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December 1, 2015 / 19 Kislev, 5776
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘NY Times’

International Law Expert Kontorovich: EU Breaking EU Laws Against Product Labeling

Friday, November 13th, 2015

(JNi.media) Eugene Kontorovich, a legal scholar whose specialties include international law, on Friday published an op-ed in the NY Times that could stir up a backlash over in Brussels. Titled, “Europe Mislabels Israel,” Kontorovich’s piece rebukes the EU Commission for breaking EU laws in its zeal to attack the Jewish State.

“Diplomats in Brussels and NGOs have made clear that more coercive measures will follow,” Kontorovich writes, suggesting the EU has initiated a “process of building a legal ghetto around Israel, within which a special set of rules applies.”

“The European Union allows Morocco — which has extensive trade ties with Europe, but has occupied Western Sahara since 1975, and populated it heavily with settlers — to export products from its occupied territory labeled ‘Made in Morocco,’” Kontorovich notes, pointing out that, “when challenged, the commission formally declared that labeling such goods as ‘made in’ Morocco is not misleading, and is consistent with European trade agreements.”

But wait, there’s so much more: European courts have already examined and rejected the EU Commission’s notion about extending “consumer protection” to shoppers deciding whether or not to buy Israeli products. “Just last year, the British Supreme Court ruled, in a case involving Ahava beauty products produced in the West Bank, that ‘there was no basis for saying that the average consumer would be misled’ by a ‘Made in Israel’ label.” Just as the EU decided in the case of Moroccon product from occupied Western Sahara, so did the UK court hold that the labeling “was not deceptive as a matter of both British and European Union law,” Kontorovich states.

“The problem is not that the European Union fails to live up to its standards in some cases, like that of Morocco,” he argues, “Rather, in these other cases the union explicitly denies the existence of these standards.”

This, in Kontorovich’s opinion, “is a legal violation in its own right. The European Union’s foundational treaties require regulatory ‘consistency.’ And discrimination against trading partners represents a core violation of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade and other treaties of the World Trade Organization.”

How should the US respond to this obvious violation of the EU’s own trade laws, never mind the international trade agreements to which the EU is a signatory?

On Wednesday, Mark C. Toner, US State Department Deputy Spokesperson told reporters: “We understand the objective is to provide EU consumers correct information on the origin of products, as required by EU law. … The EU has made clear that measures are not a boycott, and the EU has also made very clear that they oppose boycotts against Israel. EU guidelines for products that are sold in EU countries are for the EU to determine.”

Not true, writes Kontorovich, who believes “the European Union labeling threatens to establish a precedent that would allow politicization of the system, undermining United States economic interests in broad and unpredictable ways. Thus it is not surprising that earlier this year, the United States passed a law opposing such European Union measures against Israel.”

Indeed, Sen. Benjamin L. Cardin (D-MD) in late June introduced Amendment 20 into President Obama’s Fast Track bill, which reads:

A) IN GENERAL.—With respect to an agreement that is proposed to be entered into with the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership countries and to which section 103(b) will apply, the principal negotiating objectives of the United States regarding commercial partnerships are the following:
(i) To discourage actions by potential trading partners that directly or indirectly prejudice or otherwise discourage commercial activity solely between the United States and Israel.

(ii) To discourage politically motivated actions to boycott, divest from, or sanction Israel and to seek the elimination of politically motivated nontariff barriers on Israeli goods, services, or other commerce imposed on the State of Israel.

(iii) To seek the elimination of state-sponsored unsanctioned foreign boycotts against Israel or compliance with the Arab League Boycott of Israel by prospective trading partners.

(B) DEFINITION.—In this paragraph, the term “actions to boycott, divest from, or sanction Israel” means actions by states, non-member states of the United Nations, international organizations, or affiliated agencies of international organizations that are politically motivated and are intended to penalize or otherwise limit commercial relations specifically with Israel or persons doing business in Israel or in Israeli-controlled territories.

In reading both Kontorovich’s well founded opinion, and the Cardin amendment, it appears that the EU Commission’s ruling is actionable, both in the US and in Europe.

Diaa Hadid and The NYTimes Fail Again

Wednesday, September 23rd, 2015

It’s practically criminal what the NYTimes is putting out as news.

In their headline and excerpt about Israel which they sent out by email, the now infamous Diaa Hadid (or her editor) wrote:

2 Are Killed in West Bank as Jewish and Muslim Holidays Approach By DIAA HADID Israeli soldiers shot and killed a Palestinian woman at a checkpoint in Hebron on Tuesday, and a Palestinian man was killed by an explosion that the Israeli military described as an accident.

Such questions the original headline raises. Why did IDF troops kill some innocent woman? And how and why did the IDF accidentally blow up some innocent man?

