Delegitimization and demonization of Israel: From the UN to the EU to the Red Cross to Iceland and Brazil to an elementary school in Ithaca

The campaign to delegitimize and demonize Israel knows no bounds: anything and anywhere can be a target or a blunt instrument in this vicious campaign.

In no chronological order, the past week has seen the following:

The UN has turned a blind eye to Palestinian violence and antisemitic incitement at Jerusalem’s holy sites, as reported by the ADL:

New York, NY, September 19, 2015 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today said it was appalled by a blatantly one-sided statement by the United Nations Security Council regarding recent tensions around the Temple Mount (Har Habayit)/Noble Sanctuary (Haram Al-Sharif) compound, which ignored the holiness of the site to Jews and “turned a blind eye” to Muslim violence and the anti-Semitic invective from Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.

The September 18 statement refers to the site only by its Muslim name, the Haram Al-Sharif, and says that Muslim worshippers “be allowed to worship in peace, free from violence, threats and provocations.”  The statement fails to mention the religious significance of the site to Jews and completely ignores the violence and provocation being perpetrated by Palestinians toward Israeli security forces and Jewish and other non-Muslim visitors, including the stockpiling of pipe bombs and stones inside the Muslim compound.

Left: Faisal Trad, Saudi Arabia’s ambassador in Geneva, newly elected Chair of the UN Human Rights Council panel; Right: Michael Møller, Director-General of the UN Office at Geneva.

Well, what can we expect from the UN? I’m sure you join me in having zero expectations from that undistinguished body, especially as their latest appointment as Chair of the Human Rights Council Panel is that bastion of equality, fraternity and liberty – Saudi Arabia!  Hillel Neuer at UN Watch is scandalized, as are we all:

“It is scandalous that the UN chose a country that has beheaded more people this year than ISIS to be head of a key human rights panel,” said UN Watch executive director Hillel Neuer. “Petro-dollars and politics have trumped human rights.”

“Saudi Arabia has arguably the worst record in the world when it comes to religious freedom and women’s rights, and continues to imprison the innocent blogger Raif Badawi,” Neuer added.

Raif Badawi’s wife Ensaf Haidar receiving the 2015 Geneva Summit Courage Award on behalf of her husband Raif, a political prisoner in Saudi Arabia, presented by UN Watch executive director Hillel Neuer, on July 6, 2015.

“This UN appointment is like making a pyromaniac into the town fire chief, and underscores the credibility deficit of a human rights council that already counts Russia, Cuba, China, Qatar and Venezuela among its elected members.”

According to UNHRC documents obtained by UN Watch, Saudi Arabia was chosen to head a 5-member group of ambassadors, known as the Consultative Group, which has the power to select applicants from around the world for more than 77 positions dealing with country-specific and thematic human rights mandates.

What went on behind the scenes of this miserable appointment?

Neuer expressed concern that the Saudis may have been handed the position in a backroom deal, in exchange for dropping the regime’s controversial bid to become president of the entire 47-nation council. “I urge Ambassador Power and High Commissioner Mogherini to confirm that this is not the case,” he said.

Riyadh pulled out from seeking the council presidency in June following UN Watch’s protest campaign, covered in newspapers worldwide.

“We cannot forget that the U.S. and the EU refused to utter a word of protest when we urged them, together with Saudi dissidents, to oppose the monarchy’s election in 2013. It’s a sad comment on our world that oil continues to trump basic human rights principles.”

Is it any wonder that Israel is the target of more resolutions against it than all the other nations of the world combined?

More anti-Israel bias is expressed by the EU who will begin labelling settlement products in about 10 days. PM Binyamin Netanyahu had harsh words to say to the EU on this biased move: The Nazis also labelled Jewish products:

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu denounced the European Parliament’s decision to label products from the Golan Heights, Judea and Samaria (Shomron) as “settlement products” on Thursday, stating that the move only hinders efforts for Middle East peace.

“This is unjust,” he stated. “It is simply a distortion of justice and of logic and I think that it also hurts peace; it does not advance peace.”

“The root of the conflict is not the territories, and the root of the conflict is not the settlements,” he warned. “We have historical memory of what happened when Europe labelled Jewish products.”

The European Parliament passed a non-binding resolution Thursday calling on the European Union to differentiate “between Israel and its activities in the occupied Palestinian Territory” and to ensure “that all agreements between the EU and Israel must unequivocally and explicitly indicate their inapplicability to the territories occupied by Israel in 1967.”

