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Wednesday, March 30, 2011

BIG Day: Buy Israel Goods

By now, most everyone knows that today, March 30th is Buy Israeli PGoods Day, also known as Buycott. What has been lost in the flurry of emails promoting the purchase of Israeli goods, is the important history that the Arab League, the union with whom the Obama Administration allied in deciding to launch a military campaign in Libya, formally originated the boycott in 1945 to isolate and economically strangle Israel. It should also be noted that the Secretary General of that same Arab League Amr Moussa, a strident critic of Israel, is considered a frontrunner to succeed deposed Egyptian leader Hosni Mubarak. Moussa appeared -- along with US Senator Carl Levin and others -- at the groundbreaking of the Arab-American Museum in Dearborn. Moussa, in arecent interview with der Spiegel, declared that Israel

"has to withdraw from the occupied territories. And as a very first step, the blockade of the Gaza Strip....has to be lifted, immediately and in full."

Many Jewish organizations, led locally by StandWithUs-Michigan, are uniting to spread the word to patronize stores and websites that carry Israeli products in response to boycott initiatives by those seeking to delegitimize Israel. Check out the main Buycott website to learn more about Israeli brands and products to purchase. In the metro Detroit area, StandWithUs-Michigan's list of stores carrying Israeli-made products include:

Levin’s Beauty Supply, Ace Hardware, as well as food and wine stores, including, Babylon Ethnic Foods,Busch's Fresh Food Market, Costco, Cronin’s Party Store,Farm Fresh Market, Heartland Marketplace, Hiller’s Markets,Kroger Markets, Plum Market, Johnny Pomodoro’s Market,Meijer’s, Mediterranean Market, Warren Drugs, Trader Joe’sand Whole Foods. This is in addition to national chains like the Gap, Walmart, Walgreens,Sephora, TJ Maxx, Macy’s, Bon Marche, Nordstrom, Lord &Taylor, Saks Fifth Avenue, Brooks Brothers, JC Penney,Marshall’s, Lowe’s, Home Depot, Sears, Target and Victoria’s Secret.

As documented in the acclaimed book, the “Start Up Nation” Israel is a miracle of entrepeneurial genius and has evolved into a global leader in virtually every sector. Buying Israeli products is a way to support the Israeli economy, lend international support and encourage American businesses that it is good economics for them to carry Israeli goods. When purchasing the product, please be sure to thank the owners, management and sales personnel and let them know you are pleased that they are carrying Israeli products.

Whether you purchase Israeli wines, gourmet foods or cutting edge fashion apparel, you are making not only a purchase but an important symbolic statement in blunting the well funded organizations seeking to delegitimize and destroy Israel. Your actions count! Last year, despite an effort by the BDS movement to target Trader Joe's, the national specialty foods chain, girded by patrons who support Israel and Trader Joes, refused to buckle. In our own community, Hiller's Markets stood firm against a campaign to boycott it and proudly and steadfastly carries Israeli products. This year, the target of the BDS movement is the H&M retail fashion chain.

Talking Tachlis urges you to Shop Israeli Products til you Drop! When young Israeli men and women willingly sacrifice to defend the Jewish State, knowing it may cost them their lives, the least we can do is buy Israeli products when the relative cost to us is nothing. We must stand by Israel when so many malignant, well-funded international sources are working in overdrive to destroy the Jewish homeland.

--MT Beadle

Monday, March 14, 2011

This Is No Fairy Tale

Oh no, the big bad wolf is coming to blow our house down. Run Little Red Riding Hood...RUN!!!!

Just like in these childhood fairy tales meant to scare children it seems that a recent post on Talking Tachlis Bad Doin's at the International Academy is having the very same effect on some of the parents at the International Academy (IA) an International Baccalaureate PUBLIC high school consortium of several Oakland County school districts that is overseen by the Bloomfield Hills School District.

Talking Tachlis has been sent an email and asked by "a parent of a Jewish student" at the IA who did not identify themselves to take down our post in an effort to "respect our children's safety."

Also, the same parent was "especially concerned about having the names of minors that are in the letter" exposed. That would refer to the names of the two Muslim Student Association members who signed the letter along with the IA history teacher Marc de Zwann.

As those of us who regularly use the Internet and email know, once you send something via electronic communication, it is as good as public. But beyond that, the letter that was posted in the Talking Tachlis blog had already been sent out to parents via the Bloomfield Public Schools ListServe. The minute that "send" button was hit, that letter became part of the public domain and could have been (and was) forwarded to others. Additionally, the communication could be FOIA'd (how you request public information from public entities like government and school districts) by anyone at any time, and the district by law, would have been required to release it. Perhaps the concern about the names of minors should have been considered by the teacher long before Talking Tachlis received a copy of the letter.

