Monthly Archives: July 2013

The Tripod: CAMERA Links in Three Languages—July 31

July 31, 2013

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What are BBC audiences being told about ME talks?
Taking a look at what the BBC is telling its audiences about the Middle East peace talks. (BBC Watch)

Can’t Find A Referendum? You Must Be Gidon Levy
Gidon Levy claims democracies don’t use referendums. (Presspectiva)

Guardian falsely claims that most new Israeli immigrants move to the West Bank
The Observer (sister site of the Guardian) claimed that most Israeli immigrants move to “settlements” in the West Bank. However, Israeli population statistics clearly demonstrate that only a small percentage move there. (CiF Watch)

The hyperbole and the writer
Politician and writer Mario Vargas Llosa compares Hamas to Israeli settlers. (ReVista de Medio Oriente)

The Media Misrepresenting Palestinian Prisoners

Media outlets such as The Guardian and BBC have been misrepresenting Palestinian prisoners who are to be released as part of the peace negotiations. There are several problems with their articles, particularly the fact that they minimized the criminal activity of the prisoners, exaggerated their sentences, and failed to state the actual criminal status of the prisoners.

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http://www.rfi.fr/actuen/images/108/prisoners432.jpg

For example, rather than being called convicted criminals, The Guardian, BBC, and the Palestinian Authority have called Palestinians imprisoned before the Oslo Accords political prisoners. Meanwhile, these people do not meet the requirements of a political prisoner, as they were not imprisoned because of their political beliefs or actions.

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http://cdn.timesofisrael.com/uploads/2012/10/F081215KG05.jpg

While some instances of media incorrectly referring to Palestinian prisoners as political prisoners have been corrected, others have not. Originally, The Guardian article stated that the Palestinians requested “the release of 123 political prisoners.” This was corrected to indicate that the Palestinians consider those prisoners to be political, not criminal. The BBC article, however, was never corrected and still refers to the Palestinian prisoners as “political.”

The Israeli government recently released a list of 118 Palestinian convicted criminals currently incarcerated in Israeli jails, whose release is being considered as part of the negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority. The list shows the world that the prisoners are not simply in prison for burning flags or throwing stones (which is a dangerous and violent act, though not acknowledged by all as one), and are not simply political prisoners, but are convicted criminals who perpetrated violent acts.

For example, Ethan Bronner of the New York Times described in a December 2011 article that Izzedine Abu Sneineh was in jail for rock throwing and hanging a Palestinian flag on a flagpole. However, CAMERA prompted a correction saying that he was “accused” of weapons training, attempted murder, and possession of explosives. This new list erases doubt and makes misrepresentation of crimes and punishments harder than it was previously.

The publication of this list demonstrates to the world the great sacrifice Israel is making by releasing these prisoners. Some believe that the prisoners being considered for release are not as great a threat as they once were because they are older, and therefore, are less likely to be radical. Nevertheless, their age does not excuse their actions or stop them from perpetuating their violent practices. These people can teach younger people how to perpetrate such acts, in addition to the fact that they still perpetrated violent acts. In the United States, there are many people who committed less egregious criminal acts and are still sentenced to life without parole and never released. Why are Palestinian terrorist-murderers different than American murderers?

Contributed by CAMERA Intern Eli Cohn

The Tripod: CAMERA Links in Three Languages

July 30, 2013

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The Guardian Asks if 4.9 Million Palestinian “Refugees” Will “Return” to Cities…Where They Never Lived
Those who get their news from the Guardian could be forgiven for falsely believing that there are nearly 5 million Palestinian refugees from the 1948-49 Arab-Israeli War. The truth is that there are closer to 30,000. (CIF Watch)

Whitewashing Hamas
Spanish news agency Europa Press avoids referring to Hamas as a terrorist group, yet does not hesitate to speak of “the Jewish terrorist” Eden Natan-Zada. (ReVista de Medio Oriente)

Israel Releases Terrorists, The World Reports on Freed Political Prisoners
A brief survey of how some newspapers confuse political prisoners and convicted terrorists. (Presspectiva)

