Monthly Archives: October 2013

CAMERA Presents Dr. Anat Berko at Tulane University

October 31, 2013

Dr. Anat Berko came to speak at Tulane University on October 19th, 2013, a part of her speaking tour across several campuses. Ben Kravis, CAMERA Fellow at Tulane University, explains that the event was targeted towards “Jewish studies students, psychology students, sociology students, homeland security students, [and] students that are already involved in Israel advocacy.” Thirty-seven students attended the event.

Dr. Berko discussed terrorism in the Middle East, through sociological psychological lenses. She focused in particular on the role of women and children in suicide bombing. The event offered an excellent platform for an academic discussion on the Arab-Israeli conflict. Although those interested in homeland security, Jewish studies, and Israel were well represented in the audience, Kravis says that more effective advertising strategies should be used next time to attract more psychology and sociology majors to events such as this one. He also adds that, in retrospect, it would have been a good idea to also attract students from the Gender Studies Department to the event.

Kravis was pleased that “the homeland security students thought the event was particularly interesting and actually asked Dr. Berko to train them later on…because the homeland security students will apply for jobs related to stopping terrorism after graduating, I think they took the event to be more personally relevant.”

A student in the audience raised an interesting point during the Q & A: the fact that it is ironic that Islamic terrorists who become suicide bombers are in essence escaping a restrictive society via martyrdom so as so enter a less restrictive afterlife which resembles the western lifestyle—the very lifestyle they proclaim to be against in the first place.

Other excellent questions were raised by students, including questions regarding the implementation of counter-terrorism policy. Students asked question with genuine curiosity, and listened to Dr. Berko with interest and respect. 

Another positive aspect of the event is that the majority of the CAMERA materials displayed on tables during the event were picked up by various students.

Anat Berko Live in Action:

AnatBerkoLean More about Anat Berko

Lean About Tulane University for Israel

The Tripod: CAMERA Links in 3 Languages—Oct. 25-28

October 30, 2013

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Among the Turmoil, Israel Can Be a Model For Stability
Our CAMERA-supported group at the University of Minnesota, Students Supporting Israel, publishes a letter to the editor in their campus paper educating their campus about Israel’s democracy. (in Focus)

Rihanna, Haaretz, and Palestine
Did Rihanna sing about Palestine in her Israeli concert? Only in Ha’aretz. (Presspectiva)

Missing: The Facts
Why did Amnesty International Israel not mention the facts about UNHRC anti-Israel bias in his op-ed? (Presspectiva)

A potpourri of errors
The Mexican newspaper El Universal misinformed its readers about the “Rihanna affair”. (ReVista de Medio Oriente)

Where’s the coverage?
A bomb hurled at an Israeli school bus is not deemed newsworthy for Spanish media. (ReVista de Medio Oriente)

Why report well when you can do some harm to Israel?
The Spanish state-owned Radio Television Corporation managed to overshadow Israel’s goodwill gestures in releasing Palestinian prisoners. (ReVista de Medio Oriente)

Middle East headlines in the Spanish speaking press
The Latin-American press focuses on the Israel-Gaza tension and on the release of 26 Palestinian prisoners. (ReVista de Medio Oriente)

Less Hamas, More Humus Event Featuring Anat Berko at Florida State University

October 29, 2013

CCAP–CAMERA Campus Activist Program–lecture featuring Anat Berko during a Less Hamas, More Humus event at Florida State University.

As part of Anat Berko’s campus tour, Florida State University’s Noles for Israel hosted Dr. Berko. The event took place on October 11th, 2013. Dr. Berko discussed suicide terror as perpetrated by Hamas and other groups, delving into the complexities of the human psyche. Tatiana Becker is the CAMERA liaison for Noles for Israel and worked hard with fellow students to organize the event. Students who attended the lecture also got to enjoy fresh humus.

Check out Noles for Israel on CAMERA on Campus.

Learn More about Anat Berko, and pick up copies of her books: The Path to Paradise: The Inner World of Suicide Bombers and Their Dispatchers, and The Smart Bomb: Women and Children as Suicide Bombers. 

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University of Central Florida Hosts Dr. Anat Berko

October 28, 2013

On October 9, 2013, The Knights for Israel at the University of Central Florida hosted a CCAP student event featuring distinguished, world-renowned expert on terrorism Dr. Anat Berko. 

Dr. Anat Berko’s research focuses on suicide bombers as well as their handlers. She is a member of Israel’s Counter-Terrorism Team and Israel’s National Security Council, and serves as an advisor to government officials. Dr Berko, the author of The Path to Paradise: The Inner World of Suicide Bombers and Their Dispatchers, holds a Ph.D. in Criminology from Bar-Ilan University.

