Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Confusing the Muzzled and the Muzzlers

As documented throughout this blog, the radical anti-Israel group Jewish Voice for Peace often smears those who critique and fact check their outrageous claims as "muzzlers" who hope to censor criticism of Israel.

They might take note of what is what actual muzzling looks like. After an Israeli-Arab woman went to South Africa to tell the truth about her experience in Israel,

“There were a number of articles in Israel, the international press and the Arab press even outside of Israel. They described me as a Zionist who sold out her people.” Others accused her of taking bribes to support the country. The media exposure led to real trouble. In Deir Hana, where she grew up, activists from Hadash and Balad, Arab Israeli political parties represented in parliament, “published flyers and articles saying that I sold out my people, that I was brainwashed.” Like the rest of us, Boshra didn’t get paid a cent for her troubles. “They wanted to banish me and my family –- all kinds of bad things.” The rancor eventually turned to threats. “I got many hostile phone calls and threatening Facebook messages. A Facebook group attacking me was started. At one point, even my husband was threatened and told that if I didn’t ‘calm down’ I’d pay a heavy price.”
Read the whole article here.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Maybe if Jewish Voice for Peace weren't a radical anti-Israel group, its MuzzleWatch blog would have been bothered by this. But, of course, they have nothing to say about the disturbing assault against academic freedom.
The University of Rostock consulted the state’s domestic intelligence agency to justify the refusal of space for a pro-Israel event sponsored by the German-Israel Friendship Society.

With Israeli media detailing an increasingly hostile attitude by German authorities toward Israel, the involvement of a regional intelligence agency in the cancellation of a pro-Israel lecture has sparked claims of increased bias toward the Jewish state.

Sacha Stawski, who heads the pro-Israel NGO Honestly Concerned in Frankfurt, told The Jerusalem Post on Wednesday that the involvement of the intelligence agency with the university in pulling the plug on the Israel event is “an absolute scandal.”

Alex Feuerherdt, a German journalist who writes extensively about anti-Israel attitudes and contemporary anti-Semitism in the Federal Republic, told the Post that the intelligence agency and the university have “criminalized de facto engagement for Israel and this is a particularly huge scandal in light of German history.”

The Post conducted telephone interviews and email exchanges over a one-week period in late August and early September to shed light on the highly unusual form of government intervention to bar a pro-Israel speaker from delivering an early July lecture on the property of the University of Rostock, located in the eastern German state of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania.

Friday, April 27, 2012

JVP Celebrates Censorship

Someone in the comments section drew our attention to a piece by Yizhak Santis, formerly of the JCRC of San Francisco, that's worth sharing more prominently. It begins,
MuzzleWatch, a project of the Jewish Voice for Peace, states its mission as, “Tracking efforts to stifle open debate about US-Israeli foreign policy.” With such a slogan one would expect the editors to be First Amendment purists. Yet, JVP recently (and again) gave a hollow ring to their stated values. Here is what happened. Last month, JVP’s Seattle chapter participated in a successful effort to pressure the Seattle LGBT Commission, a sub-committee of the Seattle City Council, to cancel a planned program at Seattle City Hall that would have hosted a visiting delegation of Israeli LGBT activists. ... At the same time that JVP was supporting the muzzling of Israeli LGBT activists in Seattle, they were condemning the cancellation of a talk to be given by The Crisis of Zionism author Peter Beinart in Berkeley.
Read the entire, damning piece for the compelling details.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Campus Group Students for Justice in Palestine Conspire to Stifle Free Speech

Here's another example of Israelis being muzzled, this time by the University of California's Students for Justice in Palestine. Yet6 again, Jewish Voice for Peace and it's MuzzleWatch blog ignore the incident, show that they're unconcerned with the stifling of free speech, as long as it's their political opponents' speech that's being shut down.

Dear President Yudof:

Last week, two shameful events occurred on University of California campuses that made Jewish students feel targeted, intimidated, harassed, and unsafe. We charge the UC administration with failing in their basic responsibilities: to protect Jewish students from a hostile environment and to ensure their rights to freedom of speech.

