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Friday, February 24, 2017

Eyeless in Gaza: How Hamas controls the media in Gaza

For those of you who are in London on Monday night, here's a film you don't want to miss. It's called Eyeless in Gaza, and as the title of this post indicates, it shows how Hamas controls what's reported out of Gaza through intimidation. But that's only half the story. Here's a preview.

Let's go to the videotape. More after the video.

But this isn't just about Hamas intimidating the media. As I have reported previously, the media are willing sheep.
“It’s something I call ‘group think’,” explains Himel.  “Group think isn’t a malicious attempt to lie or distort the truth, but there is a strong herd instinct of what is allowable and what is not.
“When you look at reporting on the Middle East in general, the same model is used. The Syrian conflict was described as a fight for human rights and the Arab Spring was hailed as a revolt against brutal dictators.
“What often happens is the group think will significantly distort what’s really going on when you are reporting something – and if you violate group think you can be in a lot of trouble.”
As a case in point, the film highlights the naval blockade and subsequent raid by Israeli forces on a Palestinian freighter named Karine A in 2007. The vessel was found to be carrying 50 tons of weapons, including short-range Katyusha rockets, anti-tank missiles and explosives.
But as the documentary notes: “Very little of the weapons found…made it to the media. Instead, the news focused on flotillas trying to break the naval blockade.”
Why, then, did journalists focus more on the flotillas than the success of the Karine A operation?
Himel explains: “The group think is that an unjustified blockade is causing hardship for the people of Gaza. They can’t get basic food, they can’t move around, they can’t get to family in other places. The media will be attracted to things that strengthen that assumption.
“So a flotilla coming in trying to save the besieged people of Gaza, like those besieged in Leningrad in 1942, is appropriate, whereas if you are talking about a naval blockade that’s stopping arms getting in, you are instantly making the picture more complex – and that doesn’t sit well with editors.”
The consequences for journalists who veered away from the accepted narrative can be extreme.
When RTV reporter Harry Fear tweeted that Gaza rockets had fired into Israel, he was immediately expelled from the area by Hamas officials, while Palestinian journalist Ayman al-Aloul was imprisoned and tortured for being critical about the governing authority in Gaza.
“You pay the price,” says Himel.
There is, however, also another element, which Himel believes underscores the very reasons why the Israel-Gaza conflict is reported in the way it is.
“The real story is there’s a really serious war of beliefs going on, that’s the basis for all of it.
“But editors don’t want to say it, because that means it’s a religious war and you begin to realise how sensitive and complex the whole issue is.”
That decision not to report the conflict as one based on religion has also effectively blocked out mention of Hamas and its anti-Semitic ethos.
I would say it's much more malicious than Himel thinks it is. Let's start with the Karine A. The Karine A happened in January 2002 before this blog existed, not in 2007 as Himel has it. But the 2007 date is convenient. The so-called 'blockade' of Gaza started after Hamas gained control of the Gaza Strip in the summer of 2007. In January 2002, Israel actually controlled Gaza. 

The 'flotillas' have nothing to do with the Karine A and everything to do with the anti-Semitic Europeans (who stand behind the flotillas), who promote the most pernicious lies about Israel and Jews. In fact, it is the Europeans who have done more to keep the dream of 'Palestine' replacing Israel God Forbid than even the Arab states. The Arab states have tired of the 'Palestinian' lies. 

But like the inconvenient fact that our war with Hamas is a religious war, the media also prefers to ignore the inconvenient fact that Europe still dreams of finishing what Hitler started. 

I would still go see Himel's movie, because it's important that someone is at least raising the issue (although Matti Friedman is the guy who really brought the issue up), but given his sloppy reporting on the Karine A, I have to wonder what the movie is really going to say.

To get you thinking, I want to show you the full video from 2014 by an Indian television crew - a video that is quite rare - of which you saw a small clip in the preview above. 

Let's go to the videotape.

My original post containing that video is here.

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Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Report: IAF struck Hezbullah weapons convoy in Lebanon

Foreign reports indicate that Israel's air force struck a Hezbullah weapons convoy in Lebanon around 3:00 am local time today.
Of course, the IDF has refused comment.
A monitoring group also reported that a strike took place. Rami Abdel Rahman, the head of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, told the German news agency DPA that Israeli warplanes fired at least six rockets on depots in the area of Qutaifa, north-east of Damascus.

It was not immediately clear if the targeted sites belong to the Syrian army or its allied Lebanese Hezbollah movement, he added.

The reports have not been officially confirmed.

The Israeli army said that the military does not respond to foreign reports.
Hezbullah chieftain Hassan Nasrallah has issued a number of threats against Israel recently, but he's been warned by Arab states not to try anything. Here's betting that this doesn't draw him out of his bunker either.

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This is going to be fun: US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley rips the Security Council's Israel obsession

Here's US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley telling the press about her first Security Council meeting - and she specifically mentions the shameful US abstention (and worse) on Security Council Resolution 2334 during the last days of the Obama administration.

Let's go to the videotape.

For those on the Left who are wondering why you lost the recent US election, you might want to start here.

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Who's trying to infiltrate my computer?

Well, isn't this interesting?

My anti-virus software has now blocked - at least five times this morning - someone with an IP address in Sweden attempting to infiltrate my computer.

Anyone know if there is a way to report this?

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Monday, February 20, 2017

How Donald Trump is bringing hope to the 'peace process'

After eight years in which most Israelis felt that they weren't getting a fair hearing at the White House, and in which Israel's Prime Minister looked more uncomfortable with each trip to the United States, times have changed. In a White House meeting earlier this week, President Trump allowed Netanyahu to say what nearly all Israelis believe and what former President Hussein Obama would never allow to be heard.
Despite his international protestations, Mahmoud Abbas, the president of the Palestinian Authority (like Yasir Arafat before him), has consistently denied that the Jews have a historic connection to the Temple Mount. Far more than arcane arguments over historical minutiae, the Arafat-Abbas tradition of denying a longstanding Jewish link to Jerusalem is the Palestinian’s inimitable way of saying that the Jews are simply the latest wave of Crusaders, that Israel is nothing but a colonialist presence in the Middle East. Just as the crusaders and colonialists of the past ultimately departed, the argument goes, so too will the Jews.
The belief that President Abbas sees the two-state solution as a steppingstone to a one – Arab – state solution leaves many Israelis cynical about the peace process and tiring of the rhetoric about two states. Mr. Trump may have shifted that momentum.
President Trump afforded Prime Minister Netanyahu an opportunity to assert – despite American denials – that Palestinian schools’ textbooks teach Palestinian children to hate Jews. Israelis wholeheartedly believe that accusation to be true. They know of the Fatah Party’s incendiary boast on Facebook that it had killed 11,000 Israelis and that the Palestinian Authority recently named its fourth school for Salah Khalaf, mastermind of the 1972 Munich Olympic massacre of Israeli athletes. While President Barack Obama obliquely acknowledged in his eulogy for Shimon Peres, the former Israeli president and prime minister, that “Arab youth are taught to hate Israel from an early age,” Mr. Trump gave Mr. Netanyahu a stage from which to make the accusation explicit.
Obama's eulogy for Shimon Peres - perhaps his first acknowledgment of mainstream 'Palestinian' hate for Israelis and Jews - came on September 30, 2016, nearly at the end of Obama's term, and at a point where it was likely designed to help Hillary Clinton's election prospects and not a sincere empathy with Israel's plight.

Daniel Gordis believes that Trump's openness to hear the Israeli point of view can only help the 'peace process.'
Outward appearances of confidence notwithstanding, Palestinian leaders undoubtedly understand that the jig is up – gone (for now) are the days in which they can tell the world one story and their people another. That actually gives Israelis hope that – if the Palestinians want political sovereignty – the Palestinian Authority will have to lay the groundwork by forging an entirely different narrative about Israel and Jews.
There is still no reason to assume that President Trump and Prime Minister Netanyahu can forge a deal. Mr. Trump’s White House is in disarray, Mr. Netanyahu is under investigation for corruption and politically weakened, Mr. Kushner has not a day of diplomatic experience, the other Arab countries that Mr. Trump and Mr. Netanyahu hope will be part of an agreement may or may not cooperate and Palestinian hatred of Jews may be too deeply entrenched.
Yet there is at least cause for a glimmer of hope. On Wednesday, whatever ambivalences about Mr. Trump many Israelis have, they heard from a United States president sympathetic to their story, sensitive to their fears of Iran and committed to their safety. That may matter a great deal. For Israelis who feel safe and protected are infinitely more likely to make accommodations for peace.
Gordis is right that it's highly unlikely (to say the least) that Trump and Netanyahu can forge a deal. Not now and not in the next eight years. But that has nothing to do with investigations, disarray or weak political positions. Rather, it's because the 'Palestinians' have yet to give any indication that they are ready to accept a Jewish state of any size, shape or form, and that creating a 'Palestinian' state (God Forbid) will not be the end of the conflict, but rather moving on to a new stage against a much weakened Israel.

Don't expect it to happen in your lifetime or mine.

