Friday, February 28, 2014

Code Pink and JVP standing side by side with anti-semites. Again

This  weekend 14,000 friends of Israel will gather in Washington DC for the annual AIPAC policy Conference.   And in response, Code Pink and their partners in slime will attempt to pull together a protest.

Endorsers include:
Remi Kanazi
George Mason University Students Against Israeli Apartheid
American University Students for Justice in Palestine
The Palestine Freedom Project
Colorado BDS campaign
US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation
Jewish Voice for Peace
Food Not Bombs DC

From the "Boycott AIPAC"  Facebook page:

Disgusted by AIPAC's moves to bring us to war with Iran? Sick of seeing US tax dollars go to Israel while they commit human rights violations in Palestine? Inspired by all the BDS victories happening left and right? Then join us to protest AIPAC's conference in DC!

Michael Rabb adds his two cents, posting  "Protest the Jewish Lobby that enables the Jew-only state of Israel March 2 Washington DC".     
Pssst. Just a tad antisemitic, Michael.  You forgot to say "Zionist"

Incidentally, Michael Rabb is a rabid anti Israel organizer. His fellow activists look away when he publicly declares his support for Gilad Atzmon  and willfully ignore his erudite comments  such as  "...the ultimate cause of the “problem” in Palestine is the Zionist Jewish project to establish a Jewish homeland (Jewish state) in Palestine for Jews, of the Jews by the Jews."  Michael Rabb endorses the usual lame brained conspiracy theories and has promoted the picketing of synagogues

Rather than being shunned by the Palestinian "peace" activists, instead Michael is embraced. His antisemitism  was conveniently ignored at the Organizing conference of the US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation where he presented a divestment workshop.

The real question for Code Pink and JVP remains- why do you consistently stand side by side with  haters of the Jewish people and of Israel?  Why do you consistently aid and abet anti-semites?

Ugliness of BDS hits University of Windsor

From the Urbanite:

A student executive’s office was broken into and vandalized on the eve of a controversial referendum at the University of Windsor.

Today marks the first of three voting days of an undergraduate student referendum that seeks official endorsement of the growing Israeli Boycott, Divestment and Sanction movement.

Jake DeJong, vice-president academic affairs, arrived at the university at 9 a.m. this morning to discover vandals entered his locked office the evening prior, ransacking it and defaced a Support our Troops flag with the Star of David and the word “ZIONIST” above it in blue spray paint.

Campus Community Police, Windsor Police Service and the Ontario Provincial Police were on scene at the CAW Student Centre today dusting for fingerprints and photographing the crime scene.

“My immediate reaction is mostly shock and awe,” said DeJong. “This isn’t just an attack against my office, this is an attack against me and my position.”

Windsor Police have classified the case as a break-and-enter and hate crime.

“An office was broken into sometime overnight and the suspect(s) spray painted a message inside the office that was deemed to be racist in nature,” said Sergeant Matthew D’Asti, the public information officer for Windsor Police via a public news update Thursday afternoon. “Windsor Police are working with The University of Windsor Campus Police on this investigation in an attempt to identify the person(s) responsible.”

From the Windsor Star

The act has received condemnation from Windsor police and the Windsor Jewish Community Centre.

“The fact they defaced a Support Our Troops flag, that’s offensive to veterans,” said Harvey Kessler, executive director of the Jewish Community Centre. “The fact they spray painted the Star of David and used the word Zionist obviously is a hate crime. So that’s offensive to the Jewish students and the Jewish community. But in addition to that, it should be offensive to the whole university community and the community at large.”

Windsor police said they are working with campus police to find who is responsible for the break and enter and “hate crime.”

Thursday, February 27, 2014

From UCLA's Bruins Against BDS

Let this serve as a caution to other campuses considering the debate of BDS resolutions
With sincere gratitude to the seven council members who voted against the Divestment resolution,
We’d like to thank you for hearing and considering all sides of the issue presented to you and fairly representing our voice on this campus for 9 hours at the USAC meeting on Tuesday, February 25th. We understand that this was not an easy decision for many of you. In no way do we claim the results of the vote as a victory. It is deeply saddening that all sides are left feeling extremely hurt by the hateful comments that were said during public comment. It is truly disappointing to see a campus so divided.

For this reason, we feel that your priorities are in the right place. You were elected to be a leader to effect tangible changes on our campus, not to bring divisive symbolic resolutions about global issues. This is a resolution that never should have been brought to the council table in the first place, as it failed to involve students who would be affected by the resolution in the creation process. Thank you for remaining consistent with your convictions stated in response to the resolution brought forth earlier this year. Many council members emphasized the importance of all voices being heard and represented, and you should be proud to have applied this standard equally to all student groups.

Please be confident that you stand on the right side of history with your decision. As proven unequivocally last night, the divestment resolution, if passed, would have been construed as a victory for the larger Boycott Divestment Sanctions movement which calls to demonize and delegitimize Israel, the only Jewish state in the world. This would violate the rights of Israelis to security and self determination. As such, it was viewed by much of the Jewish community as anti-Semitic and made students feel marginalized and unsafe on our campus.

Let us be clear in that we are in no way accusing the individuals in the room last night of being anti-Semitic. In fact, we believe that they too are fighting for a cause which they hold in their hearts to be true and just. To see a campus of intelligent, passionate people divided because of their convictions was truly unfortunate. This is exactly why this resolution had no place the Council table. Clearly, this resolution was not the answer to starting a healthy conversation or moving towards peace, but rather created widening schisms between individuals and communities. Ackerman Grand Ballroom was not a safe space for our students. In addition, we are disgusted to see the cyber bullying taking place towards human beings on either side of the conflict and we are so sorry that this hate may be something you and even the supporting Council members are dealing with; it is absolutely unacceptable.

