Sunday, July 11, 2010

News From Sderot

By Findalis of Monkey in the Middle

From the Sderot Media Center 2 important articles.

by Noam Bedein
Israel's legitimacy as an independent Jewish state is being undermined and threatened like never before, especially in Europe.

This became apparent during a short journey to Brussels and a nine-day speaking tour in Norway during the diplomatic crises of the Gaza aid 'flotilla'.

"It doesn't look good for Israel in the future if in this crisis, Israel loses support from friendly countries such as Spain and Italy" said a colleague who works as a political consultant of an Italian MP, (and asked not to be named citing security concerns).

At the European Parliament house in Brussels, the flotilla aftermath made one issue obvious: Israel had better start strategizing on focusing its talking points and PR in presenting the Israeli perspective to the last of the Europeans still willing to listen. Or else Israel risks becoming isolated like South Africa was in the last years of Apartheid.

"It is a dangerous situation when EU members choose to be blind, in order not to see and hear the actual facts," an Italian MP told me regarding the Israel's side presented to the EU Parliament house after the flotilla episode.

This observation was made while en route to a press conference where Efraim Halevy, former Israeli ambassador to the EU, was ' lynched’ by reporters, over the flotilla crises, and was raked over the coals by a REUTERS reporter. Ironically, the same REUTERS news agency had fabricated flotilla photos to present the image of 'peace activists' by splicing out the knives carried by the Turkish terrorists.

All this took place minutes before a Conference on Global Terrorism, where Mr. Halevy was asked by the Palestinian ambassador to the EU: "What about the serious accusation of the Swedish reporter about the stealing Palestinian organs by Israeli soldiers during the Gaza war? Why was that reporter kicked out of Israel for further investigation?"

The fact that questions like these about Israeli policies still ring in the international forums, reflect the depths of hatred and pure misinformation that is being cultivated in Europe--emanating from successful propaganda campaigns reminiscent of the Third Reich era against the Jewish people.

No matter what basic facts were presented and exposed to all about the Gaza aid flotilla, as so well presented by Law Professor Alan Dershowitz in his article- "Israel obeyed international law: Legally, the Gaza flotilla conflict is an open-and-shut case" it wouldn't matter because EU countires and their MP's have already been wooed to one side.

"The EU’s primary ‘case' against Israel in the EU Parliament regarding the flotilla crises, is with no doubt the killings’ in "international waters," according to Mr. Nuno Martines from European Friends of Israel.

Israeli PR is ticking at one minute before the END GAME, where there’s no looking back. It must refocus its main points and battles, when the Gaza/Palestinian narrative has had so deep an effect on people’s minds and hearts.

And this is the result of losing in the first battle in the Second Gaza Media War:

Case in point: a small briefing of the Israeli Ambassador to the EU took place in a local library in down town Brussels. This session was scheduled before the flotilla crises organized by the organization "Young Professionals of Foreign Affairs’ regarding the relationship between Israel and the EU.

Almost all the questions asked by young professionals in the audience at the meeting had a direct reference to the Holocaust or to Nazi Germany.

A young Italian woman's query was typical: "I admit I don’t know enough about the Israeli- Palestinian conflict, but how can you as people who experienced a Holocaust can let children starve in an humanitarian crises like Gaza is?"

A young staffer for a Belgian MP chimed in: "How can people who’ve been through so much only 65 years ago, ignore the sufferings of the Palestinians?"

And the last question,asked in a laconic, non-chalant manner - "Why should Israel keep its identity as a Jewish state? After all, we all remember the last European country that wanted to define itself on a nationalistic note, and look what happened in Germany from there..."

The people who assess the results of the Israel PR media war at this time must come to some immediate conclusions. It is vital that we work to promote the basic human rights as Jews and Israelis for self determination as a state. The time has also come to pioneer a proactive response to the Gaza narrative as Hamas has become a household term around the world.

Based upon this experience in Brussels, Israel must re-focus its time and efforts on outreaching to the thousands of young adult professionals who work as MP staffers to the 736 EU MPs of the EU Parliament house and the European commission. Sending young Israelis to conduct dialogue with Europe's up and coming generation is the most effective outreach that can be done.

As an Israeli who lives less than a mile from Gaza and experiencing the third 'cease fire' between Israel and Hamas where already hundreds of rockets have been fired towards Israel, I know that the times are difficult. The total number of rocket and missile attacks fired from Gaza towards Israel as of mid-June, has risen to 370 since the end of the military operation in Gaza, January 18, 2009. It is clear is that the security situation in southern Israel on the ground is very fragile, just as Israel’s image is in neighboring Europe. We need to do all we can to prepare for the inevitable battle of rocket/flotilla warfare, while simultaneously implementing a media strategy to retain our allies in Europe.

As Israel marks five years to the withdrawal of Israeli troops and civilians from Gaza Strip--the only nation in modern history that has ever given land for peace after winning a war--Hamas continues to find other means to wage conflict. Since Hamas militarily took over the Gaza Strip in 2007, the battle for Israel's right to exist has only increased. As of now, the Islamic regime of Hamas today, the only such terrorist organization in the world that controls an entire population of civilians thanks to international support, is doing all it can to win on the PR front.

It's seems as Gaza today is haunting us..

And here comes the next load of ships...
I personally have given up on Europe and the trash that lives there.  I firmly believe that within a  few years Europe will be living under Shar'ia Law as Dhimmis.  Too bad for them, the warning signs are there now.

