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December 28, 2016

NPR Conducts Hostile Interview with Israeli Ambassador Over UN Resolution

All Things Considered's Robert Siegel conducted a hostile interview with Israeli Ambassador Ron Dermer over Israeli criticism of the Obama Administration's alleged role in the United Nations Security Council Resolution 2334. The resolution has deemed Israel's settlements in the West Bank (Judea and Samaria) to be illegal. The U.S. acquiesced to this definition by failing to veto the vote as it usually does for one-sided resolutions unfairly targeting Israel.

Siegel injected his own opinion as fact at several junctures in the interview. Questioning Israel's decision to communicate with President-Elect Donald Trump, Siegel chides Dermer,

"You speak of appropriate channels, though. I mean, Israel is reported to have gone to Donald Trump as president-elect and urged him to call for a veto, which he did. No one sees that as appropriate channels. Do you?"

How does Siegel establish that "No one" sees that as appropriate? All we know is that he clearly doesn't.

When Dermer responds that he thinks it is inappropriate for the outgoing President to "radically change" American foreign policy in his last days in office, Siegel intones:

"but isn't that really not for Israel to decide, which - you know, there's an American president in office. He gets to exercise policy... president of the United States has powers to make foreign policy and to take actions in international bodies? That's not your business. That's just not Israel's business."

But it is Israel's business if it affects Israel. Dermer was not saying that Israel gets to decide how the President exercises his powers, he simply stated that he thought it was inappropriate.

The full transcript is included below:

The Israeli government is furious with the U.S. for not vetoing a U.N. security resolution last week. The resolution calls Israeli West Bank settlements a flagrant violation of international law, and it calls a halt to settlement activity essential for salvaging the two-state solution with the Palestinians. A spokesman for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says Israel has what he called ironclad information that the Obama administration really helped push this resolution and helped craft it. He cited international sources and sources in the Arab world.
Israel's ambassador to Washington, Ron Dermer, said that his country will present that evidence to the Trump administration through the appropriate channels. And Ambassador Dermer joins us. Welcome to the program once again.
RON DERMER: Good to be with you.
SIEGEL: If Israel isn't going to publicly cite its sources and specify what it says the U.S. did, why was that statement about ironclad information made on Sunday?
DERMER: Well, I think we wanted to make clear why we're so upset by what happened. But it's an old story that the U.N. is just a cesspool of anti-Israel activity. What's new is that the United States doesn't stand up to anti-Israel efforts. But I suppose what is particularly outrageous is the U.S. helped orchestrate behind the scenes. And as I said yesterday, we will present it in the appropriate channels to the new administration. And I'm sure that that information will ultimately get out. But this...
SIEGEL: You speak of appropriate channels, though. I mean, Israel is reported to have gone to Donald Trump as president-elect and urged him to call for a veto, which he did. No one sees that as appropriate channels. Do you?
DERMER: Well, I actually think it's quite appropriate. What is inappropriate is for an outgoing administration in its waning days to radically change American foreign policy. That I'm not sure has ever happened. If President Bush, in the waning days of his presidency, had decided to move the American embassy to Jerusalem, to recognize Israel's annexation of the settlement blocks and maybe the Golan Heights to boot, I'm pretty sure that people would not have been saying, hey, you know, there's one president at a time. We...
SIEGEL: You know that President Reagan opened up talks with the PLO as the administration was on the way out, in its waning days. And that was then U.S. policy. But that...
DERMER: Yeah, but you know that the person who was the president-elect was his own vice president. So it wasn't done...
SIEGEL: Yes, but that's really not - but isn't that really not for Israel to decide, which - you know, there's an American president in office. He gets to exercise policy.
DERMER: Yeah, but American presidents usually will speak to their successors about dramatic policy changes. And in this case, we had no choice but to turn to the president-elect. And we're deeply appreciative that he weighed in because this is not just a blow to us. It's a blow to his policy and how he would like to advance peace in the region moving forward. And that's something that I think a lot of people don't understand.
SIEGEL: U.S. Ambassador Samantha Power, in her speech before abstaining, recited all the ways in which the administration has helped and stood up for Israel at the U.N. But she said in 2011, the U.S. vetoed a resolution that focused on - exclusively on settlements. And since that time, settlement activity has increased and no progress has been made toward a two-state solution.
DERMER: Well, it's not - it's not been...
SIEGEL: First, would you disagree with that diagnosis?
DERMER: They have given the Palestinians exactly what they want. Their strategy is to avoid negotiations because in negotiations, you have to actually do a give-and-take. The Palestinians don't want it. They want to internationalize the conflict to put pressure on Israel to take unilateral steps to withdraw and to essentially turn Israel into a pariah state.
SIEGEL: Well, the criticism the other way is that Israel wants to take unilateral steps and wants to preempt any international action by taking what it wants on the West Bank.
DERMER: No, our policy has been very clear from the beginning, that we are prepared to negotiate a resolution to this conflict. And all of those issues should be resolved around the negotiating table.
SIEGEL: But - well, what do you say to someone who's listening to this right now and saying, look, the president of the United States has powers to make foreign policy and to take actions in international bodies? That's not your business. That's just not Israel's business.
DERMER: It's not business - so the life of Israel and the survival of Israel is not my business? And if the president of the United States decides to make a nuclear deal with Iran, a nuclear deal that ultimately paves the path for Iran to get a nuclear weapon that's going to empower them with hundreds of billions of dollars over the next decade to use in their terror war against Israel, that's not Israel's business? Of course it's Israel's business. Of course we're going to make our case.
DERMER: Ultimately, the decision will be of the president of the United States. But we are a sovereign nation with a right to be heard.
SIEGEL: The Obama administration flatly denies that it orchestrated the U.N. Security Council resolution. Are they lying when they say that?
DERMER: It is not true, and hopefully you'll invite me back on your show when all that evidence is presented and through the appropriate channels. And then you can invite me back on your show, and we'll have a discussion about it.
SIEGEL: Israeli Ambassador to Washington Ron Dermer. Thank you for talking with us.
DERMER: Thank you.
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Posted by SS at 03:23 PM |  Comments (5)

