Sunday, December 27, 2015

Gifts Countering the BDS Campaign

 GREER FAY CASHMAN   12/24/2015

WAS IT chutzpah or making a political point when Ambassador to the United States Ron Dermer sent blue-and-white-striped gift packages bearing the national crest of Israel to members of Congress with best wishes for a happy holiday? The packages contained products from settlements in Judea and Samaria and the Golan Heights. In the accompanying letter Dermer stated that he had decided that this year he would send a holiday gift that would also help combat the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement.

The gift packages contained wine, olive oil, halva and body cream.

Dermer characterized the key forces behind BDS as “fanatics who actively seek to eliminate Israel,” adding that “unfortunately they are occasionally joined by fools who naively believe that in promoting BDS they are advancing peace between Israelis and Palestinians.” Regardless of why they promote BDS, wrote Dermer, “they are simply promoting anti-Semitism. Once, Jews were singled out and held to a different standard than other peoples. Today, the Jewish state is singled out and held to a different standard than other countries.”

The gift made headline news with mixed reactions in the American media. 

How much more effective would it have been if accompanying the package, it was stated exactly how many Palestinian households rely on an income from factory plants in which boycotted products are produced.

Co Existence Through Music

 GREER FAY CASHMAN   12/24/2015

 MANY SINGERS and musicians claim that music paves the way to peace. When people sing together or make music together, they tend to harmonize rather than antagonize, and their differences are cast aside.

A prime example of this can be seen in the Galilee Orchestra founded in 1995 by composer Nabil Azzam, who was the first Arab student at the Rubin Academy of Music, and who subsequently went on to receive degrees in musicology and ethnomusicology from Tel Aviv University, the Hebrew University and UCLA.

Jews and Arabs play together in the Galilee Orchestra, and last Saturday night they performed at a concert hosted by industrialist Stef Wertheimer at his Nazareth Industrial Park, in cooperation with the Polyphony Foundation, the Orpheus Group and the Nazareth Tourist Information Center.

Among the guests were head of the European Union Delegation Lars Faaborg-Andersen and his wife, Jean Murphy; Nabeel Abboud-Ashkar, head of the Polyphony Foundation and Conservatory; and some 370 other invitees.

In welcoming the guests Wertheimer said that inasmuch as he loves culture, everyone present should be aware that they were sitting in an industrial park whose main purpose is to provide work for the people of Nazareth and other parts of the Galilee and the Jezreel Valley, who can come here to create and produce, and with their earnings can enjoy cultural experiences such as the cinema and stage productions.

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

BDS: The lies and the truth – part 3

The Lie: "Continuing the settlement project is proof that Israel does not want peace."

The Truth: The settlements are at the center of a heated debate within the Israeli public. The criticism against it, one has to stress, is not part of the demonization. But the peace proposals make it clear that the settlements are not an obstacle for peace.

Israel has evacuated thousands of settlers from the Gaza Strip. In any future agreement, there will be settlers living in settlement blocks on 5% of the area. The agreements regarding the minority of settlers outside those blocks, is subject to negotiations between the parties. Maybe they will stay where they are. Just as there is an Arab minority in Israel, there could be a Jewish minority in the Palestinian State. Or perhaps a different arrangement will be found.

The Lie: "Israel is committing Palestinian genocide."

The Truth: Eleven to 12,000 Palestinians have been killed between 1967 and 2015. The vast majority were involved in hostile activities. Relative to the size of the population this number is smaller than the average death rate from road accidents. One can call it many things – but not genocide.

It does not even come close to being genocide. This is one of the most blatant lies behind anti-Israeli propaganda. Contrary to terrorist organizations, who intentionally target civilians (both with rockets and with suicide-attacks in densely populated centers); Israel makes every effort not to harm innocent civilians.

The Lie: "Israel is the number-one enemy of Muslims and the source of all conflicts in the Middle East."

The Truth: Israel is not the enemy of the Arab World, and has diplomatic relations, including peace agreements, with countries with large Muslim populations. The number-one enemy of the Muslims is world Jihad that kills mostly Muslims – in Nigeria, Somalia, Afghanistan, Yemen, Iraq, Libya and Syria.

Israel has nothing to do with this blood fest. Many Muslims admit that their main problem is the Jihad, which murders – in terrorist acts only – about 2500 Muslims every month. In 2014, for example, more than 32 thousand people died in terror acts executed by the Jihad, with all its branches. This does not and did not have anything to do with Israel.