Dr. Berko’s lecture was entitled “The Smarter Bomb: Women and Children as Suicide Bombers”. Part of the goal for the event was to spark interest in fellow students to join the Knights for Israel. Ari Hoffman of the Knights for Israel said that, “Aside from the wonderful presentations, the Q & A part of the event was phenomenal because it allowed everyone in the crowd to really ask interesting questions to someone who was able to give them first hand experience answers.” Some 30-40 people attended the event at UCF.

Check out the Knights for Israel on the CAMERA on Campus site

Learn More about Anat Berko on the CAMERA on Campus site

The Tripod: CAMERA Links in 3 Languages—Oct. 22-24

October 25, 2013

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Where’s the coverage? Jewish cemeteries defaced in Israel
Why does the Israeli media treat the defacing of Jewish cemeteries in Israel differently? (Presspectiva)

Letter to the Editor: “In Response to Nadine Aly”
SJP at FAU spreads inaccuracies. A CAMERA Fellow speaks up with a letter to the editor, and is published in his campus paper. (in Focus)

A Testimonial from a Cedarville University Alumna
“CAMERA has had an enormous impact on my past two years in college, my current occupation, and my future career goals. As a Christian . . .” (in Focus)

CAMERA Helps Bring Dr. Anat Berko to USF
As part of the Less Hamas More Humus Campaign, Dr. Anat Berko spoke at the University of South Florida about her firsthand research on suicide bombers and their handlers. (in Focus)

TIME Magazine Flacks for Iran
TIME Magazine takes Iran’s side against the United States. (Snapshots)

Where’s the Coverage? Many Countries Have Nuclear Power but No Enrichment
The latest untold story. (Snapshots)

Accuracy and impartiality failures in BBC report on Jerusalem elections
The BBC misleads readers by suggesting that Arab Jerusalemites cannot be Israeli citizens and conceals the campaign of intimidation to stop them from voting. (BBC Watch)

BBC terms bus bomb planner claimed as a member by 2 terror groups ‘militant’
How many internationally recognized terror organizations have to claim a person as one of their members before the BBC will stop euphemistically describing him as a “militant”? (BBC Watch)

Inside The Mind of a Bomber
Our speaker is met with a few protesters at UF. CAMERA Fellow Avia Gridi has the final word when she writes about it for her school paper. (in Focus)

Among the Turmoil, Israel Can Be a Model For Stability

Our CCAP group at the University of Minnesota recently published this strong letter to the editor in the Minnesota Daily about Israel. The piece, titled “Among the Turmoil, Israel Can Be a Model for Stability“, is below.

Minnesota

October 17, 2013

In the age of Facebook, Twitter and blogs, expression of oneself has never been easier. Through various social media, we can promote causes, advertise and even bring down entire regimes.

In the United States, we value and defend our First Amendment rights. We will take our speech to the streets because of our right to assemble. As recent world events have demonstrated, however, dissent and opposition to government and its policies are met with tyrannical brutality.

Governmental suppression of Egyptian, Syrian and Libyan demonstrators, to name a few, have illustrated to those of us in the “free world” to never take our civil liberties for granted.

As regimes in the Middle East continue to terrorize their own people, as the death toll in Syria continues to astronomically climb, one country in the region remains an unwavering defender of dissent and human life. That country is Israel.

Israel, the only true and stable democracy in the East, is an example of a country in which citizens of every race, creed and religion live and work together, despite their differences.

Israel’s government, modeled after the United Kingdom’s parliamentary system, is made up of Jews, Christians and Arabs. Numerous political parties represent a wide gamut of issues, all of which reflect the diversity of opinion in Israeli society. Various voices and languages are heard on the streets and in the government.

In fact, a permanent member of the Israeli Supreme Court, the highest court in the Israeli judicial system, is an Arab. The Israeli government welcomes dissent and opposition and protects the rights of those who seek to disagree with it.

When citizens want to disagree with policy, when food and housing prices are too high and when security issues arise, Israelis assemble freely and are guaranteed, if nothing else, their safety.

The Middle East is a region of instability. It has, for so many years, been fraught with sectarian groups all claiming superiority. In other countries in this area, opposition to governmental tyranny is met with tear gas, imprisonment and death.

As we nervously watch and debate whether to become involved in Syria and with its de facto allies, let us look to Israel as a model for what could ultimately become of the Middle East.

Israelis love life and defend life. Perhaps this is why America has no greater ally in the world.

As Israelis, we respect diversity of opinion and the freedom and right to speak openly and freely. The world can look to Israel as a model for democracy and stability in the Middle East.

Contributed by Shira Frishman, officer, and Ilan Sinelnikov, president – Students Supporting Israel

Inside the Mind of a Bomber

October 24, 2013

This column is a response to a guest column published in the Alligator: “Palestinians Are People With a Voice”.

