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September 17, 2014 / 22 Elul, 5774
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘The New York Times’

Beheaded Journalist Hid His Judaism from ISIS Captors

Wednesday, September 3rd, 2014

Journalist Steven Sotloff, beheaded by the ISIS, secretly practiced his Judaism but hid it from his captors, according to a fellow kidnap victim who was among those freed.

The ISIS posted a video Tuesday showing the execution of Sotloff, less than two weeks after it distributed a similar video of the beheading of journalist James Foley. There is speculation that the video actually were filmed the same day.

Sotloff is the second Jewish journalist was has been kidanpped and murdered by beheading by Islamic radicals. Daniel Pearl, who wrote for The Wall Street Journal, was kidnapped by Pakistani terrorists and later murdered in 2002 by Al-Qaeda member Khalid Sheikh Mohammed in Pakistan.

Sotloff disappeared a year ago, after crossing the Syrian border from Turkey, and all hints of his being Jewish immediately were removed from the Internet so that his Jewish identity would not be certain death sentence at the hands of his fanatic Muslim kidnap-murderers.

Sotloff’s Facebook page suddenly disappeared, and American officials told the family that ISIS “probably didn’t know or wasn’t sure that Sotloff was Jewish and knowing that he was Jewish would be like another Daniel Pearl situation, so let’s not give them that information,” a friend from home was reported as saying by the LA Jewish Journal.

However, The New York Times announced after his capture that Sotloff was “the grandson on Holocaust survivors.”

A kidnap victim who was with Sotloff and later released said that he saw the Jewish journalist fasting on Yom Kippur last year.

Sotloff “told them he was sick and did not want to eat, even though they had served him eggs that day,” the eyewitness said. “He appeared as if he was praying secretly and in the direction of Jerusalem. He looked towards where Muslims pray and changed his direction a little bit.”

Before it was known that the ISIS murdered Sotloff, his mother Shirley posted a video message to ISIS, as seen below, leading for the terrorists to spare his life.

“As a mother… I ask you to use your authority to spare his life and to follow the example set by the Prophet Mohammad who protected People of the Book…,” she said.

Sotloff grew up in Miami and as a small child was enrolled in a local synagogue day school.

In the ISIS video, a man with a British accent, apparently the same murderer who beheaded Foley, is seen holding a butcher knife in his left hand as Sotloff stated, “I’m back, Obama, and I’m back because of your arrogant foreign policy towards the Islamic State.

“I’m sure you know exactly who I am by now and why I am appearing, Obama. Your foreign policy of intervention in Iraq was supposed to be for preservation of American lives and interests, so why is it that I am paying the price of your interference with my life?”

After hearing the news of his death Sotloff’s mother said. “He is an honorable man and has always tried to help the weak,” she said, adding that he was sympathetic to the suffering of Muslims.

A family spokesman said that that they now are “mourning privately.”

Apologists for Hamas Hitch a Ride on Terror

Thursday, June 19th, 2014

Foreign media have outdone themselves proving their ignorance of Israel by several media establishment articles focusing on the dangers of hitchhiking and burying the thought that there might be something wrong with terrorists kidnapping three Israeli youth trying to thumb a ride home.

The Christian Science Monitor, the BBC and The New York Times and are only three examples of the mindset that has imprisoned “journalists” for decades when it comes to reporting on Israel. It is not open anti-Semitism and it not anti-Zionism, both of which simply are ingrained in the Western mentality that Jews are to blame for anything that goes wrong.

There is lot of truth to that, but that is for God and not journalists to decide. If the Associated Press had been around at the time of the destruction of the Second Temple, it would have reported that the Romans overpowered the Jews. It would not have told its readers that the Jews lost Jerusalem because of “loshon hara,” the practice of speaking evil about others and which Talmudic rabbis noted was the root cause of Israel’s downfall.

Today’s journalists are instant rabbis and know what makes God  allows terrorists to masquerade as Jews and snatch three yeshiva students, as if they were lifeless bumps on the road that terrorists ride to hell.

Only two days after Naftali, Eyal and Gilad were abducted, the Monitor headlined, “Why were kidnapped Israeli teens hitchhiking in the West Bank?”

