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August 30, 2014 / 4 Elul, 5774
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘reporter’

Channel 10: Liberman Dropped Ayalon for Leaks

Wednesday, December 5th, 2012

Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon, was ousted from the Likud-Beiteinu Knesset list because party chairman Avigdor Liberman suspected him of leaking information to the daily Maariv.

A leak in Liberman’s world, commented the Channel 10 news reporter, is tantamount to betrayal, and so Ayalon did not get the graceful dismissal the two other dismissed members, MK Anastasia Michaeli and tourism minister Stas Misezhnikov received, when Liberman gave them the opportunity to resign on their own.

It should be noted that even after his quick and completely unexpected dumping (according to his Facebook page he heard about it  just moments before the rest of us did) – Ayalon would not say anything negative about his soon to be former boss. That kind of loyalty is rare in Israel’s volatile, dog eat dog politics, and attests to the love and warmth Liberman’s subordinates share for him.

By the way, this was not Ayalon’s first instance of being fed some humble pie by his boss — about a year ago Liberman was so upset about something his deputy had released that he made sure the public knew that he, Liberman, rebuked Ayalon for his conduct.

If you love him, let him go…

Europe Loud on Settlements, Quiet on Iran-Backed Terrorism

Tuesday, December 4th, 2012

When Israel evacuated the Jewish communities from the Gaza Strip in August 2005, few imagined that the area would become a platform for the thousands of rockets targeting Israelis living in cities as far as Tel Aviv. As the international community continues to pressure Israel into limiting the Jewish presence in Judea and Samaria and eventually withdrawing, one can only wonder who in the UN will guarantee that another terrorist entity will not emerge on Israel’s eastern border.

Most likely, Europe has not even considered what would happen if terrorist elements in Judea and Samaria would start firing rockets at civilians living across Israel. But Europe, like Hamas, has plenty to say about the settlements.

On Monday morning, December 3, the Israeli ambassador to the United Kingdom was formally summoned to the Foreign Office, to personally hear condemnations of Israeli settlement building. France and Sweden also followed suit, summoning their Israeli ambassadors, while Germany appealed to the Israeli government in a news conference asking Israel to “desist” from building more settlements, stating that the new plans “undermined” efforts to revive peace talks.

Hamas welcomed the international response with spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri, stating that the settlement plans “were an insult to the international community, which should bear responsibility for Israeli violations and attacks on Palestinians.”

Some, however, were not impressed by the almost-panicked address by international European diplomats. Director of the UK-based Institute for Middle Eastern Democracy, Jonathan Sacerdoti, pointed out that:

“The Palestinian representative to the UK was not summoned to the Foreign Office when Palestinians unleashed what some in Israel have called a “third intifada” on Israel, with lethal rockets launched in their hundreds into Israeli civilian areas.”

Indeed, it seems that any sort of terrorist activity coming from Gaza or its prime supporter, Iran, very rarely garners any sort of international public outcry, particularly from Europe. Last week, a U.S. official told CNN that “Iran is finding ways to re-supply Hamas” with long range rockets and other weapons despite the ceasefire between Hamas and Israel.

State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland told CNN on Monday, November 26, that Iran is subjected to a UN resolution prohibiting it from exporting arms, and neighbors of Iran are obligated to enforce this measure.

“We are hopeful that the nations in the region take appropriate steps to halt any attempts to transport weapons to Gaza through their territory or airspace,” said Nuland to CNN.

No echoes of distress were heard from any European leaders on the Iran-Hamas weapons deal.

Furthermore, according to Israel Defense Force spokeswoman Lt. Col. Avital Leibovich, Iran “tried during the operation itself to push more and more rockets into the Gaza Strip. Iran is deeply involved with Hamas inside Gaza.”

Even more worrying is the education of future terrorists training to attack Israel from the Gaza Strip. Hamas enlists, educates, and trains as many terrorists as possible to fire rockets into Israel and fight the IDF, along with other Gaza terror groups; the Popular Resistance Committees (PRC) and Islamic Jihad. Only this past summer, the first class of a new military training academy in Gaza called Shahid Imad Hamad Academy of Military Training, established by the third largest Gaza terrorist organization, PRC, graduated, having received specialization training in fighting Armored Corps, according to an August Ynet article.

