Thursday, May 29, 2014

BDS: An Analysis by SPME

Gary Fouse

Scholars for Peace in the Middle East has written a good analysis of the Boycott, Divest and Sanctions movement against Israel on college campuses. It includes their recent and troubling tactics, which often resemble Brown Shirt methods of intimidation.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

CAIR Attacking Sister of 9-11 Pilot Victim

Gary Fouse

Debra Burlingame wraps herself in the flag.jpg
Debra Burlingame

Debra Burlingame is the sister of one of the airline pilots who died on 9-11. Charles Burlingame was the pilot of the plane that was hijacked and crashed into the Pentagon. Tonight Debra appeared on Megyn Kelly's Fox News show. Megyn Kelly is one of the most courageous cable news talk show hosts because she is unafraid to talk about militant Islam, and she is unafraid to stand up to the bullies at the Council of American Islamic Relations (CAIR). Ms Burlingame is also courageous because she is unafraid to speak out on the ideology that killed her brother and 3,000 other people on 9-11. As she said this evening, the terrorists who killed her brother and took down his plane were screaming, "Allahu Akbar" as they committed their heinous act.

Because Debra is unafraid to speak out, the Council on American Islamic Relations has attempted to pressure the 9-11 Memorial Museum to remove her from their foundation because she is an "Islamophobe".

How dare they?

This the museum has refused to do.

So is Debra "Islamophobic" as CAIR says? Since that term implies a certain irrationality, how do you say that one whose brother was murdered in the name of Islam is "irrational"?

By the same token, is an Egyptian Coptic Christian whose church has been burned down, whose daughter has been abducted and forced to convert to Islam, irrational if he or she fears Islam?

How about the husband of the Sudanese Christian woman who is under a sentence of death by hanging as we speak?

How about the parents of those 300 Nigerian schoolgirls, mostly Christian, who have been abducted by Boko Haram?

How about the Baha'i in Iran who have been persecuted by the Islamic regime?

How about the Syrian Christians who are being hunted down and killed by those rebels that we are supporting?

How about the Pakistani Christians who are being falsely accused of blasphemy, arrested, and put on trial for their lives?

How about the Jews in Europe who are being assaulted, insulted, and spit upon by young Muslim male immigrants to the point that they are emigrating in droves?

Irrational? Bigots?

If the bullies at CAIR want to confront hate, they need look no further than their own mirror.

For CAIR, which is a supporter of the US-designated terror group Hamas, to demand that Debra Burlingame be removed from the 9-11 Museum is tantamount to the SS Alumni Association demanding that Simon Wiesenthal be fired.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

George Galloway Sings the Praises of Hizbollah

Gary Fouse

Hat tip Creeping Sharia and Blazing Cat Fur

The ravings of a lunatic. George Galloway, friend of Saddam Hussein and his sons, friend of Bashar Assad, friend of Hamas, and now the friend of Hassan Nasrallah and Hizbollah. Watch this video as George sings the praises of Nasrallah and Hizbollah while defending their intervention in Syria at the side of Assad (George's friend).

Is this guy certified, or is this guy certified?

Here is a similar piece of oratory from another crazy guy that I dug out of the archives.

What Rudolf Hess is saying is, "Hizbollah is Nasrallah, but Nasrallah is Lebanon, just as Lebanon is Nasrallah. Nasrallah-Sieg Heil!"

Hizbollah has been designated by the State Department as a terrorist organization. They were involved in the 1983 bombing of the US Marine barracks in Lebanon.

Fact: George Galloway, British Member of Parliament, is a supporter of both Hamas and Hizbollah. He is a supporter of Islamic terrorists.

Friday, May 16, 2014

Congressional Testimony on Boko Haram: Two Dopes

Gary Fouse

Hat tip Vlad Tepes

Here is a short clip of Deputy Secretary of State for African Affairs Robert Jackson testifying before Congress on Boko Haram and the kidnapping of 300 Nigerian schoolgirls. He is answering a question from Senator Jeanne Shaheen, (D-NH). This is a fascinating exchange.

No, Senator. We don't want to get confused, do we?

Robert Spencer in Jihad Watch has more on what Mr Jackson is telling the folks up on Capitol Hill.

One person who (unlike Jackson and Shaheen) is not confused is the leader of Boko Haram, Abubaker Shekau. He knows very clearly why he is committing all these atrocities.

In the below video, he tells us who told him to abduct the girls.

Does that not speak for itself, Mr Jackson and Senator Shaheen? Or is there a misinterpretation in the video-another explanation perhaps as to who told him to kidnap the girls and kill all the Christians?

"Ollie told me to do it."