The journalists writing the article ever thought to ask the question, ”Why were Arabs, wanting a peaceful Palestinian Authority state kidnapping Jewish boys?”

The New York Times’ Isabel Kershner, a known leftist whose lack of objectivity is defined by her refraining from personal visits to Jews in the “occupied territories,” wrote an article headlined, “Abduction of Young Israeli Hitchhikers Spurs Debate on Conduct.”

One would think that the debate on conduct would be over whether it is proper for “militants” trying to pressure Israel to release terrorists, excuse me, “prisoners.” Of course, her concern really was the conduct of Jews, who have the chutzpah not only to live or learn in Judea and Samaria but also to hitchhike there.

And the BBC chimed in with, “Israel: Hitchhiking continues despite kidnap dangers.”

No one should be surprised at this New Age of being “fair,” a world in which there is no wrong but simply two sides of right, with terrorist and hitchhikers weighed together on the same scale. Terrorists are militants, if not freedom fighters, and Jews are settlers, if not illegitimate.

The Monitor article, by staff writer Christa Case Bryant, was preceded by this blurb: “Despite living in a conflict zone, many Israeli settlers hitchhike in the West Bank, often waiting for rides on roads frequented by Palestinian drivers.”

She led off the second paragraph by writing, “No one is questioning why they were hitchhiking late at night on a highway frequented by many Palestinians.” She explained that people try to hitch rides because of lack of patience but, more than that, by “a pioneer ethos fueled by faith and an unswerving belief in their right to this land. Most Israeli settlers are unwilling to be held hostage by fear of their Palestinian neighbors or by the United Nations, which has deemed their presence here illegal under international law.”

There are few settlers who hitch in order to show off or mock Arabs. My wife, I and our five children hitch in the southern Hebron Hills because we have to get from one place to next in an area where there are four or five buses from  6 a.m. to 11 p.m., and we represent the silent and not so silent majority.

Any journalist can find some young man or woman to say how he or she hitches because “this is our land and the Arabs can go to Jordan” but that is just a big mouth with nothing to say.

Settlers prove they can live where they want in Israel and that Arabs can go to Jordan by putting their legs where their mouths are. That is the ideology behind “hilltop outposts,” which, by the way, include an unusually large proportion of kids with super ADD and ADHD who probably would be in jail for drugs if they didn’t find an outlet such as playing the role of the forefather Abraham.

The Western media’s misunderstanding of hitchhiking also reflects their own paranoia in their own countries. When I took off one summer in the very early 1960s to hitchhike across the country from Baltimore, it was safe, except for the temptations of sin from which God had enough mercy on me to stand in the way.

Perhaps that explains an article in The New York Times Thursday by film director and author John Waters, who, according to the newspaper, “hitchhiked across the United States and lived to tell the tale.” The good ol’ United States really ain’t what it used to be..

Waters told the interviewer. “Picking up a hitchhiker is as much an adventure as it is to hitchhike. It’s a risk on both sides. And they’re good people, I think. Basically trusting. And they’ve been through something. Everyone had survived something, and they wanted to talk about it.”

That is not Israel. This is a small country with a big family that helps each other, even when fighting each other, and which knows its enemies, except for inexperienced teenagers who can’t see through the disguises that their terrorist kidnappers used to snare them off the road last Thursday.

Given the cock-eyed view from the West, it is understandable that Kershner wrote in the second paragraph in her article for the Times, “The abductions also have stirred more hushed debate over the conduct of Jewish settlers in the West Bank — particularly what many consider the cavalier practice of hitchhiking — and the price that Israel has paid to redeem its captives.”

A journalist can always find enough people to give a quote or two to state a prejudiced view, but what you expect when Kershner interviews people in the fancy Azrielli Mall in Tel Aviv and not at the Be’er Sheva bus station?

Everyone, of course, expressed their sympathy for the victims, but one woman added she was “’a little angry about the lack of responsibility” of Israeli youths hitchhiking at night in the West Bank. Another shopper browsing at a bookstore added that the West Bank was ‘prone to trouble.’”

That is about the same one-sided reaction the writer could have gotten, only to the other extreme, if she had interviewed people in the community of Beit El or Yitzhar, in Samaria.

