Tel Aviv

The domino effect of Resolution 2334 continues

UN Resolution 2334 sponsored by the chairman of the security council, Murray McCully, whose strings were pulled by John Kerry and outgoing President Obama, sent a message to the Palestinians that Jerusalem was theirs. Now PLO President Abbas is pulling out all the stops to try to stop incoming President Trump from moving the US Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem. Why is he so against it? It is because it sends a strong counter message that the US recognises Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and therefore does not see it as Palestinian land.

Interestingly New Zealand shows its lack of diplomatic respect for Israel by locating its Israeli embassy not inside Israel but inside the Muslim majority country Turkey in their capital Ankara. We recognise the capitals of Muslim states so why don’t we recognise the capital of Israel?

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas sent letters to a number of world leaders on Monday urging them to prevent the stated goal of the incoming administration of US President-elect Donald Trump to move the American embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. to the official PA news outlet Wafa, Abbas sent letters to the heads of Russia, China, France, Germany, Britain, the European Union, the African Union, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, the presidency of the Non-Aligned Movement and the Arab League secretary general, “asking them to spare no effort in preventing the US embassy from moving to Jerusalem”

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Trump continues to rip up the play book with his appointments

The latest US policy to be torn asunder is the US policy against settlements on the West Bank.

The Washington Post reports:

President-elect Donald Trump announced Thursday that he will nominate New York bankruptcy lawyer David M. Friedman as his ambassador to Israel, saying in a statement issued by his transition office that Friedman’s “strong relationships in Israel will form the foundation of his diplomatic mission.”

Friedman said in the statement that he would work “tirelessly to strengthen the unbreakable bond between our two countries . . . and look forward to doing this from the U.S. embassy in Israel’s eternal capital, Jerusalem.”

Trump has indicated that he would overturn more than two decades of presidential waivers overriding the 1995 law mandating that the U.S. Embassy be moved from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, a move weighted with heavy religious and political significance. Jerusalem’s status is contested by Palestinians and most of the world’s nations, which recognize lines drawn after the 1967 war.   Read more »

McCully needs to man up and dare to use the T word

Sorry was the hardest word for Helen Clark to ever say, and terrorism is the hardest word for Murray McCully for to utter.

In a recent video, we showed how the NZ Minister of Foreign Affairs Murray McCully refused to label the recent spate of attacks against Israelis by Palestinians as terrorism, despite being given the opportunity to do so three times. He seems to be plagued by what we might call the “Voldemort effect” – that which shall not be named.

The shooting rampage in Tel Aviv that has left 4 innocent Israelis dead, 18 hospitalised (including a four-year-old in critical condition) and many more traumatised, was perpetrated by two young Arab Palestinian men from Hebron, in the West Bank. There can hardly be a more stark example of terrorism. The victims’ crime was apparently having the temerity to embrace the famous Tel Aviv nightlife by enjoying a chocolate treat at the Max Brenner cafe. They were not “settlers”, they were not in the West Bank or other “disputed territory”, they were not soldiers at a checkpoint. The usual excuses that apologists use to justify acts of Palestinian terrorism do not apply.

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NZ Herald misleads and continues anti-Israel bias

The video above shows what really happened. Four Israelis were murdered, 20 in total were shot in Tel Aviv by two Arab gunmen.

The NZ Herald has different ideas….for them the gunmen are the victims.

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Gay Pride Parade in Middle East city trouble free

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Contrary to popular belief Tel Aviv is in the Middle East.

In my almost-30 years, I’ve never felt such freedom and seen so many different people gathered around the same values as during the celebration of Gay Pride in Tel Aviv. Joyful, colorful, powerful, sometimes a bit terrifying, but, for me, at certain moments, painfully touching. Although I knew what the day would be like, I wasn’t expecting to have such a visceral reaction to it.

More than 200,000 people, both locals and foreigners—and among them an estimated 35,000 tourists—make the city’s authority-funded Pride event the biggest of its kind in the Middle East.