The Lie: "Only an academic and consumer boycott of Israel will improve the situation of the Palestinians and bring peace."

The truth: Objective data proves that the Palestinians’ situation has improved under Israeli rule. For example, in 1967 there was not even one academic institute in the West Bank or the Gaza Strip. Since Israeli rule, and under its patronage, scores of institutions of higher-education have been established.

The will of Palestinians for peace has to be respected, but one should realize that the main demand of the boycott movement is not “put an end to occupation”, and not even “two lands for two peoples’’’ but rather “the right of return” i.e. the annihilation of the State of Israel.

The heads of the Boycott Movement ‘the likes of Omar Bargouti and Ali Abuneima’ make it absolutely clear, that this is their intention. This is what makes the boycott the number-one enemy of any peace settlement based on two-lands-for-two peoples. The boycott only nurtures the illusion, and in doing so – perpetuates the conflict.

BDS protesters. Boycott movement leaders really
 desire the annihilation of Israel (Photo: Reuters)

The Lie: "Israel harms the Palestinians in every Humanitarian aspect. What the Nazis did with gas chambers Israel does by raising mortality rates among babies."

The Truth: The World Bank, the World Health Organization, and even Palestinian investigators have presented data which clearly shows that these allegations are no more than a pack of lies. Life expectancy among Palestinians in 1967 was 48.6. It has risen to 75.

Mortality rate among Palestinian babies is 15 to every thousand babies, compared to 22 in Turkey and 39 in the world average. In almost every humanitarian aspect that can be checked and measured, the Palestinians under Israeli rule are better off than the world average, and they are usually at the top of the MENA countries block. (Middle East and North Africa)

The Lie: The definition of Israel as a "Jewish state" is an expression of racism.

The Truth: The most important principle in the U.N. Charter is the right to self-determination. Jews who want autonomy, as well as Palestinians, have that right. Jews have fought for the right to self-determination because they suffered persecution.

Czechoslovakia was divided into two nation states; Yugoslavia was split into six entities, because each people claimed their right to self-determination. An effort to deny any people this right is a violation of International law, and in itself is an expression of racism. It must be said, that as a Jewish Democratic country, non-Jews have full and equal rights in Israel.

Monday, December 21, 2015

Now I have Broken my Silence

The devious activities of the organisation "Breaking the Silence" (BTS) has finally resulted in a backlash. BTS operates with finance from foreign governments trying to undermine the sovereignty of a democratic state.
It has never come out with claims that can be proven. Their claims are always anonymous and and based on hearsay not fact. 
Now the #MyTruth’ Movement Grows Among IDF  and is coming out with facts and sources to counter ther BTS claims.
Following is one letter from an IDF serving soldier.
I am writing this in English because I want everyone to understand, not just the Israelis.
Dear Breaking the Silence, I too served as an infantryman in the West Bank, Lebanon, and the disengagement from Gaza. I too served in a unit that was probably the most left-leaning company in the army at the time until I finished my operational training. I have continued to serve Israel in various capacities, abroad and here in Israel, since my discharge in 2007.
I have read your various posts and “testimonies”.  Why did you wait years to tell stories to audiences abroad? Stories that include a lot of hearsay, jumping to conclusions, a lack of knowledge about the incidents in question. The stories you tell seem to have little basis in the reality that I remember.
I remember being told in every briefing that all civilians were to be treated with respect, that in case of a firefight we were to avoid returning fire if there were civvies in the area.
I remember going into Lebanon and running out of food and being told that we were not allowed to touch the food stores in the houses we were in, that rule only being broken after realizing that we physically wouldn't make it back to Israel on foot on a starvation diet (I lost between 10-15 lbs/ 4-8 kg that week).
I remember officers telling soldiers not to sleep on the beds and mattresses or damage anything unnecessarily, this in houses with tank shell holes in them.
I remember the civilians that we would give food to in Hebron until we realized that they were carrying out recon on us and that their brothers would throw rocks at us after they would leave.
Why do you protest against soldiers (your own brothers-in-arms) who carry out missions in extremely complex areas of operations which are 100 percent legal according to international law? 
There is nothing “Nazi-like” about conducting routine checks at checkpoints for explosives and/or weapons, nor is there anything wrong about setting up mobile checkposts in known “hot areas”. There is certainly nothing wrong about arresting members of terror cells in the middle of the night. These are all things that are/ would be done by any sensible military force that would find itself in the same situation.
You are not an organization that wants the IDF to be an ethical force. If you were, you would work with the chain of command in order to find those who do not act according to the ethics and commands of the IDF and punish them, all without garnering media attention and demonizing the entire army. 
You are an organization whose sole purpose is the demonization of Israel in the US and Europe. I can have respect for those who disagree with me but not for those who undermine democracy by running to other countries and telling exaggerated stories about us in order to feed their conscience for something they may have done or witnessed when they were young and no moral backbone.
Now I too have Broken my Silence.

