Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Open Letter to NPR

June 28, 2010

Janice Portentoso

Broadcast Society Director


Sacred Heart University

5151 Park Avenue

Fairfield, CT 06825

Dear Ms. Portentoso:

I just received the request to renew my monthly $30 contribution to WSHU. Why should I donate to an organization that never responds to my calls, when I request a callback, and whose logo of “fair and unbiased” reporting has yet to be demonstrated?

I am stopping support of the station due to WNPR’s severely biased reporting on Israel. The Flotilla incident was the latest and last straw. I need to donate the money to organizations to help combat the hatred and marginalization of Israel that the station, on a consistent basis, promotes.

There is clear evidence that anti-Semitism, not just anti-Zionism, is at the base of all of the events in dealing with Israel throughout the world. In its slanted reporting, the station is fueling the fire of hatred, directly and indirectly not just toward Israel, but toward all Jews.

Katalin R.Baltimore

Hate and Prejudice on ABC News

This letter appeared in my emailbox and I thought it important to help spread it around.

Mr David Westin, President of ABC
Foreign Desk, Producers and Staff
ABC News Department

I am writing because I am very upset that you have allowed hate and prejudice to permeate your programming.

In a fair and impartial news broadcast, facts would be presented as accurately as possible. I am angry that ABC staff does not meet this standard, but has an agenda and presents false information as "hard news."

Concerning the "Flotilla" FOX ran the footage over and over. The Turkish ambush of the Israeli sailors was clear to see. The scenes of the Israelis being savagely beaten with iron pipes, stabbed, and one thrown overboard told a different story than the one ABC presented.

ABC's doctored footage merely showed an IDF sailor descending from a rope, and right before he was assaulted by the iron pipes, the pictures stopped. No information about Israeli warnings, offers to transport the cargo, or mention of the savage beatings the Turks inflicted was reported.

The next picture was meant to deliberately mislead. It showed armed men aiming guns. The clear intention of the producer was to imply that the sailors landed safely and pulled guns on the passengers. Deliberate distortions meant to deliberately mislead - otherwise called lies.

Another "set up" to spread disinformation and hatred of Israel was a scene in Gaza of a bomb destroyed building. An Arab child and mother walking in the rubble was a false picture of most of Gaza. Clearly the producer of the film wanted to leave the impression that the destroyed area was what all of Gaza looked like. That is another entirely false picture. In fact, visitors to Gaza are amazed how little damage there is - they had expected to see devastation, but Gaza looks very much as before Operation Cast Lead.

ABC news never reported the on-going rocket attacks fired from Gaza. Over 8,000 rockets were launched into Israel from Gaza. That is 8,000 times ABC could have reported on this assault, but 8,000 times ABC did not tell the story. ABC ran no pictures of the devastated Israeli houses, cars, property. There were no interviews in hospitals with wounded victims. There were no social workers or psychologists discussing the sheer terror of many Israelis - never knowing when a rocket of death may head their way. There were no stories of underground/ indoor playgrounds, of the new wing of the Hadassah hospital being constructed three stories down, with bomb shelters and operating rooms and safe areas to try to protect patients (and many are Arabs) from the Arab rocket/missile attacks.

When Israel was forced to respond to the on-going rocket fire from Gaza, it warned innocent Arabs to leave weapon storage areas. Over one million flyers were air-dropped. December 28, over 300,000 leaflets were dropped throughout the entire Gaza Strip. On 12/29, 80,000 leaflets, on Jan.3, 300,000, on Jan. 5 - 300,000 leaflets dropped in Gaza City, Khan Yunis and Rafah. On 12/27 20,000 telephone calls were made, on 12/29 10,000 calls were made.

Breaking into local radio transmissions (Radio Hamas, the Palestinian Islamic Jihad Radio and Radio PFLP) this warning was given: "The IDF will hit and destroy any site or building containing ammunition or weapons. As of the publication of this announcement, the life of anyone in whose home ammunition and weapons are to be found is in danger, and he must leave the place for the sake of his safety and that of his family. "

Not one word of this did ABC report.

Pinpoint bombing of weapons storage sites did inflict damage. Now, six months later, 78% of the damaged sites have been repaired. To show a still damaged area, with the distinct intention of falsely asserting that all of Gaza looks like that area, is another outright hoax . That matches the false reports of a "humanitarian crisis " in Gaza. The enclosed sheet lists the staggering amount of food (ONE TON PER PERSON) and products that the Arabs in Gaza have available. Your photographers never show the abundance in stores and street markets. "The Financial Times" reports that "there is such a glut of goods in Gaza that prices for food, luxury items, clothing are plummeting."

The flotilla footage was deliberately cut and pasted. It was totally fraudulent. I wonder if your producers are on the oil-rich Arab payroll, or just hate Israelis and Jews and want to cause harm. In the age of the Internet, and FOX showing what ABC did not, by doctoring the footage, the sights and smells of prejudice at ABC abound.

If there are any decent and fair-minded people at ABC, I hope they will note these unreported facts, which can be substantiated and verified. Perhaps your decent and fair-minded people would insist on that type of reporting. Not like the supporters on your staff of Hamas and Hezb'Allah, who want the world to believe their lying and evil stories.

Roberta E. Dzubow
Plymouth Meeting, PA

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Give the Palestinian Arabs the Rights They Deserve

A Reuters article, which may be read at, reports on thousands of Palestinian Arabs demanding well-deserved rights.

They have a good point.

One of the protesters, Imtithal Abu Samra, complained that the Palestinian Arabs had no rights. He insisted "we just want to live with dignity." The protesters rightly complained they had been forced to live in refugee camps and denied citizenship for 62 years.

The protest was held in the capital of Lebanon, a country which, like all other countries in the Middle East except for Jordan and Israel, refuses to grant citizenship to Palestinian Arabs. Only one country, Israel, has never forced Palestinian Arabs to live in refugee camps.

Even the Palestinian Authority, both in Judea and Samaria (the "West Bank"), run by Fatah, and in Gaza, run by Hamas since its bloody coup in 2007, continues to force its own people to stay in refugee camps even though the PA been in control for more than a decade and a half.

Their plight is a disgrace. It's long past time for the United Nations to actually do something to help the Palestinian Arabs rather than continue its complicity in using and abusing them to perpetuate the Arab-Israeli conflict.

The United Nations Security Council and General Assembly must adopt their legitimate cause. They must demand that the millions of descendants of refugees finally be granted citizenship in the countries of their birth. They must direct UNRWA (the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East) to finally do for the few remaining actual Palestinian refugees and their millions of descendants what has been done for virtually all other refugees in the world: move them out of squalid refugee camps and into permanent homes so they can live normal lives.

Monday, June 28, 2010

An Open Letter to the Author of a Rasheed Screed

Jamilah Rasheed is a regular contributor to "Faith Matters," a commentary feature of the New Haven Register.

Typically, her columns are not only visciously anti-Israel screeds, but filled with blatant factual errors and misrepresentations.

She wrote a typical one of her columns on June 26, 2010. It is currently viewable online by clicking here.

Ed Wood wrote the following open letter to Rasheed taking issue with it.

AN OPEN LETTER TO MS. JAMILAH RASHEED concerning her June 26, 2010 "Faith Matters" submission to the New Haven Register

June 28, 2010

Dear Ms. Rasheed:

I've often taken issue openly with the views you've expressed from time to time in the New Haven Register. However, since I've likely reached the limitation on the number of submissions its opinion page will publish from "ordinary folks" such as myself, I have taken the opportunity to present these comments in this "open letter" forum which will hopefully bing it to your attention and to others who might be interested in these matters.

I believe your "Faith Matters" submission ignored the following:

1) Hamas has historically been adverse to the existence of Israel as a nation and has made no effort to conceal this fact both by its declarations and actions.

