Friday, November 21, 2014

Blaming Israel for Palestinian violence is racist: it denies that Arabs are moral agents

The media response to the Jerusalem killings betrays a widespread assumption: that Palestinians are "noble savages" who are not responsible for their actions

By Alan Johnson for The Telegraph

There were some odd media reactions this week to the murder of four Jews at prayer (and the heroic Israeli Druze first responder Zidan Saif who tried to rescue them) by two Palestinians perpetrators in Jerusalem.

• The Canadian Broadcast Company tweeted “Jerusalem police fatally shoot 2 after apparent synagogue attack 
• The CNN headline read ‘4 Israelis, 2 Palestinians dead in Jerusalem’ without noting that the two Palestinians were the terrorists. (CNN later apologised. See the memes here.)
• The Guardian altered a Reuters dispatch about the massacre in Jerusalem to remove any reference to Palestinians.
• In the Left-wing Israeli newspaper Haaretz, the writer Amira Hass wrote about "the despair and anger that pushed the Abu Jamals to attack Jews in a synagogue (emphasis added)."

Of course not all reporting was of this character. But still, what explains the exculpatory impulse, also widespread on social media?

Part of the explanation lies in the profound influence that the anti-Zionist ideology (a system of demonising ideas and representations about Israel and the Jews) now exercises in our culture. At the heart of the ideology is a deeply buried, often unconscious, assumption about the dichotomous natures of Israelis and Palestinians that warps our understanding of the conflict. Here it is: Palestinians (and Arabs in general) do not have agency and choice, and so cannot be held accountable and responsible. Israelis do and can; always, and exclusively.

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Thursday, November 20, 2014

New York Times Suppresses Kerry Condemnation of Palestinian Incitement

Gilead Ini for The Times of Israel

In an impassioned and unequivocal statement, Secretary of State John Kerry said Palestinian incitement was directly responsible for yesterday’s brutal murder of Jews praying in a Jerusalem synagogue. The murders were “a pure result of incitement,” and of calls by Palestinian leaders for “days of rage” against Israel

It was an important and newsworthy indictment by one of the highest ranking US officials. But readers picking up a copy of The New York Times this morning learned nothing about it. That’s because the newspaper, whose reporters had at one point quoted the most dramatic portion of Kerry’s condemnation, first replaced it with a less pointed passage, and later excised any reference whatsoever to the comments.

We at CAMERA have often criticized The New York Times for its failure to cover with the seriousness it deserves the anti-Israel, anti-Jewish, and anti-coexistence messages that saturate Palestinian society and inflame the conflict. This latest example, in which editors actively removed Kerry’s dramatic criticism of incitement, highlights the extent to which the newspaper feels uncomfortable exploring Palestinian responsibility for the conflict in the same way they scrutinize Israeli actions — especially if such hard-hitting coverage might reflect poorly on Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, who is often described by the newspaper as a “moderate.”

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Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Four Israelis killed in terror attack on Jerusalem synagogue

JERUSALEM (JTA) — Four Israelis were killed in a terror attack during morning prayers at a Jerusalem synagogue.

Two Palestinian assailants entered a synagogue and rabbinical seminary in the Har Nof neighborhood of western Jerusalem and attacked worshippers at the morning prayer service with a gun, axes and knives.

At least eight worshippers also were injured, some seriously, in the Tuesday morning attack on the Bnei Torah Kehillat Yaakov synagogue. Three of those killed are dual American and Israeli citizens.

Police killed both of the assailants, who have been identified as residents of the eastern Jerusalem neighborhood of Jabel Mukaber.  Police reportedly began searching the homes of the assailants after the attack. Palestinian reports say the assailants, who are cousins, are relatives of terrorists released in the exchange to return Gilad Shalit.

The Hamas and Islamic Jihad terror organizations praised the attack, and said it was in retaliation for the death of a Palestinian bus driver who was found late Sunday night hanged in his bus at a terminal in Jerusalem.

