Feast of Zionism reads from Bev

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We have 38 top Zionist reads from Bev Goldman this week and apologise to users for the delay in posting them. It is our fault, not Bev's and we hope you enjoy this feast ahead of Shavuot so you can print out lots of reading material.
by BEV GOLDMAN | May 20, 2015

38 top reads

We have to admit to apologise for having been remiss and not posting Bev Goldman’s “Opinion & Analysis” column for the past four weeks – there has been so much news and so little time.

To all those users who have written letters asking us what’s going on and reminding us that you simply love Bev’s leads and print out your Shabbos reading from it – we have to take the blame.

Bev is SA’s top Zionist communicator and educator, runs Media Team Israel, writes FedSpeak and works at the SA/Israel Chamber of Commerce.

Bev has been loyally scouring the internet for us for many years to dig up the top Zionist reads by the top Zionist writers from the top Jewish, Middle East and mainstream titles. She always makes sure that she covers all points of view and all persuasions in her choices.

So, users, here are 38 of Bev’s picks. Enjoy… 

Week Ending 19 May 2015

1. Life becomes unbearable for Swedish Jews

Annika Hernroth-Rothstein, The Tower, May 2015

Targeted for humiliation, prohibited from observing her religion in freedom, Annika Hernroth-Rothstein tried to draw attention to the plight of Sweden’s small Orthodox Jewish community—and that’s when the trouble really began.

2. What Breaking the Silence report says about the Gaza War – and doesn’t

Haim Watzman, Forward Magazine, 19 May 2015

Breaking the Silence’s signature activity, that of collecting and publishing testimonies from soldiers, is a good way of dispelling the fog of the occupation for Israeli citizens but not a good way of addressing the tough questions of morality and the practice of just war that this operation, like any conflict between a state and a non-state actor, raises.

3. Will Israel join the Turkey-Saudi coalition?

Arad Nir, Al Monitor, 19 May 2015

Turkey is also very concerned about rapprochement between the United States and Iran in general, and the blatant absence of various components (which it deems essential) in the emerging agreement in particular. 

4. A good result, but it’s not going to be a bed of roses

Toby Greene, Jewish News, 14 May 2015

The new Israeli government will welcome David Cameron’s renewal of his lease on 10 Downing Street. Cameron has exceeded expectations with his warmth for Israel, illustrated by a remarkable speech to the Knesset in March 2014 and his backing for Israel during Operation Protective Edge a few months later.

5. Freedom Flotilla lll sails for Gaza

Michael Johnson, Jewish Policy Centre, 13 May 2015

Leftist activists aboard the ship Marianne of Gothenburg departed port in Sweden over the weekend, hoping to break an Israeli-Egyptian naval blockade of the Gaza Strip. Organizers of the campaign called their journey the Freedom Flotilla III, the third attempt by the International Solidarity Movement (ISM) to gain access to the enclave by sea.  The ship's crew plans to stop again in Sweden and Copenhagen as they continue their 5 000 mile long journey. Organizers hope more ships will join the flotilla as they dock in other European cities. Activists on the vessel claim to be carrying solar panels and medical equipment, to deliver to Palestinians living in Gaza.

6. Obama’s lonely Gulf Summit

Editorial, Washington Post, 11 May 2015

The spotty attendance of Persian Gulf leaders at the summit meeting President Obama organized for them this week is an unmistakable signal of dissatisfaction with their U.S. ally.

7. Breaking the silence isn’t golden  

Ted Lapkin, The Times of Israel, 11 May 2015

For reasons of ideology and methodology alike, the veracity of these allegations must be called into serious question. Yet in a manner surely unintended by its authors, the BtS report actually ends up providing backhanded endorsement of the IDF’s battlefield ethics.

8. Catch the Jew!

Amelia Katzen, Algemeiner, 10 May 2015

Alan Dershowitz is fond of pointing out that, were a Martian to land in the middle of the United Nations, he would think that Israel was the worst place on the earth, which is otherwise perfect.

