Will The Media Report Flotilla Disaster Accurately And Fairly?

Will the media report accurately and fairly as anti-Israel activists violently resist an IDF naval boarding with tragic results?

In the early hours of Monday 31 May, Israeli naval commandos boarded a flotilla of vessels heading for Gaza. What happened next has created a major media storm as, according to reports, over a dozen anti-Israel activists have died and many more injured, including Israeli soldiers.

Israel’s critics have been quick to condemn the incident, using it to inflame anti-Israel sentiment. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has already termed what is undoubtedly a serious incident as a “massacre”. Will this be the latest in a long list of incidents that have been distorted and misrepresented to cause Israel the maximum amount of damage to its image?
Connected to Terror: Who is Behind the Flotilla?
The organizations and passengers behind the Gaza flotilla have been variously described as “peace activists” and “humanitarian organizations”. This could not be further from the truth. The primary objective of this flotilla was not to deliver aid packages to Gaza but to spread anti-Israel propaganda in cooperation with Gaza’s Hamas rulers.

See here and here for detailed information on the IHH.

Amongst the other organizations involved in the flotilla is the International Solidarity Movement. The ISM has a shameful record of placing foreign nationals in danger through encouraging ‘direct action’, which resulted in the death of American citizen Rachel Corrie. In 2003, ISM’s extreme ideology was underscored when terrorists, originating from the UK, used ISM as a cover to attack Mike’s Place bar in Tel Aviv, murdering three people. More recently, ISM has been a leading force in the violent protests against the security barrier at Ni’lin, while an ISM activist has been jailed in the US, charged with “giving about $20,000 to a group he knew supported Hamas.”

An Al-Jazeera report from May 28, translated by MEMRI, shows activists on board before departing for Gaza, chanting Intifada songs aimed at Jews and praising martyrdom. Chants include “Intifada, intifada, intifada! Khaybar, Khaybar, oh Jews! The army of Mohammed will return!” relating to a seventh century massacre of Jews in Khaybar by early Muslims.

“Peace” Activists Used Deadly Violence
Despite claims that the activists on board were only prepared to resist the IDF peacefully, the reality was quite the opposite. Upon boarding the Marmara, owned and operated by the extremist IHH, Israeli naval personnel were attacked by activists who had prepared themselves with weapons including knives and clubs. This, despite the following statement from a Free Gaza spokesperson:
We were not going to pose any violent resistance. The only resistance that there might be would be passive resistance such as physically blocking the steering room, or blocking the engine room downstairs, so that they couldn’t get taken over. But that was just symbolic resistance.
Is the clip below showing an IDF soldier being attacked with a crowbar “symbolic resistance”? 
In addition,  IDF forces apprehended two activists holding pistols. The activists took these pistols from IDF forces and apparently opened fire on the soldiers as evident by the empty pistol magazines. This goes  some way to explaining the number of casualties as live fire was exchanged as IDF forces found themselves under severe threat as evidenced by the number of injured Israeli soldiers and the types of injuries. One soldier suffered a serious head injury, two others were injured by gunshots and one more was stabbed.
Click here to see Israeli TV footage of Israeli soldiers under attack.

Propaganda Not Humanitarianism

If there was any doubt that these organizations were unconcerned with universal human rights, this was confirmed by the rejection of a request from the family of Gilad Shalit for activists to pressure Hamas to allow international organizations to bring letters and food packages to the kidnapped soldier in exchange for the family’s support for the international expedition’s attempt to dock in Gaza.
In fact, Israel offered to transfer the supplies on the flotilla to Gaza from Ashdod port through official channels, an offer that was rejected in favor of confrontation on the part of the anti-Israel activists. As flotilla organizer Greta Berlin stated: “this mission is not about delivering humanitarian supplies, it’s about breaking Israel’s siege.”
The flotilla was clearly warned by the Israeli Navy in advance of the boarding and the offer repeated by the IDF.

A Legitimate and Legal Operation
 

IMRA asked Hebrew University international law expert Dr. Robbie Sabel about the legality of the IDF action in international waters.
Dr. Sabel explained that a state, in a time of conflict, can impose an embargo, and while it cannot carry out embargo activities in the territorial waters of a third party, it can carry out embargo activities in international waters.
Within this framework it is legal to detain a civilian vessel trying to break an embargo and if in the course of detaining the vessel, force is used against the forces carrying out the detention then that force has every right to act in self defense.
Dr. Sabel noted that there is a long history of embargo activities in international waters.
Indeed, according to the San Remo Manual that governs international humanitarian law, it is permissible under rule 67(a) to attack neutral vessels on the high seas when the vessels “are believed on reasonable grounds to be carrying contraband or breaching a blockade, and after prior warning they intentionally and clearly refuse to stop, or intentionally and clearly resist visit, search or capture.”
Will the Media Report Fairly?
The initial pictures and reports of this incident (supplied mainly by the less than objective al-Jazeera and Turkish media) do not paint Israel in a positive light, not helped by the fluidity of the situation and conflicting information.
It is the duty of the international media to report fairly and accurately. We have been here before, from incidents ranging from the al-Dura affair, the Jenin “massacre” and many other libels perpetrated by a media all too willing to take the side of those who seek to harm Israel.
We hope that the media will not repeat its past mistakes. While a clearer picture of today’s events may eventually emerge, the damage has already been done in the first few hours of reporting. Retractions and corrections will do little to soften the blow.
Will the media take at face value the statements and anti-Israel propaganda of groups who were committed to causing an incident of this nature? Will the media join in the automatic knee-jerk anti-Israel reaction that is all too often the norm?


A Rally to Protest the LA City Council Boycott of Arizona

On Tuesday morning, May 25th, at 8:45am on the south lawn of the LA City Hall, there will be a rally to protest the foolish action of the Los Angeles City Council to boycott a neighboring state, Arizona.

The LA City Council members, pandering to their Latino voters, decided to oppose the anti-illegal immigration law passed by the good people of the State of Arizona by cutting off any purchases of goods or services from Arizona. One city councilman, Paul Koretz likened the law — and other Arizona laws such as one that curbs high school ethnic studies programs — to the beginnings of Nazi Germany when Jews were singled out for persecution.

“We can’t let this advance any further,” said Koretz, who said he lost relatives in the Holocaust. “It is absolutely dangerous.”

Paul Koretz is a blithering fool to use that kind of hyperbole relating to what is going on in Arizona, particularly when he himself lost relatives in the Holocaust. The quality of leadership in our current City Council, with a few exceptions, is deplorable.

Join us on Tuesday, May 25th at 8:45am on the South Lawn of the Los Angeles City Hall and listen to Los Angeles Community Leaders give their comments on the foolishness of the LA City Council’s actions in this boycott.

In the following photo, the red “X” is where we will meet. The blue “P” is the location of the nearest parking structure.

The Left’s Obesity Obsession

The Left’s Obesity Obsession

Sultan Knish has a very perceptive article on why the Left has an obesity obsession.

First of all, a War on Obesity justifies all sorts of micromanagement of the agricultural and food production sectors. Blaming America’s food production sector for a public health problem allows them to play the same game with every company from Kraft to Heinz to General Mills to PepsiCo that they previously have with tobacco companies. To understand why the left would want to do this, you only need to look at the USSR in the past or Venezuela in the present, both of which imposed price controls over food products and tight control over farming. Controlling food production and distribution is essential to controlling the population. This brings us right back to Hydraulic Despotism or the Water Empire. If you can seize control over a major resource that the population needs to survive, you also control the population.

[…]

Secondly, a staple of the left’s exercise of power is to “shame” the public for their abuse of resources. This is common in every Communist countries that run on the illusion of collective economies and constantly berate some group for taking more than “their fair share”.

The Obesity Obsession has that same agenda, to suggest that a group of people are consuming more than their fair share and depriving others of food. Since the left hasn’t managed to reduce American food production to a state of permanent food shortages yet, by “others” they mean other countries. Thinking globally and acting locally to them, means that everyone locally should eat less, so that starving children in Africa will have more. This obviously doesn’t work as anyone with a grain of sense would know, but to the left it’s a moral formula, a bit of pious economic flotsam which insists that Western greed for resources is the reason children are starving in Africa today. (Why children were starving in Africa for the entire history of the continent is a topic best not raised in their presence.)

[…]

Thirdly, the Obesity Obsession is class warfare. In the code of the leftist elite, obese means lower class. If you look at the comedy of the left, being overweight is associated with owning guns and attending church. It’s part of their code for “White Trash” and such codes reveal much more about those who formulate them, than about their targets.

These are but brief excerpts in an article that is worth reading in full.

The Sultan concludes:

America does not have an obesity problem. It has a left wing problem. The problem of the left wing is the age old one of an arrogant self-proclaimed elite that seeks power over the rest of the country for their own benefit. Their Obesity Obsession combines their lust for power over business and individuals, their desire to control the minds of men and their own revealing class arrogance when it comes to those same people they wish to control.

The obesity problem that we do have does not involve food, but government. Specifically liberalism’s over-indulgence in regulatory bodies and bureaucracies to control us. The grossly expanded national budget, the corpulent deficits, the plump departments wallowing in insane budget requests, the greasy pork and oily union giveaways is America’s real obesity problem. And it can only be solved by going on a liberal diet, not a diet in which government spends money liberally, which is what’s on the current administration menu. But a diet in which we cut out the liberalism, and dramatically cut back on the fat. Results guaranteed in 365 days or your money back.

Read the whole article.

A Message for Shavuot from my friend, Mara

This is a Shavuot message written by my friend, Mara:

 

חג שבועות שמח

 

 

All the news is dire; it always is.  At pesach, we say….
“eh-la sheb’chol dor v’dor aleinu l’cha-to-teinu…”
in every generation, they rise up to destroy us….
Most American Jews take this as a quaint metaphor, part of the Haggada ritual…
NOT ANYMORE.
Tonight at sundown begins the observance of Shavuot, seven weeks following the Exodus, B’nei Yisrael gathers at the foot of Mt. Sinai to await — what…?
Our Tradition teaches us that we were all there — all generations,  before and after — and we fell asleep!  
At this awesome time, we almost blew it — which is why it has become customary to stay up all night learning Torah….no falling asleep now, chevra!
THIS IS THE TIME TO BE VIGILANT.
Our Tradition also teaches us that Torah has been, is and will be eternal.  It existed before the universe…It existed before time….It existed before human beings…It existed within HASHEM.
That is what we awaited at Mt. Sinai.  We awaited   the Present,  which is the Presence.  That is the meaning of “MATAN TORAH.”
And He gave it to us — to you and to me, to our ancestors and to our descendants — as a roadmap for Life.
It is, indeed, “MATAN” — The Gift of All Gifts.
And it is up to each and every one of us to accept this precious present and vow…
NOT IN THIS GENERATION WILL THEY DESTROY US!
May we merit HASHEM’s intervention in these days…in these times….
Chag Shavuot Sameach!   
Mara

Watch Eric Holder Squirm Because He Can’t Say "Radical Islam"

What a jerk! He has been so brainwashed by his bosses not to say “Radical Islam” that he can’t get it out. How can you protect against a force you can’t say the name of?

The truth is, that it is not “radical” Islam. It is the true Islam that promotes violent jihad. Holder seems to erroneously think that jihad is practiced by those who have “distorted” the religion. Obviously he has never read the Qur’an just as he never read the Arizona law.

U.S. posts 19th straight monthly budget deficit

The United States posted an $82.69 billion deficit in April, nearly four times the $20.91 billion shortfall registered in April 2009 and the largest on record for that month, the Treasury Department said on Wednesday.

It was more than twice the $40-billion deficit that Wall Street economists surveyed by Reuters had forecast and was striking since April marks the filing deadline for individual income taxes that are the main source of government revenue.
Department officials said that in prior years, there was a surplus during April in 43 out of the past 56 years.

The government has now posted 19 consecutive monthly budget deficits, the longest string of shortfalls on record.

For the first seven months of fiscal 2010, which ends September 30, the cumulative budget deficit totals $799.68 billion, down slightly from $802.3 billion in the comparable period of fiscal 2009.

Outlays during April rose to $327.96 billion from $218.75 billion in March and were up from $287.11 billion in April 2009. It was a record level of outlays for an April.
Department officials noted there were five Fridays in April this year, which helped account for higher outlays since most tax refunds are issued on that day.

But for the first seven months of the fiscal year, outlays fell to $1.99 trillion from $2.06 trillion in the comparable period of fiscal 2009, partly because of repayments by banks of bailout funds they received during the financial crisis.

Receipts in April — mostly from income taxes — were $245.27 billion, up from $153.36 billion in March but lower than the $266.21 billion taken in during April 2009.

Receipts from individuals, who faced an April 15 filing deadline for paying 2009 taxes, fell to $107.31 billion from $137.67 billion in April 2009.

The U.S. full-year deficit this year is projected at $1.5 trillion on top of a $1.4 trillion shortfall last year.

White House budget director Peter Orszag told Reuters Insider in an interview on Wednesday that the United States must tackle its deficits quickly to avoid the kind of debt crisis that hit Greece.

From Reuters