Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Oscar Grant Becomes a Poster Boy for Jihad

The event report below was contributed by our good friend Tzipporah, who now can't get back the several hours of her life that she gave up to subject herself to this event. But at least she is able to shed some light on what's crawling around in the political gutter in Oakland, California.

Those outside the Bay Area may not know the backstory: Early on January 1, a young adult African-American named Oscar Grant was fatally shot at a BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit) stop by a BART police officer. The incident was captured on a few cellphones as it happened. The officer has been arrested for murder and there have been several riots in downtown Oakland.

How is this connected to the recent action in Gaza, or to the Israel-Palestinian conflict in general? Nothing published about Grant suggested that he was politically involved in this issue. However, this incident has been cynically manipulated by the local anti-Israel groups to recruit support in the African-American community for their own jihadist agenda. So, to nobody's surprise, recent anti-Israel rallies in San Francisco featured posters attempting to link Grant's death to the Gaza situation, to recruit those angry over the shooting to the side of those for whom Grad and Qassam rockets are "legitimate resistance".

Here's Tzipporah's report from a "community meeting" held in Oakland 2 days ago. For upcoming attractions, just see what's been happening in France.

Violence Brewing in Oakland: A Forum to Incite African Americans to Hate Jews

Last night I fell down a rabbit hole and found myself in a world where honesty and truth were banished and lies reigned supreme. I was not out chasing rabbits though; I was at the Eastside Cultural Center in Oakland, along with about 200 other people, participating in a program called “From Palestine to Oakland: An Emergency Community Forum.”

The forum was co-sponsored by the Eastside Arts Alliance and the Gaza Action Committee. Speakers were from various anti-Israel organizations, such as the Arab Resource and Organizing Center, Malcolm X Grassroots Movement, Communities Against Police Execution (CAPE,) and Plan for a Safer Oakland (aka, Many of the organizers looked familiar because I had seen them before, from other recycled ANSWER niche groups, such as Jews Against Zionism. The goal of the forum was to draw parallels between the so-called oppression of Palestinians and Oakland African Americans. This forum was clearly a slick attempt by anti-Israel groups to co-opt African Americans and draw them into the world wide movement against the existence of Israel and hatred of Jews.

Subtlety was not their strong point. First, three young people from the Eastside Arts Alliance and the Gaza Action Committee stood on the stage with crudely drawn maps of Oakland and Israel. In this rabbit hole, Israel was called Palestine. The speakers taught us that Palestine was once a great and peaceful Muslim country. But then in 1948 European Jews and the United States decided to work together to rid Palestine of Muslims and give the country to the Jews. These Jews are called Zionists: “Zionism: A political belief system started in the late 1800’s (sic) and based on parts of the Jewish religion that believes the land of Palestine was given by God to the Jewish People. (Not all Jews are Zionist and not all Zionists are Jewish). (sic)
The U.S and Zionist forces embarked upon genocide and ethnic cleansing because they felt that Palestine was in a strategic part of the world, and the U.S. and the European Jews wanted to have a foot-hold in the midst of the Muslim world. The speakers stuck pieces of paper with outlines of brown people on them all over the pre-Israel Palestine map. They added other pieces of paper symbolizing trees and orchards. When they declared that it was now 1948, they moved all the people to Gaza and the West Bank and filled the map with a dozen or so large blue Stars of David which took the place of the displaced Palestinians who were presumably huddling in fear on the edges of the map. They added pictures of Uzi machine guns and barricades to the map.

They taught us that “war broke out in 1967,” and Israel conquered more Muslim land. They did not explain the cause of the war. To them, war simply “broke out,” perhaps as a bad case of the hives might break out.

We learned that Israel was founded “with the purpose of creating a ‘Jewish only’ state even though the vast majority of the population was not Jewish. They told us that Muslims have curfews in Israel. Palestinians must carry ID cards that designate what limited rights they are entitled to. Only Jews have the full panoply of rights.

Then they asked the audience to make the connection to Oakland. Think, they exhorted us, how the same forces that oppress the Palestinians also oppress the Black people in Oakland. I wondered if Zionists control Oakland. Why yes, I learned, they apparently do. They moved the brown people from “occupied Palestine” to the map of Oakland. They pointed to Piedmont and stuck a couple of Stars of David there. Then they surrounded the brown, oppressed Oaklanders with the Uzis and placed barricades around Piedmont and other areas they considered to be Zionist identified.

The audience loved it. They were very receptive to this blatant anti-Semitism and Palestinian mythology. My heart was thumping and I was certain that the word “JEW” was written on my forehead. I kept my pepper spray handy. The crowd was pumped up - lots of cheering and clapping. Two hundred happy Jew-haters surrounded me.

