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The Day In Israel: Tuesday May 25th, 2010

hariri obama
AP

US President Barak Obama met with Lebanese Prime Minister Said Hariri last night and warned of the growing danger of arms smuggling to Hizbullah terrorists.

“The President stressed […] the threat posed by the transfer of weapons into Lebanon in violation of UNSCR 1701,” the White House said in a statement following the meeting.

Waste. Of. Time.

Updates (Israel time; most recent at top)?

8:50PM: Drop the dead donkey.

4:05PM: In the wake of Australia’s expulsion of an Israeli diplomat, Australia’s deputy opposition leader has admitted that Australian intelligence agencies also forge passports.

Deputy opposition leader Julie Bishop says Australia’s security agencies engage in passport forgery – the very practice that prompted the Rudd Government to expel an Israeli diplomat.

Ms Bishop became embroiled in the fake passports scandal after calling yesterday’s expulsion “an over-reaction”.

She told Fairfax Media: “It would be naive to think that Israel is the only country in the world that has used forged passports, including Australian passports, for security operations.”

When asked directly if Australian intelligence agencies forge passports, Ms Bishop – a former cabinet minister in the Howard government – replied “yes”

11:58AM: I like this guy.

Eric Grossman, the bass player for Belgian rock band K’s Choice, which performed in Tel Aviv last week, has referred to English singer Elvis Costello as a “douchebag” for calling off his concerts in Israel.

Grossman, who fell in love with Israel during his stay, wrote on his Facebook page on Friday, “Well done. You’re an idiot. Ditto to Santana, Bono, and all the other self important ego-maniacs, who think the Israeli people don’t deserve their presence.”

Grossman added, “You cancelled your Israeli concert for political reasons, and the only people you are affecting, are the common people  who were willing to spend their hard earned money to come hear you play the music they love, and to show you nothing but love and appreciation.

“I appreciate your political stance, but the policy makers and the leaders that you’re standing up against, probably don’t know you from Elvis Presley, and if they do, don’t give a sh*t whether you come to Israel or not.”

9:48AM: Media bias of the day: Following on from The Guardian’s treatment of a claim that Israel offered to sell South Africa nuclear weapons, the AFP has decided to depict the story with this photo of a mushroom cloud with specific mention of “apartheid regime.”

Israel never "negotiated the exchange" of nuclear weapons with South Africa, Israel's President Shimon Peres has said, denying a report thathe personally offered missiles to the apartheid regime in 1975. (AFP/File)

The implication, I think, is clear. Israel is a danger to the world, and connected with apartheid after all.

8:45AM: Received via email:

STANDWITHUS INVITES ELVIS COSTELLO  ON FREE, VIP TRIP TO ISRAEL

AFTER HE CANCELS HIS JUNE 30 AND JULY 1 CONCERTS IN TEL AVIV

(Los Angeles and Jerusalem) —   StandWithUs, the international Israel education organization is extending an invitation for a five-star VIP tour of Israel to Elvis Costello to coincide with his wife Diana Krall’s performance on August 9 at Israel’s Ra’anana Amphitheater.  StandWithUs is also offering to work around Costello’s schedule if that date is inconvenient.  www.standwithus.com

The offer is made after Costello suddenly cancelled his June 30 and July 1 performances in Tel Aviv, citing “political reasons.” http://www.elviscostello.com/news/it-is-after-considerable-contemplation/44

“Misinformation about the Palestinian-Israeli conflict is rife, particularly in Costello’s England where the press often misrepresents history and current facts on the ground,” explains Roz Rothstein, co-founder and CEO of StandWithUs.  “Our mission is to correct this misinformation and educate the public so they can make informed decisions.  We would like to do this for Costello whose decision undermines instead of promotes peaceful coexistence.  As a celebrity, he has a special responsibility to make sure his public positions are based on accurate information and are fair-minded.”

StandWithUs urges Costello to consult with fellow Brit Paul McCartney who rejected Palestinian and Arab pressure to cancel his 2008 tour, and with Madonna, who called Israel “the energy center of the world” before a crowd of 50,000 Israelis during her performance in 2009.

The StandWithUs tour highlights the challenges Israel faces, the nature of Israeli society, and the efforts it has made to promote peace.  “Visitors are often stunned by Israel’s small size and by the short distance between the West Bank heights and Israel’s population centers and Ben Gurion Airport. They suddenly understand Israel’s security concerns and the serious strategic dangers Israel would face if extremists like Hamas took over the West Bank,” observes Michael Dickson, director of the StandWithUs Jerusalem office. “They are also amazed at how multicultural, free, and vibrant Israeli society is, which contrasts with many media images.”

The tour also includes background about the extremist and violent goals of the terrorist groups like Hamas, Hezbollah, and Islamic Jihad that Israel faces, and about the incitement to hate Jews and Israelis that saturates Palestinian society.  “After the tour, many people realize that Palestinian leaders and extremist groups who are backed by Iran are harming the Palestinian people and are the real obstacles to peace, not Israelis who desperately want peace and have been willing to give up parts of their ancient homeland for a better future for Israeli and Palestinian children,” states Rothstein.

StandWithUs will continue to extend the invitation so that Costello can become a voice for peace and understanding instead of a voice for continuing misinformation, divisiveness, and hate.

StandWithUs is a nine-year old, international, non-profit Israel education organization that ensures that Israel’s side of the story is told in communities, campuses, libraries, the media and schools through brochures, speakers, conferences, missions to and from Israel, and thousands of pages of Internet resources that are distributed globally.

Based in Los Angeles, the organization has offices across the U.S., in Israel and the UK.  SWU was founded in 2001 in response to the public’s need and desire for more information about the Arab-Israeli conflict. StandWithUsCampus helps college students challenge anti-Israel bias. www.standwithus.com and www.standwithuscampus.com
http://www.twitter.com/StandWithUs and http://www.facebook.com/StandWithUs

Great idea.

In the meantime, I would appreciate a refund on the concert tickets I purchased!

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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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