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September 30, 2016 / 27 Elul, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘Israel’

ZOA Condemns UC Berkeley Course on Dismantling Israel

Wednesday, September 21st, 2016

The Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) has condemned the University of California (UC), Berkeley for reinstating an explicitly anti-Israel course dedicating to discussing and seeking ways in which to dismantle Israel, thereby robbing the Jewish people of national self-determination. The ZOA maintains that this would not be done in respect of a course that advocated the dismantlement of any of other country.

The course, entitled, ‘Palestine: A Settler Colonial Analysis,’ examines the history of the region from the 1880s “through the lens of settler colonialism.” The course, in short, simply presumes that Zionism is colonial movement, rather than a national liberation movement. The course aims to “explore the connection between Zionism and settler colonialism, and the ways in which it has manifested, and continues to manifest, in Palestine,” and also examines “the possibilities of a decolonized Palestine” –– i.e, one in which Jewish self-determination and statehood is non-existent.

The course readings consist heavily of anti-Zionist readings from biased, ‘new historians’ like Ilan Pappé and Palestinian activists like Edward Said and so on. It uses materials from NGOs formed specifically for the purpose of defaming Israel with false and unsupported allegations, like ‘Breaking the Silence,’ and includes a reading from the absurdly biased Goldstone Report, appointed by the radically corrupt and biased UN Human Rights Council, whose findings were eventually rejected by its chairman, Judge Goldstone himself.

The course reading materials do not even attempt to present contrary readings and source material from historians and other scholars who do not condemn Zionism.

The course is sponsored by UC’s Hatem Bazian, who is co-founder of the radical anti-Israel movement, Students for Justice in Palestine, which has been intimidating Jewish students and mounting hateful exhibits defaming Israel as an apartheid state. Bazian denounces as “Islamophobes” scholars and activists who focus on radical Muslim groups, like the Middle East Forum and the Investigative Project on Terrorism.

Bazian denies he is an anti-Semite, but he blocked the appointment of a Jewish student to San Francisco State University’s Student Judicial Council on the grounds that the individual supported the State of Israel and was thus a racist by definition (Abraham H. Miller, ‘UC Berkeley Offers Class in Erasing Jews From Israel, Destroying Jewish State,’ Algemeiner Journal, September 8, 2016).

ZOA National President Morton A. Klein said, “This UC course marks a new low in campus anti-Zionism that is perverting academic teaching about the conflict across the country.

“A course advocating dismantling a country would never be offered in respect of any other country. If one were, for example, a course advocating the dismantling of Italy or Peru, no-one would even argue that it was not anti-Italian or anti-Peruvian. Clearly, a double-standard that is permissive where anti-Semitism is concerned is at work and UC Berkeley, by reinstating this course, is enabling anti-Semitism.

“This course at UC brings into the open what is often merely latent –– that courses at universities today that deal with Zionism, Arab nationalism and the history of Israel and the Palestinian Arabs are inherently biased against Zionism and Jewish national rights, regarding Palestinian Arabs as the only group entitled to such things.

“This particular course openly asserts that Zionism is illegitimate –– calling anything today ‘colonialist’ is shorthand for something that must be reversed or destroyed –– and indeed explicitly explores with ways in which the destruction of Israel can be brought about.

“We cannot expect the next generation of American leaders and scholars to understand the basic realities of Israel or the nature of this truly successful, thriving and humane country if courses like this disgraceful one conceived by Hatem Bazian continue to hold unchallenged sway on our college campuses.

“Taking back our universities from the far left, Marxists and other absurdly biased nakedly radical anti-Israel activist ‘scholars’ is a task vital to the future health of America and Israel.”

Morton A. Klein

Israeli Postal Service Delivers Letters to God at the Wall Ahead of Rosh Hashanah

Wednesday, September 21st, 2016

Israel Post Director General Danny Goldstein on Monday met with Western Wall and Holy Sites Rabbi Shmuel Rabinowitz, to deliver to him a consignment of letters addressed to God. The holy mail was delivered ahead of the upcoming Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur holidays, and will be placed in the cracks and crevices of the ancient stones of what used to be a supporting wall for the Temple. The letters were posted from Israel as well as from Russia, China, France, Nigeria, Spain, the Netherlands, the US, and the UK.