We respect not only the result of the vote but also the way in which you conducted yourselves as honest, thoughtful representatives of the entire student body. We could not be more proud to stand by you all as our elected leaders.
From an article in the Daily Bruin:
 During an initial straw vote, Hadjimanoukian, Financial Supports Commissioner Lauren Rogers, Academic Affairs Commissioner Darren Ramalho, Internal Vice President Avi Oved, General Representative Sunny Singh, Campus Events Commissioner Jessica Kim and General Representative Sam Haws voted against the resolution.
In a second straw vote later in the meeting, no councilmembers changed their vote. Student Wellness Commissioner Savannah Badalich, Naameh, External Vice President Maryssa Hall, Cultural Affairs Commissioner Jessica Trumble and Arce still said they would support the resolution.
After nine hours of ripping the council and the community apart,  not a single mind was changed, not a single vote was altered.

Netanyahu to sign economic cooperation deal with California Governor Jerry Brown

While the Berkeley love children are busy vandalizing grocery store hummus and convincing themselves that BDS is unstoppable, Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu will be in California, signing an economic cooperation pledge with California governor Jerry Brown.

To all the BDS holes out there- How does it feel to be irrelevant?

From Globes:

During the visit to Silicon Valley, Netanyahu and Governor of California Jerry Brown will sign a strategic cooperation agreement to promote economic relations. The agreement aims to expand and strengthen cultural, academic, and economic ties, as well as promote innovation, with an emphasis on water conservation, alternative energy, cyber defense, biotechnology, health, agritech, and higher education. 

The agreement will give Israeli companies access to California's Innovation Hub (iHub) program, which consists of 16 clusters of R&D groups, technology incubators, universities and laboratories, economic development organizations, business groups, and venture capital funds. Israel is the third country that will benefit from this kind of cooperation, but Israel's agreement will include unique items for planned cooperation with California. 

Netanyahu is scheduled to meet the heads of high-tech companies in Silicon Valley, including WhatsApp founder Jan Koum and executives of Apple, Sequoia Capital, Flextronics, LinkedIn, eBay, and other companies. The purpose of the talks is to open collaborations between these companies and entities in Israel. 

An Open Letter to Ali Abunimah

Ali Abunimah will be on the road again. Locally, he'll be making an appearance at yet another Sabeel conference and at a fundraiser for the Middle East Children's Alliance (rated a 2 star charity because of its lack of accountability and  transparency)

He's been challenged to a debate by a local community activist. Will he meet the challenge?
Originally posted at Bluetruth by DrMike

Anti-Israel activists have frequently complained that our Jewish community institutions are not open to hosting their point of view. While I completely support that policy, in the firm belief that doctrinal anti-Zionism is indeed the modern, politically correct form of anti-Semitism, it does reduce the opportunities for members of the pro-Israel community to debate anti-Israel partisans.  It's not that the anti-Zionists are really seeking honest debate; they're happy to get the camel's nose into the tent, as it were, to start undermining those Jewish institutions--especially on campuses. And their typical campus or community events typically feature a panel with an anti-Israel Arab, and then for "balance", an anti-Israel Jew.  But an open, honest, moderated debate between pro- and anti-Israel activists is a rare event.

One of the more prominent members of the American anti-Israel community is Ali Abunimah. Born in Washington DC, educated at Princeton and the University of Chicago, and now a resident of Chicago, Abunimah has written a book called "One Country: A Bold Proposal to End the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict" and now has a new book "The Battle for Justice in Palestine" for which he is embarking on a speaking tour.  He'll be in Berkeley on April 22.

I'm sure that Ali, as a professional writer and speaker, is more than willing to defend his ideas against challenges-- he is undoubtedly ready to justify his support of BDS and of Hamas, and his calls to eliminate the Jewish people's right to national self-determination.  

So, Ali-- let's have a real debate. Not a circus-like event in front of your river-to-the-sea cheering section, but at a legitimate venue, with a moderator acceptable to both of us. Let's debate what is clearly the core of the issue-- the right of the Jewish people to have a state in at least a portion of the historic Jewish homeland. You want to re-litigate the 1947 endorsement by the United Nations of dividing the British Mandate of Palestine into a Jewish state and an Arab state? Let's have that discussion, with all of its ramifications. 

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Israel: The struggle for equality

You'd never know it by listening to the racist rhetoric of the UCLA divestment hearing last night, or if you've been on campus during the notoriously biased "Israel Apartheid week".  The reality is that Israel has done more to equalize socioeconomic disparities within her society than most countries in the world.  There are some fascinating statistics in this article by Joshua Muravchik , a fellow at the School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) at Johns Hopkins University that go a long way in dispelling the “Israel apartheid” myth, and explaining some of the cultural disparities within Israeli society.

Discussing Israel's Arab citizens and their struggle for equality, he writes:

Consider first health, the best summary measurement of which may be life expectancy. This is higher for Jews than for Arabs in Israel, but not by much. For Jews, the numbers are 83.9 years for women and 80.7 for men. Among Israeli Arabs the number is 80.9 for women and 76.5 for men. According to a study released in 2010 by Ben-Gurion University, the most recent data put the life expectancy of Israeli Arabs overall at 79 years, which is two years less than that of Israeli Jews, but one year more than that of Americans. This is also almost ten years longer, according to UN statistics, than the life expectancy of the Arab world as whole, and longer than for any individual Arab country except Lebanon.