December 25, 2016

Reuters Reduces Israeli Ties to West Bank to Biblical Claim Only

In an article yesterday ("Israel to re-assess U.N. ties after settlement resolution, says Netanyahu"), Reuters reduces Israel's claim to the West Bank to biblical only. Ignoring Israel's legal claim along with a very long historical record spanning thousands of years after the biblical period, the article misleads:

Most countries view Israeli settlement activity in the West Bank and East Jerusalem as illegal and an obstacle to peace. Israel disagrees, citing a biblical connection to the land. (Emphasis added.)

Reuters biblical claim.jpg

Israel's claim to the West Bank rests on international law, cultural and religious ties, and post-biblical history, including the long-term presence of Jews for thousands of years, the Balfour Declaration, the San Remo Conference, and the League of Nations decision which was never repealed, and Article 80 of the United Nations charter which upheld Article Six of the League of Nations' Palestine Mandate enabling Jewish settlement.

Indeed, the November 2015 Ministry of Foreign Affairs document "Israeli Settlements and International Law" goes into great detail about Israeli claims to the territory grounded in international law. The document notes that the Jewish presence in the territory was:

recognized as legitimate in the Mandate for Palestine adopted by the League of Nations in 1922, which provided for the establishment of a Jewish state in the Jewish people's ancient homeland.

After recognizing "the historical connection of the Jewish people with Palestine" and "the grounds for reconstituting their national home", the Mandate specifically stipulated in Article 6 as follows:

"The Administration of Palestine, while ensuring that the rights and position of other sections of the population are not prejudiced, shall facilitate Jewish immigration under suitable conditions and shall encourage, in cooperation with the Jewish Agency referred to in Article 4, close settlement by Jews on the land, including State lands not required for public use".

Some Jewish settlements, such as in Hebron, existed throughout the centuries of Ottoman rule, while settlements such as Neve Ya'acov, north of Jerusalem, the Gush Etzion bloc in southern Judea, and the communities north of the Dead Sea, were established under British Mandatory administration prior to the establishment of the State of Israel, and in accordance with the League of Nations Mandate.

Many contemporary Israeli settlements have actually been re-established on sites which were home to Jewish communities in previous generations, in an expression of the Jewish people's deep historic and abiding connection with this land - the cradle of Jewish civilization and the locus of the key events of the Hebrew Bible. A significant number are located in places where previous Jewish communities were forcibly ousted by Arab armies or militia, or slaughtered, as was the case with the ancient Jewish community of Hebron in 1929.