The BBC contributed to the world’s ignorance of Israel by reporting that “travelers are likely to ignore a directive from Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu that ‘bans’ hitchhiking in the wake of the disappearance of three teenagers, it seems.”

It turns out the report is a bald-faced lie because in the very next sentence, the BBC quotes an Israeli newspaper as stating, that the Prime Minister “’directed’ all settlers and travelers in Judea and Samaria [West Bank] not to take rides offered by strangers.”

It is acceptable that the BBC does not understand Hebrew, but does it have a problem with English, also?

The office of Prime Minister Netanyahu said people should not take rides from ”strangers,” and that’s miles of a difference from a directive that “’bans’ hitchhiking altogether.

Buried in this entire discussion is the prejudice of the newspapers that the virtues and sins of hitchhiking are far more of a burning issue than the virtues and sins of your average terrorist kidnapping three yeshiva students.

The reportage is code. When the media establishment jumps on kidnap victims as being reckless because they hitch a ride where they know Arab terrorists may be roaming, it really means that the Jews are to blame because they live, oy, in Judea and Samaria.

That kind of reminds me of 20 some years ago when I was visiting my late parents in Baltimore and gave a talk at some local Jewish meeting on the real meaning of “peace,” the Oslo Accords and the Arabs’ displeasure with my living “beyond the Green Line.”

After what I immodestly considered an eloquent talk about the word “Shalom,” which is a synonym for God, which cannot even be uttered in the bathroom and which does not mean “make a deal,” and after explaining that the Arabs often throw rocks at us and try to shoot us, one gentleman stood up and asked, “Well, if the Arabs don’t want you there, why don’t you just move to Tel Aviv?”

Moving forward in time to September 2013, Sgt. Tomer Hazan was working with a Palestinian Authority Arab in metropolitan Tel Aviv. The Arab convinced his friend, an off-duty soldier to join him after work. They traveled to Samaria, where the Arab murdered his co-worker.

It is difficult to understand.

If the Arabs don’t want Jews living in Tel Aviv, why don’t the Jews just leave and hitch a ride back to Baltimore?

Thomas Friedman in Israel: Only Livni and Kerry Are Believers

Monday, January 27th, 2014

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Israeli negotiator and Justice Minister Tzipi Livni are the only two people who still believe in negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority, New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman said in Tel Aviv Monday night.

“The Israelis are the Palestinians are ambivalent towards their future and towards the chances for peace,” he told a conference with the highfalutin title of “Cross Border Environmental Issues and Water Resources in the Context of the Peace Process.”

On Thursday, Freidman will speak with journalists on the topic “There Goes the Neighborhood.” Seriously, that is what the blurb say, followed by, “How the Arab Awakening, Climate Change and Technology are changing the World around Israel.”

NY Times Concedes Error on Palestinian Authority Arab Photo

Wednesday, November 20th, 2013

The public editor of The New York Times said she received hundreds of complaints last week after the newspaper used a large and sympathetic photograph of a distraught Palestinian Authority mother to illustrate a story about her son’s stabbing to death of a sleeping Israeli soldier sitting next to him on a public bus.

The JTA  spoke on Monday afternoon to two senior editors at The Times, which prints all the news that fits its agenda. Both editors agreed that the photo was a regrettable choice because the dominant image with an article should reflect the overall point of the article and the reason for its newsworthiness.

“This did not represent the essence of the story, which was clearly the moment of the Israeli soldier being stabbed,” said Michele McNally, the assistant managing editor in charge of photography.

 

 

 

 

Netanyahu to Tell Half the Truth and Gamble on the Consequences

Sunday, September 29th, 2013

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu arrived in the United States Sunday morning on his way to diplomatic charades with President Barack Obama on a stage where each player suffers consequences for telling the truth.

The Prime Minister also is up against a media that, according to Pulitzer Prize winner Seymour Hersh, is full of lies almost across-the-board and especially when it comes to reporting on President Obama.

The president set the agenda in his speech to the United Nations last week, when he said that the Iranian nuclear threat and the Israeli-Palestinian Authority dispute are the two biggest issues threatening world peace.

