Sunday, March 1, 2015

Cosmetic Surgery on the Rise in Gaza

More dispatches from Concentration Camp Gaza, via  Al-Monitor

Pregnancies significantly changed Safa Ahmad's physical appearance, which began to affect her marriage and cause her psychological problems. About five months ago, Safa, a 28-year-old living in Gaza City, had breast implants in the hope they would help her feel better psychologically and improve things at home. 

“My husband wanted to marry someone else because of the changes in my looks after I gave birth to three sons," she told Al-Monitor. "But by coincidence, I heard about cosmetic surgeries in Gaza, and I suggested to my husband that I have one. He immediately agreed, so I got silicon breast implants, and they drastically changed my looks as well as my marital and family life. My husband then let go of the idea of marrying someone else.”

The mainstream media continually carries stories of the "humanitarian crisis" in Gaza- of critical shortages of food and medicine. We are not getting the full story.

Al-Monitor continues

The difficult economic and social situation in Gaza does not appear to be preventing Gazans from undergoing cosmetic surgery in search of happiness, which is difficult to find given the siege of Israeli occupation and recurring wars.

Dr. Salah Zaanin, a cosmetic and laser surgery consultant, started working in the field three years ago in a private hospital in Gaza City. The high demand for cosmetic surgeries, by men and women, led him to open his own clinic.

Zaanin told Al-Monitor that three years after returning from Greece and working in the Gaza Strip, he found that rapid progress had been made in this area and that the demand for surgery, despite the economic and other problems Gaza residents were experiencing, had increased. “We are a people who love life and beauty like all other people," he said. "Because of the psychological pressures, a lot of women began looking after their emotional and physical well-being, especially after learning of the advances in cosmetic surgery and the presence of modern equipment in Gaza.”

Zaanin said he has conducted hundreds of cosmetic operations in Gaza, all of which were successful. Some clients even began entrusting him with operations that used to be referred to the outside.
He said that the most common procedures in Gaza are liposuction, breast augmentation and “tummy tucks” for women. Tightening eyelids and removing bags under the eyes are popular as well. “In the past month, using Botox to fill and remove wrinkles in men and women rose by 600% in my clinic, indicating that despite the blockade and the stress, we are trying to be happy by looking better," Zaanin said. "In addition, there has been a 300% increase in lip augmentation and beautification.”

The economy, of course, still plays a role in the demand for certain types of operations even with the prices in Gaza being low compared to other countries. Zaanin said that the fees for cosmetic surgeries in the Gaza Strip are the lowest in the world and that they depend on the materials used in a procedure. “Cosmetic surgeries range in price from $1,000 to $2,000, while nonsurgical [silicon injections] cost up to $300," Zaanin said. "Therefore, all social classes are resorting to cosmetic surgery. For example, the poor opt for low-priced operations. Everyone should have the right to enjoy and live life, and I feel happy when I can make that happen for someone.”

Zaanin also said that the changes in Eastern societies, such as women entering the workforce, their financial independence and the importance of looking good, have all played a role in the growing popularity of cosmetic surgery among women and men. He said that all operations are conducted within Gaza's religious and social frameworks and medical standards. “Women come accompanied by their guardian, either the father or the husband, and we do not conduct operations without them," Zaanin said. "In fact, many men choose to have such operations because of these visits...”



h/t Elder of Ziyon

Friday, February 27, 2015

Col. Richard Kemp on Safeguarding Civilians in Gaza

Colonel Richard Kemp has spent 29 years countering terrorism in Iraq, Afghanistan, Northern Ireland, Great Britain, Germany, Saudi Arabia and Macedonia. He was Commander of British Forces in Afghanistan in 2003 and fought in the 1990-91 Gulf War and commanded British troops in Bosnia with the UN Protection Force and in Cyprus with the UN Force.

He was appointed Member of the Order of the British Empire by the Queen in 1994 for counter terrorist intelligence services and Commander of the Order of the British Empire in 2006 also for counter terrorist intelligence services.

He was in Israel during much of last years' Gaza conflict, in direct contact with  soldiers in the IDF as well as Israeli political leaders.

The following are excerpts from his submission to the UN Commission of Inquiry on the 2014 Gaza conflict, based on  his “observations on the ground during the conflict, 29 years’ military experience of conflicts of this type, intelligence work relating to Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad, knowledge of the IDF and Israeli intelligence services, study of the Israel-Palestine conflict and observations on the ground during the 2012 Gaza conflict.”.

In my opinion the actions taken by the IDF were necessary to defend the people of Israel from the ongoing, intensive and lethal attacks by Hamas and other groups in Gaza. It is the inalienable duty of every government to use its armed forces to protect its citizens and its terrain from external attack.

In this case there was a sustained assault on the Israeli population from rockets and mortar bombs; attacks on Israeli military posts using tunnels; apparent plans to launch further attacks on Israeli military posts and on civilian settlements also using tunnels; and attempted attacks from the sea.

As the Gaza Strip is effectively a separate state, outside of Israeli control, these actions amounted to an attack by a foreign country against Israeli territory. In these circumstances I know of no other realistic and effective means of suppressing an aggressor’s missile fire than the methods used by the IDF, namely precision air and artillery strikes against the command and control structures, the fighters and the munitions of Hamas and the other groups in Gaza. Nor have I heard any other military expert from any country propose a viable alternative means of defence against such aggression.

