To be honest with you, I try to ignore people on Twitter who don't have a lot of followers. Normally, it's not worth the time or the exposure I give them to respond to them. But this one has gone too far.
I'd like to introduce you to one @JamesMArcher. Here's his bio - a panoply of causes of the extreme Left, with the Democratic party being too far to the right for him.
The Israeli boy in the yarmulke is Zvi Shapiro, the son of two
secular American-Israelis. The Palestinian boy is Zemer Aloni, an
Israeli Jew. The only real aspect of the photo is that the boys were
indeed friends and that the picture was taken in their Jerusalem
neighborhood of Abu Tor,
which straddles the 1949 armistice line and contains both a Jewish and
an Arab section. The boys grew up on the Jewish side of the
neighborhood, and while they both recall interactions with Palestinians,
neither counted close friends on the other side of the line.
The picture was taken by Ricki Rosen,
an American photojournalist who has been covering the
Israeli-Palestinian conflict for 26 years. Rosen snapped the photo on
assignment for Maclean’s, the national news magazine of Canada, for a
cover story about the Oslo Peace Accords. Rosen said that the magazine’s
art director was so specific in what he wanted that he even drew her a
picture — one boy in a yarmulke, the other in a keffiyeh shot from the
back walking down a long road, which was supposed to symbolize the road
to peace. He didn’t care whether the boys were actually Israelis or
Palestinians, nor did it occur to him that the Palestinian’s keffiyeh
would be styled in a way more typical for elderly Palestinian men than
for young boys.
“It was a symbolic illustration,” said Rosen. “It was
never supposed to be a documentary photo.” She also took other
real-life photos for the same article.
Eyeless in Gaza: How Hamas controls the media in Gaza
For those of you who are in London on Monday night, here's a film you don't want to miss. It's called Eyeless in Gaza, and as the title of this post indicates, it shows how Hamas controls what's reported out of Gaza through intimidation. But that's only half the story. Here's a preview.
“It’s something I call ‘group think’,”
explains Himel. “Group think isn’t a malicious attempt to lie or
distort the truth, but there is a strong herd instinct of what is
allowable and what is not.
“When you look at reporting on the Middle East
in general, the same model is used. The Syrian conflict was described
as a fight for human rights and the Arab Spring was hailed as a revolt
against brutal dictators.
“What often happens is the group think will
significantly distort what’s really going on when you are reporting
something – and if you violate group think you can be in a lot of
As a case in point, the film highlights the
naval blockade and subsequent raid by Israeli forces on a Palestinian
freighter named Karine A in 2007. The vessel was found to be carrying 50
tons of weapons, including short-range Katyusha rockets, anti-tank
missiles and explosives.
But as the documentary notes: “Very little of
the weapons found…made it to the media. Instead, the news focused on
flotillas trying to break the naval blockade.”
Why, then, did journalists focus more on the flotillas than the success of the Karine A operation?
Himel explains: “The group think is that an
unjustified blockade is causing hardship for the people of Gaza. They
can’t get basic food, they can’t move around, they can’t get to family
in other places. The media will be attracted to things that strengthen
“So a flotilla coming in trying to save the
besieged people of Gaza, like those besieged in Leningrad in 1942, is
appropriate, whereas if you are talking about a naval blockade that’s
stopping arms getting in, you are instantly making the picture more
complex – and that doesn’t sit well with editors.”
The consequences for journalists who veered away from the accepted narrative can be extreme.
When RTV reporter Harry Fear tweeted that Gaza
rockets had fired into Israel, he was immediately expelled from the
area by Hamas officials, while Palestinian journalist Ayman al-Aloul was
imprisoned and tortured for being critical about the governing
authority in Gaza.
“You pay the price,” says Himel.
There is, however, also another element, which
Himel believes underscores the very reasons why the Israel-Gaza
conflict is reported in the way it is.
“The real story is there’s a really serious war of beliefs going on, that’s the basis for all of it.
“But editors don’t want to say it, because
that means it’s a religious war and you begin to realise how sensitive
and complex the whole issue is.”
That decision not to report the conflict as one based on religion has
also effectively blocked out mention of Hamas and its anti-Semitic
I would say it's much more malicious than Himel thinks it is. Let's start with the Karine A. The Karine A happened in January 2002 before this blog existed, not in 2007 as Himel has it. But the 2007 date is convenient. The so-called 'blockade' of Gaza started after Hamas gained control of the Gaza Strip in the summer of 2007. In January 2002, Israel actually controlled Gaza.
The 'flotillas' have nothing to do with the Karine A and everything to do with the anti-Semitic Europeans (who stand behind the flotillas), who promote the most pernicious lies about Israel and Jews. In fact, it is the Europeans who have done more to keep the dream of 'Palestine' replacing Israel God Forbid than even the Arab states. The Arab states have tired of the 'Palestinian' lies.
But like the inconvenient fact that our war with Hamas is a religious war, the media also prefers to ignore the inconvenient fact that Europe still dreams of finishing what Hitler started.
I would still go see Himel's movie, because it's important that someone is at least raising the issue (although Matti Friedman is the guy who really brought the issue up), but given his sloppy reporting on the Karine A, I have to wonder what the movie is really going to say.
To get you thinking, I want to show you the full video from 2014 by an Indian television crew - a video that is quite rare - of which you saw a small clip in the preview above.
A monitoring group also reported that a strike took place. Rami Abdel Rahman, the head of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, told the German news agency DPA that Israeli warplanes fired at least six rockets on depots in the area of Qutaifa, north-east of Damascus.
It was not immediately clear if the targeted sites belong to the Syrian army or its allied Lebanese Hezbollah movement, he added.
The reports have not been officially confirmed.
The Israeli army said that the military does not respond to foreign reports.
