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July 2, 2015 / 15 Tammuz, 5775
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘protests’

Gush Etzion on High Alert

Wednesday, November 14th, 2012

Arabs and foreign anarchists have had a busy day on Wednesday, blocking main roads and running protests.

In Gush Etzion, army and police are expecting a number of attempts to close down the main highways, and have prepared for that possibility. Local residents have been warned of possible delays caused by these provocateurs.

 

 

More Naivete from Obama: Embassy Attacks Arose from ‘Natural’ Protests

Friday, September 21st, 2012

Speaking on the Spanish-language Univision television station yesterday, President Obama explained that it was not clear the attacks on the embassies were terrorism:

“What we do know is that the natural protests that arose over the outrage over the video were used as an excuse by extremists to see if they could also directly harm U.S. interests” (emphasis added).

Does Obama really believe that people naturally protest obscure videos made more than half way around the world by unknown people and posted to youtube? Imagine Jews launched massive protests for every anti-Semitic youtube video.

Indeed, as was reported by JewishPress.com, the Egyptian talk show host who decided to turn the “Innocence of Muslims” video into a cause celebre is himself an extremist.

Perhaps its time for a President who isn’t an apologist for radical Islam.

Behind the Palestinian Protests: A Renewed Fatah Bid to Remove PM Fayyad

Thursday, September 20th, 2012

It is no secret that Fatah has long been trying to get rid of Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad who, its representatives argue, had been imposed on the Palestinians by the Americans and Europeans.

Abbas and Fatah have been trying for years to replace Fayyad with one of their own so that they could regain control over the Palestinian Authority’s finances.

The US and most Western donors have repeatedly made it clear to Abbas that removing Fayyad from his post would prompt them to reconsider financial aid to the Palestinians.

Fatah leaders in the West Bank were hoping that the street protests would force Fayyad to resign. But the prime minister’s refusal to succumb to the immense pressure (and threats) has left most of these leaders deeply disappointed.

For Fatah, the public outcry over the high cost of living provided a good opportunity to resume its efforts to remove Fayyad.

As soon as protesters took to the streets in a number of West Bank cities last week to demand the resignation of Fayyad, Abbas, who was in Cairo, declared that the “Palestinian Spring” had begun and that he supported the “just demands” of the demonstrators.

Abbas’s comment was seen as a green light to the protesters to take to the streets and demonstrate against Fayyad.

For several days, Palestinian Authority security forces had been instructed not to prevent the protesters from burning posters and effigies of Fayyad. The security forces also did not interfere as long as the protesters chanted slogans denouncing only Fayyad as an American and Israeli agent.

Some Palestinians believe that the protests actually served the interests of Abbas and Fatah, who have been widely accused of standing behind — or at least encouraging — the demonstrations calling for the ouster of Fayyad.

Palestinians noticed that in many cities, Fatah activists were organizing and leading the anti-Fayyad protests.

The unprecedented attacks on Fayyad stood in sharp contrast to the way the Palestinian Authority leadership had reacted in the past to criticism of Abbas.

Several Palestinian journalists and bloggers have been arrested since the beginning of the year by Palestinian security forces for publicly criticizing Abbas.

Abbas clearly had no problem as long as Palestinians were chanting slogans against Fayyad and hurling shoes at the prime minister’s posters in city centers.

But as soon as some of the protesters began directing their criticism also against Abbas and demanding an end to the Oslo Accords, Palestinian Authority officials warned that “outside elements” had infiltrated the ranks of the protesters in order to serve “foreign agendas.”

The “outside elements,” the officials claimed, were linked to Israel, Hamas, Iran and all the enemies of the Palestinians.

Abbas, who did not meet once with Fayyad during the crisis, was hoping that the demonstrations would send a message to the Americans and Europeans that the time has come to replace the prime minister. Instead of working with Fayyad to tackle the crisis, Abbas and his top aides preferred to spend the week in India.

However, when Fayyad announced a series of austerity measures to alleviate the economic hardships, Abbas’s office rushed to announce that Fayyad did so “on the instructions of the Palestinian president” — himself. Abbas was now trying to take credit for complying with the demands of the street.

Abbas and Fatah were also hoping that the protests would achieve other goals.

First, they were hoping that the scenes of anarchy and lawlessness on Palestinian streets would put pressure on many Arab countries to resume financial aid to the Palestinian Authority. Some Gulf countries are reported to have cut off aid to Abbas’s authority because they feel that he is not serious about combating corruption and implementing major reforms.

Second, Abbas and Fatah were hoping that the protests would persuade the Americans and Europeans to increase financial aid to the Palestinians.

Third, Abbas was hoping that the demonstrations would prompt the Americans and Europeans to intensify pressure on Israel to accept his preconditions for resuming the peace process: a full cessation of settlement construction and recognition of the pre-1967 lines as the future borders of a Palestinian state.

