Monday, February 20, 2017

Israeli born Ovadia Brothers wow New York's fashion week

Israeli twins and fashion designers Shimon and Ariel Ovadia have been wowing audiences during New York Fashion Week.

The brothers, described a few years back by GQ as Best New Designers in America have a fashion line described as “chill and fresh”and having the “exact charm, edge and creativity of New York".  WWD marvels “ how two kids without a college education or any design experience launched themselves from the observant Jewish enclave of Flatbush, Brooklyn, to a Vogue-sponsored fashion show at the Chateau Marmont. And did it without working on the Sabbath.”

From the New York Times, writing about 2017 New York fashion week

The New York Giants wide receiver Victor Cruz, left, and the rapper Fabolous sat front row.
He went on to praise the fellow New Yorkers, less like a football star than a fashion editor: “I love their aesthetic — from the energy that they put into their clothing, to the silhouettes, to the cuts of their T-shirts. It’s just really beautiful.”

On the same front-row bench sat the rapper Fabolous, who appeared not to mind the fashion-mad fan crawling at his feet, trying to get a clear smartphone shot of his Puma x Trapstar sneakers.

“One thing that Ovadia has is the dope streetwear, but there’s a little touch to it that screams New York City, screams high-end,” Fabolous said. “But it’s still comfortable and casual at the same time.”

Yet the Electronic Intifada’s Ali Abunimah can’t see beyond his seething hatred of the Ovadia Brothers  Jewish/Israeli background, describing their New York Fashion Week lineup as “ racist chic”

Its hard to imagine anyone looking at this gritty, diverse cross-section of New Yorkers and thinking "Hmmmm. Thats racist", but Ali Abunimah manages.

Photo by John Taggart for The New York Times

Could it be this proud homage to the twins Israeli heritage that set him off? Could this mainstreaming of Hebrew, the the language of the Jewish people, have triggered Ali Abunimah's latest outburst?

Perhaps Ali Abunimah would find the designs of Paloma Spain, also exhibited at Fashion Week more to his liking? 

Are Anti-Israel activists attempting to hijack the People's Climate march?

This is how it begins.

The People's Climate March is scheduled for April 29 and we're already seeing the tell-tale signs of infiltration and co-option.

This email is being shuffled around various "social justice" e-lists. Its all about "peace". Sounds innocuous enough, right?

Subject: Sign the petition! Petition to the organizers of the April 29 People's Climate March: Will you stand for peace?


I signed a petition on Action Network telling Petition to the organizers of the April 29 People's Climate March to Will you stand for peace?.

Your website at proposes a march on Washington on April 29, 2017, to "unite all our movements" for "communities," "climate," "safety," "health," "the rights of people of color, workers, indigenous people, immigrants, women, LGBTQIA, young people, and more," "jobs and livelihoods," "civil rights and liberties," "everything and everyone we love," "families," "air," "water," "land," "clean energy jobs and climate justice," to "reduce greenhouse gas and toxic pollution," for "a transition to an equitable and sustainable New Energy and Economic Future," "that every job pays a wage of at least $15 an hour, protects workers, and provides a good standard of living, pathways out of poverty, and a right to organize," "massive investments in infrastructure systems from water, transportation, and solid waste to the electrical grid and safe, green building and increasing energy efficiency that will also create millions of jobs in the public and private sector," . . . but not peace. We wish to make you aware that approximately half of federal discretionary spending is going into wars and war preparation, and that this institution constitutes our single biggest destroyer of the environment. More on that here. Will you please add "peace" to the list of things you are marching for? If you will, it will become a list of things that WE are marching for, as we will join you.

This email originated with "World Beyond War"

The advisory board of World Beyond War includes anti-Israel activists who were involved with the Gaza flotilla,  including Mairead Maguire,  Medea Benjamin, Ann Wright and Kathy Kelly. Their support and participation in the flotilla, a challenge to the sovereignty of the state of Israel and its right to secure its own borders cheapens their talk of "peace". These are people that reject the existence of a nation state of the Jewish people within  ANY borders. Their vision of "peace" is a world without Israel.

This is the genesis of how a well-meaning and singularly focused event gets hijacked by the anti-Israel cru. If the People's Climate March agrees to add "peace" to their agenda, it opens the door to groups like World Beyond War, who will no doubt offer to provide signage and speakers that will invariably alienate the Climate march core.

Stay in your lane, People's Climate March.  Don't allow groups with an extremist agenda to hijack your message.  We've seen this happen before.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

2016. A year of BDS fails

The Electronic Intifada's "Rah Rah BDS is on a roll" end of the year list was particularly subdued this year. (No, I don't link to hate sites) 

My comments in BOLD

Electronic Intifada claims: Activists rose up against Hewlett Packard. Campaigners in dozens of cities across six continents participated in an international week of action against Hewlett-Packard...

Yes, some cities had as much as a half dozen people holding signs.  And there was a hashtag. And a petition, too.  The net result?  See for yourself.

Electronic Intifada claims: Spanish municipalities declared themselves “apartheid-free zones.” More than 50 cities across Spain now declare themselves free of Israeli products in a campaign that began in July 2014...

