Prime Minister Manuel Valls’ sincere empathy notwithstanding, French Jews are leaving. Here’s one whose family has lived in France for nearly 300 years who has decided this week that enough is enough (Hat Tip: Instapundit).
Oh my…. Two of the three times I have been to Paris, I have stayed in the 9th arrondissement. I remember that street well, although usually I prayed in the nearby Rashi Synagogue (link in French).
It’s the end of an era. And it’s time to move on.
Katrina Clarke | May 13, 2014 http://news.nationalpost.com/2014/05/13/canadians-more-likely-to-be-anti-semitic-than-americans-poll-finds/
A new global poll reveals Canadians are more likely to be anti-Semitic than Americans.
The survey by the U.S.-based Anti-Defamation League (ADL) found 14% of Canadians harbour anti-Jewish attitudes, compared with only 9% of Americans.
“I’m a little bit surprised that the figures aren’t greater in the United States but I’m not surprised at the 14% in Canada,” said Frank Dimant, chief executive officer of B’nai Brith Canada. “We have always surmised that it is in that range — that range of ‘hardcore.’”
Although many Canadians want to dismiss anti-Semitism as being a problem of the past, the survey makes it clear it persists.
“We’re talking about 4.8 million people. That’s a lot of people who harbour this kind of hatred in their hearts.”
If anything, the modern form of anti-Semitism may be even more dangerous than it was in the past. In Canada, anti-Jewish bullying and abuse take place on campuses, in classrooms and workplaces
“Once, we had certain pre-conceived notions as to the stereotypic image of an anti-Semite as an illiterate boor. Today, that is simply not the case,” he said.
“We see the penetration of this disease of anti-Semitism in many new components of society… much of it is in the guise of anti-Israel.
“The coalition of hate is widespread so it ranges from academics to neo-Nazis to Islamic jihadists to radical feminists to trade unionists.”
Shimon Koffler Fogel, head of the Centre for Israel & Jewish Affairs (CJIA), said the survey should provide the catalyst for a national discussion.
“For us, the real take-away is that issues like anti-Semitism and racism in general have not diminished to the point where as a society we can say we don’t have to address these concerns,” he said.
The ADL survey interviewed 53,000 people in more than 100 countries and territories, 505 of them in Canada. They were asked to respond to such statements as “Jews still talk too much about what happened to them in the Holocaust” and “Jews have too much power in the business world.”
The results will help the CIJA to better target its education programs, Mr. Fogel said. For example, only 54% of respondents said they had heard of the Holocaust.
“We have to be focusing a fair amount of effort on bringing the lessons of the Holocaust to broader cross-sections of Canadians … both as a particular event and as a moral tale that should direct Canadian sensitivities,” he said.
Ira Robinson, professor of Judaic studies and director of the Institute for Canadian Jewish Studies at Concordia University, Montreal, said historically Quebec scores a bit higher on “the anti-Semitism scale.”
French Canadians typically align their beliefs between those of France and English-speaking Canada, he said, adding he was not surprised the survey found 37% of French people were anti-Semitic.
Crossing the Line 2: The New Face of Anti-Semitism on Campus
Daniel Mael 15January2015 http://www.truthrevolt.org/news/threat-violence-forces-cancellation-pro-israel-event#.VLgDqooJ-GQ.twitter
The Canadian Institute for Jewish Research (CIJR) and the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America (CAMERA) were forced to cancel a pro-Israel event after conversations with police indicated a legitimate threat of violent protests.CIJR and CAMERA were schedule to host Canadian MP Marc Garneau for a talk about Canada-Israel relations. When Montreal police alerted CIJR that there was an organized protest scheduled for outside of the event, CIJR moved to postpone the lecture indefinitely.According to the Concordian, those who intended to attend the lecture were informed that it was canceled via Facebook.
Jack Kinsler, CIJR’s National Chairman, made the decision to cancel the event and told the Concordian that he felt the they had no choice but to cancel the event because the call from the police happened so soon before the talk was set to happen, and because they hadn’t organized the event themselves.
“On the very same day that 40 world leaders joined one million people in Paris, France in a march to honor the 17 innocent victims murdered by radical Islamists, the Montreal community was targeted by it’s own extremists,” Aviva Slomich, International Director of CAMERA on Campus told TruthRevolt. “CAMERA, along with the Canadian Institute for Jewish Research, had scheduled months in advance Canadian Member of Parliament Marc Garneau to speak on Canadian- Israeli Relations.”
“The Montreal community, which was already rocked by the horrific attacks that occurred only a fews days ago in Paris, as many Canadian Jews have relatives in France, was again forced to fear for its safety by those who threatened a peaceful event at the Concordia campus with violence,” she added. “CAMERA refuses to ignore such harassment of pro-Israel students and community members. The true nature of supposed “pro-Palestinian” activists must be exposed. the Universities, the community and the police must stand and support those who truly support the values of the West instead of giving way to threats and intimidation.”
From Caroline Glick 13February2015 http://carolineglick.com/mainstreaming-jew-hatred-in-america/
This week, apropos of seemingly nothing, in an interview with Mathew Yglesias from the Vox.com website, Obama was asked about terrorism. In his answer the president said the terrorism threat is overrated. And that was far from the most disturbing statement he made.
Moving from the general to the specific, Obama referred to the jihadists who committed last month’s massacres in Paris as “a bunch of violent vicious zealots,” who “randomly shot a bunch of folks in a deli in Paris.”
In other words, Ahmedy Coulibaly, the terrorist at Hyper Cacher, the kosher supermarket he targeted, was just some zealot. The Jews he murdered while they were shopping for Shabbat were just “a bunch of folks in a deli,” presumably shot down while ordering their turkey and cheese sandwiches.
No matter that Coulibaly called a French TV station from the kosher supermarket and said he was an al-Qaida terrorist and that he chose the kosher supermarket because he wanted to kill Jews.
As far as the leader of the free world is concerned, his massacre of four Jews at the market can teach us nothing about anything other than that some random people are mean and some random people are unlucky.
And anyway, Obama explained, we’re only talking about this random act of senseless violence because as he said, “If it bleeds, it leads.” The media, desperate for an audience, inflates the significance of these acts of random violence, for ratings.
Obama’s statement about the massacre of Jews in Paris is notable first and foremost for what it reveals about his comfort level with anti-Semitism.
By de-judaizing the victims, who were targets only because they were Jews, Obama denied the uniqueness of the threat jihadist Islam and its adherents pose to Jews. By pretending that Jews are not specifically targeted for murder simply because they are Jews, he dismissed the legitimate concerns Jews harbor for their safety, whether in Diaspora communities or in Israel.
If nothing distinguished Coulibaly’s massacre at Hyper Cacher from a mugging or an armed robbery gone bad, then Jews have no right to receive unique consideration – whether for their community’s security in London or Paris, or San Francisco – or for Israel’s security.
As subsequent statements from administration spokespeople made clear, Obama’s statement was not a gaffe. When questioned about his remarks, both White House spokesman Josh Earnest and State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki doubled down on Obama’s denial of the anti-Semitic nature of the massacre at Hyper Cacher. Earnest said that the Jews who were murdered were people who just “randomly happened to be” at the supermarket.
Psaki said that the victims didn’t share a common background or nationality, pretending away the bothersome fact that they were all Jews.
Just as bad as their denials of the anti-Jewish nature of the attack on Hyper Cacher, were Psaki’s and Earnest’s belated revisions of their remarks. After coming under a storm of criticism from American Jews and from the conservative media, both Psaki and Earnest turned to their Twitter accounts to walk back their remarks and admit that indeed, the massacre at Hyper Cacher was an anti-Semitic assault.
Their walk back was no better than their initial denial of the anti-Jewish nature of the Islamist attack, because it amplified the very anti-Semitism they previously promoted.
As many Obama supporters no doubt interpreted their behavior, first Obama and his flaks stood strong in their conviction that Jews are not specifically targeted. Then after they were excoriated for their statements by Jews and conservatives, they changed their tune.
The subtext is clear. The same Jews who are targeted no more than anyone else, are so powerful and all controlling that they forced the poor Obama administration to bow to their will and parrot their false and self-serving narrative of victimization.
The administration’s denial of the unique threat Jews face from jihadists is not limited to its anti-Semitic characterizations of the attack at Hyper Cacher.
It runs as well through Obama’s treatment of Israel and its actions to defend itself against its jihadist enemies from Hamas to Hezbollah to Iran.
Today, the most outstanding example of Obama’s exploitation of anti-Semitic tropes to diminish US support for Israel is his campaign to delegitimize Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu ahead of his scheduled speech before the joint houses of Congress on March 3.
As we belatedly learned from a small correction at the bottom of a New York Times article on January 30, contrary to the White House’s claim, Netanyahu did not blindside Obama when he accepted Speaker of the House John Boehner’s invitation to address the Congress. He informed the White House of his intention to accept Boehner’s offer before he accepted it.
Netanyahu did not breach White House protocol.
He did not behave rudely or disrespectfully toward Obama.
The only one that behaved disrespectfully and rudely was Obama in his shabby and slanderous treatment of Netanyahu. It was Obama who peddled the lie that Netanyahu was using the speech not to legitimately present Israel’s concerns regarding the prospect of a nuclear armed Iran, but to selfishly advance his political fortunes on the back of America’s national security interests and the independence of its foreign policy.
It was Obama and Vice President Joe Biden who spearheaded efforts to coerce Democratic lawmakers to boycott Netanyahu’s speech by announcing that they would refuse to meet with the leader of the US’s closest ally in the Middle East during his stay in Washington.
So far only 15 members of the House and three Senators have announced their intention to boycott Netanyahu’s speech. But even if all the other Democratic lawmakers do attend his speech, the impact of Obama’s campaign to defame Netanyahu will long be felt.
First of all, if all goes as he hopes, the media and his party members will use his demonization of Netanyahu’s character as a means to dismiss the warnings that Netanyahu will clearly sound in his address.
Second, by boycotting Netanyahu and encouraging Democrats to do the same, Obama is mainstreaming the anti-Semitic boycott, divestment and sanctions movement to isolate Israel.
Moreover, he is mobilizing Democratic pressure groups like J Street and MoveOn.org to make it costly for Democratic politicians to continue to support Israel.
There is another aspect of the Hyper Cacher massacre, which was similarly ignored by the White House and that bears a direct relationship to Obama’s attempt to destroy the credibility of Netanyahu’s warnings about his Iran policy.
Whereas the journalists murdered at Charlie Hebdo magazine were killed because their illustrations of Muhammad offended Muslim fascists, the Jews murdered at Hyper Cacher were targeted for murder because they were Jews. In other words, the Islamist hatred of Jews is inherently genocidal, not situational.
If Islamists have the capacity to annihilate the Jews, they will do so. And this brings us back to Obama’s statement to Vox.com. As is his habit, Obama refused to use the term Islamic to describe the “violent, vicious zealots” who randomly targeted Jews at the Hyper Cacher.
Since the outset of his presidency, Obama has vigilantly denied the connection between Islamism and terrorism and has mischaracterized jihad as peaceful self-reflection, along the lines of psychotherapy. Last week his denial of the Islamist nature of jihadist assaults worldwide rose to new heights when in his remarks at the National Prayer Breakfast he compared today’s jihadists to the Crusaders from a thousand years ago. And whereas he identified the Crusaders as Christians, he refused to acknowledge that today’s mass murdering zealots act in the name of Islam.
Obama’s stubborn, absurd and dangerous refusal to mention the word Islam in connection with the war being waged worldwide by millions in its name, coupled with his eagerness to always compare this unnamed scourge to the past evils of Western societies, indicates that his defense of Islamic supremacism is not merely a policy preference but rather reflects a deeper ideological commitment. The perception that Obama either does not oppose or embraces Islamic extremism is strengthened when coupled with his appalling attempts to ignore the fact of Islamic Jew-hatred and its genocidal nature and his moves to demonize Netanyahu for daring to oppose his policy toward Iran.
It is in this policy and in Obama’s wider Middle East strategy that we find the real world consequences of Obama’s denial of the unique victimization and targeting of Jews and the Jewish state by Islamic terrorists and Islamist regimes.
Loopholes in Obama’s interim nuclear framework deal with Iran from November 2013 have allowed Iran to make significant advances in its nuclear weapons program while still formally abiding by its commitments under the agreement. Iran has stopped enriching uranium to 20 percent purity levels, and sufficed with enriching uranium to 3.5% purity. But at the same time it has developed and begun using advanced centrifuges that enrich so quickly that the distinction between 3.5% and 20% enrichment levels becomes irrelevant. Iran has made significant advances in its ballistic missile program, including in its development of intercontinental ballistic missiles designed to carry nuclear warheads. It has continued its development of nuclear bombs, and it has enriched sufficient quantities of uranium to produce one to two nuclear bombs.
According to leaked reports, the permanent nuclear deal that Obama seeks to convince Iran to sign would further facilitate Iran’s ascension to the nuclear club. Among other things, the deal will place a time limit on the already ineffective inspections regime, thus blinding the world entirely to Iran’s nuclear activities.
At the same time that Obama is facilitating Iran’s emergence as a nuclear power, he is doing nothing to stop its regional empowerment. Today Iran controls Syria, Iraq and Yemen and holds sway over Lebanon and Gaza. It threatens Saudi Arabia, and its Muslim Brotherhood allies threaten Egypt and Jordan.
As for Obama’s allied campaign against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq, the largest beneficiary to date of the US-led campaign has been Iran. Since the US-led campaign began last fall, Iran has achieved all but public US support for its control over the Iraqi military and for the survival of the Assad regime in Syria.
The trajectory of Obama’s policies is obvious. He is clearing the path for a nuclear armed Iran that controls large swathes of the Arab world through its proxies.
It is also clear that Iran intends to use its nuclear arsenal in the same way that Coulibaly used his Kalashnikov – to kill Jews, as many Jews as possible.
Perhaps Obama is acting out of anti-Semitism, perhaps he acts out of sympathy for Islamic fascism.
Whatever the case may be, what is required from Israel, and from Netanyahu, is clear. Speaking to Congress may be a necessary precondition for that action, but it is not the action itself.
Why have Jews in the U.K. never won a reported discrimination case against non-Jewish defendants?
Last week, the Community Security Trust—the institutional body primarily responsible for the safety of Jews in Britain—released its preliminary figures on the number of anti-Semitic incidents that had occurred over the course of 2014. The news was not good. Anti-Semitism had hit an all-time high, with a particular spike occurring in July during the course of renewed hostilities between Israel and Gaza. Another poll found that nearly half of all non-Jewish Britons held at least some anti-Semitic views, and for their part British Jews expressed unprecedented feelings of fear and vulnerability. More than half of the Jewish community stated that they feared for their future in Great Britain, and a quarter claimed to have considered leaving the country.
Because I am a lawyer and law professor (albeit not a British one), my natural instinct in these circumstances is to appeal to the law for protection. Anti-Semitic harassment, intimidation, violence, and discrimination are illegal, and a primary purpose of the courts is to provide a shield for vulnerable minorities. Unfortunately, when it comes to Jewish litigants coming to the English courts with allegations of discrimination, doctrine, precedent, and case law all fall away at the hands of one simple rule: Jews lose. They lose consistently, they lose badly, and they will often be humiliated in the process. In her magnificent 2011 book An Unfortunate Coincidence: Jews, Jewishness, and English Law, English law professor Didi Herman concludes that—since the passage of the Race Relations Act of 1976—a Jew has never won a reported discrimination case against a non-Jewish defendant.
British courts seem to bend over backward to avoid finding wrongdoing, even in the most obvious cases. To take one particularly egregious example, one case involved a job applicant who was told by the hiring agency that the company in question simply would not hire Jews. It then asked the candidate what his religion was; instead of answering, the applicant (who was indeed Jewish) stormed out. The court concluded that no discrimination occurred because the plaintiff voluntarily terminated the interview without revealing his Jewish identity.
Indeed, the only time that a Jewish claimant has succeeded in a discrimination case was in a suit brought against a Jewish day school whose admissions policy used the traditional matrilineal descent test to define who was Jewish. This, the court found, was a form of racial discrimination against Jews—the court concluded that Jewish schools were obligated to use a “religious” test (by which it meant some inquiry into a family’s religious practice; obviously from a traditional Jewish standpoint matrilineal heritage is a “religious” test) to define who was and was not Jewish. So, as far as the English courts are concerned, the only people who have ever discriminated against Jews are other Jews.
Herman skillfully demonstrates how English courts maintain a studied, almost deliberate, ignorance about Jews as a means to easily dispense with otherwise uncomfortable Jewish claims, an approach that occasionally reaches absurd heights. R v. Elias involved an appeal by a Jewish man convicted of handling stolen goods; he alleged that the prosecution’s closing argument deployed anti-Semitic stereotypes that improperly prejudiced the jury. The prosecution repeatedly compared the defendant to Oliver Twist’s Fagin in the course of describing him as “a completely different sort of man” from his co-defendants, one who “is utterly and thoroughly dishonest to the heart … [t]he most self-regarding, utterly cynical, greedy man, you can’t believe a word he says.” The court rejected the appeal, finding Fagin analogies to be a “daily” occurrence in the courts and that it was but an “unfortunate coincidence” that this particular defendant happened to be Jewish. It doubted that anyone but the defendant would perceive the Fagin references as a slur targeted at him specifically. After all, while the defendant knows his own faith, the judge and jury could at most “suspect” that Misha Chaim Baruch Elias might be a Jew.
So, as far as the English courts are concerned, the only people who have ever discriminated against Jews are other Jews.
Unfortunately, this trend has not abated since the publication of Herman’s book. In 2012, Ronnie Fraser brought a harassment lawsuit against the British University and Colleges Union, contending that it had fostered an atmosphere of “institutional anti-Semitism” against Jewish members—particularly those Jewish members who were perceived as Zionist or attached to Israel. His evidence included a near-obsessive focus on Israel by the union (between one-third and half of all international resolutions debated by the union related to Israel and Palestine), resolutions singling Israel out for a boycott applied to no other country, a trend of anti-Semitic messages being posted on union listservs, a stream of resignations by Jewish members (many specifically complaining about a hostile environment), the union disavowing the EUMC working definition of anti-Semitism as “being used to silence debate about Israel and Palestine on campus,” and the invitation of a man found by the South African Human Rights Commission to have engaged in anti-Semitic hate speech to present at a union-sponsored conference favoring BDS (the union later rejected a resolution disassociating itself from said hate speech). Most important, Fraser contended that when Jews in the union complained about what they considered to be anti-Semitic harassment, the union leadership refused to take the claims seriously. They were simply “crying anti-Semitism”—disingenuously pretending to be victims.
The Fraser opinion expressed some well-known and well-worn tropes about how Jews talk about anti-Semitism. First and foremost is the idea that Jews constantly and consistently “play the anti-Semitism card.” Functionally identical to its close cousin “the race card,” this allegation posits that the prototypical claim of anti-Semitism is made in bad faith as a tactical gambit to gain an advantage in political discussion. The cruel irony, of course, is it was precisely this type of blithe dismissal of the motives of anti-Semitism claimants that was a key reason why Fraser felt compelled to launch his suit. He felt unprotected by a union that, upon hearing the allegation that anti-Semitism was a problem, assumed that it was a false alarm set off by trouble-making racist Zionists. And the court, more or less, agreed in only slightly softer language—Fraser was hypersensitive at best, irrational at worst, to perceive the normal slings and arrows of charged political debate as having anything to do with anti-Semitism.
The view taken by the court and the union holds that anti-Semitism claimants do not seriously believe that their interlocutors are engaging in prejudiced or bigoted behavior—they only claim to do so opportunistically, as a means of browbeating their opponents into submission. As David Hirsh and I have both written, this response has become prominent—almost ubiquitous—as a means of dismissing discrimination claims without having to discuss their merits. It is no accident that the “bad faith” argument was how Steven Salaita and his backers defended perhaps his most controversial tweet: “Zionists: transforming ‘anti-Semitism’ from something horrible into something honorable since 1948.” Salaita, we are told, was most certainly not saying that because of Zionism it is now good to be anti-Semitic. Rather, he was talking about false accusations of anti-Semitism—that “since 1948” the prototypical claim of “anti-Semitism” is not actually a horrible instance of Jew-hatred, but rather refers to “honorable” opposition to Zionist perfidy. I’m actually inclined to believe this is what Salaita meant—in another tweet, he states that he has come to regard claims of anti-Semitism with “bemused indifference”—I just fail to see how it is not itself obviously anti-Semitic. One can hardly claim to have egalitarian views about Jews while simultaneously casting them as pathological liars whose claims of discrimination are patently frivolous and unworthy of consideration.
But there is another element latent in the Fraser decision and the broader legal history Herman develops. Even as it consistently rules against Jews in particular cases, the English judiciary perceives itself as generally protective of the Jewish community. Indeed, Jews are if anything seen as a model in this respect—the quintessential example of a minority group that lies under the protective umbrella of the liberal and tolerant state. When debating whether to include additional groups under the ambit of anti-discrimination laws, English politicians cited Jews as an example—others should receive what the Jews already have.
This might seem to be little more than an innocuous fiction. It isn’t. Viewing Jews as the paradigmatic protected group, courts that in fact consistently deny Jews protection at the level of particular cases see themselves as breaking from the script, rather than repeating a continuous and damaging pattern. Because Jews are already a success story, the essential question of anti-Semitism discourse is not how to prevent anti-Semitism—it’s how to give other groups the bounty Jews enjoy while simultaneously ensuring that Jews don’t exploit their supposedly privileged position.
Things are better in the United States—but not by as much as one would hope. In terms of raw numbers, Jews are the third-most common victim of hate crimes in America, behind African-Americans and gay men (per capita, they rank second). Yet in his own examination of American First Amendment jurisprudence, University of Wyoming law professor Stephen Feldman found that Jews had never successfully won a Free Exercise challenge before the United States Supreme Court (they also have not, to my knowledge, won a Supreme Court case under the primary federal statute providing for religious liberty, the Religious Freedom Restoration Act). Free Exercise and RFRA cases typically concern the asserted need for an exemption from a generally applicable legal rule that conflicts with a person’s religious obligations. Christians certainly do not always win these cases, but they do sometimes—most recently (and notoriously) in the Hobby Lobby case about insurance coverage for contraception under the Affordable Care Act. Jews, by contrast, have enjoyed a constant string of defeats before the high court.
Perhaps the most striking of these losses came in the 1961 case of Gallagher v. Crown Kosher Super Market, seeking an exemption from the Massachusetts “Sunday closing” law. Jewish-owned businesses were particularly vulnerable to such laws since it effectively forced them to close for two days of the week (Saturday for religious reasons, and Sundays for legal purposes). The Supreme Court had expressed skepticism regarding that argument, suggesting that the state had a strong interest in guaranteeing a uniform, generally applicable day of rest available to all workers. But here the Gallagher plaintiffs seemed to have an advantage, since the Massachusetts law at issue could in no way be described as uniform. It was riddled with what the district court categorized as an “unbelievable hodgepodge” of exclusions for everything from clam digging to miniature golf to tobacco sales. Given the multitude of exceptions, couldn’t Massachusetts also be required to extend the same courtesy to Orthodox Jewish merchants (who, after all, would simply be observing the Sabbath on a different day)? The court was unmoved and upheld the Massachusetts law, exceptions and all. To be sure, it is good to be cautious about relying solely on Supreme Court opinions because of the small sample size, and Jews have benefited indirectly from other Supreme Court cases (brought by Christians) that did provide some protections for Saturday-Sabbath observers. But this makes Gallagher all the more distinctive—a court unmoved by religious freedom claims presented by Jews became markedly more sympathetic when similar concerns were raised by Christian litigants.
The Jewish situation is marked by a disjuncture between what we say about ourselves and what is said about us.
Despite this history, the same tropes discussed above—that Jews perpetually cry anti-Semitism, that discourse about anti-Semitism is so ubiquitous in America to the extent that it squeezes out other important discussions—are prevalent here as well. The far left and far right unify around the idea that Americans need to struggle against “Jewish privilege.” Moving closer to the mainstream, John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt devote an entire section of The Israel Lobby to the idea of “anti-Semitism” as “the great silencer” (they suggest that while “the charge of anti-Semitism can be an effective smear tactic, it is usually groundless”). They are in grand historical company—in 1941 it was Charles Lindbergh who complained about the “smear” of anti-Semitism in the course of assailing Jewish desire for the United States to intervene in World War II and indicting “their large ownership and influence in our motion pictures, our press, our radio and our government.”
The point is not to oversell the peril of being Jewish in America. Rather, it is to stress that even where Jews are well-integrated these stereotypes about the Jewish position—Jews are dominant, Jews are hyper-powerful, Jews have infinite political sway and influence—remain active and distort our view of the world. When talking about the role of the “bad faith” response against claims of anti-Semitism at an academic conference this past November, I was asked about AIPAC—AIPAC really does use “anti-Semitism” cynically and opportunistically for political ends, right? Well, wrong—AIPAC actually refers to anti-Semitism very rarely. It isn’t a substantial part of their political playbook. Yet it is so ingrained in our collective psyche that Jews of the AIPAC sort deploy anti-Semitism incessantly, even recklessly, that we “know” about AIPAC’s malfeasance in this regard even though they really don’t participate in the discourse at all. One does not have to be a backer of AIPAC to be alarmed at the distorted, even mythic, role they play in discussions about the status of Jews in American life. (I get similar shivers when I listen to conservatives talk about George Soros’ links to progressive organizations, a discourse which has a distinct undertone of “… backed by the Jewish money you didn’t know about.”)
Christine Littleton once described the heart of the feminist method as beginning with “the very radical act of taking women seriously, believing that what we say about ourselves and our experience is important and valid, even when (or perhaps especially when) it has little or no relationship to what has been or is being said about us.” The Jewish situation, too, is marked by a disjuncture between what we say about ourselves and what is said about us. Said to be fully protected in modern law and society, we express concern about ourselves that we do not actually feel as if we can trust non-Jews to come to our aid when we feel threatened or vulnerable or intimidated. Are these concerns taken to be “important and valid”? Too often, they are not. They are not because others, more powerful others, others whose opinions about Jews do carry a presumptive validity, drown them out. They insist that we are anti-discrimination winners, a group that can always count on the law to have its back, a people who if anything are abusing the beneficence of its neighbors and who maybe need to understand that society will not forever be suckered and pushed around, by the last group of people who have any rightful claim to be the targets of unequal treatment.
