Thursday, April 2, 2015

The miracle of freedom. Noha Hashad's exodus from Egypt

...They say every generation one must see themselves as if they themselves made the exodus from Egypt. Egyptian nuclear physicist Noha Hashad not only escaped Egypt, but sought Jerusalem.

"Israel is like a jewel, a diamond, I am very 
fortunate to be here." Egyptian nuclear 
physicist Noha Hashad fled to Israel in 2011 
Photo credit: Michel Dot Com
Emily Amrousi..
Israel Hayom..
01 April '15..

They say every generation one must see themselves as if they themselves made the exodus from Egypt. Egyptian nuclear physicist Noha Hashad not only escaped Egypt, but sought Jerusalem. The 51-year-old native Egyptian Muslim was an accomplished academic who lectured at many universities when she began identifying with Israel.

Noha was arrested by security forces belonging to Hosni Mubarak's regime. Her crime? Looking for proof of the Jews' rights to the land of Israel in the Quran. She was jailed for 12 years. Noha was interrogated and tortured under suspicion of spying for Israel. Her interrogations left her handicapped. She managed to escape Egypt during the Arab Spring protests and the fall of the Mubarak regime in 2011, fleeing to Jordan and then coming to Israel as a refugee.

This is the first time Noha Hashad's story is coming to light.

"Israel is like a jewel, a diamond, I am very fortunate to be here," she said, sitting near the beach in Haifa. Noha founded a center for peace in the Middle East, with respected scholars of Middle East studies, and is working on the English translation of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas' first book, "The Beginning and End of Zionism."

The book is being translated to "expose his [Abbas'] true face -- not Holocaust denial like in his known doctoral work," Noha said. "But Israel denial."

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

(Video) Students for Justice in Palestine - Spreading Hate Under the Guise of Social Justice

StandWithUs..
31 March '15..

Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) sells itself as a group of grassroots activists for human rights and justice, but what they do in reality is promote an anti-peace, anti-justice, anti-human rights agenda on campus. They host extremist, hateful speakers and programs, and reject efforts to build mutual respect and understanding between Israelis and Palestinians.



Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e3GX8yt2uak

Visit Stand With Us at http://standwithus.com/

Updates throughout the day at http://calevbenyefuneh.blogspot.com. If you enjoy "Love of the Land", please be a subscriber. Just put your email address in the "Subscribe" box on the upper right-hand corner of the page.Twitter updates at LoveoftheLand as well as our Love of the Land page at Facebook which has additional pieces of interest besides that which is posted on the blog. Also check-out This Ongoing War by Frimet and Arnold Roth. An excellent blog, very important work as well as a big vote to follow our good friend Kay Wilson on Twitter
.

More under-reported aspects of the Iranian reality

...Give the man credit for eschewing the genteel double-talk of his political superiors. What's on his mind is "erasing Israel off the map".

Iran's Brigadier General Mohammad Reza Naqdi: That
Westerners know almost nothing about the man, his sadistic,
lethal cruelty, and the central role he plays in Iranian life,
speaks volumes for the debate over a nuclear Iran deal
[
Image Source]
Arnold/Frimet Roth..
This Ongoing War..
01 April '15..

With the attention of most of the news-reporting industry focused on Lausanne and the marathon efforts to negotiate a nuclear Iran agreement, the name of Brigadier General Mohammad Reza Naqdi is not the one on most people's lips. Perhaps it ought to be.

Naqdi, actually an Iraqi with Iranian "origins" with a penchant for practising self-torture, is the commander of the Islamic Republic of Iran's Sâzmân-e Basij-e Mostaz'afin ("The Organization for Mobilization of the Oppressed"), usually described as a 'paramilitary' force. If people know of it at all, it's may be under the name Basij.

The New York Times described it in 2009 ["Shadowy Iranian Vigilantes Vow Bolder Action", June 18, 2009] this way:

The daytime protests across the Islamic republic have been largely peaceful. But Iranians shudder at the violence unleashed in their cities at night, with the shadowy vigilantes known as Basijis beating, looting and sometimes gunning down protesters they tracked during the day... [T]he Basijis lack uniforms, proper identification or anything that denotes them as public employees [and appear] with hoses, clubs, iron bars, truncheons and sometimes firearms.

At a time when the true motivations of Iran's leadership are at the heart of serious global controversy with existential consequences, Naqdi and his views appear to be getting kid gloves treatment - not so much here in Israel, for obvious reasons.

(Continue Reading)

Updates throughout the day at http://calevbenyefuneh.blogspot.com. If you enjoy "Love of the Land", please be a subscriber. Just put your email address in the "Subscribe" box on the upper right-hand corner of the page.Twitter updates at LoveoftheLand as well as our Love of the Land page at Facebook which has additional pieces of interest besides that which is posted on the blog. Also check-out This Ongoing War by Frimet and Arnold Roth. An excellent blog, very important work as well as a big vote to follow our good friend Kay Wilson on Twitter
.

Not Only Do Israeli Peace Gestures Not Work, They Make Matters Worse.

...Until a sea change occurs in Palestinian political culture, Israel’s leaders would be wise to make no more concessions that will only whet the appetite of the terrorists for more Jewish blood. Nor should Netanyahu be under the illusion that President Obama will react with any more generosity toward Israel in the next two years than he has in the previous six. Far from staving off destruction as Ross and his friends think, their advice will likely lead to more diplomatic problems as well as more violence. Just as doctors are advised by their Hippocratic oaths to do no harm, so, too, should Israel’s prime minister be wise enough to eschew a repetition of the mistakes that he and his predecessors have made in the not-so-distant past.

Jonathan S. Tobin..
Commentary Magazine..
31 March '15..

For those Americans who care about Israel, this is a time of crisis. The Obama administration’s reckless pursuit of détente with Iran and its anger over the reelection of Prime Minister Netanyahu has brought us to a critical moment in which it is now possible to imagine the United States abandoning Israel at the United Nations and taking steps to further distance itself from the Jewish state. Many in this country place most of the blame for the problem on Netanyahu because of his willingness to directly challenge the president on Iran and his statements about the two-state solution and the Arab vote prior to his victory that have undermined his reputation among non-Israelis. In response some well-meaning thinkers are proposing that the answer to the problem lies in gestures that Netanyahu could undertake that would both improve Israel’s image and lower tensions with the United States. But Netanyahu is right to not think the effort worth the bother. The recent history of the conflict illustrates that Israeli concessions intended to prove their devotion to peace don’t impress either the Arabs or foreign critics. In fact, they may make things worse.

While President Obama has been spoiling for fights with Israel’s government since he took office in 2009, his temper tantrum about Netanyahu’s victory now threatens to make his previous tilt toward the Palestinians seem trivial. So it is hardly surprising that veteran peace processers would think the time is right for Netanyahu to do something to appease the president’s wrath. That’s the conceit of a Politico Magazine article jointly credited to former State Department official Dennis Ross and think tank figures David Makovsky and Ghaith Al-Omari that lays out a series of suggestions intended to calm things down and get Israel out of the presidential dog house as well as to calm the waters with both Europe and the Palestinians.

Ross, Makovsky, and Al-Omari are smart enough to realize that the time isn’t right to revive a peace process that is dead in the water. The Palestinians have repeatedly rejected peace offers and show no sign that they are any more willing to accept the legitimacy of a Jewish state alongside one of their own no matter where its borders are drawn.

But they think it would be wise for Netanyahu to freeze building in settlements beyond the blocs that most concede would remain inside Israel in the event of a peace agreement. Allowing the Palestinians the right to build more in parts of the West Bank that would, at least in theory, be part of their state would calm the waters as would less confrontational rhetoric from Netanyahu. This would, they say, counter the campaign to delegitimize the prime minister and his nation and might prompt similar gestures from the Palestinians, such as a promise to avoid bringing their complaints to the United Nations instead of negotiating as they are committed to do under the Oslo Accords.

It all sounds very smart. Fair or not, Netanyahu is perceived as politically radioactive in Europe and, despite Israel’s popularity in the United States, President Obama’s efforts to turn both Iran and Israel into political footballs has undermined the bipartisan nature of the pro-Israel coalition. Gestures aimed at restoring Israel’s good name seem the only answer to a crisis of these dimensions.

But as logical as that sounds, such a course of action not only wouldn’t improve Israel’s image, they would probably further damage it.

How can that be?

Because the recent history of the conflict teaches us that gestures even more far reaching than those suggested for Netanyahu have the opposite effect on both the Palestinians and their foreign cheerleaders.

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Good Question - Yemen and Gaza: Why the Different Reactions?

...But the almost certain silence in the United Nations about the attack on the refugee camp in Yemen is worth recalling the next time Israel is attacked for doing far less to protect itself. I don’t know the details about the Saudi attack, and perhaps it was carried out with care and precision. The point is, no one is going to bother to find out.

Elliott Abrams..
Pressure Points..
31 March '15..






The Washington Post reported this today:

An airstrike killed dozens of people Monday at a camp for displaced people in northern Yemen, in what appeared to be the single deadliest attack since a Saudi ­Arabia-led coalition sent warplanes to target Shiite insurgents advancing across the country.

As many as 40 people died and about 200 were wounded in the attack on the Mazraq camp in Hajjah province, said Joel Millman, a spokesman for the International Organization for Migration, which runs aid programs at the facility.

The Yemeni Shiite rebels, known as Houthis, accused the Saudi-led coalition of hitting the camp, located in an area under the control of the insurgents. Saudi officials did not confirm that. But, asked about the bombing, Saudi Brig. Gen. Ahmed Asiri, a coalition spokesman, asserted that the rebels were setting up positions in civilian areas and said that coalition warplanes had taken fire Monday from a residential area, forcing a “decisive response,” according to the official Saudi Press Agency.

So, taking fire from a civilian area in which shooters were hiding, the Saudis struck back. When Israel does that in Gaza, where it is the common practice of Hamas to hide in and shoot from civilian areas, and to store weapons in schools and hospitals (including those run by the United Nations), what happens? Israel is universally condemned. UN investigation commissions are appointed, and reports such as the egregious “Goldstone Report” (officially, the “The United Nations Fact Finding Mission on the Gaza Conflict”) are issued. The UN Security Council holds special sessions, and the UN Human Rights Council adds additional “hate Israel” meetings to its usual list.

I cannot recall an incident where Israel struck at a refugee camp and killed 40 people all at once, also injuring 200 others, but I am willing to bet on the world reaction to this Saudi attack: zero. No meetings, commissions, no reports.

The other Iran, the one with less need of Swiss hotel rooms and press conferences

...Is it paranoia if they say at every opportunity they really are out to attack your home and community? And they have colossal means of doing so?

One of a collection of snapshots published in
December 2014 on an 
Iranian military website
 under the headline "We come..." depicts

uniformed Iranian soldiers touring southern
 Lebanon, close to the 
border with
 Israel [
Iranian source]
Arnold/Frimet Roth..
This Ongoing War..
31 March '15..

Israel, and especially our country's border zone, is often described as tense. This might seem odd so long as no actual shooting or rocket firing is taking place. Some might see it as paranoia, maybe even war-mongering. But it's less so to Israelis. Many of us understand that the general level of a population's anxiety is a function of the extent to which real and physical threats are reported. If you don't know they are there, or choose to look in the other direction, you may feel more relaxed. But that does not mean there are no enemies, or that they are not deployed out there.

Here's part of a chilling news report about our northern border ("Iranian troops advance towards Israeli border") from yesterday's Times of London:

Iran is close to putting its forces on Israel’s northeast border for the first time, as its allies crush rebel groups in the Golan Heights area of Syria. The prospect of Iranian troops being posted on a frontier that has been calm for decades is causing alarm in Israel, and comes as international negotiations over Iran’s nuclear ambitions near a climax.
Iran will be so close to the Israelis that it will no longer need long-range missiles to hit them,” said Abu Ali, a fighter with Lebanon’s Iranian-backed Hezbollah organisation who has served multiple combat tours in Syria...

(Continue Reading)

Updates throughout the day at http://calevbenyefuneh.blogspot.com. If you enjoy "Love of the Land", please be a subscriber. Just put your email address in the "Subscribe" box on the upper right-hand corner of the page.Twitter updates at LoveoftheLand as well as our Love of the Land page at Facebook which has additional pieces of interest besides that which is posted on the blog. Also check-out This Ongoing War by Frimet and Arnold Roth. An excellent blog, very important work as well as a big vote to follow our good friend Kay Wilson on Twitter
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(Video) Privileged Hatred: Students for Justice in Palestine

peaceandtolerance.org..
28 March '15..

Students for Justice in Palestine is a growing activist group on American and Canadian universities. It attracts Islamic extremist and radical Leftist activists to campuses for events that demonize and delegitimize Israel and Jews.


apeacet

Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rool4bFqg9o

Americans for Peace&Tolerance - Promoting peaceful coexistence in an ethnically diverse America. Learn more at www.peaceandtolerance.org/

Updates throughout the day at http://calevbenyefuneh.blogspot.com. If you enjoy "Love of the Land", please be a subscriber. Just put your email address in the "Subscribe" box on the upper right-hand corner of the page.Twitter updates at LoveoftheLand as well as our Love of the Land page at Facebook which has additional pieces of interest besides that which is posted on the blog. Also check-out This Ongoing War by Frimet and Arnold Roth. An excellent blog, very important work as well as a big vote to follow our good friend Kay Wilson on Twitter
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Guardian headline titled ‘Palestinian terrorists attempted to kill thousands of Israeli civilians in 2014′?

We of course don’t ever expect to see a Guardian headline titled ‘Palestinian terrorists attempted to kill thousands of Israeli civilians in 2014′, because, as former AP correspondent Matt Friedman argued, the media operate under the assumption that the only party that matters in covering the conflict is Israel, and thus Palestinians can only exist as passive victims of Israeli aggression.

Adam Levick..
ukmediawatch.org..
30 March '15..

The belief, held by the overwhelming majority of Jewish Britons, that the UK media’s coverage of Israel fuels antisemitism, is largely based on the manner in which headlines, text and imagery in reports on Palestinian casualties imputes Israeli guilt (and malevolence) by failing to provide balance and relevant context.

A March 27th Guardian article by Mairav Zonszein (a contributor for the far-left web magazine +972) represents a prime example of this consistent journalistic failure.



In addition to the misleading headline, the accompanying text provides almost no background on the circumstances surrounding the more than 2,000 Palestinian fatalities.

(Continue Reading)

Updates throughout the day at http://calevbenyefuneh.blogspot.com. If you enjoy "Love of the Land", please be a subscriber. Just put your email address in the "Subscribe" box on the upper right-hand corner of the page.Twitter updates at LoveoftheLand as well as our Love of the Land page at Facebook which has additional pieces of interest besides that which is posted on the blog. Also check-out This Ongoing War by Frimet and Arnold Roth. An excellent blog, very important work as well as a big vote to follow our good friend Kay Wilson on Twitter
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Monday, March 30, 2015

Time for a nice quiet sleep? The countdown to a nuclear Iran deal

...Everything we have seen about the Iran nuclear talks screams "catastrophically bad deal". Most people tune conclusions like that out. So we are reprinting here three exceptionally articulate and clear opinion pieces, all from the past 24 hours, as our contribution to keeping readers awake at night, at least tonight.


Arnold/Frimet Roth..
This Ongoing War..
30 March '15..

The negotiations for an agreement that will curb (in some sense) Iran's nuclear program and free Iran (in some sense) from international sanctions that have squeezed its economy are, by general consensus, in their final 24 hours.

The pressure-cooker atmosphere stems from a March 31 "soft" deadline that Iran and the P5+1 group imposed on themselves in November 2014 to achieve (in some sense) a general agreement. The more detailed terms (in some sense) are to be signed off by June 2015.

No one would purchase an apartment with this degree of uncertainty and flexibility about what was agreed. It's bizarre, and that's before we take the cataclysmic scale of the dangers into account.

Today it got meaningfully worse. The Iranians pulled what one commentator we respect calls "a last minute bait-and-switch". The background is in today's New York Times ["Iran Backs Away From Key Detail in Nuclear Deal"], but Omri Ceren sums it up better than they do. The Iranians, in his words:

bargained up their centrifuge numbers for months by saying that they'd ship out whatever material they enriched, the assumption being that who cares how much uranium they enrich to 3.5% as long as they don't have it physically available to enrich further. Now that they've ratcheted up the number of centrifuges to over 6,000, they're saying they won't ship out the material... it looks like the administration got outplayed by Persian negotiators… again.

(Continue Reading)

Updates throughout the day at http://calevbenyefuneh.blogspot.com. If you enjoy "Love of the Land", please be a subscriber. Just put your email address in the "Subscribe" box on the upper right-hand corner of the page.Twitter updates at LoveoftheLand as well as our Love of the Land page at Facebook which has additional pieces of interest besides that which is posted on the blog. Also check-out This Ongoing War by Frimet and Arnold Roth. An excellent blog, very important work as well as a big vote to follow our good friend Kay Wilson on Twitter
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What the Amnesty Report on Palestinian Violations in Gaza Tells Us

...When the BBC voiceover mentioned that "Israel has denied it was responsible for this," it was only as a set-up for a distraught Palestinian mother to immediately parry: "Then who fired it? I ran outside and found my daughters. If the Israelis didn't do it, who did? Did my daughters launch the rocket?" No. But Palestinian fighters did. And if the BBC journalists responsible for this segment were more concerned with professional reporting, they would have, and could have, come closer to providing their viewers with the truth.

Gilead Ini..
CAMERA Media Analyses..
27 March '15..

If Amnesty International is seen as one of the "most prestigious" international NGOs, it is also thought to harbor "a consistent institutionalized bias against Israel." It is particularly interesting, then, that Amnesty this week released a report blaming Palestinians for a much-publicized incident that resulted in the deaths of Palestinian children and other civilians during last summer's war between Hamas and Israel.

On July 28, 2014, explosions rocked the Shati refugee camp and the nearby Shifa hospital in the Gaza Strip. It was at the former location, on a street filled with children, that the most horrific damage was done. According to the Amnesty report, 13 civilians, 11 of them children, were killed as a result of a projectile that struck the camp. Officials in Gaza immediately blamed Israeli aircraft for the strike. Israel quickly responded, saying it was a Palestinian rocket, aimed at Israel but misfired, that hit the camp. Israeli spokespeople even shared an image purporting to show the source and trajectory of the misfired rockets.

At the time, many journalists covering the incident hedged their bets, reporting that the adversaries "traded blame," that Hamas accused and Israel denied, or that Hamas denied the validity of Israel's denial. But Amnesty now concludes that "the available evidence indicates that 13 Palestinian civilians were killed in the al-Shati refugee camp on 28 July as a result of a rocket fired from within the Gaza Strip," and, more specifically, states that "an independent munitions expert who examined … evidence told Amnesty International that it strongly indicated that the projectile was a Palestinian rocket."

As flawed as Amnesty and this specific report might be, the assessment, coming from an organization considered especially hostile to Israel, compellingly reinforces Israel's account of the events at the Shati camp and draws into sharper focus several important points.

Here are some takeaways:

(Continue Reading)

Updates throughout the day at http://calevbenyefuneh.blogspot.com. If you enjoy "Love of the Land", please be a subscriber. Just put your email address in the "Subscribe" box on the upper right-hand corner of the page.Twitter updates at LoveoftheLand as well as our Love of the Land page at Facebook which has additional pieces of interest besides that which is posted on the blog. Also check-out This Ongoing War by Frimet and Arnold Roth. An excellent blog, very important work as well as a big vote to follow our good friend Kay Wilson on Twitter
.

