March 11, 2014
AFP Forced to Correct False Story Based on PA Security Sources
AFP ran with a story citing Palestinian security forces who claimed a Palestinian from the Tulkarem area died after Israeli troops shot at his car. The media outlet, however, was forced to pull the story when PA security forces acknowledged the information was incorrect:
KILL our URGENT story Israel-Palestinians-conflict-toll,urgent "Palestinian dies after Israel troops fire on his car: Palestinians". Palestinian security sources say their information on army gunfire was incorrect.
The Palestinian Ma'an news agency, basing its report of the car crash in part on the AFP article, included more information but still blamed Israel for the fatal car accident. near Tulkarem . According to Ma'an, the Palestinian died in car wreck due to an 'Israeli police chase'. The Palestinian news agency did not correct.
March 10, 2014
The Tripod: CAMERA Links in 3 Languages Feb. 26 - March 10
ABC: ¿Por qué fue Merkel a Israel?
El diario español ABC se encarga de que los palestinos estén en el titular de la noticia sobre la visita de Merkel a Israel, que era relevante por otros motivos. (ReVista de Medio Oriente)
¿Dónde está la cobertura?
La prensa en español suele recoger y reproducir noticias provenientes de periódicos israelíes, siempre y cuando los hechos que relate esa noticia sirvan para reforzar la imagen de Israel que se pretenden instalar entre el público lector. (ReVista de Medio Oriente)
La agencia EFE: acusación particular contra Israel
La agencia gubernamental española presenta los argumentos de la acusación, pero en ningún momento nos permite conocer qué alega el acusado en su defensa. (ReVista de Medio Oriente)
Un elefante rosa
Es grande, ruidoso, muy visible en un lugar pequeño y, aún así, nadie quiere verlo. Lo mismo sucede con Hamas, y con los grupos terroristas que operan desde Gaza, en el marco de las conversaciones de paz entre Israel y la AP. (ReVista de Medio Oriente)
La agencia española de noticias Europa Press, tomaba el material deReuters y no podría evitar darle un giro muy propio. (ReVista de Medio Oriente)
Hamás condena la enseñanza de los DDHH en Gaza
La organización terrorista condena el curricula de la UNWRA por incluir asignaturas sobre derechos humanos. (ReVista de Medio Oriente)
5 razones que alejan a los palestinos de la paz
Utilizar los medios de comunicación para difamar a Israel y difundir odio gratuito desde la cúpula de la Autoridad Palestina, son razones de peso que alejan a los palestinos de la paz y que usan como plataforma de difusión los medios de comunicación masiva. (ReVista de Medio Oriente)
Al-Jazeera America TV News Aims Against Israel
Twisted coverage of Israel is consistent with the network's indirect connection through its owner to the creation of the Palestinian Hamas terrorist entity sworn to Israel's destruction. The CEO, aiming at the opinion makers, admits to unconcern about profits and viewer ratings. (CAMERA)
Where's the Coverage? The Truth about "Israel Apartheid Week"
The latest untold story. (CAMERA Snapshots)
Ha'aretz Veers Off Course with Ports Story
In the latest false media account of a supposed anti-Israel BDS victory, Ha'aretz incorrectly reports that two foreign companies withdrew from a ports tender due to boycott fears. (CAMERA)
When Media Cover for Palestinian Terror Groups
Martin Kramer has excellently exposed how The New York Times covers for Rashid Khalidi. (In case it's not clear, the job of a serious newspaper is to cover the PLO spokesman-cum-professor, not cover for him.). (Snapshots)
Just the Facts: Stripping Down Ha'aretz Coverage on Airport Search
A Ha'aretz news article describes a "he said/she said" dispute about the alleged strip search of an Israeli Arab teacher. Ha'aretz headlines and opinion pieces upgrade the disputed claim to fact. (CAMERA)
Ha'aretz Lost in Translation on Strip Search
Today, in an apparent case of "lost in translation," the Ha'aretz English edition continues to report as fact the disputed claim that Israeli Arab teacher Ezies Elias Shehada was subjected to a strip search. (Snapshots)
Mitnick, the U.S., and "Illegal" Settlements
American policy on the legality of the settlements has been consistent for decades. And Joshua Mitnick's coverage of that policy has also been consistent. Consistently wrong, that is. (Snapshots)
Yossi Sarid's Boycott
What are the aims of the BDS Movement?. (Presspectiva)
The Media is a little too fast in reporting BDS successes
Did Dutch and Italian companies really withdraw tender application to build new ports in Israel, due to political reasons?. (Presspectiva)
Abu-Mazen's True Position
What Abu Mazen says in English is not always identical to what he says in Arabic . (Presspectiva)
Ha'aretz No Longer a Newspaper
Has Ha'aretz decided to come out of the closet, shrugging off any pretense of being a news organization? What other explanation is there for publication of the full text of a petition by Rashid Khalidi and Judith Butler without any comment or context? (Presspectiva)
Portraying Israel as if it was North Korea
A Ha'aretz Op-ed is too happy to grossly mischarecterize and declare as a fact, incidents which are very much in dispute. (Presspectiva)
Ma'ariv Finally Corrects!
Days before an ethics committee hearing on Presspectiva's complaint, Ma'ariv finally corrects a six month old story. (Presspectiva)
March 09, 2014
Ha'aretz No Longer a Newspaper
Ha'aretz has now completely crossed the line from a newspaper to a propaganda mouthpiece.
