Buses in London are advertising an al-Quds day march by a group called the Islamic Human Rights Commission, a misnomer if there ever was one. The IHRC is an Iranian regime front group in the UK. The al-Quds march is an openly pro-Iranian regime parade through central London where Hamas and Hezbollah flags, pictures of the Iranian ayatollah and calls for Israel’s destruction can all be found.
In an email, the Stop the Bomb project reports that it is speaking with CBS (the agency that manages the bus advertisements) and Transport for London in an effort to get the advertisements taken down.
They are also contacting the largest bus union, whom they’re asking to join in with the outrage on the grounds that their fellow-unionists in Iran are so appallingly treated.
You can read all about it and see pictures from last year’s al-Quds day rally here.
Most incredibly, the Islamic Human Rights Commission is considered a charity in England.
Acutely aware of public opinion: Jacques Rogge, International Olympic Committee president
Reuters says (“Organizers try to quell anger over Munich tribute”) that the International Olympic Committee is finally taking a meaningful stand on terrorism – by “hitting back” at the demands for a forty-year-late minute of silence in memory of the slain Israeli victims of the massacre executed by the Palestinian Arab Black September terror organization at the Munich Olympic Games in 1972.
LONDON (Reuters) – Olympic organizers hit back at criticism on Tuesday of how they had honored 11 Israeli team members killed at the 1972 Munich Games, ignoring calls to hold a minute’s silence for them in the opening ceremony. International Olympic Committee President Jacques Rogge led a surprise tribute in the athletes village in London on Monday, but that low-key event failed to satisfy relatives of the victims or Israeli officials.The Reuters story [source] offers an especially toxic way of describing the Munich 1972 outcome: “Within 24 hours, 11 Israelis, five Palestinians and a German policeman were dead after a standoff and subsequent botched rescue effort.” Meaning that stuff happens and the victims were from all over: from Germany, from Israel, from Palestine. Feh!About Tuesday’s “low-key” “surprise tribute”, we think there are some important points to be made :
- How many people did it actually attract? About 100, according to Associated Press: “Rogge bowed his head as a crowd of about 100 people — IOC executive board members, dignitaries and Olympic athletes and officials — stood in silence for a minute.” By our count, there are more newspapers that reported the ceremony than people actually participating. Some tribute.
- Rogge, to his credit, has been consistent. He “has repeatedly rebuffed calls to hold a moment of silence during Friday’s opening ceremony of the London Games. He said Saturday the opening was not the appropriate place to remember the Israeli team members”. [Source: Associated Press] To our way of thinking, nothing could be more appropriate than the highly-watched opening ceremony, assuming you want people to actually remember.
- At Tuesday’s event, Rogge took the opportunity to wax eloquent in front of the crowd of one hundred about the physical surroundings and addressed lofty visions as he spoke of “the 11 Israeli Olympians who shared the ideals that have brought us together in this beautiful Olympic Village… The 11 victims of the Munich tragedy believed in that vision… They came to Munich in the spirit of peace and solidarity. We owe it to them to keep the spirit alive and to remember them.” [Source: Associated Press]
- In the interests of repaying what the IOC “owes” to the dead Israelis and their memory, Rogge met last night (Wednesday) with two widows of the dead Israeli Olympians. He managed to leave them “distraught and heartbroken” [report]. It’s almost entirely unreported.
- The Israeli widows handed Rogge a petition signed by more than 105,000 people from all over the world, calling for a minute of silence at Friday’s opening ceremony. Rogge said no again. They asked him whether his refusal was because the victims were Israeli. Rogge declined to answer. [Source: JC]
- One of the two widows is Anki Spitzer, the prime mover behind the petition [it’s here]. She said: “I was looking him in the eye but he said we had two different opinions. We said ‘you didn’t hear the voice of the world’. He said: ‘Yes I did’.” [Source: JC]
- We think Rogge spoke the truth. He is acutely aware of public opinion. The public opinion to which he is paying attention is against the minute’s silence – that is, the public that is important to Rogge and the IOC.
- It is clear that a significant part of the Olympic community is embarrassed by and opposed to the singling out of Israeli victims for honoring. Who are they? Yesterday, in a blog posting [see “25-Jul-12: An effective ‘spontaneous minute’ that will speak louder than the IOC’s roaring hypocrisy“], wequoted Thomas Bach, International Olympic Committee vice-president on this very matter. Here again is the key quote in which he spills the Olympic beans: “The threats to boycott the opening ceremony made by Arab states in the event of an official minute of silence have led the IOC to mark the 40 year anniversary in other ways, including a minute of silence on Monday inside the Olympic Village, led by IOC President Jacques Rogge. The Arab boycott “had been a possibility, according to some of our advice”, Bach said according to Israel’s Channel 2 news.” [Source: Algemeiner.com]
- It’s about the Arabs. Only Bach has admitted it so far.
