About rolenemarks

Rolene Marks is a member of the Media Team Israel, a body of volunteers that monitors bias in the media. A passionate advocate for Israel, Rolene has appeared on radio, tv and in the print Media. Rolene lives in Israel.

B*%^$ stole my shoe!

Since the dawn of time Jews and lately Zionists, have been blamed for every conspiracy theory in the world .From controlling the media, to 9/11 and yes, to training special spy sharks for the Mossad, there is barely a single canard we have not been blamed for.

Books have been devoted to this phenomenon.  The Protocols of the Elders of Zion is one of the most venomous tomes ever written and Hitler based his indictment against the Jews, Mein Kampf on Jewish control and conspiracy theories. We all know how that ended.

Asghar Bukhari, founding member of UK Muslim Public Affairs Committee, went on a Facebook rant this past weekend alleging that the Mossad was responsible for stealing one his shoes (and his slippers) that he carefully placed in a special spot. He opened his rant (sadly, I don’t have the monopoly on ranting) with “ARE ZIONISTS TRYING TO INTIMIDATE ME”?

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He feels vulnerable and intimidated and remarked how a fellow Muslim leader tearfully stated that “they had been coming into her house and re-arranging things just to let her know they had been there”.

Now while I am not privy to Mossad training specifics, I am sure that cat burglary and interior decorating are not among their special areas of expertise. As a Zionist who considers myself to have discerning taste in shoes (personally I would steal a fabulous pair of designer stilettos), I am offended at the accusation that hearkens back to a time when we were accused of being thieving Jews and degenerates of society. This nasty invective is taught in schools in the Palestinians today and is having dire consequences on any kind of hope for peace. We can laugh and come up with crazy memes to share on social media but underneath the jokes lies a symptom of a serious illness that cannot be eradicated and instead is spreading around the world like wild fire. Antisemitism.

Antisemitism is at the highest levels we have seen since before World War 2 and one of the favourite areas of attacks are Israel’s security institutions including the Mossad and the IDF. The Mossad are quite used to ridiculous allegations – not restricted to catching terrorists, this organization also steals rain and trains birds to spy. You cannot make this stuff up!

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Bukhari considers himself an expert in Mossad shoe fetish – he read all about in a book including how they allegedly target blind people. In his diatribe below, he warns fellow Muslims about the scourge of missing shoes and then proceeds to personally attack a variety of pro-Israel supporters, calling them “Uncle Toms”. But his true colours eventually reveal themselves when he defends his accusation bysaying “Zionists stole countries” “they steal the organs of children”. Even seasoned Muslim leaders come under attack because they apparently, are useless.

There you have it ladies and gentlemen, underneath the excuse of the missing shoe is the world’s oldest hatred wrapped up in jihadist marketing to radicalize a younger generation.

So Mr Bukhari, while it was the Mossad who stole your shoe (#Mossadstolemyshoe) I have to confess – it was this Zionist bloggest who stole your slippers!

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The LUNatics have taken over the asylum…

The earth sits on the shoulders of a giant, the moon is made out of green cheese and the IDF belong on a terrorist list. Say what???? Yup, you read it correctly. According to the Jewish Political Update, UN special representative of the secretary-general for children and armed conflict, Leila Zerrougui, is set to “recommend the blacklisting of the Israel Defense Forces for regularly causing harm to children. The designation would place the IDF in the same group as terror groups such as Islamic State, Boko Haram, and the Taliban.”

United Nations Secretary General, Ban Ki Moon is “leaning” towards leaving Israel off the list.

So let us get this straight – a legitimate army, defending the rights of a sovereign state to protect itself against attacks from some of those non-state actors (read terror organisations) that feature on this illustrious list are classed amongst them? You cannot make this stuff up!

The United Nations is absolutely besotted with Israel. Anti-Israel resolutions and finger pointing are the order of the day and one can say that their despicable witchUNt against the Jewish State constitutes institutionalized anti-Semitism.

Army service is compulsory for Israeli citizens from the age of 18. Will all who serve in active or reserve duty be classed as terrorists? Have you ever heard such nonsense in your life!!!!

The IDF follow a strict Code of Ethics. Included in this are laws that govern the use of weapons in a combat situation. This is known as the Purity of Arms (courtesy of IDF Code of Ethics):

 Purity of Arms – The IDF servicemen and women will use their weapons and force only for the purpose of their mission, only to the necessary extent and will maintain their humanity even during combat. IDF soldiers will not use their weapons and force to harm human beings who are not combatants or prisoners of war, and will do all in their power to avoid causing harm to their lives, bodies, dignity and property.