Judith Butler, a Berkeley professor, and Rashid Khalidi, PLO spokesman-cum-Columbia professor, published an Internet petition in which they condemn what they call attempts to silence, intimidate and threaten critics of Israel. Israel's "critics," they emphasize, are those who support the anti-Israel BDS (boycott, divest, sanctions) campaign. BDS advocates, as have been previously demonstrated, are not pro-Palestinians, they are anti-Israel. They are not in favor of a two-state solution. Rather they advocate for a one-state solution -- a Palestinian state from the river to the sea.
There is nothing particularly remarkable about this anti-Israel petition. Such initiatives are commonplace. Noteworthy, however, was Ha'aretz's decision Thursday evening to post the Khalidi/Butler petition in full on its English Web site under the headline:
Ha'aretz published the petition without any preface or explanation. It appeared as a full, bona fide article, with a headline, a subheadline and text (the petition), including the 150 names that signed on to the document. Had editors linked to the petition as part of an article about the document, the item would have carried some news value. The current item, however, which contains absolutely zero reporting, analysis or context, is not journalism. It is free publicity for prominent anti-Israel polemicists who support the boycott of the Jewish state. Ha'aretz is blatantly carrying out the work of anti-Israel organizations.
Has Ha'aretz decided to come out of the closet, shrugging off any pretense of being a news organization? What other explanation is there for this very bizarre and very un-journalistic act? Pro-Israel and anti-Israel groups routinely publish petitions. Why did Ha'aretz pick this petition in particular, publishing its "full text" as if it were a speech by the Prime Minister at the United Nations? Could it possibly be because Ha'aretz editors support the petition penned by two anti-Israel activists calling for the boycott of Israel (not settlements)?
Furthermore, six hours after the "full text" appeared, Ha'aretz's English site posted a news article about the boycott petition. Why wasn't the news article published six hours earlier? Was it added after an editor realized that there is no justification for publication of the "full text" of any petition, for any cause, without providing context? More importantly: why does the petition still appear as a standalone item on Ha'aretz's Web site?
Ha'aretz, apparently, is not at all ashamed that it has abandoned journalism in favor of blatant anti-Israel activism.
-- By Yishai Goldflam
(For the Hebrew version of this post, see Presspectiva.)
March 06, 2014
Fact Check: Netanyahu Did Not Invent Expectation of Recognition of Jewish State
Last time The New York Times published an Op-Ed by Ali Jarbawi, the author's overzealous attack on Israel put the newspaper in the unwelcome position of having to correct a factual error. (No, The Times admitted in a Feb. 5 correction, Ariel Sharon did not actually enter the al Aqsa mosque.)
It’s a shame the newspaper had to publish a correction, but one might expect that the editors have learned from the mistake — “fool me twice,” the saying goes — and now more carefully check Jarbawi’s facts.
Any such expectations were dashed today, when The Times published a new Op-Ed by Jarbawi. Speaking of the Israeli expectation that Palestinian negotiating partners will accept the principle of two states for two peoples — the Palestinian and the Jewish peoples — Jarbawi, a former Palestinian Authority official, stated:
This demand did not exist in past talks; in fact, it didn’t exist until the thought occurred to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, most likely because he was looking for a way to sabotage the peace process, which he could then blame on the Palestinians while continuing to usurp our land.
But this simply isn’t true. As Tablet Magazine recently pointed out, the expectation that Palestinians would reciprocate Israeli recognition of a Palestinian state by recognizing a Jewish state is hardly new:
In fact, according to the Palestine Papers — a massive trove of leaked documents published by Al Jazeera, which record a decade of Israeli-Palestinian negotiations–the demand was broached by none other than Tzipi Livni…in 2007.
Representing Israel’s liberal Kadima-led coalition in Annapolis prior to Netanyahu’s election in 2009, Livni raised the subject of Israel’s Jewish character with the Palestinian negotiating team. ...
...the Palestine Papers are in the public domain, and available to any reporters seeking to fact-check whether Netanyahu was the first to ask that the Palestinians recognize Israel as the nation-state of the Jewish people, just as Israel will recognize Palestine as the nation-state of the Palestinian people.
But the chain reaches even further back than 2007.
Read the entire Tablet piece here.
As to Jarbawi’s list of reasons why Palestinians shouldn't be expected to acknowledge the national rights of the other party to the conflict — basically non-issues such as the question of what will happen to the citizenship of Israeli Arabs if Palestinians accept the legitimacy of the Jewish state (the short answer: nothing will happen) — we’ve already discussed that here.
Christian Science Monitor Photo Caption Misleads
The March 10, 2014 edition of the Christian Science Monitor Weekly [CSM] carries an upbeat article "Go-getters in Gaza" which highlights the entrepreneurial ambitions and striving for normalcy of young Gazans. Eight photographs are shown. One of the photographs shows a young girl in a scout uniform. The caption reads,
PROUD A Girl Guide shows off her uniform. Girl Guides of Palestine, established in 1919 under British rule, aims to promote positive behaviour among young women.
The problem is the history this caption conceals. The first troops of the Girl Guides of Palestine were established by Annie Landau and Helen Bentwich at the Evelina School for Girls in Jerusalem. Landau, a British Zionist, ran the school for many years. The school was named after Evelina Rothschild, who belonged to the Rothschild family that funded Jewish settlement projects in what was to become Israel. This is confirmed in a book published in 1922, The Handbook of Palestine edited by Sir Harry Luke, Edward Keith-Roach. The CSM caption implicitly expropriates for the Palestinian Arab legacy what was actually, initially, a British-Jewish legacy and then expanded to include Arabs.