The other main measure of public health is infant mortality. Sikkuy, The Association for the Advancement of Civic Equality, an Israeli advocacy group, reports ‘a large gap in infant mortality between Jews and Arabs: 3.2 vs. 8.0 per thousand live births, respectively.’ Sikkuy’s report acknowledges that the figure for Arabs is driven upward by the Bedouin whose rate is 13 per thousand and is due largely to factors that are not easy for the state to control, to wit, ‘The main reason for infant mortality among the Negev Bedouin is birth defects and hereditary diseases.’ Other data show that Israeli Arabs are far less likely than Jews to submit to prenatal testing of fetuses which presumably means that Jews are more likely to abort abnormal fetuses which also happen to be at higher risk of infant death.
Joshua Muravchik continues his essay, discussing disparities in education and in economics, and Israel's struggles  to achieve equality for all her citizens. Read it all here

Are there disparities in Israel along cultural and religious lines?  Certainly, and Israel is struggling to address them.    What affirmative attention programs are working?   Which ones aren't?  What more needs to be done? People that love Israel, both within her borders and in the galut  are asking these questions. This is a conversation that needs to take place, but this is not a conversation that begins "Israel is an apartheid state"

UCLA rejects Divestment

The UCLA student council has rejected a resolution calling for divestment from five American companies (Caterpillar, General Electric, Hewlett-Packard, Cemex and Cement Roadstone Holdings) that do business in Israel. There are the third California University that has rejected BDS resolutions this school year, following UC Riverside and Cal State San Diego.

The 7-5 vote early today by the Undergraduate Students Association Council followed nine hours of impassioned testimony. Over  500 students attended the meeting. Students from Bruins for Israel led the fight against the resolution, and live-tweeted the proceeding.

The Undergraduate Students Association does not control the university’s investment portfolio and any divestment vote would be a purely symbolic act. The UC Regents have already stated their opposition to divestment from Israel.

Read more about this latest BDS fail at Algemeiner
UCLA Student Council Defeats Anti-Israel Divestment Resolution (VIDEO)

and at Legal Insurrection
UCLA Student Council rejects anti-Israel divestment resolution

and at the Daily Bruin newspaper

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

BDS fail never tasted so good

BDS fail never tasted so good. Jerusalem's famed Cafe Marzipan's rugalach figure prominently on a list from Condé Nast Traveler  of " The Best Desserts in the World (and Where to Get Them)"

This surprises no one. Cafe Marzipan recent made the J Post's list of best bakeries in Jerusalem
Marzipan is most famous for the gooey rugelach. The most popular are the chocolate variation but they’re also available in cinnamon, vanilla, blueberry, sesame seeds, apple, poppy seeds, chocolate chip and cheese danish. 
With the rugelach taking center stage, it’s easy to overlook the bakery’s excellent hallot, cakes, savory pastries, biscuits, meringues and more. The flagship store on Agrippas Street is always teeming with American Yeshiva students and tourists, whereas the Emek Refaim franchise store is a little more suburban and has a small dairy café on site. 

Yummmm.  Sweet.  Yet another BDS fail.

Good Sports. Palestinian style.

 Looks like sports will be the next arena for boycott.

There's a petition (yawn) on There is always a petition on  Anti-Israel activists are asking that membership of the Israeli Football Association (IFA)in the FIFA  be suspended. And there is a new website devoted to the evil spoil sport Israelis and the poor oppressed Palestinians who just want to have fun.

Check it out:   Israeli Occupation Transgressions against Palestinian Sports
In it we learn that "Palestinian Sports lost the following athletes during the Israeli Bombardment of Gaza"

This is the photo they choose to show you of Ayman Al-Kurd: National Team player.

And here's the martyrdom announcement  of Ayman Ahmed Al-Kurd
His blessed efforts for the path of jihad are emphasized and not his good sportmanship

Here's the photo they show you of Wajeeh Mushtaha: Al-Shijayah Union Club player

Even  B' Tselem admits that the 24 year-old resident of Gaza city was killed as he participated in hostilities as a member of the military wing of the Islamic Jihad. 

And check out Emad Al-Najjar, Billiards Federation/player (Yes, apparently billiards is a "sport" in Gaza)

 And now check out Emad's martyrdom announcement
Emad's mom is Fatima Al-Najar  is mentioned in his obituary, so you just know she's someone special.

And yes, she is. She is reported to have been the oldest Palestinian suicide bomber to date, wounding 4 Israeli soldiers in a November 2006 attack.   

Equally fascinating are photos of the Gaza sports facilities damaged in Cast Lead.  (Does "just like the Warsaw ghetto" come to mind?)

These, of course, are the "before " photos.  After their use as launching pads for missiles targeting Israeli civilians, they looked quite different.

This silly little website declares: 

Football, as one of the world’s foremost sports, is all about bringing people together, promoting ethics, and building bridges of friendship between nations, based upon the values of peace and fair competition

The actions of the  athletes on this website had nothing to do with peace, or with building bridges or promoting ethics. These men were simply jihadists and thugs, who died participating in hostile actions against Israel.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Vonvo Seminars on BDS

From the Israel Advocacy group, StandWithUs

Want to learn more about the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel? Its real agenda is the elimination of the state of Israel. Learn how you can eliminate BDS, instead.
StandWithUs (SWU) is proud to present a 3- part live, interactive roundtable discussion series "Standing Up to BDS" on to analyze the BDS movement and effective responses to its tactics. Our first program will focus on universities. Speakers are: Dr Michael Harris, community activist with StandWithUs San Francisco ; Brett Cohen, SWU National Campus Program Director, Hen Mazzig, Campus Coordinator SWU Northwest, and Max Samarov, SWU research assistant. Audience participants can send in questions via the live chat room.

Please join us at 12 noon Eastern 9 AM Pacific, 7 PM Israel time on Sunday March 2 at

Our second program on Sunday March 9 will feature Dr Harris in discussion with Rob Jacobs, director of StandWithUs Northwest and Barbara Mazor, one of the leaders of the successful effort to defeat the BDS movement at the Park Slope Food Co-op in Brooklyn, about ways to counter BDS attempts to coerce community organizations and businesses to boycott Israeli products.

Our third and final event on Sunday March 16 will include Dr Harris as well as Roberta Seid, director of research for StandWithUs, and Peggy Shapiro, Chicago community coordinator for StandWithUs discussing how to stop BDS in the academic community.