9. The Limits of Saudi-Israeli Convergence

Mark Heller, INSS, 10 May 2015

The added value of more intense and/or overt ties is not self-evident, and it could reasonably be argued that the potential benefits to Israel of a real regional approach are too modest to justify the soul-searching and domestic political tensions that would inevitably ensue. Whatever the potential benefits may be, a regional approach cannot be actuated without some tangible Israeli movement on the Palestinian question, or at least some persuasive evidence that the main obstacle to movement is not found on Israeli side. That, however, implies policy changes that the incoming Israeli government shows few signs of contemplating.

10. World must rein in Iran before inking deal

Editorial, Arab News, 8 May 2015

A deal with Iran over its nuclear program is supposed to be inked by the end of next month. It will focus almost entirely on the International Atomic Energy Agency being given unrestricted access to nuclear sites. It will not take account of Iran’s deadly meddling in the Middle East. It will not commit the government in Tehran to restoring friendly relations with its neighbours in the Gulf.  As Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman pointed out this week to fellow GCC leaders in Riyadh, the agreement has to have wide and strict provisions. Without them, there is a clear danger of an arms race.

11. Report: UN Secretary General Board of Enquiry on damage to UN facilities during Operation Protective Edge

Pnina Baruch, Keren Aviram, INSS, 7 May 2015

On April 27, 2015, the UN Secretary-General released a summary of the report by the Board of Inquiry appointed to investigate damage to UN facilities during Operation Protective Edge in July-August 2014. While the report states that in seven of ten incidents UN schools were damaged by IDF fire, it refrained from blaming Israel. In addition, for the first time, the report speaks of the illegitimate use of UN facilities by Palestinian militant groups.

Week Ending 12 May 2015

1. Iran’s political weapons: rape and torture

Uzay Bulut, Gatestone, 11 May 2015

One of the most savage forms of state-sponsored human rights abuse aimed at women in custody in Iran is the raping of virgins prior to execution.  And sixty-nine years after the fall of the Kurdish Republic, the fate of Kurds in Iranian Kurdistan is still in the hands of a regime hostile to them and to all the values of the West.

2. It’s not about leaving France.  Our question is how to stay

Robert Zaretsky, FORWARD, 11 May 2015

These mass killings, while unprecedented, were not anomalous. Instead, they were the climax of a series of grim events that have forced French Jewry not just to confront their nation’s past, politics and principles, but also to reassess their present and future as French citizens.

3. Iran promotes blood libel against the Jews

Brian Schrauger, Jerusalem Post, 10 May 2015

Throughout the 1930s, Hitler groomed his culture and his continent for unspeakable savagery... Today Iran is doing the same thing

4. Islamic State – why beheadings?

Meira Svirsky, The Clarion Project, 10 May 2015

The Islamic State’s widely publicized beheadings of American journalist Peter Foley, American aid worker Peter Kassig and others Americans are designed by the Islamic State for the greatest shock value.  The sheer gore of the now-too-common beheading videos was a highly-calculated propaganda tool by the terror group. Designed to evoke both paralyzing fear as well as dissuade those who may think of opposing the group, the beheadings seem to have served their purpose.

5. Iran is lying and we know it

Harold Rhode & Joseph Raskas, National Review, 7 May 2015

Given that Iran has for decades refused to come into compliance with its international obligations, has sought to destabilize the Middle East, and has waged a deadly war against America and its allies when pressure was in place, it stands to reason that when that pressure is removed Iran will ramp up its illicit nuclear activity, tighten its grip on the Middle East, and intensify its attacks against Western targets. Negotiating does not mean accepting the opponent’s position as your own, particularly when it comes to serious matters of statecraft.

6. Wooing the Gulf States: from Riyadh to Paris to Camp David

Simon Henderson, The Washington Institute, 7 May 2015

While Gulf leaders would likely prefer to use the Camp David talks to confirm their alliances with the United States rather than widen the differences, there will be a price for Washington to pay.

