web analytics
May 28, 2015 / 10 Sivan, 5775
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘left-wing’

How the Left Reports on Turkey

Monday, June 3rd, 2013

Glen Johnson, reporting for the Los Angeles Times, has filed his story late Sunday night: “Thousands in Turkey continue protest over plan to bulldoze park.” Having been keeping up with the situation in Turkey, I took the opportunity to examine how the left wing media report on events that are not in my immediate vicinity. I know that when they report on, say clashes between the murderous IDF and peaceful Palestinian protesters, or on vile Jewish settlers burning down acres of olive groves that have been in this Palestinian farmer’s family since Saladin’s time, they’ll skew the story as best they can, using both code and innuendo, misrepresentations of the law and a warped version of history. But will I be able to catch those same tricks in a story about another country?

It was a challenge, and I must admit I had to labor for almost an entire minute to discover the usual suspects. I won’t bother you with the entire list of examples, because you’ll tire and walk away, so let’s do just a few:

First paragraph:

A weekend of protest in Turkey has left the country reeling, with thousands of DISSIDENTS taking to the streets after a brutal police crackdown, presenting the government with the MOST COHESIVE CHALLENGE in its more than a decade in power.

Dissidents? How are these free Yuppies living in Istanbul dissidents? Are they being thrown in jail? Are they dying in the gulags? How did they become dissidents?

Well, with a few key strokes, is how it happened. The same as in the case of the most cohesive challenge to the government. A government that has enjoyed a growing majority of the vote for 11 years is challenged by some guys burning stuff? Was the U.S. government challenged by the Rodney King riots in L.A.? Is Israel challenged by a bunch of Arabs throwing rocks at passing cars?

A cohesive challenge is when a competing political party manages to attract a sizable portion of the voters, to the point where government has to take notice. A few thousand guys brawling with the cops is the most cohesive challenge in a decade? Then I’m afraid the Erdogan regime is here to stay for as long as they feel like.

Next paragraph:

“The government is passing laws that go against our freedom, that take away our rights,” said 31-year-old Derya Bozkurt as she stood in the heart of Taksim Square in central Istanbul on Sunday evening. She was drinking a beer and smoking a cigar — powerful statements in present-day Turkey, WHERE ISLAMISTS FROWN ON ALCOHOL CONSUMPTION and CIGAR SMOKING IS HARDLY THE SOCIAL NORM FOR A WOMAN.

So, Islamists in Turkey are frowning on alcohol consumption – as opposed to what other Islamists? Alcohol is banned by Islam – much like marijuana is religiously banned by the U.S. government. In fact, while hundreds of thousands of Americans spend time in jail for smoking and selling weed, not one person in all of Turkey has even been charged with drinking alcohol – because it’s legal. The government—like most municipalities in the U.S.—is trying to set limits on where bars can operate—away from schools and religious institutions—and at what age one may start drinking—in Turkey it’s 18, in the U.S. 21—and when the bars should close at night—unless they serve the tourism industry.

What a brave lass this 31-year-old Derya Bozkurt must be, for drinking beer in a country where no one can touch her for doing it. In New York City she could be arrested for drinking in public, unless she kept the can in a brown paper bag.

And the idea that a guy from L.A., the place where cigarette smokers are the lepers of society, is complaining that Turkish women are discouraged from smoking cigars? In L.A. someone would call the cops on her for smoking, if she’s not careful.

Finally:

Plans to redevelop the park were PUSHED THROUGH last year by Erdogan’s Justice and Development Party, or AKP, DESPITE CONSIDERABLE OPPOSITION.

The AKP, a center-right nationalist party with Islamist leanings, DOMINATES THE PARLIAMENT and retains significant support in the country, appealing to a conservative Muslim base.

You’ll admit, that if you didn’t know the AKP enjoyed a huge, democratically elected, majority in parliament, you’d think that the development plans were imposed on the suffering Turks by a tyrannical, bullying system, deaf to their pleas. They did it despite considerable opposition of roughly 3 percent of the people, after all, how anti-democratic can you get?