- The IOC has no problem holding massive memorial ceremonies. It’s not an issue of principle, and it’s not something that conflicts with the Olympic spirit. In 2002, at the Winter Olympics in Utah, they held a memorial service attended by 60,000 people [report and picture].
- Not everyone is as appalled as we are at the insensitivity of the Olympic management team. The Palestinians, for instance, think it’s really OK. As PMW notes today, the Palestinian Authority headed by Mahmoud Abbas is against the moment of silence: “Sports are meant for peace, not for racism“, the headline in its newspaper says today. Jibril Rajoub, president of the Palestinian Olympic Committee and a man who knows a thing or two about racism and terrorism, sounds a positively lyrical note in a report from the Arabic media yesterday: “Sports are a bridge to love, interconnection, and spreading of peace among nations; it must not be a cause of division and spreading of racism between them [nations]” [Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, July 25, 2012]
- The Fatah/PLO/Palestinian Authority side opposes a minute of silence because, for them, the murder of Israelis by Palestinian Arabs is not terror at all. It’s heroism. Palestinian Media Watch routinely documents how they express this glorification of terror and terrorists; it’s an ongoing, daily thing. For them, the Munich massacre was done by a “star who sparkled… at the sports stadium in Munich“. And so on.
- Let’s note by the way that Rajoub is himself a seasoned terrorist [see “We salute Shalit’s kidnappers, says Jibril Rajoub“] who has been repeatedly arrested and imprisoned over the decades. He owes his freedom to a notorious 1985 transaction (eventually known as the Jibril Deal) in which he was among 1,150 Palestinian Arabs freed from Israeli prisons in exchange for three Israeli hostages held by a terrorist group. After his release, Rajoub moved to Tunis where he served as aide and advisor to Abu Jihad who was head of the Black September terrorist force in the early ’70s [source]: the same Black September took executed the Munich massacre.
- In a letter this week to Rogge, the terrorist Rajoub “expressed appreciation for [Rogge’s] position, who opposed the Israeli position, which demanded a moment’s silence at the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games in London.” As PMW points out, Rajoub is unable to bring himself to actually mention the murdered Israeli athletes. Their killing is simply termed “the Munich Operation”. Small wonder that Rajoub and the PA sing the praises of Rogge’s refusal to permit a minute of silence for dead Israeli athletes. But the question for us is: Those people who are standing by and with and behind Rogge – do they subscribe to the Fatah/PLO’s endorsement of the IOC refusal?
- We have heard it said that Tuesday’s pathetic “low-key” memorial moment gave worldwide exposure to the murder of the Israeli athletes and that makes it a positive thing. But we say the events of 1972 in Munich gave them worldwide exposure too; does that make the killings a positive thing? The more serious criticism is that the message of Tuesday’s IOC ‘event’ fails to come to grips with what is being remembered. The Munich massacre of 1972 was followed by many more killings, based on the same hatred, the same contempt for other people’s lives, and essentially by the same people. The terrorists who planned and executed are busy planning more. Though the Israelis came in peace, they died as Israelis and Jews. None of this was even hinted at in Rogge’s vacuous “spontaneous” comments. He mentioned Israeli once in the video clip [here]. But the message was not about Israelis or about terror.
- We say Tuesday’s “spontaneous” IOC event was symbolic, but not in the way Rogge and the IOC intended. It actually possesses multiple layers of symbolism. Thanks to the ringing endorsement of the Palestinian Authority and its blood-soaked Olympic committee head, we now understand them a good deal better.Friday is going to be day of pomp, enthusiasm and unstoppable optimism. But in certain ways the opening ceremony of the London Olympics is also – for those of us living daily in an ongoing war – likely to be a reminder of the deep gulf between those who have some understanding of terrorism and what it stands for, and those for whom slogans and lofty pronouncements conceal a fundamental emptiness.
“Inspire a Generation has been revealed as the official motto for the London Olympics. ‘It is the heartbeat, the very DNA of this organisation and a rallying cry for the athletes to come to the UK to perform at their very best and inspire the world.” [Source: Daily Mail]
It would have been good to see the Olympic movement embrace something a little more substantial and focused on genuine humanitarian values.
The ‘Palestinian Authority,’ an outgrowth of the PLO, which sponsored and committed the Munich Olympic massacre 40 years ago, has sent a letter to International Olympic Committee President Jacques Rogge praising him for his refusal to allow the eleven Israeli athletes who were murdered at Munich to be remembered.
According to Jibril Rajoub, President of the Palestinian Olympic Committee:
“Sports are meant for peace, not for racism… Sports are a bridge to love, interconnection, and spreading of peace among nations; it must not be a cause of division and spreading of racism between them [nations].”
[Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, July 25, 2012]
But Dr. Andre Oboler writes that the IOC committed a major blunder by not acceding to the moment of silence request.
Had the call for a minutes silence remained an online issue, and had it remained an issue about Israelis, the IOC could have continued to ignore it. They have done so in the past without much difficulty. This, however, is 2012. The threat of terrorism, and efforts to mitigate that threat, permeate the games. The threat of terrorism, and the erosion of fundamental rights through anti-terror measures around the world, is a topic of public interest and conversation. Enough time has passed since September 11 for the world to again begin thinking about the balance between security and the cost it imposes on our daily lives.
The response to terrorism is something Israel began dealing with a long time ago. The world has changed and today more than ever people around the globe acknowledge the loss of terror victims and the suffering of their families. This is increasingly done without regard for nationality. The IOC’s mistake was thinking the minutes silence was about placating Israelis and the families of the victims. Whatever the wishes of the victims’ families, the campaign gained worldwide support for its own reasons and on its own merits. It spoke to people, and they connected with it and shared it.
The 1972 terrorist attack was not an attack on Israelis as much as it was an attack on the Olympics itself. The decision to ban Apartheid South Africa from the games all those decades ago shows that the Olympics is not entirely free of world politics, it is just very cautious and only acts in line with world consensus. That’s where the IOC went wrong; in this matter there is a consensus and the IOC is trying to ignore it.
Today’s global consensus is actively against terror. In the face of terror, be it a natural disaster or the politically motivated terror human kind invents for itself, people around the world stand together as one. Social media plays a role as the world becomes ever more connected. The IOC’s failure to incorporate a minutes silence into the opening of the games appears as a failure of leadership; a failure to stand with the people of the world and speak out against our greatest fear.
The timing too is significant. Let us for a moment recall that the Olympics only occur every four years. This is therefore the tenth games since the terrorists attacked. There will be no fiftieth anniversary at the 2022 Olympic Games. Indeed, due to the Olympic schedule there will be no 2022 Games. In this context, the failure by the International Olympic Committee to very publicly acknowledge that the games too have been a victim of terror, is akin to an American President refusing to commemorate September 11 on a major anniversary of that tragic event. It is indeed incomprehensible.
The ‘Palestinians,’ on the other hand, commemorate the Olympic massacre regularly. They have called the massacre’s planners ‘a star who sparkled,’ a shahid (martyr), and have said that ‘his star shined in Munich.’ The ‘Palestinian Authority’ – time and time again – has glorified the terrorists who planned and carried out the Munich Olympic Massacre. But that shouldn’t surprise anyone. The financier of the Munich Olympic Massacre is now the President of the ‘Palestinian Authority.’
The IOC has a clear moral choice to make tomorrow – to stand with the terrorists of the ‘Palestinian Authority’ or to be true to the Olympic Games and their participants. Given the IOC’s past history, the odds of them making the right choice are not too promising.
Yes… that guy was right. It’s not an issue about Israel. It’s an issue about the Olympics and terror and the IOC is guilty of the worst kind of bias to think it was just about mourning some dead Jews in Munich.
Yesterday, followers of the Religion of Peace™ decided to descend on Central London in which to hold a funeral procession for OBL. For some strange reason, they ended their march outside the US Embassy. But the thing I noticed is that for a so called funeral procession, not only did they not conduct themselves in a dignified manner, but the message they sent out (with their placards and such) had nothing to do with the death of their so called hero:
Should the federal government intervene when an American university permits its campus to become unsafe for Jews? When the prevailing atmosphere on campus is hatred against Israel and all things associated with the Jewish people?After a long and involved debate, the Obama administration finally did the right thing last October and stated definitively that such conduct is impermissible at institutions that receive federal funding. While that ruling, which was prompted by an epidemic of anti-Semitic harassment of Jewish students at the University of California at Irvine, ought to have been welcomed by both academia and the organized Jewish world, it has now been challenged by the American Association of University Professors. In a newsletter on the AAUP website, Cary Nelson (the association’s president) and Kenneth Stern of the American Jewish Committee contend that recent events on American university campuses—at Berkeley, Santa Cruz, and Rutgers in addition to Irvine—do not rise to the level of a “working definition” of anti-Semitism. Calls for redress by Jewish students and professors are nothing more, they conclude, than an unscrupulous effort to “censor anti-Israel remarks.”
But Nelson and Stern are wrong both about the situation on campus. And they are wrong about the motivations of those whose activism led the U.S. Department of Education to issue its ruling.
Last September, one month before the ruling was issued, COMMENTARY published Kenneth L. Marcus’s essay “A Blind Eye to Anti-Semitism,” a thoughtful examination of the sordid goings on at the Cal-Irvine and the halting steps taken toward combating the epidemic of anti-Semitic acts that had taken place there. The former head of the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights, Marcus detailed not only the unhappy story of how the university had failed to protect Jewish students, but also set forth the legal rationale for the federal government ’s intervention. He pointed out that Title VI of the Civil Rights Act prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, or national origin in federally funded universities and public schools. Although it has been argued that laws banning racism do not apply to Jews (who are not a race but a people), Marcus rejoined persuasively that, in addition to being a religion, Judaism is a group identity that involves more than adherence to a faith.
Contrary to Nelson and Stern, what is happening on campus isn’t merely the free exchange of ideas about Israeli policies. As Marcus wrote:
There, on the campus of the University of California at Irvine, Jewish students were physically and verbally harassed, threatened, shoved, stalked, and targeted by rock-throwing groups and individuals. Jewish property was defaced with swastikas, and a Holocaust memorial was vandalized. Signs were posted on campus showing a Star of David dripping with blood. Jews were chastised for arrogance by public speakers whose appearance at the institution was subsidized by the university. They were called “dirty Jew” and “fucking Jew,” told to “go back to Russia” and “burn in hell,” and heard other students and visitors to the campus urge one another to “slaughter the Jews.” One Jewish student who wore a pin bearing the flags of the United States and Israel was told to “take off that pin or we’ll beat your ass.” Another was told, “Jewish students are the plague of mankind” and “Jews should be finished off in the ovens.”
The result of these incidents was that Jewish students rightly feared the consequences of speaking up in opposition to this spirit of intolerance. While it may be held that the university should have been able to handle this problem without federal intervention, the truth is that the school did nothing. Cal-Irvine officials reacted to complaints with indifference or without urgency. The Jewish community was left with little choice but to resort to legal complaints seeking to compel the government to enforce the law against discrimination. It is very much to the credit of the Zionist Organization of America that it championed this cause.
Although Nelson and Stern wrongly treat the students complaints as if they were trivial, they also claim that the resort to the law harms the cause of fighting anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism. Government intervention shifts the discussion, they believe, from opposing bigotry to protecting free speech.
Anti-Semites will howl that they are being repressed if they are prevented from spreading hatred for Jews on university campuses. No question about it. But those who preach hatred for African-Americans could make the same argument. Even to ask whether Nelson or Stern would be okay with the Ku Klux Klan’s holding officially sanctioned forums at federally-funded schools, however, is to answer the question.
Nelson and Stern go on to compare the warnings about campus anti-Semitism to the debate over immigration laws. But the comparison is just as specious. There is, after all, a clear distinction between advocating enforcement of existing laws against illegal immigration and broadcasting anti-Hispanic hate, even if the distinction is often erased in the heat of debate. No one is calling for Israel’s critics to be barred from campus. Harassing Jews in classrooms and public spaces as well as holding authorized campus events whose purpose is to promote the delegitimization of the Jewish people, however, crosses the line from unpleasant speech to an illegal promotion of violence.
The atmosphere of hatred created at Cal-Irvine in 2003 and 2004 and now being duplicated at other American universities stands as a watershed event in the history of the movement to defame Zionism and the Jews. At a time when this pernicious movement tries to flood into America through the classroom door, it is more important than ever that decent people speak out against the rising tide of international anti-Semitism. When universities fail to restrain the haters, it is up to the government to treat Jew-hatred no differently than it would bigotry against any other minority group. No matter what the AAUP says.
nothing is ever new… do a Google search on the issue and tell me this is fair and unbiased?
Last Friday, eleven Muslim ‘students’ were arraigned in a California court and plead not guilty to charges stemming from their disruption of a speech by Israeli Ambassador to the United States Michael Oren in February 2010. How could someone be criminally charged for exercising their right of free speech by heckling a speaker they didn’t like – and in the United States no less? That’s exactly the point, writes Yair Rosenberg in the Harvard Crimson. You have the right to speak but so do others who disagree with you. In this particular case, the ‘students’ were shown to have planned to prevent Oren from speaking at all. That steps over a line.
To understand why this prosecution is justified, and indeed similar future prosecutions of campus disruptors are warranted, one must first understand what this prosecution is not.
It is decidedly not an “absolute affront to the Constitution” that will “inhibit the free exchange of ideas,” as Dan Stormer and Jacqueline Goodman, two of the Irvine defense attorneys, have claimed. It is their clients who sought to inhibit the free exchange of ideas by shouting down Oren’s speech, preventing him and the estimated crowd of 500-700 individuals from exercising their rights to free speech and assembly.
In fact, when viewed through the lens of pragmatism rather than partisanship, the prosecution of these disruptors clearly protects our civil discourse. Imagine, for contrast, a campus climate in which it is possible for any sufficiently motivated group to shut down an event to which it is ideologically opposed. Not only would Ambassador Oren and General Petraeus be shouted off the stage, but Nancy Pelosi would be accosted with cries of “baby killer,” while Omar Barghouti, who spoke recently at Harvard to advocate boycott of Israel, could be met with jeers of “terrorist” and “anti-semite.” It is essential for the preservation of considered campus conversation that such suppressive “speech” never be tolerated, no matter the opinion being espoused. Simply put, no partisan should have a vocal veto over the marketplace of ideas.
Beyond the practical necessity of such prosecution, there is also strong legal justification for it. As Professor Eugene Volokh of UCLA, a renowned free speech expert explains, “California law rightly makes it a crime to interfere with people’s rights to speak, and listeners’ rights to listen.” Volokh is a long-time equal opportunity advocate for First Amendment rights, having defended flag-burning, anti-Israel bus advertisements and even the permissibility of voluntarily-assumed Sharia arbitration on U.S. soil. To him, the Irvine case is not an example of individuals exercising free speech but rather attempting to stifle it. “Of course, the defendants have their own free speech rights,” he says. “They could have freely exercised them outside the meeting. They could have exercised them during Q&A … They could have exercised them by staging their own event. But First Amendment law has long recognized that there’s no right to speak so loudly that it interferes with other people’s activity.”
Countering a misconception, Volokh adds that “while a jail term is theoretically available” if the defendants are found guilty, “it will be highly unlikely for first offenders.” Rather, “in a case such as this, the defendants … will be fined, put on probation, and possibly sentenced to some community service.” And that, he concludes, “sounds like about the right punishment.”
It might be enough to inhibit these people in the future and maybe others as well. But unfortunately, the facts in this case seem uniquely suited for prosecution – a mistake that the BDS’ers are not likely to make again.
Read the whole thing. And if you speak to groups in public, know your rights. No one has the right to shut you down. At least in theory.
UK University Heads Say They ‘Can Do Little’ About Islamic Extremism
..Oh yes they can. And the time has come for them to be forced to:
Islamic fundamentalism is being allowed to flourish at universities, endangering national security, MPs and peers said yesterday.
Protesters claim that the products sold in the store are manufactured in a factory in Israeli settlement, Mitzpe Shalom in the West Bank but are “misleadingly” labelled as produced in Israel.
The owner of the shop, currently in Monmouth Street, Covent Garden, is looking for other sites after owners of neighbouring stores complained to the landlord following protests.
Supporters claim it has been “chased out” of its location by regular “noisy and intimidating” demonstrations.
A spokeswoman for Shaftesbury PLC, which owns the property as well as several others in the Seven Dials area, said: “When Ahava’s lease expires in September, we will not offer them a new one.”
Pro-Palestinian protesters have been demonstrating fortnightly outside the shop, which opened in April 2007, for more than two years. A counter group of pro-Israeli supporters also demonstrate outside.
The owner of the store next door shows the spinelessness we can expect from much of the UK:
Colin George, manager of clothes shop The Loft, next door to Ahava, said: “I’m pleased Ahava is leaving. It’s brought the street down. I’ve complained to the landlords, as has everyone here. Everyone would like them to leave. I wish they had left two years ago.
“Protesters are just going to follow them around, wherever they go. Maybe they should be an online business instead.”
Perhaps it is time to stage noisy protests outside The Loft? Then Mr. George can follow his own advice!
After all, he believes that any group can shut down any shop they want to, just by acting obnoxious.