Today I learned that Wikipedia has an entry devoted to nothing but animal-related conspiracy theories centering around Israel.
For example, the entry notes that in 2010 a series of shark attacks off the coast of the South Sinai were alleged to be Israeli acts of aggression,
Following the attacks, in an interview on Tawfik Okasha’s popular but controversial Egypt Today television show, a Captain Mustafa Ismail, introduced as “a famous diver,” alleged that the GPS tracking device found on one of the sharks was in fact a “guiding device” planted by Israeli agents. Prompted in a television interview for comments, the governor of South Sinai, Mohammad Abdul Fadhil Shousha, initially said: “What is being said about the Mossad throwing the deadly shark [in the sea] to hit tourism in Egypt is not out of the question. But it needs time to confirm.” The Israeli foreign ministry, in response, suggested that Shousha had seen “Jaws one time too many.” The governor later dismissed the event as being connected to Israel.
Okay, some crazy guy with a TV show spouts conspiracy theories. In America, we call that Glenn Beck. But in 2008, the official Palestinian news agency accused Israel of employing “supernatural rats” to drive Arab residents from the Old City of Jerusalem,
In July 2008, the official Palestinian news agency, Wafa, accused Israel of using “supernatural rats” that “can even chase away Arab cats” to encourage Arab residents of the Old City of Jerusalem to flee in panic. “Over the past two months, dozens of settlers come to the alleyways and streets of the Old City carrying iron cages full of rats,” Wafa claimed. “They release the rats, which find shelter in open sewage systems.” Jerusalem Municipality spokesman Gidi Schmerling rejected the report as “pure fiction.”
Okay, then. In America we would never believe this sort of nonsense. Rather, in this country it is Bill Belichick who uses the supernatural rats to spy on visiting teams.
Somehow a few people ended up at this site by searching Google for an Ariel Sharon quote, “We, the Jewish people, control America, and Americans know it.”
This is a completely fake quote that was fabricated in a 2001 press release by the pro-Hamas Islamic Association for Palestine.
The Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting has a thorough explanation from 2002 of how this quote was created and perpetuated (a Google search today turns it up mostly on the usual suspects of anti-Semitic blogs).
The Associated Press reports that Canada has withdrawn from next year’s planned United Nations Conference on Racism planned for South Africa. Like the previous UN Conference on Racism in 2001, this one is slated to be yet another UN Conference on Israeli Bashing.
As Salon noted in its coverage of the 2001 Conference, the Conference in fact featured incidents of anti-Semitism,
Inside the U.N. conference grounds and within its tents, the rhetoric and agitprop were also white hot. Fliers were found with Hitler’s photo above the question: “What if I had won? There would be no Israel, and no Palestinian bloodshed.” A press conference held by the Jewish caucus was cut short by a rowdy group of Iranian women, one of whom screamed, “Six million dead and you’re holding the world hostage!”
This time around, the UN has ensured that a similar debacle with Libya elected to chair the event, Cuba as vice-chair, and Iran on the organizing committee. Presumably, the Sudanese government may be offered the keynote this time around.
Reuters notes that gay and lesbian NGOs have a rather difficult time being credentialed by the United Nations which usually has almost no standards at all for such determinations (based on some of the odd groups that do have NGO status).
For example, Canada’s Coalition of Gays and Lesbians of Quebec was rejected as an NGO by an 8-6 vote. The vote in this case is extremely revealing.
Voting yes to credential the group — Colombia, Israel, Peru, Romania, Britain and the United States (hmm…and here I thought the U.S. was run by a fascist theocracy?)
Voting no — Burundi, China, Egypt, Guinea, Pakistan, Qatar, Russia and Sudan.
Given the tenor of the United Nations, the best bet for gay and lesbian groups would probably be to adopt anti-Israeli and anti-Semitic planks. Egypt, Pakistan and Qatar may not be thrilled by a gay and lesbian group, but if that group, say, argued that Jews were behind a worldwide plot against gays and lesbians, they’d probably win immediate approval.
Canadian and Swedish gay groups frowned on at UN. Evelyn Leopold, Reuters, February 2, 2007.
In March, Israeli animal rights group Anonymous for Animal Rights succeeded in persuading Tel-Aviv to ban animal circus acts within the city.
According to a press release from the group,
We are happy to announce that we successfully completed our campaign against animal circus acts, as the Municipality of Tel-Aviv banned animal circus acts.
The Mayor of Tel-Aviv, Ron Huldai, instructed the municipality to avoid any future contracts with circuses that use animals of any sort in their shows.
Its unclear, however, how permanent such a ban is if it depends on the whims of a single individual.
Tel-Aviv bans circus animal acts. Press Release, Anonymous for Animal Rights, March 13, 2005.
Following a 2003 Supreme Court decision that found foie gras violated Israel’s animal welfare law, the Israeli parliament this month passed legislation that will end the force-feeding of geese effective at the end of January 2005.
The Israeli Agriculture Minister had requested that the ban not go into effect until the end of March, but the Knesset Education Committee stuck fast to an end of January deadline to stop the practice.
Knesset Education Committee chair Meli Polishook-Bloch was quoted by the Jerusalem Post as saying of the ban,
The time has come to put an end to the drawn-out period of many years during which the geese have suffered.
Agricultural Ministry Director-General Yossy Ishay, on the other hand, was troubled by the influence that animal rights activists have had on this issue, telling the Jerusalem Post,
This is the first time the Knesset has decided that an entire sector of agriculture is illegal. If we don’t stop the animal rights groups, tomorrow you won’t be able to milk cows or keep chickens in coops.
Israel is among the world leaders in foie gras exports, with over 70 producers that export about $8 million worth of foie gras annually.
What’s bad for the goose . . . must stop, committee rules. Stuart Winer, The Jerusalem Post, January 4, 2005.
Israel to ban force-feeding of geese. Agence-France Presse, January 4, 2005.