Posted by Noga Gur-Arieh
Have you heard of Noa Tishby? If not- now is the time to memorize that name. Tishby is a household name in Israel, and also maintains an impressive acting career in the United States. In fact, I believe she is the most appreciated by Israelis than all her Israelis- in- Hollywood peers. What makes her so special is not her many roles in television (Charmed, Nip/Tuck, Las Vegas, Big Love, NCIS, CSI:Miami and more), or her roles in film (The Island, Connecting Dots, The Ghost of Girlfriends Past…) What really make her the greatest is her pro-Israel activism. Tishby is an advocate of Israel, and she is not afraid to leverage her status in Hollywood to speak for Israel in every opportunity. Tishby is a member of AIPAC (the American Israel Public Affairs Committee) and has traveled to Washington, D.C. to lobby on Capitol Hill. She is also a member of The Israeli Consulate Speakers Bureau and the ILC (Israeli Leadership Council). She is also co-Founder of the digital activist group: Act for Israel. Moreover, Noa was on The Jerusalem Post list of the 50 most influential Jews in the world alongside Benjamin Netanyahu, Natalie Portman and Mark Zuckerberg.
Her activism is not something to be taken for granted. Many Israelis abroad are afraid to put their nationality on display, because of the not-so-pro-Israeli public opinion, but Tishby really puts her country first, which really makes her an Israeli pride.
Noa Tishby talks about Israel's image in the United States
12.9.13 at 12:35 pm | Mourning Paul and Seffy, lighting up Africa,. . .
12.6.13 at 12:23 pm | Since I live in Israel and am very passionate. . .
12.2.13 at 12:33 pm | International success, music, extreme sport, a. . .
11.29.13 at 11:58 am | Since I live in Israel and am very passionate. . .
11.26.13 at 1:09 pm | Netanyahu goes meatless, the IDF goes green,. . .
11.25.13 at 1:15 pm | Welcome to the world of the New Anti-Semitism. It. . .
12.2.13 at 12:33 pm | International success, music, extreme sport, a. . . (35)
12.6.13 at 12:23 pm | Since I live in Israel and am very passionate. . . (34)
11.15.12 at 10:32 am | It is a solid fact that Operation Pillar of. . . (25)
November 28, 2012 | 10:45 am
Posted by Noga Gur-Arieh
Last week, we all witnessed what is called: Media War. The media war in unannounced and it doesn't end with a truce- it is an ongoing battle with social networks and websites as the battlefield. It occurs when two sides of a conflict of sort compete for the public's attention through the various media. During Operation Pillar of Defense, the Media War was very noticeable, and many of us took part in it, trying to expose Hamas' lies and supporting Israel. But it did not start last week. It is an ongoing process in which, so far, Israel is on the losing side…
I remember hearing about the Gaza war (also known as Operation Cast Lead) for the first time: It was December 2008, and I was on a vacation in London. While riding the train, observing the passengers and playing the common game of trying to guess their story, I noticed an old man reading the daily newspaper. It was folded, so I was able to read one of the articles. The title said "IDF in bombing in Gaza.” There was a dramatic photo of a Palestine woman crying, kneeling and raising her bloody hands towards a ray of light; a dead body of a child was lying beneath her. Next to the picture, there was a quote by the mayor of Sderot, a city in Israel that is constantly under the attack of missiles, which said, "I'm proud to be an Israeli." I couldn't stop thinking about what I had just read. It looked bad. It made the IDF and the Israeli people seem like despicable murderers.I couldn't believe the vicious act I had just read about. I started thinking about other people, non-Israeli people. It only made sense that their first reaction to this article would be to feel sorry for the poor woman, and to condemn the mayor of Sderot. In the next few days, this described attack was the center of public discourse
Having been born and raised in Israel, I had constantly been protected by soldiers. Throughout my childhood, I admired the IDF. After serving in the IDF I can say from firsthand experience that the army does not attack without purpose- they are the Israeli Defense Force. Unfortunately, the media oftentimes provides a skewed perspective and portrays the IDF as aggressors. While I myself was aware that there was surely much more to this attack than what the news reported, I kept in mind that the average British citizen knows only what he hears and reads. I can't begin to explain the despair we feel every time we watch the international news. It hurts to know that some people receive only partial information.
