Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Too Good To Be True

In a previous post I wrote about the Hasbro World Monopoly contest, pointing out with no small degree of pride that not only could Jerusalem be on the board, but be there with its proper designation: Jerusalem, Israel. And thanks to the worldwide publicity from many Israel advocates, the capital city of Israel has rocketed up to #5 in the voting as of this writing (that's the North Carolina Avenue spot for those of you playing at home). And there has got to be some serious internet buzz going on in Turkish, since Istanbul has pushed past Montreal into the #1 spot.

But a very strange turn of events has taken place in the past 24 hours. First Jerusalem--and only Jerusalem--lost its country designation. This writer called Hasbro Customer Relations this morning and was told that it's a computer glitch and was not a political decision by Hasbro, and that they were working to fix it. Interesting how this computer glitch only affected ONE city.

Subsequent events put the lie to that explanation, as now ALL the cities are missing their country designations. Someone more savvy at Hasbro obviously realized that eliminating references to only the Jewish state was too obvious, so in a slick recovery move they took all the country labels away and now act as if this was the plan all along. The BBC posted this today, referring to the 1947 partition plan in which Jerusalem was to be a corpus separatum:

When approached, Hasbro, the American manufacturers of Monopoly, promised that they would not second-guess the UN, should Jerusalem be included.
In an email to the BBC, they stated: "Due to space limitations no selected city's board space will have any descriptive text aside from said city's common name."

This reeks of cowardice, presumably the result of Islamic "outrage". What comes next, changing the name of the city to "al-Quds"?

Comments may be directed to Hasbro at 888-836-7025 or via webform at

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Care2 read some neo-Nazi drivel?

Some of you may have signed, or even started, petitions about this/that/the other that are hosted on a website called The Petition Site. This is part of a larger site called Care2, which has as its vision "making powerful, positive changes in our world" in areas such as "green living, health, human rights or protecting the environment." Pretty good stuff, right?
Well, just as we have seen advocates for "Palestinian rights" infiltrate trade unions, churches, and universities, there is a collection of various such individuals who have joined Care2 to fulfill their vision of "Palestinian rights"-- the "right" to kill Israeli civilians (Jewish or Arab) with impunity, the "right" to promote jihadism, and the "right" to destroy the only state that the Jewish people have in favor of a 23rd Arab and 58th Islamic state.
(Before I get the outcry from advocates for Palestinian rights who don't insist on the destruction of Israel-- I'm not talking about you. Most Israelis, as well as the last 3 elected governments of Israel, as well as the current US Administration, have explicitly endorsed the vision of two states, a Jewish state and an Arab state, between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea. I'm just talking about those who insist only on Palestinian "rights" but don't recognize any rights for the Jewish people in their own homeland.)
So what we have on Care2 is a collection of "news" groups that re-post the propaganda about children starving in Gaza (funny how they had enough candy to pass around to celebrate the murder of an elderly Jewish woman in last week's Dimona terror attack), but refuse to allow any message at all that might suggest the ultimate heresy-- that (gasp!) "Zionists" are also people who have similar rights to life, liberty, the pursuit of happiness, and national self-determination.
One only has to check out the thread at to see that the only thing they are missing is the text of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion--it abounds with the usual idiots spouting off old conspiracy theories, allegations that "Jews didn't originate from Palestine", outright support of terrorism ("Let Hamas do it's work to destroy the Zionist menace"--inappropriate punctuation courtesy of the terror supporter as well), and so on. Nothing terribly unusual for any open forum on the Internet, giving illustration to Thomas Friedman's description of it as a "great unfiltered sewer of information".
But then what really puts all of this to shame is a lengthy post from someone named "AniTa H" (another spelling/punctuation challenged individual? a teen trying to be cute?) from several websites that clearly straddle the line between lunatic fringe and outright hate; one of the posts has as its table of contents the following menu of drivel:
Zionism and the Media
I. Introduction II. Zionist Owners and CEOs of Media Conglomerates and Media Companies III. Journalists: Zionist, Conservative, and Dumb IV. Zionist Media Organizations V. Zionists Continue Their Attack on America's Freedom of Speech VI. Mossad and the Media - Israel's Disinformation Network VII. Studies of Pro-Israel Media Bias in Newspapers

