Wednesday, November 25, 2015

European Press Infantilizes Palestinians, says Visiting Journalists

(Sam Sokol - Jerusalem Post 25th Nov)

European press coverage of Israel can be problematic, several members of a delegation of continental reporters here this week told The Jerusalem Post.

“My perception of the European media has been a powerful shift against Israel in recent years, especially in the liberal, slightly bleeding heart press,” said Brendan O’Neill, an editor at British newspaper The Telegraph.

Describing what he saw as a simplistic narrative, he asserted that Israel is frequently “demonized” while the Palestinians are “infantilized” and, as a result, “both sides have been treated pretty badly by the European media.”

Coming to Israel as part of a tour organized by the Europe Israel Press Association – an organization founded by the European Jewish Association's Rabbi Menachem Margolin and run in part by Israeli public relations consultant Tal Rabina – has been an eye opener, he said.

Now on his second trip to the region, O’Neill said coming here brought him to believe “that Palestinians are far from being these kind of pathetic children that need middle class white people to look after them, which is the impression one gets from liberal newspapers, and that if left to their own devices they would be quite capable of running own state.”

Calling coverage of the Palestinians “orientalist” in nature, he further stated that Palestinians “have been denied their moral autonomy in much of this coverage.”

“They are either presented as either victims in much of the Western media” or their actions are explained away as seen in reporting on the recent wave of stabbing attacks in which “reporters are saying ‘they are in a state of despair, they have no choice.’” “That’s the worst thing for Palestinians,” he said. “One way Westerners exacerbate the situation like that is providing political explanations for this kind of behavior, which could contribute to this kind of instability.”

“I think its because [reporters] have a preordained narrative and have tendency to fit everything into it even if it doesn’t fit,” he continued, saying it is easier to sell a conflict as black and white, especially when many people “define themselves” through their views, which turn being pro-Palestinian into a “shortcut to a moral high ground.”

“There is definitely lack of criticism to how [the Palestinian Authority] runs its affairs. Palestinians then play up to that narrative and are invited to play the role of the victims because that is what Europeans expect of them, so its a vicious cycle – the ability of Palestinians to run their affairs is continually undermined.”

So far during their tour, the visiting journalists, including reporters from France’s Le Monde, Germany’s Bild and Italy’s La Stampa, have met with Israeli officials, senior coalition and opposition politicians and visited the Temple Mount. A visit with Palestinian human rights activist Bassam Eid was canceled at the last minute due to scheduling issues.

Eric Leser, the publisher of Slate said he has come to Israel often and he believes that it is very useful for Europeans, especially in light of recent violent attacks, to learn from Israel’s tactics in dealing with terrorism and Islamic extremism.

“Europe is confronted now in some ways with the same kind of terror and violence as Israel has been confronted with in the last decade so, I think it’s very useful information and an asset to understand how the Israeli police, courts and society are dealing with this.”

He said that while Israel certainly can be criticized when called for and that any reporting that upsets both sides is probably spot on, the line between legitimate critiques and “pure animosity” has blurred.

The narrative of the conflict here has become overly simplified in a heroes-versus-villains mode with little historical context or nuance, he continued, saying he understands why many here are suspicious of the foreign press.

Not everyone was as down on the European media, however, with the Daily Mail’s assistant editor Neil Darbyshire telling the Post that while he certainly gets that “most Israelis think they get a terrible press and not a great deal of support from Europe,” such negative coverage is “not universal.”

“I understand why they might think that at the moment with the labeling issue and American aspects of the boycott. I understand why they might think that but I think there are strands of opinion in Europe that understand that your situation is difficult, the very hazardous and dangerous situation Israel finds itself in.

“If people didn’t appreciate that the last few weeks, they certainly do now,” he said.

The Daily Mail, he said, is in no way anti-Israel or anti-Semitic and even has an editor who is a member of the Board of Deputies of British Jews.

While he said he doesn’t believe the trip will substantively change how his paper reports, he did admit that it gave him a deeper understanding of the power of incitement and radicalization and that Palestinian hate speech may bear a semblance to that of radical preachers in the UK.

