Posts Tagged ‘West’
The CNN/ABC television journalist Christiane Amanpour has been the focus of numerous exposes for her repeated gratuitously nasty and false reporting on Israel and about religious Jews and Christians.
Back in August, 2007, Amanpour hosted a three part CNN series on “God’s Warriors.” Each segment of the series focused on the “extremists” of a different one of each of the three major monotheistic religions: Jewish, Christian and Muslim. Amanpour equated the Jewish and Christian fundamentalists with the fundamentalist Jihadi Muslims. In the segment on “God’s Jewish Warriors,” Amanpour focused on the Jews living in Judea and Samaria, and those in the United States who financially support them.
Andrea Levin, the widely respected executive director of the Committee for Accuracy in Media for Middle East Reporting in America (CAMERA) described Amanpour’s reporting in that series as, “the most poisonously biased and factually shoddy feature to air on mainstream television in recent memory.”
Throughout, Amanpour hammers the claim that Jewish settlements violate international law and she seeks to paint this position as a universally accepted view with a lopsided parade of like-minded commentators.
Yet apart from any judgement about the political advisability of building or not building settlements, many legal scholars argue these communities are, in fact, legal and do not violate Article 49 of the Fourth Geneva Convention as the detractors claim … But not one scholar of this viewpoint is given voice in a two-hour feature largely devoted to decrying settlements and their residents.
Now ABC has chosen Amanpour to host a two part series called “Back to the Beginning.” In this series, ABC describes Amanpour as traveling to the land of the biblical stories from Genesis to Jesus.
Using the Old Testament as a guidebook, “Back to the Beginning” peels back the layers of history and faith that has inspired billions. Amanpour, the veteran war correspondent, wanted to investigate the roots of those stories that have created so much conflict, and at the same time so much of the healing she has seen across her career. It is an extraordinary journey through the deserts and cities of the ancient world, to the historical and pilgrimage sites associated with the epic tale that is the backbone of Judaism, Christianity and Islam today.
But perhaps Amanpour’s anti-Israel bias has abated. It’s been more than five years since her last foray into an exclusively religious focus on the Middle East. Not bloody likely, as her reporting from the Middle East about the recent Hamas-Israel conflict confirms.
Rather than the result of Hamas’s escalating rocket attacks on Israel – more than 130 in the 72 hours before Israel finally responded – Amanpour described the eight day military exchanges as caused by Israel ratcheting up the conflict.
Amanpour presented Israel’s Pillar of Defense as an offensive move, and the “first target was Ahmed El Jabari, a military chief of Hamas, the Islamic political party that governs the Gaza Strip which Israel and the West call a terrorist organization.”
Israel and the West recognize Hamas as a terrorist organization, while Amanpour’s description of Jabari made him sound like a noble Indian chieftain, rather than the mastermind of dozens of Israelis’ deaths, including small children, and of the kidnapping of Gilad Shalit whose release in exchange for more than 1000 Arab Palestinian prisoners catapulted Jibari to Hamas leadership.
In this upcoming series, Amanpour is going to be looking at the “historical and pilgrimage sites associated with the epic tale that is the backbone of Judaism, Christianity and Islam,” according to ABC’s press release. The series is likely to be promoted as fact-based, but Amanpour’s history gives little comfort to those who fear it will be wildly dismissive of Jewish and Christian claims, and naively accepting of Muslim claims.
The ABC series “Back to the Beginnings” will air on Friday evenings, Dec 21 and Dec 28.Lori Lowenthal Marcus
Originally published at Rubin Reports.
Suddenly, I received all of these phone calls from journalists asking me to talk about who murdered the late Palestinian leader Yasir Arafat. The news peg is that he’s being dug up to see if someone poisoned him. Guess who?
I tell them that in a sense Arafat was murdered. Excited, they ask who did it. And I respond: Fatah, the PLO, and the Palestinian Authority, all organizations that Arafat headed. I don’t mean literally that they set out to kill Arafat but they were the ones really responsible for his death. Let me elucidate.
For many months before he was rushed to Paris for medical attention, everyone who followed him closely knew Arafat was sick. It was the subject of extensive discussion among Israelis and Palestinians. Anyone who saw him give a speech, whether live or on television, could see he was in bad shape. My mother-in-law, a doctor, saw him in one broadcast and easily rattled off a list of symptoms.