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Majority of Palestinians Support Terror Attacks against Israelis

A new poll conducted by the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research showed that two-thirds of Palestinians support the stabbing attacks, and that a growing majority supports an armed intifada and rejects the two state solution.
This is precisely why the Israeli public on the left and right is skeptical of any agreement with the present Palestinian leadership

Furthermore, if presidential elections were held today in the West Bank, Hamas would win against President Mahmoud Abbas.

False allegations and incitement to violence have been spread on social media by both Hamas and the Palestinian Authority. On Sunday, President Barack Obama said, “Palestinian leaders have to condemn the ongoing attacks [against Israelis] and stop incitement.” However, on Tuesday (Dec  15th) Abbas called the terror attacks against Israelis a “justified popular uprising.” Abbas has failed to condemn the terror attacks against Israelis and has continued to make inflammatory remarks, while reiterating false accusations that Israel is performing “field executions against defenseless Palestinian civilians, including children.”

In October, he accused Israel of actions aimed “at altering or eliminating the Palestinian Christian and Muslim presence in and the identity of the Holy City.” 

Abbas has also appeared to glorify the violence, declaring, “We welcome every drop of blood spilled in Jerusalem…With the help of Allah, every shaheed (martyr) will be in heaven, and every wounded will get his reward.” 

On Tuesday Hamas boasted that the perpetrator of Monday’s (Dec 14th) vehicular attack on a crowded bus station was a member of the organization. The head of the terror group, Khaled Mashaal, called on Palestinians to embrace jihad and praised Palestinian stabbers as “the most exalted and the noblest of people.”

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Israel an Apartheid State - No way!!

Israel is being labeled by its most radical detractors as an apartheid state. Israel Collective finds out how South Africans feel about this accusation.

Political consultations between Israel, Greece and Cyprus

With Turkey making some noises that some sort of agreeement can reached with Israel over the Mavi Mamamara affair, other count5ries in the region got down to detailed discussions to improve life for the people of the region

The 2nd Trilateral Political Consultations at the level of Secretaries General of the Ministries of Foreign Affairs of Israel, Greece and Cyprus were held in Jerusalem this week between Israeli MFA Director General, Ambassador Dore Gold, and his counterparts from Greece and Cyprus,

The three parties examined regional and international issues in the Middle East and Eastern Mediterranean in view of the importance that they attribute to their enhanced bilateral ties and the desire to formalize a trilateral regional partnership as a promoter of regional stability, security and cooperation.

The three parties focused on the prospects for cooperation in the fields of:

·       Energy Development
·       Immigration
·       Fighting Terrorism
·       Tourism
·       Environment
·       Water Management
·       Research and Technology

They also discussed the trilateral cooperation in a wide range of issues including search and rescue, civil protection, economic cooperation, shipping, health and medicine, education, agriculture and fisheries, conflict resolution, people-to-people contacts and culture. The discussions reflected the common will to enhance even further the partnership between Israel, Greece, and Cyprus in all fields.

Secretary General Ambassador Paraskevopoulos from Greece, from his part, stressed the need to comprehensively address the crucial issue of current refugee flows from crisis regions and their humanitarian, social and financial implications, as well as their root causes.

Permanent Secretary Ambassador Zenon, Cyrus briefed his counterparts on the negotiations process under the United Nations auspices aiming at a just, lasting and comprehensive settlement of the Cyprus Problem, based on international law and the relevant UN Security Council Resolutions.

