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Posts Tagged ‘Helen Thomas’

Congressmen Threaten PA Aid over Helen Thomas Award

Thursday, April 12th, 2012

In a letter to Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, two congressmen said a medal awarded to veteran journalist Helen Thomas could hurt U.S. assistance to the PA.

Reps. Steve Chabot (R-Ohio), the chairman of the House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on the Middle East and South Asia, and Eliot Engel (D-N.Y.) in their April 6 letter noted that the Foreign Affairs Committee passed legislation last year setting conditions on U.S. assistance to the PA, and that recognition of someone like Helen Thomas goes against those conditions.

In the letter, a copy of which was obtained by JTA, the lawmakers wrote that the Preparing the Palestinian People for Peace Act conditioned U.S. assistance “on whether the PA was actively preparing its people for peace through compromise with messages of tolerance, understanding, and reconciliation. Unfortunately, it seems that the award to Helen Thomas is just another way to avoid telling the Palestinian population that they must be prepared for a negotiated settlement.”

Thomas, considered the dean of White House correspondents, was forced to resign in 2010 after making anti-Israel comments to a blogger.

Chabot and Engel said that recognizing Thomas was “tantamount to accepting and agreeing with her call for Jews in Palestine to go back to ‘Poland, Germany and America and everywhere else.’ ”

In addition, the lawmakers highlighted the continuing pattern of the PA recognizing individuals that have expressed anti-Israel and anti-Semitic sentiments in the past.

“Unfortunately, the recognition of stridently, and sometimes even violently, anti-Israeli individuals and themes has become all too common by the Palestinian Authority,” they wrote.

The Not-So-Silent War Of Words

Thursday, July 15th, 2010

   Editor’s Note: This is a new column that will appear the third week of each month.


 


 


   There is an information war being held on the battlefield of Wikipedia. Wikipedia.com is an online encyclopedia that is user-base driven and claims 65,000,000 monthly visits. It is also used as a dependable source for research by mainstream media outlets on a huge range of subjects. Unlike other topics, though, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is so heated that it has instigated its own online Wikipedia conflict – to the point where Wikipedia designated a special division called the IP (Israeli-Palestinian) Section to monitor edited information from contributing users.

 

   The site works in a way that allows anyone with Internet access and a user-name to edit Wikipedia articles. This means that although anyone can contribute, the contribution or editor is screened by fellow editors of that article, not by Wikipedia.

 

   Having said that, there is a certain amount of objectivity that is maintained in most articles, but many users are learning that when it comes to IP, Wikipedia is not objective or neutral, but filled with Palestinian sympathizers determined to undermine Israel’s legitimacy. The Wiki Jihadists are using unethical tactics by Wikipedia standards to ensure the Israeli position is not presented in its articles. In fact, administrators who are supposed to be maintaining objectivity in IP articles are quick to block pro-Israel contributors and their edits for no legitimate reason.

 

   It has gotten out of hand because there are many more pro-Palestinian editors than Israel supporters. Lies are being disseminated virally. Thus, any pro-Israel contributor is easily labeled and dismissed as a biased source, while the Palestinian supporters hide behind their screens and continue to shape anti-Israel public opinion and rewrite history.

 

   For instance, by all accounts, the Battle of Deir Yassin was a hard-fought, grueling battle that pitted ill-armed Jewish paramilitaries against entrenched and well-armed Arab villagers, reinforced by Arab irregulars and according to some, Iraqi military forces. Pro-Arab editors prevented changing the article’s title from “Deir Yassin Massacre” to the “Battle of Deir Yassin.” Some editors who advocated the insertion of neutral or balanced edits were actually blocked indefinitely or “topic banned.” In its current form, the Battle of Deir Yassin reads like a propaganda piece conjured up by Herr Goebbels himself.

 

   For a more recent example, take a look at the Gaza Flotilla article or the Helen Thomas article. You may be frustrated by what you read, but if you don’t remain apathetic you can actually do something about it.

 

   Unlike other media outlets, there is no barrier to entry to Wikipedia, so in minutes you can get involved and make a difference. As the number of pro-Israel Wiki editors increases, the greater the impact we can have in countering the heavy anti-Israel slant. Editing Wikipedia is a worthwhile school project too, allowing students not only to learn about their country, but to source, edit, and become fluent with online activism.

 

   This is all you have to do to become an editor:

 

   Log on to www.wikipedia.com. Click top right to create an account – which requires no personal information. Create a non-provocative user ID so as not to give credit to accusations of bias. Preferably begin by editing non-controversial articles to gain a respected reputation. All edits must be sourced (see Wiki guidelines for acceptable sources). Gradually begin edits on IP articles, taking great care to reference solid sources. To maximize efforts, editing is best done as a group effort. Make it a group project and sign on with a few friends to coordinate activities. This will help maintain pro-Israel edits because each can voice support for another’s edits and reverse “undos.”

