Wednesday, June 23, 2010
The Airhead President of Ben Gurion University Discovers some "Verbal Violence"
Spy against Israel and get a Cash Grant from the Israel Government!!
1. Alas, you are going to think this is another Plaut spoof. It ain't. A convicted terrorist has just been awarded 30,000 shekels or about $8000 dollars by an Israeli court because his release from prison was delayed for 81 days. It seems that one Jareis Jareis, an Arab from the Galilee, was sentenced to hard prison time for his terrorist activities in the PLO. He was convicted in 2006 for espionage and passing security information to Iran. He signed a plea agreement to do 34 months, and in which the prosecutor agreed to recommend parole for him after that. When he actually came up for parole, the prosecutor recanted, in light of new information from the Shin Bet that he still represented an acute security threat. So he did some extra time.
He got himself a lawyer when he got out and filed a suit against the state for 425 thousand shekels for making him do his fuller (but not full) sentence, longer than the original plea deal. And he filed it in Nazareth court, where most of the lower court judges are Arabs. In this case a Jewish judge, Yoav Friedman, heard the case. He awarded the terrorist the 30 grand. Tax free.
Now just to put that into perspective, there are very few Israelis who make that much money in 81 days working at jobs. And Jareis was getting free home-cooked food in prison and the latest DVDs during his 81 day paid vacation!
(in Hebrew here: http://www.haaretz.co.il/hasite/spages/1175735.html )
2. Thought you might like this one. I have long argued that the average journalist is not qualified to sell fries with your burger or work as a janitor. Today's newspapers in Israel are carrying the front page story: Merrill Lynch reports that the number of millionaires in Israel rose 43% in 2009 compared with 2008. Their definition of a millionaire is a bit strange: it is without housing or real estate, just financial assets of a household being over a million dollars. Naturally the leftist journalists are having a field day. In the middle of the financial crisis, with ordinary Israelis struggling, they opine, the greedy capitalists just make themselves richer. And so on.
Only one little itsy bitsy problem. The real reason behind the 43% increase in the number of Israeli millionaires, in fact probably the only reason, was the sharp drop in the dollar, which made the shekel wealth of a lot of Israelis suddenly worth more than a million dollars, even if the shekel value itself dropped or did not change. Not a single journalist in Israel got it right!!!
Wednesday, June 23, 2010
Wanted: a felonious pre-schooler guilty of producing this piece of verbal violence!
The Nana news site in Hebrew reports that the District Attorney of southern Israel has officially accused Ben Gurion University of sponsoring treasonous activities against the state of Israel. The event in question was a conference run by Ben Gurion University arch-anti-Israel extremist Prof. Oren Yiftachel, and was devoted to helping Bedouins illegally seize lands that do not belong to them in the Negev. The News First Class web site reported this week that a large number of parents of students at Ben Gurion University sent an enraged letter to the president of the University, Rivka Carmi, and demanded that she do something about the large number of courses in which students are subjected to non-stop anti-Israel indoctrination. (In Hebrew, here) They were particularly angry that so many BGU faculty members were proclaiming Israeli soldiers criminals and murderers.
So what does Madame Airhead, Rivka Carmi, decide to do in this matter? She issues a letter backing Neve Gordon!. She actually has a long track record of praising and supporting Gordon, although she did denounce him after his LA Times piece calling for a worldwide boycott of Israel and Israeli universities. He failed to show the courage of his convictions by boycotting BGU himself and resigning.
Let me explain. Gordon, as you know, is a faculty member at BGU who has built an entire "academic" career on churning out anti-Israel hate propaganda, mixed with the occasional communist diatribe. He is a mix between Norman Finkelstein and Ilan Pappe, except in the case of the other two, their universities exhibited some integrity.
This week Gordon ran to Haaretz and claimed ecstatically that he had gotten a letter threatening to kill him. Haaretz scanned the entire letter, printed it, and devoted a large news story to this. The letter was written in a child's handwriting and said "I will be coming to Ben Gurion to kill you." It was signed in handwriting "Im Tirtzu" by someone clearing trying to implicate the Im Tirtzu Zionist student organization. (The Im Tirtzu responded to reporter questions of whether they had any connection with the letter by saying the question was beneath contempt.) Now can you think of anyone who might want to do that? The word "coming" in the letter however was smudged, and the Hebrew word for "I will be coming" also looks much like "I will be telling," which is how I read it when I saw it in Haaretz. It matters, because a letter that says "I will be telling Ben Gurion to kill you" is even more clearly a prank than the alternative reading.