2) Even though Israel handed over the Gaza territory so that its inhabitants could enjoy autonomy, Israel has paradoxically received for this effort continuous rocket attacks into its territory ever since.

3) Israel, like any other nation, has the absolute right to insure its own safety. I believe it has acted with incredible restraint and that the blockade is in fact a very minimal response toward that end considering the hostility to which it has been subjected from the Gazans since 2005. The truth of the matter is that Israel has already provided means of conveying humanitarian aid to Gaza which also allows it to protect itself from contraband. Since this is so, the operation of running its blockade is not necessary unless the true motive of those doing so is that of provoking confrontations designed to unjustly vilify Israel in an effort to elicit sympathy from the international community - which appears to be exactly what has happened.

4) It is my assertion that the inability or perhaps the unwillingness of the Gazans to reign in those of their own members who are carrying out these provocative attacks is the prime reason for the isolation and hardship they may be experiencing.

5) A comment was made by you that the U.S. ought to be providing humanitarian aid to the Palestinians. This is already the case. I'll be honest with you, Ms. Rasheed. The U.S. government has been a lot more charitable that I would be personally. I have never been able to erase the image of the Palestinians dancing in the streets as our twin Trade Towers crumbled into the ground on 9-11 which to me expressed the depths of their continuing hatred toward America, Israel, and the freedom all democracies represent. I do not believe as such that they are deserving of a single dime from this country!

In my opinion if you wish there to be an accommodation and acceptance of the Islamic world by the rest of us, then it will have be the one that has to make some dramatic, genuine, and permanent changes in its attitudes and actions toward those both inside and outside its belief system.

Yours Truly,
Edward Wood

Rasheed's screed also led PRIMER to alert its members with the following analysis.

While some of those on the flotilla may have been misguided humanitarians, the organizers certainly were not.

Greta Berlin, one of the organizers, admitted: "This mission is not about delivering humanitarian supplies."

The organizers also pointedly refused a plea that they ask Hamas to let human rights organizations, such as the International Red Cross, visit Gilad Shalit and allow him to receive packages. Friday, the day before Rasheed's screed was published, marked four years that Gilad Shalit has been held hostage by Hamas. As Ehud Barak recently said: "There are 1.5 million people living in Gaza and only one of them really needs humanitarian aid. Only one of them is locked in a tiny room and never sees the light of day, only one of them is not allowed visits and is in uncertain health - his name is Gilad Shalit, and this month four years will have passed since he was kidnapped."

Rasheed refers to the ship, the Mavi Marmara, allegedly having been searched in Turkey "to ensure weapons were not on board." She neglected to mention that forty trained mercenaries were on board, with weapons, night vision goggles and bulletproof vests.

She also falsely claims "soldiers dropped from the helicopter and began shooting." The soldiers were viciously attacked and beaten as they, armed primarily with paintball rifles, were rappelling down to the ship. Only after several were seriously injured, with one thrown down 30 feet from the deck, were the soldiers authorized to return fire.

There was an attempted massacre, of the Israelis, but there was no massacre of those on the flotilla. Those killed were far from innocent; they were all among the attackers.

Monday, June 21, 2010

We are onto your lies and distractions!

GS Don Morris, Ph.D.

June 21, 2010
How many times can you go to the well of lies?  Seems to be an endless parade and still the bucket brings up the mistruths, misrepresentations, misdirection’s and falsehoods-the people still drink from this well and the media’s presentations are over flowing with contempt for something once know as journalistic integrity. Israel has been gamed, blamed and shamed by individuals who have no credibility. However, the tide is changing and as the “new media” emerges so does the truth.

Allow me to focus upon one simple matter-the so-called humanitarian crisis in Gaza. Open a newspaper and read a report and/or an interview of one of our enemies and you’ ll hear and read how “Gazans are dying because mean-spirited Israel keeps medicines out of Gaza-with the blockade as the cause. Any one worth their investigative salt knows these medical statements do not deserve the electrons it takes to post. The data proves the opposite is the truth.

During the year of 2009, even while being on the receiving end of rockets on a regular basis, we did not deny one person from Gaza medical care in Israel unless the patient is a known perpetrator of terror. Fact is during this very year 10,544 patients AND their companions left Gaza for medical treatment in Israel-usually at Israel’s expense. In addition there were 382 emergency evacuations from Gaza for medical purposes.

Humanitarian crisis in Gaza-not on your life. The Hadassah Medical Organization in Jerusalem donates $3 million in aid every year, every year, even when their people attack us. The monies go to treat Palestinians in Israel.

During the recent swine flu outbreak, you remember, the worldwide catastrophe that never materialized, three Israeli hospitals, nevertheless, were assigned to treat cases in the Gaza Strip and 44,500 immunizations were transferred to Gaza.

I suspect you do not know that Israel maintains a corridor for the transfer of medical patients out of Gaza. Every month nearly 200 medical staff members go through the crossings to provide health assistance.  Humanitarian crisis, not on your life!

According to Peter Lerner (COGAT, Central Command) says that Israel does not prevent any medication from going in into Gaza. If there is a shortage it is because of a lack of funding by the PA health ministry. There are no limits on the provision of medicines to the Gaza population by Israel. 1

Remember these numbers from a previous post2:

That’s right, these represent the number of infant deaths in the following respective areas: Turkey, Sudan, Gaza, and Israel. Yes, at a rate of 4.5 times greater are the infant death in Sudan-where is the daily outrage in the West? The infant death rate is even 30% greater in Turkey than Gaza. How come there are no flotillas heading to Turkey?
How about these numbers: 73.68, 72.23 80.7, 72.4, 72.0, 58.6

They are the average life expectancy rates in the following respective countries: Gaza, Turkey, USA, Brazil, Lebanon, and Sudan. Yes, Gazans live longer than do their new friends and protectors the Turks. The Gazans out live their South American friends in Brazil and their “brothers and sisters” in Lebanon.

Humanitarian crisis in Gaza, not on your life! These are but a few of the FACTS worth possessing so when your local media, your local academic “expert” or media “talking head” or pundit starts speaking the shameful “Gazan talking points” you can say, “Now hold on just a moment to your out of integrity report…what does 24.84 mean to you?

Direct these same people to the Sudan-now, here there is a dreadful humanitarian crisis and the world continues to bury its collective heads in the sand-shameful!

End Notes
  1. Goldstone report watch-communication June 21, 2010
  2. GS Don Morris, Ph.D. Why is the West ignoring the facts?

Since does gender matter when you break the law?

GS Don Morris, Ph.D.
June 20, 2010

“Samar Alhaj, the woman leading the Hizbullah-linked Lebanese boat that is scheduled to try to block the naval blockade on Gaza, said in an interview with a regional Israeli Arabic- language radio station in Nazareth that women were “the new secret weapon” in use against the “thieving enemy.”1

In order to gain even more media exposure this is the latest skit being performed on the world stage. Stated within these words is the notion that we are evil and wicked-how dare we even consider addressing these “peaceful” women aboard the “flotilla”.

If it were not so serious the next statements used by their “leader” border on the insane. “Asked on Radio A-Shams by Zohair Bahloul why the ship, Mariam, would only be carrying women, she said, “We are women in order not to give the thieving enemy an excuse to use arms against the ship.” She said the ship would be carrying cancer medication for children, and women suffering from breast cancer and cancer of the uterus due to “chemical bombs” dropped on Gaza by Israel.”1

As reported in the media no one challenged this outrageous statement. First, medicines are daily flowing into Gaza; second, anyone in Gaza needing special medical attention is moved to facilities inside Israel at no cost to them or their so-called leaders. Now this “leader” knows this, as does the J Post reporters-it is time to first not print such nonsense and at least challenge them when they lie. Over 10,000 individuals have passed into Israel for medical treatment over the past months. Israel never dropped “chemical bombs” on Gaza, Bahloul knows this but the media quotes her anyway-this is harmful to people on both sides of the situation as there is no movement toward peace-hmm, could it be that this is the objective of the Hamas strategy?