Colonel Kemp detailed the specific ways Israel minimized civilian casualties, writing about the
procedures that were routinely implemented prior to launching an attack in Gaza, concluding that “the IDF took exceptional measures to adhere to the Laws of Armed Conflict and to minimise civilian casualties in Gaza.”

Before a target could be attacked at least two separate and independent intelligence sources had to verify that it was a legitimate military target. Intelligence includes human sources, aerial surveillance, ground surveillance and communications intercept.

Each separate aerial attack mission had to be personally authorised by the Commander of the Israeli Air Force or one of his deputies, at least one of whom had to be present in the operations centre throughout the conflict.  Authorisation was also subject to legal advice.

To confirm whether or not civilians were in the target area surveillance had to be conducted by both manned combat aircraft and unmanned air vehicle (drone), the latter enabling greater visual recognition.

If surveillance or other intelligence sources confirmed the presence of civilians, or the presence of civilians was suspected, one or more of a series of measures was taken to warn the civilians before the attack could go ahead. These measures were:

Leaflet drop.

Broadcast radio message.

Phone call.

Text message.

Warning via UN.

An additional measure was the use of a specially designed harmless air-dropped munition known as ‘knock on the roof’ which was dropped on buildings to make a loud percussion and to warn those inside of an impending attack. 

Further surveillance was then conducted to confirm the civilians had left the target area. If they had not the attack would not be carried out until they had. 

Once a pilot was authorised to attack he had authority – and it was his duty – to abort the attack if he had reason to believe civilians were present when he made his attack run. 

Pilots utilising lazer-guided munitions were required to identify a safe open area in advance so that if civilians were identified in the target zone even after the missile was launched, it could be diverted in flight to the safe area.

Read Col. Kemps entire  submission to the UN Commission of Inquiry on the 2014 Gaza conflict here

Thursday, February 26, 2015

UC Berkeley Passes Bill Condemning Anti-Semitism

In light of recent attacks on Jewish institutions both at home and in Europe, UC Berkeley's Academic Senate has passed, with a unanimous vote of 20- 0 SB 14/15-055 A Bill Condemning Anti-Semitism

 The sponsors included a unified group of Jewish  and non Jewish students and organizations, including Jewish Student Union (AEPi, Bears for Israel, Chabad Student Group, Chabearim, Jewish Business Association, Jews in Science and Engineering , JMED, Maccabeasts, JFem: Miriam IV, Mishelanu, Q-Jew, Tamid, Tikvah),  Pavan Upadhyayula (ASUC President), Eric Gabrielli (ASUC Senator), Vinay Ramesh (ASUC Senator), Paul Lee (ASUC Senator), Hannah Frankl (ASUC Senator), Bo Nguyen (ASUC Senator), Michaela Fried (Tikvah President), Grant Fineman (Alpha Epsilon Pi President), Glen Lipschitz (Alpha Epsilon Pi Vice President), Benjamin Feiner (Tikvah Vice President), Joshua Cahn (Co-Chief of Staff, ASUC Senator Herschmann), Sinead Brenner (Co-Chief of Staff, ASUC Senator Herschmann), Becca Berman (Bears for Israel President), Mila Shklyar (External Philanthropy Chair of Alpha Chi Omega), Alana Corre (JMED Co-President), Liza Leykina (JMED Co-President), Amiel Azizollahi (Chabad Student Group President), Avi Levine (Former Tikvah President), David Jacobowitz (Zeta Beta Tau External Affairs Vice President), Dree Kavoussi (ASUC Senator)
The text of the resolution follow. May this be a model for all universities to follow.

WHEREAS, the US State Department as of February 23, 2015 defines Anti-Semitism as:

"Anti-Semitism is a certain perception of Jews, which may be expressed as hatred toward Jews. Rhetorical and physical manifestations of anti-Semitism are directed toward Jewish or non-Jewish individuals and/or their property, toward Jewish community institutions and religious facilities," and;

WHEREAS, the United States State Department outlines the following contemporary examples:

  • “Calling for, aiding, or justifying the killing or harming of Jews (often in the name of a radical ideology or an extremist view of religion).
  • Making mendacious, dehumanizing, demonizing, or stereotypical allegations about Jews as such or the power of Jews as a collective—especially but not exclusively, the myth about a world Jewish conspiracy or of Jews controlling the media, economy, government or other societal institutions.
  • Accusing Jews as a people of being responsible for real or imagined wrongdoing committed by a single Jewish person or group, the state of Israel, or even for acts committed by non-Jews.
  • Accusing the Jews as a people, or Israel as a state, of inventing or exaggerating the Holocaust.
  • Accusing Jewish citizens of being more loyal to Israel, or to the alleged priorities of Jews worldwide, than to the interest of their own nations,” and;

WHEREAS, former United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan stated that, the United Nations emerged from the ashes of the Holocaust.  And a human rights agenda that fails to address anti-Semitism denies its own history,” and;

WHEREAS, Jewish communities in both France and Denmark have been rocked by attacks on their holy places, members, and stores twice in two months, and;

