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At a recent graduation ceremony for children in one of Hamas’ summer camps, children reenacted the abduction of Gilad Schalit in the presence of top Hamas officials.
Updates (Israel time; most recent at top)
11:02PM: Israel’s ambassador to the UN Gabriela Shalev has complained of the Hizbullah arms build-up in southern Lebanon, reading letters written by Lebanese civilians in which they asked the terror group to stop storing weapons in the attics of homes and risking their lives. She has also slammed Iran.
You can view her speech here (forward to 2:32, Real Player required).
10:54PM: Islamic Jihad accused fellow palestinian terror group PRC of Pallywood tactics – doctoring a video and falsely claiming credit for a March 6th, 2008 terror attack on the Gaza border.
A Palestinian therapist covers the bodies of patients with sand on the beach in Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip July 27, 2009, as a form of traditional treatment for the skin and muscles. REUTERS/Ibraheem Abu Mustafa (GAZA HEALTH IMAGES OF THE DAY)
They’re just lucky that the Hamas modesty police were not in the vicinity at the time.
8:10PM: From the Department of Undesirable Visitors: Return of the Elders of Moron!
Nobel Peace Prize laureate Desmond Tutu will visit Israel, the West Bank, and the Gaza Strip in August as part of a pro-peace delegation.
The Nobel Peace Prize laureate will be joined by a number of former world leaders such as ex-U.S. president Jimmy Carter and former Brazilian president Fernando Henrique Cardoso, as well as captains of industry such as Richard Branson and Jeff Skoll.
The delegation will come to Israel as part of the “Elders”, a pro-peace organization based on an initiative by Richard Branson and musician Peter Gabriel. The formation of the Elders was announced by Nelson Mandela in Johannesberg on his 89th birthday in 2007.
According to a press release issued by the organization on Monday, the group has “no intention of intervening in the [peace] process. Rather, the objective of their visit is to meet a wide cross-section of Israeli and Palestinian society including grassroots organizations, young people, members of civil society, independent experts, business leaders and others. They want to offer their support to those who are working hard for peaceful coexistence while also listening to the concerns and aspirations of a broad range of individuals on both sides”.
6:48PM: In his latest screed, Free Gaza’s Ramzi Kysia does a verbal dance to sound as if he does not condone violence, but ends up tripping over himself.
When faced with violence in our world, our elites tell us that we have two – and only two – choices: capitulate to the violence, or go to war. Of course, which of these two choices is the right and proper course of action depends on who you are. Faced with Palestinian violence, Israelis must, rightly and properly, go to war. Faced with Israeli violence, Palestinians must, rightly and properly, capitulate. In Tel Aviv and Washington D.C. this is called “moral clarity:” the supposed necessity of pursuing Israeli security through deliberately creating massive insecurity among Palestinians. This is lunacy.
But even mainstream “peace” movements in the West try to delegitimize resistance by calling on both Palestinians and Israelis to renounce overt acts of violence, equating Palestinians who commit suicide bombings with Israelis who send F-16s, D9 military bulldozers, and Apache attack helicopters to level entire neighborhoods.
The problem is that the usually random and individual acts of violence by Palestinians (as if organized terror attacks do not exist -ed) against Israelis are not equal to the myriad structural oppressions and cruelties imposed on Palestinians through Israeli government policies. No Palestinian fighter jets bomb Israeli cities – because Palestine has no fighter jets. No Palestinian bulldozers demolish Israeli homes – because Palestine has no military bulldozers. No Palestinian soldiers invade Israeli neighbourhoods, terrorizing the populace – because there is no Palestinian army. The conflict in Palestine is a war of Israeli state terror against a largely unarmed and defenceless civilian population.
Even immoral and self-defeating acts of violence against Israeli civilians (such as some suicide bombings are) cannot be equated with the daily humiliations, terror, and death that Israel inflicts on Palestinians by deliberate policy. Contrary to its presentation in the mainstream media, this conflict is neither a righteous war against evil Arab terrorists, nor a religious or ethnic dispute between two opposing and equally self-justified groups of people. The Israeli/Palestinian conflict is the struggle of two irreconcilable and unequal causes: the struggle of an oppressed people for freedom, justice, and self-determination against their oppressors’ struggle to maintain (and even expand) their domination. Under these circumstances resistance is not only a right – it’s a moral imperative.
This is not to say that any and all acts of resistance are acceptable. Clearly they are not. But it grows tedious to continually hear well-meaning, but otherwise clueless, Westerners try to equate the two sides of this conflict. I am past tired of hearing white people passively whine, or shrilly demand, “Where is the Palestinian Gandhi?”
Sounds to me like he really does support palestinian “resistance” (aka terrorism), but is trying to tone down his rhetoric to make his message more palatable to the average person.
2:45PM: The palestinians have been doing their best to paint life in Gaza as..err.. hard.
They may have a..err.. point.
Al Arish PalPress-Egyptian police thwarted today an operation for smuggling 18 thousand Viagra tapes into Gaza Strip.
Egyptian security sources said that police forces stopped a truck on Al Salam bridge in Qantara city, pointing out that the police members searched the truck and found about 24 big boxes of Viagra.
The sources confirmed that these quantities were set to be smuggled into Gaza Strip through underground tunnels between Rafah and Egypt.
An interrogation was opened with the driver at Ismailia prosecution center.
The border areas between Gaza strip and Egypt have witnessed big smuggling operations in light of shutting down Rafah crossing.
Well what do you expect? Satisfying 72 virgin women only comes about through years and years of practice.
12:58PM: Contrived photo of the day:
A Palestinian woman sits in front of the Red Cross headquarters during a protest in Gaza City calling for the release of Palestinian prisoners from Israeli jails July 27, 2009. Some 11,000 Palestinians are in Israeli prisons and securing their freedom is a highly emotive issue in Palestinian society, which regards them as symbols of resistance to occupation. REUTERS/Suhaib Salem (GAZA POLITICS CONFLICT)
In other words, here is a palestinian woman sitting in front of the Red Cross building at a protest in Gaza, and the photographer has managed to make it look like she is “caged in,” a not too subtle nod to the (false) contention that Gaza is like an “open air prison.”
12:40PM: Chutzpah of the day: Lebanon has claimed that the explosion of a weapons stockpile in southern Lebanon last week was caused by ammunition left by the Israeli army, and not belonging to Hizbullah.
11:12AM: Mike Harris of SF Voice for Israel, who was heckled in the video I posted at 5:50AM, blogs about his experience.
The controversy about the San Francisco Jewish Film Festival’s invitation to Cindy Corrie hit a fever pitch this week. An editorial in “j”, our local community newspaper, endorsed the same opinion previously expressed here. In addition, the president of the SFJFF board resigned and two prominent local foundations issued a stinging criticism of the Film Festival’s decision to invite Mrs. Corrie.
But things were to get even more interesting. I was personally invited by Peter Stein, the executive director of the SFJFF, to make a brief statement prior to the film to discuss why many of us objected to this program. While I knew that this would be a hostile audience, I didn’t anticipate objections from many dedicated activists within the pro-Israel community who felt that this would let the Film Festival off the hook by allowing them to claim that they had “balanced” the program. However, StandWithUs fully supported this appearance, realizing that this was a unique opportunity to present our viewpoint, even knowing that the majority of the audience would be hostile.
The film, of course, was utterly lacking in context. One brief mention that the IDF teams were looking for explosives-smuggling tunnels. No mention of the terror war. An interesting point near the end of the film when an Israeli anarchist from Jaffa is interviewed– he talks about resistance and a few other similar phrases about idealism, then said that some of the words don’t translate well into Hebrew– the audience laughed at that line.
And everything that happened yesterday was exactly as anticipated. Not only had the event’s co-sponsors, Jewish Voice for Peace and American Friends Service Committee, sent out appeals to their members to show up in force, but Cindy Corrie herself sent out a similar e-mail. So the crowd’s reaction was no surprise, and you can see it for yourself here.
Peter Stein didn’t ask any hard questions of Cindy Corrie– it was a total softball interview. He did ask her what she thought of the controversy here, she said it surprised her, talked about some of the Jewish community supporting her the first time that the play My Name Is Rachel Corrie was pulled from the theater in New York. She thinks it has less to do with her appearance than with discussions in the Jewish community about Israel, and those whose allegiance to Israel “leads them to support the status quo”.
She took maybe 3 questions from the audience, each devolved into about a 10-15 minute answer, everything of course building on the sympathy factor. She did not address any specific political issues except that as far as the investigation into her daughter’s death she was told by US officials that she will never get anyone in the US gov’t to agree to investigate this fully, because it involves Israel.
I did not get to ask her the question I wanted to ask, which was as follows:
“Mrs Corrie, I’m sure you and I agree that too many people have died in this conflict. We all want peace, but some of us have different concepts of what “peace” means. My concept is that of a Jewish state of Israel and an Arab state of Palestine, living side by side in peace and mutual recognition. What is YOUR concept of peace?”
I don’t know what her answer would be; but, based on the responses to my talk, I know what the audience’s answer is. So the question that needs to be asked of the San Francisco Jewish Film Festival is this:
If you are attracting an audience that jeers a pro-Israel speaker, and cheers not only for boycotts, divestment and sanctions against Israel but also at the mention of Mahmoud Ahmedinejad, is that the kind of programming that is appropriate for a JEWISH Film Festival?
8:50AM: Cynical exploitation watch: Hamas is digging tunnels next to UN facilities knowing full well the IDF will not target them during a future conflict.
6:00AM: Brazilian soccer star Ronaldo has confirmed he will take part in an Iranian-produced film about a palestinian girl.
Meanwhile, Reuters have posted this 2005 photo of Ronaldo impersonating Pope Benedict.
5:50AM: Mike Harris of SF Voice for Israel managed to get himself added as an introductory speaker at the Rachel Corrie film showing before the San Francisco Jewish Film Festival.
Moonbat hilarity ensues.