When he puts a nuclear bomb in the hands of the Ayatollahs on the same scale as Israel’s effort to remain a state in the face of Palestinian Authority demands, and gets away with it thanks to a cooperative media, there is a limit as to what “truths” Netanyahu can tell. If Obama had told the truth and said that the PA is a pimple and that Iran is a cancer, the world might be better place, but he might lose his Nobel Peace Prize.

As Prime Minister Netanyahu boarded his plane late Saturday night, he said, “One must talk facts and one must tell the truth. Telling the truth today is vital for the security and peace of the world and, of course, it is vital for the security of the State of Israel.”

That is a tall order.

Newly-elected Iranian president Hassan Rouhani played out his script excellently in the United Nations, praising the United States as a “great nation” and calling for negotiations over its nuclear program.

Most media lapped up the speech and went ga-ga over the fact that the President of the United States of America spoke directly with an Iranian president on the telephone for 15 minutes for the first time in years.

That is the truth.

It also is just about equally meaningless, but as Hersh said in a weekend interview with the London Guardian, The New York Times spends “so much more time carrying water for Obama than I ever thought they would.”

Concerning the media in general, Hersh said, “It’s pathetic, they are more than obsequious, they are afraid to pick on this guy [Obama].

“They [media]… work out how to re-elect the president.

“Do you think Obama’s been judged by any rational standards? Has Guantanamo closed? Is a war over? Is anyone paying any attention to Iraq? Is he seriously talking about going into Syria? We are not doing so well in the 80 wars we are in right now, what the hell does he want to go into another one for. What’s going on [with journalists]?”

When it comes to covering Israel, Hirsh’s comments are an understatement. Whatever truths Netanyahu will say will be met with the comebacks already stored in the “Screw Israel” folder.

The Guardian “revealed” Sunday that Prime Minister Netanyahu will hand over to President Obama new evidence that Iran is on its way to the Big Bomb.

Been there, done that. Israel has been disclosing evidence for years, and it only encourages the chorus to sing “engagement at any cost.”

Given the White House’s fiasco after President Obama said he would attack the Assad regime because of its  use chemical weapons, the Prime Minister knows darned well that Obama will guarantee that Israel that it has nothing to worry about. The United States is behind Israel. All the way – until push comes to shove.

Thoroughly condemned, and correctly so, by the media for making the United States look like a pussycat against Assad and Russia, President Obama stumbled on “engagement” with Iran as the perfect antidote for his lost prestige, and the heck with Israel. He will cross that bridge when he comes to it – or he won’t.

On the Iranian issue, Netanyahu will tell the truth. It will be printed in the newspapers the following day and will quickly be used to wrap the fish.

Netanyahu will be challenged, correctly, with the accusations that Israel has nuclear weapons, which of course exist, and he will have to put on some zany stunt as payment for keeping it an open secret.

Prime Minister Netanyahu will not dare tell the truth about the Palestinian Authority, which announced on Saturday it has put Haiti and Grenada in its pocket, stuffed with more than 130 countries that it says now recognize it is a country.

Go East

Tuesday, September 24th, 2013

The anniversary of the Yom Kipur War always reminds one of Israeli fallibility, arrogance, and overconfidence, yet at the same time of its capacity to defy the odds and come back from the brink. It was another example of our bringing disaster upon ourselves and then fighting back to survive. After all, that is what the name “Israel” means in the Bible: “to struggle with man and God and survive”.

If I were to listen to the voices, Jewish and non-Jewish, that I hear in such examples as The New York Times, in The New York Review of Books, the intellectual and leftwing talking heads of Europe and the USA, or indeed popular left wing opinion, I would have a depressing sense of impending catastrophe. This week Peter Beinart, in The New York Review of Books, tells us that we Jews neither know, nor understand, nor feel the suffering of the Palestinians, whether under Hamas or the PLO. Ian S. Lustick goes on at length in a one-sided peroration typical of The New York Times that the lays the blame on Israel for making the Two State Solution irrelevant. They are not entirely wrong. But I tell you I am bloody fed up with people lumping all Israelis, all Jews together in their simplistic apportioning of blame, seeing things in black and white rather than in greys. Palestinians are good victims. Israelis are bad oppressors. In fact, both are both. That’s what humans are, a mixture of good and bad.

