Saturday, May 27th
Over the years the Middle East narrative took a shape of its own, mostly and unfortunately with a one-sided slant. The world only heard about the travail of the Palestinian refugees, their woes, their troubles, their claims and their aspirations. The world also witnessed the Palestinian refugees as a disenfranchised people, scattered in camps, sheltered in tents and only as wards of the United Nation for over 40 years.
With such a perspective, the world could not but empathize with the disenfranchised, it is natural and it is expected, lest the world at large and its inhabitants (the human race) are judged as a whole, as callous and uncaring.
While this story was being told, its counterpart was not. The untold story is that of the Jewish refugees from Arab countries, who suffered in silence; but whose dignity was preserved expressly by their fellow Jews in their respective communities worldwide, and who extended their helping hands and absorbed them in their midst, be it in Israel (to the extent of 52% of the total population), Europe, US, Canada, South America or Australia, among other nations.
But make no mistake, they were refugees in their own right; they were physically dislocated, the accumulated wealth in their countries of birth, for most of them expropriated, and their emotional well being adversely tested by having to leave their familiar surroundings and their age old environment they were brought up in.
Israel Bonan on 05.27.06 @ 12:21 AM CST [link]
Thursday, May 25th
A recent undertaking by the Justice for Jews from Arab Countries (JJAC), an organization endorsed worldwide by every major Jewish organization, is currently afoot to seek redress for the plight of the Jewish refugees from Arab countries.
A one sided Middle East narrative mainly that of the Palestinian refugees, ignores the historical facts of what transpired during the same period and caused by the same events to more than 850,000 Jews from Arab countries.
The exodus of Jewish refugees from Arab countries occurred mainly between 1940s and the 1970s. In fact, there were more Jews displaced from Arab countries (856,000)1 than there were Palestinians who became refugees as a result of the 1948 Arab Israeli war (726,000)2.
JJAC efforts culminated in the introduction of a bi-partisan landmark Resolution in the US Congress that was announced May 23rd, the Press Release text follows.
A follow up effort is also in motion with the UN, Russia and the European Union to acknowledge the same issue of all the refugees involved during that period in history.
See below for a summary of the resolution or click here for full text of the Resolution introduced in the US Senate (in PDF document) .
Israel Bonan on 05.25.06 @ 10:14 PM CST [link]
Are you the kid who could not play with World War II action figures because your parents thought war toys are not educational? Are you the parent who took those toys away? This game should interest you.
Ami Isseroff on 05.25.06 @ 12:06 PM CST [link]
Previously we gave impressions of the hate Israel meeting at UC Irvine from an attendee. The event and the university's non-reaction to it have drawn criticism from Jewish groups.-- Ami Isseroff
College Chief Hit Over Anti-Israel Events
By REBECCA SPENCE
May 26, 2006
In the wake of recent recommendations by a federal civil rights commission that university administrators should denounce antisemitic hate speech on campuses, the chancellor of a California state campus is facing harsh criticism for failing to condemn a week of "anti-Zionist" activities at the University of California, Irvine.
Ami Isseroff on 05.25.06 @ 10:49 AM CST [link]
Following are impressions of the anti-Zionist hate fest held at UC Irvine recently, by an attendee. The title of this gathering was "Holocaust in the Holyland." Perhaps that is what some of these people are trying to promote, though that was not the impression they wanted to convey in choosing that title. The opinions and impressions are those of the author. This letter and the protest it helped evoke are discussed in an article in the Forward, (click here.) -- Ami Isseroff
I am the Associate Director of the American Jewish Congress in Los Angeles. I spent three days at UC Irvine to witness the hate speech and gross misrepresentations of Jews, Israeli's Americans and Zionists at the "Holocaust in the Holyland" week. I listened to the horrific lies of Norman Finkelstein under the guise of him being historian. I heard Malik Ali talk about extermination of Jews in Israel, short of saying kill, he used terms like "eliminate" when discussing Israel. I was followed by the campus police, and watched by the administration, so that I could not openly speak out, or disagee with a blatant lies made about history, or Jews. At the end of Malik Ali's hate speech, I finally had enough, and trying to get him to publically say it was about "the Jews" and not "those people" I was shouted down by repeated "Allah Akbars" and laughter.
Ami Isseroff on 05.25.06 @ 10:42 AM CST [link]
The second Dutch Social Forum, which took place from May 19 till May 21, is part of the anti-globalization movement that protests unfair world trade and other aspects of the globalization that increase poverty (among some) in third world countries, but also among groups in the West, that strives for sustainable development, fights racism and discrimination, and in general supports suppressed people and their emancipation. All very noble causes, and, although I don't agree to their analysis all the time, I support these goals and think it is important that people come together to talk about initiatives and alternatives to counter the cynicism and injustice of what is going on - instead of just accepting it. Since the first World Social Forum in 2001 in Brazil there have been many national social forums, and in October the third European Social Forum will be organized in London. The third World Social Forum in 2003 featured Noam Chomsky as a prominent speaker, about whom I recently wrote on this blog.
Ratna Pelle on 05.25.06 @ 04:36 AM CST [link]
Wednesday, May 24th
No doubt about it, ladies and gentleman, there's trouble right here in River City. Nina Shea's report on Saudi Texts in the Washington Post exposes vicious racism in Saudi textbooks. The news is not just that Saudi texts are as bad as ever, as Ted Belman points out. These texts are not only used in Saudi Arabia. We are told some of the same texts are distributed to Muslim religious schools throughout the world, including one in Fairfax Va.
In the happy picture of Western pluralism, little Joseph and Mary study in their Catholic school, little Moishe and Mendel in their quaint Hassidic garb study in the Yeshiva, little Hector and Angela may study in a Spanish school, little Ahmad and Fatima in her quaint Hijab study in the Madrassa. They all learn to respect and love each other according to their religions, which all teach the brotherhood of man. Underneath the hood however, the reality may be different. So take heed ye spawn of the devil and sons of apes, dogs and swine, there's trouble right here in River City.
Ami Isseroff on 05.24.06 @ 01:47 PM CST [link]
One of the problems of the left is that it is preoccupied with the wrongdoings of the West, especially the USA, and in the Middle East of course, Israel, whereas some of its basic values, such as adherence to human rights, protection and emancipation of minorities, a fair allocation of goods and property, women's freedom etc. are most blatantly violated by non Western dictatorships in Africa, Asia and the Middle East. Some celebrated left-wing intellectuals like Noam Chomsky prefer to ally themselves with 'liberal' organizations like Hezbollah or Hamas rather than with 'rogue states' like the USA or Israel. If the USA and Israel are bad, then their enemies must be good, or "the enemy of my enemy must be my friend", seems to be their logic. Hezbollah strives for an Islamic state in Lebanon along the lines of the Iranian regime, and its TV station Al-Manar has been banned in several Western countries for broadcasting anti-Semitic shows citing the 'Protocols of the Elders of Zion'. It seems hard to imagine how Chomsky, a leftist and secular Jew, could support such a group. Yet he seems to have no trouble doing so.
Ratna Pelle on 05.24.06 @ 05:25 AM CST [link]
Tuesday, May 23rd
A Palestinian Zionist? Yes, there is at least one such person. He is Walid Shoebat, a former member of the PLO who lives in the US, has converted to Christianity, and believes in the right of Jews to have their own state.
Ami Isseroff on 05.23.06 @ 09:57 PM CST [link]
Sunday, May 21st
If someone had told me this was going to happen twenty years ago, I would not have believed it. An Israeli-Palestinian team set out to climb Mount Everest. This week team members reached the peak, but the Palestinian member didn't make it because of illness. An Israeli team member, Micha Yaniv, planted the Palestinian flag and the Israeli flag at the top of Mt Everest.
Ami Isseroff on 05.21.06 @ 10:59 PM CST [link]
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