Young and old, gay men, lesbians, straight people, trans women and men, gender benders, couples with children; all possible body types, different nationalities, ethnicities, and religions: there was room for everyone. And this year the huge street party’s theme was “Women for Change,” promoting women’s role in the LGBT+ community.

“Dear friends, we have been marching for years, and we will keep on marching in a search for equality,” veteran Tel Aviv mayor Ron Huldai told the crowd before the start of the march. “We will keep on walking the streets of Tel Aviv in the hope that pluralism, tolerance, and the liberal values of this city will spread throughout the country, Middle East, and the whole world,” said Huldai, who has run the city since 1998.

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The market always corrects, even against newcomers

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In every country in the world where Uber has deployed there has been considerable whinging from protected players in the taxi industry.

The worst problems have been in France where the cheese eating surrender monkey taxi drivers rioted, demanding the government DO something.

Of course in other countries the market is working to counter disruptors like Uber, with more disruption, which can only be good for consumers.

It was only a matter of time before Google peaked its nose through the ride-sharing door.

Employing the superior travel-tech knowledge of its acquired Israeli company Waze, Google announced  it will launch a pilot of its ride-sharing service in central Israel on Monday. The service will synchronize between Waze users and eager carpoolers, through a separate app called RideWith. But before you sigh at the birth of yet another ride-sharing application, like the super-popular, but controversial Uber and Lyft, Google has twerked its platform so that it uniquely serves carpoolers who live and work in the same location.

Launched in the central Israeli cities of Tel Aviv, Herzliya and Ra’anana on Monday, Waze integrated the option for drivers to take on two rides a day to and from work for a nominal fee that covers gas and wear and tear. Identifying users’ regular routes of travel, navigation app Waze and the separate Android application RideWith pair drivers and potential riders.  Read more »

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Maori Television reporter deported from Israel

One of the two reporters from Maori Television on board the terror-supporting protest flotilla has been deported from Israel.

Maori Television reporter Ruwani Perera has been deported from Israel after she and cameraman Jacob Bryant were filming a story onboard a flotilla of ships detained by the Israeli military.

Perera contacted relatives on Tuesday morning (New Zealand time) via satellite phone to say she was being deported, her partner Tim Werry said.

Werry said she was safe and that she would be flying back into Auckland on July 1.

It was only a brief message, he said, and he did not hear what had happened to Perera’s colleague Bryant.

“It’s all happening so quickly,” he said.

Werry said he was initially relieved to hear the news that she had been released by the Israeli military.   Read more »

Hezbollah hiding 100,000 missiles

Hezbollah is hiding 100,000 rockets to threaten Israel with.

Things are getting tense in Israel again as new evidence highlights the risk from Hezbollah. The war fighting season is nearly upon us and there are muscular actions taking place.

Time of Israel reports:

The Lebanese group Hezbollah has built up a massive arsenal of rockets and other advanced weapons in Shi’ite villages of southern Lebanon, a senior Israeli intelligence official said Wednesday, warning civilians would be at risk if war breaks out.

According to the official, Hezbollah has an estimated 100,000 short-range rockets capable of striking northern Israel, several thousand missiles that can reach Tel Aviv and central Israel and hundreds more that can strike the entire country.

Most of the weapons have been transferred to Lebanon through war-torn Syria, coming from Hezbollah’s key allies, the Syrian government and Iran, he said.

The official showed reporters satellite photos of what Israeli intelligence believes are Hezbollah positions in dozens of Shiite villages in southern Lebanon.

The photos were marked with dozens of red icons, signaling what are believed to be missile launchers, arms depots, underground tunnels and command posts.

The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity under military guidelines, said an estimated 200 villages have been turned into “military strongholds.”

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Matti Friedman on the Media’s Obsession with Israel

This speech by Matti Friedman, a journalist, explains much about the manipulation by media organisations against Israel.

It is being liberally published and has appeared at Honest Reporting and Quadrant Online.

I doubt it will get published in any mainstream media here, so I will.

Read it and understand how you are being manipulated, particularly over issues concerning Israel. It is quite long but very revealing.