Healthier Tomatoes and More of Them

Currently, more than one out of every ten tomatoes, cucumbers, melons, okra plants, potatoes, and many more species never make it out of the field – completely destroyed by nematodes, also known as ringworms. And much of the rest of an infected crop is too damaged to sell.
These bugs have been the bane of farmers around the world, but a new solution from Israeli company Adama Agricultural Solutions could end their reign of agri-terror. NIMITZ, Adama’s brand name for a nematicide (nematode killer) based on a newly-discovered molecule called fluensulfone, will get rid of the most common nematodes without the use of heavy chemicals that have been the mainstay of nematicides, the company says.
Adama said NIMITZ has the potential to be a game changer for farmers.
Adama said that studies conducted over the past six years in 21 countries prove its product, the first new nematicide introduced anywhere in the past 20 years, is less hazardous to the environment than other solution. Israel, Australia, Europe, and many US states have approved NIMITZ for use in commercial growing settings.
The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) approved Nimitz last September, saying that there were no carcinogenic or other negative effects from NIMITZ.
Most of the product will be manufactured at a new manufacturing facility in Neot Hovav in southern Israel.
Unlike insects, nematodes – of which scientists believe there are over 1 million types, 25,000 of them known – are often invisible to the naked eye, making it difficult for farmers to know that they have even been attacked until it is too late. Nematodes are parasites that live off the fruits and vegetables humans rely on for food. Last year, they caused growers an estimated annual yield loss of more than $100 billion worldwide. Tests show that NIMITZ can improve crop yields by as much as 30%, and the company expects that figure to rise as the product is further developed.
Unlike nematicides currently in use, which can do no more than freeze the behavior of the bugs while they are exposed to the chemicals, NIMITZ actually kills them, the EPA found. It also is quickly washed away by rain or irrigation when its job is done, and is nontoxic to food and water ecosystems. Within 1 hour of contact, target nematodes cease feeding and quickly become paralyzed, dying altogether within 24-72 hours of application. And it affects only nematodes, with no effect on plants, animals, or other organisms in an environment.
 “Over many years of intensive development and testing, whether in the lab, in greenhouses, field trials or semi-commercial trials, NIMITZ has consistently shown that it is a better nematicide than other commercially available products.” NIMITZ", a spokesman added, “combines simplicity of use together with increased efficacy in an economical solution to a major global pest for farmers.”

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Our Enemies Hate, Israel Celebrates

With thanks to Stand With Us. This message needs to be 
repeated and repeated. we will not give in to terror

The Jewish people have always had their 
fair share of haters, and the situation today is no 
different. Share this to tell the world that no matter how 
much hate they have for us, we will always be here celebrating 
life, love, and the thriving nation we’ve built in our ancestral homeland.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Terror Orphan Announces Huge Wedding

With thanks to Arutz 7)

Sarah-Tehiya Litman, 21, whose father and brother were murdered by terrorists on Friday, and who was supposed to get married to Ariel Bigel on Tuesday, has announced that the wedding will only be postponed by nine days – and that the entire nation of Israel is invited. The wedding will be held at Binyanei Hauma in Jerusalem.

The invitation-announcement is preceded by the phrase – "Do not rejoice over me, my enemy, for I have fallen but I have gotten up" (Michah 7:8).

"This evening, instead of wearing the bridal dress, I will sit on the floor with a torn shirt," Sarah told the newspaper Yediot Aharonot Tuesday. "But very soon, we will marry in a large and happy wedding. We will go on and be happy as Father and Netanel always were. We will not be crushed."

"This will be the million-person wedding," the couple said. "Multitudes will come to make us happy."

Europe should label terrorists, not tomatoes!

David Suissa Nov. 14, 2015 

On Nov. 11, while Islamic terrorists were preparing for their Friday night massacre in Paris, which would leave 132 people dead and 352 injured, one of the big news items was the European initiative to put special labels on Israeli goods made in disputed Israeli-occupied territory.

As the European Commission explained, this was not new legislation, but a clarification of existing legislation dating back to 2012. In other words, the European obsession with singling out Israel for special punishment didn’t just start last week. It’s been an ongoing affair.

So, while Islamic terrorists have been scheming to terrorize the European continent, bigwigs in Europe have been laboring over how to “protect” European consumers from Israeli olive oil, vegetables, honey, eggs, wine and other goods produced in the West Bank.

Well, that ought to keep Europeans safe!

As much as I’m disgusted by the sight of religious fanatics rampaging through Paris murdering people who just want to enjoy life, these murderers are simply doing what they believe their prophet or God wants them to do. It may violate every standard of decency, but that’s what fanatics do.