New Poll Reveals Widespread Antisemitism in UK Society, 84 Percent of British Jews Regard Anti-Israel Boycotts as ‘Intimidation’
14january2015 Ben Cohen http://www.algemeiner.com/2015/01/14/new-poll-reveals-widespread-antisemitism-in-uk-84-percent-of-british-jews-regard-anti-israel-boycotts-as-intimidation/
A new opinion poll released by the UK-based Campaign Against Antisemitism (CAA) has revealed worrying levels of prejudice in British society towards the Jewish community, demonstrating as well that an overwhelming majority of British Jews regard the public debate about Israel as stained by antisemitic beliefs and expressions.
The 2015 Annual Antisemitism Barometer discovered that 45 percent of respondents believed to be true at least one of several antisemitic statements shown to them. A full 17 percent believed three or more antisemitic statements – among them the claims that “Jews chase money more than other British people,” “Jews loyalty to Israel makes them less loyal to Britain than other British people” and “Jews talk about the Holocaust too much in order to get sympathy” – to be true.
The poll was carried out for the CAA by YouGov, which posed the statements to a nationally representative sample of 3,411 adults.
The findings showed that Britain was at a “tipping point,” the CAA said. “Unless antisemitism is met with zero tolerance, it will continue to grow and British Jews may increasingly question their place in their own country,” the report, issued a few days after the murderous antisemitic attack at a kosher supermarket in Paris, warned starkly.
The poll also surveyed Jewish responses to antisemitism, through a sample of 2,230 British Jews covering a spectrum of opinion from the anti-Zionist “Jews for Justice for Palestinians” to the mainstream United Synagogue movement, as well as other denominations like the Reform and Spanish & Portuguese congregations.
A full 45 percent of Jewish respondents agreed with the statement, “I am concerned that Jews may not have a long-term future in Britain.” When asked about the long-term future in Europe, 58 percent believed that there wasn’t one.
Arguably even more significant, though, are Jewish perceptions of antisemitism in public debate and activism around the conflict between the Palestinians and Israel. A huge 84 percent of respondents said that boycotts of businesses selling Israeli products constituted “intimidation.” 82 percent agreed with the statement that “Media bias against Israel fuels persecution of Jews in Britain.” And 77 percent said that they had “witnessed antisemitism that was disguised as a political comment about Israel.”
Jonathan Sacerdoti, the CAA’s Communication Director, told The Algemeiner that he was “surprised by those figures,” especially as such a wide range of Jewish views had been sampled.
Sacerdoti noted that “often people are told that it’s the other way around – that Jews silence criticism of Israel by invoking antisemitism.” What the CAA survey demonstrated, he explained, is that “there are people who use a legitimate debate about Israel to prevent Jews from speaking out when they feel they have been the victims of antisemitism.”
The CAA poll also showed that fear of Islamist terrorism is not confined to the Jewish community in France: 65 percent of British Jews agreed with the statement that, “My family and I are threatened by Islamic extremism in Britain.”
“France is further along the scale than we are, and there is a larger exodus of Jews from France,” Sacerdoti said. “Jews in Britain are keeping a close eye on the rest of Europe, to remain aware of any shift towards the French direction over here. However, there’s time for us to turn the tide: That requires the coming together of all parts of British society to make clear that Britain is a tolerant and safe place for Jewish people and Jewish life.”
This is the great tipping point for the “Grand Alliance” that will soon break it.
Americans (not the Islamonazis in the White House and MSM, but mainstream Americans) are pro-Israel. Limeys – both the elites and the mainstream – are pro 2nd Shoah.”
Charlie Hebdo shooting:Islamic attack on Paris offices of satirical newspaper on 7 January 2015 and Paris HyperCacher Kosher Supermarket attack on 9 January 2015
Here are a collection of Charlie Hedbo Mohammed cartoons in solidarity with Charlie Hedbo (whose editor in chief and several cartoonists were among the dead,). and the original Jyllands-Posten Muhammad cartoons
Sigolène Vinson, a freelancer who had decided to come in that morning to take part in the meeting, thought she would be killed when one of the men approached her.
Instead, she told French news media, the man said, “I’m not going to kill you because you’re a woman, we don’t kill women, but you must convert to Islam, read the Quran and cover yourself,” she recalled.
Paris HyperCacher Kosher Supermarket attack on 9 January 2015 The 4 Jewish victims
Cohen was the grandson of a famous Jewish-Tunisian singer, Doukha who died last month. His parents, of Algerian and Tunisian descent, immigrated to Sarcells, a Jewish neighborhood of Paris, in the 1960s.He was a fan of rap music, according to his Facebook page, and had recently published an image bearing the popular “Je Suis Charlie” slogan, in honor of the 12 people massacred on Wednesday at the Charlie Hebdo offices in Paris by two terrorist brothers who, it later turned out, were working together with the gunman of the market attack.
Cohen is believed to have been the first victim of Coulibaly, who started his siege of the market under a hail of gunfire, according to an account on JSSnews. Reports still differ but it seems Barham and Saada were also shot and killed during the take-over or shortly after the siege began
Saada leaves behind two children, both of whom live in Israel. “He was a remarkable husband and father, a man who lived his life for his family,” an unnamed friend told AFP.
Barham’s children go to a Jewish school, near the site where a policewoman was gunned down by Coulibaly on Thursday.
Hattab, one of seven children to parents living in Tunisia, was a university student living alone in Paris. He is reported to be the son of the chief rabbi of Tunis.
According to reports, Hattab was the market customer who managed to snatch one of Coulibaly’s weapons, turning it on him before realizing it was jammed. Coulibaly then executed him on the spot, according to a witness who spoke to Le Point.
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11January2015 Translation http://www.pmo.gov.il/English/MediaCenter/Speeches/Pages/speechparis110115.aspx
On this day, all citizens of Israel and Jews around the world stand with France and the French people. I greatly appreciate the determined stance of the President of France, Francois Hollande, and Prime Minister Valls against any expression of anti-Semitism or anti-Zionism and against terror. This stance is important to France and it is important to the world.
I wish to convey my condolences to the families of the journalists and police and all those innocent people who were murdered while realizing their most basic rights: freedom of expression, freedom of thought and freedom of belief, even the freedom not to believe. These are the values on which modern France is built and these are values that are worth fighting for.
Today I marched through the streets of Paris, in one line with leaders from around the world, in order to say that terror must end. It is time that we fight against terror together. And I would like to use this opportunity to salute the French security forces who acted with remarkable bravery, as well as to express my appreciation to the Malian, who is a Muslim, who helped save seven Jews.
My dear brothers and sisters, I came here from Jerusalem, the eternal capital of Israel, to share in your pain over the murders of Francois-Michel, Philippe, Yoav and of Yohan, who bravely tried to grab the terrorist’s gun and was fatally wounded. The memory of our four holy brothers will be forever engraved on the hearts of our people.
Unfortunately the people of Israel have experienced this pain. We have experienced it many times because we have been fighting against terror for many years, and like many in Israel, I am personally familiar with the wounds of terror as well as the agony of bereavement. As a soldier, I was wounded in an operation to free hostages who had been kidnapped on a Sabena airplane. My late brother, Yoni, was killed in Entebbe when rescuing the hostages kidnapped on an Air France airplane. For years, the best of our sons and daughters were killed in many terror attacks, and the finest of our fighters fell in heroic battles against terrorism, including just recently during Operation Protective Edge.
Today we bow our heads in memory of the victims in Paris. However, as representatives of an ancient and proud people, we stand tall against evil because we can overcome it. “The more they were oppressed, the more they multiplied and spread” – because truth and justice are on our side. And here is the truth: Our shared enemy is radical Islam, not Islam and not just radicals – radical Islam. This form of Islam has many names: ISIS, Hamas, Boko Haram, al-Qaeda, al-Nusra, al-Shabab, Hezbollah; but they are all branches from the same poison tree.
Although the various factions of radical Islam are given to local bloody conflicts, including amongst themselves, they all share the same aspiration: To impose a dark tyranny on the world, to return humanity one thousand years to the past. They trample anyone who does not share their path, first and foremost their Muslim brothers, but their greatest hatred is saved for Western culture, that same culture that respects freedom and equal rights – all the things they so despise.
For this reason it is not a coincidence that radical Islam has sought to destroy Israel from the very day it declared its independence: Because Israel is the only Western democracy in the Middle East, because Israel is the only place that is truly safe for Christians, women, minorities, that respects all human rights.
Well, here is another truth: Radical Islam does not hate the West because of Israel. It hates Israel because it is an organic part of the West. It rightly views Israel as an island of Western democracy and tolerance in an ocean of fanaticism and violence that it wishes to impose on the Middle East, Europe and the entire world.
A very short path connects the issuing of the fatwa against the author Salman Rushdie, the murder of Theo van Gogh in Holland and the attacks on Jews in Israel and around the world – it is a short distance from this to the murderous attacks in Paris on the office of Charlie Hebdo and the kosher supermarket not far from here. These are not isolated actions and we must see what they have in common. Otherwise we will not be able to fight against terror in methodical and consistent manner.
We must recognize that there is a global network of radical Islam at work – a network of hatred, fanaticism and murder. I believe that this threat will only grow larger when thousands of terrorists come to Europe from the killing fields of the Middle East. The danger will grow much greater and will become a serious threat to humanity at large if radical Islam gains control over nuclear weapons, and therefore we must use all means to prevent Iran from acquiring an atomic weapon. We must support each other in this fateful struggle against radical Islamic fanatics wherever they are.
Israel stands with Europe and Europe must stand with Israel. As the civilized world today stands with France against terror, so must it stand with Israel against terror. It is the exact same terror. Those who slaughtered Jews in the synagogue in Jerusalem and those who slaughtered Jews and journalists in Paris belong to the same murderous terrorist movement. They should be condemned in the same measure and they must be fought in the same manner.
Only when the international community fights our shared enemy in a uniform manner will we know that we are on the path to victory. I promise you: Israel will continue to fight against terror. Israel will continue to defend itself and we know that when we defend ourselves, we defend the entire civilized world.
Therefore, brothers and sisters, Jews of France, I would like to say to you what I say to our Jewish brothers and sisters from all countries: You have the full right to live in safety and tranquility as citizens with equal rights wherever you wish, including here in France. But Jews of our time have been blessed with another right, a right that did not exist for previous generations of Jews: The right to join their Jewish brothers and sisters in our historic homeland, the Land of Israel; the right to live in our free country, the one and only Jewish state, the State of Israel; the right to stand tall and proud at the walls of Zion, our eternal capital of Jerusalem.
Any Jew who wishes to immigrate to Israel will be welcomed with open arms and warm and accepting hearts. They will not arrive in a foreign land but rather the land of our forefathers. God willing, they will come and many of you will come to our home. Am Yisrael Chai.
DEBKAfile 06December2014 http://debka.com/article/24285/Netanyahu%E2%80%99s-epic-understandings-with-Egyptian-Saudi-and-UAE-rulers-%E2%80%93-a-potential-campaign-weapon
The six Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) rulers meet in the Qatari capital of Doha next week amid high suspense across the Arab world. Its agenda is topped by moves to finally unravel the 2010 Arab Spring policy championed by US President Barack Obama, moves that also bear the imprint of extensive cooperation maintained on the quiet between Israel and key Arab rulers.
debkafile reports that the Doha parley is designed to restore Egypt under the rule of President Abdel Fatteh El-Sisi to the lead role it occupied before the decline of Hosni Mubarak. Another is to root out the Muslim Brotherhood by inducing their champion, the young Qatari ruler, Emir Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, to drop his government’s support.
At talks taking place in Riyadh ahead of the summit, Qatari officials appeared ready to discontinue the flow of weapons, funds and intelligence maintained since 2011 to the Brothers and their affiliates across the Arab world (Libya, Egypt, Syria, Jordan and Hamas-ruled Gaza), as well shutting down the El Jazeera TV network – or at least stopping the channel’s use as the Brotherhood’s main propaganda platform.
The Doha summit is designed to crown a historic effort led by Saudi King Abdullah, UAE ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed and President El-Sisi to undo the effects of the Obama administration’s support for elements dedicated to the removal of conservative Arab rulers, such as the Brotherhood.
They have found a key ally in this drive in Israel’s Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, who took advantage of the chance of an epic breakthrough in relations with the leading bloc of Arab nations, with immediate and far-reaching effect on Israeli security and its standing in the region.
Yet at the same time, Netanyahu has kept this feat under his hat – even while smarting under a vicious assault by his detractors – ex-finance minister Yair Lapid and opposition leader Yakov Herzog of Labor – on his personal authority and leadership credibility (“everything is stuck,” “he’s out of touch.”) and obliged to cut short the life of his government for a general election on March 17.
He faces the voter with the secret still in his pocket of having achieved close coordination with the most important Arab leaders – not just on the Iranian nuclear issue and the Syrian conflict, but also the Palestinian question, which has throughout Israel’s history bedeviled its ties with the Arab world.
When Yair Lapid, whom Netanyahu sacked this week, boasted, “I am talking to the Americans” while accusing the prime minister of messing up ties with Washington, he meant he was talking to the Americans close to Barack Obama, whom Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Abu Dhabi, hand in hand with Netanyahu, have judged adverse to their regimes.
This Arab-Israeli collaboration encompasses too many areas to keep completely hidden. Its fruits have begun breaking surface in a string of events.
This week, Israel apparently out of the blue, quietly agreed to Egypt deploying 13 army battalions in Sinai (demilitarized under their 1979 peace treaty), including tanks, and flying fighter jets over terrorist targets.
A joint Saudi-Israeli diplomatic operation was instrumental in obstructing a US-Iran deal on Tehran’s nuclear program.
Another key arena of cooperation is Jerusalem.
Friday, Dec. 5, Jordan announced the appointment of 75 new guards for the Al Aqsa Mosque compound on Temple Mount. The director of the mosque, Sheikh Omar al-Kiswani, said they will begin work in the coming days.
This was the outcome of Jordanian King Abdullah’s talks with the Egyptian president in Cairo Sunday, Nov. 30, in which they agreed that the Muslim Waqf Authority on Temple Mount must change its mode of conduct and replace with new staff the violent elements from Hamas, the Al Tahrir movement and Israeli Arab Islamists, which had taken charge of “security.”.
The Moslem attacks from the Mount on Jewish worshippers praying at the Western Wall below and Israeli police have accordingly ceased in the two weeks since Israel lifted its age restrictions on Muslim worshippers attending Friday prayers at Al Aqsa. Israel groups advocating the right to Jewish prayer on Temple Mount were discreetly advised to cool their public campaign.
The Palestinian riots plaguing Jerusalem for months have died down, except for isolated instances, since, as debkafile revealed, Saudi and Gulf funds were funneled to pacify the city’s restive Palestinian neighborhoods.
Cairo and the Gulf emirates have used their influence with Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas to get him to moderate his invective against Israel and its prime minister, and slow his applications for Palestinian membership of international bodies as platforms for campaigning against the Jewish state.
Concerned by the way the mainstream Arab world was marginalizing the Palestinian question, Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal chose his moment Friday – ahead of the White House meeting between the Jordanian monarch and President Obama – to try and re-ignite the flames of violence in Jerusalem. He went unheeded.
Netanyahu may or may not opt to brandish Israel’s diplomatic breakthrough to the Arab world as campaign fodder to boost his run for re-election. Whatever he decides, the rulers of Saudi Arabia, the Arab emirates and Egypt are turning out to have acquired an interest in maintaining him in office as head of the Israeli government, in direct opposition to President Obama’s ambition to unseat him.
|From Zero Hedge.com
The BBC reports this week that a secession movement in Hawaii continues to simmer under the surface:
Much of the antipathy to DC stems from the grievances of the indigenous population which is quite familiar of how wealthy white ranchers in the late 19th century overthrew the legitimate government of Hawaii and formed a pro-US puppet government in its stead. Eventually, annexation followed.
Nevertheless, the fact that some Hawaiians want independence does not mean that most do. While it’s true that whites are only 25 percent of the Hawaiian population, it’s also true that indigenous Hawaiians and other pacific islander groups only comprise ten percent of Hawaii’s population. The largest demographic group in Hawaii is Asian-Americans, who make up 38 percent of the population (not including people of mixed parentage.)
If the secessionists are ever to sell secession to the overall population, they would have to offer something more practical than solidarity with the indigenous population or appeals to local patriotism.
Potentially, the costs of secession could be high if the US decided to regard the Hawaiian government as a hostile regime (thus bringing economic sanctions), and of course, spending by the US government in Hawaii — funded by mainland taxpayers — is extensive.
Practically speaking, however, there is a lot of real estate between the current status quo for Hawaii and full-blown independence. It is unlikely that Hawaii would fully remove the US from the islands any time soon, no matter how unpopular the regime in DC became. It is likely that Washington would resort to military action before it would be willing to give up its military installations in and around Pearl Harbor. Look, for example, at how the US has held onto Guantanamo Bay, even when Cuba became aligned militarily with the Soviet Union.
However, there is no reason that that Hawaii could not reach a compromise with the US in which Hawaii obtains domestic autonomy while remaining a military ally and resource for the US. The world is full of such arrangement, and many countries have relationships with regions (many of which are islands and overseas territories) that use their own currency and have their own systems of government while remaining part of a larger political body.
It does not follow logically, of course, that Hawaii, even if it were to allow a US military presence, would have to use US currency or submit to US regulations of trade.
In fact, freedom from federally imposed restrictions on trade would be among the greatest benefits for Hawaiians in the case of independence. As Gary Galles noted here in Mises Daily, Hawaii, as part of the US’s domestic market, is heavily restricted by the Jones Act. The Jones Act restricts the nature and extent of shipping that can take place in and out of American ports. Galles writes:
(International trade is restricted by the Jones Act as well, although not in the same way as domestic shipping.)
Thanks in part to trade restrictions such as these, the cost of living in Hawaii is notoriously high. For example, in nominal terms, Hawaii has a rather high median income at $59,000. (The US median is $58,000.) But when adjusted for cost of living, the median income in Hawaii plummets to $50,900. This disparity is the nation’s largest, although, New Jersey comes in just slightly behind Hawaii in this measure:
We can’t blame all of this on federal law, of course, as Hawaii is a long way from other major shipping ports, but the fact remains that the Jones Act severely limits what can be shipped from the US mainland, and by whom, while international trade further is controlled by a Congress where only four people out of 535 are from Hawaii.
Thus, economic freedom for Hawaii would allow Hawaiians greater power to control tariffs and trade in a manner that benefited Hawaii rather than special interests far away on the mainland. (Naturally, I prefer unilateral free trade in this regard.) This isn’t to say that some Hawaiians never benefit from US trade restrictions. International trade restrictions on sugar are a famous example. But for every pro-Hawaii government regulation, there are countless others that benefit far away interests much more.
The US cannot be faulted for all of Hawaii’s inability to take advantage of its geographical advantages. As just one example, we might note that a majority of Hawaiians have long refused to allow gambling on the islands, even though such a move could turn the islands, or a subregion of them, into a Monaco of the Pacific where wealthy Asians and Americans would leave behind thousands of dollars in gambling losses with every trip.
The biggest obstacle to successful secession for the time being, however, is not ideological. As long as the federal money keeps coming in the form of social security checks, welfare checks, and military spending, its unlikely many will want to kill that golden goose. If those checks ever start bouncing, however, and if the feds start to scale back the fiat-money and taxpayer funded largesse, things will start to look very different.
|From Zero Hedge.com
Most people in the English-speaking parts of the world missed Putin’s speech at the Valdai conference in Sochi a few days ago, and, chances are, those of you who have heard of the speech didn’t get a chance to read it, and missed its importance. Western media did their best to ignore it or to twist its meaning. Regardless of what you think or don’t think of Putin (like the sun and the moon, he does not exist for you to cultivate an opinion) this is probably the most important political speech since Churchill’s “Iron Curtain” speech of March 5, 1946.
In this speech, Putin abruptly changed the rules of the game. Previously, the game of international politics was played as follows: politicians made public pronouncements, for the sake of maintaining a pleasant fiction of national sovereignty, but they were strictly for show and had nothing to do with the substance of international politics; in the meantime, they engaged in secret back-room negotiations, in which the actual deals were hammered out. Previously, Putin tried to play this game, expecting only that Russia be treated as an equal. But these hopes have been dashed, and at this conference he declared the game to be over, explicitly violating Western taboo by speaking directly to the people over the heads of elite clans and political leaders.
The Russian blogger chipstone summarized the most salient points from Putin speech as follows:
To these nine points I would like to add a tenth:
To sum it all up:
* * *
Full text of Vladimir Putin’s speech and a question and answer session at the final plenary meeting of the Valdai International Discussion Club’s XI session in Sochi on 24 October 2014 can be found here
Putin: if Turkey’s Erdoğan doesn’t stop supporting terrorists in Syria, I shall restore Constantinople (Istanbul) to Christendom
16 April 2016 ח בניסן ה׳תשע״ו http://awdnews.com/top-news/putin-if-turkey-s-erdo%C4%9Fan-doesn-t-stop-supporting-terrorists-in-syria,-i-shall-restore-constantinople-istanbul-to-christendom
“Should Turkey not stop supporting al-Qaeda’s Syria branch, I am indeed eager to end the job the late Tsar Nicholas II left unfinished. During the World War I , He [Tsar] sought to restore Constantinople (Istanbul) to Christendom and protect Russian maritime security by liberating Dardanelles and Bosphorus straits but fate prevented him,” TASS Russian News Agency cited President Putin as saying on Saturday. We also advocate Greek sovereignty over the Cyprus, added Putin, and call the Turkish regime to end its decades-long occupation of this Mediterranean island.
Referring to five-year-old Syrian crisis, Mr. Putin launched a scathing attack on Turkish president’s dreadful dreams of breathing life into dead Ottoman Empire by supporting al-Qaeda terrorists in Syria and Iraq, saying prospects for a lasting cease-fire in Syria remains doubtful due to Ankara’s war-like agenda and its vicious alliance with Saudi Arabia.
Submitted by Tyler Durden on 04January2015 http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2015-01-04/russias-startling-proposal-europe-dump-us-join-eurasian-economic-union
Slowly but surely Europe is figuring out that as a result of the western economic and financial blockade of Russian, it is Europe itself that is suffering the most. And while Germany was first to acknowledge this late in 2014 when its economy swooned and is now on the verge of a recession, now others are catching on. Case in point: the former head of the European Commission, and Italy’s former Prime Minister, Romano Prodi who told Messaggero newspaper that the “weaker Russian economy is extremely unprofitable for Italy.”
In other words, just as slowly, the world is starting to grasp the bottom line: it is not the financial exposure to Russia, or the threat of financial contagion should Russia suffer a major recession or worse: it is something far simpler that will lead to the biggest harm for Europe’s countries. The lack of trade. Because while central banks can monetize everything, leading to an unprecedented asset bubble which if only for the time being boosts investor and consumer confidence, they can’t print trade – that all important driver of growth in a globalized world long before central banks were set to monetize over $1 trillion in bonds each and every year to mask the fact that the world is deep in a global depression.
Which is why we read the following report written in yesterday’s Deutsche Wirtschafts Nachrichten with great interest because it goes right to the bottom line. In it Russia has a not so modest proposal to Europe: dump trade with the US, whose call for Russian “costs” has cost you another year of declining economic growth, and instead join the Eurasian Economic Union! From the source:
It surely would, but then how will Europe feign outrage when the NSA is found to have spied yet again on its “closest trading partners?” Some more on Russia’s proposal from EUobserver:
And as a reminder: The Eurasian Economic Union, a trade bloc of former Soviet states, expanded to four nations Friday when Armenia formally joined, a day after the union between Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan began.
So the ball is in your court, Europe: will it be a triple-dip (and soon thereafter quadruple: see Japan) recession as your Goldman-controlled central bank plunders ever more of what little is left of middle-class wealth with promises that this year – for real – is when it all turns around, or will Europe acknowledge it has had enough and shifts its strategic, and trade, focus from west (speaking of the TTIP, Germany’s agriculture minister just said “We can’t protect every sausage” referring to the TTIP) to east?
Considering just whose interests are represented by the unelected bureaucrats in Brussels, we won’t be holding our breath.
The way things are supposed to work on this planet is like this: in the United States, the power structures (public and private) decide what they want the rest of the world to do. They communicate their wishes through official and unofficial channels, expecting automatic cooperation. If cooperation is not immediately forthcoming, they apply political, financial and economic pressure. If that still doesn’t produce the intended effect, they attempt regime change through a color revolution or a military coup, or organize and finance an insurgency leading to terrorist attacks and civil war in the recalcitrant nation. If that still doesn’t work, they bomb the country back to the stone age. This is the way it worked in the 1990s and the 2000s, but as of late a new dynamic has emerged.
In the beginning it was centered on Russia, but the phenomenon has since spread around the world and is about to engulf the United States itself. It works like this: the United States decides what it wants Russia to do and communicates its wishes, expecting automatic cooperation. Russia says “Nyet.” The United States then runs through all of the above steps up to but not including the bombing campaign, from which it is deterred by Russia’s nuclear deterrent. The answer remains “Nyet.” One could perhaps imagine that some smart person within the US power structure would pipe up and say: “Based on the evidence before us, dictating our terms to Russia doesn’t work; let’s try negotiating with Russia in good faith as equals.” And then everybody else would slap their heads and say, “Wow! That’s brilliant! Why didn’t we think of that?” But instead that person would be fired that very same day because, you see, American global hegemony is nonnegotiable. And so what happens instead is that the Americans act baffled, regroup and try again, making for quite an amusing spectacle.
The whole Edward Snowden imbroglio was particularly fun to watch. The US demanded his extradition. The Russians said: “Nyet, our constitution forbids it.” And then, hilariously, some voices in the West demanded in response that Russia change its constitution! The response, requiring no translation, was “Xa-xa-xa-xa-xa!” Less funny is the impasse over Syria: the Americans have been continuously demanding that Russia go along with their plan to overthrow Bashar Assad. The unchanging Russian response has been: “Nyet, the Syrians get to decide on their leadership, not Russia, and not the US.” Each time they hear it, the Americans scratch their heads and… try again. John Kerry was just recently in Moscow, holding a marathon “negotiating session” with Putin and Lavrov. Above is a photo of Kerry talking to Putin and Lavrov in Moscow a week or so ago and their facial expressions are hard to misread. There’s Kerry, with his back to the camera, babbling away as per usual. Lavrov’s face says: “I can’t believe I have to sit here and listen to this nonsense again.” Putin’s face says: “Oh the poor idiot, he can’t bring himself to understand that we’re just going to say ‘nyet’ again.” Kerry flew home with yet another “nyet.”