All 3 events will all be held at 12 noon Eastern 9 AM Pacific, 7 PM Israel time.

Vonvo recommends people use the browser Google Chrome

Finally instructions for attending and participating are listed below. We hope to see you all there!
to download Google Chrome:



1. Make sure you are using the browser Google Chrome or Firefox (preferably chrome)
2. Good internet connection on your COMPUTER (mobile doesn't work)
3. Login in with your Facebook account to actively participate (not required)


1. Go to using Google Chrome
2. click the "log in with facebook" button and sign in
3. scroll down to the "StandWithUs" channel
4. click the "Join Live Vonvo" button (dropdown will appear)
5. click the "View Live Vonvo" button
6. enjoy the discussion!!

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Chloe Valdary : In defense of liberty

This woman is going places.  

Faced with Seattle blogger Richard Silverstein's belittling racist rant directed at her,  Chloe Valdary fights back, with grace, poise, dignity and intellect. All alien concepts to Silverstein, whose notorious  history has been well documented throughout the web. 

Chloe writes: 

On February 22, a gentleman by the name of Richard Silverstein took considerable issue with an article I wrote in the Times of Israel about the contentions of one Judith Butler, professor at the University of California, Berkley. I find Butler’s analysis regarding the Arab-Israeli conflict lamentably disagreeable.

Silverstein did not point out any possible faulty premises in my column. He did not question the evidence I presented. He did not find I was lacking in my analysis. Instead, to illustrate his (ahem) intellectual prowess, he shared a Facebook status linking to my column and in his commentary, wrote: “They finally did it: found a Negro Zionist: Uncle Tom is dancin’ for joy!”

His intention is obvious: I am an African-American, and Silverstein believes that all African-Americans are monolithic. Indeed, he believes that because of my skin color, I must think, act, and behave in the certain way — a manner in which he perceives black people to be. Like the old white masters in the antebellum American South, Silverstein believes that he and his ilk alone can be the bearers of opinions which must be held by African-Americans. To think for oneself, to formulate an opinion independent of his consent — well now, this is unacceptable. The consequence is a verbal lashing on social media; an attack on my character because of my skin color, and because, I am, as he puts it, “a Negro,” who does not feel the need to make her analysis contingent upon his approbation.

Moreover, I am a Zionist. I am unabashedly pro-Israel, and a proponent of the right of the Jewish people to self-determination in their ancestral homeland. Silverstein is not a Zionist, and because I disagree with him —  like the old slave masters who believed that their view of the world was superior to and should be foisted upon the negro slaves — he contends that I am an “Uncle Tom”  (a derogatory term meaning “house slave,” or one who is subservient and servile to white masters.).

I am certain that Silverstein does not comprehend the irony. After all, white supremacists tend to possess an astounding propensity for cognitive dissonance. It isn’t evident to Silverstein that to assert that a human being must, by virtue of her skin color, behave in a certain manner, is itself prejudicial and bigoted. Silverstein is judging me on the color of my skin, not on the content of my character, or rather, the content of my treatise.
Dexter Van Zile reminds us:
Silverstein’s writing is so hostile toward Israel and his fellow Jews that David Duke, the well-known anti-Semite and Holocaust denier, republished one of his articles and described Silverstein as “an honest Jewish pundit.”

BDS: Losers and Liars

There is an interesting discussion taking place in the comments section of Divest this! (your one stop shopping for all things BDS).

Our old friend Mike asks:
 I have to say, Jon, while I very much respect the work that you are doing here and I value your insights, I cannot escape what seems to be a central contradiction.
On the one hand, you write about the BDS threat as if it is an actual threat to the Jewish people… which it is… but on the other hand you constantly inform us that BDS is failing. 
 If BDS is failing then it is not much of a threat and, therefore, why should anyone care?

Commenter Barbara nails it with her answer

What is BDS really about?
One might naively think its aim is to obtain a settlement between Israel and Palestinians, or perhaps even “justice for Palestinians” – whatever that might mean. The strategy is to apply pressure on an obstinate Israel to make concessions. The tactic is to use economic boycott. In actually recruiting boycotters, their success is minimal.

However, all that is a red herring, and at the same time a means to recruit unsophisticated, well-meaning, under-informed people to support their cause, and promote it.

However, the real aim of the BDS movement is to undermine popular support for the State of Israel (did the last Gallup poll say 72% of Americans hold a favorable opinion of Israel?) The strategy is to create a popular image of Israel as a cruel, evil, racist state whose creation was illegitimate and as a state, wantonly violates international law. The tactic is to use boycott efforts as a means of getting publicity to give voice for this narrative.

So while they don’t get institutions to join their cause, they do get plenty of platform for promoting their lies and distortions. Either way, those accusations cannot be left unanswered.

Why else would  various SJP's and MSA's throughout the UC system continue to put their student associations through the wringer, on a resolution that the Regents have guaranteed  will have zero effect?

Local divestment activist and UC Berkeley graduate Tom Pessah  has freely admitted the resolutions exist solely as a pressure tactic. He and his ilk have repeatedly shown their willingness to sacrifice their student governments' time and energy (for 13 years!)  for a symbolic "victory" worth no more than the paper its written on.
Its all about the noise level, and the student body, or the food coop, or the corner hardware store is just a means to an end.

Divest this! responds to Mike and Barbara:

 ...the war against Israel has always had multiple fronts. 

Originally, it was a traditional war in which the armies of neighboring states played the major role. But when that failed, some states (such as Egypt and Jordan) went for a grudging or de facto peace with Israel, while others moved the conflict to different fronts: unconventional warfare (i.e., terror/surrogate wars) coupled with a propaganda campaign designed to turn a conflict driven by an Muslim/Arab world refusing to accept a non-Arab/Muslim state in their midst to one perceived as the Jewish state refusing to accept a Muslim/Arab (i.e., Palestinian) state in *its* midst.