Author and Islam critic Ayaan Hirsi Ali calls this group of Muslim fundamentalists “Medina Muslims,” in that they see the forcible imposition of sharia as their religious duty, following the example of the Prophet Mohammed when he was based in Medina. As she wrote recently in Foreign Policy, this group argues for “an Islam largely or completely unchanged from its original seventh-century version and take it as a requirement of their faith that they impose it on everyone else.”

Now, you can be repulsed by this religious ideology, but you can’t tell me it’s not a religious ideology. You can’t tell me that the fanatics of ISIS and other radical Islamic groups are fighting for jobs or better immigration laws.

The one European leader who seems to get this is British Prime Minister David Cameron, who said in an address last July: “What we are fighting, in Islamic extremism, is an ideology. It is an extreme doctrine. And like any extreme doctrine, it is subversive. At its furthest end it seeks to destroy nation-states to invent its own barbaric realm.”

While religious fanatics may have an ideological explanation for their barbaric acts, what’s the explanation for those self-righteous European bureaucrats who spend so much of their time singling out and maligning Israel?

Now that they’ve witnessed the barbarians crashing the gates of the City of Lights, will their priorities finally return to sanity? Or will they continue to obsess over Israel and treat the Israeli-Palestinian conflict as the mother of all global conflicts -- as if its resolution could somehow stop the rampant Islamic violence now threatening Europe and other parts of the world?

I wonder if those European honchos ever ask themselves what kind of message they’re sending to terrorists when they labor so publicly over the labeling of Israeli vegetables. That they mean business in their fight against terror?

Here’s my suggestion for all European leaders who really do mean business in this new war: Stop your obsession with Israel and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. And stop thinking that beating up Israel will somehow gain you sympathy with Islamic terrorists. It won’t.

Yes, Israel needs to resolve its conflict with the Palestinians – for its own sake. The majority of Israelis would love nothing better than to get a divorce from the Palestinians. They’ve seen how the word “occupation” has become a big, sharp blade that enemies conveniently use to bludgeon the Jewish state. At the same time, they worry that if Israel leaves the West Bank, that blade would only get bigger and sharper as groups like ISIS and Hamas take over. For now, Israel is stuck, and its enemies know it.

In any event, regardless of the stalemate with the Palestinians, Israel should be the least of Europe’s concerns. For one thing, you don’t hear reports of Israeli terrorists trying to enter Europe to wreak havoc on European cities. Israeli tourists flocking in? Definitely.

If anything, European leaders should be actively enlisting Israel’s help to fight this rising scourge of terror that now threatens their populations. God knows the Jewish state has enough expertise in this area.

But first, Europe will need a lesson in the priorities of labeling. Label the terrorists, yes. Label their ideology, yes. Label the allies who can help you fight them, yes.

Just stop labeling Israeli tomatoes.

Monday, November 16, 2015

Lies and Truth - Part 2

Following on from an earlier blog -part1 , here are the next series of "Lies and Truths" by Dror Ben Yemini 28/09/15

The Lie: “The IDF detains Palestinians in order to establish a reign of terror in the West Bank”.

The Truth: IDF soldiers only detain Palestinians if, and only if, they are suspected of hostile activities. The battle against terror is not just an Israeli battle. It is a hard and complicated battle being fought throughout all of the Free World, as well as Arab countries. The Palestinian Authority with Mahmud Abbas is also active in a struggle against terror. Thanks to the Israeli and Palestinian Authority activities, as well as the separation barrier, the level of terror and violence has diminished. In any battle against terror, by any country, innocent people may get hurt. No country is immune to mistakes.

The Lie: "Israel murdered thousands of children in Gaza."

The Truth: Israel is carrying out a battle against Hamas, which is recognized by the Free World – including the European Union – as a terrorist organization. The Hamas treaty calls for the extermination of Jews, and in Hamas broadcasts, even in children’s programs, there is blatant anti-Semitic and racist incitement. Hamas brutally uses children in building its terrorist tunnels; it uses children as human shields, and launches rockets out of schools and densely populated areas.

Contrary to Hamas who shoot with the malicious intent to hurt civilians, Israel takes extreme measures, more than any other army in the world, to avoid hurting innocent people. But Hamas’ cynical use of civilians and children resulted in unfortunate harm to innocent civilians. The blame is on those who support terror, not on those who fight it.

The Lie: "Israel is strangling Gaza in a siege with no reason."

