Daily Archives: December 19, 2013
Levy Campaign Participation
My readers already understand that the Campaign to promote the Levy Report has gotten underway here in Israel, and that it’s a major task.
We will be launching a website very soon, and have just put up our FaceBook page:
If you are FaceBook savvy, I ask, please, that you like this page and share it. Get your friends involved and ask them to do the same.
The FaceBook project is a key part of the campaign. It not only broadcasts the issue, it serves as a vehicle for communicating with MKs regarding the importance of their participation. You will be hearing more about this.
But for now. please begin with putting out the word. We are looking for thousands of “likes.”
The Levy Report was written by a three person committee headed by Justice Edmund Levy; the committee was mandated by Prime Minister Netanyahu with determining the status of building in Judea and Samaria. The Report was released in July 2012 after a year of extensive research based on law and history:
It concluded that Israel’s situation is unique, that Israel is not an occupier in Judea and Samaria, and that the “settlements” are not illegal. Nor, says the Report, do the Geneva Conventions apply to Israel’s situation.
Prime Minister Netanyahu accepted the Report and then, because of pressures, shelved it without even so much as a committee discussion.
Meanwhile, Obama continues to call the communities in Judea and Samaria “illegitimate” and an “obstacle to peace” and Mahmoud Abbas of the PLO continues to promote the lie that Israel must move back behind a non-existent “1967 border.” That alleged border was only a temporary armistice line, and yet the world believes him because the Israeli government is not dynamically refuting him.
We need that Levy Report. The situation is not going to get better, it will only get worse. The fact of negotiations, which is most regrettable in any event, is no reason to refrain from promoting the Report. If there must be negotiations, let Israel at least state her rights and negotiate from strength.
I cite here two recent examples of the sort of thing that occurs regularly, which makes the Report so necessary:
Earlier in December, the American Studies Association (ASA), a Washington DC based group counting some 5,000 members devoted to the interdisciplinary study of American culture and history, voted to boycott Israeli academic institutions.
The vote was passed unanimously by the association’s national council, which voiced protest over “the Israeli occupation of Palestine and the expansion of illegal settlements and the Wall in violation of international law…”
And then, even more outrageous, and outraging:
“Senior European Union members warned Israel Monday that it will be held responsible for the failure of peace talks with the Palestinians if it announces the construction of new settlement housing…
“The ambassadors expressed their concerns that Israel would announce plans for more settlement construction in the West Bank after releasing Palestinian prisoners at the end of the month, in keeping with its commitment to the Palestinian Authority, something Israel did after the previous two rounds of prisoner releases earlier this year.
“’New announcements of settlement activity after the third round of prisoner releases at the end of the month might be a fatal blow for the peace process,’ the ambassadors said.
“The stern warning by the major EU powers was coordinated with US Secretary of State John Kerry, who has played an integral part in negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians over the past few months.”
“Settlements” are here, again, considered “illegitimate” and the “stumbling block to peace.” Israel – which had not committed to a building freeze when entering the negotiations – is accorded no right to build by the EU.
Not that Israel needs the EU to accord her the right. But it’s high time Israel claimed that right unequivocally.
What’s outrageous here, of course, transcends even the issue of Israel’s right to build: The EU – while saying not a word about PA incitement – is inviting the PLO to quit negotiations and blame Israel.
The anti-Israel stance of the EU is broadly recognized. But why make it easier for this group to attack Israel utilizing distorted perspectives?
Regavim has put out the following press conference in response to the withdrawal of former minister Benny Begin in involvement in the Prawer plan for Bedouin land allocations:
“Former Minister Begin’s decision to resign, must be seized by the government as an opportunity to change the Begin plan and make it an improved and more just solution for all citizens of Israel, especially the Bedouins in the Negev.
“We call upon the elected officials of the State of Israel not to cower in the face of extreme pressure of a tiny but violent minority, here in Israel, using the delegitimization of Israel internationally, as a tool to harm the State and distort the discussion.
“The land of Israel is the most important and scarce resource of the State of Israel and we have to treat that dear resource responsibly.
“We have to grab this opportunity and place in the law the necessary amendments in order to deal with the real needs of the Bedouin population and not only serve a small minority of Bedouin with land claims.
“The violence and the threats of the Arab MKs and a small minority of Bedouin against this unprecedented and extremely generous plan of former Minister Begin, proves once again that giving free gifts, sends a message of weakness and enlarges their appetite.
“We call upon the Ministers and Members of Knesset not to discard 7 years invested in finding a just solution and return to the principles as laid out by the Goldberg commission and original Prawer legislation, to continue in the quest to put forward a suitable law that will organize Bedouin settlement in the Negev.”
