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December 19, 2014 / 27 Kislev, 5775
 
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Palestine’

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.”

‘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.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/academic-group-hosts-bds-bars-pro-israel-groups-at-panel-on-israel/2014/01/02/

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