Our hands are tied when in comes to the greatest war of all: the media war. Our army may be one of the strongest, most powerful armies in the world, but we are helpless when it comes to media publication.In the age of instant messaging where whoever publishes last- doesn't count, people don't care about the circumstances. They're only looking for the results. We are always in a hurry, and need to get as much information as possible as quickly as possible. The newspapers compete for readers, and so they choose headlines that will capture our attention. Even thought the body of that article about the Gaza War was neutral and showed what lead to that attack, I'm sure most people will never know. We don't have time. We read headlines, and that's that
I'm not trying to make excuses, and I’m not saying that every decision made by the Israeli government is the right one. I'm just saying that it's natural to feel sorry for the little boy standing in front of a big tank. It's the easiest thing to do. But have you ever stopped thinking what brought that tank over there? Have you ever noticed the boy is holding a stone in his hand? Have you ever taken a moment to try and think what is not shown in the photos you see? Maybe there are hundreds of kids holding stones and standing in front of that tank. Maybe those kids threw stones at innocent people. Maybe some were killed and that tank came to stop this killing. Maybe those young kids are protecting a number one target of a terror organization. Maybe not. We'll never know.
Remember that headlines and pictures are meant to target readers’ emotions- they don’t always show the full truth. As Karl Popper once said, "Put everything to question. Things will be true only when no one can question them anymore." Since you can't see beyond the limits of what you are shown, or look into five different websites at a time, all I can recommend, and beg you to do, is this: Whenever you hear or read about something that seems to lack explanation, check yesterday's news. It may help you see things more clearly...
November 26, 2012 | 10:08 am
Posted by Noga Gur-Arieh
Israeli archaeologists uncovered an ancient well in the Yizra'el Valley, in the northern Galilee region. The well dates back to the Neolithic period (about 8,500 years ago), and is believed to have been part of an ancient farming settlement. Several artifacts were found in the well, but the most unique findings were skeletal remains of a young woman and an older man. The reason why their remains were inside a well is unclear.
Guests from 100 cities in Germany visited Israel last week for a conference celebrating Israeli-German sister cities. Sister cities (i.e. Holon/Berlin, Tel-Aviv/Cologne) share a partnership of common cultural and economic ties. The conference took place in Jerusalem last Sunday and Monday, and the Israeli and German delegations who met there discussed issues of shared importance. The conference opened with a fancy gala event that was attended by Israeli president Shimon Peres and German ambassador to Israel Andreas Michaelis.
Stevie Wonder just called to say he supports the IDF. The musical legend will perform at this year’s “Friends of the Israeli Defense Force (FIDF) Gala,” an annual event benefiting Israeli soldiers. The event is scheduled to take place on December 5th at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza in Los Angeles. It will be hosted by Cheryl and Haim Saban, with more than a thousand members of L.A.’s Jewish community expected to attend. Considered to be one of FIDF's biggest and most meaningful events, the gala raises millions of dollars each year.
Four Israeli life scientists were among the 22 selected by the European Molecular Biology Organization (EMBO) to be part of its prestigious Young Investigator Programme. The program identifies some of the most promising young researchers in Europe. In addition to the high recognition, Israelis Ron Milo, Jacob Hanna, Itai Yanai and Raz Zarivach will each receive a €45,000 grant. The three-year program provides academic, practical and financial support during the early years of the researchers’ independent careers.
And the Oscar goes to…A group of students from Nofey Golan High School in Katzrin won first place at the International Student Film Festival in Hollywood, California. The film Einey Shaked (“Behind Her Eyes”) won Best Foreign Drama, beating 200 other films made by teenagers from all around the world. The 17-minute film tells the story of a close relationship between two young girls, put to test after a sexual assault. The movie critiques how authorities deal with cases of rape and sexual assault, where the victim is often the one placed into question instead of the perpetrator. Two of the student filmmakers lived out their dream: walking on the red carpet in Hollywood.