The academy trains students for combat and antitank missile weaponry as well as defense and military studies. According to senior PRC member Abu Suhaib, the school instills religious values, so that students “can confront the Zionist enemy with complete faith in the triumph of God.”

It is these sorts of developments that the international community continues to ignore, indulging instead in constant criticism of the Jewish state. If rocket terrorism against Israeli civilians would be addressed with the same urgency as Israeli settlement building, then perhaps there would be some kind of progress towards a viable, realistic peace. Blind finger-pointing at Israel by France, Britain and others, does not promote peace.

(Anav Silverman lived for two years in the city of Sderot, Israel where she experienced constant rocket attacks on the city while working as international media liaison and frontline reporter between 2007-2009.)

NY Times Jerusalem Bureau Chief Gets a Watchdog

Wednesday, November 28th, 2012

On the NY Times Public Editor’s blog, Margaret Sullivan talks about the leash they’ll be putting on Jodi Rudoren, the NY Times Jerusalem Bureau Chief.

After Rudoren’s not very well thought out foray into the world of social media, and the serious missteps that followed, the NY Times has decided to appoint an editor to handle Rudoren’s social media interactions, for the purpose of “not exposing The Times to a reporter’s unfiltered and unedited thoughts.”

The NY Times has some broad guidelines for their reporter’s use of social media.

Take care that nothing you say online will undercut your credibility as a journalist.

Newsroom staff members should avoid editorializing or promoting political views.

And we should be civil – even to critics – and avoid personal attacks and offensive remarks.

Some might say that Rudoren’s choice of twitter links, topics, and statements didn’t exactly meet the standards set by the first sentence in that guideline.

 

Of Course it was Planned!

Thursday, November 15th, 2012

“Of course it was planned,” Elie said half in frustration, half in surprise. “Idiot.”

The news anchor had just said that this operation – Operation Pillar of Defense – was planned months ago. “Every army makes plans. As soon as the last war ended, the army was making plans! We have plans for a war with Syria, with Egypt, with Iran, with Jordan. You think the United States doesn’t have plans for a war with its enemies.”

The “idiot” part of the comment shows he is still my Elie, still the one impatient with the stupidity of others. Elie is more of a deep thinker.

We were driving – Elie, his youngest brother and my next soldier (and yes, there goes my stomach at the thought and yes, my eyes fill with water and I blink it away,..lest you think I don’t take this seriously) and I were on our way in to work, to school, to the last day of the business week and the first full day of this war that began yesterday.

There were so many comments Elie made, so much talk of what it was like from his side. In truth, I’ve mostly heard the stories before and yet they comfort me because he is here not there. His voice is strong, not tired. He’s grown, he’s married, he’s safe.

Davidi was sitting in the back; the radio was broadcasting the news and Elie would listen and comment. And as the reporter spoke, we heard in the background the air raid siren. There was a brief pause in the reporter’s dialog and then he continued as the siren wailed. I looked in the rear view mirror and saw Davidi’s eyes.

Not a child’s eyes filled with fear but a young man, balanced on the edge, as Elie was not so long ago. I don’t want him to have that look, that understanding. He was waiting, as I was, to hear them tell us what had hit, where.

“Color Red, Color Red in Ashdod, Color Red, Color Red in Ashdod, Color Red” the voice calmly announced – Ashdod, Ashkelon… it was a woman’s voice – strong, calm. Insistent. Run, run to shelter. Get safe. Hurry….you only have seconds. Hurry, run! No, she didn’t say any of those things. All she said was “Color Red, Color Red in Ashdod, Color Red….” But all of Israel was saying those other words as we waited to hear the explosions. Hurry, please God, hurry. Be safe.

The siren in Beersheva – a 30 minute drive with traffic and I quickly lost count of how many rockets were fired at my country. At one point, the reporter was counting – “one, two, three, four, five, no six, seven, eight. Iron Dome has been fired eight times in Beersheva” and still the sirens cried.

