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May 28, 2015 / 10 Sivan, 5775
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Palestinian Territories’

EU Chief Meeting Next Week with Netanyahu, Abbas

Friday, May 15th, 2015

European Union foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini is scheduled to arrive in Israel next week, her office said in a statement Friday.

Mogherini “will travel to the Middle East on Wednesday 20 and Thursday 21 May,” and is expected to meet both Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas during her visit.

The EU head will also meet with “a number of other Israeli and Palestinian interlocutors, to discuss the bilateral relations as well as prospects for the Middle East peace process,” the statement said.

The impending visit follows Israel’s installation of its new coalition government headed by Netanyahu for a record fourth term in office.

On Monday, EU foreign ministers are expected to discuss current issues taking place in the region with Mogherini at a routine meeting of the European body prior to her trip.

Recently it was revealed that the European Union has taken an exceptionally active role in funding and otherwise aiding in the construction of hundreds of illegal Palestinian structures in “Area C.” These are territories that are controlled solely under the State of Israel in accordance with the internationally-recognized Oslo Accords.

These areas are expected to be retained by Israel in any final status agreement between the two parties.

Grass Roots Rally Against NYC Jewish Bigwigs for Providing Cover to Anti-Israel Groups

Monday, May 11th, 2015

On Monday, May 11, several NYC-based pro-Israel grass roots organizations will hold a rally outside of the UFA Federation building. The groups are protesting the continued tacit (and even overt) approval of certain Jewish organizations that cloak themselves with a pro-Israel patina but are, in fact, supporters of economic and legal warfare against the Jewish State.

The UJA Federation and the Jewish Community Relations Council are the focus of the rally. Groups such as JCC Watch, the Endowment for Middle East Truth (EMET), the National Conference on Jewish Affairs, Americans for a Safe Israel, Americans for Peace and Tolerance, ZOA and others are behind the event at which they intend to blow 101 shofars (ram’s horns), hoping the New York City Jewish establishment will “Hear O Israel,” and come to their senses.

The problem, as these grass roots organizations have pointed out so many times, is that the major institutional Jewish organizations continue to allow groups who promote harm against the Jewish state to march in the annual Celebrate Israel Day parade.

The primary target of this coalition has been groups, such as the New Israel Fund, which financially support organizations which advocate economic warfare against Israel, such as boycotts against such iconic Israeli companies as SodaStream and Ahava.

The parade this year will take place on Sunday, May 31. And this year, just like last year and ones before, organizations like the New Israel Fund and others will be participating, right alongside all the freshly-scrubbed Jewish day school students.

If you were to ask those students whether they think it is right for anyone to boycott Israeli goods or products, they would undoubtedly answer “no.” And if you were to ask those students whether people who support such activity are pro-Israel, they would also answer “no.” Finally, if one were to ask those students whether anyone who tries to harm Israel either through economic or legal measures, should march in the Celebrate Israel parade, they would, undoubtedly, answer “no.”

But the executives at the New York UJA-Federation and the NYC Jewish Community Relations Council don’t appear to understand what is so plainly obvious to most Jewish day school students.

Richard Allen, the engine behind JCC Watch and one of the main supporters of Monday’s rally, explained to the JewishPress.com one of the saddest ironies behind the BDS infiltration into what should be an event by pro-Israel supporters, for Israel.

“We call on the UJA-Federation to stop their promotion and support for groups that call for a boycott of Israeli companies Iike SodaStream and Ahava Cosmetics. The President of the UJA-Federation, Alisa Doctoroff is a major funder of the New Israel Fund, a group that finances the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement against Israel on a worldwide basis,” Allen said.

“The UJA-Federation protects and promotes the BDS groups in the Israel Day Parade and we insist this be stopped immediately.”

Sadly, this year there is perhaps even more stunning news than that ostensibly Jewish “leaders” are protecting and promoting those who engage in economic and legal warfare against the Jewish State.

As Allen shared with the JewishPress.com, “the Israel Consul General in New York is being used by the BDS forces in the UJA-Federation to protect the New Israel Fund.  The head of the UJA-Federation, Eric Goldstein, is now hiding behind the Consul General. He said in a radio interview that the Israeli Government supports BDS in the Israel Day Parade. We are here today to demand that Jewish Charitable dollars and institutions not be used by the BDS forces to push their agenda.”

The rally is taking place today, May 11, from 5 – 7:30 p.m., outside the UJA Federation building, 130 East 59th Street, between Park and Lexington Avenues. If you cannot bring your own shofar, they will have extras to hand out.