The Truth: Israel withdrew from Gaza a decade ago in order to enable its people to flourish and prosper under self-rule. Hamas chose the path of violence and terror. Ten years after the disengagement, the great majority of the areas evacuated by Israel are used as training grounds for terrorist organizations. Following Hamas’ success in the 2006 elections in the Palestinian Authority, the Quartet (the European Union, the UN, the United States and Russia) presented it with conditions for recognition and cooperation: acknowledgement of previous agreements and cessation of violence.

Hamas responded with point-blank rejection. The violence, the terror, the rocket launching on Israel were not because of the siege. It was the other way around: the siege was implemented because of the violence, the terror and the rockets. The day Hamas chooses to accept the international community’s terms will be the day the siege will no longer be needed.

The Lie: "Israel does not let the Palestinian Authority manage the population in the territories."

The Truth: Most Palestinians living under Palestinian Authority rule do not see Israeli soldiers, and do not live under Israeli rule. Almost all the check-points that existed in the past in the West Bank have been removed as a result in the drop in the level of terror. In most aspects of day to day existence the Palestinians run their lives with no Israeli interference.

But until a permanent agreement is reached, Israel is still in charge of security, without which there is a risk of terror taking over, as well as Hamas, as was the case in Gaza. This will backfire first and foremost on the Palestinians themselves. It is not an ideal situation, but considering the rise of a wave of Islamic extremists in some of the neighboring countries, the Palestinians are in a much better position.

The Lie: "The Palestinians want peace with Israel, but Israel does not want to live in peace with them."

The Truth: The Arabs were the ones who said “NO” to The Peel Commission Partition Proposal in 1937. They said "NO" to the UN Partition Proposal of 1947. The Oslo Accord in the 90s was supposed to lead to an agreement, but instead it brought a wave of terror. After the Camp-David conference in the summer of 2000, President Clinton presented both sides with parameters for a peace agreement: two states for two peoples, including the division of Jerusalem, withdrawal from 90% of the West Bank territories as well as from the entire Gaza Strip, and rehabilitation of the refugees with the help of an international fund.

Israel decided to accept the terms. Arafat refused, and launched the second Intifada, that caused the death of thousands of Palestinians, and more than a thousand Israelis. In 2005 Israel withdrew from the entire Gaza Strip, up to the last centimeter. Since that time, almost 20 thousand rockets have been launched from Gaza towards Israel.

The Lie: "Israel should respect the Palestinians’ 'Right of Return' in accordance with international law."

The Truth: Tens of millions of people who became refugees after the two World Wars did not get 'Right of Return' because such a right would have caused world chaos. International law does not include such a right. Petitions that were handed in by refugees from central Europe after the Second World War, and by refugees from Cyprus, were dismissed out of hand.

Mass return of refugees to their fore-fathers’ birth place would mean the destruction of the State of Israel. On the day that the Palestinians agree to a two state principle, without insisting upon the destruction of Israel by mass return, there will be a much greater chance to achieve a peace agreement.

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Accuracy, Settlements, and The New York Times

Elliott Abrams  November 7, 2015

(Too  many  people  are  prepared  to  make  statements  without  checking  their f acts.  Newspaper  journalists  seem  to  be  the worst. Below  the  New  York  Times   article is  just  one  example).

In an editorial on November 6th about Israeli-US. relations, The New York Times states as fact something that is simply false: “new settlements have been pursued so aggressively by Mr. Netanyahu that the land available for a Palestinian state may already be foreclosed.”

Secretary of State Kerry has made similar statements recently, and it is quite remarkable that such a fact question can be gotten so wrong. First, the term “new settlements” has a meaning: it does not mean expansion of existing settlements, nor the creation of a hilltop outpost of a couple of trailers. There has simply not been an aggressive creation of new settlements under Mr. Netanyahu, and in fact there have been close to zero new settlements.
Second, there has not even been an aggressive expansion of “old” or existing settlements. Settler populations have grown steadily, on both sides of the security fence, but the Netanyahu government has very clearly restrained that growth. Settler protests, and the fact that many settlers vote for parties other than Mr. Netanyahu’s Likud, attest to this, but more significantly so do the statistics released annually by the government of Israel. Consulting those statistical reports is apparently beyond the capacity of the Times.
Those who wish to oppose or criticize any growth in population in the settlements have reason to complain, but the claim that new settlements are quickly gobbling up all the land in the West Bank is a fantasy. It is false. The “peace map” or “Google Earth map” of the West Bank shows very little change during the Netanyahu years. It should not be too much to ask for accuracy on such points when The New York Times writes yet another of its endless and dreary attacks on the government of Israel.