I was told the following story–in far more detail–not long after by a very reliable person who witnessed the conversation. One of Arafat’s Palestinian doctors and a leading Israeli physician were chatting at a conference. An Israeli reporter noted for his left-wing ideology and remarkably inaccurate story came up to the Palestinian and asked if Arafat was ill. “Definitely not,” he told the reporter who, well-pleased, rushed off to write up his scoop. The Israeli turned to the Palestinian and said, “But ____, you know he’s very ill.” The Palestinian medico responded, “Of course!”
Yet despite this fact, Arafat did not receive serious or competent treatment. It was no secret that the individuals who served as his medical staff were not very good doctors but chosen for political reasons. The biggest problem, however, was that the Palestinian leadership could not face the crisis honestly.
Remember, Arafat was their leader for as long as they could remember. He was well-known for making every decision, even the most minor, for the movement and for the institutions then governing the West Bank and Gaza Strip. Palestinians in the know frequently pointed out that when Arafat was travelling literally nothing could get done.
So how could they face or admit the potential demise of the man on whom their fortunes and indeed the entire movement seemed to rest? Dictatorial movements or countries are like that. The courtiers all live in fear that the fearless leader will be no more. What will become of them?
And so if they had taken better care of Arafat he would have lasted longer. Of course, Arafat was never known for being solicitous of his own help. He was overweight, ate unhealthy food (honey was his cure-all), and didn’t exercise. The mere thought of Arafat trying to jog makes the last point effectively. He had been severely injured in a plane crash several years earlier.
Arafat himself refused to rest or to leave his headquarters despite its being under siege by Israel after all the terrorism he had ordered during his post-Camp David summit war against the peace process. It was not hard to see that this 75-year-old man was a mortality waiting to happen.
Just as Arafat’s cronies and lieutenants could not face his sickness, a good portion of the Western leftist, media, and intelligentsia refuses to face their own sickness. Only against the Jews would the modern-day version of ritual murder become credible, especially when it is based on a ridiculously obvious fabrication.
The current Arafat-was-murdered meme began when very large amounts of radioactive material were “discovered” on his clothing. This substance is scientifically known to break down on a very regular schedule. For such a quantity to be found there would have meant there would have been a gigantic amount—was he hosed down with radioactive poison?—when he died eight years ago. In other words, the stuff had been planted only hours at most before it was found, no doubt by the same people who put it there. In short, the accusation makes no sense but it is being treated seriously.
Such is the way Israel is dealt with on many things by respectable people in the West. The accusation is made by anti-Israel propagandists who spew out the most vicious antisemitic hatred and lies yet are given a large measure of credibility. Such is the way Israel is dealt with on many things by otherwise respectable people in the West nowadays.Barry Rubin
Keynes and Hayek were two of the most influential economists of modern times. But how did their economic philosophies and views affect the world today? Nicholas Wapshott, who wrote Keynes Hayek: The Clash That Defined Modern Economics and is the former New York bureau chief ofThe Times, editor of theSaturday Times of London, founding editor of The Times Magazine, and political editor of The Observer, tells Doug about the differences in both economic systems and how the economies of the West have been shaped by them. Also enjoy listening to all of your favorite people on Goldstein on Gelt.Doug Goldstein, CFP®
Events in the West: This Shabbos YICC in the Pico-Robertson area of L.A. hosts Professor Isaiah Gafni, a leading Jewish historian, as its scholar-in-residence… The West Coast OU Torah Convention in L.A. is scheduled for December 20-23.
Kosher News: Nature Valley Dark Chocolate and Nut Trail Mix Chewy Granola bars bear an unauthorized OU… Wegman’s gluten-free double chocolate brownie cake mix has an OU – but it is OU-D… The CRC in Chicago reports that packaged barley has been found to have three types of bugs. They have created a process for you to rid other brands of this. Geffen barley is the only barley that doesn’t require the process.
The Jewish Press in Stores: If you don’t see The Jewish Press where you expect to see it, ask the cashier where your favorite newspaper is. Stores sometimes move the papers in order to set up a display.
