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May 28, 2016 / 20 Iyar, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘journalist’

Thank you, Jewish Press Readers

Wednesday, December 30th, 2015

This is the first time, and as of now the last time, that I ever have written a farewell message when leaving a newspaper or website.

I never felt the need to do so, for whatever reason, whether it be age, ambition or simply the assumption that The JewishPress.com really is the last venue for which I will write news.

I thank the staff and management of The JewishPress.com for the opportunity and freedom to present the news in my perspective.

I thank them, as well as the readers, for having put up with my horrendous typos, and there is a lesson here from which others perhaps can learn.

I grew up with a typewriter, if anyone remembers there was such a thing. I taught myself how to type when I was in elementary school. In the eighth grade, we had a typing class, if you can believe there was such a thing. Forty-plus boys and girls sat in a huge room and clattered away at the typewriters while learning “touch typing.”

I sat in the back of the class and since I was already used to my own hunt and peck system, I faked it and did not learn how to type with my fingers on the buttons and my eyes on the page.

The articles I wrote at my first job as a cub reporter were good reportage but a nightmare for the copy editor. I may hold the world record for the faster number of typos per minute.

It has haunted me until this day.

I use Word’s auto-spell feature and created a bit of shorthand. For example, I plug in “wh” to automatically be written as White House, which is fine so long as I don’t forget the “o” when writing “who” and ending up with a sentence like, “The Prime Minister, White House is visiting Europe today, said such and such.”

Even worse, I plug in “bo” for “President Barack Obama” but if I mistype “boy,” the sentence might read, “Israeli-born film star Natalie Portman gave birth to a President Barack Obama.”

The lesson here is never to cheat or to try to pull a fast one, because it will slap back at you, one way or the other.

Another lesson learned from journalism, and this could be true for any career, is to beware of occupational hazards. I have written several times that the politically correct anti-Zionism press is nothing new, but it can brainwash even the most experienced journalist.

In 1981, when I was earning a big dollar as a senior copy editor at a major Canadian newspaper and deciding what the reader would read and would not read, I ripped off the UPI copy on the Peace for the Galilee campaign, now known as the First Lebanon War.

At the time, I had traded Judaism for journalism as the way to truth and had divorced myself from any religious observance. Zionism never was part of me because as a religious Jew when growing up, I couldn’t accept the idea of Israel as a Jewish, but not religious country.

Good journalism and the eternal spark within a Jew made me read between the lines of the reportage on the war. Every day, UPI reported that Israel was “invading” and “attacking” Lebanon and killing “freedom fighters.” Somewhere towards the bottom of the copy, there was a notation that the “freedom fighters” had rained rockets down on Israel.

It suddenly became clear to me that journalism was a lie, and thanks to UPI, I began the long and winding road back to Judaism and eventually to Israel, where I have tried to counter the PC media.

Another occupational hazard of being a journalist is sneering at everything, and I apologize to readers for having made hateful remarks about Reform Jews. I only can grudgingly apologize for the same kind of remarks about Reform Judaism, as it is mistakenly called, but I cannot escape the fact that such comments implicitly degrade Reform Jews and have little constructive purpose.

Unfortunately, the “Who is a Jew” question highly complicates the issue for Orthodox Jewish journalists. On the one hand, we need to reach out to every Jew, and who, better than I, knows the need to do so?

On the other hand, Jewish law – which means Orthodox Jewish law – cannot tolerate a Fifth Column that throughout history has been a danger to our souls and continuity.

On the issue of Jews living in the Diaspora, I have unfairly judged those who do not make Aliyah. It took me 39 years to come to my own conclusion that if Israel is the Jewish home, and if I am Jewish, then I am not at home outside of Israel.

I have nothing against the United States and certainly do not want to “spit in the well from which I drank.” However, the fact is folks, while the sun is setting on the American empire, Israel is a happy and spiritually healthy happy home. You can look at the negatives or at the positives, just as you can in the United States or elsewhere.

It is a matter of will and faith and not a matter of reason.

I no longer sneer at those who do not make Aliyah today – it took me 39 years – but Israel is home.

HaShem has protected me and given me a wonderful life at home.

The future of Israel is good. The country is vibrant and bubbling over with controversy, the same kind of positive energy, as recorded in discussions in the Talmud, that has kept Judaism alive and growing.

Our divisiveness is what keeps us together.

