Israeli Minister Pushes New Law To Punish Those Who Question Israel’s Commitment to Democracy

Israeli Culture and Sports Minister (and former Brigadier General) Miri Regev has a curious view of democracy. Regev is the author of a “cultural loyalty” bill that would allow fines or withdrawing support for any institution for a host of free speech violations, including “the denial of Israel’s democratic nature.” Thus, the bill would allow Israel to punish those who challenge its commitment to democracy so that Israel can show that it is a democracy. Follow? Let’s try again. If someone denies Israel is a true democracy, they will be punished of using their free speech to criticize the government. Well, the important thing is that it all makes sense to Regev. It is taken from the same oxymoronic lesson book as “the beatings will continue until morale improves” or “destroying a village to save it.”

Regev was long the spokeswoman for the Israeli Defense Forces. She has long been a menace to free speech and artists. When the al-Midan theater wanted to put on the play “A Parallel Time” (about Walid Daka, who planned the murder of IDF soldier Moshe Tamam in 1984), Regev froze state funding for the al-Midan theater where the play was being performed.

Now she wants more power to police free speech and artistic expression.

Article 3a currently places this power with the Finance Minister but Regev wants the power to punish free speech in the Ministry of Culture because “it is the Ministry of Culture’s responsibility to supervise cultural institutions, including what they offer, and make sure they are not breaking the country’s laws.” While many would question the need for any cultural ministry (culture tends to evolve on its own), Regev made clear that being a democracy does not mean enjoying democratic freedoms and culture must meet a government test for acceptability: “Cultural institutions are not above the law. They must work according to the laws of the State of Israel and we must make sure of this – and not keep our eyes closed.”

Regev’s career was helped by staunchly anti-immigration rhetoric like in 2012 when she called illegal Sudanese immigrants “a cancer in our body.”

80 thoughts on “Israeli Minister Pushes New Law To Punish Those Who Question Israel’s Commitment to Democracy”

  1. BS….. cut-and-paste……BS………cut-and-paste……….deception………cut-and-paste……BS………cut-and-paste……….deception………

    That pretty much summarizes the activities of this website’s resident Islamonazi loving ultrasubcretin.

    1. BS….. cut-and-paste……BS………cut-and-paste……….deception………cut-and-paste……BS………cut-and-paste……….deception………

      That pretty much summarizes the activities of this website’s resident nazi loving ultrasubcretin
      Thank you for offering the exact words that define your contributions, Tommy!
      Not only do you hate Israel and Jews, you allied yourself with Nazis to antagonize the world against Israel and Jews.
      Thankfully, none of us is falling for your deceptive antisemitic trap!
      Even bambam has dropped you!
      Way to go bamie!

  2. Gotcha again, ultrasubcretin. My list of highlights of Islamic terrorist acts comes from Wikipedia which veers to the left and tends toward anti-Israel positions. But do carry on with your puerile deceptions. I’m sure that Turley will be grateful to you for your diligent efforts to promote the Islamonazi cult.

    1. Come on, Ralphie-the-hamas-plant, are you gonna bring out ultrasubcretin again?
      Come on, man!
      So you address one topic, what about the others? How conveniently did you avoid them!
      Now, I realized that I was mistaken, you are not a Hamas plant, you are a neo-nazi/zionist, as framed below, hence your offering Tommy Robinson as a trusty source.
      So you don’t really care for Israel, your support for zionism is just another tool in your practice of islamophobia.
      I hope bambam distances himself from you, i obviously care more about Israel and Jews than you do.
      —————————————–
      “”The political setup is changing; the new fad is the pro-Zionist swing of the European far-right. Once, they were against Jews, ergo, they were against the Zionist enterprise as well. Now they have discovered the obscure charm of Zionism. The more successful far-right parties of Europe have embraced Israel, have opened their gates to Jews and now are mainly carrying out an anti-Muslim and anti-immigrant agenda. Anti-Zionism is just too expensive – anti-Zionist right-wing parties are usually described as “neo-Nazi anti-Semites”, they find themselves out in the cold, without access to media, totally de-legitimised. But it enough for them to support Israel to become perfectly legitimate.
      Gianfranco Fini (a leader of the Italian National Alliance) discovered this solution a long time ago. Fascist or not, but after his visit to Israel and a photo-op with Sharon in the Holocaust museum he became kosher, he made it to the top.
      In the UK, the BNP became more Israel-friendly. The BNP has a few Jews and Zionists at the top. Anti-zionists Martin Webster, a former leader of National Front, and Robert Edwards, a leader of the socialist wing of the nationalist movement, have much less money, media coverage and public support.
      In Sweden, the far right has been divided into pro-Zionist and anti-Zionist. Now, a few years after the split, pro-Zionist Sweden Democrats are on the verge of entering the parliament, as Jewish-owned media have ceased boycotting them. The anti-Zionist National Democrats are tiny and boycotted.

      In France, Jean-Marie Le Pen exercised a steady anti-Zionist influence, despite having some Jews in top spots. But now the old man is on his way out, and his daughter (and probable successor) Marine is likely to change its agenda into anti-Muslim and anti-immigrant. The Jews work at it. A supporter of Marine Le Pen, Pierre Cassen, had organized a free wine-with-pork sausages street party at Muslim prayer time on Friday in the heavily Muslim area of Paris, La goutte d’or (it was stopped in the end, by the government) – and he was immediately invited for a conference by the Bnei Brith (or B’nai B’rith), the Zionist-Masonic organization and founder of ADL.

      It is even worse in the Netherlands and Denmark, where the far right is strictly Zionist. “”

  3. Sorry, po, but quotations from leftists to “support” your positions mean zilch. Leftists are inherently anti-Israel. It’s the equivalent of quoting Hitler or David Duke to support your position that Jews are evil people. But do carry on with your deceptions and avoidance of facts at all costs. I wouldn’t expect anything less from a lover of the Islamonazi cult.

    1. I agree with you, khaled, my quoting leftists (???) to support my arguments is definitely sillier than quoting an islamophobic website for the list of islam related terror acts…
      …or quoting an islamophobe, ari Lieberman for fair insight into islam related events…
      …or quoting a neo-nazi antisemite and islamophobe, Tommy robinson, for his insight into the quran…
      …or quoting any of the usual suspects, daniel greenbeans, pamella geller, ayaan ali…

      Perhaps I ought to stick with the orthodox rabbis, I doubt they are considered leftists, right?
      Regarding leftists, interesting that leftist is now considered a negative thing in Israel… there is actually a pogrom against leftists in Israel with open calls for lynching them…
      no wonder Khaled keeps throwing the label around!

  4. For po and Turley — just a small fraction of the activities of the lovers of Muslim “democracy” for the month of January 2016, who want even more such activities, and with greater frequency and pervasiveness.

    January 1, 2016 – A Taliban suicide bomber detonated himself in a French restaurant called ‘Le Jardin’ in Kabul. 2 dead 15 injured.

    January 2, 2016 – In the 2016 Pathankot attack suspected Jaish-e-Mohammed militants attacked an Indian air base killing 7 security force members. Several injured.

    January 3, 2016 – Five Islamist suicide bombers attack an Iraqi military base. 15 dead and 22 injured.

    January 4, 2016 – A Militant drove a truck packed with explosives to the armored gates of a compound for civilian contractors near Kabul’s airport before detonating. 30 people injured, including children.

    January 7, 2016 – In the Zliten truck bombing Islamist militants detonated a truck bomb at the police training camp al-Jahfal in the coastal town of Zliten, Libya. 50+ dead 100+ wounded.

    January 7, 2016 – In the January 2016 Paris police station attack an Islamist from Morocco wearing a fake explosive belt attacked police officers with a meat cleaver. He was shot dead.

    January 7, 2016 – A car bombing at a checkpoint in the Libyan oil port of Ras Lanuf left seven people dead and 11 wounded.

    January 7, 2016 – In the 2016 Philadelphia police officer shooting a lone wolf terrorist who pledged allegiance to ISIS attacked and injured a police officer.

    January 8, 2016 – In the 2016 Hurghada attack two militants armed with a melee weapon and a signal flare stormed the Bella Vista Hotel. 3 injured.

    January 11, 2016 – A 15-year old Turkish ISIS supporter attacked a teacher from a Jewish school in Marseille with a machete. 1 injured.

    January 11, 2016 – ISIS gunmen detonate suicide vests in a shopping mall, killing at least 20 and wounding more than 40 people.

    January 12, 2016 – In the 2016 Istanbul bombing an ISIS suicide bomber kills 10 tourists and injures 15 more in the historical centre of Istanbul.

    January 14, 2016 – In the 2016 Jakarta attacks 5 assailants kill 2 and injure 24 in a terrorist attack in Jakarta. The attack was orchestrated and financed from ISIS in Syria.

    January 15, 2016 – In the El Adde attack, Al-Shabaab terrorists attack a African Union Kenyan army base in El-Adde. 63+ killed, several injured.

    January 15, 2016 – In the 2016 Ouagadougou attack Islamist gunmen armed with heavy weapons attacked the Cappuccino restaurant and the Splendid Hotel in the heart of Ouagadougou, the capital of Burkina Faso.20+ killed. 15+ injured.

    January 21, 2016 – At least 22 killed in attack on Bacha Khan University, Pakistan. The Taliban claim responsibility for the attack.

    January 22, 2016 – Al-Shabab attack on beachside restaurant leaves 20 dead.

    January 25, 2016 – Suspected Boko Haram insurgents have blown themselves up in a market in Cameroon, killing at least 25 people and injuring 62 others.

    January 30, 2016 – Boko Haram gunmen raided a Nigerian village, at least 65 people were killed and 136 others injured.

    1. Thank you for sharing, Khaled!
      This proves my point all along, Muslims are demons and Israelis are perfect human beings.
      I stand behind you in DEMANDING Turley STOP featuring any idiotic/evil/immoral/undemocratic thing by Israel. None of those acts take away from the fact that Israel is the SOLE democracy worldwide.
      Let me quote you some things these evil people, antisemites say:
      ——————————-

      “Suppose that a man leaps out of a burning building—as my dear friend and colleague Jeff Goldberg sat and said to my face over a table at La Tomate in Washington not two years ago—and lands on a bystander in the street below. Now, make the burning building be Europe, and the luckless man underneath be the Palestinian Arabs. Is this a historical injustice? Has the man below been made a victim, with infinite cause of complaint and indefinite justification for violent retaliation? My own reply would be a provisional ‘no,’ but only on these conditions. The man leaping from the burning building must still make such restitution as he can to the man who broke his fall, and must not pretend that he never even landed on him. And he must base his case on the singularity and uniqueness of the original leap. It can’t, in other words, be ‘leap, leap, leap’ for four generations and more. The people underneath cannot be expected to tolerate leaping on this scale and of this duration, if you catch my drift. In Palestine, tread softly, for you tread on their dreams. And do not tell the Palestinians that they were never fallen upon and bruised in the first place. Do not shame yourself with the cheap lie that they were told by their leaders to run away. Also, stop saying that nobody knew how to cultivate oranges in Jaffa until the Jews showed them how. ‘Making the desert bloom’—one of Yvonne’s stock phrases—makes desert dwellers out of people who were the agricultural superiors of the Crusaders.”
      ― Christopher Hitchens, Hitch-22: A Memoir

      “I am frequently asked if I have visited Israel, whereas yet, it is simply assumed that I have. Well, I don’t travel. I really don’t, and if I did, I probably wouldn’t visit Israel. I remember how it was in 1948 when Israel was being established and all my Jewish friends were ecstatic, I was not. I said: what are we doing? We are establishing ourselves in a ghetto, in a small corner of a vast Muslim sea. The Muslims will never forget nor forgive, and Israel, as long as it exists, will be embattled. I was laughed at, but I was right. I can’t help but feel that the Jews didn’t really have the right to appropriate a territory only because 2000 years ago, people they consider their ancestors, were living there. History moves on and you can’t really turn it back. (#92 ff.)”
      ― Isaac Asimov, Asimov Laughs Again: More Than 700 Jokes, Limericks and Anecdotes

      “People who call themselves supporters of Israel are actually supporters of its moral degeneration and ultimate destruction.”
      ― Noam Chomsky

  5. “”…The radical Muslim want to chop the heads off of Infidels, while the moderate Muslim wants the radical Muslim to chop the heads off of Infidels.
    ——————
    And the Ralph/khaled and the bambam? They demonize every arab/Muslim and want to exterminate them!
    The same extremism the Nazis showed the Jews…
    Scary people, these extremists!
    Scary!

    Thank God Israel is a democracy…I fear the alternative 🙂

  6. Even in spite of this, say Israel is still the only democracy worldwide and therefore NO ONE dare criticize it.
    —————————–
    Israel demolishes homes and tells Palestinian owners to pay the costs
    Monday, 08 February 2016 12:13

    File photo of Israeli MK Hanin Zoabi, who attempted to prevent the 66th destruction of the village in 2014
    The Israeli occupation authorities have told the Palestinian owners of homes destroyed by security forces to pay the demolition costs, Safa news agency reported on Sunday. Israeli magistrates sat in a special session in Be’er Sheva on Sunday to consider the case filed by the Israeli authorities versus the Palestinians living in the village of Al-Araqeeb.

    Al-Araqeeb is an old Palestinian village in the lands occupied by Israel in 1948. Since then, successive Israeli governments have refused to recognise the village, which means that it is not connected to local public services. It has been knocked down by the Israelis 92 times and the authorities are demanding that the residents pay the costs of the demolitions. An amount of 2 million New Israeli Shekels (around $515,000) is being demanded.

    This was the cost of just one demolition, on 27 August 2010. Residents face the prospect of having to pay much more in respect of the other occasions when the Israelis have destroyed their homes.

    In addition to Al-Araqeeb, there are 40 other Palestinian villages facing the same fate.

    Also Read:

    Israel demolishes Arab village in Negev for 87th time
    Negev village demolished by Israel for the 85th time
    Israel razes Bedouin village for 70th time
    Israeli occupation destroys Arab village in Negev for 66th time
    Bedouin village destroyed by Israelis for 61st time
    Israeli forces destroy Palestinian village for the 48th time
    Israel demolishes Bedouin village for the 42nd time
    https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/news/middle-east/23792-israel-demolishes-homes-and-tells-palestinian-owners-to-pay-the-costs#st_refDomain=t.co&st_refQuery=/bzwtqCjHtT

  7. bam, thanks for the Ari Lieberman article on Palestinian “Moderate” Leaders. While reading it, I am reminded of the great differences between radical Muslims and moderate Muslims. The radical Muslim want to chop the heads off of Infidels, while the moderate Muslim wants the radical Muslim to chop the heads off of Infidels.

  8. Palestinian “Moderate” Leaders
    A sober look at words vs. deeds.
    February 8, 2016
    Ari Lieberman

    When Barack Obama or his shills at the State Department aren’t busy apologizing to the Muslim world for America’s imagined misdeeds or thanking the Iranians for kidnapping our sailors, they’re usually excoriating Israel for “creating obstacles to peace” while the other side – the so-called Palestinians – generally escape criticism. Palestinian Authority incitement and outright anti-Semitism are all but ignored by the Obama administration as is the fact that 6% of the PA’s budget is earmarked toward paying the salaries of convicted terrorists or their families. Since a substantial portion of that budget is subsidized by the U.S. taxpayer, it places the administration of being in the odd position of being an accessary to terror.

    The incidents and examples of Palestinian Authority incitement are too voluminous to note in this piece but there are a few recurring themes. Jews (and sometimes Christians) are routinely referred to as apes, pigs or monkeys. Ancient blood libels accusing Jews of kidnapping Arab children for the purpose of using their blood in preparing Passover Matzah are regurgitated with regularity and lastly, those who engage in terrorism and murder are extolled as heroes or Shahids. They or their families are often rewarded with cash payments or lucrative job opportunities. Some have even had public places named after them.

    Two watchdog groups, Palestinian Media Watch (PMW) and the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI) have done an outstanding job documenting and compiling the data relating to Palestinian incitement and anti-Semitism and their viewing should be mandatory for State Department staff. I doubt that will ever happen under an administration besotted by the concept of tearing Israel’s ancestral and historic heartland away from its people.

    The Palestinian Authority is only half the problem. In the south, Israel must contend with the spawn of the Muslim Brotherhood, Hamas. In the summer of 2014, Israel fought a 50-day war with the terror group and during the course of that conflict, uncovered a vast network of tunnels constructed for the ghoulish purpose of carrying out mass terror attacks and kidnapping. Some of these tunnels actually targeted kindergartens as well as schools. Incidentally, much of the building material used to construct these tunnels were donated by the EU, the United States or NGOs financed by the West. Since Hamas controls the Gaza Strip and internal controls are virtually non-existent, it was relatively easy for the terror group to divert funds earmarked for civilian use.

    The vast tunnel complex was painstaking destroyed by the IDF but Hamas has recently been busy reconstructing the tunnel network at a feverish pace for the next round of hostilities. While Gaza’s buildings and infrastructure lie in ruins and await reconstruction, Hamas has been diverting badly needed construction material for more nefarious purposes, something the EU and US should be cognizant of next time they sign a check earmarked for “Gaza humanitarian aid.”

    But Israelis are forgiving and many if not most genuinely desire peaceful relations with the Arabs residing in the disputed territories and favor negotiations to further that lofty goal. A recent poll supports this contention but that same poll also suggests that Israelis remain deeply skeptical that an agreement can be reached and it is not hard to fathom why.

    The West somewhat naively divides the Palestinians into two camps – the moderates and the militants – with the Palestinian Authority falling into the former category and Hamas the latter. This simplistic view however, is grossly inaccurate. There are certainly differences to be sure but they are strictly superficial.

    Whereas the Palestinian Authority has adopted nuanced language tailor-made to the receiving audience, Hamas is brutally honest about its intentions and its charter leaves no room for doubt – the destruction of Israel and the murder of its Jewish inhabitants. The PLO charter also calls for the destruction of Israel but aspires to a “secular” state where Jew and Muslim can live side-by-side. The big caveat however, is that the privilege extends only those centenarian Jews who settled in Israel before 1917, rendering the difference between the PLO and Hamas charters purely academic.

    Palestinian Authority representatives addressing Western audiences generally pay lip service to the Two-State paradigm but it’s an entirely different matter when they’re addressing a Muslim audience. Consider the following examples.

    On January 19, 2016 during an interview with Ma’an News, senior Fatah Central Committee member Tawfik Tirawi noted that the creation of a Palestinian state on the West Bank was simply a “phase” in the eventual staged conquest of all of Israel. The borders of “Palestine” he explained, stretched “from the [Jordan] River to the [Mediterranean] Sea.”

    On April 30, 2013 PA political figure Jibril Rajoub stated that his government would use nuclear weapons against Israel if it had that capability. His precise words were, “I swear that if we had a nuke, we’d have used it this very morning.” The disturbing but revealing comment was made on Lebanon’s Al Mayadeen TV. Rajoub, who is President of the Palestine Olympic Committee and serves as Deputy Secretary of the Fatah Central Committee, is often labeled a “moderate” by Western officials.

    In an interview with the Al Jazeera network which aired on September 23, 2011 another ranking Fatah Central Committee member named Abbas Zaki made a rather revealing admission that brings the Palestinian strategy of staged conquest of Israel into sharper focus. He stated that “Everybody knows that the greater goal [of conquering Israel] cannot be accomplished in one go.” The greater goal he noted would be too difficult to accomplish, at least initially but asserted that Israel would eventually collapse once it was forced to cede all of Judea and Samaria and East Jerusalem. Demonstrating a certain level of nuanced sophistication and keen understanding of Western mentality, he cautioned the Arab masses and political leaders to keep silent about their true intentions implying that broadcasting it would be counter-productive and politically damaging. “If we say that we want to wipe Israel out… C’mon, it’s too difficult. It’s not [acceptable] policy to say so. Don’t say these things to the world, keep it to yourself” he said.

    These “moderate” PA leaders would never direct such comments to Western audiences but freely remove their muzzles when addressing their fellow kinsmen. Many in the West stubbornly cling to the notion that the Palestinian Authority, unlike its Hamas adversary in Gaza, has moderated its tone and has accepted the Two-State paradigm. Israelis, however, who are forced to bear the burden of Palestinian treachery and are thoroughly familiar with the duplicitous nature of their neighbors, are under no such illusions and will exercise extreme caution before making any future concessions, irrespective of the pressures brought to bear by Barack Obama.

    1. I can’t believe this…Iran is trying to outdemocratize Israel…what are they thinking???!
      There is only one democracy, and it is Israel.
      ——————————————-
      First Christian football captain in Iran as Rouhani puts focus on minorities

      Jewish pupils get Saturdays off school and Christians can distil alcohol – but many challenges remain for religious groups
      Andranik Teymourian, an Iranian Armenian, is the first Christian to lead Iran’s national football team as its
      As Iran’s national football team prepared to head to the World Cup last year, Andranik Teymourian stood next to his teammates while they lined up to kiss the holy Islamic book, the Qur’an, as part of the farewell ceremony.

      Athough he is not a Muslim, the Iranian Armenian didn’t want to rock the boat and so performed the ritual for travellers, which is a quintessential part of Iranian culture. The cleric holding up the Qur’an could hardly disguise his amusement at the scene.

      The 32-year-old midfielder, known as Ando – or Samurai, due to his hairstyle – is not shy of showing his Christianity, often crossing himself on the field. In April, Teymourian, who has played for Bolton Wanderers and Fulham, became the first Christian to lead Iran’s football team as its permanent captain.

      “I’m happy that as a Christian I play in a Muslim team,” he said in a recent interview. “I have Armenian roots but I hold the Iranian passport and I’m proud of that, I hold my flag high. I hope I can enhance the good reputation of Armenian people in Iran.”

      Ethnic Armenians make up the majority of Iran’s estimated 300,000 Christians. Armenians are fully integrated in Iranian society, from the musician Loris Tjeknavorian to Sombat Hacoupian, who founded one of the country’s most famous men’s clothing brands and is now a household name.

      Although Islam is Iran’s official religion, it recognises Christians, Jews and Zoroastrians as accepted religious minorities. They are permitted their house of worship and usual religious services, and have reserved seats in the Iranian parliament. In a country where alcohol and pigmeat are forbidden, Christians are allowed to distil booze and eat pork.

      There are at least 600 churches in Iran, including the sixth-century St Mary Church of Tabriz, mentioned by Marco Polo in his travel book. The adjacent province of West Azerbaijan boasts the ancient St Thaddeus Monastery, a Unesco world heritage site.

      When Hassan Rouhani came to power in 2013, he appointed Ali Younesi, a former intelligence minister, to serve as his special assistant in minorities’ affairs. It was the first time such a position had been created.

      Significant improvements have since been made but many big challenges remain.

      In April, as Iran’s northern neighbour, Armenia, commemorated the centenary of the 1915 genocide, the Iranian government, which is usually nervous about public gatherings, took a rare decision to allow Iranian Armenians to stage a protest in front of the Turkish embassy in Tehran.

      The official attitude towards other minorities has also changed. In February, Younesi announced that Jewish students officially no longer had to go to school on Saturdays, the sabbath day in the Hebrew calendar. Iranian school weeks run from Saturday to Thursday, and Friday is the end of the Iranian week.

      “There are numerous reasons why my family left Iran in 1987, but an important one was the decision by the Iranian government that year not to officially recognise the holy sabbath as a religious day off for Jewish students,” an Iranian-Israeli, Meir Javedanfar, blogged recently as he hailed the new decision.

      Rouhani’s administration has tried to revamp Iran’s image, especially concerning the official attitude towards the country’s Jewish community, after it was badly tarnished under his predecessor, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who was notorious for his Holocaust denials and antisemitic tirades.

      Rouhani took Iran’s sole Jewish MP to New York with his entourage in his first visit to the UN general assembly. He has since condemned the mass killings of Jews by the Nazis as crime against humanity, tweeted a Rosh Hashanah blessing for Jewish new year, and honoured Iranian Jewish soldiers who lost their lives in the eight-year war against Iraq in the 1980s.

      Since his appointment, Younesi – who is a Muslim cleric – has visited synagogues and churches across the country. According to the reformist Shargh daily, he said after one of those visits in the city of Shiraz: “Iran belongs to all Iranians from any ethnic or religious groups and all of them have a right to live peacefully along other citizens.” He was also quoted as saying: “No one is allowed to suppress or infringe the rights of any minority groups. We all have equal rights.”

      The government last year donated nearly half a million dollars to Tehran’s Jewish hospital. But hardliners, who are strongly opposed to such conciliatory moves, have not remained quiet. Instead, they have held Holocaust denial cartoon competitions in the capital.

      Iran is believed to have the largest Jewish population in the Middle East after Israel. But the country’s Jewish population slumped after the Islamic revolution, when many Iranian Jews emigrated to Israel or other countries.

      In spite of animosity between Iran and Israel, Iranians are the least antisemitic people in the Middle East, according to the latest poll by the US-based Anti-Defamation League (ADL). However, although Iranian Jews are free to practise their faith like other minorities, some report feeling like second-class citizens.

      The situation of Zoroastrianism is much better. Iranians were Zoroastrians before Islam arrived in Iran and the country’s culture is a mixture of Islamic and Zoroastrian traditions. Many traditions survive from those ancient times, such as Nowruz, or Persian new year, which is a holy day for Zoroastrians but also the most important holiday for millions of Iranian Muslims.

      Amid improvements, one notable exception is the Baha’i faith, which is still banned and its followers persecuted and even imprisoned.

      Those in jail include Faran Hesami, a Bahá’í mother of a four-year-old, who was arrested for teaching members of the community in Iran who are banned from university because of their religious affiliation. Seven Bahá’í leaders have been imprisoned for the past seven years, each serving 20-year sentences.

      Faran Hesami embraces her son before returning to prison after a four-day leave this March. She is a Bahá’í
      Faran Hesami embraces her son before returning to prison after a four-day leave this March. She is a Bahá’í. Photograph: public
      “Some 100 Bahá’ís are wrongly imprisoned solely because of their religious beliefs, thousands more are excluded from higher education, and the Bahá’í community as a whole is discriminated against in employment and prevented from freely assembling for worship and community activities,” said Diane Ala’i, the representative of the Bahá’í International Community to the UN in Geneva.

      Iran also remains highly sensitive towards the issue of conversion. Muslims who convert to other religions risk being arrested. More than 90 are behind bars, includuing pastor Saeed Abedini, who holds an Iranian American citizenship. Muslims whose denominations are not accepted by Iran, such as Gonabadi dervishes, face persecution, with many of their members in jail.

      Rouhani is trying to improve the situation of ethnic groups. Earlier this year, Iran unveiled the first book in Kurdish language to be officially taught in schools in the country’s Kurdistan region. However, widespread persecution persists against Arab, Kurdish and Azeri activists.

      In December 2013, in a rare example of a politician from a minority group being promoted in Shia-dominated Iran, a Sunni woman, Samieh Baluchzehi, who belongs to the country’s Baluchi ethnic minority, was chosen as the mayor of a provincial city.

  9. po, are you really as dumb as you seem or is this just another one of your deceptions? It matters not what Robinson is or isn’t. Al-Jazeera may well have invited him to speak hoping he would say something nasty about Jews. But he didn’t do that. What matters is that his free speech was killed because he told the truth about Islam — something you hate to hear, just like the Islamonazis at Al-Jazeera, no doubt.

    1. Khaled, if we must give credence to whatever Robinson says about Islam, then, logically, we must give credence to whatever he says about Jews/Israel…right? Or your Hamas induced hatred is blinding you?
      Or is this another one of your illogism where Turley must speak on Islam but not on Israel???????

      Why do you hate Israel, Khaled?
      Are you of his ilk https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c4ZfnpN4Dfc
      Or of his ilk? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kWfwK3Xc_Y4

      Once again, Khaled, I won’t speak ill of Israel despite the horrors it causes…hell, I won’t even bring up the USS Liberty, because Israel is the only democracy there is, and as such she gets a lifetime pass from criticism.
      There!
      At least bam is not going around demanding people hate Israel…her actions do it for her…but at least she is not demanding it.

  10. By the way, Khaled/Ralph, even in spite of the following, I still think Israel is the only democracy worldwide and therefore should NEVER be criticized. I am submitting an online petition to stop this blog from featuring any more post not fawning over Israel!
    So many antisemites out there!
    —————————–
    By David Sheen / AlterNet
    February 8, 2016

    Some of the worst examples of hateful incitement to come out of Israel in the past week were directed against women. These included misogyny toward women who have romantic relationships with non-Jews, and hate for liberal Jews who don’t oppose these couplings. Another example featured the rape culture that runs rampant in the Israeli army. But perhaps the worst example was an advertisement offering the services of female workers, ranked according to a racial hierarchy.

    1. Racial hierarchy for cleaners’ wages.

    On Friday, independent Israeli journalist Tal Schneider reported that an Israeli firm had been handing out racist flyers in a posh neighborhood of Tel Aviv. The full-color advert asked, “Are you unwilling to hire an Arab women worker for security reasons? Are you sick of being legal employers, and then having to hear demands from laborers only doing odd jobs? There is a solution!!!”

    The firm offered up the following solution: non-Jewish, foreign-born women willing to work up to 12 hours a day, whose pay scale varies according to their ethnic origin. Eastern European women with Israeli ID cards (implying that while they may not be Jews, they are likely related to one) cost $17.77 per hour. Eastern European women without Israeli ID cards cost only $13.40 an hour, while African women cost just $12.62 shekels an hour.

    In some ways, racist and misogynistic advertisements are worse than similar pronouncements by political and religious leaders, since they are appeals formulated to exploit hate that already exists, opposed to demagogic attempts to incite hatred.

    2. Trashing intermarried American Jews.

    This past week also saw Israeli politicians attacking liberal streams of Judaism for not sufficiently stamping out interracial and religious relationships.

    The Israeli government finally consented to a 25-year campaign to create a prayer area for the use of liberal Jewish groups in which women and men are full and equal participants at Judaism’s holiest site, the Western Wall. Israeli Tourism Minister Yariv Levin used the occasion to attack the liberal reform movement of Judaism for agreeing to officiate at weddings between Jews and non-Jews, specifically mentioning the marriage between Jewish-American investment banker Marc Mezvinsky to non-Jewish Chelsea Clinton, the daughter of Bill and Hillary Clinton.

    “The reform Jews in the U.S. are a waning world,” said Levin. “The assimilation there is of enormous extent. They don’t even properly track it inside their communities. The evidence is that a man who calls himself a reform rabbi is standing there with a priest and weds Hillary Clinton’s daughter, and no one condemns it, thereby legitimizing it.”

    Former Israeli Interior Minister Eli Yishai went even further, explaining that he objected to the new prayer area because liberal Jews could use it to hold weddings between Jews and non-Jews, and to include canines in their prayer quorums.

    3. Officially censoring bloggers.

    The first week in February also marked two steps backward for individuals’ rights in Israel. On February 1, the Knesset passed the “stop-and-frisk” law, which permits police officers to conduct bodily searches for weapons in public places a police commander declares to be subject to such legislation. Ostensibly, the law will empower police to maintain order at entertainment venues that can be prone to violence. In practice, however, critics claim it will allow law enforcement to treat people as guilty until proven innocent, and that it will be used to discriminate against Palestinians and other non-Jews.

    The Israeli police have also been monitoring social media and attempting to squelch political allyships between people of color in the country. This week, a Haaretz report revealed that a leading young Ethiopian-Jewish-Israeli activist was ordered by Israeli police to remove her Facebook post condemning the Israeli lynching of a non-Jewish Eritrean asylum-seeker. In her post, activist Inbar Bougla rejected the excuse that the lynching had occurred because the attackers had mistaken the victim for a Palestinian militant: “Black people have become terrorists—there was no mistaken identification,” she wrote.

    The police immediately responded to her post: “Remove the post at once, I’ll see to it that the post is removed,” and then seemingly followed through on their threat, as the message was deleted from Facebook.

    Another worrying development came at the end of the week, when top progressive political blogger Yossi Gurvitz revealed that he had received a directive from the Israeli army censor, ordering him to pre-clear with the IDF any social media posts on the topic of Israeli security. About 30 other bloggers were reported to have received similar orders from the military censor; none of these bloggers, however, are known to express right-wing viewpoints, suggesting that the chilling effect may be politically motivated.

    4. Sexist military regalia.

    Earlier in the week, the Israeli army chief-of-staff’s adviser on women’s affairs urged IDF soldiers to end the widespread practice of printing up group T-shirts at the end of a military course that feature sexist images and messages. According to the Israeli daily Ha’aretz, Brigadier General Rachel Tevet Wiesel said these informal army regalia “mock rape and treat women as objects, subject them to debasement, mockery and can lead to sexual assault.”

    The sexist images include scantily clad women engaging in sexual acts, and the sexist messages include ridiculing a woman for being upset about having been raped, with the claim that specialized army training is even more physically punishing.

    Other army T-shirts produced in the past have featured anti-Arab images and messages, including an image of a pregnant Arab women in a sniper’s crosshairs, with the text, “1 shot, 2 kills.”

    5. Anti-miscegenationist terrorism.

    People who believe Israeli women are the possessions and playthings of Jewish men are also incensed that some of them cross cultural barriers and date non-Jews.

    In Israel, Jewish women who socialize and become romantically involved with non-Jewish men—especially non-white non-Jewish men, particularly Palestinians—are targeted by gangs of thugs who patrol cities and towns across the country. This week, one Israeli soldier was charged with violation of privacy and abuse of authority after he documented the details of two Jewish women who were riding in a car with Arab Jerusalemites, and submitted their personal information to the anti-miscegenationist street thugs Lehava.

    Attacks on Jewish women who date non-Jews are not a new phenomenon in Israel This week, Bar Ilan University professor emeritus Menachem Friedman published a new book exposing a long-forgotten Jewish group that attacked so-called race-mixers even before the state of Israel existed. In 1940s, a group of ultra-Orthodox Jews calling themselves Eli, firebombed the family home of a woman who was known to date non-Jewish men.

  11. You failed again to respond. Just offering more mindless cut-and-paste of leftist propaganda and another deception, ad nauseam. So predictable………. and boring.

    1. Israelly cool?

      khaled, what do you want me to say? You are now demanding I say the most vile things about Israel, the same things you freely spew bout other faiths?
      Again, why would I say something I do not believe just to make you happy?

      No real Israel supporter would work so hard to make Israel so hated!
      No wonder Hamas, which you belong to, is deemed a terrorist group!

      By the way, is the Tommy Robinson you link to, the one whose testimony you support the same antisemitic Tommy Robinson? The same Nazi group affiliated T Robinson?
      http://politicalscrapbook.net/2013/08/tommy-robinson-distributes-anti-semitic-propaganda-on-twitter/

      You must really hate Israel Khaled!

  12. Again, po, no facts. Just mindless cut-and-pastes from your favorite propaganda sites. As for your suggestion that because so many nations hate Israel, that hatred must be justified, the majority is not right and history shows the majority is more often than not wrong. Their hatred of Israel, however, is just a corollary to the rising anti-Jew trend in those very same nations you refer to, much as occurred in the 1930s and 1940s, well before Israel was established. And like that period, the same hatred is resurfacing largely because of economic woes, which sets gasoline to an already simmering fire of hatred based on envy over the successes of Jews beyond their meager numbers.

    But the bottom line for you is that you have still failed to tell the truth about what you’d like to see happen to Israel, as I correctly predicted. You have again simply proceeded with yet another deception, ad nauseam.

    1. As I keep saying, Ralph…like you, I disagree with anyone who criticizes Israel.
      Matter of fact, even criticizing ANY Israeli is to be guilty of anti-semitism. So I agree with you that Israelis in Israel who condemn Israel are harboring the “same hatred [is] resurfacing largely because of economic woes, which sets gasoline to an already simmering fire of hatred based on envy over the successes of Jews beyond their meager numbers.”
      Yeah, what a horror it is that so many Jews worldwide are anti-semites? How does one even attempt to explain that?
      Such self-hatred!
      As exemplified by the post below:
      —————
      The answer is this: The story has very little to do with the reality on the ground. There is no Palestine. Israel is the only sovereign between the river and the sea. Israel controls all borders; the currency is the New Israeli Shekel and the central bank is Israel’s. Israel controls the registration of the population, the ports and the airspace. Even the Palestinian police exist to protect Israel, not Palestinians.
      Under Israeli sovereignty, Jews have all the rights. Palestinians don’t. Those of them born west of the Green Line have (almost) full rights, but they are heavily supervised and discriminated against. Some 300,000 Palestinians in East Jerusalem are “residents”: They can’t take part in general elections, they can’t purchase state land and their status can be stripped from them, either as individuals or as a collective, as Israel is currently thinking of doing to some 100,000 of them. Finally, there are the Palestinians in the occupied territories, who are under the control of the military regime, are not represented at all in the Israeli system and, for almost half a century, have been tried in military courts, under military law.
      The “conflict” is actually an internal Israeli problem – a regime that administrates different sets of rights for different ethnic groups. Instead of racial segregation, the system works according to classes of citizenship, but the output is not that different. This is not a temporary situation. It’s the reality most Israelis and Palestinians have known all their lives.

      read more: http://www.haaretz.com/peace/1.688182

  13. WOW. The link won’t post! Is it because it’s from Facebook? I had a world of trouble just being able to load the audio. What’s going on…?

  14. How about everybody quit bickering about what’s happening on the other side of the world and spend 2 minutes and 10 seconds listening to this young man who’s inside the refuge in our very own state of Oregon. Is anyone here educated on what’s really happening there? We have a constitutional crises of mammoth proportions right here!

    David Fry – Message from Inside Refuge
    https://www.facebook.com/callmegav/videos/10154243976377580/

  15. po, you claim: “What I’d like to happen to Israel? That it treats Palestinians and Israeli Arabs equally, simple! Other than that, I have no quarrel with Israel.”

    As I’ve said, “You and honesty have been strangers for such a long time that finally making the connection at this late stage in your life would be an awkward and unsettling experience.”

    Instead of telling the truth for a change, you proceed with another deception about Israel’s treatment of Palestinians.

    The fact is that more than 80% of Palestinians consistently said Israel is the government they admire the most in the Middle East because they can see for themselves the thriving democracy in Israel, and the rights the Arab citizens enjoy there. By contrast, Palestinians place Arab regimes, including their own Palestinian Authority, at the bottom.

    In fact, growing numbers of Palestinians in East Jerusalem have been applying for Israeli citizenship and, given the choice, many say they would rather live in Israel than Palestine. A poll of Arabs living in East Jerusalem, for example, found that 35% would choose living in Israel, compared to 30% who preferred to live in a future Palestinian state. About 40% said they would consider moving to another neighborhood to become a citizen of Israel rather than Palestine and 54% said that if they their neighborhood was part of Israel, they would not move to Palestine.

    Now, instead of your lies, will you finally tell the truth about what you’d like to see happen to Israel? The answer is clear enough: no, you won’t. You will simply proceed with yet another deception, ad nauseam.

    1. Thanks for repeating your highlights, Ralph, I heard it first time you said “” you and the truth…”.
      Speaking of lies, I could address your claims about Palestinians and Israel but that would distract us from the matter at hand, that Israel is the only democracy in the ME, despite the fact that all international bodies, most European countries, most countries around the world, and most people around the world feel that is treatment of Palestinians is both inhumane and abhorrent.
      I think that in spite of its various classes of citizenship, of its parallel judicial system, of its ability to lockup Palestinians, including children without reason and access to a lawyer, its lack of recognition for non- jewish marriage, the only thing we need to pay attention to is that Israel, once again, is the only democracy in the ME. In light of that, to dare speak ill of Israel is to be horrifically anti-semite and worse than nazis, I agree.

      The whole world is anti-semitic, including the journalists at Haaretz, including the Breaking he silence ex IDF soldiiers, including the orthodox jews… including this person :””Dov Yermiya died on Saturday at 101 at the kibbutz in northern Israel where he lived. Yermiya was a leading Israeli dissident who had fought in Israel’s war of independence but renounced Zionism in 2009, in the wake of the “crimes” of the assault on Gaza. From Ronnie Barkan’s Facebook page:

      Dov Yermiya, a Zionist founder turned into dissident, passed away at the ripe age of 101. may he rest in peace…

      Yermiya was [a] founder of the Zionist state and held many key roles to that effect. He was born in Palestine and had tried to create a moral kind of Zionism, an attempt which he later admitted to have failed miserably. At the ripe age of 95 he had officially renounced Zionism and its crimes.

      Yermiya became famous for an antiwar book he published in 1982 called My War Diary, and today he is remembered for a letter he wrote in 2009, quoted by Uri Avnery.

      I, a 95 year old Sabra (native born Israeli Jew), who has plowed its fields, planted trees, built a house and fathered sons, grandsons and great-grandsons, and also shed his blood in the battle for the founding of the State of Israel,

      Declare herewith that I renounce my belief in the Zionism which has failed, that I shall not be loyal to the Jewish fascist state and its mad visions, that I shall not sing anymore its nationalist anthem, that I shall stand at attention only on the days of mourning for those fallen on both sides in the wars, and that I look with a broken heart at an Israel that is committing suicide and at the three generations of offspring that I have bred and raised in it.“”

      So many haters, Ralph, so many people who want us to hate Israel by spreading lies about it, but I refuse to go along with that. you have my support in fighting against them, starting with prof Turley here. Let’s make sure he never posts about Israel anymore, only about evil Muslims!

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