Thursday, March 18, 2010
The Definition of Israel Apartheid Week:
1. The Definition of Israel Apartheid Week:
Israel Apartheid Week is the week in which the Western campus Hitlerjugend demonstrate against and call for the destruction of the only Middle East country that is NOT an apartheid regime!
"I'd do this Again in a New York Minute"
By: DAN VERBIN
Published: March 17th 2010
After his motion denouncing Israeli Apartheid Week was unanimously passed by the Ontario Legislature, Thornhill Progressive Conservative MPP Peter Shurman expected that haters and anti-Semites might crawl out of the woodwork.
What he did not expect was to be on the receiving end of the biggest barrage of hate he has so far received in his more than two years in office. Responses after the February 25 voice vote that condemned Israeli Apartheid Week, a controversial two-week long campus event that is highly critical of Israel's treatment of the Palestinians, have been mostly negative.
And while some of the correspondence has been of a supportive nature, a large number of the emails been hateful and anti-Semitic. Besides receiving multiple form letters from interest groups supporting Israeli Apartheid Week, Sherman has been addressed as the "Minister of Kikes", "The Nazi" and called other terms using "four-letter language" that he said he would rather not repeat.
With the Legislature's unanimous denouncement of Israeli Apartheid Week featured in US, Europe, and Middle Eastern media and on many blogs, hate mail has come from all over the world, something that Shurman called "unexpected" – discussion of his resolution lasted only "twelve little minutes."
"It's remarkable," Shurman told Shalom Life. He said that obscure blogs he has never heard of before are "calling me every name under the sun."
Shurman, a former CFRB talk radio host, said that the intent behind his motion was to challenge the perception that Israeli Apartheid Week, on its sixth year, is an intelligent discussion. He said that the event centres on a false premise – that Israel is an Apartheid state – in an attempt to stifle free discussion of the Middle East.
"The premise of the resolution was that your freedom of speech can never trump mine. That's the essence of our country." he said. "When you say Israeli Apartheid Week, you curtail my ability to speak to that because you've already decided. That's what (my resolution) was talking about. I could not debate the peace process in 12 minutes. I think I successfully debated an issue that effects publicly funded campuses in Ontario."
He said that security at Queen's Park has vetted the emails to make sure that he is not in danger.
"I've received support from all my colleagues in the PC caucus, including today," he said, noting that the rest of the Legislature is also supportive of him.
Shurman is not the only Ontario MPP experiencing a hateful reaction to the Legislature's vote. Several Liberal MPPS have also received hate emails.
Shurman noted that he is especially concerned about the reaction that MPP Cheri DiNovo (Parkdale-High Park) has received after she spoke in favour of his resolution in the Legislature. While Shurman has so far not received any death threats, the NDP MPP who is out of the country this week has received numerous threats, describing the backlash in a Toronto Star interview as "unbearable."
"The fact that she's the one who's apparently getting the death threats speaks to people who feel that her NDP affiliation has somehow been betrayed by the positions she took. I think nothing could be further from the truth," said Shurman.
DiNovo, a United Church Minister, was accused on Facebook of brandishing the "Zionist Playbook." A discussion on website rabble.ca wondered if the MPP had "self-destructed" or "gone over the deep end."
"DiNovo's debate to the resolution was from all points of view quite benign," Shurman said. "What she talked about was trying to find a way for us all to live in peace with each other even though we have opposing views. She tried to address the central theme of the resolution which was if we sit down and talk about our differences in a respectful way then maybe we can find some resolutions."
Shurman said that the volume of hate he has received is by far the biggest since he was elected, even outnumbering the emails he received after putting forward a resolution to end the contentious strike at York University a year and a half ago.
Given that many of the emails he has received contain "appalling" hate speech, Shurman refuses to back down. He would not hesitate to put forward a similar resolution next year.
"I'd do it again in a New York minute," he said. "It was time that somebody shoved this stuff down the throats of the haters and I'm happy to have been an instrument of that."
The Gaza siege myth
Amid 'siege' claims, Gaza enjoying more aid than quake-ravaged Haiti
United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon is set to arrive in Israel to visit the Gaza Strip amidst demands to end a so-called siege on the terrorist-controlled territory. Yet one has to ask what siege, or blockade, he is referring to, with 738,576 tons of humanitarian aid being transferred into the Gaza Strip in 2009.
Moreover, the UN has provided $200 million in Gaza Strip aid following a military operation that reportedly claimed 1,300 fatalities amongst a population of less than 1.5 million – meanwhile, notwithstanding plans to raise more funds, it has provided only $10 million to natural disaster victims in Haiti as of the end of January, an earthquake that claimed the lives of over 230,000 people and affected over 3 million. Of course, that is without mentioning that Haitians have not been attacking an innocent nearby civilian population for a near decade.
The international community has bought into a bold-faced lie about an Israeli siege on the Gaza Strip while ignoring the facts on the ground. International humanitarian aid has been flowing rapidly into the Gaza Strip for years and in no way stopped after Operation Cast Lead, as 30,576 aid trucks entered the territory in 2009. In 2009, 4,883 tons of medical equipment entered the Gaza Strip. Just last month, a new CAT scan machine was brought into the Strip.