On February 27 at UC Davis, Jewish student groups sponsored the presentation of talks by two Israelis, one Jewish the other Druze. The speakers were repeatedly interrupted by hecklers, whose intent was clearly to disrupt the proceedings. Not only did a heckler hurl outrageous accusations against one of the speakers, calling him a "rapist" and "child molester," but the heckler brazenly stated: “I will stand here and heckle you until you leave…My only purpose is that this event is shut down.” The heckler also told audience members that he was paid $50 by "Muslim students" to disrupt the event.

Twenty-four hours before the Jewish students' event, members of the UCD Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) sent a communication to SJP supporters outlining a two-pronged strategy for shutting down the event: they would pack the room with pro-Palestinian students who would leave en masse in the middle of the event, and some students would remain to continuously heckle the Israeli speakers. Both parts of the strategy were carried out at the event, as you can see HERE, and the event ultimately had to be curtailed because of the disruption.

Besides illegally conspiring to disrupt a lawful meeting and thereby suppress the freedom of speech of the Jewish students and their speakers, members of the SJP and their supporters created a physically and emotionally hostile environment for the Jewish students. According to one eyewitness:


"As fear of physical altercations mounted, several "911" calls were made. The campus police appeared but refused to remove, reprimand or otherwise take any action against the disrupters. The police stated they were given "orders" not to take action against the disrupters, but instead, to close down the program if it got out of hand."

Shockingly, and in stark contrast to your repeated assertions that the University is committed to protecting the rights of free speech and ensuring the safety of all students, the campus police did nothing, and even refused to take the names of disrupters. In addition, at least two high-level UC Davis administrators were present at the event, and they, too, refused to respond to these egregious violations of University policy and state law, which left Jewish students feeling unsafe and violated.

A few days later, on February 29, SJP students at UC San Diego brought to the Associated Students Council for the third consecutive year a resolution asking the University of California to engage in a secondary boycott of Israel by divesting from American firms that do business with the Israeli Defense Forces. The resolution was defeated after seven hours, but the Jewish students and faculty who supported Israel were harassed and bullied by pro-Palestinian supporters and falsely accused of racism.

Several Jewish attendees felt targeted and threatened at the meeting: A UCSD faculty member reported that it was “emotionally difficult to bear the hatred and lies.” The president of the student group, Tritons for Israel, stated that “Jewish students feel targeted, and Jewish students don’t feel as safe or comfortable on campus.” Another Jewish student said, “ I am unsafe on this campus when there is talk of divestment…and by voting ‘yes’ you are making the campus very hostile for students who go here.” The Hillel Director stated: “Many of our students clearly suffered a traumatic blow from that experience. I witnessed the verbal assault on Jewish students and the tears that followed.” At the conclusion of the meeting, one Jewish student, concerned that other Jewish students might be physically assaulted on their way home, cautioned them to avoid walking alone. (In this video, Jewish students at UCSD describe the hostility they experienced as a result of the anti-Israel divestment campaign on their campus).

In light of your May, 2010 statement that the University of California would not divest from Israel, the SJP resolution was a wholly symbolic gesture intended to further the well-coordinated international campaign to economically strangle the Jewish state and bring about its destruction, a campaign which the US State Department has deemed anti-Semitic. Sadly, the resolution effort revealed the utter ineffectiveness of what you had previously touted to the Jewish community as one of your “assertive” moves to address anti-Jewish bigotry.