Thursday, May 15, 2014

What Do Non-Palestinian Muslims in the US Have to Do With the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict?

Gary Fouse

Hat tip to my friend Ted

During this month's annual Nakba* Week at UC-Irvine (my term), my friend Ted happened to engage in a conversation with some members of the Muslim Student Union, which was sponsoring the week of anti-Israel events. Ted same that of three MSU members he spoke to only one identified himself as a Palestinian. He then asked the others exactly what stake they and other MSU students who were not Palestinian had in the conflict. Well, we know, of course that the standard answer is that the MSU is committed to social justice anywhere in the world and all that stuff. The question, however, is valid. If you are an American Muslim of Pakistani, Iraqi, Afghani, Egyptian, Syrian, Iranian, or any descent other than that which is called "Palestinian", why is this one issue so important to you-so important that you hold a week of anti-Israel events every year? Why all the BDS movements on one college campus after another to divest from companies doing business with Israel?

Even if you agree to the proposition that Israelis and Jews have no valid claim to the disputed land, please explain why you are all over this issue and not involved in protesting a whole sea of human rights abuses that are going on in the very lands your families immigrated from. I also apply this question to organizations like CAIR, MPAC, ISNA, ICNA, and a host of other US Muslim groups made up of people from many diverse nationalities.

Why Israel? Why not protest the persecution of Christians in Egypt or Syria or Pakistan or the persecution of gays and Baha'i in Iran, for just a few examples? What about the constant horrors going on in Sudan? How about the horrors being perpetrated by Boko Haram in Nigeria? What about what Libyans did to four Americans in Benghazi? I have yet to see any university protests about that.

If it's "occupation" and "stealing land" you are worried about, why not protest Russia as it carves up Ukraine piece by piece? I have yet to see any BDS resolutions against companies doing business with Russia on any college campus. How about a boycott of Stolichnaya vodka?

Now I will answer my own questions. The reason is simple. The one commonality here between the Palestinians and American Muslims of so many different national origins is religion. The Palestinians are overwhelmingly Muslim. That is the connection.  The connection in the US and Europe is the same as it is in the Middle East. Israel is a Jewish state in a sea of Muslim nations that will never accept Israel existing as a Jewish state. Why? Read your history. Read the Koran and its many damning references to Jews (and Christians). Read the Hadith. Read about the life of Mohammad, the Prophet and warrior. Is it any coincidence that as we speak, Christians are being persecuted and driven from Muslim countries? They would be doing the same to the Jews except the Jews were already driven out of the Arab countries in 1948-1950 and are now largely in Israel-protected from Arab attack by a strong military-not to mention that ever so evil "Apartheid Wall" that keeps Israelis and Palestinian suicide bombers apart.

Do you really think that the surrounding Arab countries give a hoot about the Palestinians, whom they have kept cooped up in squalid refugee camps ever since the 1948 fighting? Hardly. They are considered a nuisance and troublemakers. They are useful only as permanently displaced refugees to use against Israel as propaganda in world forums. Why have these Palestinians (Arabs) not been allowed to assimilate into Arab countries as citizens (exception: Jordan)? Why is there to this day a permanent UN refugee agency for Palestinians only (UNRWA)?

It is all hypocrisy. The next time you talk to one of these people crying about the fate of the Palestinian people, ask them why they have no similar outrage for all the other conflicts going on in the world. Bottom line: This conflict is not about who owned which plot of land 70 years ago. It is about religion.

* Nakba- The Arabic word for catastrophe, which has been coined to refer to the creation of the state of Israel.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Jews Who Hate Israel

Gary Fouse

Hat tip Algemeiner

Edward Alexander has an interesting article in Algemeiner on the phenomena of Jews, largely and unsurprisingly to be found in academia, who have an unnatural hatred for the Jewish state of Israel, so much so that they join forces with those who are trying to destroy the country and replace it with something called "Palestine".

Being a Gentile, I try to avoid the term, "self-hating Jew", leaving that for Jewish people to sort out among themselves. Yet I find it fascinating how so many on the Jewish left are lending aid and comfort to those who would kill every last Jew on the planet if they could. I have encountered many of these characters on college campuses when they come to speak. Norman Finkelstein comes immediately to mind, a defrocked professor traveling the globe looking for a paycheck and meaning to his life.

I also remember a bizarre guy named Jeff Halper, an American who immigrated to Israel where he found work as an anthropology professor. He now travels the lecture circuit, funded (like the others) by God only knows whom, lambasting his adopted land. At UC Irvine a couple of years back, I watched and listened as this character told his student audience about "spectral dust', something that the Israelis supposedly invented. Programmed with a target's DNA and spread into an area (like Gaza or the West Bank, presumably), it can seek out, find, and kill said suspect. This is what a UCI professor named Chuck O'Connell dragged into UCI to lecture to his sociology class. I literally walked out of the room laughing.

