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July 7, 2015 / 20 Tammuz, 5775
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Posts Tagged ‘journalist’

Arab-American Radio Host Bites the Dust with Lie on ‘Israeli’ Sanders

Thursday, June 11th, 2015

Arab-American radio host Diane Rehm falsely accused Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders of being a dual Israeli-American citizen and later apologized.

Sanders expressed irritation at the accusation, which he immediately denied on air, but the echoes of anti-Semitism remain in the air.

Rehm hosts her show on WAMU, affiliated with the NPR network. Sanders, who has visited Israel, is Jewish but mostly in name. The JewishPress.com pointed out here in April, he has no use for organized religion and cites Pope Francis as his guide.

Thank God he is not an Israeli.

But Rehm, an award-winning journalist, thought otherwise, based on nothing more than a Facebook post by Vittorio Arrigoni, who was an Italian activist and worked with the fiercely anti-Israel International Solidarity Movement (ISM).

He held a Gaza passport given to him by Hamas’s de facto prime minister Ismail Haniyeh and acted as human shield for Gaza “fishermen,” some of whom fish for fish and some of whom shoot to kill Jews.

His Facebook posted of American leaders with Israeli-American citizenship falsely included Sanders. She did not quote Arrigoni for other posts, such as:

Zionism is an abominable, racist and colonial movement. Like all colonial and apartheid systems, it’s in the interest of all that it be swept away. My hope is to see it replaced, without any bloodshed, with a democratic, secular and lay state – for example on the borders of historic Palestine – and where Palestinians and Israelis could live under equal rights of citizenship without ethnic and religious discrimination.

He once described four Hamas tunnel terrorists as “martyrs.”

Gaza Salafists thanked him for his anti-Zionism by kidnapping and killing him in 2011.

Rehm was born in the United States. Her father, a Christian, immigrated to the United States from Anatolia. She has said that her family members were “Arabs,” and she raised her children as Christian Arabs.

Her question to Sanders, based on a Facebook post, cannot be ignored as anything but a reflection of an anti-Zionist agenda.

She said to Sanders on her show Wednesday:

Senator, you have dual citizenship with Israel.

Sanders immediately responded:

Well, no I do not have dual citizenship with Israel. I’m an American. I don’t know where that question came from. I am an American citizen, and I have visited Israel on a couple of occasions. No, I’m an American citizen, period.

Rehm:

 I understand from a list we have gotten that you were on that list.

Sanders:

 No.

Rehm:

Forgive me if that is—

Sanders:

That’s some of the nonsense that goes on in the internet. But that is absolutely not true.

Rehm:

Interesting. Are there members of Congress who do have dual citizenship or is that part of the fable?

Sanders said he does not know and went back to express his having been insulted by Rehm:

You know, my dad came to this country from Poland at the age of 17 without a nickel in his pocket. He loved this country. I am, you know, I got offended a little bit by that comment, and I know it’s been on the internet. I am obviously an American citizen and I do not have any dual citizenship.

The National Jewish Democratic Council (NJDC) stated after Rehm’s goof:

 It is appalling that in today’s age, a longtime Jewish elected official would face implications that he splits his loyalty between the United States and Israel for no reason other than his religion.

This anti-Semitic canard of dual loyalty has persisted for decades, particularly about American Jews in public service.

Rehm later issued an apology in a statement:

On today’s show I made a mistake. Rather than asking Senator and Presidential Candidate Bernie Sanders whether he had dual U.S./Israeli citizenship, as I had read in a comment on Facebook, I stated it as fact. He corrected me, saying he did not know where the question came from. I apologized immediately.

ISIS Threatens Twitter CEO & Staff, Executes Iraqi Journalist

Sunday, October 12th, 2014

Terrorists of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) last week threatened to murder Twitter CEO Dick Costolo and his staff.

The reason?

The social media site shut down terrorists’ accounts for violating the site’s terms of service. Promoting terrorism, and discussions of related criminal activity is a violation of Twitter’s terms of services. When the site shut down accounts that didn’t observe the rules, terrorists threatened to “assassinate” the Twitter staff, Costolo told Vanity Fair.

“It’s against the law in many of the countries in which we operate for them to use it to promote their organization,” Costolo said. “And when we do find those accounts we shut them down. We shut them down quite actively.”

ISIS has used Twitter before. Fighters have posted selfies on the site for various purposes — including matrimonial! — but the group also tweeted a murderous threat against the U.S. in August, taunting, “We are in your cities.”

Meanwhile, Iraqi journalist Ra’ad al-Azzawi was murdered by ISIS on Saturday, according to colleagues who circulated the news on Twitter, including Arab affairs reporter Khaled Abu Toameh.

“This is tragic. Thoughts are with Mr. Al-Azzawi, his family and friends,” tweeted one person. “Being a ‘journalist’ can be seen as being a spy in shariah (sic), so you can’t blame ISIS without understanding #Islam” tweeted another.

Azzawi, a father of three, worked as an Iraqi news cameraman for the local news channel Sama Salaheddin. He was threatened by ISIS after he refused to work for the jihadist organization, and was detained by the group on September 7.