As that propaganda campaign expanded to include an attempt to characterize Israel as not just intransigent, but Apartheid and even Nazi like, the war moved to different fronts. But ultimately, it is still a war being waged by nation states (over which we have little control) which have succeeded in corrupting major institutions (like the UN), turning them into new fronts in the propaganda war. And when it comes to dealing with organizations like the UN (which represents states, not the people in those states), again there is not much we “civilians” can do (other than expose that corruption, as groups like UNWatch does so effectively).

But as the war moved to our backyards: to my home town, to Barbara’s food coop, to Will Spotts’ Presbyterian Church, that provided us an opening to actually join the battle and win. And winning has two advantages: (1) it empowers those who succeed and motivates them to fight further afield (which is why you’re reading what you’re reading now; and (2) it helps break the propagandists momentum and makes it that much harder for them to either corrupt a civic organization to their cause or have their accusations accepted at face value (since, remember, BDS has been exposed as not just a loser, but also a liar).

So that’s why I don’t see a contradiction between urging a continued fight against the BDS threat while also treating it like the loser it is. History is awash with little men and women who have been able to seize control and do huge amounts of damage because good people didn’t stop them. The fight against BDS both stops the bad guys and gives the good guys hope that they can achieve something if they just gin up the strength and resolve to join the fight.

In Summary.
BDS is full of losers and liars. Expose them. Because when we fight back we win.

BDS is all wet in California.

About two-thirds of California is facing “extreme” or “exceptional” drought with  this years' cumulative rainfall at an historically low level. In troubled times like this, California water authorities have turned to the world's expert on water issues-  Israel.   In Israel, desalination provides about one-quarter of the country’s water supply. 75 percent of the country’s sewage is reclaimed, the highest percentage in the world, and over 50 percent of water used in agriculture comes from treated sewage.

An Israeli company is currently involved in building what is expected to be America's largest seawater desalination plant    The $922 million plant is being developed by Israel's IDE Technologies working alongside a local company,  Poseidon Resources Corp. By its completion in 2016,  the plant in Carlsbad, California will be able to provide 50 million gallons of potable water a day. 15 additional plants have been proposed. Ultimately, desalinated water is expecting to provide about 10 percent of the county’s supply.

From the Bloomberg news:

Six decades of providing water in a country that’s 60 percent desert have made Israel a technological leader in the field, a model that points the way for drought-stricken California. 

Desalination of sea water, reuse of treated sewage for agriculture, software creating an early-warning system for leaks, computerized drip irrigation and careful accounting of every drop have become the norm in Israel, the world’s 40th biggest economy.
“This is the one supply that San Diego County is investing in that is truly drought-proof,” said Poseidon senior VP Peter MacLaggan. "It does cost more, but it has some reliability benefits that are very important to the regional economy.”
Avraham Tenne, head of the Desalination Division at Israel’s Water Authority offers this advice to drought weary Californians:
In the meantime, Californians should learn to conserve water, Tenne said. Raising prices, education to reduce waste, and cutting back on grassy areas are some of the methods that Israel has used to cut back on consumption, which is currently about 90 cubic meters per year per person, compared with 170 in California. 

“We do a lot of things, not just desalination,” Tenne said. “These are all things that California can do.”

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Richard Silverstein Loses it . Again

Chloe Valdary is an impressive young women. Just 19, and a student of international relations at the University of New Orleans,  she has started a pro-Israel student group on her campus called Allies of Israel   This is particularly remarkable because the University of New Orleans campus  has less than 100 Jewish students.

From the United With Israel Website:
Chloe is a special young woman, who was raised to believe in the “notion of walking before G-d in an upright and just manner,” as well as the principle of speaking the truth, “no matter how unpleasant it may be to dissenting naysayers.” Also, Chloe was brought up to greatly value the study of history. One of the books in her family’s library is Josephus’s Antiquities of the Jews. As she studied history, Chloe, as an African American woman, saw many parallels between her own peoples’ history and that of the Jewish people. According to Chloe, “Both of our peoples were enslaved for extensive periods of time and so from a historical standpoint, we share that history. […] The awareness of my history and my people’s history inevitably led me to the point I am at today.” Thus, these ethics that Chloe was raised with are what prepared her to become the pro-Israel activist that she is today.

In response to this brave and articulate young woman, Seattle blogger Richard Silverstein references the most trite and offensive stereotype, posting  a despicable comment on his Facebook page "They finally did it: found a Negro Zionist: Uncle Tom is dancin' for joy!"

This is offensive on so many levels. Silverstein's lilting "step 'n fetch it" language is demeaning to all. That he purports to know what the African American community believes- and that he implies that they are of one mind and speak with one voice is condescending.    And his implication that Chloe is some how under the "control" of a nefarious  "They"- the implied world wide Zionist conspiracy, is again beyond the pale.  His abject ignorance of the historic context of African American  support for Zion- the historic homeland of the Jewish people (Bayard Rustin? Dr. Martin Luther King, anyone?) is appalling

 How many people can Richard Silverstein offend in 140 characters or less?  That this is a typical pattern of behavior for Richard Silverstein doesn't make it excusable.

This article, written by Chloe Valdary and originally published in the Times of Israel is what set off the latest tantrum from Silverstein: Discussing anti-Israel professor Judith Butler, Chloe writes:

Therefore, in the literal sense, Butler indeed advocates for ethnic cleansing. This is the extrapolation of her doctrine to its logical conclusion. Cohabitation is her highest moral order. Even if the people one is cohabiting with want to kill you. Cohabitation is the ends. Ignoring the facts on the ground, denying a people their right to an identity, and therefore discriminating against them, and lying about Palestinian society,  these are all the means. This will inevitably lead to genocide and murder, and therefore, ethnic cleansing, the exact opposite of what Butler claims to want.