Monitoring Professors Who Hate and Attack their Country

Monday, May 6th, 2013

Israel Academia Monitor, an organization devoted to monitoring anti-Israel academics, hosted a conference in Tel Aviv with the goal of drawing attention to the fact that anti-Israel academics exploit their positions of influence in order to promote an anti-Israel agenda.

Unfortunately, this phenomenon does not lie solely within universities abroad, but also exists within Israel. These professors utilize their position as a means to prove the justness of their cause while the fact that they are Israeli adds a sense of legitimacy. The danger is tremendous. As Cicero once wrote, “A nation can survive its fools, and even the ambitious. But it cannot survive treason from within.”

The first speaker to address the conference was Prof. Ofira Seliktar, who noted the orchestrated campaign to delegitimize Israel utilizing soft asymmetrical conflict.

Soft components of this conflict are designed to delegitimize the target country and improve the image of the challenged group” as well as the “causes they represent,” Seliktar said.

The founders of the Neo-Marxist critical perspective, according to Seliktar, were the first to adopt soft asymmetrical conflict, which Edward Said in turn applied to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Michael Gross, another speaker at the conference, pointed to professor Neve Gordon of Ben Gurion University, saying that Gordon has “a long track record of calling for boycotts of Israel” and has referred to “Israel as a so-called fascist Nazi apartheid-like state.” 

In addition, other professors at Ben Gurion University behave similarly, including Oren Yiftachel, who devoted “most of his career to misrepresenting Israel as an apartheid regime;” Lev Grinberg, who is best known for “accusing Israel of committing symbolic genocide” when Israel killed the leader of Hamas and compared Hamas terrorists to the “Maccabee heroes”; and Eyal Nir, who teaches chemistry at BGU and “is not only anti-Israel but was in the media in the past year for openly calling for critics of the left to be murdered.”

Panel at Israel Academia Monitor Conference, Tel Aviv

Panel at Israel Academia Monitor Conference, Tel Aviv

In the concluding session of this conference, I participated and spoke about how soft asymmetrical conflict was applied at Ben-Gurion University, where anti-Israel activism was quite widespread as part of an orchestrated campaign to educate international students to view Israel negatively.

Examples of this included the social coordinator at the time, Noah Slor, organizing anti-Israel trips, professors teaching about Israel in an anti-Israel propagandist style; and instances of pro-Israel students, such as myself, facing intimidation for having the chutzpah to speak out against the anti-Israel activism that was taking place on campus.

For example, Professor Yiftachel was teaching international students that “Israel is in a colonial situation with the Palestinians,” “the whole Israeli state is what you call an ethnocracy,” “Ashkenazis colonize the Mizrahim,” “Israeli Arabs have ghetto citizenship,” “Israel is like Sudan in ethnocratic structure,” and that “Israel imposes Judaism on her Palestinian citizens.”

When I attempted in the past to write exposés on this, Yiftachel arranged to have me intimidated by the then head of the Middle Eastern Studies department, Dr. Avi Rubin, who threatened “possible ramifications” and the involvement of the university’s legal department. While every thing turned out fine for me in the end, due to Israel Academia Monitor providing me with legal representation, not all students who are outspokenly pro-Israel at BGU are this lucky.

Here’s a brief portion of my concluding remarks:

When you combine people like [Professor] Yiftachel… [and] a social coordinator who, by the way was the one who organized the demonstrations on the campus in favor of the Gaza Flotilla … it has an indoctrinating effect.

I emphasized that choosing to speak out against this intimidation wasn’t an easy decision. Nevertheless, what the international students are taught is important, for many of these students will return to their countries and may hold prominent positions within the government as experts on the Middle East.

I concluded:

 

[I]t is important to study the Middle East; but not in the way that it is currently being done. It needs to be done in a way that you actually learn; that you actually gain some insight, a marketplace of ideas,” I explained. “It shouldn’t be only one opinion. And oh, you can’t challenge it if you don’t have a Ph.D. That’s not how it works. Students also have academic freedom and my academic freedom should be respected just as much as anybody else.

Visit United with Israel.

Police Harass Family on Seder Night

Thursday, March 28th, 2013

Jerusalem police banged on the door of a family during the Seder Monday night to make sure that a young woman was not violating an order to remain under house arrest – even though the order had expired a week before.

