Saturday, December 27, 2014


Ben Cohen 23/12/2014

A new report from Israeli watchdog NGO Monitor has exposed disturbing levels of anti-Israel hatred in the Christmas messages and appeals promoted by radical Christian groups dealing with the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
“Come All Ye Haters: NGO Exploitation of Religious Themes to Demonize Israel”reveals that “at the height of the holiday season, NGOs, well-known charities, and church groups once again are exploiting Christmas to conduct political warfare against Israel.”
According to NGO Monitor – which tracks both the statements and activities of NGOs working in the area as well as their funding by foreign governments and charities – “In some instances, the rhetoric used reflects antisemitic theology and sentiments such as comparing Israel to First Century Romans, portraying Israel as inherently oppressive, and referring to the ‘tribal god’ of Judaism.”
Among the several examples cited in the report is the annual “Christmas Alert” booklet produced by Kairos Palestine, an organization rooted in the 2009 Kairos Declaration on Palestine, a document authored by the Palestinian Christian activist Naim Ateek and other church figures, which denies the historic connection between the Jewish people and the land of Israel while asserting that, in contrast, “Christian and Muslim Palestinians” are “deeply rooted in the history and geography of this land.”
In its 2014 booklet, Kairos quotes Father Jamal Khader of the Latin Patriarch Seminary in Beit Jala describing the “Israeli occupation” as the “greatest evil” – the abuse of Christians elsewhere in the Middle East, including the genocidal campaign waged against them by Islamic State terrorists in Iraq, is not even acknowledged.
Meanwhile, another article in the booklet presents Israel as an inherently illegitimate state, claiming that “since 1948 (the year of Israel’s creation,) Israel developed a regime that combines occupation, apartheid and colonization which acts as the root cause of the ongoing forced population transfer of the Palestinian people.”
“During the current holiday season, NGOs exploit religious sources and biblical verses as part of their political warfare against Israel,” the NGO Monitor report observed. “The traditional Christian themes are introduced into a simplistic, one-sided narrative of the conflict that omits terrorism, Hamas control of Gaza, and Israel’s basic security needs to protect its civilian population.”
Wi’am, described by NGO Monitor as “a ‘grassroots organization’ that is involved in BDS,” declared in its Christmas message that “Christ was born in Bethlehem under the Roman Occupation. This story is not strange for us…The new Herods are instilling fear in whole communities, using religion to depict a god of vengeance, a tribal god of retaliation.”
This same theme was echoed in a Christmas message distributed by Rev. Kate Taber, the representative in the “Holy Land” of the Presbyterian Church USA. “As we celebrate the birth of the Christ child this season, it is impossible for me not to imagine what his life would have been like, or Mary’s as his mother, had he been born in Bethlehem today,” Taber wrote.
Much of the funding for these and similar organizations comes from European and American church groups who are in turn recipients of taxpayer funds. “As funders, these governments are enablers and share the moral responsibility for the actions of the NGOs,” NGO Monitor concluded.

Monday, December 22, 2014


Jonathan S. Tobin 19/12/2014
For the full article go to:  

Five months ago Hamas rained down rockets on Israeli cities and attempted to use a tunnel network to infiltrate into the Jewish state and kidnap and kill as many Jews as they could. But predictably most of the world’s attention was focused on Israeli counter-attacks to suppress the missile fire and take out the tunnels and it came under severe criticism, even from its American ally, for the toll of civilian deaths that were caused by Hamas using the population of Gaza as human shields. But those who deplored the 50-day war as a tragedy for the Palestinian people now need to ask themselves whether they are really interested in watching another such round of fighting in the future. The same international community that blasted Israel for having the temerity to defend itself now needs to address the fact that the aid that is pouring into the strip for the purpose of rebuilding homes destroyed in the fighting, is actually being used to rebuild the terror tunnels. If they don’t, they’ll have no right to criticize Israel when it is once again forced to act to defend itself.

As the Times of Israel writes, the Israel media is reporting that:

Some of the cement and other materials being delivered to the coastal Palestinian territory, as part of an international rebuilding effort, has been diverted to the tunnels.
The story goes on to detail some things that can’t come as a surprise. 

Even as it rebuilds its terror tunnels, Hamas is replenishing its supply of missiles and rockets. Given that the group has just kissed and made up with Iran, the flow of money and munitions into the strip by one means or another is bound to increase.

Though expected, this does increase Hamas’s leverage over the Palestinian Authority, which isn’t interested in making peace with Israel but will certainly never do so while it remains under threat from its erstwhile unity partner. Though many in Israel and elsewhere assumed Hamas would emerge weakened from a war in which Gaza was flattened and little material damage was done to the Jewish state, it is more popular than ever (especially in the West Bank which did not suffer much from the terror group’s murderous policies) and may soon be as much of a threat to Israel as it was before the fighting started. Indeed, if, as reports indicate, Hamas is working on ways to defeat Israel’s Iron Dome missile defense system succeed, the danger will be far worse the next time the terrorists decide they wish to try their luck.

That is a daunting prospect for Israelis and poses difficult questions for Prime Minister Netanyahu who is now criticized for his handling of the war even if most of his critics would not have supported a bloody campaign to evict Hamas from Gaza and thus eliminate the threat for the future.

But it should also pose serious questions for those countries like the United States and its European allies that were so quick to bash Israel for its efforts to silence the missile fire and demolish the tunnels.

This week, both American and European diplomats wasted their time negotiating over the text of a United Nations Security Council resolution that would recognize Palestinian independence proposed by the PA. The proposal was a non-starter that in the end even the Obama administration had to oppose, but the talk about Palestinian independence ignored the fact that there is already an independent Palestinian state in all but name in Gaza that is using its autonomy to continue its never-ending war to destroy Israel.

By acquiescing to a situation in which a criminal terrorist group not only continues to rule over a captive population and threaten war against a neighboring sovereign state but also standing by silently as Hamas creates the conditions for another terror war, the West is demonstrating its moral bankruptcy on the Middle East. Those who talk about helping the Palestinians cannot ignore the fact that what Hamas is doing is preparing to set in motion a chain of events that will lead to more bloodshed and suffering. By their silence and, even worse, refusal to halt the flow of material that is being used by Hamas to prepare for another war, they are morally responsible for every drop of Arab or Israeli blood that will be shed.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014


By Tovah Lazaroff 12.12.2014

For the full article:

Europe should apply a double standard to Israel when judging its actions compared to other Middle Eastern nations, Danish Ambassador Jesper Vahr said on Thursday, causing sparks to fly at the Jerusalem Post Diplomatic Conference in the capital.

“Israel should insist that we discriminate, that we apply double standards, this is because you are one of us,” Vahr said during a panel discussion on relations between Israel and Europe.

Israelis sometimes ask why Europe applies a different standard to its neighboring countries, such as Syria, Vahr said. “Those are not the standards that you are being judged by. It is not the standards that Israel would want to be judged by,” he said. Israel should want to be held to European standards, not Middle Eastern ones, he said.

“So I think you have the right to insist that we apply double standards and put you to the same standards as all the rest of the countries in the European context.”

The Jerusalem Post’s diplomatic correspondent, Herb Keinon, who moderated the panel, asked Vahr if his statement couldn’t be seen as “patronizing” to the Palestinians.

Vahr responded: “I am not sure it is,” particularly given that Israel is the stronger party in the conflict and the Palestinians are the weaker one. It is “natural,” Vahr said, to engage differently with Israel, a country with whom Europe, including Denmark, has an extensive cooperative relationship with in trade and cultural affairs.

Vahr’s comments angered Caroline B. Glick, the Post’s senior contributing editor, who retorted that they were a “statement of contempt for our intelligence.”

“I consider Europe’s keen interest in the Middle East, specifically Israel, to be an obsession,” she said. “It is an obsession that Jews have seen from Europeans from the time of Jesus.”

Glick was particularly struck by Vahr’s reference to a common culture between Israel and Europe. “We have this whole common culture, I mean really? We respect international law. You guys make it up,” she said.

In 2001, the United Nations Security Council approved a binding resolution that bars UN member states from funding or supporting terrorist organizations, Glick said. That resolution, she said, has not stopped Europe from “funneling billions of euros into rebuilding terrorist-controlled Gaza.“This is in contravention of binding international law that you signed onto,” she charged.

But when it comes to Israel, Europe simply invents international law, Glick said. Europe acts as if it is required by law to sanction Israel for activity over the pre-1967 lines in West Bank settlements and Jerusalem, even though there is no such binding international legislation, she said.

“There is no such binding law. You guys are funding settlements in Western Sahara.You are funding them directly,” she said. “This is not a double standard. This is a singular standard for Israel. This is not about international law. It is about an obsessive, compulsive need to constantly pick at the Jewish state,” she said.

After receiving applause from the audience, Glick continued: “No, I do not want to be proud that you are looking at us in a different standard from our neighbors because you are not looking at our neighbors as human beings. “What you are saying is that they are objects. The only actor in this entire region are the people they are trying to annihilate.

“The only people who are supposed to be judged for our actions, and always poorly, are the people who are doing everything possible – more than Europe, more than the US, more than anyone – in order to protect the lives of the Palestinians,” she said.

For the video go to:

Editor’s Note:- We have been unable to get the video of the Danish Ambassador’s right of reply to Glick but will send it on to you, our readers, if we do succeed to get a copy.

From someone attending the conference, we have been informed that in his right to reply to Glick, the Danish Ambassador did not address the points raised by Glick but materially diverted the conversation to criticize Glick’s recent book.

Thursday, December 11, 2014


Tom Wilson 10.12.2014
For the full article go to:

The campaign to boycott Israel–the BDS (boycott, divestment, sanctions) movement–is undoubtedly a fringe campaign. But where this small band of anti-Israel extremists have experienced some traction is among those whom they have been able to convince that BDS is only against settlements. The argument goes that a boycott of Israeli settler produce will somehow persuade the Israelis to abandon their security concerns and bring an end to their so-called occupation of the West Bank. Yet one only has to look to how BDS conducts its campaigns in practice to see that this alleged concern with the “occupation” is just one of many disingenuous claims from what is, at its heart, an entirely disingenuous movement.
Listening to the words of BDS leaders such as Omar Barghouti you soon realize that the end goal of BDS is nothing less than the total elimination of the Jewish state. But unlike Barghouti, most of the BDS movement has the common sense not to state this so publicly. As such, BDS efforts have been ostensibly focused around boycotting settlements; although in practice this still allows campaigners to attack most Israeli companies by making flimsy arguments about guilt by association. So for instance the Israeli national theater company Habima was targeted on the grounds that it had previously performed in settlements. In Europe this argument is beginning to take hold. Supermarket chains, churches, city councils, and now EU diplomats are all coming round to the idea that boycotting the Jewish state outright may be going too far, but boycotting Jews who dare to live on the “wrong side” of a defunct armistice line is perfectly acceptable.

For BDS, SodaStream was the ideal target. This high-profile company, with its popular products and Super Bowl commercials featuring Scarlett Johansson, had one of its factories just to the east of Jerusalem in the West Bank. The fact that SodaStream boasted of being the largest commercial employer of Palestinians in the world did nothing to dissuade BDS from its efforts. Indeed, just a few months back when it was announced that SodaStream would relocate its factory from the West Bank to the Israeli Negev, BDS expressed no remorse for the Palestinian workers losing their jobs, but only exuberance at their own apparent victory.
Still, now that SodaStream is relocating from the West Bank BDS will be dropping the boycott, right? Wrong! As if proof was needed that fleeing the settlements will do nothing to appease those who simply hate the Jewish state in its entirety, BDSniks have said that they will continue to boycott SodaStream. Now the pretext for boycotting isthe allegation that the new factory will be based “close to” a town being built to provide local Bedouin with housing. And supposedly this renders SodaStream “implicated in the displacement of Palestinians.” One can scarcely believe that the movement’s leaders believe such claims, but then these are the feeble excuses of bigots trying to hide and justify their unacceptable agenda.

The true character of BDS is becoming increasingly apparent as the boycotters shift their attention toward targets that even they can’t bracket in with settlements and “stolen land,” except of course for the fact that BDS clearly considers all of Israel stolen land and any Jewish enterprise on that land to be a pollution. Israeli-Arabs are of course exempt from boycotts. Because at its core BDS is a movement that makes ethnicity the dividing line that determines who is to be boycotted and who isn’t. As such, it comes as no surprise that BDS activists in the UK have launched action against Sabon, an Israeli cosmetics company that has always been based within Israel’s pre-1967 borders.
Sabon opened its first luxury cosmetics store in London at the beginning of November and BDSers were demonstrating outside within just four days of its arrival. Over the weekend activists staged a particularly aggressive gathering, in which one of the ringleaders was heard employing the most shameless blood libel language, barking coldly down the megaphone: “you don’t want to be going into this shop, buying beautiful smelling lotions to smear over your body, because if you do you will be smearing yourself in the blood of Palestinians.” And yet this particular Saturday morning protest appears to have been spearheaded by the International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network, the extremist fringe of an already extremist sect.

As can be seen in the video, the activists are few in number and their efforts have consistently failed to persuade consumers to reject Israeli products. Yet by standing in front of the entrance of Israeli owned stores, intimidating shoppers from stepping inside, it only takes a handful dedicated fanatics to get a stranglehold on a small store. Just a few streets over from the new Sabon outlet is the storefront that was once home to London’s Ahava Dead Sea spa. But in 2011 BDS activists succeeded in hounding Ahava out, not by persuading customers with their arguments, but rather by creating so much noise and disturbance on the salubrious Covent Garden street that–under pressure from surrounding businesses–the building owner eventually discontinued Ahava’s lease. The protesters now seek to do the same to Sabon simply because it, like Ahava and SodaStream, is owned by Israeli Jews.

A few years ago the fierce critic of Israel Norman Finkelstein attacked some on his own side, calling BDS “a cult.” It is a cult, but more than that, it’s also a fundamentally racist movement, and that is what the world needs to be hearing about BDS.

Monday, December 8, 2014


By David Bernstein 2/12/2014
For the full article see;  

Former AP journalist Matti Friedman wrote an article this past Summerabout how the media frames the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians for an online magazine called Tablet. To his surprise, it went viral, with almost one hundred thousand Facebook shares. It was recommended at the VC by David Post and me. Many people think it’s the single best article ever written on the topic, in part because it provides a rare insider perspective, from someone who actually worked for a major media company’s Jerusalem bureau.
Friedman is back with an even longer and, I think, even more revealing article on the same topic, this time in The Atlantic. Among other things, he ruminates about how many Israel correspondents act not as objective journalists, but as part of class of mostly foreign elites who live in Israel or the territories and have taken up the Palestinian cause. This class includes the employees of international organizations based in the Palestinians territories, and several left-wing Israeli NGOs.
Friedman points out that these highly influential organizations are almost never subjected to any real scrutiny by the reporters who rely on them as objective sources. And indeed, the Associated Press, according to Friedman, actually banned its journalists from interviewing Gerald Steinberg, an American-Israeli professor who runs the watchdog organization NGO Monitor out of Jerusalem. Here’s the relevant paragraph:
Around this time, a Jerusalem-based group called NGO Monitor was battling the international organizations condemning Israel after the Gaza conflict, and though the group was very much a pro-Israel outfit and by no means an objective observer, it could have offered some partisan counterpoint in our articles to charges by NGOs that Israel had committed “war crimes.” But the bureau’s explicit orders to reporters were to never quote the group or its director, an American-raised professor named Gerald Steinberg. In my time as an AP writer moving through the local conflict, with its myriad lunatics, bigots, and killers, the only person I ever saw subjected to an interview ban was this professor.
Long-time readers will recall that I’ve relied on NGO Monitor’s work in the past. Indeed, one of the most consequential “scoops” I’ve had as a blogger, that Human Rights Watch Middle East director Sarah Leah Whitson fundraised among rich Saudi Arabians with a pledge to use the money to counter pro-Israel forces in the West, came from NGO Monitor. My blog post on this, reprinted at the Wall Street Journal’s website, set off a controversy about HRW’s anti-Israel bias that has yet to fully recede (and assuredly won’t until someone less maniacally anti-Israel than Whitson and her boss Kenneth Roth is in charge).

Tuesday, December 2, 2014


by Isi Leibler
December 1, 2014

I have just read Ambassador Ron Prosor’s tour de force address to the United Nations a couple of days ago.  It is one of the most exemplary speeches I have ever read.  It not only eruditely reiterates the Jewish case but forthrightly exposes the cynicism and double standards of the international community in relation to Israel.  It is a speech that is unlikely to persuade our shameless  adversaries to change their policies, , but it should give great pride to every Jew.

I am substituting it for my regular column and would urge you to read / listen to it, distribute it and retain it for future reference.
Ambassador Prosor, to my mind, is the best Ambassador Israel has had at the United Nations.  It is regrettable that his term is coming to a close.

Mr. President,
I stand before the world as a proud representative of the State of Israel and the Jewish people. I stand tall before you knowing that truth and morality are on my side.  And yet, I stand here knowing that today in this Assembly, truth will be turned on its head and morality cast aside.
The fact of the matter is that when members of the international community speak about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, a fog descends to cloud all logic and moral clarity.  The result isn’t realpolitik, its surreal politik.

The world’s unrelenting focus on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is an injustice to tens of millions of victims of tyranny and terrorism in the Middle East. As we speak, Yazidis, Bahai, Kurds, Christians and Muslims are being executed and expelled by radical extremists at a rate of 1,000 people per month.

How many resolutions did you pass last week to address this crisis?  And how many special sessions did you call for? The answer is zero. What does this say about international concern for human life?  Not much, but it speaks volumes about the hypocrisy of the international community.

I stand before you to speak the truth.  Of the 300 million Arabs in the Middle East and North Africa, less than half a percent are truly free - and they are all citizens of Israel.

Israeli Arabs are some of the most educated Arabs in the world. They are our leading physicians and surgeons, they are elected to our parliament, and they serve as judges on our Supreme Court.  Millions of men and women in the Middle East would welcome these opportunities and freedoms.

Nonetheless, nation after nation, will stand at this podium today and criticize Israel – the small island of democracy in a region plagued by tyranny and oppression.