Wednesday, October 7, 2015

The Media Continues with its Agenda

Tamar Sternthal..CAMERA Media Analyses.

06 October '15..

In the article today ("Dispute Over a Burial Reveals Palestinian Divisions") about internal Palestinian disagreement about the location of Fadi Alon's upcoming burial, The New York Times once again buries Palestinian violence.

In the second paragraph, reporters Diaa Hadid and Rami Nazzal identify Fadi Alon as "21, shot dead the day before by the Israeli police."

It is only in the fourteenth paragraph that Hadid, a former writer for Electronic Intifada, and Nazzal give readers a clue about why Israeli police shot Alon. They write:

Mr. Alon was fatally shot by police officers early Sunday after he stabbed and wounded a 15-year-old Jewish boy on a road outside the Old City, according to the police. A video clip showed Mr. Alon being shot, apparently as he was trying to flee, with Israeli civilians in pursuit and shouting "Shoot him!"

Thus, when Hadid and Nazzal finally do belatedly acknowledge Alon's violent attack, they cast it as an Israeli police claim. Alon stabbed his unnamed Israeli victim, "according to the police," but Alon was simply "shot dead," without any qualification. (For the record, the name of Alon's 15-year-old victim is Moshe Malka. His name does not appear once in any Times coverage.)

The Times again minimizes Palestinian violence in the following paragraph:

Mr. Alon was the second of four Palestinians killed by Israeli forces since Thursday, when Palestinian gunmen killed a Jewish couple near a settlement in the occupied West Bank, leaving their young children orphans.

The article does not make clear that including the would-be murderer Fadi Alon, three and maybe four of the Palestinian fatalities were engaged in violence as they were killed. Among them are Muhannad Halabi, the 19-year-old terrorist who stabbed to death Aharon Banita, 22, and Nehemia Lavi, 41, and who injured Banita's wife Adele, and their two-year-old child as well.

(A video -- scroll to end of article here -- is available of that attack as well, at the end of which a Palestinian onlooker can be seen casually sipping a soft drink as Adele screamed and ran for help and for her life, her two small children left at the scene of the murder of husband and Lavi. But while The Times dedicates ink to video of Israeli civilians shouting "Shoot him" with regard to a fleeing Palestinian who just tried to murder a teenager, the paper of record ignores video of a Palestinian completely unmoved by the pleas of a woman to save the life of her small children and herself.)

The third Palestinian engaged in violence as he was killed was Huthayfa Soliman, who was fatally shot by Israeli forces near Tulkarem yesterday as he and others threw firebomb, firecrackers and rocks at them.

The circumstances concerning the fourth slain Palestinians, Abdul-Rahman Obeidallah, 15, are less clear. A separate article, also by Hadid, which appears today in the print edition of the international edition of The New York Times states:

It was not immediately clear whether one of the teenagers, identified by a medic as Abdul-Rahman Obeidallah, 15, was involved in the fighting in Bethlehem. . . .

According to Army Radio, the military reported that a riot broke out in Bethlehem and that Palestinians had thrown rocks at members of the Israel Defense Forces and the Border Patrol force, which responded by opening fire on one of the Palestinians. . . .

No Distinction Between Killers, Victims

This is not the first instance today in which The Times has covered up Palestinian violence by blurring Palestinian assailants with Israeli victims. Thus, in another article today ("Five Hamas Members Confess in Killing of west Bank Settlers, Israel Says"), bureau chief Jodi Rudoren, along with Hadid and Nazzal, report:

Four Israelis and four Palestinians have been killed in the last five days, the latest being Abdulrahman Obeidallah, 13, a resident of the Aida refugee camp in Bethlehem, where Palestinian youths threw rocks at an Israeli base Monday afternoon. Two witnesses said the boy was not involved in the rioting, but standing outside a community center where he frequently went after school. [CAMERA notes: This particular report omits the information from Army Radio about Obeidallah's involvement in violence.]

Again, readers of this account have no way of knowing that among the four slain Palestinians are the killer of Aharon Banita and Nehemia Lavi, the would-be murderer of Moshe Malka, and a Palestinian who reportedly was part of a group throwing fire bombs, firecrackers and rocks at Israeli forces.


Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Israel doctors nursed 2,000 Syrians

September 24, 2015 

A hospital in Safed has given much-needed medical treatment to around 550 Syrians – both fighters and children. Judith Field hears some of their stories…

 Thousands of Syrian refugees have fled the country, including injured fighters and children

Over the past two-and-a-half years, around 2,000 injured Syrian fighters and civilians have crossed the border into Israel and been admitted to Israeli hospitals. Most are men, but up to 17 percent are children.

Since the start of the civil war in Syria in 2011, 70 percent of the country’s medical community has been killed or fled and many healthcare facilities have been damaged or destroyed. Six- and-a-half million people have been displaced to neighbouring countries where they live in semi-permanent refugee camps with only basic hospital facilities.

The closest Israeli hospital to the Syrian border – around 40 minutes away in a fast ambulance – is the Ziv Medical Centre in Safed, a university 331-bedded hospital owned and funded by the government. It is the only hospital serving the 250,000 residents of the Upper Galilee and northern Golan Heights and has treated about 550 Syrians to date.
Learning to walk (Identities have been hidden for their safety)

“It all started one night in February 2013,” said Professor Anthony Luder, director of paediatrics. “An IDF ambulance pulled up at the emergency department and staff were astonished to see inside a group of injured Syrian fighters.”

Although the Israeli Defence Ministry described this as an isolated event in which Syrians were being treated as exceptional cases, more soon arrived and what started as a trickle of patients has become a steady flow. IDF patrols pick up the wounded at UN transfer points on the border on the Golan, or in places where the fence is absent or minimal. Staff at the hospital do not know where the patients come from, nor do they want to. “We’re doctors and they are our patients. All we want to do is to treat them,” said Professor Luder.

Patients might be suffering blast or shrapnel injury, gunshot wounds or a combination of these and other traumas. Treating such people, often with massive injuries, has its own challenges, not least of which is trying to work out what has happened.

“Only two have arrived with any sort of information: blood-stained notes pinned to their blankets. Often diagnosis involves guesswork,” he explained.

Some patients, while not injured, are still victims of the breakdown of the Syrian medical system. “A young girl was admitted with a massive ovarian tumour,” Professor Luder said. “We removed the tumour but the reality was that, if we sent her back to Syria, she would receive no treatment. So we kept her at Ziv for three months’ chemotherapy, and then sent her to a summer camp for Israeli children with cancer.” 
Patient with medical clown (Identities have been hidden for their safety)

It takes time for staff to gain the trust of the Syrian patients, and there is a language barrier, although the staff are of multiple ethnicities, matching the make-up of the local community: Jews, Muslims, Christians, Druze, Circassians and Bedouins. After a while, the patients begin to talk to the Arab and Arabic-speaking nurses. Many patients are terrified, having been told that Israelis are devils. One man, for example, refused to take his sheet off his face for a week.

The new head of the hospital held a meeting at which it was agreed more or less by all to continue treating Syrians. Staff felt they had a professional imperative to do so and that it might help build bridges. It would also develop their skills for use should they need to treat such severely injured Israeli people.

It has not always been easy for staff to balance the medical ethical obligation to treat Syrian patients with their personal feelings. Some thought: “If they can do that to each other, what could they do to us?” Others, though, felt a connection, saying that it reminded them of what Jews went through in the Holocaust. 

Many of the male patients deny they are fighters, but it is impossible to know. It would be good to be able to say that, following treatment, the fighters have a change of heart about Israel. This, however, is not the case – they might thank staff on leaving, but some still say they will be back to kill them.