Bahloul also knows that Israel has an international legal right to blockade Gaza. Furthermore, she and all media types know the consequences of breaking such a law. They understand that their conscious decision to perform an illegal act will result in their arrest, detainment and prosecution. The law is written for humans, not favoring or preferring one gender to another. This maritime law, reported here at Docstalk, previously, is an equal opportunity offender; gender does not factor into the prosecution of it. Of course, to hide behind the skirts of women when breaking the law speaks volumes about the masculinity of our enemy. What kind of man does such hiding?

Life is full of decisions that must be made every day. It matters not who you are, where you are or what ethnicity you are or what socio-economic class you fall inside-we, as human beings, make decisions every day. The decisions we make have behavioral consequences. A human being of integrity, honor and fortitude gladly welcomes living by the consequences of his/her decisions. Why, because they know life is about choice.

Stop playing the victim card, start acting like a grown up and accept the endgame of your decision to become a criminal, a common criminal at that-what pitiful behavior to display on the world stage. MSM have enough intestinal fortitude to report the truth and challenge the criminals once and for all-or are you afraid you will not be allowed back into Gaza to do your job? Tell the truth, the reason you don’t report honestly is due to the threats by Hamas, Fatah and others disallowing you access? How about writing this angle-got courage?

1. Women are the 'secret weapon'

Friday, June 18, 2010

ONE JERUSALEM OR TWO? … The Contest for a Contested City

This was a talk given by Joel Abramson at a public Middle East Forum at B'nai Israel Synagogue in Southbury, Connecticut on June 12, 2010.

What is so important about the city of Jerusalem that has captured the imaginations of millions of people over thousands of years?

Jerusalem enjoys none of the physical features that favor other important cities of the world.  It stands at the head of no great river, overlooks no great harbor, and is off the main trade routes.  But it is a city of beauty, and its hilly landscape offers some absolutely stunning vistas. 

The origins of Jerusalem are shrouded in the mists of antiquity, with the history of the city going back some 5,000 years.

This is the city of David, who a thousand years before the birth of Christ, and 1,600 years before the birth of Mohammed, unified the country, and proclaimed Jerusalem its capital.

This ancient city has been holy to Jews for 3,000 years, to Christians for 2,000 years, and to Muslims for 1,300 years. 

This is the city of King Solomon’s Temple; the city where giant Jewish prophets, such as Isaiah and Jeremiah, uttered thoughts that influenced the moral and religious attitudes of half the human race.

It is frequently pointed out that Jerusalem is mentioned in the Hebrew Bible 669 times, while not once in the Koran.  And of course at Passover, arguably the most observed Jewish holiday, we always say, “Next year in Jerusalem.” 

We often scoff at the Muslim claim that Abraham was a Muslim, pointing out a seeming anachronism.  But remember: Muslims, too, are the children of Abraham, and Ishmael and Isaac were half-brothers.  Remember that Judaism, Christianity, and Islam are called the Abrahamic faiths.  We have much in common.  As for the importance of Jerusalem to Muslims, the Al Aqsa Mosque is where Mohammed is believed to have ascended to heaven on his magical winged steed, Barak.

Christian Gospel states that Jesus was of the House of David, yes, that David who made Jerusalem his capital.  Jerusalem is the scene of Jesus’ crucifixion.  The holiness of Jerusalem to Christians is unquestioned.   Liberating Jerusalem from the control of the Muslims was the object of the Crusades, a word with terrible connotations for Muslims and Jews alike.

While it is not for me to defend the claims of others to Jerusalem, the fact is the United Nations partition plan of 1947, which the Jews accepted and the Arabs rejected, assigned Jerusalem to neither the Jews nor the Arabs.  Instead, it made a non-binding recommendation that it be an international city.   Although the United States immediately recognized Israel, it did not recognize Jerusalem as its capital.  That was done by an act of Congress, The Jerusalem Embassy Act of 1995, which calls for us to move our embassy to Jerusalem.  But the same act gives the President the right every six months, to order our embassy to stay in Tel Aviv, where it remains to this day. 

The Palestinians want Jerusalem to be the capital of their as yet undeclared State.  But Jerusalem is already the capital of Israel.    How can two countries have the same capital?  One way would be by dividing it.   But the Jerusalem Embassy Act calls for Jerusalem to remain an undivided city. 

Jerusalem is one of the oldest cities in the world.  In its thousands of years of existence it was divided for only 19 years, from 1948 to 1967.  In 1948, immediately after Israel declared its acceptance of the United Nations partition plan and declared its independence, the Arab nations invaded, and Jordan seized part of Jerusalem.  When a ceasefire was declared, the part of Jerusalem held by Jordan became known as east Jerusalem.  Jordan strung barbed wire around the section it held, which included the historic Old City.  All Jews were expelled.  The ancient Western Wall, so holy to Jews, was off limits.  Only Britain and Pakistan recognized Jordan’s seizure of the West Bank and east Jerusalem, which is not part of the West Bank.  No other country, nor the United Nations, recognized it.  

In the Six Day War of 1967 Jordan invaded Israel and fired artillery shells into Jerusalem, despite Israel’s promise that if Jordan stayed out of the fighting, Israel would not attack.  This is very significant, because the West Bank is actually Judea and Samaria, the historic homeland of the Jewish people.  But Jordan did attack and Israel struck back.  In the process, Israel captured all of Jerusalem and the West Bank, pushing Jordan back across to the east bank of the Jordan River.

What happened in Jerusalem was extremely emotional.  You see, over the centuries, while Jews often could get to the Kotel (Hebrew for Wall) it was not without difficulty.  Narrow alleys had to be negotiated.  It was disrespected by the authorities.  At times it was a dumping ground for garbage.  Jews couldn’t even sit there.  No tables were allowed.  Most of all, the Shofar could not be blown.  The Shofar, a ram’s horn used as a trumpet, was blown in ancient times as a call to arms, warning of an approaching enemy; it was blown to announce the sighting of the new moon, important to keep track of our lunar calendar; and it is blown to this day, during certain religious services as another sort of call to arms, a call reminding us to be true to the callings of our faith.  So in June 1967, when the Old City and the Western Wall were once again under Jewish control it was a huge emotional event.  Hardened veterans openly wept.  And what was the first thing they did?  They blew the shofar!  It was electrifying.  A very popular new song, Yerushalayim Shel Zahav, Jerusalem of Gold, composed earlier in 1967 by Naomi Shemer, the song you heard as you came in this afternoon, was spontaneously being sung all over Israel, especially at the Wall.  There was even a movement, unsuccessful, to make it Israel’s new national anthem.  

So, to many Israelis, religiously observant or secular, the notion to give back east Jerusalem to Muslim control is anathema.  And yet, it was offered to the Palestinians by both Ehud Barak and by Ehud Olmert.  Those offers were rejected.

Talk of dividing Jerusalem calls to mind the biblical story of King Solomon, sword in hand, holding up a baby unable to decide which of two women is the real mother, and deciding in mock fairness to slice it in two to give half the baby to each claimant.  Horrified, the real mother relinquishes her claim in order to save the infant’s life.  Whereupon King Solomon immediately knows who is the real mother.  Where, oh where, is King Solomon when we need him?

Just as dividing that baby would have destroyed it, so too there are many who feel that dividing Jerusalem would destroy it.  Beware the Law of Unintended Consequences!   

Dividing Jerusalem might create more problems than it would solve.  Presently there are no marked borders or crossing points.  But if so-called east Jerusalem becomes the capital of another country, there are such nightmares as boundaries and customs inspections and passport controls to contend with.  Think of what that could do to the economic life of the city.  Palestinians complain now about checkpoints and security checks, but not in Jerusalem. 

Of far greater concern are questions about the infrastructure of the city.  Who will manage and regulate the water supply?  Who will manage the sewage system?  Who will manage the electric grid?  Who will manage the municipal ecology?  Traffic safety?  Public health?  Will there be one management authority for all parts of the city?  Or will there be duplicate agencies managing each half of the severed baby, each setting its own standards, with neither enjoying the economies of scale.  Is any one in Jerusalem – or Washington -worrying about such stuff? 

And, on the Palestinian side, who will be in charge, the weak Palestinian Authority, or HAMAS?  Need anyone be reminded that HAMAS clings to its ideological vow to destroy Israel, and kill Jews?  More on this in a minute.

These are big questions.  The commerce of the city could be crippled.  Tourism, a huge part of Jerusalem’s commerce would be badly hurt.  One of Jerusalem’s big attractions is the Western Wall the only remnant of the ancient Jewish Temple.  Guess where the Western Wall is?  East Jerusalem.  So if Jerusalem is to be divided, where will be the boundaries? No Arab or Muslim country in the Middle East allows Christians or Jews to freely operate their own religious institutions.   Sadly, in areas controlled by the Palestinian Authority or Hamas, the Christian population has been dramatically reduced.  In Bethlehem, the  Church of the Nativity was defiled by terrorists.   Under Israeli sovereignty, the holy places of Jerusalem are managed by their own religious authorities, and access is guaranteed by the Israeli government.  There is no reason to expect that policy to continue under Palestinian control.  In fact, history suggests the exact opposite.

It is Israeli security that keeps Jerusalem safe.  Because of Israeli security, Arabs are buying up homes in a number of predominantly Jewish neighborhoods like French Hill, Pisgat Ze’ev and Talpiot.   A good example of voting with your feet.  Contrary to what some may think, an Arab can live anywhere in Jerusalem.  Why should the United States, of all countries, with our own laws against discrimination, want to restrict where Jews can live in their own capital?  Our country wants parts of Jerusalem to be Judenrein? This is an improvement over Israeli practice?  

Israel is by definition a Jewish State, but Israeli law absolutely guarantees freedom of religion to all.  Israel guarantees free access to all the holy sites.  Israel assiduously protects the right of each religious organization to manage its own affairs.  In the Old City, go to the Church of the Holy Sepulcher.  Within this sprawling edifice are the churches of several Christian denominations.  You are free to wander.  You will feel absolutely safe.  

And now let’s talk about the elephant in the room… Palestinian anti-Semitism. We are all familiar, or should be, with what Hamas says about the Jews.  How many here have read the Hamas Charter?   Well, I highly recommend it.  You won’t like it, but it’s  remarkably clear.  You’ll find it easily enough on Google.  But what about the so-called moderates in the Palestinian Authority? We can judge their true intentions by what they teach their children.  Don’t we try to teach our kids what we want them to believe, how we want them to behave?  Well, so do they, and we should be paying attention.  

The Protocols of the Elders of Zion is an outrageous forgery written in Czarist Russia more than 100 years ago.  It purports to be a master plan for a Jewish takeover of the world.  Full of blatant lies, this evil book is a perennial best seller in the Middle East. In the Palestinian Authority, the evil Protocols are presented as authentic by the Ministry of Education in its schoolbooks. 

HYPERLINK ""Dr. Ahmed Bahar, Deputy Speaker of the Palestinian Parliament, stated:  "The killing of children, women and men is promoted by their false Talmud, and by their false Bible, and The Protocols of the Elders of Zion."

Since the Palestinian Authority was established, it has systematically indoctrinated its people to hate Israelis and Jews. Using the media, education, and the cultural infrastructure that it controls, the PA has actively promoted religious hatred, demonization, and conspiracy libels. 

The PA presents Jews as possessing inherently evil traits. Jews are said to be treacherous, corrupt, deceitful and unfaithful by nature. These Jewish “attributes” and traditions are presented as the unchangeable nature of Jews. Forgeries and fiction masquerading as history are used to document and support the libel that Judaism is in its essence racist and evil. Jews are said to be planning and executing heinous crimes, including burning Palestinians in ovens, murder, using prisons for Nazi-like experiments, and more.  They teach that Jews are a threat not just to them, but to all of humanity.  If this isn’t anti-Semitism, I don’t know what is. 

Vicious libels about Israel and the Jews are an integral part of the Palestinian Authority’s strategy to infuse hate in the Palestinian population. Fabrications assert that Israel intentionally pursues children, poisoning candy and planting bombs inside toys to kill them, murders Palestinians in cold blood, and mutilates dead bodies. These and many other libels add to the ongoing demonization of the Jews, paving the way for acceptance of terrorism against Israel as legitimate self-defense and even as an ideal in itself. 

Under Jordanian rule, from 1948 to 1967, dozens of Jerusalem synagogues were destroyed or vandalized, and the ancient Jewish cemetery on the Mount of Olives was desecrated, its tombstones used for the construction of roads and Jordanian army latrines. The rights of Christians as well as Jews were abused. 

But what the world doesn’t remember is what the Israelis will never forget: When Jordan controlled the eastern part of the city, including the Old City and the ancient Western Wall, the Jews were denied access. 
So why in the world should anyone expect Israelis to accept the idea of sharing their beloved Jerusalem with people who have shown them fundamental animus; who teach their kids to hate them, who glorify those who have murdered them? 
You may wonder why I dwell on this.  Well, there is a peace process going on.  It is OK to complain about Israel’s deeds.  Right or wrong, there is much to debate.  But to hate Jews qua Jews, that is, because they are Jews, not because of what they do, but because of what they are, is out of bounds.  The kids they have brainwashed to hate us are the future adults our kids will have to negotiate with.  Itamar Marcus, who runs Palestinian Media Watch, put it this way, “Borders can be redrawn with one political decision, but hatred is embedded. It can only be changed if there is a courageous Palestinian leader who will receive world support only if he replaces the hate promotion with peace education. If this happens it can be turned around. It will take time and that is all the more reason to start ASAP.”

So there’s your obstacle to peace… not housing permits in a Jewish neighborhood of East Jerusalem.  And there’s your way out:  education for peace, and it isn’t happening.

I will never tar all Muslims with the same brush.  But in the Middle East, including Turkey, Iran, and Egypt, the Protocols of the Elders of Zion and Hitler’s Mein Kampf are perennial best sellers.  
OK, let’s move to another issue, a Big Lie.  We all know about the “Big Lie,” first developed by Nazi propagandist Joseph Goebbels. A lie repeated often enough becomes the accepted truth.  The Palestinians have mastered this technique with regard to Jerusalem.  We tend to laugh off their assertions that the Jews have no connection with the Temple Mount; that King Solomon’s Temple never existed; that the Israelis are trying to undermine the foundations of the Al Aqsa Mosque; that we didn’t live in Jerusalem in the time of King David and are invaders from Europe who only arrived after the Holocaust, which, of course, never happened, or if it did happen, was perpetrated by the Jews themselves. 
There is ample documentary evidence of our existence in the region from contemporaneous non-Jewish sources.  They have been found in Iraq in the Babylonian Chronicles; in Egypt in the Elephantine Papyri; in the writings of Greek and Roman historians going back to the 4th century BCE; and in Josephus Flavius’s classic, the “Antiquities and Wars of the Jews.”  
To claim that Jews only arrived in significant numbers after the Holocaust contradicts Jerusalem’s census records that go back to 1844.   In the ten censuses taken from 1844 to 2009, Jews outnumbered both Muslims and Christians by a wide margin.  In the 1896 and 1922 censuses, the Jewish population of Jerusalem exceeded 60%.
Israel’s Department of Antiquities does archeological research in the area of the Temple Mount.  We regularly hear claims from the Palestinians that Israel is undermining the foundations of Al Aqsa and is attempting to destroy this Muslim sacred site.  Nobody really believes that.  Israel is not that stupid and neither are the Palestinians.  What is behind their protests is their realization that the more Israel digs, the more evidence is uncovered that proves the ancient presence of Jews in the area, thus demonstrating the legitimacy of our claim to be returning to the land of our forefathers, and undercutting the Palestinian assertion that Israel has no right to exist.

I mentioned there is a peace process going on.  It is in that context that I want to place all my remarks today.  Because everything I’ve said has to do with Israel’s right to exist.  Every attempt to delegitimize Israel has a bearing on the peace process.   My topic is Jerusalem, but any attempt to delegitimize Israel’s rights in its capital obviously bears on the peace process.  It is complicated and convoluted and emotional, and for that reason might best be deferred to final status talks.  But many on both sides want final status talks now.  Obama himself said he wants a peace deal by the end of his first term of office.   With all due respect, I suggest it is better to get it right later than to get it wrong sooner.

Herb Keinon, diplomatic correspondent for the Jerusalem Post, says the administration is locked into a land-for-peace mindset that Israel believes, after 17 years of pursuing the Oslo formula, no longer works.  The Oslo accords, signed on the White house lawn in 1993, with lots of fanfare and the famous handshake by Yasser Arafat and Yitzhak Rabin, were based on a land-for–peace formula, never worked and are now in total disarray. 

Israel feels it tried land for peace in Gaza in 2005 and in Lebanon in 2006 and instead of peace it got rockets.  Keinon says “Israel got mugged by reality.”  Washington believes in resolving the conflict, but Israelis, with a nod to reality, now talk about managing the conflict.

The Obama administration seems convinced that solving the Israeli Palestinian conflict is the key to peace in the broader Middle East.  This is a view called “Linkage,” a view Dennis Ross and David Makovsky, in their recent book, call a dangerous myth and illusion.  The Palestinian issue had nothing to do with the long Iraq-Iran war; nothing to do with Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait.  It had nothing to do with Saddam’s gassing of the Kurds, or with Hafez el Assad’s massacre of thousands of his own people in Hama in 1982.  Can anyone seriously believe Iran would change its behavior or abandon its nuclear quest if there were a peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians?

Richard Haass, President of the Council on Foreign Relations, doesn’t agree with President Obama that it is a “vital national security interest of the United States to resolve the Middle East conflict.”  He says sure it would be of value, but it is wrong to exaggerate its importance in terms of the rest of the region.  It wouldn’t help us in Afghanistan, for example.

He says a Palestinian state can materialize only from compromise. There will not be a return to the 1967 borders; at most, there might be some territorial swaps. There will be nothing more than a token right of return for Palestinians to Israel. He predicts Jerusalem will remain undivided or at most shared. Terrorists would see all this as a sell-out, and they would target not just Israel but those Palestinians and Arab states who made peace with it.

The danger of exaggerating the benefits of solving the Palestinian conflict is that it runs the risk of distorting American foreign policy.  The US has more influence over Israel than over the Palestinians.  So we demand more of Israel, and we adopt policies that are overly ambitious and more likely to fail.  We need to remember that Israel is a sovereign nation and not some US satrapy.  There are signs the administration recognizes this and is backing away from the very hard tactics it was taking last March and April. 

The reality is that so-called moderate Mahmoud Abbas, whose PhD earned in Moscow was on Holocaust denial, who was Arafat’s right hand man for decades, is a prisoner of the Palestinian promotion of hatred.  It is impossible for him to make peace and survive politically.  It is in his best interest to let the US do his dirty work for him, and that’s what we often seem to be doing.

The most important issue facing our two countries is Iran. That’s what we need to focus on.  It is essential the U.S. and Israel develop more trust if we are to manage the inevitable differences over what to do about Iran's nuclear program, a challenge that promises to be the most significant strategic threat of this decade.  A nuclear Iran would pose a threat, literally, to Israel’s very existence, and a dire threat to the entire region and the Western World.  Iran lavishes sophisticated weaponry on Hamas and Hezbollah, and now also on Al Queda.  What makes anyone think it wouldn’t sneak them nuclear weaponry as well?  We can hope they wouldn’t, but as is often said, “Hope is not a policy.”   A protracted publicized disagreement over Jerusalem or settlements or boundaries is a very dangerous distraction that benefits no one but Iran.  And time is not on our side.
I have never wanted to be one of those who, living safely in leafy Southbury, feel entitled to tell Israel what it should do.  But, if you ask me to recommend any books to read to help you understand the situation, the top two on my list are Alice In Wonderland and Gulliver’s Travels.  
I don’t want to leave you thoroughly demoralized, so let me end by reading to you parts of an ad recently placed by Elie Wiesel, the Nobel Laureate and Holocaust survivor. Here are his words:

“It was inevitable: Jerusalem once again is at the center of political debates and international storms. New and old tensions surface at a disturbing pace. Seventeen times destroyed and seventeen times rebuilt, it is still in the middle of diplomatic confrontations that could lead to armed conflict. 
“For me, the Jew that I am, Jerusalem is above politics. It is mentioned more than six hundred times in Scripture -- and not a single time in the Koran. Its presence in Jewish history is overwhelming. There is no more moving prayer in Jewish history than the one expressing our yearning to return to Jerusalem. To many theologians, it IS Jewish history, to many poets, a source of inspiration. It belongs to the Jewish people and is much more than a city, it is what binds one Jew to another in a way that remains hard to explain. When a Jew visits Jerusalem for the first time, it is not the first time; it is a homecoming. 
“Since King David took Jerusalem as his capital, Jews have dwelled inside its walls with only two interruptions; when Roman invaders forbade them access to the city and again, when under Jordanian occupation, Jews, regardless of nationality, were refused entry into the old Jewish quarter to meditate and pray at the Wall, the last vestige of Solomon's temple. It is important to remember: had Jordan not joined Egypt and Syria in the war against Israel, the old city of Jerusalem would still be Arab. Clearly, while Jews were ready to die for Jerusalem they would not kill for Jerusalem.
“Today, for the first time in history, Jews, Christians and Muslims all may freely worship at their shrines. And, contrary to certain media reports, Jews, Christians and Muslims ARE allowed to build their homes anywhere in the city. The anguish over Jerusalem is not about real estate but about memory.
“What is the solution? Pressure will not produce a solution. Is there a solution? There must be, there will be. Why tackle the most complex and sensitive problem prematurely? Why not first take steps which will allow the Israeli and Palestinian communities to find ways to live together in an atmosphere of security. Why not leave the most difficult, the most sensitive issue, for such a time?
“Jerusalem must remain the world's Jewish spiritual capital, not a symbol of anguish and bitterness, but a symbol of trust and hope. 
Jerusalem is the heart of our heart, the soul of our soul.”  
And may I add this final word, from Psalm 122, verse 6,  
“Pray for the peace of Jerusalem.”   Thank you.

Connecticut Latino leaders visit the "real" Israel

By Cindy Mindell

Published: Wednesday, June 16, 2010 in the Connecticut Jewish Ledger

NEW HAVEN - Two Latino leaders from Connecticut were among 22 community leaders from the Los Angeles and New York tri-state areas who set out to experience the "real" Israel last month, as part of the Community Leaders Study Tour to Israel, co-sponsored by the Israeli consulates in Los Angeles and New York, and the Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles. The week-long trip was designed to introduce Israel to non-Jewish community leaders from both coasts.

The Connecticut participants were Dr. Wilfredo Nieves, president of Middlesex Community College, and Angel Fernandez-Chavero, senior philanthropic officer of the Community Foundation of Greater New Haven.

Nieves was recommended by Robert Fishman, executive director of the Jewish Federation Association of Connecticut (JFACT). The two have served together for nearly a decade on the board of the Community Renewal Team, an anti-poverty agency in greater Hartford. Nieves has served for the last 10 years as president of Middlesex Community College in Middletown, and was recently appointed as president of Capital Community College in Hartford.

Fernandez-Chavero was recommended by the Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC) of the Jewish Federation of Greater New Haven. A longtime community leader involved in local politics and non-profit organization, Fernandez-Chavero serves as co-chair of the JCRC's immigration committee, working closely with the JCRC on immigration reform, ethnic profiling, human rights, and related issues, says director Lauri Lowell.

"In terms of Jewish community relations, it's important to recognize that the growing population in the U.S. is Latino," Fishman says. "I was thrilled to see that the Israeli consulate understands the importance of the Latino community in the U.S. and wants to bring their leaders to Israel. We were delighted that they chose the two Latino leaders from Connecticut and we believe it will help build a connection with those communities."

Nieves says that what he learned from the journalists, government officials, and scholars who met with the group gave him a different perspective from what U.S. media portray.

"I was struck by how Israelis from diverse backgrounds strive to create a place where people live in harmony," he says, as expressed by Knesset members Shlomo Neguse Molla, an Ethiopian native, and Nadia Hilou, the first female Christian Arab-Israeli to win a seat.

"It was a tremendous experience in many ways," Nieves says. "I was able to visit religious sites important to me as a Catholic. It was an opportunity to get a better understanding of the people of Israel and the global Jewish community."

For Nieves, one of the most moving experiences was upon arrival, when the group spent Friday afternoon in the Old City of Jerusalem and at the Kotel, then came together for a rooftop Shabbat dinner to share their experiences.

"The purpose of the trip was to educate and expose us to the full picture of what Israel is - the good, bad, and ugly - and I give the organizers a lot of credit for that," Fernandez-Chavero says. "The newspapers and TV can form my thinking; all you see is the one-dimensional clash of sides and perspectives. As usual, the question is more complex than we think. I was surprised, for example, that Likud, Kadima, and Labor are at a consensus and are now willing to trade land for peace. When even Netanyahu is willing to say it publicly, it's a huge development. The fact that many Israeli Arabs are very loyal to the state, live in peaceful coexistence, and want to work and prosper, says a lot about the fully functioning democracy that Israel is."

In preparation for the trip, Fernandez-Chavero researched the historical connections between the Jewish and Latino cultures, focusing on Maimonides as the subject of his introduction speech to the group.

"Maimonides was one of the greatest philosophers and doctors of the Middle Ages, but because he was a Spanish Jew, he was also instrumental in forming Spanish culture, along with the other scholars of the time," Fernandez-Chavero says. "Without him, we wouldn't have Latino culture. Despite what happened in 1492, there are real links between us that we shouldn't forget we have."

Both men were impressed with the diversity of Israeli society.

"We talk about diversity in the U.S. but don't necessarily see it in the Jewish community here," says Nieves. "I thought of Israelis as being mostly of European origins, and then I met an Ethiopian Jew and Jews from Arab countries."

"I was surprised at how much Israel is like much of the rest of the world," Fernandez-Chavero says. "It's very European-influenced, and you feel the strength of Hebrew language and culture; I expected to hear more in English. At the same time, the diversity of the country hit me: anyone in Israel might be assumed to be Jewish. What I loved was that when I was alone, everyone spoke Hebrew to me."

For Fernandez-Chavero, highlights of the trip included "the overwhelming beauty of the country and the depth of history," he says. "I'm not always patient with the hard core of any faith, and yet the most moving spiritual experience I had was at the Western Wall, watching the Haredi men sing and dance with joy and faith, clearly understanding the presence of the Divine."

The group left Israel shortly before the flotilla incident.

"I got a sense of why Israelis are so protective, and it's unfortunate how such an event is portrayed," Nieves says. "Having just visited Israel, I wanted to hear more, and I am now more conscious before taking a side. I am much more cautious than I may have been before."

"The trip strengthened my resolve to learn more about other peoples and cultures and be stronger in communicating that knowledge," Fernandez-Chavero says. "It's all about sharing the full story of any issue or subject you learn about."

"I felt very safe and secure, and wasn't concerned about my well-being," Nieves says. "There's a richness of diversity that goes beyond the media. People are living together. Yes, there are tensions and they're trying to make the best of it and address the challenges."

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Thank You Letter to Helen Thomas

It may surprise you but this is a letter of thank you for the important service you rendered through your words about the Jews and their place in the world.

You must have been showered with thousands of messages--some may have praised your courage and others criticizing your position, but regardless of what others think, it is perfectly clear what you think, and for this we will be forever grateful. If after all these years of journalistic prominence and access to a wealth of information only reserved to the scholars and the cognoscenti you can say the things you said, you are either wholly ignorant or deliberately tendentious. The Arab-Israeli conflict has many facets but only the most malevolent have suggested that the Jewish people, whose claim to the land of Israel is unquestionable to the learned mind, do not belong in "Palestine" but rather in "Germany, Poland, America and anywhere else."

It is sad to witness the self-styled "doyenne" of American journalism stoop so low and to express such unabashed hatred in public. You have demeaned yourself, demeaned the profession of journalism but you have also contributed to learning the truth about people with ties to the Arab family.

I do not believe that your words were the result of some incipient symptoms of Alzheimer; your words revealed what is in your mind and that is why I am grateful for your honesty. I am quite sure that you regret having said those words because you would rather continue to pretend that you are a nice person and that only the Jews are "oppressors" and bad people. Now the mean, unforgiving and biased Helen Thomas has been revealed to us in full.

It certainly is not flattering to you but it is the true self and we appreciate your allowing us to see the true Helen Thomas at last. This is not to deny your right to your opinions. You have every right to defend the Arab claims--I certainly do not begrudge you this--but to do it in such an ignorant and hateful manner reveals that under the patina of courteous speech and elegant demeanor, there lies beneath the skin of every sympathizer with the Arab cause a measure of hatred, a desire for revenge and a meanness of spirit. Your position is not just anti-Semitic; it is anti-human. If all people spoke as you did, the world would be a horrible place to be, "in Germany, Poland and everywhere else."

It is not pure coincidence that the passengers of the Gaza flotilla were more interested in fighting and turning themselves into shahids, than in the promotion of welfare for their brethren in Gaza. You fit their mold:

it is better to destroy than to build. This sadly has been the legacy of those "Palestinians" you defend. In Gaza, after the enterprising Jews left behind beautiful fields of growing fruits and vegetables, your protégés proceeded to destroy them with a glee and a gusto that, in other civilized societies, are usually reserved for festivities. Normal people rejoice when they build, not when they tear down. Of course, the celebrations and the distribution of candy by the proud mothers of the "martyrs" responsible for the deaths of innocent people, are also festive and joyful. Normal people celebrate births, not death and murder. Their celebration of death is an important lesson for us to learn about the Arabic culture. By your candid words, you have taught us that all the rhetoric about tolerance and the search for peace by Islam may be a cover for other, more sincere feelings of hatred such as yours. Thank you for lifting the cover and letting us see the true face of the Arab. Your angry face could not have been more helpful in letting us know what your people wants. Ms. Thomas, we will remember that face for a long time.

For the record, the Jews have lived in the land of Israel for over 1,500 years before there was Islam. The name " Palestine " was an administrative name given by the Romans and then preserved by cartographers, but the proper historical name of that piece of earth is : the land of Israel. Those who promote " Palestine" as the native place of the Arab residents are ill-informed, biased or worse, destroyers of the world.

Thank you, Ms. Thomas, for allowing the world to see what an Arab sympathizer really is about and what the world can expect from people of your ilk. I do not know where you will end up, but certainly you have earned your place among those who destroy and tear. I hope the world is grateful to you for the candid revelation of the mind of a "progressive" Arab.