Be that as it may, Gordon ran to the media and waved about his martyr's stigmata, gaining all the attention he could get for himself, and of course blaming those people who dare to criticize the political activities and opinions of Israel's anti-Israel leftist academics. (Can you think of anyone who does THAT?) . So Rivka Carmi, the president of BGU with the well-ventilated cranium, decided to assist him in this. She issued her own letter, denouncing the "verbal violence" against poor Neve Gordon and denouncing Im Tirtzu.
Now let's back up a little here. Neve Gordon recently issued a statement endorsing the violent terrorist attacks against IDF troops by the Gaza flotilla terrorists. A different faculty member at BGU filed a police complaint about Gordon's endorsement of that violence. But THIS is NOT verbal violence that controls Carmi. Gordon also led that campaign to get Israeli General Aviv Kochavi indicted in Europe after Gordon falsely accused him of being a murderer and war criminal. Kochavi had to cancel plans to study in the UK lest he be legally harassed there or attacked there violently because of Gordon. But THAT is not verbal violence. Gordon has a track record of proclaiming terrorist violence against Jews "understandable," and Gordon himself, you recall, went to Ramallah to interfere with the army apprehending wanted Palestinian murderers being hidden in Arafat's headquarters. Gordon served there as human shield. None of THAT verbal violence concerns Sister Carmi nor was condemned by her in her letter.
Rivka Carmi being Ventilated
Now I cannot prove this but I nurse a strong private suspicion that Neve Gordon sent that "death" letter to himself. I have a legitimate reason for suspecting that. When Gordon began his SLAPP suit harassment against me 8 years back, a matter about which the Supreme Court will be issuing its verdict any day now, Gordon himself went to the Jerusalem police precinct and filed a false report against me there, claiming I was "threatening" him. Gordon had gotten an irate email from someone in the US, someone I have never met by the way, an email message that did NOT even threaten him. SO Gordon decided that I must be behind that, since anyone who disagrees with Gordon's own doctrine of "Treason is the Highest form of Patriotism" must have been sent and inspired by me. (Yes, he accused me of "inspiration" in his police complaint.) The cops tossed it all out with a guffaw. Filing a false police complaint is itself a crime, by the way!
So given Gordon's track record of filing false claims about being "threatened with death," I think there is more than enough basis for some skepticism as to who really sent that letter this week to Gordon. If I were the cops, I would compare the child's handwriting in the letter to that of some very young children in the Gordon household. Of course, if it should turn out that one of those youngsters penned or crayoned the letter, they would have an interesting defense. Since Gordon last fall allowed a convicted PLO terrorist to do his "house arrest" sentence in Gordon's own Beer Sheba apartment, the kids could just say they had picked up some terrorist behavior from the house guest.
Gordon and Friend from 2001
Finally, the tenured fifth column continues to pout and rage against the Im Tirtzu student group because of their report claiming that 80% of the courses in Israeli universities in political science contain anti-Israel propaganda materials. I did not do my own check of its data, and so I am not sure if the 80% is correct. It might be 75% or 85%, but I doubt anyone seriously thinks it is less than half. Be that as it may, the tenured moonbats are denouncing Im Tirtzu because their report treats people who are clearly Zionist as anti-Israel. I kid you not - but on an Israeli professors chat list, a tenured leftist denounced Im Tirtzu for counting as anti-Israel readings assigned in courses written by Norman Finkelstein. Finkie is pro-Israel, insisted the tenured moonbat. After all, Finkie claims to favor the "two-state solution." (Never mind that Finkie favors a second Shoah.)
Anyway, there is a small clique of tenured leftists who are planning to issue a statement in which they announce that they will be offering courses that ONLY use the materials identified by Im Tirtzu as anti-Israel, this in order to protest the Im Tirtzu Report on bias in political science departments.
Let me simplify that for you. What they mean is that they will not change one iota in the courses they already teach, which consist entirely of anti-Israel propaganda. From Finkelstein to Chomsky to Uri Avnery to Joel Beinin to… etc etc etc
Blame Liberal Media, Courts For Emmanuel Controversy
By: Steven Plaut
Date: Wednesday, June 23 2010
The headlines in Israel are filled with the mass arrest and imprisonment of a group of haredi parents for disobeying a court order commanding them to send their children to one school and not to another. The world media have discovered the story of intra-Jewish "racism" inside Israel and by and large are repeating the twist to the story provided by Israel's largely leftist media. And, as usually happens, the Israeli media, by covering the story to suit their own biases and ideological agenda, are getting just about everything wrong.
