Joan Rivers has come out in support of Israel in a big way.
When asked by a TMZ reporter about the violence in Gaza and Israel, Rivers compared the situation to New York and its much-maligned neighboring state.
“If New Jersey were firing rockets into New York, we would wipe ‘em out,” she said, waving her hands. “If we heard that they were digging tunnels from New Jersey to New York, we would get rid of Jersey.”
Even if Rivers apparently missed the memo about the PATH trains that connect New York to New Jersey underground, she got her point across.
“You cannot throw rockets and expect people not to defend themselves,” she continued.
The reporter countered by asking her about the Palestinian civilian casualty rate.
“They started it!” she yelled repeatedly.
“Oh, Selena Gomez, that college grad,” Rivers responded. “Let’s see if she can spell ‘Palestinian.’”
The situation in Gaza is “a terrible, tragic thing. Innocent lives are lost left and right, and it’s a horrible situation that eventually has to right itself,” Woody Allen declared in an interview about his new movie, Magic in the Moonlight.
Asked about the Israel-Palestine conflict, Allen explained, “I feel that the Arabs were not very nice in the beginning… The Jews had just come out of a terrible war where they were exterminated by millions and persecuted all over Europe, and they were given this tiny, tiny piece of land in the desert.
“If the Arabs had just said, ‘Look, we know what you guys have been through, take this little piece of land and we’ll all be friends and help you,’ and the Jews came in peace, but they didn’t. They were not nice about it.”
Allen concluded that “there’ve been public relations mistakes, actual mistakes, and it’s been a terrible, terrible cycle of mismanagement and bad faith.”
Basketball superstar Dwight Howard’s foray into commentary on the crisis in the Middle East only lasted about 15 minutes. However, that was more than long enough to make headlines and draw the ire of thousands of twitter users.
Later that day, he tweeted “previous tweet was a mistake. I have never commented on international politics and never will.”
previous tweet was a mistake. I have never commented on international politics and never will.— Dwight Howard (@DwightHoward) July 12, 2014
Nevertheless, the backlash was swift.
Morton Klein, president of the Zionist Organization of America, said that he should be “publicly condemned as strong as Donald Sterling was,” a reference to the Los Angeles Clippers owner who came under withering attack for disparaging remarks about black people.
Omri Casspi – a teammate of Howard’s last year on the Houston Rockets and the only Israeli player to ever be drafted and play in the NBA – responded to Howard’s tweet on Saturday.
600 missiles been fired from GAZA by Hamas in the last 4 days. NUMBERS DONT LIE. STOP LYING.— Omri Casspi (@Casspi18) July 12, 2014
Casspi had also been vocal on Twitter during the #bringbackourboys campaign during the search for the three kidnapped Israeli teenagers.
Howard, who believes himself to be God’s messenger in the NBA, seems to have quickly learned the consequences of political commentary.
I apologize if I offended anyone with my previous tweet, it was a mistake!— Dwight Howard (@DwightHoward) July 12, 2014
Coldplay fans are not happy.
(Wait, Coldplay has fans?)
The band fronted by Chris Martin has come under fire after posting a link to a “Freedom for Palestine” video by the band OneWorld on their Facebook page.
The song, which contains the controversial lyrics: “No matter your faith or your community/ this is a crime against humanity” and “Enough illegal occupation/ violence and racial segregation,” calls for people to rally in support of Palestine. As the chorus goes, “We are the people/ this is our time/ stand up, sing out/ for Palestine.”
In the Facebook post, Coldplay provided fans with a link to the “Freedom for Palestine” website with the simple message, “Some of our friends are involved in OneWorld’s new ‘Freedom for Palestine’ single.”
According to the Washington Post, the Facebook post received 12,000 comments within a day. Many of them contained promises to boycott the band, but there were also a number of endorsements of support for Palestine.
The Facebook post has since been taken down.
The song and Facebook post even reached the attention of Glenn Beck on Fox News. Beck did not hold back on his stinging criticism of the pro-Palestine movement. “Make no mistake it’s propaganda,” he said. “It’s important that we know all sides and look evil in the eye.”
As he continued his rant on the pro-Palestine movement, he was so overcome with emotion he began to weep.
Reality television star Kim Kardashian apologized for tweeting about the Gaza conflict.
Kardashian apologized after two tweets in which she first told her followers she was “Praying for everyone in Israel,” and then tweeted that she was “Praying for everyone in Palestine and across the world!”
Kardashian later deleted both tweets and issued an apology: “(A)fter hearing from my followers, I decided to take down the tweets because I realized that some people were offended and hurt by what I said, and for that I apologize,” the statement, published on her blog, said in part.
The statement continued: “I should have pointed out my intentions behind these tweets when I posted them. The fact is that regardless of religion and political beliefs, there are countless innocent people involved who didn’t choose this, and I pray for all of them and also for a resolution. I also pray for all the other people around the world who are caught in similar crossfires.”
Palestine scored its first ever goal in a home World Cup qualifier on July 3. And it was better than Beckham.
At Al Ram on the West Bank, Palestine drew 1-1 with nomadic Afghanistan which, when combined with the 2-0 win over the Afghanis in the first match (played in Tajikistan), put the Palestinian team through to the next round of the Asian preliminary qualifiers for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.
Watch Hussam Wadi’s Historic Goal:
Those of us who like to like to soften our skin are being asked to toughen our stance against one of the largest purveyors of natural soaps and cosmetics. The pro-Israel organization United With Israel is calling on people to boycott LUSH products in response to the company’s financial support of OneWorld.
OneWorld is the organization that produced the “Freedom for Palestine” music video recently endorsed by the British band Coldplay but then removed it from the band’s Facebook page in response to public outcry against what was said to be the song’s historically revisionist narrative.
Could we be approaching the iPhone intifada? Israeli lawmaker Yuli Edelstein seems to fear so.
An iPhone app offers Palestinians and Palestinian sympathizers real-time news about efforts to spark a third intifada. The ThirdIntifada was released last week, seemingly to replace a pro-uprising page that Facebook removed in March.
There aren’t many facets of healthcare in which Palestinians are progressing faster than the far better-resourced Israelis. But it turns out that that Palestinians do seem more prepared to kick the tobacco habit.
The Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics has just reported that among Palestinians, there has been an enormous decrease in smoking over recent years. It has declined by some 18% in the last decade. In Israel, by contrast, the figures are stagnant. The percentage of people who smoke is — coincidentally — 23%, the same as among Palestinians. But while the figure among Palestinians has been on a downward slide, the Israeli number has been the same for three years. That’s despite investment in stop-smoking campaigns.
What is really bizarre is the huge discrepancy in smoking habits between Israeli and Palestinian Arabs. While between a quarter to a third of Palestinian males smoke, among Israeli Arabs the figure is more than a half.
WAFA, the Palestinian News and Information Agency, is reporting that crews from the Jerusalem municipality started working early this morning to remove existing street signs in East Jerusalem and replace them with new ones. The new signs will change the names of streets and locations from their Arab names to Jewish ones.
According to WAFA’s press release, “The municipality, as part of its project to change the Arab and Islamic character of East Jerusalem, changed the name of Sultan Suleiman Street that extends between Damascus Gate and Herod’s Gate of the Old City Wall to Eliyahu Street, as the new signs say. The Sultan Suleiman Cave on the same road has been renamed to Eliyahu Cave.”
Coldplay appears to have changed its mind about the Arab-Israeli conflict — at least when it gets in the way of promoting the band’s latest single.
Coldplay is getting into some serious “Trouble” with its Jewish and pro-Israel fanbase. (See what we did there?)
In a message posted on its Facebook page yesterday, the British band urged fans to check out the “Freedom for Palestine” music video. “Some of our friends are involved in OneWorld’s new ‘Freedom for Palestine’ single,” the band wrote, posting a link to the video on OneWorld’s website.
“Freedom for Palestine,” performed by international music artists, starts with strong lyrics: “So many years of catastrophe/more than six million refugees/it could be you and your family/forced from your home and your history.” It also features depictions of Israeli army checkpoints and Israel’s controversial security fence, and goes on to urge “breaking down the wall” and “justice for all.”
In the delicate Middle East, leaders are constantly watching their backs. But not quite enough, so it seems. Of all the hazards facing Ismail Haniyeh — Palestinian Prime Minister, according to his organization Hamas, a pretender to the throne, according to Fatah, and a terrorist, according to Israel — who would have thought that the real danger looms on the soccer field?
Haniyeh, a prolific footballer when he’s not inciting hatred against Israel, was reportedly injured on the soccer field earlier today. He will be on the sidelines for ten days, under doctor’s orders to rest.
This part of the world is a breeding ground for conspiracy theories. Who can forget the South Sinai governor, Mohamed Abdul Fadil Shousha, who was reported in December to have suggested that Mossad was behind a string of shark attacks in the Red Sea? How long before it’s claimed that Israel made the grass on the soccer pitch wonky, or untied Haniyeh’s shoelaces to make him wobbly on his feet?
It’s been well documented that social networking sites have been key in spreading pro-democracy messages and bringing people to the streets in the Arab world. Now, people are even being told they can choose their government on Facebook.
Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad has asked his Facebook friends to help decide who should serve in his government.
His entire cabinet resigned last Monday, in an apparent attempt to make way for more inclusive government and avoid the pro-democracy demonstrations sweeping the Arab world from spreading to the West Bank.
After a delay of several months, the Chilean miners are officially on their way to Israel.
The 33 miners — who captivated much of the world last year with their rescue after spending 69 days trapped underground — will make the trip between February 23 and March 2. The visit, announced today by Israel’s tourism ministry, will include stops at the country’s major Christian sites, as well as the Dead Sea, Masada, Caesarea and Tel Aviv. The miners will attend a reception hosted by Israeli President Shimon Peres, and the trip even has an official name: “The Pilgrimage of Thanks in the Holy Land.”
The American administration is about to jump-start peace talks aimed at the creation of a Palestinian state in the framework of the two-state solution, but it seems that the “Sesame Street” star Grover is way ahead of the game — he’s already visited Palestine.
In a segment now on the “Sesame Street” website, Grover and an Egyptian friend find themselves “going on an adventure to visit our friends from around the world.” In the clip, Grover says, “We’re off to Palestine.” Following, a Palestinian girl is shown receiving a gift from her grandmother.
Predictably, the settler-run news site Israel National News let rip about the fact that “Sesame Street” has referred to what it deems “a nonexistent state whose formation was agreed to by Netanyahu, but that many Israelis feel cannot be established without putting Israel’s existence into danger.”