Sunday, December 21, 2014

The year in ElderToons

As the year comes towards a close, and it gets to be the time I ask for donations, I thought I'd take a walk down memory lane. (Hey, magazines do it all the time.)

Here are some of the cartoons I made this year:


And, my personal favorite:

If you enjoyed my posts, videos, cartoons and posters this year, why not make a donation to EoZ? Just use the PayPal button on the sidebar of the main blog page, or send me an Amazon gift card.

12/21 Links: Intellectuals in service of Palestinian propaganda; Parkour on top of Al Aqsa Mosque

From Ian:

Ben-Dror Yemini: Intellectuals in service of Palestinian propaganda
Petition urging European parliaments to support statehood only reinforces rejectionist approach and drives further anti-Semitism.
What exactly goes through the minds of intellectuals when they sign a petition that urges European parliaments to support the Palestinian Authority's demand for statehood?
But what the hell qualifies them to poke their long noses into political issues and developments?
After all, the Palestinians have time and again rejected the offer of a Palestinian state alongside Israel.
After all, they've rejected the formula of two states for two peoples time and again too.
After all, Mahmoud Abbas has made it clear, recently too, in an interview with Akhbar Alyoum, that his opposition to a Jewish state is a direct consequence of his demand for the right of return.
After all, this appeal to the European states and United Nations is not designed to promote a peace settlement, but to dodge the formula of two states for two peoples instead.
Netanyahu: We will not ignore even one rocket from Gaza
Israel's safety is the number one priority, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Saturday, regarding a rocket from Gaza that landed in Israel on Friday and an IAF attack on a Hamas cement factory on Saturday in response.
Speaking during a Hannuka candle lighting ceremony at the Western Wall in Jerusalem, Netanyahu said "I want to thank you soldiers for your contribution to Israel's safety. Israel's safety comes first. I won't allow even one rocket, and that is why the IAF responded to the rocket and destroyed a cement factory that was making cement to repair tunnels that were hit during Operation Protective Edge. Hamas will be held responsible for every escalation. We will protect Israel's safety. Happy holidays to everyone," he said.
Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon also spoke on Saturday evening saying that Israel will not tolerate a new "trickle" of rockets from Gaza.
"Last night's IAF airstrike in Gaza, which was in response to Friday's rocket attack, was on a factory making cement that would be used to build tunnels. It is a clear message to Hamas that we won't put up with a 'trickle' of rockets on our citizens. We hold Hamas responsible for what happens in the strip, and we know how to respond to the attacks if they don't know how to stop them," Ya'alon said.
Young Boy Recites Song on Hamas TV: The Jews Are Barbaric Apes, the Most Evil of Creatures
In a recent Hamas TV children's show, a young boy recites a song titled "I Do Not Fear the Gun," in which he says: "Oh sons of Zion, oh the most evil of creatures, oh barbaric apes, Jerusalem rejects you and vomits your filth." The show aired on Al-Aqsa TV on December 5, 2014

Hamas and its European allies (Mike Lumish)

Writing in Arutz Sheva, Ari Yashar tells us:

The EU's New Best Buddies
Hamas, in both its military and governmental branches, has been temporarily removed from the European Union's list of proscribed terrorist groups as the result of a technical legal blunder.

After Hamas filed an appeal against its terrorist list standing, the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg published its decision on Wednesday, with Hamas being removed due to claims that the group's inclusion in the list was against EU procedures and without sufficient evidence. 
The court said in a statement that Hamas's inclusion was based on "factual imputations derived from the press and the Internet" as opposed to sound legal judgments. But it stressed that Wednesday's decision to remove Hamas was based on technical grounds and does "not imply any substantive assessment of the question of the classification of Hamas as a terrorist group."
They are trying to soft-pedal this move.  The Europeans know damn well that Hamas is a terrorist organization that calls specifically for the genocide of the Jewish people directly in its founding document.  So as they ease Hamas into social and political acceptability in the West they need to pretend like its not really happening.

They remove Hamas from the terror list, but because this will make some people - most notably Jews - rather uncomfortable they pretend that Hamas was only kind-of removed from the terror list, and even then only for technical reasons.  Besides, they tell us, Hamas will probably end up back on the list sometime in the future, anyway... maybe.  Also, they assure us that they have maintained the freezing of Hamas assets in European lending institutions, so really nothing has at all changed.

Except things have changed and here is why.

What we are witnessing, essentially, is the open introduction of Hamas into the social and political European mainstream.  Such a move is fully in keeping with the rise of "Eurabia" as described in Bat Ye'or's Eurabia: The Euro-Arab Axis.  That is, close economic and political ties between Europe and the Arab world is changing the nature of European society in ways highly detrimental to Jewish people throughout the world.

This is, in fact, nothing less than the wholesale betrayal of the Jewish people by the European governments.  The EU insists upon a two-state solution while pressuring the party that has accepted two states for two peoples (Israel) and putting no pressure on the intransigent party (the Arabs).  This has been Obama's and the EU's modus operandi for many years, now.

Israel agrees to two states.  The Palestinian-Arabs say "no" and refuse to negotiate, thus irrationally causing the EU and the US to pressure Israel to accept what it has always accepted since the 1937 Peel Commission.  It says something about how twisted and topsey-turvey EU and US foreign policy is viz-a-viz the conflict.  They place all pressure on Israel, despite the fact that Israel agreed to two states long ago, and they place no pressure on the intransigent party.

It simply makes no sense from a geopolitical standpoint.  Heck, it makes no sense from a perspective of normal human decency and basic rationality.

But, then, the very idea that the EU would remove Hamas from its terror list also makes no sense from a perspective of normal human decency and basic rationality.

Here is a tid-bit from the Hamas charter that is actually part of one of the hadiths:
 The Day of Judgement will not come about until Moslems fight the Jews (killing the Jews), when the Jew will hide behind stones and trees. The stones and trees will say O Moslems, O Abdulla, there is a Jew behind me, come and kill him.
They have talking rocks and trees who yammer for the blood of the Jews and, yet, somehow, this is alright with our European allies?

My favorite parts, however, have to do with these bizarre paranoid fantasies and conspiracy theories concerning the Freemasonic Lodge and other such old-timey men's associations.  Here is a bit from article 17 of the charter referring specifically to the Masons and the Rotary Club:
These organizations have ample resources that enable them to play their role in societies for the purpose of achieving the Zionist targets and to deepen the concepts that would serve the enemy. These organizations operate in the absence of Islam and its estrangement among its people. The Islamic peoples should perform their role in confronting the conspiracies of these saboteurs. The day Islam is in control of guiding the affairs of life, these organizations, hostile to humanity and Islam, will be obliterated.
In any case, this is a very important moment because it is the moment, historically, wherein the European Union is openly welcoming Hamas into their network.  They may see a good strategy in poo-pooing the move but we need to be vigilant concerning the meanings of such diplomatic gestures and we must not be afraid to get into their faces about this kind of thing.

The EU can befriend Hamas or it can befriend the Jews, but it certainly cannot befriend both.

Oh, and by the way, this is Hamas' opinion of the Jews:
With their money, they took control of the world media, news agencies, the press, publishing houses, broadcasting stations, and others. With their money they stirred revolutions in various parts of the world with the purpose of achieving their interests and reaping the fruit therein. They were behind the French Revolution, the Communist revolution and most of the revolutions we heard and hear about, here and there. With their money they formed secret societies, such as Freemasons, Rotary Clubs, the Lions and others in different parts of the world for the purpose of sabotaging societies and achieving Zionist interests. 
Again with the Freemasons!

One of my dearest friends from college is 33 degree Master Mason of Irish descent and I am pretty sure that he is not running around sabotaging societies, nor doing anything for "Zionist interests."  In fact, I am pretty sure that what they mainly do is business networking and community / charitable efforts.

But, who knows?

Maybe the EU is right to side with Hamas over the Jews.  They may lose their Freemasonic constituency - to the extent that their is any such creature - but why should they care?  I feel reasonably certain in asserting the idea that the Freemasonic Lodge, whatever its past glories, no longer plays much of a role in European politics.

But, then, neither do the Jews.

Michael Lumish is a blogger at the Israel Thrives blog as well as a regular contributor/blogger at Times of Israel and Jews Down Under.

Man leaves 4-year old in car, claims religious settlers tried to kidnap him Fri. night

Fact checking and Arab media do not exactly go together:

A Palestinian man from the northern West Bank has said that a group of Jewish settlers attempted to kidnap his four-year-old son from a parked car on Friday evening.

Majd Asous told Ma'an that he left his four-year-old son Nadim in a parked car outside a store in the village of Huwwara south of Nablus when a group of Israeli settlers ina red Subaru approached the boy.

Asous said that the settlers approached the car and grabbed the boy, but they fled the area after the child started screaming.

The father added that following the incident he followed the settlers' car, which then entered the Jewish-only settlement of Bracha near the village of Burin.

Asous was unable to follow the vehicle into the settlement as access is forbidden for non-Jews.

The boy was subsequently taken to a hospital to be treated for trauma.
So on Friday evening (which must have been close to or after sunset, since sunset in Israel this time of year is about 4:35) a Palestinian Arab man left his four year old son alone in his car while he went shopping. Settlers from a religious community decided to ignore Sabbath because they really wanted to kidnap some random child that they were cruising around hoping to find instead of the usual Shabbat activities. Their plans were foiled by the courageous kid, but they ducked into their settlement before they could be caught. The man apparently didn't bother to go to either Palestinian or Israeli police to file a complaint, nor did he tell the guard at the settlement gate that the people he just let in were would-be kidnappers. .

Sure, this all adds up.

Given that Ma'an will publish the most absurd accusations without doing the slightest verification, people who want their 15 minutes of fame know where to go.

There was a real kidnapping in Hebron on Thursday night, but no Jews were accused of it so it really was not worth reporting in English.

Lies about medical care in the territories under Israel debunked in new paper

A new article in the Fathom Journal by Dr. David Stone,  Emeritus Professor of Pediatric Epidemiology at the University of Glasgow, methodically takes apart the continuous allegations of the Lancet that Israeli actions has caused sub-par medical care in the territories. Excerpts:

The incendiary claim that Israel has deliberately damaged the health of the Palestinians of the West Bank and Gaza Strip is not evidence-based, argues Dr. David Stone. In fact, the opposite is true: the health of the Palestinians has improved steadily since 1967. Stone maps a cluster of changes – in demography, crude death rates, life expectancy, infant mortality, as well as maternal, perinatal, under-five mortality, immunisation coverage, nutrition and infant growth patterns, primary and secondary health care, and the Israeli influence on ‘the causes of the causes’ of ill health (housing, water, education, employment) – to show that Israeli policies have brought about measurable improvements in Palestinian health and welfare. This was achieved, in the face of formidable obstacles, by a variety of means including an outstanding child immunization programme, the launching of need-responsive innovations in primary care (crucially including maternal and child health services), a large hospital development programme, collaborative modes of working with Palestinian professionals, UNRWA and NGOs, and – arguably even more important – providing high quality training for doctors, nurses and other health providers in Israeli institutions thereby bringing modern standards to anaesthesia, renal dialysis, cardiac surgery and many other critically important fields.

A recurrent assertion is that Israel deliberately impeded or neglected the healthcare system, basic infrastructure and economic development during the period of its administration of WB/G between 1967 and 1994.

Among the claimed adverse effects of these (alleged) policies are counted the substantial and widening gaps between the health of Israelis (or at least Israeli Jews) and Palestinians living in WB/G during and even beyond the period of Israeli rule. In recent years, this narrative, once virtually confined to Palestinian and Arab sources, has been endorsed, reiterated and elaborated by several respected international UK-based medical journals, most notably The Lancet.

Here is just a small sample of the accusations:

Between 1967 and 1993, health services for Palestinians in the occupied Palestinian territory were neglected and starved of funds by the Israeli military administration, with shortages of staff, hospital beds, medications, and essential and specialised services, forcing Palestinians to depend on health services in Israel. (Rita Giacaman et al, Lancet 2009.)

The people of the Palestinian territory matter, most importantly, because their lives and communities are continuing to experience an occupation that has produced chronic de-development for nearly 4 million people over many decades. (Richard Horton, Lancet, 2009.)

Following the June war of 1967, Israel was required by international law to assume responsibility for health services in the newly occupied West Bank and Gaza. Between then and 1993, health services in the occupied Palestinian territory were starved of funds and there were shortages of staff, hospital beds, medication and essential specialised services, while responsibility for healthcare passed from the Israeli Ministry of Health to the military government and then to the Israeli Civil Administration, under the Ministry of Defence. During that time, Israel aimed only to maintain standards of public health and did not attempt to build services beyond primary care. (Aimee Shalan, Spectator, 2013.)

The evidence presented in this paper overwhelmingly points to a clear answer to the question posed in the title – Israel has not damaged Palestinian health. In fact, the opposite is the case. Israeli policies were carefully formulated to improve health conditions in WB/G as rapidly as possible. These policies were carried through to implementation on the ground and brought about measurable improvements in Palestinian health and welfare....The data presented here, for all their shortcomings, permit the following six conclusions to be drawn:

1. Palestinians residing in WB/G generally suffer poorer health than their Israeli neighbours but enjoy better health than many Arab states.

2. Since 1967, following the cessation of hostilities between Israel and several Arab states and the establishment of an Israeli civil administration in WB/G, the health of Palestinians improved markedly.

3. 3. Given the low baseline, especially in Gaza, which suffered serious Egyptian neglect from 1948 to 1967, improvements in Palestinian health and healthcare could not have occurred by chance but were a consequence of health-promoting Israeli policies and activities closely coordinated with local and international partners, including UNRWA.

4. Subsequent to the assumption of full responsibility for health by the PA in 1994 in the context of the Oslo Accords, many of the public health initiatives undertaken by Israel since 1967 were continued

5. Despite the overwhelming evidence to the contrary, many of Israel’s critics – including distinguished doctors, scientists, politicians and NGO officials – continue to lay most or all of the blame for contemporary Palestinian health problems and related disadvantages exclusively or predominantly at the door of Israel and the occupation.

6. The politicisation of health by Israel’s enemies is not a new phenomenon. It is manifested in UN agencies, the media, medical journals, academic conferences and research reports published by humanitarian or medical NGOs purporting to promote universal human rights.

Three examples of the politicisation in the health arena are especially egregious.

First, the banishment of Israel into a separate ‘Committee B’ of the World Health Organisation’s Eastern Mediterranean Region in 1951, at the behest of the Arab League, was a cynical move designed to isolate Israel further from her immediate neighbours. (In exasperation, Israel eventually accepted membership, despite its obvious geographical absurdity, into the European Region of WHO).

Second, for over half a century of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies refused either to admit Israel to its ranks or to recognise her Magen David Adom (Red Star of David) as the symbol of its emergency medicine organisation. This policy was justified on the spurious grounds that the Star of David was a ‘religious’ symbol – despite the Christian Red Cross and Muslim Red Crescent being granted recognition without challenge.

Third, several medical NGOs have exploited the ‘double halo effect’ (humanitarianism plus health) to attack Israel unfairly for its allegedly health-destructive behaviour towards the Palestinians. Many of these NGOs launched a campaign of Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) against Israel at a notorious anti-racism conference held in Durban, South Africa in 2001, at which Israel was denounced as an allegedly ‘apartheid state’ and anti-Semitism was openly on display. The Lancet’s relentless pillorying of Israel, in the guise of promoting Palestinian health and welfare, resonates strongly with the Durban strategy and should be viewed in the light of that unsavoury enterprise.

(h/t Irene)

Hasby Award nominations time! (nominations closed, seconds open)

Nominations time is over for the Hasby Awards; now it is time for you to check out the nominations and second them in the comments if you believe that they should go to the final round.

Don't bother to "second" nominations that were already seconded!

This is a great list, by the way. Definitely check out the nominees!

BEST PRO-ISRAEL TWEETER (Previous winners: Avi Mayer, No Camels)

Arsen Ostrovsky (seconded)
Margie in Tel Aviv (seconded)
CiFWatch (seconded)

BEST PRO-ISRAEL MEDIA OUTLET/WRITER NOT EXCLUSIVE TO ISRAEL (Previous winners: The Commentator and Melanie Philips)

Douglas Murray (seconded)
Gatestone Institute (seconded)
Charles Krauthammer (seconded)
Walter Russell Mead (seconded)
Bret Stephens (WSJ) (seconded)
Legal Insurrection (seconded)
Daniel Greenfield (seconded)
Colonel Richard Kemp (seconded)
Brendan O'Neil
SunNews Media (Canada)

Ryan Bellerose (seconded)
Chloe Valdary (seconded)
Daniel Mael (seconded)
Mohammed Zoabi (seconded)
Sarah Bernamoff (seconded)
Samantha Hamilton (seconded)
Orit Arfa


Caroline Glick (seconded)
Martin Kramer (seconded)
Daniel Gordis (seconded)
Evelyn Gordon (seconded)
Khaled Abu Toameh (seconded)
Mudar Zahran (seconded)
Israel Revolt 

BEST ENGLISH-LANGUAGE PRO-ISRAEL ONLINE MEDIA OUTLET (Previous winners: Times of Israel and The Tower)

Algemeiner  (seconded)
Israel HaYom (seconded)
Tablet (seconded)
JPost (seconded)
Israel21c (seconded)
Mosaic Magazine (seconded)
YNet (seconded)
Arutz7 (seconded)

BEST MAINSTREAM MEDIA WATCHDOG (Previous winners: Honest Reporting and CAMERA)

BBC Watch (seconded)
CiF Watch  (seconded)

BEST WATCHDOG - ARABIC MEDIA AND NGOs (Last year's winner: Palestinian Media Watch)

MEMRI  (seconded)
NGO Monitor (seconded)
UN Watch (seconded)

BEST PRO-ISRAEL BLOG (PRESENT COMPANY EXCLUDED) (Previous winners: Daphne Anson, Missing Peace, Israellycool)

Israel Matzav (seconded)
This Ongoing War (seconded)
Jews Down Under (seconded)
IsraelSeen (seconded)
Thomas Wictor (seconded)
IsraelStreet (seconded)


IDF (idfnadesk) on YouTube  (seconded)
StandWithUs (FBYouTube)  (seconded)


BEST "OWN GOAL" (Anti-Zionists acting so stupid they disgust even disinterested parties or backfire spectacularly)

Max Blumenthal and David Sheen Toiletgate (seconded)
George Galloway (seconded)
 Brighton BDS warning people about 'Zionist donations' to food banks
Saima Jamal
Ala'a Hamdan  “I will soak a koffiah with your blood and save it to show to your siblings "
UCLA student meltdown after BDS defeat (seconded)
Kat-Yang Stevens (seconded)


A Letter to the Jewish Nation: Why an Indian Stands With Israel , Vijeta Uniyal (seconded)
Native Jewish Bond Thicker Than Water, Ryan Bellerose
Why I Decided to Start Wearing a Kippah, Ryan Bellerose (seconded)
Israel: The World's First Modern Indigenous State, Ryan Bellerose
Jews and Race: The "Skin Color" argument in anti-Israel discourse (Binyamin arazi)

BEST GRASSROOTS PRO-ISRAEL ORGANIZATION (Previous winner: Sussex Friends for Israel)


Bassam Eid (seconded)
Mohammed Zoabi (seconded)
Orim Shimshon (seconded)
Father Nadaf (seconded)
Aboud Dandachi
Tarek Fatah (seconded)
Raheel Raza (Honour Diaries)


Dry Bones (seconded)
Tikun Olam
Benji Lovitt


Industry of Lies by Ben-Dror Yemini (Hebrew)
Catch the Jew by Tuvia Tenenbom (Hebrew)
Like Dreamers, Yossi Klein Halevi (seconded)

David Draiman
Roseanne Barr (seconded)
Mark R. Pelligrino
Joshua Malina

StandWithUs "Passport"Campaign
Investigative Project on Terrorism
Joan Rivers on Protective Edge

Saturday, December 20, 2014

12/20 Links: illridewithyou Hashtag Hypocrisy; IDF aircraft strike Gaza following earlier rocket fire

From Ian:

#illridewithyou Hashtag Hypocrisy
In December last year, a gang assaulted 5 Jewish people as they were walking home from a Shabbat dinner. Not only were some of the victims injured, but the trauma of the event would have made them very wary of venturing out at night again.
In August this year, six drunken teenagers boarded a school bus taking children from 2 Jewish schools, hurling anti-Semitic abuse and threatening to cut the throats of its young passengers, some as young as 6 or 7. This incident would have been absolutely terrifying for the young victims.
Both these events happened in Sydney and were racist to the core; yet I can’t remember anyone from the Greens/Left rushing to accompany Jews walking home on Shabbat; there was no #illwalkwithyou campaign to make the Jews feel safe on the streets of Sydney. Similarly, the Greens didn’t offer an #illridewithyou gesture to the poor frightened Jewish kids.
If the Greens were really the compassionate and anti-racist party they claim to be, they wouldn’t be supporting the racist BDS movement, but would show empathy for Israel, the victims of a vicious jihad by Hamas, Hezbollah and other terror groups. In fact, their hashtag would read #illridewithjews
But don’t expect to see this any time soon!
Amb. Roet addresses UNSC on Threats to International Peace & Security

IDF aircraft strike Gaza following earlier rocket fire
The IDF struck a site belonging to Hamas in southern Gaza near Khan Yunis early Saturday morning, following an earlier rocket attack from Gaza into Israel on Friday afternoon, which exploded in open territory near the Eshkol Regional Council.
The reports are of at least two strikes by the Israel Air Force, which was reportedly assisted by the Israel Navy.
The Palestinian Interior Ministry tweeted that a medical source confirmed there were no injures resulting from the strike.
The IDF Spokesperson's unit said in a statement, "The IDF struck terror infrastructure belonging to the terrorist organization Hamas in the southern Gaza Strip. A direct hit was identified."
The IDF says the strike was in response to earlier rocket fire into Israel on Friday afternoon.
"The IDF will not allow any attempts to hurt the safety of Israel's civilians. The Hamas terrorist organization is the address, and they bear responsibility," said the IDF Spokesperson's Unit statement.
Hamas threatens retaliation following Israeli airstrikes
Hamas Prime Minister in the Gaza Strip Ismail Haniyeh said that the Israeli airstrikes constitute “a grave violation of the ceasefire agreement.”
“We will protect and guard the resistance’s victory in the last conflict,” he said. “We call on Egypt as the guarantor of the agreement to act and stop the violations by the enemy.”
Another senior Hamas member said Saturday that “the resistance [as Hamas calls itself] has the right to respond to Israeli aggression at the time and place of its choosing.”
Ismail al-Ashqar warned that Israeli action “against Palestinian fishermen and agriculture workers [was] a dangerous escalation.”
Missile from Gaza not news for the BBC but Israeli response gets headlines
On the morning of December 19th a missile fired from the Gaza Strip hit the Eshkol region of the Western Negev in the third such incident since the ceasefire in late August which brought the fifty-day summer conflict between Israel and Gaza-based terrorist organisations to a close. Like those previous incidents of missile fire, this one too was not reported by the BBC at the time.
During the night between December 19th and 20th, the Israeli air-force launched a retaliatory strike against a Hamas military installation near Khan Yunis. That event was considered news by the BBC.

Chanukah video night #5: Lights: Official Aish Hanukkah video 2014 - Featuring Shtar

Friday, December 19, 2014

12/19 Links Pt2: Dershowitz: Harvard’s president stops an anti-Israel boycott against SodaStream

From Ian:

Alan Dershowitz: Harvard’s president stops an anti-Israel boycott against SodaStream
I have no doubt that some students and other members of the Harvard community may be offended by the presence of SodaStream machines. Let them show their displeasure by not using the machines instead of preventing others who are not offended from obtaining their health benefits. Many students are also offended by their removal. Why should the views of the former prevail over those of the latter? I’m sure that some students are offended by any products made in Israel, just as some are offended by products made in Arab or Muslim countries that oppress gays, Christians and women. Why should the Harvard University Dining Service — or a few handfuls of students and professors — get to decide whose feelings of being offended count and whose don’t?
In addition to the substantive error made by Harvard University Dining Services, there is also an important issue of process. What right does a single Harvard University entity have to join the boycott movement against Israel without full and open discussion by the entire university community, including students, faculty, alumni and administration? Even the president and provost were unaware of this divisive decision until they read about it in the Crimson. As Provost Garber wrote, “Harvard University’s procurement decisions should not and will not be driven by individuals’ views of highly contested matters of political controversy.” Were those who made the boycott decision even aware of the arguments on the other side, such as those listed above? The decision of the HUDS must be rescinded immediately and a process should be instituted for discussing this issue openly with all points of view and all members of the university community represented. The end result should be freedom of choice: those who disapprove of SodaStream should be free to drink Pepsi. But those who don’t disapprove should be free to drink SodaStream. Economic boycotts should be reserved for the most egregious violations of human rights. They should not be used to put pressure on only one side of a dispute that has rights and wrongs on both sides.
Harvard president asks for probe into SodaStream boycott
Drew Faust asked for an investigation into the decision, Provost Alan Garber told The Harvard Crimson student newspaper on Wednesday night.
The request came following an article written earlier in the day by the newspaper reporting that the university’s dining service agreed in April to halt buying the equipment following protests by Palestinian students and their supporters.
The dining service agreed to remove the SodaStream labels on existing water machines and purchase new ones from American companies after university officials met in April with members of the Harvard College Palestine Solidarity Committee and the Harvard Islamic Society, the newspaper reported Wednesday.
“Harvard University’s procurement decisions should not and will not be driven by individuals’ views of highly contested matters of political controversy,” Garber wrote in an email statement to the Crimson late Wednesday night. “If this policy is not currently known or understood in some parts of the university, that will be rectified now.”
Garber said in the statement that neither he nor Faust was aware of the decision before reading about it in the newspaper.
New Play Explores the ‘Arrogance’ of American Jews Critical of Israel, Playwright Says
In his new play Mr. Goldberg Goes to Tel Aviv, playwright Oren Safdie tackles an issue that he has a major concern with: the relationship between Israelis and left-leaning Diaspora Jews with their “I know better” critical views.
At the heart of the one-act play is Tony, a Jewish and gay Palestinian sympathizer who expresses strong anti-Israel sentiments when the play begins and at one point even sides with a Palestinian terrorist who holds his captive. Tony, who is also an award-winning author, arrives in Tel Aviv to give a speech but things don’t pan out so smoothly for him. His scheduled trip to Gaza has been blocked by the Israeli government, he deals with an obnoxious hotel waiter fresh out of the Israeli army who brings him cold tea, and then finds himself at the center of a major operation to assassinate an Israeli minister. Up until the final moment there is enough suspense and drama to fill the hotel room where the entire play takes place.
On the surface, Mr. Goldberg Goes to Tel Aviv shows the struggle between a Jew, Tony, and a Palestinians extremist. But Safdie said the real “battle” in the play has a lot more to do with Israelis versus a growing Jewish diaspora critical of Israel. “The people more like the liberal Jewish community in North America versus the Israeli perspective,” he explained.
In an interview with The Algemeiner, Safdie talked about how bothered he is with American Jews and their sense of “arrogance, thinking that they know better” than those living in Israel. He asked, “Why is there a need to second guess Israelis who live in the middle of this small country surrounded by enemies?”

Chanukah video night #4: The Jabberwocks of Brown University - Chanukah Lights

Islamic fear of "evil eye" causing major problems in Saudi Arabia

From Arab News:
The abnormal and obsessive fear of the evil eye, or envy, makes many people in this country act in strange and irrational ways to ward off harm, say experts.

This includes not wanting to wear new clothes, moving to a new home, or buying a new car. A common practice among some women is to collect the water left over after washing dishes at weddings to protect themselves.

They then run advertisements selling this water as a first line of defense against those who harm others with the envy in their hearts. Date pits are also commonly collected, say the experts.

Ali Zairi, a psychology consultant at Al-Nakhil Medical Center, said that the fear of the evil eye is often passed down from parents to their children. These adults believe that envy has caused the failures in their lives.

He said there are also uneducated medicine men in villages around the country who reinforce these beliefs, unaware that some conditions are caused by medical problems.

People who have these beliefs can become delusional and suffer from various psychological disorders including depression, obsessive neurosis and introversion.

“Exaggerated fear of the evil eye can deprive men and women of the joys of a normal life, and throw them into a state of perpetual suspicion and distrust of every- thing. This makes their lives miserable.” Zairi said many also do not realize they need psychiatric treatment.

Sheikh Muhammad Al-Nojaimi, a member of the Islamic Fiqh Academy, said “the woes caused by the evil eye is an undeniable fact established in the Qur’an and the sayings of the Prophet, peace be upon him.”

Al-Nojaimi said the Prophet, peace be upon him, said: “The evil eye is a fact and ... could even cause death.” However, he warned that sometimes people have to seek medical help for mental and other illnesses.

“They deny themselves the pleasures that Almighty Allah made lawful for them. This is against the religious faith,” he said. “A Muslim should believe that he is given only what Allah has destined for him, nothing else.” Al-Nojaimi said that it is obligatory for Muslims to rely on Allah and seek help when they discover they have an imagined affliction. 

B'li ayin hora, I'll post more later today :)

12/19 Links Pt1: Palestinians’ UN Charade Collapses; Countdown to the Next Gaza War Has Begun

From Ian:

The Countdown to the Next Gaza Conflict Has Begun
Hamas could, with a fair amount of ease, cause Israel to end its security blockade by accepting the terms of the international Quartet. These include recognizing the state of Israel, renouncing violence and abiding by past agreements.
Of course, those would contravene Hamas's ideology of Islamist jihad and move it away from its current trajectory of organized violence and religious hatred, the foundations upon which it was established in the 1980s by the Muslim Brotherhood.
For now, it seems, Hamas will try, as it has been doing for months, to orchestrate terrorism in the West Bank, on the opposite side of Israel, while upholding its truce in Gaza.
The Israel Defense Forces, too, has spent recent months preparing to respond if there is a fresh round of hostilities.
UN Watch Calls Out Syria for Murdering Palestinians

JPost Editorial: Whitening the list
Elements within the EU are questioning whether Europe should continue to support the West’s policy of refusing to deal with Hamas until it recognizes Israel, abandons terrorism and abides by previously signed agreements.
A growing number of European politicians, civil servants and officials are motivated by anti-Israel sentiment (read anti-Semitism) and a naive, politically correct belief in Palestinian goodwill, despite the abundant evidence of ongoing incitement and terrorist attacks.
In the words of World Jewish Congress President Ronald S. Lauder, the delisting “gives Hamas a huge moral victory and will strengthen it vis-à-vis moderate forces in the Palestinian territories.”
Added Lauder, “It is especially ironic that today, at a time when not just Western countries such as Canada and the US, but also moderate Arab countries such as Egypt and Jordan, consider Hamas a terrorist group, the European Union shouldn’t anymore.”
The course the PA is pursuing toward statehood increasingly demonstrates that political aims can be achieved through terrorism. Not procedural changes, not unilateral moves, not propagandistic declarations, but only direct negotiations can resolve the conflict.