An autopsy Monday at the Abu Kabir Forensic Institute in Tel Aviv found that the death was not criminally related, Israel Police said. The body was returned to the family. However, a Palestinian pathologist said in a separate report that there were signs of violence on his body, and the family said he was killed by “settlers.”

Hamas called for more such attacks.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called a security consultation for Tuesday afternoon following the attack.

He blamed the attack on “incitement led by Hamas and Abu Mazen” – the nom de guerre of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, and blamed the international community for “irresponsibly ignoring” such incitement.

“We will respond with a heavy hand to the brutal murder of Jews who came to pray and were met by reprehensible murderers,” Netanyahu said following the terror attack.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, who is London, called Netanyahu to offer his condolences. “This simply has no place in human behavior,” Kerry told reporters, and called for Palestinian leaders to condemn the attack.

“Jerusalem bows its head in pain and sorrow on this difficult morning. Jerusalem residents peacefully praying in a synagogue in the heart of Jerusalem were cruelly slaughtered in cold blood while wearing their prayer shawls,” Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat said in a statement. “We will not surrender to terror. We will stand strong and defend our city from those who try to disturb the peace of our capital.”

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Arafat’s widow calls for negotiations instead of armed struggle

(JTA) — The widow of deceased Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat denounced violence and accused Hamas of “genocide” in an interview on the 10th anniversary of his death.

In an interview with the Italian newspaper La Repubblica, Suha Arafat argued that the Palestinians’ best hope lies in negotiation rather than armed struggle. She said that the unequal strengths of the Israelis and Palestinians would lead to the Palestinians being crushed in an armed fight, while negotiations would expose Israel’s unwillingness to make peace. She said she was pleased that Switzerland has recently recognized the Palestinian state and urged Italy to do the same.

Suha Arafat also denounced Hamas, which cancelled a celebration in memory of Yasser Arafat in Gaza earlier this week. She accused Hamas of taking the people of Gaza hostage and argued that the current desperate conditions in the territory amount to genocide. She also said that the current generation of young Palestinians growing up in Gaza, with only violence and no education, have no hope but emigration.

Suha Arafat, who has been accused of embezzlement from the Palestinian state and currently lives in Malta, said she has no plans at this time to return to the West Bank or Gaza.

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Wednesday, November 12, 2014

My Letter of Apology to the world media

By Rolene Marks, The Blogs, from The Times of Israel

Written this summer, but even more poignant today.

Please allow me to apologise on behalf of all the citizens of the State of Israel. I humbly apologise to you and your readers and to the world for our leaders defending our right to live. Here in Israel, we consider living a basic human right

The indignation of journalists, commentators and your readership has prompted them to spew forth some of the most vile invective we have seen other than that of Der Sturmer circa 1940’s and the letters and op-eds posted in your publication have educated me in a new level of hatred.

I apologise that it is left up to our army to make sure that the citizens of Gaza are evacuated from dangerous zones safely through pamphlets, text messages and roof knocking. I guess my text message and pamphlet were lost due to Hamas being on strike. Literally.

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Thursday, November 6, 2014

Canada Vows to Fight Anti-Semitism on Holocaust Month

Canadian ministers note Canada has been 'profoundly shaped' by 40,000 Holocaust survivors, pledge to preserve memory.

By Dalit Halevy, Ari Yashar for Arutz Sheva
Canadian Minister for Multiculturalism Jason Kenney and Minister of State for Multiculturalism Tim Uppal released a joint statement on Monday timed for Holocaust Education Month.

"The Holocaust stands alone in history for its sheer brutality and inhumanity. The Shoah will forever serve as a powerful reminder of the odious effects of anti-Semitism and other forms of hatred and intolerance, and why it is important to prevent these poisonous ideologies from spreading," wrote the ministers.

The statement continued "Canada has been profoundly shaped by the 40,000 heroic Holocaust survivors who made our country their home in the years following the war. We owe an enormous debt to those survivors who have dedicated their lives to sharing their personal testimonies in our schools and communities."

As time advances and the number of Holocaust survivors dwindles, the ministers noted this new reality is "a special challenge for the future of Holocaust education."