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Avia Gridi, CAMERA Fellow at UF

Dr. Anat Berko is a world-renowned terrorism expert who has lectured before Congress, the Department of State, the FBI and NATO. Berko lectures before these important individuals because of her unique research and experiences. Last week, UF was lucky enough to have the chance to hear Berko speak about her interactions and research with attempted suicide bombers. She studies the relationships and lives leading up to the event in which these individuals were strapped with explosives. Her lecture was eye-opening, thought-provoking and exceptional.

Unfortunately, while she was speaking, three students stood up holding signs that claimed, “Hamas is not the problem.”

Additionally, they rudely started speaking over her in an attempt to distract students from the lecture. These same students, who were asked by Berko to stay and listen, immediately left and published an op-ed about an hour-and-a-half-long event they only attended for 10 minutes.

If these students had listened to Berko’s lecture, they would have heard her state, “This lecture is not about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. It’s purely on the research I have conducted.”

They would have heard her examples of women and children suicide bombers — only one was Palestinian. Instead of asking questions, they interrupted and were disrespectful.

Farah, Rami and Eric stated that Berko “uses the very personal anecdotes of women to justify the massively oppressive actions of Israel.”

Israel was never mentioned in the lecture except once — to tell a story of a bombing that almost happened there. If these students had stayed and listened to the lecture, they would have understood that Berko’s life is dedicated to listening to the stories of these women. If anyone is trying to show that “Palestinians are actual human beings,” it’s Berko, who tries to explain why these women find themselves in these situations, clarifying that they don’t just wake up one day and become suicide bombers.

Moreover, “Less Hamas, More Hummus” is not offensive. Hamas is a recognized Islamist terrorist group that focuses its attention on creating chaos and sending missiles into Israel instead of helping Gaza grow. These students claim Israel is the sole reason the Palestinian people are lacking human rights. However, the people living in Gaza are often stripped of these rights by Hamas. In 2010, Hamas shut down six human rights groups’ offices. Among these organizations were a women’s health society and the Woman and Child Development Association.

Next time there’s a speaker on campus, you should listen. Listening is the only way to achieve peace. Berko was an amazing speaker, and I‘m thankful to the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America, UF Hillel and the ICC for bringing her to campus.

Contributed by Avia Gridi, our CAMERA Fellow at the University of Florida. This guest column in The Alligator ran on page 7 on 10/23/2013 under the headline “Inside the Mind of a Bomber.” This piece was recently republished in The Algemeiner under the title “Hamas Activists Disrupt Campus Event on Suicide Bombers“.

CAMERA Helps Bring Dr. Anat Berko to USF

October 23, 2013

On October 9th, Dr. Anat Berko visited the University of South Florida campus as part of CAMERA’s Less Hamas More Hummus campaign. CAMERA Fellow Danielle Haberer hosted the event with CCAP group Bulls for Israel, which drew a diverse crowd of 55 students and professors.

Dr. Anat Berko with students

Dr. Anat Berko with students

Danielle reported that the event successfully engaged the audience, recalling that several students approached her after the lecture and and indicated that they found the presentation extremely interesting. One student said she was going to conduct further research on Dr. Berko and her work.
Dr. Anat Berko and students
One of the most interesting questions was one about Dr. Berko’s access to the thought processes of those who attempt or dispatch others to attempt terrorism. A student wondered whether it is difficult for those Dr. Berko interviews to open up to her, knowing she is Israeli – the “enemy.” Dr. Berko’s answer—that as the daughter of Jewish refugees from Iraq, who adapted many things from Arabs, she understands the culture from inside and is able to empathize with the social mores—was especially fascinating to the audience.

Contributed by Samantha Mandeles

Letter to the Editor: “In Response to Nadine Aly”

October 22, 2013

CAMERA Fellow Abraham Mercado‘s Letter to the Editor was recently published in FAU’s University Press on October 14th 2013. Read it below:

Dear Editor:

Owls for Israel and the Zionist population on campus strongly condemn the letter to the editor titled “Build Bridges Not Apartheid Walls” by suspended SJP President Nadine Aly, published on Friday, October 4th, 2013.

Aly’s one-sided view of the conflict and bias in her letter are inexplicable. She referred to the International Court of Justice and its bias against Israel. Being under the umbrella of the United abrahammercadoNations, criticizing Israel is not anything new for them. They have condemned Israel more than weekly human rights violators Iran, North Korea, Syria, China, Russia, Saudi Arabia, and many more combined. According to UN Watch, “The anti-Israel apparatus within the UN, therefore, is of considerable magnitude, and cripples the functioning of the organization. The overt bias practiced against one state undermines the UN’s credibility and integrity.” Quoting from such a biased organization is like asking Yasser Arafat what he thinks of the conflict.

The author’s apathy for the security of Israel’s civilian population is not surprising, a characteristic that is prominent in much of the Arab world and its supporters.