The three parties agreed to further promote trilateral consultations and to expand their dialogue on all levels with the aim of promoting mutual interests and contributing to regional peace, stability, security and prosperity

Sunday, December 13, 2015

‘Race, religion and background didn’t seem to matter’

The following story from a Canadian volunteer shows the true face of Israel that is hardly ever reported in the national media.

"This spring, I returned to Israel and joined a six-week Ulpan program at Ben Gurion University to learn Hebrew. I ended up extending my Israel experience into the summer by tacking on another short stint with Sar-El followed by three months at ALEH Negev, the crown jewel of Israel’s largest network of facilities for children with severe physical and cognitive disabilities. At ALEH, I utilized physical therapy techniques to advance the children I worked with toward independent mobility, a very rewarding task.
Shoshanna Kervin
From my very first tour of the therapeutic village, I was struck by the unparalleled diversity represented within the groups of ALEH’s residents and staff members. I observed Jews, Christians, Muslims, Bedouins, and individuals of virtually every nationality working, learning, and healing together. Race, religion and background just didn’t seem to matter.
This spirit of inclusion and acceptance shapes the philosophy by which patient care is developed and provided. Rather than attempting to shoehorn every child into a one-size-fits-all rehabilitation program, ALEH tailors the programming to each patient’s unique needs and abilities, creating individualized experiences that allows each child to develop to his or her fullest potentials.
Thankfully, this philosophy spills over to volunteers as well. The paramedical staff, who accepted me with open arms, guided me through my internship and provided me with an exciting and enriching professional environment in which I was able to utilize my preexisting skill set to treat residents. But my eye-opening summer internship was more than just an opportunity to gain valuable work experience: it was the first time that I was able to embrace my two greatest passions and become the best version of myself.
Now that I know so much more about Israel’s long-standing tradition of kindness and its capacity for acceptance of individuals of all religions, races, nationalities, and abilities (and have witnessed this acceptance firsthand), my two passions don’t seem so disparate after all. In fact, it makes perfect sense that my true identity was forged in southern Israel.
Surrounded by angels in the Promised Land, I learned the true meaning of inclusion, altruism and humanity."

Monday, December 7, 2015

Fighting Antisemitism on Social Media

Fighting Anti-semitism on social media is gaining momentum. More and more successes are reported .

It is so easy to report a video that promotes violence against Jews.

Here from the organisation "They Can't" is another example.

Why not try it and report the three videos below?

To report the videos bellow: follow the links, on Youtube click on the button "more" (or a little flag) under the video/title, then click on "report" as "violent content" and "promotes terrorism"


A terrible video showing a terror attack in Jerusalem. In the title, they call the terrorist "hero" or "martyr". We removed numerous copies, but these 3 still online on Youtube (30K and 20K views already!)

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Palestinian Child-Sacrifice

An appropriate analysis by this Palestinian human rights activist, Bassam Tawil    

December 3, 2015 

·       Instead of educating our children, as they do in the West, to be part of the Startup Generation, we follow the lead of darkest Africa, where children are armed with assault rifles and sent out to kill other children.

·       If the Palestinians really want to pick a fight with Israel, why do they send children to fight a "holy war" instead of fighting it themselves, like men?

·       The only difference is that the members of ISIS go out themselves to kill; the Palestinians send their young. Why are these not "war crimes"?

·       We sacrifice our sons and daughters in the name of Allah, as though Allah were a pagan statue with an altar and had to be appeased with the blood of children.

·       Here, the Islamists want to "liberate" Jerusalem from the infidel Zionist-Crusader occupation. Next, they want to "liberate" occupied Spain, once Muslim Andalusia, and return it to the bosom of Islam. After that, they want to occupy the Vatican and establish the Islamic Emirate on the ruins of Christianity.

Recently, more and more young Palestinian men, women and children have left their homes and gone off to stab Israelis. Palestinian Authority (PA) officials claim our children make this decision independently and that no one sends them to carry out terrorist attacks. But in reality, every Palestinian knows that behind these supposedly "independent," "spontaneous" attacks there is organized, deliberate incitement, some from politicians and some from fatwas [religious opinions] issued by clerics.

One such cleric, Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi, sits far away in the safety of Qatar and sends Palestinian children to their deaths. The mosques and schools in the Palestinian Authority and the Gaza Strip, as well as their social media, often unashamedly exploit Palestinian children – perhaps emotionally a bit lost, and who long for admiration for a grand, "heroic act" in a grand romantic "cause."

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.