‘We have to let them build their mosque. But we don’t have to buy the project’s phony rationale’
The much-disputed mosque near Ground Zero has been described as a test of our commitment to liberty. With great respect to pundits on both sides of the issue, I think it is a test of our commitment to the wrong question.
The question isn’t whether people should be able to build whatever they like on their private properties. To this, the answer is a simple yes in a free society, subject only to the appropriate municipal zoning laws and building codes. Anyone who denies others this right because of religious or political sympathies needs a refresher course in the basics.
Except this isn’t the question to ask about the Cordoba Initiative.
Described in news reports as a non-profit organization whose stated goal is to promote cross-cultural understanding between Islam and the West, Cordoba Initiative spent US$4-million to purchase property two blocks from the one-time World Trade Centre in order to pull down an old building at the site and erect an US$100 million 13-storey Islamic cultural centre, including a mosque, in its place.
The question to ask is: Can any group genuinely believe that building a mosque two blocks from where jihadists pulverized 3,000 New Yorkers nine years ago will promote cross-cultural understanding between Islam and the West?
If the answer is yes (God knows, some people believe anything) the next question is: Having observed their New York neighbours’ actual reaction to their plan, do they believe it still?
The answer to this question can no longer be yes for anyone non-delusional with a measurable IQ. This leaves Cordoba Initiative with two choices. It can withdraw voluntarily, thereby demonstrating good faith, or continue building, thereby demonstrating that whatever it’s doing it for, it isn’t to promote understanding.
What is it for? Search me. Mischief? Subversion? Pushing the envelope? To rub salt into wounds, assert dominance, boost militant spirits?
Former Spanish prime minister José María Aznar writes in the Times of London:
via The Weekly Standard
For far too long now it has been unfashionable in Europe to speak up for Israel. In the wake of the recent incident on board a ship full of anti-Israeli activists in the Mediterranean, it is hard to think of a more unpopular cause to champion.
In an ideal world, the assault by Israeli commandos on the Mavi Marmara would not have ended up with nine dead and a score wounded. In an ideal world, the soldiers would have been peacefully welcomed on to the ship. In an ideal world, no state, let alone a recent ally of Israel such as Turkey, would have sponsored and organised a flotilla whose sole purpose was to create an impossible situation for Israel: making it choose between giving up its security policy and the naval blockade, or risking the wrath of the world.
Wake up North America! This ugly demonstration is unjustified.
WATCH the entire video clip
Individuals participating in this crazed mob have obviously not done their homework.
40 of the arrested flotilla “peace activists” are al-Qaeda.
Earlier, it was reported that a majority of the arrested “peace activists” who brutally attacked the Israeli soldiers with pipes, metal rods, chairs and knives are linked to terror groups including Al-Qaeda. Several are members of the Muslim Brotherhood. The activists include Turks, Yemenites and Indonesians. And, many of the arrested “peace” fanatics have no identification papers.
They are oblivious to the facts revealed on video footage shot onboard by Al Jazeera and showing the sequence of events that actually went down.
But who did the UN blame for war crimes? Not Hamas - they blamed Israel and sadly this is a similar situation. The same thing is happening now. Hamas is getting stronger. Iran is sending missiles and weapons to Gaza. It is important to point out that the weapons sent to Gaza are sent to hurt the people in Israel. I said this before, I warned about this and no one listened. They want to hurt Israeli citizens....
These weapons were used against Israeli Navy personnel as they attempted to board the ship. 7 soldiers were injured during the incident, which included activists taking two pistols from the soldiers and firing at them.
The "activists" are seen waiving metal rods and chains - which they later used to attack the IDF soldiers.
IDF soldiers were armed with paint ball guns used for riot dispersal and pistols which they were ordered to use only as a last resort.
Five other ships arrived with the flotilla. The passengers on board these other 5 ships cooperated nonviolently with IDF soldiers and there were no injuries.
It has been disclosed that 40 people on the upper deck of the ship - with no identification -wearing bullet proof vests and using weapons against the IDF soldiers - are considered mercenaries of the Al Qaeda terror organization.
It has become clear that this group of mercenaries split into organized cells in order to combat the IDF soldiers. Full responsibility for the incident is placed on those who started the violence - which clearly placed IDF soldiers' lives in danger.
The initial frenzy of denunciations of a routine Israeli maritime boarding and inspection operation that left 9 "peace activists" dead and many Israelis critically wounded- using words like piracy, slaughter, genocide and so forth - is fading in the cold light of facts.
These "peace activists" on board the Mavi Marmara ship were armed and looking for a fight.
Yes, the video tells the whole story and shoots down the lie that the activists are peaceful and unarmed.
What kind of "peace activists" carry long knives and metal rods and weapons and attempt to kill others? The organizers openly stated on many occasions that delivering humanitarian aid was NOT their main mission and we now see how true that is."
Large groups of passengers surrounded soldiers and beat them with metal poles and chairs, and threw one soldier over the side of the ship. Some passengers grabbed pistols from the IDF soldiers and opened fire. As a result of the attacks, seven IDF soldiers were injured, and nine of the passengers were killed.
The 'Free Gaza' Flotilla had publicly insisted on their non-violent intentions, however their violent attack on the IDF soldiers was clearly premeditated. They had knives, metal rods, firebombs and other items ready to use.
For me, the situation today recalls what occurred in 70 CE, when the Roman emperor Vespasian launched a military campaign against the Jewish nation. Masada became the last refuge of the Jewish people, and the Jews of Masada committed suicide rather than let themselves be taken captive.
In Rome itself, I have seen the Arch of Titus with the sculpture showing enslaved Jews and the treasures of the Temple including the menora – the symbol of the Jewish state – being carted away as booty.
Oh, you may say, that is a far fetched analogy. Please hear me out.
The most recent sacking of the Old City of Jerusalem – its Jewish Quarter – took place under the Jordanians in 1948 in the first war between the Jews and at least five Muslim states – Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria and Iraq. At that time, Jordan conquered east Jerusalem and the West Bank and expelled every Jew living in the Jewish Quarter, destroying every building, including the synagogues, and expelling from every part of Judea and Samaria every Jew living there, so that for the first time in thousands of years, the old walled city and the adjacent West Bank were judenrein – a term used by the Nazis to indicate the forced removal or murder of all Jews.
In this CNN video, the reporter discovers that Israel responded to the earthquake devastation in Haiti from "the other side of the world" with the most advanced field hospital installation possible.
Israel, a nation of 7.5 million people, has sent a team of 220 people that include Medical personnel and medical supplies, and an experienced Search and Rescue team to Haiti , and have established a large field hospital there, treating up to 500 people a day.
The recent statements by the European Union's new foreign relations chief Catherine Ashton criticizing Israel have once again brought international attention to Jerusalem and the settlements. However, little appears to be truly understood about Israel's rights to what are generally called the "occupied territories" but what really are "disputed territories."
That's because the land now known as the West Bank cannot be considered "occupied" in the legal sense of the word as it had not attained recognized sovereignty before Israel's conquest. Contrary to some beliefs there has never been a Palestinian state, and no other nation has ever established Jerusalem as its capital despite it being under Islamic control for hundreds of years.
The name "West Bank" was first used in 1950 by the Jordanians when they annexed the land to differentiate it from the rest of the country, which is on the east bank of the river Jordan. The boundaries of this territory were set only one year before during the armistice agreement between Israel and Jordan that ended the war that began in 1948 when five Arab armies invaded the nascent Jewish State. It was at Jordan's insistence that the 1949 armistice line became not a recognized international border but only a line separating armies. The Armistice Agreement specifically stated: "No provision of this Agreement shall in any way prejudice the rights, claims, and positions of either Party hereto in the peaceful settlement of the Palestine questions, the provisions of this Agreement being dictated exclusively by military considerations." This boundary became the famous "Green Line," so named because the military officials during the armistice talks used a green pen to draw the line on the map.
Danny Ayalon is the Deputy Foreign Minister of Israel.
published in The Wall Street Journal: December 30.2009
Delivered by , 16 October 2009
UN Human Rights Council: 12th Special Session
Thank you, Mr. President.
I am the former commander of the British forces in Afghanistan. I served with NATO and the United Nations; commanded troops in Northern Ireland, Bosnia and Macedonia; and participated in the Gulf War. I spent considerable time in Iraq since the 2003 invasion, and worked on international terrorism for the UK Government’s Joint Intelligence Committee.
Mr. President, based on my knowledge and experience, I can say this: During Operation Cast Lead, the Israeli Defence Forces did more to safeguard the rights of civilians in a combat zone than any other army in the history of warfare.
Israel did so while facing an enemy that deliberately positioned its military capability behind the human shield of the civilian population.
Hamas, like Hizballah, are expert at driving the media agenda. Both will always have people ready to give interviews condemning Israeli forces for war crimes. They are adept at staging and distorting incidents.
The IDF faces a challenge that we British do not have to face to the same extent. It is the automatic, Pavlovian presumption by many in the international media, and international human rights groups, that the IDF are in the wrong, that they are abusing human rights.