Then there is the matter of the IA Blog, hosted by the very service, Blogspot, that Talking Tachlis uses. The IA Blog, named The Arab-Israeli Conflict, which promotes the sale of the book and requests donations to the Bloomfield Hills School District and through them the MSA, was posted by one of the students at the IA, Faisal Chaudhry, the same name that was listed on the letter. Not only did Chaudhry post to the IA blog but...it is a singular post...there are no others. Additionally, there is much concern about the graphics that surround the post - drawings of prostrated men, without shoes. Does this depict Muslim men praying, or does it depict men who have been killed? Why would this student group use this graphic at the same time they are asking the community for donations for books? This is troublesome at best. Also, it appears that "they" are onto "us" having scrubbed the IA Blog of the following statement that was there just a few days ago:

"Any money you donate will go to the Muslim Youth of Greater Detroit, a non-profit (501(c)(3)) affiliated with IA's Muslim Student Association. 100% of the donated money will go directly from this group to IA's History Department for the purchase of "Footnotes in Gaza".

It has been replaced with the following statement:
100% of the donated money will go to IA's History Department for the purchase of "Footnotes in Gaza". If you would like do donate directly to the IA, please write a check to "Bloomfield Hills Schools" and give it to Mr deZwaan as soon as possible.

Talking Tachlis has learned an important lesson now that the IA student who originally posted to the IA Blog site has since 'scrubbed' that verbiage. Always make a screen shot of pertinent information that you have quoted, since sites can be changed.

But this is not surprising when you peruse the site of the Muslim Youth of Greater Detroit. A strictly religious organization, of which the poster - Chaudhry - is an active member. Donations that were going to made to the MYGD through the sale of the books would be another clear violation of Federal law and the endorsement of a specific religion by the public school. That is damning evidence and clearly needed to be deleted to protect the guilty.

It is clear that the MSA is a "religious organization" as stated in the Public School Review under "extracurricular activities at the IA" along with the Christian Student Initiative. According to the ADL website: School personnel, including teachers, may not initiate, sponsor, promote, lead or participate in religious club meetings. However, school personnel may be required to monitor club meetings. 20 USCA §4071. Mr. Marc DeZwaan is listed as the groups "advisor" on the IA website and the IA Blog and appears to be much more than just a staff member to "monitor club meetings", which appears again to be a violation of this federal code.

Additionally, there is no information available on who vetted the publication in question. Was it de Zwaan? And if it was de Zwaan, and he is also the MSA advisor then where is the wall of separation?

Based on many the above facts, Talking Tachlis finds the email from the IA parent to be disingenuous. If they are concerned with the identities of the students, they should take it up with the administration as they are the ones who have "leaked" these names obviously without any regard for these students’ safety.

But, why this parent's focus on safety of our students at what is considered one of the country's premiere high schools? Are they running from a perceived threat like the "big bad wolf" - or in this case the Muslim Student Association? Have threats been made? Certainly, the verbiage used would lead one to think that is a possibility. If students are in danger, and one can only assume from the email received that the danger is to the Jewish students, not from the Jewish students, then there are more serious problems at the IA than just this one class and the terribly one-sided book the MSA is trying to push into the IA curriculum.

Now, Talking Tachlis is not heartless, after all, we understand the concerns of parents. However, to request that we remove a post that is of such great import to the Metro Detroit Jewish community, and to the community at large...questioning and now exposing the true purpose of the MSA at the IA …well, we are not going to do that. Rather, we are going to expand on what we have learned since the last post.

According to the ADL...federal law and the courts have protected student religious clubs under "The Equal Access Act" which reads:

General Rule: The Equal Access Act (" EAA") (20 U. S. C. §§ 4071-74) requires public schools which meet certain criteria to treat all student-initiated groups equally, regardless of the religious, political, philosophical or other orientation of the groups. This means that to the extent that a school board opens up its school facilities to any student-led and run non-curriculum related group, (emphasis added) it must uniformly open its facilities to all student-led and run groups, including religious ones. The EAA was adopted by Congress in 1984, and its constitutionality was upheld by the U. S. Supreme Court in Board of Education of Westside Community Schools v. Mergens, 496 U. S. 226 (1990).

The ADL site also states: "What are some concerns that arise when a club meets pursuant to the EAA? The meeting of religious clubs in school facilities pursuant to their rights under the EAA may create an appearance of school endorsement of religion in violation of the Establishment Clause. School officials must protect against such impressions and may do so by issuing disclaimers clearly stating that the school is not sponsoring, endorsing or promoting any non-curriculum related student groups. Talking Tachlis has serious concerns that a "religious student group" is exercising control over the curriculum of a class at a PUBLIC high school supported by tax dollars from all of us with the endorsement of the school district.

At the very heart of the situation is the wording: "non-curriculum related student group." This separates those groups who have a clear connection to the school’s curriculum, like the Spanish or French Clubs with a different standard than groups that have no connection. And those words are there for a very important reason when they relate to religious groups like the MSA as it falls under the doctrine of "separation of church and state." The MSA, a religious group is trying to direct curriculum through the raising of "donations" and the forced inclusion of the book "Footnotes in Gaza" into the curriculum of a history class at the IA.