Elie Wiesel – Holocaust survivor, author, Nobel Peace Laureate, and human rights activist – placed a full page ad in the NYTimes yesterday and the same ad in the Wall Street Journal today. Paid for by philanthropist Michael Steinhardt, it was co-sponsored by Rabbi Shmuley Boteach.
“…should the civilized nations of the world trust a regime whose supreme leader said yet again last month that Israel is ‘doomed to annihilation,’ and referred to my fellow Jewish Zionists as ‘rabid dogs?’”
We must “appeal to President Obama and Congress to demand, as a condition of continued talks, the total dismantling of Iran’s nuclear infrastructure and the regime’s public and complete repudiation of all genocidal intent against Israel. And I appeal to the leaders of the United States Senate to go forward with their vote to strengthen sanctions against Iran until these conditions have been met.”
You can find the full text of the ad below. Please share it and refer to it:
Bravo on this! May he have an impact that causes a ripple effect of ever-broadening protest on Iran.
There will be much more to follow on the subject soon.
Take A Stand
Hat Tip: BB
Another Target for the Gay Lobby
By: Cliff Kincaid
Accuracy in Media
The brouhaha over “Duck Dynasty” star Phil Robertson is revealing the massive power of the homosexual lobby and their determination to destroy influential figures standing in the way of a forced acceptance of their lifestyle.
Robertson, attacked for “anti-gay” comments in GQ Magazine that have been labeled by the “progressives” as “shocking,” has now been suspended from the program, the A&E Network’s biggest hit in history.
His announced “preference for heterosexual sex over homosexual sex,” as one publication put it, included the graphic comment, “It seems like, to me, a vagina—as a man—would be more desirable than a man’s anus.”
In addition to this explicit reference to how male homosexuals have sexual intercourse, Robertson repeated the biblical view that homosexual behavior is sinful.
Robertson is known as the “Duck Commander” for creating a popular duck call and other products for duck hunters. His company is called Duck Commander and his newsletter is devoted to “faith, family, and ducks.”
During a July appearance at Saddleback Church in southern California in July, Robertson quoted America’s founding fathers and their belief in God.
After suspending Robertson from the reality show, which emphasizes outdoor and family activities, A&E Networks said it has “always been strong supporters and champions of the LGBT community.” LGBT refers to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender.
An article about the controversy by conservative writer Gary DeMar said Robertson is saying “what millions think but are afraid to say.”
Whether these people stay silent remains to be seen. The fate of their program hangs in the balance.
Speculation is mounting that the homosexual lobby will now demand a halt to production of the entire program in order to demonstrate that criticism of the homosexual lifestyle will absolutely not be tolerated by anyone with a significant presence in the media.
One of those homosexual groups, GLAAD, boasts that it is “changing culture by working directly with news media, entertainment media, cultural institutions and social media.”
GLAAD declared, “GQ Magazine’s profile of Phil Robertson included some of the vilest and most extreme statements uttered against LGBT people in a mainstream publication.”
The far-left Huffington Post called the comments “vulgar,” while the liberal Washington Post called them “homophobic.”
Robertson has not been afraid to stand up for his faith and has been outspoken about the way Christians are depicted in the media.
Alluding to attempts by A&E producers to eliminate references to their Christian faith on the air, Robertson had said, “You gotta remember it’s spiritual warfare. I mean, you’ve got people with no moral compass.”
Robertson also told a Christian magazine called Sports Spectrum that network producers and editors started inserting fake bleeps in the show’s dialogue, even when the characters didn’t curse, in order to make it edgy.
Calling production of the show “A Real Life Hollywood Drama,” MovieGuide reported that the producers also asked the family to stop saying “In Jesus’ name” during their dinner-table prayers. Robertson explained that the producers wanted to eliminate references to Jesus because they “don’t want to offend some of the Muslims, or something.”
A&E Networks is a joint venture of Disney-ABC Television Group and Hearst Corporation. Hearst and Disney-ABC are financial sponsors of the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association, as are most of the major media companies.
While Robertson has been suspended from the show for expressing his disapproval of homosexuality, less attention has been devoted to some of his other comments, which are also controversial in “progressive” circles.
GQ reported that Robertson believes “that the gradual removal of Christian symbolism from public spaces has diluted” the nation’s founding principles, and “sees the popularity of Duck Dynasty as a small corrective to all that we have lost.”
While he criticizes “homosexual behavior,” “bestiality” and “sleeping around with this woman and that woman and that woman and those men,” he told GQ that those who have to answer to God for their behavior include “the adulterers, the idolaters, the male prostitutes, the homosexual offenders, the greedy, the drunkards, the slanderers, the swindlers…”
Defending Christianity and traditional values, he went on, “All you have to do is look at any society where there is no Jesus. I’ll give you four: Nazis, no Jesus. Look at their record. Uh, Shintos? They started this thing in Pearl Harbor. Any Jesus among them? None. Communists? None. Islamists? Zero. That’s 80 years of ideologies that have popped up where no Jesus was allowed among those four groups. Just look at the records as far as murder goes among those four groups.”
GQ Magazine asked, “How in the world did a family of squirrel-eating, Bible-thumping, catchphrase-spouting duck hunters become the biggest TV stars in America? And what will they do now that they have 14 million fervent disciples?”
The more important question, in the wake of the manufactured controversy by the homosexual lobby over the GQ comments, is whether these “disciples” have any real clout in the major media and can save this popular show.
In response to the controversy, Robertson released a statement reaffirming his Christianity, and saying that “women and men are meant to be together,” but adding that “I would never treat anyone with disrespect just because they are different from me.”
Cliff Kincaid is the Director of the AIM Center for Investigative Journalism and can be contacted at [email protected]. View the complete archives from Cliff Kincaid.
Hizballah: Iran’s Other Looming Threat to the West
By: Clare Lopez
Accuracy in Media
The single most important fact to understand about Hizballah is that its chain of command goes directly to the Iranian Supreme Leader, the Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, by way of the Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and Qods Force. That Iranian connection, as well as Hizballah’s close and long-standing relationship with al-Qa’eda, the global reach of this Shi’ite jihadist group, and above all, its extensive presence and criminal activities in the Western Hemisphere, including inside the United States, all merit a closer look. With U.S. national security directly in Hizballah’s cross-hairs, it’s more important than ever to understand what this group is, who leads it, what has motivated them along a bloody 30-year trail of terrorism, and what damage this group is capable of inflicting on American interests.
For even as Hizballah is an Islamic terror organization, an Iranian proxy for power projection, a Transnational Criminal Organization, and a Lebanese military, political, and social domestic entity, it is above all a direct threat to U.S. national security. After all, and despite a complete media blackout on the topic that prevails to this day, on Iranian orders and working together with al-Qa’eda, Hizballah participated in the worst strike ever against the American homeland: the attacks of 9/11. There is no threshold, ideological or otherwise, that Hizballah has not already crossed or would not cross again, given a direct order from Tehran.
Word out of London in late 2013 is that the U.S. is engaged in secret, indirect negotiations with Hizballah, with British diplomats acting as intermediaries. Those talks followed closely on the U.S. capitulation to Iran over its nuclear weapons program during November 2013 discussions in Geneva and reflect a White House policy of seeking to normalize relations with the regime designated by the Department of State as the number one global state sponsor of terror. Hizballah remains a designated terror organization on the Foreign Terrorist Organizations (FTO) list. And while the story about the U.S.-Hizballah talks in London made the Israeli and U.K. media, not one major U.S. media outlet thought it significant to report that the U.S. administration is reaching out to mend relations with what many describe as the most dangerous Islamic terror organization in the world.
Former Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage called Hizballah the “A Team” and al-Qa’eda the “B Team.” Former Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff said that Hizballah makes “al-Qa’eda look like a minor league team.” And former CIA Director George Tenet testified in 2003 that Hizballah was every bit al-Qa’eda’s “equal, if not a far more capable organization.”
And yet, since the attacks of September 11, 2001, the biggest share of counterterrorism bandwidth among national security agencies and the media alike has been devoted to al-Qa’eda “and its affiliates,” as they’re often called. Current internecine civil war in Syria aside, for many years Hizballah happens to have been one of those affiliates, but many would never know that from either the media coverage or official government attention paid to this Shi’ite jihadist group that works mostly for the Iranian mullahs. So, when it’s discussed at all, as on each year’s remembrance of the October 1983 bombing of the Marine barracks in Beirut, Lebanon, Hizballah continues to be thought of primarily as a Lebanese terror outfit. However, as Tony Badran pointed out in an important historical look back in his November 25, 2013 Weekly Standard essay, “The Secret History of Hezbollah,” a critical Iranian connection has been there from the beginning.
Media coverage of the Syrian civil war that broke out in 2011 often cites Hizballah as somehow mixed up in supporting the Ba’athist regime of Bashar al-Assad against a conglomeration of al-Qa’eda- and Muslim Brotherhood-dominated militias. But what that coverage often ignores is that Hizballah’s contribution of thousands of fighters to the survival of the Assad regime is not necessarily in the best interests (or any interests) of Hizballah’s supposed home team, the Lebanese Shi’ites. The reason Hizballah fights on, even after its Syrian adventures have drawn probable Sunni al-Qa’eda retaliation deep into the very heart of its Beirut stronghold in the Dahiyeh, is because Iran wants it to.