Some Israelis, some Jews are indeed intolerable racists. It is as true as is the fact that in South Africa under Apartheid there were Jews who acquiesced, who remained silent and failed their moral duty. But it is equally true that many Jews fought long and hard and at great cost to themselves, to oppose Apartheid and to promote freedom for the black population. That the ANC finally triumphed has not replaced immorality with morality, discrimination with equality. Sadly, too often those who suffer respond not by continuing the drive towards greater freedom but by grabbing all they can for themselves. This is the usual consequence of most struggles for freedom. Similarly, in Zimbabwe the relatively benign but overtly racial regime of Ian Smith was replaced by the much more evil and murderous regime of black Mugabe. Good fighters for freedom turn into very bad governors of countries. But that is the price of the struggle. And politics is dirty and messy everywhere.

The role of government is to protect its citizens and the vision of its founders. Israel was created as a state with a Jewish heritage, just as much as Muslim states were established to preserve and propagate Muslim heritage. Most of us would like to see both as tolerant and democratic societies. Israel is imperfect indeed, but it is our homeland. If we care for it we should fight to protect it and to improve it, not to undermine it. We should focus just as much on those who are working hard on reconciliation, on doing good, not just on the bad, on Syrians treated in Israeli hospitals, on Israel providing for Gaza what Egypt is not. But don’t expect this from the anti-Israel amen chorus.

So how are we expected to relate to a dysfunctional Middle East that is constantly stirred up against us by a distorted Western mentality? Surely not by capitulating to its mental diseases. I suggest we try to ignore its pathologies as best we can. But I must stress, I do not advocate cutting ourselves off from the Muslim world. The Middle East is not the only Muslim location. I do not think the divide between Judaism and Islam is either inevitable or healthy. We have far more in common with each other than we do with Western religions. To both of us, religion is not a series of theological propositions but a way of life. However if we want to heal the breach we must look further east.

It always surprises Jews to learn that the Muslims of the Far East, from India to Indonesia, from Cambodia to China, see the Arab jihadis of the Middle East in much the same way that non-Orthodox Jews view Charedim. They regard the Salafists and the Wahhabis as over the top extremists. It’s true in both cases that guilt often leads them to support the pious at arm’s length. The Far East also has its extreme and violent Islamic movements and terrorists, but the general mood of Islam is far more benign the further you get from the Middle East. It is more tolerant, less anti-West, and less fixated on blaming everyone else, especially the Jews, for their own ills. Yes, you can quote me that nasty former Malayan premier Mahathir bin Mohamad, who blamed the Jews for everything. But, thank goodness, he was not typical. I believe Israel should reduce its links with Europe with is ghastly legacy and history. It should be cultivating relations and economic involvements with India, China, Korea, and other emerging powers out in the Far East.

Daniel Goldhagen, the controversial and outspoken American historian who wrote Hitler’s Willing Executioners: Ordinary Germans and the Holocaust, has stirred things up with his latest book about Western anti-Semitism, The Devil That Never Dies: The Rise and Threat of Global Antisemitism. Anthony Julius wrote a dismissive review in the Wall Street Journal accusing Goldhagen of sloppy research and unreliable statistics, even if he agrees with the core of his thesis. But even if Goldhagen exaggerates when he says 200 million Europeans compare Israelis to Nazis, let us reduce it by half. The fact is that huge swathes of opinion in Europe and the USA are venomously opposed to Israel’s existence on principle. So who is Israel to rely on? We knew Europe would never go to war to defend the Jews. Now we have seen all too clearly that the USA cannot be relied upon to fight. It is war weary. Israel must defend it itself as best it can, both socially and militarily. It is time to look for friends elsewhere.

In addition, I believe Judaism has more in common with and is more appreciated by the religion and mysticism of the East than of the West. The West is fixated on pain, suffering, guilt, and negativity. The East has much more positive religious energy. We have been identified with the Western religious tradition for too long. We have adopted too much of this guilt and pain. We could well redress the balance. It is time to think about a new alliance, a new love affair, with the Far East for Israel and Jews in general. I only hope our present leaders, secular and religious, will not be as myopic as those of the past.

