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October 21, 2014 / 27 Tishri, 5775
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Posts Tagged ‘Palestine’

Loyola U. ‘Suspends’ and Reinstates Students for Justice in Palestine

Wednesday, October 1st, 2014

Loyola University Chicago suspended and subsequently reinstated its chapter of Students for Justice in Palestine following an anti-Israel protest this month by the SJP chapter that blocked an event promoting Birthright Israel.

The university informed the chapter on Sept. 19 that it was “temporarily prevented from hosting any on-campus activities or events until their leadership meets with University representatives and the group complies with stated policies and procedures that apply to all student organizations,” according to a statement released by Loyola.

After meetings with university officials on Sept. 25 and 26, the group was allowed to resume its activities.

The one-week suspension was enough time for the university to win accolades for the suspension of SJP. The Louis D. Brandeis Center for Human Rights Under Law (LDB) commended Loyola for instructing SJP to temporarily stop hosting any on-campus activities or events.

It remains to be seen if SJP now will function without violating the rights of others.

The temporary sanctions on SJP came shortly after a member of the group and of the student senate, Israa Elhalawany, was censured by the judicial board of the student government on Sept. 16 for “several Facebook posts over the summer in response to the attacks on Gaza” that included “profanity or expletives.” The board noted that the censure was for the manner of the posts, not the content.

In a protest on Sept. 9, SJP members lined up in front of a table manned by Hillel students promoting Birthright Israel trips. A student news website, The College Fix, quoted Hillel chapter president Talia Sobel as recounting that students from SJP asked Hillel members, “How does it feel to be an occupier?” and “How does it feel to be guilty of ethnic cleansing?”

In March, Loyola’s United Student Government Association took two votes on divestment resolutions. The measure at first passed unanimously. In a subsequent vote, it passed narrowly before being vetoed by the student president.

The university’s president dismissed the resolutions as irrelevant.

JTA contributed to this report.

Birzeit U. Kicks Out Haaretz Left-Winger Amira Hass for Being Jewish

Sunday, September 28th, 2014

The Birzeit University near Ramallah threw out Haaretz’s left-wing journalist Amira Hass from a conference on “occupied Palestine” because she is Jewish.

The daughter of two Holocaust survivors, she has become over the past few years the most pro-Palestinian Authority journalist in Israel, has lived in Gaza and Ramallah and has written in Haaretz that Arab rock-throwing is a “birthright and duty of anyone subject to foreign rule.”

Her credentials as an enemy of a Jewish presence in Judea and Samaria are impeccable except for the fact that she is Jewish.

That is why the organizers of the conference on “Alternatives to Neo-Liberal Development in the Occupied Palestinian Territories – Critical Perspectives” told her she could not cover the event.

The organizers were The German Rosa Luxemburg Foundation and The Center for Development Studies (CDS) at Birzeit University.

Hass wrote in Haaretz on Sunday, “During the first presentation on Tuesday, two lecturers from the CDS approached me within ten minutes of each other, asking me to step outside…. ‘Am I not allowed to be here?’ I asked, half-kidding, but one of the lecturers answered that there was a problem.

“When I registered at the entrance of the conference I wrote next to my name the institution I belong to, Haaretz. For the past two decades, the lecturer said, there has been a law at Birzeit stipulating that Israelis (Jewish Israelis, that is) are not allowed on the university grounds. The students manning the conference registration desk saw that I had written ‘Haaretz,’ realized I was an Israeli, and ran to tell the university authorities. The security department in turn went to the conference organizers, the lecturer said. She and her colleagues were afraid, she told me, that students would break into the conference hall in protest over my presence.”

Hass added that she did not see anyone protesting, but a rumor spread that students had attacked her. Rumors often become self-fulfilling expectations, and one faculty member whom Hass said has known for 40 years “walked past and said, ‘This is for your own protection.’”

Her ouster was a classic example of a non-Arab leftist, in this case a Jew, embracing an Arab or Islamic cause only to get stabbed in the back.

Most leftists eventually see the light or simply are brainwashed so much that they forever blame the Zionists and the West for their fate.

Hass’ article included a hint of some enlightenment. When realizing she had to leave, “I was at that moment reminded of the image that Israelis commonly have of Palestinians: irrational hotheads,” she wrote.

But before coming to her senses completely, she comforted herself by hearing the protests by her colleagues and supporters in the Rosa Foundation who said they would not have agreed to allow the conference to take place at Birzeit without her being allowed to attend.

“In the past twenty years, I have entered Birzeit University dozens of times, and have been an audience member at various academic conferences there,” Hass wrote. “I have also interviewed faculty members both on and off campus. A year ago, an economics lecturer refused an interview, telling me, “It’s not personal. But you know what the rules are.”

