web analytics
August 25, 2016 / 21 Av, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘left’

Another Hard Left Turn for BGU

Wednesday, May 25th, 2016

Ben-Gurion University (BGU) is yet again embroiled in controversy over its association with the far Left. Last week, BGU announced that it will be sponsoring a conference at the end of May featuring the highly controversial NGO, “Breaking the Silence.”

The conference, which according to the University will address the historical and current aspects of whistle blowing, is being organized by BGU’s Department of Jewish History and will be featuring “Breaking the Silence” (BtS) CEO Yuli Novak, as well as the organization’s Public Relations Coordinator, Nadav Weiman, who is scheduled to present his “personal testimony.”

Following a letter sent by Im Tirtzu to BGU President Rivka Carmi, which charged that the University’s sponsorship of the conference is in violation of the Council for Higher Education in Israel’s stand on politicization in academia, the University replied that the conference is “academic” in nature and “promotes and enables an open and diverse dialogue and does not seek to espouse a particular political viewpoint.”

However, a quick look at the conference schedule reveals that the vast majority of speakers are affiliated with the radical and anti-Zionist Left. In addition to participants from BtS, the conference is replete with lecturers who support, inter alia, refusing IDF service, encouraging international pressure on Israel, and refusing to work over the Green Line.

The conference is also set to feature the chairman of “Physicians for Human Rights – Israel,” an Israeli NGO that uses foreign funding to accuse Israel and the IDF of violating international law, and a journalist who wrote for the Yediot Achronot: “There are several settlements, like Tapuach and Yizhar, which should not only be evacuated, but they should all be sprayed with bullets and killed… As far as I’m concerned killing them is not even considered killing people, but merely eliminating stray weeds.”

Despite BGU’s claim of academic pluralism, the reality remains that this conference has a clear slant to the hard Left. Incidentally enough, it was in response to this very phenomenon that the Council of Higher Education saw fit to heavily sanction BGU’s Department of Politics and Government several years earlier.

In addition to the politicized line-up of speakers, BGU is also being disingenuous by misrepresenting the name of the conference in its English translation (“Whistleblowing Through the Ages and Today”). The conference in Hebrew is titled “Shovrei Shtika Lidoroteyhem. Viachshav,” which elicits a clear and unmistakable association to BtS as Shovreim Shtika is the Hebrew name of the organization. The usage of the word “Whistleblowing” in place of the more fitting “Breaking the Silence” is a clear attempt by the University to deceive its English-speaking benefactors by denying the conference’s obvious connection to BtS.

As in the past, academic freedom is being used to mask a clear political agenda being propagated by BGU. The exchange of ideas and freedom of speech are crucial tenets to a thriving society and higher education, and political groups should have the right to organize events on campus grounds, but this does not give a publicly-funded university the mandate to sponsor such a highly politicized event. Presenting only one side of the debate is not academic freedom; it is forced indoctrination.

The fact that BGU is actively supporting an organization that defames the State of Israel and bolsters the BDS movement is very troubling. This is not only a gross misuse of public funds, but a betrayal of BGU’s student body that strives to achieve a higher education, not to be imbued with the University’s political agenda.

With this clear act of academic politicization, the Council for Higher Education should immediately open up another inquiry to investigate the University’s continuous violation of its guidelines.

Eytan Meir

Nothing Left at 100

Monday, May 23rd, 2016

I do not know how many of you are familiar with Michael Burd and Alan Freedman’s radio show, Nothing Left, from J-AIR out of Melbourne, but you definitely should be.

I say this, of course, because they have been foolish enough to put me on the show a few times and therefore my ego impels me to write this.

The thing of it is, J-AIR is a niche station and Nothing Left is a niche show within a niche station.

Our little band of pro-Israel / pro-Jewish bloggers and commenters definitely know what this is like.

The Tradition of the “Little Magazine”

We are provoking small-scale conversations among one another in much the same way that the so-called “little magazines” in New York City throughout the twentieth-century did so.

Nothing Left is a part of our greater international network and we are the “little magazines” of our day.

In fact, Jonathan Tobin, of Commentary has spoken with the guys on-air at Nothing Left and Commentary is one of the few “little magazines” still in operation.