The Honenu Legal Aid organization reported that the unidentified girl, known by the initial “H,” was detained earlier this month after a clash between Ramat Migron outpost residents and left-wing activists who arrived to plow land between Jewish houses.

H. and several of her friends were detained on a claim that they had assaulted a public servant and were also accused of resisting detention. Eyewitnesses reported that the detainees, one of them a young pregnant woman, were detained very violently by the police. The detainees were held in remand for two days and then released to house arrest, which was canceled after Honenu successfully filed a appeal with the district court.

Honenu charged the police with intentional harassment by interrupting the family Seder, especially since the house arrest order no longer was valid.

“It is very strange to think that they didn’t know that she had already been released from house arrest a week ago,” said H’s mother. “After all, they know how to locate anyone at any given time with the technological means that they have. Their choice to come in the middle of Seder does not seem to me to be coincidental.”

Tell the NYT: Israelis Have Lost Interest in the ‘Peace Process’

Sunday, January 27th, 2013

For the past couple of years, the line pushed hard by the American Jewish anti-Zionist Left — the ones that love Israel so much they want to destroy it in order to save it, Peter BeinartJ StreetThomas L. FriedmanRabbi Rick Jacobs of the Reform Movement, the New Israel Fund, etc. — has been that American Jews have become distanced from Israel because it has moved sharply to the right, abandoning democracy and liberal values, becoming a racist theocracy.

For example, here’s Friedman in December:

Israel’s friends need to understand that the center-left in Israel is dying. The Israeli election in January will bring to power Israeli rightists who never spoke at your local Israel Bonds dinner. These are people who want to annex the West Bank. Bibi Netanyahu is a dove in this crowd. The only thing standing between Israel and national suicide any more is America and its willingness to tell Israel the truth. [emphasis in original]

And here is Daniel Sokatch of the New Israel fund just a week ago:

If the polls are correct, on January 22, Israelis will elect the most right-wing government in Israeli history. It is likely to be even more hardline than the current coalition, on whose watch Israel’s relations with the Obama administration soured over disagreements over Iran, Israel’s expanding settlement enterprise, and the moribund peace process.

Oops.

How many times do I have to say it? These idiots do not have a clue about what Israelis think, what their priorities are, and of course how they vote.

This election was anything but a victory for the right wing. The Likud, perhaps in part because of the replacement of some relatively moderate members of its list with those farther to the right, ended up with far fewer seats than predicted. Although the new Bayit Hayehudi party — among those, in Friedman’s words, “who want to annex [parts of] the West Bank” — did remarkably well, it too did less well than expected.

The big surprise was the second-place finish of Yair Lapid’s Yesh Atid party. Centrist, concerned with social issues — including Haredi draft-avoidance — and the cost of apartments and food. So much for theocracy.

Interestingly — at least, it should be interesting to Sokatch, Friedman, Beinart, et al — there was little discussion during the campaign of “the peace process,” “the occupation” and the “two-state solution” with which they are obsessed. Everybody in Israel, with the exception of the European- and NIF-funded Left, knows that the “peace process” is dead because there is simply no common ground between the Israeli need for security and the Arab desire to destroy Israel.

No, the issues uppermost in their minds are Iran — and here, most Israelis have confidence in Netanyahu — and questions of social and economic policy.

In other words, after survival, Israelis are concerned with how best to improve the functioning of their democracy, how to share the burdens and distribute the benefits of their free society — exactly the areas in which the patronizing liberal American Jews think that they know better than the ‘primitive’ Israelis!

Now that they have been proven wrong, will they shut up? Of course not. But they should. As a person who has lived in Israel and the U.S., who today is close to children and grandchildren living in Israel and therefore can compare the two systems, I can say that I am far more worried about the future of democracy in the USA than in Israel.

Yes, Israel lives in constant threat of war, but most of its people have better access to good health care than Americans do. Yes, the cost of apartments is astronomical, but I am confident that this will shortly change, while the goal of home ownership is moving farther away for many Americans. And our political process…

Shas Gonna Shas

Monday, January 7th, 2013

“Haters gonna hate,” the saying goes. Ditto for political parties.

