Archive for Michael Oren

Bob Simon Lays the Smack Down on Israeli Ambassador Michael Oren

Posted in Anti-Loons, Loon Politics with tags , , , , , , , on April 23, 2012 by loonwatch

A follow up to our story on the Christians of Palestine. We mentioned that Bob Simon of 60 Minutes was going to do a report on Christians in the Holy Land and I have to say he did a pretty good job.

He covered the plight of Christians in the Holy Land and how there has been a slow exodus over the past few decades due to Israeli occupation policies. He also covered the Kairos initiative and how that is making inroads within Palestinian society.

Most intriguingly, Bob Simon lays the smack down on Israeli Ambassador to the US, Michael Oren at the 11 minute mark. Oren also does some blame shifting, saying that it is Muslims who are persecuting Christians not Israelis:
http://www.cbsnews.com/video/watch/?id=7406228n
Veteran CBS News correspondent Bob Simon experienced something while reporting a “60 Minutes” piece last night, that he’d never before. His story was on Christian residents leaving the Holy Land and the causes behind it: Islamic extremism? Israeli occupation? or something more? Simon interviewed clerics from the Orthodox, Catholic and Lutheran faiths, also Palestinian residents of the West Bank, and Israel’s ambassador to the U.S., Dr.Michael Oren. But Oren didn’t like the premise of the story and called Simon’s boss, CBS News chairman and “60 Minutes” EP Jeff Fager long before it story aired.

“Mr. Ambassador, I’ve been doing this a long time and I’ve received lots of reactions from just about everyone I’ve done stories about. But I’ve never gotten a reaction before from a story that hasn’t been broadcast yet,” said Simon. “Well, there’s a first time for everything, Bob,” said the ambassador.

Israel Really Isn’t All That Friendly to Its Christians

Posted in Loon Politics, Loon Violence, Loon-at-large with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on March 18, 2012 by loonwatch

The shameless Israeli ambassador to the US, Michael Oren, attempted to manipulate Christian reality to score points in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Some well informed commenters responded to Oren with facts:

Israel Really Isn’t All That Friendly to Its Christians

(Wall Street Journal)

Regarding Israeli Ambassador Michael Oren’s “Israel and the Plight of Mideast Christians” (op-ed, March 9): No doubt, his piece will be compelling for many readers. Christians in North America are generally sympathetic to Christians who suffer elsewhere. More negatively, many respond well when blame for that suffering is placed on Muslims. The biggest problem with Mr. Oren’s analysis, however, is that it stands in sharp disagreement with the perspectives shared by those he presumably wants to protect. Mr. Oren seeks to speak for Palestinian Christians before he has spoken with them.

Palestinian Christians have produced major studies of Palestinian Christian demographic trends. Difficulties created by Israeli occupation policies far outweigh pressure from Muslim neighbors as reasons for Christian migration from the West Bank. According to a study by the Bethlehem-based Diyar Consortium, “most of those who choose to emigrate” are “aggravated by the lack of freedom and security.” At “the bottom of the scale,” they found, “are family reunification, fleeing religious extremism and finding a spouse.”

It is irresponsible for Amb. Oren to make political points among some segments of the U.S. population by intentionally disregarding factors contributing to Palestinian Christian migration away from their homeland. By blaming their condition on Muslims alone, while ignoring the negative effects of Israeli occupation policies, including the debilitating economic effects of the separation barrier, Mr. Oren is using anti-Muslim sentiments among some Americans to hide the effects of Israeli policy. This cynical political rhetoric fuels extremism and does not promote peace.

The Rev. Robert O. Smith

Chicago

 

I am a Palestinian Christian, and the numbers and facts given by Mr. Oren are erroneous and misleading. With the creation of the state of Israel, 80% of Palestinian Christians were forced into exile. The number of Christians in Jerusalem dropped dramatically since the occupation of the city in 1967, and Palestinian Christians are denied access to Jerusalem. To pretend that their numbers greatly increased contradicts all statistics, including Israeli statistics. Allowing “holiday access to Jerusalem’s churches to Christians from both the West Bank and Gaza” is denying free access, and those permits are given selectively, in small numbers and revoked often with the “closure” of the occupied territories. Pretending to defend the interests of the Christians contradicts facts on the ground, where Christians suffer the same consequences of military occupation as all Palestinians. Most of the land belonging to Christians in Bethlehem is being confiscated with the building of the separation wall. Is that the “respect and appreciation” the Christian community receives from the Jewish state?

Fr. Jamal Khader, D.D.

