Showing posts with label hasbara. Show all posts
Showing posts with label hasbara. Show all posts

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Latest Hasbara Meme: BLACKWASHING

By Richard Silverstein
RichardSilverstein.com
January 9, 2012

You’ve heard of pinkwashing, greenwashing-now “blackwashing” joins the cast of pro-Israel hasbara communities exploited in order to combat the major criticisms of Israeli policy toward the Palestinians.  Pinkwashing is the effort to promote Israel to the gay community in order to point out the homophobia of Arab culture and nations.  Greenwashing is the attempt by environmental groups like Jewish National Fund to point to Israel’s alleged sensitivity to environmental issues (excluding of course its heinous treatment of Negev Bedouins whose communities are being bulldozed by the Israeli government in collaboration with JNF).  Now blackwashing is the rage.

African American political leaders and
students on Aipac Israel junket
Israel lobby groups like Aipac have worked closely cultivating relationships on college campuses with African-American students.  They send these young leaders to Aipac conferences where they can be trotted out to the media as witnesses for the defense to combat the BDS campaign to label Israel as an apartheid state:
When Vincent Evans arrived as a bright-eyed first-year at Florida A&M, the country’s largest historically black university, he knew he wanted to get involved in politics. So when an older student leader approached him one afternoon after a student government meeting to ask if he wanted an all expenses paid trip to D.C., Evans jumped at the opportunity.
The trip, it turned out, was sponsored by the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, or AIPAC, the country’s most powerful pro-Israel lobbying outfit. Israel is under growing attack from Palestinian and international activists who call the country a racist apartheid state. In response, its staunchest U.S. lobby is recruiting black students as moral shields to make the case for Israeli impunity. At historically black colleges and universities (known as HBCU’s) around the country, AIPAC is finding and developing a cadre of black allies to declare there’s no way Israel can be racist.
In his four years in college, Evans traveled to D.C. at least 10 times on AIPAC’s dime. He and a small group of other student leaders from his school joined hundreds of others from around the country, including other HBCU students, for AIPAC’s semi-annual Saban Leadership Seminar.
“Within the program,” says Evans, “they make a concerted effort to reach out to HBCU and majority Hispanic schools.”
Does the Israel lobby care about African-American students?  Does it care about the issues close to their heart?  Is it about to reach out to Blacks to create political coalitions to advance causes of mutual interest to each community?  Are you kiddin’?  These kids are fodder in the PR war.  They don’t mean anything other than having a black face to show the world that Israel isn’t an apartheid nation.  But how much do these kids really know about Israel?

ARTICLE CONTINUES...

Sunday, September 11, 2011

AIPAC Congressional Lobbying Junkets to Israel Illegal, Charges IRS & DOJ Filing

The US Campaign has been mobilizing grassroots support to end these congressional junkets for the past several weeks, through email alerts we distributed on August 9 and August 18, and analysis contributed by our National Advocacy Director, Josh Ruebner, in Foreign Policy in Focus (click here).

WASHINGTON, Sept. 9, 2011 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ -- A complaint filed today with the IRS and Justice Department charges the American Israel Education Foundation (AIEF) is a "sham" charitable organization of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee. The AIEF, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation which reported $26.3 million in 2009 revenue, is housed in the same facilities as AIPAC. AIPAC was incorporated as a domestic lobby in 1963 by a former Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs employee, six weeks after the Justice Department ordered its parent organization, the American Zionist Council, to begin registering as an Israeli foreign agent.

AIEF recently paid expenses for more than 80 members of Congress to travel to Israel during recess, but does not disclose planned activities or educational curriculum. Rabbi Bruce Warshal called AIEF "an amazing organization of which no one has ever heard...It's amazing that someone hasn't filed suit to stop this charade."