The remaining speakers revealed the following amazing facts:
1. The CIA and the Mossad are one big organization;
2. Oakland and Boston Police go to Israel for training (this factoid was imparted by a member of the New England Committee to Defend Palestine;)
3. Members of the IDF come to Oakland to train police;
4. During Hurricane Katrina, the Mossad sent Israeli snipers to New Orleans with orders to shoot black people “who were trying to survive;”
5. Palestine is Oakland;
6. The condos in Oakland are equivalent to the Jewish settlements in Israel, because Black people were pushed out of gentrified areas of Oakland the way the gentle Palestinians were pushed out of Palestine;
7. A speaker who identified herself as Nicole Solis said she is a teacher at a rich private school in Oakland. She described the school as a bubble for privileged kids. She said she is not permitted to talk about the things that really matter, such as graffiti art, Zionists, and guns;
8. Black people dressed in baggy pants are targets for Oakland police who are itching to kill them;
9. Oakland is heavily policed because Black people live here. The police are here to occupy the Black neighborhoods and commit genocide. Their presence has nothing to do with crime. The Oakland police are equivalent to the Jews in Israel;
10. Palestinians and American Blacks have one enemy: the U.S. Actually two enemies, because Israel is an extension of the U.S.
11. Palestinians cannot walk more than 30 minutes without violating a curfew;
12. The same Israeli people building the “wall” in Palestine are also building the “wall” between the U.S. and Mexico;
13. Gang members are now prosecuted as domestic terrorists. (As a criminal defense lawyer in Oakland, I know this is not true;)
14. Their definition of occupation is an outside power coming into a neighborhood, city, or country by military or police force, conquering the native people, and then forcing them off their land. In Oakland, this is achieved by gentrification. Gentrification is occupation;
15. Tel Aviv was an Arab city. The Zionists changed the name as part of their colonization of Palestine;
16. Schools in the U.S. should teach Arab history;
17. Oakland schools teach that slavery was a good thing and slaves were happy;
18. Palestinian and Black leaders are kept illegally in prisons so they cannot organize the people;
19. The first thing Israel does when they attack a village is to destroy the agriculture, such as the olive trees;
20. Federal police working with Oakland police intend to destroy Black culture;
21. COINTELPRO is actively trying to divide Black and Palestinian people in order to disrupt their organizing;
22. An Israeli PR firm in San Francisco is trying to entice people from grassroots organizations to visit Israel in order to feed them false information;
23. “They” do not want us to make the connections between what is happening in Palestine and Oakland;
24. Jews have invented creation myths of persecution in order to justify the genocide and colonization of Palestinians;
25. Oscar Grant represents persecution, resistance, and a great wave of grief, and love;
26. Myths are perpetuated in churches and temples to control the people;
27. Jews paint themselves as eternal victims;
28. The Committee Against Police Execution (CAPE) defends the right of people to come together to destroy property. The people who were arrested in the Oscar Brand riots should have all charges dropped against them, and the Oakland police chief should be fired.
Several times during the meeting, we were urged to attend a demonstration later in the week on the Berkeley campus to protest a lecture by Benny Morris. They reminded us several times that violence is an acceptable response to “justice denied.”

After 90 minutes of this anti-Semitic rubbish, I left. The red queen was on her head.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Speech by Rabbi Jonathan Sacks in Trafalgar Square, January 11

Rabbi Jonathan Sacks is the Chief Rabbi of the United Hebrew Congregations of the Commonwealth (Great Britain). He spoke on January 11 at the pro-Israel rally in Trafalgar Square in London that was attended by over 10,000 people.

He gave a short but eloquent speech that stands in stark contrast to the hate-filled images and chants from pro-Palestinian rallies around the world. It deserves widespread dissemination, but needs no further comment on its eloquence.

