The Day In Israel: Wednesday June 16th, 2010


The Turkel committee, the committee set up to investigate the botched IDF raid on the Gaza-bound flotilla, is due to convene today for the first time.

Meanwhile, Turkey (as well as the palestinians) have slammed the committee.

So much for establishing a committee with “Turk” in the name.

Updates (Israel time; most recent at top)

10:25PM: Republican Whip Eric Cantor urges the Obama administration to defend Israel and veto any UN resolution calling for an international investigation of Israel’s raid on the Gaza flotilla.

7:50PM: Comment of the day: It’s actually from yesterday, courtesy of Walt, who had this to say about folk singer Devendra Banhart who cancelled his Israeli shows:

charlie manson looking mother, doing a bad take on 60s sf folk psychedelia

the only reason anyone ever paid attention to the freak, was that he was dating natalie portman….i always thought she had taste…guess not

Anyone else find the sight of him prancing around in underpants singing “I feel just like a child” really disturbing? (Even more disturbing than the idea of Natalie Portman dating him).

7:45PM: This is going to go down well (so to speak): Turkish terror-supporting organization IHH plans on sending another flotilla to Gaza next month, in addition to the Iranian and Lebanese ships planning to go to Gaza later this week.

A Turkish pro-Palestinian group said on Wednesday it will send another aid flotilla to Gaza next month, again trying to break an Israeli blockade after its last convoy was the target of a deadly Israeli raid in May.

The Foundation for Human Rights and Freedoms and Humanitarian Aid (IHH) told members of the European Parliament it had assembled six ships for the next flotilla and put out an appeal for others to join.

Meanwhile, Israel on Wednesday issued a stern warning to Iranian and Lebanese organizers who plan to send three more aid ships to Gaza later this week.

Attempts by the Iranians and Lebanese to break Israel’s blockade of Gaza would be seen not just as a provocation and a breach of law, but as a “hostile” act because the ships and their cargo are from enemy states, said Foreign Ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor

“They are under a different status,” he said, referring to the earlier aid flotilla forcefully intercepted on May 31, which had carried aid and activists mainly from European states including Turkey, Greece and Ireland.


“They are coming from an enemy state and it means that of course the treatment is different, because legally they are different,” Palmor said of the Iranian and Lebanese ships.

5:05PM: Today’s comedy gold comes courtesy of those perennial comedians of Hamas.

Workers at the Hamas TV channel’s office in Syria staged a sit-in Wednesday to protest the decision by a France-based satellite provider to halt its broadcasts to Europe and parts of the Arab world.

The French decision came because of concerns that the channel spreads incitement. It’s expected to deprive the Gaza-based al-Aqsa TV of most of its viewers.

About a dozen employees took part in the protest outside the French Embassy in Damascus. They carried banners denouncing the French decision as “outrageous” and illegal.

They also handed over a protest letter to the French ambassador in Syria urging the French government to reverse the decision.

Hamas has denounced the decision as a “flagrant violation” of freedoms of opinion and information.

They’d know all about that.

4:46PM: A number of the flotilla guerrillas are seething that Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper did not buy into their propaganda.

3:48PM: Lebanese national Moussa Hamdan finds himself in deep sh’ite after he was arrested on suspicion of funneling money to Hizbullah in Paraguay.

12:02PM: Remind me why exactly we returned the Sinai?

nabawy charhi
Photo: Getty Images Bank

The head of Egypt’s  Actors Guild, Ashraf Zaki, has decided to launch an inquiry against Egyptian actor Khaled Nabawy for “normalization with Israel” over his role in Doug Liman’s American film “Fair Game” alongside Israeli actress Liraz Charhi.

Nabawy was criticized by Egyptian officials after being photographed embracing Charhi on the red carper during the Cannes International Film Festival, where the movie has its world premiere and took part in the official competition.

The different professional associations in Egypt forbid any type of normalization with the Jewish state and strongly condemn any association member who challenges this demand.

Zaki told a London-based website that he would meet with Nabawy this week and inquire whether he knew in advance that Charhi had an Israeli citizenship. If Nabawy is found guilty, he is expected to be suspended from the association for a long period of time.

Arab websites that reported the affair noted that Charhi was “an Israeli actress of American descent, who served in the army for two years before turning to acting and appearing in a number of American films.”

Zaki told the Reuters news agency that he would bring the matter to the Actors Guild council in the coming days. “I asked to meet with Nabawy. After we meet, I will write a memo to the council so it can make a decision.”

He refused to elaborate on the punishment Nabawy may face if he is found guilty.

The Israeli actress involved in the affair told Ynet on Tuesday that “the picture of the two of us did not change anything. Nabawy already knew that he would pay the price for our cooperation on the screen.

“Even before he was cast for the role, there was another Egyptian actor who withdrew from the production after receiving threats that he would be dismissed from the association,” Charhi added.

“At this stage I was certain that they would let me go. But then Nabawy arrived, a professional actor who came to work. When we met during rehearsal I noticed that he was a bit indrawn, and I waited a while before I approached him.

“I knew that it was all very sensitive, so I was very gentle. But during the filming period we became friends. We played a brother and sister, and it didn’t seem strange to either of us.

“When they arranged the seats for the screening, they put us together and we both didn’t mind. He didn’t say anything when we stood together for the photo shoot. I was sure that they would be angry at him, but I didn’t believe that they would launch a suspension procedure against him. I’m shocked.

“We saw this film as work, not politics, and hoped that seeing us getting along would convey some kind of message. But I never imagined that the voices against him would be so hostile,” she concluded.

6:12AM: Those of you who think this conflict is about land should see this interview with one of the coordinators of the Algerian delegation to the flotilla (you might need to read between the lines since he is very subtle and softly spoken).

6:00AM: Spanish politician, journalist and activist and member of the far left Pilar Rahola has published this 2008 speech of hers on her blog (translated version follows):

pilar raholaPilar Rahola is a Spanish politician, journalist and activist and member of the far left. Her articles are published in Spain and throughout some of the most important newspapers in Latin America:

Why don’t we see demonstrations against Islamic dictatorships in London, Paris, Barcelona?

Or demonstrations against the Burmese dictatorship?

Why aren’t there demonstrations against the enslavement of millions of women who live without any legal protection?

Why aren’t there demonstrations against the use of children as human bombs where there is conflict with Islam?

Why has there been no leadership in support of the victims of Islamic dictatorship in Sudan?

Why is there never any outrage against the acts of terrorism committed against Israel?

Why is there no outcry by the European left against Islamic fanaticism?

Why don’t they defend Israel’s right to exist?

Why confuse support of the Palestinian cause with the defense of Palestinian terrorism?

And finally, the million dollar question: Why is the left in Europe and around the world obsessed with the two most solid democracies, the United States and Israel, and not with the worst dictatorships on the planet? The two most solid democracies, who have suffered the bloodiest attacks of terrorism, and the left doesn’t care.

And then, to the concept of freedom. In every pro Palestinian European forum I hear the left yelling with fervor: “We want freedom for the people!”

Not true. They are never concerned with freedom for the people of Syria or Yemen or Iran or Sudan, or other such nations. And they are never preoccupied when Hammas destroys freedom for the Palestinians. They are only concerned with using the concept of Palestinian freedom as a weapon against Israeli freedom. The resulting consequence of these ideological pathologies is the manipulation of the press.

The international press does major damage when reporting on the question of the Israeli-Palestinian issue. On this topic they don’t inform, they propagandize.

When reporting about Israel the majority of journalists forget the reporter’s code of ethics. And so, any Israeli act of self-defense becomes a massacre, and any confrontation, genocide. So many stupid things have been written about Israel, that there aren’t any accusations left to level against her.

At the same time, this press never discusses Syrian and Iranian interference in propagating violence against Israel; the indoctrination of children and the corruption of the Palestinians. And when reporting about victims, every Palestinian casualty is reported as tragedy and every Israeli victim is camouflaged, hidden or reported about with disdain.

And let me add on the topic of the Spanish left. Many are the examples that illustrate the anti-Americanism and anti-Israeli sentiments that define the Spanish left. For example, one of the leftist parties in Spain has just expelled one of its members for creating a pro-Israel website. I quote from the expulsion document: “Our friends are the people of Iran, Libya and Venezuela, oppressed by imperialism, and not a Nazi state like Israel.”

In another example, the socialist mayor of Campozuelos changed Shoah Day, commemorating the victims of the Holocaust, with Palestinian Nabka Day, which mourns the establishment of the State of Israel, thus showing contempt for the six million European Jews murdered in the Holocaust.

Or in my native city of Barcelona, the city council decided to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the creation of the State of Israel, by having a week of solidarity with the Palestinian people. Thus, they invited Leila Khaled, a noted terrorist from the 70’s and current leader of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, a terrorist organization so described by the European Union, which promotes the use of bombs against Israel.

This politically correct way of thinking has even polluted the speeches of President Zapatero. His foreign policy falls within the lunatic left, and on issues of the Middle East he is unequivocally pro Arab. I can assure you that in private, Zapatero places on Israel the blame for the conflict in the Middle East, and the policies of foreign minister Moratinos reflect this. The fact that Zapatero chose to wear a kafiah in the midst of the Lebanon conflict is no coincidence; it’s a symbol.

Spain has suffered the worst terrorist attack in Europe and it is in the crosshairs of every Islamic terrorist organization. As I wrote before, they kill us will cell phones hooked to satellites connected to the Middle Ages. An yet the Spanish left is the most anti Israeli in the world.

And then it says it is anti Israeli because of solidarity. This is the madness I want to denounce in this conference.


I am not Jewish. Ideologically I am left and by profession a journalist. Why am I not anti-Israeli like my colleagues? Because as a non-Jew I have the historical responsibility to fight against Jewish hatred and currently against the hatred for their historic homeland, Israel. To fight against anti-Semitism is not the duty of the Jews, it is the duty of the non-Jews.

As a journalist it is my duty to search for the truth beyond prejudice, lies and manipulations. The truth about Israel is not told. As a person from the left who loves progress, I am obligated to defend liberty, culture, civic education for children, coexistence and the laws that the Tablets of the Covenant made into universal principles.

Principles that Islamic fundamentalism systematically destroys. That is to say that as a non-Jew, journalist and lefty I have a triple moral duty with Israel, because if Israel is destroyed, liberty, modernity and culture will be destroyed too.

The struggle of Israel, even if the world doesn’t want to accept it, is the struggle of the world.

(Hat tip: Perat).


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