According to the 29 page IRmep Center for Policy and Law Enforcement filing, AIEF meets the IRS definition of an AIPAC "sham corporation" because:

AIEF is completely controlled by AIPAC, 66% of AIEF board members are AIPAC directors. 47% of AIPAC's board are also AIEF directors;

AIEF lacks sufficient staff. According to IRS and Congressional Research Service benchmarks, a bona fide educational organization would have at least 271 employees. AIEF has none;

AIEF's "educational" content and audiences are determined by AIPAC lobbying objectives. AIEF has no website. No AIEF funded material is made directly available to the public;

AIEF files deceptive IRS Form 990 reports. Although AIEF has multiple foundation donors such as the Saban Family Foundation ($1 million), The Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation, Inc. ($150,000) and The Marcus Foundation, Inc. ($500,000), it does not properly and individually report such large donors and amounts on its publicly auditable Schedule B. This deceptive practice was pioneered by AIPAC to hide the narrowing funding base of both organizations.

AIEF makes improper transfers of tax-deductible funds to AIPAC. In 2009, AIEF transferred $13.5 million in tax deductible funding to AIPAC;

AIEF Near East Research merger. Founded in 1957, the Near East Report laundered overseas funding to AIPAC's founder to publish disinformation about Israeli nuclear weapons and US peace initiatives.

This IRmep Center for Policy and Law Enforcement filing, which urges revocation retroactive to 1990, is available at: http://irmep.org/09092011AIEF.pdf .

SOURCE Institute for Research: Middle Eastern Policy

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Where in the World is YOUR Representative?!

Last week, the President and Congress narrowly avoided an unprecedented default on the U.S. debt by agreeing at the 11th hour to raise the debt-ceiling. But S&P still downgraded the U.S. credit rating, pushing U.S. and global financial markets into a downfall.

Washington's deal does nothing to help Americans who are still suffering from massive cutbacks in social services, an unemployment rate stuck above 9% (over 16% among African-Americans), and an estimated 10 million families facing foreclosure on their homes by next year.

This August break is for Members of Congress to be at home, meeting with constituents to hear about our concerns. They should be listening to our anxiety about the economy and thinking through ways to dig us out of the financial mess they've created with their corporate giveaways, tax breaks for the wealthy and lax regulation of unscrupulous banks that are forcing people out of their homes with fraudulent mortgage documents.

They should hear our outrage about what the more than $1.2 trillion of our tax dollars are doing to the peoples of Iraq and Afghanistan and to our troops they're sending over to fight wars without purpose.

Instead, 81 Representatives--nearly 20% of the House--are hightailing off to Israel on an all-expense-paid junket organized by an affiliate of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC).  Israel's goal there is to lobby the Representatives to continue sending the Israeli military $30 billion of our tax money -- the amount pledged for these 10 years (2009-2018). That means sending money we won't have for jobs and healthcare to buy weapons for Israel to perpetuate its illegal military occupation and apartheid policies toward Palestinians. 

It's time to "name and shame" these Members of Congress who put more weapons for Israel ahead of their own constituents' economic rights. We need you to take action today:

1. Call your Representative and ask if s/he is going (or has gone) to Israel this month on a trip paid by the AIPAC-affiliate American Israel Educational Foundation (AIEF).  If not, thank your Representative for not going. If so, politely express your outrage and urge your Representative to cancel the trip if s/he hasn't left yet. Look up contact information for your Representative here, or call the Capitol switchboard at 202-224-3121 and ask to be transferred. Let us know the result of your call so that we can keep a running list of who is going (only a few of the 81 names are public at this point).

2. Write a letter-to-the-editor of your local paper and call into a local radio talk show to express your outrage about how much money your Congressional district is scheduled to give in weapons to Israel and what that money could be used for instead to fund unmet needs in your community (find out just how much here). Use the data along with our sample letter-to-the-editor to raise awareness in your community about the misplaced priorities of Congress. Mentioning your Representative in the local media gets the immediate attention of Congressional staff.

3. Organize a meeting with your Members of Congress during this August recess to urge that they end military aid to Israel and redirect that money to needs here at home. Sign up to schedule a meeting, get a template constituent meeting request, and download a memo to give to your Representative. Attend "town hall" meetings and put your Representative on the spot in public. 

