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August 28, 2014 / 2 Elul, 5774
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Palestine’

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.”

‘Free Palestine!’ Gang Attacks Jewish School Children on Bus in Sydney

Thursday, August 7th, 2014

As new reports of anti-Semitism continue to flood the media, an especially troubling attack in Sydney, Australia has made headlines around the world.

A group of Jewish children and their parents were traumatized Wednesday by an attack by a gang of eight anti-Semitic teens who boarded a government school bus.

Dozens of the children were trapped in the school bus when the gang started hurling anti-Semitic threats and other verbal abuse at the children on Wednesday.

As the bus traveled towards the Sydney suburb of Bondi, drunken gang members yelled, “Kill the Jews,” and “Free Palestine,” “Palestine, Palestine, You’ve taken over our country, what do you want with our country,” and “Heil Hitler.”

The children, ages five to 12, were all from Jewish schools in Sydney’s eastern suburbs – Mount Sinai College, Emanuel School and Moriah College. They were not physically harmed but all were badly traumatized.

The bus is not open to members of the public, officials said. Parents picked up their children from Rose Bay and gave statements to police. But the bus driver cursed at a parent who questioned why he allowed the gang members to board in the first place.

Jackie Blackburn, the parent who questioned the driver, spoke with several members of the media. She told the Daily Mail Australia, “He was very rude to me, he swore at me and he wouldn’t give me any information. I said: ‘Mate, the police are onto you, they are all over the roads.’ He told me to f— off.’ “ The same gang had apparently targeted an earlier bus traveling from the same three Jewish schools, Blackburn said, and had kicked at the door, but were not allowed to board.

Blackburn told Channel 9, that her eldest daughter, age 12, was distraught and said the gang members were threatening to slit the children’s throats. The group knocked the phone out of her daughter’s hand, she said, but a friend found it and called her.

She raced to the scene, she said, and was “actually chasing the bus, I was just saying to the kids, ‘Where are you? Where are you?’”

The offenders got off the bus on Bronte Road at Bondi Junction, police said; they were identified after officers reviewed the CCTV footage on the bus.

Victor Dominello, Minister for Citizenship and Communities, made it clear government officials would pursue the case. “The people of NSW will never excuse it,” he said. “We are lucky to live in one of the most harmonious multicultural societies in the world but we must never be complacent. It is incumbent upon all citizens to expose those whose actions are based on racial hatred and who seek to import overseas conflict onto our streets.”

Five of the teens, ages 15 to 17, were arrested by New South Wales state police early Thursday and questioned in connection with the attack. A sixth is still being sought, police said.

The five were later released into their parents’ custody without being charged, pending further investigation, according to Associated Press.

The youths were “too drunk to be interviewed at the time,” according to police superintendent Jason Box, the Eastern Suburbs local area commander, who spoke with The Sydney Morning Herald.

“I’ve been informed that some of the six juveniles had bus passes and were in partial school uniform and I can only assume that the bus driver believed that they were school children due to their age and what they were wearing and that bus passes were produced,” Box told local media.

Dutch City Says Nazareth, Jerusalem in ‘Palestine’

Sunday, June 1st, 2014

A Dutch municipality is facing criticism for describing Jerusalem, Nazareth and Tiberias as “cities in Palestine.”

Likkud Netherlands, a local association, published on its website Friday an article which carried a screen capture photo from Google Street View of the street sign of Tiberias Path in the city of Eindhoven with the description, in which Likkud Nederland accused the municipality of “wiping Israel off the map.”

An intersecting street, Hebron Path, also described Hebron as a city in Palestine, as is Jerusalem Lane – all located within the Woensel district. The sign on Judea Lane described it “an area of Palestine,” as does the street sign of Samria Lane.

A spokesperson from the municipality of Eindhoven declined to offer any immediate reaction to the publication when he was contacted by the Hilversum-based broadcaster RTL.

Academic Group Hosts BDS, Bars Pro-Israel Groups at Panel on Israel

Thursday, January 2nd, 2014

The pro-Israel campus groups Hillel International and the Israel on Campus Coalition (ICC) have been denied the right to present a discussion on Israel at the Jan. 9-12 Modern Language Association (MLA) convention in Chicago, JNS.org has learned.

MLA’s convention includes a roundtable discussion that will feature supporters but no opponents of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel.

The discussion – titled “Academic Boycotts: A Conversation about Israel and Palestine “– is seen as a possible precursor to an MLA academic boycott of Israel, which would mirror recent boycotts by the American Studies Association and the Native American and Indigenous Studies Association.

The MLA convention will consider a resolution that condemns Israel for alleged “arbitrary denials of entry to Gaza and the West Bank by U.S. academics who have been invited to teach, confer, or do research at Palestinian universities.”

Hillel and the ICC asked the 30,000-member MLA for the chance to present what they called an “open discussion featuring MLA members regarding academic freedom in Israel, its territories, and Gaza,” but MLA said the deadline to book a meeting at the convention had passed.