For more than a thousand years, the only administration which has prohibited Jewish settlement in these areas was the Jordanian occupation administration, which during the nineteen years of its rule (1948-1967) declared the sale of land to Jews a capital offense. The right of Jews to establish homes in these areas, and the private legal titles to the land which had been acquired, could not be legally invalidated by Jordanian occupation - which resulted from their illegal armed invasion of Israel in 1948 and was never recognized internationally as legitimate - and such rights and titles remain valid to this day.

These historical and legal claims relate almost entirely to historical periods thousands of years after biblical times. CAMERA has contacted Reuters to request that editors redress the egregious omission.

Dec. 28 Update: Reuters Agrees That Israel's Claims Not only Biblical, Improves Next Article

While Reuters has declined to amend the Dec. 24 article flagged in this post, the news agency did agree with CAMERA that Israel's claim to the West Bank is not limited only to biblical ties. Indeed, a Reuters' article the next day expands that Israel's claim includes "biblical and historical connections to the West Bank and Jerusalem as well as security interests" ("Israel PM, angered by anti-settlement U.N. vote, summons U.S. ambassador").

reuters west bank claim fixed.jpg

Posted by TS at 04:47 AM |  Comments (4)

December 21, 2016

CAMERA Featured Letter-Writer

After CAMERA researchers highlighted the fact that an AFP reporter doubles as a Fatah politician, one of our letter-writers, Daniel H. Trigoboff, Ph.D., sent the following letter to AFP:

To The Editor,

A central policy of Agence France-Presse reads, "Truth, impartiality and plurality are Agence France-Presse’s golden rules. These values guarantee rigorous, verified news, free from political or commercial influence." Unfortunately in your employment of Nasser Abu Baker, you are in violation of your own policy. This is because in addition to reporting on Palestinian affairs for you, he was a candidate for the Fatah Council, and leads a campaign to boycott Israel.

Therefore the chances his reports will be impartial and free from political bias are precisely zero. This has been reflected in numerous slanted, inaccurate, and anti-Israel falsehoods in his articles for AFP on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Abu Baker has also advocated boycotting Israeli reporters, in inflammatory propaganda which has compromised their safety. As a result few Israeli reporters have safe access to Palestinian areas, which are therefore insufficiently covered in the media.

Employing Abu Baker as your reporter makes a mockery of AFP policy, and contaminates AFP news coverage with fanatical anti-Israel bias. The French Resistance journalists who founded AFP in 1944, in service of journalism uncontaminated by tyranny, would surely disapprove of Abu Baker's status in your organization. So will anyone else who values even a shred of journalistic ethics.

Daniel H. Trigoboff, Ph.D.

Posted by kabe at 07:04 PM |  Comments (0)

December 20, 2016

Where’s the Coverage? UN Head Admits Anti-Israel Bias

U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon

The outgoing head of the United Nations admitted in a Dec. 16, 2016 speech that his organization is biased against Israel. The remarks by U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon went largely unreported by major U.S. news media outlets.

Mr. Ban told the U.N. Security Council:

“Over the last decade, I have argued that we cannot have a bias against Israel at the U.N. Decades of political maneuvering have create a disproportionate number of resolutions, reports and committees against Israel. In many cases, instead of helping the Palestinian issue, this reality has foiled the ability of the U.N. to fulfill its role effectively.?

According to The Independent, a U.K.-based newspaper, Israel’s Ambassador to the U.N. Danny Danon, stated that the United Nations chief “had admitted the clear truth? and his organization’s hypocrisy towards the Jewish state had “broken records over the past decade (“Ban Ki-moon says UN has ‘disproportionate’ focus on Israel,? Dec. 17).?

As CAMERA has frequently noted, the U.N. has a history of anti-Israel discrimination. According to U.N. Watch, a Geneva-based non-profit organization, in 2016 alone, the U.N. General Assembly passed more than 20 resolutions singling out the Jewish state for opprobrium. This, in a year in which the Islamic State and Syrian-dictator Bashar al-Assad—supported by Iran and Security Council member Russia—have carried out mass slaughter in the Middle East.

After this admission, Mr. Ban stated, “Israel needs to understand that a democratic state which is run by the rule of law, which continues to militarily occupy the Palestinian people, will still generate criticism and calls to hold her accountable.? Yet, as CAMERA noted in a March 9, 2013 Washington Times Op-Ed, Mr. Ban does not “apply a consistent legal yardstick to Arab municipalities in the Jewish state, which he does not denounce as illegal.?