7. International convention on the prevention and punishment of the crime of anti-Semitism

Alan Baker, JCPA, 6 May 2015

Clearly, and sadly, the issue of anti-Semitism has always been and remains a major recurring aspect in the international arena and narrative. The international community has never considered criminalizing anti-Semitism as an international crime, in a manner similar to the criminalization of genocide, racism, piracy, hostage-taking, crimes against humanity, war crimes, and terror.

8. Israeli soldier describes the immorality of Hamas

Elder of Ziyon, Algemeiner, 6 May 2015

Looking at more of the “Breaking the Silence” testimonies, here’s an example where the leftist group is trying hard to pretend that the IDF is doing something immoral – but in fact it is Hamas that is trying to get the IDF to kill civilians.

9. UK taxpayers fund a pro-Hamas terrorist play

Nick Craven, Mail on Sunday, 3 May 2015

British taxpayers are to fund a play sympathising with Palestinian terrorist groups who have murdered civilians and carried out suicide bombings on crowded commuter buses.  Arts Council England is handing over £15,000 to producers of an unashamedly one-sided drama based on accounts from the gunmen and bombers of Hamas and the Al Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigade.  The money will fund a UK tour of their play The Siege, telling of a 2002 stand-off when Israeli troops cornered militants in the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem, worshipped as Christ’s birthplace.

10. For the love of Israel

Fred Maroun, Times of Israel, 30 April 2015

The love that Jews have for Israel and the importance of Israel to Jews is profound and powerful. It is the reason for Israel’s success in the face of tremendous adversity, and it is the reason for the overwhelming Jewish support of Israel.  We (Arabs) created the Palestinian tragedy by trying to deny the rights of Jews

Week Ending 5 May 2015

1. The “Financial Times” tries to paint Israel as racist over Ethiopian protests

Adam Levick, Algemeiner, 5 May 2015

A May 3 article by Financial Times Jerusalem bureau chief John Reed focused on Sunday’s clashes between police and Israelis protesting police brutality, after a video was released showing an Ethiopia-born Israeli soldier being beaten by two policemen.

2. Stepping down, Liberman exposes frailty of coalition-building

Haviv Rettig Gur, Times of Israel, 5 May 2015

Liberman is rejecting Netanyahu’s rightist government, leaving it with a paper-thin, 61-seat majority, while declaiming risibly that he is doing so in the name of rightist principles. But his concern is real nonetheless.

3. A Jewish South African’s views on Dlamini, Xenophobia and anti-Semitism

Caryn Gootkin, Rand Daily Mail, 30 April 2015

Praising Hitler’s organisational skills — used to plot the systematic extermination of all non-Aryans — is akin to admiring the strength of a rapist’s erection.

4. We need free trade, say the Gazan farmers

Sharon Udasin, Jerusalem Post, 30 April 2015

Some 200 Gazan farmers came to Tel Aviv on Thursday to engage in a face-to-face dialogue with a senior defence official.  Acknowledging that Israel has improved trade facilitation and the transfer of agricultural goods through the Kerem Shalom crossing to the southern Gaza Strip, the Gazan representative stressed that the status quo was still insufficient. 

5. Anti-Semitism by any other name

Dr Gilbert Kahn, New Jersey Jewish News, 29 April 2015

Europeans are both sympathetic to Palestinian suffering and fearful about the radicalization of their own growing Muslim populations. Combined with fears generated by ISIS, Al Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula, and the possibility of a nuclear Iran, Europeans appear to be adopting a policy of appeasement redux. The result is a willingness to make use of the ancient canard of anti-Semitism, repackaged now as anti-Zionism. Although they can pretend that their argument is only with the “idea” of Zionism and the reality of Israel, in practice they are empowering those willing and able to victimize these countries’ own Jewish citizens.

6. Chaos in the Middle East could last for at least a decade

Ariel Ben Solomon, Jerusalem Post, 22 April 2015

The breakdown of states attachments, enhancing the power of sectarianism, tribalism, and Islamism throughout the Middle East since the outbreak of the Arab Spring has led the people in the region to fall back on primordial attachments, enhancing the power of sectarianism, tribalism, and Islamism.  Various forces are seeking to fill the vacuum amidst the chaos, including a rising Shi’ite Iran and its allies, Sunni jihadist groups and Arab states.

7. Why Islam needs a reformation

Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Wall Street Journal, 20 March 2015

To defeat the extremists for good, Muslims must reject those aspects of their tradition that prompt some believers to resort to oppression and holy war

Week Ending 29 April 2015

1. The world needs American leadership

Rob Portman, inFocus Quarterly, Spring 2015

Many of the problems we are seeing across the globe stem from a lack of effective leadership. Into that void, chaos ensues. The defining themes in the Obama administration's approach to foreign policy have been a preference for disengagement and an unwillingness to shoulder the responsibility of global leadership the way previous Presidents, both Republican and Democrat, have always done. As the Administration itself says, America has been leading from behind.  The President sometimes talks about the "arc of history" moving our way. But history does not move inexorably towards more justice and more peace and these "arcs" don't just happen. People make them happen and leadership is the key.

2. Claims conference leaders continue obfuscating the truth

Isi Liebler, Jerusalem Post, 28 April 2015

Once again, as we commemorated the victims of the Holocaust, what was highlighted was the grinding poverty of elderly survivors unable to live out their few remaining years with a semblance of dignity.  It is now almost five years since the exposure of the multimillion dollar fraud at the Claims Conference in which managers at the New York head office, over a period of 16 years, stole at least $57 million.

3. Israel: A state of denial

Sharif Nashashibi, Al Jazeera, 28 April 2015

As extremism in Israeli society and polity continues to rise, mass-denial is becoming more entrenched and widespread.

4. New anti-Semitic film all the rage in Turkey

Burak Bekdil, Middle East Forum, 27 April 2015

"The Mastermind" is a calculated move to win votes from an inherently anti-Semitic, religiously devout Muslim population.

5. Palestinian doctors authorised to work in Israeli hospitals

Rafa Mismar, Jerusalem Post, 25 April 2015

Physicians are first to be given permits to drive to work inside Israel

6. France’s position on the emerging nuclear agreement with Iran

Ambassador Freddie Eytan, JCPA, 23 April 2015

France has suffered numerous Iranian-sponsored terror attacks both on its own soil and in Lebanon. When conducting talks with Iran on the freeing of hostages, France often encountered deception and subterfuge. Thus, France has learned its lesson and continues to harbour resentment toward Iran.   From a historical perspective, France is concerned about the nuclear threat to Israel and believes the Jewish state’s security must be ensured.

7. China’s nuclear warning and Iran

Editorial, Wall Street Journal, 23 April 2015

In February Chinese officials warned a group of Americans that Pyongyang has many more nuclear warheads than previously believed: up to 20 already, perhaps 40 by next year.

8. “This is our country – there is no other”

Jonathan Beck, The Times of Israel, 22 April 2015

“For those who were but are no more, who fell victim to baseless hatred by those who have forgotten that we were all born in the image of one God. For Sephardim and Ashkenazim, religious and secular, Arabs and Jews, sons of this motherland that reminds us that we have no other place. For us as Israel, for the honour of mankind, and for the glory of the State of Israel,” she said.

9. The US Iran nuclear deal – a historic mistake?

Mike Berger, Solar Plexus, 20 April 2015

For Israel a rampant, economically and militarily strong Iran emboldened to pursue its various ambitions is a direct, existential threat. For the USA it is a nuisance to be balanced against the chance that sufficient pro-Western potential exists within the country to curb the Islamist-inspired drive to regional supremacy and the elimination of the Zionist entity.

10. Israel Alone

Bret Stephens, Wall Street Journal, 20 April 2015

Previous quarrels between Washington and Jerusalem were about differing Mideast perceptions. Now the issue is how the U.S. perceives itself.


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