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November 30, 2015 / 18 Kislev, 5776
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Israel Hayom’

The Anti-Democratic Initiative of the Anti-Adelson Horde

Thursday, November 13th, 2014

In one of the worst assaults on democracy the Israeli Knesset yesterday approved in the “first vote” (a bill must pass three votes to become law) a Soviet-era-style censorship law that seeks to shut down the most popular Hebrew daily newspaper in the country, Israel Hayom. This assault on freedom of the press is the brainchild of Labor Party Knesset Member Eitan Cabel. Its purpose is to erase and suppress journalist freedom in Israel, preserving it for the forces of darkness associated with the Israeli Left. It seeks to eliminate the popular conservative pro-Netanyahu daily Israel Hayom in order to preserve the hegemony over Israeli printed media by the two Far-Leftist Israeli dailies, Haaretz and Yediot Ahronot. (The other Hebrew daily Maariv is semi-bankrupt and is not even distributed outside the Tel Aviv area.)

Komrad Cabel was joined in this Stalin-era-like vote against the press by most of the Knesset Members from the Labor Party, Tzipi Livni’s party, the members of Avigdor Lieberman’s party, Yair Lapid’s party, and the anti-Israel Arab fascist parties. It was opposed by most Knesset Members from the Likud and – interestingly – by one member of Meretz (although another Meretz member voted in favor). While some flunkies from Naftali Bennett’s party had been among the early supporters of this bill, to the party’s credit all those Knesset Members present at the vote opposed the bill (although others chose not to be present).

The ostensible basis for the banning of Israel Hayom is that it is distributed for free. Just why that should be grounds for banning a newspaper is never explained by the wannabe censors. Why not have the courage of your convictions? If it is illegitimate for a newspaper to be distributed for free, then why do you not also come out against free news broadcasting and distribution by radio and TV stations and by the internet? By all means, Komrad Cabel, end those outrageous free distributions of news that harm the public! Ban the internet! In the name of freedom!

Of course what really has Komrad Cavel and his wannabe Kremlin friends upset is that Israel Hayom is owned by Sheldon Adelson, who supports Netanyahu. Why Adelson is any less entitled to operate his own newspaper than, say, German ex-Nazis like the co-owners of Haaretz is not explained by anyone. This is the same Knesset that the country now depends upon to rein in the anti-democratic excesses of the Israeli Supreme Court, now leading the jihad against journalistic freedom!

Should this atrocity ever pass the final vote and become law, I would like to propose to Sheldon Adelson and to the management of Israel Hayom how to respond. The law seeks to prohibit any newspaper that is distributed for free 6 days a week in Israel. So what I propose is that Israel Hayom be distributed for free 5 days a week and on Tuesdays it be distributed for 10 agorot (two and a half cents). Individual vendors can be instructed to use their own individual judgment as to whether to assist people coming up to them on Tuesdays and saying that they really would like to read the paper that day but do not have a 10 agorot coin handy.

Meanwhile I also think that Israel needs a national campaign of pie throwing into the faces of politicians who oppose freedom of speech and freedom of the press.

Syrian Patients Return to Fighting after Treatment in Israel

Wednesday, August 21st, 2013

Poriya, a Tiberias hospital, has joined Safed’s Ziv Medical Center as well as Israeli hospitals in the Western Galilee and in Nahariya in treating casualties of the ongoing Syrian civil war.

One Syrian patient, suffering from moderate leg injuries, arrived at the Tiberias hospital for treatment on Monday, Israel Hayom reported. So far, the hospital has treated 11 Syrians, including a 10-year-old girl.

One of the patients at Poriya, 26-year-old Mohammed, recounted the heavy fighting in Quneitra. “I have been fighting for a year and a half, and I don’t believe the war will end any time soon. When I recover, I will return to Syria and continue fighting,” he said.

Baha, another Syrian patient, said that his friends had brought him to the border after he was hurt because they had known of people who had been wounded in the fighting, and then treated in Israel, who safely returned home. According to his account, most of the patients treated in Israel resumed fighting upon their return to Syria.

Israelis Should Avoid Visiting Turkey, Govt. Says

Tuesday, August 20th, 2013

The Israeli government issued an unequivocal travel advisory on Monday warning Israelis to avoid visiting Turkey, a popular vacation destination for Israelis over the summer and during the upcoming Jewish holidays, Israel Hayom reported.

The Prime Minister’s Office issued its routine semi-annual travel warning, formulated by the office’s Counterterrorism Bureau, stating that all non-essential visits to Turkey “should be avoided.”

The threat issuing from Turkey is defined as an “ongoing potential threat,” a mid-level threat on the bureau’s five-level scale. Turkey is now on the same threat level as countries where jihadi terror cells are known to be operating, including Nigeria, Kenya and Azerbaijan.

