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The Day In Israel: Mon Oct 26th, 2009

Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak have decided to appoint a small team to review Israel’s course of action on the Goldstone report, and make recommendations on what should be done in the diplomatic, legal and public relations planes.

The prime minister said during the meeting that the establishment of an investigation committee was “not an option.”

“IDF soldiers and officers will not be subjected to investigation,” he stressed.

An official at the prime minister’s office said that there were “differing opinions on what should be done.”

Barak added that “we sent the fighters on the mission, and they deserve our full support.”

“Israel is prepared to fight against the legitimacy of the Goldstone report. In addition, Israel will act to amend rules of war to adjust them to the battle against terrorists who fight from among civilians,” he said.

Updates (Israel time; most recent at top)

10:30PM: Solomon has more on the Silverstein panel incident. As he notes:

This is interesting for what it says about the “progressive” mind-set. Also note that while J Street doesn’t want an official affiliation with this panel, they were not above giving them space and using their own paid staff as enforcers.

9:10PM: Here’s the video of Richard Silverstein having a blogger kicked out letting a blogger know he was about to be booted out of his panel discussion (held in a room at the same hotel as the official J-Street conference).

I am told the blogger wasn’t doing anything wrong – just filming – and was a paid attendee. Someone from JStreet ended up apologizing.

8:58PM: You can watch the “pro-Israel” (read: not so much) J-Street conference live here.

Meanwhile, I have it on good authority that anti-Israel blogger Richard Silverstein had a blogger kicked out of his J-Street Blogger panel. My contact has promised me video of Silverstein having the blogger ejected, and I’ll post it then.

8:25PM: A new ADL poll shows that Americans are more sympathetic towards Israel than the palestinians, and support an Israeli strike on Iran.

Here are some of the highlights (you can click on any of the graphs to enlarge).








5:20PM: Meet the palestinian Sesame Street, where youngsters supposedly learn about non-violence and tolerance.

Or so we are led to believe. From 1:00 onwards, the tone takes a somewhat darker turn.

Call me crazy, but that pissed off bear bears an uncanny resemblance to Nassur.

5:02PM: The Syrians are trying to stir up trouble.

The Syrian Foreign Ministry has denounced Israel’s “blatant violation of the sanctity of al-Aqsa Mosque,” following the recent wave of riots in Jerusalem.

In an official statement released Monday, the ministry said that “(Damascus) believes the Israeli security forces’ invasion of al-Aqsa was part of Israel’s scheme to Judaize Jerusalem and destroy the mosque.”

A Syrian news agency further quoted the official as saying Israel’s actions were “a crime against Arab history and heritage and against Muslims’ holy places.”

I’m not quite sure how allowing the Muslims – through the Waqf – to retain control over the Temple Mount, and never attempting to destroy the mosque, in the 40 plus years since we captured the old city of Jerusalem, quite fits in to this scheme.

1:34PM: Today’s caption bias comes to us courtesy of Reuters.

temple mount bias - Reuters

A tourist takes a photograph of the Dome of the Rock on the compound known to Jews as the Temple Mount and to Muslims as al-Haram al-Sharif (Noble Sanctuary) in Jerusalem’s Old City October 26, 2009. Israeli police stormed the compound on Sunday, hurling stun grenades at Palestinians who threw rocks at them, in another outbreak of violence at the holy city’s most sensitive site. REUTERS/Darren Whiteside (JERUSALEM POLITICS RELIGION TRAVEL)

The caption makes it sound like Israeli police aggressively raided the Temple Mount, which was met by the palestinian response of throwing rocks.  There is no mention of the fact the whole reason for the Israeli police doing what they did was as a response to Muslims preparing to cause trouble, nor the fact they did not just throw rocks, but also deadlier petrol bombs.

9:34AM: Turkey continues to attack Israel, with Turkish PM Recep Tayyip Erdogan now claiming that Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman threatened to use nuclear weapons against Gaza.

This doesn’t even dignify a response, given Israel’s proximity to Gaza and the fact Israelis would not agree to such action. But perhaps the Turks can include such a plot line in their favorite television show.

Meanwhile, Erdogan is calling someone who actually does intend to use nuclear weapons a “friend.”

The Turkish leader also stressed that Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who has repeatedly called for Israel’s destruction, was a “friend” of Turkey’s.

“There is no doubt he is our friend,” Erdogan was quoted as saying. “As a friend so far we have very good relations and have had no difficulty at all.

6:00AM: Saeb Erekat, PLO Chief negotiator and master of propaganda, is up to his old tricks, accusing Israel of incitement and not being a partner for peace.

Dr Saeb Erekat, the PLO’s chief negotiator, on Sunday called on the US and Europe to demand that Israel end incitement against worshipers in occupied East Jerusalem.

“The international community must intervene and demand an end to Israeli incitement,” Erekat said in a statement. “Otherwise we fear that violence may spiral out of control.”

At least 30 Palestinians were injured and some 20 were arrested following the arrival of Israeli forces at the Al-Aqsa Mosque in East Jerusalem’s Old City on Sunday morning. Nine Israeli police officers were also hurt in the clashes, which sparked amid announcements from right-wing Jewish groups and individuals, including Israeli parliament members, vowing to “ascend” the compound area under armed guard.

“This latest assault on the Al-Aqsa compound is part of a systematic and deliberate policy of incitement,” Erekat continued, condemning what he termed Israel’s latest violence against Palestinian worshippers in the holy city. “By escalating tensions to the point of violence, the Israeli government is looking for an escape clause to avoid meaningful negotiations.”

The PLO official urged Israel not to let extremists set the agenda.

“These are not the actions of a partner for peace, but a coalition of political forces in Israel that have consistently opposed peace between Palestinians and Israelis,” he said. “Israel is intensifying the violence of its occupation against ordinary Palestinians while it relentlessly pursues its colonization of occupied East Jerusalem and the rest of the West Bank.”

In the coming days, President Mahmoud Abbas will be meeting with King Mohammed VI of Morocco, who chairs the Organization of the Islamic Conference’s Al-Quds (Jerusalem) committee, Erekat announced. Abbas is expected to call on members of the committee to take decisive action to demand that Israel halt all settlement construction and other provocative policies in East Jerusalem.

Given that US President Barack Obama has called for the palestinians to end incitement against Israel, and Israel has repeatedly lamented the absence of a partner of peace on the palestinian side, I would fathom to say his choice of words is no coincidence. He is deliberately using those words commonly applied to the palestinians, in the tried and tested palestinian propaganda method of “turnspeak.”

5:48AM: Some scenes from yesterday’s Arab riots on the Temple Mount.

As you can see, they have a huge deal of respect for this holiest of sites.

About the author

Picture of David Lange

David Lange

A law school graduate, David Lange transitioned from work in the oil and hi-tech industries into fulltime Israel advocacy. He is a respected commentator and Middle East analyst who has often been cited by the mainstream media
Picture of David Lange

David Lange

A law school graduate, David Lange transitioned from work in the oil and hi-tech industries into fulltime Israel advocacy. He is a respected commentator and Middle East analyst who has often been cited by the mainstream media
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