Aly’s lack of realism is troubling because of her concern for only Palestinians, while completely ignoring the fact that the security barrier, built by Israel, has dramatically reduced terrorist attacks, like suicide bombings in pizzerias, coffee shops, and other venues full of unarmed men, women and children. According to the Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 1,236 Israeli citizens have been killed by Palestinian terrorist attacks since 2000. From 2001 to 2007, 8,342 Israelis were wounded in terrorist attacks. This includes Jewish, Arab, Muslim, Christian, Druze, and other affiliated Israelis.

Still, according to Aly, the security barrier is not necessary for Israel’s security. The security barrier is composed of less than 5% concrete, with the remainder simply a fence according to the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America. The reason for the significant decrease in terrorist attacks is not because the Palestinians have decided to stop committing terrorist attacks, but rather because of the Israel’s obvious decision to build this barrier. In fact, according to Pew Research Center, over 60% of Palestinian Muslims support suicide bombings.

The security barrier is not only necessary for Israel’s security, but Israel is obligated to have it to protect its citizens. A number of other countries in the world, including the United States, have security barriers for similar reasons. In addition, Israeli checkpoints also exist to protect the citizens of Israel. The United States has checkpoints at the border as well. Is it fair to criticize Israel for not allowing terrorists to walk into Israel, as was common in the past, to kill unarmed civilians?

Students advocating for the removal of the security barrier think that when it comes down, Palestinians will run inside of Israel with open arms. This view of the conflict and lack of realism does not help the Palestinian people and the Israeli people achieve peace.

You do not have to look further than the Palestinian National Charter to understand what exactly it is they want. Article Nine of the Palestinian National Charter states, “Armed struggle is the only way to liberate Palestine.”  With leadership as such, their refusal to accept Israel’s existence, and the continued incitement in Palestinian children’s schools, it will continue to be very difficult to make peace between the Palestinians and Israel. Regardless, Israel is committed to the peace process in direct talks and negotiations with Palestinian Leadership. In fact, just to begin negotiations earlier this fall, Israel agreed to release 104 Palestinian terrorists who have taken part in the murdering of men, women, and children. The Palestinian majority received these prisoners as heroes for killing unarmed Israelis. The Palestinian issue with Israel is not of treatment of Palestinians or Palestinian land but of the right of the State of Israel to exist.

So, to answer Aly’s request of building bridges instead of ‘Apartheid walls’, when the Palestinian leadership stops teaching hatred of Jews and Israel, perhaps a bridge will be built. When Palestinians stop honoring and idolizing terrorists that have killed unarmed men, women, and children, perhaps a bridge will be built. When the Palestinians show the world that they want peace, prove it with their actions, and accept Israel’s right to exist as its neighbor, then finally will a bridge be built.

Abraham Mercado is the Vice President of Programming for Owls for Israel, A Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting (CAMERA) Fellow for FAU, A GenZ Ambassador and a Senior Majoring in Film and Jewish Studies. 

The Tripod: CAMERA Links in 3 Languages—Oct. 16-18

October 21, 2013

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BBC not sure cross-border tunnel intended for terror?
The curious use of punctuation in reports on the discovery of a tunnel leading from the Gaza Strip into Israel implies that the BBC is not convinced of the project’s purpose or location. (BBC Watch)

BBC R4 presents jaundiced account of San Remo conference
The BBC’s reliance upon two activist academics to explain the San Remo Conference and the Balfour Declaration produces predictably subjective results. (BBC Watch)

Revealed: How Richard Silverstein was duped again by a phony “source”
When blogger Richard Silverstein isn’t expressing support for the end of the Jewish state, or defending terror groups like Hamas, he’s often busy peddling false “scoops“ based on little or no evidence. (CiF Watch)

Where’s the Coverage? Palestinian Incitement Violates Oslo Accords
The latest untold story. (Snapshots)

The Politics of a Humanitarian Fundraiser
The surprising reactions from anti-Israel groups, when a pro-Israel group tries to fundraise for Syrian refugees. (in Focus)

The Loneliness of Leadership
To what period in Churchill’s life did Netanyahu compare himself? (Presspectiva)

Transforming the speculations in facts
Argentinean media 26noticias.com.ar claims that Israel makes between 10 and 15 atomic bombs each year. (ReVista de Medio Oriente)

Spokesmen of an ideology
The Spanish news agency Europa Press has big problems with any fact or data that would invalidate or put in doubt the assumption of the perennial Israeli guilt and vileness. (ReVista de Medio Oriente)

CAMERA’s Campus Team Visits Students in Florida. 
CAMERA’s Campus Director Aviva Slomich and Senior Campus Coordinator Samantha Mandeles have just returned from visits with our pro-Israel groups in Florida. Learn about the pro-Israel events happening now in Florida! (in Focus)