Clear-cut occupations such as Morocco’s conquest of the Western Sahara, China’s takeover of Tibet, and Turkey’s seizure of Northern Cyprus, among others, are often given short shift by the U.N. and the media (“Hypocrisy is Thy Name, Blaming Israel Thy Game,? CAMERA, Aug. 19, 2014).

Mr. Ban’s brief moment of candor—delivered as he completes his final term as U.N. Secretary General—was refreshing. However, his knee jerk response to follow it by singling Israel out was, unfortunately, more of the same.

Posted by SD at 12:32 PM |  Comments (0)

December 19, 2016

Reuters Captions: Israeli Troops Kill Palestinian During Clashes

Dec. 20 UPDATE: Reuters Amends Captions: Palestinian Killed During Violent Clashes

Reuters photo captions about Ahmed Al-Remawi omit the fact that the Palestinian was killed Sunday during violent clashes, limiting information about the circumstances surrounding his death to the fact that the "Palestinian Health Ministry said [he] was shot and killed by Israeli forces on Sunday."

Given the minimal information, uninformed readers could reasonably conclude that unprovoked Israeli forces shot Remawi Sunday as he did nothing more than sit and drink coffee. (Reports conflict about his age, said to be either 19 or 23.)

But both Israeli and Palestinian sources agree that a mob of Palestinians was violently clashing with Israeli troops, throwing stones, when Remawi was killed. Haaretz reported:

According to the IDF, some 50 Palestinians were involved in the clash, some of whom threw stones at Israeli security forces. A Border Police officer was wounded. The army said that the forces responded to the stone-throwing with riot control measures and with shooting in the air.

Examples of the incomplete Reuters captions follow:

Reuters Remawi body.jpg
Mourners carry the body of Palestinian Ahmed al-Remawi, who Palestinian Health Ministry said was shot and killed by Israeli forces on Sunday, during his funeral in the West Bank village of Beit Rima near Ramallah December 18, 2016. REUTERS/Mohamad Torokman
Reuters Remawi women.jpg
Relatives of Palestinian Ahmed al-Remawi, who Palestinian Health Ministry said was shot and killed by Israeli forces on Sunday, mourn during his funeral in the West Bank village of Beit Rima near Ramallah December 18, 2016. REUTERS/Mohamad Torokman
Reuters Remawi mourn.jpg
Relatives mourn as people carry the body of Palestinian Ahmed al-Remawi, who Palestinian Health Ministry said was shot and killed by Israeli forces on Sunday, during his funeral in the West Bank village of Beit Rima near Ramallah December 18, 2016. REUTERS/Mohamad Torokman

Unlike Reuters, other leading news agencies made clear in their captions that Remawi was killed during clashes with troops. See, for example, both AFP and AP below:

afp remawi clashes.jpg
Palestinian mourners carry the body of Ahmed Rimawi, who was shot and killed during clashes with Israeli forces the day before, during his funeral in the northern West Bank town of Beit Rima, near Ramallah, on December 18, 2016. Israeli soldiers shot dead a Palestinian teenager early Sunday during a confrontation in the occupied West Bank, Palestinian officials said. Security officials said that troops entered the village of Beit Rima, near Ramallah, after midnight and were confronted by stone-throwing youths. ABBAS MOMANI / AFP (Emphasis added.)
AP Remawi clashes.jpg
Palestinian mourners carry the body of Ahmed Rimawi, 23, who was shot and killed during clashes with Israeli forces Saturday night, during his funeral in the village of Beit Reema near the West Bank city of Ramallah, Sunday, Dec. 18, 2016.(AP Photo/Majdi Mohammed)

CAMERA has contacted Reuters editors to request that they amend the captions about Remawi to make clear, as the other leading photo agencies did, that the teen was killed during violent clashes with troops.

For more CAMERA reports about Reuters captions which downplayed Palestinian violence, please see here, here, and here.

Posted by TS at 07:21 AM |  Comments (0)

After Correction, ABC Repeats Error on Settlements

Dec. 20 UPDATE: For Second Time, ABC Corrects: US Does Not View Settlements as 'Illegal'

After correcting the very same error in an Associated Press story which appeared last month on its website, ABC News once again wrongly reports that "the United States considers Jewish settlements illegal" ("Donald Trump's Pick for US Ambassador to Israel Signals Changes in US Policy"). A screen shot of the Dec. 17 erroneous claim by ABC's Elizabeth McLaughlin follows:

abc illegal settlements.jpg

The Associated Press correction which CAMERA prompted in November on the identical topic subsequently appeared in countless AP clients, ABC News among them.