The Iraqi journalist and his brother, as well as two other people were publicly executed in the village of Samra, east of Tikrit, Aljazeera reported. A total of at least 16 victims were executed in northern Iraq on Saturday.

U.S. humanitarian worker Peter Kassig, who converted to Islam in captivity and became Abdul-Rahman Kassig, is now being held by ISIS and is being threatened with execution next.

Pro-Erdogan Columnist Publishes Rant Against Turkish Jews

Sunday, September 14th, 2014

A conservative columnist known for his anti-Israel views has again struck out against the Jews in Turkey.

Writing in the Yeni Akit, a major Turkish publication chain which closely supports the AKP party of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Faruk Kose called on the government to tax the country’s Jews to rebuild Gaza.

In fact, wrote Kose, Turkey should impose the “Gaza Fund Contribution Tax” on tax any Jews having anything whatsoever to do with the country. Or, for that matter, on anyone tied to Israel.

Foreign Jews doing business in Turkey, Turkish nationals who do business with Israel, Turkish Jewish citizens, any corporation, company or business that has any connection or maintains a partnership with a Turkish Jew – in short, anyone with any tie or connection with a Jew anywhere, or with Israel – should be taxed. Failure to pay the tax should lead to revoking one’s business license, and seizure of the offender’s property.

“The reconstruction of Gaza should be paid for by Jewish business owners,” Kose wrote.

The link to Kose’s column may be found by clicking here. Does any of this sound familiar, history buffs?

U.S. President Barack Obama discussed the growing anti-Semitism in Turkey when the two leaders met Sept. 5 in Wales on the sidelines of a NATO conference to discuss tensions between Russia and Ukraine. The President and President Erdogan talked about the importance of building tolerant and inclusive societies and combating the scourge of anti-Semitism,” a White House statement said, in describing the meeting between the two.

But it’s highly doubtful that Erdogan would be influenced by anthing Obama has to say. The Turkish president has a long and illustrious history for publicly exploding in rage against the Jewish State every time Israel has decided to defend itself against attacks emanating from Gaza, which since 2006 has occurred about every two years.

This past summer Erdogan told reporters – and Turkish citizens – that [Israelis] “have no conscience, no honor, no pride. Those who condemn Hitler day and night have surpassed Hitler in barbarism.”

Fellow AKP parliamentarian Samil Tayyar tweeted to Turkish Jews in a message during Operation Protective Edge this summer, “Let your race be finished off, and may Hitler never be too far away.”

A popular Turkish singer, Yildiz Tilbe, also praised Hitler in a post on Twitter, “If God allows, it will be again Muslims who will bring the end of the Jews, it is near, near.” On her official @YildizzTilbee account, she tweeted, “They (Jews) are hostile to Allah and all prophets including their own prophet Moses.” In a third tweet she wrote, “May God bless Hitler.”

Last year then-Prime Minister Erdogan stopped short of outright blaming the Jews — but instead, blamed the “interest-rate lobby” (a code word for Jewish financiers and media owners) for being among the major culprits behind the mass civil protest over Gezi Park renovations that spread from Istanbul throughout Turkey. Erdogan claimed the protests were aimed at destroying the Turkish economy and his government along with it. Eventually one of the ministers in his government slipped and told reporters that “international Jewry” was one of the groups behind the nationwide protests that went on for weeks.

When the Muslim Brotherhood-backed Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi was deposed in a coup, that event was also blamed on a “Jewish conspiracy.” Some Turkish members on the Twitter social media site even claimed that those who were shooting protesters were not really Muslims, but Jews. Eventually, Erdogan joined them and accused Jews of masterminding the coup.

Anti-Semitic attacks are rising in Turkey, and the venom against Jews being spewed in the press is feeding the frenzy. Despite a lukewarm call from Erdogan not to carry out attacks against the 17,000 Jews who still remain in Turkey, it is clear his one sop to world politik is greatly outweighed by his passionate anti-Semitism. Equally clearly, his constituents know it – and support it.

Report: Foley Murdered because His Brother Works for US Air Force

Sunday, August 24th, 2014

The Islamic State (ISIS) singled out U.S. journalist James Foley for beheading because his brother is in the U.S. Air Force, according to a French journalist who had been a hostage of the terrorist organization.

The killer’s British accent was clearly heard in a video that ISIS of the beheading, and the French journalist, Didier Francois, said that the murderer may have been the same man named “John” who remembered the accent and name when he was held for eight months before being released earlier this year.

Francois said in an interview on French radio that the terrorists searched through Foley’s computer and discovered pictures of his brother, who works for the U.S. Air Force, the London Independent reported.

That apparently spelled the death sentence for the American journalist

The United States, Britain and other countries are conducting a manhunt for “John,” suspected of being part of a three-man gang of British citizens known as “the Beatles” and who are in charge of Western hostages in Syria.

British intelligence estimates that nearly 500 British Muslims are in Syria.

Francois said he is not certain of the identity of the man who beheaded Foley, and said while it is too much to say is sure that he recognizes the murderer according to his voice and accent, “I see roughly who it is.”