What’s worse, other countries are now getting into the act. The Americans told the Brits exactly how to vote, and yet the Brits said “nyet” and voted for Brexit. The Americans told the Europeans to accept the horrendous corporate power grab that is the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), and the French said “nyet, it shall not pass.” The US organized yet another military coup in Turkey to replace Erdo?an with somebody who won’t try to play nice with Russia, and the Turks said “nyet” to that too. And now, horror of horrors, there is Donald Trump saying “nyet” to all sorts of things—NATO, offshoring American jobs, letting in a flood of migrants, globalization, weapons for Ukrainian Nazis, free trade…
The corrosive psychological effect of “nyet” on the American hegemonic psyche cannot be underestimated. If you are supposed to think and act like a hegemon, but only the thinking part still works, then the result is cognitive dissonance. If your job is to bully nations around, and the nations can no longer be bullied, then your job becomes a joke, and you turn into a mental patient. The resulting madness has recently produced quite an interesting symptom: some number of US State Department staffers signed a letter, which was promptly leaked, calling for a bombing campaign against Syria in order to overthrow Bashar Assad. These are diplomats. Diplomacy is the art of avoiding war by talking. Diplomats who call for war are not being exactly… diplomatic. You could say that they are incompetent diplomats, but that wouldn’t go far enough (most of the competent diplomats left the service during the second Bush administration, many of them in disgust over having to lie about the rationale for the Iraq war). The truth is, they are sick, deranged non-diplomatic warmongers. Such is the power of this one simple Russian word that they have quite literally lost their minds.
But it would be unfair to single out the State Department. It is as if the entire American body politic has been infected by a putrid miasma. It permeates all things and makes life miserable. In spite of the mounting problems, most other things in the US are still somewhat manageable, but this one thing—the draining away of the ability to bully the whole world—ruins everything. It’s mid-summer, the nation is at the beach. The beach blanket is moth-eaten and threadbare, the beach umbrella has holes in it, the soft drinks in the cooler are laced with nasty chemicals and the summer reading is boring… and then there is a dead whale decomposing nearby, whose name is “Nyet.” It just ruins the whole ambiance!
The media chattering heads and the establishment politicos are at this point painfully aware of this problem, and their predictable reaction is to blame it on what they perceive as its ultimate source: Russia, conveniently personified by Putin. “If you aren’t voting for Clinton, you are voting for Putin” is one recently minted political trope. Another is that Trump is Putin’s agent. Any public figure that declines to take a pro-establishment stance is automatically labeled “Putin’s useful idiot.” Taken at face value, such claims are preposterous. But there is a deeper explanation for them: what ties them all together is the power of “nyet.” A vote for Sanders is a “nyet” vote: the Democratic establishment produced a candidate and told people to vote for her, and most of the young people said “nyet.” Same thing with Trump: the Republican establishment trotted out its Seven Dwarfs and told people to vote for any one of them, and yet most of the disenfranchised working-class white people said “nyet” and voted for Snow White the outsider.
It is a hopeful sign that people throughout the Washington-dominated world are discovering the power of “nyet.” The establishment may still look spiffy on the outside, but under the shiny new paint there hides a rotten hull, with water coming in though every open seam. A sufficiently resounding “nyet” will probably be enough to cause it to founder, suddenly making room for some very necessary changes. When that happens, please remember to thank Russia… or, if you insist, Putin.
From Rabbi Lazer Brody’s Lazer Beams website:
06 May 2014 http://lazerbrody.typepad.com/lazer_beams/2014/05/ukraine-and-geula.html
According to Breslever tradition, the annual gathering of Breslever Chassidim in Uman on Rosh Hashana and the Geula, the full and final redemption of our people, are closely intertwined. Hashem gave Rebbe Nachman both secrets. Consequently, Rebbe Nachman said before his death that we should all come to Uman on Rosh Hashana. He also said that his fire shall burn until the coming of Moshiach. That could be ever so close, as many of today’s spiritual leaders are saying. Let’s see what’s happening now in the Ukraine:
The red circle in the center of the map is Uman, the site where Rebbe Nachman of Breslev is buried. Uman is slightly north of the imaginary line, which I drew in blue, that separates the northwestern pro-Ukraine half of the Ukraine from the southeastern pro-Russia side of the Ukraine. The purple box at the bottom right is the Crimean Peninsula, which has already been annexed by Russia. The black boxes indicate places where violence has already erupted on a large scale.
According to Reuters, the Ukraine is quickly slipping into a civil war. Few would have believed that several days ago, but since 42 people were killed in Odessa this past Friday, violence has been spreading fast. Odessa is a mere 2.5 hour drive from Uman.
People have been writing and asking what will be with Uman this Rosh Hashana. As it is, the USA and Germany have already issued travel restrictions to the Ukraine. Israel has not at this point. Flights are on schedule between Kiev and Tel Aviv, and every day, new immigrants from the Ukraine are arriving in Israel in growing numbers.
I can’t verbally explain how, but my heart tells me that the unrest in the Ukraine is closely tied to the Geula. Interestingly, Uman is the pivot point between the two sides. If the hostilities blow over, then we’ll certainly be in Uman on Rosh Hashana. And if the Ukraine is ablaze, with travel there impossible, then it means that we’ll hopefully celebrate this coming Rosh Hashana in our rebuilt Holy Temple in Jerusalem, amen!
– See more at: http://lazerbrody.typepad.com/lazer_beams/2014/05/ukraine-and-geula.html#sthash.RobVSbZL.dpuf
From Zero Hedge.com
Last Thursday the Ukrainian government, echoed by NATO spokesmen, declared that the the Russian military is now operating within Ukraine’s borders. Well, maybe it is and maybe it isn’t; what do you know? They said the same thing before, most recently on August 13, and then on August 17, each time with either no evidence or fake evidence. But let’s give them the benefit of the doubt.
You be the judge. I put together this helpful list of top ten telltale signs that will allow you to determine whether indeed Russia invaded Ukraine last Thursday, or whether Thursday’s announcement is yet another confabulation. (Credit to Roman Kretsul).
Because if Russia invaded on Thursday morning, this is what the situation on the ground would look like by Saturday afternoon.
Armed with this list, you too should be able to determine whether or not Russia has invaded Ukraine last Thursday.
From Rabbi Lazer Brody’s Lazer Beams website:
In the aftermath of the Kansas City killings at the local JCC, the National Council of Young Israel are now taking all types of security precautions.
If they’d listen carefully to our spiritual leaders, who don’t want to be alarmists, our brothers and sisters outside of Israel be rethinking any plans to continue living outside of Israel.
Over two years ago, I wrote about the legacy of Rabbi Shalom Arush’s spiritual guide and teacher, Rabbi Yehuda Zev Leibowitz of saintly and blessed memory. Rabbi Yehuda Zev (image, right), according to true Kabbalists who stay far away from the limelight, was one of the 36 hidden tzaddikim of the generation. Before he died, he told Rav Shalom 3 things; the first two have materialized fully already:
1. Uprisings and infighting is still sweeping through the Arab countries, as he said;
2. Bibi has not been able to attack Iran as he said.
I never wanted to reveal the third thing he said, but for the last two years, I’ve been urging people to make aliya.
I keep debating with myself about whether to reveal #3. With Moshiach so close, it’s probably time, for it could save lives. Rav Yehuda Zev said that American Jews would targeted and attacked. He used more emphatic language.
Our people crossed the Red Sea to freedom on the 7th day of Passover. Our brethren in North America and everywhere else should start thinking seriously about crossing the Atlantic and coming home to Eretz Yisrael. Have a wonderful week and a good Yomtov.
From Rabbi Lazer Brody’s Lazer Beams website:
17 April 2014
Suppose you’re watching a boxing match between a rapist and a murderer. Who do you cheer for? I would cheer for both, hoping that they’d knock each other out simultaneously…
One cannot walk a single meter in the Ukraine without stepping on ground that’s soaked with Jewish blood. A third of our people lost there lives in the uprisings of 1648-49, the Cossack rebellion of 1768 and intermittent pogroms that continued until the Soviet Revolution.
Hitler could not have accomplished what he did without the cooperation of the vehemently anti-Semitic Ukraine population.
So, don’t shed a tear for the Ukraine, which is on the verge of a civil war. Before Moshiach comes, Hashem is systematically giving each nation what it deserves.
As for the Russians, maybe they didn’t kill Jewish bodies like Hitler and the Ukrainian Cossacks did, but they killed millions of Jewish souls, waging their seventy-year war against Torah and Judaism while the Communists were in power from 1921-1991. Don’t think the Russian on the street loves Jews any more than the Communists did.
The Russian nationalists who have taken over the Donetsk region in the Eastern Ukraine yesterday disturbed the sanctity of Pesach prayers in the local synagogue to pass an official leaflet demanding Donetsk Jews to register, declare their property, or be deported. This is something that the civilized world should not tolerate for a moment, yet it’s no surprise. We now see the pro-Russian militias – none other than KGB operatives – in all their disgusting ugliness. The Russians and the Ukraines deserve each other.
We pray for the welfare of our Jewish brethren in Donetsk. I for one call them to make Aliya immediately and not wait until they’re herded into a ghetto.
Historically, whenever there was war between Poland, the Ukraine and Russia, the Jews were caught in the middle and killed by both sides.
Gunte, the Cossack who murdered Uman’s 33,000 Jewish martyrs in 1768, is celebrated as a Ukrainian national hero.
The Jews of the Ukraine should leave en masse and come to Israel immediately. Donetsk is only the beginning. Brothers and sisters, it’s time to come home and be free. Time is running out. Don’t stay in your 21st Century version of Egypt. No wonder this is happening during Pesach. We’re waiting for you with open arms.
– See more at: http://lazerbrody.typepad.com/lazer_beams/2014/04/donetsk-nuremburg-laws-with-a-russian-accent.html#sthash.DR28edE7.dpuf
From Rabbi Lazer Brody’s Lazer Beams website:
The Israeli media reports that the USA is really pieved about Israel’s failure to condemn Russia about the Crimean annexation and recent tension in Eastern Ukraine.
I’m sharply critical about our current government in Israel for a long list of reasons, but they did do one thing right: they didn’t vote in favor of the USA’s condemnation of Russia in the UN.
The facts on the ground are that, according to the highly authoratative Global Research Center, the USA has spent over $5 billion to install an extreme right-wing government in the Ukraine, while giving support and legitimacy to the neo-Nazi Svoboda Party. This is not hearsay, for the facts have been confirmed by US Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland.
Don’t shed a tear for the Ukraine. Antisemitism there is getting worse by the minute. In recent days alone, the grave of the Lubavitcher Rebbe’s brother has been desecrated and a synagogue firebombed. Try Googling “Ukraine Antisemitism”, and see how many millions of results you get in less than a quarter of a second. What’s so disgusting is that the current forces behind the perpetrators of hate crimes against the Ukrainian Jews is the United States State Department. This is the same State Department that supported the Moslem Brotherhood in Egypt and supports Al Qaida in Syria. How do you like where your tax dollars are going, America? Yet, we look at everything in the world through eyes of emuna. Like everything else in the world, the chaos in the Ukraine is also from Hashem. How much more must Hashem shout at our brethern in the Jew-hating Ukraine to leave there right away? Why a Ukrainian Jew remains for another 5 minutes in the Ukraine is beyond my comprehension. It’s time to get out of there and to come home to the only true home a Jew has on earth – the Land of Israel. – See more at: http://lazerbrody.typepad.com/lazer_beams/2014/04/svoboda-another-state-department-bad-bet.html#sthash.9pOJBx6K.dpuf
American CIA provocation starts trouble for the Jews
From Israel Matzav
Monday, April 21, 2014
From Zero Hedge.com
Submitted by Tyler Durden on 04/20/2014
In the days before the Geneva “de-escalation” conference (and coincidentally, days after the secret visit of CIA director Brennan to Kiev), the top story across western media was the “undisputed” proof that east-Ukraine, populated by “terrorist separatists”, is preparing to unleash a neo-nazi wave against local jews, when a leaflet was unveiled, beckoning the Jewish population to register and declare their assets. The USA Today promptly reported (joined by CBS and CNN): “Jews emerging from a synagogue say they were handed leaflets that ordered the city’s Jews to provide a list of property they own and pay a registration fee “or else have their citizenship revoked, face deportation and see their assets confiscated,” reported Ynet News, Israel’s largest news website, and Ukraine’s Donbass news agency.”
Odd because as the same USA Today further reported, “Olga Reznikova, 32, a Jewish resident of Donetsk, told Ynet she never experienced anti-Semitism in the city until she saw this leaflet.” Perversely, even the local Jewish community issued a statement saying the leaflet distribution “smells like a provocation.” The chief rabbi of nearby Dnipropetrovsk, Shmuel Kaminezki said, “Everything must be done to catch them.” So the bottom line, namely that this was merely a provocation designed to generate a kneejerk emotional response from the west and paint the pro-Russia militia as neo-nazis and generally, as fascists (even though it was the ultra nationalist Right Sector that was instrumental in the overthrow of the Yanukovich government) was clear to most – even the population that was seemingly being targeted. But not to John Kerry. “Secretary of State John Kerry said the language of the leaflets “is beyond unacceptable” and condemned whomever is responsible.”
“The real deal”… with the small exception that they were forged, in everything from the photoshopped stamp, to the fact that the person who allegedly signed the leaflets, Denis Pushilin – the Chair of the recently created Donetsk republic – explicitly stated he had nothing to do with this attempt to rile up anti-semitic sentiment in Donetsk. Of course, with the CIA operating freely in Kiev, and having been rather instrumental in the establishment of the current political regime (as it did in the US-foreign policy “success stories” of Libya and Egypt), one can be sure that the provocations will only gets more grotesque, surreal and most likely, violent from this point onward.
From JPost and Israel Matzav
In an unprecedented move, the National Council of Young Israel has urged American Jews not to walk home from synagogue alone on the two final days of the Passover holiday.
In America? TOP
By: Ari Davidson
During Passover, the Bloomberg news site ran a story with the headline, “Ukrainian Jews Seek Extra Security After Anti-Semitic Incident.”
The article reported that the Jewish community of the eastern Ukrainian city of Donetskrequested increased police protection. Chief Rabbi Pinchas Vyshedski was quoted saying that the Jews of Donetsk were “not comfortable” with the current rise of nationalism in Ukraine.
And for good reason.
It was just two daysafter five men in ski masks handed out leaflets in front of a synagogue ordering all Jews over 16 to register themselves and their assets with pro-Russian separatists (and pay a $50 fee) or face deportation, loss of citizenship and confiscation of their property.
Though the decree for Jews to register turned out not to be real, the targeting of Ukrainian Jews was very real. And it hit a raw nerve for Jews living in a country with a centuries-rich tradition of targeting and killing Jews.
Yet what made this Bloomberg story especially interesting is that it revealed an ugly eruption of anti-Semitism not just in Ukraine — but also in America.
To be clear, it wasn’t the article itself that revealed this; it was the comments section that followed the article. Unexpectedly, much of the American reaction to this story was alarmingly anti-Semitic.
Rather than supporting the Ukrainian Jews who were terrorized and forced to relive a Holocaust-era nightmare, many of the comments to the story attacked Jews and exposed a virulent brand of anti-Semitism that’s very much alive in America. The comments, filled with libel and hate, seemed to briefly turn a mainstream news website into a forum for neo-Nazis and white supremacists.
Here, then, are just a few eye-opening samples of the many anti-Semitic comments to this news story on Bloomberg. These are all verbatim, complete with typos, grammatical errors, lies and rage.
* * *
If Ukraine can get rid of their jooz, they’ll have a chance at a decent country…without all the financial spider-webbing that comes with theKikes.
The Jews don’t need extra security, they’re not special.
Simply a slimy trick by the Israeli arm of the CIA to embarrass the Russians. Ignore it.
Proving that Jews will do anything for power and money …the scum sucking parasite chameleons of the world
When not stealing or buggering gentile children, always so eager to play the victim’s card. Meanwhile, they continue their stealth campaign against Muslims and Christians.
Here’s my long list of countries who are happy that Jews live within their borders.
* Crickets *
Huh… Jews uncomfortable with nationalism. Imagine that. Apartheid is alive and well in israel.
Indeed. Almost *every* war the US has fought was a proxy war for the Jews, or was at least engineered by them behind the scenes. And the whole world is tired of it.
The Jewish controlled media made sure it’s on the front page or the top story all across our country. Totally irrational.
Surprise…surprise….the Jews are making it all about themselves.
Why is it that the joos are always whining about something or other, while they wreck nations, corrupt the politicians and foul impressionable minds with pornography and propaganda? “The jew cries out in pain as he strikes you.”
The Jews are up to their old tricks again.
The Jews’ war against our sacred Constitution must cease.
Perhaps Ukraine should follow the Israeli model of civilized behavior and set up partitioned areas for Jews. Areas which are then systematically eviscerated as non-Jewish settlements are built one after another.
Oh lord….Jews are threatened….that will send us into war against Putin! Because as we all know…Jews are the ONLY people to ever suffer in this world! Please….
It’s almost over
It starts a war every time. Say anything against the Jews and its war…but only the Gentiles go fight though, not the Jews in Amerika! Isn’t that interesting?
Where was the protection for America when the jews sold us out.
BRING OUR SONS HOME
FREE US FROM THE JEWISH JIHAD
What about the 8 million Ukrainians the Jewish Soviet commissars starved to death in the Holodomor?
Oy vey! It’s anutha shoah!!! We must file a suit for our shekels.
The Israel lobby exerts an influence far in excess of what it should do. Israel controls American foreign policy. The ability for foreign backed lobbyists from any nation to bribe politicians and exert excessive influence on domestic and foreign policy needs to be addressed
peter the great
I believe those knock out games were Jewish propaganda spread by Jewish media to gain christian sympathy of jews. Everybody in the world is waking up to your lies and soon you will pay dearly for your crimes against humanity. You are the cancer and we are the cure
Jews will do anything to fan the flames of “antisemitism”. They managed to start WW2, so why shouldn’t they be stirring the pot in Ukraine? They are shameless, and will do anything to keep the myth of the Holohoax live.
* * *
This eruption of anti-Semitism on a mainstream news site should not be ignored or dismissed as merely the ravings of unemployed, frustrated loners still living in their mothers’ homes. These words of hate can easily materialize into violence.
As Dr. Moshe Kantor, the president of the European Jewish Congress, recently said, “It is often easy to ignore such types of anti-Semitism because there are usually no direct victims, no physical harm ….However, we received a stark lesson [a few] weeks ago in Kansas City that there are many dangerous anti-Semites out there who just need the trigger and the opportunity to transfer their hate speech into violent action.”
If the dozens (or more) of anti-Semites who expressed hatred and even violent language against the Jews on a Bloomberg news article can be viewed as a viable focus group, this is indeed a wake-up call for Jews in America.
It shows us anti-Semitism can pop up anywhere.
And it reminds us that the anti-Semitic speech that evolved into large-scale violence throughout Jewish history can easily happen here in America in our own time — and that the only home Jews really have on earth is Israel.
A number of prominent and wealthy American businessmen helped to support fascist regimes in Europe from the 1920s through the 1940s. These people helped to support Francisco Franco during the Spanish Civil War of 1936, as well as Benito Mussolini, and Adolph Hitler.
Some of the primary and more famous Americans and companies that were involved with the fascist regimes of Europe are: William Randolph Hearst, Joseph Kennedy (JFK’s father), Charles Lindbergh, John Rockefeller, Andrew Mellon (head of Alcoa, banker, and Secretary of Treasury), DuPont, General Motors, Standard Oil (now Exxon), Ford, ITT, Allen Dulles (later head of the CIA), Prescott Bush, National City Bank, and General Electric.
It should be noted that businessmen from many countries, including England and Australia, also worked with the fascist regimes of Europe prior to WWII. The fascist governments were involved in a high level of construction, production, and international business.
I.G. Farben, a German company, was the largest chemical manufacturing enterprise in the world during the early part of the 20th century. As such the company had many holdings in a variety of countries, including America. The American holdings of I.G. Farben included Bayer Co., General Aniline Works, Agfa Ansco, and Winthrop Chemical Company.
I.G. Farben was critical in the development of the German economy and war machine leading up to WWII. During this time I.G. Farben’s international holdings along with its international business contracts with companies like Standard Oil, DuPont, Alcoa, and Dow Chemical were crucial in supplying the Nazi regime with the materials needed for war as well as financial support.
The Spanish Civil War was the precursor to World War II. Fascist Francisco Franco was aided by Hitler and Mussolini during the Spanish Civil War. At this time GM, Ford, DuPont, and Standard Oil were working with Franco and supplying the fascist powers of Europe. At this same time many Americans were protesting the goings on in Europe as well as the involvement of American companies in helping the fascist powers. A group of American volunteer soldiers known as the Abe Lincoln Brigade went to Spain during this time to fight against Franco in defense of the Spanish Republic. This group was made up primarily of leftist American groups, such as members of American socialist parties and communist parties.
The success of the fascists in Spain was an important first step in the building of fascist power in Europe and the stepping-stone for the Italian and German powers.
The support of American corporations, and lack of American intervention by the government, was crucial in the success of this first step.
American banks and businesses continued to support the fascist regimes of Europe legally up until the day Germany declared war on America and the activities were stopped under the Trading with the Enemy Act. Despite this, some companies and individuals still maintained a business relationship with the Third Reich. Ford and GM supplied European fascists with trucks and equipment as well as investing money in I.G. Farben plants. Standard Oil supplied the fascists with fuel. US Steel and Alcoa supplied them with critically needed metals. American banks gave them billion’s of dollars worth of loans.
The following is excerpted from a report printed by the United States Senate Committee on the Judiciary in 1974:
http://www.corpwatch.org/campaigns/PCD.jsp?articleid=4368 In 1940 Graeme K. Howard, Vice President of General Motors, published America and a New World Order, in which he advised that America give full cooperation to the Nazi regime. In his book he blames FDR for causing the war in Europe and goes on to say that the fascists should be supported as the better alternative to the spread of Communism.
The du Ponts helped to finance the Black Legion. The Black Legion was a Nazi style group supported by the du Ponts who were supporters of the Nazi movement in Germany and fanatical followers of the Third Reich. The organization was an American anti-socialist group that used violence against union leaders and union members. They have been implicated in the murder of several members of workers groups who were working in support of workers rights and benefits. The Black Legion was reported to have over 1.5 million members in the United States and was a group that was opposed to the FDR administration and was supposedly working to overthrow the administration. The Black Legion also had ties with the Ku Klux Klan, which was also a pro-Nazi group. The American Liberty League was another such organization.
For more on the Black Legion you can refer to the Federal Freedom of Information archives at: http://foia.fbi.gov/foiaindex/blackleg.htm
William Randolph Hearst is known as one of the largest media moguls of all time. During the 1930s he worked with the Nazi party to help promote a positive image of the Nazi party in American media. He also received loans from Italian fascists bankers during this time. The actions of Hearst were an important element in shaping American sentiment about not getting involved in the political situation in Europe as many Americans were led to believe that there was nothing terribly wrong going on in Europe, and even after the war started some Americans continued to support the Nazi regime based on the propaganda that they had been exposed to through Hearst media sources.
Below is an example of what was said about the Nazis in Hearst publications, in this case the Reader’s Digest, 1933:
– Clifford Sharp, former editor of the New Statesman writing in The New Statesman and Nation. Reprinted in Readers Digest, September, 1933
Below is a copy of a 1938 article published in Better Homes and Gardens, a Hearst publication:
In 1935 American Ambassador to Germany wrote to President Roosevelt about the extent of Hearst’s dealings with the Nazis.
In this letter it was stated:
“For this service Hearst was to receive $200,000 a year, and he at once began to bring pressure to bear on his correspondents to give only friendly accounts of what happened in Germany.”
“…I [reporter Karl von Wiegand] learned a little later that all my reports from Germany went directly to Hearst and were re-edited so as to fit the new program.”
“…he [Hearst] at the same time sent Dosch-Fleurot here from Paris to administer the service in such a way that it would always be friendly to the Hitler regime.”
Hearst publications continued to present the fascist regimes in Europe in a positive light until America finally entered the war.
Perhaps one of the most egregious contributors to the Nazi cause was IBM under the direction of Thomas J. Watson.
IBM knowing helped to setup Nazi census databases through the use of data sorting machines that enabled the Nazis to carry out the Holocaust in a way that they would not have otherwise been able to. Point blank, IBM increased the size and scope of the Holocaust, and did it for profit. Not only this, but IBM leased the machines, which they had developed especially for the Nazis, to the regime with the intention of taking them back, “once they were finished with them”. Thomas Watson was awarded a medal by Adolph Hitler for his role in assisting in the Nazi regime, .and Watson expressed, “the necessity of extending a sympathetic understanding to the German people, and their leader Adolph Hitler.” He also expressed “the highest esteem for Hitler, his country, and his people.”
More on IBM and Thomas J. Watson can be found here:
Charles Lindbergh was perhaps the most vocal and public supporter of the fascists, especially the Germans. Lindbergh was not so much a financial supporter of the Nazis, as he was a public advocate for allying with Germany to fight against Communism and promote White racial superiority. Lindbergh attended the Olympics as a guest of the Nazis and in 1938 he was given the Service Cross of the German Eagle while attending a dinner party in Berlin. He founded the America First Committee in 1940 to build opposition to FDR and FDR’s support for American entry into the war in Europe.
After American entry into World War II Lindbergh went to work for Henry Ford as an aircraft design consultant, and then went on to Japan to support American efforts in the Pacific. This was actually against the approval of the Roosevelt administration.
Henry Ford was an avowed anti-Semite, and significant contributor to the Nazi movement in Germany.
In 1920 Ford stated: “The international financiers are behind all war. They are what is called the International Jew — German Jews, French Jews, English Jews, American Jews. I believe that in all these countries except our own the Jewish financier is supreme… Here, the Jew is a threat.
In the 1920s he published The International Jew. Hitler himself ordered many copies of this book and was said to keep a copy on his desk. It is easy to see why when reading the book, because the attack on the Jews is vehement. The book states:
People today try to put all of this blame on Hitler, but it was not just Hitler, in fact the ideas of the Nazis were far more pervasive and were publicized by Henry Ford.
Why? Because he believed in an international Jewish conspiracy. Ford was more then just anti-Semitic, you can see by reading his publications that it went well beyond a matter of racism and not liking people. He viewed this, and many others did as well, as a war between the Anglo way of life and that of the Jews.
The hate that so many talk about in America today, it runs much deeper then many would imagine, and it is founded in much more substantial ideas then most would think as well.
Ford helped shape Hitler’s views on the Jews, and those of many people around he world.
At the Nuremberg Trials Baldur Von Shirach claimed that Henry Ford was the primary inspiration for his anti-Semitism.
Shirach, a former Nazi youth leader, stated: “You have no idea what a great influence this book had on the thinking of the German youth…I read Henry Ford’s book ‘The International Jewry’…and became anti-Semitic.”
Ford also made large personal contributions to Hitler’s political campaigns. Hitler spoke of Ford in his speeches and had a portrait of Ford in his office.