"That is why it is important to preserve the stories of survivors for future generations. The Azrieli Foundation’s Holocaust Survivor Memoirs Program is a touchstone Canadian educational resource that reaches classrooms across the country. The Government of Canada is also providing funding to Canadian Holocaust Education Centers to help them preserve and catalogue the video testimonies of Canadian survivors."

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Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Should Jewish Judges Recuse Themselves From Cases Involving Palestinian Terrorism?

Parallels, and precedents, in recusal cases based on race, sex, ethnicity, and sexual orientation

By Sam Kleiner for Tablet Magazine

In 2007, the Jewish Federation of Detroit bestowed its highest honor on Judge Paul Borman, a longtime leader in the Jewish community who worked as a federal prosecutor and a law professor and worked hard to improve relations between the Jewish and African-American and Arab-American communities before being nominated by President Clinton in 1994 to be a federal judge. This year, Judge Borman became the latest in a series of Jewish judges who have been asked to recuse themselves because of their personal identity. Judge Borman was assigned the case of Rasmea Odeh, a Palestinian who was accused of lying on her U.S. naturalization papers and covering up the fact that she had been convicted in an Israeli court of playing a role in two bombings. She admitted this was the case but turned down a plea deal with the goal of proving that she should not be deported because she had been mistreated in an Israeli prison and had PTSD when she filled out the naturalization forms. Her case became a cause celebre with dozens of activist groups calling for her not to be deported.

Wanting to avoid Judge Borman, the defense counsel filed a motion that went through Borman’s record as a Jewish leader, even citing his 2007 award from the federation as evidence that Borman could not be impartial in the case. The motion went so far as to argue that he had “personal extra-judicial knowledge” about the case because of his trips to Israel.
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Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Israel Tops List Of Best Destinations For Medical Tourism

By David Shama, on No Camels. This article was first published on The Times of Israel and was re-posted  with permission.

Israel ranks as one of the world’s best places for foreigners to get medical care, according to an authoritative annual report. The Medical Tourism Index (MTI) ranks Israel highest in a survey of 25 of the most popular destinations for medical tourism for care, services, and best patient experiences and third overall as the best place for non-Israelis to get medical care.

It’s clearly a compliment, but some warn that medical tourists might be taking up beds and care that would otherwise go to Israelis.

Traditionally, “medical tourists” have been residents of less developed countries seeking treatment in the US or Europe that was unavailable in their countries. That has changed — much of the medical tourism “traffic” is now in the opposite direction, from developed countries to places where similar procedures are available more cheaply. The 2013 report of the Medical Tourism Association (MTA) shows that nearly 80% of demand for medical travel is driven by cost savings, and almost 76% of patients who have or would be interested in medical travel are Americans. As many as 1.6 million Americans traveled abroad for medical treatment in 2021, the organization said, reflecting the high cost of health care in the US.

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Monday, November 3, 2014

Israel isn’t perfect, but we ARE a miracle

by Sarah Tuttle-Singer | The Blogs | The Times of Israel

Oh, this distance.

This rift between my people in “the Old Country” — America — and my people here in Israel.

It’s killing us.

Even though we grew from the same seed: We drew water from the same wells on the way to Jerusalem. We survived the rough earth of Babylon. And expulsion from Spain. And pogroms, too many to count, uprooting, upending, like the wisps of a dandelion, we floated and fell. And then the Holocaust. Even that.

We survived.

And you’re there in the Old Country — America — in that place I still dream about that holds my childhood in the palm of its hand. The Old Country, where there are bagels and lox, and a map of Israel next to the chalkboard, where we drove to Temple and sang hinei ma tov u ma nayim, how good it is to be together. Where we love IsREAL from afar, from a map, from the quickening we would feel in our hearts when we would do folk dancing in the social hall…(shafte mayim b’sason — draw water joyfully… mayim mayim mayim mayim…) Where the relationship wasn’t messy, but easily compartmentalized as I would drop a few coins in the blue JNFA box in front of the sanctuary.

(It’s a mitzvah after all.)

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