The travel warning is for the upcoming Jewish holidays in September. So far, over the summer months of July and August, tens of thousands of Israelis have visited Turkey.

The Counterterrorism Bureau also recommended that Israelis avoid visiting the two countries with which Israel shares a border and a peace agreement: Egypt and Jordan. In those two countries, the threat facing Israelis was defined as a “basic concrete threat,” one level higher than the threat facing Israelis in Turkey. For Morocco, another popular destination for Israelis, an “ongoing potential threat” warning was issued.

Sheldon Adelson’s Corporation Admits ‘Likely’ Anti-bribery Violation

Sunday, March 3rd, 2013

The Las Vegas Sands Corporation, controlled by billionaire Sheldon G. Adelson, has informed the Securities and Exchange Commission that it likely violated a federal law against bribing foreign officials, the NY Times reported.

The admission was included in the Sands’ annual regulatory report published by the commission on Friday, in which the Sands reported that “there were likely violations of the books and records and internal controls provisions” of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.

The Times noted that the above disclosure came while investigations by both the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Department of Justice and the Federal Bureau are investigating the company’s business activities in China.

This is the first time the Sands has publicly acknowledged possible wrongdoing. Ron Reese, a spokesman for the Sands, declined to comment on the Times’ report.

Federal investigators started paying attention to the Sands’ business in China after a 2010 wrongful-termination lawsuit filed by Steven C. Jacobs, the Sands’ former president of the company’s operations in Macau.

Jacobs accused the Sands of turning a blind eye toward Chinese organized crime figures operating in its casinos.

According to the Times, Chinese authorities have fined some Sands subsidiaries more than a million dollars for using unreported money for business purposes.

Sheldon Adelson’s Macau operation has made him one of the richest people in the world, with a fortune that stands, according to Forbes, at just under $25 billion.

Adelson is a personal friend of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and his Hebrew daily Israel Hayom frequently runs articles supporting the PM.

Adelson’s Daily, Likud, Shas, Throwing Wedge btw Bennett and Lapid

Tuesday, February 5th, 2013

Billionaire Sheldon Adelson, the man who spent $100 million on electing absolutely no one in last November’s elections, owns a daily Israeli news freebee called Israel Hayom (Hebrew for Israel Today—arguably the most popular daily in Israel—hey, it’s free) whose central political position is wherever Bibi Netanyahu happens to be at the moment. It’s as good an ideological base as any (albeit more biodegradable than most), and this morning—in keeping with its party line—Israel Hayom is attempting to throw a wedge between Naftali Bennett and Yair Lapid.

We reported yesterday that Lapid and Bennett have agreed to enter Netanyahu’s government together—or not at all. This was an astute, if not outright brilliant political move, creating a block of 31 Knesset members opposite Netanyahu’s 31 Knesset members. The jury is out on how long the pact would last – Israel is not a place where those things come with long-term warranties. But it is exciting nonetheless: two successful young men, newcomers to parliamentary politics, each with his own election miracle, one to Bibi’s right (Naftali), the other to Bibi’s left (Yair). They could certainly give the old, beaten down fox a run for his money.

Which perfectly explains why Israel Hayom would make it its goal to talk them down from that dangerous penthouse (I was going with tree house, but figured these two guys could afford better).

The Israel Hayom pair of political writers Yehuda Schlesinger and Matti Tochfeld on Tuesday morning came out with a column titled: “Naftali Should Calm Down,” in quotes. Some editor, realizing perhaps that this was too combative even for a Bibigraph, changed the headline to the anemic “The 19th Knesset on its Way.” But online titles don’t lie, and the original heading is still up there, at the top of everyone’s browsers. It’s a dismissive headline, so scornful, it could have been written by Sara herself. The rest goes:

“Chairman of the Jewish Home Naftali Bennett is strengthening his ties with Yair Lapid, but in his own home there are some who are not satisfied with the alliance between the two new stars of Israeli politics. Rabbi Zephaniah Drori, Chief Rabbi of Kiryat Shmona, dean of a hesder yeshiva (for National Religious men dividing their time between learning and military service) and a religious Zionist leader, addressed the issue of burden equality (meaning the idea of Haredim serving, too) and the conduct of Naftali Bennett, saying yesterday: “If in these issues he (Bennett) decides alone, not based on rabbinic judgment, it will be the end of his political career.”

Now, as Maariv reported this morning, Jewish Home MK Uri Ariel, who leads his party’s coalition negotiations team, regularly updates the party’s rabbis, who in turn have expressed their full confidence in the party politicians. Also, the same group of rabbis did not deem fit to act on Rabbi Drori’s complaints.