“The MLA convention has procedures for its members to organize sessions, and that deadline was 1 April [2013],” MLA Executive Director Rosemary G. Feal, the MLA’s executive director, wrote in an email to ICC Executive Director Jacob Baime. “We do not rent space at our convention for nonmembers to hold discussions.”

The existing MLA session’s speakers will include BDS movement co-founder Omar Barghouti; University of Texas professor Barbara Jane Harlow, who has stated her support for the ASA boycott of Israel; University of Southern California professor of English David Lloyd, a well-known BDS activist; and Wesleyan University professor Richard Ohmann, who signed a 2009 letter that described Israeli treatment of Palestinians as “one of the most massive, ethnocidal atrocities of modern times.” University of Texas professor Samer M. Ali, who publicly defended the ASA boycott, organized the roundtable.

“We believe the members of the MLA deserve to hear a far more diverse set of perspectives on the issue of academic freedom in Israel and nearby countries. The MLA members, as academics, certainly can appreciate the value of multiple perspectives on what is a very controversial issue,” ICC’s Baime said.

ICC and Hillel said they are now considering organizing a “balancing panel” discussion at a nearby location during the MLA convention. The panel would feature MLA members who oppose the anti-Israel resolution being considered at the convention.

Ali, the organizer of the convention’s roundtable on BDS, told The Chronicle of Higher Education that the roundtable assumes that Israel violates the rights of Palestinians, and that the debate will center on what to do about it.

“If people want to come and debate occupation, I think it will be a waste of their time, because that’s not what the roundtable is about,” Ali said.

75th Anniversary of Tiberias Massacre – 21 Jews Slain , Worst Since ’29; Synagogue, Homes Razed

Wednesday, October 2nd, 2013

Today, October 2,  is the 75th anniversary of the massacre of 21 Jews in Tiberias by Arabs.  

Below is an original news report from 1938:

An invasion of ancient Tiberias on the shore of the Galilee, in which at least 21 Jews — including an American citizen and his wife — were massacred by an arab band wielding bomb, rifle and torch, sent a wave of indignation surging through Jewish Palestine today. The massacre was the worst since the Hebron onslaught in 1929.

While the Government clamped a 22-hour curfew on the town and searches of ruined houses went ahead — an official communique predicting that more victims would probably be found in the debris – troops pursued the arab band and was reported to have contacted it at Lubia village.

a general work stoppage was staged by central Jewish organizations from two to four o’clock this afternoon during the funeral services for the seven men, three women and eleven children slain in last night’s two-hour assault, termed the worst onslaught since the riots of 1929.

The victims were mourned as martyrs by Jewish leaders who went to Tiberias from Jerusalem for the services. Those attending the funeral included Moshe Shertok, of the Jewish Agency, representatives of the Jewish National Council, the religious Agudath Israel and other groups.

“Palestine Jewry is deeply horrified at the Tiberias massacre and sacrilege,” declared Palestine’s chief rabbis, dr. Isaac Herzog and Dr. Jacob Meir, in a cable to colonial Secretary Malcolm MacDonald. “In God’s name, we appeal to you to end the terror.”

Ghaffirs (supernumerary police) reported hearing the bandsmen speak English during the raid. it was officially announced that while the casualties total among the raiders was not yet known, six bandits were killed by Jewish constables who were rushing to Tiberias from the Mizpah settlement when they met another band also bound for Tiberias. The constables seized one german and four english rifles and a quantity of ammunition.

The attack was launched at nine o’clock last night, according to the official account, when an armed band entered Tiberias in two parties, from the north and from the south. They cut telephone lines, then, at a signal of shrill whistles from the hills around the town, began to shoot, attacking first the government district offices and police billets. They wrecked the district offices, the Central Synagogue and six houses.

Police reinforcements arrived within 25 minutes from Samekh after being heavily fired upon on the road. gunfire in the town continued until eleven o’clock, when police, British troops and a detachment of the Transjordan Frontier Force drove off the band, taking the situation in hand.

According to supplementary unofficial details, the local police force was taken by surprise and was unable to prevent the raid. the new Jewish quarter of Kirit samuel bore the brunt of the onslaught.

Two of the Jewish victims were not immediately found. The others were as follows:

Joshua Ben-Arieh, his wife, Shoshanah, and a son, Arieh, stabbed and burned to death; another son, Moshe, one-and-a-half years old, shot dead.

Rivka leimer, 10, and her brothers, Chaim, 12, and ezra, 8, stabbed and burned to death. Both families were in the Ben-Arieh house at the time of the attack.

Rachel Mizrachi, 26, and her five children, Ezra, Miriam, Yochebed, Samuel and Hephzibah, aged 12, 5, 3, 2 and I, respectively, killed while the father, Shimon Yochanan Mizrachi, was on guard duty in a distant part of the city.

Menachem Kabni, an American citizen, and his wife stabbed and burned to death. His sister escaped. what part of the united states kabni came from was not ascertained immediately.

ezekiel katz, 42, killed when the synagogue was burned down.

Two Jewish constables, Israel Bookman and Zvi Chatzkelevitz, killed during the shooting, and also Jacob Gross.

The wounded are Hanka leimer, 37, in serious condition; Rahamin Halevy and Hanna Sabach, slightly injured.

The massacre climaxed a weekend of disorders in which three Jews were killed in various attacks, 70 Arab rebels were slain in engagements with troops and an Arab family of six was wiped out by a land mine explosion in the Manshieh quarter of Jaffa.

A Jewish railway worker, Meir Woronski, 38, an immigrant from Poland, was shot and killed by snipers in Haifa. leo Seidner, 35, a Public Works department engineer was shot dead while riding in his car on the Nazareth-Tiberias road. a Jewish-owned truck struck a land mine near Kfar Syrkin, fatally wounding Gita Goldenberg, 26, and injuring Zev Pokroisky, 26.

Syria (Today) and ‘Palestine’ (Tomorrow) II

Wednesday, September 18th, 2013

As I noted last week, what is currently taking place in Syria closely resembles what we can ultimately expect in a future “Palestine.”

In principle, and contrary to his beleaguered country’s overriding legal rights and security interests, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu agreed to a Palestinian state back in June 2009. Yet Mr. Netanyahu, more or less prudently, conditioned this concessionary agreement on prior Palestinian “demilitarization.” More specifically, said the prime minister: “In any peace agreement, the territory under Palestinian control must be disarmed, with solid security guarantees for Israel.”

In fact and in law, this published expectation offers no effective obstacle to Palestinian statehood, or to any subsequent Palestinian war against Israel.

Neither Hamas, now subtly closing ranks with its once more powerful Muslim Brotherhood mentors in post-Morsi Egypt, nor Fatah, whose “security forces” were recently trained by American General Keith Dayton in nearby Jordan at very great American taxpayer expense, will ever negotiate for anything less than full sovereignty. Why should they? Supporters of Palestinian statehood can readily discover authoritative legal support for their stance in binding international treaties.

Easily misrepresented or abused, international law can generally be manipulated to serve virtually any preferred geo-political strategy, a jurisprudential twisting sometimes referred to as “lawfare.” For example, pro-Palestinian international lawyers, seeking to identify self-serving sources of legal confirmation, could conveniently cherry-pick pertinent provisions of the (1) Convention on the Rights and Duties of States (the 1933 treaty on statehood, sometimes called the Montevideo Convention), and/or (2) the 1969 Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties.

Israel, as an existing sovereign state, has a basic or “peremptory” right to survive. From the standpoint of the government’s responsibility to assure citizen protection, a responsibility that goes back in modern political thought to the 16th century French philosopher, Jean Bodin, and also to the seventeenth-century English theorist, Thomas Hobbes, this right is also a fixed obligation. It was, therefore, entirely proper for Netanyahu to have originally opposed a Palestinian state in any form, an opposition, incidentally, once shared by Shimon Peres, himself the proudest Israeli champion of a “two-state solution.”

To wit, in his otherwise incoherent book, Tomorrow is Now (1978), Peres had said the following about Palestinian statehood:

The establishment of such a state means the inflow of combat-ready Palestinian forces into [Judea and Samaria]: This force, together with the local youth, will double itself in a short time. It will not be short of weapons or other military equipment, and in a short space of time, an infrastructure for waging war will be set up in [Judea, Samaria] and the Gaza Strip…. In time of war, the frontiers of the Palestinian state will constitute an excellent staging point for mobile forces to mount attacks on infrastructure installations vital for Israel’s existence.

In writing about “time of war,” this former prime minister had neglected to mention that Israel is already locked in a permanent condition of war. The war, not “tomorrow” (whatever that was intended to signify) is now. Pertinent target “infrastructure installations” could include Dimona, and also a number of other presumably vulnerable Israel nuclear reactor facilities.

Any Israeli arguments for Palestinian demilitarization, however vehement and well intentioned, are certain to fail. International law would not even expect Palestinian compliance with any pre-state agreements concerning the right to use armed force. This is true even if these compacts were to include certain explicit U.S. guarantees. Moreover, per the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties, because authentic treaties can only be binding upon states, a non-treaty agreement between the Palestinians and Israel could prove to be of little or no real authority.

What if the government of a new Palestinian state were somehow willing to consider itself bound by the pre-state, non-treaty agreement? Even in these very improbable circumstances, the new Arab regime could have ample pretext to identify relevant grounds for lawful treaty termination.

A new Palestinian government could withdraw from the treaty-like agreement because of what it regarded as a “material breach,” a reputed violation by Israel that allegedly undermined the object or purpose of the agreement. Or it could point toward what Latinized international law calls Rebus sic stantibus. In English, this doctrine is known as a “fundamental change of circumstances.”

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/columns/louis-bene-beres/syria-today-and-palestine-tomorrow-ii/2013/09/18/

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