Please understand that the student groups behind these incidents are not like other University-funded student organizations. The SJP has as its primary mission the promotion of anti-Israel boycott, divestment, and sanctions campaigns and others efforts to harm the Jewish state. SJP chapters on UC campuses are closely allied with Al-Awda: the Palestine Right to Return Coalition, an organization which advocates the elimination of the Jewish state and has ties to terrorist groups such as Hamas and Hezbollah that call for the murder of Jews world-wide. Many students in the SJP are also members of the Muslim Students Association (MSA), an organization founded by the Muslim Brotherhood, a virulently anti-Semitic Egyptian-based organization dedicated to instituting Sharia law and a Muslim empire throughout the world, in part by means of violent jihad. According to an NYPD police spokesman, "some of the most dangerous Western Al Qaeda-linked/inspired terrorists since 9/11 were radicalized and/or recruited at universities in MSAs," and more than a dozen former MSA leaders and members have been convicted of terrorist activities and plots. In addition, some pro-Palestinian UC students have expressed support for the Iranian regime, whose supreme religious leader recently called for the destruction of Israel and the annihilation of all Jews. In fact, one student who participated in the disruption of the Jewish students' event at UC Davis can be seen holding an Iranian flag in the left-hand side of a video clip of the event.

These two incidents cannot be written off as political disputes between pro-Palestinian and pro-Israel students. The culpability for the harassment and intimidation lies squarely with the students from pro-Palestinian organizations and their supporters, who have directed their unmitigated, anti-Semitic hatred of the Jewish state against Jewish students who openly identify with it.


The two incidents that took place last week are by no means isolated events. They are merely the most recent examples of the longstanding and pervasive pattern of emotional and physical harassment that has been directed specifically at Jewish students, primarily by members of Muslim and pro-Palestinian student organizations with virulently anti-Semitic agendas. To make matters worse, the SJP and MSA students and their anti-Israel campaigns have found considerable support from numerous other student organizations, as well as from UC faculty and administrators. (For example, an Israel Apartheid Week event presented by the UCSD-MSA in 2010, which was replete with speakers, exhibits and imagery that demonized and delegitimized Israel and her supporters, was endorsed by the SJP and 8 other student organizations, and sponsored by 18 academic departments and administrative units on that campus, including the Literature and Ethnic Studies Departments and the Office of Graduate Studies and Thurgood Marshall College).
We must state the obvious: Jewish students face a concerted campaign of hatred, harassment and intimidation that has been promulgated by fellow students, professors, and administrators. No other minority on campus has been subjected to such a campaign, nor would the University administration tolerate such bigoted behavior were it to be directed against any other minority. In this regard, we believe that the University of California has a clear and discriminatory double standard towards Jewish students, one which is anti-Semitic in effect if not in intent.
On several occasions we have called for transparent, well-articulated policies to guarantee the safety of Jewish students and to ensure them an environment that is neither hostile nor threatening, and on each occasion you have ignored our request. We still believe these are essential and urge you to implement such policies as soon as possible.
Now, however, we call on you and the UC Chancellors to issue a public statement that: 1) condemns the campaign of intimidation and harassment of Jewish students that violates their rights to freedom of expression; and 2) denounces the economic and academic boycott of Israel and acknowledges its hostile impact on Jewish students.

We also encourage other members and supporters of the California Jewish community -- many of them UC alumni, parents, and donors -- to add their voices to ours in urging you to issue such a statement.

The Jewish community will not remain silent while Jewish students continue to be harassed and intimidated on UC campuses, and University administrators turn a blind eye.

Sincerely,

Leila Beckwith
Professor Emeritus, University of California at Los Angeles
Co-founder the AMCHA Initiative
Leila@AMCHAinitiative.org


Tammi Rossman-Benjamin
Lecturer, University of California at Santa Cruz
Co-founder the AMCHA Initiative
Tammi@AMCHAinitiative.org


Cc: University of California Chancellors
University of California Regents
UC Advisory Council on Campus Climate, Culture, and Inclusion (c/o Jesse Bernal)
California Speaker of the Assembly John A. Perez
California Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson
California State Senator Lois Wolk (Davis)
California State Assembly Member Mariko Yamada (Davis)
California State Assembly Member Jim Nielsen (Davis)
California State Senator Christine Kehoe (San Diego)
California State Assemblyman Nathan Fletcher (San Diego)

Bcc: Members and supporters of the Jewish community

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

What American Jews Believe

As do many fringe groups, Jewish Voice for Peace sometimes tries to cast itself as representing the mainstream, while painting the moderate majority on the left-of-center, center, and right-of-center as extremists.