4. Organize a campaign to get your city council to pass a resolution opposing U.S. military aid to Israel and calling on the President and Congress to redirect that money to unmet needs in your city. Download an organizing how-to guide, template resources, and more on our new website: Fund community needs, not Israel's misdeeds!

We are in an economic crisis. We've got to send a stringent warning to our elected officials that we will no longer accept business as usual. Take action today to demand that Members of Congress do their job to respond to this crisis by working in their districts and listening to us, not by taking lobbyist-paid junkets to guarantee their support for even more money and weapons to Israel.

Thank you for acting constructively upon the outrage we all feel right now.

Friday, June 17, 2011

US Boat to Gaza has its determined enemies


The US Boat to Gaza is a member group of the US Campaign, and a US Campaign endorsed initiative.

Unprecedented Civil Suit Filed Today in N.Y. Court to Seize Gaza Flotilla Ships

PRNewswire-USNewswire
June 16, 2011

An American victim of a Palestinian terror attack today filed an unprecedented lawsuit to seize ships used by Islamic and anti-Israeli organizations to breach Israel's coastal blockade of the Gaza Strip.

The suit, Bauer v. The Mavi Marmara, was filed in Manhattan federal court. It seeks to confiscate 14 ships outfitted with funds unlawfully raised in the United States by anti-Israel groups, including The Free Gaza Movement ("FGM"). In May 2010, several of these ships, led by the Turkish vessel the Mavi Marmara, attempted to breach the blockade. The resulting violence caused the deaths of nine militants and injury to numerous Israeli Navy SEALs. A second such flotilla is planned in coming weeks.

The plaintiff, American biologist, Dr. Alan Bauer, who along with his son Jonathan was seriously injured in a Palestinian suicide bombing on March 21, 2002 in Jerusalem, alleges that FGM and other American-based anti-Israel organizations have raised funds in the United States to outfit the Gaza Flotilla ships. The lawsuit contends that furnishing and outfitting the ships, which are being used for hostilities against a U.S. ally, violates American law. The plaintiff rests his claim upon a rarely-utilized "informant" statute (18 U.S.C. section 962) that allows a plaintiff (called an "informer") to privately seize ships outfitted in the United States for use against a U.S. ally.

The plaintiffs are represented by attorneys Robert J. Tolchin Esq. of New York, and Nitsana Darshan-Leitner, Esq. of Israel, founder of Israeli human rights group Shurat HaDin (Israel Law Center).

This is the first lawsuit brought to seize the Gaza Flotilla ships.

Attorney Darshan-Leitner said, "We intend to seize the Gaza Flotilla ships and turn them over to a victim of Palestinian terrorism. The extremists organizing these hostile provocations against Israel must not be allowed to illegally raise funds for their operations in the U.S.  Escalating attacks on Israel from all directions require new and innovative responses. This unprecedented private action will help block their efforts to breach the coastal blockade and smuggle materials to Hamas in Gaza."

Attorney Robert Tolchin added, "This lawsuit will bring judgment to people who have until now ignored the law. Each flotilla ship is an attack on Israel and thus a slap in the face to the United States and every other nation that is at peace with Israel. The flotilla organizers, and the owners of these boats, should be held accountable for the damages and deaths they cause."

A copy of the complaint is available here.

SEE ORIGINAL ON PRNEWSWIRE...

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

The Emperor’s clothes are still on, for now (while his heckler is roughed up, hospitalized)


Josh Ruebner is the US Campaign's National Advocacy Director. Here he cites the address by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu before a joint meeting of Congress, which for the past several weeks we have petitioned members of Congress to boycott, and not attend.

May 24, 2011

Gliding down the aisle of the House of Representatives like a popular president about to deliver the State of the Union address, escorted by a phalanx of dozens of ebullient Members of Congress, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu entered a joint meeting of Congress today to a round of hearty handshakes and a thunderous standing ovation.

In a post-speech press conference, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid gushed that Netanyahu delivered an “all-star” address, and Netanyahu proclaimed it a “great day” for Israel. And, in the self-contained world that is Capitol Hill, who could blame them for believing it to be so?

For in a world in which Israel finds itself as isolated as ever by a growing and successful Palestinian civil society-led international movement of boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) against its apartheid policies; in which Palestinians are taking matters into their own hands diplomatically and pushing to have the United Nations admit the State of Palestine as a full member of the organization this fall; and in which even the President of the United States appears disgruntled by Israel’s intransigent ongoing colonization of Palestinian land, at least on Capitol Hill, Netanyahu can still play the ace up his sleeve to aplomb and then chum around like the king of the castle.

There on Capitol Hill, Netanyahu still has friends like Senator Chuck Schumer, who told a Jewish radio program that “One of my roles, very important in the United States Senate, is to be a shomer [guard]—to be a or the shomer Yisrael [guard of Israel]. And I will continue to be that with every bone in my body." With friends like these wrapped around his little finger, no wonder Netanyahu’s forcible denunciations of international law were met with such rapturous approbation by Members of Congress who applauded his rejectionism dozens of times.

This bonhomie was punctuated only once during Netanyahu’s hour-long speech, when a lone and courageous activist—Rae Abileah—from CODEPINK, disrupted it. CODEPINK organized a series of events and protests—“Move Over AIPAC”—to coincide with the annual policy conference of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee last weekend. From the gallery, Abileah shouted “No more occupation, stop Israel[i] war crimes, equal rights for Palestinians, occupation is indefensible.”

Her protest was quickly shut down in a “hey rube” moment by AIPAC attendees in the gallery who assaulted and tackled her before she was hauled away by police, causing injuries to her neck and shoulders requiring hospitalization. At the same time, Members of Congress joined the AIPAC carnie thuggery by shouting down Abileah with boos before quickly resuming to feed out of Netanyahu’s hand.

Given both the intellectual mediocrity of the average Member of Congress and the Israel lobby’s deliberate strategy of electing and placing in key positions Members of Congress like Schumer, it is difficult to determine how much applause Netanyahu received due to ignorance of history and international law, and how much was due to their cheerleading for Israeli apartheid. Whatever the exact formulation, it amounts to a deadly combination that ensures Israel can continue to thumb its nose at the international community and oppress the Palestinian people while Congress keeps open the spigot of U.S. weapons to underwrite the job.

Only in an institution as self-delusional as Congress could Netanyahu pontificate with a straight face that the path of liberty “is not paved by elections alone. It is paved when governments permit protests in town squares, when limits are placed on the powers of rulers, when judges are beholden to laws and not men, and when human rights cannot be crushed by tribal loyalties or mob rule.”

Only before Congress would Netanyahu dare crow that there are now more than 650,000 Israeli settlers living in illegal colonies in the Occupied Palestinian Territories, a full 30% more than the upper limits of previous estimates, making his offer to be “very generous on the size of a future Palestinian state,” and willing to make a “far reaching compromise” unadulterated hokum.

In the wake of 10,000 AIPAC lobbyists deluging Capitol Hill today, there is no doubt that Congress will overwhelmingly vote to pass AIPAC-written resolutions condemning the Fatah-Hamas unity agreement and Palestinian moves for UN membership, once again asserting that Israel is truly the best thing since sliced bread.

Netanyahu may well feel smug from his reception in the last bastion of such uncritical support for Israel’s apartheid policies toward Palestinians. While the rest of the world has long since discovered that the emperor has no clothes, his sycophants and enablers in Congress pretend that it is business as usual. They will then be surprised to wake up one day in the near future to see their beloved apartheid state sanctioned.


Josh Ruebner is the National Advocacy Director of the US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation, a national coalition of more than 350 organizations working to change U.S. policy toward Israel/Palestine to support human rights, international law, and equality. He is a former Analyst in Middle East Affairs at Congressional Research Service.

VIEW ORIGINAL ON MONDOWEISS...

Monday, May 16, 2011

AHAVA's Twitter campaign jammed with BDS messaging

This post was added five days ago, so we wish it wasn't displaying under Monday, May 16. :-( Stolen Beauty is a boycott campaign organized by CodePink, which is a member group of the US Campaign.

By Maureen, May 11, 2011
Electronic Intifada

The Stolen Beauty campaign focusing on a boycott of Ahava cosmetics, which are illegally manufactured in the occupied West Bank using Palestinian natural resources, has launched a culture jamming initiative currently underway on Twitter:
This Wednesday, May 11 and Thursday, May 12, Birchbox.com is sponsoring an Ahava Twitter contest. They are calling on people to Tweet skincare question with the hashtag #AHAVAreborn. People who Tweet using that hashtag - part of Ahava’s REBRANDING campaign -will be entered into the contest and given a chance to win $300 worth of Mineral Magical Skincare. (See details below by clicking on the link.)
AHAVA Twitter Contest! Win $300 Worth of Mineral Magical Skincare
http://blog.birchbox.com/post/5243881997/ahava-twitter-contest-win-300-worth-of-mineral
We are asking Ahava boycott supporters to use the hashtags #AHAVAreborn & #stolenbeauty on Wednesday & Thursday to help get out the word about Ahava’s illegal practices and its occupation profiteering. PLEASE TWEET OFTEN. PLEASE SHARE THIS ACTION ALERT WITH YOUR FRIENDS.
So many people have responded to this call, that I can’t see any tweets that AREN’T about BDS and Israel’s rights abuses when searching #AHAVAreborn on Twitter. AHAVA is having an increasingly hard time covering up its human rights blemishes. It is has been dropped from retail stores in Canada and the UK and taken to court in France. As The Electronic Intifada reported last June, “Bad publicity caused Sex & the City star Kristin Davis to be dropped as a spokesperson for Ahava and as a goodwill ambassador for the international organization Oxfam after activists called on her to end her paid promotional appearances for Ahava. ”

ORIGINAL POST...

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Israel is an Apartheid State: A Note to the Vanguard Leadership Group

Posted on April 27, 2011 by US Palestinian Community Network

On April 7th, 2011, an African American student group known as the “Vanguard Leadership Group” (VLG) sparked a flurry of activity and discussion with its circulation of a statement criticizing the use of the term “apartheid” by Palestine solidarity activists. In particular, in an article published in the Jewish Telegraph Agency (JTA), they alleged that “Students for Justice in Palestine has chosen to manipulate rather than inform with this illegitimate analogy.”

We, the signatories of this statement, do not believe that “apartheid” is an inaccurate term to describe the conditions in Palestine. Apartheid is defined by the United Nations as, “inhuman acts committed for the purpose of establishing and maintaining domination by one racial group of persons over any other racial group of persons and systematically oppressing them.” The strategy of arguing over the term “apartheid” is intended to deflect the actual conditions that Palestinians face as a result of the institutionalized racism of the State of Israel.

Apartheid is not a term exclusive to South Africa. In fact, the United Nations itself, in a 1973 resolution, explicitly states that its usage is not confined to the South African case [1]. In addition, well-known individuals like former President Jimmy Carter in his book Palestine: Peace, not Apartheid, have given depth to the apartheid ‘analogy’ by demonstrating the concrete realities of racial separation as it has unfolded in the Occupied Territories.

Others, such as South African Archbishop Desmond Tutu, have long been outspoken in comparing the conditions that existed in apartheid South Africa with those faced by Palestinians today. In his own words: “What I saw in the Holy Land reminded me so much of what happened to us black people in South Africa. I have seen the humiliation of the Palestinians at checkpoints and roadblocks, suffering like us when young white police officers prevented us from moving about.”

Do the students of VLG presume to know better than Tutu what apartheid is?

ARTICLE CONTINUES HERE...

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

U.S. now wants international investigation of Gaza flotilla attack (and about a hundred reasons Israel can't investigate itself)

Ha'aretz is now reporting the the United States wants an international investigation rather than an entirely internal Israeli probe into the Gaza Freedom Flotilla massacre:
" "International participation in investigating these matters will be important to the credibility that everybody wants to see," said U.S. State Department spokesman Philip Crowley on Tuesday. "We are discussing with Israel and others the prospective nature of international participation in the investigation. And we're sharing different ideas on how to best accomplish that." "We want to see an impartial, credible, prompt, thorough investigation. We recognize that international participation, which lends itself to countries and entities being able to vouch for the results of the investigation - will be an essential element to putting this tragedy behind us," he went on to say."
That means that emails calling for an international investigation are more important than ever in order to bolster this effort--click here to send an email! This news comes as evidence continues to accumulate that the Israeli government has been putting out a heavy batch of misinformation, doctored evidence, and outright lies to defend its attack on the Gaza Freedom Flotilla. Here's a few of the most egregious reasons why the Israeli government can't be trusted to investigate itself: 1) Glenn Greenwald at Salon.com covers the way in which Israel confiscated journalist's footage, released heavily edited footage, refused to release raw footage, and other journalistic manipulations. The Guardian has more on Israel's footage tampering. 2) Inter Press Service covers the Israeli media blackout of abducted journalists and wounded flotilla activists, as well as contradictions between eyewitness accounts and the version of events being propounded by Israeli pundits. 3) Max Blumethal reports on the IDF's admission it doctored an audio clip purported to be a radio communication between Israeli naval vessels and the flotilla, and comments that "The lesson of the debacle is that nothing the IDF says can be trusted by anyone." Blumenthal also notes that Israel was forced to retract its claim that activists on board the flotilla were affiliated with Al Qaeda, although the "terrorist" smear is still being used in an attempt to discredit activists. The Washington Post quotes Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan in response to this allegation: "If there were any terrorists, then why were they set free?" The U.S. State Department, in a press briefing on June 2, noted that the United States could not validate any links between the Turkish humanitarian organization IHH and Al Qaeda, contrary to Israeli claims, and that IHH is not listed as a terrorist organization by the United States. So much for the vaunted intelligence sharing between the U.S. and Israel? 4) Israeli military claims about the nature of the military response have also repeatedly proven to be inaccurate or deliberately misrepresented. These include Israeli claims that soldiers were armed only with paintball guns, that they were shot at from the ship, and that they did not shoot until attacked. In addition to eyewitness accounts that the Israeli military fired on the flotilla ship before boarding, no evidence that soldiers were fired on has been produced; the early claim that an IDF soldier had been shot with a non-IDF gun was later contradicted by an IDF soldier who claimed he drew his 9mm to shoot at an attacker (the same gun that supposedly was not an IDF weapon); and autopsies show that most of those killed were shot multiple times at point-blank range in what the Guardian says "undermines Israel's insistence that its soldiers opened fire only in self defence and in response to attacks by the activists." 5) Finally, numerous reports point to the misrepresentations and propaganda that the Israeli government has put forward about the situation in Gaza. This post by Charles Davis at the firedoglake blog sums it up well: "So all the equipment the IDF found was equipment they regularly allow to enter Gaza, except for all the equipment they found that they regularly forbid to enter Gaza." Of course, all of this is almost secondary to the main point--if the Israeli government has proof that it acted in self-defense and in accordance with international law, why not submit that proof to an independent, international investigation? Instead, the Israeli government is insisting on releasing heavily edited, incomplete footage, distorting evidence, and propagandizing--proving, in case there was any doubt, that a transparent, fair, and accurate "self-investigation" is out of the question. The fact that the Israeli government is going to such lengths to distort the record just reveals a deep seated fear of international law. E-mail the White House and Congress now, and let them know that Israel can't investigate themselves any more truthfully than BP can.