Oops.  The Electronic Intifada left out a crucial bit of BDS fail information. From the October 5,  2016 J Post

In a massive blow to the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement, a Spanish High Court of the Asturias region, upheld a decision last week, declaring a Langreo City Council agreement to boycott Israel illegal.

This marks the first time that a High Court in Spain has issued a judgment relating to BDS, thanks to the legal actions brought forth by ACOM, a pro-Israel lobby group working to combat BDS in Spain

Electronic Intifada claims: Churches continued to mobilize for Palestinian rights. Denominations voted in 2016 to boycott Israeli financial institutions, and to dump or bar investments in corporations that profit from Israel’s occupation.

A  single church in California vowed not to purchase supplies from Hewlett-Packard, a company that provides equipment to Israel’s military and settlements. This was a church that had previously taken a strong anti-Israel stand, and frequently hosted extremist speakers.

Electronic Intifada claims: Activists helped defeat anti-BDS legislation. Grassroots campaigners fought back against a growing wave of legislation promoted by US state and federal lawmakers – and encouraged by Israel lobby groups and the Israeli government – to suppress BDS activism.

Grassroots campaigners fought back and lost. 14 states have passed anti-BDS legislation

In May, lawmakers in Ontario, Canada’s most populous province, made history: theirs was the world’s first full legislature to vote down an anti-BDS law...

Oops.The Electronic Intifada left out another crucial bit of BDS fail information. In December Ontario has become the first Canadian province to reject the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions Movement

Electronic Intifada claims: G4S was forced to buckle under BDS pressure. Under years-long pressure by grassroots campaigns, the world’s largest private security firm, G4S, ditched most of its Israeli businesses.

The global security firm G4S sold its business in Israel as part of a portfolio review. 60 other businesses were sold as well.   The G4S statement on the sale 
G4S reiterates that it does not support the anti-Israel boycott by BDS or any other group. The decision to sell G4S Israel was made on strategic and commercial grounds as part of a portfolio management program established by the company in 2013. Under its portfolio program G4S has sold or identified for sale 65 businesses which have combined revenues of £1.6 billion.
G4S also rejects BDS comments relating to the conduct of business by G4S Israel. As numerous independent reviews have confirmed, G4S Israel operates to the highest business standards. G4S Israel is a well-managed business that will grow and prosper under the right new owner, providing a positive future for our 8,000 colleagues in Israel and long-term service and support for our customers.
Electronic Intifada claims: Students stood strong. Students in the US, Canada and the UK passed strong divestment measures in their student governments and trade unions, amidst intensifying smear campaigns by outside Israel advocacy groups and shady websites.
Students in the US, the UK and Canada also rejected divestment measures. There is no indication that a single dollar of university money has ever been divested from targeted businesses 

2016 was also a year when a record-breaking $1.127 billion in Israeli bonds were sold in the U.S. Since the program began in 1951, there have been over $40 billion dollars in global sales of Israeli bonds.  Sorry, Ali. Clearly rumors of Israel's impending isolation are overstated.

Friday, February 17, 2017

The University of California and Israel’s Innovation Authority sign cooperation agreement

A major BDS fail from the University of California. While the students keep discussing what brand of hummus they want in their dining halls, the grown-ups are hard at work.

Press Release from the UC Office of the President  Friday, February 17, 2017

With the goals of fostering technological innovation and boosting research and development, the University of California has signed a memorandum of understanding with Israel’s National Technological Innovation Authority to increase cooperation between the two entities.

The memorandum aims to identify opportunities for projects, partnerships and collaborations between UC and Israel’s Innovation Authority that may lead to innovative technologies and products with the potential for commercialization in the global market.

“This agreement aligns with UC’s larger efforts to build relationships with state, national and international partners to propel the many discoveries and innovations from our campuses, labs and medical centers into the world economy,” UC President Janet Napolitano said. “Developing groundbreaking technologies that can be put to practical use around the world is central to our mission as a public institution, and we’re delighted to have Israel’s Innovation Authority as a partner in this mutually beneficial endeavor.”

“This is a great opportunity for bilateral research and development projects that will combine state of the art technology from the UC system with the capability of Israeli companies,” said Avi Hasson, chairman of Israel’s Innovation Authority. “The economic fruits of collaboration with this large and impressive California environment will certainly play an instrumental role in helping these companies to increase their competitiveness and accelerate commercial success in global markets.”

As part of the agreement, UC and the Innovation Authority will boost cooperation through increased bilateral meetings and information sharing. It comes on the heels of a similar memorandum signed between the state of California and Israel on bilateral cooperation in industrial research and development.

“The memorandum of understanding with the University of California is yet another important step forward in the ongoing effort to bring Israel and California closer,” said Andy David, consul general of Israel in San Francisco. “As two global leaders of innovation, this collaboration is a natural one that can enhance our mutual goal of creating a better world for everyone.”

From the Daily Cal

The University of California signed a memorandum of understanding with Israel’s National Technological Innovation Authority to expand collaboration between both parties.

The memorandum was signed with the intention of cultivating technological innovation, research and development, according to a UC Office of the President press release.  The agreement further aims to promote projects between the university and Israel’s Innovation Authority that would lead to “commercialization in the global market,” the press release stated.

Part of the agreement involves an increase in bilateral meetings and information sharing between both bodies.

“This agreement aligns with the university’s objectives of steering UC inventions through our labs and into the world economy,” said UCOP spokesperson Ricardo Vazquez in an email. “We believe that this will be a mutually beneficial partnership.”

Vazquez cited the January 2014 UC-Mexico Initiative as an example of the university’s cooperation with other nations and states in a variety of fields. According to Vazquez, the collaboration between the university and Israel’s Innovation Authority is founded on similar principles.

The memorandum between Israel and the university comes almost three years after a similar memorandum between Israel and the state of California, based on collaboration in industrial research and development.

Monday, February 13, 2017

US Military Assistance to the World

Lies, Damned lies and Statistics.

A recent perspectives paper from the BESA Center gives surprising insight into the frequently heard claim that Israel is the leading recipient of US aid.

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: Many American detractors of Israel begin by citing that Israel receives the lion’s share of US military aid. The very suggestion conjures the demon of an all-powerful Israel lobby that has turned the US Congress into its pawn. But these figures, while reflecting official direct US military aid, are almost meaningless in comparison to the real costs and benefits of US military aid – above all, American boots on the ground. In reality, Israel receives only a small fraction of American military aid, and most of that was spent in the US to the benefit of the American economy.

Countless articles discrediting Israel (as well as many other better-intentioned articles) ask how it is that a country as small as Israel receives the bulk of US military aid. Israel receives 55%, or $US3.1 billion per year, followed by Egypt, which receives 23%. This largesse comes at the expense, so it is claimed, of other equal or more important allies, such as Germany, Japan, and South Korea. The complaint conjures the specter of an all-powerful Israel lobby that has turned the US Congress into its pawn.

The response to the charge is simple: Israel is not even a major beneficiary of American military aid. The numerical figure reflects official direct US military aid, but is almost meaningless compared to the real costs and benefits of US military aid – which include, above all, American boots on the ground in the host states.

According to America Unniversity's Prof.David Vine,  the 150,500 American troops stationed in seventy countries around the globe costs the American taxpayer an annual $ US 85-100 billion. 800-1,000 American soldiers stationed abroad represent US$565-665 million of aid to the country in which they are located.

Using the Vine formula: 

Japan’s US military aid package is nine times larger than that of Israel.
Germany’s US Military aid package is seven times larger than that  of Israel.
Italy’s  US Military aid package is twice times larger than that of Israel.

From the Elder of Ziyon:

Keeping in mind that 75 % of the US military aid to Israel never leaves the US and benefits the US economy with thousands of American jobs, US military aid to Israel remains a bargain.  

Sunday, February 5, 2017

New Yorkers take matters into their own hands

The passengers on New York's uptown 1 line at 50th Street looked around in shock. Every window and every advertisement on the train was covered in vile anti-Semitic graffiti, with swastikas and slogans including "Destroy Israel, Heil Hitler," and "Jews belong in the oven." 
Then they sprung into action.

From the Facebook page of Gregory Locke:

I got on the subway in Manhattan tonight and found a Swastika on every advertisement and every window. The train was silent as everyone stared at each other, uncomfortable and unsure what to do.
One guy got up and said, "Hand sanitizer gets rid of Sharpie. We need alcohol." He found some tissues and got to work.
I've never seen so many people simultaneously reach into their bags and pockets looking for tissues and Purel. Within about two minutes, all the Nazi symbolism was gone.
Nazi symbolism. On a public train. In New York City. In 2017.

"I guess this is Trump's America," said one passenger. 

No sir, it's not. Not tonight and not ever. Not as long as stubborn New Yorkers have anything to say about it.

Check out the Times of Israel  and NBC News for more on this story.  There has been a recent spike in antisemitic activity nationwide following  Novembers election.

Why is Jewish Voice for peace hosting an unrepentant Jew-killer at their annual conference?

Edward Joffe and Leon Kanner were friends and classmates at Hebrew University. On February 21, 1969 they were murdered by a terrorist bomb placed in a Jerusalem grocery store.

Rasmea Odeh was convicted of placing the bomb.

Photo from Legal Insurrection

The death of Edward Joffe and Leon Kanner, and why their murderer walks free today has been covered extensively by the blog Legal Insurrection

Rasmea Odeh prosecutors: At new trial, we’ll prove Rasmea was a terrorist

The Sickening Deification of Rasmea Odeh

In spite of the overwhelming evidence of her involvement in the Jerusalem terror attack, Rasmea Odeh is free today and living in America. She has resurfaced because of allegations of immigration fraud- her role in the murders and her involvement with the PFLP terror group were fraudulently left out of her immigration request.

Photo from Legal Insurrectionvictims of Ramea Odeh Edward Joffe and Leon (“Arie”) Kanner

The question remains: Why is Jewish Voice for peace hosting this unrepentant Jew-killer at their annual conference?