Just to reground ourselves: what do American Jews really think about the Middle East conflict? The results of a recent poll answering that question can be found here.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Pass the Bourbon, Pass on the Bowmore

This blog post is not strictly about MuzzleWatch and its parent organization Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP). It is, however, about the bitter fruits of their efforts.

As I've explained here, JVP, despite its name, is not  peace group. It is an anti-Israel group.

JVP is a proponent of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement targeting Israel for its presence in the West Bank, Gaza and eastern Jerusalem (which includes the Jewish Quarter). In other words, it promotes boycotting the Jewish state because Palestinian leaders have said no each time Israel offered almost all of the West Bank and Gaza in exchange for a secure peace agreement. Meanwhile, it is not a proponent of boycotting the Palestinians for rejecting those offers, for targeting Israeli civilians with rockets from Gaza, for repeatedly honoring terrorists thus teaching Palestinian children that the murder of Jewish children is a noble deed.


What does this all have to do with bourbon? Well, read on. Below is an unauthorized cross-post from the Muqata blog. I hope he forgives me.

To The Fine Whisky Distillers of West Dunbartonshire;

Morrison Bowmore Distillers Ltd.
Auchentoshan Distillery, Dalmuir, Clydebank, Dunbartonshire G81 4SJ
Distillers of Auchintoshan, Bowmore, Glen Garioch, McClelland’s

Loch Lomond Distillery Co. Ltd
Lomond Industrial Estate, Alexandria, Dunbartonshire G83 0TL
Distillers of Loch Lomond, Scots Earl, Distillery Select, Glen Scotia,
Littlemill, Croftengea, Craigslodge, Inchmurrin, Glen Douglas, Inchfad

Chivas Brothers
Kilmalid, Stirling Road, Dumbarton, Lanarkshire, G82 2SS
Distillers of Ballantine’s, Chivas, Royal Salute, Clan Campbell,
Something Special, Passport, 100 Pipers, Imperial, Long John
Aberlour, The Glenlivet, Glendronach, Strathisla, Longmorn, Scapa
Tormore, Jameson, Paddy, Powers
Walker Special Old, Wisers

Gentlemen,

I would like to preface this letter, in that I have enjoyed your fine whisky products for many years, and believe they are truly world-class. Unfortunately, due to the actions of your esteemed West Dunbartonshire council members, I will not be able to enjoy your whisky in the foreseeable future.

It has come to my attention that the West Dunbartonshire Council claims to have voted unanimously to boycott Israeli products.

The West Dunbartonshire Council clearly states their point on their website, updated on the 30th of May, 2011.

http://www.west-dunbarton.gov.uk/council-and-democracy/news/corporate-statement-on-the-boycott-of-israeli-goods/

The actual boycott resolution is as follows:

‘This Council deplores the loss of life in Palestine which now numbers well over 1,000. This Council also recognises the disproportionate force used by the IDF in Palestine and agrees to boycott all Israeli goods as a consequence. Officers should immediately cease the purchase of any goods we currently source, which were made or grown in Israel. Officers should also ensure we procure no new goods or produce from Israel until this boycott is formally lifted by WDC.’

I find it disturbing that the esteemed council found no reason to mention the reason for the IDF’s operation in Gaza. There was no mention of the intentional targeting of civilian infants, children, women and men by Gaza’s Hamas government, the thousands of rockets they launched at Israel’s civilian population, and the restraint that Israel employed over the previous years when attacked on a daily basis.

The IDF does not target civilians. The vast majority of Palestinians that Israel killed have been terrorists. Go check the facts. I have. Palestinians terrorists routinely use hospitals, mosques, and schools to launch their rocket attacks on Israel. Try defending your population from terrorists and see if you can guarantee zero collateral damage. Does your council not condemn the barbarism of the Arab terrorist because in the back of their minds they are concerned terrorists might hunt them down and terrorize THEIR families?

Why was there an IDF operation in Gaza in the first place? To oppress poor Palestinian Arabs? How would you deal with Gazas’ Arabs’ targeting Scotland’s babies, other children, and other civilians. Have you not seen the pictures of atrocities the Arabs have visited on innocent children, or does your council not care? We are not talking about isolated attacks on Israel, but about thousands of rockets they have launched at Israel’s civilian population.

The restraint of Israel under attack is astounding. Colonel Richard Kemp, previous Commander of British Armed Forces in Afghanistan said when presenting his report to the United Nations Human Rights Council in October 2009: “During its operation in Gaza, the Israeli Defence Forces did more to safeguard the rights of civilians in a combat zone than any other army in the history of warfare.” (source)

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said to the US Congress last week: "Of the 300 million Arabs in the Middle East and North Africa, only Israel's Arab citizens enjoy real democratic rights. I want you to stop for a second and think about that. Of those 300 million Arabs, less than one half of 1% are truly free, and they're all citizens of Israel! This startling fact reveals a basic truth: Israel is not what is wrong about the Middle East; Israel is what is right about the Middle East!" (source)

Lastly, the Palestinian Authority President, Mahmoud Abbas stated this past Saturday that the future state of Palestine will be “free of Jews.” (source)

The State of Israel offers equal freedom for all its citizens, Jew, Arab, and Christian alike, including full parliamentary and judiciary representation. The State of Israel is the unchallenged leader of democracy in the Middle East, and the West Dunbartonshire Council boycott unfortunately attempts to undermine the very success of Israel as a democracy.

Therefore, it saddens me to have to inform you that the global counter-boycott of Scottish whisky products, distilled in the West Durbanshire Council region, is beginning. I don’t know anyone who bears malice toward these fine distilleries. When, however, your local council representatives boycott my country, under the most unethical and immoral of pretext, you cannot expect your market to sit idly and pretend you are not perverting justice.

• The counter-boycott is on the purchase of Scottish Whisky, distilled in the West Durbanshire council region.
• The counter-boycott is not retroactive and applies only to purchases made from June 2011 onwards.
• The counter-boycott will not prevented global residents from purchasing whisky products, distilled outside of West Dunbartonshire.
• Attempts to depict this counter-boycott as racist are also entirely inaccurate. The counter-boycott is instigated in response to conduct and boycott initiated by the West Durbanshire Council and applies to no specific ethnic or religious group. This is in direct opposition to the West Durbanshire Council which refuses to condemn the actions of Palestinian terrorists targeting Israeli civilians and the anti-Semitic, racist declarations of the Palestinian Authority, which calls for a “Jew-free” apartheid, State of Palestine.

The counter-boycott is publicizing the list of West Durbanshire distilled whisky by internet and distributing press releases to news agencies and others around the globe.

Sincerely,

Jameel Rashid
The Muqata Blog
www.muqata.com

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Heckling, Intimidation and Violence Silences Israeli Law Lecturer

MuzzleWatch and Jewish Voice for Peace insult the public's intelligence when they shamelessly promote themselves as being dedicated to free speech and peace, when in fact, just below the flimsy facade, they are nothing more than anti-Israel propaganda organizations.

Especially insulting, too, is their favorite talking point — that anti-Israel activists are "muzzled" by the Jewish establishment. This is offensive because the evidence, some of which I try to highlight on this blog, shows that if anyone is in danger of being systematically muzzled, it is those who defend Israel. I'm not aware of any incident in which crowds of pro-Israel activists violently acted to intimidate pro-Palestinian speakers. Yet from Concordia to York to Queen's University in Belfast, Israel's defenders have been harassed and intimidated in appalling ways.

From the UK's Jewish Chronicle:

An Israeli law lecturer had to be rescued by security officers when a seminar was abandoned after being disrupted by pro-Palestinian demonstrators.

Solon Solomon, a former legal adviser to the Knesset Foreign Affairs committee, had been invited to speak to law school students at Queen's University in Belfast.

But he was heckled by members of the university's Palestine Solidarity Society (PSS) and the youth wing of Sinn Féin shortly after starting his lecture about the legality of Israel's security wall on Wednesday last week.
Sally Wheeler, the law school acting head, abandoned the lunchtime session after less than 10 minutes, and a security team bundled Mr Solomon out of the lecture theatre.

Protesters then surrounded the room where Mr Solomon and other panel members were sheltering.
When the security team eventually moved him out of the university building, protesters attacked the car he was travelling in, punching the vehicle and attempting to smash its windows. One person's foot was run over in the melee.Mr Solomon declined to comment on the incident this week.

A spokeswoman for Queen's University said an investigation had been launched. She added: "We are disappointed that the event could not take place."

Supporters of the Northern Ireland Friends of Israel group were in the audience for the lecture but said that they had been forced to hide on the building's top floor until the protest ended, as they felt intimidated.

The protest was organised by Gary Spedding, president of the university's Palestine Solidarity Society. Mr Spedding works for the Holy Land Trust charity, which seeks to empower Palestinians in the West Bank.
When not studying in Belfast, he lives in Bethlehem.

Mr Spedding, who led the disruption in the lecture theatre by shouting at Mr Solomon, said the attack on the Israeli's car was not perpetrated by PPS supporters and said he did not condone violence.

Stephen Jaffe, of Northern Ireland Friends of Israel, said: "The situation on campus is extremely menacing for any speaker or student who is brave enough to be supportive of Israel."

MuzzleWatch and its parent organization Jewish Voice for Peace, of course, don't have anything to say about this incident; they don't care about when pro-Israel voices are gagged. On the contrary, as readers of this blog know, they celebrate the stifling of those who disagree with their radical politics.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Raheem Kassam on silencing of Israeli Bedouin diplomat: "Gagging is contrary to freedom of speech"

Raheem Kassam, director of Student Rights, a London-based organization which fights extremism on campus, is appalled. MuzzleWatch surely is not. And we are left with another example of speech actually being muzzled. An excerpt:

Described as a scene “reminiscent of tyrants silencing their opposition,” a student organization has condemned a group of protesters who disrupted a talk at a Scottish university by an Israeli- Arab diplomat accusing them of shutting down debate and free speech.

On Wednesday evening, a group of anti-Israel activists, mainly nonstudents, descended on an event at Edinburgh University where Ishmael Khaldi, an Israeli Beduin diplomat at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, was scheduled to address students.

The protesters surrounded the senior Muslim diplomat and hurled abuse at him. Security officers had to be brought in to contain the situation and the event was eventually canceled.

“This isn’t free speech; it is hatred, it is vandalism,” Khaldi told The Jerusalem Post on Friday.

“These activists abuse the values of freedom and democracy of the UK, they put the seeds of hatred in Europe and they betray the cause of moderate Palestinians who, despite everything, are ready to do everything to reach reconciliation and peace with Israel, toward establishing an independent Palestinian state.”

Israel’s ambassador to the UK Ron Prosor said he was not surprised to see this at a British university.

“Ishmael Khaldi reflects the tolerant and open Israel of 2011,” said the ambassador. “These attempts to suppress his freedom of speech come as no surprise.

Once more a British university views this intimidating, mob-rule as acceptable.”

Raheem Kassam, director of Student Rights, a London-based organization which fights extremism on campus, was appalled by the crowd’s behavior.

“It’s a shame these protesters, many of whom weren’t even students, didn’t feel confident enough to quiz Mr. Khaldi in a rational and academic manner,” he said.

Kassam highlighted that an event with the editor of an Arabic newspaper, Abdel Bari Atwan, at the London School of Economics in December was not disrupted despite radical views that people disagree with.

“Atwan is on record as claiming he would dance in Trafalgar Square if Iranian missiles hit Israel. However, his event was not subject to the disruption that took place at Edinburgh. It flies in the face of those who defend controversial speakers on campuses, if they attempt to silence people they don’t agree with.

“This gagging is contrary to the freedom of speech student groups work hard to defend,” Kassam said.

MuzzleWatch Discovers "Legitimate Expression"

Jewish Voice for Peace, again taking issue with the punishment of students who repeatedly disrupted a speech at UC Irvine by Israeli ambassador Michael Oren, seems to have discovered the concept of "legitimate expression in an open and democratic society." A press release by the organization, quoted in the Los Angeles Times, uses this phrase to describe the planned interruption of a speech by members of the Muslim Student Union.

Looking back through this blog's postings, it seems pretty clear that to JVP (and its subsidiary MuzzleWatch) "legitimate expression" means anything said or done in order to criticize Israel. Meanwhile, the organization continues to regard anything said or done in order to defend Israel against unfair attacks as "muzzling."

Speaking of this LA Times piece, the reporter describes Jewish Voice for Peace as "a liberal group that advocates for peace between Israelis and Palestinians and against Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories." This, I believe, is an inadequately vague description that serves to mislead readers. Because that phase could be used to describe groups like Peace Now and B'tselem, which , faults and falsehoods notwithstanding, belong in a wholly different category than Jewish Voice for Peace. A "liberal group that advocates for peace between Israelis and Palestinians and against Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories" could also describe those who call themselves "liberal Zionists," or even members of Israel's mainstream Labor party.

Again, JVP does not fit in with these groups, and so should not share a description with them. It is, at best, a radical anti-Israel group.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Iranian Embassy Pressure, Anonymous Threats, Forced Cancellation of Film

Now this is an example of stifling free speech. The Ottawa Citizen reported yesterday that

Threatening e-mails and phone calls resulted in the cancellation Tuesday evening of a film that exposes Iran’s efforts to build nuclear weapons and promote terrorism.

The threats followed a formal complaint last weekend from the Iranian Embassy, seeking to stop the showing of the film Iranium at Library and Archives Canada.

It should come as no surprise to readers of this blog that MuzzleWatch, which pretends to care about free speech, had nothing at all to say about this straightforward attempt to muzzle the open exchange of ideas. 

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Jung, Yewish and Plod...

Our good friends at Jewish Voice for Peace have unleashed their most fearsome campaign yet: Young Jewish and Proud, the declaration of young Jews that they are mad dag-nabbit, and they don’t plan to take it anymore.

Fortunately, an intrepid dumpster diver who is also a Divest This fan stumbled across an earlier version of their manifesto which I thought I’d post for those who can’t get enough of those intrepid schmendricks of JVP. And so, we bring you:

The Young Jewish Declaration (original draft)...

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Jewish Voice for Peace Watches the Muzzlers in the Mirror

This blog has often shown how MuzzleWatch's purported concern over "muzzling" in fact amounts to nothing more than promoting anti-Israel rhetoric while attacking views they don't like. But I've also been forced to correct my views on the group.

You see, I first thought that MuzzleWatch and Jewish Voice for Peace merely "looked elsewhere" when anti-Israel activists attempted to disrupt the free speech of moderate pro-Israel voices. Then I realized that JVP went so far as to "cheer" when the open exchange of ideas was stifled, so long as it's ideas they don't like that are targeted.

Now I know better. JVP, it turns out, actually engages in the very muzzling they purport to watch.

"Hecklers interrupted Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's speech to a prominent American Jewish group on Monday," the AP reports. But AP, who exactly were these hecklers?

"The hecklers, members of the Young Leadership Institute of Jewish Voice for Peace, stood up and shouted at different times during Mr. Netanyahu's speech to the Jewish Federations of North America."

Seems that MuzzleWatch should watch itself. Maybe next time members of its parent organization think of stifling the open exchange of ideas, they should take a deep breath, gaze at the looking glass, and sing:

I'm Starting With The Man In
The Mirror
(Ooh!)
I'm Asking Him To Change
His Ways
(Ooh!)
And No Message Could Have
Been Any Clearer
If You Wanna Make The World
A Better Place
Take A Look At Yourself And
Then Make A Change!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Professor Kicked Off Panel; Dissent Not Tolerated at Queen’s University Belfast

Professor Geoffrey Alderman, a historian who has defended Israel, was disinvited from a panel discussion about the Middle East conflict, apparently because the two other invited panelists, Avi Shlaim and Beverley Milton-Edwards, objected to his views.

Shlaim is well-known for his harsh, one-sided criticism of Israel, while Milton-Edwards has argued, in blatant contradiction to Hamas's own charter and repeated statements by its leaders, that the Islamist group "is not anti-peace" nor "anti-negotiation," and are not "anti-Israel" but rather "anti Israeli occupation."

 CiF Watch posted Professor Alderman's statement about the incident: 
On 20 September 2010 I received an email from the Director of the Belfast Festival, Mr. Graeme Farrow, inviting me to join a panel convened to discuss “Conflict in the Middle East” as part of the 2010 Belfast Festival, held under the auspices of Queen’s University Belfast. Mr. Farrow’s exact words were: “I would be delighted if you would join our panel.”

I was naturally pleased to accept this invitation.
The panel discussion is due to take place on Monday evening, 18 October 2010, in Belfast.

On Friday afternoon, 15 October 2010 I was shocked to receive an email from Mr. Farrow informing me that “a mistake” had been made in extending the invitation to me  and that although I could join the audience the event was to go ahead without my panel participation.

In effect, I was being “disinvited.”

In a series of email exchanges with Mr. Farrow I refused to accept this situation, and I have made it clear to him that I intend to travel to Belfast tomorrow and shall expect to participate fully as a member of the panel.< I am frankly appalled at the way I have been treated, for which I hold Queen’s University, Belfast, responsible.

And as of this writing, we hear not a peep from MuzzleWatch. Why? Why don't the purported opponents of this type of "muzzling" have anything to say about this?

Well, that's because MuzzleWatch doesn't really care about muzzling.As thoroughly documented on this site, their purported concern for the open exchange of ideas is no more than a selectively-utilized vehicle for their radical anti-Israel activism — fine china filled with trans-fat. Yum.

Monday, October 18, 2010

The Rarefied Jewish Voice for Peace

Congratulations are in order to Jewish Voice for Peace. The parent company of MuzzleWatch (definitely not to be confused with MuzzleWatch Watch — see below for the distinction between the two) came in 7th place on the Anti-Defamation League's list of top anti-Israel groups in America.

Of course, because the list is alphabetical, we don't know exactly where they stand relative to the others. But we do know they're in some pretty distinguished company. The ADL's list follows:
* Act Now to Stop War and End Racism (ANSWER)
* Al-Awda
* Council on American-Islamic Relations
* Friends of Sabeel-North America
* If Americans Knew
* International Solidarity Movement
* Jewish Voice for Peace
* Muslim American Society
* Students for Justice in Palestine
* US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation

And as promised above, here's a cheat sheet to help you understand the difference between MuzzleWatch and MuzzleWatch Watch.

MuzzleWatch watches for anything it can find to cast Israel or its defenders in a negative light (See Bad News from...); supports BDS campaigns (including one whose website slurs Israel as a practitioner of apartheid, www.caldivestfromapartheid.com); backs Israel's most extreme defamers (e.g, Ali Abunimah, the International Solidarity Movement), claims that criticism of radical anti-Israel activists is akin to "muzzling," and poo-poos the intimidation of those who support Israel's right to self defense (you can find that type of poo here).

MuzzleWatch Watch, on the other hand, watches Muzzle Watch.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

MuzzleWatch's Sister Site Also Muzzling

Like MuzzleWatch, TheOnlyDemocracy is a web site run by the anti-Israel advocacy organization Jewish Voice for Peace. And as on its MuzzleWatch blog, JVP sees no irony in censoring other opinions even while accusing those in the holders of those opinions "muzzling."

TheOnlyDemocracy's comments policy:
We read all comments, but only publish a select few that we believe will contribute to the overall discussion about the struggle for democratic rights in Israel and Palestine.
Interestingly, all articles on the website conclude with the welcoming phrase, "Comments are closed." So in other words, if you email Jewish Voice for Peace, and your email is sufficiently in lockstep with their narrow, fringe viewpoints, they might just publish your email on their blog. Otherwise, shaddup.