I am not dispensing advice to people who already are married and have children. I am offering advice to young people. The earlier you come to Israel, the longer you will be at home.

Thanks for reading.

Tzvi

Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

Japanese Journalist Held Captive in Syria by Unnamed Terror Group

Thursday, December 24th, 2015

A Japanese journalist is being held captive by in Syria, according to Japan’s Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga, who did not name the group holding Yasuda Jumpei. Nor did he confirm the report of the abduction, which allegedly occurred in July.

“We are doing our best… and making full use of various intelligence networks,” he said, but gave no details.

Information about the capture of the journalist was received from the Paris-based Reporters Without Borders (RSF) organization, Reuters reported. RSF urged Japan to do all it can to save Yasuda, who was a friend and colleague of Japanese war correspondent Kenjo Goto, another journalist who was captured and executed late last year by the Da’esh (ISIS) terror group.

Yasuda himself had been previously abducted and held hostage by an armed group in 2004 while traveling near a combat zone in Iraq. He disappeared in July shortly after crossing the border from Turkey into Syria.

The organization said “an armed group” has been holding Yasuda hostage after kidnapping him shortly after entered Syria in an area controlled by the Al-Qaeda-linked Jabhat al-Nusra (Al Nusra Front).

The terrorist organization is demanding a ransom and has begun a countdown for payment. The group is threatening to execute the journalist or to sell him to another group if no ransom is paid.

Earlier this year, the Da’esh (ISIS) terrorist organization released a video documenting the beheading by the group of journalist Kenji Goto and his friend, a Japanese contractor.

Hana Levi Julian

Iran Sentences US-Iranian Washington Post Journalist to Prison as ‘Spy’

Monday, November 23rd, 2015

Washington Post journalist Jason Rezaian was sentenced to an unspecified prison term by the Iranian judiciary, according to a report broadcast Sunday by Iranian state television.

Rezaian, a dual U.S.-Iranian citizen raised in Marin County, California, had traveled to the country with his wife Yeganeh Salehi and two photojournalists. He was detained in Iran with them all on July 22, 2014.

All were released except the reporter, who was tried and convicted on charges of espionage, and other undisclosed charges as well. Iran does not recognize dual nationality status and labeled Rezaian an “American spy.”

Washington Post foreign editor Douglas Jehl vigorously denied the accusations: “We’re aware of the reports in the Iranian media, but have no further information at this time,” he said in a statement. “Every day that Jason is in prison is an injustice. He has done nothing wrong. Even after keeping Jason in prison 488 days so far, Iran has produced no evidence of wrongdoing. His trial and sentence are a sham, and he should be released immediately.”

Rezaian’s attorney, Leila Ahsan, told The Associated Press that she had not even been informed of the verdict, let alone details of the sentence. “I have no information about details of the verdict,” she said. “We were expecting the verdict some three months ago.”

The case was tried in hearings at Tehran’s Revolutionary Court, where cases are heard on national security.

The journalist was incarcerated and tried on the charges – and convicted – even as the United States and other world powers negotiated and closed a deal with Iran for a 10-year nuclear technology limitations agreement in exchange for international sanctions relief.

At the end, United States negotiators abandoned its citizens who remained trapped in Iran.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, who led the negotiations on the Iranian deal which was vehemently opposed by Israel, is now in the region for a three-day visit with top government officials in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, as well as meetings in Ramallah and Abu Dhabi.

Hana Levi Julian

Iran Convicts US Journalist Jason Rezaiain

Monday, October 12th, 2015

An Iranian court has convicted Washington Post reporter Jason Rezaiain for espionage, the regime’s ISNA news agency reported, but details of the verdict were not released.

Rezaiain has 20 days to appeal the verdict, but that is irrelevant in the Islamic Republic’s system, where everything is controlled and manipulated by the regime leaders.

He was arrested in July 2014 along with his wife, who later was released. The journalist allegedly turned over confidential information to President Barack Obama.

Washington Post’s foreign editor Douglas Jehl hit the nail on the head, telling Reuters:

It’s increasingly clear that the final decision about how Jason’s case will be handled will be made by political authorities, not by judicial ones.

Iranian officials have dropped hints that the journalist could be released, possibly along with other American prisoners, in exchange for Iranian prisoners being held in the United States.

