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August 4, 2015 / 19 Av, 5775
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Posts Tagged ‘San Francisco’

California Earthquake Wreaks Havoc at Chabad House

Monday, August 25th, 2014

The 6.1 earthquake that jolted northern California in the middle of the night Sunday upended furniture and scattered broken glass at the Napa Valley Chabad Jewish Center.

“It was very violent—not a gentle rolling quake, but more of a jolting traumatic experience that shocked us out of sleep at 3:20 a.m. and lasted for about half a minute, Rabbi Elchonon Tenenbaum told the Chabad website.

The rabbi, his wife and five children were not injured.

Tenenbaum said he waited outside with his neighbors until daybreak before going back into his home and Chabad center, where power had been lost, to survey the damage. Upended furniture and broken glass prevented him from accessing some rooms, including his office. A disaster recovery fund was quickly established for those wanting to help out.

“I went to check up on people in the area and found that they were in a similar situation,” he added. “Their houses are standing, but everything inside has been ruined. Thank God, this happened in the middle of the night when we were in our beds and not in other parts of our homes, where heavy bookcases fell over.”

The Chabad website reported, “Tenenbaum says that waking up in the middle of the night with his children screaming amid violent banging and shaking helped him picture what life must be like on a regular basis for people living in Israel, where Hamas has been firing rockets from Gaza for much of the summer.”

“It is really surreal,” he said. “There are some stores that are functioning as usual, and others have been completely destroyed for now. Some streets are buckled, and others are just fine. Some people have broken water mains or leaking gas pipes, and others do not.”

Many residents in the area, famous for its wineries, are crying over wine spilled from barrels that were broken from the earthquake.

The largest quake to hit the San Francisco area in 25 years, it caused several injuries, including three who are in critical condition, set off fires and knocked out power.

Napa’s downtown historical areas sustained irreparable damage.

ZIM Piraeus Successfully Unloads, Moves On to Next Port of Call #BlockTheBoat = #EpicFail

Wednesday, August 20th, 2014

Despite their best efforts, BDS anarchists didn’t succeed in blocking the ZIM cargo ship from unloading, as the Piraeus successfully unloaded its cargo overnight, a few hours after docking, and moved on to its next port of call.

The ship cast off at 8:45am California time.

Unfortunately for Oakland’s port, their reputation has been seriously harmed, and they are looking unreliable to the cargo companies.

The Jihadi supporting protesters are claiming financial losses to ZIM by the delay they caused, but most likely the ZIM ship is properly insured, in which case ZIM will suffer no losses at all.

In 2011, Occupy Oakland managed to close the entire Oakland port for a few hours, causing 4 million dollars in losses.

Unless Oakland port find a solution to their protester problem, there is a good chance that ZIM will find safer ports to do business with, and other concerned cargo firms will follow.

That certainly won’t be good for Oakland’s economy or investment in the port, but that may also be one of the protesters’ goals.

h/t @buberzionist

Breaking News: #BlocktheBoat #EpicFail as ZIM Unloads

Wednesday, August 20th, 2014

Members of the ILWU dock workers’ union in Oakland, California on Wednesday afternoon unloaded the ZIM ship that anti-Israel picketers blocked last week.

Angry protesters were helpless to stop the work; the ship had left port earlier this week and sailed towards the direction of Los Angeles but then made a U-turn and returned to the same harbor.

Longshoremen were pulled off task from other ships in the middle of the night to unload the ZIM vessel.

Police kept the anti-Israel protesters at bay. Twitter posts tweeted, “Lots of shoving, surprised no arrests yet…ILWU longshoremen are already past your ‘picket line’ and unloading ZIM now you dufus…Haha the anti-Zionist trolls are coming out but it’s too late. Ship’s unloading. Port of Oakland really put one over on them.”

On the #BlockTheBoat Twitter thread, one poster wrote,” Cops blocking public sidewalk, shoving us violently. No way for protesters to leave from where we came. Won’t explain legal basis for blocking public sidewalk…One cop shoved me into back of a second cop, but a third cop was nice enough to shove me in a whole new direction…

“Very tense. We had a great working relationship w/ cops until they impeded our ability to picket. Now we are ‘pissed.’”

Pro-Gaza protesters led by Palestinian Arab groups had successfully blockaded the Piraeus, a ZIM Integrated Shipping Services vessel, at the Oakland port in a protest against Israel’s counter terror operation in Gaza.

Several hundred Oakland protesters gathered again in a picket line Sunday after the ZIM vessel docked, approximately 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.

The container ship left the Port of Oakland Tuesday afternoon before returning to a different part of the harbor.

“The ZIM Integrated Shipping Lines vessel Piraeus left the port and got underway headed for Los Angeles, according to a real time marine traffic tracking web site,” Inside BayArea.com reported.

It added that after sailing nearly 20 miles, it turned back towards the port in Oakland and then sailed again past the eastern shore of San Francisco before returning to port.

Picketers had successfully stopped the longshoremen’s union members from unloading the boat and showed Israeli social activist and ‘Yesh Atid’ party chairman Yair Lapid at dawn on Tuesday how to set up a picket line.