Tenacity Brings Results in Complaint About BBC Ward Article
The BBC Trust has partially upheld a reader’s complaint about the BBC’s erroneous language toning down MP David Ward’s anti-Semitic remarks. (BBC Watch)

BBC’s Bell Suggests Maccabiah Games are Racist
BBC’s Bethany Bell uses the subject of sport as a springboard from which to try to influence audience perceptions of Israel. (BBC Watch)

Ashrawi on CNN: So Predictable – Anti-Israel Vitriol and Distortions
CNN International host Christiane Amanpour failed to challenge any of the distortions and falsehoods put forth by her July 23rd guest, Palestinian Legislative Council member Hanan Ashrawi. (Snapshots)

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Hanan Ashrawi

From the Campus Director’s Desk: CAMERA’s Amazing Student Trip to Israel

CAMERA just completed its 7th Annual Student Leadership and Advocacy Mission in Israel. Our CAMERA Fellows, who were chosen to represent CAMERA on campus for the 2012-2013 academic year, participated in the all-expense-paid trip, along with student activists who are members of our CCAP-supported pro-Israel organizations.

Twenty-three Jewish and non-Jewish activists represented universities from across the US and Canada, including UC Berkeley, UC San Diego, Duke University, University of Michigan, CUNY Baruch, CUNY Brooklyn, University of New Orleans, and Concordia University.

Throughout the 10 days, the students met with esteemed professors, government spokesmen, and NGO’s and visited museums that were integral for every Zionist to experience.

From learning about the underground arms factory, The Ayalon Factory, to hearing the story of Israel’s pre-state elite fighting force, The Palmach, to listening to the words of Ben Gurion himself announce the establishment of Israel at Independence Hall, the activists received a sharp and essential history lesson in how the State of Israel came to be.

Declaration of Independence at Independence Hall in Tel Aviv

Declaration of Independence at Independence Hall in Tel Aviv

In between the museums, the students had the pleasure to meet Prime Minister Netanyahu’s Spokesperson, Mark Regev, the Deputy of the National Security Council for foreign policy and international affairs, Eran Lerman, and the Deputy Spokesperson for Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Paul Hirschon, amongst many other influential people.

The presenters answered questions from what are the latest updates coming out of Egypt to Syria to the best practices on presenting this new information on campus. MEMRI staff (Middle East Media Research Institute) provided clips of top Fatah and PA officials declaring anti-Semitic and anti-Israel vitriol to the masses while Khaled Abu Toameh, Jerusalem Post’s Palestinian Affairs Reporter and Analyst, gave a first hand account of what’s it like to work for the PLO and report on Hamas as an Israeli journalist.

CAMERA brought the students to Sderot, to see for themselves the qassam rockets that were shot into southern Israel, aiming to injure, maim, and murder innocent Israelis. Noam Bedein, the Director of the Sderot Media Center, brought the CAMERA group on a special visit to the Erez crossing. There, the students heard from post commanders and learned what passes through the crossing and the daily life of living on the border between Israel and Gaza.

Noam Bedein, Director of the Sderot Media Center holding two drawings made by Israeli children, wishing for peace with their Gazan neighbors.

Noam Bedein, Director of the Sderot Media Center holding two drawings made by Israeli children, wishing for peace with their Gazan neighbors.

The last few days of the trip, CAMERA activists traveled up North to see the different outlooks of Mt. Bental, Gadot, and Misgav Am to receive a deeper understanding of the dangers Israel faced and continues to face with her neighbors.

Hadar Sela, Managing Editor of BBC-Watch, a CAMERA affiliated                        Organization, speaking with the students at her kibbutz, Kfar Haruv.

Hadar Sela, Managing Editor of BBC-Watch, a CAMERA affiliated Organization, speaking with the students at her kibbutz, Kfar Haruv.

One of the most unique activities during the 10-day trip was a visit to Israeli Bedouin Diplomat Ishmael Khaldi’s village, Khawalid. There, Khaldi gave the students his personal story of growing up as a minority in Israel, explained why he is a Zionist and described with us the current work he doing in London to counter the venomous Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions Movement (BDS).

