Posts Tagged ‘ADL’

Recently, the right wing Israeli group Im Tirtzu created a highly inflammatory video singling out leaders of four leading Israeli human rights groups as “plants” by foreign powers seeking to undermine the State of Israel and supporting terror attacks. The video has been widely condemned as incitement to violence against these individuals and their organizations. The Foundation for Middle East Peace quickly moved to support our Israeli colleagues, as did many other organizations.

Still from Im Tirtzu’s video showing mock “files” on Israeli human rights leaders

Still from Im Tirtzu’s video showing mock “files” on Israeli human rights leaders

The groups – B’Tselem, Breaking the Silence, Hamoked, and the Public Committee Against Torture In Israel – are among the many peace and human rights NGOs that are increasingly targeted by hateful rhetoric and even by anti-democratic legislation in the Knesset, much of which has been spurred by Im Tirtzu and their allies in the Likud and Jewish Home parties, the two largest parties in Israel’s governing coalition.

Defenses of these human rights workers and condemnations of Im Tirtzu have come not only from the Israeli left and its supporters, but also from key officials in the Israeli government, military and intelligence communities. Read more at “Facts on the Ground,” FMEP’s blog

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The photo you see to the left was found by Jewish Voice for Peace on the Facebook page (since removed) of a group that named itself

"Hating Arabs Isn't revenge--it's values." Hashtag reads Israel Demands Revenge!"

“Hating Arabs Isn’t revenge–it’s values.” Hashtag reads Israel Demands Revenge!”

“Am Yisrael Doreshet Nekama,” in English, “The People of Israel Demand Revenge.” The hashtag on the sign is similar, though with an important difference–the word “Am” is removed and it is “Israel Demands Revenge.”

The photo has since gone viral, though not as its creators may have hoped. It has become a Twitter and Facebook symbol for Israeli racism. For me, personally, it is important that the hashtag removes the word “Am” because “Am Yisrael” commonly means the Jewish People, while “Israel” alone more commonly refers to the country.

But what’s really important that people understand in the image is the driving force behind Israeli policy. Yes, these girls or young women may not yet even be old enough to vote or to serve in the IDF. But it doesn’t take a very hard look to understand that they are not fanatical settlers. These are not orthodox young women, and just judging by their appearance and dress (which, it should be noted, is not conclusive), they are probably quite secular, mainstream Israelis, very much of the Tel Aviv culture.  (more…)

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My report for Inter Press Service on the letter from 15 church leaders calling for a review of whether Israel has used US arms in violation of US law and policy.

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Originally published at LobeLog  

In an embarrassing moment, Presidents Barack Obama of the United States and Nicolas Sarkozy of France didn’t realize their microphones were turned on as they commiserated about having to deal with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. The political backlash, which should be a concern for an Israeli leader, is already starting to hit Obama.

Reuters reports:

“I cannot bear Netanyahu, he’s a liar,” Sarkozy told Obama, unaware that the microphones in their meeting room had been switched on, enabling reporters in a separate location to listen in to a simultaneous translation.

“You’re fed up with him, but I have to deal with him even more often than you,” Obama replied, according to the French interpreter.

But rather than Israel being concerned that world powers, the US and France, find their leader an obnoxious presence, it is portrayed even here as a problem for the President. (more…)

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It’s been a few weeks since I posted an article at Babylon Times, at Souciant. But I’m back today, with a look at the absurd reactions to Palestine’s admittance to UNESCO and a funny incident between Barack Obama and Nicolas Sarkozy that speaks volumes about the obnoxiousness that is Benjamin Netanyahu.

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My latest piece for Babylon Times, hosted by Souciant, reflects on the NY Times’ Thomas Friedman surprisingly confirming the words of Stephen Walt and John Mearsheimer in their book The Israel Lobby.

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This piece originally published at LobeLog

Yesterday, the House of Representatives’ Committee on Foreign Affairs held a hearingon the future of aid to the Palestinian Authority.

Neocon all-star and convicted perjurer, Elliott Abrams

Aid to the PA is under bi-partisan attack in Congress due to the Palestinians’ campaign to somehow upgrade their standing in the United Nations. The campaign against the Palestinians, and also against the United Nations, has already gained enough momentum that yesterday’s hearing, initially to have been held in session of the Subcommittee on the Near East and South Asia, was upgraded to a hearing of the full Foreign Affairs committee.

Leading the charge, unsurprisingly, is Committee Chair Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), who has introduced a bill threatening UN funding mainly, though not exclusively, over the issue of Israel and the Palestinians. But her predecessor as Chair, Howard Berman (D-CA) was absolutely blunt in saying: “I believe it is appropriate to point out that should the Palestinians pursue their unilateralist course, the hundreds of millions of dollars in annual assistance that we have given them in recent years, will likely be terminated.”

Four leading Democrats, Steve Israel (D-NY), Robert Brady (D-PA), Eliot Engel (D-NY) and Steven Rothman (D-NJ) have sent a bill to the Foreign Affairs Committee which would “… prohibit Foreign Military Financing program assistance to countries that vote in the United Nations General Assembly in favor of recognizing a Palestinian state in the absence of a negotiated border agreement between the Government of Israel and the Palestinian Authority.”

With all this, you’d think aid to the PA was doomed, would you not?

But hold on. At the hearing, there were four witnesses, with David Makovsky of the AIPAC-created Washington Institute for Near East Policy (WINEP) being the most moderate. The other speakers were James Phillips of the Heritage Foundation, Dr. Jonathan Schanzer of the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies (which, along with Heritage, are neo-conservative think-tanks, with more info available here) and neocon all-star Elliott Abrams. (more…)

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