Tuesday, 30 September 2008
"Seventy years ago in Munich – on Sept. 30, 1938 – the British prime minister, Neville Chamberlain, signed a document that allowed Nazi Germany to seize control of the Sudetenland, a large chunk of western Czechoslovakia heavily populated by ethnic Germans. (...)
What exactly has the world learned from Munich 1938, and is it the correct lesson?
If anything, West Europeans after World War II drew conclusions that were closer to Chamberlain’s thinking in 1938 than Churchill’s. After two catastrophic wars, Europeans decided to build institutions that would make military conflict redundant. Henceforth, diplomacy, compromise and shared sovereignty would be the norm, and romantic nationalism based on military prowess would be a thing of the past.
Out of the ashes of war a new kind of Europe arose, as did a new kind of Japan (which even had a pacifist constitution, written by idealistic Americans but gratefully accepted by most Japanese). Nationalism (except in soccer stadiums) made way for smug self-satisfaction, for having found a more civilized, more diplomatic, more pacific solution to human conflict.
Of course, the peace was only kept because it was guaranteed by a nation – the United States – that still stuck to pre-World War II notions of national and international security. But Europeans, or many of them in any case, conveniently ignored that.
Too much dependence has also had an infantilizing effect. Like permanent adolescents, Europeans and Japanese crave the security of the great American father, and deeply resent him at the same time.
All this is making the Western alliance look incoherent and, despite its vast wealth coupled with American military power, strangely impotent. It is time for European democracies to make up their minds. They can remain dependent on the protection of the U.S. and stop complaining, or they can develop the capacity to defend Europe, however they wish to define it, themselves. The first option may not be feasible for very much longer in the twilight days of Pax Americana. And the second will be expensive and risky. Given the many divisions inside the EU, Europeans will probably just muddle on until a serious crisis forces them to act, by which time it could well be too late."
Ian Buruma is a contributing editor to Opinion and a professor of human rights at Bard College.
Monday, 29 September 2008
Sunday, 28 September 2008
Source: Ynet News
'Why did he embrace Ahmadinejad?'
"Israel's new United Nations Ambassador, Professor Gabriella Shalev, is fuming. In a talk with Ynet, Shalev blasted UN General Assembly President Miguel d'Escoto Brockmann, who hugged Iranian President Ahmadinejad following his anti-Semitic speech. Brockmann himself delivered an anti-American speech and also harshly criticized Israel.
"To my deep regret, in my first session representing Israel I was forced to hear d'Escoto and I found it hard to believe what I was hearing," she said. "In his speech, d'Escoto declared war on the United States and World Bank, and also dedicated a whole paragraph to Israel, saying that the UN's great failure is the fact that a Palestinian State was not established in 1947, as part of the partition plan."
"The man is known for his dislike for Israel, to put it mildly, and those who heard the speech could think that Israel is the most important country in the world, as if there are no other problems or hotbeds of terrorism in the world," Shalev said.
Israel's ambassador is also upset at d'Escoto's warm embrace of President Ahmadinejad.
"I heard that the Iranian president's address was followed by loud applause, and that d'Escoto warmly embraced him," she said. "He was also expected to join a dinner with Arab leaders to mark the end of Ramadan, with Ahmadinejad also in attendance.""
According to his biography on Wikipedia, Brockmann is a Catholic priest and used to be an official with the World Council of Churches. What a surprise!
World Council of Churches leader: the Israel/South Africa apartheid analogy again
Friday, 26 September 2008
World Council of Churches, Ecumenical News International, Africa Files
World Council of Churches leader urges 'struggle' against Middle East 'apartheid'
"The general secretary of the World Council of Churches, the Rev. Samuel Kobia, has compared the current Middle East conflict to "another apartheid situation" and has called on churches to work for a "just peace" in the region. (...)
The 10-14 September conference, entitled "Promised Land", involves about 65 theologians and church leaders from all over the world. "The churches have a role to play in demystifying and exposing the manipulation of religion in this situation, while working for the respect and legitimate place of all religions in the region," Kobia told the gathering.
He compared the Bern meeting to conferences organized by the WCC as part of its Programme to Combat Racism, which campaigned against minority white rule in southern Africa.
"Not since the time of the struggle against South African apartheid in the 1970s and 80s has the WCC had such an overwhelmingly positive response to the invitation to come to a 'conference'," he said. "My hope is that this signifies our renewed energy in participating in the struggle against another apartheid situation," Kobia added. The Bern event is part of the WCC's Palestine Israel Ecumenical Forum initiative, which was launched in 2007 at a meeting in the Jordanian capital, Amman. The Amman conference, Kobia told the Bern event, "played a key role in reminding us of the significance of the Christian presence in the region; the presence of an indigenous Christian church whose very viability is threatened by the effects of the occupation."
Source: NGO Monitor
World Council of Churches (December 24, 2007)
-According to its website, The World Council of Churches (WCC) "brings together 347 churches, denominations and church fellowships in more than 110 countries and territories throughout the world, representing over 560 million Christians".
-major supporter and leader of the anti-Israel boycott and divestment campaign.
-active in efforts to demonize Israel at the UN.
-funds the Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme in Palestine and Israel (EAPPI), which uses demonizing terms such as "apartheid" and "war crimes," and promotes boycotts and divestment.
-WCC hosted the 2006 "global advocacy week concerning the situation in Palestine and Israel", which was endorsed by a number of NGOs including Caritas Jerusalem and EAPPI, and included "solidarity visits with Christian Peacemaker Teams in Hebron," a "settlement tour with ICAHD" and an opportunity to "witnes[s] the destruction in Jenin Refugee Camp".
"Tuesday, September 23, 2008 will go down in history as the day the United Nations General Assembly provided a platform for a head of state to spew unadulterated, vile antisemitism - and the assembled nations of the world clapped.
The United Nations has become the largest global purveyor of antisemitism in the world today. In the full knowledge that the president of Iran denies the Holocaust and advocates the destruction of the U.N. member state of Israel, the U.N. invited him to mount the dais and gave him a megaphone [full speech here].
Dictators have pontificated at the General Assembly before. Terrorists like Yasser Arafat have come and gone. But in the halls of an organization founded on the ashes of the victims of the Holocaust, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's effort to promote another Holocaust from center stage stands alone.
While the United States and Israel left their ambassadorial seats empty, here is the Jew-hatred greeted by enthusiasm at today's U.N.:
"The dignity, integrity and rights of the European and American people are being played with by a small but deceitful number of people called Zionists. Although they are miniscule minority, they have been dominating an important portion of the financial and monetary centers as well as the political decision-making centers of some European countries and the U.S. in a deceitful, complex and furtive manner. It is deeply disastrous to witness that some presidential or premiere nominees in some big countries have to visit these people, take part in their gatherings, swear their allegiance and commitment to their interests in order to attain financial or media support(...)
This means that the great people of America and various nations of Europe need to obey the demands and wishes of a small number of acquisitive and invasive people. These nations are spending their dignity and resources on the crimes and occupations and the threats of the Zionist network against they will (...)
Today, the Zionist regime is on a definite slope to collapse, and there is no way for it to get out of the cesspool created by itself and its supporters."
Antisemitism often masquerades as anti-Zionism - a denial of the right to self-determination only for Jews. At least Mahmoud Ahmadinejad did us the service of making the undeniable connection between the two. Disputing the legitimacy of the state of Israel, he said:
"In Palestine, 60 years of carnage and invasion is still ongoing at the hands of some criminal and occupying Zionists. They have forged a regime through collecting people from various parts of the world and bringing them to other people's land by displacing, detaining and killing the true owners of that land... The Security Council cannot do anything and sometimes, under pressure from few bullying powers, even paves the way for supporting these Zionist murderers (...)"
In its entire history, the United Nations General Assembly has never adopted a resolution dedicated to denouncing and combating the scourge of antisemitism in all its forms. Now we know why. Less than half of U.N. members are fully free democracies and among them there is no consensus that discrimination and demonization of Jews and the Jewish state is wrong.
On the contrary, at the U.N. vicious antisemitism is met by a round of applause."
Juan Cole on distinguishing between anti-Zionism and antisemitism, Harry's Place
Thursday, 25 September 2008
Wednesday, 24 September 2008
Percentage of respondents expressing an unfavourable view of Jews :
British :...................9% (incl. 3% of very unfavourable)
French :.................20% (incl. 6% of very unfavourable)
Germans :..............25% (incl. 4% of very unfavourable)
Polish :.................36% (incl. 11% of very unfavourable)
Russians :.............34% (incl. 12% of very unfavourable)
Spanish :..............46% (incl. 18% of very unfavourable)
Monday, 22 September 2008
In an 'urgent message' to members of ICAHD-USA, the organization's director Jeff Halper announced 'We have just heard that our request for re-funding has been rejected… So we now face a real crisis'. The message went on to plead with supporters for extra funds.
For several years, despite its extreme anti-Israel agenda, ICAHD has been a recipient of major EU funding under the Partnerships for Peace framework. The EU has consistently stated that these grants are directed towards specific projects and are not intended as general funds for the organization. However, as NGO Monitor demonstrated in, "Europe's Hidden Hand" an EU grant of 473,000 Euros in 2005 constituted the majority of ICAHD's annual budget.
Sunday, 21 September 2008
Readers will recall that José Saramago is the 86-year old Portuguese novelist who won the Nobel Prize in literature in 1998 and who, at least on two occasions - during a visit to Ramallah and in an article in the Spanish newspaper El Pais, made remarks inciting hatred of Israel and Judaism.
Six years later, antisemitism is on the rise in Europe (notably in Spain where Saramago lives: a staggering 46% have an unfavourable opinion of Jews (including 18% of very unfavourable opinions)) where such comments have gained legitimacy in some quarters and are still being made by "educated people".
Paul Berman's devastating critique in Forward (May 2002 issue) is more pertinent than ever:
- Writers on the Borders, film review by Ricki Hollander and Steven Stotsky, Camera
- De las piedras de David a los tanques de Goliat, José Saramago, El Pais
Saturday, 20 September 2008
According to de Kerckhove, the reluctance of several to take a step against Hezbollah lies in the fact that it is represented in the government of Lebanon. "It plays a role on the Lebanese political scene and several countries think that this could bring them closer to the democratic process," he added.
German Liberal MEP Alexander Alvaro, one of the co-sponsors of the call to blacklist Hezbollah, said that "900 Hezbollah sleepers are stationed within Germany."
Friday, 19 September 2008
"The head of the French state-owned television has accepted a demand from a Jewish community leader to set up an independent working group of experts to examine a controversial tv broadcast about the death of a Palestinian boy in 2000.
The agreement came after a meeting between Patrick de Carolis, president of France Télevisions, and Richard Prasquier, head of CRIF, the umbrella group of French Jewish organizations.
Earlier this year, Prasquier had called for the creation of an independent multidisciplinary commission of inquiry "to establish the reality of the facts" in the so-called Mohammed Al Dura tv broadcast.
On 30 September 2000, a broadcast by France 2 television station showed the killing of the 12-year-old Mohammed Al-Dura in the arms of his father during an exchange of gunfire between Israeli soldiers and Palestinian gunmen at the Netzarim junction, in the Gaza Strip.
The report by France 2’s longtime Jerusalem correspondent Charles Enderlin, which was based on footage taken by the station’s Palestinian cameraman in Gaza, accused Israeli troops of killing the boy as he and his father took cover.
The France 2 images shocked the world, made al-Dura an icon in the Arab world and provoked widespread Palestinian and Arab anger against Israel.
But the head of French media watchdog "Media-Ratings", Philippe Karsenty, later questioned the veracity of the tv report and accused Enderlin, who was not on location during the fighting, of having manipulated the footage that showed Al-Dura’s dead. He said the killing of the boy was staged.
An Israeli army investigation had concluded that it was not responsible for Al-Dura’s death.
France 2, which stands behind its correspondent and the Palestinian cameraman who made the report, had sued Karsenty for libel."
Read the full article here
So What? SO WHAT?! @ Solomonia
Thursday, 18 September 2008
A reminder of Hamas' avowed goals (statements made in 2006 and 2007)
Osama Hamdan, the Hamas representative in Lebanon, said, "We [the Hamas] are preparing for a conflict, not just as preparation for Israeli aggression - as that entity is based on aggression - but rather because the final goal of the resistance is to wipe that entity off the face of the earth. This goal requires the development of the abilities of the resistance, until that entity is eliminated." (Al Kawthar Iranian TV station, 6 August 2007).
The Armed Struggle, Including Terrorism
On the day commemorating the Naqba [the "catastrophe", the term used by Arabs to refer to Israel's achieving statehood], Hamas prime minister Ismail Haniyeh gave a speech in which he stressed, "We are concentrating on politics but have not abandoned our arms" (al-Hayat al-Jadeeda, 15 May 2007).
In a speech given at one of the Gaza mosques on 21 May, Haniyeh called on the Palestinians to adhere to the option of "resistance" to the "occupation", giving his opinion that resistance is the best way to be saved from the occupation. He promised to continue the resistance until shahada [martyrdom, death for the sake of Allah] or victory (Hamas website, 21 May 2007).
In an interview to a Hamas-affiliated weekly, Haniyeh said: "Hamas has been true to its principles and true to the resistance and there is no change in its permanent strategic positions [i.e., non-recognition of Israel 's right to exist]… The basic guidelines of the unity government do not contradict the principles of the Palestinian people and the resistance was even the main element in the basic guidelines, as evidenced by the fact that the Americans, Israel and many European states believe that the government did not fulfill the international demands and that its basic guidelines do not meet the Quartet's conditions" (a-Rasalla, 19 April 2007).
In another interview, Haniyeh claimed, "Israel attacks all our legitimate rights. Therefore our government affirms that all resistance to occupation by all methods is the legitimate right of the Palestinian people" (Novsimaya gazeta, 19 March 2007).
"Resistance is the only way for Palestine 's liberation and that is the serious and non-tactical option of all Palestinians" (IRNA, 10 December 2006).
Haniyeh praised the female terrorist Fatma al Najjar aged 57 [who blew herself up near Israeli forces in Jabaliyah on 23 November 2006]: "She wore the uniform of Jihad, read her last will, took her weapons and went to fight the enemy" (Aljazeera TV, 6 December 2006).
Haniyeh: "There will be no dialogue or negotiations with the Occupation, but rather resistance and steadfastness" (Aljazeera TV, 6 December 2006).
Khalid Mash'al, Head of the Hamas Politbureau, said, at a rally marking the third anniversary of the death of Sheikh Yaseen, "The Hamas movement has sacrificed Yihya Ayyash, Jamal Mansur, Salah Shehadah and others. Hamas has sacrificed all these but will not retreat from its course, whatever the doubts that others may express. We shall never give up an inch of the fatherland nor any of our rights nor any part of our land... We shall go the way of resistance, which is not a straight line but means blows, clashes, one round after another, attacks and withdrawals. The course is to Palestine, to cleanse Jerusalem and Al-Aqsa. This is our way against the occupation. Hamas was and always will be strong in Jihad [holy war] and Istish-had [suicide bombings]" (Aljazeera TV, 6 April 2007).
Read the rest here
Washington, D.C., September 11, 2008
Integrity. Principle. Vision.
Statesmanship. Determination. Optimism.
Erudition. Wisdom. Wit.
Decency. Humility. Empathy.
These are the first words that come to mind when thinking of my friend, the late and beloved Bronislaw Geremek.
As a son of Holocaust survivors, I’ve always admired greatly those who not only somehow managed to survive the Shoah, but also managed, perhaps against all the odds, to find faith in humankind after the darkness that descended.
Professor Geremek was one such survivor. He emerged from the inferno, summoned the strength to put one foot in front of the other, and relearned the meaning of a more hopeful future.
As a child of the Cold War, I’ve always admired those who, at incalculable risk to themselves, challenged their oppressors behind the Iron Curtain and ultimately exposed the bankruptcy of the system.
Professor Geremek was a giant, one of those intrepid figures who toppled a seemingly indestructible structure built on what I would call the four tyrannies—repression, fear, deceit, and corruption.
As a beneficiary of democracy, I’ve always admired those who, denied it, stood tall in its pursuit and paid a heavy price for its achievement.
Professor Geremek, in his enviable diplomatic style, was central to achieving, in the words of The Economist, the "communist surrender," and restoring Poland to its rightful place in the family of nations that cherish human freedom, human dignity, and human rights.
As an unabashed fan of the European Union, undoubtedly the most ambitious and successful peace project in modern history, I’ve always admired those who fought to make it a reality—and those who saw clearly the future in their countries’ accession to the European project.
Professor Geremek helped plant the seeds for Poland’s eventual membership in the European Union and, later, as a Member of the European Parliament, where I last saw him, he spoke of a mission half accomplished—Europe was created, he famously said, but Europeans were still in the making. He was working on it until his untimely death!
As a firm believer in the transatlantic alliance, I’ve always admired those who recognize that this unique partnership was and, I should underscore, is vital for global stability and the defense of shared values.
Professor Geremek was Poland’s distinguished foreign minister when his country, in 1999, proudly joined NATO, quickly becoming one of its most committed members.
Like the other speakers—and I am honored to be in their company—I could go on at length describing the traits of this remarkable man who all of us gathered here at the National Endowment for Democracy so deeply admired.
Suffice it to say that Professor Geremek, early in life, became a witness to history, then, literally, its prisoner—first under the Nazis, later the Communists. He lived, remarkably, to become an author of history.
No, I don’t mean an author about history, though, to be sure, he was that as well—and, to boot, with his trademark beard, pipe, and tweed jacket, he came straight from central casting.
I mean an author of history, a title that precious few can legitimately claim. An author of the single most important historical event of the past sixty years—the end of the Soviet empire.
What an extraordinary man!
What an extraordinary life!
What an extraordinary legacy!
What an extraordinary loss that he was taken away from us—and from all that he yet planned to do, drawing upon his inexhaustible fount of energy and creativity—too soon!
May his memory, as we say in the Jewish tradition, forever be a blessing.
May his righteousness and steadfastness be sources of inspiration for all who believe in the indivisible rights of man.
And may we cherish the example, on this very special anniversary, September 11, and every day, of those brave few—who unflinchingly faced the tyrants, who stood unbent and unbowed in the long and difficult struggle, and who emerged triumphant to create a new dawn."
Wednesday, 17 September 2008
Tuesday, 16 September 2008
Source: The Local
"He's back. Two months after a visitor ripped the head off a controversial Hitler waxwork at the new Berlin branch of Madame Tussaud's, the museum is again displaying the figure, this time protected by a wall and extra security.
Some aspects of the display have remained the same – the effigy of the Nazi dictator still appears seated at a desk in his bunker apparently awaiting the approaching Red Army. But big and small changes have been made since July 5 when one of the first visitors to the new museum stormed the display, wrenching the head off the 200,000-euro figure and screaming "No more war!"
For one thing, a grey wall with three windows now separates visitors from the simulated bunker. There's also a sign requesting tourists to refrain from touching, photographing or posing with the waxwork, "out of respect for the millions of people who died during World War II."
But, as the Berliner Morgenpost reported, there have been other, more subtle changes to the display. It would appear that museum staff have given the figure a rather less polished look now, the paper reported. Instead of a strict parting, the Führer's hair now falls haphazardly in his face. His tie is also not so neatly knotted as it was for the museum's opening [photo of the Führer's new look here]. (...)
The British company defended its decision to persist with the Hitler display despite the controversy it has unleashed in Germany, saying that "Hitler represents a decisive part of Berlin's history which we can't just pretend did not happen.""
Monday, 15 September 2008
Article by Haviv Rettig in TJP
Pope Benedict XVI slammed anti-Semitism as theologically unjustifiable and tantamount to being "anti-Christian" in a meeting with French-Jewish leaders in Paris on Friday.
The meeting came on the first day of a four-day trip to France, the pontiff's 10th trip out of Italy since his election in April 2005.
"The Church is opposed to every form of anti-Semitism, which can never be theologically justified," he said, quoting French theologian Henri de Lubac as saying he had understood that "to be anti-Semitic also signifies being anti-Christian."
Benedict lamented the victims of anti-Semitism, saying: "Once again I feel the duty to pay heartfelt recognition to those who have died unjustly, and to those that have dedicated themselves to assure that the names of these victims may always be remembered. God does not forget."
He called for greater Christian-Jewish understanding, noting that the two religions' "fraternal bonds constitute a continual invitation to know and to respect one another better."
Rabbi Joseph Sitruk, a former chief rabbi of France, said after the meeting that it had been a "historic rapprochement between Judaism and the Church.""
Pontiff's Greeting to Jewish Delegation: a translation of Benedict XVI's address at the apostolic nunciature in Paris, during a brief meeting with representatives of the Jewish community (ZENIT)
Sunday, 14 September 2008
"Even in European countries, the majorities that say al Qaeda was behind 9/11 are not overwhelming. Fifty-seven percent of Britons, 56 percent of Italians, 63 percent of French and 64 percent of Germans cite al Qaeda." However, significant portions of Britons (26%), French (23%), and Italians (21%) say they do not know who was behind 9/11. Remarkably, 23 percent of Germans cite the US government, as do 15 percent of Italians.
Publics in the Middle East are especially likely to name a perpetrator other than al Qaeda. In Egypt 43 percent say that Israel was behind the attacks, as do 31 percent in Jordan and 19 percent in the Palestinian Territories. The US government is named by 36 percent of Turks and 27 percent of Palestinians. The numbers who say al Qaeda was behind the attacks range from 11 percent in Jordan to 42 percent in the Palestinian Territories.
The only countries with overwhelming majorities citing al Qaeda are the African countries: Kenya (77%) and Nigeria (71%). In Nigeria, a large majority of Muslims (64%) also say that al Qaeda was behind the attacks (compared to 79% of Nigerian Christians)."
WPO: International Poll: No Consensus On Who Was Behind 9/11
H/T: Islam in Europe blog: 9/11 - the European perspective
Saturday, 13 September 2008
Friday, 12 September 2008
The survey also found that 18 percent of the respondents have a good opinion of President George W. Bush. An overwhelming 86 percent prefer Barack Obama and 35 percent John McCain.
The poll was carried out on September 2 and 3 by TNS Sofres for the French-American Foundation and published by Le Figaro. About 1,000 people were questioned.
Thursday, 11 September 2008
"I am aware that we have partnership agreements with other countries which do not rigorously respect human rights – yesterday we discussed Tunisia - but I do not know of any other country, which, at present, violates international law and fundamental human rights as badly as Israel (…)."
Isn't this simply a gross defamation of Israel? Presumably, Ms. Jamoulle was only echoing the Socialist Party’s line.
Before leaving his post in 2007, former Israeli Ambassador to Belgium Yehudi Kinar complained about the French Community's unwillingness to ratify the partnership agreement, while cooperating with Lybia and organizing a mega Palestinian festival in 2008.
Poster from the Belgian-Palestinian Association (Brussels-Wallonia) website. The poster was created by Oxfam Belgium in 2003 and withdrawn by Oxfam International following a campaign led by the Simon Wiesenthal Center.
For more on this subject see:
Nouveau budget de la Communauté française de Belgique pour la saison palestinienne, UPJF
Wednesday, 10 September 2008
The first edition of the International Jewish Literature Festival in Italy will take place in Rome from 20 to 24 September.
Writers, journalists, critics and emerging talents will gather at the Casa dell'Architettura to present their works and to discuss their views on various themes of Jewish culture.
Literature has always played an important role in Jewish culture. Jewish literature is wide and multifaceted, ranging from humorous to dramatic, from fictional to historic, not to mention the infinite array of holy texts and comments thereof.
The festival gives a glimpse of this universe which requires a long exploration.
Many still remember the controversy that struck the last edition of the Turin Book Fair, in which a tribute to Israel's 60th anniversary brought a number of anti-Israeli demonstrations.
According to the organizers, this Rome festival aims at somehow counteracting this prejudice by presenting and analyzing the works of such an important literary tradition.
"Many people associate Judaism with little more than the Shoah and Israel" explains Shulim Vogelmann, writer and organizer of the festival together with Ariela Piattelli and Raffaella Spizzichino.
"Literature can be a useful tool to reveal its complexity and to show its deepest roots and its most subtle shades," he added.
The four-day festival features readings, poetry, panels, discussions, a film screening, and a writing contest, all of this enriched by the presence of a number of special guests."
Largest Book Fairs in France and Italy to Honor Israel
Tuesday, 9 September 2008
Monday, 8 September 2008
Opinions will differ over exactly where, or whether, an anti-Israel screed becomes anti-Semitic. Often, the writer or publisher in question may be completely unaware that the words or images they choose have an anti-Semitic provenance. There is a necessary process of education before it can even be asked why a particular metaphor appealed to them, or why they thought it would resonate with their readers.
In an effort to measure and track the phenomenon, my organisation, CST, has published its first survey of anti-Semitism in mainstream discourse in Britain. This publication will be produced annually - the first one covers 2007 - and will complement our existing reports into anti-Semitic incidents each year.
One example is of a magazine article about the pro-Israel lobby in America which was illustrated with a cartoon of a giant sea dragon, emblazoned with what looked like a Star of David, but was in fact the AIPAC logo, a nuance that will have been missed by many of its British readers. Anti-Semitic iconography has long portrayed Jews as dragons, both in their individual physicality and as an abstract, collective force. (...)
When neo-Nazis allege Jewish control of the media or government, Jewish conspiracies to cause war or global foment, or Jewish infanticide and bloodlust, and when their propaganda portrays Jews as snakes, dragons or other beasts, nobody questions whether it is anti-Semitic. When similar allegations are made and associations drawn, but about supporters of Israel, not Jews per se, and set in the context of arguments over Israel and the Palestinians, there are plenty of people who cannot, or will not, see the connection between this contemporary discourse and an anti-Semitic past. Neo-Nazis have spotted this, and now also talk about Zionists, not Jews, blurring the distinctions further.
Anti-Semitism is not just about the hate crimes that make up the numbers of anti-Semitic incidents that get reported each year; it is also about the ideas, words and images of anti-Semitic discourse."
From The language of anti-Semitism, by Dave Rich, Haaretz
"Belgian French language magazine Le Vif/L'Express had come out with a five page spread in its August 29th issue about Islam in the Belgian school system.
Sunday, 7 September 2008
According to Raphael Haddad, head of the Union of Jewish students in France, the three victims -aged 17 and 18- were struck by stones and blows thrown by a group of ten young men, who later escaped.
The victims, who lodged a complaint to police, were treated in hospital. One of them is suffering from wounds at the face.
A spokesman for the Interior Minister confirmed Sunday the anti-Semitic character of this attack. "We have enough elements to confirm it," Gérard Gachet, a spokesman for Interior Minister Michèle Alliot-Marie said.
The minister condemned «with the utmost firmness the anti-Semitic violence against young Jews going to the synagogue."
A similar attack occurred in the same area of Paris’s 19th district on June 22 when Rudy Haddad, a 17-year- old Jewish man was severely injured. He too was wearing the Jewish religious head covering and was leaving a nearby synagogue after Saturday’s prayer office.
The Bureau of Vigilance against anti-Semitism, a group monitoring anti-Semitic incidents in France, stressed the growing feeling of insecurity of Jews living in the Buttes de Chaumont area area in the 19th district of Paris.
The group urged the French capital’s Mayor to reinforce police forces in the area in view of the upcoming Jewish High Holidays."
- Anti-semitic assault in Marseille
- Anti-Semitic T-shirt on sale in Paris shop
- Paris' 19th Arrondissement: 'Gang Wars' or Anti-Semitic Attacks?
- Not-So-Young 'Youth': French Airman Implicated in Anti-Semitic Attack
- The Murder of Ilan Halimi
Writing in London's Daily Telegraph, MP Daniel Hannan noted that "a welfare state is…the perfect terrorist habitat." He insisted that there is a direct connection between the fact that the Palestinians "receive more assistance, per capita, than any other people on Earth, and live in one of its most violent spaces."
Hannan said that as long as the Palestinians "remain trapped in the squalor of dependency," they will be left free to formulate and act upon violent ideologies instead of building their own economic future.
In addition to being politically foolish, Hannan also explained that EU financial aid to a Palestinian Authority that includes, and is in fact dominated by, Hamas is illegal.
"Many of the PA's officials are Hamas militants, whose salaries are being paid while they serve their sentences in Israeli jails," Hannan noted. "Under Brussels rules, funding such an organization is a criminal offense."
The EU has given the Palestinian Authority $500 million this year, and recently approved an additional $80 million."
Source: Israel Today
Daniel Hannan blog
Saturday, 6 September 2008
"Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it", George Santayana
"The 870,000 Jews expelled from Arab countries in the 1940s and 1950s similarly settled quietly in the United States, Europe and Israel. They aren’t out there blowing up Iraqi, Moroccan and Algerian embassies or airplanes, which is why you probably never think about them.
The list of people who were displaced by the events of World War II and decolonization is endless. The only group that anyone pays attention to is the Palestinians. If the Palestinians were to stop blowing up airplanes and pizza shops people would stop paying attention.