CAMERA Fellows and Activists with Israeli Bedouin Diplomat,  Ishmael Khaldi and family at their village in Khawalid.

CAMERA Fellows and Activists with Israeli Bedouin Diplomat,
Ishmael Khaldi and family at their village in Khawalid.

Throughout the trip, the students discussed amongst themselves and with CAMERA staff their opinions on the lectures and the issues they face on campus. The goal of the this trip was to deepen knowledge of the activists and empower them to feel more confident when returning to campus in the fall. We are humbled to say that we have accomplished our goal!

Testimonials from the trip:

“I don’t think there is any other opportunity that would have afforded me the knowledge and perspective that the CAMERA summer 2013 trip has. Along with the informational museum and city tours, the speakers I listened to day after day were able to, through their experience, passion, and intelligence, intensify my understanding of the Arab-Israeli conflict as well as solidify my quest to seek out and always support the truth.”

Tracey Moskowitz – Michigan State University

“I am grateful that CAMERA provided me the opportunity to see Israel in an entirely different way than ever before. It was incredible to listen to so many well informed speakers and visit various important historic sights. After this trip, I feel more confident than ever in my ability to accurately and confidently defend the State of Israel on my college campus.”

Daniel MaelBrandeis University

 “Working with CAMERA to bring informative speakers to campus and personally study Israel’s challenges provided a lot of information, strategies to be a better pro-Israel advocate, and social connections with other activists at various campuses across the U.S. This combination will serve me well in my future pro-Israel endeavors, and no doubt have a strong ripple effect.”

-Itamar Gnatt – University of Maryland – Baltimore County

Contributed by Aviva Batya Slomich

The Tripod: CAMERA Links in Three Languages—July 29

July 29, 2013

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Pre-Oslo Prisoners and Their Crimes
To understand the sensitivity of the debate over Israel’s decision to release convicted Palestinian terrorists, one must know who these prisoners are and what crimes they committed. CAMERA provides a list. (CAMERA)

Another Perspective on Middle East Peace
Emanuele Ottolenghi describes the “six mistaken assumptions that have driven successive diplomatic efforts [to achieve a Palestinian-Israeli peace agreement] to complete failure.” (Snapshots)

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The Guardian AGAIN Whitewashes the Ethnic Cleansing of Jews
For the second time in a week, the Guardian has attempted to expunge from the historical record an indisputable saga regarding the ethnic cleansing of Jews by Arab leaders in the years following Israel’s establishment. (CIF Watch)

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The Occupation and Us According To Nadav Eyal
What is Israel’s official position on the territories? (Presspectiva)

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Parallel Worlds
At a Spanish-speaking news agency, Hamas is a valid political source while Tel Aviv is the seat for the Israeli Government. (ReVista de Medio Oriente)

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Where’s the Coverage? 
The media in Spanish continues to turn a deaf ear to the incitement to hatred by the Palestinian Authority. (ReVista de Medio Oriente)

Glorifying Hate

Does a true partner for peace honor those who committed acts of terror? In history, there have been only a few Jewish terrorists who murdered Palestinians. Israel has given all of these people lengthy prison sentences, and has refused to release them early. On the other hand, the ruling Palestinian party in the West Bank, Fatah, recently honored those responsible for terror attacks in which 61 people were murdered. Not only are Palestinian terrorists rarely arrested by the Palestinian Authority, but they are celebrated as heroes and their early release is demanded as a precondition for starting peace talks.

There are varying opinions as to what causes support for such hatred. One culprit is Palestinian television, which spreads messages promoting anti-Semitism. Watch this short clip to see some of the televised messages which fill the Palestinian airwaves.

Fatah Page Glorifying Terrorists

Fatah Page Glorifying Terrorists

It is especially disturbing that such hatred is being spread to North American campuses. In this well written blog post on Elder of Ziyon, we are exposed to the hatred and intimidation that students face on their campus at York University.

