Monday, May 27, 2013

Myths and Facts: Zionism is Racism

It looks like the Myths and Facts people are now producing videos which are now being complemented with YouTube Videos.

This is an excellent one about the Myth that "Zionism is Racism:

Some points to summarise:
  • Israel is not the only homeland.  Germany, Ireland, Greece and many others have similar laws for nationality
  • Israel is a multicultural country which accepts and welcomes non Jewish citizens
  • Arab states have similar laws, but prevent Jewish citizens from the same rights as Arabs
  • Arab states have laws preventing Palestinians from becoming citizens

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Fisking the propaganda with facts - dissecting the Anti-Zionism argument

5 minutes for Israel as a brilliant dissection of a piece published on Al-Jazeera "The Last of the Anti-Semites" - an opinion piece by Joseph Massad.

You will not find a better dissection - It injects facts and history into the half truths and weasel words.  Read the whole piece!

Arafat in Therapy - Comedy show coming to Auckland

The show "Arafat in Therapy", which was shown in last year's Melbourne Comedy theatre is doing a repeat run, and coming to Auckland on 6th and 7th July.  Get your tickets!

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Palestinian Governments murder Prisoners

Phillippe Assouline has written another excellent blog post:   Palestinian Governments are murdering Palestinian prisoners.

You may recall the Palestinian riots (alas, it's always riots) that followed the death of Arafat Jaradat last February.  The Palestinians had kicked up a storm of violence in response to his death, alleging that Israel had tortured the man to death.  Palestinian propaganda outlets (e.g., "Students for Justice in Palestine", "American Muslims for Palestine", "Students Against [imaginary] Israeli Apartheid" and other professional whiners) put on their usual sanctimony-hysteria circus and the international press, too lazy to do their job, just parroted them. Many were hurt as a result.

Well, it turns out that Jaradat died of natural causes and that an autopsy of his body did not reveal any signs of violence. No one following the Middle East closely was surprised, or shocked at the lack of honesty of the anti-Israel set.

But today Khaled Abu Toameh is reporting on the recent deaths of 11Palestinians IN PALESTINIAN PRISONS IN 2012 ALONE!  In addition, there has been a 10% increase in complaints of torture and human rights abuses under both Hamas and Fatah governments. 
The "Pro-Palestinian" professional whiners and slanderers who call themselves activists are, of course, nowhere to be seen. That is, until they find a way to blame this on Israel too. Then, in the same breath, they will demand that these torturing governments who are never responsible for their actions be granted a state.

There's a word for that in English: Hypocrisy.  What is certain is that such an attitude isn't "Pro-Palestinian".

If the Palestinians are to rule their own lives, REAL Pro-Palestinians (who seem to only exist on the Pro-Israel side these days) MUST hold Palestinian governments to account. And the despicable game of slandering democratic Israel relentlessly while being willfully blind to Palestinian crimes must end
Exactly.  When Palestinians are murdered, dragged behind motorcycles and die in jail by acts of their government, the world seems to go silent.  Enough!

Monday, May 20, 2013

Al Dura did not die in 2000 shooting

Honest Reporting has been carrying this piece for some time - conclusive proof that Al Dura did not die in the 2000 shooting in Gaza.  He was either killed by Palestinians or, more likely, he is still alive.

This video shows it all:

They show the position of Israeli troops, and Palestinians.  This incident was before the widespread exposure of "Pallywood" to the world, and is quite likely the earliest example.

Even still, since then many Palestinians have murdered in "vengeance" of Al Dura, as part of the ongoing campaign of violence. 

This hasn't stopped New Zealand media publishing a very poorly worded description of the complaint laid against the Al Dura reporting:

Israel has demanded a French television station correct a report from nearly 13 years ago which helped fuel anger across the world and ignite a bloody uprising against the Jewish state.