What else can you say about characters like Judith Butler and Richard Falk, the latter of whom until recently bore the presumptuous title of Special Rapporteur for Human Rights in the Palestinian Territories, where, apparently he didn't pay much attention to what Palestinians are doing to other Palestinians. These days the self-fashioned 82-year-old bard is also on the university lecture circuit poisoning students' minds about Israel accusing it of human rights violations. Never mind that Israel is the only democracy in a region filled by corrupt, violent regimes where human rights don't even pretend to exist.

How does some psychologist figure out this kind of mentality? It is far beyond my capability.

Monday, May 12, 2014

UCLA's Shameful "Pledge"

Gary Fouse

Hat tip The Blaze and Squid

This latest outrage from UCLA makes it clear that the brown shirts are taking over our campuses. At UCLA, candidates for student government office are being asked to sign a pledge that they will not takes trips to Israel funded by pro-Israel organizations.

1933 German shoppers take the pledge not to shop in Jewish stores

This is something that the chancellor of UCLA, Gene Bloch, should make a firm statement against. In all likelihood, he won't, however.

And a note to the Armenian Students Association: If you want to garner support for the recognition of the Armenian Holocaust on college campuses, this is not the way to do it.

Side note: I see that UCLA's Olive Tree Initiative appears to be left unaffected by this. Maybe it is because it actually favors the Palestinian side.

Friday, May 9, 2014

Threats and Intimidation by Hillel and Jewish Federation at UC Irvine

Gary Fouse

Anteaters for Israel forced to cancel speaking appearance by Nonie Darwish at I-Fest.

                                   "One person's hate speech is another person's education."

Hat tip Frontpage Magazine

Nicole Hungerford has an article in Frontpage Magazine describng how Hillel of Orange County and the Orange County Jewish Federation pressured Anteaters for Israel, a Jewish student group on the UC Irvine campus to withdraw a speaking invitation to Nonie Darwish.     

In response, Hilell's statements about Nonie Darwsih do not hold water. I have attended the last two appearances of Darwish to the UCI campus, and there was no security problem or incident. (Of course, she travels with her own security because of the threats on her life. Secondly, as a representative of Arabs for Israel, Darwish could have limited her talk to her support for Israel as a native-born Egyptian. How is that divisive?

In my last several years of confronting anti-Semitic hate speech on the UC Irvine campus, I have learned that Hillel is a useless organization at best and a big problem at worst. Of course, Hillel chapters, which are devoted to enhancing Jewish student life on campuses, vary from area to area, and I have no beef with those endeavors Presently, There is a great struggle going on as we speak between the new national leadership, which is against the involvement in Hillel of groups hostile to Israel vs several "open chapters", who want to accommodate anti-Israel Jews as well. Just to give you a taste of the flavor of Orange County Hillel, here is a piece I posted back in 2011 regarding this outfit.

I may not have a dog in that hunt, but I do object when Hillel's lack of willingness to stand up to anti-Semitism when it comes from campus events pertaining to the Israel-Palestinian issue conflicts with my own efforts to address these issues at UC Irvine.

One thing I want to underline: I have no quarrel with Jewish students who choose not to get involved with these issues on campus. They have a variety of reasons to make that choice, and some of it may depend on their own level of religious devotion or their own attitudes toward Israel. Besides, a lot of these young people on campus just want to do their studies, get along with fellow students, and not be involved in contentious issues. I get that. That is their choice, and I respect it.

What I don't respect are the so-called adults in the Hillel leadership who advise Jewish students not to get involved in these particular issues and in some cases put pressure on these students not to get involved. This is just the latest example of Hillel and Jewish Federation doing just that.

I had the occasion to exchange a few words with one of those high-ranking officials of Orange County Hillel Monday-before-last on the first day of the MSU anti-Israel week of events. I am going to leave his name out of this, but I am going to relate the conversation as it was heard by two witnesses who were party to the conversation.

In discussing the event at UCI and the recent BDS vote-down at UCLA, this person mentioned that he had been meeting with students at UCLA during that controversy. He then went on to say that things were much better in this regard at UCI than in past years. He listed the usual things like the upcoming I-Fest and the various religious dinners they have held on campus for the students etc. He also took issue with those who came out to oppose the MSU's speakers saying that it just gave them undue attention.

