The logo Hamas has released for its massive 25th anniversary rally planned for tomorrow. Those Westerners that claim Hamas is now interested in a two-state solution might want to take a look at it
* “The fragrance is pleasant and attractive, like the missiles of the Palestinian resistance, and especially the M-75”
* Chants of ‘Jews to the gas’ and bomb threat greet Israeli musicians in Belgium
* Stevie Wonder pulls out of pro-Israel concert after pressure from staff at the UN
* Young Afghan woman beheaded by her husband for refusing to work as a prostitute
(One or two of the items below are from last month, but I didn’t have time to include them in a dispatch until now.)
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1. MacKenzie: anti-Israel coverage is “a form of proxy for anti-Semitism”
2. New perfume in Gaza named after Hamas missile
3. Huge billboards in Gaza say “Thank You, Iran” in Arabic and Hebrew
4. Two arrested for beheading teenage girl in Afghanistan
5. Chants of ‘Jews to the gas’ and bomb threat greet Israeli musicians on European tour
6. Batsheva dance performance interrupted in Britain
7. Stevie Wonder pulls out of yesterday’s “Friends of the IDF” concert after UN pressure
8. Krauthammer: The UN became a playpen for dictators
9. Despite ongoing atrocities, Ivory Coast elected as UN Commission Vice-Chair
10. Iranian writers, poets call for end to censorship
11. Iran to investigate jailed blogger’s death
12. Two Israeli documentaries make shortlist for Oscars
[All notes below by Tom Gross]
MACKENZIE: ANTI-ISRAEL COVERAGE IS “A FORM OF PROXY FOR ANTI-SEMITISM”
Kelvin MacKenzie, the former editor of the best-selling British daily tabloid, The Sun, said at a charity dinner this week that hostile media coverage of Israel is “a form of proxy for anti-Semitism by journalists in the West.”
“Israel is pro-gay, pro-democracy, pro-women. It’s the most liberal establishment probably for 1,000 miles in any direction. You would have thought every journalist would embrace that thought process.”
“The most interesting thing was the way the people from Gaza treated those guys they claimed were Israeli spies – they shot them in public and dragged around their bodies.
“Compare that with the Israelis when they captured the guy who let off the bomb in Tel Aviv and then followed due process and the law. That is never portrayed in the British media. Never.
“Is British journalism basically anti-Semitic? Do they hide [their] anti-Semitism in the way they report the battle for survival of Israel?” MacKenzie asked.
(MacKenzie is a longtime subscriber to this email list.)
As I have pointed out on this email list in the past, The Sun is just about the only paper in Britain that gives Israel a fair hearing. See the last three paragraphs of this article, for example: Jeningrad.
NEW PERFUME IN GAZA NAMED AFTER HAMAS MISSILE
Various bottles of Hizbullah perfume (complete with a picture of Hassan Nasrallah) have long held pride of place on my own mantelpiece collection of “terrorist kitsch” -- together with various items that friends have brought me from North Korea, Saddam’s Iraq and Assad’s Syria. (The Hizbullah perfume was purchased at Damascus airport.)
Now the Palestinian Islamist daily Al-Resalah reports that a cosmetics firm in Gaza has named a new scent M-75 in honor of the “victory” against Israel last month.
M-75 is the name of the missile designed by Hamas and fired at Jerusalem and Tel Aviv. It has a range of 46 miles (or 75 kilometers).
“The fragrance is pleasant and attractive, like the missiles of the Palestinian resistance, and especially the M-75,” Shadi Adwan, the owner of the cosmetics firm, told the paper.
The perfume comes in male and female scents and costs twice the price of other perfumes due to “special ingredients it contains, worthy of Hamas’s great victory.”
HUGE BILLBOARDS IN GAZA SAY “THANK YOU, IRAN” IN ARABIC AND HEBREW
Billboards have appeared throughout the Gaza Strip expressing gratitude to Iran for sending rockets that were used to kill and injure Israeli civilians.
The billboards were placed at key intersections of Gaza roadways, say, “Thank you, Iran” in Arabic, Farsi, Hebrew and English and feature images of the Fajr-5 missiles.
Hamas is planning a huge celebration tomorrow (Saturday) for the 25th anniversary of its founding.
There is a picture at the top of this page of the logo for the rally for those clueless Westerners that claim Hamas is interested in a two-state solution.
(Hat tip: Elder of Ziyon)
TWO ARRESTED FOR BEHEADING TEENAGE GIRL IN AFGHANISTAN
Two men have been arrested in Afghanistan’s northern Konduz province for beheading a 14-year-old girl.
Afghan police officer Nizamuddin Hakimi said that the girl’s body was found on November 27. He said that that the two suspects had asked the girl’s parents if one of them could marry her. When the 14-year-old objected, the men beheaded her.
Last month, a 20-year-old Afghan woman was beheaded in Herat Province, for refusing (yes, refusing) to work as a prostitute. Four suspects, including the victim’s husband and in-laws, were arrested for that killing.
CHANTS OF ‘JEWS TO THE GAS’ AND BOMB THREAT GREET ISRAELI MUSICIANS ON EUROPEAN TOUR
Members of the Israel Defense Forces Youth Orchestra were called “stinking murderers” by protesters during their annual tour of Europe two weeks ago. Part of the tour coincided with Hamas rocket attacks on Israel, including Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, and the response by the Israeli air force against rocket depots and rocket-launching squads in Gaza.
As the world-renowned youth orchestra played a concert in the Belgian city of Antwerp, more than a hundred protesters shouted “Hamas, Hamas, all the Jews to the gas” outside the venue, according to Belgian newspaper reports. The left-wing demonstrators were reportedly joined by a group of neo-Nazis as well. (Before the Holocaust, Antwerp had a sizeable Jewish community most of which were indeed gassed to death.)
(Incidentally, this chant is no longer rare, and has been heard at several protests this year on the streets of London and elsewhere.)
Later, as the concert was underway, an anonymous caller told police that a powerful explosive would soon be detonated in the concert hall. The crowd of 300 was evacuated and the concert brought to an abrupt end. No explosives were found.
After Antwerp, the band performed in The Hague, where another crowd of protesters tried to disrupt the concert.
A small crowd of predominantly non-Jewish counter protestors in Holland also stood outside the hall. One told a local paper: “We came not to support Israeli policies, but because we wanted to show these young Israelis that after the disgusting anti-Semitic demonstration in Belgium, they do have friends in Europe.”
The European tour takes place annually by the IDF orchestra. Many of the concerts are organized by local European chapters of B’nai B’rith and by Christians for Israel, an international organization based in the Netherlands.
While protests and pro-Hamas chants were continuing outside, inside the hall, the orchestra performed a mix of Hebrew and English songs, songs by Leonard Cohen, and successful Israeli hits from the Eurovision song contest.
The Palestine Youth Orchestra also gives similar concerts in Europe without anyone protesting.
BATSHEVA DANCE PERFORMANCE INTERRUPTED IN BRITAIN
Anti-Israel protesters disrupted performances by Israel’s world acclaimed Batsheva Dance Company at London’s Saddler’s Wells, and in Birmingham, England. At least 50 police were deployed each night to protect those attending the concerts, in addition to a number of private security guards hired by the organizers.
The next stop on their tour (in Brighton) was canceled because of the high security costs.
One protester was arrested in Birmingham for racial harassment after using a racial slur about Jews toward a ticket holder outside the venue before the performance. He was later released at the request of the victim.
Five other protesters were removed from the audience for disturbing the performance. They shouted slogans such as “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free, and Israel will be no more.”
The protest in Birmingham was organized by the British Committee for the Universities of Palestine and by Sue Blackwell, an anti-Israel academic and former lecturer in English Literature at the University of Birmingham.
STEVIE WONDER PULLS OUT OF “FRIENDS OF THE IDF” CONCERT AFTER UN PRESSURE
African-American superstar Stevie Wonder called off a concert (due to be held yesterday) for a group that raises money for injured Israeli soldiers. The singer says he had wanted to perform but United Nations officials had called him to warn that unless he cancelled, his status as a “UN Messenger for Peace” may be put in jeopardy.