Our brave soldiers, unlike the enemy they face, do not hide behind their civilian population, using innocent men, women and children as human shields while firing their rockets and projectiles at Israel, placing both civilian populations in mortal danger. British colonel (ret) Richard Kemp, explains in detail below how the IDF do more than any army to minimize civilian casualties. All this while setting up field hospitals for the injured and sending in humanitarian aid to Gaza.

Israel in combat – Col (ret) Richard Kemp speaks at the BESA Institute.

The UN recently declared Israel as the “worst violator of health rights” in a 104-4 with six abstentions vote. It is almost laughable because while the defUNct UN passes ridiculous resolutions against Israel at the expense of the bewildered civilians in Syria who are caught in a civil war or Christians across the Middle East and Africa who are being slaughtered, those dastardly IDF medical personnel are treating and supplying humanitarian aid to beleaguered Syrians.

Israel helping in Syria

Israel is one of the smallest countries in the world but still manages to punch well above her weight when it comes to helping the nations of the world. Within hours of the horrendous earthquake in Nepal, Israel had dispatched a team to assess what was needed and a field hospital, the largest (and only) of its kind along with 260 troops and dogs from the Oketz canine unit and their handlers were on their way to help with rescue and recovery. Sadly, Israel lost Or Asraf z”l, who was backpacking in Langtang, Nepal as part of his post-service trip. Asraf had served in Operation Protective Edge and was injured and his brothers from his unit along with his father, flew to Nepal to bring him home. This is the spirit of brotherhood.

In the clip below, the IDF mission commander meets with the Nepalese Prime Minister:

Israel in Nepal

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In the last two weeks, Israel has sustained three rocket attacks against our citizens in the south. Last week the whole country participated in a nationwide drill and even though our army prepares us and we know what to expect, the sound of sirens is both traumatic and a stark reminder of the hostility of our neighbours. Let us examine the numbers – three times Israel has sustained rocket attacks in the last two weeks, approximately 300 000 citizens scrambled to shelters. The amount of comments from the UN and other international leaders condemning these attacks has amounted to……zero. As an Israeli citizens, I could not be more grateful for the IDF for not only keeping us safe but for ensuring that we know exactly what to do in times of attack.

As you can see in the above mentioned examples, the IDF are great candidates for being placed on a terror list (yes, I am dripping with sarcasm).  The United Nations should hang its head in absolute shame at its treatment of the state of Israel. Israel has never professed to be perfect but this is a new low and level of hypocrisy. The United Nations was established as the modern day guardians of human rights and they have failed dismally at their mission. Dictators and autocrats hold key decision making portfolios and blocs have been established to bully and ostracize countries like Israel.

The UN is in need of a serious overhaul. Or an exorcism to be rid of the evil that is given free reign. This is an organization that has just chosen Saudi Arabia to host the Human Rights Conference on Religious Freedom. It is quite clear that the lunatics have taken over the asylum.

BDS Gophers – stay in your hole! Podcast with the Disgruntled Millenial

Roro and The Disgruntled Millenial discuss BDS, antisemitism and the recent Global Forum on Combating Antisemitism that was held in Jerusalem….and everything in between!

Roro in “The Lion’s Den” with Daniel Seaman and Daniela Traub on Voice of Israel

the following interview (or rather rant-a-view) appears on the Voice of Israel:

http://www.voiceofisrael.com/tolerance-of-the-oldest-hatred/?auto=1

The accusation of “Apartheid” was leveled at Israel again this week.
This happened when Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon weighed limiting Palestinian travel on Israeli buses into Israel. VOI’s Daniel Seaman and Daniela Traub are joined in-studio by South African native and Israel advocate Rolene Marks, who spells out the fallacy of apartheid comparison, and why they diminish the uniqueness of the struggle in South Africa. She describes the states of South African Jewry today; how things have deteriorated since the passing of Nelson Mandela; why the BDS movement originated there; and why it is that while crediting themselves with being progressive, South Africans still tolerate anti-Semitism. She also offers advice to supporters of Israel on how to fight back in an atmosphere of absolute intimidation.

http://www.voiceofisrael.com/tolerance-of-the-oldest-hatred/?auto=1

Something’s rotten in the Rainbow Nation

This post appears in The Algemeiner:

http://www.algemeiner.com/2015/05/14/somethings-rotten-in-the-state-of-south-africa/#comments

South Africa is synonymous with surf and safari, biltong and the fragrant smell of summer braaivleis (bbq/al ha aish). It is also a country that has overcome a dark and racist history in the hopes of embracing a bright, democratic future where all citizens are equal under the law. Iconic anti-Apartheid activists like Nelson Mandela, Walter Sisulu, Oliver Tambo and others fought for the freedom of all South Africans and the country can boast of one having one of the most liberal and progressive constitutions in the world.