Bear in mind that the Israeli media despise haredim, routinely portraying them as everything demonic and evil in the universe, down to and including "racist." Ask any Israel or any non-Israeli who has heard about the judicial Mexican standoff regarding the girls' school in Emmanuel and he or she will tell you it is all about "racism" on the part of Ashkenazi haredim against Sephardim/Mizrachim.
I Googled "Emmanuel girls school racism" as a set of key words and got 78,000 hits in English and 36,000 in Hebrew.
Putting aside the silliness of referring to intra-Jewish sub-ethnic tensions as "racism," even a shallow reading beyond the headlines in Israel's conscripted media is enough to show there is much more to the story than meets the blind eye.
Consider: the Shas party, which was created as a Sephardic religious power bloc, is backing the Ashkenazi parents in the feud (with a few individual Shas leaders on the other side). The leading Israeli journalist denouncing the courts and the media's misrepresentation of the story is Maariv's Ben Dror Yemini - who comes from a Yemenite family and is a leading voice of Sephardic pride and protest. And among the supposedly racist anti-Sephardic parents arrested by court order were several Sephardim.
On the other hand, the Supreme Court justices are predominantly Ashkenazi (one of those issuing the order to jail the parents, Edmund E. Levy, is Sephardi) as are the media talking heads cheering on the court and its "defense of democracy."
While the Emmanuel controversy is complex, virtually nothing in the story has anything to do with ethnic prejudice or bigotry. It has a lot to do with haredi autonomy, state funding for independent haredi schools, school choice, and judicial tyranny.
First of all, despite the media's obsession with painting the Ashkenazi parents from the Emmanuel girls' school as anti-Sephardic bigots, the school itself is far more integrated than most secular schools in Israel, with a large number of the girls coming from Sephardic/Mizrachi families.
It turns out a handful of Sephardic girls were indeed denied admission to the first school, but the real reason had everything to do with religiosity and nothing to do with ethnicity. The school's governing board believed the girls in question were not sufficiently committed to the school's haredi lifestyle.
The Ashkenazi parents in the controversy are mainly members of the Slonim chassidic court, which has a track record of admitting girls from outside the court to its community school - so long as the girls comply with the community's level of religiosity. (These include such matters as buttoning girls' shirts to the neck and not one button shy of the neck, praying with the texts and pronunciations the Slonim use, and so on.)
The feud in the school is not between Ashkenazim and Sephardim but between haredim, who do not want any kids in the school whose notions of religiosity fall one shirt button below their own, and an imperious activist court that demands they do so.
Most Sephardic families live lifestyles and hold viewpoints that differ from those of the Slonim haredim, though some still prefer the Slonim school in Emmanuel for their kids. When the school admissions committee has doubts about the devotion of a student's family to the school's brand of observance, it sends the youngster instead to a nearby predominantly Sephardic girls school, where the standards for neck buttons are not as strict.
(I should point out here that if anyone suspects me of harboring any anti-Sephardic bigotry, they will have to contend with my wife, who was a proud Sephardic woman long before she lowered her standards and married my Ashkenazi self 25 years ago.)
The conflict was brought before the Israeli court when the family of two girls turned down by the school got themselves some lawyers, evidently paid for by the New Israel Fund. The judges presiding on the court sided with the petitioners. Hundreds of Ashkenazi parents in the school then decided to bus their kids away to a different school rather than have them sit in the same classroom with those they regard as insufficiently observant. The court ordered them to desist and to return their kids to the Emmanuel school. They refused. The court responded by ordering dozens of parents be imprisoned for contempt of court.
Let me be clear. I am all in favor of conditioning Israeli state funding to haredi schools on such things as their adding a bit of math and science to Talmud studies in order to make their students gainfully employable. If Rashi and Rambam could hold jobs and build careers alongside their scholarship, I see no reason why haredim in Israel today cannot. But if they are willing to forgo state funding, the state should let them run their schools as they see fit.
The fact is, both Labor and Likud - as a means of buying the support of the haredi parties for government coalitions - have long ladled out funding to haredi schools with no conditionality at all - including admissions criteria for students. Those dirty deals of tossing out pecuniary pork with no conditions in exchange for political backing created the current Emmanuel standoff.
I also believe in democracy and pluralism. I believe Jews in Israel have the right to live and to school their kids in ways different from my own notions. I also believe the worst fanatics in this story are the judicial activists on the court.
The court has picked a fight with the huge Israeli haredi community, and in response tens of thousands took to the streets in their black hats and long coats in the 95-degree heat to challenge the legitimacy of the court's decision.
I do not see how the court can win this battle. And it shouldn't.