Letters to God

Letters to God

Hundreds of letters are mailed to Israel annually addressed to “God,” “Jesus,” “Our Dear Father in Heaven” and “the Western Wall.” These letters, most of which lack a return address, are sent to the Israel Post Lost and Found Dept., which then sends them, every few months, to be placed among the stones of the Western Wall in the Old City of Jerusalem.

Back in 2006, a company called Letter to God Ltd. announced a service of placing letters to God, written on the customer’s home computer, in the cracks and crevices of the Western Wall. We are not sure what happened to them, but their website, letter2god.com, is available for the right price. Another example of free enterprise losing out to the nanny state.

JNi.Media

American Military Aid: Bad for America; Worse for Israel

Wednesday, September 21st, 2016

{Originally posted to the author’s website,  Abu Yehuda}

See, you trust in the staff of this broken reed, on Egypt; where on if a man lean, it will go into his hand, and pierce it: so is Pharaoh king of Egypt to all that trust in him. – Isaiah 36:6

Reactions to the signing of a 10-year $38 billion memorandum of understanding (MOU) for American military aid to Israel are coming in, as predictable as the moon and the tides. The man Netanyahu calls Israel’s “worst Prime Minister ever”, Ehud Barak, claims that Netanyahu could have obtained another $7 billion a year if only he hadn’t opposed Obama’s Iran deal so strongly. Similar remarks have come from the parliamentary opposition, unsurprisingly. Others thank America for its commitment at a time that its own military budgets are being slashed. Still others curse it for helping Israel with its continued ‘genocide’ against the ‘Palestinians’, who have tripled in number since 1970.

The truth is that Israel does not need and should phase out military aid from the US. It is bad for Israel and bad for the US.

  • Israel doesn’t need it: The $3.8 billion per year that will come from the US is about a quarter of Israel’s 2015-16 defense budget of $15.47 billion. This is a lot of money, but consider that the government’s overall budget is about $89 billion, and Israel’s gross domestic product today is close to $300 billion, almost double what it was 10 years ago.

In addition, the new agreement phases out Israel’s ability to spend any of it outside of the US. In the past, up to about a quarter of the aid could be spent in Israel. Does anyone doubt that many items can be procured here or elsewhere, at lower cost? I don’t. The F-35 alone costs about $200 million per aircraft. Are there alternatives? We might be able to find out if we went shopping with our own money (possibly the F-15SE would become available).

Finally, increased investment in our military industries would improve our ability to sell our products to other countries, helping to offset the loss of US aid.

  • Aid gives the US administration too much leverage over Israeli policies and actions:  PM Netanyahu will be meeting with Barack Obama next week at the UN. Obama will certainly make demands about Israeli-PA relations, the blockade of Gaza, and more. Do we want to give him a club to hold over our heads?

During the Gaza War in 2014, Obama cut off the supply of Hellfire missiles and other items in response to (tendentious) complaints that Israel had deliberately shelled a UN school. The more we can reduce our dependence on aid, the more equipment like this can be manufactured at home.

Israel needs freedom of action to respond to threats. The aid comes with too many strings attached.

  • Aid distorts our military purchase decisions: If you can get your army boots – or fighter aircraft – “for free” then maybe you settle for something that doesn’t meet your needs quite as well as a product  you have to pay for.  The decisions about what we will be given are based in part on US policy objectives and, since the aid is in effect a direct subsidy to the US defense industry, domestic American considerations – not what’s best for Israel.

For example, it has been suggested that manned fighter aircraft will be much less important in future warfare than drones, but we get ‘free’ fighter planes from America and build our own drones; so we have lots and lots of manned fighter planes – maybe more than we need.

The F-35, with its cost and all its problems, stands out. As I wrote a few weeks ago, would Israel even have considered replacing its F-16 fleet with F-35s if the first batch weren’t ‘free’?

  • Aid corrupts our military decision-makers: The word ‘corrupts’ is a strong word, but may not be out of place. If you are a Chief of Staff, and a quarter of your budget comes from America, wouldn’t you take the US administration’s wishes into account when considering whether or not to take some particular action (say, bombing Iranian nuclear installations)? How could you not do so? Enough said.
  • Aid cripples the development of our own military industries: This may be the most important consideration of all. Although the new MOU represents an increase from the previous $3.1 billion a year, it phases out over five years the ability to spend up to about a quarter of it for locally-produced goods. If we don’t have the capability to produce our own weapons, our dependence on the US becomes even greater, and we lose the jobs and technical know-how that come from it. Buying our own would pump additional money into our economy, which helps offset the loss of American aid. Even the IDF’s boots, formerly made in Israel, are now ordered from the US.
  • Aid doesn’t necessarily guarantee a qualitative edge: One of the rationales for US military aid was that the US promised to maintain our “qualitative military edge” (QME) over our enemies, as a way of counteracting their numerical superiority. But the US has more and more been selling its best weapons to anyone who can pay for them. The way to maintain the QME, then, is for Israel to use her technological abilities to develop weapons and countermeasures for her own use that will not be available to her enemies.
  • Aid damages Israel’s standing as a sovereign state: A nation that is dependent on another for its defense is a satellite, not an ally. In order to maintain her national self-respect, Israel should pay for her own defense. In addition, Israel’s accepting aid provides ammunition for anti-Israel and anti-Jewish propaganda in America.
  • Phasing out aid is better for America: The US is burdened by a large and growing debt. The end of military aid to Israel can only help America meet her own civilian and military needs.

***

Naturally, there will be objections.

Israel can’t afford expensive systems like the F-35 without aid. First, it’s not true, and second, maybe we don’t need such expensive systems, or so many of them.

But the US makes the world’s best weapons. Perhaps. If so, we should buy them with our own money. I’m not suggesting we break relations with the US. And who is to say that our home-made products won’t fit our unique needs better?

But it takes time to build up our industries. True, which is why I want to phase out the aid over a period of years rather than cutting it off sharply.

But what about the close cooperation between Israeli and the US defense industries? I’m not suggesting that such cooperation couldn’t continue, but in a framework of mutually beneficial business deals when indicated, as partners rather than clients.

But AIPAC works so hard making it possible. Yes, and Israel should be grateful to AIPAC and to its friends in the US Congress that for decades have made it possible for Israel to survive in its dangerous neighborhood against great odds. But the situation has changed. What used to be a necessity became a luxury, and then changed into a dangerous overindulgence. It’s not like there aren’t other critical issues that AIPAC could focus on.

***

In recent years much has changed in the world and in the Middle East. Israel, which was a third-rate power that managed to win her wars against great odds, became a first-rate power that nevertheless seems to be stymied and incapable of decisively prevailing over much weaker opponents. Although there are several reasons for this, one of the main ones is the increasing influence and control over Israeli decision-making by the US – whose government, at the same time, has become less and less supportive.

I’m sorry to say that I believe the US is in serious economic, social, political and even security trouble today – truly a broken reed. I hope it will repair itself. But like Isaiah’s Egypt, it is not a staff to lean upon.

Vic Rosenthal

Obama: Israel Recognizes It Cannot Settle Palestinian Land

Tuesday, September 20th, 2016

U.S. President Barack Obama offered one-line solutions to nations around the world Tuesday during his speech at the United Nations General Assembly.

Speaking of the decades-old dispute between Israel and the Palestinian Authority that evaded even Obama’s two-term attempts at peace-making, the American president offered this view:

“Surely Israelis and Palestinians will be better off if Palestinians reject incitement and recognize the legitimacy of Israel, but Israel recognizes that it cannot permanently occupy and settle Palestinian land.”