Twelve-year-old Mohammed al-Dura and his father, Jamal, were filmed crouching in terror by a wall in the Gaza Strip in September 2000, bullets whizzing around them, as Israeli forces battled Palestinian gunmen days into an uprising that erupted after failed peace talks.

The boy was later pronounced dead, and his father wounded.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in September ordered an investigation into the incident, which Israel sees as a blight on its image and an enduring inspiration for violence against it.

Israel at first apologised then blamed Palestinian militants for the death of Dura, whose lifeless image was shown around the world, turning him into a martyr in Arab countries.

The 36-page Israeli report said the France 2 accusation that troops had killed Dura was "destructive" and said it had fuelled attacks for years by Islamist militants against it as well as American targets, and "served as an inspiration and justification for terrorism, anti-Semitism".

Based on its review of the film, the Israeli report said there was "no evidence that the Israeli military was in any way responsible for causing any of the alleged injuries" to the boy and his father.

"The review showed that it is highly doubtful that bullet holes in the vicinity of the two could have had their source in fire from the Israeli position," it said.

The document also questioned whether the footage supports conclusions that either Palestinian victim was hurt during the film clip.
What annoys me is that they are not actually putting any reference to the clip, which is fairly clear cut.
"There are numerous indications that the two were not struck by bullets at all," the report said.

"There remains a need to publicly correct and clarify the France 2 narrative as a first step towards moderating the report's destructive effects," it added.

In Gaza, Jamal al-Dura denounced the report as "a new fabrication". In an interview with Reuters, he demanded an international investigation, including Arab participation, into "what happened to me and my son".

In response to Israel's report, France 2 said in a statement it "has shown a willingness to participate in any official independent investigation, carried out according to international standards".

It said it was also ready to help exhume the boy's "to help clarify the circumstances" of his death.
I sincerely hope they do, but I am not holding my breath

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Has Iran targeted Kooshyar Karimi's relatives with political executions?

Sad news from Iran:
Iranian authorities executed two men on Sunday convicted of working for Israeli and US spy agencies, Iran’s Fars news agency reported.
Mohammad Heidari, accused of passing security-related information and secrets to Israeli Mossad agents in exchange for money, and Kourosh Ahmadi, accused of gathering information for the US Central Intelligence Agency, were hanged at dawn, it said.
The sentence for their execution was handed down by Tehran’s Revolutionary Court and confirmed by the country’s Supreme Court. The report did not say when the pair were arrested nor when their trial took place.
Iran has in the past said it had successfully detected and dismantled spy networks operating inside the country.
It has blamed the assassinations of scientists associated with its disputed nuclear programme on Western spy agencies, especially Mossad.
The United States has denied any role in the killings. Israel has not commented
Almost certainly they are innocent.  Definitely they were tortured.

My concern is after reading Kooshyar Karimi's book titled "I Confess".  He was the Iranian Jew with a Muslim father who was kidnapped, tortured and forced to spy on his own people.  These two names are remarkably similar to real family members of his - his stepfather, Haji Heydar and his brother Koorosh.

This is state sponsored murder.  Nothing less. 

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Poll - Most Israelis believe in God

An interesting thing to quote next time sometime tells you most Israelis are Atheists - A poll by YNet news show that most believe in God:

According to the results of last week's poll by Ynet and the Smith Institute, seven out of ten Israelis believe in the existence of God, and six out of ten believe it was God who created the world in which we live today.

A study conducted by Rafi Smith of the Smith Institute, examined the public’s stance on faith and Judaism. Data was collected by two simultaneous methods; a telephone survey of the older community, and an internet poll posted on Ynet which had over 40 thousand participants.