With the most basic and important details left out, the readers are immediately left with a mistaken impression.

Here’s how it should have been written:

2 Suspected Terrorists Are Killed in West Bank as Jewish and Muslim Holidays Approach By DIAA HADID Israeli soldiers shot and killed a Palestinian woman at a checkpoint in Hebron on Tuesday claiming she was approaching a soldier with a knife, and a Palestinian man killed himself in an explosion that the Israeli military described as the premature blast from the explosive device he tried to hurl at ambushed IDF troops.

Such minor changes, yet now the headline and excerpt are actually accurate and truthful.

ISIS, the Joker, and Tom Friedman

Sunday, December 14th, 2014

“I warn you, he may look like an idiot and talk like an idiot, but don’t let that fool you: He really is an idiot!” — The Joker, Arkham Asylum

A friend drew my attention today to a recent column by New York Times resident joker and professional stuffed shirt Thomas Friedman, in which Friedman cites a scene from Chris Nolan’s The Dark Knight as a metaphor for the fight against Islamic terrorism.

As I read the column, I grew intrigued — because for a brief moment, it seemed as though the generally clueless Friedman had experienced a genuine epiphany. But by the time I reached the end of the column, I realized that it was a false alarm: The metaphor that he cited (which he says was referred to him by Orit Perlov) was indeed strikingly apt, but Friedman himself completely failed to grasp its meaning.

Here’s the scene that Friedman quotes:

This scene is actually an excellent analogy to the situation of the West vis-a-vis ISIS et al.

Alfred is telling Batman to stop imagining that he can defeat the Joker by trying to discern the Joker’s motivations, because this is an enemy whose way of thinking is utterly alien to our own, and is simply evil. Such an enemy, says Alfred, cannot be dealt with through reason or negotiation, but only through utter destruction. That’s why Alfred and his colleagues had failed to buy the loyalty of the Burmese tribal chiefs, as long as the bandit was out there in the forest. Success only came once they “burned the forest down”, and destroyed the bandit.

Chris Nolan’s message in the film (and the rest of the trilogy) was, in fact, an intended reference to Islamic terrorism.

Nolan was saying that the West will never defeat the terrorists as long as we go on thinking that the Islamists are essentially like ourselves, and can therefore be reasoned and negotiated with. Furthermore, he was saying (in this scene) that it is useless to try to win by paying off Arab governments with “precious stones”, because those will simply be taken by the “bandit”.

The only way to defeat an enemy like that is to wipe it out.

The irony is that all of this flies way over Friedman’s head.

After citing the scene, Friedman then proceeds to completely ignore what it says. Instead — and incredibly — he calls upon America to go on pursuing their same tired old failed policies in the Mideast, imagining that the US can counter the terrorists by “strengthen[ing]” Arab governments “with financial and security assistance”.

How completely obtuse.

What’s sad and frightening is that this joker is actually a major factor in the Obama administration’s policy making decisions.

Never Mind Bombing Iran, Sheldon Adelson Wants To Buy The NY Times

Monday, November 10th, 2014

First published in Jewish Business News

OK, the world is really changing, and staying the same, and everything in between. That would have to be your conclusion if you added up everything two of the most notorious Jewish power brokers, one on the left, the other most decidedly on the right, said last night in a joint appearance before a new group calling itself the Israeli American Council (IAC), in Washington, DC.

Media mogul Haim Saban, 70, Hillary Clinton’s major sugar daddy, criticized President Obama’s dealings with Iran, saying: “We’ve shown too many carrots and a very small stick.”

Casino mogul Sheldon Adelson, 81, who put in $400 million to support various Republican presidential candidates in 2014—with nothing to show for it, told IAC that both U.S. political parties are “on the same side” when it comes to supporting Israel.

“Everyone in this room—whether you’re a Republican, a Democrat or Independent… when it comes to Israel, we’re on the same side,” Adelson said Sunday.

But what Sheldon Adelson said on a completely different topic totally caught our attention: he laid out a plan to buy the NY Times. Even though it’s not for sale.

Mind you, Adelson knows a thing or two about owning the media. Over in Israel, he created a daily newspaper, Yisrael Hayom, so powerfully-enlisted in support of PM Benjamin Netanyahu — that the Knesset is now working on special anti-democratic legislation to kill his paper.

So how would he buy the Times? Simple – by throwing too much money at it.

“There’s only one way to buy it,” Adelson said. “Money.”

It started when Shawn Evenhaim, the national chairman of the Israeli American Council, asked the two men if they thought the news media are biased against Israel.

Saban said they were, except for both of Rupert Murdoch’s children, Fox News Channel and the Wall Street Journal.

He didn’t mention the NY Post. but he did tell Adelson they should have bought The Washington Post together.

“I wish that [Amazon.com founder] Jeff Bezos hadn’t bought The Washington Post,” Saban said. “For $250 million — bupkis — he stole it.”

So Adelson suggested, “Why don’t you and I go after the New York Times?”

Saban admitted that he had “tried over and over to buy it” but the family-owned Times is not for sale.

So Adelson laid down a familiar strategy: “You pay significantly more than it’s worth, then the non-family shareholders have the right to bring a suit between the real value and what’s been offered.”

One day we’ll come home to discover that Sheldon Adelson bought our children and is putting them inside his U-Haul — and we won’t even put up a fight, because he paid way more than we could get for them on the market.

Both Adelson and Saban called for unity when it comes to supporting Israel, reminding all prospective presidential candidates who are brandishing their swords this winter of the supreme value of the U.S.-Israel relationship.

They also agreed that President Obama has not done enough to protect Israel.

You don’t have to like what these two men said last night, but you do have to acknowledge that their merged notions are going to carry tons of weight in the next two years, regardless of what Obama is doing or planning to do or planning to sit out.

Or, as Evenhaim told both men: “After the election in 2016, one of you will get me a private tour of the White House.”

And the Lincoln bedroom.

And Lincoln.

NY Times Says No Intimidation From Hamas

Monday, August 25th, 2014

NY Times Israel Correspondent Jodi Rudoren said Sunday that reports of Hamas intimidation of reporters in Gaza is “nonsense.”

Participating in a lengthy Twitter debate about a statement put out by Israel’s Foreign Press Association – “The FPA protests in the strongest terms the blatant, incessant, forceful and unorthodox methods employed by the Hamas authorities and their representatives against visiting international journalists in Gaza over the past month” – Rudoren essentially accused the Foreign Press Association of becoming a stooge for the Israeli government.

“Every reporter I’ve met who was in Gaza during war says this Israeli/now FPA narrative of Hamas harassment is nonsense,” Rudoren wrote. Of course, Rudoren failed to address substantive questions that surfaced during the debate – how come no international media has reported from Hamas offensive positions at schools, mosques, refugee camps and civilian neighborhoods? How come no photographs of Hamas rocket launchers have made their way to the Times, CNN, BBC or the Sydney Morning Herald?

Rudoren also refused to address multiple claims made by journalists who said they had suffered intimidation at the hands of Hamas in Gaza. At the end of the day, perhaps the most convincing comment in the debate came from Daniel Schwammenthal, Director of the AJC Transatlantic Institute in Brussels.

“That those accused of having played by Hamas rules now deny it (the fact that Hamas intimidates journalists into silence) is hardly convincing,” Schwammenthal wrote.

NY Times Completely Misunderstands Hamas

Sunday, June 8th, 2014

A NYTimes Editorial on Friday showed an amazing lack of understanding of Hamas’s intentions and motivations.

“Mr. Netanyahu has scoffed at that distinction — and some skepticism is warranted. While Hamas cannot simply be wished away, the United States and other countries that consider Hamas a terrorist group may find it impossible to continue aiding the Palestinians if Hamas plays a more pronounced role.”

“…the United States has to be careful to somehow distinguish between its support for the new government and an endorsement of Hamas and its violent, hateful behavior. To have some hope of doing that, the United States and Europe must continue to insist that Mr. Abbas stick to his promises and not allow Hamas to get the upper hand.”

It would appear that the NY Times doesn’t actually understand or recognize the Hezbollah model that Hamas is carefully following, or the role Iran is playing here.

Hamas tried its hand at ruling Gaza. It learned that it’s hard to remain a popular resistance organization when you’re also required to pick up the trash, and make sure the toilets don’t flush into the streets, not to mention being held personally responsible for every terror attack (or IDF retaliation), even when its not in your benefit to be blamed.

Hezbollah had a similar problem, they wanted to be in charge of Lebanon, but without the responsibilities and popularity issues that being in charge carry with it.

So they (or more likely their patron, Iran) came up with a neat solution.

Build yourself the largest, independent army in the country, maintain only a little official representation in the government, and let it officially appear as if other people are in charge. I call it the “talk softly-carry a big gun” model. Ehud Ya’ari calls it “adding ballots to your bullets”.

You get all the power, freedom and money, but none of the responsibilities or blame for the day to day stuff.

Hamas (following advice from Iran) is doing almost exactly the same.

They’re keeping their massive independent army, with all their terrorists, guns and missiles, but they’re handing off the municipal responsibilities to the Palestinian Authority. Let collecting garbage and paying salaries be Abbas’s headache.

Hamas can now go back to doing what they do best – terror and social programming.

We’re going to now start seeing Hamas building up its grassroots support via a proliferation of Hamas funded social and religious programs that will pop up all over Judea and Samaria.

Hamas, with its large, independent army and swelling grassroots support, will run the Palestinian Unity Government (PUG) from behind the scenes, but all the responsibility and blame will fall on Fatah (Abbas) – making Hamas even more popular and powerful.

The NY Times simplistically calls on Abbas to not let Hamas get the upper hand.

Hamas doesn’t want the upper hand, not openly, not yet. That would cut off the US funding for the day to day stuff. It’s that US funding which will free up Hamas resources for the more important thing, the unhindered expansion of Iranian-supported terror bases into Judea and Samaria.

If the NY Times really wanted to prevent a “collision course” between Israel and the Palestinian Unity Government they would have recommended the only course of action that would avert it in the long term – disarming Hamas.

Once again, the NY Times proves it just doesn’t get it.

A Closer Look at Bill de Blasio’s Record

Wednesday, August 21st, 2013

Bill de Blasio, the current frontrunner in the Democratic primary for mayor, has been running his second television commercial of the campaign, titled “Dignity,” since Monday. Fact checking the ad, Michael Barbaro of the NY Times found it quite misleading. Mr. de Blasio argues he’s the only candidate pledging to end the way the Police Department carries out the stop-and-frisk tactic. The problem with that claim is that his opponents have all, in one way or another, pledged to reform it, too.

Nor is Mr. de Blasio, per his claim, the only candidate proposing an income tax on the rich to pay for education. John C. Liu, the city comptroller, has proposed raising the city’s marginal income tax to pay for after-school programs, among other things.

“Dropping the misleading word ‘only’ from several of his claims, or using it more carefully, would do wonders for the accuracy and credibility of his commercials,” Barbaro concludes.

Bill de Blasio’s exaggerating his role as an advocate for the issues he believes are at the top of voters’ concerns is nothing new. In fact, his record of representing the outer-boroughs, as he now promises not to let down any New Yorker, is far from exhilarating.

Back in 2001, when he first ran for City Council in the 39th district, Mr. de Blasio was examined for mismanagement and controversial ties that had put in question his credentials at the time. “[Bill de Blasio] carries a lot of baggage as well,” The Village Voice wrote in a profile on the race for council.

“De Blasio was elected to School Board 15 in 1999, and his tenure has been rocky. Many public school parents charge that de Blasio was stubbornly supportive of Frank DeStefano, the former superintendent of District 15 who resigned in the winter amid allegations of overspending and mismanagement. Reports first surfaced in the fall of 1999 that DeStefano had begun to run up big deficits, taking himself and other school officials on several expensive junkets costing a total of more than $100,000. One year later the school deficit topped $1 million, leading to the cancellation of a popular after-school reading program while DeStefano maintained an expensive car service.

“De Blasio still defends his decision to stick with DeStefano for as long as he did. “He was a visionary and a great educator, but he was a horrible communicator,” de Blasio says of DeStefano. “I was deeply concerned, but I was not going to make a final decision until I saw the evidence.” In the end, de Blasio says, “he could have made better decisions, but I don’t think the spending was wildly excessive. Both of my parents were victims of the McCarthy era. I do not take lightly the idea of ousting someone. You have to have the evidence.”

“De Blasio has also been linked to the flap over New Square, the Hasidic village in upstate New York that has been mired in pardon scandals. Candidate Clinton assiduously courted the small Rockland community last year, winning the town by the whopping margin of 1400 to 12. Six weeks after the election, Israel Spitzer, New Square’s deputy mayor, met with the Clintons at the White House, where pardons for four New Square civic leaders convicted of fraud were discussed. In January, Bill Clinton commuted their sentences, leading to a probe by the U.S. Attorney’s Office in which several Hillary Clinton campaign aides were called in for questioning. At a Manhattan fundraiser for de Blasio in December, Spitzer made a $2500 donation, the largest permitted under the city’s Campaign Finance Board. De Blasio refused to comment on that matter, including the issue of whether he was questioned by the U.S. Attorney’s Office. De Blasio would only offer this comment: “I’m waiting to hear what’s going to happen with that.”

in 2007 as councilman, Mr. de Blasio was lambasted for not living up to his promises and for a lackluster performance as representative of his district.  In a hard hitting piece by a local blogger named “Parden Me For Asking,” Mr. de Blasio was criticized for running a dysfunctional office and keeping himself distracted from the issues that mattered to the neighborhoods he represented, going back to his time he served on the Board of Education before his run for council.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/a-closer-look-at-bill-de-blasios-record/2013/08/21/

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