Finding an Oasis of Israel Support Among Christian Zionists

by Noam Bedein
As the director of Sderot Media Center, I find it is important to speak at eye-level to university students and other young audiences and to present a first-hand account of Israel’s stand versus the Gaza narrative.

During my fourth visit to the Christian Zionist communities in Norway, where I was invited by a pro-Israel advocacy group by the name of MIFF, to take part in a media conference that took place in Oslo. As a resident of Sderot, I talked about what it is like to live under the constant threat of missiles fired from Hamas-ruled Gaza.

I defend Israel’s blockade of Gaza, as a legal and necessary measure against an entity sworn to Israel’s destruction and its removal that would lead to a flood of heavy Iranian weaponry, including long- range missile systems entering Gaza.

My visit coincided with Israel’s latest diplomatic crisis in wake of the Turkish-led Flotilla to Gaza that tried to forcefully break Israel’s naval blockade while posing as a self-described human rights delegation offering humanitarian aid.

I cannot begin to describe the oasis of comfort I felt at the sight of the huge Israeli flags waving proudly from the terraces of pro-Israel Christians.

Where only moments before I felt so isolated, drowning in a sea of hatred while the massive negative media blindly turned against Israel, with every headline screaming “Israel massacres human rights activists”, these Chrisitan Zionists unapologetically took a stand for Israel. While European politicians were calling for a boycott on Israel - the Christian Zionists communities got together and made a point of purchasing products with labels “Made in Israel.”

My travels have exposed me to the pro-Israel Christian communities.

Being raised in an orthodox Jewish home, it has been somewhat of an experience for me to feel at home with the Christian communities. Yet, only they understand me when I point out that the Middle East conflict is a war of religions. These communities are completely familiar and in agreement with the Jewish people’s right to live in the Land of Israel.

Nancy and Doug's beautiful home in Lyngdall, Norway.

When I get up with the Bible in hand and say “here in this Bible is the word of God saying that the Land of Israel belongs to the People of Israel”. We have every right to live in Sderot and any other part of the land in peace and security". The audience cheers and says “Amen” and “Hallelujah.

It was New Year’s Eve, 2010, when I first met the presidential candidate of Zambia, Dr. Savior Chishimba. Savior, a devout Christian and staunch Zionist, came to Sderot to take part in the Sderot “Sderot Rally for Hope” - an initiative of the Sderot Media Center - commemorating one year to the “Cast Lead” military operation in Gaza, marching to the hope that the new decade will bring a halt to Qassam rockets from Gaza targeting civilians in Sderot.

Dr. Savior represented the African civilians who fell pray to acts of terror from radical Islamic forces during the last decade.

Saviour Chashimba at the Sderot Rally for Hope.

Nowadays, most African countries do not have diplomatic relations with Israel due to their succumbing to the Arab boycott and their oil dependency on the Gulf States.

Traveling to Africa, I was invited to speak at the Kenya Security Council and at two Kenyan universities where most of the students are Christians. I was received warmly and was able to talk openly about life in Sderot alongside Islamic terror and the necessity for a security fence between Israel and the Gaza Strip. This was mentioned in context to the parallel threat facing Kenya and the importance of a security fence between Moslem Somalia and Christian Kenya where approximately 5000 Moslems infiltrate Kenya daily including radical Islamic elements who carry out terror attacks on Kenyan territory.

Our paths crossed again last March at the “Jerusalem House of Prayer” in Lusaka, capitol of Zambia where I was invited to speak. Savior said he was planning another visit to Israel and I invited him to join my family for Seder night.

Dr. Savior took me up on the invitation and indeed joined my family for Seder Night at my parents’ home in Efrat, Gush Etzion:

Savior took delight in the many rituals he witnessed at our Seder table. He enjoyed the taste of his first Matza and loved the idea of drinking 4 cups of fine wine! He followed with rapt attention the story of Israel’s exodus from Egypt and it was clear that he was familiar with the story.

Chashimba and Bedein at press conference in Lusaka, Zambia.

His parting words to us were his promise to renew diplomatic ties with Israel when elected president and to set up the Zambian Embassy in Jerusalem. “I plan to awaken the Christian majority in Zambia to the importance of having ties with the Jewish people in Israel”, he said.

“Whosoever blesses the Jewish people will be blessed and whosoever curses the Jewish people will be cursed. You see that all the nations are now coming out against Jerusalem and the Jewish people but you have nothing to fear because the Jewish people will come out on top!”

When he left, someone at the table declared: "Elijah the Prophet has come to give us good tidings!

Speaking to many Christian Zionist audiences all over the world, has led me to believe that in order to make a dent in world opinion that is currently stacked up against us, Israel’s leaders must enlist the help of our Zionist Christian allies. To do so, Israel must send out emissaries to these communities and provide them with advocacy tools so they can stand with Israel and the values it represents and to be prepared and effective in swaying world opinion away from the dangerous Jihadists who vow to destroy all Western civilization.
May G-d Bless the Christian communities world-wide who understand, love and support the State of Israel.  May they grow and flourish for many years to come.

Take a good look at those so-called Christian churches, the ones called Main Stream.  They are dying. The young people don't attend, the families stay away, they are dying.  They also don't support or recognize Israel's right to exist or the right of the Jewish people to have a homeland in our ancestral home.

The churches that are thriving have Zionists for their membership.  They will flourish and grow.

The Sderot Media Center is a voice to the world for the people of Sderot.  It exists only with the aid of contributions from people like you.  Please give.

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