Hockey is back! After being absent for 16 years, hockey will make its comeback at this year’s Maccabiah Games. Also known as the “International Jewish Olympics,” the competition will feature hockey for the first, and only, time since 1997. The games are scheduled to take place during July 2013 in Metula, Israel, and they will feature teams from all over the world competing in a variety of sports. Four countries will be represented by hockey teams: Israel, the United States, Canada, and France. Mike Keenan will be coaching Canada. Keenan had previously led the NY Rangers to the 1994 Stanley Cup championship, and led both the Chicago Blackhawks and Philadelphia Flyers to the Stanley Cup finals.
Many years ago, a wise person (may have) said, “Don't get involved in politics you understand nothing about." Well, I guess Kim Kardashian missed that statement. Last week, the reality star’s Twitter account turned into one big political mess… During the IDF Operation Pillar of Defense, Kardashian posted from her Twitter account: “Praying for everyone in Israel." This tweet caused controversy, and people unsupportive of Israel gave her a piece of their minds. The reality star quickly deleted the post, replacing it with: “Praying for everyone in Palestine and across the world.” This tweet (you guessed it!) was less-than-popular with Israel supporters. This second post was also promptly deleted, and was followed by a longer statement by Kardashian in her web site’s online blog: "I want to own up to and explain that earlier today I sent out two tweets about saying prayers for the people in Palestine and Israel and after hearing from my followers, I decided to take down the tweets because I realized that some people were offended and hurt by what I said, and for that I apologize. I should have pointed out my intentions behind these tweets when I posted them. The fact is that regardless of religion and political beliefs, there are countless innocent people involved who didnt [sic] choose this, and I pray for all of them and also for a resolution. I also pray for all the other people around the world who are caught in similar crossfires." Oopsy daisy…
A Polish film, based on one of the most controversial episodes of WWII, was released in Poland last Friday. Poklosie ("Aftermath") was directed by Wladyslaw Pasikowski and features a cast of famous Polish actors. It tells the story of the 1942 Jedwabne massacre of Jews by their Polish neighbors, a nightmare event in which hundreds of Jews were burned alive in a barn. The film was inspired by the book Neighbors, written by Polish-American historian Jan Tomasz Gross, which sent shockwaves across Poland after its publication in 2000. The date of the massacre has entered Poland’s remembrance calendar.
And I know it's been several days now, but one last time, I want to say: THANK YOU!
November 23, 2012 | 12:30 pm
Posted by Noga Gur-Arieh
Monica Sex is one of my favorite Rock Bands. Their music is generally characterized by its alternative rock sound and catchy lyrics. For 20 years now, the band takes a great part in Israeli culture, and is considered an Israeli music icon. Their songs have lyrics that I believe anyone could relate to. This, together with a top of the notch all-the-way rock melodies, makes their music immortal. While their music is mostly aimed for a younger audience, their 20 years of experience and the fact they are still relevant now as they were then, unite parents and their teenage children. So far, I've been to more than a few of their concerts, and the fun I am having is indescribable. Enjoy and Rock On.
Maka Afora (Grey Punch)- This is a song that 99% of Israelis know by heart
Al Haritzpah (On the Floor)- live
Mangina (Melody)- one of their beautiful ballads and the best video clip!
November 22, 2012 | 10:00 am
Posted by Noga Gur-Arieh
In the past eight days- Israel was at war, but it wasn't a traditional war. This war was fought in two fronts: in the field and in social networks. Eight days ago, I turned to you and asked for your help in supporting Israel online. The media was tilted towards the other side, and there were few of us fighting against it. I asked you to share the truth, and spread pictures and videos exposing Hamas' lies and supporting Israel. It may sound a bit funny, but your simple clicks on "share" helped Israel like we never imagined. Very much unlike Operation Cast Lead, Operation Pillar of Defense was seemed legit in the public's eye, who understood Israel's right to defend itself. It wasn't a full support, as you probably saw for yourself. Some media channels still chose to present a non-balanced picture of the reality in Israel, and saw it as a war between a strong army (IDF) and poor, innocent people (Palestinians). Nonetheless, to every article as such, there were hundreds of comments supporting Israel and condemning the tone of the tilted story. Some of those comments came from youI.
I would like to dedicate this post to you: non- Israelis who believe in Israel. Thank you for believing in us and for trusting us to handle this operation the right way. Thank you for seeing us as what we really are- a state wanting to defend itself from terror attack, while trying to minimize civilian casualties. Thank you for sharing the truth and helping the world see what you and I see, and most of all- thank you for not giving up! Some of your comments were so moving, they brought me to tears, and I really can't express my appreciation enough. Once again- thank you!!! May we never again have the need to defend Israel, both online and offline.
November 20, 2012 | 9:30 am
Posted by Noga Gur-Arieh
It's been seven days now since operation Pillar of Defense got the green light. For seven days, missiles have been fired at both Israel and Gaza, and people have been suffering from both physical and mental injuries. Honestly, nothing's really changed in the last seven days. The IDF is still trying to target terrorists, and Hamas is still firing on schools and residential areas while operating within civilian areas so that they could make it seem as if Israel is targeting civilians as well. Palestinians and Israelis are still under fire, and the IDF still battles terrorism. True, every day that goes by, more houses are being destroyed, more schools are being hit and more people get hurt. But all in all, there hasn't been a significant change in the situation. On the second day of the operation I looked at mainstream American news sites, and showed you the inaccuracy in some of their stories. Some were partially wrong while others were completely and utterly not factual. Five days later, a glance at several sites shows, once again, inaccurate stories. Journalism, by its own definition, is supposed to be balanced and as accurate as possible, but as it turns out, not all news channels adhere to these standards. These reports show that when it comes to attracting audiences, when there is a possibility for a juicy story, truth can sometimes be overlooked. From partial truths to completely imbalanced reports- here are the news sites you should avoid reading nowadays:
"CNN has multiple crews in Gaza, Israel and neighboring countries to bring you the latest accurate information on the conflict, the impact on people and talks to stop the violence. Turn to CNN TV andCNN.com for what you need to know now"- this short statement appeared right before a summary on operation Pillar of Defense, and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. After this promise for a balanced report on the impact of the conflict on the people, an utterly imbalanced report appears. The article summarized the operation, presenting interviews with Palestinians and love reports from the reporter in Gaza, as opposed to quotes from Israeli officials. Now you tell me: if you read a description of a wrecked Gaza and of "children pulled from the rubble after one airstrike in Gaza", brought to you by a professional reporter who witnesses it all first handwho’s side would you be on?. This reporter later interviews innocent Palestinian civilians who say how impossible life is under IDF attacks. After all of this, you read a quote by an Israeli official saying that one million Israelis are under attack. No quotes from Israeli civilians and certainly no description of what their life is like under Hamas rockets. When reading an article like that, which you believe is balanced, because is it what it claims to be, what is the image that will come to mind? Where would your sympathy go? I am not saying Palestinians don't suffer from this operation. I know they do and I think people should know and acknolwledge that. But this is NOT a war between the Israeli military and Palestinian civilians. In this story, there are two armies and two groups of innocent civilians. Both sides are being hurt. CNN failed to present that destruction is happening on both sides, that the IDF constantly warns Palestinians of upcoming attacks and that the Hamas couldn't care less.
Later, the very same CNN shows a Q&A, for people who want to get a better understanding of the conflict. This would have been a blessed initiative if it weren’t for their imbalanced biased report. The first question alone, " What has caused the Israelis to strike so hard inside Gaza?", indicates that the purpose of this Q&A is far from explaining the whole story. The opposite question, what has caused Hamas to strike to hard inside Israel, does not appear.