It is nothing personal?

Wake up, Amira, you are Jewish. You were kicked out not because you are a journalist and not because you are from Haaretz. You were kicked out because you are a Jew, like it or not.

To your credit, your remain Jewish.

But you don’t take it personally that you are now allowed to do your job, which you think is to promote the Palestinian Authority campaign against Israel, because you are Jewish?

Egypt Denies Offering Land for ‘Sinai State of Palestine’

Monday, September 8th, 2014

Egypt’s Foreign Ministry says President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi never offered the Palestinian Authority a chance to establish a new state in the Sinai Peninsula, according to i24 News.

On Monday morning, Israel Army Radio had reported the Egyptian president had made the suggestion to to Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) chairman and Fatah leader Mahmoud Abbas earlier this week in Cairo.

The alleged proposal would have provided a tract of land 1,600 square kilometers (618 square miles) adjacent to Gaza, to “end the refugee story,” as Abbas told the Bethlehem-based Ma’an news agency.

The total area of the site – which would be controlled by the Palestinian Authority under Mahmoud Abbas — is five times the area of Gaza. According to Israel Army Radio, the proposal has a green light from the United States, and Israel’s Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu was given a ‘heads up’ as well.

In exchange, the Palestinian Authority would end its demand for Israel to retreat to the 1949 Armistice Line – known internationally also as the “1967 border” after Israel won the 1967 Six Day War.

The broadcast report noted that el-Sisi reminded Abbas in their conversation that he is 80 years old. The Egyptian president allegedly warned the PA chairman that if he chose not to make history by accepting the proposal, “your successor will.”

Abbas, however, rejected the plan – much as his predecessor, former PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat once rejected a plan that would have given his people 97 percent of the territory in Judea and Samaria for which they have fought for so long.  Arafat instead insisted on holding out for land from Jerusalem, Israel’s eternal capital.

The Egyptian proposal is not really a new idea. In 1956, the Egyptian government proposed a similar concept. Then, too, it was rejected by the PLO.

“Now this is being proposed once again,” Abbas told a gathering of his Fatah faction in Ramallah on Sunday. “A senior leader in Egypt has said, ‘A refuge must be found for the Palestinians and we have all this open land.’ This was said to me personally. But it is illogical for the problem to be solved at Egypt’s expense. We won’t have it.”

The Egyptian Foreign Ministry claimed in its denial on Monday that the proposal was actually offered in the past by Muslim Brotherhood-backed former President Mohammed Morsi, deposed a year ago by el-Sisi.

Under the plan, Palestinian Authority-controlled cities in Judea and Samaria would remain autonomous and their residents would remain in their homes.

So-called “refugees” from abroad – who are now into the third and fourth and in some cases even fifth generations – could move to new homes in the proposed State of Palestine, adjacent to Gaza. There would be a considerable amount of seafront property in the tract being offered, enough for both real estate development, and for a port.

Just two main conditions were attached to the proposal: (1) the state be demilitarized, and (2) that cities in Judea and Samaria be autonomous, not the entire regions.

Mashaal Vows Cease-Fire a Step to New ‘Resistance’ War against Israel

Thursday, August 28th, 2014

Hamas’ supreme leader Khaled Mashaal dashed any hopes of long-term peace with Israel in a speech in Qatar on Thursday in which he shot from the hip at Israel and also at his terrorist organization’s new partner, the rival Fatah movement headed by Palestinian Authority chairman Mahmoud Abbas.

His lengthy speech in Qatar, which has financed Hamas terror and which fought Egyptian cease-fire proposals, followed by one day a “victory” speech by Ismail Haniyeh, the senior Hamas political leader in Gaza. Mashaal’s silence while Haniyeh accepted the cease-fire is a clear sign of a fierce power struggle between Hamas in Gaza and between Mashaal and Qatar, which holds the purse strings.

Mashaal also claimed victory, with lies that Hamas missiles hit the Ben Gurion Airport, which is not true, and that more than 5 million Israelis hid in bomb shelters, a gross exaggeration. However, there is no doubt that Hamas succeeded in scaring the daylight out of millions of Israelis, interrupting a few flights and generally turning half of Israel into sitting ducks.

And this won’t be the last time, regardless of a cease-fire, he warned.

“Whatever happened [in Gaza] is not the end to this story, and this is not the last operation to free Palestine. It was an important stop on the way to victory,” Mashaal declared.

His speech threw every obstacle possible on the road to negotiations with Israel. The talks are supposed to begin in a month, leaving open the possibility, or probability, that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu is carrying on secret negotiations that will be formalized in 30 days.

The Prime Minister suffered another blow to any trust that Israelis may have for him with a report on Thursday that he met secretly with Jordanian King Abdullah, and perhaps Abbas, prior to the cease-fire, circumstantial evidence that Israel negotiated under fire, contrary to Netanyahu’s promise.

If Mashaal gets his way, there won’t be any talks because one of the new powers in Gaza is slated to be Abbas, whose security forces would patrol Gaza borders, according to the Egyptian proposal. That would provide Cairo with another tactic to get rid of Hamas.

Mashaal nailed Abbas to the wall in his speech, accusing him of throwing cold water on the resumption of the intifada during the war by allowing his security forces to limit protests.

“The next operation needs to use all of the Palestinian capabilities, not just part of them,” Mashaal said. “The resistance is holy and weapons are holy. There is no such thing as a country without weapons.”

A country or not, Gaza still has at least 2,000 rockets as well as anti-tank rockets and presumably anti-aircraft missiles. It still has rocket factories, one of which was filmed in production by Hamas during one of the failed cease-fires during the war.

Netanyahu had demanded that any halt in violence would be accompanied by disarming Hamas, but this week’s cease-fire only left the issue to be put on the negotiating table, along with Hamas’s demands for a deep-sea port and an airport.

Mashaal’s speech was full of hate and crude accusations that Israel inflicted a “Holocaust” on Gaza by “destroying schools and hospitals,” which all but the most extreme anti-Israel media now know were used by Hamas as rocket launching and terrorist command centers.

“We are against what Hitler did to the Jews, and Israel committed a second Holocaust in Gaza. Israel is an embarrassment to Jews and to the entire world,” according to Mashaal.

His rhetoric was aimed at Abbas as well as Israel. If and when negotiations begin, Egypt and the United States will be on the side of Abbas, who despite his unity government with Hamas has proved politically smart by a patient and single-minded tactic of using international support to slowly but surely win concession after concession from Israel until there is nothing left to negotiate.

Hamas: “Our War is to Liberate Jerusalem, Not for Lifting Blockade”

Tuesday, August 26th, 2014

“Our true war is aimed at the liberation of Jerusalem,” proclaimed a Hamas spokesman last week. The statement came in a televised address broadcast on Al-Aqsa TV, in which Sami Abu Zuhri declared before a cheering audience that its ongoing war against Israeli civilians is aimed at “liberating Jerusalem,” rather than lifting Israel’s naval blockade of Gaza. Contrary to current demands by Hamas negotiators that Israel lift the blockade, imposed on the terror group in 2007 following its commencement of attacks against Israel, last week’s televised statement suggests that any such concessions made by Israel will achieve only a temporary truce rather than permanent resolution.

In a video of the speech, posted on YouTube with English subtitles by the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI), Abu Zuhri announced that “the time has come for us to say, that our true war is not aimed at opening the border crossings. Our true war is aimed at the liberation of Jerusalem, Allah willing.”

Continuing negotiations in Cairo between Hamas and Israel seek to achieve a cessation of rocket and mortar fire from Gaza in exchange for easing of certain restrictions imposed on the terror state, such as the naval blockade and the closure of Gaza-Egypt border crossings. The August 17th speech by Abu Zuhri, however, asserts that Hamas aims to continue its terror war until all of “Palestine” is liberated. “It is time for us to say that not only the blockade is rejected by our people,” he declared in the address.

“Our people refuses to accept the continued defiling of our land by the occupier,” Abu Zuhri went on to say. “Therefore, as of today, the resistance is preparing not for the opening of a border crossing here or there, but rather for the liberation of our Palestinian land,” said Zuhri, referring to all of Israel. “This is the truth that Netanyahu should understand.”

Pro-Palestinian Activists Blockade ZIM Ship at Port of Oakland

Monday, August 18th, 2014

The glimmer of the Al Qaeda-linked Islamic State, or ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria) may have already reached America’s shores, although U.S. citizens might not yet realize it. Dock workers at the port of Oakland have been afraid to brave the ire of Islamist protesters in California, and instead opted to stay off the job.

It appears that weeks-long planning by Palestinian Arab immigrants, their descendants and supporters who hate Israel and the Jews has paid off; the consolidated group of some 70 organizations has essentially seized control over the port in Oakland, California.

For the second day in a row, pro-Gaza protesters led by Palestinian Arab groups successfully blockaded the Piraeus, a ZIM Integrated Shipping Services vessel, at the Oakland port.

Demonstrators said they were protesting Israel’s counter terror operation in Gaza. But more than 300,000 Israelis are still internally displaced by Hamas terror.

Operation Protective Edge was launched to silence the incessant rocket, missile and mortar fire that has rained down on southern Israel for years.