The truth is that the IDF took extraordinary measures to give Gaza civilians notice of targeted areas, dropping over 2 million leaflets, and making over 100,000 phone calls. Many missions that could have taken out Hamas military capability were aborted to prevent civilian casualties. During the conflict, the IDF allowed huge amounts of humanitarian aid into Gaza. To deliver aid virtually into your enemy's hands is, to the military tactician, normally quite unthinkable. But the IDF took on those risks.
Despite all of this, of course innocent civilians were killed. War is chaos and full of mistakes. There have been mistakes by the British, American and other forces in Afghanistan and in Iraq, many of which can be put down to human error. But mistakes are not war crimes.
More than anything, the civilian casualties were a consequence of Hamas’ way of fighting. Hamas deliberately tried to sacrifice their own civilians.
Mr. President, Israel had no choice apart from defending its people, to stop Hamas from attacking them with rockets.
And I say this again: the IDF did more to safeguard the rights of civilians in a combat zone than any other army in the history of warfare.
Thank you, Mr. President.
Courtesy Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Mr. President, Ladies and Gentlemen,
Nearly 62 years ago, the United Nations recognized the right of the Jews, an ancient people 3,500 years-old, to a state of their own in their ancestral homeland.
I stand here today as the Prime Minister of Israel, the Jewish state, and I speak to you on behalf of my country and my people.
The United Nations was founded after the carnage of World War II and the horrors of the Holocaust. It was charged with preventing the recurrence of such horrendous events.
Nothing has undermined that central mission more than the systematic assault on the truth. Yesterday the President of Iran stood at this very podium, spewing his latest anti-Semitic rants. Just a few days earlier, he again claimed that the Holocaust is a lie.
Last month, I went to a villa in a suburb of Berlin called Wannsee. There, on January 20, 1942, after a hearty meal, senior Nazi officials met and decided how to exterminate the Jewish people. The detailed minutes of that meeting have been preserved by successive German governments. Here is a copy of those minutes, in which the Nazis issued precise instructions on how to carry out the extermination of the Jews. Is this a lie?
A day before I was in Wannsee, I was given in Berlin the original construction plans for the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp. Those plans are signed by Hitler’s deputy, Heinrich Himmler himself. Here is a copy of the plans for Auschwitz-Birkenau, where one million Jews were murdered. Is this too a lie?
This June, President Obama visited the Buchenwald concentration camp. Did President Obama pay tribute to a lie?
And what of the Auschwitz survivors whose arms still bear the tattooed numbers branded on them by the Nazis? Are those tattoos a lie? One-third of all Jews perished in the conflagration. Nearly every Jewish family was affected, including my own. My wife's grandparents, her father’s two sisters and three brothers, and all the aunts, uncles and cousins were all murdered by the Nazis. Is that also a lie?
Yesterday, the man who calls the Holocaust a lie spoke from this podium. To those who refused to come here and to those who left this room in protest, I commend you. You stood up for moral clarity and you brought honor to your countries.
But to those who gave this Holocaust-denier a hearing, I say on behalf of my people, the Jewish people, and decent people everywhere: Have you no shame? Have you no decency?
A mere six decades after the Holocaust, you give legitimacy to a man who denies that the murder of six million Jews took place and pledges to wipe out the Jewish state.
What a disgrace! What a mockery of the charter of the United Nations! Perhaps some of you think that this man and his odious regime threaten only the Jews. You're wrong.
History has shown us time and again that what starts with attacks on the Jews eventually ends up engulfing many others.
This Iranian regime is fueled by an extreme fundamentalism that burst onto the world scene three decades ago after lying dormant for centuries. In the past thirty years, this fanaticism has swept the globe with a murderous violence and cold-blooded impartiality in its choice of victims. It has callously slaughtered Moslems and Christians, Jews and Hindus, and many others. Though it is comprised of different offshoots, the adherents of this unforgiving creed seek to return humanity to medieval times.
Wherever they can, they impose a backward regimented society where women, minorities, gays or anyone not deemed to be a true believer is brutally subjugated. The struggle against this fanaticism does not pit faith against faith nor civilization against civilization.
It pits civilization against barbarism, the 21st century against the 9th century, those who sanctify life against those who glorify death.
The primitivism of the 9th century ought to be no match for the progress of the 21st century. The allure of freedom, the power of technology, the reach of communications should surely win the day. Ultimately, the past cannot triumph over the future. And the future offers all nations magnificent bounties of hope. The pace of progress is growing exponentially.
It took us centuries to get from the printing press to the telephone, decades to get from the telephone to the personal computer, and only a few years to get from the personal computer to the internet.
What seemed impossible a few years ago is already outdated, and we can scarcely fathom the changes that are yet to come. We will crack the genetic code. We will cure the incurable. We will lengthen our lives. We will find a cheap alternative to fossil fuels and clean up the planet.
I am proud that my country Israel is at the forefront of these advances – by leading innovations in science and technology, medicine and biology, agriculture and water, energy and the environment. These innovations the world over offer humanity a sunlit future of unimagined promise.
But if the most primitive fanaticism can acquire the most deadly weapons, the march of history could be reversed for a time. And like the belated victory over the Nazis, the forces of progress and freedom will prevail only after an horrific toll of blood and fortune has been exacted from mankind. That is why the greatest threat facing the world today is the marriage between religious fanaticism and the weapons of mass destruction.
The most urgent challenge facing this body is to prevent the tyrants of Tehran from acquiring nuclear weapons. Are the member states of the United Nations up to that challenge? Will the international community confront a despotism that terrorizes its own people as they bravely stand up for freedom?
Will it take action against the dictators who stole an election in broad daylight and gunned down Iranian protesters who died in the streets choking in their own blood? Will the international community thwart the world's most pernicious sponsors and practitioners of terrorism?
Above all, will the international community stop the terrorist regime of Iran from developing atomic weapons, thereby endangering the peace of the entire world?
The people of Iran are courageously standing up to this regime. People of goodwill around the world stand with them, as do the thousands who have been protesting outside this hall. Will the United Nations stand by their side?
Ladies and Gentlemen,
The jury is still out on the United Nations, and recent signs are not encouraging. Rather than condemning the terrorists and their Iranian patrons, some here have condemned their victims. That is exactly what a recent UN report on Gaza did, falsely equating the terrorists with those they targeted.
For eight long years, Hamas fired from Gaza thousands of missiles, mortars and rockets on nearby Israeli cities. Year after year, as these missiles were deliberately hurled at our civilians, not a single UN resolution was passed condemning those criminal attacks. We heard nothing – absolutely nothing – from the UN Human Rights Council, a misnamed institution if there ever was one.
In 2005, hoping to advance peace, Israel unilaterally withdrew from every inch of Gaza. It dismantled 21 settlements and uprooted over 8,000 Israelis. We didn't get peace. Instead we got an Iranian backed terror base fifty miles from Tel Aviv. Life in Israeli towns and cities next to Gaza became a nightmare. You see, the Hamas rocket attacks not only continued, they increased tenfold. Again, the UN was silent.
Finally, after eight years of this unremitting assault, Israel was finally forced to respond. But how should we have responded? Well, there is only one example in history of thousands of rockets being fired on a country's civilian population. It happened when the Nazis rocketed British cities during World War II. During that war, the allies leveled German cities, causing hundreds of thousands of casualties. Israel chose to respond differently. Faced with an enemy committing a double war crime of firing on civilians while hiding behind civilians – Israel sought to conduct surgical strikes against the rocket launchers.
That was no easy task because the terrorists were firing missiles from homes and schools, using mosques as weapons depots and ferreting explosives in ambulances. Israel, by contrast, tried to minimize casualties by urging Palestinian civilians to vacate the targeted areas.
We dropped countless flyers over their homes, sent thousands of text messages and called thousands of cell phones asking people to leave. Never has a country gone to such extraordinary lengths to remove the enemy's civilian population from harm's way.
Yet faced with such a clear case of aggressor and victim, who did the UN Human Rights Council decide to condemn? Israel. A democracy legitimately defending itself against terror is morally hanged, drawn and quartered, and given an unfair trial to boot.
By these twisted standards, the UN Human Rights Council would have dragged Roosevelt and Churchill to the dock as war criminals. What a perversion of truth. What a perversion of justice.
Delegates of the United Nations,
Will you accept this farce?
Because if you do, the United Nations would revert to its darkest days, when the worst violators of human rights sat in judgment against the law-abiding democracies, when Zionism was equated with racism and when an automatic majority could declare that the earth is flat.
If this body does not reject this report, it would send a message to terrorists everywhere: Terror pays; if you launch your attacks from densely populated areas, you will win immunity. And in condemning Israel, this body would also deal a mortal blow to peace. Here's why.
When Israel left Gaza, many hoped that the missile attacks would stop. Others believed that at the very least, Israel would have international legitimacy to exercise its right of self-defense. What legitimacy? What self-defense?
The same UN that cheered Israel as it left Gaza and promised to back our right of self-defense now accuses us –my people, my country - of war crimes? And for what? For acting responsibly in self-defense. What a travesty!
Israel justly defended itself against terror. This biased and unjust report is a clear-cut test for all governments. Will you stand with Israel or will you stand with the terrorists?
We must know the answer to that question now. Now and not later. Because if Israel is again asked to take more risks for peace, we must know today that you will stand with us tomorrow. Only if we have the confidence that we can defend ourselves can we take further risks for peace.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
All of Israel wants peace.
Any time an Arab leader genuinely wanted peace with us, we made peace. We made peace with Egypt led by Anwar Sadat. We made peace with Jordan led by King Hussein. And if the Palestinians truly want peace, I and my government, and the people of Israel, will make peace. But we want a genuine peace, a defensible peace, a permanent peace. In 1947, this body voted to establish two states for two peoples – a Jewish state and an Arab state. The Jews accepted that resolution. The Arabs rejected it.
We ask the Palestinians to finally do what they have refused to do for 62 years: Say yes to a Jewish state. Just as we are asked to recognize a nation-state for the Palestinian people, the Palestinians must be asked to recognize the nation state of the Jewish people. The Jewish people are not foreign conquerors in the Land of Israel. This is the land of our forefathers.
Inscribed on the walls outside this building is the great Biblical vision of peace: "Nation shall not lift up sword against nation. They shall learn war no more." These words were spoken by the Jewish prophet Isaiah 2,800 years ago as he walked in my country, in my city, in the hills of Judea and in the streets of Jerusalem.
We are not strangers to this land. It is our homeland. As deeply connected as we are to this land, we recognize that the Palestinians also live there and want a home of their own. We want to live side by side with them, two free peoples living in peace, prosperity and dignity.
But we must have security. The Palestinians should have all the powers to govern themselves except those handful of powers that could endanger Israel.
That is why a Palestinian state must be effectively demilitarized. We don't want another Gaza, another Iranian backed terror base abutting Jerusalem and perched on the hills a few kilometers from Tel Aviv.
We want peace.
I believe such a peace can be achieved. But only if we roll back the forces of terror, led by Iran, that seek to destroy peace, eliminate Israel and overthrow the world order. The question facing the international community is whether it is prepared to confront those forces or accommodate them.
Over seventy years ago, Winston Churchill lamented what he called the "confirmed unteachability of mankind," the unfortunate habit of civilized societies to sleep until danger nearly overtakes them.
Churchill bemoaned what he called the "want of foresight, the unwillingness to act when action will be simple and effective, the lack of clear thinking, the confusion of counsel until emergency comes, until self-preservation strikes its jarring gong.”
I speak here today in the hope that Churchill's assessment of the "unteachibility of mankind" is for once proven wrong.
I speak here today in the hope that we can learn from history -- that we can prevent danger in time.
In the spirit of the timeless words spoken to Joshua over 3,000 years ago, let us be strong and of good courage. Let us confront this peril, secure our future and, God willing, forge an enduring peace for generations to come.
2. World renowned travelers, historians and archeologists of earlier centuries, such as H. B. Tristram (The Land of Israel, 1865), Mark Twain (Innocents Abroad, 1867), R.A. MacAlister and Masterman ("Palestine Exploration Fund Quarterly"), A.P. Stanley (Sinai and Palestine, 1887),
3. The term "
4. Most Arabs (Semites from the Arabian Peninsula), who reside between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean, have their origin in a massive 19th-20th century migration from Egypt, Syria, Lebanon and other Moslem countries.
5. Almost all Arab towns and villages in Judea and
*A-Dura is biblical (and contemporary) Adora'yim, site of King Rehoboam's and a Maccabees' fortress.
*A-Ram is biblical Haramah, Prophet Samuel's birth and burial site.
*Anata is biblical (and contemporary) Anatot, the dwelling of the Prophet Jeremiah.
*Batir is biblical (and contemporary) Beitar, the headquarters of Bar Kochba, the leader of the Great Rebellion against the
*Beit-hur is the biblical (and contemporary) Beit Horon, site of
*Beitin is biblical (and contemporary)
*Beit Jalla is biblical (and contemporary) Gilo, where Sennacherib set his camp, while besieging
*El-Jib is biblical (and contemporary) Gibeon, Joshua's battleground known for "Sun, stop thou in Gibeon and the moon in the
*Jaba' is the biblical (and contemporary Geva, site of Jonathan's (son of King Saul) victory over the Philistines.
*Jenin is the biblical (and contemporary) Ein Ganim,
*Mukhmas is biblical (and contemporary) Mikhmash, residence of Jonathan the Maccabee and site of King Saul's fortress.
*Seilun is biblical (and contemporary) Shilo, a site of Joshua's tabernacle and the Holy Ark and Samuel's youth.
*Tequa' is biblical (and contemporary) Teqoah, hometown of the Prophet Amos and currently known for its home grown Ginger.
Communicated by the Foreign Minister's Bureau
Israel has decided to boycott the international conference supposedly promoting the struggle against racism, which will open tomorrow (20 April, 2009) in Geneva, because it reached the regretful conclusion that instead of discussing issues regarding the international struggle against racism and xenophobia, the conference will once again serve as a platform to denigrate Israel and single it out for criticism. This was the case with the first Durban Conference in 2001, during which the real issues on the international agenda were ignored in favor of unfettered attacks against the State of Israel.
An international conference, in which Ahmadinejad - a racist known for his constant preaching of Israel's destruction - is not only invited to participate, but is welcomed as a central speaker, clearly demonstrates the forum's true goals and character.
Israel cannot ignore the fact that the conference, which is hosting a serial Holocaust denier, is taking place precisely on the day in which Jewish people commemorate the six-million Jewish victims of the Holocaust, murdered in Europe by Nazi Germany and its followers.
The State of Israel expresses its gratitude to those countries who have already announced that they will boycott this conference of hypocrisy opening tomorrow in Geneva, and calls on other countries to follow their example.
We can choose to turn back to the old ways, we can fight, we can go with the flow and join the senseless masses, or, out of an innate sense of belief in what is right, we can pioneer on...to the unknown... much as our Jewish ancestors did in their deliverance from Egypt.
When commanded to leave Egypt, the Jewish people were were not only being chased by their enemy, but as they headed toward freedom, they were confronted by another obstacle: the Red Sea
En route to freedom, the Jewish people were divided.
One group, filled with fear, wanted to give up, return to Egypt and go back into slavery.
Another group decided that there was no way they were returning to a life of slavery and wanted to fight their enemy to their death.
A third group felt that going back wasn't an option, so they decided to try to escape into the desert a different way. They knew they would never make it to the Land of Israel since they were heading in the wrong direction.... This was a dead end choice.
The fourth group knew that a change was necessary. As seemingly impossible as it was, there was only one decision to make. They kept moving forward.
This group was led by Nachshon ben Aminadav from the tribe of Yehuda. Without a second thought, he jumped into the water and moved forward. First, the water reached his knees, then his waist, then his chest. A few more steps, and it appeared he would drown. But he had faith. When the water hit his neck, the miracle happened, and the sea split.
Every Passover, when we tell the story of the Haggadah, we recall what happened. We need to be reminded that change -- all positive change -- requires risk and requires strength.
Sara Esther Crispe
Project One Soul has been alerted to this rally by prominent Canadian lawyers, activists, and journalists.
An anti Israel demonstration called "APARTHEID ISN'T KOSHER" is scheduled to take place on Sunday, April 5 from 1:00 - 3:00 in the afternoon at the LCBO in Rosedale, 10 Scrivener Square (Summerhill subway) to boycott Israeli wines.
It's being organized by "Coalition Against Israel Apartheid" and "Not in My Name", who will be picketing for the "Palestinian struggle" just a few days prior to Passover.
To counteract this kind of disgraceful demonstration, we are urging EVERYONE to visit the LCBO store by the Summerhill subway on the afternoon of April 5 (between 1 + 3 pm).
Use this as an opportunity to buy Israeli wines for either your Passover or Easter celebration.
Anti Israel demonstration protests such as the one described above will not pay off.... and in fact will cause an increase in Israeli wine sales.
The one woman multimedia play tells the story of an American Jewish woman, Sherri Mandell, whose search for meaning leads her to Israel where she marries her husband Seth, and begins to raise a family. The pivotal event in this moving production is when her eldest child, Koby, 13 years of age, is killed in a brutal terrorist attack.
Before the curtain goes up, Seth Mandell explains that “The Blessing of a Broken Heart", is a moving chronicle of loss and hope.
As the audience becomes immersed in Sherri's story, we see how she and her husband ultimately turn their grief to action as they start Camp Koby in Israel for other victims of terror.
“The Blessing of a Broken Heart", reaches across cultures as it depicts the universal emotions that follows the loss of one Jewish woman, and her families heroic search for new purpose and meaning following personal tragedy.
The riveting theatrical production of “The Blessing of a Broken Heart", was performed in Toronto on March 26 at the invitation of The Canadian Friends of The Koby Mandell Foundation.
I am a student of history. Professionally I have written 15 books in six languages, and have studied it all my life. I think there is something monumentally large afoot, and I do not believe it is just a banking crisis, or a mortgage crisis, or a credit crisis. Yes these exist, but they are merely single facets on a very large gemstone that is only now coming into a sharper focus.
Something of historic proportions is happening. I can sense it because I know how it feels, smells, what it looks like, and how people react to it. Yes, a perfect storm may be brewing, but there is something happening within our country that has been evolving for about ten—fifteen years. The pace has dramatically quickened in the past two.
We demand and then codify into law the requirement that our banks make massive loans to people we know they can never pay back? Why?.....
.....I have never been so afraid for my country and for my children as I am now.....
Pamela Geller is the author of Atlas Shrugs, firstname.lastname@example.org
Geller’s publishing career began at The New York Daily News and subsequently took over operation of The New York Observer as Associate Publisher. She has been the Senior Vice-President Strategic Planning and Performance Evaluation at The Brandeis School.
The former Canadian Minister of Justice, McGill professor of law and currently Liberal MP, Cotler was legal counsel for Andre Sakharov, Natan Sharansky and Nelson Mandela. He has been at the forefront in the struggle for international human rights and justice for years. Intense and eloquent, he spoke with passionate sincerity and conveyed the need for immediate action to combat the convergence of anti-Semitism and anti Israelism that characterizes the new antisemitsm.
“What we are witnessing today,” he said, “is a new sophisticated, globalizing, virulent and even lethal anti-Semitism, reminiscent of the atmospherics of the 30’s, and without parallel or precedent since the end of The Second World War.”
He traces the new version of the old Jew hatred to the United Nations’ “Zionism is Racism resolution”, which the late US Senator Daniel Moynihan said “gave the abomination of anti-Semitism the appearance of international legal sanction” but has gone far beyond it.
This new antisemitism is less against individual Jews; it attacks the collective Jews, the State of Israel. This starts a reaction of assaults on individual Jews and Jewish institutions. Quoting Per Ahlmark, former leader of the Swedish Liberal Party and Deputy Prime Minister of Sweden from the ICCA conference, he said, “In the past, the most dangerous anti-Semites were those who wanted to make the world Judenrein, ‘free of Jews’. Today, the most dangerous anti-Semites might be those who want to make the world Judenstaatrein, ‘free of a Jewish state’.”
The most lethal type of the new anti-Semitism has genocidal intent such as the state sanctioned, nuclear, genocidal anti-Semitism of Ahmadinejad’s Iran, which threatens to “wipe Israel off the map”, calling it “a cancerous tumour to be excised” and the Jewish people, “evil incarnate”.
Genocidal also are the charters, and policies of such terrorist movements as Hamas, Islamic Jihad, Hezbollah and Al-Qaeda, that call for the destruction of Israel and the killing of Jews anywhere.
Religiously sanctioned genocidal anti-Semitism is manifested in the “incendiary and inflammatory metaphors heard in mosques and media, where Jews and Judaism are characterized as ‘defilers of Islam, cancerous tumours, bacteria – so commonplace, and (heard with) no outrage.
“Where there is incitement to genocide, there is an obligation to act,” he says, and invokes the Genocide Convention of 1948.
Ideological antisemitism disguises itself under the cover of anti-racism and human rights, and is cloaked in the authority of international law. “Israel is delegitimized –if not demonized- by the indictments of racism, nazism and apartheid, the embodimentof all evil. This triple racism warrants the dismantling of Israel as a moral obligation. This characterization allows for terrorist ‘resistance’ to be deemed justifiable.”
“Legalized antisemitsm is even more sophisticated and insidious. Under the banner of human rights, operating under the protective cover of the UN, the singling out of Israel and the Jewish people for differential and discriminatory treatment in the international arena is ‘legalized’.”
For over 35 years the UN Commission on Human Rights consistently began its annual session with Israel being the only country singled out for indictment, even before the hearings commenced, he explained. Even after the Commission was replaced in 20006 by the UN Human Rights Council, they continued to condemn Israel in 80 per cent of the resolutions, while the main human rights violators of our time continued to enjoy immunity.
Cotler noted that he was speaking on the 60th anniversary of the Genocide Convention and the 60th anniversary of the Declaration of Human Rights, “both violated again and again.”