Now, I would think that any organization working for "powerful, positive changes" in the world might want to avoid becoming a site for posting of extremist anti-Semitism-- and any reader of this blog understands quite well that, as Martin Luther King pointed out in 1968, “When people criticize Zionists, they mean Jews. You are talking anti-Semitism.” Yet Care2 seems not to care that such a post violates its own Code of Conduct, which states:
"We will not tolerate abusive language or personal attacks on our boards, and reserve the right to remove any posts, threads or groups which we feel are in violation of our Code of Conduct for Care2 or the Terms of Service for Care2 membership.....'Hate messages' - No member may post or email 'hate' messages. This includes any messages that may incite violence toward someone because of their age, disability, gender, ethnicity, race, nationality, religion, or sexual orientation.... "

On the other hand, group moderators are free to banish any posts that THEY may feel are politically incorrect; here are two posts (not mine, by the way) that were deleted for even daring to suggest an alternative point of view:

"Kneight S. has removed your post to the Middle East needs Peace group on Care2:Subject: Biblical
Please tell me where in the Bible it is called 'Palestine.' Where is the word 'Palestine' from?"

"Kneight S. has removed your post to the Middle East needs Peace group on Care2:Subject: Arabs told them to leave. The Arabs living in Israel during the war in 1948 were told by their leaders to leave to make way for the Arab armies to obliterate the newly-established state of Israel. Israeli leaders begged them to stay. Those that did are Israeli citizens today and serve in the Knesset. Those that left became refugees and were kept refugees as a weapon against Israel"

(I guess the "Middle East Needs Peace" doesn't need any challenges to ITS version of peace.)

Now if Kneight S wants to run a Pravda-style newsgroup, that's not something that can be effectively changed. But there does come a point where posting from hate sites and obvious cheerleading for terrorist jihadists violates any Code of Conduct that is meant to actually mean something. Or so I thought.

I brought this to the attention of Care2 via their "help" form--I got an automated response that said "we hope to get to your request shortly", and that's all. Perhaps we could try to bring this to their attention in a different way; they don't have a general e-mail address, but since they were kind enough to list their contact information, maybe copies of this post could make their way to Care2's headquarters:, Inc.275 Shoreline Drive, Suite 300Redwood City, CA 94065
Phone: 650-622-0860Fax: 650-622-0870

In the meantime, I don't think I'll Care2 use that site to get involved with causes that I care about.

Friday, February 8, 2008

Build a House--or a Hotel--in Jerusalem

Hasbro Toys, makers of Monopoly, is coming out with a global edition, featuring cities from around the world instead of streets (or dogs, or football teams, etc.). They are selecting the cities based on a worldwide vote this month.
One of the cities nominated is Jerusalem. The cities are all identified by the city name and the country, and in an all-to-rare moment of clarity Hasbro has correctly listed the name of the city as "Jerusalem, Israel". That's certainly more than the US State Department is willing to do on a passport. To be sure, Hasbro's information is a bit sloppy (they failed to identify it as the capital of Israel and they state that the "most holy Jewish and Moslem sites are located at Temple Mount" which might come as news to the House of Saud, guardians of the Ka'abah) and they inexplicably chose a picture looking UP at the Mount of Olives and Hebrew University, but at least they know which country's map it belongs on!
As of today, Jerusalem ranks #10, which would place it where Indiana Avenue is on the classic Monopoly board. And YOU, dear reader, get to help by casting your vote-early and often! You can vote daily through February 29. Go to and click on VOTE; the first time, you will need to set up a sign-in and password.
It's just one small step in fighting the disinformation about, and delegitimization of, the state of Israel. But let's make sure that the millions upon millions of children who will play this game get to learn the proper name of the city: Jerusalem, Israel.