The ISIS has threatened it will behead another American journalist, Steven Sotloff, if the United States does not fork over approximately the same $132 million I demanded to spare Foley’s life.

2 Tortured Bodies Found Dumped in Sloviansk, Ukraine

Wednesday, April 23rd, 2014

Two dead men whose bodies were marked with signs of “brutal torture” were found dumped near the eastern Ukrainian city of Slaviansk, according to numerous media reports.

One has yet to be identified.

Israeli-American journalist Simon Ostrovsky was kidnapped on Monday by armed gunmen working for the self-declared separatist mayor of Slaviansk. He is being held hostage in the eastern Ukranian city, now under pro-Russian rule. Mr. Ostrovsky, who works for the HBO-owned Vice News media outlet, has not been seen or heard from since his capture.

The second was allegedly identified in a preliminary investigation as that of Volodymyr Rybak, a member of the ruling Ukrainian Batkivshchyna party. Mr. Rybak was kidnapped last Wednesday by terrorists in Horlivka. His body was found in the Seversky-Donets River. Mr. Rybak served as a local council member in the town of Horlivka, near Donetsk.

Although the identification has yet to confirmed, Ukrainian interim President Oleksander Turchinov said in a statement to media that at least one of the bodies appeared to be that of Mr. Rybak. Turchinov called for an anti-terrorist operation to be relaunched in Ukraine.

Despite efforts by fellow journalists to determine his status and condition, journalist Simon Ostrovsky has not been seen since.

The Israeli government did not respond to phone calls and an email from The Jewish Press asking for a comment on the situation.

U.S. State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki told reporters at a briefing on Monday, that the U.S. believes “there’s a strong connection between Russia and the armed militants that we’ve seen in eastern Ukraine and Crimea and other places… what we see in the photos that have been, again, in international media, on Twitter, and publicly available, is that there are individuals who visibly appear to be tied to Russia. We’ve said that publicly a countless number of times.”

Psaki added that Secretary of State John Kerry had called on Russia to speak out against the seizing of journalists and other innocents as hostages.

Some of My Best Friends Are…

Wednesday, March 6th, 2013

I am not one to follow beauty pageants. Least of all those held in Israel. I am not going to get into the Halachic issues here – which do exist. As it pertains to this post it is a side issue. I am, however, going to get into another troubling issue – that of racism.

An article in the Forward cites an Israeli journalist that actually asks the question about whether Yityish Aynaw deserved to win the title Miss Israel. I don’t think that question has ever been asked before about any other winner of that title. No matter what she looked like. Why did he ask it here? Can anyone guess? Well, just in case you hadn’t noticed, the color of her skin is black. Here is what he said:

“I think it is really great that an Ethiopian-born woman won our national beauty pageant, I really do. If she were also beautiful it would have been even better.” Right! He thinks it’s great! And some of his best friends are…

What a disgusting comment! It is truly sickening when skin color becomes an issue in any circumstance. To say that someone who won a contest is not really all that beautiful but was chosen for political reasons in only this case is an insult to both the winner and to an entire race of people.

It is also an insult to me and to anyone with any sense of human dignity. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. That this journalist doesn’t think she is beautiful may in fact be true. Maybe he doesn’t. I will even grant that beauty pageants are political and winners are chosen for reasons other than physical beauty.

But this has always been true. And yet I don’t ever recall anyone saying that a beauty contest winner in Israel was not beautiful enough to have won. To do so now seems to show a certain degree of racism that is deeply buried in the unconscious mind of that journalist. He probably isn’t even aware of his own racial bias. Or… maybe he is and is disguising it by putting it in political terms.

Israel has recently been accused of racist tactics with respect to its Ethiopian immigrants. I don’t know how true that is. Although there is racism among some of its citizens as was pointed out last month by an op-ed in Ynet. But when journalist post messages like this on his Facebook page I think it exposes a certain degree of it. Even if it is only in the unconscious mind.

The unconscious mind dictates a lot of how humankind behaves. Decisions are often made that are racially biased and yet not realized as such by the decision makers.

I do not mean to impugn Israel. It is not a racist state. Far from it – despite accusations to the contrary. No one has done more for the plight of Ethiopian Jewry than the State of Israel. They have attempted mightily to mainstream these new immigrants and have achieved a measure of success in doing so. The fact that Miss Israel was an officer in the IDF at age 21 demonstrates that.

But the fact that there still exists this kind of subliminal thinking seems to be true as well. When journalists question why a black woman won a beauty contest – even if it is disguised as referring only to this particular black woman – it impacts on public opinion. I think that is sad. That he said it only on his Facebook page – perhaps thinking only his “Friends” would see it – makes it even sadder. That would mean he knew his comment wasn’t all that Kosher.

I’m sure that there are many (hopefully most) Israelis that do not have a prejudice bone in their bodies. But obviously there are some who do have a bone or two in their bodies that is prejudiced

Those who do, like this journalist – need to work on their attitudes and root out any and all prejudice whether conscious or not. It is the right thing to do.

Visit Emes Ve-Emunah.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/blogs/haemtza/some-of-my-best-friends-are/2013/03/06/

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