Dean of the Faculty of Arts

Bethlehem University

Bethlehem

 

I am one of those Palestinian Christians that Mr. Oren refers to, who live inside Israel. At no time in my life have I ever felt the “respect and appreciation” by the Jewish state which Mr. Oren so glowingly refers to in his last paragraph. Israel’s Christian minority is marginalized in much the same manner as its Muslim one, or at best, quietly tolerated. We suffer the same discrimination when we try to find a job, when we go to hospitals, when we apply for bank loans and when we get on the bus. In my daily dealings with the state, all I have felt is rudeness and overt contempt.

Fida Jiryis

Fassuta, Israel

 

Amb. Michael Oren presents a distorted and inaccurate account of Christians in Palestine. He conveniently omits gross Israeli violations against the Palestinian Christian community, such as Israel’s revocation of residency rights to many whose birthplace was Jerusalem, or the fact that it restricts their right to worship in their holy sites by imposing an onerous permit system to access the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem or the baptism site on the River Jordan. Even family visitations between Gaza, the West Bank and Jerusalem are heavily restricted.

It doesn’t stop at that. Recently there has been a spate of attacks by Jewish extremists vandalizing Christian properties and spray-painting slogans denouncing Jesus and Mary and attacking Christianity.

Finally, Palestinian Christians are a vibrant component of Palestine’s social, cultural and religious fabric. Many of our most prominent figures in politics, academia and the arts are Christian. This is the case precisely because of a long history and deeply rooted culture of tolerance and integration in Palestine.

Ambassador Maen Rashid Areikat

General Delegation
of the PLO to the U.S.

Washington

Muslim Students Convicted of Being Mean to Israeli Ambassador

Posted in Anti-Loons, Loon Politics with tags , , , , , , , , on September 26, 2011 by loonwatch

Muslim Students Convicted of Being Mean to Israeli Ambassador

(Gawker)

Last year, when Israeli Ambassador Michael Oren announced his intention to speak at the University of California at Irvine, some members of the school’s Muslim Students Union plotted to inform Oren of their feelings about some of Israel’s policies. They used their voices to do so. This is illegal!

Today 10 members of the so-called “Irvine 11″ (charges against one of the original eleven students were dropped) were convicted on misdemeanor charges of disrupting a meeting and conspiracy to disrupt a meeting in a Santa Ana, Calif., court. Here’s what they did, which is a crime:

In February 2010, as Oren began to speak about the U.S.-Israeli relationship at a campus speech, the students rose one-by-one to object to Israel’s occupation of the West Bank. One shouted, “Michael Oren, propagating murder is not an expression of free speech!” As the offender was removed from the audience, a designated compatriot shouted, “You, sir, are an accomplice to genocide!” And so on. According to an attorney for one of the students, the longest of the interruptions lasted roughly 8 seconds, and the total amount of time taken up by their outbursts—combined—was roughly one minute.

That’s one minute too long when you’re talking about Muslim students interrupting the Israeli ambassador to the U.S. to inform him that some people think his country’s policies are unjust, which is illegal, so don’t do it.

UC Irvine Seeks to Suspend Muslim Student Group, Am I Missing Something?

Posted in Loon Politics with tags , , , on June 16, 2010 by loonwatch
UC Irvine, not one of the better UC’s anyways.

The LA Times writes:

UC Irvine seeks to suspend Muslim student group

By Raja Abdulrahim
Los Angeles Times Staff Writer

The Muslim Student Union at UC Irvine should be suspended for one year for its involvement in repeated disruptions of a February speech by Israeli Ambassador Michael Oren, according to a disciplinary report released by the university.

The Muslim Student Union has appealed the recommendation.

The speech about U.S.-Israeli relations was interrupted 10 times by students who got up and yelled out things like, “Michael Oren, propagating murder is not an expression of free speech.”

Eleven UC Irvine and UC Riverside students were arrested and cited for disturbing a public event, but none have been charged. The student group maintained that the disruptions were done by individuals and not organized by their group, but the report cited internal Muslim Student Union e-mails and meeting agendas that indicated they planned a disturbance.

The group’s attorney Reem Salahi emphasized that a suspension has not yet been implemented but was still disheartened by the report’s recommendations. “It’s collective punishment,” she said. “You have an entire Muslim student body that’s being punished for the actions of a few.”

Are they really suspending the group for an entire year because they interrupted a speech “10 times” (only???)?  Anyone ever seen how pro-Israeli Jewish students react to Dr. Norman Finkelstein when he gives his lectures on campus?  Of course in that case they would end up banning Finkelstein before they took action against his hecklers.

Anyways, it seems really odd that a group would be banned for such a small infraction.  Am I missing something here?

 

Rabbi Nachum Shifren: Rides the Wave of Islamophobia

Posted in Feature, Loon Pastors, Loon Politics with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 15, 2010 by loonwatch
Rabbi Nachum ShifrenRabbi Nachum Shifren

Rabbi Nachum Shifren is a West Bank Settler, a teacher in the Los Angeles educational system and a surfer. The last time he came to the attention of the media was for his books on surfing and spirituality.  He implied then that he wasn’t into politics, Denise Dowling of Salon.com wrote at the time,

The Surfing Rabbi will talk religion, but not politics. If pressed on his views, it’s evident how he earned the nickname “Shifty.” “My politics are not germane to what I’m doing,” he demurs. “All I’m about is surfing.”

Yet even then there were hints that he was deeply political and that his allegiance was to extreme right-wing Zionist ideology,

Yet he opted to reside in Kfar Tapuah, a West Bank settlement perched a half-hour from the “lousy” Mediterranean surf. Kfar Tapuah is considered an extremely militant, right-wing, anti-government stronghold. “I’d compare its residents to white militants in the United States,” says Hagit Yaari, an Israeli spokesperson for Americans for Peace.

Kfar Tapuah is the settlement where Israeli police recently arrested an remorseless extremist Jewish settler who was killing Palestinians. Now Rabbi Shifren is running to be a State Senator in California and what he is saying doesn’t reflect the peaceful rhythms of the Ocean but instead reflects a hateful ideologue filled with bigotry against Islam. I haven’t investigated his past statements thoroughly but there is no need to waste time to find his views, his most recent article sums it up quite directly.

Shifren writes on a recent student protest at UC Irvine where 11 students were arrested for protesting the visit of Israel’s Ambassador to America, Michael Oren on the grounds that he represents a government which perpetrates “war crimes, violates international law, and subjugates and oppresses Palestinians.” Shifren believes that they will get off too lightly and he wants them jailed and expelled from the university.

In an article he penned, Cal. Senatorial Candidate Responds to Muslim Hooliganism, Rabbi Shifren writes that the protesters weren’t just “rude, and disrespectful students” but they “are the front line of an army of Muslims that is waiting patiently to take over and subvert our country.”

The article doesn’t make a lot of sense a lot of the time but he goes on to repeat many of the stereotypical essentialist, paranoid, anti-Muslim statements that we are used to from Islamophobes,

For instance the canard that Muslims only respect strength,

The rule that we in the West refuse to acknowledge is simply that to the muslim, whoever is perceived as strong, will be feared and will survive; and whoever is seen as weak, irresolute, or wavering, will be despised and will be vanquished.

He also states that he believes we are at war with Islam,

This will be a hard bullet for America to bite, but we are at war with Islam!Those who deny this are quislings or fifth-columnists — and very often, university professors and chancellors. With strong leadership, there would be no notions of “academic freedom” for those who come here to subvert and destroy.

These students weren’t just protesters but according to Rabbi Shifren are “Muslim terrorists-in-training,” who are “breeding” like crazy on our university campuses,

Make no mistake: these students are the probing squads that are testing the waters to see what they can get away with, positioning themselves to ultimately shut down the entire campus when they please. These are among the first salvos in a war that, until now, has been only academic and ideological — at least in this country.

If you want to see where we are headed, if we don’t find the courage to stand up to and defeat these muslim terrorists-in-training, just look to France, Spain, England and other countries where muslims have been allowed to get a toe-hold. Or consider the carnage caused by just one insane muslim terrorist at Fort Hood, then multiply that many times over, as more muslim terrorists consolidate their power base in our country — and our state and their favorite breeding grounds, our campuses!

Hurry, the Mooslims are coming, the Mooslims are coming, in fact they are here!

Without strength of character in our leaders, and the courage of our people, we are poised to become just another chapter in history — right next to the debauched and pillaged societies of Greece and Rome. The muslim onslaught is at the gates; they are weary of our self-indulgence and they abhor our eroding social mores and valueless culture. They are sharpening the long knives, knowing that their time will come shortly.

Of course Rabbi Shifren thinks he has the “strength of character” to be a leader, but the reality seems to be he that he is not fit to be a teacher. Can one imagine him teaching a diverse classroom of students that includes Middle Easterners and Muslims? Can we trust him to to be respectful, even handed? In fact can we trust him to educate and open the minds of youth when the bigotry that he revels in indicates that his mind is narrow and constricted?

I urge readers to contact the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) to lodge a formal complaint that due to the preponderance of bigoted and hate filled comments by Rabbi Nachum Shifren he is not fit to teach in the school system and should be disciplined.

LAUSD information:

Address: 333 S. Beaudry Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90017
Phone: (213) 241-4131 (thanks Usman)

The Video from the Protest at UC Irvine of Israeli Ambassador, Michael Oren:

[youtube:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LRsS7jAWoGQ 350 300]