We are gathered today, not in triumph but in tears.
Nothing that has happened in Gaza needed to happen.
All it took to avoid all the suffering
was for Hamas to end firing rockets on innocent Israeli civilians.
That's all.
And let a voice go out today from here in Trafalgar Square,
And from other gatherings today in Manchester, Paris and Washington -
as it has gone out from Israel since the day it was born, 60 years ago:
We want peace
Israel wants peace.
We who love Israel want peace.
No to terror -- yes to peace
Let there be an end to bloodshed and hate.
Let there be peace.
We say to those who criticise Israel:
You want Palestinian children to grow up with hope.
So do we
You want Palestinians to be able to live in dignity.
So do we
You want Palestinian parents to have work, income, and a life for their families.
So do we
When a great British Zionist, the late Dr David Baum,
President of the Royal College of Paediatrics,
a man who lived in Bristol but asked to be buried, as he was, in Israel, in Rosh Pinah, sought to give expression to his hopes for Israel,
he created a state-of-the-art child care facility.
Where? In Gaza.
He died on a sponsored cycle ride raising money
for paediatric facilities in Gaza.
When one of the finest young men of our community, Yoni Jesner, was killed in a suicide attack on Tel Aviv bus, his family donated his organs to save life, one of whom was a seven-year-old Palestinian girl
Yasmin Abu Ramila
who had been waiting two years for a transplant.
We care about the Palestinian future.
We care for Palestinian children.
We care about life.
And that is why we say to Hamas, who for years, day after day, have been endangering the lives of innocent people:
Stop killing the Palestinian future.
In 2005 Israel withdrew from Gaza.
It said to the people of Gaza: the land is yours.
The factories, the farms, the buildings our people built are yours.
The aid you seek in building an economy is yours.
That is when terror should have stopped.
Instead that is when the current wave of terror began.
The living nightmare for the people of Sderot and Ashdod and Ashkelon.
A ceaseless rain of rockets injuring and killing young and old,
the vulnerable, the innocent, who wanted nothing except peace.
There are young children in Sderot who have only known a life of living in bomb shelters.
Who can live like that?
When Jews built the land and state of Israel
The land where our ancestors lived for 4000 years,
They didn't want to fight with their neighbours.
They didn't want to spend a lifetime fighting war and fearing terror.
All they wanted to do was live.
And so we ask Hamas, and Hizbollah, and the countries that give them aid and arms,
Why do you want Israel to die?
Stop wanting Israel to die.
Start wanting your children to live.
There is one question that cries out for an answer.
Why, Hamas, do you hold in such contempt not just Israeli lives but Palestinian lives.
Why do you fire rockets from schools, store arms in hospitals, surround yourself with human shields?
Why have you consistently acted so as to maximise the death of innocent Palestinians?
In the words of Colonel Richard Kemp, reported in today's Sunday Times:
Senior military adviser to the British cabinet,
'Hamas deploys suicide attackers including women and children,
And rigs up schools and houses with booby trap explosives.
Virtually every aspect of its operations is illegal under international humanitarian law.
The Palestinian future will begin
The minute Hamas stops firing rockets on innocent Israelis.
The minute they try to stop killing the people whom they see as enemies but who want to live as friends.
The minute they stop endangering the Palestinian people by pursuing a policy that is blighting the Palestinian future.
Just say three words:
Yes to peace.
And a day will come when Israelis and Palestinians
Jews Muslims and Christians
The people of Sderot and the people of Gaza
Will live together in peace
No longer fighting one another
But helping one another to live in freedom and dignity.
That day will come.
It could be a hundred years away
Or it could be today.
It's up to Hamas and the countries that give it arms.
And for the sake of Palestinian children, and Israeli children,
Let it be today.
But in the meanwhile we say,
Beloved G-d
The G-d we worship
The G-d of life who told us to sanctify life
Al Rahman, the G-d of compassion
The G-d of Avraham, Ibrahim, father of our several faiths
Show us the way to live your way.
The way of Salaam,
The way of Shalom.
The way of Peace.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Let Barack Obama Hear Your Pro-Israel Voice

As part of the transition to the Obama Administration next week, a website has been set up to seek citizen input on a variety of issues. As the website states, "Share your ideas on any issue facing the new administration, then rate or comment on other ideas. The best rated ideas will rise to the top -- and be gathered into a Citizen's Briefing Book to be delivered to President Obama after he is sworn in. "

Not surprisingly, the anti-Israel crowd is trying to stuff the figurative ballot box with their hysterical screeds. Here's a small sample from what's on there tonight:
" I agree, we had enough baby sitting of Israel. Israel should get out of our lap and should face the world for it's evil acts." (punctuation was never a strong point in the anti-Zionist movement)
"Israel has killed over 100 times as many people in the last couple weeks than all of those home made bottle rockets combined. They'd still be able to do that kind of damage without our F-17s, reactive armor, bombs, etc now that we've already given them access to our technology to reverse engineer." (a homemade bottle rocket that travels 25 miles and can explode a kindergarten? that's one hell of a bottle)
"So, the point that I am trying to make here is first of all, existance of Israel is illegal. We can give back the land to Palestinians and problem solved. No more killing, no more complaining. And, I bet you that if that happens, they will be living in peace, baby sitting for each other's kids as they were used to." (on his planet, do cows fly?)

If you are a US resident: go to and set up an account. Then search for "Israel". Vote proposals up or down as appropriate; that's more important than making comments, since the "vote" totals are apparently what they will pay attention to. Apparently the page refreshes every day, so go back daily.