The news anchor spoke to the reporter on location, “don’t they know all of Israel is hearing this?”

“Yes,” the reporter answered. “The last four times I’ve been on live broadcast, they’ve fired at Beersheva.”

They don’t understand us at all, I told my sons. Not at all. We listen to the sirens and the voice announcing an incoming missile attack. It does not weaken us, it infuriates us. It angers us beyond words. No – we are one people, one country, one body. You shoot at them; you shoot at me. No, this is just not something we can allow to continue.

There is that burst of anger that we express in words because we know it will never be done. I speak of making Gaza a parking lot – no, I am not genocidal; unlike those in Gaza who are firing at one million Israelis, I have no wish to see my enemy dead. Israel will never do to Gaza what so many other nations have done to that troubling pest that bothers them.

Look what the Syrians have done – they have murdered more than 38,000 of their own people in the last year – each time I hear the count – 70 dead today in Syria; 140 dead today in Syria; even 200 dead in Syria. Well, according to Palestinian sources, 11 are dead in Gaza and of those, without question, at least 7 are Hamas or other terror organization operatives. There is no massacre going on and I will not mourn the deaths of 7. I will mourn for the very few innocent casualties and I will wonder why some parent didn’t keep his child in safety, as we keep ours inside.

Whose Watchdogs Are They?

Wednesday, November 14th, 2012

It is morning and my car glides down the mountains of the Shomron into the smog of greater Tel Aviv. Another crazy day of running in the primaries is about to begin.

My cell phone rings. A young, determined voice is on the other end.

“Hello, this is so and so from the news website ynet. I am writing an article about donations to the candidates in the primaries. I wanted you to confirm a certain fact.”

“Go ahead,” I say.

“I see that you received a donation from a woman by the name of Nitzah Kahane,” the reporter says. “Is it true that Nitzah Kahane is the daughter-in-law of the late Rabbi Kahane?”

Maybe I hadn’t yet completely awakened. Perhaps I was suffering from lack of sleep and loads of pressure due to the campaign. But that question peeled a thick layer of political correctness right off my psyche.

“Oh,” I said to the young reporter. “You probably want to show your readers that women support Feiglin.”

“No,” the man dryly answered.

“No? Then perhaps you would like to show your readers that a woman donating to Moshe Feiglin’s campaign is also an academician whose scientific articles are published in the most prestigious journals in the world.”

“No,” the young voice said yet again.

“Oh,” I continued. “Perhaps your scoop is that a woman who is a famous academician, a mother of 10, a grandmother of 15, who manages to synthesize running a beautiful family and a glorious academic career and is involved in the community and Israeli society in an unprecedented manner supports Moshe Feiglin?”

“No,” the reporter stood his ground.

“And after you hear all of this, don’t you feel just a wee bit loathsome?” I asked with disdain.

“No.”

“Okay,” I finish the conversation, “I submit that Professor Nitzah Kahane is the daughter-in-law of Rabbi Meir Kahane, may God avenge his blood, who was murdered 22 years ago in the U.S.”

“Thank you,” said the young voice in a professional tone. “That is all I needed.”

Israeli Civil Rights Group Slams Modi’in on Anti-Haredi Policies

Wednesday, October 31st, 2012

The Israeli city of Modi’in was slammed from an unlikely direction – Israel’s civil right’s organization, the Association for Civil rights in Israel (ACRI).  Granted ACRI doesn’t have the most objective agenda, and their voice was blatantly absent when it came to the Disengagement in 2005. Nevertheless, they are to be praised for doing the right thing when it comes to Modi’in.

Here’s their press release:

Press Release
October 30, 2012

ACRI to Modi’in Municipality: Restricting Entrance to Public Parks is Illegal Municipality’s ‘overcrowding’ rationale suspected to be a pretext for denying entry to Orthodox Jews from Modi’in Illit

Today (October 30) the Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI) sent a letter to the Mayor of Modi’in, Haim Bibas, demanding that that he terminate the city’s policy of restricting entrance to the Anava River Public Park during parts of the year.