He had a lot to say about events in the Middle East in general:

“Just as force alone cannot impose order internationally, I believe in my core that repression cannot forge the social cohesion for nations to succeed.  The history of the last two decades proves that in today’s world, dictatorships are unstable.  The strongmen of today become the spark of revolution tomorrow.  You can jail your opponents but you can’t imprison ideas. You can try to control access to information but you cannot turn a lie into truth.”

He also had a great deal to say specifically about Syria, about the formation and evolution of Da’esh (ISIS) and the issue of radical Islamist terror, which he continued to refuse to label as such.

“We know that ISIL … depends on perpetual war to survive … Part of our job together is to work to reject such extremism that infects too many of our young people. Part of that effort must be a continued rejection by Muslims, of those who distort Islam, to preach intolerance and promote violence. It must also involve a rejection by non-Muslims of the ignorance that equates Islam with terror. This work will take time. There are no easy answers to Syria.”

Ultimately, he said, nations need to work together to prevent mass killings and torture.

“We also have to recognize that we must work more effectively in the future as an international community, to build capacity for states that are in distress, before they collapse.

“That’s why we should celebrate the fact that later today the United States will join with more than 50 countries to enlist new capabilities, infantry, intelligence, helicopters, hospitals, and tens of thousands of troops to strengthen United Nations peacekeepers.

These new capabilities can prevent mass killings and ensure that peace agreements are more than words on paper. But we have to do it together…. to establish security where order has broken down, and to support those who seek a just and lasting peace.”

Hana Levi Julian

Herding Cats

Tuesday, September 20th, 2016

Members of the Knesset Honor Guard took part in the nationwide civil defense exercise today.

The air raid sirens began going off after 11:05 AM throughout the country, and government employees, students and citizens were asked to head to the nearest emergency shelter as part of the exercise.

The Knesset Honor Guards participating in the drill began making sure that everyone in the Knesset headed in the right direction.

Knesset Honor Guard Civil Defense Drill Air Raid Siren

Knesset Honor Guard Civil Defense Drill Air Raid Siren

Knesset Honor Guard Civil Defense Drill Air Raid Siren

Jewish Press News Briefs

88 Senators Asking Obama to Protect Israel from Hostile UN Resolution

Tuesday, September 20th, 2016

Senators Kristen Gillibrand (D-NY) and Michael Rounds (R-SD) have led 88 Senators in a letter urging President Obama to veto one-sided UN resolutions on the Israeli-PA conflict. Anticipating that Obama is planning to embark on a post-election peace push using the UN Security Council, the 88 Democratic and Republican senators are telling the president to curb his enthusiasm.

“At this delicate stage the international community should both provide hope to the parties and avoid taking action that would harm the prospects for meaningful progress,” the Senators’ letter cautions, pointing out that “even well-intentioned initiatives at the United Nations risk locking the parties into positions that will make it more difficult to return to the negotiating table and make the compromises necessary for peace.”

The letter reminds Obama of his own UN envoy Susan Rice, who in 2011 told the UNSC: “It is the Israelis’ and Palestinians’ conflict, and even the best-intentioned outsiders cannot resolve it for them.” It also reminds the president of his own speech at the UN General Assembly, back in September 2011, when he said, “Ultimately, it is the Israelis and the Palestinians — not us — who must reach agreement on the issues that divide them.”

“We could not agree more with these statements,” the Senators’ letter concludes. “We urge you to continue longstanding US policy and make it clear that you will veto any one-sided UNSC resolution that may be offered in the coming months.”

Now let’s sit back and watch what President Obama does after Nov. 8.

David Israel

Update on Wounded Police Officer

Tuesday, September 20th, 2016

The policewoman wounded in the terror attack on Monday outside the Jerusalem Old City Flower Gate continues to be serious, but she has been stabilized.

She underwent operations at Sharei Tzedek hospital to stop the internal bleeding and the stab wounds to her spinal column.

Jewish Press News Briefs

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/update-on-wounded-police-officer/2016/09/20/

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