Israellycool Down Under Punditry in the Middle East Mon, 25 May 2015 19:59:05 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Photos of the Day: Israel’s Special Kids Mon, 25 May 2015 19:59:05 +0000 Judge Dan’s photos of Gaza kindergarten graduation were depressing. Those sweet young faces being poisoned. Children so young learning to be killers. I cannot understand how the world condones that child abuse.

Today in Jerusalem, Israel, was a very different scene. ALEH, a school for children with severe learning disabilities, had its annual march over the String Bridge. Maybe not a big deal for you to go over a bridge. But for these kids, their families, staff and dozens of volunteers, it is a celebration.

Disabled child being pushed in wheelchair

A big celebration of life, a life, and no matter what, to make the best of everyday and move forward. One student had a IV-drip attached to his special chair as he was pushed over the bridge.

Balloons released on Chord Bridge during ALEh march

Green and purple balloons were released when all the marchers were on the Bridge. At the end on the other side was a band, music and dancing.

Muslim woman, Religious man, mixed crowd Jerusalem

Religious Jews, Muslim women with their head coverings, “regular” Israels, young and old. healthy and sick, marching together. Working together to improve the lives of the children.

Though the school does not allow photos of most of the students faces, there are more photos posted on Facebook.

Gaza is so close, yet so very far away.

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Gaza Kindergarten Play From Hell Sun, 24 May 2015 20:55:42 +0000 Kindergarten graduation ceremonies are in general cute and adorable. Nothing beats dressing up little kids as insects, fluffy rodents, random pink things, or hearts.

Unless that kindergarten is in Gaza and the kindergarten teachers are Palestinian Islamic Jihad. Then you get a peek into the genocidal psyche of Palestinians, cynically (ab)using their children in their lust to murder Jews.

#صور .. في احتفال تخرجهم .. أطفال روضة في غزة يقدمون عرضا مسرحيا يحاكي تدريباً عسكريا دعماً للمقاومة . تصوير Mahmoud Al-qasas

Posted by Shehab News Agency on Sunday, May 24, 2015


Translation: A theatrical graduation ceremony in a kindergarten in Gaza simulates military training in support of the resistance.

KinderPIJ KinderPIJ KinderPIJ KinderPIJ KinderPIJ KinderPIJ

They blow up so quickly.

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Israel’s Nadav Guedj Steps Through To Eurovision Final Fri, 22 May 2015 09:18:30 +0000 In case you missed it: Israel’s Eurovision entrant Nadav Guedj made it through to the final of Eurovision, with this performance last night.

I must admit I find it a catchy song, albeit “boy-bandy.” And the beginning seems a little Bohemian (rhapsody) to me.

Other than that, my main reaction was “what is with those hideous shoes?”

Here are some of my real-time tweets during the performance.

Yes, I may have been a little focused on the shoes.

Meanwhile, the Mirror has other reactions to the performance and result. And they are all really positive.

Good luck Nadav!

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Photo Of The Day: Israel Hater In Process Of Blogging Anti-Israel Smears Fri, 22 May 2015 08:51:49 +0000 Reaching for content.


Sorry, I could not resist.

Real story here.

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Latest Blood Libel: The Case Of Yahiya Sami al-Amudi Fri, 22 May 2015 08:08:02 +0000 Ma’an News reports on the supposed Israeli targeting of an innocent palestinian boy.

Yahiya Sami al-AmudiA Palestinian child was critically injured after Israeli forces shot him with a rubber-coated steel bullet near the Shufat refugee camp on Thursday, witnesses said.

Yahiya Sami al-Amudi, 10, was walking near a checkpoint by the East Jerusalem refugee camp when he was shot by the bullet.

He was taken to the Hadassa hospital in Ein Karem with a fractured skull, jaw, and left ear and had surgery to remove his left eye.

Medics said he is in a critical condition.

Press TV are even less subtle, reporting something similar but with a totally out-of-place photo.

press tv report

As usual when reading such reports – especially from these biased sources – my BS detectors start sounding off. So I do what everyone else should do – read other sources to try to understand what actually happened.

Here’s what I found out.

According to Israeli police, rioters began to throw stones at Border policemen who were guarding public works projects. The boy was either one of those rioters or at least among them. In other words, this was not the case of some kid just walking near a checkpoint and Israeli border policemen deciding to play “duck-shoot” with him as the duck.

The Israel-hating brigade might claim we cannot go by the word of the Israeli police, to which I would argue that you need to exercise judgement and common sense regarding which version to believe. Based on the palestinian and anti-Israel Israel news agencies’ propensity to lie – or at least to rely on those who do – I would be inclined to believe the police. Then there’s also the fact that while I have not been able to locate video of yesterday’s disturbances, we do know this kind of thing goes on at Shufat. Here is an example from late last year of what residents get up to against Israeli police.

Notice the presence of kids in this video.

Here is another example.

This all looks like potentially deadly force to me.

So let’s agree in all likelihood, the boy was either a rioter or walking among them.

Next we have the issue of the type of bullet. Ma’an claims it was rubber-coated, which were prohibited by the Orr Commission report, following the October 2000 riots.

46. The committee determined that rubber-coated bullets are not appropriate for use due to their risk. It was determined that the police should remove them from use. It was emphasized that this does not prevent the police from deploying other kinetic means, including rubber ones.

But sure enough, other reports indicate it was a foam-coated one, and we know that since the prohibition, the Israeli police has been using 40mm-caliber sponge rounds imported from the United States, in East Jerusalem.

Interestingly, the Jewish Forward reports it as follows:

10-Year-Old Palestinian Shot in Face With Rubber Bullet

10-year-old Palestinian boy was shot in the face with a foam bullet during clashes between Israel’s Border Police and young Palestinians in eastern Jerusalem.

Palestinians in the Shuafat refugee camp were throwing rocks at the officers, who were guarding maintenance workers. The officers responded with crowd control measures, including shooting foam-covered bullets.

So this might be a case of lazy journalism. Either way, it is lethal journalism.

And what about the nature of the boy’s injuries? Ma’an reported palestinian medics claims he is in critical condition, while Israeli police characterized it as “moderately injured.” I am no doctor, but according to online sources, “critical” condition means the patient has unstable vitals that are not normal, and could be unconscious, while indicators for recovery are unfavorable. In contrast, moderate or fair condition is where the patient’s vital signs are stable and normal, the patient is conscious, he or she might be uncomfortable, but indicators for recovery are favorable.

Now look again at the photo from Ma’an News.

Yahiya Sami al-Amudi

The boy seems conscious and responsive, and the absence of all manner of tubes would indicate to me his vital signs are stable.

The moral of the story: When there are conflicting sources, do your own research to decide which to believe. That is what I do, and – shock horror – the anti-Israel sources are invariably those telling porky pies.

Oh, and don’t attack policemen or be among those who do.

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Loving Israel To Death? Fri, 22 May 2015 04:58:18 +0000 Jeffrey Goldberg and US President Barack Obama are at it again. Reading Goldberg’s latest Obama PR piece feels like watching a conversation between someone on a good acid trip and someone else on a bad acid trip. (Goldberg, full of angst and worry but still detached from reality, is the one on the bad trip.) Indeed, it is hard to imagine any other explanation for Goldberg’s comparison of Obama to any one of 50 rabbis that Goldberg claims to have spoken to recently.

In the current installment — and I assume there are still more to come before 2017 — we get some insight into the President’s own definition of anti-Semitism. Obama, the man who put a de facto arms embargo on Israel in the middle of a defensive war, says that if you are not anti-Semitic, “then you should be able to align yourself with Israel where its security is at stake.”

If you are not anti-Semitic, continues the man who threatened to withhold the US veto at the OIC-controlled bad joke that is called the UN, “you should be able to align yourself with Israel when it comes to making sure that it is not held to a double standard in international fora.”

The man who spent six solid weeks lambasting the Israeli Prime Minister for having the gall to accept an invitation from the Speaker of the US House of Representatives then said, if you are not anti-Semitic, “you should align yourself with Israel when it comes to making sure that it is not isolated.”

Goldberg, ObamaReading his words about feeling obligated to constantly condemn Israel and its democratically elected Prime Minister “precisely because I care so much about the Jewish people,” Obama sounds like a domestic abuser who claims that he beats his victim because he loves her so much. The threats to do her harm, the public degradation, the black eyes, are all for her own good. Like the abuser, it’s possible that Obama even believes it. The most deeply held belief that such actions are for the benefit of the abused, however, doesn’t change the fact that the behavior is pathological.

The arrogance with which the US President lectures, seemingly endlessly, about the values that he thinks Israel should embody is nothing short of surreal. His demand, essentially, is that Israel prioritize the ideals that he, Obama, deems important over the protection of Israeli lives. Israel’s founding principles, however, never required it to protect “kids” who kill or try to kill, at the expense of the lives of its own citizens. Indeed, Obama’s demand that Israel prioritize abstract ideals over human life is arguably contrary to Jewish law.

Obama may have taken the advice of Jewish members of Congress, that in order to sell his Iran deal, he needed to stop “getting into a daily argument” with Prime Minister Netanyahu.  His actions throughout his term, however, especially earlier this spring, have already revealed his true feelings. No amount of flowers and candy can erase what he has already done.

It’s important not to ignore Goldberg’s own impression of Obama, as it is probably shared by many Americans, Jewish and non-Jewish:

This is my interpretation of his worldview—he holds Israel to a higher standard than he does other countries because of the respect he has for Jewish values and Jewish teachings, and for the role Jewish mentors and teachers have played in his life.

“Applying double standards by requiring of [Israel] a behavior not expected or demanded of any other democratic nation” is within President Obama’s own State Department definition of anti-Semitism. Whether the double standard is applied because of overt malice or based on the best of intentions, it makes a demand on Israel that is impossible to meet, and then blames Israel for failing to meet it. Yes, Israel is a democracy, and yes, it has high ideals. But let’s also remember that Israelis, like the rest of us, are only human. Obama himself has certainly made his share of ill-advised campaign statements, and he’s also unquestionably been responsible for the deaths of civilians. It’s neither fair nor realistic to expect Israel or its Prime Minister to be better than the US. In setting forth such an expectation, however, Obama and Goldberg ensure that Israel can never live up to what is expected of it, and that they will always have an excuse to condemn it. If that is not anti-Semitic, then I really don’t know what is.

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Israel Government New Official Kosher Photo Thu, 21 May 2015 12:53:48 +0000 First, was the hot news story of the new Israeli Government Official Photo on an ultra-Orthodox media site, (how do you have such a site if the internet is not to be used by ultra-Orthodox?) distorting the faces of the three new female ministers.

Then, a version of the photo with Muppets was spread on Twitter.

image Muppet faces on Israeli government face

Bets are this photo controversy buzz could last longer than this 4th Netanyahu coalition government. So here is the inside scoop on the official posed photo of new ministers with PM Benjamin Netanyahu and President Reuven Rivlin.

pose for original official photo

Gil Hoffman jokes that Israelis are not so good at physical sports, so politics has become a favorite sport.

Another thing Israelis are not so good at – red carpet events. The arrival of the new government ministers to Beit Hanasi for the official toast and photo, was on a red carpet. However, it was nothing like walking the red carpet at the Oscars .

New Israeli ministers arrive at Bet Hanasi

Silvan Shalom walked the carpet between Ayelet Shaked and Miri Regev and was looking good. Wow, notice how modestly the two women were dressed compared to the red carpet NY Met Gala. 

Ayelet Shaked talking to press

Ayelet Shaked was one of the ministers who stopped to speak to the eager and waiting press.

Uri Ariel arriving at Bet Hanasi for photo

While Uri Ariel followed behind, hardly noticed. Ariel and Benny Begin stayed true to Israeli fashion with no jacket or tie. It was midday in a heat wave.

Ayelet Shaked at Beit Hanasi new minister

Some people look good in photos,

Naftali Bennett

others needed a little help to get ready for their official photo.

Beit Hanasi Rivlin and Netanyahu

We will not show who talked the whole time the Prime Minister delivered his official remarks, but the President was listening. Then the “raising of a glass” was taken literally.

Beit Hanasi new ministers toast

All the ministers were offered a glass of red or white wine. Maybe a few took a sip or two. But no wonder the government wine budget is so high, the unfinished glasses were all quickly collected. Then it was finally time to pose for the official photo. Proper placing for perfect photo of Israel’s new government took several minutes.

Bennett and Deri and other ministers


waiting for photo

three.    Smile.

Look this way please!

RealJStreets prepared a special kosher photo for Israellycool.

photo shop of official photo Israel government

All three female ministers are smiling. Miri Regev’s skirt is covering her knees, and there are no controversial ministers.

How we would love for the official photo to be the biggest big controversy of this 20th Knesset.


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Watch: Zionic The Hedgehog Thu, 21 May 2015 06:49:17 +0000 TM]]> Meet Zionic the Albino Zionist Hedgehog of DeathTM, who seems to be using disproportionate licking force against a palestinian one.

From Israel’s relatively new Biblical Museum of Natural History, which I plan on visiting soon.

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Times Of Israel Misleads With Inaccurate Headline Wed, 20 May 2015 17:18:11 +0000 I’m sure that plenty of Israelis are fed up with American Peter Beinart-types talking about how they love Israel so much, that they have to condemn it for its own good. (I’m fed up with it, too.) There are also, however, many, many of us in the US that actually love Israel, that work hard to defend Israel from bias in the mainstream media, on social media, and on campuses. We give our time writing letters and our money to organizations that pursue these goals. On behalf of everyone in the US that works hard to support Israel, I’d like to say, today, WTF, TOI?

Screen Shot 2015-05-20 at 7.02.07 AM

This headline in today’s Times of Israel gives the distinct impression that segregation on buses is something that has been ongoing. Reading the first line of the story, however, we find that “Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Wednesday morning suspended a Defense Ministry pilot plan that would have disallowed Palestinians with work permits from using Israeli buses to enter the West Bank.” Reading further, we find that Netanyahu stopped the plan on the same day that the Defense Minister intended to start it — it other words, it never went into effect at all. Adding a single word to the headline could have made it accurate: “Netanyahu puts the brakes on ‘segregated’ West Bank bus plan.” 

Screen Shot 2015-05-20 at 10.48.02 AM

They might also want to learn the difference between “break” and “brake”

Headlines are important. A single person can put just a headline into the facebook newsfeeds of hundreds of other people, in some cases even thousands, that will never read beyond that headline. It’s vitally important, therefore, that headlines not be misleading. Cutsey New York Post-worthy pun aside, this headline was sloppy, lazy, and inexcusable.

It is difficult enough dealing with bias in CNN, the Associated Press, and the New York Times. And don’t even get me started on our friends in the UK that have to deal with the BBC and The Guardian. It really should not be too much to ask that Times of Israel write accurate headlines, that don’t provide fodder for those who spread baseless lies about Israel.

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Robert Wistrich: 1945 -2015 Wed, 20 May 2015 14:16:10 +0000 According the Italian La Stampa, Robert Wistrich, who was due to address the Italian Senate on the rise of antisemitism in Europe, has died of a heart attack in Rome.

Robert Wistrich was in Jerusalem, Israel, on November 8, 2011, when The Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, along with the Konrad Adenauer Stiftung, sponsored a conference entitled “Incitement to Terror and Violence-New Challenges, New Responses.” I still remember the talk.

Robert Wistrich

Wistrich, the head of the Vidal Sassoon International Center for the Study of Antisemitism at Hebrew University in Jerusalem, said at that time, the claim that Israel is the “stealing of indigenous people’s land by the colonial whites” is becoming respectable. The liberal center and moderate left in Britain find it “legitimate to be anti-Israel” using this narrative. His work on antisemitism was important.

As a lecturer Wistrich’s moderated voice prompted one audience member at a recent Jerusalem event to ask how his students managed to stay awake in class.

In April, Wistrich spoke about antisemitism on an Al-Jazzera program Head to Head, on Al-Jazzera.  You can listen to that show HERE, as he carefully selects each word and phrase. Warning: the anti-Israel bias that Wistrich faced is enough to elevate blood pressure.

May his memory be a blessing.

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