Some thoughts concerning the Palestine Project’s flood libel

...The promotion of Edmondson’s post by “The Palestine Project” and prominent activists like Abunimah and Blumenthal is just another example illustrating an argument I have often made: “pro-Palestinian” antisemitism is not a bug, but a feature, because when your agenda is demonizing the world’s only Jewish state as too evil to be allowed to exist, you will inevitably end up using exactly the same methods and themes as those who have demonized Jews throughout the centuries.


Petra Marquadt-Bigman..
The Warped Mirror..
28 March '15..

When something bad happens, antisemites have always known whom to blame. So it was little wonder that, when Gaza was flooded after heavy rainfalls last month, the Palestinians would blame Israel and “the Jews” for maliciously opening entirely imaginary dams – and it was hardly surprising that some major media outlets didn’t hesitate to publish this story without even a minimum of fact-checking. While some of the worst offenders ultimately withdrew the story and AFP even dedicated a separate report to “dispelling the myth about Israeli ‘dams’,” professional anti-Israel propagandists were only too happy to spread what quickly became known as the “flood libel.”

Veteran anti-Israel activists Ali Abunimah and Max Blumenthal both tweeted a link to a post featured on a website run by “The Palestine Project,” which rejected Israeli statements that there are no dams that could be opened to flood Gaza as a “myth.”


Since both Abunimah and Blumenthal like to claim that they can be trusted to provide accurate and factual information, one should expect that they noticed that the post they linked to was prominently identified as a previously published post from another blog, and that they checked out the provided link to the original.

What they cannot abide is Israel's success

...As with so many other aspects of the disdain and demonization that Israel experiences in international relations, what bothers the hostile side has very little to do with Palestinian suffering. What they cannot abide is Israel's success. There's a name for the sort of activism.

They know most people will never bother to
check the facts behind
the allegations
 [Image Source: 
A March 23, 2015 RT article]
Arnold/Frimet Roth..
This Ongoing War..
27 March '15..

We live in a country where water is a key enabler, and limiter, of habitation and success. Israel's approach to storing, treating, transporting, recycling and desalinating water is admired throughout the civilized world. It's a heroic aspect of Israel's unique history, and one of the most significant reasons why resource-poor postage-stamp-sized Israel does so well in so many different ways.

A Reuters syndicated report ["Fighters target vital water plants across Middle East: Red Cross"] published this past Wednesday seemed to be dealing with the way terrorists, who by definition, respect no red lines, are targeting water supply resources. "Militants", it says, using a common euphemism for terrorists, "in Syria, Iraq and Gaza have also used access to water and electricity supplies as "tactical weapons or as bargaining chips," the ICRC said in a report."

Reuters then seizes on an instance to prove the point:

Gaza's only power plant was damaged during the 2014 war between Israel and Palestinian militants. The Gaza Company for Generating Electricity said an Israeli tank shell hit the main fuel tanks, taking out almost all capacity.

Electricity is vital to the effective management of water. So if "an Israeli tank" eliminated the capacity of the regime now ruling Gaza, Israel stands behind Gaza's water crisis. Right? No, not at all right, and understanding the real reasons why Gaza is chronically out of electric power is essential to making sense of allegations like the one we just saw. (We will come back to it here another time.)

(Continue Reading)

Updates throughout the day at http://calevbenyefuneh.blogspot.com. If you enjoy "Love of the Land", please be a subscriber. Just put your email address in the "Subscribe" box on the upper right-hand corner of the page.Twitter updates at LoveoftheLand as well as our Love of the Land page at Facebook which has additional pieces of interest besides that which is posted on the blog. Also check-out This Ongoing War by Frimet and Arnold Roth. An excellent blog, very important work as well as a big vote to follow our good friend Kay Wilson on Twitter
.