 

    Wikipedia is a numbers game, so once there are enough pro-Israel editors working in tandem, the PA sympathizers will – hopefully – be held to a higher standard of proof. Wikipedia is known to minimize pro-Israel editors relative to the pro-Palestinian editors and they have banned pro-Israel editors from the site without cause, so be sure to keep all correspondence civil so as not to give them an excuse.

 

   If you have any questions about editing, reverse editing, and more complex Wiki behaviors, or are looking to band with others, or for short instructional seminars (live talks can be arranged for group projects), please e-mail WikIsrael@gmail.com.


 


ACTIONS


(each month we’ll add a few extra suggestions)

 

   1. Call/e-mail Wayne State University to remove Helen Thomas’s name from its Diversity Award. Phone: (313) 577-2230; e-mail: president@wayne.edu.

 

   2. Sign up to www.UNWatch.org and sign the petition to get rid of Richard Falk, the UN Human Rights Council’s permanent investigator of alleged Israeli violations who is calling for a “legitimacy war” against Israel, with boycotts, divestment and sanctions.

 

   3. Help remove Keith Ellison from the Anti-Semitism Task Force. Petition linked on The Activist Network.


 


 


   Yossi Cukier is co-founder of The Activist Network along with Dina Kupfer and Ari Lieberman. Please note that all petitions, letters, phone numbers, etc., can be found at theactivistnetwork.wordpress.com. The group invites suggestions for pro-Israel and pro-Jewish projects and events.

The Not-So-Silent War Of Words

Thursday, July 15th, 2010

   Editor’s Note: This is a new column that will appear the third week of each month.

 

 

   There is an information war being held on the battlefield of Wikipedia. Wikipedia.com is an online encyclopedia that is user-base driven and claims 65,000,000 monthly visits. It is also used as a dependable source for research by mainstream media outlets on a huge range of subjects. Unlike other topics, though, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is so heated that it has instigated its own online Wikipedia conflict – to the point where Wikipedia designated a special division called the IP (Israeli-Palestinian) Section to monitor edited information from contributing users.

 

   The site works in a way that allows anyone with Internet access and a user-name to edit Wikipedia articles. This means that although anyone can contribute, the contribution or editor is screened by fellow editors of that article, not by Wikipedia.

 

   Having said that, there is a certain amount of objectivity that is maintained in most articles, but many users are learning that when it comes to IP, Wikipedia is not objective or neutral, but filled with Palestinian sympathizers determined to undermine Israel’s legitimacy. The Wiki Jihadists are using unethical tactics by Wikipedia standards to ensure the Israeli position is not presented in its articles. In fact, administrators who are supposed to be maintaining objectivity in IP articles are quick to block pro-Israel contributors and their edits for no legitimate reason.

 

   It has gotten out of hand because there are many more pro-Palestinian editors than Israel supporters. Lies are being disseminated virally. Thus, any pro-Israel contributor is easily labeled and dismissed as a biased source, while the Palestinian supporters hide behind their screens and continue to shape anti-Israel public opinion and rewrite history.

 

   For instance, by all accounts, the Battle of Deir Yassin was a hard-fought, grueling battle that pitted ill-armed Jewish paramilitaries against entrenched and well-armed Arab villagers, reinforced by Arab irregulars and according to some, Iraqi military forces. Pro-Arab editors prevented changing the article’s title from “Deir Yassin Massacre” to the “Battle of Deir Yassin.” Some editors who advocated the insertion of neutral or balanced edits were actually blocked indefinitely or “topic banned.” In its current form, the Battle of Deir Yassin reads like a propaganda piece conjured up by Herr Goebbels himself.

 

   For a more recent example, take a look at the Gaza Flotilla article or the Helen Thomas article. You may be frustrated by what you read, but if you don’t remain apathetic you can actually do something about it.

 

   Unlike other media outlets, there is no barrier to entry to Wikipedia, so in minutes you can get involved and make a difference. As the number of pro-Israel Wiki editors increases, the greater the impact we can have in countering the heavy anti-Israel slant. Editing Wikipedia is a worthwhile school project too, allowing students not only to learn about their country, but to source, edit, and become fluent with online activism.

 

   This is all you have to do to become an editor:

 

   Log on to www.wikipedia.com. Click top right to create an account – which requires no personal information. Create a non-provocative user ID so as not to give credit to accusations of bias. Preferably begin by editing non-controversial articles to gain a respected reputation. All edits must be sourced (see Wiki guidelines for acceptable sources). Gradually begin edits on IP articles, taking great care to reference solid sources. To maximize efforts, editing is best done as a group effort. Make it a group project and sign on with a few friends to coordinate activities. This will help maintain pro-Israel edits because each can voice support for another’s edits and reverse “undos.”

 

    Wikipedia is a numbers game, so once there are enough pro-Israel editors working in tandem, the PA sympathizers will – hopefully – be held to a higher standard of proof. Wikipedia is known to minimize pro-Israel editors relative to the pro-Palestinian editors and they have banned pro-Israel editors from the site without cause, so be sure to keep all correspondence civil so as not to give them an excuse.