But lately the fragrance of the air has been permeated with the stench of something rotten.

Racism and xenophobia is on the rise in the rainbow nation. Once celebrated for embracing diversity, South Africa has taken immeasurable steps back and is on the fast track to ruining all that was accomplished.

Foreign nationals from other African countries who migrate to South Africa in the hope of finding opportunity, have had their shops and businesses looted, many have been killed and violently injured. The pictures are too painful for me to look at, let alone post to this blog. South Africans felt a horrible sense of déjà vu as the army rolled in to suburbs around Johannesburg and Durban to try and quell the xenophobic violence spiraling out of control.

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South Africa is fraught with internal issues at the moment. Rising unemployment coupled with failing infrastructure such as electricity supplies have made many angry, very angry. Abject poverty and a feeling that all the promises made by a corrupt government who have squandered tax payer’s money or fed their individual coffers have left many looking for a scapegoat.

Foreigners and Jews seem to be convenient targets.

A few weeks ago, Student Representative Council President, Mcebo Dlamini, a “scholar” (and I use this term lightly) at the University of the Witwatersrand (Wits) declared his love for Nazi genocide-loving leader, Adolf Hitler. Dlamini is responsible for such gems like, “What I love about Hitler is his charisma and his capabilities to organise people. We need more leaders of such calibre. I love Adolf Hitler,” Dlamini told Wits Vuvuzela. “I will write what I like on my Facebook” and was not on the social media platform to “nurse Jewish people’s feelings”. “Who told them they deserve special treatment? This is an academic space, we must debate issues not to silence individuals,” He also claimed that inside every white person, lives a Hitler. Dlamini repugnant statements are offensive on so many levels I have lost count!

Dlamini interviewed on eNCA News.

I am sure Dlamini would be less than admiring of Hitler’s organizational skills as he was herded into a labour or death camp for being an “untermensch” or person of undesirable/sub-human race – much like the 6 million Jews he slaughtered. While over 11 million lost their lives to the Nazi death juggernaut, no community was specifically targeted and marked for death like the Jews of Europe.

Dlamini was removed from his post as President of the Student Representative Council because he was found guilty of misconduct as a result of a disciplinary hearing and not for his Hitler loving statements. Those are still under investigation.

The Higher Education Transformation Network accused Wits Vice Chancellor, Adam Habib of giving in “to the demands of the Jewish funders and alumni interests”. Once again, a vicious stereotypical anti-Semitic canard has been trotted out in the name of free speech.

Last week a debate took place at Wits University on the removal of the fond-of-the-Fuhrer Dlamini. Students claimed that the “speedy” decision by Habib to remove Dlamini from his position was based on pressure from the Jewish community over comments the former SRC leader made on admiring Nazi leader Adolf Hitler, and not for a separate matter, as claimed by Habib.

“I am a critic of the Israeli state,” said Habib, who had arrived at a debate on the subject of Dlamini’s dismissal to a chorus of boos.

“I was the only VC to write about the incursion into Gaza,” he said, referring to last summer’s IDF ground invasion of the Gaza Strip during the 50-day war between Israel and Hamas. “How did we go from the critique of Israel … to talking about all Jews? It’s racist and anti-Semitic.”

Well Vice Chancellor Habib, now you know. It is rarely about Israel and more about Jews. The same booing students who take umbrage at Dlamini’s dismissal are the same that feel no compunction when their BDS supporting classmates chant “shoot the Jew” at concerts given by Israeli musicians on your very same campus or loot stores or pop a pigs head in what they think is the kosher section of Woolworths supermarket. The jig is up. It is blatant anti-Semitism which they cleverly dress up as anti-Zionism but they have blown their cover now.

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Visual courtesy of Spotlighting

Dlamini’s(yes, he who thinks that social media sites are academic forums)  moronic statements which are sadly supported by many equally mired in hatred, coupled with the growing anger and intolerance that is rife in South Africa is starting to stink up a storm. Something is rotten in the Rainbow Nation.

Sticks, Stones and Social Media…..

This post currently appears in the WIZO Lapid Magazine’s issue on Global Anti-Semitism:

http://fliphtml5.com/nati/tvko

“You have the intelligence of a garden potato”. “You are an evil Zionist witch”. “You should have been gassed”. “You are nothing but a vacuous bimbo who should be called Occupier Barbie”.

They sticks and stones may break my bones but words can never harm me. These are examples of messages tweeted to me on my personal Twitter account. In this case the words are becoming increasingly harmful and are leading to more than just sticks and stones – They are resulting in acts of violence and terror against Jews and supporters of Israel around the world.

Social media platforms are being used as forums for hate speech. In a few characters and a hashtag, some of the most venomous invective has found an outlet. It seems that anyone with a mobile device and access to a Twitter account or Facebook page can launch an uncensored and hate filled diatribe.

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Anti-Semitism is rising to alarming levels that we have not seen since prior to World War 2. Social media has added another dimension and battlefield and this just increases to dangerous levels when Israel is engaged in any kind of dispute or conflagration.

Last year, Israel launched Operation Protective Edge in response to incessant rocket attacks from Gaza. A new frontier opened up across the various social media sites and the level of venom was unprecedented. Social Media sites offer individuals an opportunity to opine without sanction and the immediacy of having a community to share this with as often as they want. It seemed that within minutes, groups and pages sprung up, calling for the destruction of Israel and the Jewish people. Some of these extended into personal threats and the race to shut down and report some of the culprits was almost as quick as they originated. This called for extra vigilance and many have complained that longstanding friendships were broken over differing opinions.

Social media sites are the preferred playground of the BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) movement who pass up no opportunity to campaign against the Jewish state. In a short amount of time,  they are able to mobilise their minions and have propagated a climate of hatred on campuses around the world. By creating pages that advertise opportunities to protest and campaign against students and supporters of Israel, the BDS movement has successfully manipulated Facebook and Twitter as well as YouTube to serve their more nefarious aims. One of their infamous claims to fame is a carefully edited video of famed anti-Apartheid activist, Nelson Mandela saying that “we will never be free until the Palestinians are free”. The second part of the interview where Mandela endorses an Israel that exists with secure borders has been edited out so that the Nobel Peace prize winner seems biased in favour of what BDS extols.

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Even journalists claimed to be shocked by levels of anti-Semitism, although this does not stop some using social media to give their opinions which in some cases have passed the realm of legitimate criticism.

Where does the line between the freedom of speech and hate speech blur? Criticism of Israel and her policies is totally okay – it is even regarded as the national sport of the country but when the line is crossed and the type of speech used starts to rile up anti-Israel or anti-Semitic feeling amongst the general public we are dealing with something that is no longer journalistic licence but an expression of personal prejudice.

Veteran CNN broadcaster, Jim Clancy, discovered that irresponsible tweeting could costs even the most seasoned journalist their job. While it is important that journalists are able to express their opinions, there needs to be respect for journalistic integrity to report based on fact and not on personal prejudice. After a career that spanned several decades at CNN, Clancy has been summarily dismissed for a tweet that angered not just the pro-Israel activists but the disabled community as well.

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A similar incident occurred when the BBC’s Jeremy Bowen, angered Jews around the world when he accused Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, of “playing the Holocaust card”  when he saluted Nobel Peace prize winner and survivor, Elie Wiesel during his speech to US Congress recently.  Bowen responded with a tweet where he claimed that “suggestions that I am an anti-Semite or denierof the Holocaust are untrue and offensive”. He did not apologise. The BBC offered a lukewarm apology by saying, “Jeremy was using Twitter and journalism shorthand whilst live-tweeting PM Netanyahu’s speech. The context of his comment is that a major part of PM Netanyahu’s critique of the proposed Iran deal was based on the spectre of another holocaust. Jeremy’s tweet was designed to reflect that context. He absolutely refutes any suggestion of antisemitism.” Still no apology for any offense caused.

It is not just Israel bashers that are using social media to their advantage. The Islamic State, which have fast become the world’s most frightening terror phenomenon also understand how important a role social media can play. They have turned YouTube into their own network of nasty, using the platform to upload their execution videos and messages of mayhem to the world.  These movies are extremely well- choreographed and scripted and for many, serve more as recruitment videos than horror films.  This death pornography is radicalizing more youth than the most vociferous Imam.

It is clear that “new media” has eclipsed traditional methods and if we do not get some sort of control on content we will find ourselves at the mercy of the radicals.

There is something that we can do! As media consumers we can play an important role in stopping flagrant abuse of social media.

Here is what you can do to help:

* Monitoring social media sites – report and block groups and individuals that violate social media codes of conduct or are just downright racists and offensive.

  • Reporting posts, articles, tweets to media watch dogs – try honestreporting.com or BBC Media Watch, CiF Watch and many others.
  • Start your own media response group – a group of knowledgeable, skilled, likeminded individuals who can respond factually and cohesively will give your community an opportunity to fight off growing ant-Semitism. Visit: mediateamisrael.wordpress.com or www.truthbetoldgroup.wordpress.com to see examples of citizen activism.