One night several years ago, I came out of Bethlehem after a reporting assignment and crossed through the Israeli military checkpoint between that city and its neighbor, Jerusalem, where I live. With me were perhaps a dozen Palestinian men, mostly in their thirties – my age. No soldiers were visible at the entrance to the checkpoint, a precaution against suicide bombers. We saw only steel and concrete. I followed the other men through a metal detector into a stark corridor and followed instructions barked from a loudspeaker – Remove your belt! Lift up your shirt! The voice belonged to a soldier watching us on a closed-circuit camera. Exiting the checkpoint, adjusting my belt and clothing with the others, I felt like a being less than entirely human and understood, not for the first time, how a feeling like that would provoke someone to violence.

Consumers of news will recognize this scene as belonging to the Israeli occupation of the West Bank, which keeps the 2.5 million Palestinians in that territory under military rule, and has since 1967. The facts of this situation aren’t much in question. This should be an issue of concern to Israelis, whose democracy, military, and society are corroded by the inequality in the West Bank. This, too, isn’t much in question.

The question we must ask, as observers of the world, is why this conflict has come over time to draw more attention than any other, and why it is presented as it is. How have the doings in a country that constitutes 0.01 percent of the world’s surface become the focus of angst, loathing, and condemnation more than any other? We must ask how Israelis and Palestinians have become the stylized symbol of conflict, of strong and weak, the parallel bars upon which the intellectual Olympians of the West perform their tricks – not Turks and Kurds, not Han Chinese and Tibetans, not British soldiers and Iraqi Muslims, not Iraqi Muslims and Iraqi Christians, not Saudi sheikhs and Saudi women, not Indians and Kashmiris, not drug cartel thugs and Mexican villagers.

Questioning why this is the case is in no way an attempt to evade or obscure reality, which is why I opened with the checkpoint leading from Bethlehem. On the contrary – anyone seeking a full understanding of reality can’t avoid this question. My experiences as a journalist provide part of the answer, and also raise pressing questions that go beyond the practice of journalism.

I have been writing from and about Israel for most of the past 20 years, since I moved there from Toronto at age 17. During the five and a half years I spent as part of the international press corps as a reporter for the American news agency The Associated Press, between 2006 and 2011, I gradually began to be aware of certain malfunctions in the coverage of the Israel story – recurring omissions, recurring inflations, decisions made according to considerations that were not journalistic but political, all in the context of a story staffed and reported more than any other international story on earth. When I worked in the AP’s Jerusalem bureau, the Israel story was covered by more AP news staff than China, or India, or all of the fifty-odd countries of sub-Saharan Africa combined.

This is representative of the industry as a whole.       Read more »

Hamas celebrates Palestinian terror attack on Israeli bus

Hamas came out and hoodwinked the international community by condemning the attack on Charlie Hebdo, but with the latest terror attack on Israel in Tel Aviv they have come out praising the terrorists.

The IDF reports on the attack:

This morning, January 21, 2015, a Palestinian terrorist injured at least twelve people in a stabbing attack in Tel Aviv. Security forces neutralized the terrorist and are currently searching for additional suspects.

The terrorist, a 23 year old male from the West Bank city of Tulkarem, stabbed several passengers on a bus in central Tel Aviv. According to reports, at least twelve people were injured in the attack, four of them severely.

The suspect was later detained, and casualties were minimized due to the combined efforts of the bus driver, a young Israeli boy riding the bus to school, and members of the Israeli Prison Services in the area.

The terrorist began his attack, and stabbed the bus driver, who simultaneously attempted to defend himself and stop the moving bus. Meanwhile, a young boy on his way to school managed to break a window to allow passengers to escape. He then successfully slowed the terrorist’s attack by throwing his school bag at him as the terrorist headed in his direction, allowing the boy to escape.

The suspect then exited the bus and continued his rampage, indiscriminately stabbing people on the street. He was quickly stopped and detained by Israeli Prison Services, who were heading to a court in the area. A security force office appropriately exhibited his readiness in such a situation; he chased the terrorist, yelled for him to halt, and as he didn’t comply, shot warning shots in the air. As the Palestinian man continued to flee, the security officer successfully stopped him with a non-fatal gun shot to his leg.

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