Others, however, have a different attitude. Luder told me about a girl who was admitted with an amputated right leg and a shattered left leg. The local people donated a prosthetic limb. “She was discharged after eight weeks. Her mother expressed gratitude and a wish to meet again one day, when this troubled region is peaceful,” he recalled. Perhaps the children – some of whom have been born in Israeli hospitals – will share her attitude.
In military ambulance (Syrian patients treated in Israeli field hospitals.
 Identities have been hidden for their safety

Perhaps the seven-year-old boy who had been told, following 17 unsuccessful operations in Syria, that he would never walk again, will remember how he regained the use of his leg after one operation at Ziv.

Word has spread in Syria that people can access medical help over the border from people they consider the enemy and Syrians are filling up beds at Ziv. Syrian patients often stay in the hospital for months, longer than a local person would need, because usually there is no follow up treatment so rehabilitation must be started in the hospital.

They leave with a discharge letter in English and all trace of Hebrew and Israel removed from anything they take with them, often including expensive equipment that would normally be returned to the hospital.

The treatment of the local community is sometimes delayed and, naturally, people grumble. But they have also responded with generosity. Individuals and businesses have donated money and goods, for example clothes, toiletries, toys and reading material. Each child has a tablet computer to use while in hospital.

Treating the Syrians has cost the hospital $33million (£21m) to date. Although there is no clear answer as to where the funding will come from, Luder considers healthcare a humanitarian imperative. “Medicine has no borders. It can serve as a bridge between people. We will continue to provide life-saving treatment to the Syrian casualties for as long as it is needed.”

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Lies and Truths - part 1

Dror Ben Yemini 28/09/15

There is a difference between a legitimate argument, relevant criticism of Israeli policy, and a monumental campaign of false claims of apartheid, genocide, crimes against humanity, and proclamations that Israel was born in sin because it is a colonialist entity and as such is involved in the serious crime of ethnic cleansing.

The following short answers to the propagandists lies do not attempt to defend this government, or any other government of Israel. They are meant only to refute some of the false claims that are uttered time and again against Israel.

Serious accusations have also been heard from within Israeli’s academia and the Israeli media. Here, too, you can hear the accusation that Israel is an apartheid State. Here, too, there are people who claim that Israel is involved in genocide. Israelis claim that the IDF treats the Palestinians the same way the Nazis treated the Jews. The fact that such claims are heard in Israel does not make them true. It is simply proof that Israel is a vibrant democracy, with freedom of speech that allows for the expression of false accusations.

The problem is that throughout the world such claims gain very serious platforms. “Factual” claims are not examined, even though a simple examination would lead to their dismissal.

The ideas presented here are NOT intended to be a political stance. It is a presentation meant to fight incitement, propaganda and demonization, and facilitate a fair political debate.

These are not all the claims against Israel. There are others. Some are just claims. Not every closing of every store in Hebron is fair. Not every hold-up in every check-point is justifiable. Not every prevention of digging a well is excusable. 

Israeli society, as a democratic society, with a free press and watchdog organizations, analyzes and monitors itself. This is the reason for many changes in the last two decades. Mainly changes for the better. There are fewer check points. There is more self-rule for the Palestinians.

The wish for settlement or agreement is a just wish, even if there is a heated debate in Israel and outside regarding the terms. It is clear, though, that the Boycott Movement does not wish for peace or a settlement. It is a movement that uses arights discoursein order to deny the right of one people to self-determination. It is a movement whose leaders and guides mislead many of its supporters. The leaders oppose peace.

Many of the supporters wish for a just peace settlement, based on two States for two peoples, so the points presented here are not meant to support any one political stance. They are meant to present basic facts. They are intended to refute the propaganda of lies and enable a dialogue that is fair, even if it is critical, which is a fundamental condition to solving the Israeli-Arab conflict.

The Lie: "Zionism is a colonialist movement. You conquered from the Palestinians land that is not yours."

The Truth: Zionism is a national liberation movement, like many others that were established in the 19th and 20th centuries. Zionism did not "conquer." Many Jewish people, who were persecuted, especially in Eastern Europe and the Arab countries, started making their way to Israel. There was no entity called Palestine at that time. It was a piece of land extremely sparsely populated, under the rule of the Ottoman Empire.

Herzl appealed to the Turkish Sultan and other dignitaries in order to get permission to allocate this part of the land to the Jews. The consent was received only in 1917, with the Balfour Declaration stating “A national home for the Jewish People”, and was confirmed by the League of Nations in 1922. Until the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948 not one Arab was driven away from his land, and every piece of land that the Jews settled on was purchased and paid for in full.

The Lie: "You drove millions of Palestinians off their land. That is ethnic cleansing."

The Truth: In the first half of the 20th century, there were waves of population exchanges for the purpose of establishing Nation States. About 60 million people were uprooted from the homeland. In 1947 the U.N. declared the establishment of two States between the River Jordan and the sea – a Jewish State and an Arab State. The Jews accepted the decision. The Arabs rejected it, and declared a war of annihilation.

Many Arabs fled because of the upcoming war, and a few were driven away following the invasion of the Arab state armies into the newly born State. About 711 thousand Arabs became refugees. As a result of that conflict about 850 thousand Jews were forced to leave the Arab countries. Many of them were driven out and their possessions confiscated. Out of tens of millions of refugees in those years, the only ones who remained as refugees are the Palestinians, and that is as a result of a conscious decision of the Arab countries to perpetuate their situation.

The Lie: "Palestinians who live in Israel are second-class citizens."

The Truth: Israeli Arabs are citizens with equal rights. Arabs serve as Members of Parliament, as judges in courts, including the Supreme Court, as professors and doctors. In the past there were incidents of discrimination, and sometimes there still are. But according to any objective measure, the condition of Israeli Arabs is far better than that of Muslim minorities in Europe.

The head of the panel of judges who sent former Israeli president Moshe Katsav to jail, for example, was an Arab judge. The chairman of the Central Election Committee in 2015 Elections was also an Arab. There are numerous examples of the ways in which Israeli Arabs are integrated in the culture, art, economy and academia of Israel.

The Lie: "Israel enforces an apartheid policy in the occupied territories."

The Truth: Israel has completely withdrawn from the Gaza Strip, and most West Bank Arabs live under the Palestinian Authority which covers most aspects of their lives. The Palestinians on the other side of the Green Line are not Israeli citizens, because they aspire for a Palestinian State, and Israel did not annex the West Bank. Over the last few decades, Israel has accepted, time and again, a settlement of two states for two peoples. Arafat rejected Bill Clinton’s proposal, and Mahmud Abbas (Abu Mazen) rejected a similar proposal by Ehud Olmert. On the very day that the Palestinian leadership accepts a two state solution – a peace agreement will be within reach.

Monday, September 21, 2015

Islam Buying Academia Worldwide

The Sorbonne has accepted 600,000 euros per year for three years.

In the UK, Eight universities, including Oxford and Cambridge, have accepted more than 233.5 million pounds sterling from Saudi and Muslim sources since 1995. The total sum amounts to the largest source of external funding to UK universities.

In the US it is the same:-
-      20 million dollars were donated to the Middle East Studies Center     at the University of Arkansas;
-      5 million dollars to the Center for Middle East Studies at Berkeley    in California;
-      11 million to Cornell University in Ithaca, New York and
-      half million dollars to Texas University (the seventh university, in    order of size, in the United States);
-      1 million to Princeton;
-      5 million dollars to Rutgers University.

The Soviet Union, during the Cold War, invested much less in its propaganda operations in the West.

But there is another important difference. The Western intelligentsia fought the Communist efforts to subvert Western democracy. The present governments are offering appeasement to Islam's agenda. 

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Two Missile Attacks on Southern Israel get Nineteen Words of coverage from BBC News

Hadar Sela from BBC Watch

On the evening of September 18th air-raid sirens sounded in Israeli communities surrounding the Gaza Strip after a missile was launched from the adjacent territory. The projectile exploded in Sderot.

“Israel Police said that a bus was damaged in the strike, while the Ynet website reported that a home was also damaged. The residents were inside at the time of the strike, Ynet said, adding that several people were treated at the scene for shock.