In 1938 Henry Ford received the Grand Cross of the Order of the German Eagle as a birthday present from Adolph Hitler. He was given the medal in his office in Michigan by two officials from the Third Reich, as seen below:
Ford never returned this medal, even after WWII. The head of IBM, who had also been given a medal from Hitler because he was a supporter of the Third-Reich, returned his medal after WWII, but Henry did not despite public outcry.
Overall, what is critical to recognize is that American corporations and wealthy individuals played an important part in the construction of the Nazi Empire and the various fascist groups of Europe leading up to World War II. Without American support it is doubtful that the fascist powers of Europe would have ever achieved their positions of power and been able to develop the military institutions necessary to wage the Second World War. Indeed Ford himself contributed not only monetarily but ideologically as well. It is important to note that America was still the wealthiest country in the world at that time even though America was also in a state of economic depression. Many of America’s wealthy were only mildly affected by the depression, if at all, and many of them were opposed to the FDR administration.
Important information about the ties between American businessmen and the fascist powers of Europe was communicated to FDR by the American Ambassador to Germany during the 1930s, William E. Dodd. His writings on the matter are of critical importance. He wrote about connections between Hearst and the Nazis as well as Hearst and the Italians, in addition to Nazi connections with other wealthy Americans.
This is the only internet library of the writings of William E. Dodd:
The Diary of William E. Dodd:
What is also critical to observe is that this information is not a part of standard American history. The fact that this information is not openly disclosed is very important from many perspectives. For one, how can we as a people truly learn from history if we don’t know real history? We have to know what really happened if we are to learn to really prevent it from happening again. For another, why is it that so many of America’s largest corporations and most influential political officials have direct ties to the Nazi empire?
For more information on fascism see:
For more information on fascist – American connections go to:
January 23, 2013
Author: Rafael Medoff / JNS.org
“There is at least one official voice in Europe that expresses understanding of the methods and motives of President Roosevelt—the voice of Germany, as represented by Chancellor Adolf Hitler.”
That incredible statement was the opening line of a flattering feature story about the Nazi leader that appeared on the front page of the New York Times in 1933, and was typical of some early press coverage of Hitler, who rose to power 80 years ago on Jan. 30.
Hitler’s ascent caught much of the world by surprise. As late as May 1928, the Nazis had won less than 3 percent of the vote in elections to the Reichstag, Germany’s parliament, and the Nazi party’s candidate for president received barely 1 percent of the votes in March 1929. But as Germany’s economic and social crises worsened, the Nazis rose to 18.3 percent of the vote in the parliamentary election of July 1930. They doubled that total two years later, becoming the largest party in the Reichstag.
Negotiations between the Nazis and other parties then produced a coalition government, with Hitler as chancellor. The Nazis celebrated with a huge torchlight parade through the streets of Berlin on the night of Hitler’s appointment, Jan. 30, 1933.
A ‘moderate’ Hitler?
Relatively little was known in America about Hitler, and many leading newspapers predicted that the Nazis would not turn out to be as bad as some feared.
An editorial in the Philadelphia Evening Bulletin on Jan. 30 claimed that “there have been indications of moderation” on Hitler’s part. The editors of the Cleveland Press, on Jan. 31, asserted that the “appointment of Hitler as German chancellor may not be such a threat to world peace as it appears at first blush.”
Officials of the Roosevelt administration were quoted in the press as saying they “had faith that Hitler would act with moderation compared to the extremist agitation [i]n his recent election campaigning… [They] based this belief on past events showing that so-called ‘radical’ groups usually moderated, once in power.”
A wave of terror
In the weeks to follow, however, events on the ground contradicted those optimistic forecasts. Outbursts of anti-Jewish violence were tolerated, and often encouraged and assisted, by the Nazi regime.
In early March, for example, the Chicago Tribune published an eyewitness account of “bands of Nazis throughout Germany carr[ying] out wholesale raids to intimidate the opposition, particularly the Jews.” Victims were “hit over the heads with blackjacks, dragged out of their homes in night clothes and otherwise molested,” with many Jews “taken off to jail and put to work in a concentration camp.”
The following month, the New York Evening Post reported that the Nazis had launched “a violent campaign of murderous agitation” against Germany’s Jews: “An indeterminate number of Jews… have been killed. Hundreds of Jews have been beaten or tortured. Thousands of Jews have fled. Thousands of Jews have been, or will be deprived of their livelihood. All of Germany’s 600,000 Jews are in terror.”
The Hitler regime was determined to eliminate the Jewish community from German society. During the Nazis’ first weeks in power, violence and intimidation were used to force Jewish judges, attorneys, journalists, university professors, and orchestra conductors and musicians out of their jobs.
A law passed on April 7 required the dismissal of Jews from all government jobs. Additional legislation in the months to follow banned Jews from a whole range of professions, from dentistry to the movie industry. The government even sponsored a one-day nationwide boycott of Jewish businesses, with Nazi storm troopers stationed outside Jewish-owned stores to prevent customers from entering.
Hitler’s ‘sensitive hand’
Nevertheless, in July 1933, nearly six months after Hitler’s rise to power, the New York Times ran a front-page feature about the Fuhrer that presented him in a flattering light. For Hitler, it was a golden opportunity to soften his image by praising President Roosevelt as well as a platform to deliver lengthy justifications of his totalitarian policies and attacks on Jews.
The article, titled “Hitler Seeks Jobs for All Germans,” began with Hitler’s remark that FDR was looking out “for the best interests and welfare of the people of the United States.” He added: “I have sympathy with President Roosevelt because he marches straight toward his objective over Congress, over lobbies, over stubborn bureaucracies.”
The story was based on an interview with the Nazi leader by Times correspondent Anne O’Hare McCormick. She gave Hitler paragraph after paragraph to explain his policies as necessary to address Germany’s unemployment, improve its roads, and promote national unity. The Times correspondent lobbed the Nazi chief softball questions such as “What character in history do you admire most, Caesar, Napoleon, or Frederick the Great?”
McCormick also described Hitler’s appearance and mannerisms in a strongly positive tone: Hitler is “a rather shy and simple man, younger than one expects, more robust, taller… His eyes are almost the color of the blue larkspur in a vase behind him, curiously childlike and candid… His voice is as quiet as his black tie and his double-breasted black suit… Herr Hitler has the sensitive hand of the artist.”
Whatever her intentions, articles like McCormick’s helped dull the American public’s awareness of the dangers of Nazism. The image of a pro-American moderate undermined the chances for mobilizing serious international opposition to Hitler during the early months of his regime.
Dr. Rafael Medoff is founding director of The David S. Wyman Institute for Holocaust Studies, in Washington, DC, and coauthor, with Craig Yoe, of the forthcoming book “Cartoonists Against the Holocaust.”
This cartoon by Rollin Kirby, in the New York World, alluded to the Nazis’ torchlight parade celebrating their rise to power. Photo: Courtesy of The David S. Wyman Institute for Holocaust Studies.
The Associated Press news agency willingly cooperated with Nazi Germany, submitting to the regime’s restrictive rulings on the freedom of the press and providing it with images from its photo archives to be used in its anti-Semitic and anti-Western propaganda machine, a new report reveals.
When Adolf Hitler’s National Socialists rose to power in 1933, all international news agencies but the US-based AP were forced to leave Germany. The AP continued to operate in the Third Reich until 1941, when the United States joined World War II.
According to German historian Harriet Scharnberg, the world’s biggest news agency was only allowed to remain in Germany because it signed a deal with the regime.
The news agency lost control over its copy by submitting itself to the Schriftleitergesetz (editor’s law), agreeing not to print any material “calculated to weaken the strength of the Reich abroad or at home,” she wrote in an article published in the academic journal Studies in Contemporary History.
Scharnberg’s research was first reported by the UK-based Guardian newspaper.
According to the paper, the Nazis’ so-called editor’s law forced AP employees to contribute material for the Nazi party’s propaganda division. One of the four photographers working for the company in the 1930s was Franz Roth, a member of the SS paramilitary unit’s propaganda division. His pictures were handpicked by Hitler, the Guardian writes.
The AP’s images appeared in many of the regime’s propaganda publications. Most of the images in a pamphlet called “Jews in the US” were provided by the AP. In a different publication entitled “The Subhuman,” the AP provided the second-largest number of photographs, according to Scharnberg.
It is possible to argue that the AP’s agreement with the Nazis allowed the West a “peek into a repressive society that may otherwise have been entirely hidden from view,” the Guardian writes. On the other hand, the deal allowed to Nazis to cover up their war crimes. The cooperation with the prestigious American news agency allowed Hitler to portray his “war of extermination as a conventional war,” Scharnberg told the Guardian.
“Instead of printing pictures of the days-long Lviv pogroms with its thousands of Jewish victims, the American press was only supplied with photographs showing the victims of the Soviet police and ‘brute’ Red Army war criminals,” Scharnberg, a historian at Halle’s Martin Luther University, told the paper, citing one example of the agency’s work helping the Nazis.
“To that extent it is fair to say that these pictures played their part in disguising the true character of the war led by the Germans,” she added. “Which events were made visible and which remained invisible in AP’s supply of pictures followed German interests and the German narrative of the war.”
Responding to the Guardian’s report, the AP said it would research the matter but rejected the notion that it deliberately collaborated with the Nazis.
“An accurate characterization is that the AP and other foreign news organizations were subjected to intense pressure from the Nazi regime from the year of Hitler’s coming to power in 1932 until the AP’s expulsion from Germany in 1941. AP management resisted the pressure while working to gather accurate, vital and objective news in a dark and dangerous time,” the agency stated.
AP later issued a lengthier statement, in which it said it “rejects the suggestion that it collaborated with the Nazi regime at any time.”
Richard Behar Contributor 21August2014 http://www.forbes.com/sites/richardbehar/2014/08/21/the-media-intifada-bad-math-ugly-truths-about-new-york-times-in-israel-hamas-war/
It’s a “media intifada,” notes Gary Weiss, an old colleague and one of the world’s top business investigative reporters. He is referring of course to the ongoing war in Gaza, where journalists working for American news outlets have, he says, “become part of the Hamas war machine.”
As more than a month has passed since Israel began its Operation Protective Edge in Gaza, it’s high time to dig through the carnage that many of my colleagues from major U.S. media outlets are leaving behind—especially the New York Times.
On August 11th, the normally Israel-averse Foreign Press Association in Israel conceded what those closely following the war coverage already knew: That Hamas has been intimidating foreign reporters. In a harsh statement, it condemned the terrorist group for “the blatant, incessant, forceful and unorthodox methods employed by the Hamas authorities and their representatives against visiting international journalists in Gaza over the past month.”
This is hardly surprising, as who can expect a terrorist group to treat reporters nicely—except perhaps many reporters themselves? But what is surprising is that New York Times’ Jerusalem bureau chief Jodi Rudoren undermined her own newspaper—quickly denouncing the FPA’s statement. She said in a tweet that she wasn’t aware of any such harassed reporters, even though she concedes she spent only one week in Gaza herself during the height of the conflict. In an email to the FPA, she said that the FPA’s statement could be “dangerous” to the “credibility” of the foreign press who are covering the conflict. “Every reporter I’ve met who was in Gaza during war says this Israeli/now FPA narrative of Hamas harassment is nonsense,” she tweeted. [Boldface type hers.]
I agree that there’s a lot of nonsense being disseminated about Israel’s war with Hamas, and about the media role in the conflict. And I agree that there is a danger—if people believe that the media, including the New York Times, provides a fair picture of the war in Gaza. (I would argue it is not.)
Since late July, I’ve conducted an in-depth look at the credibility of the media coverage, plus interviews with military experts and some journalists covering the war. Among other things, I’ve discovered that the Times’ most important reporter in Gaza for the past few years has used the late Yasser Arafat as his profile photo on Facebook, and, in a second photo, praised the former Palestinian leader. This suggests that the Times may have less to worry about in terms of Hamas intimidation than others in the press corps. Indeed, this Times reporter’s parallel pieces for Qatar’s Al Jazeera since the war began can only be pleasing to the terrorists.
HIS MAN ARAFAT: Screenshot of a Facebook homepage of Fares Akram, the New York Times’ most important Gaza-based reporter
My results are hardly complete, as it’s impossible to keep up with all the coverage while the fighting ensues (and rockets have again been fired at Israel today, hours before the end of a lengthy truce.) I’ll be focusing heavily on the Times, because it is, without question, the most important media outlet in the world, in terms of setting the table each day for other outlets. It is also widely regarded as the most authoritative media outlet in the world for international coverage. Since the operation (now clearly a war—albeit interspersed with ceasefires) began on July 8th, so much of the Western coverage has been predictably skewed against Israel—through those time-honored journalism tools of sloppy and lazy reporting, superficiality, nuance, omission, lack of historical knowledge, or flat-out agenda-driven lies and bias.
Journalism ethics professors and historians take note: You are bearing witness, with few exceptions, to some of the most abysmal overseas reporting since Hearst’s New York Journal in 1898 got us into the Spanish-American War and Walter Duranty of the New York Times was ignoring Stalin’s crimes in the 1930s. “We’re not just talking bad journalism,” says Weiss. “We’re talking about journalism that functions as a tool of a terrorist organization, Hamas: breathlessly pushing its narrative, whether cowed by its threats, sympathetic to its cause, or simply ignorant.”
It’s not for lack of personnel. Israel’s Government Press Office says just over 700 foreign journalists from more than 40 countries have come to Israel to cover the war (joining the 750 already there). But only a few of them are doing their jobs right—that is, moving beyond the surface imagery and the heavy-handed (and wrong) “David and Goliath” agenda being advanced by the fascistic, death-worshipping terrorist group Hamas.
I raised the topic last week with Ambassador Ido Aharoni, Consul General of Israel in New York. “As someone who is a student of the media and a former journalist,” he says, “I find it bizarre— journalistically and morally—that after a month of intense fighting between Israel and Hamas, there were hardly any images shown in Western media of Hamas terrorists holding guns or Hamas terrorists engaged in hostile activities against Israel. It’s as if there’s only one side, and this could be a result of two reasons: Either journalists are looking for the easy story, the available story, what’s in front of their eyes. Or they’re being intimidated by Hamas. And I believe that what we’ve probably had is a combination of both.”
Cartoon courtesy of LegalInsurrection.com
This epidemic of journalistic malpractice is contributing to the pain and loss of life that Palestinians in Gaza are suffering—as it helps to empower Hamas, which has been designated a terrorist organization by the U.S., the EU, Canada, Japan, Egypt and Jordan. (This designation is too often not-fit-to-print by the New York Times and other media outlets.) In turn, this no doubt helps spread oil on the rising and frightening anti-Semitism we’re seeing in Europe and elsewhere.
And that is no accident. Hamas’s rarely-mentioned 1988 charter is a throwback to 1930s Nazi anti-Semitism, pure and simple, with a genocidal intent that is unambiguous. Indeed, Hamas is the spiritual successor to the anti-Semitic Haj Amin al-Husseini, the Palestinian leader who famously met and worked with Adolf Hitler and his henchman Heinrich Himmler, chief of the SS and architect of the Final Solution, as he aligned the Palestinian Arab cause with the Axis during World War II.
You might say that the battle that Hamas is fighting is not a new one at all, but a continuation of Hitler’s unfinished business from World War II. If this all sounds new to you it’s no wonder—the media rarely delves beyond the surface into Hamas’s ideology and historical antecedents. But that is but one of many problems with the coverage of the Israel-Hamas conflict, and not even the worst.
(Note: If readers alert me to anything I’m mistaken about in this article, I will, unlike many of my colleagues, correct it. Again, events move too quickly during a war to follow everything, especially in a 24-7 Internet news world.)
Here is a sampling of what the Times, and the media in general, feel is not fit to print:
*** Proof of the use by Hamas of civilians as human shields has finally been ably exposed by reporters for media outlets in Finland, France, India, Italy, Japan, Russia, and others—but not by news organizations with greater resources at hand such as BBC, CNN, the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal and numerous others. (A too-brief exception: the Washington Post.) Sadly, the Associated Press has failed dismally. As for Reuters, in 2011, its new editor-in-chief, Stephen Adler, promised to bolster the newswire’s enterprise reporting. In some ways he has, but its coverage of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict continues to be weak and riddled with falsities.
*** In late 2012, during Israel’s Operation Pillar of Defense in Gaza, I examined the Facebook page of Fares Akram—the most important Gaza-based reporter for the New York Times. His profile photo was not of himself, but of PLO leader Arafat. A second photo, still in his album, waxes poetically about Arafat in the context of “heights by great men.” But Arafat, among many things as the longtime leader of the Palestinians (the 1972 Munich Olympics massacre comes to mind), opted for the Second Intifada in 2000, rather than accept a generous peace offer from Israel. Before he died, he said on TV that dead Palestinian children are good for the cause. In 2009, following an Israeli air strike that tragically killed his father and a cousin, Akram wrote that “I am finding it hard to distinguish between what the Israelis call terrorists and the Israeli pilots and tank crews who are invading Gaza.” Akram, a Palestinian resident of Gaza, has also published more than a dozen dispatches for Al Jazeera, parallel to his Times reporting, since the war began last month.
*** Abeer Ayyoub, another Palestinian resident of Gaza and former Times reporter there (until 2013), was boycotting all products made in Israel before and after her Times gig. Her Facebook posts and stories for other publications in 2014 are hostile to Israel.
*** Now more than ever, it is incumbent on our mainstream media community to scrutinize Al Jazeera America, the TV news network that is working hard to gain a foothold in American living rooms. Many big-name U.S. journalists have been lured there—the latest, Pulitzer Prize-winning business journalist David Cay Johnston (long at the New York Times)—despite the fact that it’s owned by the dictatorship of Qatar, which funds Hamas and gives shelter today to the terror group’s top leaders. Few major reporters in the U.S. will publicly discuss this Al Jazeera America-Hamas connection. Perhaps some of them want to keep their future job prospects open, given the turmoil and cutbacks in the traditional media world—and the fat paychecks that Al Jazeera America is dispensing.
“Al Jazeera is the long hand of the regime of Qatar that abuses its endless resources in order to support and fund terror organizations all over the globe, including al-Qaeda, says Kobi Michael, who served until recently as Deputy Director General of Israel’s Ministry of Strategic Affairs (where he also ran the Palestinian desk.) “They use Al Jazeera in order to destabilize the moderate Arab regimes by encouraging and supporting political Islam.”
*** The arithmetic of civilian casualties in Gaza is one of the principal media crimes in this war. It became obvious weeks ago that major Western journalists routinely swallowed the huge civilian-casualty figures dished out to them by Gaza’s Ministry of Health, a bureaucratic arm of a terrorist group that was shown to have lied about such figures in past wars. In some cases, reporters cite numbers instead from the United Nations, which gets its numbers from—surprise—the Hamas ministry, a dubious source of information, akin to relying on the Reich Health Office for German civilian-casualty statistics during World War II. On many occasions, major American news outlets haven’t bothered to even attribute the numbers to either the ministry or the UN—simply reporting as fact that “most,” or “the majority” or the “vast majority” of casualties in Gaza are civilians.
At the very least, readers or viewers should be told by those reporters (or their editors/producers) to take the figures with some salt. Meanwhile, Israel’s best research institute on the subject, the Meir Amit Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center, is to this day all but ignored by Western media. And yet they are the only independent outfit that takes the time to match the names of the dead with known terrorists. Their results thus far (with 450 deaths analyzed) show that approximately half are civilians. Based on prior wars with Hamas, it’s highly likely that, in the final analysis, the majority of the dead will have been terrorist operatives.
When the first 72-hour ceasefire (broken by Hamas) began on August 5th, the New York Times quickly tried to play catch-up with reality by posting an “analysis” that day about the reliability of casualty figures. (It was also published on the newspaper’s front page on August 6th.) The Meir Amit center was mentioned in passing, not given the depth its numbers deserved, and by then the damage had already been long done by the newspaper, which had doggedly advanced the Hamas narrative in its news and editorial pages.
*** Crossing over to Britain, the reports and dispatches of one of that country’s top newsmen (Jon Snow, known as “the face of Channel 4 News”) is a parody of journalism, and arguably is helping to fuel the tide of Israel- and Jew-hatred that is sweeping Britain and Europe. His Twitter feed is said to be the most popular among UK news hosts.
HERO’S FAREWELL: Funeral of 20-year-old Israeli soldier Bnaya Rubel, killed on July 19th by a Hamas gunman who suddenly emerged from a tunnel. With rare exceptions, Western journos are not interested in telling the stories of Israel’s fallen. (photo: Oren Ziv/ActiveStills)
CIVILIAN SHIELDS? WHAT CIVILIAN SHIELDS?
On July 27th, I spoke at length with a reporter in Gaza who is covering the war for a major, highly respectable U.S. media outlet that has enormous resources. Regrettably, the reporter insisted on not being named, as his company wouldn’t permit it. Our talk took place just as Gaza-based reporters for smaller, non-English-speaking media outlets were beginning to reveal proof that Hamas was using civilian centers (such as schools, hospitals, dense residential neighborhoods—even the main hotel in Gaza City where reporters are staying) as rocket-launching sites.
Q: Israel received severe condemnation from many world leaders after a strike on Al-Shifa, Gaza City’s largest hospital. [Evidence is now showing that it was actually an errant Hamas missile that hit it.] Are Hamas leaders and fighters using it as a base for operations?
A: It’s not the fighters who are there, and they’re not using the hospital to launch rockets from, they’re using it to see media. These are Hamas spokesmen [at the hospital], not leaders. This is also something that has not been understood fully. There are probably a couple of reasons [for holding press conferences there]. It’s a safe place. Israel doesn’t kill spokespeople. Also, it’s a good place to get journalists, as we’re passing through the hospital, since that’s where the bodies are coming in. It’s a place journalists have to go anyway.
This has been a brilliant strategy by Hamas, although any skeptical reporter would have seen through it—and a couple did. Why are press conferences being held in a hospital, as opposed to another location such as the main hotel where they stay? Surely, hotels are also fine places for Hamas to “get journalists” to come to.
Clearly, Hamas wants the reporters to have to see the dead and injured on a regular basis if they want access to spokespeople. It safely gives lazy reporters a constant stream of tragedies to write about. A seasoned reporter would have surmised that this could be the perfect location for Hamas’s leaders to operate from, especially below the first floor. And, in fact, that is what happened.
Moreover, this was nothing new. In 2006, PBS’s Wide Angle aired a documentary showing how gunmen move through the corridors of that hospital, intimidate the staff, and deny them access to protected locations inside the facility—where the camera crew was forbidden from filming.
On the same day I spoke with this reporter, I also reached out to Eado Hecht, an independent defense analyst who has taught military theory and history at the IDF Command and General Staff College. He currently works with the Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies (Israel’s leading think tank), and sits on the board of The Journal of Military Operations, whose CEO A.E. Stahl tells me, “Regarding military history, and Israeli military affairs in particular, I have yet to meet anyone as knowledgeable as Eado.”
I asked Hecht about what I call “human-shield blindness,” a rare medical condition that afflicts American reporters based in Gaza— from the New York Times to CNN and Reuters. “As to foreign journalists seeing things, I am certain they are seeing the use of supposedly innocent buildings for military purposes, but most are either too scared to report this or ideologically motivated not to,” he said. “Yesterday [Aug 1st], a Finnish reporter did talk shortly about the use of Shifa hospital to launch rockets after seeing it with her own eyes. But who watches Finnish TV except the Finns? The use of fear to influence journalists is not new—it has been happening for decades. The ideological motivation is not new either—many of the camera crews are locals.”
HOLY OF HOLIES! The IDF says 331 rockets have been shot from mosques in Gaza. This mosque reportedly had a 46-foot-deep tunnel shaft that connected to other tunnels. (source: IDF)
Fortunately, it wasn’t just a Finnish reporter who earned her pay (although she later showed her own biased stripes by tweeting that she didn’t want it used a “tool of propaganda” by people “looking for excuses to Israeli actions in Gaza”). Hamas’ operations at the same hospital were the focus of a report by a French-Palestinian journalist for France’s Libération. He said that Hamas had summoned him to Al-Shifa Hospital, where he was interrogated by a group of young fighters and told to immediately leave Gaza without his papers; he later asked the newspaper to take down the story.
“No Israeli missile hit the [Al-Shifa] hospital,” says military expert Hecht. “It was a Hamas rocket, one of approximately 300 that have malfunctioned and landed inside Gaza instead of in Israel. Apparently there are also cases in which Hamas deliberately bombarded its own residential areas to blame Israel (this was not the case at Shifa)—but the only evidence is not good enough to prove it. Shifa hospital has been identified by the IDF as providing cover to a network of underground rooms and tunnels that serve it; they have simply stated that under Shifa is the most developed and senior Hamas command post and left it at that. There are certainly many Hamas security personnel around the hospital (they can be seen in the background in TV reports) and they have used the hospital as a launch site for rockets.”
To his credit, William Booth of the Washington Post wrote back on July 15th that Shifa “has become a de facto headquarters for Hamas leaders, who can be seen in the hallways and offices.” Two days later, Booth and colleagues Sudarsan Raghavan and Ruth Eglash reported that a group of men at a mosque in northern Gaza said they had returned “to clean up the green glass from windows shattered in the previous day’s bombardment.” But those men, the Post wrote, “could be seen moving small rockets into the mosque.”
Bottom-line: With the exception of the Washington Post, audiences in America might need to turn to other countries to follow the war, as well as any future wars between Israel and Hamas.
AUSTRALIA: On July 23rd, Peter Stefanovic of Australia’s Channel Nine News tweeted: “Hamas rockets just launched over our hotel, from a site about two hundred metres away. So a missile launch site is basically next door.”
BRITAIN: Financial Times’ Jerusalem correspondent John Reed noted that Hamas fired two rockets from a launch site “near Al-Shifa hospital, even as more bombing victims were brought in.”
CANADA: On July 20th, Patrick Martin of the Globe and Mail reported that he saw a pair of long-range rockets fired from “very near a UN school filled with more than 1,000 people seeking refuge.” He also noted that two gunmen were disguised as women; one of them had his weapon “wrapped in a baby blanket and held on his chest as if it were an infant.” Canadian Broadcasting Corp (CBC) reporter Derek Stoffel says outright what so many of his American colleagues won’t: “Hamas uses Palestinian civilians as human shields.”
FINLAND: Finnish reporter Aishi Zidan confirms that a rocket was launched from a parking lot at Al-Shifa Hospital.