Anthony Weiner Occupies ‘Open Zion’ (Video)

Thursday, June 27th, 2013

Israel does not “occupy” Judea and Samaria, New York City candidate for mayor Anthony Weiner told a questioner Wednesday night.

Describing Weiner as a “notoriously anti-Palestinian politician,” the Daily Beast’s Open Zion senior editor Ali Gharib wrote that it received a video of a question and answer session at a Wednesday night event by those who were happy with the Supreme Court’s ruling against anti-homosexual marriage laws.

Weiner, in a debate with New York Times columnist Roger Cohen in 2011, said that Judea and Samaria are not occupied, and the questioner at Wednesday’s event asked, “Do you still believe the West Bank is not occupied?” Weiner answered, “Yes, I do. The status of that area is left to be decided by the people who’re there.”

“So it’s not occupied by Israel?” the questioner insisted.

“I gotta tell you; there are disagreements about what constitutes the West Bank,” Weiner said.

In 2011, Weiner made the same statement to Cohen, the columnist who has a long record of opposing a Jewish presence outside of what Israel’s Ambassador to the U.N. Abba Eban once called the Auschwitz Borders.”

Cohen sounded unbelievable that anyone would make such a perverse statement, and then asked Weiner, “You’re saying there is no [Israeli military] presence there?”

“Yes,” answered Weiner.

Of course, Weiner is wrong. There is a military presence everywhere in Israel, for obvious reasons.

But facts are facts. The question remains whether Cohen and Open Zion and prepared to refer to Palestinian Authority “police” as a military presence? After all, the Oslo Accords – remember them? – forbid the Palestinian Authority to have an army.

Wait a minute! Didn’t the United States train Palestinian Authority soldiers, who are armed with weapons, some of which have been used to murder Jews?

Yes, indeed, but they are called  “police,” so therefore the Oslo Accords were not broken, at least on one count.

Open Zion was not satisfied to leave Weiner alnoe with the “occupation” issue. It criticized him for having the audacity to attack The New York Times for having an anti-Israel bias and then “proved “ Weiner was wrong by citing liberal commentator Alex Pareene’s reaction that Weiner “makes sense only if you consider any criticism of any action taken by the state of Israel to be out of line.”

If the newspaper does not have an anti-Israel bias, it would not have allowed the Times’ East Africa bureau chief Jeffrey Gettlmen to write last year, “For years, the United States and Rwanda’s other Western friends turned a blind eye to this meddling. Again, like Israel, Rwanda has succeeded in leveraging the guilt that other countries feel for not intervening in its genocide—in which almost a million people were killed when Hutu militias targeted Tutsis in 1994—to blunt criticism of itself.”

The Times‘ journalistic atrocities are too long to be published in less than a two-volume book, and it is fair to be against  a Jewish presence  in Judea and Samaria, but, “Israel is like Rwanda”?

Open Zion also dug into Weiner for stating that the “status of that area is left to be decided by the people who’re there.” The forum’s senior editor complained that Weiner obviously was referring only to Jews.

“Weiner’s pro-Israel views [are] either a deeply cynical move to garner support from the pro-Israel right, or a testament to Weiner’s deep-seated ignorance of the conflict,” Gharib wrote. “When Weiner says people ‘there’ should decide the land’s fate, he’s almost certainly not speaking about the Palestinians in the West Bank, who live in stateless subjugation. And he’s wrong that there are disputes about ‘what constitutes the West Bank;’ right-wing pro-Israel advocates call the area by a different name—Judea and Samaria—and claim the land as part of Greater Israel, but no one disputes what the actual area in question is.”

The leftists are entitled to their opinion, and so is the right-wing, but decades of assumptions have made the left-wing case “fact” and the right-wing case “radical.”

If it were up to the Palestinian Authority Arabs to decide in a fair and honest vote what they prefer, it is far from certain they would choose to be subjects of an Arab state.

”Been there, done that.” They once were “subjects” of  Jordan, which no matter how you slice it, illegally occupied most of Judea and Samaria – sorry, Ali, the West Bank – from 1949 to 1967. Their lives were miserable. They were neglected. No one in Amman could have cared less about them, just as in the Ottoman Empire.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/anthony-weiner-occupies-open-zion-video/2013/06/27/

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