The AP correction which appeared Nov. 21 on ABC's news site stated:

In a story Nov. 16 about Israel's settlement policy, The Associated Press reported erroneously that the United States considers Israeli settlement construction in the West Bank to be illegal. While the United States opposes settlement construction, it does not take a position on its legality. Instead, it says that settlements are "illegitimate," ''corrosive to the cause of peace" and "raise serious questions about Israel's ultimate commitment to a peaceful negotiated settlement with the Palestinians." Most of the international community views the settlements as illegal.

abc ap correction settlements full.jpg

Since the Reagan administration, which explicitly said it did not believe the settlements were illegal, U.S. administrations have instead characterized the settlements as an obstacle to peace and illegitimate. The current U.S. government, and numerous preceding American administrations, have not characterized the settlements as "illegal."

CAMERA has contacted editors to request that ABC correct for the second time the incorrect claim the United States considers Israeli settlements illegal.

Posted by TS at 02:37 AM |  Comments (1)

December 18, 2016

AFP, MSNBC Also Err on 'Palestinian Land'

In addition to NPR, this weekend Agence France Presse and MSNBC also incorrectly identify the disputed West Bank as "Palestinian land."

Using partisan language, AFP today refers to some Israelis who "view Trump's victory as an opportunity to expand settlements in the West Bank, Palestinian land occupied by Israel for nearly 50 years" ("Israelis look past anti-Semitism after Trump win," emphasis added.)

On Dec. 16, NBC's Katy Tur, reporting on Andrea Mitchell Report, also tripped up on the tendentious claim that the disputed West Bank is "Palestinian land."

nbc tur Palestinian land.JPG

Just over four minutes into her report, Tur defines "settlers" for listeners as "Jews who are settling their homes in the West Bank which is, has been, Palestinian."

Identifying the land as "Palestinian" completely endorses one side's political claims over the other side's claims in what is, in reality, an unresolved dispute. (Given AFP's employment of reporter Nasser Abu Baker, who leads the boycott against Israeli journalists and recently ran for the Fatah Revolutionary Council, in a gross conflict of interest and violation of journalistic ethics, the agency's unabashed bias regarding the so-called "Palestinian land" is hardly surprising, though certainly not excusable.)

But as a 2014 Washington Post correction, prompted by CAMERA, noted, the "Israeli-occupied territories are disputed lands that Palestinians want for a future Palestinian state."

WaPo print correction Palestinian land.jpg

The West Bank's status is to be resolved by negotiations anticipated by U.N. Security Council resolutions 242 (1967) and 338 (1973), the 1995 Israeli-Palestinian interim accords, the 2003 international "road map" and related diplomatic efforts taking 242 and 338 as reference points. The co-authors of resolution 242, U.S. Under Secretary of State Eugene Rostow, U.S. ambassador to the United Nations Arthur Goldberg, and British ambassador Lord Caradon made clear at the time and subsequently that Jews and Arabs both had claims in the territories, no national sovereignty over the territories had been recognized since the end of Ottoman rule and negotiations would be necessary to resolve competing claims.

If the West Bank were simply Israeli-occupied Palestinian land, in particular sovereign territory belonging to another state and acquired by aggression, then Israel would be required to withdraw and no negotiations would be necessary. But since Israel is the obligatory military occupational authority, having won the territories in a war of self-defense in 1967 and retained them in a similar conflict in 1973, and competing claims remain unresolved, the West Bank is land Palestinians want for a future state, and land at least some of which many Israelis claim for Israel. Significantly, in the past Palestinians have indicated willingness to relinquish claims on the land on which the vast majority of Israeli settlers reside.

Posted by TS at 04:34 AM |  Comments (0)

December 15, 2016

A Puzzling Omission at Politico

John Bolton

A recent Politico article about the possible nomination of former U.S. Ambassador John Bolton to a top spot in the incoming Trump administration’s State Department (“Trump’s flirtation with Bolton sends shivers through Senate,? Dec. 14, 2016) painTs the diplomat as a man with radical views. The report, by Nahal Toosi and Madeline Conway, omitted crucial history on the Arab-Israeli conflict.

Toosi and Conway wrote:

“Bolton is deeply pro-Israel, so much so that that he’s suggested forgetting the idea of creating a Palestinian state. Instead, he’s argued for placing the Gaza Strip under Egyptian control and handing the West Bank to Jordan.?

Politico implied that this is an unreasonable idea. However, the paper failed to inform their readers that Jordan occupied the West Bank from 1948 until 1967 and Egypt occupied the Gaza Strip from 1948 until 1967. It is also important to note that neither the Gaza Strip nor the West Bank have ever belonged to a Palestinian state, and that the status of these territories remains disputed. The West Bank, historically called Judea and Samaria until Jordan seized the land during the 1948 Arab-Israeli war, was part of the initial Palestine Mandate that allowed for the reestablishment of a Jewish state.

Rather than painting Bolton as a radical, the reporters could have informed readers of some of the history of the territories and note that Bolton was merely offering a different solution than what has been favored for the last 25 years.

For instance, the article could have recounted that the idea of a sovereign Palestinian state only became official U.S. policy under President George W. Bush and that other solutions have long been considered.

Palestinian limited self-rule of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip was facilitated by the Oslo process of the 1990s, which, among other things, stipulated that Palestinian leaders must recognize Israel, refrain from terror attacks and inciting anti-Jewish violence, and resolve outstanding issues in bilateral negotiations with Israel. Instead, the Palestinians leaders broke all of these promises.

In other words, it would have been more accurate for Politico to write that Bolton argued for returning the Gaza Strip to Egyptian control and returning the West Bank back to Jordan both of which had previously occupied it.

Similarly, it should have been incumbent upon the paper to note that although Bolton has expressed misgivings about recognizing a Palestinian state due, in part, to Palestinian rejectionism and terrorism, Palestinian leaders themselves have, on numerous occasions, rejected the opportunity to have a state if it meant living side by side, in peace, with a Jewish nation.

Under these circumstances, Bolton’s views are not radical, although they do differ from the model favored over the past 25 years.

Posted by SD at 10:35 AM |  Comments (5)

December 10, 2016

Sen. George Mitchell’s Head-Scratcher on C-SPAN About Israeli-Palestinian Conflict


“... Palestinian authorities have long since renounced violence and accepted Israel's existence and have opted for peace negotiations to achieve a state.?

This assertion by George Mitchell (Democrat) – former U.S. diplomat (Israeli-Palestinian conflict) and Senate Majority Leader – was stated 17 minutes into an hour-long interview aired on the C-SPAN BookTV “After Words? program. It was in connection with admonishing Israel’s government to wait no longer to make a peace agreement with the Palestinian Authority (PA) led by Mahmoud Abbas.

The program was recorded on Nov. 16, 2016 but not aired until Dec. 3, 2016. It was repeated on subsequent days.

Interviewer Jane Harman, former Member of Congress, now president and CEO of the Woodrow Wilson Center, spoke with Mitchell about his new book, "A Path to Peace: A Brief History of Israeli-Palestinian Negotiations and a Way Forward in the Middle East." The conversation was generally unremarkable except notably for the assertion cited here. Except for the fact that Harman here represented C-SPAN, whose record concerning Israel is generally one of journalistic malpractice, it would have been surprising that the former ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee failed to challenge the highly dubious assertion.

When have the Palestinian authorities renounced violence and accepted Israel's existence as a Jewish state? Acceptance of Israel's existence other than as a Jewish state is a non-sequitor. Furthermore, while most of the 22 Arab Muslim countries treat non-Muslim citizens as second-class ones, Israel has never seen a contradiction between its Jewishness and the need to respect and protect non-Jewish minorities. Under Israeli law, all (including Arab minorities) are provided full civil rights. Indeed, Israel is one of the few places in the Middle East where Arab women may vote in local and national elections.

Palestinian public opinion polling shows consistent large majority opposition to Israel’s existence as a Jewish state while approving of terrorism against the Jewish state. A recent example of this is a December 2015 poll conducted by the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research (PCPSR).

Recurring violence has been incited by longstanding and relentless anti-Israel and anti-Jewish invective from the Palestinian media, mosques and schools. Recent Palestinian violence – a year-long spate of stabbings, shootings and car rammings – has been fueled by daily Palestinian incitement against Jews by PA officials who honor terrorists and praise their acts of violence. The most recent wave of terror began around the time that an incendiary declaration was broadcast to Palestinians by PA controlled media.