For more information on the school and the founding of the Girls Guides of Palestine, see
The Best School in Jerusalem: Annie Landau's School for Girls, 1900-1960 By Laura S. Schor
March 05, 2014
Where's the Coverage? "Settlements" Not an Obstacle to Peace
In a recent interview with Jeffrey Goldberg, widely perceived as blaming Israel for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, President Obama never addressed the issue of incitement by Palestinian Authority leaders, media and educational materials to hatred of and violence against Jews and Israelis. He never mentioned the PA policy to celebrate terrorists as heroes and to glorify killers by naming public squares and soccer tournaments after them.
President Obama did, however, refer a number of times to Israeli “settlements.” He agreed that “settlements are illegitimate” and even threatened:
But what I do believe is that if you see no peace deal and continued aggressive settlement construction -- and we have seen more aggressive settlement construction over the last couple years than we’ve seen in a very long time -- if Palestinians come to believe that the possibility of a contiguous sovereign Palestinian state is no longer within reach, then our ability to manage the international fallout is going to be limited.
However, as Evelyn Gordon points out in Commentary, “on this issue, Obama’s ‘facts’ are flat-out wrong.” The article continues:
In reality, as a simple glance at the annual data published by Israel’s Central Bureau of Statistics reveals, there has been less settlement construction during Benjamin Netanyahu’s five years as Israeli premier (2009-13) than under any of his recent predecessors.
During those five years, housing starts in the settlements averaged 1,443 a year (all data is from the charts here, here and here plus this news report). That’s less than the 1,702 a year they averaged under Ehud Olmert in 2006-08, who is nevertheless internationally acclaimed as a peacemaker (having made the Palestinians an offer so generous that then-Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice couldn’t believe she was hearing it). It’s also less than the 1,652 per year they averaged under Ariel Sharon in 2001-05, who is similarly lauded internationally as a peacemaker (for having left Gaza); the fact that even Sharon out-built Netanyahu is particularly remarkable, because his term coincided with the second intifada, when demand for housing in the settlements plummeted. And it’s far less than under Ehud Barak, who is also internationally acclaimed as a peacemaker (for his generous offer at Camp David in 2000): One single year under Barak, 2000, produced more housing starts in the settlements (4,683) than the entire first four years of Netanyahu’s term (4,679).
Whether settlement construction is “aggressive” or not, it is certainly not an obstacle to peace.
Imagine a deal is negotiated and a border is established somewhere. Put it anywhere. Put it on the 1949 armistice line. Put it right through the middle of Ma’ale Adumim, if you want. Then some new Israeli towns will be on the Israeli side of the border and some will be on the Palestinian side. So what? What is the problem with that?
“Settlements” are only an obstacle if you accept that no Jews can live in a Palestinian state; that Palestine must be, as the Nazis wanted Europe to be, Judenrein (Jew-free). Twenty percent of Israelis are not Jewish – most of them Arabs – yet zero percent of Palestinians can be Jewish? That would be crazy. But none other than the “moderate” Mahmoud Abbas himself, among other Palestinian officials, have said just that. Abbas declared, “I would not agree to having Jews among the NATO forces [that might secure a peace agreement], or that there will live among us even a single Israeli on Palestinian land.”
That kind of hatred and bigotry…? THAT is an obstacle to peace. Yet… Where’s the coverage?
Can We Trust The Images We See in Relevant?
Relevant, a magazine that bills itself as a lifestyle magazine for young Evangelicals in the United States, has published a cover story about violence in the Holy Land and what Christians can do to bring it to an end. It arrived in the mailboxes a week before the upcoming Christ at the Checkpoint Conference in Bethlehem.
There’s no arguing that the magazine’s cover (shown above) is compelling, even if it offers a mixed message.
The text includes a passage from the Beatitudes, “Blessed Are the Peacemakers.” This text, interestingly enough, is a bit faded so as to allow consumers to have a fuller view of a young Palestinian man throwing a firebomb.
He’s a bit dirty and scruffy, but otherwise he looks, well, pretty cool. The way Relevant depicts him, the firebomb thrower is imbued with an danger, drama and glamour.
It’s like he’s a rock star or something. It’s radical chic revisited.
We contacted Relevant’s founder, Cameron Strang, and challenged him on the appropriateness of using a photo such as this for the cover.
Relevant, like a lot of magazines, such as Esquire or Cigar Aficionado, is aspirational, meaning it gives readers a view of the life that they want to live or aspire to. Aspirational magazines give readers a view of what they – and their lives – are supposed to look like.
Clearly, Relevant falls into this category. Peruse its pages and you’ll see lots of images of rock stars and celebrities that have either grown up in the Evangelical community or who are willing to talk, at least a little, about their religious faith with the editors of the magazine that serves this community. The magazine’s motto is “Faith, Culture & Intentional Living.” It’s Rolling Stone for young Evangelicals.
The advertising of the magazine shows a lot of scruffy-looking but earnest young Evangelical men who are trying to make their way in the world. In fact, they look a lot like the protagonist/narrator in Porter Speakman’s movie, With God on Our Side.
Relevant is filled with articles giving career and spiritual advice to young Evangelicals. One article chides young people, (“millenials”) to choose “gratefulness over entitlement.” Another writer advises readers “When you are in your twenties, your first three jobs should be considered your master’s program.”
Against this backdrop, it seemed irresponsible to publish a photo like that glamorizes someone throwing a firebomb.
In response to CAMERA’s challenge, Strang told us to read the article (which he wrote). The article, Strang said, is about ending the violence that was being depicted. (There are problems with the article, too, which CAMERA will get to in a subsequent article.)
Even if the article in question were a fair and comprehensive assessment of the Arab-Israeli conflict (which it isn’t), Strang’s response doesn’t cut it. Imagery and text both tell their own stories, and in this instance, the glamour attributed to the firebomb thrower on the magazine’s front cover threatens to overwhelm the message of peace offered in the text.
CAMERA raised another concern. At first glance, the photo on the front cover seemed staged because it seemed more like a work of art than an act of journalism (and yes sometimes, the two overlap). But the timing and positioning of the photo seemed too perfect. (As events progressed, our concern shifted from whether or not the photo was staged, but whether or not it was altered by Relevant. More about that below.)
Mitnick, the U.S., and 'Illegal' Settlements
American policy on the legality of the settlements has been consistent for decades. And Joshua Mitnick's coverage of that policy has also been consistent. Consistently wrong, that is. Back in 2006, Mitnick wrote in the Christian Science Monitor:
The US and most countries consider Maaleh Adumim and dozens of other Israeli settlements illegal under international law because they were established on territory under military occupation.
The United States does not consider West Bank and eastern Jerusalem settlements illegal. At the time, the Monitor failed to correct the error. Had it done so, Mitnick may not have written the other day in the Wall Street Journal:
Most of the international community considers Israeli building in the West Bank and East Jerusalem to be illegal, including the U.S. . . .
U.S. policy has not changed since Mitnick's 2006 article. In fact, there has been no change in U.S. policy on the question of the legality of settlements since President Carter's departure from the White House. Although the Carter administration did consider the settlements illegal, subsequent administrations did not. President Reagan had explained: "As to the West Bank, I believe the settlements there - I disagreed when the previous Administration referred to them as illegal, they're not illegal" (New York Times, Feb. 3, 1981). Other presidents, including Bill Clinton and George W. Bush, also did not term settlements "illegal."
In February 2011, the United States vetoed a United Nations Security Council resolution which labeled the settlements "illegal." In the Feb. 20, 2011 "Meet the Press" broadcast, then US Ambassador Susan Rice indicated that the appearance of the word "illegal" was one of the reasons why the US rejected the resolution.
Last August, The New York Times was the most recent media outlet to correct this very same error:
Will The Wall Street Journal follow the commendable lead of The Times and set the record straight?
March 04, 2014
The New York Times Persists in Emphasizing IDF Defensive Strikes While Downplaying Palestinian Terrorism
CAMERA’s monograph, Indicting Israel: New York Times’ Coverage of the Palestinian-Israeli Conflict, noted the newspaper’s consistent emphasis on Israel’s defensive military strikes while downplaying Palestinian violence. During our 6-month study, Palestinian attacks –including those that killed Israelis – were never featured prominently, but the newspaper repeatedly highlighted Israeli military actions or vandalism by radical Israelis. While 12 headlines implicated Israel for killing Palestinians none referred to Palestinians killing Israelis even though 14 Israelis were killed by Palestinians during that time. (See: Indicting Israel, Chapter 4 “Violence Double Standards”, page 57)
Well, it seems this pattern of coverage is endemic to The New York Times. Correspondent Jodi Rudoren, recently back from a speaking jaunt in the U.S., just published an item about an IDF air strike on an Islamic Jihad rocket squad about to fire missiles into southern Israel. The problem is, the article was headlined “Israeli Airstrike Kills 2 in Gaza” and introduced as follows:
An Israeli airstrike killed two Palestinian men in the Gaza Strip and wounded two children on Monday evening, according to the Israeli military and Palestinian health officials, continuing the increased violence between Israel and Gaza this year.
"Continuing the increased violence between Israel and Gaza this year?" Who is the party "continuing" the violence, the terrorists trying to launch another attack or the soldiers preventing the attack? The paragraph suggests it is the latter. And how is there any equivalence between the two? Rudoren falsely implies tit-for-tat, morally equivalent violence on both sides. The correspondent further adds to this impression by declaring:
Despite a 15-month cease-fire between Israel and Hamas, the militant Islamic movement that rules the Gaza Strip, the past two months have seen a steady simmer of strikes on both sides.
Surely a defensive air strike to thwart an imminent attack on Israeli territory cannot be considered equivalent in any way to terrorists targeting civilians, and the IDF’s protection of its civilians is certainly not the same as the Islamic Jihad terrorist group trying to inflict as many deaths and as much damage as possible on Israelis.
But with its emphasis on Israeli actions--both in the headline and lede paragraph-- and by equating the terrorist attacks with Israeli defensive actions, the newspaper distorts the story of Palestinian aggression and Israeli defense.
Ha'aretz Lost in Translation on Strip Search
Yesterday we described how Ha'aretz headlines (in English Feb. 26 online and Feb. 28 in print), an editorial (in Hebrew and English, Feb. 28) and an Op-Ed (Uri Misgav, English and Hebrew) all reported as fact that Israeli Arab teacher Ezies Elias Shehadeh was subjected to a strip search in the Eilat airport although Ha'aretz's own Orly Vilnai earlier reported that the Israel Airport Authority emphatically has denied the allegation, agreeing that she received a body search, but not a strip search.
Earlier this week, CAMERA's Israel office asked Ha'aretz editors to either produce substantiation confirming Shehadeh's or to publish a clarification noting that the Israel Airport Authority rejects the allegation. Editors yesterday said they would follow up.
The Hebrew edition, to its credit, did not claim that she had been forced to strip, referring vaguely to the "incident involving the teacher Ezies Shehada."
CAMERA continues to call on Ha'aretz to either substantiate Shehada's claim or clarify that the airport authority disputes her account of a strip search.
March 02, 2014
When Media Cover for Palestinian Terror Groups
Martin Kramer has excellently exposed how The New York Times covers for Rashid Khalidi ("New York Times: soft spot for Rashid Khalidi?"). (In case it's not clear, the job of a serious newspaper is to cover the PLO spokesman-cum-professor, not cover for him.)
On the other side of the Atlantic, another major media outlet was likewise busy covering for some not-so-nice types. Reporting on the killing of a Palestinian suspected of involvement with a series of a terror attacks, who was shot to death when he refused to surrender during an arrest operation, Agence France Presse stated on Friday:
Neighbours said the dead man was a member of the leftist Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine.
Leftist as in the Israeli Meretz-types who advocate for an immediate Israeli-Palestinian peace deal? No, not so much like that.
The PFLP spearheaded international airlines hijackings in the 1960 and 1970s, carried out hundreds of terror attacks against Israel including the assassination of Israeli Tourism Minister Rechavam Ze'evi, calls for the destruction of Israel, and has been designated a terrorist organization by the European Union as well as the United States.
February 28, 2014
National Geographic: Syrian Jews Suffered Only from 'Suspicion'
It is fair to describe the Alawites of Syria as a "long-oppressed group," which National Geographic does in its March 2014 feature about fighting in Syria. But in the same paragraph, reporter Anne Barnard downplays the suffering of Syria's Jews, stating only that "most left after the founding of Israel, when the government began viewing them with suspicion."
Was it mere "suspicion" (the author doesn't clarify whether the mistrust was deserved or unfounded) that reduced a community of tens of thousands to just a few dozen, or was it much worse?
It was in Syria that the "first serious blood libel in the Arab world" targeted the Jewish community, historian Norman Stillman explained. The charge that Jews murdered two Christians to use their blood for Passover rituals in 1840 brought torture and death to the Jewish community. Jewish children were taken hostage. A letter from Damascus pleading for help reported that "the Governor with a body of 600 men proceeded to demolish the houses of his Jewish subjects, hoping to find the bodies, but not finding any he returned and again inflicted on them further castigations and torments, the most cruel of which was the tying one end of a cord to the member of virility by the other end of which they were dragged through the Governor's Palace to a water closet into which they were thrown."
Nearly 100 years later, in 1936, JTA reported that in Damascus, "Jewish shopkeepers were forced to join [a] general strike under threats that their establishments would be burned down."
In 1944, the city's Jewish quarter "was twice attacked by mobs," Maurice Rouhani pointed out in his chronicle of Jews in the Arab world.
The crescendo of anti-Jewish persecutions in the 1930s and 40s came to a climax in 1947. That December in Aleppo, Rouhani notes, "an unknown number of Jews were butchered to death by mobs that burned four big synagogues, 14 smaller ones and destroyed 150 homes." In short, "the Jews of Syria were completely paralyzed, isolated and terrified."
In the years that followed, the emasculated Jewish community was encumbered with severe travel restrictions, boycotts, and a virtual ban from Syrian universities, and other indignities.
The plight of Jews in Arab countries has too often been downplayed in the media. National Geographic's "suspicious" account of Syrian Jews only further harms understanding of Jewish history in the Middle East.
Amnesty International's Anti-Israel Activism
For many years, Amnesty International [AI] has pursued an agenda hostile to Israel. Like its sister organization Human Rights Watch, AI was originally founded to expose and combat human rights abuses by oppressive regimes, but its mission has been corrupted over the years by activists intent on ostracizing the Jewish state. Its biased reports on Israel's Cast Lead military operation [Dec. 27, 2008 to Jan. 18, 2009] and numerous other reports published under its banner over the years attest to the organization's inability to address the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in a credible and balanced manner.
The Feb. 27, 2014 issue of the Algemeiner, an online Jewish newspaper, interviews Anne Herzberg, legal counsel for NGO Monitor, an Israeli group that scrutinizes non-governmental organizations like AI that inject themselves into the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. NGO Monitor has provided an important service by naming names and identifying the anti-Israel activities and affiliations of some of the activists hired by AI. Among them are
Deborah Hyams, [who] was a human shield in Beit Jala; the Amnesty US Israel researcher, Edith Garwood, used to be a member of the International Solidarity Movement.
Hyams signed a letter claiming Israel is “a state founded on terrorism, massacres and the dispossession of another people from their land.”
The International Solidarity Movement is a cult-like group that sends impressionable young Westerners into harms way to interfere with Israeli anti-terrorist operations. Several of these young people have lost their lives carrying out the dangerous activities urged upon them by this irresponsible extremist group.
The article also reveals that AI has collaborated with individuals connected to terrorism. Herzberg mentions one of these individuals, Moazzem Begg, who was just arrested this past Tuesday in the UK on terrorism-related charges.
The same issue of the Algemeiner published an article on a new report just released by AI accusing Israel of committing human rights violations.
The Algemeiner article provides a video of one of the incidents which AI accused Israeli soldiers of acting disproportionately. It shows Palestinians throwing large rocks capable of seriously injuring the soldiers.
The article also observes that the
report on Israel killing (by Amnesty’s count) 22 civilians in 2013 is 87 pages long. It goes into detail about every single one of those deaths, humanizing the victims and interviewing multiple friends of each, all in an attempt to paint Israel in the worst light possible.
Amnesty’s report about Egyptian repression since July 2013, where 1,400 people were killed, is only 49 pages long. It only provides details on a few specific cases, and most of those aren’t even for people being killed but for other violations of human rights.
The amplified focus on alleged Israeli disproportionate action, accompanied by an extensive portrait of the alleged victims, is a longstanding pattern with Amnesty International.
February 26, 2014
Where's the Coverage? The Truth about "Israel Apartheid Week"
On a number of college campuses, this week is “Israel Apartheid Week,” a week where anti-Israel activists try to fool students into believing Israel systematically and legally oppresses minorities. This is a particularly ironic accusation since Freedom House, an independent watchdog group dedicated to the expansion of freedom around the world, has rated Israel as the only free country in the Middle East.
If these activists were concerned with human rights, they would be sponsoring North Korea Apartheid Week, Iran Apartheid Week or Syria Kill-Over-One-Hundred-and-Forty-Thousand-Civilians Week. Activists could be marching against Saudi Arabia, where violations of human rights laws are enshrined in the Kingdom’s legal code, including the systemic discrimination against women and minorities, where citizens are subject to arbitrary arrest and detention, denial of fair and public trials, torture and abuse, restrictions on freedoms of speech, assembly, association, movement, severe restrictions on religious freedom, and where homosexual activity is punishable by flogging or death by stoning.
Want to see who is behind “Israel Apartheid Week”? Here are a few of the culprits:
Many of the “Israel Apartheid Week” organizers are part of the Boycott, Divest and Sanctions (BDS) movement, aimed not at ending human rights violations, but at damaging Israel. As CAMERA reported:
This is the reality behind BDS: the BDS movement is simply a smokescreen for the delegitimization of Israel and an effort to undermine the self-determination of the Jewish people. As BDS proponent Ahmend Moor said, “Ending the occupation doesn't mean anything if it doesn't mean upending the Jewish state itself.”
How is BDS doing? Well, as of now, 250 university presidents or chancellors have publicly rejected an academic boycott of Israel and the list is growing. Even students are starting to wise up. The UCLA student council just defeated a symbolic anti-Israel divestment resolution. But some of them are still fooled. The blog Legal Insurrection posted a video of one of the resolution organizers reacting to its defeat. She did not take it well. (Be aware, she uses some profanity.):
But as to the truth about so-called “Israel Apartheid Week”… In the mainstream media… Where’s the coverage?
ZOA Still Alive And Kicking, Contrary to Scholarly Report
The Zionist Organization of America is alive and well, contrary to a report of its demise from Samuel J. Kuruvilla, a scholar from India who received his Ph.D. in Political Theology at Exeter University in 2009.
In the glossary of his recent book, Radical Christianity in Palestine and Israel: Liberation and Theology in the Middle East (2013, I.B. Tauris) , Kuruvilla includes the following entry.
ZOA: Zionist Organization of America. Now defunct early Zionist lobbying organization in the US, superseded by influential lobbying groups like the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC).
The ZOA is "defunct"? Really? That’s news to us at Snapshots! Their website is operative and they have at least two twitter accounts that seem active (@Zoa_Campus and @ZOA_WestCoast). Being the careful researchers we are, the folks at Snapshots spoke with Morton Klein, ZOA’s president just to make sure that the organization he leads is um… still around.
“We’re very much alive,” he said and before enumerating the organization’s achievement which include establishing The ZOA Center for Law and Justice and increased campus activism. Klein has had articles published in the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal.
“Obviously, we’re very active and very much alive,” he said.
CAMERA Analyst Dexter Van Zile wrote a review of Kuruvilla’s book for Spring 2014 Issue of the Middle East Quarterly.
February 25, 2014
The Tripod: CAMERA Links in 3 Languages Jan. 28-Feb. 25
Is Israel really isolated, as some media outlets portray?
Israel holds diplomatic relations with over 150 countries and has recently joined the Pacific Alliance as an observer. Is the country really "internationally isolated"? (ReVista de Medio Oriente)
Excelsior, from Mexico, corrects a mistaken information about Israel
In an article about Tel Aviv as a technological hub, the Mexican paper said that city was Israel's capital. ReVista questioned the paper and the editors corrected the mistake. (ReVista de Medio Oriente)
Europa Press unmasked
We highlight possible financial and political reasons behind the biased information about Israel in the Spanish speaking news agency. (ReVista de Medio Oriente)
Russia Today claims Tel Aviv is Israel's capital
Not only does the RT claim that Tel Aviv is Israel's capital, it also falsely suggests that Globes, an Israeli media outlet, is the source of the information. (ReVista de Medio Oriente)
Bethlehem celebrates Palestinian terrorism
Political and religious leaders honoured two suicidals and promoted violence against Israel, while the Spanish press didn't considered the event as news. (ReVista de Medio Oriente)
Middle East headlines in the Spanish speaking press
Read the Israel and Middle East related headlines of the main newspapers and news agencies in Latin America and Spain. (ReVista de Medio Oriente)
Télam adopted an anti Israel ideological stance
The Argentinian news agency chose to quote only those sources that were critical of the Government of Israel and blamed the Jewish State for threatening the peace negoatiations and presented opinions as facts. (ReVista de Medio Oriente)
RTVE: What was the Holocaust?
Commemorating the Holocaust involves knowing how it was. (ReVista de Medio Oriente)
Johanssen and El País (the country) of shame
The effort of the Spanish newspaper to become a professional and reference media it’s of no use if they allow crude ideology to pop into its pages. (ReVista de Medio Oriente)
EFE forgets the Israeli version of the facts again
One of the main premises of journalism is to contrast the information. (ReVista de Medio Oriente)
EFE, please, check the information
The Spanish news agency is wrong when informing about the Oslo accords. (ReVista de Medio Oriente)
EFE and sex change
Ariel Zilber is not a woman! (ReVista de Medio Oriente)
A Tough Legacy for a Tougher Man
Setting the record straight on Ariel Sharon, written by Alisa Rudy and first published in Baruch College's paper: The Ticker. Alisa is a junior majoring in Middle East Studies and is the current President of the CCAP group Youth Organization For Israel, Baruch’s student pro-Israel club. (in Focus)
Inciting Violence Through Inaccuracy
A look at the Arab world inciting violence in the land of Israel, from the Hebron riots 80 years ago to today, by Boston University student Lindsey Cohen. (in Focus)
Learn How to Table From These Guys
Our pro-Israel CAMERA supported group at McNeese University tables about Israel and CAMERA at their campus center. (in Focus)
Jon Haber Relaunches His Blog
Jon of "Divest This" has restarted his fantastic blog debunking myths about the Boycott Divest Sanctions movement. (in Focus)
Chloé Valdary Speaks on Canada’s Sun News on how CAMERA Helps
Watch: CAMERA helps students access accurate information about Israel on their campuses. (in Focus)
Correction in Weekly Portuguese Paper Thanks to CAMERA Israel Trip Participant
Major Portuguese paper falsely claims Israel is building 1400 new settlements. Former CAMERA Israel Trip participant Romeu Monteiro helps set the record straight. (in Focus)
Erasing the Jewish Connection to Israel
A common strategy in delegitimizing Israel is to erase the historic connection between the Jewish people to the land of Israel. (in Focus)
CAMERA Visits California and Boston University
Two campus staff members visited with students at USC who had just returned from Birthright, and spoke to them about inaccuracies in the media. (in Focus)
A Realistic Approach to the Israeli-Arab Conflict
Our Fellow at Washington University is published in her campus paper as she sheds some light on the current conflict and international law. (in Focus)
A Stand Against BoycottsOur CAMERA Intern explores how some Israelis are taking a pro-active step in the fight against boycotts. (in Focus)
Speakers Discredit SJPStudents for Justice in Palestine bring in a former Israeli soldier to defame Israel and spread inaccurate information about the conflict. Our CAMERA Fellow writes a letter to the editor to set the record straight. (in Focus)
BBC’s ‘Today’ programme ‘should know better’ than to engage in covert promotion of the PSC’s agenda
Despite a recent recommitment to summarizing the standpoint of interviewees, BBC Radio 4 broadcast an interview with an unidentified member of the Palestine Solidarity Campaign. (BBC Watch)
In which BBC News abandons all pretence of fact checking
Fact checking has apparently too much of a bother for BBC website journalists. (BBC Watch)
Guardian caves to anti-Israel bigots, revises SodaStream article to please Ben White
The power of the pro-BDS lobby at the Guardian was revealed when editors at the London-based newspaper caved to pressure from Ben White, and revised an article which originally referred to anti-SodaStream activists as "anti-Israel" - opting instead fro the more benign term "anti-settlement". (CiF Watch)
A Harriet Sherwood tale of Palestinian love and Israeli darkness
A nearly 4,000 word story on Israeli 'villainy' by Harriet Sherwood reached new lows, even in the context of the Jerusalem correspondent's three and a half year pattern of filing such tendentious and egregiously biased reports from the region. (CiF Watch)
Ynet puts Gaza under siege
Is it accurate to refer to Gaza as "under siege?" (Presspectiva)
Are these celebrities really boycotting Israel?
Dustin Hoffman, Meg Ryan and others are listed by Israeli media as celebrities boycotting Israel. However the evidence shows otherwise. (Presspectiva)
The New York Times repeats Palestinian propoganda
Last week we chastised Ha'aretz for repeating without any examination the claim that President Truman intentionally erased the words "The Jewish State" from his recognition of Israel. Now the New York Times does it as well. (Presspectiva)
What is incitment?
An op-ed writer in Ha'aretz displays a fine sense of irony, when accusing others of inciting hatred, but bases her argument on completly false charges. (Presspectiva)
The return of the Palestinian Children in Cages story
Presspectiva continues to correct papers accusing Israel of holding Palestinian children in cages. (Presspectiva)
Wikipedia's "Lion of God" bites Journalists
Did various respectable news organizations (and Al-Jazeera) base their obiturary of Ariel Sharon on Wikipedia?. (Presspectiva)
February 24, 2014
Christians Murdered in Libya
Seven Christians were murdered in Libya. According to an article published by Reuters the victims were summoned from their apartments by gunmen looking for Christians. Here are the details.
Seven Egyptian Christians were found shot dead on a beach in eastern Libya after they were abducted from their apartments, security officials and local residents said, in the second such execution-style killing this year.
"They were killed by headshots in execution style," a police officer said. "We don't know who killed them."
Local residents and an Egyptian worker, who asked not to be identified because of fears for their security, said unknown gunmen had arrived at the Benghazi building where the Egyptians lived and dragged them away after going door to door asking if residents were Christian or Muslim.
February 20, 2014
Eager Arab Students Learn From Scientist at Technion
While in the U.S. and Great Britain academic organizations crusade against Israeli universities, promoting boycotts, divestment and sanctions, some eager students in Arab countries apparently have different ideas.
New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman writes about the interest generated among students of surrounding Arab states in an on-line course on nanotechnology by Professor Hossam Haick, an Israeli-Arab scientist at Israel's Technion Institute. According to Friedman
So far, there are about 4,800 registrations for the Arabic version, including students from Egypt, Syria, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Iraq, Kuwait, Algeria, Morocco, Sudan, Tunisia, Yemen, the United Arab Emirates and the West Bank. Iranians are signing up for the English version.
Interestingly, Friedman establishes that Haick's father was also a graduate of Technion.
Stories like these expose the empty moral posing of the BDSers. Such stories also reveal why the anti-intellectual BDS movement will fail. Talented and intellectually curious young people will push back against the bigots who want to keep them ignorant and deny them access to knowledge.
February 18, 2014
PBS' Alice Walker Film Includes Unanswered Defamation of Israel
The Public Broadcasting Service Master's Series broadcast "Beauty and Truth" on Feb. 7, is a much publicized paean to Alice Walker. Walker gained renown from her 1982 novel, "The Color Purple," which Steven Spielberg made into a film. Her agitation against Israel has kept her fashionable among segments of the media and academia. A review in the Feminist Wire describes how "In Walker’s life ... beauty exists within a mosaic of truths alongside rabid institutional racism, patriarchy, misogyny, colonialism, heterosexism, and so much else." The litany of "evils" listed here locates Walker in the American cultural landscape.
Toward the end of the 83 minute program, Walker discusses her adoption of the Palestinian cause. She planned to participate in the Gaza Flotilla in 2011, a show of support for Hamas-ruled Gaza. Walker compares the plight of the Palestinians to the black civil rights movement in the South, except in her opinion, Israel's treatment of the Palestinians is "worse." While other controversial aspects of Walker's life, like her estrangement from her daughter, are candidly discussed in the PBS film, her denunciation of Israel's "apartheid" wall and claim that the Palestinians are "just daily humiliated... ground in the dirt," are aired without any pushback or scrutiny of the validity of such accusations.
Viewers are not made aware of Walker's history of issuing hateful statements about Israel and Zionism. During the flotilla campaign, she described Israel and the United States as "great terrorist organizations" and used inflammatory (and false) religious imagery to stir up hatred of the Jewish state. She called "Jesus, a Palestinian" and claimed he "is still being crucified."
Speaking before a synagogue known for its leftist activism, she appalled attendees who viewed "the tone of her speech as being hateful and frankly blatantly anti-Semitic."
The American Masters series has substantial support from Jewish donors. One wonders what these donors think about how PBS is using their financial gifts.
February 14, 2014
Algerian-Born Student Sees Israel as a Beacon of Hope
In Europe and the United States, pampered academics rail against Israel, proclaiming it guilty of exploitation, apartheid, organ stealing and genocide; they demand that the Jewish state be subjected to boycotts, sanctions and isolation.
Meanwhile, among those from the Arab world given the opportunity to study in the West are a few daring enough to repudiate the mindless hatred they were exposed to in their native lands that they now hear repeated by their professors.
Abdel Bioud is an Algerian Muslim student who serves as the Vice President of Communications for McGill University's Students for Israel (in Montreal, Canada). He writes:
All Arab countries are dictatorships. That is, you have ruling gangster families on top, who use their monopoly of violence (via the military) to kill/imprison anyone who questions their business plan. The business plan is the following:
1. Use force to maintain power and keep disarmed humans living in fear.
2. Send kids to government controlled schools so they can get indoctrinated with four things:
The ruling family is great (à la Kim Jung Il).
Their country is the greatest.
The Palestinian cause is something that is part of their identity.
Force feed them Islam so it can be used as a tool to control (I use the term force feed because I was force fed Islam in the Algerian government school since day 1).
3. While people are brainwashed and live in fear, negotiate a percentage on those resource/construction contracts
Bioud then asks,
Now, what about Israel? If you’re a citizen there, your basic freedoms are respected. You can live peacefully, raise a family, and send your kids to competitive and globally recognized universities. This simple basic respect for human dignity put them light-years ahead of any Arab state. As a human being who seeks to improve himself, Israel is a logical choice. It is the only place in the Middle East where your potential can be fully expressed.
Bioud sees Israel as a "force for good" in the Middle East region.
Differentiating himself from the Western academics who malign Israel, Bioud adds,
It’s coming from someone with a Muslim name and an Arab face... who actually lived and was raised in an Arab country. It’s not like I don’t know what I’m talking about and I’m just fantasizing from 5,000 miles away, like most people do.