“We will not work under armed police escort –not with our experience with the police in this community,” said ILWU Local 10 President Melvin MacKay in a statement. McKay was referring to a 2003 anti-war demonstration in which Oakland police fired rubber bullets at demonstrators and injured several longshoremen.

Mohamed Shehk, a spokesman for the Block the Boat movement, had expressed confidence that the picket would force ZIM to conclude the company could forget about unloading ships in Oakland or anywhere else on the West Coast.

He was wrong.

 

Swastika, ‘Heil Hitler’, Scrawled Outside SF Shuls

Tuesday, June 10th, 2014

A swastika and other anti-Semitic graffiti were scrawled outside two synagogues in San Francisco, the northern California JWeekly website reported. The website said that police are investigating the incidentas a hate crime.

The website said that on the morning of May 30, traffic sign outside Congregation Beth Israel Judea and Or Shalom Jewish Community was found tagged with “Heil Hiter” (sic) and the phrase “death to the Jews” written in French.

The synagogues are also located next door to the Brandeis Hillel Day School. which is located next door. Corey Weinstein, Or Shalom’s board president, told JWeekly that no student or parent saw the graffiti, and that it was removed before the start of Shabbat.

San Francisco Jews to Ramp Down Yom HaAtzma’ut Celebration

Monday, May 5th, 2014

The Jewish community in northern California has decided to ramp down its annual “celebrate Israel” festivities with a 90-minute downtown ceremony, on Yom HaAtzma’ut.

The gathering will be a sharp step down from previous years, when Jews from around the Bay Area met in the scenic Yerba Buena Gardens on the first Sunday in June for a daylong event to mark Israel’s independence. That event has traditionally attracted up to 15,000 of revellers from the Bay Area and around northern California.

Jewish Federation spokespeople announced on March 7 that the community would be taking a “shmita year” — to rethink and re-imagine this significant community event, but stressed that the event would be a landmark celebration of Israel in the heart of San Francisco.

“This event represents the coming together of local Jews, expatriate Israelis, and many others who feel passionate about Israel… (it will)mark a happy occasion for Israel and our Bay Area Jewish community,”  said Donny Inbar, Associate Director for Arts and Culture at the Israel Center, a project of the Jewish Community Federation of San Francisco, Peninsula, Marin & Sonoma.

Speaking to the Northern California Jewish Bulletin, Inbar said the event would be a non-political way to say “we love you, Israel.”

Inbar did not say whether the decision to minimize the Yom HaAtzma’ut celebration was a response to pressure from anti-Israel groups operating in the area.

But it is significant to note that northern California is one of the most liberal areas in the United States, and a hotbed of anti-Israel activity: Palestinian activists routinely picket the Israeli consulate in the city, often outnumbering pro-Israel counter-protesters by more than ten to one. In past years, participants in pro-Israel events have been heckled, and posters condemning Israeli “apartheid” are commonplace around the city.

In addition, for years Jewish students at universities in San Francisco, Berkeley and around northern California have reported that they routinely feel threatened by Palestinian protesters on and off campus. One Jewish student at the University of California, Berkeley, was attacked by a Palestinian with a shopping cart after expressing pro-Israel views. Across San Francisco Bay, at California State University, San Francisco, campus security forces had to rescue Jewish students from Palestinian wearing shirts that said “My heroes have always killed colonizers.” There are more examples.

In class, too, Jewish students have reported that history and political science professors routinely make clear that pro-Israel views are not to be considered a legitimate part of their classroom debate.

Anti-Circumcision Group to Picket ACLU’s Marriage Equality Rally

Monday, July 15th, 2013

San Francisco anti-circumcision activists are planning to picket a campaign for marriage equality by the American Civil Liberties Union of Northern California (ACLU )in Oakland Wednesday evening because the civil liberties group opposes circumcision bans.

The reasoning is based not only on mixing apples and oranges but also making them equal, just like boys and girls are born equal – from top to bottom.

Here is a civil liberties group campaigning for equality in marriage but is being picketed because it does not support the argument that there should be gender equality in the law that protects girls from circumcision.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Northern California has organized a screening of “The Campaign,” and members of Bay Area Intactivists said they will protest outside the event venue” to condemn the ACLU’s work denying boys equal protection from genital mutilation.”

The ACLU’s sin, in the eyes of anti-circumcision activists, is that it argued that the San Francisco Male Genital Mutilation Bill a ballot initiative two years ago to restrict non-therapeutic circumcision to consenting adults  violated the right of parents to have their sons circumcisions, according to Jewish law.

The ballot proposal never even reached the voting booths because  a San Francisco judge ruled that state law preempts the city from regulating medical professionals.

San Francisco Superior Court Judge Loretta Giorgi removed the measure from the ballot in her order, stating, “The [California state] statute speaks directly to the issue of local regulation of medical procedures and leaves no room for localities to regulate in this area.”