Fourth, Abbas and his advisors were hoping that the protests would put the Palestinian issue back at the top of the international community’s agenda, especially at a time when the Iranian threat appears to have stolen the limelight.

Muslim Riots Spread Like Wildfire Through Europe

Wednesday, September 19th, 2012

Protests over an American-made anti-Islamic YouTube film, Innocence of Muslims, have spread to Europe. Muslim rioters have clashed with police in several European cities, and more demonstrations are being planned. The protests are part of widespread anger across the Muslim world about the amateur film, which ridicules Islam and depicts the Muslim Prophet Mohammed as a fraud, a madman and a sexual deviant.

Muslims in many European countries are calling on governments to outlaw the controversial film. They are also pressing elected officials to enact anti-blasphemy laws that would criminalize the criticism of Islam. As most European countries lack American-like First Amendment protections, the momentum is building for the imposition of legal curbs on free speech when such speech is perceived to be offensive to Islam.

In Belgium, police using pepper spray and batons arrested more than 200 Muslims in the northern city of Antwerp after clashes at a demonstration against the film. The protest in the Borgerhout district of the city was organized by an Islamic fundamentalist group called Sharia4Belgium. The protest was organized via a text message which read: “We are ready to work with our souls and hearts to fight for our beloved prophet, even if death comes to meet us. Whoever has love for the Prophet must be present.” In Brussels, police arrested more than 30 individuals who participated in two separate protests — one in the Sint-Joost-ten-Node district, and another one in downtown Brussels near the American embassy.

In Britain, some 300 Muslims protested in central London outside the American Embassy. The crowd included many radical Muslims associated with the hardline group, Hizb ut-Tahrir; they shouted slogans and held placards, saying, “America — Get Out of Muslim Lands.” The gathering, which consisted mostly of men but also some women and children, listened to speakers who condemned the film, U.S. foreign policy and the “oppression” of Muslims.

In France, police in Paris arrested 152 Muslims for taking part in an unauthorized, impromptu protest on September 15 at the Place de la Concorde near the American Embassy; there were a number of clashes, with four police officers hurt.

French Interior Minister Manuel Valls said he would prevent any further anti-American demonstrations sparked by the anti-Islam film. “I have issued instructions so that this does not happen again,” Valls told France 2 television. “These protests are forbidden. Any incitement to hatred must be fought with the greatest firmness.” Valls also said that among the roughly 250 protesters, there were some groups that “advocate radical Islam.”

Nevertheless, Muslims have now issued a call via text messages and social media for new protests to be held on Saturday, September 22, at 2pm at the Trocadero district in Paris. The President of the anti-immigrant National Front party, Marine Le Pen, said the protests mark the beginning of a process of “intimidation” by Muslims.

In Germany, major Muslim umbrella organizations have warned that the movie could “endanger the public peace” and lead to “street massacres” in German cities. The chairman of Germany’s Central Council of Muslims, Aiman Mazyek, has also called for a legal ban on the film within the Federal Republic. “I do think that we must use all legal means to ban the film,” Mazyek said in an interview with ARD television. Mazyek continued that the video had the goal of “sowing discord and hatred,” and therefore “I would use all means possible to outlaw the film.”

German political leaders are now equivocating about their commitment to free speech. German Chancellor Angela Merkel, commenting on the anti-Islam movie, said, “I can imagine there would be good reasons to outlaw the film” – a reversal of her statement of just two years ago, when, commenting on the Danish cartoon controversy, she declared: “Free speech is one of the greatest treasures of our society.”

Separately, Interior Minister Hans-Peter Friedrich said he would consider all legal options to ban public showings of the anti-Islamic film. He said Islamic extremists such as the Salafists are likely to incite violent protests within Germany, which Friedrich called a “highly dangerous” situation.

Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle has also pleaded for a ban on the movie, arguing that freedom of expression has its limits. “The abuse of a religion that is likely to disturb the public peace is forbidden to us,” he said in an interview on Deutschlandfunk German radio. He also argued that a ban on the film would send the message that “Germany does not stand behind right-wing radicals who insult other religions.”

Let Abbas Bail Out the Palestinian Authority

Sunday, September 16th, 2012

As the Jewish Press reported last week, Israel has advanced the Palestinian Authority NIS 250 million (approximately $62.5 million) to deal with their budget crisis which has led to protests against Western darling Salam Fayyad (the so-called Prime Minister of the Palestinian Authority).

This despite the fact that the the Palestinian Authority owes the Israel Electric Company some NIS 700 million.

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, who is also reeling from the protests, is allegedly worth $100 million.  That figure according to a former Arafat aide, Muhammed Rachid. Other sources also implicate Abbas as well as his sons in various corruption schemes which have and are making them rich.

