Oznia, a blog of Israel things

~ #IranElection by ozniablog
July 2, 2009, 6:48 am
Filed under: opinion | Tags: , , ,

2009-06-22-iran3The ongoing protests in Iran not only have huge implications for Israel, but as has been mentioned elsewhere, with the use of youTube, twitter, sms and more, they have huge implications for how we organize ourselves and our various forms of media.  At magnify.net they have combined all the various forms of media coming out of Iran including tweets, video and print journalism into one, easy to manage site called IrainLIVE.  It’s worth a look for insight into the current conflict and how the future of information might look.


~Right to join UN Rights Council? by ronshapiro
April 19, 2009, 5:34 am
Filed under: opinion | Tags: , ,

Going against previous precedents, the Obama administration decided to join the UN Human Rights Council.

Why is this a problem?  Well…

  • More than 1/2 of Council is composed of countries who aren’t true democracies
  • Since its inception in 2006, 26 of the 32 resolutions that have been passed (81%) condemn Israel
  • The Council has gotten rid of experts who were investigating human rights issues in Darfur, Congo, Cuba, Belarus, and Liberia.

The Council might as well be renamed as the UN Condemn Israel Council.

“There is no question that the U.S. can play a decisive role in making U.N. institutions more effective, but the Human Rights Council has deep systemic flaws,” said ADL National Director Abraham Foxman.

~A Loud Promised Land: The NYTs and Israel by melthebest
April 18, 2009, 8:47 pm
Filed under: opinion | Tags: , , ,

David Brooks just wrote this funny, insightful editorial for the New Yotk Times explaining his understanding of Israel.  Enjoy!  (Click here to link)

~Over 1,000 Days by ozniablog
March 29, 2009, 9:50 am
Filed under: opinion | Tags: , , ,

On June 25th 2006, 19 year old Cpl. Gilad Shalit was captured on the Kerem Shalom Crossing by Hamas militants. Nearly three years later, the 22 year old staff sergeant remains in the dangerous hands of this Palestinian terrorist organization. His kidnapping, followed by the abduction of two other Israeli soldiers Ehud Goldwasser and Eldad Regev, arguably instigated fighting in the 2006 Second Lebanon War. Whereas Regev and Goldwasser’s remains were returned to Israel this past July in exchange for Palestinian prisoners, Shalit, who, as evidence proves, is still living, remains in captivity.

The situation is understandably agonizing for Gilad’s family– Shalit’s abduction is a clear violation of international law and Hamas is technically accountable for a war crime. Yet despite the sorrow and aggravation, the Shalit family has shown a tremendous amount of strength throughout the ordeal. Parents Aviva and Noam, brother Yoel and sister Hadas have risen to the occasion and taken incredible actions to increase awareness and support for their beloved’s release. Since his abduction, Israeli and Palestinian representatives have ridden a rollercoaster of talks, chiefly mediated by Egypt, none of which have ended successfully.

Saturday March 21st marked Gilad’s 1000th day in captivity. To show their solidarity, his family set up a tent in Jerusalem outside the Prime Minister’s home from March 9th until the 21st. While negotiations were being discussed in the final days of Olmert’s administration, Noam explained that the goal of having the Hatzilu tent was “to remind everyone that the window of opportunity is closing, and to bring the issue to the public.” The family saw many visitors – individuals, school groups, tourists – and was extremely grateful to see the widespread concern and support for their cause. “Aviva and I would like to extend a thankful embrace to all of you,” Noam said.

As Olmert leaves the government and Netanyahu takes over, the family seems to have mixed reactions. Noam Shalit feels strongly that it was entirely Olmert’s responsibility to return Gilad and is quite dismayed that he ended his term without doing so. While they might worry that the incoming coalition will not devote enough attention to the aging issue, they remain hopeful: “we have nothing short of a miracle to look forward to.”

For more on Gilad Shalit, including an aural recording of a message Gilad sent a few months ago, visit: www.habanim.org

~Gaza Stimulus Package: When Will This End? by joshman91

On February 10, 2009, the Israeli public made it abundantly clear that they are fed up with the status quo. Although most would like to see peace, they have grown tired of this past administration’s efforts to appease their enemies. Before I continue, I would like to make it clear that I am for peace. Having said that, I have come to the realization that territorial concessions and terror are mutually exclusive. Since the famous handshake between Yassir Arafat and Yitzak Rabin, instead of “Land for Peace” we have seen “Land for Terror.”

Perhaps the greatest example of why “Land for Peace” is a failed philosophy is Gaza. After the results of Sharon’s “Unilateral Disengagement,” I challenge anyone on this blog to argue why doing the same in Judea and Samaria would be effective. Before I discuss the security disasters that have resulted from the disengagement, I would like to make note of how inhumane our fellow Jews have been treated by the Israeli government. Many of the Gush Katif (region in Gaza) refugees are unemployed, homeless, and have experienced psychological damage. The government subsidized them to go on a “mission” and then evicted them from their homes.

Settlers aside, the disengagement has brought about a new age of terror. Since 2005, when Israel withdrew all settlers and security forces from every last inch of Gaza, thousands of rockets have been launched into southern Israel. While the media likes to make note of the fact that the rockets have caused few deaths, they ignore the fact that the Israelis cannot go to the mall. Residents of Beer Sheva have to worry about sending their kids to Kindergarden; the psychological damage that has resulted is disturbing.

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~Troubling Animated Short About Gaza by melthebest
March 4, 2009, 5:04 pm
Filed under: arts/culture, movies/television, opinion | Tags: , , , ,

Gisha, The Legal Center for Freedom of Movement has just put out this video about the Israeli blockade of Gaza.  I’m not sure what to think about a piece like this, and would love to hear your opinions.

~Surprising Loss for Waltz With Bashir by ozniablog
February 25, 2009, 7:41 pm
Filed under: movies/television | Tags: , , ,

When the presenter announced the Academy Award nominees for best foreign language film, I held my breath. I had read glowing reviews and favorable predictions that suggested Israel would finally win for the chilling biopic released just a few weeks ago. And, truthfully, when the Oscar went to Japan, I was livid. Waltz with Bashir tells the story of director Ari Folman’s experiences as a young fighter in the first Lebanon War. The animated documentary follows his attempt to recall the painful events he has blocked out in his memory. The film received immediate international acclaim, and even scooped up the Golden Globe for Best Foreign Language Film as well as a host of awards abroad, in countries including Britain and France. If Israel was not slated to win, France’s The Class was next in line; Japan swooped in, though, with a shocking win for Departures, a movie about a cellist. “I saw the Israeli movie which I honestly had thought would win as it was wonderful,” Japanese director Masahiro Motoki told reporters.  Better luck next year, Israel!