One woman was taken to Barzilai Medical Center in Ashkelon after complaining of chest pains and ringing in her ears, the website reported.”

Later on the same evening Ashkelon also came under attack.

“An Iron Dome anti-rocket battery shot down a Gazan rocket over the southern city of Ashkelon on Friday night. There were no injuries or damages, the IDF said. 

Warning sirens rang out across the city, sending residents fleeing for cover, before Iron Dome went into action. It was the second rocket attack by terrorists in Gaza within a few hours.”

The second bout of missile fire was reportedly claimed by a Salafist group in the Gaza Strip affiliated with ISIS and hours later Israel responded with strikes on Hamas terrorist infrastructure.

In typical ‘last-first reporting’ style BBC Arabic informed it audiences of “Israeli raids on Gaza after the launch of two missiles“.

Visitors to the English language BBC News website found no stand-alone report on the two incidents of missile fire but an article on a different topic originally published on September 18th – “Israel steps up Jerusalem security after Palestinian clashes” – did dedicate the grand total of nineteen words to the attacks and fourteen words to the response.

“At least two rockets were fired into Israel from the Palestinian territory of Gaza, with one damaging a bus. Israel responded with overnight air strikes on training camps belonging to Hamas in Gaza”

The article does not tell readers of the claim of responsibility for the missile attacks and that ties in with the overall trend in this report (and earlier ones) according to which the BBC refrains from identifying the perpetrators of incidents in the recent wave of violence and attacks just seem to happen all by themselves – for example:
“An Israeli motorist died earlier in the week in an accident apparently caused by a rock-throwing attack in Jerusalem.”

“In East Jerusalem, police said three border guards were injured by a fire bomb thrown at their vehicle”

“Also in East Jerusalem, a bus was attacked with stones and set ablaze” [all emphasis added]

Clearly BBC audiences cannot properly understand this story if they are not told who is firing missiles and who is throwing rocks and fire-bombs.

This report also provides two equally useless ‘explanations’ for the current wave of violence:

“Palestinians have also been angered by Israeli plans that could allow police to open fire on stone-throwers. […],  Tensions have been running high in Jerusalem since Israel banned two Muslim groups which confront Jewish visitors to the [Temple Mount] compound.”

The proposed changes to the rules of engagement in Jerusalem of course came about as a result of the violent rioting and not – as this article implies – the other way round. Once again we see that the BBC avoids telling its audiences who those banned “Muslim groups” are, who finances them and to what aim and as usual, the all-important topic of official PA incitement relating to Temple Mount is excluded from the BBC’s narrative. 

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Rosh Hashanah: Events on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem

The Rosh Hashanah (New Year) holiday saw riots by radical Islamic operatives to undermine the status quo on the Temple Mount, which protects the right of Muslims to pray in the al-Aqsa mosque, and the freedom of all people to visit the Mount.
 Palestinians gather stones that were stored in the al-Aqsa 
mosque beforehand
Copyright: Reuters

On Sunday, 13 September, on the eve of the Jewish New Year, Rosh Hashanah, a group of some 150 radical Islamic operatives rioted on the Temple Mount/Haram al-Sharif plaza in Jerusalem's Old City. The riots were launched with the intent of undermining the status quo on the Temple Mount, which protects the right of Muslims to pray in the al-Aqsa mosque, as well as the freedom of all people, regardless of their faith, to visit the Mount. The rioters disrupted visits by tourists and Israelis to the Temple Mount plaza - the holiest site in Judaism.

The operatives clearly planned their aggression many days ahead: they had barricaded themselves in advance inside the al-Aqsa mosque, where they stockpiled rocks, planks, wooden sheets and fireworks, and also prepared Molotov cocktail firebombs and explosive devices.

Barricades set up by rioters in the al-Aqsa mosque
Copyright: Jerusalem Police

Stones and blocks thrown at security forces
Copyright: Jerusalem Police

The riots continued for three consecutive days, throughout the Jewish festival, as the masked operatives threw rocks, fire bombs and firecrackers at the police, who responded with non-lethal riot dispersal measures. The explosive devices launched by the masked rioters injured a number of police officers and ignited several fires, which were extinguished by the police.

                                        Major sites on the Temple Mount - Click to enlarge

In order to restore calm, the police had no choice other than to remove the barricades erected in the entranceway to the mosque, and to close the mosque doors, creating a partition between the rioters and visitors. Soon after, conditions on the Temple Mount returned to normal and visitors were able to tour the Temple Mount plaza.

 Jewish worshippers at the Western Wall on Rosh Hashanah
Copyright: Israel Police webshot

The events were reminiscent of the similar incident which took place in July 2015. The riots then were launched with the intent of disrupting visits by Jews to the Temple Mount plaza - the holiest site in Judaism - during Tisha B'Av (the 9th of Av), a holy day of mourning to commemorate the destruction of the first and second Jewish Temples, as well as to interrupt the normal visits of tourists to the plaza. Then, as now, the stockpiles of rocks, fireworks and firebombs used by the rioters and the barricades they placed in the entrance to the al-Aqsa mosque demonstrate that the violence was pre-planned and that the rioters intended to focus the violence around the mosque.

Prime Minister Netanyahu has repeatedly declared that the Government of Israel is committed to maintaining the status quo on the Temple Mount and will oppose any attempt to change it forcefully. The status quo protects the right of Muslims to pray in the mosque, as well as the freedom of all people, whether Muslims, Christians, Jews or others, to visit the Temple Mount .

The radical Islamist rioters on Temple Mount have deliberately desecrated, damaged and endangered a site holy to Muslims and to Jews, turning it into a battle field, using stones, Molotov cocktails and explosive devices. Israel will not allow the al-Aqsa mosque to become a terrorist stronghold.

The stockpiles of rocks and weaponry used by the Palestinian rioters and the barricades they placed in the entrance to the al-Aqsa mosque all demonstrate that the violence was pre-planned.

While the Israeli authorities take measures designed to ensure freedom of religion for all, allow access to all of Jerusalem's holy sites, uphold the status quo on the Temple Mount and maintain public order, there are many on the Palestinian side who are actively attempting to change the status quo and to undermine the delicate balance and long-standing modus vivendi in Jerusalem.

Over the past four years, Islamist radicals have endeavored to violate the status quo by preventing non-Muslims from visiting the Temple Mount, most often during Jewish holidays. Two such groups, the Mourabitoun and the Mourabitat, were declared illegal organizations on 8 September 2015 due to the grave threat they pose to the public order. They are funded and led by the Hamas and the Northern Branch of the Islamic Movement, and are directed to attack visitors, as well as the police, with rocks, iron rods, Molotov cocktails and explosive devices. 

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Israel - Kazakhstan Work to improve Food Security

The Israel-Kazakhstan Center, the first of its kind in Central Asia, will focus on demonstration and transfer of innovative irrigation technologies adapted to the local agricultural conditions to improve food security in the region.  

This is just one of many projects that MASHAV, the overseas development agency based in Haifa, are constantly involved in, in many areas around the world.  

 At the ribbon-cutting ceremony: Deputy Head of MASHAV, 
Ilan Fluss, (third from left) and Ambassador 
Eliyahu Tasman (third from right)

The Israel-Kazakhstan Irrigation Demonstration Center was established in Ushkonyr, in the Almaty region. 

The project is being implemented by MASHAV-CINADCO in cooperation with the Israeli Embassy in Kazakhstan, the local Ministry of Agriculture, and “KazAgroInnovation,” the local extension services.

The Center’s official inauguration ceremony took place on May 19th, in the presence of the Deputy Head of MASHAV, Ilan Fluss; Israel’s Ambassador to Kazakhstan, Eliyahu Tasman; Michael Brodsky, Counsellor, Euro-Asia Department, Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs; Deputy Head of Mission, Emil Ben-Naftaly; the Head of Research and Development at Kazakhstan’s Ministry of Agriculture; and representatives of the private sector.