CBS is also adopting a very pro-Palestinian, anti-Israeli tone, but there it is done in a more subtle way than at CNN. On the surface, they are giving a full report on what happens in Gaza: death toll rises as the IDF targets militants in civilian areas. This indicates the basic understanding of the fact that Hamas is, in fact, hiding within civilian areas to enhance the IDF's attack on innocent people and get more sympathy from the world. What is most interesting about CBS's website is their photo album named: "Israel, Palestinians in deadly clashes." This photo album presents images of wounded Palestinians (mainly small children, of course), and of Israeli missiles hitting buildings in Gaza. It shows Palestinians cry for help, holding infants, and Palestinians being rescued from rubble. Few images show Palestinian youth throwing rocks at Israeli soldiers and Israelis running for shelter with smiles on their faces. More photos of Israel are of the Iron Dome system successfully defending Israel. Now you tell me, what would you think if you had no idea what is going on, and you'd look at this photo album? On the Palestinian side- pain, tears, and stones as the only weapon against the strong Israeli army (no Hamas terrorists in the pictures, by the way). On the Israeli side- strong defense and confidence.
I'll be the first to admit- there are more Palestinian casualties than Israeli ones. This is due to Hamas' hiding places along with Israel's sophisticated defense system. However, this does not mean that Iron Dome is successful in blocking every single missile fired to Israel. Just yesterday, a school was directly hit by one of Hamas' rockets. People in Israel are living in terror. Children spend their days hiding from missiles instead of playing Hide and Seek, and running in fright to the sound of alarms instead of playing Tag. No children should have this kind of childhood and the world should be made aware of it. Israel is not immune. Rockets are not being fired back automatically when reaching city centers and schools in Israel. For some reason, CBS sure makes it look that way.
Like everyone else, NBC also couldn't resist reporting on the rise of the death toll in Gaza. As I mentioned before- this is a juicy story. Death attracts more readers than life in fear. However, I must say that NBC's report is rather balanced. One of the top stories in the Middle East section is of an Israeli family struggling for normal life under Hamas' attacks. NBC news succeeded in realizing what CNN and CBS missed (or intentionally ignored): Israeli civilians are also under brutal attack. Israeli children are in constant search for shelter and have no normal childhood, as rockets are constantly being fired from Gaza for many years. This is not a one sided attack- no matter how you spin it.
FOX News, I'm afraid, also failed to present a balanced report this time. Just like CNN ignored the situation in Israel, FOX ignored the situation in Gaza. It shows reports of the missiles fired from Gaza to Israeli civilian locations but does not say a word on Palestinian casualties. As IDF targets only militants, the reports there show just the successful hits. This, in my opinion, is also the wrong kind of journalism. Palestinians in Gaza are being hurt, just like Israelis are. Hamas is operating within civilian areas and even though the IDF sends warnings to the Palestinians minutes before it fires a missile, people are getting hurt. This is the full picture, and it should be presented.
In war, innocents from both sides get hurt, and make no mistake, this is war. When I read "accurate reports" presenting this as a one-sided attack, it makes my heart ache. What makes it even worse is the fact that my cry is almost unheard. It reaches almost nowhere and people continue to get the very wrong picture presented by foreign media. Israeli officials cannot order the IDF to put down their weapons because Hamas refuses to cease fire. Last night, Israel suggested truce for 24 hours, and in response, Hamas bombed Jerusalem, while Secretary-General of the United Nations, Ban Ki-Moon visited there. Israel has the right to defend itself and I wish there were no casualties in this process. But when I wake up every night drenched in sweat because I thought I heard the alarm, I support my brother, who's a soldier, and the entire IDF as they protect my family and me, while risking their lives in effort to minimize the attacks on Palestinian civilians. For us, the voice of the Israelis who live under attack is unheard- SHARE THE TRUTH!
November 19, 2012 | 9:30 am
Posted by Noga Gur-Arieh
Earlier today, someone posted the following on Israelife's Facebook page:"The IDF is an evil organization. Netanyahu and all the Zionist scum are evil murderers. By deception, they wage war. Do not be deceived!" In order to prove the accuracy of his statements, this person attached a video of a former IDF soldier being interviewed by the BBC back on January 6th 2009 during operation Cast Lead. In this interview, the Israeli said that what the IDF is doing in Gaza is a war crime. He also said that the IDF and the Israeli government are "killing the desire of the Palestinian people to live in freedom." This video is not fake or a fraud, it is genuine. The Israeli giving the interview is Yonatan Shapira- a well-known activist against the Israeli government.
A short You Tube search will provide you with several videos of Israelis opposing the government, claiming the IDF's way of interfering in Gaza is wrong. Similar videos presenting Palestinians opposing the Hamas are impossible to find. This fact leads some people, including the person who left the initial Facebook comment, to believe that the Israelis are under the rule of a rough government who strikes innocent Palestinians for fun and oppresses Israeli civilians. Moreover, it makes people believe that Palestinians under the rule of Hamas are living peacefully, only bothered by the occasion Israeli missile.
When I watch those videos and realize the lack of similar videos from Hamas, I come to a different conclusion. To me, the video of Yonatan Shapira represents one of the biggest differences between Israel and Hamas: Israel is a democratic country. The people here have every right to express their opinion, even it is seems non-legitimate. There, however, this freedom of speech does not exist. You cannot find a video of a Palestinian speaking out against Hamas, because they cannot do such a thing. Hamas settles in private houses and rules the citizens of Gaza with a an iron fist. It takes their money, their freedom and their voice, and anyone who even considers opposing the government- loses his or her life. The very few voices of people from the inside opposing the Hamas can only be heard from distanced western states, such as the United States. The title of Shapira's interview: "Brave Israeli Soldier Speaks Out On BBC Against the Crimes of His Government," is deceiving. He is not braver than any other Israeli, he just uses his democratic right to speak his mind. He was not executed but probably was criticized, for he is considered a minority here. Palestinians, on the other hand, don't resist, because they can't.
In the past couple of days, IDF aircrafts flew over Gaza and dropped notes asking civilians to stay safe and keep their distance from Hamas facilities. The IDF is doing all it can to hit legitimate targets without harming civilians, which is a very hard thing to do because Hamas intentionally operates within civilian areas. Hamas, on the other hand, carries no value for life, neither Israeli nor Palestinian. It aims at houses and town centers in Israel and uses Palestinians as human shields to defend itself from Israeli attack. Do not be fooled- Hamas does not care for the civilians living in Gaza because it only values death.. As more and more pictures and videos of Palestinians supposedly wounded by IDF forces turn out to be fake, it becomes more and more clear who is acting in a humanitarian manner and who is acting the exact opposite way. SHARE THE TRUTH.
Yonatan Shapira on BBC
Mosab Hassan Yousef, Palestinian and son of a Hamas founder and leader Sheikh Hassan Yousef, interviewing from the safe United States and opposing Hamas.
November 17, 2012 | 8:51 am
Posted by Noga Gur-Arieh
As missiles are being fired to and from Israel, there is a war going on in social networks: Hamas representators are posting false pictures and videos, which have been exposed as lies on Facebook walls and Twitter accountes.
For your information, here are some examples of Hamas' online lies.
Since Wednesday 703 missiles were fired to Israel.
Please, help Israel and share the truth, so that people who do not read Jewish Journal can also get a better picture of everything that is going on here:
Yesterday, a picture of this bleeding baby girl was published on Twitter, presenting her as an injured Palestinian. Truth is (and a glance at the Hebrew letters on the shirt of the person carrying her), this infant is Israeli, which was hurt in yet another Hamas attack:
A couple of days ago, Hamas posted this heartbreaking image of a dead child in Gaza yesterday. Turns out the original picture was taken in Syria and posted three weeks ago:
A summary of Hamas' online lies:
This short clip is from 2008, yet just as relevant today: