The French Illusion

24bf32e500000578-0-image-a-23_1421401907182Reality check on the Israeli Palestinian peace process.

As yet another  peace process attempt is being made by France and their European neighbors, there is still a fantasy that it will be revived. Each time these efforts have been made the Israeli Palestinian relationship gets worse and worse with more violence, more death and more lies. The media atmosphere becomes even more absurd in blaming Israel even for unprovoked Palestinian crimes.

Our Palestinian partners are not even concealing their role in the incitement to murder Jews . The daily propaganda that is heard on the Palestinian street is fanned by the Palestinian Authority. They are the “responsible” body which is bankrolled by the United States government and the European Union.

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Comfortably numb?

February 26, 2015

by Izzy Lemberg

Last week, 100 British artists joined a so-called “cultural boycott” of Israel, pledging that they would not accept any invitations or funding from the Jewish State until Israel “ends its colonial oppression of the Palestinians.” The artists, who include musicians Brian Eno and Richard Ashcroft, film director Ken Loach, along with perennial Israel hater Roger Waters, the former front man for progressive rockers Pink Floyd – join a list of 600 others calling themselves “Artists for Palestine UK.”

These artists aren’t concerned about Israel’s “best interests,” though. The BDS movement, of which they are a sad but willing part, won’t be satisfied until Israel no longer exists as a Jewish state. As such they are actually contributing to a dangerous, incendiary movement that is as much anti-Semitic as anti-Israeli and that, if left unchecked, could bring the violence against Jews that has been spreading in Europe – from Brussels to Paris to Copenhagen – to the United Kingdom as well.

The prime minister of France, Manuel Valls, speaking a day after the terrorist attacks in Paris, made this link clear. There is now a “new anti-Semitism born in our neighborhoods against a backdrop of the Internet satellite dishes, abject poverty, and hatred of the State of Israel, advocating hatred of the Jew and of all Jews. We must say this! We must utter the words to combat this unacceptable anti-Semitism.

Public figures like Artists for Palestine UK can’t have it both ways. They can’t make a distinction between people killing Jews and being anti-Israel. It’s all part of the same thing. Artists for Palestine UK – and the BDS movement in general – seek to further ingrain the insidious myth that saying you’re against “Israeli policies” doesn’t mean you have anything against the Jews.

The data shows that’s just not the case. During last summer’s Operation Protective Edge, the number of anti-Semitic incidents reported in the UK during the monthly of July – 302 – was the highest in 30 years. The previous record of 289 incidents was recorded in January 2009, which also coincided with military conflict between Israel and Hamas in the Gaza Strip.

During the height of the fighting last year, in August 2014, another poll found that Britons feel more “unfavorable” to Israel than towards any other country in the world except for North Korea. Thirty five percent said they “feel especially unfavorable towards” Israel, which was greater than the number who felt the same way towards Iran, which was only 33 percent.

The conflation between being anti-Israel and anti-Semitism came up during an interview by BBC reporter Tim Willcox following the terrorist attacks in Paris. Willcox shocked a Jewish woman – the child of Holocaust survivors – who expressed grave concern for Jewish safety in Europe. “We have to not be afraid to say that the Jews, they are the target now,” the woman told Willcox who then interrupted her. “Many critics of Israel’s policy would suggest that the Palestinians suffer hugely at Jewish hands as well,” he interjected.

The BBC has launched an investigation and Willcox subsequently apologized (albeit via Twitter) for a “poorly phrased question.” The pro-Israel website Honest Reporting says this is nowhere near enough. “Tim Willcox must be held accountable for his latest outrageous interview. The BBC needs to openly acknowledge the seriousness of this incident at a time of growing anti-Semitism and physical attacks on Jews,” it wrote.

That wasn’t all at the BBC. Last month, as part of International Holocaust Remembrance Day programming, the BBC One show “The Big Questions” had the audacity to ask “is it time for the world to stop talking about the Holocaust?”

Is it any wonder then that, in a poll of British Jews taken just a few weeks before the Paris terror attack by the group Campaign Against Anti-Semitism, some 45 percent of the 2,230 people surveyed said they are “concerned that Jews may not have a long-term future in Britain.” The figure rises to 58 percent when asked if there is a future for Jews in Europe. Moreover, 56 percent said that the current situation showed some echoes of the anti-Semitism of the 1930s, and 37 percent indicated they tried to avoid wearing any public symbols of their Judaism.

Danny Cohen, the director of BBC Television sadly concurs. In a conversation with Israel Channel 2’s Yonit Levi, he said that, with rising anti-Semitism, “I’ve never felt so uncomfortable being a Jew in the UK as I’ve felt in the last 12 months.”

Britain is still one of Israel’s best friends on the world stage, and its recent prime ministers, from Tony Blair to David Cameron, have been very pro-Israel. But the same can’t be said about the British elite and its arts communities, and it’s this group that often leads public opinion. Indeed, at a Roger Waters concert last year, a deliberately provocative balloon of a pig sporting a Star of David floated over the crowd.

It’s not too late for Britain to stop the rise of anti-Semitism on its shores. The country’s leaders – in particular its elites and the media that has been so hostile towards Israel – must engage in some profound soul searching. They have to start thinking about how demonizing Israel is putting the Jewish community in England under threat; how this same kind of anti-Israel hysteria in Europe is leading to people getting killed. They must look deep inside and ask if Israel, one of the most liberal democracies in the world, is really worse than Syria and Iran?

To Roger Waters and the 700 artists who have called for a boycott on Israel: take an honest look at the world around you. Now is not the time to get comfortably numb.

This article was originally published by the Times of Israel

Glenn Beck a star among right wing in Israeli Parliament

By Izzy Lemberg, CNN
July 12, 2011 — Updated 0113 GMT (0913 HKT)
Conservative American pundit Glenn Beck gestures as he speaks to Israeli members of Parliament in Jerusalem on Monday.

Jerusalem (CNN) — Outspoken American TV and radio personality Glenn Beck found a friendly audience Monday in the Israeli Parliament as he spoke to a group on how Israel can improve its international image.

The conservative pundit took aim at “the media” accusing it of distorting the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. “In America the media is so skewed on Israel — honestly, I thought you can only cook your food over a burning bus,” Beck recollected humorously about what he expected before his first trip to Israel.

But he was serious when he said, “Here is the truth (about the) Israeli -Palestinian conflict — at the ruling class, (the conflict) is about the destruction of Israel and about the end of the Western way of life, period.”

Beck spoke as a guest of the Knesset’s Committee on Immigration, Absorption, and Diaspora Affairs. In addition to mostly right-wing Knesset members, the committee room was packed with guests who were strong Glenn Beck fans, applauding enthusiastically as he entered the room.

Sounding at times like an evangelist, Beck proclaimed, “The times that we live in — I am wildly clear … that God’s hand is at work.” Evil must be confronted, he urged, and “God will do the rest.”

Several Knesset members expressed their ardent appreciation to Beck for his staunch and unequivocal support of Israel.

Beck plans to return to Israel in late August with supporters to hold three large events in what he calls the “Restore Hope” campaign, similar to his rally in Washington last August. The aim of the trip is to draw support for Israel and oppose plans by Palestinian leader to go to the United Nations in September seeking recognition for Palestine as an independent country.

One Knesset member from the centrist Atzmaut party who came to thank Beck was Einat Wilf. When asked about having the controversial talker at Israel’s parliament, she responded, “These days we need all the help we can get.”

“I don’t think anyone can contest that Glenn Beck has the ability to reach tens of millions of people and to convince them, and as Israel finds itself in an intellectual battle for its own story, as Zionism continues to be under attack, we need to understand how to make sure that our truth is heard … and anyone who can help us with that is more than welcome,” Wilf said.

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The Butchering Intifada and the Season of Misinformation

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The use of knives as the weapon of choice for butchering Jews can be traced to the Har Nof Massacre in November, 2014. The western media has been complicit and instrumental in advancing this religiously inspired campaign of hate, through its “mistakes” and “errors” in its reporting of terror attacks. Most notably last year when CNN “mistakenly” reported a synagogue as a mosque. CNN was not alone, many other western news agencies too made this error on the same story. Others claiming that Har Nof, which is located in West Jerusalem, well within Israel’s pre 1967 borders, was in ‘disputed’ territory. This can only be due to the media breathing the air that Israel is always wrong and the Palestinians are always right. Such fundamental errors in representing the facts are not found by the same news channels when reporting elsewhere.

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Israeli lawmakers wrestle with marking deaths in Armenia

December 26, 2011
Source: CNN

By Izzy Lemberg

Jerusalem (CNN) — In a move that could further erode already soured relations with Turkey, Israeli lawmakers on Monday debated whether to establish an official day marking what Armenia describes as a genocide 96 years ago.

Armenian groups and many scholars argue that starting in 1915, Turks committed genocide, when more than a million ethnic Armenians were massacred in the waning days of the Ottoman Empire.

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