Super Storm Benny was created to assist Jewish families in communities on the East Coast facing catastrophic destruction from Hurricane Sandy. You can participate in the rebuilding by donating appliances, kitchen equipment, baby gear, furniture, computers, bed and bath supplies, siddurim, Chumashim, and toys. All products should be new and in their original packaging. The deadline is Sunday, November 18. A 40-foot truck will drive across the country with the donations. You can also donate via credit card by visiting www.TeamBenny.net, or by sending a check to Ladies Bikur Cholim, 444 N. Detroit St., Los Angeles, CA 90036. Super Storm Benny is sponsored as a zechus for a refuah sheleimah for Binyomin Chaim ben Faigie Sarah.
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA
Mazel Tov – Births: Moshe and Tzirel Regal, a son (Grandparents Rabbi Yossi and Sari Naiman)… Baruch and Ruchi Giberstein, a daughter (Grandparents Shlomo and Gila Giberstein)… Shai and Chana Samet, a son… Eric and Sarah Abitbol of NY, a son (Grandparents Alan and Etti Lowy; Sonia Rosenberg)… Yaakov and Rivki Tangy, a daughter (Grandparents Avraham and Tzafi Vickman)… Rabbi Jason and Lauren Weiner, a son (Grandparents Sidney and Marcia Teichman)… Jeffrey and Rina Barak of Encino, a daughter (Grandparents Dr. Mark and Michelle Barak)… Shlomie and Ruti Hauer of Monsey, NY, a son (Grandparents Shmuli and Goldie Hauer; Great-grandmother Frida Berger)… Shloimie and Aliza Zeffren of Teaneck, NJ, a son (Grandparents David and Mira Zeffren)… Rabbi Moshe and Nava Adler, a son (Grandparents Benny and Audrey Adler; Great-grandmother Lilly Adler… Yisroel and Miriam Wohlgelernter in Israel, a daughter (Grandparents Dr. Daniel and Eileeen Wohlgelernter; David and Judy Hager)… Rabbi Shmuel and Elkie Einhorn, a son.
Mazel Tov – Bar Mitzvahs: Jake Garfinkel, son of Marty and Candice Garfinkel… Justin Hanelin, son of Jonas and Cari Hanelin.
Mazel Tov – Bas Mitzvah: Elisheva Gofman, daughter of Yasha and Nancy Gofman.
Mazel Tov – Engagements: Shoshana Gres, daughter of Jerry and Debbie Gres, to Yosef Caplan, son of Jeff and Gale Caplan of Agoura, CA… Naftali Trainer, son of Rabbi Label and Lori Trainer, to Rochel Pollak of Valley Village, CA.
Mazel Tov – Wedding: Saadua Liberow to Rebecca Kukurudz.
Congratulations: To Abbas Restaurant on its grand opening on La Brea.
Mazel Tov – Bar Mitzvah: Eli Zadik, son of Yossi Zadik and Anne Bakar.
VALLEY VILLAGE, CALIFORNIA
Mazel Tov – Birth: Chaim and Samantha Hirsch of Hollywood, FL, a son (Grandparents Yisroel and Corinne Blumenstein).
Mazel Tov – Bar Mitzvah: Alex Silberstein, son of Adam and Taaly Silberstein.
Mazel Tov – Engagements: Rochel Pollak, daughter of Rabbi Yehuda and Devora Pollak, to Naftali Trainer of L.A… Alisha Tal, daughter of Avi and Julie Handelman, to Yochanan Zomer of Yerushalayim.
Mazel Tov – Birth: Rabbi Danny and Sara Wolfe of Albany, NY, a son (Grandparents Mike and Cindy Wolfe).
Mazel Tov – Births: Mordy and Golda Fast of Yerushalayim, a son (Grandparents Steve and Ruth Fast)… Yona and Ariella Margolese, a daughter (Grandparents Melech and Chani Genauer).Jeanne Litvin
Democratic challenger Patrick Murphy has already declared victory over Tea Party star Rep. Allen West, R-Fla. West trails Murphy by 2,500 votes in the official count.
But West for Congress campaign manager Tim Edson on Wednesday announced: “This race is far from decided and there is no rush to declare an outcome. Ensuring a fair and accurate counting of all ballots is of the utmost importance. There are still tens of thousands of absentee ballots to be counted in Palm Beach County and potential provisional ballots across the district.”
According to the West campaign, late last night Congressman West maintained a district-wide lead of nearly 2000 votes until the St. Lucie County Supervisor of Elections “recounted” thousands of early ballots. Following that “recount” Congressman West trailed by 2,400 votes.
The campaign also complained of numerous irregularities at polls across St. Lucie County. The doors to polling places were locked when the polls closed, in violation of Florida law, preventing the public from witnessing the tallying.
“The St. Lucie County Supervisor of Elections office clearly ignored proper rules and procedures, and the scene at the Supervisor’s office last night could only be described as complete chaos,” said a campaign press release. “Given the hostility and demonstrated incompetence of the St. Lucie County Supervisor of Elections, we believe it is critical that a full hand recount of the ballots take place in St. Lucie County. We will continue to fight to ensure every vote is counted properly and fairly, and accordingly will pursue all legal means necessary.”Yori Yanover
The Palestinian Authority leadership in the West Bank [Judea and Samaria -ed.] has come up with a new method to silence its Palestinian critics.
From now on, any Palestinian writer or journalist who dares to criticize Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and his policies or demand an end to corruption will be accused of “belittling the dignity of the state.”
Since the beginning of this year, at least 10 Palestinian journalists, bloggers and political opponents have been detained by various Palestinian Authority security services for writing about corruption and criticizing the Palestinian leadership.
Until recently, the Palestinian Authority, which is funded by the U.S. and E.U., used to throw its critics into prison.
But following condemnations from Palestinian and international human rights organizations, the Palestinian Authority decided to resort to a new method to silence its critics – this time by accusing them of “belittling the dignity” of a non-existent Palestinian state.
This charge is based on a 1960 Jordanian law still effective in the West Bank. Although the Palestinian Authority has its own laws, to achieve its goals it does not hesitate every now and then to resort to Jordanian laws.
But as the case of Jihad Harb shows, Abbas and his aides are more concerned about their own dignity than that of the imaginary state.
Harb, a Palestinian writer and political analyst, was summoned this week for interrogation by the Palestinian security forces in Ramallah and charged, on the basis of the Jordanian law, with “belittling the dignity of the state.”
Harb was told that the director of Abbas’s office had lodged a complaint against him for libel and slander because of an article criticizing Abbas’s policy of promoting public employees.
Entitled “Presidential Decisions Are Made In A Coffee Shop,” Harb’s article criticized Abbas’s decision to promote more than 500 civil servants over the past five years — noting that many of them were unfit to serve in their jobs.
Before he was summoned for interrogation, Harb received threats from from top Palestinian Authority officials in Ramallah that he would be punished for hanging the dirty laundry in public.
The officials told the writer that he may would face trial for criticizing Abbas at a time when the US and Israel are “waging a fierce campaign” against the Palestinian Authority president because of his insistence on pursuing his request for membership in the UN.
Harb said that the decision to summon him for questioning was in the context of the Palestinian Authority leadership’s campaign to intimidate Palestinian writers and journalists and stop them from discussing internal issues.
Harb added that the decision was also in violation of Abbas’s recent statement that the “sky was the limit for freedom of expression” in the West Bank.
Palestinian writers and human rights groups have, meanwhile, expressed deep concern over the Palestinian Authority’s crackdown on freedom of expression in the West Bank.
International human rights groups, however, and countries that fund and support Abbas’s authority have yet to sound their voices.
Many Palestinian writers and journalists in the West Bank today live in fear of being harassed by the Palestinian Authority because of their views and writings. Some practice self-censorship, while others are writing under different names or have found themselves new and less dangerous professions.
There is no reason why those who are pouring millions of dollars on the Palestinian Authority should not demand an end to suppression of freedom of expression and the growing clampdown on writers and journalists in the West Bank.
Failing to hold the Palestinian Authority accountable for its actions will only drive more Palestinians into the arms of Hamas and the other radical forces.
Originally published at the Gatestone Institute.Khaled Abu Toameh