Wonder has often expressed sympathy with Israel and performed at a 1998 gala honoring Israel’s 50th anniversary.
To the best of my knowledge, the UN hasn’t pressured an artist from performing at, say, a fundraiser for American or British injured soldiers, who are brutally occupying Afghanistan and other places.
KRAUTHAMMER: THE UN BECAME A PLAYPEN FOR DICTATORS
Pulitzer-prize winning syndicated columnist Charles Krauthammer said earlier this year on TV:
“The UN is inherently a corrupt organization because it’s a sandbox of dictators. It began as something essentially run by the Western democracies and it ran somewhat efficiently the first decade or so.
“Then you had decolonization. You ended up with 100, 150 countries, very few of whom are democratic. It is a playpen of dictators. And they run it that way. And the idea that they would use it for anything other than to promote authoritarianism and to attack the West is a fiction.
“It will always be this way because it’s a universal organization. The alternative is to form a league of democracies, which over a generation or two would take over the functions and the stature of the UN.”
(Krauthammer is a subscriber to this list.)
DESPITE ONGOING ATROCITIES, IVORY COAST ELECTED AS UN COMMISSION VICE-CHAIR
Despite massive ongoing human rights abuses by the government, Côte d’Ivoire was elected on Wednesday by the UN to serve as Vice-Chair of its Disarmament Commission.
Hillel Neuer, the director of UN Watch (and a subscriber to this list) said: “A government whose military has just committed arbitrary arrests, illegal detentions, extortion, inhuman treatment, and torture, should not be made vice-chair of a U.N. arms control body. The U.N. should recognize that it has sent absolutely the wrong message at the wrong time, cancel the decision, and apologize to the victims.”
President Ouattara’s is also reportedly carrying out mass atrocities against members of other ethnic groups.
For more on the UN’s appalling record on human rights, please see aragraphs of this article, for example: this article.
IRANIAN WRITERS, POETS CALL FOR END TO CENSORSHIP
In an open letter published on December 2 on an opposition website, more than 100 Iranian writers, poets, and translators (many of whom are still living in Iran) called for an end to book censorship.
They wrote, “Iran is one of the rare countries in the 21st century where authors have to ask for a license from the state in order to publish books, even though the requirement is not stated in the constitution.”
The required permit is increasingly difficult to obtain, according to writers and publishers, who say censorship has intensified in the Islamic republic in recent years.
In one recent case, only two pages of a lengthy book were granted a license for publication.
Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has spoken out against non-Islamic books warning they may be “harmful”.
IRAN TO INVESTIGATE JAILED BLOGGER’S DEATH
In an unusual step, Iran’s official news agency says that the parliamentary committee on national security and foreign policy will investigate the death of blogger Sattar Beheshti, 35, who was arrested in October and reportedly tortured to death.
The New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists had called on Iran to release the details of what it called the “suspicious death” of the blogger. The U.S. State Department also demanded an investigation.
Dozens of journalists and bloggers have been arrested in Iran over the past few years, after criticizing the government or the ruling Islamic clerics. Several have never been heard of again.
TWO ISRAELI DOCUMENTARIES MAKE SHORTLIST FOR OSCARS
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced earlier this week that they have reduced the 126 documentaries eligible for a 2013 Oscar to fifteen finalists, two of which are Israeli films.
“The Gatekeepers” provides an interesting insider perspective on the first 50 years of Israeli history, through interviews with six past directors of Israel’s Shin Bet secret service. The men share reflections on their responsibilities towards advancing the peace process with Palestinians, while simultaneously working to protect Israel’s domestic security.
“5 Broken Cameras” is a 2011 film that records peaceful Palestinian protests against Israel in the West Bank village of Bil’in.
Three other films on the Academy’s shortlist were produced or edited by Israelis or by Jews with Israeli connections, including “Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry”.
The fifteen films will be narrowed down to five in January, and the winner will be announced at the Academy Awards on February 24.
[All notes above by Tom Gross]