David Algaze
Of Lebanese Descent Also

There is one rule for Israel and another rule for everyone else

This letter to the editor was published Thursday, June 17, 2010 in The Hour (Norwalk, Connecticut).

To the Editor:

Scott Kimmich has one thing right: "There is one rule for Israel and another rule for everyone else."

We can have genocide in Rwanda and the world shrugs its shoulders. The Sudanese government can abet the murder of hundreds of thousands and commit genocide in Darfur and the world does nothing.

The fanatical mullahs ruling Iran can race to creating a nuclear apocalypse, ignoring the provisions of the Nuclear Proliferation Treaty to which they're a party, and the world yawns.

Syria can effectively take over Lebanon and the world sleeps. But God forbid the Israelis do anything to keep terrorists from murdering its children and the world jumps into action.

It's interesting that Kimmich sheds crocodile tears over the accidental deaths of a handful of Americans who knowingly involved themselves in violent activities in support of anti-American terrorists but cares nothing about the deliberate murder of numerous Americans by Hamas, Hezbollah, Fatah and other violent groups which are not only dedicated to the destruction of our only friend in the Middle East, that tiny democracy called Israel.

Helen Thomas may have finally retired, but her spirit unfortunately lives on.

Alan H. Stein

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Open Letter to President Obama

The following letter was composed yesterday (June 15, 2010) and signed by 19 individuals who were meeting in a private home in Connecticut. It represents the position of those individuals, who urge others to send similar letters to the President of the United States of America.

June 15, 2010
President Barack Obama
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20500
Dear President Obama:
The recent outburst by Helen Thomas, who for many years was well-respected throughout the newspaper profession, is just one more example of a growing willingness of bigots to be open about their anti-Semitism, both camouflaged as anti-Zionism and as pure, unadulterated anti-Semitism.
We believe some of the policies, words and deeds of your administration regarding Israel have been factors fueling this phenomenon.
Regardless of intention, the mostly one-sided pressure on Israel, the abandonment of commitments made to Israel under previous administrations, the fawning over the supposedly "moderate" leader of Fatah and the PLO even while he refuses to negotiate directly with Israel and while his Palestinian Authority spews out hateful incitement against both Israel and Jews, and the contrast of this treatment with the disrespectful treatment given the elected leader of our only true friend in the Middle East have all helped embolden the Israel- and Jew-haters while also decreasing any chances of peace between Israel and the Palestinian Arabs within the foreseeable future.
We the undersigned appreciate the words you have uttered condemning anti-Semitism and expressing America's unshakeable bond with Israel. Those words need to be matched with actions and policies.
Signed by 19 Individuals

Why is the West ignoring the facts?

GS Don Morris, Ph.D.
June 16, 2010

Visitors, visitors, Gaza does get visitors, from officials to actors. They are escorted about the worst areas.  Let’s see, that would be like only being shown the worst parts of Detroit, NY, Boston and Los Angeles. There are even parts of San Francisco that I would not dare walk in but it remains one of my favorite cities.

Rep. Keith Ellison traveled to the Gaza Strip last year: “Ellison said that he found the conditions in Gaza "shocking."1 No elaboration but a wonderful USA sound bite-he totally ignored the “rest of the story.”

If your money stream is dependent upon individuals and governments believing how horrible things are would you have them tour your fine restaurants, swimming pools, clubs or homes?2 A human can only formulate points of view based upon information provided and if you only get a slanted portion of data and are not privy to all the information, it is no wonder the West holds its current views. The prevailing belief is that due to Israel’s blockade people in Gaza are suffering a horrific existence. I have introduced you to another side of Gaza in the afore-identified story and now let us examine some other numbers that you may find surprising.

What would you say, based upon what you have heard from the likes of MSM, is the nutrition, health care and/or hygiene status in Gaza? Probably it is “horrifically” poor-yes? Try these numbers:


These represent the number of infant deaths in the following respective areas: Turkey, Sudan, Gaza, and Israel. Yes, at a rate of 4.5 times greater are the infant death in Sudan-where is the daily outrage in the West? The infant death rate is even 30% greater in Turkey than Gaza.  How come there are no flotillas heading to Turkey?

Here are some more numbers: 73.68, 72.23 80.7, 72.4, 72.0, 58.6

These are the average life expectancy rates in the following respective countries: Gaza, Turkey, USA, Brazil, Lebanon, and Sudan.  Yes, Gazans live longer than do their new friends and protectors the Turks. The Gazans out live their South American friends in Brazil and their “brothers and sisters” in Lebanon. Once again real tragedy exists in Africa, especially in Sudan.3

A society’s condition is often considered through the lens of its health system, especially its prevention program. An interesting report direct from the Red Cresent Society described said conditions in Gaza. The following are from pages 20 and 21 in the document:

“Immunization programmes are in line with WHO recommendations for protection against Diphtheria, Pertussis, Tetanus, Polio, Measles and Tuberculosis. Coverage of the population is about 90%1. In addition, immunization is provided for German Measles, hepatitis and mumps. Comprehensive services are operated through the PRCS community health programmes.

School Health is taken seriously with efforts by the MOH, PRCS and UNRWA. Health education, medical and dental examination and registration are provided and there is a link-up with immunization programmes. Psychological services are also provided. PRCS primary care nurses have programme inputs into local schools, which include health education.”

So, they indicate that they are not lacking in health education or prevention programs-hmm, this translates into a humanitarian crisis? The next statement, from the same document, examines illness and death due to diseases seen internationally. Note the following descriptions:

“Morbidity in the West Bank and Gaza
Diphtheria, pertusis, tetanus, polio, pulmonary TB, measles, (increasing  control and elimination); gastro-enteritis, parasitic disease, (prevalent in refugee areas)p.20 and 21”
This is the research study: Viability and capability Assessment-Palestine Red Cresent Society-a research study,2001”4

How much has changed in Gaza since the 2001 report?  UNICEF  produced recently a document covering the national immunization coverage 1980-2008. Again the following is not my research or data but it is that of the very organization designed to manage social and health events inside Gaza. Their studies demonstrate that the immunization coverage (nearly 100% of population) had remained constant from mid 2003 until late 2008.5

Does this really indicate that a humanitarian crisis is in play? Compare this with the lack of said programs in the Sudan and other African countries. Other than within certain academic circles how often is the following information shared with the public:
The disease burden on the region's people is onerous, making economic and political progress difficult. "AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria are the three diseases responsible for most of the morbidity and mortality in the region," said Sambo. According to Jack Chow, WHO's special envoy of the director-general, who introduced Sambo's talk, these three diseases are responsible for 6 million deaths per year in Africa.”6

Certainly the health systems and health conditions in any one area do not make the case for humanitarian concerns. Multiple other factors contribute to identifying an area in crisis.  However, it has been said, “judge a group by how it attends to its peoples’ needs” and with regards to consideration and implementation health is important for the people of Gaza. Perspective is called for and incitement has replaced this across the media and across Western governments.

I find this appalling and galling. Purely for political gain and I also know cases for personal gain the so-called “humanitarian crisis” has been manufactured by Israel’s enemies, e.g., Hamas, Fatah, Hizzbollah, Syria, Iran and even the EU and the USA and it is a cruel and inhumane response to the situation north of Egypt. The West has abandoned its core values and entered a period of untold appeasement. This is perceived as weak and the beginning of the end of the West. Israel’s enemies are also the West’s enemies and yet distancing one self from us does not change this equation. The war of conflicting ideologies is in play and there is no easy or quick solution. However, our enemy believes we do not have the willingness or ability to persevere and our current behavior confirms this for them. No longer are they shooting across our bow, they are firing directly at our hulls. How long can we sustain such direct hits and remain afloat?


5.WHO/UNICEF Review of National Immunization Coverage - July, 2009,

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Free Gaza-from what, from whom-do you mean from autocratic control by Hamas?

                           GS Don Morris, Ph.D.

                               June 15, 2010
The world just cannot get enough of the flotillas-I think anything to do with trouble on the “high seas” implies days of yore when pirates raided peace-loving ships. This becomes such an opportunity for the MSM to create fantasies regarding the actual events and individuals participating in them. Of course, one problem is the media creates a fictitious narrative-their motto, “don’t confuse the truth (our story) with the facts.
The leadership in the West acts timidly and is interpreted as incredibly weak-the doors for such “flotilla” behavior are open wide to all bent upon destruction. So much of the MSM narratives are distortions, lies and intentional misrepresentations-the end result is that MSM gains even greater access to the provocateurs. The result is “inside” information or so they think or they are threatened with not ever again having availability to their leaders or their territory. Well, a reporter must report so they dutifully march to their puppet masters. Ratings resound and this cycle is currently in a self-sustaining spin.
Credible, courageous and ethical reporters would return to the “old days” when the media was the conscious and watchdog for all of us. They would do their homework, engage in the laborious albeit not glorified diligent acts of research and display their ethical character by writing the truth.
Siege, occupation, humanitarian disaster, and illegal activity are the leading headlines resonating among a public that is ignorant of the facts on the ground or driven by an anti-Israel agenda.
Let’s examine some of these descriptors. I believe a siege exists when a place is isolated to the degree that assistance and/or supplies are not available. Above ground transportation of goods and products seem to discredit this claim. Here are the hard, cold facts-you then look me in the eye and with no smile tell me this is characteristic of a siege.
COGAT data:
Despite attacks by Hamas, Israel maintains an ongoing humanitarian corridor for the transfer of perishable and staple food items to Gaza. This conduit is used by internationally recognized organizations including the United Nations and the Red Cross.

Well over a million tons of humanitarian supplies entered Gaza from Israel over the last 18 months equaling nearly a ton of aid for every man, woman and child in Gaza. Millions of dollars worth of international food aid continually flows through the Israeli humanitarian apparatus, ensuring that there is no food shortage in Gaza.

Since the end of the IDF operation in Gaza (18 Jan 2009) until 5 June 2010, 1,025,686 tons of aid, 49,610 tons of cooking gas and 136,097,330 liters of fuel have been delivered to the Gaza Strip.1 

If reporters told the truth they would let you know that food and supplies are shipped from Israel to Gaza six days a week. Along with the false siege banner I hear Gaza is “an open air prison”-how then do you reconcile that in 2009, 10,544 Gazans and their companions left for medical treatment in Israel. During the week of April 11-17th nearly 500 patients and companions crossed from Gaza into Israel for medical treatment, while another over 100 Gaza residents crossed into Israel for other reasons, and roughly 200 internationals crossed in and out of the Gaza Strip.2

The United Nations, a fine organization, is keeping people employed by controlling the monies (income) flowing into the Gazans pockets. Yes, some $200 million so far this year with another $100 million pledged for this year. How come the “press” failed to mention that the USA is giving $900 million in aid to Gaza yet only $700 million to Haiti-now there is a population is authentically in need. Remember, this is only the legal “above ground” support.  Many of us have reported on the “tunnel economy and industry” that is flourishing in Gaza.  Oh yes, supported and encouraged by the “elected” Hamas officials running daily operations in Gaza –hmm, this seems to represent a conflict of interest. No, of course not, this is another evil Israeli trick. The irresponsible and ethically unstable reporting then has the audacity to link this to a humanitarian crisis. 3,4 If the MSM were doing their job they go to parts of the world where there is real humanitarian crisis-Africa, e.g., Ethiopia, Eritrea, Zambia, Malawi. Millions upon millions of people are starving and dying daily-yet, where does the MSM focus-Gaza! 5
There is no humanitarian crisis in Gaza other than the complete repression of its people by the Hamas political and military wings.

Did I mention that this aid, the supplies, the exodus of tens of thousands (since 2005) into Israel by Gazans all continued as Hamas reigned rockets onto the Israeli citizens as well as during the recent attack in logic and truth of the ”flotilla floaters”? Yes, and Gaza’s southern border with Egypt and all of Egypt’s ports remained blockaded to ships trying to get into Gaza yet the MSM fails to tell you or even mention this factoid. How about some young brave reporters break this dirty little secret to the world community. Come on, a siege, humanitarian crisis, you can’t be serious. Are people hurting, yes? Are conditions for some poor, yes? On the other hand, when the reporters, NGO’s, Celebrities and Academics are taken on a Gazan tour do they ever show you the gorgeous homes, invite  you for a swim at one of their swimming pools, the entertainment clubs or do they even have the courtesy to invite you to one of their fine restaurants? No, why do you believe they don’t? What is to their advantage to show you only the dismal areas?

Siege, open air prison, crisis and they still did not tell you how they destroyed a $100 million business replete with factories, packing facilities, shipping facilities and employing hundreds and hundreds of fellow Gazans? Yes, when Israelis were ethnically cleansed or purged from Gaza such an international flower business was left for them. Hamas and other Gazans promptly demolished all of it!! They destroyed this business and you dare lecture Israel about a crisis? What does exist is a crisis of belief, truth, and a disturbing reality that we live in a world today that has not the intestinal fortitude to stand along side us.

The folks occupying Gaza are only Arabs under the control of Hamas-an identified terrorist organization determined to destroy what we all value. Sept. 12, 2005-remember what happened? Israel “left the building” and what followed was destruction beyond logic and even emotion. Every building left standing was destroyed, very place of worship was burned to the ground-hmm, could these not have been turned into useful business locations or housing complexes? Of course, but the Jews again are to blame.  Some ignorant people still believe Israel is occupying Gaza, huh? That is a worn out lie but if you don’t know the real facts or if you don’t have the courage to challenge those who perpetuate the lie, no wonder it persists in the world.

Gaza has become its own worst nightmare and it is of its own doing. It continues to injure, maim and kill Israeli civilians with unprovoked attacks. The “tunnel arms highway” is flourishing as previously noted. They continue to demonstrate the desire to use weapons against us. Therefore, Israel has to continue the naval blockade to stop said weapons from reaching the shore. As proven beyond a shadow of a doubt all other aid flows into Gaza. Hamas has behaved badly and cannot be trusted thus the ships are legally stopped.

Yes, according even to the United Nations, blockades are legal. Historically they have been used by the British (1800’s, WWI, WWII) and who can forget the USA blockade of Cuba backing 1962? Why even the multi-national forces engaged recently in Iraq have used effectively a blockade strategy. Using any number of International laws/codes/agencies our Blockade is legal.In dealing with the question of Israel’s right to halt the flotilla, there is an extraordinary amount of international hypocrisy going around generated by those who ignore the past practices of other states at war as well as the true humanitarian situation in Gaza. Naval blockades are a legitimate instrument that states employ for self-defense.6   This is fact and we stand by the law. If the law does not support your narrative and if you use international laws to attempt to make your case, then you must engage the entire law not only the parts you think justify our point of view.  Selective use of international law is much like selective listening-we know how much trouble that gets you into over time.

So crazy people stop the lies, tell the truth. Given the preceding facts I suggest that the incoming ships, aka flotilla, will be breaking international law if they attempt to cross into Gaza-we will do what the law permits-we will interdict, transport what, if any, humanitarian aid is aboard to Gaza-as we have been doing for all these years. The MSM, United Nations, EU and the USA can prevent any future incidents by simply stepping up to the plate and striking out to the interlopers.
                        End Notes

1.The Israeli humanitarian lifeline to Gaza

2.Debunking the Gaza Siege Myth



3. Gaza: Crisis, Hunger, and Plague



4. Photo Evidence of ‘Myth of Siege of Gaza’

USAID Africa Humanitarian Crisis


6. Israel's Naval Blockade of Gaza Is Legal, Necessary