But if you already are going to change the facts of life and disregard certain bodily differences between girls and boys, then why stick to other facts?

IntactNews, which reports on the “genital integrity movement,” reported that the removal of the proposal from the ballot was “squelching democracy by denying voters their voice.”

In other words, democracy is when you win and it is anti-democratic when you lose.

Once that reasoning can be understood, everything becomes clear.

Federal law protects girls from genital mutilation. IntactNews points out that the law does not stipulate any “religious or cultural exceptions.” If there are any readers who know of a religion that considers circumcision of girls a mitzvah, please raise your hand.

Following the court ruling striking the anti-circumcision proposal from the ballot, California passed a law making it illegal for local authorities to ban or restrict circumcisions. The ACLU backed the law, making it persona non grata for the activists.

By the way if you want to demonstrate against the ACLU next week, be warned that, according to Intact, “a limited number of signs will be available [but] you are also welcome to bring your own sign.”

Savaged for Daring to Name Savagery: Pamela Geller Attacked by Critics of Free Speech

Monday, September 24th, 2012

Pamela Geller, conservative commentator and blogger provocateur, is the executive director of the American Freeedom Defense Initiative.  AFDI created and paid for an ad campaign to run in several urban transit systems, in response to anti-Israel ads that ran in the same spaces.

The AFDI ads contain a paraphrase from the philosopher Ayn Rand: “In any war between the civilized man and the savage, support the civilized man.”  It concludes with: “Support Israel.  Defeat Jihad.”

The ads are already running on the sides of San Francisco buses, they began running today, September 24th, in New York City, and they were scheduled to begin appearing in the Washington, D.C. metro system.  However, the DC system balked, citing the violent rioting by Muslims allegedly inflamed by a YouTube video which presents an unflattering view of Mohammad, so Geller initiated an emergency court action at the end of last week to enforce her First Amendment rights.

Because there is so much misinformation both about Geller and her ad, The Jewish Press asked her to explain what her ad means, why it is scheduled to run this week, what the responses to it have been and, most importantly, why she continues to express her views so publicly, when she is repeatedly condemned by virtually the entire spectrum of mainstream media and even by other Jewish and pro-Israel groups.

First, let’s get the chronology and the geography straight.

2010, Seattle

In late 2010, in Seattle, Washington, anti-Israel groups sought to run advertisements on the side of municipal buses reading: “Israeli War Crimes: Your tax dollars at work. Stop30billion-Seattle.org.”  Just before the anti-Israel ads were about to go up, the county executive crafted a new policy banning all non-commercial advertisements.  The new policy enabled the municipality to reject not only the anti-Israel ad, but also two counter-ads that had been submitted, one of which was one proposed by Geller, the other one offered by the David Horowitz Freedom Center.

September, 2011, New York

Last September, another series of anti-Israel ads went up in various transit systems including the one in New York City.  This ad shows two smiling dads – one Israeli, one “Palestinian,” with their young daughters.  The ad copy: “Be on our side.  We’re on the side of peace and Justice.  End U.S. military aid to Israel.” In other words, American tax dollars is being used to support Israeli militancy and injustice.  These ads ran in 18 NYC subway stops for a month, in Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens and the Bronx.

That same month, Geller’s organization, AFDI, submitted the anti-Jihad ad.  The MTA refused to run it, claiming the ad violated its advertising standards because it “demeans[s] an individual or group of individuals.”  AFDI claimed that rejection violated the U.S. Constitution. On September 227, 2011, AFDI, Pamela Geller, and AFDI’s  associate director, Robert Spencer, filed suit against the MTA claiming that the transit agency’s no-demeaning standard constitutes “viewpoint discrimination” and is unconstitutional and therefore the MTA’s rejection of AFDI’s ad unlawfully restricted their free speech.

September 2012, New York

On July 20, 2012, Judge Englemayer, the federal district court judge in New York before whom the matter was heard, ruled that the MTA’s  prohibition on “demeaning” language is unconstitutional and the ad must run.  Significantly, the court ruled that

the AFDI Ad is not only protected speech—it is core political speech. The Ad expresses AFDI’s pro-Israel perspective on the Israeli/Palestinian conflict in the Middle East, and implicitly calls for a pro-Israel U.S. foreign policy with regard to that conflict. The AFDI Ad is, further, a form of response to political ads on the same subject that have appeared in the same space.   As such, the AFDI Ad is afforded the highest level of protection under the First Amendment.

While AFDI was the victor in the case, Judge Engelmayer threw more than a few crumbs to the ad’s opponents.

For example, there was a fundamental disagreement over the use of the term “savage” – Geller claims it refers only to those committing acts of barbarism against innocent victims in the name of Islam.  Judge Englemayer, however, held that a reasonable person could conclude the term referred simply to Muslims.

What’s more, the judge practically wrote a recipe for the MTA to follow for rewriting its advertising policy so that a ban on an ad like AFDI’s could, in the future be upheld by a court.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/savaged-for-daring-to-name-savagery-pamela-gellers-point-made-by-critics-of-free-speech/2012/09/24/

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