The municipality of Modi’in-Macabim-Reut enacted the policy – which prohibits nonresidents from entering the park during the summer months and on holidays – prior to the festival of Sukkot in October. Despite the official rationale for the policy – overcrowding in the park – the municipality’s actions raise a suspicion that its true purpose is to exclude Orthodox Jews from neighboring Modi’in Illit.

This is not the first time a local authority has tried to restrict entry to public parks. In 2000, the Israel Union for Environmental Defense filed a petition against the Ra’anana municipality after it began charging nonresidents an entrance fee at one if its city parks. Following the petition, the national law was amended and a clear ban on charging entrance fees to public parks was established. Further discussions in the Knesset emphasized that the purpose of the amendment was to regulate access to public parks for the enjoyment and benefit of the public at large.

Some months ago, ACRI wrote a letter to the municipality of Kiryat Ata, after learning that the city was charging nonresidents entrance fees at its public park. In that case, the suspected purpose of the policy was to prevent the entrance of Arabs from nearby communities.

The letter to Mayor Bibas, written by ACRI Chief Legal Counsel Dan Yakir, warns that the restriction is illegal; it violates the right to equality, and in practice constitutes prohibited discrimination against a religious group. Although the municipality procured a legal opinion from Professor Ariel Bendor that sanctions the policy, ACRI disagrees with the opinion’s conclusions.

Attorney Dan Yakir: “The fact that the park was built on municipal land does not mean that the municipality can do whatever it wants with it. Public space, such as this park, is designated for the public at large. It is unacceptable for local authorities to attempt to restrict the public’s ability to access parks under their control. “

And while we’re on the topic of Modi’in, a friend of mine started getting Halloween orders for food…from multiple residents of…Modi’in.  I guess caroling isn’t enough.

However, one must keep in mind that living in Modi’in is still far better according to the Talmud and the Rambam, than living in the holy cities of Brooklyn, Monsey or Lakewood.

Update: For those not familiar with the story in Modi’in, you can read about it over at AddeRabbi’s blog, a resident of Modi’in. (here and here)

Quote from AddeRabbi blog:

For those not following along at home, my fair hometown of Modiin has barred non-residents from visiting its spacious and beautiful Anabe Park during vacations and on Hol Ha-Mo’ed. This is a result of a pishing contest between Modiin’s Mayor Haim Bibas and Modi’in Ilit’s Mayor Yaakov Guterman, plus it plays into a strong anti-Haredi (and occasionally anti-religious) sentiment amongst a minority of Modiin residents (a political party, Modiin Hofshit, ran on an anti-religious platform and got only a few hundred votes for city council).

The new policy upsets me greatly, and I wanted to see how the policy was being implemented generally. As I got in line to enter the park, I could see that a few cars ahead of me the line was being held up by a Haredi family insisting on entering the park. Since the new regulations allow for Modiin residents to bring guests, I went and invited the family in as my guests. After a while, the guards let us in on that basis. Serendipitously, a reporter from Haaretz was there at the time. Her report is here (Hebrew) and here (English – paywall). The paragraphs relevant to my story are:

“As the argument continued, a Modi’in resident, Eli Fischer, decided to see whether everyone was really being barred from the park, or only those in ultra-Orthodox garb.

“‘He’s my guest, let him in,’ said Fischer, in an effort to help Tirnauer, at first without success. The guards checked Fischer’s identity card, and then started questioning Tirnauer and his family about their relationship. One of the ushers called a municipal security guard to help.”

“’He’s not really your guest, he’s here to make a provocation,’ the security guard told Fischer. But Fischer persisted after the getting approval of his superiors the security guard allowed Fischer and his new acquaintances into the park.

“’The park is empty, and I wanted to see what would happen, since according to the instructions that were publicized, [the park] is reserved for Modi’in residents and their guests,’ said Fischer. ‘I don’t know why they were questioning me.’

“The municipality said that the confrontation involving Tirnauer and Fischer was the first to occur since the instructions were issued, claiming it was a planned provocation by the media.

“’During all the days that entrance to the park was restricted, there wasn’t a single incident, except for one in which a visitor who isn’t a city resident came with a reporter to create a provocation and get a headline,’ the municipality said.