Smith explained that the internet poll contained questions on the socio-demographic background of participants, which allowed the results to be calculated in such a way that they represented the public desire of the over-18 Jewish community in Israel.
Who created the world we live in?
God: 60% (100% religious, 79% traditional, 29% secular)
Big Bang: 40%

Have you become closer to Judaism in recent years?
Yes, became closer to Judaism: 39% (78% religious, 35% traditional, 23% secular)
No, moved away from Judaism: 9% (1% religious, 6% traditional, 14% secular)
Neutral: 52%

Do you think schools should provide more traditional studies?
Yes, increase traditional studies: 53% (78% religious, 35% traditional, 23% secular)
No, decrease traditional studies: 4% (1% religious, 6% traditional, 14% secular)
No, no change necessary: 32%
Not sure: 11%

How would you like to see Israel?
More religious: 23%
More traditional: 26%
More secular: 27%
No change needed: 24%

Do you keep Kosher?
Yes: 53%
No: 36%
Sometimes: 11%

Do you keep Shabbat?
Yes: 35%
No: 57%
Sometimes: 8%

Do you fast on Yom Kippur?
Yes: 62%
No: 31%
Sometimes: 7%

Greatest Election Chokes

I was having a discussion this weekend regarding sports chokers, and it came to me also that there have been a number of election chokers as well.

I'm not talking about a political party implementing an unpopular policy, which causes them to be voted out, I'm talking about election campaigns.  If a party was so far ahead on polls in a campaign that they seemingly lost from nowhere.

I came up with five that I am familiar with, but I'm sure there are others, especially in Europe or Asia.

I'm going to start with some honourable disqualifications: Morgan Tsvangirai in Zimbabwe, 2008,  Mir-Hossein Mousavi in Iran, 2009 or any other elections where the upset candidate actually won except for electoral fraud and vote rigging.  In these instances to Robert Mugabe and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

Without any further ado - here is the list:

5) Australia State elections - don't call a snap!

Jeff Kennett had been premier in Victoria for two terms, after inheriting a near bankrupt state.  He built everything and anything to turn the state into a thriving region.  He had fearlessly faced off against unions to ensure major events like the Grand Prix took place.  In 1999, the Labor party changed its leader to the little known Stev Bracks, and Kennett could not resist the urge to call a snap election.  His campaign consisted of pictures of him smiling with "", and little else.  The public punished him at the poll, installing a government with balance of power held by 3 independents, who couldn't hide their glee in dumping him.  On the whole, the most arrogant campaign and forcing an election on a public who punished him for it.

Honourable mention to WA Premier Alan Carpenter, who called a snap election in 2008 when the Liberals leader resigned in disgrace.  He lost to the newly appointed Colin Barnett

4)  When Polls don't work

In the 1948 US Presidential election, the polls leading up to the election were so convincing that Republican Thomas Dewey would win, that people stopped taking notice.  In the meantime Harry S. Truman continued to campaign, and the polls showing the gap narrowing were ignored.  When the results were counted, Truman lead early and never relented.

The papers were so confident of a Dewey win, they printed the headline before the results were counted.

3) Once tagged as a loser ..

Shimon Peres was a long time Israeli Leader.  He was seen as a peacemaker and a diplomat, and was awarded the Nobel Peace prize in 1994.  Peace and Security is always the top issue at Israeli elections.  However every election Peres contested as leader he lost.  Once the people saw him as a loser, it seemed his support continued to slip away, even in the face of more marginal opponents such as Netanyahu and Sharon.  He did hold the Prime Ministers office when Rabin was assassinated, but now he holds the unelected figurehead Presidential position.

2) Small targets 

In the midst of "the recession we had to have", Paul Keating was very unpopular as Prime Minister.  The 1993 Australian Federal election was the chance to change things, and Liberal leader and Economist John Hewson thought he could change things by relying on a GST.  Unfortunately he couldn't explain it very well.  One 90 second rambling description left the whole country confused and open the door for Keating to be re-elected.  This lead to a term of "Small Targets".  If you are leading in the polls, then don't introduce anything major that is likely to make you a target for your opponent.  This term is still used today.