FRANCE: On August 2nd, a rocket was launched close to where a correspondent for France 24, inside Al-Shifa Hospital, was broadcasting. “Rockets were just shot right next to where we are standing, so I’m not going to sit here, stand here very long, because usually there is a [IDF] strike just moments after this occurs,” correspondent Gallagher Fenwick stated. The rocket, was fired from about 160 feet away from a hotel where foreign reporters were staying. “This type of setup is at the heart of the debate,” Fenwick observed. “The Israeli army has repeatedly accused Palestinian militants of shooting from within densely-populated civilian areas and that is precisely the type of setup we have right here. Rockets set up right next to buildings with a lot of residents in them.” (Palestinian kids can be seen playing near the rocket launchers).
INDIA: A reporter for NDTV (New Delhi Television) witnessed a rocket silo under a tent just outside his room in a hotel where he and his team were staying. The reporter, Sreenivasan Jain, then filmed the rocket being fired. The hotel is located in a dense residential neighborhood, close to a UN facility. [See three screenshots below.]
ROOM WITH A VIEW: Reporter for India’s NDTV shows viewers a blue tent outside his hotel where Hamas terrorists assembled a rocket
PEEK-A-BOO: A close-up by NDTV of the tent where a Hamas terrorist used shrubbery to try and hide that rocket
WHILE THE TIMES SLEPT: Reporters from NDTV captured footage of Hamas rocket fired from outside their hotel
ITALY: On July 29th, Gabriele Barbati, an Italian reporter for Radio Popolare Milano tweeted: “Out of Gaza far from Hamas retaliation: misfired rocket killed children yday [sic] in Shati [a refugee camp]. Witness: militants rushed and cleared debris.” Nine children died. Barbati followed his tweet with another: “IDF Spokesperson said truth in communiqué released yesterday about Shati camp massacre. It was not Israel behind it.”
JAPAN: A correspondent based in Gaza for a Japanese daily wrote that Hamas “tries to use evacuating civilians and journalists by stopping them and turning them into ‘human shields’… strategy is also aimed at foreign journalists.” He recounted how some 20 journalists were blocked by Hamas from going through a checkpoint into Israel, after Hamas staffers falsely told them that the IDF had closed it. In fact, it appeared that the terrorists were plotting to have the reporters stuck there for (and right inside) a pending airstrike.
RUSSIA: RT (formerly Russia Today) correspondent Harry Fear was told to leave Gaza after he tweeted that Hamas fired rockets from near his hotel. In another tweet, Fear called the Al-Wafa rehabilitation hospital in Gaza “the hospital with human shields.”
SPAIN: A Spanish journalist named Fernando Gutiérrez, writing for Diario Melilla Hoy tweeted on August 9th that “Hamas launched a battery of rockets from the press hotel. What was their intent? To provoke Israel to kill us?”
Even Al Jazeera America comes in for some credit, but only fleetingly. On July 31st, its Jerusalem correspondent, Nick Schifrin—he joined the network in February—had to rush away from a live report when an Israeli missile struck a building about 300 feet behind him. “From that field a few days ago we saw rockets launched towards Israel,” he later told viewers. “And that’s what we’ve seen a lot over the last few weeks. These rockets are launched or embedded really within civilian neighborhoods, in residential neighborhoods, and eventually almost every single one is targeted by an Israeli air strike.”
I took a screenshot [see below] of Schifrin just as an Israeli missile was striking the building behind him. But a few days ago I went back to see if I could get a better shot, and couldn’t find the video. Apparently it had been removed by the network.
ABRACADABRA: Nick Schifrin of Al Jazeera America witnessed an Israeli air strike (right) on a building behind him. He explained to his viewers that “we’ve seen a lot” of Hamas rockets “embedded really within civilian neighborhoods, in residential neighborhoods.” But Nick’s report seems to have been embedded into the network’s trash bin.
Some foreign reporters have been so spooked by Hamas that they don’t even have the guts to step forward and talk about it after they leave Gaza. An Israeli filmmaker named Michael Grynszpan told me last week that he was filming on a Tel Aviv street when he and a colleague “met this nice guy. He told us that he was a Spanish journalist and even showed us his press card.” The journalist told the filmmakers that he had just come back from Gaza. They asked why they don’t see TV reporting of Hamas leaders, gunmen, and rocket launches—only civilian casualties.
The Spanish newsman responded that he had, in fact, seen Hamas fighters launching rockets close to his hotel, but that if he’d dared to point his camera at them, “they would simply shoot and kill us.” (Grynszpan’s colleague, Max Wildenhaus, adds: “He said they had snipers and would shoot them.”)
When Grynszpan asked the Spanish reporter if they could film him saying that, “he freaked out” and “almost ran off.”
Fortunately, there are some prominent individuals who live in Gaza who have more courage. Take Archbishop Alexios, the Strip’s most prominent Christian among a population of about 1,500 adherents there. On August 9th, he showed Christian Broadcasting Network (CBN News) a church compound where Hamas had fired rockets from, despite the fact that he had opened the church doors to 2,000 Muslims seeking shelter from the war. “Islam is the rule of this place,” he said, “and whatever Hamas says we must obey or face consequences.”
Curiously, Reuters’ reporter Nidal Al-Mughrabi took the time to interview Archbishop Alexios two weeks earlier (on July 22nd), when the Christian leader complained to him that Israeli aircraft bombed a nearby field, causing shrapnel to land on the church and damaging graves. But Reuters hasn’t yet returned to the scene to report that the church was used as a rocket launch site—by Hamas. Nidal?
In the case of the Wall Street Journal, its correspondent based in Egypt, Tamer El-Ghobashy, tweeted a photo of rubble with the explanation: “An outside wall on the campus of Gaza’s main hospital [Al-Shifa] was hit by a strike. Low level damage suggest [sic] Hamas misfire.” Soon after, he deleted the tweet.
His Gaza-based colleague, Nicholas (Nick) Casey, also tweeted that he wondered how patients at Al-Shifa felt about their hospital being used for press conferences. He even ran a photo of a Hamas spokesman giving a briefing there. He then deleted the tweet, as well.
I reached out to Casey to see if he would discuss the matter on-record, as he and El-Ghobashy have received some criticism for deleting their tweets. A response came instead from the newspaper’s headquarters in New York. “Neither the reporters themselves nor any editors would in any way censor our journalism out of fear or favor,” wrote Journal editor in chief Gerard Baker. “We publish what we find. Our reporting from the Middle East is unsurpassed in its fair and accurate portrayal of the issues, and regular readers of our daily articles from Gaza and the Middle East know this to be true. Our many courageous reporters around the world often take considerable risks and incur significant hardship in defying efforts by authorities and other forces to bend the truth. We are beholden to no-one but our readers.”
I was intrigued that Baker used the famous ‘fear-of-favor’ line from rival Times’ founder Adolph Ochs. After all, the Journal’s coverage of the war certainly does surpass the Times’s.
Clearly, the preponderance of the evidence is that reporters have indeed been intimidated, and that there is a reason for the intimidation—Hamas has a lot to hide. The media, in other words, is part of the story. Yet this is a story that does not exist to the readers of the New York Times, which include the policymakers in Washington.
ASLEEP AT THE SWITCH: New York Times’ Jerusalem bureau chief Jodi Rudoren. If her team can’t or won’t do true enterprise reporting during this war, then why not at least cite the other reporters who have? (screenshot: Twitter)
Earlier this week, Israel released updated figures that are startling: The IDF says 30 rockets were shot by Hamas from UN facilities, 248 rockets shot from schools, and 331 from mosques. One wonders: If the New York Times isn’t doing its own fresh reporting on such matters, why not at least follow the information and footage that the IDF releases of rockets being fired from residential areas, and then interviewing the residents there? Or why not suck it up and at least cite other media outlets for what they have found?
Finally, rockets have been discovered being stored inside three UN-run schools since the war began. “The militants, Hamas, and the other armed groups, they are firing also their weaponry, the rockets, into Israel from the vicinity of these [UN] installations and housing and so on,” John Ging, director of the U.N. Office of Humanitarian Affairs, told Canada’s CBC. “So the combat is being conducted very much in a residential built up area.”
Hamas’s position on this could not be clearer. On Al-Aqsa TV in Gaza on July 8th—the first day of the war—the terror group’s spokesperson, Sami Abu Zuhri, called on Palestinian civilians to serve as human shields. “The people oppose the Israeli fighter planes with their bodies alone… We, the [Hamas] movement, call on our people to adopt this method to protect the Palestinian homes,” he declared.
A week later, the Hamas Interior Ministry issued guidelines for who it called its “activists” on social media: “Don’t forget to always add ‘innocent civilian’ or ‘innocent citizen’ in your description of those killed in Israeli attacks on Gaza… Avoid publishing pictures of rockets fired into Israel from city centers… Do not publish or share photos or video clips showing rocket-launching sites or the movement of resistance [forces] in Gaza… Avoid entering into a political argument with a Westerner aimed at convincing him that the Holocaust is a lie and deceit.”
The Times’s Rudoren wrote about this groundbreaking news, but only one sentence from it [the “always add ‘innocent civilian” instruction], and only in a larger story about how Israelis and Palestinians are similarly using social media to further their beliefs and positions. Thus, she diluted and muddied up the significance of the ministry’s video.
I’m having trouble finding any other major media outlet in North America (aside from Canada’s Globe and Mail) that has even cited the ministry’s statement at all. And it’s been more than a month. On this, and on so much else in my article, viewers and readers must turn to the Jewish press for the information, or—no matter their political leanings—to the conservative press. It shouldn’t have to be that way.
I found similar results regarding a Hamas urban-combat manual that the IDF on August 4th reported capturing. The manual refers to civilians as helpful “pockets of resistance” that cause all kinds of problems for Israeli soldiers who Hamas acknowledges are trying to minimize civilian deaths. It also discusses the benefits for Hamas when civilian homes are destroyed.
(As the old Columbia Journalism Review would say, a “laurel” to CNN, Fox News, the New York Post and States News Service for writing about the manual. And a “dart” to the New York Times and other big mainstream outlets for ignoring it. Do they not believe it’s genuine? If that’s the case, say so. Otherwise, readers and viewers would surely find it valuable.)
BUT IT’S IN ARABIC: The IDF announced the capture of a Hamas urban-combat manual that lays out the benefits of using civilians as human shields. For the New York Times, it’s apparently not fit to print. (source: IDF)
Although by then I knew the answer, on August 3rd I asked Kobi Michael (the former Israeli strategic-affairs official) if he believes that Western reporters were seeing civilian centers—mosques, schools, hospitals—being used as shields, but not reporting it. “Are you kidding me?” he responded. “Do you have any doubt about it? It is a question of life or death most times, and biased journalists who don’t care about truth, motivated by hatred to Israel and sympathy to Hamas in other cases. In other cases, there are journalists who are looking for the touching story, for the title, for the excitement and—in these cases—the more the scenes are horrible and bloody the better.”
So what’s an American reader or viewer to conclude about all this? Perhaps to amp-up your satellite dish, and quickly learn a few foreign languages, if you want to closely follow this war.
Khaled Abu Toameh, a highly-regarded Arab-Israeli journalist (born in the West Bank), had this advice for foreign media five years ago in an article about turning a blind eye to Hamas atrocities: “Journalists who are afraid to report the truth should not be covering a conflict like the Israeli-Arab one. They should go back to their editors and demand that they be reassigned to cover sports or the environment. As long as such journalists continue to operate in the region, Hamas will feel safe to bomb as many mosques as it wants and to kill as many Palestinians as it wants.”
In other words, if you can’t stand the heat, get out of the desert.
Israeli defense analyst Hecht makes three valuable observations about the media coverage, worth publishing in full:
* “First, my experience is that Western media in general is more about telling interesting stories than of giving the actual facts. This is often true also of Israeli media, which is no different than that of the rest of the Western cultures. I have truly lost faith in Western ‘free’ media as a good source of information for topics on which I am not fully conversant from my own studies. In fact, often I prefer looking at the non-free media because I am then able to assess the bias and adjust accordingly.
* “Second, very few journalists who cover wars really understand any of what they are seeing and hearing. This was so clear in the famous [U.S. General Norman] Schwarzkopf interviews during the 1991 war against Iraq. One supreme example is the case in which he showed them photographs of destroyed Scud Launchers in western Iraq. Anyone with a modicum of intelligence and who had actually seen what Scud launchers looked like (i.e. bothered to look at photographs in the enormous weapons literature available on the market) could see that he was lying (they were actually civilian fuel tanker trucks destroyed by the American air force). But the journalists in the briefing all swallowed the show.
“This is just an example, I have seen and heard so many more that I stopped keeping track. These journalists may be very professional at sniffing out information and at writing interesting articles, but quite frankly totally unprofessional in anything pertaining to the wars they were covering. This is true not only on the technical military aspects. The amount of nonsense I have seen and heard on what was going on in Syria over the past 3.5 years or Iraq—what are Syria and Iraq, what makes them tick, etc., is simply astounding. And back to our little corner, the same is true of anything to do with the Arab-Israeli conflict: our geography, demography, cultures, military aspects, political aspects, etc. They throw out a few statistics, quote a few ‘good sound bites,’ tie them together nicely with a ribbon and really do not get the issues. As a friend put it sarcastically, it is the [CNN’s Christiane] ‘Amanpour Effect’: she lands in a country she has never been in and within a couple of hours is explaining to the world all the intricacies of the local situation with a fake confidence of someone who had studied the place for decades.
BLOOD CELLS EVERYWHERE: An IDF map of the locations of rockets launched from Gaza from July 8th to August 4th. (Still awaiting a map from Hamas, in case the terrorist group disagrees.)
* “Third, more than most other conflicts, reporting on the Israeli-Arab conflict is agenda-driven. Just today I rifled through a piece on Gaza written for a British paper that would have made Goebbels proud. All that was missing was a repeat of the allegation that Jews use the blood of Christian children for Passover bread. Of course, not all anti-Israeli writing is that extreme—there are shades of anti, but often the facts are twisted to suit the ideology rather than provided dispassionately and objectively and then analyzed. For example: an article written a couple of years ago castigating Israel for being a benevolent environment for homosexuals (Tel Aviv is one of the favorite tourist centers for European homosexuals on vacation), not because we actually do not care what a person’s sexual preferences are, but as a deliberate propaganda move—”pinkwashing”—to hide our inherently evil natures vis-à-vis the Arabs. Though obviously I am more pained by the examples that attack me and my people, this is just as true, if generally less extreme, of pro-Israeli writing. I truly believe that setting out the objective facts (as close as anything can be called objective) would change the general trend of most writing on Israel from hostile to at least understanding, if not agreeing, with us. In Israel we joke that the BBC is actually the PPC—Palestine Propaganda Corporation. That is the way we see most of Western media, though in this particular war the handling has been slightly more even (emphasis on slightly)—perhaps because of the effects of the carnage of the Arab Winter over the past four years.”
A “VAST MAJORITY” OF CIVILIAN CASUALTIES
Let’s move to the civilian body counts in Gaza.
As I mentioned earlier, the New York Times marched quickly to get a front-page story online (on August 5th) and into print the next day—immediately following the commencement of the first 72-hour ceasefire. It’s a story they could, and should, have done weeks before.
What the Times did not do was use history as a guide when Operation Protective Edge began a month earlier—as to how to cover and interpret civilian casualty figures reported by Hamas. Indeed, in 2008, Brett Stephens of the Wall Street Journal wrote that at the height of the “so-called al-Aqsa Intifada , I reviewed Israeli and Palestinian casualty figures, sticking to Palestinian sources for Palestinian numbers and Israeli sources for Israeli ones. Much was then being made in the Western media of the fact that three times as many Palestinians as Israelis had been killed in the conflict—evidence, supposedly, that despite the suicide bombings, lynchings and roadside ambushes perpetrated daily against Israelis, Palestinians were the ones who really were getting it in the neck.”
Stephens continued: “But drilling down into the data, something interesting turned up. At the time, 1,296 Palestinians had been killed by Israelis—of whom a grand total of 37, or 2.8%, were female. By contrast, of the 496 Israelis killed by Palestinians (including 138 soldiers and policemen), there were 126 female fatalities, or 25%. To be female is a fairly reliable indicator of being a noncombatant. Females are also half the population. If Israel had been guilty of indiscriminate violence against Palestinians, the ratio of male-to-female fatalities would not have been 35-1.”
Today, we can marvel at how one big news outlet after another has violated a golden rule of journalism: If your source has an ax to grind, at least tell the reader—and certainly you must cite the source in your account. Moreover, be consistent from one article to the next (i.e. don’t attribute the Gaza civilian casualty rates to a source in one story, only to not attribute it to anybody in another.) The Times is guilty of this in Gaza, as we’ll see below.
Recall my talk on July 27th with the major reporter in Gaza who declined to be named. I questioned him about the civilian body counts. “You’re right to be suspicious of any government figures in a war where the government is also taking part in the fighting,” he concedes, “and certainly because Gaza doesn’t have many other tools to defend itself in public opinion, their trying to inflate the public opinion around the death toll would make sense.”
But then he adds this caveat: “The reason why we’re using the [Hamas] government figures is because they’re tracking pretty well with the UN figures too.”
I asked whether the UN is simply relying on the Hamas government figures for its own. “I think the UN is relying on the Gaza ministry for the names,” he explains. “I’m not sure how much independent verification they are doing.”
He continued: “Actually, the Gaza ministry hasn’t broken out civilian numbers, what they often do at the end of the day is to say X number were children, X number were women, and X number were elderly men. And of the remainder, X number are fighters and X are not. But there’s not gonna be any way to tell from that number who’s who. Elderly men could also be fighters, some of the women could potentially be fighters, although that’s very unlikely with Hamas.”
The biggest problem with this reporter’s explanation is that it was being provided to me off-record, and not to his media outlet’s audience.
Moreover, some, if not many, of the kids could also be fighters. Earlier this year, a handful of media outlets exposed Hamas military-training summer camps for kids aged 6-16 in Gaza. Did the Western press corps in Israel pay any heed? (Reuters and NBC News, to their credit, did a slideshow and photo blog, respectively. The New York Times didn’t even touch it, although its reporter Akram lives in Gaza and surely must know about the camps.)
READY TO ROAST MARSHMALLOWS, KIDS?: A Gaza summer camp. Were any of these children among the “civilian casualties” that Hamas is claiming? (screenshot: from a Reuters slideshow in June)
“Nobody has accurate casualty figures except the Gaza hospitals that receive the wounded and dead,” points out Israeli military expert Hecht. “They are also the only ones who know whether the injury was indeed incurred by military action or by an ordinary every day accident—these do not stop because there is a war on. The UN has no ability or incentive to check the real figures. The IDF simply claims that the number given by the Palestinians includes the combatants and tries to count them with intelligence information (getting the names and comparing them to the lists it has compiled of Hamas members and so on). A true and accurate accounting will take a long time to acquire all the information, so it is always behind in the media race.”
I asked Hecht for his best estimate of civilian casualties. “According to the numbers given so far, the IDF thinks that about half the total number declared by the Palestinians as killed are actually combatants,” he says. [That figure also jibes with what the Amit Meir center is finding; more on that later.] After Cast Lead [2008-9], nearly two years passed before a Palestinian minister inadvertently let slip that the IDF figures then were correct.”
Hecht adds that, for all its attempts to prevent civilian casualties, “the IDF does not claim total success; only that relative to what other armies do in similar circumstances it is making a greater effort than anyone else. From the testimony I have heard and read from other wars I can say that it is true. War is a confusing mess and mistakes will invariably be made.”
True enough. In fact, a groundbreaking study ignored by my colleagues came out in June, a month before the Israel-Hamas war started. A prominent group of American public health experts found that civilian casualties constituted 85% to 90% of the 248 armed conflicts in the world since the end of World War II. While even one civilian casualty in Gaza is a tragedy, if Israel comes in at 40-50% (or even 60%), given the complexities and civilian-shielding in Gaza, what they’ve accomplished will be a model for future warfare.
The last time the U.S. fought a Gaza-like battle was in Fallujah, Iraq, in 2004. Some 800 civilians were killed and at least 9,000 homes destroyed. On August 8th, the U.S. began air strikes on ISIS (while the rest of the Arab and Western world sits and yawns), and it remains to be seen what the percentage of civilian casualties there will be.
GETTING REAL: “If the only criteria for the Western media to measure the moral validity of any military campaign is the number of civilian casualties, then Germany was clearly the victim in WWII—hands down,” says Ambassador Ido Aharoni, Israel’s Consul General in New York.
It’s also easy to forget that in WWII, over one million German civilians died at Allied hands, compared with only 67,000 British and 12,000 Americans civilians. “If the only criteria for the Western media to measure the moral validity of any military campaign is the number of civilian casualties, then Germany was clearly the victim in WWII—hands down,” points out Ambassador Aharoni.
“This is not to say that we don’t have to work hard to minimize civilian casualties,” he adds. “But it cannot be the only way you measure the morality of a military campaign. There are other considerations. For example, the fact that a democratically-elected Hamas won the largest share of votes [in 2006] among 1.8 million Palestinians, they are directly and indirectly responsible for their situation—just as the German people voted for Hitler and were responsible for their situation…The first two years after Israel pulled out in 2005, Gaza was ruled by Abu Mazen [Palestinian Authority President Mahmud Abbas). So, willingly the people of Gaza voted for Hamas and preferred Hamas over Abbas. It was their choice.”
In 2009, retired British officer, Colonel Richard Kemp, who served in Afghanistan and was involved with planning operations in Iraq, testified before the UN on Operation Cast Lead, the IDF’s operation in Gaza from 2008-9: “…the Israel Defence Forces did more to safeguard the rights of civilians in the combat zones than any army in the history of warfare.” Contrary to media inflation, there is nothing to indicate that the IDF’s conduct this time around has been anything different. More recently, Kemp told Newsweek, “There is an automatic assumption that what the IDF are doing here is brutal, is wrong, is illegal and is different from what we would do in the British or American forces, but the reality is that the IDF are fighting a very similar enemy to the one that we fought in Afghanistan and Iraq and they use very similar tactics.”
A reason the Israelis are prepared to continue attacking even when they know there’s going to be a high civilian death toll, says Kemp, “is that they know this [Hamas] is going to be a direct, immediate and lethal threat to their people… The Israelis are explaining it but many people don’t want to hear it. And no explanation counts for anything if you show me a photograph of a dead baby on a mortuary slab or four dead boys lying on the beach.”
[By the way, other than in Newsweek, you won’t find Kemp’s defense of Israel mentioned in any major Western media outlet.]
Perhaps anti-Israel crusaders this month would be happier about the whole situation if more Israeli civilians were dying-by-rocket. Sarah Tuttle-Singer, the new-media editor at the Times of Israel puts it perfectly: ”Do we need to line up somewhere and let Hamas have a free shot at us for you to understand that we are dealing with a terrorist organization hell-bent on destroying us even at the expense of their people?,” writes Tuttle-Singer, who tells me that she and her two young children are traumatized by all the rockets, sirens and hours spent in bomb shelters. “ How many of us have to die for people to understand the extent of Hamas’s evil? Will six million do it for you?”
One of Israel’s most famous novelists, Amos Oz, has long been a hero among the country’s left wing. But he recently turned the tables on a reporter from Deutsche Welle (a German broadcaster) to point out the moral dilemma that Israelis currently face.
Oz: “I would like to begin the interview in a very unusual way: by presenting one or two questions to your readers and listeners. May I do that?”
Deutsche Welle: “Go ahead!”
Oz: Question 1. What would you do if your neighbor across the street sits down on the balcony, puts his little boy on his lap and starts shooting machine gun fire into your nursery? Question 2. What would you do if your neighbor across the street digs a tunnel from his nursery to your nursery in order to blow up your home or in order to kidnap your family? With these two questions I pass the interview to you.”
Later in the interview, Oz said: “I have been a man of compromise all my life…But even a man of compromise cannot approach Hamas and say: ‘Maybe we meet halfway and Israel only exists on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.’”
A month after the 9-11 terror attacks, which killed more than 3,000 civilians, I went on a ten-week assignment for Fortune magazine to Pakistan, to try and follow terrorism’s money trail. I also struck a joint venture with CNN, owned by the same media parent (Time Warner). I worked at times out of CNN’s makeshift bureau in a hotel in Islamabad, where I witnessed how much obsessive coverage was being planned and done of civilians killed as a result of the U.S bombing of Afghanistan. It was so over-the-top that CNN’s then-chairman Walter Isaacson approved a memo to all staff saying that CNN should show civilian casualties, but should put them in context and not focus disproportionately on them. (The memo also stated that correspondents must talk about how the Taliban are using civilian shields.)
The CNN correspondents in Islamabad were furious.
Getting back to the UN reliance on Hamas civilian casualty figures, I brought up the problem with Kobi Michael, the ex-Israeli national security official I’ve cited previously. (Michael today is a senior research fellow at the Institute of National Security Studies, an Israeli think tank.) “UNRWA [United Nations Relief and Works Agency] has very limited capabilities and it can only have figures of its own from its clinics and shelters, all other figures are provided by Hamas,” he says, adding: “There are at least two or three cases where Israel was accused of shelling UNRWA schools and a market where there is evidence for a possibility that it was Hamas failure [in the] shelling.”
HARD MATH: Based in part on numbers-fudging by Hamas in past wars, ex-Israeli national security official Kobi Michael (pictured above) predicts that—in the final analysis— “at least 60% of Palestinian casualties are not innocent citizens.”
He continues: “As we knew in previous operations, Hamas lies and minimize its casualties in order to score points in the international domain as well as in the domestic one—and to create the victory-and-achievement image. As it was found after Cast Lead when Hamas declared about 49 casualties while Israel mentioned 709, after a year or so Hamas admitted that it lost between 600-700 of its fighters.”
His prediction today? “Israel will be very cautious and will check it carefully based on intelligence, but eventually the numbers will be very similar and maybe even higher—which means that at least 60% of Palestinian casualties are not innocent citizens. I can ensure you that the IDF prepares itself for the coming days (the investigation) with very well-documented evidence and the reason it doesn’t publish all materials is in order to prevent Hamas from preparing its alibi. Hamas will be surprised from the quality and the quantity of the documentation. Don’t forget that there are dozens of Hamas prisoners captured during the operation and they provide a lot of materials.”
So with all of this in mind, how has American major media been handling the civilian casualty counts? See for yourself. Following is just a tiny snapshot. Worst: Reuters. Best: Nobody. [Boldface added, and my comments are in brackets.]
REUTERS [note the lack, or vagueness, of attribution]:
July 22th (reporters Nidal al-Mughrabi and Dan Williams): “…in the Palestinian enclave where officials said 624 people, mostly civilians, have been killed in 15 days of fighting.”
July 26th (Noah Browning): “… almost three weeks of conflict that has killed almost a thousand Palestinians, most of them civilians.”
July 27th (Michelle Nichols): “Some 1,031 Palestinians, mainly civilians and many of them children, have been killed in the 20-day conflict.”
July 28th (Steve Holland): “…the death toll from Israeli-Palestinian violence in Gaza has climbed past 1,000, most of them civilians in Gaza.”
July 28th (Al-Mughrabi and Cripsian Balmer): “Some 1,060 Gazans, most of them civilians, have died in the conflagration…”
August 13th (Al-Mughrabi and Lin Noueihed): “Most of the Palestinian dead have been civilians, hospital officials in the small, densely populated enclave say.”
NEW YORK TIMES [note how often there is no attribution]:
July 14th (Anne Barnard): “At least 180 Palestinians, most of them civilians, have been killed since last week by Israeli airstrikes in Gaza.”
July 17th (Jodi Rudoren): “Still, Israel says it is the rocket fire that has prompted a military bombing campaign that has killed more than 235 Gazans, most of them civilians.”
July 26th (Isabel Kershner and Michael R. Gordon): “ International alarm has been growing over the war that has claimed the lives of more than 800 Palestinians, most of them civilians, as well as 35 Israeli soldiers…”
July 27th (Kershner): “More than 1,000 Palestinians have been killed in Gaza, most of them civilians, according to the health ministry in Gaza and monitoring groups.”
August 11th (Kershner and Merna Thomas): “Palestinian militants and the Israeli military exchanged blows through Sunday, but on a much smaller scale than the fierce fighting of the past month, which claimed more than 1,900 Palestinian lives—a majority of them probably civilians.” [Note how the reporters now use the word “probably,” as they are starting to hedge in case they’ve been wrong in prior accounts. But it’s negated four days later by the story below.]
August 15th (Christopher F. Schuetze and Barnard): “…the moral debate over Israel’s military air and ground assault in the Gaza Strip, in which about 2,000 people, a majority of them civilians, have been killed.”
August 20th (Rudoren and Fares Akram): “…most of the more than 2,000 Palestinians killed have been civilians, according to rights groups.”
[Summing up, despite finally publishing a story on August 5th citing skepticism that exists about the civilian casualty figures, the Times now seems unable to make up its mind. Readers were told (on August 11th) that “probably” a majority of the deaths are civilians, and next were told that “a majority” were definitely civilians (with no attribution; August 15th). Just yesterday, the preferred language is that “most” of the dead are civilians, according to “rights groups,” whatever that means. What will tomorrow bring?]
TAKE YOUR PICK: Isabel Kershner, a Jerusalem-based reporter for the New York Times, can’t seem to decide how to report Palestinian civilian casualty figures. Is it “most of them civilians” or “a majority of them probably civilians”? Meanwhile, colleague Anne Barnard is so certain it’s a “majority” that she doesn’t even see the need to cite attribution. (screenshot)
AL JAZEERA AMERICA:
July 29th: “Since the military offensive began on July 8, more than 1,216 Palestinians—most of them civilians—have died.”
Al JAZEERA ENGLISH:
July 29th: “At least 1,110 Palestinians, most of them civilians, have died in the ongoing Israeli offensive.”
July 13th (CNN’s Diana Magnay to CNN’s Wolf Blitzer): “…The death toll rising, 166 and more than 1,000 people injured—the majority of them civilians…”
[Magnay was subsequently transferred by CNN to Russia after a tweet referring to a group of Israelis in Sderot—where rockets have caused more damage than anywhere in Israel—as “scum.” She claims they made a threat to her. Even if true, a seasoned, professional journalist would never respond publically with such a slur. Such slurs are to be left for drinks with colleagues afterwards. If Magnay is tempted to repeat her bad judgment in the future, the word for scum in Russian is pronounced mraz]
July 25th (Chelsea J. Carter, Salma Abdelaziz and Karl Penhaul): “More than two weeks of violence that has claimed more than 800 lives, most of them civilians.”
July 26th (Elise Labott): “Israel and Hamas agreed to a 12-hour cease-fire starting Saturday morning, temporarily halting more than two weeks of bloodshed that has claimed more than 900 mostly civilian lives.”
July 27th (CNN’s Candy Crowley interviewing Palestinian official Mohammad Shtayyeh):
MS: “Eighty percent of those who have been killed in Gaza are civilians, women, children, old men; 1,080 Palestinians have been killed in the last 18 days. Eighty percent of them are innocent people.”
CC: “Mr. Shtayyeh – right.” [Why Crowley let’s his claim slide is anyone’s guess.]
July 28th (Hala Gorani): “Over 1,000 people are dead in the latest round. The vast majority Palestinian civilians. So will the humanitarian situation ever get so bad that world leaders have to step in rather than just urge the Israelis and Palestinians to cooperate with strongly worded statements?”
July 28th (CNN’s Carol Costello interviewing former Israeli ambassador Michael B. Oren): “So, I hear you. You want Israel to crush Hamas, now is the time still and we have to mention the civilians, more than 1,000 people have died. Most of them civilians. Is that worth the cost then?”
August 3rd (CNN’s Crowley interviewing Texas governor Rick Perry): “Governor, you have long been a staunch supporter of Israel. But I wonder, if you will, when you look at the pictures that we’re seeing, and we know that Netanyahu has expressed his regret for the civilian deaths, but when you look at the 1,700-plus Palestinian deaths in Gaza, the large majority of which are civilians, we are told, what is your thought about that? What is your reaction to that?”
August 4th (Anderson Cooper 260): “The conflict is entering into its fourth week and already more than 1800 Palestinians have died in Gaza, mostly civilians, according to local health officials.”
August 7th (John Vause in Gaza, Reza Sayah in Cairo, Michael Pearson in Atlanta. Jethro Mullen, Claudia Rebaza, Samira Said and Karl Penhaul also contributed to this report. Total: Seven reporters.) “It’s unclear how many of the Palestinian dead were militants. The United Nations has estimated that at least 70% of the dead were civilians.”
July 24th (Tia Goldenberg): “More than 30 have died, along with three civilians on the Israeli side and more than 700 Palestinians, most of them civilians.”
July 25th (Khalil Hamra): “The United Nations says civilians make up three-fourths of the dead…”
July 28th (Edith Lederer): “The war, now in its 21st day, has killed more than 1,030 Palestinians, mainly civilians, according to the Palestinian health ministry.”
August 4th: “The war has taken nearly 1,900 Palestinian lives, most of them civilians caught in fighting inside Gaza’s crowded urban landscape, according to Hamas medical officials”
August 13th (Mohammed Daraghmeh and Goldenberg): “The fighting has so far killed more than 1,900 Palestinians, the majority of them civilians, Palestinian and U.N. officials say.”
August 14th (Hamza Hendawi): “More than 1,900 Palestinians have been killed, mostly civilians…”
August 17th (Daraghmeh): “Nearly 2,000 Palestinians have been killed—mostly civilians—and more than 10,000 people have been wounded since the war began July 8, according to United Nations figures.”
August 18th (Karin Laub): “Israel has fired thousands of tank and artillery shells toward what it said were targets linked to militants during the war, though a majority of those killed were civilians, according to Gaza health officials.”
WALL STREET JOURNAL:
July 23rd (Nick Casey and Asa Fitch): “Palestinian health officials say nearly 700 Palestinians have been killed in the last 16 days, most of them civilians including 166 children and 67 women.”
July 28th (Josh Mitnick and Casey): “The Palestinian Health Ministry said 1,032 Palestinians, most of them civilians, have been killed in Gaza since Israel launched an aerial offensive on July 8.”
NPR (Morning Edition)
August 6th (Alice Fordham): “Gaza officials say more than 1,800 died. The U.N. says that about 1,300 were civilians.” [This computes to 72%.]
LONGSHOT: At a cost of as much as $100,000 per unit, Israel’s Iron Dome, seen here in action, has a rocket-interception rate of 85-90%. But it doesn’t cover the whole country—not by a longshot.
July 27th: “More than 1,050 Palestinians have been killed in the 20-day bombing and subsequent invasion, the vast majority of them civilians, according to Palestinian health officials.”
July 27th (Chris Wallace): “..Gaza officials say now that more than 1,000 Palestinians, the vast majority of them civilians, have been killed….”
July 22nd (Sudarsan Raghavan, Anne Gearan and Ruth Eglash): “By Tuesday night, the Palestinian death toll had risen to more than 630 since the conflict erupted July 8, according to officials with the Gaza Health Ministry, with more than half the deaths occurring since Israel launched its ground incursion Thursday night. The United Nations says more than 70 percent of the casualties are civilians, including many children.”
July 28th (Raghavan and Eglash): “The current conflict has killed more than 1,035 Palestinians, more than 70 percent of them civilians, according to the United Nations.”
July 30th (Raghavan, William Booth and Eglash): “The Palestinian casualty toll rose to at least 1,340 killed and about 7,200 injured, Gaza health officials said. Many of the casualties have been civilians, including about a third who are children, according to the United Nations.”
August 4th (Griff Witte): “Well over half of those dead are civilians, including at least 354 children, according to a U.N. estimate released Sunday.”
July 10th (Holly Williams): “So far this week at least 80 Palestinians, most of them civilians, have been killed.”
CBS MORNING NEWS:
July 29th (Susan McGinnis): “… Casualties on the Palestinian side are far greater with more than eleven hundred dead so far, most of them civilians.”
August 1st (Jim Michaels): “The Palestinian Health Ministry said more than 1,400 Palestinians in Gaza have been killed, three-fourths of them civilians.”
July 29th (Alexander Smith): “The current push, Operation Protective Edge, has seen more than 1,150 Palestinians die, most of them civilians.”
NBC’s MEET THE PRESS:
August 3rd (Host David Gregory interviewing Riyad Mansour, Permanent Observer of Palestine to the UN):
RM: “…We have a tragic humanitarian problem in Gaza, which you have indicated more than 1,700 Palestinians, most of them civilians, 80 percent or more, and more than 9,000 have been injured. 80 percent of them, according to you and statistics, have been injured.”
DG: “Let me stop you on that point. [Note: He doesn’t stop him on the point of the casualty figures.] Your anger at Israel—certainly understandable, the loss of civilians horrific. There is agreement about that. I’m wondering though whether you’re outraged by the conduct of Hamas? Starting the conflict by firing rockets, building tunnels to kill and kidnap Israelis, being more than willing to sacrifice Palestinian lives by embedding them into their own kind of arsenal and using them, as Israel contends, as human shields. Do you have a level of outrage at Hamas itself?”
DG: [Following RM’s response to those issues]: “Fair enough. Fair enough. And indeed, the reason I’m pressing this point is not to challenge you about how horrific the loss of civilians are.”
TREATING THE ENEMY: Israeli medics tend to an injured Palestinian fighter on July 18th in the Gaza Strip. It’s an image that one rarely, if ever, sees in wars, and not fit-to-print in the New York Times and other big Western media outlets. (photo: IDF spokesperson/Flash90)
July 29th (Elliott Gotkine and David Wainer): “The Israeli offensive against Gaza rocket operations and tunnels militants built to infiltrate Israel has killed more than 1,100 Palestinians, most of them civilians.”
July 29th (Saud Abu Ramadan, Alisa Odenheimer and Jonathan Ferziger): “The third major military showdown in Hamas-ruled Gaza in less than six years has claimed the lives of more than 1,200 Palestinians, most of them civilians, and fifty-five Israelis, all but two of them soldiers, as well as a Thai citizen killed in Israel, according to officials.”
July 29th: “More than 1,100 Palestinians, most of them civilians, have been killed in the fighting since 8 July.”
BBC MONITORING EUROPEAN (from Anatolia news agency, Turkey):
August 13th: “At least 1944 Palestinians have been killed and nearly 10,000 others injured—the vast majority of them civilians—in relentless Israeli attacks on the strip since July 7.”
BBC MONITORING MIDDLE EAST:
August 8th: “According to the latest count from the UN, Israel’s Operation Protective Edge against Hamas and other militants in Gaza has claimed the lives of more than 1,800 Palestinians, 72 per cent of whom were civilians.”
LOS ANGELES TIMES:
July 29th (Paul Richter): “More than 1,050 Palestinians, most of them civilians, have been killed in three weeks, officials said Monday.”
August 9th (Laura King, Batsheva Sobelman and Maher Abukhater): “During four weeks of fighting, about 1,900 Palestinians have died—a large majority of them civilians, according to the United Nations—and 64 Israeli soldiers and three civilians were killed.”
July 17th: “Hamas agreed to the temporary truce after 220 of Gaza’s residents, the majority of them civilians, were killed in the nine-day confrontation.”
XINHAU [China news agency; distributed by BBC Monitoring Newsfile]:
August 4th: “During the almost 30 days of the Israeli offensive on the Gaza Strip, the death toll on the Palestinian side has reached 1,800, mostly civilians, plus 9,500 wounded.”
What may be happening here is yet another time-honored tradition in our field: copycat journalism. Given the deadlines, more fierce today than before, it’s too easy to simply pick up the wording from a rival media outlet—particular when numbers are involved.
That said, in the end, these media outlets may be right about the numbers. But today they are rolling the dice on it—unfair to their audiences—and the odds are against them.
The IDF will not release its own figures on civilian casualty rate in Gaza. This fact is almost never mentioned by major media outlets. “We are choosing not to get into a mudslinging war about the numbers at this point,” IDF spokesman Eytan Buchman explained to me on July 26th. On the issue of UN figures, Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor said, “They’re not UN estimates: these figures are provided by Gaza health authorities (so: Hamas) and the UN merely redistributes these figures, for lack of the possibility to hold an independent survey. So these stats must be presented for what they are: Hamas processed figures.”
On August 9th, Palmor wrote me an update: “We had no access to primary info sources at first so we could not honestly present clear-cut figures. After Cast Lead , it took a few months of investigations to ascertain the exact number of armed militants vs. civilians among the dead. We are now collecting more data from primary sources and the number of verified gunmen among the casualties is constantly and significantly rising.”
But it is regrettable, astounding really, that not one of these news outlets (again, except short shrift from the Times) reviewed and cited the work of the independent Amit Meir center. By not doing so, they’ve let down their viewers and readers, while helping Hamas in the war (if unwittingly or not) and fueling anti-Semitism globally.
REUVEN’S WAR: “We are the only ones who are trying to check each name [Palestinian casualties], to examine every day,” he says of his Meir Amit Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center. So why isn’t Western media ringing his phone? [YouTube screenshot]The man who runs the center, Reuven Erlich, served in the IDF Intelligence Corps, mainly as an analyst specializing Syrian, Lebanese and Palestinian affairs. He retired after 30 years in 1994 with the rank of colonel. Between 1985 and 2000 he worked in key government posts on Lebanese affairs and peace negotiations.I first spoke with Erlich on August 5th. He was not a happy man. For one thing, the New York Times had just posted its Page-One story that finally raised questions about the casualty figures—but it didn’t go far enough (and the newspaper has since reverted to form with a lack of skepticism about the numbers.) “It’s propaganda,” he said about Western media’s reporting that the ‘majority’ or ‘vast majority’ of Palestinian deaths are civilians. “First, it’s based on Hamas control of officials. They are controlling all the results and all the lies so they can control the results. It’s not based on examination of each name. We are the only ones who are trying to check, to examine every day.”Second point, he says: “The impression is that in all their figures, there are no terrorists, no operatives, only civilians. Only Palestinian ‘martyrs.’ Nobody tried to make the association between terrorist operatives and civilians. So the inference is that Israel is killing many, many hundreds who are not terrorists. So it is a big lie that is spreading all over the world, and I am frustrated because everybody who is quoting the numbers—1,000 or 1,500, 2,000—nobody is mentioning terrorists. There are no terrorists. It’s deliberate. This is the system, it’s a system based on lies, unfortunately. The same methods were used in the past. It’s not something new. But it’s a lost battle, believe me. I’m frustrated. There’s nothing we can do.”Erlich says the center has a small staff of experienced researchers, all of whom know Arabic and are familiar with Palestinian issues. “The basis of our study is our own work, and we are also gathering information about the names [of the dead] from security sources. We take everything into consideration, like journalists. We can also verify terrorists by photographs.” As for Gazan children who have been killed, he says, “I don’t know, I don’t believe them [Hamas]. We found some examples of children, we checked their names and we saw a youngster with a rifle. Nobody can really control the figures—they can write as many children as they want—only an examination like we are making.”When we spoke on the 5th, his center had already studied 150 names and concluded that only about 50% were true civilians. He said he was preparing the next day to release the next 150, which he said showed essentially the same results. [This didn’t make the August 6th print edition version of the Times story, although it should have.] “All other lists, including the [Gaza] Ministry of Health are guesses,” he said. “Nobody tried to check even 50 names. We are the only ones. That’s why it’s a huge task to check and fight against Hamas deception. But this is the only way, and it takes time. All other figures are not reliable. I would like the New York Times to find somebody who tried to check the list, name by name. That’s all. And believe me, it’s a media war. I have a name for this war: The Casualty War…Hamas did the same in [Operation] Cast Lead.”Last Wednesday, I spoke again with Erlich. He was in a better mood. “Five hours after we published (including in Arabic) the second batch of 150 names [August 6th], the Hamas Interior Ministry published an announcement, calling on Palestinians to be very careful about publishing information and photos of their ‘martyrs’ because Israel is collecting and publishing sensitive information and using it for ‘justification of its crimes’ and to ‘damage our positions.’” Such is the effect that his center’s work apparently has on Hamas.Four days ago, the Meir Amit center released its third installment of its analysis of the Palestinians killed in the war. Of the 450 names now studied, reports Erlich’s team, terrorist operatives constitute approximately 46% of the names, while non-involved civilians constitute approximately 54%. (The identities of 44 of the 450 are still unknown at this stage.) The ratio may vary as the center continues its work, and it’s anticipated—based on prior conflicts in Gaza—that the final result will likely show that most of the dead are terrorist operatives.Long-term, perhaps the biggest problem with media outlets serving the civilian-casualty soup before it’s ready is that phony numbers help inflame the world against Israel—and Jews generally. And that damage can’t be undone, even if big media outlets suddenly woke up and started doing their jobs.Anti-Jewish riots have taken place throughout Europe and elsewhere. Jewish kids have been attacked; rabbis threatened, one beaten.In Ireland on August 11th, shoppers—many chanting “Free Palestine”—stormed a Belfast supermarket to remove what they said were products that had ties to Israel. Watching the scene is like taking a horrific trip back to 1930s Europe. (It should be said that if boycotters of Israeli goods want to be consistent, they should also dispose of their iPhones, their computers with Intel chips, and a slew of medical devices that Israeli entrepreneurs have invented.)
HATE IN AISLE 5: Belfast shoppers teaching their kids how to single out Israel, the Jew among nations. (Don’t forget to dispose of your iPhones, your computers made from Intel chips, and the vast amount of medical devices invented in Israel.)
In California, hundreds of protesters blocked an Israeli ship for several days from unloading cargo.
In Rome on August 9th, posters citing the “massacre” of Palestinians urge locals not to buy from a whole list of shops allegedly owned by Italian Jews. Spanish playwright Antonio Gala wrote that it wasn’t surprising that Jews have been expelled so many times in their history, while a city councilman in Ireland urges the UN to bomb Israel.
A riot by Gazan sympathizers outside a synagogue in central Paris trapped nearly 200 terrified worshippers inside the building. It sparked a street brawl between the rioters and dozens of Jewish men who arrived to defend the temple.
In Austria, an Israeli soccer team was attacked on a field by pro-Hamas fans.
In Belgium, a doctor refused to treat a 90-year-old Jewish woman—instead suggesting she go to Gaza for a few hours to “get rid of the pain.”
The list goes on and on.
Politicians like the UK’s John Prescott, a former deputy prime minister, parrots the media stats, jacks them up, and inflames the Israel-hatred to greater heights. “Of the 1,000-plus to die, more than 80 per cent were civilians, mostly women and children,” he wrote in a late July op-ed in the Daily Mirror. “But who is to say some of the other 20 per cent weren’t innocent too? Israel brands them terrorists but it is acting as judge, jury and executioner in the concentration camp that is Gaza.”
Little surprise that Britain is now reviewing all arms export licenses to Israel. Little surprise that France’s Foreign Minister, Laurent Fabius, wants the world powers to impose from outside a political solution.
“For all the formerly fascist and colonial regimes of Europe, Israel is a godsend,” says journalist Weiss.
WELCOME TO BISCHOFSHOFEN:
Anti-Israeli protesters stormed a soccer field recently in the Austrian town of Bischofshofen to attack Israeli players—one of whom was kicked in the chest. (screenshot: Irish Independent)
NEW YORK TIMES REPORTERS IN GAZA
So what is going on at the New York Times? Why is the “paper of record” leaving out so much of consequence, and failing to cover in any adequate way—indeed, seems to be avoiding like the plague—the aspect of the story to which it is closest, the media role in the war? We can’t read the minds of the reporters the Times has in Gaza, but we can what they’ve put in the social media for all to see.
New York Times reporter Fares Akram was recently described by the Jerusalem bureau chief Rudoren as “brave, committed, talented…indefatigable.” I published that screenshot (taken by me in November 2012) of his Facebook homepage, with Arafat as his profile photo, for several reasons. First, I think it’s reasonable to ask what would happen if a current Times reporter had used as his profile picture, not his own face, but the face of Menachem Begin, who—decades before becoming Israel’s Prime Minister—was the leader of an underground Jewish group that ordered the 1946 bombing of the King David Hotel in Jerusalem, killing 91 Brits, Jews and Arabs? I think there would be an uproar in the media world, way beyond Facebook. The reporter might even be dismissed, or dispatched to another region.
Without getting deep into Arafat’s long and illustrious career as a terror leader, let’s just focus on a statement he made in 2002 that’s highly relevant for today’s Gaza conflict. Asked on official Palestinian TV what message he would like to send to “the Palestinian people in general, and the Palestinian children in particular,” he spoke of the value of dead children to the cause: “This child, who is grasping the stone, facing the tank, is it not the greatest message to the world when that hero becomes a Shahid [martyr]? We are proud of them.”
In September of last year, Akram posted a photo of a king-sized painting of Arafat being lifted onto an airplane. The caption he placed with it is a line from Longfellow: “The heights by great men reached and kept were not attained by sudden flight, but they, while their companions slept, were toiling upward in the night.”
TAKING SIDES: New York Times reporter Fares Akram has lofty words to say about the “heights of great men” like the PLO’s Yasser Arafat (whose portrait here is being carried onto a plane.) Arafat knew plenty about the glory of heights, as his terrorists hijacked planes belonging to Pan-Am, Swissair and others. (Facebook screenshot)
Is it thus reasonable to ask whether Akram supports what his idol said in 2002 about how wonderful dead children are?
Finally, it’s worth remembering that when a peace offer was made to Arafat in 2000 that would give the Palestinians 95% of the West Bank, all of the Gaza Strip, East Jerusalem as their capital, plus a $30 billion compensation package for the 1948 refugees—fewer than 50,000 of whom are still alive today— Arafat rejected it and initiated the Second Intifada instead. At the time, Saudi Prince Bandar characterized that rejection as “a crime against the Palestinians—in fact, against the entire region.” And he held Arafat responsible for all the ensuing deaths of Israelis and Palestinians.
Akram’s Linked-In page reveals that he worked as a consultant for Human Rights Watch from 2007 to 2010, overlapping briefly with his Times gig. HRW is a group so vicious to Israel that its own founder, Robert L. Bernstein, severed ties with it long ago. While at the NGO, Akram contributed to three publications alledging Israeli war crimes during the 2008-9 Israel-Hamas war.
Tragically, his father, a judge in the Palestinian Authority, was killed in an Israeli air strike during that war. Is it unreasonable to ask if this tragedy presents at least the appearance of a conflict of interest? Readers may wonder how impartial Akram, or anyone in his shoes, could be after such a tragedy.
Consider the case of Michael Brown, the unarmed black teenager in Missouri who was shot and killed by a white police officer on August 9th, after allegedly robbing a convenience store. The incident has led to riots. Today the New York Times editorialized that, in order for there to be a fair inquiry, the prosecuting attorney in the case “needs to step aside or be replaced.” Why? In part because the prosecutor’s father was killed by a black suspect in 1964 while assisting a fellow officer.
Shouldn’t the same standard be applied to Akram, who wrote in 2009: “My grief carries no desire for revenge, which I know to be always in vain. But, in truth, as a grieving son, I am finding it hard to distinguish between what the Israelis call terrorists and the Israeli pilots and tank crews who are invading Gaza. What is the difference between the pilot who blew my father to pieces and the militant who fires a small rocket? I have no answers but, just as I am to become a father, I have lost my father.
Putting aside Akram’s past work, let’s look at his accomplishments for Al Jazeera, a gig that he enjoys alongside his Times position, which the newspaper’s editors apparently are fine with. Frankly, his recent articles for Al Jazeera read like pretty much what you would expect from the Qatari news site that never met a Palestinian terrorist it didn’t admire. His pieces show a stark blood-soaked landscape of burned Palestinian corpses and suffering Palestinian civilians—with not a single Hamas fighter to be found. His articles sometimes verge into self-parody but they are actually only slightly worse than the Hamas propaganda that has been generated by the Gaza press corps, as it has completed its transmogrification into tools of the terrorist group.
“The smell of death was everywhere” was the headline of one typical piece, which tossed at Al Jazeera readers the kind of anti-Israel red meat that they eagerly consume. The article was a description of Shujayea, the eastern Gaza City neighborhood in which the Israelis discovered a rabbit warren of tunnels and Hamas command centers, its tentacles extending well into Israeli territory. In Akram’s reporting of the neighborhood’s devastation the word “Hamas” appears but once in a quote, but nowhere does he even suggest that Hamas bears any responsibility for what happened here. There is simply suffering, and for no reason—just bloodthirsty Israelis, killing perhaps for the sheer joy of it.
Reading his articles, one can see why he is so popular from an Al Jazeera standpoint. After all, AJ is a Hamas cheerleader. Its Qatari funders are Hamas’s chief bankroll. But it’s harder to see what the Times sees in a reporter who can’t find Hamas people in the middle of what was, for all intents and purposes, the Pentagon of Hamas.
Akram continues in the same vein in an August 3rd article. In this one, Hamas is present only as a spokesman parroting propaganda. A typical paragraph:
“Israel’s offensive on the Gaza Strip has killed at least 1,762 Palestinians and injured over 9,200 others. Sixty-four Israeli soldiers have also been killed, along with two Israeli civilians and a Thai worker.”
The “offensive” killed 1,762 Palestinians. But against whom was that offensive? In describing Israeli casualties, Akram conveniently lapses into the passive voice.
Same Hamas-less landscape is portrayed in this August 1st article on the short ceasefire between Israel and Party or Parties Unknown.