The Hebrew version also includes a Gemara that I cited for the benefit of the reporter, from Sukkah 27b: “All Israel are fit to dwell in a single sukkah.”

Visit the Muqata.

Haaretz ‘Apartheid’ Survey is False and Biased, Charges Israeli Media Watch Dog ‘Presspectiva’

Tuesday, October 30th, 2012

A recent survey conducted and presented by Haaretz newspaper claimed that the majority of Jews in Israel advocates the instating of an apartheid regime, and further claimed that most Israel is believe that currently there are areas in which apartheid measures are already exercised.

The survey relied on a sample of 503 respondents, and was published in the media all over the world, allegedly revealing a series of racist views and extreme nationalist opinions among the Jewish citizens of Israel. An in-depth analysis of the survey performed by the Israeli media watch dog ‘Presspectiva’ presents a different depiction of Israeli opinion. Presspectiva was able to obtain a full copy of the survey, enabling them to take a close and accurate look at the survey’s findings.

According to their analysis, the conclusions in this survey were misrepresented by the Haaretz article, details were omitted, and Gideon Levy’s coverage of the survey was not objective and contained information that was intentionally distorted.

Presspectiva’s study provides many examples of inconsistencies between the survey’s data and the information presented by Haaretz newspaper. The first example is the question in which respondents were asked for their opinion regarding the roads permissible for Israeli use only. Parenthetically, it should be noted that these roads exist as a result of security necessities. Respondents were asked whether they think the existence of such roads is good or bad, and is there a way to stop such instances. 24% of the respondents viewed this situation as positive, while 50% said it is bad, but there’s nothing to do about it, and 17% claimed that the phenomenon must be stopped. Despite these clear details, the reporter chose to publish that 74% of respondents support the existence of such authorized roads for Israelis only – in stark contrast to the respondents’ answers.

Furthermore, respondents were asked several questions about racism and a possible preference of the Jewish sector over the Arab one. In this sequence of questions most respondents gave answers which expressed their desire to integrate the Arab sector into general society, and their support of equal rights to all. For example, 49% of the respondents stated that they would not be bothered by an Arab student in their children’s class. In addition, 60% of respondents (compared to 33%) claimed that Israeli Arabs should be allowed to vote for the Knesset (the Israeli Parliament), in contrast to what Gideon Levy wrote in his article.

Throughout the article, it seems, the text highlights negative data, ignoring the details which depict a different picture.

On the subject of apartheid, which was used as the article’s title, there were also some distortions, according to Presspectiva’s research. In the question regarding apartheid, respondents were asked about a scenario in which Israel would annex Judea and Samaria, a situation which could lead to two and a half million Palestinians voting for the Knesset. 69% of respondents said they would oppose such a reality. However, Levy decided to conclude from their reply that the respondents support the existence of apartheid in Israel, a very broad interpretation of this data.

It should be noted that in the article itself, the reporter points out that it seems that the respondents did not fully understand the term ‘apartheid’, however, it did not prevent the reporter from remarking on the respondents’ opinion on the subject, despite their lack of understanding. According to Presspectiva, it seems that the answers given by the respondents were based on the understanding of the term ‘apartheid’ as synonymous with ‘discrimination’. Another element that contributed to the confusion was the surveyors’ question whether there is “some” apartheid in Israel, or is the phenomenon prevalent. Apartheid policy is a political phenomenon and cannot be quantified.

Presspectiva published its reaction to the Haaretz article because its suspicion of the facts presented in the Haaretz article, allegedly showing extreme racism among the Israeli Jewish population. In-Depth examination of the facts presented by the survey shows that the reality is different. The results do not reflect a racially motivated society in Israel that supports apartheid, as it was presented in Haaretz newspaper.

After being attacked by several sources, Haaretz published a clarification stating that their headline and article were misleading. Gideon Levy published an apology as well. However, the article has already been published by the British Guardian, the British Independent, the Canadian Globe and Mail and tens of other sites, causing extensive damage to the image of Israel and its citizens.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/israel/haaretz-apartheid-survey-is-false-and-biased-charges-israeli-media-watch-dog-presspectiva/2012/10/30/

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