Are the embarrassments Israel's diplomats produce truly unintentional? They appear to be part of a deliberate policy, intended to promote our sense of isolation. In an episode of the brilliant Danish television series "Borgen" ("The Castle"), Denmark's fictitious Prime Minister Birgitte Nyborg travels to the imaginary African country of Kharun. Hoping to broker a peace accord between warring factions in that land, she rushes from the airport to a meeting with the local prime minister. He, however, fails to attend. Angered, Nyborg demands to be taken back to the airport. One of her ministers, the Arabic speaking Amir, turns to…Read More... | 16 Comments
For several months now, the Israeli Foreign Ministry has been promoting an initiative calling for the recognition of Jews from Arab countries as refugees. Is this historical justice, or just another attempt to achieve a political goal through the cynical use of immigrants from Arab countries? Israel Social TV is an independent media NGO working to promote social change, human rights, social justice and equality, and to mobilize its viewers towards activism.Read More... | 3 Comments
When it comes to the issue of refugees, or 'infiltrators,' emotions often get the best of those who are defending one term or another. But facts are facts, apples are apples, oranges are oranges. I was reminded of the above when reviewing Oren Ziv's images of the mother and daughter being arrested at a kindergarten in the Hatikva neighborhood of Tel Aviv. Naturally, no human can deny the human emotions as evident in the photos. Some will say that the Left is exploiting such images to make those who are for deportation feel and look bad. The Left will use…Read More... | 5 Comments
Message: The Palestinian refugees have nothing on the 'Jewish Refugees from Arab Countries.' As if Israel hasn't been playing the victim long enough, as if it hasn't exploited the Six Million to the absolute limit, now comes a new weapon: the "Jewish Refugees from Arab Countries." This has long been an Israeli answer to the Palestinian refugees - that roughly as many Middle Eastern Jews as Palestinians lost their homes because of the 1948 war. This week, though, the government made the issue a major new front in its information war. Fittingly, the head of the "I Am a Refugee"…Read More... | 50 Comments
An optimistic proposal, inspired by an interview with the UN refugee agency's man in Israel. Last Friday, a couple of days after the south Tel Aviv riot, I interviewed William Tall, representative in Israel of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), and came away thinking that there is a way to settle the crisis decently, which I didn't think there was before. Not that I believe Israel will settle it decently, just that there is a solution that would be fair to the African refugees, to the Israelis in south Tel Aviv, and to the State of Israel. (Point of information: The current rate of Africans crossing from Sinai…Read More... | 16 Comments
The Americans are convinced Pollard - who spied on behalf of Israel in the 1980's - didn't act alone, and have made it clear that if Israel gives up the other name(s), he can go free. It's been a mystery for many years why Jonathan Pollard is still in prison, why U.S. president after president refuses to pardon him. The reason in the minds of his hardcore right-wing supporters, those who see him as a Jewish hero, is anti-Israeli/anti-Semitic feeling high up in Washington, which is too stupid and rotten a claim to bother refuting. No, it has to be an American belief that freeing Pollard could do further damage to U.S. security, because…Read More... | 30 Comments
The following press release was distributed by the Israeli Government Press Office on Tuesday evening to all foreign press working in Israel: Press Release (Communicated by the Bureau of Deputy Foreign Minister Ayalon) Deputy FM Ayalon Addresses Arab leaders at WATEC Conference: "Many times in the history of our region, water was a reason for conflict and bloodshed. Today, I want to change this equation, together with you to turn water into a bridge to peace.” Today, 15 November 2011, Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon opened WATEC 2011, the international conference on water technologies, renewable energy and environmental control. More…Read More... | 1 Comment
Something is happening over at the Jewish Daily Forward, one of the pillars of American Jewish media. In recent days, editors at the Forward, notably Gal Beckerman have gone head to head with one of Israel’s Hasbara masterminds, deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon. About two weeks ago, Ayalon was engaged in a heated Twitter battle with Didi Remez of Coteret at 3 o’clock on a Wednesday afternoon. I noted on Twitter, somewhat in jest, that perhaps the deputy Foreign Minister of the State of Israel might have something better to do than tweet in the middle of the day with…Read More... | 17 Comments
So this is where deputy foreign minister Danny Ayalon exists: In a vast white space populated by magically appearing and reappearing figments of his imagination. Why am I not surprised. I wonder if the comment about Israel not trying to occupy the Kingdom of Jordan being a "painful compromise" is the official position of the Foreign Ministry, and if so, what do their Jordanian counterparts think of the image of all of Jordan with the Star of David on it. Hmm. Update: The video appears to be lifted straight off an earlier and equally ludicrous campaign by the flagship settler organization,…Read More... | 19 Comments
The Knesset’s decision to investigate NGOs demonstrates the “end of the (democracy) party” The decision taken by the Knesset plenum yesterday, to create a parliamentary investigative committee for “the phenomenon of de-legitimization of the IDF in the world on the part of Israeli organization”, has nothing whatsoever to do with an investigation. Israel has investigative procedures: if there’s a suspicion of a crime, either the police or the GSS investigate it, and transfer the information they gather to the prosecution, which then decides if an indictment is in order; then the courts have their say – admittedly, all too often…Read More... | 6 Comments
There's been some noise at the annual convention of Israeli ambassadors in Jerusalem. The entire professional staff of the foreign ministry joined in protest over the financial conditions of diplomats. Instead of arriving to the convention in suits, the ambassadors and their colleagues wore black t-shirts bearing the inscription: "I am an impoverished diplomat." They blew whistles to disrupt the speakers. The diplomats demand that their conditions be equated to those of Israeli army and intelligence personnel posted abroad. The ministry's workers union, led by Hanan Godar, announced that until a solution is found, no worker will appear at work…Read More... | 5 Comments
Binyamin Netanyahu has shown a marked preference for American Jews. Many of them have, over the years, worked for him. He even appointed some to high office: Stanley Fischer as Director of the Bank of Israel, Michael Oren as ambassador to the US. It is possible there were not worthy of either office, but I doubt it. Of the two, Oren’s case is more problematic. He has given up his American citizenship in order to serve as ambassador – an act which he publicly noted caused him much grief – but the situation where an ambassador serves in a country…Read More... | 2 Comments
This, at any rate, is the headline of a small story by reporter Itamar Eichner in today's Yedioth Ahronoth. Translation first, comments second: An extraordinary meeting, the first such meeting of the Lieberman era, took place some days ago at the Foreign Ministry in Jerusalem, when Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon met behind closed doors with a delegation of senior officials of the Peace Now movement. At the meeting, which was initiated by Peace Now, the activists asked Ayalon if the Foreign Ministry could cooperate with Leftist circles in its hasbara [public information] efforts in Israel and abroad - in…Read More... | 3 Comments
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