In his July 30th dispatch, again Akram presents a Hamas-less portrait. The Gaza power plant is down because of an Israeli bombardment. The Israelis deny they hit the plant but not to worry, there’s no mention of that. What there is, as usual, is a detailed micro-recitation of Gaza misery and repeated descriptions of casualties of Israeli actions, with the word “Hamas” never used. In the fairyland of Akram’s reporting, there is only aggressive Israel, firing for no reason, against an enemy that does not exist.
His Twitter feed is very much like his reporting: “See no [Hamas] evil.” Where are the Hamas combatants? That to me is the major flaw in the reporting out of Gaza. Hamas combatants are never mentioned. They only have cameo roles, not the starring roles they should have. And their absence is never explained or mentioned only in passing.
Given this portfolio of stories, the New York Times (nor Al Jazeera) should have no fear that Hamas will intimidate Akram anytime soon. Nor for that matter, its Jerusalem bureau chief Rudoren, for when she skips in and out of Gaza.
As for Rudoren’s attack on the Foreign Press Association, in which she was dismissive of the claim that foreign reporters have been intimidated by Hamas, one only hopes she has seen the video last Thursday of a Hamas official conceding that the terrorist group has strong-armed journalists. The official, Isra Al-Mudallal, the head of foreign relations in Hamas’s Information Ministry, also admitted that some reporters were kept under surveillance—and some booted out of Gaza after they tried to film the launching of rockets against Israel, which the official called “collaborating with the occupation.”
Unfortunately, we cannot be certain whether Rudoren or her staff in Jerusalem or Gaza has seen it. There’s still no mention of the video in the newspaper. Not fit to print, apparently.
Let’s move to Abeer Ayyoub, who Rudoren also praised (in November 2012, during Israel’s Operation Pillar of Defense in Gaza) as her “wonderful fixer/journalist.” At that time, Ayyoub was getting reporting credit on stories written by Rudoren, even as she (like Akram) served as a consultant at the Israel-viperous Human Rights Watch.
Ayyoub no longer reports for the Times, but earlier this year she stated publicly that she has been boycotting all Israeli products for three years, which would cover her period at the Times.FIT TO BOYCOTT: Abeer Ayyoub was reporting for the New York Times from Gaza at the same time she was working for Israel-hostile Human Rights Watch—and boycotting all Israeli products. [Facebook screenshot, November 2012]In a Facebook post on July 29th, Ayyoub parroted the Hamas line. She said she was asked in an interview “why Palestinians in Gaza are not feeling angry because of Hamas using the building materials for their tunnels and not for building houses and schools.” Her response was straight-up Hamas propaganda. “My answer was: why people in Israel [sic] won’t feel angry about Israeli government spending more money on enhancing its army instead of raising the level of education and health there? More importantly, why the U.S. wouldn’t save the money it supports the Israeli army with for sheltering its [America’s] thousands of homeless there in the U.S.” It went on like this. She never really answered the question, but it was plain: Hamas diverting cement from kindergartens to terror tunnels was fine with her.It gets worse.In a particularly vile Facebook post on August 3rd, she attacked “so-called journalists” who “posted stuff and gave interviews that they left because they were threatened by Hamas to be kicked outta [sic] country if they don’t report what Hamas wants.” While excoriating those brave journalists, she defended Hamas. But she went beyond that. Using the term “we,” she actually implied that she was complicit in the cover-up of Hamas launching sites:“…since the war began, Hamas has totally, and even more than enuf, facilitated the entrance of foreign journalists, no visa, no security clearance, nothing! they got the security support, decent hotels, friendly people. and, when it comes to the concern, WE THE LOCALS, tell the foreign journalists what can’t be reported, such as the places where rockets are fired from. Hamas never made a formal statement saying these thing shouldn’t be reported HOWEVER IT TOTALLY HAS THE RIGHT TO.” [Boldface added]In a Facebook post in Arabic on April 6th, Ayyoub thanked Hamas for the great job it was doing educating the kids of Gaza.Why was this Hamas apologist and defender ever representing the New York Times in Gaza?Back in January of 2013, after I published a story that was critical of the Times and other major outlets for having ignored then-Egypt president Morsi calling Jews “apes and pigs,” I spoke with the paper’s foreign editor, Joseph Kahn. He told me that the Times didn’t feel it needed a permanent full-time reporter in Gaza. But I disagree. Given the importance of the conflict and the Times’ obsession with it at the expense of other global conflicts where far more civilians are dying, I don’t see how anyone can argue that such a position isn’t warranted. Especially right now.It has long been said at the New York Times that if both sides of the Israeli-Palestinian divide complain about their coverage, then that’s proof they are doing a good job. In fact, a year or so ago, a former Times reporter commented on Rudoren’s Facebook page that this was what she herself was told when she arrived at the paper. Indeed, when the Times responds to criticism about its anti-Israel bias, it’s spokesperson Eileen Murphy likes to call attention to the enormous criticism they get from both sides. The truth is that upsetting both sides of a conflict does not mean you’re doing your job. It can often mean you’re just lazy. There are facts, there is history, and there is reporting that can get to the bottom of much.It’s also an absurd excuse. If Nazis and Fascists both complained about Times coverage of Germany before World War II, does this mean that the coverage was flawless? The assumption is that criticism from both sides “cancels each other out.” But it’s possible that one side may have well-warranted complaints while the other might be totally frivolous—and might be complaining just to create the “two sides are complaining” effect..AL JAZEERA: A SHILL FOR TERRORISTSAl Jazeera, the Qatar-based parent of Al Jazeera America, has long been venomous towards Israel. That’s no secret to anybody with eyes and ears—or a passport from Israel, whose citizens are prevented by the Emir of Qatar from visiting the country where the network is based.A confidential State Department cable from February 2006 describes former Qatari Emir Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani, who founded Al-Jazeera by a royal decree in 1996, as a “a big friend of Hamas.” He pledged $400 million to Hamas during a visit to Gaza in 2012. Two months ago, Qatar’s prime minister, Abdullah bin Naser bin Khalifa Al Thani, announced that Qatar would give Hamas $60 million to pay the salaries of its civil servants in Gaza. And just last weekend, Qatar announced it would give funds to every Palestinian whose home was destroyed in the current war. (We can assume that the Emir will include the homes where terrorists stored or launched rockets from.)Qatar is also comfortably housing Hamas leaders in Doha while Palestinian fighters and civilians in Gaza die. However, the Jerusalem Post reported yesterday that the Qatari government may have threatened to boot Hamas’s political bureau chief, Khaled Meshaal, from his sanctuary if he agreed to an Egyptian ceasefire proposal. (Egypt refuses to allow Qatar, a virulent supporter of the terrorist Muslim Brotherhood group, a seat at the table.)Government officials in Iraq and Germany claim that Qatar has also funded ISIS, the new terrorist “state” where U.S. journalist James Foley was recently beheaded.As for Al Jazeera, a State Department cable from December 2009 stated that Qatar was using the network as “an informal tool … of foreign policy.”Israel’s Kobi Michael, the former national security official, points out that Al Jazeera does criticize certain corrupted regimes, “but nobody at Al Jazeera can say something about the Qatari corruption. Qatar is a tiny state with less than 250,000 citizens and more than 1.8 million slaves [migrants] with no dignity and human rights.”While polls suggest that the majority of Gazans still seem to support Hamas, I’ve long wondered why moderate Gazans don’t form an underground to take on the terror group. Michael says Hamas’s terrorizing of the population is still too widespread to allow that to happen. “Since 2007 they have established an infrastructure and atmosphere of incitement—and those who refuse to collaborate with these efforts are forced to do it or just executed. Therefore citizens in Gaza cannot resist.”He adds: “It is even worst than that due to the direct support for Hamas mainly by Qatar and the indirect support by international politics and media that collaborate with Hamas propaganda and the fabrication of figures and facts and pictures. The people of Gaza look at the international community’s approach and reaction towards other bloody arenas like Syria, Nigeria, Yemen and Libya, and understands that there will be no backing and support and they will be left alone. Think about it.”And what of the Qatari government’s subsidiary, Al Jazeera America? I posed the matter to Steven Emerson, who has studied the network extensively. He is a longtime expert on Islamist terror who runs the Investigative Project in Terrorism (IPT), and he worked prior to that as an former investigative journalist for CNN and U.S. News and World Report.“AJ America does very good reporting, but it was set up to provide cover as a propaganda outlet for its unabashed pro-Islamist, pro-Muslim Brotherhood, pro-Hamas owners,” says Emerson. “Qatar is the Number One financial supporter of the Brotherhood and Hamas today. Its coverage of the Israel-Hamas war has been scurrilously one-sided even though they pretend to be “evenhanded” by interviewing official Israeli spokesmen.”On July 30, Al Jazeera’s coverage of the war was slammed by Rep. Brad Sherman (D-Calif), who sits on the House Foreign Affairs Committee. “Every one of those rockets [fired by Hamas into Israel] is a war crime, almost every one,” Sherman said, noting that Hamas seeks to hit civilian targets. “Of course it’s a war crime committed by Hamas. And of course the owners of this TV network help fund Hamas.”A story on Al Jazeera America on July 31st focused on the long-term psychological and physical affects that Gazan children will suffer because of “Israel’s onslaught.” Reporter Hashem Said interviewed various medical experts on the subject. Not once was the word Hamas even mentioned, let alone the long-term effects on the kids of having such a ruthless government in power.And, as I wrote earlier, the video of AJ America’s Nick Schifrin showing viewers how Hamas launches rockets from civilian areas has been removed by his employer.Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman says Israel is re-evaluating whether to boot Al Jazeera out of the country. “Just as Great Britain would not permit Der Stürmer to establish a television channel to broadcast from London, and the United States would not permit an Al Qaeda channel to broadcast from New York,” the foreign minister said.On Monday, Israel’s Ambassador to the UN, Ron Prosor, held a press conference—in part to wake reporters up to what Qatar is doing. “Ladies and gentlemen,” he said, “Hamas has been able to get away with its crimes thanks to the support and sponsorship it receives from Qatar. The Emir wants to appear to be progressive. After all, he and his family have gone on an international shopping spree buying the campuses of six American universities…” [One of those colleges is a virtual clone of New York University, my alma mater, which was established in Doha. Meanwhile, NYU’s New York campus serves as a de facto U.S. headquarters for an attempted academic boycott of Israel—a subject I’ve explored.”It [Qatar] can buy, bribe or bully its way to owning anything,” the Israeli ambassador added. “Now Qatar is spending its way to becoming the world’s biggest sponsor of terrorism, second only to Iran.”If Qatar is aiding Hamas in various ways—financial, media, diplomatic, harboring war criminal—at what point is Qatar violating U.S. law against supplying material support to a designated terror group? “If Hamas were ever to be convicted of war crimes by the International Criminal Court, as it may well be, any individual who was an accessory to such crimes would be guilty as well,” writes former Harvard Law professor Alan Dershowitz. “It is entirely fair, therefore, to describe Qatar as a criminal regime, guilty of accessory to mass murder.”An old friend and talented colleague of mine went to Al Jazeera America. (We worked together once on the Al Qaeda terrorism trail.) So did the highly-regarded veteran reporter Ed Pound, who runs AJ America’s investigative unit, as well as Marcy McGinnis—the accomplished former CBS News executive who is now AJ America’s vice president of newsgathering. When I think of them, I reflect back at what former ABC Nightline correspondent David Marash said publicly after he quit Al Jazeera English in 2008 because of anti-American bias. Today, I wonder if any of the dozen or so talented Western journos will quit AJ America in light of the Qatar-Hamas connection coming into sharper focus.Terrorism expert Emerson puts it bluntly: “The journalists who joined AJ America have sold their souls, I’m sure for a very good price. Some of them went over to AJ America because it perfectly suited their ideological agendas.”.THE BIG LIE: A RACIST STATEThanks in good measure to what investigative reporter Weiss calls “the media intifada”—the trans-Atlantic epidemic of lazy, incomplete, sometimes mendacious journalism and imitations thereof that has plagued the conflict—the cries of Israel as a racist-colonial state are being vomited forth from San Francisco to Spain.So goes the monotonously screamed lie, despite the presence on the Israeli side of Arab Israelis, Bedouin tribesmen, Druze and black African soldiers—as well as Mizrahi (Middle Eastern) Jewish youngsters—comprising much of the Israel Defense Forces.Israel’s diversity is a subject almost never covered in the West. The Times contributes to the racism label, adding to the nonfeasance in its news pages, by printing on its famously predictable op-ed page, cookie-cutter, paint-by-numbers tracts by Palestinian officials and Israel-hating academics that label Israel a racist state—a tedious litany of drivel repeated dozens of times before.Case in point: ‘Israel’s Colonialism Must End,” an August 4th op-ed by Ali Jarbawi, a professor and former Palestinian Authority minister, which is chock full of variants of the words racism and colonialism that he uses to smack Israel with. But it’s all nonsense, and it’s high time that the newspaper’s editorial board stopped inflaming anti-Semitism with this stuff.Two weeks ago, I had the pleasure of dining with Dumisani Washington, the head of a group called the Institute for Black Solidarity with Israel. “The claim that Israel is a racist/colonial/apartheid state is a blatant, bald-faced lie,” he says. “Further, those false accusations cheapen the experiences of South Africans, Black Americans and others who experienced those horrors—like my parents and grandparents. Israel is diverse in virtually every facet of society. It is intellectual dishonesty to affix those gross labels on a liberal democracy.”Washington, a California-based author, pastor and music teacher, will be publishing a book next month called “Zionism and the Black Church.” His institute educates young people and college students about what Israel really is. Among other things, he focuses on Martin Luther King Jr’s strong support of Zionism. Born in the segregated south (Little Rock), he knows a thing or two about what racism is.
A LIBEL’S RESURGENCE: Dumisani Washington, of the Institute for Black Solidarity with Israel, tours the U.S. to teach students some truths. “The claim that Israel is a racist/colonial/apartheid state is a blatant, bald-faced lie.”
While discrimination certainly exists in Israel (although not in its laws), as it does in most countries, the situation is improving and the Israeli-Palestinian struggle has nothing to do with race. For starters, Judaism is not a race, and anybody can choose to become a Jew. The late senator and U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, Daniel Patrick Moynihan, made that clear enough in 1975, when he rose to the rostrum to condemn the UN’s labeling Zionism as “a form of racism and racial discrimination” (a designation the UN reversed). Moynihan called it “a lie” and “this obscenity.” (And he warned that corrupting the language of human rights in this way would cause irreparable harm to the UN and to actual racism.)
Nor is Zionism a colonial enterprise, as Jews immigrated in large numbers to escape persecution, not to plant the flags of other nations.
Nor is Israel engaged in “genocide” and “ethnic cleansing” of Palestinians, another farcical slander. Since 1948, the Palestinian population has increased eightfold.
But for those who insist on brainwashing themselves into believing it’s a racist conflict, they might want to see a photo posted on Twitter by Gutiérrez—the Spanish journalist who exposed Hamas’ firing a battery of rockets from the press hotel in Gaza. It’s a picture of an Arab IDF soldier kissing his mother, who is wearing a hijab, on the cheek. “I would be lying if I told you I saw signs of apartheid in Israel,” the journalist wrote next to the photo. “But I’m not going to lie.”
Or perhaps the brainwashed can meet Arab Israeli teenagers like Mohammad Zoabi, a proud Muslim Zionist. Or perhaps Israel haters can learn about the Druze IDF commander, Col. Ghassan Alian, who was injured in battle last month but insisted his doctors let him go back on the front because “I have many soldiers there. I need to return.”
Or perhaps they can meet people like Arab Israeli Anett Haskia, whose two sons and daughter serve in the IDF, and who encourages Israeli soldiers to “keep on fighting in Gaza until total victory.” As for those who don’t accept the state of Israel, she suggests they are “welcome to go to an Arab country.”
Where are their stories in the New York Times and elsewhere in Western media?
LOVE FOR SON, AND FOR COUNTRY: Arab Israeli mother Anett Haskia with son Hussam, one of her three children (including a daughter) who are serving in the IDF. All three are in the photo below. She encourages Israel’s soldiers to “keep fighting in Gaza until total victory.” (screenshots: Facebook)
ANETT HASKIA CHILDREN
The three children of a proud Arab Israeli, Anett Haskia (pictured in photo above): Her son Hussam, daughter Suha, and son Dado.
For that matter, where are the features of young, dead Israeli soldiers and their families? Or is it only the tragic deaths of Palestinian civilians that are worthy of ink?
There are 64 stories of fallen Israeli soldiers to choose from, and here is one, sent to me in late July by an Israeli cousin named Liraz:
“A week ago we celebrated our dear Nitsan’s 24th birthday. It was not easy to take a decision to celebrate during a war (this is absolutely not an operation)—but after all, these brave soldiers who are fighting there are doing it to protect us and allow us to celebrate life.
“Today [August 1st], I had to face Nitsan’s face, with heavy tears falling along her cheeks, and to realize how difficult it is to supply an answer to her question: ‘Why Mom, why is this world so unfair? So cruel? Why do they hate us so much?’
“Today, during a very hard battle, two soldiers were killed… One of them—Benaya Sarel—was the fiancée of Gali Nir, a very close friend of Nitsan’s, with whom she travelled to the Far East last year. Gali & Benaya, such a lovely young couple—met in the army, lived and loved, and were supposed to get married in ~3 weeks. Instead of dancing at their wedding, their family and friends will have to escort his coffin tomorrow on his last way. Benaya was a captain in Givati, one of our combat units. What a guy. You should have seen his pictures—taken in Gaza only a few days ago. He presented to the television camera ammunitions they found in a house. Great deal of ammunitions that it’s hard to believe.
“He was an admired officer, and, like our commanders, he was in front of his troops—killed by the suicide terrorist who came in front of the Israeli force, to distract them to [try and] take one of them into captivity.
“Nitsan and her girlfriends were trying to plan the party for Gali before the wedding. They knew she was in great tension, because Benaya is ‘inside.’ How tragic and awful it is now. No party, no wedding dress, a 24-year-old young fragile woman cannot start her life with her beloved man. Nitsan said she feels like she’s in a bad dream. And she wants to wake up, NOW.
“Honestly, I didn’t know what to tell my daughter. I know all the good reasons why I am growing up my children here, in this country. But to see them grow up and experience the unbearable pain—this is something that as a parent you are not prepared to do. Her sorrow, and the tragedy that her friend Gali will have to cope with now, just breaks my heart.
“I wish some of the [foreign] politicians who tell us what to do and how much to do and when to stop or how to handle this battle—I wish they would come to live here only for a short while. Realize who are our enemies and perhaps understand how wrong they [politicians] are not to support Israel all the way to the end, and not to assist us in any possible method to destroy this enormous evil called Hamas.”
Liraz told me that Nitsan was “devastated..crying all day” after the funeral to speak with me. A friend of hers permitted me to publish this photo (below) that she took of Benaya proposing to Gali.
A FALLEN SOLDIER, A GRIEVING FIANCÉE: Benaya Sarel (left) and Gali Nir were planning an August wedding, not a funeral with 10,000 in attendance. Western media outlets are all-but-uninterested in such stories. (photo courtesy of Talya Peled Keinan)
Back in November 2012, during Israel’s Operation Pillar of Defense, I learned that another cousin was the commander of a patrol jeep that was hit by an anti-tank missile fired into Israel from Gaza. After an IDF spokesperson told me that the incident was “the immediate catalyst” for Israel’s operation that month, I wrote a piece about it. From time to time, I still think about the jeep’s driver, now blind in both eyes as a result of the attack. At the time I published, doctors were still trying to save one of his eyes. It could have made for a moving feature in the Times or any major American media outlet. Still would.
But since my colleagues in major media are all-but-uninterested in the stories of injured or fallen Israeli soldiers, I’ve compiled a few other pieces that they might consider:
** When Israel pulled every one of its citizens out of Gaza in 2005, it left behind an advanced infrastructure for agriculture that included roughly 3,000 greenhouses donated by American Jewish philanthropists. “Instead of building on the agricultural high-tech, the people of Gaza stole it all; they took it apart and destroyed it,” recalls historian Michael B. Oren, who served as Israel’s ambassador to the U.S. from 2009 until last September.
I spoke last month with Oren. He said that if world leaders would stand down and let Israel deal Hamas a decisive military defeat, followed by a demilitarization of the Gaza Strip, the population there could flourish—if they choose a different path than the one they selected in 2005. “Here’s a second chance,” he says, pointing out that Gaza could develop a booming tourism sector (thanks to beautiful beaches), lure international investment, and do joint ventures in high-tech with Israel just as Palestinian entrepreneurs on the West Bank are doing today.
I wrote a cover story in Forbes magazine a year ago about these promising high-tech co-ventures. Google the subject, and you’ll see that such a positive subject is still all-but-ignored by my colleagues. Why? Too positive?
** Another area rich for stronger coverage are the “terror tunnels”—32 of which the IDF says it has destroyed. Israel’s Hecht, an expert on underground warfare, points out that Egypt’s prior destruction of the Gazan smuggling operation—most of which has taken place since Egyptian President el-Sisi took power in June—is “one of the prime causes of the present war.” I didn’t know this until I spoke with him, and perhaps most American readers and viewers don’t know it either. Hecht has written extensively on tunnel warfare, and one of his papers (from July 27th) on the subject can be seen here.
Q: Has Israel destroyed any tunnels that are used for just moving food and other needed products into Gaza, as well as for trade outside Gaza? Or are there no such tunnels used exclusively for these purposes? Has Egypt been destroying any tunnels since Israel’s Operation Protective Edge began on July 8th?
Hecht: “The smuggling tunnels are all between Gaza and Egypt. They have in the past been targeted by Israel when specific intelligence provided the location of arms shipments moving through a specific tunnel. But it is a very inefficient and ineffective way to stop them. The bomb has to hit within a couple of meters at most in order to do any damage at all. Most of the tunnels are so deep that the only feasible target is the entrance and even if the bomb hits and blocks the entrance or a section of tunnel, the damage is so limited that it only takes a few days to dig a bypass. If, as has sometimes happened, there is a lot of explosive material in the tunnel when it is hit, then there might be a chain-reaction explosion that demolishes it along a considerable length, forcing it to be abandoned and then they have to dig a new one. This is the reason that the IDF had to go in on the ground against the offensive tunnels; to destroy them you need to climb in, place tons of explosive in a chain along the entire length and then explode it all at once.
“What really shut down the Gazan smuggling operation and can keep it shut in the future is the Egyptian army’s ground forces. They have shut down more than 1,630 smuggling tunnels—most of them since el-Sisi came to power [in June]. This is one of the prime causes of the present war: Taxation on the smuggling tunnels provided Hamas with 40% (some claim even 50%) of its revenues. They also were the only route of entrance of new weapons into Gaza, though these weapons were only a small percentage of the traffic, most of which was civilian.”
Q: You’ve written about the revolutionary work that the IDF has done in analyzing the location of tunnels and the techniques for destroying them. Is that knowledge of value for the U.S. military? How and why? And is there currently R&D work being done in Israel to learn more and further the technology?
Hecht: “This sort of knowledge is discussed and exchanged continuously between the two militaries. The problem is that, as yet, neither has found a solution that works well enough to make this specific problem easy. The U.S., led by Immigration and Customs Enforcement, has invested a lot of money into solving a similar problem on the Mexican border with similarly dismal results. For the time being the only working solution is intelligence culled from inside the rival organization that points to an area or the exact location of an entrance — and then to send patrols to find that entrance. R&D is being conducted, but the results are simply not good enough. All the existing technology can discover these tunnels only to a shallow depth that is less than half the depth they are being dug.”
On August 11th, Fox News editor-at-large George Russell (a former colleague of mine at Time magazine, who I later wrote a batch of investigative stories for at FoxNews.com) exposed an internal UN report revealing financial mismanagement at the agency that “adds a new level of potential credibility to Israeli accusations that internationally-managed relief supplies to Gaza were diverted into construction” of tunnels used by Hamas to organize rocket attacks and infiltrations into Israel.
In 2004, the NGO Human Rights Watch (where Times reporters Fares and Ayyoub once worked) published a lengthy, clearly-politicized “report” condemning Israel for actions designed to stop terror tunneling in Gaza. The report, an accompanying publication (“Razing Rafah”), and a big media campaign “repeated false allegations that Israel was violating international law,” says Gerald Steinberg, who runs NGO Monitor, a group that tracks the falsehoods of NGOs operating in the Middle East. “This was the only HRW ‘report’ on the Gaza tunnels, which have grown massively in the past decade.”
Steinberg says that during the past decade, Amnesty International and other such “political” NGOs, as well as UNRWA, ignored Hamas’s strategic [offensive] tunnel construction. “They also turned a blind eye to the abused Palestinian children who were forced to dig the tunnels, causing at least 160 deaths, and perhaps many more,” he says. “In obsessive posts on Twitter, in which most target Israel, HRW head Ken Roth continues to ignore these issues.”
FUNDING AL JAZEERA AMERICA—AND TERROR: The Emir of Qatar in 2012 with the PA’s Mahmoud Abbas (left) and Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal. (screenshot: World News Network)
Instead, HRW, Amnesty and UNRWA led the campaign demanding that Israel allow the import of cement into Gaza, where it was used to prepare the tunnels for deadly attacks on Israel. “Under the facade of human rights, the leaders of these organizations are morally complicit in the rampant child abuse, the deadly Hamas attacks through the tunnels, and the immeasurable cost to Gaza’s residents,” says Steinberg.
With media focused on Palestinian children, certainly the abuse of them during the construction of such tunnels should be a natural angle? But that might get foreign reporters booted from Gaza.
** Another idea for my colleagues might be to probe deeply into the Qatar-Hamas links. Poking around Al Jazeera’s home nation won’t be easy, as there’s no freedom of the press there. But it remains one of the most important stories of the entire war, and it’s sitting there waiting to be done.
** Finally, another investigative story worth pursuing, although it will also upset the press corps’ hosts in Gaza, is the sordid relationship between Hamas and UNRWA. While the UN has called for a probe of Israel for war crimes, the agency itself has been caught red-handed three times storing Hamas rockets—and has publicly admitted handing rockets back to Hamas. UNRWA has also admitted to hiring Hamas teachers at the schools, which are sometimes used as recruitment centers for child soldiers. The curriculum brainwashes the kids into working for the elimination of Israel.
SNOWING HIS VIEWERS IN THE UK
Of the dozen big-circulation newspapers in the UK, the Guardian stands alone in its virulent hatred of Israel. (even worse: the Independent, although it’s circulation is far lower.) This is clear to anyone who can stand to follow it, and one need only read Middle East commentator Tom Gross’s account of Guardian editor-in-chief Alan Rusbridger’s first visit to Israel in 2001 to see who is steering the paper’s biased reportage.