Baltimore City Curfew Helps Taper Off Riots

Wednesday, April 29th, 2015

A 10 pm curfew and strong show of force by thousands of security personnel Tuesday night helped restore order to most of the city, and put an end to riots in Baltimore.

At least one Jewish business owner faced near-total ruin Tuesday night; Harvey Levy of the Baltimore suburb of Reisterstown responded to an alarm and saw his sports store had been damaged and emptied by rioters.

The Agudath Israel synagogue also posted a notice on its door warning congregants its final evening service of the night would be held at 9:30 pm due to the 10 pm curfew.

Two of the three city’s home games between the Baltimore Orioles and the Chicago White Sox were postponed; a third, scheduled for Wednesday, is to be played at Camden Yards in a historic “first” televised game with an entirely empty stadium. No fans are allowed into the stadium due to security considerations.

The Baltimore police department managed to finally contain thousands of rioters throughout the city by the wee hours of Wednesday morning, with the help of some 2,000 National Guard troops, 1,000 supplemental police officers from neighboring counties and 2,000 civilian volunteers.

Users on Twitter and other social networking sites have been comparing the situation in Baltimore to that in Israel, whose security forces must contend with similar issues in her cities, albeit with Arabs instead of rioting city residents hoping for anarchy.

The situation in the United States, in fact, appears to be developing a parallel process in many ways similar to the Arab intifada that is faced by Israel every few years.

More than 235 arrests were made in Baltimore in the past 24 hours At least 20 police officers were injured, including one who remains in critical condition. The force has been forced to decide how and when to use increased riot control measures such as tear gas, smoke canisters and other security options; issues also confronted by Israel.

An alleged alliance between three national gangs — the Black Guerrillas, the Crips and the Bloods — was formally denied on Tuesday in a statement by the gang members who said the supposed agreement to “take out” Baltimore police was untrue. Gang members were later seen towards sunset organizing into a secondary buffer line spreading out between protesters and police.

Baltimore mother Toya Graham became the most well-known personality in the city on Tuesday: the single mother of six was seen in a video flashed around the Internet chastising her 16-year-old son after spotting him on television among rioters wearing a black face mask. Graham was seen ripping the mask from her son and smacking him around the face and shoulders while chasing and scolding him, forcing him to leave the riots and come home with her. Many news groups and Internet users informally dubbed her “Mother of the Year.”

Arab Teen Attacker Shot, 2 Israelis Hurt in Attacks

Tuesday, April 28th, 2015

A 16-year-old Palestinian Authority Arab was shot Monday night by IDF soldiers as he and several others attempted to kill Israeli travelers on the roads.

The young terrorist was taken to a hospital in the PA-controlled city of Jenin with a gunshot wound to the lower body.

His condition is unknown.

Earlier in the day, Palestinian Authority Arab terrorists firebombed an Israeli vehicle as it passed near the Samaria city of Shechem (Nablus).

One person in the car was hurt in the attack. The vehicle was set afire and was heavily damaged by the flames.

The Huwara and Za’atara checkpoints south of Shechem were shut down after the incident, locking down access to pre-1967 Israel from the Palestinian Authority and enabling IDF soldiers to search for suspects who are still at large.

In a second attack involving similar weapons, a Border Guard officer was injured Monday night in Jerusalem’s Wadi Joz neighborhood.

Rioting Arab residents hurled large rocks and firebombs (Molotov cocktails) as they clashed with security forces in the neighborhood.

The injured police officer was treated at the scene by Magen David Adom (MDA) paramedics. One rioter was arrested, according to Israel Police.

Inside Look at Princeton’s Israel Divestment Failure

Monday, April 27th, 2015

In a college-wide vote, Princeton university undergraduates voted against a resolution to divest funds from Israeli companies or certain companies that are used in Israel. The ballot closed on April 22, and the results were announced on Friday, April 26.

The proposal lost with 52.5 percent voting against it and 47.5 percent voting in favor.

The proposal on which the students voted asked whether the Princeton University trustees should be called on to divest from “multinational corporations that maintain the infrastructure of the Israeli occupation of the West Bank, facilitate Israel’s and Egypt’s collective punishment of Palestinian civilians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, or facilitate state repression against Palestinians by Israeli, Egyptian, and Palestinian Authority security.”

According to Princeton’s internal regulations, any referendum can be included in the student government elections if a sponsor obtains 200 signatures on a petition.

There are no guidelines or standards for the content of a referendum. Accordingly, for those who are not independently knowledgeable, any student who believes in justice and human rights would be inclined to vote in favor of the ballot question.

Who – especially amongst U.S. college students – would fail to oppose repression or collective punishment?

Even given the biased language, the vote was close, and nearly 39 percent of the student body voted.

