IDF link to blocking of "Internet killed Israeli PR" YouTube video?

The satirical video "Internet killed Israeli PR" that YouTube has blocked from viewers in Israel was noticed almost as soon as it was posted on YouTube yesterday by a YouTube user called "rlandes7. He did not like it at all, as the screengrab with his comment shows:

It turns out that "rlandes7" is almost certainly Richard Landes, a professor at Boston University who is notorious for his extreme anti-Palestinian views. He is also the father of Aliza Landes head of the North America desk of the "IDF [Israeli army] New Media Unit." Ms. Landes appears three times in the "Internet killed Israeli PR" video. We know that Richard Landes watched the video, because the pro-Israel blog blog Israel Matzav reported that Landes himself sent the video to them.

Was the IDF behind YouTube's decision to block the video from viewers in Israel? From this we cannot say. But we do now have circumstantial evidence that the "high echelons" of "IDF" Internet hasbara were aware of the video very quickly. As of earlier today, the video was also blocked in France, Germany and Italy -- according to reports I received from people in those countries via Twitter. But it remained viewable in the US and UK. The mystery remains to be solved.


Gaza flotilla video mashup: Internet Killed Israeli PR
Uploaded by flotilla2010. - News videos from around the world.


Gaza flotilla video mashup Internet Killed Israeli PR from Matthew Doye on Vimeo.


And here is the original on YouTube:

Israel apparently blocks hilarious "Internet killed Israeli PR" YouTube video. Watch It.

UPDATE: IDF link to blocking of "Internet killed Israeli PR" YouTube video in Israel?

Israel appears to have banned access to the hilarious song and video "Internet killed Israeli PR" by MDT (Minor Demographic Threat) which makes fun of Israel's shoddy hasbara (propaganda) after its attack on the Gaza Freedom Flotilla in which it killed 9 peace activists and injured dozens of others. 

After receiving an initial report that the video could not be viewed in Israel, I asked a contact there to check and he replied that when he attempted to view it on YouTube: "This video is not available in your country due to terms of use violation." The screenshot below sent by shows what happens when someone in Israel tries to view the video:

Here is a news story about the video from Ma'an News Agency. Note: Israelis may be able to view the video here on dailymotion (Thanks

Gaza flotilla video mashup: Internet Killed Israeli PR
Uploaded by flotilla2010. - News videos from around the world.

This version on Vimeo may also be viewable in Israel (Thanks

Gaza flotilla video mashup Internet Killed Israeli PR from Matthew Doye on Vimeo.

Here it is on YouTube: 

Now available! Midnight on the Mavi Marmara - Full Story of the Attack on the Gaza Freedom Flotilla only from OR Books

CONTRIBUTORS: Ali Abunimah, Eyad Al Sarraj, Lamis Andoni, Omar Barghouti, George Bisharat, Max Blumenthal, Noam Chomsky, Marsha B. Cohen, Juan Cole, Murat Dagli, Jamal Elshayyal, Sümeyye Ertekin, Norman Finkelstein, Neve Gordon, Glenn Greenwald, Arun Gupta, Amira Hass, Nadia Hijab, Adam Horowitz, Rashid Khalidi, Stephen Kinzer, Iara Lee, Henning Mankell, Paul Larudee, Gideon Levy, Alia Malek, Lubna Masarwa, Mike Marqusee, Yousef Munayyer, Ken O’Keefe, Daniel Luban, Kevin Ovenden, Ilan Pappé, Doron Rosenblum, Sara Roy, Ben Saul, Adam Shapiro, Raja Shehadeh, Henry Siegman, Ahdaf Soueif, Raji Sourani, Richard Tillinghast, Alice Walker, Stephen M. Walt, Philip Weiss, and Haneen Zoabi.
“We have been attacked while in international waters. That means the Israelis have behaved like pirates … The moment they start to steer this ship towards Israel, we have also been kidnapped. The whole action is illegal.”—Henning Mankell, aboard the Gaza Freedom Flotilla
Eastern Mediterranean, Monday, May 31st, 2010, 4.30am: Israeli commandos, boarding from sea and air, attack the six boats of the Gaza Freedom Flotilla as it sails through international waters bringing humanitarian relief to the beleaguered Palestinians of Gaza.  Within minutes, nine peace activists are dead, shot by the Israelis. Scores of others are injured.  The 700 people on board the ships are arrested before being transported to detention centers in Israel and then deported.
Within hours, outrage at Israel’s action echoes around the world. Spontaneous demonstrations in Europe, the United States, Turkey, and Gaza itself denounce the attack.  Turkey’s prime minister describes it as a “bloody massacre” and “state terrorism.” Lebanon’s prime minister calls it “a dangerous and crazy step that will exacerbate tensions in the region.”
In these pages, a range of activists, journalists, and analysts piece together the events that occurred that May night, unpicking their meanings for Israel’s illegal, three-year-long blockade of Gaza and the decades-long Israel/Palestine conflict more generally. Mixing together first-hand testimony, documentary record, and illustration, with hard-headed analysis and historical overview, Midnight on the Mavi Marmara reveals why the attack on Gaza Freedom Flotilla may just turn out to be Israel’s Selma, Alabama: the beginning of the end for an apartheid Palestine.

E-book and paperback only from OR Books:

Debunking more "Fayyadist" hasbara on the West Bank "economic boom."

Ramallah building boom symbolizes West Bank growth

Developers say property prices have risen by 30 percent in the last two years. Buyers expect prices to go higher, though accurate price surveys do not exist.

Now my comments:

The story linked above from Reuters claims that the building boom underway in Israeli-occupied Ramallah, seat of the collaborationist Palestinian Authority regime is evidence of the much touted economic boom supposedly taking place in the West Bank.

Reuters states:

The Ramallah construction boom is one of the most obvious signs of West Bank economic growth estimated at an annual rate of 8 percent - which Palestinian policymakers attribute to relative stability and Western donor support to the Palestinian Authority.

I am not an economist, but I did ace the basic macro and micro economics courses I took in college. Before attributing the "boom" to the policies of the PA and its "Western donors" one would have to rule out other more likely explanations based on local and global factors.

(1) In Palestine as in Jordan, Lebanon and other countries, there are few productive outlets for domestic savings, hence savings have traditionally been put into real estate and construction, a non productive asset. So if anything, the construction "boom" could be an indicator of how little activity and opportunity there is for investment in more productive areas of the economy, such as manufacturing, etc.

(2) The Palestinian population in the Israeli-occupied West Bank is growing fast. Due to Israel's restrictive and racist measures, Palestinians are banned from building in most of the West Bank including occupied East Jerusalem. One of the few places they can build is within the Ramallah ghetto. So it is likely much of the Ramallah "boom" is construction displaced from elsewhere.

(3) It is likely that many of the apartments being built in Ramallah are being financed and purchased by overseas Palestinians either for speculative purposes or in order to have a foothold in Palestine. In other words they would disproprtionately not be "typical" native West Bankers "benefitting" from an economic boom.

(4) The involvement of Gulf-based financing from firms like Qatari Diar is part of a regional phenomenon that can be seen in Beirut, Damascus, Amman and beyond. There is huge overbuilding of very expensive apartments largely for speculation (again, huge overinvestment in nonproductive assets), not to meet domestic demand. Most local people cannot afford the sort of "luxury" developments that are going up all over the place.

(5) As we see from the US to Ireland to China, a construction boom and attendant speculative bubble does not indicate necessarily any underlying economic growth. On the contrary, such bubbles can end up saddling a small country with huge debts and a vast surplus of under-utilized, non productive assets (go take a look at Dublin for a good example).

So I would like to see real economists do proper analysis, because all this "Fayyadist" propaganda does not pass the sniff test.

PS: I should also have noted that the Reuters article actually contains little or no verifiable data. So we cannot even take it for granted -- beyond the anecdotal claims -- that there is a "construction boom" or that construction is higher now than in previous periods (though I would not be surprised if there were a construction boom). The article seems to rely on developers and the "Palestine Investment Fund" which of course have a vested interest in hyping real estate. It's their job.

When Zionists carried out atrocities, Israeli press calls it "resistance"

Interesting to note that a Ynet article profiling one of the Zionists who bombed the King David Hotel in Jerusalem on July 22, 1946, killing almost one hundred people including dozens of civilians, refers to the act as "Jewish resistance." Of course Zionists were not "resisting" anything when they introduced terrorism as we know it today to Palestine. They were in the process of a violent takeover of Palestine from its indigenous people. This is notable given that the Israeli media routinely refer to attacks or self-defence by Palestinians, even against armed, combatant Israeli occupation soldiers as "terrorism."

The Gaza "shopping mall": reality and hasbara

When he came to Washington a few months ago, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was touting the multiplex cinemas and shopping malls that have supposedly sprouted up in the West Bank as evidence of the "economic renaissance" going on there. There is no such economic renaissance -- it is a mirage promoted by Israel and its collaborators -- under the rubric of "economic peace." In fact, in large parts of the West Bank, people are poorer even than in Gaza, which is saying something given the wretched poverty and unemployment in Gaza.

Now, Israel's supporters have leapt on a minor story -- the opening of a shopping "mall" in Gaza -- to perform a similar hasbara trick: 'there is no poverty in Gaza, no siege, no hunger, no malnutrition. Just look at them, they are living better than we do!' I have seen such messages on many right-wing and pro-Israel sites.

Israel's Ynet reported:

While Hamas continues to demand a full lifting of the blockade, the Gaza market seems to be doing alright. Gaza Mall, the first ever shopping center in the Strip was opened last Saturday with masses storming the new attraction. 

The two-floor compound, each stretching over roughly 9,700 sq. ft, offers international brands as well as much-needed air conditioning. Tens of thousands of shoppers from Rafah to Beit Hanoun have already visited the site within a matter of days, making the center Gaza's new craze.

First, note that the reported size is about 20,000 square feet (1,850 square meters). To put this in perspective, the average size of a Wal-Mart store in the US is five times larger than the entire Gaza "mall": 108,000 square feet (with the largest Wal-Mart stores going up to 185,000 square feet!).

Now I have received this eyewitness account from a source in Gaza:

 "I found out about the Gaza mall. Yes it exists. The goods in there are very expensive and it's not a real mall, barely bigger than a little supermarket. It has 4 sections, one sells vegetables grown in Gaza, the 2nd section sells clothes and shoes, a 3rd section is like a huge supermarket with things brought to Gaza through the tunnels, and the last sells electric materials, TVs, stereos... The owners are very rich people in the Gaza Strip. Most of the stuff being sold are either made in Gaza, or brought via tunnels. And there are no thousands visitors, when I went there, I saw about 15-20 people only."

Gaza is a territory with 1.5 million people. They ought to have a normal life. That this small store is being celebrated as a major achievement shows just how hard the Israeli siege is biting. It also shows -- as I reported in a previous blog post -- that the siege is producing a small wealthy economic elite, while the vast majority suffers.

Gaza flotilla sponsor IHH responds to "slanderous, fabricated" allegations in NY Times article

The Turkish nongovermental organization IHH, which sponsored the Gaza Freedom Flotilla which was attacked and hijacked by Israel in international waters on 31 May 2010, killing 9 and injuring dozens, has responded to a recent article in the New York Times. The IHH response, written by attorney Ugur Yildirim demands corrections to the "unsubstantiated, almost slanderous, and fabricated comments," it says are contained in the article.

One of the false allegations in the NY Times article is that "Germany banned the charity’s offices, citing its support for Hamas, which Germany considers a terrorist organization."
In fact, Germany banned an organization called "Internationale Humaniterien Hilfs Organizatione" which while it also goes by the same initials "IHH" is not the same organization.

Here below is a copy of the full IHH letter to the New York Times, which I received via email from IHH's information department.

Israeli right embracing one-state? - Ali Abunimah - Focus - Al Jazeera English

Israeli right embracing one-state?  By Ali Abunimah


Proposals to grant Israeli citizenship to Palestinians in the West Bank are being pushed by some prominent activists among the West Bank settler movement [GALLO/GETTY] 

There has been a strong revival in recent years of support among Palestinians for a one-state solution guaranteeing equal rights to Palestinians and Israeli Jews throughout historic Palestine.

One might expect that any support for a single state among Israeli Jews would come from the far left, and in fact this is where the most prominent Israeli Jewish champions of the idea are found, although in small numbers.

Recently, proposals to grant Israeli citizenship to Palestinians in the West Bank, including the right to vote for the knesset, have emerged from a surprising direction: Right-wing stalwarts such as knesset speaker Reuven Rivlin, and former defence minister Moshe Arens, both from the Likud party of Binyamin Netanyahu, the prime minister.



Man convicted of rape for consensual sex with woman but told her he was Jewish (English)

The following is translated, courtesy of Dena Shunra, from this source:

Jail time for Arab who impersonated a Jew and raped through fraud

A court sentenced a resident of East Jerusalem who lied to a young woman and told her that he was Jewish in order to have sexual relations with her to a year in a half of prison time. “Protect the public from such criminals.”

By Shmuel Mittelman, 19 July 2010 14:38
Sabar Kashour, a young man from East Jerusalem , was sentenced today (Monday) to 18 months in prison after having defrauded and thereby raped and committed indecent acts upon a Jewish young woman, who only yielded to him because she thought he was a Jew. Additionally, the judges – Deputy Presiding Justice Zvi Segal, Moshe Dror, and Yoram Noam required Kashour to pay the complainant financial compensation amounting to NIS 10,000.
The prosecution representative, Adv. Daniel Vittman, argued that Kashour had indeed carried out his plot without the use of force, but that he had dissipated her ability to object to his actions by means of the false representation about his personal situation – [claiming that he was] a Jewish bachelor interested in a significant romantic relationship. In this way he abused her desire for a deep emotional relationship, which was the only reason that she agreed to have sexual relations with him.
According to the indictment, to which Kashour (30) entered a guilty plea, he presented himself to a young woman whom he met in the center of Jerusalem in 2008 as a Jewish bachelor interested in a significant romantic relationship, despite the fact that he is married.
He invited her to accompany him to a building on Hillel Street. When they came to the top floor, Kashour undressed the young woman and had intercourse with her, with her consent, that had been fraudulently achieved, as stated above. After having carried out his scheme, he departed from the building and left her naked, on the top floor of that building.
“Not a ‘classic’ act of rape”
The prosecution first claimed that the complainant actively and significantly objected to the events, but in the course of the trial the young woman testified that she had agreed to the action because she had thought that the person in question was a Jew. In light of that the indictment was amended, and the defendant was accused of rape and indecent actions by way of fraud.
Kashour accepted partial responsibility for the crimes of rape and indecent actions, but claimed that the deeds were carried out with the full consent of the complainant. The Probation Service was of the impression that in the course of his detention the defendant underwent “a process of soul-searching,” and that he was investing effort in living a normative lifestyle. For this reason the Service recommended that a short term of imprisonment, to be served in community service, be deemed sufficient.
Defense Counsel Adv. Adnan Aladin asked that the positive report by the Probation Service be taken into account. He said that this report indicated his client’s “high potential for rehabilitation.”
He asked that “appropriate proportions be maintained” between the actions and the mete penalty, and stressed that Kashour had no criminal record, admitted to the actions ascribed to him and took responsibility for his actions. For this reason he asked that a sentence of six months of community service be deemed sufficient.
Justice Segal stated that there was no dispute about the fact that the defendant had committed the crime of rape upon the complainant. He had admitted to doing so, and this was why he had been convicted, by force of law. “Indeed,” he stressed, “we do not have before us a ‘class’ case of rape – by force – and the indictment initially filed, which had indicated significant objection by the complainant to the actions by the defendant, had been amended further in the proceedings, after hearing her testimony, when it became clear that the actions were indeed carried out with her consent, but that it had been fraudulently obtained, relying on false representation. Has she not been of the opinion that he was a Jewish bachelor interested in a significant
“Basic human obtuseness”
Segal added that the rehabilitation of the defendant did indeed seem accessible and possible, but “with all possible goodwill and intention to meet him part of the way and reduce his punishment inasmuch as possible, I do not believe that this is the case where a prison term can be served in the form of community service.” Moreover, in his opinion serving a prison term does not cancel out existing rehabilitation achievements nor negate possible future achievements.
The judge stated that “the Court must protect the public interest against sophisticated criminals with a smooth tongue and sweet talking, who can lead astray innocent victims at the unbearable price of the sanctity of their bodies and souls.”
He stated that “when the foundation of trust between people falls away, especially in matters so sensitive, intimate, and fateful, the Court must stand firm on the side of the victims – actual and potential – to protect their well-being. Otherwise they will be abused, manipulated, cheated, and the cost will be a tolerable, token penalty.”
Segal further added that: “one cannot know or fully understand what the complainant felt after the defendant left the building, leaving her behind – naked, at the top floor. The realization of the truth after such a deceit cannot be easy; it requires a sturdy spirit and faith in the good things that are still in store, in the future. Having done what he did the defendant displayed basic human obtuseness toward his victim, as if she were only the means to satisfy his desires, and nothing more.”