Summing up, Cotler stated, “Israel is the only state in the world today, and the Jews the only people in the world today, that are the object of a standing set of threats by governmental, religious and terrorist bodies seeking their destruction. The London Declaration (the ICCA) recognizes that ‘where there is incitement of genocide signatories (to the Genocide convention) automatically have an obligation to act.’ “ And the time has come not just to sound the alarm but to act,” he told the galvanized audience.
He urges all Canadians to join forces and create coalitions. “This is not just a Jewish cause, it is a just cause. It deserves the support of all who seek a just cause.”
March 8, 2009
Doris Strub Epstein is a journalist based in Toronto.
Alot of WW II drama paints the Jews as victims, but not this one.
A deeply moving true story told by Director Edward Zwick (Glory, The Last Samurai, Blood Diamond), this is a film that everyone should see - especially the new breed of Holocaust deniers that spend their precious time attempting to rewrite history.
Watching DEFIANCE was especially moving to me - as it reminded me of the young Holocaust survivors who spent time at our home when I was a child, their arms seared with tatooed numbers, recounting to me the sadness and fear of being separated from their murdered parents, running for their lives and hiding in haystacks.
Daniel Craig, Liev Schreiber and Jamie Bell give credible and spell binding performances as they take on their challenging roles with complete integrity - all the while playing kick ass Jews. In Daniel Craig's performance we are reminded of his role in the film Munich where he says "Don't F*ck With The Jews"
"The story is disturbingly profound and compelling. There's one lead theme that resounds throughout the entire movie "We may be hunted like animals, but we will not become animals". As the leader, Daniel Craig's character, Tuvia, keeps getting confronted by this. He tries to be an idealist, and his brother, Liev's Schreiber's character, Zus, thinks that kind of mindset would only invite threat and danger. But as the story progresses, Tuvia gradually realizes that they're in the middle of war and the lines between justice and humanity have become uncertain in these desperate times."
DEFIANCE is a WW II photo realist movie that doesn't hide or glamorize war but shows the intense reality of what happens when a people band together against overwhelming evil and somehow survive the terrible obstacles they are forced to confront.
Ishmael Khaldi, is a Muslim as well as a proud Israeli citizen, and currently holds the position of Deputy Consul General of Israel in San Francisco.
In his article, Lost in the Blur of Slogans, published in the San Francisco Chronicle, Mr. Khaldi reveals both the organizers and followers of "Israeli Apartheid Week" to be ignorant, misinformed bigots with dangerous and deeply rooted anti-Semitic ideologies.
For those who haven't heard, the first week in March has been designated as Israel Apartheid Week by activists who are either ill intentioned or misinformed. On American campuses, organizing committees are planning happenings to once again castigate Israel as the lone responsible party for all that maligns the Middle East.
The Obama administration has decided to boycott the United Nations Durban II conference "against racism" in Geneva in April, along with Canada and Israel, out of concerns for anti-Semitism.
The conference revisits the 2001 Durban conference in South Africa that devolved into an anti-Jewish free-for-all.
The 2001 Durban conference hosted and encouraged the grass-roots antisemitism which is broadening on campuses and in Trade Unions.
Preparations for a draft Durban II document have seen Iran leading several nations to focus attention on Israel's defensive and retaliatory actions at the exclusion of far more sinister and deadly actions taken by other nations, and to block the inclusion of anything that might guarantee Jewish protections – including mention of the Holocaust – at the same time inserting harsh penalties designed to guard Islam against "insult."
Now that the United States is withdrawing from the conference, European nations are expected to follow.
This swift and clear-eyed decision demonstrates that the U.S. government speaks with a consistent moral voice against the singling out of Israel for condemnation in the United Nations, and is determined to engage in a fight against racism that is free from the politicization and hatred that has plagued the Durban Review Conference process.
'Slumdog Millionaire' composer A.R.Rahman wins 2 Oscars February 22. 2009, proclaiming, "All my life, I had a choice of hate and love. I chose love, and I'm here". Music and film can bring people together despite boundaries of race, nationality and religion.
Israel's President Shimon Peres, shakes hands with Likud Party leader Benjamin Netanyahu, during their meeting at the President's residence in Jerusalem Friday, Feb. 20, 2009. giving him formal permission to put together the country's next government.
Netanyahu says, "I accept the task you have assigned me with humility and with a profound appreciation for the enormous responsibility that you have placed upon me...the responsibilty to achieve security for our country, peace with our neighbors and unity among people"....
Urging Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni of the Kadima Party to join his government, Mr. Netanyahu said, "Let us unite, let us join together and ensure our future, our children's future and our country's future...The great victories occurred when we ...stood together as one during moments of truth. Today, we face such a moment of truth".