Social Media is playing a powerful role in disseminating hate – but it can also play its part to share facts! Get on your tablet, iPad, phone or computer and get tweeting, sharing and posting today.  It is time to become a pro-Activist.

These Holy days

During this time of the year, Israel is festooned with flags. They line our streets and decorate our buildings. They bring with them a festive and happy energy, signaling a time of celebration and a time of commemoration. There is a pervasive feeling of joy and pride at the site of our cities clothed in their best blue and white.

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Image courtesy of Rafo

This year the national holidays, Yom Ha Shoa (Holocaust Memorial Day), Yom Ha Zikaron (Memorial Day for Soldiers and Victims of Terror) and Yom Ha’Atzmaut (Independence Day) will be felt more intensely, more acutely.

This past year has been one of the most difficult for Israel in recent history and has had a ripple effect, affecting diaspora communities across the globe. It seems that if Israel sneezes our diaspora communities catch a cold but in this case they also fall victim to the wrath and sometimes violent retribution of the anti-Israel activists.

Seventy years ago, as the death camps were liberated and the truth of the horrors of the Holocaust began to emerge, we swore a vow that NEVER AGAIN would we allow for the slaughter and persecution of the Jewish people. This Yom Hashoa, seventy years later, I cannot help but feel that we have failed our vow.  We have failed in our promise to the victims and survivors that we would create a better, more tolerant and peaceful world for their children.

The Holocaust was started with words and over the last year we have seen an increase in the venom and vitriol around the world that has resulted in numerous deaths. Once again Jews are dying on European soil and once again we are bringing our brothers and sisters home for burial. The lessons of the Shoah have not been learned and now more than ever it is important to learn, to teach and to truly mean it when we say NEVER AGAIN.  We cannot allow for heartbroken survivors to feel the fear and déjà vu that their grandchildren will experience the hatred they did. NEVER AGAIN means NEVER, EVER AGAIN!

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Visual courtesy of Spotlighting

June 2014 started with rock star visits and start-up acquisitions.  This all ended abruptly with the kidnapping of Eyal Yifrah z”l, Gilad Shaer z”l and Naphtali Frankel z”l and the news that they had been brutally murdered. For eighteen days, a nation prayed and hoped and news of their deaths plunged us into mourning. Oh, Eyal, Gilad and Naphtali how we still weep for you! This was coupled with incessant rocket attacks from Gaza which prompted Israel to launch Operation Protective Edge in response.

I have been dreading this Yom Hazikaron. The pain of what we have lost over the past years is too much to bear and there is no end to the tears. Tears for the victims of terror in Israel, Belgium and France. Tears for our most precious 67 brave warriors, who paid the ultimate price for our safety and freedom. Tears for the bereaved families, the parents who have lost their sons, cut down in their prime in defense of their country. Tears for the babies who will never meet their fathers. Tears for the lovers who will never hold each other again. Tears, endless tears.

There will never be enough words to express our gratitude for their service to all of us. May their memories forever be blessed.

In a year that has witnessed brutal kidnappings and terror attacks, a conflagration with our neighbours an election and a tension in our relationship with our greatest ally, Israel has stood tall. We have endured the unimaginable and we have witnessed the best of humanity. The brave mothers who carried a grieving nation on their shoulders. The ordinary citizens who cooked, donated, opened up homes, schlepped and sprung into action to help our soldiers and each other.  The citizens who comforted bereaved families and visited injured warriors and those who lined the streets to pay respects to our fallen at their funerals. These are everyday heroes and they make up the fabric of Israel. They are worth celebrating and this year, Yom Ha’atzmaut is in their honour.

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“…And so they stand, the light on their faces, and the Lord,

alone passes among them, with tears in His eyes He kisses 

their wounds, and He says in a trembling voice to the white

 angels: “These are my sons, these are my sons. 

The Parade of The Fallen / Hayim Hefe

A few weeks ago, the IDF home Front Command conducted a drill in Modiin. We knew it would happen and we expected the siren. What some of us did not expect were our reactions to the noise. I am not embarrassed to say I froze – could not breath and had tears in my eyes.  My friends had similar reactions – we forget the impact of PTSD on our lives.  For many in the South, theirs is a generation that doesn’t know of a life without sirens and shelters. They are the shelter generation. This Yom Ha’atzmaut we honour the courage of our citizens who live under threat and yet continue to build and contribute as their expression of Zionism.

Chag Ha’atzmaut Sameach our dear Israel! Nobody deserves a big party with all the fireworks and celebration as much as you do. These days have no religious significance but the love, unity and solidarity they inspire is holy.Fly your flag high! Am Yisrael chai!

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