One of my friends and associates took issue and told this individual about what had been going on at UCI prior to the recent arrival of this individual. He explained the work of the Orange County Independent Task Force on Anti-Semitism at UCI.

I also jumped in and told him of the things I had seen and done in recent years at UCI. I told him of the times myself and others had shown up at the MSU events and documented what was being said and participated actively in q and a. I told him the two times I had stood face to face with Amir Abdel Malik Ali  after his speech and  told him why he was anti-Semite and his positions were wrong. I also told him that at times, I as a Gentile was wondering where all the Jews were while I was taking on Ali.

To all this this character said, "Well, I think that's counter-productive".

It was when my friend asked him who he was and he mentioned his position with Hillel, as well as the Rose Project, we both reacted, "This is the problem." "That explains everything" and walked away.

Again, it may be none of my business, but it is my opinion that Jewish students who wish to stand up to anti-Semitism on campus when it arises out of the Israel-Palestinian conflict need to find other sources of funding than Hillel, the Jewish Federation of Orange County, and its financial arm, the Rose Project. These organizations have a built-in conflict of interest. These people know that if Jewish students decide not to attend UCI because of perceived anti-Semitism, they are all out of a job.

Which they should be.

Friday, May 2, 2014

Loubna Qutami Speaks at UC Irvine: To tape or Not to Tape

Gary Fouse

Last night concluded the Muslim Student Union's week of anti-Israel events at UC Irvine. The featured speaker was Ms. Loubna Qutami of the Palestinian Policy Network. The audience was almost all MSU members with a few non-Muslim students. Prior to the talk, a film was shown called Duna (Dolls). I was told last night that the film was shot in the West Bank-in Nazareth, but the above link makes reference to Palestinans living in Tel Aviv. The topic was sexual violence against Palestinian women within their own society. (I highly recommend viewing this film. It is is Arabic with English sub-titles. More on this later.)

Before the event started, there was the usual issue of videotaping. (This event was in a classroom.) Aside from myself, another individual, a journalist, was also present. He had set up a video camera on a small tripod. I was also nearby and was prepared to videotape with my own hand-held recorder. An MSU student came up and said that videotaping would not be allowed. At that point, I gave my now-standard response that it was a public event at a public university, that the issue had been decided in past events, and that people had the right to videotape. I added that if a campus police officer or university official instructed me to stop, I would comply.  A few minutes later, I walked outside and continued the discussion with the young man. He requested that I not videotape the film because of copyright laws. I agreed not to do that and added that I also would not videotape students as is my policy. A few minutes later, one of the female MSU members came to where the other cameraman and I were sitting and repeated the request not to videotape. I repeated my contention that we had a right to do so, but that I myself would not tape the film or videotape students. She then asked what if the speaker asked that we not videotape her talk, would I comply with that, and I answered "no", only if a campus police officer or university official directed me not to tape.  I also voiced the opinion to her that they might be inviting legal problems if they prevented people from videotaping. I repeated my promise that I would not tape the film or the students.

The event began and the movie started. A few minutes later, three campus police officers entered the room and asked to speak to both of us outside. It was their position that if the event organizers did not want any videotaping, we should comply with that wish. I repeated my contention that we had the right to do so at a public event at a public university. I also told them that the previous year, the MSU had tried to prevent me from taping (which were at indoor events) and that the campus police and the dean of students had backed me up and informed the MSU of that fact. One of the officers told me that was erroneous information. He also asked who the officer was that told me and I described the officer. (I didn't know his name, but I think he is a senior officer in the UCIPD.) It was clear from the outset that the officers were going to support the MSU's position, so I told them that I was going to follow their (officers' ) directions. The other cameraman  stated his case, but we both agreed to abide by the campus police directives. One of the officers added that it would be ok to videotape in an open outdoor venue but not in an enclosed room if that were the wish of the sponsoring organization. The two aforementioned MSU members, who were both present, agreed that there was no problem with us returning to the room as long as we didn't videotape. I should underline that the officers were all courteous and professional, and the discussion was civil at all times. I mentioned to the officers that on both sides we should research the legal question in order to avoid future problems. We then returned to the room.

The film

As stated, this film is highly recommended. ( I missed about ten minutes of it due to the above discussion with the campus police.) It is about one hour long and contains interviews with Palestinian women (their last names and faces not revealed) who had been the victims of rape and or violence at the hands of Palestinian men. Statements made by the women included references to women being blamed for the rape if they complained, being shamed, or even killed. It showed the funeral of a female, but we missed the part of how she died. There was a filmed and tape-recorded call made by a victim to her attacker years later, which was poignant. There was also a conversation between a victim, who had been raped by someone else's uncle, and a sympathetic female official of some type with whom she was going to lodge a complaint. At one point in the conversation, the female told her that, "This is a problem we have in Arab society." I did not see any reference to Israel in the film though, as stated, I missed about ten minutes due to the discussion with the campus police.

The speech

Then came Ms Qutami, who opened by repeating a request that she not be videotaped. Though she was not connected to the making of the film, she followed up by focusing her talk on gender violence within the Palestinian society.

I am paraphrasing her statements (unless quotation marks are used) since I was unable to videotape.

Make no mistake, Qutami, who comes from Palestinian parents, is an ideologue. While acknowledging the problem of gender violence, as she termed it, she laid the blame on guess who-the Israelis. You see, according to Qutami, gender violence arises as a consequence of the Israeli settler colonialism or the settler colonial project, as she termed it. She then went on to talk about the cycle of violence that occurs within indigenous populations by the colonizers or oppressors. She then talked about the Western mentality toward Eastern peoples as being uncivilized vis-a-vis the civilized West, using such terms as "colonial feminism". She
said that the West looks at Arab women as ones who need to be protected against this type of gender violence. She also said that they (Palestinians) could not talk about issues like gender violence because it reinforces Western stereotypes of Arabs. At one point, she referred to Edward Said's book, "Orientalism".

Going back to Israel, she said that Palestinian violence is embedded in the Zionist settler colonialism. "Occupation is violence". This has, according to Qutami, created a society of violence and intimidation. She stated that "violence is a tool of genocide" and made reference to the feminization of Palestinian men. She added that people of color don't talk about these things because it buys into the racist stereotypes of the West.

Qutami then launched into talk of Palestinian survival being the biggest threat to Israel and the worry that Palestinian women are giving birth. She then went back to 1948 and referred to threats of rape by Israel soldiers if Palestinians did not leave the territory during the fighting. She referred to a Palestinian woman who wrote of those days and was imprisoned by the Israelis for (terrorist acts) and later immigrated to the US where she is now under deportation proceedings by DHS. That led Qutami into references to the "US security structures".

Qutami then went into the usual horror stories of Israeli torture and the tactic of fear toward Palestinian women. referring to checkpoints, roadblocks, threats of rape, demolition of homes, and the apartheid wall. As her talk droned on (too long), her delivery suffered as she began quoting from books and reading her speech. She was losing her audience, and at 8 pm, the males left to pray. She was starting to lose her audience, literally and figuratively. What started out as impressive became boring.

Finally came the Q and A. As usual, I was the first to raise my hand. Due to what had happened earlier, I wanted to keep it civil yet make a point even if indirectly. After asking where the film was made (I was told Nazareth), I complimented the film as being important and courageous. I then asked Qutami if there were similar problems of gender violence within other Arab societies in the region, such as Egypt, Sudan, Iraq etc and also within the Arab diaspora in the West.

Qutami answered in the affirmative. Beginning with the US, she said that Arab women are being violated. Within the community, there is resistance in acknowledging the problem because too many want to maintain that the problem "doesn't exist within our community". She also said that Arab immigrant women have problems accessing the US court system. As an example, she said that sometimes, court translators come from the actual family involved. She also complained about the DOJ Office of Violence Against Women with a vague reference that resources are not available for Arab women because they are considered white. She also complained about the involvement of the FBI as investigators (presumably since the FBI is involved in investigating domestic terrorism).

As for the Arab world itself, Qutami mentioned Egypt as an example where gender violence is not criminalized and offers no support to women victims, so violence against women continues. However, she called Egypt an example of a "neo-colonialist regime". She added that the Arab world has never gotten out of the "neo-colonialist structure". It is the root of violence against women, she added.

In answering other questions, Qutami predictably brought in the litany of other complaints, such as illegal immigration, the "war on the poor" in the US, and US prisons. "Palestinians cannot be free as long as these conditions (in the US) continue".

At one point, she made a reference to the Judeo-Christian culture in connection with an attitude of conquest of indigenous peoples of other lands. There was no mention of any Islamic conquest. Again, I am paraphrasing.

To summarize, Qutami blames the problem of Palestinian gender violence on the "Israeli settler colonialism". She also blames the problem within the Arab world on "Neo-Colonialism". In the US diaspora, she lays at least partial blame on the US justice system for not providing sufficient access to abused women.

In other words, it's someone else's fault that the problem of gender violence against women exists in Arab society. The point I wanted to make with my question was that these problems do exist in other Arab societies, where one can hardly blame Israel. I think the point was made.

As to the video issue, I do intend to follow up with UCI and outside legal sources on this issue of videotaping. It has to be resolved from a legal point of view.