Several hundred Oakland protesters gathered again in a picket line Sunday after the ZIM vessel docked at about 5:30 pm. That was some 24 hours after it was forced to circle in the Pacific Ocean to avoid a mob of thousands at the same port the previous day.

A few dozen police officers monitored the picket line, according to KTVU TV, which interviewed 26-year-old Mohamed Shehk, media and communications director of the Oakland-based ‘Critical Resistance’ group.

“As a Palestinian, I have always been a strong supporter for the Palestinian cause for liberation,” Shehk told the news outlet. He added that he also supports ‘various movements of liberation around the world.’

“We will not stand for the murdering of Gazans,” he said.

The ultimate goal of the blockade, said protesters, is to stop the company from unloading at the Port of Oakland altogether. They plan similar blockades against ZIM in Tacoma and Seattle, organizers said.

The ILWU dockworkers’ union chose to honor the picket line and refused to unload the vessel. It’s not the first time; a similar blockade against ZIM was backed by the union in 2010.

Oddly, Saturday’s massive anti-Israel rally was covered only by independent bloggers and the UK-based newspaper, The Guardian. And Sunday’s blockade was covered by KTUV and KPIX. It didn’t even raise a blip on the national scene.

On Saturday, activists gathered early at a nearby transit station, the paper reported, led by 21-year-old Palestinian Sameh Ayesh, a member of the San Francisco-based Arab Youth Organization.

One of those involved in organizing the demonstration, Arab Resource and Organizing Center (AROC) executive director Lara Kiswani, said her organization was currently discussing “how to escalate our tactics.”

The paper reported that as protesters reached the port entrance, a line of police officers was standing in formation. “Hands up! Don’t shoot!” the mob shouted, playing on the recent news coverage of police brutality against rioting protesters in the town of Ferguson, Missouri following an lethal incident of police brutality.

Speaking with The Guardian, Shehk tried hard to link the incident to Israel’s counter terror operation in Gaza. “On Twitter, we’ve seen people in Gaza tweet to protesters in Ferguson how to cope with teargas,” he said.

Gimme a break.

Young Americans Turning Their Back on Israel

Monday, August 11th, 2014

America’s younger generation that was born long after the pro-Israel enthusiasm fallout from the Six-Day War is far less enthusiastic about Israel than the older “baby boomers” and even thinks that Israel’s war against terror in Gaza was unjustified.

Media have reported that a Gallup Poll last month showed support for Israel, but a breakdown of the survey reveals that those between ages 18 and 29 criticized Israel by a 2-1 margin, The Hill reported.

Alec Tyson, a senior researcher with Pew, told The Hill that while the findings were “significant,” it was also important not to draw too sweeping a generalization from them. “He noted that when Americans were asked whether they had more overall sympathy for Israel or the Palestinians, Israel consistently comes out on top,” The Hill wrote..

But there is a drastic change in the numbers.

Tyson explained, “Young people are more sympathetic to Israel than the Palestinians by about two-to-one, rather than by about six-to-one among the oldest Americans.”

As recently as 2006, during the Second Lebanese War against Hezbollah, Americans in 18-29 bracket blamed Hezbollah more than Israel by a lopsided 3-1 margin, according to Pew poll cited by The Washington Post.

A Pew survey last month revealed that while Americans blamed Hamas for the violence in the war by a 40-19 percent margin, a plurality of those aged 18-29 blamed Israel.

“Israel has taken a PR battering in the current war,” Tevi Troy, who served as a liaison to the Jewish community for the administration of President George W. Bush, told The Hill. “There is a lot of anti-Israel propaganda.”

The report suggested that part of the change in opinion might be related to the phenomena of social media that has made information more immediate but also more opinionated, on all parts of the political spectrum.

Gory pictures of dead Arabs plastered all over the web during the war, even if some of the bodies were “borrowed” from Syria, Iran and previous wars against Israel, have had a far more powerful impact that photos of roofs of homes in Sderot damaged by rockets or even children taking cover from  an incoming missile attack.

The Hill also noted that older American remember the Yom Kippur and Six-Day wars, in which Israel was not branded as evil by the media outside of the Arab world.

The younger generation only knows Israel as a super-power and is easily pulled into the bleeding heart camp for Arabs who are promoted by UNRWA as “refugees” even though their permanent homeless status is a result of the United Nations’ singling them out as fourth and fifth-generation Arabs as refugees, a classification that is not made for anyone else in the world.

“Still, pro-Israel figures insisted that the shift among the young was nothing to panic about — yet,” The Hill concluded, along with the assumption – and it is just an assumption – by Troy that  “over the long run, America’s interests and Israel’s interests are aligned.”

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/young-americans-turning-their-back-on-israel/2014/08/11/

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