{Somebody beat The New Republic to something resembling death once Marty Peretz retired, made aliyah, and was no longer their to defend the magazine. The Nation, of course, while derived from the noble Abolitionist tradition, has clearly lost its way and tends toward sympathy with political Islam. And, needless to say, Mother Jones staggers on across the Bay, but does anyone care?}

The analysts that Michael and Alan have attracted to the show represent a “who’s who” of the pro-Israel / pro-Jewish community from all over the world.

They include famed attorney Alan Dershowitz, Isi Leibler on a weekly basis, my friend Shirlee Finn of Jews Down Under fame, Rabbi Shmuley Boteach, Tammi Rossman-Benjamin of AMCHA, Dr. Michael Harris of Stand With Us, analyst Dr. Martin Sherman of the Jerusalem Post (maybe!), political radio personality Dennis Prager, Lori Lowenthal-Marcus of The Jewish Press, Professor Mordechai Kedar, Professor Mathias Küntzel, Professor Denis MacEoin, Dr. Robert Spencer, MK Moshe Feiglin, journalist Daniel Greenfield, activist Pamela Geller, journalist Melanie Phillips, Abe Foxman of the ADL, and on and on and on.

I tell you guys, it is an impressive list and I only touched on some of the people that I am familiar with. But, as you can see, these are all formidable individuals within the Jewish community and any of the pro-Israel political blogs would be proud to gather such an esteemed line-up.

The latest episode, number 99 from May 17, features Prof Alan Johnson, Pat Condell, MK Sharren Haskel, Isi Leibler, and guest host Mary Werther, with a brief editorial from yours truly.

Those of you familiar with this blog are probably familiar with Pat Condell. Pat, I believe, has about had it with political Islam, if not Islam, more generally. Speaking as a member of a tiny ethnic minority that was persecuted for thirteen long centuries under the boot of Arab-Muslim imperial rule, it is not difficult for me to see why. Condell’s contribution, however, is not an interview, but a piece concerning the latest Gaza war.

Professor Alan Johnson

The discussion with Professor Alan Johnson was, however, brilliant. I was not familiar with the gentleman but he is a political theorist, the editor of Fathom, and a current member of the UK Labour Party.

He is, thus, in a perfect position to discuss the manifold ways that Labour is ripping itself to pieces over anti-Semitism… as those of us from “across the pond” break out the popcorn.

Burd and Johnson discussed “open warfare” within the UK Labour party, the heinous former mayor of London, Ken Livingstone, and his equally heinous colleague Naz Shah who suggested that the Jews of Israel should be transplanted into the middle of the United States someplace, perhaps Nebraska.

They discussed holocaust inversion, the fact of rampant anti-Semitism within the British Muslim community and the exportation of classical anti-Semitic tropes into contemporary anti-Zionist discourse through that community and their allies on the progressive-left.

What was equally interesting to me, however, is Michael’s discussion with Israeli MK Sharren Haskel. Haskel is the youngest seated member of Likud and perhaps the youngest member of the Knesset, period.

With luck she represents the coming leadership within Israel, itself, if not merely within Likud. She has got something very fresh and very straightforward, while maintaining both compassion and clarity of thought on the issues… or so I thought as I listened through her segment.

She was a combat soldier in the IDF during Intifada Number 2 and experienced the pain of the field on “my body and on my soul.”

She is working on Israeli / Arab-Muslim diplomatic relations in the Middle East and actually sounds rather optimistic. This is hardly surprising because she cannot enter into conversations in the hopes of easing tensions within a spirit of pessimism, now can she?

She talks with Michael about the ways hard-left groups within Israel undermine Israeli well-being and the fact that Israeli Arab MKs stood with murderers in Intifada Number 3, the Car Ramming / Stabbing / Knife Intifada. She also supports a potential new Israeli law that would curb the ability of traitors within the Knesset to support violence against Jews.

She is friendly to the rights of Gay people and even supports the use of medical cannabis. In fact, although she claims not to use that substance, she is the Chairman for the Medical Cannabis Caucus in the Knesset.

“Medical Cannabis Caucus in the Knesset”?

Just roll that around your tongue a few times!

Most importantly, however, she recognizes that the Arab-Muslim war against the Jews in the Middle East is not a land dispute, but a cultural-religious conflict by a much larger hostile and foreign national group (the aggressors from the Arabian peninsula) versus the much smaller indigenous population from Judea and Samaria.

