Archive for September, 2011

Shana Tovah

September 29, 2011 Comments off

Best wishes for a happy, healthy and sweet 5772.

May we all work to move the world a bit closer to Tikkun Olam this coming New Year.

Enjoy this cute – though a little bit corny – New Year’s video.  I think it will brighten your day.

Knesset Bill Proposes to Annex West Bank!

September 28, 2011 Comments off

The Israeli Government continues to act more and more arrogantly and to label any criticism as “delegitimization”. There is no doubt that there are many factions throughout the world that DO want to delegitimize Israel – but those groups and their activities need to be separated from the criticism of the continually more aggressive actions of the Israeli administration and Knesset.

The latest move according to JTA is a bill written by deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon (who by the way last year refused to meet with a U.S. Congressional Delegation sponsored by J Street) that proposes to annex the occupied territories.Knesset to vote on annexing West Bank

the bill also nullifies any financial obligations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority that had been established by previous agreements, according to a statement from Danon’s office.


The bill also nullifies the Oslo Accords, since it reads that “All obligations between the State of Israel and the Palestinian Authority as established by international agreements … will be considered null and void.”

Isn’t about time that the American Jewish Organizations rethink their “Israel right or wrong” policy?

– Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Categories: Israel

JTA’s Ron Kampeas Takes an Objective Look at US-Israeli Relations

September 27, 2011 Comments off

Last week, Jewish Telegraphic Agency’s (JTA – one of the leading sources of Jewish news in the U.S.) Ron Kampeas talks about the divergence of U.S. And Israeli interests.

Citing a study by the Center for Strategic and International Studies, he quotes the author:

“The United States and Israel have changed and continue to change, but the two countries’ relationship has not kept pace,” said the report by Haim Malka, deputy director of the CSIS’s Middle East program. “For years the growing differences have been papered over, but continuing to do so is both unsustainable and counterproductive.”

The strains transcend any single administration, Malka says, and have resulted in deep-seated disagreements, particularly over the necessity of arriving at an agreement with the Palestinians, with Israelis skeptical of the likelihood of an accord and Americans seeing such a settlement as vital to the interests of both countries.

The full article can be found here

– Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Categories: Israel

+972’s Joseph Dana Posts A Telling Video of Today’s Protests at the Jerusalem-Ramallah Checkpoint

September 23, 2011 Comments off

If you want to get a REAL feel for what may be the beginning of the Third Intifada, watch the video filmed by Planxtysumoud & Haitham Al-Khatib and posted by
 +972’s Joseph Dana .  While obviously things have not yet escalated into ‘real’ violence on either side – the video certainly gives a taste of what modern warfare is like.  This is not “Band of Brothers”, “The Pacific” or John Wayne.  This is a surrealistic scene where passing cars conduct their day-to-day business as the combatants spar in their own highway-divider delineated arena.  Where stones, rolling blazing tires, and fireworks match forces with rubber bullets.  Where a Fox News reporter can jest that at least the “tear gas is clearing up my sinuses”.  But the strongest impression is that for now this is a contest of that certain type of Male Testosterone that dominates young men.  Frankly, I don’t really see much difference between these boys on either side.  They are kids – representing their people.  Two tribes – facing down each other as tribes have done for thousands of years.  For now, while tragically there are injuries, they are nothing compared to what we all can imagine will happen if things escalate as they did during the Second Intifada.  I only wish that the American Jewish Community would be doing more to prevent it by urging our politicians to hold down the rhetoric here in the U.S.  By loudly protesting against the threat of pulling aid from the Palestinian Authority.  By supporting the long-held official policy of the U.S. against the building of settlements in the West Bank.   The “Israel – Right or Wrong” position of seemingly the loudest and wealthiest in the Jewish community is as dangerous now as the “America – Right or Wrong” advocates were during the Vietnam war.  The consequence of stifling debate always leads to bad decisions.

So please – watch this – and let me know your thoughts with a comment below. 


Joseph Dana – Ramallah – So much attention has been focused on the question of whether violence will break out in the West Bank due the historic United Nations vote on Palestinian statehood. Yesterday, mass peaceful rallies were held inside West Bank cities such as Nablus, Ramallah and Hebron. However, late yesterday afternoon, clashes between stone throwing Palestinian youth and rubber bullet firing Israeli soldiers broke out at the Qalandia checkpoint, the main checkpoint separating Jerusalem and Ramallah…

The rest of his commentary can be found here:  WATCH: Against UN backdrop, violence erupts in West Bank

Is There Anything Funny About Abbas Going to The UN? Watch J Street’s Jeremy Ben-Ami TONIGHT on COLBERT, and We’ll See

September 23, 2011 Comments off

From Jeremy Ben-Ami –

I just wanted to share some exciting news: I’m on my way to New York to appear on tonight’s episode of The Colbert Report (11:30PM EST on Comedy Central)!

Israel politics and the conflict are making headlines everywhere this week; at this crucial time for our movement and this issue, I am excited to make the case for a two-state solution to a wide national audience (albeit against one of the toughest “news anchors” on tv!).

Let your friends know on Facebook, Twitter and via email, and tune in at 11:30 PM EST.

Wish me luck!
– Jeremy

AP Sets Record Straight That Obama Is NOT Anti-Israel

September 21, 2011 Comments off
Image representing Associated Press as depicte...

Image via CrunchBase

In a timely release, the Associated Press has become the first major news organization that I am aware of that actually has taken on the concerted campaign to besmirch the Administration by painting it as anti-Israel.  While there have certainly been diplomatic missteps with Israel and relations have been tense at times, with virtually any other country these would have been considered normal foreign policy differences or flaps, and not particularly out of the ordinary.

The AP piece appeared on the Washington Post website titled “FACT CHECK: GOP candidates ignoring Obama’s pro-Israel efforts as Palestinians seek statehood”.
In it, the AP takes statements from Mitt Romney, Rick Perry, and Michelle Bachman and totally refutes each.

One example:

MITT ROMNEY: “President Obama has thrown Israel under the bus.”

THE FACTS: This statement, delivered with regularity since Obama’s May speech outlining his vision of a two-state solution, comes at an odd moment.

The Obama administration is working feverishly against the Palestinians’ U.N. statehood bid, lobbying world governments to vote down the plan. It is cajoling Turkey to repair ties with the Jewish state. It recently helped de-escalate tensions after Egyptian protesters stormed the Israeli Embassy in Cairo, winning praise from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government. And it has made sure that Egypt’s new authorities honor all existing peace agreements with Israel.

The full text of the AP article about Obama’s true actions with regard to Israel can be found here.

Obama Addresses UN – Lots of Rhetoric, Little Substance

September 21, 2011 Comments off
U.S. President Barack Obama addresses the 66th United Nations General Assembly at the U.N. headquarters in New York. (Photo by Reuters)

U.S. President Barack Obama addresses the 66th United Nations General Assembly at the U.N. headquarters in New York. (Photo by Reuters)

President Obama delivered an aspirational and inspirational speech at the United Nations General Assembly this morning.  It was a great piece of rhetoric.  It reflected on the real change of the last year and called on the members to support continued progress in the areas of democracy, reigning in nuclear arms and climate change.  However, it contained lots of cheer-leading and little substance, viz.

The men and women who built this institution understood that peace is more than the absence of war. A lasting peace – for nations and individuals – depends upon a sense of justice and opportunity; of dignity and freedom. It depends upon struggle and sacrifice; on compromise, and a sense of common humanity.

Unfortunately, when it came to Israel and Palestine, there was really very little of substance that he could offer. He reiterated the U.S. position that the Palestinians could not use the UN to gain legitimacy because peace could only come through direct negotiations by the parties. While this may be true – he offered no way out of the pending clash.

Israelis must know that any agreement provides assurances for their security. Palestinians deserve to know the territorial basis of their state. I know that many are frustrated by the lack of progress. So am I. But the question isn’t the goal we seek – the question is how to reach it. And I am convinced that there is no short cut to the end of a conflict that has endured for decades.

Peace will not come through statements and resolutions at the UN – if it were that easy, it would have been accomplished by now. Ultimately, it is Israelis and Palestinians who must live side by side. Ultimately, it is Israelis and Palestinians – not us – who must reach agreement on the issues that divide them: on borders and security; on refugees and Jerusalem.

Full text of Obama’s speech to the UN General Assembly can be found here.

“Jewish al-Jazeera” To Begin Broadcasting

September 21, 2011 Comments off

Tablet Magazine reports that  ‘Jewish News One’  is going to begin broadcasting today.  Not sure how well it’s going to do versus “Fox News” – or “OWN”, for that matter.                          It’s mission: 

To introduce a new voice onto the increasingly crowded international news media landscape, complimenting the existing choices and offering international audiences a wide range of Jewish opinion and perspectives on key political, cultural and social themes.”

More here at the Guardian on Jewish News One.

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