Until we see the EU labelling products from the Turkish-occupied zone of Cyprus or Chinese-occupied Tibet, this innocuous-sounding “labelling” of “settlement products” will remain an anti-Jewish move and no euphemisms can disguise this.

In fact the ultimate irony is:

Alternate Magen David Adom logos approved by the International Red Cross. On the left, the emblem to be used by Israeli paramedics outside Israel, on the right, the emblem to be used by MDA in conjunction with other ICRC operations.

Another virulently anti-Israel organization is the International Red Cross, who are now mulling expelling Magen David Adom because of their use of the Red Star of David. (I blogged about this subject almost exactly 4 years ago and not much has changed). From the ToI article:

A number of pro-Palestinian organizations have petitioned the International Conference of the Red Cross and Red Crescent to expel Israel’s national emergency medical service for using the emblem of the international federation on its ambulances operating in West Bank.

The Palestinian groups charge that Magen David Adom — the country’s medical, disaster, ambulance and blood bank service — is in violation of a Geneva Convention protocol stipulating Israeli paramedic teams use a neutral emblem while working outside the country, the Yedioth Aharonoth daily newspaper reported Sunday.

The protocol introduced a neutral “red crystal” emblem to be used by any relief teams in areas where there is sensitivity about Christian or Muslim symbols.

The MDA, along with IDF medics, were instructed to use the new symbol — a red square at an angle on a white background — when participating in operations outside Israel.

While operating in missions in conjunction with other ICRC agencies, the red crystal emblem was to be used in conjunction with MDA’s star of David. In Israel, MDA was allowed to keep its traditional logo.

According to the report, ICRC officials will discuss the complaint at the body’s annual meeting in December.

A Foreign Ministry official told the paper that the initiative was being followed up though diplomatic channels.

“We will not allow anyone to remove MDA from the Red Cross,” the official said, dismissing the complaint as mere “threats and catchphrases.”

“Its a shame that officials choose not to address the issues in Syria, Libya or Yemen and instead choose to focus on Israel — a country that provides emergency and standard medical services to Jews, Muslims, Christians, Palestinians and Israelis alike.”

Indeed it is a shame – and a huge hypocritical embarrassment for the Arabs themselves, whose poor benighted refugees refused to accept Red Cross aid parcels recently … because of the “Christian” Cross of the Red Cross! I think the Red Cross too should be forced to use a neutral crystal.

The blind hatred of Israel is just sickening.

Serene Iceland – not so peace-loving under the surface

Moving now to faraway Iceland, beneath that serene surface of shimmering lakes lies a burning hatred of Israel. The town council of the capital, Reykjavik, voted to boycott all Israeli goods. The boycott came apart at the seams when it was challenged on legal grounds by Jewish organizations and the Icelandic government itself, but it is not a complete victory, as Honest Reporting explains:

• The Reykjavik city council backtracked somewhat on it’s decision to boycott Israeli products. City hall announced that its boycott only applies to West Bank products.

So that’s all right then. Not. However, there is some small comfort, though not quite what we could have hoped for:

But Israelis living in Iceland tell YNet there are no blue and white goods sold in Iceland.

“Don’t get wound up about Reykjavik’s decision to boycott Israel products, because it is meaningless,” said Nimrod Ron, an Israeli musician living in Iceland, regarding the capital’s recent decision to boycott Israeli goods. “I have lived in Iceland for three years, and have yet to see even one Israeli product.”

On a related note, the European Jewish Congress is considering the possibilities of unspecified “legal redress.”

This would give us the added benefit of “measure for measure”: Hit the boycotters in their pockets, where it will hurt, just like they wanted to do to us.

Ambassador-elect Dani Dayan with PM Binyamin Netanyahu

From one side of the world to the other, the hatred does not let up.  Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff has rejected Israel’s new Ambassador, Dani Dayan, because in his previous career he was a spokesman for the Yesha Council, the representative body of the Jewish residents of Judea and Samaria. This was a surprising move because Brazil has lately become more amenable to Israel:

Just days ago, Brazil surprised many by abstaining on a resolution at the International Atomic Energy Agency’s General Conference to impose monitoring of Israel nuclear sites

It now turns out that Rousseff was pressurized into her decision – not by anti-Israel foreigners, but by our very own home-grown bigots:

Three former Israeli ambassadors and other leftist activists have asked the Brazilian government not to approve the appointment of Dani Dayan as Israel’s ambassador to Brasilia.

Dayan lives in Ma’ale Shomron in Samaria, and is a former chairman of the Council of Jewish Communities in Judea and Samaria, also known as the Yesha Council.

One of the three ex-ambassadors, Alon Liel, who is also a former Foreign Ministry director-general, told Arutz Sheva Monday that the initiative is meant to draw attention to the plan for a two-state solution and reflects the “panic” that he and other proponents of the idea are currently in.

Haaretz reported Monday that in a meeting two weeks ago with the Brazilian ambassadors to Israel and the Palestinian Authority (PA), the ambassadors and activists said that agreeing to Dayan’s appointment would give legitimacy to the settlement enterprise.

The campaign against Dayan’s appointment is reportedly being run by the diplomatic committee of the Peace NGO Forum, an organization that coordinates activities between Israeli and Palestinian NGOs that support a two-state solution. The forum is headed by former Meretz MK Mossi Raz.

The other senior diplomats who are lobbying against Dayan’s appointment, besides Liel, are former ambassador to South Africa Ilan Baruch, and former ambassador to France Eli Bar-Navi.

Several Brazilian members of parliament are reportedly exerting pressure on President Dilma Rousseff to reject Dayan’s appointment.

According to Haaretz, Israel’s Foreign Ministry initially believed that Rousseff and the Brazilian Foreign Ministry would not yield to this pressure, but “in recent weeks there have been signals suggesting concern from Brazil regarding Dayan’s appointment.”

Liel told Arutz Sheva Monday that he and other members of the group are not directing their effort at Dayan personally.

“Dayan is a symbol, because Brazil very consistently opposes the idea of a binational state, it opposes the settlements. And the Israeli government’s move is intended to put it to the test on this matter,” he explained.

What on earth gives Liel and his cohorts the right to interfere in the Israeli government’s foreign policy? I am outraged at this behaviour which could in all honesty be considered treasonous.

I hope that Netanyahu insists on Dayan’s appointment if only to spite the arrogant Liel. But first the damage with Brazil has to be undone, no thanks to those hate-filled Leftists.

Bassem Tamimi and Mary Anne Grady Flores with students at Beverly J. Martin Elementary School][Image via Ariel Gold Facebook]

For a final dose of anti-Israel hatred we cross the hemisphere’s once again to the university town of Ithaca, NY, where instead of a well-grounded education, some elementary school pupils are receiving brainwashing lessons in anti-Israel hatred.  In an absolutely outrageous incident, the terrorist patriarch of a violent terrorist family, Bassem Tamimi, was invited to speak to 3rd grade pupils at an Ithaca school, as Prof. Jacobson reports:

An uproar is brewing in Ithaca, New York, after anti-Israel activists bragged on Facebook how they managed to bring Palestinian activist Bassem Tamimi to a third-grade class as part of a presentation on the suffering of Palestinian children at the hands of Israel.

According to the activists, the event took place on Friday morning, September 18, 2015 at the Beverly J. Martin Elementary School.

Tamimi is best known for his use of children, including his own, for media purposes. The game goes like this: Tamimi’s children and other children from the village of Nabi Saleh are encouraged to confront Israeli soldiers in the hope of provoking a reaction. The children are surrounded by a phalanx of photographers and videographers waiting for the viral moment when the Israeli soldier reacts, which then is fed to the media through the Tamimi media operation and international activists who often participate.

Tamimi’s daughter Ahed (the blond girl in this 2012 video) is world famous for such staged confrontations, having been given a heroism award by the anti-Israel Prime Minister of Turkey for this performance:

Tamimi’s daughter Ahed has been renamed “Shirley Temper” in a brilliant move by Israellycool. Prof. Jacobson continues:

Tamimi’s connection to Ithaca runs through Ariel Gold, an anti-Israel activist who used to work as a community organizer for the anti-Israel Sabeel Int’l – North America. Gold now self-describes her occupation as a Community Activist “delegitimizing zionism.” Like Tamimi, Gold involves her children (ages 12 and 14) in her anti-Israel activism, promoting them through radio and speaking appearances, as well as Facebook and videos.

[Note: Though Gold widely promotes her childrens’ images and names, I have removed them from photos — such as the Featured Image — and other references in this post.]

During a late 2014, early 2015 trip to the town of Bil’in in the West Bank, Gold and her family met the Tamimi family, including Bassem and Ahed. It is no surprise, therefore, that Gold serves as the coordinator for Bassem Tamimi’s national speaking tour, which is ongoing. It was that tour that brought Tamimi to Ithaca and neighboring Cortland.

And it was that connection which appears to have landed Tamimi before the third graders at the Beverly J. Martin Elementary School accompanied by Gold’s 12-year old daughter (who does not attend the school) and Mary Anne Grades Flores, a local environmental and political activist.

The appearance before the third graders was, according to the descriptions posted by Gold and Flores, overtly political in purpose and content.

There are a lot of unanswered questions here.

For example, why was this class in this school chosen? Gold’s daughter doesn’t even attend the school. Why the third grade class when the third-grade curriculum (to the extent available online) does not appear to include the highly contentious Israeli-Palestinian dispute.

If the human rights of children was the theme, was Tamimi’s own media exploitation explained to the children? And was the suffering of Israeli (Jewish and non-Jewish) children explored?

For example, Tamimi’s relative, Ahlan Tamimi, escorted a suicide bomber in 2001 during the Second Intifada to the Sbarro Pizza restaurant in Jerusalem, resulting in death and injury to numerous children:

Was this a legitimate, balanced educational endeavor, or a propaganda event meant to turn young children against Israel? And if the latter, what was it doing in a public school before children too young to balance the information presented on their own?

I’m sure we know the answer to Prof. Jacobson’s pointed questions. He has not yet received an answer to the letter eh wrote to the school, but I don’t recommend any of us hold our breath.

It is beyond an outrage and a disgrace that the New York educational system, and this Ithaca school in particular, allowed itself to be hijacked by such overt political propaganda – and this is propaganda that preaches and encourages extreme violence and incites to Jew-hatred.

I wonder what the parents had to say about this event, or if they even knew about it until afterwards.

The lesson for us in all these examples (and there are so many more, but time is short and the list is almost infinite) is that we must not take this bias and hatred lying down. We must confront the haters, boycotters and inciters: shame them in public on Facebook, Twitter and letters to the papers; sue them for compensation where appropriate, and take them to court for racism and bias where possible. We all have a small part to play in this fight.

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5 Responses to Delegitimization and demonization of Israel: From the UN to the EU to the Red Cross to Iceland and Brazil to an elementary school in Ithaca

  1. ShimonZ says:

    Now we get to see if having our own state is any insurance against a holocaust….

    • anneinpt says:

      Sometimes I wonder about Khamenei’s comment that having all the Jews concentrated in Israel actually makes his job easier…

      I do have faith in G-d however that He will protect us. Of course that also doesn’t mean there won’t be another Shoah חס ושלום. In that respect the delegitimization and demonization is less directly dangerous than the Iranian threat. Only the “2 Ds” simply make the world care about us a lot less.

      OK… must NOT give in to negative thoughts on erev Yom Kippur…

  2. Reality says:

    Sick,I just feel ill.What on earth will happen? The only comfort I can take,is that the whole world is so virulently anti Israel, and anti Semitic, that Jews will soon have no choice but to leave their countries and make their way here. A true in gathering of the exiles.Regarding MDA ,I think that we should just say that from now on they will only respond to Jewish calls.Any other calls will be referred to the Red Cross.Plus Israel will never again help out in a natural disaster. They should call their red crescent friends.
    Regarding labeling,why hasn’t the imports committee started labeling products produced in occupied territories around the world? Two can play at this game.We might even stir up some kind of outraged feelings amongst the occupied peoples!

    • anneinpt says:

      It is indeed sick-making. But sometimes I have second thoughts about posting these kinds of articles because we also need to remember that there are millions, hundreds of millions, of supporters of Israel round the world as well. It’s just that they don’t make so much noise, or their sound is muted by a hostile media.

      In the end we need to keep in mind that we are a very strong nation and we have Help Upstairs too.

      Re your suggestions, I quite agree that if the locals object to MDA, we should leave them to cope on their own. But I would certainly not hold back on MDA’s assistance to disaster areas. None of this is eh fault of earthquake or famine victims. Let the Red Cross choke on its own prejudice.

      I quite agree about labelling other products. The trouble is – what is produced in places like Turkish Cyprus? Or Tibet? Not to mention Iceland…

  3. Pingback: France shows Brazil, Sweden and an Israeli diplomat how to support the Jews | Anne's Opinions

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