This is a concept that we need to bang into the heads of western authorities.

Isi Leibler

The last thing that I want to do is give Isi Leibler short-shrift.

The guy was a primary leader within the Australian Jewish community for decades who made aliyah and is now writing for various outlets, including the Jerusalem Post.

Leibler drops in to Nothing Left on a regular basis and he is one of those old-school, no-nonsense Jews who want for the Jewish people, not to mention the Jewish State, to stand up strong for itself.

His conversation with Michael revolved around the fact that that there is no other country in the world whose very existence is called into question other than Israel; this, despite the fact that, as Leibler says, “we are the most successful resurrection of a nation that has ever taken place.”

Nothing Left and Michael Burd and Alan Freedman should be congratulated for airing their 100th show this Tuesday.

I bet Leibler will have some interesting words.

Michael Lumish

Return Of The Grinch: The Left Plans To Steal Jerusalem Day

Sunday, May 1st, 2016

A truly happy new year will soon begin for the Jewish People: The 50th year of the liberation and unification of our holy and historic capital city of Jerusalem starts just six weeks after the upcoming Pesach holiday. The precise date, of course, is the 28th of Iyar (June) – the 49th anniversary of the modern-day miracle of the return of Yerushalayim to its nation.

It happened in the Six-Day War of 1967, when Jordan joined Egypt and Syria in their attempt to destroy Israel, which miraculously overcame the odds, and the rockets that King Hussein of Jordan fired at Jerusalem and environs cost him the Holy City, all of Judea and Samaria, and even the summer palace he was in the midst of building overlooking the Judean Desert.

(The structure still stands today, exactly as half-built as it was in June 1967 – but today it overlooks the burgeoning Jewish neighborhood of Pisgat Ze’ev.)

In 1998 the Knesset enacted the Jerusalem Day Law, proposed by the late Rabbi MK Chanan Porat. “Thirty years after the liberation and reunification of Jerusalem,” the law states, “the time has come to relate to it publicly [in the form of] a national holiday. The essence of Jerusalem, the height of our hopes and aspirations and the summit of our joy, should be noted and singled out on a day that symbolizes the centrality of Jerusalem in the life of the Nation of Israel that has returned to its land.”

Last year the government decided to appoint a steering committee to set the tone of the Jerusalem Jubilee festivities. The conclusions for the 50th year were to have been publicized a number of months ago, but in truth, barely a word on the plans has been reported. If the government is planning something, it is certainly a well-kept secret. It is to be hoped that this is not a harbinger of things to come – because there are elements preparing long and hard to step in and fill the void. This is truly reason for alarm.

Haaretz journalist Akiva Eldar is one of the leaders of a campaign designed to, in the organizers’ words, “embarrass and stymie the Netanyahu government” and keep the “Israeli occupation in the news.” He is one of a group of leading media and academia leftists who are planning worldwide protests during Jerusalem’s festive 50th year, seeking to boost opposition to Israel’s continued presence in Judea, Samaria, and, of course, eastern Jerusalem.

Their idea is to enlist prominent Jewish figures in the U.S. and Israel to sully the majority of the Israeli public that has for many years now voted right wing. The campaign is expected to cost some 30 million NIS, or $8 million, funded through organizations such as J Street and the New Israel Fund.

The work has already been divided up. Several leading left-wing Israeli professors are responsible for recruiting “peace” organizations, while others are in charge of keeping the “anti” campaign constantly in the international media.

The organizers’ mission statement states that the aim is to create a “change of thinking” among the Israeli citizenry, the Israeli government, and even international Jewry. Eldar said in a recent interview that he envisions the publication of an ad in major American newspapers – a different paper every week during the course of the 50th year – citing one “expert” or another as to why Israel must give up on a united Jerusalem and quit Judea and Samaria.

In short, our enemies from within are planning a tough year for lovers of Israel and Jerusalem. It behooves us to prepare a strategy to meet this threat.

For one thing, we must show how truly dangerous the radical Left has become. The more it loses its grip on public opinion – at least here in Israel – the more it attempts to thwart the will of the Israeli public, as expressed time and again at the ballot boxes.

It must also be pointed out that Eldar and friends seem not to have thought their ideas through. It is certainly easy to declare “Jerusalem must become a two-state capital.” But have they any notion at all as to how to do this? Should a fence be built down the middle of the city? What should happen to the many tens of thousands of Jews living in neighborhoods adjacent to the areas to be governed by the Muslim Palestinian Authority? What will be with the neighborhoods slightly farther away when Jews start emptying out, as happened in the 1950s? When they say we should leave Judea and Samaria, have they given even a fleeting thought as to what should be done with the 400,000-plus Jews living there?

However, as the organizers say, the goal is simply to embarrass Netanyahu and the nationalist camp – and so a realistic approach is not necessary.

This does not mean the threat must not be met – and the Zionist nationalist camp has precious little time left to decide how to do so. Two months ago, Education Minister Naftali Bennett declared that the coming school year would be “Jerusalem Unity Year” in the educational system. The details will be publicized this coming Jerusalem Day, but Bennett explained at the time, “Our [national] history began in Jerusalem, and from Jerusalem we will draw our strengths today as well. Those who try to detach the Jewish people from its city, should know that they have achieved just the opposite, and our links with it have grown stronger.”

Interestingly, in its attempt to sully Bennett’s campaign in favor of Jerusalem, a left-wing site named “Black Labor” presented the case for Jerusalem most succinctly: “It appears that Bennett sees his job as an opportunity to actualize and imbue the nation with the values in which he believes. As he said, ‘Education is primarily a matter of values.’ … He believes that the Jewish state was founded with the dynasty of King David, and that the Jewish nation then managed to survive for many years in Exile despite having lost its political entity. This entity was renewed when the Jewish people returned to Zion [in the 20th century]. We are now in a new era, Bennett believes – no longer one of survival, but of a true Jewish state based on Jewish values, in which these values must be strengthened.”

We couldn’t have said it better. For the sake of Jerusalem, let us all act to ensure that his goals are met. To paraphrase the Psalmist, “Let our right hand become stronger as we remember and act for you, O Jerusalem, and let our tongue not cleave to our palate as we speak out on your behalf in every forum.”

 

How can you get involved? Visit Jerusalem and participate in our bus tours in strategic areas (e-mail tours@keepjerusalem.org). Speak up for Jerusalem. Learn to become an effective advocate for keeping Jerusalem united under Israeli sovereignty. Visit the Keep Jerusalem-Im Eshkachech website at www.keepjerusalem.org.

Hillel Fendel and Chaim Silberstein / KeepJerusalem.org

How the Left Lies

Sunday, May 1st, 2016

The Left lies by telling half of the story. For instance, before the Pesach holiday, the leftist organization, B’tzelem, in Israel, published an advertisement wishing people a happy holiday. Quoting a verse from the Haggadah, they wished that the holiday would pass without what they call “Israeli violence” against the Palestinians. Here’s the ad:

Happy Holiday!

Without a strong hand; without an outstretched arm; without instilling great fear; without harsh judgments; without fierce anger; without killing their firstborn; without wrath; without blood, fire, and pillars of smoke; without suffering.

As everyone knows, all of this retribution against the Egyptians comes, of course, toward the end of the Exodus story. This is the strategy of the Left. They tell only half the story, as if it’s the whole truth. Since many people are ignorant of history, and most others have short memories, if you repeat a lie again and again, people believe it’s the truth.

In their holiday ad, the B’tzelem organization forgot to mention that the fierce retribution only came after the Egyptians fiercely oppressed the Jews. B’tzelem conveniently left out the beginning of the Haggadah. Thus they present their false and concocted side of events, without all of the oppression of the Jews that transpired at the beginning, without:

Come and take advantage of them; without: they made their lives bitter; without: they enslaved them with hard labor and made them suffer; without: throw all of their firstborn males into the river; without: set taskmasters over them; without: they stand upon to destroy us; without: the mortar used in killing our infants.

So the next time you read anything about Israel by a Leftist, beware. You are only hearing half of the story.

Tzvi Fishman

Labor Party Icon Ben-Eliezer Indicted for Bribery and Money Laundering

Wednesday, December 2nd, 2015

Former Defense Minister, senior IDF officer, and Labor party icon Binyamin (Fuad) Ben-Eliezer was indicted in a Tel Aviv court Wednesday for money laundering, bribery, fraud, tax evasion and breach of public trust.

He also was a hair’s breadth from being elected president before charges against him were made public.

The damning indictments, even if he not convicted, destroy his image of having served the country for decades and once again raises the question why politicians exploit their positions of power for greed and favor friends in return for financial reward.

The charges against him are considered the gravest in modern Israeli history, even worse than the bribery conviction of former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert.

The investigation of Ben-Eliezer uncovered approximately $500,000 in cash in his home. He allegedly took tens of thousands of dollars in return for favors.

The arrest of Ben-Eliezer sent shock waves throughout Israel, especially among the Left and left-wing media who were campaigning for him to be elected President of Israel in a contest against veteran Likud Knesset Member Reuven Rivlin.

The race was neck-and-neck until the arrests, five days before the election of the President, forced Ben-Eliezer out of the running. His supporters complained that the investigation was a hoax in order to allow Rivlin to be elected.

Once a host of allegations and a later conviction against Olmert sent him to the political cemetery, Ben-Eliezer became the liberal media’s de facto nominee to be the next Prime Minister.

The government-funded Kol Yisrael radio network constantly interviewed him during prime time news, sometimes as often as once a week.\

Ben-Eliezer was born in Iraq and was a commander in the Six-Day War in 1967 and in the Yom Kippur War. His political career in the Knesset began in 1984, and he rose to become a senior member of the Labor party.

He served as Defense Minister under Ariel Sharon and was Labor party chairman.

Ben-Eliezer now is 80 years old and is in poor health, a factor which may lighten a prison sentence.

Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

The Jewish Hipster Party

Thursday, December 18th, 2014

Naftali Bennett doesn’t like how the Left are always calling on Israel to apologize, so Bennett visited Tel Aviv, dressed up as an aging Tel Aviv hipster, and began apologizing – acting out exactly how it looks when and if Israel apologizes.

I’m sorry, but I don’t know how I feel towards this video. I get the point, but should Bennett have been the actor?

It’s not that he did a bad job, and I apologize for writing this, but I think it was a mistake for the man who wants to be our next Defense Minister (before becoming Prime Minister) to have acted like this in a video.

I apologize in advance for showing it to you and using up 2 minutes and 45 seconds of your life.

On the other hand, Bennett says its time we stop apologizing…

Shalom Bear

The Unpredicted Consequences of the German Elections

Tuesday, October 1st, 2013

Originally published at Gatestone Institute.

The German elections had two important consequences, one predicted, the other one unpredicted. As expected, the number of Islamic members of the Bundestag, the German Parliament, has increased.

The Christian-Democrat CDU of Chancellor Angela Merkel now has its first Muslim parliamentarian. Cemile Giousouf, the 35-year old daughter of a Turkish immigrant, was elected in Hagen, a city in the industrial Ruhr area with a foreign population of 40%.

Germany has 800,000 Turkish voters. The Turks make up the largest ethnic group within Germany’s Muslim population of some 4 million people, Previously, the Turks had five parliamentarians out of 630 Bundestag members; in the 22 September general elections, this number more than doubled to eleven. Ten of them belong to the left or far-left – five are members of the Social-Democrat SPD, three of the Green Party, and two of the Communist Die Linke (Left Party) — and one is with the center-right CDU.

The number of Bundestag members with an immigrant background rose from 21 to 34, with Die Linke having the highest percentage of immigrant politicians in their ranks followed by the Greens.

Ms. Giousouf’s Islamic convictions — her “religious otherness” as she calls it — did not pose problems for a party that claims to be founded on Christian-Democrat principles. Her candidacy was challenged, however, by another female candidate on grounds of seniority. Despite the other candidate having been active in the party for three decades, the CDU leadership preferred to give the prominent position on the party list to Giousouf because of her ethnic background. Ms. Giousouf defended this decision by stating, “If we immigrants are forced to put up campaign posters for the next 30 years, there won’t be any [immigrant] representatives in the Bundestag.”

For the first time, two black candidates were elected in the Bundestag. One of them, Charles Muhamed Huber, for Merkel’s CDU, the other, Karamba Diaby, for the Social-Democrat SPD. Both Mr Huber and Mr Diaby are of Senegalese origin.

While the international media devoted relatively little attention to Mr. Huber — despite his self-declared sympathy for the American Black Panther movement — there was huge interest in Mr Diaby, who was born in 1961 in the Muslim village of Masassoum. Through his political activities at Dakar University in the early 1980s, he came into contact with a Communist organization. In 1985, he was given a scholarship to study in Communist East Germany, where he subsequently settled.

Mr Diaby joined the SPD and became the national chairman of Gemany’s Immigration and Integration Council (Bundeszuwanderungs-und Integrationsrat). Two years ago, he gained prominence when he advocated the imprisonment of Thilo Sarrazin, a fellow SPD politician and a former member of the Executive Board of the Bundesbank, Germany’s central bank. Mr. Sarrazin had authored a book, Deutschland schafft sich ab [Germany Abolishes Itself], in which he said that Islamic immigration is threatening Germany’s prosperity and freedom. Mr. Sarrazin argued that most Islamic immigrants are unwilling to integrate and tend to rely more on welfare benefits than do other immigrant groups.

Turkish and Islamic organizations accused Sarrazin of “racism,” but were unable to get him sentenced in court. The SPD leadership twice attempted to throw Mr. Sarrazin out of the party, but both attempts were unsuccessful. Polls indicated that Sarrazin was backed by an overwhelming majority of the Germans, including SPD members. Mr. Diaby petitioned the Bundestag, demanding that German criminal law be changed to ensure that statements such as those made in Sarrazin’s book would be punishable with a prison sentence. The German lawmakers, however, failed to do so. The SPD leadership subsequently gave Mr. Diaby a prominent place on its electoral list, which enabled him to be elected as a lawmaker, so that he is now in a position to try to change German laws from within the parliament.

While the growth of Islamic influence within the German political system, including the Christian-Democrat Party, was predicted, an unpredicted consequence of the September 22 general elections was the Bundestag’s swing to the left, despite the electorate’s swing to the right. This is the result of the German electoral system with its 5% electoral threshold.

The biggest winners of the elections were Chancellor Merkel’s center-right Christian-Democrats. They won 41.5% of the vote — far better than in the 2009 general elections, when they had 33.7%.

The biggest losers were the Liberals. The German Liberal Party FDP, which is economically to the right of Merkel’s CDU, fell from 14.6% in 2009 to 4.8%. The electorate punished the FDP, which had promised its voters tax cuts but, despite forming a government coalition with Ms. Merkel, failed to deliver on this promise.

Although the FDP won over 2 million of the 43.7 million votes, as the party was unable to make the 5% hurdle, and as a result it did not get a single parliamentary seat. The same applied to the conservative Alternative fuer Deutschland party (AfD), a newly established party, critical of the euro. AfD won 4.7% of the vote, an unexpectedly high result for a new party, but not a single representative. The far-right NPD won 1.3%. Taken together, 10.8% of the electorate voted for a party to the right of Merkel’s Christian-Democrats, but not a single parliamentarian to Merkel’s right got elected.

Merkel’s Christian-Democrats, the FDP, AfD and NPD combined won 52.3% of the vote (51%, excluding the far-right NPD). However, in the Bundestag the parties of the Left — SPD, Greens and the Communists of Die Linke – hold 50.7% of the seats.

That the FDP fell just below the electoral threshold deprives Merkel of the possibility to form a center-right coalition. Theoretically, the left is able to form a coalition with the far-left, but as the SPD had ruled out governing with Die Linke, Germany is left with just two choices: Either a coalition of Merkel with the leftist Greens, or a so-called “grand coalition” of the CDU with the center-left SPD.

In any event, Germany’s new coalition will be to the left of the previous CDU-FDP coalition, while the voters had clearly indicated that they wanted Germany to turn to the right. The future looks promising, however, for AfD. Never before has a party that was established barely a few months before, done so well in the elections. And given that Merkel will be forced to move to the left, the prospect of disenchanted conservative Christian-Democrats flocking to AfD are huge. There is little doubt that AfD will gain seats in the European Parliament in next year’s European elections. If the AfD leadership manages to avoid internal quarrels, in 2017 the party will likely enter the Bundestag.

Peter Martino

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/opinions/the-unpredicted-consequences-of-the-german-elections/2013/10/01/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: