Thursday, 30 December 2010

Still Relevant...

A few months before I started this blog, I did a couple of pieces that were featured on Elder of Ziyon. Now that I do have this blog, I thought I may as well add them to my collection here. Even though they're from February 2009, they are still relevant as Israel is continuously, disproportionately blamed for that winter's war (and pretty much the whole Middle East conflict in general).
  • The first piece is a spoof news story:
"UN: It's OK To Be Antisemitic... But Not Anti-Zionist
After many months of debate the UN has finally announced that it is acceptable to be openly antisemitic, but at the cost of being openly anti-Zionist.
A poll showed the majority of voters were in favour of sacrificing the ability to insult Israel for the sake of being to say what they really feel with regards to Jews.
"It was really tiring venting all my Jew-hate on Israel" one voter said. "Always having to say some sh** about Israel putting 10 million Palestinians in phosphorous chambers and causing a holocaust."
The ruling means that it is permissible, upon seeing a Jew, to shout insults such as "big nose" or "greedy f***er", and in some cases violence may also be acceptable, for example when the nose is extra large or the Jew is dressed very religiously.
However none of that applies to Israeli Jews, and the UN has warned of harsh consequences for those who say anything negative and untruthful about Israel, such as that Israel made up that it is fighting terrorists, Israelis are ugly, or that Israelis didn't invent falafel and hummus.
A UN spokesman said:
"For too long people have been holding the urge to express their disgust at the Jews' ugly conks and the fact that they're the ones who caused the recession, and that they control the media. We feel this is a positive move in giving people the freedom to express themselves in a healthy, honest way instead of always hiding behind the 'I'm not antisemitic, I'm anti-Zionist' defence.""
  • My second item was a satirical poster for the now infamous antisemitic play, Seven Jewish Children (view large version here, thanks to EoZ).

Sunday, 26 December 2010

The Forgotten Refugees

There is always lot of talk about Palestinian refugees, who are referenced in over 120 UN resolutions, but finally Israel is trying to do something about the forgotten refugees: 900,000 Jews who, after the creation of the state of Israel, were forced to flee persecution in Arab countries - most of them to Israel. The issue of these Jewish refugees is now something that will be addressed in any future peace negotiations. Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon has said that bringing the issue to public awareness is "a matter of justice, closure and righting a wrong."
The creation of the state of Israel was a necessary reaction to the Holocaust, for the survival of the Jewish nation. Ayalon writes on CiF how this almost resulted in a second Holocaust of the Jews in the Middle East, where the reaction of the Arab countries was persecution and potential mass murder of the Jews residing there. Meanwhile Israel absorbed all it's refugees, whilst the Arab countries refuse citizenship to the Palestinians who live there are second-rate citizens with few rights.
However, in another article on CiF, none of those points are addressed. Just Journalism observe how Rachel Shabi doesn't mention the Arabs' mistreatment of Palestinian refugees, and almost completely ignores the violent persecution of Jews by Arabs, instead implying that most of them moved to Israel out of choice. But not only does she downplay the Jews' suffering, she also accuses Israel of exploiting it as "political point-scoring". CifWatch points out the obvious: "It is the Palestinians penned in camps who are the hostages to political point-scoring." Shabi advises that instead of focusing on the Jewish refugees, we should "celebrate" and "commemorate" "the long, vibrant experience of Jewish life in the Arab world". In other words, that the forgotten Jewish refugees should remain forgotten.
Read more about the Jewish refugees at 'Justice For Jews From Arab Countries', or the 'Point of no return' blog. It links to a film on the subject that you can watch online, created by the educational organisation The David Project.

Sunday, 19 December 2010

Arabs Stab Two Non-Israelis, Killing One

Arabs and Palestinians are frequently caught at checkpoints in Israel in possession of knives, but yesterday two managed to carry out an attack on two women hiking in the Bet Shemesh / Jerusalem forest, killing one of them.
The British national, Kaye Wilson, told how the Arabs approached them asking for water, then removed her Star of David chain and stabbed her and her American friend Christine Logan multiple times. Wilson probably saved herself by faking death, but Logan was murdered.
People are wondering what on earth would possess the Arabs to attack two non-Israeli women, and not even in the West Bank (as though that would be a good enough reason). Arabs stabbing someone wearing the Jewish symbol? Unheard of...
UPDATE: Statement from the British government to the Arab terrorists: "Why would you do that? After all the times we've condemned Israel..."
(They didn't actually say that. But they're probably thinking it.)

Wednesday, 8 December 2010

Israel Eases Gaza Blockade; Welcomes Rocketfire Into Negev In Return

Israel has announced that it will ease restrictions on Gaza and allow exports into the West Bank and abroad, to help improve the economic situation in Gaza.
Israel reassured the Palestinians and international community that this would have no effect on Hamas' booming business venture, of firing rockets into Israel.
A statement affirmed "Israel concurs that Hamas can and should continue to smuggle in weapons from Egypt and then fire them into the Negev, where they are welcomed with open arms."
"If the Palestinians keep up this behaviour, we may soon legalise other uses of violence against the State. We only want to make things easier for you."
Hamas replied in a statement: "Thank you".
They then fired four mortars into Southern Israel, wounding one man with shrapnel in the neck.
Israel's response was swift: "Let us know if you need anything else."

Friday, 3 December 2010

Devastating Fires In Israel: Some Help, Some Celebrate

Since yesterday morning fire has been raging through the North of Israel in the Haifa area.
9800 acres (40,000 dunams) of land has been destroyed, including residential areas and forests.
17,000 people have been evacuated.
At least 40 people have been killed - prison guards whose coach got caught in the flames as they travelled to evacuate prisoners to a safe area - most likely Palestinian prisoners, who were not harmed.
Meanwhile, many Palestinians and Arabs celebrate this tragedy.
There are numerous indications that this is an arson attack as a wig and bicycle were found near the centre of one fire, two arsonists were caught trying to start a new fire, and several fires have started in other locations, these incidents all extremely likely connected.
Help has arrived from Bulgaria, France, Jordan, Russia, Turkey, Spain, Croatia, Azerbaijan, Egypt, Italy, Switzerland, Germany, Greece, Cyprus, Romania, Holland, Canada, America and Britain. My faith has been restored a little by the fact that these countries were able to overlook their attitudes towards Israel in the I-P conflict, and to know that not everyone believes Israel deserves to burn.
Most amazingly, the Palestinian Authority has also sent help, 21 firefighters and three trucks. This is extremely generous of them, despite the fact that, whatever they say about Israel, they for sure know that if anything like this happened in Gaza or the West Bank, Israel would be there to help.
Please pray for all those affected and for the rain that Israel desperately needs.

Saturday, 13 November 2010

Palestinian "Justice"

- A young Palestinian has been jailed for criticising and mocking Islam on his blog and on Facebook groups that he created, claiming to be G-d. The blogger faces a potential life prison sentence, whilst residents of his West Bank town say he should be publicly executed. Somehow I don't think any of this will change his opinions on Islam.
- Meanwhile on Gaza's new "five-star" prison, the director said "We do not practice any torture here. That takes place at the interrogation centre, before people are convicted." Once convicted though, those accused of collaborating with Israel are hanged in the basement. But before that, they can enjoy tv and radio in their rooms, and to visit and be visited by their families.
- In other news, last month the Working Group Against the Trafficking of Women set up a window display in Tel Aviv's Dizengoff mall, where real women posed with price tags attached, under a banner saying "Women for Sale". The aim was obviously to create awareness of the issue, and to gather signatures for their petition, but Iranian media reported it as "Prostitution in Israel", describing it as a "slavery mall". Thankfully the Western mainstream media isn't quite at that stage yet, although there have been instances where it's not very far off.

Wednesday, 10 November 2010

The Times' Narrative-In-Brief

On his visit to Israel, Germany's foreign minister called for Israel to end the Gaza blockade, the Times reported yesterday in a news brief.
What they forgot to mention was that:
he also called on Hamas to release Gilad Shalit: "it is very important that we help the family, that we help this poor young man and that we see him as soon as possible, safe and healthy, back in the arms of his family"
and he also "said his decision to not meet with Hamas stemmed from the Gaza leadership's refusal to renounce violence and recognize Israel".
But of course if the Times had reported that, it might have ruined the Israel = oppressors, Palestinians = victims narrative.

Monday, 8 November 2010

Fight The Media? BE The Media!

I’ve always been a proud supporter of Israel and interested in media and journalism, so it was inevitable that I eventually started this blog in June 2009 – just about the time I’d finally had enough of the continuous and absurdly biased and inaccurate coverage of Israel’s Operation Cast Lead in Gaza.

My main motivation for this blog was as an outlet for myself, to record the media’s hypocrisy and express my feelings on the subject. This was after spending much time getting into pointless and frustrating online arguments with Israel-hating lefties and terrorist supporters who repeatedly accuse Israel of genocide and ethnic cleansing and Naziism, and ignore all the facts, logic, and evidence you throw at them.

It feels like the media and internet are so vast, how can we possibly counter all the hate and lies? - but it works to our advantage as well. There are so many outlets for expression that anyone and everyone can get involved in fighting Israel’s media war, and make a difference even by doing something as small as clicking ‘play’ on a YouTube video. Within a day of the notorious flotilla incident in May, Israel’s footage of their soldiers being stabbed and attacked on the Mavi Marmara was on the front page of YouTube, which then generated hundreds of thousands more views. The footage was later used in a BBC documentary of the incident, so informative and balanced that Israel’s critics were incensed. All of this was achieved simply by people watching the video and sharing it online.

Some of the most powerful online videos are only 30 seconds long, such as those by Free Middle East, or “What makes a hero?” by YouTube member aussievideodude. The IDF itself records footage and posts clips on its YouTube channel, and Honest Reporting do educational videos and podcasts. Just as effective – if not more so – is the use of humour in videos, such as No Laughing Matter’s mock interviews, Latma’s satirical news channel, and Elder of Ziyon’s ironic videos, like “The Humanitarian Crisis of the Gaza Mall”. Sometimes ridicule is the only way to get people to take another look at themselves.

Twitter is a great website for posting information as it happens and sharing it fast. When Israel was helping in Haiti after the earthquake there, they used Twitter not only to update followers of their efforts, but also to communicate with people who required aid. And last year on the third anniversary of Gilad Shalit’s capture, there was a campaign to create awareness of his plight that succeeded in getting his name as one of the top trends that day (until Michael Jackson died). If you have an important link related to Israel, post it with a related tag like #Israel or #IDF so it can be found easily. On the other hand, Twitter can also be used to directly fight back against anti-Israel bias. Chas Newkey-Burden has described how on his blog he fisked an article that a journalist had tweeted, and then sent his post to the journalists’ followers – succeeding in getting some of them to rethink and even retweet his blog.

On Facebook you can share news stories and videos, and discuss the Middle East conflict with other members – on both pro and anti-Israel groups. In one of my more enjoyable exchanges on a Facebook group, I simply responded to my opposition’s ranting with links to pictures and videos clearly in Israel’s favour; I didn’t even have to write anything, and he was so livid he could barely type (or maybe he just had a bad education). The key is not to emote, but to remain calm and polite (however painful it is). Remember that it is the Palestinian leadership who act against the interests of both sides, and so demonizing and boycotting Israel does nothing to help the Palestinian people.

Another essential way to fight Israel’s media war is to submit complaints and letters in instances of media bias or inaccuracy – you are likely to find plenty of cases yourself, or just follow media monitoring sites like Honest Reporting, Just Journalism, CiF Watch and Reuters-Middle East Watch.

And finally, there are the blogs, where you can choose to either get into heated debates with leftist, Israel-bashing bloggers, or else keep up to date on the latest news from Israel and the Middle East that you’d never otherwise find in the mainstream media, and share your own thoughts and frustrations with fellow Zionists and bloggers.

My blog is not in the league of must-reads like Elder of Ziyon, Chas Newkey-Burden’s Oy Va Goy, Robin Shepherd, Honest Reporting and CiF Watch, but I recently had a reader post this very humbling comment that makes it all worthwhile:

“I just found your blog during an angry debate with my viciously anti-Semitic, pro-Palestine aunt, during which she called me a Zionist and sneered that I might have Jewish blood. I just wanted to let you know you're doing a bang up job and I'm glad there are people like you out there. Sometimes I swear it feels like I'm the only pro-Israel person in the world.”

So whilst I started the blog for myself, never thinking it would have an impact on anyone else, it was extremely rewarding to find that it is actually making a bit of a difference, at least for one person in their fight for Israel.

Everyone can do something. And even when you feel like banging your head against a wall – maybe the brick wall that’s ignoring you – don’t give up. You are definitely making a difference.

For more advice and ways to fight Israel's media war, join

Tuesday, 2 November 2010

Israel's New "Collective Punishment" Of The Palestinians

So what is this new new method that the evil Israelis have thought of to punish the Palestinians?
To impose "house arrest on stone-throwing youths in east Jerusalem and hold their parents legally responsible for their actions".
An East-Jerusalem activist, Fakhri Abu Diab, called it "collective punishment". It would be interesting to see the rest of the world and media's reaction to this, considering it's essentially the equivalent of ASBOs for Palestinian 'chavs'.
AFP observes that:
"the tensions stem from an urban development plan pushed by the Israeli-run municipality that would see the destruction of 22 out of 88 homes that were built without legal permits... The presence of dozens of families of Jewish settlers living in and around an archaeological site in the crowded Arab neighbourhood just outside the walls of the Old City has further inflamed the situation."
When will we learn? Jews must not live and Palestinians must not be held to the law.
Abu Diab reinforces this point, saying that the children "need to feel a sense of security in their [illegal] homes" and that "the daily clashes in Silwan need a political solution" - by which he surely means "Jews: get out", and not that Palestinians should teach their children that stoning isn't really acceptable in the 21st Century and that Jews are human beings, not pigs and apes (not that they should be stoned either).
Meanwhile Hamas continue to demolish Palestinians' houses in Gaza, as previously reported in May, claiming they are illegal even though the Gazans hold legal documents proving their ownership, forcefully dragging them out of their homes and beating them.
At that time, one Palestinian observed "At least when the Jews destroy your house they tell you first", whereas now a Fatah spokesman claims that "Hamas has proven to be identical to the Israeli occupation" - except they're not so identical really, one reason being that the only media that reports Hamas' demolition of houses is the Palestinian media that is daring enough to do so, whilst Israel's actions are continuously and disproportionately condemned by the international community.

Wednesday, 27 October 2010

Double Standards And Double Standards

A few stories to catch up on from the last month or so...
- First there’s the Silwan incident where Palestinian youths threw rocks at an Israeli in his car, forcing him to swerve to try and escape, in the process accidentally hitting two of the kids with his car. The MSM angle was of course something along the lines of “Jew Runs Over Innocent Palestinian Babies”. But Honest Reporting explain why the whole thing was almost certainly a set-up, with photographers from at least five different news agencies ready and waiting for an incident that they would then twist to fit their own agenda of Israelis = oppressors, Palestinians = victims.
- Another big October story was Israel’s new bill requiring candidates for citizenship to pledge allegiance to “the state of Israel as a Jewish and democratic state”, and the proposition to the Palestinians that they recognise Israel as a Jewish state (gasp!) in return for a settlement freeze. Abbas refused, of course, claiming that “the issue of the Jewishness of the state has nothing to do with the matter [of negotiations]”. Which is a very strange comment to make. Who does he think he’s negotiating with, if not the Jewish state of Israel? How can there be negotiations if we don’t exist?
Just Journalism highlight the media’s hypocrisy in dismissing the loyalty oath as discriminatory, whilst at the same time supporting a state exclusively for Palestinian Arabs. In Israel’s declaration of independence, it is “abundantly clear that Israel viewed itself as the homeland for the Jewish people from its inception. The international community recognised the country on that basis. Should Israel’s desire in 2010 to retain its Jewish character be portrayed as so controversial?” After all, if we can’t be Jewish in Israel then where can we?
Just Journalism give the example of the Independent’s Adrian Hamilton, who claimed that the oath is an indication of Israel’s “fundamentalism”, identifying the problem as that “the more closely you define Israel as a uniquely ‘Jewish’ state, the less room there is for it to act as a co-operative member of a Muslim majority Middle East.” If that statement wasn’t outrageously contradictory and hypocritical enough in itself, then just a week after that he wrote about how “Multiculturalism needs defenders”, criticising that “as societies have turned inwards so they have also turned against the outsiders”, and that the debate about immigration in Europe is inherently racist. JJ observe that according to Hamilton’s typical leftist viewpoint, “while Europeans should be more tolerant of non-white Christians in their midst, the Muslim Middle East must be supported in its rejection of a Jewish entity in theirs.
- Islamic Jihad have published photos on their website of when they were visited in Gaza by Turks. These were “peace activists” though, who had journeyed on board the recent “Viva Palestina” flotilla. “Peace acitivists”, remember. Who visited terrorists and then posed with them for pictures whilst holding machine guns and rocket launchers. EoZ publishes assurances from Islamic Jihad, wondering what all the fuss is about, that the activists were in no danger during the photo shoot, and that they were simply “photos of solidarity” with the Palestinians and their right to “resistance”.

Sunday, 10 October 2010

Guest Post: In Defence Of Eden

This story kicked up a major firestorm when former IDF Soldier Eden left the photo gallery from her time in the IDF accessible to the public on Facebook. Two photos have led to condemnation by Israelis, the IDF, Palestinians and foreign press and commentators from all around the world.

The coverage has led to four main talking points:

  1. Eden has been effectively crucified by the foreign press and media and her photos have brought forth accusations of ‘Israel’s Abu Grhaib’
  2. Eden has been compared to Lynndie England, the US marine who posed with horribly abused Iraqi prisoners at Abu Grhaib
  3. The IDF has condemned Eden and called the photos ‘shameful’ and ‘repulsive’ and also excluded her from reserve duty
  4. The photos have had a domino effect and proved to be the trigger for leftist anti Israel NGO Breaking The Silence to release more photos of supposed IDF brutality and prisoner abuses with the statements that they hold thousands of similar images

These are the photos:

As you can clearly see Eden is posing, but she is not doing anything that could be considered as abusive. The reason these detainees are bound and blindfolded is that they are likely suspects with links to crime, terror or other illegal activities. They may be blindfolded so as not to be able to disclose their whereabouts or identify the soldiers who arrested them. Aside from the restraints, they have been treated in a humane and dignified manner. There are no visible marks or bruises, their clothes are not removed, their religious symbols (skullcap on the third detainee on the right) have been respected and they are seated on blocks and able to rest their backs rather than being face down or sitting on the floor.

In my opinion these images are definitely inappropriate and disrespectful towards the detainees. Even if Eden is only making a slight smirk and not doing anything wildly offensive, the simple fact is that human rights have to be held to the highest standards in all situations. Although there is a high possibility that the detainees may be guilty of a crime, it still doesn’t give us the right to treat them in a degrading manner, no matter how much we think they deserve it. And that’s where Eden went wrong - to her, she isn’t doing anything wrong, and although I believe she probably did take care of them, allowing herself to have her photo taken with them was inappropriate.

Eden might be disappointed at the perceived lack of support and overly harsh criticism from the IDF but she needs to realise that the moral and ethical conduct in the IDF is held to the highest levels and any break in that conduct will lead to serious repercussions. In any profession where a person is placed in your custody, you have to be extra sensitive and careful not to breach the human rights of your patient or client. That means doctors and medical personnel do not pose with their patients, law enforcement should not pose with their criminals and soldiers should not pose with their detainees.

In defence of Eden, the situation for Israeli teenagers is very different from those in western countries. At 18, both boys and girls have to enter either the army or for girls the option of national service which can include serving as a medic. That means that 18 year old boys and girls have to face potentially life threatening circumstances on a daily basis. From treating terror victims and watching their friends suffer in wars and operations to protect the citizens of Israel, the stress and pressure on these teenagers are often unbearable and traumatic. Operations of arresting terror suspects or treating patients eventually become the daily norm and teenagers can easily lose their moral perspective. The situation that is documented in the photo of Eden with the detainees is probably a daily occurrence for many soldiers, the only difference in most cases being that photos are not taken. There is no abuse but the fact that a photo of the detainees was taken is a breach of ethical conduct and nothing more than that. This is what the foreign press choose to ignore and decided to twist into a story of regular Israeli abuse of ‘innocent’ Palestinians.

But to compare this to other famous abuse claims? You can see that the prisoners have not been mistreated, certainly not to the extent that detainees have been treated in Iraq (warning - photo extremely distressing), Afghanistan, Iran, even the West Bank and Gaza where Hamas decides that the most humane treatment for a detainee would be to throw them off a tall building to their gruesome deaths.

The comparisons with Abu Ghraib are absurd and only an ignorant fool would ever think of drawing parallels between the two. But here those fools are:

From the Daily Mail article, “The photographs have echoes of those taken in 2003 by U.S. soldiers in Baghdad's notorious Abu Ghraib prison showing Iraqi detainees being humiliated by their captors.”

They also compare Eden’s photo to one with the notorious Lynndie England who is pictured holding a dog’s leash tied round the neck of a naked and bruised Iraqi prisoner lying on the floor! You want to compare these photos? Eden is Mother Teresa compared to Mrs Hitler (sorry I meant Lynndie England).

“Flashback: The Facebook photos are reminiscent of this undated image of U.S. Army Spc. Lynndie England with a naked detainee at the Abu Ghraib prison in Baghdad date unknown. Th
e Abu Ghraib scandal erupted in 2004”.

The Daily Telegraph mentions that the photos bring a reminder of Abu Ghraib but then makes two very important points: “The photographs of the Israeli soldier and the Palestinians, by contrast, show no overt physical abuse or coercion of the prisoners” and “Palestinians are routinely handcuffed and blindfolded when they are arrested to stop them from trying to flee.”

Huffington Post have their own interpretation of the images: “she is sitting legs crossed beside a blindfolded Palestinian man who is slumped against a concrete barrier. His face is turned downwards, while she leans toward him with her face upturned.” They also mention Abu Ghraib: “The photographs were a reminder of snapshots taken in 2003 by American soldiers at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq that showed Iraqi detainees naked, humiliated and terrified. In that case, some soldiers went to prison after the photos came to light.”

Mondoweiss a leftist Jewish blog signs off his article with this quote: “The picture I see in Eden's photos? An army that has forgotten the other's humanity--and has lost its own humanity in the process.” So Eden represents the entire IDF does she? This is what we call ignorant.

And of course The Guardian just couldn’t help itself: “The images were reminiscent of the Abu Ghraib scandal in Iraq.”

After the initial story broke, it gave the ammunition to the anti-Israel Israeli NGO called Breaking the Silence to add fuel to the fire. They added one of Eden’s photos to a facebook gallery showing more apparent IDF detainee abuse photos. These photos were then lapped up by the foreign press in particular by the Guardian who produced a photo gallery replicating the photos with their own captions. They also interviewed members of Breaking the Silence.

One of the photos that stood out is shown below. In the original caption, it stated that the body of the man was all but ignored by the soldiers, but on 19th August this was amended to: “Israeli soldiers stand by the bloodied and broken body of a man.”

How could the Guardian say the soldiers “all but ignored the man”? The soldier on the right is looking at the IV drip which he has attached to the man to ensure he is giving the right amount of saline! This soldier is treating a potential Palestinian terrorist but if you look away for one second it must mean you have ignored an injured innocent Palestinian? Give me a break, it’s a pathetic quote and the Guardian have obviously taken their slice of humble pie and spat it back out by amending the quote to basically accuse the IDF soldiers of causing the man to be ‘bloodied’ and ‘broken’. Is this Palestinian just a ‘man’ or is he a serious criminal, a terrorist, maybe even a potential martyr. Maybe he started shooting at the soldiers who came to arrest him? We don’t know for sure, but the IDF doesn’t just go and batter innocent people. Nice emphasis by the Guardian though which gives the impression that the IDF brutally abused this ‘innocent’ Palestinian.

Their reporting is a complete joke and these publications should be ashamed of themselves for allowing their reporting to be so amateur – when even Al Jazeera didn’t compare Eden’s photos to Abu Grahaib or make their own personal comments on a photos. In fact the Al Jazeera caption simply states “Eden Abergil's pictures of Palestinian prisoners have sparked controversy in Israel”.

In short, this was another case of a relatively minor blunder being completely blown out of proportion and used to slander and criticize Israel and its defenders the IDF, but this happens everyday.

Since I started writing this report, a youtube video of a male IDF soldier dancing inappropriately around a blindfolded female Palestinian has been making the rounds. Now this is something that the press have a right to strongly condemn and you can probably judge for yourself which incident deserves the most attention. But when something apparently newsworthy occurs in Israel, the media need to ensure they conduct the necessary research so they understand the background and context and can make an objective and informative report that looks at the whole story, keeping it in perspective.

No one is perfect and the IDF like every other army has its flaws. But I can safely say that thee IDF are the most humane army working in the most extreme and challenging conditions, which means that when these incidents occur, it is big news in Israel and the world. And rest assured there will be no one more disgusted and ashamed at these incidents than the IDF itself.

Sunday, 26 September 2010

Terrorism And Bias

In the third shooting attack in Israel in less than a month, a nine-month pregnant Israeli woman was shot at in her car today by Palestinian terrorists. Miraculously only wounded in her leg, the woman was taken to hospital where she had to undergo an emergency caesarian section, with her baby delivered in good condition.
The media continues to report on the situation in the Middle East by ignoring the continuous terrorist attacks and writing about how Israel is the object to peace, such as in today's Oberver editorial, which Chas Newkey-Burden nicely fisks.
Also big news is UNHRC's accusation of Israel committing "war crimes" in it's soldiers defending themselves from almost certain death at the hands of the lynch mob in May's flotilla incident.
Robin Shepherd tackles the BBC's standard bias in it's coverage of the UNHRC report; Just Journalism look at the other media coverage; and Elder of Ziyon exposes the omission and twisting of evidence in the UNHRC's biased report.

Wednesday, 22 September 2010

The Trouble Started When Israel...

Early this morning an Israeli security guard was driving through East Jerusalem when a mob of Palestinians surrounded his car, blocked the road, and started hurling rocks at the car.
And then the trouble started, according to the BBC. The above has absolutely no relation to what happened next...
Fearing that he would be killed or abducted, the guard opened fire, killing one Palestinian - who had a criminal record and was armed with a knife.
This led to the Palestinians rioting in East Jerusalem and the Temple Mount, with several Israeli bystanders injured, one stabbed, and three more injured when Palestinians overturned their car.
And it all started when an Israeli once again dared to defend himself when being attacked by Palestinians. Why do we keep provoking the Palestinians by living?!
More from Just Journalism on the BBC's inaccurate reporting of this story. Maybe they did it to try and appease the people who were upset by their balanced documentary on the flotilla incident.

Sunday, 19 September 2010

Selichot At The Kotel

This wonderful video of selichot was taken at the Kotel on Erev Yom Kippur, of the Sephardi (and my favourite) tune Adon HaSelichot. It is hard to describe the atmosphere and emotions of Yom Kippur in words, but this clip just about sums it up. Even the most secular Jews observe Yom Kippur. Yom Kippur is an inspiring day anywhere in the world (as I can attest from London), but the Kotel is the holiest place on earth, and I pray that soon we will return to the Jewish homeland. It is the most beautiful day, when millions of Jews all over the world come together, showing our dedication to Judaism and G-d, praying for forgiveness for our sins, for a year of blessing, self-improvement and for our faith to be strengthened.
This upbeat tune for Adon HaSelichot is seen by some as against the serious tone of the day - especially when accompanied by enthusiastic Sephardis clapping and drumming along! - but the song is amazing in its ability to uplift and make you shiver at the same time, which is why it's my favourite.

Tuesday, 14 September 2010

More Gaza Violence And Media Bias

It turns out that the two Palestinians killed on Sunday were not "armed" with the weapons; they had just picked them up after seeing them lying on the ground - but they were standing near the terrorists who did fire at the IDF. The Telegraph for some reason illustrates this with a picture of Palestinian children posing behind a hospital's metal gate. I think the picture is supposed to reflect badly on Israel and make the Palestinians look "caged in", but I'm not quite clear how it's significant that whoever built the hospital in Gaza gave it a gate.
The BBC also reports the story in a strange way, early on in the article saying "The Israeli army said it had returned fire after militants approached the border and fired a rocket propelled grenade at a patrol", but only affirming later on in the piece that this wasn't a Jewish lie and actually did happen: "The incident occurred shortly after militants in Gaza fired several rockets and mortar rounds across the border into southern Israel."
Also notable is the statement the BBC make at the end of the article - and which they add at the end of most articles on the subject - that: "One Thai farm worker in Israel has been killed by rocket fire from Gaza in the past 18 months, while scores of Palestinians in Gaza have been killed over the same period."
See how "disproportionate" Israel is! Never mind how many rockets have been fired in that period (about 2000), if it only killed one person, Israel isn't allowed to retaliate. Meanwhile scores (in other words, so many it's impossible to count, not like Grandma's home-knitted rockets) of Palestinians have been killed. It doesn't matter if they were killed accidentally blowing themselves up, or whilst they were in the middle of trying to murder Israelis - either by knife, gun, or rockets - the important thing is to imbed it in your mind that Israel-Is-Disproportionate-And-Bad.
A near-identical incident occurred today when Palestinian terrorists again fired missiles at the IDF, who retaliated, reportedly killing one Palestinian. Make that 'scores of Palestinians, plus one', and, to the BBC's disappointment, still only the one Thai farm worker.
Over on the Sky website though, Dominic Waghorn blogs one of Hamas' propaganda videos, depicting the Palestinians destroying and taking over Israel. Of course this is only the dream of the select members of the Hamas "military wing". No other Palestinians share that dream of killing Jews and taking over Israel. They want to share the land and live in peace, like what happened when we gave them Gaza.
UPDATE: At least 11 rockets and mortars were fired into Israel today, Wednesday, two of which were phosphorous bombs, luckily landing in open areas. Israel responded by striking the tunnels used to smuggle in weapons, and tunnels being dug to send terrorists into Israel, killing one Palestinian.

Sunday, 12 September 2010

Hider: Rockets Are Minor Annoyance

Just Journalism look at the Times' latest editorial, that is "the first since the start of the peace talks to focus on Hamas’ refusal to accept either the legitimacy of the peace talks, or the existence of the Jewish state." (Which the Times, unlike the other papers, have acknowledged previously). The editorial refers to Hamas' recent murder of four innocent Israelis and states that although some settlers and ultra-Orthodox Jews might oppose Israel giving away land (for religious and security reasons), "any equation between such groups and Hamas is crass, mistaken and grossly offensive." It is in its editorials that the Times shows its journalistic integrity, in stark contrast to papers like the Guardian and Independent, who seem to view the settlers as a bigger obstacle to peace than Hamas terrorists.
In it's reporting though, The Times often demonstrates an anti-Israel slant that is common in the rest of the media. The culprit is their Middle East correspondent, James Hider. Last week he wrote an opinion piece that gives more of an insight into his anti-Israel attitudes than is already evident in his news reporting. To be fair - as I always am! - Hider does not seem to be an extremist left-wing Hamas and terror supporter. He occasionally acknowledges Hamas' murderous intent, but does tend to follow the rest of the media in focusing more on the settlers.
The op-ed opens with a ridiculous exchange with a Tel Aviv waiter, who learns that Hider lives in Jerusalem: "'Jerusalem?' he gasped. 'It's full of violence and police checkpoints. I never go there. What's it like now?'" I know people say Tel Aviv is a bubble, but I don't believe a typical citizen there is that ignorant. This must be the only Tel Aviv-ian who is, and trust Hider to find him. There are violence and checkpoints in and around both Jerusalem and Tel Aviv - but neither city is "full of" them. Jerusalem is not what you'd call a war zone, and nor is it the hole that Hider tries to imply it is. It is a thriving, bustling, modern town, with residents of all religions and backgrounds - and richer and poorer areas, just like every city in the world has.
Hider describes the divisions and differences between on the one hand Fatah in the West bank and Hamas in Gaza, and on the other hand the secular Israelis and the "rising influence of the ultra-Orthodox" in Jerusalem. But he claims that "what unites most Israelis is a sense of indifference":
"Most Israelis don't think about the millions of Palestinians on the other side of the walls and fences, unless Hamas is firing its rockets into the communities in the south. But since Israel's devastating offensive into Gaza in late 2008, even those have slowed to a minor annoyance."
10,000 rockets is a "minor annoyance"? Bomb shelters, trauma, damages, injuries, deaths, a minor annoyance? Is that what Hider would call it if a kassam fell on him?

Following that article, Hider was back to news reporting on Tuesday, with a piece on, yes, the settlers, and the "Countdown to construction that could doom peace".

Meanwhile, there have been more Palestinian terror incidents that didn't make the news. On Monday Palestinians shot at two plain-clothed Israeli policemen, lightly wounding them. A two year old baby was hospitalised after Palestinians threw rocks at the car her family was driving. In another Palestinian rock-throwing incident, an Israeli vehicle was damaged but no one was injured.

Hamas continue to fire rockets into Southern Israel on an almost daily basis, including two today, miraculously causing no injuries. An eight year old Israeli boy was injured when Palestinians threw rocks at his face. Also today, Palestinians armed with guns and a rocket launcher were killed by the IDF after approaching the Gaza fence despite warning shots from the IDF.

The twelve year old girl wounded by Palestinians last Thursday is in intensive care following head surgery - her family request that people pray for Herut bat Timor.

Friday, 3 September 2010

Hamas Continue Terror Attacks

Hamas have threatened to continue their terror attacks until the peace talks stop, and they mean what they say.
After murdering four Israelis on Tuesday, on Wednesday another two Israelis were injured in the same way, shot at in their car whilst driving.
And yesterday a 12 year old Israeli girl was injured and evacuated to hospital after being hit in the head by a rock thrown by Palestinians (although this sort of attack is actually fairly common.)
Just Journalism examine yesterday's coverage of the peace talks, noting the Times' detailed look at Hamas and their violent opposition to peace, whilst others - most notably the Guardian, as usual - equated settlers with terrorists.
Today though, the Times headline refers to the "drive-by shootings of settlers", as though being settlers means they deserved it.
Why is it that the media view settlers as the main obstacle to peace, when even the Palestinians don't? Hamas don't distinguish between Israelis based on what town they live in. To them, a Jew is a Jew and must be killed.
They only use settlers as an excuse. Whatever they say about the settlements, we've seen already with Gaza that Israel giving away land does not bring peace from the Palestinians - it is met with more violence: 10,000 rockets have been fired into Southern Israel over the last few years.
So it is not up to Israel and never has been; we have always been open to peace. Once the Palestinian leaders agree that they want peace, and convince their brainwashable people that peace is good and not terrorism, then the talks might actually go somewhere.