 

   If you have any questions about editing, reverse editing, and more complex Wiki behaviors, or are looking to band with others, or for short instructional seminars (live talks can be arranged for group projects), please e-mail WikIsrael@gmail.com.

 

ACTIONS

(each month we’ll add a few extra suggestions)

 

   1. Call/e-mail Wayne State University to remove Helen Thomas’s name from its Diversity Award. Phone: (313) 577-2230; e-mail: president@wayne.edu.

 

   2. Sign up to www.UNWatch.org and sign the petition to get rid of Richard Falk, the UN Human Rights Council’s permanent investigator of alleged Israeli violations who is calling for a “legitimacy war” against Israel, with boycotts, divestment and sanctions.

 

   3. Help remove Keith Ellison from the Anti-Semitism Task Force. Petition linked on The Activist Network.

 

 

   Yossi Cukier is co-founder of The Activist Network along with Dina Kupfer and Ari Lieberman. Please note that all petitions, letters, phone numbers, etc., can be found at theactivistnetwork.wordpress.com. The group invites suggestions for pro-Israel and pro-Jewish projects and events.

‘Rabbi Live’ Turns Sights On Obama After Helen Thomas

Wednesday, July 7th, 2010

Rabbi David Nesenoff has given Accuracy in Media the most detailed account yet of how his encounter with veteran White House correspondent Helen Thomas caused him to reevaluate not only his view of the media, but of the White House and President Obama.

Nesenoff is a self-described liberal Democrat who used to think Obama should be given a chance to change U.S. foreign policy for the better. Now he worries about the existence of the state of Israel.

He says he is increasingly troubled by the failure of Obama to speak forcefully about the right of Israel to exist, at a time when some of the country’s neighbors are more determined than ever to destroy it.

Thomas said the Jews ought to “get the hell out of Palestine” and presumably turn the land over to the Arabs and Muslims. She also said they should return to countries like Germany and Poland, where the Holocaust took place, which ultimately led to the creation of the Jewish homeland in Israel.

Nesenoff tells AIM that he has learned a lesson in a personal way – that anti-Semitism is alive and well. He says he has felt the brunt of it as a result of exposing Thomas.

He explained, “It kind of rocked my world a little, because I have to kind of reevaluate my life and my standing and the agendas, because I’m a New York Democrat, Jewish, liberal, supporter of Obama, [and] donated to his candidacy for a year.”

He said he came to believe in Obama because the media constantly said, “give him a chance.” But now he questions the media and Obama’s policy toward Israel, even though the Obama White House denounced Thomas’s comments.

Personally, the rabbi was surprised at the venomous e-mails he received and attacks in the media against him. After all, he didn’t take Helen Thomas’s words out of context and he didn’t suggest or urge that she be fired or resign.

Clearly angry, he said, “They want to make me out to be a racist – how dare they! How silly is that? How stupid of them, how buffoonish of them to call themselves journalists and not use the luxury of this beautiful media of [the] Internet in a responsible fashion.”

All of this stems from a chance encounter Thomas had with Nesenoff and his son on the grounds of the White House on May 27.

Nesenoff and his son and a friend were there for a White House ceremony honoring Jewish Heritage Week. Both the father and son have blogs, and they were asking people on camera for their views of Israel.

They openly had a camera as Thomas passed by. He simply asked the question, “Any comments on Israel?”

Expecting perhaps to hear something in support of Israel and the Jews, instead Thomas was venomous.

Nesenoff’s initial reaction was shock but he thought other people might not regard it that way. He called up a reporter at a Jewish newspaper about the comments and was told this was nothing new from Thomas.

Nevertheless, he still thought it was newsworthy and waited for his son to post the interview on YouTube and his website, RABBIlive.com. It was only then, more than a week later, that word about the video – and the video – got out, creating a storm of controversy.

Fox News reported it, followed by the rabbi being invited on “Fox & Friends” to personally discuss it. The rest of the media tried to catch up. By the time The New York Times reported on it, Thomas had resigned her special place in the White House press room. But the Times didn’t even then report the most egregious part of what she said.

The media consensus was that the comments reflected Thomas’s differences with Israel and U.S. policy in the Middle East, and that this was nothing new.

But Nesenoff argues that her comments are new – and that they are not just anti-Israel but anti-Semitic.

He explains, “There are issues [on which] Israelis disagree with their government. And, by the way, they’re allowed to without being beheaded. That’s one of the only countries in the region [where people] can disagree with their government, and vote against their government, and protest their government, without being beheaded and killed. There are American rabbis, there are Jews all over the world that might disagree with something Israel does, or doesn’t do . But – but – when you start talking about the very existence of the state, that’s not up for negotiation. That’s anti-Semitic. That’s out of the realm of some political, geographical, regional discussion. That’s not about fences, or Gaza, or Golan, or West Bank, East Bank, West Jerusalem, East Jerusalem .”

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/opinions/rabbi-live-turns-sights-on-obama-after-helen-thomas/2010/07/07/

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