Less well known to those outside the UK is the hostility of TV’s Jon Snow, long known as “the face of Channel 4 News” (since 1989). He reputedly enjoys the biggest Twitter ratings in the country of any TV news reporter, and his network is one of the most followed by viewers there.
I decided to explore Snow’s coverage because an old friend and extremely talented colleague of mine (we worked closely in Pakistan after 9-11 on the terrorism trail) posted a link to a Snow broadcast in mid-July, with the comment “Lord I miss Jon Snow.” The colleague, who was based until recently in London, now works for Al Jazeera America.
So how is Snow covering the Israel-Hamas war? The newsman has become obsessed with injured and dead children in Gaza, to the expense of everything else. I could locate no broadcasts, however, on the harm being done to Israeli children near the Gaza border—where studies show that nearly half of the kids suffer post-traumatic stress-related symptoms from years of rockets and countless hours spent in bomb shelters.
A review of many of Snow’s broadcasts and dispatches shows one bias, absurdity and falsity after another, in such a format that it resembles a satire.
** Following a brief visit to Gaza in mid-July, he referred only twice to Israeli security guards at a checkpoint into and out of Gaza—and each time stated that they “barked” orders [like dogs?]
** He referred to “three half-hearted aerial sirens” in Israel, as if citizens rushing to bomb shelters there deserve little sympathy.
** He falsely stated that Israel’s Iron Dome catches all the rockets. “Israel, courtesy of American finance [he uses his hands to create a half globe effect], has invented the most brilliant shield, which is keeping absolutely everything out—and that’s a big difference.”
In fact, the Iron Dome’s success rate in this war is about 85%. Given that all of Israel cannot be protected by it (75% of Israelis live within range of Hamas missiles), the IDF focuses on those rockets that are falling over population centers. From the start of the war until July 26th—the day of Snow’s on-air claim—the IDF identified 2,478 launches into Israel. Of these, 488 were intercepted successfully and exploded in mid-air, while 1,790 landed in Israel in open areas. (Perhaps 200 landed inside Gaza. Of course, any damage they caused was falsely attributed to Israeli bombing or artillery.)
So much for “keeping absolutely everything out.” One must ask, given such falsities, are viewers watching Snow purely for entertainment value, or do they buy what he hawks?
VISITING GAZA’S WOUNDED: UK newsman Jon Snow (right) says that Israeli officials “seem to be happy” when IDF strikes kill women and children. (screenshot: Channel 4 News)
** In the past Snow has referred to the Israel lobby in Washington as the “Jewish lobby”—despite the facts that Israel’s population is 75% Jewish, with the rest Muslim, Christian, Druze and other minorities. Does Snow have a problem with Jews, or is he simply ignorant?
** In a discussion inside Gaza’s Al Aksa Hospital with the institution’s medical director, the doctor told Snow: “These [children] are the declared target of the Israeli army. They are only killing children.” Snow doesn’t challenge him on that, not even slightly.
** In a clear broadside against Israel, he stated, “The world is witnessing what is happening in Gaza. There is bound to be judgment.”
** Snow told a Hamas spokesperson on air that, “If you stopped firing your rockets tonight, you would embarrass Israel into stopping fighting you.” Embarrass? Why use such a word? In fact, Israeli officials have said over and over that the missiles will stop when the rockets do—while Hamas has broken every ceasefire.
** He exaggerates ridiculously. In an interview with Israel’s former National Security Advisor, Yaakov Amidror, Snow called a rocket that landed near Israel’s Ben Gurion Airport, “clearly…a disaster…an enormous economic setback [due to a 24-hour flight ban by the U.S. and Europe.] “Please don’t exaggerate,” responds Amidror, adding sarcastically: “It’s Britain, I understand. So, it’s not a ‘disaster.’ It’s a problem. We will solve it, if not in the next 24 hours, in another 24 hours….This is not a disaster for Israel.”
Snow punches back: “How many 24 hours do you need to deal with the problem you describe as Hamas?” Amidror then educates the newsman on how Hamas is “the problem of Palestinians, not us, and Qatar money…[and running a] military machine instead of taking care of its own population.”
Amidror then lands the knockout, even as Snow tried to cut him off. “Remember—you are from Britain—what happened the last time someone decided to launch rockets and missiles into your own cities, so we will have to deal with it.”
Snow keeps trying. He complains that the IDF is “having to kill civilians on behalf of the political classes who will not talk to Hamas. That position simply cannot be sustained. I would argue, and I think there are many in the West who would support this, many would argue that you’re losing the propaganda war thereby.”
Amidror then educates Snow on something that most of the media does not seem to ever grasp. “You know, we are not fighting for propaganda,” he said. “We are fighting for our life. When Hamas decided to launch more than 1,500 missiles and rockets into Israel [now up to nearly 3,500], the problem is not propaganda, with all due respect to the propaganda. And what we are doing now, we are defending our ability to live in Israel. And what our pilots and our commanders on the ground are doing is to try to convince the civilians to leave the areas in which Hamas put its launchers and is fighting for within populated areas behind the shield of children of its own people. What we try to do is to defend our civilians. What they are doing is to use their civilians.”
** Snow began an interview with Mark Regev, the spokesperson for Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu, by stating: “Mark Regev, the operation that you’re engaged in is Protective Edge, and its stated purpose is to protect Israeli civilians. Uhh, how does killing children on a beach contribute to that purpose?” After a discussion of the nature of war as he thinks Israel views it, Snow then states: “You seem to be happy for it to, frankly, well if it results in dead children, dead women, that’s it.”
Indeed, in a tragedy that was well-reported by media in the US and elsewhere, four Palestinian kids playing on beach in Gaza were killed by Israeli fire. As far as I could tell, what wasn’t asked by my mainstream colleagues was what they were even doing on a beach with Israeli naval forces stationed right off it Did not one of the four sets of parents think of keeping a tight eye on them? At what stage are parents responsible for their children?
** In that interview with Regev, Snow asked why Israel doesn’t talk to Hamas directly—as if this could somehow lead to a duet of Kumbaya. “Let me ask a final question,” said Snow, before sounding like a child himself. “You’ve tried three wars. You’ve tried virtually everything…You’ve besieged it [Gaza] for seven years. People live an intolerable and ghastly life, and you know that better than anybody. Why don’t you try one other thing: Talking. Why not talk? Why not be brave and talk directly with them? Why not?”
I’ll let Israeli military expert Hecht and Kobi address that absurdity.
Hecht: “I guess we should have negotiated with the Nazis too—just as Churchill did, oh wait—he didn’t. Or perhaps the way Britain and the U.S.A. negotiated with Saddam Hussein and are negotiating very effectively with the Taliban.”
Kobi: “Has this Brit asked himself why the UK or U.S. doesn’t negotiate with Al Qaeda or ISIS? Israel has negotiated with Hamas, but indirectly. There is not any cause to negotiate with them [directly] because any negotiation with them legitimizes them, strengthens their political position and weakens the moderates.
“[Second] Israel has no interest in having two Palestinian states competing against each other on its back. The PLO is the only and sole legitimate representative of the Palestinian people; why does Israel have to undermine it?
“[Third] Hamas is a terror organization that seeks eliminating and destroying not only the state of Israel but the Jews as a whole.”
Not surprisingly, Snow doesn’t mention the inconvenient fact of Hamas’ charter, which calls for the killing of Jews everywhere.
SNOWING HIS VIEWERS: Top UK newsman Jon Snow calls on Israel to negotiate directly with Hamas, but apparently has never read its charter. (Cartoon courtesy of Legal Insurrection.)
What is one to do when watching and reading Jon Snow? Perhaps simply laugh. But what Snow doesn’t seem to understand is that, to those who actually know the facts, his falsities and bias actually undermine the lives and deaths of the Palestinian children that he obsesses over.
And that applies to Western media generally, on both sides of the Atlantic.
As for the New York Times, having failed to do any serious enterprise reporting since the war began, here’s the big crumb the newspaper tossed out to its readers after the last ceasefire went into effect:
On Saturday, a Page One story about a 91-year-old man named Henk Zanoli who rescued Jews during the Holocaust but who has now decided to return a medal he received because he’s upset about the numbers of Palestinian civilians who have died in the warfare. According to Times’ reporters Christopher F. Schuete and Anne Barnard, “his act crystalized the moral debate over Israel’s military air and ground assault…in which about 2,000 people, a majority of them civilians, have been killed.”
Of course, it “crystalized” nothing of the sort. The man is a genuine hero who genuinely rescued Jews, and he’s a genuine anti-Zionist going back many decades, as his letter to the Israeli ambassador to the Netherlands points out. He obviously went to the trouble of publicizing the letter, probably sending it out widely to the media [the story appeared first in Israel’s Haaretz]. A publicity stunt, and one eagerly utilized.
Zanoli’s wartime exploits are not to be minimized. His actions today, falling in line with European Israel-hatred, are anything but heroic. (He refers to the deaths in Gaza as “murder carried out by the State of Israel.”) A nonbiased article—remember, this is a lengthy front-page story—would have explored his views on European anti-Semitism, the spread of Islamist beliefs, and his callous disregard of the perils facing Jews today.
Also, note how the two Times reporters state emphatically and without attribution that a majority of those killed are civilians. A day earlier, at least Times reporter Kershner began using the word “probably” on that point. Knock, knock, New York Times, any editors home?
That Times piece made me reflect on the newspaper’s coverage during the Holocaust. In 2001, just two months after 9-11, the paper’s former executive editor, Max Frankel, wrote a scathing come-to-Jesus op-ed on what he called “the staggering, staining failure of the New York Times to depict Hitler’s methodical extermination of the Jews of Europe as a horror beyond all other horrors in World War II—a Nazi war within the war crying out for illumination.”
While the Times today is, to some degree, following down the same path with Hamas, we fortunately live in a 24/7 global online-media world, where we don’t need to depend on such an important newspaper for its coverage.
Not content with its ‘morally-crystalizing’ Page One story about the Holocaust hero, the Times struck again the following day with yet another Page One story that was malevolent towards Israel. This one, odd enough just for its timing during the current war, focused on how three Israeli men are allegedly among the central operators in Israel’s underground kidney market (i.e. the trafficking of kidneys to save lives.) The reporter—Kevin Sack—concluded that while the trade is extremely active in China, Egypt, India, Pakistan, Turkey, Eastern Europe and elsewhere, Israelis have played “a disproportionate role.” It’s a word the Times has used a great deal this summer to describe the ratio of Israeli-to-Palestinian fatalities.
Students of the New York Times may conclude that, given the space allotted to the piece (it included two full pages inside), this is the kind of ”exposé” the editors may be submitting for journalism awards next year.
I realize that kidneys are off-point for an article about the current war, but it’s not off-point for a critique of how the Times covers Israel. Therefore, I reached out yesterday to Dr. Asif Efrat, one of Israel’s leading experts on the country’s role in the global kidney trade. I asked Asif, who teaches at IDC Herzliya, one of Israel’s most prestigious colleges, what he thought of this Times triumph. His response, in full:
“The main problem with the article is that it does not mention the changes in Israel’s regulation of transplantation since 2008. The reporter says that an analysis of ‘trafficking cases since 2000 suggests that Israelis have played a disproportionate role.’ This was certainly true before 2008: from the mid 1990s to 2008, the HMOs reimbursed Israeli patients for transplants done abroad, and this was a strong incentive to pursue those transplants. Yet in 2008 Israel enacted an Organ Transplantation Law that made organ brokering a criminal offence and prohibited the HMOs from paying for commercial transplants abroad. The law also includes a set of measures to encourage altruistic organ donations in Israel in order to reduce the organ shortage.
“As a result of this law, the number of Israelis who buy organs abroad has significantly decreased. Indeed, the trade has not completely disappeared, as the Times article documents, but there has been a significant decline. Prior to 2008, Israel was denounced by the international transplant community for sponsoring the organ trade through the HMO reimbursement; but leaders of the transplant community—those behind the Declaration of Istanbul—have praised the Israeli law. I believe this should have been mentioned. And to put things into perspective, it could have been noted that patients who buy organs come not only from Israel, but from a variety of countries in Asia, the Arab world, and Europe.”
There you have it: Two questionably-important Page One distractions from the kind of enterprise pieces about Israel that the Times should be doing this month— while the Israel-Hamas war continues. Media watchdogs such as the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America (CAMERA) and HonestReporting have been tracking the paper’s record in the war. It took just one day for the Times to start the crooked ball rolling with a front-page headline flipping reality itself on its head: ”Israel presses air barrage and Hamas strikes back.”
One thing I wish the Times had deemed worthy of sharing with its readers is an electrifying speech delivered by Florida Senator Marco Rubio on the Senate floor in late July. It was about as strong a statement in support of Israel as anything I’ve heard presented in that great body since the war began. Rubio places all the blame for the deaths of Palestinian civilians where it belongs: at the door of Hamas.
“Please don’t tell me that this was caused by Israel,” Rubio implored a Palestinian official in Washington who had sent him a blistering letter. “In my time here in the Senate, I’ve had the opportunity to visit multiple countries. I have never met a people more desirous of peace than the people in Israel. But peace cannot mean your destruction. And that’s what they’re facing here… They [Hamas] are willing to sacrifice their own people to win a PR war. And I think it is absolutely outrageous that some in the press corps domestically, and most of the press corps internationally, is falling for this game. So please don’t tell me that both sides are to blame here.”
Comedian and political commentator Bill Maher has noted the absurdity of constantly blaming Israel for its efforts to exist. ”What I find so ironic is that after World War II, everybody said, ‘I don’t understand the Jews. How could they have just gone to their slaughter like that?’” he told the Los Angeles-based Jewish Journal in 2012. “OK, and then when they fight back: ‘I don’t understand the Jews. Why can’t they just go to their slaughter?’ It’s like, ‘You know what? We did that once. It’s not gonna happen again. You’re just gonna have to get used to the fact that Jews now defend themselves…”
I recently attended a benefit dinner held by OneFamily, a charity that helps Israeli victims of terrorism. (It was launched in 2001, following a suicide bombing at a Sbarro restaurant in downtown Jerusalem that killed 15 and injured 130). On the night of the dinner, the group was raising funds to help move Israeli families from the south of the country, where they’ve been cooped up in bomb shelters, to the north.
The keynote speaker that night, Eric Mandel, has briefed members of Congress on Israel since the 1980s, and he speaks frequently to students. “Media bias against Israel will never end,” he told the audience. “However, the American people are enigmatically both sympathetic to Israel while at the same time ill-informed of the facts of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. This makes Americans particularly vulnerable to distortions and lies about Israel…In this war, the mainstream media is not challenging Hamas’ defenders. You would never know that the ‘siege against Gaza is of Hamas’ own making. The borders were open for trade and commerce until Hamas decided to continually fire missiles into Israeli civilian areas.”
BRAINWASH VICTIM: Mia Warshofsky, a 19-year-old Jewish college student in Florida who is organizing boycotts of Israel, has never been there. Why bother, when she can rely on Western media outlets for her knowledge. (screenshot: Central Florida Future)
Speakers like Mandel and Dumisani Washington (of the Institute for Black Solidarity With Israel) are going to have their work cut out for them this autumn, as the boycott-Israel movement (BDS) on college campuses will likely be rocketing as never before. On Sunday, Haaretz focused on a few of those students who are desperately in need of history lessons and accurate media reports.
Among them: a Jewish sophomore in Florida named Mia Warshofsky. In a column she wrote on August 11th for her school paper, the 19-year-old teaches us that “an operation with a 76 percent civilian casualty rate is ineffective and disproportionate in scope. Targeting hospitals, schools, civilians and civilian infrastructure is not self-defense.” As she “cannot be complacent in the Israeli occupation,” she is planning to launch chapters of the Israel-hating Jewish Voice for Peace, and Students for Justice in Palestine, at her 60,000-student campus, the University of Central Florida.
Mia has never been to Israel.
Reading through her tedious repetition of the Hamas narrative, it’s hard not to wonder about the role played in molding her thinking by biased coverage of the Gaza conflict in the media. It’s as if an entire mythology of Israeli aggression and Hamas innocence has been foisted on the public by a media that is too feckless, too lazy, too prejudiced, and sometimes too just plain dumb to know any better. Regrettably, as history has taught us, bad journalism has made truth the first casualty of war.
A memorable line from the 1962 John Ford film “The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance” comes to mind. The main character, played by Jimmy Stewart, has just spent hours explaining to a frontier journalist why he did not in fact kill Liberty Valance, the notorious outlaw, but the myth nonetheless had propelled the Stewart character into a successful career in politics.
The journalist throws his notes into a fire and refuses to print the truth. The Stewart character asks why. The journalist replies: “This is the West, sir. When the legend becomes fact, print the legend.”
Substitute “Gaza” for “West” and the problem can be summarized in that one sentence.
–With assistance from Susan Radlauer, Director of Research Services, Forbes
Richard Behar is the Contributing Editor, Investigations, for Forbes magazine. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
From Rabbi Lazer Brody’s Lazer Beams website:
By: Rabbi Lazer Brody
The world is arming to the hilt and nations are daring one another. Will the West call Putin’s hand in the Ukraine? Will global Jihad get its hands on dirty nukes? Will Iran use its nuclear wild card? Will a missile battle in the Middle East trigger a global conflict? Any of these are likely scenarios; with such an international backdrop, Armageddon and Gog-Magog appear to be eventual realities. Will anyone survive a push-button war?
The famed mashgiach, or spiritual dean of the Lakewood Yeshiva in New Jersey, Rabbi Natan Meir Wachtfogel of saintly and blessed memory, heard from the Lakewood Rosh Yeshiva, Rabbi Aaron Kotler osb”m, that during World War I, many people went to the holy “Chafetz Chaim”, Rabbi Yisroel Meir Kagan of Radin osb”m, and asked him if this terrible conflict would be the final war. They thought that this might be the war of Gog and Magog.
The “Chafetz Chaim” in his spirit of holiness and humility replied, “After this war, there will be an intermission of several years. Then, there will be another war, much worse than this. Afterwards, there will be another intermission of several decades. Then, there will be another war that makes the previous one look like nothing. Moshiach will come with this war!”
On another occasion, Rabbi Aaron Kotler told the Lakewood Mashgiach that the “Chafetz Chaim” said that the third war will be the beginning of the Geula, the full redemption of our people; despite the utter severity of this global conflict, the true “sons and daughters of Torah” will survive. These are the people who live their lives according to Torah, severed completely from the ways of the nations. The Lakewood Mashgiach added that he has a promise, handed from teacher to pupil all the way back to Rabbi Yehoshua Leib Diskin obs”m, that in the final war before the coming of Moshiach, all the ehrlicher yidden – the G-d fearing Jews – will survive.
Who is an ehrlicher yid – a G-d fearing Jew?
The Lakewood Mashgiach answered, “He who is separated from the nations is a G-d fearing Jew! Such an individual has no connection to their culture, their society, their behavior, their music or their books. He or she doesn’t read their magazines and newspapers. They’re completely disconnected from them, their thoughts, their outlook, their manner of speech and their dress.”
Once, the Lakewood Mashgiach heard a group of boys in the yeshiva talking about the prospects of a nuclear war. They asked each other, “Who can possibly survive a nuclear attack and an atom bomb?” The Mashgiach then gave a shmooz, an ethics lecture for the whole yeshiva and said, “How can a ‘son of Torah’ ask a question like that? A ‘son of Torah’ is separated from the nations so he has no danger to fear! It’s guaranteed one-hudred percent that he’ll survive!!! There’s no room for doubt or for nervousness (B’ikvata D’Moshicha, Rabbi Yaacov Yisrael Lugasi, pg. 132).
Much effort is required if we want to be Bnei Torah and ehrlicher yidden – children of Torah and G-d fearing Jews. We must cleanse ourselves of any influence that is foreign to Torah.
Once, while saying his morning blessings, the “Chafetz Chaim” stood in silence for ten minutes before reciting the blessing, shelo asani goy – thank You, Hashem, for not making me a gentile. When asked why he hesitated so long, he answered, “I had to first check myself and make sure that I am free of any gentile influence; only then, did I proceed to make the blessing…”
One of the married students in Lakewood asked the Mashgiach, “My friend and I were both candidates for the same teaching position in the yeshiva; he was accepted and I was not. Why?”
The Mashgiach, who knew both students well, answered: “You friend never learned or read any foreign books; that’s why he received the teaching position in the yeshiva.”
The other young men in the yeshiva, who overheard the conversation between the Mashgiach and their peer, exclaimed, “Mashgiach, we all have our share of foreign influence.”
The Mashgiach, in his characteristic candor and humility replied, “So do I.”
* * *
If the Lakewood Mashgiach, a tzaddik of tremendous stature, claimed to suffer from foreign influence, then what can we say? The Torah commands us to avoid the ways of the nations (Vayikra 20:23), for it’s the key to our survival and our redemption. The Midrash teaches us that our redemption from Egypt was by virtue of the fact the our ancestors did not change their language, did not change their names, preserved personal holiness and didn’t speak slander (Yayikra Raba 32:5). In other words, they followed Torah and not Hollywood. We’d be wise to follow in their footsteps, for there’s no better insurance policy in the world.
Wednesday, 29 May 2013
Divine wisdom is amazing. In Judaism, one is a Jew if the mother is a Jew.
In an amazing research paper, the American Journal of Human Genetics calls our people, a “female-defined ethnicity”; that’s enough to silence the chauvinists.
But that’s not my main point here: extensive research shows that all the Jewish People are descendents of “eight small, distinct nuclei of women”. And, Ashkenazi Jews alone stem from four founding mothers.
Do you realize what that means?
When one Jew seeks to harm another Jew, he or she is targeting a brother or sister. That’s most hateful to our Father in Heaven.
Our Torah doesn’t need scientific confirmation when it tells us that we’re Hashem’s beloved children, namely, that we’re all brothers and sisters. Since that’s the case, let’s begin loving one another; it could save our lives. Help put an end to intramural hate. – See more at: http://lazerbrody.typepad.com/lazer_beams/2013/05/eight-founding-mothers.html#sthash.sDvQPN4b.dpuf TOP
Monday, 27 May 2013
Due to the nature of the unit where I was privileged to serve in the IDF, our training was gruelling, long and forever challenging, both metally and physically. In one instance, during a night-time run with full backpack on rough terrain, my legs and lungs were about to give out. Anyone who wouldn’t complete this run would be kicked out of the unit. I had no more physical strength. The game was about to be over for me. Suddenly, one of my favorite songs from way back when popped into my head: it was Ringo Starr singing, “It Don’t Come Easy”. I kicked into gear with a second wind and a surge of strength, playing that song over and over in my head until I finished the run. This is the song that became my personal theme song during all my years of army service. And thanks to you, Ringo: TOP
Thursday, 02 June 2011
Hashem in His everloving compassion gave me some amazing revelations during personal prayer earlier today. Ever since the massive pressure began to divide Jerusalem and sever us from Judea and Samaria, I’ve been begging Hashem that a single Jew should not lose his home anywhere in our beloved holy homeland.
Hashem helped me understand that Jerusalem is the heart of all the Jewish people. If you cull other Jews or cut yourself off from any group – not only Chassidic, Lithuanian, Nationalistic or Sephardi but Conservative and Reform as well, then you cut yourself off from a part of Jerusalem. No wonder Jerusalem is under the threat of being split! It’s all the result of infighting and hate, no matter how seemingly justified it may be. The Chafetz Chaim says that Hashem doesn’t want hate or contention in any form, even if you think it’s a mitzva. So, if you care about Jerusalem remaining unified, love every Jew. You don’t have to agree with his ideology or lifestyle, but you are commanded to love him like yourself.
By the same token, every Jew has a portion of the Land of Israel.
Large segments of our homeland are in danger, measure for measure with our actions: we cut ourselves off from other Jews, and we get part of our homeland cut away from is. Think about it, for I know it’s true.
The unity of the Land of Israel depends on Jewish unity – this should be our goal, now more than ever.
– See more at: http://lazerbrody.typepad.com/lazer_beams/2011/06/unity-and-jerusalem.html#sthash.9a7b9RsJ.dpuf
Submitted by Tyler Durden on 10/30/2014
Tim Cook’s decision to openly discuss his sexual orientation is dominating the news cycle with many hoping it can be a watershed moment in the acceptance of openly gay people in the workforce. While it appears nothing but a positive in the United States, there are still stunningly many nations around the world (including Iran, where Apple is trying to sell to now) where Tim Cook’s admission is considered “morally unacceptable” by the great majority.
Will his Op-Ed affect sales?
07November 2014 http://globaleconomicanalysis.blogspot.com/2014/11/crony-capitalism-tribute-mafia-dons-vs.html#BmOjWqmwTLIuOOa6.99
Who Really Won the Election?
If you think Republicans won the recent mid-term election you are mistaken. PolicyMic has One Chart that Shows Who Won.
Most Expensive Senate Races
Money Won the Election!
The Center for Responsive Politics projects the 2014 mid-term election will cost roughly $3.67 billion.
Each side can (and does) point the finger at the other. Regardless, the end results show incumbents get reelected year after year. Even in the 2014 mid-term rout, Republicans only picked up 12 House seats.
Want to get elected?
First you need to pass a litmus test for your party.
Want to reform Social Security or Medicare? If you do, you better not say so. Next, you better not offend both unions and the NRA. Depending on where you live, one of those alone may do you in. Both and you are toast.
Live in a state that gets military contracts? If so, you cannot get elected if you are “weak on defense”.
Bottom line: If you want to get elected, you better listen to what big money wants, or you don’t get any of it. And you need money to win!
Mafia Dons vs. Politicians
Gordon Long has an interesting post this week called The Crony Tribute System.
Instead of clipping text here are some self-explanatory graphics.
Mafia Tribute System
US Political System
Evolution of Crony Capitalism
“Impenetrable” Firewall Between Public Service and Private Profit
Why Does It Takes a Crowbar to Review Regulations?
Investigating Fraud and Corruption
Corporations are People, Money is Speech
Checks and Balances
Does It Matter Which Party Controls the Senate?
I believe those graphics from Gordon Long sum things up quite nicely.
If you believe differently, Charles Hugh Smith may change your mind with an excellent set of questions in his post If You Really Think It Matters Which Party Controls the Senate, Answer These Questions.
I define financial repression as “a set of fiscal and monetary policies for the expressed benefit of the ruling class: politicians, banks, and the already wealthy, at the expense of everyone else.”
Any doubt that financial repression by central banks and lobbyist-sponsored government legislation explains income inequality?
For further discussion, please see Gordon Long Video Interview of Mish: Topic – Financial Repression (and How to Defend Yourself From It).
Mike “Mish” Shedlock
Read more at http://globaleconomicanalysis.blogspot.com/2014/11/crony-capitalism-tribute-mafia-dons-vs.html#BmOjWqmwTLIuOOa6.99