On January 3, Ynet reported about a Shas event held in the Arab Galileevillage of Abu Sanan. Aryeh Deri mentioned feeling at home and told his audience, “You will have someone to turn to and our respect.” Eli Yishai likewise stated, “Inshallah, God willing, we will have our victory party right here.”

This should be as surprising as reading that Meretz members advocate public transportation on Shabbat. Does Shas greasing the rails for Oslo I by abstention ring a bell? How about the coalition Shas formed with Meretz and Labor in 1992 to enable Rabin’s government?

It wasn’t out of the blue that Rabbi Aaron Rakeffet-Rothkoff said in 2010, “Any commitment of Shas to Torat HaShem Temima is purely coincidental at best… A vote for Shas is a vote to give back the Kotel” (See 28:45 here.)

Rabbi David Bar-Hayim has commented on Shas and Oslo I: “They allowed it to take place because they did nothing…They did nothing because they were paid off. This is a clear-cut, simple, straightforward case of shochad…” (See 1:19:50 here.)

But the problem isn’t just Shas. Before the establishment of this party, the Lubavitcher Rebbe zt”l likewise stated regarding the Camp David Accords:

What’s most distressing is that the voices that should have been raised in opposition have been   silenced by bribes. Those who have accepted the bribes may protest the money has gone to Yeshivos, etc. However, no money that is stained with Jewish blood can help in the education of    a Jewish child.

These words remain all too timely, as do those of Rabbi Meir Kahane hy”d in 1981:

Years of a National Religious Party holding the balance of power in the government and doing    nothing as it supped happily at the tables of money and power. Almost four years of an Agudat Yisrael party, which is quite happy to support Begin in return for money for its institutions and yeshivot.

Specific to Rabbi Kahane’s points, Rabbi Rakeffets remarked on various occasions from 2005 and 2012 about the destruction of Gush Katif, the empowerment of Hamas, and the complicity of Agudat Yisrael:

* “You open up The Jewish Press, Menachem Porush is crying and yelling and shouting…against the disengagement. You phony. You falsifier. You liar. Your own party is sitting in the government and giving them a majority and enabling them to do what they want, and you’re crying in The Jewish Press. And people are so stupid. They read it and follow it and think Torah Mi Sinai. (See 28:55 here.)

* “Every rocket falling in on Israel today—Agudat Yisrael, the Gerrer Rebbe, has a share in it.” (See 8:50 here.)

* “…a Moetzet Gedolei HaTorah that enabled the Israeli government to give back Gush Katif and bring endless tragedy upon the Jewish People…Agudat Yisrael made it possible. I lived it. I saw it. It was tangible. Everyone knows about it…The price we are paying, the price we have paid, and the price we will yet pay for the stupidity of Agudat Yisrael that enabled the Israeli government to go along with Sharon and Olmert. It’s overwhelming.” (See 1:05:35 here.)

Weekly Poll Average: Right Leading with 67.5 Seats

Sunday, December 16th, 2012

The right of center parties continue to maintain their lead, albeit by a slightly smaller margin in eight polls released December 9-15 (from Haaretz, Walla, Yisrael Hayom, Reshet Bet, Knesset Channel, Maariv, Yediot Achronot, Jerusalem/Yisrael Post).

Current Knesset seats in [brackets], with the previous week’s average in (brackets):

37.3 (37.7) [42] Likud Beitenu
18.2 (19.7) [08] Labor
11.3 (11.3) [05] Jewish Home-National Union
10.8 (10.5) [10] Shas
9.1 (8.2) [07] Movement (Livni)
8.7 (7.3) [–] Yesh Atid
5.8 (5.7) [05] Yahadut Hatorah/UTJ
4.1 (3.6) [04] Ra’am-Ta’al
4.0 (3.6) [03] Meretz
3.8 (3.5) [04] Hadash
3.1 (3.0) [03] Balad
1.1 (2.2) [01] Am Shalem
1.1 (1.6) [28] Kadima
0.7 (1.6) [02] Strong Israel
— (0.0) [05] Independence (No longer running)
HaYisraelim (2 seats in one poll)

67.5 (69.2) [65] Right
52.4 (50.7) [55] Left

Notable changes over the last two weeks: Ra’am-Ta’al passes Meretz for 8th place. Kadima passes Strong Israel for 13th place.