It appears that the Lapid-Bennett axis is causing panic not only in the Likud-Beitenu circles (we’ve been hearing from Jewish Home sources that the Likudniks are telling the Bennett people lots of Lashon Hara on Lapid, with the implied promise that the knitted yarmulkes would be better off in Mamma Likud’s bosom) – the other frightened bunch are the Shas folks, whose spiritual leader, Rav Ovadia Yosef, only the other day described Jewish Home as made up of goyim. They’re trying desperately to rewind that one—MK Nissim Zeev of Shas said the Rav was only talking about the proposal for civil marriages for the unweddables. (Better they should get married in Cyprus and join the ranks of Israelis who despise their own tradition on account of a near-autistic chief rabbinate).

Shas is aware that it’s about to lose its two seats of absolute power: Interior and Housing. If Lapid is serious about real equal burden legislation, it can’t be done with Shas inside the government, and certainly not with Shas holding the purse strings. So Shas is pushing for a coalition that would include them, Torah Judaism, and Bennett. Without Bennett that entire structure collapses on itself. This is not ideology, mind you, this is the lifeblood of Shas: they have patronage jobs to be awarded, and young Haredi couples waiting for government-subsidized apartments. If those same jobs and apartments go elsewhere, Shas would plummet to a single-digit entity next time.

Carter and Obama: ‘He Who Is Merciful to the Cruel Ends Up Cruel to the Merciful’

Thursday, October 25th, 2012

When the Iranian student revolutionaries took American hostages in 1979, U.S. President Jimmy Carter chose a path consistent with his character, but inconsistent with the American character.  He tried desperately, again and again, to prove to the Islamist revolutionaries and their ruling Mullahs that the big bad United States would not be a bully or resort to violence to enforce its views or to protect its assets, even when those assets are American citizens.  His strategy failed.

That strategy is still a failure. And, by all accounts, our current president is hell-bent on employing it whenever he can.

In a book that shows clearly the parallels between the dilemma posed to America by Iran during Carter’s regime and the one Iran presents to our current president, To Hell in a Handbasket: Carter, Obama, and the “Arab Spring,” Ruthie Blum brings the not-so-distant-history alive.

Blum’s book is a must read for those who lived through and remember that first Iranian assault on American leadership. But it’s also for those too young to remember that episode – and really, it’s for everyone now living through the current Iranians’ attack on America’s role as leader of the free world and bulwark against the unfree world.  In both cases the Iranians have played America for a fool, and in both cases they had a U.S. leader who willingly, maybe even eagerly, took on that role.

For those old enough to remember, in 1979, when Jimmy Carter was president, he was furiously engaged in an effort to persuade the Islamists in Iran that the United States harbored only “genuine good will” towards them.  What he most sought from them was “dialogue,” not disagreements.  His timidity encouraged rather than discouraged those who sought to overthrow America’s long-time ally, the Shah of Iran.  Instead of reaching out to meet U.S. overtures, Ayatollah Khomeini and his followers refused to meet, let alone negotiate, with Carter’s emissaries.

Sound familiar?

Blum’s clear writing, coupled with her ability to convey the real drama of the historical events she describes, allow the reader to place the complicated series of diplomatic falters, Iranian acts of aggression and the parading of blind-folded Americans for more than a year, in a comprehensible context.

Blum then juxtaposes America-Under-Carter’s response, to that of the Obama administration’s fawning over the Arab Spring and reluctance to meddle in the efforts of today’s revolutionaries across the Arab Middle East – other than to hand millions of dollars to Islamists organizing these nationwide riots that our President seems to think are events of national liberation.  Blum’s book is essential reading for those who want to understand why, this time around, we should have known better.

Blum’s book shows that what look to some uninformed Westerners, including the president of the United States, like progressive, democratic impulses, have turned out instead to be determined flights backwards to the Middle Ages.

Tunisian pushcart merchant Mohamed Bouazizi’s self-incineration as the spark for the greatest upheaval in the Middle East in modern times is laid out in Blum’s book.  She illuminates the path from Tunisia to Libya, to Yemen and Bahrain and, where it remains hovering, over Syria and, possibly, hopefully, back toIran.

After reviewing Carter’s misguided and disastrous Middle East strategy, it is painful to then read how closely our current administration’s strategy tracks the Carter debacle in its mindset and its failures.

Blum reveals the perfect consistency between Carter’s craven posture before Ayatollah Khomeini and Obama’s whiplash-like series of always-off-kilter responses to the Arab Spring: his cutting ties with former ally Tunisian president Ben Ali, his refusal to do more than mouth platitudes to support the outraged Iranian citizenry when their election was stolen by the tyrannical Ahmadinejad, his delivering a swift kick out the door to our former close ally Egyptian President Hosnai Mubarak. And so on.

The admonition from Kohelet Rabbah 7:16: “Those who are kind to the cruel end up being cruel to the kind” is perfectly illustrated by the misguided efforts of two recent American leaders who thought they could convince truly evil adversaries to refrain from doing evil if only the powerful America would treat them more nicely.

Although To Hell in a Handbasket is very consciously launched during this election season, it would be a shame for it to be relegated to merely a momentary flash in the literary pan.  At fewer than 200 pages and written from hard historical sources that might otherwise seem dry to an average reader, Blum’s book moves like a novel.  It will be an invaluable addition to any college or sophisticated high school student’s library as a tool for understanding America’s place in the geo-political moment.

Don’t Blame Adelson For Collapse Of Israel’s Monolithic Liberal Media

Wednesday, October 17th, 2012

Liberal pundits have coined a new saw: Sheldon Adelson and the newspaper he owns, Israel Hayom, are primarily responsible for the collapse of many Israeli media outlets, and this endangers Israeli democracy.

The assertion is wrong on both the business and ideological levels.

The imminent failures of Maariv and Channel 10 television, and the deep troubles of Haaretz and other smaller publications, are first and foremost the function of long-term market forces, such as the advent of Internet news sites, that predate Israel Hayom.

Maariv’s downward slope began long before Israel Hayom debuted in 2007, which explains why Maariv was bought and sold four times – always at a loss – over the past 20 years. Its consistently terrible management and lack of brand positioning spelled its doom.

The same for Channel 10. The same for the Davar, Hadashot and Hatzofe newspapers – all of which have folded over the past 20 years. Sheldon Adelson had nothing to do with these bankruptcies.

Undoubtedly, some readers have moved from Maariv, Yediot Aharonot and Haaretz to Israel Hayom because the latter is distributed free. These readers also may have discovered that Israel Hayom is a good paper, with solid editing, experienced reporters, comprehensive coverage and a fine lineup of sharp columnists (full disclosure: including me).

But Israel Hayom also has tens of thousands of subscribers who pay for home delivery. And now Maariv and Yediot are distributing tens of thousands of free copies every day, too, on trains and in shopping malls across Israel.

What really irks the veteran Israeli media outlets is that readers have abandoned them for ideological reasons. Readers fled Yediot and Maariv because they became crass, trashy publications dominated by glossy features about models, actors, singers, rich playboys and the “true heroes” of Israel – journalists themselves.

By contrast, Israel Hayom features academics, scientists, pioneers, and Zionist and social activists. It also promotes hiking and travel within Israel, not the casinos in Greece, the restaurants in Rome or the fleshpots of Thailand.

Readers also edged away from Maariv, Yediot and Haaretz because of the deep gap that opened between the left-wing ideological viewpoint peddled by these publications and the healthy, increasingly conservative instincts of the Israeli public.

Those papers idolized Shimon Peres and his “new Middle East,” puffed up Yasir Arafat and promoted the Oslo process long after its failure was clear, and they lionized Ariel Sharon and pumped for Gaza disengagement while ignoring Sharon family corruption.

Yediot and Haaretz also regularly dump on Jerusalem, Israel’s largest city, as medieval and backwards while exalting Tel Aviv as cool and cultured. They sneer at Orthodox Judaism and mock religious Jews. They disparage Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu with savage vehemence and fanatical constancy. Not a month goes by without Yediot conjuring up some nasty, cockamamie story about Netanyahu’s wife, Sarah.

For Haaretz, Israel can do no right and the Palestinians can do no wrong.

There’s more. In the 1970s and ‘80s, Yediot under editor Dov Yudkovsky, and to a lesser extent Maariv under editors Rosenfeld, Shnitzer and Dissenchik, became razor-sharp media watchdogs, launching one investigative report after another into government and financial sector corruption. They were papers with values and an edge.

But under Yediot publisher and acting editor Noni Mozes, and under Maariv’s disgraced and jailed publisher Ofer Nimrodi and current owner Nochi Dankner, the last decade has been dismal. The papers became enmeshed in promoting the financial and political careers of Israel’s liberal elites and the vested business interests of the publishers themselves. They often defended corrupt politicians and attacked attorney generals and the system of law enforcement. They came to represent the interests of their owners’ business and political connections, not the public interest. This is a real threat to democracy.

It’s no surprise that Israel’s top crime-busting investigative journalist, Mordechai Gilat, left Yediot in disgust after a 30-year career there. Gilat now writes for Israel Hayom.

Israel’s Ted Koppel, a journalist named Dan Margalit – former editor of Maariv, anchor of Israel’s top TV political debate program and the man who exposed Yitzhak Rabin’s financial misdemeanors – is Israel Hayom’s senior political and diplomatic columnist.

It’s also no surprise that Yediot and Maariv are now running an unabashed, aggressive campaign promoting the return to politics and national prominence of Ehud Olmert and Aryeh Deri, both of whom earned reputations as corrupt politicians and both with criminal convictions. And lo and behold, both happen to share left-of-center political orientations.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/opinions/dont-blame-adelson-for-collapse-of-israels-monolithic-liberal-media/2012/10/17/

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