Arab leaders don’t care about non-violent Palestinians. As noted earlier, if you were an Arab leader there is no reason to care about your own subjects, much less members of very distant tribes. The only Arab nation that has offered Palestinians citizenship is Jordan; a Palestinian family that has lived in Egypt or Saudi Arabia for several generations will still be aliens with no right to permanent residence. Thus there are more than 4 million people officially classified as Palestinians refugees despite the fact that the final British census before the 1948 war found only about one million people of all religions living in Palestine. The primary agency for these stateless souls is the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA). If you visit their web site, you’ll see that the United States and European nations provide almost all of the funding. Historically in fact the western nations provided 100 percent of the funding for UNRWA, but in recent years Saudi Arabia has been shamed into chipping in. For 2002 the Saudis contributed $5.8 million, compared to a U.S. contribution of $120 million and Britain’s $30 million. Most Arab countries contribute less than the cost of a new Mercedes automobile.
Violent Palestinians, by contrast, have no trouble getting support from fellow Arabs. In April 2002 the Saudi state television network ran a telethon that raised more than $100 million to aid the families of the Palestinians suicide bombers. Iraqi, which contributes nothing to UNRWA, has been donating roughly $10 million per year to the families of suicide bombers. Iran, another state that contributes nothing to UNRWA, sends weapons and money to anti-Israel groups such as Hezbollah and Yasser Arafat’s army, most notably a 50-ton shipment of rockets and plastic explosives in January 2002 (notable because it was in violation of the agreements that Arafat had signed and because it was discovered and intercepted by the Israel Navy)."
From Philip Greenspun's essay "Israel" in Those Who Forget The Past by Ron Rosenbaum (Random House 2004)
Friday, 5 September 2008
Another illuminating example of slipshod journalism and short memories..
A reader of the French daily Directsoir complained that an article (Sept. 3) on the 2004 Beslan school massacre wrongly claimed that it was the first in history involving children being taken hostage and killed by terrorists. In fact, there was a precedent which the article does not mention : the Maalot school massacre perpetrated by Palestinian terrorists thirty years before.
The Beslan school massacre - 2004.
334 dead, including 186 children.
"It was the first day of classes. (...) That all changed when a group of armed Chechen separatists and Islamic fundamentalists took more than 1,200 school children and adults hostage on September 1, 2004, at School Number One (SNO) in the town of Beslan, North Ossetia-Alania. Little did the children and parents know what the next 56 hours would bring... " Read more here.
The Maalot school massacre - 1974
"The Ma'alot massacre was a school massacre in Ma'alot, Israel, that occurred on May 15, 1974.
On this date, the 26th anniversary of Israeli independence, three Arabs subsequently identified as members of the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine (DFLP), a faction affiliated with the PLO, broke into the high school in Ma'alot, a community in northern Israel, where a group of 100 14-16 year olds were sleeping on the floor after a day spent hiking.
The Arabs had infiltrated into Israel from Lebanon dressed as Israeli soldiers. They first attacked a van bringing Arab women home from work, killing two women and wounding one. They then infiltrated the town of Ma'alot and took over a local school, immediately killing a security guard, a student, and one other person. Some students managed to escape by jumping out of a window, but 90 or so students and some teachers were held as hostages.
The hostage-takers presented their demands the next morning: release 23 Arab militants from Israeli prisons, or they would kill the students. The deadline was set at 6:00 p.m. the same day.
The Knesset, the Israeli parliament, met in an emergency session, and by 3:00 p.m. a decision was reached to negotiate, but the terrorists refused a request for more time.
At 5:45 p.m., a unit of the elite Golani Brigade stormed the building. The hostage-takers were killed in the assault, along with 20 students and one Israeli soldier. Reports vary as to the exact circumstances of the killings. Some reports say that the hostage-takers detonated their grenades and shot the children. All told, 26 victims were killed and 71 were wounded.
The names of the 21 students who died during the assault: Ilana Turgeman, Rachel Aputa, Yocheved Mazoz, Sarah Ben-Shim'on, Yona Sabag, Yafa Cohen. Shoshana Cohen, Michal Sitrok, Malka Amrosy, Aviva Saada, Yocheved Diyi, Yaakov Levi, Yaakov Kabla, Rina Cohen, Ilana Ne'eman, Sarah Madar, Tamar Dahan, Sarah Soper, Lili Morad, David Madar, Yehudit Madar."