But we who live in the real world filled with tyrants and dictators who desire to murder and annihilate populations from off the face of the earth are not duped by the pseudo-intellectual ramblings of a confused professor who contradicts herself at every turn. Indeed, we cannot afford to be swayed by her musings. We will not adopt her inane circular arguments at the expense of our children’s lives. We recognize anti-Semitism when we see it and it is no less odious when it comes from a prominent figure in academia.

So in this endeavor for morality and justice, we, the proud Zionist community of America, rose up. We lit up the phone lines of the Jewish Museum in New York and demanded that this event be canceled. We organized on social media, we emailed, we protested. We, this people, with a history, and a creed, and a culture, and a cause,  which we intend to perpetuate with every fiber of our being, rose up and affected positive and meaningful change. And we have every intention to continue this fight for the right to be free.
Typical Silverstein. Faced with intellectual analysis and logic, he responds with crude insults, even expressing his disbelief that Chloe could have written the post herself.

Be strong Chloe. And thank you for your efforts.  You inspire multitudes.


As of this afternoon, Richard Silverstein has removed all traces of this post from his Facebook page. Likely he  realized the delicious irony of calling  someone else an "Uncle Tom"

Thursday, February 20, 2014

The Nightmare is Over at San Francisco State University

The nightmare for Israeli students, Jewish students and pro-Israel students at San Francisco State University is finally coming to an end.  Mohammad G. Hammad,  President of the General Union of Palestinians students  (GUPS) at SFSU is no longer a student

Thank you to all of you.  Because of your calls to San Francisco State University and multiple inquiries from reporters yesterday, university administrators have stated that Mohammad Hammad is no longer enrolled at SFSU and is no longer living on campus.  

In addition, today we spoke with the SF Police Department Office of Special Investigation, and the sergeant informed us that Hammad is being investigated by the Joint Terrorism Task Force and the FBI. 

We remain concerned that the terrorist ideology espoused by Hammad is embraced by other members of the student organization he ran, GUPS, and we will continue to closely monitor the investigation and the GUPS group. 

Thank you again for everything you did to help ensure the safety of Jewish students at SFSU. 

Tammi Rossman-Benjamin and Leila Beckwith
AMCHA Initiative Co-founders

Mohammad's reaction?

At least Hammad is self aware enough to realize that being investigated by the Joint Terrorism Task Force and the FBI is a rather "serious turn".

Of course, the real thanks are due to the team at AMCHA, who have tirelessly pursued this until its ultimate conclusion.

Presbyterians visit Soda Stream, declare it "Good for Peace"

We've known it for years. Not only is the home carbonation device Soda Stream great for the environment, its great for peace.  More political, cultural, and economic interactions are the key to peace between the Palestinians and the Israelis. Not isolation and boycotts.  And now the Presbyterians know it , too. The  Soda Stream factory employs 1300 employees. 500 are Palestinian Arabs. 450 are Israeli Arabs and Jews The company sees its factory as an oasis of peace, and provides full benefits, and equal wages for all its employees.

 From Arutz Sheva
 A delegation of 14 leaders from the Presbyterian clergy, a church that in the past supported boycotting Israeli products manufactured in Judea and Samaria (Shomron), arrived last week to visit Israel.

The visit was organized by the America-Israel Friendship League (AIFL); the delegates' goal was to discover Israel personally and to better understand the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Representatives from the Presbyterian Church, which has an estimated six million followers, visited the Soda Stream factory which is located in Maaleh Adumim, east of Jerusalem. They spoke to representatives from the management and several employees.

 The Presbyterian delegates told representatives from Soda Stream that the visit to the factory strengthened their belief that the location of the factory enhances the business as well as the interpersonal relations between the Israelis and Palestinians and that they will express their support of Israel to the church administration and followers.
Is this why normalization is such a dirty word for anti-Israel activists?  Are they terrified that people will see the real Israel, and that the house of cards they've built on a foundation of lies will crumble?
Ruby Shamir, Executive Director of AIFL Israel, stated, "These days when there are many voices calling to boycott Israel both in the business and academia regions, it is crucial to bring leaders and influential figures to change these ideas and to help form a positive and supportive opinion about Israel. This is yet another step towards the mission of the AIFL which is to strengthen the relationships between the American and Israeli people."

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Elder of Ziyon presents: How to counter the 20 most popular anti-Israel arguments

The well known, ok, ok, the best darn blogger out there, the Elder of Ziyon presents a youtube:  How to counter the 20 most popular anti-Israel arguments.  Check it out, and share it widely.

Gallup Poll: 72% of Americans view Israel favorably

According to a new Gallup poll, of all the countries of the Middle east, only Israel is viewed favorably by Americans. 72% of those surveyed  viewed  Israel positively, up from 66% last year.

Only 19% regarded the Palestinian Authority favorably.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

SFSU GUPS President Mohammad Hammad allegedly posts more threats

From Columbine to Sandy Hook, the stories of shootings and violence in our schools and universities have been heartbreaking.   Invariably people look back at the seriously disturbed assailants and ask the same questions. How could someone with these violent proclivities slip under the radar? Why didn’t someone notice? Why didn’t someone do something, anything, proactively, to prevent the horror?

The President of the General Union of Palestinian students at San Francisco State University, Mohammad Hammad first came into scrutiny by publishing a selfie with a knife, describing his fantasy of stabbing an Israeli soldier.  Apparently, it was not an isolated incident taken out of context. More allegations have since been made public, reported by the AMCHA initiative- a  group devoted to keeping Jewish students- and all students- safe on campus.  The “political” nature of Hammad's reported threats and his glorification of violence make them no less horrific. Equally as troublesome is the complete silence of GUPS ,the General Union of Palestinian Students at SFSU and the local Arab and activist community in denouncing his words and his behavior.
Are our schools doing enough to keep our students safe?  Read Mohammad Hammad's alleged contributions to social media via the AMCHA Initiative, and  answer that yourself. If you were an Israeli student, a Jewish student, or a student who supported Israel would you feel comfortable with him on campus? Are crude threats and intimidation really protected as "free speech" or as legitimate academic discourse?

  • In response to the question, "do you really condone violence?" Hammad answered, " I have a PFLP flag in my room and thing it's great when an IDF soldier trips on his own mine, if that answers your question."
  • "So a few years ago, I managed to meat [sic] a branch commander of the PFLP...There is something really empowering and just good feeling about actually conversing, meeting, and just being around these people who fight for the freedom of our people, while being labeled 'terrorists' by the entire Western World."
  • "So apparently there's a rumor going around in Palestine that I've joined the armed resistance...that's an awesome rumor..."
  • In response the comment, "the pflp is a terrorist organization and legitimizes why everyone calls you a terrorist", Hammad wrote: I've stayed at the home of a branch commander and had dinner with his family. I've also participated in marches and gone to lunch with armed fighters. Guess that makes me a huge terrorist and you should be afraid, because I know where you live"
  • Underneath the photograph of a group of armed, masked fighters bearing the caption "Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, Hammad wrote: "I love these guys"
  • Hammad wrote on top of the image of the PFLP logo, "I just convinced my cousin to get the PFLP logo as a tattoo/I am so happy"
  • The caption underneath a picture of a long sword read: "I want it. Imagine me cutting off the heads of those in the IDF with this"
  • "There are children shouting outside and I want to set them on fire"
  • "I think about killing a lot/and some of you are usually the targets of my daydreams :)"
  • "The only peace I want regarding US soldiers is their head/That's a piece I'm willing to accept"
  • "Let's play a game:/Objective: Kill US soldiers/Goal: World peace"
  • "I have a mental list of people I would pee on and then set on fire"
  • "I think about the time I tried to be - moderate - and advocate for non-violence and honestly I just want to go back in time and slit my own throat/and then the throats of all my enemies before they grow up into the shits they are today"
  • "Oh/And tomorrow is [hopefully] the day that I find out if I will be the President of the General Union of Palestine at my school/...Hopefully I'll be able to radicalize half of our population and bring them back with me as fighters~"
  • "For context - Hillel is the [extremely well funded] Pro-Israeli group on campus, and they have repeatedly painted our group GUPS [General Union of Palestinian Students] as a terror group and screwed us over to no end/...I hope they all trip down the stairs and break their necks :)"
  • Someone asked Hammad, "how can I actively support palestine?", and he answered "Buy a keffieyh/Learn to tie it around your head [I'm willing to teach via Skype~~]/Get in touch with some PFLP militants or arms dealer in the West Bank/Learn IDF patrol routes/???/Boom/Thanks for your help comrade"
  • Hammad posted a message on Tumblr as he was sitting in class listening this his International Political Economy teacher. Another blogger posted the question, "Are you or will you soon be eating his flesh"? Hammad responded: "It is a she and she is pregnant and I may be hungry but I don't think I can down them both...The is the same professor who tried to justify drones last semester, and the professor whose classes I have skipped the most/I severely dislike her"

You can see all of Hammad's violent postings HERE.

The AMCHA Initiative has been under fire by the Electronic Intifada, an extremist agitprop website because of its work and has been condemned for attempting to protect students from precisely these sorts of threats.  Show AMCHA some love- follow them on Facebook and on Twitter.

Via the Jewish press

Although Robert Nava, SFSU’s vice president for university development, initially told The Jewish Press by telephone that SFSU was engaged in the process of discipline with respect to Hammad, he later called back to provide a far more definitive statement. Nava said that the student we had been discussing – Mohammad Hammad - “is no longer a student on campus.” Hammad no longer is in student housing and he is no longer enrolled at SFSU.
Although Robert Nava, SFSU’s vice president for university development, initially told The Jewish Press by telephone that SFSU was engaged in the process of discipline with respect to Hammad, he later called back to provide a far more definitive statement. Nava said that the student we had been discussing – Mohammad Hammad - “is no longer a student on campus.” Hammad no longer is in student housing and he is no longer enrolled at SFSU.

Read more at:
Although Robert Nava, SFSU’s vice president for university development, initially told The Jewish Press by telephone that SFSU was engaged in the process of discipline with respect to Hammad, he later called back to provide a far more definitive statement. Nava said that the student we had been discussing – Mohammad Hammad - “is no longer a student on campus.” Hammad no longer is in student housing and he is no longer enrolled at SFSU.

Read more at:

Monday, February 17, 2014

The Druze: Willing to fight and die for the State of Israel

 Via the IDF blog:

The beret march of the all-Druze Herev Battalion is unlike any other in the IDF. It’s a long march not through the wilderness, but through the lands they defend, and the villages of their families.  

The Herev Battalion is unique in the IDF. It’s fighters are all Druze, all from the same community, and nearly all from the northern Galilee. The march itself snakes through the seven villages where most of the soldiers are from. They stop in each village where their families wait to cheer them on, and lay out a smorgasbord of food, coffee and tea.

Check it out:

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Five Minutes for Israel: Report Facebook blood libel page

Our friends at Five Minutes for Israel ask

By what possible Community Standard does Facebook think a page devoted to Jewish ritual murder aka the Blood Libel is acceptable and not hate speech?

The story:
A repulsive and anti-Semitic Facebook page entitled Jewish Ritual Murder was been repeatedly reported to Facebook as being in violation of community standards. Facebook has refused to remove this classic blood libel.

Five Minutes for Israel suggests:

Action Item

  • Report the page Jewish ritual murder. As we discovered in Facebook lowers the bar Facebook divides administration of complaints between four centres: two in the US, one in Dublin and the other in Hyderabad, India. Perhaps where the complaint is handled makes a difference? Perhaps even who handles it? I have never received a reply so quickly (20 mins tops) as this one. Next shift may look at it differently.
  • When they send you a note, you can rate their service. There is a suggestion that only on the 2nd appeal will someone actually look at your complaint (the first time maybe is just an automatic software function). [HT Rotem Abstructure]
Couldn't hurt to try.  Go for it, and let us know what happens.

San Diego State University divestment resolution to be debated

A tiny group of extremist students at San Diego State University are hoping their school will become the first school in the CSU system to divest from Israel.  In spite of their public rhetoric about equality, justice and equal rights, the movement at SDSU is about branding Israel as an apartheid state,  and as such, a unique evil in the world.

All nations are flawed, after all, but to the BDS'ers, only Israel, unique in all the world is so inherently evil that it must be done away with.

Its not only about "companies that support the occupation" either.   The hastag used by this SDSU student is #Boycott Israel

The Aztecs for Israel are fighting back. Signs such as this are appearing all over campus. Good for them, fighting the message of BDS hate with love.

Wishing the Aztecs for Israel the best of luck as they continue to fight back against the bigoted BDS movement  currently dividing their campus

Saturday, February 15, 2014

BDS fail: Code Pink uses Israeli web platform for their new website

Even by Code Pink standards, its a doozy.  (Via CIF Watch, on twitter)

Code Pink's new website, promoting its Woman's delegation to Gaza was created using Wix  Its a great choice with cloud-based web development , easy templates, and no coding required.  It might be the first smart act we've seen from Code Pink in a long time.

They overlooked one crucial thing. Code Pink is one of the leaders of the BDS movement, and Wix is an Israeli company. Ooops. BDS fail

From its Wikipedia entry:

Wix was founded in 2006 by Avishai Abrahami, Nadav Abrahami and Giora Kaplan. The company, headquartered in Tel Aviv, with offices in San Francisco, New York City, Dnipropetrovsk, and Vilnius, is backed by investors Insight Venture Partners, Mangrove Capital Partners, Bessemer Venture Partners and Benchmark Capital.

It entered an open beta phase in 2007 using a platform based on Adobe Flash.

By April 2010 Wix had 3.5 million users and raised $10 million in Series C funding provided by Benchmark Capital and existing investors Bessemer Venture Partners and Mangrove Capital Partners.A year later, in March 2011, Wix had 8.5 million users and raised $40 million in Series D funding, bring its total funding to date to $61 million

 If you do anything web-based, Israeli tech is hard to avoidTo avoid being a BDS hypocrite, you're going to need to to live like this guy.   

Good luck with that.

Dumisani Washington: MLK Jr's pro Israel legacy

Written by Dumisani Washington, a pastor, author, composer and educator in Northern California. He is currently working on a book, Zionism and the Black Church: Why Standing With Israel Will Be a Defining Issue for Christians of Color in the 21st Century.  Dumisani formed the Institute for Black Solidarity with Israel (IBSI) in 2013, dedicated to strengthening the relationship between Israel and the Jewish people, and people of African descent through education and advocacy.

The Institute for Black Solidarity with Israel is doing good work.   Check them out on Facebook.

This article originally appeared in the Times of Israel
 Since his death, many groups have attempted to use the name of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. as champion of their cause. His timeless quotes are applied to all things related to social justice, equality and political freedom. Of course, in addition to being a beacon for all of the above, Dr. King was also a staunch supporter of the State of Israel, and loyal friend to the Jewish people. Yet this historical, indisputable fact does not seem to faze anti-Zionists who also claim Dr. King’s posthumous blessing on their agenda. How do they reconcile such a blatant discrepancy? They simply label the Palestinians as victims and the Israelis as perpetrators, and voila: Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere, becomes an obvious condemnation of the Jewish State.

The problem is, we have Dr. King’s unambiguous words supporting Israel, and none of his words to the contrary. In fact, his most full-throated endorsement of Israel may surprise you, not just because of its content, but its context.

 It was March 26, 1968 – 10 days before Dr. King’s assassination. He was the honored guest at the 68th Annual Convention of the Rabbinical Assembly for Conservative Judaism. During an interview in which Rabbi Gendler read questions submitted by the group, Dr. King was asked specifically about African-American support for Israel. The question itself is a topic for a separate article, but on to Dr. King’s answer:

I think it is necessary to say that what is basic and what is needed in the Middle East is peace. Peace for Israel is one thing. Peace for the Arab side of that world is another thing. Peace for Israel means security, and we must stand with all of our might to protect its right to exist, its territorial integrity. I see Israel, and never mind saying it, as one of the great outposts of democracy in the world, and a marvelous ex­ample of what can be done, how desert land almost can be transformed into an oasis of brotherhood and democracy. Peace for Israel means security and that security must be a reality.

These words are powerful at face value. What is even more powerful is the realization that King spoke them almost a full year after the 1967 (Six Day) War in which Israel preemptively attacked Egypt, Jordan and Syria. When the War ended, Israel had regained control of Judea and Samaria (West Bank), as well as Gaza and the Sinai desert.

Read it all here

Join the IBSI next week throughout the Bay Area

"Israel: A Cultural and Political Discussion", The pro-Israel legacy of Dr. King, and who the real abusers of the Palestinians' human rights are.

 Monday, Feb 17 - San Francisco State @ 4:30pm, Hillel House ( this a JIMENA /IBSI event featuring Rachel Wahba)
Tuesday, Feb. 18 - UC Berkeley @ 7:30pm, Wheeler Building, Room 0213
Wednesday, Feb. 19 - UC Davis @ 6:30pm, Giedt Hall, Room 1002
Thursday, Feb. 20 - San Jose State @ 7:00pm, Martin Luther King Library
Friday, Feb. 21 - UC Santa Cruz (exact time and place TBD)
Saturday, Feb. 22 - The Congregation of Zion (Stockton) @ 11:00am