An active pro-Israel student at Princeton, Hannelora Everett, spoke with JewishPress.com about the atmosphere on campus, and how she and others worked to help defeat the divestment referendum.

Everett is a Princeton sophomore who hails from Westchester, New York. She has spent quite a bit of time in Israel, including trips with her Solomon Schechter school and with Princeton Chabad. Everett lived in Israel one summer on a study program, and spent another summer in Israel working at a nongovernmental organization (NGO).

When Everett first arrived at Princeton she found the atmosphere regarding the Middle East disturbing.

“I realized students were turning Israel into a polarizing, conservative-liberal political issue,” and she decided to become involved in Israel activism on campus.

Through her engagement with the issue, Everett assumed a leadership role in several organizations focused on improving the understanding of the Arab-Israeli conflict amongst Princeton students. She was involved in the David Project, in Tigers for Israel (of which she is now president) and works with other student groups to promote common interests.

DIFFERENT FORMAT FOR DIVESTMENT VOTE

Although student proposals to urge their universities’ trustees to divest from certain holdings in or utilized by Israel have taken place elsewhere – at the University of Michigan and Cornell University, to name just two – the vote at Princeton is amongst the first time the student body as a whole voted on such a proposal. A divestment referendum was also defeated at San Diego State University earlier this month.

All other times that divestment from Israel proposals were voted on at universities, it has been the school’s student government which has taken up the issue.

The divestment coalition said the opportunity to have the student body at large discuss the Arab-Israeli conflict was the motivation for choosing this format. Also, previous efforts at divestment had failed, so a new strategy was sought.

Everett told the JewishPress.com that the low bar requirement of only 200 petition signatures to permit a student body referendum undoubtedly made this an attractive option.

EGYPT AND PA MENTIONED AS WRONG-DOERS

Another unusual aspect of the Princeton ballot question was that both Egypt and the Palestinian Authority are mentioned as fellow wrong-doers, along with Israel, for engaging in “collective punishment”  against and/or “repression” of Palestinian Arabs.

It is ironic that this expansion of blame reveals who it is that the Princeton pro-divestment students are most protective: Hamas.

But as Everett pointed out, although the ballot question also condemned Egypt and the PA, “their campaign focused almost exclusively on Israel.”

Abbas’ Son Loses $10 Million Libel Suit in US Court

Sunday, April 26th, 2015

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit threw out a $10 million libel suit by one of the sons of Palestinian Authority chairman Mahmoud Abbas Friday, the same day the U.S. Court of Appeals in New York upheld a lower court’s dismissal of a suit demanding compensation from settlers for “terrorist stacks.”

The suit in New York charged several right-wing Israeli charities with funding settlers in violation of anti-terrorism laws. “American federal judges recognize the difference between the financing of murder and violence… and legitimate bona fide financial support of the daily needs of peaceful Israeli settlements over the Green Line,” said attorney Nathan Lewin, who represented the charities.

The libel suit that was rejected in Washington may go to the Supreme Court, said a lawyer for Tarek Abbas, one of the PA chairman’s sons.

He sued Foreign Policy magazine and Foundation for the Defense of Democracies researcher Jonathan Schanzer, who in 2012 wrote an article for the magazine, whose subhead line read:

Are the sons of the Palestinian president growing rich off their father’s system?

A three-judge panel unanimously agreed that defining defamation to include raising a question would “dramatically chill” public debate.

The judges wrote:

Just imagine the severe infringement on free speech that would ensue in the alternative universe envisioned by Abbas. Is the Mayor a thief? Is the quarterback a cheater? Did the Governor accept bribes? Did the CEO pay her taxes? Did the baseball star take steroids? Questions like that appear all the time in news reports and on blogs, in tweets and on cable shows. And all such questions could be actionable under Abbas’ novel defamation theory.”

Admitting that journalists often unfairly raise questions to imply a negative conclusion, the judges stated, “There is no good or predictable way to neatly divide (i) the questions that are routinely posed in America’s robust public forums from (ii) the kinds of questions that would be actionable as defamation by implication under Abbas’s theory.”

Abba’s lawyer Louis Adolfson told Politico. “We are considering our options,” meaning a possible appeal to the Supreme Court.

Schanzer wrote in his article for Foreign Policy, “The conspicuous wealth of Abbas’s own sons, Yasser and Tarek, has become a source of quiet controversy in Palestinian society since at least 2009, when Reuters first published a series of articles tying the sons to several business deals, including a few that had U.S. taxpayer support.

“Yasser, the elder son,…owns Falcon Tobacco, which reportedly enjoys a monopoly on the sale of U.S.-made cigarettes in the Palestinian territories. According to the Toronto Star, Yasser also chairs Falcon Holding Group, a Palestinian corporate conglomerate that owns Falcon Electrical Mechanical Contracting Company, an engineering interest that was established in 2000 and boasts offices in Gaza, Jordan, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, and the West Bank.

“This business success has come with a helping hand from Uncle Sam: According to a Reuters report, Abbas’s company received $1.89 million from USAID in 2005 to build a sewage system in the West Bank town of Hebron.

Yasser Abbas also manages a company that engages in public works projects for his father’s regime and which was awarded $300,000 in USAid funds between 2005 and 2008.

His younger brother Tarek’s advertising firm received $1 million in USAID funds “to bolster public opinion of the United States in the Palestinian territories.”

And what do Palestinian Authority Arabs think about the sons of their leader, who now is serving something like the 10th year of his elected four-year term of office?

Schanzer wrote:

On a research trip to Ramallah last year, several Palestinians told me that the Abbas family dynasty is common knowledge. However, discussion of the issue rarely rises above a whisper — thanks to growing fear of retribution by PA security officers, who have apprehended journalists and citizens for openly challenging President Abbas’s authority.

Tarek could have been $10 million richer, but the U.S. Appeals Court in Washington ruined his plans.

It’s Official: Justice Brandeis Wants his Name Back

Wednesday, April 8th, 2015

Of all the absurd positions Brandeis University has taken over the years, the latest really may be the final straw.

Last year Brandeis suffered widespread disgrace for revoking an offer to grant an honorary degree to a Muslim-born advocate for women and children’s rights who had been subjected to female genital mutilation and threatened with murder by Islamic fundamentalists for being “anti-Islam.” This year, Brandeis selected as its commencement speaker a former U.S. State Department careerist who thinks the state of Palestine exists and that “Palestine” “granted” to Israel land that “Palestine” had been “assigned” in 1947.

That former administration official, Thomas Pickering, wrote a public letter last year encouraging the U.S. administration to stop kowtowing to Israel — and we all know how eager the Obama administration has been to take orders from Jerusalem.

Pickering has the reputation of being extremely anti-Israel even amongst his peers – and for the State Department, that’s quite an achievement. If Justice Louis Dembitz Brandeis, the ardent Zionist and advocate for the disenfranchised (for him the concepts were naturally compatible) for whom Brandeis University was named, could see what his namesake university was doing, he would demand his name be removed.

REVOCATION OF HONORARY DEGREE TO HIRSI ALI

It was just a year ago that Brandeis University withdrew an offer to award an honorary degree Ayaan Hirsi Ali, a world-class humanitarian, because some dimwitted students, aided and abetted by professors with ossified mindsets, insisted the woman was “Islamophobic.” Hirsi Ali, knows from firsthand experience more about Islam than all the mewling students and professors put together.

The suffix “phobic” means an irrational fear of something. Hirsi Ali’s distaste for Islam is as based in reality as it can get.

Dial forward to this spring, when Brandeis commencement and its speakers is once again a topic.

So what does Brandeis University do? Pick a noncontroversial speaker who is deserving of an honorary degree for being a decent human being, perhaps someone with some connection to the university itself? Nah.

BRANDEIS CHOOSES ANTI-ISRAEL ADVOCATE AS COMMENCEMENT SPEAKER

Instead, Brandeis University announced that its commencement speaker for 2015 is former Ambassador and under secretary of state for political affairs Thomas Pickering, someone who fervently believes Israel is inappropriately coddled by the Obama administration and that the Jewish state has stolen land from the mythical land of Palestine, despite the “Palestinians” having graciously conceded a huge chunk of the land “assigned” to the “Palestinians in 1947.”

That’s right, Israel is coddled by the Obama/Kerry approach to the Middle East conflict, according to Pickering. And the “Palestinians” are the magnanimous yet oppressed party on the losing end of the stick with Israel. This view is out of touch with Zionists – whom Brandeis the justice, if not the university, would have hoped a school bearing his name would graduate.

We know Pickering’s positions and ahistorical understandings because, almost exactly a year ago, Pickering and a few of his like-minded public pals signed a letter published as an op-ed calling on this U.S. administration to stop allowing Israel to walk all over it.

You see, in the eyes of Pickering and his well-known Israel-despising co-signers Zbigniew Brzezinski, Henry Siegman, Lee Hamilton, Frank Carlucci and Carla Hills, this administration should man up and stop allowing the world to think it shares Israel’s views about its security needs and its history. Also, time to jettison those annoying facts that support reality.

UNABASHED ZIONISM OF JUSTICE BRANDEIS

But first, you need to know what kind of Zionist Louis Brandeis was. While a secular Jew, Brandeis became an ardent and unabashed Zionist. Not only was he an early president of the Zionist Organization of America, but he believed in territorial control by the Jews of all the land promised for a Jewish State by Lord Balfour in 1917.

Louis Brandeis was a firm believer in helping to arm the Jews who were attempting to create a Jewish state. He insisted that the contours of the Jewish state had to extend to the north, to the “Litani watersheds” which is in the south of what is now Lebanon, and to the east, to the “plain of Jaulan Hauran,” which is now in northwestern Jordan and southwestern Syria.

It is in the context of Justice Brandeis’s approach to Zionism that the letter written by Pickering and his fellow anti-Israel pen pals must be understood.

PICKERING PENS SHOCKINGLY ANTI-ISRAEL OP-ED

What follows are some of the more surprising snippets of that letter:

“The United States has allowed the impression that it supports a version of Israel’s security that entails Israeli control of all of Palestine’s [sic] borders and part of its territory.”

“Israel’s confiscation of what international law has clearly established as others’ territory,” Israel’s “illegal land grabs only add to the Palestinian and the larger Arab sense of injustice that Israel’s half-century-long occupation has already generated,” “No Palestinian leader could or would ever agree to a peace accord that entails turning over the Jordan Valley to Israeli control,” “these Israeli demands can hardly justify the permanent subjugation and disenfranchisement of a people  to which Israel refuses to grant citizenship in the Jewish state.”

The Israelis “do not have the right to demand that Palestinians abandon their own national narrative, and the United States should not be party to such a demand.”

The hate-filled five also mocked Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s claims that Israel was prepared to make “painful compromises” in his May 2011 speech to a joint session of Congress. According to The Five, every one of the painful compromises – “regarding territory, borders, security, resources, refugees or the location of the Palestinian state’s capital” are ones required of the Palestinian Arabs and “do not reflect any Israeli compromises.”

“Although Palestinians have conceded fully half of the territory assigned to them in the U.N.’s Partition Plan of 1947″ ignoring at least two monumental facts: one, there were no Arabs claiming to be “Palestinians” in 1947, so there was no assignment of land to “Palestinians,” but instead to undifferentiated Arabs in the region, and two, the Arabs to whom the land was assigned refused that assignment and instead chose to go to war rather than have any Jewish state at all in the region.

What are they talking about? There was no concessions by the Arabs, “Palestinians” or otherwise.  Instead, there was a humiliating defeat of the five Arab nations which attacked the tiny ragtag Jewish army and lost.

Pickering and his four pals, after ignoring history, reality, international law and facts, then cheered on what they consider to be the righteous Palestinian Arabs who “are not demanding a single square foot of Israeli territory beyond the June 6, 1967, line.”

So clueless about history are the Pickering plus four, that they again raise the “assigned” territory, attacking Netanyahu for daring to “establish equivalence between Israeli and Palestinian demands,” and insisting that Israel gets still more of the “78 percent of Palestine it already possesses.” Pickering and his pals call this “politically and morally unacceptable,” and demand that the United States “not be party to such efforts.”

BRANDEIS GRINDS IN

When asked why Brandeis chose to honor Pickering, a known anti-Israel public official, a member of the Brandeis Communications team came back – after requesting two extensions – with a woefully shallow response.

Bill Schaller, Brandeis’s “executive director of integrative media,” emailed back that Pickering has had a “long and diverse career, which has often included staunch advocacy for Israel.”

The one example of “staunch” Israeli advocacy Brandeis offered was Pickering’s “efforts to repeal the UN resolution regarding Zionism.”

That resolution, equating Zionism with racism, was passed in 1975 and was finally repealed in 1991.  So even by the University’s lights, Pickering’s last Zionist stand was 24 years ago. And while Pickering may have played a positive role in helping to revoke that heinous United Nations resolution – most people recall New York Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan and U.S. Ambassador John Bolton as central players – his actions regarding the Jewish State within living memory are alarmingly hostile.

Even the United Nations at one time was not anti-Israel. But that world body is currently considered anti-Israel because of its recent history. Pickering should be judged similarly.

In its statement, Brandeis officials explained that it “engage[es] an outside firm to vet the candidates,” in addition to involving Board members and faculty.

Perhaps the university should consider engaging an outside firm to educate its board members and faculty on the namesake of their university.

The author of this article graduated from Brandeis University in 1980. To honor Justice Brandeis, she has torn up her diploma.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/its-official-justice-brandeis-wants-his-name-back/2015/04/08/

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