The world's largest prison?
The Gaza Strip has also been referred to as "the world's largest prison", implying that residents are not being able to exit the territory. Yet in 2009, 10,544 patients and their companions left the Gaza Strip for medical treatment in Israel, and last week alone nearly 500 patients and companions from Gaza entered Israel for treatment.
Meanwhile, US government officials such as Congressmen Keith Ellison and Brian Baird, both of which visited Sderot with the Sderot Media Center, have promoted the idea of a "Gaza Siege." They must be ignoring the fact that US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton pledged $900 million in aid to be sent to the Gaza Strip following Operation Cast Lead. A USAID and DOD report calculating the aid sent to the quake-raved Haiti noted that, as of last month, all US government programs provided just over $700 million in aid, nearly $200 million less than to the terrorist-controlled Gaza Strip.
Over a year has passed since Operation Cast Lead and the international community is still buying into the lie about a "Gaza Siege." Meanwhile, the Sderot Media Center has reported that over 320 rockets and mortars have hit Israel in that same year. Indeed, Ban Ki-moon should be visiting Kibbutz Nirim to see where a rocket destroyed a building just last week, instead of helping promote a myth by visiting the Gaza Strip.
Jacob Shrybman is the Assistant Director of the Sderot Media Center, www.SderotMedia.org.il
4. Isracampus Translation: The following Op-Ed page by Shlomo Sand appeared in YNET (the web site of Yediot Ahronot) in Hebrew on Feb 24, 2010 at http://www.ynet.co.il/articles/0,7340,L-3853788,00.html
The Memorial Agent versus the Essence of our Existence
By Shlomo Sand
Netanyahu could have invested millions to fund the dwindling study of history in the school system and universities. However, piles of stones have always been more useful for manufacturing and reproducing rigid, impervious national memory.
In 1996, Binyamin Netanyahu announced the opening of the Western Wall Tunnel in the Moslem Quarter of the Old City, explaining that Israelis visiting the site would bring us closer in touch with the "essence of our existence".
In the wake of the riots that erupted from this foolhardy political move, more than 70 Palestinians and 17 IDF soldiers were killed. They were forgettable victims who were simply sacrificed, and not for the first time, upon the altar of a mythological fuzzy past. Herod the Edomite Jew, who initiated the building of the Western Wall at a cruel and bloody price, would most likely be amused at the long-term consequences of his historical undertaking.
Jump forward to the year 2010, when Israel's Prime Minister has decided to include the Patriarchs Tomb and Rachel's Tomb in the list of National Heritage sites, to be preserved lest we forget the nation's history. Unfortunately, Netanyahu did not read the latest archeological studies claiming that Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, those famous camel riders who "lived and roamed" according to the finest Biblical fantasies, during a period where camels were still undomesticated.
In addition, one must bear in mind that our Prime Minister is the son of a historian, who was unfairly turned away from academia in Israel and forced to wander foreign lands, together with his family. Therefore it is not surprising that Netanyahu has suddenly decided to budget NIS 500,000,000 for the preservation of heritage sites that belong to the past. True, he could have handed over the funds instead to the state educational system or to the universities and fund the dwindling study of history. However, piles of stones have always been more useful for manufacturing and reproducing rigid, impervious national memory.
Only sound and light shows projected on to the silent stone walls can withstand the outburst of cultural globalization and the deluge of internet sites flooding young minds, making them more and more cosmopolitan.
Beyond the ideological aspect, there is also a political problem regarding the heritage sites that have been added to Netanyahu's list. The Tomb of the Patriarchs and Rachel's Tomb are not with the jurisdiction of the State of Israel, but rather that of the Palestinian Authority. After all, the government of Israel continues to ladle out money to Israeli settlers who have abandoned their own state in order to settle in an area that Israel stubbornly refuses to take under its sovereignty. So why not also fund memorial sites that are not part of its territory?
No need to worry, the son of the national historian winks at us from the pinnacle of his historian heights. Some still have not grasped that all the peace prattle and talk of recognition of a Palestinian State were meant simply to please the ear of some naive American president. The Tomb of the Patriarchs in Hebron and Rachel's Tomb in Bethlehem, and for that matter also, Joseph's Tomb in Nablus, will all remain sites under the control of a strong Israel. It is true that they interfere a bit with Israel trying to set up the formation of a second Indian-like Reservation, in addition to the one in Gaza.
However, an enormous reshuffling perhaps in the shape of an all-out war with Iran might open up alternative demographic options, making way for the annexation of the precious memorial heritage sites that preserve the eternal nation.
In the framework of the governmental declarations it has also been stated that Abraham, Isaac and Jacob are the "Fathers of the Nation." And here I thought that they were really Theodore Herzl, Max Nordau or Vladimir Jabotinsky. Thank Heavens that I was mistaken; otherwise Netanyahu would declare the casino house where the first Zionist Congress took place in Basel as a heritage site and would propose investing additional millions for its preservation. For it was there that Herzl gambled, and later claimed the Jewish State was founded. It seems more and more that it was indeed a fateful gamble.