Largest Gains: Yesh Atid gained 1.4 seats and Movement gained 0.9.
Biggest Losses:
Labor lost 1.5 seats and Am Shalem lost 1.1.

Note: These polls were taken prior to Yisrael Beitenu Chairman Avigdor Leiberman’s indictment and resignation as Foreign Minister.

Visit KnessetJeremy.com.

How to Write About Israel

Sunday, May 20th, 2012

http://sultanknish.blogspot.com/2012/05/how-to-write-about-israel.html

Writing about Israel is a booming field. No news agency, be it ever so humble, can avoid embedding a few correspondents and a dog’s tail of stringers into Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, to sit in cafes clicking away on their laptops, meeting up with leftist NGO’s and the oppressed Muslim of the week.

At a time when international desks are being cut to the bone, this is the one bone that the newshounds won’t give up. Wars can be covered from thousands of miles away, genocide can go to the back page, but, when a rock flies in the West Bank, there had better be a correspondent with a fake continental accent and a khaki shirt to cover it.

Writing about Israel isn’t hard. Anyone who has consumed a steady diet of media over the years already knows all the bullet points. The trick is arranging them artistically, like so many wilted flowers, in the story of this week’s outrage.

Israel is hot, even in the winter, with the suggestion of violence brimming under the surface. It should be described as a “troubled land.” Throw in occasional ironic biblical references and end every article or broadcast by emphasizing that peace is still far away.

It has two types of people: the Israelis who live in posh houses stocked with all the latest appliances and the Arabs who live in crumbling shacks that are always in danger of being bulldozed. The Israelis are fanatical, the Arabs are passionate. The Israelis are hate-filled, while the Arabs are embittered. The Israelis have everything while the Arabs have nothing.

Avoid mentioning all the mansions that you pass on the way to interviewing some Palestinian Authority or Hamas bigwig. When visiting a terrorist prisoner in an Israeli jail, be sure to call him a militant, somewhere in the fifth paragraph, but do not mention the sheer amount of food in the prison, especially if he is on a hunger strike. If you happen to notice that the prisoners live better than most Israelis, that is something you will not refer to. Instead describe them as passionate and embittered. Never ask them how many children they killed or how much they make a month. Ask them what they think the prospects for peace are. Nod knowingly when they say that it’s up to Israel.

Weigh every story one way. Depersonalize Israelis, personalize Muslims. One is a statistic, the other a precious snowflake. A Muslim terrorist attack is always in retaliation for something, but an Israeli attack is rarely a retaliation for anything. When Israeli planes bomb a terrorist hideout, suggest that this latest action only feeds the “Cycle of Violence” and quote some official who urges Israel to return to peace negotiations– whether or not there actually are any negotiations to return to.

Center everything around peace negotiations. If Israel has any domestic politics that don’t involve checkpoints and air strikes, do your best to avoid learning about them. Frame all Israeli politics by asking whether a politician is finally willing to make the compromises that you think are necessary for peace. Always sigh regretfully and find them wanting. Assume that all Israelis think the same way. Every vote is a referendum on the peace process. A vote for a conservative party means that Israelis hate peace.

The Israelis can also be divided into two categories. There are the good Israelis, who wear glasses, own iPads and live in trendy neighborhoods. They are very concerned that the country is losing its soul by oppressing another people. They strum out-of-date American peace songs on guitars that they play badly, but which you will describe them as playing “soulfully,” and they show up at rallies demanding that the government make peace with the Palestinians.

Your good Israelis invariably volunteer or work for some NGO, a fact that you may or may not mention in your article, but you are not to discuss who funds their NGO, particularly if it’s a foreign government. Write about them as if they are the hope of an otherwise brutish and unreasonable Israel too obsessed with killing and destroying to listen to the hopeful voices of its children.

When writing about them, act as if they are representative of the country’s youth and its best and brightest, which for all you know they might be, because you rarely meet anyone who isn’t like them, because you rarely meet anyone who isn’t like you. When you do it’s either a taxi driver, repairman or some working-class fellow whom you have nothing in common with, and who turns out to be a raving militant when it comes to the terrorism question.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/blogs/sultan-knish/how-to-write-about-israel/2012/05/20/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: