Monday, December 27, 2010

Anti-Israel bias and the start of the 2008 Gaza War

It is pure bias against Israel to contend that Israel had no right to defend itself against the thousands of rockets launched into Israel by Hamas. 
 It is pure bias to hold Israel responsible for the 2008 Gaza War, when, in fact,  Hamas -- at the time -- even claimed to have started the war.  -- Mark Finkelstein
As explained by Elder of Ziyon:
Today is the second anniversary of the beginning of [Israel's] Operation Cast Lead - but it is not the anniversary of the beginning of the Gaza War.

On the very first day of OCL, I pointed out something that has been all but ignored by the media (but that I had mentioned earlier): Hamas declared war on Israel on December 24th, a full three days before Cast Lead.

Gaza - Ma'an - The military wing affiliated to Hamas, Al-Qassam Brigades released a statement on Thursday morning [ 2008- December 25 ] briefing the group's military activities over the first twenty four hours of an operation they called "Oil Stain" which started Wednesday morning.

According to the statement, a total of 87 shells have been fired at Israeli targets bordering the Gaza Strip including 54 mortar shells, 31 homemade projectiles which Hamas calls "Qassam", and two Soviet-made Grad missiles. 
 Amnesty's history of the war starts on December 27th.  [Amnesty International] 

HRW   [Human Rights Watch]  characterizes the entire war as "Israel’s three-week-long military offensive in Gaza that began on December 27." It isn't even a war - it is simply framed as Israeli aggression. And this is in a report about Hamas rocket fire!

Goldstone's chapter headings  [ in Judge Goldstone's report , adopted by the U.N. ]  show this false framework as well:
When the very framework of the issue is biased to begin with, anyone trying to take Israel's aide is already handicapped. It loads the dice before the game even starts, and it takes an effort to re-frame the argument - something that Israeli spokespeople have little opportunity to do when giving statements to the press or when answering questions about NGO accusations.

Even though Hamas wants to be known as a masculine defender of Arab rights in Arabic, and it was proud to take credit for starting the war back in 2008, it has realized the immense value of the false framework provided by Goldstone and HRW and Amnesty and the mainstream media. So it has adopted that framework simply because it puts Israel at a disadvantage.

This is one of the biggest issues that Israel faces when speaking to the world. The idea of Israel as aggressor is so ingrained in the fabric of the discussion that it is not easy for even Israel's defenders to recognize it when they see it. It is especially difficult in the heat of a debate to be able to step back and challenge the questioner as to their implicit assumptions.

One fact is clear - Hamas started the war, and they bragged about it. Any narrative of the Gaza War that does not recognize that simple fact is inherently biased from the outset. No mater how prestigious the NGO or media outlet that promulgates this lie - it is still a lie, and that lie must be corrected.
Source:    12/ 27/2010

Thursday, December 23, 2010

SWU: Metro Transit rejects anti-Israel ad campaign in Seattle

Breaking News.  Stand With Us reports tonight that the anti-Israel "Seattle Mideast Awareness Campaign" group's bus billboard ad campaign  that was supposed to begin next Monday, December 27, was rejected today.

Citing the potential for disruption to transit service, King County Executive Dow Constantine today approved an interim policy from Metro Transit that calls for a halt to the acceptance of any new non-commercial advertising on King County buses.

Also, and most importantly, under provisions of the previous policy, Metro officials today rejected the proposed ad from the Seattle Mideast Awareness Campaign.

This decision came following yesterday's meeting of Jewish community leaders with senior members of the King County Executive's office and Metro Transit management about the potential threat to the Seattle-area Jewish community, after over 2,000 emails, and after numerous organizations, including StandWithUs, announced plans to run ads either countering this ad and/or promoting the positives of Israel.

Stand With Us offered thanks to....

AJC, Federation, ADL and various other organizations and individuals for their work on the Anti-BDS Task Force.

The metropolitan Seattle community's rabbis, synagogues and organizations for sending out to their members and supporters our alert this week.

And the thousands of community members who have written, called, and created the political pressure that has led to the County and Metro's reject the anti-Israel ad.

Stand With Us, a pro-Israel organization is online at

(hat tip: Jill Marks)

Thursday, December 16, 2010

TIP: U.S. Supports Israel's Pursuit of Peace Negotiations

U.S. Supports Israel's Pursuit of Peace Negotiations

Secretary of State Clinton meets with Israel Prime Minister Netanyahu at the beginning of peace talks, September, 2010

Washington, Dec. 16 - The United States House of Representatives has passed a resolution (Dec. 15) affirming the importance of Israeli-Palestinian peace talks and rejecting unitaleral moves by the Palestinians to declare statehood.

Israel says a Palestinian unilateral declaration of independence would be meaningless since it avoids direct negotiations as a means to lasting peace, delaying the possibility of agreement on critical issues. Several countries in Latin America have recognized a Palestinian state that would occupy all territory captured by Israel in 1967 - but the United States and the European Union have rejected the move.

The House resolution supports a "negotiated solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict" and condemns "unilateral measures to declare or recognize a Palestinian state."

A negotiated solution, it says, is the only way to create two democratic states living side by side in "peace, security and mutual recognition."

Palestinians abandoned directed talks with Israel in September after a 10-month Israeli moratorium on building in the territories expired. The United States is now trying to get indirect negotiations going between the parties - but the Palestinians are resisting even that.

Key questions between the Israelis and Palestingians regarding security, borders, refugees and Jerusalem are still unresolved.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu committed the U.S. Middle East envoy George Mitchell on Tuesday (Sec. 14) that he is ready to discuss all the core issues in American-led indirect talks.

"The expectation is that borders and security arrangements will be the first two issues to be tackled," according to Haaretz, an Israeli daily.

Mitchell proposed bilateral talks on Wednesday (Dec. 15) - meaning parallel but separate American-led talks with the Israelis and Palestinians - as a means of restoring the negotiations.

Arab nations came out against any talks between Israel and the PA, "direct or indirect," unless the U.S. delineates what the future borders of a Palestinian state would be.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

NYT: Declassified papers detail how Nazi anti-Semitism was transmitted to the Arab world after WW II

According to the New York Times, declassified papers detail "how [ after WW II ] high-ranking Nazis escaped from Germany to become advisers to anti-Israeli Arab leaders and “were able to carry on and transmit to others Nazi racial-ideological anti-Semitism.”

 The NY Times article is based on a U.S. government report published Friday, December 10, 2010 by the National Archives

From the NYT article:

In chilling detail, the report also elaborates on the close working relationship between Nazi leaders and the grand mufti of Jerusalem, Haj Amin al-Husseini, who later claimed that he sought refuge in wartime Germany only to avoid arrest by the British.

In fact, the report says, the Muslim leader was paid “an absolute fortune” of 50,000 marks a month (when a German field marshal was making 25,000 marks a year). It also said he energetically recruited Muslims for the SS, the Nazi Party’s elite military command, and was promised that he would be installed as the leader of Palestine after German troops drove out the British and exterminated more than 350,000 Jews there.

On Nov. 28, 1941, the authors say, Hitler told Mr. Husseini that the Afrika Corps and German troops deployed from the Caucasus region would liberate Arabs in the Middle East and that “Germany’s only objective there would be the destruction of the Jews.”

The report details ... how high-ranking Nazis escaped from Germany to become advisers to anti-Israeli Arab leaders and “were able to carry on and transmit to others Nazi racial-ideological anti-Semitism.”

“You have an actual contract between officials of the Nazi Foreign Ministry with Arab leaders, including Husseini, extending after the war because they saw a cause they believed in,” Dr. Breitman said. “And after the war, you have real Nazi war criminals — Wilhelm Beisner, Franz Rademacher and Alois Brunner — who were quite influential in Arab countries.”

Friday, December 3, 2010

ARZA and URJ open Carmel Fire - Israel Emergency Fund

You can help. ARZA and the URJ, with our partners, the Israel Movement for Progressive Judaism, will help rebuild human lives through the IMPJ Humanitarian Fund.  Contributing to our Carmel Fire-Israel Emergency Fund* is one more way for you to participate in building Israel, the land that we love.

To contribute to this effort, go to:

Carmel Fire-Israel Emergency Fund

If you live in Canada, you can donate online by going to:

Or if you prefer to mail your contribution, you may send it to:


633 Third Ave, 7th Floor

New York, NY 10017

*Neither ARZA nor the URJ withholds any overhead costs for Emergency Funds, with the exception of direct costs such as credit card fees.

Israel's Tragic Fire: How You Can Help

Israel’s Tragic Fire: How You Can Help

Israel has been hit by an unprecedented disaster. A wildfire raging in the north near Haifa has taken at least 42 lives. Thousands of acres of forest have been destroyed and entire villages have been blackened.

The Israel Project is working to get out the facts globally about the fire and the need for help. You can donate to this by going here.

The Jewish Federations of North America has sent up a fund. Checks can be sent to the Israel Forest Fire Disaster Relief Fund, Wall Street Station, PO Box 148, New York, NY 10268. They should be made out to The Jewish Federations of North America. Or donate through

The Jewish National Fund has several different ways to help:
To arm the firefighters with the protective gear and equipment they need, go to

To Replenish Trees in Israel’s Forests
- Donate $10 by texting JNF to 20222 from your cell phone.

- Go to and plant a tree.   for online emergency donations to Magen David Adom, with regard to servicing victims of fire outside of Haifa.

 Adapted from combined sources 

Arson suspects apprehended rekindling forest fire in Israel

Coastal District Police Commander Roni Attia said Friday that two arson suspects were apprehended in the North, near Kiryat Bialik.

The suspects were allegedly attempting to rekindle a fire in the forest with the use of Molotov cocktails. Police are not connecting the arsonists at this stage to the massive fires in the Carmel and Atlit but rather to the fire which broke out earlier at the Tzur Shalom area of Kiryat Bialik

Attia added that arson is suspected in a number of separate fires, including Kiryat Bialik and Kiryat Tivon.

Earlier on Friday, police found a bike, a bag, and a wig inside near a fire center in Tzur Shalom, leading them to believe that the fire was caused by an arsonist or arsonists.

Police Spokesman Micky Rosenfeld told the Post that there are 3 fire centers - Tzur Shalom, the Atlit - Tirat Hacarmel area, and the Carmel hillsides. In one, Tzur Shalom, north of Haifa, "we located suspicious items pointing to arson. As for the other two major fires, it is too early and the incidents are to large in scale to know their causes at this stage." The death toll in the fires rose to 42 on Friday, according to Army Radio.

Galillee police were spread out over the area searching for suspects.
Source: Jerusalem Post,  12.3.2010