 1) The danger of arrogance

In the US Presidential Campaign, Al Gore was so far ahead against George Bush, it was almost a certainty that he would win.  Then came the Presidential debates.  Al Gore was supposedly the "Master Debater", and George W. Bush was not heralded as being smart, yet Bush made Gore look insincere and wishy washy.  Then the Gore Campaign went right off the rails, with policies the Bush campaign could make out as supporting "Big Government".  The election was almost too close to call with only a few votes in Florida separating the two.  What difference Gore would have had in the White House during the 9/11 attacks the following year, we can only guess.

Well, that's my list.  What have I missed?
If Tony Abbott misses out in September 2013, then he should definitely be added!

Friday, May 3, 2013

More examples of Antisemitism at Left Wing rallies

Not afraid of ruins has blogged about Antisemitism that was encountered at a rally against Asset Sales in Wellington.  (Also covered by Kiwiblog here).

Last Saturday I went to the protest against asset sales organized by Aotearoa Not For Sale. I was marching with my friend Maia, discussing the latest episode of The Good Wife in between chants of ‘hey hey ho ho/John Key has got to go’.
Halfway up Willis St we overheard a guy behind us talking: ‘This is all because John Key is a money-hungry Jew.’ Maia immediately turned around and told him that he was being anti-Semitic and that it wasn’t ok (she’s great like that). The guy explained that she didn’t understand the historical context, that ‘they took over this country with their money’, before finally giving up and telling her ‘you must be Jewish’ (incidentally, she isn’t. Not that it’s relevant’).
By that point I’d already walked away. I was in no mood to hear about how I control the world’s money and am personally responsible for the economic recession.
This wasn’t the first time that anti-Jewish racism has cropped up at Aotearoa Not For Sale events. Last year a guy named Nathan Symington joined an anti-asset sales march in Auckland holding a skateboard with swastikas chalked on it. The same man was later charged with the racist vandalism of the Symonds St Jewish cemetery.
When an Auckland activist noticed that Symington had clicked ‘attending’ on a facebook page for an Aotearoa Not For Sale street party, she commented and asked the organisers to make a clear statement that racism and fascism weren’t welcome at this event. She was ignored and her comment was deleted. (I’m told that at the party itself one of the organisers did make a statement condemning racism. I don’t want to imply that everyone involved in ANFS ignores racism.)
There were similar instances of anti-Jewish racism at Occupy spaces in 2011, and on the facebook pages of several of the Occupy groups as well.
Unfortunately it is becoming more prevalent and open, and the organisers of these rallies are doing less and less about it.  If John Key was not of Jewish ancestry, this same malevolent behaviour would  still exist, except it would probably only be displayed at anti-Israel rallies.  There is a clear commonality between the two, and it is usually just rent-a-crowd attending.

Now what is interesting is that the author of this blog is "Nausea Nissenbaum".  I don't know this person, but his/her twitter bio describes themselves as:

"Born on occupied Palestinian land, living on occupied Māori land."
They are also heavily active in trying to get BDS to New Zealand (a facebook page of 60 or so likes).

I would ask this person - If you are so proudly "Jewish" that you want to stand up against racism, then what are you doing to identify as such?  Can you really just say "I was born a Jew, but I can hate Israel"? 

Where is your empathy with Jews living in Israel?  Where is the empathy with the constant threat of attack?  If it is all "stolen" land, then what about the actual money paid by your ancestors.  Or do you think like BDS and you want a Palestine next to a Palestine.  Two Islamic states side by side.

Really I am not surprised at all that there is antisemitism at these rallies.  What I am surprised about is your naivety about it, and naivety towards the other groups you are involve in.


Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Antisemitism on campus in NSW - "Sue me Jew"

AIJAC has two compelling posts regarding online hate speech on campus at UNSW.

They highlight some atrocious examplesof hate speech towards Jews on facebook.

I really appreciate AIJAC taking this stand, and highlighting this - my only question is why are New Zealanders so quiet over the same issue here. 

How about this one:

Or this:

Both taken from the Israel In New Zealand facebook page.  Just the tip of the iceberg, unfortunately.