WHEREAS, the swastika symbol was used during the Holocaust to symbolize the Nazi regime and their collaborators, and;
WHEREAS, Neo-Nazis use the swastika to this day to instill fear in Jews all around the world and trigger memories of the horrific atrocities and events of the Holocaust, and;
WHEREAS, early Saturday morning on January 31st, 2015, between the hours of 3 and 9 a.m., the fraternity house of the Alpha Epsilon Pi at UC Davis was vandalized with anti-Semitic graffiti, notably two large swastikas, and;

WHEREAS, in 2013, a Swastika was discovered scratched into a door in Clark Kerr Campus, and;
WHEREAS, Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits discrimination on the
basis of race, color and national origin in programs and activities receiving federal financial assistance which extended to protect Jewish students in 2004 on the basis that Judaism is both a religion and an ethnicity, and;

WHEREAS, On February 10th, 2014, at a meeting of the UCLA Undergraduate Students Association Council, a Jewish candidate for Judicial Board Justice was asked, “Given that you’re a Jewish student and very active in the Jewish community […] how do you see yourself being able to maintain an unbiased view in your position?” by a council member, followed by a debate not about the candidates qualifications, but about whether or not her identity and affiliation with the Jewish community created a unique conflict of interest, to which this debate was later denounced by the Daily Bruin Editorial Board as “discriminatory,” and;

WHEREAS, Incidents like ones at UC Davis have happened multiple times at other campuses around the UC System and the country and have been brushed off as harmless tagging of property, including in a residence hall at UC Berkeley in 2006, and;

WHEREAS, Many incidents of anti-Semitism occur both inside and outside of the classroom on UC campuses, and;

WHEREAS, the past response to anti-Semitism has not opened important conversations that need to happen, and;

WHEREAS, the ASUC has historically taken a stance against instances of prejudice, including Islamophobia, and as Jews are a minority, and;

WHEREAS, Anti-Semitism is the bigoted targeting of a historically oppressed minority and thus should be treated with the utmost care in relation to the hate crime incidents that happen on campus.

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED,  That the ASUC adopt the definition of anti-Semitism as stated above, recognizing the rights and protections of Jewish students and the Jewish community, and;

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the ASUC unequivocally condemns the hateful incidents at UC Davis, and;

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the ASUC will actively fight against anti-Semitism according to the U.S. State Department’s definition as defined above, and;

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the ASUC acts in accordance to their mission to represent and protect their students through the following:

  1. Commitment to taking action should happen with immediate urgency
  2. Awareness of any prejudice happening to any minority community should be a major concern and on the forefront of the ASUC’s agenda, and;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Associated Students of the University of California charter the Ad-Hoc Committee on Anti-Semitism so that it reads:
Section 1: Composition
Voting Members: ASUC President, two ASUC Senators, the Jewish Student Union President, one Faculty Member (nominated by the rest of the committee and approved by Senate) and one student-at-large (nominated by the rest of the committee and approved by Senate).

Section 2: Charge  

  1. The charge of the Ad-Hoc Committee on Anti-Semitism shall be discussing, deliberating, and further educating about Anti-Semitism on campus; and,
  2. Request an amount of funding from the Senate Finance Committee for students or student groups to use for Yom Hashoah (Holocaust Remembrance Day) programming each academic year.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That President Upadhyayula sends a letter signed by every senator expressing our concern for the safety of the Jewish community on the UC Davis campus, and;
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the ASUC calls on the executives (President Upadhyayula, EVP Kong, Student Advocate Ahuja, EAVP Quinn, and AAVP Chou) to ask Chancellor Dirks and the Dean of Students to meet regarding anti-Semitism and invite leaders of the Jewish community (to the discretion of the ASUC elected officials) to the meeting, and;
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the ASUC encourages the student body to be conscious of unintended effects that their words and actions may have on others, and to become active allies of marginalized students, and;

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the ASUC does not endorse the behaviors of students, staff, faculty, or administration that infringe upon the safety of another person and/or develop a hostile and unsafe environment, and;

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that the ASUC should respect the right of the Jewish students at UC Berkeley to define, within the guidelines of the nationally recognized definition put forth by the United States State Department, what is and is not anti-Semitism, in the same manner in which other communities are granted that right.

Use booking.com for your next Gaza vacation

The Electronic Intifada's having a bit of a tantrum because bookings.com offers accommodations over the green line.

Interestingly enough, booking.com also includes listings in that vacationers paradise, terror controlled Gaza.  Electronic Intifada doesn't seem to care about that.

This beach chalet, listed on booking.com  is just meters from the Gaza beach and offers both a swimming pool and a jacuzzi, and manicured landscaping (just like the Warsaw ghetto)





If you are interesting in seeing more photos of this lovely Gaza home, visit booking.com

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Israel Apartheid Week Comes to Berkeley

Yawn.

Its Israel apartheid Week” at UC Berkeley, and Students for Just Us in Palestine (SJP)  just can’t seem to think beyond the box, resorting to the same tired techniques to spread their demonization of Israel.

Yep. Mock-check points and mock-eviction notices.

In direct violation of campus policy SJP members distributed several hundred fake eviction notices under the doors in Unit 2, except for one floor, where a resident advisor barred their entry. (SJP described the incident as " the interruption of a Resident Advisor prevented us from exercising our right to free expression.")
Via the Daily Cal
“We do not allow any solicitations out of respect for the students residing there,” said Adam Ratliff, spokesperson for the campus’ Division of Student Affairs, in an email. He said he is not aware of any planned response to SJP for breaching dormitory policy.


The club also left an eviction notice in Chancellor Nicholas Dirks’ mailbox.

The group also staged a checkpoint at a mock security barrier at Sather Gate, that was largely ignored by the students hurrying to classes.  A bomb was painted on  the barrier, along with the word "resistance"


The barrier  also features a tribute to unrepentant Jew-murderer Rasmea Odeh.  Both visual images provided a  horrifyingly disturbing glorification of violence from the privileged students at Cal.


SJP's exercise in demonization was supported financially by a variety of equally extremist groups, including JVP, IJAN and the AROC


Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Dam Lies.

It was all over the news. Even reputable sites printed the press release verbatim, without any fact checking. The agitprop sites of as usual were the worse.  Versions of the story appeared on media from Iran, Qatar, Russia, China, the UK, France and the Palestinian Authority

A typical version from Ma'an News

Hundreds of Palestinians were evacuated from their homes Sunday morning after Israeli authorities opened a number of dams near the border, flooding the Gaza Valley in the wake of a recent severe winter storm.

The Gaza Ministry of Interior said in a statement that civil defense services and teams from the Ministry of Public Works had evacuated more than 80 families from both sides of the Gaza Valley (Wadi Gaza) after their homes flooded as water levels reached more than three meters.


There was not a word of truth to it.

Via Media Watchdog, CAMERA

Regarding the claim that Israel opened dams, thereby flooding Gaza, a spokesman for the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) told CAMERA:

The claim is entirely false, and southern Israel does not have any dams. Due to the recent rain, streams were flooded throughout the region with no connection to actions taken by the State of Israel.

 Prior to the storm, the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories allowed the transfer of four water pumps belonging to the Palestinian Water Authority from Israel into Gaza to supplement the 13 pumps already in the Gaza Strip in dealing with any potential flooding throughout the area.

In addition, Nechemia Shahaf, the head of the Drainage Authority for the Shakma-Besor Region, confirmed to CAMERA that there are no dams which can be opened and closed in southern Israel. Shahaf said, "There is a diverting dam one meter high which directs water to reservoirs. This is a low dam which cannot be opened or closed." He also noted that the singular dam, which cannot be opened, is next to Kibbutz Gvulot, and approximately 20 kilometers away from Gaza.


For more (accurate) information

The Bullsh*t Dam Has Burst  

Watchdog Rips AFP for False Report Claiming Israel Flooded Gaza Areas by Opening Dams

AFP Lies, Dam Lies and Floods 

Gazans (and the PA) again blame Israel for the weather (update x2)

AFP Lies, Claims Israel 'Flooded Gaza' with Nonexistent Dam

 


Monday, February 23, 2015

San Francisco Billboard Wars. Take 6

For the sixth time, SWU Is countering anti-Israel messages in San Francisco with pro-Israel ads beginning March 2, 2015.

StandWithUs (SWU) is placing two posters on San Francisco buses that will begin March 2 for one month.  They are on eight buses (four on four.)

This is the sixth time that the Israel education organization has responded to anti-Israel messages in San Francisco. 

One StandWithUs ad  states, "Not With Our Tax Dollars. Stop U.S. Aid for Palestinian Terrorism," and directs viewers to learn more and sign a petition at:  notaxesforterror.com. 


The second ad juxtaposes ancient and modern coins that feature the Menorah, reminding commuters that "Israel has been the homeland of the Jewish people for 3,000 years."



The SWU ads counter anti-Israel ones also on buses initiated by Seattle Mideast Awareness Campaign (SeaMAC), partnering with the local No Tax Dollars For Israel, that feature a woman sitting in rubble stating, "Israel's War Crimes. Your Tax Dollars At Work." 

"The anti-Israel ads mislead the public and try to undermine American support for Israel with factual distortions and exaggerations. They leave out the real reason Israel needs to defend itself, which is Hamas in Gaza and terrorist cells in the West Bank. They leave out the numerous times Israel has given up land for peace - such as in Gaza in 2005 when, in exchange, Hamas and other terror groups fired thousands of rockets at Israel's southern communities. Operation Protective Edge was launched this summer to protect Israeli citizens. These ads do not explain that Hamas misappropriated donor funds that should have been used to build infrastructure and instead used the money for weapons to build  terror tunnels in order to unleash cross-border terror attacks at unsuspecting Israeli citizens," states Dr.  Michael Harris, StandWithUs/SFVoicefor Israel.

StandWithUs has countered anti-Israel messages on public transit and highways wherever they appeared throughout the United States and Canada since 2007. 

"Groups that publicize misinformation about Israel should be on the alert that we will continue to challenge their lies and to inform the public," affirmed Roz Rothstein, CEO StandWithUs.

Is Paul Larudee funneling donations to terrorist organizations?

In January, Paul’s  Free Palestine Movement solicited donations “to help Palestinians in Gaza” by donating to the Palestine Children's Welfare Fund. He included a photo of a baby who had alleged frozen to death just to tug at the heart strings.

The Free Palestine Movement and the Palestine Children's Welfare Fund are both sock puppet accounts organized under the rubric of Paul Larudee's 501 c 3, the Association for Investment for Popular action Committees (yes, that be would "AIPAC") EIN 20-5516191.

The Vista Heights address is Paul's own  home.

Paul’s priorities are interesting. If he were really interested in  buying warm blankets for babies, why did he just spend $8,000 on 15 anti-Israel advertisements on San Francisco MUNI buses?

Paul whose ties to Hamas leaders have been well documented now finds himself in a quandary. Banks have refused to release the funds which had been earmarked to the “ Charitable Association for Palestinian Relief in Lebanon,"  quite a bit of a hike from Gaza.

From a series of  emails sent out by Paul Larudee, exhorting his followers to harass bank compliance officials (I've removed the phone numbers and emails) into releasing funds:

From: FPM Newsletter
Sent: Wednesday, February 18, 2015 1:01 PM

Subject: US Banks are refusing to release the funds you sent for freezing Palestinians in Gaza
US Banks are refusing to release the funds you sent for freezing Palestinians in Gaza
It's true. You sent us nearly $5000 and now the banks are refusing to release the funds. We tried to send the first $3720 of that amount from our account at Bank of the West to the Charitable Association for Palestinian Relief in Lebanon. For this transaction, Bank of the West used the international banking services of Mellon Bank in New York. 

Mellon stopped the transaction and requested further information. By that time we were in the process of changing banks, so we cancelled the transaction and asked them to return the money to our account so that we could send the money from the new bank (and add additional funds received). In addition, the information requested made no sense (for example, the personal details of Syrian ex-president Hafez al-Assad, who died fifteen years ago). Now they are threatening to confiscate the funds permanently at 4:00 p.m. TODAY Pacific time (7:00 p.m. Eastern).

We do not believe they have the legal right to do this, but we also do not want to spend a lot of money on legal services. PLEASE CALL and tell them to release the funds. They have no right to keep our money if we have canceled the transaction. We do not know what will happen after 4:00 today, but we suggest continuing to call daily for as long as is takes to release the money. We will update you whenever we have more information. 

PLEASE CALL and tell them to release the funds for freezing Palestinians. And don't bank at Bank of the West or use the services of Mellon Bank.
Tanya Kazak, Vice President, Compliance Manager, Bank of the West 
Karen Nelson, Customer Service Manager, El Cerrito Branch, Bank of the West

From: FPM Newsletter
Sent: Thursday, February 19, 2015 7:47 AM
Subject: Keep calling the Banksters. Your actions are helping
Keep calling the Banksters. Your actions are helping. 

Yesterday we received a call from Tanya Kazak, the Vice President and Compliance Manager for Bank of the West within 15 minutes of posting our appeal for your action. She had already received five calls and by the time we finished talking, she had received twelve. Karen Nelson at the local branch was routing her calls to the 800 number, but here is a new number for her: xxx-xxx-xxxx
Here also is the text of a message that we sent after hours to Ms. Kazak after consulting with our attorney. It explains further actions that we intend to take. Your suggestions are welcome, and if you learn anything that might be of use, please send it to us. 

Tanya Kazak 
Vice President, Compliance Manager 
Bank of the West 

Ms. Kazak, 
Our legal counsel advises us that Bank of the West is illegally withholding our funds and that you have provided no justification to demand the information that you are asking. He advises not to provide that information until and unless you demonstrate the legal necessity to do so, and he invites you to call him to discuss the matter further. His name is Tom Nelson and he can be reached at xxx-xxx-xxxx or xxx-xxx-xxxx.

Until now, Bank of the West has steadfastly refused to state that Bank of New York Mellon requires the requested information as a condition of releasing the funds to be returned to the Association. In addition, Bank of the West refuses to state in writing what the consequences will be if the Association refuses to provide the requested information by your deadline of 4:00 p.m. PST, Feb. 18, 2015, which has now passed. 

In the absence of such statements, we conclude that the demand is frivolous, malicious and insincere, and made in violation of the law but under the assumption that law enforcement will not act to protect our rights for a sum of money that would be within the jurisdiction of small claims court if we were an individual and not a corporation. Clearly, BNY Mellon and/or Bank of the West consider themselves to be too powerful to abide by the law and the amount too small for theft statutes to be enforced. 

However, we have other means of defending our rights, and we intend to pursue them. These include state and federal banking authorities and public officials. We also have the power of our supporters and human rights advocates everywhere, whom we can ask to demand from you directly and through public demonstrations and the press to honor our rights. We can bring attention to your immoral and arrogant practices, and we can encourage the public to boycott your bank. Please do not think that we are without recourse merely because our accounts do not represent a major part of your business. 

Let me remind you that Bank of the West chose to use BNY Mellon for the subject transaction. You may have business with them, but our business is with you and we hold you responsible for the return of our funds, regardless of your interaction with BNY Mellon. Please do the right thing and return our funds without delay. 

What you can do: 
. Keep calling Tanya Kazak at xxx-xxx-xxxx and tell her to return our funds immediately. If Bank of the West wants to use their own funds to reimburse us, we have no objection, and we will then allow them to keep any funds returned to them by Bank of New York Mellon. Call Karen Nelson at xxx-xxx-xxxx and xxx-xxx-xxxx with the same message. Perhaps sequential numbers above and below those two numbers will also work.

. Send the same message by email to (email removed)
. You may wish to call Bank of New York Mellon at xxx-xxx-xxxx We have had no direct dealings with them, but you can perhaps ask the operator to direct you to the compliance section of the international wire transfer division. You can tell them that it is in reference to a cancelled wire transfer in the amount of $3720 from the account of the Association for Investment in Popular Action Committees, sent from the Bank of the West, El Cerrito, California branch to the Charitable Association for Palestinian Relief in Lebanon on January 26, 2015. They are not authorized to give you any information, but your purpose is to deliver the message to release the funds that they are illegally holding even after the transaction was cancelled. Let us know about your experience.
. If you bank at Bank of the West, find a new bank, and let us and them know. This kind of pressure makes a big difference.
Thank you for all your help. The essence of the Palestinian struggle is that we won't be bullied.


From: FPM Newsletter
Subject: [fpm.news] The latest on bank confiscation of funds for Palestinians whose homes were destroyed in Gaza

The latest on bank confiscation of funds for Palestinians whose homes were destroyed in Gaza
Your calls and emails have caused Bank of NY Mellon and Bank of the West to twice postpone their deadlines for threatened actions. 

As you know, the Free Palestine Movement is a human rights advocacy organization and its sister, the Palestine Children's Welfare Fund is a humanitarian aid organization. Is it likely that we will surrender our own human rights at the same time that we fight for those of Palestinians? We don't think so. 

The latest communication from Quinn Osborne, Vice President and Lead Counsel for Bank of the West says that we must answer a list of questions or "the Funds will be blocked in accordance with the U.S. sanctions laws." We would very much like to see the laws that authorize banks to block the return of funds to depositors in the case of cancelled transactions. We do not believe that such laws exist and neither does our legal counsel, Tom Nelson. We also do not believe that they have the right to ask any questions in the case of a cancelled transaction, only if they are being asked to complete the transaction.

We have already filed a complaint with the State of California and we are preparing a press release. The reference number for the wire transfer is 20150126-00006615, sent on 26 January, 2015. If you call BNY Mellon at xxx-xxx-xxxx, you can ask for the compliance section of the international wire transfer department and demand the funds of that cancelled transaction to be returned to the Palestine Children's Welfare Fund immediately. We will also try to find more numbers and email addresses for you to call and write. 


Please let us know your experience and any ideas that you may have to bring further pressure on lawless banks that take upon themselves authority that they do not have. Let us know especially if you withdraw your account from Bank of the West. We know of one very big account that was already moved to another bank. Thank you!

Jury Finds Palestinian Authority liable for attacks against Americans

"Now the Palestinian Authority knows there is a price for sending suicide bombers to our malls, to our cafes and blowing our buses up, and we will pursue and will make sure that the PA will pay every dollar"
Israel Law Center attorney Nitsana Darshan-Leitner

Following two half-days of deliberations, a US jury found Palestinian authorities liable for six terror attacks in Jerusalem that killed and injured Americans, awarding victims and their families $218.5 million in damages.  The trial, under US district judge George Daniels in New York  lasted over  five weeks. Under the US anti-terrorism act, the damages are automatically tripled, with the  Palestinian Authority (PA) and Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) ultimately liable for over $650 million in damages. 

The 12-member jury decided unanimously that the PA and PLO were liable on 25 separate counts connected to attacks at  Hebrew University, in Jaffa Road, King George Street, against the number 19 bus and in French Hills.
The six attacks killed 33 people and wounded hundreds more  between January 2002 and January 2004. The terror attacks were carried out by Hamas and the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades during the second Palestinian intifada against Israel.


Sunday, February 22, 2015

Jerusalem Mayor helps to Apprehend Terrorist

An ultra-Orthodox man in his 20s was moderately wounded by a Palestinian man from the West Bank, who was in the area of the Jerusalem Municipality without authorization.   The attack took place in IDF Square in Jerusalem, near City Hall. Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat and his security team apprehended the attacker, who was taken to police for questioning.

The dramatic footage is worth watching. The mayor himself tackles the assailant.



Nir Barakat spoke after





“I was driving near IDF Square, and suddenly my security detail saw the terrorist near us with a knife. I immediately jumped out of the car with my body guard. He drew his weapon on the attacker, and we both caught the terrorist, holding him until the police arrived. We then immediately took care of the injured young man, and fortunately his injury wasn’t too serious.”



Via Paula Stern at A Soldiers Mother

This mayor has done much to promote Jerusalem - there are two significant things worth noting here. The first is that with his body, with his life, he moved in bravely to protect. And the second is that at any point, his security forces could have simply shot the 18-year-old terrorist. They chose to try to take him alive, and they did.


Saturday, February 21, 2015

Congressional representatives who are planning to skip Netanyahu's speech to Congress

Via the Whip List at the Hill : Here is a list of the Congressional representatives who are planning to skip Netanyahu's  speech to Congress

SKIPPING
House (22)

Rep. Earl Blumenauer (Ore.)
Rep. G.K. Butterfield (N.C.)
Rep. Andre Carson (Ind.)
Rep. James Clyburn (S.C.)
Rep. Diana DeGette (Colo.)
Rep. Donna Edwards (Md.)
Rep. Keith Ellison (Minn.)
Rep. Raúl Grijalva (Ariz.)
Rep. Luis Gutiérrez (Ill.)
Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D.C.)
Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson (Texas) 
Rep. Barbara Lee (Calif.)
Rep. John Lewis (Ga.)
Rep. Betty McCollum (Minn.)
Rep. Jim McDermott (Wash.)
Rep. Gregory Meeks (N.Y.) .
Rep. Beto O'Rourke (Texas)
Rep. Chellie Pingree (Maine)
Rep. Charles Rangel (N.Y.)
Rep. Cedric Richmond (La.)
Rep. Bennie Thompson (Miss.)
Rep. John Yarmuth (Ky.)

Senate (3)

Sen. Patrick Leahy (Vt.)
Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.)
Sen. Brian Schatz (Hawaii)

Ask your Congressperson to attend Netanyahu's Speech. Here's How you can help.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is scheduled to address a Joint Session of Congress next month. This is an important opportunity for our elected officials to hear directly from the leader of one of our closest allies, but partisan politics are getting in the way.

President Obama has declined to meet with the Prime Minister. Vice President Biden and 2 dozen  members of Congress are putting partisan politics ahead of our relationship with our only real ally in the  Region, and have announced that they too will boycott the Prime Minister's speech to Congress. 

The extremists at Jewish voice for Peace have been relentlessly lobbying Congress to  "skip the speech" on social media. We need to fight back.


Call  or fax your Congresspeople. Ask them to put partisan politics aside and listen to Prime Minister Netanyahu's address to Congress. 

Use facebook and Twitter to follow up on social media. 

Please contact your representatives and tell them why we must stop  Iran's nuclear ambitions. Ask them to attend Netanyahu's talk

Facebook selection of pages of US representatives in Congress and the Senate
https://www.facebook.com/SenLisaMurkowski
https://www.facebook.com/ChrisMurphyCT
https://www.facebook.com/pattymurray
https://www.facebook.com/billnelson
https://www.facebook.com/RandPaul
https://www.facebook.com/SenatorRandPaul
https://www.facebook.com/perduesenate
https://www.facebook.com/PetersForMichigan
https://www.facebook.com/SenatorGaryPeters
https://www.facebook.com/robportman
https://www.facebook.com/senrobportman
https://www.facebook.com/SenJackReed
https://www.facebook.com/SenatorReid
https://www.facebook.com/SenPatRoberts
https://www.facebook.com/mikerounds
https://www.facebook.com/MarcoRubio
https://www.facebook.com/SenatorMarcoRubio
https://www.facebook.com/senatorsanders
https://www.facebook.com/sassefornebraska
https://www.facebook.com/SenBrianSchatz
https://www.facebook.com/chuckschumer
https://www.facebook.com/votetimscott
https://www.facebook.com/jeffsessions
https://www.facebook.com/SenatorShaheen
https://www.facebook.com/stabenow
https://www.facebook.com/senatortester
https://www.facebook.com/jontester
https://www.facebook.com/ThomTillis
https://www.facebook.com/tomudall
https://www.facebook.com/senatortomudall
https://www.facebook.com/DavidVitter
https://www.facebook.com/MarkRWarner
https://www.facebook.com/SenatorWhitehouse
https://www.facebook.com/wyden
https://www.facebook.com/JohnLewis
https://www.facebook.com/jameseclyburn
https://www.facebook.com/gregorymeeksny05
https://www.facebook.com/blumenauer
https://www.facebook.com/congressmangkbutterfield
https://www.facebook.com/CongressmanAndreCarson
https://www.facebook.com/DianaDeGette
https://www.facebook.com/donna.edwards.18062
https://www.facebook.com/Keith.Ellison
https://www.facebook.com/Rep.Grijalva
https://www.facebook.com/RepGutierrez
https://www.facebook.com/CongresswomanNorton
https://www.facebook.com/CongresswomanEBJtx30
https://www.facebook.com/RepBarbaraLee
https://www.facebook.com/repbettymccollum
https://www.facebook.com/CongressmanJimMcDermott
https://www.facebook.com/gregorymeeksny05
https://www.facebook.com/BetoORourkeTX16
https://www.facebook.com/ChelliePingree
https://www.facebook.com/CBRangel
https://www.facebook.com/RepRichmond
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Congressman-John-Yarmuth-KY-3/214258646163
https://www.facebook.com/RepThomasMassie
https://www.facebook.com/RepKarenBass
https://www.facebook.com/XavierBecerra
https://www.facebook.com/sanfordbishop
https://www.facebook.com/repcardenas
https://www.facebook.com/emanuelcleaverii
https://www.facebook.com/CongressmanSteveCohen
https://www.facebook.com/elijahcummings
https://www.facebook.com/CongressmanDKDavis
https://www.facebook.com/alangrayson
https://www.facebook.com/RepMikeHonda
https://www.facebook.com/CongresswomanSheilaJacksonLee
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Congressman-Hank-Johnson/115356957005
https://www.facebook.com/DaveLoebsack
https://www.facebook.com/RepLowenthal
https://www.facebook.com/McGovernForCongress
https://www.facebook.com/SethMoultonForCongress
https://www.facebook.com/RepGraceNapolitano
https://www.facebook.com/RepPerlmutter
https://www.facebook.com/scottpeterssandiego
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Collin-Peterson/6595227967
https://www.facebook.com/pages/David-Price/8338225975
https://www.facebook.com/reppaultonko
https://www.facebook.com/chrisvanhollen

Thank you!

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Anti-Semitism at UCLA

Rachel Beyda's intelligence, her drive and her leadership made her a  perfect candidate for justice to the Judicial Board of the Undergraduate Students Association Council at UCLA.  She had been unanimously approved by the Appointments Review Committee earlier  Who would ever guess that her Judaism might stand in the way?  Who would ever guess that in 2015 this would still be an issue?

Via the College Fix

At the Feb. 10 hearing, several members did not want to confirm Rachel Beyda to the association’s judicial board, the committee that determines if the student government’s actions comply with its bylaws. Essentially council members argued Beyda’s Jewish heritage is not compatible with the interests of the UCLA student government...

Student government member Fabienne Roth commenced the question period by asking Beyda: “Given that you are a Jewish student and very active in the Jewish community, given that recently…(inaudible)…has been surrounding cases of conflict of interest, how do you see yourself being able to maintain an unbiased view in…(inaudible)…?”

At this point the Undergraduate Students Association president, Jewish student Avinoam Baral, interjected that “questioning a candidate’s ability to remain unbiased simply on the basis of her being a member of a particular community is an inappropriate question that we would not feel comfortable asking student members of other communities.”

Rachel Frenklar,  Rachel's " roommate, sorority sister and best friend" described the event in the Daily Bruin

 All council members swiftly agreed Rachel was amply qualified for the position, but half of the council had strong reservations stemming from Rachel’s Jewish identity. “My issue is, I’m going to be upfront about it, I think she’s pretty great. She’s smart, she like knows her stuff, she’s like probably going to be a really great lawyer. But I’m like not going to pretend this isn’t about conflict of interest. … It’s not her fault … but she’s part of a community that’s very invested in USAC. … Even if she’s the right person for the job,” claimed Roth. Sadeghi-Movahed added, “For some reason, I’m not 100 percent comfortable. I don’t know why. I’ll go through her application again. I’ve been going through it constantly, but I definitely can see that she’s qualified for sure.” Throughout this discussion, Rachel anxiously paced outside, where, she later informed me, she could hear “conflict of interest” being yelled and concluded that it could only be about her being Jewish. Undoubtedly, the Israeli-Palestinan conflict is one of the most contentious issues on our campus. However, Israel was not mentioned during the discussion of Rachel’s appointment, only her affiliation with Jewish organizations, making the extensive deliberation a definitive act of discrimination. 

The council eventually unanimously approved Rachel Beyda's appointment.

To Rachel Frenklar , that is not adequate. She writes:

 I ask the four council members who initially questioned Rachel’s appointment on the basis of her Judaism to issue both public and personal apologies to the UCLA Jewish community and Rachel. Until they all admit wrongdoing and ask for forgiveness, it is difficult to trust their morality as decision-makers. Furthermore, I expect administrative condemnation of their words and actions as exactly what they were: undeniable anti-Semitism. I expect more of elected leaders and hope no one else will face being denied a deserved opportunity on the basis of identity. A recording of the meeting can be seen on the USAC Live! Youtube channel, and I encourage all students to watch some of it and become aware of who your representatives are. In a few months, we will hold elections for new USAC representatives. In light of this incident, I hope students take the time to learn about the issues and vote for representatives they believe will serve the student body with integrity.

For more information on this anti-Semitic incident at UCLA , see



Council members’ discussion of Rachel Beyda’s qualifications for USAC Judicial Board anti-Semitic


UC Davis Divestment overturned

Aw. Azka Fayyaz  will be so disappointed. Looks like Hamas and Sharia will not be coming to UC Davis any time soon. 

Today,  the  six-member Court of Associated Students at U.C. Davis overturned a divestment resolution passed at U.C. Davis last month by the Student senate.




Via the J  Weekly

According to a spokesperson for the pro-Israel organization StandWithUs, "the resolution was overruled because it was found not to be sufficiently enough about student welfare."

The court ruled 5-0 with one abstention in favor of Jonathan Mitchell, who had filed a case with the court contending that the Associated Students U.C. Davis had failed to adhere to its own constitution in passing the Israel divestment resolution 8-2 with two abstentions on Jan. 29.

A court statement dated Feb. 19 found the ASUCD "guilty of Article IV Subsection 5 of the ASUCD Constitution, regarding [the Jan. 29 divestment resolution], which states: ‘The senate shall, by a majority vote of the entire senate, pass legislation to (1) adopt or revise policies and regulations for the smooth and efficient operation of the ASUCD, (2) express the opinions of the ASUCD on matters concerning student welfare, and (3) take other actions necessary to promote the welfare and interests of the ASUCD membership, subject to the limitations enumerated in this constitution.'"

The court's statement added: "After much deliberation, this bench concluded that politicalized resolutions passed through senate can and must be primarily concerning student welfare."
The statement continued: "We have found [the Jan. 29 divestment resolution] to be PRIMARILY a political document and did not deal with student welfare to the extent that allowed the ASUCD Senate jurisdiction to pass. We also conclude however that senate is free to pass resolutions concerning ‘divestment' and topics related to [the Jan. 29 resolution] so long as the focus and primary purpose is with student welfare and not a political one." 

For more information on the BDS reversal at UC Davis, see:  

Cal-Davis student court strikes down anti-Israel resolution

UC Davis student court says campus senators overreached on Israel divestment vote

Israel Divestment Resolution Overturned at UC Davis