How are students expected to focus on their studies when, on their walk to class, they are greeted with students yelling “Intifada?” (click here for the clip). When students chant words that refer to the Palestinian wave of suicide bombings in the early 2000’s, which caused the death of hundreds of Israeli civilians, this is creating an atmosphere of hate and intimidation. When students yell “Right of Return!”, they are chanting for the destruction of Israel (read here how the right of return would lead to the destruction of Israel).

People frequently ask when there will be peace in the Middle East. It is a challenge when the ailing dictator of the Palestinians in the West Bank glorifies terrorists. And it is a challenge to have civil discourse on campus when one side is praising terrorist attacks.

Contributed by Gilad Skolnick

The Importance of CAMERA to the Sustainability of Israel

July 26, 2013

I am grateful that CAMERA provided me the opportunity to see Israel in an entirely different way than ever before. It was incredible to listen to so many well-informed speakers and visit various important historic sights ranging from the Western Wall to north in the Golan. After the trip, I feel more confident than ever in my ability to accurately and confidently defend the State of Israel on my college campus.

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Now, more than ever, it is becoming increasingly difficult to sort through the different Israel related material—an increasing problem on college campuses. After spending 10 days exploring the land of Israel with CAMERA, I am certain that CAMERA is the one of the most important pro-Israel groups in the world today.

From Professor Gil Troy to Mark Regev, the Spokesman for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, the biggest lesson I took away from my trip was the importance of a pro-active, confident delivery. As I stood in front of hundreds of rockets fired at Israel with Noam Bedein of the Sderot Media Center, the work that CAMERA and every pro-Israel activist does began to come into focus. While often times the conversation regarding Middle East peace is centered on the various politics involved with negotiation, it is important to remember that men, women, and children are living under threat every day. Every. Single. Day.

Amongst the speakers, Israeli Foreign Diplomat Ishmael Khaldi provided me with the most unique and intriguing insights. A Bedouin from the town of Khawalid in the Western Galilee, he served in the Israeli Defense Forces, the Defense Ministry and the Israeli Police force. Amidst cries of Israeli “apartheid,” Mr. Khaldi proudly defends his homeland of Israel against thousands of BDS supporters and perpetuators of anti-Israel hatred. Flanked by his family in his native village, he spoke about his experience defending Israel both at home and abroad. Seeing a member of the Israeli minority proudly defending the Jewish state was inspiring beyond words.

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In addition to the unbelievable speakers and sights that we visited, I was incredibly impressed with my fellow students and their commitment to the pro-Israel cause on their respective campuses. While I have encountered a small amount of anti-Israel sentiment and bias, my experiences pale in comparison to many of my peers. Whether it is an anti-Israel protest or speakers, these students are proud to call themselves pro-Israel activists. More than anything, the consensus amongst the group of students was clear—much of the pro-Israel programming on campus would not be possible without the work of the folks at CAMERA and the hard work that they put forward.

After benefiting from the unbelievable trip that CAMERA put together and hearing the great respect that every speaker and peer of mine held for CAMERA, I am deeply confident in the direction of the pro-Israel community. With the relentless effort that the entire CAMERA organization puts forward to ensure true and honest reporting in the Middle East, I know that the truth will always be demanded of every newsroom.

Contributed by Daniel Mael

Daniel Mael is a Junior at Brandeis University and a participant of the 2013 CAMERA Leadership and Advocacy Training Mission to Israel. 

800,000 missing Jews: Guardian ‘refugee’ history includes glaring omission.

July 25, 2013

It’s one thing to re-write history, but quite another to pretend as if a major historical event – involving a well-documented case of ethnic cleansing – never occurred.

A July 25th edition of the Guardian’s Data Blog, edited by Mona Chalabi, was titled ‘What happened to history’s refugees?‘.  Here’s the strapline:

People have been forced to leave their countries since the very notion of a country was created. We take a look at some of the largest human movements in history to find out why people left their homes, where they went and what became of them.

This ambitious project includes Israelites: Canaan (740 BC), Edict of Fontainebleau (France 1685), Muhacirs (Ottoman Empire 1783), Pogroms (Russia 1881), WWI (Europe 1914), WWII (Europe 1945), Nakba (Palestine 1948), and others.