The two most prominent American prisoners being held in Iran are Christian pastor Saeed Abedini and Amir Hekmati, a former U.S. Marine Corps sergeant. A third American is former FBI agent and contractor for the CIA Robert Levinson, who was arrested in 2007. It is not known if he is alive.

Iran will negotiate a prisoner swap the same way it dealt with the Obama administration and other Western powers on the nuclear agreement, which still has not been finalized by Tehran.

It will release information on the Razaiain’s verdict drop by drop, if at all, and might even try to exploit his incarceration for more concessions on the nuclear deal before concluding a prisoner swap.

@israel_shield

Kerry Skips over Israel in Middle East Trip

Tuesday, July 28th, 2015

When President Barack Obama says Israel his back, does he mean he is turning his back?

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is conveniently skipping over America’s closest ally this week during a trip that will take him to neighboring Egypt as well as Egypt, Qatar, Singapore, Malaysia and Vietnam.

The reason or skipping over Israel is obvious: The Obama administration’s single-minded objective right now is to make sure Congress does not reject “ObamaDeal” with a veto-proof majority.

President Obama’s declaration that he wants an “honest discussion” on the controversial agreement with Iran has its limits. After Kerry was told by Republican senators last week that he was “fleeced” and “bamboozled” by Iran, he does not want to walk into lion’s den.

But the State Dept., of course, has a different version of why Kerry is not stopping over Israel.

Spokesman John Kirby explained to nosy reporters at Monday’s daily press briefing:

It’s just not part of the parameters for this trip. It’s not – it wasn’t a deliberate decision not to go. There’s an awful lot to cover in eight days, as you can see. It’s literally – it’s an around-the-world trip.

He has been in touch with Prime Minister Netanyahu many, many times over the last several weeks in terms of discussing the deal and the parameters of it. So it’s not as if we aren’t in constant communication with Israeli counterparts about this.

The last call that I see to the Prime Minister took place on Thursday the 16th of July.

A journalist pointed out that was more than week ago, bur Kirby maintained, “Yeah, but that’s not that long ago.”

“Constant communication” is subjective.

The truth is that Kerry and Prime Minister Netanyahu do not have much to talk about. They can argue until they are blue in the face, but it is not going to get anyone anywhere, even though it would be a boon for the media.

Kerry may not find Egypt much friendlier, but at least he can count on Cairo not enabling the freedom of expression and speech that he doesn’t like in Israel, unless it is in his favor.

He will be in Cairo on Sunday for a session of the U.S.-Egypt Strategic Dialogue, a forum that “reaffirms the United States’ longstanding and enduring partnership with Egypt,” in the words of the State Dept.

That is the same phrase the United States uses for all of its wonderful friends, such as Israel.

On Monday, Kerry will meet with Gulf States officials in Doha, where Saudi Arabia will take the lead to lecture him in private what Netanyahu says in public: The deal with Iran is suicidal, and the war on the Islamic State (ISIS) needs to be more aggressive.

Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

‘Press Freedom’ Shows US-Backed Egyptian Regime is ‘Mubarak Number 3’

Thursday, June 25th, 2015

A New York-based group of journalists say there is an “unprecedented threat” to journalists in Egypt, where Obama backs the current regime.

The threat to journalists under Egypt’s regime of President Abdel-Fattah el-Sisi is “unprecedented,” the New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), warned Thursday.

President Barack Obama has backed the Al-Sisi regime after backing, and then turning his back, on Hosni Mubarak and then Mohammed Morsi of the terrorist Muslim Brotherhood party.

In a report filed by The Associated Press, the committee of journalists said that Egypt has imprisoned 18 news reporters , mostly for accusations that they are affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood.

“CPJ spoke to high-level officials, including the prosecutor-general and the minister of transitional justice, who denied that Egypt was holding any journalists in jail in relation to their work,” the group said. “But CPJ research shows that the government of el-Sisi … has used the pretext of national security to crack down on human rights, including press freedom.

One case cited is that of Mahmoud Abou-Zeid, arrested in August 2013 while taking photographs of the violent dispersal of a pro-Morsi protest where Al-Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi ‘s police and army killed hundreds of demonstrators.

The journalist still is in prison, but no charges have been filed.

Jewish Press News Briefs

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.

Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/uncategorized/arab-american-radio-host-bites-the-dust-with-lie-on-israeli-sanders/2015/06/11/

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