatedly.

Why does this matter so much to me? Because even aside from the media’s rightful function of delegitimizing terrorism with cold weapons, coverage makes a difference. A big difference. In a country where the media are so powerful that they dictate how many resources go to a given criminal investigation, reports carry a lot of weight. When rocks were thrown at an Arab woman last month in Jerusalem, media pressure brought out a slew of investigative teams, and all those who had been involved were quickly arrested. The powers that be made it crystal clear that the law is supreme, and it is enforced … the problem being that it is enforced selectively.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/opinions/license-to-murder-its-not-just-amira-hass/2013/04/09/

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