Regarding the “Nakba”, here’s their remarkably skewed narrative:

To continue reading this CiF Watch post, click here.

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An Unlikely Friendship

July 22, 2013

Every country has at least one ally, if not more, and while at times it seems as though Israel’s only ally is the United States, there is another western country that has held out its hand to Israel. It may seem, to the untrained eye, that Panama has no stake in Israel’s well being, but in reality, Panama has always had a special relationship with Israel.

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Panama has stood by Israel from the beginning, as Panama was one of the many countries to vote for UN Resolution 181, which created the State of Israel. Since then, Panama has consistently voted with Israel, including voting against Palestinian Statehood on November 29, 2012. Only nine countries, including Israel and the United States, voted against UN Resolution 67/19. Some, such as Max Fisher did in his Washington Post article, have speculated that the vote was more for the United States, because both the Panamanian and the United States economies rely on the Panama Canal. However, Panama has more reasons than this to agree with Israel.

Panama has, unfortunately, experienced terror from Hezbollah, just as Israel has since her creation. According to Tracy Wilkinson’s 1994 Los Angeles Times article, “The day after Buenos Aires’ seven-story Jewish community center was reduced to rubble on July 18, a suicide bomber said to be Lebanese and unable to speak Spanish or English boarded a commuter flight in Colon, Panama, near the Atlantic end of the Panama Canal. When he detonated the bomb, all 21 people aboard were killed, including 12 Jewish and Israeli businessmen, and three U.S. citizens.” This attack not only devastated Panama, but lead to an even stronger tie between Israel and Panama.

Early in his term, Ricardo Martinelli, president of Panama, showed both his own and Panama’s loyalty to Israel. In her 2010 articleJPost writer Greer Fay Cashman explored the relationship between Panama and Israel. According to Cashman’s article, “Panama will always stand with Israel, in appreciation of ‘its guardianship of the capital of the world – Jerusalem,’ Martinelli told (Israel’s President) Peres at Beit Hanassi. . . .. ” This recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital displays Martinelli’s feelings toward the state. Furthermore, Cashman’s article reveals that “..three of the ministers in Martinelli’s cabinet are Jewish, as are many senior government officials.”

Panama’s Jewish community has evolved since its beginnings in the 1800s. According to the Jewish Virtual Library, “After the construction of the Panama Canal, the census of 1911 reported 505 Jews in Panama.” This number is significantly lower than the “About 8,000 Panamanian citizens” that Cashman reported in 2010. The future of Panama’s Jews and their relationship with both Panama and Israel seems to be very bright.

Contributed by CAMERA intern Rachel Wolf

This piece has been republished in The Algemeiner and republished in Spanish in ReVista

Israel Lends a Helping Hand

July 19, 2013

Nepal is a landlocked nation with the current population of over 27 million people. As reported by the World Bank, Nepal is one of the poorest nations in the world. There are a number of issues facing Nepal, but the more substantial issues are related to water pollution and scarcity. According to the Department of Water Supply and Sewerage in Nepal, an estimated 80% of the total population has access to drinking water; however, it is contaminated.  The contaminated water, along with the seasonal schedule—the dry season in Nepal begins in March and ends in September, when the rainy season begins—leaves the Nepali population vulnerable to waterborne illness. The unhygienic environmental situation and a water pollution creates a deadly combination.

Israel has now come to Nepal’s rescue. Although Israel also suffers from water issues, they have advanced in finding resources that help the country strive in farming strategies.  In Israel, 75% of the sewage water in Israel is recycled and reused; this is the highest rate in the world. According to Jspace News, two hundred children of Nepali farmers are expected to arrive in Israel for 10 months of agricultural training.

This program will be sponsored by the Kathmandu-based Small Farmers Development Bank, and its goal is to give the Nepali children the utensils and knowledge that they will need to grow their farms and provide a sustainable water source and income for their families. These children are going to learn from Israel’s successful agricultural businesses, many of which use cutting edge technologies to diminish water insufficiencies and make these desert regions succeed.

Read more here about Israel’s water issues

Contributed by CAMERA intern Leeron Ofer