If there is any question as to whether the MSA is a religious organization here is a brief history of the MSA that clearly spells out why they exist. The MSA was an offshoot of the Muslim Brotherhood. To learn more about the Muslim Brotherhood in America and their goal to establish a global caliphate and the institution of sharia law read this earlier Talking Tachlis post. It is important to always remember that it was the Muslim Brotherhood that funded the creation of the MSA and the MSA supports the goals of the Muslim Brotherhood.

Today, MSA's are found on most college campuses and are not without their controversy. Most recently the Muslim Student Union which is affiliated with the National MSA, was suspended from the University of California Irvine for their organization's plan (and action) to disrupt the comments of Michael Oren, the Israeli Ambassador at a school sponsored event. This is only one of many questionable actions of these groups.

Now, the MSA's have descended on our high schools, and we must not let them determine the course the curriculums our schools take. It is incumbent upon our Jewish community, and the community as a whole to make certain that a religious student organization does not direct curriculum at ANY public school, period.

It appears that the administration in BHS was asleep at the wheel on this one. But that is what the MSA, and most Islamic organizations count on...that we aren't watching or paying attention – and so far they have a pretty clear road. Our community gives them every opportunity to direct the conversation in their direction. Exactly why they scrubbed the IA Blog mentioned earlier...they got caught with their real purpose.

Do not be fooled, the MSA, and their affiliated organizations like the Muslim Brotherhood and ISNA have one motive, and that motive IS the global caliphate and the institution of sharia law here in America...and a few other not so great goals like the destruction of Israel, but that is for another post.

While the BHS may not be watching, groups like Talking Tachlis are.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Bad Doin's at the International Academy

I was forwarded the following email. Read it. It's disturbing.

From: IA Parents Information Email List
To: "ia-parents@listserv.bloomfield.org"
Sent: Mon, February 28, 2011 9:42:19 AM
Subject: [IA-Parents] supplemental history text donation effort

Dear IA Family, (International Academy, book for 12th grade in fall)
Thanks to many of you, we've passed the halfway point!!!
In order to raise the remaining 45% of the money we need, please consider the below request:
The IA History Department and the Muslim Student Association are raising funds for a supplementary text for use in IB2 History. The text, Footnotes in Gaza by Joe Sacco, is a graphic non-fiction book intended to illustrate both sides of the Arab-Israeli conflict.
Thanks to your generous support, we were previously able to obtain 35 copies of Footnotes through DonorsChoose.org. Now we would like to purchase an additional 65 copies in order to enable students to take the books home for further exploration. We need to raise about $600 more to reach our goal.
To donate online through Google Checkout and for more information on the book, please visit:
To donate directly to the History Department, feel free to make out a check to Bloomfield Hills Schools and give it to Mrs. Arola in the office. Please write Footnotes in Gaza on the Memo line. 100% of all money collected, online or otherwise, will go towards buying copies of Footnotes in Gaza.
We have no doubt that the IA community will be able to meet this challenge and raise enough money for this supplementary text! Please join us in helping our students become even more open-minded and critically-thinking “international” students.
Thank you for your support!
Marc de Zwaan, IA History Teacher
Faisal Chaudhry, IA Senior
Yunus Shabandri, IA Senior

If you have any questions, please let us know!
I read part of Joe Sacco's first Israel-bashing comic series (since collected into one volume), "Palestine." I stopped buying when I couldn't stand paying for obvious anti-Israel bias.

Footnotes in Gaza is one I haven't read, but I did watch him speak on this book. He promotes as fact massacres by Israeli soldiers in Gaza in 1955 alleged by Palestinians and their handlers. One would assume that with all of the fine-toothed coverage Israel has received since its founding, if these massacres happened, it would have been much easier to uncover the facts. Sacco, instead, as he did with Palestine, relies on people who claim to be witnesses. The claim that Sacco illustrates both sides of the conflict is difficult to believe based on his talk and his previous book. In typical current fashion, he isn't interested in the Israeli side.

You may wish to take the contact information above and use it to let the administrators and history teachers at IA know that Israel-hating diatribes are not actual history. Oh yeah, and members of the Muslim Student Association, an organization linked to Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood should not be directing the curriculum on the Israeli-Arab conflict. You might also want to ask exactly where Sacco presents the Israeli side in his book.

Here is the website for donations. Notice that,
Any money you donate will go to the Muslim Youth of Greater Detroit, a non-profit (501(c)(3)) affiliated with IA's Muslim Student Association. 100% of the donated money will go directly from this group to IA's History Department for the purchase of "Footnotes in Gaza".
If you have trouble recalling the face of the MSA, here is a reminder from David Horowitz and an MSA representative.

by Cowznofski