Hezbullah chieftain Hassan Nasrallah has issued a number of threats against Israel recently, but he's been warned by Arab states not to try anything. Here's betting that this doesn't draw him out of his bunker either.
This is going to be fun: US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley rips the Security Council's Israel obsession
Here's US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley telling the press about her first Security Council meeting - and she specifically mentions the shameful US abstention (and worse) on Security Council Resolution 2334 during the last days of the Obama administration.
Let's go to the videotape.
For those on the Left who are wondering why you lost the recent US election, you might want to start here.
How Donald Trump is bringing hope to the 'peace process'
After eight years in which most Israelis felt that they weren't getting a fair hearing at the White House, and in which Israel's Prime Minister looked more uncomfortable with each trip to the United States, times have changed. In a White House meeting earlier this week, President Trump allowed Netanyahu to say what nearly all Israelis believe and what former President Hussein Obama would never allow to be heard.
Despite his international protestations, Mahmoud Abbas, the president of the Palestinian Authority (like Yasir Arafat before him), has consistently denied
that the Jews have a historic connection to the Temple Mount. Far more
than arcane arguments over historical minutiae, the Arafat-Abbas
tradition of denying a longstanding Jewish link to Jerusalem is the
Palestinian’s inimitable way of saying that the Jews are simply the latest wave of Crusaders,
that Israel is nothing but a colonialist presence in the Middle East.
Just as the crusaders and colonialists of the past ultimately departed,
the argument goes, so too will the Jews.
belief that President Abbas sees the two-state solution as a
steppingstone to a one – Arab – state solution leaves many Israelis
cynical about the peace process and tiring of the rhetoric about two
states. Mr. Trump may have shifted that momentum.
President Trump afforded Prime Minister Netanyahu an opportunity to assert – despite American denials – that Palestinian schools’ textbooks teach Palestinian children to hate Jews. Israelis wholeheartedly believe that accusation to be true. They know of the Fatah Party’s incendiary boast on Facebook that it had killed 11,000 Israelis and that the Palestinian Authority recently named its fourth
school for Salah Khalaf, mastermind of the 1972 Munich Olympic massacre
of Israeli athletes. While President Barack Obama obliquely acknowledged
in his eulogy for Shimon Peres, the former Israeli president and prime
minister, that “Arab youth are taught to hate Israel from an early age,”
Mr. Trump gave Mr. Netanyahu a stage from which to make the accusation
Obama's eulogy for Shimon Peres - perhaps his first acknowledgment of mainstream 'Palestinian' hate for Israelis and Jews - came on September 30, 2016, nearly at the end of Obama's term, and at a point where it was likely designed to help Hillary Clinton's election prospects and not a sincere empathy with Israel's plight.
Daniel Gordis believes that Trump's openness to hear the Israeli point of view can only help the 'peace process.'
appearances of confidence notwithstanding, Palestinian leaders
undoubtedly understand that the jig is up – gone (for now) are the days
in which they can tell the world one story and their people another.
That actually gives Israelis hope that – if the Palestinians want
political sovereignty – the Palestinian Authority will have to lay the
groundwork by forging an entirely different narrative about Israel and
is still no reason to assume that President Trump and Prime Minister
Netanyahu can forge a deal. Mr. Trump’s White House is in disarray, Mr.
Netanyahu is under investigation for corruption and politically
weakened, Mr. Kushner has not a day of diplomatic experience, the other
Arab countries that Mr. Trump and Mr. Netanyahu hope will be part of an
agreement may or may not cooperate and Palestinian hatred of Jews may be
too deeply entrenched.
there is at least cause for a glimmer of hope. On Wednesday, whatever
ambivalences about Mr. Trump many Israelis have, they heard from a
United States president sympathetic to their story, sensitive to their
fears of Iran and committed to their safety. That may matter a great
deal. For Israelis who feel safe and protected are infinitely more
likely to make accommodations for peace.
Gordis is right that it's highly unlikely (to say the least) that Trump and Netanyahu can forge a deal. Not now and not in the next eight years. But that has nothing to do with investigations, disarray or weak political positions. Rather, it's because the 'Palestinians' have yet to give any indication that they are ready to accept a Jewish state of any size, shape or form, and that creating a 'Palestinian' state (God Forbid) will not be the end of the conflict, but rather moving on to a new stage against a much weakened Israel.
Don't expect it to happen in your lifetime or mine.
According to a report in Al Hayat, published in London, an Arab
official warned Hezbollah that Israel would forcefully strike back
against any military attack the organization carries out and severely
According to the report, the official said that Prime Minister
Benjamin Netanyahu's ability to recruit "regional assistance" against
Hezbollah is high due to the era of US President Donald Trump. The
official further urged Hezbollah to behave cautiously and prudently.
Let's go to the videotape.
I wonder which Arab official warned Nasrallah not to attack....
Must see: Senator Marco Rubio (R-Fl) comments at David Friedman confirmation hearing
Several people have sent me this video and it really is a must see. This is Republican Senator Marco Rubio (Fl) speaking at the confirmation hearings for David Friedman as US Ambassador to Israel. He's awesome. This will be the best five minutes you will spend today.
I am an Orthodox Jew - some would even call me 'ultra-Orthodox.' Born in Boston, I was a corporate and securities attorney in New York City for seven years before making aliya to Israel in 1991 (I don't look it but I really am that old :-). I have been happily married to the same woman for thirty-five years, and we have eight children (bli ayin hara) ranging in age from 12 to 33 years and eight grandchildren. Three of our children are married and a fourth is engaged! Before I started blogging I was a heavy contributor on a number of email lists and ran an email list called the Matzav from 2000-2004. You can contact me at: IsraelMatzav at gmail dot com