Among the sources reporting on this matter was The Wall Street Journal on Oct. 18, 2015: "Mr. Abbas, the PA president, said the following on Palestinian television on Sept. 16: ‘We welcome every drop of blood spilled in Jerusalem. This is pure blood, clean blood, blood on its way to Allah. With the help of Allah, every martyr will be in heaven, and every wounded will get his reward.'"

Palestinian Authority President Abbas has insisted that the recent Palestinian terror attacks against Israelis is a natural consequence of despair but the evidence shows that Palestinian incitement plays a major part in the phenomenon.

Meanwhile Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu awaits a meaningful response regarding negotiations from the Palestinian side while his Palestinian counterpart Abbas has repeatedly and explicitly rejected the idea of two states for two peoples. Palestinian leaders rejected U.S. and Israeli offers of two-state solutions in 2000, 2001, 2008 and spurned renewed talks on such an agreement proposed by Secretary of State John Kerry in 2014.

The PA insists on various conditions unlikely to be accepted by any Israeli government before peace negotiations can take place, including: Israel must abide by Palestinian refusal to recognize Israel as a Jewish state (evidently 22 Arab Muslim states is fine but one Jewish state is one too many) and Israel must accept a "right of return" (that does not exist in international law) for millions of Arabs (nearly all of whom have never lived in Israel) which would inevitably result in the Jewish state becoming unviable.

Questions for Mitchell, Harman and C-SPAN: What is the evidence that the PA has renounced violence against Israel? What is the evidence that the PA has accepted Israel’s existence as a Jewish state? What is the evidence that the PA has opted for peace negotiations without preconditions? There being none, Mitchell's assertion has little or no basis in reality.

Posted by MK at 05:04 PM |  Comments (3)

December 09, 2016

FBI: American Jews Most Targeted Minority for Hate Crimes in 2015

AEI Scholar Mark Perry

American Jews account for a shockingly disproportionate number of hate crime victims, according to 2015 FBI statistics. The Bureau defines a hate crime as “an offense against a person or property motivated in whole or in part by an offender’s bias against a race, religion, disability, sexual orientation, ethnicity, or gender identity.?

The FBI reported that of the 1,244 reported victims of hate crimes last year, 664, or 53.4%, were Jewish. By comparison, there were 257 victims of anti-Muslim hate crimes, or 20.7% of the total figure.

Indeed, in 2015 there were more Jewish victims of hate crimes in the U.S. than all of the other victims of religious groups combined

Yet, this conclusion is not reflected in U.S. news media coverage—or popular perception—of hate crime victims. Mark Perry, a scholar at the Washington D.C.-based think tank American Enterprise Institute (AEI), noted:

“According to a Google news search for the term ‘hate crimes’ along with the name of each of those three groups [Muslims, Blacks and Jews], there are 164,000 results for ‘hate crimes’+black, 134,000 results for ‘hate crimes’ + Muslims and only 36,400 results for ‘hate crimes’+Jews.?

“Based on news reports,? Perry stated, “you would think that blacks were 4.5 times more likely than Jews to be victim of a hate crime and that Muslims were almost 4 times more likely than Jews to be a hate crime victim.? However, “adjusting for the population size of each group (42.75 million blacks, 5.7 million Jews and 3.3 million Muslims), the hate crime victimization rates last year per 100,000 population were 11.6 for Jews, 7.8 for Muslims and 4.1 for blacks… . Therefore, American Jews were nearly three times more likely than blacks to be a victim of a hate crime last year, and 1.5 times more likely than a Muslim to be a hate crime victim.?

As CAMERA has noted, many U.S. news media outlets have provided coverage of anti-Muslim hate crimes. Often, the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) is quoted—despite the group’s history of having distorted hate crime statistics. However, hate crimes against Jews are often given short shift by the press (“The Washington Post Gets CAIR-Less, Again,? CAMERA, Nov. 23, 2016). For example, The Washington Post reported CAIR’s claims of an increase in anti-Muslim hate crimes in 2015 (“Attacks against Muslims hit highest mark since 2001,? November 14). But The Post article omitted those against Jews in 2015.

As AEI scholar Perry pointed out:

“Based on the actual rates of hate crime victimization and the fact that Jews are so disproportionately targeted, wouldn’t we have to conclude that hate crimes against Jews are routinely under-reported by the media relative to the reporting of hate crimes against blacks and Muslims??

Posted by SD at 11:36 AM |  Comments (5)

December 05, 2016

Defense One Notes Israel’s Security Challenges

Defense One.png

Israel is employing innovative methods to confront an increasingly complex security environment, according to a recent article in Defense One (“In Israel, Race to Safeguard Borders From Multi-Dimensional Threats,? Nov. 28, 2016). The report, by correspondent Barbara Opall-Rome, offered a detailed and informative look at Israeli strategy that is seldom noted by other news media outlets.

Opall-Rome highlighted that Israel continues to face the danger posed by Hamas, the U.S.-designated terrorist group that rules the Gaza Strip. During its 2014 war, Hamas employed underground tunnels to attack Israelis. The reporter pointed out that:

“Since then, Israel has fast-tracked prewar development plans for a number of technological solutions aimed at detecting, mapping and operating in the subterranean environment, spending about $200 million in the process. Earlier this year, through improved operational and technological methods — most of which remain classified — Israel discovered another two tunnels reaching into its territory from Gaza.?

The U.S. has been working with Israel to develop counter-tunnel technologies since 2008. In 2016, the U.S. Department of Defense received $40 million to expand the project. Israel is expected to fund an “an equal amount in cash or in kind,? Defense One said.

The joint program has benefits for both sides; an anonymous U.S. defense official told Opall-Rome that terror tunnels are a problem for U.S. forces in Iraq and Afghanistan, as well.

The threats that Israel faces differ in nature. As a result, the Jewish state employs different strategies to confront them.

Israel employs border barriers in the West Bank (Judea and Samaria) and the Gaza Strip to deter terror attacks. On its northern border, Israel’s concerns extend past terror tunnels and include worries over “a full assault by Lebanese-based Hezbollah or its allies.? A spokesperson for the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF), Lt. Col. Peter Lerner, told Defense One:

“Up north, we view the threat differently. The topography is completely different, so what we’ve done on the border with Lebanon, we’ve created artificial cliffs that create an extremely difficult terrain for forces to easily storm into a civilian community or a military base along the border.?

Lerner stated that, in addition to altering the terrain, the IDF has expanded surveillance capabilities and established quick reaction forces to immediately confront an attack. Additionally, the IDF has created an evacuation plan for the 22 civilian communities who are likely to come under direct threat from an attack by Hezbollah.

As CAMERA noted in a April 30, 2016 Times of Israel Op-Ed “Media Fails to Connect the Dots on Hezbollah’s Next War,? the media has often failed to note Hezbollah’s growing capabilities. The Iranian-funded, U.S.-designated terror group has—in violation of several U.N. resolutions requiring the group to be disarmed—an arsenal that includes drones and more than 120,00 missiles. The group calls for Israel’s destruction and intentionally targets Israeli civilians while using “human shields? as cover—a double war crime.

However, the media often fails to note Hezbollah’s aims and tactics.

Defense One’s report provided readers with important details about Israel’s security challenges and how the country is addressing them. The article by Barbara Opall-Rome can be found here.

Posted by SD at 01:23 PM |  Comments (1)

Iranian Ship Threatens U.S. Helicopter, Media MIA

Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the Supreme Leader of the Islamic Republic of Iran

An Iranian ship threatened a U.S. military helicopter in the Strait of Hormuz on Nov. 26, 2016. Many major U.S. news outlets have ignored the incident.

Reuters, citing two anonymous U.S. defense officials, reported that “a small Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard vessel pointed its weapon? at the U.S. Navy MH-60 helicopter (“Iranian vessel points weapon at U.S. helicopter: officials,? Nov. 29, 2016).

“The behavior by our standards is provocative and could be seen as an escalation,? the U.S. officials told Reuters.

Many in the U.S. press failed to cover the event. A Lexis-Nexis search of several U.S. print news outlets, including The Washington Post, USA Today and The Baltimore Sun, showed that the latest threatening Iranian action against the U.S. was ignored.

In the last year alone, Iran has engaged in cyberwarfare against the U.S. and threatened U.S. vessels and troops in Iraq, among other aggressive acts (“Where’s the Coverage? Iran Threatens U.S. Troops,? Dec. 11, 2015). Yet, the media frequently underreports or ignores Iranian belligerence, as CAMERA has noted (see, for example “Iran Increases Cyber attacks Against the United States; Where’s the Coverage?? Nov. 30, 2015).

Posted by SD at 09:34 AM |  Comments (0)