Here’s one example from a report from the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies given to Congress:

Yasser, the elder son, owns Falcon Tobacco, which reportedly enjoys a monopoly on several tobacco products 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 (also called Falcon Electro Mechanical Contracting Company, or FEMC), 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 Washington. According to a Reuters report, in 2005, Yasser Abbas’ company received $1.89 million from USAID to build a sewage system in the West Bank town of Hebron.

So why not let Abbas save his own skin, instead of having Israel repeatedly bail the Palestinian Authority out?

Evergreen State — a Total Immersion Experience

Monday, September 10th, 2012

Recently I wrote a couple of posts about Rachel Corrie (here andhere). I was particularly interested in what prompted her to go to Gaza with the International Solidarity Movement (ISM), a group which sends idealistic young Westerners to serve as human shields for Hamas or PLO guerrillas in the front lines of the low-intensity Arab war against the Jewish state.

A few of these ‘internationals’ have been seriously hurt, or, like Corrie, killed, sacrifices on the altar of anti-Israel propaganda.

How does it happen that young people are prepared to risk everything for a cause which, by any logic, is not theirs; and which, as causes go, is not especially pressing (the Palestinian Arabs in Gaza or Judea/Samaria are better off in every way than Palestinians in Lebanon, Copts in Egypt, Sunnis in Syria, etc.)?

The answer is that there are well-tuned systems set up on many of our campuses which recruit, process and send students off in service of the Palestinian Cause. These machines have a permanent nucleus of a few dedicated faculty members, which is orbited closely by student organizations like Students for Justice in Palestine, the Muslim Student Association, Jewish Voice for Peace, and more.

There are also peripheral groups that support the projects of the central players, usually because of a perception of shared ‘colonial oppression’ — this sometimes includes LGBT groups, immigrants’ rights organizations, etc.

Students drawn into these psycho-political cyclotrons are insulated from all other voices, and what begins as a concern for human rights is amplified by contact with more and more extreme expressions of anti-Israel ideology until they fly off, completely one-dimensional, often white-hot with hatred for the Jewish ‘colonialists’, prepared to cooperate if need be with murderous terrorists because of their perception of the overwhelming justice and need of their Cause.

The Evergreen State College [TESC] of Olympia, Washington, where Rachel Corrie was recruited, has provided a disproportionate number of ISM volunteers. As I wrote before, faculty members Steve Niva and (former faculty) Simona Sharoni were mentioned several times in Corrie’s diaries as important influences on her decision to go to Gaza.

If we look at the overall environment of Evergreen, perhaps we can understand the way today’s Corries are submerged in the Palestinian narrative and Israel-hating ideology. A student group called “TESC Divest!” — which, for some reason does not appear in the list of official student organizations on TESC’s website — is the center of several boycott-divestment-sanctions [BDS] projects, as well as various “informational” activities and events.

TESC Divest! probably represents the majority of the students and faculty at Evergreen. For example, in 2010, Evergreen students voted to pass two BDS resolutions with huge majorities, both over 70%. And here is a list of faculty and staff that endorsed them:

Anne Fischel, Ph.D, Communication Anita Lenges, Ph.D, Curriculum and Instruction Bob Woods, M.F.A. Sculpture Carolyn Prouty, D.V.M., Veterinary Medicine Davi Zielinski Koska, Evergreen Staff, Community Activist E.J. Zita, Ph.D., Physics Elizabeth Williamson, Ph.D., English Literature Erik Thuesen, Ph.D., Biological Sciences Gillies Malnarich, Co-Director of the Washington Center for Improving Undergraduate Education Jean Eberhardt, Evergreen Staff — [advisor mentioned in Rachel Corrie Diaries — ed.] Jon Davies, Ed.D Jose Gomez, J.D. from Harvard Law School Judith Gabriele Larry Mosqueda, Ph.D., Political Science, Laurie Meeker, M.F.A., Film Production Lin Nelson, Ph.D., Spanish Liza Rognas, M.A., Information Resources and Library Science, Lori Blewett, Ph.D., Speech Communication Marianne Hoepli Michael Vavrus, Ph.D., Instructional Development and Technology Paul McMillin, M.L.I.S., Library and Information Science Peter Bohmer, Ph.D., Economics Ruth Hayes, M.F.A., Experimental Animation Sarah Ryan, M.A., Labor and Industrial Relations Savvina Chowdhury, Ph.D., Economics Susan Preciso, M.A., English Ted Whitesell, Ph.D., Geography Therese Saliba, Ph.D., English; Fulbright Scholar, 1995 Tony Zaragoza, Doctoral Studies, American Studies Zahid Shariff, Doctor of Public Administration Zoltan Grossman, Ph.D., Geography And here are student organizations that also endorsed the resolutions:

Student of Color Union (SOC-U) — [because we are all colonized — ed.] Black Student Union (BSU) — [because Palestinians aren’t racists — ed.] Native Student Alliance (NSA) Women of Color Coalition (WOCC) Asian Pacific Islander Coalition (APIC) Synergy Evergreen Bike Shop — [because Palestinians are green — ed.] Counter Point Journal (CxPJ) Mideast Solidarity Project (MSP) Latin American Solidarity Organization (LASO) Committee In Solidarity with the People of El Salvador (CISPES) Movimiento Estudiantil Chicano de Aztlán (MEChA) Developing Ecological Agriculture Practices (DEAP) Women’s Resource Center (WRC) — [because Palestinians are feminists — ed.] Evergreen Queer Alliance (EQA) — [because Palestinians are LGBT-friendly — ed.] Hip Hop Congress Evergreen State College is a total immersion experience — immersion in anti-Israel propaganda.

Israel’s War of Words

Tuesday, July 24th, 2012

http://sultanknish.blogspot.co.il/2012/07/israels-war-of-words.html

If you read the headlines, the biggest issue in Israel isn’t Iran’s nuclear program or Syria’s chemical weapons falling into the hands of Hezbollah or the Muslim Brotherhood; it’s how to draft  Haredim, widely referred to as Ultra-Orthodox Jews, into the army.

Until recently, the Israeli left was feverishly complaining about the surplus of Religious Nationalist Jews in the army and the threat of religious fanaticism. Now it’s back to complaining that there aren’t enough Ultra-Orthodox religious fanatics in the army, after spending last year complaining that the ones in the army were too fanatical and the ones on buses were even worse.

Religious Nationalists in the army are a problem because many of them are patriots and not too enthusiastic about giving up land to terrorists. The Ultra-Orthodox don’t care about the country or how much land it has, which makes them ideal recruits from the left’s point of view. Unfortunately, they don’t actually want to join the army.

The left’s ideal recruit doesn’t care about the country and mechanically follows orders to ethnically cleanse Jewish towns and villages. But, unfortunately, that ideal recruit would rather be playing guitar in Tel Aviv or studying the Talmud in Jerusalem than patrolling the frontier and fighting terrorists. The leftist sons and daughters of the idle rich want to protest at checkpoints in between parties, not serve at them, and, while Haredim will mechanically follow orders, those orders won’t come from the military, its political generals or an activist Supreme Court.

No one really wants Haredim in the military all that much, but it’s fashionable to suggest that they aren’t pulling their weight. Which indeed they aren’t; but neither is much of the country.

The left rants about the money going to Haredi children out of one side of its mouth, while the other side screams that the children of African migrant workers should be allowed to remain in the country and given full benefits. Leftist tabloids act disgusted when Haredim send out children in yellow stars to protest but have no similar compunction about using Holocaust analogies and iconography when protesting against the deportation of migrant workers.

And let’s not forget the Muslim sector. Israeli Arabs form 20 percent of the country, but consume 52 percent of its social benefits. It would be illegal to call them parasites, the way that Haredim are often called parasites. An election commercial showing a mob of Muslims clinging to the legs of an Israeli voter pleading for more money would result in criminal charges. But a similar commercial featuring Haredim was filmed and broadcast by a prominent leftist third party, the son of whose scion is now also aspiring to major third party status on the same program of social justice and Haredi-bashing.

But so long as Haredim don’t serve, they are a useful political weapon in a country where everyone is justly convinced that they are being screwed over by powerful interests. Men in black hats and beards are alien enough to be a useful target, and their isolation has allowed them fill the traditional role of the Jew in exile as a scapegoat for national frustrations.

The Haredim are expected to stay in their ghettos, for the same reason that Jews were kept there. The ghettos create a permanent scapegoat while the few ways out require assimilation. And that system suits both those running the ghettos and the state. It’s the middle ground of change that would allow Haredim to participate in public life without losing who they are that both sides fear and restrict.

The Israeli left has never known any political mechanism besides “divide-and-conquer” politics and it set up the very divisions that it agitates against, enshrining Arab and Haredi political separatism from the start, assigning different levels of benefits for different immigrant groups and then stirring up social protests against the monopolies that its crony capitalism put into place.

The left agitates against Haredi benefits, but it set up a system where the Haredim would do nothing but vote in exchange for benefits, in the same way that it set up a similar system for the Arab sector. It complains about oligarchs, when the left is structured as an oligarchy funded and manned by the well-connected and the wealthy. It complains about settlements, when it derives most of its foreign funding on a pledge to fight them. If the so-called settlements went away, a lot of the professional left would suddenly have to find real jobs.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/blogs/sultan-knish/israels-war-of-words/2012/07/24/

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