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Breaking: Rockets fired from Sinai at Israel

Within the past hour, two rockets have been fired on Israel from an area of the Sinai desert controlled by the Islamic State terror group. Both rockets fell in open areas.
The rockets landed in the Eshkol Regional Council, according to an initial statement released by the IDF Spokesperson’s Unit. No injuries or damages were caused.

A Red Alert was not sounded, the statement said, due to the fact that the rockets were fired into open space. 
It was reported on Sunday that an Israeli drone killed five ISIS terrorists in the Sinai near Rafah (the border between Egypt and the Gaza Strip).

Nothing else could do a better job of making the world forget about the 'Palestinians.'


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Sunday, February 19, 2017

Trump effect: Arabs warn Hezbullah not to attack Israel (with a song you'll remember fondly)

What a difference a month makes.

An 'Arab official' has warned Hezbullah warlord Hassan Nasrallah not to attack Israel in light of President Donald Trump's support for the Jewish state.

According to a report in Al Hayat, published in London, an Arab official warned Hezbollah that Israel would forcefully strike back against any military attack the organization carries out and severely damage Lebanon.

According to the report, the official said that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's ability to recruit "regional assistance" against Hezbollah is high due to the era of US President Donald Trump. The official further urged Hezbollah to behave cautiously and prudently.
Let's go to the videotape.

I wonder which Arab official warned Nasrallah not to attack....

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Must see: Senator Marco Rubio (R-Fl) comments at David Friedman confirmation hearing

Several people have sent me this video and it really is a must see. This is Republican Senator Marco Rubio (Fl) speaking at the confirmation hearings for David Friedman as US Ambassador to Israel. He's awesome. This will be the best five minutes you will spend today.

Let's go to the videotape.

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Friday, February 17, 2017

Special Sabbath music video from @BennysMusic

It's been a while since I posted a music video (in fact, I haven't been posting much of anything lately, but it's too close to the Sabbath to start telling you why), but last night my 17-year old son came home from yeshiva and said 'Abba, this video is great - you have to post it on the blog,' and showed me this video, not knowing that Benny Friedman has been one of my Twitter followers for a while.

Anyway, it's really a great video, and when I looked last night, it had garnered over 155,000 hits in about ten days. That's quite an impressive number, and if I can increase that I'm happy. Really worth watching.

Let's go to the videotape.

Shabbat Shalom everyone!

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JINO's protest David Friedman's nomination to be US Ambaassador to Israel

Several 'as a Jews' protested David Friedman's nomination as US Ambassador to Israel in a Senate hearing on Thursday.

Let's go to the videotape.

One of the things that upsets the JINO's is David's connection to the yeshiva in Beit El (a connection that is likely the result of one of his children studying there - that's usually how these connections are formed).
As the Senate holds a confirmation hearing Thursday on the nomination of David Friedman, he could face grilling about his ties to Beit El, a community north of Jerusalem located in the heart of the occupied territory Palestinians demand for an independent state.
A bankruptcy attorney from the Five Towns area of Long Island, Friedman is a major donor to Beit El and serves as the president of the American Friends of Beit El Yeshiva, the U.S. fundraising arm of the settlement’s Jewish seminary and affiliated institutions, including high schools, an Israeli military prep academy, a newspaper for the religious Jewish settler community and the right-wing news site Arutz Sheva.
They make the entire town sound like shnorrers (beggars). In fact, the 'American Friends' setup is entirely legal - nearly every school in Israel that raises money in the US has one in order for donors to qualify for 501(c)(3) deductions. Each of the other institutions likely has its own 'American Friends' with the likely exception of Arutz Sheva, which the last time I checked was a commercial venture.
But even by Trump’s new standards, Friedman appears to be extreme. Friedman is a fervent supporter of the settlements and an outspoken opponent of Palestinian statehood.
“I have expressed my skepticism about two-state state solutions because of what I perceive as the Palestinians inability to denounce terrorism and recognize Israel as a legitimate state,” Friedman said.
If that's 'extreme,' I don't many Orthodox Jews in the United States or Israel who aren't extremists.
In Beit El, the Friedman Faculty House, which bears his and his wife’s names on the facade, is built on private Palestinian land without permission from its Palestinian landowners, according to the anti-settlement watchdog Kerem Navot.
And now CBS is accepting claims by Israel's Hebrew 'Palestinian' daily as 'facts.' Prove it.

PS Almost forgot to mention that David prayed at the Lubavitcher Rebbe's grave on Sunday. David is not a Lubavitcher chassid.

Here's David's full opening statement. Let's go to the videotape.

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