The Day In Israel: Wed Nov 3rd, 2010

38 Nobel peace prize laureates have slammed academic boycotts of Israel.

nobel prizeIn an attempt to reverse the trend of boycotts against Israel, 38 Nobel peace prize laureates have signed a declaration condemning international attempts to divest from, sanction or boycott Israeli academic institutions and research centers, according to a World Jewish Congress (WJC) report on Tuesday.

Under the auspices of an initiative by Scholars for Peace in the Middle East (SPME) the Nobel prize winners gave special attention to the continued threat of a boycott by South Africa’s University of Johannesburg of Ben-Gurion University in Israel and student divestment efforts in the University of California system.

The WJC report contained a statement by the Nobel prize laureates which read “Academic and cultural boycotts, divestments and sanctions in the academy are antithetical to principles of academic and scientific freedom, antithetical to principles of freedom of expression and inquiry, and may well constitute discrimination by virtue of national origin. Instead of fostering peace, [they] are likely to be counterproductive to the dynamics of reconciliation that lead to peace.”

“We, the undersigned Nobel Laureates, appeal to students, faculty colleagues and university officials to defeat and denounce calls and campaigns for boycotting, divestment and sanctions against Israeli academics, academic institutions and university-based centers and institutes for training and research, affiliated with Israel,” the statement continued.

The statement went on to say that “we, and many like us, have dedicated ourselves to improving the human condition by doing the often difficult and elusive work to understand complex and seemingly unsolvable phenomena. We believe that the university should serve as an open, tolerant and respectful, cooperative and collaborative community engaged in practices of resolving complex problems,” the WJC report said.

SPME is a grassroots network of more than 60,000 faculty and scholars on 4,000 campuses.

The initiative works towards creating peace in peace in the Middle East, and also strives towards a world in which Israel can have secure borders and peace agreements with all its neighbors.

This recent statement was coordinated by Nobel Prize laureates Steven Weinberg, University of Texas, Austin and Roger Kornberg, Stanford University.

I assume the 38 does not include Jimmy Carter.

Updates (Israel time; most recent at top)

7:45PM: Israel has admitted to killing the Army of Islam terrorist.

And he was obviously no boy scout.

Shin Bet sources said Nimnim was involved in planning attacks on Israeli and American targets across the Egyptian border in the Sinai peninsula.

4:32PM: Well, I guess that’s one way to break up a fight.

4:20PM: Wounded US Army veterans are currently visiting Israel, thanks to a special program.

Wounded U.S. Army veterans visiting Israel on a bike riding tour have discovered that American mainstream media give a false picture of Israel.

An IDF reporter accompanied the veterans of the Wounded Warrior Project (WWP) during their tour, co-sponsored by Friends of the IDF. The tour began north of Tel Aviv two weeks ago and continued thorough Tiberias in the north and Nahariya on the northwestern Mediterranean coast.

In between, the veterans who suffered injuries in battles in Iraq and Afghanistan toured Jerusalem.

Standing on a rooftop overlooking the Temple Mount, the veterans tried to soak up the beauty of the Holy Land. “Back in the States, when we see Israel on the news, for example, it seems like a terror stricken country filled with war,” said a veteran nicknamed Big Joe. “But when we arrived here, we stood in front of a beautiful country. And it seems like IDF soldiers perform their duty with passion, even though they are obligated to serve. And I think that’s what turns them into better citizens.”

The veterans left the capital to continue their bike tour through the IDF tank museum at Latrun, west of Jerusalem, and to Masada, overlooking the Dead Sea. They also dined with U.S. ambassador to Israel James Cunningham and visited the IDF induction center to see how new soldiers are processed.

Friends of the IDF member Liron said that the bicycling project began in the United States at the initiative of a non-Jewish soldier who fell in love with Israel after a visit. “He felt the need to bring Israeli soldiers to the United States to ride with American soldiers,” Liron added. “He’s done so every July for the last four years when WWP holds a bike tour “in New York.

“The project developer found it very important to bring American vets to Israel,” said Bob Grant, volunteer from Florida about the joint trip of U.S. Army and IDF veterans. This year is the first time the WWP has brought the veterans to Israel for a bicycling tour.

Sgt. Juan Arredondo, who lost his hand in a bloody attack in Iraq, said, “The U.S. army and the IDF have a lot of things in common such as our similar fighting situations – urban warfare. However, we go far from home to protect America, but here you are fighting for your own right to live. Your fights take place in your own backyards.”

WWP executive director Steve Nardizzi remarked, “We are truly honored and moved to see our American heroes riding alongside veterans of another nation’s armed forces and welcomed so warmly in Israel.”

4:15PM: An Army of Islam terrorist is marinating the soil, thanks either to an IAF strike or premature explodation.

1:50PM: Lauren Booth explains her conversion to Islam. Again.

With bonus Israellycool snark.

1:15PM: Will someone please return this man’s saxaphone to where the sun don’t shine?

12:22PM: Anti-Israel “activist” and recent-convert-to-Islam Lauren Booth has threatened to sue al Arabya for treating her conversion in a sarcastic way.

Lauren Booth, the former British Prime Minister’s sister in law, has expressed her dissatisfaction with al Arabya for the sarcastic way it reported her conversion to Islam.

“Is this the way you are welcomed by the Arab station Binsanp converted to Islam just,” said Booth, adding that she would contact her lawyer to take legal action against the channel which described her conversion as “sarcastic.”

12:12PM: Yasser Abed Rabbo, secretary-general of the Palestinian Liberation Organization’s Executive Committee, has accused Israel of intervening in the American mid-term elections in a bid to disrupt the Middle East peace process, as evidenced by the Republicans’ strong showing.

He went on to slam the Israeli government, noting that “these results prove that Israel played a role in these elections and cooperated with US elements in order to use the results to thwart the negotiations. More than anything, this testifies to the Israeli government’s intentions in regards to the peace process.”

Yet at the same time contradicted himself:

According to the senior Palestinian officials, the US election results – in which the Republicans gained control of the House of Representatives – should not make much of a different for the Palestinians.

“This is an event with political achievements, but we are working with the American administration and the elections should not have an effect,” Abed Robbo said.

12:00PM: Former Iranian Revolutionary Guard Reza Kahlili has said Iran would not hesitate to use nuclear bombs against Israel.

“[Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s government] will use the nuclear bomb against Israel, they will use it against Persian Gulf countries, and they will use it against Europe to bring about that last hadith (Islamic commentaries on sayings and activities of Mohammed and his companions) that calls for total chaos, lawlessness, and havoc in the world, which creates the circumstance for Imam Mahdi (the Islamic messianic figure) to appear.”

9:40AM: Another “first” for Israel.

I wonder what groups like QUIT and Queers Against Israeli Apartheid have to say about it.

9:20AM: UNIFIL commander Alain Pellegrini – whose job requirements should include not taking sides – has complained about the US and Israel to a Lebanese newspaper.

United Nations Interim Forces in Lebanon (UNIFIL) commander Alain Pellegrini uncovered US attempt to penetrate the leadership of UNIFIL during July 2006 war on Lebanon, in order to convert the force into a bridgehead for the intervention of international forces from NATO or the EU, without waiting until the ceasefire.

In a telephone interview with As-Safir newspaper on Tuesday, Pellegrini said “in case of launching a joint operation, I was offered to join American officers. The US had deployed (off the coast of Lebanon) the twenty-fourth marine intervention Unit which is capable to intervene in my operational area and is ready to provide me with reinforcements in case of launching any operation.”

The U.S. offer “to assist UNIFIL”, during the July war, came after meetings in Rome, which considered the possibility of sending international forces, under the flags of the United Nations.

Pellegrini continues his story about the United States, which was likely to militarily intervene in the July war, via NATO, after Israel stumbled in attacking Hezbollah.

“The Western countries, except France, in their consultations in New York, agreed to blame UNIFIL for ineffectiveness and try, in particular, to bring other forces (a multinational force) without the blue berets, sent by the NATO or the European Union, which former US President George Bush would speedily conjoin, without waiting for the ceasefire ,” the General revealed.

Pellegrini also speaks about the Israeli spying and ability to infiltrate the UNIFIL reports about Hezbollah. “We know many of Hezbollah positions, our leadership in New York are aware of their evolution of deployment, so everything is transparent and Israeli agents can get reports from Naqoura,” the UNIFIL commander said.

He proved his saying by revealing that “every time I send my semi-annual report to the UNIFIL, attached by details for the leadership of United Nations forces alone, and despite the fact that the report is encrypted, I immediately receive after each report to New York, a letter from the Israeli Army, containing suggestions for writing the report, hoping to amend it!!”

“The information goes to the Israelis either by tapping or at the time it reaches the United Nations in New York,” the General uncovered.

Pellegrini also unveiled that Israel had killed four UNIFIL officers monitoring the truce in Khiyam plain during the July war.

On Thursday, the French general will release his book “Summer of Fire in Lebanon” in which he talks about the July war as he witnessed it from ‘inside’ in Francophone Book Fair in Beirut.

9:15AM: From the Right Message, Wrong Messenger department:

Olmert blamed Western nations for lack of cooperation against terrorism. “The origin of terrorism is within Islam,” he said. “To fight terrorism, we need a judicial resolution that allows for the fight.”

“Governments must get over the political convenience and adjust themselves to reality,” he said. “Perhaps it would have been possible to prevent the attack on the Twin Towers if they would have looked into the places where it wasn’t politically comfortable to look. Those terrorists were educated in the US. We must decide what we want.”

6:02AM: You just can’t make this stuff up.

Palestinian Authority Minister of Culture Siham Barghouthi said Tuesday that his ministry was investigating Israel’s theft of Palestinian heritage.

Palestinian culture must be preserved by organizing exhibitions and festivals to show that heritage claimed by Israel is actually Palestinian, Bargouthi said in an interview with Ma’an Radio.

A blue version of the keffiyeh, a scarf and a Palestinian national symbol, could be found in markets with a Star of David used instead of the traditional pattern, the minister noted.

Maha Saqa, director of the Heritage Conservation Center in Bethlehem, told Ma’an Radio that a country is an accumulation of its culture, and the theft of heritage should be examined. Israel had stolen Palestine’s national food, clothes and the keffiyeh, she said, adding that the modified keffiyeh, bearing the Star of David, was used in European football stadiums.

5:58AM: It looks like we may get the photo opportunity of the year after all.

pamela anderson

"Sorry, but this is as covered up as I get"

The Knesset Education, Culture, and Sports Committee, including Shas  and United Torah Judaism  representatives, are in for a surprise: Pamela Anderson is expected to join their discussion table.

Anderson, a Canadian-American actress and advocate for animal rights, is expected to arrive in Israel to take part in a discussion intended to soften the religious parties’ objection to the fur bill presented by Knesset Member Ronit Tirosh (Kadima). The bill calls for a ban on fur trade in Israel.

Anderson was approached by representatives of the International Anti-Fur Coalition, led by Jane Halevi. The meeting has yet to be set due to the actress’s busy schedule.

“We don’t know her, but if she wants to meet I hope she know that we observe Negiah (Halacha concept that forbids or restricts physical contact with a member of the opposite sex),” a Shas MK said with a smile.

It sounds to me like he does know her.

You know you can count on Israellycool to keep you abreast of all developments regarding Pamela Anderson’s visit to Israel.


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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